Who is your favorite VILLAIN?

Some of the books / stories / movies that have awed me the most are the ones with complex villains.

Villains who make you love them.

Like Dr. Horrible in Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog. He's a better person than the hero, and his fall into darkness . . . well, let's just say it's a beautiful, sad romance. And don't tell me you haven't seen it yet. Go download it from iTunes now!

Or Villains who make you squirm, they are that evil.

Like Sylar from the TV show Heroes. Seriously, this serial killer was downright creepy. And nearly indestructible and all powerful. But at least, after season 3, you learn that he doesn't eat brains.

In this picture of him, I have to wonder why he's bothering with a gun. He can cut through people's skulls with his telekinesis.

Or Villains that leave you confused.

Like Allie Beckstrom's dad in Magic to the Bone (Allie Beckstrom, Book 1) by Devon Monk. He's manipulative. He warps her memories with magic. He lies and cheats and sneers at everybody. He wants power and immortality, and he doesn't care if he hurts his own daughter in the process.

But he also wants to save magic, purge the taint out of it, and better the world. And along the way, he helps the good guys. I love the complexity.

Who are your favorite Villains? Tell me what I want to know, or I will swipe your cookies. Mwahahaha!

Concussions and NaNoWriMo

I'm perfectly fine.


A little bump on the head made me loopy *whee* for a short while, gave me 2 weeks of headaches. I never knew how painful sunlight could be. The plus side is that I got to spend a lot of time in books to hide from my pain.

It was a hit and run accident. He bumped my car from behind and left me concussed on the side of the road.

And ruined my NaNoWriMo goals! The jerk.

I didn't even bother trying to catch up, but I'm really happy with my 18K words. *sniffs, sniffs* I'll be all right. I'm only 32K short. *sniffs*

Being a writer / publisher / marketer is a hell of a lot of work. Clearing the time to just write felt so soothing to my soul.

But here's for you:  another excerpt from the first chapter of Wendy Amazing and the Girl's School for Mad Science. Here's where the plot kicks in and her happy world goes to Hades.

* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *

Papa clears his throat. “What news have you of the band living west of the city?”

Indians living just outside our city walls? They might raid us in the middle of the night. I shiver with excitement.

Uncle Nathaniel nods solemnly. “I got what you were wanting. I’ll show it to you after dinner when we go down to your lab.”

Mama glances at me and then frowns at Papa. “Boys, not at the dinner table. Little ears and all that.”

“My ears are not little. I can understand—”

“My point exactly. You are too young to get involved in something dangerous, and too old to not keep your nose out of it.” She scoops mashed potatoes onto her plate and pours gravy (from the antique gravy boat that she inherited from her disapproving grandmother, along with our old house. If my great-grandmother could see the refurbishments—like our solarium in the library, the stairs that were torn out for a room that moves up and down, and the pantry which organizes itself, which is why we can’t ever find anything—she’d rise from her grave and scream like a banshee.)

Mama gives me that glare that says this-conversation-is-over, but I’m even more determined to not be left out.

“You always leave me out. I’m old enough—”

A pounding at the door, so loud I think it will break our door in half, and Mama shoots to her feet, her hand over her mouth, and stares at Papa.

“The police. Open up.”

Papa, lips pressed into a thin line, stands and sets his napkin by his plate. “Sit down, Mary. Nathaniel, take Wendy and Molly through the secret passage.”

Chewing his lip, Nathaniel glances at me and then at the door. Then he nods.

“No, I’m not—”

In one step, he is at my chair and has slung me over his shoulder. Molly scurries behind us.

My last view of my parents is upside down as Papa calmly goes to open the door and as Mother wipes the worry from her face and steadies her shaking hands.

* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *

What about you? How is your project going? Just 4.5 days left!

Discussion: Blogging Alone

The headaches of book blogging:

#1. Providing fresh content on a mostly daily basis

#2. Reading all the books for review (Book Bloggers have their reading scheduled months in advance)

#3. Keeping track of the giveaways and special events

#4. Spreading the word. You have to be more marketing savvy than an author

#5. Organizing the information

#6. Making it all look pretty

#7. Being excited and chipper about books even after you no longer want to blog anymore

Blogging with a partner means you share the chore. Blogging alone means you get control over the structure and ideas.

So the question is would you prefer to blog alone or with a friend?

On the Crazy Man in my House

TJ throws his book down and huffs. "I wanted her to kill the son of a bitch!"

"Really?" I say.

"I hate vampires."

"How very werewolf of you." (See, I may be married to him for 13 years, but I'm still convinced he goes furry when I'm not looking. And for his part, he's never denied it.)

"What can I say? They suck."

He thinks he's funny. And well, I love him, so I agree.

And that is the crazy man I share my bed with. Isn't he adorable.

NaNoWriMo Updates, Excerpts, and Slavery

I've been working long crazy hours for my day job. Sad thing is that I'm on salary and get no extra money for the time spent. I'm paid to get the job done, even if the deadlines and work load are humanly impossible. So in October I squeezed in an extra week of work. Actually, I did 48 hours of overtime for $0.

Yesterday, I worked 12 hours. Which left no time for writing. I'd get a new job, but the stress of job hunting would be worse than getting through this month.

I'm 10K words into my story and still loving where my character is going. She's loads of fun and feisty.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Here's another excerpt from Wendy Amazing and the Girl's school of Mad Science, Chapter One:

The door to the cellar flings open, and Dad steps out. His goggles are still pushed up on the top of his head and his curly brown hair sticks out all over, but he remembered to leave his apron and work gloves downstairs and he scrubbed his arms up to the elbow just as Mom had told him to.

And he’s got a happy spring in his step and a smile across his face. That means today’s work inventing whatever it is he’s inventing right now. The contraption that they won’t tell me anything about. Grrr.

“Mrs. Amazing, I unlocked the mystery of the—”

Mom leans into him and kisses him on the nose. “Mr. Amazing, however much I’d love to hear, there are small ears with big minds. You can show me tonight.”

“I can hear you. I’m standing right here.” I fold my arms across my chest. “And why can’t I know? It’s not like I’m still two and will knock over the chemicals anymore.”

That had been a disaster. I’d turned my hair blue for a month, and Mom and Dad crowed about my first chemical concoction. Not that any of us could figure out what chemicals had combined in the mishap.

“This is different, Wendy. We all know you are capable, but this one is . . . dangerous.” Shadows of worry flicker in Mom’s eyes.

That does it. I’m just going to have to sneak down into the lab tonight. I can’t protect Mom and Dad from whatever is so dangerous if I don’t even know what it is.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~

How about YOU? How's your NaNoWriMo project going???

Wendy Amazing and the Girl's School for Mad Science

Middle Grade Steampunk.
Excerpt from my WIP:

My windows face the southwest, and as the sun sets, I sit in my window seat and read the book assigned for my biology homework: How to Increase Brain Power in Animals. I’ve already done all the experiments in the book.

Along one wall of my room, shelves hold the glass houses where I keep my pets:

(1) a gerbil who performs tricks like somersaults and walking on her hands,

(2) a lizard who writes bad words on the side of his cage if I don’t feed him soon enough, but will give me kisses if I bring him strawberries,

and (3) a rat who has found every conceivable way to escape his cage. He always comes back when his food supply grows low. He likes mushrooms, sautéed in butter and drizzled with Swiss cheese, and he hasn’t learned how to cook for himself yet. I refuse to teach him because then he’ll never come back. And Mom is concerned he’ll burn the house down.