Spring Cleaning Writer Tag

Today I am finally taking part in Deborah’s Spring Cleaning Writer Tag. While it’s been Spring for almost 2 months now… it only just is starting to feel like it around here (we got a TON of snow in April here in the frozen tundra this year!) But now it’s getting warmer, and we’ve had some rain that is helping the grass turn green, birds are flitting about… and so it finally feels like the right time to say, “It’s Spring!”


1. Link back to the person who tagged you

2. Share the graphic

3. Answer the questions

4. Tag 3 other writers and let them know they’ve been tagged

The Questions

Dust-bunnies and Plot-bunnies: Reorganize Your Writing Goals (Or Make New Ones)

Well, we’re approximately a quarter of the way through 2018 (SHUSH, I KNOW we’re approaching the half-way mark, but I’m in denial… okay?) so it’s time to look at those goals DREAMS I talked about back in January and see how I’m doing. Perhaps rearrange them a bit… let’s see…

Publish Minstrel’s Call. Check! The fourth and final book of The Minstrel’s Song series came out on February 28, exactly 6 years after the debut of King’s Warrior. It made a little ripple in the reading world… and it feels good to have the completed series out in the wilds.

Something that wasn’t on my list and should have been was the release of Dragon Ward as part of the Mythical Doorways anthology. That came out on March 27th and has been a blast. The 11 stories are all quite good, I recommend them!

Drafting books 3-5 of Turrim Archive. Weeeell…. I’m about 1/3 of the way through book #3 so far (passed 40,000 words a couple of weeks ago). I am going to need to pick up the pace a bit if I’m going to get all three of these books drafted in a single year. I’m still trying to be optimistic, but I also know how crazy and busy life can get. This is definitely still the top priority.

I haven’t been great about putting out amazing content on the blog, but as you can see from the above point – all my creativity and writing time have been going into drafting. I would love to do the SilmAwards again this year, but I’m not sure I have the mental energy to run it again…. I need to make a decision about that, soon.

Going to Realm Makers. I AM GOING TO REALM MAKERS!!!! And I am SOOOOOO excited!!!!

I got a little side-tracked from Turrim Archive at the end of April and wrote up a little 5,000-word original fairy tale for the next Fellowship of Fantasy anthology, which will be fairy-tale themed. It’s fun and whimsical and kind of ridiculous, and I love it.

Which Stage Are You At? Expound!

I am currently in the “Painting the walls in colorful hues (writing)” stage. I am drafting as fast as my little fingers can type, trying to race this story to its completion. I have a feeling that the Turrim Archive books (and particularly the one I’m in the middle of writing right now) will be the first books I’ve ever written where I will be ADDING to the word-count when I’m done. I’ve been using and applying the things I learned in Chris Fox’s “5000 Words Per Hour: Write Faster, Write Smarter” and it is incredible! I do feel like it’s helping me a ton with my drafting process as I plan out each scene.

I am writing this particular novel a little bit differently than I’ve done in the past. Usually, I write the book chronologically from start to finish. However, sometimes that results in some tangled time-lines that I have to fix during the editing process. So, with this book I’m writing each character’s (or set of characters) story-arc in a separate folder, and I will weave them together and figure out when each scene is happening with relation to the other characters’ stories later.

Treasure From the Back of the Closet (Share one to three snippets you love!)

Snippet One:

“Did you feel it?” Dalmir asked, still trying to figure out what had just happened.

“Feel what?” Ioan asked.

Drengur did not say anything, but shook his head, looking questioningly at Dalmir.

“What did you do, Tel?” Dalmir muttered. He could tell that something was different, but he was not yet sure what had just happened. It was hard to describe, but he felt… lighter, somehow. And younger. There was a sense of loss, as though something had been taken from him, but he could not quite point to exactly what it was.

“I don’t see anything that looks dangerous,” Drengur said, his voice in Dalmir’s ear making him jump.

“It’s hard to see much of anything at all,” Ioan said. “Most of the light seems to have stayed outside. Dalmir, do you think we can get these lanters lit? The matches got rather wet in the lake, but perhaps they have dried out while we walked?”

“Perhaps. If not, the orbs should give us a little light,” Dalmir said absently, still trying to sort through the strange sensation he had just gone through.

Ioan was trying unsuccessfully to light the lantern, so Dalmir reached into his pouch and pulled out his orb, intending to use it to light their way. As he tugged at its power, found himself falling towards the wall. Ioan and Drengur shouted in surprise as they also began falling in opposite directions, Drengur toward the ceiling, and Ioan hurtling to the wall opposite the one toward which Dalmir was heading.

“Help!” Drengur shouted, clinging to the chandelier, his head whipping back and forth.

“What just happened?” Ioan yelled across the room.

Dalmir struggled to his feet and found himself standing on the wall, staring up at Ioan on the other side of the room. He let out a long, admiring breath through pursed lips and glanced down at his orb.

“Impressive. Tel… now how did you manage that?” he whispered.

Snippet 2:

“Yes, sir,” Wynn replied, matching the man’s long strides. “There is also the matter of security. I imagine that you would want to be very careful who you disseminate information to on what our capabilities are, particularly with the prospect of increasingly negative relations with our neighbors to the east growing more and more certain. It would never do to allow information on the Trackless to fall into the wrong hands.”

Daegan’s step faltered. It was brief, almost unnoticeable except that Wynn had been matching his pace exactly. His eyes flicked over to the artificineer’s face and he saw a tiny, tell-tale twitch of the man’s lips.

“The Trackless, eh?”

Wynn felt his ears grow warm. “It just sort of came to me as I was mulling over the problem last night. I was thinking of the great trains. My da rode on them before they stopped running. I’ve always wanted to ride one, always regretted being born in the wrong decade… ” He dragged the toes of his boots along the stone floor. “It is your design, of course, but I didn’t know what you had named it. I wasn’t trying to be presumptuous.”

“Genius is presumptious,” Daegan snapped. “And it doesn’t need to apologize, at least, not when it’s right. As a point of fact, I hadn’t named it. I spent years planning it, but I never gave it a name. I’m no good at names. The Trackless.” He nodded. “It has a certain ring to it.”

Snippet 3:

Niveya whirled. Reaching across the table, he gripped Matei by the front of his shirt. “I have been many things in my life,” he growled. “And I have borne many insults. Many of them were even deserved. I am a thief, and a liar, and I am loyal to no man but myself. I have always looked out only for my own, knowing that nobody else would do so. I am a law-breaker and some might even call me a criminal. But you mark me: I have never betrayed a friend. And Lady Roshana was one of the few people in this world that I considered not only a friend, but an equal. She was a strong ruler with a shrewd mind for business. She beat me at our little games of intrigue as often as I beat her. And while we were not always on the same side, I would never have consciously done anything to hurt her. Now, your cousin is the only person who can ensure that the Lady Roshana’s killer is put where he belongs, and that is an event I wish to see with every breath in my lungs. So, when I tell you that you can trust me to take care of your cousin, you can believe that my words are true. Do you understand?”

Matei stared down at Niveya’s fist, full of his shirt, and then looked into his eyes, dark with fury, and nodded vigorously.

Bonus: Do Some Actual Spring Cleaning of Your Writer Self! (and share a picture!)

I have been doing some Spring Cleaning… necessitated mostly by the fact that the entire family got a nasty stomach bug at the end of April… but what that means right now is that there is clean laundry all over my house and I am NOT sharing a picture of that!

However, my writing space consists of my living room couch and/or my bed. Sometimes I write at the desk in the office, and now that it’s nice out, sometimes I’ll take the rocking chair out onto our balcony… and often, as in this picture, one or more of my children leaves me a little friend to watch over me while I write.

Tag 3 other writers:

Trying to figure out who hasn’t been tagged already… Sarah @ Light and ShadowsBeth @ Beth’s BlogTo Be a Shennachie

No pressure to actually do the tag, and my apologies if you’ve already been tagged!

~ jenelle


Deborah O'Carroll

WHOA, you’ve been doing so much writing, PLUS publishing Minstrel’s Call, and Dragon Ward in Mythical Doorways. :D Huzzah! (Eep, Realm Makers! I’m excited too but also not ready. XD)

I need to read that book about writing faster… Heh. Glad it’s been helpful! I love that you’re following character story-arcs! I’ve been thinking that’s something I should try for a few of my stories too.

Ooh, nice snippets! I’m very intrigued! :D

Comfy writing space! (Heehee, I understand the not-sharing-pictures-because-laundry thing. XD I hope y’all are feeling better! <3)

Anyway, this was great fun, and I loved getting a glimpse at how your writing's been going! Thanks for doing the tag! ^_^ And happy writing! <3


Yes, lots of writing this year. Kind of ground to a halt the past few weeks… but then we got in the car and trundled off on a mini-road-trip yesterday and I got to chat over story ideas for 2 hours and I think I might be “unstuck” now! (We shall see…)

Thanks for creating such a fun tag!

Madeline J. Rose

Those snippets are AWESOME. :D My interest has been properly piqued. ^_^

And YAY REALM MAKERS. I am so, so hoping that I’ll be able to make this year! *fingers crossed*


That would be so fun if you can come to Realm Makers!!! I am so excited that so many of our SilmAwards team is going to be there!

Glad you liked the snippets! I’m thrilled that so many people are intrigued by this new project, it motivates me to keep going!


Everyone needs a little writing friend. *nods*

Thanks! I’m glad you liked the snippets! It’s always a bit nerve-wracking, sharing unpolished snippets…


I love hearing from you, dear Reader!