Since I don’t really have anything interesting to say today, I thought I would start introducing you to some of the people I have linked in the sidebar. These will be random introductions generated by my super secret name picker system.
First up is Lisa Norman.
Please do read the Squawk Sheets and watch Woman Driver and Flight Attendants. The pilots only thing has a glitch and was looping madly. Perhaps it knew I wasn’t a pilot and was chastising me. Also, please read the Attendants posts at the bottom of her site. Funny stuff.
I met Lisa at Books and Writers, as I have many of my writing friends. She has a couple of projects going, but I am partial to Dominion of Darkness. If I can get permission from her, I will post a snippet later.
Ah, permission granted.
Written by Lisa Norman
© 2008 Lisa Norman, all rights reserved.
Nian climbed the mountain in the pre-dawn cold, and cursed the shadows for choosing to bury the girl in such a remote site. He’d come often as a young man, just to look at her and dream of her waking, but now he was old — too old to be chasing after maidens, either bewitched or bewitching. Next year, he would send his apprentice. He’d argued against coming this time, but here he was, climbing some long forgotten trail in the dark, doing his master’s bidding. Maybe he could make a deal with the Shadow Lord to cure his aches; that would make the trip worth it.
He hadn’t needed a lantern for years, having become so accustomed to walking in darkness that it held little mystery. He winced as a faint haze of light crept over the eastern mountains. By the Light, he hated coming here. Picking up his pace, he pushed through the overhanging brambles in time to pull the vines aside and usher the first ray of spring into the cave. Deleyna was still there, of course.
She had not changed since she was laid to rest over eighty years ago. Nian stood next to the slab and gazed at her with discomfort. Frozen in her last moment of purity, she embodied all that he had come to abhor.
The Light skittered along the floor, causing spiders and small rodents to run deeper into the shadows. Nian glanced down at it in annoyance. He’d been through this ceremony over forty times, and knew the light would pass over her in an instant and continue down the mountain to work its magic elsewhere. Today, however, it seemed almost playful, as if it intended to stay.
The cave began to pulse with warmth, and he stepped into the shadows to watch as the ray gathered strength and explored the cave. It wavered over an empty stone slab, highlighting tiny particles of dust dancing to the echoes of music long silenced. For a moment, Nian swore he could almost recognize the song. His pulse quickened as the presence within the light focused on him accusingly.
“I am here as the Shadow Lord’s representative.” My right, my duty, he mused.
Accepting his presence, the Light moved on to the slab where Deleyna lay.
The glow passed through her long white veil and caressed the delicate curves of her body. She was gowned in fine white linen, interwoven with golden filaments that entranced the Light and focused it upon the sleeper. It raced along the flowing gown, pausing only for a moment to penetrate the jewel set into the hilt of a knife hung at her side. The blue of the gem was so deep that the Light disappeared briefly, and then pulled itself away.
Nian watched, transfixed, stunned by the sheer power he sensed within that single beam of light. The Light wove its way up the stitched gown to the pale hands crossed over her silent heart. Here it paused again. On her finger was another vibrant blue stone, this held in a dual setting with a blood red ruby. Nian swallowed as the light shunned the ruby and danced within the sapphire.
The ray flickered on the gilt embroidery of the bodice, and traced a gold ribbon woven into the long, brown braid. The veil did little to obscure Deleyna’s pale beauty as the Light fought against the enshrouding spell, breaking her peace.
The cave was full of light now, shoving aside the shadows that had held Deleyna captive for so long. He listened, as the shadows seemed to whisper. “Now, now she is ours!”
Aside from respecting Lisa as a writer, I also respect her as a friend and a person. In her writing, she demonstrates a dazzling skill as a story teller. It’s hard for me to critique her writing because I get so drawn into the story I just read for pleasure. Even when I go back the second time, I find myself getting lost in the beauty of the writing again. I absolutely adore her writing in case you didn’t notice. There is a grace to is as well as an entrancing story.
She, like many others, had to put her writing on hold for a few years when life bit her in the butt, but she is back at it now. Even with life still dealing some tough hands, she continues to work on Dominion. Perhaps these experiences give a writer depth. That’s what she tells me anyway when I bleed emotion all over the page.
She and her husband devote selflessly to a program that helps train pilots for mercy missions. While I respect well to do people who donate money to worthy causes, I am always most impressed by the people who give of themselves when it is a true sacrifice.
Lisa and Beth Shope have been two of my staunchest supporters through the years and they are a complete blessing.
Lisa recommended Open Office. I am going to give it a try and see how I like it. Being able to use one program on the PC and the laptop would be lovely.
In addition to running an airplane hospital, Lisa is a very talented web designer.
Monday I will take Big Blue to work and see if Joseph, my tech guru can fix the beast one more time before Surrey. I’m going to back everything up and put on flash drives before the conference and then have him rebuild it while I’m gone. But for now, I just need to get as much done on TISD before the conference.
Yes, I will be going. I will have the funds in place next week and I’ll make all my reservations then. Aside from meeting friends I have known for years through the net, my main attraction is the networking and workshops. I’m hoping they will take my work to the next level before submitting to agents. Of course, I will probably learn I am doing everything all wrong and I need to rewrite the whole thing, but that’s all right. You have one chance to make a good first impression.
And speaking of first impressions, I wish I had gotten serious about losing some weight a few months ago. Ah well.
I’m probably sending off two entries to the Surrey Writer’s Contest.
Update on Will. He will be going to Georgia on the 31st. He isn’t sure how long they’ll be there as there are still quite a few who haven’t had emergency medical training yet. He did his last week. As part of the training, they have to learn to give IVs. They do this by practicing on each other. One of them apparently hit an artery and blood was shooting out like a pulsing fountain. Luckily, no one panicked, including the fountain soldier.
In one training exercise they left a soldier behind in a simulated enemy attack. Everyone was supposed to be accounted for, but there were two Gonzalez’ so when the check went out for Gonzalez, someone said he was loaded. A sergeant came along in a Jeep later and found him walking back to base. Of course, if this had been a real attack on the convoy, he would have been dead instead of walking back to base.
Their commander went to Iraq to their base and took a bunch of pictures of the base and the routes they will be providing convoys and security for. They are stationed near a border and will be running 180 truck convoys. That seems like an awful large target to me, but I suppose the smaller ones are more susceptible.
I will be setting back part of these funds to go to Georgia when he deploys. He’s pretty sure he will be here through September. I hope so. The baby is due September 20 and I want him to be there for that. They will give him a leave to be with her for the birth and two weeks after.
I’ve noticed as the elections loom closer, more political comments and rants are being tossed out on different writer’s sites. This saddens me greatly.
I don’t care if people have strong political beliefs, that is their right. I do care that the places I go for writing advice, wisdom, humor are being used as political platforms. The reason I care is if they are freely offering their political opinions on the websites, I imagine I will also be treated to these opinions in a working relationship. I’m not going to debate politics with an agent or publisher, just as I will not debate religion with people.
I’ve made the mistake of responding to posts with political commentary twice this month. This is public notice I will not be doing that again. Not because I got taken down a notch, but because I enjoy the few writing sites I go to too much to feel unwelcome there. I went down that road with Books and Writers eight years ago and walked away for six years. Politics are simply too much of a hot button and they have nothing to do with my writing.
I second Lisa’s Open Office recommendation. Have been using it at home for over 18 months now and can’t imagine going back. (Unfortunately, my employer is still seeking enlightenment on the office-suite issue. 🙂
Hadn’t previously visited Lisa’s site and hadn’t previously read any of her stuff. Thanks so much for introducing her. (And yes, it’s obvious not only THAT she means a lot to you, but WHY she does.)
Politics: I’ve gone the political-blogging route in the past and don’t regret it. (Of course, I had very few visitors so maybe that would have made a difference.)
But life’s too short, especially once you reach A Certain Age (defined as you will). I doubt that I’ll NEVER again write about that stuff but really, well, it falls into the category of “don’t give people reasons to ignore you,” y’know?
Most of all, congrats on the Surrey stuff. From the outside looking in, it would be none of my beeswax but it would still upset me if you’d had to deny yourself those pleasures.
lisa is good, thx for the glance at her stuff…
i’m with you on the politics and other crap on ‘writerly’ blogs… and echo you in the WHY?
how do ‘politics’ [‘religion’, or anything else]improve a writing?
hope will gets to see the baby, and you have a BLAST up in bc 🙂
I’m still adjusting to Open Office, but I think I’m going to like it. I miss being able to track and embed edits, but perhaps I just haven’t found that yet.
Lisa is a fun person and such a talented writer.
Politics never turn out well for me. People get entirely too rabid about them. There is no logical discussing and I would just rather avoid the mess. I write for enjoyment would prefer to keep what I love and what makes people hate each other separate.
Regardless of how much people say they keep their professional opinions and their personal ideals apart, I think it’s not really possible. At some level it comes into play and I see no reason to, as you say, give people reasons to ignore me.
Surrey, that truly was an answer to prayer. I don’t like asking for help and very seldom accept help even when it’s freely offered. A friend of mine offered to pay for the Rogan workshop for me as a blessing. While the kind offer made me cry, I declined. I wondered about my decision later as I pondered how to make ten dollars a week for groceries and extras go around for several weeks. It worked out and I’m still around to laugh about it, but it was kind of stressful for a while.
In this case I did call my brother to borrow some money from my father’s trust. He didn’t return my calls for two weeks so I figured he didn’t want to talk to me about it. I got out my gold nuggets I bought in Montana to have jewelry made from and thought about selling them. Not sure why they are important to me, but they are. I finally decided to just keep praying about it. If I was meant to go, God would make a way without me interfering.
My brother called and said it was okayed and to just send the loan papers to him to keep on file. I will repay it when the divorce settles.
But for now, it makes a way for me to go to the conference and to go to Georgia when Will ships out and I am ecstatic about that.
I guess, it does boil down to how much does a person want something. I can certainly write without going to the conference, but I also believe it will take me another step forward. It’s my time and it’s time for the writing to take center stage.
Tony, isn’t Lisa a lovely writer? Of course, I’ve had the pleasure of seeing several chapters of this book, but it is flat dynamite.
As for Will seeing the baby, there are too many guys in the unit that still need medical training to ship in September. Of course, stuff always changes. They say they can’t ship them without everyone qualifying, but they could push hard to get everyone qualified.
However, I think he will be there for Katie and the baby. I pray he will be.
Re the politics, exactly. I understand free speech, but I would just rather not mix business like that.
You’re a dear. Thanks for the kind words.(blush)
There is definitely a way to embed edits with Open Office: look under “edit” and then “changes” I think.
I *am* going to try and get to Surrey at least to have a meal with you, possibly to join you for a day at the conference.
As for politics, my views often get me zapped, so I do tend to keep quiet about them most of the time. (hugs)
I do hope you can make it at least for a day. I think it would do us both good.
As for the praise, I’m not sure it can be called that if it’s the truth. I am kind of picky about what I fall in love with in writing.
I can’t print anything from the laptop. It says there is no communication, so I think I will have to do some critiquing on screen. Yuck.
I really hope Joseph can get Blue fixed this week.
Off-topic, but… One of the blogs I regularly visit is called, for short, 7-Imp. It’s co-authored by two children’s librarians, so much of the content has to do with YA/children’s books; a weekly feature is their introduction to an illustrator whose work they love.
The most recent illustrator they covered is named Maggie Stiefvater.
So far, you’re thinking, Eh? Why is he telling me this?
Because she primarily thinks of herself as an “equestrian artist.” Links to her work are in the page linked above.
Just couldn’t help thinking of you when I saw the horses!
Ah, John. That was fun. Thanks for pointing me in that direction.
first time granny for you, julie?
Tony, no. My middle son has two little boys from his first marriage.
Oldest son has a new baby girl born in April. Middle son has a new baby girl born in February.
First child for youngest boy.