Tag Archives: author

From Draft to Draft


Today I finished the 4th draft of my fourth Magda book. Feels wonderful. I’ve added 4,00 words since the 3rd draft. The plot pieces have moved around and the logic is falling into place.

Is it still a mystery? I don’t know. Is it a love story? Not really, though love is there throughout the story. Is it a book for kids 9 to 12? Maybe. It’s about kids, but perhaps the subject makes the book too painful for kids to want to read.

It’s the book I wanted to write, is all I know.

When I write the next draft, number 5, I’ll concentrate on imagery, mood, suspense, the language that makes up the story’s tone.  This is the part that I love the most.

After the next draft, I hope to be ready to show it to a good editor.  I know that I’ll be doing more rewriting after that.  And so it goes.

Any suggestions?

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Petunia among the Roses: Remembering Doreen Kimura Part 2


“Did you attend SFU for graduate school or your undergraduate years?” the woman asked. 

 

I guess 99% of the attendees at Doreen’s memorial were either professors or had PhDs.  With my measly MA I was definitely a petunia among roses.  And though my tribute was well-received, I managed to give the wrong title of her most famous book.  I know.  I’m sort of dopey.

All the speakers, except her daughter and I, were used to giving lectures, and her daughter is a performer so she was completely at ease, too.  Again, I think I was the only one who read my address.  Everyone else gave their talks from memory.

But the day wasn’t about me.  It was about Doreen, and whatever my shortcomings, they in no way took from the esteem in which she is held.  She was brilliant.  She was funny.  She was dedicated.  She was generous.  All these attributes and more were revealed and expanded upon.

One aspect of her life that people recalled with pleasure was her ability to give successful parties, whether get-togethers for the lab or tasteful dinner parties.  She spent hours and hours preparing everything to perfection.  One story involved a dinner party where one of the guests began to expound on a controversial topic.  Doreen tried to turn the conversation, but at last had to inform her guest that he was becoming “tedious.”  She enjoyed a good argument as much as anyone, but this person was being rude and her other guests were being made to feel uncomfortable.  She had to intervene.

I could never give a party like Doreen did.  I don’t have the stamina it takes to carry out all the preparation involved.  I’d lose interest or get distracted.  I guess that’s why I’ve remained a petunia among roses.

But though Doreen’s friends were all roses, I doubt if anyone of them had the beauty and fragrance that my sister had.

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What’s Your Writing Routine?


Debra Purdy Kong writes “As technology has changed, I’ve found that taking part in social media a few minutes before writing, is now part of my ritual. And, of course, there’s that necessary cup of coffee!”

Like Debra, I’ve used many writing techniques that others have found helpful, like taking breaks and writing at a consistent time.  I find that a cup of coffee in the morning, while perusing my social media contacts, gets me ready to write, as well.  Starting to write before breakfast and continuing after is part of my routine, too. (It helps that my dear husband likes to make breakfast!) I find the morning the best time to do original writing, while the afternoon is a good time to read over my work and edit it.

You can read Debra’s complete blog entry at

http://www.goodreads.com/author_blog_posts/4448690-what-are-your-writing-habits

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What Subjects are Taboo?


July 2nd, 2013 at 7:16 pm

Everyrosehasathornwrites, “It seems to be how tastefully it’s written that counts.”

My response is, I agree. I’m dealing with the taboo subject of child soldiers in my fourth book. I want to let my young readers know about this horrible situation without freaking them out so much they’ll stop reading. I’m treading very carefully.

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New Review for Mayne Island Skeletons


 

Mayne Island Skeletons on June 25, 2013
star star star star

“Amber Harvey’s latest book is a gripping mystery that is perfect for the 9 to 12 age range, and even as an adult I was able to get into her descriptive writing style and the paranormal tale she has spun for all’s enjoyment.”

Smashwords book review by Sierra Cline

Thank you to all the readers of my books who write a review! I feel so grateful when you take the time to tell me how you liked it.

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Why I Write for Young Readers


I was one myself.  Yup.  I know how it is to be 11 or 12, with all the freedom and restrictions, joy and pain it involves.  So when I write, I feel like that young person, and for a while  I become her.  I wake up to the smell of toast my mom is making, feel the pebbles through my runners, hear my bike’s tires on the road, taste the warm, ripe blackberries, see spooky shapes in the trees at night. 

Writing is the most exciting thing I do.  I’m never so alive, for such an extended period of time, as when I’m in my young protagonist’s body and mind, living her life.  That’s why I write.

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Psychic Vampire Critique Partner


http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/2013/03/13/do-you-have-a-psychic-vampire-critique-partner/

Kristen Lamb asks, “Does the person give back? Critique partners should be partners. I’ve had writers who took and took for months. They wanted me to plot, then re-plot, then they had a new and BETTER idea they needed “help” plotting. Never once did it occur to them, that we hadn’t talked about my book in months.”

Oh, yes, I have had this experience.  How much time did we all spend on that person’s writing, while my poor little story was left without any comments or helpful suggestions.  Let’s all give as much as we get in our critique groups.  Nobody wants to be a vampire, do they?

Thanks for your enlightened blog, Kristen Lamb.

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Spring Break is coming soon! Reading My Books at Our Library


Mark your calendars.  March 20, at 4:00 PM, the Mayne Island Library will be open to everyone who wants to hear about Magda and Brent’s adventures on Mayne Island.  I’ll be mining my three novels for stories to interest and entertain, and I’ll also be reading from my fourth novel for the 9 – 13 crowd, the as-yet unheard stories of their further adventures!  (This fourth novel is in its early stages.)

If you want to ask me any questions about writing, I’ll be happy to answer them the best I can.

See you at the Mayne Island Library on Wednesday, March 20, for some fun with books.

PS  The Library is providing light refreshments, as well.

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