Craft updates for Tami Veldura and S.T. Lynn.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Zodiac: Inception Part 92

4:00 AM Posted by Tami Veldura , , , No comments
Original photo by jGlidePhotoATL
This flash fiction is part of a series. Follow Alex Drake from the day he joins Zodiac, through the trials of basic training, broken and mended hearts, to the day he becomes Motocross, elite Scorpio sniper. Start at Part One.

Part 92

Lodon guided him through suiting up. Pack on first, com check, helmet, gloves, knife-- no knife? Here's an extra. Alex strapped the sheath to his right forearm for easy access. Lodon shouted over the helicopter, "Both your binoculars and your rifle are transmitting to Zodiac, Dall has a live feed. If she asks you to look at something, you listen."

Alex nodded. He touched the binoculars strapped to his chest and adjusted the sling of his rifle. The Pisces checked each other's gear- a quick touch on all the important straps- then it was time to go.

The helicopter didn't land. Thresher descended first, one hand on the wire hooked to his waist, the other steadying his rifle. The Sagittarius pilot kept their aircraft steady as he threaded between evergreen trees and made land. Then Lodon hung on the wire. Alex tried to mimic the men before him. One hand on the wire, legs relaxed. He saw the forest stretch out for miles, then a branch struck his face and he focused on threading between the trees.

Thresher held his rifle in front of him, low but ready, as he scanned the trees around them. Lodon helped Alex out of the harness. It zipped back up to let Mako down. With all four safely on the ground, the helicopter tilted away and in short order the forest fell quiet.

Mako checked a small disk in her hand.

"Is that a compass?"

She nodded and oriented herself with the digital map her helmet provided. "Technology is nice, but this is never wrong." She wiggled the compass and stuffed it into a pocket on her vest. "Ok, com check, Dall this is Mako, do you read?"

Alex heard Mako's voice and Dall's response through the speakers of his helmet. "Loud and clear, Mako. Eyes are up and running. Sound off, gentlemen."

Lodon pinched the radio trigger in his collar, "Lodon."

"Thresher."

"A--..." Alex looked at Mako, "I don't have a field name, yet."

"Use Scorpio."

Alex pinched the radio, "Scorpio."

"All clear," Dall replied. "You have nine hours until showtime."

Mako tugged the straps of her bag tight. "No time to waste." She took the lead, Lodon followed. Thresher jerked his chin at them to indicate Alex should fall in. He covered the rear. Alex didn't expect it to be a casual stroll to their target, but their path was immediately hindered by low brush and branches. They climbed through the forest as much as they walked. The need for an entire day to cover just a few miles suddenly didn't seem like enough.

--//--

Read more in this series every Monday at 9am.
Next: Part 93 or All Chapters

For more in the Zodiac world check out:

Original Photo by kcdsTM



Original Photo by Damian Gadal

Monday, August 18, 2014

Life Update: School is in Session

7:22 PM Posted by Tami Veldura , , , No comments
Photo by Catlin Regan

Life

This ever-evolving blog is about to go through yet-another change. I started the posting schedule mostly to see if I could maintain it. I want to put regular content up here that isn't always about Inception.

On the one hand, I got some different content up. On the other, I haven't had time to write Inception.

In the middle of May I walked away from a salary job as an auditor and expediter in a machine shop. I was good at it, but the environment there was toxic. Beyond the usual office politics, I was the only woman on the shop floor an a select few of my coworkers never let me forget that. When the general manager dismissed my concerns I knew I had to leave.

Boyfriend and I moved down south in May. He picked up a part time job at a bike shop, but I've been running on savings since I quit. I had enough to go for a few months and this was a very rare opportunity to jump whole-hardheartedly into a new field. The kind of work I've wanted to do since I graduated.

Editing.

It took some persistence, but I now have regular work with Bottom Drawer Publishing and some doors are opening with SilverTree as well. I'm excited to see where they lead me.

I am also a freelance marketer, working with Rooster and Pig Publishing to get the word out about their new books. My mother just hired me to get her website whipped into shape and I'm pretty sure she's press ganged her neighbor into hiring me for the same. My dad contacted a friend of his who owns a restaurant. He needs a marketer.

Somehow, with zero life-experience and absolutely no training what-so-ever, I've managed to add marketing to my resume. It's interesting. It's different. There are some creative demands.

But it's not editing.

Demands on my Time

Since the move I've also been polishing En Memoriam. I also plan to re-launch Baited, give Blood In The Water a proper launch, and after that get my groove on with a paranormal anthology. I want to get an x-mas story out in December.

Today I started school again. I'm only taking two classes: Design and Composition on Mon/Wed and Ceramics Tues/Thurs. Going back to school is awesome and weird. I have a lot more confidence about my ability to perform in a class setting and far more experience getting shit done on a deadline. D&C is going to be an intense class. Ceramics should be easy.

I still want to write Inception. I love Alex and Lance. All the crazy in Ferguson has thrown into sharp relief how necessary black stories are in the world. I'm proud to add to that collection even in my very small way. September 1st, Inception will start back up on this blog.

Two editing jobs, four marketing clients, two books to write, one serial, four books to launch, two classes to take.

Looking Forward

My life is totally unhinged. There's enough work for three of me. I need to carve out time in my schedule to just relax. Watch Supernatural and breathe. I need more than an hour at the end of the night. Last Monday/Tuesday I had a freakout from driving myself so relentlessly. For two days I couldn't focus, couldn't work, didn't much want to eat. I put myself on a much-reduced schedule. En Memoriam's launch was pushed out.

I feel much better now, I'm peppy and driven again. I want to dive back in, but I'm not going to ignore that warning. I'm limiting the times that I work (and that includes school) and sprinkling the day with gardening sessions. I'm making space for reading, Supernatural, art, and writing, tasks that are not related to the business of publishing.

I don't know what this blog will turn into. Inception will post on Mondays, but I doubt I'll ever have a regular column like a normal blog. I've never been a normal kind of person.

I hope you'll come along with me on this crazy, unpredictable, twisting road. I'm on a path that I'm enjoying and its taking me to creative corners I've never visited before. I have an art project list as long as my to-read list, with more coming in each day.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Week In Review: Hyper Focus

4:00 AM Posted by Tami Veldura , , , , , No comments

Last Week:

Art
Finish Hotel. Finish Fangs. Both for En Memoriam

Health/Fitness
Yoga at least twice this week. By myself if necessary.

Writing
Complete the x-mas outline. I need a plot!

Editing
Line edit for En Memoriam
Color edit for BDP
First Developmental edit for BDP

Reading
Read a book for the Rainbow Awards

Part Time Work
Add 10 more covers to Cover the Pages

Well this didn't work as well as I had hoped. The developmental edit took much longer than I expected. It was at the top of my list so I started it at the beginning of the week and it still took 3 days of focused attention to complete. I didn't structure my day well with the other items on my to-do list :( Some work got done in the art department and a little bit in reading, though not on a Rainbow Award story.

Better luck this week.

In The Next Seven Days I Will...


Art
Finish Hotel. Finish Fangs. Both for En Memoriam

Health/Fitness
Yoga at least twice this week. By myself if necessary.

Writing
Complete the x-mas outline. I need a plot!

Editing
2nd Developmental edit for BDP
Edits for En Memoriam

Reading
Read a book for the Rainbow Awards

Part Time Work
Add 10 more covers to Cover the Pages



Link Up! What are your goals this week?

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Weekly Workout: Do Something Daily

4:00 AM Posted by Tami Veldura , , No comments
My wrist is showing a lot of improvement. I still wear the brace but it's occasional rather than constant. Which means this week I really have no excuse for not working out in some capacity.

I've been spending time playing in the garden, which is fun, but not strenuous work.

This week's plan:
Monday: Shoulders/Upper Body
Tuesday: Core
Wednesday: Cardio
Thursday: Core
Friday: Legs/Lower Body

My core has needed work for a long time, so it gets doubled up until I'm happy with the progress I'm making. I specify shoulders due to my swimming injuries. There are a specific group of bodyweight moves I need to keep up on in order to limit the effect of those injuries.

I also need to get on top of eating more small snacks between meals. More protein during snacks, more carbs right after my workout. I'm an ectomorph body-type. It's hard for me to put on weight and my rapid metabolism means I could cannibalize muscle while I sleep if I don't eat substantially before bed. I'm usually good about breakfast and lunch, but sometimes it's chips for dinner. Not good!

Time to go to the grocery store!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

WIP Wednesday: En Memoriam Is NOT Complete

4:00 AM Posted by Tami Veldura , , , No comments

En Memoriam

GAH! My lovely, awesome, no praise is enough formatter received En Memoriam and returned it covered in red ink. There are THINGS that need to be FIXED because of REASONS.

Like, you know, PLOT.

So I'm ripping it apart and putting it back together this week. More creepy. Better creepy.

Stay tuned.

Link up!

What have you been working on? Click the Add Your Link button and join the list.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Game Night: Back onto the Reading Rainbow

Denno Coil

We're half way through Denno Coil and have finally discovered a plot! At the same time, we've run into a few episodes that just appear to be random and have no bearing on the story as a whole. They're entertaining, but just seem to be 'day in the life' vignettes of 6th graders during summer.

Denno Coil hasn't captured our attention in the same way Kill La Kill did, it's a much more leisurely story.

Reading

No shit, I've actually done a bit of reading in the last few days. I need to crack open one of my Rainbow Award stories, but in the meantime I've browsed through some of the Love's Landscapes posts. There are so many excellent stories this year!

Here are just a few:

The Arroyo - 5 stars. Dystopian, slavery, D/s, medical kink, absolutely wretched, HFN
Dreaming of Fire - 4 stars. Fantasy, mate-bond, magic, martyr, HEA
Better Than New - 4 stars. Contemporary, sweet, disability, adorable, HEA
Carte Blanche - 5 stars. Contemporary, disability, slow burn, family drama, HFN

So go read some awesome FREE short stories!

Interview: KM Cambion

Photo by Jes
I managed to wrangle KM Cambion over here to sit down and chat about their vampires and horror writing in general.

Without ado:

1: The basics: How long have you been writing? What got you into it?

I've been making up stories for as long as I can remember, but I didn't really start writing regularly until I was sixteen. I started out writing fanfiction until I was comfortable playing in my own sandbox.

2: Health troubles have been wrecking your schedule lately, how do you manage self-care with writing/editing?

My health problems are related to my head--I have constant headaches that sometimes blow up into migraines. When they're bad, I can't do anything but lie in a dark room. Writing and editing at least gives me something to work on when I'm feeling well enough.

3: At the beginning of the year you received your first rejection letter. That's tough, but you made it :D Can you tell us a little about how you've moved forward from that point?

Well, to be honest, my first attempt at publishing my first story was a mess. There was a lot of missed emails and miscommunication between the press I subbed to and myself. This went on for nearly a year. By the time I was rejected, I'd already started to move on in my head. I submitted the story to Less Than Three press that same day, determined not to be discouraged by the experience.

4: You've recently had Iced Out accepted for publication by LT3, your first book (congrats!), what about the publishing process has been different than you expected?

Thanks! It releases October 8th [preorder]. Publishing is nerve-wracking. I expected to be anxious, but I'm surprised by how jittery I was! When I subbed my first story, I checked my email every ten minutes (this drove my friends nuts when I was out with them). "Did I get an email yet?" was the first thought on my mind every day.

5: Let's talk about vampires! Your current WIP is a vampire story. Can you give us a blurb? What is your favorite aspect of your vampires that we'll see in this story?

It's not far enough along for a blurb yet, but I can tell you that it's a dystopian setting with a nod towards cyberpunk, a male/male trans* romance. My favorite part about the vampires is that I take them a few steps outside of the original formula (such as giving them heartbeats), without going completely off the deep end.

6: How many words in are you? Have you written any paranormal or horror-inspired stories in the past?

As of this interview, I'm 12,675 words in. I've had a love for vampires all my life, and I've tried to write stories with them before, but they always went nowhere. I wanted to do something different, while still making my vampires feel like vampires.

My attempts at writing straight-out horror haven't gone well. It's a very difficult genre to write, having to straddle the line between gross and weird without falling to far into either. That being said, I love adding horror elements to stories that are other genres. As for paranormal, nothing that I've finished, but a few stories I'm toying with here and there.

7: How are you feeling about this story so far? Is it still exciting? How long do you think it's going to be?

I'm still pretty excited about it. I like the universe it's set in; I think I'll have to visit it again for another story (though I don't have plans yet). The story's actually turning out longer than I expected so far. If I had to guess, maybe 30,000 words.

8: When you're stuck during drafting, either unsure where to go next or just not into writing, how do you keep yourself focused? Do you have a daily or weekly word count goal?

I don't have a word count goal per day or week, but I should! When I get stuck, I try to write down the problem and work it out from there. If that doesn't work, I'll switch to editing or writing another story, to give me some time to focus on something else instead of banging my head against the same wall.

9: Top two vampire books, go.

Though I'm not a fan of hers anymore, Anne Rice's "Interview With the Vampire" helped me to realize that vampires could be deadly predators, but also flawed and human.

White Wolf's "Vampire" tabletop roleplaying books have been incredibly influential on forming my own ideas and stories for different types of vampires.

10: Iced Out is a contemporary thriller. Do you prefer one genre over the other? What's a genre you'd like to try writing in the future?

My primary genre is actually fantasy, but I love to genre hop. My second story with Less Than Three, "Grow Wild", is a lesbian Western. I don't really prefer one over the other; they're both fun worlds to play in. I would like to try writing a true cyberpunk story, and I have a few planned and in bits and pieces.

Follow KM on their Blog, Twitter, and Tumblr for all your fantasy and paranormal needs!

--//--



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Monday, August 11, 2014

Cover Reveal: En Memoriam


Coming Soon


Blurb: Paul has seen Victor before, he just can't remember where. They hook up at 30 thousand feet, a quicky in the bathroom that feels too familiar. Then they orbit each other for a week. Each coming together is more intense than the last. Every time, Paul wonders what it is he's forgotten. There's a secret danger to courting Victor, a sense that not all is as it seems, and if Paul is falling in love, digging for secrets could be deadly.

--//--

About: Reader's Choice is a series of favorite, unrelated stories voted on by you, the fans. I occasionally release themed anthologies, collections of short and flash fiction. Based on fan-response and poll results, one or two of those stories may be expanded into stand-alone books.

En Memoriam is the first such Reader's Choice story. It initially debuted in Fanged: An M/M Erotic Anthology with a vampire theme, then titled Mile High. For this expanded version, the original story has been edited and deepened for a more intense reader experience.

--//--

For a release-day discount on En Memoriam, sign up for my newsletter.




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Sunday, August 10, 2014

Sunday Art Report: Trying My Hand at Leather

4:00 AM Posted by Tami Veldura , , , , , No comments

I'm in a painting mood...

I don't think I did a Sunday Art Report last week. Not sure how that slipped by, so here's a longer update for everyone.

Hotel

Work continues on Hotel for En Memoriam, but it's not substantial. However, I am looking forward to finishing it this week and I can't wait to show it off.

Fangs

In the meantime, there's another digital piece I've started, also for En Memoriam, that is on track to be finished this week as well! So many art pieces, so little time. Here's an in-progress look.


I'm very pleased to present for your consideration, Victor. Now you can put a face to all the chatter you're about to see regarding En Memoriam this coming week.

I used a reference for this drawing- more than one actually, and I'm so thrilled with how it's shaping up. I still see flaws but it's far and beyond anything I've done in the past. I'm excited to continue working on it and I can't wait to display the final piece.

Leatherworking

I don't have any experience with leather, tooling, stamping, or even cutting in a straight line. Yet I have about 10 pounds of scrap leather, a LOT of tools, a set of stamps, and even a hand stitch... device. Almost anything you'd ever need to get started.

Well Mom and Dad recently moved out of their house onto a boat so they can sail around the world (because they're crazy) and Mom asked for a pair of leather keychains to commemorate the date of their 'on the boat' move.

After a bit of googling on the process I've come up with this.

Trovita is the name of their boat (which I think they still need to have painted on there) and 8/2 was when they moved on and officially didn't have a house to go back to. (It's being rented. Some strange family is living in my house!)

Anyway, I think they turned out ok. I got all the right letters on there and even tried my hand at some tooling in the shape of a sail (just pretend you knew that's what it was).

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Week In Review: Lots of Editing to do

4:00 AM Posted by Tami Veldura , , , , No comments

Last Week:

Art
Spend at least 2 hours on the hotel En Memoriam painting. Finish the background.

Health/Fitness
Do yoga twice, Follow my training schedule as much as possible with my wrist.

Writing
Complete the X-mas story outline.

Editing
Complete the edit for En Memoriam.

Reading/Gaming
Read a book for the Rainbow Awards.

Part Time Work
Complete the SilverTree editing tests.

This week was a mixed bag for productivity. I made art, editing, and work progress, but no health, writing, or reading progress. Several deadlines are approaching, though, so I need to step up my game!

In The Next Seven Days I Will...


Art
Finish Hotel. Finish Fangs. Both for En Memoriam

Health/Fitness
Yoga at least twice this week. By myself if necessary.

Writing
Complete the x-mas outline. I need a plot!

Editing
Line edit for En Memoriam
Color edit for BDP
First Developmental edit for BDP

Reading
Read a book for the Rainbow Awards

Part Time Work
Add 10 more covers to Cover the Pages



Link Up! What are your goals this week?

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Weekly Workout: Rest Week

4:00 AM Posted by Tami Veldura , , No comments
My wrist has limited my confidence to flail around, though not my mobility so much.

Diagram Time!

I've bruised my pisiform bone, the small wrist bone that sits at the very bottom right of your left palm. I've also aggravated the tendon below that, it bridges between the capular bones and your ulna.

Bone bruises take two-ish weeks to heal, but tendon problems can take months, especially if you don't care for them. I had my wrist in a brace since the mountain-biking accident, mostly to remind myself not to use the hand!

Things are getting much better, though. I can reliably grip and turn my wrist and most movements do not twinge the tendon at all. I'm still wary- I'm not going to try wrestling any time soon- but things look like they're on the right track.

This week I'm going to try out some yoga to keep my flexibility up in the meantime.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

WIP Wednesday: En Memoriam Is Complete!

En Memoriam

That's it! En Memoriam is done and I've sent it off to my most excellent formatter, Shelton with OldeWolff Prints whom you should all chat with if you need someone to put your self-pub books together. She's excellent.

X-Mas Short

It's time to shift gears from editing to outlining and drafting. I want to submit to a holiday anthology some friends are putting together but the trouble is with genre.

I'm almost entirely a genre writer. I like my fantasy, science fiction, military, near future, aliens, steampunk, historical, and ghosts. I want something extra going on in my plot. This is a contemporary anthology. That's not to say I've never written a contemp. story. Baited is 20k words of very contemporary small-town. But it's not my usual thing.

The guidelines are such: A contemporary, sweet, family-focused, holiday story under 20k.

I'm aiming for something around 10-15k words and while the story may be family-focused, the conflict cannot be over a lover's quarrel or a family disagreement. Those kinds of plots always feel artificial to me, so I won't be writing one myself.

I do want to write a trans character, and possibly an asexual one. Since this story is supposed to be non-erotic, that fits nicely. Holidays for my family always focus around food, so that's where my head is going. I'll continue to brainstorm this week and put out an outline of 15ish scenes.

Maybe I'll alternate points of view...

Link up!

What have you been working on? Click the Add Your Link button and join the list.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Game Night: More Anime

4:00 AM Posted by Tami Veldura , , No comments

Kill La Kill

Last week I gushed about Kill La Kill. This week I'm reminding you to GO WATCH IT! There is an awesome lesbian relationship that evolves in the last half of the series that is treated like a normal, unsurprising development. It was so refreshing to see!

Nothing about the story made fun of or made any points about this aspect of the characters AT ALL and it was so excellent to see it so casually be a part of the narrative.

Also, the storytelling is funny as hell, go watch it.

Denno Coil

Denno Coil is the new anime Boyfriend and I are watching. I found it through tumblr and it's the first one I've picked for us to watch. Boyfriend is a much bigger fan than I am. He's familiar with the various genres and can usually pick out a good one. My decision process is like a pinata, spin me around and I might hit it.

So far I like Denno Coil, though. It takes place in a town where a digital world is overlayed on the real one and everyone interacts with glasses (hello Google glass!). There are Spaces between the real and digital world where viruses have taken shelter and they're getting out, infecting digital pets, and... well it's unclear what they want, but an anti-virus system runs around town shooting everything it sees and generally terrifies the crap out of the various 6th graders we're following in the story.

We're only a few episodes in, so I can't recommend it without reservation. There doesn't seem to be a major-distinct plot to follow. Just this more general problem of viruses causing occasional damage. We've only just recently learned of a death possibly caused by virus activity, so things may pick up here in the next few episodes.