How Jessie’s Song Awakened the Music Within Me

Those of us who write visionary fiction oftentimes transcend alongside our characters. I’d like to share with you the most recent evolution within my life that I owe to Jessie’s Song. Little did I know that the protagonist’s journey to find himself in jazz would lead me on my own journey to rediscover my love for singing after a long hiatus.

I’d given up singing jazz right after college, convincing myself it wasn’t really what I wanted. The details behind it are enough for a full length book. Perhaps I’ll write it one day. Suffice it to say, several other musical projects followed but nothing captured my heart and soul until I started to chant. As much as I enjoyed doing it, I eventually gave that up as well. I tried to find inspiration again and returned to writing. Jessie’s Songwas born during a high concept screenwriting class I took back in 2007. When I first set out to write the story, it had a very dark theme. Markos Adams, the protagonist, began as Remus Caruso, a hit man. He evolved into a police officer in my second draft. It still didn’t work for me as there was a child molestation backstory that I thought would turn people off. I’m not the type to change a story around for the sake of getting readers, but my instincts told me I needed to change it. Not having the will or energy to continue, I laid it aside and moved on to other projects, then stopped writing all together as I’d lost my inspiration.  Continue reading here.

Spiritual Objectivism – Part 3

In my last post, I formed a connection between spirituality and objectivism linked together by morality that’s natural to humans. And I want to focus this post on the aspect of reality as my take on it permeates in all my writing.

 “Reality exists as an objective absolute. That man’s mind reason is his means of perceiving it. And that man needs a rational morality.” Ayn Rand

 This is where I slightly splinter off with Rand. I hold a view similar to Robert Anton Wilson:

“Humans live through their myths and only endure their realities.”

When I first read Robert Anton Wilson, I resonated with his writing, but I was still tethered to my self-perceived reality…although I wasn’t aware of it at the time. After I detached from the collectively agreed upon notion of reality, I resonated to the truth behind his words. I don’t view reality as an absolute. I see it as highly subjective. What we all see and experience collectively is the reality we’ve all agreed upon. That doesn’t make it true. Therefore, I don’t view perceived reality as absolute, and I don’t make absolute judgements based on that which isn’t absolute.

“We did not fall because of a moral error; we fell because of an intellectual error: that of taking the phenomenal world as real.” Phillip K. Dick

All my stories are written from a non-absolutist stance. I’m about as non-absolutist as they come! While plots resolve, I find there’s always an unidentifiable beyond. I suppose I’m fascinated with storytelling because I see so many potentials, and writing fiction is my way of discovering one possibility at a time. Life has certainly become more interesting after I detached from ideology.

Mix Ayn Rand with Socrates and what do you get?

Ayn rand stated that the base of knowledge stems from three axioms:

1. We exist

2. We are conscious

3. Identity

I veer off at number three, which isn’t surprising as Ayn Rand was an atheist, and I’m not. Atheism is as absolute a term to me as believers of any religion.

“There is no complete theory of anything.” Robert Anton Wilson 

Total knowledge is impossible. Socrates realized the only advantage he had over most people was that he was aware of his own ignorance. And that’s immediately what I thought of when the following message came to me while meditating:

“It’s not about being right or wrong.  It’s all about the experience.”

I’ve previously mentioned the above message in posts. But this one simple phrase is what made me detach from all forms of ideology. What I view as existence is going through life experiencing it through the senses. Labels and identities can limit our experiences when we attach to what the identity represents. This was demonstrated by Ayn Rand who was a victim of her own philosophy when she became a cult-like figure. That was bound to happen because of her attachment to her own identity. Still, her philosophy is conducive to a free society where people are free to express themselves as individuals.

“Groups are grammatical fictions; only individuals exist, and each individual is different.” Robert Anton Wilson

Objectivism stands the test of time and should be taught in school, but society today shuns individualism in favor of the collective. We’re turning into the Borg, and I don’t say that to be funny. In order to grow, we must be able to think for ourselves and not be dictated to by bureaucracies and despots.

 There is no absolute knowing in an observable reality. I can only go by experiences as they occur. And since experiences aren’t static, it doesn’t make sense to me to attach to an ideology. Circumstances change, events happen, and opinions shift, especially when we gain knowledge. This is all very positive to me as I’ve been more creative since detaching from all forms of ideology. There’s no belief system within me that I must defend or argue over, so I find I’m more open to differing opinions I would have either tuned out or refused to hear. I could’ve never written Unison with any residual dogma as I held nothing sacred. I see the Spheral Series as my personal evolution. My protagonists tend to evolve to a higher level than me. I suppose that’s my way of challenging myself to keep growing.

Tune in next week for my next installment on a subject that’s taking on a life of its own.

Love and light,


Part 1  Part 2  

On Being An Author Of Visionary Fiction

I’ve recently met other visionary authors, and we’ve come together to create the Visionary Fiction Alliance as a means to promote the genre. What I value most about this group is that even though we all have diverse opinions, we get along great. The reason for this is because there is no dogmatism in Visionary Fiction. By letting go of beliefs, we humble ourselves and  recognize there are many roads that lead to the same truth…at least that’s how I see it.

What is my personal philosophy as a visionary author? 

After my kundalini awakening I detached from religion, and accepted I cannot know anything beyond what I’m experiencing, as it’s happening.  My characters tend to have difficulties because of their expectations of an outcome along with inflexible thinking.  Only by exploring and expanding their inner-awareness can they hope to find their way out of the mess they got themselves into.  I deal with this aspect mostly in subtext, but it can definitely be felt in the actions my characters take.

What do I believe in?

All the visions and insights I’ve gained since my awakening have opened my eyes to a myriad of possibilities.  I make no assumptions  or claims as to their meaning. Some people have visions and make pronouncements regarding them, but I see too many possibilities as to what mine can imply. That is why writing fiction is the better option for me.  It gives me the freedom to explore all possibilities.

My personal world view is:

Something exists that is greater than us. It presents itself to those of us who seek it out, and we can connect to it if we so desire. When we are connected to this something, we are at our happiest. If we stray too far, we’re mired in materialism, needless rituals, empty vices and are disconnected from that which makes us whole. This disconnection makes us feel like there’s something missing in our lives when, in fact, what makes us whole is already present in each of us, waiting to be rediscovered. 

The above is my personal truth. I don’t expect, nor would I want, others to accept my world view as I learned this on my own. Being a skeptic allowed me to find and connect to this realization that I’ve now internalized. When I refer to being a skeptic, I don’t mean the type that writes books denouncing God, UFOs and all things paranormal. That’s not being a skeptic; that’s another form of dogmatism. In one of my meditations, I received the following message:

“It’s not about being right or wrong. It’s all about the experience.” 

Being a true skeptic is seeing a world filled with infinite possibilities, and while I personally use the term, Divine when I connect to the inner-light, I don’t attach a definition to what the light is.   Narrowing it down to one absolute meaning is impossible, in my opinion. We can only analyze our visions through the lens of this reality, and our interpretations are based upon our understanding of this reality.

In my stories, my world view is clearly established, and I also write to expand my own consciousness and learn new truths. It’s the receptiveness to all possibilities that makes life more exciting and unpredictable to me. With this mindset, there’s no fear of damnation for questioning or choosing to opt-out of dogmatic practices. This includes politics, nationalism, religion and all other groups that adhere to one fixed opinion.  Out here, in the beautiful chaos of independent thought, I’m responsible for my own fate, and I get along with people of all backgrounds because I don’t hold an opinion that I think is superior to anyone else’s. It’s the most liberating feeling—to think freely and openly.  I liken it to having the mind of a child in that I’m not afraid to take chances. To me, this is what it means to live life to the fullest.

Love and light,


When Writing Rewrites The Author

I’ve written about how spirituality drives my fiction, but something unusual happened to me last week. While doing research on my new visionary fiction story, On The Farm, I was so affected by what I read that I gave up eating eggs. The point of my blog isn’t about the compassion behind vegetarianism, even though that’s my personally held view, but rather about how, as writers, what we write can also influence our own behavior. I’m discovering it’s not only my spirituality that filters into my storytelling, but my storytelling filters into my spirituality and makes me alter my behavior.  Writing pulls out the weeds that cover my spirit.

We Are What We Write

If we can positively influence people by our writing, it stands to reason that all the negative things we write can influence equally as well.  It’s important to explain here that my writing changed my behavior—not out of guilt, but rather from unveiling a little more of my inner-awareness that’s hidden by layers of conditionings draped over me since childhood. All the ethical questions I’ve been forced to answer during the plotting stage led to my unveiling. To be true to the story, I had to step beyond my comfort zone. As I began outlining and digging deeper into one of the characters, I sympathized with her plight.  I didn’t know to what degree until I later went to prepare a quiche for my daughters. I  removed some eggs from the carton and something felt off. I didn’t feel right holding them. I told my daughters I would no longer eat eggs again unless I found a local farm where I could see how the hens are being treated. They asked me more questions, and I told them my research experience—minus the graphic details—and they decided to stop eating eggs as well. I told them they didn’t have to give them up because I did, but they insisted.

I don’t want my children to follow my example because they think that’s what I want. As a parent, I know I’m a role model; however, I’m teaching my children to develop value systems from within themselves. Through my own personal experience, I’ve come to learn internalization is the key to inner-growth, not copying. Inside us is our inner-guide and when the right moment comes, a new bit of self-awareness is pulled out.  For me, a blog post I had read at a  great Taoist site a few years ago led to my vegetarianism. Derek Lin never came off as preachy or condescending , and  I personally appreciated his reference to Hitchiker’s Guide To The Universe.  Even after I read the article, I didn’t internalize the content until a few months later while passing a farm on a road trip. Time will tell what motivated my daughters. They both joined me and have been lacto-ovo vegetarians for a year, and they haven’t even once asked me to go to a McDonalds.

An Allegorical Tale

The best method to tell a story without coming off as preachy is to use allegory in storytelling. George Orwell’s, Animal Farm is a prime example of allegory. I’ll also be using animals for my next project—but not in a political context. My husband pitched me the idea, and I loved it enough to begin plotting. I’d like to begin writing it in August; however, I’m finding that piecing this story together is quite challenging.  I’ve got the beginning, and the ending came to me last night. I was stuck on the mid-point, and it came to me after I began the first draft of this blog. As with many of my other breakthroughs, it happened while I was working out at the gym.

Power to influence…without the preaching.

If my story organically could change my own behavior, I wonder what kind of an effect it will have on the reader. Will the characters from this story affect people as strongly as they’re affecting me? It will be interesting to see. I don’t preach vegetarianism or any other isms in my stories, although a character may become engaged in or attached to one form or another. After all, it’s our attachment to places, things and ideals that create conflict, including vegetarianism. I’ve read about a few instances where vegetarians splashed paint on fur coats…while people were wearing them. When we attach labels to our own behavior, we must be mindful not to identify with it so strongly that we lose our ability to think critically and act rationally. By the time I type the words, the end, the ism is replaced by whatever inner-lesson the character had to learn. To me, that makes a more positive and satisfying read.

Love and light,


Transcendent Experiences That Inspire The Sci-Fi Author

This blog was inspired by Dr. Jeff Kripal’s podcast interview on Skeptico discussing his book “Mutants and Mystics” which I’ve ordered and am looking forward to reading. The book is about how authors use their own paranormal experiences to write their stories. I was immediately intrigued as that’s what I do, although I don’t refer to my kundalini awakening as paranormal.  The very meaning of normal is a subjective interpretation of reality, and  my experiences are as natural to me as waking up in the morning.

Ever since I was a child, I was transfixed by science fiction. From Captain Kirk on Star Trek to Ripley on Alien, I was awed by the limitless possibilities of the imagination. Anything could and did happen in these stories, and since I had a sad childhood, these stories helped me forget about my own life for a while. One step into the time doorway in Land Of the Lost, and I was in their world.

The signs of being a writer were always there, but it took all my experiences to feel worthy of writing science fiction.  Since my spirituality drives my fiction, I thought it would be interesting to draw parallels in my writing to what I heard on the program.

The titles in bold were the key points of the podcast that I relate to as a writer of science fiction and speculative fiction.


Humility Versus Certainty

The host discussed humility versus certainty when it came to how one deals with what’s beyond our current level of understanding, and I thought it was a great way of explaining my own motivation in writing.  I was brought up Greek Orthodox, and there was a level of certainty I had towards my faith. That was all gone after my kundalini awakening and not because I was shattered or depressed. The further I tried to understand what happened to me, the more I realized I could never know anything for certain and that made me more humble.

In Unison, the protagonist, Damon1300-333-1M, is a scientist, and he begins his journey as a materialist. His position makes him shortsighted regarding his invention of a technology that ends up enslaving his people. When things start to move beyond his world view, everything he believes in is brought into question, and he has a difficult time adjusting. The movement from certainty to humility is depicted in Damon’s inner journey, mirroring my own interior struggles.

With my newly developed humility, I became less self-centered, and I had a strong desire to help people. I wanted to reveal how my spiritual evolution led to a happy life. I could’ve written self-help books, but that wasn’t my style. I didn’t want to make the message about myself.  Writing under the umbrella of visionary fiction flowed into my writing organically and without any pretense or proselytizing. As an author, my intention is to transmit positive energy through my writing, and I would find it rewarding, and more humbling if my stories  open hearts and minds in addition to being entertaining.

Humanism Versus Mysticism

During my kundalini awakening I was plugged into something larger than myself, but I never viewed it as above, outside or beyond human potentiality. Because we’ve collectively accepted the paradigm of materialism, anything outside the scope of this understanding is labelled paranormal. As I’ve mentioned in the opening, I find my experiences normal, and within the realm of human potential. What my experience showed me was that all of creation is part and parcel of the life force that created it.  I also see it as a natural process as opposed to supernatural.  So in my stories, the characters all have their chance to transcend, but what they transcend to is never referred to as magical or mystical; it’s part of a natural order.

Writing  To Understand

Dr. Jeff Kripal mentioned that Phillip K. Dick wrote to understand his experiences. I write for the same reason.  I’ve written journals and a few blogs in the past that helped me come to terms with my experience; however a complete understanding is impossible. Socrates understood absolute knowledge is elusive. I’ve reached a similar point in my journey, so I’m not a seeker anymore. This all leads back to how I can never be certain of anything. The only thing I do try to understand is how to tailor my new paradigm into a world that appears so vastly alien to me. At times, I feel like an alien in this world because I can’t talk candidly about my experiences with people. Damon goes through similar challenges along his journey as he tries to find his own place in a world he thought he understood. Writing science fiction helps me reveal my spiritual evolution that I would otherwise keep to myself.

Culture Dictates Experiences

My kundalini awakening wasn’t part of my culture, although there is a Greek mystic sect known as Hesychasm where the monks sought out the “uncreated light,” This was shocking when I had first heard about it as it sounded a lot like kundalini.  I haven’t heard about Hesychasm until a few years after my awakening.

I can’t prove my visions are divinely inspired anymore than I can prove that some undisclosed technology is producing them in my brain. Being unable to state what exactly creates my visions is why I don’t define them. It’s safer to observe them as they are, without any judgement. The more I ruminate over them, the more strange reality appears to me. It’s as undefinable as my visions. This is another aspect that’s humbled me.

“There is no such thing as truth. The only thing that is actually there is your logically ascertained premise, which you call truth.” U.G. Krishnamurti

…Which is why science fiction is the cultural vehicle in which I express my spirituality.

Freedom To Say What I Want

I found that no matter how delicate I present my position, if it counters something a person is passionate about, they get offended…even when it wasn’t my attention to offend. As I’m not a mind reader, I have no way of knowing how deeply someone feels about their position, so I’d rather not risk hurting feelings.  This goes back to my feeling like an alien because I can’t speak freely with people.  Science Fiction is the only way I can say what I want. However, it’s important to mention that even in fiction there’s a fine line between preaching and remaining true to the story. How I avoid preaching is I make sure the character speaks through his or her personality and not my own.

As I don’t live in a world of certainty, it’s easy for me not to be preachy in my stories. The only time I’ve slipped is when I wrote while being angry.  Since then, I avoid writing when I’m over emotional. To get the best story out of me, I need to be detached from myself and fully engaged in the story world. Some of my characters may be preachy, but that’s to demonstrate their particular character flaws rather than to convince the reader of some personal ideology, of which I have none.  Unless you consider not having an ideology as an ideology. It’s a vicious cycle!

Relating experiences through characters

If I try to explain my kundalini awakening to people, either I’m viewed as crazy, or I’m asked what kind of drugs I was on. However, if it’s happening to a character, people are more apt to accept it, so I nestle my visions and experiences into my fiction.

Future is creating the past

I’ve had many occasions of feeling like I’ve already lived through particular events. This was the basis of Unison in that time is not linear but happens in a constant loop.

Do we author the world or does the world author us?

My ideas never come on a conscious level, so I definitely feel authored. This has been a humbling admission for me. Since  accepting this, my work has become more authentic. It’s almost like my stories are tailor-made for me. I’m right-brain oriented, so writing a first draft is very visually intense. I capture different pictures of my story, and they come to me in no particular order. Eventually, they make sense. For instance, in Sunrise, I envisioned a green flame flickering in a cave. I had no idea what it meant when I saw it, but I wrote it into the scene knowing it would eventually make sense when I got all the pieces, and it eventually did.

I’m in the middle of outlining my next book, On the Farm. I’ve already got a few images  and designed the book cover.  Working on the cover gave me a lot more visuals for the story. It was so effective,  I’ve decided to include book cover design during the development phase of my stories.  Visuals tell the story, and words interpret what I see.

Near the closing of the show Dr. Jeff Kripal claimed the culture is writing us.  I close with asking who or what is writing the culture?  There’s definitely another loop here which further demonstrates how limiting our understanding is. I have my theories, but I’ll save them for another book.

Lessons Learned By A Writer With A Short Attention Span

As of June 21, 2012 I completed my first draft of Sunrise, nine days short of my goal. As I reach another milestone in my writing career, I’d like to dedicate this post to everyone who suffers from PTSD and ADHD. The latter I see as a positive because the hyper-focus characteristic that comes with it enables me to finish large projects quickly. I can’t see anything that produces such positive results as being negative.  However, the former can be crippling for me. I only recently discovered that these old feelings and emotions that crop up and get tangled up in present events  are flashbacks. Through the years I’ve dealt with them successfully through mindfulness meditation, chanting and  remaining steadfast on my spiritual journey. It keeps me grounded in the moment and allows me to maintain a focus I’ve never experienced before.  I  accept the events that led to my condition will forever be a part of me, and this acceptance helps with my healing and forgiveness of those who’ve imprinted themselves into my psyche. It’s only through forgiveness that I’ve been able to progress to a place where I love and appreciate the life I’m living.

As a side note, Harmony, a technology used in my novel, Unison, eliminates traumatic emotional memories from the past. The protagonist’s conclusion as to whether or not that’s a good thing is answered in the book and also mirrors my own conclusions.

Now…on to the writing stuff!


Discomfort leads to growth

I always remember that when I decide to take the road most traveled, which for me would’ve been to have an unnamed narrator in the omniscient voice. However, it’s my named narrator that strings the whole story together and brings it to a satisfactory resolution. I focus on that whenever I think about going into the book and taking out all the references that identify the narrator. All in all, Sunrise  has grown on me because of a strong likable cast of characters that came alive because of the specific narrator and her personal views towards them.  Another unexpected surprise for me was that I found that writing in this voice is not unlike first person—except for the fact the voice doing the narrating  isn’t directly involved in the story. I like the level of mystique this adds to the story.

A question I asked myself at the start of this book was:

Could I write a fulfilling story with twelve characters and complete all their arcs in an emotionally satisfying way without writing thousands of pages?

Answer: Yes, and using omniscient narration helped me achieve this in under 80,000 words. After my next edit, which I scheduled in for September, I’m fairly certain the number count will go up a bit. With Unison, it moved up over 25,000 words! I’m fairly certain that won’t be the case with Sunrise as I’ve been editing as I go along, and I don’t forsee many holes that need plugging. As I’m free until July 1st, I’m going to continue to clean up the last remaining chapters.  When I come back to this book, I’ll have an easier time because of the following techniques I’ve improved upon.

Editing as I go along –  In July I’ll begin my edit on Jessie’s Song, and I dread all my visits to Autocrit to see how many times I overused it, that or was. Not to mention all those duplicate words that I failed to notice because I was more interested in getting the story down! It’s emotionally daunting—and draining just thinking about it. With Sunrise it will be a smoother—and faster edit.

Don’t start typing until I picture the complete scene – Before each chapter, I lie down and listen to music or go for a walk to visualize the scene. When I’m away from home, I carry a digital recorder, so I don’t lose an idea.

Channeling a character – This one is a first for me. I channel the characters and have discovered that it’s a great method to reveal character motivations.  After I played it back, I was surprised how my voice changed to mimic the character! I’ve saved them as MP3s and will make them available on this site after Sunrise is released. All these techniques shortened my writing session which is important to someone like me as I have a short attention span.

Run through as many setting and scene alternatives until one screams out “Write me! Write me now!” As I run through the scene, I keep at it, coming up with as many scenarios as possible. When I get to the one that makes me jump up from where I’m sitting and run to my computer, I know I’ve found the right scene, setting or idea.  I won’t write anything down until I get that aha feeling.

Add editing-type columns in my outline – This was another big one for me. I outline my chapters using outline software.  I color code all the different threads, and this helps ensure I have an even balance between them. As I work out of order, I have to take notes to remind myself of what chapters I edited. Making things more complicated is I do different kinds of edits.  I first use WhiteSmoke for grammar checks.  I then run my chapters through Autocrit for redundancies and overused words. Although they help a lot, software can’t replace a personal understanding of grammar, but it does help speed up the editing process. After my first clean-up, I do a Kindle read through using speech to text for flow and tempo.

To keep track of the above, I made four check box columns in my chapter outline. Each time I complete an edit, I check the appropriate box. Kindle gets an extra column because the first read through is of the first draft only. I do another read through after I edit and will sometimes go through a third time if necessary. With Unison I had to do four because of the complex timeline involved. I highly recommend Omni Outliner, which I started using only just recently. Wish I got this one sooner.

Change the sex of the narrator – This works great for distance, especially for a first person narration. Unison is in first person male, so when I did the final read through, I switched it to female and that gave me some additional distance.

Writing has become a lot of fun for me because of the creative ways I find my stories. These methods work especially well for ADHD-type personalities.  I hope some of these tips can be applied to your situation.

I’ll be releasing an Ebook on my writing, editing and producing Sunrise after it’s published. I’ll also include some additional spoilers along with concerns I had with several of the themes I used in this story

Love and light,


How A Ballerina Danced Her Way Into Her Own Conflict

Today I’m going to write about my character, Rahjni, and how I set up a scene before I even begin typing. Rahjni is one of the twelve characters in my current work-in-progress, Sunrise. 

Choosing the setting and tone…

While I was working on Rahjni’s backstory, I had envisioned her as a professional ballerina. Multiple Sclerosis took away her ability to dance. I had to demonstrate the consequences of her illness by how she reacts to them, and  I didn’t want to get weighed down by too much backstory.   Late last week, I arrived at the scene where I had to have Rahjni deal with all the issues she’s been avoiding. The scene had to be intense and show her struggles. To keep up the pace I’ve set meant I  had to arrive at the scene goal quickly and without making it seem rushed.

Before I set out to write Rahjni’s scene, I had no idea what setting I’d be using. I had an understanding of what I wanted the scene to accomplish; Rahjni needed to uncover a hidden aspect of herself that led her to the point where the story takes place. I had to figure out her own unique way of bringing her secret to the surface. My reason for going with my intuition on making Rahjni a ballerina soon made itself clear when I envisioned telling her story via the ballet. The moment that idea entered my mind, something clicked, and I knew I was on the right track.

Now that I had a setting in mind, I set out to find the ballet that would serve as both Rahjni’s final professional role as a ballerina and also run as a parallel story to what she’s endured throughout her life. I went on the internet and studied different ballets thinking it would take hours to find the right one.  Ten minutes into my search I found the ballet that meshed perfectly with the scene goal: La Bayadère. Translated in English, it means Temple Dancer. From the moment I read the synopsis, I knew this ballet was the perfect fit for Rahjni’s conflict reveal scene. I found a youtube video of  some of the dances, specifically the Kingdom of Shades  and the death scene of Nikiya, the temple dancer.  I immediately pictured how the whole scene would play out after watching both dances, and I wrote out a quick draft. After I finished writing the scene, I loved it, but man did it go to places I never expected!

Watching two dances wasn’t enough to absorb and appreciate the whole ballet. I purchased the score performed by the London Chamber Orchestra, and the next evening I watched the complete ballet performed by the London Royal Ballet with my daughters. I paid close attention to the visuals, props, colors, costumes and music, taking notes on each aspect. I’ve also been jogging to the score to internalize the music.

For further assistance, I joined a ballet forum in hopes of finding a source where I can find what piece of music corresponds to a particular dance. I found out that it varies from ballet company to ballet company, so I opted to keep the name of the pieces out, which would of only pulled the reader out of the intense visuals I wrote into the scene.

Character development builds the story.

The middle of a story has always been the most difficult for me and is typically the last thing I write. A major aha moment for me was when I first realized it’s the character that leads to the conflict. No matter how carefully and methodically I’ve plotted a story, in almost everything I’ve written, the conflict is the most difficult for me. I need to spend a lot of time with the characters to get a sense of who they are.  Their struggles unlock the door to the conflict that should seamlessly flow into the climax of the story. When I started writing Sunrise, I knew the conflict I outlined wasn’t strong. I mused over which of the twelve characters would bring about the conflict that would push them all to the climax that I had already written. Yesterday, one of my other characters revealed the conflict, and I wrote out the scene.

After I completed Rahjni’s ballet scene,  the conflict of this particular character  revealed itself organically and had  presented me with a new thread I hadn’t expected. Now I needed to choreograph that scene and find a setting. The answer came to me while I was working out at the gym. I posed a question about what truth the conflict will reveal, and a whole other strange and surreal setting came to me in full color! I took my daughters out to lunch and then we headed over to the library where I wrote out the scene.

My last few writing sessions have been quite productive. I got out of them  the main story conflict, a character conflict, plus a character reveal scene.  I also began structuring a new story inspired by my husband.  I’m the type that prefers to have a lot of projects ready to go. It keeps me motivated.