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2017 in Review


(Screenshot from “Sandbox project” on myWriteClub as of Dec 28, 2017)

This is going to be brief because there’s a lot going on this holiday season, but this year I –

  • Added ~100k to my novel project
  • Took “The Dragon’s Gift” novelette through more revisions, with the serious/experimental goal of publication. Tested out Scrivener e-book compiler and started learning Jutoh compiler.
  • Launched a fiction newsletter
  • Cleaned up and retooled my patreon for 2018
  • Alpha/beta-read several projects
  • Started drawing and painting again
  • Focused on health and healing, and added swimming and battodo to my exercise repertoire


This is a writing blog, but I haven’t done much talking about my writing lately.  So I thought I’d share some writing-related snippets from my Twitter account, whether that be a super short story:

Or community-themed lines from my current work-in-progress:

(You can tell I was trying to take advantage of the 140 character limit, because all of these quotes are about the same sentence structure, haha. )

(Oh look, a snippet from the prequel:)

I keep surprising myself by how often I associate the #1lineWed theme word with a rather gruesome subject. Check out my use of “fresh”:

Otherwise, I’m continuing my trend of not discussing my projects in any detail until they’re done.  This mitigates the pressure somewhat. But I do occasionally share sideways snippets about what’s happening with it. Whatever I feel comfortable sharing usually ends up on Twitter:

Till next time! 🙂

2016 in review

2016 has been all about changing focuses and swapping priorities around.

Outside of resting and trying to take care of myself physically, I used to put writing/translation as my top priority of things to do when I had enough energy or I didn’t feel too much like crap to do something.   That’s why this blog got started in 2011, actually, as a way to express this priority and its relationship in and around my health challenges.

But for this year, I decided to change that.  Enough was enough.  I’d reached a health plateau (before being a full-time caretaker in 2014 and the major post-caretaking health crash) and I wasn’t progressing in my recovery the way I wished to.  That plateau was really comfortable, though.  I could live the rest of my life like that and still have a good life, still write the stories I want to write (if in slow motion), still have good relationships and so on.

But it’s not the life I want. I want to be expand these limitations, be free to live the life I want with full recovery of my health.  So towards the end of 2015 I did some reevaluating.  From then on, and throughout 2016, I would put healthwork first before any writing or translating or social life or fun with friends or family connections or any of the rest of effort-inducing, spoons-depleting things.  I set aside multiple days a week and specific times of day and I swapped my priorities so that if I was going to reach for something to do, if I had the energy to do something more rigorous, it would be to seek full recovery so I could have more power to do the rest of what I wanted.  It’s not that health-seeking hadn’t been a priority before nor that I hadn’t worked on it before, just as it’s not like I’ve given up writing/translating completely now in order to make this happen, but my focus is completely different, what I put first is different.

And you know what? It’s paying off.  I found the path I need to take to full recovery.  I’m on it, and I’m making actual progress.  Miracles are happening.  My health is recovering.  My life is changing.  I picked up writing again a few months ago and my ability to write and how I’m writing and what I’m capable of writing about is changing.  That’s all I’ll say for here and now.  I’m a bit superstitious and don’t want to jinx it, true, but also it’s a private, vulnerable topic, and I’d rather discuss it more in detail when I’m through and can look back on the other side.  So don’t ask.  I’ll talk about it when I’m ready.

Life is definitely a journey, full of discoveries along the way.  I’m interested to see what 2017 brings.  Where I’ll be, where I’ll go, and what I’ll do.

Thanks for supporting me along the way.

❤ Cheers.

Other things accomplished in 2016:

  • Moved out of state
  • Finished wrestling with the government
  • Got health insurance again
  • Rewrote/revised a lot of what I wrote in 2015
  • Translated a few folktales
  • Finished the rough draft of “Fairer,” which will become the e-book sequel to Persinette
  • Alpha/beta-read 2 or 3 pieces
  • Started a fairy garden


Today my interview with Lisa Carter for her Literary Translator Spotlight went up.

I’m overdue to update you all on what I’ve been up to, but being elaborate will have to come later.  Suffice it to say that I’m writing and translating incrementally behind the scenes. 🙂

Amazon release: Persinette

Now on Amazon (International link)



A hundred years before Rapunzel, there was Persinette. Before the Old Witch ever locked Rapunzel in a tower, a Fairy set out to change Persinette’s destiny.

Read the French fairy tale that inspired the Grimm Brothers’ “Rapunzel,” learn about the authoress Mlle de La Force, and discover answers to questions such as why Persinette’s father traded her for a fistful of parsley and how she survived for years alone in her wilderness.

Includes translations of the French tale “Persinette” (1698), the Italian tale “Petrosinella” (1634), and the German tale “Rapunzel” (1812-57), along with background information on each of the tales and their authors.


I first began working on my translation of “Persinette” by Mlle de La Force in Spring 2013.  The first third ended up being my translation project for Lisa Carter’s online translation course “Defining Writing Style.” After the class ended, I finished translating the last two thirds of the tale, I ran the whole thing by a lot of other pairs of eyes, I produced multiple drafts, and then I began work on the supplementary materials. I had a working first draft of my e-book put together to show my editor Kristy by April 2014, and she led me through the next two drafts rearranging and expanding the material.  I handed in my final draft at the end of August 2014, but then life hit us both in the guts until the beginning of this year.

So here I am, two years after I started. It’s been quite a journey, and a lot has changed since I began, both in my life and in my writing, translation, and research experience. I’m excited to begin all over again with my next fairy tale e-book. 🙂


Cover designer: Niki Smith

Editor/Formatter (for all but the public domain translations): Kristy Stewart

For more information, see my translation website:

Purchase on Amazon.

Tentative outlook for 2015

So, I’ve never encountered a year that I just had no clue about before.   But 2015, due to my own disability and being a full-time caretaker on top of that, plus a whole bunch of things like being up for review by the disability board and having no idea how much longer my caretakee’s life will last–I just have no idea what to expect, and so very little idea of what expectations to set for myself.

In the past, I would have set goals anyway, then constricted myself thereby and become deeply frustrated.  But I’ve learned that I can accomplish just as much by being flexible and free rather than setting chafing expectations and pressure-inducing goals.

So here’s for being adaptable and using whatever free time and energy I glean to have fun tinkering on things.  My literary translation website is the only thing with set, monthly goals, but the amount covered by each monthly update can be big or small depending on what’s happening on a daily basis, so that should be flexible enough to be an attainable goal. Everything else of interest, we’ll see.

I doubt 2015 will be a year of much output here or in my writing.  I doubt I will be able to do much regular reading or alpha/beta-reading, if any at all of the latter. But it will be a year full of life experiences.

In any case, here’s to switching the calendar over to a new year.

Best wishes to everyone and their goals~


Life has been extremely difficult these past several months. (Understatement of the year).  I won’t go into any details, because they’re both exhausting and personal, but let’s just say I haven’t been able to properly write for months and I miss it desperately.  However, I have been able to translate a sentence here and there, so I’ve been focusing on the literary translation side of my life to keep me sane.  And I will have some good news there in the next several weeks.  Stay tuned.  You haven’t gotten rid of me yet. 🙂

My alpha/beta-reading CV

The past month has been extremely crazy due to a rather serious medical emergency in my immediate family, (I’ve been among the primary caregivers.)  Hopefully I should be around more from now on, but I expect things to continue to be disjointed and slowest on my blog as I will be focusing on my fiction writing and translation.  Y’know, all that behind-the-scenes meaty stuff.


The other day I was tallying up the range of alpha/beta-reading I’ve done in the past several years.  Recently I’ve been having to say “no” a lot more often than I’d like to, but I’m curious to see what all the projects look like in a pile together.  Length-wise, I’ve tackled projects all over the map.  I have a shelf on Goodreads for them, but it’s hardly representative of the work I’ve done.

Since 2011, I’ve alpha/beta-read

  • historical fantasy
  • dark fantasy/horror
  • time-traveling fantasy
  • space opera
  • translation of a Japanese game
  • translation of a French literary/academic horror novel
  • dystopian webcomic script

Kinda cool!  Definitely didn’t expect that spread when I first started alpha/beta-reading. 🙂

Writers: What’s Your Motivation-Encouragement Profile?

Soooooo helpful. Amanda C. Davis nails it again. Even though I’m a mix of all three writer-types, seeing the differences still is helpful to me.

(Also, I’ve never used the “reblog” feature before, so am a-gonna test it out. >.> :D)

Amanda C. Davis

Everyone’s writing goals are different, but I think it’s safe to assume we all want to be productive and happy. Easier said than done. Last year, I asked Twitter two big questions: “What motivates your writing–what helps you be and stay productive?” and “What encourages your writing–when do you feel good about your writing and yourself as a writer?” Twitter is pretty smart, cumulatively, and I got some terrific answers. Funnily enough, those answers boiled down into three major “types”.

Now, a quiz. Pick the phrase you are most likely to say.

“I got so much writing done today! Thank goodness for

A) that deadline at the end of the week–it gave me the push I needed!”

B) that new idea I got–I couldn’t wait to see it on paper!”

C) that writing conference–it really got me fired up!”

“I had a great writing day!

A) I made a…

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Grammatical Housecleaning

Here are a few lesser-known grammar rules that everyone loves to break:

Lie vs. Lay

When to use the verb “lie”:

I am lying on the ground.  (Present tense)

The book lies at the foot of the stairs. (Present tense)

I lay on the ground. (Past tense of “lie”)

The book lay at the foot of the stairs. (Past tense of “lie”)

Sleeping Beauty has lain in her palace crypt for a century. (Another form of past tense. Its name doesn’t matter in order to understand it.)

She had lain in her palace crypt for a century when she was awoken by the Prince.  (“)

In summary: Use the verb “lie” when a subject is acting on its own, not acting on an object.  Lay is also the past tense of “lie.”  It would be a lot easier to understand if it weren’t, but it is.

When to use the verb “lay”:

He lays the book down on the counter and looks up at me, giving me his full attention. (Present tense).

I am laying myself down to sleep. (Present tense. This cheating use of “myself” as an object here tricks people into thinking they should use “lay” all the time.)

He laid the book down on the counter and looked up at me. (Past tense. Note: it’s not “lay”. Really.)

He has mislaid his glasses.

In summary: Use the verb “lay” when there’s an object, something being acted on.  And the past tense of lay is laid.

– – –

What to do about French accents.

When referring to someone’s fiancé(e), know this rule:

A fiancé is a man.  A fiancée is a woman.

Each time I see this wrong (even in official places of print, such as just yesterday), it is always to comic effect.

– – –

Old, Intimate English.

We are a bit disadvantaged in English these days because we do not differentiate you (singular) and you (plural) or you (informal, intimate) and you (formal, distant) very well.  However, we used to have two forms. They look like this:

–                        Plural        Singular/Intimate

Subject:               Ye               Thou

Object/Dative:   You           Thee

Possessive:         Your          Thy/Thine

For example:

If ye know what is good for you, ye will watch yourself and your kin.

If thou knowest what is good for thee, thou wilt watch thyself and thy kin.

I don’t really care about the ye/you/your.  Dialects would have you saying things like, “if ye know what is good for ye” and sounding like a pirate.  But if you read the Bible, ye/you/your is what you will find instead.

My complaint is more with thou/thee/thy mistakes.  Every time I read a book where the author attempts to use this old, intimate language, (yes, even traditionally published ones) they get these simple grammatical rules wrong.  The only time I have ever seen an author get thou/thee/thy right is Cecilia Dart-Thornton‘s Bitterbynde trilogy.

You will also note that “thou” takes a different verb form than the ones we use regularly.  My advice?  If you don’t know, look it up.

– – –

Any grammar questions? I am happy to try and answer them.

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