Thursday, February 25, 2010

Just a Reminder

Just a reminder that tomorrow is Guest Blogger Friday. If you want to advertise yourself and your blog, send me a blog post to my email address that I will publish tomorrow. Don't forget to include a short bio.

We want to hear from you!

~Emily White

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

That's the Way...uh, huh, uh, huh...I Like It!

Okay yes, it's late, but there's a reason, you see. I've been reading. All day, in fact. Dishes have gone unwashed and half the day went by before I even thought about picking up a hairbrush. Yes, it's pathetic, but it's what I do. When I read, that is. And that got me thinking. What is it about books that transfixes us so? How do we get swept so completely into a world that we leave the real one behind? And how do we, as writers, capture that magic in our own works?

I have a few theories of my own about this, but I want to hear from you. Do you have the answers? What in particular do you like about certain books? And how does it affect your own writing?

Tell me. I'd love to know.

~Emily White

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Sharing the Love

Last week I had received yet another reward from Christi Goddard at A Torch in the Tempest. Many thanks to her! She's a wonderful writer and reading her blog just brightens my day. Unfortunately, I tend to be a stalker in every sense of the word because I secretly read her posts but rarely make my presence known. Sorry about that, Christi! :( But I appreciate the love.

Speaking of...

That's precisely what she gave me! And I'm going to spread the love right now. I would imagine that all of you lovely readers are rather sick of me tooting my own horn with all of these awards, so I'm going to focus on one particular blog by a good friend of mine:

I was very fortunate to have met Jaleh over at the Writer's Digest Forum. She's really helped me with Aurumenas and I've even gotten to read a bit of her work too. Of all the blogs I follow, hers is definitely at the top of my list of favorites. Each week she reviews a new book--most of which I'm sure you have never heard of--and she describes them so splendidly that you just have to read them.

Think you know every possible cause for a war? Think again! How about a feline friend in your royal court? Or a Frying Pan of Doom? And of course, no fantasy writer's library is complete without a comprehensive list of magical creatures.

Go over there and pick her brain. There are few people I have met in my life who are as knowledgeable in everything fantasy as she is. And don't forget to ask her about filk music! Seriously. Ask.

This is one blog that I seriously love, and I hope that you will too!

~Emily White

Monday, February 22, 2010

Wolf Moon-Chapter 2a

For earlier installments of Wolf Moon, click here.

Eight days passed by before Chuck saw anything but that big bright moon rising up above the trees of his family property. Eight days before he saw anything but the black nothingness of a coma. When he did finally open his eyes, screaming and thrashing away the flimsy blankets of his hospital bed, he fully expected to be staring down the snarling mouth of his worst nightmares. But he didn't. Instead, tender arms reached out for him and shoved him against the mattress. A voice called out to him, soothing him.

He laid back and took in deep, slow breaths. Something was wrong. He wasn't where he was supposed to be. It was too bright, and warm. Someone walked into the room and pulled away the tender arms that had remained firm across his chest. One of his eyelids was pulled back and a light was shined at it. Chuck pulled away and blinked his eyes.

"Where am I?" he said.

"You're at St. Juliana's, honey," the woman examining him replied. "Don't you worry about a thing. You're wife here brought you in just in time. You'll be okay."

Chuck turned his head. His wife stared back at him, smiling and clutching his shoulder. "Oh, Jeanie," he said.

Her sweet, sparkling eyes did all the talking; she didn't need to say a thing. Red rimmed and swollen, they showed the many hours of worry, but the lines that creased around their edges also showed how happy she was to see him awake. He reached his hand out to caress her cheek. She met it halfway and melted into his arms.

"Jeanie." He sobbed.

She brought her head up and wiped her eyes. "Don't you ever scare me like that again, you bastard."

Chuck laughed. His muscles screamed against the sharp movement, but he was so glad to be alive. No pain in the world was enough to take away how happy he was to be with his wife at that moment.

She leaned toward him and brushed her lips against his. "I love you," she said. Wrapping her arms around his neck, Jeanine pressed her soft cheeks against his scruff.

"No!" Chuck pushed her away hard and sat up on the bed. He couldn't let her get close. He needed to see the doctor. He needed to know the truth. "Get the doctor," he said to the nurse.

She didn't budge. "Now come on, just lay down."

"I said get the doctor."

The woman looked from Chuck to his wife then rolled her eyes and walked out of the room. Minutes later she returned with an older man with short, white hair. He walked up to Chuck's bed while the nurse stayed by the door.

"You wanted to see me?"

Chuck sat up straighter and narrowed his eyes. "Did I come in here with any scratches or bites?"

The doctor smiled his patronizing little smile and said, "Don't worry, Mr. Bardine, we treated all your wounds."

"That's not what I asked."

He sighed. "Yes, you had a few deep scratches from where the wolf attacked you, but nothing debilitating. You'll be up and out of here in no time."

Chuck closed his eyes and laid his head back against his pillow. "You have to kill me."

Check in next Monday for the next installment!

~Emily White

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Aspirin Please

Trust me, dear readers, I had a great post planned. Unfortunately my monthly migraine has decided to take full swing and I only have enough stomach to tell you that I'm alive, but there won't be a writerly post today. I apologize. Please check in tomorrow, though! It's gonna be good!

~Emily White

Etiquette We Wish All Agents Would Live By

Joshua from The Technical Parent brought up a very good point in response to my post, Etiquette for the Writerly Folk. Sometimes agents and people from the publishing industry in general don't live by the kind of etiquette we wish they would. And how do we know to what standard we wish all agents would be held? Because some of them actually do.

So listen up agents, publishers, assistants everywhere! We've gone crazy checking our email 100 times a day for months on end only to discover the inbox empty and we're not gonna take it anymore*!

Let's get started...

Please get rid of your "no answer means no" policy. Yes, you are busy, but there are plenty of agents who find the time to respond to each and every query and it's reasonable to assume that you can find the time as well. It takes two seconds to hit reply and paste that form rejection and it saves us from months of fretting and wondering if we should move on to our next batch of agents.

Don't be so inaccessible. There are thousands, perhaps millions of new writers out there who just don't know where to get started when looking for publication. So what happens? They go to google and are bombarded by vanity publishing companies. They fall for it and end up ruining any chances of really getting their works out there. Here's a fact: There are plenty of honestly talented writers who write amazing novels but don't have the first clue about the industry. If they can't find you on the first page of google or bing, they're going to get bamboozled by people who want to take their money. Admittedly, this sort of thing has improved over the past few years and we certainly appreciate it.

One should not have to have a masters in computer engineering to find your submission guidelines nor a law degree in order to be able to read it. We want to submit to you and we want to do it right. Please leave no questions unanswered when telling us exactly what we should do. We know the war between Times New Roman and Courier. If you prefer one over the other, make it known so that we may comply and prove that we have done our homework.

If you have our full manuscript in your possession, wow, thank you, our hearts are a-fluttering in anticipation! But that high in the sky feeling quickly drops when we fail to hear from you for 6, 12, 18 months. Please oh please let us know the state of our submission! Just a short, "hey, still reading, back to you soon" or "thanks, but no thanks" after a few months would be greatly appreciated. As you might expect, the queries are probably on hold and waiting a year for a no is a long time to be out of the market. I've heard of a particular horror story from someone who didn't hear back for two years from an agent who had his full and eventually decided to self-publish only to have an offer from said agent just weeks after going through the self-publishing route. Ouch.

So there it is. We don't ask for much, but what we do ask for could keep us from making huge mistakes that inevitably ruin a potentially successful career in writing--like sending nasty emails or showing up at your office uninvited.

~Emily White

*This list or emphatic cry for change should not in any way indicate that all agents, publishers, assistants, etc. have failed to help us poor new writers out. In fact, it's because of the wonderful blogs provided by many in the industry that we even know what we should come to expect.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Awards Just Keep Coming

Last week was quite a busy week as far as awards go! Yes dear readers, I was awarded not one, but two awards for my blog. You can't imagine how flattered I am. I want to send a big thank you to Jai Joshi over at Jai Joshi's Tulsi Tree. She is an amazing writer and her blog has been one of my favorites for many months now. Stop on over there and check it out!

And because I seem to be the most interesting person in the world, *cough* I must now think of another ten things to reveal about myself. Believe me readers, you don't really want to know any more about me, but I'm certainly not one to break with tradition.

1. I'm a huge procrastinator who thrives on deadlines.

2. I've been thinking about writing a memoir about my time in the U.S. Army. I was a 107 lb pipsqueek. Trust me, it would be funny.

3. I'm a double spacer. Yes, I said it and I'm proud of it. Good luck to anyone in trying to teach my thumb to not hit the space bar twice after a sentence!

4. I grew up in a very small town in WNY with a student class size of about 97. I still only live about 15 minutes away from that very town today.

5. I learned the very hard way that when someone asks you if you can type you should reply with an emphatic NO!

6. I prefer writing male characters, and when I do have a female lead, she's usually surrounded by men.

7. I have a sick love for the smell of gunpowder. It was my time in the Army, I swear.

8. I've fired a 50 cal. and it was awesome!

9. I may have a violent streak. But I'm so cute. :) Teehee!

10. My favorite musical instrument is the bagpipe.

And the award goes to...!

Christi Goddard at A Torch in the Tempest

Abigail at Enigma Inklings

Justine Dell at her blog of the same name

And there are a couple others that I would have given the award to, but I didn't know if the guys would like be called sugar dolls. :o

So, I'll just give their blog names. They don't actually have to claim the award if they don't want to.

Ryan Chin at the chin project

Silentjackel at Inside My Demented Mind

Congratulations to everyone! Do check out these blogs; they're really great.

~Emily White

Awesome stuff right there.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Wolf Moon-Chapter 1c

For earlier installments of Wolf Moon, my paranormal writing project, click here.


There wasn't enough time for the word to pass his lips, but Chuck certainly thought it over and over again as the wolf, it's white teeth bared, soared through the sky at him. The strike from the massive animal was enough to knock him off his feet and crash him into the electrified fence. His jaw locked on contact as electricity surged through his spine.

He tried to scream through the pain, but every muscle failed to respond. The wolf that had knocked him down rose up out of the corner of Chuck's eye. The beast stood up on two legs and morphed into a man-like monster with coarse hair covering the expanse of its body and claws extending past its fingers.

It was at that precise moment that Chuck knew he was dead. Every second up until that point, he had harbored the delusion that he could fight his way out of it, but that foolish confidence was long gone. His body lay broken on the ground about to explode from the constant stream of electrical current running through it and something out of his nightmares stood just feet away, ready to rip him apart.

Nope. No hope. Not even a little bit. With all the strength he could muster, he took a deep breath and stared at the moon. That beautiful, beautiful moon. The last thing he would ever see.

Check in next week for the beginning of Chapter 2!!

~Emily White

Friday, February 12, 2010

Guest Blogger--Ryan Chin

Yup! It's Guest Blogger Friday! And today, I am very happy to post a blog by Ryan Chin from the chin project. Enjoy! (Scroll down to the bottom of the page to turn off the music)

Shack Attack

The stories behind the video

A pile of mulch has sat in front of my house for four months now. A long sinuous line of the stuff stretches down the street starting with the largest pieces and tapering down to the finest particles. If my son was older, I’d use it as an example of erosion and how fluvial deposits form, but he’s not. He’s only a couple pounds and still inside Lori’s womb. I feel a little bad neglecting that pile of mulch but I’ve other work to do.

As I load my twenty dollar bike into the van and hang my grandpa’s old suit off a bungee cord, the ‘I shoulds’ shoot at me from all directions. I should shovel that pile of mulch. I should work on the baby’s room. I should work on that kitchen remodel bid. I should work on a business newsletter. My remodeling business after all is “real work” that pays. I chuckle and check my gear: Video camera-check, tripod-check, notes and storyboard-check, guitar-check, beer, food and firewood-check.

“Where are you going again?” asks Lori.
“Brett and I are going to the shack. I saw this old shack when I was out fly fishing and thought it’d be a cool place to shoot video, “ I reply.
“Oh…a shack,” she says with her eyes rolling towards the mulch pile.
I kiss her goodbye and rub her belly, “The shack!”

She gives me the look. The look can go both ways: I married this guy? Or I love this guy! Today, it’s a little of both. I take pride in soliciting the look; it’s a sign of a healthy marriage. Actually if it weren’t for Brett, an old buddy whom she loves, I’m positive this mission would be vetoed. Brett is visiting from Chicago and she knows how little we get to hang out. We zoom off before more mulch piles can erode our resolve. Two hours later we pull the van off the road. Forty mile an hour wind gusts rock the van and speeding trucks and cars add to the maelstrom. We start gathering our gear for the steep walk in.

“You see it!” I scream.
Brett zips up his coat and pulls on his hat, “The shack man!”
“Definitely private range land!“ I shout, “All good though. It’s too shitty out. No one will know we’re down there!”

Having been exposed to Chin-antics for almost twenty years now, Brett simply shrugs and grabs the camera and tripod; everyone needs a friend like Brett. He’s been putting the ‘I shoulds’ aside for much longer than I, transforming silly-little ideas into reality for decades. He’s a black belt creative warrior who taught me to think decrepit shacks in the middle of nowhere are the best things in the world. I change into my grandpa’s old suit and we’re ready.

We stumble into a high desert valley in Eastern Oregon with dust biting our faces. Sage bushes bend and sway almost as if they are yawning: High winds, dust and cold. What’s new? We stop occasionally to marvel at the power and landscape. I stare at the leaning structure in the distance and joke about the rifle shots we’d feel but never hear.

Brett thrusts the tripod towards the gray sky and marches on.

* * *

Like my writing, Keep Going is a reminder to myself. Often, when I’m reading my own writing, I stop and say, “No way! How’d I forget that?” In today’s fast paced-out of touch world it’s easy to forget all those things we already know. Sure, I want Keep Goingto show my story sharing prowess, highlight the uniqueness of my multimedia memoir, and impress an agent who will land me a book deal. But in the end, if the video inspires people to get going and keep going then I’m happy. Cheers and thanks for reading and watching.

Note: The pile of mulch is gone and the baby room is well on its way!

* * *

Brett and I shot video in the coastal mountains West of Portland, in the high desert of Eastern Oregon, along the Deschutes River and the Columbia River, and in areas around Mt. Hood (Oregon rules!). Originally the biking footage was for a different project. I believe in starting a lot of things to give me a better chance at actually finishing something. It’s a good attitude for creative projects, but not so good for house projects and marriage. :) One project often feeds another as was the case here. While I was cutting shots of myself typing in cool places, I realized I needed some type of other action—a metaphor for chugging away and keeping the faith. The biking footage fit perfectly.

Brett jamming in the shack and paying tribute to Mr. Moon

* * *

The suit and hat was my Yeh Yeh’s (Chinese for grandpa on Dad’s side) who immigrated to the U.S in 1949 and passed in 2008. He was a great man with a great smile, the coolest Chin of them all. His hard work along with all my ancestors’ sweat forged the way for me to follow my dreams. I can pursue what I want to do because those who came before me did what they had to do. I’ve saved a special suit of his that I will wear when I bring my son home in a few months. When I was sitting in the shack with his suit on, I couldn’t help but think Yeh Yeh was up there laughing his ass off.

Before Yeh Yeh passed away he told me about a makeup table that belonged to my grandma so I went back to China to get it. The China Mission included finding and retrieving the table and a treasure hunt for lost jewels. The China Mission was well documented with video and will be my next multimedia memoir.

* * *

Grant is a neighborhood man whom I chat with often. He enjoys keeping tabs on the new sticks and stones I place in my yard. I left a note at his place telling him I needed an ‘urban sage’ to say a few lines. He called and asked, “You need what?” Later that day, he rode over and we shot his scene. I don’t think it would have been possible to cast someone better for the part.

An outtake from the Grant scene

* * *

A list of people who inspire me with their wonderful work

Julie Fast: Without Julie I would never have completed my memoir. Her unwavering belief in me from day one has carried me through this project. She is a world leading mental health expert. Her book titled, Get it Done When Your Depressed sits on my writing desk next to Strunk’s Elements of Style.

Brett Neiman: One of my best mates, a multimedia handyman, musician, and overall creative Jedi master.

S. Fisher Williams: An old skateboarding friend who has been described as, “The bastard by-product of Tim Burton, Edward Gorey and David Lynch.”

Jesse Hayward: This man has painted more dots and lines than anyone on the planet. His prolific freeness influences me a great deal.

Scott: I have only ‘met’ this man in cyberspace but I know he enjoys taking ’silly ideas’ and turning them into reality. He’s a novelist, screenwriter, producer, and musician.

Samantha Waltz: Samantha is a writer and a teacher. She hosts writing classes and is well known in the Portland area. She helped me polish some of my essays that were accepted for publication.

The Woodlands: A wife and husband indie folk-pop duo from here in Portland. I must have played their song, In The Dark On Monday, hundreds of times while editing the video and I never grew tired of it. Their music has gained international recognition and can be found at cdbaby.com

Brian Mundee~Birdwire: Brian is a full time social worker and family man living in NYC. Somehow he still finds time for his music which can also be found at

Wesley Picotte: A photographer friend who plans his pre-dawn sorties with Nasa precision.

Harry Hitzeman: My uncle is pursuing photography in his retirement. It’s a perfect example of keeping the joy of learning alive and well throughout one’s life.

Other writers I have met or know through cyberspace. Dedicated to the craft, we unite to battle the demons associated with writing a book. We find a way to keep going.

Don't forget to show your support to Ryan by visiting his blog!!!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Let's Talk: Etiquette for the Writerly Folk

Yeah, I know that writerly is not a word. I'm quirky like that.

This particular topic has come up a bit around town. There's been some discussion on Nathan Bransford's Blog about what you definitely should never do. Most of us would say, "but of course! What fool would ever think to walk in without invitation looking like a hit man?" Yeah, that does seem pretty obvious, but clearly new writers are getting some bad advice out there. Let's get this straight right now. I'm going to jot down a list of things you should never do, but might have heard that you should do.

Never call an agent with your pitch. This is why agents accept queries--they don't want to be called!

Never call an agent to ask them if you may submit in a way that is contrary to their submission guidelines. You will only appear amateur at best and plain difficult to work with at worst.

Never call an agent to find out the status of your submission.

--Are we seeing a theme?--

In fact, unless you are invited to do so, say from a conference or some other way, just don't ever call an agent. It will only work against you.

When submitting a query, stick to the guidelines. If the agent accepts only email submissions, send an email submission. If snail mail, send snail mail (don't forget that SASE--Self Addressed Stamped Envelope). If both, then praise the Lord because you've been given options!

It is always appropriate and acceptable to send the first five pages from your manuscript, even if not mentioned under the submission guidelines. This is one of those things that agents just come to expect and usually see no need to mention it.

Don't send a query unless your novel is complete. And by complete, I mean you have polished it to perfection. Sending a query is not a good way to kick your butt into gear to finish your novel. You are only wasting the agent's time if he does want it and asks for pages that you aren't ready to send.

That seems like a pretty good list for now, but if you have any more that you would like to add to it feel free to share! And tell us about any bad advice you may have gotten. And remember that we don't stick by these rules because agents are of the oh holy elite that we should bow before, but because this is a business and professionals treat people with courtesy.

~Emily White

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

And the Award Goes To...


Haha! It also goes to a few others who I'll be passing it onto at the end of the post, but first I want to thank Christi Goddard from A Torch in the Tempest for honoring me with this wonderful award.

And apparently, there's a tradition that goes along with the passing of the torch, so here goes:

I'm going to reveal ten things about myself that might be considered unusual. I'll start with the tenth and work up from there.

1o. I enjoy watching kid's movies and television shows such as Veggie Tales and 3,2,1 Penguins.

9. Sometimes I pretend I'm one of my characters when working on a scene or just washing the dishes.

8. I have obsessive/compulsive tendencies that cause me to freak out and concentrate on nothing else when I see a speck of dust out of the corner of my eye.

7. When I'm in the car listening to music, I'll pretend I'm an American Idol contestant. They all love me of course.

6. I've always wished I was a fairy. Wings would be cool.

5. I enjoy watching the contestants on The Biggest Loser getting tortured because it reminds me of my time in basic training.

4. I don't like roller coasters or marshmallows.

3. I much prefer sleeping over partying.

2. My favorite scenes to write include battles with guns and gore with people's faces being ripped off.


1. I still sleep with a blanket I had when I was a baby, and I took it to Iraq with me. Nice, huh? :)

Now on to nominations!!!

Cursings and Musings (Brandi Guthrey)

Wandering-Quill (Liz Penn)


~Emily White

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Why the Entertainment Industry is Starting to Tick Me Off

I was going to write a post on a different topic, which I will get to tomorrow, but I believe there is a more important issue that we need to discuss.

Rant time. Yes, it happens.

Thanks to The Rejectionist (here also) and Editorial Ass for enlightening their readers on a rather alarming state of events. Apparently the entertainment industry has come to the conclusion that white people are rather superficial bigots who won't spend any money to watch a movie with or read a book about people of color. Not only that, but they have insulted every person of color by indicating that they aren't good enough to grace anything we white people may read or watch. I'm sorry, but that makes me upset.

Never have I passed on a book or movie because the lead role did not have light enough skin. The thought never even once crossed my mind and it's sad to think that the entertainment industry would even consider it. I'll admit that I have been blessed to grow up in a rather diverse community, as well as a career in the military that has given me the opportunity to work and live with many people of different ethnicities. But at the same time, I never even once thought about how "different" this must be. Am I truly ignorant of what white people are like in other parts of the country? Is this industry justified in thinking that they'll make more money if they put people of fairer skin on the cover? I just don't know. And I'm hoping that you'll enlighten me.

Am I wrong to think that this is the most ridiculous state of events to ever take place? I truly just don't understand why it would even be considered to do such a thing. And I'm really mad that the industry thinks so poorly of us that we just can't get past race and treat everyone like human beings.

So, you tell me. Does the entertainment industry know what it's talking about? Are we really that superficial? And if we are, do you think the industry should be the one leading the way to represent people of color anyway? What are your thoughts?

In any case, the trend is a bad one and we need to vocalize our dissent.

Thanks for listening to the rant. I look forward to read what you have to say!

~Emily White

Monday, February 8, 2010

Wolf Moon-Chapter 1b

For the previous installment of Wolf Moon, my paranormal writing project, click here.

After a few more bites of loaf and mashed potatoes, Chuck found himself back at the front door putting his shoes and jacket on and cursing the pig that would not die. A biting cold wind slapped him on the face as he shrugged his shoulders up and walked a few yards to the shed to pick up the pig feed and then another hundred yards or so to the pen where Betsy waited with eager snorts.

Careful not to touch the charged wires of the electric fence, he lifted the handle on the gate and pushed his way past the overly zealous nudges of Betsy to the trough. Her hot breath seeped past the thick fibers of his jeans as her snout not so gently implied that he should move out of her way. He poured out the last of the feed and checked her water jug. There was plenty left and his ingenious little idea of rigging a small warmer to it kept the water thawed and good to drink, despite the subzero temperatures of late January.

He thought about running straight back to the house, but for once he pitied the poor animal and decided to give it a few moments of his attention. Betsy was his precious little girl's pet, after all. He didn't really hope it would die. Well, not completely. Sometimes, like when he saw the packages of meat in the freezer dwindling faster than previous years, he really did want to bring the swine's life to an end. Or when he thought about Jeanie having to come out in the cold to feed the wretch, what with wolves about and all. That's when he hated her. But now, as her warm belly brushed up against his leg, he kind of felt sorry for her and maybe even loved her. It wasn't her fault they couldn't really afford to keep buying her feed, or keep her fence charged so the wolves couldn't get in. All she knew was that she was out here alone with her family gone. The idea of it made Chuck sorta sad.

He stroked the pig's back and patted it on the side. She wasn't so bad. He could learn to like her. With a sigh, Chuck shoved his hands in his pocket and looked up at the sky. A full moon, bigger than he'd ever seen, hung in the center of the great blue dome. A few stars here and there twinkled beside it, but the moon took center stage. The grinning man smiled at him as if to say life was going to be all right. Chuck knew better, of course. Those foolish fancies had ended with his childhood long ago. But it was nice to remember them from time to time, and pretend he still believed them.

He patted Betsy one more time and started back to the house, latching the gate behind him. Chuck didn't make it four feet past the pen when he heard a howl that sent chills rushing up his spine. Wolves. And close, too. He shoved his hand into his coat pocket, looking for the pistol he hoped was there. Dammit. He forgot to grab it on his way out. Chuck cursed himself as he turned around to unlatch the gate. From the sound of the howl, there was no way he was going to make it back to the house, but the fence might keep him safe.

A thick growl from right behind him cut through the night air. He paused for a moment before he decided to turn and face the animal. A lone wolf with lips drawn back, his wet chops smacking, stood just feet from him. Odd. Most wolves didn't hunt alone.

Before Chuck couldn't even bring his arm up to defend himself, the wolf lunged into the air, straight for him.


Check in next week for the next installment!

~Emily White

Friday, February 5, 2010

Guest Blogger Fridays

As said in an earlier post, I'm opening up Fridays to guest bloggers who want to grab the attention of those who may not see their blog otherwise. I'm always very happy to help other writers, so I'm hoping that you find this to be a great opportunity for you!

So, if you're interested, send me a blog post to about anything your heart desires. It can include the kind of content that readers can expect to see on your own blog, or it can just be a personal bio. Please include a link to your blog along with a picture (optional) that you would like to be included.

I do reserve the right to reject anything with too much foul language or content that is contrary to the mood that I'm trying to set up on my own blog. I will always email you back and tell you why I rejected your post while giving you an opportunity to try again.

Please spread the word to fellow writers who are just starting out and need some extra exposure. Be advised, though, that all guest bloggers must also be followers of Stepping into Fantasy.

I can't wait to hear from you!

~Emily White

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Ender Series

Well I'll admit it--I've been putting this one off. This is why: the guy (Orson Scott Card) won a Hugo Award for these books, and there was just a lot that I didn't like about them. And who am I to question his skill? Well, to be honest, I'm not really questioning his skill as much as I'm rebelling against the content of his books. Let me break this down into what I did like and what I didn't.

What I liked:

The first book (Ender's Game) was absolutely amazing. I love books about child prodigies and this one was both exciting and complex.

His intriguing writing style continued throughout all four books, creating a fascinating glimpse of the future.

All of his characters, not just the protagonist, were well-developed and kept me interested.

What I didn't like:

The subject matter changed from a child trying to fight through trial after trial in book one to a "this is why you should convert to humanism" in the remaining books in the series. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind discussions of faith (from atheism to polytheism) in a book, but this was horribly blatant and it was painfully clear that the only "intelligent" characters could possibly grasp the fact that the notion of a living god was just plain silly. Those who did express any faith in anything were plain psycho at worst and childishly naive at best.

The inconsistencies became worse with each book. Little facts didn't blend from one book to another and even by the last book, the inconsistencies started popping up just pages later. It was horribly annoying and it felt like Card expected me to either not have a good enough memory or just to enjoy the ride without thinking about what I was reading. This always leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

The protagonist, Ender, started out as this lovable, honorable kid who you just couldn't help but fall in love with. He did some things by the end of book One that would probably destroy just about anybody. The result was that the character was different and at times, pretty pathetic. It seemed that even Card couldn't stand him and found no way to help him move on from what he'd done, so he devised a way to (spoiler alert!!!) split him into three different people, kill off the original Ender along with one of the copies, and be left with the Ender he had always wanted. And once this was finally accomplished, the series ends abruptly with two happy marriages.

So I read them, and enjoyed them at times, but I'd be cautious about recommending them. The first book shouldn't even be included in the rest of the series, it's so completely different. So let me revise what I said: I would definitely recommend Ender's Game, but any recommendation I might give for the rest would come with a warning.

~Emily White

Monday, February 1, 2010

Wolf Moon-Chapter 1a

As promised, the first installment of my newest project. Enjoy!

Bubble gum. Every night as Chuck walked into his countryside home after a long day at the Pompeii salad dressing factory over on Willowbrook St. in the warm but struggling town just fifteen miles away, his daughter, Milene, would wrap her skinny little arms around his neck and smother him with bubble gum scented kisses. The smell of her recently brushed teeth was just another painful reminder that he had missed an entire day of his daughter's life.

He pressed his rough and scruffy beard against her plump cheeks and reveled in her squeals and giggles. He wanted to be home with Milene and his wife, who pulled him away long enough to press her rosebud lips against his forehead and tussle his grimy hair, but times were tough and the bank was on his ass, threatening to take his family home. He should consider himself damn lucky that the higher-ups were letting him work so much overtime, instead of moping about his lost time with his girls.

Chuck's wife, Jeanine, loosened Milene's iron-tight grip around his neck and picked her up with the little girl's bum sitting precariously on the sexy little curve of her hip. "Say good night to daddy," she said.

Milene tossed her bouncy brown curls behind her head and waggled her hand up and down. "Nigh' nigh', bye bye."

Chuck nudged her chin with his forefinger and kissed her one last time before Jeanine turned around and walked down the dimly lit hallway to Milene's princess pink bedroom.

He kicked his boots off onto the floor and shrugged out of his Carhartt jacket. The day had been a long one and he was ready to fill his belly with a good meal and sit back with his feet up. One thing was for sure-Jeanine could always be counted on to keep his food warm and tend to his needs when he came home. God may not have blessed him with monetary wealth, but his family was a good one, that was for damn sure.

A slow and deliberate stretch brought his back arching to the rear, the popping of his strained bones bringing a few groans past his lips. He straightened and walked over to the oven, opened the door and pulled out a plate of meatloaf and mashed potatoes. Not bothering to waste the time to grab a fork, he broke off a piece of the loaf and shoved it into his mouth.

"Bad day?" Jeanine's deep, but still very feminine voice penetrated the silence. It was always too silent in that house; his ears couldn't bear it.

"What makes you say that?"

"You always seem a little hungrier after a bad day of work." She raised up the fork she had been hiding behind her back. He took it with a smile and plopped himself down at the kitchen table.

"Eh. Same morons doin' the same stupid shit." He leaned over his plate with his elbow on the table and shoved more food in his mouth. "I ain't gonna take it too much longer. I work too damn hard to let those pipsqueek punks just outta high school come and boss me around, telling me I gotta do their work because they ain't got the smarts to figure out how to run their station."

She smiled and sat next to him, running her nails along his back. "You say that every year, but each time, you take the new guys under your wing and teach them the ropes. It's just not in you to not do something."

"Yeah, well." He shoveled more food in his mouth.

"I didn't get a chance to feed Betsy this afternoon. It's been so long, anyway, I thought you might want to check on her to make sure she's doing all right."

Chuck tore his attention away from his plate long enough to see the sparkle in his wife's eyes. She knew he hated that pig, but it was Milene's pet, so they didn't slaughter it with the rest of them. He had been sure it would freeze to death all by itself in that pen with no warm bodies to snuggle against, but the damn thing was resilient and refused to give up. The thought of going out in the cold didn't warm him any and he knew Jeanine was just giggling inside. It was her own warped sense of humor, but it was one of those things he had fallen in love with when they were younger and stubbornly defiant, daring the world to rip them apart, assured it would never happen.

Yeah sure, he'd feed Betsy, but he wouldn't do it with a smile on his face.

Check in next Monday for the next installment!

~Emily White