The Japanese Imperial Army, 14th Army, Shimbu Group I have just finished sending off a draft of War Sonnets to beta and sensitivity readers. Am I a nervous wreck? You betcha! So to keep myself busy, I hereby introduce you to the Japanese side of the "Men of War Sonnets." Left to right: Corporal/Sergeant Tadashi … Continue reading Meet the Men of “War Sonnets,” Part Two
United State Army—112th RCT As a writer, it’s important to know everything you can about each of your characters. Most of what you learn will never make it to your story, but digging deep into their personalities may reveal things you hadn’t thought of. Suddenly, that person is more than a name. They feel real, … Continue reading Meet the Men of “War Sonnets”, Part One
I learned something the other day: In the military it is not okay to refer to a subordinate by their first name. It implies an over-friendly superior-subordinate relationship and can actually be a punishable offense. I knew it was common to use last names but I hate doing what’s common and I thought, why can’t … Continue reading Sensitivity
Today's post: a collage of images I use to represent my characters, Leo, Dooley, Woody, Cal, Sergeant Ryan, Lt. Inoue, Kaito, Tadashi, Sachiko, Harry, Russo, and Johnson, and their surroundings. Can you spot the protagonists? Antagonists? There are two of each.
I’m luckier than many fledgling writers. I have my own writing space and it takes up a whole room! Yes, my partner’s desk is there as well, but when I’m writing, the room is mine. I also have the luxury of being retired so—no interruptions (er... except Jellybean the cat). My writing space is the … Continue reading Writing Spaces
If grief and guilt could build an empire, Doris and Tup Senter would be rich. Instead, they’re merely miserable. Life is idyllic on the post-World War II Senter family farm near Portland, Maine. Doris and Tup are content. In love, with three happy children that Doris protects like a mama bear. Until tragedy strikes. Doris … Continue reading Book Review: “Beneficence” by Meredith Hall
What do you think of when you see the word “sonnet?” Love poems, right? So imagine my surprise when I first read my uncle’s sonnets about his war experience. Who writes sonnets about fighting? And yet, he did. And they are awesome—one might say beautiful. When I was trying to come up with a list … Continue reading Origins: War Sonnets
There are books, there are great books…and then there are great authors. You know, the author who bangs out one best seller after another, who makes you think, “Gosh, I wish I could write like that.” For me that author is Dean Koontz. If you haven’t yet encountered the name you need to look him … Continue reading The Author I Admire Most
Susannah and the loons have been on hiatus for quite awhile but we're back with a new look thanks to the awesomeness of @kjharrowick. If you're reading this post in your email, please take the time to visit my site and tell me what you think. I think this new look was well worth the … Continue reading A new look for Utter Loonacy!
If you’re a part of the writing community, you’ve probably heard the term “beta reader.” What’s that, you say? Beta readers are part of the writing process. Let’s start from the beginning: When you finish that first rough (and awful!) draft, the rule of thumb is to set it aside for a few weeks, then … Continue reading Beta Me This