Thursday, March 28, 2013

Sneak Peek

This may seem like I’m putting the cart before the horse a bit seeing that The Newstead Project isn’t even out yet (May 1, 2013), but due to the nature of the books, they will be released every six months, which when you think of it that way, it makes perfect sense that I’m doing a sneak peek of the cover for THE BASHAN AGENDA, due out November 1, 2013. Actually, I just saw it yesterday and am really excited about it, so I wanted to share it with all of you.
Let me know what you think.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Good morning everyone, I’ve finally, again, decided what I’m doing for the A to Z challenge coming up next week.  It’s something I’ve never done before, so I hope all of you bear with me. I’m doing sort of a Melanie version of flash fiction that I’m calling super shorts: short stories with 150 words or less corresponding with the letter of the day.
I invite all of you to come back next week to  laugh with or at me, either way it should be a fun time.  
For those of you who don’t know, I’ll be helping co-host Matthew MacNish ( with the challenge along with Jay Noel, Sheri Larsen, Deniz Bevan, and Schwa Michaels.  (waves hello.)

See ya’ll on Thursday!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

A Break

Good Afternoon everyone,
I am taking a break from writing until after Easter, not from blogging, but from writing. I’m kind of in a nice spot right now, done with the first book, waiting for the second one from my editor, and working on revisions for my third, which really isn’t due for six months at least, so I decided to take a break.
This is actually a really big deal for me. I haven’t taken a break in two years and seven months (There was this time when we went to Disney, but I don’t count that, because that was strongly enforced by my husband.) This time it’s by me, for me, because for the first time ever, I’m not excited about writing... I still love the story and am eager to see it done, but I don’t jump out of bed in the morning scribbling down in my journal all the things Joel or Rachel might say, you know? And I think that translates in my work.
Have any of you ever done that- taken a break?

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

What Music Moves You?

I’m taking a day off from Survivor Tuesday, I hope you don’t mind. The truth is, the weekend just slipped by and when I woke up today, I realized I never researched the permanent structures I was going to discuss.
So, instead, I’m talking about music. Not in the broad sense of the word, but how it relates to your writing. Do you listen to music when you write, and if so which type?
For me it changes more with my mood than with the story. When I first started writing Newstead, I listened to Tenth Avenue North over and over again. Then it moved onto Skillet, followed by Third Day. Now I’m kind of in-between. I write in silence. I wonder what that says about my mood.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Good morning everyone.
I’m sitting at my computer looking out over my gardens with my hands just aching to get started. March. It’s a month of waiting, of the almost but not yet. Some days it feels like spring, with the sun shining down and the crocus’ stretching up their necks to meet it. But then the next day it snows. A lot.
Actually complaining about the weather is not my point today. It’s more about anticipation. After spending a lot of time at this blogging thing I think I can safely say all of us are waiting for something. Even those of us who have achieved the holy grail of publication are still waiting. For the next book, the next something.
Today. Just for today, I am going to sit back and sip on my cup of tea and know that spring is out there somewhere, even if it’s buried under a foot of snow.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

When my dad used to go camping he took four things: a tarp, a knife, a fishing hook and a bag of potatoes. In what we are discussing today, a tarp would be of the utmost importance, although I will show you an alternative, all be it not as effective, method.

Two- tree tent:

If any of you were in boy scouts for any length of time, this should be familiar to you.



One tree tent:

Log or boulder tent: This method should be used in colder weather, as it conserves body heat, and also if means for making a rope are not available.


To make rope: Find a dead tree lying on the ground, preferably with the bark rotting off. Pull the bark off until the stringy fiber just beneath is exposed. Pull these fibers out and wet them, roll them between your hands until they are malleable. Have three fibers of different lengths, tie together. Begin weaving or braiding the fibers, replacing the fiber with new ones when that piece has a minimum of six inches left. You will have varies tails hanging out, but you will be able to make the rope as long as you need.
If a tarp is not available, use the log/boulder tent method and find leafy branches to set along the edge of the log. This is not ideal, but is better than sleeping in the open elements.
Next week we will be discussing building permanent structures.
*Much of this information was obtained from Kids Camp by Laurie Carlson. I highly recommend this book.


Thursday, March 7, 2013

A to Z

What are you doing for this year’s A to Z blogfest? Or am I jumping the gun in assuming that all of you are participating? If I am, please forgive me. If all of this sounds like Greek to you, then check out for details.
This will be my third year. In years past, I wrote a different post each day, just based on anything and everything. But this year is different. This year my book is coming out.
I decided to tie my posts in with my book and focus on things that can be foraged. It’s been a bit tricky because, as most of you know, you cannot just use any old picture you find off the internet. And with foraging things, a written description is not enough. So I’m going way out on a limb here and drawing the images myself. I’m warning all of you ahead of time, because I do not claim to be an artist, just someone who doesn’t want to get sued for using copy written images.
My question for you, dear friends, is what are you planning on doing?

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Survivor Tuesday: Good Ground/ shelter

Once you have located a section of ground that has both good water supply, and abundant food stuffs, the next order of business will be to set up shelter. The type of shelter you will be constructing will be dependent on your intentions. If you mean to keep on the move, a tent like shelter will be needed. If you feel your ground is defensible and therefore you intend to make a more permanent home base, then a more permanent structure should be constructed.
The first step is this: Look at the land around you; what is it offering? Is there is a ridge? Use that as a natural barrier against both enemies and inclement weather. Are there abundant trees? Use their wood. Are there rocks? Use them.  Also, do not always look up; some of the most effective shelters have been constructed underground. This is also beneficial if concealment is necessary.
Next Tuesday I will be giving instructions on the construction of the mobile shelter, or tent. The following week instructions will be given for a more permanent structure.