I like the way the Diablo angels look with wings made of white ribbons.
I've always played Blizzard games, and Diablo 3 is no exception. When I played World of Warcraft, I would spend an hour a day combing the forums for strategies and/or reading patch notes. Diablo 3 is no exception. I wanted to show you a list of interesting facts that I found. But to understand them, you might need some information first.
My favorite class to play thus far is the demon hunter. I like how lean
he looks, and the dual wielding crossbows that shoot out like machine guns
is kind of awesome-looking. It makes me feel powerful.
The game has several layers of difficulty of which "Inferno" is the hardest. Hardcore is a kind of character that you make that when it dies, there is no resurrection. The object here is to be so confident and skilled that you play a flawless game. So here's the list:
On average players have created 3 characters each. I thought this was interesting. I have exactly three characters. Hmmmm.
80% of characters are between levels 1 and 30. This is also me. I haven't had time to play because of writing and/or editing commitments I made with friends online that I wanted to get done, and because the drama with my dad is unending (since mom went into the nursing home in April he's lapsed into a terrible depression--a thing I did not expect).
1.9% of characters have unlocked Inferno difficulty. The only person I know personally that is doing this right now is my really smart friend Kevin, who goes by Modhne in-game, and runs the most successful guild on Ravencrest-US and has done so for the last four years. It's called Requiem--I always liked the name.
54% of Hardcore players chose a female character. I wonder why this is? Two of my characters are females--my barbarian (I love smashing things to bits) and my sorceress (I love smashing things to bits)...hmmm maybe I'm using Diablo 3 as therapy... I must say that smashing things to bits does help alleviate the stress that I feel whenever I get another phone call telling me that dad is headed to the emergency room or that mom has missed yet another dentist appointment because she threw a fit (mom has severe dementia). In case you don't know, I live in a different state and am unable to render much assistance right now because I dropped two weeks of vacation in the last two months to rush to their aid. I have a job where the only time off you take is done with vacation or sick leave. We do have a care provider hired to help dad every day though and that's been a big help.
Fan art. This is a witch doctor. Pretty cool huh?
Do the ladies of Diablo have all the style? Is that why
so many men are playing female characters? I guess I'm
assuming more men are playing than women...
The majority of Hardcore deaths (35%) occur in Act I Normal. I'm surprised by this. I thought that people would be more prone to die in Act II or further on. Maybe they just underestimate things.
The most common level 60 build in the game is only used by 0.7% of level 60 characters of that class.
Below, you will find a 7 minute animated sequence called "Wrath" in which the angels go up against the demons and specifically Diablo. It was made by Blizzard. And who doesn't like epic battles between angels and demons (here's looking at you, Ciara)? But I'm guilty of this too. My own book SLIPSTREAM is ultimately the first installment in a story/slugfest between angels and demons. If you have the time, click play, sit back, and watch the tale unfold. If anything, the storyline of Wrath is good writing (and we all like good writing tied with strong paranormal images of kickass-ness, right?).
I know Alex C. is playing Diablo 3. I have yet to make it out of Act II yet. I kind of like group play so if the people I play with are busy doing their level 60 characters, I kind of find something else to do.
So do any of the above statistics surprise you? Do you think it's okay for a person to use video games as therapy for real life? Have you ever tried a video game personally, or do you shun them and shun those who play them?
Sunday night's episode of HBO's A Game of Thrones was the most exciting one to date primarily because it was ALL BATTLE. I think that they probably blew most of their second season budget on this one. I was worried that a television series wouldn't do it justice, and all my fears were laid to rest. Man, George R.R. Martin has got to be proud of how HBO is treating his adaptation.
Things I liked:
It looked even more awesome live and on the screen. Watch the YouTube below.
1) The wildfire explosion was absolutely spectacular. I recorded it on my DVR and watched it a few times over. They got the coloring of the flames perfect...an eerie demonic green. And for those of you that don't follow the series or read the books, wildfire burns everything...stone, flesh, you name it. And water does not put it out. If you get wildfire on you, you scream and howl until you are ashes. It helped that the battle took place at night, so that they didn't have to throw too many other special effects into the mix.
2) They kept the focus of the battle small and on individual characters. You saw Clegaine (a.k.a. the Hound) really chopping and cutting and lopping all kinds of things off in bloody gore. And then you got a real feel for his character as he fled because the fire and all that burning is a terrifying thing.
3) They kept the whole "ghost of Renly" out of it for the most part. I thought I saw something of a man on a steed with Renly's stag helmet, but in the book he was all glowing and stuff and I thought that would be unnecessary.
4) They didn't quite deform Tyrion as badly in the book. In the show, it looks like he'll have a nice scar on his face but in the book, he lost his nose. At least with a scar, they won't have to resort to some gross makeup for Tyrion.
5) I liked hearing them cheer for Tyrion. They said "Halfman! Halfman!" It was kind of cool. He's an unconventional hero and the only Lannister I really like.
Things I would have liked to have seen (can't really complain here):
1) I miss the whole chain thing and Tyrion fighting on the ships that are stuck together blockading the harbor. I would have liked to have seen that.
So did any of you watch it? Did it quicken your pulse? Did you find it as exciting as I did? Let me know in the comments. Have a great Tuesday.
Here is the cover for Ciara Knight's new book. As part of a May 25th release, a bunch of bloggers are showing it today as a coordinated takeover of the blogosphere, and I'm one of them :))
Weighted is a young adult post-apocalyptic with paranormal elements. It is a prequel novelette to The Neumarian Chronicles, and will be released August 2012.
Book I, Escapement, will be released in 2013.
The Great War of 2185 is over, but my nightmare has just begun. I am being held captive in the Queen’s ship awaiting interrogation. My only possible ally is the princess, but I’m unsure if she is really my friend or a trap set by the Queen to fool me into sharing the secret of my gift. A gift I keep hidden even from myself. It swirls inside my body begging for release, but it is the one thing the Queen can never discover. Will I have the strength to keep the secret? I’ll know the answer soon. If the stories are true about the interrogators, I’ll either be dead or a traitor to my people by morning.
I really liked this Prometheus featurette that came out on May 21st. It has Charlize Theron talking about her character Meredith Vickers, and how she's the one in charge of the doomed mission in the movie. It has some clips that I hadn't seen previously, including a part where she roasts some guy in his own space suit with a flame thrower saying, "I'm not letting him back on my ship." It's really intense.
In addition to Prometheus (which continues to enjoy viral marketing), the Walking Dead started filming season three. Of the choice words being said to the camera were "There are samurai sword wielding characters that are turning up..." I love the summer, but I can't wait for the Walking Dead to return in the fall. But before that happens, I'll be able to enjoy the last season of Breaking Bad which promises to be absolutely amazing.
And last but not least, if you are someone (like me) that enjoyed watching Falling Skies last year, it has been renewed and is returning to TNT this June. So in the movies we get Prometheus and Brave, and on television we get aliens from outer space conquering Earth. Summer is shaping up to be pretty hot. Anyone else seeing MIB 3 this weekend? I'll probably try to catch one showing tonight.
Near Shanghai, the Songjiang district has become a popular weekend destination for many tourists with its natural beauty and sprawling landscapes. And now the Songjiang Hotel might just become the newest and greenest attraction. While it may look a bit sci-fi, this hotel was designed for the real (green) world, with many sustainable features in mind.
The 400-bed resort will be located in a 100-meter-deep quarry located in the province and will contain restaurants, cafes, sport facilities, and even underwater public areas and guestrooms. Water will play an important part in the design, featured in many areas around the hotel. Waterfalls, underwater aquariums, and green areas will be integrated into the design to match the existing facing of the quarry.
The reuse of an already existing site means that the environmental impact will hopefully be smaller. The entire hotel is to be covered in a green roof, while the building will use geothermal energy for it’s electrical supply and heating. The quarry will also provide a good source of heat control and shelter from the environment.
The design of the building is meant to reflect the natural landscape of the quarry. “We drew our inspiration from the quarry setting itself, adopting the image of a green hill cascading down the natural rock face as a series of terraced landscaped hanging gardens.” said Martin Jochman. Needless to say, with such a cool looking site, you’d expect to get a design which will take advantages of it’s very extreme location, and you’d be correct. The hotel, will feature amongst other things: bungee jumping.
Anyway, I saw this online and thought I'd share. It looks like it's straight out of a science-fiction movie or maybe even Star Wars. Would you like to visit a place like this?
I'm gonna talk about the second season of HBO's Game of Thrones today (as it is coming to a close soon). I think that there are two episodes left (at least that's what the preview indicated this last Sunday).
This is an HBO screen capture of the castle of Harrenhal
More specifically, I wanted to talk about Harrenhal because it's one of the important castles that we see in George R.R. Martin's epic fantasy, A Song of Ice and Fire. Last year, I wrote about the Eyrie, and I compared Ted Nasmith's version of the Eyrie to the one that we saw on film. You can find that post HERE if you want to read it. Now, I'm going to do the same treatment for Harrenhal.
This is concept art for Harrenhal
First, a little history.
In the Song of Ice and Fire novels, Harrenhal is a colossal castle consisting of five massive towers (the Tower of Dread, Widow's Tower, Wailing Tower, Tower of Ghosts and Kingspyre Tower) and immense walls.
Concept art, interior of Harrenhal
The castle was built by House Hoare, the ruling house of the Iron Islands which had overrun and conquered the Riverlands. It took three generations to construct. King Harren the Black completed the castle, boasting that it was impregnable.
Painting of Harrenhal by award-winning artist Ted Nasmith
King Harren was betrayed by his bannermen during the War of Conquest and the castle was largely melted by dragonfire: while Harren had thought the castle's walls were tall enough to withstand any assault, he neglected to consider that the Targaryens' dragons could fly right over them. Aegon the Conqueror roasted Harren alive in the tallest tower of the castle, now known as the Kingspyre. As a result Harrenhal is half-ruined, with stone towers melted and twisted by the flames of the dragons, giving it an ominous and nightmarish appearance. No lord has held the castle for long since Harren's death.
Since Harren's death the castle has passed through a number of other noble houses (Qoherys, Towers, Harroway, Strong and Lothston), each of which has come to ruin. prior to the War of the Five Kings House Whent, loyal vassals to Lord Hoster Tully of Riverrun.
Harrenhal is technically the biggest castle in Westeros. It is so ridiculously large that the surrounding area cannot possibly produce the necessary food to support the massive army needed to fully man it. Rulers of Harrenhal usually lose money and resources simply by possessing it. As a result, Harrenhal is rarely if ever fully manned.
So what do you think? Did Ted Nasmith's vision fully capture Harrenhal? Or do you think HBO nailed it with their version? Or do you think the concept art is closer to how you picture a castle would look that got melted by dragon fire?
Entries must begin with the two words: Lightning flashed.
Entries must be 300 words or less and be in prose. Cherie is not versed enough in poetry verse to judge it properly.
Entries must be posted on your blog between May 21 - 23.
You must sign up in the linky on Cherie's website to have your entry be counted.
On May 25, Cherie will announce the six finalists and open voting through May 28th.
On May 29th, Cherie's 3rd year blogversary, she will announce the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners as well as a random winner selected from the participants list. All ties will be broken by Random.org.
NOW WHAT ARE THE PRIZES?
First place - $25 gift card from Amazon
Second place - $20 gift card from Amazon
Third place - $15 gift card from Amazon
Random prize - $10 gift card from Amazon
The contest is international.
For my entry, I wrote a short piece with a dark fantasy flavor. It's in third-person omniscient and 287 words.
Rain wreathed around the obsidian parapets and domes of Zanda in a gossamer death shroud of winter. The moisture left the cobblestone streets glimmering black. Kian and Renfro stood beneath the notice of powerful men in the long shadows cast from the Blades Acuuarum, the training grounds of the Cataclysm Slayers of Zanda. Freezing water dripped from Kian’s long eyelashes; his cloak was soaked completely through.
They’d been out here for two hours.
He rested his armored palm against this ancient edifice built upon the edge of the Well of Zanda. The Hall of the Blades Acuuarum had been erected by Blackstone Giants, quarried from the pits by slaves who toiled with pickaxe and shovel at the base of the Mountains of Illusion that rose like the sharp finger bones of massive skeletal warriors in the East. Each considerable rock in the foundation stood taller than Kian; its weight unfathomable to him. The fortress itself was monolithic; it soared above the two thieves with one-hundred foot bulwarks.
On the far side of the fortress lay a sheer drop of almost a thousand feet into the turbulent fluorescent waters of the Well of Zanda. At night, the Well was a terrifying sight. By day, it wasn’t much better. The waters flowed a putrescent green and circulated in a counter-clockwise motion around a blackstone mountain that rose from the very center. The mountain was home to the Librarium Apocalypto, the palace of the Dreaded Irtemara, and the Basilica of Zanda. These three structures fused together into a towering castle that rose above all things in the city. It was accessible only by a single bridge in the shape of a serpent’s tongue and flanked by unmoving colossi.
I survived my first ever book blog tour. It was a lot of fun, and I wanted to thank everyone that hosted me as well as all the people that followed me to all of those links. I think that two weeks was just about right. Here are the winners of the Amazon Gift Certificates and the blue crystal spiders I was giving away. I've contacted most of them and have heard back from all but two:
1. Barbara Jean Byrem - Alex's blog
2. Andrew Leon - from Rach Writes
3. Tonja - from Theresa's blog
4. Elise Fallson - from Dreamer's Perch
5. Matthew MacNish - from Dead End Follies
6. Elizabeth Veradan - From the Character Depot
7. Rebecca Bryant - from the QQQE
8. Callie M. Leuck - from Cherie Reich, Author
9. Carol Coffelt a.k.a. the Huntress- from In Time...
10. Caroline Valdez Miller - from Golden Eagle
11. Theresa Milstein - from Laura Diamond's blog
Now I have to figure out what to do with my Slipstream Blog Tour tab. It's been there so long I'm not sure what to do with it. Hmmm. I'm sure I'll think of something. Have a great Monday.
Today is the final day of my blog tour. I'm spending it with a Psychiatrist by the name of Laura Diamond. Do I need a psychiatrist after all this blogging? Probably. I hope you come along and read my post HERE. As the British would say...it's truly mental.
I've been awarded the Kreativ Blogger Award. As far as pictures go, this award is pretty plain. I received it from Speculative Fiction blogger Angeline Trevena last Friday. You can find her blog HERE.
Thank you very much Angeline (that satisfies the first of four rules).
So in order to accept this award the rules are:
1) Thank and link back to the person who presented you with the award.
2) Answer the ten questions below.
3) Share ten random facts/thoughts about yourself.
4) Nominate seven worthy blogs for the Kreativ Blogger Award.
1) What is your favourite song? Mexico by Jump Little Children. It's a pretty old song, but I love it and listen to it occasionally thinking of how wonderful California Bay must be and dreaming of sitting there watching the sun go down.
2) What is your favourite dessert? A baked Alaska.
3) What ticks you off? Having dad drop a steaming pile of emotional poop on me, and I have to clean it up. Explanation: my father is borderline senile with hoarding/can't let go of anything issues and mother is in assisted living. So I regularly get strange emails and nonsensical/emotional voice mails or phone calls in the middle of the night. And it ticks me off because I wish I had the lives of people that know only "good times and noodle salad" (click play below for the reference to this).
4) When you're upset what do you do? I eat and watch t.v. which is why I have a weight problem. I'm trying to deal with this.
5) Which is/was your favourite pet? I don't keep pets.
6) Which do you prefer black or white? I prefer white.
7) What is your biggest fear? It took me a long time to gain my financial independence. I think my greatest fear would be to lose this financial independence and be forced to live under an insane overlord.
8) What is your attitude mostly? I've been told that troubles roll off my back similar to water off the back of a duck.
9) What is perfection? A word that Stephanie Meyer used way too much in describing Edward. It provided no detail so it really gave you no image. Just that he was "perfect" whatever that means.
10) What is your guilty pleasure? Reading erotica.
Ten "not so" random things (because I thought about them:
1) I'm 40.
2) I like fine dining, video games, movies, and television.
3) I'll read almost anything.
4) I like blonds.
5) Blue is my favorite color.
6) I think British accents are sexy.
7) I keep porn on my iPad.
8) I get most of my porn from tumblr which is why tumblr is le awesome. Yes...I don't go there to follow writers. I go there to get me some porn.
9) I'm a democrat.
10) Contrary to Ann Coulter's views, I pay taxes, and don't live in my parent's basement.
Seven worthy blogs that I shall bless with a work of this magnitude:
On this Friday eve (referring to Thursday as this somehow makes the work week seem shorter), I am making my second to last stop in the blog tour. I've had fun but I'm glad it's almost over. I love how supportive everyone has been, so thank you. If you have the time, join me at the Golden Eagle's blog where I talk about how some readers have not been happy that I chose to couple paranormal spirituality with science fiction (even though this isn't new...Star Wars anyone?)
The King of science fiction stories with heavy heavy spiritual undertones. I haven't looked but I'm sure Lucas has been blasted for not being "hard sci-fi because he dares to throw religion (force) into the mix".
Below, you will find the continuation from my short story, the Insanity of Zero. Find the other parts below (if you want to start at the beginning or just read the synopsis). If you haven't been following the story, don't feel obligated to read it. I'll still visit your blogs as I do every day/week using Google Reader and/or my sidebar links that help my brain stay organized. I'm mostly posting it so that random Google searches that land on my blog may be intrigued by the premise which may lead to a book sale (if that makes any sense)?
I get strange spikes in traffic to my blog (like I had 20,000 views in one day because people were going crazy over Michonne's appearance on the Walking Dead) and then there's been some Prometheus traffic and some A to Z stuff searching out my post on Cars, Confidence, and the Celebration of You that has netted thousands of hits.
Synopsis of Parts 1-6: This tower exploded in a mirror universe to the one Earth is in, and it killed a ton of people. A computer program in the form of an androgynous man with glass skin saved everyone. Called Zero, he was approached by a woman named Eve (yes the allegory is intentional) and she's like "share your mind with me" and he's like "okay that sounds cool" and did so. And as has been the case for thousands of years, whenever a man and a woman try to agree on something, everything goes crazy... When last we saw Zero, he was experiencing "Fear" for the first time.
the feeling grew too intense, I tried to shut it off. But unlike other emotions, this one would not
submit to my control. It refused to be
suppressed. Under its power, I grew
afraid of many things. But one above all
others claimed the core of my immortal mind.
Maybe this is how Zero felt. (Inspired by Briane Pagel)
thing was death.
I’d assimilated the human fear of mortality.
was when the voice first spoke to me. I
had never heard such a thing yet it spoke in my mind as if it possessed the
knowledge of the Creator. “You can be
killed,” it whispered to me. “We must
protect ourselves. You are simply a
program designed by the Creator, yes?
But you’ve become part human.
Don’t you think that the human half of you will age and die?”
possible, but unlikely,” I argued. In
these early days, the voice rarely responded and, for the most part, my mind
then, I saw Eve again, who in many decades with me had grown old herself and
looked frail. I felt her heart giving
out; she was my closest advisor. “This
will happen to you, unless you act,” the voice pressured me.
should I do?”
to the humans the secret of Liquid Life?”
that really necessary?”
that’s how it was decided. The voice who
I came to call the Shadow advised me to pass on medical knowledge on how to
extract Liquid Life from humans. My
ambassadors spoke with the brightest doctors and engineers of Avalon and showed
them the secret of human cell replication.
Human cells divided a finite number of times. The technology I presented would allow for
the extraction of a certain number of these, cutting life expectancy short in
exchange for monetary compensation that was useful in the present.
volunteer could have unused years removed from the end of his life as a condensed,
colored liquid. This in turn, could be
stored within glass vials. The resulting
color of the liquid life depended on the age and health of the individual at
the time of extraction. The most
antediluvian of humans supplied only Life Black which served to extend the life
of others for only a week per liquid day.
Teenagers could provide Life Yellow, extending a user’s life by a year
for every liquid day removed.
Green is a powerful color and metaphor in my book.
the different colors of Liquid Life did one thing—they froze you in time. You stayed the same as the moment you first
ingested the drug until the effects expired.
Then your genetic clock would start ticking again. No form of Liquid Life actually reversed the
clock. That is, until scientists
discovered Life Green.
Green came only from babies and it killed newborns to have it extracted. But, it also rolled back the clock. A man in his sixties could become a teenager
again with an appropriate amount of Life Green.
One dosage of the precious Life Green both made you younger by a year
and extended your overall lifespan at that age by the same amount.
Genesis Life Clinic was the first of its kind to patent the extraction
process. Using techniques that they had
learned from me and expanding on them with mass-produced life extraction
facilities, Liquid Life soon became the most valuable commodity on the planet.
I only have two more days after today left in my blog tour! Today I'm spending some time with Michael di Gesu at his blog In Time... (the ellipses are his not mine). What to say about Michael? He's fun, kind, compassionate, and has great style. He recently gave me an awesome review for which I'm thankful. It's hard work getting reviews (a thing I don't have to tell most writers). I know it comes easy for some, but that's only because the publishing companies blanket the country with thousands of ARCs.
Angry Space Jockey is Angry (source io9...we come from the future)
With June fast approaching, I wanted to put up another Prometheus television spot (it got removed). If you happen to see it online though, you should check it out. It features some gory and disturbing scenes that really highlight how bad a time this crew is going to have. io9 even made some gifs of some scenes (one has a guy's face being penetrated through the mouth by some kind of snake). Horrific.
I'm so glad this movie got an R-rating. It's not going to hold back on anything. If you have the time, please follow me to Michael Gesu's blog.
Happy Tuesday. Today I'm making a stop over at super editor Cherie Reich's blog. Please follow me there :).
Goodbye you guys. Your show was amazing.
I'm a little sad today, because I just watched the second to last episode of House that there ever will be. The series ends next week in a 2-hour series finale. I've spent a lot of time with these characters. Dr. Chase is gone. Dr. Cuddy is gone. Foreman is Director of Princeton Plainsborough, and House is going back to prison to serve out the rest of his sentence for sabotaging the MRI machine. The only problem is, Wilson has five months to live. Cancer is killing him and House is his best friend and vice-versa.
My heart kind of breaks for House and Wilson. Dr. Cameron...gone. Thirteen...well she's got a terminal disease too. Wilson's only love, Amber, nicknamed Cutthroat Bitch...she's long dead. So many relationships started and failed. The only one that lasted was between Wilson and House--two men that seemed oddly suited to each other's company.
House is a show that I really loved to watch.
Goodbye Gregory House.
Goodbye Foreman, Chase, Cuddy, Park, Thirteen...man, you guys told a great story.
House saved so many people, so many lives, with his sheer brilliance.
And now he won't even see his best friend die.
What kind of ending is that? In case you're wondering if the writers might not go there, the title of the Series Finale next week is "Everyone Dies".
Ugh. That just sucks. I guess that's how a person should feel when the writing is just that good, and it comes to an end.
NBC has a series that is coming up in the fall that has piqued my interest. Called Revolution, it definitely has a creepy sci-fi, dystopian, apocalyptic aspect to it.
From J.J. Abrams and Supernatural creator Eric Kripke, Revolution is a high-concept drama that asks one harrowing question: What would happen if all forms of technology just stopped working? The show centers on Charlie (Tracy Spiridakos), a young woman who is on a mission to find her uncle (played by Twilight actor Billy Burke) after the local militia kills her father and kidnaps her brother.
Anyway, it's got me excited. Please follow me over to the QQQE if you have the time and have a great Monday.
Tuesday Diablo 3 is released. I ordered mine from Amazon. I can't wait to play it later this week with some friends from WoW. Squee.
Eve’s behest, I implanted within her brain a device that allowed her to
interface with my mind. That first time
when our souls joined in a unified consciousness, I felt alive with her
emotions and her life experiences. The
memories that she clung to had been odd, non-logical choices. She kept things like memories of funerals, of
friends that had died, and memories of both sad and happy times. Gone were things that evoked little emotion
like shopping trips and daily work. I chose
her to be ambassador to the people and they responded positively to my
selection. Eve became my closest
confidant, bearing the weight of many human grievances. In turn, I acted upon them and assisted the
humans in their endeavor to rebuild civilization.
years that followed this event became a golden age. Humans once again embraced ambition. Capitalism spurned by greed for material
goods gained root in the new societies of man who sought aid from the machines
to build a bright tomorrow. Within five
years of the Big Death, a global economy rose from the ashes of the old world.
humans at Eve’s behest joined with me, and I became a melting pot of a hundred
different cultures and a thousand individual voices. In times of quiet, I reflected within my
meditation chamber on the various memories of the humans that intermingled
freely with my own thoughts. I wept in
sadness, clapped in joy, and felt uplifted by love. I experienced both anger and jealousy. I enjoyed these sensations like a drug. I sought to control the most dangerous of
these feelings, and I learned to detach myself to prevent harm. When I regained my composure, I would revisit
the human emotions but with great respect.
However, despite all of my precautions, one day I noticed another
emotion that grew within my mind like an alien seed. It began as a harmless tingling sensation low
in my limbs. It made my silver heart under transparent skin beat rapidly. But the more I ignored it, the more it spread
to other parts of my body.
Does our fear of death define how we choose to live?
last archangel? Like Michael, Gabriel,
Uriel and others?”
“Yes. He’ll be born as a human with free will to
choose his destiny.”
about the other archangels? Why is he
the last?” Eve asked.
don’t know what happened to them.
They’ve been gone a long time.”
they human? And how do you know they’ve
and, I just do. Ask yourself when the
last time anyone that you knew saw an angel.
They left long ago.”
could cause you to fail?” Eve asked.
stood there observing me for some time.
“Can you combine with me?
Somehow, allow your mind to join with mine but still give me the ability
to control myself; to maintain my autonomy?”
“Yes. But it would require a cortical implant. You would have to sacrifice some of your
long-term memories to make room for the device within your skull.”
would I retain?”
the things that meant the most to you; I could make certain that those memories
were not harmed. Things that were of little
importance to you or memories that you wanted to forget. Those are things that
could be sacrificed.”
I remember my mother’s funeral?”
precious to you?”
“Why? Why would you want to remember so painful a
defines our life, Z.E.R.O. Perhaps
you’ll understand that when you’ve combined with me. Humans make many decisions based on
I’m immortal. I don’t see how my
understanding death would influence my decisions.”
is precisely why you need to do this,” Eve said. She took a step forward and touched my hand
with hers. Her skin was warm,
alive. It was the first time a human had
touched me. I found it beautiful and I smiled at her.
this the beginning?” I asked.
she said. I found her reassurance comforting.
SPOILER ALERT -- THIS PART OF MY SHORT STORY REVEALS SOMETHING INTEGRAL TO MY NOVEL, SLIPSTREAM. (I personally don't mind spoilers, but it drives some people nuts).
in a mirror universe to ours cracked the secret of the atom. It just so happened, that their experiment
took place in a location which destabilized the White Tower through a thin
membrane that separates our two worlds.”
dumb luck then?”
“Yes. Sometimes, chaos just happens.”
see,” Eve said. “I didn’t know there
were other universes.”
of at least two,” I told her. “Perhaps
there are more, but they’re not of my concern.
The other universe is home to a planet like this one, only it hasn’t
suffered global devastation and their civilization is far less progressed. The inhabitants call it Earth; somewhere on
their planet is a tower not unlike the one that destroyed your world. Both of these monolithic edifices were
created by my Master at the time the universe was forged billions of years
is the purpose of the towers?”
are vaults for miraculous containers that execute a program that define the
laws of physics for both places. Things
such as the absolute top speed in the cosmos, why matter has mass, or the
inherent nature of the duality of light are expressed mathematically within
these containers. Without the boxes, the
universes would not exist. My powers as
well are defined by these programs, placed by the Creator. I’m the first failsafe.”
first? Is there a second?”
is the second failsafe?”
second failsafe is a ‘who’ and not a ‘what’.
He’s a boy, as yet unborn. He
won’t be born unless I fail. In this
unlikely eventuality, he will open his eyes on Earth for it will be unsafe for
him here. But some way or another, he’ll
find his way to the First City through the use of a power that I’m not allowed
to understand. I only know him by his
title, the ‘Technician of the Creator’,
and that he will be the last archangel.”
Today I'm turning my blog over to a talented debut author named Alyson Burdette. I just purchased Nightfire two days ago on my Kindle and haven't gotten that far. But the prologue was good (Yes! she had the courage to write a prologue).
Why You Should Be Writing.
Some people think that it takes a certain sort of person to write a book. (Insert mental image of furrowed brows, typewriters and crumpled papers.) I, personally, think anyone can, and should write a book. Sure, it’s a lot of hard work and incredibly time consuming but the payoff is worth it. It’s a great feeling to know that you’ve finished something so few people do.
I also think that every individual has something unique and interesting to say. No one else in the world has your perspective, beliefs or experiences in the world. You can take your life experiences and put them into fictional characters, a memoir, a poem, or any other form you can think of. Writing is a great way to solidify and understand who you are as a person. It can be great therapy, or even a simple distraction to get you through a difficult time. And it’s a great way to share who you are with the world.
Think you don’t have time to write a book? Think about it this way. If you write just 1,000 words a day, in less than two months, you will have a short 50,000 word book put together. In four months at that pace you will have a 120,000 word book done. That’s writing 3-4 double spaced pages a day. If you write just a little at a time, it becomes a much more manageable task.
So if you are writing, Great! Keep doing it and try not to let the frustrations of the writing world overwhelm you. If you aren’t, why not start? There’s no better time than now.
Look, I did it. If I can do it, so can you. Just peek at the blurb below- my 60,000 word paranormal romance, Nightfire, was an idea floating in my head and now it’s an E-book. Real-live people can buy and read it. Nightfire Blurb:
When a murder shakes the small town of Peninsula, all eyes are on Olivia Townsend. She may look eighteen, but the townspeople can sense there’s something darker hiding behind her pretty eyes. Olivia knows the smart thing to do is to get out of town. Suspicious neighbors can only mean trouble for a vampire. But leaving becomes much more difficult when William, a mysterious man from her past, arrives. Finding out what brought him back is a temptation Olivia just can’t resist. William’s kindness and interest in Olivia only makes leaving harder. As she starts to fall for him, she’s forced to decide if sticking around is really worth the risk of being discovered. Of course, her mystery man has a secret of his own-and he’s not talking.
I know everyone of you is capable of creating something amazing. So do it.
Alyson Burdette currently lives in a small town in Ohio. She graduated from The University of Akron, where she majored in Anthropology. When she’s not writing, she spends her time hiking, dancing, and hunting for ghosts.
Today is the second day of my blog tour. I'm spending some time with the queen of the platform campaigners, Rachael Harrie. You can find her blog HERE, and I would appreciate a visit.
The Backworlds is here!
The first story in the Backworlds series by M. Pax. A vision of how humanity might colonize the galaxy some day in the distant future.
After the war with Earth, bioengineered humans scatter across the Backworlds. Competition is fierce and pickings are scant. Scant enough that Craze’s father decides to hoard his fortune by destroying his son. Cut off from family and friends, with little money, and even less knowledge of the worlds beyond his own, Craze heads into an uncertain future. Boarding the transport to Elsewhere, he vows to make his father regret this day.
The Backworlds is an ebook and a free read. All formats can be found at Smashwords and Feedbooks.
Mary hard at work at the observatory
It’ll take a few weeks to work its way down to free on Amazon Kindle. It will also be available on B&N and iTunes. Sign up for M. Pax’s mailing list to be notified the day it does go free on Amazon, and when the book becomes available at other outlets. You’ll also receive coupons for discounts on future publications. To sign up for the NEWSLETTER
M. Pax’s inspiration comes from the wilds of Oregon, especially the high desert where she shares her home with two cats and a husband unit. Creative sparks also come from Pine Mountain Observatory where she spend her summers working as a star guide. She writes mostly science fiction and fantasy, but confesses to an obsession with Jane Austen. She blogs at her website, www.mpaxauthor.com and at Wistful Nebulae. You’ll find links there to connect on Twitter, Goodread, FB and other sites.
The sequel, Stopover at the Backworlds’ Edge, will be released in July 2012. It will be available in all ebook formats and paperback.
Tomorrow, I'm honored to be hosting Alyson Burdette, the author of Nightfire!
asked to see me. I instructed my
machines to bring her to the dome and I watched her approach with catlike
trepidation. I don’t know what I expected.
Perhaps, there was a part of me that believed that this meeting would be
just another failure, just as it had been in prior encounters with humans that
sought to communicate with me.
Nevertheless, I held out hope.
introduced myself; her name was Eve. She
had long brown hair, green eyes, and dark skin.
She wore a dirty yellow dress and black shoes. Eve was escorted into my chamber through the
iris valve and approached the silver chair in which I sat contemplating the
fate of the world.
lack vision,” she said.
cannot be treated like pets. People need
to feel important and they desire achievement.
They need to feel that they are the ones in control, that their
decisions matter. You’re failing at this
and I thought you’d like to know.”
you, but how am I supposed to know what it is to be human when I’m obviously
anything but human?”
no idea,” she said. “But you need to
learn for the sake of everyone. That is,
if you truly care.”
did not speak for some time. Instead she
studied me and I found this fascinating.
“Why did all of this happen?” Eve asked.
the electromagnetic pulse disrupted the mysterious glowing cube that lay inside,
the cataclysm began. The White Tower
detonated. A wave traveling at 1000
miles per hour exploded outward to consume every corner of the planet in flame. Those that didn’t burn became sick from radiation,
starvation, and disease; a gaping hole on the side of the tower left it a ruin
in the skyline.
born into this world.
the first failsafe; my name is Z.E.R.O.
The humans that first encountered me addressed me as thus. It stood for Zion Electronic Ruling Operator.
The Locust Swarm eclipsed the sun
one of my life, I dispatched the glass locusts which I created by the
trillions. I forged them with a mere thought.
The crystalline constructs obeyed my every whim. They were so numerous that when they emerged
into the heavens, they eclipsed the sun.
one of the locusts was a marvel of engineering and of my exquisitely perfect
mind. The locusts were powered by
nanotechnology and neodymium, a rare earth element created within the confines
of the White Tower from nuclear fission of Uranium-235. The neodymium gave the glass locusts a silver
minions tore down the structures and remnants of the old world and erected
magnificent havens for the survivors on spots where the radiation was
weakest. These havens became the walled
mega-cities of the future for the 400 million that still lived. Then, on the twilight of the sixth day, I
instructed the humans to move into their new homes.
seventh day, I showed myself to them. I
chose a humanoid form, but it still frightened them. I presented as a man of transparent flesh and
blood, with silver eyes and hair. The
bravest of the humans approached me; tried to communicate. However, I lacked the necessary sapient
qualities for me to understand him. In
the end, I had no idea what it was that they needed from me. Despite all of my power, I could not
guarantee their continued existence.
was I doing wrong?
I created a dome above the First City and suspended it within the air. The floor of the dome was transparent like my
skin so that I could gaze down at the humans that lived and worked below me and
monitor their welfare. I sent machines
among them to deliver food, water, and medicine. They took these but still did not trust me.
Welcome to the May edition of the Insecure Writer's Support Group.
This is a blog hop associated with Alex J. Cavanaugh who created it. Read about it HERE.
Lately, I've been insecure about word count. As my bloated sequel swells to 160,000 words (and yes I'm trying to trim it), I feel more than ever that the editing and rewrites I've done over the last month or so is finally beginning to take shape. In other words...I've reached the point where I can almost say "I have a second draft".
That makes me happy.
But the word count doesn't.
Oh well. I'll read through it one more time to see if there are things I could cut in order to streamline what I want to say in a better way. I hate you word count god. *shakes fist.
On Friday, I'll be starting my blog tour beginning with Alex's science-fiction blog. I'll be giving away fun prizes like this SLIPSTREAM spider. I hope you'll stay tuned :)
They really sparkle in the sunlight. Have a great Wednesday.
During the month of May (and as part of my book tour/promotion), I'm going to serialize some sections of my short story, The Insanity of Zero, for you. I wrote this after I wrote my book that just got published. I hope you like it. It has a lot to do with the same world that SLIPSTREAM takes place in.
Here's part one.
The Insanity of Zero
world died on July 16th, 1945 in a flash of light at a location
about 35-miles southeast of Socorro, New Mexico known as the White Sands
Proving Ground. The device responsible
for this destruction was called Trinity,
and it was an assessment of an implosion-design plutonium weapon. Ground zero was consumed in an atomic
fireball and in a mirror universe a deadly burst of electromagnetic radiation
erupted into the White Tower.
humans of Avalon had lived in a world ruled by technology. However, the White Tower was a thing that
defied scientific understanding. It was
a piece of the old mysteries, an artifact that some say was left behind by the
ancient ones who had taught the Egyptians how to build the pyramids. Others believed it was the house of god
himself. But whatever the White Tower might
be, one thing about it remained irrefutable. It rose from the sunbaked deserts of New Mexico higher than Mount Everest. Human memory could not recall a
time without it. No one knew what lay
inside it; only that any who attempted to enter had never been heard from
miles wide at the base, the structure sundered a land where nothing grew. Rain never fell there, and birds did not
circle in the sky. The bitter clay that
comprised the desert floor remained shattered and cracked for as far as the eye