Thursday Photos: Metal Sculpture

I found this metal sculpture one day when I was in San Francisco with my husband. We had gone there specifically to take photos (which I didn’t realize was going to include four hours of walking around–not a good day to wear new pointy-toed shoes!). I really liked the way the sunlight hit it (a rarity in and of itself in San Francisco), so I had to take a picture.

Here’s another angle, showing the whole sculpture:

Pretty cool, isn’t it? Fairly simple, yet intriguing. By the way, I’m pretty sure my husband took this photo, not me. I definitely took the first one, though. If you ever go to San Francisco, CA, then look for this sculpture!

Why I Love Wednesdays . . . Favorite Genre

This week’s Why I Love Wednesdays topic is “Favorite Genre”. Now, I know I mostly write YA, but my favorite genre will forever be epic fantasy. My dad handed me my first epic fantasy book when I was in sixth grade. It was called “Shapechangers”, by author Jennifer Roberson. It’s the first book in an eight-book series called The Chronicles of the Cheysuli. If you like books about shapechangers/shifters, I highly recommend you check it out. They’re only available in omnibus editions now, unless you can hunt the originals down on Amazon.
There’s just something about epic fantasies that’s always called to me. There’s just something about the magic, the prophecies, the questing . . . I’ve always loved getting lost in a world not my own. While I love books set in the real world, it takes a whole other level of detail to create your own world. I love how you can create alternate realities in epic fantasy where anything goes—and then set your own rules. You can create your own history, cultures, costuming, modes of transportation, politics, religions, languages . . . the possibilities are absolutely endless. That’s why epic fantasy will always be my first love, literature-wise.
I should also add that my first big “literary crush” was Kellin from “A Tapestry of Lions”, the last book of The Chronicles of the Cheysuli. I mentioned him briefly in last week’s post, which can be found here. I promise I will post all about him later. Maybe he’ll make an appearance on this week’s Fun Fact Friday.
By the way, in case anyone’s wondering . . . yes, I am working on my own epic fantasy series. That will be a long time in the making but it’s really exciting to work on!

Writing Prompts: Medical Professional

Here’s the prompt that I chose for this week: write for 20 minutes * A Medical Professional * the third time is the charm
Dr. Weston threw down her scalpel in disgust as the heart monitor gave out the worst sound she could possibly hear: the sound of yet another patient flat lining. She pulled down her mask. “I can’t believe I lost another one.”
“Don’t worry Doctor. You’ll get that grant,” an intern tried to encourage her.
She turned. “I’m not worried about the grant! Well, I am, but only because it will help these patients that I’m trying so hard to save.”
“Sorry, Doctor,” he apologized.
“This is still an experimental treatment,” the surgical fellow reminded her. “We still have plenty of time to perfect it.”
“Yes, but in the meantime, these patients keep dying!”
“Well, we have another scheduled for this afternoon,” the fellow reminded her. “You know what they say: ‘The third time is the charm.’”
Dr. Weston stared at him. “This is no time for your jokes. I need to go research some more. You should also. I’ll be expecting you in on that surgery this afternoon.”
She banged through the doors of the operating room to go wash up. She looked through the window separating the room from the OR to make sure no one was watching and then she slid to the floor. “I’m never going to get this treatment working,” she muttered to herself.
She heard someone coming so she quickly stood back to her feet and stripped off her gloves. She hit the lever to turn on the water and began scrubbing her hands furiously. “Everything okay, Doctor?” the intern asked.
“Yes, fine. Meet Dr. Roacke and me in the conference room after you finish cleaning up. We have a lot more work to do if we want to be ready for the next surgery.”
She didn’t wait for her intern to agree. She knew he would be there. He had to be if he wanted to stay in the internship program. She left the OR and headed for her office before deciding to go to the cafeteria instead. She needed coffee badly. Maybe it would help her concentrate. Maybe it would help her find an answer.

Playlist Archive: Bad Romance

I thought today I would share a song from my Foreshadow playlist: Bad Romance by A Smile From The Trenches. Now, I know this is originally a Lady Gaga song, but once my friend showed me this version, I just had to stick it on my playlist.

Now, I don’t generally do a song per chapter when I write. I tend to just choose songs for my playlists that go with the theme of certain scenes, or relationships. I chose this song because I thought it fits Rae and Andrei’s relationship. The two of them definitely have a bad, crazy romance going on.

Six Sentence Sunday #5

I know I’ve been plugging Foreshadow like crazy lately, but I thought I’d share the beginning of an unnamed work in progress this week! Enjoy!

They say that when you have a near-death experience, your life flashes before your eyes.             
Well, I guess my accident doesn’t qualify, although I certainly thought I was going to die.              
One moment, I was slipping and falling, the ground approaching at an alarming rate.
Then . . . blackness.
I woke to the beeping of machines and tubes coming out of my arms.
Oh, and there was a guy I didn’t recognize leaning over me . . . A seriously hot guy.

Short Story Saturday: "Bemused" Chapter Three

Chapter One can be found here
Chapter Two can be found here
            “You look lost.”
            The voice came from behind Lorelei as she stared around the grand foyer inside the Temple. She turned to find a short, slim girl with dark hair that cascaded over her flowing white dress. Gold glinted at her waist, and at both shoulders. “I am, a little,” Lorelei admitted.
            The girl smiled. “I’m Delia. I can show you where to go.”
            Lorelei breathed a sigh of relief. “Thanks. I appreciate it.”
            “Why don’t we get your bags to your room. Once you’re settled in, I can show you around.”
            Lorelei hesitated for a moment. “Do I need to report to Calliope first?”
            “Oh, you won’t meet Calliope today,” Delia told her. “Your classes will begin tomorrow. But don’t worry, she already knows you’re here.”
            Delia headed for the stairs and gestured for Lorelei to follow. She felt as though they walked forever. The Temple was huge. Lorelei thought she would never find her way around.
            “So, uhhh . . . Delia?”
            “Yes?”
            “Do I have to wear those . . . robes?” She looked down at her dark jeans and T-shirt.
            “Yes, we all wear similar clothing.”
            Great. “It would have helped if they had told me what to pack,” Lorelei grumbled under her breath.
            “Oh there will be time for you to go into the city. Then your regular clothing will come in handy. We must blend in with the city around us,” Delia informed her.
            Even better. The girl had heard her. Lorelei fell silent and continued to trail after her, still lugging the suitcases. She could have at least offered to carry one, she thought bitterly to herself.
TO BE CONTINUED . . .

Fun Fact Friday: How I Name Characters

A lot of people ask where I get my characters’ names. I actually pull names from a variety of sources. Sometimes, they pop in my head. Sometimes I use a name suggestion that someone else gives me.
However, there are four main sources that I use to find names:
Ø    Baby naming websites. The one I use most often is http://www.babynames.com/. This website gives the name meanings. Also, if you know what you want a name to mean, you can do a meaning search and a list of names will pop up.
Ø    Name generators, such as http://www.behindthename.com/random/. I like this one because you can plug in different nationalities, if you have a feeling for what you want.
Ø    Other books. Now I won’t “steal” a unique name, but if I find a more common name that I like, I’ll add it to a list for future use.
Ø    Social Security Name Index. I use this sometimes if I’m writing a story set in the real world and I have a character that needs to be a certain age. I approximate their year of birth and then look at the popular names for babies who were born that year.
I have one more “secret source”. It’s not technically a source, actually. My husband and I kept a running list of names we were considering for our children. Now, we don’t have children yet, but we’ve tentatively decided on names. I sometimes use the names I liked that he rejected in my writing. In fact, the names that we have decided on crop up in my writing . . . I’m not going to tell what they are though.

Thursday Photos: Fencing

Moira’s Blog is going to be moving to Team Promethiad’s blog. You can find it here: http://promethiad.blogspot.com/
I’m starting a new Thursday theme today: Photo Thursdays. These are mostly going to be photos I’ve taken, although I might include some from others.
This is a photo I actually took my senior year of high school for my photography class. The assignment was “pattern” if I remember correctly and I found this orange plastic fencing lying in the field as I was wandering for school. I have to admit, more often than not, my friends and I would check out the cameras, say we were working on an assignment and go get ice cream from the vending machine instead. This time, I was actually looking for something to use for the assignment. It paid off, because my photo was later featured in the artist’s showcase. It’s one of two photos remaining of those I took in this class. I’m not sure what happened to the others. I might post the second one sometime.
I’ll be back next week with another photo!

Why I Love Wednesdays . . . Why I Love Ce’Nedra and Keely

This Why I Love Wednesday is all about favorite characters. Now, I really couldn’t choose just one. Both of these ladies have been my heroines since seventh grade when I first discovered their stories.
I’ll start with Ce’Nedra from The Belgariad and The Mallorean series. I loved her from the first time she was introduced. She’s a fiery redhead (with a temper to match!) who can wrap her daddy around her little finger. She’s an Imperial Princess, the only child of the Emperor. She’s also part dryad. Her father tries to force her to go to another country to honor an ancient treaty—so she runs away. Unfortunately for her, she ends up with people who make her go honor the treaty anyway (which she is definitely not happy about). Now, I know this is making her sound horrible, but she’s really not. When the man she’s supposed to marry has to sneak off for a dangerous mission, she takes over the war council (after she throws a huge temper tantrum) and convinces the kings on the council to let her lead an army against the enemy countries. Ce’Nedra shows absolute genius as they gather people from various ally countries. She even bribes her own father’s troops to follow her. In the second part of the series (The Mallorean), her only child is kidnapped and she and her husband (along with several relatives and friends) tear the world apart looking for him. I honestly don’t know how she held up during all of this. If I were her, I would have done the same thing, but I don’t know if I would have handled it as well as she did.
Now onto Keely from The Chronicles of the Cheysuli. She’s the youngest of four children and she’s the only girl. Her mother’s a complete nutcase who tried to hand her children over to an evil sorcerer when they were babies—but only the boys. To say Keely has mommy issues doesn’t even begin to describe it. She’s also the only princess in her land, unless you count her half-sister (most people don’t). She’s been engaged to a man she’s never met since before she was born and she has no desire to ever meet him, let alone marry him. She’s definitely not a typical girly-girl princess. She wears hunting leathers, she can fight with a sword or a knife and she could probably drink any man under the table. She also has special abilities. She can communicate with animals and take on their shapes—something only the men of her people could do. When she’s kidnapped by the same evil sorcerer that her mother had previously tried to give her brothers to, she doesn’t cower and wait for someone to rescue her—she gets herself the heck out of there (granted, with a little help from another prisoner). I won’t share my favorite scene of the book because it gives too much away, but let’s just say she has a very interesting way of dealing with choosing between two men. I have to admit, her eventual grandson is probably my favorite male fictional character. I might talk about him more on a different day.
So there you go: two awesome, non-traditional princesses. I like them for their attitudes, their ability to deal with some of the worst things that could happen to a person (or character) and come out of it sane. It’s not just that they’re princesses, but deep down, doesn’t every little girl want to be a princess?

Writing Prompts: Childhood Mythical Creature

Today’s writing prompt:  drabble (100 words) * A Mythical Creature or Idea * childhood memories
When I was eight, I carried a silver mirrored compact with me everywhere. In this compact lived my “faery”, Daphne. I called her a forest sunlight faery. When the sun hit the mirror just so, it would project a light onto the wall. That light was Daphne. I’d move the mirror around so Daphne’s light would “dance” and I would dance and jump around with her. I’m not sure what happened to that compact, but I’d love to get another one. Maybe I’ll find Daphne still residing in the light.