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Greek Mythology

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The Magic of Hollywood

NEW THIS MONTH

 

Kara, as a ward with no parentage and no future, has been raised knowing nothing outside her lady’s chambers. Until Royce Capello, a visiting nobleman, is struck by her ice-pale looks, and demands her as payment for the land the family needs.

With barely time to protest, Kara is sold and packed off for a life as a concubine—until a raiding party descends on Royce’s company and she’s kidnapped for the second time in as many days.

 

Whatever happens, Kara will be alone in the world, inexperienced and fearing even the vast unfamiliar sky. But one raider gives her a choice—and a magic mirror appears to show her where each path will lead…

 

She can leave with her protector Raven and journey with his performing troupe, competing for his mercurial affections.

 

She can flee the raiders’ settlement, and return to Royce’s manor, chattel among devious nobility.

 

Or she can stay in the settlement, bound to firm, silent Caine, who is as gentle as he is staid and inscrutable.

 

Her fates twist and turn to affect far more than she could have guessed, tangling the bitter with the sweet—and Kara must choose which consequences she can live with…

 

A Girl Of White Winter

 

New York Times bestselling author Barb Hendee reveals a hidden world where the twists and turns of one woman’s path will be determined by a crucial choice . . .

 

 

What’s Your Writing Process?

 

 

Normally, I avoid doing any type of “writerly” blog posts because for most people,

they’re a good substitute for sleeping pills.

 

But . . . chatting about the human writing process is a little different. Nearly all of us

write, whether it’s fiction, poetry, essays, letters, reports for work, etc. And everyone has

a different process.

 

When I chose my major in college, people were shocked when I did not wish to go into

teaching creative writing. Seriously. I’ve never taught a creative writing course. I did my

master’s degree in composition theory, and I teach essay writing. The reason behind this

is that I don’t have the first clue how to teach someone else to write fiction. It’s

something that I “do,” but I don’t really understand it. I have a firm grasp of how to teach

someone how to write an essay. I also spent years studying what goes on inside our

minds as we attempt to write.

 

When you hear the phrase “writing process,” it can mean several different things. For

one, we all have a personal writing process—meaning in reference to the way our brains

and habits function. There are perfect drafters, binge writers, over-planners . . .

procrastinators, etc. The list goes on.

 

I’m a firm believer that deadlines play into this process.

 

For example, my husband and writing partner, J.C. suffers from being a perfect drafter.

He'll write a sentence and then stare at it. Something isn't quite right with that sentence.

He'll change a few words--or maybe the order of the words--and then stare at the sentence

again. Sometimes thirty minutes will go by, and he hasn't moved on to the next sentence.

This is a stressful way to write, and these folks tend to start projects early if they are to

meet a deadline.

 

Then there are procrastinators. These writers let the ideas churn and swirl inside their

heads. They have been given two to three weeks to write a six-page project, and the ideas

are still swirling twenty-four hours before the project is due, but not a word has been

written. Ten hours before the project is due, they start drinking coffee like it's going out

of style, and then they sit down and start hammering out words. They do get the project

done, but they are often unhappy with it because it really needs to "cool" for a few days

before quality revision can take place. But it's due and needs to be submitted.

 

Then, there are the over-planners. These writers love to do research and outlining. They

will come up with a grand idea that excites them, and they will begin research. They also

have two to three weeks for a project, but they spend most of that time doing research,

taking notes, and outlining. They are having a fabulous time until they realize the project

is due, and they haven't actually started writing yet.

 

I'm a "binge writer." I have a friend, another fiction writer named James Van Pelt, who is

the complete opposite of me. He’s capable of getting up every day and writing three

pages of a novel or story and then saving his work, closing the file, and going to work

(he's also a teacher).

 

I am sooooooo jealous of him. I can't do that. With fiction, I have to become completely

immersed (meaning “lost”) in a project. As a result, I only write fiction on breaks

between college terms. But within a few days of starting a novel, I do nothing besides

write from dawn to dark. This is a little hard J.C. because I'm also the cook in our house,

and during those writing binges, we eat a lot of cereal, tuna sandwiches, and pizza.

But a few days into starting a novel, I'm getting up at 4:30 in the morning, making coffee,

and pounding on keys. A Girl of White Winter is just over 80,000 words, and I wrote it in

three and a half weeks. What’s more, I don’t remember writing it. I read it afterward, and

I was very caught up in the story. It’s heart wrenching. Hah! But I don’t remember

writing it.

 

This is not unusual. I’ve woken up to emails from students that read, “Barb, I finished the

first draft of my essay last night at midnight. It’s on why Orca whales should not be kept

in captivity. I got caught up in the topic, and I don’t remember writing it. But I just read

it, and I think it’s pretty good. I’ve attached it here. Will you read it for me early and tell

me what you think?”

 

I’m always glad to read projects early and give feedback, and I really understand what a

student means when he or she says, “I don’t remember writing this.”

 

But the processes I list above are just several examples. What is your typical process?

Think about this. Do you like your process? Or would you prefer to change it?