Pronunciation Guide

Friday, April 25, 2014

“E” is for Emerging of Emerald


Well, my last few days have been crazy. Without further ado…

“E” is for Emerging of Emerald

I started this story in 2003, forgot about it for five years, then found it again. I had a very vague summary about a girl who was different and found other people like herself, the title, some land/town names, and a terrible map.

I started playing around with it, and it sort of exploded.

No, it totally exploded. Like, “I can’t type fast enough to keep up with all of these ideas!” explosion.

In about November-ish of 2010, I turned my full focus to this story.
It went from a two-book idea to three.
Then four.

I finished book one this past December, and moved on to book two.

A friend is currently editing book one. A couple of weeks ago, she gave me her honest opinion: that it feels like I am writing two stories at the same time, and I need to separate them.

I wanted my main girl to be tormented, to reveal details of her past through flashbacks. But it always sort of bugged me that the past would never be told from start to finish, that people would have to piece it together themselves. Also, not knowing the horror she’s coming from before getting to the inn, it’s been hard for some people to connect with her, feel for her. Especially enough to keep reading through the inn part.

So I decided to write a new book one (turning the other book one into book two) of what happened before. With the guy, with her mother, with her sister.

Yes, she has a sister.

New book one is currently called “Emerging of Emerald.” It will alternate perspectives between my main girl and her sister, juxtaposing their lives. While my main girl’s life is finally coming together, her sister’s is speeding toward destruction. While the truth of my main girl doesn’t emerge until the end, the truth of who her sister is emerges early on.

While one sister will start something, the other will ultimately be part of finishing it.

I’m excited.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

“D” is for d-guys

About d-guys…
~They are a “creature race,” but are humanoid.

~They can live up to 1,000 years, though most don’t get anywhere near that anymore.

~They age about ten times slower than humans. (300 year old d-guy = 30 year old human.)  

~They live in tree-huts in the forest. (Ah, they have my heart.)

~They have pale gray skin and are often referred to as “silver.” (Hint, hint.)

~They have fuchsia (hint, hint again) stripes on their cheeks, hands, left torso, and left leg. The number of stripes varies between men and women. Some special d-guys also have stripes across their shoulder and neck, and more stripes on their torso. (Hint, hint. Wow, I am full of hints today, aren’t I? Muhaha.)

~Possible eye colors are unlimited. (I have a very complicated list of different combinations.)

~They often have two different colored eyes.

~Their hair comes in countless colors too.

~They name their children using the parents’ names, mostly the father’s. (Another complicated list. And a hint. Kind of.)

~They have dark brown skin around their eyes, giving them a gaunt look.

~They are predominantly left-handed; to be right-handed is shameful and viewed as weakness. (As if anyone has control over which side is dominant. Oh, and yet another hint.)

~They value family/race loyalty above all else, yet compassion is violently discouraged.

~Most half-breeds in the world are the result of a d-guy raping a human woman. (In case you thought they were going to be the good guys…)

~It is utterly forbidden for a d-guy to have a romantic relationship with a human. (Yet another hint.)

~They keep humans as slaves and torture them just because they can.

~Because they age slowly, they do not reach maturity for a while, and cannot reproduce as quickly as humans. Their numbers are rapidly dwindling.

~Originally, the story was going to revolve around bringing peace to the land by way of marriage between the d-guy leader and a human girl.

~And finally, that leader is somehow related to my main girl. Bam and muhaha.

Monday, April 21, 2014

“C” is for children

“C” is for children

My story began with children.
More specifically, with abortion.

Abortion says it’s okay to kill for convenience because it isn’t really a baby, just a mass of tissue. It’s okay to kill a child if it hasn’t yet been born/reached a certain stage of development, because it isn’t a child – unless you want it to be. (Granted, I know there are some gray areas, like when the mother’s life is in danger or something. I am speaking of the typical mindset of, “Oh, crap, I don’t want to be pregnant!”)

In this story, I imagined the next logical step of that mindset.

If an unborn baby isn’t valuable, then what makes a newborn baby suddenly valuable? If there isn’t a difference between aborting a “fetus” and killing a newborn, then what’s the difference in killing a toddler? What’s the difference in killing a ten year old? Or in killing the elderly?

It gets scary, people. Really fast.

In my story-world, there is no respect for certain forms of life.

So children die. Lots of them. They are discarded because they are half-breeds, unwanted.

BUT.

The one who came up with the idea to spill the blood of half-breed children for the sake of testing loyalty will be the one who ultimately ends the slaughter.

When he sees the truth of what his ideas have spawned, he will be broken.

And in his brokenness, he will take a stand.

He will lead the people he once tried to destroy.


…Redemption.
What else?

Saturday, April 19, 2014

“B” is for brokenness

Brokenness is huge in my story. The more I write, the more the scope widens. And the deeper it cuts.

I have cried over these people in my head. Ached as I’ve written their stories. I yearn to scoop them all up and make it all better.

Yes, I am creating it – but I am not inventing anything that hasn’t happened somewhere in the world. Nothing in my fantasy story is actually fantasy. It’s happening today, in a million different ways.

People are broken.
Hearts are broken.
Lives are broken.
Families are broken.
The “system” is broken.
The world is broken.

And those who are broken, turn around and break.

My story is about a world at war – not only at war with each other, but with themselves. 

It is a story of people struggling to make sense of who they are, what they are, and why it matters. Or if it matters.

When I first started this story, I wanted it to be a look at what happens when people have no respect for life. As I’ve delved deeper into that, it’s gotten darker. Colder. More oppressive.

Yet I’ve fallen in love with people I hated and planned to kill.
I’ve fallen in love with the small displays of kindness, of love. With the people who, against the darkness of their lives, dare to shine as a beacon for others.

Even if it’s because they’ve been set on fire.

At the heart of my story-world is a mirror. A mirror of this world.
There has been a disconnect. A broken relationship.
Everything that follows is the effect of that brokenness.

Yet, amid that brokenness, beauty still arises.
Because no matter what anyone else says, life is worth respecting.
We can strip it of its meaning with any number of things, and by committing any number of horrible acts.

But it doesn’t actually strip it of its meaning.

You can dehumanize someone to the point that they believe they are nothing – but it doesn’t change the fact that they were created as a human.

Why does brokenness hurt so much?
Because life has meaning, people are intrinsically valuable, and it was never meant to be this way.

Why does goodness in the face of horror hit so deeply?
Because deep down, we all know that it used to be good. It was meant to be good.

One day, it will be again.
The sun will shine.
Sadness and sighing will flee.

And the brokenness that we thought was so consuming will fall away, revealing a beauty that will never end.

Friday, April 18, 2014

“A” is for Azcmavel (az-muh-vehl)

Hi.
Still alive!

Quick updates (I’ll try to get deeper into these in future posts):
~I finished MarNo and hit my goal of 50k.
~I’ve backed off with April, setting my goal at 25k instead of 50.
~I have decided to make the story five books instead of four.
~This means book one will now be book two, and I will be writing a new book one about what happened leading up to the start of my girl getting to the inn.
~So far, the plan is for new book one will be told from alternating perspectives – my main girl, and her sister. (You didn’t even know she had a sister did you? There’s a reason for that…)

I am going to do an A-Z blogging challenge. It was supposed to run through the month of April, but I’m doing it anyway. =)

So, without further ado, here are my thoughts for my “A” topic.

~~~
“A” is for Azcmavel (az-muh-vehl)

I’ve wanted to write about this character for a while now. Let’s hope I do my heart justice.

Azcmavel is the proper name for Des, from this post.

He imprisons an innocent girl for over a year and a half. During that time, he manipulates, abuses, rapes, tortures, beats, and ultimately murders their unborn child.

He is CRUEL.
He is HORRIBLE to her.

And I love him.

Don’t get me wrong – I hate everything he does to her. It makes me sick.

But I love him.

I read a thing a while back that asked something like, “If you could bring one of your characters to life, which one would it be and why?”

My answer?

“Azcmavel. So I could hug him and tell him it’s going to be okay.”

I’m serious. Words cannot express how much I ache for that.

…What is that?

Azcmavel is one of the worst of the worst. If he were a living person, nearly everyone on the planet would probably be calling for his violent, equally-as-cruel-as-his-own-actions death. Seriously.

…And there I am.

Heart breaking because of the fact that it is hurt people who hurt people.

Wishing he could be real so I could hug him.

Aching because there are so many real-live people like him, written off as “scum” because of their actions/crimes.

It is hard for me to believe that God loves me. I am intensely critical of myself, and I naturally view God as angry with me, frustrated, mere seconds away from throwing his hands up in disgust and exasperation. That is how I often feel toward myself – so why wouldn’t God feel that way too? (Bad theology here!) In fact, why wouldn’t he feel MORE that way, since he is perfect and knows my failures even more than I do?

Yet in my heart toward Azcmavel (and the real-live people like him), I see a different God, weaving his heart into mine.

Showing me a hint of the love he longs to pour out on me.

When I read the scenes I’ve written where Azcmavel is at his absolute worst, I don’t hate him. In fact, in every single moment since I created him, there has not been one drop of anger, hatred, or a desire to punish.

There is only compassion.
Only love.
Only grace.
Only a desire to heal, to redeem, to scoop up out of the darkness and EMBRACE.

How can I – a frail, dust-born human – believe for a second that I can love a made-up character more than the God of the universe loves me?

How can I believe that I am kinder, more compassionate, and more understanding than the God who knew me before the foundations of the world?

How can I believe that God is angry with me when I cannot even muster anger toward that horrible character?

…How indeed.

Sunday is Easter. Resurrection day. Jesus was crucified with a thief on either side of him. One was saved in that moment, one was not.

Many people may look at that – him reaching out to the thief – as a small part of the story. Or even as hard to believe. Or as silly that he would care, in that moment, for a legit criminal.

It is one of my favorite parts.
Of the entire Bible.

Because that is my heart.

While it aches for those who have suffered loss and pain and death, it shatters for others.

The thieves. The criminals. The liars. The abusers. The murderers. The rapists. The desperately broken…who turn around and break.

I know that this is my heart toward others.

What I believe God is trying to show me is that it is HIS heart toward me.
That I am not the innocent girl being held prisoner – I am Azcmavel.
Deserving of everything coming to me.

I could kill Azcmavel. I’m the author. I have that power.

God could kill me. He’s God. He has that power.

But in his eyes – if I would just look – there is only compassion.
Only love.
Only grace.
Only a desire to heal, to redeem, to scoop up out of the darkness and EMBRACE.

If I would just have eyes to see, I would see a God who is shattered by my brokenness.

A God who doesn’t scream at me, but screams for me.

A God who doesn’t despise me at my darkest, but loves me despite it.

Just. Loves. Me.

…Is that not the cry of every heart?

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Cover Ideas!

Just a couple quick cover ideas!!

FIRE SET










NATURE SET










CLOSER-UP