Monthly Archives: March 2017

Camp Plans

I know I said I was going to write about family again today, this time about family that you find (or that finds you) instead of the kind you’re born into, but, well…

The bathtub happened.

Tuesday morning, while having a nice relaxing soak, I suddenly realized “Camp NaNoWriMo starts this Saturday!”  (It’s a sneaky thing, time is.)

Which means, of course, that Friday (today) will be my last blog post before Camp.

So, yeah.

Camp NaNoWriMo starts tomorrow and…

… and I still haven’t decided what I’m doing.

I was all set to work on the Elven Bard novel but then I started thinking about using Camp to finish this round of revisions of Onyx Sun instead.  I know I’d like to get the Elven Bard novel’s first draft done this year but I can work on it other months and maybe for next Camp and hopefully finish it before November.

And also on Tuesday morning (man, Tuesday morning sure was a troublemaker!) I had a flash of how to start Soraine’s story… (She’s a minor character in Onyx Sun, but an interesting one, and I want to explore her story – which will also give a lot of information on some background events in Onyx Sun, so…)

Then I started thinking about all of my works in progress and thought maybe I should pick 10 of them and add 5000 words to each one.  Or 5 novels at 10,000 each.  But I really don’t want to commit to 50,000 words this month, not with NaPoWriMo happening too and work being beyond stressful.  (Maybe I’ll try that next Camp.)

So, with less than 12 hours to go before the start of camp, I’ve pretty much decided that I’m going to use it for Onyx Sun.

But you know, I still have just over 11 hours to change my mind.

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Wednesday Words #118 (3/29/2017)

Welcome to Wednesday Words!  Every Wednesday I will post some sort of prompt for a flash fiction piece.  The prompt will go live just after midnight Eastern time.

The prompt might be a picture, or it might be a list of things to include in a story, or maybe a phrase or a question or something from a “news of the weird” type thing, or a… who knows?

After that, it’s up to you.  But if you do use the prompt to write a bit of flash fiction (say, 500 words or so) I’d love to see what you came up with, so comment below with a link to where it is on your blog (or on WattPad or wherever).

(And a pingback to the post here where you found the prompt would be appreciated but isn’t necessary.)

Oh, and this isn’t a contest or anything.  It’s just a (hopefully) fun thing for all concerned.

And, hey, if it inspires more than 500 or so words, run with it!

This week’s prompt:

ww

(Click for larger image.)

(Found on FaceBook.)

And, as always, I’d love to see what you come up with!

 

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Families

Like them or not, we all have them.

And so do our characters.  After all, they don’t exist in a vacuum.  They had a life before the story (and hopefully they’ll have a life afterward too.) They have families of some sort, just like we do. And friends and rivals and…

And let’s just stick to families, okay?  They can have enough drama for multiple books.

Like it or not, our families helped form us into who we are.  We might break from them and their beliefs, but they are still there in the background.  Why should our characters be any different?

Answer: They shouldn’t.

Even if your characters’ families are never shown or mentioned or named in your book they’ve still had an impact on who your character is and why s/he is the way s/he is.

Some people are great at writing families and family relationships.  I’m… not one of them. Most of my characters seem to come from families that are dysfunctional at best and downright toxic at worst.

Let’s take a look at some of them.

In Onyx Sun (which I will finish the revision of sooner or later), Taliya’s mother tried to cheat her out of her rightful place as head of household, and sold Taliya’s lover to a slaver.  Growing up, Taliya always felt closer to her grandmother than to her mother – and to the father that she barely knew.

Sanguine is something of an exception, in that Gregor has a large, warm, loving, and closely knit, extended family (with one exception).

In Song and Sword:

Marlia’s family is dead but the manner of their deaths did a lot to shape who she was at the start of the story.

Dakkas’ father and half-brother want to kill him, so he grew up not really expecting to grow up.  It made him cautious and hesitant to trust.

Pashevel and his father don’t see eye to eye, but at least he’s not plotting his son’s death.  Pashevel’s mother is dead, and it was her banishment from the kingdom – along with his father’s somewhat cold attitude – that had the greatest effect on who he turned out to be.

Kashrya never knew her birth parents, but was raised by a shaman, who, while respected by the tribe, was never really a part of it, so she was also always an outsider.

And lastly, in The Academy of the Accord series:

Marsden is the oldest of a large family, and when their mother died after the birth of the youngest he pretty much took charge of raising the others.  He loves his family, but we only meet two of them. He still fills a “father” role much of the time.

Vinadi is the only child of wealthy parents, both of whom were wizards, and was never really close with his family. (We only meet an aunt and a couple uncles.)  He grew up isolated and lonely. His early wanderlust came from an unconscious desire to find “home” – which is also what led to his dream for the school.

Kordelm’s mother was a whore who kicked him out to fend for himself when he was just a child. He is resilient, street-smart, and independent.  Something of a loner growing up, now that he has friends he will give his life to protect them.

Wellhym’s father threw him out when he was ten years old and it was discovered that he didn’t like girls. Wel’s mother never said a word, but his older brothers did.  One of them later comes around and accepts him. The other… not so much.  His friends become his surrogate family, but he never really stops wishing things could have been different with his birth family.

Torlew’s father was more interested in money than in his children. As the youngest son, Tor grows up seeing how unhappy his older siblings are, and resolves to not fall into that same trap. We meet his family and it’s about as awkward as you’d expect. He has one free-spirited aunt, who we never meet, and a little sister that is following in her footsteps.

Caristen’s family is loud and boisterous, and except for one temper tantrum from his father, they are totally accepting and supportive of him and his friends. (Cair’s mother is a force to be reckoned with and his father should be glad she wasn’t holding a cast iron skillet when he was throwing his tantrum.)

Yhonshel never knew his birth parents. He saw his first foster family killed for no reason other than that the man wanted to.  It was eight years after that before he could form attachments to other people. (And then it was mostly because they didn’t give him a choice.)  It was because of his helplessness as a child that Yhonshel became very good at protecting people.

(No, I’m not going to go through the families of the other characters from later books. If I do this post will turn into a novel and there are enough of those in this series.)

Maybe on Friday I’ll talk more about families – the kind you find or create vs the kind you’re born into.

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Sunday Snippet March 26, 2017

Taking a break from The Academy of the Accord, since I’ve been posting from its books for over a year now. (I’ll come back to them when they’re ready to release.  Current goal is 2020.)

So, anyhow, I thought I’d post from Song and Sword, the first novel I published, since I’m working on a sequel and need the motivation.

Following directly from last week. (Some of you may have seen some of this before.)

 

Pashevel caught his breath as he knelt and laid the figure next to the fire.  Slender fingers felt for a pulse and she moaned slightly in protest at his touch and he sighed with relief — at least the unicorn hadn’t brought him a corpse.

He lifted her enough to remove the white leather jacket that she wore, wincing as she struggled feebly. “No,” she moaned. “Don’t.”  The fear and pleading in her voice made him pause and he eased her down again with her jacket only half off. 

“What happened?” he asked softly looking up at her mount.  He turned and raised a hand, palm up, and the unicorn hesitated for a moment, and then rested his horn in it, showing him…

The scene was vivid:  the barn, the fight, the flames…  Pashevel broke contact, shaken. “No wonder you were afraid to trust me,” he murmured.  The white unicorn nuzzled him, an apology and an attempt to comfort him. “Go and rest, friend,” he murmured. “You deserve it.”

Song and Sword cover

Blurb:
Pashevel: a simple Elven Bard — and the Crown Prince

Marlia: a Paladin of Arithen, the Elven God of Justice – seeking vengeance for the destruction of her village

Dakkas: heir to the Drow throne — if his father and elder half-brother don’t kill him first

Kashrya: raised among a tribe of nomadic Humans, she is unaware of her true heritage — or of the prophecy that made her mother an outcast

Their goal: build a bridge between the Elves and their outcast brethren, the Drow, reuniting them and undoing the damage caused in a time so far gone that history has become legend and legend has become myth.

But first, they have a problem to solve:  how do you stop a war that hasn’t started?

Available for Kindle at Amazon

and at Smashwords for everything else

 

 

Find more great reading
at the Sunday Snippet group.

 

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Rainbow Snippet for 3-25-2017

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Rainbow Snippets is a group for LGBTQ+ authors, bloggers, and readers to gather once a week and share six sentences from a work of fiction–a WIP or a finished work or even a 6-sentence book recommendation (no spoilers please!).   Check out all the other awesome snippets by clicking on the picture above.

I’m still posting from Onyx Sun, a science fiction novel that is currently in revision. The revisions are turning out to be more complex than originally expected so the release date is, um, to be determined. (I’ve given up trying to predict one, but I have at least one more round of revisions after the current one.)

I’m picking up from last week. (“We’ve had her for far too long,” Letham said. “Pendelia Four is where we got her and I don’t know what Marcelan was thinking.  I know what he was thinking with, but that’s beside the point.”)

(This part is still in revision so squint because I haven’t gotten to it yet.)

The slaver that had ushered Taliya inside gave Letham a warning glare and turned the monitor so that Taliya could see it.  “That her?”

The woman on the screen was sitting in a chair, listlessly staring at a view screen that gave an image of the market outside. She was petite but curvy, and her lustrous black hair fell in dark waves to her hips.

“That’s her,” Taliya said.  Her eyes were dull and her face lacked its usual animation, but it was Luzita.

“I’ll go get her,” Letham said and disappeared toward the interior of the ship.

“Clean her up first,” the other one said and he nodded, waving one hand to signal that he had heard.

Taliya watched him leave and then turned her attention back to the other man.  “I have a collar and chip,” she told him. “And don’t try to inflate the price just because I came looking for her specifically, because if I wanted to I could make a whole lot of trouble for you for buying an illegally sold slave.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Poking Along

It’s been an odd two days off.

Wednesday was my running around day.  I took Riley to the groomer

and while he was getting a shampoo, facial, and pedicure I got groceries.  Picked him up and ran up to Tractor Supply to pick up their “pain treats” then drove through McD’s because he was such a good boy. (I got a Big Mac without pickles and he got a plain hamburger. Then home to unload the car and put Jazzy’s harness on her (she can slip a collar faster than you can say “Houdini”) and we went to visit the residents at the long term care facility where I work.

By the time we got home from there all three of us were wiped out (wrangling 130+ pounds of Boxers can do that to you) so pretty much nothing got done the rest of that day.

Yesterday I made haluski (finally! I finally made a good batch of haluski!) and cleaned the rat cage.

I also tried to participate in Siobhan Muir’s “Thursday Threads” challenge but as usual was way over the 250 word limit and not done with the story yet. I also poked at a few things that needed done around the house.

I need to poke harder at things that need done around the house – I have a friend coming to visit next Thursday.

(Actually, I just need to poke harder at things that need done around the house in general.  I hate housework.)

I also poked at my writing – a little.  I should poke harder at that too.

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Wednesday Words #117 (3/22/2017)

Welcome to Wednesday Words!  Every Wednesday I will post some sort of prompt for a flash fiction piece.  The prompt will go live just after midnight Eastern time.

The prompt might be a picture, or it might be a list of things to include in a story, or maybe a phrase or a question or something from a “news of the weird” type thing, or a… who knows?

After that, it’s up to you.  But if you do use the prompt to write a bit of flash fiction (say, 500 words or so) I’d love to see what you came up with, so comment below with a link to where it is on your blog (or on WattPad or wherever).

(And a pingback to the post here where you found the prompt would be appreciated but isn’t necessary.)

Oh, and this isn’t a contest or anything.  It’s just a (hopefully) fun thing for all concerned.

And, hey, if it inspires more than 500 or so words, run with it!

This week’s prompt:

birdsong
a rabbit
a gravestone

 

And, as always, I’d love to see what you come up with!

 

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Back In The… Oops!

So I finally got started writing again and was on a pretty good roll with the current Elven Bard novel yesterday morning – I added about 500 words or so, but then I had to go to work.

But I was on fire! Ready to dive back into it when I got home.

But then work happened.

It should have been a good night.  It wasn’t a shower night, it wasn’t blood sugar day, and I had two good aides. (Although there’d been a bit of weirdness between them the night before, but still, they were good aides and I figured we could muddle through another night before I talked to the bosses today.)

Ha!

Three hours into the shift, after yelling at the other aide (and yelling and swearing at me) one of them threw his i.d. badge about ten feet from the back room behind the nurse’s station onto my desk, and walked out.

So, yeah.  There went the “good night” at work.

And there went my writing time when I got home. I sort of needed to use 750words to destress from work.

I did manage to get some more editing of Book 8 of The Academy of the Accord series done, though, so that’s something at least.

And I’m hoping to dive back into writing after work tonight. (As long as nothing changes I have two very drama-free aides tonight and tomorrow.)

 

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Sunday Snippet March 19, 2017

Taking a break from The Academy of the Accord, since I’ve been posting from its books for over a year now. (I’ll come back to them when they’re ready to release.  Current goal is 2020.)

So, anyhow, I thought I’d post from Song and Sword, the first novel I published, since I’m working on a sequel and need the motivation.  (Man oh man, do I need the motivation!)

Picking up from last week.  (Some of you may have seen some of this before.)

 

The unicorn studied him for a long moment, and Pashevel stood still, letting him think it over. Slowly the unicorn approached, nostrils wide, taking in his scent. Pashevel watched his muscles relax as his wariness started to fade.  The unicorn lowered his head and pressed the tip of his horn against the center of Pashevel’s chest, and the Elf laughed.  “You and I both know that you aren’t going to hurt me,” he said, “so don’t even pretend to threaten.”  He laid a slender hand against the golden horn.  “Now, are you going to let me help your rider or not?”

The last of the tension faded from the unicorn and Pashevel smiled, reaching up to remove the bridle.  “Come,” he said, slinging it over his shoulder and turning back toward his campfire.  “Let’s see what you’ve brought me.”

The unicorn walked quietly, careful not to dislodge his rider, and Pashevel could feel his relief at having found help.  Sonata fell into formation on Pashevel’s other side and he chuckled, reaching over and putting a hand against her dark neck. She nuzzled him softly in return. 

“I’m just going to get your rider down,” Pashevel said as he reached up to the motionless figure.  “Then I’ll get your saddle off.”   He froze for a moment as he noticed the blood that stained the white neck and mane, and then pulled the rider into his arms.  The unicorn turned his head, watching, anxious and protective.

 

 

Song and Sword cover

Blurb:
Pashevel: a simple Elven Bard — and the Crown Prince

Marlia: a Paladin of Arithen, the Elven God of Justice – seeking vengeance for the destruction of her village

Dakkas: heir to the Drow throne — if his father and elder half-brother don’t kill him first

Kashrya: raised among a tribe of nomadic Humans, she is unaware of her true heritage — or of the prophecy that made her mother an outcast

Their goal: build a bridge between the Elves and their outcast brethren, the Drow, reuniting them and undoing the damage caused in a time so far gone that history has become legend and legend has become myth.

But first, they have a problem to solve:  how do you stop a war that hasn’t started?

Available for Kindle at Amazon

and at Smashwords for everything else

 

 

Find more great reading
at the Sunday Snippet group.

 

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Rainbow Snippet for 3-18-2017

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Rainbow Snippets is a group for LGBTQ+ authors, bloggers, and readers to gather once a week and share six sentences from a work of fiction–a WIP or a finished work or even a 6-sentence book recommendation (no spoilers please!).   Check out all the other awesome snippets by clicking on the picture above.

I’m still posting from Onyx Sun, a science fiction novel that is currently in revision. The revisions are turning out to be more complex than originally expected so the release date is, um, to be determined. (I’ve given up trying to predict one, but I have at least one more round of revisions after the current one.)

I’m skipping ahead just a few paragraphs from last week.  Taliya is talking to the slaver with the merchant caravan fleet, hoping to find Luzita.  (This part is still in revision so squint because I haven’t gotten to it yet.)

 

“Does she have a specialty?  It might make it easier to find her that way.”  As he spoke he guided her into a small room set up as an office and keyed up a view screen.

“No,” Taliya said softly. “She has no specialties.”  It was true, she thought.   Luzita was a younger daughter with no chance of inheritance.   She had been raised to be nothing more than a socialite, a jewel on the arm of a son of a wealthy house, bartered away to increase her family’s fortunes, and she had barely made it through school.   

Her guide nodded and began the search.  “What is her name?”

“Luzita Fronen.  She would have been purchased on Pendelia Four.”

“Luzita Fronen,” he echoed in a mutter as he searched the records for her.

“Luzita Fronen?” came another voice, and both of them looked toward the door of the room where another slaver stood.  “I’m beginning to think that we’re going to have to pay someone to take her.”

“Letham!  Not in front of a customer.”

“She’s here? You still have her?”

“We’ve had her for far too long,” Letham said. “Pendelia Four is where we got her and I don’t know what Marcelan was thinking.  I know what he was thinking with, but that’s beside the point.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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