Other Cool Blogs: Magical Words December 9, 2015

I love Magical Words as a reader, writer, and editor. Member bloggers include self-published, small house published, and big house published individuals. And they know their craft.

For example, Gail Z. Martin‘s December 9, 2015 post on world-building. (see http://www.magicalwords.net/really-i-mean-it/world-building-with-holidays/

Adding the layer of Holidays to your world can help define the values of your world, what they spend money on, and how they celebrate.

WRITING EXERCISE: After reviewing the above blog, create a fictional holiday for your world and/or work-in-progress.

Book Cover for Cons of RomanceMy present work-in-progress, Cons of Romance, is set in contemporary America and actually has some world-building based on holidays. A lot of conventions cluster about holidays, because the long weekends allow people to take time off. I tried to tie my fictional conventions to real American holidays, which made added an interesting twist for my world-building.

The first convention is located in Maryland during March. I will come back to it.

The second convention, “GearFest,” is set in North Carolina during June and is only a two-day convention because it doesn’t fall on a holiday weekend. I specifically wanted this to be a short convention.

The third convention, “Tea Party,” is set over the July 4th weekend and is located in Boston.

The fourth convention, “WyvernCon”, is located in September over the Labor Day weekend and runs nearly five days.

Again all conventions are fictional and created specifically for this romance novel.

Back to the first convention. I had decided the convention started life on the main character’s, Tara Miller, college campus and was tied to a holiday in Maryland. I wanted the convention to happen before June but after the weather started to get warm. Something that wouldn’t interfere with finals but warm enough people wouldn’t get snowed in. Low and behold Maryland Day is March 25th. Thus my fictional “ConButtony” (a Cross Buttony appears on the distinctive flag of Maryland) was born.

YOUR TURN: Comment below about your use of holidays in a work-in-progress or, if you are a reader, a book you enjoyed specific for the holidays such as Hogfather by Terry Pratchett.

Blog: NaNo Day 5, And so it begins

Book Cover for Cons of Romance
Working cover for Cons of Romance

Cons of Romance
Words 758 – I would like to take a moment to thank ghunchu’wI’ and Felix Malmenbeck, two people who responded on the Klingon Language Institute forum, for their help in translating the words used by the Klingon Master of Ceremonies.

Klingon Stomp – Dance Floor Entrance

I squeezed his arm as we stroll to the ballrooms entrance, where music blasted out in throbbing waves. “My dear Mister Aleman, where on Earth did you get the idea that Klingons would have a slow dance to close their ball?”

“It’s the closing dance?” Jason eeped behind Brent.

I wish I had a fan to tap the boy with for speaking out of turn, but I hadn’t gone with that accoutrement in this year’s costume and I had already secured the opera glasses for what was to come. “I promise not to break him,” I assured, pulling my dagger out of my bustle where I had moved it last potty break. “See it is still in its sheathe and peace-tied.” I wiggled the red leather and gold metal encased weapon at him

Jason’s Adam’s apple bobbed up and down. He passed my escort the pirate’s knife, resplendently colored with black and red before the plastic blade curved into the tacky dull gray of pretend steel. My sheathed blade was a little longer, which was one of the reasons I recommended the toy from the spread of weapons the Klingons made available to their guests when we initially arrived at the ball. With his height, I needed all the reach I could get.

“Just what exactly is the dance?” Brent asked with trepidation.

I glanced up flirtatiously through my waterfall of curls and wide-brimmed hat. “Well, we are at a Klingon Stomp.” Getting the last word in before we were swallowed by the techno-thrash music. Brent let himself be guided to the dance floor, having a facial expression just like Alice must have had after falling down the rabbit hole.

We had reached the edge of the raised wooden area when the master of ceremonies projected “mev!”; instantly the music stopped. Quiet pulsated against the inner eardrum. Most of those on the dance floor rushed off in an orderly-disordered evacuation: the green-skin women, the fur-cloaked barbarians, the black-uniformed Manticorian Navy, and the white-armored stormtroopers. A few of the people who had been supporting the wall all night ascended the dance floor with their partners.

“What have I gotten myself into, Miss Timepiece?” Brent asked, guiding me to the center of the floor. We were only one of two Non-Klingon couples on the floor by the end of the exchange of dancers, and the other couple looked like escapees from the Mortal Kombat franchise, Liu Kang and Mileena if I wasn’t mistaken.

“I fear this shall make or break you GOH reputation for all time.” We moved into traditional waltz starting positions. Only difference was my left hand securely grasped the outside of his right where he gripped the toy blade loosely, while my weapon hand rested on his shoulder. A fair trade I thought since his left hand was on my back and had control of my center of gravity. “There shall be two minutes of slow dance, where couples may speak quietly as is right and proper. After which the music will change and the dance will become a little more…how shall I put this…freeform? The one who is able to press a knife to her partner’s throat and keep it there when the music stops wins.”

“Wins, my lady? And what are the stakes?”

“For the Klingons, honor and battle glories. Be careful when we move around; you lose face interfering with another couple on the floor. I would be most put out if you step on the wrong person’s foot.”

“Well then, I should thank you for choosing a knife as my weapon.” He nodded his head to the cartoonish naval dirk favored by pirates in movies. “I shall find it much easier to maintain a close dance with this blade.”

I loved Brent’s ability to slip into my cosplay. A few failed dates from outside the con community didn’t get it. I don’t just put on a costume, but a whole persona. Me, but an eighteenth century version of me. “You are most welcome Mister Aleman.”

“But I must point out, I am not a Klingon. Battle glories are not stakes I would play for.” He smirked at me in challenge.

The MC’s shout of “may’ Qav!” forced me to pause before responding. “Then what would you suggest Mister Aleman.”

“A kiss, my lady.”

I exhaled with a hiss. “You presume much, Mister Aleman.”

“And yet,” his smirk deepened, “I do not hear a no.”

The head Klingon hit a large drum for the first time that night and bellowed “moq!” ending our banter.

Blog: NaNo Day 4, Deleted Scene (Klingon Stomp Entrance)

Picture of plastic swords

Image from http://www.mardigrasimports.com/DZ-19-PIRATE-KNIFE-5230-TR233

Cons of Romance -> Deleted Scene – the entrance to the Klingon Stomp
Words 343 – Just didn’t work for the book, but the scene itself is too cool not to share.

Either side of the entrance to the ballroom were white draped tables covered with knives and swords, colorful plastic and foam toys. The hosts of the Stomp must had wiped out dollar stores for miles around to get this large of an assortment. In front of each table stood a tall Klingon warrior in full gear, arms crossed, appearing menacing as only Klingons can. The music emanating through the doors physically assaulted us, and I gained renewed respect for my fellow cosplayers; had I such duty I would have created an earplug of some sort, wax or …

I would need explore white noise backwash possibilities limited by eighteenth century technologies. An interesting challenge I think Sally will love. I made a mental note to talk to the vixen.

“Weapons?” The right one growled at us.

Both my hands rested lightly on the crook of Brent’s arm. I leaned against him, laying my head against his shoulder, my curls cascading forward just shy of the moving gears on my corset. “No, thank you sir-ah, I have brought my own.”

The Klingon nodded approval then looked at my escort. “Weapons?”

“Umm.” Brent glanced down at me for instruction.

“I think a knife would be lovely.” I suggested, nodding towards the playthings. Gently I drew the con’s Guest of Honor over to the spread. “Ah, this should do nicely.”

Brent seemed bemused as I handed him a curved plastic blade, the cartoonish pirate weapon resplendent in red, gold, black, and the tacky pretend-gray of toy steel. My poor man looked very much like Alice must have after falling down the rabbit hole.

Returning my gloved hands to their proper location on my escort’s arm, I asked “Shall we dance?”

“Sounds wonderful Miss Timepiece.” His relieved answer indicated his uncertainty about arming guests entering a party did not extend to his feelings about spending time with me. Tucking the blade into his belt so he could place his left hand over mine, he clasped me firmly to his person as we both entered the Klingon Stomp.

Blog: NaNo Day 2, They Meet

Words 65 from NaNo: They Meet

“ConBottony?” The polite combination of confusion and certainty – after all, T-shirt with the word stretched over my C-cups – tinged the pleasant baritone voice and melted my insides for a second.

“Mr. Aleman?” I responded.

He sighed with relief, sticking out his right hand, his left carrying a military duffel bag. “Please call me Brent.”

Oh, he is so not going to fit in my car.

Blog: NaNo First Day, First Hook

First 118 words from NaNo – let me know what you think about the “hook”:

“I so totally owe you one. Parker is still hugging the porcelain god, I think searching for his toenails. If you need anything, just ask.”

“Well, if you are offering…” I signaled for the airport off-ramp, smiling at the windshield so the tease would carry in my voice. “I’d love a table outside the dealer’s room.”

My hands-free speaker barked with laughter. Score one for me in releasing some of Heather’s stress. With half of her staff suffering from a late-season bout of the stomach-flu, being run ragged didn’t begin to cover her present situation. “Tell you what sweetpie, cross the 1,000 annual sales mark and I absolutely will find a way, even if I have to bump someone.”