Thursday, November 29, 2012

Raw and Uncut 5

I've done it. I've officially completed NaNoWriMo this year. And I wasn't a rebel at all (as opposed to my previous two years of winning). So from a non-rebel viewpoint, this is my first real win. It was really tough there at the end. I finished the story at 46k or so, and had to add in descriptions galore to get up to 48k. Then I asked some fellow NaNo-ers for dares that would fit my story, and that got me right on up to the 50k goal.

I am super-crazy about this story, and about the comedic world I planted in the middle of modern Manhattan. It was the easiest thing to write I've ever done, and now I'm kicking myself for not trying comedy before, and for not trying a story unrelated to my first story idea before. But now I have, and I feel like it will be a breeze to edit (in a week or two when I've rested from it a bit). In the mean time, here is the final installment of Raw and Uncut:

One of the commercials started out with a woman walking a horse with no lead, her smile just barely visible the camera was so far away, the landscape that of more upstate New York. Then it cut to a portrait shot of the same woman, with a cat on her lap and a parrot on her shoulder.

“Hi, I'm Sophie Cunningham, and I know what your pets are thinking.”

“Not yet, you don't,” the cat said with a sniff.

“Oh, what a load of bull,” said Maria. “People can not talk to animals, it's unnatural.”

“Do you see what color eyes she has, Maria?” Kalara said. She didn't often reveal too much about the technicalities of being a mage, but she had told her about the eye color thing.

Maria cut her a look. “Are you saying you can talk to animals? And she can, too?”

Kalara nodded.

The cat whined, staring at the parrot. “Can I eat him now?”

Sophie looked at the cat, rubbed him between the ears, and said, “You're hungry? I'll fix you something to eat.”

“I want the bird, and you know it.”

“Alright, you can have tuna juice on your dinner.”

“And chunks of tuna.”

The scene cut to her dishing out food for the cat, with tuna juice and a little tuna mixed in.

“I want more tuna!”

She smiled and replied with a sugary sweet voice, “Trust me, if I gave you more tuna, you would get uncomfortable gas cramps, and you'd let loose smells that would bother everybody.”

The cat shrugged and began to eat.

“As you can see, I can help you with all your pet problems. Call today.”

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Raw and Uncut 4

The novel I'm writing is a comedy. According to how comedies and tragedies used to be defined, it would be a little split between the two. You see, a lot of people die in my book, but not the main people who reach the end and go on to be happy. One of the people who is on the losing end of that stick is the villain. Another is a fly. It's pretty dark stuff, people:

Kalara snorted and shut the door behind her. She put the knives, gloves, and bleach away. Evander walked in before she could go deal with Whitcomb's body. His eyes slid to the bagged heart on the counter.

“So, you took care of collecting it. Thanks.”

“Yes, well, I couldn't help it. You were just so pathetic.” Evander blushed. Kalara grinned and handed the baggie over. As he took it she noticed a squirming little fly, trapped between the heart and the side of the bag. She opened her mouth to say something, then stopped herself. Wouldn't it be funny, even if he didn't notice and make a fuss, if a devil ate a fly?


Must...escape. Food gumming legs. Food wetting wings. Air supply low. No choice. Entering low-power mode.

Reboot. Cause? Air has returned. Food mound leaving low-air zone. Must escape. Wriggle legs. Wriggle wings. Food stiffer now. Can't move.

Heat. Entering high-heat zone. Wriggle harder. Harder. Can't move. Heat increasing. Must break wings free...

Searing, blasting, unimaginable heat. Life signs: will not recover. Final shut down.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Raw and Uncut 3

Hi again, and welcome to another installment of my raw, pulpy, new novel. I am currently over the halfway mark, and scrabbling to add in more plot points to my outline since so far I've blazed through the scenes to quickly to have the plot last the whole 50k. :\
Here we meet the character Skelley, the villain's homunculus. Unfortunately as I paste this here I see how many times the names are repeated, but, alas, it is not time yet to edit.

The miniature skeleton with wings folded them neatly so that they wouldn't interfere, then grasped the great cloth by a corner. He walked backwards, pulling it along, until he got to the other corner, where he laid the first. Next he straightened out the rest, down to the other side, and took three steps back to look at the effect.
He'd folded the giant underwear neatly in two.
The skeleton's chest rattled with a sigh as he ran back to the great cloth and folded it once more. Then he picked it up by the side, four layers just barely contained in his tiny grip, and he pulled the giant underwear along the dresser, to where the underwear drawer was open, and flitted over to the edge of the drawer, pulling the underwear into it. He straightened it up neatly and looked back at the pile of clean laundry. One down, twenty-three more pieces of laundry to go. The homunculus banged its fists on its skull as it made its way to the next great cloth.
Whitcomb walked into the room. “Oh, good, you've started.” The little skeleton gritted its bared teeth. Yesterday he hadn't been able to finish scrubbing the bathroom on time and Whitcomb had yelled at him for not having begun dinner yet. Whitcomb had more important things to do than clean, or make food, so he'd created Skelley. The problem was, Skelley was an extension of Whitcomb's personality, so he also hated cleaning and felt it was beneath him.
Whitcomb opened the other drawers, making the dresser rock slightly, causing Skelley to careen toward the edge. He opened his wings to stabilize himself, then glared at his master. Whitcomb was taking out an outfit to lay out for tomorrow, including the underwear Skelley had just finished. With a flick of the wrist they sprawled open. Skelley banged his skull some more, hopping up and down.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Last Eli Novel

I am a big fan of Rachel Aaron. She's my favorite current author, who wrote the Eli Monpress novels, and the famous (in some circles) How I Went From Writing 2k A Day to 10k A Day blog post. The last Eli novel, Spirit's End, is coming out November 20th.

Can I tell you a secret? I had forgotten when in November it was coming out (I thought it was the 12th). I went to Barnes and Noble yesterday and asked for it, and the woman working there went into the basement and brought it out for me, because apparently she didn't know, either. Then I went online to happily exclaim how I bought it the first day it was out, and realized my mistake. (By the way, if you find this, Rachel Aaron, don't worry, I won't tell anyone what happens or lend my book out. But I will be reading it, I can't resist.)

Anyway, she's holding a raffle over on her blog to give out free, signed copies, if you're interested. And whether or not you enter or win, if you're a fantasy reader I recommend you going over to your local Barnes and Noble next Tuesday or getting on Amazon right now to grab yourself a copy. And if you don't already have the first four (or two if you're counting the first three in their omnibus), get those, too. Because these are some pretty great books.

Happy NaNo-ing (for those participating), and see you on Friday!

Who's your favorite current author?

Friday, November 9, 2012

Raw and Uncut 2

I'm so excited about my NaNo experience this year! I've never found it easier to write, and I'm currently sitting on 14,712 words, which is 59 pages in mass-produced paperback style, and before midnight ticked over was 1,300 words ahead of schedule. Here is a segment I wrote yesterday:

Evander trotted to the right desk and cleared his throat. The devil there kept up his typing without a glance over at him.

“Hi, I hear you have dibs on Brentley Whitcomb's heart?”

The devil turned abruptly, eying him up and down. “Yes.”

“I would like to make a trade for you getting it sooner rather than later.”

“What did you want in return?”

“I would like to borrow your power for,” he glanced at his watch, “Four days, eleven hours, twenty minutes, and two seconds. It will save you years of waiting for him to keel over.”

Izikial, humorously named after Ezekiel in an effort to say he was icky, knew very well that it would take him much longer than Evander anticipated for Whitcomb to die, and he very well may possibly never have the opportunity to eat his heart, since Whitcomb was planning to make himself a lich. He'd actually prepared a phylactery to receive his power, so that when he was killed he would stay alive, though now undead, which he was planning on activating whenever he got a powerful enough soul to make the transfer. Once that was done, the phylactery would have to be destroyed for his heart to be the container of his power again, and if he were a lich too long his heart would decay, and Izikiel would have nothing to absorb from him. You couldn't eat a phylactery, after all.

So Izikiel tried to think of a way to say yes without sounding eager about it. He decided to say, “When would I get the heart?” to give himself some more time.

“By the time you get your power back,” Evander said, glaring at Kalara in his mind's eye and saying So get to it.

“I suppose that is a good deal less time to wait,” Izikial said, rubbing his chin and trying to sound ponderous. “Alright, I'll take you up on that offer.”

Both of them gave themselves a mental high-five, keeping their faces blank.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Raw and Uncut 1

 “Kalara, dear!” Neva called. Kalara turned and saw her standing with a group of people by a display case on the other side of the room. They were all looking at her. “Come, be a dear and tell Mrs. Steer here that you are an Orlov.”
Kalara obliged, sauntering over in a way that splayed the mermaid shape of her dress just so. Her parents agreed that mermaid skirts were the best shape on her.
“Kalara,” Neva said when she was close, “who are your parents?”
A cool wisp of air brushed her arm. Magic. With rather less poise than she meant to, she responded, “Leander and Fara Orlov.” She glanced around, trying to find the source of the magic-y feeling. She refused to call it magical. That word rang of Disney Land.
“The owners of the country-wide bridal chain, I told you.” Neva gave Kalara a pointed glance. Kalara dismissed it and kept searching. Only two people in the world knew she was a mage, and she wasn't about to let her chance to find another confidant slip through her grasp.
“Really? I thought their daughter was younger,” said another of the guests. There it was! In the display case was a magic rod. It was the source of the ghostly touch of magic, even locked up in cherry wood and glass. “...for your own wedding needs?” Kalara focused on the speaker once more, realizing they weren't making general observations yet, they were still talking directly to her. She tilted her head.
“Maybe,” she said with a conspiratorial grin.
The group gave uncomfortable little laughs, the speaker straightening a few inches. “Where are your manners? Am I boring you, little Miss?”
Kalara swallowed some anger, readying a retort that would scald her scolding tongue. She was nineteen, which is no age to be associate with the word 'little' any more.
Neva pulled her aside. “What is the matter, Kalara? Are your studies wearing on you? Shall I have some lavender water fetched?”
“No, thank you.” She glanced back at the case. “Would you mind introducing me to Mr. Whitcomb, though? I should very much like to compliment him on his home.”
Neva brightened. “Of course, dear. I'm sure he'd just die to meet an Orlov.”
As they moved into the alternate living room, Kalara wondered to herself if his own funeral home would take care of his body, or if the business would go to his competition.