A Little Bit of Family History Help

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I decided to let some other things go and am paying for my ancestry account so I can fix my tree on Family Search and see about figuring out the mystery beyond my second Great-grandfather, which to do it and so I could save the info for cousins and family that do not have a paid ancestry account, everything is being saved on my hard drive and put in folders labeled by the person or family. Nothing is getting added that cannot be proven, IE they have to have a birth certificate, death certificate, Find A Grave, Marriage Certificate or a Census record. Now I know that some censuses cam get messed up so I have a back up source.

Eventually I will do a DNA test when I have some extra monies, and then see what it brings up. I know its going to show a lot of English or Scottish blood and likely some German from my mom’s side.

And I know that Monday is not the day for Family History, but that is what I am working on because I am having issues with my Urban Fantasy book right now and I need some time away from actively writing on it for now.

I found a video on YouTube that may help with the Cousin Explanation so I am going to add it here.

A Big Catch Up

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Sorry about the lack of posting, but I have busy with trying to fix the family tree debacle and figure out who my 3rd great grandparents are on the biological side. Its a huge tree so I have a large task at hand.

Some things of note have happened this week that I just want to note for posterity…. 

  • A New Royal Baby — On St. George’s Day, the Royal Family welcomed Prince Louis Arthur Charles Windsor to the world. He is named for Lord Mountbatten, uncle to Prince Phillip.
  • Games — Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery is out and I downloaded it for my phone. I am currently at level 6. I am also getting back active in Role playing at Arolos Weyr, where I have had two characters in play for 13 years.
  • News From Sweden — Abba is going back in the studio and recording an album some 30+ years after their last release.
  • Family Tree — My hint for y’all is to leave off anything that you cannot find paperwork to verify and back up items listed in your tree. Also check and double check everything! I am a Napier by blood and our clan has like seven different branches. The American branches are all tied back to one man, Dr. Patrick Napier and his sons. 
  • Need For Speed — Cedar Point unveiled the PoV of the newest coaster at the park, Steel Vengeance. These videos are as close as I get to riding a coaster due to health issues.

TGIF!

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It’s Friday! For most of you that means the weekend! Woot!

Currently I am watching NCAA gymnastics on ESPN U prior to the National Meet next week. Shout Out to Utah and BYU tonight! 

This post is short, yes I know, but that is because I have a YouTube video for my readers to see. Earlier in the week I posted about cliches and one of them was The Chosen One, and that is what the YouTube is about, writing the Chosen One. I have a few more on the subject to watch so if I learn something from them and think they may help my writing fellows then I will post them here in the blog.

What Makes Up Urban Fantasy?

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Yes I know….. this post is late, sorry about that, last night did not go as I had planned, so I am doing it today while I watch Battlestar Galactica on Hulu.

So as you can see by the title this post is about Urban Fantasy, more so it is about what commonalities most Urban Fantasy’s share. So here we go!

  • Setting: Set in an Urban environment. That means a city and some even go so far as to say it also means that it is sent in real time, aka, the here and now. Stories are almost always set on Earth.
  • Point of View: Often written in first person.
  • Target Audience: Adults, mainly because of the amount of what I would call, adult content. Though there are books that can be classified as YA as well, and they are a lot more toned down on the adult content.
  • Protagonist: The protagonist, and also the Viewpoint character, is commonly female, though males are starting to make appearances in this slot, thanks mainly to Jim Butcher and Kevin Herne.
  • Beings: Supernatural and Paranormal beings are very common in these stories. That means Vampires, Weres of all kinds, Fae, and even Gods make an appearance. Knowledge of such is either common or limited to certain groups of people.
  • Magic: Magic and things like Psi abilities and the like are common. They may either be out in the open or hidden from the general populace for any number of reason, but the most common, is to protect one if not both sides of the equation.
  •  Law: In many of the books the lead character is either working in some semblance of law enforcement or they take part in vigilantism.  
  • Teaming Up: Commonly the lead has the help of someone that is of the opposite sex. Sometimes there is an underlying romantic element here. If the romance is the main focus of the story then the story ceases to be Urban Fantasy. Also word to the wise, wait till after you have had them save the world before you have them consummate their relationship. Let’s keep the priorities straight, please?
  • Save Me: One of the common things I have seen in the books I have read is that there is a threat to the world that could end it and both the mundane and supernatural/paranormal must work together to save the world.
  • Wake Up Its Me: The lead character is drawn into the struggle unexpectedly.. This is most common in YA, but I have seen it in adult fiction, most notably books by Nora Roberts, Karen Marie Moning, and Christine Feehan.
  • I Got The Power: The lead character may discover that she herself has some kind of magic or psi power, or that they may be part of a supernatural race.  This is common in both YA and Adult versions.
  • Some Like It Hot: In the adult version, there is a strong sizzle between at least two characters. You may not have a full on love scene or romance in your story, but sex should simmer somewhere in the background.
  • YA Additions: Common themes in YA Urban Fantasy deal with coming of age and the characters’ voices are, well, teen. Other common YA items are: moving away from home, living at a boarding school. Love triangles are also common in YA stories.ls

Also I will be adding some links to the blog roll even though I normally do that on Monday’s.

Be safe out there and if you are in the cold zone, please stay warm!

Wednesday Touching Base

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Catching Up…..

  • Rest in Peace Barbra Bush! Due to someone leaking the CNN notice that was prepped for the occasion, on Sunday, people called my posting of this on my Facebook a hoax even though I was watching  a breaking news broadcast from CNN at the time.
  • I am taking part in an Online writing workshop on Plotting Character Arcs from Kristen at Well Storied.
  • In May Ninja Writers will be a monthly Writing Marathon on their Facebook.
  • Tonight the New Jersey Devils play. I will be working on the Writing Wednesday post then. Be sure to check before midnight!

Tuesday News

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Apologies for the lack of a post yesterday. I spent most of the day under a blanket and listening to the wind howl as I worked on my family tree for five hours so that I could begin to put one of them up on the pages here. Whelp I get to one spot and then someone or some force deletes all my work leaving me with an empty tree that only goes as far back as my great-grand father.

One the plus side I also sat down and watched the New Jersey Devils play at home in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and it was a very good game. The Devil’s came out on top by a score of 5-2 but we are left with questions about a possible injury to our goalie, Cory Schneider. I hope that he is going to be able to start tomorrow night as we play at home again. We need another win to tie the series up going back to Tampa Bay.

Today is another day of under the blankets to keep warm and writing. I made my goal for my Camp Nano project so I am thinking of focusing somewhere else for a bit. The project in question is my YA/New Adult Urban Fantasy series. I started writing this one in High School and began to really build into it when I discovered using tarot cards for writing and then something happened that made it where I just got bored with what I was doing. I have since lost some of my stuff for it thanks to the events and people tied up into why I had to start over, so now if I work on it, its a rebuilding thing, just like it is in life, and I am fine with that.

I also have a new book to use to help with this so that could change things in the story, and I am fine with that too.

I was thinking yesterday of doing daily themed posts, at least for Monday through Friday, anyway. I am thinking of reserving Saturday and Sunday for personal time so that I do not burn out, a self care time., though this does not mean that I will not be writing.

  • Monday — Monday Madness — Adding links to my blogroll
  • Tuesday — Tidbits of History and Reviews — This week in history and/or reviews of things like books and things
  • Wednesday — Writer and Words Wednesday — Tips on writing and ravings about my favorite authors. 
  • Thursday — Tea and Tarot Thursdays — How Tarot can help in writing, and for those that don’t follow that ilk, Tea time chat, where I catch up and talk about life and all the fish.
  • Friday — Family Friday — Anything and everything Family History

What do you think? If you have ideas, please let me know what they are?

Tropes and Cliches for Urban Fantasy

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Originally I started to make a list of things that made Urban Fantasy what it is. Yes, I found items for that list, which will be in another post, but I also found lists of cliches and tropes that were common and/or hated, even though many of them are must have’s for the genere. That was how this post was born. I am not going to make separate lists for hated ones and the like, but I will more then likely give my own thoughts on them, and yes I realize that not everyone will agree with this, but we can agree to agree or disagree and leave it at that. 

You may also find some YA ones listed here, mainly because I have read a lot of YA books because that was what I originally was going to write.

This list is much shorter then I wanted simply because its a cold, wet, windy day out and that makes everything sore, not to mention that my fur-babies are on edge.

Special thanks go out to the following for their lists:

 

The Short List:

  • Missing Parental Figures:  Most YA leads are under the age of 18, so unless they are legally emancipated from their parents or going off away from home for some reason, or their parents are dead, then their parents are still part of their lives. Even in other genres, the lack of parents should affect the characters should affect the lead somehow in their later relationships. Now some argue that YA especially is based on the hero’s journey and a common thing in there is that the hero is an orphan, but I have seen the hero’s journey done without this. 
  • Supernatural Creatures: A lot of the top UF out there has things like vampires, fae, werewolves, and the like. My current favorite is Fae.  While some say things like vampires are overdone, you gotta have something supernatural in this genre, why not twist it up and give some love to the lesser used like ghosts.
  • The Chosen One: The character who is supposedly the only one that can do a thing. In many UF its usually the protagonist. I like Nora Robert’s Sign of Seven Trilogy and Karen Marie Moning’s Fever series  because there is not just one chosen, though the opposite can be argued for how events happened, but in both series it took a team working together get to where the goal is achieved by that one person, and then its got some kind of price tied to it.
  • Set In The Real World: Fiction that is supposedly set in the here and now, but oddly isn’t because it doesn’t mention anything that is currently impacting our world. For instance if I set a story in my hometown that’s in Ohio, I would have to point out today’s totally soggy weather and the flood warnings that came with it along with a Friday the 13th where it was nearly 80 degrees in April. (80’s don’t usually hit here till late June) Weather does affect behavior, just saying.
  • I Read A Book And I Know Everything There is To Know: Or otherwise known as, I just got powers and know how to use them. This is just as bad as those people that read one book on a topic and think they know everything. No one is born automatically knowing things. Its why we go to school. I’d like to see more books that show the character learning how to use their powers. Kudos to Karen Marie Moning’s Fever series for doing just this!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Welcome One and All!

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Welcome to my new Site!

A lot has changed in the last three months and in an attempt to put things behind me and to turn the page, so to speak, I started a new blog with a new design and focus.

Currently I am watching/listening to the New Jersey Devils in the Stanley Cup playoffs, something I have not done since 2012. Having a smart phone and TV anywhere is worth it when you only have one TV and two roommates. Hockey was something I watched a lot of as a child. It happens when you grow up living in range of a power team like the old school Detroit Red Wings.

I watch a lot of TV on my phone. I need to finish watching Troy on Netflix too so I can air my feelings on it.

In the writing world I focused on my fantasy story so that I can rebuild my world-building binder for my fantasy novel.  I think that for June I may go back to work on my new adult paranormal, but we will see. I used a technique that V. E. Schawb spoke about when I had an idea hit me for the other book. ( Its here.)

Hope you will stay with me on this journey.