Every Little Piece of Werewolf

It’s amazing the sort of things you come across while researching odd fact here or unusual factoid there. I couldn’t recall if I’d shared this before, but this Famous Cowboy Names site has been an invaluable resource for coming up with character names. Not the popular names of course, but the real life names. Hearing a popular name that’s used today in an old west piece just throws me completely out of the mood, because you’re stuck listening to it over and over again in the story. I didn’t want to let that happen here.

Another interesting site I stumbled across yesterday was The Food Timeline for Pioneers. The section for Lewis and Clark’s provisions were especially fascinating, and when you’re writing about a werewolf who relies on animal (or human) meat to sustain his regeneration, knowing how to get that food in the middle of a desert is useful. I had no idea that tin cans of portable soup was available in 1803 as food rations. I suppose I’m a little rusty with my dates after reading Night and The Jungle. Here’s a bit that I found fascinating:

“Finally there is ‘Portable Soup.’ …Lewis has become aware of this dried soup and writes to General William Irvine concerning it on April 15, 1803, Israel Whelan for the United States writes payment for ‘193 lbs. of Portable Soup at 150 cents (for a total of) $289.50.’ … Francois Baillet, the cook/provisioner, is probably the person who packs the finished product into the separately ordered tin cannisters. “

So regarding the plot today, I finally got a background story for Colton established. It starts as your typical foolish boy goes out on a full moon night, and ends up with a creepy Pete’s Dragon vibe to it.

(Yes, you too can enjoy that song being stuck in your head!) After that, they head to a stream where bandits drop in on them. It’s one adventure after another, and I only hope they’ll have reached the farm by the half-way point of this book. 😛

Today’s Updates:

Project: Ghosts of Pikes Peak – Working sequel for Night Feeders.

Summary: An old abandoned shack just outside the bustling city of Pikes Peak is riddled with malicious spirits. Werewolf detective Colton Fen has been assigned to a half-vampire partner, Rennick Dalton, to handle the troublesome ghosts, but even their combined strength may not be enough to dissuade the poltergeists from plucking victims from the outskirts of town. On top of that, there may be far more dangerous creatures lurking within the caverns outside the city.

Current total words: 15,075
New words written: 3,332

Total Words for 2012: 24,656

Snippet: A peek into Colton’s werewolf origin.

Ever since that night when he foolishly decided to run away from home, careless of the full moon in the clear night sky, he had never truly known freedom. It had seemed like a good idea, using its light to guide him through the dense forest, but it had been his undoing. He had barely walked a mile when the wolf had pinned him, its full weight on his back and the pain of snapping ribs beneath him. It had bitten his shoulder, taking out a chunk of flesh and swallowing it down in a single breath. […] He’d felt the hot blood dripping down his throat, and was barely aware of the group of hunters that appeared.

There were three of them, and they weren’t regular game hunters like his father. They wanted the beast, but they wanted it untarnished. Later Colton discovered that they had followed it much of the night, waiting for it to strike so that they could catch it off guard. They needed bait but weren’t enthusiastic about throwing their own lives on the line. At twelve years old, Colton fit the need nicely.

Werewolf Packs and Loud-Mouthed Vampires

It’s funny how when you get on a roll with writing, it’s painful to stop. Regardless of how much you love writing on your story, life always is going to demand attention. Work, food, working out, even *gasp* socialization time with friends & family, all of these things are definitely healthy distractions for writing. Necessary distractions even. Whenever I get the urge to write like this though, it’s hard to remind myself of that.

Last night I watched an 80s horror movie and had dinner with friends. Today at lunch, I went out with coworkers I hadn’t seen in quite some time and had fun. Both of these were fun and really helped me destress. I wouldn’t trade my friends or family for anything. At the same time though, I felt itchy. I wanted to write. I wanted to work on my characters who were still chattering away in my mind, thinking up storylines and amusing dialogue. Going cold turkey from writing when you’ve been doing it straight for several days can feel like trying to give up an addiction. A mild addiction sure, but still. The scientist in me wonders what kind of chemicals get released during a productive writing session, and why it might bring about good feelings. I definitely feel that getting encouragement from all my friends online helps too. It’s great to be getting ready for work in the morning and see who all liked or commented on my posts. To see who is following the storyline and finds it interesting enough to stop by. I guess in a roundabout way this is a thank you to my followers for bearing with me while I go on an impromtu western horror writing spree. 🙂

On to today’s writing though! It can be tedious to post each day after I’m done writing, but it keeps me motivated and keeps me on track.

Plot-wise, Colton doesn’t deal with the aftermath of the stream ambush very well, and I’ve included a bit of dialogue below from Rennick on the subject. Both of these guys have major issues, so it’s interesting to see how they’re forced to confront them and deal with them during this seemingly simple mission.

Today’s Updates:

Project: Ghosts of Pikes Peak – Working sequel for Night Feeders.

Summary: An old abandoned shack just outside the bustling city of Pikes Peak is riddled with malicious spirits. Werewolf detective Colton Fen has been assigned to a half-vampire partner, Rennick Dalton, to handle the troublesome ghosts, but even their combined strength may not be enough to dissuade the poltergeists from plucking victims from the outskirts of town. On top of that, there may be far more dangerous creatures lurking within the caverns outside the city.

Current total words: 17,519
New words written: 2,444

Total Words for 2012: 27,100

Snippet: Rennick speculates on werewolves as a whole, and perhaps hits too close to home for Colton.

The blond lowered himself down beside him, pulling off his hood now that he was in the safety of the shade. “I’ve come to a conclusion about your kind. In the end, you are divided into two camps.” He held out his hands to illustrate, “The ones who adore killing usually end up in the packs, mindlessly killing anything and anyone that gets in their way. They become highly territorial and lose any desire to communicate outside of the occasional grunt and growl. Then there’s your group. Wolves who are preferred by the agency because they despise what they are and choose to fight their natural responses. They can be trusted to a certain extent around humans, but rub their fur the wrong way, so to speak, and they’ll bite your head off. Often they are mistaken as humans, which is fine by them, but usually can be found wallowing in self-pity and disgust.”

He swallowed, rubbing his hands together and hating the feel of them, “What about loud-mouthed vampires? Do they have a group for you too?”

He grinned. “If they don’t, they ought to.”

Keep your gun handy

So glad it’s the weekend! Vacuumed most of the house earlier today so I didn’t feel guilty spending so much time writing. The house had needed a good vacuuming for quite some time now, especially the upstairs. When we have folks over, they typically don’t have to go upstairs, so that becomes our slacker place for cleaning. I think everybody has them. Ours just happens to be an entire floor.

Will be hanging out with friends tonight and tomorrow morning too. Wanted to give a shout-out to all my friends in the midwest of the U.S. dealing with some dangerous looking weather tonight. It’s always scary when tornadoes are involved. Stay safe!

In other news, I asked the very kind Ray Nicholson to write an honest review of “Night Feeders” for me yesterday. Even though it was tough getting his Kindle Fire to play nice with Smashwords, he was very patient about it. I’m still trying to get used to this whole self-publishing marketing thing, but from what I understand, it takes time. If you have a few minutes, drop by check out his review. One of the things he said was that “[Marlena] shows some writing skills with this work that speaks well for her future endeavors”, which was pretty darn awesome. He’s been reviewing books for ten years now, so the fact that he feels that my work has promise is quite flattering.

Here’s what’s been going on with my writing today:

The plot is getting very tense, so I had to spend some time brainstorming how I wanted the next few scenes to flow. Normally I can just do this in my head, but when timing is important, you really can’t get away from it. Another bonus for doing this is that my writing goes much faster. I map out events, scenes, impressions, and reactions, then flesh it out as I write. These two are really going to be tested now, and well… poor Rennick. That’s all I can say.

Today’s Updates:

Project: Ghosts of Pikes Peak – Working sequel for Night Feeders.

Summary: An old abandoned shack just outside the bustling city of Pikes Peak is riddled with malicious spirits. Werewolf detective Colton Fen has been assigned to a half-vampire partner, Rennick Dalton, to handle the troublesome ghosts, but even their combined strength may not be enough to dissuade the poltergeists from plucking victims from the outskirts of town. On top of that, there may be far more dangerous creatures lurking within the caverns outside the city.

Current total words: 20, 045
New words written: 2,526

Total Words for 2012: 29,626

Looks like we’ll be walking

My updates have been rather slow these last few days. Weekend fun put a big damper on my word count, but certainly not in a bad way. Got to hang out with friends and family, and even won my first game of canasta. The last few days work has gotten exceedingly busy, to the point where it was hard for me to tap into my creative energies yesterday. Today though I made up my mind not to burn my brain out on work, and found my day was much more enjoyable in the process. Sometimes you have to remind yourself that you can’t solve everyone’s problems at once, and you just have to take each step one at a time.

In other news I’ve been really enjoying Pottermore. I admit when I first saw Jo’s introduction to the site ages ago whenever it was announced and they started their preview mode, I was more than a little skeptical. I’ve been burned by book 7 (Deathly Hallows) for quite some time, and I think I was still sore from that whole mess. Lately though I’ve been able to ease my way back into the fandom and have even picked up a fiction prompt for it. When the eBooks came out for Nook, I gave in and picked up a copy of Sorcerer’s Stone and Chamber of Secrets, the only two books in the series I haven’t read. I have to admit, I’m excited to see if she’s planning on releasing any addendum stories to the series. If she published them as eBooks on her site, I’d still be one of the first in line to get them.

But back to Pottermore. In it’s most simplistic form it’s a flash-based game that walks you through the main scenes of Philosopher’s Stone (that’s the only book on the site so far). When I say walk-through though, I mean that you’re shown beautiful artwork based on each scene with items to find and backstory information on characters sewn throughout. As far as backstory goes, you have a long explanation of how Petunia and Vernon met, an incredibly detailed description of what each wood and center used in wand making means, and a very detailed backstory about Minerva McGonnagal. I’m excited to see what other backstories we get as more books get published. (Holding out for more Lupin!) 🙂

If you end up signing up, please friend me. I got sorted into Hufflepuff. RainSky4634. By the way, dueling and potion making are surprisingly fun.

On to word metrics!

Project: Ghosts of Pikes Peak – Working sequel for Night Feeders.

Summary: The old, abandoned Davis Farm just outside the bustling city of Pikes Peak is riddled with malicious spirits. Werewolf detective Colton Fen has been assigned to a half-vampire partner, Rennick Dalton, to handle the troublesome ghosts, but even their combined strength may not be enough to dissuade the poltergeists from plucking victims from the outskirts of town. On top of that, there may be far more dangerous creatures lurking within the caverns outside the city.

Current total words: 23,180
New words written: 3,135

Total Words for 2012: 32,761

Snippet: The horses don’t want to go near the place, so Rennick gets desperate. Can you believe this guy eats people? 😉

“Please, my sweet?” Rennick stroked the back of the horse’s neck, but Aidan refused. He turned around completely and headed back to stand next to Tahoe. “I can’t believe this! He has never been so disrespectful.”

“I guess we’ll have to walk from here on out.” He dismounted and Rennick did the same. The blond hopped down and stood in front of Aidan, holding his reigns and pointing an angry finger at him.

“You better not abandon us here! If you do that, you’ll have no more apples from me, Mr. Fatty! Mark my words, you’ll regret it.” Aidan didn’t seem to care in the least, but that didn’t bother Rennick. “I know, I know. I didn’t mean it. Fatty was too much, wasn’t it?”

For a minute there, I thought you had me

There’s nothing like real life to eat into your writing time, am I right? So last weekend I was intending to catch up on some writing, and ended up playing nurse maid for my poor sick sister, who ended up getting the same vicious bug that put me under about a month ago. You never realize how much work around the house that someone does until they’re out of commission for a few days. Not only was I helping her out, but I was taking care of regular chores around the house and still dealing with stress and deadlines at work. On top of that my dad and a good friend of mine also got sick – with the same thing! I swear I didn’t mean to get folks sick if I did, I’m usually extra cautious about that sort of thing. Everybody was calling me asking what I did to nurse folks back to health. Suddenly I was the expert, if you can believe that.

This weekend was the Guild Wars 2 Beta Weekend, and I admit it ate up a huge chunk of my time. I’m not complaining of course, and when I get around to it I’ll be posting up videos and photos of some of our shenanigans. And we got up to quite a few in a span of three days, let me assure you! I’ve been looking forward to that coming out for five years, so it was pretty amazing to be able to sit down and enjoy it, however briefly, for a few days.

Oh and Astrea tagged me to post up an excerpt of my WIP. Not sure if it’ll be Ghosts of Pikes Peak or Secrets of Leekston yet though. I’ve got so many long WIPs at the moment! I’m looking forward to sitting down and reading through her piece too – I love these kinds of prompts. On top of that I need to figure out who all I’ll be tagging too. Hmm…

On to word metrics!

Project: Ghosts of Pikes Peak – Working sequel for Night Feeders.

Summary: The old, abandoned Davis Farm just outside the bustling city of Pikes Peak is riddled with malicious spirits. Werewolf detective Colton Fen has been assigned to a half-vampire partner, Rennick Dalton, to handle the troublesome ghosts, but even their combined strength may not be enough to dissuade the poltergeists from plucking victims from the outskirts of town. Is this a simple case of ghost infestation or is there something far more malicious going on in the farmhouse?

Current total words: 25,343
New words written: 2,163

Progress in Story: Epic battle commences, and things nearly turn from bad to worse. At the cliffhanger I just left off at, you really don’t know what to expect. Aren’t those the best though?

Total Words for 2012: 34,924