Posted by: Fiona Skye | 7 November 2010

100+ Reading Challenge List

Refer to this post for the details.  Here’s a list of every book I’ve read in 2010, including a link to the book’s Amazon page.

1. Over Sea, Under Stone, by Susan Cooper – Amazon
2. The Dark Is Rising, by Susan Cooper –Amazon
3. Greenwitch, by Susan Cooper – Amazon
4.The Grey King, by Susan Cooper – Amazon
5. Shattered World, by Michael Reaves – Amazon
6. The Burning Realm, by Michael Reaves – Amazon
7. Changeling: the Dreaming – Amazon
8. Changeling: the Dreaming – Storyteller’s Guide – Amazon
9. New Orleans by Night – Amazon
10. Changeling: the Dreaming – Kingdom of Willows – Amazon
11. Silver On The Tree, by Susan Cooper – Amazon
12. Guilty Pleasures, by Laurell K Hamilton – Amazon
13. Warbreaker, by Brandon Sanderson – Amazon
14. Homeland, by RA Salvatore – Amazon
15. Exile, by RA Salvatore – Amazon
16. Sojourn, by RA Salvatore – Amazon
17. Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, by T.S. Eliot – Amazon
18. The Crystal Shard, by RA Salvatore – Amazon
19. Streams of Silver, by RA Salvatore – Amazon
20. The Halfling’s Gem, by RA Salvatore – Amazon
21. On Photography, by Susan Sontag – Amazon
22. The Laughing Corpse, by Laurell K Hamilton – Amazon
23. The Legacy, by RA Salvatore – Amazon
24. Starless Night, by RA Salvatore – Amazon
25. Siege of Darkness, by RA Salvatore – Amazon
26. Passage to Dawn, by RA Salvatore – Amazon
27. The Circus of the Damned, by Laurell K Hamilton – Amazon
28. The Silent Blade, by RA Salvatore – Amazon
29. The Spine of the World, by RA Salvatore – Amazon
30. Servant of the Shard, by RA Salvatore – Amazon
31. Sea of Swords, by RA Salvatore – Amazon
32. The Lunatic Cafe, by Laurell K Hamilton – Amazon
33. The Thousand Orcs, by RA Salvatore – Amazon
34. The Lone Drow, by RA Salvatore – Amazon
35. The Two Swords, by RA Salvatore – Amazon
36. Bloody Bones, by Laurell K Hamilton – Amazon
37. The Orc King, by RA Salvatore – Amazon
38. The Pirate King, by RA Salvatore – Amazon
39. The Ghost King, by RA Salvatore – Amazon
40. The Killing Dance, by Laurell K Hamilton – Amazon
41. Storm Front, by Jim Butcher – Amazon
42. Fool Moon, by Jim Butcher – Amazon
43. Grave Peril, by Jim Butcher – Amazon
44. Summer Knight, by Jim Butcher – Amazon
45. Death Masks, by Jim Butcher – Amazon
46. Blood Rites, by Jim Butcher – Amazon
47. Dead Beat, by Jim Butcher – Amazon
48. Proven Guilty, by Jim Butcher – Amazon
49. White Knight, by Jim Butcher – Amazon
50. Small Favor, by Jim Butcher – Amazon
51. Turn Coat, by Jim Butcher – Amazon
52. Changes, by Jim Butcher – Amazon
53. Burnt Offerings, by Laurell Hamilton – Amazon
52. Blue Moon, by Laurell Hamilton – Amazon
54. Mistborn, by Brandon Sanderson – Amazon
55. The Well of Ascension, by Brandon Sanderson – Amazon
56. Hero Of Ages, by Brandon Sanderson – Amazon
57. Obsidian Butterfly, by Laurell Hamilton – Amazon
58. Sweet Silver Blues, by Glen Cook – Amazon
59. Bitter Gold Hearts, by Glen Cook – Amazon
60. Cold Copper Tears, by Glen Cook – Amazon
61. Narcissus in Chains, by Laurell Hamilton – Amazon
62. Old Tin Sorrows, by Glen Cook – Amazon
63. Dread Brass Shadows, by Glen Cook – Amazon
64. Red Iron Nights, by Glen Cook – Amazon
65. Cerulean Sins, by Laurell Hamilton Amazon
66. Deadly Quicksilver Lies, by Glen Cook – Amazon
67. Petty Pewter Gods, by Glen Cook – Amazon
68. Faded Steel Heat, by Glen Cook – Amazon
69. Incubus Dreams, by Laurell Hamilton – Amazon
70. Angry Lead Skies, by Glen Cook – Amazon
71. Whispering Nickel Idols, by Glen Cook – Amazon
72. Cruel Zinc Melodies, by Glen Cook – Amazon
73. Micah, by Laurell Hamilton – Amazon
74. Danse Macabre, by Laurell Hamilton – Amazon
75. Windmaster’s Bane, by Tom Deitz – Amazon
76. Fireshaper’s Doom, by Tom Deitz – Amazon
77. Darkthunder’s Way, by Tom Deitz – Amazon
78. Sunshaker’s War, by Tom Deitz – Amazon
79. Stoneskin’s Revenge, by Tom Deitz – Amazon
80. The Harlequin, by Laurell Hamilton – Amazon
81. Blood Noir, by Laurell Hamilton – Amazon
82. Ghostcountry’s Wrath, by Tom Deitz – Amazon
83. Dreamseeker’s Road, by Tom Deitz – Amazon
84. Landslayer’s Law, by Tom Deitz – Amazon
85. Warstalker’s Track, by Tom Deitz – Amazon
86. Skin Trade, by Laurell Hamilton – Amazon

Posted by: Fiona Skye | 15 March 2010

Quick Update

I have only heard back from two beta readers about my manuscript.  One gave me killer advice and the other made the fatal mistake of saying, “It was good.  I enjoyed it.”  Like I said in a previous post, while I do enjoy having my ego stroked, this is not exactly the kind of hard-hitting, thoughtfully written feed-back I was angling for.  The other three haven’t responded to either an email I sent out a few days ago or the initial email I sent out two months ago.

All of this leaves me wondering a few things.  One – is my writing such utter crap that only people with very strong stomachs can stand to read it?  Two – if you sign up to do something as important as read someone’s manuscript, with the implicit understanding that you’re reading to give feed-back, and you don’t ever give that feed-back, why did you sign up in the first place?  Three – why the hell am I doing this again?


I’m feeling horribly, terribly down on myself lately and this is just kind of another blow to my already shaky sense of self.  I am constantly wondering if I have what it takes to become a published author.  Right now, more often than not, the answer is a resounding no.

Posted by: Fiona Skye | 15 January 2010

Nerves and other news!

I’ve just sent my beta readers the zero draft of MoC. I’m wicked nervous about this. I hope they’re gentle with me!

I’ve also begun research and note-taking on the next project, a high fantasy caper story. I’m excited about it. I hope I can really do the idea justice.

How’s the writing going in your world?

Posted by: Fiona Skye | 14 January 2010

Not only does her cooking rock…

But Ree Drummond, aka the Pioneer Woman, is an amazing person, too.

Check out this link and enter the contest to help out the victims of the earthquake in Haiti.

Thanks, Ree, for having such an awesomely big heart!

A different kind of give-away

Posted by: Fiona Skye | 6 January 2010

A Breath of Fresh Air

I have finally finished “A Murder of Crowes”. It’s only two weeks over-due, but it’s finished at long last. It’s the longest thing I’ve ever written and I think I’m most proud of it, too.

My next step is to gather my group of beta readers and send out the finished manuscript to them. Then I am hiding the file somewhere on my hard drive and not looking at it again until the beta readers get back to me with their comments and stuff. Then…the part I hate the most begins.

The editing.

Ugh. I am not looking forward to this part at all. I think it’ll be incredibly difficult to go through my baby and cut parts of her out, change bits of her, move some of her bits around. I think it might actually verge on being painful. If, however, I’m serious about this whole writing-for-publication odyssey (which I totally am!), I need to learn how to edit…and edit…and edit some more before my baby’s ready for queries.

But for now, I am resting on my laurels, enjoying a celebratory glass of pink lemonade made by The Man, and playing The Sims 3 until dinner. I think I’ve earned it!

(Oh, by the way, I’m giving away free desktop calendars over at The Photographic Odyssey. Grab January’s image today!)

Posted by: Fiona Skye | 1 January 2010


I don’t normally make New Year’s Resolutions. It’s not because I invariably break them only a few weeks into the new year, either. It’s because I don’t think we should wait until the beginning of a new year to better ourselves. I think whenever we notice something in our behaviour that should be changed, we should take the steps necessary to fix it immediately, rather than waiting for some arbitrary turn of a calendar page.

But, nonetheless, I am endeavouring to make a few resolutions this year and stick to them for longer than a month or so. Here they are, in no particular order. Read ’em and help keep me accountable!

1. Write or edit for at least an hour a day
2. Exercise for at least half an hour a day, five times a week
3. Do some sort of networking activity every day – find and comment on new blogs, follow new people on Twitter, comment more on forums, etc
4. Make a commitment to being in Temple every Sunday morning at 9:30, unless deathly ill or out of town
5. Take at least ten photos every day and post the best one on my photography blog

Well, there you have it. I think these are reasonable, don’t you? It should be relatively easy to stick to them…I hope.

Posted by: Fiona Skye | 30 December 2009

What Makes You Certain You’re A Writer?

Cassandra Jade, blogger of thought-provoking questions, has another poll over at her site and one of the questions that was asked (not on the poll, but in the comments) was what makes one certain that s/he is a writer? I think this is a fabulous question and would like to pose it to my readers as well as address it myself.

I think honestly, that everyone is a writer, but not everyone can be an author.  What’s the difference?  A writer is someone who is capable of stringing together thoughts and ideas in a coherent fashion.  If you can successfully convey something to someone else through the written word, you’re a writer.

To be an author, however, I believe you have to be able to not only string together thoughts and ideas, but you have to do it in an enjoyable way.  You have to tell a story that evokes some sort of reaction from your readers – either an emotional reaction or perhaps a physical one.

You have to be able to create a world with your words and people it with believable inhabitants.  You must be able to create characters that resonate with your readers, characters that we can relate to for one reason or another.

You must be able to use words in such a way that your readers can feel and see and touch and smell and taste what you’re writing about.  We want to smell the flowers your protagonist gives to his significant other.  We want to feel the coldness of the knife blade the bad guy sinks into the gut of his victim.  We want to taste the mead your adventurers drink while they sit around the camp fire the night before the big battle with the evil wizard.

To be an author, you must make your readers laugh or cry or get really, really angry.  You have to make us care about why your baddie is the way he is, why your goodie does what she does.  And the only way to do any of this is through your words.

That is the difference between being a writer and being an author.  Anyone can write, but not everyone can write stories.  Once you can write an evocative story, you’re an author and no longer just a writer.

So what do you guys think?  What makes you certain you’re a writer?  Is there a difference between being a writer and being an author?  What is that difference, if there is one?

Posted by: Fiona Skye | 24 December 2009

Merry Christmas!

Christmas Penguin

I sincerely wish all of my readers and their families a warm, safe, and joyous Christmas and New Year’s.  I’m leaving for a few days in sunny southern California.  Regular blogging will resume after the first of the year.  I’ll be starting a new photography project then as well.  Check out the Photographic Odyssey.

Posted by: Fiona Skye | 21 December 2009

Ice Age?

This was on The Man’s iGoogle home page this afternoon.  I think it’s a damned good thing we will be in California soon.

Posted by: Fiona Skye | 18 December 2009

My Muse Has ADD and Other Excuses…

So, I know I promised myself that I would have the zero draft of MoC done by Christmas Day and out to beta readers just after the first of the year. And I’m only about 15,000 words away from finishing it. It’s just…well… You see, my muse has ADD and I seem to have re-injured a previously broken finger in a fit of Scottish rage.

I blame the fact that my muse has allowed herself to be distracted from MoC on the TV show “Castle”. Have you seen it? It’s pretty damned good. Sure, it’s no Supernatural or Numb3rs, but it does have Nathan Fillion in it and well, he makes me happy. Plus the writing is funny and the acting is tight.  There was a show about an aging jewel thief on last season and that got me thinking about how much I love caper movies (The Thomas Crown Affair, Ocean’s Eleven, The Italian Job, etc) and how I’d love to write a caper book. So I started thinking about my thief, The Dragon, and then an idea blossomed in my head and I’ve been throwing myself head-long into research for this new book for the past two days.

Now, about the hand injury. If you’ve ever known anyone of Scottish extraction, you might be aware of our tempers. We do have a long, slow-burning fuse, but once we ignite – LOOK OUT! Big, giant, messy explosion. Add in female hormone issues, daily stress and two weeks straight of both children being out of school and under-foot, and you’ve got a very tense situation. A probably pointless argument with The Man touched it off this afternoon and in a fit of rage, I punched the kitchen counter, re-injuring my right pinkie finger, which was broken in two places some 15 years ago.

Anyway, long story short, I’ve typed this entire thing without the benefit of my pinkie finger – the finger I use to hit the enter, period, and backspace keys – and my wrist and finger are throbbing now.  I think I’m going to have to put off finishing MoC until this heals and until I can get The Dragon out of my head.  I sincerely hope that it won’t be too long and that The Dragon will learn to be quiet and wait his turn.  I’ll have revisions to do, Mister, and then you can have your turn in the spotlight.

Older Posts »