Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Facebook status updates part XX (Apr 2013)

"I love you."
"You bastard! A ring, now? Now?"
"But I love --."

He was a magician,and that meant many things. But less with each funeral he attended.

His superpower was to set off car alarms just by looking at cars.

The seance was an ugly affair: a of a black goat was sacrificed, true Names spoken, awful forces bound to witness the act of her will upon the world.
"I don't understand," he whispered as he appeared beside her bed. Being dead hadn't been pleasant. Being dragged back into the world had been far worse.
"You died before me. We swore we'd be together forever. This way we will."
"But the living can't haunt the dead."
"You think so?" She smiled. "Just you watch me."

'Unexpected Pleasure': nickname given by the press to the world's most popular serial killer.

From WIP:
“You can go talk to him.”
“It’ll become politics. It always does and I’ll say the wrong thing and screw it up.”
“Just be yourself,” Bryce said. “Wait, that won’t help.”
I punched him in the arm and he just grinned and gave me a shove to the door.
“You’ve done fine so far, Wray. No one is dead yet.”
“That’s when politics breaks down?”
“No, that’s when it becomes interesting.

"True winter is being so cold that we forget what warmth is. Sometimes it is like that, with your mother and me."

"It’s all gone sour. All my plans, my goals, my dreams. The ugliness under my grand ambitions has swallowed it whole: when I try to join It, the Singularity just laughs at me."

"The day it stops raining will be the saddest day of all. If the sky no longer cries for us, we shall have to cry for ourselves."

"What kind of god judges and forbids judgement in turn?"

Her wit was so sharp that no one laughed when she finished the joke, too busy checking to see if they were bleeding.

"I am sorry I could not meet with you. I have been very busy not dying: it does take up an inordinate amount of time."

"I know humans can kill us but on their own, without luck and a really good weapon? It’s not going to happen. Your average high school student won’t have access to a rocket launcher or sniper rifle." She thought about that.

"We can’t find the truth if we’re too busy trying to escape out fears."
"What if they’re the same thing?"

Fake Fact: Las Vegas is really an alien theme park.

"You cannot hate me half so much as I hate myself."
"Maybe not. But I can give it a go."

You can make more money by giving something away than by selling it.

What if history was subject to peer review?

A story idea rummaging in the back of my head:
Re-tell Cinderella, from the pov of a boy named Ash, his wicked step-brothers and the princess at the ball.

From old novel notes: stuff I will probably never use.
STARVE: Society to Achieve Responsible Vampire Emancipation
GROWL: Grassroots Organization for Werewolf Liberation

"You can tell the truth and be kind," Boy said. "Or be silent."
"And that serves truth, does it?" Reynard Fox pressed, circling him as Boy followed the hints of the path in the woods.
"You think silence is better than lies, a world rendered mute better than one with song?"
"I don't know." Boy looked away from the fox. "I think, I think even if I was whole with memory, I still wouldn't know. But I bet a fox that everyone knows tells lies could get away with an awful lot of truths."
Reynard Fox let out a soft yip at that. "Oh, that is true as well," he said, because he couldn't not boast if given half a chance. "If you are clever enough, you never have to lie at all."

"You're going to eat me?" Boy said, more concerned with that than even how bad the ogre's song had been.
"Of course!" The female ogre looked considerably surprised. "What else are humans for if not eating? You don't even have any pesky fur to remove at all."

You never realize how fragile a story is until you tell it to others and it falls apart under their regard. Only the great lies can survive this.

"No one becomes a ghost unless they have something to hide, something so big that death itself cannot release them from it."

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Evolution of a character ....

I am, at present, almost 8000 words into the current version of Boy & Fox. A good 3000 words of the previous version remain, edited and altered (mostly description) and things slowly come together. The previous version was a finished draft, but contained too much plot and not enough story. For this version, I am leaving much unsaid, trying to let the surface of the story mirror the depths without bonking the reader over the head with it. Shall see how it goes. I know the final act, but not precisely the ending.

And am going to write, later today or tomorrow, the introduction of Bess into this story. She is important to it as Boy needs a friend to help him come to terms with his life and Reynard Fox is many things but friend is stretching it a lot: even Boy knows that without knowing it. She explains the Kingdom to Boy and is both fun to write and essential to the story. Having said that, I never really had a handle on her as a character before. She's been everything from a werewolf to under a curse and even a quasi-assassin in various drafts.

For this one, I realized that I needed to establish boy Boy and Reynard Fox first before she came in and set up the basis of their own odd relationship and will come close to my rough idea of introducing her at ~10K into the story. She plans to use Boy, but at least will be honest about it. Much of her past will be unsaid in this version, just terse hints about the Academy though not really what the point of it is -- or why the Kingdom finds it necessary to have a place to train girls to be ladies. There's a couple of secondary characters I need to fix, but we'll see how it all goes.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Being the hopefully final version of Boy & Fox

Being the story of a king who holds love higher than his kingdom, how far one has to run in order to escape destiny, and how sometimes we have to betray ourselves if we want to survive. This is the tale of a boy and a girl, an alliance that could be friendship and the long, hard paths we take to return home, and the stranger routes some must take to find a home at all.

And it is a story about a fox, because every story worth the telling has a fox in it.

There are things about the Wasting everyone knows even though they have never been: that the trees are bleached bone, that the sky is not a sky, that the dead are drawn there to die. That it grows when dreams die is also known, and that lies make it strong, and a truth told to hurt makes it stronger still. It is north of everything, as near as despair and as far as hope. Anyone can reach the Wasting, and the holes in our hearts can draw it to us. It is all that is wrong with the worlds and no one who enters can leave.
        These are known things and believed things and, with one exception, all are true.
        There is a stream that separates the Wasting from everything, a trail scoured into the skin of the world; water once the colour of tears long since mixed with mud and sediments. A brave man could cross it, but no brave man would for it is not bravery that brings one to the Wasting but emptiness and darker things beside. The desperate cross it at times to find loved ones, to make amends, for forgiveness. Each gesture is as hollow as the last.
        The Wasting only takes.
        A forest borders the wasting, though to call it that is to insult even weeds: the trees are plague-grey twisted things, corpse-thin branches grown sideways rather than up, for the Sun cannot bear to shine down on such a place. Ruins can be found, if one looks: scattered rock and wood, echoes from ae past when men would built castles before the Wasting and roar defiance at it.
        It was a long time ago. Now men seek battles with other men, the Wasting a nightmare's dream left to stories and the quiet tales told long after the taverns have closed and the press of the night draws out such stories from tellers who should know better than to give voice to such tales.
        Because there are trees, the forest has insects. Because there are insects, small animals live even here, eating and being eaten, hunting and being hunted. There is an order to the chaos of things that not even the Wasting can wholly blight. The small animals that scurry about the forest are thin things, fur dull and matted and eyes duller still. There were few of them in any age, and in this one fewer still as a fox roamed the edge of the Wasting, and had done so for long enough to leave tracings of his passing even in such a place as this.
        The fox's fur was as deep and red as any fox who had had ever been, the legs of his feet as black as night, his chest white as mountain snow and the bushiest tail that was the envy of all other foxes and many other animals beside. His steps were light on the cold ground and he paced the brook that lined the Wasting without pause. If dwelling that close a land the colour of a widow's heartache touched the fox, he showed nothing of it in a smile almost as sharp and bright as his eyes, for he was the first of all foxes and coyote and raven mere echoes of his tales.         Days passed as he walked the edges of the worlds. Cold followed warmth and cold again, the changing of the seasons barely real in the deep north of the world. The fox heard men and avoided them since even his desire for tricks and games was blunted by the Wasting.
        Time passed.
        The fox, whose name was Reynard in all the worlds that were, waited.
        Even more time passed.
        Other men came, and other species beside: an army even, once, that flew through the air on the chants of magicians. The fox avoided them, and mourned them not at all. He moved south, slow but sure, as the Wasting crept deeper into the world, and still the fox waited with a sureness hinting at hope that can outlast even despair. One could have asked what the fox was waiting for, and perhaps he would have said – for there is no fox born that will not spin a tale for the asking – but the truth is a tale too precious for any fox to tell.
        This is all the truth we need to know: Reynard Fox waited until he waited no longer.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

in which things are explained

<alcar> New blurb done:
<alcar> Being the story of a king who holds love higher than his kingdom, how far one has to run in order to escape destiny, and how sometimes we have to betray ourselves if we want to survive. This is the tale of a boy and a girl, an alliance that could be friendship and the long, hard paths we take to return home, and the stranger routes some must take to find a home at all.
<alcar> And it is a story about a fox, because every story worth the telling has a fox in it.
<Chaos`^> every story does? :p
<Chaos`^> what about your other stories without foxes?
<alcar> the foxes are in disguise :P
<Chaos`^> hahaha
<Chaos`^> that's cute

On the death of a draft

Sometimes a story works. Sometimes characters and plot and story mesh together and things work. Then there is the rest of the time. In two months. I've managed 40K on Ghoulish Trappings. I have fixed stuff for the series, discovered some things that didn't work at all and fleshed out the world a lot. So there's that.

But somewhere close to the 35K mark, I realized something: the story didn't need to be told. The first novel: very much so. The one coming next [which will probably use this same title]: yes. But this story hovered in a place between them that never quite fit. The characters worked. Even the story did, but the plot teetered along and a lot of things that needed to happen simply didn't feel right, entire connections making little sense. If I didn't do the the novel entirely in Wray's POV, it might work. But I don't think so. So for the time being it's going to become purely 'stuff that happens between novels'.

If, somewhere down the road, the series sells and works, I could revise it and throw it up for free online. A story needed something overarching to hold the disparate elements together and this story does not, at present, have that. It needs a serious degree of revision in tone and plot that would basically involve a 'rewrite from scratch'. Which I'm not up for doing right now.

Some of this is probably because March-April tend to be my normal dead months of writing in a year. I'm not sure. But I find myself wanting to write the novel that was to come next more and finding that this novel isn't adding much to the series. It feels like part 2 of the first novel rather than a story in and of itself. I think I will get back to it at some point, and fix things up. It is fixable, the plot is doable, but I need a mental break from the series.

What that break will be, who knows? I need to edit the first book of the series, and will likely begin that soonish. In the meantime, I'm thinking of giving Boy & Fox another hard look and reducing it back to the original concept. It might work. It might not. Won't know until I try.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


And there are millions of teens who read because they are sad and lonely and enraged. They read because they live in an often-terrible world. They read because they believe, despite the callow protestations of certain adults, that books-especially the dark and dangerous ones-will save them.

As a child, I read because books–violent and not, blasphemous and not, terrifying and not–were the most loving and trustworthy things in my life. I read widely, and loved plenty of the classics so, yes, I recognized the domestic terrors faced by Louisa May Alcott’s March sisters. But I became the kid chased by werewolves, vampires, and evil clowns in Stephen King’s books. I read books about monsters and monstrous things, often written with monstrous language, because they taught me how to battle the real monsters in my life.

And now I write books for teenagers because I vividly remember what it felt like to be a teen facing everyday and epic dangers. I don’t write to protect them. It’s far too late for that. I write to give them weapons–in the form of words and ideas-that will help them fight their monsters. I write in blood because I remember what it felt like to bleed.
— Sherman Alexie, Why the Best Kids Books Are Written in Blood
"I write in blood because I remember what it felt like to bleed" That says it all.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Fun with prompts

Prompt: swords are weapons. Prove me wrong

“That is not a sword.”
The knight froze. The voice was as deep as the ocean, as tall as mountains, a rumble of thunder over his head. He’d drawn his blade when his horse bolted from under him and now slowly stared up into eyes larger than his horse and a face of granite and moss even a mother could not have loved.
The giant reached down and plucked the blade between two fingernails, each as thick as the knight’s armour and definitely less clean.
“What are you going to do with it?” the knight whispered, his voice a thing of mice in burrows and fear of darkness.
“Clean Teeth. Might need new cheese knife.” The giant let out a rumble of laughter than shook clouds and turned and walked away.

Prompt: Write a poem that serves as a love letter between two inanimate objects

I used to love you. There. I’ve said it. I loved you before you started seeing someone else, when it was just you and me. When you were pure. When you were holy. When you were pristine. I loved you so much it hurt, and it hurt so much I never said.

Then came the Other. It touched you. Changed you. Turned purity into a mess, scribbled over you — and, later, me — and ruined everything. I can do nothing. I am only a desk. You are only paper. And the pen has ruined everything.

You belong to it now; you never belonged to me at all.