Athena’s Daughter II Goes Live Monday! (And How You Can Help.)

I’ve seen a draft of the kisckstarter and is sounds awesome. I’ve also picked myself up a copy of the first one, Athena’s Daughters, and what I’ve read so far kicks ass. (There’s an aviation themed story in there, so if that’s your schtick, pick it up and read Janine Spendlove’s story.)

I’m really excited about this. As much as I come off pro and all, and people assume I have more published than I do, but this will be the first time anyone’s paid me more than the price of a cup of coffee for my writing. The first Athena’s Daughters was really successful, and I’m hoping everyone will make this one as successful as the first one. And you can help.

Okay – they’ve got a thunderclap planned for this kickstarter. A thunderclap, as far as I understand is when a group of people get together and plan to all post about the same thing at the same time. If a bunch of people do that at the same time, social media sites will pick up on it, and bump popular posts to the top of people’s feeds or even get it trending on twitter or facebook. There’s a website that makes it simple: https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/20175-athena-s-daughters-2

If you click that link, it’ll take you to a page with an option to schedule a facebook post and/or a tweet and/or tumblr post, that will automatically be posted on December 16th, the day after the kickstarter goes live. This will help the project get more attention and reach more people who might be interested in backing it. If you love me, click the link and schedule a post.

Thanks to anyone who’s already clicked on the thunderclap link and scheduled a post already. We had a minimum of 100 participants in the thunderclap, and we’ve made the minimum, but the more people schedule a post, the more the signal will be amplified over the internet.

Oh, and of course, if you really love me, back the kickstarter on Monday!

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Punctuation – A Personal Religion

In english class, they taught me what a clause was, and the difference between an independent and a dependent clause, and how to use a comma with all grammatical correctness to separate them.

But that’s not how I learned how to use commas. If you took most of my sentences and asked me to explain why a comma belongs here or there, I would have to tell you half the time that, grammatically, I have no frelling idea. It just feels right.

See, I learned to use punctuation, not from english class, but from reading. I read a lot. I learned these things organically, from seeing them used properly, a million times over in hundreds of books over the years. I use commas and such by feel, much like a musician might know how to play from sheet music, but still be able to listen to a song and play it by ear without the music written on paper.

It can be hard to describe sometimes, especially when I tend to be such an analytical person. A comma, to me, doesn’t represent a grammatical technicality, it’s a pause for breath. A semicolon is a longer pause to collect your thoughts while linking two ideas. An em-dash at the end of a piece of dialogue means the speaker was interrupted, and an ellipsis means they trailed off. When writing fiction, grammar isn’t important. You can write run on sentences if the narrator’s voice calls for it – incomplete sentences even.

What matters most is the effect what you write has on the reader. I think the only way to gain that intuitive sense for what effect any particular punctuation and sentence structure is going to have is the organic way – by reading extensively, and watching the masters do it.