Monthly Archives: July 2014

Kindle Unlimited

Have you been on Amazon lately? I have. Not only did I buy myself a Chromebook so I can write when at work. I haven’t figured out how to right click on it but I have a super crappy wired mouse that I throw in my bag with it. While looking at some used iPod’s for work, I stumbled upon Amazon’s new Kindle Unlimited. It’s $9.99 per month (after the first 30 days as a free trial) but you basically get to read unlimited books for free. You can only ‘check out’ 10 at a time, but I mean, if you read one a day (totally possible) that’s 30 books for free per month. And not just crappy books, either.

Right now I am reading two different books (one on the pc and one on the phone). I’ll try to get a review here when I’m done.

But seriously. Check it out!

Teasers

If you follow the blog, you know that I’m considering some changes to the way my story flows, especially concerning the world in which my story takes place. While I am not starting over completely, I am reworking what I already have. Today, I reworked the prologue, which involved some of the new rules of my alternate reality. Because of this, I am sharing the old prologue with you. I do hope you enjoy!

With this prologue, I will introduce to you the character of Lady Eleanor Hadleigh, Countess of Hadleigh. Widow of Lord Arthur Samuel Fisher, the Earl of Hadleigh. Some of the addresses are wrong in this part, but that’s what editing is for, eh?

 

Hadleigh Manor

Hadleigh, Suffolk, Britain

23 September, 1799

 

“I truly am sorry my lady, but you must see that this request is highly unusual,” the lawyer stated as he shifted nervously in the worn leather chair in front of the earl’s massive oak desk. His dirty, graying hair fell over eyes widened in shock at the thought of working for the person in front of him.

“Yes, perhaps it is. Nevertheless, it will be done. Whether you help me, or whether another lawyer helps resolve this issue; well, it matters very little to me. The Rigsby Firm has earned a lot of money from this family, but that does not mean I am forced to continue this relationship. I will get my way in this.” Seated behind the desk that had been her husband’s, the dowager Countess of Hadleigh set her icy gaze upon the older gentleman, knowing he would soon look away. She had perfected that glare at the knees of her father, one of the most feared dukes in the land; mimicry was just one of those innate abilities she had always had.

“But they are bastards, your grace. And all girls,” the last bit was said with a shudder, as if the innocent children had asked for either condition. As soon as the words were out of his mouth, John Rigsby wished he could inhale them, erase them from the very air. The air that now crackled with anger.

“Ah yes, there is that, they are bastards, John, and female bastards at that. Neither of which matter in the slightest. Those children are in danger. Will you be helping me, or no?” This was asked as the dowager countess gracefully stood up, the bulge of her stomach not hindering her in anyway.

“From the information I have received, the only danger to those children is you,” John Rigsby was not sure what suddenly gave him the nerve to speak so rudely to the woman ushering him from her home, but his spine was suddenly erect, and he looked her straight in the eye.

Not so much as a blink. Not a twinge. There was absolutely nothing in the amber eyes staring at him. No embarrassment, no anger; no emotion of any kind.

“Your information is flawed, Mr. Rigsby. Archibald Wilkins will be here Tuesday next. If you do not wish to sully your hands by working for a female, then consider our relationship severed as of now. If however, you wish to continue working for the Hadleigh family, bring me the papers and those children tomorrow morning.” With that command, Eleanor Hadleigh swept from the room, nodding an indication to show the attorney out to a passing footman.

 

Ugh… What have I gotten myself into?

So… I have been thinking about how the magics of my world are going to work within the confines of Victorian England. And the answer? Clearly I didn’t spend enough time on world-building.

Which means back to the drawing board. And possibly re-writing everything I have written before. It’s work; hard work. But I do believe it will make for a stronger book.

I do believe I was headed back to the drawing board anyway: I’ve been doing a lot of writing from the point of view of/about the bad guy. The further in I get, the less I want it included. It’s great so that I know what’s going on in the background, but not so much as part of the work itself.

So. Back to the drawing board.

Sunday Writing Prompts

What? Is she serious? Another writing prompt after all this time?

Oh yes. I am serious. Very much so. You see, I haven’t needed the writing prompts all that much since switching my perspectives. This does not mean that the words are just flowing with no cap; I absolutely still encounter bumps and bruises, but still – I’m not really needing those prompts.

And then last night, while working on my Epiphany inspired scene, I came across a stumbling block. And not the kind I am used to either. You know the one – the words just shrivel up and die; they no longer flow. No, this one came in the form of a fork in the road. My scene can be written two different ways, and I’m not sure which is better.

What would you do in a case such as this?

Do you freak out and stop? Do you maybe bang your head against the wall in frustration? Those are both viable options, and certainly choices I would have exercised previously. Today, however, I choose the more logical path: write both scenes and use the one which feels more natural.

So that is my Sunday Writing Prompt – write this scene from both points. It is not something that will be finished today, but I’ll share the discarded one when I’m figure it out. Or, perhaps a snippet of both.

 

Epiphanies

Don’t you just hate when you get that epiphany in the middle of the night? Well, I recently had an epiphany about a necessary scene/piece of action that did not present itself at the time of outlining, but rather after writing the scene that will come before it.

The scene is necessary to me because it connects the scene prior and the scene after, so I am not sure how I missed it while creating the outline. And, while I was struggling to figure out the steps from prior to after, this scene has created that bridge flawlessly.

YAY!

(moving on…)

I’ve always loved those little Post-It tabs, but they weren’t perfect. Upon starting my new job, I found something even better – Post-It flags. The part that goes on the paper is clear, so it will not obscure any print there. Right now I’m using it to differentiate between chapters and notate places where I need to make changes or fill in more information.

(Yes, I’m a fan of my supplies. I cannot wait to get a real office set up!!)

Aside from that, I’ve reached a word count of 6,730. That seems crazy to me. I never thought I’d get this far and now I know I’ll be able to get 70,000 more if I want.

I was totally heartbroken to learn of the passing of Tommy Ramone yesterday. The Ramones are my all-time favorite band. Chris and I danced our first dance together to Baby, I love You by The Ramones. No one can ever compare.

 

And now, back to my regularly scheduled program of a CSI marathon.

 

Before I bid you good night

Last night, I posted from my phone. My phone is crap. It took forever to write the 100 (or so) word post, and then I thought I was going to lose the post before it saved because the POST button actually disappeared. Yes, completely. I almost cried.

Tonight, I am extremely tired but I wanted to report PROGRESS before saying good night. If you follow my Facebook page (and if not, you should) then you know that earlier today, I posted a rudimentary mapping of the majority of my story world. Not the over-all world, but rather the town where the majority of the story takes place. I say rudimentary because I am not done – that was a rough idea to keep the thoughts in focus. Tomorrow, I will try to finish it up. The goal is to finish the mapping and then get it onto a poster board for the wall.

I also need to finalize the rules of my ever-so-slightly alternate reality. But first, I have to decide – is magick well-known and fairly well-accepted, or is it still hidden, arcane? Yes, you’re right – hidden and arcane. Well-known and well-accepted make it mundane, lol.

And now, I’m about to pass out. Kisses!

Thoughts and Ruminations

OK, so perhaps that is a tad redundant. Perhaps not. I’ve thought my world-building done. But I’ve realized that I’m still not fond of Victorian England. Love the fashions and style, but I don’t want to write about it. Know what I do want to write about? The 20s. The stinking roaring 20s. But I don’t think my story fits there. It belongs in the 1800s.

So on I sludge. Bit I definitely have more world-building to do. And so, I dedicate this next week to that. Shall I share my progress?

The Trouble With Historical Writing

I love historical fiction. I especially love my historical romance. But, I’m discovering it isn’t as fun as one might think. When I go to process a scene prior to writing it, I’m like…shoot, what would be a typical day here? What would he have worn? And let me tell you something. There is a crap ton of information about women’s fashion in history, but not necessarily a lot about men. And I’m not an expert on anything like that. There are days when I can barely dress myself NOW.

But, onward I trudge. I have some books awaiting pickup at the library, which I hope will help with some research. In the meantime, Google Images and Pinterest seem to be helping a lot.

Have I told you that I love the research bits? I love learning new things, especially about the past. It gives us such an appreciation of those who came before us.

 

Also, happy 4th of July to those of you in the States.

Baring My Soul

Despite the title up there ^^, I’m not fully convinced we have souls. They are such an abstract concept to me. Of course, you take that with as many grains of salt as you need because I believe in gods and demons and angels and fairies and myriad other phenomena. So, anyway…

Today, I finished the one and only scene in Chapter 2 of my current work-in-progress. It contains zero action or reaction, at least to my untrained eye. It is, quite literally, a conversation between the two antagonists. There is some background woven in, the relationship between the two is further exposed…et cetera.

And, while I have not set myself a word count per day because life, well I’m quite shocked to say that I have reached 6099 words. Six thousand and ninety-nine. I love how big that is. That’s huge. I mean, it isn’t huge considering it is one prologue and two chapters, but even I understand that not all chapters are of equal length.

And with that, I share this opening snippet of Chapter Two:

North used his key to open the Sacred Chamber exactly six hours after leaving his friend to rest. Seeing him already up and seated behind the desk in an alcove off to the side, he shook his head in bemusement and wondered why he was not already used to this. Even as children, his friend had not needed a lot of sleep. It had been most vexing as it meant his sleep was always being interrupted, but he had adapted as the years passed. Shaking the thought out of his mind, North moved past the desk, toward a small area in the back.

“Have you figured it out yet?” Setting the large tray with two fully loaded plates of breakfast foods down on a dark cherry sideboard, North took a plate for himself before sitting down in one of the two high backed leather chairs nestled in a corner.

“Not yet, no. I’m close though. It almost seems serendipitous, that fool Milne being there. Though I am surprised he hasn’t killed himself yet – the guilt of killing his best friend, and whatnot,” replied Tosk as he came to pick up his own plate, sitting in the remaining chair.

“What are you thinking?” North could tell his friend was eager to talk. His bright green eyes were alight with an almost childish glee; one North had not seen in a long time. But he needed to be asked, cajoled.
“Well, I was able to take over his mind rather easily all those years ago,” stated Tosk, a smirk across his face. That memory was one of his favorite: using one man to take out the other, and all from the comfort of his own home.

“That’s true, yes. But can he answer our questions? Can he lead us to the Jewel?” North knew it was all well and good to reminisce upon past events, and even use the same people for similar tasks, but these two events were not similar. He could not see where Tosk was going with this, and wanted more explanation.

“Perhaps not, but he seems rather close to this girl, and I get the feeling she has to be at the heart of this whole dilemma. I am almost positive that signal came from her,” replied Tosk as he stood up to place his empty plate back on the side board and pour himself a few fingers of bourbon.

“But not completely positive?” Prompted North as he followed suit, choosing a cup of black coffee instead of bourbon.