Skip navigation

Tag Archives: demons

I posted my NaNo 09 soundtrack last night but I remembered that I haven’t done the same for SuD.  This soundtrack reflects a few things, among them the story anime/manga background mixed with the madness of a world gone mad. I hope you like it.

Note on listing format: Song Title-Track Note (if any)-Artist.

  1. Storm TMMix/Intro and Main Theme: Yoshida Brothers
  2. Kodo Inside the Sun Remix/Alternate Intro: Yoshida Brothers
  3. Ain’t talking about dub: Apollo 440
  4. Badboys
  5. We Didn’t Start the Fire: Billy Joel
  6. Keep Hope Alive:  The Crystal Method
  7. Let the Bodies Hit the Floor/Fight Music:  Drowning Pool
  8. Crazy: Gnarls Barkely
  9. Precious: Depeche Mode
  10. Crazy/A Soldier’s Memory: Seal
  11. Pistolero/Enter the Gunman: Juno Reactor
  12. The Box: Orbital
  13. Fire Starter: Prodigy
  14. Welcome to the Jungle/Ride into Chicago: Guns N’ Roses
  15. Paint it Black/Sparks of Sex and Fire: Rolling Stones
  16. Hotel California/Hell Freezes Over version: The Eagles
  17. 99 Problems vs. One Step Closer/Battle of Basra: Jay-Z & Linkin Park
  18. The Show Must Go On/Funeral for the Fallen: Queen
  19. Breaking the Habit: Linkin Park
  20. No Heaven/Fire Dancer’s Intro: DJ Champion
  21. Welcome to the Black Parade/End Credits: My Chemical Romance

The songs are not in order, but I hope they give you a sense of the overall theme. And before I forget, here is a video for you as well.

Enjoy!

Advertisements

Stealing an idea from Amy I present to you a teaser from my current project. And yes, the character name sounds familiar, but I borrowed it from a wiki.

You can read more about SuD here:

flame___the_envoys_by_anikakinka

Trinity Dance Club, Boston,  Massachusetts, U.S, November 16, 01:34hrs

Blue flames warmed her hands as she danced to the music. She bent and twisted to the electronic rhythm.  The motes of light burned afterimages into the retinas of surrounding onlookers.  Senses, dulled by sound and intoxicating substances, could not see the truth behind the images.  She didn’t care. As the tempo changed so did the color of the flames, from cool blue to a furious red and then to bright white. The girl extended her arms, palms outward. The motes jumped from her hands and broke into smaller flames swirling around her like disembodied candlelight.

The lights on the dance floor went out. The music slowed down  to a slow somber tone. The beats matched the palpitations of the crowd. The only source of illumination came from the pinpoints of light around the girl. They glowed a faint orange and pulsed to the beat.

Inside his booth, the DJ smiled as he slowed the music an unnerving crawl. Then he punched up the volume and switched on the giant screens surrounding the dance floor.  Geometric shapes moved in sync with the heightened beat. The flames spun faster around the girl as her body gyrated to the pulsating music. The mix reached a crescendo and then transitioned to another song.

Her eyes opened, flashing an intense amber, while the fires evaporated. Applause broke around her. She smiled and made her way to the bar. The bartender handed her a frosty bottle of water and winked at her.  Amy thought that Mario was cute but he went through girlfriends far to fast for her taste. Sure, she found it hard not to melt when he flashed those pearly whites firmly anchored on those incredible dimples but so did half the girls at the bar even those who planned to go home with their girlfriends.

But he was not on the many tonight or for that matter any time in the foreseeable future. They hooked up in the past and he performance to date was nothing to complain about. He certainly played the strong silent type well. But he was looking for the girl he could bring home to Mama and she was not it.

Poor kid! Talk about looking in the wrong place.

If some other girl wanted to sit at the end of bar waiting for his shift to be over, nursing her free drinks and guarding her man from the pack, that was not her problem.  Her front pant pocket vibrated. She pulled the cell phone out and looked at the screen.

Briefing- D.C. 08:00hrs sharp

P.S. Business Attire- Mason

So much for sleeping in on a Saturday. Amy waved goodbye to Mario on her way out the front door. She didn’t bother with a coat even though the snow fell thick and heavy around her.  She put the hood up to protect her hair from the falling flakes. As she walked back to her apartment she left steaming puddles in the ankle deep snow.

*Local Time

—-

If you wondered what song she was dancing too, here it is.

Writer’s block comes in many forms, none more weird that finding yourself with the strange combination of too many ideas and too little focus. That was my problem going forward with the current WIP. The characters seemed to go places that had nothing to do with the main plot. This situation was made possible by the fact that I chose to write the story using a multiple-person third point of view.

The main benefit of use of this method is that I can paint a wide canvass, loaded with characters that gives the narrative a global scope plus an insight into the villains mind. In fact the story starts with a close third person POV of one of the villains. The main character doesn’t appear on stage until the second chapter.

But after awhile my mind filled with interesting scenes such as a trip to the Himalayas, a fight a top a aerial tramway/gondola lift, and an attack at a guerrilla jungle base. All of them very exiting sequences (except for the last one, it involved fighting a demon that had Mr. Fantastic like powers). All of these scenarios are exciting and fun to write but they do not, did not contribute to story in anyway since they were no segue logical from one scene to the next.

So how do you corral these disparate point of views so that they move the story forward?

  1. You may have multiple characters, but keep in mind who the main and/or principal characters are. He/She or they are the ones tasks with carrying the weight of the narrative. Therefore the bulk of the scenes should be from their POV.
  2. Keep in mind the specific reason for the shift. You may use the shift to show what the villain is thinking or the aftermath of the heroes actions. But remember that those scenes must dovetail into the main narrative and tie in with principal plotline(s).
  3. The transitions should be natural and logical. Don’t leave your reader hanging, finish the scene at an appropriate moment. Again, these scenes must segue into the main body of the narrative. Think in terms of action-reaction or exposition through “showing”.
  4. Any scene where the MC is not present should always push the action forward in one way or another. I had one large chapter with several characters narrating their experiences in recent wars. But at the end these flashbacks served to explain (hopefully by “showing” and not “telling”) the events at the very end of the chapter and push the plot toward a new location.

Apply these rules ruthlessly and you will see your kitty cats fall in line. Sure they will hiss and scratch, but in the end they will behave. Mine did!

P.S. Of  course if that doesn’t work, a pack of puppies will get the job done!

The NaNo Winner is ME!

The NaNo Winner is ME!

That’s right! I just crossed the finished line with 50,019 words. I have to confess that I did cheat a bit (just a bit!). I did the old “pad the manuscript with song lyrics” trick. Underhanded I know. But these where not random lyrics. Mine fit the story. Of course this is my first time and the story is heavy on action, shallow on character development. Its also supposed to be the first of a trilogy (of novellas, why not). Maybe I’ll go back and hack the hell out of it and hope it reaches a decent agent/publisher. Will see. But for now, allow me to savor the moment!

Oh and see you all next year!

That’s right. Only 8 days left and I haven’t even reached 30,000 words. It is still possible that I could reach 50,000 by Sunday at midnight , if I write about 4,000 words a day for the next 7 days straight. That is a big if. I have the story, long enough for at least 60k to 70k words and the first part of a trilogy (or one 150k to 250k book).  Even if I don’t make it, I enjoyed the neurosis that is NaNo and will certainly finish this book and try to do it next year. Count on it!

Gifu Prefecture, Japan, March 23, 8:09hrs

Ethan waved to the truck driver as he drove off.  A one lane road split of from the mountain highway. Below him laid a sleepy village nestle between the imposing peaks of Kiso mountains. Known as the Japanese Alps, villages like this one are a popular tourist attraction for those who want to ski in the winter or escape the city heat in the summer. The cherry trees blossoms filled the air, a clear sign of spring. As Ethan walked down the branching streets of Hitoshirezu village people bowed and waved hello. Anywhere else in the country his height and facial features would  mark him as a gaijin, but not among these people. They remembered the quite, respectful grandson of the shrine’s priest.  Ethan noticed how little the village had changed since he spent his summers here. Most of the homes where of wood with stone lined thatched roofs.  Few modern buildings existed here, except for the local hotel and bathhouse.

He stopped briefly at that place and made a few inquiries. The manager pointed to a nearby home at the edge of a placid lagoon.  Adjusting his jacked and rucksack Ethan tried to knock on the front door but at the moment his knuckles where about to touch the wood, it opened and a young woman leaped into his arms.

“Oniichan!” screamed the girl. She had long raven locks with a single pink and white stripe running the length of her hair. A small cat with wide eyes and floppy ears stood on it’s hind legs and peered out the door.

“Mariko! How many times have I told you not to call me that!”

She pouted and stuck her tongue out. “Always the downer.” She grabbed his rucksack and tried to carry it, but merely managed to drag it a few feet over the polished wooden floor. Ethan shook his head. He thought about helping her, but that would simply anger her and he was too tired to get into a fight. Abandoning the bag Mariko dashed to the kitchen. “Do you want anything? Breakfast?”

“Sure, why not” said Ethan as he left his shoes on the mat beside the front door and hung his bomber jacket on a rack.  The house has of modern design. Two stories and painted in earthen colors. Large glass doors lead to the patio and exposed a stunning view of the lagoon. Water trickled down the side of the mountain, feeding it. The cat followed him around, his eyes in perpetual surprise. Ethan scratched it behind the ears, which cause it to stand on it’s back legs reaching for more petting.

“Oh Linda, stop that! Now she will not leave you alone” said Mariko.

“I don’t mind. What happened to the other cat?”

“He died shortly after we moved.”

“How come you’re not at the Inn?”

“I sold it. It was to much for me with Mom and Dad gone.”

Ethan remembered how Mariko came to be a member of the family. His grandfather took her in when a fire destroyed most of the inn taking her parents with it. The insurance money covered the damage but no amount of money would bring the Yamashiro’s back from the grave.

“The house looks nice” Ethan said as she served breakfast. “By the way, where is he?”

She pointed toward the a path that lead up the mountain side “Where else?”

“Of course.” As he ate Mariko bombarded him with questions about his travels. Ethan demurred as much as possible between mouthfuls. “I’ll go and see him.”

“Right now?”

“Yes.”

“But…but, you must be tired. I’ll prepare a room for you. You should rest, he will come back down for lunch.”

He was tired from all the traveling. But he wasn’t done yet. Something compelled him to keep going. “I’ll be fine. Thank you for breakfast.”

Mariko eyes narrowed but she said nothing. He walked along the path that lead to the shrine. A steep staircase, the one he dubbed the million and one stairs to hell back when he lived here meandered all the way to the hilltop. He took his time. Wooden boards lined both sides of the stairs. On them the faded remnants of prayers twisted in the wind. The stairs ended on a wide patio. Nestled among the trees was the Shrine of the Mountain Wind. The mid morning sun filtered through the branches casting the building in undulating waves of light and darkness. A young boy swept the floor in front of the main entrance. He stopped suddenly when Ethan approached.

“The shrine is closed” he said. He tried to inject as much authority as he could muster into his words but his voice betrayed him as it shifted wildly in pitch.

“I know, I came to see Priest Toru”.

“He is busy at the moment.”

“Busy sleeping I suspect. OJIISAN!”bellowed Ethan.  The word startled the boy. The man before him did not look Japanese, not exactly, yet his accent was local. He knew that his master had other disciples in the past, but none that called him grandfather. “OJIISAN!”

“I’m coming dammit, I’m coming!” the front door slid open revealing a man in his sixties, yet fit.  He adjusted his kimono as he spoke “Who the hell–”

“Hello grandfather.”

Grandfather and grandson looked at each other and both saw something in each other eyes that only men with similar experiences could comprehend. Toru Ichijo walked toward his grandson and gently patted him in the arm “Welcome back Ethan.”

“Good to see you again grandpa.”

Ichijo turned to the youth holding the broom. “What are you staring at boy, keep at it. You still have to clear the garden before lunch.”

The boy bowed “Yes sir” and continued to sweep the patio.

“Come in Ethan, come in. Its been a long while” the older man guided the younger inside. After taking their shoes off the walked behind the main altar, past the inner garden and into one of the backrooms.

“It has. How things going with the shrine?”

“Oh same old same old. We still get our goverment grant, you know from the historical society and summers are busy of course but right now its a matter of keeping the place in one piece.”

“And you got yourself a new assistant.”

“Yes, he is Homaru’s youngest. Hard working, but has a problem following instructions.”

“If I remember well grandfather, your ‘instructions’ where not very helpful.”

The priest looked up with a faint smile “You rascal! Nothing wrong with my instructions, nothing at all. Of course young men who prefer to while away the time in front of the television playing video games never have time for proper work. But enough about old times, sit down. Would you like something to drink?”

“Beer?”

“That’s the American in you talking” gripped Ichijo.

Ethan sat crossed legged on the floor mat “Oh like you hate it so much. I remember dad bribing you with a case or two from base.”

Ichijo rummaged through a mini fridge in the back of the room “Thank Anheiser-Busch for the fact that you’re here today, boy! No beer, no marriage I told your father. The beer never stopped flowing, until-”

Ethan words filled the awkward void “I’m sure that you got a new supplier.”

“Oh yes, a friend of your fathers stationed in Okinawa”. Grandfather handed the grandson a cold bottle of beer. “Here you go. So what brings you to this lonely corner of the Japan. I would have thought that you would be already in Iowa, or where ever the Army sent you to.” He asked the question not as a beloved family member but as his former teacher, his sensei. A question that demanded an answer.

“I resigned my commission ojiisan. I’m retired now.”

Without looking up Ichijo took another swig from his bottle “I see. I expected that you would be promoted after winning that medal.”

“The offers came, but I had enough of the Army.”

“War is a harsh and cruel mistress. What we must do to protect the flesh tends to scar the soul.”

Ethan was about to ask what did his grandfather knew about war, but he kept his mouth shut when their eyes met again. “I believe the Americans call it the Thousand Yard Stare, do they not?” his grandfather said.

“We do.”

“Get up” Ichijo said gently.

They moved to the back of the temple, to a second shrine. Upon the altar laid a sword in its scabbard. Ichijo took the sword and handed it to Ethan “You are ready.”

Ten years ago Ethan had entered this room and dared touch the same object. When his grandfather saw what he was doing, he merely took it from him and said “You are NOT ready”. He spoke then with the same monotone as he spoke today.

Ethan could not believe what his grandfather was doing “But the sword belongs to the shrine, I can’t take it.”

“The shrine was built to honor the spirits of air and storm that inhabit these mountains. Seven hundred years ago those spirits helped the first of the Toru clan in crafting this blade. Ever since” Ichijo removed a curtain behind the altar “every generation of the our family has wielded the blade. Now it is your turn.”

“I can’t” gasped Ethan. He looked up at the mural on the wall. Fantastic scenes of battle made up the mural. Different men and women battling all kinds of monsters, but always wielding the same sword.

“Whether you wield Tasumaki or not, that is entirely up to you. But it belongs to you.”

Ethan shifted his feet, putting his right foot forward, leaning on it while his left leg slid backwards. His left thumb pushed on circular pommel. He heard the sound of thunder in the distance and smell dampness in the air. Without thinking he said “Its going to rain” and pushed back the sword inside the scabbard.

Toru Ichijo nodded sagely “Indeed it will.”

Well, the course is set and we are lock and loaded. As of midnight we start sliding down the crazy chute to NaNoville!

Here is a hint of what my novel will be about:

Enjoy the ride!