A bridge over a beautiful waterfall

A bridge over a beautiful waterfall
Nature brings magic

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

An unpleasant introduction

Fiera doesn't care for people harassing her friends, so when a situation presents itself for her to stand up and protect one of them she meets someone who warns her about her instincts getting her into trouble.

 Fiera stayed close to Liliana. It was obvious the other woman was feeling just as uncomfortable as Fiera was. After about an hour, Fiera turned to tell Liliana that she was ready to leave. She was gone. Fiera started swearing as she back tracked along their path. She saw a knot of people and made her way over to see what was going on.
Liliana was trying to pull away from a young man. She was crying and struggling to free her hand. Fiera looked at him. There wasn't a flaw on his handsome face, though he did look a little irritated. Liliana was panicking. Fiera stepped up and grabbed hold of the man's wrist. She squeezed and twisted, forcing him to release Liliana.
“That was a mistake,” the young man said. “What I want I get.”
“She wasn't willing and I'm not going to let you rape my friend,” Fiera said. She gave a little push and released him, sending him back a few steps. “Now why don't you go play with the other genetic wastes that make up this party and leave her alone.”
“She's a Ward of the Planet. She doesn't have the same rights. Now why don't you run along and leave us alone?” He sneered down at Fiera, looming over her and attempting to look as threatening as possible.
Fiera put herself between him and Liliana. “She has the same rights as everyone else,” she said. “We're leaving. Get in our way and get hurt.”
“Do you have any idea who you're talking to?” the young man asked.
“Someone whose parents paid a fortune to perfect him,” Fiera said. “It'd be a pity to mess that up.”
“I am Kuen Nakano.” The young man peered down his elegant nose at her.
“I'm Fiera Rezouac,” Fiera said. “My name probably means as much to you as yours means to me.”
“I haven't heard that before,” Kuen said. “It's not a central world name is it?”
“No it's not,” Fiera said.
“What's a colonial ketch like you doing here?” Kuen asked.
“Attending university,” Fiera said. “You core worlders aren't the only ones with money and a desire to learn.”
“Well, a lesson for you then,” Kuen said. “Free of charge. Crossing me is very dangerous. It can lead to all sorts of problems.”
“Funny, I was going to say the same thing about messing with me,” Fiera said. “And with those who are under my protection.”
Kuen rubbed his wrist. “I won't forget this, or you,” he said.
“Good,” Fiera said. “I'd hate to have to remind you again the next time I see you.” She grabbed Liliana's hand and dragged her away from the gathering crowd.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Holidays and depression

So Christmas is behind us and the New Year approaches. I've thought about this past year and I realized I've had a serious problem with my depression. Not just the chemical imbalance that comes along with Bipolar, but the self-induced misery that people sometimes find themselves in.

I am not a cheerful person by nature. I tend to be very serious. There are times where I don't get a joke because I don't find it funny. Or I won't even understand it. Comedy is lost on me most of the time. Himself tries to keep me upbeat and happy with his silliness and along with talking me out of my depression when I can't seem to drag myself out of it. I don't know where I'd be without him.

Holidays are never a good time for me. There have been some major things that happened that just sucked the love of the holidays out of me. I don't just mean Christmas and New Year. I mean all holidays. My depression is really bad during those times.

But this Christmas something changed. I realized that I wanted some kind of thing to mark it. Not this year, because it would be very difficult to do what I wanted. I want a fake tree, maybe three or four feet high. Nothing too big. I want some simple decorations to go on it. And I want to be able to put a wrapped gift or two under it. Even if Himself knows what he's getting for Christmas, I want to have the thrill of opening them.

This will have to wait until we have a place of our own. But it's something I want to do. Also I need to get back into the habit of eating pickled fish on New Year's Eve. It's a family tradition that I've had to let go for the past couple years but I think I'll ask my dad to share a little of his since he got a big jar at Costco so I have a piece or two. Himself won't touch it, but that's okay. This is my tradition that comes from my family.

I was also very lonely over the holidays. I had Himself, but he spent Christmas playing video games. I didn't mind. I spent my day reading silly stories and writing to try to keep from sinking into depression. But I didn't get over to my dad's to see everyone for Christmas. My dad told me that was a good thing since the visits were spread out through the entire day, the last one ending around 10:30 pm. I can handle an hour or two over there but not much much more than that. We went over the day after Christmas.

I'm really whiny in this post, and I'm sorry. This has been a kind of stream of consciousness piece, with a little self-editing here and there. I promise I'll be a little perkier on Friday. I do hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas and will have a Happy New Year.

Monday, December 22, 2014

I'm off this week

Since it's so close to Christmas, I'm taking the week off. Be back with blog posts next Monday!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The price that had to be paid.

War has struck the world again. City against city, and many have died. Recruits are necessary and many are answering the call. But sometimes a soldier loses what he most wishes to defend.

 “I don't care what the recruiters say. You are not joining the military.” Ivor's father stood firm, glaring at his son.
Ivor squared his shoulders and looked his father in the eyes. “I already have. I ship out in the morning.”
“I'll lock you in your room.” His mother radiated fury.
“You do that and I get arrested for going AWOL,” Ivor said. “Besides, I've already got a bunk in the barracks. I was going to sleep there tonight.” He turned his back on his parents. “I came home to give you the courtesy of letting you know where I was going. I don't care of you approve or not.”
“If you leave, you're cut off. No money, no family, nothing.” His father's words burned in his ears.
“If that's the way it has to be,” Ivor said. He reached into his duffel and pulled out a small credit chip. He set it on a table on his way out the door. He heard his mother's strident cries, but he ignored them.
He walked down to the street where Nicolai was waiting for him. “As bad as you thought?” Nicolai asked as Ivor got into the hover.
“I don't want to talk about it,” Ivor said. His anger was rapidly cooling, leaving an emptiness in his gut.
“Did yours disown you like mine did me?” Nicolai asked. “I'm cut off completely. No money, no family, no home to return to.”
“Mine did the same.” Ivor's anger returned. “What do they expect? We're at the top of our class for anything related to do with the Net, we're both in top shape physically, and we have this need to protect everyone we love. Why can't they just accept us?”
“Because we're not only the top of our class,” Nicolai said. “We also come from wealthy families. You know how much of a difference that makes.”
“I'm not letting it stop me from doing this,” Ivor said.
“Neither am I. I'm also willing to bet there are others like us who are giving up literally everything to join the military,” Nicolai said.
“There's no shortage of children in our sector of the city,” Ivor said. “It's not as if someone will go hungry if we leave.”

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Sibling relationships are not easy

Lucan's temper has frayed to the point where anything regarding his sister will set him off. His sister never seems to be anything but angry. Another day, another fight. But not all fights are equal.

Lucan got to her office and walked in. Two of his high level Hackers were in there. She was screaming at them, threatening them with the termination of their contracts because of what happened. “That is absolutely the last thing you will do,” Lucan snapped when she paused for breath. “Or we'll be worse off than we already are.” She opened her mouth to start again. “You two go on and get back to work. I'll take care of it.” They left.
What do you think you're doing?” Alya demanded.
Exactly what you told me to do, dear sister,” Lucan said. “I'm running the security team. If you don't like it, put someone else in charge. Like I've been telling you to do for the last two years.” Lucan hated the fact that those under him were reluctant to follow orders because most of them considered anything he said as being suspect. After all, the only reason the twenty seven year old tech expert was head of Net security was because he was the CEO's brother.
I will not replace you, but you'd better catch this infiltrator the next time he gets in here,” Alya said.
With what resources? You've stripped me bare, sending some of my best agents out to other cities to gather information. I'm left with the two you were screaming at and a bunch of children barely out of school to take over the jobs of people with three times their experience,” Lucan said.
You're the best. You find him,” Alya said.
I can do many things, sister dear, but I am not a magician. I'm also only one person. If he's as good as he's showing himself to be, it's going to take more than one person to catch him,” Lucan said. “You may have to accept that the information was copied and leave it at that.”
That information you're so blasé about details some of our movements, including the placements of some of your Hackers,” Alya said.
And this is why I didn't want you to send them,” Lucan said. “I understand that other cities are doing this. But they take ordinary people and train them up. They don't strip their already limited resources and reduce their fighting force down to almost nothing.”
It couldn't wait,” Alya said.
That's because you took too long to realize this was already going on without you paying attention,” Lucan said. “I'd already lost six of my best to assassins when you decided to deprive me of most of my crew and saddle me with children close to my age who have a hard time following my orders because they don't believe I have the skill to back up my words.”
That's your problem,” Alya said.
A problem you gave me,” Lucan said. His voice was getting louder. He stopped and took a few deep breaths. “We'll do our best to catch the infiltrator, Alya. But I will make no promises because with what you've left me with it'll be hard to get someone out alive if they do find him. Or them. Whichever the case may be.” He turned and walked out of the office.

Monday, December 8, 2014

No post today...have some cute kittens instead

I completely forgot I needed to write a post for today. So instead of my ramblings, please enjoy these cute kittens I found.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Serafina refuses to pay her mother's debt

In this world, indenturement is a common thing among the poorer denizens of the sprawling mega city. To avoid it themselves, parents often sell their children to make the money they need to pay their bills. Or buy more illicit substances. Or pay off the gangs that seem to crop up everywhere. But there are those children who are quick enough to get away.

 “They're coming.” The cry created a stampede. Not of people anxious to buy things, but to sell them.
Serafina, come here.” Her mother's voice was full of irritation.
No. You're not selling me.” Serafina tried to get past her mother, but a thin hand caught her wrist in an iron grip.
You're the last one holding your father and me back. You eat too much and you don't do your share of the work,” her mother said.
I do more of the work than you do,” Serafina said, struggling. “I won't let you sell me. I'm not going to be a slave.”
You're not a slave, Serafina. You're an indent. That means you can pay off your purchase price eventually.” Her mother held tight to her as they waited for the indent transports to pull up.
No I won't. No one ever does.” Serafina stopped struggling, but her mother didn't let go.
Who told you that?” her mother asked.
Dad did. His parents sold his sister. She should have been freed already. She's still working at for them.” Serafina gathered her strength and waited.
The transports opened up and the indent accquisition teams spread out. They collected some adults who were guilty of not paying back their debts. Their cildren were taken along with them to minimize the strain on the already overworked child relocation services. It took some time, but they finally got to Serafina and her mother.
Name of the child?” The man looked bored.
Serafina Vincent.”
Reason for the indenturement?”
She's too expensive for us to keep.”
Does she have any skills?”
How should I know? She's on the Net most of the day. I don't know what she does on there. I do know she at least manages to help keep the apartment clean.”
The man tapped in the last details. “We'll pay fifteen hundred credits for her.”
I'll take it.” Serafina's mother let go of her arm.
Before the man could grab her, Serafina was off at a dead run away from them. She was tall for her age, but was skinny and agile. She could hear her mother yell after her but quickly outpaced her voice.

Monday, December 1, 2014

NaNo is over

So, NaNoWriMo is officially over. My goal was to get as close to 100 K as I could and I exceeded that goal by a few thousand words. Not sure what the final count will be because I'm not quite finished with the story yet. I'm looking at probably around 110 to 115 K.

So I'm almost finished with my first draft. What am I going to do now? Well the first thing I'm going to do is finish it, of course. But after? This puppy is going to hibernate in its own little folder on my hard drive for a while. At least a month, if not more. It's always a good idea to let your stories rest for a while.

As soon as I finish the first draft of Hackers, I'm going to beta read the third installment in my friend Joelle's serial. Once I do that, I'm at a crossroads. I can either edit Marked, which it most certainly needs since it's just a first draft. Or I can try to write some short stories and get more of them out into the big wide world in the hopes that someone will love them.

The first has merit, as does the second one. My problem with the second one is I'm not good at short stories. I always start out to write to a small word count. Then I get writing and the next thing you know, I have a novella or sometimes the start of a novel. I just don't write short stories well.

I also haven't really practiced short stories. I have a few that people have liked, that unfortunately I can't send out because they've been somewhere online for free and editors don't want those. So I'm not entirely sure what I should do.

Any suggestions? Should I devote some time to developing my short story talent (or lack thereof)? Or should I edit Marked?