Friday, June 10, 2011

Stupid Writer Tricks and Hit List

Submissions: 7 Magazines for Accidents Happen short story
                       Query for Surprisingly Supernatural to Query Shark for review

Words Written: Probably about 50

Currently Working On: Trying to reason out some plot points in Surprisingly Supernatural

Yesterday I finished reading Hit List by Laurell K. Hamilton. The 20th installment of the Anita Blake series, I thought it would be stale or, at the very least, totally consumed by ravenous erotica like the past few books in the series. But.... it was GREAT! I believe there was only one consummated love scene in the whole book which is a change of pace for Anita and allowed the plot to develop more fully. If you haven't read Hit List, put it in your TBR (to be read) pile.

Stupid Writer Tricks
The protagonist in my story, Surprisingly Supernatural, is given a Jasper Amulet that helps to focus her magic and offers her a bit of supernatural protection. In an attempt to get closer to my character and hopefully cultivate a little inspiration, I went to a metaphysics store (yes they are real and yes, I have one close enough to walk to) and bought a Jasper stone. I keep it in my pocket and find myself rubbing it like a worry stone throughout the day. Below you can read the scene from the book in which she is given the amulet.

     Elaina took a deep breath and pushed open the door of a store that her mother had ranted about being her favorite in the small town of Yellow Springs. “House of Ravenwood”, tarot, crystals, stones, metaphysical tools, gifts. Oh God, mom, what were you thinking?  The sound of the bell on the door jingled her nerves but she proceeded forward, determined to start trying to give this town a chance.

     Tables piled high with colorful rocks and gemstones crowded the center spaces of the small two-room shop. Tiny fairy figurines clung to the walls and ceiling.

     “Welcome,” said the woman behind the counter. “I’m the owner, Raven, how can I help you?”

     The woman was tall, much taller than Elaina’s 5’8”. Long unruly burgundy hair hung to her waist and as Elaina met her eyes she had a moment to think that they didn’t match the body. Deep blue weathered orbs, an old tried-and-tested soul stared out at her from within this thirty year old shell.

     “I… I’m sorry.” Elaina wiped a hand over her clammy brow and tried to blink away the strange sensation. “I’m not sure what I’m looking for. My mother, Claire Mathews, told me this was one of her favorite places. I guess I just wanted to see for myself.”

     The owner’s smile slowly crept up until her bizarre eyes shown with it. “Ah. I knew Claire well. I’ve been waiting for you. She had something on order for you before the accident. Let me just grab it from the back.”
Elaina’s breath caught at the thought of a gift from her mother that never had the chance to be given. Why hadn’t Raven mailed the package? She’d been waiting for her? It’d been two months! Two months Elaina could have had this last gift from her mother.

     Saddling back up to the glass counter, Raven gently laid a necklace before Elaina.  It was nothing more than a long leather chain with a pretty black, red and white rock attached at the end.  She hoped her mother hadn’t paid too much for it.

     “This is a Jasper Amulet.  Wear it over your heart. Always. It will stabilize your personal energy and help maintain your aura during astral travel.  It will also help you with relaxation, contentment and enhance your courage for the conflicts ahead.”

     “Astral travel? Well… I don’t think I’ll be doing much of that.” Elaina laughed, shaking her head while Raven stood stock-still, offering the Amulet on a black velvet pouch.
Eventually pulling the necklace over her head, Elaina felt the amulet heat in her hand as it touched her skin. Curious.

     “Well, thank y—“ Elaina leaned over the counter, squinting her eyes at the woman’s shoulder. No way. “Is that glitter? It looks just like the stuff I keep finding in my house. Where did it come from?”
She was sure it hadn’t been on Raven before she went into the back of the store to fetch the necklace.  She started to reach for the sparkly dust when Raven snatched Elaina’s hand from the air between them and turned her wrist so the poison ivy was facing up. Elaina still wore the Band-Aid but the woman seemed to be looking past it. Suddenly, with a hiss, she released Elaina and backed up.

     “Take care of yourself, Elaina. Keep the amulet touching your skin at all times.”

     With that, Raven disappeared into the back, leaving Elaina totally befuddled. I live in a crazy town. Cra-Zy Town.