PSWG Winner – Flash Fiction

PSWG Contest Winner for Get Out 020318


My entry “Get Out” won the Palm Springs Writers Guild contest for flash fiction. A reading was performed at the Rancho Mirage Library and the award was announced at the general meeting on February 3, 2018. I am humbled and wish to express my thanks to the membership and to the judges.

Thank you.


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Where You Been, Man?

Calvin Writing

Okay, so, yeah, I haven’t posted in like … um … forever? I’ve had my hands full. I’ve been working on my latest novel, Story of Meabh, and I’m in the midst of applying to grad school to get my MFA in Creative Writing. Yeah, I know … go figure. What chances has a guy got who’s over 50, without connections, long-term unemployed and impoverished, college-educated, Caucasian, two steps left of Progressive, and about 99.9% male? (You have to allow that 0.1% as margin-for-error … and for the sugar I put in my coffee.)

I’m so anxious, I’m coming out of my skin. Oh, baby, daddy wants this. It’s time to take off the kid gloves and go professional. Time to get serious. Take the next step to getting better. I want to teach writing and talk writing and help other writers to improve. I want my books read, my scotch straight, and my refrigerator so full it may give birth.

I’m taking space. I’m taking time. So, hush now, and let me write.

I can’t afford the GRE (the waivers are only for current undergraduates through the financial aid office wherever they are attending), and I can’t afford programs that aren’t fully funded. Without fee waivers for the applications, I cannot apply. Without tuition waivers and a full fellowship for room & board and basic living expenses, this dream is another Quixotic gallop at a windmill. But this old knight has no choice. The dragon must be slain.

I’m competing with thousands for a handful of seats where winners of the Pulitzer Prize and the Nobel once sat. I’d be a fool if I was not intimidated.

But I can do this. Yes, I can. I know I can. I know I must.

I’m in the midst of writing the application essays. Of course, the two programs I’m applying to don’t ask for the same thing. One wants three essays, and the other wants one. Between a dictionary, a linguist, a Babble translator, the Rosetta Stone, and whatever I can dredge up on the web, I’m still trying to figure what goes into a Statement of Purpose and what the hell the difference is between a “Personal History” and an “Autobiographical Statement”. Seriously, they are two different things. Each has its own purpose, and yet some of the text may overlap.

Tell us all about yourself, give us a clear picture, tell us why you want this degree, why you want it here, and why we should let you go for it. Be different than anyone else applying, be terrific, and while you’re at it, don’t sound like a self-absorbed prick.


And at the same time, I’m flailing to keep my head above the water and to ward the sharks away. Why does that hammerhead remind me of my father? Why does he keep pulling me under? Do we need a bigger boat? Hell, I’d settle for a dinghy. Who tied this anchor to my waist?

So that’s what I’m up to. Writing. Writing and applying. And paddling in the open waters.

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The Handicapable Character


What is the principal occupation of a fiction writer? What is the one thing that he or she must do above all else in order to write a successful story? Task Numero Uno? Do or die?

That’s easy! Everyone knows the answer. Readers know it. Writers know it.


And, yes, writers agonize about making life miserable for the characters we create. After all, our characters are our children. We suffer at their birth. We nurse them from infancy. We watch them toddle and grow. We cry when they are sick, and we cheer when they succeed. We teach them to walk and talk. And they teach us so much more in return. We know them more intimately than any reader ever could. And so, our every wish is for their happiness. We want them to win.

But … it is the author’s duty to be merciless. Without obstacles, there is no plot. Without challenge, a character cannot grow.

A novel may be described as a series of tensions compounding toward critical mass. The story is a crisis rising from first page to last. And the conclusion is the resolution most necessary to character, plot, and theme. It is the release of the pressure that the author has built.

Story develops through conflict. Character is revealed through adversity. Putting obstacles in front of the character is an absolute requirement of fiction. Whether the ending is happy or sad or bittersweet, the character cannot achieve or fail to achieve their goal without traversing a gauntlet.

These are tenets of the craft of authorship. Without conflict, a novel will not stand.


External conflict is endemic to creating plot–i.e., the protagonist needs to take action in the “real” world for a story to take place. That action cannot come easily. Success must be impeded.

External conflict is provided by antagonists–which can take the form of an individual (an antagonist–i.e., an adversary), a group, an environment, or even a god. For there to be a story, there must be a source of external conflict. For every hero, there is a villain. For every mountain climber, there is a mountain to be climbed.

However, a well-rounded story requires that the protagonist experience internal conflict(s) in addition to the external conflict(s).

Internal conflict takes place inside the mind of the character, rather than in the “real” world of the story. Internal conflict occurs both as the character receives and reacts to ongoing external stimulus and as the character continues to ruminate over and reacts to events of the past. Internal conflict leads to decision, and decision leads to action.

Internal conflict is an element of transitioning between scenes as well as slowing down the pacing within an ongoing scene. Moreover, internal conflict reveals the rationale for a character’s actions. This makes internal conflict a vital tool to the author for making the story believable. As important as that function of internal conflict is, internal conflict also humanizes the character. Not only does internal conflict give the character depth, but it also makes the character more identifiable to the reader. We empathize with characters with whom we identify. And if we empathize, we root for them. We care about them.

But not every conflict should be a major calamity. In fact, balance requires that we ramp up the tension over time. If we do not, then the story peaks too early and the conclusion ends up dragging. That adds up to an unsatisfactory experience for the reader. Complications are meant to enhance the central conflict and are usually best employed by not superseding the central conflict by overpowering it with a different conflict but rather by making the central conflict even more extreme. In the parlance of the craft, we call this “raising the stakes”.



Character flaws are a spice we can add to the personalities of our characters in order to give the characters verisimilitude and to make them more intriguing. They can also be employed to create conflict. Often, character flaws come with a stigma attached–usually dependent upon the degree of the severity of the flaw. Flaws can be minor, major, or even tragic (fatal).

Flaws can be minor and ancillary to the story or they can become integral to the plot and/or theme.

Examples of character flaws from film, television, and/or literature include (but are in no way limited to):

Minor: Shyness (Amelle, Amelle; Carrie, Carrie; Lucy, While You Were Sleeping), Overly Competitive (Monica Geller, Friends); Germaphobia (Sheldon Cooper, The Big Bang Theory); Unkempt/Slovenly/Poor Self-Image (Severus Snape, Harry Potter; Columbo, Columbo; Eeyore, Winnie The Pooh), Histrionic (Elaine Benes, Seinfeld)

Major: Miserliness (Ebenzer Scrooge, A Christmas Carol), Paranoia (The Red Queen, Through the Looking Glass), Borderline Personality Disorder (Dr. Gregory House, House)

Tragic: Jealousy (Othello, Othello; Jake LaMotta, Raging Bull), Pride (Oedipus, Oedipus Rex), Excessive Curiosity (Victor Frankenstein, Frankenstein; Dr. Faustus, Faustus)



Character handicaps are disabilities, inherent physical or psychological extremes that present functional challenges. Like character flaws, character handicaps can be ancillary to the story or they can be a driving element to the plot and/or theme.

Character handicaps can vary by degree and can be roughly divided into Physical Challenges, Mental Challenges, Physical & Mental Challenges, and Supernatural Challenges. Frequently, how the character deals with their handicap and how their handicap affects their lives is a major element in character arc. However, this is not necessarily the case.

Our population includes individuals with a diverse range of disabilities. It is fully possible to include a disabled person in the cast of characters without the disability being or having to be a major element of the story. In the interest of inclusive (and realistic) fiction, we as authors should think on occasion not only to diversify our cast of characters to include characters of different ethnic backgrounds and of different faiths and genders and sexual orientations (without any of these characteristics being a major issue in the story) but to widen our perspectives and include disabled persons.

Breaking down barriers and ending prejudice is facilitated through the arts. As authors of fiction, we can facilitate social evolution in two fashions.

First, we can write works with main and/or major characters who belong to groups who are prejudiced against and are otherwise ostracized or not typically included in depictions of our society. By showing such individuals as people with real hearts and real minds coping with the challenges of their condition, we build public awareness and promote acceptance.

Second, we can simply write works that include main and/or major and/or minor characters who are prejudiced against and are otherwise ostracized or not typically included in depictions of our society … and show such individuals being accepted without any issue at all. By showing acceptance, we build acceptance.

In deference to Disabled Persons we shall avoid the charged term “Handicap” and instead refer to Disabilities or Challenges.

Examples of Character Disabilities from Film, Television, and Literature include (but are in no way limited to):


Blind: Zatoichi (The Tale of Zatoichi), Matt Murdock (Daredevil), Frank Slade (Scent of A Woman), Geordi LaForge (Star Trek: The Next Generation), Marie-Laure (All the Light We Cannot See), Ashford Egan (Russian Dolls)

Missing One or More Appendages: Fang Kang (The One Armed Swordsman), Captain Hook (Peter Pan), Long John Silver (Treasure Island), Edward Scissorhands (Edward Scissorhands)

Paraplegic: Professor X (X-Men), Lt. Dan (Forest Gump), Jake Sully (Avatar), Joe Swanson (Family Guy), Dr. Strangelove (Dr. Strangelove), Timmy (South Park), Maxwell “Max” Kane (The Mighty)

Cerebral Palsy/ALS/Paralysis: Christy Brown (My Left Foot), Margaret “Maggie” Fitzgerald (Million Dollar Baby), Stephen Hawking (The Theory of Everything), Lou Gehrig (The Pride of The Yankees)

Disfigured: Roy L. “Rocky” Dennis (Mask), Frankenstein’s Monster (Frankenstein), Enrique Claudin (The Phantom of the Opera), John Merrick (The Elephant Man), Quasimodo (The Hunchback of Notre Dame), Igor (Frankenstein), Cyrano de Bergerac (Cyrano)

Deaf: Sarah Norman (Children of a Lesser God), Helen Keller (The Miracle Worker), Garth (The Talismans of Shannara), Catherine Cormery (The First Man), Linda Snopes Kohl (The Mansion), El Sordo (For Whom the Bell Tolls), Sarah and Francis Barber (To Kill A Mockingbird), John Singer (The Heart is a Lonely Hunter), Daniel Peck (Searching for Caleb)

Overweight/Obese: Precious (Precious), Sir John Falstaff (Henry IV), Kasper Gutman (The Maltese Falcon), Joan Foster (Lady Oracle), Dorothy (Two Girls, Fat and Thin), (Sheila Levine is Dead and Living in New York), Dolores Price (She’s Come Undone)

Underweight/Anorexic/Bulimic: Billy Halleck (Thinner), Nick Charles (The Thin Man), Nina (Black Swan), Daisy (Girl Interrupted), Casey Powell (The Best Little Girl in the World)

Gigantism: Fezzik (The Princess Bride), Prof. Gerald Deemer (Tarantula), Iron Giant (The Iron Giant), Hulk (The Incredible Hulk)

Dwarfism: Tyrion Lannister (Game of Thrones), Willow Ufgood (Willow), Scott Carey (The Incredible Shrinking Man)

Addictions/Substance Abuse: Sherlock Holmes (The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes), Paul Atreides (Dune), Ben Sanderson (Leaving Las Vegas), Jules Cobb (Cougar Town), Raoul Duke (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas), Arthur (Arthur), Blair (Wake Up, Sir), Claudia Steiner (In The Drink)


Insane/Delusional/Multiple Personality Disorder: Chief Bromden (One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest), Hannibal Lector (Silence of the Lambs), The Mad Hatter (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland), John Nash (A Beautiful Mind), Sybil (Sybil)

Obsessive/Compulsive Disorder: Captain Ahab (Moby Dick), Batman (Batman), Adrian Monk (Monk)


Autism/Asperger/Down Syndrome: Forest Gump (Forest Gump), Lenny (Of Mice and Men), Charlie Gordon (Flowers for Algernon), Raymond “Ray” Babbitt (Rain Man), Becky (Glee), Corky (Life Goes On)


Invisible: Dr. Jack Griffin (The Invisible Man), Harvey (Harvey), Sam Wheat (Ghost)

Lives Backwards through Time: Merlin (The Once and Future King)

Dead: Olivia “Liv” Moore (I, Zombie), Count Dracula (Dracula), Dr. Christopher Nielsen (What Dreams May Come), Spawn (Spawn), Deadman (Deadman)

Immortality: Deep Ones (The Shadow Over Innsmouth), Werewolf (The Wolf Man), Vampires (Dracula), Gods (Myth), Spirits (Myth), Dorian Gray (Picture of Dorian Gray), the Wandering Jew (Myth), Lazarus Long (Methusaleh’s Children)


Discrimination (Bigotry): X-Men (X-Men), John Prentice (Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner), Aibeleen (The Help), Kabuo Miyamoto (Snow Falling on Cedars), Shmuel (The Boy in the Striped Pajamas), Elizabeth Bennett (Pride and Prejudice), Archie Bunker (All In The Family), Estrella (Incantation)

*Social Challenges manifest depending upon the group in which the character is at present. Obviously, skin pigmentation is neither a genetic defect or the result of accident or injury (unless we consider albinism or skin bleaching). A social challenge is exhibited in the form of prejudice through verbal and/or physical harassment, stereotyping, refusal of service, and/or exclusion from membership or participation. The challenges of bigotry do not typically manifest between individuals of the same ethnicity, creed, gender, or sexual orientation. (However, this is not always the case, as bigotry may instill self-doubt and feelings of inferiority as well as a justified sense of persecution which may be expressed within and between members of the group that is prejudiced against.) Any character is susceptible to experiencing a social “handicap” when they encounter an individual who belongs to a different race, class, gender, or creed than the character in question. The conditional nature of social handicaps make them unique when compared to physical, mental, or supernatural handicaps — which are experienced whether the individual is alone or in company. Although social handicaps are real, pernicious and pervasive, they require a specific set of circumstances in order to manifest. Bigotry is also unique in that the harm goes both to the victim and to the perpetrator. Ignorance punishes itself.


For your next project, when you are planning on how to make your protagonist miserable or when you are doing your character sketches and wondering how to make your characters more interesting and unique, consider not only Character Flaws to add into your mix but Character Disabilities as well.

And if you are writing speculative fiction (like me), you might consider looking at some of your supernatural elements as disabilities or as social challenges and see how it colors your tale and how it adds flavor and depth. And, of course, how it makes your character’s goal that much more difficult to achieve.

One last word (or many): I have not attempted to be exhaustive. Comments are encouraged, as well as offerings of additional example(s) and questions for consideration.


Hecate's Faun Kindle Cover


  • Hecate’s Faun




    Sunday, October 9th (Epic); and
    Saturday, October 15th (Horror).

    To find out more about the event check out the following social media links:

  • Reader’s Corner
  • Virtual FantasyCon
  • Blog Hop Hunt
  • List of Participants


    Symmetrical terrible face with cracked skin

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    BLOG HOP HUNT 2016:                                  ELLEN MAE FRANKLIN

    Blog Hop Hunt Feb 2016


    I am Marc Royston, author of Hecate’s Faun (available now at, The Story of Méabh (current project), and The Wizard Ignites (Volume I of A Wizard’s Life) (UPCOMING RELEASE FOR 2016 from My Boy Publishing).

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    For this stop of the tour, I am your happy host. Welcome to my worlds of fantasy, horror, and science fiction. Keep your shoes off the sofa. And remember: the demons bite.

    If you have read the instructions for participation as posted on the event page for A Celebration of Author’s Blog Hop Hunt, you know that you have to find a number somewhere on this page (and on every host’s page for this event). Add up the clues you find along the way, and you can enter the contest for a chance to win a FABULOUS PRIZE.

    One lucky winner will receive a GRAND PRIZE BUNDLE. Once the hunt begins, there is a week to play and then to submit your answers.

    If you would like to find out more about the A Celebration of Author’s Blog Hop Hunt, please click here:


    Directions: Somewhere on this page, there is a number listed (hint: the number is highlighted in RED). Collect all the numbers of all the host authors, and then add them up. Once you’ve added up all the numbers, and if I am your first and last author/blog or webpage, you can fill out the form here to officially qualify for the prize OR go to the Blog Hop Hunt blog and click on the ENTER HERE page to find the entry form.

    Only entries that have the correct number will qualify.

    For this juncture of A Celebration of Author’s Blog Hop Hunt for February 2016, I am pleased to present my friend and colleague, the wonderful ELLEN MAE FRANKLIN.

    * * *

    From the Desk of ELLEN MAE FRANKLIN:

    FANTASY! It is a word that holds the reader’s imagination in the palm of a writer’s hand. The very word oozes unpredictable delights and will no matter whether you are willing or not take you on a journey that begs to be believed.

    As a fantasy writer, I am self-indulgent in the belief that anything is possible in the writing world. Grimdark/gritty/epic and traditional fantasy is where I dwell, so grab onto your seats, settle down with a cuppa or two and lose yourself in the worlds I create. I fall in love with every one of my characters and am thankful they are a part of my life. It is such a pleasure to share them with you.

    Born in Adelaide, South Australia I am a mother, a social media maven and an author who loves what she is doing – writing. You will find me on a plethora of social networking sites, from Twitter and Facebook to Tumblr, RebelMouse, Goodreads, Linkedin and Pinterest as I connect with readers and other authors on various platforms.

    I am involved in various writing and creative communities and contribute to an online Blog, where twelve writers produce short stories of various genres called Out of Print –

    Australian Author Ellen Mae Franklin’s websites are dedicated to creative writing and short stories – and

    I am and will always follow my passion for Fantasy writing.

    Tarkeenia Promo

    The Tarkeenia Series
    The Unseen Promise
    Heart of Secrets
    In the Cold Light
    To follow
    A Fighting Chance

    The Un-named Chronicles Promo

    The Un-named Chronicles
    Forthright & Clement
    Armitage & Envy
    To follow
    Maub the Dreamer

    A Dark Compendium Promo

    A Dark Compendium
    A collection of short fantasy stories

    Ellen Mae Franklin is currently working on subsequent manuscripts and is involved in various writing, and creative communities. She would like to share an excerpt from the fourth book in the Tarkeenia series – A Fighting Chance:

    Most of Shard lay underground. Vast caverns hollowed out beneath the core of the mountain Roedanth’s now lived in and it served his purposes well. One of the caves acted as a parade ground for his new recruits. Stalactites hung from the cavernous roof, threatening spikes of limestone and crystal and more than a few eyes wandered in unease as they gazed up at the wondrous sight.

         They filled the chamber, almost shoulder to shoulder. Men and women, row upon row of peasants, soldiers and mercenaries stood in the wait. Kahlu had procured an assortment of misfits. Sad souls who dreamt of a new life in a new world, they pined for comfort and salvation and in this yearning Shard were a white beacon in a dark world.

         ‘It’s going to be quite the opposite you poor shits,’ Roedanth looked down upon them with satisfaction. ‘Just look at you all! A crowd of pleasers, not the army I was hoping for but you soon will be. Those that survive anyway’, and he laughed. A hollow sound void of love and fear.

         Kahlu didn’t hang about the doorway, he had heard enough, seen enough and had learned a while back to keep a straight face. Not to give away a lick of what he was feeling. He listened to the lord of Shard’s laugh, heard the evil intent behind it and turned away. There had to be a place where he could feel like a man again.

         Roedanth raised his hand, singling out Mallic from the front of a roughly ordered crowd. He waved him up and with a smart salute, the rough ragtag broke the ranks. Casting a triumphant look over his shoulder at Tinker and Jacket, it was a proud soldier who went to stand before his master.

         “Sir, the troops are ready for your inspection.”

         “Is that what you think they are? Soldiers Mallic?” Roedanth’s voice was low and dangerous. He had grown some these many months, matured into the son of a God.

         “We have been training almost every waking hour to be as ready as we can for you sire. I can’t help it if half of them have never seen the pointy end of a blade before. Farmers and thieves the lot of them, but as fodder they will do.” Mallic was so sure, so cocky of his tenuous grip on leadership, that Roedanth almost rolled his eyes at the proclamation.

         “Your rolled up mob of pretenders will need to be ready Mallic. And as you say, the slackers will be weeded out.”

         A flicker of suppressed anger crossed the former soldier’s face, the darkening of eyes and a tightening of the mouth. But he knew enough to keep his thoughts quiet, after all, where would he go? The hole he’d dug for himself would either bury him alive or offer up a life, better than the one he had left behind. Mallic turned the sour look into a submissive mien and Roedanth nodded. The meeting was over.

         “You are promoted to the rank of Captain, Mallic now go join your men.” Roedanth turned to leave, but thought the better of it, “and Mallic find 36 who you know will serve me well, men who understand the value of death. One in particular should favor immorality as much as he does breathing. I want you to be ready in seven day’s. Make sure those you choose will be up for the challenge, for I have something rather special that needs doing.”

    * * *

    I hope you enjoyed this sneak preview and if you would like to win a printed copy of the first book – The Unseen Promise to begin your fantastical journey into Tarkeenia, please enter the Rafflecopter on the website – a chance to win.




    Out0fprint is a blog that features a collection of short stories from a group of talented writers – Ellen Mae Franklin is one of those creative talents.

    Youtube Book Trailer:




    Facebook Groups


    If you love fantasy as much as I, perhaps you would like to join the Mystical Mages Street Team. This wonderful group of people help Raven and myself in sharing not only our books on social media, but to be the voice of this incredible genre.

    FREE FOR READERS – This group is to offer the listing of free books to readers. It is the hope that any author using this group will invite / add 4 readers as well to give them the chance to benefit from many great reads. As a writer it is all about exposure!! at the end of the day for each and everyone of us.

    FANTASY: Flavour of Fantasy is a group whose members love Fantasy in all its forms. There are so many sub-genres that it makes being a member a fun place to be. Only Authors of this genre may promote in this group, but anyone can join if you wish to learn more what it can offer.

    FANTASY: Flight of Imagination is a page dedicated to the genre of fantasy/sci-fi and horror. It reflect the voice of fantasy as I embody to share with readers and author like mind my love of this genre

    Purchase Links

    Authors Page:

    The Tarkeenia Series
    The Unseen Promise – Book 1

    Amazon US –
    Amazon AU –
    Google Play –

    Heart of Secrets – Book 2

    Amazon US –
    Amazon AU-
    Smashwords –
    Google Play –

    In the Cold Light – Book 3

    Amazon US –
    Amazon AU –
    Smashwords –
    Google Play –

    The Un-Named Chronicles
    Forthright & Clement – Book 1

    Amazon US –
    Amazon AU –
    Google Play –

    Armitage and Envy – Book 2

    Amazon US –
    Amazon AU –
    Smashwords –
    Google Play –

    A Dark Compendium

    Amazon US –
    Amazon AU –
    Smashwords –
    Google Play –
    Did you find the number? If you did then click this: ELLEN MAE FRANKLIN’S LINK TO CONTINUE THE HUNT.

    WIZARDS UNITE! The World Needs Your Magic.

    BECOME AN APPRENTICE! Click FOLLOW on the right of your screen to stay tuned for updates and for exclusive material on Marc Royston’s A Wizard’s Life, an epic adult fantasy soon to be released as a serialized novel.


    Blog Hop Hunt Feb 2016

    A Celebration of Author’s Blog Hop Hunt 2016 begins at 10:00 a.m. EST on February 19, 2016.

    To participate in the hunt and to meet dozens of Fantasy, Science Fiction & Horror authors and to enter for a chance to win fabulous PRIZES, follow “The Wizard’s Workshop” NOW.

    If you would like to find out more about the A Celebration of Author’s Blog Hop Hunt, please click here:


    WIZARDS UNITE! The World Needs Your Magic.

    BECOME AN APPRENTICE! Click FOLLOW on the right of your screen to stay tuned for updates and for exclusive material on Marc Royston’s A Wizard’s Life, an epic adult fantasy soon to be released as a serialized novel.


    The Thursday Interview Banner

    My latest interview was released today on the Daily Druid's "The Thursday Interview".

    Hecate's Faun Kindle Cover

    Find out more about HECATE’S FAUN and enjoy the interview at:






                                                      The First Annual VIRTUAL FANTASY CON.

    Dark Tuesday – November 3, 2015

    Epic Wednesday – November 4, 2015

    For more information, see:



                                                              SEPTEMBER 5, 2015



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    Worthy to Remember

    Snoopy The Writing Life

    The following are some of my favorite quotes from authors about writing:

             “All the best cutting is done when one is sick of writing.”
                                                                          ~ John Fowles ~

             “The first draft of anything is shit.”
                                                                          ~ Ernest Hemingway ~

             “A writer is somebody for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.”
                                                                          ~ Thomas Mann ~

             “A fish out of water is a dead fish, and a genius kept from his art is often a simpleton.”
                                                                          ~ Lajos Egri ~

    These are posted on the wall behind my desk. It helps me to know that I’m not alone–and not the first to come to these same conclusions.

    Have you got a favorite quote about writing? Please share.

    BECOME AN APPRENTICE! Click FOLLOW on the right of your screen to stay tuned for updates and for exclusive material on Marc Royston’s A Wizard’s Life, an epic adult fantasy soon to be released as a serialized novel.

    Gathering of Wizards

    Castle at Sunrise

    Our Wizard’s Workshop is now over 130 apprentices strong. Candidates from 72 different countries have passed through our doors.

    Thank you to all who follow me on this path of magic and to all who participate and to all who share.

    This week, I am preparing submission of The Wizard Ignites to DAW. No response as yet from Tor. Roughly 90 agents have been queried, with response to date from only 29 — all form rejections.  (Don’t despair. This is the typical onset toward publication. A huge body of very successful and even classic novels went through years of rejection and piles of denial before ever making it to press.)

    Waiting on no one, I am preparing a budget for self-publication. I’ll be launching two separate crowdfunding campaigns. The first will be to raise funds for developmental edit, copy edit, and proofreading.  The second will be for design and layout, printing, and marketing. I am planning on digital editions plus a limited first edition hard copy to begin. The hard copy will most probably be Print-On-Demand to save me on warehousing.

    Personal recommendations for editors with solid backgrounds and love and respect for the fantasy genre are appreciated.

    I have to nail down quotes within the next few months and come to decision before I can setup the crowdfunding and launch. Once the developmental edit phase is complete, I’ll be vetting designers and getting quotes for the second crowdfunding campaign.

    Meanwhile, I am also finishing up a period fantasy short story (set during the civil war and involving a grieving witch, a homicidal ghost, a confederate soldier weary of war, and the corpse of a satyr).  The working title is “Hecate’s Faun”. I’ll be submitting that first as a Kindle Short. I’m curious to see how that program works.

    On a personal note, I had a root canal two days ago, and the dentist had to drill into my skull as far as up and behind my nose. I’m still recouping from that mugging, but I am otherwise enjoying relief after months of agony.  Back to the dentist again in a few weeks to hopefully resolve any complications.


    BECOME AN APPRENTICE! Click FOLLOW on the right of your screen to stay tuned for updates and for exclusive material on Marc Royston’s A Wizard’s Life, an epic adult fantasy soon to be released as a serialized novel.