segunda-feira, 8 de novembro de 2010

NaNoWriMo 2010 - Excerpt

The woman returned holding something small in the cup of her hand. She sat down and showed Rogério what she was holding. He picked it up carefully, running his fingers lightly over the object. It was a small statue made of soft stone or maybe bone. It was about the height of his thumb and it depicted a ample woman with large breasts, rounded hips and no facial features. He’d seen similar images before, it was some sort of primitive goddess.

“First, there was the Mother,” said Emerenciana. “She was human, but the tribes around her believed her to be a goddess for the things she could do none of them could.

“People would bring her offerings; the first meat from the hunt, the best fruits from the crops, drops of blood from the children passing into adulthood. In return, she offered them her own blood when they were sick or injured and her blood would strengthen and heal them.”

“The way Melisandra’s blood healed me.”

Emerenciana shook her head. “Melisandra’s story will come late. This one is about the Mother and her three children. The oldest and the youngest were boys and the middle child was a girl. Everyday, the mother would feed a few drops of her own blood and they grew stronger and fairer than anyone around them.

“The chieftain of one of the tribes knew of this and he decided that he would have the blood of the Mother and become a god himself, but he feared the strength and the powers of the children and so he waited and plotted. One day, when the two youngest were away, the chieftain and his men attacked the cave where the Mother lived. The Elder Son was killed and the Mother was taken away.

“When the Middle Child and the Young One returned, they found their brother’s dead body and the signs of struggle and understood what had come to pass. The Young One became mad with fury and he gave chase to the attackers of his family.

“He found them in their village. They had bled the Mother and consumed her blood, but it hadn’t made them gods. They had become the first of the ghouls; contorted creatures, not quite animals, not quite men, maddened with pain and with hunger for the flesh of the dead.

“The Young One fell upon them and slaughtered many. When he lost his weapon in battle, he continued his attack, biting them and tearing them apart with his bare hands, until there was no one alive around him.

“The Middle Child had given her older brother her blood, as she had seen the Mother do so many times, in the hope that he would be healed, but the Elder Son was dead, not merely injured. She laid her brother in a bier by the fire and prepared to watch over him until his soul had made the crossing into what lay beyond.

“The Young One returned. His mouth, his arms and his chest were stained with the blood of the changed warriors. He was ill, feverish, poisoned by the blood of the ghouls. The Middle Child made him a bed of leaves by the fire and covered him with animal pelts.

“She watched over both of them for the rest of the night, and the whole of the next day. At sunset, they both rose. The Elder son became the first of the vampires and the Young One the first of the weres.”

“Weres?” Rogério smiled. “You mean werewolves?”

“Not all of them are wolves,” said Melisandra. “You are a vampire. Why are you so surprised that werewolves exist?”

He nodded. It was silly. “ What happened to the Middle Child? She became the first of the ghosts?”

The women laughed. “No,” said Emerenciana. “She became me.”

NaNoWriMo 2010 - Soundtrack

The project is still untitled, but it already has a soundtrack. I've had to take a few breaks to figure out what happens next and I used some of the time to make a selection of songs.

How Am I Different - Aimee Mann
Dark Side of Me - Alannah Myles
Livin' on a Memory - Alannah Myles
In Debt to The Heart - Born In The Flood
Don't Need the Sunshine - Catatonia
What Makes a Man? - City and Colour
Quiet in My Town - Civil Twilight
My Lover's Gone - Dido
Burning My Soul - Dream Theater
Strange - The Feeling
Trust Me - The Fray
Off I Go - Greg Laswell
On The Sunny Side of the Street - Louis Armstrong
Goodbye Apathy - OneRepublic
Come Home - OneRepublic
Misguided Ghosts - paramore
Building a Mistery - Sarah MacLachlan
Into The Fire - Sarah MacLachlan
In My Head - Until June
Flowers For a Ghost - Thriving Ivory

NaNoWriMo 2010 - Week 1

I'm finishing Week 1 at 7792 words. I'm 3877 words behind schedule, but it's okay, I've had a lot on my mind lately, and I'm thrilled that I've still managed to write this much. I've really been enjoying this project and working without a plan, maybe I need to vary my work method more often.

domingo, 31 de outubro de 2010

NaNoWriMo 2010

It's that time of the year again. I've decided this morning that I'll be taking part in this year's NaNoWriMo. Contrary to what I usually do, I'll be working without a net, or rather, without an outline. All I have are a few character ideas I noted down in my trustworthy Moleskine a couple of months ago.

Wish me luck and send chocolate.

terça-feira, 4 de maio de 2010


It is no secret for those following this blog that I've been having some trouble writing. These difficulties have affected not only the sequel to Dragon's Blood but my writing in general. Black Box was finished on time fueled by sheer stubbornness and a bit of desperation.

Last week, I did a writing "fast". Might sound contradictory, to deliberately not write when the problem is that you can't write, mas as they say, sometimes you are so obsessed by the problem you can't see the answer.

The pause was good for me. First because it made me ache to write (ah, humans, tell us we can't do something and away we go...), but mostly because it allowed me to gain some perspective on what was keeping me from writing: myself.

Writing is what I do, not what I am. I have no idea at what stage of the path I forgot that, but I've been attributing too much importance to the completion of my writing projects and, especially, to the world's reaction to those projects. If tomorrow I was no longer being published, I'd still write, and that says it all about what my real priority should be here.

My obsession with results was keeping me from enjoying the process. And the process is fantastic. The process is what kept me writing even when I couldn't get a publisher. And, by not enjoying the process, even the good days began to feel like a burden.

So, this month, I'll be relearning to focus on the path instead of the destination. For that, I've decided to go back to my starting point: short stories.

I've signed up for the Story-a-Day challenge at FMWriters. The goal is to write a story per day for a month. Sounds crazy, but it's what I need right now. To write, to let it flow, with no time to worry about correction, editions, publications and other concerns. Just write and enjoy the ride.

I would love to get the 31 stopries done, but even if I only manage the minimum goal of 10, it will still be great.

segunda-feira, 3 de maio de 2010


Completed three of my six goals for April which wasn't bad. For May I'm keeping it simple.

1. Do the SAD challenge over at FMWriters
2. Do Paul McKenna's I Can Make You Thin Programme (this was one of the goals that got left behind)

Anything else I can manage will be a bonus.

Books read - January to April

I'm reading a bit slower this year than usual, have no idea why. Last year by the end of April, I had already read 28 books; this year I've managed less than half that.

1. Hearts West - Chris Enss (4/5)
2. Jogos de Espelhos - Agatha Christie (2/5)
3. Messias - Boris Starling (3/5)
4. Rosemary and Rue - Seanan McGuire (5/5)
5. Soulless - Gail Carriger (5/5)
6. Self-Editing For Fiction Writers - Renni Browne, Dave King (4/5)
7. The Doctor Wore Petticoats - Chris Enss (3/5)
8. 21 Day Conscious Cleanse - Debbie Ford (2/5)
9. Eu Consigo Que Você Emagreça - Paul McKenna (4/5)
10. Clockwork Heart - Dru Pagliassotti (4/5)
11. Crime no Hotel Bertrand - Agatha Christie (4/5)

I've done reviews for some of these already, but probably won't be doing any for the rest of them. I didn't have the time as soon as I finished reading them, and it's the sort of thing that becomes dificcult when some time has passed since then.

And this may be how I'll be doing it from now on: a monthly list of all the books I've read, plus a few reviews here and there, depending on how much the book as got to me and on my availability.