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witch which is which.

in which we have a snippet:

 

Fig’s foot is wet with blood. I pull his sock off, and grab at the hem of Yegor’s dress, I tug and tug until the fabric gives and then I’ve got a bandage. “Pressure will help but if you got broke bones then -“

He covers his mouth with his hand, wincing as I tug on the fabric, make a knot, tucking the ends under so it won’t come loose. “I’ll just slow you down.”

I shake my head. “It’s okay, Fig.” But it’s not and he knows it.

“I wasn’t lying when I said you kill me if you want.”

His hair’s a tangle and there’s still water in the corners of his eyes.  I don’t apologize for falling asleep. For saying one thing, then doing the other. “Not a thing I’m doing. Witch’ll help.” I’d seen Yegor heal up worse.

“Ain’t a worse thing than witch,” Fig says in a sigh and I almost backhand him for being stupider than I thought possible.

“Witch might mean I don’t need to change your name to Lefty McHobbleston.”

“Lefty McHobbleston?”

I throw up my hands. “You scare me half to death again and I will leave you strung upside down in a tree with a note on your chest that’s all recommendations about what you’re good for. Understood?”

Fig nods. “Help me up?”

It’s still dark, maybe there’s enough heat the in the fire to start it up again.

I guess when I promised him I wouldn’t kill him, I should have clarified on purpose.

in which i complicate matters

here’s the thing, I like writing first drafts. I like stories, I like being told them, and I like telling them. Second drafts, third drafts, they’re all about fixing the story, and I don’t like them as much. I find it laborious and frustrating. Perhaps (probably) because the fixes are more craft than inspiration. Mostly, they are perspiration.  Editing tells me what I’m missing, reminds me what I need to add in, it challenges me on the characters I’ve built: do I know enough of who they are?

In truth, I don’t. I never do. I think of characters like people. I will never know the whole of who you are. In first drafts, characters surprise me. They come out of the wood work and stand there, on their awkward legs and introduce themselves and tell me a thing, or don’t, about who they are and what they want.

I know people that can mold characters into who they need to serve a purpose. I suppose my subconscious does that, but it’s definitely not happening in my forebrain. That is one of the reasons why I’m such a crappy outliner.

I wrote a framing statement for The Mourning Wolves, that was something like “in the County of Witchare, Sunday Mourning must join forces with a local wolf hunter to save the city” (it’s better than that, but I don’t have it here with me, so please just play along!).

Now that I’m writing it, however, I don’t even know if Sunday Mourning will show up. (I think Sunday Mourning is a great/hilarious name for an Urban Fantasy Heroinne, ps.) Right now, my main character is Ash, whose lover was killed by Salamander, a rogue werewolf hell-bent on destroying the county of Witchare, so he can then own the city of Saint Ailby.  Ash is on the hunt for a witch to help her both interpret the marks she found in the abandoned house she crashed in, and help her with her anti-wolf weapons arsenal.

(there’s also a second story line about Jessie and Oleander, these kids that are just trying to get by, and Paja who is half healed from a werewolf attack and, of course, Salamander. Also, who names a murderous werewolf Salamander? OH WAIT, I DO!)

so, there’s Ash, all independent and grr and lone-wolfish, who sets out from her crash house to search for this witch dude she heard was around somewhere and not but five minutes out she runs into this kid, Fig, who is wandering about looking for food and water.

He also might be a werewolf.

What the hell happened to Sunday Mourning?

I HAVE NO IDEA.

Maybe Sunday is the witch dude? Maybe it’s just a delicious post dinner snack in the summer time? I got nothing.

All I know is that there is no point in me planning because whatever pre-work I put down on paper will be a giant fat lie within twenty minutes.

anyway, I guess I’m writing a novel about a 18ish year old (I’m always super bad at deciding specific ages for my characters, too. I’d rather know how they think and feel*) who decides, against her better judgement to protect a thirteen year old maybe-werewolf.

at least i’m keeping with my theme of makeshift, chosen families. That shit never gets old.

*yes, I know, thinking and feeling is inspired by our age, too.  Anyway. *hand waves*

 

more snippets: the mourning wolves

I hold the door open, Fig slips under the crook of my arm. The marks on the porch don’t trigger, wherever the witch went, she took their magic. Fig steps in and looks up, way up at the high ceilings. He turns his bag around front, but doesn’t let it go, hugs it like that, like safety.

“Bathroom’s upstairs.” I point, waving my finger.

“It’s okay?”

I nod. “It’s okay.” Except I can’t guarantee that. I reach back, scratch at my spine. Things are crawling, like a warning. Sun’s down but the moon is quiet. “Your brother, he turn?”

Fig bites at his lip, dragging a tooth along the dried, cracked skin. There’s blood, a single drop he cleans up with his tongue. “Not full.”

Not full. Halfling, half-Moon, the worst and the kindest, both. “What about you?” Because I can’t ignore the warning in my bones.

“Don’t know yet,” Fig says, so honest my chest seizes up. “You kill me, you want.” His eyes, his ridiculous blue eyes are all water.

“Go upstairs,” I say, waving him off. “Get washed up. I’ll start a fire.”

He pauses, two seconds like he’s making sure what I’m saying isn’t lying, isn’t trying to catch him up, get him off guard.

“Go,” I say and the back of my neck is warm and I should open his heart, and he knows it and I know it.

But he’s just a kid.

And I can’t.

enter title here.

the title of the book is The Mourning Wolves – there’s a reason for this, my MC/protag, gender TBD however leaning female, at least in theory, was supposed to be named Sunday Mourning, now, at around 5K, her name is Ash and she’s met a kid named Fig, and suddenly my solo-artist has turned into a duo or group. It’s fun to write, and makes me happy and is, on some level my Little Red Riding Hood book, which means I’m covering all kinds of tales, here.

Still not sure who Sunday Mourning is, but maybe she’s the wolf-hunter that Ash meets up with later, I’m sure my subconscious will tell me (or not), because she’s good at that (hardly).

I woke up this morning at 5am, for no particular reason, if you don’t count the 2 hour sleep I had between 5 and 7pm, and maybe the magnesium that I’ve started taking before bed for sleep and the spin class that turned me into a jelly fish. Not the scary kind either, the cute cartoon kind that just sort of flop around and look ridiculous.

I got ready before my alarm was set to go off, I wrote almost 600 words and ate a scone with devon cream and drank coffee from a local roaster. I did a couple of dishes and packed my lunch and had a chat with Dexter.

now I’m at work, and in 15 minutes, I will have, essentially, been working or commuting or doing a Thing for 4.5 hours. Six hours from now I’ll go to spin class and make dinner and maybe watch a Mr Robot with the feller, and then at 10pm I’ll probably fall over from snoozings.

Tomorrow I probably won’t randomly wake up at 5am, but for today it was good that I did.

 

 

 

The Mourning Wolves/snippet

I’m supposed to be working on the book that’s 30K, not the one that’s barely 2K, but let’s stop pretending I’m in charge around here:

I hold my knife in my left hand and throw it as hard as I can. A whistle, the vibration, the sound of wood, splitting. It’s all just practice, I’m not ambidextrous. I remember you and I, we went into the woods and shot at beer bottles and tin plates.

You were so beautiful before the Moon ripped out your throat, before you bled to death in my arms.

I guess Ash laments.  Death will do that.

i made thinkings

as a short story, The Mourning Wolves is a meagre couple thousand words. It doesn’t really do much except introduce three characters in three different spaces worried about three different, but also the same things.  I moved pieces around and turned the first three scenes into three chapters, ASH,  PAJA, SALAMANDER.

Ash, so far, is the protag, Paja is someone else. Antag, protag both.  Salamander is my bad boy, or he might be a bad girl or maybe it doesn’t matter, maybe that’s Ash, too. Ash tells me gender doesn’t matter, but writing agender, or gender-fluid is a huge undertaking, or feels that way. I’m such an average, middle class cis-gendered, middle-aged white lady.  When I think about writing what I know, which is an old acorn and not necessarily true, or even good advice (except when it is), I want to write not about what I know, but about who I know, my trans* friends, the folks I know, or will know who don’t consider themselves binary, my gay and lesbian friends and my straight cis-friends. My bi-friends.  But good gods I don’t want to screw it up, either.  I want the world I’m writing about to reflect the one I live in, which is the same one I lived in when I was small. Except in many ways this one is so, so much better, which doesn’t always say much.

in the untitled Gingerbread project, my MCs are ace (asexual) and bi, and they are in a relationship with each other, and it is heteroromantic, and it is not sexual, and it’s poly,  too, and I’m not sure I got it right, but I’m trying. I read a lot, through asexuality.org and utilized my friend google, and I’m not sure if there’s enough identification within the book, because i want it to be clear. So that’s a note-to-self. I want the reader to know who Haven and Quince are, both to themselves and to each other. Gingerbread is a relationship book; if I did what I set out to do, it’s about Haven and Quince and their little brother growing up, it’s about Haven finding a father, it’s about sacrifice and letting go.

I’m not sure it’s there yet, but the mss is with some very smart people and they will tell me.

I think The Mourning Wolves is my loner book, although so is Ellis, maybe.  Maybe also is Three-Tenths, Nine-Tenths, the languishing werewolf/baba-yaga book (oh, great, now i have TWO werewolf books. I’m using up all my themes in theme parks, here) that i think about finishing, sometimes.

I need a name for a diner.

I just started watching Dominion. Hot dudes that happen to be angels. It’s like I signed the cheque on this thing.

just a note about at things, lists or something

this is what is happening in my head right now:

  • more research on the Rosicrucians, specifically from a symbolism point of view
  • sub rosa: under the rose, flower symbols, mythology and what that might look like/how also: thorns (see above: Rosicrucians, the Rosy Cross)
  • tarot: the Temperance card (Rider/Waite deck)
  • my favourite: the unicursal hexagram
  • Willow Trees: serpent/grief & death (also Salix, also calligraphy ink)
  • Altor
  • Crowley/Thelema, LaVey, still might be a book in there, somewhere, but I have two others to write first
  • Scene structure, character motivation/action: spear carriers VS full-fledged, what does that look like, should it, might? who knows.

anyway, this book I’m writing is really nifty. I have such affection for it.

a draft, like a breeze coming in through the cracks in the walls.

So I started Gingerbread in May 2014.  About six months later, maybe more, it became The Place Where We Belong, but now it’s the GingerbreadProject because I haven’t found a title for it yet and for me, no title is better than wrong title.  I seem to have started this project in May of 2014, the file that I have from that date is about 16K and most of it doesn’t exist in the current draft. Versions, sure,  looking a bit like twins separated at birth who go on to live separate lives, but there are huge chunks that just got caught away.

I finished the zero draft, which I’d written out of order in bits and pieces (I’m also working on short fiction as the mood strikes), on March 19, 2015, and yesterday the book that I’d cobbled together and had to almost entirely re-write,  is now a magical first draft, at 57,000 words.  3 months isn’t so bad, and it showed me a thing or two about who I am and how I work.  I’ve written my whole life, and although I don’t know if trying to have a novel published is a thing I want, I also don’t know if it’s a thing I don’t want, which puts me in a unique place in my own head. I think it is. But I also know it’s not a thing I’m hitching my wagon to.  I will be okay, either way.

I do think that I have a unique voice, and I’m proud of my little book and I want to be part of the voice of writers that write about diversity and inclusiveness, and I want to be part of that movement. I might be a super white cis-gendered yuppy, but I know how much it hurts when the people around you don’t feel you have value.  I know how hard people will work at trying to convince you (us. me.)  it’s true.  I want to tell a different story.

I found this image today, and it’s amazing:

alchemical rosicrucian

 

The flowers, the crown. Crown for the Blood King and flowers for the garden of Eden. Not canonical, of course, but I have borrowed so many small things from the Order of the Golden Dawn, and the Voynich MSS, that this combination, just makes me happy.  There’s a part of the book where the MC, Haven, is looking at tapestries on the second floor of the Blood House, and I suspect this one will be there, hanging outside the Rose Room, where Haven first meets the Blood King.  It’s interesting that it popped up after I’d spent half the morning looking at the tattoos of Kristen Holliday (which are amazing, btw), because the flowers and crown would look so, so beautiful in ink (I mean seriously, look at those tattoos!).  Jamie Lee Moyer tumbled the link to Kristen’s blog, and yay for tumbler (And Jamie!)

So,  now I’m thinking about all of this again, all of this magical mystical business. I’m not a scholar, and I never have been, so the chance of me writing some complex thing is very, very unlikely.  I always wonder why we can’t have books in which people just sit about and drink tea.

:)

 

 

this is why we edit: a snippet

because, kids. This? Makes no effin’ sense, and i know what it’s about!

The Blood King came in a shadow, somehow the moon, what it cast of light, or didn’t. Silvered and marked, dust and ash, full above my head, I leaned back, looked up. So many stars, flickering twinkle of light, a hundred wishes made, snuffed out. I’d been sitting for an hour, more than an hour, making up minutes. Making up time.

I have seen the future and this is how it will end.

“And the girl, Bonnie Lint? From my perspective the Crimson are really good at making people believe they’re going to live forever but they’re shit at keeping them alive.”

(I’ll miss you when I’m gone.)

The Blood King traced the back of his right hand with the tip of his finger. There were tattoos there, too, his flesh marked by a dial, like a mandala or a wheel. Ink the rust of henna. The skin looked stained, as if the ink were rubbed in instead of tattooed. There were uneven shapes in the centre of the mark; they looked like pieces of torn paper, shaded the blue of faded denim, circled by tiny letters, words too small to read, symbols I didn’t recognize. A language I didn’t know. It looked like the page of a book, or pieces of it. A pinwheel of stars fanned out. Deliberate scatter.

A second trail of stars marked his wrist, marching a path along his forearm. It was as if the whole of the sky, of heaven and earth, had marked him.

“You’re right.”

I jerked my head, squinting at him. “I am?”

“Yes. Emeric was mine to keep to safe and I did not keep him safe and now he is gone down to bone and feathers.”

Lark. Anomaly. “I thought -“

“That I would give you the satisfaction of argument?” The Blood King sighed and pushed his fingers through the dark of his hair. “It’s too late for that. Your brother is Awakening. When eyes of the Bene Elohim open, the Knock use their claws to blind them.”

House of Feather. House of Claw. “The Knock told me who they are, and they told about the Lark and she,” I pointed at Caoimhe, “told me that your pathetic fucking lunchbag is Lark. Everything Terror is, is your fault. You did this to him.”

The Blood King got quiet then, his voice barely a whisper. “There are things you do not understand Haven. His name is Min and he was Mine long before you were born and will be Mine long after you are bone and dust.  You will respect that, and you will respect him or I will make your body a book of blood and etch the truth of your brother’s story on your skin and leave you lifeless.” A vein in his neck throbbed, and blood pooled in his eyes like tears. “Do I make myself clear?”

Do not trust him.     

But I wasn’t crystal and I didn’t break easy. I leaned in, close and closer. “Fuck. You.”

The Blood King opened his mouth and it was all teeth.

“Haven!” Caoimhe screamed my name as the Blood King’s body flew and impacted with my own. I staggered back, the force of the blow sent me flying, airborne, I felt a rush of blood and salt and tears as my lungs seized and my cheek smashed into the floor. I couldn’t breathe. All of the air was gone.

I gasped for breath, my hand on my chest as if I could pound the air back into my lungs. Saliva filled my mouth and I spat it out, a spot of glittering wet on the dark of the floor.

I tasted blood and my neck throbbed where he’d tried to bite me.

Caoimhe stood over my body, blocking me. I felt the Blood King’s anger, hotter than the coals that burned in the fireplace. “You touch her again and you answer to me.” Her voice was cold. Flat.

The Blood King took two steps back, turned and smashed his hand against the wall.  “She’s a fool, and she doesn’t understand.”

“She loves her brother.”

“And I loved our son.”

“So you did, my beautiful Teloch. You and I both and still we failed him.” Caoimhe bent down, brushing my hair from my face. “I apologize for my Teloch, his heart is broken.”

“So is mine,” I mumbled, pushing her away. “I want my monocle back.”

“Teloch,” Caoimhe said as she turned, still kneeling beside me she held out her hand. “Give it to me.”

The Blood King took the glass from his pocket, handing it to her. “The Knock will kill them both.”

Caoimhe nodded as she palmed the glass, then opened my hand and placed it on my palm. “And you are no better.” She swallowed. “He’s right, Haven. The Knock will try to kill you, but here,” she looked again the Blood King and her words faded away.

I held the monocle to my chest. “Teloch?” I wondered.

“Death,” she replied and I looked up at the Blood King and his eyes were red with tears.