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Thursday, November 29, 2012

My Latest Art Project Done!

In my previous post I mentioned an art project I was working on. Well, today I finally finished it. Woo hoo! I was getting antsy to have it done and over with by the time I got about 3/4 of the way through, which isn't anything out of the ordinary for me. Behold, my latest graphite drawing entitled: All That Remains -- Ruined church of Zelemér, Hungary

Click for larger view.
The photo reference came from a search on Google Earth, which you can see here. From what I've read, the ruins of this church are the last remains of a medieval town that had once existed around it. I did take liberty in changing a few things from the original photo, like the removal of the footprints in the snow and the poles for the power lines in the background. The original drawing has far more finer details than what the photo shows and isn't grey. I did draw it on white paper. I need to invest in a light box (or have the boyfriend build me one) so I can take better photos of my drawings. But for now, this is the best I can do. Our scanner makes it look worse.

And now onto my next project, if only I could decide on which photo of Mr. Wilde to draw? Hmm. Oh, and maybe I should work on my novel, too. Definitely not going to have that first draft done by tomorrow. The battle between my muses continues...

Monday, November 26, 2012

The War Of The Muses

Draw draw draw!

No! Write write write!

Draw!

Write!

It's a rather nice predicament to have, since so rarely do either of the muses come around at the same time. In my teen years the writing and drawing muses were close pals of mine. Nowadays, not so much. And I miss that. The writing muse has been coming around a lot the last few years, which is really nice. The art muse is like that friend who lives far away that you rarely get to see, and when she does stop by, you make the most of it while she's there, because she ain't a stayin' for long. Right now the two muses are vying for my attention, and it's great, especially since I'm not working I have the time to share part of the day with both. Currently I'm working on a graphite drawing of a ruined medieval Hungarian church, it's remains the only thing left of a village that had once surrounded it. After that I really want to start on a portrait of Oscar Wilde because I think he is just fabulous. It's going to be tough to choose which picture of him to draw, many are just awesome and would be so much fun to draw any of them, but I need to hold off until my ruined church drawing is complete.

Don't hate me because I'm awesome.


The Thanksgiving holiday kinda  put the kibosh to my goal of getting the first draft done by the end of the month, which is Friday. I may still achieve it yet if I get to work and the words flow from me smoothly. We'll see. It was nice to see my family on T-Day, since I live three hours away and don't get to see them very often. The boyfriend had to work the entire holiday weekend, which kind of sucked, but was good because cha-ching! He makes good money as it is, but add double time to three of the four days of the holiday weekend, and that fourth day time and a half, and it is worth it. I suppose. Sucks to spend the holiday working, but many people do anyway.

So now that I'm done eating my lunch, I'm going to cut this post short so I can finish up my house chores and get to work on my drawing and novel. I shall post a picture of my drawing when it's complete.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Random Song Of The Week #26

Blue October -- 18th Floor Balcony
Album -- Foiled (2006)


I close my eyes and I smile 
Knowing that everything is alright 
To the core 
So close that door 
Is this happening? 

My breath is on your hair 
I'm unaware 
That you opened the blinds and let the city in 
God, you held my hand 
And we stand 
Just taking in everything.

And I knew it from the start 
So my arms are open wide 
Your head is on my stomach 
And we're, we're trying so hard not to fall asleep 
But Here we are 
On this 18th floor balcony... 
We're both flying away. 


So we talked about mom's and dad's 
About family pasts 
Just getting to know where we came from 
Our hearts were on display 
For all to see 
I can't believe this is happening to me and, 
I raised my hands as if to show you that I was yours 
That I was so yours for the taking 
I'm so yours for the taking and
That's when I felt the wind pick up 
I grabbed the rail while choking up 
These words to say and then you kissed me... here

And I knew it from the start 
So My arms are open wide 
Your head is on my stomach 
And we're, we're trying so hard not to fall asleep 
But Here we are 
On this 18th floor balcony... 
We're both flying away

And I'll try to sleep
To keep you in my dreams
'Till I can bring you home with me
I'll try to sleep 
And when I do I'll keep you in my... dreams 

And I knew it from the start 
So my arms are open wide 
And your head is on my stomach 
And we're, we're trying so hard not to fall asleep
So here we are
On this 18th floor balcony... 

Yeah
And I knew it from the start
So my arms are open wide
Your head is on my stomach 
No... We're not going to sleep, sleep
Here we are
On this 18th floor baclony... 
We're both flying away.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Random Song Of The Week #25

Bad Company -- Shooting Star
Album -- Straight Shooter (1975)



Johnny was an school boy
When he heard his first Beatles song
Love Me Do, I think it was
And from there it didn't take him long
Got himself a guitar
Used to play every night
Now he's in a rock 'n' roll outfit
And everything's alright
Don't you know?

Johnny told his Mama,

"Hey, Mama, I'm goin' away
I'm Gonna hit the big time
Gonna be a big star someday"
Mama came to the door
With a teardrop in her eye
Johnny said, "Don't cry, Mama,
Just smile and wave goodbye"
Don't you know?

Yeah......yeah.....

 

Don't you know that you are a shooting star
Don't you know
Don't you know
Don't you know that you are a shooting star
And all the world will love you just as long
As long as you are

Johnny made a record

Went straight up to number one
Suddenly everyone loved
To hear him sing his song
Watchin' the world go by
Surprisin' it goes so fast
Johnny looked around him and said,
"Well, I made the big-time at last"
Don't you know?
Don't you know?

A shooting star


Don't you know that You are a shooting star

Don't you know?
Don't you know that You are a shooting star
And all the world will love you just as long
as long as you are

Johnny died one night, died in his bed

Bottle of whiskey, sleeping tablets by his head
Johnny's life passed him by like a warm summer day
If you listen to the wind you can still hear him play

Don't you know that You are a shooting star

Don't you know?
Don't you know that you are a shooting star
Don't you don't you don't you don't you don't you know
Don't you know that you are a shooting star

Don't you, don't you know that you are a shooting star

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Another Chapter Closer

I'm pretty proud of myself tonight. I finished a chapter within two days, about 4300 words total. That's fantastic for me, since it usually takes me a week to squeeze out a chapter or two. I got two chapters done in less that a week, 8,900 words in all. I'm getting closer and closer to the end of this first book in my series. If I can keep this momentum up, barring nothing coming along and ruining my mojo like usual, I should have the first draft finally, FINALLY, done by the end of the month. The next chapter I'll be starting had pretty much been pre-written a year ago when the idea for it came to me and I wrote it out so I wouldn't forget it. Most of it will remain much the same as I had originally written it without a whole lot of major tweaking, so assuming I am left alone to work on it tomorrow (the boyfriend will be home from work, need I say more) I should be able to finish it and begin the following chapter (eh, he'll be out in the garage all day, I have nothing to worry about). I'm guessing, maybe, possibly, after this chapter another three or four more to end it, and after that I have to go back and write a chapter I skipped (if I decide to write it, I may not need it) and finish a couple I started and skipped because I got stuck one way or another, and finish up other little odds and ends I left to do later.

I'm pretty excited about getting this draft done. I've been working on it for way too long. Being jobless has helped, though I still don't write until the late afternoon/evening hours past when I would be home from work anyway, I don't have that mental and physical stress of the job ruining my desire to write. Once all of these chapters are done, I'm going to piece them altogether in one file (as of now each chapter has its own file) and start on the second book to give myself some distance from it before I start on the edits. I know the beginning will need a lot of editing. I already have scenes written for the second book as well, though I have a lot of writing to do to stitch those scenes together with in-between scenes. For now, I just need to concentrate on finishing this book. The light at the end of the tunnel continues to grow brighter, and brighter.

And for your reading enjoyment, a little snippet (just a wee one) from one of the two chapters I wrote this past week:

 “I had thought I'd known what love was,” he [Vlad] said. “I had been wrong. I never knew it until this moment. My son is love. And seeing him I can now say with certainty, I know what love is.”

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop

So, I got tagged for this about a month ago by writer Katie S. Pendergrass but I had been too lazy to participate. Shame on me! But now I will finally participate. 

What is your working title of your book?

Draculești has been the working title for many a moon, but since my story is going to be a series, I thought it might be better suited as the over-arching title for the series, and have individual titles for each book. For the first one which I'm still working on, the idea for the title just came to me the other night: Draculești - Blood of the Dragon, Tooth of the Wolf.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

Way back in the day when I was a young lass (19), I had an idea to write a book on how the son of the Impaler came to be a vampire and his vampire exploits after his "turn". It was only meant to be about a hundred page story, instead it grew into a crappily written 190,000 word novel. At the time I thought it was some pretty gosh darn good writing, until I displayed bits and pieces of it for critique on the interwebs in 2008 and was told the idea of the story was interesting, but the writing left something to be desired. So since then I've been learning to write by rewriting this story, and during the rewrites I've delved deeper into the historical aspects of the story, working to get those parts as true as I could while telling my fantasy story. Here's a post I had written about my WIP, if you want to learn more.

What genre does your book fall under?

Historical Fantasy is what I believe fits it best.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?


I really haven't a clue, whatsoever. I don't keep track of Hollywood, but ideally I would want foreign actors to take the roles. Hungarians for the Hungarian characters, Romanians for the Vlach characters, so on and so on. Mostly because it would be nice to hear authentic accents when they speak their dialogue, and being unfamiliar to most audiences (except, of course, to those in the countries the actor is from), people won't see them as anything more than the characters; for instance, when you see Brad Pitt, all you see is him and not the character because everyone is so familiar with him. If y'all catch my drift. For my main character, Vlad, I found that Romanian model Andrei Andrei has the looks similar as to how I see Vlad. Change his hair color from black to dirty blonde and he's essentially my MC.



What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?


Living the life of an aristocratic puppet was not how Vlad imagined his life, yet had he not returned to the man that had left him for dead as a child fourteen years ago, his Impaler Prince father would never had sent him to Buda to be trained into a soldier, only to befriend the king, nor marry into the wealthiest of Hungarian families, the Báthory's, and if he had not befriended that black wolf, the monster might never had stalked him into insanity.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I will do my best to get representation through an agency, and if that proves fruitless I may go to self-publishing.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Still working on the first draft of the complete rewrite of the original novel. I'm using the original as kind of an outline for this one. I've been working on it off and on for four years, and I'm only now coming to the halfway point or so of where the rewrite is compared to the original. It has grown more complex and longer than I imagined, so instead of one book like I had hoped to make it, it'll have to be split into two to make it salable. Unless an agent disagrees. We shall see when I get more written. The plan as of now is to split it where the eight year gap in the story begins, which I'm getting close to, and start the second book after the gap.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I don't really think there are any out there to compare it to. Perhaps, maybe, in subject matter a cross between Interview With The Vampire and Vlad: The Last Confession.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

My interest in vampires and Vlad the Impaler.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

The story's main focus is on Vlad's journey through life from an orphaned aristocratic toddler raised by peasants to returning to his birth father only to be thrust into the court of the Hungarian king, then married into the powerful Báthory family, all the while stalked by a vampiric hellhound bent on driving him to insanity. It is about his inner journey of coping with the drastic changes in his life from being dirt poor to having anything he could ever need, but always with a price. He prides himself as being sympathetic in a time when men are driven to be hard and the most prestigious occupation is that of a soldier. Through diaries written by his father's hand, Vlad learns the stories he had been told of his father were mostly propaganda and that he was more human than the monster he had always thought him to be. When he learns that a man has eyes for him, he discovers a side of himself he had never known yet always had to have been there, and explores the other side of his sexuality, risking imprisonment or death if they were to be caught.


Now for the peeps I'm to exploit into this hop. Er, actually, I don't have many peeps to choose from, so some have already done this thing, and some haven't and may not participate, which is cool. Anyway:



Rules of the Next Big Thing
  1. Use this format for your post
  2. Answer the ten questions about your current WIP (work in progress)
  3. Tag five other writers/bloggers and add their links so we can hop over and meet them.


Ten Interview Questions for the Next Big Thing:
  • What is your working title of your book?
  • Where did the idea come from for the book?
  • What genre does your book fall under?
  • Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
  • What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
  • Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
  • How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
  • What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
  • Who or what inspired you to write this book?
  • What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Random Song Of The Week #24

Alicia Keys -- If I Ain't Got You
Album -- The Diary Of Alicia Keys (2003)



Some people live for the fortune 
Some people live just for the fame 
Some people live for the power yeah 
Some people live just to play the game 
Some people think that the physical things 
Define what's within 
And I've been there before 
But that life's a bore 
So full of the superficial 

Some people want it all 
But I don't want nothing at all 
If it ain't you baby 
If I ain't got you baby 
Some people want diamond rings 
Some just want everything 
But everything means nothing 
If I ain't got you 

Some people search for a fountain 
That promises forever young 
Some people need three dozen roses 
And that's the only way to prove you love them 


Hand me the world on a silver platter 
And what good would it be 
With no one to share, with no one who truly cares for me 

Some people want it all 
But I don't want nothing at all 
If it ain't you baby 
If I ain't got you baby 
Some people want diamond rings 
Some just want everything 
But everything means nothing 
If I ain't got you,you,you 

Some people want it all 
But I don't want nothing at all 
If it ain't you baby 
If I ain't got you baby 
Some people want diamond rings 
Some just want everything 
But everything means nothing 
If I ain't got you

If I ain't got you with me baby 
Nothing in this whole wide world don't mean a thing 
If I ain't got you with me baby

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Biggie, Seriously?

I swear, my cat has some sort of mental connection to me, because every time, or nearly every damn time I open one of the documents to my novel to start working on it, Biggie has to make a pain in the ass of himself. As of typing this, he is sitting on my lap content, but usually he can't just sit on my lap like a good kitty, he has to pull on the zippers of my jacket, he has to get up and stand in-between me and the computer, making sure his fluff tail is in my face, rub his face on the corner of my desk and give it a bite for good measure. If I don't allow him on my lap, he tries to get on my desk where he and the other cats aren't allowed, or bite my foot or chew on my peace lily or do something else naughty just for the attention. It isn't that the cat never gets attention, he gets plenty of it. He just decides the best time to do it is when I'm trying to work, or trying to sleep.

He's cute, he's fluffy, and he has no shame exposing his fluff to the world.
Biggie is a bit of a celebrity, sort of. Anyone that knows my boyfriend and I knows Biggie, he's the cute fluff ball that as much as we try to give him away (out of jest, but at times seriously) no one will take him. He's naughty. Very naughty. He gets along with other cats as long as they're female. He and our other cat (out of four in the house), Missy, seem to be a couple. They always are playing and licking each other and sometimes when we have company over Biggie thinks of it as a good time to "get his groove on" with Missy. The cat is good for puking up cat food and hairballs, and the utility room seems to be his toilet. Litter box? What's that? That is the main reason why no one will take him, though he will use one if he is the only cat to use it, and if it's kept immaculate. And one reason I could never give him away; as much as I despise the daily cleaning, I know no one else would put up with a cat that's too good to use a litter box. Despite his litter box aversion, I couldn't give my fluff away, I've had him since he was a kitten, nearly seven years ago.

Regardless of being a little shit that shits and pees on the tile floor of the utility room (the dog has the carpet in the dining room taken care of—ugh, pets!), we keep him around for entertainment purposes. Biggie does things that make you laugh and he has some of the best facial expressions of any cat I've known. He's been given many nicknames, from Fluff, to Big Whisk, to Mr. Fluffypants, from Shit Head to F-ing Cat! Biggie is fond of showing affection on his terms, like most cats, and he often will greet you with a head bunt. One of his favorite places to sleep is in the closet, and when I don't know he's in there and I shut the closet doors, I'll hear this sad, sad call from somewhere until I realize where he is and set him free. Sometimes when he meows it sounds like he's saying "mom", so I call back to him saying, "Yes son?", and he comes up to me meowing and wanting to be picked up. That's another nickname he's come to be called, Son. His original name is Mr. Whiskers, but over time we've just come to call him Biggie.

Aww, Biggie baby picture.

Random Song Of The Week #23

Dead Can Dance -- Summoning Of The Muse
Album -- Within The Realm Of A Dying Sun (1987)


When my writing muse goes missing in action, perhaps I ought to play this song. Ha!