I am happy to have a guest post by author Ellis Morning, who answers my question...
ELF: What do you do to mentor others?
EM: It's great to be here today, ELF. Thanks so much for hosting me!
Dame Jessamine, the main character of Blood's Force, still keeps in touch with and has great respect for her former mentors, the people who helped shape her into the person she is today. So it goes without saying that I have a lot of respect for the mentor role. Sometimes the best way to learn is by working with someone who's been through it before.
In my 30s, I'm just old enough to realize how much I still have to learn, but I have undeniable experience when it comes to things like writing, editing, publishing, and leaving one's full-time job to go adventuring down the path of self-employment. Here are a few different ways I share that:
· I have my own blog here, where I've logged plenty of writing advice and things I've learned since taking the leap to full-time writing.
· As a writer and editor at The Daily WTF, I'm tasked with turning reader submissions into entertaining stories. When I assign submissions to my writers, I offer suggestions on how they might approach the assignment. For instance, I suggested a horror story approach for one of my writers lately, and he turned in a fantastic article!
· I join critique groups occasionally, where I can dole out writing advice and suggest ways of improving others' stories.
· I've also been my mom's semi-official editor and proofreader for years. There's an added challenge here in that Mom isn't a native English speaker. Her writing's great, but I can sometimes condense it or show her different turns of phrase that she might not have been aware of.
I look forward to discovering additional mentor roles over time!
What about you? Do you mentor anyone, or have you had a really pivotal mentor in your life? Share your story in the comments!
by Ellis Morning
Where superstition is law, there is no order!
Dame Jessamine is a knight errant with a spaceship for a steed, a pupil of ancient science and technology who quests on behalf of the downtrodden. She's accustomed to forging her own path through the galaxy—until she's hijacked at sword-point and sent to investigate Nidaros, a remote barony known for bursts of rebellion.
In Nidaros, Jessamine finds a populace short on food and patience, innocents detained for torture, and a court trapped in a web of delusion. The Baron considers her a distraction. The magicians, convinced of a "curse," dismiss her pleas for rational action. Even as Jessamine forges an alliance with the soldiers, an unknown foe seeks to frame her as an agitator.
Stuck amid murderous intrigue and cut off from her mentors, Jessamine must figure out how to save Nidaros from starvation. But the only people who understand the true "curse" have been accused of witchcraft—and if Jessamine's not careful with her ancient knowledge, she'll join them in the dungeon!
Blood's Force is Book 1 of the Sword and Starship series of science fiction/fantasy adventure.
Adrenaline allowed me to ignore pain and push myself up to my knees. Whatever was going on, I had to reach my feet, take measures to defend myself. They’d left me with my weapons, after all. I’d also take stock of my surroundings. Maybe there was still some way out.
My confines remained plunged in darkness. Straining my ears brought me no closer to abandoning the heavy silence. I retrieved my stick lighter from my pocket; the tiny bead of light revealed dungeon floor and nothing else. No immediate danger, at least. I resolved to scout the room, or cell, more likely.
Something flashed in my peripherals: the glow of lantern light, newly revealed by a door sliding open about ten feet away. Soon after, a burgundy-robed arm lobbed a hand-sized ceramic pot with a lit fuse into the cell.
Without another thought, I threw myself in the opposite direction. Unfortunately, the cell’s dimensions were stingy. I hit a wall well before I wanted to.
A boom like thunder rattled my eardrums. Tongues of fire splattered around my feet. Turning, I found knee-high flames covering the floor behind me, surviving on the fuel from the grenade. Some version of Greek fire, it looked like. Radiant heat seared my exposed skin, while a thick smoke stung my eyes and clawed at my throat.
Forget questioning or detaining. Someone was trying to kill me. Either fire or smoke would finish the job in minutes. Ironically, my pockets held plenty of fire-making implements and things to burn, but nothing for smothering flames. Escape was my only hope. I knew of only one option: the door on the other side of the room, the one the grenade had been launched from.
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AUTHOR Bio and Links:
For the next twenty years, she wrote with varying degrees of seriousness, but always as a hobby. In that time, she fell in love with Mark Twain and Kurt Vonnegut, the original Star Trek series, and Mystery Science Theater 3000. Science fiction became her favorite domain to work in, but she also enjoyed reading fantasy, horror, Western, and detective stories, and incorporating their elements into her work. One of her favorite things to do was make people laugh.
Ellis denied being a writer for decades. But then she sold articles to The Daily WTF, and a short story to Analog Science Fiction and Fact. After quitting her full-time job to finish her first novel, it was time to own up to writing as her calling. She's currently an editor at The Daily WTF, and having the time of her life penning novels and short stories.
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