Fall is my favorite time of year, and it always has been. Oh, sure, I’ve had years where I couldn’t wait for summer to get here because of how cold and dreary the winter had been and all I wanted to do was bask in the summer heat. But even then, there’s something about fall that appeals to me more than any other season. Maybe it’s the vibrant reds and oranges that I get to see on the tree leaves. Maybe it’s the thought of crisp morning air and cozy campfires. It definitely could be the start of another football season. Continue reading
I didn’t really have much on my mind to share today, so I thought I’d treat you with something a little different. As those of you who follow me on Twitter or Goodreads know, I’m currently revising my first novel and am planning to publish it in early fall. I haven’t published any excerpts from the manuscript yet, but I wanted to share the synopsis with you. The excerpts will be coming soon.
Merrick Maples and the Legend of the Lost Stone
Thirteen-year-old Merrick Maples is having the worst summer of his life. First, his parents send him and his twin sister, Lorena, to stay with their crazy old aunt for three weeks while they go away on an orchestra tour. Then, their aunt forces them to help with home improvement projects the whole time they’re there—like painting the porch and cleaning the attic. But when Merrick and Lorena find an old emerald necklace in the attic that transports them to a world called Eulana, they realize that there is more to their aunt than what meets the eye.
Now, Merrick and his sister must escape the clutches of a dark elf named Beza, who is convinced the twins have information that could lead him to a legendary stone that gives its owner great power and immortality. Armed only with the emerald necklace and a strange book that won’t open, Merrick and Lorena must learn to set aside their differences to battle pirates and avoid enslavement on the high seas if they ever want to get home.
Fans of Bridge to Terabithia and The Magician’s Nephew alike will fall in love with Merrick Maples and the Legend of the Lost Stone.
This is the perfect writing climate for me: It’s between 65 and 70 degrees, I’m sitting in my favorite spot in the living room with my cats beside me, I can hear doves outside the window, and when I look out onto my porch, I can see the gorgeous orange lilies that I planted this weekend. It’s also raining, but not hard enough that I need to worry about closing my windows. Normally, if you throw in a nice cup of coffee, I could sit here for hours and write until the cows come home. But for some reason, today, I’m distracted.
Could it be the fact that our area hasn’t seen the sun in nearly a week and more rain is on the way? Is it work stress? I’m not sure. To explain just how distracted I am, I’ll admit that at least five minutes have passed between the time that I wrote the last sentence and this one. It doesn’t bode well when this is supposed to be my writing night.
All day I’ve thought about the writing I could get done tonight. I’ve got the house to myself—except for my fuzzy babies—and I had originally planned to follow my characters through a really exciting sword fight with pirates. In fact, I think I’ll get started on that right now. Yessiree, I’m just going to open up my manuscript, flip it open to the page where I left off, and start writing … oh, look! A rerun of Friends is on! I can always write tomorrow, right?
I first came across this book when I was researching pirates and life on the high seas for a story I’m writing. I have always been fascinated by the legend of pirates, and this book provided me with the truth behind the myths. Under the Black Flag: The Romance and the Reality of Life Among the Pirates covers everything from the terminology (e.g., the difference between a buccaneer and a corsair) to the types of ships pirates used, their favorite haunts, and even the most famous pirates–both men and women.
I was so impressed at the knowledge I gained from this book. It made me want to learn more about pirates and their lifestyles. And from this single book, I learned enough that I was able to select a ship style for the pirates in my story. (This may not sound like a big feat to you, but I was stuck on that problem for months!) David Cordingly did a great job of researching this topic, and he also leaves his readers with a long section of end notes in case they have more questions.
If you’ve ever wondered about life on the high seas or imagined what it was like to be a pirate, this book is definitely for you. I highly recommend it.