Thursday, March 29, 2012

Keep Going

This poster hangs over my Dry Erase broad. It's inspirational and funny. Even without the words, the picture says enough. This is one of the things that separates published from unpublished authors. The author of "The Help" was rejected like 50 times. That's hardcore. No matter what, don't ever give up. 




Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Pottermore Shop

Pottermore Shop is open. Harry Potter eBooks and digital audio books are now available. The prices are pretty good too. Awesomness! I already own all the books but I might buy an eBook just because it's Harry Potter.

Funny thing is, years ago, the idea of reading an eBook did nothing for me but I've warmed up to it ever since I got my iPod. The only reason I started reading on the device was because I didn't want to print some articles for class. It's easier carrying an iPod than several pages of content and it uses no toner. Now, I'm imagining how epic it would- eReaders changing the way we interact with content like Byook does.

This news makes me really happy. Pottermore's opening early April too. Awesome! I mean I've been waiting for this since forever, feels like it anyway.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Imagination Fail- Block Activated

Writers grow up but our imagination doesn't. It can't really. What if we have a POV character that's a horrible human being? The only way to portray them realistically is by diving into our imagination. Unless you really are a villain ;) We can't be everything but with research and a deep well of imagination, we can portray the villain as though we were one.

But is our well bottomless? I feel like I'm scraping the bottom and coming up empty. It's driving me insane. I need to develop my characters' powers more but I can't picture how their abilities work. All I see are clichés. Then, there are the new creatures I mentioned in Second Novel More Challenges. Their powers come from the same place as the other characters, they just work differently. But once again, clichés abound. For some reason, bad anime comes to mind. This has never happened before. It's more than a little frustrating.

And then the villains. I know what they want but I can't see how they're going to do it. The way the series is going, I'm thinking of adding another stronger villain but I have no idea where they came from or what they want or even if they're male or female. Then, to make things more fun, I know how I want this villain to look but, for the life of me, I can't put it into words.

 I'm a writer. I can't be at a lose for words! 

I could just pull great chunks of my hair out. There're hundreds of pieces spread before me. I don't know, yet, how they fit together. I don't even know where to begin. It's not like I can stop writing the novel to finish this puzzle. My mind keeps creating scenes. What to do, what to do? I'll probably write the novel- clichés and all- and fix it later. It's so easy to fall into the "my story is carved in stone" mindset, isn't it? Writing a novel- never a dull moment. Talk about emotional ups and downs.

Monday, March 19, 2012

An Unusually Eventful Saturday

Apparently, there's an African Burial Ground in New York. How could I not check this out?! It's free and so easy to get to. I learned far more than expected about slavery and the life of a freed slave in New York. 

Some information I just never thought of.




I enjoyed myself a lot. If this was all I did Saturday, I would've been great. 

Since I finished with the Burial Ground earlier than expected, I decided to walk to the waterfront just because which took me past Zuccotti Park. Since the Occupy Protesters were evicted from the park, I hadn't been keeping up with their activities. I didn't expect to see anything so, imagine my surprise when I came across this:

 

Occupy Wall Street was celebrating their 6 month anniversary. I should've known this. After thoroughly kicking myself, I walked around taking pictures and enjoying the awesome atmosphere. That was when I saw people gathering in one area holding their cameras over their heads trying to take pictures of what was going on at the center of the group. 

Protesters were chanting. Something heavy was going on at the center of that gathering. Unfortunately, I'm short so no matter how high I held my camera, I couldn't see a thing. Then, from the middle of the crowd came an unnecessary amount of police officers. I mean a significant amount of cops had been at the center of this commotion. A lot of people were crowing around the retreating line of cops so I still have no idea what went on.

I hung out, taking more pictures. When I decided to leave, I saw protesters and cops running across the park. Naturally, I followed. This was all I could see but from the chanting, I gathered protesters and police were clashing across the street from the park. 
Shortly after, this crowd broke up and another formed at the edge of the park.
After awhile I, once again, walked about taking in the atmosphere and, again, was about to leave when someone started counting down from 3. Obviously, I couldn't leave just yet. They reached 1 and the protesters started laying down.
Minutes later, they were dancing and chanting. This was a celebration after all. It was an amazing Saturday. Once I got home, I followed OWS' twitter feed. Apparently, later that night, Michael Moore showed up. The police eventually kicked the protesters out. I hope this won't be the last time I see the Occupy Protesters.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Guards are Dead

This is part two of my work-in-progress. Read Part 1: Unknown 

Someone was yelling. Jammary's voice didn't deviate from monotone but how could he have company? She didn't care. She just wanted the shouting to stop. It did. Finally, Camin could go back to sleep. Slowly, she slid her hand under the pillow, grabbed the hilt of her dagger and poured her toxic aura into the blade. She flipped out of bed just as it was reduced to debris. 

Camin lunged as another attack split open the floor and the wall. Who would attack her in Jammary’s mansion? How did they get in here? Questions to ask later. The beast seemed determined to cut her to pieces.

The thing was invisible. The attacks came from above. It was flying. Not Jammary.

Had to keep moving. The invader was relentless. Soon the room would fall apart dumping her into the abyss surrounding Jammary’s mansion. Was this thing really that stupid? Was that what it wanted?

She had angered a lot of people but none of them could reach here. This was stupid. Camin held up her palm against the next attack. It slowed but didn't stop. It nearly cut her hand in half.

Her nostrils flared. Desire. For her blood, her flesh. The beast was like Jammary just dumber. Camin shook the toxin off her blade and cut her arm. Desire made fools of them all. She grinned and sliced her neck.

It was on her. Holding her against the wall. No longer invisible. It looked enough like Jammary to be kin which was impossible. The Surrettes were either dead or imprisoned. It held her shoulders not her arms. She drove her poisoned blade into its neck pulled it out then buried it in its heart.

Camin kicked the stunned body away then reached beside the dresser for the bigger blade.

“Touch her and I’ll tear you apart.”

She pulled away from Ivo and turned to Jammary, possessing the doorway.

“I should tear you apart for letting that thing try to eat me,” she said.

“I didn’t let him do anything. I tried to stop him but he hadn't eaten in years. He wouldn’t listen to me.”

Camin pulled the dagger from the body and wiped the blood off on the beast's wing.

"How did it get here?"

Jammary stretched his mouth, dragging his tongue over his sharpen teeth. "Our Custodiaes are dead?"

She lost feeling in her limbs. Camin couldn't breath, didn't want to hope.

"We're free Camin."

She returned Jammary's grin as she tossed the dagger between the eyes of the dead winged beast. Broken Land would be her's again. Her memories would be her's once again. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

It's Official

I got this in the mail recently.
I'm a Masters. Being jobless and having no bites on my resume sort of kills my joy. The only reason I went for my Masters was because I knew I'd have a better chance at getting a job. It kind of sucks that I have it and I can't even get an interview. The fun thing about it is already Sallie Mae is breathing down my neck. It's sort of like what was the point of it, you know?

Anyway, I got my cap and gown today which is awesome! Now I feel I can celebrate. It feels official now.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Second Novel More Challenges

You'd think after writing and reading for so many years, writing a novel would get easier. It doesn't, at least for me. I should't have expected it to. I like to experiment with my stories- with format, with character relationships with their abilities. It's fun but it creates entertaining problems. Back to the world building journal.

The second novel in my series requires far more world building. The characters are using their power differently which means I need to dive deeper into their power. I'm also adding more creatures- all with different powers. I need to flesh out what they are and what they can do.

On top of that, the story is told from the POV of many characters instead of two like my first one. Because of this, I'm having trouble making each chapter flow. Good thing this is only the draft. I'm just writing what comes to mind and deal with flow issues later.

Since this novel takes place about forty years after the first, the world has changed a lot and not for the better. I don't know exactly how it got that way. I need to know. It'll be important for the final novel.

Then there's the issue with the setting. The first half of the story takes place in a mansion but I don't have a clear idea of what it looks like. Drawing it inside and out is not going to happen. What I've been doing is collecting pictures of buildings on Pinterest -different boards for mansion interior and exterior. Then I open each board and pull features from each picture to create my mansion.

This post would stretch into eternity if I listed all the puzzles I need to solve. It's a lot of work but it's so much fun.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Unknown

This one took longer to write then expected. I mean, I sat here looking at this short passage for ages wondering what was off about it. 


It smelled like decaying bodies and lavender. Her nose found it entertaining.

"Look, Guardian, where are we going?"

The siblings stopped walking. Camin Barice let her breathe out slowly. The oldest male was a pain.

"You two said you were bored."

"I also said someone like you couldn't have seen anything we haven't."

She smiled sweetly, "Hence why we're here. Let's go. It's not that far."

They arrived at the large plain wooden door before the siblings' whines and demands drove her to gut them. Their flashlights explored the massive structure with interest.

 Finally, silence.

Camin held her palm to the wood. The barrier tasted her blood. The siblings yelped as the doors opened to a grand room. They crossed the threshold without waiting for any indication from her. Camin smirked. A creature shot out of nowhere. His wings sliced them in half. He turned with teeth bared and feasted.

She strolled past the carnage and wandered the room. The portraits were the most fascinating objects.  The Surrette's looked human except for their twilight colored wings. Each portrait was long, width-wise, to make sure onlookers knew what they were.

Jammary charged at her but stopped short of diving his sharpened nails into her neck. Camin looked at his bloody face with amusement.

"Seriously." She cocked her head.

He folded his wings and relaxed. "Why would anyone assign you a babysitting job?"

"Stupidity," she looked around, "If devouring an entire city down to the pets gets you imprisoned in a castle, I may have to do it."

Jammary grunted. "The real punishment is you being the only who can break through the barrier." He eyed her, "Your wardens still don't know what you are, do they?"

She turned to him and shrugged. Jammary made her uncomfortable. She didn't like being uncomfortable.

"Tell me Camin," he stretched his wings to their full length, "I destroyed your home and I'm probably the reason behind your memory loss so, why do you keep coming here"

Camin walked to the purple velvet throne and sat down, draping her legs over the arm. He always asked that. She always avoided it.

"Because I think you saved my life."

Part 2: The Guards are Dead

Monday, March 5, 2012

Does Anyone Really Care Anymore

I read this interesting review about Prince of Thorns recently. What got me thinking wasn't the review itself but this statement: 
"I'd heard so much that I was starting to fall into the 'There is so much hype that it is bound to be terrible' camp."
This is not the first time I've come across a statement like this. I mean, I've read something similar...a lot. You've probably heard or felt this way before. How sad is it so many people assume books that are raved about are terrible?

Why do we assume this? Maybe it's the same reasoning behind movies. You know, if critics hate it that means people would love it.

Times are changing. When deciding to read a book, I never pay attention to what well-known authors or publications think. I go straight to the user reviews- even when I'm in a store looking at the book. I don't buy it until I pull out my iPhone and check Goodreads.

Does anyone really care what critics think anymore? I don't know or care who's on The NY Times Best Sellers List. I ignore those praising quotes on the book's cover and first page. Having Stephen King say the book is brilliant is not going to convince me to read it. It doesn't even make me consider reading it. More and more, people are letting readers like themselves help them determine if a book is worth their time.

Being thoroughly praised make's people aware of the book's existence but what good will that do if they avoid it simply because well-known reviewers love it? There must be a purpose to those quotes on a book's cover, those Best Seller lists or else they wouldn't exist. What do you think? What purpose do they serve?



Thursday, March 1, 2012

We Have the Right Ears


This wasn't the post I intended to publish. I wrote one yesterday and hated it but couldn't figure out why. I sat back and read and reread it- changing words and paragraphs around. But, I still hated it and I still don't know why.

How is it we writers know what works and what doesn't? How do we look at our list of names and know, just know, that the one name is perfect for our character or place? For every writer there are certain things about our story we will not change no matter what people say. I have no logical explanation for why I knew that post was garbage.

The only thing I can think of is my muse was sitting on my shoulder screaming at me, "If you publish that piece of garbage I'll never speak to you again."


You could call it intuition, a sixth sense. When I know something doesn't work, I feel it. I can't explain that feeling but it's like something telling me don't do that. It becomes restraints. I can't help but listen to it.

Ever pass a normal tree or building and become completely enamored by it. You just had to take a picture of it and use it in a story. Didn't know what story but you had to have that imag
e.

I was walking around Green-Wood Cemetery a couple of days ago. It's this beautiful peaceful historic cemetery with headstones dating back to like the eighteen hundreds. It's gorgeous to walk through and so full of inspiration. Out of the corner of my eye, I say this area I instantly became obsessed with. If I didn't take a picture of it I'd regret it. I'm still completely enamored by it and I don't know why.
These two I've been in love with for years.

They're pretty creepy, I know, but so gorgeous. I believe the world speaks and writers- artists have the right ears to hear it.