Sunday, January 18, 2015

Speaking of Inner Demons

This is rough and unedited, but feel free to enjoy a short snippet of the first-person manuscript I started earlier this week. This piece contains violence and adult language. Reader discretion is advised. Although, anyone who is easily offended is on the wrong blog. Enjoy!

*  *  * 

I became aware standing in a wheat field with my jeans and boots glued to my skin with rain and muddy ichor.  Lightning struck a tree maybe twenty feet away, threatening to arch in my direction. “Well, fuck me.”
This was not the first time I had found myself wandering in a strange location I did not recognize. A flash of light directed at my eyes, momentarily blinding me. Was this it? My mouth had gotten me into some serious trouble before, but this even beat Las Vegas.
“What in the Sam Hill are you doing out here?” A rumbling voice accompanied what I now recognized as a flashlight. “We’re in the middle of a tornado watch...” It took him a moment to realize that I was not the person he had expected to find. I was not even the type of person he expected to find. His voice dropped off.
“I know what you are.” He finally whispered, his tone flavored by bitter abhorrence. “Why are you here?”
The lightning struck a little closer, honing on my position. At this rate, I would be stuck spilling my own blood just to keep us from dying. I would piss off a storm god on my first day back in the land of the living. “Story time later. Much running now.”
I whistled for the pieces of wood to return to me. I could reform them into something useful with just a drop or two, but trying to keep a plebeian from turned into kindling might be another matter. Electricity was one of my elements to harness, but there was a big difference between being shocked by wiring and having a mini-Zeus rain bolts on your ass.
He bolted toward the closest wooden structure, a gray weathered lean-to that had once been a barn. As long as I didn’t direct the lightning his way, this plebeian would not get hurt. “Since when did I become Helpful Annie? Fuck this noise.” 
Oh, right. I liked being free. Incarceration might be nothing compared to what Captain Overcompensation was about to do to me, but I really did want more time being Duchess Valira’s personal whipping girl. The scars still stung with hellfire.
I ripped open my left wrist with my fangs. There was no time to be graceful. My staff reformed from simple oak into hardened ebony and the runes glistened in sanguine hue as I gave them new purpose. “All right, you fucking coward. Get down from those storm clouds and come get me.”
The entire sky in front of me became a black wall of doom clouds. “That can’t be good.” People never seem to be too happy when I talk. I cannot imagine why.   I had not thought King Grab Ass packed away this much power in his itty bitty cod piece. 
“What in the hell are you doing?” The idiot human had not kept running for safety, he had turned the fuck around to grab at my shoulders as if I were your typical bag of easily marred flesh. “You’re going to get yourself killed!”
“That’s my line, hayseed! Get the fuck back in the barn before he...” I did not spit the rest out when lightning tore the right side of my face open, depositing some of my teeth, jaw bone, and tongue on the man. He pissed himself before he could belt out a whining-pitched scream, which seemed to be a perfectly logical response.

The problem is that I am not known for logical. Even as my power began to spill out of the open wound, my eyes flashed with vinegar and sulfur. I was so fucking pissed at this tighty-whitey wearing brat-cum-divine. He would be licking the mud off my boots before I was done with him, if nothing else but because he temporarily took away my right to spew awesomely witty phrases at his lame, zit-covered, face.  

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Good endings

As a writer, I am always about a good ending. There is nothing like that feeling of denouement and completion when you set the book down for the last time because the story is finished. I have noticed recently that I enjoy this in terms of chaos as well. A good ending satisfies on its own and not just as a means to a new creation.

That being said, we did not need the tire to go flat on John's birthday while he was at work. We were properly prepared, there was a donut but we were not quite yet prepared to have to buy a new tire around the holiday and bills. I am going to try to keep the hubs calm or at least less anxious after he gets back home. I am not sure it's going to be so easy. Still, it's going to be as great of a birthday for him as I and our friends can manage.

I have done more baking in the past two weeks than I probably have all year. Somehow I need to develop that sort of a habit about my writing. Still, it is the holiday season and we all should be taking time to spend with families and friends more than anything else. It's stressful but it's good. It's the best way to end out the year.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Post semester

The winter solstice and the longest night have passed. Although it was a rainy, foggy, day here in Kansas, we can still take comfort in the sun's 'return' and the lengthening of the days. It was a lovely time spent with family and friends. The celebrations will continue through the rest of the month, but I still have to deal with the responsibility aspects of things. I got my last paycheck until I start back in January at the graduate assistantship position so there has been a lot more baking and cooking going on at my house with making freezable meals and baked presents. Tightening one's belt in the midst of traditional feasting is oddly chaotic and somehow satisfying.

Tomorrow is the hubby's birthday. We are going for sushi, some free live music, and to watch the new Hobbit movie for a late night. It has been amusing seeing all the added creative backstory that did not happen in the book, but the movies are fun. I like them as something almost separate from the Tolkien story and I recognize that it is a trilogy about making more money for the studio that produced it. Sometimes, though, I think it is better if a film becomes its own story separate from the book that inspired it. In any case, I decided not to do a surprise party for John this year, which usually involved doing it later in the year, but instead celebrate on his actual birthday doing whatever he wanted to do.  That has not happened too often in his years on the planet so I figured it was time.

Raider is definitely on the way out, but he seems comfortable and to be enjoying himself in his last days. It's tough dealing with this, since he's been with me for the past seventeen years. Even with that, I think it is going to be the hardest on Mokona, the (now-grown) kitten that Raider simply brought home one day.

Eventually I will make it to the gym again but I need to replace the shoes that fell apart. I am not entirely looking forward to the New Year's resolution crowd that always rushes the gym especially since they tend to hog the 'easy' weight equipment and often do not know or care that they are working out improperly. I can not tell you how many times I have wanted to literally kick someone off the machines because they are just sitting there, talking on a cellphone instead of doing their sets and moving on.

The semester ended on a high academic note, with a 4.0 for the semester. I have not checked to see how much it brought my overall GPA yet, but I am sure it was helpful. One of the classes was a class I had to retake since I got a D in it on my first attempt. Sometimes, a change in professors and class format is a good thing.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Going on Friday

Yesterday dragged, but today flew, and before I knew it, it was time to go home. I knew John would not be home because he got called out to one of his on-call part-time jobs that he still does on the side. It is frustrating some days, but every bit of extra cash helps especially with the holidays coming up.

Sauce for dinner is made, but I have to wait on the pasta until I hear from again. I could eat without him but it is pretty lonely that way. I am trying to catch up laundry, some writing, and just trying to unwind until he makes it home.

I am ready for it to be a week from tomorrow so I can say with a sigh that I am ready to crash until January.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Post-NaNoWrimo 2014 Update

I managed to survive NaNo with a sizeable chunk of text to show for it. I did not make my goal of 50K, but 44,000 words and some change certainly did give me a good start to what I hope will be a good novel after some more outlining, character building, and reorganization of the major events into something more palatable for my picky inner editor. To be honest, I still have not settled on a final title for this book, which is strange for me. Normally I work directly from a title, but in this one, I started with a main character first. She is probably the only fully fleshed out character in the book. Everyone else still seems to be a placeholder in one way or another.

There is the final team project in process for the last accounting class; it is due on Saturday but I think we may be done before then. There may be one more assignment for my other class, but it is a fairly stress-free end to the semester. I know not everyone is so calm, but the rush before graduation has many feeling haggard. Dead Week should not involve assignments unless they are final projects in lieu of an exam. I think very few universities have kept up with the tradition, though, other than to cease student organization's official functions during that week and to keep the name. Professors pretty much do whatever they want in terms of workload even if it is sometimes unrealistic. Still, we all manage somehow so it must not be that unrealistic.

Kansas, per usual, can make up its mind about what season we are actually in. As long as the Blizzard waits until I am done with trudging to campus this semester, I do not really care, because I can bundle up inside with my hot cocoa, blankets, and books. I have plans to sleep until noon at least one day over the break. That is probably all I will get around this zoo that is my home.

The hubs just announced in a much more 'official statement' sort of way that he wants to move to a better house after our lease is up in this house. So, that's probably going to be part of my summer.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Post Convention Blues

I feel like we did quite well at TsunamiCon, especially for it being the first convention. Even though it was only three days, we made quite a few connections and we learned a great deal. I really think everyone had fun and a few people were seriously considering buying the table but it's not so easy to make that decision on the dime. We mostly wanted people to be able to see it. I suspect we will get more requests for custom orders before we sell the table. We already have one custom dice tray order that we should be able to get out this week.

We did sell "that" wand. Besides the table, I do believe it was the best conversation piece of the whole convention. I don't think anyone will forget us for that and John will still probably be teased about it for the next few decades, poor guy. At least until he makes the next "that thing".

You can see most of the photos and video we took at the con on our Facebook page. The rest should be up by this weekend. I probably have a good bit of editing to do on some of the video footage before it goes on youtube and/or vimeo.

As crazy and hectic as the convention was, there was a sense of sadness with leaving: a bit like the day when the train comes to Hogwarts at the end of the semester. You have to leave the magic behind and go back to the mundane world. Now I am trying to readjust to all the stuff I have to catch up on this week to be productive. Conventions are nice for letting you connect with people of similar interests and just geek out to your heart's content.

Look for our full website debut sometime in the next few weeks.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

The First Convention

In a little less than a week, Flat Earth Hobbies will be heading to Wichita for our first convention. The table is almost finished, but it's another last minute situation. I have been so busy this semester between classes, the GA position, the Enactus officer position, and dealing with Flat Earth Hobbies, that I have not posted about any of the amazing things that have been going on this semester.

Because I am an insane person, I am going to attempt to do the NaNoWriMo thing. Most of my writing will probably be done after the con is finished, but I still think I can manage the 50K with as much as I have been able to do with planning and everything else. A few good word sprints will do me some good to getting back in the writing habit. Even if I do wind up working in corporate IT after graduation next year, I would rather not lose my writing. 

Anyway, I hope everyone had a good Halloween and/or is having a blessed Samhain and that your next week goes swimmingly. I will "see" you all after the con. 

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