Photo Friday: Stories!

So today’s prompt is about stories.  Quite convenient, really, as I just posted an interview with the main character from The Price of Mercy.


Revision work continues.  I got absolutely nothing done on it yesterday, but I managed to eke out a few paragraphs this noon while on my lunch break.  I wish either a.) that lunch breaks were longer so I could get more done, or b.) that someone would pay me to stay home and write all day.

Since neither of those things are likely to happen anytime soon, I guess I’ll just have to keep plugging away a few minutes at a time.  Don’t forget to check out Charnele’s blog and see what stories she’s into.  Happy Friday, everybody!

(c) 2014.  All rights reserved.

Well, I’ve done it…

TPMTLCI went and uploaded a portion of The Price of Mercy on Authonomy again.  I’m still revising, but it would be nice to get a little feedback on the revisions I’ve made so far.  If you’re so inclined, you can check it out here.  If you’re a member of the site, please feel free to leave me all the constructive criticism you’ve got – I’ve decided that when I finish this round of revisions, I’m going to query again and if I don’t get anywhere with it, then I’ll self-publish, so I need all the eyes on it I can get.

Also, I spent a fair chunk of time yesterday afternoon working on a cover because I didn’t like any of the generic ones they had.  I’m not sure how well it works for this book yet – I still think it might be better-suited to the second book in the series – but what do you think?  What do you like/dislike about it?

Hope you’re having a marvelous weekend!

(c) 2014.  All rights reserved.

Photo Friday: Lunch

Today’s theme is lunch.  I had leftover pizza from Pizza Hut, and failed to take a picture of it, but I didn’t figure anyone really wanted to see two soggy slices of pepperoni pizza, anyway.

Instead, here’s a pretty picture of what I spent the rest of my lunch break doing:

2014-08-08 12.35.22

Revisions. *sigh*

I relish my lunch breaks at work because I get a whole hour to myself, uninterrupted, to write or read or sleep.  Because I tend to lose myself in whatever story I find myself occupied with (whether it’s mine or someone else’s), I have an alarm set on my phone so that I’m not late getting back to the daily grind.  It’s not a fool-proof system – my alarm fails on occasion – but it generally works.

Don’t forget to stop by Charnele’s blog and see what she did for lunch today!  Have a great weekend, everybody! 🙂

(c) 2014.  All rights reserved.

Do you want to sneak a peek?

Anná Artwork by Hazel Butler

Artwork by Hazel Butler

If you follow me on Facebook, you’ll know that I was tagged in another writing game by my friends Afe Smith and Valerie Willis.  The idea for this one is to share the first sentence from the first three chapters of your current WIP.  I chose to share three lines from The Price of Mercy (Book One of the Lokana Chronicles) and it’s sequel, Fog of War (Book Two of the Lokana Chronicles).  As always, titles – and lines, for that matter – are subject to change because, well because I’m a writer (read: perfectionist) and I’m my own worst critic.

Chapters One, Two, and Three of The Price of Mercy start out like this:

1. Dirty tears carved grooves through the layers of grime on the poor farmer’s face as he fought and lost the battle for his dignity.

2. Vegin pulled the rough brown hood lower over his eyes as he sauntered through the dusty marketplace.

3. She ambled down the steps, lost in thought.

<!–more While Chapters One, Two, and Three…While Chapters One, Two, and Three of Fog of War start off like this:

1. Anna Martoka snuggled into the embrace of her fiancé, John Briant.

2. A month passed.

3. Anna stumbled on a tree root.

I have yet to revise (for the dozenth time) FoW, as I’m currently stuck on revisions for TPoM.  But I’m up to Chapter Six now, which is huge progress, given that Chapters Five and Six did not heretofore exist.  I still have a lot of work ahead of me with these books, but hopefully I’ll be able to finish revisions by the end of the year and start querying again in January (I know, I know, I’ve said that the last couple of years, but this time, I’m gonna make it happen).

And who knows?  Maybe this time, I’ll catch someone’s eye…

What are you working on at the moment?

(c) 2014.  All rights reserved.

Five more fun facts!

Lipei serves as a source of much consternation to her beloved big brother Artwork by Hazel Butler

Lipei serves as a source of much consternation to her beloved big brother
Artwork by Hazel Butler

My good friend and fellow Worldbuilder, Andrea Baker, tagged me in the five facts game, and since I’d already considered doing this again for other characters, I was tickled to see I’d been tagged again. 🙂

With that in mind, let’s meet Vegin’s antagonist, shall we?

Fun Facts About Balil Tolhana

  1. Balil is Vegin’s brother-in-law.
  2. He’s a devout priest of the Tolathan order, dedicated to following the teachings of Kiala.
  3. He loathes the royal family and is infuriated when his sister (Lipei) marries the Crown Prince of Lokana (Vegin).
  4. He shares a desire to transform society with his brother-in-law, but goes about it in a much different way.
  5. A complex man, his character is shaped by the loss of his younger brother.

Once again, if you’d like to participate, have at it, and have fun!  Happy Friday!

(c) 2014.  All rights reserved.

Seven more lines

Anná Artwork by Hazel Butler

Artwork by Hazel Butler

The wonderful Sammy HK Smith re-tagged me in the 7/7 challenge, so I decided to share a bit more from The Lokana Chronicles, this time from the second book, tentatively titled Fog of War.

Anna stumbled on a tree root.  Her backpack flew from her shoulder and landed somewhere behind her as she went sprawling forward and landed on her stomach.  Groaning, she pushed herself up slowly, rising to her feet from a squat.  She brushed the dirt and leaves from her clothes as she looked for her backpack, but it was nowhere to be found.

With no flashlight to help her see in the dark woods, she gave up on finding her backpack and took a step forward, causing her leg to throb.  She explored her leg with her fingers till she felt something sticky on her right calf – blood.  The sickly metallic scent was unmistakable.

If you’d like to join in the fun, have at it!  I can’t wait to read more excerpts. 🙂

(c) 2014.  All rights reserved.

Another writing challenge

Lipei, the woman for whom Vegin defied his parents Artwork by Hazel Butler

Lipei, the woman for whom Vegin defied his parents
Artwork by Hazel Butler

Yes, I’m doing this on my blog again instead of on Facebook like I’m supposed to.  That’s just the way I roll.

I’m a rebel, see. 😉

Okay, no I’m not – this will make its way to Facebook, probably a couple times over, even.

I was tagged by the lovely AFE Smith for this challenge, which is to share five facts about the main character of your book.  Then, of course, you have to tag five more people, and so it goes.

Fun Facts About Vegin Martoka

  1. Despite all spelling similarities to the word “vegan,” his name is pronounced differently.  It rhymes with “bacon.”
  2. Vegin is an idealist, but feels powerless to fix anything in his kingdom.
  3. His love life, however, is another story.  He fights for the right to marry the woman he loves instead of the woman his parents have chosen, and learns in the process that he’s more capable than he thinks.
  4. He shares the same desire for change as his brother-in-law, but disagrees on how to accomplish that change.  While Balil wants revolution, Vegin hopes for peaceful progress.
  5. Though he counts himself a follower of Kiala (the deity worshipped in Lokana as the Great Mother), he remains skeptical of the truth he discovers in his father’s bequest.

I’m going to make this an open tag – if you’d like to participate, have at it!  Then let me know so that I can read all about your characters. 🙂

(c) 2014.  All rights reserved.

The 7/7/7 challenge!

Vegin Artwork by Hazel Butler

Artwork by Hazel Butler

The ever-lovely Will Macmillan Jones tagged me in the 7/7 challenge (or the 7/7/7 challenge – I’ve seen it both ways).  It’s a new thing going around Facebook, where you go to the seventh page (or the seventeenth page or the seventy-seventh page) of your current WIP and share seven lines (or seven sentences, whichever you choose).  Once finished, you tag seven others to complete the challenge.

Give you one guess which WIP I’m going to quote from. 😀

From the newly-revised page seven, here’s a snippet from The Lokana Chronicles, in which the prince, Vegin, receives a history lesson from his tutor, Surat:

“Garedon was a widower early in life,” Surat began.  “The loss of his wife devastated him, for they’d been very much in love.  But when the pain of losing her began to fade, loneliness replaced it, and he sought companionship in the less reputable quarters of the city.

“One day, Misranna caught his eye.  Garedon was immediately infatuated, and soon he was sneaking off to see her at all hours of the day and night.  His father threatened to imprison him for disregarding his responsibilities, but the young prince ignored him.”

Vegin found himself wishing he’d known his great-grandfather.  It took guts to stand up to one’s parents so publicly, and he wasn’t sure he’d have had the stomach for it.  “So what happened?”

Okay, so this is nine sentences, but I couldn’t very well stop after the first line of that paragraph, and nine lines isn’t so much, is it?  Actually, I guess it’s only eight lines (but nine sentences).  So see?  It’s okay.

And now for the tagging bit!  I’ll tag AFE Smith, Kate Jack, MT McGuire, Tricia Drammeh, and Emily McKeon.  I know this is a Facebook thing, but I couldn’t resist sharing this with you, too. 🙂

(c) 2014.  All rights reserved.

WIP Blog Hop

Basically, this blog hop involves answering seven questions about my current work in progress, tagging five new participants, and linking back to the person who nominated me.  I was nominated by the lovely Tricia Drammeh, and you can find her post here. 🙂

Vegin Artwork by Hazel Butler

Artwork by Hazel Butler

1. What is the name of your character? Is he/she fictional or a historic person?
Vegin is the Crown Prince of Lokana and very much a figment of my imagination.

 2. When and where is the story set?
The story is set in the kingdom of Lokana in the present day, but present-day Lokana looks very much like the Middle Ages.  Eventually there is a small detour to Arkona, a mythical world based on our own that looks very much like present-day eastern Iowa.

 3. What should we know about him/her?
Vegin is an idealist.  He wants to improve living conditions (among other things) in his kingdom, but feels powerless to change anything.  He’s headstrong and naïve, charismatic and caring.  He tries to do the best he can with what’s at hand.

4. What is the main conflict? What messes up his/her life?
In Book One…