On Writing & Publishing by Robin D. Owens

Personal notes on writing techniques, writing a novel, my writing career and threading your way through publishing a book.

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Location: Denver, United States

RITA Award Winning Author -- that's like the Oscar, folks! Futuristic/Fantasy Romance and Fantasy with Romantic Subplots.

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Thursday, December 25, 2014

Heart Dance cut


"Oh, for the Lord's and Lady's sakes, I don't care about the secrecy of the ritual. Just say the spell to open the HouseHeart."

"I can't," whispered D'Winterberry through dry lips.

Dufleur glared at her Mother. "You do it, WinterberryHeir."

"I . . . I . . ."

Taking more and more of D'Winterberry's weight, Dufleur said. "I don't want the fliggering Winterberrry title. I don't want this– " she stopped in time. No need to tell the Residence she didn't want it. She didn't know what sort of feelings it had, whether any rejection would crush it. As calmly as she could with fear fluttering in her chest, she said. "I am ThymeHeir," of a lost Residence. "I will not stand by and see another Residence die!" She only realized she was screaming when D'Winterberry whimpered and put her hands over her ears. Dufleur shoved her against the wall, saw a bench form from it as D'Winterberry slid down.

Retreating to the stairs, Dufleur crossed her arms over her chest. "This issue is not about power, it's about saving a life. If. You. Do. Not. Open. That. Door. In. Thirty. Seconds. I. Will. Call. Meyar. I have no doubt he would minister to the Residence." Flipping through her mind regarding the instructions she'd had about T'Thyme Residence, she added. "If it needs blood, you bleed." She turned her gaze on D'Winterberry. "You, too."

It wouldn't do her any harm to bleed a little for the Residence, too. Her mother took a shaky breath then mumbled a chant to measured beats in mathematical sequence.
The door cracked open.

Casting Dufleur a fearful look, Dringal hauled D'Winterberry from the stone seat and into the HouseHeart, closed the door in Dufleur's face.

Then she hurried up to her rooms, locked the door behind her and plunged into the secret room. How could she have been so stupid? Relying on housekeeping spells to open and close the secret door to her laboratory. If the Residence died the door to her laboratory would probably become part of the all too solid stone wall. Inside the chamber she looked around. Then strove to settle her senses.

She'd only done a brief scan when she'd discovered the room, to check the vibrations and see if there were any echoes of dark deeds that might have tainted the space and affected her experiments. Time was a tricky thing.

Now she raised her arms and expanded her Flair to discover anything unusual. She'd lived in the Residence for a year and a half**, writhed through the Time Flows of her Third Passage here four months ago, freeing her Flair. So she was stronger than she'd been when she moved in. She scoured the room for information.

There was something. Wisps of Time floated through the chamber. She half-smiled, results of her experiments. Probing further, she found the far right corner of the room had once, centuries before, been used as an altar. That was an appropriate place.

With a less hurried step, she returned to her bedroom, to the deep closet/storage area along one wall, and pulled out her own sacred tools. She coughed pain and hurt from her throat as she touched the flannel wrapped instruments. None of the Thyme Family tools had survived. She'd combed the ruins.

Sighing, she set the packet on her bedsponge, then cleared off a small table. Since it was here when she came, it belonged to the Family and the Residence and would serve well for an altar. Guilt crept through her like a rash that she hadn't performed more than a couple of rituals here, that she hadn't thanked the Residence more often for its shelter and its help. Its privacy and its ** in keeping her secrets.

She took the table and her tools into the corner and began her own ritual to send all the energy she could afford to the faltering entity. Fairyfoot came in when she was just about to slit a vein and add her own, diluted Winterberry blood to her mother's and D'Winterberry's efforts in the HouseHeart.

WHAT ARE YOU DOING? The cat's ears flicked as she sat just outside the small pentacle that Dufleur had drawn, watching.

"I thank Winterberry Residence for its gracious hospitality, for the shelter of its strong walls to keep me and mine safe against the elements of nature." She cut her vein, dripped three drops in each cardinal direction marking the limits of her Circle on the foor, in the salt on her altar that she would spread in the corner when she was done. "I thank Winterberry Residence for its strong spells to keep me and mine safe from the harm of humans. I thank Winterberry Residence for its strong personality to keep me and mine company in the heat of summer and dark of winter."

ME, TOO, Fairyfoot said and held out a paw.

Dufleur flinched. They stared at each other, remembering the dreadful time when they'd been toys of murderers, lying on a black altar, Fairyfoot's paw slit open and bleeding for the awful ritual.

They held each other's minds for a minute or two, then Fairyfoot withdrew and Dufleur sighed. The hard kernel of hurt she'd carried inside at Fairyfoot's blackmail had desolved. They had survived a hideous ordeal together, and that had forged bonds between them that would never be broken.

"Come into the Circle," Dufleur said, opening the sacred space so Fairyfoot could enter.

The small cat did, with great dignity. Dufleur closed the Circle. Fairyfoot bobbed at each corner of the room...

Holiday Wishes

I salute you.

There is nothing I can give you which you have not, but there is much that what I cannot give, you can take:

No Heaven can come to us unless our hearts find rest in it today; take Heaven.

No Peace lies in the future which is not hidden in this present instant; take Peace.

The gloom of the world is but a shadow, behind it, yet within our reach, is Joy; take Joy.

And so at this Christmastime I greet you, with the prayer that for you, now and forever, the day breaks and the shadows flee away.

From Fra Giovanni to Friend, 1513

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Welcome, Yule!

The Shortest Day

So the shortest day came, and the year died,
And everywhere down the centuries of the
Snow-white world,
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.

They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen.
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive.

And when the new year's sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, reveling.
Through all the frosty ages you can year them
Echoing, behind us--listen!

All the long echoes sing the same delight
This shortest day
As promise wakens in the sleeping land.

They carol, feast, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends, and hope for peace.
And so do we, here, now,
This year, and every year.

Welcome, Yule!

--by Susan Cooper, 1977
written for The Christmas Revels

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Interview on USA Today Online & Cut from Heart Fire

So thrilled! http://www.usatoday.com/story/happyeverafter/2014/12/18/scifi-encounters-veronica-scott-heart-fire-robin-owens/20547251/

And here is Celta Thursday, a bit cut from the scene where Tiana is regressed to the firebombing of her house.

Garrett's jaw tightened, then he said, "What was the noise?"

"I don't know you. Who are you? Are there people inside, too?"

Another scream tore from her, a girl's scream.

"Easy. I'm just here to help," Garrett said. "I love you like a bro–, like an uncle."

"My uncles don't love me."

"What's going on?"

"Someone threw something in the window while we were all reading! It broke the window, there's glass all over. It went boom and there was fiiirree! Papa is putting out the fire but some of it hit Artemisia and hit her head and cut her and burnt her hair! Mama is helping Artemisia Heal!" Panting. "There's more, more, more! I can hear them exploding in other rooms, here on the ground floor, in the ResidenceDen! Will it hurt the books?!

She coughed, then continued, "Papa's running from room to room.. And a lot of people outside, screaming . Why would they be screaming and throwing fire at us?" She shuddered.

"You're looking out the windows, yes?"

"Yes," girl's voice pitched even higher with tension, with fear. "Artemisia is hiding under the desk, but I can't. I can't. I have to see who would hate us so that they threw a firebomb in our house. Who?"

"And you can see faces."


"Which room are you in?"

"The ResidenceDen in back. I think they are all around the house. I need to check everywhere!"

"Tiana, can you stay calm for now, please?"

A whimper. Antenn sat, his fists tight, his knuckles white. He hated listening to this.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Celta Thursday: Map of the Area Where the Starship Lugh's Spear landed

Celta Thursday: Map of the area where Lugh's Spear starship landed.

Friday, December 05, 2014

Map of the planet Celta

Sorry folks. I thought yesterday was Wednesday most of the day, and last night, so I spaced Celta Thursday. Not a cut this week, but a map of the planet...

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