Thursday, November 18, 2010

Week 3 - NaNoWriMo - Challenges

Week 3 NaNoWriMo has probably been the most challenging so far. Why? Because real life has a nasty habit of interfering!! Gosh, darn!

I did NaNoWriMo last year and this year. Last year I was a winner. This year I intend to be, too. I did all my prep work, cast my characters, did character bios, made maps, researched herbs, roots, werewolf and witch myths and I was ready to write on day one.

My NaNoWriMo project this year is kinda old and kinda new. I have a "deadline" to the publisher so I had to work on my rewrite/revision of The Wolf's Torment NOW. This project was previously with IUniverse, but I took it down, intent on changing some "big" things about the story. For one, I wanted to pair down the horror elements and focus more on the romantic elements. The biggest changes I've made: Sonia is no longer a maid - she's Mihai's half sister and Mihai reluctantly agrees to learn witchcraft, since his mother is a witch, and he is too. I just finished the first arc of the story - Viktor is bitten by Bane. I find the plot remains the same, but how I get there is much more different.

This week has been a challenge. The first two days of the week I was off and I usually do my writing at work on down time. I had to set aside time and work while my kids were home. It got tough when Joe wanted to jump all over my back. Yesterday, at work I couldn't do any work simply because I was on the the phones and I had no down time. I hope to work on the story today since I'm at a position that will allow it.

One of NaNoWriMo pleasures is meeting with my NaNoWriMo buddy, Jenifier Ranieri at the local Panera. We sit, chat a bit, drink coffee and write. It's fun to have a NaNoWriMo buddy. She's been able to get out to a couple of write-ins around the area where I haven't and it's nice to hear about her experiences.

My "unofficial" Word Count right now is 33K. My goal is to kick out another 3K today and tomorrow when I meet with Jenifier I need to get to typing.

Yes, Typing. Most of my writing is handwritten because at work, I can't have a computer and it's all handwritten. Just another challenge for me during NaNoWriMo.

I have a feeling Thanksgiving Week is going to pose another challenge for me.

Here's a RAW NaNoWriMo excerpt:
Bane watched form the rail of the ship as it approached Odessa. He had booked passage on a steam-powered boat as soon as Hecuba told him of his mark's destination – Odessa. And his mark had a name – Viktor. How delicious.

Viktor was several hours ahead of him, but Bane was resourceful and confident in his abilities to finally get what he wanted.
The winter wind wiped against his face. Hecuba was down below, resting. The potions she used to transform her body were getting more and more painful. Black magic had devoured her body. She had lived long – 200 years, but that was because she drank his blood, allowing his ability of regeneration and longevity to assist her body. It was now failing her. If she lived another two years, he would be surprised. And maybe it was time to give up the beast. He was nothing without her, and maybe he could finally consider death – especially if he could train Viktor to be his heir.

Bane ran a hand through his greasy hair. There was something about this Viktor that resonated deep in his bones. Something that he couldn't place – only that the man's natural scent, that of tiger lilies reminded him of home.

Odessa's port came into view. Bane enjoyed being a wolf, reveling in the supernatural power of his body. He was the leader of his pack and due to his age, he had skills younger wolves did not possess. Bane closed his eyes, recalling his younger days. He was born in a small Ukrainian tower – Chernivtsi, over 200 years ago, near the Romanian principality of Transylvania.

Bane looked to the sky, always aware of the phase of the moon. Because he was so old and a leader, he could transform at will. Younger wolves would only transform on the full moon when the moon's eerie light was at its full power, igniting the wolf's blood in its human host.

Werewolves needed two things come the full moon – to eat and have sex. When it came to satisfying the awful hunger, only human flesh and blood would do. There was something in human blood that held the hunger in check until the next full moon. Pig's blood would do if a wolf's appetite couldn't be properly attended to, but it lacked that special quality to be totally filling. A wolf would go insane if they drank pig's blood three moons in a row.

Then there was the insatiable desire to have sex. Only a witch could sate the wolf's heightened desires. Their energy was intuitive, feeling the wolf's emotions, calming him. A human woman could accommodate a wolf, but couldn't calm – the sex would be rough, dangerous with a human. Most wolves hunted for food at night, rested, and then, during the day, when they were human, coupled with the witches.
The full moon would occur in Odessa and while he hated to be away from his pack in Mulfaltar, he was not going to let the opportunity of biting Viktor pass him by again. He left Timon in charge. Timon was crafty yet cold, but the other two wolves could hold their own with Timon, and the witches would be protected by the wolves.

He smiled, recognizing the Potemkin Stairs. Soon, he would have a new wolf for his pack.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

19 Years

Us in PLDC when we went, Oct 1990

19 years has a lot of meaning for me. After all 19 years is a long time. I remember when I was 19, I was in the US Army overseas in Germany. I visited Paris for the first time on my 19 year birthday. 19 years ago on 14 NOV, I got married.

My husband's hair was blonder when I met him in Oct 1990, close to the color that my son, Joseph's, hair is now. And I've always had a weakness for blond-haired men. Brent and I met in Butzbach, Germany, in the middle of Germany. We were attending a leadership development school (PLDC) and we were in the same squad. There were 15 people to the squad and only two girls. And lucky me - I sat right up front. Grrr... That meant I had to turn around to look at him.

Brent thought I was looking at the guy next to him. Silly him. (Remember, he's blond) I was looking at him. I thought he was drop dead gorgeous.

As we got to talking, Brent and I discovered we were both stationed in Bad Hersfeld. He drove for the Colonel and went to the MP station were I worked every Wednesday to dispatch the vehicle. We missed each other by 30 feet for six months!

(See how fate is working it's way in here?)

Brent failed his situps in the PT test and had to do remedal PT. I may have been the last one around the track, (seriously!) but I passed my PT. Poor Brent. He sprained his ankle and refused to go to the medics because he didn't want to be kicked out of the class. I was impressed with his inner strength to stick it out. Soon we were sitting next to each other for all our meals. When we did our field problem, my buddy Ananasi Bloomberg kicked me out of my tent for personal hygene. Brent's tent buddy let me sleep in Brent's bag while he was on guard duty. *lol*

The day we were married, 14 NOV 1991

On our "free" weekend, we went back to Bad Hersfeld and went out on our first date to Pizza Hut in Giessen. We both graduated from PLDC and I made the honor graduates being in the top 10 of the class. We went to back to Bad Herself were the romance took off.

I remember playing raquetball with him and losing badly. I couldn't concentrate. I was too busy drooling over him. We went on a couple of volksmarches and so some dinner dates. He came to visit me on duty at the MP Station. I took him up to visit my old unit in Muenster.

Christmas Eve he asked me to marry him. How could I refuse? From JUN-SEP 1991 he was deployed to Kuwait while I stayed in Germany. Then he got orders to Ft. Drum. Instead of getting married on 14 FEB 1992, we pushed up the date and signed up for the Denmark wedding package. We took the train up to Nykobig, Denmark to the city of Falster.

I was excited to get married, but if you look at my pics on THAT day, I have a look like a deer in the headlights. LOL!! My husband still teases me about it.

Our family, last year's Christmas picture 2009

19 years later here we are - still married with two young boys. We've had our ups and downs but we're still here. It's cool. This year on our anniversary, we had the family over to make homemade peirogi from scratch and then we went to our favorite restaurant, a French one called Le Chene. It was nice to get away from the kids. Our first boy, Andrew, came to us when we were 10 years into the marriage so our kids are still young. Fun, but every so often, it's nice to have "adult" time.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veterans Day

Hi all. Most of you know I served in the Army from 1986-1997. I joined a Private E-1 and left a Staff Sergeant E-6. I was an MP and proud to be one, too. And while my time in the military was low key, I thought I'd share my thoughts and memories on my time in the military.

From Wikipedia:
Veterans Day is an annual United States holiday honoring military veterans. A federal holiday, it is observed on November 11. It is also celebrated as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day in other parts of the world, falling on November 11, the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I. (Major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 with the German signing of the Armistice.)

US President Woodrow Wilson declared the Holiday on 11 NOV 1919.

I joined the US Army on 8 JULY 1986, one month after I turned 18. My reasons for joining the military at such a tender age were varied, yet very real to me. Quite honesty, I had no prospects. I wanted to go to college, but I had no money. I wanted to get away from my mother, I wanted to see "the world" while I was young, not old. I did my Basic Training and Advanced Individual Training at Ft. McClellan, AL, home of the MP Corp. Now, I believe the MP Corp is at Ft. Leavenworth in KS.

Me in Tazsur, Hungary receiving an Award.

I was sent to Germany in DEC 1986 and my first assignment was at the 583rd Ordnance company. It was certainly an eye-opening experience! I fell in love with Germany and Europe. I went on several volksmarches (which is a another blog post onto itself!) I went to Berlin in 1988 before the wall fell, and I went to Salzburg, Austria, Garmish, and Berchesgarden. I spent a year in Romulus, NY at the 295th MP Co and then I went to MPI school. In NOV 1989, I was sent back to Germany where I was stationed at Fulda and Bad Hersfeld in support of the 11th ACR. I saw the Berlin Wall Fall and I was there when Germany was united as a nation on 3 OCT 1990. Gulf War I broke out, but my unit stayed in Germany. My fiance deployed to Kuwait in June 1991. (after major combat was done) After a tour at Ft. Irwin I went back to Germany in 1995. I deployed to Hungary in the summer of 1997 in support of the peacekeeping efforts in Bosnia.

My time in the military was full of highs and lows, (like failing my PT tests and doing remedial PT, but even then I learned I had to work harder to get what I wanted) but the rich experiences have made me a better person. I got my college education, graduating with a BS from California Baptist University in 1995. I've done things and seen things most people that age usually don't. I know the hardship and loneliness many have when away from loved ones during the holidays. I know the sacrifice.

To those who have served in the military, thank you for your service. I'm proud to be a veteran.