We live in an amazing world.

I write about amazing worlds and technology, but it doesn’t come from nowhere. It comes from our world. The one we all share. It’s out there, amazing and beautiful and encompassing, making our lives better and richer, there’s an argument there, and fuller.

Want an example: the 3D printer brought us a mainstream way to get a plastic gun in every hand, as long as you have the money for a printer; approx 2500.00 dollars, and the bullet to go with it.There are moral issues that go with this but that’s not the point of this article. This is: http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/story/2013/06/07/business-3d-printing-video.html  A 3D printer that makes viable working liver cells. the tech isn’t applicable yet, I don’t think, but it means a huge step forward for medical advances and the availability of body parts. Need a new heart? A new liver? A skin draft. I know I’m extrapolating but that’s the point.

Invisibility used to be only in the realm of magic. http://mashable.com/2013/06/19/super-power-tech/ Now, there are scientific proofs that have the tech coming into the forefront of science. you won’t be able to sneak out of math class yet, but one day… there are 7 more tech advances in this link. Check them out.

And here is a machine that works in the body without the fluids affecting the electronics. http://news.yahoo.com/electronics-withstand-bodily-fluids-140107275.html Pacemakers are sealed from the body for rejection issues, so this is a step forward for organ implants.

There is always a negative to technology, just like with guns, weapons, electricity, but that’s a matter of application as much as the destructive potential of the technology.

How do you want technology used? Need a new heart?

Have a hug from me today. Then find one closer to your life.

Excerpt from Wolf: A Military P.A.C. Novel

In snowshoes, his movement was hampered. He didn’t have much choice, so he kept his knife low, his stance ready and spread out, as a hundred kilos of wolf bore down on him, the growl in his ears deafening. The wolf’s arc would bring its teeth to his throat. Michael crouched down and raised his knife, thrusting with all his weight. He felt the blade bite deep into the wolf’s underside, the hilt meeting its hide and burying deep. The wolf twisted its head and drove its teeth into Michael’s right shoulder. His hand slipped from the knife. He collapsed, following the wolf’s arc to the ground as best he could, lessening the force, reducing the tearing of his jacket and hopefully the flesh underneath. He heard Faelon then, her weight slamming into the other wolf with a thud as they rolled away from him, snow exploding outward. He finally got a look at the wolf as it snarled and ravaged at Faelon, trying to tear her apart. Its body was black in colour, turning to a dark grey on its limbs and paws. Its hair was spiked with rage, and its eyes glared with darkness, as if its colouring was showing its personality as well. It was easy to see Faelon against its dark fur; she possessed the same brindle coat as her hair in human form.

Then silence descended on the forest as the two wolves untwisted from each other as if they had to see each other to make the next move. Then Michael saw what he had gone through with Faelon himself—only he had won that dominance game. Locked in the stare, Faelon took an aggressive stance, her fur standing up, a growl thrumming through the air. The other wolf’s stance was defensive. It stood slightly crouched, its back up, and tail hung low. The intruder turned and melted into the forest. Blood stained the snow, puddles of it trailing after the male.

Kindle Promo

The promo I ran on Kindle the other day for Wolf: A Military P.A.C. Novel was, in my opinion, very successful. Almost 1700 downloads. Now if just ten percent of them write a review…I’d really appreciate it.
Thank you to all who shared this on their page or in their network. I found the whole promo humbling and vital.
Thank you again.

Editing

I’ve done a lot of editing in the past fourteen years. Both to my own work and others. And I’ve noticed that all authors have their own brand of mistake that they can’t see through. They may even critique it  in other groups, about other authors, without noticing it in themselves. This is normal. It’s not hypocrisy. Writers have blinders on when it comes to their work. It takes a long time to notice these mistakes and train themselves out of them, and a first draft, no matter how long the writer has been writing, will have these weaknesses. They crop up. Especially if the writer is trying to finish something in a certain period of time.

Here’s a few examples: Spelling. Personally I’m terrible at this and rely heavily on spell check and online dictionaries. Missed commas, missed words, repeated words in a few sentences that don’t reinforce a need or emotion in the characterization or plot.

This is why editors exist, grammar Natzi’s, if you wish. Harsh as that sounds.

But editing is more than grammar, more than copy, it even goes further than sentence structure and flow. There’s structure for a novel that comes into play – developmental editing is a term I keep seeing lately. For the best book on novel structure – in my opinion – see Larry Brooks Story Engineering.

What I see some editors miss, especially those not formally trained, is that the author has a voice and a style and a way of saying things that needs to be respected. Something to be noticed. And this style needs to be acknowledged in the editing, and the note taking for changes to be made in a manuscript. It’s not just a matter of deleting, changing, or modifying sentences, paragraphs or whole chapters of a book. Good editors, truly involve the author in the process.

If your editor isn’t doing this, it may be unconscious, or ego, or training, so give him or her a break, let them know. Don’t take everything they do as gospel, but, stay open to their ideas and suggestions. This has some of the same components of a writing group. It takes a certain amount of bravery. And in the case of an editor, you’re often paying for a service. This means you get to define the experience before it starts. So take part.

A good editor is like a good therapist, they take time to find. Look well.

Hug something today, rocks and walls don’t count.

Writing Groups

I’ve been going to three writing groups a month for ten to twelve years. That’s a lot of critiquing, editing, and being critiqued. Of course, I sometimes take a break as well, from one or another of them. It’s growth work to sit in a room and have people tear holes in your work. It builds a thick skin. It makes you vulnerable. It leaves you open to grow, not only as a writer, but as a person. You see, you have to keep your mouth shut to really appreciate what other people are saying, to not defend your work or your reasoning behind the work. Why? Because your readers will do the same thing and if you defend or retaliate to the validity of your work, you will lose a reader. At least, I think so. I’ve seen writers get so defensive on line that the comments they get in return become caustic. And it just gets worse. Best just to say thank you and move forward.

A critique group is one of the best tools in the world to learn to be a better writer. Of course you’re going to get every type of personality and ego out there. That’s part of the charm and the curse of writing groups.

Some will be grateful that you shared with them, and a piece of your soul; some will be joyous at the effort it took for you to share. Some call that bravery. I do. Especially if you’re shy or introverted, or both. Some are happy to help you improve your writing. They do this with suggestions to make your writing better: how to change your voice; words choices to make stronger sentences; ways to improve characterization, and heaven forbid, grammar and punctuation changes. The last is a slippery slope as far as I’m concerned. It doesn’t matter in a group because if you care about your work, it’s the last thing you do to make your work polished. You may even pay an editor to do this for you, but in a critique group, you’re showing first and second drafts and at that point, it’s all the other stuff that needs details to improve your story.

You will also meet people who will tell you their way of writing is the only way; people who don’t care because it’s not in their genre, and have nothing to say to improve the writing, so it becomes a “why did you write that,” kind of thing; and those that don’t know how to be positive.

Go back to the first paragraph and see the comment about thick skin.

Writing holds a lot of rejection. Get used to it. Learn from it. Listen to the things that most people reinforce, this means it’s being noticed and there may be something wrong there. Things mentioned only once, may really be only personal opinion, and everyone knows what that means on the grand scale of things.

But a writing group should point out your strengths and weaknesses. That’s the important thing. That’s how you grow. It takes time. Be patient.

Give yourself that chance.

Hug someone today.

Thank you

I keep selling books.

It’s not a lot, but I’m not well known yet.

I’m always surprised by a sale, and a little humbled. It gives me hope, and drive, and supports my dream to be an author, one that grows and gets better with each book. It’s the story that matters.

To Hallie Trumbull: I’m sorry you were confused. I’ll try harder for the next story.

Thank you for your honesty.

Sincerely, KL Mabbs

Excerpt from Wolf: A Military P.A.C. Novel

And Faelon changed.

One moment, Michael saw her lunge at the other wolf, her face and teeth reaching for its throat. Her body shifted, like quicksilver under moonlight, and the next moment her brindle-coloured snout and long canines were snapping shut. Michael heard the sharp crack of her teeth closing on air. As the black wolf passed, her claws reached out and raked its hide, and her teeth snapped again at its hindquarters. They bit down on flesh this time. She whipped her head and tore a great chunk from the animal’s flank. Its cry pierced the air, but it ignored her, too intent on its prey.

Michael had six metres of distance to watch as the male wolf slipped past Faelon, landed on the ground, stepped forward twice, and then lunged straight for his throat.

From the God’less Saga

“I love you, Book.” He touches my back, his fingers lingering, too long. I look at the dried blood drops on the floor. How old are they? A day, two? I get up slowly and move away, keeping the chair between us.

“I love you too, dad.” I look him in the eyes. The ruin of his face. The God’less had finally made it to his eyes in ways I had never seen before, but I had never left him alone before either. He’d always had a reason to come home, a reason to care.

“You better go, Book. Hurry. I don’t…”

I can feel the suit integrating, fusing to my spine, a slow arc of pain like stretching to far along an axis. In time it would help me heal, to move again with the fluid motion I had been used to before I was hurt. But for now I was stiffer than I had been.

I pick up his kit, groaning as I sling it over my shoulder. The emotional ping I’ve been getting – its God talking to me – is ringing in my ears, too loud. The resonance feeling as if the whole universe is filling me up. But I already know what it means, what God is trying to tell me. My dad…we’ve danced together, playing our needs back and forth. Him staving off the God’less and me learning to defend myself from it. My hand goes to the doorknob, my head rests against the doorjamb for a moment, and I feel tears flow over my cheeks. “Goodbye dad. I love you. I always will.” I close the door behind me, with the same reverence as I had said goodbye. I hear his footsteps, a hollow echo against the floor. The latch clicks shut. And I wait.

It doesn’t take long, though I didn’t hear the final click of the safety disengaging. Didn’t need that warning sound considering what I did hear. A loud crack. The soft thud of his body hitting the floor.

Both those sounds echoed for a long, long time.

Ideas, Concepts, and their Source in Writing

When I came up with the idea for the P.ersonal A.daptive C.omputer for Wolf I was looking at the tech that came out of today’s headlines. Piezo-electric power for cell phones gave me the idea for an alternative energy source for the P.A.C. based on this article here: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081201162127.htm

Another source was diabetic delivery systems for drugs that could be embedded under the skin and always on.  This is an old idea and one I’ve seen before, so no need for an article. Drug patches are a less intrusive version of this idea, but just as valid. Pace makers have their roots based in this idea, only it’s a battery that sustains the electrical rhythm of the heart. But I have little doubt that the idea sprang from other related concepts. the delivery system in the P.A.C. unit was an quantum based engine that could produce drugs from minute composite sources or even energy.

Computers that could be reduced in size and ran on organics had a basis for the tech as well. This article comes to mind when i think of this: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/9961159/Tiny-computer-inside-the-body-could-treat-disease.html

I looked at this article for ideas on the memory function of the P.A.C. http://www.tgdaily.com/trendwatch-features/51591-nano-particles-could-offer-new-type-of-flash-memory

The wealth of ideas for novels come from the world around me. the ideas and concepts are fueled from thinking ahead, even slightly for the tech coming out into the world today. Now. These ideas exist right now and in your backyard. a constant source for the novels you read and or write everyday.

Research is part of every book, it’s a constant learning curve and one of the reasons I like writing so much. It keeps me young.

Another Review For Wolf: A Military P.A.C. Novel

Wolf: A Military P.A.C. Novel (Kindle Edition) A highly original, highly imaginative Speculative Fiction story blending ancient Navajo lore, mythology, and magic with military operations and futuristic ultra-high-tech gear, and laced with passion and sexual tension. Engrossing and thought-provoking, the novel features larger-than-life characters and situations, set in the spectacular backdrop of the Canadian Rockies. A great, entertaining read.