Sunday, March 22, 2015

Goggles, Steam and Superstitions A to Z Theme and more!

I’m excited about this year’s Blogging from A to Z Challenge. It’s going to be a blast, but also challenging. I’m doing a theme this year, Goggles, Steam and Superstitions A to Z.

Each day I’m hoping to write a flash fiction about a superstition in the steampunk or dieselpunk genre. There might even be a touch of atompunk tossed in we’ll just have to see. J

It’s going to be a challenge to keep with the theme, but I have always loved superstition stories. They can be creepy, scary or just good food for thought. So I’ve got a lot of research to do on different superstitions.

To add to the daily chaos of story writing I’ve also signed up for Camp NaNoWriMo. Yes, I am crazy but Camp NaNo is a NaNoWriMo lite. You can choose your word count from 10k to 1 million words. You can choose to do short stories, novel revision, poetry or even a script!
this will work rather well.
 
An extra awesome feature this year is the ability to create a private cabin so your writing circle can be added to that one cabin instead of randomly assigned to a cabin.

Challenges like Blogging from A to Z and  NaNo can really push your limits but they also make a writer accountable and help us build or rebuild our daily writing habits. They keep us encouraged and even if we’re behind on counts or letters they make us want to keep going.

Other challenges like Round of Words in 80 Days (ROW80) does the same but in a different way. We’re accountable for our weekly goals. Reporting in makes us take a look and focus on what’s important to our writing lives. Sometimes real life goals added in.

The write life isn’t always an easy one, we’re struggling artists in our craft and sometimes we just need that kick in the arse to keep us motivated. Challenges and blog hops help us do that in a fun way where we get to cheer on fellow writers in the fray.

ROW 80 Goals
Last week’s goals:
Write 1k daily  Check, on various things, was able to write 1k daily
Get 3 teacup hats completed I was able to complete half of one. lol It just wasn’t a week to be crafty I guess J
Get blog back on track with at least 3 posts per week   Check! Had 3 posts last week yay!
Start working on Blogging from A to Z Challenge posts  Nope but there’s a legit reason for that one. NaNo rules state that you can’t start on projects until 12am April 1st. So I will be slinging out that first post for A to Z as soon as the clock strikes 12.

This week’s goals:
1. Write 2k daily to keep up the short story pace *gulp I think I can I think I can I think I can!
2. Three posts on blog this week.
3. Get those 3 dang hats done!
Teacup Hat! 



Are you taking one of the above challenges? What do you do to make yourself accountable to your goals? 

Want to visit more blogs revealing their A to Z theme (Most will be up on the 23rd I'm a day early :) click HERE or check out the awesome goal making wizards of ROW80? Click HERE Have fun reading and maybe finding an awesome challenge for yourself! 





Friday, March 20, 2015

Tentacle

His eyes snapped open, darted about the darkened bedroom. The room was too quiet, too still. His breath panted. They were almost here. No, not again.

A soft whirring sound made his muscles tense and jump. Then he felt the warmed air on his feet from the vent just below his bed. It was just the heat, he let out a breath.

There was a sound a claw scratching on the wall. The breath turned into a gasp as a dark blur shifted in the corner of his vision. His body stiffened and stilled, his heart raced until all he could hear was his pulse pound in his ears.

“Please.” His voice squeaked as his hands gripped the bed sheet.

The room fell into utter silence, until it began to quake. Mild tremors that caused nick knacks to clank on shelves, then stronger until the bed moved side to side. His hands tightened onto the mattress. “Please, please.”

The quake stopped as he begged into the still silence of the room. He began to pant, his fists balled around the sheet and pulled it up to his face. The clack of claw against the tiled floor became louder.

He tried to hold his breath, if he was still enough they may not see him. Sudden pain coursed through him as electricity lit every nerve ending on fire. The blaze faded enough for him to catch a breath.

It was difficult to take that desperate breath as though a weight sat upon his chest. He couldn’t sit up, couldn’t move any part of him.

Out of the corner of his eye he could see a blur, it reached out to press something by his head. He attempted to struggle against his paralysis as he felt his body being lifted then lowered. Cool thick liquid oozed over his skin until he was submerged.

He tried to hold his breath but it was too long and his lungs gulped in the gel. It burned as it filled his lungs. Then he felt them, their tentacles crept across his skin. Some of the creatures latched on. He screamed wordlessly as the tentacles bore into his flesh.

They crawled over his face reaching into his ears and mouth. He felt first one then another push its way down his throat. His screams were choked off by the creatures. Sensations of the arms inside him probing made him were sickening.

Worse, as the paralysis wore off. He screamed and pleaded for mercy from the things. After minutes that seemed like hours of hell he felt the shock of pain down his spine once more.

The electricity jolted his body forcing the tentacles to flee their host.  He cried out in pure agony until….

He sat up, screamed wildly, his hands pulled at his face, hair and clothing. His breath came in hard gasps. He could see his reflection in his dresser mirror. The realization made him look around the room.

It was morning… He pulled off his shirt and tossed it aside as he searched his chest and arms for any evidence. Nothing. “It was a dream… just another nightmare.”

He didn’t know why they had begun, but hoped they would end soon as he swung his feet to the floor.

His foot stepped on something soft… wet…  His pulse in his throat, he looked down to what it was. A tentacle.



Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Wanted: TARDIS, Time Machine, or the remote from Click.

Time can be a writer’s worst enemy sometimes. There are days we have plenty of it and others we need to cram about 80 minutes into each hour instead of 60. One thing many of us are very guilty of is over tasking ourselves. We try to cram tasks and projects into smaller time slots than they really need.

That makes our time wibbly and wobbly and we lose control of our schedule. Which is a big stress when you have a ton of appointments to make, personal work, professional work, and then there is that eating and sleeping thing we need to make time for. Yeah, that remote from Adam Sadler’s movie Click would be really handy some days.

We could just push the pause button on the rest of the world while we catch up at our own pace. HG Wells time machine might be a neat trick too. Go back in time to adjust what we need to without worry of deadlines or oh no we’re going to be late!

I’m not sure traveling in the TARDIS with the Doctor would be beneficial to catching up or going back and
fourth to complete those consuming tasks. But it would definitely be fun! Just look out for Weeping Angels or Cybermen.

Since time has kind of gotten away from me a great deal as of late I’m throwing out the schedule. Just concentrating on doing, not worrying about do I have time to do this before I go here or start on this?

It’s okay if projects overlap or take a little longer to complete. There’s no need to rush, there really is plenty of time to get it done. Though that time remote from Click would still come in pretty handy, so would an 80 minute hour. *wink

Goals
Write 1k daily
Get 3 hats completed (making teacup hats)
Get blog back on track with at least 3 posts per week

Start working on Blogging from A to Z Challenge posts (see why I need time under control? Lol) 




This post is part of the awesome Round of Words in 80 Days weekly hop. It's a writing challenge that realizes life interferes and making goals can make a difference. Check out other Rower's blogs on the linky below :) 


Thursday, March 12, 2015

Beware the Ides of March

It was dark in the alley, the perfect cover to watch for him. The club across the street was alive with music, lights and people. Maybe she should go in… no,  he will come out. She just had to wait.

It was damp and cold after the evening rains, but, nothing she couldn’t withstand. There had been too much planning done already to waste the moment. It had to be done tonight. Suffering a bit of cold would be worth it in the end.

Loud music flooded the street when the club’s doors were flung open. There he was, that was him. Walking out alone, no tramp hanging off of him like so many others who had left before him.

He walked into the parking lot next to the club, not paying any attention to the rest of the world around him. 

When he paused to light a cigarette and she grinned. It was him, he was perfect. She walked over to the lot and smiled at him.

He smiled back. “Good evening.”

She didn’t reply, mustn’t seem so anxious. She walked over to her car then let go of a frustrated sigh looking at her rear tire. “Damn it, not now…”

Setting her purse on the roof before she moved to the back of the car and opened the trunk.  She leaned inside and pulled out the jack and walked around to the flat tire.

He glanced over as he flicked the cigarette to the ground. The perfect one walked over and grinned. “Can I give you a hand? No sense in a beautiful woman getting all greasy.”

She laughed and smiled back. “Thanks, I really appreciate it. I’m a serious girl with this stuff.”

He grinned and nodded as he slid the jack under the edge of the car. “I’ll say, you forgot a part. Do you mind if I look in your trunk for the tire iron?”

“No, go ahead. See I told you I have no idea what I’m doing.”  She grinned, shifting to accentuate her ample form for him.
He smiled and walked around to the trunk. He pulled his eyes from hers and looked in. The iron was way in the back. He had to bend half into the trunk to reach it.

She watched and waited until both his hands were inside the trunk and he was leaning way inside. Quickly, she moved to him sinking a needle into the back of his neck. Her thumb pushed the plunger as she looked around, to make sure there were no other eyes on them.

In a few seconds, he slumped, collapsing half into the trunk. She grinned as she tossed the needle inside then hefted the rest of him. 

For just a moment, she paused and looked down at her victim. The rest of the night would be spent in blood as she has done since the betrayal. None leave her now. He will be hers tonight and in the morning she will bury him near the others. “Beware the Ides of March.”


Friday, February 13, 2015

Liebster Award Nominee

I was graciously nominated for the Liebster by fellow Lake Writer, Juneta Key. The Liebster is a getting to
know you kind of post. A fun way for bloggers and readers to get acquainted. The nominator picks 11 nominees and gives each of them a set of 11 questions to answer on their blog.

In response, the nominees choose 11 nominees from their circle and gives them a different set of 11 questions. Basically, it's kind of like an interview. You might even be nominated more than once. Which is okay because you get to answer different questions and yes... have more fun lol. Now on to my set of questions provided by Juneta :)

1. Who is your favorite author?
Oh, that's a hard one, I don't really have a single favorite so I'll name one of them. Elmore Leonard. Elmore wrote noir and westerns. Quite a mix of genre eh? He is responsible for my favorite movie 3:10 Yuma, which was based on Elmore's short story of the same name. I love his no nonsense approach in his writing. He is precise in his descriptions and his dialog sharp and to the point. 
2. If you had 3 wishes what would they be?
To have security in life, to be able to make my son's dreams come true, a new car that doesn't give me weird dash light messages like it's trying to give me spy code. 
3. If you were given a free round trip ticket to anywhere, where would you go?
Scottland! Castles, Kilts and rich history :) 
4.  Would you rather live near the ocean, forest, mountains or the fourth option;)? 
Um don't know what the 4th option would be but I already live in the forest with the black bears and panthers. I think I would like to live in the mountains and experience some new wildlife. 
5. What is your favorite genre of music?
I don't have a favorite I don't think, I listen to just about everything. I love big band 40s music, I've gotten into some steampunk bands lately The Cog is Dead and Steam Powered Giraffe. 
6. Plane, Train, Boat, Car or other for vacation travel?
I've always wanted to take a train cross country. My dad told me stories about taking the train across the US during his training and travels during WWII. He loved that trip and made it sound like such a great adventure. Well until he got to Alaska where he was stationed. He didn't like the cold much lol. 
7. Where is your favorite place to escape from the daily grind to?
The library! Yeah, I'm a geek. It's quiet and there are treasures and adventures on every shelf just waiting to be discovered. I love to go to the library and browse or kick back and get lost in a book for a while. 
8. What is your best memory?
One of my best memories is the day I spent with my mom and my boyo at Sliver Springs when they had the Sarcosuchus Imperator (super croc) on display. We had a great time playing with the dinosaur fossils and taking pictures with this monstrous skeleton. We learned about some historic bone finds there in the springs and central Florida. It was a fun relaxing day topped off with a ride on the Glass Bottom Boats :) 
9. Do you have a hobbit? if not, what would you like to do for a hobby? ROFL @ SELF  okay this error was too good to correct—go ahead tell me who is your favorite hobbit? 
I love Merry and Pippin they have to go together. Too cute they are :) For hobby, I like to paint watercolor, and archery when I can. 
10.  What is the most memorable book you have read, or movie if not a big reader?
I guess the most memorable book I've ever read would be the Conan the Barbarian Series written by Robert E. Howard. They were the first novels I'd ever read and something in them just captured my imagination and turned me into a voracious reader ever since. 
11. Would you travel around the world in 80 days if you could? 
Why not, there might be something amazing out there to discover. 
Well, there you have it 11 random things about me. Now it's my turn to choose victims... I mean nominees.
1. Outlaw's pRose
2. Ink Dipped Moon
3. Elicia Hyder
4. Katherine Starbird
5. Katerina Dennison
6. Lorraine M Harris
7. Rebecca Vining
8. MaryAnn Bernal
9. Joe Triggs-Smith
10. Jean E. Lane
11. Brian Miller
Alrighty victims... er nominees :) here are your 11 questions. 
1. If you could spend a day in a book which book would it be and what would you do?
2. What are 3 things that are rarely known about yo?
3. What is your favorite coffeehouse treat?
4. Do you like to write with music or utter silence? If music, tell us what inspires your muse.
5. Tell us what makes your hometown awesome.
6. What inspired you to become a writer?
7. What is your favorite book to movie adaption?
8. Where is your favorite place to write?
9. Have you ever participated in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month)?
10. Do you have a routine or thing that makes you feel ready to write? Like a special shirt or a writing exercise.
11. If the Tardis appeared outside of your house. What would you do? 
There you are my little Liebsters, now it's your turn to answer the questions and create a few for your own post victims... er nominees :) 


Thursday, February 12, 2015

Author Torrence Sassetti talks about Though the Plaugelands

My name is Torrence Sassetti and I am the writer of “Through the Plaguelands.” The Plaguelands are a bit of a unique take on the zombie apocalypse world in that they don’t just have run of the mill zombies; they have threats far more dangerous than the undead could ever pose. Some of these threats are
outright monstrous and beastly, while others are dangerous because of how human like they are.

The Plaguelands are made up of five different territories: the Inner Territory, the Fireland, Frostland, Electric Fields, and Industrial Complex. Each Plagueland has its own feel and theme. The Inner Territory is meant to be the dark and eerie home of the zombies, mutations, and infected animals. While the zombies alone are dangerous, the infected animals are far more frightening. The infected animals I loved the most were definitely the wolves. Before they ruthlessly hunt anyone down, they let out a loud, directionless howl making anyone who hears it extremely tense and fearful that their time has come and that nowhere is safe.


The other four Plaguelands each have a unique danger to them. Instead of becoming zombies or
mutants, some who are infected will become unique leaders called Alphas. Alphas retain their normal form, while gaining godly strength, speed, and intelligence. They also gain a unique supernatural ability which they pass on to those they infect.

Each land has its own theme. The Fireland is a place of fire and ash. It always feels like night in this Plagueland because of the ash and smoke that fills the sky and blocking the sun. Their infected have control over fire and tend to be a little more unpredictable than the other infected. The Frostland is a frozen wasteland. Their infected have control over water and ice. They tend to be methodical and ruthless. The Electric Fields is a mysterious place with thick layers of fog covering the landscape. Their infected use electricity as a weapon and tend to be more rebellious against the will of the Plague or their master. The final land is the Industrial Complex. It’s a place full of factories and office buildings that look completely untouched by the Plague. The infected here use telekinesis and are deeply devoted to their religious beliefs towards the Plague and its maker.

There’s a look at what makes up the Plaguelands. If you want to find out more about it, be sure to buy a
copy as soon as you can.

Get your copy here:
Amazon
Barnes & Nobel
Kobo

Find Author Torrence Sassetti here:
Facebook
Website


Sunday, February 1, 2015

Writing Process: The Physical and the Mental Guest post by Mark Collington

Today we have author Mark Collington guesting in the Ludis! So pour a cuppa, kick back and enjoy the read. Don't forget to leave a little comment love at the bottom! 

Whenever people ask me about my writing process, I’m always intrigued as to whether they mean the physical process of sitting down to write, or the mental process of deciding which words to write. So I guess I’ll try and talk about both.

I’m one of those nocturnal authors. I’ve always found that my most productive hours are between about 11pm and 4am. Not sure why, they just are. Maybe it’s the silence and the lack of external distractions. Maybe it’s that I get appalled when people suggest waking up earlier than 9:30am. When I do sit down to write, it’s in a dark room, usually just one lamp, and with my laptop (my handwriting is awful, left hander’s curse, and I can’t imagine anyone wanting to write an entire novel by hand and then type it up). I’ll settle down with a cup of coffee, a can of coke, and a glass of water (yes, all three at once, something nice about the temperature and flavor combination….and the caffeine high) and can sit there and just get involved in the writing.

 People have often asked me whether I listen to music when I write. The answer is yes, music is an important part of my life, but when I’m writing I ban (give or take) anything with lyrics, and will sometimes have it so it’s barely audible. Any other time I love good quality vocals in my music, but they can be too distracting to the “writing process.” Its purpose becomes to provide a beat for the work, something to listen to in those moments when I need a short breather, and to block out some of the other, more disruptive noises—I used to live in the countryside surrounded by all manner of noisy night time creatures and farm animals, now I live three feet from the sidewalk in upstate New York and it’s a whole other type of night time creature. Some of my favourites to listen to are movie soundtracks (Hans Zimmer and Harry Gregson-Williams tend to provide well there), Apocalyptica, the instrumental/orchestral versions of Kamelot and Nightwish, and a small instrumental rock group from Albany called Yoma.

As for the mental side of things, you’ll see articles about how meticulously J.K. Rowling planned her series (with accompanied photo of scrawled blue biro), or hear advice of how you have to have a clear plan written down. That’s not how I work. I plan massively. In fact I have plots already in place that aren’t likely to appear for another seven books or so. But I don’t write it all down in notebooks. It’s truly a mental process—if it’s good enough to put in a book, then I’ll remember it.

Most of what I write in any one session I’ll have outlined mentally beforehand, and maybe thought of a few key phrases while driving, walking, standing in the shower, anytime I’m doing something that requires only a small amount of thought. And from there, I let the narrative and the characters take it away and flow freely.

 In all honesty, I do occasionally take a few brief notes to keep track of my various plot strands, but nowhere near what I’m aware that some people do. I find it too restrictive—one of the first novels I wrote I planned out scene-byscene and the result held little feeling because it was just following a preordained plan. I have also looked back at the brief notes I’ve made after I’ve finished a section and seen something about where a plot is going, or what a character will do and thought “wow, I was really wrong, [that character] wouldn’t have done that…”

 For me, the writing process is a source of great joy. It holds elements of quiet contemplation, or having a laugh with a group of your friends (even if these ones are imaginary). I can get very excited about what I’m doing, even if it’s 3 in the morning, dark, and everyone else is in bed.

About author Mark Collington 
Mark Collington was born in the south-east of England in the early 90s. At the age of ten he moved to Mid-
Wales, and started writing a novel for the first time at 14. He graduated from Bangor University with a Bachelors degree in English with Creative Writing. He is currently studying for an MA at SUNY at Albany in upstate New York.

While not into 'traditional' sports, Mark enjoy fencing and archery.

He spends a lot of time reading, listening to a wide range of music, and playing a variety of instruments.

About Kingdom Come
In the distant future, the world has been reconstructed into the Realms, controlled by a mysterious unseen entity called Kingdom. Jasper Montague-Smythe, a private detective in the 1930s L.A. Realm, is struggling with a stack of clients and a growing caseload. As he juggles disappearances, blackmail, kidnapping, and murder, he also finds himself custodian of a woman who doesn’t belong in his Realm. Drugged and confused, she needs his help. Can he afford to take the time? Can he really afford not to? 

Yet an even larger problem looms: Kingdom’s Enforcers have started disappearing. Now it’s fallen to Jasper to find the cause and stop it before it’s too late.

Where to find Mark on the web: 
Twitter 
Facebook 
Amazon
Barnes&Noble