Lovely progress!

After pondering this first chapter for a long time, deciding to discard my original prologue as it really wasn’t adding anything vital to the overall plot, I finally sat down and re-wrote the first chapter of what is pretty much the third draft of Light. At first I was really preoccupied with largely over-thinking the whole thing, worrying if certain things were making sense and if I wasn’t even starting this whole thing right.

Let’s face it, next to endings, beginnings are probably the hardest thing to write.

Finally I decided that yes, it would work and it did make sense and ended up adapting quite a bit of old stuff from the second draft that fit into this pretty well. Right now I’m quite happy with the chapter as it is since it does introduce three different conflicts that will carry the main plot: the Raeyn story-line, the Empire vs. the Voyants and the conflict between Ares and Damian. I’ll look over it again tomorrow to weed out anything that I may have overlooked or that could be improved and then move on to chapter two, which will be a lot of fun to write ๐Ÿ™‚

P.S.: If anyone has any good designs or pictures of the Chariot (as in the Tarot card), send them my way asย  I am looking for a good one to use for a tattoo design ๐Ÿ™‚

Now that didn’t hurt as much as I thought it would…

I know that I already told some of you about this, but this year’s birthday present to myself has been a tattoo. My very first one and even though I’ve always wanted one, until recently, I just didn’t know what exactly I wanted to get. As so often in the life of yours truly ideas come random, and they come whacky.

This one came to me in a dream in which one of my MCs suddenly showed up sporting a raven in flight holding a broken pocket watch in its claws. Now what made me get it in the end wasn’t only that it stands for the two patron deities of my MCs in Light as well as for things like night, soaring hights and chaos in general, but also the fact that it applies to me as a person, though the explanation here is a little more personal so if you’re interested in hearing my personal rant about it, feel free to nudge me. Anyway, this is something that relates both to me as a person and as a writer and I just love what Jason from SLC Ink did with my rather simple 10-minute sketch:

102_00042

Here’s the stencil and me getting more and more nervous as the little voice that says “Oh my God, I’m really doing this!” and “This is going to hurt like Fuck!” gets louder.

102_0006Things are getting started and it’s really not as bad as I thought it would be. Seriously, my “always expect the worst to happen” mentality sometimes really pays off ๐Ÿ˜›

102_0007By the time the outline was done, I really looked sore, but it still wasn’t so bad and it took less time than I imagined it to take. One thing that I was kind of worried about was the fact that I’m usually on blood thinners, but had taken a few days off the meds to make sure it wouldn’t bleed too much when I got the tattoo and evidently it worked just fine.

102_0010And we get color! Well, it’s a black & gray tattoo, but still ๐Ÿ™‚

102_0011Almost done except for the highlights. Which for some reason hurt more than anything else, but that might have been due to the entire tattoo taking 3 hours and me getting a massive headache in the last hour.

102_0012Aaaand done. Pretty red and sore and the highlights won’t come out until it’s fully healed in about 3-4 weeks, but I’mย  really, really happy with it. This definitely was one of the more interesting birthdays. Gotta love those gifts that you give to yourself and having awesome friends who tag along. Even though “Oh man, this going to hurt so bad” won’t ever make it into the most supporting lines ever.

Anyway, thanks to Jen and Carly for tagging along and most of all thanks to Jason for doing an awesome job ๐Ÿ™‚

EDIT: I’ll have Jen or someone take a new picture of how it looks now all healed and not as dark anymore. It has a lot of highlights now and looks all pretty. I love it ๐Ÿ˜€

And this is when you realize you really missed writing

I just read this and this and realized how much I missed writing over the last few months. Really, all personal stress and life-changing issues set aside, I really missed that feeling of having some room there to have my characters talk to me, to have scenes unfold in my head and to just sit down and write for the heck of it.

Sure, I’d love to get this book published some day, but even so I write, because I love it. I write because I love my story and my characters and I love to have those sudden strikes of inspiration that keep me up late at night, glued to the laptop typing away. And now it’s been coming back for the last few days and it really makes me happy. Even though I’m sick as a puppy right now and am not doing a whole lot of writing, I’m sorting through things and get back on track again.

And yes the voices are back too and they are telling me things of literary awesome ๐Ÿ˜‰

I am indeed still alive.

And could probably write a whole story about The Life Of Me right now. Seriously, we have everything from divorce, to stressed and starving student who’s doing the multiple job thing to make ends meet to ex-husbands who just don’t get it and creep the bejesuses (is there a plural to this?) out of me by suddenly standing in (yes, IN) my living room at night. Seriously, let’s not even go there. I’m tired enough of it all as it is.

Sadly enough abovementioned things have kept me pretty busy and have led to a severe lack of writing in favor of stress and lethargy. This weekend is the first time since the beginning of this month that I’ve actually sat down and fiddled with Light for a while. I haven’t gotten a whole lot done, but I’m mentally getting back into the swing of things. Which sometimes really is the most important thing about that whole First Novel Experience Thing.

So of course I horribly failed NaNoWriMo 2008 at somewhat under 5,000 words, but hey, at least I did write almost 5k this month and that’s gotta count for something, right? Anyway, it’s time for yours truly to get her respective head out of her respective ass and get her shit back together writing-wise.

Point of view: quickwrite – Earthquake experienced by a homeless person

Ever wondered about what it feels like to sit next to a building that’s about to topple over right over your own damn head? No? Seriously I didn’t either. Not until it happened that one day, right in the middle of the city. Okay, I kinda lost track where exactly I was or how much I’d drunk that day. Might be that I was just a little too tipsy to get what was going on until I was like right in the middle of it, ya know? I mean, don’t get earthquakes every day around here, right? Ain’t like we’re in California or somewhere like that where people are used to that kind of thing.

Anyway, so there I sit, kinda buzzed and feeling shitty, though maybe not so shitty as I normally do and – wham! The wall that I’m leaning against starts sorta vibrating and everything kinda feels like you’d just thrown people and rocks and glass into some kind of weird jumble and there’s people screaming and running and like…ya know, just freaking out. Actually, it was kinda hilarious if you asked me. Never seen that city this busy before. Like rush hour on crack. Something like that. Only problem’s that building. Freaking forty-five floor skyscraper and it starts shaking like real hard and getting cracks all over the place and there’s rocks and shards of glass and all that crap all over the place already.

So you tell me what the fuck you’re doing in this kinda situation when it’s just grab the change in your hat in one hand and the booze in the other and run for what it’s worth. Which really ain’t all that much in that kinda chaos if you ask me. But hey, nobody does anyway, so why even care?

And that damn dog’s gone too. Well shit.

Character – “My father” through Raeyn’s eyes

My father’s eyes had always been hard and cold. But right now I finally understood the fear he inflicted on people whenever he looked at them like he looked at me now. Those eyes, blank amethysts, constricted to narrow slits as they focused on me kneeling in front of him. He looked like a snake ready to strike, his lips set to a think angry line and I knew his hands, though spotted and gnarled with age were still strong as his long fingers clenched the arms of his throne. Something warm trickled down my cheek. I knew his heavy ring had left a deep imprint of his sigil where he had hit me, the left side of my face was throbbing, my eye slowly swelling shut. But I wouldn’t look down.

People used to tell me I looked like a younger copy of my father, with the same white hair and dark lilac eyes that ran in the family and had nothing to do with age. Back then I was young and gullible enough to consider that a compliment to be compared to him.

Now I couldn’t help but shudder at seeing myself become like him, that lean, almost skeletal figure sitting on the throne of Illyria, governing with an โ€˜iron fist’ as they called it, his whole demeanor an image of professionalism. The way he looked at me, with a face that would have made marble feel warm and alive in comparison, told me more than words that he would do whatever was necessary in the blink of an eye. His thin white eyebrows drew together, his white beard quivering with rage as he addressed me in that deep, resonating voice that I used to call his โ€˜state voice’.

“Now, have you forgotten what happens to those who betray me, son?”

Setting

Yes, I know, I know! It seems that I haven’t been doing any writing at all lately with all that stress and real life drama going on, but I think I’m getting back into the swing of things, now that a lot has happened and I have gotten some things sorted out. Right now I’m being eaten alive by homework, but I’m actually hoping to get some writing on Six done this week (keep your fingers crossed for me, people). Anyway, to make up for the sheer among of writing and blogging slackage recently committed, I thought to maybe post some things I’ve written for my creative writing class lately.

Since the final project here will be a short story, I’ve been tinkering with a few ideas revolving around Raeyn’s character who I really want to write some more for. We have little fiction assignments every two weeks (since we alternate between poetry and prose) and so far I’ve written some things on setting and characterization that I think aren’t all that bad, though I’d say they really aren’t what I’d call my best. Ah well, blame the stress and whatnot, but at least things are moving again and I’m surprised how much fun I’m having to write for Raeyn and his rather cynical attitudes (blame a good deal of that on my own cynicism lately ๐Ÿ˜‰ ).

Anyway, here’s a piece about the setting of Light and what I’m calling “Raeyn’s Story” for now, seen from Raeyn’s PoV mainly focusing on description (which I suck at). Let me know what you think.

Stephanie Lee – ENGL 2250

Setting

I remember the day when my father first showed me the city outside of the Palace. It had been on a bright spring day, the sunlight reflected by the white marble of the Palace, making it look like one giant beacon of light. It looked beautiful. Rays of sunlight mirrored in the glass dome of the Temple of Light, giving it the semblance of a multifaceted crystal. Back then, I was young enough to believe it when the priests told me it was a sign; a divine favor of some sort.

Standing almost at the very same spot as I had so many years ago, I spot one of them now, bald and white-robed making his way to through the buzzing streets. I cannot help but realize how gullible people are. The priest’s slow gait halts from time to time to mutter some meaningless blessing to a woman or child, randomly selected from the faceless masses bustling around him. Just as every other Sun Day, the streets of the City of Helos are packed with people, flocking to the white, marble structure of the Temple like sheep, every bit as ignorant.

Here in the Core, even the air smells clean, free of the stink of rusty engines, stuttering through the streets of the Lower City.ย  Here, life runs its course along neatly-paved roads, clear of any of the trash or human scum that litter the streets elsewhere.ย  Merchants are hawking their wares from a cluster of wooden booths, painted in bright colors.

The streets of the inner city of Helos are never quiet, its population lulled by a sense of safety and prosperity. Above it all looms the Finger of Light, a cylindrical tower, higher than even the Palace itself, its glass faรงade, imaging the smooth and modern style of the Palace and the Temple of Light. Just as anything built by the Empire, it is nothing but a symbol for the public, stark and unforgiving, impossible to overlook.

In the end, the Core is nothing but a white and shiny public image. Visible to anyone and absolutely immaculate. Absolutely fake.ย  And yet its people believe whatever they are told. Like sheep indeed.