Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Alec walked over, and rested a hand on her shoulder. “You did the best that you could in a bad situation. Even though there was a lot I hadn’t taught you, I could tell you learned a lot more just by paying attention.”
“Maybe, but I never really felt like I knew what I was doing.” She stepped away, and turned to face him. “I always felt like I was faking it, or guessing what I had to do next. I knew I wasn’t ready, but they wouldn’t hear it.”
Achilles shrugged in response. “You seem to be doing a fine job right now. Your friends are obviously looking to you for guidance. And I think this thing you guys are looking into might wind up being a bigger deal than the rest of the Brigadiers think.” He smiled at her. “You’re doing fine.”
“You might be wrong about that,” Erin replied with a chuckle. “I’ve been going over Baker’s notes again since our meeting topside. I’m not done, but if I’m right, Kosmos’ ‘Atomic Nebulizer’ isn’t anything more than an alien battery charger. At least, that’s what I’m getting from Baker’s notes.”
“I guess that’s a relief,” Alec agreed. “But sometimes the tiniest things cause the biggest problems. Are you going to keep at it?”
Monday, February 22, 2010
SmellPerfume/colognenoxious odor from 'bathroom'real food up in first classunwashed person in the seat next to youbaby that needs to be changedHearConversationCrying Childrenquiet fart/burpingmusicflight attendantFeelFabric of the seatsthe rough carpeting on the groundarmrestsanother person's handairplane windowSeePeopleluggageseatswindowselectronic devicesTastepeanutssandwichchewing gumcandysoda
Friday, February 19, 2010
- Sports paraphanelia
- Kitchen gadgets
- Vacuum Cleaner
- Lawn Tools
He looked at the CD grimly, before peeking up at his mother. He knew that if his face showed what he was thinking, her smile would fade, a step at a time. She probably just asked the clerk what the most popular thing was. Does she even bother to pay attention to what I actually listen to? Of course not. He struggled to force the corners of his mouth up into the semblance of a smile. There's got to be something I can do with this. I mean, I'm sure I can sell it off at the very least, I just need to keep her from finding out. "Thanks, Mom".
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
The cold air penetrates my nose, almost burning it. The scent is unlike anything else - it's impossible to place, but it smells clean as the world is slowly buried under a pure, white blanket. It covers the grass and the leaves, making it impossible to see where the lawn ends and the street begins.The moonlight glimmers off the ivory blanket covering the world, creating an eerie luminescence that gives the night an otherworldly feeling. This is a night that one might find elves, or changelings. The White Queen of C.S. Lewis would be more likely found on the street tonight than a car or an SUV. I make a note to beware of Turkish Delight.The wind whispers to me, as it makes the falling flakes dance one way, and then another. Opening my mouth, I catch one on my tongue, feeling first the sharper coldness, then fading into a warm wetness. The only taste I can use to describe it, is that of winter. And it's a taste I haven't known for a long time.Stepping out into the snow, I feel the satisfying crunch it makes underfoot, and my lips rise in a grin.
Monday, February 15, 2010
She caught Floyd’s attention, and waved him over to the counter. “What’s going on, Floyd?” The folks around her shot Erin a few sharp glares as they strained to listen to the television.
“You been under a rock, or somethin’?” Floyd pointed to the sinks behind the counter, and quietly continued, “ain’t no water in the city, accordin’ to the news. Every tap’s gone dry. City officials are sayin’ that the water’s just gone.” He shook his head. “Only water to be found is in bottles. Some mooks are already chargin’ outrageous prices fer ‘em. I’m tryin’ to hold the line tonight, but I’ll probably be out by mornin’.”
This is what Alec’s busy with. “I’m going to guess that the Brigadiers are already on it,” she whispered.
“Yeah,” Floyd answered with a nod. “They been’ checkin’ the sewers and pipes fer signs of tamperin’ but there ain’t been none. They said it was like the water all just left on it’s own, or somethin’.”
Damn, Shelly thought to herself as she stepped forward, I really like this blouse.She walked straight into the path of a man who was staring rather intently at his phone. As soon as she felt contact, she whipped her coffee cup back at herself, drenching her violet blouse. At least it wasn't fresh, she thought as the liquid began to seep through."Wha..?" The man stumbled backwards, and looked up, finally noticing Shelly. "I'm sorry, Miss," he stammered. "I didn't realize, um, I guess I should keep my eyes in front of me when I'm walking."Shelly looked down at her blouse, and sighed loudly. "This was my favorite top, too. Can today get any worse?""Is there any way I can make it up to you?" he asked sheepishly.Shelly grinned inwardly. "Well, you could pay for the dry cleaning I guess..."
Sunday, February 14, 2010
A sharp, piercing cry penetrated her sleep. She rolled first one way, and then another, trying to escape it but it pursued her no matter how she lay. Finally, she cracked one eye to see that six hours had passed, and her clock was trying to wake her up for work. Please, just let me sleep.
The clock was unmoved by her pleas, and instead redoubled it’s beeping. “I’ll put the clock across the room. That way, in order to turn it off, I’ll have to get out of bed and wake up.” That was a brilliant idea. Struggling free of the blankets, she sat up before pushing herself onto her feet. Her lithe, nimble feet thudded numbly across the floor as she groped for the clock and switched off the alarm. God, I want to get back in bed. Let me just get a drink, first, and then I’ll decide. She moved to the kitchen, and pulled a clean cup out of the cabinet. But when she opened the tap, nothing happened.That’s odd. She tried the cold-water tap again, but nothing came out. Snarling slightly, she tried the warm water, also to no result. Did I forget to pay the water bill, or something? Shrugging, she opened the fridge and winced at the brightness of the light. “And it’s all caffeinated. Okay, clock, you won.” Pulling out a diet coke, she twisted off the top and took a deep sip as she walked over to the light switch.
1) To show that he loves his wife on Valentine's Day, Bob prepares her breakfast, and delivers it to her in bed. He then tells her to go back to sleep, because he's going to clean the kitchen and entertain their son. That night, he plans to take her to the restaurant they went to on their first date, before taking her to an expensive hotel for the night.2) To show that she doesn't love Bob, Betty doesn't eat breakfast (she tells him that she's not hungry.) When she does get out of bed, she makes starts working on something from work that could wait until Monday. She criticizes the way that he's cleaned the kitchen. She refuses to talk about anything intimate at dinner. Back at the hotel, she gets drunk on the wine he's romantically provided, and passes out before things can get amorous.3) Betty could easily poison Bob - the ingrate lets her do almost all of the cooking. She could also sabotage his car - he's always underestimated her knowledge of cars. She could also have her lover fake a break-in, in which Bob might be shot.4) Betty's lover is Dave, a guy she's been working with at the office for the past several years.5) Dave's secret is that he's in witness protection. His last girlfriend was the wife of a powerful mobster.
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Friday, February 12, 2010
Thursday, February 11, 2010
An envelope was waiting for Erin at the door to her apartment. It was wedged between the door, and frame. There was no address written on it, and no stamp. Hand delivered, then, she quickly deduced. The front simply had her name hand-written on it in a bold script.
She recognized her father’s handwriting immediately. She seized it from the door, and stepped into her apartment. Tossing her jacket over the back of a nearby chair, she flopped onto her bed and regarded the missive from her parents. What the hell do they want? If I were smart, I’d just burn it. Instead, she opened the envelope, and read the letter inside.
Your mother and I were very surprised to see that you had been out wearing the armor last night. You made it clear that you weren’t going to pursue those career options when you had yourself emancipated. Does this mean you’ve changed your mind? If so, might you change your mind about some of your other decisions?
We saw an article in the paper about an apartment fire where at least one hero helped rescue several people from the flames. Was that you? Were you working with Keller?
We would love nothing more than to help you resume your career. You’re always welcome to come home. But if you’re working with Keller, and don’t want to come home, please remember that we own the name ‘Amazon’ as well as the visual design of the armor. If you’re working with Keller again, then we need to sit down and come to some arrangement for compensation for your use of our property.
I know this sounds harsh, but your mother and I are only doing what we think is best for our family – and that includes you. We’ll be hoping to hear back from you.
Please, come home. Are we so bad that you’d rather live in a place like this?
By the time she reached the bottom of the page, Erin’s jaw was hanging wide open. “Are you so bad?! Yes, you are,” she exclaimed to nobody in particular. “In the same breath you ask me to come home, and threaten to sue me if you don’t like what I’m doing.” She crumpled the paper into a ball, hurling it across the room and then lay still on her bed for several minutes.
Turning her head, she saw the time and cursed. Why is it that family has such a talent for driving you up the wall when you don’t have time to cope with it? Rolling off the bed, she trudged to the bathroom to start her shower, and begin preparing for work.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Erin crouched in the rafters of an old High School gymnasium. She took in the scene below her carefully. A motley group of kids, varying between scrawny and overweight, had corralled 23 members of the school’s football team in the gymnasium. The captors were all members of the East Hills High Science Club. I don’t get this, she thought to herself. I know a few of these guys. They’re shy and quiet. What’s gotten into them?
“I hope you guys are in position,” she whispered into her suit’s built-in communications system.
“We’re good to go.” The voice came in from her earpiece, funneled straight into her ear to prevent any noise.
“Here I go, then,” she whispered back. In a fluid motion, she slid out of the rafters and swung on the line she’d already anchored behind her. She swooped through the room dramatically, a cape flowing out behind her, before releasing her line. She landed on the balls of her feet in a crouch just a few feet away from one of the kids holding the football team hostage.
Steve Hollister’s face made no indication that he’d noticed her arrival right in front of him, but after a moment he began to speak. “Eris, superhero, partner of Achilles. Named for Greek goddess of mischief. Are you here to rescue us?”
Rescue us? The question echoed in Erin’s head. “Actually, you guys look like you’re doing fine all by yourselves.” She nodded in the direction of the captive teenagers. “What do you need rescuing from?”
Steve’s face remained blank and vacant, but again he began to speak. “Science Club, misfits, intelligent, misunderstood. Victims, targets, weak. Football team are the worst offenders. Protective measures, keep our self safe. Cannot hurt us.” As Steve’s voice faded, Erin realized that each of the members of the Science Club had said the same thing and at the same time. “Other offenders still free. Unsafe. Require help. Are you here to help?”
Beneath her mask, Erin gently chewed her bottom lip. Right now, Flurry should be waiting by the side door. Flashback would be waiting at the main door for the signal from either Bass or herself. If I can’t talk these kids down, the Justice Teens are going to kick in the main door, with a huge flash of light and sound while Flurry tries to round them up before they can hurt anybody We don’t even really know what these kids can do. “Alright,” she answered. “I’ll see what I can do. What do you need to be safe?”
The Science Club answered again as one. “Require safety. Punishment of threats, bullies. They must be removed.”
Erin chose her answer carefully. “They won’t threaten you again. But I can’t punish them.” But I’d hate to see what you make of jail, or prison if you’re sent there.
The sudden flash of rage on Steve’s face, as well as all the faces of the captors took Erin completely by surprise. “Eris, goddess of mischief, deceiver, betrayer! We will not be imprisoned! We will have justice, retribution!” A blinding glow began to build up in each pair of eyes.
Erin dove to the side, and yelled the signal but she never heard it escape her lips. The gym was swallowed by an ocean of light and sound that buffeted her Erin was knocked onto her back.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
- Hilary - It's certainly cliche to say that your wife/girlfriend/fiance/partner makes you happy, but that doesn't make it any less true. She brightens my life in no end of ways, and her unflagging support is the single most substantial reason I'm trying to write at all. I can't think of anything or anybody that makes me happier.
- Writing - January was probably the best month I've had in years. I attribute it largely to the fact that I wrote regularly. I know I'm not writing the next New York Times Bestseller, or the next great novel to be taught in literature programs around the world, but just the act of writing makes me feel better.
- Our Cats - In our home, we have ten furry bundles of joy. While Hilary and I both acknowledge it's way too many, we love each and every one.
- My Job - For all that I gripe about it, I've got a job that provides me with time to read, time to write, and medical insurance. It also provides me with long hours, so I knock out a work week in four days, tops. I don't care for the pay, and the actual 'work' can get on my nerves, but I'm happier with it than without it.
- You - Any time I see that somebody's not only reading my blog, but commenting on it, I get a little boost. Thanks for that!
- Our House - We've got a nice, large (if overly cluttered) house. Every day I go to sleep in my own bed, and pull warm blankets over myself. I've worked in a homeless shelter, and it shows you how important this really is.
- Our parents - Hilary and I both have some really great parents who've gone far above & beyond the call to help us out. They're great folks, and we're lucky to have them.
- My (relative) health - I'm a creature of habit, and most of them are absolutely horrible. My taste buds seem genetically destined to long for only the very worst, deeply fried foods. I prefer sitting and reading, writing, or just about anything to exercising. But defying all logic, my last doctor's visit revealed that most of my 'numbers' for Cholesterol, Blood Sugar, Blood Pressure, etc. are remarkably normal despite it.
- Stories that surprise me - I'm very much an eclectic person when it comes to my taste in television, movies and books. I'm not sure if it's a talent for writing, or just vast exposure to stories in many media, but much of the time I feel like I can make a pretty good guess at where a story is going. I absolutely love it when a story takes a sudden left turn, and leaves me holding my jaw.
- My nephew - I haven't seen him nearly enough, but a week ago he ran Hilary and I ragged (along with his grandparents and my sister.) I'm now starting to buy comic books for him, in the hopes of bringing him to the dark side. :)
- First and foremost, I have to pass it back along to Stef at 52 Weeks of Wordage. I don't know if I'm allowed to do this, but it's my blog so I say I can. She's inspired me to try the writing exercises I've been neglecting lately, as well as to start posting some excerpts.
- Caine is second only to Hilary for inspiring me to get on my butt and write. His own blog, Blaque Spaces, covers a gamut of cool comic book stuff, and technology that's stepped right out of the pages of comics. He's also working on a webcomic pitch for Zuda, and when he has that ready, I won't shut up about it.
- Miriam S. Forster's blog, Dancing With Dragons Is Hard On Your Shoes was brought to my attention by Caine by way of a post she wrote pointing out that writing even 500 words a day over the course of a year is a mighty achievement. I always look forward to a new post.
- Jen over at unedited inspires me with the brave way she puts her work up there to see. It's another blog I read regularly.
- I've only been following Jamie Grove's How Not To Write for a brief while, but when he posts, it's usually a good swift boot to the hindquarters - and I need that from time to time. Does it make me happy? In the long run, yes it does.
Monday, February 8, 2010
Well, this is it, Erin thought to herself. I guess I can admit to myself now that this has been kind of fun, but it’s probably for the best if someone else handles it. She inhaled, and stepped forward to address the room.
“Achilles told us that you’ve got an important matter for us,” Animus cut in sharply. “I hope you’ll pardon the absences, but we can be hard to pull together on such short notice.”
Erin felt the gentle flick of a lash in Animus’ voice, and cringed inwardly.
“I cancelled lunch with the Secretary of Defense to come here,” the armored form continued. “So please be brief. The five of us in this room don’t have time to waste.”
A blur of motion in the corner of her eye caught Erin’s attention, and she turned just in time to stop John from rushing forward. His lips were curled, and his eyes squinted with rage but her sharp look and her hand planted on his chest stopped him. Turning her back to the dais, she mouthed the word ‘No’ and saw him back down. Are things really that bad between them that she’d try to goad him like that?
While John isn't the one speaking with her directly, his presence has her irritated. (I'm not sure if I've done a good job of showing that, though. I'm tempted to break my own rule to go and revise that a little bit, despite not having finished my first draft.
Animus (formerly known as Annie-Mation) was married to John Doe, one of the has-beens who's working with Erin. Their separation was messy to say the least. There was infidelity, backstabbing, and lots of hard feelings. And now she's running The Brigadiers - the team that Erin and her crew need to convince of the gravity of a threat that they've discovered.
But not all of my writing was this drama. I'm writing a scene with Erin and Wanda talking about old times, and it's got me thinking of throwing in another flashback. One of the folks I've given access to the whole shebang liked one I had in the first chapter and I found a place that feels like it'd be a natural fit to do another one. Of course, it's precisely where I stopped writing for the night. We'll see how that feels tomorrow.
Here's the word count for the night:
Tonight's Word Count: 1,064
Total Word Count: 24,781
Tomorrow night should easily carry me over 25K. And it felt good to have another night over a thousand words, even if it wasn't by much. January was a great month for me in every regard, and I want to try to carry that over. I've been worried about losing momentum.
I'm looking forward to getting back to it tomorrow. But for now, it's almost time for good vampires (and nocturnal writers) to get to bed.
Sunday, February 7, 2010
Tearing her eyes away she looked off to the right. At Animus’ right hand sat The Veteran. He nodded to her, acknowledging her gaze, and giving a friendly smile that lifted Erin’s heart a bit. At least he’s here. I don’t know if anybody could go against The Veteran. I’d probably jump off a bridge, if he asked me to. He was a veteran of World War II, but right afterwards, some kind of government experiment made him the first real superhuman. He’d served his country again in Korea, but after the turmoil of the Vietnam era, he viewed himself more as a guardian of the innocent rather than pledging his loyalty to any single nation. That was when he’d traded in his red, white and blue outfit for the blue and green uniform he now wore – the colors of Earth from space.
Saturday, February 6, 2010
Friday, February 5, 2010
Here's an excerpt:
The Brigadiers conference room was massive. The vaulted ceiling reached upwards to space, ending in a transparent view of the eternal night sky. The crystals that provided soft light in the other parts of the compound that Erin had seen only lined the walls here. Several brilliant light fixtures were suspended from the ceiling. The floor here was tiled, forming a path leading through the center of the room towards a raised dais.
Upon the dais sat a table in the shape of a half-circle with the straight edge facing the door. Behind the table stood seven large chairs facing the entrance, and in those chairs sat the Brigadiers.
What do you think? Am I overdoing it? My notion is that of a room with seven thrones, in which these gods of modern myth look down on the Earth. Aside from playing around with the mythology angle that I already like, I think it foreshadows that Erin and her friends' concerns won't be viewed as 'important' by these other heroes.
Anyhow, here's tonight's word count:
Tonight's Word Count: 1,000
Total Word Count: 22,985
Oddly, I found I was at precisely a thousand words when I decided to break. (The excerpt above is the tail-end of my night's work.) I still haven't filled the tale of The Brigadiers, so I need to try to think on that a bit before I sit down to write again.
Thursday, February 4, 2010
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Monday, February 1, 2010
The alarm sounded, and Kyle rose. Swiveling neatly, his feet touched ground directly on top of his slippers. And... now, he thought to himself as he reached out to turn off the alarm. Standing, he turned to head to the bathroom, but he saw his bed out of the corner of his eye.The far side was unused, untouched, perfect. Passing the bathroom, he stepped over to the far side of the bed. Bending over for a closer look, he began smoothing it completely flat and gradually worked his way over to the side in which he had slept. He meticulously straightened the sheets, and folded the blanket back. He removed his pillow from the case entirely, and reached into his nightstand.The tips of his fingers brushed against a neat stack of crisply folded replacements. Withdrawing one, he carefully slid the pillow in before folding the now empty case and placing it atop the pile of neatly folded clothing in the hamper. Stepping towards the bathroom, he turned abruptly and picked up the alarm clock. He held it up to his eyes, ensuring that the alarm was still turned off.