Stephen D. Lalonde

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My Blogs

 My blog activity is now about writing and publishing.

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Posted on March 9, 2023 at 10:40 AM

The critique group has a web site where we are able to post our writing efforts for critical review by the other members of the group. It is only open to members of the group. Each of us has a folder and within that folder we have folders and documents saved in google docs. Each member can then read and comment on the documents. Each document then has the collective input from the group members. As I prepare to implement the second draft of STRYMON, I will open the documents (posted as chapte...

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What About Them?

Posted on March 8, 2023 at 11:45 AM

Amaros and Duwana are two characters that interest me beyond how they appear in the books. They were originally meant to be supplemental characters to facilitate the transformation of Anissi, yet they are not flat characters. I see Amaros as the softer and more emotional of the two, though still strong. Duwana represents the steel-willed, take-no-prisoners woman determined to survive and thrive, regardless of any challenge. Both of them are skilled warriors and fully capable of no-nonsense de...

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The Process

Posted on March 7, 2023 at 11:25 AM

I am doing STRYMON a little differently than the previous books. Instead of working directly in the computer on this second draft, I have printed out all 542 pages of the manuscript and I am going through that with a red marker to make changes, additions, deletions and corrections to punctuation and typos. When the printed copy is marked up, I will return to the computer and implement those corrections. This will give me two levels of proofing as I work on the second draft. Once that document...

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Positive Comments

Posted on March 6, 2023 at 11:25 AM

Two of the critique group members have been reviewing my first draft of STRYMON. I am pleased and encouraged by the positive comments they have made. I think approval and appreciation are the biggest drivers for my continued efforts in writing.


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Posted on March 5, 2023 at 10:55 AM

Yesterday I found the first major issue with STRYMON. In writing several sections of the book out of sequence, I managed to misplace a significant series of events, such that they were in the wrong order. I was able to correct it, and that has included some rewriting of the lead in to those events. At any rate, this amounted to more than typos and word choices. I believe that the changes I have made will maintain the integrity of the storyline. Onward with the second draft of this book.


Posted on March 4, 2023 at 11:50 AM

One device I am using to keep the flavor of ancient Greece in my stories, is phrases from the oral tradition. I have blogged around this subject before, but as I am working on the second draft of STRYMON, I am revisiting my use of these phrases. Transliterated they include such as these; wine-dark sea, proud-masted ship, black-shining sea, far-shooting Apollo and listless, gibbering ghosts. I hope that these give the readers some sense of the traditions represented in my books. Even if not, i...

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Posted on March 3, 2023 at 11:45 AM

Yesterday I had a startling realization. I was working on a section of the second draft of STRYMON wherein I had been suddenly inspired to create an event that was completely unexpected. I had written the first draft of that event as an author possessed. The decades of teaching Greek mythology yielded the perfect story for Strymon to use in this strange event...

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Keeping On

Posted on March 2, 2023 at 11:55 AM

There are definitely days when I don’t feel like writing, but I know that it is important to keep the process going. Spending time working with the words of my book, means my mind is still engaged in the storyline, even if it doesn’t seem to be yielding what I will eventually accept as a finished element. Getting something down or trying to improve a part of it, keeps the story and the characters front and center. That results in ultimately finding the right words for the piece. I...

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Moving Forward

Posted on March 1, 2023 at 10:55 AM

I am about one third of the way through the second draft of STRYMON. I am doing my self-editing and I will include addressing the input from the members of my critique group. We had our bi-weekly meeting last night and we are each moving forward with our projects and our support of each other. I am still hoping to get STRYMON to press this summer. The current weather events and my medical situation are supporting that as there is not much else I can do at this time.


Posted on February 28, 2023 at 11:05 AM

I have spent a fair amount of time researching every element of my books, even into the mundane practices of everyday living. Some of those details only surface briefly to lend legitimacy to the reality of that time and place. There is no need to dwell on those elements beyond recognizing them. One example is found in SINON OF KIRRA, where he goes to the bow (the head) of the ship to relieve himself and the comedic result of that event. That practice was actually found during my research on t...

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My Evolution

Posted on February 27, 2023 at 11:20 AM

As I am working on the second draft of STRYMON, I am finding that very little actual rewriting is happening. I am about a fourth of the way through the manuscript and I have found only one place where some enhancement is needed. There are plenty of typos, punctuation issues and word choices (mostly repeated words too close together), but not much in the way of content changes. This leads me to wonder if I am becoming too complacent or if my writing is becoming initially better. I really can&#...

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Second Draft

Posted on February 27, 2023 at 12:40 AM

I am working on the second draft of STRYMON and I am about a fifth of the way into it. So far, not much to change other than typos and word choices. The storyline is pretty much what I want. The parts I am working on now, were written all the way back in November, so seeing with fresh eyes helps. I will continue working on it a few hours at a time, so I can r...

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Posted on February 26, 2023 at 12:40 AM

In a few days I will be sending out the March edition of the HISTORICALLY SPEAKING newsletter. The topic is ‘architecture’. This newsletter only scratches the surface with a few brief observations. I anticipate that there will be other issues in the future that do more justice to one structure at a time, but there are some comments to be made comparing and contrasting the architectures of the Greeks and Egyptians.

My People

Posted on February 25, 2023 at 12:05 AM

As an author, I have people. I have fictional people that are born and raised in my mind, and I have people in the here and now. Some are friends, some are acquaintances and many of them read my books. Some have written reviews. All of those reviews have been positive and favorable (that includes two writing judges for Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards, who I don’t know). I hope that all of these reviews are representative of what those readers really thought of my creati...

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Kiss My Owie

Posted on February 23, 2023 at 10:20 AM

I remember when I was very young, my mother convinced me that if she kissed my owie, it would feel better. I miss her. I don’t suppose me kissing my own owie will work. I am feeling silly right now, which will help more than a kiss. This aging stuff ain’t all that much fun, but I still wouldn’t go back even if I could. There is much more to appreciate about this time of my life, than the inconvenience of aging, at least so far. Writing, woodworking, hamming and swimming all ...

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Today's Surgery

Posted on February 22, 2023 at 10:25 AM

It is called stenosing tenosynovitis, but is more commonly known as ‘trigger finger’. I have been dealing with it for months, and it has become somewhat painful, especially first thing in the morning. Well, today Dr. Page is going to cut a piece called a pulley, which will (I am told) instantly solve the problem. Then I will be holding my hand above my heart for a few days and eventually I will be back to typing with both hands as I continue to work on STRYMON. I did print out the...

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B&N Event

Posted on February 21, 2023 at 11:35 AM

I recently attended an event for local authors at the Northtown Barnes & Noble store. It was an encouraging presentation focused on what an author needs to do in order to have a book-signing event or even just to get their books on the shelves there. While it was informative, I still see much risk financially in submitting a book to a national chain. They all require (understandably) agreement to return of unsold books. Since I do not have the resources to do a national sales campaign, th...

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Posted on February 20, 2023 at 10:20 AM

I have finished reading the three books leading to STRYMON. I have found a few discrepancies that I will have to deal with. All things considered, I am quite pleased with the series and (I humbly comment here) with my apparent growth as a writer. Now I will have to continue the process with this book and may still be on track for getting it published this summer. My progress in healing from the neck surgery is going well. This Wednesday’s finger surgery should only interrupt for a few d...

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Posted on February 19, 2023 at 11:25 AM

I changed the spelling of Anissi from the earlier books. In those books, her name was spelled Annisi, but I started thinking that was too much like Ann, a common modern name, so I changed it. The spelling is arbitrary anyway as the list of Nubian names was probably difficult to glean from whatever form they were in originally. At any rate, I am happier with it as Anissi. That makes the pronunciation (for me anyway) the way I want it to sound. All of the names I am using in the books come from...

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Getting Started

Posted on February 18, 2023 at 11:20 AM

I have been thinking lately about how my books got started. I know that THE PHOENIX GIFT, came from an event that a person told me about that was the seed for the book. From there I came up with a main character and her family, and then followed the logical progression to the seed idea. With the historical novels, I began by choosing a time, a primary setting and a main character. Then I developed a family around that main character and gave the character a challenge. Originally, I did not im...

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