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?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

He Was Found in the Wreck With His Hand on the Throttle, Scalded to Death by the Steam....

Five points to whoever recognized that line as being from 'The Wreck of Old 97'! Ok, so no one's been scalded. At least not to death. But I HAVE come to a few conclusions recently. One of them is that I will NEVER, no matter how hard I might try, make it as a barista. It's just not in my cards. Ever. Why, you ask? Well, the answer is simple, considering that our little farm coffee pot manages to fry some part of my body on a daily basis, I just don't see barista in my near future. I mean, seriously, I've burned my ARMPIT. How does someone manage that??? An ARMPIT for crying bananas. Welcome to my life.

The other conclusion that I've come to, and this one is a little less amusing, if not exactly 'woe as me over the cliff I go' hair rendingly dramatic. The conclusion is this: I am not happy at this point in my life. The reason that I am not happy at this point in my life is that I feel as though my writing is 'going nowhere'. I put the 'going nowhere' in quotations because it isn't really a physiological truth. Your writing is never stagnant. Never. No matter how unchanged you perceive it to be, it is, in truth, progressing. It just doesn't always feel that way to YOU. *sigh* This is a normal thing for anyone who's trying to break into the commercial writing industry. I know it's normal because I've had authors (successful authors) hug me and tell me it's normal. But they couldn't tell me exactly how it was going to feel, because you can't describe a feeling like that to someone who hasn't felt it. Now I know. And I'm done with knowing how it feels to think that no one, nowhere established in the industry has any faith or interest in you. I'd say I never needed to know what it was like to feel this way, but I think you do need to know, so that when you HAVE made it into the industry, you have compassion for all of those frustrated hopefuls. And on that note THANK YOU to every successful author, agent, editor, and anyone else in the industry who has been kind and supportive to me. I would not be where I am, trudging onward towards my goal if not for all of you :)

So, the question is, how do I adapt to this unhappy stage? To start, I think I have to let go of EVERNOW. I don't mean actually let go. But it might be time to stop querying it. Stop entering it in contests (although I'm still in Brenda's 'It was a dark and stormy night' blogfest/contest) stop looking for agents who are seeking dystopian work. Stop (for now) working on the companion novel. Just stop. I don't want to stop. I think Evernow says something. Especially with the world today, I think a book about a girl who refuses to settle for warfare and instead struggles for peace with a race unlike her own is a book kids should read. But I will stop. For now. And I'll work on something else. Red Chief most likely. I do love my pain in the ass, back-talking to Faeries, bad tempered Eimhear, and I think that it could be commercially successful too. So, onward! Although I admit that I'll glance back over my shoulder more than once...

What about you? Does anyone out there (published or not) have a book that they think will actually have a good impact on people reading it? Anybody (published or soon to be) have a book that is not slated for publication that they would sell a kidney to get into print simply because they believe in it?

Monday, February 7, 2011

It Was a Dark and Stormy Night Blogfest Contest... Yes I totally DID just Rhyme... Blame the Drugs...

So I was checking out the totally fabulous Christi Corbett, who always has something interesting going on, and found out that she's participating in her first blogfest ever! Of course, being nosy, I had to go check out this blogfest, because, well, I'm nosy, plus there are PRIZES! Turns out that Brenda Drake is putting this thing on and the prizes involve the amazing Weronika Janczuk! Yes, that's right you can win several different goodies, all of them plenty enticing enough for me to enter.

Here's what you do:

Put up the first line of your finished manuscript on your blog and get all your friends' opinions on it.

Adjust first line per-critiques/as you feel needed

Post your first line in the comments on Brenda's blog

Cruise around to the blogs of everyone else participating and check out all of their first lines!

Go straight from here to Brenda's blog and read all of her instructions to make sure I haven't screwed something up... I am operating under the influence of codeine cough syrup and strong antibiotics at the moment...

Without further ado, here's the first line from my Dystopian YA titled EVERNOW:

Life is so much easier without underwear.

So whatcha think?