Character Cosplay

Do you need more creativity in your life?  Then hang out with the ever amazing Madison Dusome!  She always has the best ideas.

A few weeks ago, she suggested that some of us on twitter do a character cosplay for Halloween, where we draw our characters dressing up as each other’s characters.  Having the crazy schedule that I do, I only spared myself the time to do two of them.  So, in lieu of this month’s comic, here they are!

My character:

Sylragorl (City of the Dead) He is an ice dragon, a bit stunted as far as dragons go, but still big enough to bite your average human in half.  He is a silvery pale blue, with sapphire eyes and seven headspikes.  Four legs, two wings, tail, this sort of dragon.  Sylragorl is desperate to be liked and will do stupid things for even the semblance of affection.  But if he decides he doesn’t like you, prepare to be disemboweled.  He has a self-deprecating sense of humor and can be pretty sarcastic.

Dressed as CM Schofeld‘s character:

Ruaridh Carver (Twyned Earth)  Five foot nothing, messy black hair, unhealthily thin human(ish). Always wearing very baggy black clothing, band hoodies, jeans with chains, black studded/spiky wrist accessories. Grumpy, easily scared, anti-social chain smoker.

SasR

My character:

Princess Aerinthe Darinsvale, although she prefers the nickname Snow White (Blood and Ebony)  A slender, pale girl with long dark hair and bright green eyes, Snow is fifteen years old, but with a much, much older soul.  She prefers rich/dark colors and heavy fabrics, and always wears a small glass-and-ebony bauble on a silver chain, containing a drop of blood and water. (For clothing style, think Anne Boelyn-ish, but with a tiara instead of the headgear.) As Aerinthe, she is a charming girl and a doting daughter.  As Snow White, changeling child of the Fey King, she is ruthless, manipulative, and sadistic.

Dressed as Madison Dusome‘s character:

Adrien (Half a Man)  Messy, long-ish blond hair, missing his left arm from the shoulder.  Clothes are of mixed medieval France/Morocco inspiration: fitted tunic, loose pants, beaten shoes.  His military “uniform” involves a black-and-yellow checkered sash that can basically be tied however you like; some pin it like a cape, some wear it like a scarf/hood, some wrap it across the back/around the shoulders.  There’s a “proper” way but most prefer to rebel ;D  He might be seen with (a) a longsword that’s too big for him (b) apothecary tools (c) books! (d) magical golden strings, which would be a hilarious/horrible thing to cosplay.

SWasAYou should take a minute to check out Mads’ and Cat’s blogs as well, where they will also be posting their own versions of character cosplay, as well as their thoughts on writing, the universe, and everything.  (I’ll put up links to the art itself as it gets posted.  Hopefully soon!  The suspense is killing me!)

(Madison’s first batch is up! Clicky!)

(Madison’s second batch is up! Hi-ya!)

Have a great week!  Next time you hear from me, it’ll be while I’m knee deep in another month of NaNoWriMo– see you then!

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A Year of Rockin’ It

rockOkay, okay, “rockin’ it” might be an exaggeration. You may recall from one year ago that I had a few vague writing resolutions that rapidly morphed into several specific writing resolutions. I wanted to finish a book during each of the three NaNo months, as well as the third Star Daughter book on the side. I also wanted to send out at least two queries and two short story submissions per month.

I am proud to say that I knocked out four ugly (as in mega-ultra-ugly) duckling drafts: Crown of Shadows [SD3]; The Sad, Sad Tale of Dead Timmy [which I adore- def my favorite of the year]; Love Notes [which I am sadly dropping, but it was fun while it lasted]; and Blood and Ebony [still deciding what I think about this one]. Boy do they all need work, haha. Still, I feel pretty good about four first drafts. I knew it was ambitious at the start, especially with the baby on board, but I managed to pop ‘em out. I am a little less proud to admit that I only sent out about half the queries I intended to and about a third of the short story submissions. But both were still improvements on previous years, though, so win!

This year, I’m approaching things a little differently. I find myself with an abundance of unsightly first drafts cluttering up my laptop. None of them are fit to be seen and that’s a problem. So next year, I intend to switch my focus over from drafting to editing. Rather than writing four new books this year, I’d like to polish up three to four and draft only one. (Hopefully, the year after that I can settle into a nice 2/2 ratio.)

The second Star Daughter book, Goddess Forsaken, can probably stand to just be picked at, as far as editing goes, which will eat up most of my early year, I imagine. Crown of Shadows, however, needs to be rebuilt completely and so April NaNo will be devoted to a full rewrite, with further clean up bleeding out into June. Likewise, July NaNo will go to bulldozing another draft, although I haven’t decided which one yet. (Likely Blood and Ebony, but we’ll see.) The next three months will be given to polishing either Dead Timmy or BCS (both of which definitely merit some polish), or maybe Blood and Ebony if I can still stand to look at it. November will be spent on a completely new book (and what a relief that’ll be!), possibly the next Star Daughter book, or maybe even another stand alone- I have a contemporary fantasy idea I’ve been toying with as well. December will just be general wrap-up for the projects.

I know all my ultra-classy beta readers were probably SUPER BORED without all my doofy stuff to read through this last year, so start warming up those red pens now.

As far as querying goes, I’m considering a different approach. I think I’ll let City of the Dead rest for a while and start querying either BCS or Dead Timmy once they get a little cleaned up, which means I probably won’t be querying steadily for the first half of the year. Also, instead of submitting two short stories every month, I think I’ll do either that OR write and edit a new short story each month. I think the drafting of shorts will help me stay sane with all this editing business going on. ‘Cause I loves me some drafting, and darling husband got me a shiny new license for Write or Die 2, which I am super stoked to take for a ride.

So! That’s what I’ve been up to / will be up to! How about you? Did you have any writing resolutions from last year? Any new ones you’d like to share?

Fun With Funerals: A NaNo Excerpt

NaNoWriMo is rapidly drawing to a close (cue terrified screaming) and I am barely, desperately clinging to a viable pace.  If I can shake off the relatives for just a few hours during the four-day Thanksgiving extravaganza, I think I can pull this off.  But the rarity of writing time does make for a pathetic lack of blog writing time.  So, rather than make up something stupid right now, I present to you something stupid I made up a while ago!  You’re welcome!

This is my favorite scene that I’ve written so far in this year’s NaNo novel, Blood and Ebony.  It’s also super unedited and probably really weird, but I like it nonetheless.  Hopefully you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Aerold’s Funeral

One week. Aralee had been longer a widow than she had been a wife.

The chapel’s yellow drapes had been replaced with gray, their somber windows weeping. Aralee stood at the head of the chapel with the priest, staring out into the gathering throng with dry eyes and a bleak heart. Most of these people had known Aerold for as long as Aralee had been alive, some longer. What right did she have to lead their mourning, she who had hardly known the man?

The funeral began, Aerold’s spiced ashes brought in by those last few who could claim any blood relation to the king, however distant it was.

Aralee had never been to a funeral before. She’d never tasted the ash of mourning. Her stomach turned as the priest started the fire.

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An Inopportune Advent

So confession time: I haven’t really been solidly working on a single project since July. I’ve been piddling around with older projects, working up a buffer of blog posts (since I’ll be having a baby any ol’ time now), and… well, eating. There’s been a lot of eating. (Like, seriously, I have never felt so driving a compulsion to eat greens nonstop. Ever. I know greens are good for you, but this can’t be healthy.)

But the truth is that I’ve been actively avoiding getting enmeshed in any big new projects. Because, you know. Aforementioned baby. Starting a new manuscript two weeks before my due date didn’t seem like it would end well. (Plus I’ve been much more interested in scrubbing floors and folding laundry. Then unfolding and refolding laundry. Also can’t be healthy.) My much-adored alpha reader, however, simply cannot accept that I’m not really working on anything of note. And she’s a bully. The most perfect kind of bully.

So I dug up an old story and am now parading it around as a new one. This is a story I started working on when I was in high school, got about a quarter of the way through, and then got distracted away from by boys and movies. But I think it’s worth a revisit, now that I’m less distractible by a shiny new boy with movie tickets. (Or so my husband hopes- hi, honey!)

Without further ado, here is the (short!) prologue for Blood and Ebony in all its unedited glory. (I give you one minute to guess what fairy tale it’s based on. Extra points if you get it from the title alone, which you totally can.)

Prologue

Janithe hated winter. Bleak and cold and dark. It wouldn’t have been so bad outside, but she was trapped in her gilded tower just as surely as was any criminal in her husband’s dungeons. She hunched over her embroidery beside a fat taper candle and just knew she would be completely blind after another year or two more of this. If she didn’t die of stale air first. Her heart longed for her childhood home in the buttery warmth of southern Arinth.

She glanced back at the door. What were the odds that anyone would come to see her before supper? She may have been queen, but she was under no delusions of actual importance. Her only purpose in the royal household was to provide a royal heir, and she had failed to do so in more than five years of marriage. Her honored husband, away at war despite the brutality of the season, was the only one who placed any value on her, the only one who saw her as anything more than a failed gamble. As for the rest of them, they would be happier if she just disappeared.

Nobody was coming. So why bother with their conventions? She hugged her embroidery against her chest and dragged her chair over to the shuttered windows. They were tiny, the sort an assassin would have difficulty clambering through, but there were scores of them ranged across the outer wall of the room she shared with the king. She settled beside one and dragged back the bolt, grown stiff with disuse and ice. She allowed herself a small grin as it finally gave and then shoved the shutters out into the open sky. Cold fog billowed in, pooling around her ankles, and she settled back into the seat with a satisfied smile as pale sunshine lit the embroidery in her lap. Pale blue skies over ice-frosted forests, not a snow sprite in sight. It was beautiful. She didn’t even care that the doctors would never forgive her. Even when she obeyed them, they never fixed her anyway.

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