Sunday, January 27, 2008

More Dream Casting

Abriel's first sword mentor is named Naria. Naria is of an extremely fair-skinned race, so I needed to find an actress with the right coloring. One came to mind immediately.

Naria - Cate Blanchett


She's another one who'd have to be uglified, because Naria is supposed to be severe-looking. But her coloring is perfect.

Friday, January 25, 2008

My Dream Cast

Inspired by Lisa Shearin and Raven, I've decided to put up my dream cast for some of the characters in Forging a Legend.

Abriel - Angela Bassett

Ok, Angela Bassett is probably way too beautiful to play Abriel, but I'd want her anyway! Look at those arms! She'd be perfect. Plus she's got great screen presence. She was the only reason I liked the movie, Strange Days and she'd make a kick-ass Abriel.

Verit - Val Kilmer

Dye his hair black and he'd make a great god of Truth. He's got that ability to pull off a hugely conceited character, as evidenced in Top Gun and Willow.

Thesk - The Rock

For another godly character, Thesk, the God-King of the city-state that bears his name, I'd want The Rock. He already looks like a god in this photo, and we know he makes a great villain.

I'll have to think some more about the other characters. For the few of you who has read it all the way through, I need a buff white guy (Danor), a fit white guy (Loqui), a teenage brown-skinned boy (Rendell), two fit brown-skinned guys (Yevin and Korzit), and a brown-skinned guy and girl with an ordinary build (Deverno and Ysande).

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Contest Entry Ready!

I went ahead and got my contest submission ready. I had to print 3 copies of my 25 page excerpt, and I ran out of paper! So my wonderful husband actually went out and 9:00 pm and got some paper from the grocery store. Thank God for grocery stores that stock computer paper! And Thank God for my husband, Chuck!

(All that and he's good-looking too! And don't even get me started on how cute he is with our daughter!)

So I have the thing all sealed up and ready to pop in the mail tomorrow. Why did I go through so much trouble? Well, it would be nice to have SOMETHING in my bio besides somewhat embarrassing nonfiction pubs. ("Uncle John's Bathroom Reader". I kid you not.) And the top three entries in the SF/F categories goes to an acquisitions editor at Tor.

I won't ask for luck wishes, because I don't think luck counts for much in contests like these. Unless I get lucky with my manuscript landing in the lap of someone who likes this kind of story!

Now maybe tomorrow I'll actually get a chance to visit everyone's blogs! I think I'm going to assign tomorrow as Official Goof-Off Online Night!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Burnout!

Oh, man. I'm so burned out. I'm glad I have two novels to work on. I've been frantically working on the opening to FORGING, getting it ready for a contest that I'm no longer sure I'm going to enter. An online critique group ripped it apart for me, and I put it back together. I'm sure it's much stronger. But right now, I'm sick of it!

I miss my characters from Starcaster. I miss its lighthearted mood. And it is in desperate need of fleshing out. So I'm switching gears, back to Starcaster.

I'll put the rewritten opening to FORGING on my website, but I ain't going to do it tonight. Right now, I think I'll step away from the computer and do something else!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

My Muse

A comment that I wrote on the previous post inspired this one. Kimber An, whose blog I neglected to link here until just now, has named her muse the Old Hag. (If I recall correctly -- she has not been around in a while. I think another character offed her.) I named mine the Drill Sergeant, or Sarge. Here he is:


Yes, that's R. Lee Ermey. My muse is not R. Lee Ermey, but he looks a lot like him. Maybe a few years younger. But definitely ugly and "ate up", as we used to say in the Air Force. A great motivator.

If you could describe your muse, what would he or she look like?

Saturday, January 12, 2008

On Writing Tics

I was told that I have a writing tic ("for the moment") so I examined my manuscript and sure enough, there they all were. It took FORTY MINUTES to clear them all out! They were EVERYWHERE and I NEVER NOTICED them before. The value of critique groups! I joined a good one, I think.

I did lots of work on FORGING A LEGEND today, printing the first 25 pages and tweaking and perfecting. (These are the 25 pages I'm going to enter in that contest.) I decided that I no longer need my prologue, so my 25 pages now gets to go two pages deeper into the story. I want to send it off by Wednesday or Thursday, about 10 days before the deadline. Just in case the post office returns it for whatever reason. I also went through my other POV scenes -- I only have a two POVs besides Abriel -- and checked for continuity. I only got halfway through before I learned about my tic.

What are your writing tics, that you know of?

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Thusday Thirteen #5 -- Thirteen Paragraphs from Forging a Legend

Thirteen paragraphs from Forging a Legend
This is one of my favorite scenes, and thirteen lines worked out perfectly!
I didn't bother numbering them.

Thesk made no move. Abriel realized that he waited for her to make the first attack. He did not even bother to pretend at a fighting stance.

What have I got myself into? She thought. She decided to try a thrust.

A stabbing pain invaded her right lung. She looked down at the sword protruding from her chest in astonishment. He had struck so swiftly that she had not realized a blow was coming. As she gazed at the sword, she dimly reflected that the metal was the same whitish hue as the chain of her amulet.

It withdrew from her chest and blood poured forth.

Pain hit her like an avalanche. Her knees could no longer support her and she collapsed onto the sand. She knew that the wound was mortal and that it would be an agonizing, slow death. Her lung would fill up with blood and bile and she would drown in her own fluids.

Her feet churned the sand in spasms of pain. She remembered the fight pits, and the man struck down by his own friend. Now, it was time for her to play her death drama before the crowds.

She could no longer see at all; a red haze filled her vision. She could still hear, however. A great rending filled her ears and she felt the jagged metal from the armor rip out of her wound. A burning filled her lungs and she knew that the drowning process had begun.

She thought of the Nameless one. The Namer, she corrected herself, thinking of the Furdi, of Danor. She thought of what Danor had told her one day, early in their acquaintance, while they sipped cool water in the entrance of the forge. He told her then that the Namer escorted the souls of the newly-dead to his home.

All at once, she welcomed such a place. Whether to the Namer's home or to the gods Beyond--what difference did it make? An entirely new adventure awaited her on the other side of death. What was there to fear?

She had always thought of death as cold and dark. Instead, she found it bright, airy and softer than the down of goslings. She wanted to drown in it. However, she also found a firmness that she did not expect, unyielding and impenetrable--a closed door.

Take me, she thought.

Then, a meaning bloomed in her mind, a meaning of perfect clarity. It was as if someone--or something--had planted a perfectly formed idea into her mind without cumbersome words, and without any trace of ambiguity.

And she knew that her time to die had not yet come.



Monday, January 7, 2008

My Manuscript Stack - In Pictures!

Here's a fun photo:


This is a stack of all three of my novels. Notice how the bottom manuscript is yellowed with age, printed on a dot-matrix printer. It is also taller than the other two novels put together. Here's a side-by-side comparison:


Yes, that first novel is 230,000 words of first-novel excellence. I'm just glad I managed to finish it . . . after about 12 years! It has every fantasy trope imaginable. Dragons? Yup! Elves? Yup! Dwarves? Yup! An evil sorceress? Yup! I did try to put a unique spin on all of these, but there's no question that it is an unpublishable mess.

The second two novels run 115,00 words and 75,000 words (so far).

Friday, January 4, 2008

Fantasy Debut Nominated!

My other blog, Fantasy Debut, was nominated for the Preditors and Editors Reviewer Poll! I appreciate any votes! Here is the link. The deadline for voting (or nominating other sites) is January 15th.

And please excuse the shameless plug!!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Thirteen Characters in Starcaster - TT#4


Thirteen Characters in Starcaster

Starcaster is very Jane Austen-esque, so all characters are listed with their proper social titles.
  1. Miss Victoria Lawrence. A young spy, about 22-24 years old. She is a starcaster as well. She is a member of the Starcaster Corps of the Intelligence Ministry. Her real name is actually Victoria Walsingham. (Bonus points to those who can say where I got the name "Walsingham" from -- without using Google.) However, she uses her mother's name instead of her father's to preserve her reputation (as do all female spies in the Ministry). To her friends, she is known as Tory. She has at least two aliases: Mrs. Ann Cooper and Miss Wood.
  2. Miss Reba Young. Victoria's rather snappish mentor, about 35 years old. She is an attractive woman, but she chose to remain single and a spy.
  3. Mr. Julian Crain. At about 28, Mr. Crain is the youngest spy to make it into the Gold Corps in many years. He is not a starcaster, but he is a very capable spy. Oh, and he's extremely good-looking. He's not greatly eligible, because he has five younger sisters -- two of whom are likely to become spinsters -- and his family fortune is not great.
  4. Mr. Samuel Carter. An up-an-coming engineer, Mr. Carter has a self-made fortune at the age of 26. He's ready to find a wife, and many women are ready to become his wife. He's not a spy, but for some reason he keeps getting entangled in Starcaster missions, especially when Tory is at the center of them.
  5. Mr. Cecil Crowley. Mr. Crowley is a starcaster and a spy. He's about 5'7" tall, and fourteen stone of pure muscle. Somehow, even with this build, he manages to be the best "stalker" -- or surveillance specialist -- in the Starcaster Corps. He's the bastard son of a lord, and has the fortune of one. In his late 20s.
  6. Mr. Nathan Bradburn. One of Tory's superiors at the Ministry. He is the second highest-ranking spy in the Starcaster Corps. He's in his mid-40s and still single. He is attractive and has the wealth of a gentleman.
  7. Lady Matilda Rollins. A famous beauty with a rather shocking reputation. She is Mr. Bradburn's acknowledged lover. She is in her early 30s and to all appearances, has no intention of ever marrying. Is not a spy and Tory is not sure if she is even a starcaster.
  8. Mr. Mark Felding. "Iron Mark" is the craggy Commissioner of the Starcaster Corps. It takes a lot to get on his good side, but once you're there, you're there.
  9. Yuro Ozelle. (Name subject to change.) An enemy spy and starcaster. He has a new hobby -- destroying the beauty of young enemy female spies. Tory becomes one of his targets.
  10. Miss Estelle Layfett. Enemy spy and starcaster. Her motivations are quite perplexing in the first half of the novel.
  11. Mr. Luc Layfett. Enemy spy and starcaster, and Miss Layfette's father and partner. Would kill for her.
  12. Miss Jane Martin. A young thief, starcaster and entertainer. Not a spy. Plays the guitar in gentleman's clubs. Uses her starcasting ability to safely get to and from her gigs. Has dangerous associates. Is a friend of Tory's -- sometimes.
  13. Detective George Meyer. A police detective. In command of the precinct that includes the wharves (Dockside) and the Bridge Mall. The thieves of the city whisper that he takes bribes.
And oops! That's not even close to all of them. But, this is Thursday Thirteen, not Thursday Thirty, so I'll stop here.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!