Saturday, July 13, 2013

Wewriwa 07-14-2013 - Being vulnerable

Welcome back everyone. It's Sunday, again. Which means another snippet from my paranormal romance in progress, Eternity's Price. My poor little idiots have been on quite a roller coaster the past few weeks, and it doesn't seem to be getting easier quite yet. There is probably going to be another scene in between last week's and this week's - but since I haven't WRITTEN it yet, I obviously need to skip it for now.

This is from the next night, after the concert from Hades that resulted in them breaking up. Catie has gone to the arcade to "beat the crap out of the poor little plastic moles" in the Wac-A-Mole game. Eli has tracked her down and is trying to get her to talk to him. She's still hurting a LOT, though, which is causing him to just pour his heart out to her - in the middle of the arcade. This is part of one of his speeches.

"My previous girlfriend died, not three weeks ago. And I turned to you in my pain, and I found you standing there. For the first time in my life, I turned to find someone waiting for me to talk to them. It scared the life out of me. I have been alone most of my life and I have never been so terrified as I was at that moment. I have never been so vulnerable as I am being right now. The whole concept scares me. I don't know what to do or how to do it."

Aww... Talk about someone laying their heart out on the line. The question is: will Catie take him back? I guess you're just going to have to come back next week to find out. ;) In the meantime, check out all the other great writers over at

And finally a little musical inspiration. Here's the song I was listening to while writing this scene:

P.S. For some reason youtube doesn't seem to have the actual Garth Brooks version of this song. Slightly annoying, but this version is decent - even though it's not ACTUALLY what I was listening to...

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Wewriwa 07-07-2013 - Nothing more she could do

Welcome back, everyone. Well, it's Sunday, again. And that means another snippet from my paranormal romance Eternity's Price. Two weeks ago, we watched my vampire couple, Eli and Catie break up over Eli really just not being emotionally ready for a relationship. Last week, we saw some of Eli's reaction to the break-up.

This week, we'll see Catie's. This is actually happening at about the same time as last week's post. Maybe even a little before it since it's earlier in Catie's scene than last week's had been in Eli's. She's trying to figure out what went so wrong between their first couple nights as a couple and now. Her own insecurities have gotten the better of her and she'd thinking that maybe he just never really loved her, or wanted her. And here are some of her thoughts on that:

That fear was what had kept her from looking inside his head that second night, the fear that she wouldn't like what she saw. 

Which was stupid, really; what was her own pain compared to his? Except... he had said that he needed that. So, even if it wasn't really what he wanted in the end, at least she had been able to give him something when he needed it. She turned around, leaning against the door and then slumped down to sit on the floor, drawing her knees up to her chest. She considered trying to reach out to him, but then changed her mind. Feeling his pain would do nothing but make her feel worse. There was nothing more she could do for him.

Poor girl. I kind of hate seeing her feeling so helpless and useless. Come back next week where we'll pick up... technically later that day, but the next night. (I have officially decided that time phrases are the bane of people who write about vampires. Since the date changes over in the middle of their "day" things get confusing when you're talking about right after the sun goes down again when it's already after midnight.) In the meantime, don't forget to check out the other great writers over at

And finally, the song I was listening to for this scene. This one is once again in Italian - but I think it may be the last of them.

Friday, July 5, 2013

The Bechdel test

So, an online writing group got into a discussion about the Bechdel test, which is supposed to "identify gender bias in fiction." For those of you that haven't heard of it, here's how it works: A work passes the test if it features at least two named female characters who talk to each other about something other than a man.

Now, on the surface, that sounds like a good thing, a benchmark to try to hit. And yet, if you think about it, it is at once over-broad and limiting. And I'm going to use my own work in progress, Eternity's Price to demonstrate why I say that. For the record, it DOES pass the test - however, as you'll see, it passing this test is also NOT what makes it not gender biased (which from here on out, I will be referring to as sexism, since I think that's what the test is supposed to be about.)

So, I'm going to start with some of the scenes that are NOT part of why it passes this test:

On two separate occasions Catie stands up, looks a man that can kill her with little more than a thought in the eye (and on one of those occasions, the man in question has not only the physical ability to kill her but the legal right to do so, and on the other the man has already shown that he is not above killing to get what he wants) and basically told them to go fuck themselves. But because she was talking to a man, neither of those scenes make the book pass the test.

She goes off on one of the younger members of her Clan about his impulsiveness. Giving him a solid tongue-thrashing, and is essentially acting as Eli's second-in-command in Clan politics. But because she's talking to a man, it doesn't count.

She and two other women plot serious bodily harm to the father of the youngest girl's child. One thing to keep in mind is that this man is a werewolf. So, nearly as strong as a vampire, but without the biggest obvious weakness. But because they were talking about a man, it doesn't count.

The young girl in the previous example happens to be under the protection of one of Catie's (male) friends, and is worried that when he finds out that she's pregnant he'll make her lose the baby - and then make her forget that she was ever pregnant. Catie's response? "He'll have to answer to me if he does - and trust me, he does NOT want to have to answer to me for that." The older woman replied "He'll only answer to you if there's anything left of him after he's done answering to ME." But because they're talking about a man, it doesn't count.

I could go on and on. Examples of her strength, courage, intelligence, conviction, leadership ability. All extremely positive qualities, and all qualities usually associated with men. But because men were involved in these conversations in some way - they don't count in this test for sexism.

So, what DOES make it pass the test?

A conversation with another woman about the uses of stilletto heels as a weapon - which was really as much for Eli's benefit as anything else.

A shopping trip where she and a friend are looking for dresses. This is probably actually the most sexist scene in the entire book - but because they're talking about clothes instead of men, it passes the test.

There are others. The two examples I gave about the pregnant girl both followed a discussion about what the girl planned to do about her pregnancy. Catie was also acting as her doctor, since carrying a werewolf baby she couldn't really go to a conventional doctor and being under the protection of a vampire made the werewolves' territory off limits to her, so there were the medical exams and such. Probably others that I can't think of off the top of my head.

But what I found amusing is that in a test for sexism - the most sexist scene in the whole book passes, but scenes of women standing up to men don't. I get it as simply a way to get writers to think about their characters and the way they're portrayed. But taken by itself, at face value, it is extremely flawed. Why is a discussion about clothes and make-up less sexist than a woman telling a man to go fuck himself? Or her taking charge of a situation? Why is a woman acting as a man's SUPERIOR sexist, but giggling over clothes isn't?

What are your thoughts on this?

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Wewriwa 06-30-2013 And debt repaid

Welcome back everyone. It's time for another snippet of Eternity's Price, my paranormal romance in progress.

The last two weeks we've been watching Eli deal with some major guilt. But we've been watching through Catie's eyes. This snippet is from that same night. Catie is currently in one of Eli's guest rooms as a compromise so that she can be nearby if he needs her, but they aren't sharing a room. We're going to be in Eli's POV for this one. He's alone in his room, and feeling pretty awful about himself. He's looking out his bedroom window as the sun starts to come up - and for a minute he considers leaving his curtains open. Until he thinks of Catie.

Even with her gift blocked, even with him blocking her out, would she be able to block that - or would she feel him die? Could he really put her through that? He thought of the night he had met her. Her anguished scream still rang in his ears, after all this time. No... he loved her too damn much to do that to her. He closed the curtains, again, making sure that they were completely closed. Then he went and laid down again, letting himself fall asleep as the sun came up. His last thought as he fell asleep was that she had repaid her debt - not that he could ever tell her that.

And yes, the answer to the question from last week is that they did break up. They have some serious issues to work out before they can try this again. And before you guys ask - no you didn't miss anything. While there have been a couple hints about something horrible happening the night they met, I haven't shown what that was, yet. It will all come out eventually.

And now for the song I was listening to while writing this scene. It's just perfect for what Eli was feeling in this moment.

Thanks for stopping by. As always, any comments are more than welcome. Next week, we'll see Catie's reaction to what has gone on that night. In the meantime, don't forget to check out all the other great writers at

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Wewriwa 06-23-2013 - Not mine, anymore

Welcome back everyone. Been sick this week, so didn't even try to get back on schedule. But, it's Sunday again, and that means time for another snippet from Eternity's Price, my paranormal romance in progress.

Last week, we saw Eli walk into a concert memorial looking nothing like his usual self - and blocking Catie from sensing his emotions. Shortly after that, he walks out, and Catie of course follows him. A bit of background to make this snippet make sense: After the night they started dating, he started calling her Mia. It's short for her middle name of Amelia, but it also means "mine" in Italian - Catie's native language. This snippet is from right after something Eli said, that including him calling her Catie again. We're still in Catie's POV.

She wanted to tell him that she didn't want to be alone, that even though she knew that it would only hurt more later, she didn't want to be alone now. So much she wanted to say; and all of it would only hurt him more. So she instead focused on the thing that had hurt her. "You're calling me Catie, again, as if this past week never happened..."

"Yes, I'm calling you Catie again. I don't have a right to call you anything else. I don't have a right to call you mine. Not when I know that you deserve so much better"

And it goes from bad to worse. Did he just break up with her? Come back next week to find out. And in the meantime don't forget to check out all the other great writers over at And finally today, the song I was listening to while writing this scene. Fair warning, it's in Italian - but it seemed fitting for Catie under the circumstances.

P.S. Forgive me if my punctuation is a mess. I admit that the first sentence may be a run-on, but I'm not sure how to fix it, right now. And I just noticed the issue.

Edit: My computer and Blogspot were not playing nice together last night. Edited to fix all the extra blank lines.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Wewriwa 06-16-2013 heartbreak

Welcome back everyone. It's that time again. Time for my snippet from my paranormal romance Eternity's Price for the Weekend Writing Warriors. Over the past several weeks we've watched Catie and Eli go from being best friends, to dating and how they've been handling that. This week, they're about to be thrown their first curveball. A concert memorial for the recent dead of the city has been thrown by a friend of Eli's, and that is making him think of Esther.

For this snippet we are in Catie's point of view, and Eli has just walked into the venue.

Suddenly, even with her gift blocked for the evening, she could just feel Eli's presence; it was like there was an empty place in the room that had just been filled. She turned and saw him, dressed far more casually than she had ever seen him before in jeans, a t-shirt with a white button down shirt with only half of the buttons done up and... sneakers? Catie would have never guessed that Eli even owned sneakers. He leaned against the wall, watching the concert, his face seeming to be set in stone, his eyes flashing with regret and pain. Catie reached out to him with her mind, only to find herself blocked. Just like he had in France, he had somehow blocked her out. How in the world was he doing that? He looked so helpless, so hopeless, and her heart broke for him.

Yeah... this is not going to go well, I don't think. Come back next week to see what happens when they're alone after the concert. And in the meantime, be sure to check out all the other great writers over at Thanks for stopping by, and please feel free to leave a comment.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Wewriwa 06/09/2013 "Ya'll just make your head explode."

Welcome back! It's that time again. Time for another snippet from my paranormal romance, Eternity's Price. This week is from the scene I've been promising you for the past two weeks. After Catie managed to confuse the heck out of Eli a couple weeks ago, he's decided to talk to a friend of his about it. The theory is that if the confusion is an age thing, rather than gender, William should be able to explain it. Yeah... it's not the difference in ages. This scene is actually taking place the night after the last two scenes, which both took place the same night. We start with William speaking.

"Dude, she's a chick. Do yourself a favor and don't bother trying to understand her. Ya'll just make your head explode"

"So it's not just an age thing?"

William burst into laughter. "Nah, it ain't just an age thing. So, care to explain how in the world ya've never run into this issue before? I know for a fact this ain't your first relationship; ya've never run into this with Esther?"

 I'm not sure I captured his dialect properly. I can hear his accent in my head, but seem to be having trouble capturing it, properly. But, that's William. I may actually post his bio on Friday rather than the one I had planned for Nicolaus.

As always, thanks for stopping by, and feel free to leave a comment. Come back Wednesday for my weekly ramble. And in the meantime, be sure to check out all the other great writers at

Friday, June 7, 2013

Why I love writing about vampires

Way back in grammar school and high school, when I first started writing, I never imagined that I would someday call myself a paranormal romance writer. Granted, back then I don't know that I would have even known what that was. So, why am I sitting here writing this story of all the kinds of stories there are - and why am I planning more?

Well, what made me start writing this particular story is a bit of a long story itself. But in the end it was that these two characters grabbed me by the throat and wouldn't let go. But, along the way, I've discovered that I really like writing this kind of story. I really LIKE writing about vampires. Not as the bad guys in a horror story, but as the good guys in a romance. And there are a lot of reasons for that. So, without further ado:

They have some pretty awesome abilities, that are a lot of fun to write about. So far I have explored, to just a limited extent, their incredible speed and strength. And, to a greater extent, the telepathy and minor mind control that these particular vampires have announced they have. Then there is the fact that Catie is an empath - which she was before she became a vampire, but that is still something you can only really have in a paranormal.

There is the built in question of their own morality. After all, they need human blood to survive. What they are and are not willing to do to acquire that sustenance can say quite a bit about them. There is a ton of characterization involved just in how they feel about their own physical needs, what they do to meet those needs, and how they feel about THAT. I was able to say more about Catie in a single line in the opening scene than I could have said in PAGES of trying to explain her. And in the second scene there is a short conversation that says even more about Eli. Neither of those things would have been possible if they weren't vampires.

They're immortal. So, I get to play with some ridiculously old characters. This amuses me, for some reason. Especially when I get to research dead languages and figure out my oldest characters' backstories. Yes, I find that kind of research fun.

But, perhaps my favorite reason is also the silliest. Vampires have the single most poetic euphemism for suicide EVER. I mean, really... as a way of talking about suicide goes, does it get any prettier than "watch a sunrise?"

What about you? What are your reasons for reading/writing the genres you read/write? What is it about those kinds of stories that draws you to them?

I'm way behind again. But if I can find a suitable picture for him, I'll post Nicolaus's bio Friday or Saturday. And of course on Sunday I'll have another snippet for you guys.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Wewriwa 06/02/2013 Crafting memories

Hello everyone, and thanks for stopping by. Today for Weekend Writing Warriors I have another snippet from Eternity's Price, my paranormal romance in progress. Catie has been hunting, and has just eaten. Now it's time for clean up - not physical clean-up, but making her dinner forget what just happened, here.

He was looking at her with a dazed expression on his face, and she once again looked him in the eye. Slowly, carefully, she crafted a new memory for him, then put him to sleep. When he woke, he would remember meeting her in the tavern and bringing her home. And there his memory would split off from the truth. She rewarded him for the honor and integrity she had sensed in the tavern by giving him a memory of the best sex of his life. And then she left the apartment, locking his door behind her.

After going home with someone who lived so close by, she had lost that tavern as a hunting ground. Not that it mattered, anyway.

Well... that's one way to clean up after yourself, I guess. Next week we'll see what happens when Eli goes to talk to William about the conversation I posted last week. In the meantime, be sure to check out all the other great writers over at

Also, I will be out all day, so I'll start my hopping on Monday.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Wewriwa 05/27/2013

It's that time again, time for the Weekend Writing Warriors Sunday Snippet. I have another 8 sentences from my paranormal romance in progress, Eternity's Price. Last week, Catie and Eli finally got together, admitting their love for each other after he arrived home from going to England to deal with his Sire once and for all. This snippet is from the next night, and is their first date. We're in Eli's viewpoint, and they have been talking about a necklace he had given her to hold onto while he was in England. He was surprised that she had actually been wearing it the whole time instead of just "putting it in a drawer somewhere." Somehow, her explanation of why she wore it devolved into a discussion about their relative ages. The dialogue that starts the snippet is Catie talking.

"This is what I mean about you not getting it. You don't even get what it is that you don't get."

He could only stare at her. She wasn't making the slightest bit of sense. Yet that was somehow his fault for not understanding her. He wondered idly if this was a product of their ages, or if it was more of a gender thing. He made a mental note to ask some of his younger friends if this made any more sense to them than it did to him. Maybe William could explain it to him.

Hmm... Yes, let's see if William can explain it. This sounds like a plan. And in two weeks we'll see how well that works. Next week is another scene of Catie hunting - though it will be a bit different than the first time I showed that. In the meantime, don't forget to check out all the other great writers over at

And check back on Wednesday for my weekly ramble. I have a few different ideas for it, so not sure which one it will be about.

Thanks for stopping by. And, as always, comments are always welcome.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Wewriwa 05/19/2013

Welcome back, everyone. It's that time of the week, again. Time for another snippet of Eternity's Price, my paranormal romance WIP. I am in rough draft scenes, so I admit these may not be very polished. In this scene Eli has returned from England, and he's a bit upset about everything. Catie has found him in the streets.   After a fairly long talk, she ended up confessing that she's in love with him, and to her surprise he told her that he loves her too. Catie has expressed concern that he may just be rebounding, and that she may be taking advantage of him. This snippet is his reply.

Eli sighed and stood up, pulling Catie to her feet along with him. He put his arms around her, holding her close. "I promise that you are taking advantage of nothing. I promise that someday I will find a way to prove that to you. For right now you are just going to have to trust me. You are just going to have to trust that I love you. You are going to have to trust that I would never do anything to hurt you, and that I'm well aware that taking what you're offering me and not giving the same thing in return will hurt you. Trust me, Catie."

Aww... he's such a sweetheart. Now the question is, can they really make this work, under the circumstances? Keep coming back to find out. And in the meantime, don't forget to check out all the other great writers over at

And here's some mood music. This scene I actually had two songs on a loop for. So, here they are:

Thanks for stopping by. Tomorrow I'll post the character bio I was supposed to post this weekend, come back to check it out.

Friday, May 17, 2013

The Nature of Fear

I don't usually write about my personal life, but something happened on Sunday that is still freaking me out a bit, so here goes.

There's a bike path probably about a city block or two from my house. Not sure of the distance, because I don't live in the city, so we don't have city blocks to measure with - but I think it's about that far. Anyway, we had planned to go for a walk on the path with the two youngest kids - both two years old. None of the older kids wanted to go, so my mom went inside to ask my dad and brother-in-law to come outside to watch them, while the rest of us went for a walk. Problem was that my nephew went in with her.

Why was this a problem, you ask? Because when they came back out, he decided that he wasn't going to wait for the rest of us and started running up the driveway. We didn't think anything of it, we have a long driveway, and he's allowed to play on it up to a certain point. And he knows that point and is usually very good about staying where he's allowed to be. Except this time... he didn't.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Wewriwa 05/13/2013

Welcome back, everyone. It's that time again, time for another snippet of my paranormal romance Eternity's Price. Last week we saw Eli stand witness to the execution of his Sire. This week's scene takes place around the same time as that scene. Give or take me having not quite worked out details like time zones and such. We're in Catie's viewpoint as she runs into someone she had known when she was mortal. He's been filling her in on certain political issues the city will be facing, soon.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Introducing: Adam

Full Name: Adam Cotiso
Age: Unknown
Apparent Age: 33
Height: 6'5"   Weight: 210
Family: Sicarii

Born so long ago that even HE doesn't remember exactly how old he is, in what would eventually become Serbia. He was born a peasant, but trained to become a warrior. He eventually caught the eye of a vampire named Lucien who turned him when he was about 33. The training he received from Lucien turned him from an average warrior to a highly skilled assassin. This training included some special vampiric abilities that are fiercely guarded secrets known only to the Sicarii.

Eventually he met a mage named Nicolaus Areleos and became close friends with him. When Nicolaus accidentally shot his younger sister with an arrow while hunting, he turned to Adam for help. Adam turned Polly into a vampire in order to save her. Fifteen years later, Polly had a vision of the end of the world, and she, Nicolaus, and the other mages asked Adam for help in averting it. He agreed to help and was thus set down a path that led him to Sangue Collina. He arrived about 10 years ago, wanting to be in place before the crisis started.

He stays in the shadows, for the most part. Almost everything he does is for the sake of playing his part in Nicolaus's plan. A plan that seems to include sacrificing the few for the sake of the many. The question is exactly who and how many will end up sacrificed? And that is a question that even Adam doesn't know the answer to.

About the picture: Adam is a very scary dude. He's big. He's strong, even for a vampire. He radiates a rather menacing vibe. If I was writing a screenplay, this part would be pretty much written for Vin Diesel. And this picture just seems to capture Adam's "do not fuck with me" attitude so perfectly. Attribution: "Vin Diesel" by Vindieseloff under license CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Monday, May 6, 2013

The end of camp nano

Well, Camp Nano ended on Tuesday. I'm quite proud of myself, I met my goal. I wrote 31,166 words in April, bringing my total word count on this thing up to 44,756. I don't know how coherent most of it is, but it is there. In the process of doing this I've learned a few things about myself, my writing process, and the book itself that I find quite interesting. So, here's some of what I've learned:

1.) I write best in 15 to 30 minute spurts, especially if I'm using a timer that I can't pause. I can set the timer, tune everything else out and just go to town with it. I think my record is 430 words in 15 minutes.
2.) I've become less of a perfectionist this month than I have been. This thing is riddled with typos and I quite frankly do not care. This is oddly freeing. It was still automatic to go back and fix some things as I was typing, but I wasn't nearly as picky about it as I usually am. Not to mention that I'm not sure how much sense it actually makes in some places. This whole "just puke it out and fix it later" thing is very new to me. But I've been more productive than usual, and I'll take that trade-off.
3.) Characters will develop their own minds and randomly take the thing in a direction I never planned. Some things I've learned about them:
  3a.) Vampires are projective telepaths. I did not know this until Eli stood in a field and "called" Ana.
  3b.) Catie is an empath. My muse is currently pondering the possibilities inherent in having one of the MC's of a romance novel being an empath. (My muse disturbs me, sometimes.)
  3c.) One of my secondary characters seems to have a thing for Catie. This makes me want to slap him. He was NOT supposed to have feelings for her. I did NOT set out to write a love triangle.
4.) I have learned that I am not the one trick-pony I was afraid I might be. I now have ideas for 4 more books in this universe - two of which are direct spin-offs from Eternity's Price.
5.) I am actually perfectly capable of writing 5,000 words in one day if I set my mind to it.

All in all, this was a great experience. I just hope that I can keep it going to meet my final goal of having the rough draft done by the end of July. Wish me luck.

And that is my semi-coherent ramble for today. I'll post Adam's bio later today to finish catching up.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Wewriwa 05/05/2013

Welcome back, everyone. It's that time, again. Time for another snippet of my paranormal romance in progress, Eternity's Price. Last week was Catie's reaction to Eli leaving for England for a fight to the death with his Sire. Fighting against your own Sire is generally not a good idea. Vampires get stronger with age, so there's that whole "anything you can do, I can do better" thing. But, Eli has  an ace up his sleeve - the element of surprise, and the fact that he's not alone. This snippet is from right after he's used that element of surprise to stake her (an act that only paralyzes them, rather than killing them). Eli is talking. And we're coming in mid-speech. I just really like the end of his little speech.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Wewriwa 4/29/2013

Sigh... I promise to do a better job of staying on schedule from now on. I may actually try to get some posts done in advance. Anyway, I also just noticed that I forgot to actually sign up for wewriwa the last two weeks (just as well last week since I also forgot to POST). As usual, I'm posting a snippet from my paranormal romance in progress, Eternity's Price. Here's a link to the last one I posted, since I never linked to it to begin with:

My original plan was to have part of their conversation from the next scene, but I can't find any dialogue that's only 8 sentences that even comes close to standing on it's own. So, Catie is worried about Eli, because she thinks he may be suicidal. They talked and he told her that he is going to England to deal with Anastasia, his Sire - and they both know that this is going to be a fight to the death. So, now she's even more worried about him. This snippet comes right after he sends her a text telling her that the plane is about to take off and he'll contact her as soon as he's home, again.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Introducing: Phoenix

Name: Phoenix
Age: 92
Apparent Age: 22
Height: 6'0"  Weight: 155

Nothing is known of Phoenix's mortal years, except that he spent World War 2 in London. All he will say about his Sire is that her name was Elizabeth, and she saved him, his mother, and his sisters during the war. After she turned him, she changed his name and told him to forget his previous life. After the war, he and Elizabeth came to America, together. After a few years, he left Elizabeth to strike out on his own, but he still goes by the name she gave him, and refuses to tell anybody his real name or anything about his past beyond how he met Elizabeth. He arrived in Sangue Collina about 3 months ago.

About the picture: I didn't have an actor in mind for Phoenix, so I just randomly looked at pictures. This one just jumped out at me for him. Attribution: "Kit Harington 2011 cropped" by Kevin Dougherty licensed under CC BY 2.0

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Decisions, decisions

Yes, I'm behind again. Going to write all three of this week's posts today to catch up, sort of.

Anyway... One thing that being behind did was give me a chance to write about something that wasn't a consideration on Wednesday. So, here's my newest thing to think about:

My uncle has made a suggestion for me to not stop writing my novel, but kind of put it on the back burner for a bit and write children's books. Like for YOUNG kids, so even younger grade than my Fairyland series that I've got rattling around in my head. I have a brother-in-law that could act as kind of an editor, and my aunt is a teacher who would be willing to evaluate them to rate for grade level. And my uncle, two cousins, my dad, my brother-in-law and my sister are all artists who could work on illustrations for me. Then I could publish as ebooks (or even on Createspace or Lulu, too). It would give me an income, and he mentioned it getting my name out there for when I'm ready to publish my novel.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Wewriwa 04/14/13

Welcome back! Argh! I totally forgot to post Phoenix's bio on Friday, then yesterday I was doing Nanothon then had a b-day party to go to. I will post it tomorrow to get myself back on track.

Today's snippet is from a scene of  one of what I like to call my little puppetmasters showing Seamus something VERY interesting. These are the last lines of the scene and come after Seamus has left the apartment.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Camp Nano

Oh my Gods, I'm having so much fun with this. For those of you that don't know what it is, it's like Nanowrimo - handled by the same organization, too - but it's not during November, and you get to set your own goals, rather than the 50k goal of the regular Nano. They have one during April, and during July. I heard of the thing on like March 31st. So, I set a goal of 30k to get my thousand words a day in and I was... not exactly off. In the first week I had written a whopping 1557 words.

I've been getting much better this week - in part because I discovered a fun section of the forums. Word wars and sprints (and various other challenges). They are an interesting way to make it all fun, and I'm going to have to keep doing this even after April to help myself finish. How they work is simple. In the word wars you are given a certain amount of time - anything from 5 minutes to an hour - and you race to see who can write the most words in that time. Sprints are the opposite - you're given a word count and you race to see who can finish first. I've been just doing them by myself, but even without competition it's a great motivator.

They have other challenges, too. Two that I've already played with are the three digit sprint, and the daily average sprint. In the three digit sprint, you look at the last post which will have a three digit number. You write that number of words and then leave the last three digits of your word count as the number for the next person to write. For the daily average sprint, you look at your average words per day and you write however many words it would take to bring your average up to an even multiple of a hundred. Gets a potentially substantial amount of writing done and gives you a nice round number for your word count.

One that looks like a lot of fun if you like to write while watching tv is a variation of drinking games. You put on your favourite show (works best if you have DVR so that you can pause it...) and assign yourself a certain number of words to write everytime something that tends to happen a lot on that show happens. For example, I've seen Doctor Who fans use things like writing a certain number of words everytime the Doctor uses the sonic screwdriver for something, or everytime he uses that piece of paper that manages to look like something official no matter where he is or what he's trying to do - or everytime they travel somewhere in the Tardis. Along the same vein is one that is almost like one of those bizarre facebook quiz-type things that get passed around every so often. There are random statements and you have to write a certain number of words for every statement that applies to you.

All in all, I'm very glad that I found this thing and signed up for it. I wrote almost 4,000 words in two days, most of which was from playing with the challenges. And now I'm off to do a 1,000 word sprint to push my total over the 20k mark. (Erm, that's my total for the whole book. My Nano total is just over 5500)

That's my ramble for this week. Check back on Friday to meet Phoenix.

Okay, I think I'm going to do away with Positive Thinking Mondays. I can never remember to do the darn things, anyway. When I remember to do them, it will be a little bonus post - but I'm not going to beat myself up if they don't get done.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Wewriwa 04/07/13

Welcome back. Sorry I haven't posted anything this week, life kind of got away from me. Should be back on track starting today, though. Anyway, it's time for probably my favourite post of the week - my snippet from my novel-in-progress, Eternity's Price.

Last week, we got to meet two people who seem to know something we (and the other characters) don't know. But the week before that Eli went to see Esther's body and was told that she was killed by a vampire. Today we'll be in Catie's viewpoint after she finds out what happened and goes to make sure he's okay.

The last time she had seen anyone looking so dead inside was when she had looked in the mirror the night they had found Sabrina's body. Without thinking, she ignored Marcus and the two other men she barely noticed in the room and ran to kneel at Eli's side. "Eli? Eli, honey, is there anything I can do?" She reached out to put a comforting hand on his shoulder. Then she remembered breaking Francesco's nose and nearly dislocting his shoulder. He had been bigger than her and stronger than her. If Eli snapped, he would tear her to shreds. She lowered her hand uselessly into her lap. 

Ooo... a bit of backstory mixed in, too. And who the heck is Sabrina? LOL Next week we'll be back with one of they guys I like to call my little puppetmasters. in the meantime check out the other great writers over at and enjoy this video of the song I had on repeat while writing this scene:

Thanks for stopping by. Come back tomorrow for my Positive Thinking Monday quote.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Wewriwa 03/31/2013

Happy Easter, everyone. It's that time again. Welcome to this week's Sunday Snippet, 8 more sentences from my Novel-in-progress, Eternity's Price. Before I post my snippet, I am going to be borrowing an idea from another fellow Wewriwa-er. I like to listen to music to set the mood for whatever I'm writing. It's extremely helpful. Well, a few weeks ago, Karen Y. Bynum started doing something I thought was cool and adding a link to a video for one of the songs on the playlist she used to write her book, and it gave me an idea. I was supposed to start this last week, but forgot to. Whenever I post a snippet from a scene that I used a particular song to get me in the right mood I'll post a link to a video of that song. Actually, this week's snippet didn't have a song, so I'm going to correct my mistake and post the song that went with last week's snippet.

Introducing: The Athenaeum

Elijah opened this club when he moved to Sangue Collina. It's a traditional British gentleman's club modeled after the kind of clubs he had been a member of over the centuries.It is a members only club, with two different sections. The first room is a normal club, with a bar and a stage for live entertainment, and most weekends there are singers or other such performers. A door to the left of the entrance takes you to the VIP Lounge, which is vampire only. The lighting in that area is brighter than in the first room, and there is another bar where they can order something a bit "stronger" than alcohol. Obviously, the night time bouncer and all of the staff in the VIP Lounge are also vampires. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Schedules and I do not seem to mix

So... I'm sure that those of you who are regulars have noticed that I have not been keeping to my self-imposed schedule lately. In fact, the only posts I've been making sure of posting when I'm supposed to have been Sunday's Snippets. In addition to Friday's character bios tending to be done on Saturdays - I just now noticed that I never posted Monday's post at all. So, here's part of my problem:

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Wewrwa 03/24/2013

Welcome back, everyone. Time for my weekly snippet of Eternity's Price for the Weekend Writing Warriors. Last week, we saw Eli's reaction to a story on the news, followed by him getting a phone call from someone named Jane. Today's snippet is from about half an hour later. We're still in Eli's viewpoint, but we start with Jane talking. Eli has just asked her when Esther was killed, and we start with her response.

Introducing: Jane

Full name: Dr. Jane Beaumont
Age: 72
Apparent Age: 28
Height: 5'2"  Weight: 125
Family: Scholasiticus

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Writer's Block is the Devil

Okay, that may be a bit harsh. But I have this one scene that is driving me insane. Trying to deal with a viewpoint character that is basically numb is NOT my idea of a good time. I wrote a whopping 297 words on it, yesterday. Mind you, I have already written scenes that come after this scene, including people mentioning things that happened in this scene. So, I have some ideas. But trying to get into Eli's head when ELI isn't in Eli's head is a new one for me. I have a lovely song that I'm listening to on repeat that is helping me get into the right mood for it. But, the mood isn't the problem. Eli not being all there is the problem. To give you an idea of how long I've been putting this scene off - I started a thread in Scrib asking for advice a couple months ago. Then, I moved on. But, I NEED to go back. For starters, this is the scene that next Sunday's snippet is supposed to come from. Granted, I do have something I can use for that, but that is not the point. The point is that this scene is rather pivotal. It's past time that I bit the bullet and wrote the darn thing.

In other news, I have decided that if anyone ever looked at my search history on this computer, I would probably be arrested. I'm not sure what the charge would be, maybe I wouldn't actually be arrested, maybe I would just be locked in a padded cell. Writers really do research the oddest things. For the most part, mine have been pretty tame. Well... except for the searches on how to store blood, and whether someone could own a blood bank. And last night's searches for signs of exsanguination... Sigh... I spent at least an hour wandering the internet trying to find out what someone that was killed by a vampire would look like. It led to some great lines, but can you just imagine the reaction someone would have to looking at my search history?

What about you? How do you deal with writer's block? And what's the weirdest thing you've ever had to research?

And that is my semi-coherent ramble for the day. Come back Friday to meet Jane.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Live life to the fullest

Happy Monday, everyone. Hope you had a good weekend. Welcome to Positive Thinking Monday - my little way of helping to start the week off on a good note. Today's quote is about living life to the fullest, a kind of fun topic, actually.

"To live each day as though one's last, never flustered, never apathetic, never attitudinizing - here is perfection of character." - Marcus Aurelius

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Wewriwa 03/17/2013

Welcome to my weekly snippet of Eternity's Price. Today's snippet is the next night after last week's. Eli arrives home from a council meeting that ran shorter than expected and plans on simply enjoying a rare evening free by sitting and watching the news. Unfortunately, the top story of the evening is pretty much directed at him. This week's 8 sentences are his reaction  to it.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Introducing: Seamus

Full Name: Seamus Heffernan
Age: 1027
Apparent Age: 18
Height: 6'1" Weight: 160
Family: Basilius

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Fun with Photoshop

Okay, slight disclaimer, I don't use Photoshop, I use Gimp, which is similar to Photoshop, but free. But, "Fun with Gimp" kind of sounded like I was making fun of someone, or something... (Which could be from my sister calling herself a gimp, lately because of messing up her hip.) Anyway. I spent like three days playing with this program trying to make a character siggy for a role-playing game that I'm in, and I'm rather proud of my result so I thought I'd share it with you guys. So, here it is:

The background and text are subject to change, but it's actually the foreground that I'm most proud of, anyway. This actually started out as two different pictures, that I combined (three if you count her pendant). So, to show you why I'm so proud of myself, right now - check this out:

Monday, March 11, 2013

Self-acceptance - Positive Thinking Monday

Welcome to Positive Thinking Monday. For these I'm just randomly opening my Positive Quotations book to a random page and choosing a quote from that page. Today's quote is on self-acceptance - which I admit  is something I need to work on, myself.

"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." -- Eleanor Roosevelt

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Weekend Writing Warriors 03-10-2013

It's that time, again. Time for another 8 sentences from Eternity's Price. This scene is about a week after Catie's arrival. She is in the hotel lobby people watching when Elijah notices her there and comes over to talk to her. Eli was pouting about not having seen her since that first night. When she explained that she didn't want to bother him since he had two businesses and a Family to run, this conversation takes place:

"Well, not only are you my friend, but you are a member of my Family and a guest at my hotel. It's my job to make sure you are settling in okay."

"I guess I've just been being silly, haven't I? This really is a lovely hotel, by the way. And I am not just saying that because it's yours."

"Yes, you have been being silly. That's okay, though. I rather like you that way."

I hope that this little snippet does a decent job of showing something of their relationship. Next week's snippet will be from the scene that starts main plotline. Don't forget to check out the other great writers over at And I am happy to report that I am back on my laptop, so I can once again comment on posts. I may not get to do many today, as my sister is coming over, but I will get to them Monday.

Come back on Monday for "positive thinking Monday."

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Introducing: Marcus

Full Name: Marcus Elijah Cornell
Age:  231
Apparent Age: 24
Height: 6'2"  Weight: 170
Family: Basilius

Born in London in 1782. His father was best friends and business partners with Elijah Cavendish, and Marcus was named for him and grew up knowing the truth about him. In 1806 Marcus contracted yellow fever, and Elijah, not wanting to watch the young man he considered to be his nephew die, turned him into a vampire to save him. After spending two centuries travelling throughout Europe, sometimes with Elijah, sometimes on his own, he came to America in 1998. He arrived in Sangue Collina in 2012, once again travelling with Elijah. There he met and fell in love with a young vampire named Ivana Petrovic, though that relationship is often rather tumultous. When Elijah was put in charge of the Basilius Family, Marcus was named his second in command, and he now helps manage the Family.

About the picture: I didn't have an actor in mind for Marcus beforehand. But, this picture, while not exactly how I originally imagined him, just seemed perfect. The actor's name is Henry Cavill. Attribution: "Henry Cavill Shankbone 2009 Vanity Fair" by David Shankbone under license CC BY 3.0
Yes, I admit that my bios seem to be getting shorter and less detailed. While I know nearly everything about Eli and Catie, the others are a bit vaguer in my mind. I hope you guys are still finding them interesting, though.

Sorry for the delay in posting. This weekend was a bit busy. Come back tomorrow for a snippet from Eternity's Price.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Science fiction writers are creepy...

So, I was reading a book last week. An anthology of time travel stories. And I found something both fascinating and a little frightening. There was a story called "Such Interesting Neighbors" by Jack Finney. It's about a couple that travels back in time and the husband is telling their neighbors the story about how they ended up there - though he's telling it as fiction, a kind of "what if" type thing. Well, at one point in the story, he also mentioned some "inventions" he was thinking of trying to get to work. Check this out: "Picture a flashlight with a little dial set in just above the button. There's a lens, but it curves inward, and it's painted black except for a tiny round hole in the center. Press the button and a little beam of light - a special kind of light - no thicker than a pencil lead, shoots out. The beam doesn't spread, either; it stays the same thickness." The neighbor asks what it's for and he replies: "For measuring distances. Turn it on, aim the little dot of light so it hits the end of any distance you want to measure. Then look at the dial, and you can read off the distance from the dot of light to the edge of the lens in feet and fractions of an inch."

Sounds a bit like this bad boy: doesn't it? I tried to find out when this thing was invented, but the internet hates me. However I WAS able to find out when the laser was invented - 1960. Which is interesting, because this story was originally published in 1957. Think about that for a second. Here was a guy writing about using something that hadn't even been INVENTED yet to measure distances, and here we are over 50 years later doing just that.

Which got me thinking... and internet surfing. And it turns out that there are far too many things that we have today that were first imagined by science fiction writers to count. Everything from tablet computers to cell phones, to the rockets that took us to the moon - all were first seen in sci-fi novels. Just as a small sampling. Turns out there are entire websites dedicated to this stuff.

Which brings up a question. HOW in the world are these things being predicted decades or even CENTURIES before they happen? My personal theories are that either these people are psychic - or someday we really WILL discover time travel (Another sci-fi staple, after all). Oh, I'm sure that the real answer is that scientists grow up reading this stuff and dedicate their lives to figuring out how to make it actually work. The stories are probably actually the catalysts that put these ideas into people's heads to begin with, rather than somehow predicting the future - but I think that my theory is more fun.

What about you? What's your favourite sci-fi creation that actually happened? And your take on HOW they predict this stuff?

And that's my semi-coherent ramble for today. Come back Friday to meet Marcus.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Forgive and forget?

Okay, welcomed to my newest feature. Every Monday (because what better day to do this than on Monday) I'm going to flip through a book of "Positive Quotations" I found while I was sorting my books to pack them up and post one of the quotes and talk about it. Today's quote is on forgiveness, which is rather fitting considering the conversation I'm having at the moment.

"The stupid neither forgive nor forget; the naive forgive and forget; the wise forgive but do not forget." - Thomas Szasz

I think I'm running into this, right now. There's someone who hurt me a lot, and I'm trying to forgive him - but he's all upset with me because I can't forget, and I'm still trying to learn to trust him again. I'm not going to get into the whole thing, here. Suffice to say that this quote pretty much sums up my entire opinion on the subject. I can forgive - forgetting is a whole different story. And I'm not sure that I SHOULD forget. I don't know that that would really help EITHER of us.

And I think that may be true in any situation. Yes, if the relationship in question means anything to you, you need to forgive. But, I don't know that forgetting is really the best course, most of the time. After all, forgetting just sets you up to have the whole thing happen again, and how does that help anyone?

I admit to not making much sense, today. I promise that I'll try to keep my "positive thinking Monday" posts more...well... positive from now on. But, what do you think about it? Is it really better to forgive and forget? Or is it better to forgive but not forget?

Come back Wednesday for my weekly ramble - where I'll explain why sometimes I think that time travel has to be real...

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Weekend Writing Warriors 03/03/2013

It's that time again. Another 8 sentences from Eternity's Price for my Weekend Writing Warriors post. Because I'm going in order, here's another snippet from the same scene I pulled my first one from 2 weeks ago. This one is from right before Catie walks into the room. I just think that Eli is so darn cute here. It's kind of funny. Technically it's 9 sentences, but since one of those sentences is a single word, I hope you guys will grant me a little latitude.

He smelled her before he saw her. Catie. Even after twelve years, even her scent was recognizable. He quickly adjusted his tie and smoothed his hair back, then laughed at himself. Catie had seen him in army fatigues and covered in soot, she would hardly care about his tie not quite being right, or his hair not being perfect. With effort, he attempted to school his expression, glad that he had asked Marcus to handle this one. The door opened and she was there, her dark brown curls framing her perfect face. He gave her a small smile, and then cut her off as she looked about to say something. "Pretend I'm not even here."

Can I just say that I love vampires? I love that he could smell her, and recognize her scent, through a closed door. Next week I'll probably post some dialogue and you can see them actually interacting. Check out all the other great writers over at

This is where I would normally tell you to come back on Wednesday for my weekly ramble, but I'm adding a new feature. Come back tomorrow to check out something I haven't come up with a name for yet. :P

Friday, March 1, 2013

Introducing: Esther

Full name: Esther Rivers
Height: 5'6"  Weight: 125

 She doesn't talk about her childhood, very much. She had a younger sister, who died a few years ago. After graduating from Harvard Law School, she moved to Sangue Collina to set up practice. She was hired by Elijah Cavendish to handle some business for him when he arrived. Six months ago, she discovered his true nature, and after some discussion with her he chose to take her under his protection rather than erasing her memory. They ended up becoming lovers. She also handled most of the legal business of most of the vampires in the city due to them being able to be completly honest with her. Two months ago, she met and fell in love with another vampire, a woman named Jane Beaumont who worked in the local morgue. With the help of one other vampire, the two women faked Esther's death, and framed Elijah's Sire for it.

About the picture: Esther is a red-haired bad girl. Who better to use for her than Lindsay Lohan? Attribution: "Lindsay Lohan" by alacoolb under CC BY-ND 2.0 I don't know if I have the owner listed correctly, the site that I found it on had the link to the license, but no mention of who the owner was, so I used the screen name of the owner of the page.

Come back Sunday for another snippet from Eternity's Price

Monday, February 25, 2013

Computer Issues

So, the cord to my laptop somehow got all frayed - to the point that there is now a kind of hole in the thing. There is a section where the wires don't connect at all. I have no idea how this happened. It started acting up Tuesday night, where I had to keep jiggling it to get it to work, then part of the way through the day on Wednesday it broke the rest of the way. (I could have my days mixed up - somewhere in the chat logs I managed to salvage is the conversation I was having as the battery died.) So, when it stopped charging no matter what I did I got onto a mad dash to try to salvage stuff.

Thank the Gods for Dropbox, and that I already had it as a backup system. I started transferring files and who knows what else over to it to keep access to them and managed to get, I thought, most of the stuff by the time the battery died. I actually thought wrong. Turns out that just transferring the main file of my book from my writing program didn't quite cut it. All the other files in that folder were apparently what made the program able to read it. Lovely. Luckily, my sister's laptop is the same brand, so I was able to borrow her cord for a few hours and get the proper files transferred - as well as a few other things I had forgotten.

So, file wise, I think I'm okay. Of course, my new problem is that my desktop is old and cranky. In some ways it's actually somehow FASTER than my laptop, but there are still all kinds of issues. It's running an old version of Windows XP, which I can't get any "modern" browsers to work on. So, a lot of websites are not happy with me, right now. And this is one of them. I can't post comments to blogs - even my own. I can't seem to post pictures. Which means that Fridays' Introduction posts have to be done while my parents are grocery shopping and I can get at my mom's computer. Hence the later times, now.

A new laptop had been quickly making its way to the top of my list of things to get once I got a job - it has now definitely jumped to the head of the line. Between the duct tape holding one corner together, and the cord issues, I am totally done with the thing. Obviously, I'm going to start with a replacement cord so that I can also salvage everything else I have on there, but otherwise I'm done. (Actually, I'm probably going to get one of those universal chargers that comes with different attachments to use in different computers so that I will also have it as a backup charger for my new one once I get it.) As soon as I can afford to replace it, it's gone.

So, that's been my adventure this week. It shouldn't affect any postings except the time of day that I post Fridays' Introductions. (Knock on wood)

Come back on Wednesday for my normal weekly ramble.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Weekend Writing Warriors 2/24/2013

All right, time for my Sunday snippet. This time I'm going back to the very first scene. Catie has just arrived in town and met with the head vampire's second in command and been given the basic rules of the city. After he left, she was accosted by a man who seemed intent to rape her.

That was all she needed to hear. If he had wanted money she would have given him a couple hundred dollars and sent him on his way. A rapist was another story. It was time to teach him that he wasn't the only predator walking the streets at night. She grabbed his wrist and twisted it, making him drop the knife. "You picked the wrong person to mess with." Keeping a firm grip on his wrist, she whirled around and slammed him into the wall. She extended her fangs and lowered her head to his neck. 

From here on out I'll be going in order, though not consecutive. I'll probably go by scenes, giving a snippet from a different scene each week. Check out the rest of the participants in the Weekend Writing Warriors here

This is where I would normally tell you to check back on Wednesday for my weekly ramble. But, I will be posting Monday with the saga of my computer issues. So, come back on Monday to hear about why my posts may not be at my usual times for a while.

Edited to add: Attention fellow wewriwa-ers. Due to the computer issues I'll be talking about tomorrow, while I WILL be reading your posts, I am currently unable to comment. Hopefully I will have found  way to fix that by next week. But for now, know that I AM reading, just having some browser issues keeping me from being able to comment.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Introducing: Eli

Full Name: Elijah Carrington Cavendish
DOB: March 7, 1726
Apparent Age: 23
Height: 5'11" Weight: 140
Family: Basilius

Born the youngest son of a Duke in the outskirts of London. In 1731 he was the only member of his family to survive a raid on his home. He spent the next several years being shuffled from one family to another, finally finding a true home at the age of 10. In 1747 he met a young woman named Josephine Leighton who he soon fell in love with. After two years of courtship, he planned on proposing, however tragedy struck. The night he was going to propose, he instead was turned into a vampire by a woman named Anastasia Delaney, who then arranged for Josephine to be his first meal. Not yet fully aware of of what he had become, he ended up draining her dry, killing her from blood loss. He stayed with Anastasia for seven years, until learning not only that she was well aware of who Josephine was and that she had intended for him to kill her, but also that the raid that had killed his family had been arranged by her. He left her in anger, vowing to never have anything further to do with her. This caused Anastasia to vow to destroy him, and he spent the next 257 years on the run, constantly trying to hide from her. In 1944 while serving in a special unit of the British army, he happened to be in Cassino, Italy the night that it was bombed and helped another vampire named Catalina  Terranova save her younger sister and nephew. He stayed with them for about a month while pulling some strings to get Catalina's brother-in-law sent home. He wandered around most of Europe, always trying to stay ahead of Anastasia until 2001 when Anastasia found him in Calais, France and he ran to America. In 2012 he moved toSangue Collina, Illinois, and met a young lawyer named Esther Rivers. When Esther discovered his true nature, he took her under his protection and they became lovers. When Catalina arrives in March of 2013  he starts to admit to himself that he may have feelings for her that go beyond friendship. An admittance that wracks him with guilt when Esther is murdered a week later.

About the picture: I have no idea why my muse decided on Josh Duhamel for Eli. Maybe she just likes to look at him (not that I blame her). This picture isn't QUITE what I had in mind when I envisioned him, but it's close. Attribution: Josh Duhamel 2 by Jerry Avenaim under CC-BY-SA-2.5,2.0,1.0; Released under the GNU Free Documentation License.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

What's in a name? (Or why I'm thinking of using a pen name.)

What do Maurice Micklewhite, Archibald Leach, Stephen Tallarico, Robert Zimmerman, Eric Blair, and Charles Dodgson all have in common? What? You say you've never heard of these people? Sure you have - just not by these names. So, let me rephrase my question: what do Michael Caine, Cary Grant, Steven Tyler, Bob Dylan, George Orwell, and Lewis Carroll all have in common? You guessed it. They all use stage/pen names. And that is, of course, just a small sampling. The full list is pages long. (It really is. The Wikipedia list was in three columns.)

Actors, musicians, and writers all have a few things in common. We all want to be famous. We all want to see our names... somewhere. For actors, they want to see their names in lights, whether on a Broadway marquee or in the opening credits of a blockbuster movie. Musicians want to see their names on the marquee at Madison Square Garden. And writers? We don't dream of bright lights. After all, we tend to be introverts who would pass out if met by thousands of screaming fans. We just want to see our names on the spines of books - lots and lots of books. But, there's one other thing that writers and entertainers have in common. For some of us, it isn't necessarily OUR names that we want to see. Some of us would be just as happy to have some name that we made up be the one that becomes famous. After all, WE still know who we are, even if the rest of the world doesn't.

The reasons for using a pseudonym vary. Everything from being easier to pronounce, to being easier to remember, to avoiding stereotypes and prejudice, to (especially for writers, who don't necessarily have their face out there) anonymity, to simply liking the new name better. After all, that's another thing we have in common - how many people get to pick their own name?

Personally, I've gone back and forth on it. Back when I was a kid I came up with Diana Godfree. Don't ask me where or why. I think it just popped into my head one day. Now it sounds kind of ridiculous to me. I went through a phase in high school where I was going to use my first boyfriend's last name. Recently, I've been thinking of just using my real name. And then I read The Time Traveller's Wife. And while I can certainly respect Audrey Niffenegger for wanting to have her real name out there - I can never remember her name, much less how to spell it, and I can't quite figure out how to pronounce it, either.

And this got me thinking about my own name. Let's face it, back when they were giving out last names in Germany they weren't thinking about 20th and 21st century Americans being able to spell them or pronounce them. And they weren't thinking about if they would even FIT on the cover of a book. I love my parents, but my name is just impossible. My last name has 12 letters - then they went and added Jennifer in front of it. Riiight... So, I'm now on a quest for a pen name. I had thought of just shortening my last name - but had one of my fellow Scribbers say that "Kling" made her think of Klingons... And of course after that was said, that was all I could think of, too. Which led me to trying to find names in my family tree. The obvious one, my mother's maiden name, is actually not a whole lot better than my last name. And it just gets worse going back in her family. (Please don't ask me my maternal grandmother's maiden name - I couldn't begin to tell you.) Okay, that leaves my dad's side. And... my paternal grandmother was born Evelyn Conrad. I kind of like the sound of Jennifer Conrad, actually. And right now, I'm leaning towards using that. Though, there's this little part of me wondering if I should try to find something a bit more... exotic. After all, I write paranormal romance. And Jennifer Conrad seems an awfully NORMAL name. Which is probably just me being weird, I know.

What's your opinion on the pen name question? Fellow writers, do you use or are you planning to use a pen name? What was your thought process that led you to the decision - whether you use a pen name or your real name?

And that's my semi-coherent ramble for today. Come back on Friday to meet Elijah.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Weekend Writing Warriors 02/17/2013

Today is my first week participating in the Weekend Writing Warriors blog hop. Seems like an interesting idea, and I'm looking forward to reading the other posts. The concept is pretty simple - post 8 sentences of your own writing, then go around to the other participants' pages and read and comment on their posts. I'm going to be posting snippets of Eternity's Price, the paranormal romance I'm working on.

I had a hard time deciding what to post. I knew that I wanted to do something from Catie and Eli's first scene together, but there were a few different snippets that I could have posted. I eventually decided on the last 8 sentences of the scene. A bit of background: Catie has just arrived in town, and has gone to see Eli, who was not expecting her. His reaction to her through the whole scene is kind of funny, I think, but the last few lines really summed up what has been going on with him. So that's why I chose to post that part.

He nodded, then stood up to give her a hug. "I'm glad you're here. And I hope that you decide to stay."

She smiled at him then walked out of the office.

He sat down and put his head in his hands. What the hell was wrong with him? Catie was one of his best friends, and there were about a million reasons why it needed to stay that way. But she walked in that door and for one second it almost seemed like his heart had started beating again. 

Just a little note for the wewriwa folks. This is a work currently in progress. I'm still writing the first draft, so it  may be a bit rough. Any comments or critique are more than welcome. And for everyone else, check out the other participants here

Finally, check back on Wednesday for my weekly ramble.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Introducing: Catie

Full name: Catalina Amelia Lombardi-Terranova
DoB: September 16, 1908
Apparent Age: 25
Height: 5'8"    Weight: 135
Family: Basilius

Born in Cassino, Italy to a family that claimed to have been directly descended from the Lombards, though she always suspected that was an affectation. After the death of her daughter in 1931 she left Cassino, and eventually found herself in a town called Novara, where she volunteered at a small hospital, working nights in the pediatric ward. There she met a young nurse named Sophia who was MUCH older than she looked. Sophia ended up turning Catie into a vampire in 1933 and spent the next 10 years teaching her everything she needed to know about what it really means to be immortal. Catie then returned home to Cassino to keep watch over her family - from a distance of course. When the town was bombed in 1944 she was able to rescue her younger sister and nephew with the help of another vampire named Elijah Cavendish, but watched helplessly as her parents' house exploded with them in it. After spending the next 69 years wandering around Europe and Asia, she arrives in Sangue Collina, Illinois, USA in March of 2013, looking to reconnect with Elijah after having lost touch with him 12 years ago. And things are never the same for either of them, after that.

About the picture: I was writing Catie's first scene, that included her turning a guy who tried to rape her into a little snack, while my mom was watching Castle. I had my headphones on so I couldn't hear the television, but every single time I glanced up, Beckett was on the screen looking all ticked off. By the end of the scene, Catie was looking like Stana Katic in my head. Attribution: "Stana Katic Splash" by Tyler Parker is licenced under CC BY-SA 3.0

I'm changing my posting schedule due to getting involved in a blog hop. I have joined Weekend Writing Warriors at So Sundays I will be posting 8 sentences from my book, I'm moving my normal rambles to Wednesdays, and keeping my Introducing... feature on Fridays. 

Come back Sunday to see Eli's reaction to finding out that Catie is in town.

Monday, February 11, 2013

The Art of Creative Procrastination

We all do it. Find interesting ways to pretend we're doing something productive while not actually getting anything done. One of my newest methods of creative procrastination actually led to what will be a regular feature of this blog for a while. Someone at Scribophile coined the term "casturbation" - essentially it's deciding who you would want to play your characters if your book ever got made into a movie. So, I've been having fun with that. So far I have "cast" both of my MC's and a currently unnamed character that is temporarily being referred to as "the second puppetmaster." So, my way of turning this little act of procrastination into something semi-productive is that I'm going to have a feature on here where I introduce my characters and I'll include a picture of the actor I can see in that role.

Speaking of names, that's another of my favourite forms of procrastination - trying to find the right names for these people. It took me weeks to finally name my FMC (Catalina, Catie for short). Of course, in my defence that was at least in part because I kept coming up with names that I liked for a time, then decided didn't really work. I am now running with the theory that the fact that I refer to her as Catie in my head rather than Mia (her boyfriend's pet name for her), means that I have found her real name. And I have also finally named her boyfriend, and we won't discuss how long that took me, either. (Elijah, Eli for short) And yet, other names just came to me and stuck. I don't pretend to understand.

And finally, my last favourite form of creative procrastination is to look for pictures, not only of the characters, but of the settings. So far, I have pictures of Eli's office in the Club and his office at home. I have a ton more to find, but it's kind of fun. I'll also include the settings in my "introducing..." feature.

Finally... I am hereby setting myself a schedule. Mondays will be my days to post a normal post on my writing process and things of that nature, and on Fridays I'll introduce you to a character or setting.

So, what's your favourite method of "creative procrastination?"

And that is my semi-coherent ramble for today. Come back on Friday to meet Catalina