Projects

I’ve been semi-hard at work on my second novel. I have a title. A badass title. Unfortunately, I am artistically superstitious and cannot talk about my work-in-progress(s) until I’ve finished drafting so you must remain in the dark.

This second project is a YA historical fantasy set in Scotland circa 188o. See collage below… There is a high amount of Victorian Era drug use involving absinthe and syringes. Interesting research fact, syringes were invented in the 19th century–in Scotland, in fact–so it was meant to be.

As per my tastes, the fantasy element is very light so it’s more of an ‘alternate history’ than ‘high fantasy.’ Also, character names and places will never contain ‘ae.’

In three simple words: love, drugs, and monsters.

And below is WIP #3, a YA historical fantasy set in Elizabethan England.  It was born out of a NyQuil-induced dream involving Elizabethan-era spies, though the actual premise is pure backstabbing Rome/I,Claudius. A vague description: Ruffle collars, court intrigue, poison, murder, executions, empires, tyrants…

Revision Den & Unconventionally Sexy Men

Apparently I only ever blog anymore when I’m high on caffeine and man oh man am I CAFFEINATED.

A couple of irrelevant things. The novel. Oh man the novel. It is a fat man in need of more liposuction. Here are some word count stats that will excite no one but fellow writers and moi.

1st Draft: 113K words.

1st Revision: 103K

2nd Revision: 101K

3rd Revision: 95K

4th and current revision: 80K and shrinking…

My swiftly diminishing word count gets me so jazzed!

Almost as jazzed as thinking about Tom Hiddleston, who I think is a dreamboat but everybody just looks at me with barely concealed disgust and is all, “Of all the hotties in The Avengers, you choose Loki? EW!”

To which I reply: “Hiddleston, much like an olive, is an acquired taste.”

Them: “That’s a taste I’ll never acquire.”

Me: “I want to eat ALL the olives.” And now I realize that’s gross.

But then I hear this sexy voice clip of T.Hiddleston reading from ‘The Read Necklace’ and I want to open up a JAR of olives and GORGE!

These are my thoughts while caffeinated. Now you know I’m weird but I hope you love me anyway.

 

You thought you’ve seen the last of me…

and you would be WRONG. Ho ho, guess who’s blogging again.

Okay, so here’s the deal. I’ve been tugging my hair out tinkering with the dreaded query letter and giving myself an ulcer that no amount of Junior Mints could cure. So in my rare, vulnerable moments on ye ole blog in which I express that I have a soul, I’d like to say:  if I don’t get published…I will cry. Deep, heart-wrenching, sobs. Heathcliffian head-banging on tree, howling on the moors type of weeping.

For you see, unless I am high on caffeine or the prospect of watching Michael Fassbender’s Shame on a High Definition big screen TV, I am a reticent girl in person. But if I am doing my job right, my novel and query letter will have an authorial voice that BOOMS. Much like how I like to type in ALL CAPs here.

Oh dear. I am having a melodramatic freak-out in which only a picture of Michael Fassbender’s abs could cure.

This and that

Greetings readers! *Silence. Crickets.* Readers?

2010 is a bad blogging year for me. Then again, there’s been a blogging ennui epidemic going around the web so I don’t feel so alone. I really didn’t intend to leave my blog fallow for this long but between revisions, okay, RE-WRITING my entire novel, and Project Don’t-quit-my-dayjob-but-gotta-find-other-dayjob-that-I-can-stand-so-I-won’t-wake-up-everyday-feeling-like-I’m-about-to-plunge-into-a-nihlistic-abyss, I haven’t been in the blogging mood lately. On an optimistic note, my writing is progressing spectacularly and after oh, 2.5 years, I’ve finally developed my voice. And look! There is a plot and fully developed characters and the query letter is punchy. Let us wave our pom poms and do cartwheels!

I’ve been reading. Not as much as last year or the year before, but I’ve managed to squeeze in some books on the side. Perhaps I’ve got a lot on my mind, perhaps I’m a different person than I was when I first started this blog, perhaps I only have so many good words in me per day and rewriting has sapped away most of them, perhaps all I want to do now is talk about writing technique and craft a nail-biting cliffhanger and fear that this will bore my usual readership, perhaps I’ve grown self-conscious of people I know in real life reading my blog, whatever the reason, the need to blog about what I read has a tendency to dissipate. Hence the lack of posts. The year 2010 shall forever be known as THE BOOK BLOGGING DARK AGES.

But I know this will not go on forever. So many times in the past I’ve resurfaced from a bad blogging slump to a renaissance of random posts (usually with shirtless guys) and a new passion was reborn! This is a roundabout way of saying that I will never quit blogging; as long as there are cool books and shirtless guys to post about I’ll be there! You just gotta let me yammer on about why I’m not blogging in order to feel comfortable again.

In other news, I received The Exile by Diana Gabaldon as a birthday gift and I have eyed Jamie Fraser’s naked backside, um, more than once. I approve! Granted, this isn’t the Jamie in my imagination (Young Sean Bean with red hair) and Claire ‘Booby’ Beauchamp is definitely not how I pictured her and Murtaugh/Dougal/Kenneth were all so similar that I had trouble telling them apart. But that’s my only beef. Was it as inspirational as Outlander the novel? No. Did it have pages upon pages of pretty pretty pictures. Did it have sexy times? Yes. Did I wish it had more sexy times? Yes. Oh but then it would be a graphic novel of naked Jamie Frasers…

I’m currently reading Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. I heard it was going to be a movie starring Robert Pattison so I better read it before the image of R.Patz starts merging with the main character in my head and the nightmares set in.

Until next time… Happy reading!

Show & Tell: My One and Only Poem

When I was seventeen and a senior in high school I had a huge crush on Jonathan Rhys Meyers (Before he was famous!). I was so infatuated with JRM, particularly his character Steerpike in the TV mini-series Gormenghast, that I was inspired to write a poem, er, about Steerpike, not so much about JRM in general. I guess you can call this “fan poetry.” I’m not a poet nor do I like writing poetry.  I only like poems that rhyme because it just seems like it took more effort. This poem rhymes and it took an entire afternoon. Rhyming is hard! I never told my friends I wrote this;  I was already winning all the departmental awards, I didn’t need to add “poem inspired by hot Irish actor acting as my muse” to my resume of nerdy accomplishments. Now that it’s cool to be a nerd, I must share: behold! My one and only poem!

HAMARTIA

From the sweltering bottom he did flee
Oh Machiavellian youth of cunning glee
A glance at heaven told him so
This is the direction he must go.
For every star he must ascend
His soul is marred, unable to mend
For every answer to glory’s call
A single star to ambition fall.
From absolute nothing he did rise
To perfection in legends and castles in the sky
“Oh shining empires!” bards will sing,
“And the ordained throne of deities, tyrants, and kings.”
Nothing then and nothing now
Will ever make our smart boy cow
Look at his hands! So stained and steeped
With black blood, red tears we weep.
But to a higher high is a lower low
A flaw in him, unexposed
Back to the bottom he must go
Where he is washed as white as snow.
6 October 2001

POV

I like to browse books on Amazon and click on the “Look inside” button of possible books to stack on top of my To Be Read pile. Last night, I was reading the first paragraphs of mostly YA and Middle Grade books when I began to see patterns in narrative points of view. YA books (most, not all) are written in the 1st person POV while Middle Grade novels are told from 3rd person limited.

Why?

My very rough interpretation: Teens want to be in the story whereas children are still in the ‘tell me a story’ stage. A divide between  Being the protagonist vs. Reading about the protagonist?

Lend me your thoughts! Curious minds—mostly my curious mind—begs an answer. Educate me!

Bum Wars, Part Deux

The continuation of Medieval Bum Wars: An “I Can’t Believe I Wrote This!!!” Original penned by sixteen year old me.

Previously on Medieval Bum Wars

The bums are a-gettin’ frisky

“The stick, Amanda,” Jenny instructed.  “Use the stick.  Beat the shit out of anything that moves and get us out of here!”

Amanda winds up her batting arm

I took a swing at the first bum who got too close, clocking him in the face.   He pitched forward, falling just short of my feet.

This preemptive strike seemed to have alarmed the others.  Some hopped back, some directed nervous glances at the bum I attacked earlier, who I gathered was their ringleader, for instructions.

I met the ringleader’s eye and raised the stick over my head, challenging him to make another move.   “You want a piece of this?” I spat, giving the stick a shake. “YOU WANT A PIECE OF THIS?!!!”

“Yeah!” Jenny smacked me on the shoulder.  “You tell them what’s what!”

But the head bum’s got an ace up his tattered sleeves…

The ringleader rubbed his scruffy beard and whistled.  I turned my head, but not in time.  There was a flash of grey followed by white hot pain as a bum clamped down on my forearm.  I let out a roar like a wounded animal.

“Get him off me!” I screamed.  “He’s biting me!  The motherfucker’s biting me!”  I shook my arm violently trying to unhinge my attacker, but the biting bum held on, his one tooth digging into my flesh.

Jenny, winding up her one good leg, gave the biting bum a swift kick in the ribs.   The bum expelled a whoosh of air and scurried back into the crowd.    I rubbed the tender spot where he bit me; his tooth had punctured my skin and the wound was starting to bleed.

Poor Amanda, I hope she didn’t contract rabies…

“At your right!” Jenny shrieked.

I spun around just in time to see a coke can sail in mid-air. Acting on reflex alone, I swung my trusty stick and deflected the can, sending it sailing through the park and batting my first home run.

The coke can was followed by another and another as the bums pelted us with their recyclable products.   We dodged and swatted to the best of our abilities, but the aluminum kept coming, soda cans and water bottles rained down upon us like a hailstorm.

Bruised and battle sore, I ducked as a root beer can whizzed by my ear, tossed Jenny my stick, and ducked behind the shopping cart.

Jenny was shouting obscenities, swinging away with my stick in one hand and punching at anything bedraggled with her bare fists.  Her good leg was kicking at cans and any bum foolish enough to get too close to our cart. She was completely unruffled, charging ahead with her three limbs like an invalid warrior on an ass-kicking spree.

Enter: the Mace

I knew we couldn’t hold off the mob forever.  And then I saw it and my heart sank.   The metal spikes glimmered under the early morning sun, blinding us.

The bums saw it too, some shielded their eyes from the glare, some crouched in awe while others cowered and scurried like mice away from the light.  They began to part like a tattered grey sea, leaving an unobstructed path between us and their ringleader.

The ringleader stepped forward, his scruffy Velcro sneakers, held on to his feet by duct-tape, crushed the aluminum cans underfoot.

In the sudden silence that descended upon the park, the crushing sound of the cans took on an unsettling resemblance to the crushing of skulls.

I’m sure you’re rubbing your greedy palms together in suspense, “Gimme more! Oh great storyteller, continue your tale!”

Too bad! Medieval warfare isn’t fought within a single post. I’m serializing this bad boy. Charles Dickens and I, we’re like this (crosses fingers).

A teaser to entice:

“That oughta teach you to cuss around ladies, you damn dirty bums!”