Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Next Big Thing


 
Last week Jami Gold tagged me in one of her blog posts for “The Next Big Thing.” I don’t normally participate in these things though I do appreciate the gesture when I’m tagged. I usually don’t have the time (i.e. too lazy) but this is the second half day in a row for me with NYSE being closed so it’s either annoy my husband who is trying to get some work done or work on this. J I took a nap yesterday. Besides, Jami is a super cool lady and I don’t want to let her down. If you don’t already, you should check out her Tuesday and Thursday posts on writing. They are awesome.



So here goes my answers:

 

Ten Interview Questions for the Next Big Thing:


What is your working title of your book?

 
Darkness Peering


The title comes from the poem “The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe

 
Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token…

 
This describes the position the heroine is in at the beginning of the book.


Where did the idea come from for the book?  

 
Regular readers of my blog know that I have a deep love of faerie lore. I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of the changeling – a faerie that has been switched with a human child. I know there are a few YA books that have changelings, but I wanted to write an adult story about a changeling.


What genre does your book fall under?

This story falls under the Urban Fantasy category, but it has a strong Paranormal Romance bent.

 

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

 
The main character, Greer, would be played by Emma Stone. Her love interest, Thad, is a little harder to caste. I have a clear picture of him in my head, but no one seems to be good enough to play him. J


What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

 
A faerie changeling, now all grown up, must discover the truth about herself and the circumstance of her birth in order to stop a lethal threat. Yes, I appreciate this is vague.

 

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

 
Not sure. I hope that I’ll be able to find an agent, but this is the book of my heart. I’ll figure out a way to get it published.


How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

 
I’ve written parts of this novel before I had an understanding of the characters. I have moved all of those pages into a folder titled “JUNK.” I’m starting all over this year for NaNoWriMo. I hope to finish the whole thing in November, but I’m sure it’ll bleed over into December. I tend to write very bare bones 1st drafts. My guess is 6 to 8 weeks.


What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

The only changeling stories I know are YA and this is most defiantly not a YA novel!

 

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

 
My love of faerie lore, Russian mythology and an interesting setting – the Stockade neighborhood of Schenectady.


What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

One of the side characters, a cop called “The Face” behind his back, was inspired by a conversation I overheard at the grocery store between two clerks – one clerk was bragging about her nephew and the other thought she was talking about this other guy with the nickname “Face” that is serving time for murder. Interesting shopping trip to say the least.

 

Okay, so I have to tag five folks in this post.

 

Here they are:

 

NinaAlvarez – Fabulous friend, suitemate from college, awesome writer and editor. One of those people who always understands.

 

Rashda/MinaKhan – Super lady who resides in the Lone Star state where she writes about super-hot djinns. I love djinns. Oh, and she knows about food!

 

SuzyIvy – Really cool lady who just happens to be a cop and a writer! Someone I’d like to be like when I grow up.

 

LauraEno – Fun writer and blogger who writes a weekly blog post called “Fantasy Friday.” Anyone who loves mythology and folklore needs to check that out.

 

RobertaJ. Gordon – Awesome gal from Arkansas and author of Gemini Witching.

 

Rules for The Next Big Thing Blog Hop:

1)   Use this format for your post

2)   Answer the ten questions about your current WIP (work in progress)

3)   Tag five other writers/bloggers and add their links so we can hop over and meet them.

Ten Interview Questions for the Next Big Thing:


What is your working title of your book?
Where did the idea come from for the book?
What genre does your book fall under?
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Include the link of who tagged you and this explanation for the people you have tagged.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Author Photos

I decided a few months ago that I need to have professional photos taken. I hate, hate, hate getting my picture taken so when it came to picking a photographer, I was really particular. The photographer that photographed my wedding was awesome and she moved back into the area over the summer. Yay for me! You can check her out on Facebook.

Anyway, two weekends ago I met her down in the Stockade section of Schenectady for the shoot. The hour started with sprinkles, followed by huge gusts of wind from the river and finally sun. Both The Dark Man and the novel I am starting next month take place in this very neighborhood.

Here are some of my favorite shots:


St. George's church as a background.
 
 
 
One of my favorite houses on Front Street.
 
 
Very authory. Don't ya think?
 
 
Looking out over the Mohawk. Isle of the Cayugas in the distance.
 
 
Lovely set of gates.
 
 
Riverside Park
 
 
Another house on Front Street.
 
 
St. George and a few grave stones in the background. Most graves were moved to Vale Cemetery.
 
 
Street scene.
 
 

Monday, September 10, 2012

We have a w*nner!!!!

And it is.... Patricia Lynne! 

Patricia Lynne, please email me your address at msbuffy@nycap.rr.com and I'll get the book right out to you!

Thanks to all that participated!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Happy Anniversary and a Give*way!!


Yesterday, Pixies Don’t Have Wing’s 1st anniversary came and went with little fanfare.  To be honest, I almost forgot about it.

I’ve had a blast writing the posts and I hope my readers have enjoyed them as well. 

But I have to do something to celebrate the anniversary.

I mean, it would be so sad not to.

So, I decided to give something away.  

Rules (because there always has to be rules):

You need to leave a comment on this blog post.  Tell me what you like about faeries.  And if you don’t like faeries, tell me what you don’t like about them.  I promise to keep an open mind.  You have until 5:00 pm EST on Sunday (September 9th).  I will post the winner on Monday morning.

You don’t have to like my Facebook page or follow the blog (though both of those things would be great) to enter.  Just a comment.  It’s easy.  I'll pick someone at random.  Most likely I'll ask my husband to pick a number between 1 and whatever.  He's officially banned from entering.

What do you win?

I’ve thought about this for some time (like 10 minutes) and I decided on Brian Froud’s World of Faerie.  If you already have the book, you can still enter.  I’ll just come up with a different prize.

Can’t wait to hear what ya’ll have to say.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Lorelei



Don’t I color well?  Yes, I did shade her legs.  Thanks for noticing! ;-)



Everyone has heard of the Greek sirens.  You know, those pesky but beautiful women that lure sailors to their death with their magnificent naked bods and their insidious songs.  Apparently the German’s, not to be outdone by the Greeks, needed a supernatural explanation for bad weather and poor navigation skills, too.

The Lorelei (sometimes spelled Loreley or Lore Lay) hail from the Rhine where they play the harp and sing sweet songs.  There seems to be some confusion (at least on my part) if there are multiple Lorelei or just one.  For the purpose of this exercise we are going to go with a drove of strumpet like Faeries that have nothing better to do than entice men to their death.  If a man sees a Lorelei, he instantly goes mad and/or blind. 

They sit on a rock of the same name and wait for a passing boat.  Like they have nothing better to do.  Just so you know, if I had these talents, I’d take the show to town and really rake in the dough.  Think bigger ladies!!  Just because someone put you on a rock doesn’t mean you have to stay there.  Just saying.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Puddlefoot


 
 
Last weekend I babysat a pair of five year old twins.  Okay, my husband and my mother-in-law helped.  I spent a good portion of Saturday afternoon sitting indian-style on the floor in front of a child’s size table coloring.  I probably hadn’t colored in 25 years, maybe longer.  I don’t think I appreciated it for what it was when I was a kid – a damn good excuse to zone out and relax.  Coloring is the ultimate de-stresser.

When I got home on Monday, I decided I wanted my own coloring books.  Amazon to the rescue!  Now I have five. (I know. I can’t just buy just one thought.)  Thanks to Dover Coloring Books I have three books with Faeries, one on Gargoyles and Medieval Monsters and even one with Vampires.

One of the coloring books inspired this week’s Faerie Friday post – Puddlefoot.  Please see picture about.  I know it’s not done yet, but I was running out of time.  I gave him pink and red shorts. :-)

Puddlefoot is a kind of Brownie that lives at Clochfoldich Farm in Scotland (somewhere outside of Tayside thought unless you know Scotland well will mean nothing to you.  It means nothing to me.)  As most good browies, he does a lot of household chores.  The only problem with Puddlefoot is he likes to go splashing around the pools of the Altmore Burn before going to work. He gets the work done, but he leaves wet little footprints everywhere. 

I don’t know about you folks, but I could forgive a few wet footprints for a clean house!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Tuscan Night Elves - The Linchetti


I keep a bunch of books on faerie lore tucked in places around the house. One of my favorites to browse through is Nancy Arrowsmith’s Field Guide to the Little People.  I must have looked through it four or five dozen times.  Last week I was thumbing through it as I often do and I came across a creature that I hadn’t noticed before – the Tuscan night elf known as the Linchetti.  I know it by one of its other names, Buffardello.  Yes, I just happen to like that name.



These night elves (also called Caccavecchia and Mazapegolo in other regions of Italy) have a nasty habit of climbing through keyholes and perching upon a sleeping person’s chest.  At two feet high and invisible, they are hard to detect, but nightmares and/or trouble breathing gives them away.  Their antics can kill an elderly person.  He doesn’t live in the house, but rather in the barn where he shows favoritism to certain animals while starving others.  He likes to braid the hair of horses, but those braids should never be undone.  He places all of the good qualities of the animal in the braids.



There are a few ways to get rid of the Linchetti:



1)   A person who is plagued by the Linchetti should leave a bowl of seeds on his/her chest while sleeping.  When the Linchetti tries to sit on the person chest, he will knock the seeds onto the floor.  The Linchetti can’t stand disorder (he suffers from OCD!)  He will spend the rest of the night trying to pick up the seeds one by one.

2)   You can assign him the task of straightening a curly hair.  He hates curly hair.

3)   This is my favorite.  If you suspect a Linchetto is bothering your rest, get out of bed and turn on the light.  While sitting on a chamber pot, eat some bread and cheese.  Between bites, recite these words: “To shit with the Linchetto! I eat my bread and cheese and shit on his face.”  He will be so disgusted he’ll leave never to be heard of again.  No, you really can’t make this stuff up.



The book goes onto tell a story of a young man and his troubles.  I won’t bore you with the details, but it involves multiple annulments, a seemingly impotent man, a dauntless young girl and a curly pubic hair.  I’m sure you can fill in the details.

Friday, August 3, 2012

A Fish Called Ceasg



I returned from RWA12 around midnight on Sunday. To say I was exhausted is an understatement, but it was the kind of exhaustion only reached when one has had the time of his/her life.  It was such a freaking awesome experience, one of which I will never forget.  Thanks to Jami Gold, Angela Quarles, Janice Hardy and all of those amazing women I met for the great week.  I hope to see you all again soon.



If you follow my blog regularly, you will notice a suspicious lack of posts in the month of July.  I decided to take the month off from my regular Faerie Friday posts. Granted, I neglected to tell anyone.  My bad.  I felt like I needed some sort of break.  It was hot and I was cranky. I’m feeling rejuvenated now that I am back though I do believe I am coming down with a cold.  Oh, well, you can’t meet that many people, get on that many planes and not contract a horrible death illness.  You just can’t.



Okay, so I should probably get on with it.  This week’s Faerie Friday post takes us to Scotland.  I love Scottish faeries.  Armstrong is a Scottish name in fact.  I remembered reading somewhere that in the 13th century the Armstrong Clan could raise up 3000 fighting men.  That’s a lot of hairy, filthy Scottish men in kilts. Invictus maneo! (The Armstrong Clan motto – We remain unvanquished!)



Anyway, the Ceasg is my topic for the week.  Please don’t ask me how to pronounce its name.  I don’t know.  Sometimes I wonder if these names are elaborate jokes like the silly names for items in IKEA.  Swedish executives just want to get us to say Knubbig.  They are laughing behind our backs.



The Ceasg is the mermaid of the Scottish Highlands.  Sometimes she is called Maighdean na tuinne, or the Maiden of the Wave. She’s smokin’ hot from the waist up, but from the waist down, not so much.  She’s half salmon.  Like most faeries, she is not so nice.  In fact, she likes to lure men into the water so that she can kill them. Supposedly, she swallows them whole.  (I find that hard to believe since she has a human size mouth.  It’s not my job to make sense of these stories, just to report on them.)  If the man can catch the Ceasg, she will grant him three wishes.  She keeps her soul in a super-secret place outside of her body.  If you can find it, you can defeat her. 



So what do you think of the Scottish Highland mermaid?  Do you think you could catch her and obtain three wishes?  Did you miss me?  I missed you.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

On my way #RWA12


I spent the past few weeks (read months) getting ready for the Romance Writers of America National Conference in

Anaheim (and neglecting my blogging duties.)  I’ve made a series of strange little lists (only a few were useful.)  I’ve made a ton of arrangements – flight, hotel, shuttle, registration.  I’ve bought new clothes, new shoes and a new purse.  I’m taking four days off from work and if you know me, that’s a big deal.  I’ve talked about it so much I’m sure my husband is sick of it and me.  I’m excited and a little stressed out.  I’m not even pitching at this event.  If I were, I’d be a puddle of nerves and insecurities.  Okay, I’m sorta of there already. 



I’m sitting in the airport now.  My flight to Chicago has been delayed.  We have no idea when we’ll be able to go.  Not a great way to start the conference, but I’m a big girl.  I’ll deal.



Tomorrow night (if I ever get the hell out of Albany) I will be attending the “Readers for Life” Literacy Autographing event.  Over 400 authors will be present.  I spent some time the other day going over the list.  I put the list away.  It was too much.



I knew there would 2000 plus writers/editors/agents (I’ll be one of them!), but I didn’t realize just how many great writers would be there. Big names like Nora Roberts, Julia Quinn, and Susan Elizabeth Phillips.  I’ve read Susan Elizabeth Phillips since I was 15 years old.  Yeah, back when I might have been a little too you to read them, but they shaped who I am as a writer.  I will always be grateful. 



One of my favorite lines of all time came from a Susan Elizabeth Phillips novel, Fancy Pants.  Okay, maybe a few of my favorite lines.  It was a great book.  In the opening chapter, the main character turns to her companion:  “Most babies are conceived in love, but I was conceived on a display platform in the center of Harrods’ fur salon.”  I realized then that you need humor in romance.


Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Far Dorocha




For those of you who have been following my blog from the beginning, you may remember that I did “7 Days of Halloween” back in October.  I wrote a post for seven days that had something in it that frightened me.  I wrote about my fear of pigs, the Tailypo, even getting haunted in Savannah.  I had about a dozen ideas, but only seven days to write about them.  One of the faeries on the list was the Far Dorocha or Fear Dorocha.  You know the Irish, they can spell things a dozen different ways and each time it’s completely unpronounceable!



At the same time I was writing this series of blog posts, I was contemplating whether I would have the balls enough to attempt NaNoWriMo.  Yes, I did have the balls, steel balls in fact.  What did I have to lose?  The answer was nothing.  Only problem: What the hell was I going to write about?



I glanced over my blog notebook.  (I keep a notebook for notes on my posts and idea for future posts.)  I kept rereading the name Far Dorocha.  I was going to write a story about him.  And he wasn’t going to be the villain in the story.  He was going to be the hero.    My novel, The Dark Man, was born.



You see, the Far Dorocha isn’t exactly a good guy.  In fact, you can argue he’s a horrible guy.  Far Dorocha means Dark Man.  (I know.   My novel’s name isn’t very clever.  I’m open to suggestions.)  Everyone who studies faerie lore knows that the faerie queen likes to kidnap mortals.  Well, the Far Dorocha does the dirty work for her.  He rides up on his black stead and carts folks back to Faerie for her.  He can compel people to obey without uttering a single word.  He acts as a sort of butler serving the queen her tea.  Oh and he also punishes folks with a big mouths.  What does he do?  He blinds and/or maims them.  Charming really.



The Far Dorocha had the potential to be a complex and interesting character.  How did he become the Far Dorocha?  Did he like his job?  What was his relationship with queen like?  What would he say if he talked?  Does he like red or white wine?  How do the other faeries treat him?  Do they let him join in their faerie games?  The questions are endless.



A few weeks after I started writing The Dark Man (which back then was called Enlightened), I read about Karen Marie Moning’s graphic novel, Fever Moon: The Fear Dorocha.  (If you haven’t checked out the Fever series I would recommend it.  I only read the first book because it was free on my Nook.  I love free books.  I really loved this book.) 



My heard plummeted to into my shoes.  If you haven’t experienced this feeling, you are lucky.  I believe I had a mini-panic attack.  How could I compete with KMM?  The answer was I couldn’t.  Her Fear Dorocha is different from my Far Dorocha.  He appears to be the villain in her story.  I don’t picture him a black suit and tall top hat like she does.  I have seen a few panels from the graphic novel and her Fear Dorocha looks very much like how I picture Ankou, the Breton portent of death.  There seems to be some relationship been the Fear Dorocha and Ankou.  Anyway, I put on my big girl panties and got over it.



If you’d like to check out my inspiration board on Pinterest for The Dark Man, you can check it out here.






Friday, June 22, 2012

Repeat Faerie Friday Post - Bwca, Bwca, Bwca


I’d like to take this opportunity to apologize for my lackluster (and sometimes absent) Faerie Friday posts.  I liked the quick posts I did for the A to Z challenge, but now after reflection, I’ve decided that this is just making me a very lazy writer. 

Starting next week I’ll strive to be better.  Right now I am hot and cranky and I have little confidence that I can be my usual charming self.  Instead, I’ll share with you an old blog post that was one of my favs.   It’s from November’s Hairy Beastie Month. 

I hope you enjoy. 



Welcome to the last week of Hairy Beastie Month! I know I am two and a half days late. I blame it on pumpkin pie and sausage stuffing. (Speaking of sausage, I do realize that the Bwca in the picture above is exposing his boy-parts. I thought I’d get this out of the way. Laugh and point at the Naked Bwca. I did.)



The Bwca is a Welsh House Faerie, kind of like the English Brownie with a Boggart twist. The Brownie is a faerie that helps out around the house. Not to be confused with young roving-cookie-peddling division of the Girl Scouts. A Boggart is a poorly behaved house spirit who makes a general nuisance of himself (herself?)



The Bwca is short, about two to three feet high, with a long nose and long fingers. He’s described as being shaggy and resides in rural Wales. He doesn’t like teetotalers or clergy men. (I don’t either to tell you the truth.) He apparently doesn’t like people with long noses, either. (I bare no such grudge.)



Bwca’s are mainly known for churning butter. If anyone has tried to make butter, you know it’s a major time suck and not that much fun. Bwcas also do other chores around the house like weaving, laundry, and general household drudgery. He just asks that the hearth be clean and that you leave out a bowl of milk or cream out for him as a reward for a good day’s work.



Should be simple enough, right? A simple you-scratch-my-back-I’ll-scratch-your-back arrangement. If the Bwca is offended or slighted in anyway, he can turn horribly vicious pinching, throwing things, ripping clothes, sharing family secrets, banging loudly on the walls. There is a popular story about a woman who left a bowl of urine out for the Bwca who did all the dirty work in her house. The Bwca grabbed the tart by her throat and dragged her around the house, beating the stuffing out of her. As far as I am concerned, if you leave a stale bowl of urine out for someone as payment, you deserve anything you get! She had it coming.



Once a Bwca is offended, you get no more work from him. He sets about to make your life as unpleasant as possible. The only way to get rid of one is the hire a Cunning Man to use iron or holy water to chase the little shit away.



I’d like a Bwca. I’d ask him to put some clothes on first, but he’d be infinitely useful. The laundry is piling up after a month of general laziness and NaNoWriMo. I wonder if he could wrap Christmas presents and clean closets and run the vacuum.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

#SixSunday from The Dark Man (Passage 2)


My goal is to share six sentences every Sunday. This one is a little late in the day, but better late than never at all.



Below is the scene where we first meet the Princess.  She’s not as treacherous as her mother, but she’s not to be underestimated either.





The Princess stuck out her lower lip and bestowed Carrig the same expression she had been giving him for 648 years, 6 months and 12 days.  It was the look she used to get him on her side, to bind him to her will; the same guise that had worked for 648 years, 6 months and 11 days. 



Her pout turned to a smile, her straight white teeth sharp and venomous.  “Do I need to want something to seek out my favorite Far Dorocha?”



“Yes.  Get to your point.”


Friday, June 8, 2012

Exotica or Xotica Part One




The Three Fates




No, I will not be talking about a strip club.



Origin:  Greece



Description:  The Exotica is a pantheon of Modern Greek spirits.  The word Exotica means “things beyond” or “things outside.”  They are pre-Christian spirits living in a Christian world and considered wicked.



A few examples:



Charos – Personification of death



Gello – Killer ghost.  A woman who died before having a child and therefore could not become an ancestral spirit.  With nothing else to do, she takes pleasure in killing other women’s children.



Gorgon – Hello, Medusa and her repulsive sisters.



The Moirai – The three fates.



The Strange Hour – A kind of a demon that possesses humans and sometimes is a disease demon.



There are many more.  I’ll save them for another post.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

#SixSunday from The Dark Man






I started revising my NaNoWriMo novel this past month.  At the time it was titled Enlightened, but I have since scratched that.  Right now the working title is The Dark Man.  I’m not exactly enamored with this either, but it’ll do for now:

  

The bitch would not die.


Vines wove around her limbs and girdled her slight frame, squeezing and crushing.  Her once porcelain skin had turned an awkward shade of purple.  She should be dead by now, but instead of kicking up her toes like a good little nature spirit, she stood ramrod straight and her stormy grey-blue eyes bore into his.


Defiance.


That was new, refreshing really.



I have a blurb on my new website about the story.  You can check it out here.  Please let me know what you think of the site.  It's just another WIP.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

The Monacielli “Little Monk”



I don't think the Monaciello would be wearing a cross, but I'm not sure.



Origin:  Naples, Italy

Description:  The Monacielli look like tiny chubby drunken monks.  They wear sandals and a brilliant red habit and hat.  They can turn into cats at will.

Disposition:  They are a pain in the ass to have around. They dwell in human houses where they pinch people (where I do not know), steal clothes, knock over wine glasses, dance on people’s chests when they sleep, and make a huge mess.  They are even known to cut off little girls’ braids.

Apparently, they have an obsessive compulsive streak.  If you leave out a sieve for them, they will spend hours counting each and every hole.  They are poor at math and this task will take hours - a great way to get one out of your hair for a while.

The Monaciello are known to guard a massive treasure.  If you can steal their hat, you can ransom it back to the chubby little guy for part of the treasure.  It can’t live without its hat.



Thursday, May 17, 2012

Apple???




Name:  Dirne-Weible, means “Little Serving Maiden”

Origin:  Bavaria

Description:  Faerie dressed in red with a basket in apples. In Germany, the Dirne-Weible is a type of Wood Wife dressed completely in white.

Disposition:  The Dirne-Weible is a kind faerie.  If she gives you her apples, they will turn into money.  She is also very sensitive.  She’ll want to go for a walk with you.  If you refuse, she’ll run bawling into the forest. 

I don’t know about you, but I’ve read enough fairytales to never trust a woman with apples.  How about you?