SFFSat January 7th: Adra visits Harbourtown


From my Nanowrimo novel, Dead Transgressions.

Adrasteia, the half-Atherian, half-Ixilean hero, is currently visiting Harbourtown with Duke Leandros of Aeril, the brother of the woman she’s sworn to protect from a plot by the Children of IxChel, intent on reclaiming their people’s Jade Star. The Duke has taken Adra on a small tour of the countryside while she recovers from her wound. And by countryside, I mean various cities around Athering, as there are no wilds left.

Soon they reached Harbourtown, and Adra was glad for the chance to stretch her legs. The air smelled strongly of brine and seagulls rent the sky with their harsh cries. She and Leandros went down to the seawall, where they took a leisurely stroll, watching the waves come in and out. It was a sunny day but there was a chill in the air — each breath left Adra’s nostrils and lungs feeling awakened. She was glad she had her jacket with her; since her injury she found herself getting cold with more ease.

Harbourtown was a slow city. More a town, really — the streets were cobblestone, a throwback to a simpler time, and the buildings were still made of wood. Really old wood, she supposed; at some point they’d no doubt have to rebuild in stronger synthetic materials. Until that time came, however, Harbourtown clung to the past. It was almost quaint.


State of the Nano


As you can no doubt tell by the handy dandy widget to the right, I have 7K words to go before I win Nano. I won’t be done with the novel — hells, I’ll be lucky if I make it to the mid-plot point — but I will have won Nano.

Considering I’ve spent the past three days working on getting Bellica ready for print (and will spend the next few days getting it ready for ebook) and have not slept overmuch, this will be awesome and worth much cheering.

So I am off to write some exciting Nano story. Mostly with lots of sexual tension — it’s increased after the first kiss and “just friends” talk, you know. 😉

7K in 24 hours: GO.


of titles and word counts


It took me a while, but I finally decided on a title for my Nano-novel. Dead Transgressions.

Sounds pretty detective-y, right?

Anyway. I’m at 30K. My plan is to win Nano by Saturday the 12th. If I still need to finish the book, I’ll keep writing. If not, I’ll let it sit and focus on other things. Probably The Jade Star of Athering (which is sort of connected to Dead Transgressions, though I totally didn’t plan that at all as the two stories are almost 10,000 years apart).

Still working hard on the release of Bellica (which now has a Google+ page here, so you should go and check it out…for reasons that will become clear to me at some point, I’m sure). So far it’s going according to plan and you should see copies out and about on the 25th. If it’s late, it’s late. I’m not allowing myself to panic.


*looks frantically for her towels*


Adra got shot and it was totally bad-ass


Well, my main character, Adrasteia deKarme, got shot in the last chapter I wrote. It was in the line of duty, and totally bad-ass. The skin around her shoulder got melted off and then rebuilt from scratch. Thank the Goddesses for very advanced medical technomancy.

She was very upset about her jacket being ruined, however. (Don’t worry; fashion technology is advanced as well. The jacket will survive. But it was touch and go there for a while.)

Whee. Nano is crazy.


SFFSat: Adrasteia practices her bad-ass Detective look.


This is a detective story, but it’s in a fantasy setting. Magic and technology are sort of the same thing in this place.

She rummaged around in the top drawer for her gun holster. Something she hadn’t worn for a while now — she couldn’t afford ammo recharges, and she hadn’t been on any jobs that would require it.

If the Queen required her to start on her new job right away, well, she wanted to be prepared.

She slipped the leather straps over her shoulders and adjusted until the gun sat comfortably against her ribcage, under her right breast. A few times, for practice, she grabbed it quickly and aimed at an invisible assailant.

“Do you feel lucky? Do you, kid?” She grimaced. She may still have what it took to fire quickly, but she definitely needed to work on her one-liners.

This is from my 2011 Nanowrimo novel, currently untitled. Enjoy!

Make sure you check out the other awesome SFFSat posts here!




Seriously. This is an emergency of epic proportions. WHAT WILL I DO WITHOUT CHOCOLATE?

I may have to bake a chocolate cake. But that would take me away from Nano-ing. You see my dilemma.

Anyway, said Nano is going really well. I’m almost at 10K words. I plan on having a 10K day today, which would put me over 15K for the whole thing. Then tomorrow I can tone it down to about a 2K day, and do maybe 3K on Friday.

That’s the plan, anyway. It’ll be hard to do without FudgeeOs, but I’ll have to manage some how.

Good news for the week:

Fiction Friday is on, most likely with a character profile of one of the characters from my Nano novel. Not a full one, but enough to make you salivate for the whole story.

SFFSat: on again! I’ll be posting a snippet from the Nano novel, which is as of yet untitled. I really need a title.

Well, if I can’t think of one before Wednesday next week, I’ll just run around downtown naked until something comes to me.


Can’t stop now! This is Nano country!


As many of you may know, November is National Novel Writing Month: Thirty Days and Nights of Literary Abandon.

Some may say that phrase is quite literal, that we abandon literature. I’m sure there are NaNo novels for which that is true, but is is not true for mine, because I’m a damn good writer. (And a lot of other Wrimos are as well.)

This year, I actually planned. I wrote an outline. I figured out the First Plot Point, the Mid Plot Point, and the Second Plot Point. I wrote an overarching vision for my story. I came up with a partial Beat Sheet, outlining the scenes I would write and the missions they had. (Thanks to Larry Brooks at StoryFix.com for his 30 posts on how to outline your NaNo novel. I found many of his tips useful.)

A glazed Tim Hortons donut

This is exactly what I ordered, too.

At midnight on the first of November I started writing with my fellow Nanaimo-Wrimos at our Tim Horton’s kick-off party. In the two hours at Timmy’s and the three hours when I got home, I wrote 3,331 words of my novel. (I was planning on sleeping as soon as I got home, but someone at Timmy’s gave me a coffee instead of a hot chocolate.) I decided sleep was the better part of valor at that point, and when I woke up later that day I rounded off my day’s word count at 5,560. My goal today is 10K.

You know what happened? I followed my outline…loosely. I found as I wrote, other things cropped up, and I ended up adding them into the story quite nicely. My main character’s best friend showed up in Chapter 1, instead of Chapter 3 as I had planned. Which meant I had to actually figure out the right name for him before moving on. I had been tossing around name ideas (I’m a writer who can’t write main characters without the exact right names, because I believe your name is such an integral part of your being that to write a character without a name is like writing one without a soul) before starting, but had not been able to settle on anything. I figured, no big deal, I’m not introducing him till Chapter 3 or so, so I can figure out a name before then. Well, he had other ideas.

Continue reading

FudgeeOs for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.


At this rate I’ll probably run out.

Luckily I have a lot of Pepsi Throwback (which, honestly, who came up with that name? Retro works a lot better and sounds less like a recessive genetic mutation) to last me until next week, at least (3 cases should be enough, right?), when my loan comes in.

At which point I pay rent and buy a lot of junk food to keep me going during NaNoWriMo.

Oh, yes, that starts at midnight. Tonight. I’ve been trying to outline all month and I’ve made some progress, but some points have just not made themselves clear to me. This is what I get for being a pantser, you know. Complete inability to effectively outline.

But I will finish my outline because my goal is to have a viable first draft of Adrasteia (working title) by December 1st. (No, this novel doesn’t get its own tag until I get a title nailed down.)

I just need to figure out if the Athering-Pokomam War happened before or after the events in Adrasteia. And how many millenia* are between Adrasteia and Bellica. (I know at least 5, but it could be more. Adrasteia is in the past, by the way.) Figuring out all that helps me nail down villain personas.

Writing a novel set in a world with so much history that you haven’t written yet is hard, ok. (It’s also hard to write these posts without spoilers in them.)

But still easier than writing a novel set in this world — at least for me.

So, yes, I’ll be living on FudgeeOs (which, if you haven’t had them, are like Oreos X Awesome, and I cannot get enough) and Pepsi, thanks to my friend the Halloween Santa, she buys me things, because she’s awesome. And she knows I’ll return the favor when I have my loan in.

Uni students. We take care of each other. We have to.

Today I join Halloween Santa for some pumpkin eviscerating, and tonight I go to a wiener roast and fireworks display (SHHHH DON’T TELL ANYONE IT’S ILLEGAL). After that — midnight kick-off party at Tim Horton’s! Because I’m Canadian, that’s why. Shush.

In other news: Happy Halloween. Raise a glass to your ancestors today and celebrate the cycle of death, rebirth, life, and decay. Unless your ancestors were all assholes, in which case just do the second part. (Sex is a good way to celebrate the cycles of death and life. Just saying.)

*I can’t spell that word. I suck at spelling that word. And Firefox refuses to acknowledge that it is a word, it is ok, it’s the plural of millennium, just like phenomena is the plural of phenomenon, and criteria is the plural of criterion. It’s Greek, that’s why. There. Your language lesson for the day. You’re welcome.

New cover for Bellica, among other things


I designed one cover for Bellica, and then realized it really need some green in it. I’d always imagined Bellica to be a green-covered book, so why I designed a cover without any green is anyone’s guess. (I was super excited and rushed the process.)

So here is the new cover:

About the picture: my model, Dana Kagis, is playing Yarrow, the main character. She stands resolute, her hand on her sword. We can’t see her eyes, but we know they are looking off into the distance, fixed on a future she may not wish for. The light through the trees suggests twilight — a liminal space, where anything might happen. She is on the threshold — after this moment, everything changes.

As for what point that actually is in the book, well, that’s up for the reader to decide.

As for SFFSat: I haven’t been doing this lately. Reason being, Bellica will be out November 25th, and I want to save the rest of it for its release. The eBook will be $6.99, and the printed version should be around 26 dollars (subject to change based on printing costs). I suggest buying the eBook if you like reading on eBook readers, are hurting for cash, or just don’t feel comfortable shelling out over 20 dollars for a book from an author you haven’t read before.

If you have read my work, don’t like reading books on screen, or just really want a “real” version of the book (with formatting as envisioned), then I suggest buying the hardcopy. (Mind you, not hard cover. The EBM doesn’t do hard cover yet.)

And if you’re feeling really generous, buy both! 😉

Regarding SFFSat: I’m starting NaNoWriMo on Tuesday, so future SFFSat entries will be snippets from my NaNo novel. It’s a detective story set in the same country Bellica is set in, but several thousand years in the past. No title as of yet.