Fickle technology

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Remember that one time I couldn’t use my computer because the AC adapter broke?

Yeah, it happened again.

It was a slightly different scenario this time, to be fair. Last time, it simply broke. This time, it lit on fire.

Yes. Fire.

I had noticed for some time that it was acting funny. It would sometimes quit working, even when it was plugged in to my computer and the wall just fine. The other night, after contacting Asus about getting a new adapter, I was browsing an open document Changeling, appropriately enough, because fire, when I smelled something off. When I looked down, black smoke was twisting up from my adapter port. I quickly unplugged it from my computer and base, and as I was walking back and forth, cord in hand —

It caught fire.

I panicked, as I rightly should, and started for the sink, chanting “Oh my God”, and then realized that I don’t know what to do for electrical fires. My initial reaction was water, obviously, then I thought to smother it, but before I could do anything, it sputtered out and died. I waited a minute, to be sure it wouldn’t catch fire again, then put it on the linoleum floor to check my computer. The port was melted to slag, but the computer itself was running fine. I backed up my most important files as I phoned Asus back and told them my priorities had changed.

So my computer is currently packed up and waiting for me to fill out the RMA form and ship it back to Asus for repairs. They were quite quick last time, but the scenario has changed some, so I don’t know how long I’m going to be without a computer.

In the meantime, I do have my phone, and I’ll be doing edits by hand on Changeling. I’ve also just started Wizard’s First Rule, by Terry Goodkind, so there’s reading to do, as well.

I’m still on Facebook and Twitter if anyone needs me.

Go hug your computers for me.

Updates on the projects

Abomination Changeling comparison

And now, an update on the many projects I’m working on!

Changeling

Now, Changeling has been finished for a long time now, and I’ve already gone through and edited it once. But I’ve just sent out copies to beta readers, so the second round of edits will be starting shortly. I’m also in the process of organizing a photo shoot with an old friend and photographer, and my friend and beta reader Lexi, to start creating a cover for it, so she can be sold online!

Abomination

Abomination, as can be seen from the above picture, has surpassed Changeling, its predecessor, in word count. I always had a hunch this would happen, and now it finally has! I’m actually very excited about this, because it means that ‘Bominatino is getting close to the climax. Plots are being brought together now, and others are being opened for the next in the series, thus far titled Usurper. Though I have had Lexi beta reading ‘Bominatino since I started, I will be going through a round of edits fairly soon, and will need more readers once I begin.

“After the tremors began to shake buildings from their foundations, the sky split and the mountain burst.

“Black snow belched from the crater atop the mountain and covered the city in dust. Molten fire and rock came next, and melted everything in its path. We could do nothing but watch the city burn, watch as the river of fire came closer and closer and finally consumed all.

“For countless aeons after I swam in empty blackness, unable to move or speak or do anything but listen to the final cries of my people as they drowned in ash and flame. Until the day you came along, magus,” Mirek Ko’shul, the King of Ghosts, murmured, and his dark eyes fell on Leto, “and the power you carry in your soul, so like my own, woke the curse in all of us.”

The quote above is a story told to the main characters by a ghost of a long dead king, explaining the final days of his people. This is a vital point for them, to solving the mysteries that have plagued them for so long. Continue reading

The Library: Take One

We have a winner!

After a week of votes – and thank you to everyone who came over and did just so – and several ties, my first genre has been chosen.

Fantasy is the first choice!

So now here’s the hard part.

I need everyone to vote once more – but this time on the author.

Now, because fantasy is the largest of my genres, I’m narrowing it down a little. I’m removing those authors whose books I’ve read, and only giving the option to vote for those I’ve never touched ooh la la. If there’s an author who I haven’t listed who you would like me to read, just leave me a comment 😀

And bear with me, here – this is my first time initiating this event, and there may be a more effective way of doing it down the road.

Once more, this puppy will be up for a week for voting.

And the Library is here for you to peruse titles.

If all else fails, just pick an author at random or by whichever name you recognize 🙂

And thanks for stopping by!

The Library: an Interactive Reading Extravaganza!

I had an idea the other day, as I sat in my living room surrounded by an ocean of books. I keep a list of the books I own for both neurotic purposes and in case there’s a fire, and as I was adding the most recent purchases to the list, I had a sudden thought:

What if I let people decide what I would read?

I have been thinking for a while that I would go through alphabetically and read all the ones that I haven’t read yet, but where’s the fun in that?

I’ve spent the past few hours reorganizing and reformatting my library into genres and whether or not I’ve already read them, and turning that into a .pdf file that’s easily accessible.

There are kids books. There are teen books I took from work and would never really want to read. There are epic classics that would probably make me want to weep. There are beloved tales dear to my heart.

The options are there.

With over 300 books to choose from, this could get real.

And maybe I’ll have friends at work pick books for me, to add to the fun.

It’s an opportunity to influence the life of another person, even a little – and to potentially humiliate them.

Each book I read I’ll do a review for, on the website here – and I’m considering doing a vlog review as well, if the book is a spectacular mess or particularly good.

So here’s your job, Internet:

Review the Library, pick a genre, and once we have a majority vote, we’ll cast another vote for books within the genre.

And I will read that book.

Without complaint.

This has the potential to be a big deal.

Think of it like a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure story – only you’re really effecting someone’s life.

The Library is here, waiting to be perused and admired.

And yes, Star Wars gets its own genre. Obviously.

So vote as much as you like, and get your friends to vote. Let’s get an overwhelming majority.

And pick something for me to read.

 

Another Purity update!

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PURITY is now for sale – everywhere!

I know, I know, shut up, Jessica. This will be the last PURITY related post for a little while, I promise probably.

In any case, this is news that warrants a new post.

PURITY is now available on Barnes & Noble Nook for only $4.99!

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And,

PURITY is now available on Apple Books for only $4.99!

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So all this means that PURITY is pretty well finished, save for maybe a few updates here or there if I find any outstanding typos or mishaps while reading through once more myself. Maybe I’ll put a teaser or two up in the future, once she’s had time to hang out online and make herself known.

I’m so proud that I’ve been able to do this, to achieve my childhood dream of publishing a book for everyone to read. And I’m so thankful for those people who have made it possible for me. I’m truly blessed to have this opportunity.

And I hope you all enjoy Purity as much as I do.

The Fall: Changeling teaser

My spirit suddenly trembled, and for just a moment I thought my hold on the owl body would break. Nearby, the harpy eagle body that was Eleri let out a mournful wail that even the wind could not swallow. Though the dragon below me did not falter, I knew Mama had felt it as well; her sprit shivered loud enough for me to hear it, to feel it within myself.

I recovered, head spinning. What was that?

The dragon screamed, and Mama answered, I don’t know. Stay close to Eleri, just in—

Then it came again, before she had a chance to finish.

The pain struck first.

It was pain that I could never have imagined—pain that stabbed my heart and burned my bones. My vision blackened; I no longer felt the glacial wind ruffling through my feathers.

And then it happened.

With as much warning as a hiccup in time, I was thrown from my false body.

For just a moment, we were suspended in time, and I could see everything with such perfect clarity.

Eleri had been pushed back into her body; her long hair streamed behind her as she fell like the licking tendrils of a fire’s shadow. Mama still wore her dragon skin, but her wings had gone limp; Morwenna was little more than a blotch of polished copper amidst bronze scales and a flat grey sky.

In the moment before time resumed, the whole world was quiet, and realization slowly crushed me—

I was trying to fly on clipped wings. Continue reading

Purity smashes words

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PURITY is now for sale on Smashwords!

Not to keep tooting my own horn though I love it, but here’s yet another post about PURITY. I’m sure everyone wants me to shut up at this point, but hush, I have words.

PURITY is now (finally) for sale at Smashwords, though we’re still waiting shipment to their premium catalogue, so it isn’t ready for Apple, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, etc, just yet. Now that I know what I’m doing when it comes to Smashwords formatting (which is a lot more difficult than formatting for Amazone, let me tell you), it won’t take nearly so long to get the next book I publish out into the vast world of the interwebz.

I’ll keep you all informed as to when the premium catalogue gets accepted and shipped and actually in the webstores.

 PURITY is only $4.99 on Smashwords!

And don’t forget either,

 PURITY is on Amazon for $4.99!

DISCLAIMER: The formatting for Smashwords forced me to change some of the accented words that gave PURITY some of its Old World flair. I use a few foreign words and phrases, because the majority of the story takes place in Romania. These foreign accents didn’t translate well into the Smashwords format, and I was forced to change them. For example: Ţepeş became Tepesstrigoi morţi became strigoi mortiBraşov became Brasov. It takes the charm out of it for me. That all being said, if you want to keep that aforementioned Old World flair, purchase the AMAZON copy. If you don’t give a single fuck, by all means, go ahead to SMASHWORDS.

I’ll have a real post soon enough, I promise. A hairventure, too, most likely!

What do you look for in a book?

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A portion of my own book collection.

Everyone chooses books for different reasons. It might be that they only read one genre, or prefer dialogue to action, or vice versa. There are many ways to choose a book.

I start with my genres when I’m looking at a book. Being that I work in a bookstore, I’m subject to all sorts of books every day, and I like to think that I read a variety of things, but I still always look for a few certain things to begin with. My favourite genre is fiction, and to break it down, I prefer epic and high fantasy, and historical fiction. Despite the old adage, I do judge a book by its cover, because a cover is like the face of a person: it doesn’t tell you much about the inside, but it helps you choose whether or not you want to keep going. If that makes me terribly shallow, so be it. I have found many books with terrible covers that are decent reads – but I have also found many terrible books with terrible covers that should have warned me. Again, working in a bookstore gives me access to this every day.

I love epic dialogue. Characters who can have banter and arguments back and forth, and build relationships that way. That being said, I do really love action and description. Purple prose isn’t something that’s really enticed me, because it’s so exhausting to read after a while, but I do appreciate colourful settings and thoughtful descriptions. Descriptions help make a character and a story, and a combination of dialogue and description is what really does it for me. If I had to choose, I would probably pick dialogue over description, though, being that I do more of that myself.

I look for strong female characters who don’t behave like childish idiots, and history that has been properly researched. Fantasy that is believable, despite being just that – fantasy. I really dislike most urban fantasy, despite PURITY being technically classed as urban fantasy. If a book has a sassy-looking woman on the cover wearing pleather and holding a sword, I won’t give the book the time of day. It might be the book that changes my life, and I’ll never know. It just looks so silly to me that I can’t even stomach it.

And it probably goes without saying, but I won’t read a book if it isn’t well written. When Fifty Shades of Grey was hot shit last year, many of my friends and family insisted I read it. I wouldn’t, and not because it was filthy erotica, but because I heard it was terribly written. I am a fan of the Game of Thrones HBO show on tv, and upon the urging of a friend I started reading the Song of Ice and Fire books. I seriously dislike Martin’s writing style. I know it’s terrible to like the show more than the books, but oh my god. I’m love the overall story, but the minute and useless details and rambling idiocy and text walls and flashbacks make me want to slit my throat. It’s taken me half a year to read two and a half of the books, and I can read faster than most.

Historical fiction that’s well done, epic fantasy, bold dialogue and beautiful descriptions, and an understanding of good writing. Pretty straightforward, actually.

So how does a book jump off the shelf for you?

The conundrum of being a writer

WRITER’S BLOCK.

There. I said it. And what a phrase it is.

Two simple words shouldn’t be so terrifying. But they are. They really are.

Whenever I want to sit down and write, I’m at a place where I can’t – namely, at work. And vice versa: whenever I have time to sit down and write, I’m unable to do much more than gawk at my computer screen or get wholly distracted by imgur or the newfangled television James set up in my bedroom. Even as I write this post, I’m getting distracted by the Tudors.

Like, three days distracted. I’m sick.

But the thing is, distraction is the only cure. If you sit there and stare at the cursor, waiting for something to happen and damning your brain for suddenly being a sack of shit, nothing will ever come to you. Distraction is the only means.

My best time for inspiration is Tuesdays and Wednesdays at work. Why, you might ask? Well, I might answer, because that is the day the LMPI – import – magazines arrive at the store, and the day I do nothing but sit in the back and price and receive. It’s monotonous and distracting, and because of it my house is littered with handwritten notes for full write-up at a later date.

I’m weathering a bit of a slump right now. It isn’t terrible, and I am powering through it, but it’s a challenge. After not touching ABOMINATION for a while and only working on OF THE ARBOUR, I’ve pretty much switched places, only I’m trudging on the former and now flying through it as I did with OF THE ARBOUR.

Ah, the life of a writer is a troubled one.

What does everyone else do to power through writer’s block?

A new year

Happy New Year!

The fourteenth year of the new millennium is upon us. Just when I started getting used to writing 2013 on things, too.

2013 was an interesting year for me. It had plenty of highlights – some good, and some bad.

I hope 2014 will be as eventful, if not more.

    • I hope to publish CHANGELING, my one true love of fantasy novels.
    • I’ve made a pact to go to the gym, which I can see going fairly well. The main reason I never went before was because I had no one to go with, but I have two friends in said pact this time.
    • I’ll, in all likelihood, have to move again – but this time to live with the aforementioned love of my life.
    • And also get a cat.
    • And maybe blog properly, because my current schedule is shit and should maybe be managed better.

How has 2013 shaped up for everyone else? The general consensus that I have seen was that it was a mediocre year – but together we can make 2014 amazing.

Happy New Year, everybody!

for auld lang syne, my dear
for auld lang syne,
we’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet
for auld lang syne!