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So, [personal profile] auto_destruct and I are doing an ART SLAM! We're slamming some art, man. That art over there? Sucks.

Actually, we're doing the one-drawing-per-day-come-hell-or-highwater deal as prep for drawing the comic affectionately working-titled Linger. There's some other news about that, as well. As we race toward the first panels, here, and develop the stories critical to and surrounding the primary material, the project is making its home on Tumblr and Twitter and we'd love for you to join us over there.

Two Fold::Silence on Tumblr
Two Fold::Silence on Twitter

My goal was actually to announce it yesterday but, uh, I was le tired. It was hot, okay. And I'm sick.

Anyway, the first week of art slam is done (we started a week early; the official slam month is July). I'm one notch behind, and a couple of drawings are still in progress because I'd like to do more finished work on them, so there are four scans that are ready for the eyes of the public.

Here they are! )
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For NaNoWriMo 2010, I wrote the almost complete manuscript (through the climax; there are a couple scenes of wrap-up that aren't written but I generally know what's in them) of a mystery(?) novel called Ghost Stories. It clocks in at about 75k, and in its original form was the conjectured future story of a side character in Phantom of the Opera, who's mother took her away from France after the fire in the theater (she was a teen). Fifteen years later, she's returned to France after her mother's death and the subsequent inheritance of a small property back home. She commences to try to sort out her life and events surrounding the fire, which she's almost totally blocked from memory, especially where it concerns the unreported death of a girl who was, at the time, a few years younger than her.

Writing it, I defaulted to Paris but realized a bit of the way through that the story I was telling was clearly happening in a much smaller town with a much more intimate community. I'm pretty happy with the story, events-wise, but it occurred to me in my ramblings through back-country Iowa of the last months that... reversing the locations featured in the story could work a lot better for me. Whisking an American-born Megan away to France when she's 15, her frightened mother unwilling to talk about the life they left behind in the Midwest. Returning to a decaying house in a decaying town after an education and the beginning of a career in Avignon because it's all she has left of a family.

Also, I live here, I can visit these fading coal-towns and look up into their broken windows. And I do. Sounds like more direct research than trying to figure out what the life of an existentially-confused 30 year old is like in Europe. Also, that way, the loss is more acute, and I think it will bring the central conflicts of the story into sharper relief. I'm really excited. I start re-writing today.


Apr. 11th, 2008 07:36 pm
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It was grass-watering season. An army of thunderheads on the far horizon (the flat one) raised their unseasonable grey and white flags of warning nonetheless. Hattie lay on the sun-hot face of the big rock in Amie Gregor's front yard. The cold water of the sprinkler tickled her bare feet.

Amie wasn't home even though she said she would be, and Hattie was already bored of waiting outside of the empty, tiny house.

The clouds were marching closer and gathering slow menace. From their dark bellies, Hattie was beginning to hear the boiling thunder.

“Hat,” a voice – a man's voice, young and nervous – broke through the phalanx of advancing clouds. “Hey, Hat!” Urgency gathered in the syllables, and the lawn, the hissing sound of the sprinkler, the hot rock, the storm-lapis sky, all began to dissolve.

Hattie turned in the corroding fog of reverie to see Amos Rivera – a boy who went by Percy Blysshe Shelley in the group, where had arisen the custom of renaming members, usually after poets. Sometimes they called him Adonais for short. It was oddly fitting, she'd always thought, but she didn't know why.

“You OK Hat?” Amos was upon her now, giving a friendly grasp to the sleeve of her coat, a sad and canine expression of concern folding his brow above his brown eyes.

“Oh, uh, yeah...” Hattie hadn't realized that he was expecting some kind of human response out of her, though in retrospect that could have been construed as a little silly.

“Seriously, what's up? You don't exactly look well.” Amos said as Hattie linked arms with him and allowed him to lead her off toward the hotel plaza down the block where they were staying.

She liked Amos. He was new to the group – Hattie was not known for her quick interface with newcomers, usually identified amongst the arcane old blood that sometimes kept too much to themselves – but she got along with Amos. He was young, eager to please, and rich on inherited money. But he was very good He also seemed to have a genuinely soft heart.

“It's nothing. I just didn't realize that we were going to be here when they made the booking.”

“Didn't you? I heard you say you grew up in this town during the last meeting.”

“Yea, but...” Hattie began to explain. gesturing across the large lot that held the resort. “None of this used to be here. They put in that street for the hotel, that's why I didn't recognize the name.”

Hattie found herself looking back over her shoulder anxiously, toward the dilapidated little house on the corner. It was obviously a relic from an era past, nestled on it's tiny lot among larger, more modern apartments, a sad little ghost pleading Hattie's memory out of 20 years' hibernation.

She turned back to the hotel and the present to find Amos watching her with an expectant expression of concern. Instinctively, she smiled and shrugged, when something seemed to strike her nervous system with a sudden shutter. Hattie whipped back around to stare at the abandoned house -why hadn't they knocked it down to build there?

“First time I saw a dead body it was being pulled out of that house.” She said distantly. Amos blinked but didn't otherwise respond. They walked together back into the hotel.


Mar. 5th, 2008 06:44 am
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[Second chunk, BY THE WAY there's a fair bit of swearing in this one. I might make mention that the whole Skin Game story contains some adult themes, though I haven't gotten into writing a lot about them yet. I'm not very good at keeping a general appraisal of that but, on a general basis, the audience I consider when I'm writing things unless I'm specifically writing for something else is an audience of adults.]

“Why do you do this to yourself?” Banen’s voice shook beneath his mask of purity, his mask of neutral quiet. She felt it in her flesh, felt it as his breast trembled, the air pushed forth from the exhalation of the words unsteady. He was angry. He was hurt. Aishling relished it, as much as she was able.
Read more... )

Bite of God

Mar. 5th, 2008 06:39 am
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[I started this story years ago, and have worked on it off and on since then. The last stint was quite a while back, but I've pulled it off the brick that houses all the stuff that's been dumped off of two dead computers now. I've always liked the characters in it - though I may end up renaming half of them (Bane and Morningstar, particularly; we'll see). This is the first go-through (in chunks) of stuff that needs more substantial re-writing than I've had a chance to give it, but I've at least cleaned up most of the really messy stuff from my teenage years. Oh man.]

Aurrin locked eyes with Banen, his gaze reluctant as he met hers from across the pandemonium of the hall. She still stood framed by the door, having just entered, slightly late, filled with silent terror and fury. Unheeding of Morningstar's meandering crowd of peon's and couriers, she cut through the loose crowd of people directly toward him. Bane stiffened, evading the brush of her shoulder as she settled into the place at his side. The aura of entitlement that she carried around her form made Banen bristle; she was determined that they would take this mission together, and that it would would help to clear the obstacles they’d happened upon as lovers. Aurrin and Banen had met working together, and it was too that element she wished to be returned. Read more... )


Mar. 1st, 2008 08:19 pm
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The bars of the gilded birdcage were so thin as to feel impossibly fragile against the press of her fingers. The lone inhabitant, a tiny finch of exotic and unfamiliar plumage, eyed her warily from its perch.

Across the room from her, he pretended to tend his orchids, his fingertips tracing down the deceptively strong stalk of one of the flowers as he watched her sidelong. Shying away from his furtive glance, and having been caught looking herself, she glanced down to find her own fingers were still detectably flushed from the lingering heat of passion. Still able to feel the weight of his eyes on her body, she drew the loose folds of her dressing gown more tightly around herself, tucking a smile she was unable to repress into the shelter of her shoulder.

A second later he was beside her, sliding his warm hands around her hips to undo her grip on the material.

“Stop.” his voice pressed against her throat, an insistent purr just above a whisper. “Why do you always hide from me?”

Turning into his arms as the robe fell open so she could press her naked breast against his skin , she caught the line made by his clavicle between her teeth for a second, grinning against the inside of his shoulder.

“Because it always feels like the first time, with you, and I'm never sure what you think of me.”


Jan. 7th, 2008 02:21 am
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[An image that intrigued me. There's no more than this to it yet, in my mind or anywhere else!]

Kirsa lifted her head into the thin, winter air and stood still to listen over the wide expanse of snow and low brush, brittle with the season's leafless hibernation. One breath, and then a second, unfolded in silvery plumes around her face as she focussed waiting for a seam to come in the perfect silence. It rolled over the ice-fettered moorland in the cold, clear bay of a single hunting horn, bell-like with the voice that only Arlon's instrument could produce.
She smiled to herself, indulging in the sudden closeness of the memory of warm meat, the rangy company of the dogs in the keep, wine, Arlon's hand at her shoulder and his friends piling in in pairs from the long campaign. Letting that private smile warm her cheeks a moment, she straightened to hear the snow muffled hoof beats that signaled the retainers that had gone before him, un-announced. Shaking a little stiffness from her body, she broke from her place and finally crested the hill she'd come up to listen for him, but a mark on the canvas of snow stopped her in her tracks before she cantered down the gentle slope on the other side.
It was a wide arc of black-red, edges alternating between knife-like and indistinct on the whiteness. The two retainers, each riding one of the pair of swifter greys that moved ghostly in their stable full of robust war-horses the color of coal and coffee, were pulling up around the stain, a dozen or so yards from where she came on foot. In the center of the ichor lay a man, his eyes and mouth both open – blind and silent – toward the sky, his arms splayed carelessly away from his body, and a long gash crossing his arched chest.
One of the two men dropped from his saddle and, looking up, pronounced the stranger certainly dead. There was a long moment of the other man not knowing quite what to do until Kirsa joined them and flung her hand back toward the manor which wasn't far from where they were.
“Take him inside so we can at least afford him the hospitality of a proper burial. It may be the only chance we have to ward away whatever did this to him.”
The warm anticipation of her husband's return was crippled by the chill that man's dead face put in her. It had been, she thought, too quiet when she'd gone out that morning to wait for him. Ever since Arlon was a boy, he'd taken time and pleasure to teach her how to listen for the beasts of all seasons; how to know their voices and movements, even in darkness or the uncanny invisibility of a wild animal. This morning, there had been none.
Furthermore, there were neither tracks nor a trail of withered blood-spatter leading to the fallen man. Arlon's retainers exchanged a look before taking his ankles and feet to drag him back toward their keep.


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