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