Blog Archives

Faux Real!

Faux Real!

      As those of you who have “Liked” me on Facebook know – I recently acquired five shiny copies of “Debut Novel” by Penelope Price. Big, thick, glossy paperbacks filled with about six hundred pages of unedited awesome.
      It can still qualify as awesome pre-edits, right?
      Right?
      *sigh*
      I like to think so. If you’ve followed the FB page or this blog, you may be aware that I have not always been 100% in love with the novel. I have had moments of doubt, hours of loathing, days of lukewarm affection and a few bright twinkles of inexplicable pride-filled unfathomably random LOVE.
      Mostly, its been – “meh”.
      Look, I know I am a good writer (or was). I rarely have doubts about my own abilities, yet my faith in this story and the way I had chosen to tell it definitely wavered. I really had to force myself to take a step away from my preferred genre (much more traditional fantasy) and take a journey to the modern-day. It did not come easily and I really struggled with whether to bother finishing, whether the characters that I had encountered and come to love really came through on the page.
      Then a funny thing happened. The novel that I began in November for NaNoWriMo and completed in March thanks to my sprinting friends – was a real physical book in my hand. And as I read it… I found that I liked it. I laughed with the characters and kept turning the pages and before I knew it, I was 250 pages in to the nearly 600 page book.
      It is sort of like, a miracle.
      To find that, in the first REAL re-reading, I actually like my own book. Given my previously lukewarm feelings about it… I know, I’m just blathering. And maybe no one else – ever – will love the book but the fact is — I do!

Love & Rainbows,
P.P.

Snippet Sunday: [redacted]

Snippet Sunday: [redacted]

      Today’s excerpt comes from … uh…. *ahem**
– – – – – – – – – – –
      Well, I had hoped to have Part Two of “Pirate Booty: The Legend of Mim” ready for you all today, but alas… I missed my own deadline. Sometimes, a girl just bites off a little more than she can chew and this week (what, with Camp NaNoWriMo beginning, finishing the editing of “Incandescence” and starting “Inferno”, plus work, home life, it being a gaming week, and a multitude of other things popping into my brain) was one of those weeks.
      That said, I am off to sprint my way through the opening chapters of “Inferno” this afternoon. I promise to have a new Snippet for you all next Sunday — and a music-themed guest post for the VBT in the next few days!
      Until then, just keep swimming.
– – – – – – – – – – –
      What would you like to see next week on Snippet Sunday? More “PB: TLoM”? Something from the first draft of “Inferno”? Something new from “Incandescence”? Something else entirely? Comments, questions, suggestions appreciated – let me hear about it below!

Love & Rainbows,
P.P.

[PPNote: Oh, by the by, you can catch my post “More Than Words” at Natalie Star’s blog this week! I’m so honored to be hosted by her!]

Hot like Fire

Hot like Fire

      Aaaaaaand we’re off!
      Camp NaNoWriMo officially began today, June 1st, and with it, I put the first words to page on “Inferno”, the sequel to my WIP “Incandescence”. The chapter I began with is not chronologically the first one in the outline (which is still incomplete…oy vey, too many irons in the fire!) but I could not wait to get back into OLDLADYNAME’s head again and find out what has happened in the interim.
      Er… yeah. I was waiting for her to tell me.
      I started with her because she is not (generally) in the middle of the action. She’s on the periphry, sharing her knowledge and experience, relating things about the world and plot that other characters (especially those who ARE directly in the fray) cannot. And she spends a lot of time thinking or telling stories rather than being out there, doing the deeds, so maybe readers would think to skip her POV chapters. I don’t know.
      But I love them. I love writing them, I love re-reading them, I love her. I love discovering things she knows that I did not even realize she knew until it came out on the page. OLDLADYNAME is an enigma cocooned in a conundrum swathed in perplexity wrapped in bacon (because everything is better with bacon). She’s such a strange little old thing with such a big heart, this iron-clad faith, and great anecdotes about peeing the woods.
      I know, I know. I’m babbling.
      I’m just very excited to be (temporarily) back to composing rather than editing. I’ve really been struggling with some stuff in “Incandescence” – though mostly its just insecurity – and I’m ready to lay it aside for a few days so I can really concentrate on “Inferno”.
      So. Show of hands – who out there is participating in Camp NaNo this year? I’m hoping to do both June and August, myself! I love the challenge and daily impetus to JUST WRITE that comes from NaNo. What’s your favorite part of NaNo?

Love & Rainbows,
P.P.

Leaving on a Jet Plane

Leaving on a Jet Plane

      That’s right folks! The TTC VBT, in conjunction with MasterKoda, kicks off tomorrow, May 27th, 2012! This blog tour runs for sixteen weeks – can you believe it? This summer PP.net will be featuring a whole slew of amazing, talented folk and – lucky me – those same wonderful folk will be letting me guest post on their blogs.
      I’m one psyched Tangerine, let me tell you!
      To start the journey, I will be guest posting at jenniferstarks, the lovely blog belonging to Jennifer Starks – she of such books as “Messy Death” and the forthcoming “Prowling for Demons”. I feel so fortunate that she is letting little ol’ Work-in-Progress-Penelope post on her blog. So please, stop by and check out her blog and my guest post (link TBD! Update! Link here: WHEE!).
      And hopefully tomorrow, in lieu of a new Snippet, we will be featuring the first ever PP.net guest post, written by Khloe Kamalis, author of “V.A.M.P.S. ~ ATL ~ The Young Immortals ~ A Southern Gothic Trilogy” which was just released in April! I’ve got that one on my “To Be Read” list, for sure!
      Anyway – its going to be an exciting summer here at PP.net. Aside from the awesome Blog Tour, glittering guest stars, and traipsing all over the web – Jack and I are doing Camp NaNoWriMo in June PLUS the release date for my WIP, Incandescence is currently slated for the end of August! Whee!
      Life just doesn’t get any better than this. Lots of great things on the horizon, good friends, and Cheesecake in the refrigerator for ‘cheat’ day!

Love & Rainbows,
P.P.

Quiet as a Klaxon

Quiet as a Klaxon

      Its been a quiet week here at PP.net – at least as far as blogging is concerned. Away from the pretty little domain that is my home on the interwebs, life has been anything but quiet. Not just because Jack and I are preparing to adopt a puppy (which, YAY) but because there is so much drama collecting around his day-job and my day-job and his hospital stay three weeks ago and so on and so forth.
      So, life is not quiet, but the domain is.
      I gotta fix that, right? Can’t have too many postless days in a row, lest my blogging muscles become atrophied. And we can’t let that happen. Oh no.
      Don’t worry though – even when I fail to get a whole new blog post written for PP.net, I’ve got other irons in the fire. The writing is still getting done. I’ve got some stuff written ahead for the blog tour this summer. I’m still editing Incandescence, with a goal of having it 100% ready for publication by the end of the summer. I’m working on another (paying) blog gig, so wish me luck on that, if you would. I’ve started mapping out the sequel to my WIP, which I believe we’re calling Inferno, but that is subject to change.
      And, I’m working on a totally irrelevant, purposefully campy side-project for our weekly gaming session. Previously, I had written up and emailed (to the gaming group) a bunch of ‘journal’ entries from the POV of my character, a druidess named Estelle. Before each session, I mailed out her personal diary recounting what had happened, what she thought about it, and so forth. It was a cool way to remind everyone what we had done so we’d be ready for the upcoming game (two weeks is a long time between sessions – its too easy to forget the details) and to take a break from ‘serious’ writing. I really enjoyed trying to capture Telly’s not-that-bright-but-determined-and-wise voice in first person diary-style prose.
      Fast forward to the present. We’ve switched to another DM’s game for a bit, as poor Jack recouperates, and in doing such, I’ve created a new character. She’s going to be interesting; a little more ‘alpha’ than any one I’ve roleplayed before. Now she’s not the type to keep a journal or a diary, so I’m trying to come up with a creative way to recap the previous adventure while staying true to the character.
      I may have a way in mind – something to do with her pirate papa’s love of intrigue, secret codes, and knots – but only time will tell how that plays out. (Actually, I really should get cracking on that, since the game is tomorrow!) But in the meantime, I’ve been working on writing up a background for her. The kind of ‘story’ I like to call a Character Sketch. Which is odd, because most people think of a list of facts and details about a character a character sketch. Anyway.
      If it gets the Jack Morgan stamp of approval, I’ll post it here for Snippet Sunday.
      If not, you’ll get something else.
      Either way – see you Sunday for a new Snippet!

Love & Rainbows,
P.P.

Snippet Sunday: Before & After

Snippet Sunday: Before & After

      Today’s excerpt comes from my current WIP: WT: Incandescence. But we’re going to do things a little different. I’m going to post a super-short piece from the First Draft. Then, a tweaked and edited version from Draft Two.
– – – – – – – – – – –

From the First Draft


      Forgive us, Father, for our trespasses tonight. You know we would not do this, had we any other option.
      It sounded like a feeble excuse to her own ears, but OLDLADYNAME knew it was a balm to soothe Hannah’s conscious for the girl was concerned. Possibly, she was more worried about jail time than her eternal soul, but OLDLADYNAME did not ask. She was content to know that the children she had raised were resourceful enough to survive and honest enough to care that they had broken-in to someone else’s home.
      Night had fallen and the forest was remarkably quiet around the trailer – that or the insulation was more noise-proof than she would have presumed. Now that she had been able to wash her hands and face, drink until her belly sloshed, and then satiated her hunger on some stale saltines, OLDLADYNAME felt her confidence returning.
– – – – – – – – – – –

From the Second Draft


      “..and we ask you to forgive us, Father, for our trespasses this afternoon. You know we would not do this, had we any other option.”
      It sounded like a feeble excuse to her own ears, but OLDLADYNAME knew it was a balm to soothe Hannah’s conscience, for the girl was concerned. Possibly, she was more worried about potential jail time than about her eternal soul, but OLDLADYNAME preferred not to ask questions to which she did not want to know the answer. She was content to know that the children she had raised were resourceful enough to survive and honest enough to care that they had broken-in to someone else’s home.
      “Bless us with sweet dreams, and send your angels to protect this home tonight.”
      “Also, thank you for the beans and crackers,” Hannah said. Scrunching up her face, she stirred her portion of supper with a broken saltine.
      “That too,” OLDLADYNAME added, casting a disapproving glance at her. “Amen.”
      They sat around the table and ate their cold meal with little conversation. OLDLADYNAME supposed the children were just as wrung-out as she – though probably not half as physically exhausted.
      Night had fallen and the forest was remarkably quiet around the trailer – that or the insulation was more noise-proof than she would have presumed. Now, sitting here with freshly washed hands and face, having drunk well-water until her belly sloshed, and satiated her hunger, OLDLADYNAME felt her confidence returning. Some how, they were going to be okay.
– – – – – – – – – – –
      And that’s it for today’s snippet. What did you think? Comments, questions, suggestions appreciated – let me hear about it below!

Love & Rainbows,
P.P.

Zum Geburtstag!

Zum Geburtstag!

      PP.net may still be a babe in arms, but her mistress, ME, begins another year of life today. For those counting, that makes me a Taurus. An old cow. Nice.
      This year is going to bring a a lot of changes to my world. Its going to be mean a lot of hard work and sacrifice. And a lot of posting here, I suspect. Although I am trying to keep this blog ‘writing centric’, it will inevitably contain some personal things and I ask that you bear with me. I’m just trying to get my bearings in this new and ever-evolving world of publishing/marketing/et cetera.
      Anyway.
      Today marks a re-birth of sorts, and as I mentioned previously, its a continuation of a theme that started in January with the commencement of the Year of Tangerine Tango. Like a phoenix I will rise from the ashes of my procrastinating life before and soar into the skies of… uh… well, I’m going to finish Incandescence and its sequel, Inferno. That’s my primary writing goal this year. I’ve set some new, hopefully hard-but-doable deadlines for myself. The first of which is to complete the edits on Incandescence and get it out to my betas. I’m just about half-way through right now, but I need to really get cranking.
      Despite the powerful urge to open the document and WERK! (Yes, that is ‘werk’ ala RuPaul) Today is my birthday and Jack is taking me out to get his blood drawn (grrrrreat), then a Jason-Statham-better-take-off-his-shirt movie, and lunch with his mother.
      After that, we’re going to drive all around this bloody town until I find an amazing piece of cheesecake! This area seems to be experiencing a dearth of good cheesecake and I don’t know why, but I absolutely Do. Not. Approve.
      A world without Cheesecake is like… inconceivable.
      Wish me luck!

Love & Rainbows,
P.P.

P.S. Oh! I did get a birthday present from the interwebs today. Someone in my Facebook feed posted Only1Noah‘s cover of LMFAO’s “Sexy And I Know It” and I found a new musical love. I have a well-known penchant for folksy covers of pop & rock music (also – punk covers of the same) and while I did enjoy the cover – it was his catalogue of other covers (Billie Jean, Set Fire To The Rain, Your Song, Crazy) that blew my mind. Check him out!

P.P.S. I’ve “pinned” most of my archives to my Pinterest page for easy browsing. So if you’re interested, follow me on Pinterest >>> Penelope Price.

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Cheesecake Birthday Cake Image from http://www.birthdaymore.com

Snippet Sunday: The Ghost of Adina

      Sorry for the late post, but at least I made it!

      Today’s excerpt comes from my current WIP: WT: Incandescence. It is from a scene in Part One and gives a bit of background on Grandmama Adina Torovaldi neé Goritelli, the family, and alludes to a great secret OLDLADYNAME hides in the deepest part of her heart.
– – – – – – – – – – –
      Her hands shook with the palsy of age as they lay flat upon the beautiful, handmade quilt that covered her from breast to toe. Brown age spots were speckled across the paper-thin skin, thick, blue veins were nearly visible as they wound across the backs of her palms toward her fingers. Those had once been long and graceful; she had played the piano and the flute in her younger years. She had danced too – classical ballet – and sang, though not well.
      A faint smile played across wrinkled lips; the ancient woman tending gently to one who, while also old, was a babe in arms by comparison. With a steady, delicate touch, the elder began to ply a paddle brush upon the long, steel-colored locks of the younger woman. She lay her free palm upon her granddaughter-in-law’s brow, stroking the fevered flesh and murmuring soothing words as softly as possible.
      Adina Torovaldi neé Goritelli was in decline. She had not danced in a decade. Not since a tragic accident had claimed her daughter, Alyssa, her son-in-law, Benjamin, and their unborn child. Not since her husband, Iacomo Torovaldi, had succumbed to a broken heart upon hearing that his dear little Lyssie, their only daughter and the child he shamelessly favored, was dead. If her memory served, and it usually did, Adina’s mind had begun slipping away the day of Iacomo’s funeral though it had not gone into a full downward spiral until a year ago, spring. Alzheimer’s, they called it today. In her day, people went senile, lost their marbles, had bats in their belfries or were a brick short of a full load. It seemed crueler somehow, giving it a real, scientific name. But then, what about the disease was not cruel? A sickness that robbed a body of its memories, personality, loves and dreams and hates and fears – of everything that made them unique. In the end, as it was with sweet Adina, they were little more than a shell. A husk requiring round-the-clock supervision and care.
      “Sit up, dearest,” she coaxed Adina into a seated position so that she could brush the entire length of her hair. It was like silk, for they still treated it with great care as she would have wanted. She remembered a very special day, many decades ago, when she had combed and twisted and teased it into a magnificent curls. Such a beautiful bride, the old woman reflected, gingerly separating Adina’s hair into sections and creating two long plaits such as a schoolgirl would have worn back in her own youth. She supposed that children did not often wear twin braids anymore, though Hannah had, and the thought made her inexplicably sad.
      “The bad days are coming.”
      OLDLADYNAME gave a start, hands freezing mid-motion, and looked around. Directly across the room was a low bureau with a wide mirror that swallowed most of the wall. In it she saw her own reflection – an olive-skinned prune of a woman with more than one-hundred two years of life behind her – and that of her late grandson’s wife. Adina sat before her, those lovely violet eyes vacant and rheumy, with her hands limp upon her lap and her thin legs straight out, a pair of chopsticks beneath heavy blankets. As far as she could tell, neither of them had moved and she knew that she had not spoken.
After a heartbeat or two, the jolt of fear faded. Wrapping her arms around Adina, she began to rock back and forth and croon tunelessly. Though she told herself that she was trying to calm Adina, in her heart she admitted that it was her own pulse that was racing.
      “The bad days are coming.”
      The voice belonged to Adina, yet it was alien in a way that could not be explained away simply because it had been so long since she had spoken. OLDLADYNAME scarcely believed it had come from the frail form of Adina, so rich and strong was the tone. It was as if those five words were untouched by the age that had wracked Adina’s body and mind, leaving her a ninety-pound shadow of her former self.
      “Now, what do you mean by that, my love?” OLDLADYNAME asked, watching Adina’s face in the mirror.
      “You know.”
      Those two words sent daggers of ice into OLDLADYNAME’s ancient heart and she turned her gaze away from the image, busying her fingers by returning to the simple, repetitive motion of braiding Adina’s hair.
– – – – – – – – – – –
      And that’s it for today’s snippet. What did you think? What awful secrets does OLDLADYNAME (tee-hee) harbor in the murkiest depths of her old heart? Comments, questions, suggestions appreciated – let me hear about it below!

Love & Rainbows,
P.P.

Smutporn and other Keywords

Smutporn and other Keywords

      A friend-slash-fellow writer, Raymond Frazee recently noted that ‘smutporn’ was a popular search term to reach his blog. This is not (not by a long shot!) the strangest combination of words that have directed people to his blog, but it did get me thinking.
      Keywords and search terms, all the back-end bits of blogging, are really important for driving up traffic and building a following. I get that. And there are tons of plug-ins and whatnot to help me optimize those options. I get that, as well. But I am not sure (exactly) the sort of things I should be promoting.
      Its easy enough for people with well-established ‘brands’, or with really well-defined genres/intended audiences/et cetera. Or at least, I imagine it is easier. Smutporn, while awesome, is not necessarily what I would expect people to associate with PP.net or any of my novels. And while Incandescence is fantasy, it is a large deviation from my more typical fantasy. It may turn out to be a Young Adult novel, but most of my work (especially that in combination with Jack) is absolutely intended for mature audiences. So do I focus on more – YA centric audiences (for now) and change as my future works become available? What if Incandescence turns out to be non-YA? Then have I misdirected a whole slew of readers? Am I guilty of false advertising? AAH! The pressure!
      Can you tell that I am not great with decisions?
      I waiver.
      Maybe, for the moment, it does not matter overmuch. My first ‘to be released’ novel is still being heavily edited/re-written and though I have a bunch on the horizon (and many in the drawer, begging to be revitalized and released in the future), until I am closer to a publication date, I think I will just continue to row my little boat and test the waters of the interwebs. Wow – that’s a mixed metaphor/cliché/whatever.
      Now – since I have no smut or porn to offer just now – I hope that keyword isn’t the one that brought you to PP.net. If so – let me direct you back to Raymond’s page. Or maybe Jack’s. Either of those boys have more than enough twisted imagination to enthrall you.
      I’ll stick to magic-flinging siblings, war, and violence.

Love & Rainbows,
P.P.

Snippet Sunday: Gruesome Discovery

      Today’s excerpt comes from my current WIP: WT: Incandescence. It is from a scene in Part One in which our sibling protagonists have just heard a weak cry for help in the distance. Naturally, being the good kids they are, Mike & Hannah immediately try to help.
– – – – – – – – – – –
      They crashed through the foliage. Hannah slipped on some wet leaves and stumbled on behind him, but he did not dare stop for her. Not for anything. That voice – the child it belonged to – needed help.
      Suddenly he found that his boots were crunching upon gravel rather than underbrush. He stopped short having at last found the source of the cries.
      About one hundred yards up the narrow gravel road there was a head-on collision. Hannah moved to dash toward the wreckage, but Michael held her back, observing for a long moment. There as no steam, no smoke, no audible dripping or frankly, any sound but the increasingly minute sobs of a child. Motioning to her to stay put, Michael approached slowly and was physically sickened by the carnage.
      A little red, open-topped Jeep – not so different from his own, though perhaps ten years older – had exploded against the grill of a monstrous, jacked-up four-by-four Ford. So had its occupants. Whoever had been driving the Jeep was now a brownish-red splotch of gore upon the dash. Michael was not sure if it were all damage from the crash or if the scavengers had feasted on the remains. The front passenger was not quite as bad off, though equally as dead, for her limbs appeared to be in tact and her torso had not been smashed as thoroughly. Unfortunately, her face was horrific, bloody pulp. One eye, a pretty blue one, dangled obscenely from the socket. The other was gone entirely.
      Had he eaten in the past twenty-four hours, he would have lost his stomach contents there on the side of the road.
      “Stay back,” he groaned, heaving again. Then he mastered himself and drew the collar of his shirt up over his nose and mouth.
      There had been a third passenger in the Jeep, but the young man had been ejected and lay sprawled across the hood of the Ford. He had lived long enough to soil himself despite compound fractures of both arms that left disturbingly white edges of bones jabbing up through the bloody flesh. Or maybe his bowels had released as he died, Michael really was not sure how it worked. Maybe he exsanguinated, Michael found himself thinking as he edged closer to the door of the truck, looking for the child. A massive puddle of blood had pooled beneath him and dripped down to the gravel road. After years of watching CSI reruns, Michael knew that a human being could not lose that much blood and survive.
      Surprisingly – or not, if you happened to be a fan of heavy-duty American pick-up trucks – the Ford appeared to have suffered only minimal damage. Though the front bumper was crushed and the hood dented, both were superficial. Michael imagined that if he had needed to, he could have started that beast up and driven it away. He thanked God that though he needed a vehicle, he was not in such dire straights that he would even consider removing the bodies and climbing in.
      “Mike? Did you find him?” Hannah had remained back, as directed, but she was leaning to one side as if she could get an angle to see inside the Ford. He shook his head at her, laying his index finger upon his lips, then turned back to the truck. On tip-toe, Michael moved around to the driver’s seat.
      The woman was dead but seemed unmolested by the wildlife, perhaps because her window was raised and her door closed. Michael could not immediately tell how she had died, but the livid bruise upon her right temple may have had something to do with it. He could not see though the tinted windows into the back of the extended cab, so he worked his way around the bed – in which he saw a shovel, a pick-axe and a wheel-barrel along with a lawnmower and other gardening implements.
      The passenger’s door hung an inch or two ajar and there were obvious, limping tracks leading north from the road. For a moment or two, Michael considered trying to follow the person, who was likely local and knew the way out of the woods. Then he heard a weak cough and his heart sank – that did not sound good.
      Cautiously, Michael peeked into the front seat and then opened the passenger side door. The child in the back perked up slightly, coughing again and asking for his Mommy. With the utmost care, Michael climbed over the seat and gave the kid a once-over, looking for obvious injuries. He found none.
      “It’ll be okay, kid, shush now. I gotcha,” Michael cooed, unfastening the seatbelt and trying to remove him from the complicated straps. The boy felt cool to the touch and gave no resistence as he was pulled from the carseat; Michael would have felt better about it if he had cried and bit and kicked.
– – – – – – – – – – –
      And that’s it for today’s snippet. What did you think? Too much? Poor kid. In my original outline, he didn’t make it. Somehow, in the actual writing of the scene, Hannah refused to let that happen and managed to save him. For now. Comments, questions, suggestions appreciated – let me hear about it below!

Love & Rainbows,
P.P.