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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Wednesday Words: NaNoReMo?

So, I joked about doing "NaNoReadMo" a couple of posts back, but at this point, I realize it might be a good idea!

If you remember April for me, my Pastor died at the beginning of the month, and I was hired for a new job at the end of the month. Since then, my reading has gone kaput, and I was nowhere near reaching my original Goodreads goal for the month. I cut it down, given the circumstances, but I could still do better.

Most on the writing blogosphere already know November is National Novel Writing Month (that's right, right?), the time most writers set a goal of writing 1,000 words a day to have a 30,000-word manuscript done at the end of the month. This has been shortened to the adorable NaNoWriMo.

So using that same model, I would like to try to reach my reading goal by the end of November, or at least have a buffer that I can breeze through in December. So for me, November will be National Novel Reading Month, NaNoReMo! If I can read a book a week, I'll be happy. It's going to take some hard work!

What about you? Participating in NaNoWriMo this year? Would you like to join me in NaNoReMo? I want to know!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Tuesday Tales: Worst Qualities

I'm back with another question for one of my characters! This past week has been quite wild for me, and as I schedule these posts, I'm barely awake (it's barely 10pm), so I hope to get this done so you'll be looking at it in the morning!

This time around, I used Writeworld to find a question for my main character Ghuli. There are some great questions there, so I chose one that struck me as a good one for Ghuli to answer.

7. What does your character think is his or her worst quality?

Hello again.

My worst quality? Oh my. Well, to be honest, I am a bit impulsive. If I want to do something or go somewhere, I tend to follow my feelings. I am certain this frustrates Cyan, howbeit. In fact, I know it does. I would also say at times, I am clumsy, and to be both impulsive and clumsy is not the best of things. Cyan has had to patch me up many times after falling from the trees around our home.

(Let me sneak question 8 into this as well: What do other people think your character’s worst quality is?) Cyan?

Well, what did she say?

The clumsiness I could deal with. The impulsiveness is indeed the problem, especially when you tie it in with her affinity for not listening. I will give her an order, and she follows it for, perhaps, two minutes. The next thing I know, she's out of range of earshot, getting herself tangled in willow switches or limping back home because a branch gave way. 'Tis exhausting beyond measure. I imagine it will get better as she gets older. One can only hope.

Poor Cyan. My worst quality is that I get angry or annoyed really quickly. What's yours?

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

IWSG: New Schedule Progress and DVPit Day!

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

Happy Hump Day!

I can't believe October is here. Anyone else failing on their Goodreads challenge this year? I feel like if I buckle down during November, I can catch up. Maybe do NaNoReadMo' lol. I'm so corny.

Anyway, I changed my blogging schedule last month, and I'm really enjoying it. I was even thinking to myself, "Do I post a blog yet? Do I do it now? Yay, I get to post what I'm reading!" And that's what I needed: to be excited about blogging again.

Today also is the second go-round for the DVPit contest for marginalized voices! I hope I'll have a chance to throw a couple of pitches out there. I read a very inspiring article about my hero, Issa Rae, and she said one of her goals is to show black people just being ordinary, and I love that. That's one of my goals, too. People need to see black people and other marginalized groups just plain living in stories, and that is what I plan to do in my books.

Now, the IWSG question for the month: When do you know if your story is ready?

Oh man, are WE supposed to know that? lol Um...well, I guess for most, when you have beta readers and critique partners tell you. For those of us not that lucky with maintaining either, I feel like it might be hit or miss. Overall, I'm relying mostly on myself, which is tough, but that's life sometimes.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Final Friday: Express Yourself & Fast Five Questions

I can't believe it's already the last Friday in September! And with my new schedule that means it's time for some questions from Dani and Jackie! Feel free to join in on these. I'm answering a bunch of questions.

September 5-9: My spirit cartoons are definitely Jane from Daria and Ruby from Steven Universe.

September 12-16: I would lose smell, because mine is already not that great. I won't miss it.

September 19-23: Oh God. Um...1. my sister. 2. Chris Pine and Tom Hardy (giggle) 3. a pizza, The Game of Life, and a stereo

September 26-30: That's blasphemy.

I'll just answer a couple of these:

Sept 2 - List your top 5 beverages.
Dr. Pepper
Caramel Macchiato
Caramel Frappuccino
Rum & Coke

Sept 23 - Top 5 music artists you're attracted to.
James Bay
Chris Stapleton
Blake Shelton
Adam Levine

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.