Saturday, December 24, 2011

Waiting for those who believe: A Victorian Christmas story.

(Here's a micro short story...Merry Christmas!)

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, every creature was stirring including the mouse.   The mouse was hiding in the corner behind the chair nibbling on a crumb of bread left over from dinner.  Ella and Renee sat on the rug beside the fireplace, each reading a new book that their father had brought them for the holiday.  Mother sat in one of the chairs her legs covered with a blanked, knitting while Father read the day’s newspaper in the other chair.

Outside, snow was falling in the cold London air as airships taveled across the sky and steamers rumbled and rattled their way across cobblestone streets.  Gas lamps flickered in the shadows as men and women huddled in cloaks and hats hurried to be home.
Back inside, the stockings were hung by the chimney with care and a small tree decorated with hand made ornaments and wrapped in tinsel stood in one corner of the room.   A small handful of presents lay wrapped in newspaper and tied with twine beneath the tree.  The smell of wood smoke mixed with Father’s pipe drifted through the air. 
As the fire begin to die down, Father shook his paper out and folded it up.  Placing his pipe on the table beside him, he said, “Alright, my children, it is time for bed.  Remember, the magic can’t happen if you are awake.”
“Okay, father.” Ella said as she closed her book and placed it carefully under the tree.   Her younger sister, Renee followed suite.   The two girls then climbed into their father’s lap for a hug and a story. 
“So, what do you want Santa to bring you?” he asked, his gray eyes twinkling merrily.
“A dolly,” said Renee quickly.  “One with green eyes and red hair!”
Ella caught the glance her parents shared over the head of her little sister and knew that was not one of the gifts that they had bought that year. 
“Well, remember, Honey, Santa doesn’t always bring us what we want.”  Father said, as he hugged his youngest child.
“Why not?  I thought Santa was magic?  I thought he knew everything.”  Renee said, her lower lip trembling.
Father held his daughters close, “True but sometimes Santa brings us what we need, not what we want.”
“Hmmph. That’s no fun.” Renee said.  “I want Santa to bring me a dolly.”
“I know, little one,” said Mother as she reached down, picked her up and walked down the hall toward the room the two girls shared.
As Ella slid off her fathers lap and got ready to follow her sister, she looked at her Father, “Santa isn’t going to bring Renee a doll, is he?”
Her father sighed and ruffled Renee’s black hair.  “Sometimes as we get older, the things we want in life change, darling.  The magic fades and we can only do what we can.” 
Ellie nodded and walked down the hall.  Her mother had just finished tucking Renee into bed.
“Mom does the magic have to die when we get older?” she asked as she climbed in beside her sister.
“Magic never dies, my child, it only hides away, waiting for those who believe.”  Mother said as she kissed her goodnight and pulled the blanket up tucking it under Ella chin.
The next morning, Renee was the first to rise.  She ran down the hall and let out a scream of joy.  As Ella ran after her, she saw her sister dancing with a doll, red haired and green eyed.  Other presents had joined the ones under the tree.
“He came! He came! Santa came!” she shouted as she held up the small doll for her big sister to see.  The rag doll had green buttons for eyes and shreds of red fabric for hair.   It was clothed in a minature blue dress, simply made but with hints of lace at the collar.
“I see. “ Ella said, smiling broadly. 
When Ella’s parents came downstairs, they were as surprised as Renee to find the doll.   Ella’s mother glanced at her and raised an eyebrow.
“I always believe in magic!”  Ella said as she gave her mother a hug.  Her father came over to join the embrace and the three stood together and watched as one little girl believed in the magic for another year.
Tis still a very rough draft but I wanted share with folks for the holiday!  Hope you have a great Yuletide season!

Monday, December 19, 2011

illogiCon Regrets

It is with great sadness that I have to withdraw my attendance from illogiCon in January. I have a short story deadline of the 16th! And my real job - HR - has intervened. I have this major project that was due at the end of the year that, because I've spend so much time recruiting, got pushed back and I haven't been able to work on it at all. Unfortunately, I still need to plan and deliver the training starting by mid I'm going to be up to my ears in Mgmt Training the rest of the year and the first few weeks of January.

I'm really sad because I was one of the first authors illogiCon contacted about being on programming and it's their first year so I really wanted to go. It's the first new con in the Raleigh area since Trinoc*Con died. (I don't count NASFIC since it was a one-of.)

On the plus side, I did get a few more words written on the short story...Knight's Gambit is the current working title. I like that much better than No Mercy. I think I need to have the characters playing chess though as part of the story.

Anyway...back to work!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Writing and Back ups know how they tell you back up things.  Let me add...back up multiple places!   My thumbdrive is in the stages of dying and of course, the last 153 words I had written on the novel...were on the thumbdrive.  It died and I couldn't get to my novel!   Thankfully, my darling husband jiggled the thumbdrive and I was able to get the information off and put it on a computer.  And we've ordered new thumbdrives.

But it just goes to show that you need multiple back ups.  So I'm now backing up the novel up on my computer, dropbox, sending myself and email with the latest version and I'll have it on the thumbdrive. 

I'm also keeping on a copy on the work computer as well but that one probably won't get backed up as frequently since I don't write as often at work.  Particularly since I have to break from writing to study for the PHR (Professional in Human Resources) exam that I am taking next week. 

I have also come to the conclusion, I like writing to TSO both the XMas and non-Xmas stuff.  I suspect I'm going to LOVE thier new album and can't wait to hear more songs.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Nanowrimo - Day 29

So I'm at 38,000 for today.  And as much I want to get to 50k, I just don't think I'm going to make it.  But you know, I'm okay with that.

I spent most of the day trying to add words in order to win nanowrimo.   And I've decided that I don't want to "waste" words just trying to "win."  So rather than kill myself trying to get 50K by tomorrow.  I'm going back and trying to add the second POV.  

I'velso realized that I have a minor continuity error in the story that I need to fix but I don't know how.

But still I have 38K toward a novel!  I may take a few days and work on my Fortannis story.  A little change might be good to get the juices flowing!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Nanowrimo Days 24,25,26, 27,28

Well, of course the holidays to make it a bit challenging to write.   Between being at families and doing family type stuff, there were days where I only got 400-500 words written.  But I'm up to 35,000 words total!  If I can manage to write ~8000 each in the next two days I can "win" nanowrimo.  

But if I don't it's okay.  I'm just really proud of what I've managed to accomplish so far.  This is the most I've ever written.  I think in December I'll work toward filling out the story and making it make more sense.  I definitely need to add more "steampunk" and/or "supernatural" aspects to the story.  I think if I do that it will help fill out the word count as well.  right now ti's too long for a short story but too short for a novel. 

I also still have the option of interspersing the Inspectors storyline since he's dealing with more than just the original murder.  I'm just really nervous about adding a second POV character to the story. 

Well, it's late so I'm off to bed.  We'll start tomorrow sneaking in words every chance I get and hopefully adding the second POV will get me word count up...even if I don't keep it when it reaches the editing stage.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Nanowrimo - Days 21,22,23

Managed to make it to 30,000 words!  For the real novel, I'm about 1/2 way there.  For nanowrimo, I'm at 3/5ths!

My challenge now is filling in the subplot.   I've come to the conclusion that writing the main plot is significantly easier than subplots.  The other challenge is that I'm desperately trying to avoid a "romantic" subplot in this novel. 

So I've got the Sister.  Who currently is still alive.  I received the suggestion that using her illness and the time that Ella spends with her is a good subplot.  Particularly since Ella can't stand the newspapers and Renee loves them.  So I've got a bit of contradiction there.

I've also finally found my "item" that represents the story/theme.  A pocketwatch and "Time stands still."  I'm playing with the idea that the "point" of the novel is that you have to enjoy the time you have. That you have to be present in the moment and not worry about the past and the future too much that it distracts you from living your current life. 

Now I just have to get all that through the novel!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Nanowrimo days 19 & 20

While I might get a few word written later tonight, I wanted to posts an update.

Current word count:  28108!  

I am slowly but surely getting there.   The biggest challenge now is the fact I've got the basic story written but I seem to missing a lot of words.   I have 28K of talking heads.   There is very little in the way of action or description. 

I was reading Charlaine Harris's Shakespear series for inspiration/hints.  And I noticed that she describes pretty much the characters every waking moment....from when she gets up to what she wears, what she makes for meals, where she goes durig the day.  Of course it's all first person to, which is really hard for me to write.   I'm trying to stay with a single POV but I really want to show what's going on with Jonah as well and I can't figure out how to do it w/o changing POV's.

Okay, off to take care of the Geeklet and Daddy.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Nanowrimo 16,17,18

I hit 25,000 words!!!!!

Actually, 25012!  Now I'm going to bed.

I'm still about 6000 words behind but I'm definitely catching up!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Nanowrimo, Day 14 & 15

So by the end of tonight we should be at the half way point.  I don't think I"m going to make that.

But here's a brief update:

Starting count: 17,005
End count for now:  18251
Final End count: 19267
Favorite Line:
“You do realize we need to tell Knight that someone tried to kill you, right?”Tesla asked.
Ella stepped on the bag as Tesla pulled the sword from his cane and held it at Watkins throat. “Please don’t move," he said, “I’d hate to get blood on the exquisite Persian rug you are laying on.”
Can you tell that Tesla is my favorite character and has all the best lines?   I definitely think I need to start to wrap up the mystery.  If I can finish out that much between 18K and 25K, then the last 25K can be subplot, filler and drama.

Wow...this is harder than I thought it would be.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Nanowrimo Day 12 &13

Well,  as expected I got no writing done on Saturday and was feeling utterly miserable yesterday so didn't get any writing on Sunday either.  This puts mewayfuurthe backniwt to be so I will definitely be trying to write some during lunches and after the Geeklet crashes this week.

Wish me luck!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Nanowrimo Day 11

Well, I should be at 18337 and I'm at 17005.  Which means I'm only about 1400 words behind.  Of course since I'm not going to be able to write tomorrow because I'm RennFairing, on Sunday I'll need to write 3000 words or so!

But I had some major progress today.  Talking with my co-workers daughter who while only 16 likes to write and has some good talent, she helped me come up with a decent subplot.  Of course, it makes that death scene I wrote earlier...either irrelevant in the long run or...something that has to happen at the end of the novel.  But it was a really good idea. 

She also gave me the idea for a subplot with a secondary character but I'm not sure if I want to add another POV character.  

Write now I'm trying to tell the story from just one POV and if I did add a second, I'd rather it be Tesla. 

Still, having a subplot at all, this will be a huge help in reaching my word count!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Nanowrimo Day 10

I wrote 1700 words during lunch!  I'm still a little behind.  I need to get another 1600+ end by tonight but if I do I'll be caught back up.

And since I'm RennFesting on Saturday, I probably won't get any writing down that day.  So I'd really like to get closer to 3600 words in tonight. 

Favorite sentence...

"Oh, like the Wine?" Tesla said…”Speaking of which, do you think we can stop and get some on the way back?  Your English Ales are just not nearly as satisfying as a good glass of Wine."
Back to the day job!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Nanowrimo day 7,8,9

Work is kicking my butt.  I just got loaded up with several new projects.

And according to Nanowrimo, I need to catch the rate i'm writing, I'll finish on Dec 3rd...that's a few days late.  :) 

Word count today: 1271
Total count is: 13,332 

No real darlings.  I wrote the death of my main character's sister.  That was quite hard.   I'm not even sure that I'll actually end up using it in the novel but it is a driving factor so I need to be able write it.

I'm hoping I'll have some time at lunch tomorrow to catch up.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Nanowrimo Day 6

End count today:  12061! 

Now of course, I'm kind of hitting the hard parts.  I need to start incorporating a subplot of some sort...or a secondary conflict.   I also need to write the actual ending.   I'm stalling on that mainly because I'm still not 100% certain how to get there.  I know I need a "clue" but what that clue is I haven't quite figured it out. 


Nanowrimo Update -Day 5

So quick update before I start Day 6...

Yesterday's ending word count:  10,021!  I broke the 10,000 word mark...on a Saturday.  With my daughter at home, going grocery shopping and...a D&D game.   Granted I only needed 1000 words or so to break that mark....

Today is going to be tougher.  I'm going to have squeeze in my writing in between laundry, house cleaning, and family visits.

Wish me luck!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Nanowrimo Day 4

So far I am still a day ahead on word count.  9005 total...I added 2127 today.  Many of them pretty bad but the occasional good line...

I like this one.

His sharp green eyes gleamed over a particularly sharp nose. 

I have realized that I am definitely going to have to run some random names.  I have too many characters that are listed as NAME6, NAME7, NOBLE, NOBLE'S WIFE.  Even if I change the names later, I may start just calling them names.  

On an related side note, between writing for this and writing for shoulders and wrists are starting to kill me.   I'm going to want to go home and put ice and/or heat on all my joints.  That and take some Advil.


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Nanowrimo Day 2 & 3

So no writing yesterday.  But I managed to get 743 words today so we're currently totaled at 6878.  I was really hoping to break 7000 today but ran out of lunch.

Favorite quote:
 “Can’t you atleast try to be humble, Nikola?” Ella asked.
Tesla looked down his sharp nose at her, “I don’t do humble.”

I swear this entire novel is written to get that line in there.  :)

I did realize a couple things as I'm writing.  I need names.  Desperately need names.   I also realized that I think I'm going to involve the police officer a little more.  Doing so would allow me to switch viewpoints occasionally and since I want him to be the arresting officer at the end, it would be helpful if he, Tesla and Emma worked a little more close together.  That and he's really the only other character who has a name.  :)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Nanowrimo Day 1

So...beginning count for Nanowrimo, which is cheating technically, was 4386.  But since I'm focusing on this novel, the 4000+words I started with won't hurt.

I did manage to get a couple good lines...

Added 1877 yesterday!   Which is really good given the goal is 1667 per day.   I still need to get today's writing in but I'm hoping to do that during lunch.  So ending count for yesterday was 6232!

Favorite line:

“I find myself being shot at.” Nikola said in a surprisingly calm manner. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Talking to yourself/about yourself

So I was reading an article about writers and their blogs.  The author had several points but the one I thought was nifty was his comment that the writing needed to be interesting.  Even blog posts needed to be about something.  Given that this blog in particular is dedicated to the trials and tribulations of writing my first novel, I thought I'd take this post to give a bit of background.  Not the official bio type stuff but more the "real-life" person.

First up, I'm a wife and mother.  My husband and I have been married since 2000.  We'd dated for about 5 years before that so we've been together a bit.  One of the things I appreciate about him is that even though he gets the short end of the stick when it comes to cons (by default, he becomes Keeper of the Geeklet), he still encourages me to write.   That support is pretty critical especially when I start getting stalled like I am now.  My daughter, said Geeklet, is 3, almost 4.   And while she is an amazingly good girl, and has been to more cons than most kids her age, she doesn't always get that sometimes Mommy needs to write.   And when she says "Mommy, I need your "tention," I don't want to pass up that time with her. 

Second, I work a full-time job.  I am the Employee Relations Coordinator for a manufacturing company.  This, of course, means that any writing I do does not normally happen between the hours of 8am and 5pm unless it's lunch or an incredibly slow day.

Third, I have way too many other commitments.  I'm a Pirate re-enactor and I play D&D, which is kind of the one regular social activity I get.  Rarely, I'm also a costumer - and have belonged/belong to groups like the 501st and the HMA Titania, a steampunk costuming group.  I also like to read and watch a few TV shows.  I'm the coordinator of most of our get-togethers, holidays, trips, etc.    We are also contemplating, very loosly, the idea of starting another con...which means that in addition to everything else, I'm trying to work on that.  It's kind of stalled right now through and I don't know if I'll be able to do anything until after the new year.  All of which take up time that I could be using writing.

Lastly, there are the things about life that take up time.  Paying Bills, cleaning house, trying to exercise regularly and visiting with the family.  We're trying to declutter our lives and it's incredibly time consuming and heart-breaking at the same time.  This weekend, I threw away my cap and hood from Greensboro College.  I don't need it.  It's been sitting in a box for the last 15+years.   I'd rather keep things that are truly the cross-stich of me and a dog from the Italian landlord we stayed with when I was 2.  But the decluttering is a massive project.  It's amazing how much stuff we've accumulated in just 10 years.  And I know I need to be more ruthless in letting things go but it's been a bit of a challenge as is just finding time to go through things. 

So given all that, it is no wonder that I'm having trouble keeping my BIC (Butt in chair!).

You know how that rabbit feels/Going under your speeding wheels
Bright images flashing by/Like windshields towards a fly
Frozen in the fatal climb/But the wheels of time
Just pass you by

Between the Wheels, Rush

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Hook...

Magical Words

So...Faith just posted a great article on the why's behind her first few paragraphs in her third novel.  It seemed like a very good exercise so I thought I'd post the first couple of paragrapha of my Steampunk novel and walk through it.

Ella stood over the body, her hand covering her mouth.  The early morning fog slithered along the ground, covering and uncovering the fallen man.  The corpse lay sprawled across the cobblestone streets of London.  One hand reached out grasping over the pavement.   

Okay so, opening paragraph.  The novel is a mystery in the vary traditional sense.   First scene is off the dead body.  I also want to introduce the main character and set the tone.  I'm still not terribly happy with the first scene.  I do kind of want the impression that the fog is snakelike as it moves across the body and I want to let people know that it takes place in London. 

Kneeling down, she gingerly turned the body over.   The brown eyes of her courier, Julian Cole, stared up her.  Her shrill scream sliced through the fog and then echoed across the empty streets.   With a presence of mind, she did not know she had, Ella walked over to the police alarm and pulled it.  Soon the blue lights and whining siren filled the morning air.
Okay, now, we've set the scene in terms of time - early morning, empty streets.  I want to show that our Hero is stunned by the fact that it is someone she knows but still is aware enough to sound the alarm.
She walked back and stood over her friend.   His face was black and blue except for a long red scratch across one cheek.  His overcoat and vest were wrinkled and wet from the morning dew.  She noticed his pockets were askew as if they had been turned out but his pocket watch lay on the ground beside him.  A part of her noticed the face had been shattered and the time stopped at twenty-three minutes past three.
Here I want to describe the murder scene.  Clues here need to lead to our first suspects.

One of things I've noticed immediately, is that I'm setting this in Victorian England w/ a Steampunk twist...and nothing in my first 3 paragraph sets that up.  This could easily be a modern death scene so I need to add something to make the era more obvious - maybe a mention of her skirts??

So, I definitely need to keep these kind of things in mind as I start editing.  Of course, I'm a long way from editing.  I want to get the actual novel written first!  And that is my nanowrimo project so feel free to follow along. 

We travel on the road to adventure
On a desert highway straight to the heart of the sun
Like lovers and hereos, and the restless part of everyone
We're only at home when we're on the run
On the run...
~Rush, Dreamline

Monday, October 10, 2011

Stalled momentum

So I've reached a creative stall.   I had some time to write yesterday, while the Geeklet was sleeping but couldn't come up with anything.  Is that sad?

On an unrelated note, I saw briefly that Under the Black flag has a pirate themed short story contest going.  Max words is 4000 though and I think that Making History is more than that.   I have the twingiest of an idea for another pirate story so I may see if I can get enthusiastic about writing it...of course, still need a plot!

Maybe if I can get a bit of momentum going toward one story I can pick up speed on others.  It's a bit of a struggle right now.   And that sucks given that I'm supposed to be a guest at 3 cons in the spring, I really need to get some work finished and/or published. 

It's such a cloudy day
Seems we'll never see the sun
Or feel the day has possibilities
Frozen in the moment -
the lack of imagination
Between how it is and how it ought to be
~Rush, How it is

Just saying...

Monday, October 3, 2011

Publication Date Change and some upcoming thoughts

So due to some contract changes, Spells & Swashbucklers release looks like it will be delayed until March 2012. But we will be getting ebook and traditional books when it comes out!

In other news, I've been working on the short story for Fortannis. I finally have it all plotted out and now it's just a matter of actually doing the writing.

A friend of mine, also reminded me of the Jim Baen memorial Short Story Contest that is now open. I have the vaguest idea around a story...something about space pirates and the privitization of space exploration. That or there is this really amazing picture of a woman on a space ship holding a sword...I swear there is a story in there as well but I'm not 100% certain the picture isn't supposed to be of Weber's Honor Harrington. I also have a chase scene in my head a la Red Barchetta in space but since it requires asteriods, I'm not sure if that is too close to Star Wars.

I do plan on doing NaNoWriMo again this year. Concentrating on the Steampunk mystery of course. So I'm spending a lot of time plotting, writing up characters, etc. Hopefully, that will allow me to just dive into the writing part in November.

Wind in my hair/Shifting and Drifting/
Mechanical Music/Adrenelin Surge
~Rush, Red Barchetta

Monday, September 26, 2011

So...I really need to work on the updating regularly thing...

But as an apology...have a random vignette...

Tessriel stood in the doorway looking one last time over the room she had spent the last 11 years. Once filled with knick-knack’s and memoralbia, it was now nearly empty. A single bed lay against one wall with a nightstand topped with a silver lantern beside it. A pair of wooden chairs flanked a small table where she and William would play chess(?). Where once the room was filled with noise and laughter, it now seemed empty and quiet. Forlorn.
William walked up to stand beside her, carrying his youngest daughter. Hearing his footsteps, Tessriel turned to face him, reaching out to take the 3 month old baby.
“Are you ready?” he asked.
“Yes and at the same time, no.” she replied as she cradled the little girl, looking back at the room.
William placed a hand companionably on her shoulder. “You deserve this, you know. You spent over 10 years chasing me around, keeping me out of trouble. It’s time you did something for yourself.”
“I know.” Tessriel said as she buried her face in the newborns fuzzy hair. Her voice faltered and William could see the beginnings of tears glistening in her eyes.
“Hey, are you okay?” Concern filled William’s voice.
Tessriel took a deep breath. “It’s funny. It seems as if I’ve only spent a blink of an eye’s worth of time in your House but I’ve watched you grow up from a little boy to the young man that you are now.” She nuzzled the little girl again. “Married, and with a child of your own. I can’t help but wonder if I am doing the right thing?”
“Yes. My family has always served the Brevoy nobles. When House Rogarvia disappeared, my father sent me here while he sought out the Rogarvian’s. My role was to serve you and now that you are grown, or at least grown in the eyes of the nobility, shouldn’t I be here to serve Alistria?”
“Oh, Ria. Your sense of dedication is amazing. But Alistria won’t need you for a few years yet. You took charge of me when I was 12(?) and look how I turned out. I think we can manage to raise her for 2-3 years without you.”
“A part of me knows that but at the same time I am hesitant.”
“Hey,” he turned her to face him. “Do you remember the flood?”
She cracked a smile. “Of course, you were utterly terrified of being swept away.”
“And you kept me calm, while at the same time protecting us from the rabble who sought to take our lives in the confusion. You didn’t hesitate then; you knew exactly what the right thing to do was.”
William reached out to take the sleeping baby; with his other hand, he picked up the backpack that lay on the bed. Handing it to Tessriel, she shouldered it. He then reached over, picked up her cane and handed it to her.
Taking it, Tessriel looked at her reflection in the blue orb that topped the black cane. She smiled. “I guess we are both ready.”
In an uplifting note, while I missed Allen's Big Event on Saturday, I got to catch up with an old friend from HS who is also a published author on Friday.  Cathy Wiley... check out her webpage here!   We both were huge Trixie Belden Mystery fans back in HS and she's published her first mystery novel.  Now I just have to figure out how she did it! 
Right so back to work!
Summer's going fast, nights growing colder
Children growing up -- old friends growing older
Experience slips away...
~Rush, Time Stands Still

Thursday, July 7, 2011

On finding time to write...

So I have been challenged to find time to write lately.  I realized that I hadn't been into my Steampunk story the entire month of June!  That's not going to get me published if I don't write!  I did work a little last night but 15 mins here and there is probably not going to cut it.

For that matter, I haven't been in my new Fortannis story either.   I'm beginning to think I need to schedule time to write on the weekends.  But if I do, I think it needs to be upstairs or in the kitchen.  If the Geeklet is in the room, she usually ends up wanting my "tention."

There was a great post I read about how challenging it is to write when interrupted by children and the "rules" mom's need/have put in place.

And while I would love to put something like that in place, the Geeklet is 3...

I could take time to write during my lunches at work but because I am trying to exercise some at work; I tend to work through lunch most days.  I've been able to schedule Yoga and Walking around 9:30 am.  It gives me a chance to come in; check email, touch base.  Then go up and get focused for the day.  And I'm not sure I really want to give that up.  It seems to have centered my "being" a bit more.

Well, I do need to get back to work.  

(CTMH:  Happy Birthday!)

And I believe in love /And that's faith enough for me
"Faithless" Snakes & Arrows - Rush


Saturday, June 18, 2011

New Fortannis Story

Beginning sentence:
Chandri bowed her head, her mouth dry after reciting the vows that made her a knight.
Ending sentence: "I think we can carry enough rations on the horses to cover us between towns."  
Word count: 1028
Not a bad start.  Particularly for a day when I really only had about an hour of uninterrupted writing time. 
And before I forget,other ideas:
Princess turned Pirate, These are the times.
"Net boy, net girl
Send your signal 'round the world

Let your fingers walk and talk
And set you free"
"Vertigo," Rush, Test for Echo

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Anne Bonny's Child off to the editor!

Edits to Anne Bonny's Child are finally complete and off to the editor!   I hope she likes the changes.  All in all, I'm pretty happy with how the story turned out.  
Now I can concentrate on the Steampunk novel.  
Though I do have a possible idea for a short story in Fortannis again.   I also want to try to work on Ghost of a Chance.  I'm also wondering if there is a short story in the Styx song "These are the times." 

On the edge of sleep,/I heard voices behind the door/The known and the nameless, familiar and faceless/
My angels and my demons at war/ Which one will lose -- depends on what I choose/Or maybe which voice I ignore...
"Double Agent" Rush

Sunday, May 29, 2011

conventions and deadlines and interviews, oh my!

So have I mentioned, I'm on a deadline... I'm supposed to have the edits to S&S by 5/31 and I'm just stumped.  I need to add some description around some talking heads and it's just not working well for me right now.  I'm not feeling it.  ::sigh::

In other news, here is my schedule for ConCarolinas next weekend.  I'm really looking forward to it...I feel like I'm on panels all of which I can talk about. 

Sat 10:00 am Singularity Effect Cornerstone Award Ceremony University Ballroom B - Programming 2
Sat 11:00 am Changing History University Ballroom A - Programming 3
Sat 02:00 pm Playing With the Toys of Others University Ballroom A - Programming 3
Sun 11:00 am Steam & Diesel University Ballroom A - Programming 3

Oh, and I'm sort of interviewed here for the release of "Fortannis: A Bard's Eye View" along with the other authors.

On a road lit only by fire/Going where I want, instead of where I should
"Caravan" by Rush

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Happy News

The ebook of Fortannis: A Bard's Eye View is now available, and the paperback should be showing up on the Amazon web page and other distributors within a few weeks.

I'm truly excited to have been a part of this shared world.  It's a fairly typical standard fantasy world with elves and dwarves, magic and mayhem, good and evil.   But what makes it unique is both the emphasis on character and the completely absence of religion. 

Go buy, read.  Enjoy.

Like lovers and hereos, and the restless part of everyone
~Rush, Dreamline

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Villians and edits

So I'm mostly through the Edits for AB's Child.  I've got two spots that the editor would like a little more description and detail so I'm trying to figure out how to describe a room, explain why my ghost can suddenly interact, and drop a minor hint of time frame without going into a full-backstory. 

I know I have the answer to the time frame question in my notebook, I just haven't had the notebook handy when I've been editing.

As for Villians, I'm kind of thinking that for my steampunk novel, I need to figure out who the bad guy is.  Because it's a mystery, I don't have to give it away but I'm finding that as I'm writing, I don't know what the bad guy is doing while my heroine is chasing after him.  And I think I really need to have the motives and deciding characteristics about the bad guy.  

"Even now the intensity of his dread power can be felt, weakening the body and saddening the heart." - The Necromancer, Rush

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Edits and a publication date!!

Fortannis:  A Bard's Eye View will be published in June!  I'm excited but sad that it won't be before ConCarolina's.   I've received the contracts for my short story...although I thought we'd settled on "Rebirth" as a title...but the contracts all say Faith.  I'll need to check with the editor and see if he decided to go back to Faith. 

And in other news, I got the edits back for Anne Bonny's Child for Spells & Swashbucklers.  Other than a request for some more visual details and a good bit of deletion of adverbs (I hate adverbs!), most of the edits are fairly minor! The edits are due at the end of May so I'll probably spend the next few weeks with every free minute working the edits.   I'm still not sure I want to call it AB's Child but that really seems to be a good title. 

Then it's down to working on the Steampunk story.  Once it's finished, I then have to actually learn the art of attempting to sell the book - from agents and query letters to which publishers I want to submit the story.

More things than are dreamed about/Unseen and unexplained
We suspend our disbelief/And we are entertained

(Mystic Rhythms by Rush)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Good morning, Richmond!

So RavenCon is as excellent as usual. 
The steampunk panel I moderated went well. I did learn some things myself.  I have to decide about how much of the "icky" part of the Victorian world I want to mention.  Laurel Anne Hill also pointed something out about steam power - to make 1 horsepower of steam; you need 47 lbs of water.  So I probably need to do a little research on the steambuses of England and make sure my double decker is reasonable.  Ditto with Airships.  
The interesting challenge in writing in a steampunk world is how to describe the tech without it dominating the story.  Particularly since my novel is basically a simple mystery novel set in Steampunk Victorian England.  I think making clear it's an alternate history where some things work and somethings were never discovered is going to be important in the long range.
Differed the Geek parenting panel to James so I could go spend time with the Geeklet.  Then it was back to the New authors mistakes panel w/ Mike Ventrella and Laurel Anne Hill.  Mike had it organized very well and did a great job of keeping it on topic, yet covering a lot of information in a limited amount of time.   We started by talking about writer mistakes:  pov, talking heads, show don't tell, etc.  Then we moved on to the aspects of getting published - query letters, being polite, don't self-publish.  I hope we gave some good advice.
Then it was out to Friday's for a lovely dinner with EB.  Then back to put the Geeklet to bed. 
She got is up early this morning, so I've had time to check the email, make some notes on the outline and write here.   Then it's off to breakfast and back down to the convention.

"Fly by Night away from here, change my life again."
(Rush - Fly by Night)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

RavenCon this weekend

So we'll be headed up to RavenCon this weekend.  I adore Raven.  Excellent convention that pays attention to it's fans and guests.   This is the first year I'll be a guest; I've either been on staff and just attended previously.


3pm Have Goggles, Will Travel
4pm Geek Parenting
5pm New Author Mistakes
7pm Opening Ceremonies

12N Staying Safe Online

Then for the most part, I'll just be hanging out, maybe trying to attend some panels myself. 

Of course, I do hope to get some writing done over the weekend.  I've got some edits for AB's Child I want to work on and I definitely need to work some on the Steampunk Novel. 

"Surge of Energy/Spark of Inspiration/the breath of love is electricity."
Rush - Out of the Cradel

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Starting a new blog...

So I decided I wanted to have a place to write about writing, random meanderings, ideas and links related to writing when I can't get to LJ.

So having heard good things about Blogger, here I am. 

Thanks for coming!

"I'll be around/If you don't let me down too far."
Rush - Coldfire