Firebrand's Trailer

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Hero's Journey

Thought I'd share the notes I prepared for InConJunction this weekend!

Joseph's Campbell's 'Hero's Journey' structure as revised by Chris Vogler in his "The Writer's Journey: Mythich Structure for Writers" 2nd Edition.

I think all writers use this struture on an instinctual level because it is so universal.

Not all these events will occur in every hero's journey. And the steps don't always appear in their exact order.

Act 1
The scene is set and the hero sets out.
1. Ordinary World
The story starts in the ordinary world where the hero is going about everyday existence, oblivious of the adventures to come. This anchors the hero as a human, just like you and me, and hence we can associate our selves with the hero.
2. Call to Adventure
The hero is next presented with a wrong done, a problem or challenge which she feels she must resolve. Thus the king calls for someone to save the realm from a marauding enemy, a private detective has a client bring in a difficult case or an attractive other person is spotted in a bar. Thus the challenge is set, to defeat the enemy, solve the murder or win the heart of the other person.
3. Refusal of the Call
The hero may well balk at the thought of the task ahead, perhaps refusing the challenge or has second thoughts. The problem seems too much to handle and the comfort of home seems more attractive than the rough wilderness or dangerous streets.
This would be our own response and we thus bond further with the reluctant hero.
4. Meeting the Mentor
The mentor appears to help the hero prepare for the road ahead. Thus Gandalf, Obi-wan Kenobi and a host of other wise and experienced people teach the hero the skills she needs and gives her critical knowledge to help her survive.
5. Crossing the Threshold
Eventually the hero is ready to act and crosses the threshold, often literally as she leaves the family homestead on their journey into the unknown.
Act 2
The main action happens as the hero survives the road and achieves her goal.
6. Tests, Allies, Enemies
Once out in the big wide world, the hero is confronted with an ever more difficult series of challenges that she may face, ranging from minor skirmishes and struggles against weather and terrain to riddles and various setbacks that would defeat a lesser person.
In this way the hero's character is both highlighted and developed. Now bonded to the hero, we feel a vicarious sense of pleasure as these challenges are met.
7. Approaching the Inmost Cave
At last the final destination lays ahead and the hero, battered but wiser from her trials along the way must prepare for the ultimate test. In ancient legend, a typical 'innermost cave' is the land of the dead or a labyrinth. It is the lair of the dread enemy where no help may be found and only deep courage will win through. Another threshold must be crossed here to enter the dragons' den of the innermost cave.
We swallow hard, as does the hero, at the thought of what might go wrong. To approach the innermost cave is to face death and still go on. This pause helps show the hero as still human and helps build the story tension before the high point of the story.
8. The Crisis / Supreme Ordeal
At last the hero must face her deepest fears, typically in battle with the dark villain. This is the ultimate test that the hero takes, where the real story perhaps is the inner battle whereby the hero overcomes her own demons in facing up to the enemy outside.
As observers, we feel scared for the hero and may be terrified that she might fail or die. In so doing we also face and, with the hero, overcome our own inner fears.
9. Seizing the Reward
In defeating the enemy, the hero is transformed into a new state where fears are vanquished and the new fearless person is born. The reward in the story may be gaining new knowledge, a treasure or rescuing a princess, but the inner reward is in the personal growth that is achieved.
Act 3
10. The Road Back
After the story has reached its main peak the transformed hero sets out home again. Having gained the treasure she has no need for more adventure and nothing left to prove and so sets out back home again.
The return home is a reverse echo of crossing the threshold when setting out on the adventure. In contrast to the earlier anticipation of danger, the anticipation now is of acclaim and rest.
11. The Climax / Resurrection
The story has one last trick up its sleeve now, having lulled its audience into a false sense of security, as one last challenge faces the hero. Perhaps the villain was not completely vanquished or perhaps there are other people in need on the way back -- whichever way, we are again plunged into another climactic event, just when we thought it was safe to breath easy again.
In ancient stories, the hero has to be purified before return. After the toil of the journey and the ordeal, they are formally reborn into a new and beautiful form.
12. Return with the Elixir
Finally, the hero returns to the hero's welcome, gives the treasure to the proper recipient and receives her just reward, whether it is the hand of the princess, the acclaim of the people or simply a well-deserved rest.
In this final part, all tensions are resolved and all unanswered questions answered, leaving the reader of the story satisfied and replete.

Common Archetypes in the Hero’s Journey

1) HERO: represent’s the ego’s search for identity and wholeness. The hero must sacrifice for the betterment of her society. The hero must transcend the boundaries of the ego and incorporate all aspects of her personality into the SELF.
2) MENTOR (wise old man or woman): usually a positive figure who aids or trains the hero. The mentor may teach, give gifts, or act as the higher moral conscience of the hero.
3) THRESHOLD GUARDIANS: represent obstacles that the hero must overcome as they cross into new worlds. They are menacing, but they can be bypassed or overcome by the worthy hero.
4) HERALD: a force that brings a challenge to the hero. A herald will issue a challenge and announce the coming of significant change. This challenge or announcement shifts the hero’s balance, and forces her to make a life changing decision.
5) SHAPESHIFTER: an elusive archetype, often of the opposite sex, who constantly changes from the hero’s point of view. They may mislead the hero, and their loyalty or sincerity is constantly in question. Shapeshifters may often appear in disguise or masks.
6) SHADOW: represents the dark side; the unexpressed, unrealized, or rejected aspects of something. Shadows are the things humans do not want to admit about themselves (stored in the unconscious). The Shadow is often projected onto a villain, antagonist, or enemy of the hero.
7) Trickster: embodies the energy of mischief and the desire for change. Clowns and comical sidekicks often represent this archetype.

I found a good worksheet on this website:
Need to scroll down for the link.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Quiet journals

March, April and May were quiet in my 1992 journal. Sadly, too quiet here as well. Hope to do better in the month of June. There are several dated entries for June in that old journal. So, I'll get them up here.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Writing FIREBRAND: Year One

There wasn't a single entry in the 1992 journal for March. Now I'm curious as to what I actually did in that time period. Seems like, if we don't write it down it's forgotten and like it never happened at all. I no doubt bundled up in my winter clothes and parka and boots and all and tucked the cassette walkman in my coat pocket and took long walks, like to the frozen lake. One of my favourite winter spots to walk to: the lake on K I Sawyer. I'd trudge across the frozen snow covered park and climb up the life guard's chair and sit, listening to my music and listening to what Lin might have been saying to Dafydd, or whoever. Then I'd go back home and warm up and wait for the kids to get home from school. Often Bill would come home from work early and then Lin would shut up, like she was guarding a secret from Bill. I was still learning to fit into my new role as a writer.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Diva Night Event @ the Art Bank

A booksigning in an old bank--inside the vault. And no camera. But I was captured on canvas by talented Indiana artist, Gretchen Ten Eyck Hunt.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Birthdays and memories and perseverance

Today is my birthday and instead of me writing a blog I want you to read my friend Kate's blog today. She made me cry with her beautiful tribute not just to me but to Lin and Firebrand and the Pendragon series.

My best birthday present!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Discussion Question for Firebrand #1

1) Authors are often asked: do you have a favorite character? For me
it's: Dafydd or Lin? (and I admit a partiality to Dafydd.) I'd like to propose a variant of that for my readers. Which character do you admire more: Lin or Dafydd or another in Firebrand, or even Recruit? Why? Which do you relate to more closely?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Writing FIREBRAND Year One

K I Sawyer AFB, MI
Marquette, MI
February 17, 1992

Chapter one is complete as a first draft. What a feeling. I'm on cloud nine. Can't wait for Bill's opinion. Chapter two is starting to take shape now, starting to make a bit more sense I think. Still not sure exactly what direction it's going to go. We'll see. I do envision a reunion with Lin and Guinevere with the children. Should be interesting. And Lin teaching young Arthur (Bear) her tricks with a sword. We'll see. I've never been so confident about anything I've ever done before. This is great. Lin's been quite helpful.


It would seem it took about a month to draft that first chapter. And it really didn't change too drastically after that. It was expanded and tightened, but it's still about Lin and her inner conflict in the hours after the devasating battle of Camlann. That first page or so has never changed.

Chapter 1


I had no idea what hour it was. The sun had set a lifetime ago and thick clouds obscured any moonlight. Battle weary and with heavy hearts, we picked our way from the river in the dark, our joyless task compleated. My four companions formed an escort around me. They knew what I thought of protocol, but I fell in step with the men simply because I was of no heart to argue. The only sounds were the lapping water behind us and our boots crunching the earth.

Odd, such stillness after the mayhem of battle.

When we reached the supply wagons and cooking fires, Dafydd hurried ahead without a word and disappeared into the crowd of soldiers and servants awaiting our return. I noticed immediately that an unnatural hush hung over the entire encampment, like a pall. I saw none of the usual camaraderie or back-slapping, heard none of the light-hearted banter normally present after victory. But my father's men were a special breed, cut from finer fabric. To a man, they snapped smartly to the instant I appeared. I acknowledged their salute with an "at ease" and hurried on my way.

Camlann a victory? Camlann was nothing short of internecine. Not Britanni against Saxon this time. We had all been part of the same army mere months ago. Yet this morning we had faced each other in the twilight mist, astride our battle steeds, in full armour, lances couched, anxious for the signals to be given, the battle cries to be sung, and have at each other. Men who had once been friends met as mortal enemies and slaughtered everything that moved in their paths. Who are the victors in civil strife?

Wfft. What had made us so bloodthirsty?

I saw a different question in the eyes of the men through the smoky firelight as we swept past; the man they had expected to see, the one their eyes sought, the one they had waited for, was not among us. We had lost our king as well as the Round Table. Modred, my half-brother, had driven a pike through Britain's heart. And as my father's heir, the duty fell on me to tell them. But not now. Instead, I announced to my companions that I would meet with everyone for reports after I had changed.

Bedwyr barked out orders and the place seemed to come back to life. Of a sort. I trusted him and the others to know what must be done, and do it, as my father had. He would have addressed the men first most likely, but my father was the Pendragon, and I never would come close to being his equal.

I was not the least surprised to see Dafydd lighting the last of my lanterns when I lifted my tent's flap a moment later. He even had water ready so I could wash.

He offered to undo the laces of my armour, but I declined.

"At least let me help you with this." Dafydd grasped the shield still hanging from my shoulder.

Why had I bothered to retrieve it?

I accepted his assistance without a word.

Dafydd regarded me. Impossible to hide my emotions from him. He knew my heart was shattered. I knew he wanted to offer comfort. But if I allowed myself his embrace now, I would crumble.

"Later, Dafydd," I said.

"You do not bear this alone, Noble One."

"I know. Thank you."

Thanks for reading,

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Writing FIREBRAND Year One

I'm glad I started this project--re-reading and posting old journal entries from when I was creating the first part of Lin's story. Through it I have embarked on an interesting personal journey. It's fun to see what I planned to have in the book and compare it to what it evolved into.

But enough of 2011 for now. Let's swirl back in time to 1992.


More snow. Eight inches over night-ick. Great neighbors. Someone cleared our driveway with their snow blower. Yes, there is a god. There is no way I would have been able do that myself with a shovel. Yes, David (teenage son) could have helped--tag-team! And if Bill were home and not in California!! Anyway, the neighbor must have seen us struggling and like a knight in shining armour came to our rescue. Bless him!

I'm making forward progress with the book. Wish I could get backwards as well. Guess I just need to get chapter one refined before I can move on. It's going like a jigsaw puzzle--one piece here, another there, yet another somewhere else all together. How will it all fit together?

Yikes! Chapter one is depressing. I can't wait to get out of it. It's so down and somber and dark. I was not made to be a soldier. Wow! Lin just snuck that one in on me. Thanks. Nothing short of a complete re-write will do. It all seems to be there now. If I could just shape it so that it flows better. And stop worrying about making it too long. This is a novel, I don't have to think about length--there are no such restrictions. I am my own bitterest enemy in this journey.

So. What do we have? Lin and Gareth. He's what? Six years older? A love match? Where do they meet, if Lin doesn't grow up in Camelot? Meet in the kitchen of Camelot. The Beaumains story from the Malory tradition? Gareth goes off on his fate first. Within a year Lin ends up learning her birthright. How? We'll work it out later. The friendship of Lin and gareth resumes, etc. Did Gareth and Lin marry? Good question. And what about Dafydd? And how does Lin get to the kitchen?

Lin's marriage would definitely be a frequent topic, since she's Arthur's daughter. Gawain (15 years older)would be first choice as husband. Gawain was head of that clan. Age wouldn't matter to parents. It would to Lin. She could work to convince them of a love match. She and Gareth are at least hand-fast/betrothed before he dies. (Malory tradition: Lancelot kills gareth in Guinevere's rescue.) In our story: how? Why? At Camlann?

Lin doesn't marry Gaheris (seven years older) right away after Camlann. A year later? When is Bear/Arthur conceived?

My head hurts! Time to rest and let things stew a bit. We'll come back to this later.

This was a fun entry to rediscover. Great insight to my process. It hasn't changed a bit. I still go roundabout with things. Get on tangents that I think are important to the book and fixate on them. Funny how none of that working in Camelot's kitchen ever wound up in Firebrand! I had some interesting scenes running through my head. And the book would have been very different had I gone that route. But I think I saw how cliched the scenario was.

Had to laugh about me fretting over things getting too long--I still have that trouble with book three!!

Thanks for reading,

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Writing FIREBRAND Year One

K I Sawyer AFB, MI
(Marquette, MI)
February 5, 1992

Well, Gareth has made his intro in a grand way yesterday. From out of no where, he stepped into a scene with Lin. So now I have Lin, Gareth, Gaheris (Ris), Bedivere, and Dafydd for sure. Gwen is still silent. Also still silent: Arthur, Lancelot, Merlin, Modred . . . The list of characters is endless!

But today? It's quiet in Camelot. I'm procrastinating. I have to re-write chapter one again and don't want to. It's a lovely, sunny day. I think I'll go into town awhile. Then I'll work on the re-write.


I remember that scene of Gareth and Lin talking. It never made it into FIREBRAND, of course because the book wound up taking a different course; focusing on Lin's years of slavery in Orkney. At this point in the brainstorming, I was still thinking that the slavery years would get glossed over. That in the course of the character relating her life story, she'd mention the slavery and then move on to meeting her dad and getting to Camelot. I still had a long way to go. And the scene didn't make it into RECRUIT either, but it led to something I did eventually use in RECRUIT only without Gareth. If you've read RECRUIT, it's the scene right after she's broken Cerdic's nose and she's sweeping out the stable as her punishment for fighting in the ranks and her dad shows up. Originally it was Gareth first and then dad. I decided that we didn't need both and dad was more important. But Gareth got the scene going for me, so thumbs up to him.

My list of characters is also interesting. People who have read FIREBRAND and RECRUIT will notice that there is no sign of Merlin! And there will be none in the rest of the series.

And as for putting off the re-write? I was still doing it long-hand at the time. On loose leaf paper, with fountain pen. And there were about 35 of those pieces of paper that I would have to re-copy like a medieval monk in a scriptorium.

Thanks for reading,

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Not dated journal entry for today, but . . .

there's this undated page of some brainstorming I did and it's between the entries for Feb. 1 & 4.

Hmm... Here's a peek at my musing. And a comparison with what evolved from it.

From 1992
K I Sawyer, MI

Britain was not ready for the chaos which was about to descend upon us at the loss of King Arthur. Without the strength and support of the Round Table knights, my claim was hopeless. I could give it a try. Rally those men out there to my side? Could I? Would they? Wfft! They were Arthur's men, not mine. Not his daughter's.

Dad and I talked late into the night last night on just this possibility. I did not want to accept that this could happen.


Here's what ended up in the published edition of "FIREBRAND"

Ballocks. Why can Bedwyr not address the men? He would know what to say. True. But what made me believe that his pain and grief were any less than mine? Addressing the soldiers was my duty now. I could no more walk away from it without so much as a by-your-leave than I could bring my father back. They had a right to expect my father's heir, not the weakling I had become, too much the coward to face them. Yet I had no idea what I should say. That Arthur, the Pendragon, was gone? Unthinkable. Once the Saxons caught wind of the day's disaster, they would be on us like a pack of starving wolves on an unsuspecting doe. And if not the Saxons, then all our fickle allies would descend like carrion crows, with Camelot as the feast.

If my father could not depend on the aid of his fellow countrymen as the Pendragon, what chance in Annwn did I have?

Between the Saxons and Britain's own people, Camelot would be torn to shreds. And it would take far more than the meagre remnants of the Round Table and my father's army to prevent such calamity. What could I possibly hope to achieve in my father's wake?

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Writing FIREBRAND Year One

There's a winter storm coming through Indiana the next few days--much gloom and doom predictions. I usually laugh at the "snowmagegdon" scenarios of a few inches of snow. But we may have major ice over the next few days. Hope not, but best to not laugh that off. Want to get this posted now, since it is February 1. And the UP did have some intense winters.

K I Sawyer AFB, MI
(Marquette, MI)
February 1, 1992

Well, imagine that. I did have the right idea from the very start. Lin telling the story to her son. And this was back when I was in high school I did that "prologue" bit of fiction with a dying "Lin" (not Lin then though" telling the story to her son. It was for an independent study course in English my senior year. Got an A if I recall. :) It all seems to work in mysterious ways. Why did I ever doubt?

Got a dose of reality today--watched "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" I needed that. Had been taking things far too seriously.

Can't seem to get any writing done today.

Wow, two years ago this month on the 11th I was getting my first taste of Britain. Can't call it England anymore. Just isn't right. Sigh.

Gads! These time lines (in Firebrand) are going to kill me. Seeing where everyone is in relation to the others and events.

Bill is tired of hearing this. He very nearly said so last night on the phone. I won't trouble him for a while, I guess. It isn't easy to turn off the brainstorming though. Not like and ordinary job that you can leave at the office.


Bill, (hubbie) was in California at that time. The USAF had sent him there for his surgical tech training. Yes, there he was in California and I was in the dead of winter in the UP. Watch for the next entry about SNOW!!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Writing FIREBRAND Year One

As promised!

K I Sawyer, MI
(Marquette, MI)
January 27, 1992

Journal time. My word. Such progress. And content. How did I know all that? Wow. Weekends are nearly hopeless. Summer will be impossible. Well, one thing about the kids coming home from school--they bring me back to the 20th century every now and then. And that's not a bad thing. Not good to stay too long in the Dark Ages.

Keep saying I'm going to take a a walk, but never do. Just not the same as the country lanes I wandered in England. My, it's nearly a year since we had to leave. Talked to Bill (hubbie). He is really encouraging. He likes the samples I've sent so far. Been reading and re-reading what I've written so far. The latest 2 pages gave me shivers and the fear for my own sanity--that I could 'dream" that up!

Lin is telling the story to her daughters! She has two and she's about 4 months pregnant with another child. Possibly a son as well? (Art?)


A bit of brain-storming there I see. So, Bear didn't exist right away. Interesting how things evolve in creating stories. I had forgotten that bit, that I thought of the daughters first, but not her son. Must have been a feminism thing I was striving for deep down. Not sure what I wrote thast gave me shivers though--maybe the bit towards the end of chapter one where she's recalling the horrors of the battle-field. It must be that cuz I couldn't have had much more of the story by then.

Announcement redux

Have to put groceries away first. I'll be back!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Just saying--there is a journal entry dated for tomorrow, the 27th. I can feel the excitment. LOL I'm happy with the new look of the blog page, the color and the layout. Any comments?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

New blog look

What do you think? Took me a while to get to this after trying various templates with silly pastel colors that did nothing for the tone and mood I want to set for House of Pendragon.

Thanks for reading!

Colosseum Saved by Shoes?

This may not be Arthurian, but it is historical. And preserving history is always cool.

Colosseum Restoration

Besides, there was no entry for today in the '92 journal.

Thanks for reading,

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Go Bears!

Just saying. Besides, there's nothing in the 1992 journal to share today. Lin talked to me a little yesterday. Wrote a few pages for book #3 in the House of Pendragon series--The Shield-bearer. She just called her dad a liar and a fraud. In the Round Table Hall. In front of all the knights. And she has walked out. (After being a knight for less than a whole day.) Now she's realizing what she's done. Do I send her to the tavern to drown her sorrows in ale? Or do I send her to her room to pack, intending to leave Camelot?

What would Lin do?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Writing FIREBRAND Year One

K I Sawyer AFB, MI
(Marquette, MI)
January 21, 1992

Fifty-two "good" hand written pages.


Give it up for the small victories. "Good" at that point? Fodder for more brainstorming? I was happy though and things were gelling. Wish I could say the same about House of Pendragon now.

Watch this space for more. I didn't journal every day back then either.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Update from the Indy Branch of Camelot

Although written in 1992 my journal entry for this date inspired me to return to my roots. Not sure if I actually went downstairs to watch CAMELOT that night--probably just Arthur's soliloquy. I did watch it today and felt a familiar jolt. I think may Lin have returned. Or even Arthur himself. I paid particular attention to the second part when Mordred comes to Camelot. I know I was drawn to Arthur's sorrow and loneliness and the destruction of the Table. It must have struck a chord back then too. I wish they had drawn out the story line of Mordred just a little more. David Hemmings played him well and I wanted more! I also found myself crying for Guinevere for the first time ever! I have never cried for Gwen. But Vanessa Redgrave's portrayl was so moving in that final scene when she's talking about forgiveness. I guess I just haven't watched it start to finish in quite a long time. I usually just watch Arthur's speech and that Round Table scene.

Writing FIREBRAND Year One

Settled on the brown ink for this one.

K I Sawyer AFB, MI
(Marquette, MI)
January 18, 1992

It is after 1 am and I'm still wide awake. Nothing new to write. Had a small bit for the story "Visions of Avalon", continuing with events happening the day after. Introduced two new characters. Who are they? They will be interesting to get to know. Tighan and Elen. Plus mentioned two others. Lots to do. People to meet and learn about. Become friends with. And me as shy as I am!

Nowhere near being tired. Maybe I'll watch Arthur's soliloquy in "CAMELOT". Good idea!


Fun, both Tighan and Elen wound up in FIREBRAND. Elen as Dafydd's mother and Tighan as a slave. Lin and Dafydd meet her in the slave's camp after being transported from Orkney to Britain's mainland. Dafydd and Tighan become instant friends. Lin, as usual, isn't so sure. She resists making friends with anyone because she's afraid she will lose that friend because of their slavery.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Love this quote

"Thank you, God, for making me an atheist." Ricky Gervais

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Writing FIREBRAND Year One

I'm still awake. Thought I would get this one up early. I volunteer at my local library's book sale room a few hours on Sundays, so I may not get to this!

Are you ready?

K I Sawyer AFB, MI
(Marquette, MI)
January 16, 1992

At least two volumes.
Dedicate to A. E. (Arthur Erickson)


There are only a few people in the world who know the significance of Arthur Erickson in my life. I will leave it that way for now. But I changed my mind when the time came for a dedication when the book came out. Still searching though and he's half of the reason for my e-mail--FerchArthur.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Writing FIREBRAND Year One

This is a colorful entry! I started in black ink--ball point. Switched to brown ink--fountain pen. Tried green for a few words. Then red - the line: "I've died and gone to heaven". (The line of my letters was very smooth.) Then there are a few sentences in a bright blue and I really didn't like the pen, but I do like the color. I finally ended in brown.

K I Sawyer AFB, MI
(Marquette, MI)
January 15, 1992

Journal time. Not much new. No new earth shattering inspirations on Camelot. Not that ideas have stopped! They keep coming faster than I can sort them. They've been keeping me up to the wee hours lately.

I'm sure the neighbors will be glad when I get some new music. Wish I could find a new Marillion or Chris de Burgh CD. That would be brilliant. Need to write some letters. To Bill, Jan, etc. Need to get groceries, go to finance. Payday errands. The usual. More later!

(Brown ink) Wow! Check this out. A brown Berol. (Loved that pen company!) Got a red and a green as well, plus a few more blue! Yippee!! Found a place that can order them for me. All right. Check it out, great color. I've died and gone to heaven.

Check out the Varsity. Nope. Not the same, too splotchy. Nice color though. Save it for emergencies only. Ick.

Love the Berol!


There is just something about the write pen in hand. It's weight and balance. Kinda like a sword has to be right. Right, Lin?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Writing FIREBRAND Year One

K I Sawyer AFB, MI
(Marquette, MI)
January 14, 1992

Helin's fosterage -- Morgause offers to do it, "to atone for Modred" but instead of raising her according to her station . . . About 12 - 13 years later Morgause goes to Camelot and presents her brother Arthur with some "servants": Lin and Dafyd, a few others for good measure. Then Lin and Dafyd work on Camelot for about a year before anyone realizes who Lin really is. Let's try to avoid that royal birthmark cliche to identify Lin.

God! They were all related to each other. No wonder they were all mad. Such twisted geneologies.


Interesting peek at my brainstorming process here. Again with Helin instead of Lin. And Dafydd with only one "d" at the end. And like Morgause would really repent anything! So funny. But I was really thinking along the lines of Lin working in Camelot alongside Gareth (using his kitchen-knight story-line) and them becoming friends and all and Lin hidden in plain sight! Had some interesting scenes going on in my head that never made it to the page. But it was all driving me to Lin being a slave in Orkney! This is so much fun, looking back like this.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Writing FIREBRAND Year One

K I Sawyer AFB, MI
(Marquette, MI)
January 13, 1992

What an incredible feeling--to have this magnificent story, exploding from somewhere deep within you. The words bursting out from your soul, through the pen and onto the page.


Wow! What eles can be said? I guess I was pretty happy. Now? I'm just frustrated with Lin. I've been stuck for chapter 14 in book three for quite awhile now. Where are the words now?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Writing FIREBRAND Year One

Today was a very short post back in '92. The struggle for the title of the book. I knew the theme would involve Arthur's children: daughter Lin and the more famous Modred. I was still also thinking of the broader story of Arthur. I still had a lot of brainstorming to do. Looking back, the title was the least of my worries at the time. But I was much younger and . . .

K I Sawyer AFB, MI
(Marquette, MI)
January 12, 1992

Leave it to divine intervention and the solution presents itself. New title: Daughter of Britain. How could it be anything less? Thanks, Lin.

end of entry


Ah, I used "Lin" here. That's a good sign. This was also when I was thinking it would be only one volume, that I could get the entire story in one book. Ha!! How naive of me. I think I was also influenced a little by Indiana Jones--well his father in the third movie: Indiana Jones and the Holy Grail. That's still one of my favorite movies. LOL!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Writing FIREBRAND Year One

I wonder if it was snowing on this date back in 1992 when I wrote my journal entry. It is snowing here today in Noblesville and I'm glad I don't have to go outside. I do all my travelling here on the Internet!

I seem to be full of myself. Or does every writer get like this in the creating process? I certainly was riding high. And I remember the giddiness of those days. I didn't have an office then, or a computer, or even a typewriter. Back then, I wrote while sitting on the couch. I balanced a clipboard holding loose-leaf paper in my lap and wrote in longhand with a fountain pen. Maybe I need to go old school again!

K I Sawyer AFB, MI
(Marquette, MI)
January 11, 1992

A new day, full of new ideas and new words. What a bloody, great tale I have to tell, indeed! Where is all this coming from? Don't question, Deb. Accept the gift. For it can only be just that.

I realized today that the majority of modern novels pertaining to the Arthurian have been done by women. How odd.

I no longer want to call this "The King's Children". At least I don't think I don't think I do. But I don't know what else to call it. I'm sure that too will be there when the time comes. I doubt it not. Oh. I feel numb right now as Helin.

Indeed. Indeed.

I have run out of ideas for today. That's alright. Don't mind. Just as well. My arms certainly are sore, as if I had hefted a sword and shield myself all day. Ouch!

I read and re-read what I wrote this week and can't help but be amazed that it came from me.

(end of entry)
(back in 2010!)
I was still calling her Helin then? I thought I had made the switch a few weeks earlier. And I don't think I was impressed so much with the brilliance of the quality of the writing, but the creative process. I was feeling good about simply setting my ideas into words that made sense on the page. It seemed to me that I had a decent sense for character and dialogue and point of view. And I proved that right when I had the thing critiqued a few years later.

As always, thanks for reading!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Writing FIREBRAND Year One

Here I was in a very happy mood, I think. The words were flowing. But what I wrote in this period of time never made it to the final version of FIREBRAND. Today? No words from Lin or Dafydd. Or Gareth or Ris. Even Modred is quiet.

K I Sawyer AFB, MI
(Marquette, MI)
January 10, 1992

Time to reflect on this past week. What a difference a “year” makes. New Year’s resolutions sure can be powerful, even if you do not consciously make them.

My husband Bill suggested that I take my writing seriously, when I did the short story. Him--actually encouraging all along. Me--paying lip-service. “Yes, I really want to but . . . “ Same old excuse. I have just been afraid of it. Well, it’s beyond my control now. Some other force has taken over, given me the spark I needed. Feeling the despair of my characters, sharing a joke with them, my heart soaring with hope along with them, the joy of getting the words to mean exactly what I thought. There is no other feeling like it and I can’t imagine doing anything eles, ever. Nothing will ever measure up to this labor of love.

Somehow, from somewhere, words are flowing out of my pen, that I never realized were in me. I don’t know if anyone eles will think it is any good but I am truly amazed at what I have accomplished this week. And the ideas keep flooding in. Flooding in so fast I can can’t keep up with them!

Wow! Need to send 2 more installments to Bill. Can’t wait to hear his opinions. I never thought I would be able to share it with others so freely. I know, that’s the point! I guess I was reluctant before because everything I have written up to my short story have been false starts to Lin’s true story. I wasn’t happy with it and felt it unfit for human consumption.

I have finally grown up, I think. Maybe? Not! Had too much fun this week.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Update from the Indy Branch of Camelot

There was no entry for today in the 1992 journal. I must have been busy writing! LOL. Not much going on in 2011. Had a brainstorm that could be splint into two projects. Lancelot's madness--torn between Elaine (who tricked him into bed to conceive Galahad) and Guinevere. Elaine shows up in Camelot and poor Lance can't handle it. He bolts and goes wild in the woods for some time. Now as mild mannered Debra, I could write it as a screenplay in April during ScriptFrenzy. As my saucy alter-ego I could write a hot erotic version. I'm going with that second option at the moment. I wrote some scenes a while ago that went nowhere, I think this project would be right for them. We shall see.

Thanks for reading,

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Happy New Year!

19 years. It has been 19 years since I first officially began writing FIREBRAND. I think I'll use this year and the old journal and post things on the actual date I wrote the entry! So for now, we are caught up with January 2 and 3. There was no entry for today. Guess I was busy taking down dictation from Lin. LOL I was happier when she was talking to me. She isn't at the moment for book three in the series. I hope to get back in tune with her this year. Maybe if I re-read FIREBRAND?

Thanks for reading and see you next time in this same space.