Saturday, 26 March 2011

A dragon is born

Nothing like the thrill of starting a new story. The fresh characters to bring to life, the settings that one gets to create. Ever since I got my new glasses (and they are lovely wee things), I've been typing like crazy getting five to eight hundred words down in a day (and with the computer usually in the lounge, that's quite a feat).
What am I writing? Well, ever since I first read Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey when I was thirteen (some years ago now), I got the damn idea stuck in my head to write about dragons too. Being my little wide-eyed self, I gave it a valiant attempt, but I didn't want to do some blatant fan-fictiony rip-off of my favourite author so I put all thoughts of it aside and wrote other things. Occasionally the idea would swim back to me when I'd a slow day and I'd tap out a few basics (let's call'em "info sheets") and go back to whatever it was I was writing at the time. Just as with the me "never writing a story vaguely vampirish" I never thought I'd do a dragon one as there just wasn't a plot to go with.
Until now.
Dragon (yes, I am calling it that) presented itself to me some months back with the following line: It only takes one small dragon to save the fate of their kind. Trouble is, she believes she’s human. How could I resist that? So my plotting began. As did the face of my main character: The small dragon who thinks she's human.

Maayin

As for that niggling feeling in the back of my mind. It disappeared. Why? Well, as I got older and read more and more fantasy, I realised one predominant factor in every story: the magic was theirs. Didn't matter what the characters were doing, didn't matter who was telling it, especially didn't matter if there was a similarity for each tale was different in it's own right. My own dragons would always be different not because I'd made them that way, but because they were mine and I could do whatever I damn well wanted with them. If I wished for some to sport feathers and others fur (or scales, or a leathery hide), then so be it. If I felt like they should be capable of taking human form (to a point), then they bloody well would. Who but myself should be allowed to dint my creativity? And who the heck did I think I was trying to do that?
So I'm letting my dragon's fly free to roar and belch fire and whatnot wherever they darn well like. I've a feeling that, after being locked in the dark recesses of my mind for so long, they're gonna be a feisty bunch.

Hurrah for diversity.
And hurrah for dragons! ^_^

Monday, 21 March 2011

Headaches of a visual nature

Seven years ago, I ended up needing to wear glasses. Not the occasional, put'em on when I need'em type, but the wear'em all the time type. Anyone who's gone for an eye exam, or seen one (even if only on TV), knows those charts. Bet most of you did pretty well.
Imagine having to squint to see that lonely letter at the top. And even then, it's as fuzzy as a Persian cat.
I literally could not focus on anything sitting further away than the length of my own arm. When you're driving, that's an awfully dangerous problem. Luckily I'd an extra set of eyes with me most of the time: those in my aunt's head. Those times without her, well ... I drove by marking where the car-shaped blobs were and hoping my distance judging kept up. At night, I it was brake lights.

How joyful I was to see something as mundane as the individual leaves on the tree above me. The people around me had faces once again.

So anyway, after those seven years, I started getting the same darn headaches I used to get. They sit just above the gap between a person's eyebrows and drill into your skull like some lunatic's play toy. No over-the-counter painkiller manages to get rid of them completely. The only solution that fully works: sleep. It affects everything I do: my writing, my rendering, my TV watching. Mercifully, being short-shorted means I can read just fine. Being unable to do the rest is a bother and that's putting it lightly.

Off I trot to the various stores. Two weeks to wait for lenses? No thank you. Ten days? Nup. A week? Getting better. Finally, I give up and return to the birthplace of my last pair. Two days (four if you include the weekend). Sort of odd to know I've yet again been driving illegally because of my eyes. My vision has almost doubled in severity, which means that, with my current lenses I've the same level of vision I had all those years ago before I even got these glasses. Those car-shaped blobs no longer have any distinctive shape at all. Which is a little scary.
But I've just gotten the much-awaited-on call saying that my lenses have arrived. By noon tomorrow, I shall see the world anew.

Experience tells me she shall be beautiful.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Calendar

I've been fighting with my incredibly slow dial-up for a while now to get this done, but my calendar is finally up and available for purchase. It's set up for next year, so there's plenty of time yet.

So if you like horses (both the real and the fantasy kind) or know someone who would, check out Horses of the Seasons. All images have been completely rendered by me and are guaranteed to never have been shown anywhere else.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

A short story at last

I've attempted so many times to write a short story. It seems so easy doesn't it? Just write a little instead of a lot.

HA!

My mind has this unnerving habit of expanding what I've got. Tease it out to a massive amount (my WIP's) until it can't even be classed as a novella. The last time I tried, I got a 20k word story. Short by my definition, long by short story standards. Worse still, the old muse got to work and made a sequel, and a sequel to that sequel (hence The Unborn triad style story was born).

But this time, I've finally cracked it. At just over 1200 words, short it is. And though the style is different to my normal type, a story it surely is.
I know some people recommend waiting and looking over things, the old edit and rewrite bit. But, while I've tweaked out all the spelling mistakes, that horrible tendency to expand kicks in whenever I run an editing eye over things. Heck, I do it when I'm just reading a piece of mine.
So this little piece has been sent off to Tor.com. Yes, it means waiting several months (six I believe), but I don't mind and if it's accepted then 'hoorah'.

We'll see. One way or the other, I'll have my name in print whether through my Ultimate Goal or via side quests, it will be done.

Friday, 4 March 2011

Review of Foiling the Dragon

Title: Foiling the Dragon
Author: Susan Price
Rating: 3/5


This story started off well, a man snatched from our world into a medieval counterpart where magic works, knights are just a little thick, and not only do dragons exist, but he wants to be entertained. It was certainly different from my usual choices and quite funny in parts.
However, I feel, as I got into the second half that the pov started to waver. It wasn't the switches that came with a scene change, but the dips from one to another within a scene during the last third of the book do start to grate. In some sections I had to re-read to figure out what just happened.

But the dragon was a hoot and spoke a little like yoda. The story may be from Paul's pov, but it's worth reading for the dragon scenes alone.