I have always loved stories. From fairy tales to fantasy, I spent many days lost in daydreams spawned by a good story (and yes, my parents read to me as a little girl!). Even though I wrote on occasion including sappy youthful poems to short stories, I never considered seriously writing until around 2000. Part of the delay was that I always considered myself a better painter than writer. But a drawing always seemed to lack depth. A picture may be worth a 1000 words, but really, I prefer the words.
Here you will find links to works either in their entirety, pages describing published work, or notes about work in progress.
I love novels with their challenging layered plot lines, hints of future events, time to truly get to know (and hopefully love) characters and worlds, and the need to resolve everything by the end (or in the sequel!).
The first serious piece of literature I wrote outside of college was a fantasy novel inspired by a set of stone steps I stumbled across in the woods near Virginia Tech. It took years and many stops and starts, but eventually I wrote a trilogy entitled Ancient Fragments. Though family and friends who read it gave it great reviews and found it to be quiet the page turner despite the multitude of pages, I see now how many mistakes I made in it! The story still teases me though and I sometimes find myself idly thinking of how to tweak it . . . .
After Ancient Fragments, I stayed away from writing for a few years as my career developed. Eventually all that pent up imagination burst out. What came out was a new rough draft of new fantasy/sci fi novel called Deliberate Actions and enrollment in a class for novel writing. In the end, I took a second novel/creative writing course and began the draft for what would become Born of Water.
While I can say the classes helped, I would add that what really helped was simply to keep writing and reading and comparing my work to what I read and liked. The criticisms I received in the two classes made me question why it was or wasn’t okay to do use words or phrases even while it taught me plot and character development techniques. I remember seeing adjectives crossed off my rough draft that were used and praised by another classmate. It drove me nuts until I photocopied a few of my favorite books and circled how many times adjectives, adverbs, descriptions and such were used. After that, I started measuring myself by published author’s and not the opinion of the person sitting next to me in class (who was writing a memoir). Good writing really does shine, and I have gotten a lot better since those days, but in the end I truly believe you should write your best for YOURSELF. If you love it, that is a very good sign. If you know there is more work you should do on it – well get back to it!
For more information on completed work including background information, related stories, and where to find a copy to read click the links below.
I’m not sure which I like better traveling or travel writing! Surely the two add to each other for a totality greater than the parts. What better way to learn to produce engaging and vivid descriptions than to write about someplace you’ve been? What better way to fully immerse yourself in a place, trying to capture the sights, smells, sounds and true essence of an experience, other than to think you may need to describe it later?
Obviously No Map Nomads is dedicated to my love of travel and travel writing. I have thoughts to compile some of these stories along with some new ones into a book later in the spring of 2012. Until then, I hope you enjoy the site!
I may prefer novels, but every once in awhile a short story is just the right length or pace: an introduction to an idea, a spin off from another moment. I’m frankly tired of trying to find a magazine to publish one of these. It is a similar story to novels of too many writers and too little space. So, below are a few I like, a few from the past (turns out I’ve been writing for awhile – all the way back to high school! The things you forget . . . ) As I write because I enjoy it, I hope you read them because you enjoy a good tale.
All is Lantern Light (2011)
Gift of Two Spirits (2011)
Unforeseen Consequences (2005)
The Wind (1990)
A Sport of Kings (1992)
Poetry . . . the true heart of language. I love the cadence of it, that every word is purposeful with a place and meaning. Poetry is meant to be heard, not just read.
All that being said, I wish I were a better poet! Occasionally I try my hand at it (even as a little girl – my mother recently returned a journal of poems I wrote while in elementary school!). My first thought when I saw Twitter was What a perfect venue for Haiku.
I can’t say I have many poems to share. Maybe some days the words will come more easily . . . .