Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Thursday's the Day

This Thursday is the deadline for the anthology my writers' group is going to (hopefully) release in October. I'm not writing anything for it, but I am editing. The looming preparations, fundraisers and the like have kept me out of the house and/or focused on critiquing, planning, etc.

I'm looking at character and structure (the substantive edits) Erica is looking at line-by-line and Mellisa (who posts on Mondays to the SWS blog)will be copy-editing.

So I've been scarce, and I might be scarce for the next week or two, until Erica gets elbow-deep into formatting. Then, my focus will be on raising the funds for the anthology and the release celebration.

But if all goes to plan, this process will prepare writers for the process of publishing a book. Also, there will be more knowledge spread around about what it takes to self publish. We are also trying to create community in our city, which an anthology and celebration serve to attract. Hopefully the community will follow.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Crazy Monday

Today is not going as planned. I am trying to get two chapters done by the end of week (not shooting for words, but arcing over scenes, just to get things down). I will be posting Wednesday to another blog...which I wanted to be "a part of" but hope the friends for whom I wanted it, really take the project and use it to its potential. I interviewed a local artisan for my Wednesday post today.

Then, yesterday my brother called. He needs me to french braid a girl's hair for a music video while he picks up some other model (who's going to be in the video, obviously) in another city. But I guess older sisters are good last-minute, cheap labor, even if I've never been a hairdresser...

Tomorrow I am planning on visiting a temp agency, just to get the process going.
So my writing time is going to be squeezed down into a few hours a day. Sad part, is while it "feels" like a bad thing, I tend to get more writing done when I have to "fight" for the time. So here's hoping!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Fun Saturday

So today is a writers' group meeting :D In this one, we usually attempt an exercise, or even write to a prompt. This week's was kinda fun, so I thought I'd share.

Exercise: write about a child's monster.

This is rough and just written :( But have a look! :D


Taysha pushed herself against the wall and hoped the shadow fully obscured her. She heard the creature before she saw it. Their clawed feet clacked against the stone. Then there were two and they walked like they owned the castle. But it was her father's. The castle was her father's.
One stalled, right in front of her. She caught its gaze, and looked downward immediately. It didn't notice, right?
Those large yellow eyes in a gray-leather face seemed to see everything. White robes hid its body below the head.
Taysha held her breath. She studied the stone, instead, and listened for any movement. Anything. The world about her seemed gray. Everything gray, colorless.
She squeezed her eyes shut, and tears slid down her cheeks.
The creature continued on. There was only shadow. Darkness. She was alone in the hall once more.
Taysha slid to the floor and the sobs came, wracking her small form. She buried her head in her knees, and tried to smother the sound of her crying in her woolen skirts. Why were there so many now? Why did her father and brother never seem to see? Did they know about Lyttera and Denjic? They couldn't know about her friends.
She wiped her eyes with her palms and lifted herself up again. She was Taysha Koarv, daughter or a Kordic Kosa Lord, nothing should be able to make her that weak. The monsters should not posses such power, and it was within her control to grant. Or so she told herself as one hand gripped the stones of the wall, squeezed. When she released her grip, she crossed her arms about her narrow chest, and stalked off toward her suite. It was too dangerous for her friends here, it was time to smuggle them back to Yissera's place.
There was a hiss. Taysha stopped where she stood. The hiss turned to a growl, and clacking, scraping resumed. Faster than before. It was running.
Taysha didn't wait, she ran. She dodged about three corners and down a flight of stairs. The monsters followed her, hissing, clacking, and growling. Her world condensed to her feet, her pulse and her breath. But one part of her mind detached, knew where she was running, and marked each landmark, prompted her to turn. Somehow she got to her rooms ahead of the creatures. She slipped into the room, slammed the door behind her.
Lyttera looked up, she was sitting in the chair, holding her toddler brother.
“Time to go,” said Taysha managing a strained but even tone. A talon scraped the door behind her.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Breaking the Rules Blogfest!

Thank you Elizabeth Mueller for hosting the Breaking the Rules blogfest! Go Check out Elizabeth's Blog to find all the other awesome entries. As I am working on commenting ...enjoying the blogfests but still getting into the swing of incorporating them into my daily routines...I read and commented first on several of the blogs. There are some really excellent posts! So yeah, people, go check them out!

This morning I was writing part of a new piece. It's one of those "I won't know how I feel about this until I'm done with it," pieces. So for the blogfest I dipped into the files on my laptop that have arrived on this hard drive having survived two desktops, and two laptops to be shelved...But I just can't bring myself to delete it...The style of the following passage and what I was working on this morning is so insanely different, I'm shaking my head right now. And that has nothing to do with the rules, I'm certain you can spot tons that I'm breaking! Not to mention my public-school trained spelling and grammar :( A little toooooo apparent, I fear.

Background: Same world as other High Fantasy WIP, different era, different geographical region :( Was shelved about 6 years ago, and other than 50 pages of a rewrite that barely taps this draft (and itself was shelved for going nowhere right yet) it has not seen the screen in a good while.

Warning: spelling is atrocious. My roughs are a grammarian's nightmare. Just saying...a little too embarrassing to read all the way through and correct it :( So it is what is... Let me know what rules I'm breaking here :D


There were three sisters, the gaurdian, the lady and the sorceress. Kessiry was the last, the eldest of the three and the first to have the necklace sear her throat and leave the tattoo...the mark of her heretige and destiny. Tellis, the youngest, lived in the city of Jeztor, a Culla-Korlatz, she was, a guardian Called to defend the city during its first years. Tellis watched the stones pile up and form a shape reflecting in every minute detail the city Tellis' mother had left so long ago. Pehryne's Call surprised everyone. She was a lady, born and raised in the courts of Tevric, she was to be the child spared. The normal, pampered, middle daughter. Then the Korlatz mark burned her too, and she was sent to the south, to Southern Ekliri. Her sisters knew that she likely went beyond, went into regions they could not imagine. That their sister could survive the Curse neither doubted verbally, but when the eldest and youngest met, a meloncholy shadowed their words, their faces...and the sorceress began to look for answers to elementry questions.
Kessiry was known to gather ancient works and every northern Kingdom at war gathered the texts in massive supplies, stacked high and high in their libraries. When Kessiry, her tattoo ablaze with Draden's Gold arrived to end the fighting, as was always the situation--the Kings attempted to sway the Korlatz with promise of the hidden volumes. She would not, could not, be swayed, for it was Draden's desire that Don-Yin be fully at peace. Whether Gold was needed, or swords or diplomacy, Kessiry always won out over the Kings and Queens of Aylerone. The texts they spent such time aquiring, those would vanish with Kessiry.
Between Calls she would sit with paper bound carefully into a book, so rare in those times, and carefully would she record whatever useful history, whatever clue hid in the ancient writings. However, she soon learned that the older the scroll or book, whatever it was she found, the harder it was to understand. Raised as a noble, and special even among that prized class, Kessiry was as well educated as she possibly could have been, and it was not that the language was so different from her mother's Rextian toungue--for that was what all the works were composed in--it was more as if the words would not stay in her mind. She could never remember it. Even after translating it into the modern trade-language, she could not understand it. She would frown and puzzle over herown script, which had the same effect on her as the old writtings.
Then, looking more closely at her surroundings when Called to the Northern shore, the Western and Southern Ekliri...she saw a resemblance the land had, the people had, all over the Kingdoms and even deep into the Cursed Land.
"Tellis," she told her sister when in Jeztor one day, "I do not know what I see, but the lands...it is more as if it is one realm than a dozen states and nomadic Eklirites and--"
"That is silly, 'Siry.How could that be?"
"I--I would not know. Sometimes it is like I am glimpsing the past, into a time I am not intended to see."
"The Jeztori believe that knowledge of the past is important, sister, they have preserved centuries and of centuries of histories, gathering them from these lands and some brought over from Kottia-RExtian. There is nothing--"
"I have the oldest volumes Tellis," Kessiry leaned forward in her chair, "not they." She set her cider mug atop the small table withn a loud thunk.
Tellis looked nervously at the mug, then back to her sister, her voice was a whisper. "Y-you would know better than I, then, Kessiry."
"What does it mean?" She mumbled, staring at some distant point, something beyond Tellis and which the younger woman knew did not exist.
"Maybe you weren' meant to know?"
"And who do I gather this for?" her arm swept the room, but indicating nothing in it. Clearly in reference to--
"Someone else?"
Kessiry stared at her. Tellis did not flinch under her sister's peircing gaze, but remembered how Pehryne always had..."Who else?"
"Do not think in the present, Siry. There were an uncountable number who lived before us and yet more to after. How can you possibly know?"
The sorceress smiled. "Tht is it then. The future. Thank you Tellis." She stood and strode quickly, distractedly almost, from the room.
"Si-Siry!" Tellis stood, bent to pick up the mug, the ran after her sister, "Kessiry! What do you--"
Kessiry paused by the entry door, a hand already on the carved wooden doorknob already. "The one word I remember the most, Tel, is 'Azoryn.'"
Convinced that a descendant would be able to comprehend thew knowledge she had so painstakingly copied, Kessiry finnished the diary and when time turned and her daughter Nevla was Called, the book and family necklace were given into her keeping. Time turns quickly yet, and Nevla passed booth to her son.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Character Interview Blogfest

Thanks Sangu for hosting this blogfest! I always loved the idea of this exercise, but have never seemed to have a reason to do it myself :D Or just couldn't kick myself in the butt hard enough to pull it off... Anyways, it was super hard to pick a character. In the end this is what I picked:

I didn't want her to think the interview strange, so I sat on the seat across from hers, and waited for her to arrive. The cushion was soft, though there was no back support. I tucked my legs to the side, forcing myself to sit upright. I set the pad of paper on my leg, waiting.

She entered in a flurry of skirts, but her slippers were silent on the stone. She sat on her own seat. Every movement was practiced, almost theatrical. I knew it was her training, and that she was being formal because of the context. She was as uneasy as I was.

"I was told you came from far away. Has the mainland heard our need?"

"No," I said. I had to think quickly, create a persona. I did all the time for the characters, what was a little lie? "I am from Kyde-Tazmed...my country there is known as Enloren."

"Ah." She hid her disappointment well. The training again, but I knew precisely what that near-imperceptible shrug meant. "So your peoples recently revolted from our mutual enemy. Have you come seeking an alliance?"

"Not exactly. We need information first. Too decide."

She inclined her head in recognition. One braid fell forward, and beads jangled against her cheek. Her perfect posture was required, not only because of the cushion seats, but also the elaborate hairstyle.

"What would you like to know? I will do my best...to be brief and to the point."

"What brought your peoples to the Kordic continent? And do you like it here?"

A smile twitched at the corner of her lips, but when she spoke it faded into the words. "My ancestral homeland fell. It doomed itself and my ancestors escaped on the last of the ships vacating the continent. I have known no different than this place. We all yearn for the homeland, but it is only real in the stories. I have lived long enough to know that reality would pale in the comparison of the legends I tell the children."

"If you ever had the opportunity to see it, would you?"

"Yes. Of course. But it won't be...Rextiauna. The legend, the symbol, it exists in dreams. And from there does it derive purpose."

"But it is abstract..."

"Life, and all it's harshness, riah, they will never go away. Look at what happened to your continent...wars between your various little realms. The Koridic Emnpire moves in and begins swallowing up chunk after chunk, and they drive record keepers such as yourself underground. The Svorini infiltrate the other realms as assassins in order to smuggle your kind out of harms way..."

"Weren't you optimistic once?"

Her laugh was full and rich. It filled the room. "Once," she said, but the smile doesn't die this time. "But we all grow up."

"What brought this on? This pessimism?"

"My niece. She died."

I hated myself at that moment. And I couldn't stand it, I looked at my paper. The cursive lettering in my indecipherable hand seemed out of place in this room.

"What if she's alive?" I whispered.

Silence. I try to look up, just to see Gellayna's face. She was like stone. I couldn't let her know...I'd spoil the truth I was still uncertain how she'd learn. "I mean...we had a lord, the Lord we nicknamed Zaerc...his fiancee...she ran away. We all assumed she was dead, but the truth was the Svorin had taken her in, given her another name. And she escaped unnoticed under the guise of a priestess of Azoryn...What if something similar happened to your niece?"

"Ethirin, a man who works for my husband, he saw the body."

"But...are you certain...?"

She seized the fabric of her skirt, making two tiny fists. "My brother isn't. I think Teshen just can't face the fact that he put little Ayslynne in the palace at Dhazi and it changed her. He can't accept that she is capable of something like murder."

"Wasn't she like a niece to you, too?"

"Oh, yes. I knew that little girl when she was newly born. I braided her hair when she started her lessons...it's a sign of stages, with the women of my people." She raised a hand to her head, the large bun and the two braids spilling from its center, the braids falling down her back. Objectively I acknowledge the influence of Chinese movies set in China's feudal era on the Rextian women's hairstyles. "But," Gellayna continued, "It means little. She had the blade in her hand and the corpse...Ethirin saw it...None of us wanted to believe it."

"But your still fighting."

"Jiranaeha and Vynnek and Aloysia and Sedrinna...they will not have died in vain! They were all Kyrriki had...all he had..."

"But now, your daughter..."

"Ahrenai." Some hint of her old optimism returned at the mention of her daughter. "She is...wonderful...we fight so that the world we give her is not the one Loysa knew. The one that destroyed Ahrenai's cousin will not destroy my little girl."

"And Kyr feels the same." I didn't need to ask that question, but I have a habit of speaking my thoughts.

"He does," Gellayna responded as if I had asked, I let it slide. She really shouldn't know how well I knew them...if she did, I'd become the interviewee and she the interviewer. While I knew that would probably please her, as her curiosity was a form of escape as well as dealing with the situation she found herself in...I didn't have the time to answer questions that would be a lot more thorough and pointed than mine.

"If you could see your niece right now, what would you say to her?"

"I'm sorry. I'm sorry I sent all my prayers to Azoryn. I don't know why I thought the Goddess of Destiny would be a kind mistress. I would trade everything to save you the pains you endured, anything to grant you a life past thirteen..."

Now I felt really guilty. I wanted to let her know it was all a ruse, that Loysa was trying to protect her and her uncle. I have such a hard time keeping secrets when the answers can make people feel better. But Gellayna is a character, one I created. This is my mess.

"Thank you."

"How will this help you make a decision?" She asked, watching me stand. "Don't you want to know how we succeeded in severing our ties to the Empire? What sorts of goods we could trade? The benefits of an alliance...yes?"

"No, no. It's all right. I just...wanted to know, what motivated you. Why did you decide to become the leader of this rebellion."

"I didn't. Kyr did. I chose to marry him, aware that that decision came with inherent responsibilities. I was already a leader, among my people."

"And why... way back then..." I sat down again. "Why did you choose to be Taeverai?"

"Because," she said, "I believed that in the junction between past and present can the road into the future be found. As a Taeverai we study history, traditions of our people. Living here I learned about the Kordic versions of the same. in comparing them I see that perception, too, plays a role...but I think that was the answer I was looking for. I always wanted to help them. My people. We are without place, at least we were. The Empire didn't want us, no matter how long we lived here. So I wanted to find the way toward making us... accepted. Accepted, that is, without giving up our traditions," she gestured at her ornate skirts, "these are just trappings. But if perception is as important to constructing the world as I feel it is," She leaned forward, and my pen stilled for a minute, "then the symbol they represent is too important to shed. This declares me Rextian...maybe even a Rextian from Kordic...and so by donning the trappings I become Her. Me. My perception of myself becomes yours. Between us we begin to develop a definition, and create meaning and order of the world. No matter what, I have never wanted to shed the trappings. I will speak Kordic and my mother tongue. I will teach my daughter both. And she need not choose between one or the other. She can be both. She won't feel, like I did...like Kyrriki did...conflicted. One part is not more important than the other. They are both essential. And there is the answer I was looking for, the one that can earn my people acceptance, and for which they can fight. For which I can fight. As a leader, I can help others to reach these answers, and to implement whatever behaviors these answers make them feel the need to develop."

"Thank you," I breathed, I don't think she heard me...

"We don't need to cross the oceans to find a home that is no longer ours. Home is here. We've just needed to carve it for ourselves, and not let the Imperial powers dictate our existence on the edges of the Empire. This is the Kordic-Rextians asserting ourselves. The road to the future that I have chosen."

"Thank you, thank you," I said, tucking my paper under an arm. "Be well riani...."

"It's nothing." She bowed her head in gratitude and I fled before she directed any questions my way.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Next Top Title Blogfest

Thank you to the Slushpile Slut for hosting this next Blogfest! It's the Next Top Title Blogfest :D

I am really addicted to these blogfests lately, they certainly helping me stretch my writing and connect with others :D So here are my titles to various pieces. Let me know which is your favorite.

Silver Mask
Traitor Born
Memory Song
Wished Awry

Can't wait to read everyone else's submissions!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Plans and Ideas

I have learned a few things recently. One, I kinda like posting some of my fiction here. Two, I'm working on commenting on other blogs. I am an invisible stalker on some blogs, follow others and check in randomly on all my faves. I love reading advice for writers. I love reading news pertaining to the industry. But li'l o' me?

While I got the urge to participate in the blogosphere, I think the "online platform" bit is something I've been learning. What should it be? How do I communicate myself in this manner?

One of my best friends (yes, I know you're reading this) raised a few good points earlier this week. I guess my struggles with the writing process have seemed...boring...to me. She let me know that as a reader/non-writer, the process fascinates her. I figured that as many of us are writers, we all know exactly how much blood we squeeze out over the keyboard. Then I remember my friends in my writers' group. Yeah, we all fight life and piece together our writing in what corners and times we can, but we do it differently. And sometimes, life changes. When it does (and this is what I'm learning the hard way at the moment) techniques that worked in the past for your younger self, might not work now. So, sometimes new things need to be attempted. It's very helpful to know how others face their own struggles and overcome them, because they might provide the keys to working out what you need to work out.

Yes. The "you" here is really a "me."

So I am going to work on posting exactly what's up in my writers' group. I'll post some of the background pieces that aren't going to make it into anything but can provide my readers with a taste of my style and an intro to my characters/world.

Hope everyone will like it!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Sad Today :(

Wednesday is Farmers' Market day. I usually love to get out of the house, to taste fresh berries and pick fruits and veggies for the next week. Today, wasn't my favorite though.

After a few days of 90 degree weather (Fahrenheit, that is, & 20-something Celsius) it is overcast, windy and just a tad chilly. I know, weather is a bit inconsequential, yes? But it's made me grumpy. I am sensitive to the weather for some reason. I really want to move to the coast at some point, as at least there weather is roughly the same all year.

I am slow today. My plan is to work on cleaning the office. I just received my new speakers (Yay!) that should hook into my desktop or laptop. I hope that after a year living in this place I can actually get my desktop set up. While I use my laptop for most things...I always feel the desktop could still be useful.

Last year this time, I spent every hour possible in my office. This year, I live in the living room. I'm hoping that getting the office usable will help restore balance. Perhaps, if I feel that I have my own "space" again, I can focus on things that I need? On the other hand, I feel that just finding a day job would go a long way to helping me desire my own sanctuary. I always thought I'd write more if I had "more time to write" but being faced with too much time has made me realize that "balance" between life and writing--and what that very phrase means--has changed for me. It used to be school and writing, with "work" being the undesirable but necessary variable. Now, without school or work, I want work. I want something outside of my writing, which is not terribly demanding, but which grants me the feeling of achievement. Then, I think, I'll have the strength to face the knocks inevitable to the pursuit of writing.

But right now? I write more rarely than I'd expect. Every few days, something tumbles out. Or I try to focus on blog posts. The blogfests have certainly helped, sometimes they even make me forget the self-doubt for an hour or two :D

That said, I'm really much better at faking confidence face to face than in writing. I think...I just need to get the office straightened. If it's livable perhaps I'll succeed at setting my butt in the chair and getting more done.

There. I have a goal for next week :D

Friday, June 4, 2010

Dream Scene Blogfest!

Thanks, Amalia for hosting this blog fest. My post this time around is something that isn't in something I've written, but it is in the time line. I'll see how much i like it in the morning in order to see if I put it in the story. Otherwise...it remains a scene! But it was fun, if short.

# # #

The garden was brighter than memory, and he could hear his sister's laughter. She was teasing Vynnek. He knew his sister well enough to hang back. He was doing the right thing, letting her marry. Perhaps it was a bit odd that it was his best friend and his sister. Politics did allow for this all the time. Strengthening ties and whatnot. So the ruse would work. and his sister would be happy. That was all that mattered. He couldn't fight smiling.

He rounded the corner and there--

They were dead. The somber soldiers shoveled dirt over their still forms. Then the soldiers paused. The little girl in the dirtied gray dress perched on the edge of her parents' grave. Her young face was impassive. He felt his own features settle in similar lines, and his niece became a mirror. He didn't recognize the face there. It was his, and not. His skin shone Silver. Silver like the magic he used to hide his true self. His real face.

He reached up a hand, meaning to strip it away, but rather than revealing himself, there was nothing. Emptiness. His fingers Scraped silver and found nothing in the mirror. His belly hardened. His breath caught in his throat.

His niece screamed.
Suddenly Kyr was awake and sitting in his bed. Loysa needed him.