Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Changes, New Adventures, and Lots of Feels

For a long while now my ol’ blog and myself have needed to undergo some changes. And thus this week I set out on the (not exactly) grand adventure of doing just that.

Firstly, you may have noticed I don’t pen under the name Lauriloth anymore. If I have hopes of ever getting published I figured I might need to start looking a smidge more professional. (Although I still have delusions of being an elf. We can just pretend, right?) But don’t you worry, I’ll still always be Lauri, so feel free to address me as such if so desired. I’ll answer to pretty much anything. Lauri, Christine, Stormageddon. It’s all good.

I’ve added things, taken things away. Just made my blog a bit more clean and fresh.

Want to know a funny story? I was this *holds thumb and forefinger half an inch apart* close to starting an entirely new blog. See, I’ve been in quandary over this for many a month, knowing I wanted to make some changes but unsure how I wished to go about it. I like new starts. My perfectionist self likes to have a whole new, clean slate to work with. But I’m also rather sentimental. So the idea of totally abandoning this blog hurt a little. It really shouldn’t have been that big of a decision, but to me it was for some reason. I spent many a night tossing and turning, weighing the pros and cons. Finally, this weekend, I made a decision. I was going to make a new blog.

So yesterday I jumped right in and hit that “New Blog” button. Then a few minutes into setting it up my brain went, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING???”

Ten minutes after starting a new blog I deleted it.

And that, my friends, is a Christine moment if there ever was one.

Decision making and I. . .don’t coexist. Let’s put it that way. Having to decide things is probably my least favorite thing to do ever. So what shouldn’t have been a big deal turned into months of fret and despair. ‘Cause that’s how I roll.

But, all that to say, I’m glad I made the final decision I did. I feel at peace now, comfortable with my trusty blog. I like Musings of an Elf. It has been the dumping ground for all my crazy thoughts and whims for 3+ years. I don’t want to give it up. So instead, I gave it a little makeover and got the best of both worlds. And here we are!

I have a couple of new pages, fixed up my sidebar, and also made a new blog button to more match my theme.

Blogger Button

Feel free to take it. In fact, I’d be honored! ^_^

I’ve also taken the leap on a couple of other things as well.

I now officially have a Google+ account. Google has been practically screaming at me to do just that everywhere I turn, so I finally gave in. Not sure what to do with it, but it’s there.

And then I made a rather huge leap for me and jumped into the twitter boat. That would be another thing I’ve been debating if I want to do for, well, to be honest years probably. Yes, I’m sad, I know. Again, not 100% sure what to do with it yet, but I suspect I’ll end up using it a fair amount in the end.

Oh yes, and one more rather exciting thing. I’m taking part in Rooglewood Press's Five Enchanted Roses creative writing contest!!! I’m quite excited! (And a little nervous.)

B&B Contest Button

If you haven’t heard of this contest just click on that button right up there and you’ll find all the details. But basically it’s where you write a Beauty and the Beast retelling between 5k to 20k words. If they pick yours it’ll get published along with four other winners inside that beautimous cover. Pretty fantastic!

This is their second contest to do. The first they did is titled Five Glass Slippers featuring Cinderella stories. I hope to get my hands on that lovely thing soon!

When I heard they were doing another contest featuring Beauty and the Beast I knew immediately I was going to participate. Beauty and the Beast is my absolute FAVORITE fairytale. So having the opportunity to write a retelling of it with the (probably very low) possibility of it getting published? How could I pass it up?

Currently I’m only 5k words into my retelling, but come August I plan on fully tackling it. Or maybe “hope” would be the better word. Because plans do tend to laugh at me maniacally before exploding in my face. At least I have a start to it though. I hope of all hopes I can keep it under the 20k limit. I think we all know how long my books are. I’m not meant to write short stories and novellas! But I want to try anyway. However daunting a task it might be. No one (and I mean no one, except for maybe non-writers) ever said writing was easy.

Also, I’m spazzing a bit over NEW HOBBIT TRAILER.


That ending gives me so many feels.

So that’s what’s been going on in my life. Changes and new endeavors and feels everywhere.

Who else is joining in the Rooglewood contest? How do you feel about the next Hobbit movie? (I’m quite wary myself after Desolation of Smaug but we won’t go into that.) And tell me, how do YOU handle the oh so dreaded decision making?

Monday, July 21, 2014

Christine’s Writing Life - The Writing Process Tour

One of my bestest besties Celti/Deborah from The Road of a Writer passed a tag my way, which I am quite ecstatic about. I’ve seen this tag floating around and thought it looked spectacular. I’m so excited I’ve been given the opportunity to participate. Thank you, Celti dear, you’re the best! <3 Also, everyone go to her blog. Yes, now. She is a delightful human being and basically the best. So go, enjoy her charm.

Now then. This tag, as its name suggests, basically focuses on the life of us crazy writers and how we go about *le gasp* writing! So are you ready to take a peek into what the majority of my life is centered around? Don’t worry, it’s not scary.

It’s terrifying. Not scary. ;D

Ready? Here we go!

Writing Process Blog Tour Button

1. What are you working on?

That’s a complicated question at the moment because I just finished a book a few weeks ago. Currently I am sort of working on a novella but I’m not talking much about that right now. Don’t worry, I’ll discuss that more openly soon, I’m sure.

Fallen Matter CoverSince I’m not super actively working on a single thing right now I’ll just say Fallen Matter. (Seriously, have I written in a post in the last 6 months that didn’t involve Fallen Matter?) I think I can still count as “working on it” because even though I finished up the first draft my mind is still keenly focusing on it as I try to sort out all the plot holes and loose ends I never tied up. That first draft barely scratched the surface. The real stuff will be coming up soonish when I delve into editing. Which I might do in a few weeks or a month or. . .next year. I don’t know. I’d rather sooner than later, but life seems to have other ideas, so we’ll see.

And I've realized as much as I’ve talked about Fallen Matter I’ve never really talked about it. I haven’t explained much of its plot, if any. The problem is, it’s all very spoilery. I seem to have a hard time explaining this book without giving away stuff that I’d rather keep secret. I don’t know why this book has been that way. But maybe that’s a good thing? Most of my stories tend to be. . .generic, but I think this one has veered away from that.

So, Fallen Matter. . .how do I explain it? You know what? How ‘bout I just share the blurb I wrote for it a good while back?

"I don't know who I am."

When Breighly Matterdon awakes in a bright white lab room with no memory, her only desire is to escape. But when she does, she finds herself in a far bigger prison than imaginable.

Forty-three years ago, when the world was being threatened of complete annihilation, the world leaders devised a plan to save the human race. An indestructible cube was built around one of the last remaining cities of the world, and there a raffled number of people were to live. The smartest men and woman of the world were assigned as the city's rulers, entitling themselves as the Intelligents. Only they hold the secret to opening the Cube again, and know when will be the right time.

No one expected to live inside the Cube for so long. Now supplies are running dangerously low, the younger generation doesn't even know what the sun looks like, and the Intelligents' heavy hand over the population has become as suffocating as the Cube itself.

When Breighly discovers the Intelligents did something to her, changed her, she wants to leave the horrible prison disguising itself as a city. But to do so, she has to embrace her new ability and cooperate with these so called scientists, for she may be the key to unlocking the Cube and freeing its inhabitants. There are some, though, who wish to use her to stop the Intelligents' tyranny.

Breighly is caught between two battles, confused within the fog of her lost memory, not knowing what to do or who to trust. How can she trust anyone when she doesn't even know if she can trust herself? Should she stop the Intelligents, or help them open the Cube and finally escape?

But what if there is no world left to escape to?

There! Hopefully that explains it well enough. This story confuses me, so trying to explain it to other people hurts my brain. I guess it’s dystopian. . .? I always say that but I’m not sure if it’s exactly that genre. It’s futuristic, sci-fi sorta kinda, that involves teens with. . .superpowers-ish? I don’t know. This book is weird, guys. >.>

2. How does your work differ from others of its genre?

Ooh, wow. That’s a tough question.

I know a lot of people aren’t wild about the dystopian genre because it never offers any glimpse of hope. Everything is so dark and depressing, a tunnel without the light at the end. And I agree, that gets pretty tiresome after a while. Do we not read stories to see good conquer evil? To see, even though the world is a dark place, there will always be light if you search and fight for it?

From the very first spark of Fallen Matter I knew I wanted to integrate God’s hope and mercy through its pages, no matter what else happened. I admit, it is definitely the darkest book I’ve ever written and some terrible things take place in it, but God’s light still made cracks through the darkness. The book reveals that even when terrible things happen, God can turn them into something great if we choose to follow Him (although that subject will get deeper in the second book).

Hope in God

Actually, almost all my books have a “light will conquer the dark” message woven in them. I think that’s my favorite thing to write about and it manages to worm its way into all my novels. But that’s perfectly okay with me. If nothing else, I want my readers to come away from my books remembering that there’s always hope. I think a lot of authors focus so much on making their stories as dramatic, surprising, and action-packed as they can, they forget that important message.

3. Why do you write what you write?

That IS a question, isn’t it?Fantasy Pic

If you know me you know I’m a fantasy gal alllll the way. Medieval fantasy is my greatest passion literary-wise. I’ve always loved it. I was obsessed with things like Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland when I was little (did I say '”was obsessed” because I think the obsession has only grown through the years). I loved all things fairytale. Then when I was 10 years old I was introduced to the world of Tolkien and the Christine you know now was born. I was captivated. I knew I already loved fantastical things, but Tolkien introduced me to what fantasy really meant, and I’ve never gone back.

I can’t imagine ever loving any genre above fantasy. How can you not love swordfights, knights, dragons, faithful steeds, dragons, princesses, damsels in distress, damsels not in distress, dragons, elves, ELVES PEOPLE, mountains, forests, secret underground cities, dragons, goblins, trolls, dragons, beautiful dresses, cloaks, bows and arrows, dragons, castles. DRAGONS. Dragons and elves! I mean, is there anything better? Celti, my fellow fantasy lover she is, said fantasy feels like home to her, and I can’t think of any better way to word it. When I read a fantasy book it feels so. . .natural. It’s like a breath of the familiar scents of home—comforting. I feel so much more at home in any fantasy book opposed to a contemporary story. Isn’t that odd? When I visit places like Middle Earth or Narnia or Neverland it just feels RIGHT. It’s very odd, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I also love the creativity writing fantasy comes with. There are absolutely no limits. Flying monkeys, anyone? What about one tiny hobbit saving the entire world? Sure, why not! Why not have a pet talking cat? Why can’t this tree grow gold instead of leaves? Why shouldn’t there be a tribe of people with purple hair? It never ends! You can do whatever you want with it and be as creative and wild as you like. There’s not a thing to hold you back. It makes my crazy, random mind very happy.

So why am I suddenly writing a dystopian-ish trilogy? One wonders. . .

For basically my whole life I thought I’d never once veer away from the medieval fantasy genre. That’s what I wrote, that’s what I wanted to write, and why would I even do anything different? It was my comfort zone. It made me happy. Writing anything else sounded ridiculous.

Steampunk ShipI’ve always been a person to find what I like and never step out of it and try new things. Not until a couple of years ago, that is. I don’t know what happened, but something stirred inside me, bravery. And tentatively, I picked up a few books that weren’t fantasy. *GASP* What is this? And I. . .I enjoyed them. *more gasping* And so I went a bit further. I painted my nails purple instead of the normal safe pinks I always used. I thought it was great! So I went wild and tried turquoise, which I fell in love with. I tried more new books and got a bit braver and bolder with my wardrobe and all around just became a much more interesting, courageous person. So when a very odd story idea came to me that wasn’t medieval fantasy, I wrote it. And LOVED it. Said story was a strange steampunk, time travel story. So very opposite from ANYTHING I’ve ever written. And at that moment I realized stepping out of my writing comfort zone was a good thing. A VERY good thing. In fact, it was thrilling! I got so caught up in my stubbornness to stick with medieval fantasy I didn’t realize how enthralling it could be to try new, different things and stretch my writing.

With this new realization, I became very opened to new stories. An idea about a girl and her uncle chasing down mythical creatures in modern day London popped into my head in the midst of writing my steampunk story. It was one thing veering away from medieval fantasy, but writing something in the REAL world? Could I really do it? Well. . .it could be fun. Thus The McGuffin Book series awoke. Now, I only have a couple of chapters written in that first book, but I love that story and hope to really do something with it someday.

And then, out of nowhere (and I mean nowhere), Fallen Matter struck me. At this point I was extremely open to trying new things and dived right into it before I even had a plot, and it turned out to be one of my favorite stories I’ve ever written.

So why do I write what I write? Honestly? I have no idea! New ideas far from the norm intrigue me. I love fantastical things. I love the lowest of people transforming into heroes. I love to see some ridiculous idea form into a real tale. It’s the most fun thing in the world to explore all the crazy ideas that pop into my bizarre brain. I may not write strictly fantasy now (though it will ALWAYS be my favorite), but I think I’ll forever pen tales far from the reality we know. Because “reality’s a lovely place, but I wouldn’t want to live there.”

Basically, I like making stuff up.

Make Stuff Up

4. How does your writing process work?

As soon as I figure that out I’ll let you know.

Okay, okay. Welll. . .it’s not very organized. To be so OCD I sure am scattered.

I’m a pantser naturally. Plotting isn’t my thing. When I get an idea, I usually just jump right into it without bothering fleshing it out. My stories come alive during the writing process (which is why my first drafts turn out so messy, but what can you do?).

BooksThe first spark of my stories come from anywhere and everywhere. I’m working on an entire series merely because I saw a picture of a white-haired elf on the internet one day, and a story idea grew from there. My steampunk story came from the thought of a girl having to go through an entire adventure wearing a wedding dress. (I told you that story was strange.) Fallen Matter came from two words: “I’m falling”, which I know I’ve mentioned. I get ideas from books, TV shows, pinterest, everywhere!

At that point it’s all a matter of how strongly I want to write the story. Sometimes I think, “That’d be a cool tale,” and not get any farther. But some snag me and refuse to let go. When that happens I’ll usually dive right in.

Sometimes I may plot out my characters at least, but that’s as far as the plotting will go before I start the actual story. Like I said, I discover the story as I write. During that first draft stage I’m learning the plot as I go along. Things reveal themselves to me that never would have if I attempted an outline. For me personally, writing blindly is much more fun and enlightening than following an outline. Although sometimes I envy those who can plot out their whole books before writing. It’s much faster and less messy that way. But I do love to discover the story as I go, as if I’m really experiencing the adventure myself. (I’ll admit though, for NaNoWriMo I do outline. The idea of delving into NaNo with no plan terrifies me. But I still enjoy pantsing much better.)

Once I’ve started the story, I may do a teensy bit of plotting here and there if I get really stuck or confused just to get my thoughts together and back on track. But mainly I just write like a mad person and/or procrastinate skillfully until that first draft is finally finished. It totally varies how long that takes. When I was younger it literally took years, if I even finished a story. This last NaNo I finished my story in 25 days, which is the absolute fastest I’ve ever written anything. Fallen Matter took 6 months, and I think that’s more the norm. 4 to 6 months if I really stick to it.

Once that first draft is done the REAL work begins. But I’ll be honest with you. I’ve only ever rewritten/edited one novel. Last year I took the big leap, swallowed my ridiculous fear of editing, and did it. And. . .it wasn’t so bad. It was almost fun. Weird, I know.

But, since I’ve only ever really edited one book, I just have tons of first drafts sitting on my computer which I mourn the state over but never get to. My writing journey has come a long way though, and now that I take it seriously there will be far more editing taking place in the near future, not just forgotten first drafts.


And that, my dear readers, is Christine’s writing process. Christine also tends to talk in third person and get overly wordy, in which she apologizes.

Now the exciting part. I get to pass this on! I tag my awesome blogging buddies and fellow writers Jack, Kiri Liz, and Sarah if they so desire to participate (but you absolutely don’t have to).

Thank you again, Celti, for passing this my way! And thank you to anyone who actually sifted through this monstrous thing. I never do seem to struggle with a lack of words, do I? Ahem.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Beautiful People - Lykan {July 2014}

It’s that time again! Or more like has been that time for a while because I’m always late to these things. But another edition of Beautiful People is up! *cheers* What is Beautiful People you ask? Why, it’s an amazing blog linkup in which the lovely hosts Sky and Cait give us ten questions each month to answer about any story character we may have of our choosing. Simple, fun, and unbelievably helpful. If you want to join in be sure to link up, which you can do here on Sky's blog or Cait's blogly here.

Beautiful People Button

So who is getting featured today on Musings of an Elf? Lykan has decided to steal that spot, because that’s what he does. I was kind of thinking since I just finished the story he’s from, Fallen Matter, I should choose someone from another book. But in a few weeks (hopefully? perhaps? probably?) I will be doing an uber major editing of this book, so the more I get to know the characters from it the better. As a result, I’m consenting and letting him take the spotlight again. Or maybe he tricked me into letting him. I don’t know. >.>

You guys tired of hearing about Fallen Matter? I feel like that’s all I’ve blogged about since starting it in December. I’m telling you, this book kidnapped me to the utmost degree. It’s quite rude, really. But if you’re not tired of it or curious about what keeps kidnapping Christine I officially made a label specifically for it so I can find each post featuring all things Fallen Matter. Something I meant to do months ago. It only took like 10 seconds. I always have these little things that I tell myself I’m going to do and then never actually get around to it. I don’t know why I’m like that.

Oh, right. I was doing Beautiful People.

“Yeah, you blather too much, Christine, I think I’ll answer the questions for myself, thank you.”

Wait, what? Lykan, you can’t just take over my blog post like this!

“I already did. Now off you go. If anyone’s going to ask questions about me I’m going to be the one to answer them.”

I. . . >.> Fiiiine.


“If you're looking for some kind of way out of your misery, you're not going to get it. Life stinks, sweetheart. That's how it works. You just have to learn to accept the misery until the day you die. And then..." He shrugged. "Who knows. Nothing, probably. You live, you die, the end."

Slowly, I brought myself back to my feet. "That's how you feel?"

He stared straight at me, eyebrows lowered. "That's what I've learned. The only point I see in life is to see how long you can keep it from killing you. Self-preservation. Isn't that what we all do? Isn't that why we're here?" He gave the wall a kick, the heavy point of his black boot thumping against the hard surface. "They built this place to preserve the human race. It's all about staying alive. Life is never going to be good, so you might as well make a game out of it."


1) What’s their favorite food? (Bonus: favorite flavor of chocolate!)
I like the delicacies the French and Italian have to offer, but hey, food is food. If it’s edible I’ll eat it. I’ve lived off canned mush my entire life. I’m not exactly picky.
Sadly, I haven’t had the pleasure of testing too many forms of chocolate, it’s in a bit of a low supply where I live. Yes, you may feel sorry for me. But I’ll eat anything chocolate. Who wouldn’t? Oh right, my author who has horrendous taste buds.
“It’s not my fault I don’t like chocolate!”

2) What do they absolutely hate?
Hahahaha! The real question here would be, “What do I not hate?” and there’s not much. Darlings, we’d be here all day if I listed what I hated.

3) What do they enjoy learning about?
How people tick. It comes in very handy in my line of. . .work.

4) Who is the most influential person in their life?
Uh. . .me? Why would I let other people influence me? People are stupid. The quicker you learn to rely on only yourself the easier life will be. Although there was this one girl. . .Maddie. . . You know what, forget it. I have no intention of ever being influenced by other people.

5) What is their childhood fear?
Seriously? Could these questions get any worse?
”You said you wanted to answer them yourself, so do it right or I’m taking over!”
Fine. Whatever. Being controlled. There, happy? I hated being controlled then and I hate being controlled now. I hate not having full power over myself and circumstances.
”That explains a lot. . .”

6) What is something they have always secretly dreamed of doing, but thought impossible?
These questions are getting annoyingly personal.
”Hey, I could have done another character but you insisted.”
Speaking of annoying. . .
All right, secretly dreamed of. . . Having full control of everyone I come in contact with is definitely up there on the list. Which used to it did seem almost impossible but circumstances have taken a very interesting turn for me lately. . .

7) What is something he is impractically afraid of?
What? Didn’t I already answer this question?
”No, you told us your biggest childhood fear, this is something stupid you’re afraid of.”
Does my author continuing to talk count?
I don’t know! Getting one of my limbs amputated?
”Or going bald?”
Shut up.

8) Are they a night owl or morning person?
Come on, night is when all the good stuff is happening! I don’t understand people who choose to get up early. It’s so useless.

9) Do they say everything that pops into their head, or leave a lot unsaid?
What do you think?

10) What are their nervous habits?
Being nervous isn’t something I have a habit of doing.
”Fine, I’ll answer the question. Most of the time he’ll go very silent and tense if he’s nervous. It’s easy to spot because usually he’s very lax and constantly spouting things from his mouth. He also tends to fiddle with his hair more while nervous.”
Have you even seen me be nervous?
”Why yes, shall I share a snippet?”
Shall I shove you in a closet?
”You know, there are still two more books to this trilogy, plenty of chances to kill off certain annoying characters.”
I hate you.
*grins* “I know.”

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Fallen Matter Snippets

Hello! I do hope you all had a most fabulous July Fourth weekend. Mine was quite lovely, and I am late to my normal Monday posting because of it, but that’s all right.

So, in honor of finishing Fallen Matter and all that excitement, I thought I’d share some snippets with you. This book is still extremely first draft-y, so be sure to read at your own risk. Don’t want any eyeballs melting or other such inconveniences.


Fallen Matter Collage

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

A sense of fear took over the emptiness inside me. I jerked away from the balding man and the arms gripping my shoulder, stumbling into the bed. I gripped the mattress, crumpling the thin white sheets in my fists as I waited for the room to stop spinning. A hand reached for me but I moved away again and staggered toward the door, hardly knowing what I was even doing. If only I could get one clear thought.
The balding man came for me, snagging my arm in a tight squeeze. I found myself far too weak to pull away this time. I simply stared at his round face as it wavered back and forth through my wobbly vision.
"Where...where am I?" I croaked, finding I could hardly even speak.
"They're coming!" a woman behind the man shouted, staring wide-eyed at some sort of small screen in the palm of her hand.
The man jerked my wrist up toward him and reached to remove the plastic band. It had spun around, and now instead of the stream of random numbers I could see two words. Breighly Matterdon. I stared at the words, mesmerized.
Trying to find my voice, I licked my lips, but my tongue was so dry it did no good. "What's Breighly?"
The man struggled to pull the thing off from around my hand. Its sharp edges cut painfully into my sore wrist. "You."
I only blinked, my head too foggy.
"That's your name," he clarified. "You're Breighly Matterdon."
"My name..." I whispered. Ripping my arm away from him, I covered the band with my other hand and held it tight against my chest.
He stared at me with his beady eyes. A drip of sweat slipped down his temple. "We have to hurry. I must get the band off of you and get you out of those clothes."
Looking down at myself, I only then noticed my white pants and shirt. I took a step back, the tiled floor cold under my bare feet, and pressed my wrist closer against me. I could not explain why I wanted to keep the band. It was the one thing that proved I was somebody. I did not want to let go of that.

. . .

"Well, you'll have a cot tonight. I'll show you around after lunch. Now come on, I'm hungry too!"
"You're always hungry. You could stand to wait half a second." Elan went over to retrieve his trench coat from the floor and proceeded to put it on.
"No, don't hide them," his brother protested.
"I don't particularly want to be gawked at."
"You're no fun. If I had them I'd be showing them off."
"You draw enough attention to yourself without wings."
Cyrus just grinned proudly.

. . .

Swerving around, I found Cyrus racing toward me, the echo of his pounding feet in the thin hall rapping into my coming headache.
"What happened back there?" he asked the second he had reached me. His rapid words rattled as he tried to catch his breath and speak at the same time. "Elan told me to find you. He was going to come but the Enlighters wanted to examine him right away. They told me you just needed time to think or something like that and I should show you where you'll sleep. Except it's not even bedtime, we haven't even had supper, but they told me to show you anyway. Speaking of supper, are you hungry? It didn't look like you ate any of your lunch. I know it wasn't very good, but you should eat you know. Oh, you found Fay! Hi, Fay!"
It took my brain at least a full minute to even process that jumble of information. The Enlighters told him to show me where I'll sleep? They were really going to let me stay? I couldn't even decide what that meant before Cyrus was speaking again.
"What are you doing on the floor, Fay?" He stepped around me and helped the girl to her feet.
She gave him a weak smile and then cast me a half-second look before biting her lip and returning her gaze to the ground.
I tugged at my shirt, choosing the ground to stare at as well. "I...um...accidentally bumped into her."
"That happens to you a lot, doesn't it, Fay?" Cyrus said with a half chuckle. "She's so quiet, sometimes you don't even know she's there! But it all worked out, because I was going to introduce you two anyway. I didn't get a chance at lunch." His voice lowered with suspicion. "Unless you've already done it without me."
I looked back up to find him giving me a skeptical glare, but there was an unmistakable gleam in his eye. It was so hard to stay upset around this boy. "Don't worry, you came just in time to introduce us."
His face transformed into a grin, but he cleared his throat, forcing it to a serious expression. Standing erect, he waved a hand dramatically in my direction. "Lady Fay, allow me to introduce the good Miss Breighly Matterdon." His widely gesturing hand turned toward the girl. "Miss Matterdon, this is the fair Lady Fay." He leaned in my direction, blocking the side of his mouth with a hand. "Technically, her real name isn't Fay," he said quietly, "it's just short for Finn...Finnoo..."
"Fionnuala," the girl said. Her voice was so soft, it barely reached above a whisper.
"Yeah, that." Cyrus gave a single nod of triumph.
I ran the name through my head carefully. Fin-noo-lah. "That's an interesting name."
"It's from some ancient Irish legend," Cyrus said, "about people being turned into swans for nine-hundred years or something like that. I always forget. Anyway, we all just call her Fay. It's easier."
Swan. I probed my mind, trying to bring up an image of that word. It was a bird I thought. Yes, a white bird with a long neck that glided on water. Quiet and graceful. I studied the girl in front of me, small and silent. Her name fit her well

. . .

Isaac's eyes studied my hands gripping his wrist. "I better not be late."
"Oh." Blushing, I released him. "So you're one of the surveyors?"
This time, he flashed a grin. "They wouldn't have gotten anywhere without me. Don't you remember? I'm the best hacker in the city."
"You mean you're the one who opened the aerodite dock in the Lab?"
"That and killed their cameras."
I smiled. "I guess I have a lot to learn about you. Or relearn, I suppose."
"I look forward to it." He took a few hesitant steps down the hall before halting and turning to face me.
I shifted under his gaze. "What?"
He smiled. "It's just good, seeing your face again."
I waved him off. "Shoo with you. You're going to be late for your meeting."
Grinning, he gave me a wink before swerving around and vanishing down the adjacent hall.
I lingered only for a moment before leaving in the opposite direction, unable to wipe the smile off my face.

. . .

I hardly remembered entering the girls' room, or entangling myself in my cot, or how long I had been biting down on my blanket, screaming. I did know I had run one word through my mind one hundred thirty-two times.
Stupid, stupid, stupid...
More muffled screaming.
"Goodness, girl, some people are trying to sleep."
Snapping my eyes open, I found a wrinkly face staring back at me from a cot in the middle of the room. "And what are you doing with that blanket in your mouth?"
I pulled it out and swallowed, grimacing as I realized my mouth was full of fuzz.
Well? Well what?
The old woman narrowed her eyes. The skin over them was so stretched I wondered if she could even see. "You gonna tell me why you're making such a ruckus and eatin' your blanket?"
"I was...upset," I answered lamely.
"And that's how you cope, eatin' things that will tear up your digestive system?"
Ashamed, I pulled blanket lint off of my tongue, completely at a loss how to respond to this craggy old woman.
With an hmph, she began pushing down on her poof of gray hair, but it didn't seem to be improving anything. "Wakin' old ladies," she muttered, apparently to herself. "No respect for elders these days."
I decided this was Tiff's grandmother. I had yet to properly meet her, all she seemed to ever do was sleep. Tiff had mentioned her "Grans" was tired all the time and couldn't do much. Although she wasn't exactly oozing "frail old lady" at that moment.
"What's got your voice box shattering anyway?" she asked, peering at me below the flaps of skin over her eyes.
Dropping my gaze, I ran a finger across the wrinkles in my blanket. "I upset a friend. A very good friend."
"Then why are you here wakin' old ladies and not out there apologizing?"
My wandering finger found a hole in the material and poked its way through. "I'm afraid."
"Well, apologizing certainly isn't easy, but life isn't easy, hon."
I huffed a dry laugh. "No."
"You just got to face it. No point in losing a friend because you're too frightened to say 'I'm sorry'."

. . .

If only my heart would stop beating so hard.
My body stiffened when I realized that wasn't just the sound of my pounding pulse I could hear. Another noise came from down the tunnel.
Thump, thump, thump.
Jumping to my feet, I twisted around.
Thump, thump, thump.
It grew louder by the second, with more pounding joining in, all in rhythm to my racing heart.
Light appeared, illuminating the white shapes coming straight toward me. Someone spotted me and pointed.
"That's her!"
Reeling around, I surged forward. The light in pursuit behind me sent my shadow stumbling wildly on the tracks.
They couldn't be here. They just couldn't. How did they find us?
I had to move faster, faster!
The second I saw light ahead, I lurched around and darted through halls. My lungs felt ready to burst, but there was no time. Our time was up.
"Run!" I hacked out, bursting into the mess hall. Stumbling over chairs and tables, I waved the few people inside away. "We have to run! They're here!"
Cyrus jumped to his feet so fast his chair fell over, adding more clamor to the room. "Who's here? What are you talking about?"
"The authoritaters! They've found us! They're com—" A rush of heat sent me hurdling forward, away from the charred table. Swerving around, I saw the redhead at the hall entrance, rubbing her hands together and smirking at the half dozen Purists cowering in fear before her.
"All right, everyone. Come forward with your hands up or it's going to get ugly." She emphasized this was ball of fire plunging from her bare palm and igniting a nearby chair.

. . .

"Could you hurry, please?" Lykan's impatient voice broke into my fears. "Those stun guns don't last forever."
I shook myself free of the worries and nodded. At this point, I had no choice.
"When did you figure out what the gun did, anyway?" he asked.
"Your stunning personality gave it away."
"My face does have magical properties."
I wasn't sure if it was the nerves or just the fact that I hadn't done it in so long and it came out as a coping mechanism, but I actually laughed.

. . .

Redness caught my eye, and I found a splotch of blood covering Lykan's upper right arm. "You're hurt."
"That's what happens when you don't wear your seatbelt and let an idiot drive."
I bristled. "You told me to!"
"That was before I knew how incompetent you were. Really, is it that hard to keep your eyes on the road?"
"You shouldn't have been hanging out the door of a speeding vehicle!"
"It's called saving your life, so I think the proper response would be a thank you. Those authoritaters were never going to give up."

. . .

"I hate hats and hoods," Lykan said, slipping on a coat he had apparently retrieved with the rest of the clothes. Of course it was black. "They muss up my luscious hair."
"Well, right now your luscious hair is greasy and tangled, Mr. Handsome, so keep your hood up," I said, standing on tiptoe to reach over his head and pull the hood down over his eyes.
He shoved it up to where I could see his blue eyes twinkling. "Oh, so you're making jokes now? We've made strides."
I turned away before he saw my cheeks flush.

. . .

"Lykan! What are you doing here?"
Our intruder spun on his heel to face me. "Here to escort you to the Lab, what else? Oh, and look, if it isn't Bat Boy. Going to join our ranks? Can't say I'm surprised." He wandered toward us, slipping around the counter to examine the contents of the kitchen. "Got any food? I'm starved. You wouldn't believe how dry ol' Ferton's fridge is."
"Excuse me, young man," Marli shrieked, “didn't I just tell you that you can't barge in here like this?"
He peered over the counter and gave her a wink. "I believe you did."
"Well, I..." She blinked, seeming baffled.
"Lykan, stop that this instant!" I jumped from the stool to confront him. "Did they really send you to take us to the Lab?"
"Well, technically no. The escort picked me up first and then drove here. Our apartment buildings are pretty close by you know."
"Then where's the escort?" Elan asked, frowning.
"You mean to tell me you two have been eating pancakes and didn't invite me? I'm hurt." Lykan swiped up my unfinished stack and stuffed nearly a whole pancake in his mouth.
I snatched the plate away and slammed it on the counter. "Where's the escort, Lykan?
His grin revealed nothing but chewed up pancake. After swallowing, he merely shrugged and said, "He was annoying so I made sure to get to the elevator first and closed the door before he could reach it. I'm sure he'll be up soon." With that he reached over me and snagged the plate back, shoving two more pancakes in his mouth.

. . .

As the fire withdrew, Reese poked her head into the new room. "Well, this one looks fun."
Cautiously, I took a glance. Waves of heat bombarded my face the moment I did.
Before us stretched out another room, long and wide, but far from empty. Jets of fire streamed out from the walls, floor, and even the ceiling in sporadic patterns. A single metal box, about six feet in width and height, rested close to the door.
A click and a swoosh came before each burst of fire, and when I heard one close by I knew to jump back before the closest one shot through the doorway for the third time.
"Any bright ideas for this one, O Guide?"
Tiff gave Lykan a shove. "Leave her alone. We all know you're just scared to get your oh so perfect hair burned."

. . .

"Let's all give Breighly an applaud for actually using her supposedly perfect memory for once."
"Lykan, this is kind of a big moment, so could you stop ruining it with your sarcasm?"
He merely responded to Tiff's comment with a wink.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Not sure how half of those ended up being centered around Lykan. . . >.> Ahem, but, I hope you enjoyed them!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Only the Beginning of the Adventure

“I’m falling.”

Those two words popped into my brain on December 10th whilst doing my nightly teeth brushing duties.

“Huh,” I thought, “that’d be an interesting way to start a story.”

These thoughts buzzed louder than my electric toothbrush, festering and growing. A whole prologue of a girl falling through nothingness had come alive by the time I was ready to rinse and spit.

Hurrying to my room, I pulled out my Author’s Journal and scribbled the few nonsensical lines down. “Someday that could be cool story,” I said to myself as I slipped the little journal back on the shelf, knowing good and well most of the random ideas constantly whirling inside my head never make it out. Besides, just ten days before that I had finished NaNoWriMo. No writing was to be done in December. It was time for a break.

But as I slipped under the covers that night and closed my eyes, the words came back to me. “I’m falling. . .”

Why is she falling? Where is she falling to? Maybe she’s just in a coma? What happens when she wakes up? What if she doesn’t remember anything?

“Stop it, brain! I’m trying to sleep. I can’t think of a new story right now. I just finished NaNo and I already have decided what the next book I’m going to write will be. Now be quiet.”

But. . .

“I’m falling.”

The words were back by the next morning, and the falling girl wouldn’t leave me alone as I went about my daily business.

“But I can’t start a new story right now. That’d be insane!”

That night, when I crawled into bed, I pulled up my laptop and opened a fresh new word document.

“I’m falling,” my fingers clacked onto the empty white page.

And Fallen Matter was born.

Fallen Matter Cover

For six months now this story that never even supposed to exist has kidnapped me in a solid grip, constantly on my mind, constantly demanding my attention. So I let it have its way, and I’m so glad I did.

Never has a story surprised me as much as this one. It threw away all my notions of disliking sci-fi. It proved to me that veering away from my comfort zone can be a good thing. That I am actually capable of writing something far, far away from medieval fantasy and *gasp* enjoy it, a lot. It completely turned around my great hatred of first person. Basically, it took one look at my comfort zones, crumpled them up, and tossed them out the window. And I’m so glad! This book took me on an adventure that made strides in my writing journey and I feel so much more confident because of it.

Ever since that December night, my life has been centered around this single story. Most of my days have been spent clacking madly on the keys, pounding out this weird, wild tale. I’ve enjoyed most of the stories I’ve written, but never once has any one captured me so tightly as this. I couldn’t stop, I didn’t want to stop. Usually, I end up getting burned out at some point in the story and writing becomes a chore. But not with Fallen Matter. Sure, there were days I had to push myself to reach a word count goal, but those times were few and far between. I got immersed in the world, the confusing plot, the intriguing characters, rooting them on, wanting to stay with them through the entire journey.

And then, last night at 8:25 PM, my fingers tapped out the much anticipated words.

The End.

I had done it. Six months of mad writing and Fallen Matter was done.

*cue the dancing*

So what now? Well, this is just the beginning. Have I mentioned Fallen Matter is the first of a trilogy? That’s right! The adventure has just begun!

As much as I love this book, it needs work. And I mean WORK. I think this is the one I’m going to attempt querying with and poke at that prospect of getting published, which means this draft is just the first of many as I twist and shape and squeeze this book into something worth reading.

Did I mention it ended at 164,474 words and 49 chapters?


That’s not going to work! I really didn’t want it to be any longer than 100k. How it got to be 164k words is still confusing my poor brain, and how I’m going to cut about 60k words out of it turns said brain into soup. BUT those worries are for another time. Right now I’m simply reveling in the feeling of it being WRITTEN.

This idea that started out as two words, I’m falling, transformed into a story with such a big, confusing plot I’m still trying to sort it all out. I honestly had zero plot and no clue what was happening when I had already written three chapters! And now I have a full, 164k story. Naturally, this first draft would be a bit on the messy side. But I discover the story while I write, so now I have something to work with. If I hadn’t plunged in, I’d have nothing. Now I have the building materials I need to really create and shape this story into something worth reading. And it excites me beyond belief!

For now, though, Fallen Matter and I need some time away from each other, as hard as it is to separate. I need a good long break to sort things out and give myself time before tearing my baby apart. For the duration of June I’ve been writing like a mad person, critiquing books and things for friends, and catching up on those ever stacking emails. But now I’ve finally completed my tasks and caught up on things. Goodness does it feel good! I love doing those things but sometimes I need a bit of a breather away from the computer, you know? A special thanks to some of Fallen Matter’s characters, Cyrus, Isaac, Tiff, Elan, and Lykan (and Elan again), for taking care of my blog for me while I wrote their tale. *winks* You guys were great. Well, some of you. *looks pointedly at Lykan*

Fallen Matter Collage

As for July, I’m going to LIVE. I’m going to swim and paint my nails weird colors and watch movies with my siblings and waste away the day on Pinterest guilt free and read and maybe even write a short story which is a subject for another time. But the main thing is I don’t have any huge projects demanding my attention. So for a while I’m just going to breathe a bit and maybe take some time away from the computer. If I’m not prompt on email answering and such, that’s why. (Because I’m always so prompt already, riiight? *grins*) And then, once I’ve gotten my breath of fresh air, well, we’ll see what August brings.

For now I’m going to enjoy the lazy days of summer and celebrate in the satisfying conclusion of another adventure.

The moral of this post? Brush your teeth often! You never know what will come of it. *nods sagely*

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