Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Saying Goodbye to the Year

I usually try to come up with resolutions when the new year rolls around, but the more I think about it for 2014, the more it seems like a futile endeavor. My resolutions always end up the same: write more, read more, edit this or that, send out queries, focus on my health and try to lose some weight, build better habits and try to get closer to some of my life goals.

All very general in recent years, because the years would pass by without nothing achieved (or not enough) when I had more specific resolutions.

This year, I am not going to worry about resolutions, promises to myself to do X or Y.

This year end, I have spent New Year's Eve day spending time with my aunt, watching "Frozen" with my mother, crafting a gift, listening to music, talking with friends online, and shortly, a bit of writing on a story I began earlier in the year.

Tomorrow, I will spend more time with family, rest and relax, grade, and edit.

I want 2014 to reflect these two days, full of obligations and enjoyment, and balancing between the two. A year where I have time to rest, but also to have fun, and to get projects done that are just for me, as well as complete projects with and for others.

Happy New Year, and happy writing.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Great Advice for NaNoers

Robin LaFevers (author of Grave Mercy) has some great advice for writers who get stuck and the usual methods are just not working. Some tips are meant to prepare for the writing (so you have all the tools at hand), others are tips to help you just get the words on the page.

Post is here: Frog Marching The Muse

Also, she has chapter one of the sequel to Grave Mercy, available on her website: Dark Triumph.

Read, write, and for those of you doing NaNoWriMo, good luck making your word count goals.

Saturday, August 3, 2013


In that funny way that anyone who has googled a single specific fact and found themselves, hours later, in the most random and unexpected places can attest to, I have discovered this wonderful artist: Alberto Seveso.

Drops of ink in water, and the results are paint drops floating upwards, silk, fabric coiled about itself with a sensuousness that goes beyond... just beyond.

Go. Look. See.

A Year in the Life

Cross-posted from Red-Inked Leaf, my editing blog:

Up until this past year, I have edited numerous manuscripts. Some I have seen nearly from beginning to end, others only in fits and starts, some only a few pages. Such is the life of a writing group member.

Writing groups are a great way to gain experience as an editor, seeing how different people write, and different people to react to being edited. But it is a far cry from editing a manuscript from first read to final release.

Purple Haze took about a year from when I first received the manuscript until it was released into the wild. It's the first book I've edited with Savant Books and Publications, so in part, I wanted to take my time and see that I did it right. But I also needed to find the balance between writing my own work, teaching college-level English and Psychology, and editing nonfiction freelance (along with some weekly volunteer work, a vague semblance of a social life, and a year full of a number of health issues).

The first step, after an initial read-through, was to decide whether to edit a chunk of chapters and send those to the author, then do another chunk, and so on; or to edit the whole manuscript and send that. We opted for the former, running on enthusiasm and a desire to jump into it.

As I made edits and suggestions, I sent those out, and George edited them and sent them. I held off on my second round of edits, though, until I had gone through the whole manuscript. Then we started the process again.

At first, the focus was bigger ideas--content, plot, characterization. As those were edited, our focus narrowed to smaller issues, until it was line edits: grammar, punctuation, sentence structure.

It took about three or four rounds of "edit, send to author" before we felt comfortable passing it on to the proofreaders. At that point, we also starting working with the cover artist on the cover.

Now we are in the post-release marketing stage. So below is the press release of Purple Haze. Please read, and I hope you get the book, and pass along the description. Happy reading!

Savant Books Announces the Release of George Hudson's New Novel, "Purple Haze"
Savant Books and Publications LLC, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA, announces the release of George Hudson's novel of past and present murder and intrigue, "Purple Haze."

Savant Books and Publications LLC, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA, announces the release of George Hudson's novel of past and present murder and intrigue, "Purple Haze."


George Hudson's "Purple Haze"
George Hudson's "Purple Haze"
PRLog (Press Release) - Jul. 26, 2013 - HONOLULU --
A skull discovered in a lake leads FBI investigators Bryan Langston and Joe Mallory on a dangerous search for answers to a thirty-year-old unsolved murder. What they don't know is that there is someone still alive who will do whatever it takes to keep the truth buried, even if that
means killing again.

George Hudson was born in East Tennessee in 1947, into a family of seven other siblings. His life was deeply impacted by the Tennessee Valley Authority and by the lakes throughout the area in which he was raised. He has been a lifetime educator, teaching history in the public schools in Tennessee for thirty years. George also taught as an adjunct professor of history and is presently teaching at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga. In his writing, he intersperses bits of history about the area to add local color and sentiment. He and his wife, Gail, live in Chattanooga.

"It's exciting to finally have this book available for all to read," says Hudson. "'It has been an untold story in my imagination for a long time."

"Purple Haze" by George Hudson - 274 pages - 6" x 9" Trade Book - Color Softcover. ISBN 9780988664050. Suggested retail price $16.95. Released in July 2013 by Savant Books and Publications, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA.

This book is available from the publisher, printer and Amazon.com at


from Savant Bookstore Honolulu at

and directly from Amazon.com at

Savant Books and Publications LLC is a publisher of enduring literature and media for the 21st Century. For more information visit www.savantbooksandpublications.com

Friday, July 26, 2013

First Book Release as Editor: Purple Haze by George Hudson

I've mentioned a few times that I have been editing for a local publisher. It's been about a year since I first met with the senior editor and founder of Savant Books and Publications. I've gone through the interview, the training, the waiting for a manuscript, and the lengthy process of editing an unfamiliar story and working with a new author (in the midst of teaching, and for a time, editing someone else's psych dissertation).

Well, I am stoked to announce (though I am keeping the squeeing to a minimum), that today marks the release of my first edited work with Savant: Purple Haze by George Hudson. You'll be hearing more about it over the next few months, but I hope you'll take some time to check out the description. You can buy it directly from Savant, or through Amazon.

Purple Haze is about a murder investigation set in Tennessee. A skull is found in a lake, and a thirty-year-old mystery is brought to the surface...

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Just Pictures...well, pictures and captions

Always a good suggestion, Tim Gunn.
In the comments, what books would you wish this treatment on?

I'd argue picking a favorite kid is easier (especially when it's not my kid). Favorite is the quiet one entertaining themselves with a book.

Every day.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Booklovers Not-So Anonymous

Hello, my name is Sabrina and I am addicted to books.

I was sent this link a week or so back, read it, loved it, lost it, and found it again. Then I thought "It's been ages since I updated "CoffeeQuill." The two have come together to this post.

How many of these signs have you come across (read: lived)?

25 Signs You're Addicted to Books

For me, there's 8 and 9, sooooo much!

8. A 'dream home' is one filled with books. I mean filled! And a fun weekend involves reorganizing your bookshelves--I will post a photo one day.

9. "Walking by a closed bookstore is torture," and you can't go in without buying something.

Add to this, walking past a storefront that used to be a bookstore. I still miss Borders.

#9 also states that you develop crushes based on bookstore employee's recommendations and staff picks, and while I have never crushed on someone for that, I have literally thought "I would like to meet this person and befriend them." It's also how I met one of my best friends. He was reading Anansi Boys the first day of our first class in the MA English program. I sat next to him and knew he would be friends, at the very least.

13 and 15 are concerns, though I do pretty well reining 13 in on the few occasions I travel, though there's always one or two books, sometimes a kindle, in my work or weekend bag.

15 gets bad, though. It's not so much a stack on the nightstand, but beside the bed, and it never really goes away, just shifts around the room.

Anyway, how about you, fellow book addicts?

Friday, March 8, 2013

Follow the Trail

Sometimes I find myself visiting a website that takes me from one page to another, which leads me to another site, then another, and another, until I reach the point I could not have predicted I would have ended up where I did.

Sometimes, the path is very short. A visit to facebook, to a friend's page, to Terry Windling's blog, and to this wonderful artist, Rune Guneriussen.

This is Gravitational Force, by Guneriussen.

There is a whole series of photos of lamps in a forest, on the surface of a lake, crossing a stream, "walking" along a path through the trees. This particular photo made me think these lamps were looking for something, a search party. But of what?

This is Second System of Ethics.

It looks like a tower. Sturdy, even though it sits in the midst of a stream. Everything bends towards it.

I just had to share. Inspiration can follow the path to you on any day.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Pocket Princesses

Because I don't want to forget, but these are so awesome I cannot not share them: Pocket Princesses by Amy Mebberson.

Really, all the art on her tumblr is so much fun. It has a cartoon, almost chibi, feel to it, and covers the spectrum of Disney, My Little Pony, Darkwing Duck, Muppets and more (do those all fit on one spectrum?).

I'm a strong believer in keeping art nearby when you are a writer. There are reference photos that can useful in a more concrete-y, research way, there are photos that inspire worlds and stories, and then there are just drawings and pieces that are so much fun, they make you want to create something, too. Sometimes, a piece can do more than one.

Amy's work definitely makes me want to create as well, I just need to channel that into the writing instead of yanking out the sketchbook, not that that doesn't have its own ways of inspiring.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Inspiration Wednesdays--belated

Still getting over a flu, so when I got home yesterday, I conked out and didn't touch my computer.

Today's inspiration is poetry.

The theme: death, or the romanticization of death, or, the moon

By John Keats

Bright star, would I were stedfast as thou art---
Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night
And watching, with eternal lids apart,
Like nature's patient, sleepless Eremite,
The moving waters at their priestlike task
Of pure ablution round earth's human shores,
Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask
Of snow upon the mountains and the moors---
No---yet still stedfast, still unchangeable,
Pillowed upon my fair love's ripening breast,
To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,
Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
And so live ever---or else swoon in death.


By Izumi Shikibu

The way I must enter
leads through darkness to darkness ---
O moon above the mountain’s rim,
please shine a little farther
on my path.

And for an added bonus, because this came up as I was searching for the above (I wanted to double-check my phrasing), and it sounds lovely:

By Izumi Shikibu

Watching the moon
at dawn
solitary, mid-sky,
I knew myself completely,
no part left out.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Inspiration Wednesdays

Although, this could just as easily be called "Let's Take a Few Moments to Look at Pretty/Neat/Awesome Things", but there is the goal of hoping what follows inspires you in some way.

May it spark an idea, or offer a twist in a story, or give you to urge to create something new.

That's what I hope for myself.

Theme for the Week: Steampunk

A steampunkified keyboard

A steamy version of Cinderella's carriage

Is that a steampunk Cheshire or are you just happy to see me?

A miniature steam-fairy. (I don't even care if this is completely Photoshopped, because it looks awesome.)

Note: If anyone has credits they'd like to me add to any photo, please just let a comment. I just do a lot of Google Image searches, and mean no harm other than to promote these wonderful visuals.