November, 2010

Teaser Tuesday: Artifact Spirit

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Here’s another scene from my current WIP.  It’s rough, as it’s my NaNoWriMo novel, but hopefully you’ll still enjoy it.

Mai felt a jolt, then another.  And another.  And she opened her eyes and looked down her body.  There stood Analise, slowly chipping away at Mai’s body with a hammer and chisel.  The bisque–brown, hardened clay–that had surrounded her metal innards, flying in every which direction.
Mai wanted to close her eyes tight against the view, but she was as fascinated as she was horrified.   It did not hurt, what they were doing, but neither did it feel good.  It was, to put it gently, uncomfortable.
The boy that had placed her on the table was working on her arm.  Though his hands and muscles were larger than the woman’s, he was more gentle.  Delicately carving off the bisque, one layer at a time until Mai’s shiny metal bone structure showed.

The sound of her skin cracking was worse than she could possibly imagine.  There was no possible way to describe how much it hurt her.  Not physically.  There was only pressure physically.  But mentally, she was broken by the sound.

They were taking away who she was with their chisels, picks, and hammers.  She’d been special.  Different.  Beautiful.  Now?  She had no clue what she’d look like.  She only knew, if she could weep, she would.

She wanted to yank away, but the straps holding her to the table allowed no movement.  Besides, what was the point of fighting now.  They’d already done their damage.  And she’d been forbidden by the goddess to reveal herself to those not of the

Mai stared up at the ceiling, doing everything she could to block the sound of the cracking from her ears.  Apparently the goddess had been wrong.  It was not more dangerous to reveal herself to people not of the Adair family.  Who knew what other horrors would await her if she did.

After what felt like an eternity later the cracking finally stopped.  Analise stepped back into Mai’s view and she smiled down at her, placing her hand along Mai’s cheek.

“Such a shame about this pretty face, though.” She narrowed her eyes at Mai.  “I wonder if there’s a way to pull this back off without cracking it.”

Mai watched as the woman, grabbed the edge of her face, right under the chin, and tugged lightly.  A smile formed on the woman’s face, then she turned and went to a little work table off to the side and came back with a little machine that had a serrated circle on one end.  On the other was something Mai didn’t know what it was.  But when Analise pressed a lever on the side of the device, it hissed and a cloud of steam billowed from the back of it.

The circle started spinning and Mai whimpered when Analise brought it close to Mai’s neck.  Since the woman didn’t stop, Mai assumed the sound was lost in the whine from the machine.
Analise place the rotating circle right underneath Mai’s jaw, and Mai felt a vibration as the whine from the machine grew louder and a blanket of dust erupted from it.

The vibrating moved up the side of her face, past her eye, at the hairline above her forehead and back down the other side, exactly as she’d come up.
Mai fought to keep her eyes open and unstaring, but she couldn’t help but follow the path Analise took.  However, the woman was so focused on her task, she didn’t seem to notice.

When the woman put the machine down, Mai, closed her eyes briefly.  She knew what was coming and she wasn’t happy about it.

Analise put her hands on either side of Mai’s head and slowly lifted the painted porcelain, that was Mai’s face.  Analise turned it to face her and Mai stared at it.  This would be the last time she saw it.  Something that had been a part of her for a hundred years.  That made her, her was gone.

The woman clicked her tongue, then sighed.  “Don’t worry, sweet thing.” She patted Mai’s metal structure.  “Analise is going to put this in a safe spot for you.”  She smiled down at Mai, then set the porcelain on the desk.  “Now let’s peel back this hair, so we can put that aside as well.  It’s so beautiful.  I think they used real hair.  We’ll have to make sure to do the same with your new ones.  Only the best for you.”

Analise moved behind Mai’s head, and Mai couldn’t see her anymore.  However she did feel the tug and hear the ripping of the cloth that held her elaborate hair style in place as it tore from her metal skull.
The sound echoed through her and she finally just wanted to close her eyes and keep them that way.  However, without her face, there were no lids to keep her from seeing.
But that didn’t matter for long, because Analise reached her suprisingly nimble fingers for those brown colored orbs and pulled them out of the sockets.
Mai didn’t know if it was a curse or a blessing that she couldn’t see the rest of what was happening to her.

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Music Monday: Christina Aguillera

>Okay, so… last week kinda sucked.  LOL.  My computer decided that it didn’t want to work anymore.  And I had to take it to the doctor.  Thankfully, a box full of cookies to the technician gave me my baby back sooner than was supposed to happen and we’re back on schedule.

So, here’s a song from my new story’s playlist–though I’m not sure it will be on the actual playlist I add to my website.  But it’s great.

Also, I’m over at the Oasis, where I’ve interviewed one of my absolutely favorite authors, Rachel Vincent.  I’m also giving away a copy of her book, My Soul To Take over there.  So, please comment.  Thanks.

And, for the winners of my Banned Book Month giveaway, my computer ate your addressess, will you please email me again at j.souders (at) jasouders (dot) com.  I will be mailing them the minute you send me your addressess and I apologize for how late this is.  My life has been a bit of a mess since then, but I think I’m finally getting back on track.  😀

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Music Monday: Avril Lavigne

>As you can probably tell Avril Lavigne is one of my favorite musicians.  And here’s another one that has come in handy during revisions of RENEGADE.  It’s perfect for it and no matter how many times I listen to it, I don’t get bored with it and switch to another song.

It’s from the soundtrack of Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland.  Yes, I loved that movie.  And yes I’m mad the Hatter and Alice didn’t hook up.  I mean, WTH Tim Burton?

Also, this month the Oasis and I are doing a drive for books for different charities.  All you have to do is go here and read the instructions.  Or click on the button on my sidebar.  We’re giving points for each book and there are a lot of great prizes to win.  So please “Give Thanks, Give books.”  And don’t forget to tweet about it with the hashtag #givebooks.  Even if that’s all you can do, we’d really appreciate it.  Thanks.

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Fun Friday: Grocery Store Wars

>As many of you know, I’m a full-blood nerd.  I love all things…nerdy!  If you didn’t know, now you do.  And I think this sums up my nerdy sense of humor perfectly.  Enjoy!

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Thankful Thursday: Remember to be thankful, even when we don’t think we can.

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NOTE:  Oops!  This was actually supposed to be posted at the Oasis.  But things happen for a reason, so it’s now posted in both places.  But I would absolutely love it, if you commented over there.  You can comment here, too, but we’d like to hear from you over there, as well.  Thanks!

Today I’m going to do something a bit different.  I wasn’t sure what to write today and so I just put my fingers to the keyboard and came up with this.  I hope that’s okay.

This Thankful Thursday is the first in a month set aside to be thankful.  For us to remember to be thankful for the things that have happened to make us who we are.  Whether they are good things.  Or bad things.

And it’s the start of a season that is set aside for us to be more giving.  Granted we should be that way all year, but no matter your religion November and December are those months that we spend a few extra minutes each day trying to harder to be the best people we can be.  Or at least I hope so.  J

Sometimes that’s hard.  Especially when so many things around us are going wrong and we see someone who’s doing so much better than us.  Which face it, it happens all the time in writing.

Three years ago, we were struggling with the onset of my daughter’s illness and no one knew what was going on.  I was frustrated, exhausted and fighting with my frustrated and exhausted husband.  Every where we’d turn, new parents were happily playing with their seemingly well-behaved children, while we were struggling to maintain our sanity with a child who seemed to hate sleep and loathe being in anyone’s arms, but mine.

Then came the worst days of our lives, the day we learned my daughter’s heart was enlarged and possibly failing.  We spent the next several months in and out of hospitals, until we found out she had systemic JRA.

Now every day is a struggle.  Is it going to be a good day, or a bad one?  But through it all I’ve tried to remain grateful.  Some days are easier than others, but every night before bed I try to think of one thing I’m grateful for.  Even if that one thing is I’m grateful for the day to be over with. 

But here’s a list of the things I’m most grateful for because of this.  I’m grateful for the fact that I was observant enough to know there was something wrong with my daughter, besides being cranky, and insisted the Dr’s run more tests to find out what was wrong.  For the doctor who finally listened to me and saw the enlarged heart.  For the countless Doctors and nurses since then.

For my family, who’s stood by me and her, through it all.  For my husband, for helping me make sure the Drs listened, for my daughter, who despite her illness is the sweetest child ever, and for my writing, which has helped me keep my sanity through it all.

So let’s hear it.  What event in your life was awful and what are you thankful for because of it?

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