Thursday, August 21, 2008

A Prophecy Forgotten Now Available As An E-Book!

For those of you who enjoy reading e-books (aka glass books) on your e-book readers, The Elysian Chronicles: A Prophecy Forgotten is now available for download at Books on Board. I'm excited about this because making the e-book available through regularly accepted e-book channels enlarges The Elysian Chronicles' audience.

If you wish to download the e-book version of the second edition of A Prophecy Forgotten, click here.

A Prophecy Forgotten Paperback Cover!

When I originally signed with Wandering Sage Publications, we planned to create a temporary Elysian Chronicles: A Prophecy Forgotten cover for DragonCon and let an artist create the real cover. Our chosen artist was Dan Harding--his stuff is amazing--who has created paintings for author Shane Moore. (Check out this picture Dan painted for Shane!)

Before poor Dan, who had diligently worked on some preliminary sketches for us, could start the project, Wandering Sage and I realized that A Prophecy Forgotten appeals not only to a fantasy audience but also to an audience that won't necessarily pick up a book with a fantasy illustrated cover (and might even avoid such a book). We decided to stick with the DragonCon cover, but we updated it just a tad, including lightening it to make the details stand out. So here it is, the A Prophecy Forgotten trade paperback cover:

Now that I know what the book cover looks like, I've adjusted my website to reflect it: (I'm working on adjusting my MySpace profile, but MySpace changed how that works, so I'm going to have to relearn everything.)

The A Prophecy Forgotten paperback will be available within a matter of weeks, and it has a new scene added to the prologue! (It may even have a map of Elysia, but the map is giving the printer some trouble right now.) Keep checking the blog for more updates!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A Little Hurricane Poem...

I wrote this during Hurricane Charlie, the last category 3 that we will ever stick around for.


Wind: blowing, howling, throwing,
Raging through the tender trees.
Rain: slashing, crashing, thrashing,
Bullets piercing dry land's knees.

Water: surging, rushing, purging,
Angry punches from the sea.
Sky: falling, darkening, calling,
"Seek for shelter or face me!"

Rip! Tear! Creak! Scare!
Trees attacking! Branches hacking!
Pop! Boom! Bang! Doom!
Glass exploding! Roofs imploding!


Eye: shining, peaceful, lying,
Sniper hiding in the reeds.
Storm: brewing, waits, renewing,
Pounds at those already weak.

People: shaking, crying, raking,
Searching through the vast debris.
Lives: shattered, beaten, battered,
Pushing on resiliently.

M. B. Weston
Friday, August 13, 2004

You Know You've Weathered Too Many Hurricanes When...

Tropical Storm Fey Update: My husband and I went through the eye of Tropical Storm Fey this morning, and we now have a lake in our tiny backyard. We lost power for a while, but other than a few pine cones landing on our roof--no major damage.

I did, however, decide to entertain everyone with a little list of ways that you can know you have weathered too many hurricanes, and I've even named the hurricane, when applicable.

You Know You've Weathered Too Many Hurricanes When...

  • You know the Weather Channel anchors and reporters on a first name basis, and you feel as though they are personal friends--even though you've never met them.
  • You've actually driven to the site where the Weather Channel reporter (Jim Cantore) is filming...gotten his autograph...on your foul weather gear to the autograph of the guy who was here two years ago for Hurricane Wilma (Anderson Cooper). (Uh-hem, Sasha....)
  • You have said, "It's only a Category 1 hurricane. I might bring in my wind chimes." (Uh-hem, Mom! Actually, my mom left the wind chimes out through this one.)
  • You can tell what direction it is by looking at which way the trees are listing from the last hurricane. (Since Hurricane Wilma, all of our trees point slightly south. I'm not joking.)
  • You keep 5 gallons of water in your garage through the summer to save yourself a trip to the store.
  • You once stockpiled canned goods and other non-perishable items before each hurricane. Now you buy a loaf of bread, peanut butter, and jelly. (Uh-hem, Jill...)
  • Names like Wilma, Charlie, Ivan, Rita, Hugo, Katrina, and Andrew leave a bad taste in your mouth. (Don't say Donna does, or you'll reveal your age!)
  • You have, at one time or another, planned to evacuate from an oncoming hurricane to your friend's house 3 hours north, only to have the storm change direction and entertain those same friends at your house.
  • You still keep your old, battery-powered boom box around so you can hear the radio when your electric goes out.
  • You know that the easiest way to find out if your power has been turned back on (if you've evacuated) is to call your house and see if your answering machine picks up.
  • You stopped boarding up your house after Hurricane Andrew (or Wilma) when you watched the wind rip the boards off your windows and turn those boards into projectiles. (Uh-hem, Gretchen...)
  • You have held a street-wide barbecue to get rid of your meat before it rots in your non-working refrigerator.
  • You know that "sustained winds" don't mean anything. "Gusts" and "micro bursts" will kill you.
  • You've watched your bedroom window explode OUTWARDS because of the low pressure outside. (Me, Hurricane Andrew--not fun.)
  • Hurricane parties excite you.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Why I Haven't Blogged in a While

I know I haven’t posted many blogs and updates lately. Sorry about that. My friend, Sasha, always gets onto me when I blog too much because she knows it’s because I’m not writing enough. And she’s right. Fortunately for everyone I’ve been in “blog hiding” because I’m adjusting Out of the Shadows just a bit before I turn the manuscript in to Wandering Sage Publications. I’m working on two main “tweaks.”

“Background Music”
Out of the Shadows takes place 10 years after A Prophecy Forgotten. (No real giveaway there.) During this time, I mess with world politics. (Tee hee. Makes me feel powerful.) Most scenes in the Earth section of OOTS focus on Tommy, but I need to add tension, and I need to foreshadow Book III. That’s where world politics issues come in. They add tension and foreshadowing but they really are just “background music.” That means all the research, etc. I’m doing to create the background music will equal about 3,000 words worth of adjustments. Will it be worth it? Yep. It's not even a question.

My first attempt at messing with world politics and the military was just that, an attempt that lacked plausibility. It’s one of those things that I knew I could do better, but I wasn’t really sure how. That’s where the TSME came in. (Top Secret Military Expert.) There’s nothing like running a few ideas past a person who has been in the military for a while--and actually teaches the stuff--to get the creative juices flowing. The TSME not only gave me ideas but also worked with my ideas to make them more “plausible.” Also, the beautiful thing about the TSME is his own creative streak, and he allowed me to steal a few of his ideas—including using secret societies—for OOTS and Book III.

Want to know what is funny. Now that Russia is attacking Georgia...let’s just say that the TSME and I make a good (and quite prophetic) team. (Remember, everything you read in OOTS was decided on before Russia attacked Georgia. Now you’ll have to read it!)

So, I’m currently fine tuning my “background music.” Then I will give the TSME the final Earth sections so he can comb through them for plausibility issues.

Showing Character
Every author has weaknesses, and I certainly am no exception. I’ve only got one novel published and two completed, so I know that I can use improvement. That’s why I have my advance readers and the TSME—so they can point out my errors before my story goes into print. One of my advance readers, Jill, pointed out to me way back last August that she thought I didn’t give depth to my characters. I took her comment under advisement, but I really didn’t know how to fix it. The thought went into storage.

Later, the TSME mentioned the same thing, saying, “You don’t get into the psychology of the characters.”

Hmmm. Twice now. Two different people who have never met each other. Two different genders. And both of them like bestselling fiction. I want to be a bestselling author, so….

A day later, the CEO of Wandering Sage made some corrections to the Prologue of APF, and his corrections indicated he saw the same weaknesses in my writing.


I decided to investigate. I asked some of the kids in my youth group what they thought about my characters and such. Most of the responses were positive, but Sarajane—an avid reader who held A Prophecy Forgotten up to my original publisher and said, “This is better than Harry Potter,” (I love Sarajane.), said, “I just wish I knew Gabriella more. Is she fiery? Is she not fiery? I feel like I don’t know her.”

Weakness confirmed.

But how to fix it? After reading the CEO’s suggestions and some suggestions from the TSME something clicked. I realized that I really excel at using sensory details to describe the scenery, but I rarely apply those same sensory details to my characters. If my character is pensive, I usually opt to describe his body movements, i.e. “He crossed his arms.” (Jill had actually pointed out that I used “He crossed his arms” once every 3 pages in the original OOTS manuscript.) I think I do that because I think in terms of screenplays and stage directions. Big picture stuff. What I need to do is draw out some sensory details. What does his face look like? Are their wrinkles around his eyes that show? What about his hands? Does he make any grunts or funny noises? And if he is a POV (point of view) character, what does his body feel like when he is “pensive”? Questions to consider, and I think that is what I’m missing. What’s funny is that Jill had pointed this out to me all along. It just took about four other people for me to get it.

The moral of the story: Always seek advice, and be willing to take criticism. And sometimes, you might have to hear something three to four times from different sources in order to “get it.”

So now I’ve got to come through all 130,000 words of OOTS and add in a few emotion details to my characters. So, I might not be blogging much for another week. But I really think it will be worth it in the end. And I think the best thing is that I will become a better writer because of it. That’s the most exciting part!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

This Week’s Final Cut In Movies show (08/09/08): The Mummy-Tomb of the Dragon Emperor

On this week’s show, I'll be discussing The Mummy: Toom of the Dragon Emperor, what they could have done with this installment of The Mummy to actually make it good, and other science fiction & fantasy news.

The show will air from 8:00-9:00am & pm and re-air throughout the week at the same times on To listen to tonight's show:

Missed Saturday's edition of The Final Cut? Don’t worry, you can catch the re-runs each day from 8:00-9:00am & pm at, or you can download the podcast at M. B. Weston's Podcasts site or by following this link on iTunes.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Check out the DragonCon Limited Edition book cover for A Prophecy Forgotten!

For those of you going to DragonCon, Wandering Sage Publications has a special surprise for you. For DragonCon only, they are producing a limited edition trade paperback of A Prophecy Forgotten. We just completed the cover for this edition, and here it is:

I realize it may be just a little bit dark, but...let's just say that A Prophecy Forgotten is actually the beginning of a period of darkness that falls on Elysia. (A little hint about Out of the Shadows for you.) We've got a cover artist working on the trade paperback cover right now, and I'll get that up as soon as he is done.

If you are going to DragonCon, find me in the Dealer Room, table A-17!

This Week’s Final Cut In Movies show (08/02/08): X-Files: I Want to Believe

On this week’s show, I'll be discussing X-Files: I Want to Believe (the crime drama pretending to be a science fiction movie), new information on why Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull disappointed (hint: it doesn't start with Steve), and other science fiction & fantasy news.

The show will air from 8:00-9:00am & pm and re-air throughout the week at the same times on To listen to tonight's show:

Missed Saturday's edition of The Final Cut? Don’t worry, you can catch the re-runs each day from 8:00-9:00am & pm at, or you can download the podcast at M. B. Weston's Podcasts site or by following this link on iTunes.