Today’s Creative Warm-Up: What the covers of my tetralogy would look like if writers actually got to do that stuff.

Stock images provided by hameed@dA

Rebloooging as a casual announcement that these are probably going to be the covers for beta ebooks / hard copies, since moolah is tight and I can’t commission an artist.

23/9/2013 . 8 notes . Reblog
He felt her like a phantom pain, there and not there at the same time.
Insomnia, Chapter 24
12/7/2013 . 4 notes . Reblog
Naked and Afraid: Eleanor Finishes a Novel (Day 11)

Words written: 1,927

Total Words Written: 16,847
Words Remaining:  33,203
Days Remaining:  20
At this rate the project will be finished on August 2, 2013


Sitting against the bumper of the truck, Stella had been listening to what the forest considered silence, waiting for him to come back so they could leave.  She’d counted at least twenty separate sounds, from the high pitched whine of the crickets to the random snap of wood that never ceased to make her jump.  She added her own voice to the chorus when Bradbury emerged from the forest, forcing a breathy curse from her lips.

Bonus Challenge Question: What are you most comfortable writing? Use the 5 W’s. Who, what, where, when, and why.

Who:  Men in their thirties.  I am obsessed with men in their thirties.

What: Long short stories or novels.  My favorite part is the brainstorming/planning process, and if I can’t fit all the details into the work I get really discouraged.  It’s damn near impossible for me to write a story under 4,000 words.

Where: I really like my room in bed, or the beat-up couch at my dad’s place, but we have a very cozy colonial era sitting room I like to spend time in.

When: At night, after 8 or 9 PM.  4PM is also a very active time for me.  Also, I can write up to 6,000 words in one night if its just hours before a deadline, and I don’t suffer quality for it, as long as the pressure’s on.

Why:  I simply express myself better through text.  I was ignored a lot by classmates when I was a kid, so I don’t like to speak up.  I began to write to compensate for that, and I’ve made a career out of it now.

11/7/2013 . 1 note . Reblog
Naked and Afraid: Eleanor Finishes a Novel (Day 10)

Words Written:  Somewheres around 1,000

Total Words Written:  Somewheres around 15K
Words Remaining:  35k ish?
Days Remaining:  21
At this rate the project will be finished on August 1, 2013

Excerpt:        “Get Stella,” Bradbury muttered, dazed.  He did not look at Thanatos.  Instead, he began to walk for the truck.  “Leave everything that isn’t important.  We—”
    “We need to be there tonight,” Thanatos finished.  Behind him, the light of the fire was drowned in dirt as Thanatos crossed the camp and unzipped the front of the tent.  Stella slept, her shallow breaths filling the tent.  He crawled inside and rested his hand on her bare shoulder.  All she wore were their blankets.  She’d waited for him, just as he knew she would.  It was a shame her devotion was in vain.
    Carefully, he shook her back into the world.  She came back with a start, recalling the hint of a nightmare, of shouting and lights and a great approaching storm.  Stella’s eyes adjusted to the darkness, sucking up the faint light filtered blue through the vinyl.  There was silence.  No fire creaked outside.  There was only the sound of his breath and the thud of blood in her ears.
    “Get dressed, Stella,” he said. She knew what had happened.  “It is time.”  Her hand went to his waist and she pulled them together.  They held each other for a moment, then kissed, before Stella let go and clenched her fists around her shirt behind her.

Bonus Challenge Question:  Describe your plot in 15 words or less.

College student, alien, and secret agent team up to prevent humanity’s extinction. Hilarity ensues (Not).

10/7/2013 . 0 notes . Reblog
Naked and Afraid: Eleanor Finishes a Novel (Day 9)

Words Written:  1,715 (+)

Total Words Written:  12,267
Words Remaining:  36,068
Days Remaining:  22
At this rate the project will be finished on August 2, 2013

Excerpt:    “Ignore them,” he replied. “We’ll do this together.”  Kielo bit her lip and began the usual lecture she gave about the human body.  They were so much like us, she explained, and it was one of the great mysteries of the universe.  Thanatos looked into the eyes of the man one last time before the cold pit in his stomach became unbearable.  His lips moved, a silent help me masked by Kielo’s voice.  Their races were twins, she told the class, so they should not be intimidated.  Thanatos looked back up to the audience, back to Cardinal Sollimer way in the back.  In the darkness, he could see his white lips twisted into a grin.

Bonus Challenge Question:  What’s the biggest cliche you’ve used in your writing so far?

Human-looking aliens.

I try to explain it away, but there’s really no excuse for it except I think they look prettier that way.  Though it is a bit tired, and I LOVE seeing non-bipedial, non-primate aliens, meh.

Sue me.

9/7/2013 . 0 notes . Reblog
Naked and Afraid: Eleanor Finishes a Novel (Day 8)

And day 7 because I was watching TV last night and didn’t feel like updating:

Words Written:  3,346 (+)
Total Words Written:  12,267
Words Remaining:  37,783
Days Remaining:  23
At this rate the project will be finished on August 2, 2013


    “You and I match, you know that?  Our test scores.  You’re a bit stronger than me, but that won’t matter.  If you and I switched places, they’d never know.  Look, even our faces look similar.  With the skin on they won’t even be able to see your stripes.  They’ll never know.  And the training is all new.  You’ll learn to speak English.  You’ll be a doctor.  Me, well I don’t like the sight of blood and I can’t conjugate a verb to save my life…”
    L’Rac prattled on, his voice growing louder as he went on about how easy it would be for them to just switch places and continue as if nothing happened.  Thanatos thought he was mad, and worse, he began to consider it.  What was there to lose?  There was some enjoyment in his life, but he was replaceable, just like the horribly broken machine he’d stopped working on.  An impulse ripped through him, much like it had back on Mars, back when he lost his finger for the letting his wants rule him.  Realizing how much the man’s voice echoed down the hall, Thanatos stood and grabbed L’Rac by the shoulders, tossing him into the closet.  He slammed his hand on the door release, locking them inside.  That got him to shut up.
    “L’Rac,” Thanatos said. “I’ll do it.”

Bonus Challenge Question:  If your novel was to become famous, what do you think would be the most popular canon ship? What would be the most popular non-canon ship?
Well, there is only one canon pairing in Insomnia, and that’s between Stella and Thanatos.  I think it would be fairly popular.  It’s got a lot of really sweet, angsty, and sexy moments to it, but then again, it might not have the kind of chemistry shippers like.  Stella and Thanatos are a good match, but they’re kind of a boring one.
There are a lot of non-canon possibilities, but I think the most popular would be anything with Sollimer.  He’s bad, he’s sexy, and he will fuck anything that moves.  It’s really between him and Stella or him and Thanatos.  Either way, if this got popular, I’d expect a lot of hatesex out of the fanfic.

8/7/2013 . 0 notes . Reblog
Naked and Afraid: Eleanor Finishes a Novel (Day 6)

Word Count: You know what, fuck all this word count business today.  I’m at roughly 1,400 words in tonight, and I’m slowly beating my deficit, but more importantly I’m actually just enjoying what I write today.  I am having fun.

Excerpt:     (Two this time because I like both of these passages)

Bradbury wanted his visit with Sokolov to make it feel better.  He wanted one of her classic pep talks.  He wanted the simple, aching calm of her presence.  Missing from this case was that lull she provided. Yes, this is fucked up, but we are okay and we will get the job done, it whispered, chasing away his doubts, yet leaving that ache.  He still felt it though she was gone.  Perhaps, if he saw her one last time, she might finally take it away from him.


He kept a sliver of his face against the glass, just enough to see inside of the prison, to see Sokolov, ragged and smiling.
    Unconsciously, he traced the outline of her body.  He stopped when he noticed another man’s arm latched around her waist through the bars.  Jealousy and rage tumbled together in his stomach as he followed it up to the man’s face, and those two nasty emotions were forced apart as if they were fighting animals sprayed with a hose.  He knew he recognized that voice.  It was as familiar as the president’s or the pope’s.  He watched with ice in his veins as Sollimer pulled Sokolov into an embrace as best he could with the barrier between them, kissing her with a playfulness he thought did not exist in their species.  Shaking, Bradbury flattened himself.  He didn’t want to look.  He only needed to listen.
    “But darling—”
    “No buts,” he whispered.  Bradbury could see it in his mind as he blinked into the darkness, Sollimer letting her go to press his palm to her face. “He can’t live.  He doesn’t trust me.  You will not kill him until the girl and the Martian are dead.”

No bonus question tonight folks! Happy writing!

6/7/2013 . 0 notes . Reblog
Naked and Afraid: Eleanor Finishes a Novel (Day 5)

Words Written Today:  946 (Not going to bed until it hits like 1500)
Total Words Written:  7,404
Words Remaining:  42,646
Days Remaining:  26
At this rate the project will be finished on August 3, 2013


“Tell me, how did you get here?  I’m always interested in success stories.”
    There might have been something genuine in there.  The story went that in his youth the Cardinal had been just a receptionist with good ideas, and his charisma alone had taken him to the highest office he could find.  That was one thing they had in common.  They’d come form nothing to rise to a place they’d never imagined they would be.
    Bradbury wondered how much to say.  So much of his past had been erased; he wasn’t even sure what he remembered any more.  His military service was probably safe, from his training as a sharpshooter to his multiple tours in the Middle East.  Where it gets muddy is on that last tour, when he took four greenhorns out into the mountains to get a grip on the land and was the only one to come back alive, screaming about strange lights and men, no monsters, that came out of nowhere and took his squad.  Should he mention that they were going to have him marshaled until they found his weapons melted on the inside? Or how Sokolov was the one to interrogate him about the incident? It was her that whispered his name into Director Jones’ ear, the last time his real name was spoken aloud.  Then, he was dead, and in his place stood Agent August Bradbury, former Marine, origin unknown.
    “The same way everyone else gets a job,” he answered finally. “Someone whispered my name into the right man’s ear and I was hired.”

Bonus Challenge Question: Name two songs from your playlist that you feel are connected with your novel in some way, and explain how they are.
“Lights” by Ellie Goulding has kind of become the theme song for my main character as she’s evolved.  I really like that the song has got this otherworldly feeling to it, like the images remind me of classic alien abduction scenarios.  Stella’s greatest fear is being alone, away from home, but all that is being redefined for her, and she’s got to be strong about that, or she’s going to fail.  She can’t do that with the world on her and A. Bradbury’s shoulders.
And then there’s “Girl with One Eye” by Ludes.  This song is just freaking perfect for the relationship between Stella and Sollimer, the villain.  Though I’ve got plans to take him in some very interesting places in future sequels, for now he’s just a sinister villain, one who seriously scares Stella, even when she’s worn down and desensitized to fear.  I like that the song is, for lack of a better word, kind of rapey.  He very much objectifies her, and he gets a bit of a sick crush on her, which only makes him more abhorrent.  It’s really just the perfect villain song.

5/7/2013 . 0 notes . Reblog
Naked and Afraid: Eleanor Finishes a Novel (Day 4)

Words Written Today:  1,498 (+)
Total Words Written:  6,338
Words Remaining:  43,712
Days Remaining:  27
At this rate the project will be finished on August 1, 2013

Excerpt:  “Are you all right?”
    Nope.  There was nothing left.  Perhaps they had gotten the MIB off of their back for now, but a few hundred dollars, a handful of bullets, and a rusty old truck might just barely take them where they needed to go.  Thanatos had no disguise now.  He would be forced to move in the shadows, where no one could see or fear him.  They were truly going by the seat of their pants now, and the only thing Stella could be sure of was that Thanatos would be with her.
    “Yeah,” she answered, sitting up. “Let’s find us a hotel room.”

Bonus Challenge Question: Day 4 - What genre is your novel?  Why did you pick it?

Science fiction with bits of action, espionage, and romance mixed in.  I’ve always wanted to write an epic space opera.

4/7/2013 . 1 note . Reblog
Naked and Afraid: Eleanor Finishes a Novel (Day 3)

Words Written Today:  1,252
Total Words Written:  4,840
Words Remaining:  45,210
Days Remaining:  28
At this rate the project will be finished on August 1, 2013.

Excerpt:  “Bradbury thought she’d looked happier than he’d ever seen her in the last eight years. She sat up in the dark with her hands neatly folded together.  Alert, her eyes were wide open; a smile encompassed her face.  He was partly glad he didn’t have a gun to point at her.  He doubted he would have been able to do so if he did.  Instead, he stood up straight and called for the nurse to get security.  Sokolov did not react.  She stared unflinchingly at the wall.
    ‘Why did you do it, Nickole?’ he asked.  She did not look at him.  It wasn’t that she couldn’t.  She wouldn’t.  She inhaled the spite it generated.
    ‘Long live Mars,’ she answered, punctuating her sentence with a toothy snicker.  Bradbury felt his heart snap.”

Bonus Challenge Question:  Pick one of your female characters.  Introduce your readers to her, from her point of view and her words only.

I really don’t want him to see how scared I am.
When we first met, I really thought that I needed him more than he needed me. Of course, things are a little different now.  I’m doing things I never thought I was capable of.  Holding a gun, pointing it at someone… I guess no one expected little Stella Lundegaard to go so far, not even him.  But I’ve got a good reason.  My mom, my dad, Robbie.  They’ve got my family.  They’ve got my planet, and if I’m the only standing between the Grand Cardinal and his fucked-up version of paradise, then I’ll be happy to hold that gun right between his eyes.
So I can’t let a few tears get in the way.

3/7/2013 . 1 note . Reblog