Monday, December 20, 2010

Raw Truth

I apologize for not keeping up to date here. Between the holidays and some personal issues, the blog hasn’t been top priority. What I’m going to share today is something I wrote two years ago, originally posted on my Writing.com blog (which I no longer have). A chance for you to get some additional insight to my true self. It’s mostly still true.

 

In 24 hours you may or may not discover that I...

am incredibly shy.

have a very hard time asserting myself and dealing with people in a professional setting.

love to dance, sing, and play the piano, though not very good at any of them.

am a Sagittarius, particularly the traits of freedom-loving, good-humored, philosophical, careless, irresponsible, and tactless.

am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (aka Mormon).

don’t smoke, drink alcohol, or drink coffee.

can’t drive.

dislike abusive people.
don’t understand how people can be so selfish and cruel.

am a daughter, sister, niece, aunt, cousin, wife, mother, friend, student, singer, and writer.

met my husband online through datingfaces.com.

require positive physical touch and quality time to feel loved.

am bad with finances and determined to never own a credit card.

am either impulsive or indecisive.

am a loner, enjoy alone time, but fear being ultimately alone.
fear rejection, driving, and responsibility.

am scarred by multiple incidences of sexual abuse when I was a child.

spent a couple weeks in the hospital for depression, and lied about doing better to get out.

am haunted by my past and decisions that are too late to change.

worry about housework, my cooking, not being a good enough mom, and not being able to accomplish my goals.

am a child of the 80's.

enjoy sleeping naked, and have fond memories of talking on the phone with a guy in the middle of the night while in the buff (he being unaware of that fact).

have a difficult time expressing my feelings, especially those of hurt and anger.

come from a wonderful family of a loving mom and dad, three older brothers, an older sister, and four younger sisters.

have never broken a bone or pierced any part of my body.

have gained about five pounds in the last year, and am still underweight for my age/height/build.

once walked seven miles from a movie theatre to my parents house, after midnight, stopping once to nap on some grass next to a business sign.

dislike judgmental people and constant whiners.

battle anxiety and self-doubt on a daily basis.

am predictable as a six-sided dice.

express myself through poetry.

am writing a fantasy novel.

was born on Thanksgiving.

have a tendency to ramble.

have a quirky personality.

I am...

dandelion seeds floating in the breeze. a thorny rose. moonlight reflecting off water. simple elegance. dog and wolf. beauty and beast. dreamcatcher. creativity. memories. secrets. survivor. intimacy. harmony. chiaroscuro. cuddly teddy bear. scent of books. comfort. open arms. warm embrace. hot chocolate. Chi from Chobits. serenity. enchantress.

I am a Beautiful, Inspiring, Compassionate, Loving Woman.

I am a Daughter of my Heavenly Father, who loves me, and I love him.

I am a choice and special young woman, sent to this earth at this particular time for a purpose that only I can fulfill.

This blog, my writing, it’s all part of the journey to discover what that purpose is.

Raw truth, this is me.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Birthday Time

My birthday is on Thanksgiving this year. To avoid crowding it in with the holiday, we celebrated early. My mother-in-law took B for Saturday and Sunday, and my husband took me bowling and out to dinner.

I hadn’t been bowling for over eight years. My first game sucked, scoring 76. But by the end of the game, I was getting into the groove again. I was actually winning for a good part of the second game. It came down to the last couple frames. My score was 112, his 120. I had a blast. My hand and arm were sore by the time we were done though. Must get in shape! And it better not be another eight years until I get to go bowling again.

We had the 2 for $20 deal at Chili’s. First time I tried their appetizers. The Texas Cheese Fries are amazing. For entrée, J got the Crispy Chicken Crispers while I had the Quesadilla Explosion Salad. Since we were celebrating my birthday, we also got free dessert. Their brownie sundae had to be the best brownie I’ve ever had at a restaurant. Incredibly moist and uber chocolaty. Yum.

I even got to open my birthday present early. Seasons 1 and 2 of Castle! Red heart Castle is easily my favorite TV show right now. So he did good. Smile

Monday, November 15, 2010

Character Meme

I got this meme from Katrina L. Lantz. Choose ten of your OCs, then answer the questions. The characters I’m choosing are all from my NaNoWriMo WIP.

I made a list, then used a randomizer to determine the order. This was a good time to get last names for a few of these characters.

  1. Wesley “Weed” Larkin:  treasure hunter
  2. Belkar:  loan shark
  3. Akua:  Atlantean gladiator
  4. Ryan Vaughn:  head of Las Vegas Dragon society
  5. Sergeant Warren:  ex-army, now manages a team of street fighters
  6. Quinn Monahan:  Caitlin’s brother. part of a team hired to hunt a minotaur in modern Las Vegas
  7. Ashlen Craft:  head of Ash Corporation (all about the money)
  8. Caitlin Monahan:  Quinn’s sister. part of a team hired to hunt a minotaur in modern Las Vegas
  9. Kemal Garcia:  Weed’s best friend from college, a fellow treasure hunter
  10. Taylor Rice:  Weed’s gambling buddy

 

Now to the questions. Hopefully this will give me some insights into my characters.

1. 4 invites 3 and 8 to dinner at their house. What happens?

Ryan Vaughn invites Akua and Caitlin to dinner. He is likely wanting an update on their minotaur hunts. Only one can join the Dragon. Akua would feel uncomfortable without Weed by her side, and Caitlin would be stealing the dinner conversation and flirting with the host.

 

2. 9 tries to get 5 to go to a strip club. What happens?

If Kemal invited Sergeant Warren to a strip club, he would be all for it. Just say the word. Even if they had opposing goals, a truce would be in effect for such an event. Just two guys having a great time.

 

3. You need to stay at a friend’s house for a night. Who do you choose: 1 or 6?

I’d probably choose Quinn over Weed (sorry, MC). Weed has had too many interruptions. I don’t want gladiators appearing or loan sharks pounding down the door. Much quieter at Quinn’s place.

 

4. 2 and 7 are making out. 10 walks in. What is their reaction?

Belkar is making out with Ashlen?? Taylor would take photos to use as leverage against Belkar. He’s been under Belkar’s fist before, and would relish a chance to turn the table.

 

5. 3 falls in love with 6. 8 is jealous. What happens?

Akua must have fallen in love with Quinn when we stayed at his house. Caitlin would be jealous that her brother is ignoring her. She’d steal Quinn’s katana and head out after the minotaur alone.

 

6. 4 jumps you in a dark alleyway. Who comes to your rescue: 10, 2, or 7?

If Ryan were to jump me in a dark alleyway, I wouldn’t want a rescue. Just saying. Most likely to rescue me? Hmm. Taylor might help a damsel in distress. Belkar wouldn’t care, might even watch. Ashlen would come to my rescue if I would join his side.

 

7. 1 decides to start a cooking show. Fifteen minuets later, what is happening?

Weed happens to be a great cook. His mother taught him to use fresh ingredients from their home grown gardens. Fifteen minutes in, he’d have one of the cameramen over tasting his meal in progress. He likes to involve those often overlooked.

 

8. 3 has to marry either 8, 4, or 9. Whom do they choose?

If Akua had to marry Caitlin, Ryan, or Kemal, she’d totally choose Ryan. She’s not lesbian, and would never go for Weed’s best friend. Ryan is honorable and also has connections to Atlantis.

 

9. 7 kidnaps 2 and demands something from 5 for 2’s release. What is it?

Ashlen is definitely the kidnapping type. He would demand Sergeant Warren bring him the Oracle’s Eye, due to his connections with Akua. But Belkar would make the worst possible hostage for this maneuver, as no one likes him.

 

10. Everyone gangs up on 3. Does 3 have a chance in hell?

As long as no one brings a gun, Akua would kick everyone’s butt. Siblings Quinn and Caitlin would give her the most trouble, but it would be a welcome challenge for my seasoned gladiator.

 

11. Everyone is invited to 2 and 10’s wedding except for 8. How do they react?

Caitlin would be glad not to see Belkar and Taylor get married. She is *so* not into seeing guys kiss.

 

12. Why is 6 afraid of 7?

Quinn is afraid of Ashlen because of Ash Corps. power. It won’t be long before they own all of Las Vegas, and Ashlen isn’t fond of anyone who worked for his nemesis.

 

13. 1 arrives late for 2 and 10’s wedding. What happens, and why were they late?

Weed is late to the wedding because he had to scrounge up money to pay Belkar… again. Taylor is offended that his friend is late, that Weed let fear override loyalty.

 

14. 5 and 9 get roaring drunk and end up at your house. What happens?

Sergeant Warren and Kemal must have had a little too much to drink at that strip club. By now their truce would be over and they’d be ready to fight. I’d lock my doors and leave them outside to fend for themselves. I wouldn’t want to get in the middle of their drunken brawl! Once Sarge finally lands a hit and knocks out Kemal, I’d call Weed to take them both home.

 

15. 9 murders 2’s best friend. What does 2 do to get back at them?

Ooh, wrong person to anger, Kemal. Belkar would send his hitman after Kemal.

 

16. 6 and 1 are in mortal peril and only one of them can survive. Does 6 save themselves or 1?

Quinn would totally leave Weed to die. Maybe Quinn isn’t fit for the Dragon society after all.

 

17. 8 and 3 go camping. For some reason they forgot to bring along any food. What do they do?

Caitlin would have expected Akua to take care of supplies. Akua grew up in the jungles of Africa, she doesn’t think they need any. Caitlin would call for Quinn to rescue her, while Akua scavenges and fishes for her meals and enjoys a night under the stars alone.

 

18. 5 is in a car crash and is critically injured. What does 9 do?

Kemal would remember the fun time they had a the strip club, and pull him out of the wreck and call 911. Then, remembering getting knocked out, would leave him on the side of the road and disappear.

 

19. The quiz is over. Tag someone.

Tagging whoever has characters and wants to procrastinate. Winking smile

 

Well, that was interesting. I learned a lot about Kemal and Quinn especially. Now back to work.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Beware the Shovel…

… The Traveling Shovel of Death!

This shovel travels around the NaNoWriMo forums, invading people’s novels. Killing innocent characters (and some not so innocent). Demons, zombies, serial killer victims, suicide. Does someone need to die? Use the shovel. It may be disguised as a writing challenge to work the TSOD into your novel, but once you are aware of the shovel, it will invade whether you plan it or not.

I first heard of the shovel from Liana. There is even a Facebook group for the TSOD.

Has the shovel visited one of your novels?

This year, a shovel may just become my gladiator’s weapon-of-choice against the minotaurs.

Last year the shovel killed off a courtesan in RACE TO 100 DEATHS:

 

The three elves looked up as a lantern shone on them. The yellow light lit Cillia's horrified face as well as the carnage.

Sable, digging a fresh grave. Daon drinking blood from the corpse of her friend. And Tilara covered in blood.

"What have you done?" She rushed over and pushed Daon away. "Mellanae!" She looked at Daon, blood still on his lips. "She's dead! And you... you drink her blood?? Tilara?"

"She was injured. It was an accident. Yes, we took advantage of her death..."

Cillia stumbled. "You as well? Are all elves blood drinkers?"

Sable reached toward her. "We have no choice. You have to understand."

Cillia shook her head. "No. No. Out. Get out. Before I call the guard."

Sable grabbed her arm. She screamed. "Stay away from me!"

Sable's face hardened. A guttaral roar exploded from him as the shovel came up. He hit her in the head. She fell, nose and forehead bleeding. The lantern rolled to the side. He hit her again. Sobs shook him as he turned back to the grave. Tilara stood in shock as he began to widen the hole.

"You killed her. We could have left as she asked. She was our friend. You went too far."

Sable emphasized each word with a heave of the bloody shovel. "No. Choice. Monsters."

Daon grabbed Tilara's arm. "We have to get out of here. Now!"

The rose bushes had caught fire. Tilara considered leaving Sable. Perhaps the fire would kill him where a knife could not. But they were in this together. She grabbed his face, forcing him to look at her. "I know you cared. It's over now. Time to move on."

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Pegasus

I recently read Robin McKinley’s PEGASUS. It may be only book one of two, but I wouldn’t let that stop you from getting it. McKinley has long been one of my favorite authors. In fact, THE HERO AND THE CROWN and THE BLUE SWORD were the books that introduced me to fantasy and made me want to write fantasy. I want to create wonderful worlds and real characters that stick in your heart. Her words create an escape.

And PEGASUS is no exception. I love it! The relationships between the pegasi and the humans isn’t a perfect one. Besides the language barrier, their cultures are vastly different. They may coexist peacefully, but how can they ever understand each other? Then one friendship changes everything. Princess Sylvi is bound to her own pegasus, Ebon. This is tradition in noble houses. But it’s different for Sylvi and Ebon, as they can actually speak to each other without the aid of magicians. And it turns out not everyone *wants* to understand the pegasi. Is their ability a threat or a blessing?

I loved flying with the pegasi, and growing with Sylvi. The descriptions are beautiful, the characters memorable, and the story one that will weave its way deep into your heart. I am looking forward to book two.

I got lucky and won an advanced copy, but now PEGASUS is available for everyone to buy. So what are you waiting for?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Go, Go, Go!

Over the weekend, we had the brilliant “duh” idea to salvage the video card from the unused PC in the closet. So I’m back on my own PC. Can’t go high res for games, but I don’t plan on gaming much this month anyway.

Because yesterday started NaNoWriMo! For those unfamiliar, National Novel Writing Month is the crazy month where writers start with word one on November 1 and have 30 days to finish a novel (50,000 words for a win).

I don’t plan on as much productivity on weekends, so set my weekday minimum as 2000 words. Stephs challenged me through twitter to write 2250, then after I beat it in the afternoon, raised the bar to 3200 words. I didn’t want to miss Castle, so had to get my words in between dinner and homework and tv. But I did it! Final count for the day was 3230.

Knowing me, without her pushing me I would have stopped writing once school was out. Yay for some friendly competition!

And now that I woke up sick this morning, I am extra glad I pushed myself yesterday. My word count will likely be lower. I’ll just leave the document open and add to it here and there, keep plodding along.

For those also participating, check out the Writer Unboxed post on putting the NANO in NaNoWriMo, with a clever acronym for tips to help you get through the month.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

My Steampunk Style

Your result for The Steampunk Style Test...

The Air Pirate

25% Elegant, 21% Technological, 23% Historical, 56% Adventurous and 63% Playful!

You are the Air Pirate, the embodiment of steampunk fantasy. Admittedly, you would probably be more comfortable in a pulp adventure or Eberron fantasy, but you are able to find your niche in the less serious side of the genre. You are probably somewhat light on your technological accessories, but the ones that you do carry have a roguish dash to them. Your clothes are most likely styled after those of Victorian aristocrats or loyal airship officers, the better to show off your wealth and the spoils of your raids. Chances are you prefer to be flashy and extravagant, and frock coats are perfect.



Try our other Steampunk test here.

Take The Steampunk Style Test at HelloQuizzy

Monday, October 25, 2010

Computer Ughs

Video card officially the problem. Can't even get it to work with basic drivers. I'm going to boot in safe mode and transfer some things over to a thumb drive. Then I can work on my husband's computer or on the old PC in the back room. Just glad I'm not completely cut off.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Wonky Computer

Tuesday night I was playing a video game when the screen went wonky with colored lines and I had to manually shut down. Usually that happens when the video card is overheating, so I sprayed out the dust, made sure all the parts were secure, and let it sit overnight. Next morning, seemed to boot up fine. I clicked to open an excel item, and hello Aurora Borealis. Looked like a modern art landscape with all the curvy colors. Shut back down and used my husband’s computer until he was off work.

Hubby messed with my computer when he got home. After trying some things, and some research online, the problem appears to be the RAM on the video card going out. Ugh. We really can’t afford a new card right now. Thankfully, he worked it out so my PC is using only the basic VGA graphics. I can’t run any games, or make full use of my monitor, but I can still use the internet and write.

On the plus side, that means less distractions for NaNoWriMo. I’m just glad I’m not stuck using my husband’s computer (or the old one in the back room) for writing. And I still have consoles for gaming, so it’s not the hugest loss. Just no MMOs, Sims, Civ… So staying positive.

Monday, October 18, 2010

My Writing Space

Thanks to some of the inspiring workshops at the Muse Online Writers Conference, a Barnes and Noble gift card, and the upcoming NaNoWriMo, I finally got around to REALLY decluttering my work space this last week.

I don’t have a before picture, but imagine a desk with a stack of various sized papers on the left, hidden under notebooks. Pens always getting lost, to do lists hidden. No wonder I didn’t notice when I lost my first bliss book. Now that I’m really happy with my space, I’m determined to keep it clean.

 

Mary's Desk

 

How my clutter-less desk will help free me:

  • I bought a gorgeous butterfly day planner, so I won’t have a million little papers all over my desk.
  • I also got a large hardback notebook (for writing related stuff only) to sit on my desk, which won’t fit if the space is cluttered (motivation!).
  • I found a nice pen to use with my new planner and notebook. All three of which will fit in my shoulder bag nicely.
  • Owl City and Celtic music not only in easy reach, but not hidden by a stack of whatever.
  • Scented hand lotion to soothe and refresh. Currently, vanilla.
  • Not shown is a pink water bottle which sits on the desk calendar. Need to keep hydrated.
  • Worry stone in easy reach for while thinking/stressed, instead of hidden in drawer.
  • Computer desktop is nicely organized using Fences, a free program from Stardock.

Butterfly Planner Flower Notebook

What hasn’t changed are all the little friends on my top shelf. I don’t have as many folders and books up there to crowd them anymore, and do need to keep them dusted. And that pile of stuff in front of the white bear needs to get hung somewhere. Choir medal from graduation, dream catcher, and bead lizard.Desk Shelf

 

Ideally, and maybe someday when we have a bigger house, I would have an entire office or nook, with a separate computer for writing only. What’s your writing space like?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Stuff to make you Smile

My cats hunting a fly. Didn’t catch it on film, but Topher actually did catch and eat it.

 

And this video is going around on Facebook. Made of awesome! I love when grown men don’t mind being ridiculous. :-)

 

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Rejected Peach

I have a bunch of fresh peaches from my parent’s tree. My husband doesn’t like peaches, but my son does. So I thought I’d be able to share  with him. Apparently he only wants peaches from a can. I thought this was due to the skin, but last night I found out the truth.

 

Me: Why don’t you like the peaches?

B: They have butts!

 

Peach Butt

Peach Butt

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Nerdgasm

Major revisions are out of the way for Fey Moon. Where do I go from here?

 

This Week:

I’m going to go over the first scene again, using feedback from the latest Secret Agent contest. Then I’ll polish my query, update my outline and synopsis.

 

October:

Submit a batch of queries for FM before The Muse Online Writers Conference, where I’ll be pitching to a publisher.

With those edits out of the way, I can return to writing Trinity Coven. Don’t want to make a solid word count or chapter goal, as I will be attending the aforementioned conference.

 

November:

NaNoWriMo! Honestly, with TC still in progress, and not “winning” last year, I was leaning towards not participating this year. What changed my mind? Scrivener. When I first heard about this writing software, I got super excited. I love lists and having everything organized. I have dozens of documents filled with characters, world info, drafts. All for one manuscript. I would love a way to keep all that managed. Bad news? It’s only been for Mac. Better news? In Jan/Feb 2011 it’s coming out for Windows! How do I justify to my husband that I must have this software?

Anyone who participates in NaNoWriMo this year and achieves their 50,000 words (and has them validated) will get a 50% discount coupon which they will be able to use when Scrivener for Windows is released next year. (source)

I think I had a writer-nerdgasm while watching the preview video. So. NaNoWriMo 2010. I’m in. Are you?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Project Update

I’ve been making good progress on my revisions. I’m feeling really good about the changes so far. As of this morning, 100 pages to go. I came up with a new title that I really like: Fey Moon. I took it from the world’s calendar. Another reason I’m excited about the new title, is that it opens up title ideas for future books in the same series. Each taken from one of the Moons (months). I already have ideas for Spider Moon (tentative title was already Moon Spider), and Blood Moon (War of the Fey). With fourteen Moons, I have lots of inspiration. :-)

Now, back to revisions. I want to get this done so I can reward myself with some Red Vines and Civilization V.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

EotF update

About four months ago, I gave up on EotF. I didn’t know how to improve it, or even if I wanted to. And my queries weren’t doing well at all. 50 queries, and only 2 requests (which both ended in form rejects)? Not so good. But now the Muse Online Writers Conference is approaching again. There are a lot more publishers available for pitch sessions. I’ve grown as a writer, and I have some readers willing to help point out where it needs work, so I’m giving the story another go. I haven’t tried pitching or submitting to a publisher yet, so maybe I’ll have more luck than agent hunting.

This next month will be entirely focused on giving EotF a make-over. I’ve got some ideas to make the culture deeper, focus the conflict, and add in some more unisus scenes. I plan to have a new title when I’m ready to pitch as well. Make everything fresh, new, exciting. That’s the plan. I’m so grateful to have a husband fully supportive of me, and willing to talk about a project he is surely sick of by now.

Goal: Have a revised, polished draft of EotF (with new title) by Oct 11.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Have you signed up for the Muse Conference?

The Muse Online Writers Conference is an amazing, fun, free, online conference. But it’s only free if you register now! Starting August 16th, there will be a five dollar late charge. Late registration is open until September 10th. The 2010 conference will be October 11-17.

Even if your time zone isn’t convenient for the chats, most of the workshops are through forums which are open that entire week. This will be my third year attending, and I am already super excited. I learn something new every year, and am able to find courses for whatever I am writing. There’s something for everyone: screenwriters, poets, novelists, any genre, any story length. I hope to see some of you there!

List of some of the workshops.

Register here.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Fairy Good Bargain

Yesterday we went to the mall to get B some new shoes for school. He’s already grown half a size since we bought him new ones early this year, and the soles are worn. Since PayLess had a buy one get one free sale, we got a pair for now and another a half size bigger for when he grows out of and/or wears through those.

 

One of the stores always has these gorgeous fairy figurines. Over the last year we’ve seen the price slowly getting marked down. The owner was there and saw us looking. He offered us an even bigger discount if we bought a big one that day. My husband, awesome haggler that he is, bargained further. End result, we got a combined total of $10 off the marked-down price. We got two for the price that one would have cost us a year ago. We are extremely happy with our purchase.

IMG_0146green fairy

Monday, June 14, 2010

Summer Break

I haven’t been posting much lately, and I think I’m going to officially take a break from blogging for the rest of Summer Break. I may post something of interest now and then, but nothing planned. I have a few things to work out. If you want something more from me to read, you can catch up on old posts or read some of my poems. I’ll still be reading blogs, so you’ll see me around!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Pink Ink

Yes, it’s Tuesday, but I’m not feeling a Tuesday Tally. This post is speaking stronger today.

I used to deny pink. I didn’t want to be a girly-girl (though I wasn’t exactly a tom-boy either). I loved pink as a little girl. Slowly, I’ve been letting both the color and the girl back into my life. It started around March. I encountered the Owning Pink website (about getting your mojo!), and had that my mall date with my hubby where I bought some pink items.

I decided I could use pink to help free me from the inner editor. On a mental level, it will keep me in a lighter mood, less worried about making mistakes. On a physical level, it’s harder to actually read the pale pink text so I can focus more on what I’m writing, not the quality of what’s already written. My beach scene was written entirely in pink.

I haven’t done it so much since school’s been out, but I’ve found singing vocals in Rock Band is great to loosen up, free my creativity, and boost my energy. So when I created my band, I named it Pink Ink.

This is still an early draft, but here’s a poem inspired by PINK.

 

A palace for my soul -

where I am pampered,

feel pretty;

a safe place to play,

my power and passion

come through.

 

Ink flows from inspiration,

introspection brings illumination,

revealing my true identity,

 

leaving me nude -

a natural nymph,

wild and new

as I live in the Now.

 

Knowledge gained

is the key to self,

to the fragile case

protecting my keepsakes.

Unlock the door.

Kiss fate

create Karma.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Playing at the Beach

BlogFestBanner-1024x139 

This is another scene from Trinity Coven. I wrote this when I was in a playful mood. When I saw the Beach Scene Blogfest, I knew this was perfect! Have some fun with Kaelin:

Kaelin picked a spot where the cliff shaded the beach. Perfect. She knelt and wiggled both hands into the damp sand until they were buried. Cool and moist, embracing her like a lover. With a sigh she pushed her hands forward and down. She continued to shape widen the hollow, turning and shifting, building a wall around her with the displaced sand. Once she had a decent pit, she stood. Her wrap was caked in sand. Oh well. She untied the knot at her waist and let the wind catch the light cloth, blowing it to catch on the cliff rocks.

Time to see what her magic was capable of. Crouched in the center of the five foot wide depression, she dug her fingers again into the sand. Closed her eyes. Called the water. She thought water, was water. All the moisture within her beckoned that in the sand, and in the sea. The sand loosened as water flowed up around her fingers. Kaelin sat back on her heels and opened her eyes. It worked! She giggled as the water rose to lap against her toes. It was alive. The sea came through the sand to greet her, making runic patterns in the sand.

She straightened and cupped her hands. Little rivulets rose up her legs, spiraled over her hips, dipped in her belly button, and danced down her arms to pool in her palms. A sip was enough to cause shivers. Definitely sea water. Ugh. Opening herself to bath water was much easier than drinking sea water. But Naiya had said she needed to take it within herself to be one with it. She swallowed hard. One, two, three, drink. She slurped the entire handful into her mouth.

There was a moment of revulsion as bile mixed in her throat with brine. Then she gasped as her body absorbed it. A star burst within her, sending out tendrils of electricity to the tips of her fingers, toes, and tongue. The sea water recognized her as being part of it, and rushed to finish filling the little pond. Lips no longer parched, Kaelin crouched back down until the water lapped her shoulders. Eyes open this time, she submerged her head and breathed in. Laughter came out in bubbles. She breathed the water like a mermaid.

"Wow." Like tiny pink lights, she could sense all the little creatures swimming around her. She lifted a hand and they swarmed to touch her. She couldn't feel them with her nerves, but her magic surged as they met her, covered her hand in a pink glow. "Hello little ones." They scattered as quickly as they came. Had she startled them? A muffled call lifted her head. Or maybe they had sensed someone not of water.

Water sluiced off her as she climbed out of the pool. Anton was at the cliff's foot, dirty wrap in hand.

"There you are! It's getting dark. I was worried."

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Tuesday Tally and the Hauliday

Last week:

  • continue Page-a-Day Challenge - faltered
  • finish crit
  • submit some poetry
  • start summer routine

 

This week:

  • get back on track with Page-a-Day Challenge

 

Wednesday after Kindergarten graduation I came home to find the neighborhood garbage bins out. My husband had planned to take the day off when they came, but we never got the notice. So as soon as he got home from work, we got busy hauling junk and wood beams.

A few hours in, I noticed B was no longer playing, just sitting by the wall. I discovered he wasn’t just tired, he had a fever. (Thankfully waited to get sick until school was out for the year.) He was sick for a couple days. :-(

Thursday I got some writing in, but found all that hauling had made typing (and much else) painful. My wrists, hands, forearms. Everything hurt. Didn’t get much chance to recover, as Saturday we installed a garbage disposal, Sunday I hauled and stacked brick in the back yard so my husband could mow, and Monday we installed a built in dishwasher (replacing an old, cranky portable one). Needless to say, I didn’t write and I am exhausted!

So, how was your weekend?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Quick TT Today

Last full day of freedom before Kindergarten graduation tomorrow. Taking the day off to eat out, go shopping, and relax. It’s a beautiful, sunny day!

 

Page-a-Day Progress:

Days in: 10

Total pages: 18

 

Last week:

  • continue Page-a-Day Challenge
  • deep clean house
  • catch up on critiques – one more to do
  • submit some poetry – didn’t have time for this

 

This week:

  • continue Page-a-Day Challenge
  • finish crit
  • submit some poetry
  • summer routine
    • start parts I can do myself, so everything doesn’t change at once
    • sit down and explain charts and summer plans to B
    • Monday – implement in full!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

My Palette of Color

The poetry collection I’m working on is all about color. Not just what it looks like, but it what it feels like, and evokes the other senses. I’ve mentioned them briefly before, included them in goals, but hadn’t shared one here. So here is one for your enjoyment and understanding:

 

Enlightening White

a picket fence for the perfect house

dandelion seeds, loose on the wind

cold milk after a warm brownie

the scent of a baby just out of the bath

splashing water on your face upon awakening

journal pages, waiting to be filled

the softness of angel wings

a spring bursting forth from the rock

crunch of snow, crackle of ice

belief, in God or Man or Sun

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Tuesday Tally: Slow and Steady

Last week’s goals:

Goals for this week:

  • continue Page-a-Day Challenge (see my progress here)
  • deep clean house
  • catch up on critiques
  • submit some poetry

 

It’s been refreshing having a goal of one page a day. It’s something I’m comfortable writing even over the weekend (which I used to avoid), and rather than stressing about how much I should be writing, and panicking at being behind, and writing nothing, I am making progress every day. Something is better than nothing. Not as awesome as high-productivity days, but I can’t always count on those.

We’ve already decided to abandon our 80% complete gaming rule. Turned it into grinding, and doesn’t take into account all the games we’ve finished and traded in.

Speaking of grinding, I think that’s what happened with Trinity Coven. I had boiled it down to how many words I needed a day. It became all about the numbers, and lost the fun.

Three cheers for Progress, Fun, and Rain. (I love rain. beautiful rainy day today. got the windows open. smells fresh and wonderful.)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Page-a-Day Challenge

page

Page-a-Day Challenge Begins!

The purpose of this challenge is to write every day. One page. Free to write more, but not stressing about unrealistic goals. One page a day, every day, is 365 pages in a year! At an average of 250 words/page, that’s 91,250 words, the length of a complete book. I’m taking on this challenge because I need to relax and enjoy the process, while still getting words down every day.

I don’t normally write on weekends, but I’m going to try it out for this month. Show my commitment to myself, and prove it to my husband.

You can check this blog post for my progress, or follow my updates on twitter. The hashtag is #padc.

05/15: 2 pages

05/16: 1.5 pages

05/17: 2 pages

05/18: 1 page

05/19: 1.5 pages

05/20: 2.5 pages

05/21: 3 pages

05/22: 2.5 pages

05/23: 1 page

05/24: 3 pages

05/25: 1 page

05/26: 0 pages :(

05/27: 1 page

05/28: zero

05/29: nada

05/30: zilch

05/31: nought

06/01:

06/02:

06/03:

06/04:

06/05:

06/06:

06/07:

06/08:

06/09:

06/10:

06/11:

06/12:

06/13:

06/14:

06/15:

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Tuesday Tally and video games

Last week’s goals:

  • create custom workout for EA Active
  • create summer schedule to include writing time
  • relax, read my bliss book
  • take some time to read and enjoy Trinity Coven

Goals for this week:

 

Like story? Play video games? Have a PS3? Play Heavy Rain. Intense, completely immersive. Makes me think. Not many games I keep thinking about for days after putting down the controller. Each time I have to balance whether to take a break because the emotion and adrenaline is so intense, or keep going because I have to know what happens next!

My husband and I have decided not to buy any new video games until we finish more. Trying to keep an 80 percent completion rate. Got a few games coming out next month, and some already out which we’re waiting on, so I need to take a break from Sims and play some consoles.

Games I’m most looking forward to this year: Alan Wake, Sims 3: Ambitions, Lego Harry Potter, and Civilization V. Are you a gamer? Which systems do you have? Any favorite games on the brain?

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mommy Time

06/14/04  My Baseball PlayerI didn’t get flowers or jewelry for Mother’s Day. My husband knows me better. He got me a card, and SimPoints for the Sims 3 store so I could buy the new Sun, Surf, & Sand set. My hubby loves me. :-) My son made me a card at school, and with classroom points bought me a green tea masque.

I love being a mom. It gives me purpose. Even if I accomplish nothing else with my life, I know I’m raising a good boy. I’m making a difference in his life. I may not be a perfect parent (if there is such a thing), but his eyes light up when he sees me. His hugs are the best part in a day. It’s been amazing seeing him learn and grow so much this past year.

Sometimes I don’t feel like I’m good enough for him. But then he looks at me with such unconditional love and I know I wouldn’t want anyone else to take my place.

This summer I want to make sure he gets my time, as well as making time for myself. To that goal, I’ve created three sheets. Links included if you want to see or use variants for yourself.03/05/10 B the snake charmer

1. A chart with the weekly routine: chores listed for both of us, reading, bath days, and blank spots for learning and play. I’m making magnets with different activities for both learning and play, so we don’t get stuck doing the same thing every day. This will also give him choice, so he can create part of his own schedule for the week.

2. A daily schedule. B already helped me decide when during the day he wants to do things. We included meal times and bed routines (which will change in summer, moving his bedtime from 8pm to 9pm), mommy/son times, and separate down time (for me to recharge/write/nap/whatever, while he watches a movie or something).

3. A reward chart. (Created using DLTK’s custom charts.) Rather than a straight allowance, we’re going to reward B for what he accomplishes during the week. He can earn 25 cents for each complete five in a week (reading, learning, and chores) for a possible total of 75 cents. For example: If he misses a day reading, he can still get rewarded for doing all his chores. Now we just need to buy stickers.

I’m also going to look into swimming lessons if B is interested. That is our survival plan. Much more organized than Spring Break. I don’t think B will have a problem with a schedule. He already has certain routines at certain times, which he doesn’t vary from (won’t even accept snack before 7pm) since he learned to read a clock. If it goes well, we’ll create new schedules next school year.

*first pic is B at three months old. second pic was taken this last March

A belated Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms following my blog.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Owning my Health

I think Wendy hit it on the head in last week’s comment, when she tied lack of focus into lack of sleep. April was an awful writing month. I think two things contributed to this. Health and stress. Allergies, then my son’s sickness, and getting sick myself (just recovering for those concerned). Plus the self-inflicted stress of falling further behind on my writing goals.

I’ve spent way too much focus on how much do I need to write to finish, rather than enjoying the process. Where did the passion go? I’m going to release the deadline. Be free. Breathe easy.

Weronika is inviting writers to join her in a page-a-day challenge from May 15th to June 15th. I think the timing is perfect. One page. No stressing that I’m falling behind on looming deadlines (even if self-imposed).

If I stress less, I’ll probably be healthier. But I’m not relying on that alone. I need to own my health. I’ve come up with five ways I can do that:

  1. drink more water – keep a water bottle at my desk. if it’s close, I’m more likely to drink it
  2. exercise – walking has been great for lower body, but my core and upper body are weaklings
  3. eat a more balanced lunch – I don’t send my husband to work with just a PBJ, so why fall back on that myself? If I don’t eat enough at lunch, I end up snacking on unhealthy stuff through the day.
  4. if sleepy, use caffeinated soda as last resort. get active with Rock Band, or take a nap!
  5. less repetitive gaming (*coughfacebookzooworld*) so my wrists last longer

 

Last week’s goals:

  • clean physical space (corner bedroom) – some improvement
  • write something

Goals for this week:

  • create custom workout for EA Active
  • create summer schedule to include writing time
  • relax, read my bliss book
  • take some time to read and enjoy Trinity Coven

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Tuesday Tally: wandering muse

Last week’s goals:

Goals for this week:

  • clean physical space (corner bedroom)
  • write something

 

It’s been very hard to focus on TC this past week. My other projects have been calling. Enticing me to wander. Like yesterday - I read through all sixty pages of the unfinished Rt100D. It was my first time reading any of it since writing it during NaNoWriMo, and I was surprised at how well it held my interest.

Then there’s Sienna’s Story. It’s the least structured of my novels so far. I have a clear conflict, but don’t know where the story will take me. I want to know what happens next. With the family focus (MC is a mom of two, separated from her crazy husband), it has such a different dynamic from anything else I’ve done.

I don’t know if I need an official break from TC, or need to focus that much more. Maybe my self-imposed pressure is getting to me. Maybe it’s the dreaded mid-story block. I open the document and feel uninspired. Uninterested. I could jump ahead to a more exciting scene, or allow myself to dabble in a different story. Either way, I need to get my fingers moving over that keyboard.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tuesday Tally: surviving April

Last week’s goals:

  • TC – write five scenes
  • submit revised poems
  • write a color poem  
  • clean physical space (shelves/desk)
  • write and/or revise nature poems for Friends of Arcadia contest

 

Goals for this week:

 

I had forgotten how crippling my Spring allergies are here. Sneeze, wipe watery eyes, sniffle, blow. Even with allergy medicine. We have a nice HEPA air purifier, which I crank up to high after being outside. I think the sinus headaches are the worst. Even when the other symptoms subside, that sinus pressure keeps pounding.

I didn’t get all my scenes in, but did make progress. Keeping my expectations low this week. Hoping the storm later this week will lessen the pollen in the air, so I can be more functional.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Kittens!

Topher and PriyaMeet the newest members of our family. 7 week old Topher and Priya.

The black one is Topher. The tortoishell is Priya.

And a second photo, just because. Topher and Priya 2

Priya is our little princess. Once she got used to us, she loves lap time. Try to put her down before she’s ready, and she doesn’t hesitate before turning around and climbing back up. She’s also quite the explorer. All dusty from excavating behind computers and under couches. Climbing as high as she can, and discovering all available cubby holes. When not getting attention or exploring, she is napping on top of her brother.

Topher is mellow. He needs his sister. When they were first exploring the house, he would start meowing if he realized Priya had wandered into a different room without him. Always looking for her. If they both want to play with a toy or box, he defers to her, waiting his turn. He likes attention, but doesn’t demand it as much as Priya.

These two were the last of a litter. We had already talked about getting two kittens this time around, and instantly fell in love when we saw them. The family we bought them from was surprised when we said we wanted them both. If we hadn’t taken them, they likely would have been separated. Priya would have been fine on her own, but I think Topher would have had a much more difficult time adjusting.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Thursday’s Tale: Reflections

This is a poem I wrote in high school. One of my favorites from those years. It was inspired by a prompt where you swap around common adjective/noun combinations to create unique descriptions.

 

Reflections

Red sneakers exchanged for red galoshes,

I wander in the hungry rain.

The green clouds in the stormy sky

Light the lazy edge of the sidewalk

And my dog a dusty wolf

Stalks the myriad puddles,

Hesitating when he finds himself

In the depths of their dim waters.

But I, in my new galoshes,

Lose myself in the worn rain.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

mid-April Tuesday Tally

Last week’s goals:

  • TC – write every weekday; create goal timeline
  • revise 3 poems
  • write another color poem – started, not complete 
  • clean virtual space (bookmarks)

 

Goals for this week:

  • TC – write five scenes
  • submit revised poems
  • write a color poem  
  • clean physical space (shelves/desk)
  • write and/or revise nature poems for Friends of Arcadia contest

 

Three and a half of the four goals complete. Not bad.

Scary how many of those bookmarks were for pages that don’t even exist anymore. Took a long time going through them all, but now that it’s trimmed down to what works, and what I’ll actually revisit, it looks so much cleaner! Maybe I’ll actually visit the bookmarks I have left.

If I average one scene a day in Trinity Coven during the weekdays, I should be on track. I’ve got a new writing routine which seems to be working. I’ll blog about that another time.

Another thing I need to do is clean house! One of my sisters is coming up Friday to hang out. Looking forward to it!

Is there anything you’re looking forward to this week?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Uber Awesome Blog Contest to Check Out!

Sarah Wylie is celebrating a publishing contract for her novel All These Lives. Multiple prizes, and multiple winners. With partial critiques, query letter critiques, a survival guide with books and other goodies, and even a chance to win a lunch date with two agents, there’s something for everyone!

So what are you waiting for? Go enter now! Deadline is Sunday April 25.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

New Look

I’ve got my new blog look up. May do a little tweaking, add another tab or two, but nothing major. Thank you to everyone who gave feedback. Background, Twitter button, and header image came from ShabbyBlogs.com. All the coding and editing was done by me. Headache, but I learned a lot. And I’m really happy with the result. It’s more me, rather than going with a premade layout.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Thursday’s Tale: National Poetry Month

In honor of National Poetry Month, April’s Thursday Tales will be poems. This is one of my more recent creations:

 

Window

One hand on the frame

I lean out, fingertips tingling as they stretch

almost touch the clouds

 

Breeze brings life to this barren room

a rusted leaf fluttering

on the scent of flowers

tinged with dew

I can almost taste the rain

from horizon's storm

 

Wind whispers in my ear

telling stories of freedom

and of you

whoever you are

looking for me

 

If I did not believe its truth

I would throw myself

to kiss the earth never touched

or strangle my pale neck

with the curse of my hair

 

I will wait

only a bit longer

I cannot live another winter

alone

in this tower

 

(**changed blog layout to a clean, nice-on-the-eyes, default template. still looking for what I want long-term, so feedback is still welcome)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Possible Makeover

With the new tab options integrated into Blogger, I’m considering giving a makeover to my blog. Fits well with my Spring Cleaning theme this month. Anything I should consider regarding font size, colors? Anything you hate to see? Preference over two or three columns? Are flowers a turn off for the guys? In the end, I’ll be going with something that works for me, but I don’t want to turn you away!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Tuesday Tally: Spring Cleaning

Trying to get back in routine. This month’s theme is Spring Cleaning. As a family we’ve begun tidying up our house and yard. We actually put up wall hangings! For my personal goals, I plan to clean and organize my virtual and physical work space. Each week I will focus on something specific.

I came nowhere close to finishing Trinity Coven by the end of March, so we are going with my reserve deadline of June 4. Spring Break was a preview of how much harder it will be to make writing and me time once summer comes. I’ll have to re-evaluate and determine how much I need to write each week to make it possible.

Goals for this week:

  • TC – write every weekday; create goal timeline
  • revise 3 poems
  • write another color poem  
  • clean virtual space (bookmarks)

Monday, April 5, 2010

Spring “Break”

This last week was an interesting one. B was sick for a week, staying home from school Monday and Tuesday. I didn’t have to worry about missing school the rest of the week, as it was Spring Break. Tomorrow he goes back to school (yay!).

My wrists were also hurting, so I took a break from writing and video games to give them a rest. (Thus the lack of blog updates.)

What did get done was house stuff. And I got a lot of reading done. B did as well. Just prior to Spring Break was parent teacher conference. Since B is doing so well in school (going to start some first grade level work), we bought him an early reader at the book fair. This is the first book that is really meant for his reading level, and he was excited to read it to me. Made it easy to get some reading in even though he was home sick.

B is very demanding when he’s home. Not just because he was sick. Wants Mommy to be involved in everything. I don’t want to know how many board games we played. Or video games on Monday (which probably contributed to the sore wrists).

Before school gets out for the summer, I will want to create some sort of routine, for everyone’s sanity.

Thankfully, B seemed fully well by Easter. Had plenty of energy to play with his new foam dart gun and rocket launcher. Of course, as soon as B gets better, I start to feel sick… One more day of Spring Break to survive.

How was your Easter?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Thursday’s Tale: Bridget

Bridget Kendrick was the first to discover her magic and begin seeking out the sisters of her coven, leaving home at age sixteen. Tall, auburn chin-length hair, and stunning violet eyes. She has two younger siblings. An older brother died while serving in the Royal Air Force. Bridget blames America for his death, as Britain joined the war at their behest.

No stranger to magic, Bridget learned hearth magic from her mother, as it has been taught in generations past. Her goddess gift is fire, but she also enjoys to heat up the bedroom. She is bold and calculating. The only thing quiet about her is her laugh.

Inspired by her brother, Bridget is a pilot. She flies a jet for hire, often transporting Maralah and her clients.

You may remember Bridget from a previous excerpt. Here’s an excerpt earlier in the story. This takes place at a rented one-room cottage.

 

She kicked her shoes off, and settled in the flower print recliner with an iced tea.

"A little flowery, but nice place."

"Yeah." Bridget reclined on the king bed. "Too bad I don't have anyone to warm these sheets with tonight."

Maralah sipped her drink. "No success with the limo driver?"

"Too old. And married."

"Not that either has stopped you."

Bridget laughed. "You know me too well. Truth is, I noticed President Clark's biography tucked next to his seat. Too patriotic." She shuddered.

Maralah lifted her drink in a toast. "Now that I can understand."

"I'm thinking of staying in Italy for a few days before flying home to Wales. Come with me. Mama has been dying to meet you."

"I've kept my schedule clear for the next month because of summer solstice. I'd love to see a traditional celebration. Plus shopping in Italy? How could I say no?"

Bridget sighed. "If only our coven was closed. I've been itching to do more than petty magic."

"Your magic is not petty." Maralah set aside her empty glass. She took a vial from her purse and sat cross-legged on the carpet, the fireplace on her left. "Let's petition the Trinity. See if our sister has awoken."

Bridget sat in front of Maralah. With a wave of her hand, a fire blazed up in the hearth.

Maralah opened the vial and poured a dime sized amount of dirt into her hand. She tossed it in the fire. The flames changed to a bright green, then blue, purple, and back to orange. They clasped hands. "We call the goddess three."

"Fire to lend our power."

"Sacred earth we give thee."

"Show our sister this hour."

Three crystals appeared between them, spinning as if hanging from a mobile. The red and brown both glowed as if a star was trapped inside. The third, blue as the ocean depths, remained dark.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Tuesday Tally 3/23

Last week’s goals:

  • finish editing up to current point
  • submit some poetry to Basement Stories
  • get crits done for the month
  • write something new for TC each day

Goals for this week:

  • TC: get through chapter ten 
  • poetry: research a new market

 

Feeling good about where the story is going. Hoping it continues! And that my hay fever doesn’t slow me down.

Upcoming Thursday’s Tale will focus on Bridget, who you have met in a previous excerpt.

Spring is here! I love the flowers, the blossoms, and the smell of fresh cut grass. Not so excited about the hay fever and the snow this morning. What do you like about Spring?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Thursday’s Tale - Maralah

Trinity Coven. Three women, of different backgrounds, tied by magic. Goddesses reborn to shape the world. 

 

Maralah Tusa is of the Zuni tribe in New Mexico. As her name implies, she was born during an earthquake. She came into her magic and met her inner goddess at the sacred ruins of Chaco Canyon during summer solstice of her twentieth year. The Zuni believe that people emerged from the underground. Her earth magic connects with her heritage rather than contradict it.  As an only child, her parents were dismayed when she left home rather than stay and continue tradition.

Over the last four years, Maralah has used her ear for language to earn a high reputation as a translator. In addition to her native Zuni, she speaks English, Keres, German, Japanese, Spanish, and Italian.

Maralah may not have been the first of the three to come to her magic, but her quiet strength is the foundation of Trinity Coven. She believes that summoning the dragon will bring needed change for her people.

 

Maralah stopped her SUV and stood on the worn path that barely qualified as a road. The pueblos of her village were ahead. She needed to reach the Gallup airport, but could never resist driving here if she were in the region. The structures were welcoming, but she knew her family would not be. They did not understand her. Maralah slipped out of her high-heeled sandals to feel the dirt beneath her feet. Power coursed up through her, filling the emptiness. Her people came from the earth. She manipulated it now. And someday it would embrace her in death. But the soil she grew up on was not her destiny. Her family could never understand that.

Her phone rang. She pushed her long black hair behind her ear and turned on the headset. "Yes?"

"It's Bridget. We're ahead of schedule. Should be landing in half an hour."

"I'm on my way now."

Maralah tossed her shoes in the vehicle and climbed in after. She turned from the village. Enrica Rossi didn't appreciate tardiness.

She made a quick call to ensure proper transportation at the airport. She bent the speed limit, but arrived to see Bridget helping the client off the jet. The Italian lady sparkled with diamond jewelry contrasting her black Cavalli pant suit. Maralah rushed to greet her.

"Buongiorno, Enrica. How was your flight?"

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Date Highlights

The date with my husband yesterday was perfect! We caught all our busses on schedule. The weather was absolutely lovely. There was construction going on at the mall, so most shops had sales. Most purchases were for me. I felt so spoiled! Shopping highlights: Pink and white sneakers (needed), pink hoodie (wanted), and diamond heart necklace (bonus!). I felt so girly!

Lunch was Olive Garden. We’re used to light lunches (PBJ, chips), so went with appetizers only. The caprese flatbread and lasagna fritta were delicious! We shared both. And we were able to enjoy our entire basket of yummy breadsticks. We left satisfied without that stuffed feeling you usually get when eating out.

And we got home with an hour and a half before having to pick up B from school. Plenty of time for some “one-on-one”. It really was the perfect day.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Mid-March Tuesday Tally

Last week’s goals:

  • rewrite first chapter
  • write like crazy! urr, that should be more concrete. minimum 1500 words/day
  • edit one scene/day

Goals for this week:

  • finish editing up to current point
  • submit some poetry to Basement Stories
  • get crits done for the month
  • write something new for TC each day

 

Keeping actual writing goals low this week, as it’s going to be busy. My husband took the day off for a date day – going to the mall, Olive Garden for lunch, and possibly a movie. Tomorrow the elementary school has the March Birthday Table, where any student who had a birthday that month can sit, and parents are invited. A lunch date with my birthday boy.

And as stated in my goals, I need to get my critiques done and get some poems out, so don’t know how much focus I’ll have on TC. I plan on still working on it in some fashion each day, so I don’t have a hard time getting back into it.

Didn’t hit my writing or editing goal for last week. Instead, I rewrote the first scene three times, trying to find out what worked best. I’m considering revising again, but am determined to sit on my hands until I get feedback. One of my ideas was to have Kaelin working at a natural history museum, but once I finally got around to pulling up maps, I learned the nearest was an hour and a half drive away. Okay for an occasional visit or volunteer day, but too much to expect for a regular drive. So I scrapped that and went a different direction. Now, back to chapter nine! I’ll never get this done if I keep jumping around, or fussing with details.

Upcoming Thursday’s Tale will introduce another coven member, and give a little insight into their purpose.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Tuesday Tally 3/9

Last week’s goals:

  • submit a batch of poetry 
  • finish needed research for TC and rewrite first chapter
  • if above goal finished early enough, write like crazy

Goals for this week:

  • rewrite first chapter
  • write like crazy! urr, that should be more concrete. minimum 1500 words/day
  • edit one scene/day

 

Took me longer to decide on a passion for Kaelin than anticipated. I wrote some notes and snippets, and am ready to rewrite chapter one. That’s today’s project. Tomorrow I’ll begin a minor round of editing on chapters two through eight, making sure they are consistent with the new material, while moving forward writing chapters nine and up.

I realize if I don’t get this book finished by March, or April, my ultimate goal is before school gets out! Once my son is home all day, it would be easier to focus on revisions and poetry than trying to immerse myself in new writing.

Initial goal: March 31

Revised goal: April 30

Ultimate deadline: June 4

Monday, March 8, 2010

Birthday and Contests!

Today is my son’s birthday. He is now six years old! We’re not having a party, but I am setting up some fun for him. I let him pick out his cake flavor (fudge marble) and frosting (chocolate). This morning a breakfast of orange juice, toast, and eggs got a thumbs-up. I have six presents to wrap today, which I will then hide around the house. I made some clue cards to print out for his present scavenger hunt. I’ll have to take pictures.

On the note of celebration, Elana is having a Fantabulous Followers Giveaway. Seven amazing books are on the prize list. Contest ends Sunday. Go check it out!

There’s also a contest going on at The Babbling Flow of a Fledgling Scribbler: 12 prizes combined into five packages. Something for everyone!

And one more just went up: Submission/Critique Contest with agent Suzie Townsend of FinePrintLit! over at Shooting Stars.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

March Tuesday Tally

My initial goal for Trinity Coven this year was to finish by the end of March. eep! So not happening! However, there are some challenges going on right now to motivate writing lots. If I push myself, I could still finish in April (husband is doubtful, and I really want to prove I can do this!)

A group on WDC is doing March Novel Writing Month (MarNoWriMo). Unlike the official one in November, this can be revising or words added to a work in progress. I set a goal for 20,000 new words.

In tandem with that, there is also a Mad Dash to make a big word count in one week. This week. I made a goal for 8,000 words to give myself a big boost.

Dreaming in Ink also has challenges going on for March and April. I signed up for the novel challenge there, to get new words and chapters. 

Stating goals here = even more accountability.

… …

So I’m all settling in for a long writing session yesterday, chatting with my husband about my characters. Then what happens? Hubby points out that Kaelin has no skills to bring to the coven! Being naive and outcast is not the same as sitting around home doing nothing with her day before finding her destiny. How did I miss that background?? Anywho, I have three career/hobby ideas to research, each which would impact the story differently. Need to find which is best for story, and most plausible considering her character, age, location, etc.

Got to love how just as I am gearing up for this big writing month, I have this epiphany that requires rewriting the first chapter. I really wanted to get through an entire draft before doing rewrites, but this is something that affects the bigger picture, including the ending! I will save myself a lot of work by going back now rather than when the draft is done. Prevention rather than fixes.

The Mad Dash has been tripped up, but I may still be able to salvage my other goals.

Speaking of goals…

 

Last week’s goals:

  • TC: two chapters
  • send out batch of snail mail queries

Goals for this week:

  • submit a batch of poetry (poems and market already picked)
  • finish needed research for TC and rewrite first chapter
  • if above goal finished early enough, write like crazy

Monday, March 1, 2010

Avatar

Saturday we went to see Avatar in 3D. We’d heard good things about it, and one friend was ready to pay for our tickets he was so insistent we see it in theatre. The 3D took a little to get used to. At first I was all too aware of the effects. But once I got into it, boy was I in. Wow. I love how James Cameron used the 3D to create immersion rather than to go out of the way to throw things at you. What a stunning world he created. I want to live on Pandora!

In addition to a beautiful setting, I thought the rest of the world building was amazing. How the entire world was networked, the culture, the symbiosis, the bioluminescence, the avatar system. The Na’vi looked amazing. This is the first movie we plan on spending the extra money and getting the blue-ray version. The graphics are that good.

The story itself may have been predictable, but most are. It’s not about the ending, its about the journey itself. And this one had me caring and fully immersed. Absolutely loved it.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Thursday’s Tale: the Heidrich Brothers

The warlocks being brothers, I thought it easiest for them to share a post. Though with the current book tensions, I don’t know how happy they will be about the idea.

 

There are seven Heidrich siblings. Their mother named them alphabetically: Anton, twins Brunhild and Corrina, Dagmar, Erwin, then twins Freya and Guntram.

Once the three brothers became old enough, their grandfather of gypsy blood came and took them to a place of power to inherit their magic. This new generation of warlocks was given their purpose: stopping Trinity Coven. Whenever this coven is formed, three brothers shall oppose it. Such it has been in the past, and such it shall be in days to come.

Anton is the leader, the protector. Each warlock has a different magical proficiency. Anton’s is air. His brown hair contrasts his blue eyes. He is observant and will question matters to get a full picture.

Erwin is young, but talented and famous world-wide. His skill, both magical and natural, lies in music. Tickets to see him play his harp are hard to come by, for his performances are enchanting. He uses his connections and fame to further their purpose. Anton is his manager. This comes in handy when arranging trips in their search for the coven members. Erwin’s hair coloring is the same as Anton’s, but his eyes are brown. He wears glasses and tends to rub his narrow mustache. He is always eager for new knowledge.

Guntram idolizes Anton, but is coming to grips with the changes in his life. Now that he’s graduated, he can tag along on tours, doing menial work. His magic lies in metal.

Here is their introduction in the story.

 

Text from Erwin: 3RD WITCH FOUND

Anton closed his phone and slid it into his pocket as he stepped off the tram. Now he was glad he'd decided not to stop at the pub. The light was still on at Engraved Wonders, and the door unlocked, despite the closed sign. Anton gave Freya a kiss on the cheek as he entered the art shop, and helped her balance the armful of frames she was putting up for display.

"What's with you? Meet a girl?"

He laughed. "Not exactly. Tell you later. Both upstairs?"

"Yup. Been sequestered up there all day."

Anton went up the narrow stairs in the back to join his brothers in the dim loft.

Guntram, the youngest at eighteen, lounged in the window seat, long legs somehow managing to fit in front of him. He flicked the remains of a cigarette out the cracked window that let in the muggy night air.

Erwin leaned over a laptop on the desk. Without looking up, he beckoned the eldest brother closer. Anton pulled up a folding chair and straddled it backward, resting his arms on the back as he scanned the images on the screen.

"This is her? An albino? How can you be sure?"

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

last Tuesday Tally of February

Last week’s goals:

  • outside feedback on two poems
  • send out more queries
  • TC: write twenty pages

 

Goals for this week:

  • TC: two chapters
  • send out batch of snail mail queries

 

Almost hit my twenty page goal. Didn’t write at all yesterday. Procrastinated the morning away, and then my mom called and wanted to take me to lunch. So by the time I got back from lunch and shopping, I only had a short rest before turning around and walking to the school to get B, signaling the end of my writing day. If I can squeeze three more pages between the half hour I have left this afternoon, and during American Idol if needed, I could cross that goal off.

I started to prepare some queries to mail today. Got frustrating. Examples of my incompetency today: had to look up business letter format (so used to email queries, mind was blanking), forgetting to sign query (remembering right after sealing envelope of course), forgetting to put header with name and page numbers on my synopsis before printing. Wasting ink, paper, and stamps here! Then my husband offered to teach me how to print on the envelopes so it will look all professional. I am perfectly happy setting the mess aside until he gets home. I’ll have to find the local post office so I can mail one that asks for sample pages.

Upcoming milestone: If I can get those three pages in, I’ll hit 100 pages! I have a feeling this novel will be much shorter than EotF. Which is fine, as it doesn’t have all the world-building of a traditional fantasy.

Next month I’m really going to push myself in my writing. Details on the 2nd.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Thursday’s Tale: Kaelin

I’m going to do a series of character sketches. Some background, personality, and maybe a mini excerpt. There are six major characters of Trinity Coven. Three witches and three warlocks. Each have at least a couple viewpoint scenes, though the majority are weighted toward Kaelin, with Anton a strong second.

 

Kaelin being the MAIN Character, I’m going to introduce her first. Born at Niagara Falls (see diary), and now living in the Canadian city of the same name, Kaelin Fontaine lives alone in a secluded house. She is albino. Ridiculed as a child, her parents protected her. She was homeschooled, never traveled. Her parents were wealthy, both through inheritance and fame.

Her condition leaves her skin and eyes sensitive to the sun. She has glasses that darken in sunlight, and tends to wear scarves and hats when outside.

She has a younger sister, who is married and has two kids. Six months ago, Kaelin’s parents were shot by a carjacker while they were visiting Washington DC.

Kaelin has always been different. Besides the unusual circumstances surrounding her birth, and her albinism, she has had fish leap out of water to land at her feet, her nocturnal dragon eels come out during the day to greet her. She is drawn to water. Unbeknownst to her, that is where her magic lies. It merely waits to be awoken.

Kaelin learns her parents left her their house in Castle Combe, and her sister has convinced her to visit the house for herself. The following excerpt takes place just after she learns her sister leaked the news to the town gossip. She is sitting in her car.

 

She dug out her new cell phone, which Tali had insisted she buy for the trip, and rang up her sister.

"Miley showed me the article in the paper. And told me all about your web journal thing. How could you?"

"You never said to keep it secret. Besides, you'll be in London for the summer, who cares what they're saying here? You're already packed, and your itinerary is planned. Just go."

Kae actually hung up on her sister. If Tali asked, she'd say it was an accident. These cell phones were new to her. She dropped the phone on the passenger seat and rested her head on the steering wheel. Maybe she should turn around, go home. No need to endure an airport, fly millions of miles away, and meet some stranger she'd only spoken to once. She could stay home with her fish. No one would know she wasn't in England.

No one except Tali. Kae straightened. Even her own sister would agree to the recluse bit. She couldn't shut herself away forever. This was her chance to get away from the publicity. Maybe in Europe her coloring would be exotic rather than strange. And if Mum and Dad hadn't told her about the house, maybe there were other things they had sheltered her from. There was a whole world out there. Waiting. This was her chance. Surely she had a calling, more than recluse and volunteer at an animal shelter.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Tuesday Tally mid-February

Last week’s goals:

  • TC: finish current chapter and next
  • poetry: revise two poems before submitting 
  • get feedback on revised query (itching to send it out again. patience, young grasshopper)

 

Goals for this week:

  • outside feedback on two poems
  • send out more queries
  • TC: write twenty pages

 

Poems still not quite ready. A couple lines I’m not happy with. Going to submit them to critique group. I did get the one chapter finished, just not the second.

Going to do something different, trying page count goal instead of words or chapters. I’ll let you know how it goes.

I completely forgot about Monday being a holiday (President’s Day here in USA) when I made last week’s goals. Didn’t even get a happy holiday. Most of the day was taken up by a funeral (husband’s uncle). Hoping you all had a better Monday, and a wonderful Valentine’s Day.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Excerpt Thursday

Not the most clever title. Ah well. A new regular feature! An excerpt of writing every Thursday. Most likely it will be pieces from my main WIP, but I may share bits of other projects, or even poetry.

Here’s a quick excerpt from the current chapter of Trinity Coven. Kaelin, MC of Trinity Coven, has found her mother’s diary. Her parents were famous magicians, and have been dead for six months. The latter of which is technically irrelevant to the entries themselves, so… bonus info! There are a couple entries between these two, which shall not be revealed at this time.

Dear diary:

The doctor has confirmed the good news. After ten long years of trying, I am pregnant! Luc has disallowed me from doing magic. How am I to go seven more months without it?! Our next tour starts this summer. I am to be relegated to assistant status. Why does he get all the fun? I do understand his concerns. My family has a history of miscarriage. My mother lost three before she had me. All precaution must be taken.

Dear diary:

I have a daughter.

Luc tried to dissuade me, but I insisted on this one last stop. Niagara Falls called to me. What an amazing sight. So much mist and water and noise. And the rainbows. Looking over that rail, I felt part of something bigger. Then the pain began. Water everywhere. Between my legs, in my head, from the waterfall despite the blue poncho, soaking me. Something came upon me, entered me, and I felt as if I had drowned. Luc told me what happened next. I collapsed, and the child came quickly. There was no time to get to a hospital. When I came to, she was already in his arms as we rode in the back of an ambulance. Such a pale child, like she was born from the mists of Niagara. I knew then she was no Alexis, no Selina. I spent all morning looking through a baby name book here at the hospital. She is my waterfall pond. My Kaelin.