Campaigner Spotlight – Jarmila

February 29, 2012

Happy Leap Day, everybody, and happy Spotlight day, again. Today, my spotlight victim – er, gracious guest is Jarmila, from Freelance Writer for Women and Children.

How many Campaigners does it take to change a light bulb?
I see light bulbs as ideas.  In that case, we would not need Campaigners to change a light bulb. The electricity we generate from all the great ideas would keep that bulb glowing for a very long time!

How will you know when you’ve reached success as a writer?
When I hear folks say, “That article/book/story was such an encouragement to me” or “I didn’t know that…how fascinating!” or, “I felt as though I was there in the scene with your character.” Any or all of those would spur me on…

What’s your favorite breakfast food?
That’s a tough one.  I can’t decide between eggs Benedict, eggs and corn-beef hash, or biscuits and gravy.  They are meals to be indulged in only a few times a year!

What advice would you give to all your fellow campaigners?
Don’t get over committed, do what you can, and don’t feel intimidated by others.  Write what you know and love, and not what you feel is popular, or what you are told will sell. Be true to yourself.  Be brave, and branch out in a new way this year with either FaceBook, Twitter, or your blog.

Jarmila V. Del Boccio (a.k.a. Vicki by friends) has been a freelance writer for women and children for the past two years, and has published in “Thriving Family” magazine.  Her passion is to make History and the Scriptures come alive for children, although PiBoIdMo and 12×12 in 2012 has stretched her to include fiction.  Her Travel Blog is primarily used to share her family’s amazing homeschool expeditions, but has morphed to include a “journey into the world of writing.”

Thanks so much for sharing your light bulbs with us, Jarmila!

National Novel Editing Month preparation

February 28, 2012

It’s only a few days until the arrival of March, and as I have for many years now, I’m going to join in the NaNoEdMo challenge – completing fifty hours of editing work within March. It’s not a very popular event, but I find that taking this time as winter turns into spring to concentrate on the tough work of revision and rewriting is one of my favorite markers on the year-long writer’s calendar.

So, as February winds to its close, I’m putting together a list of editing tasks that I can work out my fifty hours of self-imposed hard labor on. It helps to have a reasonable variety, so that if I get blocked on one project or simply sick of it, I can switch to another one.

Here’s some of what I’ve got lined up:

  • Rewriting the sample chapters of ‘The Scroll’ to send in to Kij at the CSSF – I want to have this ready to go by March 9th, before I head off to the HobbyStar Toronto March Comiccon.
  • ‘How to Revise your Novel’ coursework and exercises on “Won’t somebody think of the Children.” I’ve nearly finished the triage phase of HTRYN, and so the ‘Major Surgery’ lessons are coming up just in time for Edmo!
  • First rewrite of ‘The Storm Mirror’ – I liked a lot of things about the first draft, but it was very rambly, coming in at over 8000 words, and I think that a lot of them can be cut.
  • Third draft of ‘Father Ismay,’ which I’ve been procrastinating on all month. Maybe that was just my subconscious telling me that it was a NaNoEdMo job.
  • Doing quick cleanup on some fanfic so that it’s fit to be posted up on (which isn’t a terribly high bar. 😉 )
  • Doing a critique for, and possibly other feedback for other writers. Good critiquer karma is definitely a part of Edmo!
  • Possibly rewrites of ‘Shuttle Fidelity’ or ‘Project Fast Track’.

Do you have anything particular planned for March? If you’ve got editing work to be done, I do recommend checking out the NaNoEdMo home page. The forums are a bit ghostly and spammy at the moment. I need to try to generate a little good chatter over there. Editors don’t always have time to gabble at each other online, though.

Campaign Spotlight – Crazy California Claire

February 27, 2012

Okay, I’m getting into the Campaign groove this week, and that means there’ll be a lot of interviews. First off, to help fight off those Monday blues, I’m talking to Crazy California Claire.

Who is your favourite author?
I always find it really difficult when someone asks me to give a definitive answer to a question like this. My son always used to ask me what my favourite food/movie/toy/child was! I could never answer him either. So, I can tell you who I enjoy reading if that’s any good. I love Dr Seuss, especially The Lorax (can’t tell you how excited I am to see the movie). I love Lee Child, Robert B Parker, Janet Evanovich, Paulo Coelho, Jane Austin, JK Rowling, Dan Brown, I could go on and on. Picking only one would be the quickest way to the funny farm!

Out of your favourite two fictional characters – who would win if they got in a fight?
 Well, Winnie-the-Pooh and Piglet often got into fights, but I think Pooh generally won, didn’t he?

Read the rest of this entry »

Six Sentence Sunday – The Storm Mirror 2

February 26, 2012

First six.

Previously in ‘The Storm Mirror’ – Melvin meets his father’s ship at the docks, coming in after a storm, and worries that something might have happened to his big brother Alec.

Father was staring off into the distance. “Alec was swept overboard, and we tried to haul him back on board, we did. But he slipped beneath the surface, and… and I couldn’t put anybody else’s son at risk to save him. I made the call to turn back for the harbour.”

“You left him out there in the water!” Melvin exclaimed. “He could still be alive, waiting, praying for you to come back and help him.”

The joy of being tagged and tagging.

February 25, 2012

So, I’ve been tagged. (Kinda had to hint around for it, but anyway…)

Two different batches of questions to answer today, and one more to ask of my tagees. First, from Mina Burrows:

– Where do you find inspiration?

All kinds of places. Sometimes I trip over a story idea from something random, sometimes it’s something in a book or tv show that gets me thinking of a different twist, sometimes I go and look for story prompts. And sometimes my muse brings me notions and I don’t ask her where she got them from.

– What’s your favorite TV show?

Of all time? Has to be Firefly. (Sigh.)

– What are you reading now?

‘Currant Events’ by Piers Anthony. ‘Inheritance’ by Christopher Paolini. ‘Star Trek New Frontier: Martyr’ by Peter David. ‘Deja Dead’ by Kathy Reichs. ‘A Twist of Malice’ by Jean Rae Baxter. (Yes, I multitask my reading.)

– What’s your favorite recipe?

A spaghetti sauce that I partly got from my Mom, and partly tweaked until it’s just the way I like it.

Read the rest of this entry »

My entry in the first Campaign Challenge of 2012 – Attack of the Shadows

February 23, 2012

A little housekeeping, first – I still have some openings for my Campaigner Spotlight series, so let me know in the comments if you’re interested in doing an interview on the Kelworth Files, or email me at chrisken zero at gmail dot com . And happy 450 posts to me!

So I actually finished my flash fiction for the Campaign Challenge ahead of schedule! Rules and bonus conditions follow:

  • Required – Post by Friday, February 24th (at 11.59pm EDT). DONE!
  • Required – Write a short story/flash fiction story in 200 words or less, excluding the title. DONE!
  • Required – Begin the story with the words, “Shadows crept across the wall”. These five words will be included in the word count. DONE!
  • Bonus – End the story with the words: “everything faded.” (also included in the word count) DONE!
  • Bonus – Include the word “orange” in the story. DONE! (though it feels a little forced to me.)
  • Bonus – Write in the same genre you normally write. DONE! I write in a lot of genres, but this is fantasy, which is certainly a familiar wheelhouse for me. It also features Justin, who was a character in my modern fantasy story ‘Lesson One.’
  • Bonus – Make your story 200 words exactly! DONE!

So here it is:

Attack of the Shadows

By Chris Kelworth

Shadows crept across the wall. One jumped onto the table, skittered to the flickering candle, and threw itself into the flame. Light and darkness met; then both were no more, and the other shadows grew thicker and larger in response to their brother’s sacrifice.

Justin woke in the dim room, with the shades dancing in the corners of his eyes. Without the candle lit, he’d have only one chance to escape this place where the shadows dwelled. He cursed himself for a fool, thinking that he had the energy to come down here and work his spell without sleep getting the better of him. From his pocket he pulled a small gilded orb, the size of an orange. With his other hand, he pushed himself up from the table.

The shadows moved in at once. Justin spoke a word, and the orb flew into the air above the table, and glowed like a miniature sun. The shadows scrambled for cover, and Justin made a break for the door.

Unfortunately, he hadn’t noticed that one shadow had hidden and used his body for cover against the light. Now it tripped him, and Justin fell hard against the stone floor. Everything faded.

If you enjoyed this story, (and you’re in the Campaign,) go over to the Campaign Challenge page and click ‘Like’ under my name! I’m 185 in the list. Then go read some of the other entries. 😉

Campaigner Spotlight: Donna Martin

February 22, 2012

Hi, everybody! I’m pleased to finally launch my Campaigner Spotlight series for the Fourth Platform-builders Campaign by bringing you a spotlight interview with Donna Martin, from On the Write Track.

Campaigner Spotlight is brought to you by the Stringing Words writer’s forum!

Are you more comfortable in a large group or talking with just one other person?
It really depends on the situation.  I am currently a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo and have been teaching for about 9 years so I am extremely comfortable in large groups when I am instructing or doing a demonstration.  Off the mats, however, I am an extreme introvert and would rather talk one on one.  I am fascinated with people in general and I would have a better way of getting to know someone new through a one on one conversation.
What would you do all night if you couldn’t get to sleep?
Again, it would depend on the situation.  If I am by myself, I would read or watch some of my favorite movies or get on the internet.  I have many WIPs that need my attention and there are always all these lovely blogs to follow.  But if I am with someone else, then I would spend hours just talking, discussing all kind of topics and taking the time to connect with that other person.
Do you tend to remember any of your dreams?
Funny you should ask about dreams.  I always remember my dreams as they are extremely vivid; full of color and action.  Early last year I started a strange pattern of dreaming where I actually visualized a different children’s picture book every night for three weeks straight.  Every morning I would wake up and rush to write everything down.  Up until that point I had given up on my writing and I hadn’t actually written anything in over 20 years.  Now, I can’t seem to get the dreams to stop… lol
What advice would you give to all your fellow campaigners?
Listen to your heart.  Don’t let other people’s negativity bring you down or make you doubt yourself as a writer.  If you wake up each morning with thoughts of stories in your head, then you are a writer.  If all you can think of during the day is your next revision, then you are a writer.  And if you lay down your head at night and plan out the plot of your next novel before you fall asleep, you are a writer.  No where does it say you have to be “published” to be able to call yourself a writer so be proud of who you are because I am!
My blog, On The Write Track, is my way to encourage and inspire my fellow writers, both new and experienced, on their path to publication.  I write children’s picture books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, poetry, essays and just about anything else that interests me.  I love it when I get new visitors to my blog who leave me a comment on one of my daily posts as I reply to all posts.  And I will be having another contest sometime soon so keep checking in with me!
Thanks for answering my questions, Donna, and I hope you have a really great Campaign experience! I’m still looking for more Campaigners to spotlight, so if you’re interested in doing an interview on the Kelworth Files, let me know in the comments or email me at chrisken zero at gmail dot com

I’m giving up (some) Calories for Lent

February 21, 2012

It’s Pancake Tuesday today. Unfortunately, I couldn’t make it to a pancake dinner with my brother and his friends, because of a prior commitment to a special evening write-in with my Hamilton Nanowrimo friends.

But I’ve been thinking about Lent today. I grew up in an Anglican tradition, and part of that was the notion of choosing something to give up for Lent – a minor vice or indulgence, that you thought you could do without for forty days, (not counting Sundays,) and improve your moral fiber for it.

It’s been a long time since went to church services for anything in the Easter season, or gave something up for rent. Several years back I put several specific categories of treats on the ‘not for Lent’ list as part of an effort to lose weight and eat healthier – pringles, ice cream, and something else I think. (Not chocolate – you’ll get my Cadbury cream  eggs when you pull them in warm chocolatey pieces from my hands, or something like that.)

I’m proud of how much weight I managed to lose a few years back, but I’ve been thinking that I want to get a bit slimmer, and stop the backsliding into eating more junk food. I’ve been mostly maintaining my weight lately, and maybe putting on the odd pound every other month or something.

So, rather than anything specific, I’m going to give up extra Calories for Lent. Back when I was still committed to eating right and losing weight, I was budgeting myself 2500 Calories a day, with perhaps a bit extra for days when I went above and beyond on exercising. Lately, I don’t beat myself up if I stay under three thousand, as long as I’m walking at least thirty minutes.

But as you are all my witnesses, I’m going to try and change that. For the forty days of Lent, I’ll do my best to stick to 2500 Calories or under, no matter how much I exercise – AND keep up the daily exercise as much as I can. On Sundays, I’ll splurge a little and indulge those extra few hundred.

Don’t let me give up, blog followers. I’ll do better if I know I have to come back on here and report how I do.

And let me know if you’re giving up anything for Lent – or doing something special to commemorate the season.

Origins bonus story – Depisiteur’s Adventures

February 20, 2012

I found this today while helping my mother tidy up her computer room, (our Family Day activity,) and thought I’d bring it to blog readers via the wonders of document scanning technology!

There was no copyright date, but we estimate I made this sometime in 1983, so I would have been 8 or 9.

I also drew the pictures myself. 😉 Read the rest of this entry »

Six Sentence Sunday – The Storm Mirror

February 19, 2012

First off, apologies that I messed up last week’s Six Sentence Sunday installment so badly – first I scheduled the snip for too far in the future, didn’t notice until Sunday afternoon, and then shifted it so that it appeared below Saturday’s post. D’OH! 😦

This time I’ll take more care with the scheduling feature. I’m also going to move on from ‘Project Fast Track’ and start sharing a snip from my newest story, “The Storm Mirror.”

Father was talking with his second mate near the stern when Melvin found him. “Wouldn’t you know it, for the weather to settle down just as we make it to shore.”

“You’re okay, Father?” Melvin asked, and Father nodded curtly. “What about Alec?” He looked around the deck and the pier for his tall older brother, but it was hard to sort out anything in the dim light. “Is he down below decks?”

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