Necronomicon 2016

Well, I’ve edited this post way too many times. . .  And then I got so busy, I forgot to post it!! *Sigh.* Oh, well. Here it is:

 

Yes, I went to Necronomicon again this year, and it was great! I went all three days, and I’m really glad I did.

I met some really wonderful people, and got to talk to some friends. Some of which just happen to be really great authors.

Like Dr. Rick Wilber, former sports reporter for the Tampa Tribune, and former Mass Communications instructor at  USF. He writes some great short stories involving baseball (some of which I have read), and his new Sci Fi novel is on my to-read list.

Also, friend and fellow fantasy writer Kat Heckenbach, who also creates works of art in many forms. Including some very cool Harry Potter-esque wands!

There were lots of panel discussions on writing, creativity, and even different fandoms. One was on the Marvel movie universe.

Lots of fandoms were represented among the cosplayers. There was a pool of Deadpool cosplayers in different variations of the character, haha.

Some attendees (whether authors, artists, or others) came for the cosplaying. Some to hopefully sell books. But we all had a great time!

At least, I know I did.

 

 

 

 

 

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Random Thoughts on my Work in Progress

When I started doing research for my novel in 2008, I came across a lot of things… some of which have become a part of every day life for some, now.

I had a character who was into making everything, from the products she cleaned with, to the cloths she used to clean the house, and cooked from scratch every day.

Now, it’s a thing to do all of that.

Plus, she makes her own medicines. Lives off the land. Some people do that.

Was I onto something? I don’t know. But it sometimes makes me think that maybe it’s not as much of an original idea, now.

In early January of 2008 I had an idea for a fantasy novel, several months after the last Harry Potter book came out. Maybe I was bored. Although I don’t know how I could have been: I was an adult Mass Comm student, mom of a soon-to-be four year old, and a freelance writer/editor/photographer.

Anyway, I just loved doing the research involved with the story. I didn’t remember doing research for a fiction story before. Heck, I hadn’t written fiction in ages. I was having fun! Maybe too much fun, though.

After about six months of that, making some notes on plot and writing a few scenes, I realized I may be taking a long time to write it. And a couple months back I realized I couldn’t write the whole story as one book. It would have to be a trilogy. I remember thinking: Uh oh. Now I said to my self, like my son sometimes says: Really uh oh. 

Some other things happened in my personal life that year, which pushed me back some as well, like moving and having some medical issues in my family.

Doubts started to creep in, as well. After all, some writers seemed to be on the same wavelength as me, coming out with stories of young adults having supernatural adventures in strange lands of possibly Celtic origin. Sigh.

I didn’t know what to think. Who to believe, as well. But I did start going to critique groups, which helped me a lot. Even though I found out some don’t think writers should attend critique groups until you have a finished first draft. Sigh again.

I was just trying to get the darn thing done. And trying to see if I was on the right track.

And learning how to be a mom to a kid with special needs.

All in the same year. Or two. Or three.

Sometimes it seemed impossible. At least improbable, anyway, that I would ever finish it. After the five year mark, I just thought it would never get done. So why bother?

However, due to meeting some great people in the occasional critique groups, writers meetings and writers conferences who listened to me talk about my idea, and staying in touch with them online, people would ask me about it. I started feeling encouraged again.

I am grateful to them. Because I have been writing again. Thanks, guys!!

Especially to: Kat Heckenbach (another author with a female character in a foreign land, where there are supernatural goings-on… ),  Kim Kelly Hackett, Miriam Goodspeed, Chris Coad Taylor, etc., etc., etc., also to the FWA (Florida Writers Association), BAPWG (Bay Area Professional Writers Guild), the TWA (Tampa Writers Alliance), etc., etc., etc.

You all rock!!

P.S. I hope to blog weekly now, giving status updates on the progress of my novel, and possibly on other projects. Stay tuned!

 

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I entered a contest

Some of my online friends know that not only am I a writer, I am a sometime crafter.

I just went to scrapbook.com to check out a stamp, then was offered to enter a contest in order to win a bunch of supplies and equipment, worth I think about $2,500. You do have to  do some poking around their website in order to have additional entries, but I am interested in learning more about papercrafting anyway, so I just ran the free video class while I finished it up.

Also, writing this blog post was on the list of ways I can generate more entries. *shrug* So I figured, why not? if it helps me get some words down today, I’ll do it. I think some of my many (ahem) followers might be interested. . . .

 

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Under Construction. . . .

I’m undergoing a revamping/reconstruction of my blog. I haven’t been posting for quite a while, but I have been thinking about getting back to this, especially now that I’m serious about finishing my book.

I have also been doing some art recently. I never thought of myself as an artist growing up, but I was always doodling. I also seem to have a need to keep my pencil moving when listening to a lecture or phone call. Flip through my yellow legal notepad of to do lists, and you would see that it’s filled with sketched tornadoes, cubes, hearts and spirals.

So, keep an eye out for upcoming content, and please give any (albeit constructive, please) feedback on how it’s coming! Thanks,

Heather

 

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Death in Writing – It’s Not a Story Unless Someone Dies by Brad Windhauser

I have been blocked on a certain story I’ve been working on for quite a long while. Reading this blog post made me reconsider my strategy on opening the story. This was a very interesting read!

Five Writers

Death in Writing – It’s Not a Story Unless Someone Dies by Brad Windhauser

I don’t have a morbid fascination with death. I didn’t grow up surrounded by death. Although I did have the extreme misfortune of losing two friends in high school—two separate car accidents—I don’t have a pessimistic view of life. However, somewhere along the way—perhaps influenced by these tragic experiences—I internalized that the most potent way for someone to feel was to experience the death of a loved one. So, this explains why most of my early stories included a death of some kind. Now, I do my best to avoid this narrative option.

Because death is a part of life, writers shouldn’t avoid death all together. For many (and for a long time my outlook), how else does someone get so close to the life-changing emotions that accompany the grief associated with this type of loss?…

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I am a generalist.

I am a writer. I have deliberated for a long time about whether or not to specialize. I had read in writers magazines for quite a while that it is quite a good idea to specialize in a subject or two (or three).  However, listening to a friend talk a few times recently about how she is a generalist really got me thinking.

Okay, maybe I have many clips on medical subjects, but I have realized there are so many things I am interested in that I can no longer ignore.

So I have to write about them.

Here are the subjects I would love to write about: Medical (including ADHD, autism and other disabilities, and cancer); Health (including exercise, nutrition, cooking and natural living); Crafting, Collectibles, and Travel; Folklore and Celtic Studies; Literature, Writing and Language.

Some of these subjects overlap. Some don’t. And I think that’s fine with me.

Of course I am willing to write about anything that comes my way. I have even written business profiles for local weekly newspapers. I’ve done copyediting professionally, for a variety of publications and websites.

But mostly, I just have to write.

Heather

Posted in Autism, Breast Cancer, Cancer, Cooking, Copyediting, Language, Nutrition, Parentling, Uncategorized, Writing | Leave a comment

About Me and My Services

This is the first post of this version of my blog, so I’ll start with introducing myself. I am Heather Dewey Pettet. I am a writer and editor. I started freelancing for newspapers in 2000, and have enjoyed myself ever since. I got bit by the journalism bug, and have pursued an Associate’s degree in Mass Communications. I have also been on the other side of the desk, as I was editor of the HCC (Hillsborough Community College) student newspaper, The Hawkeye, on two separate occasions. After having my son, I continued to work on completing my Associate’s degree, all the while freelancing for newspapers and a magazine. Also, I was an intern at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida. Once my son was diagnosed with autism, however, things had slowed down, so I focused on getting him the help he needed. I recently became interested in re-entering the freelance work force, and also in starting a blog about the disability community where I live, in Upper Pinellas County, Florida. I want to use my experiences with my son as a springboard for a concentration in writing geared to the disability community. With a professional background in writing for health-based organizations, and a personal background in health-related topics, I feel I am best suited for writing about the real, everyday lives those with disabilities—and their families—face. On the editing side, I was also a freelance copyeditor for two years for an international publication about healthy eating, and also have assisted with copyediting for a website. On the collegiate level stated above, I have been Editor-in-Chief, Copyeditor and Sports Page Editor. I have created, or assisted in creating, in-house style guides for magazine and book publishers. My specialties include blogging and features writing with a medical focus, particularly on disabilities; medical writing; food writing; nutrition, travel, health & fitness; general copywriting; copyediting and proofreading. I have a sharp eye for detail and have editorial experience using the AMWA (the American Medical Writers Association) Style, AP (Associated Press) Style and the Chicago Manual of Style. I am a member of the NCDJ (National Center on Disability and Journalism) (who have their own style guide, by the way), and BAPWG (Bay Area [Tampa Bay] Professional Writers Guild). I am a former member of SPJ (Society of Professional Journalists), TWA (Tampa Writers Alliance) and FWA (Florida Writers Association). I am fascinated by the English language, and have been since I can remember. I will be writing in the future about writing, editing, proofreading, language, grammar, and constructing sentences. Also, I will be writing about the writing, editing and other books on language that I recommend to all my writer friends. Also, I will talk about the mistakes that I, too, make. I guess I’m human, after all.

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