Mar 26, 2017

ABC Writing Game

I was tagged over on tumblr to do this really fun writing tag game for one of my characters and figured I'd share it here, too. I’m picking Adair because he’s the most-main character of my current trilogy, but I might fill this out for Blythe later since she’s pretty much as much an MC as he is.

A is for Age: 18 (Adair’s the youngest of my five characters- the rest are in their 20s)

B is for Biggest Fear: Until book 2 when his fear becomes more emotional (losing the empathetic bond to his pair), it’s heights. He’s terrified of being off the ground in any way.

C is for Current Time: It’s late winter at the start of book 1.

D is for Drink Last Had: Tea. Definitely tea. This culture drinks a lot of freaking tea.

E is for Everyday Starts With: Grumbling about it being way too early to be awake (usually directed at Blythe who’s a Cheerful Morning Person ugh), but then getting super excited because he gets to make breakfast! Then losing some excitement because his family of carnies can’t agree on anything ever including breakfast.

F is for Favorite Song: There are bound to be popular songs in a culture that revolves around the arts, but darned if I know what any of them are. Blythe was probably humming it this morning while being Annoyingly Awake.

G is for Ghosts, Are They Real?: At the start of book 1, Addy would say probably not. By the end it’s a definite, personal yes. (I mean, he gets to kiss one. That’s pretty definite.)

H is for Hometown: Sagewood, one of Concordia’s small towns in the middle of nowhere. It’s boring.

I is for In Love With: Like that’s a secret. Blythe and Etri. My gosh, the boy has it bad for both of them. Fortunately for him it works out to be mutual. It starts as a bit of a crush on these two attractive, slightly older performers, then they become his best friends and eventual significant others.

J is for Jealous Of: Addy’s not a particularly jealous person. I guess he’s sort of jealous of the other artists his age who get more respect than he does, but he knows that he could too if he acted more traditional and he’s dang well not going to do that. He’s kind of an outsider in his own community.

K is for Killed Someone: Unless a shadow or light creature (I haven’t decided which) counts, no. That’s assuming he can even hurt them. Not sure yet.

L is for Last Time They Cried: Probably within the past few days. He cries pretty easily over pretty much any kind of emotion. (I really need to make this come up more often. He’s the most emotional character of the bunch.)

M is for Middle Name: None at the moment, but when he gets his promotion to a higher ranking artist in book 2 (basically a symbol of adulthood), his parents’ surname (Cerulean) becomes his middle name and he gets to choose a new surname based on his profession.

N is for Number of Siblings: One younger sister. He gets along with her, but they’re pretty far apart in age and he hasn’t been home in a while so he hasn’t seen her lately.

O is for One Wish: To have a sentinel who will protect him and respect him better than his ex boyfriend did. (Sentinels are an artist’s bodyguard/significant other.)

P is for Person Last Called/Texted: He avoids writing home whenever possible, but he keeps in better contact with his former master who was like another mom. That said, the last letter he wrote was probably to his ex girlfriend. They’re still good friends and keep in contact with each other.

Q is for Questions They’re Always Asked: I couldn’t think of one so my husband suggested “You? Seriously??” because no one ever takes Adair seriously. He’s young, adorable, harmless looking, and kind, and I think this tends to make people disregard him.

R is for Reasons to Smile: So many things make Adair happy! A new thing to sketch/paint, a change in scenery so he can see/experience new things, friends telling jokes and enjoying his company, yummy pies, beautiful spring days, his cat snuggling him, affection from Blythe or Etri.

S is for Song Last Sang: I still don’t know songs for this world yet. Probably whatever Blythe was humming while she tended to her plants this morning has gotten stuck in his head, though.

T is for Time They Wake Up: Well into morning, probably around 10 given the choice. (Still not as bad as Etri who hates waking up before noon lol.)

U is for Underwear Color: Adair’s the kind of person who wears whatever looks cleanest. That said, most of his clothes are blue or purple, so it’s probably one of those colors.

V is for Vacation Destination: As a cartographer, he spent much of his apprenticeship traveling. He doesn’t have a favorite place so much as places that served the best foods.

W is for Worst Habit: Messy handwriting is probably the most harmless but most frequent. He’s a cartographer. His writing has to be legible. He’s really bad at making it this way but he’s trying to be neater. The most harmful one is a tendency to be too passive and not speak up or letting other people make the decisions. He’s gradually getting better at this.

X is for X-Rays; Ever Broken a Bone?: Probably several. The other four members of his found family are all strong, athletic carnival performers. Adair is… well, he’s a kindhearted artist who got picked on a lot as a kid and probably struggled to keep up with the other kids.

Y is for Youth: *cough* I guess this is where I was going with the previous letter. He had a pretty boring, fairly traditional childhood and a slightly less traditional apprenticeship (his master is kind of an oddball like him who didn’t quite fit into what Artisans are supposed to be like). He’s a friendly person, but he’s also kind of quiet and would rather draw something than play with the other more outgoing and social kids. It didn’t help that his magic manifested a little later than average (an Artisan’s worth is in their ability to possess magic and be an artist with it) and he was always kind of an outsider. He wasn’t disliked, but he wasn’t exactly included, either. And his biggest childhood bully grew up to be his closest friend because they were both kind of social outcasts with the other kids- this person was also later his aforementioned inept sentinel/boyfriend. He never really got on with his family, either, although hit fit in much better with his master and her family. Yeah, Adair is much happier with where his life is right now even though it’s nothing like how an Artisan is supposed to live. He was a crappy Artisan but he’s a dang good carny lol.

Z is for Zealous: What Are They Passionate About?: Drawing and painting, putting his magic and effort into a really cool map that’ll be his final project as an apprentice artist (this is basically like a graduation project and rite of passage rolled into one), cooking, finding yummy foods.


Mar 7, 2017

Character Aesthetic for Sol

Here's my fourth character aesthetic thing! (So far I've shared them for Adair, Blythe, and Etri.) This one is for Sol and it didn't end up nearly as blindingly yellow and glittery as I imagined it would lol. Sol is my resident comic relief in a series where pretty much everyone is comic relief. I think that probably says a lot about how goofy and weird he is. He's so kind and loyal, but it's hit or miss if the words coming out of his mouth make any kind of sense in the context of the current situation. (”What do you mean you had a monkey but it got promoted?”)

Sol is one of my carnival performers and does a fire act alongside his twin brother. He has light/fire magic which he uses both in this career and in his hobby as an inventor. It comes in handy to be able to soften and shape metal with his bare hands! He’s something of a genius ditz: brilliant at inventing things, a completely inept goofball the rest of the time. While his inventions and ideas always seem strange, they're surprisingly useful- when they don't explode or catch on fire or cut a gaping hole through the side of his home.

Getting to the pictures, to show his inventions I picked gears and goggles. When he's not wearing these to protect his eyes, he always has them resting on his forehead. (He thinks this makes him look charming and cool. In actuality when they're combined with his tall fauxhawk, it looks kind of silly.) Glitter because he's all about shiny things, but I also wanted the rainbow glitter to represent that he's gay- I'm trying to include something for each of my characters that represents their lgbt+ness. I loved the glitter on bare feet because Sol rarely wears shoes. His fire magic keeps his body temperature abnormally warm. And, well, he's Sol. Barefoot fits quirky Sol. Fire breathing and the quote are self-explanatory and that outfit absolutely looks like something he'd wear. The hand is how I picture his magic to look. He can summon and control fire, but usually he prefers light.

I should probably mention that his birth name isn’t Sol or Celeste. Like all of my characters- a group of mostly carnival performers- he picked his name. I do write cheesy sometimes for the humor factor, but even I’m not cheesy enough to name the light magic dude after the sun. He’s cheesy enough to do that, though!

Mar 5, 2017

Short Story: "Sheltered"

Your OC wakes up in an odd location with a dull pulsing pain in their head. They’re not really sure why they are where they are and can’t remember much of the events that lead them there. They get up and make their way around looking for anyone familiar. But there’s no one. They move outside. No one there either. Soon they’ll find that the whole town is empty. They return to their house to find a note. Where did they wake up? What does the note say?

(This is a prompt I found on tumblr. My answer ended up turning in a short story, so I figured I'd share it here. My stories/books do actually have a place that looks like the real world where there aren't any people, so I had to run with this!)

Unexpected Inspiration Short Story - "Sheltered"

Before you tear this letter on sight, please know how deeply sorry we are to have done this to you. We are well aware of your dislike for this mirrored world but we needed the reassurance that you would be safe. You would protest if you knew you could not come with us and there was not time. Blythe tells me that your headache from her healing-induced sleep will fade within a few minutes. Please remain in this location and try not to attract the attention of the shadows. While they should ignore you as they have always done, they may become curious if they sense movement. We left your bag containing your tools by the door. We will return as soon as possible and explain why this was necessary. 
With love and apology, 

Adair glared at the paper he held in his hands. Paper torn out of his sketchbook, which they knew he hated. So this is what it had come to. His sentinels were the big, strong, brave ones. He was just the useless artist who had to be tucked away somewhere safe when there was a hint of danger. Whatever it was this time couldn’t be worse than what they’d faced in the past! It was always the three of them against any challenge thrown their way. They’d faced thieves, magical disasters, coercion by a fair-weather friend, and a conclave of evil priests who wanted Etri dead. Why would they think he needed to be tucked away like a piece of fragile glass now?

He crumbled the letter into a ball and hurled it at the corner where normally a waste basket sat. It bounced off the wall and rolled to a stop at his feet. Their house may still be here, but nothing temporary was contained inside except what was brought here with him. As far as Adair knew, this was only the letter, whatever was in his pockets, and a backpack of art supplies.

No, not fragile glass. A child needing to be kept occupied while the adults did something heroic. He was a grown man, for Petra’s sake.

Well, he wasn’t just going to stay here and doodle the time away. He was going back where he belonged and his sentinels would damn well accept his help. His eyes fell on the bag sprawled alone in the corner of what was his art studio back in the real world. Blythe and Etri may have left him with his tools to keep him from boredom, but what they had really done was supply him with his ticket out of here. In their hurry to protect him, they had clearly forgotten that an artist wasn’t just an artist.

Shadows were curious and occasionally dangerous. Etri hadn’t exaggerated that. They were also incredibly stupid. It would be a cinch to get them to believe one of his illusions. Adair pulled his favorite paintbrush out of his bag and grinned at the bristles as they began to glow violet. Give him ten minutes and he’d be out of here.

Mar 1, 2017

Character Aesthetic for Etri

Here’s the third aesthetic post for the fantasy series I’m writing. (Adair’s can be found here and Blythe’s is here.) This one is so aesthetically pleasing! Probably because Etri is too goth for his own good lol. He’s an introvert who tends to keep to himself, but he’s also absolutely loyal to those he cares about and a total romantic sap underneath the stoic exterior.

Like Blythe, Etri has a bunch of careers/hobbies going on. Officially he’s a performer with a carnival troupe; he shares a knife act with Blythe and a fire act with his brother. Etri has shadow magic, which means he can shift into an incorporeal shadowy form, snuff out fire, and has an immunity to fire. In the past he used his magic to work as a reverse-thief and returned stolen art. Art theft is a huge problem in the culture I’m writing. The title he carries from book 2 onward is Sentinel (and also the title of book 2!), which is the role of bodyguard/spouse to an artist. Etri becomes Adair’s sentinel. (Alongside Blythe, but as of the current draft she’s far less open about this role because Adair kind of bent the rules with the sentinel thing.)

For the rest of the pictures, I picked books because he’s a bookworm and loves studying history, lore, and astronomy. Lockpicks as a thief. An hourglass because he collects them and uses them to judge time when he crosses to the plane/world of shadow. The quote is a good representation of how he approaches relationships as asexual. The knives are partly to represent his act, partly because he has special dark-bladed ones that are the only thing that can hurt shadow creatures. The moon is the symbol that represents his past as a former priest of a shadow god. And he has stars of his favorite constellation tattooed on his wrist.