Monday, February 27, 2012

First Annual National Critique Partner Appreciation Day

Hey- have you heard about the new holiday coming up this Friday March 2?  No?  That's because I've just invented it.  It's National Critique Partner Appreciation Day!  So send your CPs lots of encouragement, love, and lavish gifts. 
Today I received a package in the mail with a completely unexpected present from my mother-in-law and a card saying she decided to create National Daughter-In-Law Appreciation Day.  LOVED it!  In honor of her awesomeness, I decided to pass it on.
Soo, spread the word and let me know what you decide to gift to your Critique Partner this Friday.  I would have created a logo, but I'm not very artistic even with a computer.  If anyone does create one, send me a link.
Have a great week!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A rut, seriously dirty glasses, late love scenes, and general procrastination

Well, piss!  I have been terribly negligent in my blogging duties and I have no real excuse except that I've been in a rut.  A funk.  A dithering blue period of lazy.  I have not been working on my revisions, I haven't been tweeting or blogging, and I have definately not been going to the gym or clearing our streets of crime.  But my friends, President's Day is upon is and this is as good a time as any to snap myself right on out of this rut.  Hence: this post, which will be an assortment of odds and ends, but beggars can't be choosers and all that.

First:  My husband took this relatively disturbing photo the other day when I asked him to grab my glasses for me.  To be fair, I only wear my glasses once and a while (I usually wear contacts), but still- this is really, really disgusting.  He was laughing so hard I thought he would pass out.  Yes, they are dirty and I don't know how I could see. 

Second:  Recently it was Valentine's Day (hopefully you can cast your memory back to last week and remember) and many lovely people hosted blog hops and contests relating to love scenes or romantic short stories.  I, unfortunately, was in the rut mentioned above and did not participate, so here is my very late contribution.  This is a scene from AN UNEXPECTED KINGDOM that occurs relatively late in the novel and is still from the third person perspective as I'm only on chapter 3 (kill me now) of my revisions.
A soft knock on her door sent her sprinting out of the bathroom back into her bedroom.  She had nearly reached the door when it opened silently.  Eiden stepped through the door and shut it behind him.  They stood a few feet apart and Ava just stared at him, studying the perfection.  He smiled, a shyer look than Ava had ever seen from him.  “Hello, Love,” he said.  Ava forgot to breathe.  Her heart stopped beating every time he said that word.  Her body was alive with electricity.  Tingles were pulsating out from her center.  “We must talk,” Eiden said.
“Later,” she said.  And she moved towards him with warrior speed.  He picked her up and she wrapped her legs around him as their lips met.  He was strong enough to only need one arm to support her, the other was tangled in her hair.  Their first kisses were urgent and greedy; all Ava could think was that she needed to be closer to him.  She crushed herself against his chest and clutched him tighter with her arms.  Her entire body felt like it was on fire from the heat of Eiden’s kisses.  He lifted her off him and turned her, so she was standing with her back against the wall.  He looked at her with such intense passion that Ava was afraid her clothes would burst into flame.  He kissed her slowly as he held her face, brushing his thumb along her cheekbone.
Too soon, he stopped and stared at her again.  He smiled, not shy this time, but with a radiance that showed his dimples.  Ava melted.  “I have to leave, Ava.  I wish I did not, but I should not be in here.  I just had to- well, I needed to see you.”
Ava took his hand and kissed his palm slowly.  “I love you, Eiden,” she said softly. 
            Eiden closed his eyes.  “I have been waiting a lifetime to hear you say that,” he whispered.

Finally:  I did work on some revisions today (finally) although I certainly ran through every possible form of procrastination first.  One was going through 900 photos from my sister's wedding and ordering prints.  Here's me making my toast and looking kind of crazy.
And, that's all I've got today.  Hope everyone has a great week!  Oh- I lied!  I have one more thing, a huge THANK YOU to both Rena and Jenny for the awards.  You guys are the best. 

Sunday, February 5, 2012

On Prologues and Patriots

While watching (no joke) five hours of Super Bowl pregame coverage today, I have been catching up on blog posts and read this one on prologues from David Powers King.  I liked his take on it- he likes good prologues and raises a great point about many first chapters really being long prologues in disguise.  I am interested in this because AN UNEXPECTED KINGDOM has a prologue and I love it.  I would have an incredibly difficult time cutting it if ever asked to and I think it makes the story so much stronger.  It's not an infodump and it allows me to introduce a really integral background feature, a fairytale written by Ava' grandpa.

And since my game is getting close and I have no time to compose a brilliant, thoughtful, deep, and effortlessly witty post, I am just going to share my prologue.  I hope you find it intriguing.  GO PATS!!

Arthur Knight read the same very short story to his daughter nearly every night until she was twelve.  Although they both had long committed the words to memory, he always read straight from the pages.  The handwritten prose and drawings were done in his father’s hand and to see them brought on a thousand different memories that Arthur hoped never to forget.  His father had not lived to see his granddaughter but she had grown to love him through this story. 
Arthur found the grey cloth-bound book in a box of his father’s things just before his daughter’s first birthday.  He had not recognized the tiny book, he was certain he had not seen it before, but the identity of the author was immediately clear.  The back of title page was inscribed “For A” in his father’s distinct handwriting and Arthur imagined his father had written it for him, but for one reason or another had never gotten around to sharing it.  His daughter Ava listened to the familiar story and imagined that her grandfather had somehow written it for her.
The Warrior Princess
Long enough ago that time has lost the names of places and folk,
a Kingdom sat high on a mountain before a valley.
Peace had come easily to the Kingdom and lasted long enough
to make the King complacent and forgetful.
Many years earlier, when he was a young Prince,
the King had offended the ruler of a neighboring land.
That ruler had a long memory and he waited,
biding his time for the day he would seek his revenge.
In the passing years, the King had six sons
on whom he doted, making them fat and lazy.
His youngest child was a daughter, but the King had little use for girls,
and the Princess was left to herself.
Unlike her brothers, the Princess thirsted for knowledge
and could never sit idle.
She spent her days learning the long history of her Kingdom
and playing with the palace guards.
When at last the offended neighbor attacked,
war found the Kingdom unprepared.
With no strong leader to rally them,
the palace guard were quickly outmatched.
High in a tower, the King and his sons
looked down upon the slain guards and prayed for salvation.
The people of the Kingdom ran from their burning homes
to the palace crying, “Who will help us?”.
Far below the tower where her father and brothers hid,
 the Princess stood alone holding a sword.
She was very afraid of the invading force,
but she was more frightened of having her people enslaved.
In her strongest voice, which was still quite small,
the Princess proclaimed, “I will”.
Her bravery called to the long ago gods of her people
and they imbued her with their power.
And lo down the mountain she ran, bathed in a fierce violet light,
and headed into battle.
When she reached the valley the enemy lay slain
and her people were free.

So, what do you think about prologues?