Monday, April 30, 2012

~Y~

Y is for Yay in today's 2nd to the last A to Z Challenge post! I must admit that I am SO relieved that it is almost over. I enjoyed meeting all the new bloggy friends and reading some really great writing, but it has been a ton of work and I am ready to go back to 1 or 2 posts a week.

Thanks to all my fellow A to Z participants for visiting and following. I look forward to keeping our acquaintanceship going after the challenge ends and seeing more fabulous writing.



Saturday, April 28, 2012

A Sudden Case of Xenophobia

In exactly 6 days, I'll be pitching my very first finished novel for the very first time. I am sure that those of you who have been through this already can identify with me when I say that I feel sick when I think about it too much. *laughs*

Why do we, as writers, feel uncomfortable with selling our work? I mean we practically attempt to sell something every single day. Oh, we don't use the same words, but it is still selling. When we attempt to persuade or influence someone to do what we want, we are essentially selling. So pitching our work ought to come easily, right?

Wrong.

Though I have slaved over this story for the past 1 1/2 years and know it inside and out, when I am faced with someone asking me what my book is about, I freeze. I stumble over my the first or second effort to tell them what it's about until, finally, it comes rolling out of me. But boy, when I get started....*grin*

It's the initial 'deer in the headlights' feeling that totally gets me. And that is with people that I am NOT trying to sell my work to. I keep having these dreams (or are they nightmares?) where I sit down, introduce myself to the  editor and when she opens her mouth to ask the first question, my ears start ringing and I hear nothing. All my preparation is for nothing. The note-cards I made with my WIP's 'who', 'what', 'when', 'where', 'why' info lay forgotten in my lap as I can't even hear what the lady is asking me. My attempts to read her lips end in failure and just as she is starting to get an impatient look on her face, I take a deep breath, my ears unplug and I roll into the prepared blurb for my book. Does the dream give me the satisfaction or humiliation of knowing whether I guessed right or wrong? Nope. It ends and I wake up dreading the possibility of that exact scenario happening. 

Now having read this, you would think I am one of those super shy people. Wrong again. I get up in front of people all the time to speak with no problems. I just seem to have developed a sudden case of xenophobia(extreme fear of foreigners or strangers). This is just so important to me and so the nightmares starring my possible failure are rearing their ugly heads. 

So I am preparing as if this is the finals of the last semester of college before graduation. Pass the test and I receive that shiny new diploma, fail and I have to pay for an additional semester. (You fellow college grads so know what I am talking about.) So I am practicing my pitch this week. A fellow writing buddy is even going to let me practice on her for an authentic feel to my study sessions. 

How do you prepare to pitch your book to an agent or editor? Do you wing it or practice? I would love to hear what those with experience have to say!

How do you like my use of the letter ~X~ for the A to Z challenge today?!!! I thought it was pretty darn clever. *wink*

Friday, April 27, 2012

~W~

Today's A to Z Challenge post I've written based on a creature from my book. The wyrm is something only spoken of in tales of Azerea's long ago past, and most think them simply figments of a storyteller's imagination. However, I am here to tell you that they did once exist and shall soon return. Listen and you'll here the flap of great wings and the rush of their giant and graceful bodies as they pass overhead.
Enjoy this poem about the wyrm.

Wonder of the Wyrm

Fanciful creatures told of in tales
Bodies big as horses, wings on their backs
Sunlight gleaming off jewel colored scales
Majesty and grace they do not lack

They glide through the air, over mountains yonder
Like birds flitting from flower to flower.
Mouths agape, we watched in wonder
Longing to possess their power.

Though they're long gone, we continue to dream
Of the wonder of flying through the air.
To Glide and dive, oh how our hearts keen
Being denied such a power isn't fair.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

~V~

Victorious

Today's A to Z Challenge letter is ~V~ and I have chosen to right about a couple victorious events this week.

First, my Gram came out of her surgery like a trooper and while she has a long road to recovery, she is going to be fine.

Second, I took the final chapter of my book with its climactic ending and finally got it exactly right. So now rather than an insipid ending, my book is ending with a bang exactly as I wanted.

I really enjoyed a fun, energetic happy dance at these two victorious events. Next on the list is the writer's conference here in OKC May 3rd-5th. I entered the first couple chapters of my novel in the contest and am hoping that the last year's worth of revisions proves good enough to earn me at least an honorable mention. I will also be pitching my very first novel for the very first time and am so nervous I feel sick to my stomach when I think about it.

Needless to say, I'll be working on my pitch this week. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

~U~

Today's A to Z Challenge letter is ~U~ and since I just received word that my Gram had to be put on the bypass machine due to complications and that they had to do a 4th emergency bypass rather than the 3 we initially thought they were going to have to do, I am going to distract myself from my tumulus emotions by writing today's poem about being unafraid while we wait for them to finish the surgery. This one is about and for my Gram, the beloved matriarch of our family.

Unafraid

Unafraid, determined, you hide shaking
hands as  you force your smile to reach your eyes.
Emotions you work hard controlling
To be strong for us. You're always our rock.

I'm a fighter, you say, your eyes determined.
If God leaves it up to you, you'll wake up
ready for the next challenge that develops,
Hiding your hands, appearing unafraid.

It's a bit short. I hope you'll excuse that. I am a bit distracted. Thanks for letting me use you for a bit of self-therapy.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

~T~

For Today's A to Z Challenge I am going to post a poem about Trust, but not one that I wrote. Rather, I am going to post one I like by Lord Alfred Tennyson. Enjoy.


In Memoriam A. H. H.: 54. Oh, yet we Trust that somehow Good by Lord Alfred Tennyson
Oh, yet we trust that somehow good
Will be the final end of ill,
To pangs of nature, sins of will,
Defects of doubt, and taints of blood;
That nothing walks with aimless feet;
That not one life shall be destroy'd,
Or cast as rubbish to the void,
When God hath made the pile complete;
That not a worm is cloven in vain;
That not a moth with vain desire
I shrivell'd in a fruitless fire,
Or but subserves another's gain.

Behold, we know not anything;
I can but trust that good shall fall
At last--far off--at last, to all,
And every winter change to spring.

So runs my dream: but what am I?
An infant crying in the night:
An infant crying for the light:
And with no language but a cry.

Monday, April 23, 2012

~S~ is for Scared

Today the poetry is put on hold as I have had a family emergency and writing on this ~S~ word seems more appropriate. Today I am scared.

This morning I went with my Gram for what I thought would be a routine angioplasty to check a suspected blockage in an artery in her leg and neck that showed up on an ultrasound.

It turned out anything but routine when the doctor told us that my precious Gram had multiple 80-90% blockages in her heart as well as two 70% blockages in her legs and one 80% blockage in her neck.

Now we are sitting in a heart hospital in Oklahoma City. She is having multiple bipass heart surgery tomorrow and I am scared. Only faith that God is with her eases my worry. I hope you will add your voice to that of my family and friends in prayer as well as your positive thoughts.

Thank you.

Friday, April 20, 2012

~R~

For the letter ~R~ in the A to Z Challenge, I decided to try out another interesting poem type I have never done. This is a Tyburn poem. As with all of the others, it is based on my WIP. For my MC, Ruark, letting the dark win would be like dying. This end he fights, mind and body.

Ruark's Fight

Alive
Contrive
Survive
Deprive
Fighting to stay alive. Contrive and
Determine to survive, deprive death.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

~Q~

Look at this! I just happen to have an interesting creature in my WIP that begins with Q. She is a bit on the creepy side, but hey, it's my fantasy novel and I like them creepy! 

Meet the Quingore, Lilra. She is the first of her kind, made by dark forces using my MC, Ruark's dead mother's corpse, a living slave woman, and a secret ingredient you'll have to wait to read my book to discover. Here she is taunting a shocked Ruark after making her very first appearance. 

Do you like this face, little king, 
That my master gave me?
Your mother was very beautiful.
Does seeing her face on me make you angry?

Come, inspect me for inconsistencies,
I seek to gain your approval.
Before I use these luscious lips
To aid in your removal.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

~P~

Today's A to Z Challenge letter is ~P~ and what is better for this letter in a fantasy novel than Prophecy. So here is the prophecy I wrote for my WIP. Enjoy.


In the time of dark Murn’s glory,
A great time of despair.
Will begin the king and queen's story,
The end of the world drawing near.
Choice does their future hold,
Wisdom will come with a price.
Dark or Light can be their mold,
This lesson will they learn thrice.
Blood of dark and of light,
Willing must the sacrifice be.
Reset the balance and stop world's blight,
If world end you want not to see.
Heed these words given to you,
Or see the world end in doom.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

~O~

Today's A to Z Challenge letter is ~O~ and I find it timely and appropriate for what I have struggled with the last couple of days in my life. My MC, Ruark also struggles with OBLIGATION in my WIP. Unlike myself however, his struggle with obligation could mean the end of Azerea.
Do you find yourself at odds with the sense of obligation you feel toward your family or friends? Especially when you feel used/taken advantage of? Yes or no, I hope you'll enjoy this poem about Ruark's struggle with obligation.

Obligation's Burden


Duty, honor, and respect demand
I honor your command.
Accept my destiny, find my queen,
Free the light god, disrupt Namurs dark scheme.
Find faith where none exists for a god
I've never seen. No light shines where I trod
In this dark and dying world.
Hope is a flag that yet remains unfurled.
This burden you insist I carry,
Upon my conscience weighs heavy.
I fear failure and disappointment
As I struggle to accept entrustment.
For you I'll fulfill this promise.
I won't dishonor your sacrifice.

Monday, April 16, 2012

~N~

A recap for those unfamiliar with why I am posting poetry these days. I am participating in the A to Z challenge. I chose poetry based on my WIP as my theme and so will post for each letter of the alphabet. Today's letter is ~N~.

For today's A to Z challenge I wanted to try a new poem type: the word sonnet.

It is about Namur, born to be king of the light god's favored creations, he willingly turned his back on the light and his people to become the powerful leader of the dark god's magi. I think I packed quite a bit into this one little sonnet


Namur’s Joy

Inflicting
Unnecessary
Pain
For
Pleasure
While
Your
Victim
Weeps
In
Hopeless
Despair
And
You
Laugh

Saturday, April 14, 2012

~M~

Today's A to Z challenge letter is ~M~ and I am keeping it simple with another acronym. This one is about Midun, the last country in Azerea not under the dark god's rule.

Midun

Mighty last defender
In the fight against the
Dark god. Your people,
Unable to stop fair Azerea's death,
Never lose faith that Koa will return to save them.

Friday, April 13, 2012

~L~

Today's A to Z challenge letter is ~L~ and so I would like to tell you a little of the Lytlingum. They were once a great race of magical beings created by the light to protect Azerea. Unfortunately, their blood was used to trigger it's destruction and imprison it's god. This is a piece of their story.

To the Lytlingum

Shining protectors of Azerea
You beings of light’s favor and glory
Held above all, full of power and grace
The beginning of a perfect story.

Above all others, shouldn’t you have known
That Life is a balance of light and dark?
Did you forget or did you just not care,
That arrogance would earn you dark Murn’s mark?

Now you are broken, Murn controls your land.
Koa, held in a prison of your blood,
Mourns the loss of your glory, the power
Of your worship, the loss of all that’s good.

But we beings of light and dark, we humans
Know that life is a guaranteed balance.
One day Koa will be free. Until then,
We endure and learn from your ambivalence.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

~K~

Today's A to Z Challenge letter is ~K~ and this one was really difficult for me to write. It took me most of the day to get it right. But here it is.

This poem is written to Koa, the god of light, from her brother, Murn, the dark god. Though he has defeated and imprisoned her and murdered her people in a brutal sacrifice, she continues to struggle. The effort to keep Koa in her prison takes much of Murn's concentration. Can you hear the exasperation in his tone as he mocks her?

Koa

Koa, bright light, once equal to my power,
Unfortunate calm amid my chaos,
Why do you fight me rather than cower?
Is our separation really such a loss?
Dear sister, we’re meant to exist apart
Though I know you disagree.
And so, from your prison you’ll never depart,
Fair Azerea now belongs to me.
Send your pitiful heroes against me.
I will laugh as each one stumbles,
Failing in their quest, begging from their knees
Until faith in you finally crumbles.

Soon no one will remember you exist
Must you really continue to resist?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

~J~

Today's A to Z challenge letter is ~J~ and for those new to my blog, I am trying my hand at poetry for the first time with this challenge. The poems are all based on my WIP. Today's poem is a simple Acrostic poem using the letters of the title as the first letter of each line of the poem.

Today we learn about one of my 4 MC's, Jakys. He is the leader of one of the last countries of Azeria not suffering under the dark mage, Namur's oppressive hand.

Jakys

Just and faithful leader of the light, who
Always places his god and people first.
Keeping darkness from oppressing his people
Yet surrounded by enemies in his own country
Seeking to undermine him for the dark lord.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

~I~

Today's letter in the A to Z challenge is ~I~ and so I'd like to share an Incantation the light loving people chant to their god during their most important ceremony. It is a plea for Koa, the light god to take her people's strength and worship and use it to break free from the dark god, Murn's prison.

If you listen, you can almost hear the deep rhythm of the drums as the people dance around the fire. Their tempo starts out slow and increases into a frenzied beat so that the last two lines are shouted as the sound of slapping feet hit the ground rapidly. The smell of sweaty bodies fill the air and a feeling of electricity seems to spark with the fervor of these people for their god.

Listen. Can you hear it?


Bright God
Beautiful Creator
Discard Darks Prison
Battle Free Forever
Come Dawn
Come Bright God
Bright Creator Come
Reign Free Creator
Reign Free Life

Monday, April 9, 2012

~H~


Today's A to Z Challenge letter is ~H~ and I thought I'd share the pleas of a people tired of living in fear. 

Hidden

Amidst the enemy our king is hidden
Until a man he grows to be
Knowledge of his presence forebidden
His safety determines our people’s destiny.

Our world labor’s under the Dark God’s rule
Our people fear unveiling
As they pray that thier saving jewel
Doesn’t end up merely failing.

Send the savior oh god of light
Please hear your people plead
Send the king to wield your might
Let it be time for him to lead.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

~G~

Today's A to Z Challenge letter is ~G~ and I wanted to lighten things up a bit. So here is a limerick making fun of Gru, a slave master my MC, Ruark is forced to travel with for a time. Ruark did not enjoy the experience.

There was a fat man named Gru
Master of the slaving crew
He wore smelly perfume
That cleared any room
Those who lingered around him were few

Friday, April 6, 2012

~F~


Today's A to Z Challenge letter is ~F~ and so I am introducing you to another secondary character in my WIP, Finn. Poor Finn loved Ailith, despite knowing that she was meant for another. In the end, Ailith loved him back, but by then it was too late. Here is a peek into Finn's story.

Finn

You crossed my path by chance
As you thrust pretend sword into pretend foe.
Soon becoming best friend and confidant
With whom I played and joked.

From child to adult you grew beside me
While moving from place to place
You learned from our guardians
Knowledge and skills you used to keep me safe.

From dreams of adventures to dreams of love,
You found yourself in a quagmire
As I continued along oblivious
To your developing desire.

Too late did I realize
The gift you would have given.
For when I realized I loved you, too 
Your death was already written.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

~E~

Today's A to Z Challenge letter is ~E~ and it is about the haunted ruins of a castle and city once occupied by a sacrificed people in my WIP.

Echo of the Past

Laughter of children heard no more
As toys lie broken on the floor
Dust on tattered curtains amassed
A solemn echo of the past

Hearths lay empty, no fire crackles
Broken pot on bent hook wobbles
As mourning breeze moves through downcast
A solemn echo of the past

Sad breeze blows slowly through the maze
Over rubble and ruins of long ago days.
A people now gone, their dreams smashed
A solemn echo of the past.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

~D~

Today's A to Z Challenge letter is ~D~ and for this one my poem will be about one of my favorite secondary characters, Deitric. He is Ruark's best friend and a slave to Ruark's household. You know you're intrigued. *wink*

Deitric

Devoted friend, a natural
Entertainer who
Insists on making me laugh.
Trustworthy confidant,
Refusing to leave my side even when
I am in danger of turning against him.
Courageous, Deitric, brother of my soul.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

~C~


A to Z Challenge day 3- The letter 'C'

My theme: Current W.I.P. and my 1st attempts at poetry.

I will post a poem based on some aspect of my current work in progress whether that be a character or an important theme. So here is my 3rd entry. I hope you enjoy it.



       









    
       Captured

Stalking close, like a wild cat on the hunt,
Thumping heart, sweaty palms, I near the cart.
Latch lifting, held breath, peering toward the front,
Wood scrapes, door opens, the sound stops my heart.
No alarm sounded, I peer inside
And glimpse a delicate, paint stained hand.
Crunching gravel alerts, I seek to hide
From the slaver, a detestable man.

Approaching footsteps stop, man muttering, turns.
I wait, frozen, afraid to move or breathe.
He debates with himself, my lungs burn.
Relief, he moves away. On the handle I heave.

Pain explodes, my vision is fractured
As I fall to my knees and realize, I’m captured.

Monday, April 2, 2012

~B~


A to Z Challenge day 2- The letter 'B'

My theme: Current W.I.P. and my 1st attempts at poetry.

I will post a poem based on some aspect of my current work in progress whether that be a character or an important theme. So here is my 2nd entry, based on the letter 'B' for betrayal. I hope you enjoy it.

Betrayal

Duty and honor she throws in my face
As I hang bloody and beaten in this dark place
Bitter tastes the betrayal
The torture does but pale
Compared to her treacherous embrace