Monthly Archives: March 2014

No Sunday Writing Prompt

I know, I know. You were at the edge of your seat waiting for this week’s writing prompt. I do so hate to disappoint you, but as I’ve said previously, I don’t try to force out writing. If I’m not feeling the writing, then I work on backgrounds, character sketches, scene outlines, etc…

I haven’t written anything since totally revamping the idea for the story, although it has been revealing itself more and more the further into it that I delve. New villains are popping up, new allies are flowing in.

Best of all, the main character, Elixabeth Stigweard is fully unfolding herself to me. I have a fairly decent mental image and I’m undigging ALL of the various character interviews I’ve found over the years. I figure the more I dig in there, the more I’ll uncover.

So, I apologize once again that I do not have anything to share this week, but I am still working. Let’s see what comes this week!

By the by, I’m trying to work my way through John Truby’s The Anatomy of Story. Have you read it? I’m struggling with it because I have no writing classes under my belt, so some of the terminology is way over my head. But, I’m sticking with it. If you’ve used it, let me know what you think!

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Sunday Writing Prompt, Week 4

I know. Technically it’s like week 5. But I totally skipped a week. I’m not feeling it today, either. And let me tell you something up front. While I am dedicated to this book, I have chosen to live my life with the rule of, “If I don’t want to do it, then I won’t”, with the obvious exception of requirements – work, taxes, bills… If I have to force myself to write, even in the guise of “practice” or “perfection” then it clearly isn’t going to happen. I’ll be miserable and that will translate into the work.

So, you’ve been warned. I have the best of intentions. Especially in regards to this blog, but there are times when I just won’t. Take today, for example. My writing prompts stash is growing. I selected three to work with today. Yet, you’ll be getting none of them. Instead, today’s prompt was a flash of, “let’s write the opening from Harald’s perspective!” What better way to introduce him than this? So, I present unto you:

Sweat beaded at the bow of Elixabeth’s mouth, collecting and dropping; collecting and dropping. He could see the beads forming and falling, even from across the crowded ceremonial hall. His potion was powerful enough to hinder even the innate ability to hide her nerves with a glamour, but his eyesight was sharper than an eagle’s. He would have seen those beads of sweat regardless; he was looking for them, after all.

Next to her, his Nikita stood tall and proud, calm in the face of this challenge. Her glamour, weak and useless just the day before, proved unbreakable today. Not even he could penetrate the mask of serenity. Perhaps there was no glamour. Perhaps she was actually calm. The girl knew she would succeed where the other was even now failing. She knew he would not fail her, he never had.

Hands trembling so bad the ceremonial blood sloshed over the side of the Initiation Chalice, Elixabeth once more raised her hands in the air, speaking the incantation in a voice weakened by her nerves, though it had rung strong and clear just moments before. Her voice mattered little. Without the potion, should could have thought the words and the Fire would have erupted from the Chalice, creating a burst of Sun above her head, crowning her the next heir to the Summer Court. Instead, that burst flamed above the amber colored head of his Nikita. With the potion, however, nothing happened; just as wanted. Just moments before, his Nikita had performed the same feat with no effort, and had been rewarded, just as wanted.

But that drop of blood, it worried him; pulled at his mind. Glancing around the hall, it appeared no one else had noticed that one, tiny, drop. The room, quiet but moments before started to buzz with talk. Some spoke of the shock a failed Initiation caused; something that had not occurred in all of their long history, while others whispered loudly of the maiden next to their Princess. This girl, no better than a servant, whom they had chosen to ignore for so long. This girl claiming royal parentage, asking for her rightful place as eldest daughter of the Summer Court. This girl who looked just like the King’s twin sister, his elder by just minutes. She had disappeared long before this girl was born, taken by the Mortal Realm, but the resemblance was uncanny. King Jamus could not deny that she was his bastard daughter, born of a lustful interlude just weeks before his marriage to Queen Annen, the woman to his left.

And still, his mind brought him back to that drop of blood. Without the ability to use her glamour, that drop should still have been visible to the naked eye, a rich maroon against her pale skin, yet it was not for he had seen it quickly absorb into the top of her hand – right into the mark of her totem animal, the snow leopard, tattooed upon her hand at the culmination of her sixteenth birthday celebration. Impossible! Not with his potion; certainly not without it. The Summer Court would not, and often could not, work with blood magics. Only one able to control the dark matter of the gods could harness the powerful blood magics, and he himself had slain the last of those capable a millennium before.

To his left, King Jamus shifted angrily upon his throne. With furrowed brow, and thunderous eyes, he could only watch as the daughter of his heart failed him. Had he noticed that bit of blood, or that it had disappeared? If so, it would ruin all of his plans. And that just could not be allowed. It was time to take a more active role in the game at hand.

Writing Tools

As authors, we all have our favorite tools. It’s not that I’m old or old-fashioned (would I have a blog if I were old-fashioned?) but I just prefer doing most of my writing with pen and paper. I have a spiral bound notebook for all my characters (well, I have six so far – poor people have to buy supplies in lumps, lol) and I have a 3-ring binder in which I keep all my notes.

The pen and paper works best for me for a variety of reasons: 1. not-so-awesomesauce vision means after an hour or two at the computer, I have a hard time focusing; B) I like to be able to just open up a notebook and reference a character trait or background story rather than opening 18 million files; and 3) when I start with pen and paper, I find I’m able to edit as I enter it into a Word document. Like I said, this is just what works best for me. And we all know I’m a freak, so take it as you will…

There are, however, a great many who use one of a variety of computer programs such as Scrivener or Y-Writer. I’ve downloaded Y-Writer today, although I can only use it on the desktop and not my net book which is for traveling. It takes me a while to learn new programs, so I am really hoping I can pick this up sooner, rather than later.

What about you? Have you a program you like?

 

On a side note, the reader in me is feeling neglected so there might come a read-only break soon. Also, this week we are focusing on our villain, Harald the Druid. You’ll meet him this weekend. He’s looking forward to it.

Sunday Writing Prompt, Week Three/Four

So, I finally brought that tub home, and I’m slowly filling it with prompts. I have about 15 in there right now. Since I am only looking for prompts that will move my work-in-progress forward, I’m being choosy. But they are coming. And if you have any suggestions, please leave a comment. I love comments as they really drive home the point that I’m not just talking to myself…

This week’s writing prompt was: He whispered in her ear and walked away. As with the other prompts, I make it my own rather than keeping it “as is”. I do hope you enjoy. I’m not certain this will make it into the WIP, but it helps me look at the plot line…

“Don’t follow me about like a sad little puppy. I’ll have no embarrassing talk about someone to whom I am attaching myself,” he whispered harshly in Elixabeth’s ear  before turning and walking away, cutting off any attempts at denial or claims of innocence.

Anger burned her cheeks, spots of red forming, as the light quickly died from her amethyst eyes. Light that had only quickened as he came toward her. Light born of the hope that he would finally notice her; ask her to dance; converse with her for a few minutes. Anything other than the way he typically stood across the room from her, barely acknowledging her, not even as the beloved daughter of his host and High King. She turned toward Nikita, her constant companion. The daughter of Harald the Druid, trusted adviser to King Jamus, her father, Nikita was one of the few Mortals within the Immortal Realms, and the one she considered her truest friend. She had hoped for some sympathy, but was unsure of the emotions dancing through Kita’s eyes. Was that guilt? Embarrassment? What had the blonde to feel guilty or embarrassed of? Or was it embarrassment of Elixabeth’s apparent lapse in manners.

Surely that was not it? Rough around the edges though he was, Brennus and she had been promised to each other for most of her life, though it had yet to be officially announced. That would come after her initiation as the heir to the Summer Court, which was the following eve; her eighteenth birthday. What was wrong with her looking at the man who would be her consort, the King of the Summer Court upon the retirement of her father?

Nerves threatened to overwhelm her, nausea rolled through her insides and blanched the stain of embarrassment from her cheeks. Faint, she instinctively reached out to steady herself, not even noticing that Kita had moved away from her outstretched arm until she tumbled slightly,  one pale hand meeting the rough stone wall of the Summer Court ballroom. The walls came to life beneath her touch, humming and warming, which brought her immediate comfort. Her fiance might find her an encumbrance to be endured under duress and her friend might be ashamed of the stolen glances sent his way, but the very being of the Sacred Island recognized and welcomed her.

Across the room, Brennus stood in deep conference with Harald the Druid, a man so much a part of her life she viewed him as a beloved uncle rather than political adviser; her father certainly considered him friend and confidante first, adviser second. From so far away, the discussion looked to be almost heated with both sending furtive glances between her side of the large room and the dais where her parents watched the festivities with joy. Though Brennus was often at court, he and Harald had interacted so little previously that it immediately sent shivers down her spine, though she dismissed the misgivings as quickly as they came. The nerves of an upcoming initiation ceremony, at which she would be on public display for all of the Immortal Realm, were getting the better of her.

Beside her, Nikita let slip a wistful sigh, bringing Elixabeth’s attention away from her own troubles and back to her closest friend. The beautiful blonde looked spectacular in a gown of silvery blue, perfectly matched to the color of her large, soulful eyes. The thought that Nikita more closely resembled a good majority of the Summer Court than she did wormed its way to the forefront of her mind, as it frequently did when she dared compare herself to the prettier girl. Nikita looked like an angel, the celestial beings of the Mortal Realm with her blond hair and blue eyes whereas the Crown Princess felt like one of the Daemons, feared monsters of a Mortal religion with her inky hair and amethyst eyes. Her mother had the same coloring as she came from the distant Bheur Clan, a small court that was once as powerful as the Summer Court, yet still she felt an outsider.

Kita had been asked to dance plenty of times, though she had declined each one. Perhaps it was out of loyalty to a friend who would only dance with her intended, who clearly was not going to ask.

“What’s wrong, Kita? Do you wish to dance?”

“No, I do not wish to dance. I wish that I could – well, never mind that. Tonight is, after all, in celebration of you and I certainly do not wish to spoil it by talking of unwelcome wishes and desires.” This was said without any heat or anger, and a furtive glance at someone across the room, though Elixabeth could not determine exactly who.

My Apologies

I know that I do not have a huge following. I’m not important enough for that. Nor am I sure I would want that responsibility! But, I have readers and I haven’t posted much, so I apologize for that. This has been a messed up, crazy week and my sleep is all wonky so I’m not trying to write – if I don’t sleep enough, I lose concentration, and start not making sense, lol. You know, like any other mere mortal.

So, instead of an actual blog… Here are some updates:

1. My nieces all three have the CUTEST babies. Ever. In the entirety of being, whether in this galaxy or another.
2. I have the best husband.
3. I miss my father every single day. (He’s not dead, just in another state and I’m poor.)
4. I finally brought home the tub so tonight, I’m creating a sheet of writing prompts and filling it.
5. LA Guns is playing about 30 minutes from here this Saturday and I can’t go. WORST.

I’ve been up since 2 am for work, and I am EXHAUSTED. The writing will probably recommence on Sunday as I’ll be caught up on sleep by then. Do you know how hard it is to force yourself to stay awake until at least 9 pm so you don’t wake up at midnight, wide awake?