June 6, 2013

Life and Writing Updates

No, I haven't died suddenly, or been stranded off-world due to a DHD malfunction, or kidnapped by goblins, or incarcerated by the FBI, CIA, DHS, IRS, ICE, KGB, or any other organization with the capability of making someone vanish for an extended period of time.
Well then, you may ask, where exactly have I been?
Well, for the entire second and third week of May, I was flat on my back with a massive respiratory infection. Not exactly how I wanted to get my spring started off. The last time I was sick for that long at once was when I was six years old and had pneumonia. Thankfully I'm well now. Unfortunately, I passed the joy on to my family, who have been passing it around ever since. (When your family is the size of mine, it takes a while for sicknesses to go through everyone.) We're down to the last two of us, though, so hopefully we're almost done! ; )
And then there was the internet...
We live in what many people refer to as "the sticks", so internet service is difficult to get, but we've been quite happy with the provider we were using. Unfortunately, during my convalescence, the company whose tower our provider used de-programmed our bandwidth, leaving us with no internet whatsoever. We've talked to other providers, but most of them want to chop down trees or dig trenches or charge a king's ransom just to get it out to us, let alone the monthly fees. We've found another wireless provider who can get service to us without any such drastic measures, but they're still building the tower that will be serving our area, and it won't be finished for another few weeks.

So in a nutshell, that's where I've been for the last month. (I know, only a Pursselley would have an explanation that complicated, but it's the truth.)
Then, of course, there were the wiener dogs, and the snow storm, and the tornadoes... yeah, it's been a circus.

If you're interested in an update on my writing, here's the scoop:
Son of the Shield is in the editing phase as we speak! Splashdown Books has a really unique editing system that consists of all the writers in the "family" working together on different projects. Right now, one of the other authors who writes the same genre is going over my manuscript, making corrections and suggestions. Once she's finished the ball will be in my court for a while. I'll be sure to keep you all updated when that happens!
We've already made a few changes right off the bat:

I was thoroughly embarrassed to realize that every time I thought I was using the noun "Prophecy", I was actually using the verb "Prophesy". And in Son of the Shield, that's a word that gets used pretty frequently, so there were a lot of instances of that mistake. *head-desk, head-desk*

We also added in a scene or two with Ryker Verone, one of the secondary characters, to flesh out his subplot a little bit. I certainly didn't mind that! Captain Verone is a fantastic character who I love working with, so any chance to do more with his story is A-okay with me!

We've also added a little bit of shading and layering with the main character so far, but I am not at liberty to disclose the details of that at this time. (Mwa-ha-ha-ha!) Just let me assure you that it's going to make the story even better.

The biggest change we've made so far, though, is to change the story's title. (*pauses to wait for collective gasps to die down*) Yes, I know, you've all been hearing about Son of the Shield this and Son of the Shield that for a long time - some of you for years. Trust me, it's hard for me to get used to, too. But believe me when I say it's for the best.
The truth is, I was about two years into the writing/rewriting/editing process when I realized that the title Son of the Shield didn't really fit closely with the story anymore. It was, after all, the title I had chosen literally on Day 1, the day I first had the idea for the story, and long before I really knew what the story was about. The more it grew, and the more I learned about it, the less SotS really fit. But by that time, the story was two years old and SotS was what I was used to calling it. Plus, the title could work, albeit loosely. So I just left it alone. Honestly, when I first sent it off to Splashdown for consideration, I suspected they might ask me to change the title.
And, sure enough, it was one of the first things Grace suggested after she accepted it. Unfortunately, by that time I had been living with the story for six years, so asking me to change the title was something like asking a mother to re-name her six-year-old child. I had absolutely no idea where to start. So, armed with some suggestions from Grace, I sent a query to all of my friends who have already read the book, asking them for suggestions.
They sent me quite a few, but even staring at a list I drew nothing but blanks. The story simply was SotS in my mind, and I couldn't get past that. In desperation, I sent the list off to Grace, and she made the choice. Ready to hear it?

SotS's new title is:

Song of the Wren-Falcon

Different, I know. Trust me, it doesn't sound weirder to any of you than it does to me. But I'm getting used to it. In fact, I'm even starting to really like it.
Now, that doesn't mean that I don't still draw a blank when someone hears that I'm getting a novel published and asks me what the title is. (My best friend has had to jump into multiple conversations to remember it for me, while I'm standing there blinking, saying "Um...") Really professional, I know. But I'll have the hang of it eventually... I hope.
So there's what's happening in my life these days. I don't often have the chance to use public Wi-fi, so I'll probably be pretty quiet for a little bit longer, until I get my internet back at home. But in the meantime, I hope everyone's spring is turning out to be as beautiful and exciting as mine is!

P.S. I'd love to hear what you all think of SotS's new title, so be sure and leave a comment to let me know!


  1. This new title poses a mysterious combination and makes you want to read the story for an explanation. I like it.

  2. That would be hard to get used to.

  3. Prophesy/Prophecy...None of us caught that? Good grief.

    I'm glad the new title is growing on you, Mary, for your sake, but it will still be Son of the Shield for me a little while longer at least. Hopefully I'll catch on.

    Good luck in the editing and with your internet issues! ;) (And more Ryker! *happy dance*)

    1. "None of us caught that?"
      LOL - That's exactly what Heather and your sister said when I told them. But I know, right? There were... what, five of us working on it? And not one caught the prophecy/prophesy thing. Hooray for homeschoolers! ; P
      Don't worry, it'll still be Son of the Shield to me too for a very long time - possibly forever, we'll see.

  4. Sorry to hear you were sick, Mary. Glad to hear you're doing better.

    As for your book title, "Song of the Wren-Falcon" sounds sorta awesomely mystic...but at the same time, it sounds like some sort of nature book and not speculative fiction...that could be potentially bad...

  5. Sorry to hear you were so sick, but I'm glad you're better now and hope it passes from your family very fast. Also, I hope you can get your internet troubles worked out, those can be annoying.

    Very exciting all the news on your book! And I like the new title, it is very good. Gets my interest right away.


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