Monday, September 29, 2014

Character Blog Tour: The Inside Scoop on My First Novel THE PRAETORIANS

This is going to be fun :)

I got nominated by the lovely Ashley Carlson to continue on with the Character Blog Tour. It's an honor to be nominated and I will carry the torch into writing awesomeness!

For the last four years I have been writing, re-writing, throwing away and starting over, and writing again. I had this idea that just popped in my head one night of a woman struggling to find her identity and in the chaos of her world she overcomes the impossible. Vague I know...but at the time it was mainly a really bad ass fight scene that I couldn't get out of my brain. (Which is at the very end of book one ;) In my mind she had finally reached her point of no return, she had to fight to stand for what she believed in, and OH MY LORD DOES SHE! (Can't spoil my own book now though can I!?) After three years of pulling together the idea and plot, and one year of writing until my fingers bled (thank you Laura and Melaina! That lunch that one day was totally much needed BTW) and then several more months of edits, reading, re-reading, re-writing, and CHANGING A CHARACTERS NAME!!! I finally had a novel. A polished beautiful 140,000ish word novel. Holy crap guys, I'm A WRITER! (there are a lot of shouty caps in this post, but I'm not going to apologize for my enthusiasm).

Now...time to get to the point. The Character Blog Tour...let's get this baby rolling....(and I have a secret surprise at the end, but first the Character Blog!)

The main character of my novel is Camille Scipio, a seemingly average 17 year old girl that harbors a dangerous past, most of which she can’t remember. Suffering from acute amnesia, she wakes in a strange village filled with questions about her identity, where she came from, and most of all why she seems to be so superior over the average human. She can run a mile in under three minutes, hunt like a true predator, and handle a sword like it’s an extension of her body. Everything crashes down on her revealing broken memories of her past threatening to reveal the monster she harbors inside. The idea for Camille came from several different aspects, but I owe a lot of my inspiration to Muse. The first scene popped into my head after listening to Knights of Cydonia one night before I was going to bed. The filled out version of the story really took root after listening to their albums…on repeat….for several months. The next spark of inspiration came after I re-watched the first Bourne Identity movie. I loved the idea of massive struggle in searching for an identity. I think about my own identity a lot, who I am and what I want to be, and using the plot point of not knowing your past is a fun way to pick through the memories you choose to highlight to fully form a character from the start of the story to the climax. I think this allows the readers a chance to learn and grow with the lead character because they are finding out more just as Camille does.

The setting of this story is its own world similar to Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones. Though there is horseback traveling, town like atmosphere’s and basic 1700 village structure; there is also technology, electricity, travel by dirigible, and high tech weaponry. The main geography of Aspera (the Kingdom of where Camille lives) is laid out in a circle separated into nine Colonies. Each Colony has its own social structure, and I would very much place it in a guide line of Game of Thrones. Simple, yet very technologically minded within the constructs of what the world has to offer.

Camille mainly struggles with the fear of her unknown past and not knowing who or what she is. She knows she committed a horrible crime and endures jarring flashes of past memories but she can’t understand what they mean or what to do about them. She is stubborn out of embarrassment and grows increasingly confused by a growing power within her that seems to take over her mental state when her emotional range bursts into heightened territory. It doesn't help that on top of struggling with identity crisis, she is also trying to save her people from oppression from the overbearing cruelty of High King LeMarc, and figure out the maze of emotions attacking her from every angle when in the presence of her love interest. Most of what I want to highlight about Camille is that in a lot of ways, she is like every one of us, struggling to find who we are in the present chaos of our day to day lives.

Camille’s main external conflict is struggling to find her place in a world that doesn’t really have a place for her. She is a love interest, a friend, a daughter, a savior, a warrior, and a born killer. Throughout the novel she arcs toward understanding of who and what she is only to have it obliterated by circumstantial tragedies. Camille’s biggest internal conflict to overcome is learning control of herself, her emotions, and knowing what she is capable of.

The first novel is called: The Praetorians. It’s not available yet as I am still working through the editing process, but I am hoping to get this one published soon. I am giving myself until the end of the year to find an agent, and if I can’t by then I am going to go about the process of self-publishing. So if you know of anyone looking for a book like mine to promote, send them my way! I want to say this will end up being a trilogy, I definitely have enough in my mind to make the story last a good long while. So far there is book 1, the outline of book two, and the synopsis of a book 3. We will see where I go after that. There is so much more to come after Book 1!

And that's my Character Blog Tour. Now to hand off to the next round of writers I have two extremely amazing people to nominate. Matthew Tomlinson who wrote probably one of my favorite books I've read this year; Jack and Jill a Zombie Love Story which is AVAILABLE to purchase!
Also I have nominated J. Sander who even though doesn't have a completed novel I was still able to talk into doing this AWESOME Character Blog. I'm happy you are doing this J!

SECRET AWESOME AMAZING NEWS....I found an amazing artist to do my cover art! Kaegan Cusenbary, who I've known for almost five years (can you believe it Kaegan?!) and is an amazing traditional artist has agreed to work on my cover art. Since I have some time before I get into the whole publishing affair I thought now would be a good time to start thinking of a look for the novel. Kaegan's style and form couldn't be more perfect for what I am aiming for. I want realism with a overlay of gritty intensity. Check out her work here!

Friday, September 26, 2014

The Graceful Truth: Part IX

Hope is vastly delusional; to the point of ridiculousness if you ask my honest opinion. Hope seems to think that things will just work out all perfectly, there won't be snags or missteps because life is perfect if you allow it to be. It's B.S. I tell you, and no amount of optimism could prepare you for what life truly hurls in your direction. Things like love.
There is another side to hope, another side to what you see in your life and what you are wanting to see. Hope is a product of want and desire, want is a product of personal need. Sometimes what you want is really not what you need, and even though your mind is screaming at you to run away at all costs, your damn bloody heart gets in the way stating it’s THIS or NOTHING!
Sitting in my hotel room wringing my fingers together as I shamelessly watched the clock tick by minute after minute I had a moment of extreme clarity. It was strange actually, light really did just flicker in front of my eyes and I was able to look past the screaming desires of my heart to actually listen to my mind for a second. That one single second changed absolutely everything.
A sharp knock sounded from the door and my entire body froze. He was here. I didn’t move right away, actually I sort of stumbled into movement as my mind screamed at me internally to “DO SOMETHING.” One leg in front of the other, righting the green silky dress I had yet to take off as I walked, I approached the door like the main actor in a scary movie; extremely aware of the terror and pain located on the opposite side but willing to look at it anyways.
His smile was breathtaking. His eyes flicked up to mine as I pulled the door open and the soft brown hue that I had once loved so much took in my full appearance one achingly slow second at a time. Pulling a crisp white rose from behind his back that looked far more beautiful in his hand than it had tucked into the wedding center pieces at the reception, I smiled back at him with what I hoped looked sweet and collected not panicked and packed with nerves.
“Can I come in?”
I nodded.
The second he crossed the threshold I knew he wasn't here to stay, though whether that be because of his desires or mine, I knew he wouldn't be there long. There was a calming finality to it giving me the chance to breathe deep for once in his presence.
There wasn't a grand moment of understanding, not even a hint of complete understanding put into thought. I hate to disappoint you but truly there was nothing but time that led me slowly to this final conclusion.
Trying to keep Kellan in my life the way he had once been was like trying to fit into my high school prom dress from ten years ago when I was thirty pounds lighter. No amount of squeezing, tucking, or yanking would make him fit into my life. Not that I didn't love him, I would always love him. Nothing would dull the moments of our lives that were great, nothing would take away those wonderful memories and there is no way that I would want them gone. But we had our moment in the sun, and every small moment after trying to recapture what once was, was our way of searching for something we knew we wanted but had yet to find.
In him I saw a future, but the future I wanted to live wasn't actually with him. The realization must have been written all over my face because the expression he held read as pained understanding. He was in the same boat as I and it finally came time to admit it.
He hesitated in the doorway now unsure if it was a good idea to come in, but I stepped aside silently giving him the ok to enter without it suddenly becoming weird.
“Guess we both knew this would happen eventually, didn't we?”
I smiled in response knowing he was right. I chased him first, and he ran. Then he chased me and I fell into his arms. It was a beautiful world for a tiny sliver of time, but eventually I ran and no amount of chasing would have ever brought me back to where we had started. My chasing him had been futile. I had never really been after him, only the idea of what he had once been to me. It was far past time to move on, move forward, and find that man that I so rightfully deserved to be with and who so rightfully deserved to be with me.
Together we wandered out onto the balcony, him slipping a menthol into my hands before lighting the end for me to inhale. Sweet smoky bliss filled my lungs and on my exhale I finally felt completely at peace.
“I think I owe you an apology for how long I let this drag out. I should have seen this sooner. You obviously did.”
He didn’t respond to me right away. Instead he lit his own regular cigarette and contemplated the scenery surrounding the hotel like it was the most important view he had ever had the chance to see. “Just because I saw it, doesn’t mean I listened to it. I wanted you back too. There was always a reason not to leap in though, and I think now I finally realize why.”
I nodded silently. We both saw us for what we were; a couple of friends once madly in love that grew up and grew apart.
It sounds sad I know, but truly it’s not. Not for me. It was a moment I needed to experience no matter how much the process hurt. I never said this was a happy story, but I don’t mean it to be sad either. Love is evil and I warned you, but love is also a patient teacher, a blazing heat to remind you of what can be possible and a cold shoulder when it demands you see more than you do. You can hate love and all the negative grueling hours of loneliness, or you can accept the fact that finding true love no matter how short lived is always worth the pain and suffering. Love is absolutely worth everything you have to give, and it’s never afraid to remind you of its purpose.
The truth is muddled in with the greys and blacks slapped over the pristine white of your life; Love will show you what you’re truly made of, show you what it means to live. My advice to you is to embrace it, because escaping it and its wild torrential storm of emotions is absolutely impossible.

I know you asked me for a happy ending, I know I promised you one, but the graceful truth is that happiness is fluid within life and an ending that ends happily doesn't exist. Doesn't mean we can't live happily, find happiness, and experience the pure joy of what life, love, and experience can offer.

I found my Graceful Truth...have you found yours?

Monday, September 22, 2014

I've Been Nominated for.....oh I'm just dancing with excitement!!!

My loving readers and friends, I have been nominated to do something awesome!!!

I have been invited to be a part of the Character Blog Tour! Next week Monday I will post some deliciously juicy details about the main character in my upcoming novel: The Praetorians. I am really excited to enlighten you all on my main character and how she lives within the world I have created.

Not going to lie, I am totally SQUEE for this. Yep, you got it, this one is SQUEE worthy. I was nominated by the lovely Ashley Carlson whose book is coming out soon! Please check out her Character Blog and I look forward to sharing mine with you in a week.

Ashley R. Carlson Character Blog

Friday, September 19, 2014

Oh I love to obsess over you

I love starting new projects. I get this excitement in my belly like a child does the day before Christmas. It's like once I open the program and get started a present will pop up in the form of my finished product. TAH DA! Project complete.'s never that easy.
Last night I started the modeling process to build a new character, and thanks to an awesome friend I have a pretty updated rockin computer with the most updated rockin programs. First problem, resetting all your tools and configs to match your old presets. Forgot how laborious that can be. I was an hour into setting up and I still hadn't brought in my reference images to start building from.
But the excitement is still there, I want to go back home and jump back on my computer but alas, I must make money first.
So all day all I can focus on....
How am I going to build out the shirt and the mag holsters from the body block?
Polygon hair, a solid piece, or nurbs to build out a hair system?
And the words that keep running through my brain...Center pivot, freeze transformations, delete history.
Oh yes...the modeling has begun!
I'm looking forward to seeing how the pipeline goes on this animated short.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Can I keeps it?

Fear. I am afraid. I open my eyes and it seeps in, but instead of running I cuddle close and smile. I must be crazy. I must be a complete lunatic. I close my eyes and breathe in the scent of you and I feel the pressure of doubt, the slicing knick of bewilderment; how did I get here? Though I consciously walked in a straight line from point A to point Q, I somehow ended up on F and Seventh street (Spelled out because it's always better when I can actually read the number fully).
Wonder. It's actually real. Sometimes I can't believe I can actually hold it with my own two hands. Thoughts can be enticing, but also screwy in their stubbornness to make you believe in the mystical. I can't discard it though, the wispy hope that wafts through my mind in the dimming light of evening. There is no ignoring the pull as my eyes split open at dawn and I see the dreams solidified.
Hope. A tricky bitch. Despite the sinking tremor of what could happen if I lean too far to the right and plummet to my emotional doom, hope keeps me barely on track. Even in the wide black lake of loneliness hope is my buoy though it taunts me with the gravity of the other side. Yet somehow it keep the muscles in my face from pulling downward even though thats the only way I want to go. Hope keeps the socially acceptable form of insanity from tying you in the inevitable straight jacket. I hope because I must, and I must because I can't imagine my life any differently than what it has given me. I hope I get to keep it.
Reality. Not so easy. The honest truth is I can't really keep anything, not forever anyway. I can't keep this moment, or this day, I can't keep my room clean and my apartment will always be filled with dog hair. Reality is life happening all around me and I don't want to waste it. I made a terrible mistake two years ago and I don't intend to repeat it. I want to make up for what I've done wrong, and I want to live life the way my path previously intended it to be. Maybe hope will keep me afloat, and my sense of true wonder will chase away the fear. Maybe, just maybe, the dreams I've always had, will become my reality.

I can't keeps it, it was never mine to keeps

Updated Update:
Life can't seem to make up it's mind. Here's a you can make orange juice, wait no...I gave you a grapefruit...go make apple juice. Kidding, it's a still want lemonade right?