Stephen D. Lalonde

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My Blogs

 My blog activity is now about writing and publishing.

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It's Business as Unusual

Posted on July 2, 2022 at 10:10 AM

Sold another book Thursday. Money came in for two books yesterday. I am almost afraid to mention this, because I don’t want to jinx it. I really hope those who are reading my books are finding them worth the time. I certainly appreciate the encouragement and support. In my opinion each book has gotten better than the last, and that is as it should be. This is a craft that takes time to learn. No matter how much I read, I find the writing to be challenging and a very different experience than reading. The willing suspension of disbelief when I read is easy for me, and usually it is rewarded with an interesting trip into another world. As I writer, I recognize the fragile nature of that suspension, and take the responsibility to honor it very seriously.

 

Thanks for reading my blog(s).

 

If you would like to receive my monthly newsletter (HISTORICALLY SPEAKING) dealing with the research I am doing for my books, send your name and email to: SteveL18@comcast.net or text that information to me at (509) 710-7185

Blogging Along

Posted on July 1, 2022 at 11:25 AM

I am hoping to go one full year without missing a daily blog. So far I haven’t missed a day since August 22, 2021. I did a blog or a few before I started daily entries, so I will hit 365 before I get the full year in. This is blog number 331.

Today I emailed the next issue of Historically Speaking. The subject of this one is the ‘bardic tradition’. I had a working knowledge of it through my teaching of Greek Mythology, but added some of what I learned in recent research. I have said for decades that, in my opinion, what the bards accomplished was one of the great mental feats of human kind. They told stories that they had memorized the storyline not the verbiage. They worked in local heroes and often the patron sponsoring them. They performed sometime for hours while improvising in dactylic hexameter. To succeed in this they had a bunch of standard lines that were dactylic hexameter that they used to provide time for them to make up the next lines. Hence you find in translations, phrases such as “proud-masted ships”, “rosy-fingered dawn” and “black, shining sea.” So they had to be politically aware, know the local culture, able to play an instrument (usually a lyre), and have a huge repertoire of stories. A truly remarkable feat.

 

Thanks for reading my blog(s).

 

If you would like to receive my monthly newsletter (HISTORICALLY SPEAKING) dealing with the research I am doing for my books, send your name and email to: SteveL18@comcast.net or text that information to me at (509) 710-7185

Strymon Requested

Posted on June 30, 2022 at 10:00 AM

I am pleased that some of my readers are already requesting Strymon’s book and I haven’t even decided on a title yet. I have written a few snippets of the book. I will be delivering ANISSI to a reader who lives close enough to do so. It is interesting that ANISSI has resulted in many sales of my other books. I have only a few of A PALETTE OF VERSE left. I am trying to decide if I should request another printing of that book. Poetry doesn’t sell like fiction does. So far I only have one review of ANISSI, but it has only been out for a little over a week. I hope more reviews do come in. The next Historically Speaking comes out at the end of this week.

 

Thanks for reading my blog(s).

 

If you would like to receive my monthly newsletter (HISTORICALLY SPEAKING) dealing with the research I am doing for my books, send your name and email to: SteveL18@comcast.net or text that information to me at (509) 710-7185

Manito Park

Posted on June 29, 2022 at 2:30 PM

The Inland Northwest Writers Guild held a social event in Manito Park yesterday. We were encouraged to bring our books to display. I did so, and to my surprise, I sold three books. I wasn’t planning on that and only displayed one of each of the 5books I have published. I hope that I will be able to continue selling books this year. It has been a long dry spell with covid and all. The four speaking engagements I have done has helped and I have another one scheduled. I very much enjoy doing those.

 

Thanks for reading my blog(s).

 

If you would like to receive my monthly newsletter (HISTORICALLY SPEAKING) dealing with the research I am doing for my books, send your name and email to: SteveL18@comcast.net or text that information to me at (509) 710-7185

Yard Sale Book-signing (day 3)

Posted on June 28, 2022 at 10:40 AM

This last weekend just keeps on giving. I sold thirteen books between the two days. Yesterday (Monday) one of the people that bought one of my books called and requested two of the other books. He read SINON OF KIRRA, and said he like it and wanted to get MENTU THE NUBIAN and ANISSI. Color me happy some more. Several people took my business card, so there could be even more books going out the door from that one event. I have another speaking engagement booked and will be looking for other events where I can set up a table and promote my books. If you know of any such events upcoming, please let me in on it. Thanks.

 

 

Thanks for reading my blog(s).

 

If you would like to receive my monthly newsletter (HISTORICALLY SPEAKING) dealing with the research I am doing for my books, send your name and email to: SteveL18@comcast.net or text that information to me at (509) 710-7185

Yard Sale Book-signing (day 2)

Posted on June 28, 2022 at 12:45 AM

We were going to do just a one day sale, but Sunday morning we decided we could do a second, shorter day. It turned out to be worth it. We reduced our clutter some AND I sold more books. For the weekend, I sold 13 books; at a yard sale…a yard sale. Not used books…new books written by me. I am blown away by that. Typically, yard sales are visited by folks looking for a good deal on some used items. New book sales hadn’t crossed my mind until last year, and this year was very successful in my opinion. I am very pleased.

 

Thanks for reading my blog(s).

 

If you would like to receive my monthly newsletter (HISTORICALLY SPEAKING) dealing with the research I am doing for my books, send your name and email to: SteveL18@comcast.net or text that information to me at (509) 710-7185

Yard Sale Book-signing

Posted on June 26, 2022 at 10:00 AM

We had a great day for a yard sale yesterday. After a very cold and windy spring, it was a relief to have good weather all day. One of the highlights for me was selling ten books (all signed, of course). My favorite part of doing a yard sale is meeting interesting people. We met several of them yesterday, including a past student who stopped by just to say hello and visit for a while. We spoke for a long time with a wonderful couple who shared an interest in our flowers, especially the Yarrow, which they told us had some healing properties in the form of tea. They also bought all five of my books. I love to find people who like to read and I hope they find my efforts worthy of their time.

 

Thanks for reading my blog(s).

 

If you would like to receive my monthly newsletter (HISTORICALLY SPEAKING) dealing with the research I am doing for my books, send your name and email to: SteveL18@comcast.net or text that information to me at (509) 710-7185

Book Signing Event

Posted on June 25, 2022 at 9:35 AM

Today, as part of our yard sale, I will be doing an onsite book-signing, offering my books for $10 each (including tax). If you are in Spokane Valley today between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm and want a signed and personalized copy of any of my books, you can find me at 304 N. Adams Rd. (a couple blocks west of Sullivan and three blocks north of Sprague.) I will also have some of my woodworking items available as well.

On another matter, I have been booked to speak to another group about both the woodworking and writing activities. I have prepared presentations on each subject and welcome the opportunity to speak to groups (I don’t care how small or large). I can do virtual or in-person in the Greater Spokane area.

 

Thanks for reading my blog(s).

 

If you would like to receive my monthly newsletter (HISTORICALLY SPEAKING) dealing with the research I am doing for my books, send your name and email to: SteveL18@comcast.net or text that information to me at (509) 710-7185

SALES !

Posted on June 24, 2022 at 10:05 AM

I shipped eleven ANISSI books yesterday. I will ship four more today. I also delivered all five books I have written to a friend who wanted the set. We are doing a yard sale tomorrow and last time I sold a few books in that sale. Maybe I can sell a few this time too. I also had a request from one of my readers to be added to the monthly newsletter list. I am so happy with these events. This is the rewarding result of my writing efforts. What a great motivational time for me. Writing can be a lonely venture until the finished material results in social interaction from people who want to read your efforts, and encourage you to keep it up. Loving it!

 

Thanks for reading my blog(s).

 

If you would like to receive my monthly newsletter (HISTORICALLY SPEAKING) dealing with the research I am doing for my books, send your name and email to: SteveL18@comcast.net or text that information to me at (509) 710-7185

ANISSI Arrives!

Posted on June 23, 2022 at 10:20 AM

Yesterday, ANISSI came to my house. I have the books and have started getting them ready to ship to those who have been patiently waiting. I am pleased with the final product of my busy mind. I will not be able to do book signings in book stores, because the high cost of printing combined with the book store’s 40 percent would result in a 24 cent loss on each book. As I have said before, I am not writing for the money, but I can’t afford to lose money on each book. I will, instead, look for opportunities to do book signings at events that do not exact a commission. At any rate, I am very excited to have the books and I hope my readers approve of my efforts.

 

Thanks for reading my blog(s).

 

If you would like to receive my monthly newsletter (HISTORICALLY SPEAKING) dealing with the research I am doing for my books, send your name and email to: SteveL18@comcast.net or text that information to me at (509) 710-7185

More Interest is Exciting

Posted on June 22, 2022 at 9:20 AM

I am having more people contacting me about my books and how they can get them. This is very exciting! I was also informed that ANISSI should be ready for pick up this afternoon. I have a waiting list of those wanting that book. I am still a very small scale publisher, but since my promotion efforts are Facebook, presentations I have been invited to make and word-of-mouth from those who have read one or more of my books, I am very pleased to have some notable growth. I hope I can get to break even this year and that MIGHT keep my tax status from downgrading the writing business to that of a hobby. To those supporting my writing obsession; THANK YOU! I am encouraged to keep it up. To those waiting for ANISSI, I will get them shipped as soon as I can.

 

Thanks for reading my blog(s).

 

If you would like to receive my monthly newsletter (HISTORICALLY SPEAKING) dealing with the research I am doing for my books, send your name and email to: SteveL18@comcast.net or text that information to me at (509) 710-7185

Story Generators

Posted on June 21, 2022 at 11:05 AM

I have, in the early stages of my writing journey, tried several ‘story generators’. Scrivener and Dramatica Pro are two such generators. While they taught me certain things about writing a story, they didn’t work for me, as I kept drifting away from the systemic approach. I have found that my best process is to meet a character or characters and then get to know them by placing them in a setting and seeing what happens. Sometimes it takes off from there and sometimes they say, “This isn’t working for me/us. Let’s try a different setting or situation.” The more I get to know those characters, the easier it is to write the story. I totally realize that all of this comes from deep within my psyche. Maybe that is good, and maybe not (it might reveal more than I want to know.) LOL

 

Thanks for reading my blog(s).

 

If you would like to receive my monthly newsletter (HISTORICALLY SPEAKING) dealing with the research I am doing for my books, send your name and email to: SteveL18@comcast.net or text that information to me at (509) 710-7185

Where Does the Joy Come From?

Posted on June 20, 2022 at 4:10 PM

What is it about writing that pleases me so much? I am thinking that there are characters in my head that have stories that need to be told. Part of it is that when I am creating, my life has more purpose than when I am not. In one sense it seems to delay my mortality, both because I am busy creating and because what I am creating will live on beyond me.

The ancient Greeks thought that if their name lived on among future generations, that was a form of immortality. Achilles chose that fame over a long life. In a way the Greeks were right, for his name and the names of countless other Greek heroes live on today. Even Protesilaus, whose only claim to fame was voluntarily becoming the first Greek to die in the Trojan war, lives on through his name.

But my joy in writing goes beyond all of that. There are many reasons I love to write and I will share more of them in future blogs.

 

Thanks for reading my blog(s).

 

If you would like to receive my monthly newsletter (HISTORICALLY SPEAKING) dealing with the research I am doing for my books, send your name and email to: SteveL18@comcast.net or text that information to me at (509) 710-7185

Strymon is Back

Posted on June 19, 2022 at 9:15 AM

I am finding that with all that is going on at my house right now (new flooring and appliances), I am finding time to write, because I have to be available to answer questions, so the shop will have to wait. Strymon has been in the wings for too long and is insisting that I make some progress on his story. I still don’t know any more than Sinon and Mentu about Strymon. They both think that he is something more than a mere mortal, and he may be. I will be living with him over the next several months and I hope to get an answer to that issue. At this point he has revealed that he has no memory of a childhood, but clearly remembers everything from the day he stood on the beach in the harbor of Mytilini and on from that point. Is it amnesia? Is his childhood, somehow, too painful to remember? Is he a demi-god coming to life from other than the womb? Just who is Strymon? Stay tuned as I try to find out.

 

Thanks for reading my blog(s).

 

If you would like to receive my monthly newsletter (HISTORICALLY SPEAKING) dealing with the research I am doing for my books, send your name and email to: SteveL18@comcast.net or text that information to me at (509) 710-7185

Journey versus Destination

Posted on June 18, 2022 at 9:55 AM

One thing I have said many times to my students was “You never fail until you stop trying.” I think it is the same for writing. It is a journey with many points of interest along the way, but no destination unless you stop writing. Those points of interest include rejection letters (if you go the traditional route), the first book printed and in your hands, the subsequent books, the reviews (hopefully positive), book signing events and readings and always starting the next book. The challenge through those things is the constant intention of getting better at the craft and art of writing. I am 72 but I am early in my writing journey. That adds an element of youthful anticipation for this writing journey, with no final destination in sight, just points of interest.

 

Thanks for reading my blog(s).

 

If you would like to receive my monthly newsletter (HISTORICALLY SPEAKING) dealing with the research I am doing for my books, send your name and email to: SteveL18@comcast.net or text that information to me at (509) 710-7185

Confessions of a Visual Writer

Posted on June 17, 2022 at 11:00 AM

At a recent Inland Northwest Writers Guild meeting, the discussion on ‘pantsing’ versus planning turned to the sources of inspiration. Several members discussed awaking in the night with clear, dream-inspired scenes, images and/or themes. The need to get up and put those things on ‘paper’ (computer screen) in order to not lose them was a common observation. For me, these things come in an extremely visual appearance. Sometimes there is no audio component, but the visual images are so precise that I try to capture them while they are fresh. But it isn’t just in dreams. When I am thoroughly engaged in writing any scene, it plays like a movie in my mind. I see the movement, the facial expressions and unlike the dream sequences, there is always the sounds as well. Sometimes all of the senses are involved. I love the salty smell of the ocean, the gentle caress of a warm breeze and the sweet taste of honey on warm bread. Emotions are often involved in this visceral experience of movies of the mind. I have noticed an increase in heartbeat while writing a scene depicting a ship destroyed by a violent storm. I have had tears trickling down my cheeks in scenes of profound beauty or great sadness, especially at the end of the last two novels I have written. Those characters have become real to me and their pain is my pain. I hope that my readers experience some degree of the feelings I had when writing these books. I love hearing about it when they do. The reviews I have received assures me that I am having some degree of success with that.

 

Thanks for reading my blog(s).

 

If you would like to receive my monthly newsletter (HISTORICALLY SPEAKING) dealing with the research I am doing for my books, send your name and email to: SteveL18@comcast.net or text that information to me at (509) 710-7185

The Blog Goal

Posted on June 16, 2022 at 10:10 AM

I have not missed a daily blog since August 22. My goal is to go one full year without missing a day. This is the time of year that it gets harder to manage that. I did several blogs before I moved to daily, so this blog (#316) includes the ones I did before beginning daily blogging. I do consider these blogs to be part of my writing journey, along with the monthly newsletter (Historically Speaking). On the upcoming August 22, I will decide whether to continue daily blogging or cutting back. Meanwhile, I will continue to work on my novels and I am in research phase for STYMON for the next couple of months.

 

Thanks for reading my blog(s).

 

If you would like to receive my monthly newsletter (HISTORICALLY SPEAKING) dealing with the research I am doing for my books, send your name and email to: SteveL18@comcast.net or text that information to me at (509) 710-7185

Wanna Zoom?

Posted on June 15, 2022 at 11:00 AM

I am considering doing a zoom meeting with anyone who has read my blogs, newsletters, or books and would be willing to discuss those things with me. I have so enjoyed the questions and exchanges at the presentations I have made to several groups lately, that I would love to replicate that with anyone who has read my material and has questions or would like to discuss these efforts. If you would be interested in doing that send me an email at SteveL18@comcast.net or text me at (509) 710-7185. I know that many of us are zoomed out, but I think it could be fun.

 

Thanks for reading my blog(s).

 

If you would like to receive my monthly newsletter (HISTORICALLY SPEAKING) dealing with the research I am doing for my books, send your name and email to: SteveL18@comcast.net or text that information to me at (509) 710-7185

Positive Responses

Posted on June 14, 2022 at 10:10 AM

A couple of days ago I was inspired to write the prologue for STYRMON. I was going for a particular response from future readers. I sent it to the members of my critique group and two responses have come back with exactly the response I was hoping to get. This excites me for moving forward with the next book. I haven’t decided on the exact title yet. For the time being I will call it simply STRYMON. As a motivator I have already started the InDesign document which is the program I use to format the finished book. That does help me to know where this is going. I am using the same format as the three preceding books. I will work on it this summer, but probably won’t get to concentrated writing until the fall (so much summer stuff to do around this place.)

 

Thanks for reading my blog(s).

 

If you would like to receive my monthly newsletter (HISTORICALLY SPEAKING) dealing with the research I am doing for my books, send your name and email to: SteveL18@comcast.net or text that information to me at (509) 710-7185

Rain

Posted on June 13, 2022 at 9:40 AM

Weather has been a became a consideration in my books. I was writing along with SINON OF KIRRA, when it suddenly occurred to me that I had them enjoying sunny dry days all the time. I did have the ship dealing with winds and choppy seas. At that point I introduced the rainy days and later a violent storm. Since then, I have paid more attention to weather and its effect on the events in the story. Keeping it real can be a challenge at times.

 

Thanks for reading my blog(s).

 

If you would like to receive my monthly newsletter (HISTORICALLY SPEAKING) dealing with the research I am doing for my books, send your name and email to: SteveL18@comcast.net or text that information to me at (509) 710-7185


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