Stephen D. Lalonde

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My Blogs

 My blog activity is now about writing and publishing.

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Life to Fiction

Posted on October 2, 2022 at 12:55 AM

As an author, I draw heavily on my life’s experience. Some of what I write draws on my imagined experience and dreams. Dr. Maxwell Maltz convinced me in his book Psycho-Cybernetics, that a vividly imagined experience can be just as valid as a ‘real’ experience. I find it true with some dreams. They both (dreams and imagined experiences) often come with very detailed and ‘real’ sensory input. As I wrote MENTU THE NUBIAN, I realized later that when Melaius meets hi...

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Falling

Posted on September 30, 2022 at 11:45 AM

‘Tis the season. I have much to do to get through the fall preparation for winter. My sons are coming this weekend to help close the pool. I have to store all the lawn furniture. The mower needs to be scheduled for maintenance and repair, I have to finish preparation for doing at least one craft fair, and in the midst of all of this I am writing with the goal to have the first draft of Strymon’s book done by the end of November. Further complicating things, I will be scheduled soo...

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Twenty-one Thousand

Posted on September 29, 2022 at 9:45 AM

That’s how many words I have written on Strymon’s book, and I have only begun the story. I can remember when I was in high school and a major research project required a minimum of one thousand words, I felt like an academically abused student. The paper would usually be one thousand words, maybe one thousand and two words at most, even when I found the topic to be fascinating. Two projects I remember well. One was on diamonds, and I learned a lot about diamonds and especially the...

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Critique Group Today

Posted on September 28, 2022 at 11:45 AM

I am looking forward to meeting with the critique group today. We usually meet every two weeks. Each of us is in various places in the writing journey. Two of our members are busy shipping their books to backers from Kickstarter campaigns. One continues to prepare her first book for publication. One is on a hiatus as she focuses on a teaching position. One is working on a fantastic manuscript – she is the newest member of the group. I am working on my fifth novel with about 19,000 words...

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The Strymon Enigma

Posted on September 28, 2022 at 12:25 AM

Still searching for a title for Strymon’s story. One consideration is THE STRYMON ENIGMA, and another is MORE THAN MORTAL. I wonder if THE STRYMON ENIGMA is too esoteric? I would love some input on that. I rather like it, but if it doesn’t appeal to potential readers, it isn’t a good choice. I am open to suggestions. My first book, A PALETTE OF VERSE, had another title as I was working on it. I was advised that title was clever but not appealing (FIFTY SHADES OF VERSE). The ...

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Out of Sequence Again

Posted on September 26, 2022 at 1:05 PM

Yesterday I wrote another scene (probably a chapter later) out of sequence. I am finding that a good break for me is tackling the scenes that merge with the earlier books of the series. The scene I wrote yesterday is when Sinon and Mentu join the Amphitrite and Strymon becomes their mentor. One advantage to writing these merged scenes is that I already know h...

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More Than Words

Posted on September 26, 2022 at 12:35 AM

I try, with increasing success, I think, to infuse my stories with emotion. That means that what I write has to be more than words. I draw upon the moments in my life that moved me, some with great sorrow or fear, and some with ecstasy. Twice as I have written the final scene in a book, I have been reduced to tears. I may feel more emotion after living with those characters for months, but I hope that I succeed in creating catharsis for my readers as well.

The Element of Surprise

Posted on September 25, 2022 at 12:20 AM

I am pleased that several of my readers have commented on the unexpected elements in my books. Sometimes it is a twist in the story, sometimes it is the ending, but the comments have been positive and it pleases me. I know that when I am reading a story, I like the element of surprise. That keeps things interesting. Yesterday, we were having a lovely dinner and visit with two other couples. Two of them had read ANISSI, and both commented on the unexpected ending. When a story becomes too pred...

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A Side of Writing

Posted on September 23, 2022 at 11:30 AM

The intention of my blogging is to share the writing journey I have chosen to pursue in retirement. The primary focus is on the novels I am writing, but there is more. Blogging is part of it, but I also write promotional text for the books, and a monthly newsletter that shares the research I am doing for those novels. These are writing activities on-the-side of the main course – novels. I enjoy all of the writing I get to do, and I hope that those who choose to read my efforts enjoy it ...

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Strymon Progress

Posted on September 23, 2022 at 12:15 AM

I have been working on Strymon’s book and I am currently just over 13,000 words. The first six chapters seem to be shaping up to be a good start on a first draft. I am so excited that some of my readers are asking to be put on a waiting list for the next book. It doesn’t get any better than that as far as I am concerned.

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Places

Posted on September 21, 2022 at 11:35 AM

I have several places that I use to write. My official writing corner is in the basement room where I have set aside a built-in desk exclusively for writing and all of the support materials for my writing. I have a small library of writing focused books as well as a computer and printer. I spend most of November in that corner. For the last month or so, I have been writing at a table located on a deck outside. The umbrella keeps the sun off of me, and it has been most pleasant to write there....

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The Details

Posted on September 20, 2022 at 11:45 AM

To make the stories most relatable, the challenge is often in the details. Much, if not most, of my time on research is spent trying to get the details from those ancient times. Often, I am successful, and I can add that detail with confidence in realism, but sometimes I have to give up and exclude that element, or fabricate what seems probable or at least possible. One example of the later is fire aboard the ship. I decided on the Cyrene to have a secured caldron where a small fire was kept ...

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A Little Bit

Posted on September 19, 2022 at 11:35 AM

I wrote yesterday, as I have been writing every day for a couple of weeks now. I am in my writing season, but yesterday only yielded less than 500 words. Some days are very productive. Yesterday was not. That doesn’t bother me because a little bit every day yields a complete manuscript eventually. Some days I write in excess of 2000 words, and I would guess my average (outside the month of November, NaNoWriMo) is around 1200 words a day. During NaNoWriMo, I average closer to 2000 words ...

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Time

Posted on September 19, 2022 at 12:45 AM

“Time brings all things to pass.” Aeschylus. This statement comes from an ancient Greek tragic dramatist often called the father of tragedy. My books are not tragedies, at least not intended to be, but time seems to be the key to writing them. Strymon’s story has been marinading in my brain all summer. I had written brief snippets as they oc...

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Character Development

Posted on September 17, 2022 at 11:55 AM

When I was growing up, my dad had an interesting approach to character. Any time I got hurt, he would say, “That builds character.” He lived that statement as well. He had some serious injuries and was very stoic about them. He was building character. When I was 21, I had a serious motorcycle accident that nearly killed me. I was in the hospital f...

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Taking Shape

Posted on September 16, 2022 at 1:20 PM

I am working on Strymon’s book and at a little over 7000 words so far. First draft of first and second chapters are written and a good start on chapter three. I have several other scenes written and will be doing more of that out of sequence stuff as I begin the process of merging this books events with the events in the previous books. That part is very involved, but fun. It is interesting writing a story about a person who has no childhood (at least no memory of one.) There are all ki...

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The Seasons

Posted on September 16, 2022 at 12:50 AM

For me in retirement, the seasons have changed. They are spring, summer, fall writing and winter writing. I still write in the spring and summer, but not intensely. I am just beginning to get serious about fall writing now. I have a pretty good start on Strymon’s book, but I hope to have a first draft by the end of November. I love working with these characters that have a role in the other books, but it does make merging all of that pretty challenging. I do love it though and I especia...

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Good Habit

Posted on September 14, 2022 at 11:45 AM

My blogging has become a habit. I don’t feel like the day is ready to go until I get a blog written. That may sound obsessive, and it probably is, but some habits are good. For me, this is one of them. It primes my writing for the day as I continue to work on my next book. Creating something new is life affirming for me. I do that through my writing and my woodworking. I am thankful that so many people appreciate the things I create. I also recognize that, while I stay in creative mode,...

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Why I Blog

Posted on September 13, 2022 at 11:25 AM

My blogging is basically stream-of-consciousness. The intention is to share, in the rawest form, my journey in writing. Doing daily blogs acts as an impetus to get my writing ‘on’. I share all of this so those who are interested in writing can maybe identify with some of my challenges, as I have done with writers who have shared with me. I do regularly encourage those who say they want to write, to do so. It all starts with sitting down and putting the first words on paper or on t...

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Writing Anyway

Posted on September 12, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Today I have a medical procedure that requires general anesthesia. It takes place in the morning and I still hope to be able to write in the afternoon. Strymon is growing in my mind as I explore his life and times. One of the biggest challenges was figuring out a way to have him meet Sappho in such a way as to explain their ongoing friendship. That finally came to me and that opened the pipeline for a continuing flow of storyline. I am very pleased that it came in such a way as to fit with th...

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