Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Taking Time to Breathe

Every writer needs time to think and create. With daily obligations and the family breathing down my neck, life gets crazy stressful and that kind of space isn’t easy to come by. This weekend, I made time to step back and take a breath.

Since I was trying to stay away from the computer and give my carpal tunnel a rest, I gathered up a few books, grabbed a pad of paper and headed to the park. It was crowded with Memorial Day weekend picnickers, but I found a spot in a relatively quiet area, sat under a tree and did a little brainstorming. For a while, I laid on my back in the grass and just watched the wind moving though the branches, noticing how the air currents would sometimes shake only the upper most branches, then dip down to ruffle the ones underneath.

It was a much needed break. Did make time for yourself this weekend?

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Made of Awesome Contest

OK, here is the inaugural post of my writing blog. I created this page a while ago, but never got around to launching it. Now I have an excuse. I'm entering the "Made of Awesome Contest," on the IS IT HOT IN HERE, OR IS IT THIS BOOK blog by Shelly Watters. The idea is to post the first page of my novel so that it can be critiqued by the other entrants. Agent Judith Engracia of Liza Dawson and Associates will select the winner, who will receive a ten page critique.

Looking forward to hearing what you think of my page. (Sometimes I think it's the most rewritten page in the history of books.) Thanks in advance!

And so, here it is:

Title: Darkling
Genre: YA Fantasy
Word Count: 68,000


The heavy stoneware crock slipped from Taela’s grasp, and smashed to the dirt floor. She jumped back as shards of pottery and summerbeans scattered at her feet. She bent to clean the mess and heard footsteps approach from the other side of the weathered door. Cursing herself for her carelessness, she ducked behind a barrel.

Blood rushed in Taela’s ears. Ribbons of moonlight shone through the slats of the storage shed illuminating the casks, barrels and crates stacked around her. The sour smell of vinegar soaking the dirt overpowered the scents of aging wood and hay.

The wooden handle turned and the door inched open. Taela hunched in the shadows, holding her breath. A young woman wearing a white nightdress entered, flickering candlelight illuminating her face. Selita. Long brown hair hung loose around her shoulders and she carried a wooden spoon as if it were a club. Misshapen shadows cast by the candlelight danced on the opposite wall.

Taela shifted to ease a cramp and her boot scuffed the hard-packed dirt. Selita turned toward the sound. “Who’s there? Show yourself or I’ll let in the dogs.” She was bluffing. The dogs weren’t anywhere near or their yapping would have given Taela away. Selita took another step toward her hiding place.

Taela cursed under her breath. Conceding defeat, she stood. “Selita, it’s me.”

Selita shrieked, then laughed as she recognized her. “Taela, you nearly startled me to death! I thought you were a Terrinian raider.”