Friday Snippet #53

Once Upon a TimeOutside, foggy and cold. Inside, two cups of espresso already consumed and a tea on the way; Painter doesn’t want to work; Artrage requested one more time a registrations key to start; my neck is aching; my patience is dwindling. Plus, I hate complaining.

But, my dad is coming to visit and that makes everything better.

Summary of the week:

One of my didlr paintings, the fairy tale drawing above, was featured on the main didlr page. If nothing else works, that’s plan B through Z—drawing on a touch screen that is.

Gaia’s cover is being made as I write. Elios is in the editor’s hands again. Marie’s Journey’s first edit is done and it is in my court now. I wrote the blurbs for both Gaia and Elios.

I ventured outside in the mist and the rain, and walked every day with Nero while reading three new books.  I think that’s it.

From Marie’s Journey:

Zena didn’t hesitate to answer. “Yes, I was here.” She took one chair by the armrest and went to sit close to the window. “I was in my twenties when the Massacre happened.”

“Did you lose anybody?” Marie asked. This time, she knew she shouldn’t have asked.

But Zena surprised her once more by answering. “I did. We were in love and we were planning on adopting a kid. She was at the wrong place at the wrong time and took a bullet not meant for her.”

Rane, who had been warming some water at the little portable stove, came back carrying three steaming cups by the handles. “The soldiers shot on the crowd?”

The nurse’s mouth thinned and her eyes went dark. “Yes, they did, but the bullet that killed Bianca was mine.”

The nurse’s words left both Rane and Marie speechless.

Zena raised her cup to the ceiling. “Cheers to Ginecea’s fall. If I’m lucky, I’ll still be alive when it happens.”

A few minutes of silence passed, none in the room able to say anything. The nurse finally broke the spell. “I had it easy. You can’t imagine what they did to the heterosexual couples.”

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Friday Snippet #53

Friday Snippet #49

Rainy Day Space Needle

An image is worth a thousand words, or something like it. Weather-wise, draw you conclusion from the picture on your left.

It’s August. Sneaky month. I didn’t see it coming.

Still working on three different projects at once, and I have a short to write within a week. I’m halfway through rewriting Elios, and almost done editing Gaia. Chapter #1 and #2 of Marie’s Journey are back in my editor’s hands.

Still painting. More on that later.

From Elios:

(Elios has just rescued two aliens.)

The male stared at me in surprise, and then looked for the woman. As their eyes met, a smile appeared on his mouth, and he chirped a long sequence of notes. At her short answer, he pushed himself up, trying to reach her, but fell on the ground.

“Easy, big fellow.” I hooked my right arm under his and helped him on his feet.

Given his size, he was surprisingly light. He gave me a thankful smile, then kneeled by the woman and rested his head on her belly, and while gently caressing it, he sung to the baby.

Feeling I was intruding in their private moment, I looked away and made to leave.

The man grabbed my hand and stopped me. “Tankiu.” He looked at the woman and then back at me. “Tankiuforsevingrea.”

“I’m sorry. I don’t understand.”

“Tankiuforsevingas.” He smiled. “Tankiu.”

I repeated what he had just said in my mind and I finally understood. His accent had tricked me, but he had spoken in Standard, a common travelers’ language.

“Thank you,” he said one more time when I smiled. “Your soul healed us back to conscious life.”

He touched me again and showed me what had happened by triggering a Share. When I had reached for the woman, for a brief moment I had imagined their story could be mine. I had felt their love and their pain in losing each other. With my empathic touch I had jumpstarted their consciousness back to life, like he had just said.

I shivered. “You looked dead.”

“We were in non-life.”

“I don’t understand.”

“Our bodies shut down. We waited for help. Your love saved us.”

Friday Snippet #49

Friday Snippet #48 and Monday Drawing #17

InfiorataSunny. Sunny. Sunny. That’s it. Enough reasons to put together my resurrected Monday Drawing ad the Friday Snippet in the same post. My tan allows me special powers. Also this is my blog.

Nothing to add on the rewriting/editing front. Same as last week.

From Elios, which is slowly taking shape:

Areel paused a moment and lowered his head. “Soon, we’ll be reunited.”

I nodded. “Yes, very soon.”

“You’ll see, you’ll feel better once you’re home.”

“Areel…”

“Yes?”

“I can’t help but wonder about the softness of her skin and the pleasure we would have experienced with the briefest sharing of our thoughts.”

Areel gasped and for a moment his image faltered. “But you haven’t attempted a Share with her? You told me you hadn’t—”

“I’m the epitome of the perfect Observer.” I looked at him and shrugged. “Never touched her. Never kissed her.”

“Good. That’s good. Because you know what would have happened to her if you had.”

I raised one hand to stop him from spelling it out for me. Every Observer knew the rules and I didn’t want to talk about scraping her mind clean of my memories.

But Areel keep talking. “She could lose her mind through the process.”

“I know.” The procedure was the equivalent of a sophisticated lobotomy.

“You know the exposure to us changes the subject’s DNA—”

“I remember.”

“Then you also remember that the subject transfers Solean DNA in their genes and passes the memories of us to the next generation, and then the next, changing both their history and ours.”

“I remember!” I finally shouted, but Areel wasn’t done yet.

“There are too many implications in having a superior knowledge way ahead of time. Especially for a violent society like the humans.”

I was furious with him, but I composed my voice and repeated, “I did not touch her.”

“I trust you.” He sounded apologetic and before I could ask what was all that about, he whispered, “It makes everything easier.”

Friday Snippet #48 and Monday Drawing #17

Friday Snippet #47

Greenerie inkThe Pacific Northwest is experiencing a sun epidemic. My sales are sinking, but every indie authors and their mothers are complaining about not selling, so I’m partially relieved. It must be the sun. Unable to control the weather and the publishing market, I blissfully make lemonades by walking mile after mile and writing when I’m not walking—I wish I could do both at the same time. I’ve been also on a baking spree. More on that later.

From Elios:

Around mid-December, one rainy afternoon, I was sitting on the floor, hoping to sense her aura and feeling bereft without her mental presence to soothe my pain. A familiar but unpleasant feeling possessed me. Darkness embraced my mind and I was sucked up into the tunnel before I could react.

I was enraged, but not surprised to see both Areel and Kam at the other end waiting for me. “What did you do?”

Kam waived one hand in the air. “You didn’t give us a choice.”

“And you thought forcing me here would be for the best?” I had never come to feel so close to want to beat anyone. Physical energy built in me and needed to be released. “You thought involving Lex to give you my mental signature would be a good idea?”

“We didn’t know what to do—” Areel stepped forward and I stepped back. “I’m not going to force a Share on you!”

“Wouldn’t you now?” I looked at them and they flinched. “What did you tell Lex?”

“Nothing.” Kam lowered his eyes on the ground.

I shook, fists by my side. “Lex wouldn’t have given you access to my mental signature so that you could summon me here against my will for nothing. What did you tell him?”

“That you needed a vacation, but you were too busy with your mission to be bothered to take a break.” Areel gestured for me to look around.

Only then, I finally took in where we were, and it wasn’t our usual spot. “What are we doing on Karillion?” It was a place we used to go on vacation, a tropical island close to our Academy. Ancient pink sand beaches with perfumed seawater and warm temperatures. I looked down at my feet already buried in the shore. The fine pebbles mixed with the sand and moved at once with the water, rolling back and forth and creating a melodic sound, almost music. I had always though it was the most relaxing place in the universe. Not at the moment. “I am still doing my job. This, what you did, is uncalled for.”

Areel maintained his gaze on me. “We only wanted to help.”

I felt angrier. I didn’t like to feel vulnerable and right then I was devastated. “I wouldn’t stop working on a mission for anything and you know it.”

“That wasn’t our concern.” Kam discarded the cloth around his waist and waded into the water. “Come.”

*Today’s drawing is an inked version of one of the illustrations I made for The Prince’s Day Out. I used Paint.Net as my usual to saturate the colors of the original and I added the ink filter.

Friday Snippet #47

Friday Snippet #45

Summer Turmoil

Sunny, exceptionally sunny in Seattle. Therefore, I have little to say about this past week other than I walked miles and miles and  got sunburned. Rewriting Elios is hard and I’m struggling through the process, but I am working on it every day. Conversely, drawing with Fresh Paint is easy and I’m having fun with it. Summer Turmoil is one of my latest drawings.

From Elios (working title)

“Are you up for a session?” Kam had the uncanny ability to check on me whenever my mental defenses where at my lowest.

I closed the window, stepped inside and sat on the lonely chair. Breathed in and out and let the rest of the room disappear one item at a time. First the wall in front of me, then the one on my right, next the one on my left. A blank screen engulfed my vision. The mosaic marble tiles with their floral pattern followed the walls. I was sitting on a floating chair. Then, I was simply floating and the blank screen zoomed toward me. A slow moving tunnel sucked me in and I emerged at the other end to face a smiling Kam.

“You made it.” He raised an eyebrow. “You look horrible.”

“Thank you.” Next time, I should be more careful in composing my mental appearance. I had been successful so far to keep both Kam and Areel unaware of my inner turmoil. “Where is Areel?”

“Unexpected session with his Guide.” Kam materialized the furniture in the astral room as he strolled toward the center.

I had to move out of the way to make space for a chair and two cabinets. “Why do you bother?” I regretted my words as soon as they were out of my mouth.

“You know why.” He blinked and the old, battered couch we had spent so many hours sitting on appeared before him. “I like our dig to be lifelike. It makes our shared time here all the more enjoyable.” With a tilt of his head, Kam gestured for me to join him on the soft cushion he was patting.

The fabric let out a fine cloud of dust that reached my nose. I waved my hand to dismiss my earlier statement. “You’re right of course.” I added a few pillows and rugs to the floor and went to lie there instead. “So, is Areel having problems again?” Our friend was still healing after the trauma of his first mission’s end.

“It takes time to adjust to the idea you had to doom an entire species to oblivion.”

Friday Snippet #45

Friday Snippet #36

WP_20130322_017Another week, another snippet. It snowed during last night and part of this morning. Lunchtime now and this is the view from my desk. Considering going for a walk with Nero, but it’s quite chilly outside. Great news regarding Prince of War: Amy and I are working on its last chapters. I’m going through her corrections and positive we should reach the end soon. My rewriting of Her Book is almost done as well. I changed a few things at the very end because I’m tired of YA or NA (the new flavor of Young Adult, New Adult) following certain rules. Rant aside, the story makes more sense now.

I was a guest on Tweep Nation Podcast last Sunday and had lots of fun. Thanks to the promo for The Priest, and everybody who helped me on facebook and twitter, I sold forty-six copies of my titles. Forty-two of The Priest. Two of Pax in the Land of Women. Two of Linda of the Night. Again, it’s a big accomplishment for me.

For this week snippet, I’ve decided to post what follows directly after the last one. From the YA paranormal All the Rainbow’s Colors:

“Why don’t you wear something… sunnier?” Mom asks from the kitchen.

I make a pirouette while walking down the hallway, and I let my black multi-layered skirt fly all around me, along with the matching black, beaded scarf.

“And, what about that heavy dark makeup on your eyes?”

“Mom, it’s how I feel today,” I explain, already outside the door.

Rachel is laughing; I don’t care. She wouldn’t understand, anyway. She has been neon-pink for more than a month.

“Are you going out with Matthew, later?” I ask to make conversation before we transit.

I hate the transit. You are yellow when you open the door, and then you come out blue. Like this, in a second. Your molecules are broken down, and rebuilt back together, and you are a different person at the end of the transit. Dad says that it isn’t true, that I imagine things. They, Mom, Dad, Rachel, don’t see the colors trapped inside the black void of the transit.

“It’s our turn,” Rachel says,and points at the couple in line before us disappearing behind the door.

Friday Snippet #36

Friday Snippet #34

In the middle of an awesome blog giveaway, while writing guest posts, and studying how to market my books, my father called and asked me why I didn’t post a snippet last Friday. I forgot. So, in his honor, here is a piece from a novel set between Rome, Seattle, and Pantelleria. I’ve been rewriting this manuscript for the last four years, and hopefully soon I’ll decide it’s finally ready to be sent to my editor.

Mare, Mare...

From Her Book:

One day, after lunch, I noticed that Giulia had left pencils and papers by the stone bench facing the sunflowers’ row.

“Do you still paint?” I asked. We were drinking espresso under the pergola.

“I come here mostly to paint. I’ll show you my latest drawings.” Giulia went inside only to reappear a moment later with a thick stack of papers. “Here, take a look.”

I leafed through the drawings, mostly black and white representation of the view from the house, a few of them architectonic details of the dammuso itself. A column, the archway, terracotta vases. “They’re beautiful.”

“Pantelleria is beautiful.”

“Do you still paint?” she repeated the question for me.

“Not like I used to.” My eyes went to the capers flowers cascading from the trellis, their alien shapes begging to be sketched.

“Let’s do it.” As if reading my mind, Giulia passed me colored pencils and paper.

We spent the rest of the day walking around, looking for objects to immortalize. The night came and I had filled several sketch pads with prickly pears cacti and bright yellow broom fields.

The morning after, Giulia found me in the kitchen, still drawing. The first light of dawn had woken me up and I had gone downstairs for a cup of espresso. The sea framed by the wooden window was picture perfect. “I had to draw this.” I smiled at her.

“What do you think about touring the island on my Vespa? There’s plenty of interesting spots.” Giulia went to the moka to fill her cup.

“At one condition.”

“Which is?” She turned to look at me.

“Only if you let me drive.”

“All yours.” Giulia tilted her head toward the dusty-pink Vespa anchored to the wall just outside the kitchen door.

I removed the chain and the rusty lock and straddled the seat. “Are you coming?”

Giulia got a bite out of a succulent persimmon, wiped her mouth on a napkin, and followed me outside. “Let’s get off of the beaten path.” She sat behind me and we left. “I’ll show you a place where tourists never venture.”

“Cool.” I followed her direction and drove the Vespa unhurriedly, toward a winding road that looked more suited for goats than wheels. “Are you sure?”

“Park here and we’ll go down by foot,” Giulia instructed me.

I stopped the Vespa under a tree and I secured it to its trunk.

“Be careful where you walk, the gravel on the road is treacherous.”

She hadn’t finished saying it that my flat-soled espadrilles slid on the gravel and I fell on my butt. Giulia looked at me and started laughing. “Care to help me?” I couldn’t help to laugh all along. It felt good.

Friday Snippet #34