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LunaKlipps
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[*] posted on 7-1-2009 at 09:14 PM


Quote:
Originally posted by samripley
LunaKlipps: Very spooky and suspenseful! I really like your descriptions; they add to the suspense. I want to know what happens next! My favorite description was: "My weight made the floorboards creak, breaking the quiet..." For some reason, 'breaking the quiet' really caught me, I'm not sure why. I also really liked when she realized it was dusty.


Thank you! I have to write now, but I'll come back and critique yours in a little while. :) And thanks for the quiet remark, because I was afraid it sounded a little off. :)




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[*] posted on 7-2-2009 at 10:39 AM


This is the first half of my first chapter. Feedback is always good.
~~~~


“And you’re sure big things are coming my way soon?”

Yeah, like a truck, thought the young woman in the gypsy scarf. But she kept her face expressionless. “That’s what it says in the cards, sir. The Six of Wands and the Six of Pentacles indicate a promotion or financial increase.”

“Hot dog!” The client, a man in his middle years, pumped a fist in the air, dropped what looked like a twenty-dollar bill into the tip jar, and left the caravan.

“Tourists,” muttered the “gypsy”, gathering her cards and shuffling them lightly to clear them of the man’s energy. Fortunately, it was a slow time of day—most of the visitors to the fairgrounds didn’t show up until around noon, and usually her caravan was empty until closer to two.

The sign over the cloth doorway read CASSANDRA DELPHI – TAROT READINGS, but her real name was Hecate Ruya, chosen by parents she considered patently insane. Those few patrons who addressed her by name—most just asked their questions—called her Madame Cassandra. People new to the fairgrounds called her Cass or Cassie, and she let most people think that was her name. Only her true friends called her Catie.

Shuffling done, Catie leaned over and depressed a small button, cunningly disguised as the tooth of one of the carvings on the wall. When a client stepped over the threshold, the tooth would snap down and the half-door of the caravan would shut and lock one way. When the patron left, she would reset the tooth and the door would stay open until the next person came in.

A slight rustling from behind reached Catie’s ears. Without turning, she called, “Robin, what do you want?”

“How’d you know I was here?” A young boy, not more than eight or nine, with patched canvas pants and a simple shirt, appeared in the main part of the caravan.

Catie smiled at him. “In the first place, I heard the door shut in the back. In the second place, I know the sound of your feet. In the third place, I could sense you trying to be very quiet. Most people who bother me just barge in.”

“Am I bothering you?” Robin looked up at her anxiously, blue eyes wide.

Catie’s heart went out to him. He was really too young to be here. “No, of course not, Robbie. What was it you wanted to ask me?”

“Would you do a reading for me?”

Catie hesitated. She usually resisted doing readings for her co-workers, especially the young ones. She really wasn’t supposed to do readings for anyone under eighteen without the parents’ permission anyway, but this was a little different. Robin wasn’t quite able to ask his parents for permission.

“Why do you want a reading? Do you have a question?” she finally asked.

Robin nodded. “I want to know about my mom and dad.”

Catie bit her lip, then sighed. “Okay, Robin. Sit right there, okay?”

She pushed the tooth again, locking the two of them in the cabin. Usually before a reading she did some mystical mumbo-jumbo, said a few magic words that she made up on the spot, burned some incense, put her hands on the client’s head, whatever, but for Robin she did none of those things. “You need to ask a specific question, okay, honey?”

Robin nodded. He thought for a minute, then asked, “Are my mom and dad coming to get me?”

“Uh, this kind of tarot really doesn’t work for yes or no questions. Try again.”

Robin thought for a moment, his brow furrowed in thought, then asked, “What are my mom and dad doing right now?”

Catie repeated the question as she shuffled the deck in a slow, easy movement. She cut the deck, then began laying out the cards. Some of the women who ran caravans—she was one of about eight caravans at the fairgrounds, six of whom did tarot readings—let their clients pick the cards out of the deck, but Catie had always found that if the universe wanted the cards to come up, it would darn well put them on the top of the deck. Nobody else was allowed to touch her cards, lest their energy interfere with hers. She pursed her lips as she studied the group of cards she had lain out.

Finally, she looked up at Robin. “Okay, honey. This is the Nine-Card Spread, with three groupings—past, present, and future. In the Past we have the King of Pentacles, the Queen of Swords, and the Page of Cups. This is your father, your mother, and you—I’m sure of it. What does your daddy do?”

“I don’t remember. I think he works as a construction worker, but I don’t remember.”

“Okay, well, I’m sure this is him. Anyway, this is you guys in the past. Now, in the present, we have the Ace of Pentacles, Justice, and the Six of Pentacles. This combination means there’s an inheritance coming. Now here in the future, we have Judgement, the Two of Cups, and Temperance. That means reconciliation, or renewing a relationship.”

Robin jumped up excitedly. “So they’re gonna come and get me!”

“I think so.” Catie smiled She really loved this kid and would be heartbroken if he left her, but if it would make him happy she would move the moon and stars. “Listen, Robin, why don’t you go help Madame Esmeralda with her crystal balls? I think somebody’s outside.”

“Okay,” Robin agreed happily. Before he left, he hugged Catie around her neck and kissed her on the cheek. “Thanks, Catie,” he whispered, then disappeared out the back door.




"Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia." ~E. L. Doctorow
"Talent is like a faucet. When it is open, we can write. Inspiration is a farce, invented by poets to give themselves importance." ~Jean Anouilh
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Waits
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[*] posted on 7-2-2009 at 04:24 PM


WrittenWord, I like what I've read so far. The bit with the tooth was great... it's those kind of details that bring a story to life. You've got a wide open beginning. Keep it going.
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[*] posted on 7-2-2009 at 04:34 PM


Ok good people, I am having the damnedest time reading these on screen. I want to help, maybe print them out and then come back, but will it be too late? If you'll wait I'll post them or send them on the U2U thingy...
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LunaKlipps
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[*] posted on 7-3-2009 at 08:19 AM


@ samripley

See, I told you I'd get around to this. :)
I really liked your excerpt, and I believe that Aiden is a really good character, so is Celeste, but I seemed to like Aiden more. ;)

“You’ve never seen this dog. He’s like a… bulldozer with legs.”

I'll admit, that one made me laugh. XD Keep up the good work!

@ WrittenWord

Wow. That was amazing. I've read, how much is that? Half of your first chapter? And I'm already in love with the characters! Robin seems like such a sweetie, I just want to give him a hug. I think Catie deserves one to, now that I think of it. I don't know much about your plot from what you just put down, but if you'd like a reader to critique, I'll volunteer!

[Edited on 7-3-2009 by LunaKlipps]




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[*] posted on 7-3-2009 at 08:15 PM


Ah, fail. I'll go back and look over everyone's excerpts to review when I am having a more productive day.. but from what little I have read I can tell that mine is really unpolished in comparison. Here it is, feedback is (very) welcome

------------------

“Can I help you, son?”

Whirling in fear ‘Ric reached for the small dagger he carried with him. A wizened old man stood by the unlit fireplace, half illuminated by the candle on the far table. Where had he come from? ‘Ric would have sworn there had been no one standing there when he first peeked his head in the room – there had been no one standing anywhere. And although this strange man seemed harmless enough – his tone of voice suggesting mild curiousity at most, if not out-right boredom – he had just witnesses ‘Ric climb through his window in the middle of the night. ‘Ric’s intentions were clear, even if his target was not, and however mild-mannered the old man might seem there was precious little chance that he would just let ‘Ric go unmolested. And so before he had even had the chance to fully draw his blade ‘Ric used the momentum from the turn towards the fireplace to carry himself fully around to the window, and in two quick steps he reached the ledge – just as a sudden gust of wind, much stronger than any all day, tore back the drapes and slammed the pane with a resounding thud.

“In such a hurry. Where are you going dear boy?”

The voice was closer now, though there had been no sound of an approach, and tinged with a hint of amusement, as if the stranger was enjoying ‘Ric’s sudden bout of misfortune. Turning one final time so that his unprotected back was not to the old man ‘Ric decided that his best bet was to try and talk his way out of this.

“Come, join me for some refreshments. It will give you a chance to flesh out your story.” The old man made his way over to the table and poured two servings of wine.

‘Ric was left open-mouthed, shocked at the old man’s comment. Quickly remembering himself, however, he shut it, took a calming breathe and asked in as inoffensive a manner as possible, “Story, sir? I don’t know what you mean.”

“Indeed?” The grey beard rustled as he chuckled. “Well then join me, and I will do the story telling.”
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[*] posted on 7-4-2009 at 02:47 PM


@ Waits: Thanks! I confess I liked the bit about the tooth.

@ LunaKlipps: I might take you up on that. I'm writing a mystery. Catie has a client whose reading turns up the Death card, which is actually symbolic of ending one phase of life and beginning another, but the client actually turns up dead. Catie ends up under suspicion and it's up to her to help the police find the real murderer and clear her name.


@ Marzipan: That sounds really interesting! Definitely something I would read. Don't worry about it being a little rough around the edges (it's not really that unpolished, for a first draft)--after all, that's what August and September are for, refining it and polishing it. It looks really good.




"Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia." ~E. L. Doctorow
"Talent is like a faucet. When it is open, we can write. Inspiration is a farce, invented by poets to give themselves importance." ~Jean Anouilh
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[*] posted on 7-6-2009 at 09:43 AM


The beginning of my sorry novel is a scene that shows my protagonist being transported to his seventh foster home this year and it's only September!

The Star Tattoo

Stores of all descriptions filed past the late model sedan. Hot air rising from overly hot tar played tricks on the eyes, reflecting distorted images of signage and oncoming traffic. Inside the car, the air conditioner worked full time in a fruitless effort to maintain a temperature that was comfortable to the driver. In spite of being late September a heat wave with no apparent end in sight was fast validating the legendary fickleness of the New England weather.

“The Ryans weren’t good enough for you, Aristotle?” Mr. Brown asked, while reaching to turn the air conditioner up another notch. On finding that the knob was at its maximum setting, he made a gesture of disgust and mumbled something indistinct under his breath.

“No, I wasn’t good enough for them,” Aristotle said after a few moments of silent deliberation....

[ I'll answer this one before it comes, if it comes: no, the stores don't move of their own accord, they move from the point of view of Aristotle (14 years old and a brat of the first magnitude) Maia pointed this out to me, she also twisted my arm and made me change my pratagonist name. I hope I made it clear enough with the edit.]

Who is Maia?
She's a classy lady unafraid to tell you what's wrong with your writing. She also runs a program of her own design that aims to keep Tinian (one of the Marshall Islands) literate.

[Edited on 7-6-2009 by EasyWriter]

[Edited on 7-6-2009 by EasyWriter]
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LunaKlipps
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[*] posted on 7-6-2009 at 10:17 AM


@Writtenword

Wow! That sounds really interesting. I would be glad to read it when this is all over and completed.

@EasyWriter

You have a good vocabulary, but that was not a very long excerpt, so I didn't really get to know your characters. If you posted more, I would write more here, but I can't comment much more than this now.




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[*] posted on 7-6-2009 at 10:56 AM


Luna, you struck me as being pretty smart, so I had to go and find something written by you, I was dying to say to myself: I'm better than her. But, I was disappointed: you're better than me. :(

[ Silence filled every corner, just waiting to be broken. ] I really liked this sentence; so simple, yet so full of meaning. Like at any moment some unexpected event would shatter the silence in a way that the world wouldn't ever be the same. Now I just wish you'd do something about your mentioning the silence later on in about the same way. It detracts from the impact of the first allusion to it.

Talk about wanting to know what's coming next!

Don't get me wrong, being amateurs, we're all in need of improvement; but, some more than others. And you you're pretty good.
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[*] posted on 7-6-2009 at 11:12 AM


He made the cut as he was directed. Straight from the collarbone to the bellybutton, as deep as he could cut, until he hit bone. The blood was hot on his hand and arm, and on his face when it sprayed to coat him. He did not shy away, but continued to cut. When that cut was made, he was instructed to make a horizontal one across the collarbone. Here, he chanced to look at Rez’s face as he straightened. The man’s face was contorted in agony, as though there was nothing more that he would like than to die. But, to his near-horror, the man was not dead and his eyes were still fluttering, his lips moving dumbly, but no sound came out.

Then he ignored the man, ignored his humanity, and continued with the cutting. It was complex, and the first two cuts were the beginning of the ritual, not the end. By the fifth cut, the man was dead, but that did not mark the end of the ritual. Various symbols had to be etched onto various parts of the body.

And then came the true sacrifice. Noa cut into the abdomen, searching deep. He had grown up on an estate, and so he knew what the inside of a butchered animal looked like. This was no different, he told himself, as he pulled out the liver. He was instructed to lay it on the stone and slice it into two pieces. Sha’ch strode forward from the shadows at that moment and took one half of it, biting into it, drinking deep of the blood.

Noa understood that he was supposed to take the other piece. There was but a moment of hesitation before he did as he was directed. It was still warm and sticky, very chewy. He did not consider that this was another man’s liver, that this was a man that had just died by his hand.

After they had consumed that organ, the other one that was to be given to Sha’ch was the man’s heart. This was more difficult to get to, as Noa did not quite have the strength to break the man’s ribs apart to reach the organ. Eventually, he managed it, and handed the bloodied organ to Sha’ch, who devoured it in four bites.

“Rise, Noa,” said Sha’ch, when he had swallowed the last bit of it.

Noa rose to his feet, suddenly aware of the stickiness on his hands, on his robe, on his face, and realized that it was blood. He looked down at the man and saw something that was barely recognizable as human. The only thing that was, was the face. It still stared up in mute agony, the markings around the eyes and across the forehead only seemed to highlight his humanity rather than deny it. His chest had been torn open and was no more than a bloody mass.

“You have offered to me the most supreme sacrifice,” said Sha’ch, his voice deep and formal. “You have marked yourself for all time as one of my followers and none shall ever be allowed to doubt you. You shall never be marked as an apostate. You shall never be permitted to leave me, on the pain of death.” He stepped closer, until their bodies were almost touching. Sha’ch knelt and dipped his finger into one of the many pools of blood. He straightened and ran his finger down the side of Noa’s face. It burned, and Noa did not know why. “You are so marked,” he said.

“I am so marked,” Noa repeated. He looked down at the body of the man that he had once thought of as an ally, the one that Jaik had thought of as an ally, and the one that the king had seen as a traitor. He wondered what all of them would think of him now, looking down at him and seeing the man he had just killed.

“You did not kill a man,” said Sha’ch, not unkindly. “You sacrificed him. And you have sacrificed yourself in the same breath. You know that.”

Noa nodded. “What do I do now? Tell me what to do.”

“He must be buried. My sacrifices must not be fouled by the beasts of the wild.”

“I have nothing with which to dig,” said Noa, feeling a little helpless.

“Use your hands.”

And while Noa might object that his hands were poor tools and the ground was not soft, he immediately got on his knees and began to dig. Within moments, his hands were bleeding, but he continued to dig. He could not stop, not even if his hands had fallen off. With each handful of dirt that he removed, he removed some of his blood, which was beginning to pool in the shallow pit.

It took a long time to dig, but he did not stop for a single break. He was instructed to move the body into the grave and cover it back up with dirt. He did as he was told, until all that remained were the pools of blood on the stones that lay there. He looked down at his hands. They were ruined, bloody messes. It would take days to heal, weeks perhaps, and they would probably always carry scars
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[*] posted on 7-6-2009 at 11:21 AM


[Ok! I'll post mine too and then read all of your excerpts after. I am so at work and so not supposed to be on the net but oh well >.> Criticism is welcome! however please keep in mind that English is not my first language. This is far from being perfect or good enough but I am slowly working my way through this novel It'll be the first time that I'll write something this long in another language than French, wish me luck! :P]


|Bloodied Whispers and Rotten Flesh|


“I’ll fr’kin’ kill ‘hem all!” the man snarled but there was no one around, not even a bird or a cat to insult.

The fallen soldier was once again drunk. He, Sakamoto Takashi had been drinking until tripping on his own toes for another time this week. It had been like this for a while already; whenever his tired body would reach that state where pain was overwhelming and destructive, he would do nothing but to drink. The army took his rank away, the war took his general off him, leaving the soldier alone and tired of life with too many wounds to even think about healing them naturally. Every night of his life he would sit at the same old place of that miserable bar to get drunk enough to forget a brief second about his memories and how pathetic he was at life.

The fallen soldier had to lean on the wall not to fall face first. Bringing the bottle of rum to his lips, he takes a sip, letting the strong liquor slide down his throat and burn his lungs, imbibing his mind a bit more.

“And this one’s for ‘u sir General!” he muttered before emptying the bottle and throwing it against the wall, letting strains of rum on the dark brick of the convenience store.

Staring at the mess Sakamoto had a bitter laugh before he stumbled on. Moon was high in the sky, its pale light barely allowing a man like the soldier to find his way back home. Stars were covered by several dark clouds promising rain for the next day.

“’U’re ‘dead!” Sakamoto yelled suddenly as he scrapped his hand against the wall a new time, forcing a moan out of his mouth.

Ghosts were hunting him tonight. Sometimes it would only be voices but in the wan light of the nocturnal planet he could see silhouettes walking towards him, pace slow and taunting, their gazes directed at him but it was as if Sakamoto wasn’t there. His souvenirs were looking through him, not caring about who they were about to collide with.

“Dead” he growled before trying to punch one as if he was getting a revenge from a wrestling fight but he aimed for emptiness, tripped on his feet and ended up on the dirtied ground of Ketsueki. The fall was long for him but he barely had the time to protect his head before falling on his forehead. Blood pearled at the small wound but Sakamoto didn’t even move. Staying like this and staring at his hands, he wondered why he decided to live this war.

It killed everyone around him! Taking his general away of him, the only man that was making him a bit more human than the trained soldier he once had been. Their relationship was less than common but it was sufficient to bring Sakamoto alive and to help him survive the hard training of the army and then the multiple wars he took part of. Sakamoto’s world went upside down during the mission ‘Praying Mantis’ when he looked the general Takashiwa dying for him. The general saw a red dot leading to a sniper and without thinking he had jumped to where Sakamoto was standing, threw him on the ground already covered by corpses and wounded soldiers to protect the young soldier. The sound of bullet had reached Sakamoto as a backstab and he stared into the dying man’s eyes. The last words of Takashiwa were “Promise me to tell the world” and he gave his last breathe in the arms of Sakamoto, marking the latter’s heart with a burning stick.

The wound had never healed and would probably not.

Sakamoto sighed before turning his head to the side. The taste of bile invaded his mouth. He had the time to raise on his knees but not to hide from the middle of the silent street. Throwing up, the acidic taste made him slightly dizzy. He stayed on his hands and knees a few more minutes, trying to soften his sickness.

[And right after this, Mister Sakamoto will get attacked by a werewolf :P]
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Fallen_Angel5535
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[*] posted on 7-6-2009 at 03:23 PM


Well, I'll post this embarressing little scene- it's so unpolished, but I suppose that's the point, right? Anyways, this scene is from my JuNoWriMo- currently titled 24 Hours- about a teenager, Riley, who finds out she only has 24 hours to live.This scene is later on in the book, when she is in the hospital after collapsing, and a doctor has taken her adoptive parents and her best friend, Wynter, into another room to tell them Riley is dying. Riley follows them, and finds out herself.

It's short, it's bad, but I'm proud of it, having written it in about seven minutes xD Enjoy, and comments and criticism is appreciated! :D



A furtive glance across the hall; the receptionist was busy at her desk, too swamped with the precariously stacked paperwork to pay attention to the room just across the hall. Carefully, ever so carefully, I pushed the blanket back, and eased myself off the bed. Curling my fingers around the pole of the IV, I cautiously pulled it a short distance until it was right beside me. The wheel squeaked once in protest at being moved so suddenly, and I froze, glancing fearfully at the receptionist.

She hadn’t even looked up, too busy chewing her lip, and tapping her pen against the paper she was currently working on. I breathed a sigh of relief, and took an experimental step forward, grateful that the IV didn’t make any more noise. Gingerly, I made my way towards the opposite door, dragging the IV behind me, and then paused, looking back at the receptionist.

Ha! She was still too busy with her work to notice one of the patients was escaping right out from under her nose. I turned the doorknob carefully- it felt cold to my overheated skin, flushed with anticipation- and slipped easily through the door, pulling the IV with me.

Sweet success.

It didn’t take me long to find the room that the doctor had taken my parents and Wynter to. I could hear Wynter yelling all the way down the hall, and followed the sound of her voice until I found the door. I peered through the glass, careful to keep to the side so I could flee if necessary.

“-no way that could be right!” Wynter was shouting. She was right up in the doctor’s face, even though she was a good two heads shorter than him, stretched up on tip-toes so she was almost nose-to-nose, emerald eyes flashing dangerously. “Do your stupid tests again! It has to be wrong!”

There was a break for the doctor to respond in a soft, soothing voice, too quiet for me to make out. I tried to read his lips, but the only word I thought I could make out was ‘correct’.

I bit my lip. This couldn’t be good.

Wynter’s face crumpled, and she shook her head in a wordless denial. “No,” I heard her moan. “It can’t be true...!”
I glanced, wide-eyed, from her defeated expression to my mother’s red-rimmed eyes, and my father’s all-too-familiar blank expression-the one he always used when he didn’t want to cry.

In the quiet, I could finally make out the doctor’s voice. I strained hard, pressing my ear against the door to catch the echoes. What I heard made me freeze on the spot.

“I’m sorry, but she’s dying.”

I jerked away from the door like I had been electrocuted, just barely avoiding tripping over my IV, all of the blood that had been running so fast and hot through my veins turned to ice, pinning my joints in place. I couldn’t run away like I wanted to; I was still too close, close enough to catch the next few words.

My mom had stepped forward, and put an arm around a sobbing Wynter’s shoulders. “How long?” She asked softly, barely audible. “How long does she have?”

The doctor’s eyes were grave. “Twenty-four hours, give or take. I’m so sorry we couldn’t do anything to help her.”

Tears of horror filled my eyes. I stumbled back another step, this time too muddled with fear and shock to avoid my IV. I tripped backwards, my head cracking hard against the wall, the IV ripping from my arm, and clattering to the floor with a hollow thud. I hardly noticed the pain; all I could see was Wynter’s horror-stricken expression through the door as her eyes met mine, and the understanding darkened her’s.

“Riley!” I heard her cry through the door, and she took a step towards the door, her hand already on the knob.

I didn’t give her the chance to turn it. Scrambling clumsily to my feet, I darted down the hallway, ignoring the burn in my lungs, the throbbing in my head, and the sting in my arm. I didn’t know where I was going; all I knew was that I wanted to get away, far away, away from this madness.

“Riley!” Wynter screamed from somewhere behind me. “Riley, wait-!”

I sprinted around the corner, nearly colliding with another nurse, who, upon seeing my hospital gown, and the bleeding hole in my arm, tried to grab me. Her fingers brushed my elbow, but I thrust back, barely hearing the crunch of her little finger as I made contact before I was already gone, running down the hallway as fast as my exhausted, disease-destroyed body could carry me, and away from the life that was now about to end.
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youngshay112
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[*] posted on 7-6-2009 at 03:39 PM


@Fallen_Angel: me likey! I'm all hooked. Can I read it when it's all done?
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Fallen_Angel5535
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[*] posted on 7-6-2009 at 03:53 PM


Quote:
Originally posted by youngshay112
@Fallen_Angel: me likey! I'm all hooked. Can I read it when it's all done?


@youngshay112 Of course! Hopefully I'll be able to finish in time for the deadline. I actually just started today...found out about NaNoWrMo yesterday...^^' Heh heh... And thanks a lot~ :D
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[*] posted on 7-7-2009 at 06:43 AM


@ EasyWriter

-blushes- Aw you really think I'm that good? Thanks!




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[*] posted on 7-7-2009 at 08:27 AM


Fallen_Angel, I think that was extremely interesting. I'd like to read it as well, if you don't mind. Here's an excerpt, part of a biography of one of the more famous people in the world.


Ina Cahi was the illegitimate child of a noblewoman from an affair with one of her tailors. When she was born, she was raised as a noble, the husband not knowing that Ina wasn’t his daughter. Growing up as an only child, she was smothered with knowledge on how to run a kingdom, and how to act as a member of the council. The husband of her mother was often busy with his duties as a council member, and her mother had many other duties and responsibilities to attend to. As such, she grew up mostly isolated from everyone else. Her mother told her the truth about her birth, but her mother’s husband never knew.

When she showed magical talent, they carted her off to the Iro District, sending her to learn in the Flaxen Gold Academy. There, she became a member of the Student Council for a short period of time. At Flaxen Gold Academy, she learned to harness her magical powers, and took up becoming a conduit and medium as her primary magical objective. At Flaxen Gold Academy, she was regarded as one of the best magicians that have ever entered the gates.

However, her magical powers quickly began to wane. Later on, she found out that this was a result of her ‘impure’ lineage--apparently, her father had very little magical talent in his family, the only spark of magic in his blood coming from a half breed ancestor. It did not matter at the time, because her magical powers had almost completely vanished. She was cast out of Flaxen Gold Academy.




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TheLlama
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[*] posted on 7-7-2009 at 11:22 AM


Dear Assignment-Journal,

Mom and Steve are getting married in two weeks. I saw them kissing last night as they did the dishes. (We had lasagna-Steve made it.) Weasel looked at me and whined as if to say, "Why the heck is this happening?" I couldn't agree more. Jena says it's too soon. So does Mom's maid of honor, Terry. (She's single and comes over to our house to drink wine and eat corn chips.)

I wonder if Steve's really a serial killer. Do serial killers have sisters and nieces and mothers? Bob said they do, everyone does. It made me sad and angry that Steve will be my Dad all my life. My mother never talks about my real father. There are no pictures. She says he cut us out of his life, so we should do the same. When I asked to look at my birth certificate, she said she didn't have it. So I asked Grandad.

He said I looked like my Dad. My Dad's name was Henri. He had blondish hair and greenish eyes. He didn't like soccer, but he could cook and sing. He said Mom and him got married early and young and had me quickly.

He also said they fought a lot, and that my Dad had some kind of drinking problem. He really wanted to be a singer, but was stuck being a short-order cook at a waffle house. Mom wrote magazine articles then, and they were in debt.

Finally, one day, they had such an explosive fight that my Dad threw a beer bottle at Mom and left. I was three and just sat on the same stairs and started crying saying, "Daddy stop it!" Mom was distraught for weeks. That's when Grandad moved in permanently and Mom swore off dating.

Now she's dating a jerk. Did you know he smokes? He does it on the back porch and uses an old Tupperware container as an ashtray. Now the whole house stinks. I cough a lot and Weasel keeps trying to eat the cigarettes.

I told Mom that was another reason why she shouldn't marry him. She threw down the dishtowel and told me to stop being so rude to Steve and that he was helping our family greatly. I just glared at her for ten seconds and then stomped back to my room to work more on my stupid guitar scales.

That's when I figured something out: maybe she didn't really love Steve, she just wanted to marry a musician who can cook. She wanted to marry my Father again.


And another part........

"But whatever became of the Prince Ryordan? Is he dead? And, if the boots made the Prince Stop walking, why are his feet still tapping?" Prince Yon asked. Eikrik gave another yawn, exposing his yellow teeth. "You'll find out later. Go back to the Castle and find me after breakfast and some more sleep." Eikrik dismissed Yon, keeping the book.

"A loud explosion came from the trees, followed the the flights of startled birds and lots of bright green smoke." "Elix!!!" Ryordan crouched down, covering his nose and mouth. Being caged near the wizards had their disadvantages. Like this. He coughed, spat a little, and held his breath. Heaven (if there was one) knew what that stuff was made of.

"You idiot! I told you not to touch the smoke bag!" "You didn't tell me anything other than, 'Don't start the fire, Elix!'" Agh, listening to those two was annoying. "Enough!" Ryordan shouted, then gulped in his lost air. "Did you say that?" "No I didn't!" "You did, too!" "Did not!"

"Okay, just accept that Elix touched the smoke bag, apologize, then get rid of this toxic gas!" Ryordan shouted, er, squeaked. What was wrong with his voice? It was followed by uncontrollable laughing. Laughing so hard it was his eyes water and sides hurt.

He hadn't laughed this much in his entire shortish life. "Did you say that?" "No, it was the Prisoner." That's what the Fey called him-the Prisoner-with capitals.

Enjoy. (The last paragraphs were part of a failed story James attempts to write, so it does make sense-ish.)




No pudding, no life.
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DennisJernberg
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[*] posted on 7-9-2009 at 04:12 AM


I don't have any new Black Science stuff to post here yet. However, I've finished "Mind Bomb" chapter 1 and took too long to edit it so I could post it here:
[link now broken because file was removed]
Which means it's not a clip or excerpt, but actually published (online, anyway). But at least it's ready for everybody to read.

[Edited on 7-16-2009 by DennisJernberg]




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[*] posted on 7-9-2009 at 02:09 PM


I'll post some comments when I have more time...I'm too far behind right now. XD

But here are the first few paragraphs of my novel...definitely not my best writing, but I like it anyway. ^_^

Wind whistled mournfully through the dead and broken trees and pierced through Martyn’s tattered trench coat like a knife. Trudging slowly onwards through the deepening drifts, Martyn pulled the brim of his wide hat farther down to shield his eyes from the snow. Occasionally he pulled his long hand and a half sword partway out of its sheath and slid it back in again to keep it from freezing to the sheath. Every so often he would do the same with the various daggers and knives that he kept with him at all times.
He had been traveling for two days already, and he knew it would be another week at least before he reached his destination. He wished that he didn’t have to go around the way he did, but his job required it. If he went the direct way he would most likely be killed, and if he weren’t, then the enemy would know he was there.
Trotting along close to his feet as he walked, a light grey wolf kept him company as he traveled, her nose swinging back and forth and her bushy tail brushing the top of the snow as they went.
There was little or no change in the landscape between the time Martyn got up in the morning and when he set up camp for the night. Nothing but rolling hills covered in snow and dead trees. Occasionally the pair came across a pine tree that was still alive and green, but these were rare and far apart.
“There ain’t nothing out here, Jen,” he said to the wolf, who whined. “Nothing at all. Our whole world is dead.”
When the sun began to disappear behind the western horizon, Martyn settled down underneath the trunk of a fallen tree that had one end still supported by the base, while the other lay on the ground. Jenny, his wolf, lay down beside him with a sigh, her head between her paws.
“You go hunt,” Martyn told her, fishing around in his coat pockets for some food, “just be back here before morning.”
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[*] posted on 7-10-2009 at 10:35 PM


AndreG: I love the desolate feel, right off the bat. The excerpt does well in establishing that the man is experienced with his weapons, and I already love Jen :D Fantastic descriptions as well



Heres the first bit of my first chapter:



“You are always too quick to things, dear. Even too quick to your own birth!”
Myrtle Wilhelm Grey sat at the breakfast table, sighing as her mother said those words for the hundredth time in her life. She half agreed with them, though - she shouldn’t have been quite to early to her own birth.
If she had come on the date appointed by the doctor - or at least a little closer to it - she might’ve been born in a nice hospital, with relatives all around, and a great big book of Baby Names on the stand beside her mother’s bed.
But as it was, she came early, and was delivered by her Great-Aunt Myrtle in the back of a grocery store. Out of delirious joy and gratitude, the beaming mother exclaimed: “A girl! Oh, a girl! How perfect! She’ll be named after you, Aunt. Myrtle Grey. How lovely.”
The great-aunt shrugged, never much one for sentimentality.
The proud father arrived on the scene shortly after, to find he’d missed out on any chance to name the baby girl.
“The middle name, Kyle.” The proud mother said. “You can pick the middle name.”
Kyle Grey was not much one for sentimentality (like his aunt), but had recently taken to the idea of naming his second child (he hadn’t had this bright idea when his son was born) after his beloved father. Wilhelm Grey was the granddad’s name, so this was the name Kyle chose.
“Myrtle Wilhelm Grey.” His wife said, sounding out the words while watching him hold the baby. “It sounds romantic.”
It is thought that the Great-Aunt muttered something about practicality and romanticism and sentimentality at this point, but no one is really sure.
_
_
Now, most people must think this is a lovely story. And surely, for some girls, Myrtle is an entirely fitting and appropriate name. But not quite so for this girl.
And, most people must think that Kyle Grey’s zeal for giving his father a namesake is something touching, but for a girl like Myrtle, who's name does not fit, the next step is to seek the haven of the middle name.
Alas, no haven was to be found in a name like Wilhelm. Or so it was thought, until she discovered that the feminine form of Wilhelm is Wilhelmina - and that Billie is short for that.
Billie. There was a name she could relate to. It was not entirely girly, nor entirely normal. It was a bit modern-sounding, and a little bit tough.
In conclusion, it fit her personality in a way ‘Myrtle Wilhelm’ never could.




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[*] posted on 7-11-2009 at 05:25 AM


The wild action subsides in Mind Bomb chapter 2 [note: link now deleted], but there's lots of crazy ideas, including the public premiere of my new concept of cyborgs: ex-humans who transform themselves into corporations. Not just by incorporating themselves, but by removing their bodies and grafting the brains onto corporate computer networks so that the corporation literally becomes the ex-human's body. Only in science fiction -- till my next NaNo novel finishes the Dictel trilogy (Bad Company, Black Science), of course...

Why am I posting links rather than the actual text? Because, as my Black Science excerpt in this thread shows, my chapters are simply too long.

[Edited on 7-13-2009 by DennisJernberg]




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[*] posted on 7-11-2009 at 12:16 PM


I'll post my Prologue!


The only thing I can say safely right now is that I risk my life – what remains of it, in any case – by simply recounting these events. This is not an easy task for me, for I know that if I am caught writing alone, I can be thrown into jail. If I am caught by someone who can read the language I am writing in, and they happen to take the time to read what I have written, I will certainly be killed.
All I can do at this point is pray. Pray that I will have enough time to finish writing what must be written. Finish sharing what must be shared. For in order for one to fully understand what has happened not only to me, but to my fallen country, one must be made knowledgeable of certain events that have occurred in my country’s past which have lead up to it state in the present.
I wish I could say that the present is a positive time for my country, but then I would certainly be lying. Poverty and desolation fill every alley, boulevard, and once grand hall across the land. What were once beautiful palaces and mansions are now mere ruins, shells of their former glory and beauty, left neglected by owners now too poor to live in them. Some are in barely good enough shape to be used as safe-havens by the many homeless who wander the land in search of food and shelter. Others have caved in completely, unsafe even for the most desperate of those.
Nothing I write here can fully describe my country now, though. Nor can anything I write fully describe it in its former beauty and glory. And, although I call it my country in a language most around me cannot read, write, or speak, I still can be convicted of treason if caught doing so by one of the few who can understand what I write on these pages.


It can also be found at divinewritings.webs.com in the blog, as well as the first chapter of my book. Just for anybody who is interested. Feel free to comment either here or on the site. And PLEASE, I love honest constructive criticism. I am always looking to improve my writing.
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[*] posted on 7-13-2009 at 03:58 AM


Okay. I deleted Mind Bomb chapter 1 entirely and will completely rewrite it. The original idea I had for it became a complete short story in itself. I originally wrote it from Desiree's POV; when it became the opening chapter to a new novel, I switched the POV to 3rd person. But, thinking of Bruce Sterling once again, when I took it out of the novel and made it a complete short story, I decided to put the story in the POV of the villain, a cruel Mossad interrogator and ultra-Orthodox Messianist bigot who makes a fine unreliable narrator. Desiree, of course, still gets her say; in fact, she gets the last word. The question: who's the real terrorist? It's still set in 2035, and it's still a crazed cyberpunk tale. But of all the founders of cyberpunk, Sterling strikes me as the most sophisticated in his method, so I'm following (a version of) his method.

Since I decided against posting my stories to DeviantART, I posted this one to my project blog. Here's the link:
http://spannersworld.blogspot.com/2009/07/destroying-angel-s...
It's the entire story, of course. It started as a chapter in a novel, but it ran away with me.

Here's the core of the story. Enjoy. If you can. (laughs evilly) ;)

("Livewire" is the handle of Desiree Richter-Thomas, one of the two main characters of both Bad Company and Black Science. "Spanner" is her younger half-sister Shira, the heroine of my (still) proposed webmanga Spanner. The villain/narrator, Mossad Col. Uri ben Daniel, is accompanied by 10 elite soldiers of Sayeret Matkal, the Israeli special forces unit that supports Mossad operations.)

==============
(from "Destroying Angel")

She snapped her head toward me and fixed me with the gaze with which a cobra transfixes its prey. All of us shuddered in sudden terror, even I. With malicious glee she cooed: “Surely thou hast heard of Black Qabalah.”

I knew from studying her case that Livewire is notorious for exploiting the superstitions of any Crusader factionists who get in her way. Now we realized that she was turning this very same tactic on us.

Livewire continued in the same vein: “If you don’t release me now, Colonel, I will use it. And I am not alone. As I speak the magic circle is already being drawn around us. Let go of me now, or I will speak the Name and summon the demon Lilith, and you will all die.” In rage, I sprayed fire from the can of Pocket Flame™ into her face. The fire did not affect her. I was so preoccupied with breaking her that I had forgotten that Livewire is pyrokinetic, and therefore cannot be harmed by fire. Frustrated at this unpleasant reminder, I slammed the canister on the table and picked up a different one. This promised to be more effective, for it was a can of Pocket Freeze™. I held it in her face. She only laughed at me with renewed contempt. I hit her with the canister, but she did not even stop laughing. In towering fury I screamed, “Can’t thou even feel fear?”

She knew that nothing we could do to her would break her. Some people live by the saying of Nietzsche, “Whatever does not kill me only makes me stronger.” We realized that Livewire was one of them.

When she was done laughing, she said, “I thought you guys wanted to extort something out of me. You went to all this effort to try to break me, all for nothing. Now I’m going to ask you: what the f**k do you want?

“You’re going to tell me,” I said. She nodded. “Now, where is that mind control machine?”

She grinned at us triumphantly. Her expression said that she had beaten us. “All your efforts, your whole body count and everything, were for nothing. All you had to do was do a simple Internet search to find out that the Psychotron is being built in the same Dictel Research facility in Colorado Springs where it has always been built. You could have easily found out where, and what the phone and fax numbers and the email address was. Then you could have assaulted the Psychotron factory directly. You still can. But now you’re going to have to go through me. And I’m not convinced you can. Right is on my side this time: ‘An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a life for a life.’”

I threw away the canister of Pocket Freeze™, picked up the Pocket Flame™, threw it at her, and shot it. It exploded in her face. But when the explosion cleared, she was still unharmed. I knew at that moment that she was being protected by demons.

One of those demons immediately revealed its presence. The computer we were using exploded. Spanner was here! My support troops readied their weapons for the battle that was now inevitable.

She locked her eyes on mine once more and began chanting the invocation of the seventeen names of the demon queen Lilith. I screamed the Twenty-Third Psalm as an emergency countermeasure. But I could not stop her. I tried to strangle her with my hands; but no matter how much force I applied, I still could not stop her. I knew right then that Livewire was not human. She was about to reveal her true form.

Suddenly Livewire let out a blinding burst of unearthly flame, burning me. We all screamed in pain from the flash of light. When we were able to see again, we looked toward her, but saw a the kind of horror I would wish on no one, not even my worst enemy.

Her red hair was now a pillar of demonic flame. Her eyes glowed like emeralds from the crown of Satan. Her skin glowed with unearthly pale fire.

Lilith had appeared before us, unbound and unbindable.

Instantly, ten battle-hardened super soldiers died in absolute terror.

Hate and terror overwhelmed me. I picked up my Uzi and fired clip after clip into the demon. I screamed as I myself were demon-possessed. When my gun jammed, I wrested one from the nearest corpse and fired into the demon’s body again. Nothing fazed her. You cannot harm an evil spirit with gunfire.

The ceiling fell down around me. I barely avoided being crushed by the landing gear of a helicopter. It was Spanner. Livewire was finally in my grasp, but now Spanner had come to take her away from me. I fired another clip from my Uzi and shattered the window. Safety glass assaulted me and cut my face to shreds.

The helicopter door opened. Right there, next to me, was Livewire. The demon had resumed the illusion of human form. She was completely naked and drenched in sweat. I raised my Uzi once again, but she knocked it out of my hand and broke my wrist. Then she kneed me in the groin and hit me with an uppercut that broke my jaw. She entered the helicopter and slammed the door. The last thing I saw before I blacked out, as the helicopter rose into the sky and abandoned me to the darkness, was the grin on the face of Spanner, the angel of chaos.

We had lost utterly. The evil angels had destroyed us.

[Edited on 7-13-2009 by DennisJernberg]

[Edited on 7-13-2009 by DennisJernberg]




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youngshay112
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[*] posted on 7-15-2009 at 10:30 AM


@DennisJernberg
That made me laugh. I guess I should be scared of the evil demons but I just laughed at him trying to hit her with everything possible.
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