July's Final #WriteMotivation Post…a few days late

Happy Monday, Aledan Merfolk! I haven’t been online as much as usual lately, and I’m afraid that’s going to continue for a while. In fact, I have some bad news: there will be no PonyFest this year. My dad will be in the hospital for his bone marrow transplant during the normal PonyFest time, and I just know I won’t be able to get everything ready during that time. Maybe I’ll do it a little later in the year, but definitely not around my birthday like normal.

I do plan to be querying during that time, and I’m debating PitchWars this week. I think I’ll join, but if I don’t get picked by a mentor I won’t be disappointed like I was with NAMELESS. I think StO is ready. I’m not 100% sure StO is ready, so it’d be nice to have another set of eyes on it, but I know it’s at least close. If I’m not chosen by a mentor, I’ll start querying.

Last time I posted, I was still working on the synopsis and query, and trying to decide what to work on next. I finished the synopsis and query (I still need a couple CPs to finish looking at them, but they were both on vacation last week), and I decided to focus my efforts on researching the new shiny project. It’s going to take a LOT of research. I have some good starting points, though, and a rough idea of the plot, and some excellent backstory for my still-nameless MC.

And if you remember the last update, I posted a photo of the “ladies” Mad Maxina and Imperator Furiosa. One of my writing buddies, Rebekah Loper (who also raises backyard chickens), mentioned that Maxina looked like a rooster, not a hen, and what do you know: she’s right. Mad Maxina is actually Mad Max! He began crowing that weekend, which isn’t great because our neighbors won’t appreciate that. If we wake up before he starts crowing and open the coop he stays quiet, so that’s how we’re dealing with the crowing for now. If he keeps it up, it might be time to make some coq-au-vin (joking! I wouldn’t be able to eat Max).

Fearless Fury staring at the camera, while Max hangs back.
Fearless Fury staring at the camera, while Max hangs back.

I’m going to go ahead and say that until further notice there won’t be a Science Tuesday post, but I DO have a guest poster on Friday! KT Hanna will be here to talk about the world-building for her new book, CHAMELEON. Definitely stop by on Friday for that – there’s a Rafflecopter giveaway!

Have a wonderful week, Aledans!

What To Do Next? (a #WriteMotivation Update)

Happy Thursday, Aledan Merfolk! I’ve had a bit of time to recover from the end of Draft Four, and I’ve already heard back from a couple of friends that they loved it (the CPs have been curiously quiet…). I’ve been spending the week working on the synopsis and query, and although the synopsis is still very rough and makes the entire book sound stupid, the query is getting itself into shape.

I’ve also been reading a couple CP projects, and reading SABRIEL by Garth Nix. It took me a while to really get into it, but once I got to Touchstone, I’ve been devouring it. I’ll finish it today – probably at lunch. Then I have to decide what to read next.

And what to work on next. I really miss Fie Eoin, and I know fixing NAMELESS wouldn’t be too difficult, but I’ve already gone through a year of rejections on Nameless. Assuming StO goes anywhere, I don’t want the answer to the question “what are you working on next?” to be “something you already rejected.” And I don’t want to work on StO2 in case StO never sells. So I’m left with the option of fixing another already-written book (Phooka Tales, probably, since that would be in line with the paranormal fantasy thing going on in StO), or working on something completely new. I do have a “something completely new” rolling around in my brain, but so far there’s not much story, and the MC doesn’t even have a name yet. So we’ll see. I’m still quite fond of the monsters in PT, but this new story has enfields (a fox/hawk hybrid), and a mute MC, which would be a fun challenge to write since I rely so heavily on dialogue.

In super exciting awesome news: they found a bone marrow donor for my dad, so I’ll be flying home next month to see him when he goes into the hospital for the procedure. Expect my online presence (and especially the blog), to be sporadic for the next couple of months.

This weekend I have two awesome custom ponies for you, so be sure to come back on Sunday to see that. And until next time, I’ll leave you with a photo of my ladies, who are growing fast and almost ready to start laying eggs!

Mad Maxina and Imperator Furiosa, the chickens.
Mad Maxina and Imperator Furiosa, the chickens.

Draft Four is Finished! (a #WriteMotivation Update)

Happy Tuesday, Aledan Merfolk! I’ve had a whirlwind couple of weeks working on Speak the Ocean, and I’m happy to say that I finished Draft Four at lunch! Draft Four was by far the most difficult, because it included looking for all those little problem words I overuse while writing. Guess what my biggest problem word is? Look. Mostly in the context of “[character] looks [emotion]”, which I had to ruthlessly delete and show instead. And despite the extra description, I still managed to delete a ton of extra words. Plus, you know, it reads smoother now.

It took me three days to find and fix all the instances of “look”. There were 384 of them in a 366 page book. I’m also quite pleased that I got to use “ogle” in place of one of those looks. What a fun word.

So now StO is off with the final round of CP’s, and I have a couple weeks to breathe. I have to write the synopsis and query, of course, and I have a couple of CP projects to critique, but I think it’s high time I headed back to the mountains to work on Fie Eoin. I miss home <3

Problem Words (and a sneak peek at page one)
Problem Words (and a sneak peek at page one)

Wait…What? It's JULY? (and a #WriteMotivation Update)

Happy Thursday, Aledan Merfolk! And happy July, since I obviously missed all of June (but can you blame me, when I have new chickens taking up all my extra time?). June was a WriteMotivation month, and my goal was to finish StO. I did not finish StO, although I’m very close! I’ve been using the “find” feature in Word to look for my problem words and fix them, and boy is my list of problem words LOOOONG. Wanna see it?

I’m – done

Shrug – done

Sigh – done

Crossing arms – done

Nods – doing today

Begins – doing today







I’m not looking forward to changing the frowning and smiling – those two words are going to take forever. But when I’m finished, I should hopefully have a draft that shows rather than tells, and is punched up with emotion. Then it’s off to a couple more CPs for stray commas and to make sure I didn’t destroy it with edits. I’m hoping to have it polished in time for Pitch Wars *crosses fingers*

And then, of course, it’s time to write the synopsis/query. I’m one of those weirdos that doesn’t hate synopsis writing – it’s very analytical and my science brain understands it. They query on the other hand…yikes. It’s a good thing I have some stellar CPs <3

So the next week is devoted to fixing those problem words…and getting a new chicken or two 😉 That’s right, expect Immortan Josephine (and possibly a Nux) to join Mad Maxina and Imperator Furiosa in the coop! Also expect my blog to come back to life this month – I have a month’s worth of Science Tuesdays to post, and a couple Custom Ponies lined up for you! Have a great holiday weekend, Aledans 🙂

Cover Reveal: CHAMELEON (The Domino Project #1), by K.T. Hanna

Happy Friday, Aledan Merfolk! I have an awesome cover reveal for you today, for the debut novel of my friend (and #writemotivation creator) K.T. Hanna. But first, let’s hear a little bit about the book, shall we?

Chameleon (The Domino Project #1) is a YA futuristic science fiction story. It’s set in the wasteland of earth after a meteor shower devastates landmasses, makes seas rise, introduces the psionic gene into the human race, damages the atmosphere, and gives the gift of an alien parasite to the world.

The goodreads blurb is as follows:

After Sai’s newly awoken psionic power accidentally destroys her apartment complex, she’s thrown into an intensive training program. The only grades are pass or die.

Surviving means proving her continued existence isn’t a mistake–a task her new mentor, Bastian, takes personally. Her abilities place her in the GNW Enforcer division, which partners her with Domino 12, who is eerily human for an alien-parasite and psionic hybrid. When her assassination duties are revealed, Sai understands the real reason for her training.

On a mission to dispatch a dangerous Exiled scientist, she uncovers truths she never thought possible. Sai is unsure who to trust as her next mission might be her last, and a double agent seems to be manipulating both sides.

Without further ado – here is the cover, by the amazingly talented S.P. McConnell.

It’s finally here

CHAMELEON Domino Project Front with Text 2

Isn’t it GORGEOUS!?!?!

Sit back and bask in this for a moment.

It’s available for preorder for a special price of $2.99 from

Amazon Link

About the Author


KT Hanna has a love for words so extreme, a single word can spark entire worlds.

Born in Australia, she met her husband in a computer game, moved to the U.S.A. and went into culture shock. Bonus? Not as many creatures specifically out to kill you.

When she’s not writing, she freelance edits for Chimera Editing, interns for a NYC Agency, and chases her daughter, husband, corgi, and cat. No, she doesn’t sleep. She is entirely powered by the number 2, caffeine, and beef jerky.

Note: Still searching for her Tardis


To celebrate, we’re giving away 2 x $10 Amazon e-gift cards (open to anyone who can receive and use an Amazon e-card) Just click on as many options as you like and enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Speak the Ocean is DONE! (Well, the first draft is…)

Happy Friday night/nearly Saturday morning, Aledan MERFOLK! I’m happy to announce I just wrote the final scene in the first draft of SPEAK THE OCEAN! It took far longer than I ever expected to write this draft, but I’m hoping it’s stronger than most of my first drafts. I can see plenty of weak places already, and I’ve already been told I need to re-write Chapters 3 and 4, but if I don’t have to completely scrap it and re-write the whole thing four times like I did with NAMELESS I’ll call it a win 🙂

So have a song that always makes me think of my mermaid, Erie, to celebrate:

Nearing the End of StO!

Doctor Who nails have nothing to do with this update.
Doctor Who nails have nothing to do with this update, but I loved them!

Happy Friday, Aledan Merfolk! The summer rush finally hit us at work (after all the interns return to school) and I’ve been busy writing writing writing, so I haven’t been on the blog much lately. Except to announce PonyFest14, of course! If you’d like chance to win a custom My Little Pony based on your novel, check out the link. It’s a super fun contest 🙂

I completely forgot to sign up for #WriteMotivation this month, but I’ve been pumping out the words despite it. I’ve made it through the climax and the resulting super-emotional scenes of StO and now I’m only seven or so scenes away from the happy ending! Happy compared to most of my books, at least.

I also have an awesome new CP who’s already ripped apart the first four chapters for me to put back together again. AND he ripped apart the first three chapters of Nameless and found the problem behind the “I just didn’t fall in love with it” comments I’ve been getting. So once StO is off to critters I’m thinking I’ll tackle Nameless one more time (I know, I’m crazy).

That’s it for me, Aledans. I hope you have a great weekend, and don’t forget to join PonyFest14!