Free Fiction Update

This is just a post to let you know that I’ve updated the free fiction tab to include all of my stories (not just The Tithe-Boy), so if there’s something I’ve written and you want to read it without searching for it, click the “Free Fiction” tab.

No new writing today, alas.

Free Fiction….Thursday: The Tithe-Boy, Part 5

So I finally finished part five of my ongoing serial and I couldn’t wait to show it to everyone.

I have to apologize as well, because part five isn’t nearly as exciting as I wanted it to be. Please be patient for part six, which is when I’ll introduce a bunch of new characters and Tom will get a lesson in Intrigue 101. Those of you who have missed my previous installments can read them in the “free fiction” tab at the top.

For now, enjoy this very boring chapter, in which Sevian grows a plant and Tom talks to himself–a lot.

(Note: Please excuse the paragraph spacing, it’s what happens when I copy stuff from Scrivener.

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Loki Short Fiction Contest + Story

I just sent in an entry for iocthulhu’s “July for Loki Short Fiction Contest”. You can read about the contest here. Seriously, ENTER! She’s only gotten TWO entries so far (including mine), don’t let me win all the swag (and I would very much like to win swag).

Anyways, here is the story I entered for the contest (so you know what you’re up against lol). As usual, it’s completely unedited (yes, I know I shouldn’t use prepositions at the beginning of sentences) and contains cross-dressing.

Read it after the cut.

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So I’m Writing Another Book….

I have decided that I am sick and tired of reminding people that 1) not all of us have godphones, like at all, and 2) doubt is okay

Therefore, I have decided to write a book.

The book is tentatively titled Paganism with Feet on the Ground and tentatively subtitled A Guide for the Rest of Us. Please note that both title and subtitle are very much tentative.

Here is my vision for the book:

This will not be a “how-to” guide with rituals and meditations and such. It will not be a guide for any particular tradition. It won’t be an instruction manual. It probably won’t be as exciting as your average “Pagan 101” book.

What it will be is a message of support. It will be about doubt, and how its okay to doubt. It will be about trusting your gut, and it will be about saying “You are not alone!”

This will be a book for those of us who aren’t priest/esses, or spirit-workers, shamans, witches, mystics, a book for those of us who have never felt the presence of a deity, that is not to say that this book might be of interest to people who fall within those categories, but this book is written for the everyperson, for the layperson, for the person who reads about how her co-religionists talk with deities and confesses to, yes, feeling jealous.

I’m sorry, everyone, but this won’t be the Vanatru 101 book I dream of writing, because I don’t feel as if I can write that book. This book, however, this book I can write, and I think this book is needed more than a half-hearted guide on “How to Worship the Vanir”.

I will update you on my progress.

Some Good News

CreateSpace got back to me today and I now have a brand new withholding rate of 0%!

What this basically means is I need to get the editing done, but after that, we’re in business…sort of…there’s still marketing I need to get to.

So what this means is that the release date for The Eldermaid is determined by a) whether my replacement editor thinks he can edit it and b) how long it takes him to edit it

In the meantime, I’ll be working on my not-really-professional author website, which I have named “Sword and Gossamer” because it symbolizes how my dreams are as strong as spider silk–

–oh, no it doesn’t, I just like that word, gossamer.

Update #2

Well, I’m still waiting for CreateSpace to email me re: taxes, but I have another, more pressing issue.

My editor is under some stress due to personal issues, and I don’t feel comfortable burdening her with my manuscript, so, as it stands right now, my novel doesn’t have anyone to edit it, I have no money to pay a professional to do the job for me, and I’m not doing it myself, because that’s a recipe for disaster.

Long story short, the novel’s on hold until I can convince someone to check my spelling and grammar.

 

 

Update

Went to the doctor yesterday, apparently I have this thing called punctate keratitis, which basically means that my cornea is inflamed. The doctor thinks it probably happened when I caught that virus I had in November. It was supposed to have healed by now, but for some reason it hasn’t.

So it’s off to a cornea specialist, who might prescribe steroid drops. For now, I need to lubricate with eye drops and ointment. Joy, eye drops, EYE DROPS EVERY DAY!

My eyesight does seem to improve a little bit when my eyes are wet, but I just wish this thing would go away.

On the upside, when I CAN make out letters, it seems my vision has improved by a whole line! Now if only the fucking blur would go away!

Anyways, this means I’m not really up to long writing sessions. I want to post a review today, but other writing will be slow.

Finally!

So I said to the IRS: “I can haz ITIN?”
And today the IRS was like “You can haz.”

😀 😀 😀

I have to send in another form to CreateSpace now, but the ITIN was the hard part, and then I get the manuscript and CS approves it and then we’re good to go AFAIK. I’ll worry about filing taxes later.

Oh, and there’s marketing. Yeah, marketing can wait.

My point is YAY I GET THE MAXIMUM AMOUNT OF ROYALTIES i CAN GET!

CAKE FOR EVERYONE:

Wow, that cake looks good….

Let’s Play the Urban Fantasy Drinking Game

Fangs for the Fantasy has posted a wonderful generic Urban Fantasy Drinking Game, and I thought it would be fun (as well as a good “check” for cliches) to see how my plans for The Splicer.

Note: These are just things I plan on putting into the story, and so are subject to change. In the event that giving a specific reason might spoil the plot, I’ll just give you how many drinks will be in the section.

The Protagonist – magic and work!: +1 drink if:


  • She has super-duper woo-woo powers that are super special
    • +1 drink for every element of them that is superduper rare
    • +1 drink if she’s super-duper strong
    • Empty the damn glass if she’s the only one with this power, ever
    • Empty the damn bottleif there’s no explanation why she has this power

You will need to take two drinks in this section. Splicers like Scott are rare, but he is definitely NOT the only one with the ability. In this world, all powers are determined by genetics. He’s also an average male. strong, but not super strong.

  • She has magical powers she DOESN’T USE
    • +1 drink if she’s afraid of them (+1 extra drink if it’s never explained why she should be)
    • +1 drink if she thinks they’re evil (+1 extra drink it;s never explained why she does)
    • +1 drink if she can’t control them
    • Empty the damn glass if she just doesn’t use them for no apparent reason.

I’m going to say to take one drink in this section. Scott has a very good reason for not using his power.  It can permanently switch off a target’s powers…or it can kill them.

  • She grows more powerful as the series progresses
    • +1 drink she has leaps in power with no apparent reason or cause
    • Empty the damn glass if the reason is “tried really hard in emotional stress”
    • Empty the damn glass if she gains entirely new powers
    • Refill the glass and empty again if these powers aren’t even closely related to her current powers
    • Empty the damn bottle if she gains power so often it feels like levelling up in a computer game
    • Raid the brewery and drink all the booze if it’s Anita Blake.


We’ll see.

  • She has a dark secret/hidden identity/curse (+1 drink per)


He has one dark secret that isn’t really a secret.

  • She is a police detective or private investigator
    • +1 drink if she has zero detective skills or experience
    • +1 drink if she never does any actual investigation
    • +1 drink if she hasn’t the slightest idea how the law works
    • Empty the damn glass if the author has watched waaay too much CSI
    • Empty the bottle if the “mystery” is solved by the bad guy attacking the protagonist

Scott is a writer. His husband is the cop, sometimes he discusses cases with him, but nothing really comes of it.

  • Despite NOT being a police detective or private investigator, she still ends up investigating a crime
    • Apply all the drinks above
    • +1 drink if she hardly ever attends her real job
    • Empty the damn glass if you forget she has a real job

The closest Scott will come to solving a crime is asking Dace about his work and possibly witnessing a murder or something. Hold off on that, though.

Skip the next section because it’s about TV shows.

BONUS DRINKS FOR TV SERIES:+1 drink for:

 

        • Successfully “enhancing” CCTV images to see the impossible – like someone’s face reflected in a car mirror across a parking lot
        • DNA results returned within the hour
        • Hacking. Just hacking, because there’s no way in hell the depiction won’t be laughable.
        • Warrants? Who needs warrants?!
        • Or warrants – let’s go ask the judge, he hands them out like sweet sweet candy
        • Aggressive interview with a lawyer present who sits there silently. Could save money and just have a cardboard cutout


Family and Friends! +1 drink if


  • Protagonist has a tragic back story
    • +1 drink for dead father
    • +2 drinks for dead mother (it’s always the mother)
    • +1 drink per murdered family member
    • +1 drink for each evil parent

Scott has two living parents, most definitely not evil.

  • Protagonist has no family.


  • Protagonist has no good past relationships
    • +1 drink if past failed relationship is mentioned repeatedly
    • Empty the damn bottle if a past boyfriend dumped her in college and she’s now 30 and still not the hell over it already.

Take two drinks here.

  • Protagonist has no hobbies (+1 drink) and/or no social life (+1 drink)

Scott has a very active social life, but he hasn’t told me about any hobbies.

  • Protagonist has no female friends
    • Still count if she has ONE female friend she assures us is her best friend but she spends absolutely no time with.
    • +1 drink for every woman she meets who hates her
    • +1 drink if they hate her because they’re jealous of her
    • +1 drink for every time she expresses contempt or derision towards another woman

Scott has plenty of male friends, and while he may come across men that he doesn’t like, jealousy is not a factor there. He generally doesn’t like people who try to kill him.

  • Protagonist has no friends at all, only work colleagues (double with no female friends)

 

    • Empty the damn glass if all of these are male
    • +1 drink if she has a pet. +1 drink if said pet is low maintenance


  • Empty damn bottle if more than 80% of everyone around her is a man.


As it stands, Scott’s apartment complex has five men to four women and two girls, and that’s just the characters living in his apartment.

  • Protagonist considers herself to be “one of the guys”
    • +1 drink every time she actually says that, talks about speaking “man code” or “guy code” etc
    • +1 drink if she makes a point of minimal her beauty/hygiene routine is (every time she does)
    • +1 drink if she still has amazing skin/hair/make up
    • +1 drink per scene where a man has to show her how to dress fancy


This section is pretty much not applicable.

  • In the event of a male Protagonist +1 drink per time the attractiveness of a woman is described
    • +1 drink per paragraph spent describing said attractiveness (for the whole book)
    • +1 drink per repetition of sexy description
    • +1 drink per time the protagonist is distracted by a woman’s sexiness
    • +1 drink if most of the women in the book get their sexiness describes
    • Empty the damn glass if ALL of them do
    • Empty the damn glass if “chivalry” is used as an excuse to treat women like fragile ornaments
    • +1 drink per woman rescued/protected/saved
    • +1 drink per woman kidnapped
    • Empty the damn bottle if a woman dies tragically to cause him ManPain and motivate him to avenge her

Scott is gay. If he does comment on a woman’s appearance, it will be because he is paying them a genuine compliment. As far as commenting on attractive men, you might need to drink a few times.

The Love Interest: Take a drink if:


  • Love Interest is a supernatural creature
    • +1 drink if he’s the leader of the local supernatural creatures
    • +1 drink if they hate/fear each other on first sight
    • Empty the damn glass if they actively try to kill each other
    • Empty the damn bottle if they describe how horny they make each other WHILE they are trying to kill each other
    • Empty ANOTHER bottle, if he later describes how he knew they’d always be together – despite them trying to kill each other.
    • +1 drink if he hates what he is

Scott is married. Dave is 100% human (although he, like Scott, has his own special ability). They love each other.

  • Love Interest is an alpha manly man who wants to protect and shelter the protagonist
    • +1 drink per secret kept from her “for her own good”
    • +1 drink per time he tries to lock her away “for her own good”
    • Empty the damn glass if she finds this romantic even while finding it annoying

I wouldn’t really call Dave an alpha, he’s just….a guy. 

World Building+1 drink if:


  • The author has included at least 4 different mythological creatures
    • +1 drink if the author has included EVERYTHING EVER
    • Empty the damn glass if the author decides to tell us about them. All of them. In the first book. At length
    • +1 drink if each book covers a new monster
    • +1 drink if the author’s research into these myths seems to be limited to reading OTHER Urban Fantasy
    • Empty the damn glass if the author has taken monsters from foreign cultures but not bothered to include any of the actual people from those cultures
    • Empty the damn bottle if there’s a bloody WENDIGO. Because there’s ALWAYS a Wendigo. I swear, about 10 years ago someone decided werewolves were passé and that was it, WENDIGOS EVERYWHERE!

I count at least three drinks in this section. There are a variety of different non-human species running around, and the world of the Splicer has a system to classify them all.  There will be no Wendigos. Besides the interwebs, I am drawing on sources like Nancy Arrowsmith’s Field Guide to the Little People, the Eddas, and other sources as needed.

  • The author has extremely long and detailed magic/political/world systems (+1 drink each)
    • +1 drink if they are explained in massive info dumps
    • +1 drink if the info dumps are completely unbelievable
    • Empty the damn glass if you read 3 solid pages of world building that never becomes relevant in the book
    • Empty the damn glass if the author repeats the same world building every single book
    • Empty the damn bottle if they’re still going this after the 6th book in a series

I don’t know if I’d call it massively detailed, but take two drinks anyways.

  • The world building is prone to change
    • +1 drink every time a character seems to forget about a power they can use
    • +1 drink every time a power suddenly stops working without explanation
    • +1 drink every time the protagonist suddenly spawns a new power that is narratively convenient
    • +1 drink every time something appears that is considered extremely rare
    • +1 drink every time something appears that is considered “impossible”, “non-existent” or “extinct”
    • Empty the damn glass if there are 2 or more of them.

I see at least two drinks here.

My grand total (so far) is approximately fourteen drinks. I can see some areas where I could definitely be less cliched.