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Happy October!

Alethea MermaidIt’s the first of the month again, which means it’s my turn to blog over at The Waterworld Mermaids.

Today I’m talking Location — writing about places you’ve never been, and urging you to visit as many places as you can to learn about them before you write them.

I also discuss the surreality of inventing a town that ACTUALLY EXISTS…

Is your passport up to date?

Where in the world would YOU like to go?

Click on over to read my essay and let me know!

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The Writing Princess’s Manifesto

The Little MermaidIn an effort to catch back up with the world at large, I wrote a make-up blog post at the Waterworld Mermaids today.

The message may have been delivered with more force than I intended, but it certainly gets my point across.

Some days, we are just frustrated with the world. The chaos of our lives can go on for days…weeks…months…years.

We cannot let that defeat us. Ever.

Click here to read “No Such Thing” : Princess Alethea’s First Law of Writing Momentum.

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In Which Writing Is Fun

Princess Alethea, Jan 2014I’ve been teaching a teen writing class at the Rust Library for four weeks — tonight is the last class, and I have to say, I’m going to miss it! But to be honest, I think these young folks are ready to write and submit their own stories…the only challenge for them will be focusing enough to GET IT DONE.

(You hear me, guys? Stop procrastinating and do it, already!!!)

Last week we did a fun writing exercise where each person wrote a sentence (or two) and then passed it to the next person at the table. There were only six of us (yay, more snow and ice…what is it about Wednesdays in February this year?) so it only took about 20 minutes and didn’t get too out of control. At the end, we read all the stories aloud…and they were AWESOME!

So awesome, in fact, that everyone decided that I should put them up here on the site to share our awesomeness with the world. Evil shadows, vomiting butterflies and tiny ninjas: THIS IS WHERE IT’S AT, PEOPLE. (Also, we’ve sort of been calling our group “The Tiny Ninjas” for a couple of weeks now.)

Enjoy…and remember, smiles and comments are greatly appreciated! xox

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Story #1 (aka “The Shadow Killer”)

What people don’t seem to realize is that I’m not a mindless killer–I pick my victims carefully. The patterns just seem to elude the cops. I have killed many. I run away into the shadows. I run as fast as I can from the murderous shadows, which will most likely kill me if I look away. For I am a shadow. These are my brothers. And our goal is to make sure no one is left alive in the light.

The light is our greatest enemy, the light and those who carry it. They are the only ones who can stop us, and they are my favorite targets. Light can illuminate, but it is oh, so east to burn. And the smoke that rises from the fire? That’s me. So watch your step. And the next time you hear the siren, see the plume of smoke rising above the rooftops, know that you’re next.

Why else would I let you read this?

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Story #2 (aka “Cloudy With a Chance of Potatoes”)

Potatoes fell from the sky when all hell broke loose. It made mountains of potatoes, which I plan to swim in with a cup of gravy. Swimming is all gravy is good for anyway–I mean, I’m a vegetarian. But what else are you going to do with crazy weather like this?

There are too many potatoes to actually eat, even taking into account all of the people in the world. It’s difficult to swim in them, though, what with their solidity; it’s far easier when they’re mashed and even then, it’s difficult.

Yesterday it was pickled herring, though, and I’m not about to complain that it’s now potatoes. But I suppose it would have been nicer if that hadn’t also been the day the house collapsed.

I just can’t believe this all started with a face-down penny.

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Story #3 (aka “Secret Agent Cat”)

I couldn’t understand a word of what she said, but she was undoubtedly angry. Curled on the floor like a question mark, she yowled at me in her native Cat, hair bristling on end.

“Listen, if you aren’t going to cooperate, we can…be more persuasive,” I growled.

Having abducted the feline from the NSA, I was convinced she was more than normal. My guess was that she originally ruled the internet and was taken out during the censorship phase. But now…I don’t know what to think. I wouldn’t know what to think…I think I might die in a hole.

“That would be me, being persuasive,” said the cat, in perfect French. “You have a very simple mind for a human. Now, if we could please get on with the experiment.”

I was happy to do so. I was happier that I now understood French. I would have been even happier if I understood Cat. That was half the point of this, after all. But hey, I’d take what I could get.

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Story #4 (aka: “Sci-Fi Butterfly Sick”)

The iron butterfly vomited on my bicycle. Again. The first time the metal insect showed up. I’d been half terrified, but by now I was used to it. Every Tuesday evening, without fail, it would perch itself on my handlebar and then…barf. This time I was determined to stop it, for good or bad.

I read in a history book that there used to be real, live butterflies, but now…just the government’s failed experiments. There seem to be more and more failures nowadays. I dreamt a butterfly did not vomit on my bike but screw that; I should genetically modify. I just need to let it go.

What, you may ask? My obsession with butterflies. But even that won’t stop there from being thousands of mutant, barfing butterflies. Perhaps I should just buy an umbrella. Or a gun.

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Story #5 (aka: “The Dangers of Falling Deathfully”)

Don’t fall too hard when you die. Of course, if you forget to fall, sometimes that’s worse. You could end up dead, just floating in the ether, with no particular direction. That’s what happened to me, and it’s the reason I’m still around to tell you this.

People who believe in ghosts usually think they stayed behind on purpose–“unfinished business,” they say, in ethereal tones. But really, it all comes down to one question, and that question is: “When you died, were you vertical or horizontal?”

I was vertical. And I didn’t fall, just sort of…stayed. It’s hard to fall over when you’re tied to a chair. Of course, my head sorta slid to one side, so I can’t hear very well with my left ear, bit I make do with what I have.

I made do…I just kept swimming.

This was all a metaphor for my love of imagining death. Who doesn’t fantasize about death?

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stealth elfStory #6 (aka “Beware Small Ninjas”)

Becoming a small ninja wasn’t my first career choice. Actually, it was my third. But since roof-painting and photography both failed, I didn’t have anything to go with but the letter in the mail.

It was from someone called “The Lead Ninja.”

He sent me photos of a beautiful place, with seemingly no one “playing chess” or “sparring with swords.” I felt like a freking Girl Scout on my first day when I said, “Hi, I’m Bob! I would like to be a small ninja.”

“Screw you!” the Lead Ninja responded.

I tapped him in the head with a flying sidekick. When he picked himself up off the ground, he shook my hand. “Welcome to the Palace.” Then he sent me off to get settled in before I began my training–which was nothing like anything I’d expected.

Unfortunately, I can’t talk about training due to the confidentiality agreement I signed. Suffice it to say that I’m a certified small ninja.

And I am coming for you.

 

 

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The Book Butterfly Interviews Princess Alethea

Because what you were missing in your life is ANOTHER FUN INTERVIEW WITH MOI!

This time I talk about writing, books, characters, where I’ve lived, my favorite authors, and a bunch of quick fun stuff!

Click here & enjoy: http://theyabookbutterfly.blogspot.com/2013/11/monday-ya-author-interview-with-alethea.html

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Because Mom Might Not Have Seen This

…here’s the story of my awesome Dragon Con & how I hurt my thumb, with pictures!

http://waterworldmermaids.com/2013/09/with-one-hand-tied-behind-my-back/

Now, back to writing. New Chapter to you SOON.

Also…got the first box of HERO in. It’s gorgeous! And the endpapers are GREEN!

Only guess what they forgot to include in the first printing?

xox

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Happy Christmas Workshop Episode 43

In the midst of the traveling and the three Christmasses I didn’t have the chance to post about this yesterday — part two of the fabulous Roundtable Podcast that started with the 20-minute interview. Now, we get into the much longer, nitty-gritty of live-workshopping a fellow author’s work in progress…

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Alethea Kontis – author of the award-winning “Enchanted“, “The Wonderland Alphabet“, The “Alpha-Oops” series, and so much more – returns to the Big Chair to help workshop a rich luxurious story idea offered up by podcaster, voice actor, authoress (and so much more), Lauren “Scribe” Harris. With Justin Macumber as guest co-host (author of “Haywire” and “A Minor Magic“, founder and co-host of the Dead Robots’s Society podcast, and co-host on the Hollywood Outsiders podcast), we dive in to a delightful frothy discussion, inspirations bouncing around like pixies on egg nog, taking Lauren’s already fabulous idea and festooning it liberally in Literary Gold. (and for more writerly delights, make sure you check out Alethea’s Showcase Episode!)

Listen to the workshop podcast here!

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Killing Them Softly

I’m discussing the Killing of Darlings today over at the Waterworld Mermaid site.

“So…I didn’t end up completing NaNoWriMo. Again. And let’s be honest–I didn’t really try. I finished my third pass of revisions by November 10th or so, but sometimes a body just gets SO EXHAUSTED that it’s like getting the flu. Everything shuts down, emotionally and physically, and you can barely get out of bed. The worst part is, we somehow have to find a way to let our bodies do this, and heal.

Thank the Water Gods for Netflix.

I love watching full seasons of TV shows at a time. They’re fun and pass the time…but it’s difficult to see ten of them and not have the writer brain consider dialogue, pacing, and plot structure. This month, I’ve learned quite a bit from two shows: How I Met Your Mother and Grey’s Anatomy…”

Check out the rest of the post HERE.

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Busy Blood Moon

Hello, my lovelies!

Returned from Baltimore Book Fest , wet and not unscathed — darn cold fingers and steel corset snaps! Pictures will be up…soonish (and not of the thumb injury, because I will not have you guys all freaking out on me again. Suffice it to say it’s bad).

Came home to exhaustion and HERO’s edit letter, which looks to be three pages of NO SMALL FEATS in which I turn a pretty good manuscript into a REALLY FREAKING AWESOME BOOK.

I have a week in which to do this. Then it’s off to NY Comicon (will post schedule later, but for now you can always find me at Janet Lee’s table in Artists Alley!) and the meeting with said editor in which I get to confess all my sins if I don’t have that rewrite turned in tout suite.

Then it’s a week off (with more edits…this work takes a LONG time) before the Waterworld Mermaids Writing Retreat, in which I plan on being mostly incommunicado while I 1.) Finish HERO, 2.) finish TRIXTER, and possibly even 3.) Catch Up On Some Things. We’ll see.

Unfortunately, this blog is probably not going to be one of those things…so do find me on Facebook or Twitter (Mom, you can still watch the Twitter feed from the blog page without having to sign up).

If you’re looking for something to do, I encourage you to check out the Waterworld Mermaids this month — they’re posting ghost stories for the entire month of October while they get ready for Halloween. (Trust me, I am SO BUMMED I didn’t get to take part in this.)

Avery put together this SUPER SPOOKY trailer to get you in the mood for The Ghost of Mermaid Lagoon. Enjoy!

And don’t forget to stock up on your All Hallows Reads for the kiddies! You can still get AlphaOops: H Is for Halloween: Midi Edition for only $7.99 at Amazon! (Be sure to use that affiliate link when ordering.)

Have fun this Fall, everyone — enjoy the weather, and I’ll catch you on the flip side! xox

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How to Cheat off Your Own Paper

I’m over at the Waterworld Mermaids today, writing about Self-Plagiarism.

“One of the questions a writer is most-often asked is whether they are a “Plotter” or a “Pantser.” We’ve talked about it here on the Waterworld Mermaids a few times. Do you painstakingly outline things, or do you just fly by the seat of your pants and just write like the wind?

I tell people I’m a Plotter, only because the NaNoWriMo goal continues to elude me. The most I’ve ever been able to write in a month is around 36,000 words. Folks who can “Fast Draft” and do something like 50,000 words in a weekend completely blow my mind…”

Read more and leave a comment here!

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Post-Apocalyptic Disaster Area

Today I am a-blogging over at The Waterworld Mermaids about the ultimate sacrifice a writer must make when he/she is trying to write a novel on deadline: HOUSEWORK.

The house is going to look like hell, and you’re going to have to let it.

Among other things.

Read my bit of insanity here. (I have taken a picture of my living-dining area as illustration…)

xox

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