It’s Alive!

After great tragedy, and a NUKE, the site is resurrected. You may notice the header picture still has not been replaced. Please forgive. That is the least of my concerns. There has been a Major revamp as an entire new theme was required, along with digging up the information from several sources including a corrupted database. But Lilith is resilient and she lives again. I am in progress of re-adding the book reviews so please forgive duplicates as none of the old links work.

Please browse the new setup. It is greatly streamlined and should resolve the problems that popped up before. While I have to redo all of the reviews, the wonderful interviews were NOT lost.

Rekindling the Fire

People need to eat. Authors need to breathe fire. The creative element needs to burn brightly. The muse blazes until finally it flickers in a hypnotic dance as the words flood onto the page. But once in a while, the author needs to refuel. One way we do that is by gathering together and feeding off each others’ flames.

This year I have fed twice at the font of the muses. Calliope, Euterpe, Polyhymnia, & Erato circled the poets while Melpomene and Thalia focused on the screenwriters and playwrights. Clio wandered between the non-fiction and fiction authors alike. Terpsichore and Urania sprinkled their inspiration around the group when movement or stars caught the authors’ fancy.

The first encounter was in Omaha at the Nebraska Writer’s Guild Spring Conference. It was delightful seeing friends that I had left behind when I moved to Wyoming. Feeling their spirit and listening to the classes and speakers helped rekindle the smoldering coals of my imagination. One of my best experiences was meeting Deidre Knight, agent extraordinaire. Owner of the Knight Agency, Deidre is an absolute delight. Of special interest to me was that she was heading to Italy for the summer. Having lived there, Italy holds a VERY special place in my heart. I will be sending Deidre a few chapters after they come back from the editor. Keeps fingers and arms crossed!

The second was in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. What a fabulous conference! The only problem was that it is so expensive there, you better not forget to bring your lunch. 🙂


We were treated to the most marvelous classes, speakers, and meeting with agents and writers. I had private meetings with three different published writers and one agent. Their feedback was helpful and got my fire burning at a much higher level. I discovered my book was actually two books. I have now divided the books and rewritten parts of the first book to complete it. This was an amazing experience. Everything suddenly made sense. The agent I met with told me that the book was ready for an editor. What a rush!

I finally had to do something. I had to have faith. It was time to move forward and quit waiting. So with full fire burning, I marched forward into the future, rekindled by the fire.

 

The Book is Finished.

Your lifeblood bleeds onto the paper. The words flow and it is perfect. Then you start rereading. Version two. Version three. Sometimes you are correct grammar. Version five. Sometimes voice. Version seven. One time I was trying to get rid of all the passives that come from my speaking two foreign languages. I never realized how much they affect my thought pattern.

Ten times. I have written and rewritten this book ten times. Finally, it is ready for an editor. I have awaken with my character telling me, “You forgot! That would give me a headache. Write that down. Headache.”

I owe so much to my writing group. I left them behind in Omaha but they are with me in my heart. “Show, not tell.” I ripped out so much narration and made my character interact. They were lazy and now they live.

The journey isn’t over. It is really just beginning. Now, it is moving forward.

I am a writer. And, by the way, you want to read this book.

A Special Thank You

As a special thank you for your wonderful support of my website, I am posting the Prologue for my book Lilith: Book of Genesis. It will be up for a limited time. Please enjoy and pass the opportunity on to your friends. Comments are appreciated! Spread the word. Follow me on Facebook and Sign up on my website. But above all, come read the Prologue!

[Now expired]

First three sections of Chapter Two

I have posted the first three sections of Chapter Two of Lilith: Book of Genesis on my website. I’ve switched things around so you can post comments with the manuscript. The benefit of following the website is you get to read the books as I finish the last editing prior to sending it to the editor. Your comments are really important so please share. They won’t appear immediately because I have software that works to filter out spam so they go through an approval to make sure the software is working properly. But all real comments will appear.

Thanks for all the support and please share the site with friends. Now is the time to read it for FREE.

“Garden of Eden” Contest

[Expired]

 

So, Do You See What I See? Chapter 1 is available to read. How vivid is my world? Here is the contest.


“Garden of Eden” Contest

 

Contest

  • Read Chapter 1.
  • Create an artwork of Lilith in the Garden of Eden based on my description. Emphasis is on the Garden.
  • No frontal nudity.
Deadline
  • August 8, 2013
Judging
  • Voting online from August 10 – 15, 2013
Prize
  • First Place: 16”x20” Canvas artists wrap of winning artwork and inclusion in Lilith Art Gallery on website. Value – $350
  • Second Place: 16”x20” print of artwork and inclusion in Lilith Art Gallery on website. Value – $181
  • Third Place: Inclusion in Lilith Art Gallery on website.
Send Submission to:

Progress Lilith: Book of Genesis

[EXPIRED]

I’ve completed the rewrites on Chapter One and so far the Beta Readers seem to really like it.

The website is also expanding and I really need feedback. Please take the time to leave comments. Do you like what you are seeing? Would you like to see more or something different? Do you know of other sources? Do you disagree?

Please share links with everyone! Thanks for your support!

New Information on Lilith

Lots of new information on Lilith as an Immortal Demon and Lilith as the Original of the Lullaby! Links, pictures, translations. Lots of fun stuff. Come get caught up on everything my Lilith would absolutely hate!

 

First Public Reading

 

Beta Readers can either dash your hopes or lift your spirits beyond belief. Mine did the last. I asked for written critiques and loved those that I got. Certain I was ready for the next step, I headed to San Diego to the SDSU Writer’s Conference. Agents met with hopeful writers. Agents, publishers, and editors taught classes in writing, pitching, finding an agent, and self-publishing. I finally got the opportunity to “pitch” my book to one agent who agreed to allow me to send her the first 50 pages. Perhaps the most fun was the late night read we had. After sessions were over, a stalwart group of writers met and read excerpts from their manuscripts aloud and then received criticism from the group. My feedback was great and I felt that this was my time to get the book published. I knew it would happen. Through the next couple of days, I spoke with several agents and received permission to submit chapters to them. I went home excited and ready to have my book on the shelves within a year or two at the most.

Then I received my first rejection letter. And they kept coming. They were all very sweet and encouraging, so I kept submitting. So… they kept coming. Somehow, that does something to a writer’s confidence. Other writers told me those were good rejection letters. I thought that was quite an oxymoron. Good and rejection do not belong in the same sentence. Instead, I turned my attention to other things while family and friends kept telling me I needed to keep trying to get it published.

The glow of my first public reading was eclipsed by the cold harsh reality of the lifeblood of the publishing world – rejection slips.

The First Draft

 

As the words flew from my mind to the keyboard, I had a few very hungry readers waiting for the next installment. These were my biggest fans and supporters.

Erika and Leah on separate computers reading Chapter 10 while away on vacation.
Erika and Leah on separate computers reading Chapter 10 while away on vacation.

At one point I thought to publish the book under a pseudonym to give myself anonymity and let Lilith be the author of the book. I’m a bit of an introvert and appreciate my privacy. One of these supporters loved the idea because she was my counselor and she wanted to be able to say her client had written the book. Obviously, I’m giving her free reign to make that claim. After all, she helped keep me sane during a doctrinal program. As a friend told me during my program, PhD stands for Permanent Head Damage, so that was no small feat! Also, it was Erika who encouraged me to write the book. She nurtured it along from the first few pages to the full dream it is now.

Each chapter I finished was eagerly read by Erika in Louisiana who passed it on to Leah. Now poor Leah had no idea who the author was but she avidly read every word. The third member of this trinity was Shelley in Wyoming. Each sent their comments and corrections and then waited for the next chapter to be finished. Once I had sent out the next chapter, I would make corrections in the previous chapter. By the end of the process, they had read the book at least three times each. Shelley has since read it through a couple of more revisions, and recruited a couple of other Beta readers to send comments to me as well. I cannot begin to thank these women for their enormous contribution. One of my greatest supports now is my sister Leni. She doesn’t like vampires. As such it took awhile before she read the book and that alone was an act of love. Now she encourages me in every way to get involved in writing groups and to spend time on my writing. She and Shelley – my sisters and best friends – are my strength.

The Inspiration

I was in Louisiana studying in Baton Rouge. I was house sitting at the time and was surfing the internet. Well, the entire experience was going to be the prologue for the book, although I have been told many times since not to use a prologue. (That fact alone has made my writing experience much more difficult. lol) I’ll let Lilith tell the experience from her point of view. It was, to say the least, a shared experience. 🙂

Prologue

I have watched the birth of mountains and seen their decay. I have witnessed the changing stories of the constellations in the sky. I hold the only remaining memories of verdant forests that once teemed with life where now there are only desert sands. I have lived long enough to see everything in existence change many times over. Including man. And yet with all his changes, it is man who has changed the least. Pity.

My decision to come out of the proverbial “coffin” happened a week ago. I was surfing the internet. I find it both educational and entertaining. I’ve always been amazed by Hollywood vampires because they seem to conveniently have managed to meet everyone who was ever anyone. Of course, that seems to have also been true about the Highlander, Duncan MacLeod (another television series that I must admit a guilty enjoyment of). Had “frequent coach miles” been around at that time, well… you get the idea. I, for one, found travel took a lot longer than television seems to allow for and I missed crossing paths with a great many fascinating people, mainly because I didn’t know they were such fascinating people until well after their deaths. (News didn’t travel much faster than people did back then.) So, I find the internet fills in the great void of all the history I lived through but never experienced. As far as entertainment goes, I admit to a wicked amusement at the botched up rewriting of the history I did experience. Always it is better than comic books. Of course, there are always my occasional perverse searches on “vampire” to pass the time. That might seem odd considering a vampire looking up mythological references on vampires but think of it this way: have you ever typed your name into Google just to see what comes up? It probably won’t be you, but you’re still curious about other people with your name. Which brings me back to last week…

As I said, I was browsing the internet and came across a site where people recorded goals they wanted to accomplish. I was only a little surprised to find numerous postings with the goal to “become a vampire”: not so much because of the goal – I am aware of the effect of Anne Rice’s mythology on hormones of the world’s youth; but rather because of their blatant admissions to the world and the lively enthusiasm expressed for the desire. Among these was one plea that caught my eye. The posting was from a very young mind:

I really really wanna be a vampire. Ive thout about it lot and it wuld be realy cool. I’ve done lots of reserch but cant find a reel vampire to do it. Can someone help me? If you can turn me, please write.

Despite the grating of the abysmal spelling and the obvious lack of any common sense, there was something that struck me with a force that refused to release my attention. Normally, I would have passed on to something else. These posting were after all, grocery store checkout rags to me. But this wasn’t a person who wanted to investigate an alternative lifestyle; this was someone actually seeking the metaphysical vampire – the immortal nightwalker – and he wanted to join our ranks – to give up everything that was mortal. Why? Because he had bought Hollywood’s bill of goods – that being a vampire was cool. I started looking at several of the other postings and was a little surprised at the intensity with which these souls were looking to become what, only one hundred years ago – even less – was believed monstrous – without sexuality or love or any embracing quality.

I also found some responses: a few interesting entries from one who claimed to have become a vampire and had originally been looking for someone to apprentice. He requested that interested parties do their research and be serious before contacting him. One young girl responded, stating that she had done her research and knew the vampire genealogies created by Anne Rice in a fictional work. Fiction/fantasy/fact – all confused.

For the first time in millennia, I felt haunted. I thought I had dealt with the guilt eons ago. I had dealt with the guilt. And yet, here I was, feeling it again, in my heart, in my veins, in my soul – and yes, I have a soul and it was in pain.

I finally decided to speak; I created a Logon name so that I could post a response to a series of comments in the hope of convincing even one of these to think: why would you trade your world for mine – why would you trade your pain for mine.

Why are we so quick to trade the pain we know for the one we don’t?

The one response I received was from the one who called himself Vampyres, not from the audience I hoped to reach. His response was a veiled challenge, an unasked question, and a parting blessing – I assume just in case I was actually what he instinctively sensed, even though I never intimated it. My immediate visceral response was “go ahead and fish. You’ll catch nothing here.” My next response a gentler, “pass on by in peace.” The more time passed, the more temptation gnawed at me demanding that I respond until finally I discover myself at this moment: staring at my screen, watching my fingers work against my will, seeing the words appear as they are pulled from my soul.

And so, I share my story. Believe it is just a story. Believe what you will. But when it is finished, believe that you will not find me living the Goth lifestyle, visiting the vampire clubs, blending with those that try to blend with us. Rather, I am circling myself about with the living, blending into the flow of humanity, clutching at the semblance of normalcy; for it is your humanity that I crave… as much as your blood.

So there it is. But I guess you probably need a little more information to understand why I felt such as need to write the book. There are three other pieces of the puzzle.

  1. Since childhood I have been fascinated by the vampire legend. Yes, I watched Jonathan Frid in his search for mortality and love in Dark Shadows. I saw Christopher Lee die only to mysteriously come back to life time after time. (Why do people insist on pulling out the stake? hmm?)
  2. I had studied to some extent the vampire legends and heard the legend of Lilith, the first wife of Adam. Being very religious I could not believe that God would curse her just because she wouldn’t assume the missionary position during sex. (Lilith made sure I understood that had nothing to do with it. 🙂 )
  3. While teaching college, I had a young girl that had belonged to a vampire coven. I have worried about her over the years and practically adopted her. I know how lost some of the youth are who are being pulled into these covens. I saw it in the young man I mentioned in the “no more” prologue. He was a loner so he wanted a life where he would be even more of a loner. He was in pain so he was choosing to seek a life where he would experience even more pain. It doesn’t make sense yet it is the seeming embodiment of what they already feel.

So, I wrote furiously. Or should I say Lilith wrote furiously. The first draft was done in a few weeks. Then other things got in my way and I had to set the book aside working on it only occasionally to keep from going nuts on other things. I was working on my doctorate and that had to take precedence. Unfortunately my health gave out. Long boring story. Now I have lots of time and I am going to get this book published. I have had tremendous support and encouragement from those who have read it. Now starts the descent into my own private Publishing Inferno.

Lilith Character and Art Contest

I’ve listed some of the principle characters in Lilith, Book of Genesis. Check out the character descriptions. Then get your talent together and create a portrait of one of the characters. If one of the paintings, drawings, sketches, etc. embodies one of the characters, the artist will win a canvas print of the art piece in exchange for letting me use it.

So get your reading glasses on and your pens, paintbrushes, chalk, gesso, or finger paints, ready!

Lilith, Book of Genesis – Characters

 

Chapter One Beta Readers

Thanks to those who have turned in their comments. I am still missing several. The version of Chapter One that is up has been edited with their comments alone with comments from a professional author’s group that I belong to, so there are several important changes.

Again, please turn in your comments as I am about to move forward to Chapter Two. There won’t be a limitation on those I know by the way. 🙂

Thanks for your help!