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


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.