Worldbuilding – Session 1: The Ritual of Life

I mentioned most briefly on Twitter that I did something crazy and signed up for an online writing course through Writer’s Digest on Worldbuilding.  I had received several emails about the class, but was having trouble pulling the trigger because of all the things currently on my plate.  I finally decided to just do it, because I cannot express how long I have wanted to take a writing class specifically focused on fantasy.  Add to that the fact that this is a Worldbuilding course and I am very fond of the world of Dadreon I have been building for around two decades now (OMG, I’m old) and I don’t know why I even fought it!

The writing prompt for Week 1, in which we discussed the presence of magic or technology and the its implementations in your story:

Write a short scene of 500-1500 words that features aspects of your world’s magic (an artifact, spell, ritual, etc.) or advanced technology. Give that magic spell, technological gizmo, etc. a solid context in the story that conveys its reason for being and the limits to its power, so that no further explanation is necessary but what it adds to the story.

I hope you enjoy this first piece.  Trying to knock some rust off my creative writing, since I have been so focused on work-related writing lately.  And I’m very happy to touch on an aspect of Dadreon that I have not focused on much.

~ Effy

The Ritual of Life

Sunlight in Trees

The elderly elven woman came to a stop and leaned against the thick trunk of one of the many aspen trees. The cool, smooth bark helped refresh her. Her breath came labored, something that never gave her problems in her younger years, but those years were far behind her. Now, even the leisurely pace she had set for herself to get to the grove had exhausted her.

1036 years would do that to a body, even an elven one.

The coimeadai(1) prepared for the doitean ar soal(2), but she had some time.

“Today is the day – the day I rejoin the earth from which I came. I have no regrets. I have lived a long and full life. I have seen more than I ever expected in my time.

“I have seen the destruction of our forests, our sinsear(3). I have seen the shattering of our world. I have seen the rise of the humans – these eachtrannach(4) – and their conquering of this land which withers at their touch. I have seen many atrocities against the siofra(5). But we have endured and we shall endure.”

The elderly elven woman held her hand against the trunk of the aspen tree before her. She closed her eyes and opened her mind. “Sinsear, lend me your strength. I need it more right now than ever before.

Mhathair(6),” the elderly elven woman whispered. Her breath had returned to normal but she still felt tired. She wanted to sit down, but she knew that soon it would no longer matter. Soon, she would join her sinsear. “Mhathair, I go to join you today.”

And we will welcome you with open arms, my daughter. We are very proud. Your strength, your leadership, has helped lead the siofra through many trials. Because of this, today you become one of us. To live on and to spread your wisdom. The voice that came into her head soothed her and suffused her with a warmth that revitalized her.

One of the coimeadai, a young girl with ginger-colored hair, though not as brilliant as the old woman’s now-greying tresses had once been, touched her shoulder. “Seanmhathair(7), it is time.”

The old elven woman nodded. She leaned on the arm of the coimeadai and let herself be led to the circle of those who would begin the doitean ar soal and lead her to her second life.

Soon she would be free of this aging body. Soon she would be one of the sinsear. Soon her mind would be one with that of the forest. Soon she would lend her wisdom to future siofra.

The elderly elven woman could not help wondering if the transformation would be painful. She knew the sinsear would be with her throughout all of it, but her mind began to wander to such things. Things like how differently it would feel to be an aspen instead of an elf. How would it feel to have no arms or legs or eyes or mouth?

Seanmhathair Crishta,” the lead coimeadai called out, addressing the old elven woman by name. “Let us begin.”

The old elven woman walked slowly to the center of a circle of elves all wearing the airy, light brown robes of the coimeadai. They tightened the circle around her and took hands. She stood in a shaft of bright sunlight – the spot of the doitean ar soal chosen for that exact reason. Its warmth lit her face and she closed her eyes.

Chanting arose around her. It started slowly and seemed to waver around her as it grew in sound and pitch. Everything except the chanting and the sun on her face fell away.

All at once her fingers and toes began to tingle. They felt as though they were elongating – her fingers reaching for the sky until she thought she could almost touch it and her toes penetrating the earth beneath her and seeing how deep it ran.

Then, Crishta felt the sun’s warmth change. It suffused her in a way she never expected. Her arms reached for it. Her fingers drank in its energy. She felt it all through her, revitalizing her. It was an energy she had not felt in many years, a youthful feel she had almost forgotten.

She felt a need to look around her. A brief moment of panic went through her.

Fear not, daughter. Open your mind and you will realize the vast world your senses can still witness.

She saw, not with eyes, but with another sense entirely. The outline of every tree of the forest came to her, and she saw the lifeforce pulsing within each one, flowing slowly like great, individual rivers. Then, she realized she could also see the elves, the coimeadai, the keepers of the forest, still gathered in a circle around her. They did not flow like rivers, rather they pulsed with a self-contained lifeforce, and because they were so focused they shone like bright flames.

The epiphany that came to her at that moment changed her view of the world even more. Even her long life as an elf was merely a flash of flame compared to the slow and plodding of the existence of the sinsear.

Footnotes:

  1. coimeadao – keepers
  2. doitean ar soal – ritual of life
  3. sinsear – ancestors
  4. eachtrannach – foreigners
  5. siofra – elf, the elven people
  6. mhathair – mother
  7. seanmhathair – grandmother

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

This story and all related material are the original works of Awaiting the Muse and Effy J. Roan AKA Effraeti. All rights reserved.
Creative Commons License
Awaiting the Muse by Effy J. Roan AKA Effraeti is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Based on a work at http://awaitingthemuse.wordpress.com/.

Last Night at the Dark Portal

Effy

Effy

I’m not sure if the GREEN Dark Portal is really going away for ever and ever.  But in case it is, here are some last shots with Effy, Iree, and Laz.  And it is the last time I will see them looking like this.

Tomorrow, the Dark Portal goes red and my toons will look different!

Cya on the flip-side!

~ Effy

Being a Wrath-baby, I have never see so many people gathered at the Dark Portal!

Being a Wrath-baby, I have never see so many people gathered at the Dark Portal!

Effy

Effy

Iree

Iree

Effy and Iree

Effy and Iree

Laz and Effy

Laz and Effy

...and baby Marti!

…and baby Marti!

The Fall of Shattrath

Shattrath, City of Light

Shattrath, City of Light

This is a short piece that I started working on quite some time ago, but it finally felt appropriate to touch it up and post it in response to another of Nethaera’s writing prompts (this time about focusing on dialogue), since this piece is more of a dialogue interaction between Effy and Laz.  It also seems appropriate considering the upcoming expansion.

The Fall of Shattrath

“No!  Unthinkable!  How could Velen even think this course of action acceptable!?” Lazheward hollered.  He cringed at venting his frustrations so loudly to Effraeti, but the weight the idea put in his stomach proved too much.  It made him sick to his heart.  As a Paladin and defender of the Light, it grated against every fabric of his being.

Her steady hand lightly touching his arm caused him to finally meet her gaze, albeit reluctantly.  Effy nodded, understanding as well as caution present in her luminescent eyes as she responded in a soft but firm voice, “Velen does what he feels he must for our survival, love.  As he always has.  Sometimes, those decisions are difficult, and I know he lives with the consequences of those decisions everyday.”

Lazheward sighed heavily.  “I know you are right, but there has to be another way…”  His voice trailed off as tried to think of one.  “Especially… the children…”  The thought made him grit his teeth.  “No!  I will stay myself!”  His voice nearly broke forming the words.

Effy fiercely embraced him.  “We would both stand in their places, and we would fight to our last breath – side by side.”  She paused.  “But that is not what has been asked of us.  We must help lead our people forward, and live to fight another day.  The others… they stay behind to guarantee our escape and to feed the hope that the orcs will think they have destroyed us completely.”

Snarling through his teeth before he could stop himself, Laz lightly extricated himself from Effy and stomped out of the room.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

This story is based on worlds and characters in World of Warcraft.
Creative Commons LicenseAwaiting the Muse by Effy J. Roan AKA Effraeti is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Based on a work at http://awaitingthemuse.wordpress.com/.

Wax Poetic: Note-Taking

writing tools

A quick pic of my favorite writing tools!

Why do I write?

Because there is something soothing about writing – even if it is just scribbling notes in my notebook.

If I can write down what is in my head, it relieves some of the anxiety attached to those items.  Writing down things I have to do relieves me of some of the pressure, because it makes them more concrete and more easily conquered.  It helps me sleep, because there is not the worry of forgetting.  I know they can be accomplished when they are put into words instead of a jumble of thoughts in my head.  Writing down story ideas or character information or world details pulls them from my brain to ease the worry of losing them to the swirl of mangled thoughts.

This past weekend, I spent a lot of time thinking through a decision – a very important decision – and it turned out to be writing it out in several different ways that helped me decide.  Even writing and rewriting the same thing several times helped.  I wrote it out in pros and cons.  I wrote it out in free writing.  I wrote it out in a to-do list.  I rewrote when my notes got too messy.

Finally, about midnight on Saturday night, all this writing led to a decision and a wonderful feeling of accomplishment and relaxation.  And I slept great.

I have decided I am only going back to school part time for the fall, so I can stay full time at work.

So for fall, I am just taking Tech Writing II and the online class about the short story and novel.

Part of my decision was based on how heavy a load of homework I knew I was looking at originally.  I had myself scheduled for 14 credit hours.  Writing and reading and two classes on building webpages.  Plus balancing work.  Even with 6 credit hours, I know these two classes are going to be a lot of reading and writing.

The other part of my decision came from knowing how much progress I have made at work since going full time and much progress I still want to make.  I have a lot of projects I want to finish, and I think the fall is the best time to work on them.

It was even more relieving to find out my decision was the one my boss really wanted, even though he would not have said so.  I imagine he thought it would be irresponsible for him to steer me in any direction that was not school.

But that’s just it – I’m not quitting.  In fact, I love going to school.  I would be happy staying in school until I’m 70 if I could keep finding classes to take.  I could finish the number of credits I need between fall and winter if not for the fact I can only take one Tech Writing class at a time.  Most of my electives are taken care of.  I am bottle-necked by my main class.  I am currently filling in with classes for completely separate certificates that relate but are not part of my Tech Writing degree.

All of my classes are related to what I want to do and what I am doing at work.  My work makes my school possible.

So my ultimate goal is to make school and work continue to build off one another.  I believe focusing on accomplishing the rest of my work goals – which were hard to focus on during our busiest season during the summer – is the best course of action for me right now.

~ Effy

What are your fall goals?

So for now, I am staying full time at work, and my plan is to go back to full time school in the winter semester.

The Huntress

A Night Elf Druid

I finally noticed on Twitter that Nethaera has been posting in the WoW forums looking for stories of different types.  This week, she is looking for Druid stories!  So I felt this to be a good opportunity to flex my writing muscles some (don’t want them to atrophy).

I don’t believe my Druid, Solaes, ever gets any story love, so here she is.  Enjoy!

~ Effy

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Through huntress eyes, she spotted her prey.  It did not even try and hide.  Instead it flaunted itself as if it had nothing to fear in the dark forest.

Her prey was wrong.

The huntress pounced, her strong rear legs launching her quickly to her prey.  Claws shredded silky fabric of magenta and violet and met with the soft skin beneath.  Blood darkened the garments as they snapped wildly while the two forms fell through the air.  Her prey’s body hit the ground with a muffled thump in the soft undergrowth.

Her prey could not even cry out, the air blasted from its lungs.  It laying heaving for breath as the huntress growled deep within her throat.  She tore her prey’s throat out before it could muster a scream.

Her taste for blood sated, the huntress dropped heavily to her rear haunches and looked upon the dead human in front of her.  She absently licked the blood from her lips as her thoughts slowly became more clear, less animalistic.

Solaes shifted back to her Night Elf form.  She continued to sit and stare blankly at the lifeless form of the Twilight Cultist.  She wrapped her arms around her legs and squeezed them to her chest, still staring over the tops of her knees at the cooling corpse.

No longer did killing the heretics fill her with accomplishment.  Now, it only added to the emptiness that consumed her.

The Twilight Cult had awakened Deathwing, and the Destroyer had caused the Cataclysm.  When the world shattered, so had Solaes’ whole life.  The destruction of Darkshore and Auberdine had taken her love and her child.

Solaes dropped her head into her hands.  A tear squeezed past the lashes of one eye and fell down the curve of her cheek.

She had vowed to return it upon the Twilight Cult one hundred fold.

But no longer did even her need for vengeance fill the void in her soul.  Instead, here she sat, more empty, more alone.

Only while lost in the bloodlust of the huntress did Solaes feel free of her pain.  Afterward, she was left once more with the hole where her heart had once been.

Perhaps therein lay the answer.

Solaes ran her fingers absently through her silvery hair as she thought.  She had heard stories of druids who lost themselves in the animals they took the forms of – most notoriously, the Druids of the Scythe.

It was a tempting thought.

But the panther had always been her prefered form – sleek, stealthy, deadly.

Solaes made a noise akin to a purr.  She let herself slip back into the skin of the huntress – her teeth elongated, her hands and feet became large soft paws, fur covered her body, and a long tail began to twitch back and forth anxiously.

Her only focus became the smells traveling on the wind and the sounds echoing in her ears.  And like a shadow at dusk, she melted away into the trees and fully gave herself to the instincts of the huntress.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

This story is based on worlds and characters in World of Warcraft.
Creative Commons License
Awaiting the Muse by Effy J. Roan AKA Effraeti is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Based on a work at http://awaitingthemuse.wordpress.com/.

Wax Poetic: Without

clock

What a strange couple of weeks.  I have been tired and stressed and feeling out of place whenever I am not working.  Well, it being summer and me having no interest in WoW lately, work is all I have been doing.  I have been trying to play Hearthstone here and there, but I just get frustrated with it.  And I seem to have no energy or imagination leftover for my own writing after all of the writing I have been doing for work.  I haven’t even been reading.

The realization I have come to?

  • I am a gamer without a game.
  • I am a writer without a story.
  • I am a reader without a book.
  • I am a student without a class.

Don’t get me wrong – I am greatly enjoying what I am doing at work.  It is exactly what I have been wanting to do.  It is what I enjoy.  It is what I am going to school for.  And I want to do it to the best of my abilities.  Which at this point is taking a large chunk of time.

As for school, I am anxious about returning to school.  I have spent all summer working full-time and I finally feel like to am getting to a point where I am comfortable with the schedule and everything expected of me.  Now, I am less than a month from going back to school, going back to part-time, and having to reorganize myself all over again.

Am I going to have enough time for all of the things I need to do?  14 credit hours of school and only 24 hours of work.  Am I going to have enough time for homework and my social media/advertising expectations?  Am I going to have enough time to keep up on all of the responsibilities I have taken on in the office?  Not to mention still having a home life and down time.

One of the biggest things I think I need to do for my own sanity is to get a few weeks ahead.  I am an eternal procrastinator, but I think getting blog posts, social media posts, and advertising pieces scheduled ahead of time would be the best way to handle things.  It would give me better room to plan.  It would give me better time for homework.

Hopefully, I can get ahead of schedule.  Hopefully, I can make myself a better schedule to work around once I am more on top of and ahead of things.  Hopefully, I can fit everything in without making myself crazy.  And hopefully, I can still find time for myself, to write the things I want to write and maybe even get some personal reading in there again.

~ Effy

On Writing: The 4 Major Story Structures for Fiction

Book Tornado

There are different ways to start a story and different ways to write them.  Sometimes they start with an idea for a character and that character’s journey.  Sometimes they start with a place, known or invented.  Sometimes they start with a problem that needs solving.

Whatever motivates you to write – take it and run!

Looking for motivation to write?  Here are some different types of story structures that might help get you started.

I have my favorite author Orson Scott Card to thank for these 4 story structures.  He wrote an article for Writer’s Digest about them.  I believe they are also mentioned in his book on writing, “How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy.”  They have inspired me on how to focus my stories – some fall into all 4 of these categories.  I hope they in turn inspire you or at least help you focus your story to a fine enough point to start, continue, or even finish.

Milieu Story

In the Milieu Story, the focus is the world and showing and explaining that world.  Want an example of a Milieu Story?  Think of the Wizard of Oz.  The point is made most obvious in the movie because as soon as Dorothy arrives there, the movie goes from black and white to color, then back to black and white when she leaves.  This is because the land of Oz is the focus of the story.

Start: The protagonist arrives in the world.

End: The protagonist leaves the world.

Idea Story

In the Idea Story, the focus is seeking and discovering new information.  The best example of an Idea Story is a mystery.  Something unexplained happens and the main character has to figure out the how and why.  Think of the Dresden Files series.

Start: A question is raised.

End: The question is answered.

Event Story

In the Event Story, the world is out of order and the focus is making things right.  The Lord of the Rings is a great example of an Event Story.  The world is in disarray and Sauron is trying to conquer it.  The story revolves around stopping him and setting the world back to “right.”

Start: The protagonist enters the conflict.

End: A new world order is established.

Character Story

In the Character Story, the focus is the development of the protagonist.  I heard somewhere the series A Song of Fire and Ice (ie. Games of Thrones) described as a character story, or more appropriately a group of character stories.  Since I do not know how the series ends yet (after reading all the books), I cannot confirm or deny this.  But it makes sense.  Especially the character Daenerys, who has gone through a number of moments of character growth already.  Despite all the story arcs, I think she will end up being the “main” character.

Start: The protagonist becomes unhappy and/or seeks change.

End: The protagonist settles back into happy or gives up.

The are a number of other ways to categorize story structures, but I find these to be the most all-encompassing.

~ Effy

Writing Prompt: Imaginary Friend

Imaginary Friend

Imaginary Friend – from cityguideny.com

I found some interesting information on imaginary friends while writing this piece, but it was a picture (the one at the end) that prompted this idea.  I wanted to leave it short and sweet.

~ Effy

Imaginary Friend

Mom watched with amusement as Becca carefully spread the strawberry jam on her sandwich.  Eight years old and already insisting upon doing so much herself.  It almost made up for this imaginary friend business – the doctor had said children usually outgrew imaginary friends by age seven at the latest.

She ruffled her daughter’s bobbed blonde locks of hair, and Becca fidgeted out of her reach.  “Mom…” the girl complained.  She wrapped up the sandwich and placed it gently in her backpack with the other one – the sandwich for Casey, Becca’s imaginary friend.

“Sorry,” Mom said with a soft chuckle and threw her hands up in defeat.

“Well, I’m off.  Casey and I are going to play.”

“Yes, and I am sure Casey will appreciate the sandwich,” Mom replied, trying to keep a serious face.

“She will.  Strawberry is her favorite too.”

Mom just continued to nod as Becca shouldered her backpack and skipped out of the kitchen’s backdoor.  She watched as Becca crossed the yard and disappeared into the dense greenery of the trees lining the yard.

“Imaginary friends…” Mom said, trying to remind herself that it was the sign of a creative mind and nothing to be concerned with.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

“Casey?  Are you here?” Becca called, once far enough away from the house.

“I am always here, little friend,” a deep voice replied.

Two golden orbs, like tiny suns, waxed into sudden existence several feet in front of the girl.  The eyes, each easily the size of her head, hovered in the air for the span of a few breaths, and then the greenery of the forest around them shimmered until a long, scaly muzzle the color of summer leaves appeared inches in front of Becca.

“Welcome back,” Casey murmured, the edges of her mouth curling up in a reptilian smile and showing a mouthful of teeth lining her muzzle.

The girl giggled and threw her arms around Casey’s nose.  “I missed you!” the girl told the dragon.  “I wanted to come visit you everyday!  But school and Mom kept me away.”

“I missed you as well, little one,” Casey admitted, and nuzzled the girl back with the tip of her long nose.

“Casey!” Becca exclaimed, sprinting to her backpack.  “I brought my favorite doll, Heather.  And my favorite book.  And sandwiches and tea, so we can have a real tea party!”  The girl pulled items out of the bag in a flurry of motion, setting each on an old tree stump as she introduced them.  The last item out of the bag was a bottle marked Lipton filled with light brown liquid.

“Strawberry?” Casey asked, tilting her large head and widening her eyes.

“Of course!  I know it’s your favorite!”

The Little Girl and Her Imaginary Friend

Imaginary Friend – from superbwallpapers.com

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

This story and all related material are the original works of Awaiting the Muse and Effy J. Roan AKA Effraeti AKA Jamie Roman.  All rights reserved.
Creative Commons License
Awaiting the Muse by Effy J. Roan AKA Effraeti AKA Jamie Roman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Based on a work at http://awaitingthemuse.wordpress.com/.

On Writing: Writing Prompts – Helpful Distractions and a Means to an End

 

The Writer's Adventure, by Sexton Burke

Writing prompts – the writer’s savior

I ordered a few books about writing, specifically a few about ideas for writing.  I keep finding myself at roadblocks with pieces I want to work on, and working with writing prompts has been helpful.

The book I flipped through this weekend is called The Writing Adventure by Sexton Burke.  It has pages of starters for writing.  In fact, each prompt sits on a full page so you can write.  I am not sure if I will do any writing inside the book – that is what I have all these notebooks for! – but I think it is a neat concept.

The book starts off with a few prompts geared towards personal reflection.  So I focused on these, and I figured I would share.  Maybe, as they helped me, they can help someone else too!  In fact, I think these might help content creators of all types, not just necessarily writers.

Sum up your most important reason for writing in a single word.

Every time you sit down to write, put this at the top of your page.

My word: Share!

Sharing my thoughts, ideas, feelings… this is my biggest reason for writing.  As I mentioned in my post about why to create a blog, I write because I am the only person who can say what I have to say.

It also gave me an idea for one of the six word memoirs we worked on in Creative Writing: Share it, Show it, Tell it!

Make two lists… the first detailing what it is you love about writing; the second, everything you struggle with.

What I Love About Writing:

  • Sharing my thoughts, ideas, feelings
  • Putting my thoughts into words
  • Making worlds and characters come to life
  • Creating a world of many layers and fitting them all together
  • Making A and B work together, whether it is pieces I have created or lore pieces from WoW that fit with my personal characters

What I Struggle with About Writing:

  • Making time
  • Finding the energy
  • Writer’s block
  • Writing about what I want to write about (often I end up working on prompts instead)
  • Distractions that come up while I am writing (usually self-induced, “researching” various items on the internet)

Reframe your view of the obstacles in your life that impede your writing.  Make a list of these obstacles.  Then, next to each one, write about how you can overcome the obstacle and how it might be used as a tool for creativity.

My obstacles:

  • Work - Use work as an inspiration instead of a hindrance.  Start writing some pieces about window cleaning!  I need to write down ideas as they come to me for posts and infographics.
  • School - Continue to use school projects as inspirations for blog posts.  I have used essays and short stories and even public speaking pieces to inspire blog posts.  Re-purposing my school work makes it serve multiple purposes.
  • Time - I need to MAKE TIME to write, instead of making excuses about not having time.  Sitting down with writing prompts (like these) are a good way to start.  I need to schedule time where I am not allowed to do anything but write about SOMETHING, no matter what it is.
  • Energy - If I need to drag myself off my butt, then so be it.  The important part is to keep myself motivated, create scheduled chunks of time (both for accomplishing things and for being “lazy”), and make writing more of a habit.
  • Inspiration - Writer’s block is no excuse for a blogger!  I do not have to stick to one story or topic.  I do not have to write anything in order.  I can write snippets as they come to me, and publish them in logical chunks.  Heck, I can post pieces I write from story prompts.  I am basically without limit on what I can do here on my blog.

Take a moment to examine [the] lists from the previous [prompts]…  Describe in detail what you find to be the single most challenging thing about writing and why it affects you the way it does.

It is not so much writer’s block I find frustrating, but not being able to work on the pieces I want to work on.  It seems whenever something is strong on my mind, my ability to actually write the story evaporates and instead I have to switch my focus and work on something else.  (ie. writing prompts)  I enjoy prompts, but I have plenty of stories I would prefer to be working on.

Now, determine what needs to be done to overcome this challenge…  Find a solution.  Write it out.

The past few weekends, I have been spending my free time working on updating and fleshing out the details of my personal fantasy world – Dadreon.

The other thing I do to combat writer’s block is to write out of order.  I write as things come to me.  Sometimes, writing out of order helps me to get back to the part of the story I was working on.

So the solution: Keep writing!  Write regularly.  Write as things come to me.  Write from prompts when nothing comes to me on its own.

 

From The Ultimate Secrets of Total Self-Confidence, by Robert Anthony:

“Psychological studies in personal performance show that individuals who have a plan and goals for their lives are happier and more successful than those who do not.”

What are your goals as a writer?  Do you have plans for achieving them…?  If you do, write the plan below.  If you do not, it’s time to create one.  Write it below.

My short term writing goal is to continue to regularly post on my blog – whether stories or posts about writing or personal stuff.  Post regularly.

My mid-range goal is to get back to actually writing stories in my personal fantasy world.

My long term goal is to eventually get a novel finished and published.

So there is an idea of what I have been working on this weekend.

~ Effy

Do you have any input or writing goals to share?  Please let me know!

DBA Effy Part 2

Hello, my name is Effy

A short time ago, I wrote a post asking for some advice about possible pen names.  That post left me with as many questions as answers.  It may not seem obvious on the blog, but I have been thinking about it a lot since.

I think I have come to a decision.

But first, I wanted to share the progression of my identity going as far back as I have been creating – both writing and drawing.

First, it was my initials, JKR, that I doodled in the corner of drawings and on the bottom of sculptures in art class.  (Does it date me that we still had art class when I was in elementary school?)

For a short period, I used just JR to sign my work.  But I was never fond of its resemblance to “junior.”  So that was short-lived.

As a joke, I used the initials RAR for some time in middle school.  It is kind of a long story, but the condensed version: It would have been my initials if I had been born a boy, because my father wanted to give me his name.  Apparently, he got over that by the time my brother was born.

My longest running childhood nickname was James, and I wrote it in a stylized form on all my work.

dba-effy-2-james

Then, there was the high school signature that followed me to adulthood.  I still use it instead of my initials on everything from work to official documents.  It started as J-me, but was soon shortened to just Jme, which is how I sign it instead my initials.

My initials

When I first started making a presence for myself online, I started with the handle Littlegirl.  I did it mostly as a joke to annoy my then-boyfriend, who argued it would attract every internet predator in the world (which it never did – maybe it was TOO blatant).  But somehow it stuck with me for a number of years.

Online gaming required a more avatar-driven name, and for many many years, my avatar was Rosaelyn.  In fact, I still keep that name for alts.  She was my original Druid, and is now my Hunter.  Rosaelyn as my nickname began way back in Asheron’s Call.

It was not until I started playing WoW that I took on Effraeti as my main avatar name.  Prior to that, it had been only an alt name.  At first, I only did it because I had already named my Druid Rosaelyn.  But my Shaman was my favorite before I even created her – being a Draenei and a Shaman, she was perfect.

And having people call me Effy quickly became very comfortable…

Effy has stayed with me for about four years now, and somehow it seems more me than any nickname before it.  It has become my writing pseudonym in addition to being my WoW avatar.  I probably never would have thought to try and use it professionally without the coaxing of my Creative Writing teacher.  In fact, I would not have thought to seek publishing for any of my work – I was content to leave it all here on my blog.

But now…  I want to be Effy in a more professional sense.  And I think I have figured out how.

With some help from my real name, Joe, and my mom, I have put together a pen name:

Effy J. Roan

Effy = “well-spoken” or “melodious talk”  (Which I did not even know when I started going by that nickname!  Thank you baby name finders.)

J = I thought “Effy Roan” seemed like too few syllables, and J is for Jamie!  :)

Roan = “redhead”  (For obvious reasons!)

I think it is very original and memorable.  I do not see it getting mixed up with another writer.  And Effy is so easy to say and remember.  I already like it.  But I am curious what you all think?

My goal is start branding myself better – watermarks for my pictures, a new header for my blog, and expansion of the dark blue of my blog’s color scheme.  But first, to finalize my writing name.  Then, I hope to make it official by filing a DBA.

~ Effy

What do you think of my new proposed pen name Effy J. Roan?