What is your favorite part about writing a novel?

I remember when I was a child reading Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss. I loved the art, and I loved the flow of the writing. The words themselves were artistic in the way they were spun together.

Now that I’m grown up… writing science fiction, fantasy, and romantic comedies are all genres of writing I enjoy. In addition, I recently expanded my writing to contemporary dramatic works. A current example is an adaption of one of William Shakespeare’s plays that I’m turning into a modern novel. I’m not sure if I am making it a Nobel worthy work, or causing William to turn in his grave… but it is fun and challenging. Writing a novel that gets published is one of the goals on my Bucket List!

One of my favorite parts is creating character backgrounds. Especially the villains. A good antagonist can make the price of the book worth it. A good antagonist makes the movie ten times better. In comic books, many times a great antagonist is 100 times more interesting than the superhero! I suppose the same can be true about soap operas. Do I have a favorite villain? No. Probably just a villain with a motivation I can understand. Not motivation that I find inspiring… but something that I understand. I think that is my issue with disaster movies… because the villain is an earthquake, a Sharknado, an asteroid, or some other environmental threat. The special effects are normally good in disaster movies, but the drama… not always good.

Do heroes even really need to be that interesting or dynamic? Maybe they can be interesting. But I think the protagonist can normally get away with being somewhat normal (and relatable), and that protagonist reacts to all the challenges the villain throws at her/him.

Another favorite part of writing for me also involves the characters. I generally have a loose outline of where the story should go, but then I develop the characters… and I let the characters dictate where the story goes. To be honest this has been good and bad for me. Sometimes the characters take the story into impossible corners which turns the plot into a trainwreck. Thank heavens for the massive storage space in today’s modern computers and flash drives! Every story I write has multiple versions, incase I decide a trainwreck I created in Draft 3.0 now might be useful in Draft 9.7.

However… sometimes the characters I create are beautiful story tellers… and they take the story in a wonderful, unexpected direction. For example, I have written two endings for my current novel… and I’ll go with the ending which fits best in the finished novel. Mainly, it just depends on which ending makes the most sense for the characters. I know the outline, and where the story is going… but either ending could make sense at this point. And of course, by the time I am finished with the story… there could be a third ending which I haven’t thought of… an ending the characters have not revealed to me yet.

So what about you? When you write… what are your favorite parts of the writing process?

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Guest Post: Who is your favorite antagonist?

Originally posted on Jodie Llewellyn:

I’ve never had a guest post on this blog before, but the wonderful Allison Maruska was kind enough to edit my manuscript Chemicals Collide for me, so I figured a guest post was the least I could do!

Alison’s first book, a YA mystery, is scheduled for release in January, 2015.
Her website and blog are at allisonmaruska.com

So without further ado, I’m passing the reigns over to Allison!


I want to thank Jodie Llewellyn for allowing me the privilege to both post as a guest blogger and to beta read her latest YA novel, Chemicals Collide. It’s a wonderful exploration into the life of a teen struggling to hide the mental illness of her mother while trying to be a normal teenager. You won’t want to miss it.

Who is Your Favorite Antagonist?

When I was in sixth grade, my classmates and I learned all about melodramas, those…

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Have you deleted your Facebook account yet?

I am not addicted to Facebook. I am also not addicted to my phone. Sometimes I intentionally leave my smartphone at home so I can go somewhere without the temptation to check the phone, instant messages, the world wide web, or email. Some people search for places in the world they can travel and not get a cell phone signal. Well… I just go places without my smartphone and it has the same effect.

Facebook.com social media on the internet


However, when I do have my smartphone with me, I noticed an irritating habit. I would check Facebook a lot. I have several friends, and keeping up on their fun, or problems, made me feel connected to them. I think this became more important to me when I moved to Oregon because I left several great friends in Colorado.

But after a while I began to feel a little irritated. Because I realized I was losing Continue reading

Posted in Entertainment, Facebook, Funny, Humor, Inspiration, Life, Musings, Philosophy, social media | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Cute Things Our Kid Says Wrong

So, our three-year-old foster kid mispronounces words in the most ridiculously cute way possible:

Bank = Bink

Caillou (a kids show) = CaiMee … or … CarMee

Octopus = Ossaposs

Hippopotamus = Hickopossamus

Sprinkler = Splinker

Craig = Keg

Hokey Pokey = Pokey Pokey

Back Pack = Pack pack

Itsy Bitsy Spider = Itsy Pitsy Cider

Giraffe = Grif

Random, she sees an ant and calls it a spider. She’s “scared” of spiders! But when she sees a real spider, she calls it a bug, and she’s not afraid of bugs.

What words have you heard kids mispronounce?

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Do girls who are taller than average get put into children’s sports more often than shorter girls?

Our foster daughter, who just turned three, stands 3 feet 5.5 inches tall. For those who don’t know, that is in the 95th percentile for height.

My wife and I were talking about this earlier today. Without knowing the parent’s heights, we can look at growth charts to somewhat project her adult height.

Our foster daughter’s projected height is 5’9″ to 5’11” tall. When I checked out the roster for the University of Oregon Women’s basketball team, I found that our foster daughter would at some point be tall enough to play guard (if those height requirements didn’t change drastically over the next 15 years).

US SoccerOur foster daughter would also be one of the tallest players for the U.S Women’s National Soccer Team.

So my wife and I wondered: “Do girls who are taller than average get put into children’s sports more often than shorter girls?”

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