Sunday, August 10, 2014

Clean Teen Publishing Giveaway!

Clean Teen Publishing is hosting a giveaway! A chance to win $65 ... to spend on books!! (Ok, I don't think they specify what you should spend it on, but I would obviously spend it on books.) Enter and be awesome!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Character Interview: Verijak Auri

I haven't done much writing lately. I've just been really sick, and not up to much. But that doesn't mean my characters are leaving me alone. Yesterday, I decided I'd like to do some character interviews. Here's my first one, for my character Verijak Auri, better known as Jak Day, from my book Magicland.

Me: Hey, Jak, thanks for meeting with me today.

Jak: …

Me: So… do you mind if I just dive right in?

Jak: …

Me: What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Jak: Keeping Maurelle alive.

Me: That’s been a challenge?

Jak: No, keeping a wanted fugitive hidden and alive in a strange city during a financial depression is a cakewalk.

Me: No need to be sarcastic.

Jak: *snorts*

Me: What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Jak: Safety. And plenty to eat.

Me: Have those things been difficult to attain?

Jak: “Wanted fugitive,” “financial depression.”

Me: *reading from interview questions* “What is your current state of mind?” I can answer that one: Snarky.

Jak: *smirks*

Me: What is your current occupation?

Jak: Enforcer.

Me: Do you like the work?

Jak: No.

Me: What would you like to do instead?

Jak: *shrugs*

Me: If you could have any job you wanted.

Jak: Gee, I think I’d drive an ice cream truck.

Me: Are you going to be this sarcastic the whole time?

Jak: Yes.

Me: *purses lips* What are your hobbies?

Jak: Weaponry. Fighting.

Me: What or who is the greatest love of your life?

Jak: My .45. *draws the gun and twirls it around his finger*

Me: What do you think is your most marked characteristic?

Jak: My sunny disposition.

Me: I’m going to smack you.

Jak: *smirks*

Me: When and where were you happiest?

Jak: When I was a child. Back in Fairyland.

Me: Are you happy in New York?

Jak: *shrugs*

Me: What is it that you most dislike?

Jak: The Council. Though ‘dislike’ is a mild term.

Me: What is your greatest fear?

Jak: Losing my sister.

Me: What is your greatest regret?

Jak: *hand tightens on his gun* Next question.

Me: You promised you would help with the interview.

Jak: I let my family die, ok? I failed to protect them. Is that an interesting enough regret for your interview?

Me: I’m sorry.

Jak: *settles back in his chair, frowning*

Me: Um… which talent would you most like to have?

Jak: I’d be able to drive.

Me: Have you ever tried to learn?

Jak: Never had the chance.

Me: If you could live anywhere, where would you choose?

Jak: Cridomus, Fairyland.

Me: That’s your hometown, isn’t it?

Jak: *nods*

Me: What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

Jak: Failure.

Me: What quality do you admire most in a man?

Jak: Strength.

Me: How about in a woman?

Jak: Loyalty.

Me: Have you ever been in love?

Jak: No. Though I may have thought I was.

Me: You thought you were?

Jak: What seventeen year old doesn’t?

Me: Who was she?

Jak: *shrugs* There were a few.

Me: Anyone special?

Jak: No.

Me: Is there anyone special in your life now?

Jak: No.

Me: Would you like to get married?

Jak: Are you proposing?

Me: What? *laughs* Would you have me?

Jak: No.

Me: I’m so flattered. No, I meant, do you plan on ever getting married?

Jak: No.

Me: Why not?

Jak: I have other responsibilities.

Me: You mean, to Maurelle? But what about when she gets married?

Jak: I guess we’ll see.

Me: What trait do you most deplore in yourself?

Jak: You’re really not fussy about asking personal questions, are you?

Me: A good interview probes to the heart of things. So…?

Jak: Any form of incompetency.

Me: What do you most deplore in others?

Jak: The same. And an indisposition to correct it.

Me: What do you most value in your friends?

Jak: Don’t really have any.

Me: Um… who are your heroes?

Jak: *shrugs* They’re all dead, so what does it matter?

Me: Who were they?

Jak: Warriors. Men of courage.

Me: Which living person do you most admire?

Jak: Maurelle. She’s remained positive through all this.

Me: What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

Jak: Charity. In the end, sacrifice is vain.

Me: Do you really believe that?

Jak: I’ve seen it.

Me: On what occasions do you lie?

Jak: Any that call for it.

Me: If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

Jak: I would be broader, and maybe not so tall.

Me: If you could choose how you were to die, what would it be?

Jak: Quickly.

Me: What is your motto?

Jak: “Constant vigilance.”

Me: Perfect. Well, I’ll stop tormenting you now. Thanks for the interview.

Jak: *nods and leaves*

Questions were taken from this page. I'll be sure to post my other characters' interviews once I get them done. 


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Character Probation

Today, I took Clara off of probation. There is no doubt in my mind that she belongs in this story. She is absolutely perfect for Jak, and she has some other important roles to play. And I found an actress who looks like her (after Quinny edited her eyes to be the right color -- thanks Quinny!) Behold, Rooney Mara (no, I've never seen any of her movies.)

So, good news for Clara. Unfortunately, there's bad news for someone else. Niron is officially on probation. 

I just don't feel like his character is relevant. I wanted an elf in their group, and I wanted another guy character; I wanted Maurelle to have a friend, and I just thought Niron existed. But every scene I write, I forget Niron's supposed to be there and have to have him pop in with a line or two to remind the reader he exists. I just don't care about him, and I don't feel like the story does, either. I feel bad. Maybe he was there. But, so far as I can tell, he hasn't done anything relevant enough to stay. And his presence makes Clara's less relevant (for spoilery reasons.) 

I'll give Niron a little while longer, but he may randomly disappear from the story... First drafts are fun, 'cause I can do things like that. 

Honestly, it would be a relief to chop Niron. I never did like him. I can't even put my finger on why. I mean, sure, he's a bit of a snob and a coward -- he's basically the Peter Pettigrew of my story -- but that doesn't mean he's not interesting. He has a cool backstory, a complicated family dynamic, and plays an interesting part in my group of heroes. But I just don't like him. I find him boring and obnoxious. And those aren't good character traits. So he's been led to the chopping block, and has one last chance to plead for his miserable existence. 

Progress on Magicland is going well, but I really need to pick up the pace. I am going to finish this book by September. Having a hard deadline that I hold myself to really does wonders for my writing. I'm pressing forward and figuring stuff out (ok, at the moment I have NO idea what's going on, but I trust my charries.) 

I've been developing David as a character, and I'm really excited about him. He's a great hero, and an adorable love interest. So many ships! Yay! 

I guess I should go get back to working towards that deadline... or I guess I could sleep, since it is two in the morning. Haha, that's funny. I'm going to go watch Victorious

Love and sparkles!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Who Needs Sleep?

I'm blaming Anne Shirley for this one. I'm reading Anne of Avonlea by L. M. Montgomery, and in it Anne talks about how, when she's lying in bed late at night, she likes to imagine herself being all sorts of different things. She imagines herself as a prima donna, or a Red Cross nurse, or, once, a queen. And I think to myself, "That would be fun."
So, tonight, when I lay down to go to sleep, I try to imagine myself as a queen.

I see a throne room, lined with anxiously waiting people. And a young, pale girl, probably about fourteen (not me, we see,) trembles down the aisle.
"She's so young," someone says, to be hushed by her neighbor.
"Mama, she looks sad," says a child.
The girl holds her head up high. She mustn't let them see how frightened she is. The war that killed her parents still wages on, and she must lead the people. It is her duty.
She kneels before the man with the crown. He says some words, not heard by any, and places it on her head. She writhes in agony and falls to the ground.
A man emerges from the crowd.
"So will fall your kingdom!" he cries.
Little does he know that the newly-made queen is friends with fairies. Her shaking hand uncaps a bottle of incandescent liquid, like molten diamonds, and downs it without anyone seeing. She gets strongly to her feet.
"You cannot defeat us. Guards, seize this traitor!"
The man is seized.
"Take him to the dungeons!"
He laughs. Then he slumps and foam flecks his lips. The queen bows her head.
"Take him to the tombs," she amends.
The traitor is dragged away. The queen picks up her crown and wipes the poison from it with her handkerchief. Then she places it on her head.
"So we will win this war," she says.
At the back of the room, a dark haired young man begins to clap. Soon, the room echoes with cheers for the new queen.

Yup, this is what happened in my head. And I had to wake myself up to write it down. It isn't much yet. This scene would obviously be written very differently. And perhaps it isn't as unique of a story as my two-o'clock-in-the-morning brain thinks it is. But, as always, very distinct characters have come to me and I look forward to getting to know them.

But now I really need to be asleep! What's more, if I'm going to be focusing on a story, it should be Magicland. Not to mention, I have Codswallop and that one fairy story in the queue. But this story comes up, all sparkly and exciting, and suddenly I want to shift my focus. Well, tough luck, me. Focus is the only way I'm going to get my novel finished.

So, yeah, this isn't really a very relevant (or coherent) story. I shouldn't blog at two a.m. But I did have to get down the idea. Hopefully you enjoyed it. This story is at the bottom of the pile, but I like to think someday it will be written. If only because of the adorable love story ^_^

Sleep is for turtles! (But it might also be good for Kat!es.) 

Sleep well, my lovelies. 


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

WonHundred Word Wednesday - Carson's School for the Future

            He hadn’t seen anything like it in twenty years of teaching at Carson’s School for the Future. It was an overwhelming sensation; being surprised. It hadn’t happened in so long. Once he’d been surprised every day. Students came to class with green skin and tails. Things exploded in the back of the classroom. Once, a demon rose out of a student’s bag, only to be defeated by a unicorn summoned by another. Now he was used to it.
            But today, each student was sitting demurely in their desks. They were doing their assignments in absolute silence.
            Something was terribly wrong.


Today's Novel Idea Prompted by: "He hadn’t seen anything like it in twenty years of teaching.” Courtesy of WonHundred Word Wednesday! Read the other responses: 

Sunday, June 8, 2014

WonHundred Word Wednesday - Home

So... it's not Wednesday. Not even close. It's four o'clock on a Sunday morning. But I didn't get my WonHundred Word Wednesday post written this week, and now I can't sleep, so I thought it would be a good time to write it. So... thus. WonHundred Word Wednesday post, only a few days late. 

            In all the years I’ve lived here, I never once called this place my home. So why is it so hard to leave?
            I look down on the pristine city, its towers shining in the sunlight. A prison. Beautiful, yes, but not a place where a man can be free.
            Ahead of me lies uncertainty. No doubt there will be dangers. But I’ve fought all my life for this. To get away. To be free.
            But everything I am or ever was is inside that city.
            I look over my shoulder at freedom. Then I start back towards my home.


Today's Novel Idea Prompted by: "In all the years I’ve lived here, I never once called this place my home.” Courtesy of WonHundred Word Wednesday! Read the other responses: