Monday, December 28, 2009

You ungrateful.... so and so....

A while back I ranted about the romantic vampires and how I do not like them. Well, looking back and thinking it over. It's not the romance. It's the attitude.

Case in point; Dracula:
  • romantic
  • strange
  • mysterious
  • powerful
  • scary
My type of vampire!

But now there is the crop of emo vampires. Some that are so emo, the emo kids are telling them to lighten up. What is the cause of their angsts? They hate being a vampire. Look if it is that bad, just set your alarm clock for noon and take a walk.

Maybe its because they whine about how they hate being a vampire, and then rub it in your face. "I hate what I am, But do you want me to take you to the top of that tree?" Jump!
Or they use their strength, or use their speed. But the whole time whining about how bad it is.

It's like the TV show Heroes. I like Hiro. Because when he discovers his power, he gets excited. He knows he has to keep it a secret, but he also knows he is special and must help others.

Take a vampire example: Alucard from anime Hellsing. There is a vampire that enjoys what he is. Of course he is one of the most powerful vampires, if not the most powerful one. But when he is wasting an opponent, he is usually gleefully laughing.

There it is, these whiner vampires should be grateful that they have all these powers. There is a price. Hiro is dying. Alucard is a kept killer. Of course there is the blood. That seems to be a problem with some vampires. Even though, that is their main food source.

Okay lets look at this a different way.

A vampire was a human. The big word there is; was. You are no longer what you were. So why keep trying to be human? It's like a junkie that kicks the habit, but then pretends to shoot up. What is the point of pretending to be something you are not?

Overall, I do not like, and have never liked the vampires that lament about their "horrible existence". First, I don't like complainers. Second, if you are able to do all these amazing and sometimes, frightening things, why fight it?

So the whiners, hate being a vampire, don't want to drink blood, and think that a woman is going to solve all their problems. There is something wrong with that.

It gives me a headache. I'm going to dust off my Playstation and play one of The Legacy of Kain games. The only whiner vampire in those games had reason to whine, and it did not involve any of the above reasons. Poor Raziel, getting executed by your brothers is a good reason to whine. Maybe he should have a talk with Edward.

Raziel Before




Raziel After


"Edward, you hate your skin. I lost my wings, and my skin, and my lower jaw. Enough already!"

Sunday, December 20, 2009

2010

It's coming 2010.

Ten years ago, some people thought the world was going to end. Do you remember? I knew people that had actually bought small cabins and stock piled them with food, water, and probably weapons too. They were so certain that the world was going to stop because of a bug in a computer clock.

Not me, I was more optimistic. I sat on my couch and watched the 24 hour new millennium celebrations from all over the world. And the computer glitch. I still had a Windows 3.1 machine at that time, the clock when back to the year 1985, nothing else weird happened. I just reset it, went on with my life, and bought a new computer, later.

This was also about the time I started to have my characters show up in my head. I would write little short stories about them. But nothing clicked. I knew then that I wanted these characters to live on the page, but I could not find a good way to get them out there.

Here it is 10 years later, we are still here. Although some people think that in two years that will change. And finally those characters that were starting to form then, are becoming solid, now.

So what am I looking forward to in the new year. Finally, to hold one of my novels in my hand as a book. I hope some others read the book and enjoy reading it as much as I did when I wrote it. I will loose those last fifty pounds!

2010 should be exciting for me. I have a plan for the next year, and it is looking up already.

What are my "rules" for my vampires?

Vampires are one of my favorite monsters, but not for many of popular reasons that people like the monsters. Yes, vampires can be sexy and dangerous, but they are more than that.

If you were to start to look beyond Twilight, Buffy, the Anne Rice books, and even Dracula and look at all the old tales from all over the world, you would find that vampires are far more diverse than the popular image of a vampire.

Since my stories do feature vampires, I had to take a good hard look at them. One of the first things I discovered was that there are no hard rules for vampires. Even the most popular one, sunlight is harmful for vampires. There were some that the moonlight hurt. So with all this information in my mind. I came up with some "rules" for my universe.

  • Sunlight can hurt.
You can develop a tolerance to it. But it's describe as having your worst hangover with a migraine and getting a horrible suntan. If a vampire is injured to the point they cannot heal before the sun rises and they are not protected from the rays. They will turn to ash.
  • Human blood is a must.
These vampires must drink blood. They don't have to kill, every time, but the majority of their blood must come from humans. Animal blood can be used in emergencies, but if they make it the only type of blood, something far worst happens to them.
  • Stakes do hurt, but not always kill.
The purpose of a stake is to hold the vampire in place. It must be made of certain woods and be long enough to hold them to the ground. Little stakes do nothing, but annoy.
  • Cut the head off!
This is the only true way to make sure you kill the vampires. But you better make sure the head and the body don't touch. Some vampires in my stories have no problem with putting themselves together. As long as it is done before sunrise.
  • Human food, maybe.
The problem with human food and drink is the heighten senses of the vampires. They can still eat and drink, mainly to appear normal, but its a very bland diet. So no curry, unless they loved it as a human and found away to get passed the intense flavor.
  • There are some powers that are universal and some that are personal.
The universal powers among my vampires are increase strength, increased speed, moving earth, and glamor. But each vampire develops other powers that makes them unique. Not all can turn to mist. Not all of them can get inside a persons mind and make them do their biding. And some have found powers that other vampires are frightened of.
  • Vampire society is not clans
Vampires should be independent hunters. That may need the assistance of other vampires once in awhile. They may develop friendships, although that means you have a friend that is competing with you for resources. Any vampire that tries to run a clan, doesn't last long.
  • Sex.
Not really. You might get a vampire that will make a human think they are having a great time in bed, just to make the feeding easier. Almost all vampires cannot have sex.
There are exceptions. But I don't want to give too much away.

There are a lot more, but I wanted to touch upon the ones that always come up in current discussions about vampires. Even though, I said these are "rules" they are more like guidelines. As I develop some of the characters I did have to change the "rules" for them a bit. Then to explain why it is was possible for A to do something and not B, made for some interesting story conflicts.

Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Your character is there, you just have to help them grow

A few posts back; HERE. I mentioned how my female MC was bland, because I did not allow myself to go with my gut and give her flaws. I wanted the readers to like her, so I held a lot back. Now I am working on the rewrite and there were things there that I have jumped upon.

The main female MC has not had a "good" life. Her brother takes care of her, to the point that he pays her rent, gave her a job, and even buys her food. Why? Because she has been through a lot of trauma up to this point in her life and her brother really thinks it helps.

But how to show that she is a little unbalanced? In the first and second draft I did, I told the reader. This draft, I have found ways to show her mental state.

One was little physical ticks she developed. They were already in the story. I just picked them out and used them more. One was breathing through her hands when she was upset. Another was rubbing her neck with both hands. The last one was a surprise to me as a writer. I do not remember putting that in and thinking "This is a big one!" But when you find out a little of her past. That rubbing of her neck, is tied to a major event of her life.

Minor characters are starting to be fleshed out more. The aforementioned brother, there are reasons for his mother henning of his sister. Reasons that were not clear before. And his girlfriend, a bit of a bitch, but the type of bitch most women respect. The type that speaks her mind, without putting people down. All this came out in new dialog.

So what I am learning is that you don't have to force your characters personalities to appear. They are there already, you just have to coax them out. A little dialog here, a reaction there. All of it helps to make interesting characters.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Self Publishing; My reasons...

About three months ago, I was deep in the middle of writing out the rough draft to book three of my series. My husband and I stopped at one of our favorite little shops. We know the owner, as well as you can, for being regular customers. And the rest of the workers there are wonderful people as well. This shop is a wonderful mix of craft, arts, herbs, etc. You can get the idea.

We got into a conversation about the latest books we were reading. I said something like, "I haven't read anything for awhile, too busy writing my own."

"Really, What is it?" The owner asked.

"Vampire fiction. About a woman who's life become much better after becoming a vampire."

"Scary or Romantic?"

"There is a romance, but it's not a major plot point. More action, than horror," I said, "But the main character finally is able to protect her brother. He's always protected her, you understand."

And after a few more minutes of discussing my book. The owner smiled at me and said, "Get it done, get it published, and here is your spot on the counter!"

I thanked her, but immediately thought, how in the hell am I going to do this?

Turns out I already had the answer sitting in my bookmarks. It was a list of on demand publishers. I had originally got the list when I was thinking of getting all my recipes together and having them bound in a book form, for my own use. But this was going to be put out into the public. Was it worth the risk?

I began to to some research. Self publishing was not as complicated as when my father did his autobiography. He had to go to a local printer and order at least 100 copies. He made no profit on the deal, but that was not the point of his decision to to it. He wanted to get his story out.

He would have loved the internet. He could have not only got his story publish, with little or no cost to him (a sign of a good self publisher) But he could have made a little money on the side.

My goal is not to make a ton of money. Really it is isn't. I would like to make back my investment. Which is the cost of buying my own ISBNs, and ordering enough copies for the store. An investment that even in today's dollars was less than my dad spent nearly twenty years ago.

Granted I have to do a lot more work. I have to do my own typesetting. I have to do my own editing (although, I found out two of my friends do editing on the side and will edited it for a fee; considering that too), I have to do my own promotion. But you know what, Why Not?

If I only break even, great. If I am struck by the lighting of the literary gods and it becomes popular. I would be very, very grateful. But the road is going to be exciting, what ever happens.

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I lied; Teaser Tuesday again.

This is the end of my NaNoWriMo story. Just a nice little ending with the monsters. Showing that there are times they have to just enjoy themselves.

WARNING This one is rated R for language.

Greenwoods was not that far away from Konakove. But it was a large place. Steopa followed the trail that Jeremiah had driven down, the first night of their freedom. Steopa looked around. Perun should still be here, he thought.

“In the old days, they would leave pork or beef with the vodka,” Perun said.

Steopa turned. Perun looked much younger now. His hair was neatly plaited in small strands that hung around his face. Perun had even braided his beard. He could almost past for a human, if you did not see his feet.

“I owe you these,” Steopa said, holding out the bag.

Perun took the bag and looked inside. “Where did you find these?” He asked.

“Does it matter?” Steopa asked.

“Hell no.” Perun laughed.

They walked deeper into the woods. “Jeremiah is still here,” Perun said, “Vindar too, but he is leaving soon. Have you see Navarro and Amanda?”

Steopa nodded, “Amanda has convinced Navarro to try to live like a human.”

“Really?” Perun shook his head, “What some men won't do for love?”

Perun turned on to at one time had been a street, but the forest had taken it over and it was just a wide path now. Ahead were the buildings that were slowly falling into decay. Jeremiah waved from the porch of one of the houses.

“Look who it is!” he shouted. “I heard what you did.”

“You did?” Steopa asked, as he got closer.

“Yeah,” Jeremiah stood up, “the one that oversees the woods told me.”

“He has let you stay?” Steopa asked.

“He likes me,” Perun said.

Jeremiah chuckled, “Yeah, but he's been showing me the ropes.”

“That's good.” Steopa said.

“But you!” Jeremiah smiled, “How many vampires did you kill that night?”

“Six,” Steopa said.

“Six? Jesus.”

“Hello,”

Steopa turned. Vindar was standing a little further down the path. He was dressed in a suit. Steopa glanced back at Jeremiah, who shrugged.

“Vindar?” Steopa asked.

Vindar nodded, “I know, I don't pass for a human.” he said.

Perun sat down on the porch with one of he bottles of vodka already open. “So you don't look like much of a troll, either.”

Vindar grinned, “I have been walking in the town at night.” he said, “People don't look at me too odd, if I am wearing human clothes.”

“Until they see the rocks on your head.” Perun said, pointing the bottle towards Vindar.

Vindar walked to the group. “It has been worth it. I am leaving in a few days.” he said.

“Where are you going?” Steopa asked.

“To Canada,” Vindar said, “The Northern Territories. I think another portal is there.”

“Steel had a map,” Steopa said.

Vindar nodded, “Steel is coming with me.”

Perun belched. “I don't know why you are going.”

“Because I want to make sure all the portals are destroyed.” Vindar said, “It is my duty.”

Perun rolled his eyes. “You need a woman.”

Jeremiah laughed, “That's why you are sticking around here.” he said to Perun.

Perun grinned. “Oh, yeah.”

“I do not want to know,” Steopa said.

“You know, the college has a running track right through here,” Perun said, “Those girls that come by...” He made a gesture that did not leave much for the imagination.

Jeremiah giggled. “I've gotten a few meals off them too.”

“Just wait until I get a hold of one of them,” Perun said, he drank long swig of vodka, “They'll be sore, but smiling.”

Steopa closed his eyes and tried not to laugh.

“You brag too much,” Vindar said.

Perun shrugged. “I'm happy.”

“You are in contact with Steel?” Steopa asked.

Vindar nodded, he sat cross legged on the ground. “I ran into him a month ago, no one believes him.”

“Of course,” Steopa said.

“So we are going to make sure those portals are never used.” Vindar said.

“I still say you need a woman,” Perun said.

“You cannot tell me that you are just going to sit here while those portals are out there,” Vindar said.

“I told you, if you can't fuck it, fight it, or eat it, why worry about it.” Perun said.

Vindar shook his head.

Steopa grabbed a bottle of vodka, “We should just enjoy the night,” Steopa said.

Perun leaned over his his bottle and clinked their bottles together. “True, this is not a bad place.”

Jeremiah nodded.

Vindar reached over.

“What?” Perun asked.

“Give me one,” Vindar said.

“You don't drink.”

“You never asked me.”

Perun handed a bottle over to Vindar. “We will miss you,” he said.

Vindar smiled, “Thank you.”

“Do not worry about the portal here,” Steopa said, “I am watching it.”

“What the hell do you mean?” Jeremiah asked.

“The base is a perfect place for me to rest.” Steopa said.

Jeremiah shook his head, “I won't go back in there again.” He said.

Steopa leaned back on his elbows and looked up at the stars. Over the tops of the trees a thin ribbon of the northern lights could be seen dancing. He sipped the vodka and watched the northern lights. This was good, he thought, the first time in a long time, he felt alive.



Thanks for Stopping by

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Find and destroy the problem words.

I have been going through my first draft of the story I want to get published. This edit was to catch and write out the narratives, but I started to do something else that really has been a help. Using the Find function to look for my problem words.

Problem words are ones that cause problems in your writing, pretty simple. But you might not know that use are using them.

Some of the ones that are problems for nearly all writers are:
The -ly words. It is so easy to make an adverb. Just add an ly and you have one. But too many and its a sign of lazy writing. "She sat on the couch quietly watching the news." It tells you what she is doing just fine. But it could be. "She sat on the couch watching the news." We really don't need the word quietly. Think of other ways to describe her interest. "She sat on the couch. Hunched over, eyes riveted to the television. The local news was on."

The -ing words. I didn't realize that words ending in -ing could become a problem. The words are not bad, but they can alert you to a lazy sentence. "He was running." Nothing wrong with that. But if you were in the middle of an action scene. It would seem dull. "He ran down the street." A little more descriptive. But if you want to say "He was driving the car." And the sentence doesn't seem lazy. Keep it.

My problem words.
ONLY. Until I started to edit, I did not see how many "onlys" I used in my writing. "Only it was the wind." or "She only wanted to see what was going on." or "The water tasted good, only for the aftertaste of rust." Almost every paragraph had the word only in it.

There or That. Again not really problems words themselves, but they did point me to some awkward sentences. "There was a sound of glass breaking in the entry way." could be "The sharp tinkling noise of glass breaking was heard in the entry way."

I am sure there are many more. Figuring out what words are problems for me, had helped me speed up my editing. And helped me get rid of awkward passages. So now before I even read the passage I am editing, I run these problem words through the Find function of my word processor. After I get rid of them, or rewrite the sentence, I go through the passage in a line by line edit. I can work on editing other aspects of the writing.

I hope this helps.

Thanks for stopping by...

It's over for another year.

Done with NaNoWriMo.

I finished Wednesday night. This time I had a more of a challenge. A bout of the flu, a work week from hell, and editing another novel at the same time. So in other words, real life.

But it's done.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Teaser Tuesday last one until next year, maybe

Here is the last one for my NaNoWriMo entry for this year. Again, unedited, and ugly. This is one of the action scenes as my monsters are trying to escape. (The year it is set is 1965, might make the first paragraph easier to understand)

This is not what he signed up for, Steopa thought. He wanted to shoot those Asians, not babysit monsters. Steopa scoffed. The solider tried to turn his head to look at Steopa. Steopa forced his head back around.

“Stand down!”

Steopa saw three more soldiers approaching. They were fully armed and making their way carefully down the hallway. Steopa growled. He shoved the frightened solider aside and ran towards the three.

He didn't see what the last one was armed with until he was almost upon them. The last one was kneeling behind a large metal crossbow on a tripod. A large round cylinder sat on top of the shaft. On his back was a large air tank, tubes ran from the tank to the crossbow.

The soldier pressed the trigger. Wooden bolts shot out of the crossbow. Steopa skidded, twisted his body, and crashed through a nearby door. Two of the bolts struck him in the arm, burning his flesh. Steopa pulled the them out, giving them a quick glance. They were made of ash.

“Eb tvoju mat!” Steopa swore. He broke the bolts in his hand.

He heard two of the soldiers move closer to the room. Steopa looked up. He jumped and twisted in the air. He pressed his back against the ceiling. Steopa smiled. He hadn't done this in a long time.

The two soldiers came into the room. One was ahead of the other one. They were sweeping the room with their guns. Steopa waited until they were right underneath them. Then dropped.

He knocked the black haired one over. The other he picked up with his other hand and slit his stomach open. The black haired one stood up and slipped in the guts falling on the floor. As the gutted body fell, Steopa reached back with his other hand and grabbed the black haired solider.

Steopa roared. The black haired soldier fumbled with his rifle. Steopa swatted it out of his hands. The soldier had a crucifix. Steopa tore it off and threw it on the floor.

He picked up the soldier. The smell of urine hit Steopa's nose. Steopa swung the soldier's body around and against the nearest wall. The cinder block's mortar cracked under the impact of the body hitting the wall. The soldiers body flattened when it struck the wall. Bones broke, blood oozed out of the body. It hovered in the air for a moment, then rolled down the wall and on to the floor.

Steopa picked up one of the guns. The last gun he had fired had been a bolt action rifle. All guns were basically the same. He opened the chamber, checked the ammo.

He listened. The one with the large crossbow was talking to the other soldier.

“Draw him out,” one said.

“No way, he took Jim's head off,”

“He is just a bloodsucker, you scared?”

“Screw you.”

“Just get him out here.”

Steopa walked to the door. He lifted the gun to his shoulder and checked the sight. He had been a good marksmen when he was alive, but that had been with a musket. Hitting your target with a musket was more luck than aiming.

He stepped out of the room, aimed and fired. Then spun back into the room. The explosion shook the hallway. Ceiling tiles fell down. Steopa dropped the gun and walked back out into the hallway.

Steopa smiled. The bullet had ripped through the soldier with the crossbow and into the tanks on his back. The air tanks had blown. The one that had been operating the crossbow was blown in half. The other soldier was against the near wall, with debris buried in his chest.

The door way behind the explosion was nothing more than a large hole now. The cinder blocks were busted, the door frame was sagging under the weight of the ceiling, now.



Thanks for Stopping By...

Sunday, November 22, 2009

When the inner editor says DON'T, DO!

On top of NaNoWriMo, I am taking an editing workshop. Among the other things I have learned is this; Don't Hold Back.

Here's where holding back, made my story lackluster.

My MC, Beka, actually goes through a personality change in the course of the novel. At the beginning I wanted her high strung, hard to live with. Well, my little inner editor started to talk to me; You can't have her slap him. Why would she cry for that reason? You want people to like her, don't you?

I listened. Beka came out flat, unemotional, and not interesting. When she reacted to things around it, she was so blaaaah.

I kicked my inner editor.

So for the next rewrite, I will go extreme on her. I am going to exaggerate her reactions, make her very emotional, and hopefully annoying.

Why go the other way?

Because it's easier to tone something down, than to build it up. That is the problem I face now. I would rather make a character unbelievably annoying or evil, then reign them in. Because trying to build up a character from a flat plane is not fun.

I have thought of a few traits, personality ticks that I will add to her on my next edit. But I should have never listened to my inner editor.

I recently had a scene that could have been a rape scene. My inner editor was screaming, DON'T. I walked away for a moment. Would that character actually rape? Possibly. Is it in character? Yes. Is it overkill? No. I thought. I went back and wrote. The rape never happened, but something else did. Something interesting. If I had listened to the editor the scene would have not taken the course it did.

When you write, you have to let the story take you on the journey. If you start to second guess what the story is telling you to write, you end up with a mess.

Thanks for stopping by...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Teaser Tuesday NaNoWriMo (a little late)

Again I give you, unedited, and ugly teaser of the novel I am writing during NaNoWriMo.
The main characters run into some strange creatures that have very strong mental powers. This is what happens to the vampire, he finds himself in his village...

Steopa jumped down to the next step.

He looked up, he was standing in his old village. His fathers home was at the end of the street. Steopa looked around, he knew he had been somewhere else.

It was a warm spring day, the snow was melting and dripping off the roofs. The puddles in the street had lost all of their ice. Mud was just starting to fill the street, but it was still too cold to make walking on it difficult.

He could smell bread baking, his stomach growled. That was not right, he thought. But the hunger made him walk to his father's home. The large wooden house that also functioned as the village council chambers. Steopa opened the side door.

Ana was at the oven. Her brown hair covered by her head scarf. She turned around. Her face was older than Steopa remembered. She smiled and came to him, hugging him.
“Did it go well at the butchers?” She asked.

Steopa shook his head, was that where he had been? He thought. “I need something to eat.” He said.

Ana smiled at him, her full face turning slight red in the heat from the oven. “Lunch will be soon,” She said. “I will call the children.”

That wasn't right, Steopa thought. But he sat down at the table. He laid his hands in front of him. Ana went to the door and rang a bell. She walked inside, wiping her hands on her apron.

“Nastenka has been seeing Matas.” Ana said, as she walked to the oven. “I think you should talk to that boy.”

“I thought it was Rolan,” Steopa said. He knew that was right Nastenka had married Rolan.

“Rolan?” Ana asked. “There is no boy here named Rolan. Are you sure you weren't drinking with
Pavel again.”

Pavel, the gravedigger, Steopa could see the man's face. He was silently screaming. Steopa shook his head, “No, no, no,” He said.

Ana gave him a knowing look. Two teenagers came into the house. One was Nastenka, she looked so young. Her long black hair was braided and tightly pulled back. The young man, Steopa did not know his name, but he looked like Steopa had when he was younger. Tall and gangly.

“Sit down you two,” Ana said, “Bronius did you see Sofija today?”

The young man nodded. “Her mother thanked you for the cake.”

Steopa looked at his large hands on the table. This was wrong, he thought, I do not remember this. He studied his hands, they were large. He had lost the long, thin fingers he had been born with after he was married. This hand was not right.

A word came to him. Acromegaly. He looked up at Ana, busy at the stove. Then to Nastenka. She should not be here, he thought. Bronius he did not know at all.


Thanks for Stopping by...

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Inspiration, and watching it go away...

Last week before I came down with the flu, I was thinking at work, about what to write in my blog. I like to plan ahead. As I was walking in the backroom the idea came to me.

It was wonderful. I got excited thinking about the subject. I could not wait to go home and put my fingers on the keyboard and write it out. It was going to be so inspirational to everyone.

What was it?

I can't remember.

That's it. I really can't remember what the subject was. Maybe it was the flu coming on, or maybe it was work stress. But the idea floated out of my brain and into Idea Valhalla. (It's like Idea Heaven, but with pig roasting.)

I do carry a notebook for such moments (that was in my locker.), I have texted my husband with ideas (He has been so sweet not to wonder about them), and I have written them down on post it notes just so I would remember. But not that time.

So nothing else for it, I have to put a video up.

Here is Tenacious D with the song Tribute, very appropriate.



Thanks for stopping by

Monday, November 9, 2009

Teaser Tuesday NaNoWriMo style

Teaser Tuesday Time!

Again this is a recent part of my NaNoWriMo novel, warts and all. To catch you up, the good guys, he he, went through the portal.



The scent drifted passed again. Steopa sniffed the air. It was weak, and would disappear as soon as Steopa smelt it. He pulled the spider leg out.

A snort from a large animal came from Steopa's left side. He turned. Standing just down the slope from them was a group of mounted humanoids.

Their mounts were four legged crosses between a lizards and a praying mantis. Two arms that ended in one long claw rested along the mounts chest. They were about the size of large field horses. One of the mounts raised it's head an made a strange chirping, moaning noise.

The humanoids on the mounts were large. Steopa would have no trouble looking them in the eyes. They had five eyes. Two set of them on top of each other, one white eye above the sets. Their skin was gray and brown, it looked like tanned leather. Six fingers on a massive hand held the bridle to their mounts. They had hair, or what looked like hair, most of them wore it braided and wrapped around their helmets. One raised up the corners of it's mouth. Their teeth were long, sharp, and razor like.

There were eight of them. The one in the front got off his mount. His armor clanged as he hit the ground. He made a noise, it sounded like large cats growl. He pulled out a scythe looking weapon from his side and made the noises again.

Steopa glanced at Navarro. No one had moved. Moriko's hair began to uncurl and spread out behind her head. Jeremiah still had his gun ready, but he had the barrel lowered.

The armored creature looked at all of them. The fifth eye on his forehead glowed.

“What are you doing here?”

Steopa heard the words in Lithuanian, not English. The one that was off his horse looked at them. Steopa felt a pain in his head.

Perun spoke, in Russian. “We were sent here.” He said.

“By who?”

Jeremiah answered, in English, “By my commanding officer.”

Navarro started to shake his head and whimper.

Steopa stepped forward. “Who are you?” he asked.

The one with the glowing eye, raised the corners of his mouth. It could have been a smile, or a sneer. “Pu┼ékownik,”

Steopa shook his head. He knew that term it meant colonel. “That is your rank.”

“Pulkownik,” The creature walked up to Steopa.

Steopa gripped the spider leg. The creature glanced down at the spider leg. He snorted. Steopa waited, it would be no good to attack them now, Steopa had no idea what their strengths or abilities were.

Pulkownik pointed to Runa. He made the growling noise. Runa glanced at the rest of them. “He wants me to go with him.”

“No,” Perun said.

“That would be a bad idea.” Jeremiah said.

Runa shook her head. Amanda had backed up into Navarro, she put her arms around him. Pulkownik glanced at her and pointed. Amanda shook her head.

Moriko stepped forward. “Do you only want weak women?” She asked.

“Moriko,” Steopa said quietly.

“They will not find me as easily scared,” Moriko said. Her hair fanned out behind her head.

Runa walked forward, unsteady on her feet, as if she was being controlled by someone else. Pulkownik shook his head. The other ones on their mounts shook their bridles. Runa began to dance.

“What are you doing?” Perun said harshly.

Runa did not respond. She moved like a belly dancer across the green marble. She moved closer to the creatures on their mounts. Her eyes were misted over as if she had cataracts. Perun grabbed her arm as she passed him. Runa tried to pull away.

“You cannot fight us,”

Steopa growled. Pulkownik turned his head and focused on Steopa.

“You will come with us,”

“Give us a reason why,” Vindar asked.

Pulkownik pointed to Big John, “He will rip you apart.”

Vindar was making the gravel noise. Steopa smirked. “So you cannot fight your own battle?” Steopa asked Pulkownik.

Pulkownik raised his scythe. He pointed it at Steopa. The rest of the creatures shook the bridles. They began to fan out around the group.

Steopa raised the spider leg slightly.

“You came from the Kanonosqi village,” Pulkownik said, “If they do not eat you, you are an ally.”

Steopa shook the spider leg, “Would they just give me their limbs?”

Pulkownik glance at the other creatures. “Not as stupid as we thought.” He said.


Thanks for Stopping by...

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Thank you Twilight, you have made vampires a joke. - A Rant

Let's get this out of the way. I have read a couple of the Twilight books. I am not interested in reading any of more of them. I will not see the movies, even the new one with Graham Greene in it. And this is not going to be a discussion about how good or bad they are.

I just want to say this: Vampire romance has it's place, but because of Twilight, vampires are now a joke. People who have never read the books, or have seen the movies now associate vampires with sparkles. And teenage angst. Shudder.

I have talked to a few people about my plot ideas for my stories and they immediately make a face and say "Ugh, Vampires." Then there are three responses after that.
1. Are they going to be like the Twilight vampires?
2. They are not going to be like the Twilight vampires, right?
3. Why? They are overdone.

I am writing about my vampires. But now it is an uphill battle. It seems vampires are busting out all over. Vampire romance has taken off. And us poor fans of the monster in the vampires can only whimper.

There is a place for the monster vampires. I want to bring my take on the monster into the world. But too many people have these questions:
Is there romance? In one of my stories, but it's not the main plot.
Are they "nice"? When they want to be.
Do they drink human blood? YES.

No one is asking,
Do they enjoy killing? YES
Would I want to meet them in a dark alley? No, and run away very fast.
Do they dress in velvet? One does when he has to got to the nightclub

Okay I threw that last one in there for fun.

My favorite vampires are the ones that love the power they have. They are the ones that will use humans to get what they want. I love the manipulative, bastard, vampire. There I said it. Sorry all you, nice and sweet vampires, I would not give you the time of night.

A vampire should be a frightening monster. If you want to romance one, go ahead. I'll just get your coffin ready. And you want to have sex with a vampire? Most vampires are corpses. Dead bodies. Glad to know you want to engage in necrophilia.

At their core, vampires cannot be good. Almost every incarnation of them in folklore, they are evil. The one exception I can think of is one from Italy that would protect the village it was raised in. But that was probably due to more of self preservation than just a good heart. Vampires can be human during the day, they can be just formless mists, they can be disembodied heads, but Good? No.

Vampires are a mirror to our fear of death and what is beyond. What if when you die, you aren't allowed to pass on to what ever after life you believe in? What if something comes into your corpse and makes you sentient? Are you still human? A vampire that knows what they are, would never ask that question.

What about the romance? What about the seduction? My theory is that the vampires only do that to get to the best places to feed. Feeding from the neck must get boring after awhile.

So here's to Kain, Dracula, Severn, Spike, Varney, and all the other bastard vampires out there. You will come back, I know you will. Because if there is one thing vampires are good at, it's coming back from the dead.

Thanks for stopping by

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Teaser Tuesday

Thanks to Sarah Scribbles for the passing on the idea of Teaser Tuesday!


This is part of my NaNoWriMo work, unedited, warts and all.

Jeremiah came to Steopa's cell. He held up two blood bags. “Type O and Type A,” Jeremiah said.

“Why should that matter.” Steopa said.

“I thought maybe it was like a wine vintage.” Jeremiah said, grinning.

Steopa shook his head and took the blood bags. It wasn't hunting, but he did get a meal every night.

James' walkie talkie beeped. James answered it. “James, here.” he said.

“We need you at the North Station,” a voice said.

“Can not do,” James said. “We have to feed the ghoul.”

“Negative, Private Reese can proceed without you.”

Jeremiah shook his head. James picked up the walkie talkie. “That is not a good idea.” James said.

“Private Trowbridge report to the North Station.” The voice commanded.

Jeremiah glanced at the Ghoul's door. “I guess I will try.”

“Sorry, man.” James said. He left the cell area.

Steopa raised the blood bag to his mouth then stopped. Jeremiah's face went pale.

“If you are quick, you should be fine.” Steopa said.

“Yeah, I know,” Jeremiah said. “But that thing is fast.”

Steopa bit into the blood bag. A wine glass would be more elegant, but the exposure to the air would make the blood taste rusty. He watch Jeremiah.

Jeremiah picked up the bag that was on the bottom of the tray. He held it in the crook of one arm as he undid the keys on his belt with the other hand. He unlocked the flap on the door.

Steopa could hear the ghoul inside. It was dragging it's claws across the door. Jeremiah flipped open the flap, and threw the bag inside. The ghoul's hand was visible for a second then disappeared in the gloom.

Jeremiah sighed. He reached over to lock the flap. The ghoul reached out and grabbed his arm. Forcing him against the door. Jeremiah screamed.

Steopa swore in Lithuanian. He pounded on the side of his doorway. Perun started to shout. Navarro and Vindar both came to their doors, craning their necks to see what was going on.

“Get your asses in here!” Perun yelled.

Jeremiah's body was tugged. He tried to pull back while he was screaming. The ghoul pulled on him again.

No one was coming. Steopa threw the blood bag to the floor. He balled up his fist and hit his glass door. The door did not break, it turned to powder. He ran to Jeremiah's side and reached into the slot of the ghoul's door.

The ghoul bit his arm. Steopa swore and groped for the ghoul through the slot. Jeremiah wasn't screaming anymore. His mouth was still opened as if he was screaming, but no sound was coming out.

Steopa found the ghoul's head. It was eating Jeremiah's arm. Steopa hit it on the side of the ghoul's head. He heard bones break. Steopa wasn't sure if it was the ghoul's head or Jeremiah's arm. Jeremiah fell backwards.

The ghoul reached through the slot and tried to grab Steopa. Steopa grabbed it's arm and broke it. The ghoul hissed. Steopa slammed the flap shut. The metal buckled under his fist. It got stuck in the slot. The ghoul began to claw at the flap.

Steopa turned around. Jeremiah was curled up in a ball, holding his one arm. The ghoul had eaten most of Jeremiah's hand off. Blood was coursing out of the stump. All Jeremiah could say was “Ah, Ah,”

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Original Idea

I read this blog http://jasonamyers.wordpress.com/2009/10/12/help-im-stuck/
And got intrigued; Could I write the synopsis to my planned series of books? In under 25 words?

I decided to try it. Here it goes; I do have most of these written in a very rough draft.

(ordered in the way I want to publish them, not in the order I wrote them.)

Book 1
NaNoWriMo entry this year
Supernatural creatures are used in an experiment to explore another dimension, what they find there scares them. (17 words)

Book 2
A werewolf couple wants to integrate into human society. They have to use their powers to protect a young boy. (20 words)

Book 3
A woman finds out about the vampires in town, becomes one and finally can protect her brother the way he was protecting her. (23 words)

Book 4
The werewolf's old pack finds him. He has to protect his new pack from them. (14 words)

Book 5
A vampire meets another with similar ideals, but then has to wrestle with the idea; what makes a killer and what makes a psychopath? (24 words)

Book 6
A vampire has a secret family. When it is found out, they are hunted by other vampires that think that is obscene. (22 words)

Book 7
A trophy hunter goes after the werewolf pack. It someone known to the newest member of the pack. (18 words)

Book 8
Someone is making vampires using technology and magic. And some vampire children are born. (14 words)

And for the series:
Two types of vampires were created. The one that is almost wiped out is the one that is needed in a coming conflict. (23 words)

Those are my book ideas in a nutshell. I know the short descriptions don't grab you, they don't me. But if you are able to condense your plot down that small, you should be able to keep in mind what the story is about.

Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, October 30, 2009

30 Days of Insanity

Here it comes.
NaNoWriMo!

I am all set to go.

This year looks good. I have a story I am excited about. It has been tempting to not do the contest and just start writing. But I held off.

My local group has their write ins planned. The same coffee shop as last year, so I know my creative juices will be flowing! Also added at least one breakfast write in, for us early risers. I will go to more this year. Because they were a great way to get motivated.

So what now?

Everything is ready. I have my dropbox account all linked up. For any unforeseen hard drive failures. I got my little coffee maker working. I have a partner this year too. My husband is also attempting to write. It should be nice to have someone else in the house that understands the insanity. Or all hell will break out. One of the two.

But this year I am doing more than just writing. I am also taking a writing class. I am editing an earlier story. And possibly still writing the start of the second series (although that one can be put on hold for a little while) So I am stretching my self thin.

I thought it would be too much. But in my little group we have the college students with full work loads. A few people with major health issues. And professional writers. When I compare what I am doing to the others in my group. My workload suddenly doesn't seem too bad.

So here's to another NaNoWriMo. I hope we all hit our 50,000. And my posts will make more sense in December.

Thanks for Stopping By.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Enough theory! What are you writing about?

So what the heck am I writing about?

It's a horror/sci-fi modern fantasy. Sounds so grand, doesn't it?

The main plot deal with a group of vampires in a particular city. They are loner vampires, not part of any coven, or any other type of group of vampires, but they come together after an artifact is discovered.

These vampires have to fight off others to protect themselves and the artifact. They discover something much larger than the normal vampire turf wars is in the works. Something that will affect all vampires and possibly humans as well.

This is a large story so I have planned it over at least eight books. But to be nice to myself and the readers, I am breaking it down into a couple of series. That way I won't be overwhelmed and the reader won't have to read all of them to get the idea what is going on.

The first series is done, at least rough draft form. The prequel will be started on November 1st.

The prequel will bring the sci-fi element to the story. It takes place 30 to 50 years before the first series. It is about two of the main characters being captured and kept in a government lab. But they are not the subjects of the experiments. They are wanted for an exploration of something found deep with in the Earth. I was influenced by the conspiracy theories of alien control, hollow earth, and new world order.

The first series deals with the four vampires that are brought together when one discovers an artifact. What the artifact is and why it suddenly becomes important for vampires survival is the over all plot of the first series.

The next series is just in idea form, but basically the vampires find out that they have to change, to protect not just themselves.

The side series is about the werewolf side of the story. In the over all large plot of the series, there is a reason why the werewolves and vampires have to come together and join sides.

So there is the rough sketch of what I am working on right now.

The ones that are in the works are:
First book of the first series: First edit stage.
Prequel: Planned out and ready to roll.
First book of the side series: Halfway through rough draft.

How do I keep all this straight?

Computer post it notes! My little linux machine had the program already installed and it has saved me from opening up another text file just to make notes. Those of you that use windows could try this program Simple Sticky Notes 1.1

That's it for now.
Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Writing and Editing My Way.

For the longest time I loved to write, but I had no direction. There are piles of notebooks sitting in my house, with little vignettes of stories inside. Folders on my computer filled with one to ten page pieces of stories, or notes. That was all I did. It was a hobby. Nothing more.

Then I wrote a 50,000 word novel in a month. I could do it! That one will probably never be read by anyone. That was not the point of writing it. The point was to prove to myself I could do it.

But now for the other hard part. Editing. A path I am just starting to take. I have tried other methods that have been suggested on the internet, but finally came up with my own.

Writing is like drawing.

Huh?

The first draft I make is a rough draft. I compare it to the sketch an artist uses when they first come up with the idea. That sketch could be nothing more than a circle with two lines drawn through it. Showing where the eyes and bridge of the face lie. That's how I look at my rough draft. A place holder for the ideas. At this point I am not worried about chapters, headings, or even if I have all the commas in the right place.

The second draft is to flesh things out, and to make the connections more clearer. Clean up the long passages of narratives, add more of the five senses to the scenes, not just what the characters see. Like the artist, who will take that circle and place the rest of the features of the face in. This time around I am looking to expand. Not necessarily doubling my work, but filling in the gaps. I also wait at least a month (up to a year) between the time I do the rough draft and the second draft. I want the story out of my head, before I read it again. That way it is fresh to me.

The third draft. The mechanical draft. This is where I pay attention to all the little details. The i's and t's and the periods. I may have caught some of it during the second draft. But this read through is not about substance, its about style. Does what happen on page 12 really relate to what happen on page 200? If not, I have to fix it. Back to the artist. This is where they are cleaning up the stray lines. They are starting their shading. The picture is almost complete.

Final draft. Wait another month. Read it like it's a new book. See if all flows together. Now we work on getting it ready to be published. If the previous steps have to be redone, then do it. The artist at this point will take another look at his work, and start adding more depth. But when he or she steps away this time, the work is done.

And now my novel is done.

That is how I look upon writing. It has really helped me get organized and complete my stories. I hope it helps someone else too.

Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Swtiching Gears

Interesting developments this week. It's not Monday, but I can't wait to share.

1. Finished off my planned 4th story of my 1st series and realized that the main focus the series was missing in that story. I put a note down about that, so when I go back to edit I can work that out better.

2. Started the second series. Moving slow, but making headway everyday.

3. Second week of my writer's class. Now, I am getting motivated to edit more.

4. Speaking of editing. I have also started to edit the rough draft of the 1st story of the 1st series. Right now working on getting rid of the narratives and putting more action in. Here is an example of what I did.

Originally:
She just kept walking. Vincent didn't say anything else. At the nightclub, Beka excused herself from the rest of the night and went upstairs to her apartment. She laid down on her couch.

Now it became"

Vincent didn't say anything else. They walked back in silence. At the door, Beka got a few strange glances from people waiting to get in, as she walked passed the bouncer cage, with just a nod from Swen. Vincent left her at the dance floor. Beka walked over to the bar.

Lorelei, John's long time girlfriend was tending the bar tonight. Her purple and pink hair was glowing in the black lights that they had behind the bar. As Beka walked behind the bar, to take the back way up to her apartment. Lorelei quickly put down a drink and followed Beka in the back.

"You okay?" Lorelei asked.

Beka just wanted to hide. She didn't want to talk right now. "I need to lay down." She told Lorelei.

Lorelei tilted her head. Her silver jewelry making small tinkling noises as she did. "Andi said you looked like you were very upset."

Beka turned her head away, so Lorelei couldn't see her face. She could feel her face turning hot out of embarrassment and anger. Why did they care? She thought.

"I just have a nasty headache." Beka lied.

"Alrighty," Lorelei said. She reached into her back pocket. "This is some tea Cassie brought over tonight. It's supposed to help with headaches."

She handed the small packet out to Beka. Beka took it without turning her head too much. Then she hurried to the back of the club to the stairs to the apartments above.

In her apartment, Beka smelt the tea bag. It smelt like everything in Cassie's store; patchouli and cinnamon. Beka laid the bag down on her table, strewn with computer books and a few hard drives. Beka walked to her living room and threw herself on the couch. The springs protested.
It's amazing what you can milk out of your rough drafts. But reading it again, I can see where I still need to work on it.

Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Why I don't outline...

I don't outline.

I can already hear some other writers cringing. What do you mean you do not outline your stories? I don't. I have found, that I write better without an outline. I have tried outlining in the past, but then it felt like I was writing a term paper. It wasn't fun. Writing is hard work, but it should be fun too.

Does this mean you don't work out a plot?
No, but when I come up with the idea. I come up with the one to sentence idea first, then expand on it. This is how.

The idea I get one morning drinking tea is; Fluffy Bunny saves the Day, by taking out the Bad Hamsters. (Silly idea, but bare with me)

Immediately, I think, who is Fluffy Bunny? I let my imagination work overtime and come up with it's a woman who is the mascot for her college team. The mascot happens to be a large rabbit. I jot that down.

Who are the Bad Hamsters? For some reason a gang of bored teenagers comes to mind. They brag on the internet about their 'pranks' by using the name Bad Hamsters. That note goes down too.

Now I come up with 2 to 6 major plot points. Things i would like to make sure get into the story. In this case;
  1. Fluffy Bunny just happened to be at the right place at the right time, due to a daily annoyance.
  2. Her younger brother is a member of the Bad Hamsters.
  3. Fluffy Bunny's boyfriend is the target of a new prank.
  4. The leader of the Bad Hamsters is pushing the kids to become more criminal.
That's good enough for now.

Taking those notes I come up with the younger brother, her boyfriend, and the ring leader. Then the setting, which would have to be a college town. I try not to come up with too much information, unless I need it for the story.

That is the extent of my planning of the novel. I might have an ending, or I might not, but as long as I take the characters from point A to point B, and may a few side trips along the way. It works for me.

The only time I put more work into my stories, is if I am writing something I am unfamiliar with. Such as if Fluffy Bunny's boyfriend worked at an investment firm. I would have to read up on what he would be doing there, and get a good enough grasp on the workings to make it look like I know what I am writing about.

For me, a good story has to be organic. That is why the plot is so vague when I start to write. Some stories have come out of a scene that would pop in my head. I would write it down to use later, and suddenly it's expanded to a full story. If I would have stopped and tried to outline; I would have lost that spark that hit me in the first place.

BTW if you like this story idea, run with it, but send me a copy and credit me somewhere.

Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Losing weight and writing, both uphill battles.

While I have been writing like crazy. I have also been working on loosing my weight. Two of the hardest things a person could under take in their lives. I was 297 pounds when I began; a size 26, and walking was starting to become difficult. As I write this I am 220 pounds, a size 16, and just joined the Y. I am only halfway to my goal.

So what does this have to do with writing. The same goal and commitment mind set I have used to loose that weight; is what I needed to sit down and get these stories completed.

It all comes down to setting manageable goals, and sticking to them.

With my weight. I have a certain number of calories per day. I also try watch my fat percentage and fiber grams. That's it. Sounds easy. Not really. You have to reteach yourself to eat, again. Resizing portions, getting two servings of vegetables into every meal, making sure you budget for that glass of wine or that coffee and biscotti. Actually, it hasn't been too bad. I don't have any forbidden foods, just foods that I have to figure into my budget. The goals are easy to understand, without any weird rules to follow, such as no eating after 8 pm on a full moon.

With the writing. My first goal was to get a rough draft down. Thanks to NaNoWriMo, I proved to myself I could do it. I set the same goal for myself for every book that I used in NaNoWriMo. 50,000 words in 30 days. Except, I don't make myself hit the 50,000 words. If it's a little under, okay. If it's over, alright! I only chose that to get the daily goal of 1,667 words a day. When it come to adding the editing in, I will drop it in half. Because then, I will have to set and obtain the editing goals as well.

What about slip ups?
This used to kill me when I tried to loose weight. I would hate myself so much for having that piece of cake, that I would give up. Now, I don't do that. If it's a really bad slip up, start over the next day! If it's something you know you will slip up at, plan for it. A good example is the New York State Fair. We always go, the food is not the healthiest. But you do not go to the fair for healthy food! I didn't pay too much attention to my goals, but I didn't go around and eat all the fried oreos I could find. Besides when you can get a baked potato for a dollar, and milk for 25 cents, you can make some good choices too.

As for the writing. Same thing. I might be sick, or too busy that day to sit down and complete my goals. But the nice thing about writing is that you can get ahead. I wrote one of my 50,000 word rough drafts in 20 days! If I had slipped up, that would have giving me 10 days to catch up. But what if I don't make my goal. Use the next few days to catch up. Maybe one day I only write 500 words, 1100 short of my goal. For the next week I would write an extra 160 words a day to catch up.

Both of these projects in my life are tough, and a lot of effort has to go into them. But I am working on the big picture. A healthier me and finally getting my novels out of my head. I know I won't be a size 2, which is okay. And if I sell 20 copies, I will be happy.

Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Nanowrimo relaunch.

Not a real update. Just really excited.

It's a month away. Nanowrimo is going to start on November 1st! I did it last year and it proved to me I could finish a novel. Since then I have been writing like crazy. So I cannot wait to do it this year.

If you are curious what I am going to be writing; check out my page here.

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, September 28, 2009

First post, just a place to warm up.

The idea behind this blog, is to keep people informed of where I am at in my story writing. My first goal is to have my first novel ready to go by the end of March 2010.

After over ten years of trying to find a way to get a good story out; this summer I was hit with the writing bug. What I wrote I am please with, and will clean it up, and make it presentable to the world. If I only sell twenty books then so be it. At least these stories will be told.

A little preview. The main characters are vampires. The type I like, the ones that you are not sure are going to kill you. No glittering, love sick ones in my stories. Mainly, because I am dealing with adults in my stories.

In the coming months, there should be more information as I get closer to my goal date.

Thanks for stopping.