Friday, November 11, 2016

A Bible?

by Marsha Ward @MarshaWard

I recently took time away from writing to put together a big project, a collection of the five books of The Owen Family Saga as a box set. It was a huge job of work.

"What work?" you may ask. "Just slap all the books into one file and you're done!"

Not so.

I had to tinker with scenes that don't exactly play well with each other over the scope of the saga. Gotta be consistent.

"Is that kid named Ezra or Harry?" I picked Harry.

"Did Rod Owen meet Julia Helm's brother before they got married?" I thought they had in The Man from Shenandoah. As I write my current writing project, it appears that I was wrong, so I had to fix that in the existing work to jibe with the upcoming story.

Now that I've written Gone for a Soldier, that passage about Rulon and Mary's relationship in The Man from Shenandoah seems off. (Rewrite passage.)

Did he or didn't he during the Mexican War? Hmm. That question may remain forever unanswered.

How to explain the bit about the wedding ring? (Rewrite passage.)

Such fun!

I wish I had started a series "bible" when I wrote The Man from Shenandoah, to keep all the facts and characters straight, but I didn't know then that the tale about the Owen Family was going to expand into a series. Creating the "bible" now is going to be quite a task, but it's one I really need to do. When I'm done, perhaps it can become something new, maybe something called The Owen Family Companion.

After all, it's been done before: "Little did Louis L'Amour realize back in 1960 when he published The Daybreakers, a novel about two brothers who came west after the Civil War, that he had begun creating what would become perhaps North America's most widely followed literary family: the Sacketts." From The Sackett Companion: The Facts Behind the Fiction.

Every author should keep handy a notebook for facts (was the dog black or brown), characters (am I reusing too many names, or do all names begin with a single letter?), items (was that letter written in pen or pencil?), and the like, whether or not he or she is writing a series. Every little thing will come in handy for checking consistency within that story.

Can oxen run?  No, but they can perambulate pretty quickly if motivated. (I asked a large animal vet.)

Did people ride in wagons when on extended journeys? Not if they had a lot of belongings and/or foodstuffs to carry.

How many stories tall is the house? What does the general store look like inside? How far away from the house should the stable/barn/pigsty be? Is the bar/saloon/pub well lit, smoky, smelly, just a "belly-up-to-the" bar, or does it have gaming tables and sit-down tables, too?

You're the author. Make it easier on yourself with a "Book Bible."

Friday, November 4, 2016

It's Not About Luck (Part 3)

by Kimberly Loth @kimberlyloth
Indie Author Hub Member

This is the final part of this series, but I really think it’s the most important. It’s about faith and passion. I know those are two different things, but they go hand in hand.

Do me a favor and watch this video before you keep reading. It’s short, just two minutes, but the rest of the story will make more sense if you watch it first.

This video is a small part of a talk that was given at a church conference several years ago. Before that day I’d never really considered writing. I’d dabbled, but nothing serious. I had no idea that day that a talk would be given that would change my life. But it did. A fire was lit inside of me. I wanted to create something incredible. I wanted to create worlds. I understand that that may make me sound arrogant, but please understand that at that moment in my life, I was at a low. I was depressed, bankrupt, and frustrated by the direction I was heading. Even my faith in God was wavering. Suddenly I had a passion and faith that I could do something with it.

The very next week, I signed up for a writing class and during that class I discovered Obsidian. The scene where Aspen meets him as a dragon on the mountain and he smashes her camera was the first thing I wrote.

Over the last several years, that passion has only grown and I rarely lost faith in what I was doing. (I think there was a time, right after my dad died, that I decided to quit. It didn’t last very long.)

I’m not saying the path was easy. But it’s been so worth it.

Find a way to create and find a passion for it. Don’t limit yourself to normal modes of creativity like writing, art, or music. Those are traditional (and awesome if you can pull them off). But I see people passionately creating all around me in many endeavors. My husband creates these amazing lessons for his students without even thinking about it half the time. I’ve always been in awe of his ability to teach. Virginia (you all know Virginia, by now, right? She’s the one who keeps me on track and does a lot so that I can focus on writing.) She somehow manages to create this system that makes it look like I’m in a thousand places at once. She’s amazing and endlessly passionate about EVERYTHING she does. (Sadly, I’m passionate about only three things—writing, my family, and travel.) There’s a woman I go to church with that I swear creates sunshine. Whenever I’m with her I can’t help but be happy. I admire her people skills. All of these things have one thing in common. Passion and faith.

Find your passion.
Then have the faith to put it out there.


This is Part 3 of a three-part series first posted at
Kimberly Loth can’t decide where she wants to settle down. She’s lived in Michigan, Illinois, Missouri, Utah, California, Oregon, and South Carolina.She finally decided to make the leap and leave the U.S. behind for a few years. After living in Cairo, Egypt for 2 years, she’s decided to go to the Far East and currently calls Shenzhen, China home. She loves romantic movies, chocolate, roses, and crazy adventures.

You can find Kimberly on her website, her Author Page on Facebook, and on Twitter at @kimberlyloth