Monday, 29 October 2012

Monstrous Monday Blogfest


Yes, it's the Monstrous Monday Blogfest, hosted by Tim Brannan over at The Other Side.
This has to be one of the easiest and the hardest blogfests I've done. There are so many beasts I could pick for this. There are the creepy ones, the weird ones, but that list would change according to mood.
So here's a list that never changes ... my top favourites. All best numbered as one:


Yes, some of my draggies have feathers, they're hairy too. ^_^
There are the draggies. Currently, my personal favourites are the Main Characters of my novel (entitled Dragon, oddly enough).
These fantastical animals have long been on my list of creatures I will squee over. They've been depicted with so many tempers throughout history and, unlike some monsters (I'm using the term loosely here), have many different looks that all say dragon.
On the other hand, I'm not a fan of the straight up animalistic sort that are shown as being little more than dinosaurs with wings. Give me the cunning Smaug-esque dragon if you must make him a mean knight-cruncher, but I better not find your characters slaying these beautiful creatures for no reason. Odds will be, I'll be on the dragon's side.



Er, nice boy. Stay ... good boy!
Now, coming from the equine family, are unicorns and flying horses (both with and without the wings). Heck, if it's horse-shaped then, chances are, I'm going to love them. If it talks, they're just all the more adorable.
This love goes way back to my childhood and few things can top their majesty in my eyes. You can't tell me seeing a herd galloping across a field isn't breathtaking.
I'm not just into the lighter themed equines either. All those the night mares out there are simply adorable. I'll huggle them all. Whether I'd survive said huggles is another matter entirely. ^_^
And, of course, there's my personal favourite: vampire horses.



Technically, the one in the middle is human. >_>
Also on the list are centaurs. I've actually got two variations in two very different stories. Yet, apart from the horsey factor, there's very little in common with the two. What's more, one's Science Fiction (space centaurs, anyone?) and the other is Science Fantasy. No Greek centaurs here. Or is there?

And along the same vein as these centaurians beings, there is the group that holds the most amount of characters in my stories. Simply classified they are the ... um ... anthropomorphic creatures.
Yes, you read right, not surprising then that one of my favourite comics has a world full of them.
I've a fair amount of love for this category, especially when you lump everything from the ancient Egyptian gods to my completely made up species and the characters that have major issues (and I love to torture), the talking/dancing creatures of the fairytale films and everything else all into one big, lovable ball.

So there you go, the proof that I've loved fantasy for a darn long time and is twisted. Carry on through the linky and see what monsters other people are talking about.

And remember, to a dragon, you'll taste mightily good even without the ketchup. ^_^


Monday, 22 October 2012

Haunted Writing Clinic and Contest

The third week of the Haunted Writing Clinic and Contest ... I admit, this rolled around a little fast for me.
I guess that sort of thing happens when you're trying to soothe a distressed six-year-old after having her two front top teeth removed while she yells and cries because they've only gotten half the aesthetic she should've had into her ... that high-pitched scream, where you can feel the hairs in your ears flatten ... *shudder* I swear, it is not a sound one should ever hear. Certainly not when it comes from your own child.
And all this grief because a boy pushed her off a mound at school and caused her to land face-first on dirt as hard as concrete. -_-

So, as you can imagine (probably a little too well by now), my mind has been elsewhere since the Thursday afternoon when I first learnt of it. At least she seems to have forgotten all about it now the toothfairy has come and gone.
Still, I hate to think how the next dentist visit will go.

Anyhow, here's a reposting of the query and first page of The Rogue King ...


Query

Dear Super Villains,

Nothing in life comes easy for Veng. He's unnatural, a product of genetic manipulation. Leading a sheltered life as a young man, he was raised on fairytales and the belief they are possible. All that changes when he becomes a Rogue and is forced to endure the occasional possession by Lorric, the God of Lust.

Crowned king of the feared Rogues and forced into adapting to a lifetime on the run from those who would kill him, Veng's belief in love is all that's left of the once innocent boy. Until he meets Lasil. Protecting her rekindles his old ideals and it isn't long before he falls in love.

But there are few happy endings for Rogues, especially when loving Lasil comes at the price of his soul.

Lorric isn't pleased with losing Veng or his soul and has Lasil kidnapped. Now, unless Veng can accept his true nature, cross an entire country of people who want nothing more than to see him dead, and face down a god hell-bent on destroying him, he will lose everything he's ever loved.

THE ROGUE KING is a science fantasy told through the point of view of Veng, Lasil and their son. At 199,000 words, and written to stand on its own, it is the first in a proposed duo.

Thank you for your time.


First Page

Koral looked up through the glass panel in the metal ceiling. The combined light of four moons made it difficult to see the stars. Only a scant few shone bright enough to punch through that pallid glow. Which one of those dots, out of the hundreds he knew were truly out there, belonged to the alien creatures raising him? They'd come from another world, somewhere beyond the moons and the twin suns. From a planet they called Earth.

He wished the same could be said about him. But then, he'd wished for countless things during the past twelve years of his life. None of them had come true either.

"Excuse me."

Koral winced at the words. His birth-mother had caught him. Again. And she didn't sound all that pleased with him. He sighed. Prepared for the lecture that he knew was to follow, Koral turned to face her.

Hands on hips, Amelia stood in the doorway of his tiny room aboard the spaceship. "Get your tail back to bed, mister." She was considered short by the men, who weren't, at least in his mind, that much taller than her. Koral had recently surpassed all of them in height and their latest bio scans promised he would grow further still.

The tip of his tail wriggled between his ankles as his gaze fell to her booted feet. How did she always manage to move so silently on the metal flooring? "Tell me another story," he said, giving her the smile that usually let him get his way.

"Very well," she said with a sigh, humour tweaking her lips. Even with Amelia indulging his whimsy, there were times he felt certain he'd seen a flicker of unease in her dark-green eyes. "I suppose, seeing that it is your birthday, I can be lenient. Which one shall it be?"

The battle won again, he dove under his bedcovers and waited while she tucked him in. "I want to hear about the space ship."


Thursday, 18 October 2012

Now Look Here!

Crystal Collier done went and tagged me for the writing challenge: Looking at You. I'm thrilled she did. ^_^ I love these things but what happens most of the time is I end up coming along after everyone else has had a go.

The rules for this are simple:
-Find how many times the word "look" appears in your manuscript or work-in-progress.
-Post your favorite three paragraphs with the word "look" in it.
-Tag 5 other writers and let them know they were tagged.


I'm on a The Rogue King kick right now. So naturally, I had to use it for this. Besides, what with it creeping up to the 200k mark and all, I wanted to see just how many 'look's I could find.
Turns out there's 398. Far less scarier than I thought it would be. That's barely half a scene. In percentages, we're talking about 0.2%. Let me break it down:
Look: 172. Looks: 16 (Technically, one looksss there ^_~). Looked: 160. Looking: 50.

Now for the paragraphs ... I'm bending the rules a bit. These are my favourites, but only from the first two chapters.


Paragraph 1.
From Chapter One. Part of the story Koral asked Amelia to tell ...
"Yes, the machine had limits." Her eyes were distant, focused on something beyond the room's metal walls. "They travelled too far back, took too big a leap into space. It exploded. The ship was built to withstand an attack, but not like that. No one expected its use would weaken the core. So many people died." She blinked back tears and looked around her before giving him a sad smile. "Only this survived."

Paragraph 2
From Chapter One. 'Cause I love my walfres ...
Koral shook his head whilst keeping an eye on the shaggy beast. Up close he could see the walfre's bulk had little to do with the hair. Its head was massive - nearly as large as Koral's entire self - held aloft by a matching thickset body and hind legs. Although the forelegs were shorter than the back, it looked as if they might be capable of grasping things. That wasn't reassuring. His gaze flicked to the ground. Were those claws he could make out in the shadowed sand? He peered at the animal's mouth. The way the tusks curved down reminded him of his own fangs. Did these creatures eat meat? Koral couldn't recall. He really wished he could.

Paragraph 3
From Chapter Two. Just because <3 ...
Something trembled in his gut. I could eventually grow to love her. He quickly suppressed the thought. How could he think of marriage when his heart was not part of the union? Let the Rogues try and make him one of their own. He would not break easily. "Look, whatever Honny has told you. I –" His explanation fell away at the sound of her quiet laughter. It was a lovely sound. Quite ... musical. Perhaps marriage wouldn't be that unpleasant.



Now I don't want to risk bugging people by tagging those who have already done this or don't feel like it. Instead, I'm leaving an open invitation for anyone who wants to join in.
So, you! Yeah, you. You want it? You got it! All I ask is to tell me when you've posted it, cause I love reading these things as much as I like participating in them. ^_^

Monday, 15 October 2012

Haunted Writing Clinic and Contest - The Story

My query took quite the hammering during the first week of The Haunted Writing Clinic and Contest, finally settling at the Ninth Version.

But now it's time to let loose the first page of The Rogue King ...
Genre: Science Fantasy
Word Count: 199,000 ... ^_^


Koral looked up through the glass panel in the metal ceiling. The combined light of four moons made it difficult to see the stars. Only a scant few shone bright enough to punch through that pallid glow. Which one of those dots, out of the hundreds he knew were truly out there, belonged to the alien creatures raising him? They'd come from another world, somewhere beyond the moons and the twin suns. From a planet they called Earth.

He wished the same could be said about him. But then, he'd wished for countless things during the past twelve years of his life. None of them had come true either.

"Excuse me." 
Koral winced at the words. His birth-mother had caught him. Again. And she didn't sound all that pleased with him. He sighed. Prepared for the lecture that he knew was to follow, Koral turned to face her.

Hands on hips, Amelia stood in the doorway of his tiny room aboard the spaceship. "Get your tail back to bed, mister." She was considered short by the men, who weren't, at least in his mind, that much taller than her. Koral had recently surpassed all of them in height and their latest bio scans promised he would grow further still.

The tip of his tail wriggled between his ankles as his gaze fell to her booted feet. How did she always manage to move so silently on the metal flooring? "Tell me another story," he said, giving her the smile that usually let him get his way.

"Very well," she said with a sigh, humour tweaking her lips. Even with Amelia indulging his whimsy, there were times he felt certain he'd seen a flicker of unease in her dark-green eyes. "I suppose, seeing that it is your birthday, I can be lenient. Which one shall it be?"

The battle won again, he dove under his bedcovers and waited while she tucked him in. "I want to hear about the space ship."


There we go. The first page as it appears in MS Word. ^_^

Liebster Award #4

Gifted to me by the lovely Rhiann over at Nest of Words, this is to be my fourth Liebster Award.

If you've never seen one. The rules are:
-Answer the presenter's 11 questions
-Choose 11 lucky recipients
-Formulate 11 questions for them to answer
-Plaster the award on your blog

Well now. These awards just keep drawing me in, don't they. As with the last one, I won't be handing it out or thinking up some questions, but I couldn't resist the questions Rhiann has asked ...


1. If you were to choose a Nom de Plume, what would it be?
This one makes me laugh. It really does. Aldrea Alien is my Nom de Plume. ^_^ It's an old screen name of mine that I've come to love and have decided to use because a google search of my real name brings up an author of paranormal erotica ...
Yeah, I don't want one mistaken for the other.

2. What is your favourite flower?
My sinuses say plastic ones (curse you pollen!)
Seriously, I like deep red roses. How cliché am I?

3. If you had to live prior to 1900, what century would you choose, and why?
So long as it's in Egypt, you can drop me off anywhere circa 3000 BC. I know it's not exactly a safe place. I'll take my chances.

4. What is your motto?
I've never been one for mottoes, so I'm drawing a blank here ... moving on ...

5. Lake or ocean, and why?
Lake. We've no dangerous creatures in our lakes. And I was scared of the ocean for a good long time (It started after the car accident and disappeared while I was pregnant. I have no idea why).

6. Tell us three things about a favourite character you've created.
Just one out of all my precious babies? Wah! Okay, since I'm on a The Rogue King trip, we'll go for Veng ...
-He's 100% non-human.
-About the only thing he owns of himself is his mind. His soul, body, shadow, heart ... all belong to other people. Though the only truly willing gifting he did was of his heart. Metaphorically, that is. Let's not get gory here.
-His original personality got a major overhaul in the second rewrite. He was real mean to begin with.

7. You're in a car and this song comes on the radio - you can't change the station fast enough.
Runaway Train. I can't listen to it. I really can't. Just thinking about the song makes me want to cry.

8. Which author influences you most as a writer, and in what way?
The most? The most ... I think it might be a tie between David Eddings, Andre Norton & Anne McCaffrey. Each in their own ways and none more than the other.

9. When you get writer's block, doing this helps. (If you never get writer's block I'm blowing raspberries at you).
Computer Games! I switch the brain off and bash some monsters. Somewhere along the lines, the muse switches the brain back on and I am in business again.
In fact, that's how Dark One's Mistress came about.

10. What movie scared you (and maybe scarred you)?
That's a tie between The Grudge and The Ring. *shudder* Nightmares for weeks after watching either film.

11. What's your favourite Halloween candy? 
Halloween's not exactly all that celebrated over here. So my anytime candy will be either Kitkat Chunky Cookies 'n' Cream or Scorched Almonds. Yum.


Great now I want chocolate and there's none in the house. -_-

Friday, 12 October 2012

Haunted Writing Clinic and Contest - Version 9

Okay, of the previous versions last posted, #6 and #7 were the two the majority preferred. So I've attempted to blend the two and make ...

Version 9

Nothing in life comes easy for Veng. He's unnatural, a product of genetic manipulation. Leading a sheltered life as a young man, he was raised on fairytales and the belief they are possible. All that changes when he becomes a Rogue and is forced to endure the occasional possession by Lorric, the God of Lust.

Crowned king of the feared Rogues and forced into adapting to a lifetime on the run from those who would kill him, Veng's belief in love is all that's left of the once innocent boy. Until he meets Lasil. Protecting her rekindles his old ideals and it isn't long before he falls in love.

But there are few happy endings for Rogues, especially when loving Lasil comes at the price of his soul.

Lorric isn't pleased with losing Veng or his soul and has Lasil kidnapped. Now, unless Veng can accept his true nature, cross an entire country of people who want nothing more than to see him dead, and face down a god hell-bent on destroying him, he will lose everything he's ever loved.

THE ROGUE KING is a science fantasy told through the point of view of Veng, Lasil and their son. At 199,000 words, and written to stand on its own, it is the first in a proposed duo.

Thank you for your time.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Haunted Writing Clinic and Contest - Day 3

Firstly, Laura Stephenson was nice enough to critique the first 400 words of The Rogue King over at her blog From the Desk of Laura Stephenson.

So we're on Day 3.
Versions ... uh ... 5, 6, 7 and 8. (Again, for previous versions, scroll down)
H'okay then! Yesterday, I was given three suggestions for possible ways to go. So, naturally, I had a crack at them all and then tried to smash'em together. Because I'm like that. Since I can't decide which I like better, here's all four.


Version 5. From Tamara's suggestion:

Veng has no chance of a normal life. He is subject to possession by Lorric, the God of Lust. If he leaves the desert, he’ll be slain. His DNA has been manipulated by aliens into something that shouldn’t exist. None of it stops him from harbouring a secret wish for love and family.

His unhappy life explodes when Lasil comes into his life. Forced to protect the young woman from the claws of men who would abuse her, he ends up falling in love. This leads to the stealing of his soul and the kidnapping of his beloved.

Lorric, in retaliation for losing Veng, plans to torture Lasil into accepting priestesshood. To save her, Veng will need to cross a land where the people desire his death. But if he's to get to her in time, he must accept a royal heritage he doesn't want and find a way into Hell or his chance at happiness will die before Lorric's will.


Version 6. From storymultiverse's suggestion:
Nothing in life comes easy for Veng. He's unnatural, a product of genetic manipulation and, like all Rogues, endures the occasional possession by an evil god named Lorric along with a lifetime on the run from those who would kill him. But none of that can stop him from wishing for a normal life. So when Veng winds up protecting Lasil, a young woman from his past, it isn't long before he falls in love.

But there are few happy endings for Rogues, least of all for their king.

Lorric isn't pleased with losing Veng's soul, and exacts revenge by kidnapping Lasil. Unless Veng can accept his true nature, cross an entire country of people who want nothing more than to see him dead, and face down a god hell-bent on destroying him, Veng will lose everything he's ever loved.


Version 7. From Krystal Wade's exercise:
Veng led a sheltered life as a young man, fed on fairytales and believing they could happen. All that changes when he is possessed by Lorric, the God of Lust, and is forced to adapt to a world where no one cares if you live or die.

Crowned king of the feared Rogues, Veng's belief in love is all that's left of the once innocent boy. Until he meets Lasil. She rekindles his old ideals and makes him see that good things can happen in his life after all.

But Lorric is not content to let Veng settle into family life and has Lasil kidnapped. Now Veng must find where the god is hiding his beloved and free her or risk losing everything.


Version 8. Triple Mash-up (because it was fun):
Nothing in life comes easy for Veng. He is subject to possession by Lorric, the God of Lust. If he leaves the desert, he’ll be slain. His DNA has been manipulated by aliens into something that shouldn’t exist. None of it stops him from harbouring a secret wish for a normal life.

So when Veng ends up shielding Lasil, a young woman from his past, from men who would abuse her, it isn't long before he falls in love. But Lorric, displeased with losing Veng's soul, is not content to let family life take Veng from him. He has Lasil kidnapped and plans to torture Lasil into accepting priestesshood.

To save her, Veng will need to cross a land where the people desire his death. If he's to get to her in time, he must accept a royal heritage he doesn't want, find a way into Hell and face down a god bent on destroying him. If he fails, he will lose everything he's ever loved.


Whoo! That's a lot of query. At least they're getting smaller.
Please, do let me know which direction I'm heading.
I sleep now.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Haunted Writing Clinic and Contest - Day 2

Day 2 of The Haunted Writing Clinic and Contest.
Version 4. (For the previous version, scroll down)
All in all. Same stuff. Different take.
Goodness, after fifteen years of living with this story, you'd think I'd have a  better time of cobbling together a query. Doesn't help to have this the same week as the school holidays. One whine from her and that carefully thought sentence is just gone!

At least this query is shorter. Seriously. It jumped from two hundred in the original to nearly three hundred and now we're at just under two hundred and fifty. I think that deserves some chocolate and a good night's sleep.


Love. Family. Being a Rogue, Veng has little chance at either. He is subject to possession by Lorric, the God of Lust, and hunted by normal folk. That does not stop him from harbouring the idealistic wish for both. But it is clear to him and those around him that he is not normal. He knows the blame for that rests on the alien humans and their genetic manipulations of native DNA. Whereas others have believed him to be from a species long thought to be extinct.

Both are right. And he's not the only one the humans have brought into being.

Veng's steady, if not very peaceful, existence explodes when Lasil, the young woman he once saved as a little girl, comes into his life. In protecting her, he falls in love and, in turn, faces a plot from the powerful All Mother. A son is demanded of him. To keep Veng hidden from Lorric's sight, his soul is stolen and gifted to a goddess slightly less dark than the devil who already has his shadow.

Lorric is not content to allow this piecemeal ownership of what should be his. The god retaliates to the loss and, staging a willing departure, Lasil is kidnapped. Years pass before Veng learns the reality of her disappearance. Lorric plans to make her his priestess unless Veng risks the last portion of his life to free Lasil from the god's clutches before Lorric can bend her to his will.

THE ROGUE KING is a science fantasy told through the point of view of Veng, Lasil and their son. At 199,000 words, and written to stand on its own, it is the first in a proposed duo.

Thank you for your time.


Well, come on. Take a crack at it. ^_^

Monday, 8 October 2012

The Haunted Writing Clinic and Contest

'Tis definitely the season of the query polish, I tell you what.
First Golden Dawn got a mega-hammering over at Unicorn Bell.
Then Dragon went through the ringer in GUTGAA. It's still going through it's paces there (got through the second round, it did), so do pop over and have a look.
And you know what I've learnt? My original queries all sucked. That's okay though. I've long accepted that the first draft is not the draft. Learning the reasons behind why the queries didn't work was eye-opening to say the least.
But now it's time for another month-long query polishing with The Haunted Writing Clinic and Contest. ^_^
Okay, here's the deal with this one: For the first week, minions (writers who have query-ready manuscripts) will post their queries for the other minions and super villains (writers published or pre-published by CQ) to critique.
And because I'm still in a happy spot with my last two queries, I'm using this as an opportunity to polish my query for The Rogue King, my science fantasy of epic proportions. Alrighty then!

Version 3:


Dear Super Villain,


As a boy, all Koral ever wanted from life was a chance to fall in love and have a family. It is at the whim of Lorric, the God of Lust, that this simple wish is crushed and the life of one young man is altered beyond redemption.

Genetically created by humans and raised with technological knowledge centuries ahead of common folk, Koral is already an anomaly of his world. Growing up having never needed to fight or kill to survive, he struggles to accept the reality of living in a less-than-forgiving land when he flees his human guardians. It sets him down the path that strips him of his innocence and condemns his soul, and brings rise to the legend of the greatest Rogue to ever have lived.

Sacrificed to and possessed by Lorric, Koral is forced into the mould of Veng where, as the god uses Koral's body to rape and murder, his idealistic outlook on life is shattered. He struggles to keep his old ideals while carving out a new life amongst the men he's been made the ruler of in the hope of evading Lorric's notice. This life is enriched when Koral unexpectedly falls for Lasil, the young woman he once saved as a little girl.

But the gods are not finished with him. Koral was meant to be king, but not of the Rogues. To make it right, the powerful All Mother has his soul taken to hide him from Lorric. In retaliation, the god has Lasil taken. Years pass before Koral learns the reality of her kidnapping and, risking the last portion of his self along with his life, sets out to free her from the god's clutches before she is bent to Lorric's will.


THE ROGUE KING is a science fantasy told through the points of view of Vengeance, Lasil and Kael. At 199,000 words, and written to stand on its own, it is the first in a proposed duo.

Thank you for your time.



Don't forget to check out the other queries. And if you're just learning about this now, you're welcome to expand the minion numbers until the 21st.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Introducing ...


Name: Ruxandra
Story: The Unborn Trilogy - Golden Dawn/Silver Moon
Status: Lady

Originally only spoken of in passing during Golden Dawn, then shown in Silver Moon, with not one mention of her name. So here it is. Her name. Her image. All in the one place. The Main Character’s mother and catalyst of his life in more ways than one.

It was so tempting to have her surrounded by clouds instead. Really it was.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

GUTGAA and a Thing for the Nines

Gearing Up To Get An Agent (hosted by Deana Barnhart) is in the final weeks. Only the Small Press Pitch Contest rounds to go now. Which is both thrilling and terrifying.
So can you guess what I'll be stressing over for the next week?
Yup, I got in. ^_^ You'll find my entry over at Tara Tyler's blog with all the other Adult Entries.
What does that have to do with the title? Well ... In the Pitch Polish, I was Entry #90. In the Agent Pitch Round, I was Entry #9. Now, for the Small Press Pitch, I'm Entry #19.
(To top it off, I was also entry nine for the contest at Writerly Rejects)

I find that rather amusing in a cute sort of way. ^_^