Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Ummm... Fail.

I still exist!--I've been working on the Tower Guard program for Dragonmount and Tor books, and it's been taking up all my time, so the blog had been failing at its outset.

I definately intend to continue after the Wheel of Time release.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A Sample From 'The Daughter of Simon Foster'

I promised I'd put up a sample from the book I'm currently working on--The Daughter of Simon Foster is an Urban Epic Fantasy--which is to say a fantasy set today. Hope you enjoy--all comments are welcome, bad or good.

 “Listen to me,” Simon said quietly, but a quiet tone was all he needed to gain their undivided attention. “You know where we are about to go, and who waits within, so I will not repeat it. What I will say is this; the issues in play here are of vital importance to the security of the country. A misstep once you are inside could prove disastrous. Hold yourselves appropriately.” He nodded to reinforce his words, and saw them nod in return. Good. “One further thing, there may come a day when we must fight these people, but that day is not today. Any actions that escalate this situation will be severely punished. Is that understood?”

They all nodded once more. It was enough, so he let the matter drop and turned back to Alec. The man gave a tight nod.

“That’s it then. Let’s move.”

As Simon led the way toward the main entrance of the Hall he was once again struck by its impotence. He let none of his disdain show, however. It would doubtlessly alarm the door wardens. They stood low in the Hourglass, and from experience he knew that they were not trained in dealing with the likes of him. Rather than push them beyond what they were capable of and risk a pointless confrontation, he merely strode calmly and firmly past them, ignoring their startled calls.

He and his entourage crossed the Hall directly, and the buzz of conversation died as people recognised them. Simon chose his direction firmly; a direction he knew would take him to the Council chambers, but before they were halfway across the large room three people appeared in the archway he intended to enter. He did not attempt to brush past these Children—such as these would not be lightly shrugged aside, and he did not want to push the Hourglass too far before he knew precisely what was going on.

The bystanders were beginning to make quiet exists, though some fools paused to gawk before their friends pulled them away. Simon suppressed a sigh as he heard his name whispered. He had no desire for the fame that had come to him following the capture of Ryan Dupree. He had only ever sought to serve public interest.

That reminded him that Jaq had helped him track Dupree following the Riechler boy’s murder. He had been so proud of her in those days—prouder than she knew. That was if she even knew he had been proud at all. He dismissed that thought as he came to a stop in front of the three Children. He didn’t recognize two of them—wardens both, and well into their middle years with the cold look of professional soldiers about them—but the one in the lead was familiar to him, “Adjutant Wallace.”

“Director Foster.”

“I have come for my daughter. I believe she is here.”

A world of disapproval masked her face, but she only nodded, a quick dash of her head. “The First Seat wishes to speak to you about that.”

He blinked in surprise, and only years of hard earned self-control kept him from gaping openly. “Isaac Joyce is here?”

“He is.” A small smile lit her lips. “And he is not impressed.”

Well that comment seals it, he thought sourly. Not that Isaac’s disapproval concerned him, but for the First Seat to come personally it could only mean that the Hourglass had learnt of coldfire.

There had been something peculiar about the way Isaac Joyce had come to hold the First Seat, he recalled, and something strange about the disappearance of the old First Seat, though the specifics escaped him. Other than that, all he knew of Isaac Joyce was that the man was accounted unpredictable by the Hourglass itself, and that he was said to be young.

Wallace was waiting in silence, though there was something of pleasure about her—pleasure that he had been disturbed by Joyce’s presence? The thought annoyed him, and he did not keep the chill from his voice when he instructed her to guide him. The sour frown returned to her face, but she said nothing as she turned and stomped back the way she had come. She also had reason not to push too far.

They walked in silence through the glittering hallways, and he scarcely noticed their overwrought beauty. They encountered none of the Hourglass on their way, though several times the Field disruptor that sat in the small of his back vibrated softly as it interacted with patterns in the Field. That gave him grim pleasure, knowing what pain it would cause the Children who were maintaining those patterns.

Finally they approached a set of closed wooden doors that opened by themselves. When he and his agents came close enough a ripple passed through the air revealing the faint and blurry images of two Children standing beside either door. Shadeguards, he knew—reserved for guarding the First Seat and other key members of the Council.

Inside, eight individuals sat to one side of an oval table facing him. He recognized all but one of them, a tall woman who sat to the left of someone seated—slumped—in the chair further from him. Ignoring the woman he carefully assessed the slumped figure. Her eyes were half-lidded, and she looked ill—likely a result of the powerful Field disruptors he and his team wore. There was also a scent of disinfectant in the air that suggested she had vomited.

Ill or not, his daughter saw him and straightened herself. Cold blue eyes seared as they sought his, and he could not suppress a shiver. He had never seen such passion in his daughter—she was not, by nature, a forceful person—yet that icily furious gaze pinned him. He realised then that he had miscalculated greatly. The Hourglass had not kidnapped his daughter, had not learnt of coldfire… his daughter had fled on her own.

Perhaps she just sought healing… perhaps she knew nothing of what he had done. Those cold, cold eyes disabused him of that thought. She knew, and he would pay for it. Dear Lord in heaven, if she was here then she must know the worst of it. But did she understand? Did she know why he had done it? Why he had been forced to it?

“Jaq?” he kept his voice gentle, warm. He realised with shock that his voice was not used to that tone with her, “Jaq, why have you come here?”

Slowly, carefully, she pulled herself to her feet, bracing herself on the table, and swaying as if she might fall. Then, just as carefully, she began to make her way around the table to him. The tall woman moved a step behind her, a hand extended as if to help her, yet Jacqueline’s slow process had a degree of pride about it that forbade any assistance.

Jaq tottered towards him, and he stepped forward. She flung up a hand in an unmistakable command that he stop. She stood for a moment, swaying, looking down, then she stilled and her eyes rose to meet his. Though her face was pallid, it might as well have been carved from ice for all it showed. He felt a thrill of fear run down his back—who was this girl? This daughter of his?


She spat full in his face.

Monday, September 13, 2010

I Just Want To Sleep Now Please.

I meant to have made more blog posts by now but my weekends been insane. Work was nuts--had a woman refuse to leave the store after we'd closed, and then corner me outside after I'd left. Am now investing in a sneakoscope. Then I got to watch one of my bests mates seduce an older woman whilst I sat next to his fiancé--I was forced to clap, too, because he did it with such finesse (sorry Julia!)


That sounds evil, doesn't it? I should probably explain. That was his major work for Acting School--and it was effing brilliant. Now he's the only one of the lot I know, so I'll rave about the others for moment--though all were good, the third couple performing Savage River were excellent. The lad playing tiger played simple eagerness with a subtlety that were perfectly matched against the highly skilled cursing of the lady playing Jude. Mark that, kids--the ability to swear with skill is a highly underrated, yet vastly important skill. And you can hear when curse words sit badly upon a tongue.

The Ruby Moon performance, about parents figuring out how to mourn an abducted daughter, rang with a poignancy following young Keisha's abduction, yet the female lead broke my heart, a fact set up and based upon her male counter-part. And the second Boyce scene--the graceful carnality of Gillian so perfectly carved up the heavy material they were dealing with. But all were good. The duel scenes from Speaking in Tongues was well played side by side, all of the Savage River scenes worked together to give a view of the story. I was at no stages bored--but Dave was best. :)

I'm biased of course. And vaguely fearful of his fiancé. But I'll be damned if a pair that can combine the use of an oboe and the correct identification of caviar into a tale of cougar seduction aren't fracking talented, especially when undercutting it with the slightly morbid fascination with death. I don't claim to be some great reviewer, but God Damn!

As for today--wrote 923 words in four hours, which is a pittance to the usual three or so thousand--but they were damned hard words to write, and they're good. Which is all that matters.

Let's see... proof I done write real good for today... Umm... here is something I wrote last night at 3am, which creeps me out. It's called The Priest (and hasn't been edited).

He remembered what the priest done. Not the fiddling. Always the fucking fiddling, that was the priests sin, so they said. Bullshit. The fucking fiddling was just like every other damn thing a man can do. The sin of the priests weren’t all specific like that. They could fiddle and they could kill and they could lie like a dirt-cheap sailor. That’s the sin of the priest—they’re just fucking men saying they’re something more. You trust those fuckers, and they mess with your head. You never escape that. From then on you see the world as they want you to see it, and you ain’t never gonna break away from it. Not if they fiddle you. Not if they serve you sweet fucking wine on their knees.

You’re like that till you die. Greatest fucking thing a priest can do for you is kill you.

Done I Write Real Good? Or did I just creep the fuck out of you? :)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

What's Going On? Where Am I? Who Are You People?

I'm not really sure what is going to go down here. Writing about writing seems a little too ‘meta’ for me, but that's essentially the point of this blog. To get me up on the interweb so that all those anxious publishers who are currently sitting around chewing their nails in a sort of mystified fugue state--aware they are missing something but just not sure what it is--can find me. (That is how publishers work you see... the little voice in my head assures me of it.)

But if the idea of vile self-promotion made me consider this, what made me do it was the concept that it might actually help. Some dead white guy once said that a thought wasn't known until it was spoken, and whilst I think there are many thoughts that should have gone on unknown, perhaps writing this will teach me a thing or two. Who knows.

But I can see you glazing at the prospect of me waxing lyrical about the joys and pains of me sitting on my ass in front of a computer playing make believe, so time to drop the esoteric bullshit and get serious for a moment. Here is my mission statement to you, the reader.

1. What I promise to provide you with: Vulgarity. Honesty. Geekiness. Desperation. Not Describing the Miracle of Birth.

2. What I will speak about: What I'm reading, what I'm writing, thing's I've learnt... in fact very soon I will blog about the lessons and advice I remember from the writer based panels of WorldCon. Though, that being said, not everything will be writer related--in fact I very much doubt that's possible. Amusing anecdotes from my life will undoubtedly predominate--after all how else will you come to understand just how awesome my life is?

3. What I require from you: Unquestioning love and devotion. Also cookies would be nice.

Heh. Alrighty, just a quick bit on my writing, and then I'll go. My current book, the Daughter of Simon Foster, is an epic urban fantasy--and I mean that in genre talk, not like 'hey dude, my book is so fucking epic. You should totally read it', though I hope that there is an element of that too. In this case I was trying for something more complex within an urban fantasy setting. I'm currently on my final (final?) edit, and I'll probably share an excerpt soon. In short though, my story is about the girl who is going to destroy the world and the boys that love her along the way.

That being said, urban fantasy implies a certain something, something; so to be clear, there are no vampires or werewolves in my story--which I suspect is a fact my wallet will come to lament. As such, here is a story about zombies.

Aaron lay unmoving. His head had been split open, and Cedric stared at the rotting brain with the helpless horror of one deeply in shock. To see his friend in that condition disturbed him beyond the measure of things. A fly landed upon Aaron, and Cedric brushed it aside without thought, shuddering at the slimy feel of Aaron’s exposed brain. Then he froze; his unthinking gesture had wiped away the green rot and revealed something entirely different. Fresh brains. Gleeful, he cored the matter with his hand and stuffed it in his mouth. Today wasn’t going to entirely suck after all.

postscript: I wasn't serious about the unquestioning part. Pick the shit out of what I write, it's how I'll learn.