31 October, 2011

Happy Halloween!



Whether you're going trick-or-treating or no, I hope you all have a great October 31st!

And to the fellow NaNoWriMo participants out there: GOOD LUCK.


-----The Golden Eagle

30 October, 2011

It Snowed Yesterday. Geez.

It didn't accumulate much, and it's certainly melted away by now, but I usually think of there being more time from the start of fall to the first snow . . .

Ah well. It isn't nearly so bad that I'm going to be singing this again (that I'm reserving for March. Or even April) and a little snow in the morning looks rather pretty.



Do you get snow, and if so, have you had any yet? Do you like winter at all?


(And yes, I'm trying to come up with topics for the last stretch of NaBloWriMo. Only one day left in October, which is a fairly scary thing. Got to go work some more on my NaNoWriMo novel.)




-----The Golden Eagle

29 October, 2011

Answers To Reader Questions: Post No. 4

***My Halloween Bloghop post is below, in case you're looking for it!***

Following up on my answer HERE about college, some bloggers wanted to know more, so here we go:

Sarah Pearson asked:

What do you think you might study in college?

Science. Physics, biology, something along those lines . . . though I've thought about a lot of different possibilities. Architecture/engineering still sounds like fun.

Alex J. Cavanaugh asked:

Any colleges catch your eye yet?

Er, I haven't really looked at many--I know, I know--but as far as things look right now, I'll probably end up going to a local college.

Misha asked:

Are you planning on studying further once you're done with school?

After high school, definitely. And I'd certainly like to get a degree.

Shelly asked:

Do you believe homeschooling has made you tighter with your parents?

Parent, actually. I was adopted (don't know who my birth parents were) and my mom never married, so it's just me and her (or is it her and me?), and I do think it's made us tighter. Though I'm certain we'd be tight regardless of homeschooling. :)

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And some other catch-up things: Several people have awarded me in the past couple of weeks--just so you don't think I've forgotten, I'll be posting about them sometime early in November!

I also got a couple Google friend requests in the past month. The problem is, they only showed up once when I followed a blog, and I can't find them again; usually they come up whenever I "join" a site, visit my Follower dashboard, or check site settings. So, to the people who sent requests: I'm not ignoring you, just can't figure out how to accept! Sorry about that . . .

**********

Hope you're having a great weekend!


-----The Golden Eagle

28 October, 2011

Halloween Hop!

This bloghop is hosted by Jeremy Bates.



About:


1) Add your blog to the list below. (See linky list on Jeremy's site)
2) Over the Halloween weekend (October 28-31) visit as many of the other blogs listed below as you wish.
3) Be sure to mention your favorite monster movie or book and your Halloween costume this year.
4) If you like the blog, follow it!
5) Grab the badge here and stick it on your blog for a few weeks to spread the word! (If you scratch it, it smells like pumpkin).


My answers:


Favorite monster book: I don't actually read that many monster books; they aren't my forte, though I don't mind a few of them here and there. So if I had to pick . . . Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters by Jane Austen and Ben H. Winters.




(Ahem. I love Quirk Books . . .)

EDIT: I just remembered Rick Yancey's Monstrumologist series. Excellent, chilling books, those.


Costume: Not dressing up for Halloween this time around. I haven't in years. :P

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What's your favorite monster movie or book? Are you dressing up this year, and if so, what as?


-----The Golden Eagle

27 October, 2011

National Novel Writing Month: To Start With An Outline Or Not (+ 600 Posts!)

For participants in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), it's only 4 days away now, and as such, there's still time to plan that November novel. It may be 1700 words a day for 30 days, but there are lots of strategies for getting prepared with plot outlines, character sheets, research, and by figuring out all the details about the novel that will be written (by hook or by crook!).

On the other hand, there's the school of thought that NaNoWriMo is a month where you start utterly and  completely from scratch--you're already restricted to not writing anything before it starts (technically . . . there are "rebels", and I was one last year, who break that rule and work on something they've already begun), but some writers just plunge in without any preparation, other than an idea.


Me, I'm planning to compromise, as I find that if I think too hard about something for too long I'll drive out the enthusiasm I had for it, and if I don't plan a thing then I'll lose steam and get completely lost. At the moment I have a very rough outline, and I have character and setting inspiration, but I'm leaving a lot of room for improvisation as I go along this November.

After all, that's where a bit of the fun lies.

If you're doing NaNoWriMo, where you do fall? Plotter, pantser, in-between? What do you think is the best approach?

**********

And also, this is my 601st post! I didn't even notice until today when I glanced at the list of posts I'd published. NaBloWriMo has helped that, of course . . . and speaking of NaBloWriMo, it's almost over. Sadly.


-----The Golden Eagle

26 October, 2011

South of Charm Blog Tour: Interview With Elliot Grace

***REN3 post below, if you've come by for that.***

Today I have the honor of interviewing Elliot Grace, author of South of Charm, here on my blog.


-What inspired you to write South of Charm?
When I was still quite young, a second or third grader if memory serves, my family moved north from Sarasota, to the lesser populated Holmes County countrysides of Ohio, and roughly a mile or two south of a town called Charm.  Many have written over the years of a certain nostalgia associated with growing up in quaint mid-western towns where the grass grows a bit slower, and where the retired salesman on the corner lot, is on a first name basis with the young family of four at the end of the block.  My goal was to capture some of that rural magic from yesteryear, garnish it with a healthy dose of family dysfunction, and sit back, allowing them to figure things out on their own. 

-Are any of the events in your book based on real-life experiences?
For every event that takes place in a story, there's a spark of personal inspiration that has somehow breathed life into the words on that page, regardless of the genre or subject matter.  Danny Kaufman, the main character, is a ten year old boy whose life slowly unravels around him.  As I wrote "Charm," I held his hand and walked him through some of the tough spots in the story, for many of them were snippets of my childhood as well. Memories in need of an outlet.  The experience was refreshing for the both of us ;)

-How did you come up with the title?
"South of Charm" was actually the third title of the book.  After deciding against the previous two, my editor and I kicked around several dozen ideas before this one snuck up on me during a production meeting at work one day.  I excused myself from the room, called David from my office, whispered the words, "How about South of Charm?" into the mouthpiece, heard him squeal in delight, and returned to an otherwise forgettable meeting at the day job.  I'm a fan of titles that may or may not suggest a double meaning.  Charm is an actual place, a tiny inkblot on an atlas.  However, there are many scenes in the story that one would consider far less than charming.  It took longer to decide on the title than to write the story, but once figured out, we were confident that we'd nailed it.    

-Which authors do you think had the greatest influence in your writing, and who are your favorite writers?
As a youngster, the work of Terry Brooks and Robert Cormier kept me up way past my curfew on most nights.  I hold those two responsible for the late hours I keep, drumming the keyboard.  Along with them, John Sandford stands alone atop my favorite list of authors.

-How long have you been writing?
I wrote my first story, "Terror Castle," during Write to Read Week in elementary school.  If memory serves, it was penned in the third grade.  That book earned me a face to face meet and greet with an actual writer who visited the school, and later read my story to the entire student body.  I haven't stopped writing since.

-What do you find is the most important element of a book? Is it the plot, characters, setting, writing style, something else?
My tastes have changed with age.  There was once a time when every book I read simply had to carry me to faraway lands, mystic planets littered with evil druids, and heroes wielding swords of flame, an ancient wizard at their side for good measure.  Nowadays, it's all about the penmanship.  When I open a book for the first time, it's not the story that concerns me, but how the picture has been painted.  I wouldn't hesitate in reading a story deemed "utterly boring" by many, if the writing is a masterpiece. 

-Is there any advice you would give to other writers?
Be willing to accept criticism.  Truly listen to the advice of peers, and those who've read your work.  And lastly, remember that some of the best writers are also admitted bookworms.  There are no high dollar critique groups capable of improving one's work, like that of a good book from an excellent storyteller.

-Do you have any new projects in the works at the moment?
I'm currently several chapters into a YA novel about a group of boys up to no good in, "The Fellas."  To be quite honest though, I've recently whispered an idea past my editor that's been nipping at my train of thought over the summer.  This one's about a girl.  Her name's Derby, and to be frank, she's been keeping me up at night, desperate for attention.  This girl has quite a story to tell...I think perhaps I'll tag along for the ride ;)

**********

An excerpt from South of Charm:

We're huddled in the far corner of my bedroom. Arms wrapped around our knees in the dark. The approaching footsteps grow louder. Ominous thuds. Our mother, but somehow not. She's standing outside my door. We listen to the creak of the hinges. My sister clenches my arm. "She's coming," she whispers. "She's broken."

Links to purchase:
Kindle Edition of South of Charm
Paperback version

And if you'd like to find out more about him, Elliot Grace blogs at So close, but.... He's also hosting a giveaway, the details of which are HERE.

Thank you so much for coming by, Elliot!


-----The Golden Eagle

The Rule of Three Blogfest: Final Renaissance Story

Read the FIRST, SECOND, and THIRD entries.



A huge imbrangilae landed in the square, and several more landed in the streets, filling Renaissance with creatures practically everyone despised. More hovered above, their freezing breath chilling the air.
   “They’ll kill us,” Alejandra whispered.
   “Don’t be ridiculous,” I replied. “Killing is the least the imbrangilae could do.”
   She shook my arm.
   “Shut up!”
   “Well, you—“
   “Estant,” my father called.
   The largest imbrangilae roared.
   “I apologize for our past disregard of the treaty.”
   “You . . .” Estant rasped, in a horrible, ripping voice that should never have come from something living, “. . . have broken that treaty more times . . . than we imbrangilae remember. Your history lies in the dead . . . forms of imbrangilae . . . who we trusted to you.”
   “I know, Estant,” my father murmured.
   “Humans must pay the price . . . of their actions.”
   The crowd was quick on the uptake.
   “Kill them all!” someone shouted.
   “Burn them!” screamed another. “We won’t die!”
   “SILENCE,” boomed Estant. “Did I ever mention . . . dying?”
   “It was implied,” my father said mildly.
   “I will not have your . . . insinuations. What I propose . . . is a trade. We imbrangilae . . . want five of your . . . offspring.”
   An outraged woman cried, “They want our children?”
   “We want to train you . . . to understand us. I know we are ugly by . . . your standards. But with knowledge, perhaps . . . we can come . . . to an alliance, however tenuous.”
   “Estant,” my father said, “do you realize what you’re asking? To send children to your lairs, to live with your kind?”
   “Yes. Humans killed seventeen imbrangilae . . . in the past century. Is that not . . . fair? We would never . . . kill one of you.”
   Silence.
   “I volunteer,” I said. “I will travel to your home.”
   “You . . . volunteer?” Estant rasped.
   “I do, too,” Alejandra declared.
   “Two,” the imbrangilae said. “There must be . . . three more.”
   “We’ll go.”
   I turned to see twins emerge from the crowd, a sister and brother, identical except for a long scar down the girl’s face.
   I knew them. Outcasts, forced to scrounge in alleys for food. I’d tried to speak to them, but they’d spurned me, expecting to get bullied or tricked.
   “That will do,” Estant said. “Forget the fifth.”
   “They’ll die!” a man shouted.
   “We won’t,” I said. “We’ll be just fine with the imbrangilae.”
   “How do you know?”
   “Because I trust Nabil.”
   I don’t think he understood our speech, but Nabil shrieked.
   I smiled.
   “Then we have an agreement,” Estant roared, rearing. “You humans will . . . forget this day, as you forget . . . everything else. But there will . . . be a time when you must remember . . . and do not overlook the detail the imbrangilae could kill you all.”
   He took off.
   “Good luck, Corey!” my father shouted, as Nabil walked up.
   “Goodbye, Father.”
   I jumped onto Nabil’s back as Alejandra awkwardly hoisted herself onto another imbrangilae.
   The twins, I had to notice, were more graceful.
   Nabil lifted up and soared into the clouds, but not before I peered back down at Renaissance.
   Such a small place.
   I couldn’t wait to see the rest of the world through the imbrangilae’s eyes.


(580 words. For some reason, Word counts all the periods in the ellipses.)

Final prompts:

  1. The misfortune is resolved/accepted. (check)
  2. Relationships mend/are torn asunder.
  3. The final event becomes another secret for generations to come. (check)
  4. There is a new arrival in town.



**********


About the REN3 Blogfest:

Hosts:
Stuart Nager at Tale SpinningDamyanti Biswas at Daily (W)riteLisa Vooght at Flash FictionJC Martin at Fighter Writer.


A. What is the Rule of Three?
The “rule of three” is a principle in writing that suggests that things that come in threes are inherently funnier, more satisfying, or more effective than other numbers of things. The reader/audience of this form of text is also more likely to consume information if it is written in groups of threes. A series of three is often used to create a progression in which the tension is created, then built up, built up even more, and finally released. –Wikipedia 
B. How does the Rule of Three work in this blogfest?
The Rule of Three is a month-long fiction blogfest, where we’ve created a ‘world’, the town of Renaissance, and challenged you to create a story within it. The story will feature 3 characters of your creation, who will be showcased on your blog on 3 different Wednesdays or Thursdays, following the Rule of Three. The 4th Wednesday/Thursday posting you’ll have the culminating scene.


C. What is the Shared World of Rule of Three? Welcome to Renaissance.
Renaissance is an outpost town in the middle of nowhere, but many routes pass through or beside it. The desert is encroaching on one side (to the West), a once-lush forest lies to the East and South. A large river runs through the forest, but it is not close to the town. Mountains are to the North, far, far away, and when you look towards them you don’t know if they are an illusion or real. Closer by are the smaller hill chains that fed the mining, creating caverns and passages underground.
   The town has had a number of identities throughout its history: A trading post; a mining town; a ghost town until it was rediscovered; a thriving community; the scene of a number of great battles; the scene of one great tragedy (that led to its Ghost Town standing); a town of great joys and celebrations, and so much more. At this point in time, there is a general population of 333. A mixture of a community. It boasts families that have lived there for generations upon generations, but they are in the minority, and are not in positions of power. There are traders who have come back here, at the end of their many travails, to settle in. The new families and power-players have taken this as a last refuge for themselves, hoping to rebuild lives torn apart on the way here. Everyone has a secret. Welcome to Renaissance. Enjoy your stay.

**********

And so ends the Rule of Three Blogfest--which I'm going to miss, because I've had an awful lot of fun writing my posts this past October.


-----The Golden Eagle

25 October, 2011

Teaser Tuesday (58)

Time for Teaser Tuesday, everyone! This weekly meme is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading.

Rules for participating:


  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This week, my teaser is from Sourcery by Terry Pratchett.


"Did you do that?" he demanded.
   "Stand aside, oaf," said the wizard, three words which in the opinion of Ardrothy gave him the ongoing life expectancy of a glass cymbal.
   "I hates wizards," said Koble. "I really hates wizards. So I am going to hit you, all right?"
-p. 83

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Got a teaser, or thoughts on the book you're reading? Feel free to leave them in the comments!


-----The Golden Eagle

24 October, 2011

Casting Call Character Bloghop

This bloghop is hosted by Carrie Butler, Melodie Wright, and Lisa L. Regan.

About:



All you'll need to do is write one post (the week of the 24th) featuring a few characters from your book or WIP, using some kind of visual aid. (You're already picturing your post, aren't you?)

 Possible Ways to Participate:  
  • Photo montage - Grab photos online, and post them with small descriptions of your characters. Let's be safe/smart about this. Don't take copyrighted photos without permission, provide attribution on photos with a Creative Commons license, etc. Basically, give credit, where credit is due. I'm sure most of you do that with your posts, anyway. :)
  • Book trailer - You've seen them online, right? This is the perfect excuse to try one of your own!
  • Paintings/Drawings/Doodles on Napkins - C'mon, we won't make fun of your art skills. It's all for fun. :)
For an example, check out Melodie's photo-centric post.
 Quick Details: 
WHO: All the cool kids. (We're serious. Join us, and you'll be you cool...ish.) 
WHAT: See explanation above
WHERE: Your blog. My blog. Everyone's blog! (We hope.)
WHEN: October 24th through 28th
WHY: Because it's Campaign season, we're awesome, and we can. 'Nuff said, right?
HOW: Use the Linky List below to sign up as a participant. Come the week of the 24th, share your post, then hop around to the others. Simple, right? There'll even be a giveaway, featuring a critiquish prize!

**********

For this bloghop, I decided to post some photos and inspiration for my NaNoWriMo project. I think I may have finally decided on an idea to work with for November (hooray!), but I'm still hammering out the details, so there won't be a ton of stuff in this post.

Now, onward with the images!

First, since participants aren't limited to people, the setting of my novel. For it, Moshe Safdie's architecture has been perfect. It's exactly the kind of geometric, precise structure that I was thinking of.







Sigh. I love architecture. :)

And this little object is something that really got me thinking setting-wise:



As for my characters:

MC (Ben Barnes):



Supporting character (Alan Rickman):



Supporting character (Jeremy Irons):



Supporting character (Cate Blanchett):



And there you have my (rather short) cast. I don't want to give away much about the project, but I will say that it's going to be Science Fiction. I had thought about writing Fantasy . . . but then inspiration hit for a SF novel.

And a DISCLAIMER: All images are from Wikimedia Commons.

**********

So what about you? Who would you like cast as one of your characters--or would you want to base a character on? Any favorite architects?


-----The Golden Eagle

22 October, 2011

Answers To Reader Questions: Post No. 3

I was actually supposed to do this a week ago, but I forgot and only remembered after I'd posted last Saturday. Sorry, everyone!

Emily Rose asked:

Do you plan to home school until college? Are you taking college courses at the moment?


Yes, and no. I do plan on being homeschooled until college, unless we move to a district with really good schools or something like that, which is highly unlikely. And I'm not taking any college courses at the moment, though I have done (and am currently doing) some programs at Learner.org.





Got any other questions, bloggers?


(I really do like answering them. :) And it gives me material to post about on Saturdays for NaBloWriMo.)


-----The Golden Eagle

21 October, 2011

Third Campaigner Challenge: Show Not Tell

A long, trembling scream made me sit up and open my eyes. I’d been lying there, arms spread out, trying in vain to find something to occupy my mind.
   Cool, soft air blew a piece of hair across my face, and I looked around, eyes traveling from the gray and distant mountains to the water sliding and rushing along the black sand in front of me.
   A delicate tinge of yellow and orange showed above the mountain ridge, and I sighed, the exhalation sharp and hard enough to startle a nearby bird. It emitted another scream and launched itself into the air, wings beating in a rhythmic whump, whump, whump.
   I rubbed water off my face with the back of my hand, salt and dirt hitting my tongue. Then I started to stand, the breeze growing stronger—and suddenly my throat constricted, lungs refusing to take in any more air. I fell back and gagged, wondering what on this planet could smell so awful.
   I reached out and drew a finger through the sand. The pattern I left glowed for just second, leaving a pale afterimage when I closed my eyes.
   The smell receded, thanks to the charm, and I breathed again. I turned, and saw a brown lump on the ground a few meters away.
   It looked like a synbatec egg.
   I knew this was their home planet, and I knew they bred on the sand. But I’d only heard of them in hidden files my mentor didn’t know I could access, watched one hatching in a vid—the dark creature inside had been ugly and fascinating.
   “Tacise!”
   I turned, and saw my mentor storming toward me.
   “Did you touch it?”
   “No, why—“
   He grabs my arm. “Because synbatecs kill the nearest living thing when they hatch.”

(299 words)

**********

About this challenge:

Write a blog post in 300 words or less, excluding the title. The post can be in any format, whether flash fiction, non-fiction, humorous blog musings, poem, etc. The blog post should show:

  • that it’s morning (check)
  • that a man or a woman (or both) is at the beach (check)
  • that the MC (main character) is bored (check)
  • that something stinks behind where he/she is sitting (check)
  • that something surprising happens (check)

Just for fun, see if you can involve all five senses AND include these random words: "synbatec," "wastopaneer," and "tacise." (NB. these words are completely made up and are not intended to have any meaning other than the one you give them).

I didn't use "wastopaneer" . . . I couldn't really think of a way to get it in there and still sound natural.

**********

What do you think? How'd I do on the "show not tell"?


And if you enjoyed my entry, you can vote for it HERE: I'm #95 in the Linky List, under The Eagle's Aerial Perspective. Just click the "like" button below my link.


-----The Golden Eagle

20 October, 2011

Novel: Finito

Yes, that's right. I FINISHED MY NOVEL THIS MORNING.

Woot.


It ended up at 75,860 words, which is 15,000 less than I originally planned for.

But I like it where it is. Also, while I usually write thick first drafts, this one has a lot of stuff that needs to be added later--description, backstory, details that were perfectly clear in my mind that don't come across for the reader. Most of the reason for that is because it's largely dialogue; I would say that over 75% is just people talking to each other (hopefully in a non-boring way, of course) so it will almost definitely be thicker once I've done rewrites/revisions/edits.

Assuming I get around to those. I'd actually be pretty happy if this novel never saw the light of day again . . . it's not my most favorite project. It (I still have not come up with the right title) was good practice, though. Plus, it was my second novel of the year, and my second finished novel; I like being able to say that, yes indeed, I have written more than one book.


Anyway. Now I have to really start worrying about NaNoWriMo. I don't have a plot outline, I don't have clearly-defined characters, I don't have all the details of the world set straight. And it's only 11 days away.

Therefore, I'm paying extra attention to posts about outlining and such . . . I never had much trouble with it before, but THIS particular idea is going to challenge me plot-wise.

Time to get crackin'.

Got any plotting advice? How do you plan your stories?


***Also, I am guest posting about blogfests over at I Am Writer . . . Hear Me Roar!, and I'd love it if you hopped over to check it out.***


-----The Golden Eagle

19 October, 2011

The Rule of Three Blogfest: Third Renaissance Story

Read the first story HERE and the second HERE.


I shrieked again as another arrow hit my leg.
   “To my father’s house!” Corey shouted.
   I twisted around and looked at him. He hated his father.
   “Trust me, Nabil.”
   Fine, then.
   The humans lurched against my neck as I tore through the clouds, the freezing air enveloping the lot of us.
   “Is this creature insane?” the female screamed, and I could sense her fear.
   “Nabil always travels through the clouds!” Corey shouted back. “I don’t know why!”
   It was a short trip to Renaissance. I landed in the central square, and the people nearby screamed and ran.
   I sighed. Gone were the days when humans trusted us.
   Corey jumped off and ran toward his father’s building.
   I helped the female down my back by leaning to one side as she dismounted, earning a yelp.
   She glared at me as she marched away.
   I gave her a grin made of incisors.
   “Father!” Corey exclaimed, as his father marched out of a nearby building.
   I walked closer to my human, sending a cool breeze into the approaching man’s face.
   “Who is this girl?” he demanded.
   “Alejandra Digiovanni. Who am I addressing?”
   “Sir Anderson Pendergraft,” the man said. Then he turned to his son. “Corey, I want to know exactly what you think you were doing by running away!”
   “Having fun.”
   He glared.
   I snorted in disapproval.
   “Oh, be still, you cumbersome animal.”
   A strangely human idea, but I got the impulse to throw something at his head.
   “An army is headed this way,” the girl declared.
   “Is there?” the man asked.
   “Two thousand soldiers, at least. Your son said 333 people live here, so I would advise immediate evacuation.”
   “Miss Digiovanni, our affairs—“
   I rolled over onto my side, convulsing. A few people who’d gathered in the square hopped away, scattering like leaves.
   “Is something wrong with that animal?”
   “Um . . . are you all right, Nabil?” Corey asked.
   I grinned again. I couldn’t believe they didn’t know, when it was such common knowledge to any imbrangilae.
   “Er . . .”
   “Speak up! I will not have you mumbling like alley rubbish,” the man snapped.
   “Nabil seems to be . . . laughing.”
   “Laughing,” the female said. “Of all the things to do, that creature—“
   “Is there a reason, Father?”
   “You trust that animal more than me?”
   “Yes.”
   The man sighed.
   “Yes, there is a reason. No one can attack Renaissance,” he said.
   I got to my feet again. Now things were beginning to make sense.
   “What?” Corey demanded.
   “The imbrangilae protect it. They and the humans here made an agreement several hundred years ago that they would shelter us. No one has attacked this town in decades, hence it was never obvious to the current citizens of Renaissance.”
   “And what do the imbrangilae get in return?” my human asked.
   Silence.
   I glared at the man.
   “The humans aren’t holding up their part of the deal,” the girl offered.
   “That’s disgraceful!” Corey cried.
   “—But regardless, doesn’t anyone care about the army?” she continued.
   Corey’s father replied, “If I know the imbrangilae, they’ll have run them off by now.”
   I grunted in affirmation.
   “What’s that sound?” someone in the crowd called out.
   “It sounds like a number of imbrangilae flying toward us,” Corey said.
   The humans in the square were flustered enough, but the prospect of so many of us sent them panicking.
   “Why are they coming?” Corey shouted to his father, over the screams and yells.
   “To settle the agreement! They’ve decided it’s time we paid for not keeping our side of the bargain.”

(596 words)

This week's prompts:


  1. The impending misfortune foreshadowed in the 1st prompt comes to pass, but one or more characters laugh at it. (check)
  2. Betrayal is in the air.  (check)
  3. Relationships unravel or strengthen.
  4. A long-kept secret is revealed. (check)
**********



About the REN3 Blogfest:

Hosts:
Stuart Nager at Tale Spinning, Damyanti Biswas at Daily (W)rite, Lisa Vooght at Flash Fiction, JC Martin at Fighter Writer.


A. What is the Rule of Three?
The “rule of three” is a principle in writing that suggests that things that come in threes are inherently funnier, more satisfying, or more effective than other numbers of things. The reader/audience of this form of text is also more likely to consume information if it is written in groups of threes. A series of three is often used to create a progression in which the tension is created, then built up, built up even more, and finally released. –Wikipedia 
B. How does the Rule of Three work in this blogfest?
The Rule of Three is a month-long fiction blogfest, where we’ve created a ‘world’, the town of Renaissance, and challenged you to create a story within it. The story will feature 3 characters of your creation, who will be showcased on your blog on 3 different Wednesdays or Thursdays, following the Rule of Three. The 4th Wednesday/Thursday posting you’ll have the culminating scene.


C. What is the Shared World of Rule of Three? Welcome to Renaissance.
Renaissance is an outpost town in the middle of nowhere, but many routes pass through or beside it. The desert is encroaching on one side (to the West), a once-lush forest lies to the East and South. A large river runs through the forest, but it is not close to the town. Mountains are to the North, far, far away, and when you look towards them you don’t know if they are an illusion or real. Closer by are the smaller hill chains that fed the mining, creating caverns and passages underground.
   The town has had a number of identities throughout its history: A trading post; a mining town; a ghost town until it was rediscovered; a thriving community; the scene of a number of great battles; the scene of one great tragedy (that led to its Ghost Town standing); a town of great joys and celebrations, and so much more. At this point in time, there is a general population of 333. A mixture of a community. It boasts families that have lived there for generations upon generations, but they are in the minority, and are not in positions of power. There are traders who have come back here, at the end of their many travails, to settle in. The new families and power-players have taken this as a last refuge for themselves, hoping to rebuild lives torn apart on the way here. Everyone has a secret. Welcome to Renaissance. Enjoy your stay.

**********

What do you think of my story?


-----The Golden Eagle

18 October, 2011

Teaser Tuesday (57)

Teaser Tuesday again, everyone. This weekly meme is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading.

Rules:


  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This week, my teaser is from a book I started a while ago but never got around to actually reading beyond the first few pages. I really should read Dune, by Frank Herbert, but there are just so many other books in my TBR pile it's ridiculous . . .


She parted a jungle overlapping of leaves, looked through to the center of the room. A low fountain stood there, small with fluted lips. The rhythmic noise was a peeling, spooling arc of water falling thud-a-gallop onto the metal bowl.
-p. 70

**********

Have a teaser, or thoughts on the book you're reading? Feel free to leave them in the comments!


-----The Golden Eagle

17 October, 2011

Twilight And Tuck Everlasting: Similarities And Differences

I watched Tuck Everlasting on Saturday, since I enjoyed the book but had never seen the movie. It was okay, but the book is far better.

While I was watching it, I couldn't help but notice the number of things Tuck Everlasting and Twilight have in common.

A list of the similarities:

The families of the male main character:
Move around a lot
Live out in the woods
Avoid people
Include a mother who welcomes the idea of another family member
Include a father who is warier of other people
Include a sibling who strongly opposes telling anyone about their existence
Include a brother who is older and stronger
(In Twilight, the last two are Rosalie and Emmett; in Tuck Everlasting they're combined in Miles)

The love interests Edward and Jesse:
Are the same actual age: 104
Are the same physical age: 17
Both seem to fall instantly in love with the main character

The main character:
Parent(s) is/are in a position of authority
Feels confined

Plot-wise:
There is someone hunting the supernatural family and main character
There is a threat of death
There is a risk of the family being exposed
One of the characters/character hunting the family dies
The family leaves (this happens later in The Twilight Saga)


But where the differences end is in the female main character.

Bella Swan from Twilight decides to spend her immortal life with Edward Cullen; Winnie Foster from Tuck Everlasting turns down the chance to live with Jesse and, instead, becomes a wife and mother (according to the movie) and lives a mortal life. In addition, when the love interest leaves, the two characters respond very differently: Bella curls up and wallows in misery, while Winnie goes on with her life.

All in all, I'm a much bigger fan of Winnie Foster than I am of Bella Swan. If you ask me, she made the more down-to-earth decision by deciding to die and live without Jesse. It was a strong, independent choice, and it carries a message with it of living your life to the fullest.

Have you read/watched Twilight or Tuck Everlasting? If you read/watched both, did you notice similarities between the works? Which do you like better?


Are there any other stories that you find are similar in plot, character, and/or setting?


-----The Golden Eagle

16 October, 2011

Blog Action Day 2011: Food

This year for Blog Action Day, the topic is food.

I am proud to be taking part in Blog Action Day OCT 16 2011 www.blogactionday.org

For my post, I decided to take on the subject of food deserts.

A food desert is, according to Wikipedia:

Any area in the industrialized world where healthy, affordable food is difficult to obtain. It is prevalent in rural as well as urban areas and is most prevalent in low-socioeconomic minority communities, and is associated with a variety of diet-related health problems.

This issue strikes close to home because the town we live in is rural, and the closest city has entire neighborhoods where there are no grocery stores at all; it's actually listed on the Food Desert Locator by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The local store is around 1.5 miles away and within walkable distance. While it does sell fruits, vegetables, and other relatively-healthy foods (bread, cheese, some meat) it is problematic because a.) they hike their prices in the summer when there are more people coming through the area, on top of their high-ish prices all year-round b.) they don't have a very good record when it comes to their business practices (charging the wrong price, not listing their prices correctly, promoting people but not giving them a raise, strange employees, etc.) and c.) their stuff is just lower quality than other marketplaces.

But there's no competition, since the second-closest place is 15 miles down the highway or by backroads, which run along the highway. The farmers' markets only come by in the summer, and their prices are much higher.

And if you don't have a running car (which we didn't, for a while) then you're stuck with the more expensive store, taking a slow and inefficient bus down to the city to where there are places to shop, or the gas station, which is super expensive. They sell a quart of milk for almost four dollars.

Of course, that's better than having only a convenience store or a gas station, which is the situation many people find themselves in. Some rural areas don't have sources of healthy food at all, unless you want to grow it yourself, which takes land, time, energy, and money.

Hopefully, this problem will be addressed more. Some things have already been done: the Obama administration has established the Healthy Food Financing Initiative, which works with First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! campaign against childhood obesity, and some states in the U.S. have set up their own programs.

It would be wonderful if those programs worked and food deserts became much less of an issue, and not just in this country, either. But there's still an awful lot distance to cover.

**********

In case you'd like to watch/read a report on food deserts by the PBS NewsHour, go HERE.

**********

About Blog Action Day:

Blog Action Day is an annual event that unites the world’s bloggers in posting about the same issue on the same day. Our aim is to raise awareness and trigger a global discussion around an important issue that impacts us all.

For 2011, our Blog Action Day coincides with World Food Day, so our topic of discussion for this year will be food. Take the first step now and sign-up your blog to Blog Action Day and then look at our suggested topics for some food flavoured inspiration to discuss.

**********

Do you live (or have you lived) in a food desert? What do you think should be done to help relieve the effects of them?


-----The Golden Eagle

15 October, 2011

What's Your Favorite Thing To Do On A Saturday?

Me, I'm headed off to the library. And then I'll attempt to tackle as many links as I can for the Pay It Forward Blogfest . . .

**********

But before I go, I wanted to let you know I will be posting tomorrow for Blog Action Day, and have signed up for yet another blogfest (because it sounded awesome. And after all, I am so not busy with, um, two others):


Hosted by Carrie Butler at So, You're a Writer....


So, what is your favorite thing to do on Saturday? Or over the weekend? Are you participating in Blog Action Day or the Casting Call Bloghop?


-----The Golden Eagle

14 October, 2011

Pay It Forward Blogfest


This blogfest is hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh and Matthew MacNish at The Quintessentially Questionable Query Experiment.

From Alex's blog:
The purpose is to introduce others to three bloggers you find awesome. Then attack the Linky List and explore! Find some cool new friends. Take the whole weekend to discover some great bloggers.

Narrowing this thing down to just three was hard . . . I could go on with a list of dozens of interesting blogs!  But since there are limits:

Wistful Nebulae
Sun Singer's Travels
The Blog That Helps You Diagnose Your Characters

Other participants:




What blogs would you recommend?


-----The Golden Eagle

13 October, 2011

How Do You Like Your Book Titles?

There are short book titles:




And long book titles:

Flora Segunda: Being the Magickal Mishaps of a Girl of Spirit, Her Glass-Gazing Sidekick, Two Ominous Butlers (One Blue), a House with Eleven Thousand Rooms, and a Red Dog


Per favore dite a mia madre che faccio il pubblicitario lei pensa che sono un pierre e che quindi regalo manciate di free entry e consumazioni gratis a chi mi pare, rido coi vips, i calciatori le veline e le giornaliste, leggo Novella e mi fotografano i paparazzi, entro neI privé saltando la coda, bevo senza pagare, sono ghiotto di tartine e gin tonic, ho la casa piena di oggetti di design, conosco Paris Hilton, Tom Ford ed Emilio.


(That one is actually in the Guinness Book of Records as longest title.)

The Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure



Some series have matching book titles:




While others don't:



A few make up their own words:




Some are questions:




Others end with periods or exclamation marks:


**********

What's your preferred kind of title: short, long, matched for series, questions, sentences? Do the titles of your own books follow some pattern, or do you change the style based on the story itself?


And a note: the order of the books listed was based solely on their titles, in case you were wondering. I have not read all of them, nor are they from the same age group/genre.


-----The Golden Eagle

12 October, 2011

The Rule of Three Blogfest: Second Renaissance Story

Read my first entry HERE.

   I expected him to ask how many soldiers there were.
   But instead he looked behind me.
   “Question.”
   “Yes?” I shifted, impatient to get to Renaissance.
   “Hope you don’t mind imbrangilae. Because one’s flying toward us.”
   I whirled and spotted the descending black form.
   “Oh no,” I whispered.
   I ran down the path, toward the boy—who just stood as the rhythmic beat of wings grew deafening.
   “Get out of the way!” I shouted.
   “I told you! I can ride the imbrangilae!”
   “Don’t be idiotic!”
   I grabbed him and tried to drag him away, but he was too strong.
   The imbrangilae landed on the path, cold air blowing past as it exhaled, and I pulled close to the boy.
   Hoping, by some miracle, he really could handle the thing.
   It was a hideous creature. Mismatched eyes, bulbous skin, wings like they’d been chewed by rats and mended by spiders.
   The boy grinned.
   “Nabil,” he said.
   I sucked in a breath as the creature extended its head, leaning close.
   And closer, until I thought my spine would crack with not moving.
   It nudged him, blasting more chill as it snorted.
   The boy shook free of my grip and walked around the imbrangilae, stroking its hide. Then he climbed, using its joints to hoist himself up just in front of the wings.
   I expected the creature to buck. But it didn’t—it sat there, cleaning its face.
   “How many soldiers are there?” he called.
   “Around two thousand.”
   “Renaissance has 333 people.”
   “So precise?”
   “My father’s chronic about it.”
   “Your father?”
   “He’s, um, one of the councilpersons.”
   I stared at him.
   “You’re not Corey Pendergraft, are you?”
   His head flew up.
   “How’d you know?”
   “I’m Alejandra Digiovanni. From the Espadon River clan?”
   “Oh.”
   His face turned guilty. “I know I disappeared when you visited Renaissance before, but—“
   “You were supposed to marry me!”
   “Does it matter to you?”
   “No. But . . .”
   “But?”
   I sighed. “Every suitor I see tells me I’m ugly. You didn’t even bother.”
   “You’re not ugly. You’re—pretty. Beautiful, I—“
   “Just tell me how to get to the council.”
   “Get up here.”
   I violently shook my head.
   “Why not?”
   “For one, I can’t just leave Broman—“
   “He seems like a smart horse. And imbrangilae will be faster.”
   “But—“
   “You won’t fall.”
   “I’m not worried about falling—“
   An arrow whipped past and hit the side of the imbrangilae—it bounced right off the skin—making it scream like metal on stone.
   Other arrows hit the dirt and a nearby tree, just missing Corey.
   I spun around, searching frantically, but couldn’t see anyone.
   Then a woman jumped down from a branch overhead, arrow nocked.
   I gasped, recognizing the symbol on her shoulder: Chiavona Desert Clan.
   She circled me as four others landed on the path, swords out and flashing.
   The imbrangilae roared, an angry, dangerous sound.
   The snipers paused and it whipped its tail, slamming a man into a rock. A concentrated gust of freezing air turned a second of the five into an icicle, and she collapsed.
   Corey unsheathed his sword and hit two of the snipers on the head with the hilt. I grabbed a knife in my boot, throwing it at the nearest attacker.
   It cut her shoulder and she staggered, but she lunged with a dagger and nearly stabbed me. The imbrangilae screamed again and struck her with a claw.
   “Get up here!” Corey shouted.
   I grabbed one of the imbrangilae’s knobbles, climbing up and sliding in behind him.
   “Up, Nabil!”
   “Are you sure about this—“
   “To Renaissance!” he cried.

(599 words. Yes, I know I slid this just under the wire.)


This week's prompts were:



  • Someone is killed or almost killed. (check)
  • One of the characters is revealed to be not who he or she is. (check)
  • A relationship becomes complicated. (check)
  • A character lies to another on an important matter.

  • **********




    A. What is the Rule of Three?

    The “rule of three” is a principle in writing that suggests that things that come in threes are inherently funnier, more satisfying, or more effective than other numbers of things. The reader/audience of this form of text is also more likely to consume information if it is written in groups of threes. A series of three is often used to create a progression in which the tension is created, then built up, built up even more, and finally released. –Wikipedia


    B. How does the Rule of Three work in this blogfest?

    The Rule of Three is a month-long fiction blogfest, where we’ve created a ‘world’, the town of Renaissance, and challenged you to create a story within it. The story will feature 3 characters of your creation, who will be showcased on your blog on 3 different Wednesdays or Thursdays, following the Rule of Three. The 4th Wednesday/Thursday posting you’ll have the culminating scene.


    C. What is the Shared World of Rule of Three? Welcome to Renaissance

    Renaissance is an outpost town in the middle of nowhere, but many routes pass through or beside it. The desert is encroaching on one side (to the West), a once-lush forest lies to the East and South. A large river runs through the forest, but it is not close to the town. Mountains are to the North, far, far away, and when you look towards them you don’t know if they are an illusion or real. Closer by are the smaller hill chains that fed the mining, creating caverns and passages underground.
       The town has had a number of identities throughout its history: A trading post; a mining town; a ghost town until it was rediscovered; a thriving community; the scene of a number of great battles; the scene of one great tragedy (that led to its Ghost Town standing); a town of great joys and celebrations, and so much more.
    At this point in time, there is a general population of 333. A mixture of a community. It boasts families that have lived there for generations upon generations, but they are in the minority, and are not in positions of power. There are traders who have come back here, at the end of their many travails, to settle in. The new families and power-players have taken this as a last refuge for themselves, hoping to rebuild lives torn apart on the way here.

    Everyone has a secret. Welcome to Renaissance. Enjoy your stay.


    **********

    What do you think of this installment?


    -----The Golden Eagle