Monday, April 29, 2013

Very Inspiring Blogger Award!

I can't imagine inspiring anyone right now with my head stuffed up with a cold and my tonsils like marbles, but here it is, just the same, a very lovely honour from Ms. Shehanne Moore in the form of A Very Inspiring Blogger Award.

Shehanne, apparently, had something of a fight on her hands with giving me this award on account of her Lady Fury being annoyed with my Lady Anne, concerning their shared taste for unconventional men and Flint being a pirate. But Shehanne snuck the link through under Fury's nose (probably while Fury was occupied inspecting the contents of Flint's trousers) and gave me the award anyway. So thank you, Shehanne, for your bravery in facing Fury's ire, I appreciate your kindness.

More about Lady Fury can be found here:
And about Shehanne, here:
And the link to her debut novel, The Unraveling of Lady Fury, can be found here:
I was inspired to pick it up, and upon reading it, inspired to contact Shehanne and tell her how wonderful and refreshing the story is. So, there you go. Books are inspiring, even for creating friendships.

According to the terms of this award, I must now reveal seven things about myself so I'll tell you what I find inspiring:

1. I have two cats: Jiggeratta the Wicked and Fluffernutter. They are old, cuddly and purry and inspire me to want to stay in bed and write.

2. Downton Abbey and Game of Thrones aside, I could live without TV. I prefer movies, good books, and writing as entertainment. There is nothing more inspiring to a writer than enjoying someone else's fantastic work.

3.The sound of a gentle rainfall inspires me to smile, as long as it's not falling on my head. Then I kind of scowl a bit and mutter.

4.I think that finding the courage to get out of bed and face the world everyday is very inspiring, especially for people who can't. A disabled person is so much more than just a chair with wheels, but sadly that is often all people choose to see. Think about it.

5.Taking the chance to tell someone you appreciate them, especially a stranger, is crazy scary isn't it? But I like to do it because the world is full of nay-sayers and life, let's face it, it's just too short.

6.Warm beach sand, vodka, and room service...yeah, very inspiring. But so is walking in the woods, taking pictures of birds and flowers and the things I love.

7.Friendship. Kindness. Love. Children's giggles. Old people holding hands....Enough said.

But the best part of any award, I think, is in sharing it with other people. So with great delight, I have chosen bloggers (in no particular order) who have inspired me in some way. Each of them are wonderful, talented, creative people who, without their words, the world would be a smaller place.

Luciana Cavallaro
and last, but definitely not least,

Now go forth and be inspiring...

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Finding Leo

Staff meeting at work recently which means two hours of listening to people banter opinions about stuff and some drawing time for me. I know. Shocking, isn't it? But I'm a multi-tasking kinda girl, I can listen, take notes and doodle at the same time. In fact, the scribbles and swirls help me remember what was said better than my chicken-scratch handwriting.

Captain Leonidas, as usual, lounged in the back of my mind, waiting to torment me yet again by my inability to draw him. He's a complicated character to say the least, an automaton with a human soul. But what does he look like? Well, that's the problem. He goes through a metamorphosis during the story, starting with a very mechanical body.

"He was such a magnificent marvel of steam-powered science; blackened steel and brass rivets and gruesome sharp edges that caught the light in razor clarity. Close up, his warrior’s body seemed very well formed indeed, with massive shoulders and the ridges of his Aegean-styled breast plating as muscular as she had seen in the anatomy books secreted from her uncle’s library. But the crested helmet molding his head cast his zirconium eyes into shadow, revealing only a glimmer of blue, and nothing of their intent. A bright scarring of tin ran from the corner of his left eye, across his cheek, to the corner of his mouth in an imprecise repair which twisted his lips into a cruel sneer. With the sharp cast of his features and the flutter of his cloak he looked not unlike a vicious bird of prey."

That's what Lady Anne described when she first met him. He's fairly imposing and so I imagined him to be a guy-in-a-metal-suit, very daunting to be around, but with this presence, that she can't help find fascinating, even if he is her mortal enemy.

So I was a little bit excited when out from my pencil popped this quick sketch of an Aegean-style warrior wearing a crested helmet. Could this be Captain Leonidas? He does have a bit of a presence about him. Maybe it's a start.

Scanning the picture when I got home, I attacked it with my drawing tablet and some quick colour.

Glowing blue eyes? Check.
Imposing presence? Check.
Fluttery cape, black armour; check and check.

But wait a minute, that sounds a lot like....this guy.
Well crap. Okay, what if we change the colour. How about blue, nice and bright to go with his eyes, and we'll make his face silvery and...

...And now Captain Leonidas is Optimus Prime. Yeah, he is more than meets the eye, but..bleah.

Thanks, Mr. Transformer. You aren't helping.

Damn and double damn. You'd think I'd know that though, with all the Transformers hanging around my place, infecting my subconscious with their Mecha designs. And you'd also think that with all the source material to work from, with the intense library we have of Manga books about giant robots, Star Wars tech books, and more model kits than there is room for (thanks to my husband's home business as a very talented model maker and graphic designer) that I'd find it easy to cobble together the design for a Steampunk-automaton-robot-guy-with-a-human-soul.

The problem is, when I picture Captain Leonidas and when I'm writing his character, I'm thinking more of his human soul than I am of his metal body, and I'm imagining what he looks like when he has his real body, when he's his true self again. So abandoning all pretense of trying to draw a mechanized version of Leo, I concentrated instead on how I saw him dressed up as a courtly prince.

"True, Cleone did appear handsome in the small photograph which had been placed on her nightstand. Unlike Swiverton, he was young, tall and golden haired, with a fashionably curled moustache and a strong chin. In military finery, he looked grand, the way he held his sheathed sword, noble, but his bland expression revealed little."
Oh, boy. More then meets the eye, indeed. She might not know it yet, but I'm thinking Lady Anne's pretty darn lucky to be marrying Leo, don't you?

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Writing Smexy Bits

I’m doing a lot of scowling these days.

After pages and pages and pages of building chemistry and sexual tension between my hero and heroine, they’ve come to the point in the story where they can no longer avoid each other’s charms and for some damned reason…I’m sitting at the computer, tap, tapping away each night, working on everything but the smexy bits.

Every time I try to bend my mind to the particulars of this first love scene between the characters…it shies away, squirming like a squeamish school girl faced with frog dissection in Biology class. Remember the rubbery texture of the frog and the smell of formaldehyde? Yeah, my mind does too, and for some reason it would rather think of that grossness then concentrate on this particular love scene. 

Not good, right?

I’ve written sexy scenes before. I’m no stranger to the language and the mechanics, but it seems with this particular scene, my mind needs to take some Viagra. 

Maybe it’s because the mechanics in themselves are really very simple; girl locks lips with boy and then their souls collide. See? Simple. Maybe too simple. Maybe I’ve not given myself enough to work with. There’s not a lot of physical touching at this point in the story, given the circumstances, so the usual hands sliding over skin and groping of body parts doesn’t really apply. The process of showing (remember, kids, show don’t tell) the desire is primarily internal, and that’s throwing me for a bit of a loop. I’ve got to find different words and different ways to describe the emotional interaction and eroticism and it’s taking time and lots of thought and reading to give my mind a refreshing break (though that last one might just be gratuitous procrastination J).

All good things come to those who wait, but… I’d really like this story to get finished sooner than in ten years’ time, so if anyone has advice on how I can jump this hurdle, break through this writing block, and dissect this metaphorical frog without puking, I’d greatly appreciate your wisdom.

Anyone, anyone?