Monthly Archives: October 2011

Wednesday Recap

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I’ve been a little busy since Sunday.

I was quoted in this blog post on A Round of Words in 80 Days blog (Which you’ve heard me call ROW or ROW80).

Then I was linked in this blog post by Nadja Notariani for my Meme post last Wednesday. And here is another link on Memes from the Smithsonian (thanks Lena Corazon for the link!) if you want to research Memes even further.

Tuesday, Faylinn’s Chronicles got another 1400 words added bringing the grand total for the serial up to over 16,000 words! I’m still plugging along at it, I’m hoping to get a few more out by the end of October though my initial ROW80 goal of finishing the series might not happen. There is still SO much that needs to happen before I can call The End. I’d love to do this as an illustrated novel or as Lauralynn suggested expand it to book form.

I’ve also written a few more blog posts in my Paleo blog Journey of the Primal Tribe. Including video of my baby (well, he’s almost three…)

 

I was determined that I wouldn’t be doing NaNoWriMo this year (I participated the past 2 years) as it just seems like too much and what happens yesterday while vacuuming?? I get a fracking story idea. AND not just an idea, the whole beginning is playing out in my head like a movie I can’t shut off. Yep. I wrote down as much as I could trying to brain dump it but the damn movie reel is still going. Over and over. I think this is why authors have a tendency to drink.

Yes, I’m paying attention to you but inside my head I’m watching a story…

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Faylinn’s Chronicles ~ Tuesday, October 18, 2318

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Tuesday, October 18, 2318

The days grow shorter but feel a thousand times longer. I lay in my room counting the hours, minutes, seconds wondering how long it will take for Tybal to return, if he would return. After he left me in my room, I haven’t seen Aaron since. I worry a little for him, also. Does his absence mean Tybal is coming back? Does it mean something different? Even Grifkin has kept away.

I am learning more, the tests are finished, but I feel like everything I do is being tested, examined, graded. Maybe that’s just me. A small dark man in a white jacket, “Professor”, he tells me to call him, has been instructing me.  He allows me to focus on science, biology. I find it completely fascinating. Much I already know, some is new. I grab onto the newness pleased to have understanding in something when there are so many places I lack information.

“Professor,” I ask, “Why are there no animals any longer? Why are there no birds?”

“In some places animals still live, but those are laboratories and the like. We are trying to clone them but it’s just not working, something in them isn’t right. But we have their codes on file, one day we will have them again.” Something bright flashed through his eyes as he looked at me.

“Do you think there will ever be wild animals again? Ones that roam freely?” 

“Only if the Earth is able to sustain them. The ground is too polluted for even weeds to grow. The animals need something to eat, either plants or each other. It’s hard to say if it will happen.” I thought about my yellow flower like a star burning in the emptiness of the universe as it sat alone in the dirt. I opened my mouth to tell him but he cut me off with a gentle whisper, “The dandelion you found was bait, Faylinn. I thought you would have figured that out by now.”

I didn’t know what to say so I said nothing. Have I been that stupid all along? Taking things for face value without looking into the depths? Yes, I’ve been naive. I wished Tybal was here to talk to. Then I realized that he had known, he had set that trap for me. Was it to give me motivation to escape? Was it to spur me in the right direction? Now I questioned my request to have him return. Aaron had been more open with me, but he had been scared.

Is there anyone for me to trust?

Yes, there was. Myself.

After lessons, I was summoned to the Library yet again. And when the door opened I lost my breath. Tybal sat in the oversized chair, pulling himself to his feet when he met my eyes. In only a few weeks he had changed so much. His face was drawn tight, darkness shadowed sky blue eyes, like a storm threatning well weather. He was thinner and when he moved toward me I noticed he limped slightly. What had they done to him? Why had they done it?

He drew me to him, enclosing me in his arms and the questions and doubt I had melted away. For a moment I was at peace. A moment that ended at a rough clearing of the throat. My attention was drawn to the desk and the tall, thin man standing behind it.

“It’s alright.” Tybal’s hot breath gently brushed my ear, chilling me. The man gestured for us to sit. I was apprehentious and felt tension strum through me. I tried to recall the peace I felt only a minute ago but it was a lifetime away now.

“Hello, Faylinn.” He said as he sat. “I am Lordain.” His tallness intimidated me a little but his plain face held a smile that reached into his brown eyes. It reminded me of another meeting in this same room though the feel of it was markedly different.

“Where is Grifkin?”

“We no longer required his services. I think you will find many things much changed.” He had a voice like silk, cool and smooth but I didn’t detect the hidden layer beneath, the darker one I felt under Grifkin’s words. “We apologize for removing Tybal. We didn’t understand.”

“Who is “we”?” I asked suspiciously, narrowing my eyes at him.

“We are a collection of scientist, researchers, doctors. Our order was formed many centuries ago when it was realized that the Government wouldn’t heed our warnings. We are the force behind the Carbon Monoxide Inhibitor tanks, the food cakes, the waste to water centers, the list goes on and on.  Though we have worked secretly, preserving what we can along the way, all the while developing a…cure, if you will, to reestablish the life of the Earth and ensure this horrendous neglect doesn’t occur again.”

“I still don’t understand where I fit into all this.”

“You will, my child, soon. I promise.” White teeth peeked out from between his smiling lips. “There are no more guards at your door, nor will you be required to be escorted. I want to apologize for Grifkin’s stricter ways. It is not our intent to cow you into submission;, we want to work with you. Cooperation between us can’t be forced with secrecy and detainment and fear. We understand you favor Tybal. It is our desire to see you happy here. The Atrium has been opened for you to visit any time as well as the Library. If there is anything else you require you need just ask.”

“Will you test me again?”

“No. That is over and frankly, Grifkin was a little too enthusiastic. He has been reassigned. I would ask, though, that you still study with Professor Haem, he is delighted to teach  you whatever you wish to know. If it is alright with you, we have another room available for you to stay in. I think you will feel more comfortable there.”

“I…suppose.” Truth be told I was floored over these changes, so abrupt they came. A little voice in my mind whispered to me that Tybal had told the truth; I was important to these people, these scientists. A weight lifted off my shoulders with the news of Grifkin’s departure.

“What of Aaron? Where is he?” His words were so dire, they rang in my ears and my stomach filled with dread.

“If you would like him here as well, perhaps something can be arranged. But I assure you he has been taken safely home.” His voice held an air of finality. I wasn’t sure how to answer. I didn’t know what his home was or where it was. He could be happy there, though he was adamant he didn’t want to return to wherever they had him before. Was it his home? Or had he been taken from there to somewhere else and that was the place he didn’t want to return to? Could I even trust what Lordain told me? My head swam with indecision. If I asked for them to bring Aaron here would he be happier, safer? Or would I be forcing him to leave his family? I just wasn’t sure so again I said nothing.

“Grifkin said that things were moving up, that it didn’t matter if I was ready. What was he talking about?” A button started blinking, a red flash on the desktop that captured Lordain’s attention. He muttered something and quickly shooed us from the room. The hall was dark and empty. We didn’t meet anyone on our way back to my room. At some point Tybal’s hand wrapped around mine. I felt the warmth from it penetrate my hand and move up my arm until it permeated my entire being. I had missed him so much.I could feel the thump of his heart, the soft movment of his breath, the small electrifying jolt of his cells until it seemed we were two halves of one being, joined through the simple threading of fingers. I had worried every moment he was gone and even though I was concerned over his appearance, the dreadful feelings melted away with each step, released through happy tears that quietly streamed down my face. I felt my heart beat speed up to match his.

When we reached the door he tried to disentangle his fingers but I held fast pulling him into the darkness. The door closed behind us as his lips closed on mine.

Sunday in the ROW

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Quick update as I have to leave soon to pick up hubby from a business trip. I haven’t worked on the ECE lecture as I wanted this week. I worked on two assignments for my college class and got those turned in though. I also kick started my Paleo blog with four posts this week. I visited quite a few people’s blogs on Wednesday, too, meeting that goal.

I wrote 1400 words (or there abouts) on Faylinn’s Chronicles which was posted yesterday and have plans for another one to be written up Monday or Tuesday. Using the real world time is both a blessing and a curse, it gives me time between episodes but then if I don’t watch it there is a huge gap between them which is hard to maintain readership.

My allergic reaction is gone I believe but I’m still plauged with this numb half a hand which of course, gets agitated from writingI have the new books for my next class so I’m eager to start on that, only three classes left in this semester and then on to my final semester for my AA! I’m digging the Facebook page for ROW80, it’s nice to see updates right away, so many times I get bogged down on the Twitter page and can’t tell what is what.

How are your goals going?

Faylinn’s Chronicles ~ Saturday, October 15, 2318

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Saturday, October 15, 2318

Tybal is gone. I’m sure of it. He left me that night and hasn’t returned. I asked Grifkin where he went, my heart pounded so hard in my chest, but he wouldn’t tell me. I’m afraid. Afraid that Grifkin has lived up to his threats. Afraid of what that might mean for me. For weeks I’ve waited each night, throat tightened, staring at the dark space along the wall where he would knock. Wait in desperation for time again with him in the Atrium. I wait until sleep drags me under her black waves and then I dream. Terrible, racing feelings, bright lights and distorted faces screaming in silence until I wake up shivering, damp with sweat.

And all this time I worry and wonder about him. I know he is gone.

Grifkin has taken a liking to my visiting him in his Library where he talks to me about sciences, politics, humanity. Though these “talks” always devolve into one-sided lectures. It feels like he is trying to tell me something important everytime he opens his mouth. He questions me on my feelings about current issues, staging hypotheical situations to moral dilemmas. I care little for these things and I tell him so. I make him angry with my disinterest.

“Did you have any friends in the City?” He asked, nestled like a viper in his oversized chair.

“Yes, of course.” I answered, too quickly.

“Who? Who was your friend?” I answered this time with silence. And here is where the viper rears back his head to strike. I could see it in his eyes, the triumph, and understood my mistake. “You had no friends. There was no one, was there? You lived for over twenty years in the same area, worked with the same people and I bet you can’t tell me a single one of their names. Tsk, tsk. For all Jonathan taught you, in this he failed.”

I felt fear then as I had not known it before, snaking up my spine. He had spoken like this before, that I was not what they hoped for, that I had too much to learn but by the hard look he punched at me I knew things had changed.

“What does it matter that I had no friends?” I supressed a cringe at the weakness of my voice.

“A little. A lot. But it doesn’t matter now. We have wasted too much time already trying to prepare a thing that can’t be prepared. We need to move forward whether you’re ready or not.” Before I could speak the door opened and a man walked in. He was tall and thin. By the way his clothes hung loose, too thin. His head was shaved and small, dark eyes poked out from under brows so thick they were nearly joined. “This is Aaron.” He announced it as an explaination, gesturing to the young man that now prowled toward me like a cat to mouse. Instant dislike fringed on disgust singed across my skin. I wanted to move away as his eyes slowly perused my body, his thin lips turned to a greasy smile I wanted to wash off me. Triumph lurched in his eyes as they met mine.

“No.” I whispered getting up and moving behind my chair. Aaron’s face fell.

“She’s already bonded.” He hissed at Grifkin. “You told me she hadn’t made a connection yet. I’m not going back there. You said, I was chosen.”

“Shut up. She hasn’t bonded, we didn’t allow them any time together. Maybe she just doesn’t like you.” He retorted, leaving the chair and walking around to the front of the desk. “It doesn’t matter. We’re running out of time. Faylinn, Aaron is your guide now. I want you two to spend time together. He’ll collect you from your room and escort you to where you need to go.”

“No.” I said, my voice growing stronger. “What does he mean “bonded” to what? To who? Tell me now, Grifkin.”

“Or you’ll what?”

“I’ll leave.”

“Leave?” A laugh erupted from his stomach. “You think you can leave here?”

“I escaped the Domes.” I replied.

“My dear,” He said rubbing his hands together. “We are in the middle of a mountain, surrounded by other mountains. Even if you managed to get down to ground level, there’s no where to hide. The closest City is a an eight hour ride by Heli. No, little Faylinn, you’ll never leave unless I say it.”

“Why won’t you tell me what is going on?” I wouldn’t let the dispair color my face. I was trapped. Tybal was gone. And then there was Aaron.

“Because, as I’ve told you before, you’re not ready. Your stupid mother took you to the City where we couldn’t get to you so you weren’t brought up properly. You don’t know your place. I suppose Jonathan did his best but I still don’t understand why he didn’t teach you, train you.” His face contorted to a hundred degress of disgust as he spat the words at me. “Instead I get handed this mess and now they tell me to get the project up and running. There’s no time to coddle you anymore. You’re humanity’s hope, it’s future. God help us all. I don’t want to hear you refusing us anymore, I don’t care if you’re ill-informed. Take it up with your father, the way things are going you’ll be seeing him sooner than you think.” 

“I want Tybal back!” I blurted out before clasping my hand over my mouth. Both Aaron and Grifkin’s mouthes hung open, staring at me like I just asked them to bring me a purple puppy. “If you want me to cooperate, fine. You want me to follow you blindly, I’ll do it. But I do it with Tybal not with him.”

“Tybal isn’t on the board any longer.” Grifkin replied after a moment’s hesitation.

“Get him back on it.” Tybal said I should ask for something Grifkin would be hard pressed to deliver. I doubted he thought it would be himself I’d ask for. “Take her to her room, Aaron. I have a call to make.” By the flushed look he gave the telephone I could tell it wasn’t going to be a pleasant chat.

We walked in silence down the hallway and as soon as we turned the corner away from Grifkin and the Library Aaron grabbed my arm, yanking me to a stop.

“How did you bond with him? He wasn’t given access to you, they promised me.” His whispers were sharp in my ear and cut into me as hard as his fingers. “I won’t go back, I won’t let them take me.”

“Where were you? Where did they take Tybal?”  My own whispers sliced the air.

“I don’t know about him. Give me a chance. Please. You can make him change his mind, make him let me stay. Please, Faylinn.” He pleaded.

“Why do you all think I have power over Grifkin? I’m as powerless as you are. I don’t even know what I’m doing here.” I yanked my arm but he wouldn’t be refused.

“You’re the only girl. The only one. Ever. The males, they breed them like rats in cages and treated worse than that. You’re special don’t you see? When they bring Tybal back, you’ll know. I can feel it now, the bond, it’s not that strong but it’s there. When he comes back they’ll take me away. Listen to me now, I need you to understand this, promise me, don’t worry about me but the others, they need you. You have to see that they’re set free. This is important, I want you to swear to me you’ll free them.” Tears welled in his dark eyes, the desperation threatned to drown me. I agreed, I swore, I said whatever he wanted me to say. The others would be free.

The darkness of my room crept inside my skin. I felt hollow as I lay fetally in bed wondering, worrying. Sleep washed over me in wicked waves that ebbed into blackness until I couldn’t tell if I was awake of asleep, lost in a rolling torment. Until I couldn’t tell if the knock on my door was real or imagined. Until he lay down behind me, molding his body to mine, cradling me in the warmth of his arms and I shook with tears of relief and confusion.

When I awoke this morning I was alone.

The whole house fell in love.

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I am an avid reader (as my nearly 600 reviews on goodreads can attest). I also have a couple kids that have started reading at an early age. Yet, even though they had an easy time learning how to read instilling that love of reading has been difficult. It’s easy to make reading a chore, especially where school is involved.

If you didn’t know, we homeschool. So while we don’t have the pressure of a reading list or standards, it’s been a struggle to get my capable children to actually read. Which is also ridiculously frustrating to someone that would gladly spend the rest of my life snuggled in a bed, the rain dancing on the roof, reading until I pass out just to wake up and do it again.

But lately, it seems the entire house has fell in love.

With Harry Potter.

that's not a big book, she's a small kid

First the 9 year old started with book 1, after he finished it the six year old picked it up. She’s on chapter 12 and the past few mornings I’ve woken up to her snuggled in the chair reading by the morning’s light. It’s hard for her, being only six some of the nuances go over her head, but she’s diligently plugging away at it.

The nine year old is on book three and I’m wondering if I need to buy another book 1 so the eight year old can start it. She’s patiently waiting for her little sister to finish.

We’ve been watching the movie after someone finishes a book. It’s funny to hear them disparage the movie as not being accurate to what they read. I’m really hoping this is the jumpstart they need to devour other books and series. I suppose we’ll see. As for now, even hubby and I are anxious to fall in love with Harry Potter again.

What’s the Meme about?

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This is another one of those words that pop up occasionally on Twitter and in blog posts and the like, something that you might not understand if you haven’t studied human behaivor.

What is a Meme?

In short it’s an idea, a behaivor, a style that expands over a society or culture. It’s a trend. You can get more indepth here

If you’re still not sure about Memes (or don’t want to read that kinda dry Wiki entry) a prime example is FaceBook. You have probably seen links or ads or silly sayings, quotes or photos while scrolling through your feed. When something gets reshared by you or others, and they reshare and reshare it again, they have created a Meme. Even as short lived as those reposts are, the act of copying the link or image is a Meme. In fact, the act of copying not even a specific item but the act of copying in itself is a Meme.

YouTube is another example. Videos going “viral” is just another term for a Meme. When an author Tweets with a link to their book, they’re hoping to create a Meme.

How to make Memes work for you.

I realize that many of my examples are for social media but as a writer using Memes is really quite important. Especially when creating a world or society. This is an aspect I think gets overlooked a lot of the time when we’re busy building cities and empires and creatures. It’s something important I think we need to ask ourselves:

What social trends have occured -or are occuing – that shape my character/city/world?

And these not be technical like in my examples, clothing, speech, design, these are all things that are driven in part by Memes. Where I live we can see Meme in the size and style of houses in urban areas. The small, square “ranches” of the 80’s, the “Florida” house of the 90’s, the much larger sprawl that marks the housing boom of the early 2000’s. Even car companies use the economic Meme to determine car colors. Nearly everything is influenced by Memes.

Even in history we see the abundance of Memes so far back as the Stone Age when that first gal (or guy) picked up a rock and used it as a tool, that caught into a trend that blasted humans forward in evolution. It wasn’t that each hominin picked up a similar shaped rock and used it in a similar way at the exact same time without influence, nope, a Meme was created and BAM! Memes can be powerful things.

Knowing the social background of the setting your characters are in can be a helpful resource to determine how the character will react or what is available for them in the world. Even placing a character in the near distant future will be a future that has been determined by whatever Memes have occured between now and then, short or long lived.

What trends in agriculture, technology, fashion, TV will have passed that shape the world in which they live?

Creating a believable world, one in which Memes exist, is a vital part to getting your readers interested and willing to accept the rules you’ve created in your work.

Now for my ROW80 update

– I started the Paleo-centered blog and made three posts already! Go me!

– I’ve replied to 16 fellow ROWers last Sunday, well above my goal

– Now  that I’m feeling better I’ve lifted weights once this week and bought a Yoga dvd that has 20 minute sessions (I think I can handle 20 minutes at a time).

The goals are going well though I do need to sit down and write more Faylinn I hope to get another installment out by the end of the week, it’s been almost 2 weeks since the last one (oops).

How are things going for you? What do you think about Memes in writing? Have you used them before? Conciously or without knowing it?

New blog YAY!

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I finally, after much debate, wrote the first two blog posts on my Paleo-centered blog I created a few weeks ago. I’m still working on graphics, layout, that sort of thing but here it is in all it’s newborn glory. (I even have a blog post set up for tomorrow, go me!)

Journey of The Primal Tribe

If you’re unfamiliar with Paleo/Primal diet (and by diet I mean what I eat not the hyped up term for losing weight) you can find some great information here, and here, and here. The gist is that I’m eliminating all grains (including rice), processed foods, legumes, starchy veggies, added sugars and dairy. I’m also dragging my husband and five kids along for the ride.

What, then, will I be eating? Lean meats, fruits and veggies for the most part. Though I still can’t part with my coffee.