We’re Going Downhill, Fast!

Two days ago, I started brainstorming the back stories of new characters who appear in the sequel to “Thaumaturge” with the working title of “Weapon”, which might be changed because my principal character and narrator is uncomfortable about being referred to as a weapon, even though she refers to herself as one in an earlier chapter of the sequel.  It seems that imaginary characters have second thoughts, just like their human creators.

I’ve written thirteen chapters of the sequel, and Caritas, a heroine who must remain anonymous, has experienced up close and personal what can happen in life-and-death struggles.  Sure, she has super powers that came from the lightning flashover and her unusual Near Death Experience, but, after several instances of using her amazing gifts, she has become frightened by the prospect of becoming overconfident in using them to the point of abusing them.  So, as weird as this sounds, my principal character revealed her concerns to me one afternoon while I was gazing at a blinking cursor, trying to write my characters out of a tight spot, plot wise.

It seems that Caritas Thaumaturge found that quote by Lord Acton in my memory cells:  “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”  Her input is appreciated, but now I mayhave to create an alternative title!

I’d like to make her a little edgier as she continues to rescue victims of human trafficking and witnesses the cruel toll on the victims, but I also want her to remain true to her idealism.  BTW, did you know that idealists are the least common personality types in humanity?  Her idealism is my fault, because I was labelled as an idealist in a psych. test.

Recent news coverage about transgressions in our nation’s Foreign Workers programme, and the ongoing struggles of “wage slaves” in the service sector, and the selling of children as young as six years old into slavery in third world countries, have made me seriously question my ability/intelligence/talent to write novels about modern-day slavery.  What with political confusion/unrest/violence in third world countries, and the effects of global warming on traditional farming practises, and the deplorable conditions in textile/manufacturing/mining companies in third world countries where children as young as six years of age work criminally long hours to produce products that we in the western hemisphere will buy for our children without thought, I’m feeling totally inadequate to be able to do justice to this horrible, and growing problem.

Write what you know.  Yeah, right!

I fear for the generations who follow us.  I fear we’ve become the masters not only of our destruction, but that of so many other species on our beautiful, blue marble planet, and we’ve got no one to blame but homo sapiens.

Good grief!  Who, in their right minds, would ever leave us in charge of anything?

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After Getting “Stuck”, I Was Rescued By A New Character In The Sequel To Thaumaturge

And believe me, I was stuck for months because I spent all my writing time poring over corrections of book proofs for “Thaumaturge”, the book I wrote and self-published with an American company based in Pennsylvania.  Their support staff was patient and terrific, and the calmness of my writer counsellor helped me get through NINE book proof corrections without my waking up and finding myself heavily sedated in a rubber room in a secret location!

Nota Bene!  If you have the financial resources, hire the best copy/content editor(s) that your financial resources allow.  This is just so important to the integrity/quality of your chef-d’oeuvre.  Remember, this is your baby; no one, and I mean NO ONE, has produced anything quite like this before.  Not ever!

After many months, including after “Thaumaturge” was printed in soft-cover PB, I still struggled with the SNAFU that I had written my characters into in the sequel, tentatively titled “Weapon”.  But then, one day, a new character in the story truly caught my attention.  She had endured psychological and physical abuse, yet had retained her own dignity, strength, and initiative.  She created her own business based on her interest in human intelligence, and resilience in resisting negative feedback from tormentors, even if they were family members, the highest, the most soul-destroying, and most despicable forms of betrayal of all, ever!

So, after months of being stuck after Chapter Eleven of Weapon, I have emerged at the end of Chapter Thirteen with a fierce, new ally in the fight against human trafficking. 

Melora Mulvey is intelligent, independently wealthy, and emotionally strong due to the nature of her emotional and physical abuse as a child.  As her creator, I think she deserves a medal, but the sad reality is that many young girls/women have experienced the horrors of abuse/control/cruelty at the hands of men, some of them fathers/uncles/brothers/cousins who felt that it was perfectly alright for these young girls/women to be treated so cruelly!

So, I acknowledge my thanks to her, a character from my imagination, who, in spite of enduring much trauma and abuse as a vulnerable child from a very disturbed parent, still made a career for herself aimed at allowing other victims of abuse to overcome/rise above terrible abuse endured as children.  THAT requires the greatest  inner strength of all, in my opinion.

 

Wiping The Slate Clean And Making A New Effort, I Hope!

2013 was not a good year for me.  I spent most of it in dysthymia, a mild, but pervasive, form of depression.  I have been prone to bouts of depression, the dysthymia kind, for most of my life.  As expected, stress only makes it worse.  Well, of course it does.  DUH!

The good news is that my novel, Thaumaturge, is now in print — I dealt with a self-publishing company — and it is available at amazon.com, and amazon.ca (for Canadians), and bbotw.com (that’s Infinity Publishing, the self-publishing company based in MA, USA, that I went with in 2013 —  the book was in print in March of 2013).  And, if you were to type:  S.L. Fummerton into your computer, you, like me, would see the other locations worldwide where my paperback book is available.  Please believe me, I was SO surprised/stunned and pleased to see that it was available in Australia, Denmark, and France through ebay, or Ex Libris!

I am grateful to Infinity Publishing for making that possible, even though I paid a very nominal fee for the exposure.

Now, even though only a few folk have read Thaumaturge, I am working on a sequel.  The working title is now “Weapon”, but that could be changed/revised/even improved, possibly, as that storyline develops and unfolds itself to me.  My principal character, Caritas Thaumaturge, is the “weapon” in question, but, even though she has admitted to being a weapon, (that’s in the sequel), I doubt she is truly happy about that dubious distinction;  it really is just a reality check on what she has become, physically.

Seriously, after a certain point in the story-telling process, I think an author’s characters start having their own views/opinions/values about themselves.  And I think that’s such a good part of the writing process; sometimes the characters show the writers what must happen.  (That did happen to me.)

Plot springs from character.   I truly believe that.  People, like literary characters, and with all their flaws, respond to the situations in which they find themselves.  Sometimes the situations are so difficult and traumatic, the characters just don’t know how to deal with them, and they seek solace in alcohol, drugs, either prescribed by folks who should know better, or available from street vendors with their own sets of problems.

So, from here I have to do some serious plot work on chapter 12 to render the actions of characters not only believable, but possible, psychologically and physically, in the particular situation they find themselves.  I know from personal experience that that is the only way out.

Caritas and her cohorts send their heartfelt regards.  Seriously!

 

 

Moving On, Sort Of!

It has been a while since I posted something on WordPress.  That’s because I do NOT have the tech skills for this site.  And that is my fault, not that of WordPress.

So, to update;  the April 28th book launch went well.  Not everyone who said they would attend did, but I expected that.  I did two readings and they both were well received.  Everyone in attendance had a good time.  There were even some nice finger foods, and libations.  AND, I sold a few books!

I still am.  Selling a book here-and-there, I mean.  

Also, and this is important, I have moved from the Barnhartvale area of Kamloops to the North Shore, which will allow me easier access to all the services that I now require as a senior, such as easier access to a physician, shopping malls with supermarkets, drug stores, optometrists, etc.

The move was difficult and exhausting, but at my age and with my health issues, not unexpected.  Now, in the middle of June, I’m feeling as though I am making this suite my own, you know?  I daresay over the next few months I will be doing some finessing in the ergonomics department to make daily life in my suite easier for me, but all the grunt work has been done, thank heaven/the universe/whatever.

This weekend I intend/hope to get back into “Weapon”, the sequel to “Thaumaturge”. I will scrutinize the Prologue and the eleven chapters I wrote for it before I became preoccupied/obsessed with self-editing for “Thaumaturge” for publication. When I’m happy with them, I will move on with the rest of the story, with new characters, and those already familiar because of “Thaumaturge”. I anticipate that Caritas will be edgier in the sequel because she now knows her enemy better (modern-day slavers), and these antagonists will be nastier because they are life-long, career criminals, not newbies to the life.

Book Launch For “Thaumaturge” on Sundy, April 28th!

The launch will be held here at the house.  It will start in the afternoon and go into the early evening because some of the people who wish to attend will be working until late in the afternoon, and they will swing by after work.  Celeste and I will ensure they receive food and beverage while here, and even a safe ride home, if necessary!  😉 

I’ve had to order more books from Infinity Publishing because, when Celeste, my sister, and I started counting heads, it was evident we would need to have more copies here to meet the demand.  That’s terrific, but just a little scary for me.  I am introverted by temperament (and temperament is inherited, as Caritas mentions in “Thaumautrge”), and rather shy, so the idea of being a salesperson scares the living daylights out of me.  I mean, if I had a talent, or ability in that direction, I might have explored it decades ago instead of waiting until I was in my mid-sixites, for crying out loud!

Yes, I’m a late bloomer.  Some might say a “blooming idiot”, and that’s fine by me.  I did not start writing stories as an elementary school age child, even though I was accelerated from grade 3 to grade 5 because of my reading comprehension skills because, at age eight, I was reading at the grade eight level.  I, unlike so many writers, did not start writing stories, or poetry, in childhood.  However, I did love to read, and was omnivorous in my choices, even back then.

So, life is getting more exciting.  I sent comp. copies of the novel to some folk back in Penticton.  One is a good friend who LOVES to read, and the other is the creator of Critteraid, a cat sanctuary originally, but now they look after all manner of mammals.  In case you are interested, Critteraid is located in Summerland, B.C., around 15-16 Kilometres north of Penticton as you head toward Kelowna, B.C.  The founder of Critteraid and the secretary/treasurer received copies because the character of the cat Snugglebutt is based on an actual  Critteraid kitty whom I was privileged to foster for two years.  Lady Jane is the name of the feline who was the model for Snuggglebutt in “Thaumaturge”.  She was one sweet, terrific feline.  She passed away several years ago but I still think of her with great affection, and gratitude.

 

Yesterday, I received via snail mail the copies I purchased of my self-published novel. Even that title, self-published, is deceptive. I couldn’t have self-published my novel, “Thaumaturge”, if you held a gun to my temple. The tech-savvy staff at the self-publishing company I chose to deal with published my novel for me. Thanks must go to Brittany and the tech team assigned to “Thaumaturge”!

And, thank you to Infinity Publishing.

I was SO thrilled to get my ordered copies. My five complimentary copies will arrive before this month’s end. I will have them in time for my modest book launch party scheduled for Sunday, April 28th. That date gives all parties expressing interest so far in the novel time to arrange for shift changes or swaps with co-workers so that they can be here on that last Sunday in April.

Receiving that box containing copies of “Thaumaturge” was almost anti-climatic. I wasn’t as elated as I had thought I would be because I was still worrying about the book launch event, and wondering if I were up to the task of self-marketing because I am shy by nature.

However, it was today I learned that my sister had discussed with friends a date on which to hold the book launch. Et, voila, April 28th became the agreed upon date.

So, you may colour me happy because my story that had tickled away at my imagination for years is now in print, and I have become a published author. That’s giddy stuff for me. Whether the novel does well, or tanks, or is ripped to shreds by blood thirsty reviewer/critics, I have achieved what I wanted to do.

Although, it would be SO neat if the novel were read by my ideal readers!

Salus et vita.

Waiting (Im)patiently For My Book Order To Arrive.

I agree with the late Christopher Hitchens who said, “Patience is a highly overrated virtue”.

I used to have patience.  If someone had asked me when I was in my twenties what I thought my best trait was, without hesitation I would have said patience.  But, life and experience have sucked 99.99% of my patience, and resilience, away.  I think the two are connected somehow.

Anyway, I’ve learned that my book order cleared Canadian Customs on Wednesday, March 27th.  It is my fervent hope that the UPS truck will arrive sometime during  this coming week.  Then, plans can be made for the modest book launch of “Thaumaturge”.

On Amazon, the ad says they have one copy left, but more are on order.  I was touched by that, but then my doubting gremlin said maybe they only had that one copy to begin with.  😉

I hope you all have had a good weekend.  For those of the Christian faith, I hope you had a peaceful and re-energizing weekend, and that the Easter Bunny was good to the kids.

Salus et vita.

“Thaumaturge” is now listed on Amazon

I came across it by chance, because, to my surprise, there are quite a number of books written by different authors featuring thaumaturgy.  Amazon won’t have mine in stock for a few more weeks, but one could place an order for it now, and the book would be delivered later.

My head is spinning, and it’s just not because I have vertigo! 

If the book tanks, of course it will hurt.  But, if there are some readers out there who enjoy it, then I will be SO happy because I will have found my “ideal readers”.

Salus et vita!

SLFummerton

Wonderful News!

Yesterday I learned that an author rep at Infinity Publishing had just posted “Thaumaturge” on Infinity Publishing’s Facebook page.  It is now available for purchase! 

In case you might be interested, or just curious, you can go to this address to see it:

www,buybooksontheweb.com/product.aspx?ISBN = 0 – 7414-8056-5.

After all this time, the book is finally available in print.  What a head trip this is for me!

 

Nine Proof Corrections Later…

It is possible that today, Friday, March 8th, and my highly supportive sister’s birthday, and International Women’s Day, my novel “Thaumaturge” is being printed.  As in book form!

It could be a month or so before my copies arrive.  They will travel overland, less expensive than air, by UPS. The self-publishing company is in Pennsylvania; my location is in the central interior of British Columbia, Canada.  My novel will cross the continent of North America.  Even I haven’t done that!

I had hoped to have a small book launch event with a few folk on April 1st, April Fool’s Day, a day I thought that would be so entirely appropriate given my embarrassing, demoralizing, at times risible, and, ultimately worthwhile education about self-editing.

Nota Bene to all aspiring writers:  If you can afford it, please hire an experienced editor, or editors, (as in copy, content, continuity, etc.), to help you through the editing mine field.

Next time around, if there is one, I might consider selling a kidney to cover the costs of this important factor in publishing.  (Of course I’m kidding!  If someone I knew needed a kidney, even one as old as mine (!), he/she would get it in a hearbeat, and after several hours in a surgical suite).

The English language, with it’s punctuation/grammar/spelling rules is a dangerous mine field!  And I say this after having been a decent literacy tutor a few decades ago.  ;o)

So, for anyone who reads “Thaumaturge”, please know that any SPAG you may find is my fault, not the publishing company’s.  My author rep has been as steady as Gibraltar during all this Sturm Und Drang.  

I know I will do better, next time.  Which leads to “Weapon”.  That’s the sequel to “Thaumaturge” which I’ve started.  I have a prologue, and eleven chapters, so far.  However, if “Thaumaturge” tanks, there really would be no point in coughing up a sequel!

But, you know what?  I think I might just continue to put words on paper just for the heck of it.  Writing is difficult.  It is.  It is an art, and requires skill.  One simply does not just throw words on a page and think it’s a chef d’oeuvre! 

But, for me, it was always about meeting my characters.  I know this sounds, um, fanciful, but the characters for “Thaumaturge”, most of them, just walked up and introduced themselves to me.  It was such a pleasure to channel their back stories!

I recommend Malcolm Gladwell’s book “Outliers”.  In it, he has a chapter about the 10,000 hours it takes anyone to master a discipline, (he talks about the Beatles working away in a seedy club in Germany, learning to play all kinds of music before they ever became famous as “the fab four”), whether it be figure skating, acting, painting, neuro-surgery, playing a musical instrument, gymnastics, golfing, or writing, just to name a few.  It takes time and endless practice to acquire a skill and master a discipline.  Discipline.  Dedication.  Desire.  The 3D commitment to a craft or skill!

At this point, I think I might be closing in on that 10,000 hours standard.  😉

So, take care and stay bright.

Salus et vita,

Sharon