Monday, June 29, 2009

...

Not to jinx this (I'm knocking on wood right now - which makes typing a little awkward, to be honest), but the troubles with posting seem to have gone away.

I'm sick.

I've just finished writing out the plot for the story I posted the chunk of yesterday. I think I know where it's going, which is cool. I have three pages of plot and two pages of general notes and back story...

... and, the reason why I'm sick, I have the beginnings of a sequel. I seriously don't know what is wrong with me. I mean, I know people get the writing bug, but I have an addiction. I suppose it's a good thing that I plan to do this with the rest of my life; I have a feeling this sort of thing would get in the way of any other job.

Anyway, I have four fairly strong characters (actually, I think one of the more secondary characters is more interesting than my heroine; I'll have to work on that), and the vague notions of some less important characters to include.

Now I'm just working on a title.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

>:G

As you can probably see from the most recent short story post, and have possibly noticed, if you've been trying to upload anything yourself, something is playing silly buggers with Devereaux Court. I have no idea why that post ended up ruled, or why there are suddenly error messages popping up every time anyone wants to post anything.

I do know how to get around the whole html error message thing, though, because the same thing started happening to my Aigaion Girl blog one day, and I have to do this every time I post on there. Hopefully I'll be able to figure out how to get rid of it within the next couple of days. In the meantime, this is what you do:

When you try to post, an annoying error message appears. (click to enlarge)

Highlight everything up to the first p (it looks like this <, followed by a p)



Despite the fact that it says the title tag is the only thing that's wrong, taking care of that won't work, because it just puts the tag back when you try to post again.

Delete everything that's highlighted and publish the post. Everything should work swimmingly now.

Sorry about all this, guys. I have no idea why it suddenly started doing this, because I assure you that neither Rhiannon or I have been messing with any of the code lately, and of my 11 blogs, this one and the Aigaion Girl one are the only ones to have this error. Hopefully I'll get it sorted out soon.

~Athena

Titleless Story Chunk

Another short story, ish. The first line of this came to me yesterday, and I thought it would be perfect to start a short story with. By the time I'd finished writing this scene, I'd come up with an entire novel's worth of ideas that lead up to it... I think it might even be my next big project; Lacie and Chadwick might have to wait a while.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“You're smiling. Why are you smiling?”

The girl shrugged her shoulders. “Because I like to see horrible things come to an end.”

“Does that include that smile? I'd like to see that come to an end.”

Her features straightened. “Yes, Sir. Of course, Sir. Returning to emotionless professionalism now, Sir.”

The man looked at her uneasily. “That's not what I meant. And you can cut it out with all of that Sir stuff; You're—”

“Dying? I know, Sir.” As if proving her right, her legs buckled under her. She fell forward onto her knees. “Sorry, Sir. You were saying?”

“Damn it, girl, stop calling me that, d'y'hear?”

She started to sigh, but it turned into several long coughs. When the fit subsided, she said, “So what do I call you?”

“Name's Polgrave. You can call me—”

“Polly?” the girl suggested, her smile returning.

Polgrave looked positively livid, then annoyed, then resigned. “Fine. Polly. What'd' I call you?”

Her smile faded. “You know my desi—”

“Yeah, and I'm asking your name.”

She smiled again, with tears in her eyes. “It's Sky, Sir.”

“What did I tell you about calling me Sir?”

“Sorry, Sir. It's a habit.”

Polgrave gave a short nod.

“And you know what they say about old habits—” She looked at his face. “Come on, it's a joke.”

“Not a funny one... Sky.”

“I thought it was funny,” she mumbled. “You mind coming a little closer, Sir? I can't see you very well.”

“Stop calling me Sir!

Sky laughed. “You're kind of a blur,” she went on conversationally, half-ignoring the interruption.

Polgrave took a few steps through the long grass toward her. “Any better?” he asked, stopping a few feet away.

“Eyes are fading fast, S—Polly.”

“Come here,” Polgrave said, walking toward her. “Gimmie your hand.”

Sky held her hand out blindly. He took it and held it to his chest.

“You feel that? I'm right here.” He paused for a moment. “You're hands are working, right?”

“Well enough. Your heart's beating kind of fast, Sir.”

“Well, heat of battle and that,” Polgrave said uncomfortably, not sure whether or not to let go of her hand. “Listen, Sky... would you be more comfortable lying down?”

She thought. “Would you be more comfortable if I was lying down, Sir?”

“A bit,” he admitted. “But if you're okay on your knees—”

“Can you help me down?”

Polgrave let go of her hand, slipped an arm behind her back and levered her down onto the grass. A moment later, he lifted her head up and let it fall back into his lap. “Alright?”

“Perfect, Sir, thank you,” Sky said.

“How're your—”

“Completely blind, Sir. It doesn't bother me much.”

Polgrave let out a long sigh. “Shouldn't have happened, this war. It's stupid. And you shouldn't have been caught up in it.”

“I wasn't caught up. I'm meant for this, Sir.”

“You weren't meant to die in a field,” Polgrave snapped. “No one deserves this.”

“Sir.”

“Sky?”

She smiled. “Horrible things, Sir.”

“What?”

“I've been waiting for this for as long as I can remember. I want to die.”

“But—”

“It's natural,”

“So're lots of things. Plagues, diseases, even slavery. Horrible things—”

“Dying puts an end to all of those, Sir,” Sky said, with just a hint of smugness.

“Not slavery.”

“It does for the slave.”

She reached up a searching hand. Polgrave took it without a word.

“If it makes a difference—”

“It won't,” Polgrave bit back. His voice sounded choked and strained.

“I can't think of a better place to do it.”

Polgrave looked around at the golden grass and watched a missile arch soundlessly across the cobalt sky, trailing thick, dark smoke behind it. An endless flock of fluffy white seeds floated past.

“It's an alright place,” he agreed. A tear escaped his eye, rolled over his cracked, red face, dripped off his chin and got lost somewhere in Sky's yellow hair.

“What I meant was, I can't think of a better man. To have with me... Sir.”

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

White Hood Red - A Short Story

Here's my contribution to E's Short Story Revival! Hope you like it!

~~~

White Hood Red
By Rhiannon McCormick

White hoodie glowing in the twilight, cut-off shorts, flip-flops flapping, her hair still damp and smelling of the sea. Her towel bunched under her arm, bathing suit a wet lump between terrycloth folds. Woodsmoke and pine in the air. Mosquitos buzzed around her head, but none landed.

When he stepped from the woods, she stopped, surprised. The camp sites were further up the road, hidden amongst the second and third growth pines and maples and birches; she couldn't even see the lights of the campfires. There were no paths here, save the road she was on.

He was big, and tall and gorgeous. His ears were hidden in his dark brown hair. His eyes sparkled with charm and curiosity. His smile exposed perfect, white teeth, and she found herself looking up at him through her eyelashes. She flipped her hair over her shoulder, and was pleased to note that his gaze drifted to her neck.

She hesitated when he proffered his hand, but she took it anyway. His fingers were long and thin and strong and warm. She flushed and shivered and blamed the shiver on her wet hair and the deepening twilight, and he smiled and knew she was lying. This way...his voice was warm too, soft and warm and safe.

She stepped into the trees.

~~~

When they found her, much later, her hair was finally dry, though matted. Her flip-flops no longer flapped, and her hoodie was dark red-brown, as dark and red-brown as the puddle she lay in. She was pale and clamy and rigid.

Her wounds, the authorities said, were teeth-and-claw marks. The tracks around her were canine.

A constable made a joke about red hoods and wolves. He was told to leave.

They followed the tracks, later, but lost them on the road.

Among the spectators behind the cordon was a young man. He was big and tall and gorgeous, with longish hair and charming, curious eyes. His smile, as he watched, was the slow burn of a predator's joy.

A girl noticed him. She smiled up at him, shyly. She was wearing a shirt that read, Who's Afraid Of The Big Bad Wolf?

He winked, and offered his hand.

~~~
ETA: Fixed spelling mistakes. June 28, 2009

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Plot vs. Characters

I'm having serious trouble with a story idea of mine. I've got these two characters. I've figured them out pretty well, and I really like them. The thing is, I don't know what to DO with them. But I might be over thinking things. Allow me to elaborate. Here's a brief descrip of the two characters.

Olive is twenty-two, wears Buddy Holly glasses, has a lack of social skills that she just can't seem to fix. She's an outcast and weird, but also very caring and sweet. She becomes obsessed with....

Charles, who is thirty-two and just became a superhero. (Don't know what his supower(s) are or how he got them yet-- maybe that's part of the problem?) His entire life has been planned out and he's always been okay with that. Now he's got these very un-cool superpowers (like super-breath or being able to turn himself yellow, not sure really but it won't be your typical stuff) and he's stuck with Olive following him around and telling him he looks like Superman.

That's a very brief sketch of them. I can't figure out, though, what their story is. If I were to try to write this right now (and I have written one scene with them) it would have no plot. I'd just have to follow them around and see what they do. I've never had this problem before and it weirds me out. Usually I have some cutesy plot twist to rely on. Something to move the story forward. But what's moving this story forward? I don't know. And I don't know how to write a story that doesn't have an end-goal in mind.

What do you guys think? Should I try to write it anyway, even if it seems to have no plot? Should I give it some time and see if a nice plot twist comes to mind? Do any of YOU have any plot ideas? Help would be so appreciated. Thank you!

XD!!!

I never see that as a face. I always just see it as an X and a D, and in my mind, it's a short form for eXciteD.

I finished Aigaion Girl. I had a long and fun day involving floating down the river on an air mattress, came home, napped, then wrote for nearly four hours straight. And I'm done!!!!!! I haven't posted it on FictionPress yet because I have to write my Author's Notes still and because I'm a bit of an attention whore, so I want to post it at a time that will maximize new readers. If you're just dying to find out how it ends, though, you can read it on its blog.

I'm sort of horribly tempted to start editing tomorrow, but I think that might rank among the top of dumb ideas I've had lately, so I'm going to stick to my original plan and wait until July before I look at it again.

Anyway, that's all from me for now. Hopefully I'll be able to sleep.

PS, the rain cloud has nothing to do with anything; I just thought it would look cute. (XD)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Learning Experience.

Discovered something important today, which was hard to swallow but will make everything else for the rest of my life go down easier.

Nobody gives a shit.

That's about it.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Sacred-Texts Dot Com

Before I forget (again), I went and added a link in the Links section to Sacred-Texts.com

Check it out. It's an awesome website that has wonderful people working there. They've taken the time to type up and assemble every sacred text from every religion they could get their hands on. It's a wonderful resource, especially for the writer who loves to use mythology and religions from cultures around the world.

Seriously - they've got everything from Christianity to Buddhism to Wicca to Druids to Hinduism to Thelema to Shinto and Icelandic mythology. New texts go up fairly regularly, from what I can tell, and they've even got a CD-ROM you can buy with the entire collection on it.

Definitely a site worth checking out. Link

Thursday, June 18, 2009

To kick off the short stories...

This could be considered a shameless self-plug. Hope you enjoy anyway!
___________________________________________________

Her hand flashed out. “What’s behind that, anyway?”

“No – don’t -”

Too late. Her fingers, those slim white fingers he’d admired as they wove the balls back and forth, had gripped the edges of his mask, and, in one swift motion, she’d pulled it away. Almost like sleight-of-hand. She’d make an excellent conjuror.

He flung up his hands to try to hide his face, in vain, in vain. Her brilliant eyes, almost the same light turquoise of a depthlessly clear alkali lake, widened in shock, and her conjuror’s hand dropped weakly to her side, his white mask slithering from between her fingers. “What – why on earth do you wear that silly thing? There’s nothing wrong with you, nothing at all!” She sounded breathless, her voice becoming shrill on the last three words. He couldn’t quite see, but he thought a blush had risen to her cheeks.

“Did I say there was anything wrong with my face?” He dropped to his knees, trying to find and lift the mask without dropping his hands. “I don’t wear that mask out of vanity!”

“Why? Why not let the world see your face?” She knelt too, her long, dishwater-blond hair falling down and obscuring her eyes. Impatiently, she pushed it back behind her ear, and turned those bright eyes on him. “You’re…you’re really handsome.”

He laughed, a laugh which seemed to sear his throat like bile. “Exactly.”

She regarded him for a long moment, eyes boring into him like augurs. Finally, she said, “I don’t understand.” She sounded frustrated, pushed beyond the limits of her experience. “Why would you want to hide yourself, if there’s nothing wrong with you?”

He gave in at last, letting his right hand drop to the sawdust on the floor below, groping for the mask even as he stole a glance at the huge, mottled purple-red birthmark disgracing the right side of her lovely face. She cringed back, whether from his careless stare or the glimpse of his face, he couldn’t tell. Immediately, he averted his eyes, turning all his attention to the finding of his mask. “I want to hide from the world, want to hide this face, because…”

There weren’t words. How could he explain the long years, the young women (and men) falling at his feet, only to find their hopes dashed and their hearts crushed the very next day, discovering he was not the same person they thought he was, or worse, thinking that he’d moved on and forgotten them? How could he explain the betrayal he – or, rather, his traitor face - had dealt to so many na├»ve faces in the crowd, so many bundles of hopes and dreams and fears and wishes who made up the Audience, the great faceless, seething, demanding mass that had stolen his hopes and dreams and still ate a little more of him every night? “Despair.” The word was an apt description of what he’d finally succumbed to, what he’d found living on the coattails of that thing that had driven him to the circus in the first place. “And desire.” He had no other explanation. “It’s just easier this way.”

She stared at him, not angrily, not accusingly, not longingly like so many girls before her, just blankly and for so long that he became uncomfortable sitting there and busied himself looking for his mask again. And just when he thought he couldn’t bear it any more, she spoke.

“Easier?” Her voice sounded flat, dead. “It’s easier for you? You don’t have to bear the burden of having a beautiful face?” And now a touch of venom leaked into her words, a deadly poison mixed of tears and bitterness, with just a shred of hardy hope. “You don’t know what a burden is. It’s easier for you to hide? So it is for the rest of us. But some of us have more guts than that.”

She stood, her hair falling back over her face. He stood too, fixing his mask back in place as he did. It settled into place like a welcoming embrace. They stood looking at each other for another long moment, a sort of silent battle boiling the air between them. Finally, he turned away. “You would make an excellent conjuror.”

Her voice was soft, but there was a shade of reproach in it. “Some of us are brave enough not to hide.”

Monday, June 15, 2009

Hrm

I kind of want to take my story with Lacie and Chad and make it a little more urban fantasy ish. What do you guys think of a kind of dream-world encroaching on their world/creating some kind of drug (/potion/formula) that allows them to see dreams type of thing? Maybe I shouldn't try to think when it's 4:20. Maybe ... wait, I think I just had an idea. Must run.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Music

Playlists are awesome.

Got a good one?

Bring back the short story!

Basically, I want to do just that.
The short story has, in recent years, been much maligned and/or ignored by the literary community. But since I think short stories are both fun to write and read, and since writing short stories is an great exercise in character-building and plotting that I never look down my nose on, I challenge you all: write short stories!
Share them if you feel like it. Or don't. Start them with "Once upon a time..." and end them with "The End." Or start in the middle and leave the ending ambiguous and unresolved. Just write them!
*ahem* I sound like my grade three teacher. Oh well. I think it'd be fun. Who's with me?

Monday, June 8, 2009

Ugh.

I've been trying to write the last chapter of Aigaion Girl for ten days now, and I'm completely blocked. I even started writing a numberless chapterette, so my fictionpress readers would have something to read while I'm getting out of this funk - and even that is giving me trouble.

I think it's just because of the build up. I've written things this long before, and I've written for fictionpress, with next-to-live updates, but I've never written anything that I worked on and updated so consistantly - or anything that's gotten as many good reactions from people - or anything that I myself have liked this much. I feel an inordinant amount of pressure to get the ending perfect, and I'm terrified it won't live up to anyone's (including my own) expectations.

I honestly am not sure what to do about it. I've written the whole thing thus far gin-free, and it would be a shame to start relying on my trusted writing aid now - but at the same time, if I don't post the last chapter for ever and ever, I'm going to lose the interest this story has generated, not to mention delay editing it for publication.

Anyway, I don't mean to whine. I guess it will come to me when it comes to me and until then, about all I can do is keep my mind fresh and clear. That being said, if anyone has any advice, I'd be more than happy to hear it.

That's it for me. Time to go work out (*ambivalent aski face*)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Links

If you want a link added to the links list in the sidebar, just comment on this post with the url and whatever the link should appear as, and it will be added ASAP*

*Devereaux Court Scribes only, please. If you are not a scribe and would like to join, click here.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

What do you think of...

...vampires and cat-people and werespiders, oh my?
I've been trying to be original with my characters in my less hammy, angsty vampire story, but I'm worried I've either taken it too far or not far enough. I mean, a werespider is rather original, but a cat-boy is just asking for trouble. Especially when the way he got to be part cat sounds like the setup for a bad joke. What do you all think?

Rainbow Brainstorm.

Another plug for you, my lovelies. I've spent the last couple of days looking for a software that allows you to brainstorm digitally because as much as I'm obsessed with little notebooks, I'm a big fan of saving paper.

After a couple of failed downloads, my search brought me to bubbl.us, which is exactly what I was looking for. It's easy to navigate using enter and tab. The boxes can be dragged around to wherever you want (actually, my only complaint is that when you drag the boxes too much, their children tend to overlap. This doesn't happen when you let it choose where the boxes go.) and change the colour scheme to suit your mood.

When you're done your brainstorming fun, you can either open an account and save it, or export it to html or an image. Easy peasy. I've added bubbl.us to the links list, in case you want to check it out.

This has helped me a lot with Chad and Lacie, and figuring out their motivations and a little bit of where their story's going (or at least scenes and situations to include).

Anway, that's all I have for right now. Happy writing.