Snippet time! (Into the Flames reborn!)

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Photo via VisualHunt

I don’t have a lot of time this morning. I want to get a little writing time in before I have to go deal with fixing breakfast. So you get a snippet of a VERY rough draft of the newly reborn version of Into the Flames.

The new blurb (so far – I know it’s long, I’ll shrink it later):

Fifty  years ago, the Core struck the weakened Colonies and won a war that they’d started over their need to conquer. Now, the Colonies were ready to strike back.

The Eleven have decreed they need a spy to watch the Core, to make sure they see nothing as the colonies prepare for a new war, one the Core will never forget. Eire Rezouac, a man born to the Core but now Colony through and through, asks his eldest daughter Fiera to take up the challenge. She agrees.

Given a new name, wealth beyond what she could ever imagine to place her among those who would know the doings of the Assembly, and the chance to go to the most prestigious university in the solar system, she accepts the danger and heads into Bouarus, unaware that she will encounter the person behind the current animosity for the Colonies and have to match wits with her.

Kuen Nakano didn’t want to leave the private academy he was attending, but when his mother called him home, he couldn’t refuse. Born to the wealthiest house in the solar system, he knew nothing of the social caste he was a part of or how to live a life outside the rigid structure of the world he’d existed in since he was three years old.

Thrust into the chaotic world of politics, university life, and social maneuverings, he does not expect to encounter a fiery woman who challenges his beliefs, his intelligence, and his physical prowess. He wants to defeat her in the beginning, but as time goes on, he wants more. When war rears it’s ugly head, and he discovers the truth about the woman he loves, he risks everything to save her and will come face to face with his mother’s obsession.

Fiera sighed. “I don’t know if I can do this. I still have the colony accent. You and Jacin have been pounding that into me for the past month.” Jacin Andreasan, one of her father’s oldest friends and the second most powerful man in the colonies that wasn’t a core worlder, had joined them on Sorus three months earlier just for the sole purpose of making certain Fiera was ready for her mission.

It’s not that pronounced unless you get angry, and you’ve learned to compensate for it even then,” Eire said. “Stop stalling. The Lusitania will be boarding in just a few minutes.”

Fiera rubbed sweaty palms on the elegant lemon colored pantsuit she was wearing. “Are you sending anyone with me? I’m going to look odd without a servant.”

No, I’m not sending you with a servant,” Eire said. “I thought about it, but you don’t need another liability to be used against you. Besides, do you really want to treat another colonist the way you’d be forced to?”

Fiera thought of the way she’d seen the wealthy core worlders act with their servants and shook her head. “I couldn’t do it. The first time I tried hitting one I’d be on the floor next to them asking them if they were okay and telling them I was sorry.”

This is why I decided that going alone was the best option for you,” Eire said. He glanced around to make sure no one was watching them closely and squeezed her hand. “You’ll be fine, Fury.”

Fiera managed a smile at the use of her familiar nickname. It was probably going to be the last time she heard it from her father’s lips. Neither of them spoke of the possibility of Fiera being caught, of her being killed. It was an instant death sentence for a colonist if they were found impersonating a core worlder. They both knew the risk was there and the longer Fiera was on Bouarus, the likelier it was she’d get caught.

Fiera blinked back tears. This was something she’d agreed to knowing full well what her fate was most likely going to be. She reached up and fingered the pendant hanging just above her collarbone. It was the final gift her mother gave her before she left Sorus. “This won’t look out of place, as such exotic treasures are valued in the core,” Alena said as she fastened it around Fiera’s neck. “It is something of home, to remind you of us and to help keep you safe.”

It was a tiny figurine, carved by hand instead of by machine, of a strange bird. Even Fiera hadn’t known what it was until her mother told her it was a raven. “I’ve never heard of those before,” Fiera said as she put her luggage into the skimmer. “What planet are they from?”

It is said they came from our world of origin,” Alena said. “Some people thought of them as ill omens, while others saw them as tricksters. They were intelligent and wise, if you knew how to speak to one in the right fashion. Or so the story goes in my family.”

Your mother and I are very proud of you,” Eire whispered, drawing her attention back to the space station.

First call, all those boarding the G.S.S. Lusitania please make your way to gateway four,” a woman’s voice said over the public address system. A few people broke off from their groups and drifted in the general direction of the named gate.

You need to go,” Eire said. “Be a good girl and don’t look back.” Fiera took hold of the handle on her grav pallet and hesitated. “Don’t look back.”

Fiera closed her eyes for a moment and then took opened them again. She took a single step forward. Then another. Then another. She let herself get caught up in the flow of visitors to the station. She didn’t look back.

 

Goal Post August 2018

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(Photo taken by me of a flowering tree in our yard – no clue what it is though.)

Hi everyone! Racing the Wind will be back tomorrow since you’re all interested (I hope) in the outcome of the contests between Eridan and Angharad. But as this is August 1st, it’s time for the goal post. Yay!

Let’s look at last month’s goals and see how I did. *cringe*

I will blog every weekday, unless there is something going on. If there is, I’ll post a brief explanation of my missed days on the weekend. This way I don’t have to try to get a full post up on the weekends, which oddly enough can be even busier on the farm than the weekdays.

Okay, so this one didn’t exactly turn out like I hoped. Not only did I NOT blog every weekday, I also didn’t post my brief updates on the weekends. *sigh* I’m going to get this blogging thing figured out eventually.

I’m going to post a vlog once a week, a gaming video at least once a week, and do a stream at least once a week. I need to get my digital presence back up and moving.

So, no vlogs, but there’s a reason for that. My phone has been giving me fits for the past month and within the last week or so it has finally crapped out. I can barely make phone calls on it. I can’t record videos and upload them to YouTube since I can’t connect to our wi-fi and I’m not using data (it’s expensive through my phone provider)…if I could even get a signal. Our house doesn’t lend itself for getting any kind of signal. The gaming videos are picking up, though for a while I couldn’t even bring myself to do them. I’ve got a bunch recorded and I’m posting them every day so far. I’m going to do more as I can and keep scheduling them out as far as I can. I managed my first stream last Saturday at 7:30 PM PDT. I’m rather proud of myself on that one. I haven’t touched my Twitch account in months.

I am going to start being more active on Twitter, since I’ve all but vanished off of it lately. It doesn’t do me much good to ignore a good social media platform if I plan on developing relationships with friends and finding fans.

I started this at the beginning of the month. I really did. And then…….I kinda quit. Facebook is much easier to engage with people on. Conversations happen much quicker and it’s easier to follow them.

I’m going to finish chapter 3 in Into the Flames and at the very least start chapter 4. If I finish it, that’ll be a bonus. But I at least want to get it started.

Well I did that. Then I scrapped that whole version and started over with the book. My characters gave a new shiny idea for their story that fits with their personalities better. So we’ll see how this one goes. I have reached chapter 2 with it, so I’m having fun.

I will do 20 minutes of yoga every day and go for a walk at least three times a week. My goal is to get down to 200 lbs by the end of the year (I’m at 240 lbs right now), so I need to get my ass in gear and get moving.

*sigh*

I don’t even want to talk about this one. Not only have I NOT done any yoga, but I’ve gone on maybe three walks the entire month of July. I’ve also regained 10 lbs, so I’m up around 250 again. I doubt I’ll get down to 200 lbs by the end of the year now, since a healthy weight loss is around 8 lbs a month. I just fell off the bandwagon.

So…THIS month’s goals.

1. Blog every weekday. If I miss a day, oh well. Life happens. Shrug it off and move on. Also on Fridays post a goal update so I can hold myself accountable. (I’m lazy and this should be a good motivation for me. Though I may not get one posted on the 4th…that’s our big grocery trip into Salem. If I do get one done, it won’t be until late in the afternoon/evening.)

2. Get back on Twitter for an hour every day and limit my Facebook time to one hour a day. I seriously spend way too much time on Facebook, and that cuts into my work time. So I’m going to see if I can cut back on all my time wasters.

3. Continue working on Into the Flames. No set chapter goal this month. This is a whole new story to me with the same characters so I’m working slowly to make sure I get everything down. Of course, this is a first draft so it’s definitely not perfect. We’ll have to see if I continue liking it or if I’m going back to the other version.

4. Vlog once a week, post YouTube videos weekly (daily if possible), and stream every week (if possible). My phone problem will be solved (hopefully) on Wednesday. A kind friend (from Facebook XD) is mailing me her husband’s Nexus 5. He upgraded and it was never used that much anyway. So as soon as it gets here I’ll get a vlog up. My weekly streams are tentatively scheduled from 7:30 PM PDT to 8:30 PM PDT on Saturday nights. It may change, I may add more. I don’t know yet. We’ll have to see.

5. 20 minutes of yoga every day, one walk every day, and whatever other physical activity I can get in. Also, cut back on my food portions and cut out soda completely. I sit too much on my butt at my computer. I know it. I need to get out and do more physical activity since that’s one of the contributing factors to my weight. I also eat too much. I know this too. So I’m going to cut my portion sizes down. I also have to cut soda out completely. I keep saying I’m going to do it, and then I go and buy a 1 liter Mountain Dew when I’m depressed. I’m going to force myself not to do that because going cold turkey is the only way I’m going to stop myself from drinking it.

So that’s it for today’s post and this month’s goals. Anyone want to take bets on how much of this I’m going to actually accomplish? *grin* I am DETERMINED TO SUCCEED!!!!!!!!!

Rewrite hell…but I’m having fun!!!

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So…I think I’m making more work for myself with Into the Flames now.

While I was working on baking snickerdoodles this morning (this was at 4:30 AM, mind you) I let my mind wander. I’ve been struggling with the rewrite, finding the characters stiff and not willing to comply with what I’m trying to get them to do. They’re resisting like nothing else and since I’m a pantser, uncooperative characters make it really difficult to do anything.

As far as I’m concerned, Fury & Co. are sadistic assholes. They’re demanding several new major plot points (and one character is asking me to write her out and put a new character in – she could have her own book in the series, she’s so fascinating to me) which would require so many character changes, plot detail changes, and massive dialogue changes that it would take forever to get it done.

The current rewrite is only 5 chapters in, so it’s not like I’d lose that much – just around 30k words. Given that this thing is over 400k right now, that’s not a bad thing. And if it improves the story, it’s not such a bad idea. But what if it is a bad idea? What if my characters are guiding me down the wrong path?

I save all my drafts. No matter how many I make, I save them. I have emailed copies of each version in my sent folder (I email them to my husband, who stores them in a folder on his email as a form of backup for me) as well as storing them in Google drive. As soon as I figure out where it went (again) I’ll be saving them on a thumb drive too. So if this doesn’t work I won’t lose everything I’ve already done and can pick up where I’m leaving off.

But what if I don’t want to? What if I like the new version? Well then, we’ll go from there. Let’s see what happens. Fury and Kuen haven’t done much to lead me astray so far. We’ve had some instances where I’ve had to pester them until I got the whole situation from them, but we’ll see what happens.

*waves and wanders off to do farm work and some writing*

Goal Post July 2017

 

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Photo via Visualhunt

Another month has passed. It’s July. Yay! *does a happy dance…and hurts her back*

*coughs* Geez I’m getting old. 😉

So, let’s get down to it. Starting with last month’s goals and a bit of a progress report.

  1. I will be blogging (as much as I can) 5 days a week. That means Monday through Friday, unless something’s going on in my life. Then I’ll make up the day I missed on the weekend.
    Okay, so as you can tell, I didn’t exactly do well with this one. I’m going to try to do better this month.
  2. I’ll still do my little bits of fiction, but expect goal posts at the beginning of the month, updates on my health (both mental and physical), updates on my progress on whatever novel I’m working on, and the occasional post on the farm. I’ve also started streaming video games on Twitch and I’m recording videos for YouTube on the same, so I may post one post a week as well on those. I’ll also be referencing my personal vlog from time to time.
    So this one went a little better. I’ve done a lot of bits of fiction. You’re looking at the goal post for this month. I didn’t do a health update, though I’ve been going through a lot. I don’t have a lot of answers yet, so I’m waiting to discuss those until I have more information. The gaming videos and streams…will pick up eventually. Life has just been very busy lately. Same with the personal vlogs. I’ve only got my phone to work with, so it’s often difficult to manage everything.
  3. As you can see, my blog look has changed. I was getting bored with the old look and I wanted something new. Change is good – even if it can be scary at times – and I wanted to do something new.
    Still playing with some more new ideas for various things. I’ll update you as I go along.

 

So, here are the NEW goals for July:

1. I will blog every weekday, unless there is something going on. If there is, I’ll post a brief explanation of my missed days on the weekend. This way I don’t have to try to get a full post up on the weekends, which oddly enough can be even busier on the farm than the weekdays.

2. I’m going to post a vlog once a week, a gaming video at least once a week, and do a stream at least once a week. I need to get my digital presence back up and moving.

3. I am going to start being more active on Twitter, since I’ve all but vanished off of it lately. It doesn’t do me much good to ignore a good social media platform if I plan on developing relationships with friends and finding fans.

4. I’m going to finish chapter 3 in Into the Flames and at the very least start chapter 4. If I finish it, that’ll be a bonus. But I at least want to get it started.

5. I will do 20 minutes of yoga every day and go for a walk at least three times a week. My goal is to get down to 200 lbs by the end of the year (I’m at 240 lbs right now), so I need to get my ass in gear and get moving.

 

I think that’s enough to keep me busy for this month. Everyone enjoy your day and I’ll be back with another random post tomorrow!

Excerpt from the NEW Chapter 1 of Into the Flames

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I’ve been working on a major rewrite for Into the Flames because I wanted to try something different with it. Here’s a sneak peek at the newly rewritten chapter one. Enjoy!

Do you have everything?” Eire asked.

As far as I know, Dad. You’re the one who knows better about the core than me.” Fiera ran her fingers through her hair, making the spikes worse. “You supervised my packing so if I’m missing anything it’s because you forgot about it.”

True,” Eire said. He pulled her into a rough hug. “Call me as soon as you reach Bouarus, no matter what time it is. I’ll answer.”

It always felt odd hugging her parents. She was a few centimeters taller than them, standing at just over a meter and a half. She was also slender where the rest of her family was stocky. Her mother Alena called her a throwback to an earlier genetic ancestor.

It wasn’t only her height that she’d inherited. Her face was narrow and angular where theirs was round. Her nose was pointed where the rest of her siblings, other than her twin, had snub noses. Only the shape of her eyes, wide and almond shaped, matched theirs. Eire teased Alena often that Fiera and Phelix couldn’t be his because of their appearance. No one took that seriously of course. Alena and Eire were faithful to each other and everyone knew it.

Fiera drew several deep breaths, cementing in her mind the scent of her father’s clean linen shirt and the spiciness of the chemicals all the farmers used to keep the bugs off. “What if you’re asleep?” Fiera asked.

Then keep calling until someone wakes up and can get me.”

That’ll irritate mom.”

Yeah, well, she can just deal with it.”

Fiera snickered. “You know, the way you two act towards each other sometimes looks more like teenagers dating than adults who’ve been married for, what, over thirty years now?”

About that, yes.” Eire laughed, a deep hearty laugh that made everyone around them smile. “We were married six months before Keoni was born.”

I remember hearing the stories from Gma and Gpa,” Fiera said.

Yes, and they thought it was the funniest thing they’d ever seen, your mom and me racing to the courthouse when we found out she was pregnant,” Eire said.

Fiera chuckled. “I still don’t know how you two have managed not to kill each other all these years, not to mention how many of us there are now.”

With love, respect, and a healthy sense of humor.” Eire smacked her lightly upside the head. “Get moving or you’ll miss the shuttle up. If you do, I’ll be really put out. What I’ve set up isn’t cheap.”

Fiera rolled her eyes. “So you keep telling me.” She kissed him on the cheek. “I’ll call when I get there.”

Eire hugged her again, hauling her head down and pressing his lips to her cheek. “Remember: blend in.”

Fiera Rezouac needs your help

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Photo via Visualhunt

I’m sure you’ve all seen Into the Flames – Chapter 1 by now. If you haven’t, go check it out. I posted this chapter as an enticement to lure people into supporting my Kickstarter campaign. Well, I still need your support.

I have loads of awesome rewards waiting for my backers. Free e-books, free signed print books shipped anywhere in the world, and acknowledgment on a special page in the book itself.

If you can’t back me yourself, could you please share the link around? Let’s get Fiera and Co. published. They deserve to see the light of day.

Send Into the Flames Into Orbit

Death brings new life

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Photo via Visualhunt

Madalyn let the cold water drift across her skin. Her hair drifted in front of her eyes. She reached one hand up and pushed it out of the way. Her pale skin reflected the dim light that seeped down into the darkness from above.

Madalyn, where are you? The irritated voice in her head caught her attention. It was her father’s fifth wife, a sniveling slime of a female named Zoja.

Madalyn considered ignoring her. She wouldn’t get into trouble for it. Her own mother – an absolutely gorgeous female named Kanani – was first wife and therefore her offspring were sacrosanct as far as her father was concerned.

But ignoring her would upset her mother, and Madalyn knew that wouldn’t be good for her. Kanani was with child again, something the healers had advised against because of her age. Even the long lived Myr reached the end of viable child bearing years.

Madalyn shook her head. I’m here, Zoja. She flicked her tail and swam out into plain view.

You wicked creature. You shouldn’t be hiding from people. Especially at a time like this, Zoja said. She seemed far more agitated than usual.

At a time like what? Madalyn asked.

Your mother has gone into labor, you idiot, Zoja snapped. Madalyn didn’t stick around to hear anything else the other female had to say. She swam off at her top speed towards the network of sea sapphire riddled caves her family called home.

She ran into her brother almost as soon as she entered. Madalyn, where were you? Kiril asked.

Out thinking, Madalyn said. How is it going?

I don’t know. The healers have banned all but daughters from the birthing chamber, Kiril said.

Then that’s where I’m going, Madalyn said. She slid through the water with ease and reached the now guarded door. The healers knew who she was and let her in with only a nod. The serious look on their faces worried her.

Kanani was propped up in the sling, two healers fluttering around her, pressing on her distended stomach and upper tail. Madalyn’s two sisters, Yoana and Orna, were already in there. They held their mother’s hands. The agony in Kanani’s face made Madalyn wonder if she even realized her daughters were there.

Madalyn, there you are. The relief in Yoana’s voice was palpable. I need to help the healers. Come take mother’s hand.

Madalyn switched places with her sister. Yoana was a skilled healer in her own right, and often Kanani said she trusted her daughter over the healers her father brought in any time there was a need for medical aid.

Kanani’s struggle went on for hours. Her hold on Madalyn’s hand grew weaker until her fingers slipped free. Her head slumped down on her chest. The faint touch in her mind that Madalyn had always identified as “mother” vanished.

She’s gone, Yoana whispered into Madalyn’s mind. She was sure Orna was getting the same message.

Now what do we do? Orna asked.

We leave, Yoana said. Before father chooses another first wife. We’ll be relegated to less than servants. Remember what happened to Marlis’ children?

Madalyn shuddered. Marlis had been first wife before Kanani. Her children were too young to flee when she died. They’d been put to work in the worst jobs possible. Madalyn’s half brother – she no longer remembered his name – died from starvation. Her half sister, who’s name also slipped from her memory, had committed suicide after her brother’s death.

Yoana seemed to be conferring with the healers. Madalyn, where are we supposed to go? We have no allies outside of father’s caves, Orna said.

I don’t know, Madalyn said. She did have an idea where she was going. She just didn’t want her older sister tagging along. It was going to be dangerous enough without having someone who didn’t know how to blend in.

The healers will give us one hour to get out of here before they inform father, Yoana said. We have to move fast. The three sisters sped from the room. Madalyn spared one look back over shoulder at the now limp body of her mother before pushing herself even faster to her room.

Madalyn grabbed a bag that would look unusual to any Myr out of a locked chest hidden in her closet. She went over to a case of jewelry on the table next to her mirror and shoved it in the bag. Then she went to the wall and broke off several chunks of the sapphires. She felt the faint vibrations as the organisms died, but she knew dead or alive the sapphires would fetch a good price where she was going.

Madalyn left her father’s cave through a little used path and headed west. She swam for three days and nights, pausing only to catch a few fish to sate her hunger. She reached an area unfamiliar to most Myr, but well known to her.

Taking a few deep breaths, Madalyn surfaced. She kept her gills beneath the water as she looked around to get her bearings. At first all she could see was the surface of the water. She turned to the right. There was the island she’d visited a few times. She dove back under and struck out for it. The surface was going to be painful but it was far better than dying at the hands of her father’s many wives.

 

Don’t forget about my Kickstarter campaign. I rebooted it so now you’ve got until May to back it, if you’re interested in it. I’ve lowered my goal and added some new rewards for my backers. I think they’re pretty cool. If you can’t or don’t want to back it, please share this around. Get the word out. Help me see Into the Flames get published.

Please help me send Into the Flames Into Orbit