Monday, January 31, 2011

The Need for Editing Arises!

So I’m reading George R. R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones and holy crap, Joe was right when he said this author will kill off anybody. I would rant, but alas, I shan’t spoil it. I like the book so far, though. I’m not very far into it, but it’s gripping, in a subtle way.

Side note: Chapter 18 may be the longest chapter in Weirs if I don’t decide to break it up. We’ll see.

In other news, I found a flaw in my magic system. Thankfully, it’s a minor flaw, and can be remedied with a few well-placed explanations. Also might rethink the communication assets of a character, but that’s something I’ll want to run by my writing group, once they get a few chapters in. :D

Random news: I accidentally ripped one of the letters on my cubicle while whilst opening an overhead compartment. It happens to be one of only two nice letters in my collection. Sadness of my life.

Excerpt of the day:

The midwife’s apprentice rushed to his side, touching his wife’s forehead, pushing her fingers into the side of Vatricia’s neck. She hesitated, then said, “I-I’m sorry, Master Crane. She. . .she didn’t make it.”
Weirs, chapter 18

Friday, January 28, 2011

Short Outline Doesn't Mean Short Chapters

So I think there's more left to write of this story than I thought. I am also pretty sure this will be longer than CSH (which is good, unless it's a LOT longer.)

Writing group going well. Good way to catch the little things and get a weekly helping of humble pie.

Anyway, I decided this upcoming scene will be way awesome if I do it from Scire's point of view, so I'm looking forward to that. Word count hasn't been astounding these last few days, mostly because I'm in an awkward part of my outline (where I decided to be completely vague on how I wanted to achieve what.)

Meanwhile I'm hoping my protagonist is likeable. I have issues with making likable protagonists, apparently. :O Though I like her, so hopefully that's a good sign....

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Poem is Called Aeos

So issue 60 of The Leading Edge is out, and I have a dinky poem in it. This is pretty much the most advertising I’ll be doing for it—the art is pretty swanky, though.

As for your comment, Nick, I guess you’ll have to volunteer to alpha read in order to find out, eh? XD

Excerpt of the day:

“There’s something inside of me?” asked Kitsy, rubbing her chest. “How come I can’t feel it?”
Weirs, chapter 17

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

My Works in a Nutshell

This is more for Nick than anyone else, who told me the other day, “Why don’t you ever post what your stories are actually about? You talk about them, but I don’t know what’s going on.” (Not exact words, but you get the jist.) So here’s the nutshell version of my crap:

The Oracle Seals. Girl finds out she’s an omnipotent seer and gets to travel all over the continent breaking the seals on her power in hopes of defeating an undersea tech-savvy nation bent on destroying everything.

Circus Soul Heiress. Bunch of circus-performing terrorists try to free their island by overthrowing the absolute monarchy government full of people with magic tattoos.

The Raimos. Eskimo-esque boy is peer pressured to quest to the top of a freaky mountain to face his people’s god, but instead of being incinerated, he gets to switch places with a deity and run from the people who think he’s a fraud. Emo-ness ensues.

Weirs. People burn during the full moon turn into wonky things at night and are sacrificed to the sun* by government hires whilst trying to save others of their kind.

Ta da. I won’t both summarizing past unfinished crap because I know not even Nick wants to hear about that. XD

Excerpt of the day:
(Some of you may know I compose music—not as much now as I used to, but hey, I almost majored in it. So here’s a snippet from a song I wrote a couple years ago called “I Heart Your Blog”.)**

Verse 1:
Surfing the net with nothing better to do
Your page stood out from all the blogs that I was scrolling through
I thought your blog was the bomb
Three Ws, a clever pun, dot blogspot dot com

Your blog is like a diary
You think all the same things that I think
I get so excited when you post
Of all the blogs that I watch, I like yours the most

Build 1:
Soon enough I was twitter-pated
Addicted to the world wide web!

I fell in love with your name before I even knew your face
I’m the first to comment but the last to leave your page
You update—O-M-G
A heart made with a three
You can stream it live or type it up in 1337
Oh I’ve had a blogger crush these last few days

*Sun. Original. I know.
**May be coming to YouTube in the next three years.

Chapter 16

Here's hoping chapter 16 doesn't read like the vomit it is!

Also, I don't remember what the asterisk in the last post was supposed to be for. Whoops. :D

Monday, January 24, 2011

LTUE and the Super Bowl

LTUE workshops are posted—there are some good ones. I want to sit in on the short story class. I’ll be starting my own around that time, so it will be very helpful. Also need to network—there aren’t a lot of big wigs at LTUE, but I can at least practice. I’m such a wiener when it comes to chatting up important people. I don’t want to annoy them/come off as a fan girl. I hate fan girls.

In other news, I’ll be watching the Super Bowl for the first time ever this year. Namely because my ma-in-law will be making food and I like food. I’ll just have to endure the football* in between commercial breaks. (Here’s hoping for some swanky advertising.)

Excerpt a la day:
(This is from Where Life Was, a book I got about half-way through in high school.)

The sight was still unnerving the second time. The sun was beginning to dip its head over the horizon, letting the blue and yellow glows of Vetorvia shine like fire in the falling twilight. From her place on the ship, Silby could see a vast expanse of the cities, each divided into glass bubbles that shielded them from the outside world—the world she and her companions were now in. It was bare of any wildlife, both animals and vegetation. In the descending dark it was like the night sky: forever endless, but void of any stars.

A mild wind blew, scattering lifeless dust towards the boat. Silby coughed into her sleeve. The air was hard to breathe, here. The journey from her home village was a long one, especially when traveling with a group. Vast marshes and mountainous terrain clogged the land between Fenuar and Vetorvia. It acted as a shield in many ways; it also made travel between the two lands very dangerous. Instead of travailing it, she and her companions had sailed the shallow ocean on covered vessel, a journey that was still risky. For the second time they docked in Vetorvia’s ports, prepared to meet with the king.

Where Lifa Was, chapter 1: The World Beneath the Glass

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

“Write to the Heights” and Other Ramblings

I wrote a whole 2,200 ish words yesterday, which happened to turn into a whole (4 page) chapter. (Granted, I’m making this sound more impressive than it actually is.) So now I’m on chapter 15 of Weirs, and slowly, slowly scratching my way toward the end. A bunch of stuff I wasn’t planning happened, such as pseudo-marriages and moving houses and whatnot. But that’s good. I think.

Found out there’s a writing shindig at Whitmore Library (in SLC, UT) in February that I shall attend because it’s free and super close to my apartment. (As CONduit will also be this year. Hurrah for moving.) It’s called “Write for the Heights” and is conducting a poetry/short story contest. Granted that I’m not much of a poet and I have no recent short stories, I shan’t be entering, but the event should still be fun.

Excerpt of the day:

He nodded. “How good is the sketch?”

“Good, accurate,” Fynch said, a look of concern on his face. “You’re pushing them too hard, Aro. You need to retire—leave this place before it’s too late.”

The older man scoffed.

“I’m serious, Aro.”

“I know, I know,” Aro said, rubbing his forehead. The lack of sleep was wearing on him more than usual. “But where would I go? How could I live in comfort, knowing innocent children are being hearded like sheep for the slaughter, their one year of life spent in some cold cell under Scire’s charge? How could I sleep, knowing I’d abandoned the few I could save?”

Weirs, chapter 15

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Blackmore's Night

So I discovered Blackmore’s Night via Pandora (Renaissance station). I love their music, though I haven’t listened to all their songs yet. Ghost of a Rose is on my soundtrack for Weirs, as is Shadow of the Moon.


Excerpt a la day:
(This is from a story I’ve mentioned a few times on here—The Prayer of Haradis*, which was almost my first novel, but I crapped out right at the end. I think I wrote this roughly three years ago. . .)

As Fayf wakened, the room around her spun. She felt drowsy, like her blood had become syrup. A loud drum sounded close to her; it took a moment before she realized it was her own pulse.

She tried to move, and instantly a stiff, raw pain coursed through her chest. She blinked stale tears from her eyes and looked at the red, bleeding brand over her right breast. It felt like it was on fire.

“Good morning, Darling.”

It was the voice of the Duke. With the greatest care Fayf turned her head to the side, trying not to stretch the wound. He stood with a smirk planted under his mustache, leather gloves clasped together in front of him.

The Prayer of Haradis (which wasn’t segregated into chapters. Weird, I know.)

*This is actually a romantic fantasy, a little outside my norm. Go figure.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Getting Near the End

So I’m about 3/4th of the way through Weirs! I’m starting chapter 13 today. I’m worried it will be too short, but I’ve already proven to myself that I’m terrible at internally counting words, so I guess we’ll find out.

I’m also horrendously jealous of Eileen and Ben, both of whom got honorable mentions in the Writers of the Future contest. I want that honorable mention. Granted I’ve never entered the contest before, but I’m going to by mid-year! Plans for my upcoming short story are coming along, though I still try to squelch them in order to focus on Weirs and pay attention in work meetings. (I was having a little trouble with that today…)

But congrats, guys! Way to set the bar for wannabes like me. XD

Excerpt of the day:

There was nothing, save a thin bundle of golden-brown hair, delicately tied together by a piece of blue embroidery floss. Variten did not touch the item, but studied it carefully.

“Lion hair,” he said.

“Precisely,” said Mathieu, closing the box. “Gathered from the splintered wood of a house on the northern end of my district, from a woman who birthed during a full moon.”

Variten nodded, understanding the smug look on his Regal’s face. “The two-tailed lion, then. You haven’t gotten man’s scent on it, have you?”

Weirs, chapter 12

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


So I received an email today regarding Inscape, a creative writing magazine sponsored by BYU. According to said email, Inscape is now accepting submissions from “BYU alumni and non-BYU students.” Interpret as you will, but I believe that means “everyone.”

I’m pretty sure Inscape isn’t super fantasy/sci-fi friendly—they’ll most likely divert you to The Leading Edge if you write in those genres. But anything else, including magical realism (I’m sure), should be okay. If you want to learn more about it, you can check out

Excerpt of the Day. I’m the one with the guitar.* This was taken a couple years back. Setting: Linguistics class at BYU. My friend Jessica sang because singing is something I don’t do well. :D

*Unfortunately, this is the fullest extent of my feeble guitar skills.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Daughter of the Forest

I sat in my recliner for two hours last night so I could finish Daughter of the Forest, by Juliet Marillier. I HAD to finish, because the book was distracting me from work and life. I was going crazy.

At one point I had to get up and grab a roll of toilet paper, because I was crying and it wasn’t even the end of the book.

This novel is AMAZING. It’s based on the Seven Swans fairytale, but it’s so much more than that. For a while I thought it was just all right, but then it took off. This novel put me through an addicting and fascinating roller coaster of emotions that left my heart aching when I had to put it down. (Like after lunch break when I had to go back to work, at which point I could scarcely concentrate.)

The most amazing part of the book is the main relationship, and that’s all I will say for fear of spoiling. I don’t know how Marillier did it. So subtle, but so there, and every moment is wonderful and terrifying and all you want is a happy ending through all the crap this woman loads onto the main character. And this is her first published novel. She’s decades ahead of me.

So go read it. Fantastic book. Love it. There’s a sequel (a trilogy, actually), but they’re supposedly three separate stories in the same world. I’m not reading #2 and #3 for now. I think my system needs a breather. (And I have alpha reading to do.)

Excerpt of the day:
(This is from a short story I wrote my freshman year, about 2006. I actually managed to win an honorable mention in the Mayhew Contest with it.* It’s not really fantasy—maybe a little speculative.)

“Yes, he did, and I was going to get to that, but if you’re in such a rush, I’ll jump ahead.” Obala sighed and shook her head. “He found her just before she reached the sun. The sun is the portal to heaven, after all. He called her name and threw the net out to her. At first it looked like he had missed, but then the winds turned in his favor and blew the net right onto Maria Claire. He returned her to her body, and when Maria Claire woke, she was all better.”

“Then what’s in the jar?” I question.

Obala doesn’t answer at first, just squints at me funny and smiles. “Don’t worry, it’s not Maria Claire.”

Inside the Cloud Jar, page 4

*Unfortunately, this is about the extent my writing has gotten me—not even worth a mention on a cover letter, I’m afraid.

Monday, January 10, 2011

I Wrote What Now?


Look in the right-hand side bar.

Note the number by the Raimos: Draft 1, 55% done, 87,000 words.

I wrote what?

You may know that when I do my first draft of any story, I keep each chapter in its own cozy Word document. I don’t put them all into one manuscript until I’m finished, at which point I finally know the word count. Since I still haven’t finished TR, I didn’t know how long it was. I thought 40k, maybe 50k.

But it’s almost 90-freaking-k long! I didn’t realize I had written so much. How long would this novel be, had I finished it?

I know the word count since Nathan asked for my crap never-been-read-twice rough draft, and he compiled it all into one document. I was surprised, to say the least. Just like I was surprised to find out my first draft of CSH was only 91k. 91k-87k=4k. That’s not a lot. That means my one chunk of unfinished novel is practically the length of a novel.

--Cue everyone not caring nearly as much as I do--

Meanwhile, Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marilllier has taken a turn for the AWESOME, and I’m obsessed with it to the point where I can barely concentrate on work or do my own word count, and my prose is starting to sound like her prose and I hate it.

Excerpt of the day:
(This is from the first real short story I ever wrote—it was part of my application for the La Verna S. Clark creative writing scholarship that paid my first year of college.)

The tall man turned from the bedside to confront her, though his face was still hidden by the night. He lowered his staff into a streak of moonlight, a pearly luster glimmering off the crescent’s sharp edge.

Constance inhaled sharply as the silver scythe loomed by the mysterious guest, and she canvassed his appearance a second time. His presence sent chills into her shoulders and a tightness through her chest.

“Hast thou come to take him?” She questioned, “Art thou the devil?”

His hooded head shook negatively.

She clenched her teeth tightly, feet numb. “Thou art an angel of death?”

Constant’s Death, page 1

Friday, January 7, 2011

Whatnot on Sanderson's* Class

Class went well yesterday! Sanderson can no longer get a big room from the evening-class board (or whatever they’re called) though, since apparently it twisted someone’s panties to have one writing class with 80 people when all the others had 15. There are 20 students and 10 auditors in that class, and while Sanderson said he won’t kick anyone out, he recommended coming next year, when he would be doing a lecture series that anyone and their dog could come to.

I, of course, am stubborn, so I will be attending anyway, even if I have to sit in the windowsill with the rest of the peanut gallery.

Anyway, I’m finally in a writing group again! It’s awesome. We have eight people, which is a lot, but two of them will only be reading, so it works. (Nathan, are we doing treats again?) I’ll be submitting Weirs for review, which unfortunately means I’ll be revising earlier chapters whilst working on later chapters. But it shouldn’t throw off my groove too much.

I finally got my final back from Sanderson! His critiques were wonderful and helpful. I won’t share any unless someone is absolutely dying to know (and yes, doctor’s note required).

Also got chewed out by a friend to start responding to comments on this blog, ha. And I met a nice girl named Stephanie who is apparently one of my readers. I had no idea. Needless to say I feel slightly more important.

Stopped by Leading Edge, but they didn’t have any stories in the slushpile, so I drove home (at which point I ate cake, then cake for breakfast, then cake for lunch, and now I feel kind of sick).

Only heard back from on person (thanks for the comments btw) about giveaways—I’m thinking starting small, like $5-$10 Barnes and Noble gift cards or something. But we shall see. :D

Excerpt of the day:
(This is from an old Yahoo! writing group my sister used to run. We did monthly “one-shots,” where we had a new prompt each month to respond to. This was written February 2008 about some chick getting ready to commit suicide.)

I grab the eave of my window and carefully wind myself back inside my apartment. I leave the window open. I’m not giving up, I’m just getting ready. I strip off my clothes, one at a time, and rush into my bedroom. I switch on my CD player and crank up the bass of Bon Jovi until it’s all pound and no words, then escort myself to my closet.

I have to be glorious. I inspect every article and hangar,** tossing them onto my floor. Not good enough, not good enough. Doesn’t matter how much of a mess I make; doesn’t matter that I just knocked over my cereal bowl with my sweater and now chocolate milk’s seeping into the carpet, because I don’t have to clean it up. Let Carol worry about it. She can keep whatever clothes of mine she wants, I won’t need them.

February One-shot

*It takes a lot of self control not to say “Sandy’s.”
**I know how to spell hanger. But apparently I didn't know how to spell hanger in 2008.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Contests and More Old Crap

So I’ve seen a few blogs that give out little prizes—selecting random readers or holding some contest or another. I don’t have an overwhelming amount of readers by far, but I thought maybe it would be fun do hold giveaways like that for the blog. What do you guys think? Would you want to participate if I did?

Note to self: figure out how to do polls in Blogger.

In other matters: Chapter 11 is hereby the shortest chapter in Weirs. A whole four pages!

Going to the first class of Sanderson’s today. Woke up early to make up time, hoping to beat rush hour, consuming an early dinner since I won’t be home until like nine. Need to pick up Alice in Wonderland costume in Orem, too.

I’m excited to be in a writing group again. I have no writer friends that aren’t a long drive/plane ride away. . .

Excerpt of the day:
(This is from a book I started in my younger years called “The Lirut”. It’s about a parasitic beetle, in case you were wondering.)

Ada swallowed, her mouth dry. “I’m… I’m tired.” She answered. “My arm hurts. Where’s mom?”

Aira didn’t have any facial expressions for Ada to read. “I think she’s in the living room, with some tea. Do you want some tea, Ada?”

Ada shook her head, her chest aching when she did so. There was a moment of silence before she spoke again. “Aira, is the doctor here? Will I be okay?”

“Ada, what happened in the forest?” Aira’s lip quivered, avoiding the question.

Ada’s hazel eyes looked away from her sister’s and she focused on the ceiling above her, remembering. “That beetle, Aira… it hurt…” Ada’s eyes teared up more, but she didn’t know if it was from pain or from memories. “What did they say it was? It…” Ada tried to lift her arm, but it hurt too much, “it went inside of me. Did they get it out? Is that why it hurts so much?”

The Lirut, chapter 2

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Centipedes. Grab the Puke-bowl.

Centipedes are gross.

Let’s just say I had to do some research yesterday that made me look at some really gnarly pictures. Like, shudder and dry-heave. Ugh.

In case you were wondering, I hate bugs. HATE THEM. Especially spiders. I’m a huge arachnophobiac*, so much that I have to check all my walls for spiders before I go to sleep every night. And if one is ever found, I make someone else check for me (after the first perpetrator is killed and flushed, of course). Under pillows, sheets, in closets, behind furniture, everywhere. One reason I initially wanted Calisti to be a spider is to help me get over this fear, but alas, he’s a centipede, which isn’t THAT much better.

Case and point:


(I really almost threw up posting this. But I wanted to prove that I wasn’t a total sissy. Imagine finding this thing in your bathroom.)

Excerpt of the day:
(Taken from a fanfiction I wrote in my early teenage years. I think I started at… 13? The piece itself is 369,000 words long.+)

"You'll be all right, I've healed your fever."

An older, plump woman smiled weakly. "Thank you, you're ever so kind to me. Please ask Etuin for your payment."

Mitsukake shook his head. "No, I won't accept any money. Please rest and gain your strength back."

The woman nodded and rested her eyes. Mitsukake stood from his kneeling position and turned to leave. Etuin closed the door behind him.

"How did you do that?" Etuin asked, curious. "How can a man have such great healing magic?"

"It is a gift given to me by Suzaku, and I use it in cases such as your mother." Mitsukake replied.

Fushigi Yuugi: The Continued Continuation, chapter 26

*On a side note, I watch Salt last weekend with my dad and sister, and there are spiders in it, and that was the sickest most terrible part of the movie for me. Ugh. Can’t we cut someone’s organs out instead?**

**Not that I’m much better with that. I can read about it just fine, but I don’t like watching gore. /tmi

+You know how they say your first million words are crap? My first million words are all posted on And no, I won’t tell you my screen name. XD

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Writing Goals-ish

I don't make New Year resolutions. Never have, never will. But since goals seem to be going around the blog circuit, I figured I'll share with you the ones I already have. :D

-Book Hoard. I'm not as well-read as I'd like to be, especially in my genre. I want to sound smart by WorldCON

-Have Weirs + one other novel finished and ready to go by WorldCON.

-Submit my tail off. I'm putting more effort into it this time around. Hopefully I'll write something I personally think is worth publishing--I'll be more gung-ho about submitting that way.

-DO SOMETHING WITH THE RAIMOS. Either finish it, rewrite it, or scrap it. This book is being a pain in the A.

-Write more short stories. No, I don't have a number of how many. It'll be a surprise.

-Network. For reals. Also, bribe Sanderson into giving my final back. It's only been, like, a year. :P

I also plan to go to LTUE, CONduit, and WorldCON, which is more cons than I've ever attended in a year. LTUE costs money this year, though students get in free. While I'm no longer a student, I do have a current ID card. I may or may not be using this to my advantage.

Excerpt of the day:

(This is an excerpt from a novel I wrote when I was 15, I think. And by novel I mean I got two chapters in and moved onto something else.)

Sorvaan wanted Thella to have the old piano in the attic tuned, since some of the keys were a bit off. She also wanted some of the scratches on its rustic black surface smoothed out and the loose leg on the right secured, but her mother had always refused. To Thella, the piano was a useless, noisy item that took up room in the house--an ugly scrap of scenery that dissuaded her eldest daughter from doing useful things with her talents.

But to Sorvaan, the piano was gold. It was her gold. It was a piece of work unlike any other, a sound more clear than the strings of a violin and more flowing than the notes of a flute. Her particular one did get shrill on the higher notes, but it still sounded decent.

Sorvaan's Keys, chapter 1