25 April 2011 0 comments

Diving Back Into The Deep End.

Since, you know, diving into the shallow end is just downright fucking dumb.
My week's break from writing has come to a close. Of course, this doesn't mean the distractions are gone just yet. It just means I'm not willing to be unproductive any longer.

Life, & The Universe, often conspire against one, though. This is occurring today, in fact. I sit down to write, manage to crank out 750 words, and get slapped with ... drama.

While ordinarily I wouldn't mind, I was kinda on a roll. Had my head in the game, chugging right along and ... train wreck. Moral of the story? Hey Rhi....next time, turn your cell phone OFF. Highly recommended.

And now I'm off to try and get my head back into it. Jhez is giving me a hairy eyeball.
19 April 2011 0 comments

Life, or distractions like it.

Beautiful weather. Finally. Even the thunderstorms are beautiful, to me. Something about the unharnessed power, the raw energy, inherent in the shift of seasons, draws me. And if the combination of damp and cool air didn't chill me to the bone, I'd sit out on the porch and watch them rage and batter against the constructs of humanity as though attempting to purge a disease from the land.

Unfortunately for the writer in me, that energy doesn't translate directly to inspiration. That may be largely a result of increased distractions and complications being thrown my way in the past week. Or that could just be a convenient excuse for my inability to dredge up sufficient intrinsic motivation to sit down on my ass and type out the words. Although...I'm typing this. So for the time being, I'm using the (at least moderately legitimate) excuse that I'm filling my tank with energy and inspiration to be engaged at some later date (in the near future, one would hope/expect).

Have been brainstorming plot points for FOAT's sequel, as well as Blood Red. And Le Trunk. While the first is still in the most intangible stages of concept and planning, I've been mulling the finer points of repetitive mindwiping, and those qualities and aspects that define a weak psyche versus a strong one. Would knowing you were unable to recall things, that they had been taken from you and you were thus incapable of regretting anything you had/had not said or done, be easier than carrying the burden of such knowledge for yourself and another, knowing you would forever do so alone?

I've not decided yet which psyche would be the one to break first. Knowing that you have lost memories that you would consider important -- knowing that you agreed to have it done, repeatedly -- seems to me to be the worse of the two scenarios. Knowing you've left another to the burden of remembrance, and though they may shoulder it willingly it will one day soon prove to be too much.

How much is too much?

I've decided it depends on how deep your commitment and devotion to an individual is. Neither is specifically related to "love" in the baser, more acceptable, sense. I think that these aspects are the qualities that have greatly fallen by the wayside in our culture and society.
I think that's probably enough depth for one day. Or at least for the moment. So I'll leave you with a quote.

"One's religion is whatever one is most interested in." ~J.M. Barrie, The Twelve Pound Look (1910)

Obviously, my religion is writing. ...What's yours?
12 April 2011 0 comments

Rhi Tries to Write. Hilarity Ensues.

I guess I could blame it on the rain. Or one of a hundred other things. Like the fact that I seem to have lost my bottle of Fukitol pills. Or the fact that I nabbed a book to read--and managed to  pick a bittersweet romance that is just...pushing all the wrong buttons. Bad Rhi.

The past couple days have been highly unproductive in terms of writing. I try to remind myself that this sort of thing happens. That the muses, and the inspiration, are like the tides (at least with me they are). Sometimes the surge is so strong I can't make myself stop writing. And then there are the days when there's just nothing there. It's not really that I can't see where the story is going.
Sometimes I can and it still happens.

It helps, some, having two different WIPs to divert my energies to. I work on one, and when the words won't come anymore, I switch--if I can remember to, that is. Writing story projects in tandem isn't something I'm accustomed to doing. It takes some getting used to, to remind myself that, Hey I don't have to force myself to slog through this next scene. If it isn't ready to be written right this moment, then fine. Write that other one. That didn't want to be written, a week ago. But it sure seems to have changed its mind now.

Force myself to at least try to get the words out.
And in much the same way, force myself to get myself out of the house, on occasion. Because otherwise I do nothing but write and work, and I'm sure it's not healthy in the least.

Meant to wake up at 8 a.m. today and make this huge effort to write this morning before trundling off to the day job this afternoon. Instead, slapped the alarm off and slept until 9:30. Time to brew some strong espresso roast. And I might go roaming up into the mountains tomorrow afternoon, but you can bet I'll be churning out words tomorrow morning. Or maybe tonight when I get home from work.

The good thing is, I usually manage at least a thousand words when I sit down to write, even on a horridly slow day. So, one scene at a time, the stories are fleshing out and coming together. Slowly.

Coffee. Need to go brew that coffee. I might be trying hard to stop smoking, but it'll take an Apocalypse for me to give up the caffeinated ambrosia... *knocks on wood*
07 April 2011 1 comments

WIP Snippet & Writer Drama

It took every ounce of willpower I possess, but I managed to refrain from purchasing an MP3 player and car adapter recently. See, I have this lovely trance playlist, and I drive for hours up into the nearby Appalachians when I need inspiration and to re-energize my writer's mind. Mountains=no radio signal. Older car=no auxiliary port. Me=very sad.

[Insert melodramatic sigh here.]

I have spoiled myself with my digital playlist to the point where listening to a cd where I get a couple good songs in a soup of worthless noise is no longer acceptable. Amazing what technology does to us, isn't it. ...Now, if I could get Pandora in my car? I'd be a happy little lark.

Of course, I'm a Frugal Writer, and try to stick to the necessities in life. (Half my brain is screaming, "OMG! It's music, it's a flippin' Necessity, thankyouverymuch!")

Here's an excerpt from Black's sequel, Blood Red to taunt your taste buds and whet your appetite...

[Jhez has just finished a bit of a sparring match with Konaton, which ends in her having a choke hold on him. She knows he's not fighting anywhere near full force, but testing her. Feeling her out. So she decides to do the same. In her own way.]

"You think I don't. Twenty years and more a Nightwalker, and you think I don't know what I'm asking of you. I find that fascinating." I breathe each word against his neck, close but not touching. Not with my lips, at least. My aura thrums along the edges of his, tangling around his legs, hips, arms--which hang limp by his sides as if the appendages are utterly forgotten.
When I drag my fingertips over the hollow of his throat, up the meridian of his face, he stops breathing. Waiting, poised. I push my way up under his skullcap, rucking it up and off his head. His scalp is all but smooth and hairless, the faintest film of stubble catching at my touch.
I slide my hand back down his meridian, doing my best to ignore how much I enjoy the sweat-slick warmth of his skin against mine. That's not what this is about, at all. He inhales deeply, finally, when I reach his breastbone. His chakras are quiescent. There is no flair of heat to delineate one from the next. Not a single imbalance to indicate a weakness that would give me an 'in' to his aura.
He's battened down the hatches of his energy like a nuclear submarine getting ready to dive.
That impression shatters when I map the contours of his abdomen again, when my fingers snag against his belt.
02 April 2011 1 comments

Quietly Plugging Along.

Copyedits for FOAT came and went rather swiftly. The prose is, apparently, as squeaky clean as a brand new car right off the lot. Most of the flagged issues were ones that ended up being declined alterations on style grounds. Both Aleks and I tend to use punctuation properly in dialogue, as well as elsewhere, and I find it almost funny that a question given the cadence of a statement would by default require a question mark as punctuation instead of a period.

The nuances of spoken language are what defines a character, a mindset, an emotional state, for the reader's benefit. You change those to parallel predefined standards, and all the sudden the life is sucked out of the characters, the depth depleted from the prose. It is those little things, those nuances, that create the quality of the story, when combined in the final product.

My 35-pound lapdog almost gave me a heart attack yesterday. He tends to curl up in the footspace beneath my desk in the writing corner while I'm poking away at the keyboard. All was well when I got up to get ready to head off to the day-job. Came back out into the living room a bit later, and the writing machine was powered off, the music had stopped playing and the light was out. The doofus had managed to smack the switch on the surge protector beneath the desk, and killed everything.
Scrivener does auto-saves every five minutes or so, so theoretically I hadn't lost anything. I didn't have time to check though, until this morning. Lucky little son of a bitch (literally, and figuratively) that everything was there and intact. Otherwise I may have had to ... toss a few more cuss words his way.

My house slippers and sneakers now reside in the space beneath the desk. To keep him from curling up in there. The morose, puppy-eyed Lap Monster is now relegated to the floor space between the printer table and my desk chair. Which he is less than pleased about. While this arrangement is obviously not to his liking, it spares my nerves.

Blood Red and The Trunk Rewrite are coming along, slowly. Jhez is still in a huff about a hole in her favorite pair of argyle knee-highs, and Konaton is too busy trying not to laugh his ass off at her to really do much. Renji is less than pleased with me at the moment. So that leaves me with... killing off Jaedyn's father as the next scene to write.

Ack. Such drama, for the first couple chapters. I'm a ruthless bitch, though.