Archives for April 2015

P is for Principles: #atozchallenge2015

Here's me in super-pretentious mode for the Alexandria Publishing Group challenge:

froot-loopsKnow you of Messrs. Strunk and White? They of The Elements of Style? Anyone who considers herself a wordsmith would do well to pick up this slim little volume. I recommend it mainly because you’d be hard put to find a more condensed and sensible approach to style in writing.

I bring up this subject because in certain enclaves, aspiring writers claim they are not bound by mere conventions of grammar and spelling. These free-thinkers seem to say, “If you don’t like seeing bits of eraser, buttons and mouse droppings in your Froot Loops, move on and have oatmeal or something. I won’t pick those things out for the likes of you.” (All types are required for the stew that is our world, I’m sure.)

Strunk and White have some interesting advice, though, that I think gives us all Froot Loops for thought. If it is natural to you to experiment rather than conform, they say, “Do not forget that what may seem like pioneering may be merely evasion, or laziness—the disinclination to submit to discipline. Writing good standard English is no cinch, and before you have managed it you will have encountered enough rough country to satisfy even the most adventurous spirit.” [Strunk and White, The Elements of Style, 4th edition, p.84.]

Stringing words together randomly doesn’t make you a writer. Writing is about communicating your thoughts and ideas, dreams and nightmares, the unique experiences you’ve had that no one else in the world can duplicate. You owe it to those individual, distinct stories, the ones that keep you up at night and pound on the inside of your head for release, to present them in the clearest way possible. That’s when we touch lives. That’s when we truly share the heart and soul of another human.

With that amazing goal in mind, could it hurt to learn a few principles of grammar and spelling?

D is for Donna: #atozchallenge2015

Here this year's first post in Alexandria Publishing Group's A to Z Blogging Challenge:

D-is-for-DonnaAlexandria Publishing Group is a wonderful circle of very talented authors, and I’m privileged to be one of them. My name? Donna K. Fitch (please don’t forget that “K”—I’m particular about that), illuminator of alternate realities, at your service.

My fiction writing always has a heavy dose of the supernatural in it, whether that’s a life-altering curse in Second Death, excursions into the aether and frightening killing ability in The Source of Lightning, or psychic prognostication and quasi-time travel in The Color of Darkness and Other Stories.

The gaming books I’ve written are firmly based in alternate realities. Sahasra: Land of 1,000 Cities is a d20 roleplaying book about a fantasy analogue of India, while Imperial Age: Faeries (written with Scott Carter) is about playing faeries in Victorian England.

I was an academic librarian for twelve years, and wrote several peer reviewed articles during that time. I even edited the manuscript for my late stepfather’s magnum opus, The Thematic Catalogue of the Musical Works of Johann Pachelbel, published by Scarecrow Press. I don’t think any of my academic publications have fantasy in them.

My latest venture is my business, Maximum Author Impact. I believe the web is about relationships. I help indie authors connect with their readers through beautiful WordPress websites and other marketing tools and training resources. Stop by and see how I can help you.

I live in central Alabama, work at a university as a web designer, sing in the church choir, play Dungeons and Dragons as often as I can (at least once a month), and live with my husband and three cats.

Comments are welcome below! Thanks for stopping by the Blogging A to Z Challenge!

H is for Horror: #atozchallenge2015

dark-graveyard-background_MJAFJu5uAlexandria Publishing Group is participating in the A to Z Blogging Challenge again this year. Here's one of my posts:

Horror is an emotion shared by everyone who’s human. The horror genre explores that emotion in all its forms—subtle, graphic, and all shades in between. Horror doesn’t have to mean blood and guts and chainsaws. One of my favorite horror writers, Charles L. Grant, is known for his “quiet horror.” I was excited when I found his work, because his approach to horror mirrored my own. Dean Koontz’s Odd Thomas series is horror every bit as much as Stephen King at his creep-crawliest. Zombies, serial killers, paranormal spookiness—all horror.

Horror as a genre has made a renaissance of late, and like science fiction, can be used as social commentary as well as straightforward story. The Horror Writers Association (HWA), premiere professional writers association, doesn’t define horror narrowly, but includes dark literature and dark fantasy within its purview. And it isn’t just for adults; HWA recently began a blog aimed at writers of young adult horror.

Here are some horror/dark fantasy books and stories written by Alexandria Publishing Group members:

Valerie Douglas – Shades

Donna K. Fitch – The Color of Darkness and Other Stories, Second Death, The Source of Lightning

Terry C. Simpson – The Arcanus Archives: Shadeborn (Bk 1)

Kai Wilson-Viola (as Sabrann Curach) – Footnotes to a Lesson, Litanies, Pillow Talk


Explore the world of horror!