Blog Archives

Time at Liberty

Okay, it is most definitely time for me to move on from my day job. I spent yesterday forcing my eyes over the paper I had to edit. Any excuse had me—Squirrel! Awe, isn’t he cute hopping along the fence across the street…Um, see what I mean? I finished up today, but I so don’t want to do this anymore. Meanwhile, I am positively twitterpated at new SF and fantasy projects that are appearing on the horizon. I had no idea when I decided to return to the con circuit in 2013 to pursue editing in the genre field it would lead me to have completed my first pro SF edit of an outstanding manuscript not even a full two years later. I get the final MS back this weekend to pass to the publisher. That is what my mind just keeps floating to as I read about how in an evaluation between comparison groups and drug court participants, one needs to keep in mind time at risk, which is not to be confused with time at liberty—the latter of which I wish I had more of.

Only three more months to go…


I’m not big on commitment.  I dated my husband for seven years before we got married; he asked me to marry him twice in the first year.  I had a boss once that I worked for as a contractor, a freelancer, part time to the company, through an agency, and on call. Took her five years to convince me to work full time for her.  She pointed out I have commitment issues.  I think the reason I have them is because once I commit, I’m fully dedicated.   It’s why I was so hesitant to take on the role of editor for Tickety Boo Press. I’m having trouble with that at work right now, too.  I couldn’t find a replacement for my client, so I’ve agreed to work through their convention in July.  But I did give my notice that I’m leaving, so that’s progress.  I really like them all and just can’t imagine leaving them hanging.  So, I’m putting off another commitment…this one is to myself.  In a Mortal Shadow will wait a few more months yet.

Bucket List

At the risk of stating the obvious, finishing my novel is one of my bucket list items in life.  When I hit fifty, I decided to scale back on the things I would not be reminiscing over in a rocking chair in my addled old age, i.e., work.

Don’t get me wrong, work was once a bucket list item. Becoming a professional editor was a biggie when I was twenty-five.  But sanitizing engineering reports and court-related documents was never in the bucket.  So I had no trouble deciding to walk away from my editing after all these years of doing it.

Until January 16th. I got an email inviting me to do the very job that made me chose editing in the first place.  I got the opportunity to be an editor for a science fiction and fantasy house.  The publisher was tiny, just starting up, but there it was, still deep at the bottom of the bucket.  I had to say yes.

How is this related to the mission of detailing my MS’s development.  I’m not sure…and that’s why I put it here. This could further delay my attention to my own MS, or, maybe, just maybe, it will wind up inspiring me.

Jennifer L. Carson
Tickety Boo Press

The diary has been quiet for a while because of Christmas shopping, tree chopping, much munching, and other festivities.  And now that it’s January, it’s back to the dreaded DAY JOB.  But this January is special.

First, I did something I’ve wanted to do since 2013, I invited author JL Doty to share his story of his path to being a successfull indie author, and he did!  It will publish tomorrow.  Thanks Jim!

Second, I participated in the series, Paths to Publishing on the Snarkology.  This is special because it is my first guest blog, entitled The Back Door, and I’m very happy with it.  A wonderful sense of community on the Snarkology.  I include it here in the diary because it makes me want to get out and connect more with that community and share my stories with them.

Third and finally, as you will know if you read The Back Door, I’m quitting my day job.  I have one last (sadly) massive project, and then I bow out.  Yep, I’m quitting my day job.  And that’s what prompted the diary entry.  I intend to dive into the story as if it were my day job…which, it will be…finally!

So In a Mortal Shadow may actually wind up heading into a slush pile near you this year!

Meeting Your Own Characters: Finally, Face to Face

Part V

I was lying in bed with my laptop when the email arrived; a simple little bing.  I flipped over to see what my phone wanted now (I am its slave and live only to do its bidding).  An email from Liiga—with a first proof!  I couldn’t open it fast enough, and as excited as I was, I was entirely unprepared for what happened next.

I felt it.  From my stunned eyes to my curling toes.  A shock thrilled through me, tightened my chest, stole my breath.  I’m a writer. I exaggerate—especially in writing—but I’m not exaggerating here.  I’ve never been so physically affected by any art as I was by seeing my character, by meeting the man I’d walked and talked with for over thirty years.  I will never forget that moment.  I will never forget how it made me feel.

That file was labeled as proof nine.  I didn’t see all of them along the way, maybe four.  Finally, around the Ides of November, proof number twenty-three arrived.  I opened it and stared. It was beautiful.  It was everything I wanted, even when I didn’t know it.  I’m was staring at it expanded as large as my 27-inch screen would allow when my husband walked in.

His footsteps stopped in the door behind me.  “Wow.  That’s awesome…” he whispers.  Then he comes up and stares at it with me.  That’s when I knew it was right.  I knew I had reason to love it; it was my character.  But James? As supportive as he is, this isn’t his imagination; it’s not his project.  Still it made him stop and say, “Wow.”

Someday, I hope you will get to know my character, that you will walk with him through In a Mortal Shadow, that you will care about him enough to journey with him through his entire story.

Today, allow me the pleasure of introducing to you my most beloved character: Falion of the House of Yon.

Not for commercial use.
Reposting allowed with the following attribution:
Falion from In a Mortal Shadow. Artist,  Liiga Smilshkalne
(Link to site or list as

Character Sketch—Falion is a half-elven commander who wants what every other Elvish, Starrish, and Human person in Indirian takes for granted: control of his own mind.  But he is cursed by his mixed-up heritage to succumb to others’ perceptions at the briefest touch. He has retreated to an insignificant village to live his life behind the weave of his clothing and the leather of his gloves. He might have lived out his days training farmers to resist the raids plaguing them had they not captured her, the Starrish leader of the raiders who killed his gerent’s son and abducted his daughter. Falion sees one chance to find his lord’s child: take the woman to be truthread in Lumiden where the Elvish people live—a place where Falion is no longer welcome.


Meeting Your Own Characters Series

Part I, Falion
Part II, Let’s Make a Movie
Part III, Finding Liiga
Part IV, Falion’s Ghost