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.

My Photo
Location: Denver, United States

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

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Happy Holidays! Favorite Yule Scene!

This is my favorite Yule scene from Heart Fate:

Celta Thursday, Fav Yule scene: Lahsin opened the door and Tinne Holly saw her FamDog, Strother, trot in. For reasons known only to them, a big, red ribbon tied in a bow was around his neck. He looked ridiculous, but Tinne kept his mouth shut

He also realized that he didn't have a gift for the dog. He reached to the Turquoise House for a bag of cat treats he hid from Ilexa. Since she was still loafing at T'Holly Residence, engorged on Yule feast, she'd never know that he'd given her treats to Strother. He'd replace them before she found out. With effort, he ported them to a spot behind the pillows.

The dog sneezed, blinked watery eyes. **Too much smoke smell in here.**

With a wave and a little regret, Tinne banished the fragrant spirals of incense, another bit of the ritual atmosphere that had blanketed him and Lahsin together, gone.

"I have gifts," Lahsin said, looking at him and Strother.

The dog sat, his tongue lolled out.

"I do, too," Tinne said. "Gifts between Fam and person, then man and animal first."

Strother wagged his tail and gave an approving look to Tinne. **My first gift.** He sat straight and watched as Lahsin brought out something wrapped in softleaves. She put it in front of Strother and he pawed at it until a string of beads fell out.

**A Fam collar!** Strother sounded thrilled.

Tinne studied it. The necklace was composed of bright dried berries and larger rosehips of orange and red, accented with dark seeds and a nut or two, all strung on thread.
Lahsin untied the bow and fastened the collar around the dog's neck. "It looks good against your gray fur."

Sure wasn't the emeralds Tinne's FamCat, Ilexa, had demanded.

But Lahsin had made it with her own hands and that was more important than emeralds, though Ilexa might not think so.

"I've spellshielded the string. It will only break if you get caught and can't get free."

The dog's brows lowered.

"I'll make you a new one if that happens," Lahsin said.

Strother grinned. He trotted to the door and brought a large mass of gray-brown something gently held between his jaws. He dropped it at Lahsin's feet and sat with a doggie grin.
"Mushrooms! Prized truffles! Ooh."

Wagging his tail, Strother said, **I have heard that people consider these tasty.**

"We do," Lahsin assured him. "I haven't seen these in the estate, where did you find them?"

Strother's chest puffed out with pride. **Saw little ones near my den in the glasshouse. Sent them Flair and they grew. For you.**

"Thank you!" Lahsin hugged him.

The dog rumbled satisfaction, then turned his head to Tinne. Tinne brought out the packet of treats. Strother's nose twitched. **Good morsels.**


Lahsin raised her eyebrows at the wording on the envelope: **Special bits for your FamCat from D'Ash**.

Tinne shoved the packet to Strother, who gave it a strong sniff. "Good." He decorated the wrapping with drool.

Lahsin opened package. "You want just one or all of them?"

Strother appeared torn. "Some now. Most for later."

"Excellent," Lahsin said, and fed him about a third.

Strother crunched and slurped. **Human gifts,** he said.

After washing her hands in a bowl of water on the altar, Lahsin reached under the cloth and brought out a small potted plant. "I didn't know if you'd really come," she said to Tinne. But I made you a gift anyway." She handed him the pot.

It was a delicate evergreen tree he'd never seen before. He touched one soft, flexible branch. "Nice. What is it?"

"A Norfolk Pine. They only grow here and in the great greensward of Nuada's Sword, the Residence told me. When I found it, I did some research. Norfolk was a place on old Earth."

He met her eyes. "I'll cherish it."

She handed him a note. "The tending instructions."

Tinne slipped the page in his bag, turned the pot around to admire the small tree from all sides until Strother nudged him. Tinne turned to his bag and lifted out his presents.

He brought her two gifts. One was pale green training robes trimmed in dark green.

Her eyes lit up. "Real robes!"

"Yes. The trim shows you're a second level beginner."

She clutched the robes to her breasts. "Really? Am I?"

He smiled. "You have a few holes in your training, and need to learn the first basic pattern, but you could probably win any match with my beginning students."

She did a little hopping dance at that, put the tunic on. Only then did Tinne realize she was wearing old clothes, though the aura of the Goddess had cloaked her during the ritual.

Strother was nosing Tinne's bag. **Something else, here, something that smells of slowbeast.**

"I have another gift, one made with my creative Flair."

Lahsin looked up with curiosity in her eyes.

Tinne pulled out a small drum he'd made...not his HeartGift. She grinned and eagerly took it from him, settled back on her pillow and began to thump with enthusiasm but little technique. He laughed, pulled his own drum, equally small, and poured his feelings through his hands in cheerful, rapid beats.

"Now we can follow the ancient ways and drum the night away and to the dawn!" Lahsin raised her voice over the sound.

Strother's muzzle gaped. **You will pound on those all night?**

"Yes!" Lahsin threw back her head and laughed.

Her laugh reached inside Tinne, stirred him near painfully, touching places that had been wounded by another woman.

Strother went to his portion of the food and ate and drank politely, then burped and turned to Lahsin. He cast a yearning eye toward the cat treats, but then lifted his muzzle in pride. **You will put my treats in the no-time?** he asked.

"Yes, the Fam no-time in the kitchen that the BalmHeal Residence has so graciously opened to us now."

Tinne figured it hadn't been gracious at all. She glanced at him. "May I keep the orange juice?"

"By all means. The juice was for the ritual, the decanter is my gift to the Residence."

**I will be able to get my crunchies when I want. Good. Then I will go out and show my new collar to other Fams.**

Perhaps not so very different than Tinne's hunting cat after all.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Celta Thursday, Vote on the Cover of Script of the Heart!

I can't decide.

Please vote on which you like the best. However, I will be the one making the decision. :)

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Full Scene in Chapter 4 of Heart Legacy, before revision

Celta Thursday, Heart Legacy. Quick and dirty because I'm WRITING. I think this is a full scene that was cut from Chapter 4 of Heart Legacy (that's the file name):

Sweet and savory spice smells wafted around them and she relaxed more. Now Baccat sent a detailed mental image of the abandoned warehouse district in the northeast part of Druida.

She frowned down at him and said in a quiet voice, "I thought we agreed to leave by the new and small southwest gate in the city?"

His back rippled. **You should know all of Druida, experience various neighborhoods of the city,** he replied in pompous tones.

Impatiently, she said, "I'm not interested in staying in Druida City. I'm determined to leave it. Living in the country at the Valerian estate will suit me fine. And it is in the south, so going out the north gate or the east gate would cause us to circle the city."

**You don't need to lecture, Me!** he snapped.

She ignored him and continued. "The more time we spend near Druida, the more chance we will have of getting caught. And I don't want to even think of the consequences of getting caught."
Her memory shied away from the hardest punishments in her life – whipping when she was young and, after she'd developed her psi powers, having depress-Flair bracelets manacling her wrists. Both had been awful, the physical and emotional hurt as she wondered why her mother would whip her when Lori hadn't thought she'd been bad.

Then the psi-blocking cuffs shutting off all sense of her magic, being unable to use an integral part herself.

It had been scary that there'd even been depress-Flair things small enough to go around her nine year old arms.

No, she didn't want to discover what her Family would do to her if they caught her. "They might kill you, you know," she murmured to Baccat. He hissed and leapt from her grasp, hunched in energetic anger.

Staring at him, she continued, "I'll try my best to protect you. To translocate you away if we're caught, but Cuspid and Folia, and especially the twins, can be sneaky."

**I agree. They can be sneaky and mean. Your Family is mostly unpleasant and all are sneaky and mean.**

She sighed. "Yeah, they are." And she appeared to have gotten the sneaky gene. Maybe if she were away from her Family, she'd do better.

**We should go to the northwest quadrant that I visualized for you,** her Fam insisted.


**Because the legendary secret sanctuary of Druida City is there.** He sat, stopping their progress to the front of the temple and the street, and looked at her from the corner of his eyes, lifted a forepaw and licked it.

**FirstGrove? The estate that only lets in the desperate?** She replied telepathically. All right, that did intrigue her. Then she shook her head and continued the conversation telepathically. **I am not desperate.** She frowned. **I don't think I could be desperate . . . unless they caught us, and if they did, we would probably never escape the Residence again.**

Her Fam sat solidly, staring up at her. **You brim with hope.**

**I do. I truly am full of hope.** She smiled. **I feel better today than yesterday. Probably the horses.**

She drew in a big breath and again herbal smells swirled into her nostrils, but also the scent of the city, of people, of shops selling wares she'd never find on her land, crafted and Flaired goods. Wonderful things. **I am not going to the warehouse district.**

**Would you like to view the Turquoise House?**

"No, why would I?"

**To educate yourself. You should not believe just what the Yews and Yew Residence teaches you.**

"I don't," she said curtly. "I haven't since I was young and my nurse told me to think for myself, and not to believe people who were mean to me." Since her Valerian nurse had been dismissed within a week of that warning, it had truly stuck with Lori.

Along with the kindness of the old stableman and finding her father's memory spheres and recording spheres, she'd been able to block most of the toxic negativity of her Family and their teachings. Lately she'd considered that her heart and spirit had been saved from tainting by her nurse and the stableman, and her father's spheres.

But Baccat's words that she lacked a wide education flicked her on a raw spot. It hadn't been easy, analyzing the Residence's and her teachers' words and figuring out what might be true or not.

"You've told me of the Turquoise House often enough," Lori said. "Let's go explore!"

That shut the cat up.

Thursday, December 03, 2015

News and Celta Thursday: Backstory of Lost Heart

News: I will be publishing Lost Heart (a novella) myself. It's ALREADY WRITTEN. I'm aiming for March so I can release print on demand at the same time.

Celta Thursday: Backstory I wrote for Lost Heart (not in the novella). Barton had never thought that he'd be the last Clover man of his generation to marry. Clovers usually wed early and got started on their families. But they weren't the man who was responsible for the security of the whole Family. Family with a capital f. The entire, now noble, clan.

And that was a job that Barton would never have imagined he had when he was one of the group of children like those who ran past him in the dusk that draped over the Clover Compound courtyard.

But like everyone in his generation, Barton hadn't known that his brother Walker wasn't his full brother, a secret the elders had kept. So having Walker experience three Passages to free his considerable Flair in a couple of days and raise the whole Family to noble status, had been a surprise.

Barton hadn't given Walker enough credit for weathering those stormy seas at the time, he knew now. Because Barton was womanless– well, wifeless – and scrambled every day to keep on top of his job as Head of Security. Even though he'd had that job for ten years.

And now Barton could also see that Walker would fulfill his potential. His quietly sneaky brother would rise to the very top of Celtan society and become the highest leader of them all.
Barton swallowed more brithe brandy that singed his gullet nicely. Yeah, Walker would eventually become Captain of AllCouncils, Barton had no doubt. And that meant security for his brother and the rest of the Family was vital.

Out of the Blogosphere
[ Join Now | Ring Hub | Random | << Prev | Next >>]