The Queen of Tangential Thinking

20 05 2010

Weather:  High: 70º &  Sunny– A whiff of summer in the air. Bah.

The title for this post comes from a conversation I was having with a couple of friends, some who are writers. I was commenting on the fact that whenever I start researching something for a story, whether it be history, or mythology or whatever is needed, I find myself wandering off into tangential searches. These tend to be triggered by a small piece of info in the topic I was initially researching.

For example, yesterday, in a fit of pique spawned by my current bout of writers dry well syndrome, I decided to do a little world building to see if it would jumpstart some creativity. So, I thought, let’s see if we can’t create an origin story for the race of vampires in my story. Let’s look for ancient vampire myths.

First I started with Ancient Egypt, seeing that the Archive story arc is heavily immersed in the Library of Alexandria. Since that was one pole stuck in the sand, timeline wise, I figured I’d work BACKWARDS. So into Mesopotamia I went, and started with the varied groups that existed around that time. Picking through the different kingdoms/civilizations, I stumbled across the Hurrians, a Trans-Caucasus race that had some ties to the Hittites & had , much like the Hittites, vanished from the timeline, taking their unique language and mythology with them.  (They didn’t really “Vanish” as in POOF!, but their people were absorbed by the Assyrians, as was their language.)

well, this triggered a memory of Lilitu and her lore related to the area. So I was off to research Lilitu myths, trying to weed out those that were from the Judaeo-Christian lore. This in turn revealed archaeological links, which in turn sprouted some tendrils into the practice of kurgan burial…and you see how I somehow got derailed from my initial search.

This is typical for me, and although it may seem a scatter-shot way to go about researching, it has actually led to some very juicy plot points. I look for the holes in historical records. This is where you can plant your fictional seeds and see what takes root. Holes produce a lot of “what ifs?”. And “what ifs?” lead to “how about this!”  and voila! You have a nice little plot bunny a’nibbling at your brain stem.

So, now armed with about 40 pieces of random info, I shall endeavor to bang and mash together a history of my vampires.  Next, onto the plot of Book#2, which is looking to be gutted from the original and re-written. A challenge indeed, but I want something percolating on the stove while I try and shop around Book #1.


Stories Widget

20 05 2010

So..I finished my first book. Now what?

10 05 2010

Weather: High: 61º and sunny. Cold breeze. Vaguely springlike.

Yes, you read that right. I finally finished writing When the Lights Go Down,  although I’m still doing the final read through post-editing for continuity and plot trimming. (The book ended up a 118K beast. Needs some trimming. )

So. What’s next? Well, I’m lining up a list of possible agents to approach. And publishers I think might be interested in the type of story I’ve written (Paranormal Romance leaning towards Urban Fantasy.)  Query letter is on deck to be written. And I’m shaking in my boots. I realize that I will probably get rejected, and that I’m actually cool with. It’s the possibility of getting published that has me a little anxious. Weird, huh?

Also, so I don’t play a waiting game while the inspiration is flowing,  I’ve already started on book #2, currently titled Dark of the Mirror, though that is subject to change.  I’m ignoring the 50k I’ve already got written, and am attempting to create a new outline. I want the story to flow from the first book, and although there are elements there already that fit in, there is a lot more that flies right in the face of the series. Fundamental stuff that is part worldbuilding and part contradiction of previously established characters.  More disconcerting is the fact that I’m looking at the possibility of completely trashing my main male character and completely re-writing him. So. A fresh start even though I have a half written book. The plot is the thing. It’s a keeper, with a few tweaks.

Additionally, the third book in this trilogy is also getting outlined so that I can have it ready to work on come the end of book#2. Then following that, there are two other trilogies, at minimum, to come within this universe.

The other big thing in the works, aside from the actual books, is my website. I’ve secured the domain, I just need to get to work on the actual site.  I’m going to be embedding this blog there once I get all the images & programming done. (Did I mention I do web design as well? No? Just call me a jill of all trades. 😉 )  I’ll post the link as soon as I get it up and running.

On the personal front, Brian and I are still working towards our move to Seattle this fall. We’re actively looking for jobs, and hoping to take a trip back out there again so we can look for a place to rent. We have a long wishlist of places/ neighborhoods we’d like to plant ourselves, but we’ll see what we can finagle in this economy. Our current house is getting purged of excess stuff (I recently parted with about 7 boxes of VHS tapes–all went to recycling — and we’re wading through our library, trying to pare back our huge number of books. ). We’re also trying to scrape together the funds for house repairs & the eventual hiring of a home inspector, just to cover our butts.

So. A lot on the plate. But the one major thing that’s changed recently is my mentality. For a very long time, progress has been stunted by the demands of others and the obligations placed upon us that were, to be as polite as possible, ridiculously over the top. Well, as of last month, that stopped. Because we said no.  At some point in your life, you need to put your foot down and tell people no. No, I won’t put my life on hold for you anymore. No, I appreciate your input, but I know what we need to do. No, your emotional histrionics are not more important than our peace of mind.  Just….NO.

When the prospect of a new life, with all the fresh possibilities and potential opportunities, lands in your lap, you need to grab it by the reins and let it take you. There is a small death in waiting for a safe opportunity.  Chances are meant to be taken, even with the possibility of failure on the table. Some of the greatest success stories start with a few small failures. The determining factor is whether you sit back and accept the failure, or use it as an opportunity to try something different.

I am not afraid of failure or rejection.

I’m afraid of a life of missed opportunities and never tried chances.

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