Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Must Feed Addiction...

It's a dreary day and today I just wanted to write a little bit about...well, anything.  I think that more than likely writing will be what I do for the rest of the day.  Even though there are some chores that really need doing, I really need to at least write something.  A blog entry seems like a good start to me.  After all, I promised I would keep you posted, and keep you posted I shall.  

As you know, I'm not participating in NaNo this year due to recently having a baby.  However, that doesn't mean I don't write at all.  When she takes her nap, I pick up the pen.  That's how it has to go.  Recently, I finished and turned in my Gelfling Gathering story, but my personal goal for November was to start a new novel by the end of the month.  The end of the month is almost here.

So far I've come up with some ideas for my vampire cyberpunk story.  It's been a long time since I wrote in the cyberpunk universe and I love meshing the setting with gothic horror.  But, I'm afraid I'm not really sure which way I want it to go.  I have good character concepts (except for the hardest part, picking the names), and a good setting, but I think I need a more simplified plot.  

Either way, I really want to start writing it, but I'm not what my friends like to call a "pantser."  When I just free write what comes to mind, while that can make for an interesting chapter or two, I usually get stuck at some point and can't think of anything.  Then, I lose steam on the project and usually don't come back to it.  (It's what happened to my steampunk love story, though I do intend to get back to that at some point.  I really felt like I had something special in that one, but I digress...)  The point is, I prefer to have a complete outline before I start anything so if I don't know which way I want to go I can refer back to the skeleton of the story.  The problem lies when I try to build the skeleton and I can't figure out how to connect point A to point B.  

Writing is amazing.  It lets you build worlds, build characters, and tell a story that has never been told before, or to tell a story that's been told before in a totally new way.  I wanted you to know that I still intend to be able to tell my stories to more than just a few test readers.  I recently turned in my "Blood Rain" novel to Curiosity Quills publishing company.  I'm hoping that they'll be interested because I liked their upfront and honest policy, and I think my story could be a good fit there.  We'll have to see.  I exhausted the online databases to find an agent for it, and even though I got some interest and some good responses, no one took it.  I think "Blood Rain" is one of my better novels and deserves a good home, and so does "Blood Moon" and "Blood God" (when it's totally finished).  I can't have that if no one gives it a chance, so I can't give up on it.

Well, I've talked a good bit about writing and I've come to a decision.  I'm going to write the first chapter of the new story just so that I can get psyched up about it again.  That chapter is planned out, so maybe it'll get my synapses firing with some fresh ideas.  Wish me luck.  First, I have to go fishing for the right names...

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Blood of the Werewolf = RAGE! >:-(


As most of you know, playing video games is one of the things I do with my little amounts of free time when I'm not writing.  Every now and again there's a game that comes along that really leaves an impression on me.  "Skyrim" left an impression on me because it was such a fun game with so much you could do.  "Don't Starve" left an impression on me because it was so unique and addictive and I love anything that alludes to Lovecraftian monsters.

And now, there's "Blood of the Werewolf."  I got this game (among many others) during a Halloween sale on Steam.  I enjoy platformers and consider myself to be decent at them, and this one sounded perfect for me.

Let me start by saying one of the things that really irritates me about video games is how women are portrayed in them.  I'm not what you would call a "feminist," but I don't understand how in video games  a woman is either portrayed as a complete "batch" or a damsel in distress that needs to be rescued.  (Don't get me started on "Metroid Other M...")  Anyway, I always thought it would be compelling to have a story about a woman facing overwhelming odds to rescue her kidnapped child.  One thing that people tend to forget is how powerful motherhood is and that it is one thing that makes a woman very strong.

Well, I got my wish.  "Blood of the Werewolf" is about a woman whose husband was murdered and her child was kidnapped and now she's facing impossible odds to get him back.  (And, she and her family happened to be werewolves, but you get the idea...)  Anyway, I was ecstatic.  Hooray for a powerful female character protecting her child!

This is the most difficult game I've ever played.  This is the kind of game that makes hard core gamers want to throw their controller through their screens.  I found myself close to the end of the second level shouting obscenities and fighting the urge to bite my controller in half.  The game was more difficult than original "Castlevania," but the deathtraps were more like "Meatboy." But, dare I say it, worse?   The point is, this game was too damn difficult.  I like a challenge, but I no longer have time to memorize every way to jump or spend thirty minutes trying to figure out one puzzle.  (I actually tried for about twenty minutes or longer before I gave up.  I can be pretty stubborn...)

So, long story short, what is frustrating and filling me with werewolf-like rage is the fact that I will never be able to beat this game, so now I won't get to see the ending.  GRRRR!  I suppose I could cheat and look it up at some point, but I hate doing that.  Well, I can have a little grim satisfaction thinking that probably since the child is a werewolf, his mother will get to the end only to see he's wolfed out and killed a his kidnapper anyway.

If you're a hard core gamer, pick this game up.  I must admit, when you get through one of the rough traps it is very satisfying and does make you want to go on even if you wished you had put the game down thirty minutes ago, if not, good luck.  If you're protonjon, please play this game with some friends and put it on youtube.  And, if you're a gamer and like to watch people play and comment on obscure, old, and indie video games you can check out "http://www.youtube.com/crono141" and you can listen to me, my husband, and our friends playing and commentating on various games.  

In the meantime, I'm going to go crinos and release some of this rage for awhile...

Halloween is over, let the writing begin...

Hello all,

Sorry it took so long to post anything.  This has been a long and kind of weird month.  Things are going pretty well, though.  Our Halloween Party was a success and we got to see a lot of friends that we haven't visited in a long time.  Everybody has a strange schedule now, so we have to make the most of our time together.  The only bad thing was that I got sick with a sinus infection a day or two after the last party so on Halloween itself I was mostly curled up on the couch trying not to feel ill.  And, as usual, not many kids went trick-or-treating on our street.  (This is probably because we're the only house that obviously gives out candy.)

I'm happy to say that I've finished my story for "The Gelfling Gathering."  I'm done with revisions and now I just have to have someone check the grammar and then I can send it in.  Even though I seriously doubt that I'll be one of the top five, please be praying for me.  That still would be my dream job, and I think I have as much a chance as anyone else.  It really just depends on what sort of story they were looking for, and you never know unless you take that first step and compete.  I'm hoping that I can send it in next week.

I'm also working on a Castlevania PDQ game to run for my friends.  Even though it isn't "real" writing, it's a good creative exercise and has been a lot of fun to plan.  I'm hoping to start that up next weekend.  Ever since I ran the "Grimm" game, I've wanted to run a pure Castlevania gothic horror style game.  Some of the most fun we had in that game was a side adventure where the group braved Dracula's castle to rescue one of their friends.  I have high hopes for finishing this campaign as well.

Also, even though I'm not actively participating in "NaNo" this time around, I actually do have an idea for another urban fantasy vampire story.  So, I'm going to work on that whenever I have the time.  I think the ideas are good, but I have a lot of planning to do before I even attempt the first page.  Still, you never know, I might manage to get a really good start by the end of the month.  I think that starting it by the end of the month will be the goal, rather than 50,000 words.

Well, I'm off to take down the decorations from the Halloween party.  Hope to talk to you again soon.  

Monday, September 16, 2013

New Ideas and Revelations

Well, I looked at "Blood Rain" again and found that, though the character is a young adult, it's not young adult fiction.  I came to this realization after one of my test readers pointed out that there are some very graphic and disturbing scenes that either need to be changed or revisited before it can have a young adult audience.  I was thinking that might be the case as well, so I've decided to market it as pure fantasy rather than young adult fantasy and reread it later to make sure that's what I want to do with it.

However, even though "Blood Rain" isn't suited for young adult fantasy, I'm positive that my story for "The Gelfling Gathering" is perfect for it.  I just hope that those reading the entries think the same.  I feel good about what I've written, but I don't know if it's what they're looking for.  I've come up with 7,500 words and the first few chapters of a potential novel.  It was very fun to write and I was pretty enthusiastic about the project which is generally a good sign.  Still, I need to polish the story a little more before it's ready for submission.  I have a few months, though, and I think I should have it ready before it's even time to enter the competition.

I have a new idea for a fantasy story.  It isn't quite fleshed out yet, but I had an idea for an opening scene that I can't get out of my head.  I'm going to start on it very soon, but before I get too far into a new novel, I'm thinking of looking into the anthology market again.  Even though I've gotten into various horror anthologies, I think that if I'm going to focus on fantasy I need to try to get a story published in that genre as well.  Plus, even if my story isn't picked, it'll be a good opportunity to practice and to get other ideas that can potentially be expanded into an epic fantasy novel.  Wish me luck.  It's been a long time since I submitted anything to a magazine or anthology.

So, anyway, that's my writing news for now.  I'll keep you posted if anything changes.  Once I finish the introduction of the new fantasy novel, I might post it here.  We'll see.  In the meantime, keep reading and writing.

Monday, September 2, 2013


Hello All,

Well, I am exhausted from my one day at DragonCon, but it was definitely worth it.  That was more walking than I've done in a very long time.  I was lucky that we finished registering just in time and I got to attend the Mighty Men of Fantasy and SF panel to listen to Kevin J. Anderson, Jim Butcher, and D. B. Jackson speak.  It was very informative and fun.  It gave me a better idea about the personalities of some of the writers I admire and there were some useful tips about writing that I picked up on as well.  Next time we go we're hoping to have a longer weekend.  The problem this year was mostly money and a lack of enough days to take off.

Even though money is tight, we're considering buying the tickets early while they're on sale and going ahead and planning to go next year too.  I hope that we can.  While I can't afford going to most cons, I might be able to afford this one.  If I'm going to be serious about getting published, I really need to keep up with my connections from the writing class last year and anyone who is willing to help me on the road to success.  At the very least, I should be placing more business cards about my website around where people can see them.

I hand delivered a letter to Jim Butcher when I went to get his autograph later in the evening.  Honestly, the main reason I wanted to go (other than spending time with my sister, which I need to do more often...) was because I really wanted to meet Jim Butcher and to see the kind of person he is in reality.  My friends got to go and get his autograph about a year or two ago and I was very disappointed that I didn't get to go with them.  It seems like whenever I try to attend some sort of writing event, something unexpected comes up.  When I went to attend Neil Gaiman's writing tour, I suddenly came down with flu like symptoms and had to stay home.  I didn't want the same sort of thing to happen again.

I wrote the letter to Jim Butcher because I wanted him to know that he's one of my favorite authors and that I respect him and read all of his work.  I was also hoping that he could give me some advice on finding an agent and taking the next step in starting my career.  It occurred to me recently that I've been writing for well over five years now.  I've finished seven novels and am about halfway through three others, and I haven't had any luck finding an agent yet.  I understand that the first one that I pitched definitely wasn't ready for it, but I have to admit that I'm disappointed about the lack of interest in "Everburn" and "Blood Rain."  I really could use all the help or encouragement that I can get, so I ended the letter with, as a joke, "Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi.  You're my only hope."

I hope he reads the letter and I get some advice.  If any of you have any advice, please feel free to share it.  Right now, I'm just going to take the advice he gave at the panel.  I'm going to write everyday.  I'm going to find the time again, somehow.  

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Do I Have a Golden Ticket?

I'm glad to say that for once I have news on the writing front.  Recently I got an opportunity that has really sent a spark into my creativity and has rekindled my ambition to become a novelist.  The Jim Henson company is having a contest to find the next author of a book that will expand the universe of the Dark Crystal and become canon for, hopefully, a series.   

Let me start out by saying that I've always either wanted to work for Jim Henson or Walt Disney.  Even though both brilliant, creative minds are gone from this world their legacy lives on through their companies, and deep down I've never really given up on my dream.  When I heard about this contest I felt like it was perfect for me.  

Even though I'm sure that it also seems perfect for several other people, I can't help but feel hopeful about it.  It made me think about the movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and Grandpa Joe saying in response to Charlie's chances, "You've got more, Charlie, because you want it more."  Even though I know that isn't the case for reality, it feels really nice to dream like I'm a child again, that I might actually have a chance to do something that is really just right for me.  Do I have a golden ticket?  I guess we'll wait and see.  Nothing is written yet...

On a more realistic note, this contest has made me realize something--I really like writing young adult fantasy.  The settings in "The Dark Crystal" source material in some ways are similar to the settings I've created for d"Blood Rain," in the way the varying races are living within sweeping deserts or traversing vast oceans.  I love fantastic settings and writing about young characters coming of age and learning about themselves in heroic adventures.  I think young adult fantasy might be my calling.  Hearing about this contest made me want to finish "Blood God," the last book in my series, just so that I could explore my universe further through other spin off books and other characters.

Long story short, I'm entering the contest.  If I could even just become one of the top five authors to be considered, it might be enough to launch my writing career.  Either way, it'll be a good challenge for me and will give me a project to work on for the next few months.  I love the thought of writing canon for "The Dark Crystal."  It was one of the movies I grew up watching and the settings they've added and the different types of Gelflings are wonderful.  It will be a very fun world to play in.  I intend to write a full length novel and send them the best set of chapters from it.  I have until December, so please be praying for me.  

Ring...ring..."Hello, Destiny?  I've been expecting your call."

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Labor and Motherhood

Sorry I've been absent, but the last several weeks have been a roller coaster for me.  First of all, my beautiful daughter, Evangeline, was born on April 22nd.  It was a few days before I expected to have her, but I was more than ready to have the labor be over with by that point anyway.  I accidentally/purposely induced my labor...I guess I'll start at the beginning and tell you what I mean.

April 21st was a beautiful day, and for once I finally had energy.  I decided that I wanted to go to the zoo and walk around for a little bit.  Ironically, several people warned me that if I walked around too much it could cause me to induce labor.  In a way, I wanted that to happen because I was tired of the swollen ankles, lack of energy, back pain, etc., and I was so close to the due date of the baby (April 25th).  I basically wanted the comfort of having it over with.  Still, I never dreamed that it would actually work.  So, I decided to risk it.  The walk was great and when I got home I had a nice long nap.  However, I was awoken from my nap with some mild abdominal pain which I thought was Braxton Hicks contractions.  I was wrong.

To anyone who is going to have a baby and has heard that contractions tend to start out many minutes apart and get more intense and closer together as they progress, that is only SOMETIMES the case.  My contractions came about four minutes apart and just got more intense, but the timing didn't change.  When they got more painful I called one of my friends in the medical profession to find out if what I was feeling was real.  Long story short, it was.  I ended up at the hospital at 11:30 at night.

It was rough.  When I got to the hospital there was a lot of waiting and filling out paperwork, then when the nurse took a look at me it turned out that I was only dilated by one centimeter.  The doctor on call had me walk around the birthing center floor at the hospital for one hour.  By the time that hour was up my contractions were becoming painful enough that I was gasping for breath (trying to remember how to stay calm and breathe) and occasionally screaming.  However, they checked again and I still was only a centimeter, so they had me walk around for another two hours using a wheelchair to lean up against whenever I had a contraction.  It was getting to the point that walking felt like a form of torture.  When they checked--you guessed it--I was still only a centimeter, so they had me walk around for another forty minutes.  By about five in the morning they decided to give me some morphine and let me rest to see if that would help me dilate.

Something if you are a new mother that you should know is that when it comes time for the delivery, all of your well made plans will more than likely fall out the window.  I didn't intend to use pain medication until it became time for an epidural, but I was more than ready for the morphine.  And, it seemed that was what I needed in the first place.  After a nice, hour long, mostly pain-free nap, I dilated nearly four centimeters.  After another short nap, it turned out that I dilated another four and was moved to the delivery room to push.

When it was time to start going into labor, I remember that one of my friends said, "If you get the epidural there's still pressure but not pain."  In my case, pressure was pain--bad lower back and upper abdominal pain.  I took my epidural when the nurse recommended it, but the contractions slowed down to ten minutes apart, so they gave me Pitocin to speed up the process.  I think the Pitocin was what did me in.  It made the contractions hurt more in the two places that the epidural didn't affect, and given that I only could try to give birth in one position afterwards that involved crunching down on my upper abdomen while my legs were being pulled by my mom and my husband nearly behind my head, and I could feel the contractions badly in my lower back, it was agony.  I tried to push, but lack of sleep, pain, and physical exhaustion were collapsing in on me like a demolished building and I just couldn't seem to do it.  I would fall asleep in the two minute intervals between contractions and was practically begging to just skip pushing during one of them.  When you're that tired and in that much pain, holding your breath for ten seconds while hunching over and pushing feels like trying to puzzle out a question way beyond your capacity to solve.

I tried to push for over an hour before the doctor on call came into the room.  Ironically, it was the same doctor who helped me through my miscarriage.  He was wearing a camouflage medical cap and made a funny comment about "hunting for babies."  He told them to "break down the room" and it was like the whole place transformed.  There was suddenly blue medical cloth around me, the bed started changing shape, and medical utensils were literally coming out of the walls as the entourage of nurses around him worked.  (The room was a freaking transformer...I would've thought that it was the medication but I have witnesses.)  Then, doctor simply told me that I was going to have the baby in ten minutes.

The nurse told me that I was not pushing properly.  I was starting to feel hopeless, like I couldn't do it, but his upbeat attitude gave me a renewed motivation and made me feel like maybe, just maybe, I could.  I tried pushing unaided for another hour and then he gave me some more pain medication, and I found myself chanting "I can do this...I can do it."  Still, the going was slow and I was still so weak that I wasn't making much progress, so I finally gave him permission to help me.  Even though I didn't want to use suction to get the baby out initially, again, our good intentions are sometimes not practical when it's time to have the baby.

She was six pounds and the most beautiful thing I've ever seen.  When I saw her, the entire pregnancy, the labor pain, and the exhaustion was worth every second.  I know that sounds corny, but it's true.  It really is true that when you see your child for the first time you forget about the pain and the any frustration you felt during the pregnancy.  That's why when people talk about the labor they say it wasn't that bad.  It's not that it wasn't bad, it was that the result was so good you can't focus on the bad anymore.  Having that baby was the most fulfilling thing I've ever done in my life.  It's put a lot of things into perspective for me as well.    

And, now, I have a baby.  Breastfeeding isn't working out well, but she's healthy and strong even with mostly formula feeding.  The cats are adjusting nicely as well.  Some of them even seem very protective over the baby.  Ironically, the meanest one of the bunch is actually the one that seems to care about her the most.

Recovery from labor is coming slowly.  I'm a little frustrated because I did get an infection recently that caused me a fever for three days and it seems that not one day has gone by where I feel like there isn't some new pain or discomfort from recovering.  Still, all things considered I'm adjusting very well.  I can't believe that I went from being afraid of holding the baby to changing diapers, feeding her, bathing her, rocking her to sleep, and even starting to interpret what her crying means in only two weeks time.  I'm functioning fairly well on very little sleep, but I've had a lot of help from friends, family, and especially my mom and my husband, with the chores and with the cooking.  I've been focusing on learning how to care for Eva and learning her schedule so that hopefully I can adapt to it and learn how to work within it.  (I'm writing this blog while she's sleeping after her afternoon feeding...it's amazing what you can do when you put your mind to it.)  I'm also starting to have friends over again and have even made a little extra time to write.

Still, this baby is the most important thing to me now.  I'll do my best to protect her, teach her, and above all make sure that she knows how much her mommy and daddy love her.  As for the writing, I'm going to work it in.  I feel like this new perspective is something that can help improve my work in the long run.  This phase in my life is a wonderful new adventure, and my daughter is a miracle.

My husband said to me after we got home, "It's funny, I never knew I could love someone this much.  It takes me time to get to close to people, but I loved her the moment I saw her."  I know exactly how he feels.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Very Soon

This is just a general update since I've been kind of quiet lately.  Things over here are pretty good right now. I don't have gestational diabetes...HOORAY!  The baby is getting very big, but I'm not getting too big which is nice.  I've only gained eighteen pounds so far, which is right in between the weight gain goal that the doctors set for me.  Joel has really been working hard and has the nursery looking great.  The painting is done, now the only thing left to do is cleaning the carpet very thoroughly and moving the furniture into the room.  I'm getting excited about actually decorating it with the things we got from the first baby shower.

I don't know if I mentioned it, but the first baby shower with my guy and girl friends went very well and couldn't have been any better.  I really enjoyed it and we have a great start on supplies for the baby.  The group was a little smaller than expected, but I think that worked out just fine.  We had plenty of food and I think it was a lot of fun for everyone there.  It was more like a cookout/party than a traditional baby shower, and I liked that better since there were men there as well as women.

The second baby shower is coming up.  This one is for "girls only" and is more traditional.  It sounds like I'm going to get to see a lot of people that I haven't seen in a very long time, and I'm very excited about that.  There are a lot of good things coming up in the next two months including, my mother-in-law's birthday, the baby shower, my birthday (I'll be thirty-one), my anniversary, and, of course, the baby's first birthday ever.  I can't wait to meet her and to see what she's going to look like and what features she's going to get from both of us.

The writing is going a little bit better.  I've decided to switch projects back to my horror novel concept that I wrote about previously.  (I'm pretty sure that there's an excerpt from it on this site, if anyone is interested.)  I've come up with some new ideas and I think if I keep writing up ideas and adding to it little by little each day, I should be able to finish it and hopefully overcome my writer's block.  It would be very nice to have another book to submit to agents before the baby is born.

I looked through a lot of my old work and found that I have a great deal of novels that I'd like to finish.  The horror novel I'm referring to is one of them (I'm calling it "Immersion" as a placeholder, but that isn't what the title is going to be...).  The other is my steampunk romance, "The Guildsmen."

Even though I didn't originally write that to be a romance, I've determined from reading through it again that it seems to have a romance oriented plot, despite the corporate espionage, action/adventure, and danger within it.  After all, she's doing what she has to in order to save the person she loves.  Still, I'm not sure if there are enough erotic scenes to market it as such, so we'll have to wait and see.  The point it, I want to finish it and I plan to do so in the near future as well.  I was all the way up to nearly forty-thousand words when I stopped and a hundred and twenty pages.  I was halfway there and I feel like the writing style and concept were well worth revisiting.

So, that's been about it lately.  There's a lot coming up and I'll try to keep you posted and write on this blog more often.  Keep reading and writing!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Writing Withdrawal

Hello all,

Sorry that this is a late posting.  Between baby showers, doctor's visits, and a gestational diabetes scare (the second more extensive test turned out okay, but I failed the first one), I've had a lot of things on my mind.

So far I've had a few more rejections on "Blood Rain."  Still, if a rejection letter can be spun in a positive way, then both of them were.  The agents in question basically said that the story wasn't for them, but that it had potential.  The fact that there was some positive feedback gives me hope.  I'm going to keep submitting it, but I'm going to wait on the other four agents first.

The way that I handle my agent letters is sending a few and waiting, and then repeating the process over again.  I don't like sending a story to too many agents at a time since that's rude, but I can't just send it to one either and then wait six to eight weeks to find out if the person accepted it or it will be years before I even have a nibble.  (Unless of course the agent in question is someone I know personally or I think is the absolute perfect fit.)  I think a few at a time is a nice balance as long as I'm sure to let them know it's a "multiple submission."  Plus, it takes a good bit of research to make sure that the agency sounds like it would be a good fit in the first place.

I keep an excel spreadsheet for each manuscript to keep track of the agent, agency, response, and the date I sent it to make sure I don't send it twice to the same people.  I didn't do this as first, so now I can't really send out my first novel again since I can't remember who I sent it to and who I didn't.  Agents don't like to see the same manuscript twice, and rightfully so, so be sure to keep good track of who you sent it to--learn from my fail...

In terms of new and old projects, I'm still working on "Blood God" a little bit, mostly because I have at least another fifty pages worth of notes on the project and I feel slightly inspired to write it.  Still, I've also decided to go back to basics and write a horror novel.

Horror is where I got my start so maybe I need to return to it, at least for a little while.  I've been brainstorming on story ideas in a new notebook and I think I have a few good story hooks.  Now I need to pick one.

I also came up with a horror/mystery story idea that takes place in an urban fantasy setting, but it isn't nearly fleshed out enough to start writing it.  Coming up with a mystery style setting with a horror twist is a challenge in and of itself.  I think it's because I've been watching a lot of "Case Closed" lately and mystery is becoming more and more appealing.

I've decided to put away the changeling story for a little while.  I'm just not enthusiastic about it and if I'm not enthusiastic, the reader won't be either.  I'm also debating about taking a crack at romance.  I've written erotica before and some romance short stories, but a novel would be a challenge.  It's sometimes difficult to write a full length novel that focuses on romance at its core, so it might be worth a try.  However, it won't be a Twilight fan fiction.

Whatever genre I choose, I need to write something because I feel like I've been having trouble writing anything for the last month or two.  All I feel like doing is playing video games, and while that's fun and can be inspiring, it won't be for the style of novels I'm planning to work on in the near future.  This blog is called "Feeding the Writing Addiction" and sadly I seem to be going through a state of withdrawal and can't get my fix.  I'm going to keep working at it.  In the meantime, maybe I'll post an excerpt from something I'm working on just to show that I am indeed trying.

I guess I can forgive myself for the video games a little.  I won't have much time for anything at all in the coming months.  I'm hoping to find some time to write, but my family and the baby always will come first.  That's just the way it is.

Still, I will publish one of my novels, even if it takes another ten years and another ten novels.  Think of it as the one item definitely on my bucket list, or the first step in my new career, call it whatever you would like.  I'm taking the advice of the agents and am going to try until someone wants to represent my work.  In the meantime, I'm going to keep reading, writing, with the occasional video game treat.  Please wish me luck.  

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Good News, Everyone!

This has been a good week.  The dog issue is resolved, my chores are nearly done, I'm looking forward to two D&D style games this weekend.  Also, from what I can tell, the baby is developing well.  I can feel her kicking and moving a lot more, and I'm pretty healthy.  I found out from a recent blood test that I'm not anemic and that my blood levels were fairly normal.  (Though, wish me luck since I'll be having a blood sugar test in February that will give me more details about that...)

It turns out that I didn't have to use animal control to resolve the issue with the dogs.  (Thank goodness, because they were useless anyway.)  I walked around my neighborhood, keeping my eyes open and found out that the dogs in question weren't wild.  They're owned by someone in the neighborhood.  I knocked on the door and had a friendly conversation with them.

Apparently the cat they killed was one of the stray cats that the family was feeding.  They didn't want the cat to be killed and were surprised that their dogs were the culprits, saying that generally speaking they get along with other animals.  They suspect that the dogs might've gotten carried away chasing the cat out of the yard.  They've never attacked a person and were rescue dogs from Pets Incorporated.  One of them was abused, but they're adjusting to living in a normal home nicely.  Even though I was concerned that they were approaching me, their intent was more than likely friendly.  The blood on the muzzles, however, gave them a more sinister appearance that day...

Anyway, the family is thinking of having the male pit bull fixed to make him less aggressive and they're going to try harder to keep them in the fence.  When other dogs in the neighborhood come and run along the fence, it riles their dogs up and they charge the fence, slipping under it.  We've often been irritated that the other neighborhood dogs can't seem to stay in their own yards, so this is just another problem caused by that issue.

Long story short, the dogs aren't wild, they don't have to be put down, and hopefully this won't happen again.  I do feel a little bad about initially calling animal control on the neighbor's dogs, but they weren't wearing collars and were attacking another animal, so it was only logical for me to think they were wild.  If I do see the dogs in my yard or in the neighborhood I've been told to please let the owners know, and I will.  All's well that ends well.

As for writing, I haven't had much time.  I've been running errands and going to doctor's appointments lately. I only have a few more months and I'll be having a baby, so my mind hasn't really been on it.  I've written some more notes for the changeling story, but I'm a little stuck on the idea for the third book of the "Blood Rain" trilogy.  I'm also struggling through the plot summary for the changeling story because I've hit a small road block trying to figure out where to go next.  Still, I'll be writing again soon.  My hopes are to start up again next week.

I've picked out a theme for the baby's room.  Joel and I will be shopping around this weekend to register for a baby shower.  It's going to have the theme "jungle animals," and we're going to paint the room a cheerful color of light yellow.  We also think that the baby's first name will be "Evangeline" and the middle name will be "Melissa."  Even though there are a lot of syllables in our last name, we think that if we call her "Eva" for short it should balance out nicely.

Other than that, there's really nothing new to report.  I'll let you know if I can get some of my writing work started.  In the meantime, while I'm a little bit writer's blocked, I'm working on an idea for an RPG.  I'm thinking of running a PDQ system game based off of the film and television series "How to Train Your Dragon."  I think it could be different and a lot of fun.  Still, we'll wait and see.  After all, I have a lot of games coming up.  I at least am going to flesh out the world and I can keep it ready for if and when I do decide to run it.

Well, that's all for now.  Keep reading and writing.  I'm serious, pick up "Cold Days" or start reading the "Dresden Files" series if you haven't already.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Wild Dogs

I guess it's been awhile since I've written anything on this blog, so I won't skip over one of the more interesting stories that has happened to be lately, even though it's a sad story and it makes me a little sad to write it.  Once again, I found myself at the wrong place at the wrong time (or maybe, in this case, the right place at the right time...we'll have to see).

A few days ago when I was heading home from errands, I witnessed something horrific that I've been trying to get out of my mind.  While I was about to drive by, three wild dogs were killing one of the neighbors cats in their yard. The neighbors weren't home, so I knew I had to try to do something.  I stopped the car and tried to help, but I think the cat was already dead when I got there.

I got out of the car and screamed at the dogs, waved my arms, ran towards them, and did everything I could think of to get them to run--they didn't run away, in fact, they just sort of looked at me.  One was a pit bull and one of the others was a pit bull mix.  The two bulls started to approach me.  They didn't get close enough to touch, but it was clear by their body language that they weren't going to let me separate them from their kill.  When I realized I was in danger (and, thus, my baby was in danger as well), I got back in the car and drove up the road to my house.

There was a man and his little boy walking in the direction.  Thankfully, I was able to get them to turn around so that the boy wouldn't see the bloody mess and so that the dogs wouldn't try to hurt them for interfering like they nearly did to me.

I immediately called animal control, but as usual, they've been totally worthless.  They said they would send a patrol later in the day or the next day and asked me if I could do something to catch one of them.  Apparently, they don't "catch dogs" anymore, so they'll just leave it to the horrified, scared, pregnant lady that saw the attack.  (Incidentally, they didn't send the patrol, so I have to call them again on Monday.)  I drove back down to see if they had finally left the cat alone, but all of them gone when I got back and there was no sign of the cat.  I'm fairly certain that they dragged it away to eat it.

Let me set the record straight, I like dogs very much.  I also really like cats.  And, I really don't like the thought of any animal getting put down, but there is such a thing as being socially responsible.  I've seen them around for months now.  I was hoping that I could just leave them alone.  Still, I've recently heard that this isn't the only cat they've nearly killed and they aren't friendly towards any other animals.  One of my neighbors' dogs has also gone missing recently, and I suspect the incident might be related.  Because of the large amount of pets that have been mauled or killed by these dogs, as far as I'm concerned they're officially wild, feral animals and they no longer have my sympathy.  I can't ignore this problem any longer.

The point is, they were desperate enough to be hunting their own food and they aren't afraid of people.  It makes me wonder how long it'll be before they attack a person or a child.  Thankfully, all of my animals are indoor animals, but I don't feel safe walking around my neighborhood anymore.  This isn't the first time that those dogs have scared me into walking back to my house.  There are lots of children and pets in this neighborhood and I don't want anymore of them to get hurt.

So far they're in a pack of three, but something needs to be done before their pack gets bigger and they get even bolder.  I've decided to call animal control again.  If they won't help, I'll try the police, if they won't help, I'll try the news.  I might ask animal control to give me three large cages in the hopes of trapping the dogs, but I'm making this my business to fix this problem before I have my baby.  I don't want some kid to be traumatized by losing a much loved pet, or for anyone to get hurt.  I don't want to go to the news, but I really need animal control to do their job, because this isn't a problem I can fix by myself.  I'll keep you posted.  Hopefully, I won't have to do this again and in the long run I'll be saving more animals by putting down these three.

Happy New Year

I hope that everyone had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  Things have been very busy for me.  I spend a good amount of time with my family and some quality time with my husband.  In terms of actual work, I've mostly just been writing notes for my changeling urban fantasy novel, but I haven't been working very hard on writing at all.  I'm taking a little break until I feel up for more writing again.  Even though the holidays are over, I've got a lot on my mind.

Usually around this time I write about New Year resolutions.  Still, oddly this time I don't really have any.  I've noticed that I usually end up breaking my resolutions, so I didn't really see the point.  Still, there are a few things I'm in the process of doing and things that I plan to do this year.  I'm calling them "goals" rather than resolutions, and most of them HAVE to be done.  Therefore, they will get done and that's that.  

Currently, we're cleaning out the office to make it into the baby's room.  The baby is due on April 25th, so I will have to have the room ready by then.  I will be having the baby this year (no resolution about that...).  I'll try to lose the baby weight after I have the baby, but I don't know how much strenuous exercise I'll be able to do.  I think that depends on how complicated the birth is and how long it takes me to recover from it.  Still, thus far I haven't gained too much, so that's at least something, and as far as I know, the baby is healthy.  We've pretty much decided on the name "Evangeline" ("Eva" for short), and "Melissa" is definitely going to be the middle name.  We might change our mind on the first name closer to time, but we're pretty sure Evangeline is the name we'll finally choose.  

The theme of the room will be "jungle animals" mostly, but if I have the time I might still make a Chronicles of Narnia mural on the wall.  I'm thinking that's an ambitious goal, though, especially since the room isn't even cleaned out yet.  I'd like to have the walls repainted in a light yellow color.  That's something I think we'll definitely do.  We know that the baby is a girl now, but pastel pink is a bit much.  We just want a cheerful color that will make the room seem a little brighter, so yellow sounded good to both of us.

I'm basically taking everything at a day by day basis this year.  I would like to finish my profile for odesk.com to see if I can make a little extra money sometime before the baby is born.  I would also like to get started on that changeling story and possibly get the notes nearly finished for the third book of the "Blood Rain" trilogy.  Still, I also need to register for a baby shower, find a way to catch some dangerous wild dogs in the neighborhood (they've been killing off other pets and aren't afraid of people...kind of a long story), get the house ready for the baby, and possibly read some baby books.  If the writing has to wait, it can wait.  Family always comes first and I'm getting ready to add a new member to this family.  I need to be as ready as I can be and be sure that my neighborhood is as safe as possible.

Speaking of writing, I got "Cold Days" the latest novel of the Dresden Files for Christmas and am currently reading it.  If you like the Dresden Files, you'll like this book.  I'm only a hundred pages into it, but I already know it will be good.  

I also went to see "Les Miserables."  It was very good.  Some people are disappointed because they don't like movie adaptations of musicals.  I thought the acting was good, the singing was great, and it managed to move me emotionally.  I would suggest that if you like Les Miserables or musicals in general you go and see the movie while it's in theaters.  I intend to buy it when it comes out.    

Other than that, that's about everything that's new.  I'm hoping to play in a Pathfinder game, a D&D game, and a Dresden Files game soon.  (I might have less time coming up, so I'm trying to game as much as I can right now, but I'm hoping to stay in a few of them.  They're on weekends, so Joel will be here to help me with the baby.)  I've been putting a lot of thought into my characters, and that's a good exercise in coming up with story ideas and keeping a keen edge on my imagination.