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Category Archives: vengeance is mine

a writing tag

I LOVE THIS SO MUCH.

I snagged this questionnaire off one of my favorite blogs, because I didn’t have a post idea and I hadn’t posted for a while, and this thingy looked like fun. (Yes, I just said ‘thingy’.  I’m tired right now.)  If you want to sneak away with it too, be my guest.  Right now, I’m feeling too meh to really care if you answer these questions or print out the list and eat it or whatever.

1. How many years have you been writing? When did you officially consider yourself a ‘writer’?  Well, I’m not sure when exactly I started writing my little, plagiarized stories (I could look it up if I had enough energy to go down to my room and find the writing diary I kept in The Early Days) but it was probably sometime around my thirteenth birthday.  Those were the days.  I didn’t know anything about characterization or plot or dialogue, so I just scribbled down tales, blissfully happy in my supposed genius.  Now writing is much more work (but I still enjoy it).  I probably officially considered myself a writer when I won NaNoWriMo for the first time, in 2013.  Or when I finished my first novel (which was either in 2012 or 2013).  Either way, I definitely consider myself a writer now.

2. How/why did you start writing?  Jane Austen.  I started writing because I adored Jane Austen’s books and I wanted to replicate them.  I’ve branched out now, and I don’t write Regency romances anymore, but Jane Austen’s novels were what got me started on the path in the first place, and I’ll always be immensely grateful to her for that.  As for the ‘how’ of the question…I sharpened my pencil, got down a notebook that I’d bought from the dollar store, and wrote until my hand cramped up.  I felt very satisfied when I stopped and saw how much I’d already written.

3. What’s your favourite part of writing?  Hmmm.  This is hard.  I like getting ideas.  I like the rush of thoughts and bits of inspiration that pour in whenever I get a brand-new idea.  I whip out my little black moleskine notebook and write everything down just as fast as it comes to me, and even though I usually end up using less than half of whatever I write, it’s still a great feeling.  Very writer-ish.  I also enjoy being able to use the writing skills that I’ve honed somewhat for writing fan-fiction.  A friend of mine recently said that the writing in a certain fan-fic of mine was ‘a cut above the average fan-fiction’, which made me very happy. (Not to be proud, or anything…)

4. What’s your biggest writing struggle?  Dialogue.  I recently realized that most dialogue (for original works and fan-fiction both) tends to be more than a little patchy, and it’s very frustrating at times.  I want my characters to sound like real people, not book characters.

5. Do you write best at night or day?  Most (if not all) of my writing is done in the morning, and I haven’t really tried much writing at night, so I’d have to say I write best during the day.  I usually get an hour in the morning to write, and if it’s a good day, I can churn out as much as 2,000 words. (Usually less when I’m writing fan-fiction, because I like the quality to be excellent, even for a first draft.  With my original work, I take a more relaxed view of things, mainly because I won’t have an angry fandom on me if I don’t get it perfect right away.)

6. What does your writing space look like? (Feel free to show us pictures!)  Eh.  I don’t really have a writing space, per se.  I just write at the kitchen desk, which is usually very messy and doesn’t have any personal touches from me.  If/when I get my own laptop, I’ll probably make my desk into a writing space, and if I do, I’ll share pictures on this blog.  I have it all worked out in my head, actually.  All that’s needed is a laptop.

7. How long does it typically take you to write a complete draft?  Depends.  I don’t really have a set writing goal, time-wise.  I tend to mosey along, writing bursts of words every day and letting the draft be as long or as short as the story dictates.  I’ve been working on Project Remembrance for five months and it’s nowhere near being finished.  On the other hand, I wrote three complete first drafts (the Vengeance Is Mine trilogy) in just two or three months, I believe.  I’m not pushing to get things done in a set amount of time.

8. How many projects do you work on at once?  Again, it depends.  Right now, I’m working on PR, a piece of Combat! fan-fiction, mulling through ideas for a potential To Kill A Mockingbird fan-fiction, and thinking about writing a bit of a story centered around this picture.  Usually, I write one thing, while ideas for several others are going around in my head.  Things are never dull up in my brain, that’s for sure.

9. Do you prefer writing happy endings, sad ones, or somewhere in between?  Bittersweet, so I guess that’s somewhere in between.

10. List a few authors who’ve influenced your writing journey.  Well, as I mentioned above, Jane Austen got me ‘into’ writing, but Jack Cavanaugh’s books sort of continued my writing.  I was absolutely blown away by how he wove plot and characters and dialogue together into a (usually) historical tapestry, and I think that’s why my first book was set in medieval times (sort of).  My favorite book of his is set in Medieval England, anyway.  There’ve been a bunch of other authors who’ve wowed me, but listing them would take forever.  Suzanne Collins, Markus Zusak, Charles Dickens, Shannon Hale, Laura Hillenbrand, Ted Bell…

11. Do you let people read your writing? Why or why not?  I let people read my writing sometimes, mainly if it’s a short story or fan-fiction (and most of the people who end up reading my work are beta-readers), but my full length novels are languishing in a dusty file because they need huge revisions and I’d be embarrassed to show them to anyone.  I’m quite proud of PR, though, and I generally let Jane and Ashley read whatever they want of my stuff.

12. What’s your ultimate writing goal or dream?  Um…I haven’t really thought too much about it, actually.  All of the usual things seem so cliched – getting a book published, becoming a best-selling author, making a living out of writing books, etc, etc.  I guess my dream would be to publish Project Remembrance someday.  And be able to send fan-fiction off to beta-readers without cringing and hoping they won’t find it too horrible.

13. If you didn’t write, what would you want to do?  Read.  That’s about the only thing I do these days, besides writing. (Oh, and eating.  Can’t forget that.)

14. Do you have a book you’d like to write one day but don’t feel you’re ready to attempt it yet?  Um…I’m not sure.  I don’t thiiiink so.

15. Which story has your heart and won’t let go?  I’m very partial to all my Combat! fan-fiction, of course, and as for ‘original’ stories, it would have to be Betrayal, which I haven’t visited in a long time, but is still very much in my thoughts.  It’s very personal to me, for several reasons, and I AM going to return to it one of these days.  Pinkie-promise.

Eva

 

crossroads?

This is great! The Crossroads of Should and Must — Editor’s Picks — Medium

At the moment, I’m not sure what to do with my writing.

I wrapped up my Hunger Games/Rat Patrol crossover fanfiction just a few days ago, and I don’t know where to go from there.  Yesterday, I wrote about a thousand words in Vengeance Is Mine (at the moment, I’m going with the assumption that it’s just going to be one book), but something was missing.  I don’t know what it was, all I know is that the spark, the need I used to feel and have to write this particular story is missing, at least for right now.  It’s not because I’m bored of the story, not because I hate it.  Actually, I’ve never loved and believed in my characters more – Nathan, Lily, Dylan, just to name a few, are very near and dear to my heart – and that could be part of the reason.  I’m not doing justice to them, or the story.  It took every bit of effort to wring those thousand words out of me and while I know writing isn’t always easy (far from it!) that session seemed particularly hard.  Another problem I have is that instead of inspiring me, all the dystopian stories I’ve been reading lately are bleeding into my work, making it look like a cheap plagarism, and my mind isn’t clear enough to think of unique ideas.

To put it lightly, I’m frustrated with the whole thing.  I want to write VIM.  I want to create a stellar plot and bring all the characters I love (and even the ones I hate) to life.  I want to finish this project.  But right now, I’m not sure I can.  Which brings up the question – what should I do?  In a lot of ways, I feel like I should keep slogging through VIM and force myself to stick with the project until the new draft is completed.  But I don’t want to grow to hate the story, which is what I’m afraid might happen if I keep making myself work on it.  NaNo’s coming up, which means I’ll be able to take a break and work on Our Story, Our Year…but until then, I have no idea what I should do.  I definitely don’t want to give up writing, though.

What do you, my readers, think is the best course?  Keep working on VIM, write a plot bunny, or just plan for NaNo?

Eva

 
5 Comments

Posted by on August 27, 2014 in random, vengeance is mine, writing

 

story fragments

my current favorite inspiration pic for VIM, since it fits one bit of the book perfectly – looks exactly like how I imagined it.

So, I’ve been feeling pretty depressed and ‘out of it’ in regards to Vengeance Is Mine but I thought that maybe doing another story snippets post would get me fired up again, especially since I’ll be going back over all the best parts.  The story has changed a lot, and it’ll definitely keep on changing, so at least some of these snippets will most likely get deleted later on – consider it an exclusive sneak peek, ‘kay?  I considered sharing some snippets of the fan-fiction I seem to have no problem in churning out these days, but I decided that I needed to get back to more serious projects, and sharing bits of it wasn’t the best way (forgive me if I seem to be rambling; I’m pretty tired right now) to do that.  So please enjoy the snippets I did decide to share, and please let me know your thoughts.  The comment box is always open!

Nathan was exhausted.

Stay with it, he told himself fiercely.  Sure, it’s only your first day, but you’ve got to do better than this.  He wiped the sweat off his forehead with the back of his hand and let it drip to the dusty floor of the training room.  As far as he knew, the training room was the only place in the facility that was mostly outdoors.  There was a thin sheet of metal overtop, but the floor was natural sand with patches of grass here and there.

The trainer called Hunter stood in front of him.

“You okay?”

Nathan gulped in some air, and then nodded.  “Yeah.  I’m fine.  I’m ready.”

Hunter studied him for a moment, doubt visible in his eyes and stance.  Nathan felt like protesting some more, but if he allowed himself the truth, he wasn’t fine.  Sweat was still pouring off him, his legs felt like rubber, and his throat was dry as Director Stella’s congratulations on a job well done.

“Um…is there any water in here?” he asked, immediately hating himself for the question.  Weakness was not a virtue, and he’d just revealed some of his.

Hunter walked over to one of the storage cupboards that ringed the training, fumbled with the lock for a minute with the key he had, and then swung the door open.  Nathan saw several bottles of water inside and despite his burning wish to not appear weak, it was all he could do to not run over and grab one.  Anyway, Hunter was coming back with a bottle.

“Small sips,” Hunter instructed, tossing Nathan the bottle.  Then, before Nathan could ask anything, he said, “If you take too much at once, it’ll waterlog you, and then I won’t be able to teach you anything else for the rest of the day.  Plus, you’ll get a stomach ache.”  He nodded at the water.

Nathan nodded to show he understood – he couldn’t manage any words at the moment – and unscrewed the cap.  It was easier than he’d thought it would be to take small gulps and not overwhelm himself.  Partly because he thought it would be plain embarrassing to be carried out of the training room with a stomach ache on his first day, and partly because he wasn’t even dehydrated.  Just worn out.

“Had enough?” Hunter asked after a few minutes.

Nathan took another swig and then nodded.

“Good.  We’ll go back to the push-ups.”

:::::

The door swung open with a sticky squeak, plenty of dust billowing around him, and a shaft of light so bright Nathan thought he’d go blind.  “Agh!” he shouted, scrambling to his feet.  The light as directed to his feet, leaving a glow large enough for him to see the intruders, but not blinding him in the process.  Laii and Hunter stood there, concern on their faces.

“Hey,” Hunter said.

“Nathan, what on earth are you doing in there?”

“Well…”

Hunter must have filled in Laii on everything that had happened, she somehow knew of his favorite hide-out, and had led him to it.  Nathan stared at both of them, feeling a vague sense of betrayal.  If his trainer and caretaker-turned-advisor knew where he went to be alone, where could he go?  The answer was, very simply, nowhere.

“Just because Dylan is joining the team doesn’t mean the end of the world,” Laii said.

If only she understood.

“You know that’s not true,” Nathan said.  “You’ve seen the way we fight.  We’ll be at each other all the time and we’ll both fail.”  He threw up his hands, and said, “No offence to you, Hunter.  If anyone could keep a recruit from failing, it’s you, but you should probably get yourself a couple of new ones.”  He bit the inside of his cheek and waited for one of them to speak.

Hunter shook his head.  “Director Stella specifically ordered me to train you two.”

“Is it that bad?” Laii asked at nearly the same time.

“I was kidding about the switch,” Nathan said, glowering.  “I know she wouldn’t let you.”  And then, to Laii, “Yeah, it’s bad.  I mean, we can’t be in the same room together without brawling in thirty seconds or less.”  He plopped down onto a large paint can and put his head in his hands.  Maybe he looked pitiful, sitting like that, but he didn’t care.

Maybe he was pitiful.

“How did it even start?” Laii asked after a moment.

He looked up.  “What?”

“The fight.”

He shrugged.  “I don’t know.  We’ve been fighting since we were little.  He used to tell me-”  He paused.  Dylan’s usual insults were old news to Laii, but Hunter didn’t know about them.  He didn’t want to say it, in case Hunter agreed and realized he’d known there was something different about Nathan all along.  Not that there was, but most of the recruits followed Dylan’s lead.  Still, it was better to get it out.  “He says I don’t belong here.  That I’m not one of them.”

:::::

Nathan shivered.  The air was bitingly cold.  “So, we’re going to stand around here for hours watching for some nonexistent threat?” he asked, irritation slipping into his tone.  In the facility, the temperature was always regulated, and he wasn’t used to the jittery, frozen feeling that stole over him.  It made him feel weak and helpless.  Hunter had made sure they all dressed warmly, but it wasn’t enough.

“Is there a problem?” Hunter asked.  “It’s what guards do.  And there are threats, believe me.  If there weren’t, we’d have no need for guards.”  Nathan was about to ask him what kind of threats there were, when Hunter said, “From what I heard, there’ve been some sightings of unidentified men hanging around here.  Director Stella wants to find out who they are, and what they want.”

Nathan nodded, but he still didn’t like it.  Who cared about some random guys?

“Aren’t these jackets a little thin for this kind of thing?” Dylan said a few minutes later.

“The cold?”

Dylan nodded.

“Don’t you-?”  Hunter reached over and pressed a button at the bottom of Dylan’s jacket.  Then he did the same to Nathan.  Instantly, Nathan could feel warm air swirling around inside the jacket.  It rose up around his neck and then was sucked back down again for another cycle.  The sudden warmth gave him goose-bumps, but he wasn’t cold anymore.  “You can get cool air, too,” Hunter added.

Nathan shook his head.  “Where’d you get these?  They’re amazing.”

Hunter stuck his hands into his jacket’s pockets.  “I commandeered them from the trainer’s supply.  Most of the other trainers were getting them for their own recruits, so I did the same thing.  Don’t you recognize them?” he added.

“It’s dark,” Nathan said.

“Oh, I can fix that.”  Hunter unzipped part of his jacket and then seemingly pulled the whole thing off over his head.  But the jacket was still on, only it was a weird, glowing fluorescent colour.  It wasn’t particularly strong, but Nathan was able to see his face at least.  Hunter showed both him and Dylan ho to transform their jacket the same way.  Now they could actually see each other, and, best of all, the warm air still worked.

“You were just waiting till we complained so that you could show us all that,” Nathan said.

Hunter grinned and shrugged.  “Maybe.   But we need to be quiet now.  So, no talking.  And turn the lights off – everyone can see us for a mile away.”

:::::

Again, Lily felt the old, familiar sense of injustice rising up in her.

She cleaned houses – mansions, really – every single day.  Those houses were always clean and bright and airy (partly due to her, but if she refused to work, there were hundreds of others who would).  At times she wished that she could refuse to work, to show all the rich ones that she wasn’t going to grovel to them for money.  But she needed the money and, truth be told, to be in the beautiful mansions relaxed her.  It was a not so welcome reprieve from the squalor that met her whenever she returned home.

She was almost to her own door.

Pausing for a moment, Lily took a deep breath and forced a smile onto her face.  Her mother was ill, nervous, and easily worried.  Even if it was difficult at times, she always made sure to have a cheerful face and attitude when she was around her mother.  It was much easier than having to field concerned questions.  It was all Lily could do not to appear worried in her mother’s presence, though.  She was sick and getting sicker all the time.

Be cheerful.  Happy.  Glad to be back home.

At least she wouldn’t have to fake the last part.

Lily pushed open the door.  “Mom?  I’m home,” she called, throwing down the heap of laundry to one side of the door.  Her eyes took in the main room.  Her mother wasn’t there, which meant she was in the tiny bedroom they shared.  She’d spent most of her time there for the past several weeks.  The bed, no matter how scrawny, was more comfortable than a couple of scarred, hard chairs or a stool in the kitchen area.

It took about five steps to get to the bedroom.  Lily hesitated a moment before flicking on the light – since her mother was almost certainly sleeping – but then did so.  She was sleeping, but Lily didn’t turn the light back off.  Moving quietly, she entered the room and spent a couple minutes tidying up.  Even if they were poor, their apartment would be clean.  A clean apartment would also let her mother know that she’d been here, before going back to wash the laundry and clean houses.

Lily glanced at her mother for a moment.

She was still young, but her hair was almost all grey, except for a few streaks of black here and there.  Her eyes were closed, of course, but when opened, they were a faded blue.  Lily had often thought that she must have gotten her looks from her father – whom she’d never seen, as far as she could recall – since her green eyes and blonde hair were nothing like her mother’s features.

Was it just her imagination, or was her mother…not breathing?

Lily leaned closer, her movements controlled when all she felt like doing was grabbing her mother by the shoulders and shaking her to reassure herself that she was still alive.  With trembling hands, she tried to check the pulse, but her hands were shaking so badly, she couldn’t have felt anything.  She laid a hand on her mother’s chest.  There was nothing.  No movement and no warmth.

With a racing heart, Lily slumped onto the other bed.

She stared at her mother.

This is ridiculous, she thought.  You left her for twenty minutes.  She can’t be-she’s just sick-

Inside, she knew the truth of it, but the main part of her heart and mind wouldn’t accept the terrible fact.  She sat there, on her bed, staring into space for hours.  The laundry went unheeded.  She didn’t leave to go clean some rich person’s house.  Any knocks on the door were ignored. 

Maybe if she shut the world out and turned to stone, it would all turn out to be a bad dream.

:::::

The director lowered her hand, finished with her conversation for the moment.

There were more pressing concerns – the assault on the main gate being one of them.

She’d been warned about the rebels for months now, but since they’d never caused any problems (besides that one unfortunate event with the trainer and his student) she’d allowed security to slide a little.  Allowed a sense of well-being and safety, no matter how false, to creep in.  Now the rebels were talking advantage of that false security and launching a full-scale attack.

Well, maybe not as bad as that.

From what she could gather, there were less than a hundred of them.

Odd that they would attack with such weak numbers.

Stella frowned and switched on her tiny communicator once again.

“Sir?  I think they might be planning a-”

What happened next brought the conversation to an abrupt halt.

What did you think of these snippets?

Eva

 
4 Comments

Posted by on July 29, 2014 in snippets, vengeance is mine, writing

 

update

I don’t think I’ll be getting to the other plot bunnies, even though I have them in my head, because of certain things that have come up with my main project – Vengeance Is Mine.  I started revising it a week or two ago, and my brain has started exploding with new plot ideas and characters and all that stuff, so I’ve spent all my writing time working with the revisions.  The biggest change is that the trilogy has shrunk to one book. I hate reading trilogies where the story could just as easily have been told with one book, and I feel that’s how VIM would’ve been, so I’ve changed that.  It’s more streamlined, interesting, not to mention easier to manage.  The story is still very big, so a sequel could be in the works as well, but I want to tie up pretty much everything in the first book.  I had a lot of fun with the plot bunnies I did write, but VIM is huge for me, and I want to devote all my time to it.  I do want to write about one particular plot bunny, so there’ll probably be one more post for that, but I’m not sure it’ll be in June.  However, I hope to bring you more updates on VIM (along with snippets), so there should be another post coming soonish.

Until then, happy writing!

Eva

 
3 Comments

Posted by on June 25, 2014 in june crusade, random, vengeance is mine, writing

 

plot bunny #3: our story, our year

link to Pinterest board here.

This story has been sitting in my brain for months (ever since I started collaborating on it with my dear friend, Sierra), and I’ve recently been given permission to work on it myself, so I rethought the whole premise (the main character falling in love with the reader) and discovered that I wasn’t ready to go into speculative fiction like that, so it’s turned itself into a more normal YA light romance novel.  I think I’ll have a lot of fun writing it whenever I get around to doing so, because it’s a lot brighter and happier than most of my story ideas.  Basically, this girl, Sadie, and her older sister, Dawn are orphans.  Sadie works part-time in a coffee shop (she and Dawn share an apartment, so that’s her contribution to the finances).  She frequents a used bookstore, and comes across this guy named Archer and his brother Ed in it one day.  She and Archer clearly like each other, but then Archer gets into a car accident and goes blind.  Most of the novel revolves around the repercussions of the accident and how love can still grow under the most difficult circumstances (that’s a wayyy oversimplified version of it, but this kind of thing is supposed to be simple, so…).  And here is Ze Snippet.

I stand in front of the old bookstore – Ye Olde Bookshoppe. I pull my winter coat more tightly around me as the wind whistles around the corner of the shop. I really shouldn’t be standing around out here, staring up at the antique sign and waiting for who knows what.
I step inside quickly and am greeted by the familiar tinkle of the bell set to go off when the door opens. The comfortable smell of musty old books greets me. There are hundreds of books stacked in great heaps on both levels of the store. I glance around, ready to make some new friends and meet some old ones – literary friends, that is.
Something makes me pause. The unfamiliar smell of food – hamburgers and fries, my sense of smell informs me – wafts across the close, stale air. Mrs Hudson, the proprietress of the bookstore, never eats in here and so, more than a little curious, I follow my nose.
It leads me straight to the front desk, the desk that’s usually covered with even more stacks of books, although these are mostly rare first editions, complimentary bookmarks, a few scattered business cards and several pencils and pens.
But now all the clutter is cleared away, the precious books are in a glass case under lock and key and there are two burger wrappers gracing the top of the desk along with a mostly empty milkshake cup and some bits of French fry. Sitting behind the desk is a young guy, probably close to my age, with dark hair and light blue eyes.
He looks up. “Oh! Um…can I help you?” he asks, trying to hide embarrassment under the guise of assumed professionalism. He looks nice enough but my main question is – what are you doing here?
“No, not really. It’s just-”
“Really. I can help you find a book if you want.”
“I thought Mrs Hudson was here?”
“No. Mom retired a few weeks ago. She left the store to me and my brother,” he explains. “You caught me on lunch break.”
“Oh, I’m sorry.”
“Don’t be. I was basically done anyway.” He grins.
“I see you’ve cleaned up all the mess,” I say.
“That was actually my brother. He’s sort of obsessive-compulsive about cleanliness. I’m more relaxed about it.” He laughs, waving his hand around to pull my attention to the wrappers and empty containers.
“I can see that. Well, I’m going to browse around.”
“Sure. And seriously, let me know if you need any help.” I nod. “And now I’d better get all of this cleaned up before he sees it.”
Leaving Mrs Hudson’s rather quirky son to clean up the mess from his lunch, I move deeper into the back of the bookstore, toward the classic books. I’m planning to purchase a few more Jane Austen books and Great Expectations if I can find them.
And then another guy materializes seemingly out of nowhere.
“Hi,” I say, not sure who he is. There’s a slight resemblance between him and the guy back at the desk so… “You must be, um, Mrs Hudson’s other son, right?”
He nods. “My name’s Archer.”
I hold out my hand, and he shakes it. “I’m Sadie.”
Archer nods, and then says, “So you’ve met Ed?”
So that’s his name. “Only a few moments ago. I didn’t know you were actually here.”
“Yeah, I spend most of my time inventorying and classifying the books. Mom left everything in a real mess so it’s a 24/7 job. I’ve got the comics and classics sorted out so far – now I’m moving on to biographies.”
I notice the three books in his hands. Jane Austen: A Life, Queen Elizabeth I – The Virgin Queen and Victor Hugo: Life Of France’s Leading Author.
“Don’t let me keep you from your work,” I say.
“Oh, it’s time for my break,” he replies. “Actually, thanks for coming here when you did. I work through my lunch break all the time, so the interruption was useful.” He gives me a warm smile. Genuine. The kind of smile that makes me want to smile back. So I do.
“See you later,” I say, as he disappears back up the narrow aisle, toward the front entrance.
He turns for a moment and wave. I find myself hoping that I’ll see him again.

I quite like it.  You?

Eva

P.S. I finished No Greater Love today.  Please don’t ask…

 

will you join in our crusade?

Scribblings
Anne-girl, over at Scribblings Of My Pen & Tappings Of My Keyboard is hosting her third annual June Crusade.  I didn’t participate in last year, or the one before that, because I wasn’t all that into writing, but this I’m definitely going to be.  She always has a unique challenge for each of her crusades, and this year it will be plot bunnies (hence, the blog button above).  Yes, indeedy, those pesky little things that worm their way into our current works-in-progress, our hearts, and our minds.  But this June, instead of trying to push them away, I’ll be fully embracing them.  I’m not going to go over the rules, or any such things, since it’s all very neatly laid out in her blog post.  I’ve calculated that I’ll have to do a plot bunny every four days or so, and that won’t be a problem for me.  I’ll be posting about my progress as I go along, and I highly encourage all of you to join in this challenge.  It’ll be tons of fun.
Eva
P.S. The reason I haven’t been posting lately is because I’m nearing the end of No Greater Love and I don’t. want. to. talk. about. it.  Please bear with me, and I’ll try to get you an update soonish.
 

the moms of vengeance is mine

I originally planned this post for Mother’s Day, but things got hectic and I’ve been writing too much to concentrate on this blog (even though it’s a writing blog).  But I thought it was still a good idea, so today I’m going to be sharing a little bit about the mothers in Vengeance Is Mine, as well as some snippets.  Each mother is the mom of one of my main characters (although I didn’t plan it that way).  I have roughly four main characters – Aaron, Nathan, Lily, and Dylan – but Dylan’s mom isn’t alive (I don’t think I ever even mention her), so she won’t be on this list.  And now…to the list!

1. Becca

[I don’t have a character casting for this mom, since she just appears in the prologue of book 1]

Rebecca, or Becca as she’s commonly called, is Nathan’s mother.  She only has a part in the first book’s prologue, as I mentioned above, and I can’t even say that she made an impact on her child’s life, since Nathan never knew her.  However, she does drive the plot because, really, if Nathan hadn’t been born, there would’ve been no book, right?  Becca’s words are the first sentence in the trilogy (although, by the time I’m done editing, that might not be the case) and I found her point-of-view very easy to write.  It might have been because I was in the first fervour of NaNoWriMo where everything seemed fresh and new, but I was able to connect with both her fear and her faith on a personal level, and she’s one of my favorite minor characters.  Five pages into book 1, and I was already crying, because page 5 was when Nathan was born and I was completely overwhelmed by the scope this trilogy would take on.  And Becca started it.

Jase’s eyes widened and he nodded. He made as if to duck outside, making sure to check that no one was anywhere near when he did so, but he came back inside. “If you want me to take you back to the city, and your family until the baby comes, I can do that.”
Gratefulness welled up inside her, and even some hope, but she shook her head. “The journey would be too dangerous, and, besides, I want you with me. And they think we’re dead.” She had said and thought such a thing too often for it to have much effect on her anymore, but the thought still hurt her heart, no matter how little. To succeed in their mission, they had given up everything, even more than a normal Existent did. Their home, their families, their very identities. It was only in the privacy of their own little dwelling did they call each other Jase and Becca. To the rest of the world they were Ethan and Jannara.
“Still, we should have someone. A-a midwife, or something.”
“Jase, women have been doing this by themselves since time began,” she said with a faint smile on her face. “As long as I have you with me, I can manage. Truly.”
He hesitated, then gave a quick nod, as if assuring himself of the truth of her statement. “Well, then, I’ll be off.” She raised her hand a little in farewell, and then he left.

Reading over this snippet, I confess that I knew very little about my story world back then.  And I wrote this in a flood of NaNo inspired words, so if it’s garbage, blame the 30 day writing challenge.  It was the only passable snippet concerning her that I could find.

2. Laii

i feel like this could be laii.

Okay, so I figured out that I couldn’t share who Lily’s mother is, because that would be a pretty big spoiler, so I’m going to share with you some things about Nathan’s other mom – Laii.  She isn’t really his mom, of course, but she’s as close to it as anyone could get.  She loves him and scolds him and makes sure he’s safe (no small task).  And she has a mysterious past.  Which isn’t really relevant to this post, but that’s always cool, right?  Laii made some big mistakes when she was younger, and taking care of Nathan and the other boys under her charge in the facility is one way that she tries to atone for those mistakes.  Laii is hard to write at times, because she’s flawed and I still don’t think I have all her motives and dreams down.  She’s both strong and broken, all at the same time.

“Sneakers?” Laii asked, her voice filled with incredulity. “That’s what this was all about?”  He nodded halfheartedly, much as Dylan had done. “Why?” she asked.
“He’s a bully,” Nathan said, and decided to leave it at that. He wouldn’t tell her the details, especially about the time Dylan had sneered at him and said that he didn’t really belong here at the facility. He was afraid that Laii would admit that Dylan was right, and that he would have to go. He had waited all his life for this day, and it would not be spoiled by a fight with Dylan. He wouldn’t allow it.
She nodded slowly, at least that’s what Nathan thought she did. The hood made it difficult to read head motions, and he suddenly wished that she didn’t wear that everlasting hood and cloak so he could read her eyes and facial expressions and body language as he did with the other boys. It would make everything so much easier.
She gave a frustrated sigh. “You’re too angry, Nathan. You let anger wipe away all your good sense far too often. Why?” Her tone of voice showed she genuinely wanted to know, but Nathan wasn’t about to give her what he knew was the reason. It was because at times he felt like he didn’t belong, that he was an outcast, and so he became angry and violent if anyone questioned his position here. Or even if he thought they had. He just shook his head.
She huffed again. “Go and apologize to Dylan right now.”
“What?” Nathan said, all anger and sullenness gone, replaced by amazement. That was all? No punishment, no- Then he realized exactly what she had said. Apologize to Dylan? Impossible. He would rather take a week without food than apologize to that low-down rat. Why wasn’t she giving him a proper punishment?
“Right now.” Her voice was firm, and devoid of emotion once again. “Or you will not go through the ceremony today. You will have to wait another year, and then be behind all the other boys.”

Again, I didn’t really have all that firm of a grasp on my story at this point, but I’ve always liked this little scene, mainly because I had no idea how things were going to play out.  I was just discovering that Nathan wasn’t going to be a perfect hero, struggling against circumstances.  I had no idea how important Dylan would be in the future (although the sympathetic way in which I handled the scene right after this might have told me something), and I knew nothing about Laii’s past.  Of course, I’m still learning things about my characters (I doubt I’ll ever stop) but it’s fun to look back at some of my earlier writings.

3. Callie

http://dresscode.cl/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/scarlett_johansson56.jpg

Callie is one of my favorite characters ever.  She’s Aaron’s mom, and she’s just plain wonderful.  Besides her great skills as a mom, she always sticks behind her husband, David, through both the good times and the bad (and, believe me, sometimes it gets bad).  She holds the Nonexistent’s community together when David is away (which is often) with the help of Matthew, an old family friend, and she welcomes her wayward son back into the family and their life, despite what he did earlier (*cue dramatic music*).  I’m not done No Greater Love yet (the only book, so far, that she shows up in), but as the story continues, she’s going to be called upon to be even stronger than she has been before.  There’s going to be a lot of stress and strain, but I know she can pull through it.

Monday’s early morning light brought him to the entrance of the community. He stared out across the landscape in front of him, Callie at his side. The ground looked as though it had been chewed up. There were cracks and lines everywhere, all over the ground. Already, he feared for his men’s safety.
“Feeling tired?” Callie asked.
David shook his head.
She put her arm into the crook of his arm and rested her head against his shoulder. “I would’ve thought you’d be exhausted. I don’t think you slept all last night.” She sighed. “It’s been a frightening time for all of us.”
“Looks like the outside got it worse than in here,” David commented, pointing his chin at the scene in front of them. “But we’ll rebuild in there, too. We always have. And the accident seems to be pulling everyone together better than any of my messages ever could.” He closed his eyes for a moment as the sun’s early glare hit him right on. “I should go.”
Her arm slipped out of his gently.
“Be safe,” she said.
He nodded. “I’ll see if we can get some supplies back to here.”
Callie smiled then. “That would be good.”

So there you have it!  The mom’s (some of them, at least) of Vengeance Is Mine.  Do you have any mothers in your book(s)?  What are they like?

Eva