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22 March 2012 @ 06:43 pm
OK. SO. I know I've been horribly remiss in not updating LJ. I'm sorry about that. It's hard for me to cross-post stuff between two blogs, then Facebook and Twitter. *Sigh* That's a lot of updating. 

BUT! I have exciting news. I don't even know who reads this, but I have to share my unending excitement (well, unending until April 24, when inevitably it will end).

I'm an ABNA quarter-finalist! O_O

There's a link and everything. It's....wow. Just wow. 

See, LJ, I've been struggling with Duality for a while. I've edited and rewritten and rethought and refocused so many times I've gotten to where I can't even look at the manuscript anymore. I'd given significant thought to shelving it and working solely on getting Spark query-ready. A small part of me couldn't let Dima's story languish in the ether, but I wasn't getting so much as a nibble. Form reject after form reject after form reject.

So when an author friend sent my query to her agent, I expected nothing, especially since I'd queried that agent a year prior and got a nice, prompt form rejection. What happened? She sent me back some suggestions for revisions and offered to look again if I revised. 

Last month, I got a partial request from a contest. Still waiting to hear back, but it was more than I'd gotten before.

And now, Duality is in the quarter-finals of a contest with a largely science fiction-leaning panel. A contest I entered on a whim.

Maybe this is a lesson in perseverance. Maybe this is sheer luck. I don't know. What I do know is that I'm closer than I've ever been, and it's both amazing and scary. I doubt I'll make it to the semi-finals. But I doubted that I'd make it to the quarters. I doubted I'd get anywhere at all. 

I guess the point is that you should exhaust every possible route before deciding that enough's enough. You owe it to yourself to follow your dreams. Life's entirely too short not to go after what you want. 

Current Mood: ecstaticecstatic
21 November 2011 @ 02:53 pm
Wanted to get some preliminary thoughts concerning the epic fantasy romance I've been working on for NaNo. So, for your reading pleasure, here is the very VERY VERY rough Chapter 1.

Chapter One
For once, books failed to hold Kaia’s attention. She stared through the words, through the pages, through the leather binding into a world she’d fled. All around her, the screech and clamor of swords sweeping against swords, javelins and arrows plunking off armor, the screams of the injured and chilling silence of the dead filled the tavern, reverberating off the knotted wood and off her fears.
Three years without battle had done nothing to settle her. In fact, it’d made her worse—more cautious, more irritable. She’d chosen to hone her skills as one of the elite in Lord Rafe MacAlister’s personal guard, and though the dangers she faced were laughable compared to what she’d left behind, she still felt the need to protect everyone in her life. Her sister most fervently.

And she’d failed.

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Current Mood: apatheticapathetic
11 August 2011 @ 09:05 pm
  Days later, the brunette hadn’t returned. A new scent—a musky cologne more alcohol than fragrance—wafted through the open door, followed by a male voice. “I can’t believe this. It survived?”

My brain rushed to translate the scent hidden by his cheap cologne. A tingle shot through every part of me, electricity setting each hair on end. Goosebumps on cocaine. Through the pain my muscles tightened like rubber bands on the verge of snapping. I tugged against the restraints again. The scent…the rotting smell of danger…in my mind I saw bared teeth ready to attack. My lips curled back to my gums, exposing every tooth and fang. I hissed, a raspy sound in the back of my throat.

When he finally entered the room, I gagged. The tempo of the beeping skyrocketed. My arms and legs struggled to break free, desperate to rip him to shreds or get as far away as possible. He advanced on me the way a lioness skulks toward an injured gazelle—slow, methodical, cocky. His odor bored into my nose and mouth as he came closer. He stopped inches from where I lay, electronic board in hand. My body went rigid; a low growl escaped me.

“You’re perfect,” he whispered. “Absolutely perfect.”

“What are you talking about?” The badge clipped onto the pocket of his white coat flashed in the light. Dr. Frederick James. I squelched another growl before he noticed.

Dr. James leaned in, widened eyes moving over my face. He didn’t touch me; if he had, I would have made him regret it. I glanced away, distracted by the young man’s uncomfortable shifting, but the movement of James’ eyes and the glint of light off his glasses drew me back. As I looked closer, I saw a figure reflected in the lenses and panicked before I focused on the image. Those eyes don’t look human at all…

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Current Mood: anxiousanxious
04 July 2011 @ 06:03 pm
Claws popped from my fingertips every time I stretched my hands.

It tingled, but didn’t hurt, not like the rest of my body. The sensation was both natural and foreign, muscles and tendons I didn’t know I had contracting and relaxing with the movement. I’d freaked out when I saw the black fur leading to the claws. That was the first time they upped my morphine. The second time was after my tongue had brushed against fang.

The steady, faithful morphine drip, now on its highest setting according to the a gray-haired nurse—the only one who would speak to me—, barely dented the pain ransacking every nerve, muscle, and bone. Waves of agony rolled from my feet to my head and crashed against everything in between. But somehow it kept my mind safe. Stable. Human. Not like it mattered much. Too little information left me with questions no one would answer.

The brunette, a waif in a too-large white coat, had mentioned cardiac arrest. She’d said a lot of other things, too, most of which I ignored. She kept calling me a name I didn’t recognize but thought I knew from somewhere. I couldn’t ask about it, though. The “stress of the procedure” had frozen my vocal cords; however, she spoke like she didn’t expect me to have a voice at all.

They should have just let me die. No doubt it would have hurt a helluva lot less.

Today was Day Four, if I counted correctly. My throbbing body kept me awake so I saw every sunrise and sunset through a small window just below the ceiling. Few people came near me because, according to them, they didn’t know how I’d react. But since my hands were strapped to the sides of the bed, I didn’t think it mattered how close they got. I was too tired and in too much pain to defend myself.

There was a new entity in me, but it refused to make itself known. Instead, it growled and snarled in the back of my brain like the intruder it was, and sometimes, those growls and snarls tried to cross my lips. I wondered if they kept my vocal cords frozen so I wouldn’t scream.

The people in white coats made notes on electronic boards whenever they came in. Few of them spoke directly to me, if they spoke at all. Or they spoke in generics. “What’s its temperature?” or “How’s its blood pressure?” or “Will it survive?” It. Always it. I’m a woman, dammit.

The last question struck me the hardest. All this, and they still didn’t expect me to survive. And they asked it every day.

But never when the brunette was in here.

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03 July 2011 @ 05:44 pm
I had a thought. A vision, if you will. I envisioned a place where I could post special content for my peeps on Facebook. I didn't want to do it on Blogger since that's my main blog (no offense, LJ. We had a lot of great years together), but you, LJ, get to be special. Why? You'll house the special content. And it will be fun for me. And hopefully my peeps.

Oh yes. This will be sweeeeeeeet.

I hope.

Current Mood: deviousdevious
18 December 2009 @ 05:47 pm
does anyone else find disturbing the amount of action santa gets during the holiday season?

poor mrs. claus. not only does she have to deal with it, she has to hear about it every holiday season.

and people talk about tiger woods...
Current Mood: amusedamused
16 December 2009 @ 04:08 am
building an entire religion is exhausting. how did l. ron do it?

right now, i'm taking a series of random religions and smooshing them together to create a religion for one of my fantasy novels. i'm sure i'd have better luck if it wasn't 4 AM. maybe after a good morning's rest i'll be more up to the challenge. because i don't have to build one religion. i have to build two.

the good thing about the second one is that it's based mostly on Native American spirituality. i learned a lot at NKU, and honestly, one of the best things i did was my religious studies minor. so enlightening. especially my Native American spirituality class. it basically built aya's religion for me. but not tal's. tal's has to be rigidly structured and industrialized. so yeah. it's a pain in the ass. ugh. i think my SF novel has fried my brain... only midway through first revisions. i'll have to start again tomorrow. if i can break myself away from fable.

is it 7 yet? i want to go home.
Current Location: work
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
Current Music: white christmas (the 4th variation)
13 December 2009 @ 06:56 am
i know i initially started this in order to follow agents and other writers who happen to be on lj, but right now, i'm so frustrated that i need an open forum. since i once used lj to house my frustrations, i'm returning to its open embrace for at least one more vent session.

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p.s. it's also come to my attention that i have no idea how to use lj anymore. apparently, they've changed the cuts. i have no idea what to do...
Current Location: work
Current Mood: distresseddistressed
Current Music: another AWFUL rendition of sleigh ride
13 December 2009 @ 02:58 am
If you could hang out with any movie character for a day, whom would you choose as your sidekick?

johnny storm (chris evans). no contest.
09 December 2009 @ 06:06 pm
I was reading just a few minutes ago about the Gore vs. Palin debate concerning global climate change. And among all these debates that have gone on and on and on and on for the last couple of decades or so, it seems that one HUGE fact has been omitted: the sun is heating up.

Let that sink in for a moment.

Here's the deal. The sun is a star. As a star, the sun converts hydrogen into helium as it burns, and like all other stars in existence, it goes through stages. Right now, the sun is in yellow dwarf stage, meaning that, granted what we know about stars is true, it is approximately halfway through its life cycle, and it at least WAS burning at a core temperature to help support life on earth, but not anywhere else that we know of.

The sun is currently running out of hydrogen, and when you have less of something, it tends to burn faster, causing an increase in temperature for a short time. We've had huge climate changes in the past that were NOT manmade (i.e. the ice age and subsequent melting thereof), and there are also cyclical patterns of temperature increase and drop that, if one takes the time to check, are well documented, at least since the 1700s if not before. There's more to considering the earth's core temperature than simply whether or not our carbon emissions and the 'hole in the ozone layer' are causing too many UV rays to enter earth's atmosphere. Have we forgotten that the core of the earth is comprised solely of piping hot magma, the levels of which tend to fluctuate?

Granted, the industrial revolution caused quite a bit of pollution to enter the atmosphere. So have cow farts, and we were an agricultural nation LOOOONG before we became industrial. Is it possible that automobiles, trains, etc. have taken over for the cows now that our agriculture is falling by the wayside? Maybe. But so far, no one is murdering cows, besides the farmers. And while I try to do my part to fight global warming by eating as much beef as possible, I can't stop the sun from burning through its hydrogen.

I watched this movie called "Sunshine" last year, the sole reason being the beautiful Chris Evans (and I was enthralled because the movie is more character driven than plot driven). Basically, the plot is that the sun is dying and these people are trying to reheat it. First, this is implausible. The sun will heat up before it dies, and when it does die, chances are that it will turn into an orange dwarf, meaning that it will EXPAND (thus destroying all life on earth and pretty much anywhere else), and then begin to retract, possibly even imploding and turning into a black hole. Honestly, our only hope would be to put more hydrogen into the sun. A lot more. Or maybe we can just throw in some cows.

I'm not going to say that things don't need to change, because they do. Industrialization and urbanization have led to deforestation (-ations are bad, just in case you haven't noticed), which in turn has led to a decrease in the conversion of carbon dioxide into oxygen. I did have a professor tell my class once that most of our oxygen production comes from ocean plants, but I digress. Regardless of the fact that we'll still have oxygen if we destroy every tree on the planet, the fact that the carbon dioxide won't be processed as much will lead to significant problems down the road (and a new book idea, but again, digressing). Even as a coal baby, I know that burning coal and other fossil fuels leads to environmental problems. But I just can't agree 100% with Al Gore that all of this is our fault. Not because I'm unwilling to take responsibility, but because, like the plot of that movie, it's implausible. Stars heat up before they cool down and die. And while Palin is an airhead, shooting her into the sun won't help, either (dammit).

I also can't take seriously a woman who denies that polar bears are becoming endangered considering their habitat is melting. Of course, I could never take her seriously, but that's a whole different point, and I'm fairly certain it's one I made in this journal's last incarnation, long before the presidential campaigns.

So, if you take nothing from this entry, take this: All the talking we do won't stop the sun from heating up.

***Also, I know that this is more akin to a high school research paper (you know, the ones sans references), but I'm annoyed and a little rushed. I'll post references later. This is what happens when you're a science nerd and can rattle off random information without really remembering where you got it.***

now i have to go to work and try to get some query letters done.
Current Location: my livingroom
Current Mood: annoyedannoyed
Current Music: uprising - muse