What’s Up Wednesday :)

wuwspringWhat’s Up Wednesday is a weekly meme started by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk.  If you want to participate you should link your What’s Up Wednesday posts to the list on Jaime’s blog so that we can all stop by and say, “Hi!” It’s a great way to connect with other writers!

What I’m Reading

photo (4)I received an ARC of Brandy Colbert’s YA Contemporary debut, POINTE, and I’m finishing it up now. It’s such a beautifully written book and the author captures teens so realistically. Also, it focuses a lot around dance, and as someone who did theater forever & almost pursued it professionally (thanks goodness I didn’t) I love performance arts books as I find I can really get into the character’s head because I understood the pressures and the hustle and bustle.

Also, it’s got some great suspense…this is a book that keeps you flipping the pages.

What I’m Writing

Thanks to YABbootcamp, Team Defiance and the other participants have been keeping me accountable with my writing!

I’ve started revisions on what was my NA Urban Fantasy, but is now my YA Urban Fantasy. The revised book blurb is below, but I changed it from NA to YA, because I really enjoy YA. I like writing for that age group and something about it being NA felt too weird for me as I’m in that age group. I started rewriting it as YA and everything started to click in that way that when you’re reading over your own work you get shivers. So excited!!

THE UNALIGNED (The Sup Files #1) – When sixteen-year-old Bria Dauphine sets up shop as a freelance detective she figures, with her abilities, it’ll be easy money and will allow her to save more towards college than working at the local coffee shop—the only job she can get—would. Unfortunately, most of the cases she receives are requests from old ladies asking to her to find their cats, and old ladies don’t pay much, if at all.

But, when her best friend, a witch-in-training, goes missing, on the day of her claiming ceremony—the ceremony that decides whether she’ll belong to the side of the Light or the Dark supernaturals, Bria is New Orleans P.D.’s first go to gal because not only is she unaligned, meaning she’s free to go anywhere she pleases, she’s the best–well, technically, the only–clairvoyant in town. If she can get that nose of hers to work right.

To find her friend, and keep herself from another year staffing the front desk at her father’s hedge fund–a death sentence in itself–Bria teams up with Ty, a human whose life she saves on the first day of school. Together, it’ll be up to them to find the killer, before the case goes public and uncover the truth about Bria’s mother’s recent death—a truth on which the success of their case hinges. That is, of course, if the killer doesn’t find them first.

So much for easy money.

(Status: Rewriting/Revising – YA Urban Fantasy – think Veronica Mars meets The Dresden Files & Lost Girl)

You can view the inspirational Pinterest board here: http://www.pinterest.com/patrice93/the-sup-files/ (It’s one of my finest/favorite ones)

What Else I’ve Been Doing

elections spamMy college just had College Government Elections (which are actually taken quite seriously/run like real campaigns here) and being that I’m the president of our black student union and I’m the Multicultural Presidents Rep, I ended up on Elections Committee. It was a fun/stressful past couple weeks monitoring the candidates, coming up with the rules, etc…, but it’s over and I don’t have to be neutral anymore and my friend won CG President!

Other than that I’m working on freeing my life. I’ve been really busy this semester and last year. But my senior fall promises to be very chill as I won’t have any leadership positions (finally I have learned how to say no) and my classes are no where as difficult as the ones that are currently burying me in assignment after assignment. However, it’s cool because I’ll be at home in Texas this summer, actually I’ll be working in Austin, so I am ready for the summer to begin!

What Inspires Me Right Nowphoto (5)

SUMMMEEEERRRRRRRR! I think that’s about it, LOL. Oh, and my writing…it gets me up in the morning. At this point it is certainly not my classes as they’re killing me. However the week of April 20th starts of Spring Week which is basically a week of concerts, Marathon Monday, etc… it’s pure bliss. After that is finals and then summer 😀 (haha, I think you’ve got the message.) –> The bluebonnets are blooming in Texas (it was a picture I took during Spring Break)!

How is everything going for you? Are you excited for summer!?

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Spring Writing Bootcamp Check-In #2

YAB-Spring-Writing-Challenge-2014

 

Hello! I’m a day late, but this is my second Spring Writing Bootcamp Check-In (I missed last week…midterms)!

What’s Spring Writing Bootcamp? It’s an awesome accountability bootcamp for writers. To learn more visit our amazing hosts, the YABuccaneers!

My goals for each week have been to write 10,000 words. I fell a couple thousand short this week as well, however my story reached 20,000 words and most of the writing was completed in two weeks so I basically did do 10,000/week!! This week my awesome bootcamp team, Team Defiance, has Twitter writing parties planned every night at 8pm CST so here’s to getting a lot more writing done! Feel free to join us 🙂

My NA Urban Fantasy, THE SUP FILES is really coming along. I’m through the beginning and am getting to that point where the words are flowing without much effort. Not to mention, I, even though I consider myself to be a pantser, outlines the entire story so it’s smooth sailing from here on out!

I’m currently on Spring Break so my goal for this week is to read a couple books, read a CP’s manuscript that I’m finally able to get to, and bask in the sun and, write, write, write!

Here’s an excerpt from a pivotal scene, it’s a bit rough but it’s set in a Voodoo shop in the French Quarter so the setting it’s interesting to say the least 🙂 The last time I was in New Orleans I actually visited a couple as research…some are 100% touristy, but others are definitely creepy.

A fake voodoo doll was strung by its neck in its usual place in front of the door. Circe used to say it made the place look creepier, but my mom had once said it was a small persuasion charm. It couldn’t stop someone determined from entering, but it often stopped those who were curious about what it held inside by reminding them of all the other things they had to do. In addition there was no open or closed sign. From the outside the shop was always dark so people really had to know that this is where they were supposed to be in order for most to be brave enough to enter.

Taking a deep breath, I pushed open the door. There was no need in delaying our reunion any further. She’d known it was me the second I’d pulled up. I inhaled the fresh scent of jasmine. Even without the visions now flooding through my head, it would’ve brought back bittersweet memories.

The door creaked open in a most mysterious manner. My mom had tried to get her to fix the door years ago, but she’d brushed her aside, saying it added to the place’s charm. Of course, charm was something the shop had plenty of. It resembled an antique shop, all dusty and the like. When you entered you had to stoop down or else you’d hit your head on one of the many masks and dolls, intertwined with cob webs, that hung from the beams. To my left was a wide shelf full of many compartments, each having within it a mason jar. Some of the jars were broken with only dust for contents and others were filled with herbs you couldn’t find in any grocery store. From the wax figures of Catholic saints that stood side by side in a glass counter to the many crosses and Bibles and other spiritual books that hung on a slanted bookshelf, everything had a place. An order. If you spent enough time here, like I had, the shop would reveal to you its secrets.

How’s your writing going?

Whimsically Yours,

PnC

The Incomplete Guide to Preternatural Creatures: Chapter One

See the INTRODUCTION.

-CHAPTER ONE:

The Big Kahuna:
Homo Immortus aka Vampyres aka Vampires

Vampires, as they are most commonly known, are creatures of the undead variety. They have existed since the beginning of time. One of their most popular creation myths is that they are descended from Angels. The story is that when the Angels were cast down from the heavens as they fell they became vampires with Lucifer, the Dark One, as the original vampire. Of course no one knows whether or not this is true and there is not really any way to prove it since Lucifer is rumored to have died* thousands of years ago.

*In my expert opinion I believe that something that old doesn’t just die, I’d rather believe that he is in more of a long sleep, waiting and watching for the right moment to come back into power.

Truth vs. Myth:

As you might guess, nothing exists as long as vampires have without creating a few myths of their own, that is why I have included this section to help you, dear reader, tell the truth from the myth.

Mirrors: Vampire have reflections…THE END.  This was an old myth created years ago to calm people’s fears because if vampires did not have reflections then they didn’t have souls right? …wrong.

Holy Water: It won’t necessarily save your life against the creatures, but it will work.  Holy Water can create nasty scars on vampires and it can be used to ward them off from yourself, your house, and anything else you want to protect from them. Of course, I wouldn’t advise going to your nearest (Catholic, Anglican, Eastern Orthodox, etc…) church and stacking up on it…you might look a little suspicious.

Sunlight: This is pretty much a given/well known fact: vampires and the Sun do not mix.  However there are exceptions, while vampires do not sparkle in the sun, as one author once stated, they can develop immunity to the Sun as they age. The older and more powerful the vampire, the earlier they are able to rise (makes sense, right?).  It is my theory that if you were to meet one that was old and powerful enough, it would be immune to sunlight; of course I haven’t really tested this theory because I probably wouldn’t be alive to tell the tale.

Religious Items: Contrary to popular belief not only crosses can deter vampires, in fact any religious item will work, as long as you believe in it.  And it does not necessarily have to be a physical item, I have quoted the Bible…you might think it funny, but here I am…guess it worked.

Stakes: Now before you go getting your Buffy the Vampire Slayer on, hold up for a minute. Staking a Vampire will work but it’s kind of messy. I mean just think about it for a minute, a wooden stake going through a vampire…got the picture? Good.  Let’s not do that again.

So how can I kill a vampire you might ask, well first off I would say chill your horses. This is not the time to try and become the next Buffy, Anita Blake, or Van Helsing, it’s not going to happen.  The only time you should even think about killing a vampire is if you are face to face with one and it’s for self-defense. And if that is the case then I suggest you don’t think about it because if you do, then you’re probably already dead. Got it? Great. So my advice to you, and this is completely off the record because I don’t want to be liable if you get yourself killed, is to get a good gun and shoot it…with silver bullets (stock up on them, they work for most preternatural creatures except faeries, more on that later, but DO NOT try them on the fae!). THE END.

Blood: I feel like I shouldn’t have to say anything about this but until vampires “come out” I doubt there will be any kind of blood substitute drink that will be invented (even then, that’s a stretch) so until that horrible time, yes, they drink blood. And to answer your second question, yes they do have fangs and yes they do use them to pierce your skin, and yes the neck as well as other places with major veins are the most desirable spots…you have been warned.

Powers

Vampires have many powers and as with immunity to the Sun, they gain them with age. Now just because a vampire is old does not mean it’s powerful, just as some people are naturally followers, some vampires are as well. Common vampire powers include: mind control (never look a vampire, or most preternatural creatures for that matter, in the eyes), flight (some vampires have it, some don’t, it’s a “born” trait, not acquired), super-fast speed and strength.  I’m sure there are others but, hey, I’m trying to save your life not spend all day listing powers.

Characteristics

How will you know if you see one?  Well, you probably won’t but if you did see one the first thing you would notice is that they are paler that the average human.  No matter their skin color vampires will seem to have a sort of translucent glow to their skin.   Other than that and the fact that they seem to be a little more graceful than the average human, they will look ordinary. See, most people and authors of vampire lore always think and say that vampires are gorgeous creatures, that they have the ability to seduce you with one glance. Not really true, that is probably just the mind control (most preternatural creatures have some version of this so be wary).  Sure there are some strikingly beautiful vampires but they were probably like that before they were turned. Vampires look just like us, if you are human that is, that’s the dangerous thing about them.  How else would they have survived this long?

Side Note: Old Mr. Moore who never comes out in the daytime because of his “skin condition” or “sun allergy” could be your friendly neighborhood vampire…yes those do exist as well. So if you were thinking of using this guide to help you find a vampire who would then turn you, rid you of your “puberty blemishes” then you could become the Bella to his Edward (or vice versa), please think again.

And now the section you have all been waiting for… (yes twihards I’m talking to you):

How to Become a Vampire

I don’t know who would be foolish enough to buy this guide with the hope of tracking down a vampire so that it could turn them but if that’s your wish…so be it (just don’t try to plead for your life after the love of your sixteen-year-old heart dumps you and you go on a rampage through several towns).

Step Number 1: Find a willing vampire

Step Number 2: Say goodbye to everyone you know: I doubt they will believe you are a vampire, and if they do what will probably happen is that the FBI will hear of you and then you will become a test subject…if you are foolish enough to be caught

Step Number 3: Fake your death…you can’t just disappear.

Step Number 4: This is where it gets tricky because there are two options but the second is only done in emergency situations because it’s rather dangerous (…as if the rest of this process isn’t).

  • 1st way: Over a series of three days the vampire will bite the human, drinking their blood and creating a bond between them. On the third day the vampire drinks almost all of the human’s blood, leaving just enough to keep the human barely alive and then exchanges some of their blood with the human. This is the best method because it creates a bond with the human making sure someone can control the crazy newbie vamp.
  • 2nd way: Much more dangerous! The vampire drinks the human’s blood until they are nearly dead and then exchanges blood with them (really foolish).

Step Number 5: The human is then left and rises to become a vampire in 1-3 nights** depending on how powerful the vampire that created them is.

**Most people think that the human has to be buried in the ground with the vampire, I have even heard interpretations where they have to be buried in hallow ground not that that would make sense because of the whole vampires not mixing well with religious items regardless this is false. I mean can you really see a vampire actually getting in the ground with an undead human…I don’t think so.

Also the catch is that if the vampire for some reason does not finish “the deal” the human could become one of the undead, a restless soul wandering the Earth. Almost like a zombie out for vengeance on the one who stole its life. And since it’s kind of hard to get vampires to hold to their promises once you’re almost drained of all of your blood, this whole process is just a bad idea (I promise you, he/she is not worth it).

Yours truly,

Dr. P. C. Howard, Preternatural Expert

-P.S. Check back next Tuesday to learn about sirens and mermaids (yes, there is a difference).  Also should you fear that you need to know about a certain creature ASAP, you may comment below this post asking me to include a chapter in my book.

–P.C.

The Incomplete Guide to Preternatural Creatures: Introduction

Hi Readers,

I LOVE writing, (I know you’re thinking, duh) well I also LOVE all things seemingly “unnatural”.  A while back, (via Goodreads) as a purely fun project — that might turn into a full-fledged Adult Urban Fantasy series on day — I began writing this guide to preternatural creates.  Why?  Because  we read about them everywhere, different myths, stories, legends, etc…about the same creature so why not (have a little/lot of fun) and create and end all, be all (incomplete) guide to these creatures.  I’ll stop my yapping and let the genius, Dr. P. C. Howard take it over from here 😉

INTRODUCTION:

Dear Readers,

You have in your hands one of my precious guides to the preternatural world.  DO NOT LOSE IT.  In it you can find information about creatures you have only dreamed about (why I don’t know), these include vampires, werewolves, fairies, and even some creatures you’ve never heard about.  The information presented in this guide is, no matter what you may hear from others, very real indeed.  So if you even want to stand a chance against these creatures, should you ever meet one (hopefully you don’t), I highly suggest you start reading now.

Yours truly,

Dr. P. C. Howard, Preternatural Expert

-P.S. Be sure to check back every Tuesday for updates as I am constantly expanding this guide.  And as a special sneak peak, for your benefit more than mine since these creatures are always rapidly evolving, I suggest you check out Chapter One: Vampires (otherwise known as The Big Kahuna, Vampyres & Homo Immortus) which will be revealed at 3pm EST.

Also should you fear that you need to know about a certain creature ASAP, you may comment below this post asking me to include a chapter in my book.

–P. C.