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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Tuesday Tales: At The Market (live beta read (sort of)!)

So this is a little bit of a different Tuesday Tales, as it's technically a Wednesday Words because I'm going to share a new scene I wrote for my first chapter. No matter what version or draft I'm in, the consistent general consensus is, "I don't really know why I need to care about Ghuli yet." So I decided to look at what was missing. The action/inciting incident is in the first chapter, but I've always technically started with it. Ghuli's in the woods, Ghuli goes home, bam, army attacks (not a spoiler). I decided to show more of Ghuli, Cyan, and Laris being normal before their worlds get turned upside down.

So, this is a chance for anyone who reads to beta this scene and tell me your thoughts in the comments. I need to know if these scene makes you at least feel sympathetic towards Ghuli as an MC. So (I say "so" too much), away we go.

Only ten or so Humans and hillsprites roamed the market that evening. The Oculus stood at the edge of the path, its crimson light tinting everyone near it. A handcrafted sign with a poem carved onto it hung from a small hook welded into the Oculus:

“Crimson means the army’s far
Gold means the army’s near
If ever blue, do run and hide
For’t means the army’s here”

There wasn’t a moment where I forgot that the Oculus was built out of dismantled parts of the metal army. I shuddered, and Cyan squeezed my shoulders, pressing away fear and memories as we entered the market.
“1st Lt. Cyan, 2nd Lt. Laris,” the butcher John greeted my watchmen. His thick, black beard rose as he smiled down at me. “’Tis not often we see the little lady out. How are you this evening?”
“I’m well, thank you,” I said.
“I hear you’re the one who eats the most elksmeat in the manor now, but that can’t be true.”
“It can, and it is.”
He laughed and began stacking packs for us. Cyan wrote his information in The Watch’s payment book as Laris transferred the meats to our sack. John slipped me a strip of candied bacon in wax paper and winked. I smiled and thanked him before we moved on. Laris crossed the square to pick up vegetables, and Cyan told me not to go too far as he stopped to collect sheep’s milk. A Human couple stood speaking to a hillsprite by her cart of trinkets two vendors away, so I walked over casually to look at the wares.
“There I was, cleaning out my cellar,” the hillsprite said, her large emerald eyes wide and pointed ears perked. “I believed I was done, and then I found a hidden door going further into the ground! ’Twas filled with these old valuables.”
“You live off the road to the old palace, right?” the man said. His eyes scanned the jewelry and odds and ends, but he pursed his lips in distaste. His wife picked at items as though they had thorns.
“I do. It must be an old Crystal keep. The Bearers were strange. Who needs a cellar within a cellar?”
“Haughty as they were, I’m not surprised.”
I glanced at him from the corner of my eye but returned my attention to a Crystal Soldier figurine holding a glass sword made to look like a crystal one. I picked him up and looked at his small, brown face and dark blue eyes, the tiny glass gems set into his hands.
“At any rate, shall I sell you anything?” the Sprite asked.
“I don’t want any of their things in our house,” the woman said, wiping her hands on her coat.
I held the little soldier closer. Had I not worn my linen wraps everywhere, she wouldn’t want to stand by me, either.
“Well, all right,” the man said, albeit reluctantly. “Sorry we got your hopes up.”
“’Tis no trouble.” The hillsprite waved as they walked away. Then, she turned towards me and jumped. “Oh, I didn’t see you, my lady. Do you like the little soldier? I believe there are a few more here.” She climbed into her cart and returned a few seconds later, two fair faced soldiers and another brown one in her hands. “They look to be a set. Which men are they?” She brought one soldier’s shield close to her face, and I looked at the tiny arrow facing the northwest on the shield of the man I held. “Ah, of course. They are of Prince Deleon’s battalion. I say the Bearers were strange; howbeit I love learning little things about them. This was Prince Deleon’s island before his brother, King Daviel, gave it away. Did you know that?” I shook my head. “You are very quiet. ’Tis why I didn’t notice you.”
“’Tis a rarity, trust me,” Cyan said from behind me. “We’ll take the set, thank you.”
The Sprite handed Cyan her payment book for The Watch and then took the soldier from me to wrap him with the others. He glanced at me before he set the book on the edge of the cart.
“Are you all right?”
I shrugged. Being in the manor for long periods, I always forgot that I hated going out to the market. Cyan patted my head and thanked the hillsprite as she handed him the small package.
“Let’s go home,” he said. “Laris should be done hording.”
“I heard that, my brother,” Laris said, approaching us with our sack now bulging with foods. He handed me a smaller sack with the bags of milk.
We walked northward up the path to the Forest of Weeping Willows. Once we were far enough away from people, I sighed.
“Does anyone on Teorre speak of my people well?”
“Did someone say something to you?” Cyan asked.
“Not directly.”
“Don’t fret of it, Princess,” Laris said softly. “Those who can only speak ill of the dead will have the same words lain over their graves. ’Tis what my father says. At any rate, no one truly understood why the Bearers all migrated to the northern continent, then locked themselves away, but ’twas shortly after the Crystal War. Perhaps King Daviel wanted to restore harmony among his people.” Laris looked away wistfully. “I cannot imagine how it felt to be a child king. I am glad I don’t have to.”
“Do we have a book on the Crystal War?”
“Somewhere. I shall find it for you.”

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Wednesday Words: A Girl Is A Half-Formed Thing

Lord, when did you last see me on a Wednesday that wasn't the first one?

Friday, I began to read Eimear McBride's A Girl Is a Half-Formed Thing. I had put this on my Goodreads quite some time ago after reading a bunch of reviews of people who trashed it for the disjointed writing style. I got really defensive for Eimear and thought, "I'm going to read this, so there!" Like any of them heard me, but people like to hate things they don't understand. So, I'm finally getting to it to give it a chance. (Also, it won a prize in 2014, so someone got it.)

Through this book, we're in the mind of a woman. When it starts, she's trying to cope with her brother's brain tumor. I'm pretty sure I passed a head injury in there, too, and I feel like this could also be the purpose of this writing style.

So, let me see what's happening on (hit generator) page 99 to share with you all.

It's stupid game. It is. It is. Is it not life and death. We roll about the floor. Getting awful kick from this. I'm above I am not. Not tonight. Together. You. I.

I'm almost sure that's NSFW.

Hey, is anyone hitting their Goodreads goal this year? I'm most likely not. lol

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Tuesday Tales: Around the House with Laris

All righty, I am back and on my new blogging schedule. The first and third Tuesday after IWSG Wednesday, I am bringing you all into Teorre, the world of my manuscript, now titled Fractured Princess!

Quick summary: I did a Twitter poll, and the people loved it. I knew I should have renamed my manuscript that, but for some reason, I listened to my sister and didn't for a couple of years. In fact, Fractured Princess was the title I had in place for the sequel, so I didn't want to give it up for a reason.

But anyway, using the Gotham Character Questionnaire, I've been asking my characters the following question. The last one was quite some time ago it feels, but I never got around to Laris, and I want to know what he has to say about it. So, let's see.

What is in your character's refrigerator right now? On [his] bedroom floor? On [his] nightstand? In [his] garbage can?

Oh my. Well, I suppose I must answer, but 'tis a tad embarrassing. Though I am a prince, do not let that fool you. I am quite messy. The refrigerator is not my doing, howbeit. The nursemaids have a lot of mouths to feed in the manor, and thus you cannot see the bottom for all of the meats and bags of sheep's milk and broths. The primary cuisine of the northern regions of the Isle Continent are stews, and Ghulien eats quite often. This order shall last us nearly...nine days.

My room is indeed my doing. I have a habit of disrobing and leaving my clothes where I stood. I know Cyan believes clean floors make for a living watch--is that how he says it? Howbeit, I am half his size and a Sprite; therefore I am much nimbler than he. I can easily step over my things and get to my door in less than four seconds. I stack my practice bolts in my window sill. A bird flew in earlier and knocked them over, thus half of those now reside on my floor. Ghuli is currently laughing at my room for attracting animals.

My nightstand and trash bin may be the cleaner portions of my room.  A picture of my wife sits atop a stack of letters from her and my son. They are all that occupy my nightstand. I just emptied my trash of broken bolts and...feathers. My lady is quite literally in tears laughing at me now.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

IWSG: Readjusting

Brought to us by Alex J. Cavanaugh-sensei
and the Insecure Writer's Support Group.

I'm writing this two weeks ahead, but it will give me time to wrap my mind around actually doing what I'm planning.

I haven't had a full time job in 3 or 4 years, and even in the last two jobs I had (temp, casual-seasonal admin), I had so much free time that I spent it writing my blogs, reading, and editing my MS...and playing games on the sites that weren't blocked. Being an administrative assistant at the hospital, I have so much more to do, and also, I don't want to get caught doing other things online, because I know people get written up for that stuff here. I've been saying for weeks now that I would schedule my posts, but I'm HORRIBLE at that. haha

Also, I want to write, and it's been a while since I've sat down at my computer without feeling like it's a chore, and sadly, that's what blogging is becoming to me. I know it's not for everyone, but I do enjoy it sometimes.

So, I have to readjust in a different way, and that is to scale back my blog posts. I struggle to post two or three times a week, so I'm going to see how posting once a week feels, twice on IWSG week. It would just be a matter of when. Maybe alternating Tuesdays and Fridays. I have Tuesday Tales and Fast Five Fridays. It wouldn't make much sense to do them on other days.

Well, we'll see. Wish me productivity.

By the way, the last IWSG post was my 100th Post on The Write Mage! I missed it!

This month's IWSG question: How do you find the time to write in your busy day?

Well, see the above. lol I used to be able to write every day, and now my mind is so cluttered, but I'm about to change that, so I can get back to what I love.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Fast Five Friday: To Be Read

Brought to us by Dani and Jax, the Cover Girls!

Happy Friday!

This was one of those weeks that didn't seem to want to end. But it's almost over, and after next week, I get to use my first PTO hours! And have a three day work week! It's the little things, people.

Anyway, on most Fridays I try to participate in Dani and Jackie's Fast Five Friday, a quick 5-answer list based on a question they provide. This one is easy, because I just have to look at my Goodreads (I could also look in my moon chair and on my bed, but I'll use Goodreads).

5 books on your TBR list to read before we hit 2017

Whereaftter by Terri Bruce
The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
Parable of the Talents by Octavia Butler
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
A Girl if A Half-formed Thing by Eimear McBride

Pick up the pace, Deb!

What about you guys?

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Tuesday Tales: Around the House with Cyan

Let me try to get this out really quickly. I need to remember to schedule these Monday night, but I decided to look at my mom, then watch Too Close to Home lol.

Using the Gotham Character Questionnaire, I've been asking my characters the following question, which I will now ask Cyan.

What is in your character's refrigerator right now? On [his] bedroom floor? On [his] nightstand? In [his] garbage can?

We now have only half as many pounds of elk's meat that Ghuli mentioned before. The seaduck is also gone. She's tiny, but she eats about as much as I do. We still have a bushel of apples and some sweet leaves left. The nursemaids will replenish our stock in a day or so. There is enough sheep's milk for another Athwart Stew, howbeit, so I shouldn't hear much from Ghuli...Shouldn't.

Sir Aleksandyr used to tell me a spotless floor made for a living watch, so I have nothing on it. As Ghuli is still alive, I will not apologize.

On my nighstand is a wrinkled photograph of my parents. I look like my dad, but his eyes are dark brown. My mom had blue eyes. I don't remember much of them, but this photograph helps me at times. There is also a small vial of white paint, as well as some paint splatters. Ghuli was painting a wooden doll or something of that sort in here.

My garbage can is a bit of an embarrassment. I oft forget to change it. 'Tis currently filled with a number of bandages--Ghuli almost always damages herself falling from trees--apple cores, a pair of my old boots, and an old t-shirt I believe Ghuli used to "protect" my nightstand while she was painting on it. Why I let her do these things I will never know.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Fast Five Friday: Flashback!

Happy Friday!

The Cover GirlsDani and Jax, created Fast Five Fridays for us to list our 5 favorites of the week's topic if we like.Today, I'm actually jumping back to July, because I've been slacking on reading blogs and missed a couple questions I could have answered. So let's do the time warp!

July 5th - 5 Top Soundtracks:

Spice World (don't judge me)
Purple Rain
Forrest Gump
Beauty & The Beast (I listened to that thing so much when I was a kid)

July 19th - 5 Things You Want To Accomplish Before The Year Is Up:

Getting an agent
Getting a book deal
Buying Final Fantasy XV
Buying a PS4 to play FF XV lol
Get to my goal weight

How about you?