Tag Archives: Brigitta of the White Forest

Weekly Writing Workout: Three Ring Circus Part Two – NEED

Quick post today because I have a FULL week ahead. As a matter of fact… I have a full few months ahead of me as I make my way toward the launch of BOOK THREE of my Faerie Tales from the White Forest series on April 15. Can I get a squee?

And from today until April 3, you can enter to win your very own print copy. CLICK the IMAGE below for the GoodReads Book Three Givaway Page:


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Last week I talked about the three ring circus that is my head and gave a character exercise around WANT. Want is pretty easy to figure out because it’s the exterior goal. He wants the girl (or boy), she wants the grail (or tiara), the Detective wants to solve the murder, the Clown wants to perform for Cirque du Soleil.

Want marks the plot of the story, the trajectory the protag (or other character) takes to get this thing. But NEED marks the inner journey. It’s what the protagonist has to realize or face in order to become a better person, to become the person he or she is meant to be. And generally, we want our protags to emerge as better people (or faeries or dragons or giants)

In the movie Gattaca, a character driven near-future sic fi with Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman, Hawke’s character  is a “genetically inferior man” who assumes the identity of a superior one (Jude Law) in order to pursue his childhood dream of going into space. That’s what he wants… but what he really NEEDS, what has been eating at him his entire life, is to confront his older brother and prove to himself that he is not inferior. It’s a great story about perseverance, about not letting other people’s views of who you are get in your way.

And as an audience, I don’t think we’d be completely satisfied without that moment. It’s a fist pump “yeah!” moment.


1) SET YOUR TIMER for 7-10 minutes.

Start with the line: The inner block my character has, that is getting in his way of being all he can be, is …

Write without stopping, crossing out, rereading, or editing.

2) SET YOUR TIMER for 10-12 minutes.

Start with the line: If he confronted/faced/addressed this block then…

3) SET YOUR TIMER for 12-15 minutes.

There should be a moment where what your character wants is in conflict with what he needs. Perhaps addressing this need will get him into trouble. In Gattaca it’s when the MC challenges his brother to a swim in the ocean. He could die, they could both die, but he’s going to friggin’ prove himself.

Start with the line:  The moment when my character reaches a threshold, on the other side of which his better self lies, happens when…

Write without stopping, crossing out, rereading, or editing.

And have a great week!

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If you are a blogger who would like to post your own weekly workout exercise with me every Monday, please write to info (at) danikadinsmore.com



Filed under Book Launch, Ondelle of Grioth, weekly workout, writing exercises

We’re off to FaerieWorlds!

Every summer in the Pacific Northwest, thousands of fans of Faerie from around the globe gather in the wooded meadows of Mount Pisgah in Eugene, Oregon to celebrate in the realm and experience the unique magic that is Faerieworlds.

This weekend, July 27-29, I will be there with my publisher doing readings and selling books. We’ll also be selling artwork by our cover artist Julie Fain Art and our map artist Alison Woodward Eats Ink and kids faerie jewelry from Turtle Tyme Treasures.




Filed under conferences and festivals, novel adventures, serious play

New Brigitta Book Trailer has Launched!

The Accidental Novelist (who won’t be able to call herself that much longer) presents the new book trailer for Brigitta of the White Forest (from our production company BYOA Entertainment)

Cast and Crew:

Brigitta – Haley Hunt
Himalette – Shaleigh Lachance
Hrathgar Evil – Yvette Dudley-Neuman

Music by Land Of Deborah

Producers: Danika Dinsmore and Mauri Bernstein
Author/Director: Danika Dinsmore
Cinematographer: Phillip Schalast
Editor/Puppeteer: Mauri Bernstein
Sound: Kevin Barron
Sprite and Eyeball Puppets: Keith Randall
Hrathgar Hair/Make-up: Susan Manning
Briggy/Himmy Hair/Make-up: Leah Wilburn
Props: Jo Shotbolt
Faerie Wings: Charlene Rowley

For information on the book: thewhiteforest.com

For information on the publisher: entheospress.com


Filed under Book Trailers, Brigitta of the White Forest, novel adventures

I’m Baaaaaaaack! Highlights from Book Tour

Wow, it’s been over a month since I’ve blogged! I shall do the blogger walk of shame (it’s a kind of meandering skulk)…

My intention was to “live blog” my book tour as it went along. Guess what? I discovered that I suck at live-blogging. Plus, who knew that a book tour could be so crazy-hectic? (Okay, the last week of the tour wasn’t crazy or hectic, but that California sunshine was awfully distracting)

For those of you not following along on Brigitta’s FaceBook page (because really, what else do you have to do?), I’ve included a few highlights below.

I participated in 26 events over the course of 27 days. The book tour was really about the release of the accidental novel (Brigitta of the White Forest) but I included a few poetry gigs along the way. Couldn’t help myself. Poetry, she just keeps sneaking back into my life.

On my tour I visited seven elementary schools (putting on 5 assemblies, 2 workshops, and 2 classroom visits). My first assembly was at Pierpont Elementary in Ventura, CA.

Pierpont Thunderbugs

Here I am getting the kids all amped up doing a Thunderbug Symphony. (thunderbugs are large bright flying bugs with drum-beat producing bums. no wonder kids love ’em)

I love teaching my Imaginary Worlds workshops, which are all about how to create imaginary worlds from scratch as a jumping off point for endless story telling. I teach them to both adults and children

Here I am at San Rafael Elementary school in Pasadena working with a select group of inspired students.

Alyson Beecher, the principal, took the photos and blogged about the workshop.

Another wonderful workshop (for adults and kids) was the Faerie Felting workshop that I co-facilitated with Borbala Arvai – a brilliant felting artist. (see her BoriDolls site).  I read from Brigitta and introduced the class to the different kinds of elemental faeries and then Borbala wove (er, felted) her magic and taught us all how to make our own felted faeries. Ta Da! My very first felted faerie. Thanks, Borbala!

It’s difficult to say which was my favourite event, they were all so unique. But I have to say that poet, Art Predator, and wine-blogger Gwendolyn Alley and I had a great time creating a workshop that started out on the beach and ended with wine-tasting activities at the gorgeous Old Creek Ranch Winery. What’s not to like!

Danika, Joan, and Beverly (the chicken) write poetry at the Channel Islands Visitor Center (photo by Gwendoly Alley)

It was also Take Your Chicken to Work Week, so we complied by bringing one along wherever we went.

There were so many other fabulous stops on the tour I can’t possibly include them all.

There were book store readings, workshops at the Ojai Word Fest, the book fair at OWF, book launch parties, a poetry slam (I took 2nd place – Gwendolyn Alley came in 1st), and numerous visits with family and friends. I even snuck in a trip to Disneyland.

Kids (and adults hiding behind them!) colour in Destiny Markings on their faerie wings at Time Tested Books in Sacramento

Thank you to everyone who loaned me a couch or bed to surf on or bought me a fish taco or margarita!


Filed under behind the scenes, Book Tour, Brigitta of the White Forest, Imaginary Worlds, novel adventures, random poop

Yay Book Tour! Yay Book Trailer!

I am loopy from lack of sleep. Giddy for the excitement. And nervous about doing 26 events in 28 days!!! Yup.

I have been working on this book tour for 6 months and recently it’s been pretty much a full time job. I knew it was going to be a lot of work, but it was honestly harder than I ever thought it would be. The novel may have been accidental, but this side of it has been serious planning all the way.

I kick off my Imaginary Worlds Tour this Monday with a reading and book signing at University Books in Seattle, WA.

The tour marks the launch of my “mainstream” edition of Brigitta of the White Forest (en theos prerss)

For more Imaginary Worlds events, visit my Brigitta of the White Forest events page on facebook.

I will also do my best to blog about the experience along the way.

We’ve been working on a live-action book trailer and put together a teaser with some of the initial footage:


Filed under behind the scenes, Brigitta of the White Forest, novel adventures, writing life

Blog Tours, Book Tours: The Accidental Novelist on the road…

Today I kick off my Imaginary Worlds Book Tour with a virtual stop at Just Deb, where you will find an interview AND a book giveaway for the First Fan Edition (which we are almost out of and you can only order from the publisher). The “mainstream” edition is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and may be ordered from any bookstore in North America.

Deb Marshall is an assistant manager of a small town library, storyteller and writer. She also runs their library’s Backroom Kids Book Club. She is a grand supporter of Canadian literature and is running an Oh (MG/YA) Canada! Reading Challenge. Readers are challenged to devour one Canadian author’s childrens’ book per month for the year.

You can find her list of suggested reading HERE.

I don’t have dates for my other virtual book tour stops. I’ll just have to announce them when they appear. But the physical (!) book tour starts next week and public events are listed on Brigitta’s FACEBOOK page.


Filed under Brigitta of the White Forest, contests, novel adventures

10 Hours to Raise $670 for our LIVE ACTION Book Trailer

I have been negligent here as I gear up for my book tour, which starts in 10 days and includes 25 separate events. I’ve been a marketing machine (and my creative side has been sorely neglected).

In the middle of all of this, we’ve (me and a team of talented film people) been working on creating a LIVE ACTION book trailer for Brigitta.

We’ve got 11 HOURS left to raise $670 on Indie Gogo! Not sure if we’re going to make it (especially since a few people were having trouble getting their donations to work on the site), but we’re going to try, even if it’s $10 at a time!

We’ve cast our two faeries, Prop Guru made a fabulous stone sprite, and we shot Hrathgar Evil over the weekend

Yvette gets her Hrathgar on!

(more photos on the UPDATE section on the campaign page).

We’re cutting a “teaser” now and shooting the rest of the trailer in April (due to my long book tour in between), but we have to raise the money now to get the rest of the props built. Everyone is donating their time and talent – the funds go towards prop building, make-up, equipment rentals (monitor, sound, etc), and food for happy crew members.

Every bit helps and if you’re not in a position to donate, your happy good vibes juju and cheering help too! We like that.


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Filed under behind the scenes, Brigitta of the White Forest

Show Us Your Faerie Wings

(NOTE: contest at The White Forest goes until my birthday (Feb 17). I also have another Giveaway Contest over at GoodReads that goes through Feb 18. Although, over 600 people have entered, so your chances of winning are better on the White Forest site.)

Today I’m hanging out over at my White Forest website, hosting a contest in celebration of the new Indie Debut website.

If you pop over to the site, you could win a signed copy of the book. Oooohhh, aaaahhhh.

All this social media and virtual upkeep is a necessary challenge for debut authors (I’m guessing for seasoned authors as well). One of the things I tell people who want to get a book published, is that the hard work starts after the book is written. I think there’s a certain romanticism and nostalgia around the way it used to be in traditional publishing. But those days are gone, not coming back, and we need to figure out how to play (and stay sane) in the new paradigm.

One must be careful, though, to keep nurturing the creative side. If I had my way, I’d stay locked in my office five hours a day minimum working on writing the books series. I wish there were a monkey faerie who could do all my social media for me. (oooh! Monkey faeries! Like the flying monkeys in the Wizard of Oz.)

Image from "Kellie" at photoshopix (click image for site)



Filed under Brigitta of the White Forest, contests, writing life

We Interrupt Our Regularly Scheduled Poem . . . The Accidental Novelist does have an actual accidental novel

I know it seems like there’s a lot of poetry on this site for being called “The Accidental Novelist.” And that would be because there IS a lot of poetry on this site. Poetry is my first love, it will be my last breath, and I believe every writer could improve his/her craft by creating room for poetry practice.

Poetry has made my work visual and given rhythm to my words. It teaches economy and breath.  I am a better screenwriter and novelist for it.

This post isn’t about poetry, though, it’s about the accidental novel that was accidentally launched last year, and is now making its very purposeful appearance!

If you don’t know the story, I originally wrote Brigitta of the White Forest as a feature screenplay several years ago. I decided to adapt it as a novel and that’s when I discovered I actually liked novel writing. No, more than that . . . I discovered that I could live inside it. I seriously had not thought of myself as a novelist, nor had I plans to become one. (And if I had thought romantically about it, I would have pictured some brooding journey of self and not a middle grade fantasy adventure about faeries.)

It was a happy accident.

The publisher is launching the official first edition (as opposed to the limited First Fan edition) THIS FRIDAY, Feb 11. I do not know when it will be available from Amazon or B&N, but I believe the distributor is shipping to them this week.

Buying directly from a small press publisher is always the most supportive thing you can do.

Also THIS FRIDAY, Indie Debut is officially launching its new website. Indie Debut is a collective of children’s book authors who are debuting books with small and independent presses. Anyone interested in learning about what it’s like to work with a small press will learn a ton from the site. We hope to be a service to those wanting to know more about the industry.

All DAY on Friday (Feb 11) there will be an OPEN HOUSE at the Indie Debut website with various activities. All the authors are offering contests and games and discussions. There will be swag, oh yes.

I am having a Faerie Wing contest over at The White Forest from 9 AM – noon (PST) on Friday as part of the Open House. Come play and win an autographed copy of the book. 🙂

Keep on swimming.


Filed under Brigitta of the White Forest, prose, writing life

Accidental Novel Launched, Imaginary Worlds Tour Underway

My accidental novel Brigitta of the White Forest was officially launched at Christianne’s Lyceum of Literature and Art in Vancouver, BC. What a fantastic location for a children’s book launch.

Christianne herself introducing the event

Though most of my audience were actually adults, many of them were also writers. And all of them were kids at heart.

Reading from the novel

Signing book for a self-proclaimed Fire Faerie

A new faerie fan with her signed copy

My audience of mostly big kids.

The Imaginary Worlds Tour continues with two free events in Seattle and several more stops in the blog-o-sphere.

CLICK HERE for details on Seattle events (June 24 & 25) and CLICK HERE for upcoming blog interviews.

The Lyceum provided custom made faerie cookies


Filed under Brigitta of the White Forest, novel adventures