Feeling the excitement

I’m feeling rejuvenated. I finished the edit of my Lucid Dreams short story. I had said that I was going to completely re-write it, but after printing it out and reading it out loud, I changed my mind. I used the checklist and re-edit model I received in a free online course by Joan Dempsey on my first draft. It’s a good discipline for a raw explosive writer like me.

I’m rejuvenated by comments from readers of this blog, I write about what I know, which is this new experience of writing and trying to get published. Thanks so much.

Feedback is one of the hardest responses to the stories I have submitted so far. I get encouragement but no actual critique. The responses from comments, helped me find my voice, the one I live with everyday, but somehow wasn’t showing up in my stories, but showed up in my blog.

The one professional edit I finally submitted was not the excruciating experience i expected. As well as some recent Tweets I read about agents taking a second look at some of the submissions they rejected. “Re-write, re-edit and get professional critiques of your work and try me again.” Not all agents think this way, like everything else research is key.

I’m rejuvenated by seeing my stories through critical eyes, making them better and having fun doing it. My first novels were too long, too much for a novice to plow through with an edit. Luckily, my first novel is entered in a contest and on the back burner for now. The novel I tried to re-edit recently bogged me down, but I made a good decision to start with a short story and go through the process. It took 16 hours to get through the 8000 word MS. Now I expect to spend 16 more hours effecting the changes I made.

I have to mention my support system, without them I couldn’t follow this dream of mine. My husband, my children, my sister and friends truly want me to succeed. They put up with my long hours on my blog, on my stories, and online. I do manage to feed them, wash clothes and dishes.

I’m rejuvenated because my stories are getting better, some of the early criticisms from family and friends, are making sense. The first draft edits are finding areas that need improvement and bringing up critical flaws that previously slipped by.

I’m rejuvenated because I’m finally spelling rejuvenated correctly, and because my characters have a second chance to come alive and be remembered. I’m anxious for what the future holds.

I’m rejuvenated because tomorrow, actually today, is the one year anniversary of my writing career. A year ago I sat down and spilled out the first words of my Woven In Time novel, currently in the Book Pipeline. My weblog is much younger.

I’m reading and writing trying to reach my goal of getting published in 2016. I’m rejuvenated. (whoops spelled it wrong again).

Staquard est (ch 7)

Peter knew the neighborhood well he had worked for Sean McLeod for seven years. Peter acted like James Bond, healthfully seeking — something.

A black Cruiser pulled up and three thugs jumped out. A voice from inside called.

“Bring them here, quickly! They’re coming with us.”

Peter was glad to see the face of his boss, and he seemed as pleased to see us, well, Peter anyway.

“They have Karin, our friend.” Peter said.

“I know, I was just informed. I’m sorry lad, we’re doing our best to negotiate. They want me to drop the lawsuits in exchange for her return.”

“Karin is innocent.” I cried.

“I know lass, it’s only money, my legacy, and my pride. I’m going to agree to their terms.”

“There has to be another solution.” Peter claimed.

“Peter! We can’t jeopardize Karin, these people are ruthless. They killed everyone in Plankard.”

I was dazed by what came out of my mouth. Peter looked at me and McLeod’s mouth was agape.

“Lucid, what did you say? Where the hell is Plankard?”

“Ignore me, except for the part where we don’t mess with Karin’s life. Peter you know my reality is skewed.”

Peter seemed confused, his brow was furled, and his gorgeous brown eyes cast downward. After a long moment he looked over at me.

“Seybold, you rode to Plankard with her. How do I know this?”

McLeod was astonished, enough traveling down twilight zone lane. We have a girl to rescue.

“You’re not going to let them win by giving in. Good should always outwit evil. Let’s put our heads together and if we have nothing by tomorrow morning then you’ll have to do it their way.” Peter said.

“All right lad, my men in the field will be back soon with a report. We’ll try to extract Karin, if they have a good idea of where they have her.”

“Then what?” I said. They’ll be twice as angry and no where will be safe for us.”

“She has a point.” Peter added.

“One thing at a time, we’ll have to be more careful.”

Peter looked at me into my eyes, seriously with that laser vision again.

“What’s wrong with your eyes?”

“All right, enough crazy talk, I’ve got Corned Beef Rubin’s and beer.”

That night I waited in the damp basement apartment for Peter to return. I disagreed with their mission impossible plan and decided to pout alone in the dark. Peter came in tossing the toque on the counter and attempted to hang the snuggle on the one hook in the place, but failed.

I was about to say something snarky but he came over to me and embraced me. He informed me that there was no luck in finding Karin and McLeod would meet the low life in the morning and sign the papers. Then he kissed me

“Tonight we dream together.”

“I woke in Peter’s arms, but his eyes were blue and his embrace didn’t quite engulf me as I had felt a few moments ago. I could sense the knowledge we both had of our other lives that coincided with this one. Peter Lightbringer and I were friends, very close friends without the benefits and most likely could never be lovers. The other Peter, of my waking world, had no incompatibility issues.

The strange thing was that I was quite aware of the bow that lay by my side and Peter’s intense gaze upon me. The urgency of rescuing Karin was on both our minds, but then there was Valerian, the war lord who swore he would find her. He loved her and we felt confident that he would find her.

Our task was to gather the Doktri Host and move against the Broktori who had lain seige to Staquard Estate. The other Doktri Host under the direction of Queen Seybold would attack from the East.

The scouts from The Doktri Camp at Plakard arrived with an urgent missive. Peter read it out loud.

“Karin is safe, she is back home. There will be no Broktori reinforcements from the South. I will be leading the Doktri Plakard Host, on to victory in the Barrowlands.

Your servant, Valarian.”

I embraced Peter with joy for our friend. Wondering if Peter still had memories of the waking world I asked.

“Does that mean our other Karin is also free?”

“What other Karin do you speak of?”

I wondered if I could function in this world not knowing the fate of my friend from the other world.

I picked up my bow and saw Mirro, I felt a set of eyes bearing down on me, two riders on horseback, one was Sir Dominic wh nodded, and the other was Peter who winked, and smiled.

“You do think so, you’re still with me!”

I mounted Mirro and rode off as the massive Doktri Host formed a long line of impressive warriors that reflected the radiance of the sun.

The enemy were at the gates of the Staquard Estate, there was some destruction to the outer walls of the hold but the warriors inside held off the attack. The reinforcements however, were a welcomed sight and the cheers could be clearly heard from inside the castle walls.

Some of the siege armament was turned to face the incoming host but the assault was so fast and brutal they were only able to fire a few rounds before they were overcome. A contingent of riders were seen leaving the field and the Calvary unit was quick to follow them. The men waging the siege, having lost their leaders, surrendered and made to pledge loyalty to the Varnum or die.

Lord Ulmer died under Valarian’s blade after accepting the challenge of warriors under the rules of the Elves of the Light. His Baron’s who aided him in his plot to disinherit his brother and sister were taken to the Staquard Estate and placed in the dungeon to await their trial.

A feast was held at Lord Ulmer’s former castle where Lord McLeod would set up temporary residence until the details of a new regime could be worked out. Joachim, the goat boy, sat upon the dais next to Lady McLeod, he was a beloved member of the family adopted by the ruthless Lord Richter who had a little bit of compassion in his black heart.

Karin was more beautiful than ever, having to compete with the beauty of her war lord Valerian. Peter and I embraced in our three-way tradition with Karin and discussed our futures.

Karin had the same look in her eyes that Peter had, and I imaging I had, except for that lid that slid into view as I consumed more ale.

Queen Sybold approached, and I curtsied in my most devotional manner. She came to deliver her promise to me, she had made contact with my reptilian family and I knew that was my path. I considered my love, Peter Lightbringer and wondered what I would ever do without him, then I noticed them. The Queen was staring into those blue eyes of my Peter.

It was fitting, they made a spectacular pair and I had to resolve the dilemma of my parentage. Sir Dominic was deep in his cups and I sat next to him.

“I’m leaving with Mirro, I’m going to Giliead to meet my father’s people.”

He opened his eyes in surprise. “I should have guessed. Those legs of your, well, where else would you go? Need an escort?”

“As long as you are accompaning me and not trying to figure out a way to get your horse back.”

He slapped me on the back, and my throat almost landed in the plate before me.

Peter dragged himself away from his admirer to say a few words, the man I loved but could never love.

“Dream of me.” He said.

A quick note

It’s late and I’m dropping in to say that I spent the entire day cleaning up my Novella Summer Palace to meet the guidelines for submission to PandaMoon, which came across in a Tweet, more praise for Twitter. I had to create a Q and a Synopsis, two entirely different elements of the submission process. I also worked on a cover idea, which I have not done before, I created an image for my Woven In Time story but never actually considered it a Cover Design.

I’m seriously re-thinking my Fantasy Novel I’ve been blogging, I may start over, developing new characters for a more “edgy” effect. Not sure an idea rolling around in my head.

Thanks for all the supportive comments, I relish them, they help the process forging ahead, I only hope I have some clues to share, about success, in this business.

Raining on my parade, again.

Okay, it’s not as bad as the title suggests. The good news is that I received a  notice from the Popular Fiction Short Story Contest. The bad news is that I received a “you weren’t  selected” reply. T

So, I queried four agents for my The Tea Room MS, I entered another contest and I’m still writing. I also edited the Summer Palace (the latest victim) from a 4000 word short story to a 21,000 word short story (I think it still qualifies as one).

There are several fun contests in January 2016, New Leaf is sponsoring a 100 word story with a few restrictions. I’m in the process of figuring out Tumblr, that’s where to place your entry I have twenty days to figure it out.

There was a great Tweet from an agent today, the gist was that some great MS’s get away and a second glance sometimes hits home. I would love to receive a “wait a minute, I think I will ask for a partial after all” message, that would be a boost to my plans for a stellar New Year.

I’m also reading. I finally downloaded Mistborn the Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson. I’m enjoying the main characters and so interested in this epic fantasy. He is the author who stepped in and finished The Wheel Of Time series by the late author Robert Jordan. They have a similar style of story telling.

I hope to get back to chapter six of Staquard Est, which I’m thinking of changing the title, but there are greater concerns at this point like, how the two worlds will mesh, how many words to strive for. I have been writing short stories lately, maybe this will be one, I’m already up to 6000 words. For my own records I’ll list my stories and where they stand, I know I’ve done this before, but there are a few additions and it’s therapy.

1 Woven In Time – Book Pipeline Competition March 2016

2 queries out no reply

 

2 The Tea Room – The Virginia Prize for Fiction January 2016

5 queries out no reply yet

4 Flaked Tuna – Major Re-work and Edit.

1 query out no reply yet

4 Curious Allure – Boulevard Short Story Competition March 2016

5 Summer Palace – Preparing for entry in  Short Story Competition

6 Fairview Bungalow – Fish Competition Short Story Memoir

Professional Edit.

7 Staquard Est – WIP

I found this helpful rule of thumb reference on goexpert.com.

•     Under 1000:     Flash fiction, or “short short” stories
•     1,000-7,500:     Short story
•     7,500-20,000:     Novelette
•     20,000-50,000:     Novella
•     Over 50,000:     Novel

Staquard Est (ch 6)

Peter and I walked through the park, then doubled back. We went through Robbin’s Bookstore and out the back door into the alley. Up the stairs to the Cornerstone Apartments and into the basement of Leo’s Restaurant. Karin was surprised to see us, it was hours before her day was done.

“Bad timing guys, it’s crunch time, the night crowd is about to descend upon us.”

“No problem Karin, we just wanted to see you.” Peter said.

“We’ve been out and about, but very carefully, as you can see by our incognito — ness.” Trying to keep things on the lighter side I thought I would use a word that would irk Karin.”

“See you back at the safe house.” Peter added as we left.

Once back at the apartment, my thoughts turned to Karin and hoped she’d get back soon so I could stop worrying about her. I looked over my  notes from the night before. The man sitting next to me, with the same name, was a form of the person mentioned on the paper before me. Drawing him close to me, the brakes were on, but I needed the emergency brake, because I was rolling uncontrollably downhill.

“Peter,” I began as I found his arms around me and mine clinging to him. “You know, in the movies, when the two that would be lovers find themselves alone, and the bad guys are about to discover them … this is kind of the same.”

“Oh, Luce, when are you going to admit that I’m the guy for you?”

“The other Peter, I know I love him, and don’t pinch me.” I said as I tried to scramble out of his grasp.

“You know Luce, if you had said that to me a week ago I would have been pissed off. I’m beginning to understand you, I don’t know what it means, but relax. I can wait. Tell me of what you know about this ‘dream world’ of your — of ours.”

“Peter you’re becoming more irresistible by the minute. However, my dreamworld is mimicking this one, there’s a brother and sister that have been disinherited by an attempted assassination, they killed the wrong ones. They’re hiding out trying to put together a plan while still off the radar. Like us, except we don’t have armies forming to come to our rescue.”

“Who’s the goat boy?”

“He’s the poor guy who has been working the land for his uncle all these years, while his legacy has been stolen away from him. His story ties into Lord McLeod’s but I’m not sure how. Perhaps he is another relation.”

We tried to wait up for Karin, perhaps she decided to stay at Leo’s after all. Peter snuggled in behind me, put his arms around me and whispered in my ear.

“Dream, Lucid — I’ll meet you there.”

Mirro was black as night and Sybold rode along side me on a grey charger we rode fast and hard. She didn’t say much, she stayed just as aloof as she did at the Castle. She came willingly, and was a capable companion. I was surprised to see her pull alongside me and suggested we stop for a rest. When I was about to put her off, she insisted.

As we dismounted, a group of armed warriors stepped out of the woods, I reached for my bow, Seybold stayed my arm.

“These are Drokti warriors, they are mine. This is not a friendly visit … it is a rescue. We hope we are not too late.”

I asked what had happened. She explained that the Broktori had attacked the Drokti’s Plankard realm.

“That’s Karin’s home, what are the reports?”

“We’ll retaliate and drive them out, I swear.”

The very impressive War Lord, Niverian, stepped forward and bowed before Seybold.

“Your grace, your tent is made ready, you will feast while your armor is prepared and your horse is tended.”

All of a sudden, Seybold was a princess of the realm. She seemed to elevate in status before my eyes and Niverian was as gallant and handsome as any warrior I had ever seen. I had to be nudged, severely, to get me to move. I followed them and worried about my dear friend — Karen where are you?

Hours later we approached the Plankard Drokti village. The Gimirri were ready for the conflict. The cry of the Drokti rang out and battle fever took over. I remained behind with the bow men in the second column and watched as the brave Drokti warriors went up against the barrier of enemy Gimirri. We loosed the arrows beyond our front line, reloaded and shot again. Behind us more Drokti arrived more glorious warriors that looked like gods to me. Their armor was shining, their helms were intricately decorated and their banners held proudly, it was an incredible sight.

When the village was retaken, I found Nivarian.

“Tell me of the residents of Plankard.”

His eyes told the story, they held no emotion, no sign of good news.

“They are lost?”

He took my arm and led me to a field, where all the dead were lain out, the warriors had started the ceremony of death and they were placing wreaths beside each body. He stayed with me the entire time and I thought I detected a smile when we didn’t find Karin.

“Niverian, did you know her?”

I remembered that I never did say who I was looking for, but somehow he knew.

“I knew Karin and I won’t stop until I find her.” He promised.

“I must reach Peter.” I announced.

Niverian guided me over to where Seybold had set up camp and leaned in to speak with her. Immediately, six warriors were prepared to take me back to Peter.

“They will take you safely back to your Peter, if you ever want to become one of my archers you would be most welcome, Phibian.”

“How did you know?” I asked her.

“You shoot like your father, and you have his eyes.”

“Can you ..?”

‘When this is done, I will be sure to extend your wish to see them.”

“Thank you Seybold.”

I turned back as we began to leave, and looked to Niverian. Our eyes met and I knew he would find Karin. However if he didn’t Peter and I would.

We set up camp, the six Drokti warriors and I. They were all beautiful, like Peter. They were interested in me, I bared my foot in front of the fire. I wished I hadn’t it dashed any hope of conversation, but it brought on sleep for me anyway. I felt a warm embrace and someone’s hand on my unusual foot. I opened my eyes to find Peter kneeling beside me. I kissed him and cried on his shoulder. I was lulled to sleep by his warmth.

I woke in a sweat, Peter was wide awake next to me.

“Karin, they’ve taken her. We have to find McLeod.”

He comforted me as I cried.