Saturday, June 29, 2013

Winter weight? Wait? Why not write?

As the weather grows colder and the days shorter it seems like the perfect time to bake. Turning on the oven warms the house. Cakes, baked dinners, soups, bread. Oh, the smell of fresh bread baking.
Winter seems to invite those extra cups of coffee and cookies. Shortbread, snickerdoodles, scones, with jam and cream... of course. It all is so easy and comforting.

But... there is a downside. To the warmth, the enveloping odours of hot food, lashings of gravy, spices and sugary indulgences. How come baking isn't good for the waistline? Is that fair?

So instead of heating the oven I am gathering kindling. Stoking the fire and each time I do it inspires me to write.

How often does my hero light a fire? Does he have the same problems as I do? Damp kindling, wood that refuses to burn? I remember the days of swinging an axe to chop firewood. Even getting the blade caught in the block took an effort to remove. It was hard work, but I enjoyed it. I now blame if for my damaged back, but that's another story. Each flame, each moment when the conflagration takes hold, the spreading warmth the light, smoke, heat and comfort all take me back to my writing. Did I capture the essence of the fire? Did I use all the senses? Did I create the atmosphere a fire brings?

Of course, once I begin wondering my thoughts return to the latest novel up for editing. Seafaring adventure.
The series starts with a shipwreck, and with the two final adventures we return to the ocean.

What's not to love about pirates, sharks, whales, storms, visiting strange harbours, navigating shoals and feeling the salt laden breeze on one's skin?

Not so many fires in this one, but more the ocean spray, the constant motion of wind and wave. The exhilaration and danger.

There is a magical quality to winter. Even without snow and frosts, the cooler weather, the long nights. The clear crisp starlit nights all inspire and invigorate. I even enjoy the chills. Being able to rug up and wear extra layers without overheating. To walk, work and experience the beauty of our environment without needing constant protection from the harsh sun. It is a wonderful time of year.

So, I will head back to pen and paper and away from the kitchen. I will not listen to the call of the choc chip cookies or dream of the succulent scones slathered in strawberry jam and fresh whipped cream. I will return to the adventure and hope I can eliminate all the grammatical nits from the next book before it is released.

If you can't write to while away winter the cooler weather is a great excuse to curl up with a good book!!

Enjoy your season... and the weather... whether it is summer or winter.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Byron Bay Writers' Festival... preparation and excitement grows.

"I used Grammarly to grammar check this post, because grammar and writers festivals go hand in hand. Thank goodness I can avoid squinting modifiers, parallel pronouns and confused conjunctions. Grammarly helps make proofreading all clear as mud."

So, thanks to the wonderful support of 
I have been sponsored to attend
the Byron Bay Writers' Festival with two other group members.
It is even more thrilling to have supportive members of the group chip in with cost of accommodation.

Karolyn and I will be staying at the prestigious 
(we will let you know exactly how prestigious later) 

What we dream of...
Where we will be staying...
The program for the festival is packed with interesting talks, interviews and workshops. Already we have circled too many and will need to refine our timetable.

It will not only be attending talks to inspire and educate us, but the networking and fellowship being among like minded people will bring.

Of course after the rush of being there, our responsibility will lie in sharing what we enjoyed, learned, discovered and absorbed with our other group members and hopefully inspire them to attend next year.

We will also be attending a regional writers group meeting to discuss the possibility and agenda for a regional writers jamboree to be held in the near future. 

If you want to go green with envy, or grab a ticket and join us there!
Check out the lists of writers in attendance...  If you dare...

photo from Byron Bay Writers Festival Facebook

Off to pack warm clothes. Byron is famous for its rain and cookies. :)
August it should just be cold. Not too damp. Fingers crossed.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

EYE of the SOUL excerpt Terri Rochenski

Eye of the Soul (Pool of Souls #1)
Adult Fantasy
Release Date: October 7, 2013



That should be Hyla’s first thought as her people are chained and imprisoned for no imaginable reason. 

Instead, Hyla finds herself traveling through a land void of Natives, with human soldiers pillaging in desperate pursuit of her, and in search of the mystical Pool of Souls—home to the one man who can save her people. 

Or so she believes. 

Led by her faith in the deity Fadir, Hyla is met along her journey by Jadon—a human male and fierce King’s warrior, and his childhood best friend Conlin—one of the few Natives aware of his Fadir-given Talents. 

Protected by Jadon, guided by Conlin, and with an unfailing belief in the purpose of her pilgrimage, Hyla carries on. 

Like her, though, another searches for the Pool, and should he gain access first, everyone she loves, and everything she knows, could be lost. 



Cursing her arthritic fingers, Miri squeezed out a rag and draped it over the human man's hot forehead.

“I’ve seen a lot more harvests than you, old goat,” she muttered, lifting his eyelids. “I’m thinking you’ll never catch up either. Doubt you last another half-moon’s phase.”

Miri pushed to her feet and stretched her hunched back. A heavy sigh slipped past her wrinkled lips as she glanced around the sick house. Keeping the night watch wasn’t too bad—she’d volunteered often since her old bones wouldn’t allow much sleep.

“Joints wasted, hearing all but gone …” Miri yanked on the long white braid lying over her shoulder. “I’m the old goat.”

She shuffled down the aisle, woolen kirtle swishing in the silence. A cool, autumn breeze rustled the crimson leaves of the magnolia and palm fronds overhead, drawing her gaze upward. Violet streaks lit the pre-dawn sky.

A dog barked, yipped, and fell silent.

Miri peered across the village green to the thatched buildings beyond. A shadow passed between two cottages. Another three hurried toward the neighboring dwelling.

“Sight fading or my mind, too?” Miri rubbed her watery eyes, blinked, and leaned forward. Light flickered through the palm trees behind the outlying homes.


The flames drew closer, weaving between the trunks.

Humans from the mainland? Miri’s hand clutched at her throat. Soldiers. Fadir have mercy.

The men crept through the village, taking up positions at every doorway. Two brutes, more horse-like in size than human, approached the sick house. Sputtering torch held high, the first strode forward, dark eyes intent upon Miri. A green surcoat covered broad shoulders and fell to his thighs. The golden wheat sheaf of the city of Varosh adorned his chest.

Cold sweat beaded upon Miri’s brow. Breath burst from her lungs, and she moved back, clutching the door jam.

The second soldier stepped closer, chains and shackles clanking in his hand. He stopped two paces away from Miri, and a smile stretched his stubbled cheeks, revealing rotted teeth. “Good morning pointy-ears.”

Miri stared, heartbeat thundering in her ears. She’d been called worse in her eighty-three birth passings but never with such malice.

A single cry rang out across the village, and doors crashed inward. Screams rent the air.

“Don’t fight Native woman,” rotten-teeth sneered, shackles outstretched.

“W-why?” Miri whispered, taking a step backward.

A scowl narrowed his gaze, and his fist shot forward.

Bursts of light and pain exploded through Miri as she crumpled to the floor.

Terri Rochenski