Thursday, 27 September 2012

Introducing ...

Name: The Mark
Story: Aelfah
Status: The Mark (aka: Queen)

She’d a name at one time, then her father died (with a little help) and she took his place. Now she is the Mark.
Considered as both ruler and weapon, the current Mark controls the council who is meant to advise her, in fact she can control practically anyone except her children. Although she hasn’t her son’s abilities, she is still able to wield her own ‘weapon’ well enough to become catalyst and agonist for both Main Characters.
Though I sure she has a perfectly good excuse to tell herself why absolute power over her people is necessary, she's often considered as egotistical and sadistic by the few not under her influence.

I want to punch her. I know it's only a picture and it's my character so not actually real and all ... but I really do. Doesn't she just scream a certain little b-word?

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Busy, busy, busy

It's been a while since I did a writing update. Or really blogged at all in the last few months. (That's another reason to love blogfests, they give me a topic to post about)
Truth be told, I haven't been writing on my main WiP, Dark One's Mistress, for a while. Tinkering would be a more appropriate word. Opening the file and staring at the pages for ages only to add a word or two ... now that is probably the most accurate description of what I've been doing for the last few weeks. Despite my plotting, despite my best attempts to push forward, DOM has been sitting at just below 38k for what feels like forever.

But not anymore! It broke the 40k mark this morning.

That is because, over the last few days, I have added about 2,500 words to it. That's not a typo, people. 2,500! And a large chunk of that was in the last two days. And I'm still adding more, even as I type this, I keep hopping back to write more.
Needless to say, I've been over the moon about it. Over the moon! ^_^ These are the difficult chapters for my Main Character, the lead up to the final conflict.
But I know, if it keeps up at this pace, I'm going to burn myself out.

On top of that, and partly the reason I wasn't getting anywhere with DOM, I've added 6k to a bits'n'pieces file I have for Anubis' Handmaiden. It's mostly in the free-plotting stage, which leads to things being moved, being rewritten or thrown out altogether. I love the 'is it doable?' feeling of such a stage (the answer is yes, yes it is).
But included in all the half-baked plotting is about 2,000 words (one a near-complete chapter, the other a partial) that I'm both a little afraid to keep and thrilled to have completed. Let me say this about them: I was never a young adult writer, but I was a little shocked at how quickly I typed up those 2,000-something words. Here's an excerpt from it:

She rose from the bed, her nightgown whispering with each movement. One hand slid up his bare chest. Hard. Strong. A warrior's build. The heat of the desert sands rolled off his skin. A faint, hot scent hung in the air that had nothing to do with the incense. She looked up into those golden eyes. "An offering then?"
His gaze dropped from her face, a faint smile touching his lips. “
Merit,” he breathed. Fingers, strong and sure, ran over her shoulders. The thin straps of her nightgown fell away at his touch, chill fabric tumbling to the carpet. His hands slid across her body. Tenderly running through her hair as he tipped her head back. Grazing softly over her breasts. He kissed her neck, the fur of his muzzle tickling.

Of course, working on Anubis' Handmaiden does lead me to wonder what genre best defines it. And that is hard. I mean, there is no Semi-Historic Fantasy Partially-Paranormal Romance section, is there?

Monday, 24 September 2012

Review of The Truth by Terry Pratchett

Title: The Truth
Author: Terry Pratchett
Rating: 5/5

I'll say this now: I adore Otto Chriek.
Yes, I know he's a vampire. And yes, I do know he's a secondary character, but I can't help but love the iconograph-taking non-blood-drinking vampire who turns to dust every time he takes a photo. How could you not?
Anyhow, this novel is all about the Press. Or, rather, the Times and moving with it (before it runs you over and leaves its mark on you). A lot of this is about William de Worde (a fitting name, don't you think?) and how he first struggles to bring AnkhMorepork's first printing press into being, then keeping it running when a lot of people would much rather he stopped.
But it also follows two rather sinister fellows Mr Tulip and Mr Pin as they get tangled in the mess that always seems to be going on in what has to be my most favourite storybook city. I quite liked Tulip, even if he goes "--ing" a lot (no actual swearing, just "--ing", trust me).
All in all, it was good read where the more common characters take a bit of a back seat to a more humdrum side of the city that's anything but boring.
And come on, you can't resist Otto and his dark light eels. ^_^

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Introducing ...

Name: Gol Shilar
Story: The Rogue King Saga - The Rogue King
Status: Serpent God of Air (But you guessed that already ^_^)

So we're making the jump in gods from fire to air.
I couldn't post Foron without having his brother next in the line. In fact, there's a number of things I can compare them in. Shilar's stronger and bigger, though not as feared.
Though another patron god of the equinean population (they have five. All elements), Shilar's not mentioned as often as his brother in either story.

Does he look a tad badass to you? He looks badass to me. ^_^ Much better than my original version (fourteen, or so, years old now). Though, unlike his brother's, much about it remained intact.

Let's be honest, it seems a little feminine 

Monday, 17 September 2012

Genre Favourites Blogfest

Now this is the second of Alex Cavanaugh's Blogfests that I've signed up for. The other being the First Loves Blogfest.

So, this time around, it's genre favourites. Movie, Music, Books and a Guilty Pleasure from any of those categories.
Ready? Here we go ...

I'm on a bit of superhero film kick at the moment, but I'll go for a kidult film anytime. I'm certain that sort of mindset is mandatory for parenthood anyhow. ^_^

Uh, as it says in my profile, I'm up for any song that sounds good. I'm very eclectic and free with my choices. As such, I seldom indentify by type which means Eminem, Shania Twain, Linkin Park, Katy Perry, The Pet Shop Boys, Dixie Chicks, Pink and Madonna (I could go on) all get to share a cosy little space on my harddrive. Never mind the songs I love that I don't own (Fun, Coldplay ... I could go on here too).
So let's say I'm drawn to stuff with a bit of a beat and some lyrics I can understand, though the latter is not so much a necessity.

Why, fantasy, of course. Just look at the author list that graces my bookshelf: David Eddings, Anne McCaffrey, Andre Norton, Robert Jordan, Terry Pratchett, Jennifer Roberson, Gayle Greeno, Robin Hobb, Melanie Rawn, Trudi Canavan ... it'd be better if you checked out my bookshelf for a full list.
But fantasy has always been a draw for me. The magic (or lack of), the worlds, the struggles against the villains. Oh ... the villains!

The guilty pleasure
Kiddie movies!
Let me be specific. I'm not talking kidlut here (think Shrek). We've two massive shelves of children's DVDs. I enjoy them. Especially the PGs. But I have sat down with my daughter and watched the first two Tinkerbell movies (and couple of Barbie ones) before I realised what had happened. You know what? They were kind of good. In an 'omg, I cannot believe I enjoyed the cheese' way.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Introducing ...

Name: Bianca
Story: The Unborn Trilogy - Crimson Night/Silver Moon
Status: Peasant

Being daughter to the local tavern owner, and wife of the blacksmith, was easy for this woman. Then she had Ivan and things have gotten a little too ... complicated.
She's not comfortable with her only child hanging around a known demon, never mind that same creature saved her son's life. Nor is she all that keen on his choice of girl when there are plenty of other young ladies who don't have an immortal, over-protective father.
Yup, in her opinion, it'd be better if the last part of her family conformed to normalcy. Maybe learn how to run a tavern and stop his foolish ideas of being a demon-slaying adventurer.
But where's the fun in that?

I like this image. It's been tweaked a few times, but there isn't much I'd do to change it now. Perhaps the scarf colour, but that's all.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

GUTGAA Pitch Polish, A Contest & A Little Fun

I'm all over the place today. Busy, busy me. ^_^

First up, I made it into the GUTGAA Pitch Polish. Out of a whopping 109 entries, you'll find my query (and the first 150 words of my story) sitting with the fantasies at Entry #90.
I don't know how Deana managed to do it all, getting those entries up for us. Really I just don't. She mustn't have slept.
Now it is a Pitch Polish, so it would be much appreciated if you dropped by and gave some constructive criticism. I won't bite, honest.
I'll be swinging by the other entries myself to offer my thoughts.

Second on the list but really first place equal, I also managed to enter the Agent Contest over at Writerly Rejects. Entry #9 there (hmm ... 9 ... 90 ... I'm sensing a pattern). Swing by here if you've time and you'll find my first attempt at a Tagline and the first 250 words of my story.

Now for the bit of fun ... since the story in both of those entries is Dragon. Here's a little something different from my current WiP: Dark One's Mistress. A fantasy novel. Again, constructive criticism is appreciated. I'd love to hear what you think.

Update: There are two versions here: Version 2 and Version 3. Please, do let me know if who resonates more than the other, or if you see something from either that would work better together as Version 4.


Version 2
Seventeen-year-old Clara wants nothing more than to regain her freedom. Kidnapped, she has been given over to the kingdom's newly-made Lord, Lucias. Chosen from a group of similarly-stolen women, Clara soon discovers that her worse fear is true. Lucias is in need of an heir, its conception to be before the new moon.

Despite Lucias' charm and good-looks, Clara is determined not to be his mistress. Never mind his ultimatum of deciding when she'll come to him if she doesn't choose on her own, there's the small matter of him stealing souls. And there's the ever-nearing threat of his mother, Lenora of Ne'ermore, an old enemy and ex-prisoner of the kingdom. She is sending her pet barbarian to slaughter Lucias and, to ensure no chance of an heir, Clara.

Escape is Clara's plan, whether through persuasion or force. At least, until she learns that if Lucias dies without an heir, the soulless men enslaved in his army will be free to terrorise the land once again. Now Clara is caught in a choice between regaining her freedom or saving the kingdom before death comes to take away everything and escape is no longer an option.

Version 3

Snatched right off the streets of Everdark, seventeen-year-old Clara is given over to the kingdom's newly-made Lord, Lucias. She is picked from a group of similarly-stolen women and soon discovers that her worse fear is true: their Lord is in need of an heir, its conception to be before the new moon.

Despite Lucias' charm and good-looks, Clara is determined not to be his mistress. Never mind his ultimatum of coming to him willingly or be forced, there's the small matter of him stealing souls. To complicate things further, Lenora of Ne'ermore, an old enemy and ex-prisoner of the kingdom, is sending her pet barbarian to slaughter Lucias. To ensure no chance of an heir, Clara has to die as well.

Clara needs to escape, whether through force or persuasion. But then she learns that if Lucias dies without an heir, the soulless men enslaved in his army will be free to terrorise the land once again. Now Clara is caught in a choice between regaining her freedom or losing it completely for the good of the kingdom. She doesn't have long to decide before death comes to take away everything and escape is no longer an option.

First 150 Words:
"Clarabelle!" The cry rang out, scattering the pigeons resting atop the roofs and sending the nearby cats into a fit of hissing as they scampered for cover.
Clara halted on the edge of the street, her face burning as the echo of her mother's manly bellow continued. All around her, men and women paused in their daily business. The street gained an eerie silence. In the past, she'd heard worldlier folk boast that such deathly quiet could only be heard here in Everdark.
Then someone coughed, another person sneezed, and the sounds flooded back. The hum of talk. The clink of coins. A few turned to stare at her, the young woman in question, but mostly, the irate cry seemed to be forgotten.
A sigh huffed through her lips. Why does she have to scream like that? She contented herself with the roll of her eyes, wishing the heat in her cheeks would fade.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Introducing ...

Name: Brenna Goodheart
Story: Dark One’s Mistress
Status: Mayor’s Daughter

One of the five taken to the citadel to be chosen by their Lord, Brenna is first described by Clarabelle - the Main Character - as ‘the mayor’s spoilt, harlot of a daughter’. Which, to be honest, is her pretty much summed up in Clara’s eyes. But then, that's her outlook towards anyone who'll willing arrange their life according to materialistic wants instead of love.
In truth, this daddy’s girl has her future all planned: marry the rich old man looking for a young wife. Because being known as the Countess of Endlight has a far nicer ring than the mayor's daughter. Plus there's the lifelong luxury thing. After all, you've got to have your priorities straight.

I redid this one a number of times. First attempt was to let the perfect amount of her not-so-innocent side show through. Yet I still wasn’t happy with it. So here she is, on the steps of the village hall.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

GUTGAA - Meeting 'n' Greeting

Gearing Up To Get An Agent, hosted by Deana Barnhart, has arrived!
All those signed up for it will be kicking off this month with and Meet 'n' Greet. I'll be answering some questions.

Where do you write?
In my trusty computer chair (seventeen years old now, bugger's lived) staring at a computer way too powerful to be using as a mere writer's tool. Oh, and it sits in the dining room. Yes, my computer has a permanent spot at the dining table.
Or in bed with the trusty laptop. You heard me. I write in bed. At night where it's warm and cosy.

Quick. Go to your writing space, sit down and look to your left. What is the first thing you see?
Um, I'm already at my writing space, silly. ^_^ To my left, the first thing I see is ... the Lounge! You want me to be more specific? Okay, if we don't count the dining chairs ... the table where my daughter "does her art". Oddly enough, it's quite tidy right now.

Favourite time to write?
At night. Late at night. When all the distractions have gone to bed! It's a toss-up of how coherent I can be before sleep takes over. After all, I once ended up with 12 pages of Os due to sleep winning the battle. It was a big door. ^_^

Drink of choice while writing?
Well, I don't actually tend to drink anything specific. Milo, Tea, PepsiMax or L&P is all I tend to drink anyway. Bound to be one of them.

When writing , do you listen to music or do you need complete silence?
That depends. I can write some stuff with music going in the background. But I will lock myself away with nothing but a bitty laptop when I need to.

What was your inspiration for your latest manuscript and where did you find it?
Latest manuscript ... as in my last completed? Er, I have no idea anymore. The original was a bundle of info from years back.
Now if we're talking WiPs, that one was inspired by a game: Overlord2. And I don't think you'd ever be able to tell if I hadn't told you that. Although, I think there may be a bit of Beauty and the Beast in there too. Now there's a combo for you.

What's your most valuable writing tip?
A tip? I'm afraid I have no tips. You see, over the years of reading what should and shouldn't be done, I've settled on one rule: I'll write what I want when I want.

Be sure to hop around and see who's joining me in this madfest craziness. ^_^