Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Memorial Day

I hope everyone had a relaxing Memorial Day. I know I did. We considered going to a theme park that had a veteran discount going on with another couple and their kids (so that one person could sit out the ride with the little ones while three people got to get on), but they never got back to us and we ended up staying at home.
"Today most Americans are not directly touched by war. As a consequence, not all Americans may always see or fully grasp the depth of sacrifice, the profound costs that are made in our name — right now, as we speak, every day."  --President Obama
I don't know about you, but this comment disturbed me. Speaking as a former Navy wife, I can say the most common sacrifice made by servicemen today is the lousy conditions they're asked to work in, even here at home. And the thought that most Americans aren't directly touched by the war is ludicrous. The war has bankrupted us, and all of the US is feeling that, severely, every day. Talk about making sacrifices.

What's incredible is that if we cut our military budget by forty percent, downsizing the number of service members while still paying the enlisted more (because right now they're making next to nothing. The postman gets paid more), we'd still have a more powerful military than the three next most powerful nations' combined. Why haven't we downsized? Because to do so is seen as unpatriotic, and not appreciating our troops.

Sometimes I feel like no one really cares how high our debt is. Gary Johnson, the only candidate who would have actually reduced it, got only 2% or so of the popular vote. But most people think voting for the lesser of the two big evils is the only way to have their vote count...heh.

I realize I've opened the floodgates here with political talk, but then Memorial Day to me isn't just a day of remembering, it's a day to look back on our mistakes and decide not to repeat them.

What are some mistakes you'd like to never see repeated?


Found this flag here.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Straight Face

She wandered through the crypt, not remembering what she was looking for. Oh, right. A way out. Things had gotten so muddled since...since...

They fought side by side, valiantly, their swords ringing on shields.

When had that been? An hour ago, or a year? All she knew was she was lost. And that something had happened to her. Something...bad?

They vanquished their foes, sending each other a flash of a smile and gulping down healing droughts.

That wasn't bad. She dismissed it, turning her mind to other things. She stopped at an intersection and stared.  There were three possible ways to go. Which one had she taken before? She didn't remember. She couldn't remember most things, except when they surprised her in a flash of clarity.

They opened the next door--the last door--and gazed on their prize. The fabled statues of Alistamista, forgotten goddess born of Fitch and Weth. The wall behind them was carved into the top half of a woman, her arms coming to rest on the ground on either side of the group of statues, her face looking down on them wearing her holy mask of a blank face. The statues all wore the same mask, and stood the same straight-backed way.

She felt her back straightening as well. She took the right fork. She used to have a system, always following the...but she couldn't remember which wall she always followed, left or right. What did it matter which way she went? She'd never find her way out anyway.

As they widened their sacks of endless holding space to slide them down over the statues, the mask on the first statue began to turn. They paused to watch it. The mask tilted toward them, and they could see underneath. It was standing on six bug-like legs which ended in sharp points. After she felt a chill of dread but before she could do anything about it, the mask launched itself at her partner, landing on his face. As he screamed it dug its claws into his flesh, drawing the mask into place.

Ahead of her there was a light. She walked toward it, and found herself looking through an archway to the outside world. The long grass sighed under the wind, which was warmed by the rays of the sun. And yet she didn't feel what she'd expected to. What had she thought she'd feel? She'd forgotten. Because after what happened...

Rooted in place, she glanced at the statue without its mask, and then couldn't look away. There was little left of a face. The eye sockets were empty, there were gaping holes in the cheeks, and the top row of teeth had been knocked out, the lips there torn away. And she knew she and her partner were dead. Another mask began to turn, and this time it jumped at her.

Why did she care to get out? That part of her struggling to feel and remain autonomous...what purpose did it serve? She turned back from the archway. The others were more interesting than the outside. She'd go find them.

http://andrewmar.deviantart.com/art/Straightface-107763751

Welcome to Hanneen I Adam and K.E. Nowinsky, my newest followers!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Trip Thoughts

Yes, I changed my template again, and this time for good. The old one was too busy, it gave me a headache looking at it. Enjoy the new ease of reading!

As I settle in back at home I'll share my thoughts about my last trip with you.

The first and most blinding one is how the three of us (I took my two kiddos with me) must have set some kind of record for gathering the most ailments in one outing. First my daughter spent two days being sick from both ends, then she got a UTI as a secondary thing once that was over, then when she was finally better I got a horrible bowel problem for a few days, and lastly my son wound up puking. And NONE of it happened during the collective five days which we spent on the trains.

Second thought: long train trips would be really awesome without a two-year-old along.

Third, I am once again reminded that my parents will never understand me. When I told them (separately) about my success pitching to agents at the conference, they were each quiet a minute, then said, "I hope that works out for you," in a voice that implied they weren't holding their breath, then asked me if I'd thought about going back to school. To avoid conversations like these I spent most of my time there watching the Lizzie Bennet Diaries, a vlog which is a modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice.


Watching all of them took me longer than reading the book, but they're really fun. I've now decided I want Mary Kate Wiles, the actress who plays Lydia Bennet, to play the role of Kalara once my book becomes a movie.

Fourth, the conference was great. Can't wait to dig into my story and improve it, and I already enjoy blogging more after my social media lectures.

Have you seen the Lizzie Bennet Diaries? Who's your favorite actor/actress in them?

Friday, May 10, 2013

Floating Toward the Moon

The moon was up. It seemed bigger than normal, due to some horizon comparison theory, surely. But it wasn't next to anything. She looked for the horizon, and found it below her. She was floating.

Perhaps this should have frightened her, but for some reason it didn't. She gazed down. The city seemed so much more peaceful from afar. Quiet, and dark but for the sparkling of hundreds of balls of light. Softly smiling, she looked away with forgiveness, and saw what she was wearing.

It was a dress, in a blue almost as dark as the sky, flowing in a train behind her almost as long as she was. She didn't remember having a dress like this one. Of course, she also didn't remember why she was floating, so the origin of the dress shouldn't be any more of a mystery. Floating toward the moon...

Her eyes went up to it again, and it was even bigger than the last time she'd looked. She felt...expectant. She'd always longed for the moon. And now it was drawing closer...


My bad paint pictures return!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Agent Interest!

That's right, guys, the agents were interested in my book. Out of the three who I pitched, all three requested material. And later one of the people they were hanging out with told me to make sure to send it, because they were discussing my book, and said how cool it sounded! Of all the pitches they'd heard, they were talking about mine! Are there enough exclamation points?

They did have reservations because of the length, though. Obviously my next step is to extend it. The lectures I went to at the conference have gotten gears turning, and I've been thinking of possible sequels and the hooks I'd like to lay that will tie in with them later. It's going to be hard, but I'm ready!

My conference goodies!

The OWFI Writing Conference was very fun. I met Patrick Rothfuss, did the aforementioned pitches, and got to talk to Rebekah Loper face to face. The name tags were in super tiny print, so I leaned in awkwardly close to double-check it was her, which inspired some laughs all around. And I met Justin Herd, who told his wife I was her soul-mate, which I told him was a really strange thing to say to a spouse.

I also learned more about social media platforms, and as a result I've decided to change my schedule again. Friday will be reserved solely for the Friday Fantasy Scene, and Tuesday will be where I talk about whatever's on my mind. Those posts will be more focused, instead of sometimes involving four different topics. They'll also feature more bad photography a la me. And they're going to be more focused toward potential readers than other writers. (Sorry guys!)

So, potential readers out there: I'm working as hard as I can to come to a bookstore near you! Or more likely your Kindle/iPhone/Nook store, since more eBooks are sold than physical ones now. And I have a few questions for you.

Do you like reading sequels? What length should a series be? How many books is too many following one character?

And lastly, but not leastly, welcome to the following, David List!