- Character Sketches: a complete biography of the main story-stars including the villain. The biggy here is to list any trauma or shattering moment that changes/shifts the story-star’s perception. Use a lesser degree for secondary story-stars. (check out Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting by Syd Field, amazing book for fiction novels also)
- Plotting: Index cards (14 beginning, 28 middle, 14 ending = 56 cards) also given in great detail in Syd’s book. It’s a line-up of events, plan of action that keeps me moving forward, although sometimes the characters change those events, my momentum and drive remains until the end. Plus this story lay-out doesn’t take very long to do once you get started with the brain storms.
- Timeline: Writing this as I finish each chapter. Listing the day and also time (if relevant) of the characters story, word count, page numbers, and highlights/events of each chapter. It is a godsend when referencing back to a scene or dialogue or event as I’m writing.
- Research Notations: Rather than doing all the research before I start my book (I can spend a ton of time doing unnecessary research for the sake of having “everything” before I start that first chapter – talk about a procrastinator) I use the “Review” comment tool to make notes throughout my story as I’m writing. That way I know specifically what to research and where it needs to go after the story is completed.
Tuesday, January 24, 2017
Monday, January 23, 2017
Sunday, January 22, 2017
She did say after six more she should have put a limit on that promise.
PS: He’s better looking than Stephen King (Carrie, The Stand, It, The Shining) and his romantic stuff will have you gasping quicker than Robert James Waller (Bridges Of Madison County).
Coming in February 2017, Thunderbird's Wake
Saturday, January 21, 2017
For more about all of the books in the Curse of the Lost Isle series (including a set of the first 4 books in the series) and links to purchase, check them out at Vijaya's Books We Love author page.
Young knight Raymond of Forez, blaming himself for his uncle's death in a hunting accident, falls off his horse at the very sight of the lovely Melusine. He has no knowledge of their turbulent past. Even less that she is an immortal Fae with angel blood... afflicted by a curse. He doesn’t believe in the local legends... yet how can he resist such beauty and loving wisdom?
Melusine, who waited for him in Aquitaine, is full of remembered love. But can she trust this young knight with her mission, or her deadly secrets? In this explosive religious climate, the Church is suspicious of everyone, and the slightest rumor of witchery or Pagan magic could send them both burning at the stake. Can their love overcome the curse this time?
Friday, January 20, 2017
Because I'm a writer, I have a good excuse to use my imagination to make up stories with quirky characters and interesting settings. In keeping with the humor in my latest cozy mystery, Dangerous Sanctuary, I thought we'd have some fun imagining a conversation with the main character, Pastor Christine Hobbs, and her Nosy Neighbor.
|Author J.Q. Rose|
Thursday, January 19, 2017
|Spatchcock Monthly July Cover Model|
Spatchcock. Everyone take a minute and say it out loud. I'll wait. Done? It's fun to say, isn't it? Rolls right off the tongue. Kinda' cathartic, too. Violent sounding without the physical fall-out. And wonderfully, subtly vulgar; it makes the twelve-year-old boy in me laugh.
But the word can be used in many more creative ways. The next time someone gets on your nerves? Try this: "Are you looking to get spatchcocked?" Or how about this? "Looks like I've stepped in a deep pile of spatchcock." Or "I'm gonna' spatchcock this yard with my rake." See what I mean? A multifaceted word, guaranteed hours of fun.
|A painful looking display of human spatchcockery.|
Or maybe some chef was embarrassingly named "Spatchcock," an unfortunate footnote in cooking history.
But, as I said, none of that matters. Please use this term, incorporate it into your daily vocabulary. Then sit back and enjoy the fun.
I'll update once (if?) my wife and I ever end up spatchcocking a turkey.
Intentional spatchcockery--akin to "Hitchcockery"--abounds in my cozy, (I hope) amusing mystery books: the Zach and Zora comic mystery series. Don't take my word for it. I wouldn't. Click on the covers for free samples:
Wednesday, January 18, 2017
A Longview Wedding is the third book in my A Longview Romance series. Cale and Michelle finally get things to go their way. Available at all good book sellers. Click on the image to see my BWL author page and all my books.
I thought it would be fun to let you all see where I work and create. It's a bit crowded, okay, more than a bit. But it has a big window and three antique book cases. The book cases are stuffed with research books, antique books, series of books I collect by my favourite authors. Charles de Lint, Mercedes Lackey, Anne McCaffrey, Patrick Taylor, Jack Whyte and Diana Gabaldon. To name a few...LOL
The middle of the bookcase that takes up the whole west wall of my office. You can see some of my Beswick horse collection.
A rest of the bookcase that takes up the whole wall, jam packed with books. This is where I keep the copies of my own books. The picture at the end of the case is of Nanjizal in Cornwall. The split in the rock is called the Song of the Sea. The bay is also known as Mill Bay. This location is featured in my Cornwall Adventures book Go Gently.
The wall by office door. The white horse is White Spirit an Alberta Wildie stallion living on Crown Land up near Sundre, Alberta. Below him, the picture is 'moose hair tufting'. First Nations artists create these by pulling moose hair through in a pattern and then cutting and shaping the hair to create original and lovely pieces of art. Some are coloured with natural dyes while some like this one are left the natural colour.
The bookcase and desk combo, lots of my crystals, hawk feathers from the pair that nest over the road from me, and some treasured books.
The bookcase on the south wall in front of the big window with my pretty peacock Tiffany lamp on top. This is the case with most of research books hide.
The wall above the long bookcase with the tapestry of the Battle of Bruges. A gift from a friend of mine. The small framed piece beside the tapestry is an example of 'birch biting'. It is a dying First Nations art created by folding white birch bark and marking the bark with a pattern by biting with the incisor teeth. I first saw this in Flin Flon, Manitoba and bought a small piece. It is lovely and all are one of a kind.
Prints on the wall to the left of the door.
As you can tell the place is pretty crowded but I have all my research books and information at my fingertips. Okay, that's a bit of an exaggeration. Usually, I'm sifting through my books and moving stuff so I can get the cabinet doors all the way open. It's a great environment for creating my stories. The dogs sleep on the floor in the doorway, and my big white cat likes to sleep on my comfy chair.
I hope you've enjoyed this small tour of my work area.
Tuesday, January 17, 2017
About 70 years ago, I was 10 years old and I noticed the lady across the street had blue hair. This puzzled me and I wondered why. She was a lady who had a gardener to care for her yard. When she went places, a man drove a shiny car to take her places. She didn't ride the streetcar or the train that stopped not far from where we lived. How did her hair become blue? This fascinated me and I believed that to become a lady one had to have hair this color.
Then one morning I noticed my mother added this blue stuff to the white clothes she was washing. Was this the answer? I imagined this was the source of the hair.
Then I began to see other women with blue hair. These were also women who wore nice clothes, had nice jewelry and arrived at church wearing hats and gloves. Perhaps this was the answer. Maybe blue hair ran in their families. My grandmother had gray hair but hers wasn't blue.
This puzzled me for years. Then I met my husband and mentioned the ladies with the blue hair. He nodded. He had noticed blue hair on some women where he lived. He also had no idea how their hair became blue. He did say they were ladies and wore nice clothes and were women of importance in his town.
Aha, I thought. He finished medical school and we moved to a large town in Western Pennsylvania, not that far from where we had grown up. I joined the Women's Medical Wives group and I noticed there were women with blue hair. They always wore hats and gloves to the meetings. Maybe, just maybe I had found the answer. They were ladies and maybe I could become one.
Now, I was a jeans kind of person but I did have a pair of gloves, or thought I had. I went to the meeting in my jeans and a velvet tunic top. I wore my fancy boots bought when we lived in Texas but I could only find one glove. An elbow one left from some party I'd had to attend. I went to the meeting and walked in. To add to the looks I always received since I had no intention of wearing a little black dress, pearls, a hat and gloves, I pulled off the glove.
"I couldn't find the other," I announced.
I did not ever discover how all those years ago those ladies had learned how to blue their gray hair. But that led to other outrageous actions - like how I celebrated my 35th birthday. Perhaps I'll tell you that tale some day.
Oh, by the way, I now have a streak of blue in my hair. Not a lot but then I'm not a lady.
Monday, January 16, 2017
|The Twisted Climb by J.C. Kavanagh|
Is your house getting cleaner as you get older?
If no, scroll to the next sub-heading.
If yes, keep reading.
I've noticed that every year, maybe even every month, my house stays cleaner for longer periods of time. Truly. The older I get, the cleaner my house.
I used to tell myself, "There's no dust here because I live in the country."
I used to tell myself, "The bathroom sinks stay shiny for ages."
I used to tell my friends that my house stays clean all by itself. "There's an anti-dirt / anti-dust fairy in my home." Weren't they great friends for just nodding their heads. No eye-rolling or cuckoo motions.
Until, as I said before, recently.
I was having dinner with my partner, Ian, and extolling the unending virtues of our house-cleaning fairy.
He quietly asked, "Are you talking about the fairy that's collecting dust bunnies in your bathroom?"
He was very calm about his question. Or was it a proclamation? I hurried to my bathroom, pulling Ian behind me. The dark green marble tile looked like it always does. I turned around inquiringly and Ian pointed to a corner, beside the Jacuzzi tub. I squinted and peered. "Nice marble, though the colour is a bit dated."
He sighed and handed me my reading glasses. "Now have a look."
"Alright," I said and perched them on my nose. I cast my eyes toward the offending corner.
Good Lord in heaven above. There were dust bunnies the size of cats and they had given birth to baby bunnies all over the floor!
I looked at my sink. Were those eyebrow hairs behind the faucet, collecting on the white porcelain? Good Lord in heaven above. Yes.
Wasn't the sink shiny and clean? Well, kind of. More like shine-spot-here and shine-spot-there.
Now I was angry. That no-good house-cleaning fairy done gone and run off with a no-good lazy-butt dirt fairy.
"What happened?" I asked my other half. "And why didn't you tell me?"
Ian just grinned. "I like it when you can't see the dust. I'm not going to tell you it's there.... you'll make me clean, too."
That was cheeky but quite true. Never has there been a more vacuum-loving, bathroom-cleaning and dust-free fanatic, than me.
Oh those eyes, they ain't what they used to be.
Next sub-headingIf you skipped to here, you missed a funny story and really, you should go back to the beginning.
My other half, Ian.
He's a good bloke - won't see dust - will feed birds.
Book signings in Ontario!Come see me at the Chapters store in Square One, Mississauga on Saturday, January 28. Or, drop by for a visit at the Chapters store in Newmarket on Saturday, February 11.
I'm also part of two 'Meet the Author' events for the Angus and Caledon libraries in February and during the children's school break in March. I'm looking forward to sharing with the kids just how I 'dream' up most of my stories.
Thanks for stopping by. I hope you had a wee chuckle or two at the expense of me ol' eyeballs. Cheers!
aka J.C. Kavanagh
The Twisted Climb
A novel for teens, young adults and adults young at heart.
Sunday, January 15, 2017
|Painting of the massacre of Bishnois in 1730|
The term tree-hugger in North America is generally used in a pejorative sense, to refer to a wolly-headed, idealistic hippie who is not connected to “reality.”
|Chipko women defending trees|
|A Bishnoi girl|
Living amidst the barren wastelands interspersed with khejri and babool trees, the Bishnois are a proud race. "We don't get any help from the government and don't want any," says Johra Ram. "Any change in the world has to begin within the society. All this talk about nature and wildlife protection would be more effective if each individual was to believe in the earth as a living, breathing entity and fight for its survival the way we do."
I worked as Editor for a regional newspaper in Colorado for thirteen years, as Business Page editor (not that it helped my finances!) for a publication in Canada, and have been published in newspapers and magazines including the Denver Post and the Himalayan News. I wrote a play that was presented at the Denver Playhouse Theater Festival.
I have organized several conferences on Science and Spirituality, have spoken at churches, Interfaith meetings and diversity conferences. I also published an electronic newsletter on Science and Spirituality for several years.
Saturday, January 14, 2017
Katy was used to losing things. First she’d lost her childhood home, then her career and reputation, and finally, and most dreadfully, her identity, so she knew she should be used to it. She wasn’t though and she couldn’t bear the thought of having to leave her job and start over, not now she was beginning to make a new life for herself. On the other hand she wasn’t prepared to play second fiddle to her boss’s girlfriend. Thank goodness she’d found out what he was really like before it was too late…or had she?
We have all read books which made us cry. Stories that have so gripped our emotions that we have totally identified with the characters even though we know they are fictional. It happened to me earlier this week...except it wasn't quite like that. You see I wrote the book!
It was Saving Katy Gray. I developed the storyline and created the characters. I knew the outcome too, obviously, so why on earth did I cry? There are two possible explanations. The first is that I need to get a grip! The second is that I might...just might... be a halfway good writer. I hope it's the second one but the only way a writer can ever really know is if a reader posts a good review, or makes contact by email or letter, and when that happens it's thrilling.
Saving Katy Gray is the final book of my When Paths Meet trilogy and it was published in 2014. As is the way with most writers after the excitement of publication day, I moved on and started writing another one. Now, several years later, Books We Love is adding a print format to all those eBooks, something that thrills me greatly even though it entails a considerable amount of work. As well as having to reformat the books, there is an opportunity to re-edit before they go into a second edition, so that's what I was doing. Re-reading and editing. What I wasn't expecting was that one of my own books would make me cry..
It also made me realise how much emotion a writer invests in each book and, in my case, even more when it is a series. By the time I finished writing the third book the characters were like family. Even now I think of the local but anonymised house and garden that I 'borrowed' for Book One, as 'Marcus' and Jodie's house' whenever I walk past it. The same goes for the local riding stables. Although I moved their location in my book, they still belong to 'Jodie' in my mind.
Re-reading a book published several years ago was interesting too. I was surprised by how much I wanted to tweak things...not the story, but some of the dialogue. Some of the prose as well. While it was fine (and edited) the first time around, reading it again in a couple of sittings made me want to tighten it up. It was a good exercise and well worth it because now I'll be able to have print copies of each of my books too.
I know fellow writers will understand about the crying and the relationship with my characters. I'm less sure about the reading public, but if they like the books then that's enough. I just hope they don't think I need to get a grip!
Friday, January 13, 2017
The name Yukon is derived from the Loucheux first nations word Yukunah which means `big river'. The land was mainly occupied by the Tagish and Tlingit native people for centuries before the non-native explorers arrived in the 1820s. In the 1840s fur traders set up a few Hudson's Bay Company posts along the Yukon River. When the United States purchased Alaska from Russia in 1867, there wasn’t a clear border between Alaska and the Northwest Territories, as the land was known then. In 1887-88 William Ogilvie, a Canadian surveyor, surveyed the area making the 141st meridian the western boundary with Alaska and the 60th parallel the southern border with British Columbia. Hence the phrase North of 60.
Prospectors went north looking for gold in the 1880s and there was a gold strike along the Fortymile River, which drains into the Yukon River, in 1886. There were other smaller strikes until 1896 when gold was discovered on Rabbit Creek later renamed Bonanza Creek. A town named Dawson sprang up on the Yukon River at the mouth of the Klondike River. When word of the gold discovery reached the outside world in the summer of 1897, thousands of men, women and children hurried to Dawson during the winter of 1897-1898 hoping to find their fortune.
Because of the rush Dawson grew quickly to be the largest city north of San Francisco and it became known as the `Paris of the North'. It had hotels, dance halls, daily newspapers and saloons for its 30,000 inhabitants. Fresh eggs were brought by raft on the Yukon River; whiskey came in by the boatload before freeze-up; gambling made rich men out of some and paupers out of others; dance hall girls charged $5 dollars in gold for each minute they danced with a miner; the janitors made up to $50 dollars a night when they panned out the sawdust from the barroom floors. Due to the influx of people, the region officially entered into the confederation of Canada and was designated as the Yukon Territory on June 13, 1898. Dawson became the capital. Eventually the word `territory' was dropped and it was called The Yukon.
A Territorial Administration Building was constructed in 1901 for the territorial seat of government and Dawson was the centre for the government administration until 1953 when the capital was moved to Whitehorse.
The Klondike gold rush ended in 1899 when word of a gold discovery in Nome, Alaska, reached the prospectors and they headed further north. However, over the next few decades gold companies were formed and continued to mine the creeks, this time using dredges to dig up the creek bottom. They left behind huge piles of gravel called tailings. The dredging lasted until 1960 when gold prices declined making the operation uneconomical. Today, mining is done with big trucks, huge sluices, and back hoes.
The north is known as the Land of the Midnight Sun after the words in Robert W. Service’s poem The Cremation of Sam McGee:
There are strange things done in the midnight sun
By the men who moil for gold.
The Yukon has the smallest desert in the world, the Carcross Desert, near the town of Carcross. It is an area that was once covered by a glacial lake. As the glaciers melted the level of the lake lowered until just the sandy bottom was left. Winds off Lake Bennett keep the sand moving and prevent most plants and trees from taking root on this.
During the late Wisconsin ice age (10,000 to 70,000 years ago) an arid section of the northern hemisphere was not glaciated because of the lack of moisture to support the expansion of the glaciers. The area, called Beringia after the Bering Strait which is near the centre of the region, encompassed parts of present-day eastern Siberia, Alaska, The Yukon, and ended at the Mackenzie River in the Northwest Territories. The growth of continental glaciers sucked up moisture which led to the sea level dropping by up to 106 metres (350 feet). As a result, a land bridge was formed between northwest North America and northeast Asia.
It is believed that parts of western Beringia (eastern Siberia today) were occupied by man 35,000 years ago. The forming of the Bering Land Bridge allowed the first humans to travel from Asia to North America. There is evidence that the history of man in North America goes back 25,000 years ago.
Some of the animals that survived for thousands of years in this arid land surrounded by glaciers were the North American horse and camel, the steppe bison, the giant beaver that weighed up to 181 kilograms (400 pounds), the Mastodon, the woolly mammoth, the giant short-faced bear, the scimitar cat, the American lion, and the giant ground sloth. All of these are extinct.
The territory of The Yukon was founded on gold mining, but there has been coal and silver mining in the territory also. It is now a favourite destination for tourists.