Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Women...

So I was going to use today to catch up with the blogging and email and yada yada yada... and then I started to write... so that's what I've been doing... instead of being all organized... like adults are supposed to be... rather than being so easily distracted by scraps of dialogue and leftover dreams that simply won't be ignored... Whatever! So instead of a long blathering post today, I thought I'd get all wild and dangerous and post the opening to my current main WIP. Those of you who've been reading my dribble for any length of time will know that my 'main' WIPs change almost on an hourly basis sometimes, but this one has been center stage for a few weeks now, since I entered the stage of 'unhappy with life right now, I think I have to considering shelving Evernow/related works' and I started focusing on something entirely unrelated.

That something is Red Chief. It's a YA urban fantasy, although most of the story takes place in Faerie, and is the first in a series that right now is plotted through three books. That could always change of course. I haven't even written a blurb or anything, but in a nutshell, the Unseelie Court gets a lot more than it bargained for when it kidnaps eighteen year old Eimhear in hopes of trading her to the Seelie Court in exchange for the Unseelie Queen's consort, who's being held hostage by the Seelie folk. Smart mouthed Eim immediately makes such problems for everyone that the mysterious Huntsman (who is aiding the Unseelie, but seems suspiciously above the Queen's control) binds her to him so that she can be Commanded to obey orders. What starts out as a rescue mission and struggle for power in the Fae realms turns into intrigue, romance, and an outcome that no one expected. And Eimhear will find out the hard way that the Fae folk aren't quite the immortal powerful creatures humans think they are.

So without further babble, I give you the opening of Red Chief:

No Such Thing

The day began with a dog peeing on Eimhear's cell phone, and it ending with her sitting chained to a dead tree. Given the choice, Eim would have opted for more dog pee. The thing about kidnapping, though, is that you don't get a whole lot of choice in the matter. That would sort of defeat the purpose. So there she sat, wadded up in a bank of dead leaves, surrounded by creatures that weren't supposed to exist. Creatures that, until only a few hours earlier, hadn't existed beyond her Grandma Dingle's Old World stories about people under the hills.
Eim's left foot still throbbed where she'd given one of her attackers a flying kick. With her New Rocks boots, made of heavy leather and metal, she should have broken the guy's ribs. Unfortunately, he seemed to be made of stone. Literally. Whatever he was made of, he hadn't been bothered in the slightest by her violent kicking. Frankly, none of them seemed particularly bothered by anything Eimhear did. Which was annoying as hell.
"Hey boulder brain! Can I get some water over here?" She yelled loudly on purpose because she'd already been warned to keep her voice down twice. Being a pain in the ass was what she was good at.
"Boulder brain. How utterly original." The stone creature, who was really very normal looking, stood from his place at the fire. "Here you go, dude. Pardon me, I believe the term is dudette." He came close enough to drop the canteen within reach.
"Seriously? You're only a couple of decades behind in terminology." Eimhear picked up the canteen, her manacles clinking, and watched him return to his companions.
She could almost believe that none of it was real, that it was all just a bad acid trip. Except that Eimhear never did drugs of any kind. Well, unless you counted the time that Justin Drake gave slipped her a roofie at the junior prom. And even that hadn't affected her the way it was supposed to. It just made her dizzy and when Justin tried to kiss her she'd broken his nose. Then he'd gone around school for a week telling his friends not to bother with Eim because she was 'roofie-resistant'. He'd only shut up after she knocked one of his teeth out. Some guys just learned the hard way or not at all. Of course, Eim's younger sister Sinead had been more scandalized by Eim's thrashing of Justin than of Justin's attempt to drug Eim.
"Well Eim, if you didn't stomp around like a maniac in boots and dated like everyone else, guys wouldn't feel like they had to slip you something just to talk to you." Trust perfect, inside-the-lines Sinead to blame Eim's unconventional behavior for everything.
No, this was no roofie in her drink. This was a genuine, bona fide event. Inhuman kidnappers and all. Three of them were sitting around the fire. A fourth was walking around somewhere in the darkness. Then there was the giant panther-like animal, which was also lurking somewhere, presumably close by. Eim still hadn't figured out what they all were, but she was hashing it out slowly, starting with the fact that they could pronounce her name.

This is literally the first time I've put any part of RC in electronic form. It's still in the longhand stage. But tell me if you love it/hate it/don't get it or whatever. And if anyone notices that the spacing is maybe strange, I'm desperately trying to convince my right thumb that I'm only supposed to put one space behind periods now... and I'm not good at it yet...

And randomly, LOOK WHAT THE MAIL BROUGHT ME!!! Unrelated-to-books SQUEE! Is he not ADORABLE? Since I have only me to schmooze me for Interplanetary Be Who You Are day, I schmoozed myself by buying this little guy from Fluffy Flowers on Etsy. Check Felicia's place out! This is my first purchase on Etsy and I'm in love with Fluffy Flowers! Now I must name him... Ideas anyone?


  1. Artemis, I think following your muse was more responsible than immediately blogging this AM. I mean, look at how prolific the post ended up being.

    With that said, I LOVE what you have as the beginning. It pulled me in very fast. Your premisey thing up above was a little convoluted, but I know what that's like when you have ideas trying out for the spotlight in your head. The one piece of criticism I have regards the names. I would be thrown off the hook if I had to endure a novel with names so obscure and hard to pronounce. However, they had a similar feel, which is important for a fantasy world. If you can create a way to make the odd names and intrinsic part of the story, then you'd keep me as a reader. Make sense.

    So keep at this one, it sounds...different, but not too different.

  2. A,

    I really like Eim. She's tough and takes nothing from no one---exactly how a female lead should be :)

    I especially liked how she punched that loser, Justin Drake, and knocked his tooth out. Nice showing of her character and what she is willing to put up with, and not.

    Keep on keepin on!

    Christi Corbett

  3. Great story! Love the ... what is he?

    Thanks for stopping by my blog & if you didn't see, participants (any genre) get to query Weronika even though she's closed to submissions - see my post for the deets and how to format your subject line. See, everyone's a winner! :D

  4. Ok I think it starts well, but you need to back up and start with the kidnapping.
    Nobody has done acid since the early 70's try something more modern like granny's prescription pills - oxycontin? (sp)
    Eimhear -maybe but I am going to pronounce it 'I'm here' which is too cutsie...I do love the way it looks - but if it's prounounced another way maybe her sister could tease her about her name or something to give the reader something to go on?

    It is distracting from a good story.

    The only hole I see, is the kid drugged her at a school event - um no - cause if she attacks him twice even with just cause - she's gonna get in trouble. He couldn't brag about it, cause its one of those things the school administration would hear There is always one parent who's kids really do tell them every tiny thing - and we always have a friend on the school board. Kids really don't accept others plotting to use anyone as a sex toy - and that term isn't to get a girl to talk to you. Try something milder say slipped her one of the funny new sleeping pills that cause you to see freaky things if combined with alchohol. I know it may seem like I am being picky, but I am totally not trying to hurt your feelings in any way. The story, and the character are too good for these things to bog it down with distraction.

    Best points: dog pee is awesome...funny gross and viseral. Makes me instantly did that happen? I want to read more to find out.
    Watch passive voice, if it happened it is not happening.
    The day began with - and ending - does not work. and it is ending - or - and it ends

    Justin Drake gave slipped - which one?

    gave - she took them knowing - but she never does drugs
    slipped - he had control of her beverage so she must be talking to him - or some form of friend.

    Ok I am done picking on you - And yessssss I love it or I wouldn't bother to read it 6 times you would just get a bland - 'very nice' Red Ink equals Love!

  5. Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)

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