Tag Archives: creativewriting

I am a Horrible Author

I’m a horrible person.

When writing, that is. In real life, I’d hope I’m kinda nice.

…sometimes.

When people don’t piss me off too much.

(Mostly joking! I’m usually incredibly polite and friendly, with the usual proviso of “slight introvert so finds it hard to start a conversation”. If you ever see me, do come and say hi!)

I was thinking about No Man’s Dawn, which is sort of a prequel to No Man’s Land. I’m not entirely happy about it, so I’m just letting it stew…so I was thinking about it in the car as I drove down to see a friend.

And I had the BEST* idea.

You know it’s bad when I start giggling to myself. It’s even worse when I start laughing. And when I lean back and go, “Oh, now that’s GOOD” is when it’s going to be really bad.

Have I told you that my beta reader didn’t talk to me for two days after That Ending in No Man’s Land? I’m still quite proud of that as it’s entirely deserved. I’ve now got a little private bet with myself as to what names she’ll call me after she reads this one – I may have to create a bingo sheet.

Off to do some writing I go! There may be evil chuckles.

 

*Worst. For my characters.

Writing update: June

I’ve mostly been editing for the past few weeks, but have managed to do a bit of writing…

“Drop the girl, get out of the mess you’re tangled in, and get us our information.” He gave me a thin smile and waved a hand at the door. “That is all.”

I had my hand on the door handle when the additional sentence that I’d been expecting slid out, smooth and barbed.

“We are watching you.”

I slammed the door after me.

~~~~~

It usually hurts when you find out that someone’s been lying to you, or cheating you, or stealing. It’s worse when they’re dead, and you can’t scream at them.

Luckily, if they’re a zombie, they can hear you just fine, and screams are normal around zombies. Something to do with the whole ‘living dead’ thing. People can be so judgmental.

So, say hello to Zombies R Us! That’s my service. I deal with anyone who’s got a grudge, and…give them a target. For a fee.

After all, it’s not like the zombie cares any more.

~~~~~

“I tried to get onto the project!” The man was probably drunk, Zack thought. Or at least had supped a few gulps of something potent. “I tried to get information!”

“It doesn’t look like you tried very hard,” Zack said, tired of the man already. “Otherwise I wouldn’t have been sent here.”

“They don’t trust me!”

“Well, of course they don’t.” Zack managed to not roll his eyes. “You haven’t exactly been a fount of information, have you? Most of the things you were telling us during the war were wrong.”

“That wasn’t my fault.”

“Of course not.” Zack took another sip of his drink, almost enjoying how frustrated the man was getting. He was definitely near the end of his use. “By the way, I saw your daughter before I left. She’s nearly fully grown, you know. Quite a woman.”

It took the man a moment to realise what was being implied, and Zack saw his fists clench. But as he’d expected, the man was too much of a coward to cause a scene. “What did you do to her?” he whined.

“Nothing she didn’t enjoy.” He leaned forward, dropping his faint smile. “But don’t forget that Jirlaen can do worse. She’s well cared for at the moment, but that doesn’t have to be the case.”

~~~~~

“Luk, how do you tell if someone’s a vampire?”

“Usually, wait until they try to drink your blood.” He spotted her expression and rolled his eyes. “It was a joke. Joking!”

~~~~~

An update from the start of June

isle of wightAh’m on holiday!

Only for a long weekend, but still. Holiday! Sea, sand…occasional sun…wind…a dog who smells rather of pondweed thanks to an impromptu play in the ditch yesterday…and no ice cream yet, but that may happen today – so not too bad overall!

I’m on the Isle of Wight for a few days with my family, so it’s nice to get away for a bit. Unfortunately it’s not all relaxation; I’ve got a stack of paid-editing to do, Terra Nullius stories to edit, websites to update, stories to finish. If I get my editing done, I’m going to finish editing Book 7 of GreenSky and then start working again on Book 10. I’ve also started work on No Man’s Sky again, as I had some inspiration while driving here, so that’s good.

Beyond that – books to read, family to talk to, walks to have. I’m just about to take one of the dogs and trundle round the River Yar while there’s some sunshine, so writing can wait!

Empty Skies & Sunlight: Cover reveal

I have a cover for Book 5 of the GreenSky series! Wheeee! From the Awesome Dawson at Creative Covers

When Anoé Meerla is given the chance to escape a war-torn city with her daughter, she accepts an assignment to find missing people on the beautiful islands of Tao. But she finds more problems than she expected waiting for her; a Floating Island that roams the waves, a Mage trying to forget a war, an old lover with plans of his own, and a tangled web of runaways and murder – and there’s her daughter to protect as well.

Release date coming shortly!

empty skies cover

Old writing: Moon Story

My first attempt at sci-fi from about 2006! I might go back to this someday, or see how it goes into something else…I did like the story, but it never got fully fleshed out. I’d be interested to see how it does morph if I pick it up again.

As soon as she entered her small, neat room, Tanine knew that there was someone else there. Was it just her thoughts? Was she being silly, just because she had just been…no! But the presence was there, she knew – it was almost tangible to the senses. She shut the door firmly and looked around, but there was no one to be seen. It was her imagination! But no, it wasn’t…the slender girl licked her lips nervously and spoke, feeling a little silly at speaking to empty air.

“Who…who are you?”

Butterfly.

They had answered? As the shock faded, the girl quickly assessed the voice. It seemed to be in her head, not heard, but still there. It was a light tone, neither masculine nor feminine, but with the slight stilted accent that spoke of computers. But the accent could be stimulated. What did they want with her?

“What are you?”

I am a computer programme, similar to the IHEG system. My access code is Butterfly.

A computer. Tanine sat down on the bed and activated the screen to her personal monitor. She shook her head slightly, dismissing the jumble of thoughts and emotions and concentrating on the task at hand.

“What do you want with me?” she asked softly as she ran a search on the name. Oddly, she was not afraid of the silent presence – she knew that it would not stop her; that it was strangely friendly towards her. How did she know that? she wondered.

It is more what do you want with me. You found me.

That brought reality crashing back down to the girl as the computer brought up no results for the search. Several days earlier, she had found a locked system while searching for something for school on the network. It had been pure accident that she had happened across the gateway, and she was fairly certain that no one had come across it before. But she had no password for it and hurriedly retreated before security was triggered. So was the thing now talking to her whatever was behind that locked gate?

Yes. I am Butterfly, created by Aleut Hume. I am a purely personal system, but I have access to most of the network. More than your systems have, at any rate.

The voice seemed to be laughing. Had this system been given more human characteristics than the normal ones? How…what was it? Questions revolved round Tanine’s head. And…it had answered her thoughts. The thought sent an icy shiver down her back. It could hear her thoughts?

Maybe I had better explain. Aleut created me as a companion, but also as a protector. Butterfly said. I know everything that goes on in this base, and a lot of what goes on in the others. I was given an almost human character. Go back to the gateway you found three days ago.

The girl did as she was told, remembering the pathways with ease. Her memory tricks were one of the few things she was proud of at school, but she chose not to let on about it – it would attract too much attention. She went quickly through the network, accompanied by silence from the computer-person. And then there was the gateway, a blank screen with the simple word across it:

PASSWORD

I told you what it was. Butterfly reminded her softly.

Password…access code. Butterfly.

Tanine typed it in. Nothing happened.

You have to speak it as well as type. Put your hands on the access plates so I can get your prints as well, and your datachip. the mental voice instructed.

The girl spoke the password softly, and touched the screen. She suddenly felt a deep wave of fear sweep over her, but if faded as fast as it had come, leaving her nervous and puzzled.

ACCESS GIVEN

As soon as the words on the screen came up, the blackness dissolved into a whirl of colour. Then, on the screen, came the hazy figure of a person. It resolved into a human, a slender woman wearing a subtly coloured cape of all colours, an old-fashioned style from another century, times ago. The hood covered her face, leaving darkness beneath it, hiding the features. She seemed to be looking directly at Tanine. She seemed almost…real.