Monday, March 25, 2013

Trickster.

I asked this question on my Facebook author page, but I will ask here too - who is the greater trickster? The raven, or the fox? At first it was because of sheer morbid curiosity, but somehow it now seems important for something that will come in book 3. So that means answer! ;)

On Tuesday, my new laptop came in. My previous laptop had been on its last legs (it took one hell of a beating for almost 3 years), and I was planning to make it last until mid-April...but "divine" intervention in the form of Shadow happened and it was the one time I wished he had cleared the jump over the couch. Thankfully enough of it survived where I was able to back-up and transfer all of my files. I have also entered the world of Windows 8...and I very much miss Vista. Slowly but surely, I'm getting used to it. Emphasis on "slowly".

Mistress of Blackwen has been taking some new turns lately. Even with missing one day of work due to the new laptop, I dished out a total of 7,463 words last week. I even made it past the 200 page mark, yay! I'll admit to killing off a couple characters. I wasn't in a bad mood either, I promise. They weren't significant characters truthfully, but their deaths were just a means of necessity to involve the more important characters in this crazed war I've created. Somehow two supporting characters of mine ended up being more important than I first realized...got to love when that happens. I'm also at the point where I really look forward to the day I do kill off this one particular character. Knowing me, it's not going to be a clean one either. It's fun sometimes, being the one with all the power over who lives, who dies, who schemes, and who just simply entertains.


For now, I'll just settle with letting the character live...sometimes you have to give your reader a plethora of people they need to hate. Makes the anticipation of their execution all the more exciting, after all. Good can't win all the time, you know. It'd be boring otherwise.

And speaking of "deaths", the teddy bear formally known as "Batista-Bear" (given to me by an ex back in the day), had met his end in the most amusing of ways. Being proud of Shadow would have been the understatement of the year, heh. He's currently enamored with this lobster plush toy now, which we bought to replace the destroyed wrestling bear, and it has already met with some casualties. It's fun though, and watching him gives me some ideas for writing since I do love animal spirits (particularly the tricksters).

I'm also glad that March is nearly over. I need me some Game of Thrones. I'm already anticipating the screams and riots that will ensue for the people who will watch and didn't read A Storm of Swords (that one was my particular favorite of the series so far). If that pertains to you...well...start saving for the tissues and booze now. That is all.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Shenanigans.


It is Monday, and I'm functioning. I think the St. Patrick's Day weekend can be deemed a success! I actually had a two part celebration of the holiday. Ashley came over on Saturday and along with Mom, we stuffed ourselves silly with good food, a specially baked chocolate Guinness cake (I still haven't tried an actual Guinness yet...I know, shame on me), and naturally, watching the Celtic Thunder boys. Ashley and I kept talking about how exciting November was going to be for us, since we'll be going to Colorado for a couple of days to catch one of their shows. We got meet and greet passes too, so that's going to be one awesome experience. And of course, there was dancing that night - can't partake in shenanigans without dancing after all. As for Sunday, I went out for drinks. That too, was a great time ;).

I can't say that I've been productive for writing though. I was not very focused throughout the week, so I made the executive decision to step away from book 2 then. It's not very easy to stop your mind from thinking about book 3 once the halfway mark of book 2 happened. I don't outline, you see. It's very rare when I do. I'm the kind of writer who just sits there and types away. I hated outlining assignments in college...I understood the necessity of them, but it really isn't for everyone. During the editing sessions I'll pay more attention to the content and whatnot, but otherwise I just sit there and have the story write itself. I was "hearing" the characters talk too much about the next book, and I just couldn't separate the chatter from the important things. I won't lie though...I like what I heard about book 3 so far. It just might be epic. And if that isn't enough motivation to finish book 2, I don't know what is. If anyone wants a hint of it, just look up "Husaria" on Google. I've got lots of great ideas after researching them (thank you Mom).

It's not as if the break from the book was spent in vain, you know. I'm nearly done reading Kat Richardson's Seawitch, and I'll be able to post a review on Goodreads relatively soon. This also means that I'll finally be able to read Rob Thurman's Slashback, which I was "patiently" waiting to read for some time now. I've got a lot of books I need to get to, to be honest. It's a good thing though, since the weather has been pretty nice and I love to read outside. Mom and I built our adirondack chairs and table during the week, and we've gotten some time to sit out in the porch. Shadow's not used to the idea of just lounging outside, but he's getting there. It's like a new adventure for him - one he seems to be excited for.

I'd also like to point out that Shadow has encountered more men recently, and he didn't shy, growl, or leap away from them like he did to that guy back in Canyon Road. I was very happy about that. I think he also feels more protected by Mom and I, and knows that we wouldn't let anything bad happen to him unlike his previous owners. Anytime those people pop into my mind, I only think of one word to make me feel better: karma.

I hope many of you are recovering well from your own set of shenanigans from this weekend. Off to work, I am.

Monday, March 11, 2013

The strike of the muse.

For someone who was battling a week long sinus cold, I was surprised with how productive I had been. There were two days last week where I had written 3,700+ words! I finished the week with a total of 10,961 words! It's safe to say that I have reached halfway in Mistress of Blackwen. It's very exciting.

I would also have to say that writing bar scenes is a lot of fun. Bar fights too. I hadn't seen an actual bar fight in a long while, but since I'm dealing with supernaturals here...well, let's just say the muse had her share of fun with my characters. Sadly, no deaths. Severe injuries, yes, but no deaths. Technically I was much happier this time around, so no one met with my metaphorical axe. Yet.

I'll be spending this week looking over last week's work, starting chapter 16, and I'll be doing some more research thanks to a fun conversation with a self-published writer, who happens to be friends with my lovely cousin. Also very exciting! I wouldn't be me if I didn't thank them here either, so here's a huge thank you to both Larry and Joannie! :)

I seem to be finding a lot of pictures lately that remind me of my characters. More so though, for my characters in Shadow Walker rather than my current series (hence the image of the white wolf that reminds me of Cailean "fluff-ball"), but hey, I'm not complaining! Sometimes when I'm hit with a block, I look through pictures and paintings and free-write a scene based on what image grabs me. It's a fun and effective method.

In other news, Mom and I started watching a new show on the History Channel called "Vikings". I had been on the fence with it after the first episode, but after watching the second one last night, I can say without a doubt that I'm intrigued. Norse mythology is another one of my personal favorites to study (don't ask which mythology is my favorite...there are too many. It's like asking what my favorite book is, and I can't even do that!), and while the show hasn't touched on it too much, I still enjoy the fact that Odin had made an appearance, albeit a short one. I'm happy about the ravens, naturally. I'm also happy that they're using real ravens as opposed to crows playing the part of ravens (there is a difference between the two, and being the nerd that I am, I hate it when movies and tv shows try to play that off). I'd be amazed if they included some sort of moment with valkyries (if you were wondering, I did play some of the Valkyrie Profile games), but I doubt it'll happen. At least there's the mention of shield-maidens (and one of the main characters is one), so I'll take it. Like any other show, drama is more of the hook factor than historically correct facts/intermingling of the supernatural and "divine". If anything, it helps me figure out some more battle styles to consider for the books. I like my characters having a diverse fighting style...it just makes it more interesting than everyone fighting the same exact way. It's also why I enjoyed the Clive Owen version of "King Arthur"--everyone had their own kind of weapon, their own special talents, etc. I shouldn't be thinking of book 3 right now, but I can't help but keep doing some research for when I do start it. I'm behaving enough to sticking to only writing book 2...but there's only so much I can do against the voices.

So. Chapter 16. Time to work!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Memories.

 
Their expressions equals my past week in a nutshell. Needless to say, the crap parts of last week are officially a thing of the past. Yay.
 
Speaking of the picture, I revitalized the "child" in me, and returned to the anime classic this past weekend. Yu Yu Hakusho is the main reason I have an obsession with animal spirits in the first place. Anyone who has been in any of my dorm rooms throughout the GMC years will remember seeing a wallscroll of Kurama, who is the red haired guy in the above picture, and his counterpart Yoko, the silver haired fox demon, yada yada yada. I was also impressed with one person who actually knew what the anime was once...but I digress. I will admit that it is also part of the influence behind my kitsune (Japanese term for "spirit fox") tattoo on my wrist. I don't watch as much anime as I used to, and truth be told, it's because there are hardly any good ones out in the world today (to me, anyways). I spent my middle school and high school days (some in college too) escaping to the worlds of Yu Yu Hakusho, Fruits Basket, Trinity Blood, and Vampire Hunter D. I've watched others, but those were my favorites. I also have a bunch of Hayao Miyazaki films that I absolutely love (Howl's Moving Castle is my favorite...and perhaps Christian Bale and Billy Crystal has a little bit to do with that). The only anime series I've watched since school was Basilisk, and it served a higher purpose of helping me figure out a different style of battle scenes. Yes, it did work...for book one anyways.
 
Well, now you know that anime was a heavy influence on my imagination in the earlier years. :)
 
I've also indulged the inner child by remembering that I actually have a Sega Genesis emulator on my laptop, and returned to my childhood classic, Streets of Rage 2. Yes, I was a Sega Genesis kid. Nintendo too. I admit that I personally didn't enter the playstation era until I was 16 (I've always watched friends and cousins play on their playstation systems, hence why I knew of certain games), and that was only because I made enough money to actually buy myself a PS2. I was never drawn to the Xbox, sorry guys. So I remember spending a lot time as a kid with my mom and aunt playing Sonic, and I spent a great deal of time with my dad and cousins playing Streets of Rage 2, Street Fighter, what was formally known as WWF and now known to the world as WWE, Fatal Labyrinth, and lots of other classics. I'm not a devoted gamer as I once was either, but it's still something I return to whenever I need to clear my head from writing. And, well...the Zelda nerd likes to let loose now and then too.
 
As for Mistress of Blackwen, I had a total count of 6,847 words for the week. For the month of February, I had a total of 18,874 words. I'm pretty happy about that, considering how February was a slow month for me. I had some time taken off to edit, and last week I took a day off to do some real research about my publishing options. I started looking into the indie publishing as per my research requires, and let me tell you! I have major respect for those who had done self-publishing right. The part that appeals to me more about this style of publishing is the fact that I will have control over everything. I will also have to do everything myself, and hire a cover designer, a copyeditor, and so on, but I would still be able to control the publishing process. As many of you can guess, I am a bit of a control freak. I haven't decided what style of publishing I'll choose yet at this point, since I still have a few more books I need to read, but I promise to keep you all informed.
 
This week should be interesting writing wise. I might even be able to say that I would reach the halfway mark of book two once the week's over (the book is already sitting at 54,036 total words and 154 pages). That is, as long as I don't run into this kind of moment:
 
 
It's happened before. Just sayin'. And when the diva characters don't get their moment...I don't get to sleep. Mel without sleep is one scary woman. Ask any of my best friends and my volleyball/lacrosse teammates. Just mention "Angry Mel", and you'll learn then.
 
I don't forsee any character deaths this week...but then again, I only just write down what they tell me to write *wink wink*.