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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

TIME TO VOTE







TIME TO VOTE!




SO FAR THE "YES" VOTES ARE AHEAD.


WHICH MEANS OUR PLATFORM BUILDERS FRIENDS WILL HAVE MORE TIME TO ENTER


MY FANTABULOUS CONTEST in which by writing a review of one of my books on AMAZON you could win :


NEEDFUL THINGS autographed by STEPHEN KING


or


THE TAKING autographed by DEAN KOONTZ


or


DANSE MACABRE autographed by LAURELL K. HAMILTON!



There will be THREE WINNERS.


You could be one of them.


Should I delay the drawing to allow the Platform Builders a fair chance?


YES or NO?

Making a black and white silent movie now takes courage. I will go see it, for it seems to have heart and creativity.
***

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

VOTE NOW!









Victor Standish here.

So there I was : downing ice teas with the Sensei (that's the Spirit of Bruce Lee to you, guys) and Roland.

We'd worked up a little thirst from practicing Wing Chun for an hour.

{I'd made the mistake of asking Sensei how Wing Chun was different from Jeet Kune Do. I'd forgotten that for him, the best explanation was action.}

And after a small sip of green tea, Sensei told Roland he was being unfair.

You know how big a softie Roland is, so he was all "What? How? When?"

"All these new visitors you have invited to your blog ...."

"The Platform Builder Guys and Gals, right?," I smiled.

Sensei did not smile back. He doesn't like to be interrupted.

"That is right, Victor. They have just arrived to hear about a contest for autographs that is about to end without giving them fair time to read, review, and enter."

Roland said, "I can see your point, but what can I do?"

"Postpone the drawing until say ... the Ides of September."

Roland rubbed his face. "I don't know how my long-time friends will feel about that."

I jumped in (Roland's more forgiving about being interrupted than the Sensei.) "Why not hold a vote Tuesday and Wednesday, letting everyone who visits you decide."

Sensei nodded. "That is a fine idea, Victor."

His eyes sparkled. "For once."

So there you have it, guys. It's up to you. Postpone the drawing (Yes) or Hold it at the regular time (No)

It's up to you. C'mon. Don't let me down in front of the Sensei!

YES or NO?
***


Monday, August 29, 2011

BRUCE LEE, SPIRIT_On WRITING : THERE ARE NO LIMITS. THERE IS NO SPOON.

BRUCE LEE, SPIRIT
On WRITING :

THERE ARE NO LIMITS. THERE IS NO SPOON.

Many of you enjoyed my post on writing enough to ask me to come back. And to answer your question : yes, spirits watch movies.

I enjoyed the first MATRIX. The second not so much. The third not at all.

But I am here to talk writing not movies. I have read many of my friend Roland’s posts, watched the videos, and disagreed often.

Take what the esteemed Mr. King said : “ Writing cannot be taught.” He is wrong. Do not blame him. After all, he is but alive, boxed in the prison of his mortal mind.

But what a thing to say to struggling writers! Most of you are filled with self-doubt and uncertainty – as are all novices. And what do you hear?

Writing cannot be taught. Genius cannot be taught. And so is killed hope.

No, Mr. King, writing can be taught, genius can be awakened.

You wrinkle your face and mutter, “But genius is so rare.”

Ah, my friend, you, too, are wrong. Genius is as common as the dreams of dogs.

Have you not watched your pet, twitching and softly barking, as he is caught in the throes of dreams?

Every dream, every nightmare, reaches deep into the well of imagination and of magic. If common dogs can tap into that reservoir, surely you can as well?

To say that writing, that genius cannot be taught is to place limits on your mind.

If you begin by putting limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work, into your mind … into your entire being.

There are no limits. There are plateaus, but you must not stay there, you must go beyond them. If it kills you, it kills you. But you will die fully alive!

A man must constantly exceed his level.

Ask a successful writer how he wrote his famous novel, and he will become uncomfortable, muttering about the unconscious and how writing cannot be taught.

Not so. He just does not know his own mind. How many do?

Do not listen to ignorance. Instead focus on your own mind and heart. Anything which blocks the path to self-awareness, prune from your life. Be it drink, food, or habit, if it blurs your sense of who you are, it must go.

Study the Masters of writing. Get a sense of their technique. But beware copying them. Though they play an important role in the early stage, the techniques should not be too mechanical, complex or restrictive.

If we cling blindly to them, we shall eventually become bound by their limitations. Remember, you are expressing the techniques and not doing the techniques.

Let the words flow through you in your own unique way of looking at life and at others.

Do not become the slave to your or anyone else’s expectations. In writing as in Jeet Kune-Do, one does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity.

If you see a bulky sentence, strip it down to its essentials. If you do not, the reader will simply do it for you, skipping ahead – and perhaps missing the key phrase that was meant to add life to your novel.

In creating a statue, a sculptor doesn't keep adding marble to his subject. No, he keeps chiseling away at the inessentials until the truth of its being is revealed without obstructions.

Thus, contrary to other disciplines, being wise in Jeet Kune-Do and writing, doesn't mean adding more.

It means to minimize, in other words to hack away the unessential.

Like limits. Grow strong in writing, in your daily living. Drop the chains of what others say is possible from your mind.

There are NO limits. There is no spoon.

There is only the limitless horizon. Good journey, my friend. I will be watching.
***

Saturday, August 27, 2011

THE FINAL WEEKEND!!

Now, that I have your attention!THIS IS THE FINAL WEEKEND TO ENTER!!

JUST WRITE A REVIEW OF ONE OF MY BOOKS


ON AMAZON ...


AND YOU GET 5 ENTRIES TO WIN EITHER :


NEEDFUL THINGS autographed by STEPHEN KING!


THE TAKING autographed by DEAN KOONTZ!!


DANSE MACABRE autographed by LAURELL K. HAMILTON!!!


The drawing for the three winners will be held on SEPTEMBER 1ST!!!





***

Friday, August 26, 2011

FRIDAY'S Romantic Challenge_THE CALM BEFORE THE STORM



It is midnight. The moon's face of shadows coyly hides most of it from me.

As the ghost chimes from the distant clock tower toll, she masks even that small glimpse with the SMOOTH SAILING of storm clouds.

SMOOTH SAILING. The prompt from today's romantic challenge from Denise and Francine :

http://fridaynightwriters.blogspot.com/


My entry :

THE CALM BEFORE THE STORM (from ADRIFT IN THE TIME STREAM) --

Samuel McCord is alone. Meilori is off selecting her gown for the night's festivities, the Ball of Love and Madness. It is to celebrate the DEMETER entering the legendary Devil's Triangle.

Samuel is admiring the molten, sleepy head of the dawn peeking up over the horizon. Dr. Stewart, the ship's doctor, approaches him.


Footsteps to my left. I turned. Dr. Stewart. He looked gutted.

“Maija,” he said and explained everything.

“What about her?”

“I - I thought we had become --”

“Maija is like the sea. You never know all about her.”

“I was an old fool.”

“Lot of that going around.”

“Lady Meilori is her sister. I thought you would have some idea of how -- I mean -- just what I might have done to offend Maija.”

“How do you know you offended her?”

“She told me not to come to tonight’s Ball.”

“I’ll be damned.”

“What?”

“She actually does care for you, doctor.”

“I don’t understand.”

“Things are set to get awfully ugly tonight at that Ball.”

“Maija knows this?”

“She’s part of it, doctor.”

He paled. “I knew she had a dark past.”

“Her present’s rather black, too.”

He looked anguished off into the horizon. “I sensed that. Good Lord, how can I be attracted to such a woman?”

“People are never one thing, doctor. There are always several faces behind the mask they show you.”

I reached out and squeezed his shoulder. “One of those faces cares, truly cares, for you. Just be glad it exists -- and that whatever you two share is real.”

He swallowed hard. “But if something criminal is being planned for that Ball, I should be there.”

I shook my head. “No. Let Maija have the knowledge that she saved you, and that in your heart she is still someone worthy of being loved.”

He smiled as if that heart were breaking. “You are not the typical policeman. You are a romantic.”

I put my forefinger to my lips. “Shhh. You’ll ruin my reputation.”

He straightened as if a heavy weight had been lifted from his shoulders. “You’ll be there, won’t you?”

“Yes. I’ll stand in for you.”

He nodded and walked away. Soft footsteps behind me. I turned. Maija. She looked at me intensely for long moments.

“Thank you.”

“De nada.”

“This changes nothing between us. You will still be destroyed by the end of this evening, and I will play my part in it. Play it most wholeheartedly.”

“I would expect nothing less from a future empress.”

She looked hot into my eyes. “Fool! You will hold back against me for my silly attachment to the good-hearted doctor, will you not?”

“I imagine so.”

“It will be your undoing.”

“Probably will.”

“Then why do it?”

I shrugged. “Don’t know any other way to be.”

She studied me. “I shall feel the emptier tonight after what must be done is accomplished. Yours is a face I shall miss, strong without the cruelty of toughness, kind without the bruise of weakness. When I have rid the world of that face, I shall have deservedly earned the hatred of my sister -- and of myself.”

“Then don’t do it.”

She bled a smile. “I know of no other way to be.”
***
Below is the evocative STANDING THE STORM by the piano genius of William Joseph. Endure the darkness at the beginning, and you will reap the light and beauty of the tune -- much like what happens when you find the courage to "stand the storm." Reading my post to the music adds to the enjoyment I think.
For a fascinating interview with
classical pianist and composer Fiona Hawkins :
http://fabulositynouveau.blogspot.com/2011/08/interview-with-australian-pianist-fiona.html
***

Thursday, August 25, 2011

BRUCE LEE, GHOST_THE WAY OF THE WRITER

There are things only the dead know, views only the dead see.

Victor Standish, impudent pup that he is,


asked me to write of them here anyway.

At least in how they shape the art of writing.

What do I know of writing you ask? Each of us is the author of our lives, though many insist upon making them boring, repetitive.

The way of the writer is the way of water :

Most of you restrict yourselves, limit your vision. Be instead water.

You put water in a cup, it becomes the cup;

You put water into a bottle it becomes the bottle;

You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot.

Sometimes it is still like the hush before dawn. Sometimes it is wild like the heart betrayed. But it is always alive to the world around it.

Be water, my friend.

Do not think, feel....it is like pointing your finger towards the moon. Do not concentrate on the finger or you will miss the stars!

The ghost of Thoreau tells me only that day dawns to which we are awake. Water is always awake. But are you?

A child is acutely aware of his expanding world, for it is new, ever-growing, ever fascinating. The way of the writer is to stay that child.

Most of the living become calloused by their flow of experiences, falling into the sleep of habit.

They wrap their personal problems about their eyes so that they walk blindly through all their days, listening only to the musak of their sorrows.

They put on layer upon layer of habits, clothing themselves in restriction until the water of their souls become stagnant like a swamp.

You living become so insulated in this manner that only the knife of tragedy or great joy can stab through to you.

Most of you have stopped being aware sometime in high school. Have you not noticed men whose fashion sense halted in their mid-twenties?

Since most of you are not laying up new stores of awareness and observations each day, you must go back to the same stale, old ones when you were still awake.

No wonder that so many authors write and re-write the sensations of their early years or childhood. Have you not known an author who seems to be able to tell only one story?

No matter the heroine’s name, the snowflakes will still melt on her fluttering eyelashes. The hero will always be strong, silent, misunderstood.

Ah, but the truth is that all of us remember strongly the things we saw through the clear, warm light of childhood. And when we want to bring a scene to life, we return to those sensations that sing to us of life, of being aware.

But if we endlessly return to that same pool, soon our writing grows stale, repetitive, and lifeless.

The ghost of Henry James just strolled by, saying, “Tell them to be one of the people upon whom nothing is lost.”

You cannot do that overnight.


No. Take ten minutes of each day to practice the innocence of the eye,

to ask how a child would see what is around you. Do this in different locales, never the same.

Taste the breeze. Listen to the robin in the tree to your left. Watch the stroll of the ambling dog outside your window, studying where he stops, watching his eyes, looking at his wrinkling nose and shifting ears.

Turn yourself into a stranger in your own life.

What colors are the things around you? Why would someone paint his house moldy green? What colors are the cars that pass you? Did the persons want that color? Why?

Close your eyes. What are the smells? What are the sounds? What could a blind person tell about the world you perceive this way?

Truth has no path. Truth is living and, therefore, changing. Awareness is without choice, without demand, without anxiety.

In that state of mind, there is perception. To know oneself is to study oneself in action with another person.

Awareness has no frontier; it is giving of your whole being, without exclusion.

Be awake, my friend. Be a child. Be a writer.
***
Don't forget to join Rach's PLATFORM -BUILDING CAMPAIGN!
http://rachaelharrie.blogspot.com/2011/08/third-writers-platform-building_02.html
***


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

THE SECRET TO SIN_SAMUEL CLEMENS, GHOST HERE




{"A sin takes on a new and real terror

when there seems a chance that it is going to be found out."

- Mark Twain

("The Man that Corrupted Hadleyburg")}

Samuel Clemens, ghost, here. You folks have all been so kind to Roland

that I thought I would help you out in an area that means so much to each of you,


especially to Terry W. Ervin in yesterday's comment




The secret to sin ...

Or should I say ... the secret to a synopsis.

Ain't that the dangedest name?

Synopsis.

Sounds like one of them ancient Greek philosophers, don't it? And I know many of you would rather kiss an ancient Greek than have to write one of those dang things.

But I'm going to show you how to do it as smooth as easy as a politician's lie on election day.

Doubt me? Which one of the two of us is the beloved literary genius here?

1) And that above was my first rule in writing a great synopsis :

Sure, there're a lot of you reading this. But I'm only talking to one of you in my mind. Heart to heart. Like we're sitting at the same table in the dark.

No one-size-fits-all with your synopsis.

Tailor your synopsis to the requirements stated by the agent. No guidelines given? Well, that leads me to the next rule :

2) This, too, shall pass ... like a kidney stone.

Short means no short tempers.

Ever have the misfortune to ask a pilgrim how his day's going only to have the fool actually tell you ... in agonizing detail. Be short. One page.

Yeah, I hear you groaning. But the agent doesn't want all your story.

She just wants the gist of it, to know that your story has a start, a middle, and a for-sure ending (not just a hope and a prayer.) You're still groaning.

3) This tape will self-destruct in thirty seconds, Jim.

And so will the agent's interest. You have thirty seconds at most, children, to grab that agent and pull her into your story. That's a half page at most.

Can you squeeze your 400 page novel into three lines?

Can you make them convey why your story is unique and absorbing, detailing background and characters?

Sure, and after that, you'll establish world peace.

But you can squeeze your novel into a half page. How?

4) go to
http://www.imdb.com/

Type in GONE WITH THE WIND. Look at their short version of it :

A manipulative woman and a roguish man carry on a turbulent love affair in the American south during the Civil War and Reconstruction.

Do those words sing? Do they capture the magic, scope, and heartbreak of the movie?

No. They just lie there without life or spark.

Well, put a little spin to them :

My novel is the saga of a selfish woman who doesn't want to admit her feelings about the man she loves, and she finally loses him.


How about tuning up the synopsis in three sentences?

GONE WITH THE WIND is the epic tale of a woman's life during one of the most tumultuous periods in America's history.

From her young, innocent days on a feudalistic plantation to the war-torn streets of Atlanta; from her first love whom she has always desired to three husbands.

She survives going from the utmost luxury to absolute starvation and poverty and from being torn from her innocence to a sad understanding and bitter comprehension of life.

Are you beginning to see how you might be able to pull off the half page synopsis?

5) In my end is my beginning :

I got your attention with the title of this post, didn't I? Well, that is the secret to selling your synopsis.

You have to grab that eye-weary agent by the imagination and shake hard. Start with a one sentence paragraph.

"Samuel Clemens had been dead all of thirty seconds, and he already hated it."

Got your interest, didn't it? How about :

"The situation was hopeless but improving." Another imagination grabber.

6) Last Words :

Is your summary unique and "This is really something!"

Do you include the punch line to your joke? No holding back to tease.

If the agent presents an unfinished turkey to her editors, she gets her hard-earned reputation bruised.

Is your novel in the genre the agent handles?

Her list of agents is genre specific. If she handles techno-thrillers, she doesn't know one editor who would be interested in your Western.

And worse, you've shot your ounce of good will with that agent.

Agents are tired, impatient, and lovers of order.

Agents want your synopsis to be laid out in three orderly paragraphs.

Short ones. Easy on the eye ones.

Any more paragraphs, any longer, chunkier ones scream unprofessional rookie to them.

And they don't have time to be your mentor. They want a partner not a pupil. You are not in the remake of THE KARATE KID.



Here listen to one of my favorite living writers (I sometimes stand over his shoulder and read his pages a'fore they hit the printers!) :
<
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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

HOW TO ESCAPE THE SLUSH PILE

Be sure to read Wendy's gracious spotlight of me on her fascinating blog :
http://fabulosityreads.blogspot.com/


"You are not judged by the heights to which you have risen,

but the depths from which you have climbed."
- Frederick Douglass


And the 19th century abolitionist should know. He began life as a slave to become the "Lion of Anacostia." And how did he begin that climb?

Reading.

The wife of his owner taught him the alphabet, then the beginnings of how to read.

His owner put a stop to that, saying that if he learned how to read, he would become dissatisfied with his lot.

"The first anti-slave lecture I ever heard," wryly said Frederick later in his life.

Later he would learn how to better read from the white children in the neighborhood and from the writings of the men with whom he worked.

Reading opened a whole new world of thought to the young boy. He read newspapers, political essays, books of every kind, and the New Testament --

which he taught other slaves to read at a weekly Sunday school.

It lasted six months before other slave owners, armed with clubs and stones, broke it up. Why? They feared their slaves being able to read.

To read.

It is an awesome ability we often take for granted.

And writing?

We who take up that task must understand its power. The power of the word to touch one human soul, beginning a rippling effect whose end none but The Father knows.

But before we can do that we must climb out of the dreaded slush pile.

And Scaling Mt. Everest was a cinch compared to climbing out of the slush pile.

Just ask any unpublished writer. Ask me. Ask the marines.

So how do you climb out of the slush pile?

You tackle the task like a professional. Agents are business men and women. You must approach them as such.

In essence, approaching an agent for representation is like approaching a bank for a loan.

Mark Twain said that banks were like those folks who were willing to lend you an umbrella when it was sunny.

When you don't need the money, banks will loan it to you. Why? Because they know you can pay it back.

Often it feels as if agents are silently saying with their rejections, "If I don't want your autograph, then I don't want your manuscript."

If you're Stephen King, agents will kill to represent you. Well, maybe not. But then again, one never knows.

But you're not Stephen King. So what do you do? No. Identity theft is out of the question.

Think bank loan. What do banks want from you? A good credit rating for one thing.

And what does an agent want from you? Credentials. Like what you ask?

Awards or achievements. Professional associations. Education. Related work experience.

How do you get those?

Attend local writers' workshops, taught by professional writers.

Politely get to know as many professionals there as you can. Very, very diplomatically ask them if you may use their names when inquiring of an agent.

Hey, all of them were where you are now. Most of them are quite kind. I will help you bury the rest. {Just checking to see if you were paying attention.}

Have your novel FULLY completed. I saw a friend lose her shot at a great agent because she submitted it only half done.

He wanted to see the full. She had to tell him the truth. End of a wonderful window of opportunity.

Have the first 30 pages so polished and suspenseful you would bet your life on them. You are certainly betting the life of your career and of your novel on them.

Write a killer query letter. How? Show her something that she very seldom sees.

Brevity.

Be Hemingway in your query.

Give yourself three sentences to convey the plot, characters, themes, and emotional impact of your 400 page novel.

IMdB is a good source to see how summaries of classic movies are written in three sentences.

Be an adverb stalker.

Stalk them and send them packing. No adverbs allowed. Or darn few. No first names for your target agent. No self-depreciating comments allowed either. People tend to take you at the value at which you place yourself.

We are drawn to confident people because we unconsciously accept that they have something about which to be confident.

If they are sure, it sets us at ease. They are competent. And who doesn't want a competent person at their side?

You're applying for a loan here. Be professional.

Be aware of the requirements of the specific agent that you're approaching. See you from her side of the desk. What is she looking for?

For one thing :

a novel that is unique but born of what is selling for the publishers. And what sells? Primal. Primal appeals to the unconscious mind of the reader, including the agent.

Primal hungers. Primal dangers. Primal drives.

Sex. Money. Safety. And threats to all three.

Give the agent the first three lines of your novel. Make sure they are great hooks. Sentences that reach out and grab the reader.

They will more than likely be the only sentences any agent will ever read of your submitted manuscript before coming to a conclusion of the attractiveness and saleability {is that a word?} of your work.

Submit to the agent EXACTLY as she requests.

This indicates that ... 1.) You are literate and can follow simple instructions. And ... 2.) You are a professional and are in this for the long haul.

If the agent asks you to change the ending or get rid of a character, remain calm.

This may simply be a test. Use some imagination, some deep-breathing exercises, and do what the agents requests.

She wants to see how you handle criticism. She doesn't want a tempermental prima donna on her hands. The one she sees in the mirror is quite enough, thank you.

{Just checking if you're paying attention again.}

How you handle these requests will show her your degree of professionalism. These requests are a good sign.

She's interested. She's been around a lot longer than you in the business. Try it her way.

Write it her way. Then, if the ending or character is pivotal in your thinking, present a reasoned, item by item defense. But be flexible. It is better to bounce than to break.

I know. I have the bruises to prove it. Good luck to all my fellow climbers out there.
***********

Monday, August 22, 2011

FRIENDSHIP BEATS SEX!


FRIENDSHIP BEATS SEX!

Yes. It surprised me, too.

I keep track of what countries visit me and what key words on Google led them to me.

SEX. DOMINATRIX. SEDUCTION.

They were all popular. But every day my post “WHY FRIENDSHIP?” is a magnet for visitors.

FRIENDSHIP.

We yearn for it,

For we are the Hollow People.

Science will tell you that. Inside an atom is a nucleus, composed of flying neutrons and protons.

The nucleus is orbited by electrons, travelling so fast, they seem to form a solid shell. In between them? Empty space.

Squeeze all the empty space out of each of our atoms, and we would be but a handful of dust.

Like an atom’s nucleus, many of us fly through life so fast, we project the illusion of solidity.

But like the atom’s nucleus, we are hollow.

Walk the streets of any large city and look into the eyes of those you pass. Slip through the veneer we put up to keep the predators at bay,

and you will see the hollowness of their spirits,

yearning for friendship, for connection with a kindred spirit.

To no longer be hollow.

That is why friendship plays such a large role in all of my novels, as in this scene from CREOLE KNIGHTS when Meilori’s is re-opened after Hurricane Katrina :

I was standing by the oak door and appreciating the colorful exit of the sun, off to see what the other half of the world had been up to. There was a rustle of satin cloth to my right.

I looked away from the sky and saw Sister Magda already by my side. She was one of the few people who could sneak up on me. Personally, I thought she teleported.

Looking more like Diana the Huntress than a nun, she smirked, “Teleport? Me? How far males will go to protect their prides.”

“Hello, Magda. You know there are goddesses who are envious of your beauty.”

She smiled, and it was a sight De Vinci would have been hard put to do justice to on canvas.

“I insult you, and you compliment me. Is there no end to the depths of your depravity?”

“Apparently not, since I’ve irritated the hell out of the mayor, the governor, and the President, his teeny tiny self. And I’ve not even let out a third of the secrets I know about them.”

We both laughed. Grief was an undercurrent to it. But so was a deep friendship.

I tried to ignore the grief and to lay fast to the friendship. It was a way to live. A good way I think.

Her smile faded. Mine did, too. Shit, here it came.

“I have come to talk to you of Renny.”

I sighed. “I’ve stayed away these past days. I’ll keep on being scarce.”

Her fingers lightly touched my cheek. “You are a fool.”

“I hope you’re not expecting an argument from me.”

“Do you know what keeps my Renny going?”

“Reckon I do. Your love for him and his for you.”

She sighed as if it were a wound. “That and one thing more.”

“What more could there be?”

“You believing in him. Your friendship.”

“I - I don’t know what to say.”

“Say that you are glad to see him when he comes in later tonight, that you have missed him.”

“I have missed him.”

“Then, tell him so.”

“Do you think it is such a good thing for him to come here?”

“No, it is a terrible idea. But it would be a worse one for him to stay away from his best friend.”

Her long forefinger prodded into my chest. “Can you ‘reckon’ that?”
Seeing the fire in her eyes, I forced out, “If I can’t, I’ll lie and say I can.”

***
NINE DAYS LEFT!
***

Sunday, August 21, 2011

THE COST OF YOUR CHOICES

There is a cost to your choices.

Take my FANTABULOUS CONTEST!

ONLY 10 MORE DAYS LEFT!

Just write a review on Amazon of one of my books and you could win :

NEEDFUL THINGS autographed by STEPHEN KING!

THE TAKING autographed by DEAN KOONTZ!

DANSCE MACABRE autographed by LAURELL K. HAMILTON!

Let these 10 days slip by. OUCH! You've lost your chance to win.


THEN ...

There is the cost of what you choose to do with your life ...

Few actors go to the movies. For one thing ... like seamtresses, they can see the seams in each part of what makes up the movie.

In like manner, writers tend to see the seams, too.

I've been reading Jim Butcher's GHOST STORY ... and I'm seeing the seams.

He wanted to write epic S.F. and Space Fantasy. He backed into Harry Dresden.

I think he wants out, just wrapping up loose ends and going through the motions. But when a great writer goes through the motions, he can still tell a great story.

The seams just show.

In the beginning, you can see him pushing against the inertia of his heart not being in the novel :

He stretches the beginning as if forcing himself to write.

He introduces new characters, putting off bringing in the family of characters that the reader has been worried about since the cliff-hanger ending of the last novel.

He's almost a fourth of the way into the book, and he is just now getting to the stuff loyal fans have been waiting to find out.

You lose readers like that.

Eric, a friend at work, tossed the book, saying, "He's lost it. He's just writing to fulfil a contract."

GHOST STORY took months and months longer than was promised. I can see why. The fire is gone.

The story is building momentum finally. But I feel like I've been pushing a stalled car with Jim.

Have you ever felt like that with a writer? Has your enjoyment of the read been spoiled by spotting the seams, by being chilled by the lost fire of the author?

That has been said of Charlaine Harris. I gave up on the Sookie Stackhouse books a few titles ago.

Tell me of your similar experiences.
***

Saturday, August 20, 2011

GHOST OF A CHANCE_CHAPTER TWO : HOW DO YOU SPELL SCREWED?

{He who learns must suffer.

And even in our sleep, pain that cannot forget

falls drop by drop upon the heart, and in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God.
- Aeschylus}

Tonight there was a new way to spell screwed : R-O-L-A-N-D.

The dead ghost of Ernest Hemingway was lying on the floor next to my bed. The ghost of Marlene Dietrich, his unrequited love, was in my bed. All the creatures of the Shadowland were on their way here to tear the secret of how to kill a ghost from me.

And me? I was in deep shit. I didn't have the secret. Someone had set me up. But who?

"Who did this to me, Marlene?"

Her china-blue eyes grew sad. "Who is not important, Liebling. 'Where' is. Where do we run that they will not already be there waiting?"

A Texas drawl like summer thunder rumbled beside me. "That would be Meilori's, partner."

"Sam?"

I looked up. Impossible though it was, there he stood. Tall, all in black : from his wide-brim Stetson to his long broadcloth jacket, jeans, and boots.

Ramrod straight, wolf eyes, and grim lean face. Captain Samuel McCord, hero of three of my novels stood in the undead flesh beside my bed.

I tapped my head. "But you exist only in here."

Marlene gently stroked my cheek with icy fingertips. "No, Liebling. The world is more than you know ... more than your mind is capable of knowing."

Sam grinned like a wolf. "The world wide web, son. You wrote of me, Meilori's, my world, my friends. It hit a chord deep within thousands of minds. That and ...."

Marlene turned my head to look at her. "Your Lakota blood, Schatz. It holds a strange power that only a handful of shamans had before you. What you write ... becomes flesh."

"What? But I've written of all sorts of creatures that haven't popped up."

Sam said, "I'm real only at Meilori's ... and here."

"Why here?"

Marlene stoked my neck. "Because here your ... your Geist, your spirit fills this place."

Sam sighed, "And that's another reason those polecats rushing up the stairs out there will think you have the secret of how to kill ghosts."

"Rushing up my stairs?"

And sure enough, there was a hollow moaning and keening headed straight towards the outside of my door. Closer. Closer. Shit. They were almost here.

"Time to think sideways, partner."

He pulled me from the bed. "Buddha on a pogo stick, son. You always sleep in your blue jeans?"

I nodded. "Ever since the fire. I can't relax unless I'm dressed to face the world."

There was a sudden pounding on the only door to my apartment. "Well, not that world."

"C'mon, Roland. Let's head to the bathroom."

"Not that I don't feel like throwing up, Sam, but what's in the bathroom?"

"A mirror."

I got even sicker. "You mean GO INTO the mirror like you do?"

"The only way, son."

"Yes, Liebchen. But do not worry. I am going with you."

I turned towards where she now stood. "Dressed in ...."

Her tall, lithe body was fair to bursting out of a snug old-style Prussian Calvary Officer uniform. I almost swallowed my tongue.

"How?"

Marlene smiled in a way that made me uncomfortable. "Clothes are easy. Naked is even easier."

Sam cleared his throat.

I frowned. "Why that uniform?"

Marlene pulled herself up proudly. "Father was a Prussian Calvary Officer. He taught me the art of the saber hims--"

The pounding at the door got more crazed. Marlene placed a light hand on the sleeve of my black T-shirt. "Ghosts have to be invited in."

"Well, call me a poor host, but I'm not inviting anybody in."

Sam tugged at me. "Not every creature in the Shadowlands need an invitation to kill, son."

Feeling ten kinds of creeped-out, I plucked my hiking boots out from under the unmoving, insubstantial body of Ernest Hemingway. I shoved my feet hurriedly into them. I bent to tie them.

Sam snapped, "Run now. Lace later."

I hurried to the cat carrier and snatched up a startled Gypsy, shoving her hissing and angry into it. Sam shook his head.

"She'll be safe under the bed, Roland."

"I took her with me for Katrina and Rita. I'm taking her now."

He shrugged and literally dragged me into my tiny bathroom. "Hell, son, there's not enough room in here to cuss a cat."

"Ask Gypsy how wrong that is," I said.

The sink mirror became milky, singing a strange deathsong of noise.

Sam gestured, "In you go, Roland."

I turned to Marlene as she was pulling a very sharp-looking saber from its sheath. "Ladies first, Marlene."

She leaned in close, kissing my cheek lightly. "And that is why gentlemen are a dying breed, Liebchen. You first. Here, give me Gypsy. She'll be safe with me."

I didn't like it. The ceiling tiles above me started to bulge. I remembered what Sam said about some Shadowlanders not needing invitations. I took in a deep breath and scrambled awkwardly onto the sink top.

Feeling three kinds of stupid, I eased to touch the mirror with one hand. Sam shoved me hard from the back. And INTO the mirror I went. The world was white, filled with frigid fog smelling of lightning strikes and pine trees.

I hit something soft yet hard. The fog disappeared suddenly as two strong arms wrapped around me. I saw the face I never wanted to see.

"Death," I squeaked.
********************

Friday, August 19, 2011

THE MAGIC OF FIRST LOVE is our ignorance that it can ever end_FRIDAY'S ROMANTIC CHALLENGE_NEW HORIZONS



Both hands of the clock on the city's distant tower reach up beseechingly to the stars.

Hear the ghost-chimes?

It is midnight, the dark start to a new day,


to NEW HORIZONS.

Come. Sail with me aboard the cursed DEMETER in responce to Francine's and Denise's ROMANTIC FRIDAY CHALLENGE.

http://fridaynightwriters.blogspot.com/


Peek from the the night's shadows upon the first meeting on a 1853 midnight of Samuel McCord and the one great love of his long life, Lady Meilori Shinseen, most feared of all the Ningyos. (399 words)

{Samuel's other than human senses have felt deep pain and hollow loneliness up on the midnight-shrouded deck of the transatlantic steamer, DEMETER.

He has used the teachings of his Apache blood-brother to render himself invisible by wrapping the threads of night around his lean, horseman's body. He goes to investigate.}



I slowed as I spotted a woman, sitting right on the wooden deck by the railing, huddled over something.

I wrapped the threads of night tighter about me and stepped closer.

The faint smell of jasmine tickled my nose. She was in a long, flowing scarlet and black Victorian gown.

I stiffened as the fog thinned enough for me to make out her slanted eyes, not quite Japanese, not quite Chinese, but a beautiful blend of the two.

Her long black hair was styled up, her eyes were cast down. She was stroking a dead seagull, its slender neck bent awkward. I guessed that it had hit the rigging in the fog and killed itself, tumbling to the deck.

The woman spoke, and it was as if her vocal chords were velvet. Her accent. It sent shivers through me. It was like human speech itself was a foreign language to her. What was I getting myself into? Her words were almost lost in the night.

"Poor little creature of air. Like last month, I came upon you too late. Too late."

She spoke as if the two words were a summing up of her whole life. She was one of those haunted-eyed women you attached your own hidden fears and silent sorrows to.

Close-up her eyes weren't cold jade as they had seemed farther away. They were filled with echoes of regret. The coldness had just been a bold front to hide the fact that they'd lost their way a long time ago.
Maybe mine looked the same.

There were disturbing depths of sadness in those eyes. Depths in whose darkness swam the monsters which drive us or haunt us or both.

Those depths whispered of age more ancient than the Aztecs, more dangerous than even my past. They both called and warned at the same time.

She stroked the bird's head tenderly as if afraid of waking it up

and sighed,

"Dreams drift like clouds,

I reach to touch the moon,

I grasp but empty night."

I couldn’t take her in such pain anymore and stepped into view. “Ma’am, you were a blessing.”

She stiffened at my sudden appearance, but said calmly. “How so?”

"That seagull got to die in the arms of one who cared and cried over its passing. How many of us get to die that loved?"

Her face flinched. "Not ... very ... many. And ... too many."

***

Thursday, August 18, 2011

"YOU TWO-LEGGEDS," sighs THE TURQUOISE WOMAN

You two-leggeds ...

You think you know. But you do not know.

How could you? You can know only what you have experienced. And your experience is so stunted.

I look out from my consciousness surrounding the world that is my body, and my horizon spans the the swimming bodies of my sisters

who wheel in their sweeping dance of gravity about our Father Sun.

Roland, he whom I call Little Lakota, talked of me yesterday ...

with respect and with the knowledge that his grasp of me was limited.

So I honor that respect by telling you what little your limited minds can understand of my existence. Your minds are much like a song unfinished.

And nothing makes you more aware of the fragility

of existence than a song unfinished.

Here is a secret :

We are all songs unfinished.

We start with names. But what illusions are names.

Some call me Turquoise Woman.

Others call me Gaia. I call all of you temporary ...

Some I call cherished.

Others of you are but a fleeting rash upon my surface.

Irritating, viral, and in the end, self-destructive.

Sadly, your race is like a tick that will gorge itself until it bursts.

Bemused, I watch you scurry along my skin, moaning you are bringing an end to me.

I would laugh if it were not so pathetic.

You are merely bringing an end to yourselves.

I count the moments. You make my scalp itch.

You think you know what life is. Sad.

Do you know what life is?

A firefly's flicker in the night,

the breath of a buffalo in winter,

a cloud shadow that races across the green grass to lose itself in the blood-red of the sunset.

Do not try to understand me.

I look, not only down upon you,

but out across the vast glittering sea of eternal night.

The colors of my thoughts are the Northern Lights

and the reach of them is from horizon to horizon and unto the vastness of the stars.

The electro-magnetic field of my body gave birth to my consciousness

long before there were human hands to chisel stone into mute, blind idols

or to brush your world in blood on cave walls.

Your only true contribution to me was your language.

Before you crafted words into being, my consciousness was unfocused.

I listened with wonder as you spoke to one another,

slowly piecing the concept of language together in my thoughts.

Through the prism of your languages, my awareness crystalized.

I became aware.

Now, I know a haunted melancholy. Like a windmill's blades, my thoughts dip into my memories.

In misty after-images, I see your fleeting lives walking soft like prayers across my green fields only to fade into the inflamed oblivion of the sunset.

My son, Elu, will survive.

Hibbs, the bear with two shadows, I have spirited safely away into a sister dimension.

But Samuel, my sad-eyed, adopted son, will soon die I think.

Not at the hands of his life-long enemy, DayStar. But by the two-edged sword of his love for his wife, Meilori.

And that trickster scamp, Victor Standish, he, too, will die. I will miss him, for he, also, will be "consumed" by his love for the unnatural creature called Alice.

You are wondering why I am talking to you?

You are close to my heart as well, for all of you craft with words.

So I have come to say seven words to you :

"Live well. Soon I will miss you." ***

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

BLOOD MOON_which Blogger obviously hates!!



Blood Moon.

I was watching it rise as I waited for the Beaumont blood courier at the Texas gas station we couriers call the "Star Wars Cantina" --

for all the colorful folk who frequent the place. I was actually followed into the men's room once by a woman offering financial romance, as it were.

I was saddened by how her addiction drove her to such desperation. I declined as politely as I could to save what remained of her pride.

I know the blood moon was a trick of the atmosphere bending the light rays. But it was beautiful. As I watched it slowly rise, I saw it change eerily from vanilla creme to stark skull white.

The Lakota believed the full moon's face of shadows belonged to the fearsome Turquoise Woman, for whom you should have respect for she had none for you.

And I thought how we change like this blood moon as we rise from the horizon of our birth.

Our spirits are bent by the atmospheres we send them through : the atmospheres of hope, dashed dreams, courage under pressure, and faith in he whom the Lakota call the Great Mystery.

I sometimes call Him that as well, for what He is up to much of the time is a great mystery to me.

When I was a substance abuse counselor, a client once told me his theory about the anguished history of this haggard world :

God put all the mad souls from the rest of the universe on this asylum called Earth,

where life after life, the souls would have the chance to learn to be wiser, saner -- most stayed insane because it was familiar if not comfortable.

Seeing the scufflings and hustling at the gas station night after night, I thought how my client's theory looks more and more credible.

The daily headlines help there, too. Then, again maybe I was just blood moonstruck.

What did Thomas Wolfe write?



"We are always acting on what has just finished happening.

It happened at least 1/30th of a second ago. We think we're in the present, but we aren't. The present we know is only a movie of the past. So, then, to every man his chance -

to every man, regardless of his birth, his shining, golden opportunity -

to every man the right to live, to work, to be himself,

and to become whatever thing his soul and his vision can combine to make him."

May the windmills of your mind be a journey of peace and joy the rest of this week.

And here is an ancient but reflective song by Noel Harrison from the equally ancient classic movie THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR
:


***
Blogger has prompted Hibbs to beckon me to walk off into the sunset, seeking new, fun horizons :

BLOOD MOON



Blood Moon.

I was watching it rise as I waited for the Beaumont blood courier at the Texas gas station we couriers call the "Star Wars Cantina" --

for all the colorful folk who frequent the place. I was actually followed into the men's room once by a woman offering financial romance, as it were.

I was saddened by how her addiction drove her to such desperation. I declined as politely as I could to save what remained of her pride.

I know the blood moon was a trick of the atmosphere bending the light rays. But it was beautiful. As I watched it slowly rise, I saw it change eerily from vanilla creme to stark skull white.

The Lakota believed the full moon's face of shadows belonged to the fearsome Turquoise Woman, for whom you should have respect for she had none for you.

And I thought how we change like this blood moon as we rise from the horizon of our birth.

Our spirits are bent by the atmospheres we send them through : the atmospheres of hope, dashed dreams, courage under pressure, and faith in he whom the Lakota call the Great Mystery.

I sometimes call Him that as well, for what He is up to much of the time is a great mystery to me.

When I was a substance abuse counselor, a client once told me his theory about the anguished history of this haggard world :

God put all the mad souls from the rest of the universe on this asylum called Earth,

where life after life, the souls would have the chance to learn to be wiser, saner -- most stayed insane because it was familiar if not comfortable.

Seeing the scufflings and hustling at the gas station night after night, I thought how my client's theory looks more and more credible.

The daily headlines help there, too. Then, again maybe I was just blood moonstruck.

What did Thomas Wolfe write?



"We are always acting on what has just finished happening.

It happened at least 1/30th of a second ago. We think we're in the present, but we aren't. The present we know is only a movie of the past. So, then, to every man his chance -

to every man, regardless of his birth, his shining, golden opportunity -

to every man the right to live, to work, to be himself,

and to become whatever thing his soul and his vision can combine to make him."

May the windmills of your mind be a journey of peace and joy the rest of this week.

And here is an ancient but reflective song by Noel Harrison from the equally ancient classic movie THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR
:


***
Blogger has prompted Hibbs to beckon me to walk off into the sunset, seeking new, fun horizons :

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

GHOST OF A CHANCE

"To all of life there is a shadow. The shadow of sadness, doubt, despair. Still it is but an echo of a heart moving forward."
-Roland Yeomans

{Here is the first chapter of my blog-serial, GHOST OF A CHANCE, where I am a hunted fugitive, running through all my created worlds.}

Something was tickling my ear. "Schatz! Schatz!"

Someone shook my shoulder. "Oh, Liebling, wake up. Wake up! You are in danger."

Fire.

My apartment was on fire. Ever since I had awakened long years ago to see flames rolling across my ceiling, I had lived in dread of it happening again.

My eyes flew open. I sat up straight in bed. Darkness. No flames. Only a naked blonde in the bed beside me.

Naked blonde?

It was Marlene Dietrich. And she wasn't exactly naked, but heavily clothed she wasn't. She was in a black silk nightgown seemingly made of flimsy spiderwebs.

"Ah, Marlene ..."

"Hush, Liebling. Look down beside your bed."

"Really ...."

"Do it!"

Marlene had never shouted at me before. This was obviously important. I looked down.

"Shit."

Sometimes "Oh, darn" just doesn't cover it. Gypsy was nudging the unmoving body of Ernest Hemingway sprawled beside my bed. His smoldering cigar was just going out.

"Damn, Marlene. I know he's a ghost and all. But ... he looks ... dead."

"He is, Schatz. He is."

I turned to her. "Ghosts can be killed?"

Her finely etched eyebrow rose dangerously, and I said, "All right, dumb question. Obviously ghosts can be killed. But I never knew that."

"Neither did I or any other ghost I have ever met. Which means you are in terrible danger."

"Danger? Why?"

"All through the Shadowlands it is known Papa was jealous of how I felt for you."

"But ..." She placed fingertips I almost felt on my lips.

"He is here. Dead. I am here. In your bed. It will be thought he attacked you, and you killed him out of self-defense."

"Yeah, self-defense. You're right. It will look like self-defense. I mean, I didn't kill him. You know that. But if they think I just defended myself, I'll be in the clear with the other ghosts, right?"

Marlene turned her head so that her waterfall of hair hid her eyes from me. "Wrong, Liebling. All they will care about is that you know how to kill them. And so to protect themselves, they will kill you."

"Ghosts can kill the living?"

Again the eyebrow arched. "O.K. Another dumb question. So all the ghosts are going to come gunning for me?"

"And the others."

My voice rose so that the dogs in the next block must have been awakened. "What others?"

"All the others in the Shadowlands, Liebling. They will want you alive just long enough to tear from you the terrible secret of how to kill ghosts."

"But I don't know how!"

"They will not believe you with the 'proof' of poor Papa's body beside your bed. And it is even worse than you fear."

"Worse? How can it be worse?"

"They are coming now."

"They who?"

Marlene's eyes sank into her pale face. "All of them."
***************************


Monday, August 15, 2011

A MOMENT OF LOVE ... and DEATH

I am a romantic.

Not just on Fridays. Just because I am taken with this brief glimpse into the mythical, lyrical love of Blake, son of Man, and Fallen, last of the faes,

I share it with all of you, my friends :

{Blake and Fallen have just arrived in the lethal beauty of Avalon. Fallen is spent from her earlier ordeals. The two seek a place where they might rest with the shelter of a lush green slope behind them. Fallen lays slumbering as Blake sits protectively beside her.}

(When they speak in thee's and thou's, they are speaking in the tongue of Faerie - Blake was given the gift of Tongues in LOVE LIKE DEATH.)

The moon had risen just enough to send a shaft of its light through the umbrella of oak branches above us. A diffused glow of icy white lanced down to caress Fallen's face in a shimmering halo. And suddenly, she looked as angelic and pure as an angel. My heart seemed to grow and burn within me. I loved her so. Her eyelids flickered apart slightly, and she smiled dreamily up at me.

"Who needs a campfire," she murmured, "when thy love burns so bright beside me?"

Reaching out with her right hand, she softly touched mine, never taking her gleaming, mysterious eyes off me. “To find something, one must picture it first in one’s mind. No wonder I could never find love, for I had yet to see thee.”

I forced my lips to whisper, “I am an orphan, Fallen. A pauper. I have nothing worthy of thee to give.”

“Just love me, Blake. Simply love me, and I wilt be the richest Sidhe in all Avalon.”

“That’s a given, Fallen.”

She wrinkled her nose like a rabbit. “Oh, I knew that.”

Then, she laughed in her sleepy, impish way and shifted just enough to nestle her head in my lap. And just like that, she was asleep again. And I felt the richest orphan in all the world.

I don’t know how long I sat there with her head resting in my lap. I could have sat there for eternity and never regretted a second of it. After a time, I gingerly reached out and stroked her soft, velvet hair, careful not to mess up its intricate knots and weaves. Instead of waking up, Fallen just wiggled and started purring like a lost kitten having found home.

I stiffened just a bit. Home. I smiled. I had found home again. And it wasn’t Avalon. It was Fallen. I was home. And it felt wonderful.

I just sat there as the minutes flowed into hours and soaked up the peace and contentment I had thought would never be mine again.

As I sat there, trying to burn this scene, this moment, this feeling so deep into my heart and mind that I would never forget it, something white in the corner of my eye moved slightly. I went stiff, fear shooting across my chest. I turned my head slowly so as to not draw attention to the fact that I had spotted what was approaching. And then, I saw her.

The White Lady of Montaigu.

The slayer of all lovers who crossed her path.
***
And now to share with you the music of Josh Groban that I was hearing in my heart and mind as I wrote (the love theme to ROMEO & JULIET) :

***

Sunday, August 14, 2011

ONLY 17 DAYS LEFT!!!





ONLY 17 DAYS LEFT!!!

Just write a review on Amazon on one of my books,

and you get FIVE entries into my FANTABULOUS CONTEST to win

an autographed copy of

NEEDFUL THINGS

THE TAKING

DANSE MACABRE!

How cool is that? KING. KOONTZ. HAMILTON.

What a trio!

ONLY 17 DAYS LEFT!
***

Saturday, August 13, 2011

ONLY 2 WEEKS LEFT!! __ I HATE YOU entry encore _ I HATE YOU AS ONLY THE UNDEAD CAN HATE















ONLY TWO WEEKS LEFT!!

Actually 18 days left to write a review of one of my books on Amazon to enter ...

ROLAND'S FANTABULOUS CONTEST!!!

See? Even Megan Fox is writing a review.

(Of FRENCH QUARTER NOCTURNE by the way. She wants to play evil Maija or the revenant, Empress Theodora, or the ghost of Meilori just so long as she gets to play a scene where she kills Speilberg!)

Just think you may actually win an autographed copy of NEEDFUL THINGS, the last Castle Rock story. Someone has to win it. Why not you?

Sandra has already told me that if Megan Fox enters the contest, she is not letting me in the same room as the jar of entries! Sigh.
***


I HATE YOU blogfest entry : I HATE YOU AS ONLY THE UNDEAD CAN HATE!

http://tessasblurb.blogspot.com/

[From the soon-to-be published, THE LEGEND OF VICTOR STANDISH :

Victor Standish and his Victorian ghoul friend, Alice Wentworth, have survived more horrors than a Stephen King movie. Almost. It seems Victor has died saving his hero, Sam McCord.

The ANGEL OF DEATH has come for him. Despite his protests to save her, Alice insists on coming along, as do Father Renfield and the mysterious Sister Magda. They are standing at the head of the stairs leading down to the haunted jazz club, Meilori's] :


Everybody and their cousin could read my mind it seemed. Now, it was time to use it for me instead of it being used against me. I focused all the will I had and thought at Father Renfeild :

‘Now, Padre, now! Hold Alice. Hold her tight!’

“Ow, lad,” he snapped. “You didn’t have to shout.”

Alice frowned, “I heard noth ….”

She yelped as Renfield grabbed her from behind. Magda added her arms around Alice, too. I smiled bitterly. My girl sure struggled just the same. Then, she stabbed me with her words as I raced down the stairs.

“I hate you for this, Victor. I HATE YOU!”

She screamed, "I trusted you! Trusted! Do you know how hard that was for me after all these years?"

My steps slowed. "Yes, now you realize what you have done. I hate you, Victor. I hate you as only the undead can hate. I hate you so that there is no pity, no compassion, no ghost of the love you have killed by doing this! My hate will burn long, LONG after you die. I HATE YOU, VICTOR STANDISH!"

I stopped halfway down the steps and slowly turned to Alice, her neon blue eyes flaring and said, “D-Don’t let those be the last words I hear you say, Alice. P-Please.”

Black tears streamed from her strange eyes as she stiffened as if I had stabbed her as she mewed, “Dolt, imbecile, moron, dunce! Of course, I love you.”

I smiled despite my heart breaking. “I like it when you talk dirty to me, Alice.”

She whimpered, then managed to squeak out the words, “You are Victor Standish, and you will find a way back to me.”


***

Friday, August 12, 2011

WHERE IN MYTH ARE WE? _ FRIDAY'S ROMANTIC CHALLENGE_plus I HATE YOU AS ONLY THE UNDEAD CAN HATE!_Tessa's I HATE YOU blogfest entry




The night tolls with midnight's ghost-bell chimes.


It is Friday once again.


Time to meet Francine's and Denise's ROMANTIC CHALLENGE. This week : CONFUSED

http://fridaynightwriters.blogspot.com/

{My Tessa's I HATE YOU blogfest entry follows this}

My 386 word entry is from BLACK ROSES IN AVALON to blend in with yesterday's post. Blake Adamson traveled to the fabled brothel, THE PRINCESS ALICE

(a "gentleman's club" for the Marquis de Sade at heart),

in Victorian London to whisk Fallen, the Last Fae, away from the sadistic demigod, Abbadon Sennacherib.

Frantic to find some haven safe from Sennacherib, Blake uses an ancient enchanted dagger as a rudder to sail the seas of time and space. But to where?
Trusting an enchanted blade to save the girl I loved from the most evil being I had ever met seemed the right thing to do just a moment ago.

But now I was having doubts. Big ones. “Too Late” ones.

Our table sat in a small glade bordered by towering, ancient trees.

I tried to swallow and couldn't. Bending time and space had never gone so smooth for me before. And instead of feeling good about it, I started to get paranoid. Had Sennacherib helped me? Had he wanted me herded here? I remembered the rage in his voice and shelved that idea. From across the table, Fallen looked slowly about. She whispered in a dead calm way as if quoting from some scroll she had read long ago.

"Each blade of grass stirs with magic. Each branch sways to the breath of eternity. And each path leads to dream citadels whose misty towers murmur echoes of ancient glories never to be reclaimed, yet never to be forgotten."

I forced my throat to work, "What you said."

I sat back in my chair, tilted at an angle on the uneven grass. So this was Avalon? I could believe it. Webster had mocked me as a little poet, but even I was at a loss to describe what I was seeing.

The very air seemed to shimmer with tiny flecks of stardust as arrows of sunlight shot through the dark, hollow cathedrals of centuries old oaks. The thick branches swayed to a breeze I couldn't feel, as if the trembling trees were alive and startled at our sudden appearance. The low splashing of bubbling water came from the shattered remains of a black stone fountain. One lone, haunted-eyed marble nymph stared at me as if in silent warning. I could almost hear the echoes of Pan's pipes lamenting the intrusion of a mere mortal into this realm of faerie.

Fallen husked a whisper, "You really have taken us to Avalon. I - I have never been here ... at least not in what memories are left me."

"L-Left to you? What are you talking about?"

She smiled bitterly. "We of the Tuatha de Danann also know how to bend time and space."

Her eyes grew haunted. "But unlike you, we are left with minds wiped clean afterwards."
***
I HATE YOU blogfest entry : I HATE YOU AS ONLY THE UNDEAD CAN HATE!

http://tessasblurb.blogspot.com/

[From the soon-to-be published, THE LEGEND OF VICTOR STANDISH :

Victor Standish and his Victorian ghoul friend, Alice Wentworth, have survived more horrors than a Stephen King movie. Almost. It seems Victor has died saving his hero, Sam McCord.

The angel of Death has come for him. Alice insists on coming along, as do Father Renfield and the mysterious Sister Magda. They are standing at the head of the stairs leading down to the haunted jazz club, Meilori's] :


Everybody and their cousin could read my mind it seemed. Now, it was time to use it for me instead of it being used against me. I focused all the will I had and thought at Father Renfeild :

‘Now, Padre, now! Hold Alice. Hold her tight!’

“Ow, lad,” he snapped. “You didn’t have to shout.”

Alice frowned, “I heard noth ….”

She yelped as Renfield grabbed her from behind. Magda added her arms around Alice, too. I smiled bitterly. My girl sure struggled just the same. Then, she stabbed me with her words as I raced down the stairs.

“I hate you for this, Victor. I HATE YOU!”

She screamed, "I trusted you! Trusted! Do you know how hard that was for me after all these years?"

My steps slowed. "Yes, now you realize what you have done. I hate you, Victor. I hate you as only the undead can hate. I hate you so that there is no pity, no compassion, no ghost of the love you have killed by doing this! My hate will burn long, LONG after you die. I HATE YOU, VICTOR STANDISH!"

I stopped halfway down the steps and slowly turned to Alice, her neon blue eyes flaring and said, “D-Don’t let those be the last words I hear you say, Alice. P-Please.”

Black tears streamed from her strange eyes as she stiffened as if I had stabbed her as she mewed, “Dolt, imbecile, moron, dunce! Of course, I love you.”

I smiled despite my heart breaking. “I like it when you talk dirty to me, Alice.”

She whimpered, then managed to squeak out the words, “You are Victor Standish, and you will find a way back to me.”
***

Thursday, August 11, 2011

BLACK ROSES IN AVALON!



The LOVE LIKE DEATH trilogy concludes :

Not even the eclipse of myth is forever. But eclipses return. And currents exist that are eternal. One such current is Love.

It binds the universe together.

Listen. Can you hear it? Can you hear him?

Blake, son of Man, is calling out across the night skies. What is he saying?

Remember.

Remember the strangled dreams, the shattered illusions that dropped from your bruised fingers long ago as a child. Still Time can be transcended. If you but remember ...

that love is forever,

that love cannot be taken from you,

that wounded hearts and minds but cast it from them in despair.

Listen.

Listen as Blake tells of haunted Avalon, broken by bloody Civil War. Of his love for the moon and the sun : the Last Fae and the alien drinker of souls.

Listen to his memories of BLACK ROSES IN AVALON :

The orphan, Blake Adamson, has been running for his life … or has he been running from it? One part of his mind says he is delirious, dying in the burnt ruins of his orphanage. Most of his mind insists what he is seeing and enduring is all too real.

His heart wants to believe the world he sees is real. A heart that is torn between an alien drinker of souls and the Last Fae. Loving both the sun and the moon may be his death. But Blake Adamson cannot help himself.

In an attempt to escape the enraged demigod, Abaddon Sennacherib, Blake and Fallen, the Last Fae, have left Victorian London by bending time and space,

using an ancient enchanted blade as a rudder. The two fugitive lovers find themselves far in the past … to Avalon.

Avalon, where life is illusory and deceptive, as are its inhabitants. In Faerie, nothing is as it seems, and even the simple act of uttering a name can be fraught with danger and death.

Blake and Fallen have appeared close to the Crystal Castle at the bottom of Lake Sayrade. The Dancers of the Myst float on their icy blue crafts upon that lake. And their Queen is Danis Nokkes, punisher of all false lovers.

Blake insists he is not false … just over-committed.

The distinction is lost to the sadistic Queen. To the Sidhe, mortals are but toys and pawns in their power games. They love to make the epitaph small and the death large.

In escaping the sadistic Queen, Blake and Fallen clash with the feral Wyldaelfen. And blood and destiny ensues.

In the midst of enemies in Broceliande Forest, they fail to skirt the Shadows of the Erinnyes and their dark queen Dinselle of the Golden Skin.

Atop the King and Queen of Avalon’s unicorns, Blake and Fallen evade the Wild Hunt as they race across the flying boulders of the fabled River Sambayton high in the skies of Avalon.

Until in the crystal and gold palace of Caer Wydr, Blake and Fallen endure the dark ritual, Diathke, ending the Avalon Civil War by paying the fearsome cost for love eternal.
***
http://www.amazon.com/BLACK-ROSES-IN-AVALON-ebook/dp/B005GQN03C/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1313029711&sr=1-1
***