I've decided to take this blog in a new direction. Instead of mirroring my web site's blog on this site, I've decided to make this more like the blog's subtitle already suggests. So, expect quirky things about the workplace, odd things I learn in class, and each and every bump in the road to self-publishing success.
Or something like that. I suppose I'll see how it goes.
Now, I won't be offended if all you followers don't want to follow this blog anymore. No worries. If you just want to keep up on the professional side of me, head on over to my website and stay tuned over there.
Oops! Forgot it was Sunday. My how time flies.Well, I still have 4 hours left of it, so here's an excerpt from the novel I'm working on, Meese.
The door banged overextended on its hinges and nearly hit her when she stormed out, trailing a laughing Rachel.
“Dude, come on, it was funny!”
Mieshka’s face was beginning to resemble Mieshka’s hair, except pinker. She walked faster, an act which had more effect due to her excessive leg length.
“Oh, come on man, it wasn’t that bad.”
Mieshka didn’t know where she was going. She was storming blindly, but she was definitely storming. She was glad she didn’t have any school books, not on the first day. She broke into a run.
She sprinted, and when she reached the corner, she turned and dug in. She went lower, and directed all her current sentiments about Rachel into her feet, which pounded the pavement and pushed her forward.
Rachel’s voice seemed farther away now, though that was more due to Mieshka’s rage and hurt than any physical distance. Rachel was, after all, also on the track team. But Mieshka didn’t stop. Time slowed down, like it did in races. She strained for speed.
But she paused when she ran into what she’d thought was a park but was really a dead end. It took her a few seconds to realize this, though, and by the time she’d hit the middle of what appeared to be a courtyard, she’d slowed to a walk. Her face felt hot, and the walls of the yard were concrete with some designs on it. She recognized them from somewhere, but she couldn’t say where.
“Oh shit,” said Rachel, who had entered in after her, had realized where they were.
“What?” Said Mieshka, whose anger was slowly being replaced. Running had always calmed her down. The strangeness of the square was odd enough to hasten on the process. Unfortunately, her anger was being replaced by a distinct edge of unease.
“We gotta get out of here,” said Rachel, “this is where the Fire God’s ship fell.”
Mieshka turned just in time to see Rachel’s eyes widen as they moved to her. Mieshka looked down and, for the first time, saw that she appeared to be standing in the middle of a spiral formed by lines in the brick mosaic. The lines, she noticed, were starting to glow.
Rachel hadn’t needed to shout. Mieshka had no delusions of courage. Mieshka caught up to Rachel at the gate, and they both bolted across the street and back up the way they had come. They didn’t stop until the courtyard was out of sight.
“What,” asked Mieshka between heavy breathing, “the fuck was that?”
Rachel laughed. It was more like a small shriek, and it had some kind of hysteria at its roots.
“I guess the stories are true,” Rachel, too, was struggling to breath. But the pause between her sentences seemed more for effect. Breathing was just an excuse. Mieshka thought she heard another strangled laugh. “They say he likes redheads.”
Meese frowned at that, not understanding. But when she did understand, she stopped breathing.
Well this is a rather late cross-post. This is part of the sample sunday twitter thing: here's the link. It's from my short story in progress that will probably be getting a new name soon but is called "The Memory Thief" right now.
Warning: There is violence to a woman here.
She was running and, so far, she hadn’t been caught. She knew she couldn’t win—she’d already seen how much faster he was. But he was toying with her. Keeping her just close enough that she could hear his breathless laughter. Once, he’d jumped forward and brushed her shoulder with his hand. Twice, he’d thrown her down and let her scramble back up.
So she knew he was just playing with her. But, she thought, that might work to her advantage.
Which was, probably, exactly what he wanted her to think. And now she’d hit a dead end.
The street ended with a low wall, and behind that wall was a three story drop. But, across the gap there was a two story building, and the street below was a narrow alley. She was already eyeing the distance when she heard his laughter turn the corner. She didn’t look back.
Maybe she’d make it.
She didn’t think too hard about it. There wasn’t much of a choice for her. She hadn’t been running from him for fun. The malice in his laughter promised things much worse than a three story fall.
Besides, maybe she’d make it.
He began to speak, his shoes softly scuffing the ground as he approached. She repressed a shiver, held her breath, and jumped. She didn’t make it.
He watched her fall. On the way down she scraped her arms on the brick wall across the way, and struck the fire escape with her head. Blood pooled on the concrete from where she landed. In an instant, he was beside her.
She died. Too quickly for his liking.
A seagull watched him.
“Why do they always run?” it said.
He looked up. It was on the fire escape she’d hit. He hadn’t noticed it arrive.
“Because they’re smarter than you, Gull.” He bent down and drew a finger through her blood. It was already starting to cool. If he waited too long, the fear would fade. Her hope was already gone. He suspected it had left when she’d hit the wall.
“Do they ever make it?” asked the bird. The man sighed. Seagulls were never quiet around mealtime. Ravens, he thought, were much better. But the ones in this city weren’t like the ones back home. They avoided him.
“One did,” he said, “but I got her in the end.”
She still lived. And, he thought, she seemed to have forgotten about him. She never replied to his messages. Perhaps it was time to change that.
“Gull,” he said, although he winced at his messanger-du-jour, “why don’t you go find her?” He licked another finger of blood.
“Yes. You. Her name is Kitty. Find out where she is.”
“Yes, sir!” the bird’s voice broke into its natural cry, and it took off. But not, he noticed, before leaving a calling card where it had been perched.
Ravens, he thought, at least had class. Crows even aimed. He had neglected to tell Gull about Kitty’s unique electrical abilities, but perhaps she’d do him a favour. Maybe the bird would die in a misplaced storm. He didn’t think too deeply. Gull was gone and he could enjoy his meal.
Three nights later, in another alley, Gull unfortunately returned.
“The crow said she’s in Teremain.”
He never had understood the crows of this country—why they chose the trickster over darkness. They still had a hand in death, didn’t they? He looked over, took in the bird, and almost raised an eyebrow. There was blood outlining the bird’s front. He could see it had congealed around the edges of the bird’s mouth and dried in a nice muddy-rouge shade.
The seagull puffed up proudly.
“I ate its heart.”
The god of darkness smiled wickedly. Finally, a bit of luck. From what he did understand about crows, he wouldn’t have to deal with Gull for much longer.
You might not have noticed that I bumped the release dates for both Meese as well as the series back a couple of month. (The release dates are on my website here) I have a couple of reasons for this.
First, I'm working a lot. Two jobs, 13 hour days, yada yada. No time to write, hence... the need to bump back. I don't want to send out a shoddy, rushed piece of work. Just think of the havoc that would wreak on my nerves! Oh, and also how disappointed the readers would be.
Second, I want to try a release system. I figure that, if I finish three serials in time for school to start, and have Meese's cover (which, by the way, is being done as I type!) and Meese's draft well into the final stages, I can work at promoting them without having to worry about putting out another title until December. And also get good grades, because I'm awesome.
Oh, and if anyone's interested, I've set up the blog to post a sample of The Memory Thief on Sunday. So, even I forget, the blog won't.****
****This is for my other blog, at http://kgorman.ca/ . I have no idea how to make blogger do that, so... you'll have to go there. Don't worry, I'll crosspost it when I can.
In other news, I have made contact with a cover artist. Hooray!
Onto the post:
I'm one of those people that has yet to get the hang of typing a story. Odd, considering how much time I spend (or, nowadays, wish I could spend) on a computer. I prefer to plot out my stories with pen and paper, usually making a huge mess and scribbling it out. Once I'm going, I can keep going fairly fast. My writing gets all loose and wild like a lot of how-to-write articles tell me it should. Freewriting and all that.
My only trouble is getting to that free-flowing bit. Like many people, I lead a busy life. When I finally sit down and pick up a pen, I find my mind usually has not followed. I can't think. My mind drifts on that problem-solving curve by plotting out and planning random bits leftover from the rest of the to-do list. There is no focus.
The secret to getting focus, for me, is to start writing in cursive. I know this may not be for everyone—I know people who absolutely loathe cursive writing. But I find it works for me.
Why does it work? My theory is that, since it requires more focus for creating the letters, the mind quiets down to focus on this task and then, indirectly, to the task of what is being written. Kind of like focusing on your breathing to focus on your meditation, if you're the meditating type.
And it has the added bonus of making your page look pseudo-elegant, if you write anything like I do. Or a complete mess, which is also kind of elegant—just pretend you're an old alchemist or something who's too busy being brilliant to bother with pretty writing. If you're a fiction writer, I'm pretty sure you're good enough at make-believe to make this work.