A Fantasy Life by Janet Quinn Cornelow

August 28, 2010 by in category Blogs with 1 and 0
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I have been trying to get myself motivated to write. It hasn’t been going very well. I went to plot group this morning and five of the members had stories that they needed help with. It is always a great time. We meet about every six weeks and have breakfast, then work, then have lunch. Lots of eating. Lots of working.

I wasn’t one of the five with something to plot. Then I’ve plotted two stories and haven’t started either one of them. I did finally finish the contest I had running on my website. Other than that, I have managed to accomplish nothing when it comes to writing.

Maybe tomorrow when I go to lunch with Debra Young, my critique partner, I will get more inspired. I am setting a goal to start writing in September and writing every week. I’ll see how that goes.

Then it hasn’t been the best month. Rob’s wife lost the baby and everyone was very upset. This too will pass, but for the moment things are a bit unsettled.

Starting a new fantasy book always takes awhile with trying to set up the new universe. In my alternate universe story, there are several major issues to take care of such as what magical properties are in the new universe.

One of the problems I have had was trying to figure out what the evil wizard wanted. After multiple trips to plot group, lunch at an OCC meeting and discussing it with my critique partner, I still didn’t know what he wanted. I knew I wanted him to be killing people, but why? What was he getting out of it?

Then I got stuck with my son Rob in the drive-through at KFC, which is not an uncommon occurrence. He plays many different role-playing games and often has great ideas. We were discussing what the wizard wanted and I knew it had something to do with a crystal. Crystals are a good match to magic.

So the legend of the great crystal was born. A thousand years ago, there was a magic crystal that was so powerful, that someone found a way to crack it because the holder of the crystal held enormous magical power and could control everyone around him. The crystal has been hidden for years and most think it is but a legend. However, the wizard has found the crystal and now is trying to find a way to heal it. Certain energy, taken from living beings, can heal the crystal. Those energies are not found in the wizard’s world, the magical world. He has tried and the energy he has taken does nothing to the crystal.

Therefore he has to venture into another universe. There he finds people who have the correct energy. Taking the energy kills the person. He stores it in small crystals, then returns to his own universe where he uses the energy to heal the large crystal.

Pax, the hero, is chasing the wizard when the wizard returns to his own universe and pulls Pax with him and there starts the story.

On a person note, Rob is going to be a father in February.

Sam’s story, Freedom’s Treasure, is due on June 6. It is always exciting when a book is coming out. When I got my cover, I just stared at it for a moment. This has always been Sam’s story. That was the way I talked about it. He wasn’t on the cover. Jubilee was.

I really like the cover and it is Jubilee’s story also. She is half the story.

I am going to be running a contest on my webpage to launch Freedom’s Treasure. There will be nice prizes. One will be short stories about Sam and Jubilee before they met. Sam’s story is done. Jubilee’s…part way there. That will be next weekends project.

This weekend I have to read my galley for Freedom’s Treasure and get it back by Monday. Thank goodness Monday is a holiday and I don’t have to work, because I have final projects to grade and new classrooms to set up by then to go with the galley.

And to make the weekend even better, the plumbing backed up and I have wet rugs to attend to.

I am working on a new book, untitled as of yet, which is a fantasy romance. It is a parallel universe story where one of the universes is magical.

The biggest problem so far has been to figure out why the evil wizard was sneaking into other universes. What did he need and why is he doing what he is doing? Pax is chasing him in our universe because the wizard is leaving a string of dead bodies. (Okay, dead bodies are not really romantic, but they can be worked in.) The heroine is sexy enough to make up for the bodies.

I was at the last OCC meeting and talking with some others at lunch. My wizard came up in the conversation. Someone must have asked what I was writing. I told them my problem, and several people had ideas. But, the one idea I really liked was that the wizard was stealing small electronics like iPods. He is using, or trying to use, the electronics to boost his magical powers. The problem is that he has to keep replacing them because his universe does not use electricity to power things. As long as he steals items with batteries, he can use them until the batteries die, or he shorts them out.

There even may be a theme in here somewhere. Themes are not my best thing.

I am running a contest on my website, www.janet-quinn.com. Check it out.

Linda McLaughlin and I went to EPICon in New Orleans the first week of March. I had the best time. It was really the first time I had been to New Orleans. When the RWA conferences were there, I was unable to attend.

Linda told you about our first day and our plantation tours. There was a tremendous amount of walking and I don’t walk so well. I took my walker and my cane with me, which worked out well. At Oak Alley I scared one of the women who worked there since I insisted upon going upstairs, cane and all. I could tell she knew I was going to fall down the stairs and sue. I didn’t. Falling down stairs doesn’t seem the best thing to do.

We spent lots of time in the French Quarter. It was right across from our hotel. One of you daughter-in-laws wanted voodoo stuff. That was easier said than done. I found some, but it was quite a bit of walking to find anything. The doors to many of the shops in the French Quarter are very narrow. I had to fold up the walker to get in the door.

The conference was fun. It is a small conference, so I had a chance to talk to almost everyone there. I sat with one of my publishers at the awards banquet.

Linda and I gave a workshop on writing and researching historical novels. It went well except for the fact that the only microphone was attached to the podium and we were sitting at a table. The microphone wouldn’t come off, so we talked loud. For me, that is no problem. Linda ended up with no voice.

I am still having trouble getting back into my normal routine and haven’t done much writing since I returned. Hopefully, that will get better.

I am a fan of James Patterson and I like both his Alex Cross and The Women’s Murder Club series. I even like his flying children. I was happy when I got two Alex Cross books for Christmas.

I started the book, Alex Cross’s Trial. The book opened with a forward written by Alex Cross. That stopped me. I closed the book and looked at the front. Then I read the inside of the cover. Alex Cross had written this book about one of his ancestors in Mississippi in 1906. The main character was a white lawyer investigating the Ku Klux Klan. Cross’s ancestor helped the lawyer and they both nearly got killed. It was an interesting book, but I would never have picked it up to read on my own. I wanted to read an Alex Cross book, not a book by Alex Cross.

If you hold the book and cover up James Patterson’s name at the top, the bottom looks just like a cover with Alex Cross as the author.

I find the concept of having a character write a book very interesting. Especially when the character is not writing a book about his own adventures. I have read other books where the character was a writer and wrote books, but those books were never published for the masses to read.

I’m not sure if an author could pull this off unless the character was someone like Alex Cross who is well known and has starred in several books of his own. However, it does seem like an interesting concept if you are writing a series and want to write a book that does not fit into the normal series. It would be away to do that. People would buy the book not realizing it is not the usual book about the character. I don’t have any characters that are well enough known to do something like this, but I am thinking of starting a dark, urban fantasy series. One of those characters may some day write a book.

I have finally finished Sam’s story. At several points I didn’t think I would ever finish, but, his story has come to an end, been sold, and will be out June 6th under the name of Freedom’s Treasure.

Now it is time to start a new book – an alternative universe book. I have been working on how to make the reader know that the characters are moving into an alternate universe. There has to be something that is the same in both universes. In this universe, both sides are in Manhattan. Central Park is the same in both. The difference is that one universe is magical and the other is not. In the non-magical universe, there is city hall and the mayor’s abode. In the magical universe, there is a prince and a palace.

Both universes have police and detectives. That is because the hero is from our universe and is a police detective. The heroine is from the alternate universe and is a police detective. They have something in common, except he carries a gun and she uses magic. Since they are in her universe, he only has a limited supply of ammunition while her magic is never ending.

I have spent so much time figuring out how to make the alternate universe, I suddenly realized I really don’t have a story to go with the universe. There is an evil wizard slipping between universes and killing people in the hero’s world. He has to be stopped. Of course, he also has to have a reason for killing. He has to want something.

That is what plot group is for.

When creating a new world, sometimes the little things matter. In my world of Augeas, the guards play a dice game. The picture is of the dice for the game.

Art work by Loki Cornelow

Happy New Year. I can’t believe that another year is nearly over.

It is that time of year to look back at what you accomplished and look forward to what goals you want to set for the next year. This kind of planning can be done while you are snuggled on the couch recovering from Christmas, which is always so much work.

This week I am putting the finishing touches on Sam’s story. Yeah! I thought I would never finish this book, but I only have to put in a few corrections and off he goes.

That means I have to start something new with the New Year. I want to finish my next set of Augeas stories which I started awhile back. The big project, however, is an alternative universe story. The hero is a New York police detective. He is sucked into an alternate universe by the evil wizard as he goes home. The detective meets his counterpart, the heroine who is a police detective in her universe. Only instead of carrying a gun, she uses magic. Together they have to find the wizard and stop him while visiting different universes. I will be spending the next month or so creating new universes.

I hope everyone had a great holiday and a wonderful New Year.

Thanksgiving is a time to think about all the things for which we are thankful. I am thankful my job hasn’t gone bankrupt. I am thankful for my children and their spouses. I am thankful for Chewbaca, my dog, and Teddi, my cat, who keep my life interesting.

Most of all I am thankful that I can write, for without my storytelling, I would not be happy. I am really happy that I am finally getting back into the writing after hurting my back. The pain in my back I am not so thankful for.

For Thanksgiving we went to my son’s house. My daughter-in-law Jessi wanted to have the holiday in her new house. It is the first time in thirty-some years that I have not cooked dinner. It really seemed strange. On the plus side, I didn’t have to clean house. On the other side, I actually had to leave home and I had to bring food with me. I felt like I was moving out. Then Jessi didn’t have enough pans. I knew I should have taken my large pan to cook the potatoes.

She did an admirable job and got everything done only 15 minutes later than she wanted. She doesn’t cook, so she was worried she was going to poison someone. Her turkey was perfect, but I’m not sure she believed any of us. The potatoes were wonderful also. I couldn’t believe that they got eighteen people seated for dinner in their small house. One of the sofas went to the back so they could set up tables.

Then my sister and I got lost going home, again. I think I finally figured out where we went wrong. Neither of knew there was so much undeveloped land in Orange County. I have no idea where we were. We finally turned around and stopped at the first gas station we found, about ten miles from where we were, and got directions. We were on the right street to find the 5 freeway, just traveling the wrong direction.

It was nice to not have to cook yesterday, but I really missed having turkey sandwiches today. I bought a turkey to cook over the weekend, but I think we will be waiting until Christmas for leftovers.

I hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving.

1 Comment

  • Anonymous
    on November 28, 2009

    A study at Kent State showed that students who wrote letters expressing gratitude tested happier after the event. Giving thanks and writing about it improves one's satisfaction with life. We writers are lucky people.

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