Time to buckle down

Changeling necklace

A friend of mine started reading Changeling under some pressure, I’ll admit and was thrilled when she finished and found out there was more to the story. After reading the short stories that come before the sequel, Abomination, and after telling me about how furious reading one short story made her because of how an otherwise endearing character was behaving, she was bugging me to print off what I have of Abomination for her to read. I did, and the look of joy on her face when I gave it to her was just too much. It warmed my cold author heart to see.

In Changeling, Aisling, the main character, has a necklace whose origins are unknown even to her parents. It is a leather leaf pendant on a leather string, with a blue jay feather attached. This necklace was inspired in part by a necklace of my own. It was one I bought at Creative Chaos, an artisan show in my hometown, from the Earth Nynja booth (they make leather and metal designs). It was, as you see above, a leather leaf pendant. I recently had the urge to truly make it into Aisling’s necklace, so I hunted down blue jay feathers on an Etsy shop online (six for good measure, even though I only needed one). It only took some crazy glue and black thread to make this.

I also recently got into an “extra” kick, thanks largely in part to my friend Elisa Nuckle. We had talked about how neat it is when authors include, for free or for cheap, extra information and facts about their fictional worlds. If anyone has spied the new Legends of the World page under Changeling’s header, you’ll have noticed that it’s one such thing. In preparing that page, I finished up a map of Althaea and got excited to write more about the nonfiction of the Changeling world.

Also, note that my domain name has been officially registered. That is also a huge factor in this decision!

All of this has come together to inspire me to get my procrastinating rear in gear and finally finish the thorough editing of Changeling. She has been edited through once, and gone through two beta readers, so it won’t be long before she’s ready for the public eye.  I’m so excited to release Changeling to the world. I already know that this series will be my magnum opus, and just the idea of someone else, a stranger, reading it and feeling something for the story I’ve created… it makes me so excited I can’t find words.

If everything goes to plan, I would like Changeling released in the wintertime, before Christmas. It seems suiting, as so much of the story seems to take place in the snow.

This is my pride and joy, and I am so excited to share it with the world.

Sometimes, the most difficult part of being a writer is pushing past procrastination

And procrastination is a son of a bitch, let me tell you.

Maybe the problem is that I’m trying to do too much at once – rewrite Of the Arbour, write Abomination, edit Changeling and The Time Between, edit Purity, write When Gods Descend – or maybe it’s because the STEAM SUMMER SALE just started and I’m a sick human being.

In one day, I managed to buy everything on my wish list: Mass Effect 1 and 2, and the Sims 3 Seasons and University expansions. Mass Effect and the Sims have been dominating my life for the past week; I bought them last Saturday.

That being said, ME is a really good source of inspiration, if only for When Gods Descend (which, by the way, if I forgot to mention, is the working title of the sci-fi story I started).

Writers, though, generally speaking, are an anxious bunch riddled with self-doubt and pitiful isolation. We have a tendency to get caught up in our own worlds and this has a tendency to shut down our brains for a while. Hence, writer’s block. I don’t necessarily have that at the moment – I technically know where I want everything to go – but I’m so distracted by other things I’m having a hard time getting there.

I think my best option would be to cut myself some slack and only focus on one project at a time for a while. Picking one will be hard (probably Abomination, though) and just ignoring all else but that for the time being. Jumping around between so many is getting impossible.

Writer problems, amirite?

Does anybody else have this problem? It’s always so tempting to start something new, and so easy to bail partway through when life gets in the way.

Sparks: Changeling teaser

I dragged my fingers in the dirt before the fire. Just sitting with him like this, chatting by the fire, seemed too mundane to be real. I hadn’t been gone terribly long—a few weeks wasn’t a lifetime—but how long would it take to get back into the rhythm of the real world?

My fingers paused and I frowned at the mud and blood speckling the backs of my hands. “Do you know what happened at the garden?” I asked.

“Sure. I was there.”

“You were? I didn’t see you.”

“I followed,” he said, just a little sheepishly. “They told me to stay behind. Father said he would know if I followed, because we did that queer connection thing you Gabal Mages do—”

“I am not a Gabal Mage.” Continue reading

Cursed Ones: Changeling teaser

As they crested the hill to the cave’s copse, a robed figure limped toward them. They slowed their pace when they saw that it was one of the holies, the older one.

Morwenna stooped in a bow. “Holy Cadmon.” When Leto hesitated, she nudged him in the ribs and he slowly lowered his head.

“Hunter Morwenna, Rider Leto,” he rasped, tilting down his head. “I saw that you would leave today. Have you seen your beast again since first you came, Rider Leto?”

Leto winced. “No, Holy Cadmon.”

“We thought as much. Come, out of the snow.” He turned and hobbled back to the copse, Morwenna and Leto on his heels. “Holy Trahern and I took the liberty to recruit one who might be able to help your quest in that regard. Rider Leto, Hunter Morwenna, this is Eleri.” Continue reading

Music, and when it blows your mind

I’ve already discussed briefly how important music is to me when I’m writing. I have folders of about 500 songs on iTunes from an assortment of sources – movies, video games, tv shows – that suit me well when I’m writing particular scenes. They’re orchestral, for the most part, scores and soundtracks, and only a few have vocals. It’s the music that makes your hair stand on end while watching a tense scene in a movie, or the peaceful melody you hear while wandering the countryside in your favourite video game.

music

On the left, you can see how my folders are laid out, according to the mood of the scene I’m writing. I also have a folder for Purity alone, which is filled with darker industrial music, like the Queen of the Damned worst movie ever but amazing music soundtrack and Marilyn Manson. Things that suit vampire stories.

Continue reading

The Subtleties of Magic: Changeling teaser

Leto left the holies’ cave in a numb haze. Snow began to fall while he was inside the cave, but he barely noticed it as the flakes obscured his vision and soaked the shoulders of his tunic.

The magic of the world could rip. He never pretended to have understood magic beyond his specialty, but if someone had suggested this earlier, he would have thought it ridiculous. It seemed like such a steady thing, like a flowing river.

But rivers had bends and falls, didn’t they? Even the wisest of holies and scholars didn’t truly understand how magic worked; why some people were born with spirits and some weren’t; how a specialization was determined; what originally gave them the power to use it in the first place. It was as enigmatic now as it had been when it was first utilized by the ancients. So why couldn’t it be rent in two? Before the beasts began to act erratically, no one would have thought it possible, but what did they really know? Continue reading

Authors are a sick breed

Authors – and anyone who creates a character – are a twisted group. Why? Because they literally play god for these characters and can do to them whatever they please.

Of course, this does include the niceties. Happiness, wealth, romance – most characters get these at some point. But in order to make a story interesting, there must be some devastation. And that devastation usually happens to the main characters.

Authors like to watch their creations squirm.

It isn’t that we’re a terrible group of people – but life simply isn’t a long trail of ups. The downs have to happen as well. But when an author thinks of something bad to happen to a character, they can sometimes enjoy it.

We are perverse. Continue reading

Parental Embarrassment: Changeling teaser

Holding back the eager power of his own spirit, Alistair closed the rest of the distance between them, and his son’s spirit came into view.

“Spirits, Father. You’re a wolf!”

“You too? Good. I’m glad it isn’t just Aisling who sees it that way.” Alistair peered at the creature sitting timidly in front of him. “You are… odd-looking.”

The thing lifted its forepaws and looked around as if seeing itself for the first time. “Why? What am I?”

Alistair frowned and let out a groan. “Oh, I know the name. You know in all those Cyrille and Althaean fauna books your grandmother gave you when you were a boy?”

The thing put its forepaws down and its nose and whiskers twitched. “Yes…” Continue reading

Apologies and junk

First off, my sincerest apologies for not being around much lately. As per the fairly recent blog about moving, you may have guessed that I’m, well, moving. This is the first ever time, so it’s a bit stressful. Next week I’m shifting all my shit into a new place and getting organized, so I can’t promise to be around much until I get all my shit together. That being said, I’m moving into my own place all by my onesie, so it’ll be a buttload of fun once I get there!

In the meantime, have a clip of new characters from an as-of-yet-untitled Changeling threequel.

Something tickled his nose, and he glanced up. The sky had been grey and overcast all day, but now as night was approaching it was beginning to look ominous. Snow had been expected, but not so soon. It was time to go home.

He cupped his hand around his mouth and called, “Astrid!”

His voice echoed off the bare rocks and trees, bouncing back and forth until it faded into ghosts. He counted the seconds while he waited—it was nearly forty-five before he got a reply.

“Yes, brother?” A fair head popped over a rock and the body of his sister soon followed.

“Do you see the snow?” He gestured around him. The snow was thin still, but falling fairly steady now. It wouldn’t be long until the night was thick with it, and then it would be impossible to get home. Continue reading

The Reclamation of a City: Changeling teaser

“I will go with you, Father,” Logan spoke up, just as Alistair started to argue back. The three paused and glanced at him. Aisling watched with interest. She expected him to back down—he didn’t seem quite man enough yet to hold his own—but he lifted his chin and returned their stares with a bold one of his own.

Alistair looked at his son as if seeing him for the first time. A flicker of emotion crossed his face, and he groaned. “If you come with me… I would prefer Aisling and Sophia not go alone.”

Aisling shut her eyes. “I will go with Sophia,” she said, and instantly had a foul taste on her tongue.

When she opened her eyes a moment later, everyone was gawking at her. Sophia could barely hide her distaste and stared with a horrified grimace.

Alistair opened his mouth, but before he could even make a sound, Sophia blurted, “But why?

“Alistair does not want either of us searching alone,” she snapped, shooting the woman a glare. “Logan cannot be on his own; he does not have enough experience. Alistair cannot be on his own. Clearly the only one who can is Lord Hession, which means you and I must go together. Surely you can withhold your immaturity for the few hours it will take to find Riane?” Continue reading