Monday, September 29, 2014


It's announcement time!!

First of all, M.J. Neal, I'll be sending out your prize this week! Thanks for commenting on my excerpt!

Second of all, and perhaps most importantly...

I've scheduled a book signing!

I know, I know, I promised I'd schedule a bunch of these much earlier in the year, but it simply wasn't feasible to go through with them until now. We're working on getting two or three in the works for the end of this year, but for now...

I will appear on December 5, 2014, from 4 to 6 pm, at Title Wave Books in Albuquerque, NM

Title Wave is an amazing bookstore, one that I greatly look forward to visiting. If you're in Albuquerque, don't hesitate to stop in! I'll have copies of Telekinetic available for purchase (at a discounted rate), but you're more than welcome to bring in your own personal copies to be signed.

As the date gets closer I'll keep you updated on what exactly we'll be doing at the signing, and I will of course let you know as we get more signings scheduled.

If you'd like to check out Title Wave online, Click Here

[love and excitement]


Friday, September 26, 2014

Never Fear

It's Friday again! That means there be business to do.

Firstly, I was really hoping that more of you would comment so we'd have more of a contest last Friday, but never fear. We'll run more contests in coming days, don't worry.

We did get one comment last Friday, so M. J. Neal, send me a private message on Facebook with your address so I can get you your prize!

Secondly, RAD Writing is currently in the process of setting up a few book signings in the Albuquerque, NM area for the end of the year! Keep checking back here and on my Facebook page for more information.

Thirdly, if you'd like me to do a signing in your area, send me a private message and I'll see what I can get going. If I can't do a signing, I'll do my best to get you a deal on a new signed copy of Telekinetic.

Lastly, it really is Friday and I really do have things to say. *wink*

"You fail only if you stop writing." - Ray Bradbury

As per usual, this is one of my favorite quotes. 

I'm talking on this today because I'm also working on writing the very end of yet another book (my ninth, in case you were wondering). 

Every day I've written this week, I've written no less than 8,000 words. That's almost 30,000 words since Tuesday, and I'm not counting how much I've written today (since I'm not done). 

Even my best of friends don't understand how I can do this, and come out still sane. 

I'll tell you how I do it: I don't quit. I never stop writing, especially when I'm at the end of a book and I'm so full of ideas that I simply have to get them out. 

Is that possible for everyone to do? No. And I understand that. But the point remains the same. 

If you haven't started writing because you're afraid of failing, then you've already failed. 
If you stopped writing because you were afraid of failing, then you have already failed. 

The only way to prevent failure is to make sure you don't let it happen. 

Keep living, keep writing, and don't let your dreams die. 

And take some aspirin if you've written so much that you can't see anymore. That's usually a good idea. 

[love and naptime]

{Rani D}

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Me, Myself, and I

Me hears very often that people have trouble distinguishing between when to use me in a sentence, and when to use I (generally in sentences that contain more than one subject). Fortunately for you, I happen to know how the whole issue started. And I have one very simple way to help you remember which way it goes.

1. In the beginning... 

It all started back in England, when Middle English was blossoming into the more commonly spoken forms. (speaking of which, have you ever tried to read something in Middle or Old English? Not easy, I'll tell you.)

See, the rich were properly trained in grammar, and they were taught when to use me and when to use I. The poor had no such luxury. They very frequently used me, to the point that it was almost exclusive.

But then the rich started to make fun of them. Mockery is always a good way to develop a language change, I've found.

That's how it started to spread. The poor wanted to speak more like the rich, so they started to use I all the time. And I do mean all the time. That's how the problem began. The poor didn't know the rule on when to use I and when to use me, so they switched from exclusivity of me to exclusivity of I.

There you have it. One more thing you can blame rich people for.

2. Methinks I know how this works... No really, I do. 

As promised, I have a very simple way for you to remember which way it goes.

First, here are a few sample sentences:

Me and John are going to the store.
Sally and I really like pickles.
John, Sally, and me want to get pickles at the store.
My Mum keeps picking on I for the pickle references, because me have a pickle craving.

I hope by now you've caught where I'm going with this.

The problem mainly occurs in more complex sentences, with more than one subject being involved (as in the sentences above). But the simple way to figure it out is to make the sentence into a simple one.

"Me and John are going to the store" becomes "Me is going to the store."
Obviously then, me is the wrong word choice.

"Sally and I really like pickles" becomes "I really like pickles."
This one's correct.

"John, Sally, and me want to get pickles at the store" becomes "Me want to get pickles at the store."
Again, incorrect.

We won't even touch the last one, because I only put it there to prove my point.

When you're not sure which one to use, make it into a simple sentence to find out which one makes sense.

I hope you all still enjoy my grammar posts, just as much as I enjoy writing them!



Monday, September 22, 2014


I didn't know what to write about today. So I asked one of my friends. His response?

The difference between writing male and female characters.

I thought about it for a while. In truth, I hadn't really taken the time to think about something like that before. Whenever I sit down to create a new character, I simply sit down and do it. It comes naturally to me. It's just how my brain works, after writing so much.

But as I was forced to think on it, I realized that it can't possibly be the same for everyone.

So here we go...

First things first. It's not just a matter of writing male and female characters anymore. It's a matter of writing characters from every sexual orientation, and of writing them from every single background.

That's definitely not as easy as it sounds. For my own work, I mostly write non-earth stories, making things slightly simpler on the research side of things. I make my own cultures, and my characters live their lives however they want to (or not, depending upon the themes of the story, but that's neither here nor there).

So what's the answer, then?

To keep things simple, we'll stick with the male/female heterosexual style (not because I don't know how to writer others, or that I don't want to, but because the simple dynamic makes the illustration easier to follow).

Male characters tend to follow certain stereotypes. They're stronger, hyper-masculine, and generally all around butch. That or they're geeky, weaklings, and have no idea how to talk to people.

Females have similar (but generally opposite) stereotypes. They're weaker (supposedly by nature), hyper-feminine, and all around la femme. Or, they're semi-masculine, hyper-sexual, and bad with people.

See how similar those are?

In reality, men and women aren't that far off from each other. Yes, you'll want to break the majority of these stereotypes within your writing, but that doesn't mean it'll make them less stereotypically human.

The thing with humans is that we all act very similarly to each other. So where you see difficulty, trouble between creating male or female characters, there is, in reality, more similarity than many people even want to consider.

Have any of you found things to be different from this in your writing? If so, drop a comment! I'd very much like to hear about it.



Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Contestual Information

As you well know, I have a little contest that will be going on my blog this Friday.

Since I haven't given you everything you'll need to know about the contest, I'm writing it here. We won't mention the fact that I haven't gotten any of the rules settled until right now.

How to enter:

Simply post a comment on Friday's blog post (the 19th of September). That's it. It's that simple. Tell me what you think of the excerpt, say hi in Russian, or say you're having a pickle for lunch. You'll be entered for a chance to win as long as you post something.

You'll have until midnight MST the following day to post your comment.

The winner will be chosen next week, and announced in my blog post on Friday the 26th.

What you'll win:

One of my very own fountain pens!

It's very near and dear to my heart, but don't worry, I have plenty more where it came from. It will come filled with ink, and I'll even write you a note to let you know what type of ink I prefer to use with it.

In case you're wondering, I did in fact use the pen while working on both the Advanced and Druid sagas, as well as a few standalone stories. 

You'll also be sent a surprise gift from me, of which I shall say no more, except in that it will of course have something to do with writing.

Lastly, the winner will have until midnight MST on the 27th to send me a message on Facebook and claim their prize.

I'm looking forward to reading all of your fine comments this Friday, and to sending one of you my fabulous pen!

Happy Wednesday, everyone!



p.s. Don't forget, if you haven't checked it out yet, my friend K Haider has set up a GoFundMe account for RAD Writing. If you want to see Coetir published and presented in a wider area, please donate! Any amount helps. Thanks, all!

Support RAD Writing's 1st Publication

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Mondays

Happy Monday, everyone!

Yes, happy.

That's what we're here to talk about.

I hear people complaining almost every week about having a "case of the Mondays" or generally talking down to this simple day.

And it bothers me.


Because there is really no reason, as far as I can see, why Mondays should be so hated. Yes, Monday means it's the end of the weekend and you have to go back to work. Yes, if you stayed out late drinking on Sunday you're probably going to have a hangover all Monday. Yes, it's the one day of the week where everything seems to pile on and you feel like it's never going to end.

But (and here's my favorite part) you don't have to let all of that get to you.

So what if it's the end of the weekend? There's another one in a few days, and trust me, I know how most of you really spend your weekends and it's nothing to be too terribly excited about. *wink*

So what if you have a hangover? Suck it up, drink some water, and maybe don't drink so much alcohol next weekend.

So what if you have a lot to do this week? You know what? We all have a lot to do, every week. That's life, and eventually you'll need to get used to it.

Mondays just plain have a bad rap, and I really wish that people wouldn't see them so negatively.

I myself enjoy my Mondays, but then, I love making lists, I like to get things done, I get back to writing on Mondays, and Mondays mean that Tuesdays are right around the corner, and Tuesdays are my favorite day of the week. Ask me nicely and I'll tell you why that is.

I digress.

And I'm not sure that I helped Monday's case at all. But now at the very least you know the optimist's view on Mondays.

They're just another day to be lived, and the sun's still shining through it.

Keep your heads up, my friends. Don't let your Mondays get you down. If you let them get you down, they'll do their best to keep you there--and that's the last thing that any of us wants.



p.s. Don't forget about the new excerpt release this coming Friday! It'll be right here on this blog, and will include a contest to win one of my very own fountain pens. And don't worry, it's not difficult to enter. *wink*

Friday, September 12, 2014

Fabric of "Reality"

Happy Friday to all my lovely readers out there!

Guess what?

We're only a week away from my 100th post! I'll be sharing another short excerpt from my soon to be released novel, Coetir: the People of the Woods, and I can't wait for you all to read it!

What's more, I've decided to have a little contest.

An easy one, don't worry.

All you have to do is comment on this blog next Friday. If you post a comment (on here, not on Facebook), your name will be entered into a drawing to win one of my very own fountain pens. And yes, it's one that I used while I was writing both the Advanced and Druid sagas.

If that's not cool enough for you, well then I guess I won't tell you what the other half of your prize will be. You'll just have to wait and see.


Now then, onto the real reason we're all here today.

"Writers see the world differently. Every voice we hear, every face we see, every hand we touch could become story fabric." - Buffy Andrews

Well now, isn't that the truth? 

A lot of writers get grief for being "people watchers" or for only thinking about their writing when there are apparently many other things to be done in a day (I'm not so sure about that one: other than Russian lessons, nothing else excites me like writing). 

But here's the thing: 

As we've said in this blog, oh-so-many times, writers write. It's what we do, it's part of who we are. Realistically, it's all that a lot of us ever want to do. 

So when it comes to reality, when it comes to living in the real world, we're really only ever 50-75% present (and that's on a good day). The rest of our brains are still back in the books, trying to figure out what we can do and how we can fix that tiny little problem we've been having. 

Oftentimes, we find our answers in the real world, when we weren't even looking for them. 

I've had it happen while I was shaking someone's hand, and I'm not embarrassed to say I told them (and immediately wrote down my idea so I wouldn't forget it). 

Stories are bound in the real world, no matter how much we sci-fi geeks like to pretend they're not. Therefore, it's in the real world that we find our answers. 

But don't ever expect us to stop looking for material, because that is something I guarantee will never happen. 

[love and surprise gifts]

{Rani D.}

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Istoric, eh?

It's Wednesday (in case you weren't sure, like me when I woke up this morning).

For the past few Wednesdays, I've done grammar posts, because they've come to me just that quickly.

Today will not be any different, however, today is historic.

This grammar flaw was literally my biggest pet peeve for years, until I figured out what went wrong, why it was happening, and why the world was so confused on how to pronounce it.

Historic. In a sentence, should it be preceded by a or by an?

The answer?


Obviously. *wink*

The trouble is, most people (including professionals) have gotten it into their heads that an should always precede historic in writing, when that is just plain false.

In writing, the answer is always a.

But I haven't explained, have I?

Let's start with the example of used.

Used begins with a vowel, but a vowel that is pronounced with a consonant sound. Therefore, we never say, "an used car," for example. That would just sound silly. We say, "a used car."

Historic, however, starts with an H. H's are problem letters, because depending on where you live in the English-speaking world, you may or may not pronounce it at all. And that, my friends, is how the whole problem began.

Technically speaking, because the word begins with an h that is intended to be pronounced, the word should be preceded by a (which explains why it should always be this way in writing).

However, in spoken language the rules are different.

When we're speaking, it's incredibly difficult for a New Englander, for example, to say "a historic day"--because they don't pronounce the H. But for we New Mexicans who always pronounce the H, it's very easy to say "a historic day."

Essentially, I'm blaming Britain for this one.

Their accent lacks H's on most occasions (though they might say I'm lying), and it carried over to New England, where a lot of our grammar rules come from, until almost everyone I've spoken to thinks that the proper way of phrasing it is "an historic."

Well, my friends, consider yourselves taught.

A historic day, indeed.


{Rani D.}

Monday, September 8, 2014

"Happy" Ending

I was asked, a few days ago, how to write an ending to a book.

As you might imagine, that's not an easy question to answer. Every book is different, every book requires something different for an ending.

However, there are a few things that I think you should keep in mind when it comes to writing the ending of your book, no matter what genre you're in (well, fiction genres anyway).

First off, it's important to remember that you never want to tie a neat little bow at the end and complete every single plot line. Why? Because it's too neat and tidy, leaves nothing to the imagination, and makes your reader feel as though too much is final.

In this day and age, it's always best to leave something to the imagination. Readers want to create something of their own within your work. They want to believe that they live in their world you've created, and that they're a part of this story (yes, even in the horror genre). If you finish everything, if you complete every single facet of the story, then oftentimes your readers will feel cheated, and are forced to believe that you didn't want them to be a part of the story.

And the truth of the matter is that we writers want every single one of our readers to be a part of the story, whether they want to be in it or not.

For my own writing, I've developed a system for the amount of storyline I tie into a neat little bow, and the amount I leave open for my readers to decide.

Am I going to tell you that formula? No.

Why? Because I believe every writer needs to determine their own formula.

What I can tell you is that it's never fifty/fifty. More or less than fifty percent needs to be resolved, and more or less than fifty percent needs to be left open, but never exactly fifty percent of each.

Leaving it half and half is one of those quirky things that readers easily pick up on. Maybe not if they're absently reading your story, but we don't want to think that anyone is absently reading your work now do we? *wink*

Play around with it, try different things, and figure out the amount that you want to complete. You never know, if you leave enough open you might just find yourselves with a sequel on your hands.

Those are always fun, let me tell you.



Friday, September 5, 2014

Doomed, I tell you, DOOMED

First thing's first:

Thanks to your generous votes, we've finally decided what I'll be doing for my 100th blog post!

On September 19th, I will be sharing a never before seen excerpt from my latest book, Coetir: The People of the Woods, to be released this coming January. In fact, the response has been so great that I'll be releasing several teaser excerpts in the coming months, so keep your eyes peeled.

Second thing's second:

Today's post!

Since it's Friday, and on Friday we talk about quotes, I scrolled through my list and chose one at random, which just so happened to be by Ray Bradbury.

"Quantity produces quality. If you only write a few things, you're doomed." 

Firstly, let me just mention how weird a word "doom" is. I mean, really, doom. Who came up with this thing? It doesn't even really sound like a word.

...Maybe that's because I've just said it so many times in a row that it now sounds like a dying cow.

I digress.

What Bradbury says, in simpler words, is that if you're going to write, you need to WRITE. There is no real middle ground for writers. There aren't days where we don't write. We write, and we write A LOT. Why? Because as Bradbury says, if we don't, we're doomed.

But I suppose the real question is, why? Why is it doom for a writer to not not in large quantities?

I'll tell you.

As we heard from Stephen King a few weeks ago, if you want to be a writer, you need to both read a lot and write a lot. If you're not reading a great many things, you probably aren't progressing in your writing abilities--but the same is true if you're not writing a great many things.

People frequently ask me why I spend so much time writing every day, or why I'm very specific about making sure to write every day.

The truth is, I write because if I don't write, I might lose the story. If I don't write it right now, it's not going to stay with me. Style changes, ideas changes, quality changes. My ability to write this story is in the now, and I'm going to do it in quantity so I don't lose the quality.

It's like anything else, really. The more you do it, the better at it you become. It takes practice, time, and patience. But in the end, quantity is always a good way to ensure you'll reach quality (and hopefully stay there).

[love and 8,000 words]


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

I've Another Grammar Post

Last week I mentioned something about the dreaded has-got problem. Here, I'm about to explain what that problem is.

"We have got to go."
"We have to go."

Which one of these phrases is appropriate? As I'm sure you've already guessed, it's option two.

This is one of my biggest pet peeves, passed down to me by my dear mother. It annoys the two of us to no end, because we also catch ourselves doing it on a regular basis.

Not. Good.

Allow me to explain.

"Got" is an extension word. It means essentially the same thing as "have", and only changes depending upon the circumstances of your sentences.

"I have chocolate."
"I got chocolate."

One means that you have it, and probably have had it for a while. The other means that you just received, or "got" it.

Putting the two together really does nothing for the sentence. It doesn't change the meaning whatsoever, and yet people do it all the time.

"Have-got" never needs to be said, because "have" will do just fine.

It's more appropriate to say "We have to go" than it would be to say "we have got to go"... and yet I've never met a person who doesn't put have and got together in this way, at least a few times a day.

What is the world coming to?!

Alas, I know how it happened.

With the addition of contractions to our language, we discovered this problem with phrases involving "I have" because these two words were contracted to "I've." It changed things like "I have to go" into "I've to go," which just sounded weird. Thus, the "got" was added and brain cells started to fade.


[love and chocolate]