Friday, December 31, 2010

Hoping the New Year brings back the Old Fairy!

Hey Fearless Readers! Well. **coughs, sending up swirls of dust, brushes away cobwebs** Man. Have I been away for a long time or what? All the cheese is moldy in the fridge and all the fish are dead. It would seem two and a half years of constant writing is all I'm good for, because about the middle to end of writing The Last Unicorn Hunter in July of 2010, my mojo got up and went. I got excited about NaNoWriMo... for about three days, and then... pffft! I don't know exactly what happened, but my sewing box suddenly had more appeal than my Mac and my office chair. I've been cross stitching fairies and mermaids for the past four months.

Actually, that might not be true - the part about not knowing what happened to the el mojo. But be prepared: there is a lot of bitching ahead. Stick with me till the last paragraph, though, I'm going to try and redeem myself.

I've got some serious self-esteem problems and an almost strangling fear of looking like an ass. I sent out about 50 queries... and had not one single bite. Nothing. Nada. No one wanted to look at pages. I know that being a writer takes a lot of work and a lot of persistence. I know that on paper, at least. But the silence in the inbox... not just the silence, but the sucking sound of the wind filling the empty place the requests could have been, whistled through my ears. The wind started to sing to me, and all the songs were about how much I suck. How hopeless it is. How unprepared I am for publication, for an agent, for anything. You may know some of those songs yourself. So, like a kid who has just burned themselves on a hot stove, I pulled all my fingers back and put them in my pocket.

The other little thing that sort of turned me away from my usual activities was a question of genre. Silly thing, I know, but... no one wants to read about dragons and forests and treks anymore. Many of the agents (all carefully vetted, I assure you) said they didn't represent traditional fantasy. ??? yeah. They all represented at least one author that wrote traditional fantasy, and listed fantasy in their preferences... but...I'm not about to start sounding like the Rejection Queen. I queried agents I admire and want, and I still admire them, whether they want me or not. What's worse: I don't really think Jale of Dragonfael is very traditional fantasy (that's an obvious fail on my query there) but this was just another thing that sent my mojo into freefall and jammed my fingers farther into my pockets. I'll blog a little more about the Urban Fantasy question later on.

So. There is all my stupid whinging; my reasons for not writing and editing and so on and so forth, and I know how lame they all are. I know - it's pathetic. I know traditional fantasy is still being published. The Hobbit and Game of Thrones are being filmed or are in preproduction, for Heaven's sake! I know that a good book sells regardless of genre or fad. I know that if my query sucks, I have to keep at it until it doesn't suck anymore. I know that I am not a brilliant genius who deserves special treatment. But I'm being truthful here- and the point of this blog was a writer's journey. I'm sorry to say that some of that journey is spent acting like an ass and/or arguing at the ceiling. So, what I'm saying is *deep breath* I am done with my little fit and my little break. I am trying to get over myself, and get back at the books. I've got so many stories to write. No one else is going to write them. They may not get published... but I'd prefer they weren't left to chew their way out of my forehead noggin either!

So - /bitch. Below is how last year's goals shook out. I'm still deciding what to do for 2011. I have an awesome new idea I have called "Dark Spark" to write January and February, as well as spending one hour a day editing The Endways of the Gods, but the rest of the year is TBD.

Jan and Feb

Write The Endways of the Gods: a multidimensional fantasy/sci fi mix
done Feb 10!
NaNoEdMo: edit The Spiritcaster done!
Finish the The Horses of Valdor FAIL! (sadly, this story just didn't work. No soup for you!)
Also: hoping to have Spiritcaster out to betas done!
Work on edits to Jale of Dragonfael, synopsis and query done!
June and July
Write The Last Unicorn Hunter - a fantasy done!
Edit Endways of the Gods FAIL!
September and October
Write Of Later Elves and Dragons - Urban Fantasy FAIL!
Nov and December
Write Road Dogs - a fantasy western of redemption and horror

So. Here is to the New Year, and hopefully, the Old Fairy. The one that wrote every day and had most things in perspective. How is your perspective in the new year? (Or are you already calling me an idiot in the comments?! Don't do that!! I don't like it!! :) tee hee.....

Friday, July 9, 2010

The End of an Era. The Breaking of a Heart.

I feel like a piece of me died today. Seriously. I clicked this link and read it.

To my horror, I learned of not only the end of the Roy Rogers and Dale Evans museum, but that Roy's beloved Trigger... is for sale. For money. Someone can slap down some cash and haul away Trigger. Put him in their garage. Hang bras and panties off him. String him with lights for Christmas. It makes me want to vomit. God only knows what's become of Trigger, Jr. who was also ..ahem.... mounted. (Yes, taxidermy is gross, I get that. Pipe down. I'm bearing my heart, here.)

I know that what Roy and his ilk represented was mostly about consumerism. Lunchboxes, tv shows, comic books, bedsheets, shower curtains. All these were churned out by the Hollywood machine - no different than the cheap toy you can get in your Happy Meal today when Michael Bay cranks out some fodder for the waiting sheep that we are, lining up to buy it. I know that the image of a cowboy in a shiny shirt that always kept his hat on while racing after the bad guy is nowhere near the real down and dirty cowboys of the old west who lived short brutal lives, or long, plodding, boring ones, tending cattle on the range far from towns or banks to rob. The singing cowboy was a nostalgic view, an emersion in things done the old way, when times were simpler. And of course, who doesn’t love to watch that 8 team stage coach go roaring around a curving mountain road, beset on all sides by outlaws and being chased by guys in white hats?

How did this happen? How did the museum of an American Legend go under? Yes. I used capitals for that. I believe it to be true. And in Branson! Missouri! The home of good ol’ country lovin’, church goin’, flannel wearin’ America. Is the West dying out? Is the love and the passion America had for its past, so much so that we invented imaginary cowboys, Indians and outlaws to worship long after the real ones had gotten jobs in the suburbs gone? Dying? Dead? Has the gloss and shine of the Mall of America cast its pall over the last shreds of the old west? The western novel is almost dead. There have been rumbles of a revival. But if the excellent novel The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford didn’t bring it back, I don’t know if it ever can. And now Roy Roger’s museum is gone and the items are being tossed out to the ravening crowds to bid on. It makes me kinda sick. There ought to be some sort of clause. When you buy a piece of American History...even if it is only a representation of the way America wants to remember its history, you should have to promise to maintain its dignity. Especially if it is a stuffed horse. Hasn’t Trigger suffered enough?

I can’t help but wonder what Roy would say.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Inspired by Kara

Here's the post that got me to blog again. :)

Sorry the blog has gone all dusty and whatnot. To be honest, I was flailing there for a period of two weeks. I did not make 50K last month, for the first time since I have found my new writing philosophy (ie: no excuses, 2k a day, time's a wastin' philosophy born NaNoWriMo of 2009). But I've pushed the count up to 53,696 for the Unicorn Hunter. I'm on track to finish this month. I have yet to do any more subbing, something I really need to do! I've come this far....

Right now, I am writing a story with unicorns. I won't say its about unicorns, but they are there and an important part of the story. My first novel was heavy, heavy on the unicorns and the pegasusususes. I love them. I can't get enough of them. Same with castles and princesseseses (I enjoy the buttkicking variety) and elves and prophesy and the dark space under the trees where danger lurks, and the long trek across the countryside from danger into darker danger, the wisdom of old men, the apple-red cheek of a country girl, the sword of limitless power, the crone that foretells destiny, the castle that isn't what it appears to be, the warlord that has an epiphany, the girl that does what she shouldn't despite the danger to her reputation, the mage that risks burning themselves out to develop their power, the knight that fights for his lady, the king that sacrifices himself for his kingdom, the queen that risks the kingdom itself to vanquish evil.

I have yet to get enough of any of it. Some people had imaginary friends growing up. I had a cast of thousands. Guess it was only a precursor for my love of epic fantasy.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

I have two awards! Go figure!! The first is rather straightforward and has no strings attached.

It was given me by the loverly Aubrie , and I think it very snazzy, indeed!!

Now the second has rules .

The “rules” for the award are:

Thank and link back to the person who gave you this award. That would be Claire Gillian, or Auburn Assassin at
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Pass the award along to 15 bloggers who you have recently discovered and who you think are fantastic for whatever reason! (No particular order…)
4. Contact the bloggers you’ve picked and let them know about the award.

7 things about me:

1. I love old houses/ buildings.

2. I watch a LOT of movies.

3. My girl crush is Jennifer Aniston

4. I used to have several fish tanks.

5. I have a sparkly fairy Barbie.

6. I also have a Halloween Barbie, witch costume and all.

7. I masquerade as a grown woman.

Now, the 15 new recipients. I’ll be honest, everytime I give someone an award they don’t usually accept it. I think finding 15 is a bit much... but here we go.



Aggy B




H. Mary Cole





Drying Ink




Thursday, June 10, 2010

A sense of humor can go a long way - or not

Sorry about the cheshire grin, folks. I have finally done it. I have sent out nine queries today. One was rejectified with lightening speed: It came smelling of fried neutrons it was so fast. I wonder if the amusing bio I put at the bottom had anything to do with it:

At the moment, I have no publishing credentials, but I am one of the few people living in the San Francisco Bay Area that was born here. I am already a statistical anomaly. Currently, I answer phones and perform feats of customer service and graphic artistry for a plumbing company. Believe it or not, this was never my childhood dream. I am willing to leave this all behind, or at least do it only part time, if I should ever have the luck to become a full time writer.

Yes. That was the bio I sent. And I'm not ashamed. Not even a little bit. I can't help it. I'm one of those people that spews out something (according to me) amusing whenever I get the chance. I reined it in most of the day, but I got a little loopy there at the end. Believe me, I kept it straight and narrow to all the agents who said things like: "We don't like it when you try and be cute, Shakespeare! Just get to the point!" But it was tough. I've got fingernail marks on my office chair. I'll let you know the horrific details as they become available.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

How Goes It

Greetings! I'm writing you from June!! Yes. It's been too long since I blogged. First of all, I am on VACATION! The first one in many, many years. And I am spending it, not in some glorious locale, but in front of my computer. Where I usually am. Sigh. But this time, I'm using that computer time to gather intel on agents... and write the ever painful query. **shudders** I've yet to send any, but they are written. I like to think they are "simmering." I'll let you know.

I'm also deep into my new Work In Progress! After so many months of editing, it's hard to remember to write crap. I want to stop and make it perfect, and now is not the time for that. Now is the time to get the story down.

I finally went to the library and updated my card. My local library NEVER has what I want, but I can go online and order, then wait for an email to pick them up. A most awesome service! I really need to read more. I've found a bunch of free classics online as ebooks (which is sort of dumb, since I don't have an e-reader - and that means more time sitting in my office chair reading), but it's so important to read your genre. And I cannot afford new books, so the library it is. I'm glad it's there.

What about you? Do you buy new, used, library? Trade books with friends? Rob wayward B&N trucks? You can tell me....

Monday, May 31, 2010

Bringin' Ya'll Up To Date

First, The Rejectionist fucking rocks. I'm not ashamed to say it. Click those links. Click. Them.! I want The Rejectionist to be my best girlfriend, but I'm not cool enough to hang out with her, so just click the links and be done with it. Plus, she'd just think I wanted an "in" with her boss, and let's face it, I would.

Well. Let's see. The yearly list of goals to the far right of the blog. The job for May: to edit The Spiritcaster: now named Jale of Dragonfael (badass, huh? I wasn't even thinking about the title, it just came out of a clear blue sky. That's where The Hobbit came from, you know) and ready for sub. I've got a query (that my friend Wayne is messing with - go Wayne!) a 3 page synopsis (yeah, I aimed for two, but it's EPIC fantasy, people) and an 88,000 word manuscript that has been edited about five times. I also have a list of 13 agents to query (so far - tomorrow is hardcore agent search times - I foresee two pots of coffee being made). So - it looks like I get to cross that off! As to the actual querying.... deep breath... gimme a few days or weeks. :) **shudder** I will relate my successes and failures in agonizing detail, so fear not.

Now, for June! The Last Unicorn Hunter. It has both Elves and Unicorns - the death knell that some would ring against fantasy. It also has both urban and woodland settings and is, I hope, not a typical depiction of any of that. The main characters however, (think they are) human. :) There is fear in the night, a mystery, baddies from another dimension and an unexpected birth. Oh. And unicorns. Don't forget the unicorns.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Happy Blog-A-Versary!

This is like one of those Mattress Discount places - where I have the anniversary, and you get the gifts! :) Yes. In honor of my One Year Blog-A-Versary (and having just finished baking my very first quiche!) I bring you some fiction. This is one of my earlier attempts at a story. I was a little dismayed to find it... well, better than I thought it should be. But fiction is a matter of perspective, and to say mine is skewed is being very kind.

This is a little bit racy - what with language and adult situations. It's also like my other work: tries to be funny at first and turns into something else by the end. I give you....



Bettie Lee Turner

I’m not sure how the devil gained possession of my garden. I went out to grab a tomato, and there he was.

“Who are you?” I asked. It was the best response I could come up with when faced with something cloven hoofed and pointy tailed in my backyard.

“I’m a garden gnome. Go away.”

“You’re not a garden gnome, and what are you doing to my cat?” The cat, Mitzy, was squashed under one tiny hoof. (I should tell you the devil’s a lot smaller than we were led to believe.)

“Nothing, nothing,” he said, kicking loose mulch and leaves over her prone body, staring off into the sky. I can see why he masquerades as a garden gnome, he’s green.

“Stop that!” I said. “You’ve killed my cat!” Mitzy had to be dead. No way her hyperactive thyroid would let her remain in the dirt under anybody’s hoof. I tore open the garden gate, and the devil backed off, leaving my wretched cat in the trough between the lettuces and carrots. He stood with his hands behind his back, tail swishing.

I stood over her color ravaged body: grays, oranges, tiger stripes, she was a riot of patterns and hues. And definitely dead. The fall wind rattled the trees and their husky leaves. Multi-faceted golds, coppers, and reds dipped and swayed in a memorial dance. The setting would be idyllic - if there wasn’t an evil gnome standing over the carcass of my cat.

“You bring her back to life!” I said, pointing down at her remains.

He put his blackened hands to his little demon waist, and bent forward, furrowing all his facial features, trying to threaten me.

“It don’t work like that, buddy,” he said, tottering on hoofed feet. He looked like a little girl in mother’s high heels, and swished his tail constantly to keep his balance. I don’t think I can convey what a foolish figure the Prince of Darkness makes.

“Look you freak midget, I didn’t summon you - you probably want the Simmons’s kid down the block...” The devil crossed his arms and rolled his eyes, indicating his disinterest in my neighbor's spawn. “You bring my cat back and then get the hell out of my garden!”

“Look, we can make a deal,” he said, holding his arms towards me, palms up, “Let’s just call this a sacrifice.”

Now, I’m usually the most diplomatic of men. I don’t shoot bb’s at my neighbor’s dogs when they bark too much (and too often - chihuahuas. The dog rat!), but there must be something about dealing with denizens of the nether world that puts my hackles up. If he were a neighbor, hell, if he were a door-to-door salesman, I’d talk to him reasonably until we came to a compromise. Instead, I bent down, grabbed his slimy little neck, and started hauling him toward the gate.

He barely put up a protest. You’d think he’d summon lightening or at the very least fire and brimstone. He started to blather and plead, like a car salesman trying to keep his latest mark on the floor.

“Hey, buddy, what about your cat? You wanna leave it in that condition? I mean, you know, what would she think?” Now he was starting to sweat, a smell somewhere between wet dog and barbecued pork loin.

“And what are you gonna about that?” I asked, giving him a shake. He put his hands up and I could see the long, brittle fingernails. The flesh was not black, as I thought, but a viscous green. Darker even than the forest green in the crayon box. It lived in all the creases of his face, the dimples smattering his rotund belly and the folds of his neck.

“We can do something about it, I just need a little favor...”

“No favors!”

“Ok, ok!” he said. “I need”

“Ok, help,” I conceded.

“I need something to replace the cat.”

“Are you trying to trick me? I swear, I am a God-fearing man, but so help me...”

“Oh, don’t mention that guy, I hate that guy!”

“Listen, Lucy-fur,” I said, hoping to ruffle the little freak's feathers, “you try and trick me and we’re going have a problem of biblical proportions on our hands. Do you understand?”

“No trick, no trick,” he said, waving his hands as if swatting away bugs. “But it’s nature, you know? Taking a life - eh,” he accentuated this with the universal indicator of breaking a stick, or someone’s neck. “But taking from death without putting something in it’s place can leave a huge hole, a cosmic tunnel, an ectoplasmic vortex, the whole works. You don’t want that in you back yard.”

There were a lot of things I didn't want in my back yard. A portal to the underworld is high on the list of things I don't want in my back yard. I’d have to get what he needed.

“Ok, so bring me something to take the place of the cat.” The devil must have read my mind and cut me off. “No, not a bug or a spider, you wuss, I need something I can work with, a dog or a cat. Preferably a cat.”

If it was a cat he wanted, I was definitely getting a dog.

He said I shouldn’t move Mitzy. I hated leaving her; half covered in dirt, mouth agape, belly up like a fish. I thought he could be putting me on, torturing me for his own amusement, but I decided to err on the side of caution. I left the demon and went back into my cottage. I had a plan, but I had to wait until nightfall.

Around midnight I dressed in a black jogging suit an aunt had given me for a birthday. I was halfway to my destination before I realized my error. As the silence grew around me (meaning that once the trip hammer of my heart dulled enough for me to hear anything else) the high tech, shiny material I had wrapped myself in was whiffing away like a buzzsaw. Think corduroy on a nuclear level. I imagined shaking the caterpillars from their leaves as I sauntered down the block; that at any minute white, distrusting ovals of faces would part curtains of quaint dwellings. People would storm their front yards, pull pickets from their fences or bunches of thorny roses from their beds and attack me in the street. Surely I carried my evil deed above my head in a cartoon bubble.

I glanced down and found another folly. The two white stripes running down the sides of the pants and sleeves were bright enough to attract moths. I could get a second job landing planes if I wanted. I was too far in, though, and the suit was my alibi. I teach drama to high school students, I’m thirty and not married, so anyone in this saccharine burg who doesn’t think I’m a little weird thinks I’m homosexual. Either excuse would do for my neighbors. If anyone looked out their window, they would think the bachelor teacher is out for a midnight constitutional. I’d just have to crunch and glare my way along.

The dog I had in mind was a Lhasa Apso named Sparky that had lost his spark. When he walked, it was with a limp. Usually, he dragged himself around, evident by the wads of matted fur running along his sides, clutching clumps of leaves, weeds and other yard paraphernalia. He belonged to a perfectly charming alcoholic around the corner from me. She waited tables at my favorite breakfast spot and tended (and took advantage of) the bar at the tavern. I figured I was doing them both a favor.

I approached Marcia Heatherfield’s house and surveyed the scene. The block was empty, barely a porch light twinkled on the street. The house was small and charming, as the housing association insisted, and sat at the end of a path. There was a raised porch running along the front lost in the gloom of two oaks trees. It had a gothic feel I'd never noticed in the daytime. The porch looked deeper, the windows could have hid malignant creatures behind heavy drapes, and the gate was slightly ajar, as if beckoning me to my death. I took a deep breath and stepped in the yard.

Sparky was laying inside a lean-to beside the porch. I approached him and he began to swim with joy in the mud and leaves that covered the floor.

“There, there, fella, it’s ok,” I said, bending down to pat his crusty head. His tongue lapped at the air, his body writhing in ecstasy. I put my hands inside and gingerly lifted him. Noxious doggy fumes blossomed around us. I gagged and coughed, choking as I tried to be quiet. I was trying to remember how long a person could safely hold their breathas I turned to leave. I almost dropped the dog.

Marcia stood in the gloom of the porch.

My heart started banging against my ribs. I thought I should speak first. I didn’t know what I meant to say, but I was sure it would sound calm and rational once I figured it out. All I got out was a gargle.

“Oh Paul, I knew you’d come,” she said, gesturing at me with the beer bottle in her hand. She stepped out of the shadows and the moonlight spilled across her. I was surprised at what greeted me. Her heart shaped face was swollen to an oval, bruised flesh lay under her eyes. She wore a pair of cutoffs that cut into her belly, a small roll hanging over the top button. She wasn’t fat, just generous. She wore a tight, white tee shirt, the neck cut in a deep V and the bottom tied beneath her breasts, which were also generous and in danger of losing their grip on the front of the shirt.


“I’m surprised you were able to stay away so long,” she said, her voice slurred, her eyes far away. Her head tilted back and she ran the bottle sensuously along the side of her neck. When sober, Marcia was lovely and breezy. When drunk, her charm was blunted and boorish and aroused only my pity. But the beer...I saw the condensation weeping down the side, and gulped. The walk had been short, but the suit and the errand had covered me with a light film of sweat. The bottle made its way to the curve of a breast and the knot gave way, her breasts fell and bounced, taking up a much lower position on her chest.

“Aww...shit...” she said. The look in her eye was gone, replaced by the familiar ‘where am I again?’ look, common in a drunk faced with anything unexpected. She fixed her eyes on me again and recovered, readjusting to the come hither stance and began a slow descent of the steps, sashaying like a real southern belle. Of course, if the saunter was intended, or it was just the alcohol, it didn’t matter. Either way, it was a bad time for the rotting handrail to give way.

She did an armless cartwheel, winding up dazed and shaken at the foot of the steps. With the fragile dog in my arms, all I could do was watch. She held the beer bottle till the last, letting go just in time for it to roll past me, it’s amber stream glugging over my tennis shoes. Sparky whimpered and looked down at his mistress, then craned around and looked into the vastness of my soul. That look would keep anybody honest. I admit it, before I locked eyes with those limpid pools, I wanted to beat it the hell out of there, take the devil his due and get this nightmare over with. I considered doing the right thing by her to be Sparky’s last request.

I set him down and went to her. I helped her up and tried to inspect her in the dim light. She was covered with leaves, there was a dark smear on her leg that may have been a scrape, but nothing seemed broken. Her head swiveled on its loose axis, and caught me looking her up and down. She leaned heavily onto my chest and exhaled. I think it was meant to be a cool sensual sigh, but the breath that coated my face was dense with beer and cigarettes.

“Come on, Marcia, let’s get you to bed,” I said, and as the words left my lips I found myself wishing I could grab them from the air and stuff them back down my throat.

“Kind of in a hurry, aren’tcha?” she asked. I ignored the innuendo and bore most of her weight as she tried to play the helpless belle up the steps. She wiggled against me and clutched at my chest. I looked back at Sparky, but got no sympathy.

Inside the house, the scent of beer hung in a mist. There were no lights on. I didn’t know if I woke her, or had she been drinking in the dark? The light from outside filtered through the sheers on the windows, surprisingly bright and silver. I have to admit I was surprised by the interior. I had expected late century trailer trash, but the furnishings were stylish and the house was neat.

She continued through the living room, leading me to the bedroom, still leaning against me and giggling. I tried to keep her from bumping into things while I looked around, and encouraged her with words carefully chosen.

We crossed the threshold of her bedroom and she laughed. Her bed was tall, guarded by brass head and foot boards. The moonlight, or maybe the street lamps, spread rectangular blocks across the comforter. She lurched forward, hauling me behind her and began to run, a gangly sort of thing that would have been sexy and playful if she were sober. If I didn’t pull up, we would both wind up on the bed, a piece of furniture I had no business even looking at with her in this condition. I pulled back, but she continued on and smacked into the side of the bed. In slow motion, I saw the last of her fingers slip from my own, and she crumpled to her knees, then toppled over. She didn’t have time or wasn’t able to use her hands to stop her fall and her head hit the floor with a crunch. The sound from behind the veil of hair could have been a laugh or a cry.

I bent down and brushed the curls back from her face. It parted like a curtain, and I was greeted by two silver streaks making their way down her cheeks. She looked up at me then, and it was the day to day Marcia I knew. The one that served me coffee. The one that pretended she had a headache from sinuses or allergies, and that was also what puffed her face up and made the end of her nose red. The fall had knocked her back from whatever numb place she had been hiding in. She was so open then, so hopeless. Her tears and the darkness made her pupils large and endless, her lips fighting to stay shut as she gasped for breath between sobs. She stared up at me and I think she caught her own reflection in my eyes. I think she saw what I saw, and it scared her.

I helped her to her feet and under the covers, thin and vulnerable as a piece of paper near a flame. She didn’t lay her head on the pillow, but resigned it there. I was straightening the covers over her, and she put her hand on my forearm. I can’t explain it, it was a simple gesture, something a woman does a thousand times when trying to get a man’s attention, trying to be flirtatious, or the way she will communicate with you when you are so intimate you read each other’s minds by touch. I knew what it meant - “Stop. You can stop now.”

The humiliation of the night was seeping out of her pores. I tried to smile as gently as possible. She didn’t return it, but her eyes were wide, and grateful.

Before I got to the threshold of the bedroom, before I got to the front door, before I got to the bottom of the steps and found Sparky’s cold, dead body, I knew I wouldn’t be taking Marcia Heatherfield’s dog to his doom. God got there first. I readjusted the tilted handrail and left Sparky there, heading for my own garden gate.

I didn’t know what I’d tell the devil. I felt like I had left my cottage two thousand miles away instead of just two blocks. On the walk back, I contemplated. Do I leave Mitzy to the devil? I mean, she’s already gone. Sparky is gone, that loss would be more profound for Marcia than the on-again-off-again thing I had with my cat.

I wanted to go straight to bed, but I went down the driveway to the garden. I was going to tell the devil to do what he would - I had been through enough this night. What’s a few unholy acts perpetrated in your garden, what with all the turmoil in the world? Didn’t the devil have lots of places to go? He couldn’t be there all the time, maybe we could negotiate weekends.

I didn’t have to worry. The green monster was waiting for me at the gate, and Mitzy was cleaning herself along the top of the fence. He had a stick cocked over his shoulder with a hobo-bag made out of a bandana hanging off the end. He was dabbing his eyes with a large handkerchief.

“Oh whore of babylon,” he blubbered, “If I’d have known what a sentimental sorry sack of shit you were, I never would have come here.” He came through the gate and let it bang shut behind him. “I mean, Christ-on-a-crutch, have your damn cat back. All that freakin’ trouble, I mean, TITS out to here!” He gestured with his hands, cupping two large melons in front of his chest, the hobo sack almost sliding out of his grip, “and he puts her back untouched!” I got the idea he was no longer talking to me. I reached out for Mitzy and stroked her as she cleaned the underside of a leg.

The demon headed down the driveway. Mitzy and I watched as he went, wailing and crying all the way. He turned to gesture back at us with the handkerchief, “You didn’t even get a boner!” and something else, but his voice was so wracked by sobs I couldn’t understand it. He took a left at the end of the driveway, and I haven't seen hoof nor tail of him since.


Sunday, May 16, 2010

Never Again

Never. Never again will I write a novel without first writing the query. 007, you know: Bond, James Bond, taught me to Never Say Never at a young age, but James was a character, not a writer, and I think this Absolute is one I can get behind.

Seriously. I wrote a 500 page novel and don't know what it's about. Or I do, but I feel the bits I've attempted leaves out all that makes my novel different. There's hardly a word about the dragons, except that everything that happens is of most concern to them (ie: if my heroine/hero don't succeed, they will be wiped from the sky!) My characters each have a journey, but I feel like that is separate from the plot. All of these sound like terrible things. Like my novel is a series of unrelated events, and it's not. It's a fantasy that reads like a detective novel. And who doesn't think that's awesome? But how do I get it all in, in the space of just a couple of paragraphs? I seem to be failing utterly.

So, never again. Next time I'm writing the query first.

I would also like to do some pimpage. Adam Slade has a novella coming out on Monday! In case it's not obvious enough: it is meant for you to click the link and buy the thing. He has a teaser up on his blog. As you can see, Adam mixes in the funneh with his fantasy. Don't fear the reaper. Read his story!! :)

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Weekend: It Is Here!!

What? Oh, Tom says Hi.

The weekend. Praise God, Baby Jebus and Isis, the Great Lady of the Wheat and The Great Lord and his Bloody Sword (Fahr Caladonian religious references). WEEKEND! The week itself has been made of utter fail. I am ready to stop wallowing and dive headfirst into my work! My true work! The only thing that keeps me going. And I am not exaggerating. The cat's not talking to me. The carafe of my new coffee pot broke, and I can't afford another one. So I make coffee and put my coffee cup underneath to catch the brew and hope I remember to switch cups before it runneth over. I came home yesterday and thought the smoke alarm was going off. There was no fire, so clearly I was going to die of carbon monoxide poisoning, but no. It was the microwave. Keypad fail. I unplugged and replugged, and I hope it's fixed... for now. But - my book! Yeees! My bastion of dreams, the framework for my castles in the air.

Oh wait... I wasn't going to wallow. Sorry. The above was an attempt at humor, not a wallow. You aren't wallowing when you're looking forward to bustin' out some awesome edits and **gulp** attempting to write another paragraph for your query.

Come on weekend warriors. **Fist bump!**

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Is Story Too Much To Ask For?

Sigh. Where is the week going? I haven't opened the WIP (Work In Progress - some people that read this blog wonder if I have some sort of fetish they don't know about, so I'm going to try and be more 'spific when I use my anagraminals) in two days. I have, however, seen Avatar.

I wonder if I'm getting jaded in some fashion. I mean...we were just watching that for the effects, right? So much of the story didn't hold weight when you look at it, not to mention: stereotypes, anyone?! Did that Colonel guy not look exactly like one of the soldiers in one of those movies where the toys go crazy? Can Sigourney Weaver pick a single stereotype? She starts out as uber-bitch scientist until she jumps into the blue creature and all of a sudden she's everyone's buddy and mentor.

I found a lot of it uneven and unsatisfying. The most disturbing thing of all: if Earth is so dead, how is it they have the resources for all the technotoys? Like in the Matrix when all the clothing is torn and unravelling at the seems, but they have these massive war robots. You can build a megaton robot but you can't grow enough fiber to clothe your people?

So the Earth is dead and dying and they send crews out on 6 year journeys to get this "Unobtanium"? (If that's even how you spell it. Sounds like a first draft name if I've ever heard one. I once named a disease Impossiblitis. In. The. First. Draft.) Then it's six years to get the material back. Why not just colonize, take the planet over and have done with it?! Not that I want to destroy Pandora. I'd have been there with the Discovery film makers using the network of television to bring their plight to the people. But if I wrote the story, the science people would have had a reason to be there. Does this cutthroat company seem like they would want to send botonists... BOTONISTS?! out there to discover the wonder and magic that is Pandora, when all they want to tear it up and get the goodies underneath? And why is this company the only company there?

See what I mean? I think the editing is getting to me. I'm tearing apart good quality entertainment. Infecting the interwebs with my malaise. Is it too much to ask for a story that makes sense? Or should I just let my mind wander and my eyes feast? Can't I do both?!

You tell me.