Saturday, February 8, 2014

The Electric Soldier

So I'm starting this thing? And I'm really looking forward to it?
In essence, I'll be writing and publishing a novel all online, through tumblr. For the most part, it will be done fairly traditionally, considering the medium, but I do have a couple of surprises in store.
The Electric Soldier is about Mina Barros, an ordinary young woman seeking something incredible. She finds it in the form of a beautiful old painting in a strange antique store. Mina finds herself transported to Elasia, another world ruled by a cruel king and his vicious military commander. It's up to Mina and an army of friends in this strange new world to save everything and stop its collapse.
Going will be a bit slow, at least for now, but hey! It might be a cool thing for you to check out and enjoy!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Winning Mode

Yup, I won NaNoWriMo this year! But I still have to finish All the World was Grey. I'm fairly tempted to post and update it online, but I'm not entirely sure how to go about doing that. Maybe Google Docs? If anyone has any ideas, absolutely feel free to share them.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Planning Mode

I'm participating in NaNoWriMo this year, and I'm definitely looking forward to it! I've seen some bloggers kind of deride it, saying that 50,000 words does not a novel make, and while that's sort of true, that's running under the assumption that everyone's just going to be bashing out every word they've ever learned to make the goal. And while I'm sure there are people who are gonna try that, there are so many more who are going to sit down and at least start a novel. It's a good jumping-off point, I think.
I don't know, I can't form too much of an opinion, it hasn't even started yet I'm just in planning mode for my novel.
Anyway, if you're doing it this year as well, or if you've just now decided to give it a try: wanna be buddies?

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Oh, Look!

I've been published! It isn't much, just the blog of a local environmental group, but still! Go check it out if you're interested in why I love biology, and why I think education is so important for ecology!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

It Was Quiet

It was quiet and soft and patient in the way it crept in. It was like the mute stretching of shadows as the sun went down and painted the world purplish-blue. It was insidious and fine and gossamer-light. One day, you'd be fine, and the next, you'd notice that things haven't been quite right for a long, long time.
While its origination was slow and subtle, the realisation was swift and terrible. It was the dark understanding that you haven't touched that doorknob with your bare palm in months. It was the shadowed knowledge that you ignored the ritual and were fine until you noticed. It was the black realisation that your shoulders have been hunched and the skin of your hands are cracked and dry and you have't taken a proper breath in days.
It was poison.
It was, quite simply, horrible.
And, while one may write or speak about it in the past tense, with some dull notion that it was somehow easier that way, it would never be anything other than hideously, constantly, persistently present.
It was something dark and grey in your veins, clinging sharply to the inner walls and gasping for your notice. It was in the pockets of the marrow of your bones, centred most thickly in the fine bones of your wrists and hands. It was in the deeply-worn creases of your overwashed, overdried, overlamented palms.
It was different for everyone, manifesting as counting and washing and coping and screaming and coping and screaming and coping and screaming and screaming and screaming and screaming.
It was a monster with endless jaws and teeth and whispers. Something that was okay one day was horrible the next. Something that you hadn't noticed yesterday was wrong today.
It was a battle you constantly lost, a problem you hated endlessly.
It was—it is—winning. And one day, lungs burned by bleach and skin washed down the drain of the bathroom sink and tear tracks etched into your face after all these disordered years, it would win.

Friday, August 23, 2013

The Willow Playlist

Go fill your ears with the auditory equivalent of Willow. This is a small, condensed version of what I listened to while writing it. Be glad it's not the massive version (though I could totally set you up with that if you wanted).
Check it out here!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Soldier Who Did Not Kill

He was a typical soldier, he supposed. Well, anyone would suppose such a thing, really. He went in right out of school, with his mother tutting nervously while his father sat back proudly. He went to training and he learned everything he was meant to, and perhaps a bit more than he’d thought he would. He was, for the first time in a long time, exhausted to the point where happiness didn’t even matter.
He did everything a training soldier was meant to do, and he did it well. He learned so much, so quickly. He and his newfound brothers learned to shoot guns, clean guns, maintain guns. They learned how to kill.
It wasn’t until his unit was deployed that anyone learned how to die.
It was sand and heat and far too much sun sparkling on the sand and rippling in the heat. So much, always, all the time. It was constant and horrible and eventually, it was so, so red. Seeping into sand and boots and cracks in hands. It was everywhere. The coppery hotness under his tongue was everything.
Sprays of red stars and grey matter and shattered hearts shone in the sun like nebulas spinning together and screaming apart. The soft rush of air before a hot bullet slipped through the air was so quiet, but hideously, viciously loud in the hush before someone fell.
It was the most heinously unfair thing, he thought, that he had been taught so many things and that he hadn’t ever properly known what death was until he saw it in the blazing deserts and sand and red red red glitter of life forcibly expelled.
His finger was always on the trigger, as any good soldier’s would be, but he was something strange and wonderful and terrible.
He was the soldier who would not kill.
Never did a bullet explode from the muzzle of his gun. Never did he drive existence out of the body of, God, anyone, friend or foe.
And then.
And then.
Heat and pain and his accidental brothers yelling and he was being lifted off the ground on which he had collapsed. It felt like the end. It felt like the last few words of the novel of his life.
It felt like void.
He woke up two days later, and went home a month after that. He’d just been shot in the leg, and was, ultimately, fine. He limped for a while, but eventually, he was able to go back to work. He was never put on the front lines again, but he was still that strange and wonderful and terrible thing.

Over thirty years at that job, and he was still, always and forever, the soldier who did not kill.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

For a Change, We Dance

So I kind of thought I'd start posting little snippets from The Willow Queen, because I'd like to be presented with a very good reason as to why I shouldn't.
That's right, you totally can't.
All that aside, here are a few paragraphs from Chapter Five. I hope you enjoy!

Life drags on, no matter how awful everything gets. It keeps going, on and on, constant and full and so thick and heavy that I can hardly breathe. But I am the same. I am constant and ongoing. I keep my ladies distracted, especially if they have sweethearts in the army. I help Charlotte prepare for her wedding. I strategize with Mel and Beaufort. I slowly read my way through the library.
When the day comes, things feel almost bright. Most of the people in the church are either female, children, too old for the military, or simply uninterested in war games. There are so few people here. Yet every single face wears a smile. The music makes us thrive. Charlotte and Alec are bursting with light.
For a change, we dance. Just like the coronation, we dance defiantly. In the wake of horror and war and death, we dance.
I fall asleep feeling slightly uneasy, full to the brim with an uncertain mixture of utter joy and inexpressible dread. The dread is such a constant thing that I’ve almost grown accustomed to it. I’m unused to happiness. How strange. It’s been three months and already happiness feels unfamiliar. This is what war does. It drains you of everything good and leaves you empty. Anything that fills you up again feels strange and, I don’t know, wrong. It ruins and scars you.
Mel hugs me in his sleep, and suddenly, I know that I’m wrong. The war may wound me, but its damage will not be permanent. As long as I have this little moment, and moments like it, I know that I’ll survive.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Let Me Just Say

While summaries will be the death of me and synopses merely an unfortunate bout of the flu, query letters might just resurrect me for the sake of killing me again.
And to think, people do this with only hope spurring them on.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Playing Favourites

Technology is a wonderful thing. It's been finely honed to give the world the iPad, and a bunch of apps to put on it. These are some of the apps I use for my writing.
For the record, I don't know what other platforms have these apps, but I know that you can get them for your iPad, and maybe even your other iProducts.
Also be well aware that all of these are free. I'm a total cheapskate, and I'd imagine that I'm not alone in that. Relish this news.
The funny bit is that all of the screenshots are from the iPhone. I don't even have an iPhone.
This is a great story structure app. There are various different places to flesh out ideas and characters and everything. It's incredibly simple and allows you to connect ideas. It's sort of like a series of questionnaires, and I love that. The character section, for example, asks for stuff like height (eight feet), hair colour (N/A), and external conflict. Cool, no?
I'm not impressed with the sudden bout of ads suddenly filling up the screen, but, hey, it's free.
This one's just a lot of fun to play with. I've got a million notebooks going right now, and one is devoted to my current project. It's pretty user-friendly, and allows you to draw and write and put in pictures all over the place. It's a great place to compile your inspiration.
It's still kind of glitchy, but honestly, it's worth it. It is really cool.
This one's great. I use it on my iPad and my computer, though I vastly prefer organising on my iPad. It's so much easier. It's perfect for collecting and organising inspiration and things you find in your research. I also use it as a sort of makeshift YouTube playlist, but that is not the point. Here's my writing Pearltree, feel free to peruse technical information and inspiration all at the same time!
This is one of those catch-all apps. Most of my favourites are, actually. Whatever, I like having lots of places to jot down ideas at three in the morning. I like to write full scenes in this one, actually. Unlike the Moleskine app, it uses your iThing's autocorrect, so you can at least be marginally coherent when you write. It's simple to use, and that's how I roll, yo.
If you think you don't need a dictionary and/or thesaurus, you are wrong. So very, very wrong. I mean, where else are you gonna look up words like Tarmac or wiles at three in the morning? Google?
Okay, yeah, probably.