Honey Butter on Audio

✨HONEY BUTTER IS AVAILABLE ON AUDIOBOOK! ✨

It releases on December 2nd, just in time for Christmas! Available on Amazon, Audible and iTunes. Click this link to preorder!

And in the meantime… How about a sneak peek at the first chapter…?

What is it like to record an audiobook?✨🌻

  1. If you do not have water with you, your throat will die.
  2. When the characters are shouting you can’t actually shout or your microphone will die. You have to speak loudly and put the emotion into emphasis rather than volume.
  3. No. Keeping character voices consistent is not easy. I cannot tell you how many times I have to restart a passage after accidentally using Jamie’s voice when Erica was speaking.
  4. You can’t move or background noise will invade your audio with its weapons of destruction. ⚔️ I usually move a lot when I talk, so this was hard.
  5. You have to record a few passages at a time, one-page max, then save the audio and start on the next one.
  6. You may cry and have to start over sometimes. Wait, just me? Okay than.😉For every person who has told me Honey Butter made them cry, I have probably cried twenty times over it. I’m never going to get over this book.😭

Deleted Scene from Lydia Green of Mulberry Glen – Memories and Rain

I wrote this scene in the first draft, mostly, I recall, to reach my word count for the day. It ended up being a lovely beautiful scene that gave you a deeper look into life in Mulberry Glen, but it didn’t add much to the story as a whole and conflicted in some ways with Lydia’s character arc at that point, so I cut it later in the writing process. However, I thought that some of my readers might enjoy a look into some of what Lydia Green was before the final version.

This scene was meant to be placed right after Lydia’s second visit to Terra’s cottage. Note that in the earliest drafts Terra’s name was Pina, so that’s who Lydia is referring to in this scene. The scene is also very raw, and almost word for word what I first wrote, as a result, there are probably some typos.

Explanations aside though; enjoy!

BEWARE: SPOILERS AHEAD

Lydia stood in the entrance to the lone tower, wind sweeping her hair and cloak about, flying through the air. If she had needed to talk to someone, she would have had to raise her voice to be heard, but luckily there was no one with whom she would need to attempt a conversation anywhere nearby, and she could hear her thoughts perfectly well.

Lydia had needed some time to herself, to think about what Pina had said, and about the harvest festival, the next day when she could meet with the ranger to had met with the Zs
so she had taken a detour from the road back to Miss Castra’s cottage up the side of the valley wall to the lone tower. The quiet solemn stone rising against the pale sky. Back in Mulberry Glen time to herself had been bountiful, but now every spare moment seemed to be filled, and every moment that wasn’t she spent worrying about what would come next.

Lydia stood with one hand caressing the stone archway, worn smooth by time. The tower seemed a great sturdy friend, silent, tall, unspeaking. Only there for her to lean upon. Stretching out below her was the valley itself. The colorful leaves of the treetops simmering in the wind like a pot of mallow tea. Here and there houses and clearings and pavilions doting the swathes of natural color that bathed the valley with brilliance.

Lydia let her head slid to one side and lean upon the empty stone doorway, the hollow sweeping of the wind inside carrying a mournful tune.

Darkness chased her thoughts like the wind chased the leaves.

Omnis Res Mundi, Tenebrae, the Zs, Livy, Pit, and Garder, they all floated in and out of her thoughts.

Lydia closed her eyes and in her memory, she saw snowflakes.

Her hands were clod and her cheeks were red and the wind was blowing as now. Snow fell thick and fast like when Livy dusted pies with sugar. She was in the middle of a laugh, cold and rosy and filled with joy.

A ball of snow pummeled into her from behind, and she whirled on her feet to see the Zs swooping from tree to tree like acrobats and diving into white piles of cold fluff. Laughing all the while.

“Watch out! You’re no match for us!” Yelled Livy. He was standing next to her, packing another snowball.

“Are you quite sure about that?” She asked him, still laughing. “I don’t think we can swing from trees like that.”

“Oh hush!” She gave her a playful shove in a snowdrift.

“Now you had better watch out!” She said, flinging a handful of snow at him.

“Everyone for themselves!” Zale shrieked and pushed Zamilla out of her tree.

“Excuse me.” Garder voice came from the doorway. “Livy, I do believe that your pie is the precise shade of brown you asked me to keep watch for. So I’m taking it out, if you do not wish to come in, at least I beg you not to let your snow clumps bang against the window.”

A small smiling figure appeared above his head, shaking her own good-naturedly.

“In other words.” Called Pit “The pie is ready!”

“Everyone for themselves!” Zale shrieked, and all of them flew to the door in a fluttery of laughter and snow and the smell of mincemeat pie.

The memory melted slowly away from Lydia’s senses, leaving barely it’s sweetness lingering on her tongue, and dancing in her ears and eyes like distorted specks of starlight. She opened her eyes, back in the present world, looking over the windswept valley, gray clouds clustering overhead, her hair whipping about her face. Her heart ached, and she let it go on so. She missed Pit’s soft touch on her head and the Zs laughing shrieks and merry faces. She missed Livy’s good-natured grin and teasing eyes, not to mention his cooking. And she missed Garder and the stories he would launch into after a bit of pleading, and his ironically funny responses to the Zs behavior. The even the Glen itself she missed, from her sun, warmed patches of herbs that she knew like that back of her hand to that one twisted tree that she had found only recently and had never truly had time to explore yet.

But yet still she could not return until her journey was completed.

The stone around her was becoming spotted with little dark blots; rain. She looked up and watched the tiny drops hurtling down.

It came, the rain came, brought along by the breeze. A soft rain, a silky breeze. It tickled and kissed the leaves of the trees far below. It laughed on the rocks of the tower, it giggled in the grass. It sang and danced on Lydia’s head, drenching her hair with its song.

What do you think? Was I right to cut it or do you disagree? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

docendo disco, scribendo cogito,
– Millie Florence

Duck, Duck, Goose: How to use Metaphorical Objects

Let’s begin at the beginning and define our terms. What is a Metaphorical Object? Here are the lexical definitions.

Metaphorical: a figure of speech in which a term or phrase is applied to something to which it is not literally applicable in order to suggest a resemblance.

Object: a material thing that can be seen and touched.

In literature, we tend to use metaphors for description.

“He was the lion of the battlefield”

“The butterfly of her pencil flitted over the paper.”

Metaphors are an extremely powerful literary device, and sometimes they can carry the message of the story on their shoulders. (That’s another metaphor for you.)

You can make the message of your story about 10 times stronger by using metaphors, and in this post, I want to show you one of the ways to do that: metaphorical objects. Let’s start with an example and then find out what makes it work.

This example is from an old Christmas movie you might be familiar with, called It’s a Wonderful Life.

In the movie, the main character, George, has a lot of problems going on in his life (as all main characters should). In his house, there’s a staircase, and the top of the first post in that staircase is broken. Every time he walks up the stairs he absentmindedly puts his hand on the top of that post, and accidentally takes it off. Then, looking annoyed, he puts it back on or sometimes slams it back on in frustration.

But then, at the end of the movie, after he’s learned some important lessons, he does it again. Walks up the staircase, and accidentally takes the top off the post. But this time his reaction is different. He gives a laugh, kisses the post-top, and sets it back in its place.

The End… Kind of. Let’s take a look at what happened here: The broken stair post represented everything that George felt was wrong with his life. But at the end of the movie, when he learns to be thankful for what he does have, his reaction is different. He’s even thankful for a broken stair post because even with all the problems in this world, it’s a wonderful life!

Okay, but why does this work? And how?

Let me introduce you to something I call the duck, duck goose concept.

Remember playing that game? Duck, duck, duck, Goose! You never know when the person walking around the circle is going to say goose, or who they’re going to tap on the head. It’s the same with hot potato, musical chairs, and metaphorical objects. Every time the George pulls the top off the post, it’s duck, duck, duck… Then you trigger your object when your readers least expect it; something about the process changes, and… Goose!

Books are all about change, character growth, plot twists… Etcetera. If something doesn’t change from the beginning of your book to the end, then there’s definitely something wrong.

Your metaphorical objects can represent that change, or foreshadow it, using the ongoing duck, duck, goose method. In my book, Honey Butter, the metaphorical object was a major part of the plot, and I used my ‘goose’ for a plot twist.

If you haven’t read my book yet then skip the next section, as it contains spoilers, and go straight on to the next example.

Spoilers Begin!

In Honey Butter, the main character, Jamie, collects paint cards. She has her box of paint cards with her at all times, it’s more than just a hobby, it’s an obsession.

Jamie is rather self-centered at the beginning of the book, but as the story goes on, she not only makes an incredible new friend, she learns to be grateful for the people in her life that she already has. One by one, she begins to give away the paint cards in her collection, each time she grows closer to someone, she gives them one.

She’s giving away what she used to reserve only for her, and the more she gives away, the less she needs them for herself. And each time she gives them one, it’s duck, duck, duck…  Goose! But I can’t give away the goose, now can I? My metaphorical object plays a larger role than most objects, so I would be giving away the big plot twist.

Spoilers Ended!

Here’s another example, this one just made up.

12-year-old Ruby is bored with normal life, always making big plans, and always in a hurry. Every morning she goes downstairs, pours hot water into a cup of tea, and then hurries back upstairs to makes big plans about an adventure she’s going to go on – someday anyway. But she works so long every morning that the tea get’s cold, and when she finally comes back downstairs, she takes a sip, frowns, and pours out the rest of the tea. (Duck…)

Day after day throughout the story this ritual is repeated. (Duck, duck.) But then at the very end, Ruby has learned an important lesson, that adventure can be found anywhere and that the little things in life matter. In the last chapter, she doesn’t go upstairs to do her planning while the tea cools, instead she stays downstairs and drinks her tea with her family. This time, the tea is still hot. (Goose!)

Okay, enough examples. How do you make your own metaphorical object? Below are a few of my suggestions for creating them. Note I say ‘suggestions’.  When it comes to creating a book, there is no wrong, only write.

Tangible Object

I think part of the reason this kind of metaphor is so powerful is that the object is literally part of the story. The characters can touch it, smell it, and maybe hear it, depending on what it is. For this reason, both the characters and the reader have a closer connection to it. It works really well when it’s an item the character cares about, say, a special mug. If your reader cares about the mug, they not only care that the problem is solved but how it should be solved. They wouldn’t, for instance, want the character to smash the mug or buy a new one. If the object represents the character, then buying a new mug would mean trying to be a new version of themselves. It’s just another way to make your readers root for the character.

Not Too Similar

This goes for all metaphors, not just metaphorical objects. The things you are comparing should only be the same in the way you are comparing them. You wouldn’t, for instance, say that a frog was as green as a toad.

Don’t Overly Acknowledge

The metaphorical objects lose some of their power, I feel if it’s acknowledged too much. It takes away some of the magic. This is where show, don’t tell really has to be used. And remember, you don’t need to spell out every last detail for your readers. The beauty of a book is that it can be interpreted many different ways.

For instance, with my tea example, we wouldn’t want Ruby’s mother to say something like; “Ruby dear, you really need to remember to drink your tea, it gets cold every morning!” She might, though, sigh and shake her head as she watches Ruby pour it down the drain.

A Few Ideas

Now we get to the fun part: playing with some different versions and spin-offs of this duck, duck goose concept.

The examples I showed before have the ‘goose’ happen at the end, representing the character’s transformation. But there are really many other ways to do it.

Instead of representing character change, it could represent environment or community change. Or the relationship between characters. Maybe the ‘goose’ is what sets off the climax.

It can also be a great way to provoke emotion in the reader, for instance maybe there are two friends who have a watch that they share, and they take turns wearing it every day. (Duck, duck, duck…) Then one of the friends moves away and the other friend has no one to exchange the watch with anymore. (Goose!)

There could also be more than one change. Then even perceptive readers won’t see the second one coming because they think the ‘goose’ already happened.

It’s like saying ‘duck, duck, duck, Moose! Just kidding, Goose!’

Take my last example with the watch. The two friends exchanging the watch each day was the duck part. Then one of them moving away was the goose part. But what if it wasn’t? What if the friend moving away was ‘moose’. Then maybe the first character starts exchanging the watch with a new friend, and that was the ‘goose’.

So what do you guys think? Where have you spotted metaphorical objects before? What are other ways to use them that I haven’t covered? Do you think this could work in your own story?

docendo disco, scribendo cogito,
– Millie Florence