Thursday, 29 September 2011

Introducing ...

Name: Vigil
Story: The Unborn Trilogy - Golden Dawn
Status: Second in the Fortress’ Chain of Command

It’s not easy being a guy like Vigil. Not only is he perpetually surrounded by middle children (and is also one of them), but he’s got an older half-brother who’s fanatical about an angel’s spirit and an undead twin sister who’s just plain crazy.
That being said, he seems to be one of the saner ones in this story. Though he’s supposed to be second in command and therefore issues orders right enough, he and his sister always tend to turn up as a pair. At least, they do where one of them is concerned.
Personally, between the two of them, I think his sister might actually be the boss. ^_~

I tried going for some sternness, but it didn’t seem like Vigil so his posing mood took over instead. Which is fine by me, he’s not 100% serious as it is. Although, I cannot for the life of me remember what in the name of those above I was thinking when I did the background on this. All I know is that, despite the vice, it’s not a torture room. There's not enough blood and they don’t do torture in the fortress anyhow. At least, not the physical kind.
Just don’t ask what’s in the cup.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Still Kicking - Free Sample

The story of The Rogue King has been with me for many years now, fourteen to be precise.
Fourteen years of writing and editing the same story. First in first person, then a rewrite in third. All the time adding more and more.
It is my baby. Because of this, only a few have ever read the entire thing. I'm very picky about who sees my writing in the feotal form.
But seeing that my ultimate goal is to have it published then I've somehow known the time would eventually arrive for me to let that iron grip of mine loosen.
Unfortunately, some believe I may have written an unpublishable novel.
I often ask myself is such a thing can exist. The answer always seems to be a very admonishing no. Through all those years, I've never once thought to put aside this story.

Dragonfall Press has the first four chapters of The Rogue King availiable, for free, so people can read and decide for themselves. In their words: "your feedback will help decide if it is released as a full-length novel."

They would like to know two things:
If you would like to see in in paperback and eBook form.
If you would recommend it to a friend.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Introducing ...

Name: King Torron
Story: Witch of Morthin
Status: >_> King ^_^

Ah, the mad king.
I do so love a good, properly crazy, king.
Not to be confused with the just plain insane king.
You can actually predict the randomness of an insane king. He’ll be whacko about everything he does and, sometimes, completely over the top with it.
But a crazed ones ... the ones who appears normal but could snap at anything, for whatever reason, they’re more fun. Especially when they go around poisoning the mother of their five children and imprisoning their only daughter, that’s just craziness.
I do feel a little sorry for poor Torron though. He lost more than a few cards off the deck when he did what he did.

I’m still not 100% sure if I actually got a decent crazed look. It’s a fine line to walk when you consider he’s not all the way mad; his sanity’s just a bit frayed round the edges where witches are concerned. I guess it all comes down to the eyes.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Editing Headclunk

I always end up groaning when I edit. Eye rolling tends to happen a lot as well.
Not because I hate editing, I actually quite like the chance to read (and re-read) my stories from one end to the other. I write each one for my enjoyment, after all.
No, it's because every single time I pick up that stack of A4 papers, some error will leap out at me.
It's not even the big ones that bother me. And I've had sentences that not only have important words missing, but some are not even anywhere near in the right order. Fortunately they're no longer as common as most were the product of late night typing.
Everything makes sense at 2am. Trust me.
It's the stupid errors (like it instead of in) that leave me grumbling, wondering how that could've happened. In the past, I think I must have spelled the in every way possible (not so much now thanks to MS Word). I just can't seem to spot them on a screen no matter how hard I try. Which is odd, because I can pick them up easy as in other people's work. -_-
I've attempted some of the tricks out there, like reading the manuscript out of sync, and reading it backwards from sentence to sentence (whoever came up with that ... it was exhausting).
Reading aloud helps, but I need to have a quiet space. And that leads me to editing from a hard copy.
Gimme a pen, leave me be and I'll chew through that sucker in no time (In the last couple of days I've gone through 23 chapters). I'll get most of the little mistakes on the first run (I say most because there's always one or two that slip by).
But I still can't point out the it that should be an in on screen.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Introducing ...

Name: Honny
Story: The Rogue King Saga - The Rogue King
Status: Nomad

Honny appeared in the very last revision I did of The Rogue King. Quite a number of the people who’d critiqued the story expressed a desire to see more of Koral’s - the Main Character - time at the nomad encampment. When I sat down to ponder if I had more of that hiding somewhere in the backblocks of my mind, Honny (along with a few others) popped up.
She leapt onto the page quite easily and meshed with the story so well that I like to think she was always meant to be there.
Not bad considering she's a very minor character (just above 'scene character' status).

While the idea I’d envisioned for the image was simple (she’s depicted in the story stripping fibres from a flax-like plant so I went with that), getting the pose to look natural took a little more time.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Introducing ...

Name: Atropa
Story: The Unborn Trilogy - Golden Dawn
Status: Third in the Fortress’ Chain of Command

I get a little shiver go down my back just thinking on how I came up with Atropa. Mainly because I don’t know. If you’ve read The Unborn page, you’ll know that the first third of the story came from a dream. Atropa is in the last third of that first third. ^_^
She got her name after the genus that holds the Deadly Nightshade (Atropa belladonna), which is, in turn, named after Atropos, one of the three fates in Greek mythology. The one that cuts the thread, if I recall right.
I suppose at one point Atropa was soft, but by the time she enters the story, she’s become a little unhinged. That comes with the territory, yet she still loves her brothers and sisters with the ferocity of a lioness. It’s how she goes about ‘protecting’ them that’s a little crazy. Still, what else can a girl do when her brothers don’t listen?
Probably not shoot them. That’s never a good start.

This image is actually quite a new one. I really wanted to throw her out into the cold in something more appropriate for hunting.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

65,000 words and we're done!

The end is no longer nigh. It has come and gone.
This evening, after much back-and-forth sending of my daughter to feed and play with the pet lamb, I finally managed to type the end sentence of Dragon.
I honestly thought this one would've been done at sixty thousand, sixty-one thousand words tops.
But no, several of the chapters snowballed passed the rough 'around 2500 words' cap I aim for. It's a very rough guide. After all my 'if it don't fit, don't force it' attitude has me with one chapter nearing four thousand words (it's the climax of the book, they tend to get away from me).
This last chapter has been hanging on to the bitter end. I doubted it could reach a decent five hundred. It did. Not quite reaching a thousand.
So what happens now my beloved story has reached its conclusion (the third to be fully written) and joins the 'done' pile? Why the editing begins! If this story follows the current trend of all my stories, it should gain another thousand or so words.

Now, seeing I edit better with a hard copy, all I need is some darn ink for my printer. -_-

Monday, 5 September 2011

The First Campaigner Challenge ...

Righty then, the first campaigner challenge is here.

"Write a short story/flash fiction story in 200 words or less, excluding the title. It can be in any format, including a poem. Begin the story with the words, “The door swung open” These four words will be included in the word count.

If you want to give yourself an added challenge (optional), use the same beginning words and end with the words: "the door swung shut." (also included in the word count)

For those who want an even greater challenge, make your story 200 words EXACTLY!"

I added my own challenge to this. No dialogue, no living things in sight.
So here we go, at 200 words ...


The door swung open, hinges creaking in protest at the insistent wind. The weathered wood hit the tarnished rim of a bell, long bereft of its clapper, setting it to erratically bob on a rope that had once been a hearty, thick thing. Time and the gnawing of many tiny teeth had worn it down to a frayed mess.
Windowpanes clattered a warning at the intrusion on their silence. One, broken previously by a careless branch, released its last sliver of glass. It tumbled to the remains of a table, leaving a faint smear in the grime as it slid down to the floor. There, it shattered into splinters, scattering through the dirt and hair and the leavings of small animals, edges twinkling in a rainbow flash of false gaiety.
A leaf wafted through the foot worn doorway, skittering across the stone floor to halt at the foot of the dusty hearth as the wind lost all interest in carrying it. The wind continued alone. Disturbing year’s worth of soot, along with feathers and grasses, as it snaked up and out the chimney.
Down in the room, the windows once again rattled with their disapproval. And the door swung shut.

My First Blog Award

Today, I received my first blog award from Jen at Jen's Bookshelf. If you haven't already, you should check her blog out. She's really into possums, albeit not in the liking way. She's still mad about them. ^_^
It's called the Liebster Blog award. The idea is to spotlight up and coming bloggers who currently have less than 200 followers.
It has some rules. And they are:
 1. Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you.
 2. Reveal your top picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
 3. Copy and paste the award on your blog.
 4. Have faith that your followers will spread the love to other bloggers.
 5. And most of all - have bloggity-blog fun!
So here are my picks ...
Jill of Word by Word - She owns a venus flytrap called Nom Chompsky, need I say more? ^_^
Liz of Laws of Gravity - I could never knit like her (I'm allergic to wool anyhow). Seriously, you need to see what she made for her nook.
Nick of Writing Fire - He, like me, is influenced by the smell of a book. Nice to know I'm not a complete loon.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Introducing ...

It’s that time again.


Name: Lady Mara
Story: Dragon
Status: Knight

You know those old women who, when faced with uncertainty in young people, always take charge and somehow manage to order everyone around? The one's who would, on occasion, chew some king's ear out?
To me, that’s Mara. At least, in this story, it’s Mara.
She’s not exactly what you can call all that big a character in the scope of things - in fact, she’s only in six/seven chapters and mentioned briefly in another three - but, as it often is with minor characters, it’s what she does when she is there.

I’m actually quite proud about this particular image. Took me a while, but I finally got just the right kind of regal elegance and ... er ... oldness that I was going for.
Is it strange that I, a gal barely out of her first quarter of a century, can connect with a three hundred year old granny? Hmm ...