Welcome

What goes on inside the head of a pre-published author who specializes in Steampunk, Fantasy and Romance, who has homeschooled her three daughters and who believes in the magic inherent in every living thing? Read on to find out.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Rough Draft of the Beginning

This is my work-in-progress. I've been writing in chunks, switching between the gypsies and the townsfolk, and the other characters. I've decided to begin the book with the Gypsies.

Chapter 1 - Gypsy Pirates
The piecemeal airship came to its usual gentle landing in a meadow between two streams. The grounding crew hopped out and began driving stakes in the ground and tying off ropes to secure the airship. As it was barely dawn, the gypsies had no gawkers. The townspeople would awake, as most towns did, to find this huge airship and a camp full of gypsies just outside their town.

Ezri hauled her tent out with the rest. She smiled at the sun rising over the town - it promised to be a beautiful day. She found a spot near the eastern stream to pitch her tent. This was one of her favorite parts of the journey - creating a new home, even if temporarily. When they camped, she had a measure of privacy, solitude. Being canned into that airship was not her idea of the good life. Here, in the open, with the sounds of nature soothing her to sleep, this was her good life. She erected her tent with the ease of a person who had done it dozens of times, then went back to the airship to get her few belongings. By midmorning, she and the rest of her extended family would have camp established with the appearance of having lived there for years.

When Ezri finished setting up her tent she walked around to see if anyone needed help. Her brother's five children ran out to greet her.

"Aunt Ezri, sing for us," they said. The two younger boys carried their dried gourd maracas, the middle girl held out her tambourine, and the two older boys had their guitars.

"What song will we sing to greet such a magical morning?" Ezri asked.

Her six-year-old niece, Fayette, spoke up, "Morning Mist".

Ezri counted them off and the boys began strumming and shaking. She liked the song much better in the old language, so she let out a trill before letting the words roll out of her mouth. Soon, more children joined the group, some with instruments, some without, and all began dancing in a round. Faster and faster the older boys played as the old, magical words spilled from her lips. For this was not simply a song, but an old spell, used to draw the townsfolk out and make them at least curious about the gypsies. On good days, it made them want to spend their pocket money in the gypsy camp instead of on drinks or the saloon girls.

Ezri led the children in concentric circles of dance. The group whirled faster and faster until they were all running around in three circles, one inside another. When the song ended they all collapsed on the ground, laughing.

"Thank you, little ones. That will surely make our stay joyous," Ezri said. Then all the children scattered, all except little Fayette. She climbed into Ezri's lap. Ezri stroked her long, dark hair and looked into bright blue eyes, much like her own.

"Aunt Ezri, do you miss your babies?"

Ezri continued stroking the girl's hair. She had actually gone for the length of the song without thinking about the four babies she miscarried when she was married.

"I miss them very much. But they are always in my heart. They have joined the Great Mother and are singing songs and playing everyday, like you do here. I know I will see them again one day," Ezri said.

"I wish they were here playing with me. I'd like little girls to play with instead of all the boys - they won't play dolls with me."

Ezri smiled to force away the tears that threatened. She had carried each of her children exactly four months. Each of them had been stillborn in the middle of the night. Each of them had been a girl. They would have looked very much like Fayette.

"Well, perhaps you will find a little girl in this town who will play with you," Ezri said.

Fayette smiled and hugged her aunt before jumping up and joining the other children, most of whom were boys. There had been very few girls born in this generation. When they grew up, they would have to find foreign men to bring into the mix. Ezri's grandmother was trying to get Ezri to find another foreign man to bring into the mix. Not all men were like her ex-husband Dorian Lane, her grandmother kept telling her. Not all men would leave a wife because she could not have children. The good man loves a wife for all of her, not just for what she can give her husband. That might be true for most of the men in camp, but foreigners never held a candle to her men. Of course, most of the eligible men in camp were too closely related to her to be husband material. The remaining ones were either too old or too young.

Ezri sighed, then stood up. It was time to venture into town and see what she could do to draw out customers. Everyone else was still setting up, but since Ezri's business was dancing and reading aura's, she didn't have any inventory to display. As she crossed the small wooden bridge into town, she wondered if this might be a place where they could stay for awhile. It was far enough away from the big city of Waldron to be safe from vandals and close enough to a small town to draw in customers, and with all the problems factories were having with their machines breaking, perhaps the people in this small factory town needed a break from the everyday. Ezri adjusted her turquoise and silver handkerchief skirts and the coin scarf around her waist, pulled her violet shawl around her shoulders, and ventured into town.

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Cookbook is Finished!

It is such a wonderful feeling to have this cookbook in my hands! Two years of work went into this and I think the book is superb, considering I had no experience making a photo book/cookbook/history book. It ended up being over $50 once you pay for taxes and shipping, but I had no control over how the site prices their books. I chose not to add any profit for myself, since I didn't expect to sell many books and I wanted to keep the price as low as I could for family and friends.

As of today, 3 people have bought my book and a few more intend to do so soon. I'm happy just knowing my creation is bringing other people pleasure. Profit would be nice, but not for this book. I'll make oodles of profit from my fiction novels.

Now I can head into National Novel Writing Month without the cookbook distracting me. Just 7 more days until I write 50,000 words in one month!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Adding More to the Cookbook

My mom was a big help with the editing of my cookbook, but now I need to add more pages to it to make it worth the higher price point it fell into. So far I've added seven pages, but I think I can add at least five more, possibly ten more. I guess this is draft number 2, which I will hopefully have finished before September. I need to come up with a few more anecdotes, photograph a few more of the recipe results (if only this heat wave will end so I can use the oven!), and revise the Recipe Index and Table of Contents to accommodate my new pages. I can't wait to have this book published!

I did start editing my novel - I got up to page 77. But then I got the cookbook back and all other projects had to pause while I finish this. I was so into reading my novel that I didn't want to stop to go to bed - that means something good, right?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Memories and Recipes

Working through Blurb dot com, I am creating a book I hope will be passed down through the generations. It could even be a series of books, but I have to finish this one first. I have quite a few photos going back through the 1950s and further, even some as far back as the early 1900s, of my mother’s side of the family. I also have many handwritten recipes from my grandmother and her mother. And then there are those stories that family members have shared over the kitchen table. I am combing all of these into a book tentatively titled, Memories and Recipes.

Over the weekend I finally figured out a layout that will work for just about all of the recipe/story pages. Creating those pages will go much quicker now. The time-consuming part will be in testing the recipes and photographing the results. So far, I have only photographed one outcome. Winter is the best time to get all this cooking done, though. My goal is to have the rough draft completed by April. If I do at least one page a day, that will be no problem.

I’ve been trying to find a book similar to mine that has already been published, but they aren’t set up just like mine. Most focus on much more of the storytelling than mine does, only throwing in a recipe every few pages. None of them combine a family photo, recipe, and story all on one page as I’m doing. Most of the stories I have are just anecdotes, slices of life, not fully fleshed stories, which I think is more indicative of what people know of their families anyway. But my book will be something my daughters can hold in their hands and say, wow, I would have loved to have known my great-grandmother - she seemed feisty, like me.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Trying to Google My Name

Because of these three women, you will never find me if you Google my name: Laura Knight:

Photographer

Dame/Painter

Genealogist

Therefore, I must develop a different name - L.K. Knight (The "K" is actually from my maiden name, not my middle name, cuz my middle initial is a "B" and I just don't want to be known as LB, or "pound" Knight. Besides, "K" is a cooler letter than "B".)

If you Google "LKKnight", this blog comes up 9th on the list. That's not too bad.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Tarot as a Writing Tool

Only 3 more days until National Novel Writing Month and I only have a vague notion as to what my novel will be about. I had thought about using Tarot cards to help me and then I came across this post of how specifically one could use the Tarot to help write a novel:

Write to Done

I liked the simple method of drawing 6 cards to represent the protagonist, antagonist, theme, beginning, middle, and end of the novel. Here's what I came up with when I used the Faeries' Oracle:

The protagonist is a person who recognizes her/his own good qualities and stands on her/his own feet. The antagonists are the faeries who bring the light back to the dark sky, or in this case, they will destroy the machines that are polluting their homes. The theme is freedom and self-expression. The Beginning shows us one of the oak men, a wise, old, wild man in the woods and he's gnawing on a root. He knows things are changing and he wonders if he'll fight or step aside. The middle shows us the faery waters that are less and less pure as they run through the stressful, civilized towns of the humans and the faeries who are trying to purify that water, whose jobs are becoming more and more difficult. The end shows us that by giving and receiving love, we heal. (Not sure how we get from the humans destroying their homes to love, but that's the joy of the noveling journey.)

The really interesting thing will be in seeing if any of the above actually makes it to the final version of the novel.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Steampunk Inspiration

More Steampunk research:

This has a few ideas of note - I might stop here if I get stuck.
Steampunk Random Story Generator

These cakes are cool:
Steampunk Cakes

Always looking for some cool jewelry to inspire me:
Steampunk Jewelry

Need a name for your Steampunk characters?
Steampunk Name Generator

My Steampunk name came up as Baroness Bethany Spencer - interesting.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Finding a Soundtrack for NaNo

I just found a couple of bands that might do the trick.

Bat For Lashes

The Birthday Masssacre

Of course, Abney Park is still cool, too.

Abney Park


And Tor is having a Steampunk month in October!

Tor

It seems Steampunk is gaining steam! Hopefully I can do it justice in the novel I will write for National Novel Writing Month! November 1st is almost here!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Steampunk Research

I've been researching Steampunk and came across a very cool magazine called, oddly enough, SteamPunk Magazine. You can even download issues for free here:

Strangers in a Tangled Wilderness

I also came across a fictional e-zine of steampunk erotica, which has some well-written stories:

SteamyPunk

After reading these publications, as well as some short stories from H.G. Wells, I am convinced I will be able to write a Steampunk romance novel for National Novel Writing Month this November. I still want to do a bit more research, find a few more movies I haven't seen, re-watch some favorites, and do more research on the Victorian Era, but this delve into a new genre won't be as intimidating as I thought it might be.

One of my favorite romance writers is even working on a Steampunk novel now, too.

Steamed

And, as I work my way through this new novel, I'll be thinking of the first Steampunk costume I will be creating for myself for the convention in April!!!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Emotional Truth

I’m de-cluttering my binders, the ones that hold interesting articles I’ve ripped from magazines. I tackled the writing articles first. Re-reading those articles made me want to write again, really write, not just blog or e-mail. But I’m currently working on creating a book with old family photos, recipes, and anecdotes. The anecdotes will only require fluffing to make them more readable. With a few of the anecdotes, I’ve written down the story from two different people - two people who remember the event just slightly differently. My job has been to meld the two together to reveal the emotional truth, only I didn’t realize that’s what I had been doing.

I just read an article on writing the emotional truth of your own memories. We each remember things through our own filters so that none of us remembers any event in exactly the same way. One person will even remember snow while a friend remembers rain. When dealing with personal stories, the factual truth matters only a little. The emotional truth is the whole reason for revealing the story. If you weren’t emotionally affected by an event, then there would be no point in sharing it.

Realizing that emotional truth is the only truth I need to remember has freed me to start work on my own memoir. I don’t need to be bogged down with remembering if the weather had been hot or just warm, if the event had come before or after the 4th of July party, or even if some people had truly attended. It’s how my memory has processed my life that shapes who I am today, and who I am today is the real truth of my life.