Summer Project: Creating a Poem Book!

This summer one of my projects has been to combine all my old poetry into a book and publish it. I've added photographs by Sunsinger (who happens to be my wonderful mother : ).



The collection includes poems about nature, life and death, comedy, humanism, and existential questions.

Back From Hiatus

I've taken about a year off from my fantasy writing. After publishing Brother Betrayed, I found that I needed some time to sort out the next book in my head before I continued revising it.

Something has changed in the past couple years with my writing. Though I can't define it exactly, I do have an idea what it is. It's happened to me before that after a hiatus from my book, I will return with new ideas, and almost a new style of writing. Part of me has grown older, more experienced, and when I re-read what I had previously written I see it is lacking some "spark" that I can now apply to it.

Some authors are able to write an entire novel in a couple months. For me this is impossible. I mull over scenes for years, figuring out the best way to put on paper what I see and hear in my head.

For those of you waiting my next novel, Fire Born, you'll be happy to know that most of that "mulling" has been completed. Now comes the task of getting it on paper.

I appreciate your patience. My books are pieces of my soul, and they don't come out easily.

Here's the new cover to Fire Born. The main character of this book is a dragon, set in the same world as Brother Betrayed, just at a later time.

Meet the Characters from City of Silver, Dystopian Fiction

City of Silver is a dystopian science fiction story. Benita, a rebellious teenager, discovers everything she has been taught was a lie. She, and everyone else in the city of Argentar, were meant for much more than the mundane lives they leave.

Meet the Characters


Every night Benita dreams. She envisions her home is a beautiful city of clean, silver buildings. She dreams of a queen banished for not sharing the secret of her powers. And when she wakes, nothing she sees matches what she dreamed. The city she lives in is crowded with trash and debris, and the structures are covered with thick grime. She must decide what's more real: the world she has known since birth, that she can touch and see, or the world she dreams, that she feels with her heart.


Benita first meets Raven on the streets of Argentar, but she has seen him before that moment. In her dreams, he tried to protect the queen when the people of the city rebelled.

Raven earns Benita's trust, and captures her imagination with amazing demonstrations of magic. But when Benita starts to realize the truth, Raven hesitates to allow her to reach her true potential.


Jomicolis is the banished queen of Argentar. With the help of her four companions, she helped to construct the shields that protect the city from the wastelands.

For many years Jomicolis protected and ruled over the city. But the people became restless, and the governing council blamed her, and her mysterious powers. The council demanded she revealed the secrets to her magic, and when she refused, she was stripped of rulership of the city.

She still remains part of the city, hoping some day the people will possibly see the truth and start to dream again.

Read more about these characters in Danielle Raver's novella City of Silver, available now on Amazon.

Thank you for visiting!

Won't you take a ride on a flying spoon?

Yesterday to celebrate an important step in my writing career, I was in need of some dancing music. "Looking Out My Back Door" by Creedence Clearwater Revival came to mind.

I found this video on the wonderful Youtube. Before yesterday, I had never seen CCR, only listened to them on CD.

As I listened to the lyrics I realized they were very fitting to what I was celebrating: fiction writing. Here are the lyrics:

Just got home from Illinois, lock the front door, oh boy!
Got to sit down, take a rest on the porch.
Imagination sets in, pretty soon I'm singing:
Doo, doo, doo
Looking out my back door.

There's a giant doing cartwheels,
A statue wearing high heels.
Look at all the happy creatures dancing on the lawn.
A dinosaur Victrola listening to Buck Owens.
Doo, doo, doo
Looking out my back door.

Tambourines and elephants are playing in the band.
Won't you take a ride on the flying spoon?
Doo, doodoo
Wonderous apparition provided by magician.
Doo, doo, doo
Looking out my back door.

Tambourines and elephants are playing in the band.
Won't you take a ride on the flying spoon?
Dooin, doo doo.
Bother me tomorrow, today, I'll buy no sorrows.
Doo, doo, doo
Looking out my back door.

Forward troubles Illinois, lock the front door, oh boy!
Look at all the happy creatures dancing on the lawn.
Bother me tomorrow, today, I'll buy no sorrows.
Doo, doo, doo
Looking out my back door.  

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Some think "take a ride on a flying spoon" and the parade of animals are references to getting high. 

Personally, this reminds me of the nursery rhyme "Hey Diddle Diddle":

Hey diddle diddle,
The Cat and the fiddle,
The Cow jumped over the moon,
The little Dog laughed to see such sport,
And the Dish ran away with the Spoon

Fantasizing and day dreaming are considered wastes of time by some, but are everyday activities for an author. I remember as a child reading "Hey Diddle Diddle" and spending a long time trying to figure out exactly what it meant. But more, I imagined what happened afterwards. The Dish and Spoon going on some grand adventure down a moon-lit stream.

I believe this easy and free thought is what John Fogerty wrote the lyrics to "Looking Out My Backdoor". So curl up with a good fantasy or science fiction book (they are as trippy as they come :), sink inside it, and "take a ride on a flying spoon." 

New Fiction 2012

New ebooks for Amazon Kindle: City of Silver and The Enchantress

[Science Fiction Novella]

Read a sample:

[Arabian-set Fantasy Short Story]

Read a sample:

Ways to Improve Writing

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Rewriting a book I first wrote when I was pre-teen has given me a unique perspective on how writing develops in a person who is serious creating fiction. I don't think non-authors can grasp how much goes in to writing a novel. Not only do I spend half my writing time researching, but I also work to continually improve my writing through feedback, edits, and critiques. Not that the stage I am now at is perfect, by any means, but I am amazed at how far I've come, even in the last ten years.

I'd like to share the main things I've learned as a participant on, Scibophile, and as an author and editor for Fantasy Island Book Publishing. I will also share a sample of CRAPPY old writing - and how I improved it.

Ways to Improve Writing:

1) Have someone who is not FRIEND or FAMILY edit your book, preferably hire someone if you have the money. There are so many things that authors miss in their own writing. It takes an outsider with a critical eye to catch them.

A good place to find an editorial service is through Publisher's Marketplace. They have a complete database:

2) Be aware of vague, redundant, and overused words and phrases. A fellow author told me recently about Pro Writing Aid, it's a web-based editing tool that alerts you to word choice and consistency in a selection of text you paste into it. I highly recommend it.

(sample report from Pro Writing Aid - this is of a version of my book I wrote in 1997:)

3) Join a critique group. As I said above, my favorite two are - which is for fantasy and science fiction writers, and Scribophile, which is for anyone.
Critters is an email-based queue for science fiction and fantasy novels, and there are similar systems for other genres on You have to edit other manuscripts to keep in good standing, and wait some time as your chapter or short story goes up the list. It is time consuming, but if you critique ten works you get to move to the top of the list.

Here's what the queue looks like:


Scribophile is another online critique website, and you can set up a basic membership for free, but to be able to post more than two chapters at once you need to buy a premium membership.

You also have to critique other people's writing in order to post your own, whether you buy the premium membership or not. You earn Karma points by posting more detailed reviews.

I found you have to be very active on either critique site in order to receive a substantial number of reviews. Both places the fellow authors were very helpful, and all have varying opinions, which I will get into in tip #4
4) Above all, I recommend every author to make it his or her priority to find their unique voice, and stick with it. Editor, critics, beta readers can all have differing opinions. I often find that one sample of writing will please some, and elicit many suggestions from others. No piece of fiction will please everyone. Be true to the story you intended, and how you intended to tell it. Sometimes it's okay if you make someone mad, or break some rules. Try to find an editor/proofreader who understands who you are as an author, and your target audience.

Without further ado, here is my *fantastic* sample (haha:)

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My Bucket List

My mom suggested we both write bucket lists - ten things we'd like to do before we die - and then compare them. I wonder if she knew I would blog about it :)

So here it goes, my bucket list, in the order that I think about items.

1) Get a doctorate degree in clinical psychology, or neural psychology

2) Design a house that we will hire someone else to build, with a sun room, and a screened porch, a pool, a jacuzzi, a library, and a rock path garden (that's also energy self-sufficient using solar panels)

3) Finish and publish Flight Moon, my life's work

4) Travel to Europe and take a tour of old castles and ruins

5) See the mountains in Japan and China

6) Start a center to help children who are diagnosed with ADHD, ADD, or labeled with learning disabilities (Like the Arrowsmith school in Canada)

7) Research neuroplasticity and help reinvent the education model with the understanding that IQ is NOT permanent and "disabilities" CAN be overcome

8) See my kids graduate high school and start a field of work that they can make a difference in the world and find hapiness

9) Plant an orchard of fruit and hardwood trees and have field for horses

10) Live a long, happy life with my husband and family <3 (including you, Mom:)

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My Friends' Bucket Lists:

(None added yet!)
(Leave a link to yours in the comments and I'll link to it)