Thursday, February 26, 2015

#DivMuse2 - Division of Muse Relations Vol 2 is up and ready for you!



The second volume of the Division of Muse Relations series is up! This one took longer to write than expected, but I think these 100 story-starters are going to spawn all sorts of amazing new stories for you guys!

Just click on the link under the picture to get your own copy for the low price of $4.99! That's less than a nickel per idea! And if you'd like to see what the fuss is about for less, click on the Publications And Shop tab up top and pick up Division of Muse Relations Vol 1 - Fantasy, for the introductory-to-the-series price of only $2!

Monday, February 23, 2015

On working on multiple projects



Now that I've decided to stop waiting, to stop sitting on things, I'm newly inspired to just go forward. And that means I'm setting up for a lot of work on a lot of projects, and being a visual person, and someone who loves office supplies, I set up the above system to keep things straight.

It's hard writing one book, let alone writing two and editing one at the same time. But for me, right now, it's sort of necessary. See, I think a creative brain is like a conveyor belt, and the projects come up out of the subconscious when they will, and I should have been doing and moving on so my plate was clear.

But I wasn't. And now I have a traffic jam and nothing to show for it.

So! I have a novel ready to be published and a short novella ready, and they're out the door by the end of March and moving across to the Done column. 

I'm writing both Ember and The Sound of Birds, Singing on alternate days, with lower word counts than my potential max so that I know for a fact I can get both done, because neither would let me alone long enough to get the other done. And then in a few months I'll have two new books to put out instead of one!

And in the meantime, I have color coded stickies I can move around so even when I'm in the Pits of Dispair (where all books go before they finish), I can see that things are moving forward!

And I think this is necessary. Organization, of course, but also a sense of movement. Of progress. Of things going forward and getting toward done, even when--especially when--things feel like they aren't, or like I'm falling down, or like everything is a mess and will never work. Eff that jazz. Head it off. This is proof that progress exists, and everything is still On Its Way.

Tell me: how do you keep projects organized? Do you work on more than one at a time, or are you able to do one? If you are, especially, I'd like to hear how!

Weekly dispatch from the Division of Muse Relations!



This week's prompts are about Weird!

1. The first representatives of an alien race humans ever encounter comes from another dimension and makes no sense at all. A team of three is sent to negotiate peace with them, and one of them falls in love with the alien delegate. How do they make it work and how do they handle both their peoples' reactions?

2. A new theme park opens in a small, rundown town, and three friends go to investigate. One goes missing. One saw something but doesn't believe what they saw. Ten years later, the other, obsessed with the park and the extremely weird stories that come from it, is there to witness when fifteen missing children walk out of one of the rides as if no time had passed at all. What happens to all of them?

3. A woman is working in her garden at the edge of a deep forest when an old woman walks out, talking about things that haven't happened yet. She tells everyone something, and then leaves. And then the things she said keep happening, but in the least-normal ways possible. What did she tell the woman in the garden? What happens?

4. A light comes from space over a small town and cuts them off from everywhere. The people closest to the light are mutated--if they survive. The ones further away start changing into weirder and weirder versions of themselves. Two people are on opposite sides of what to do about it. How do they work it out?

5. One day, time cracks, and pieces of past, present and future get shuffled up and then coexist. In the resulting world, three teens grow up--until one claims they discovered what caused it. What do they do?

--

As always, any stories you write from these prompts are yours to do with as you please! If you post or publish them somewhere public, it'd be cool if you shared a link so others can find your stories, but that's up to you!

If you like these story-starters, you can buy 100 fantasy prompts that have never been on this blog for just 2$ up in the Publications and Shop tab! And Vol2, all scifi prompts will be coming out soon!

The pipeline!


As it looks now:

1. Married to the Wind Pt 1: Wisewoman's Daughter will be published at the end of March

2. Probably Beacon will be next, likely at the end of summer.

3. In the meantime, I'll finish the mess drafts of Ember and The Sound of Birds, Singing.

4. Then I'll edit them while writing The Sea King's Daughter and publishing Married to the Wind Pt 2: Sister to the Sun.

This is probably as far as 2015 goes...

5. Then edit Seaking while writing...well, I'm not sure that far out. Either Fireswife or the first Drae book, which I still haven't pinned a name to that I can remember. But I'll be publishing Seaking and Ember and Birdsong sometime after this, depending on how long their edits take. And Married Pt 3: Goddess's Hand, likely before; I don't want too much space in the trilogy. And then a fancy compiled edition.

6. Then things get really blurry, but will involve, in undetermined order:
- Ember's sequel, Spark
- Beacon's sequel, still unnamed, and possibly after at least one spinoff
- A Cacophony of Gods
- Immortal by Association
- Drae 2
- A number of compiled serial fiction, probably, and some poetry
- Married's sequel, Born to the Road

... And then, hopefully, a whole career of other stuff! I have a bunch of books lined up in such early stages that I haven't obsessed over their titles yet. It's about time I got moving, don't you think?

I think.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

On talking about writing



Confession: I don't actually like talking about what I'm writing.

See, for me, writing is a process of thinking something out. I don't plan very well--and don't really look at the plan as I'm writing unless I get stuck--because the writing itself has to be the process of getting a story from beginning to end, or it never gets done. Carefully planning out all the beats ahead of time means the Figuring Out has gone into planning, and then the writing is rehashing, which bores me and kills the flow and the power.

Talking about it can do the same thing. If I've thought it all out, I don't need to write it. So I talk about the process of writing a lot more than I talk about what I'm actually writing, mostly. Or I talk through a problem I'm having so that someone--a crit partner or another writer friend, usually--can help me figure out that one thing that makes the whole knot unravel. That is a beautiful thing--when the story is tangled up around some single point or quick sequence of points you can't see, and someone says one thing you didn't think of, and then it all just flows out. That beauty is worth the talking.

The problem is that I went to school for writing--twice--and people have to talk about what they're writing in that context. And now I'm just starting on the path to self-publishing stardom*, and now I have to even more!

What's a clam to do?

It's very important to me that I do this on my own terms, so I'm not going to be doing any long chunks of specifics on any of my projects before they're finished. But I also need to get people aware of what I'm writing so they'll want to read it, so I will be periodically talking about the little stuff--one detail, how I did things, what I know about writing or editing or revising. I'll be talking about stuff a lot when it's done. I'll be periodically name-dropping my own work, or associating something else with what I've written recently.

And I'll keep talking to my very few critters that help it keep going.

And I'll slowly work up to more specific talking, as it get comfortable with it, so long as it doesn't damage the flow.

Do you talk about what you're writing? How do you keep momentum, whether you talk about it or not? Let's talk about talking about.

New Review up! Impulse by Dave Bara



Impulse is the first in a new military scifi series from Dave Bara, following the adventures of Lt. Peter Cochrane as he oversteps his bounds and eventually saves the day.

- See more at: http://www.nyjournalofbooks.com/book-review/impulse-lightship-chronicles

It wasn't my fav book; I don't like giving unfavorable reviews, but it was readable enough, and I'm pretty sure a lot of my issues were that I was entirely not the ideal audience.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Tuesday Serial - Clockwork Heart 13 - Conclusion

This is part of a Wolf & Raven Serial Story. See all the parts that have been posted here, tune in Tuesday and Friday for more, and see all my free fiction here.

#13

Raven hardly heard the gate collapse in on itself, but she heard every one of the voices calling to her as they were drawn back into the void. The ground rumbled, cracked, opened up and swallowed the remains of the gate and several of the Brothers, but left where she knelt untouched. Wolfe was lifeless in her arms, his eyes blank, his mouth slightly open, a blackened hole through his chest--but he wasn't dead.

She knew, more than she knew anything else, that he wasn't dead. She'd have heard him if he were.

But he'd lost his heart, and she had to find something to replace it.

Her hand shook as she laid it over the hole in his chest, worst as she probed the edges with her fingertips, and she couldn't quite bring herself to check how deep it went, if it went all the way through, But she did feel the buzz of him still inside his body, a low-grade electrical tingle like when she felt the voices pushing close, though he was buffered by flesh and living warmth.

"Wolfe," she said, "Wolfe, you aren't dead. Stay with me."

Someone screamed over her shoulder. Another of the tentacles whipped back and forth before being sucked back through the collapsing gate, and she glanced back at it just long enough to see the crack in the world the gate had become, a crack whose edges didn't match up and jittered against each other.

"You saved me, Wolfe, now I'm going to save you. Hold on. Stay here!"

What happened to a soul when your heart had been ripped out by an ancient evil? If you died, did it spiral down into the dark where that thing went? Raven had no intention of finding out.

There was no medical kit nearby, and if there were medical personnel, they were already gone to wherever the rest of the Brothers and their goons were headed. Wolfe was a lot larger than her, too, and there was no way she could drag him anywhere without hurting him worse, maybe hurting herself.

But he wasn't dead yet. He just needed something to convince him of that fact, to hold him here until they could get him back to the Agency and get something better put in place, something more permanent.

She cast around for something, anything, of the right size. There was nothing in her pockets, but not far away, laying on the grey stone and shimmering with the arcane energies that had once driven it and that still sort of clung to it, was a gauge, part of one of the generators. It was about the size of her fist, and even from here, she saw the multiple hands on its face ticking, marking off the seconds, winding in different directions but keeping even time.

"Stay here, Wolfe," she said, leaning close to his face. "I'm not going to let you die, do you hear me? You're not dying tonight. You have a new job to report to."

His eyes flickered, just the tiniest amount, and she was momentarily overwhelmed with the relief that broadsided her, much stronger than she'd expected for someone she owed a debt to, but who she hardly knew. But she didn't have time to wallow. The arcing energy from the prods still jangled up and down her nerves, she was still loose in the frame of her own skin and bones, and Wolfe needed her. She lowered him to the ground and bolted for the chunk of ticking metal.

It zapped her when she touched it, the prod-energy and its own synching after it spun up, then slowed down, and when the hands returned to their previous steady rhythm, she brought it back to Wolfe.

"I have a new heart for you, Wolfe, a new ticker. Literally." Hysteria jibbered just under her words. She swallowed, wiped her arm across her eyes, and scootched closer. "I don't know if this is the right thing to do," she said, "but it's all I can think of. Please come back."

She lined up the gauge with the scorched hole in his chest. The blue arcs of energy reached for him, flailing about like the ends of a jacob's ladder, flickering between her fingers and over the hands of the weird clock. She hesitated only a moment, then pushed it into the soft blackness just to the left of the center of his chest.

It fit perfectly, as if made for that spot, this use.

He jerked, like he's been hit with a defibrillator, but he didn't wake up.

"Wolfe. Wolfe, come on."

The gate finally closed, and the sides of the tear it left behind closed up well enough that they could knit together, leaving only an angry line across the end of the staging area. They were the only ones left--almost. On the other side of the flat stone, one of the Brothers stood, watching them from beneath his heavy hood. She couldn't see anything of him but the cloak, but like the one who'd locked them in the storage shed, she had the sudden, inescapable feeling that they'd met before, that she knew him.

One last flicker of unnatural light, and he was gone. She was alone with some sparking, wrecked equipment, some dead bodies, and Wolfe.

"Wake up, Wolfe. Look, you have a heart, I got you a new one. You aren't dead." She hefted his hand, large and rough, up to his chest and flattened it over his new, ticking heart. The sizzle of his life was quieter.

"You aren't going to die! Not because of me! Not you, too!" She slammed her hands to the stone on either side of his head, leaning close to his face again, and when she did, her hands sank into the space between our world and the next. the voices swarmed there, trying to get close, trying to beg her for help, but she had one in particular she sought, one close and still a little alive. She was so close to him, her heart almost lined up over his, her arms elbow-deep in another world, when she found him, and wrapped both hands around him.

"You aren't going anywhere," she said, and her voice echoed in the strange spaces where the other voices lived. She hauled back. He didn't resist, but the voices tried to pull him away, to make him join them, and their fingers--or what served as fingers--were cold as glacial ice on her skin. She hauled again, and he snapped free, slammed back into his body, and she was fully back in the physical world again, laying on top of him, her arms around his neck and shoulders. They were both breathing hard, both full of strange energies.

His hand flew up to his chest and met her back before it got there, and his eyes focused on her face as she levered up to look at him. "You saved me," he said.

"Returning a favor," she said. "You'll be okay now."

She sat up and pulled him into a sitting position with her. When her hands were in his, she didn't hear a single voice clamoring for her attention. She never wanted to let go.

"What--what happened?" He tried again to touch his chest, and his fingertips found the chunk of ticking metal there. "What's going on?"

"You saved me," she said, "you kept that monster from dragging me off to whatever Deep it came from. But it got you, tore out the heart of you. I brought you back."

A string of complicated emotions trailed over his face, shock, surprise, horror, confusion, before his expression settled back into its usual closed blankness. He touched the gauge one last time, then dropped both his hands, releasing her and withdrawing behind some shield he always had. The voices screamed at her. The whole world was too raw here.

"What now?" he asked.

"The sun'll be up soon. My people have an extraction site on the other side of the island. They're supposed to land there and bring me back after dawn. Think you can walk?"

He tried to stand, made it with a little effort. "Yes."

"Let's get out of this hole, then. Welcome to the Agency, Wolfe."

---

END

Monday, February 16, 2015

Weekly dispatch from the Division of Muse Relations!


This week is all about hidden things!

1. A girl finds a diary in her grandmother's attic, and when she starts reading it, she finds a huge secret other life that her grandmother never mentioned--and she finds that all the stuff that made her feel weird and wrong is actually her inheritance. What does she do?

2. Doctors at a children's hospital notice that one of the kids brought in because of delusions seems to know a lot of stuff her shouldn't know. One is very against it, two are looking for a way to profit, one wants to protect and help the kid, and one is haunted by what he says. How does it play out?

3. A girl working in an ordinary office spills her drink on a stack of memos and finds that all of them are printed with secret messages--ones that tell a story of after hours meetings and strange other announcements from home office. What does she do about it?

4. A boy has been bedridden all his life. He's been babied and indulged and spoiled. But when his parents disappear, he finds that he was never sick at all--he was powerful and something other than human, and his parents had made it so he'd never know. Why? What happens now that he does know?

5. Three children are sent to live with an eccentric uncle for a whole year, but no one will tell them why. While they're there, they find a music box that doesn't open, but sounds like it has something inside. When they get home, everyone acts lie nothing happened. Twenty years later, those three kids are called back by the uncle, who seems to not have changed at all, and despite the fact that they haven't spoken in ages, and he tells them the truth of that year. What is the truth? What do they do with it?

--

As always, any stories you write from these prompts are yours to post or publish or hide as you see fit, but it would be cool if you linked back here so everyone can see them!

If you like these prompts, there's 100 more in the Shop tab called The Division of Muse Relations Vol1, and Vol2 is coming out soon!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Fiction Friday - Clockwork Heart 12

This is part of a Wolf & Raven Serial Story. See all the parts that have been posted here, tune in Tuesday and Friday for more, and see all my free fiction here.

#12

Wolf didn't see what hit the Brother closing in on Devinovitch, but whatever it was, it threw sparks of a ghostly white color from where it hit him, and he flew back as if it was a wrecking ball. The sparks arced tight around him, tracing lines like magnetic force lines, but in complicated overlapping half circles that totally encircled him. 

He didn't hit anything, not even the ground; after flying about fifteen feet, he just stopped, frozen in mid-scream, mid-fall, mid-bone-shatter, the cold white lines built by the sparks tight and still around him.

For the space of a heartbeat, everyone looked at the man, suspended right on the edge of reality, and no one said a word or moved a finger.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

How to take critique


I think crits were the hardest thing to get used to when I was first starting out letting other people read my work. I mean, it feels like attacks and failure when someone doesn't like your stuff, that early. But here's the thing: critiques make it better.

No matter how good your writing is, there's always room for improvement, and one of the best ways to improve is to have someone outside your own brain point out the places that need improvement.

So! Start with this mindset:
- A critique is not an attack, even if you get a bad crit partner who is trying to attack you.
- It's words on a page--once it's out of your brain, it's no longer physically part of you, and your job shifts from creation to improvement.
- Work on getting to like that just-about-to-jump-into-cold-water feeling, and it's much easier to go in there and face the comments.
- Everything can be fixed, and even if it can't, you can pick out the good, learn from the experience, and use it all somewhere else.

When you get your crits back, look them all over, read them all carefully, and then wait a day or three before you do anything. Because of that attack-y feeling, if there's some drastic thing in there, it can throw you for a loop and make you emotional and defensive. Don't write or edit defensively! It blocks the flow big time, and you can lose your authenticity!

After your grace period, fix all the easy stuff--the grammar, the spelling, any stuff that's garbled or unclear.

Then look at the suggestions and comments, and weigh them all. If it's a good idea that sparks something in you, run with it. 

If it's pointing out some major flaw you didn't notice, brainstorm the crap out of it and identify all the ways you can fix it, and all the places in your story that will have to be addressed. That's hard, but not impossible, and will definitely make a better story.

If it's something wildly off the wall, see if you can get more info from them to decide whether it's an individual foible, something you need to worry about, or whether it's something you can discount. The fact is, some feedback just won't be useful. But! If there's something you discount and then several other people point out the same problem, that's something you need to pay attention to. 

Remember: it's your vision. You don't have to do anything that compromises your vision of the story just because your critique partner said to.

Remember also: sometimes writers don't know what they're really writing about until it's done and someone else reads it, to keep a door open to the possibility that your vision is missing some major details.

And then you apply what you've discovered and uncovered and figured out, so that your next draft is cleaner, sleeker, tighter, better.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Tuesday Serial - Clockwork Heart 11

This is part of a Wolf & Raven Serial Story. See all the parts that have been posted here, tune in Tuesday and Friday for more, and see all my free fiction here.

#11

Raven told herself she wasn't reeling, but in actuality, she was, literally and physically. That gate-powered cattle prod had done something to her, and she didn't know what words to give it--she heard the whispers clearly now, heard the cries for help they were, and the mutters of discontent and  madness interspersed. And worse, sometimes she saw the hazy outlines of the people that said these things, people who no longer had bodies and who ached with the loss. People who were stuck just as they were, with no choice but to huddle around her, because she could hear them.

They swirled around her like a tide, as they had before, and now the truth of them cut through her as sharply as the cold of the actual water off the coast would.

But she had a job to do, and there was only one chance to do it in. Wolfe had gone feral; he was standing on one guard's chest, lashing out with hands like claws at the others--and as she watched, he tore one of the prods from one of the other guards' hands and switched gears smoothly and thoughtlessly. He wasn't an animal; he was a machine, built and trained to do nothing but kill.

Monday, February 9, 2015

I almost forgot today's writing prompts!


Which is fine, because I was going to use Time Travel as the theme this week, so just pretend this post went back and posted itself at the right time.

1 - Your character wakes up in the past, with no idea how they got there. What do they do with their knowledge of the future? How can you, as writer-god, mess up their plans? What happens when they find out they're there for an actual reason?

2 - A man finds a book in a used bookstore. Inside it is a picture of a woman and a letter that was never delivered 120 years ago to someone with his same name. The letter talks about thing that are just starting to happen to him as if they're already long past. What does he do?

3 - The team who invents the first functioning time machine also gets some calculation or hardware problem way wrong, and every time they use the machine, it messes something up. How long before they notice? How much damage is done? What do they do about it?

4 - A girl in school to get her first degree is accosted by a crazy old woman who claims to be her from the future. She's definitely off her nut, but she's also saying stuff that's true mixed in with her wild predictions. And then the stuff she's warning of starts happening. Can they stop the bad things now that they have warning? 

5 - People sent out in the fastest spaceship ever, come back and find that they've missed a lot of time back on earth. Each time they come back, they've missed more. And eventually, they wind up so far in their own future that they meet someone who offers to send them home, now that time travel has been invented. Do they take it?


As always, these prompts are free for you, and if you write anything from them or parts of them, they're yours. You don't even have to mention me or my blog--but if you do, you get so many brownie points! And if you link back here, it'll help others find your stuff!

For more prompts, look in the Shop tab up above, for Division of Muse Relations Vol 1, and soon, Vol 2! And tune in every Monday for five more!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Tweet from Chuck Barrett (@Chuck_Barrett)

Chuck Barrett (@Chuck_Barrett)
What do you write about? goo.gl/FeS0c

The article here is asking whether it's better to "write what you know" or not. I think my answer is that if I wrote only what I know in the strictest sense, I'd literally have nothing to talk about, since I write fantasy and a little scifi. I've had some weird things--when I was a kid, I was convinced dragons were watching over me, for instance--but how many stories could I get out of that slightly-weirder-than-normal life?

But here's something else to think about: I think every one of my books should be a reach, and should be different from the previous. Married To The Wind was an epic, coming in at nine point of view characters and almost eight hundred pages. So Beacon, which I first-drafted next, has one point of view character, and is less than 400 pages, and is Urban Fantasy. The two I'm first-drafting now, Ember and The Sound Of Birds, Singing, are a scifi comment on pulps, and a fairy tale. 

So what's your take? Do you write similar stuff or very different stuff? Share in the comments!

Coming Soon! Beacon, book one in the Aetherium Cycle!


Jessamyn Beacon is a fixer for the supernatural community of Laketon-on-the-Silver. She thought she had it all figured out; she's been here for seven years since she ran away from home after accidentally killing her boyfriend with arcane magic, and lighting herself up like a lighthouse on the Aetheric Plane. She has a flexible dayjob, a few friends, and when she's off, she helps ghosts and weres and fae beasts and whoever else needs help and can't get it through normal means.

Then her godson goes missing, and while looking for him, she becomes bound at the soul to one of the oldest of Elder Things, a harbinger of the Deep who tells her to call him Jack. He's destined to be her slave, and to help her become powerful--but she doesn't want either.

Now a death-cult is killing people to bring about the end of the world, her godson is still missing, and none of the city's many fortune tellers can read any future at all, and only Beacon and Jack have any chance of saving the world. If she can avoid becoming a monster herself, before then.

--

This is my first Urban Fantasy novel, and will be my first self-published book of fiction AND my first experience with Kindle Direct Publishing! I'm super excited to share it with you. 

Stay tuned for further updates!


This week! Division of Muse Relations Vol 2 launches!


Are you looking for ideas for scifi stories? This week, you're in luck, because I've got 100 of them just waiting for you! Check out the Division of Muse Relations tag at the bottom of this post to see my weekly prompts and get a feel for how I set up stories for you!

Stay tuned for the launch announcement!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Confessions of a cellphone writer


First confession: I had to borrow someone else's phone to take a picture of mine and then sen it to my phone for editing (in Pictureshow, one of my fav apps), so I could use the Blogger app to make this post.

Next confession: I do almost all of my nonfiction and poetry writing on my phone.

See, it's always with me. It doesn't require me to find a pen--even though, as a writer, I've always got at least seven pens within reach. It doesn't require me to start up my computer, something that takes longer and longer as my computer ages. It's portable, which my computer is not, since I haven't saved enough for a laptop yet. And it doesn't require me to type anything up that I'd previously hand-written--which is how I do most of my first-draft (aka what-the-heck-am-I-writing-draft) fiction. 

Further confession: While I write most of my blog posts and edit all of my pictures of my phone, I often go back through the computer, fix formatting and tagging, and do all the posts that require HTML, because that stuff is totally not phone-able.

See, I like options. I like flexibility. I like to be able to write how I want, when I want, and having to wait until I'm home with my computer, and then for my computer to boot up and open the programs I need is not how I want, when I want, and so a lot of this just goes right to my phone. And then I email it to myself. And then I edit, revise, format, etc the more usual ways. I journal on paper, plan on paper, write long form on paper, take notes on paper; I edit on my computer and on paper; I write poetry and blog posts on my phone.

And really, I think this is a good thing. People are always talking about whether or not publishing--and by extension, traditional writing and writers--are going extinct. Me? I'm going to write anyway, and while all that is settling out, I'm going to embrace technology and methodology that let's me keep writing and more easily get that writing in front of people. Because when ecologists get tough, it's the flexible and adaptable ones that make it through until things calm down however they're going to be.

How about you? What do you write on, or in? Are you techie or Luddite, or, like me, a hybrid? Let's talk.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Friday Fiction - Clockwork Heart 10

This is part of a Wolf & Raven Serial Story. See all the parts that have been posted here, tune in Tuesday and Friday for more, and see all my free fiction here.

#10

Wolfe looked up from the first downed generator with the closest thing to triumph he'd felt in a very long time surging through him, and a wild sense that he was breaking his ties and drifting loose. He wanted to see the woman, Devinovitch, wanted to see the look on her face as he delivered what she wasn't able to do on her own--

And she wasn't looking. In fact, she wasn't looking at anything. Her eyes glowed the same fierce blue-white as the sparks coming more quickly from the gate, and her mouth was open in a scream that corded her throat with the effort, but made no sound. The guard stood over her, his modified cattle prod jammed into her back, pushing on the small bones of her spine to get himself upright again.

He was scrabbling at his side for the walkietalkie strapped to his belt. Already, other guards--his friends, people he'd known all his life--were moving toward them. Trying to stop them.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Tuesday Serial - Clockwork Heart 9

This is part of a Wolf & Raven Serial Story. See all the parts that have been posted here, tune in Tuesday and Friday for more, and see all my free fiction here.

#9

The new guard--she had to remind herself that the old one was called Wolfe, that he had a name and was her partner now, at least in this--stood with his back to her, facing the gate, but between the generators and the wilderness. But the static in her head made her feel a bit like a wilderness herself, and she'd been given the job of taking him out so Wolfe could cut the power without destroying the island. She'd seen what could happen when a dimensional gate that sliced through the Laminae carelessly was depowered without the right steps; a chunk of Bolivia and a chunk of her thigh were missing now, adrift in the spaces between the layers of reality.

She didn't really want to have any more of her lost to the Aetherium. There were things there that liked the taste of humans, and the less she left for them to find, the more peace of mind she had. Now, if only she could clear that piece of mind so she could concentrate.

The new guard didn't have a gun that she could see, but he did carry a long metal stick that looked like some modification of a cattle prod, and blue sparks the color of the ones thrown between the generators and the gate jumped erratically from its end. A regular cattle prod was as bad as a taser to something as not-cow-sized as a person; an Aetherically-powered one could also have mental and spiritual effects.

Monday, February 2, 2015

It's Monday! What're you reading?


This week's reading list! 

Willful Child by Steven Erikson

and 


Both of these are for review, both seem to be commentary on Classic Trek so varying degrees, and both are affiliate links. I haven't read much scifi in ages, so I'm looking forward to seeing what current--like, publishing this week--scifi has to offer right now. I've never read any Bara (and I think this is his first book, so that's why). I've only read a little Erikson, though we've met at conferences, and what I have read was all fantasy, so it'll be interesting to see how his style applies to the related but often wildly different field of scifi.

I'll also be finishing this month's NatGeo, which is sitting on the couch waiting for me.


What're you reading this week? And what're you looking forward to in those books?
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