Thursday, October 28, 2010

Monster mash blogfest entry...

My first ever blogfest. Thank you, roh, for hosting this event! See the entry page for the details.

In the past few hours (or one hour, whatever) since my last post, I decided just to go ahead and rewrite the entry the best I could, so I could say that it was d-o-n-e before I went to bed last night. I don't feel it's as good as the last one, but I'm still at 999 words. Turn that upside-down and make this entry even more devilish!


My first coherent thought was that Lisa was too irresponsible to change Chester's litter box. Lisa, my roommate, was well-intentioned, but had the maternal instincts of a sea turtle. I could only hope that the poor cat was smart enough to direct his outrage over the messy litter at the sole human in the house that was physically capable of implementing some change there.

You know, the human that wasn't holed up against her will in a cold, moldy basement.

I honestly had no idea where I was, or how I had arrived there. I remembered walking to my car from the gym, cursing not too inaudibly about the chilly October evening and why was the parking lot for the gym so far away from the exit. Suddenly, I heard footsteps running up behind me, and the two lessons of aikido that came free with a one-year commitment at the gym just were not enough training for when my attacker pulled a canvas bag roughly over my head. I want to say I fought bravely, gave the assailant a run for his money, but since there was that suspicious time gap between walking to my car and being locked in a basement, I can’t.

The light from the full moon outside was just enough to help take in my surroundings. The basement -- and I was sure it was a basement after taking in my surroundings, having no furniture besides the cot I’d woken up on-- was not much larger than my living room. The stone walls and high, barred windows did not exactly exude hospitality.

Years of studying horror movies had prepared me for this moment. I surveyed the room for any obvious methods of escape, and crossed those off my list. A metal doorknob glimmered at the top of a rickety wooden staircase, but even if it were left unlocked, I wasn’t that stupid. In a suspenseful moment, the victim might be able to shimmy through the narrow bars six feet off the ground, only to be ambushed once she escaped.

A bang from the door upstairs startled me out of my plotting, followed by heavy footsteps ambling towards me, and I was face-to-face with my attacker for the first time.

The top half of his head was concealed by a short canvas sack, not unlike the bag he had pulled over my own head earlier. Two holes had been cut for his eyes, which gleamed yellow with their own luminescence. He was easily seven feet tall, clothed in a shirt and pants that looked pieced together from multiple garments.

I screamed when he reached for me and kicked him hard in the shins as I scrambled off the cot. The monster howled, his blackened teeth gnashing as he made a second go for my wrists. Calloused fingers threatened to crush my carpals like they were bubble wrap, and he dragged me to the top of the stairs. I screamed and kicked as we went through several hallways, trying to remember the route for escape when we reached a final door that the monster pushed open with his free hand.

What I saw was the last thing I had expected.

A ballroom opened up before us, with heavy crystal chandeliers hanging from the ceiling, their light reflecting off the polished marble floors below. Paper Halloween decorations, cutout silhouette cats and black-and-orange streamers littered the elegant room, making it look more like a high school dance than an adult dinner party. Round tables covered with dark linens dotted the perimeter of the room, while costumed party goers milled about from one end to the other. A few danced, but most chatted while they sipped on their champagne.

My captor loosened his grip on my wrist. Never one to waste an opportunity, I wriggled free and grabbed the first person who passed by me, a woman in a floor-length gown wearing a black cat masque. “Please, help me! I’ve been kidnapped!”

The woman turned to me slowly, obviously lacking the sense of urgency I was trying to incite. She gave me a once-over, and smiled. “Frank, darling, where did you find such a lovely date?” “Frank” grunted a reply from behind me.

“Date?” I exclaimed. “He abducted me out of my car! Why aren’t you calling the police?”

The woman’s amusement was getting a bit irritating. “Oh, the poor dear. Frank, is this true?”

Horrified that this was really happening, I whirled around. Frank’s head was hanging, though I couldn't see the expression on his face, the noise he made sounded like a child that had been chastised. He was...ashamed?

I looked back at the woman. “What’s going on?”

Her grin widened, her brilliant white teeth in sharp contrast to her blood red lipstick. I nearly yelped when a pair of fangs appeared in her smile. She laughed, a bell-like sound, and handed me a small orange card that she pulled from her purse. “It seems that this poor monster took our Halloween party invitation literally.”

I read the embossed black letters on the paper silently -- “Monster Mash - October 31. Trick or treat and bag yourself a date for the year’s biggest celebration!”

“Dear,” the vampire-cat woman called to a man in a black cape a dozen steps away. “Paul. Come meet Frank’s date for the evening. A human, can you imagine?”

A man in a wolf getup approached us, covered in costume fur I assumed. Only as he got closer, and the distinct but faint smell of dog hit my nose. The man’s face was elongated, and when he smiled his long canines poked from either side of his mouth.

“You’re... you’re a werewolf.” I pointed to the woman. “Those fangs are real.” I turned around to face “Frank” again. “And you’re a...”

Paul, the werewolf, chuckled. “When you figure that out, let us know. Come and join the party, love. This is, after all, the year’s one and only Monster Ball.”

Monster mash blogfest entry... coming soon. I wrote it in Google Documents and for some reason, the document only saved after the first two hundred words or so.

So bummed. :(

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Moving into the future... cyberpunk style

After finding out the story I had put my heart and soul into over the past few weeks is a near carbon copy of a Bite that was written earlier in the year, I've been more than a bit bummed out in the writing department. It was a big kick in the behind, since I really liked the voice I developed through that story.

I'm not trashing it for good, but I'm too disheartened to continue with it for now until I change a few elements... and I'm not ready to touch that yet.

Keeping up with the commitment to write every day, for the first time ever, I've been working on character sheets for a novella I'm planning to submit to Samhain's Cyberpunk anthology by February 2011. I think this is a realistic goal for me, and the characters are becoming more "alive" to me every day.

You know, for all of the two days since I conceived them.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Now-Year's Resolutions

I procrastinate. I can't help it. But even worse is when I get the drive to start something, get distracted, set it aside, and forget to come back to it.

Did that at work today a few times and each time I'm reminded how scatter-brained I am. I wish I could multitask efficiently. I love working on multiple things at the same time, hence my last post. I have three or four "babies" at a time that I'm working on, and have trouble focusing on one. The problem is, I don't finish any of them.

So on my bike ride home today, I started making a list of New Year's Resolutions. "Stop procrastinating" was at the top of the list.

Then figured that I was just procrastinating by waiting until the New Year to start, so I'm creating a list of things I'm going to start doing right freakin' away.

- Stop procrastinating!

- Exercise or be active for at least one hour a day, even if it's just walking. I take a bike in for my commute to work, half an hour each way. Easy! And on the day's I'm not commuting, well, there's plenty more I could do!

- Write at least 500 words a day, five days a week even if it's not on a story I'm trying to finish. But it has to be fiction. Blogging doesn't count.

- Read at least half an hour a day. Blogs don't count!

- Take a lunch break! I've become terrible at eating regularly now that I've been promoted at work. That 8-mile commute I did today? I did it on a banana. It's 7:30 p.m. and my only solid meal today was a banana at 5 a.m. this morning, then a tablespoon of sunflower butter before I ran back out to get some shopping done. Not good!

- Meditate regularly. I promise, Renee, it will be good for you.

Are these hard and fast rules? Is this list finite? To both of those, absolutely not. But I need it as some kind of motivation. Let's see how it goes...

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Rewriting Process

So I've come to terms with the weaknesses in my current WIP. Namely, that I want to change the target line from a Spice Brief to Nocturne Bite. Why? I just don't think it has the potential to be "spicy" enough given the amount of plot I need to weave in. I love, love Spice Briefs, but it's just not there yet.

The fact that I've committed to a story is a big step forward for me. I have about a bajillion ideas floating around in my head at a time, no fewer than three or four of those are 5,000+ word WIPs sitting in my writing folder on my desktop.

What do you prefer? Your one "baby" that you devote all your love and affection to, or are you in an open relationship with multiple WIPs at the same time?