Saturday, June 16, 2018

Lightporter Release Tour!!

I'm excited to take part in C.B. Cook's tour for her newest book, Lightporter! :D
First, here's C.B. Cook on this newest installment to the IDIA series.

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Hullo, friends! I’m C.B. Cook, and I’m so excited for the release of my new superhero novel, Lightporter! It’s the second book in my IDIA series, with Twinepathy being the first, and I’m so thrilled to be sharing it with everyone. Here’s a little bit about the book.

(Light-por-ter)
n. someone who has the ability to manipulate light and can use that ability to teleport
Albany and her twin sister, Brooklyn, have gotten more comfortable in the superhero world. But when Blaze starts acting secretive and weird monsters attack, the girls realize there is more going on that they still don’t know about. Before long, they discover that Blaze is hiding something—or someone. With FOE still hiding in the shadows, the girls must decide who they can trust… before it’s too late.


This book took me so long to write, and I’m so excited that I’m finally able to release it. The book is releasing June 16th, but it’s currently up for preorder for just $0.99 on Amazon. Along with that, the first book, Twinepathy, is now permanently $0.99! So if you haven’t gotten a chance to read it, you definitely should.


About the Author
C.B. Cook is just a girl trying to find out where her King is guiding her, while writing the stories of the people she creates, the worlds she wants to live in, and the adventures she dreams about. Also known as a mysterious creature called an “author.” She's a Christian and a home school graduate dedicated to changing others' lives through the power of the written word.
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My Review:

A fast-paced superhero adventure with a few twists and new faces!

Albany has learned to control herself a bit, and so doesn't completely botch her new mission: find out what's eating at fellow IDIA member Blaze. Questions are raised, a few answers given, secrets revealed, alliances tested, friendships solidified (rather than broken up, per soap opera/dark drama trend)!

Like Twinepathy, Lightporter showcases a unique use of superpowers; even "lame" ones are used to great effect. There are also quite a few powers that are flat-out awesome (I want the powers of a particular new character so badly!).
This story takes a few tropes as well--monster attacks, rogue agents and the like--and adds some fun twists.
I stayed up late to finish this, it was so exciting.

In addition to this amazing batch of superpowers, light mystery, and growing characters, the author somehow bribed Anvil to release a cookie recipe. Can't wait to try it. :D

Tour Schedule
Monday, June 11th
Writefury – Character Interview and Lightporter Review
Dreams and Dragons – Twinepathy and Lightporter Reviews
Light and Shadows – Book Spotlight and Author Interview

Tuesday, June 12th
Reading Anyone – Lightporter Review

Wednesday, June 13th
Home With Hummingbirds – Character Interview and Book Spotlight

Thursday, June 14th
Ashley Bogner – Author Interview
Faith Blum – Book Spotlight

Friday, June 15th
Lights And Shadows – Friday 5s: IDIA Edition
Purely By Faith Reviews – Lightporter Review and Book Spotlight

Saturday, June 16th (Release day!)
Marlene Simonette – Lightporter Review and Book Spotlight
Dreams and Dragons – Character Interview
Elven Padawan – Lightporter Review

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Fanfic and Fanart: IDIA!

So, C.B. Cook has a blog tour going on right now (I'm scheduled to do a post on Saturday), and with it a fanfic/art contest!

Click here to get all the details!
My fanfic features Finch and Eva in another encounter (idk why but I love these two so much). Originally, I had wanted this to be slightly happier, with the both of them breaking out into song on an ice rink, but it just didn't work out that way... :P

EDIT: Turns out the image just needed to be shrunk a bit. :D
I took the liberty to rearrange a few things (song credits, a couple sentences in the fanfic), so if the post looks different, that's why.

I had a bit of art commissioned by JamesArtVille.
So, here's Finch. Or how I picture him, anyways. The fanfic starts below the picture.
(I made a Pinterest board if you want to see the reference pics I gave to the artist.)




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Light is Breaking
IDIA Fanfic: Finch and Eva

From the kitchen a room away, Finch’s phone blasted metal songs over a set of speakers. He wouldn’t call it “music”, but the lyrics were what he was after right now. He watched the rain spatter against the window, then totally obscure the view of the alley. There was another window, with a view of a small park, but he wanted to brood.
I listen to the words you're saying
Words I'm fighting to believe
It's like I'm living from a distance
When you're out of reach.
I wanna feel it,
When I mean it,
When I say it,
Can you hear me at all?
His apartment was in the ramshackle state of being packed up. He couldn’t even remember where he’d been planning to move, or why. Data, the head of IDIA, had said she would take care of it. Had let him know that he could start unpacking until they figured things out.
He’d started, hoping the sight of favored items would bring a sense of familiarity to the place. The knick-knacks and models and books only served to frustrate him.
His parents had offered to have him move in with them. He couldn’t stand the thought of waking to a house he’d grown up in, to face the constant “oh you used to” and “do you remember”s.
The song finished, and another began playing.
I'm a soldier: wounded so I must give up the fight
There's nothing more for me, lead me away...
Or leave me lying here
He mouthed the last line, closed his eyes, and pressed his head against the cold window pane. Despite the passing of time, the amnesia wasn’t getting any easier to live with.
The next verse of the song began to play.
Without a light I fear that I will stumble in the dark
Lay right down. Decide not to go on
The music began to swell into a hopeful refrain.
With a sigh, Finch rose and made his way through the maze of boxes.
Then from on high somewhere in the distance
There's a voice that calls, "Remember who you are."
He hovered his finger over the pause button.
"If you lose yourself your courage soon will follow.
So be strong tonight. Remember who you are."
He pressed stop.
A knock at the door.
Finch hadn’t thought he’d been on edge, but the soft sound made him jump. A precarious stack of boxes leaning against the island counter teetered.
Eva’s voice came through the door, muffled. “Mathis? Can I come in?”
He’d forgotten he’d agreed to meet with her. Thus far she’d been the most understanding. Willing to simply talk. Let him decide things, discover things. “Coming.”
He opened the door.
Eva’s dark eyes widened at the sight of him. “Have you slept or eaten recently?”
“No.” Finch shuffled aside to let her come in. “I haven’t been hungry.” The food in the freezer didn’t appeal to him, and he didn’t want to eat out. “And I don’t want to sleep.” He wanted to dream.
Eva picked her way across the entryway to the relatively cleared living room area. After shifting aside the DVD cases of several "Fast and Furious" movies, she sat on the couch.
Finch took suit, coming down heavily and leaning his head back. “Sorry for the mess. I haven’t been able to work up the energy to clean.”
Eva laid a hand on his lap. “Have you thought about what I said?”
That was part of what had kept him up the night before. He nodded, doubtfully. “I still don’t believe you.”
“Then I’ll say it again. I don’t care if we have to start this whole dance at the beginning; I love you.”
Finch smiled. “Is that how you see this? A dance?”
“Yes.”
I'm trying to hold my breath
Let it stay this way
Can't let this moment end
You set off a dream with me
Finch shot a curious glance towards the kitchen. An IDIA agent?
Take my hand
Will you share this with me?
Eva laughed, stood and pulled him up with her. Twined her fingers into his, laid her other hand on his shoulder. “We can start here.”
She walked him through several waltz steps, humming all the while.
Towers of gold are still too little
These hands could hold the world but it'll
Never be enough
Never be enough
As they went, Finch felt a small thrill. Instinct moved him a half step ahead of his mind; he remembered how to dance, after a fashion.
A wave of relief washed over him. He started shaking. “Stop,” he gasped.
Eva, alarm plain on her face, helped him back onto the couch. She laid a tentative hand on his arm. “Is it…are you…”
He wanted to spin her in the air and kiss her. Instead, he clasped his hands together and leaned forward.
“Muscle memory,” he managed to say. He swiped his tears away with his thumb. “I didn’t think I’d be this relieved.” Finch licked his lips. “Before…all this…what would I have done? What would I do now?”
Part of him couldn’t believe he was asking. Questions like that were a majority of the reason he was holed up the way he was. Another part trusted Eva. She knew him.
Eva shed tears of her own, darkened the sleeve of her jacket brushing them away. “Sing.”
Never Enough had stopped playing. What could he sing? What song…
At a loss, Finch met Eva’s eyes. There was still a bit of fear, from that first meeting, when he hadn’t remembered her.
With an unsteady warble, he began.
“You could turn a hundred years and never empty all you fears,
“They're pouring out like broken words and broken bones…”
He felt as if he were singing for both Eva and himself. Finishing the verse, he scooted closer, pressed his forehead against hers.
“Hold on love, don't give up,
“Don't close your eyes;
“The light is breaking through the night…”
-----

Song credits:
So Far Away, by RED
Sound the Bugle, soundtrack from "Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron"
Never Enough, specifically the Greatest Showman version (and this male cover version)
Into the Day, by Bebo Norman

Monday, May 14, 2018

Rebel: The World

Is it May already?? *moves couches in an attempt to find a few days from April*

Here’s that bit about the world my Rapunzel retelling is set in that I promised. I don’t have the entirety of the world planned out yet, but enough to write the story.

Name: Not sure yet…Do I want to go traditional, like Saritum, Ursison? A name, like Aulis, Ritva, Ipaty? Or something more along the lines of a title, like Cleansed Terrain, Twisted Lands, the Sundered Earth?

Behavior: It has one sun and one moon. The sun and moon have darker stripes (like Roman numerals) visible depending on how close it is to the time of Turning. Each Turning, the world is refreshed via a large-scale tilling (only not so tame as a garden tilling; imagine a rototiller chunking apart a mountain, a rake and shovel driving earth into the sea). During the Turning, the inhabitants’ bodies revert to whatever element/substance their ancestry is. The closer it is to the Turning, the more the flesh and blood of the people revert (and the further from the Turning, the more their bodies solidify into flesh and blood).

Inhabitants: There are four known types of people, technically three since one exists only in stories. They are the Children of Earth, Fire, Wind, and Ice*. Each set of Children has specific physical characteristics, but that would be kind of lengthy for a blog post. While intermarriage between the Children is possible, most of the time it doesn’t result in offspring. When it does, the offspring must eventually decide which element will be dominant (sort of like half-elves in LotR). Otherwise a whole lot of crazy things happen to them during the Turning.

History: This is one of the things I’m still working out. I definitely know that Children of Ice were the earliest inhabitants, the Children of Fire were second, and the CoF introduced the CoI to flapjacks.

I'm hoping to put up a couple excerpts from my current draft before the end of the month.
Until next time!

*I have plans for more, but first I need to figure out how the souls work/how a people are formed in the first place. I have a few ideas... *sticks pen behind ear and chases plot bunnies*

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Fanfic: Twinepathy

I was cleaning up some writing things, and came across this: a bit of fanfiction for C.B. Cook's Twinepathy!

The featured character is a minor one--The Finch--but for whatever reason I connected with him right away, then there was an RP group and I wanted to play him, then I wrote this. This version is a little different from when I first posted it on my closed blog, in that it's cleaned up a bit.
Enjoy! And don't forget to check out C.B. Cook's blog.
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The Finch wandered the park, hoping to distract himself. Why couldn’t he remember anything? It hurt almost as bad as getting hit with a truck. Not that he remembered having any such experience…
“Mathis?” The lightly accented voice sent a shiver through him. He turned. A lady with long hair and a surprised expression timidly approached. She had a death grip on the lapels of her jacket. “Mathis, is that you?”
He blinked. “Yes.”
“Oh, thank goodness! Where have you been?” She rushed up and bear-hugged him.
The Finch just stood there, arms awkwardly by his side. “I’m…I’m sorry, but I don’t remember you.”
The lady drew back but kept her hands on his arms. Her expression varied between cold shock and…was that fear?
“Don’t remember me?”
“No, I don’t. What’s your name?”
She took a few steps back, her hand to her mouth. Tears brimmed in her dark eyes. “Oh, oh, oh…”
The Finch wanted to cry himself. “Who are you?”
“I’m, I’m…” She choked, and the tears fell. Through a muffle of emotion, he heard her say, “Eva.”
He held his breath for half a second, hoping. No memories, or even feeling, surfaced. He exhaled his earlier apology.
Eva cleared her throat, laying her hand at its base. “You don’t remember me? At all?”
He shook his head. He must have some previous connection to her, though; he wanted to cry with her, hug her, something. “Do you want to talk?”
Eva nodded furiously, pulling her coat tight. She sniffled. “There’s a bench there.”
The Finch instinctively put his arm out. Eva gave a gasping laugh. “At least you’re still you.”
He helped her to the bench and winced. It was so cold. That didn’t seem to bother Eva. She leaned back and glanced at him nervously. “I…I’m not sure where to start…but, I’m your girlfriend.”
The Finch nodded. He could see that, even if he couldn’t remember it.
She relaxed a little bit. “We didn’t do everything together, but quite a few things. Skating, collecting, your usual hobbies…and a few weeks ago, you stopped responding. I was worried sick, literally. My mother had to come over and stay with me for a few days. Then I got a text from you—or your phone, at least—saying to come to the park.”
The Finch put his elbows on his knees. “It wasn’t me who sent the text.” It might have been Jen…
What should he say next? What could he say next?
Eva laid a hand on his arm. “You wouldn’t happen to remember what it was you wanted to tell me before you…vanished?”
He shook his head.
“What happened?”
He half-opened his mouth, then stopped. What could he tell her? IDIA hadn’t told him much, about either the accident or his relations. They had said it was too soon. “I got into an accident at work.”
“But I checked the hospitals! And how can you get amnesia from unloading produce?!” Eva gripped his arm and gave him a little shake. He must have given her a negative look, because she abruptly let go and hunched over. “Sorry.”
He was going to say, “It’s alright,” but stopped himself. It wasn’t alright. Not at all.
Eva stood. “Maybe it would help if…if we went for a  walk? Where we usually do?”
The Finch rose. He supposedly had the afternoon off. May as well make the best of it. “Yes, please. I’m afraid you’ll have to lead the way.”
Eva looked like she was going to cry again.
The Finch wrapped an arm about her shoulders. “But don’t worry. I should remember soon enough.” He hoped. It was going to kill him if he couldn’t.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Rebel!

So, it’s week three of Camp Nanowrimo. A plot bunny latched onto me while I was at work, and stayed with me throughout the day. It didn’t even have anything to do with my task at hand (frying chicken). I was just thinking about dryads, then I thought about Rapunzel, and then I thought about the Arista Challenge.

Hosted by Kendra Ardnek over at Giraffe Crafts.

A purpose to rebellion! :D

I’m trying so very hard not to let this rebellion take over my other projects, doing a smidgen of words here, half a scene there...but, my planned MC for Dead in Sleep has fallen silent, and my endeavors of writing Convoluted Chronicles stories are increasingly frustrating... :P

Here’s a bit about this rebellion project, tentatively titled Renewal of Spirit. Characters first, because characters are awesome. I’ll do another post within the month (or early next month) about the world it’s set in.

Corinna—the “prince” figure. An Earth Child. Is a bit of a loner, due to her crippled right arm (an encounter with a forest beast). Everyone except her family began ignoring her once it was clear her arm wouldn’t be healing. Who wants to watch a one-armed girl when they're busy hunting and preparing for the Turning?
Daughter of a disinherited princess, she just wants…well, she isn’t sure, but she knows she'll have to brave the Turning eventually. One can't grow cooped up in a castle, after all.

Laburnum Notah—the “Rapunzel” figure. A Wind Child. He’s been stuck in a mountain his whole life, and educated by a hag named Kamilla. He would love to have someone other than her to talk to, but Kamilla has convinced him (through proper education, of course) that he has no place in the outside world. He’s too reclusive for his boisterous people, and too rowdy for any others. So, he stays in the mountain, cooking, cleaning, and secretly resenting his name of “Laburnum.” Has the habit of singing when he’s lonely.

Kamilla—the witch figure. An Earth Child. She was outcast so long ago that even she doesn’t remember why. In her old age, sometimes slips into dementia. Always wanted to have a child, but was barren. Surprisingly proficient with a kitchen knife, oddly deficient in magic. She does things like make little lights and bind people in curses with ease, but ask her to enchant something to be sturdy, and it might just end up turning into a toad.

Notah’s Parents (currently unnamed)—the parental figures. Children of the Wind. The father’s a weaver, the mother’s a dye maker. Notah was her first son, and while she learned not to covet, she is currently learning not to brag, especially about something as important as being able to weave flying carpets from grass. The father's learned that trying to keep his wife out of trouble is pointless, so he's settled for trying to get her out of trouble. Which may also be pointless.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Camp Nanowrimo

Participant 2018 - Twitter Header

I'm participating in Camp Nanowrimo!
I've done it before (love it!), but not while I had a blog. Okay, I had a blog but never got around to posting...
My projects this session:
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Dead in Sleep:The two factions—Human and Imp—have always fought. The Humans, with their magic and knack for invention, have always had the upper hand. But their magic has been growing weaker to the point of vanishing altogether. The Imps with their vampire mounts have gained the upper hand, and it doesn’t help matters that their automaton have begun to turn on them. The Human cities are close to falling. Where has their magic gone?
Fayte Hargreave and her two friends--Eldon Rattlebag and Shania Darknoll--do their best to survive the downfall of their city and gain a lead on what is happening to their magic.
Goal: 3K-ish, counting attempts of prose for a scrapbook version

I'd Kill for a Bath:Pearl does her best to aid her friend, Snow--an overworked secretary of Castle Hematite--in winning the right to be queen for a day. In the process, Pearl tries to sort out her life--a life that her supposed father reveals to be a sham.
Set in Convoluted Chronicles.
Although, now I want to try my hand at literary fiction; so I may be exploring just Pearl's relationship to her uncle and father, and having the fantastic elements of fantasy as background props instead of spotlight items...
In which case a title change is imminent. Probably something along the lines of: You did What?!, Who are you?, or So my Father's a Dragon.
Goal: 5K-ish
---
Here are small excerpts from each. The excerpt from Dead in Sleep isn't from the main POV; it's the start of a dare (Writer's Truth or Dare is so much more fun than regular T/D), because I read over my starting scene and...well, there are a few unique qualities in this world that I'm having difficulty showing in character.

Dead in Sleep:
Eldon couldn’t wait to visit the Inner ring of the city—there were so many hoity-toities to have fun with.

“The fact that they manufacture the guns you use to keep Imps out means nothing?”
Eldon glared at Fayte, a female soldier who seemed to be favored by the CO. “The mind meld is over. Why are you loitering in my head?”
Fayte shrugged. She adjusted her goggles so that the eye beams dimmed. “Sorry.”
“Upstart little…” Muttering derogatory comments, Eldon leapt aboard a departing tram. He glanced back at Fayte, flicked his goggles so that the eye-beams flashed. When she looked up, he did his best snarling grin. That’s what makes things interesting, pet.
Guns always made things interesting.

I'd Kill for a Bath:
Pearl took solace in the last few moments spent in her organized office. Notepads stacked on the edge of the desk; sparkling filing cabinets (their contents alphabetized and categorized by urgency); the trash can emptied. She took a picture in her mind, sucked a deep breath, and stepped out.

Luckily for her, her office was adjacent the castle’s lobby, so she didn’t have to wade through several levels of bureaucrats. A poster on the notice pillar outside caught her attention. The laminated, purple and orange and black poster reflected the moonlight garishly.
Contest: Queen for a Day.
The modern equivalent of a coliseum. She sneered in disgust, glad she wouldn’t be participating.
“Oh, Pearl!” A girl with the figure and looks of a vampire queen rushed over, her high heels clicking frantically against the concrete.
“Snow. What is it?”
The distraught secretary babbled incoherently. Frantic gestures, bleeding mascara…
Pearl looked at the poster again, took note of the date, and sighed. “You decided to participate?”
Snow latched onto Pearl’s arm, sobbing. “I’ve been stalked, threatened, work piled on my desk…” She paused, swiped at her face with her elbow. Black eyeliner stained the white sleeves. “They even laced my latte!”
Pearl led Snow to the curb. “I’m sorry, but I really don’t want to get involved. Especially not after an extended weekend.”
“It’s okay.” Snow sniffed. “It’s not like…like…oh, I just can’t be sarcastic! Pearl, I’m not alright and I need help!”

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Interviewing Characters

This is everyone's favorite part of the writing process, right? You sit your stubborn characters down and try to ask them why they refuse to make up, always wear bunny slippers, why they refuse to give you their name, etc. In the last case, I usually resort to saying something like: "Tell me your real name or you'll be stuck with 'Zupid Gruppi'!"

There are so many ways to interview a character. For Major/Main characters, I might start with a detailed interview (using questions like these or these), or I might not get to asking them much until I'm halfway done with the first draft (in which case I just keep asking "Why this?" until I get somewhere). If I'm lucky, I'll spot the character I need while browsing enneagrams, or I'll use a Myers-Briggs personality test and go from there.
For other characters, though, going through all the questions about daily living are...tedious, nigh on useless. Most of the time. Every so often one of the questions along the lines of "name of high-school sweetheart" becomes relevant, then I go back and fill it out.
Minor/Side characters can be well fleshed out using an abbreviated questionnaire like this or this. Sometimes all that's needed is a good physical description.

I thought I'd share some snippets of my character interviews I did while writing Trouble in Bookland. These are mostly from early drafts (I'll be making a post about that in the near-ish future). Ethan's (he's the antagonist) interview is more current, when I was hitting a block at about the halfway point. So some spoilers for Trouble in Bookland in that one. Highlight if you wish to view. Linda (the protagonist) is the other interviewee.
Italics are characters, bold is me.

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Linda (age 8-10, early draft):

So right now you’re living with Johan, who is your new father’s son, and your mom?

*nods*

How do you like it?

*crumples tissues and throws them aside* It’s not home. At home, we all used to laugh and live together. Johan and I do that sometimes. But mom doesn’t like talking about where we used to live, what dad used to be like, or Ethan.

What about your new dad? What’s he like?

*shrugs* I don’t like him very much, because the only time I see him much is when he and Johan are talking. He doesn’t like that Johan’s a Writer and keeps telling him to live in Reality. It doesn’t make sense…

So you like Johan a lot?

Yuh-huh. It’s just…sometimes he makes me forget Ethan. I don’t want to forget Ethan. *scrunches self into couch cushions*

That’s when you get angry with him?

*nods*

Do you like yourself?

I…I guess so? *puzzled look*

There’s nothing you regret doing, want to do that you’re ashamed of, anything?

*looks even more confused* Uh-um…no?

Well, then what’s your outlook on life? Are you pessimistic, optimistic, do you feel that most people you meet are honest, or lying?

*frowns and grips head* What’s that supposed to mean?

Uh…(oh, yeah, pre-teen character. Some things on my questionnaire aren't relevant.) Change of question. What’s your life like?

*shrugs, making a face* I wake up, I eat, I go to school, I come home, I eat, I do homework, I play with Johan until mom or dad comes home and tells us to stop making so much noise. And I write until my brains short out.

Do you have any friends?

*relaxes a bit* Nope. *pause* Can I ask you something?

Sure, shoot.

Are you an Author?

*chuckles* Sort of, yeah.

Okay. ‘Cuz this was starting to feel like a Character interview.

---

Ethan:

Why’d you mess things up in Bookland? How do you feel now that Linda has ownership of your world? Something isn't sitting right...

*gives look* Becaaaaauuuuuuuse that was my plan. To mess things up and start deteriorating the Patchwork. You feeling okay?

Meh, just trying to figure things out. Scatterbrain doesn’t help. Hey, why do you care how I'm feeling?

Maybe, just maybe, I’m a human being with concern for others.

Ha-ha.

Yeah, I know. *grins again* To answer your other question…happy. The world’ll survive, and she’ll be stretching her creative muscles.

Huh. Okay, then. What went wrong, what went wrong…

Something with Fourth-wall awareness, obviously.

Obviously. Let’s see…

Why don’t you just follow along with Linda and see where she heads? *chuckle*

Oh dear.
---

I hope you enjoyed this. Any questions for any characters in TiB? Outside the story, I've found that most of them are fourth-wall aware, so outlandish and/or crossover questions will most likely be answered.
Thanks for reading!