Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Morgan Chronicles

~We didn't think anything of them.~ Rhaelgyr told me as the memory slowed once more.  The sun was setting, the clouds a riot of bright colors.  Several dragons circled the khaledra, a lone voice raised in song.  ~They were pests.  Humans living in mud huts with sticks to defend themselves.~

Darkness fell, and the sky filled with a myriad of stars.  On the northern hemisphere, an aurora began dancing.  Rhaelgyr's home was breathtaking, though odd.  It was unique, like looking into the face of creation itself.

~Sounds like they should have been easy to handle.~  Small figures darted from shadow to shadow on the escarpment.

~Yes, they should have been.~

~So what happened?~  More movement now, faster, seething toward the castle.

~They weren't exactly primitive humans.~

We swooped toward the ground, close to the humans.  They'd only seemed small from a dragon's point of view; up close they were tall, powerfully muscled, and well armored.

They moved like experts, keeping hidden, not drawing attention to themselves.  The soaring dragons landed, roars and growls coming from the khaldera.  The humans were silent, communicating with hand gestures alone.  I saw no weapons, but I felt the danger they represented.

Humans circled the khaldera, eyes lifted to the upper reaches.  Did they expect dragons to fall on them?

~Of course they do.~  Rhaelgyr answering my unspoken question quickly reminded me how close we really were.  ~Dragons can see in the dark.~

~Do you have any weaknesses?~  My voice was teasing and light.

~Pride.  Notice we have no defenses?~  The attackers brought out grapling hooks and climbing gear.  Nothing mere primitives would have.

~Who would assault a dragon castle?~

He laughed.  ~Exactly~  Hooks flew from gas-powered launchers, digging into obsidian several hundred feet up.  ~Making it easy for intruders to get in.~

The humans rose through the air, quickly arriving at the lowest landing.  Their black armor blended with the shadows and obsidian, quickly lost to my eyes in the memory.  They disappeared in the khaldera, and the night fell silent.

Until the first roar.  We were suddenly inside, traveling halls of volcanic glass.  The entire place smelled of sulfar, spice, and dust.  And now blood.

Humans swarmed across a dragon, hacking at its wings, disabling flight.  A metal net wrapped around its muzzle.  One of the humans was crumpled in the corner, moaning brokenly.  The others ignored their fallen comrade, hacking at the dragon.

~We feel safe in our lairs.  No one would attack us where we live.~

~How soon before the others arrive?~

~Minutes.  All lairs are joined, but a khaldera  isn't designed as one big home.  Just a series of linked rooms.~

~They didn't get here in time.~  I was stunned by the amount of damage done to the helpless dragon.

~No.~  Bitterness flooded the connection.  ~They gutted her before anyone arrived.~

A dragon scream filled the room, rising high, then cutting off.  Tears rose, and I wanted to turn away, but couldn't.  Rhaelgyr was showing all of this memory to me.

Monday, March 29, 2010

A blog award

Spiffy things.  Dark Wyrm Reads gave me a beautiful blogger award.  Yay me.

Unfortunately, I read all my blogs in Google reader.  I have no idea what any of them look like.  So if you want one, take it.  Have an award.

I will, however, share seven things about myself.

  1. I'm actually kind of shy.  I don't like meeting people, and making small talk, or anything like that.  I'm so much safer behind my keyboard.
  2. My tongue is pierced, and I have three tattoos.  I want more.
  3. My parrot just turned 10.
  4. My favorite color is blue, swiftly followed by black.
  5. I'm kind of an anti-feminist.  Or a feminism advocate.  Something like that.  I believe the sexes should follow their roles.  And that includes women doing things like sewing and cooking and embroidering, and supporting their man.
  6. I love to be creative, and put things together.
  7. I can't see myself getting old.  That contemplation just doesn't exist.

So, check out Dark Wyrm's site.  And look forward to my next installment of Rho's Odyssey.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Poing poing poing

Many fun things this week.

Talked my roommate out of buying a chinchilla by telling him ferrets are awesome.  So he got one.  Temerity is an awesome little ferret.  He's precious.  Now I can have my ferret fixes whenever I'm feeling odd.

My sister-in-law promoted me at a vampire ball.  It's going to be fun to see how people react to the wife of a hated ex-player.

Still with the rewrites.  Still not getting ahead of the Morgan Chronicles.  Toying with needing a hiatus on her.

Joined Twitter as part of a promoting workshop I'm in.  Not sure I'm going to keep it.  Because, honestly, I've got enough to do without trying to keep up on that.  But it's there.

Put out more requests for reviews.  Bleaurgh.  Publishing and promoting is so SLOW!  It's like firing out all these little bits and bytes into the darkness, and not knowing if anyone's receiving them.  This is the wrong career for an impatient person.

Liz Pelletier of Savvy Authors is going to the Romantic Times convention, and she's letting me (and other CMP authors) have space at her spot in Promo Alley.  Wow, my first little promo spot.  I was toying with what to send, trying to stand out, and finally settled on a chapter book.  Oooooooohhh.  It's the prologue for AHB that I scrapped.  Nifty pumpkin on the front, and will be numbered, and all collectible.  Or something.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Rakka Takka

Did I mention a spiffy band a WoW guildmate pointed out to me?  Van Canto is an absolute must to listen to if you like metal.  If you like power minstrel sounds, you might like them too.  If you're impressed by the awesome things that can be done with the human voice, you should go check them out.

Pretty much, I love them so much, I think everyone should listen to them

Their new album is AWESOME.  It's wonderful, in all the ways music should be wonderful.

To help ease into the joy that is Van Canto, may I recommend their newest cover: Master of Puppets.  All eight and a half minutes of it.  No pussying out and shortening it.

I want to get one of their shirts for my old man for his birthday.  He's always a capellad songs.  Mostly to fuck with me, and mostly with the Hamster Dance noises.  Dee dow dow drives me goddamn nuts.  So, he appreciates their tasty a capella riffs.  I appreciate the beauty of their voices.

And the shirt says "rakka takka mother fuckers".  You really can't go wrong with that.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Morgan Chronicles

~That's singing?~  The circle of dragons grew larger, their roars increasing.  If I were actually present, I'd be overwhelmed by the sound, my eardrums possibly damaged.

~Indeed.~  Part of Rhaelgyr ached to join in, and I was amazed by the strength of his reaction.  I was amazed by how close the dragon's spirit had come to mine.  I suddenly shared his urge to sin, despite how horrid I found the "song".

Of course, I wasn't a dragon, so I wouldn't see the beauty in the same things he did.

~We love to sing,~ he informed me.  ~We take any prompting to sing.  Sunsets are a loud and magnificent time.~

~So how does the singing form the khaldera?~  Lava began to cool, becoming obsidian, and a tower rose from the molten sea.  It shone, reflecting the tortured glow of its birthplace.

~A focus for our magic.  We could do it silently, but it wouldn't be as fun.~  He chuckled, squeezing me.

The song changed, notes rising and falling.  Voices rose to higher registers, some roars dropping to subsonic base tones.  Magma responded, warping and twisting, spreading and blooming.

~Oh,~ I whispered, awed by the formation rising above me.  Balconies and windows and doors all came to existence under the dragon song.  Up and up the tower rose, an obsidian castle scaled to dragon proportions.  ~Are all dragon homes like this?~

~To some degree.  Some clans prefer natural cave systems.  A few like open peaks.  Most make their own castles.  Khalderas are beautiful things, unique to each clan.  They're unique to individual families even amongst the same clan.~

We continued to watch as their khaldera grew.  The pool of magma diminished as the tower grew.  The sun rose, and only at its zenith did the dragons stop singing.

Surely they were exhausted from all their efforts.  Yet they launched their massive bodied into the air, winging to the various landings along the tower.  Rhaelgyr and I followed his mother to the very top.  A tiny dragon followed her, a third her size, wings working rapidly to keep up with her.

~Is that you?~

~Yes.~  Embarrassment colored his presence.

~You're so cute.~  He was slender compared to his elders, with narrow spines and smoother skin.  He already had a dignity to his presence; did that come from slavery, or was it natural to all dragons?

~Shush.~  Rhaelgyr was definitely embarrassed.  I imagined his cheeks coloring, and I felt good.  It was charming that he'd blush over being called cute.

~Didn't you say there wsa problems with the natives?~  Then we didn't have to linger on his precious adolescent self.  Though, I might be the only person outside their race to think he was adorable.

~That didn't happen right away.  A khaldera rising is an intimidating event.~

I chuckled.  ~So they had to work up the guts to attack you?~

The memory sped up, days passing swiftly.  Dragons came and went, hunting and soaring.  ~Something like that.~

There was movement at the edge of the escarpment, accompanied by extreme malice.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Guest Blogger: Laura Bickle

*Here's Laura.  Visit her.*

Writing Around the Day Job

by Laura Bickle

Every author I know wrestles with time management. Daily life - family, work, friends, home, even sleep - takes up large chunks of time. Writing often gets shuffled to the bottom of the priority list, behind laundry, errands, and long commutes. We can try to streamline tasks, get up early, delegate, and tell ourselves that the dust bunnies underneath the couch don't really matter. Those areas of home life often have some flexibility in terms of timing or degree of perfection we demand of ourselves.

But one of the biggest chunks of time away from writing is inflexible: the Day Job. Many writers have a love-hate relationship with the Day Job. We love it because it pays the bills. We hate it because we often feel like it sucks so many hours away from what we consider to be our "really meaningful" work: getting words down on the page. It's a necessary evil, but sometimes we can feel like it takes over our lives. We are what we do, and sometimes, it seems like all we do is get up and go to work, work for eight hours, come home, and sit before the television, stewing about responsibilities at work. Wash, rinse, repeat.

It's no wonder that our muses are cringing.

Much of the standard advice about writing around the day job involves writing at breaks or lunch. I always had a hard time doing that. It takes me awhile to get into the groove, and I hate the idea of someone sneaking up behind me in the cafeteria to over my shoulder, asking: "Hey...Whatcha doin'?"
What was a bigger problem for me than the eight hours at the office was taking the day job home with me. I tend to obsess about work-related issues on the drive home, make my to-do lists while preparing dinner, check my e-mail, fume, swear at my pager, and fiddle with my files. By the end of the night, I'd be staring up at the ceiling, re-playing today's meeting...

...and chastising myself for not writing.

What I needed was a way to compartmentalize, to manage my energy AND my time. A way to shut off the Day Job so that I was ready to write when I came home. I realized that the Day Job was taking up much more than eight hours at the office. It was taking up more than twelve hours of real estate in my head. And my muse deserves some of that real estate.

So, here's what I did. At the end of every day at work, I make myself a to-do list for the next day. I write down everything I need to do, worry about, and prioritize. And I leave the list at work.

On the way home, I usually did the "road warrior" freeway commute. Plenty of traffic jams, honking horns, stress. I rationalized it away as the fastest way of getting home, but I arrived at home gritting my teeth and in a foul temper.

I decided that I needed to make my commute home a chance to decompress. I changed the route I took home. It's longer, but the road I chose is less-traveled. I put some relaxing ambient music CDs in the car. The time in the car is now my transition period. I remind myself that I am physically leaving the office behind, and I must mentally do the same. With the slower commute, I devote the time to thinking about what I'm going to write about this evening. Before I know it, I manage to have visualized full-blown scenes that I can't wait to put to paper. And the drive seems shorter, somehow.

When I get home, there are chores to be done, dinner to be made, a husband to kiss, pets to feed. But my decompression commute leaves me in a better mood. I don't allow myself to check work e-mail from home, and have to consciously turn my thoughts away from work. If there's a work idea that keeps gnawing at me, I write it down, then leave it for tomorrow. I have to remind myself to partition.

Finally, I schedule some time for writing after dinner. The time is like an appointment with my muse, a time I can't break. Usually, I take a bath before to finish relaxing. I sit down in front of the computer, light a candle, and am relaxed enough to type. Time seems to slip away, and I finally have the mental space distance I need in order to do "real" work.

My muse approves of these appointments. And I bet that yours will, too.

Laura Bickle is the author of EMBERS, coming April 2010 from Pocket-Juno Books. Writing as Alayna Williams, she's also the author of DARK ORACLE, coming June 2010 from Pocket-Juno Books. More information is available on her websites, http://www.salamanderstales.com/ and http://www.alaynawilliams.com/

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Finally, some rewrites

My wonderful beta reader finished reading Saint Valentine's Fancy (title may be changed) before the new year, and yet I've only really started rewrites now.  I just had other things I wanted to do more.

Like working on getting the first book published and promoting it.

So I'm finally getting around to it.  I just rewrote a chapter that was practically possessed.  She just couldn't get through it, and kept having to search for the words to tell me something was wrong with the chapter.

She did admirably well.  After much contemplation, she managed to put her finger on what was bothering her, and things she thought would help change it.  Since I knew there were parts of the book that were wrong, I was immensely grateful.

I've been toying with this manuscript for probably a year now, and I've been dragging my feet on it, because there was just the unease about the whole thing.  I knew something was wrong, but not the exacts.  No matter how many times I reread it, I couldn't find where the problems were lurking.  It was almost enough to make me want to scrap the whole manuscript and jump to doing the second draft of the third book.

So, I owe her SO much.  Probably more for this one than for the first book.  Though I rewrote about a third of it after her attentions.

And I'm now happily working along on the second book.  Have some more tensions to add as Keila struggles with her heart sneaking off and falling in love on her. 

And no, seriously, that's not a spoiler.  I'm a romance writer; I obviously believe in happy endings.  So if you couldn't guess that my protagonists fall for each other, you just don't know me very well.

They're just not necessarily going to enjoy getting to the "ever-after" part of the happily.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Morgan Chronicles

An escarpment of basalt reached for the dark blue sky.  The sun was rising, ultraviolet and huge, driving away the sparkles of stars.  Winds blew hot, bringing the scent of sulfar.

~What are you showing me?~  I was with Rhaelgyr inside my head, and we were watching the scene together, like sharing a dream.

~This is where the Narvalein clan settled after the emancipation.~  Rhaelgyr was holding me close, the heat of his personality wrapped around me.  ~We found a planet that Mother said would be perfect, just like our ancient homeworld.~

A dragon roared, and the scene shifted.  We soared above the escarpment, drifting on the wind.  The landscape glowed in florescent reaction to the dark sun.  ~Why not go back to the original planet?~

~The Sidhehan destroyed it.  It's easier to break the wills of people who have nowhere to go.~

~How horrible.~  I mentally snuggled closer, not sure if my body was following suit.  ~I'm sorry.~

~Don't be.  We are a stronger race because of our ordeals.~

There was pride in his voice.  Dragons had survived slavery, full of unknown tortures.  They were alive, and their former masters weren't.  I understood how someone could take strength in that.

~There's Mother!~ he said suddenly, our point of view zooming in on a massive midnight blue dragon.  She was roaring, the air echoing with her reverberating voice.  Flames flickered at her feet as she drooled combustible saliva.  Powerful wings spread almost a hundred feet, veins gleaming in the patagia.

She was huge, massive.  Impressive.  I quaked, glad this was only a memory, that I wasn't really faced with her.

~She looks just like you,~ I whispered.

~I look similar to her, but there's a lot of differences.~  His voice took on the tone of someone who'd given the same information time and again.  ~Our racks are different, she's a lighter color, and she's scarred from her years in the pit.~

I felt a little guilty.  It was a sign of ignorance and lack of observation to say something like that.  It would be like an orc telling me I looked like Steven.

Yet not entirely, in this case.  Rhaelgyr was overreacting, surely.  This was his mother, so there was some resemblance.  I kept my opinion to myself, not wanting to interrupt whatever he was showing me.

More dragons took up the cry.  The entire plateau echoed with their voices until the air shook.  Then the ground shook.  Rhaelgyr's mother threw back her head, horns flashing under ultraviolet rays.  She rose up on her back legs, continuing her cry.

My head swelled with the song, until I thought I might break apart.  It was the basalt that gave, though, with a crack like a thousand thunder strikes.

~Beautiful, isn't it?~  Rhaelgyr was enrapt as lava rose from the wound in the stone.  The crack became a gap, became a chasm, became a bubbling sea of molten rock.  Small boulders floated on the tide, glowing as they melted.  Steam and other gases filled the air, and dragon voices grew stronger.

~What are they doing?~  The magma seam splashed and danced, spumes jumping free.  Each spume grew, rising higher, building into a tower.

~They're singing our home.~

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Me hosting a guest blogger

Yes, indeed.  Laura Bickle's going to have a post here, Thursday the 25th.  She's talking about the horrible DAY JOB!!!  (I hate those things so much)  It's going to be awesome.

Laura is from Salamander's Tales.  I was just there yesterday.  You should go.  You should also read the things she has to say.

For anyone interested, you can email me ( RavenCorinnCarluk at Gmail ) and you too can be a guest blogger here.  Or invite me to blog on you.  (Hee hee hee.  That sounds dirty.)  I'm open to just about anything.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Morgan Chronicles

His voice held none of the dejection I would have expected from such a tragedy.  I was too stunned to react, and kept my arms around him.

I simply held him, the only sound the distant bubble of magma.  There was no one but us.  My heart ached, because even being with him, I knew I couldn't do anything for him.

Immortals were true beings, with souls born from the life stuff of the universe.  We weren't like the mortals, whose lives were brief and meaningless.  We could change the fabric of reality, and death was not an option.

Yet even so, it was a rare thing to find a soulmate.  We were individuals, vastly different, most of us changing as time progressed.  Rhaelgyr in a hundred years was unlikely to be the same Rhaelgyr I was holding.

Because of the changes, finding someone that was your mate, that would love you no matter what was something to cherish. It was a beautiful, wonderful thing, and most couldn't survive the loss of the other.

"Condolences," I whispered, holding him tighter.

He lifted his hand to squeeze my forearm.  Nothing more needed to be said.  Nothing I could say could take away the pain he carried.  So we stayed in silence, taking comfort in each others presence.

"It's been centuries," Rhaelgyr said.  His voice was neutral, like her was commenting on lunch.  "Falyra was beautiful, daughter of our clan's war leader.  She thought I should be rheksha, and did her best to sculpt me.  I would have given her anything."

"How did it happen?"  Dragons were hardy, brutal things.  No accident could have befallen Falyra.

"The legacy of our former masters."  This with bitterness.

"Master's?" I hazarded.

Rhaelgyr sighed, turning to put an arm around my waist.  Concern had temporarily driven weariness from me, but as I snuggled against his lean elven form, my eyes started to close.

"You're either very young, or it's too deeply buried in your memories.  Even those who didn't deal with our slavery know of our liberation."

"Maybe both," I replied.  "Nothing rings a bell.  What should I know?"

Rhaelgyr was warm under my cheek, his heart a comforting beat.  I could stay like this for a long time.  I nuzzled my head deeper into his shoulder, throwing a leg across his.

He began stroking my arm.  "Dragons were thralls to the Sidhehan race.  We were gladiators and guards, making use of our violent natures.  Some clans flourished, accepting the yokes like they were beasts of burden."

"Did you?"

"I'm from the last generation born in captivity.  I was barely a fledgling when we were led in revolt, and the Sidhehan were destroyed."  Rhaelgyr twined a lock of hair around a finger.

His voice was pleasant, and it soothed me.  I began drowsing even as I burned with curiosity.  "How long ago was all this?"

"A little over four centuries.  Falyra was the first of our clan to be born in freedom.  She never knew of the breeding farms, or the fighting pits, or the mock wars."  He chuckled.  "I barely knew them, but Mother shared her memories with me.  If I ever became the leader, she wanted me to know where we came from."

"Did you fight in the revolt?"  I couldn't open my eyes, and darkness lapped at my consciousness.

"Not like my father.  There was a small skirmish as we left, and some tussles with natives when we established our khaldera.  I was too small to be a warrior, and Mother wasn't going to lose me."

"What was it like?"

"Let me show you."  Rhaelgyr touched my mind, and I slipped completely into darkness.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


So, under the "pressure" of my friends (they kept telling me it was a good idea, but I still don't think it's anything more than just one more link) to create an official page.

So I did.  ravencorinncarluk.com is now a live page.  I don't have much on it.  Just links to my books.  I'll not be doing much on it.  Just links to reviews and stuff.  raven.youareannoying.us is still my main site, and that's all that matters.

And I've got my guest blog tomorrow.  salamanderstales.blogspot.com  Make sure to come by.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Guest blogging

I'll be guest blogging this Friday, the 19th, at salamanderstales.blogspot.com.  Please come by, check out my view on the Plotter/Panster debate.

And if you want to guest blog here, just send me an email.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Morgan Chronicles

Neither of us moved.  Rhaelgyr stroked my hair, stirring borrowed energy, and I gazed into his lovely eyes.  The whites were still blue, but his skin had lost its texture.  Stroking his cheek, I wondered what he would feel like scaly.  Would be be rough, or smooth, or sticky, or cold?

My thoughts were running wild, random and borderline incoherent.  Whimsical cravings came out, each replacing the previous.  I wanted to kiss him again, then I wanted to hunt, then the need to sing rose, then sleep wanted me.

"Let's get some rest," he said, hands going to my hips.  He helped me to stand, then rose beside me.  Magic moved around us, stirring my nerves, and I gasped.  A million needles pricked my skin at once, and it felt wonderful.  Rhaelgyr must have sensed it, for he pulled me close and held me steady.  "It will help you stabilize."

I nodded, laying my head against his shoulder.  From the corner of my eye I watched obsidian shift and rise, reconfiguring itself into a four-post bed with heavy curtains.  It looked comfy, and soft, and I couldn't wait to be in it.

The dragon lead me over, keeping an arm around me.  He set me on the edge of the bed, holding my hand.  "Do you want to change clothes?"

I was still in Steven's silk affair.  The blue was now stained with blood, and the smell of smoke lingered in the fabric.  I tugged at the top, nodding vigorously.

He summoned clothes for me; underwear and a black dressing gown with a thick robe.  Rhaelgyr stepped away as I began undressing.  "I'll get you something to eat."  A bowl of water appeared on a stand near the bed.  Chaos certainly had its uses.

I was left alone to change and wash up.  A long bath would have been nice, but the bed was still calling me.  It was huge, with overstuffed pillows and a thick comforter.  Something was familiar about it, which could mean it was my childhood bed.  I didn't care right now.

By the time Rhaelgyr returned, I was cleaned up and changed.  The dressing gown felt like suede, and it gave off a musky scent every time I moved.  I left the robe on the bed, and did a little spin as the dragon appeared.  "You have excellent tastes in clothes."

He was carrying a covered tray, warm scents wafting from it.  "You don't wear enough leather."  A toss of his head indicated I should get into bed.  "Leather is very beautiful."

The bed was even softer than it looked.  I sank into a wealth of down, suede sheets whispering as I moved.  "Is everything made from dead animal?"  I smiled to show him I was teasing.  Shoving pillows around, I made a soft nest against the headboard.

Rhaelgyr chuckled, setting the tray in my lap.  "The wood is from dead trees."  He pulled the lid away to reveal steak and bread.  The steak was already cut up, steaming in its own juices.  Picking up my fork, I began eating ravenously.

The dragon watched me, and I questioned him around a mouth full of meat.  "What?"

A slow smile spread across his face, and he sat on the foot of the bed.  "I'm still a little out of it.  I haven't worked that much energy in a long time."

"Why not?"

Rhaelgyr sighed, looking toward the entrance.  "Exiles aren't asked to heal very often."

His sadness stirred my heart.  I set the tray aside and crawled to his side.  Wrapping arms around his chest, I rested my head against his shoulder.  "What did you do that was worth being exiled for?"

"I exiled myself," was his soft reply.

I persisted.  "Why would you do that."

"Because I killed my soulmate."

Monday, March 15, 2010

Morgan Chronicles Index

Here's a convenient index of all my Morgan stories.  Now that it's getting really long an unmanageable.

For new readers, Morgan is my dimension traveling character of randomness.  This is an entirely seat of my pants story, in an unedited fashion.  (Booo, hiss)  Yes, this does mean they're are mistakes.  But it also means I might eventually turn it into a full on, second draft completed work.  Maybe.

Since she's a character of randomness, there was no plot.  The story has grown as I've written, and continues to do whatever takes my fancy at the time of writing.  It's bi-weekly, so the most current stories will be on the front page, and I'll add them here as I go along.

I've also decided to turn these into a novel.  Think of this, then, as my first draft.  This is what happens when I go by the seat of my pants instead of plotting things out.  Details get lost, the story wanders, and it's just kinda there.  Not really that compelling.

But you can at least say you were along for the ride.












March Blog Chain - Growing Up

Absolute Write's blog chain this month is about Growing Up.  Razib Ahmed went before me.  Collectonian is coming up next.

So, I wasn't sure what I was going to write for this month.  The idea of some whimsical anecdote about my childhood came to mind.  Even something about never growing up, and staying a kid forever.

Instead, not.

While printing out a bunch of flyers for my book last night, I was watching Labyrinth.  In the end, Sarah comes home after learning that she isn't an island, and a selfish child, and she grows up.  The first thing she does is start putting away her toys and her dreams.

And I think that defines adulthood for Americans, unfortunately.  (I can't speak for the adults in other countries ;)  )  Being an adult means you stop having whimsies, and stop dreaming of the future.  You buckle down and get serious.  There's no playtime for adults.

Adulthood does mean being responsible, and doing things that have to be done before doing things you want to get done.  I'd love to just stop working so I could focus on my writing, but I can't.  There's bills to pay, my family to take care of, and food to eat.  So I need a paycheck.

But I don't have to stop dreaming.  I have to put on my dress clothes, and act nice to my customers, and collect my check, and pay my bills, and do grocery shopping, and pay taxes, and keep myself sane.  I don't have to be just another wage slave.  I can act like them, but inside, I'm still whatever I want to be.

I dream of a better life, and I want a better life, and one day I'll probably get it.  In that way, I'm like a child.

Growing up doesn't need to be about putting away your toys, or conforming, or becoming another drone.  I collect stuffed animals, amongst other things.  My net of stuffed animals is ten feet long, eighteen inches deep, and eighteen inches high.  It's a great big hammock of toys, because I think they're cute, and I like having them.  It's not what adults are "supposed" to do, but it's what I do.

Being adult just means taking care of the responsibilities.  After that, be yourself.  Do what makes you happy.  And keep dreaming.

To sum up my point, check out this comic from XKCD.


The rest of our blog chain:

aimeelaine - www.aimeelaine.com/writing/blog
AuburnAssassin - http://clairegillian.wordpress.com/
DavidZahir - http://zahirblue.blogspot.com/
FreshHell - http://freshhell.wordpress.com/
Simran - http://theglutenfreefoodblog.blogspot.com/
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Sunday, March 14, 2010

Author-torial update

Here's an update of stuff I've been doing.

I started submitting AHB for reviews around the web.  A little intimidating.

Still running behind on keeping the Morgan Chronicles going.  Tempted to take a couple weeks off.

Going to do a guest blog very soon.  Check out salamanderstales.blogspot.com in the meantime while I get my post up.

I got one of those great author moments.  I'd made the dedication to my book weeks ago, and I'd double checked with the old man that it was okay to use his name.  (I'm not telling.  Buy the book. 8D )  I told my step-brother/roommate/weird-shadow-twin that I put him in the dedication.  Then I completely forgot to tell my sister-in-law.

And it made her day when she opened up her copy and saw her name.  And it made my day, because I'd forgotten about it, and hadn't thought anything about it.  Great things.

Also, baby girl princess lizard has her name.  She approves and everything.  I don't know how to do the funny characters, but it's Xiaolong.  Or Xiaolung, depending on who's spelling.  But it's Mandarin for "young dragon".  Which is great for her.  She thinks she's a little dragon, and I've never met a lizard quite like that.

Makes me wonder what it would be like to meet Gustave the croc.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

It's out, it's out, it's out!

There it it is, folks!  That is the print version of my book.  *dances and wiggles and joys all over*  I am an author, i am an author, iamanauthoriamanauthor!  It's all official, and it's released, so people should start buying.  At some point.  Maybe.  /insecure


Double squee.

So, there will be a double post today.  I joined up with Dark Wyrm Reads to take part in Rho's Odyssey.  It's a part-by-part story, with each author participating on their blog, and writing a new part for the story.  The prologue is already up, and I'm writing the first chapter.  So, yay.  I just have to get it up and written, but I've been slacking.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Morgan Chronicles

My blood began to heat as Rhaelgyr bit harder.  I tangled my hands in his hair, pressing my cheek against his head.  A low moan escaped me, and I trembled.

Energy shifted, catching me in wave after wave of vertigo.  Struggling to breathe, I submitted to Rhaelgyr.  He would save me, would protect me, and would get me through this.

For his part, the dragon was growling, hold me tight to him.  Teeth locked around my collarbone, and the pressure was unbelievable.  Rhaelgyr didn't break skin, yet I ached from the bite.  Nails dug into nerves, and his mouth pulled relentlessly on me.

~Morgan, you need to feed.~

My head spun, his pressure echoing through emptiness.  I was certain I'd never let myself get this low.  Even wounds couldn't drain this much energy from an Immortal.  I was an empty glass, and Rhaelgyr was trying to lap at the last few drops.  "I don't know how," came my groan.

Rhaelgyr's growl was frustrated, and rattled through my chest.  Fingers dug deeper into my back, making me writhe.  ~Do you Setians know nothing?~  Energy surged into me, hot and searing, setting every nerve alight.

My response was driven from my mind.  Taking the dragon's energy was like chugging boiling water.  It quenched my thirst, filled me up, but it hurt everything it touched.  But it was delicious, and I couldn't stop myself from taking more.

He groaned inside my mind.  ~Oh, my hungry girl, you are so greedy.~  Draconic energy stopped burning as my body adjusted, and I wanted more.  Rhaelgyr stiffened, pausing in his task as I tried to actively feed.  ~And a quick study.~

The dragon bit again, harder, breaking skin.  His teeth sank nearly to the bone, making me cry out, my nails digging into his scalp.  It didn't hurt like before, and actually felt good.  Groaning, I writhed in his lap.  Rhaelgyr shivered, drawing harder as he penetrated me with his lifeforce.

Something slid loose inside me.  It itched and burned, making my skin crawl.  I shuddered with revulsion, losing the pleasure of Rhaelgyr's touch.  ~This is the last of the parasite.~  Even with him inside my head, I couldn't make out the emotion in his voice.

~Thank you so much,~ I whispered mentally.  Sagging in his arms, relief passed through me.  The last vestige of the parasite left, and I felt better than I had in a while.  How hadn't I noticed the little passenger on my soul?

Rhaelgyr broke the bite to lap at the wound.  "You wear my mark again."

His whisper sent shivers through me.  Taking a shuddering breath, I pulled his head back by his hair.  The dragon's eyes sparkled, but were nearly black.  The whites were turning blue, his skin changing texture.  His lips were stained with blood.

My blood.

Rhaelgyr met my kiss.  Our lips melded like we'd been kissing each other for years.  We breathed as one, moved as one.  I opened my mouth, and his tongue was instantly there.  I moaned, and he inhaled the sound.

This was different from the dryad's club, different from being with Kurlog.  There was no intoxication pushing me into an encounter.  Rhaelgyr and I wanted each other, and given some time, we would consummate this attraction.

One of his hands slipped to my waist, pulling me against his erection, and I thought that time was now.  I was panting when Rhaelgyr broke the kiss to lick my shoulder.  "You should rest," he whispered.

But I had a considerate boyfriend.  One who wouldn't push me past my limits.  I smiled and nodded, putting aside lust.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Paranormal Mixed Media Awards

Since I'm all debut author, and cool like that, that I'd join up with this first annual award for paranormal people.  The more comments a person receives, the more votes they get toward getting into the finals.

I'm nominating myself for paranormal fiction.  If you would ever be so kind, stop by and say something.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

New pet

We got a new pet...we got a new pet...we got a new girl, and she's soooooooooooooooooo cute.

She's an Argus monitor.  Her kind is from Australia.  We got her at our local pet store because her previous owner was going to college.  She still has no name, but she sure is a little princess.  She thinks she's a little dragon.  I've never seen a monitor act so much like a little dragon.

That's my old man's eye there in the back.

She's about two feet long, and we'll get like twice that size.  At the store, they told us she didn't eat dead food, that she was only a killer.  He got her to eat a big gobbet of hamburger.  She barely hesitated.  And she loves the crap out of frozen mice.

Only problem: she's a lizard that needs lots of heat, and we just had a cold snap.  She's in the room without heating.  Poor babydoll may need to be moved.

But, well, precious baby dragon!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Morgan Chronicles

It was comfortable to be in his arms.  Even if I weren't drained and soul weary, I would be happy to stay here.  Bleeding and worn out wasn't the best way to be held by him, but it was a start.

A start with the man I'd just asked to be my boyfriend.

My eyes cracked open, and I stared up at him.  Long hair was damp with sweat, and it hung around his angular face.  He frowned in concentration, delicate brows drawn together.

I could certainly have done worse.  With a trembling right hand, I stroked his cheek.  Dark blue eyes opened, and he smiled wearily.  "How do you feel?"

"Much better, thank you."  I smiled in response, then glanced at my shoulder.  "How is it?"

He shrugged, tightening his grip on my shoulder.  "Not so great.  There might be runners left that could spring up again."  I met his gaze when it seemed he had more to say.

"What?" I had to prompt.

"I should be able to dig them out.  But as weak as you are, it's dangerous."  Rhaelgyr looked away, sighing softly.

"If we leave it, how hard will it be to get it out?"  I shifted, trying to sit up.

Rhaelgyr let me rise, but still wouldn't look at me.  "This hard or harder."

"Do it."

He snapped his head around, frowning.  "Morgan-"

"Do.  It."

Rhaelgyr nodded, reaching for me.  "I'll be able to suck it out of you, but I'll need to eat a lot of your energy."

I smiled.  "Doesn't sound so bad."

"You don't have much left.  I could end up eating all of you."  He laced his fingers in mine, pulling me back into his lap.  I straddled him, staring into his eyes, trembling with weakness.

There was a lot of pain in his eyes.  What had he done in his past that scarred him like this?  I stroked his hair, and smiled.  "I'm not scared.  If I die, at least it's at your hands."

His eyes closed, and he buried his face against my shoulder.  "Morgan, you torment me."

Wrapping arms around his head, I kissed his crown.  "Rhaelgyr, do not feel that way.  I trust you.  I can't explain it, but I know you're gentle, and you won't hurt me."

He growled under his breath.  "Dragons are not gentle."

I laughed, rubbing my cheek on his hair.  "You're gentle enough.  And you're not crazy.  And you've been kind to me.  And I like you.  You make me feel safe."

Rhaelgyr sighed, clutching at my back.  "If I kill you, know I had fun with you."

I tugged on his hair, pulling his head back.  A single tear stood on his cheek, and I leaned in to kiss it away.  Then I kissed his mouth.  Gently at first, then with increasing fervor.  "Don't kill me then."

The dragon tightened his grip on my back, kissing my mouth, my jaw, then my neck.  I shivered as he set his mouth against my collarbone.  His lips parted, and I cradled his head, waiting for whatever was to come.

Rhaelgyr started biting.  Gentle love bites first, tiny nibbles that felt good.  Then harder, making my gasp and stiffen.  My skin began to tingle, bringing to light just how weak I was.  I was low on energy, to the point I would pass out shortly.

And the dragon was going to feed and take even more from me.  Clutching his head, I was glad he was trustworthy.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Morgan Chronicles

~Relax,~ he whispered.  Sensations faded, became confused.  Pain left, yet it was all around me.  I floated in my head, like in a trance, oblivious to the outside world.

Also around me floated Rhaelgyr's warmth.  It was like a thousand hearth fires.  Like a ward against a thousand lonely nights.  I tried to curl up in it, to take comfort in the dragon.

Something wouldn't let me.  I groaned, fighting a stiffness in my side.  Looking at my shoulder, I found the source of my discomfort.

It looked like a twisted fetus, with long runners of flesh burrowing into me.  Bleary eyes glared at me, waxen lips not formed enough to move.  "What are you?" I asked, fighting back the urge to vomit.

~This is the parasite Kurlog made.  It's just for you, gaining life from your essence.~

"Get it out of me."  I looked for Rhaelgyr, eyes wide.  My hands itched with the need to tear it loose.  I couldn't find the dragon, and my panic increased.

~I'm trying.~  His words were weary, voice fading.

"What do you need me to do?"  Resolution stiffened my spine, and I clenched my fists.  Rhaelgyr was helping a stranger from the goodness of his own heart; the least I could do is help with my own healing.

~Keep it distracted.~

I laughed, a short bitter chuckle.  "That sounds easy enough," I mumbled.  Rhaelgyr's presnce stirred around me, but he didn't reply.

Everything would have been easier if I could have just seen him.  He was with me, and he was holding my physical body.  It was purely psychological, but things would have been better with him at my side.

"All right, little shit," I said to the parasite.  "What have you got for me?"

Eyes narrowed as I turned to face it.  Its features had refined further, and it had dug deeper into my left side.  It now had enough of a mouth to hiss at me as I glared.

"Is that it?"  Facing the creature that had been tormenting me changed my perception.  I had something to focus on, not just a vague ache in my shoulder.

Though it was gross, though it was growing from me, I held nothing but contempt for this parasite.  It had no power, and existed only at my sufference.

The creature squealed, rearing back.  I winced as a tendril came free and lashed at my face.  ~Keep doing that!~

I wasn't sure what I was doing, so I just grinned at the thing.  "My friend is going to kill you, and then your master."  The parasite's squeal continued, and my ears ached from the sound.  However, I pressed on.  "You're done hurting me."

Another tendril popped out, bloody and spiky, and I grew dizzy.  It didn't want to let go.  Logically, I couldn't blame it for not wanting to die.  None of us wanted to die.  But it didn't get a choice in the matter.

Choking out a laugh, I fell to my knees.  "You don't get it."  It kept screaming.  "You don't get to live here anymore.  You need to move on."  My stomach roiled, but I kept laughing.

~Stay strong, my dear.  This last part will be the worst.~

I nodded, bracing my hands on my thighs.  "My boyfriend's going to eat you."

Rhaelgyr ripped the parasite free, throwing it far away from me.  Every inch of my body was wracked with agony.  I felt the original wound again, and something sharp and painful being drug out of it.  I screamed and screamed, and thought it would never end.

Then I was sagging in Rhaelgyr's arms, breathing heavily.  I smelled blood and sweat.  My body was limp, like a wrung out rag.  Fighting sagging eyelids, I gazed up at the dragon in his delightful elven form.

"Your boyfriend?" he whispered.  Rhaelgyr's energy flowed into me, his hand clamped over my throbbing shoulder.

"Why not?" I quipped.  My eyes refused to stay open any longer.

The dragon chuckled.  "Why not."

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Guess what?

My morning was starting off fairly well.  Woke up feeling rested; it's a little overcast and breezy outside; kitty wanted snuggles; my darling man brought me cereal in bed.  Just the night before I had finalized a design for little flyers to litter book stores with.

I was thinking these were all very good things, and I was pleased with them.  Until I opened my email.


That, my dear friends, is my book, available on Kindle.

It's coming out.  It's technically kinda out right now, for lucky Kindle owners.  (Even I'm behind the times, and don't have an ebook reader)  Other formats should be trickling in shortly.

But until then....

.......OMFG my book's on the Kindle!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Morgan Chronicles

The pain was horrible.  I screamed, arching, and Rhaelgyr held me close.  "Focus," he hissed in my ear.  "Focus on getting this out."

I gritted my teeth, still screaming.  The dragon's claws dug into my shoulder, and something began to burn deep inside.  Molten lead filled my veins, and my screams increased.  "Stop it, stop it, stop it," I begged.

"No."  He growled, raising hairs all over as I feared an attack.  "You must endure."

"I hate you."  Tears burned behind my eyelids, and I reached for his hand.

Some of the pain dissipated when I realized his claws had never entered my flesh.  Only his energy.  Tears stopped, and I slumped in his arms.  "Good girl," he murmured, his physical fingers gripping my shoulder.  "Ready to work with me?"

The parasite continued struggling, lashing out at me.  It was like an open wound bathed in lemon and salt, being washed with rusty bard wire.  Conscious thought tried to leave, and I stiffened, focusing on staying in control.  "Maybe."

Rhaelgyr settled his right arm around my waist, shifting his grip on my shoulder.  Any arousal I'd had was long gone, and it was a struggle not to cry out as the thing in my shoulder writhed.  His breath was warm on my neck, and I focused on his voice as he started talking.

"It's lodged pretty deep in your soul.  It's had to put out little anchors.  When I pull it out, you're going to be in a lot of pain.  You'll be weak and vulnerable, but I'll do my best to patch you up."

"You can heal spirits?"  I swallowed hard, my head resting on his shoulder.

"You'd be surprised what a dragon can heal.  Had I been with you instead of Steven, you wouldn't be in this position."  He kissed my ear.  "Are you ready?"

Fire kissed every nerve.  "As ready as I'll ever be."

"Then we begin."  Energy stirred, the pain rising.  I whimpered in the back of my throat, and Rhaelgyr held me tighter.  "It's going to want to stay.  The pain is just to urge you to fight me off."

Sweat beaded my brow.  It felt like Rhaelgyr's claws were in me again.  "It's working."  Taking a shuddering breath, I willed myself to remain calm.  Staying still was a small miracle.

"But you won't let it.  You know I won't hurt you."  More of his energy entered me, and his mind pressed against mine.  I groaned, twitching in pain, but allowing him access to my mind.

He sighed in return.  "Why do you trust me?"  The pain lessened as it felt like his control slipped.

"Because I do," I said, turning his way.  Rhaelgyr moved, allowing our eyes to meet.  "Because you're trustworthy."

His eyes were wounded, his cheeks flushed.  "You don't know that."

The dragon was opening old wounds in me, and I was opening old wounds in him.  There was so much wrong with this.  "Tell me about it after you get Kurlog's thing out of me."

Rhaelgyr nodded, eyes hardening.  "I'll tell you everything."  His hand tightened on my shoulder, and the torment began anew.  I cried out, nails digging into my palms.

"Would you like me to make him pay?" the dragon asked.  The moment of weakness and doubt was gone, replaced once more by the strong man I'd met.  Nerves thrilled as I recognized the possessive tone from the sex den.  Maybe I'd start my new life with an affair.

"Yes," I whispered, submitting further.  The more the parasite tried to hurt me, the more tolerant I grew.  Agony could only go so high before nerves grew numb.

But I was starting to black out.  My mind drifted, nuzzling against Rhaelgyr's presence.  He still spoke, but I didn't hear it.  I was content to let him work, trust him to heal me.

Why did I trust him so easily?

Monday, March 1, 2010

Lazy weekend

I haven't been feeling the best lately.  So I spent this last weekend getting better.

Meaning I didn't do anything.  Nothing.  None of the things I SHOULD have been doing.

Didn't get ahead on my Morgan story.  I'm actually writing tomorrow's as I speak.

Didn't edit any of my book.

Didn't make any more logos or add links to my site or start any promo stuff.

Didn't work on transcribing my current work in progress.

I was a lazy lazy girl, but I feel a lot better.  So maybe I can now get started on the important things.

My sister-in-law has been going crazy with vistaprint.  They're pretty cool, and I'll definitely use them....after I finish making up my own designs.  *dusts off photoshop*

My old man is getting himself a lizard this week.  She's a pretty thing.  And big enough to put a hurting on my cat if he does anything stupid.

Getting so much closer to my book release.  Man, that's going to hit me like a ton of bricks when it happens.  Maybe I'll have myself in something like a prepared state.

And other things go on.