Archive for May, 2013

This weekend’s Trifecta challenge was to write a 33 word confession. So here’s mine:

My bad handwriting is one part design and one part accident. It used to be neater. Then I realized people could read over my shoulder. I write sex scenes in public you know.

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So. I’m done. Or technically I was done two days ago on Wednesday night. The first draft of Forgotten Monster is complete at about 80,000 words and I’ve packed Taisce and Sef off to do… whatever it is they do in between books. Knowing them, sex will be involved. And arguing. Probably at the same time.

I feel like I should do some kind of retrospective. This is my longest first draft yet and probably the quickest completed. Dade’s story took me the better part of a year to write and it STILL doesn’t have a proper ending. So I guess this means I’m improving. Or the amazing support of twitter (you know who you guys are, so thank you) helped me focus. I’ll take all of the above.

I won’t lie. I’m still a little sad that I’m done with my draft. There’s another book in their future (I think) but it’s not time to write it yet. It’s time to shuffle back to Dade and put his puzzle pieces back in order. (He’s been waiting quite patiently. I’m rather impressed.)

But before I go: one more victory dance for me. Because woohoo! I finished. \o/  It feels good.

And as promised, I present my (not completely accurate) map of Taisce’s world. Those of you who have listened to my plotting complaints may recognize some of the city names. I didn’t draw it in but the forest (of ill repute) lies between Ciaran and Clotsfield. I really hate that forest. XD

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Sounds nice and creepy, doesn’t it? It’s Trifecta time again! This week’s theme was blood and the 3rd definition goes a little something like this:

BLOOD (noun)

3a : lifeblood; broadly : life

b : human stock or lineage; especially : royal lineage <a prince of the blood>

c : relationship by descent from a common ancestor : kinship

d : persons related through common descent : kindred

e (1) : honorable or high birth or descent (2) : descent from parents of recognized breed or pedigree

That was a nice long definition, wasn’t it? You’d think being all about blood that this challenge would have been easier for me. And you would wrong. Again. I am the queen of overthinking. Of course this time it came in handy. I wrote my Trifecta entry about someone who is less near and dear to my heart but still present and accounted for: Hypnos, aka the villain from I’m Just Super (psst, that’s Dade’s book.) So without further ado:

 

There were certain things that went through Scott’s head when he finally tried to sleep at night. Questions, mostly. What if he’d done this different? What if he’d done that? Was he right? Was he wrong? So many “ifs” and “buts” and his personal favorite “why?”

It was the “why” that broke into his dreams and shook him awake time and again. Why? Why had Kurt betrayed them? They’d fought side by side. They were friends, close as blood, or so he’d thought. But Kurt had made his choice and Scott had paid the price. His sister had paid with her life. That was something that couldn’t be forgiven.

Blood demanded blood and Kurt had yet to pay his debt. No matter what he’d done since. No matter how he claimed to have changed. Scott remembered what he’d been. And now they were a pair yet again. Hero and villain. But it was anyone’s guess which was which.

Writing Is Hard

Posted: May 8, 2013 in Uncategorized, writing
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Being a writer is a funny thing. Sooner or later everyone asks themselves “Am I really a writer?” The reasons vary by person but the question always seems to pop up. The doubt. There are no awards or certificates or degrees that make you a writer. You can be a writer without them. No one can tell you you’re a writer. It’s something you have to tell yourself. It’s something you have to keep telling yourself even on those days when you think you’re a hack and your prose isn’t even mediocre and you may never write again because you’re just that frustrated.

Writing is hard.

Most lawyers and doctors and engineers don’t generally have this problem. Pharmacists don’t stop filling prescriptions because they have this sudden feeling that they’re not really pharmacists. Sure, they have all the training and they’ve been doing it for years but maybe they’re wrong. Maybe there’s a better pharmacist somewhere, someone who puts their prescriptions to shame, and how can they ever compete with that? It sounds silly, doesn’t it?

But writing is different. Because it is a choice. It’s a choice you have to make for yourself and you have to keep making it over and over again. You have to invent your own training. You make your own certificates and awards by whatever means necessary. “Today I wrote 200 words.” “I finished a short story for the first time.” “I got over my writer’s block.” “I didn’t quit.”

No one makes you write. You can love writing with your whole soul but no one can make you feel like a writer, not unless you want to be one. No one tells you to be a writer. But if you’re sitting there with your head in your hands wondering “Am I really a writer?” you’re probably a writer. Actually, I’m fairly certain you’re a writer. Because only writers ask “Am I really a writer?”

I know I’ve circled that question like a vulture for years. On the days when I feel like a hack. On the days when no words seem to fit. But by some miracle there are days when I sit down to work and things click back into place. Those are the days that I can nod and say, “Yes. I’m a writer.” And I wouldn’t miss those days for anything.

I haven’t been keeping up with my show and tell times like I had planned. Oops. I’m a day late but, again, better late than never.

This time I present: a snippet from my current novel. And of course, it’s Taisce and Sef arguing because that’s what they do best. For those of you just joining our program, Taisce is the son of a nobleman. He’s been traveling for weeks, following the trail of his missing brother. Along the way he meets Sef who “kindly” offers to guide him.

I think that’s about all the back story you need. Usual disclaimers apply: largely unedited, typos, beware mild language, blah blah, etc etc and so on and so forth. Happy reading!

*******

“There’s an inn not far from here,” Sef suggested.

He’d almost forgotten his lack of coin while they were traveling through the wilderness but now it came back to Taisce with annoying insistence. It screamed nearly as loud as the cicadas did. “We must find Brannigan and Felix first.”

“It would be better to ask for assistance rather than wandering around an unfamiliar place at night.”

Sef’s logic was faultless but Taisce would be damned before he would say so. “They may be willing to offer shelter as well as… other help,” he said evasively.

Sef leaned forward in the saddle the better to gaze at him head on. “You have no money.” He smirked.

“If you’re worried about your payment…”

“As I said, there are other ways for you to repay me.” Sef waved it away like a bothersome insect.

“I won’t be in your debt.”

“Then you best set about repaying me quickly, milord, if it bothers you so.”

“How can I do that when you won’t tell me what it is you want?” Taisce snapped.

Sef slanted a look at him. “If you thought a moment, you might be able to think of something.” And with that he trotted on ahead.

The suddenness of the comment took Taisce by surprise. There was no mistaking his meaning even if he wished to. It was too blatant. Too obvious to be taken as anything else. Taisce closed the distance between them again. “I’m not some whore,” he hissed, leaning in close for discretion.

“I didn’t ask you to be.”

“You talk in circles but we both know what you meant.”

“I should hope so. You’re much too old to still be innocent. And much too attractive to have gone unnoticed.”

It was such a curiously backhanded compliment in an already exasperating conversation that it took Taisce a moment to find a response. And even then he spent a moment sputtering out his disdain for the whole thing. “I didn’t ask for your services. I could have found my way alone. I owe you nothing,” he said resolutely.

“So you say in one breath and the next you’re fretting over how to repay me. One wonders if you’re really so averse to my proposition as you seem.”

“I am.”

“Then rejoice, milord. Your debt need worry you no longer as it never existed in the first place.”

Taisce fell silent again as they wound their way through the curving streets in search of their destination. “I feel as if I’ve been tricked in some way.”

“You’re welcome to feel that way,” Sef said.

I got home too late to actually post my Trifecta entry (boo) but it seems a shame to let it go to waste. This weekend the theme was 33 word superhero genesis stories, something near and dear to my heart. *coughDadecough* So of course I wrote mine about Dade:

He only wanted to be left alone. To be normal. To lead a quiet life of burger flipping and watching the news without growing terror. But a burger and fries never saved anybody.

I’ve been meaning to participate in the Trifecta Writing Challenge again… basically ever since I did it that first time. But time kept slipping away from me and I kept forgetting because I’ve been elbow deep in angsty man pain (aka: the current novel). Anyway, long story short I finally managed to write something for the latest one! Hurray! I’m proud of me.

This time the theme word was “door” but according to the rules of the game it had to be using the 3rd definition of it.

DOOR

1: a usually swinging or sliding barrier by which an entry is closed and opened; also : a similar part of a piece of furniture
2: doorway
3: a means of access or participation : opportunity <opens new doors> <door to success>

 

So. That was insanely difficult for me. XD  But here’s my go at 3rd definition usage of the word “door” :

He built his own door out of blood and determination. He painted it with tears. Around it rose the walls of a fortress, set high and forbidding, all the better to keep out the memories and bodies that scattered at his feet.

One day it will crumble but that day is not today.