The Great Collection of the Elemental Families of Huphaea, anid 1830 #16

Hello Everyone! Does it seem to you that the months go faster as we approach the end of the year? October has vanished, which means I’ve been too busy to notice it. We have had some odd weather for New England, but also some perfect fall days, which I am thankful for. The foliage colors have been vibrant and long-lasting, as long as there is no wind. But here we are on the week leading up to a full moon on a Halloween Saturday!

*Photo by form PxHere

I wonder how many people still have that candy that appeared in the stores in July…

This is another audio only episode, a continuation of the last and lots of dialogue with not much to illustrate, so audio is the better format. I enjoy making the audio episodes, I hope you find them fun too. Enjoy your week, and Happy Halloween and Samhain. Trick or treat!~

The last audio episode had Elahna returning from a day in Cragbend to meet a Sentient horse, Arlen and become embroiled in a horse-horsemaster disagreement. Arlen won; no surprise, really, she knows her business. Elahna had returned to her room afterward to freshen up for dinner, so we will pick it up there….~

Click the orange arrow to play episode 16…


That was quite a dinner, right? The food in Huphaea was always incredible, it is one of the things I miss most. Do you think Elahna and Ivy will gel on the ride to Irillo, or will it be awkward? At least the horses seem to have things sorted out, thanks to Arlen. I never did find out how young Thorn made out, but I would wager his days got a whole lot more regimented. I have to say part of me wanted to stick around to see his mother, Larix, just because of how Daphne made her sound. But I had bigger things to tackle. It will be on toward Irillo next time!~


Quill & Orb Press, (the fiction part of my word services business), is open to do developmental edits, copyediting, and proofreading for YOU! Fantasy, paranormal, YA, historical fiction, steampunk, and other genres welcome.

“Collaboration cultivates drafts into bookish gold.” 🔮✨✏📚

-Quill & Orb Press

Are you an indie author? I’d love to work with you!

Line editing is on the way! Intermediate level classes start this week and I will be working on refining the special editing eye and ear line editing requires. This level of editing focuses on how an author’s sentences and words create their unique voice and the lyrical flow of the story. It is an intimate exploration that can take a manuscript to the next level. If you’d like more information about line editing or other editing services I offer, click here:

Or you can contact me directly here:

Remember to subscribe to Collata⚡, the Collection of Huphaea newsletter to get more from this land of amazing food and magic treehouses! This monthly newsletter has extras from Elahna’s story, stuff not seen in the episodes. Click the button and become a Nightingale today!

©2020 Eleanorah Starr and Quill & Orb Press. All Rights Reserved.

Nyssa’s Nuggets

“Nap while you can.”

We all know dogs are great sleepers, and Nyssa is no exception. I marvel at her sense of time. She wakes me up faithfully every day at the same time and she has an “off” button in the evening. During the day, she keeps an eye on me and my movements and when I’m working, she sacks out. She is always well-rested and ready to go when the time is right. 

I know many freelancers and editors who would like to be that way—well-rested. But somewhere in the recesses of our minds, we know the importance of getting enough rest and taking care of ourselves, especially during times of change and uncertainty. 

I often want to burn the candle at both ends and stay up late reading for pleasure, or just finishing one more edit, but the price I pay in the morning is usually not worth it. Then I usually see Nyssa, passed out on the couch, and my eyelids begin to slowly close as if on cue. Pay attention to your body—it knows. 

Be good to yourself. Nap when you can. 😊

Have a great week! Woof woof rooooooo!🐕‍🦺


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Nyssa’s Nuggets

“Be aware of your surroundings.”

Nyssa is always aware of what is going on around her, even when she is sleeping. Akitas are excellent guard dogs and she is no exception. She is also maddeningly NOSY—I call her Nosy Nyssa when we have to pause in our walk for her to watch the neighbor wheel his trash barrel to the end of his drive, or watch someone else back out of their garage. She also loves to follow and bark at my nephew when he walks down to the barn, EVERY time.

Though her being nosy means she often gets sidetracked by details, it also indicates that she takes in all that is in her vicinity and she sees the big picture around her.

Nyssa’s attention can be likened to the mindset I slip into when I’m working on a developmental edit.

It can be easy to get involved with the small details in a manuscript, but my awareness has to be about the larger elements of the story—character, pace, story arc, continuity, to name a few. Punctuation doesn’t really matter if the protagonist is a flat Mary-Sue that readers can’t care about.

The focus becomes which of these larger parts can benefit from some improvement and how that affects the other pieces of the narrative. If I suggest changes to one element, what other parts will the author need to work on to make those changes work, and what does that do to the overall story?

A developmental edit could be compared to a ball of yarn, but I think pieces of a larger picture or the layers of an onion are more accurate portrayals. The smaller parts make up the whole, and the whole is made of smaller parts. Right?

Like Nyssa, I may see the details, but ultimately I concentrate on the environment they are in to ensure it is the best it can be. Then the details usually fall into place for the author on their own.

Just like the neighbor who walks back up his driveway is of no consequence to Nyssa anymore. She understood the big picture, and the detail took care of itself.

Have a great week! Woof woof rooooooo! 🐕‍🦺


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Reblog — 5 Ways Paragraphing Supports Story — Writer Unboxed

After doing a challenging line editing assignment all weekend, I found this post on paragraphs to be a welcome refresher authors occasionally need.~

photo adapted / Horia Varlan If the last time you thought about paragraphing was when you learned that a paragraph was comprised of a topic sentence, three supporting sentences, and a conclusion, listen up: that staid structure will not have the power to draw readers into your story. 1,940 more words

5 Ways Paragraphing Supports Story — Writer Unboxed

Reblog — Ground Your Characters with All Five Senses — Writer Unboxed

Writers are cognizant of how important it is to include all of the senses in the narrative. This article explores how important inclusion is, for the author and the words.~

When I’m writing—these articles, for example—I often compose a kind of first draft in my head, and I usually do it when I’m out on a long walk with the dog. For this article, I knew I wanted to get across the idea that writers can introduce elements from one or all of the five…

Ground Your Characters with All Five Senses — Writer Unboxed

Nyssa’s Nuggets

“Take advantage of the cool temperatures.”

Welcome to the first post of Nyssa’s Nuggets! For those who may not have read the intro post, Nyssa is my American Akita girl who I am honored to share my life with. She is loving, confident, brave, intelligent, and persistent. She teaches me little lessons each day.

Here she is, all 80 pounds of her fuzzy glory.

Being an Akita, Nyssa loves the cooler temperatures of early spring and fall, and especially winter. But the seasons without mud are especially conducive to open doors and lounging under the trees in the yard.

I take this advice of hers and do my best to spend some time in the yard with her. I bring some editing or reading work outside, sit in the lounge chair and enjoy the sun on my face. Usually, Nyssa will settle down in the vicinity, but always mindful of what I’m about.

The fresh air and sun is invigorating and I find a clear focus when I am outdoors. Changing the scenery is a great tactic to finish up a task, or complete editing an article. Then I put the work away and she is right there to amble around the yard, or chase Dash while he plays fetch.

Not all interruptions have to be negative, especially furry ones that remind us to take a desk break and get some air. Fall (here in New England) is the perfect time for working outside, cause you know what comes next… Snow (eeek!)

Have a great week! Woof woof roooooo! * 🐕‍🦺


If you’d like more information about Quill & Orb Press editing, head over to my website, https://www.redleafwords.com/QuillandOrbPress.

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*This is an Akita howl 😉

©2020 Quill & Orb Press. All Rights Reserved.

Reblog — Basing Your High-Fantasy Towns and Cities in the Real World — Nicholas C. Rossis

If you write fantasy, you most likely have asked yourself a question along the lines of “What kind of world do I have and how can I keep track of it?” I can say I went with a completely fictitious world that my character passes through a portal to reach, but it starts in the real world here. This informational post has a few tips to keep in mind when you start to worldbuild.~

I wisely started the map and made the story fit. The above words, spoken by none other than J.R.R Tolkien, have been taken as sage advice by many an accomplished – or budding – fantasy writer who felt inspired to create their own world. While Tolkien, like many others, has been lauded for his incredible…

Basing Your High-Fantasy Towns and Cities in the Real World — Nicholas C. Rossis

The Great Collection of the Elemental Families of Huphaea, anid 1830 #15

Hello Everyone! Welcome to October. Falling leaves, pumpkins and cornstalks, long sleeves, and Halloween candy are now everyday sights. Here is a photo of my nephew’s roadside stand here at our farm:

He grew the pumpkins himself, from field prep to harvest, with his own equipment—he’s thirteen. He’s done pretty well so far, weekends clean him out and he has to restock. Proud aunt here!

This episode will be audio only. I haven’t done audio since the very beginning, so it was time to brush off the mic and put it to use. This segment is also dialogue-heavy and I thought it may work better in audio form. I hope you enjoy it, I had fun reading it for you. Be well!

We left Elahna on the road back to Rosewood Manor from a day in Cragbend. She had just seen some color-changing frogs in the clutches of children under the bridge. This episode includes more animals, but before I give anymore away, hit the PLAY button below and give it a listen. Then let me know what you think!~


Click the orange arrow to play episode 15…


What did you think? How would you have reacted, and would you want to ride a Sentient horse? Arlen was magnificent. Honestly, every Sentient I met was, but the horses were extraordinary. How do you think Revel will do on his first real excursion? Let me know how the audio was, and if it worked well, especially with all of the dialogue. I’d love to hear from you!

Quill & Orb Press, (the fiction part of my word services business), is open to do developmental edits and copyediting for YOU! Fantasy, paranormal, YA, historical fiction, steampunk, and other genres welcome.

Are you an indie author? I’d love to work with you!

Line editing is coming! I am finishing courses as we speak and will be offering it later this fall. If you’d like more information about line editing, or the differences/distinctions between the three types of editing, head over to the website here:

Or you can contact me directly

Remember to subscribe to Collata ⚡, the Collection of Huphaea newsletter to get more from the land of Sentients and magic! This monthly newsletter has extras from Elahna’s story, stuff not seen in the episodes. You know you want to, click the button and become a Nightingale today!

Introducing a New Segment — Nyssa’s Nuggets

The name of this blog includes three of the most important things in my life — the sun makes plants 🌾grow and my green thumb thrive, books 📚 are often in my hand, and my dogs 🐕‍🦺🐕 keep me on my toes and moving.

But the furry ones also remind me of how to be present in every day. They constantly mirror back my emotions and actions. They help me see where I can improve.

I have two dogs, (at the moment). Nyssa, an American Akita is almost 5 and Dash, an AussieX is almost 4. Both of them give me so much joy and food for thought daily, most of which can be related to writing or editing in some constructive way.

Nyssa and Dash

This new segment will feature Nyssa’s Nuggets of wisdom, as she is a character in the fantasy novel that is set in the world that the Collection of Huphaea tells of. I plan to have it run weekly, probably on Fridays.

In Nyssa’s Nuggets, I will showcase at least one anecdote she has taught or reminded me of recently, and how it relates to my writing or editing activities. It will be a little snapshot of life with a regal, yet expressive Akita and how she reminds me to be the best human, editor, and writer each day.

Please do comment at the end of a post when a particular anecdote gives you pause. Nyssa, nosy as she is, will be pleased that she has woofed in your ear, too.~


If you want to keep up with what is going on at Quill & Orb Press, please sign up for the newsletter below. I will share updates on editing projects, new services, courses I take, and recommendations of fellow members in the writing community.

Oh, and probably some extra Nyssa’s Nuggets, too. 😉 Newsletters are maybe once a month, no full inboxes from me.

If you want to see what the Collection of Huphaea is all about, look up those posts here on the blog.

Join the adventure and become a Nightingale, one of Eleanorah Starr’s troup, by signing up for Collata ⚡, the Collection of Huphaea newsletter! You will get exclusive snippets from the story not available in the posts. Get to know the land of Huphaea, in the world of Ereth!

©2020 Quill & Orb Press. All Rights Reserved.

Reblog — Why Writers Should Consider NaNoWriMo in 2020 — WRITERS HELPING WRITERS®

It is almost NaNo time again, hard to believe, but then again, no. I remember considering it last year and opting out because my mind was a chaotic mess. I had far less of an idea of the book I am writing than I do now. Will I this year? I am thinking hard about it again, but my reaction to the pressure of winning is now my concern. Perhaps I will modify the goal to make it attainable, yet still a challenge. This post outlines some great reasons why I, and you, may just want to hop on the NaNo bandwagon. Stay tuned for my decision 😉.~

Let’s not mince words: 2020 has been a real crap sandwich. COVID has caused all sorts of struggles, anxiety, and challenges. Some of you have had work disrupted. Others wanted to travel to see loved ones and couldn’t. All of us are feeling isolated or overburdened, and everyone’s schedule has gone off the rails. BUT.…

Why Writers Should Consider NaNoWriMo in 2020 — WRITERS HELPING WRITERS®