• First Sentences,  Random Ramblings

    After this, she declared war

    It turns out getting your home ready for an open house takes time. That’s why I haven’t been posting as regularly as normal. I hope I never end up selling a place I’m still living in again.

    The Star Trek and Doctor Who online fandoms have gotten really toxic. I don’t consider myself a Star Wars fan but I’ve read enough comments to see the toxicity there too. To be clear, you can like or dislike a show, and express your like or dislike, without being toxic. There are certainly fans in that category. But when looking at the loud and toxic mess, on one hand there are people talking about how liberal virtue signaling Social Justice Warriors have destroyed these beloved franchises and on the other hand there are accusations of racism, sexism, and Trump support against those who aren’t fans of the current iterations of these franchises. It gets so tiring and depressing to see and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight.

    I want more fun in my fandoms.

    On an unrelated note…

    It was the dining room table that destroyed our “friendship,” if you can call it that. She put it in far right hand corner. I centered it in the room so that my friends and I could all sit around it. After this, she declared war. Of course, I didn’t know that until weeks later.

  • Random Ramblings,  Story Excerpts

    Seems like you could use a few more lessons yourself

    Having watched Harry Potter movies 3, 4, 5, and 6 over the weekend has left me rereading some of my favorite Harry Potter fanfiction. There are stories I liked enough to turn into ebooks to read on my Kindle. They’re very different from the series and a couple of my absolute favorites include novel length takes on Snape adopting Harry. It sounds completely insane but it involves Snape being a better person than he actually was (and not being in love with Harry’s mom) and some stories pull it off in a really entertaining way.

    Anyway, I’ll be getting back to rereading Harry Potter fanfic after posting this conversation that never ended up in any draft of my novel:

    <You’ve lost your mind.>

    <You’re just full of hate and fear. No harm’s been done.>

    <That’s just because you were lucky. If it had worked you would have handed them more tools to use against us.>

    <If it had worked they would be like us.>

    <It takes more than just our abilities to make people like us. It’s everything else we were taught too.>

    <Compassion? Respect for all people and their cultures? Seems like you could use a few more lessons yourself.>

  • First Sentences,  Random Ramblings

    Their endeavors to produce an heir

    Christmas related days are definitely my weak point. I had a fun trip visiting family and friends. Now I’m back and getting ready for work tomorrow after a five day weekend. I’m happy to be home.

    Here’s a new First Sentence:

    The room is dark and empty when I enter. King Omark is still at the reception with Queen Isandra. I hope he returns alone tonight. Interrupting their endeavors to produce an heir would be unpleasant, to say the least. Worse, I don’t trust her to keep my secrets.

  • Random Ramblings

    Only out of place

    It looks like Christmas related days are my weak point when it comes to posting. Last night was a wonderful pre-Christmas. Mary Poppins Returns was delightful. The music is growing on me the more I hear it. I definitely recommend the sequel to Mary Poppins fans as long as you don’t go in comparing Emily Blunt to Julie Andrews. Emily Blunt makes the role her own. If you have your heart set on Julie Andrews (and, really, Julie Andrews is amazing), there’s always the original, the Sound of Music, etc.

    I’m in Fresno with family this weekend. Today I’m going to leave you with this lovely sentiment from Mary Poppins (Returns):

    “Nothing’s gone forever, only out of place”.

  • First Sentences,  Random Ramblings

    So far underground

    The Christmas presents are wrapped and I’m mostly packed for my long weekend in Fresno with my family. Well, as much as I can be when it’s Thursday night and I’m leaving on Saturday morning. Tomorrow, I’m having a pre-Christmas with a Sacramento friend. We’re also going to see Mary Poppins Returns, which I’m excited about.

    So the upside is that I’ve gotten things done that needing doing. The downside is that I haven’t worked on my novel today at all, and now it’s time to wind down for bed.

    Taking a break from novel related snippets, here’s a First Sentence:

    It’s gone all wrong. If we continue our ‘rescue’ they’ll kill all the prisoners before we can get to them. They’re ruthless, and why not? They’ve already demonstrated the manacled men and women are nothing more than chattel to them. What’s the harm in slaughtering chattel? It’s disgusting.

    Gallek’s stilled his fire, realizing the only outcome of pushing this stalemate, but the others haven’t.

    “Stop,” I say. I single command, not shouted, but they’re well trained. The shots cease, leaving us to the laughing jeers of the Sect as they kick the bodies of the prisoners they’ve already murdered.

    Jaled’s face lights up, following the sound of my voice. He can’t see me through the darkness and trees but he looks right at me as if he could. There are bruises all up and down his arms. His face is pale and drawn. His steel entrapped hands shake. It’s

  • Random Ramblings

    But in different quantities or combinations

    I’ve killed the third person pronouns in my novel. Let’s have a moment of silence to appreciate the loss.

    .

    .

    .

    I have also fixed the intros to a few chapters. One of the more morbid things I still need to do is make sure that all the references to the number of people who die throughout the novel are accurate. I wouldn’t want to say that a certain number of people have died and then at some later point use a different number that doesn’t make sense within the context of what’s happened – it’d be pretty hard to explain how there are less people who died than I first said when no one comes back to life (spoooilers!).

    This is a sentence that came about from the idea of feeling alone / different than everyone else – it doesn’t have a home in a story yet:

    I feel all the same things, but in different quantities or combinations.

  • Dead Before They Know Who
    Random Ramblings,  Story Excerpts

    It happens at Calloway Fair

    If a future version of myself traveled back in time and gave me her finished, published version of my novel, and I then took that and published it…did I ever write the finished version?

    Surprisingly, I haven’t watched any Doctor Who tonight, or anything involving time travel at all.

    My novel used to have a mass shooting in it. It’s something I cut a while ago – it had started to feel like I was trying to include every modern issue ever. Rereading the paragraph below, I can’t help but think I need to make it to a gun range to hear gunfire. There’s only so far you can get from reading about it online.

    It happens at Calloway Fair. Those in the immediate vicinity are dead before they know who or why or from where. Those on the opposite side of the mall don’t understand. They hear what sounds like fireworks, what sounds like cars backfiring. They aren’t afraid. Why should they be? It’s Saturday afternoon, three weeks before Christmas, and everyone is enjoying some holiday shopping. Then the screaming reaches them and they know. It’s happening here. They panic, run in every direction, some even toward the gunshots because they can’t tell where, exactly, they’re coming from.

    I also can’t help but laugh at the line “…everyone is enjoying some holiday shopping” because I can’t stand the mall, and the busier it is, the more I can’t stand it. As someone who was at a mall on Saturday

  • The Doors to Madness
    Random Ramblings,  Story Excerpts

    All the doors to madness

    This evening I looked at the list of things I need to do in my novel and…I did one of them! PROGRESS!

    This evening I also started the tedious process of resetting my iPhone and reconfiguring it again from scratch, because Apple thinks this may solve the bizarre issue of my new phone’s battery health slowly being sucked away.

    One of these things was a lot more fun than the other.

    Anyway, with a phone that’s probably only 5% set up and various things to do as I wind down for bed, I’m going to leave you with a snippet I never did fit into my novel (but I haven’t given up hope):

    When you’re past their defenses you can open all the doors to madness. And once they’re open, they can’t just be closed. It’s a lot easier to break something than it is to fix it.

  • Sleeping
    Random Ramblings,  Story Excerpts

    Worrying in the privacy of my own thoughts

    Last night was our company Christmas party. I thought I’d be able to post after I got home but it went a lot later than I expected and I was too exhausted. It’s the only day I’ve missed posting since I started up again on August 27, so I think I’m doing really well overall.

    I ended up getting very little sleep last night so I’m pretty braindead at the moment. I’m going to make this related to my last post. This was another idea for the same part of the book. This one didn’t make it into the novel either:

    Carson sleeps most of the three days following his arrival. I leave him in peace to sort through the last six months, worrying in the privacy of my own thoughts.

    It amuses me that Carson’s behavior in the two approaches is the exact opposite.

    Also, that’s not a picture of Carson sleeping but it made me giggle so I went with it.