Monday, August 20, 2018

The Classics - CLOSING LINES: The Study of Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyles

As narrated by Dr. Watson:

"Didn't I tell you so when we started?" cried Sherlock Holmes with a laugh. "That's the result of all our Study in Scarlet: to get them a testimonial!"

"Never mind," I answered, "I have all the facts in my journal, and the public shall know them. In the meantime you must make yourself contented by the consciousness of success, like the Roman miser—

"'Populus me sibilat, at mihi plaudo Ipse domi simul ac nummos contemplor in arca.'"

(Published 1887) (This short novel introduced Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson to the public)

Sharon M. Himsl

Writer/Author. Blogging since 2011. 
Published with Evernight Teen: 
~~The Shells of Mersing

Monday, August 13, 2018

Stuck...It's not such a bad thing

Shipwreck Buser
Shipwreck Buser

Shipwrecked, stranded, and especially the word STUCK comes to mind with this image. Ever feel that way when everything you are trying to do in your writing feels frozen? 

IF you're like me you have to set everything aside and focus on something new to get moving again. I've been cleaning house, tossing out old papers in my office, cleaning elsewhere in the home, thinking about painting, and window coverings....baking sourdough breads (my go-to source of comfort lately), but mostly throwing stuff away. 

One example, and boy did it ever feel good, was to throw out a file drawer full of research on a nonfiction book I almost did for an educational publisher years back. I kept thinking this would be great for historical fiction. Most came from hours of copying at a university library.....Why? Because the network was still questionable back then when it came to research. Yet all that work, I kept reasoning.....surely it could be used elsewhere. So I had a serious talk with myself. IF I were to seriously do historical fiction, wouldn't I use online resources after all? Wouldn't I? So into the garbage it all went....volumes worth. And how did I feel afterwards? A sense of freedom.

Now that I'm clearing the plate so to speak, I am beginning to see my office and goals more clearly. This is not to say I'm now unstuck, however. As I'm kneading the dough for sourdough pitas, and letting another batch of dough rise for sourdough crackers, I'm toughening up to start writing again. It's time for the explorer in me to investigate this hunk of junk before me.  

To be honest, that's how my current manuscript feels at the moment. My Na-No experiment awhile back left me with a story that began twisting and turning in strange ways. Was it the creative juices taking over or do I really need to start again? I'm hoping there are treasures to find nonetheless as I investigate. Time to explore! If I come up short, I'll bake more sourdough. 

"Sourdough Pita Bread"

2 cups flour (my favorite combo: 1c whole wheat and 1c spelt)
1 T. sugar
1/2 Tsp. salt
1/2 cup sourdough starter (freshly fed)
1 T. olive oil
3/4 -1 cup water (room temperature)

Mix flour, sugar and salt together. Make well in center and add oil and starter. As you mix, add water 2-3 T. water at a time as needed to make a workable dough. Knead until soft and elastic. Place in greased bowl and cover. Let rise to about double. Punch down. Shape into 8 lemon-size balls (thickness of two tortillas). Cover with damp cloth and let rest for 5 min. Meanwhile, heat up a griddle or skillet to medium heat. Roll dough balls into 6 inch circles and fry in light oil. When the dough puffs up you can flip over for a few seconds to lightly brown. Enjoy!


Sharon M. Himsl

Writer/Author. Blogging since 2011. 
Published with Evernight Teen: 
~~The Shells of Mersing

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Evernight Teen: DEBUT NEW RELEASE: BREED by Niki Cluff

A comet is set to destroy Earth, but Kyle Singer is determined to survive. Tired of being treated like a second-class citizen thanks to her perfect brother, Kyle doesn’t think twice when offered the opportunity to attend an academy formed to stop the comet. It’s not like there’s going to be much left after the comet hits, anyway.

She's drugged, shipped off to the school, and thrown into a relationship with Ichiro Seung-hun, an exchange student from South Korea. The school isn’t just about stopping the comet. It’s a breeding program for after the comet hits and wipes out the human race. Terrified of becoming a baby-making factory, Kyle and Ichiro will do whatever it takes to escape. Evernight Teen: DEBUT NEW RELEASE: BREED by Niki Cluff: NOW AVAILABLE! 


Hi everyone. It's been awhile.... This is one scary plot. One of the characters is from the Asia Pacific, a part of the world wracked with uncertainty and havoc today. I am surprised that more authors haven't introduced characters from this region.

Internationally, those in the U.S. are easily a flight away from South Korea, where most speak some English at least. The culture and people of that region are no doubt beautiful, but as with any race, there is always a dark side. Not sure if the bad guys are from the Asia Pacific, from here, or both (read and find out), but it sure strikes my imagination. I wish Niki the best of success! May sales reach the moon and over.

I believe we read these stories, among other reasons, to explore the dark side of human nature and to find some commonality with a people unlike ourselves. When I researched Malaysia and Thailand (including Hawaii) I discovered a seedy world of drug trade, human trafficking, and smuggling, with sadly, ties to the mainland U.S., but I also discovered in the mix, the goodness of people, as this author has with Kyle and Ichiro.

I invite you to explore Niki's debut novel and also my own Evernight Teen novel: The Shells of Mersing, which is set in Hawaii, Malaysia and Thailand.

Happy reading!!  


About Me

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You could call me an eternal optimist, but I'm really just a dreamer. l believe in dream fulfillment, because 'sometimes' dreams come true. This is a blog about my journey as a writer and things that inspire and motivate me.