Write Me Up

Official writing with some random thoughts

Nanowrimo 2016 November 4, 2016

Filed under: General Blog-tastic Writings — Dorothy Lynn @ 9:42 pm
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I am attempting nanowrimo  again, and so far it is going very well! It’s only day four, and I’ve written over 6000 of the required 50,000 words, I’ve commissioned my friend Heidi Black to do the cover art for me, and I realized that writing every night is not only an easy habit to maintain so far, but also a refreshing and fun one too!!! 

Here is a short synopsis of the story. The title is The Inheritance. 
 Set in a world where the different races have animal-like abilities and characteristics, the Inheritance tells the stories of six different people who are searching for their chance to survive in a land that is hostile and unforgiving to those that are different. It follows the lives of the Halfers, children of mixed races, who have the physical characteristics of their parents, but not the abilities, and it tells of each races’ struggles against each other and ultimately against the dreaded Absorbers who can take away anyone’s inheritance at will.

And here is a short excerpt. ( I actually have some bits of this story on previous blog posts too, but they have already changed a little bit now that I’m reworking it.)
 “I am so sorry, brother.” She didn’t know what else to say. How could she explain to him her feelings? She didn’t know what it was like to be stuck between two worlds, to look beautiful, but accomplish nothing, to live in a place where everyone knows what you are and who you are, and no one appreciates you. Her school taught her to pity these Half-people, but what she felt right now wasn’t pity. SHe felt anger. Anger that her brother had no place in life, no safety, and now, no way to even help his family.

 “Welten, when they raided, was anyone else hurt?” Shaash shivered to think of what could happen to all the little ones in the camps.

 Welten smiled grimly. “Thankfully no. Father was amazing. Before they…before they caught him, he killed almost half of their raiding party. He was amazing.” His eyes glistened. 

 “I wish I could see him. To tell him thank you,” Shaash replied. “I wish…I wish I could stay longer.”

 “Can’t you?” Welten whispered. “Please, Shaash-la. I know it is forbidden, but, Woona, she did it before. She came on a day that wasn’t visiting day. She stayed for a whole year before. Couldn’t you, just, sneak away?”

 Shaash’s eyes grew wide. “Welten-Lo, you do not know what it is you ask. the only reason my-our– mother was allowed to return to the lake after her yearlong absence was because of me. It is not in our culture to abandon children.”

 “It isn’t?” The hurt radiated from his eyes. “Don’t you mean it’s not in your culture to abandon fullblood children?”

 “What do you mean?”

 “Shaash, if you could only see what it is like to live in the real world, not in your safe little bubble. If only you knew…” Welten’s voice trailed off. He sighed and ran his hands through his shoulder length, reedy hair. His hair looked just like Woona’s. Shaash looked into his eyes, and saw her own eyes staring back. 

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Book review! The First Two Lives of Lukas-Kasha December 6, 2014

The First Two Lives of Lukas-Kasha by Lloyd Alexander
Lloyd Alexander was one of my favorite young adult authors growing up. I still enjoy reading his works, although now I do find them a little formulaic. Lukas-Kasha is no exception to this. That being said, I would still recommend it to any young adult reader or enthusiast of Alexander’s work.
This book starts with a lazy, complacent main character who is content with staying lazy and complacent as the town bum. He is always hungry and gets into lots of scrapes, but he is too lazy to do anything with his life, until he runs into a mysterious magician who transports him to another world. In is land. Lukas is an emperor, pampered, well fed, and constantly in danger of assassination. He likes his new life at first, but quickly discovers that ruling a nation isn’t all feasts and fancy clothes. He escapes the palace with a very interesting slave girl, and his adventures really begin.
Like all Alexander novels, a wonderful band of misfits forms, and they journey together to discover their purpose and destiny. It is lively and fun, but a little predictable, although the ending was a surprise. It reminds me a lot of his Prydain books, especially in the parts where Lukas has to make big decisions about his life and the lives that are suddenly in his care. The biggest thing I like about Alexander is that he always makes his characters grow and learn. If you like young adult books, and especially if you like Alexander, I would recommend this book. However, it is not his best book, and if you want to read the real Alexander classics, you should start with The Book of Three and The black Cauldron.

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Book review on Seventh Son August 12, 2014

I’ve been reading quite a lot, since my internet is variable, and I got about ten free books in the last two weeks, so that means book reviews! The first is on Seventh Son by Orson Scott Card.
As always, I must praise Card for his excellent choice in stories. He always seems to pick something that is familiar enough to let you feel at home yet unique enough that you are not bored. This book is about an alternate America, one that developed slightly differently than the one in real life, where folk magic is a real power, and where he states developed and grew very differently. The book focuses on one family, the Millers, who have 14 children. One of those children is a seventh son of a seventh son, which is an important placement in folk legends. This child, Alvin Jr., is very special. He has qualities that are different from other children, yet he is still a normal boy. The story revolves around his early years and the mostly unseen battle that rages around him.
While the story is about Alvin, Card does an amazing job of incorporating the culture and history of his alternate America. He seamlessly weaves the folk magic, emigration tales, and politics into the lives of his characters, and while his America is far from perfect, I found myself longing for it to be true. He gave new roles and histories to well know figures like Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington, and one of the pivotal characters in the story is a famous poet. The story definitely requires that the reader know some American history and literature in order to be fully effective, but even without that background, it is wonderfully written and told.
I would highly recommend Seventh Son to any Card fan and to any person who loves historical fiction or fantasy, as the style is kind of a mixture of both those genres.

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Inheritance, episode 2 June 30, 2014

Filed under: Serial Monday — Dorothy Lynn @ 9:30 pm
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Episode 2

Smoke. Heavy, acidic, dry smoke that smelled of sand and rocks and burnt animal skins. His lungs constricted. He knew this smell. Smoke billowed around his face, his arms, his torso. He tried to move. He had to get up. Only a Fang raid produced this smoke. The fire would come next. The fire, the screams, the cries of the children, and the strangled choking sounds that his flock made when frightened.
Get up! He yelled to himself. But he could not move. Something held him down, something heavy and hot pressing against his body, burning into his legs and abdomen. He choked and struggled. He gasped for breath. He began to scream.
“Aeland! Wake up! Wake up!” Someone was shaking his shoulders, startling him awake. “You were screaming again, Aeland.”
“What? The smoke! The smoke is here, the Fangs, they are raiding, the screams…” Aeland trailed off, confused. He looked around him. The tent walls around him were moving gently with the desert breeze. The air smelled of incense from the small shrine on the table and wax from the flickering candle his sister had lit. He was safe. “I’m sorry, sister. I woke you again.”
“It is alright Aeland. I was not sleeping.”
“You were. I am sorry. It was…it was the dream again. That night, I can’t get it to leave my mind,” he whispered.
“Nor I,” she replied. “Do not worry. We are safe here. This caravan is larger than the last one. We will be protected.”
Aeland nodded. He did not believe her words. The Fangs attacked ruthlessly and without warning, and in numbers that were impossible to count. He saw their faces when he closed his eyes—angry and scaled, their long, dirty hair hanging limply down to their waists, and their bright blue eyes that looked straight through you with such coldness. He could not sleep any longer.
He rose from his bed and picked up his staff from the floor. He used to value his staff as a most precious tool, one to guide his flock and defend them from danger. Now its primary use was to aid his walking. He winced at his stiff leg as he limped toward the door of the tent.
“Where are you going?” His sister asked.
“To check on the herd. I can sleep no more tonight. I’m sorry again for waking you.” He walked into the open air, onto the sand that still held some heat from the day’s sun. The breeze was cold, but it cleared the memory of smoke from his mind. He walked slowly towards the pen where the flock slept.
“Animals must not dream,” he muttered as he approached his small flock. Their scales glistened in the moonlight and their quiet snuffling breaths calmed his nerves. This flock was all he had left, just twenty, underfed and scrawny, but still precious. They had survived all the attacks. Some had been scarred beyond use, but he didn’t have the heart to leave them behind. So he continued to care for them all, even when the rest of the caravan mocked their appearance. Aeland knew that his patience and care would pay out eventually. And these twenty were all that was left of his home. He smiled and climbed over the rough fence to sit down amidst their legs and snouts and tails. He leaned his head against the smooth skin of the belly of the sleeping lizard closest to him and closed his eyes. No more smoke, no more fire, no more screams. Just the snorts of sleeping animals, the smell of their dry breath, and warmth of their bodies around him. He breathed deeply and fell asleep.

 

Serial Monday Episode 1 June 23, 2014

Filed under: Serial Monday — Dorothy Lynn @ 9:41 pm
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Serials used to be a HUGE part of the fiction world. I guess in a way, they still are, but now they are manifested as television shows. However, I am of the opinion that serials should make a comeback because blogs are very popular, and people love reading short, fast-paced, interesting stories online. So I am going to write a serial here, every Monday. I have the story in mind, and I even have quite a few characters, so it might end up being very Dickensian in style. I do know that it will be fun, though, because it can go anywhere and turn into anything. Here goes!

Inheritance Episode 1

The marshes stretched all around them, flat, wet, and warm, for miles and miles. This was their second week slogging through the coastal marshland, looking for small settlements and asking for any news of the mystic who could help them. Fira was ready to give up, and the damp air was irritating her skin, making her scales glisten and rub against her clothing uncomfortably. She grew up near the desert, on the outskirts of of the Jumper territory with her mother, but she hadn’t been back there for five years. She couldn’t go back there anyway, but anywhere would be better than these smelly swamps. Marden had insisted on traveling through them on their way to the towns, but she was tired and sore, and so far no one had even heard of Kauanoe. Or if they had, they wouldn’t say so.

The Slicks were notorious for being private and taciturn. Their settlements only consisted of three or four people, and even then, their houses were spread out. The only way to tell that you were actually in a settlement was that a Slick would suddenly appear out of the fog, swathed in their typical greenish garb, looking at you with muddy brown suspicious eyes. They were hard to see even when you were meant to see them, and they were all but invisible when you weren’t meant to see them. But even Fira couldn’t deny that they were a kind people, even if they were very private. She had the features of one of the most hated and feared races in all the lands, yet the Slicks showed no prejudice in their treatment of her. It may have helped that Marden had their same smooth skin and muddy eyes, but the Slicks seemed to make no differentiation between races, even when they found out that Fira and Marden had no inheritance. They listened patiently to their inquiries, provided them with food and shelter for a night, and quietly disappeared the next morning, leaving some supplies for the two travelers as they journeyed to the next settlement.

Marden was resolutely sure that they would find Kauanoe soon. They had to. She had been expelled from her land as soon as she was born, unable to even see her mother except the few times a year that she came on land to visit the Halfer settlements. Marden lived with her father there, a social pariah, for her whole life. When she heard stories of the mystic Slick woman who had the ability to give Halfers an inheritance, her whole life became about finding that woman. She left her village, her father, her brothers and sisters, everything she knew and loved, in order to find Kauanoe. And now, after traveling for three years, she still knew nothing.

When she met Fira, her life got a little brighter, and she appreciated her friendship, but Fira did nothing but complain in the swamps. Marden almost felt at home there. She didn’t have the abilities of the Slicks, and her long, plaited, leafy hair was like her mother’s, but her father had been mostly Slick, so she understood a little bit of the culture. More than Fira at least. Fira never knew anyone but her mother, a Jumper who lived in a village on the outskirts of the territory, a woman with a sad but common story and a daughter that was a constant reminder of her shame. A daughter who looked like the Fangs who conquered and slaughtered hundreds of her people. Fira had a bitter temperament, but her heart was passionate and loyal to those she loved. Marden wished she could have that sense of loyalty, but she only felt longing. She wasn’t even sure if Fira wanted an inheritance, or just a place to hide, but at least she was willing to travel with Marden anywhere, and that made her a good companion. She knew they would come to the towns soon, and once there, it was unlikely they would find out anything other than rumors of Kauanoe. So she stalled as much as she could while they were in the swamps. The Slicks living there had to know something, and she would find out more, even if it took her three more years. She doubted Fira’s loyalty would last that long in these swamps though, so she grew more anxious each day. She knew that they had one more week, at best, before the towns came in sight, and she planned to use every minute to the fullest.

 

Review on Rocannon’s World February 3, 2014

Filed under: Book Reviews — Dorothy Lynn @ 7:44 pm
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I finished reading Rocannon’s World by Ursula LeGuin. It is only 136 pages so it’s quite an easy read, but like all of her books that I have read, it is so rich. Reading her books is like eating a rich dessert. You have to go slowly because it is too full to gobble up, but by the time you reach the end, you are extremely satisfied. She has a beautiful ability to create a plausible world, complete with cultures, races, languages, and geography without overloading the reader with too much data. At the same time she is building this world, she is telling a story of a few people, or in this case, one person.

Rocannon, the title character, is a man from a league of worlds sent to study the cultures of a recently discovered unnamed planet. The world is inhabited by multiple races of people. They know that he is from another world, in fact, they call him Starlord, however they are still in the Bronze Age technology. While Rocannon is on this world, a race from another planet rebels against the League and takes refuge on the planet, killing his fellow researchers and destroying the lives of many people on the planet. He decides he needs to warn the League, and sets off to find the rebel group.

The majority of this story is Rocannon traveling with the group. It has a very “fellowship of the ring” feel to it, as he goes through many dangers, meets new people, and has an end goal in mind. However, it doesn’t deter from the richness of his character. LeGuin is very subtle in her character building. You don’t realize that she is creating such a full person until you finish the book and are sad to say good bye to this new person you have met. In that sense, this book is much like her others I have read. However, I could often tell it was her first novel. There were some abrupt transitions, and the ending was very sudden and short. That being said, I kind of like that I can see her improvement. It is encouraging to see improvement in writers, especially since I would love to be as good as her someday. Even as a first novel, this is spectacular, and if you are a sci-fi or fantasy reader, you definitely need to read this one. She is very good at blending science with more traditional fantasy.

That’s about it. I’ve started reading The Idiot by Dostoyevsky, however, don’t expect a review on that one anytime soon. Those Russian authors like to be wordy 😉

 

J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis and my childhood, and how they conspired to help me write The Sword of Six Worlds September 18, 2012

This author writes great stuff, and since he is blogging about two of my favorite authors, I thought I’d share it with you all. Make sure you check out his new book! It should be fantabulous!

http://www.mikalatos.com/2012/09/jrr-tolkien-cs-lewis-and-my-childhood.html