Book Preview & Birthday Celebration!

Red Fox - art by Jane Valencia (c) 2011
Red Fox – art by Jane Valencia (c) 2011

You are invited!

When: Saturday, July 27, 2013

Time: 7-9:30PM

Where: Plain Old Farm (contact us for location)

Cost: None! Just bring yourself, family, friends. We invite you to bring a snack, dessert, or drink to share. See the end of this post for what else you might bring.

If you plan to come, or might come, please RSVP.

About the Event:

Because Of The Red Fox is close to publication!  I’m also about to celebrate a significant birthday (hint: how many stars are on our US flag?). I have vowed to family and friends, and now to all of you, that my manuscript will be complete by this event. All that will  be left to do will be copy-edits and some book production miscellany. The story itself will be done. No more revisions!

So, if you happen to be on an enchanted island in Puget Sound, come join us! The first hour will be devoted to stepping into the world of the Red Fox. I’ll read some from the book and share some tales. We’ll have music and some magical nature fun. We’ll also enjoy yummy food and good company around a lovely fire in the beautiful outdoors amidst some amazing and friendly trees.

My mom, Joyce Kiefer, who is a published poet and writer and with whom I share a birthday (she is turning a significant age as well) will share a couple of poems. We’ll have other surprises, too, as this event is very much a celebration of the magic of life here on the island and of my communities, all of which are woven into my novel in some form or another.

It promises to be a special evening, one that will be even more inspiring if you join us!

Please also bring: a chair or blanket and anything else you might need to be comfortable outside. If you can, please bring your own plates, utensils, & cups. Do you play an instrument? Tell stories? Want to share a song? We’ll have time for stories, music games, and more from all of us.

I hope you can come!


Mind Of A Writer: Script Frenzy And Leaf In-Action

Do you love writing stories or poems, articles or comics–or anything else?

When I was 7, I decided I wanted to be a writer when I grew up.  I already drew lots of stories.  After my decision to be a writer, I started working on daily installments of stories (hmm, looking back on that, I think these postings of my book chapters are the modern-day version of that!).

My brother loved sports, so we’d write and draw newspapers full of sports articles and pictures.

I loved comic books, so I drew super-hero cards (inventing my own super-heroes) and drew comic strips.

Eventually I wrote novels.  I wrote one and a half books when I was in middle school.

I particularly loved taking situations in my own life and reimagining them so that they took place in other times and even other worlds.   The real-life happenings change in the process, and its like playing with words to do this.  I end up having a lot of fun this way.

For awhile I created Books of Magic for a magical world I created for my sister and her friend.  I imagined that the world in these books, called Manora, was real, and that you were in it in our own backyard.    The Magic Queen sent my sister and her friend on missions, and the books held maps, and spells and keys to getting to different places in Manora and getting away from scary beings like the evil fairies, Windy, Sleet and Hail.

If you love to write, no doubt you are writing in a lot of different ways.  You may be writing your own stories, but you may be writing articles or blurbs about things you enjoy, and may not even realize that you’re being a Writer.

If you’re writing and you love it, you’re a Writer!

This is a good time to tell you about The Script Frenzy Young Writers Program, and encourage you to join in.  Here’s what it is:

“Script Frenzy is an international writing event in which participants attempt the creatively daring feat of writing an entire script in the month of April. For 30 days, you get to let your imagination take over and create the film, TV show, play, or graphic novel of your dreams!

That means participants begin writing April 1 and must finish by midnight, April 30. The script goal for our adult program is 100 pages, but the Young Writers Program (YWP) allows 17-and-under participants to set reasonable, yet challenging, individual page-count goals.”

I’m planning on doing it, creating a script for a novel/graphic novel hybrid.  100 pages (the Adult Program) sounds like a lot, but with scripts you have a lot of white space in the formatting!  I’ve written scripts before, and write scripts for my harp-and-storytelling performances.  Here’s a link to one of my harp partner’s and my Forest performance scripts.   This one isn’t exactly written in “official” script format, but may give you an idea about how script-writing might go.

So anyway, check out The Script Frenzy Young Writers Program!

Now, About The Latest Leaf

You might be thinking, how can Jane be thinking about writing a script, when she’s writing a book?

I can’t help it.  I’ve tried to only work on one project at a time, but that doesn’t work for me.  I always have several going at once.  I just love tending all those pots on the stove.  Or is it “plots”?  My intention with the Script, though, is to use it more for note-taking, plotting, and mapping a world, which I’m doing (despite myself!) anyway.

Here’s the scoop on Because Of The Red Fox.  When I posted the last Leaf, I made a big decision about the story.  I’d written something in the first draft that for ages really bothered me because it seemed to weird.  I went back and forth, should I take it out, or keep it in?  How would the story change if I kept it in?

Well, luckily, in the past few weeks I’d been reading a children’s fantasy series, The Dalemark Quartet by Diana Wynne Jones.  It’s an amazing series (a little dark at times), and also with some complex ideas.  Diana Wynne Jones was a really courageous writer.    Reading her stories inspired me to just go with my weird ideas and make them work and make them fun.

The result is that my story has changed, even though I kept the weird thing in!  So I’m finding I’m totally rewriting this section of the book.  And now it turns out that Govan will end up having his own interlude, so that will be completely new.

So, I’m sorry it’s taking sometimes two weeks between posts, but I’ll do my darnedest not to be longer than two weeks in between!

Okay, that’s all for now!  Happy reading — and keep on writing!

This is just one volume of the Dalemark Quartet, though the edition above contains the first two books — including Drowned Ammet which is the most dark of the series — with some beautiful stuff in it too, towards the end. You can probably get all four books at your public library or through your local independent bookshop, or through Powells Books, via this link.

What’s Up With The Leaf?

Annie: Did you see? Worms are dangling from trees! Yellow-pale-green long worms from those short shrubby trees, and little tight curling worms on those tall pale trees.

Santa: Worms? Where! Don’t tell me the tent caterpillars are back!

Shell: Huh? What are you both talking about? Worms on the trees?

Tam The Teapot: Ah hem, I believe Annie is referring to catkins. I too have noticed that some shrubs and some trees are now displaying catkins. Some are yellow-green, some reddish brown. Other trees have other kinds, I suspect.  Catkins are basically the trees’ flowers.

Shell:  So the trees have flowers, and not worms?  That’s a lot more pleasant!

Tam The Teapot:  Indeed!

Annie:  I wonder if trees in other places have worms all over them right now–I mean catkins?  Hey, readers —  [Annie looks at you!]  — do any trees in your neighborhood have dangly-things all over, and no leaves?

Shell:  Hey, I have a joke!  Fresh from my Joke Shop!

Santa: What is it?  I could listen to something funny about now.

Shell:  Okay, here it is:  How is Jane’s book writing like those trees with all the catkins?

Santa:  Uh, gee, Shell.  How?

Shell:  Her book still has no new leaves.  Ha ha!

Santa: Not very funny–

Shell:  Maybe not, but it’s true.  Jane is working on the book–my book–and had hoped to post a new Leaf today, but ….

Annie:  She’s covered with worms instead?

Shell:  Annie, I just don’t think so.

Tam The Teapot: In any case, dear Reader.  Jane begs your patience and pardon.  She’s pretty sure the next Leaf will be ready sometime next week.

Annie:  The first Leaf of 2012–how exciting!

Santa: Hm.  We’ll see …..

To Be Continued!