Tag Archives: peek inside

Defamiliarization?

My fiction class has been fun and educational! One of the best workshops was about de-familiarization. This is all about taking ordinary things and making them extraordinary. It’s kind of like when you are driving on an east bound road at sunrise, and suddenly the back sides of the street signs are transformed into something you have never seen before, bathed in an ethereal orange glow. Here’s my shot at it! Enjoy!

Ink Magic

“Kaydan, Kaydan, move,” The Zoran’s voice pulled Kaydan out of her trance and she sat up, pushing her hair out of her eyes.

“What?”

The Zoran chuckled. “Kaydan, here move,” she said as her hands repositioned Kaydan’s shoulder and legs. “Ready?” she asked holding up the tattoo machine. The machine started buzzing, and the Zoran touched the needle to Kaydan’s shoulder. She squeezed her eyes shut against the pain and took a shallow breath inhaling the earthy smell of the incense burning around her, and let it out slowly through her nose. She let the pressure of the needle, the heat from the lamp on her skin and the buzz of the machine lull her back into a trance. Kaydan searched her memories to help her get through the tattooing.

She thought about how she had escaped from the army before finally making it to the Zoran’s village. The big man they called Hamlin had left her alone in his musty tent. She sat on the canvas floor, and took a long deep breath. She needed to reassess her situation, the mission was too important to give up or panic.

Hamlin had done nothing more than scream obscenities at her, as if that would get her to confess secret information. What she could tell him would mean nothing to him even if she did spill it. The coded message for the Zoran didn’t mean much to her either.
Kaydan needed to focus on escaping. She called her power to her and felt it glowing inside her chest. She pictured heat radiating down her arm and out to her fingertips and into a consolidated flame. She sent cool, wet wind down her other arm. She touched the tiny flame to back of the tent, while using the cool wet wind to keep the fire focused and controlled. It only took seconds, and then she ran through the dark forest. She called her power one more time and sent comforting warmth over her entire body, willing the power to turn eyes from her, so she would not be seen. The power would only last a few minutes, but she would need it to get past the sentries.
They had surprised her in the forest when she first came upon the army. She had not seen them in their suites covering them in the dark green of forest shadow then, but she picked them out now as she ran by them, protected by magic.

Kaydan opened her eyes to the Zoran patting her shoulder with a soft towel. Kadan looked up at her, “Why are you stopping?”

“I think you’ve had enough for one sitting. You need a break.”

“No, no. We have to get this done. I’m fine.”

“Kaydan, your magic started to flare; that’s dangerous.”

Kaydan shook her head. “The memory held magic. I won’t pick one like that again. I’m sorry, but that army is too close. We have to get this done.”

The Zoran sighed. “Ok. Let’s go.” She repositioned Kaydan on the table, and the buzzing began.

Gem grunted and grabbed Kaydan’s upper arm and pulled her up the last flight of stairs and into a candlelit room. The Headmaster sat behind a large oak desk. Kaydan folded her hands behind her back and stood very still.

The old man opened his mouth, “Ahh, there you are.”

“Yes sir.” Kaydan gave a small curtsy.

“I’m sure you are wondering why you are here.”

“Yes sir.”

“Gem tells me that your training has advanced nicely since you decided to start taking it seriously, and stop causing trouble. Can I safely assume that you are indeed taking this seriously and not planning some major plan to over throw the establishment?”

“No, sir, I mean yes sir. I mean, I am taking it seriously.”

The old man nodded and took a moment to truly look at Kaydan, causing Kaydan to become all the more nervous and uncertain. “Well, Gem, you are right, we have no choice.” The old man gave a nod to Gem, and Gem nodded back then turned to Kaydan.

“We have a mission that we must send you on.”

“What?”

“You are to leave now and travel until you reach Brampton village.”

Kayden interrupted, “What? Leave the school?”

“This is important, listen. War is imminent. We cannot afford to risk the school.”
Kayden shook her head. What Gem said did not make any sense. But still, Gem continued. “This is important,” she said firmly, slamming her hand palm down on the Headmaster’s desk. “You have to take this message to the Zoran.”

Kaydan jumped and opened her eyes.

“What?” The Zoran asked.

Kaydan shook her head. “It’s the memory. This last one seemed very real.”

“Hmm. That can happen. It means the magic will be strong. We need strong.” She turned Kaydan around. “I need to do your chest now for the head. This part will take a while, it will be painful, but it is very important.”

They put a gun to her head, the click echoed as the soldier readied the weapon. Dark green, almost black garments wrapped the soldiers from head to toe. They faded into the shadows of the trees, hidden. Others materialized, calling to each other; Blake, Scooter, Trent, Rylie. Take her to Hamlin. Is she one of them? Cut the chatter. Who bagged her? Cipher. He’s quick on the draw. I said cut it. Hamlin wants her. They shoved her around, hands pulling her through the woods, leaves crunching kicking up damp smells, knees pushed into the damp dirt, a tall figure looming over. He pulled his head gear off, eyes like cutting diamonds. What is it? You smell like witch. Witch, spy, slut, dog, beneath me, waste of time. We can just kill her now. Hamlin said no, take her to his tent. He leaned in toward Kaydan. She could smell garlic on his breath and sweat. How could he smell her through that? How did a witch smell like worse than that? She didn’t ask; she knew better. Cipher pulled her away and shoved her in the tent. He warned her with a look.

The Zoran gently shook her awake. “I’m done.”

Kaydan sat up and wiped sleep from her eyes. “I fell asleep.”

“Should I have stopped?”

“No. Is it really done?”

The Zoran nodded and handed Kaydan a mirror. She looked into it at the dragon head asleep on her chest. The green of the scales shimmered in the light as she moved; perfect. Kadan stood and used the mirror along with another hanging on the wall to see most of the back. The dragon wrapped around her shoulders, down her spine, and curled around her legs. The wings rested along her spine. “Wow.”

“Yes, wow, but now you need to rest for real. This must have taken a lot out of you.”

Kaydan started to protest, but Gem had drilled health and mental awareness so often; she could not ignore her exhaustion. She nodded. “You’re right.”

“Glad you finally realize that.” She laughed gently as she spoke, and Kaydan couldn’t help but smile.

Yelling woke her, and then she smelled smoke, burning. Someone screamed. It sounded like the Zoran, and Kaydan ran for the front door. Hamlin stood in the road looking down at the Zoran, who had been shoved down in front of him. One of his men hit her with the butt of his gun and she fell to the ground. Kaydan ran to her. “No!”

“Ah, here is the little witch-dog that got away. Cipher can finish you off, now.”

Kaydan looked up at the smug look on Hamlin’s face. Someone grabbed her by the arm pulling her away from the Zoran. She tried to struggle away from the man, tried to call her magic. She wanted revenge. They should never have touched the Zoran; she is sacred.

Hamlin laughed. “You are not getting away this time witch. Your magic will not help with a bullet in your head.” Kaydan glared at him. His eyebrows pinched together and he leaned forward. “I’m going to slaughter you and every dog like you. I’m going to wipe out all the scum-witches. Put her on the ground.” The soldier shoved her down and Hamlin started pulling his gun around from his back.

Kadan stilled herself, took a breath. She couldn’t do it for revenge or spite or even her own personal protection, but she could do it to save her people. She suffered hours under the needle for one reason, this reason. The message she gave the Zoran was not a coded warning, it was a prophecy. Kaydan would fulfill that prophecy for her people. She called her magic to her and pushed it into the creature on her back and chest. The power pushed her forward as the dragon pulled off her back. The tail slid around her leg and the wings pushed off of her shoulder. She looked up and watched her beast beating leathery wings into the sky.

The soldiers shot their weapons at it, but bullets cannot hurt what is made of pure magic and will. The dragon banked and soared toward them. Kaydan covered her head and felt the heat of fire the dragon breathed over the army. Hamlin, Cipher and the others ran, but Kaydan watched the green flames of her beast take them down.

Afterwards, the dragon found her and rested again across her back. She looked down to see the dragon’s head resting on her chest again. A small drop of blood dripped from his mouth.

She could pay this price.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under authors, characters, creative, dark fantasy, editing, education, fiction, fun, inspiration, learning, school, short story, Uncategorized, witch, writing

Beta-reading Bliss!

Here’s part 2 of Facebook Lives… I just finished beta-reading a novel by another one of the Authors Critique Group writers. He is also in the process of beta-reading my novel, Summer Blood. I can’t wait for the feedback! In the meantime, I thought I should write a bit about his story.

It was an inventive look at wizards called Foundling Wizard. The first in a 3 part series, I believe. The author is James Eggebeen. James is a software designer from San Diego, California who has turned to designing books.

Foundling Wizard, to be released soon, is about a young wizard’s journey and how he learns and grows. He not only learns to use his powers, but also learns about life and responsibility. The journey is exciting and fraught with danger. The wizard comes to know himself and others in his journey, and yes, he has a mentor, a snarky old wizard that doesn’t always tell him everything he needs to know.

I also got a sneak-peek at the book cover which is startlingly beautiful. With the great cover and fresh writing, Foundling Wizard stands to be a success, so keep your eyes out for it!

For more on Foundling Wizard: http://www.jameseggebeen.com/

Follow James Eggebeen at:  @JamesEggebeen

1 Comment

Filed under authors, characters, creative, e-book, fiction, names, review, tweet, Uncategorized, writing

My characters are hi-jacking my brain!

I just finished editing my first novel, Summer Blood, and I’m discovering that the characters are not finished with me!  I can’t stop thinking about them. When I drive to work in the morning, they start having conversations and doing things… I think that means I need a sequel… hmm.

It is an odd sensation. I thought I would be starting a new project by now, but I can’t let these guys go yet. Their story isn’t finished.

Summer Blood is about two wicked and powerful vampires that find love and their humanity when they kidnap a strangely attractive human – until their makers step in and change everything!

Gwinafel O’Dale is a sexy, flirty, and very tough vampire. She kicks ass or kisses it on her own whim.  She meets Tobia. He’s the broody dark one that hates himself.  Their relationship causes them to grow up a bit. She finds she can make a commitment past a few hours and he learns he doesn’t have to cast a gloomy shadow over everything in his life. Then they meet Matthew.

Matthew is an enigma. Gwinafel is drawn to him in a supernatural way… 

That’s all I get to tell you!!  I hate spoilers! But, I hope you’ll be interested in finding out more about these characters from the Desolate Incubus series. Summer Blood will be the 2nd installment.  I’m going to release Blood Pact, The Desolate Incubus Histories first.  

I had to cut a lot of juicy material out of Summer Blood, and it will end up in Blood Pact.  Yes, I do mean juicy!

So, I’m excited about these characters!  I hope others will be too… and I hope I can write enough about them so they’ll get out of my head.

3 Comments

Filed under authors, characters, creative, e-book, fiction, horror, inspiration, review, Uncategorized, writing

In search of Trailers

So, I have content, a story, nearly completed. What next? I’m starting to think about some of the marketing aspects of writing. What do I need to do to promote the book?

I started looking at other writers’ websites, blogs, book covers and trailers. Yes, trailers. Authors are now making video trailers for their books. I’ve seen some really good ones out there too. I’ll post some of my fav’s (their books are awesome also!):

This one has several on one page. A different trailer for each book. Each one has a different feel that represents the different styles of the novels.  http://www.smreine.com/ 

This one has one trailer that shows all of her work. It is a little longer and a bit different, but visually, it is very distinctive. http://www.penelopefletcher.co.uk/video

This one is really cool; she actually did the animation and recorded the music herself… very talented:  http://maggiestiefvater.com/

So, that kind of gives a brief  idea of some great video trailers, and gives me a high bar to measure up to!  (Kudos ladies!) 

So, I’ll be thinking about what I can do for a trailer over the next few months (wish me luck).  I need to have good images that represent my story. I also need great music that has inspired me while writing. Then, I need some text to explain my story without giving too much away, but enticing the public to read my book.

This is going to be a fun challenge!

Leave a comment

Filed under authors, characters, creative, e-book, fiction, inspiration, tweet, Uncategorized, writing

I have sales!! Woot!

Woot! It really isn’t much, but the fact that I have sales is really exciting! It means that there are a few people out there that actually purchased my writing for the first time ever AND it is more than just my family! 

In this new journey to become a real author, I published a book of seven short stories called, Stories to Fight Demons By. These are twisted/surreal stories about different kinds of demons; perfect for Halloween! You can purchase this on Amazon or B&N.  I’ll include the links here:

http://www.amazon.com/Stories-Fight-Demons-ebook/dp/B004RH3T46/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1319329943&sr=8-1

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/stories-to-fight-demons-by-sherri-jordan-asble/1030426408?ean=2940012183842&itm=1&usri=sherri%2bjordan-asble

I hope those that purchased the book liked it. I don’t have any reviews on Amazon or B&N yet, but I’m hoping I’ll get one. So, if you purchased the book and are reading this… hint, hint!

I also have a teaser for my first novel posted on my website and a plug for it in the back of  Stories. Website:

http://sjordanasble.com/Page_2.html

So, this is truly another awesome step forward in my writing journey. I hope that others will celebrate with me – go ahead, raise your hand in the air and give me a “Woot!”

4 Comments

Filed under authors, characters, creative, e-book, fiction, Halloween, horror, inspiration, sci-fi, short story, survey, technology, tweet, Uncategorized, writing

good reading = good writing

I’ve noticed that I tend to write better when I’ve been reading really great books! So, as part of my writing  journey, I thought I should mention and share some of what I’ve been reading. I’ve posted a few book reviews on my website that you may want to check out…

http://sjordanasble.com/Books__Reviews___Links.html

I’m also going to share the latest awesome book I’ve read, Blood Song by Cat Adams. This was a fast read. I read the book in a day and a half and I cannot wait for the sequel.  The book is about a tough body-guard who is half turned into a vampire (yes only 1/2 way!) It is partially a mystery to find out who did

 this to her and why, part kick ass vampire book, and there is a nice little surprise twist at the end leaving the reading drooling for the sequel.  The author’s style of writing is easy flowing, easy to read, and gets your attention quick and keeps it.  I highly recommend it and rate it 4 1/2 out of 5 stars. I have to take off 1/2 a point because she had so many characters in the book that I lost track a couple of times.  I had to say, “Who? Who was that?” a couple of times.  Otherwise, excellent read!

So, these are the awesome books that I’ve been reading lately. You can enjoy them to and hopefully, see their influence positively reflecting in my writing.

2 Comments

Filed under authors, characters, creative, e-book, fiction, horror, inspiration, short story, survey, technology, tweet, Uncategorized, writing

Facing the Challenges

I started writing this blog to document and share my experiences with writing/publishing.  So, I thought I’d take a minute or two to hash out some of the challenges I’m dealing with at this stage…

One of the most difficult and challenging parts of writing fiction is coming up with the names for my characters. I want the names to be appropriate to the character. The name has to fit. If  I have the wrong name, it doesn’t work well. Sometimes it is very difficult. Sometimes it comes easy. It is also a lot of fun. It is part of creating that character. What is that person like? What are their idiosyncracies? What makes that person who that person is? There are times when that is really hard, especially when that person is an alien or is alien like. It is also difficult when you try to name someone within a historic context. If this character comes from ancient Ireland, they can’t be named Fred, right?!

The other big challenge hitting me right now is getting stuck on little things. I keep getting stopped flat by small things that might not even matter, but I get so hung up on them, that I can’t move forward.  This is what I was stuck on this week:

*A different word for canteen.
*Where did I put my notes on a different story entirely than the one I’m trying to work on.
*I needed to buy a new cushion for my chair in my office where I write

Seems like small things, but I’ve wasted a long of time on these things! Gave up on the thesaurus problem, finally found my notes, and bought a seat cushion (on sale at Kohls!) So, now I’m ready to write… what am I working on today?

I need to do some yoga and focus!!

1 Comment

Filed under authors, characters, creative, e-book, fiction, horror, inspiration, short story, Uncategorized, writing