katiefoolery: (Don't panic!)
A while ago, I wrote a story with the rather over-long title of Why I Ran Away and Joined the Nunnery.  It was a fun story to write and I'd like to try and get it published eventually.  As it is, it needs a little work.

But this is not why I'm here today.  No, the reason for that concerns one of the characters within the story.  Namely, Ikvar, Destroyer of Worlds.

I don't know where Ikvar came from.  I really don't.  I blame the main character's grandmother, actually.  After all, she was the one who ran off and consorted with demons in the underworld.  And then brought one of them to the wedding of the main character's sister.

So there they were: Ellerie (my main character), her grandmother and Ikvar, Destroyer of Worlds, standing around making small talk.  I think Ellerie's grandmother was trying to prove something, to be honest.  Perhaps she wanted everyone to know that you're never too old to have a fling with a demon of the underworld...  It was the first scene I wrote, although it comes about half-way through the story.  And it goes a little like this:

It was easy to say when the trouble started. It was when my grandma turned up with her latest beau on her arm. Beacuse that beau just happened to be Ikvar, Destroyer of Worlds.

"Well well, a wedding," said Ikvar, exuding an actual aura of pure darkness.

"Did you bring our present, dear?" Grandma asked.

"I ate it," Ikvar said, looking malevolently sheepish.

"You ate an entire orchestra?" Grandma asked.

Ikvar blushed.

"There's my little Ellerie," Grandma said, dragging Ikvar over to meet me. We shook hands politely, which left me feeling extremely nauseous.

"So this is Ardor," Ikvar said with a sneer. "Weaklings. They have no-one who could defy me. I could destroy it with a single thought!"

"Not now, dear," Grandma said.

Ikvar burped.  The sound had a distinctly musical flavour.


I love Ikvar dearly, even though he's a minor character in the story.  He has a handy of habit of incinerating inconvenient people and setting things on fire.  I accept that this latter trait is not always handy, but it certainly would be if you were cold.  Or wanted to burn a city to the ground.  Or something.

Nevertheless, he is insanely powerful, quite evil and very black of heart.

So imagine how I felt when I saw an email from Ikvar in my email in-box this morning.

Ikvar has an email address!

It made my day, that email.  Alas, I have no idea where I got the name from: it just popped into my head and made itself at home.  I didn't even stop to think there might a real Ikvar, Destroyer of Worlds...
katiefoolery: (The open road awaits)
I stepped outside this morning for a breath of fresh air. It wasn't my choice - I had to go to the supermarket to buy the makings of my lunch - but I ended up quite grateful for the experience. Who would have thought that simply walking across a near-deserted carpark at quarter to eight in the morning could have put me in such a positive frame of mind? There's just something about mornings: the freshness, the sense of promise, not to mention the general lack of people, crowds and the annoyance of work. The sun is rising, the air is clear and you could almost be the only person around for miles.

Even though I was enjoying the experience, I still wished I was walking across a paddock or down the street of a country town, rather than the carpark outside Safeway. How much more pleasant and inspiring would it have been to be surrounded by bush and grassland and the sound of birds, as opposed to asphalt and the sound of traffic passing by? You could almost say it was inspirational.

It's lucky I happened to be feeling so inspired, because my poor old nunnery story was rejected overnight. I'm amazed that it was so quick - amazed and grateful. It wasn't too bad a rejection. According to the two people who read it, the story had promise but it wasn't quite there. It might have been a short rejection, but it still managed to convey a wealth of constructive criticism and guidelines for future revisions. Thanks to my five minutes' exposure to the morning air, I'm full of ideas and enthusiasm about the story where I would normally have been moping around. I want to make it a little longer, to work on the ending (which was quite rightly judged to be too abrupt) and to choose one of the plots and stick with it, rather than overloading it with choice the way I have at present.

Who would have thought that one sentence in a rejection email could have inspired so many ideas for improvement?

Since it causes such a positive attitude towards failure, I'm thinking of taking up a habit of stepping outside every morning, even if it's just to poke my head outside and enjoy the fresh morning air. I fear a walk at this stage would be too much like effort.
katiefoolery: (Default)

Yesterday, I finished writing the first draft of my story for the Conflux comp. It's patchy at the moment, but I'm still applying my 'write now, edit later' policy to it. My favourite bits at the moment involve my narrator's grandma, who is currently dating Ikvar, Destroyer of Worlds.

A quote:

"Well well, a wedding," said Ikvar, exuding an actual aura of pure darkness.
"Did you bring our present, dear?" Grandma asked.
"I ate it," Ikvar said, looking malevolently sheepish.
"You ate an entire orchestra?" Grandma asked.

And later...

Grandma gave me a sympathetic look. Beside her, Ikvar set an ancient tapestry on fire.

Actually, the funniest bit of the day came later, when I was talking to Tim about the story. "There's a bit of work to do on it," I said. "There are some bits I like and some that I don't like."

"Why did you write bits you didn't like?" he asked.

This resulted in me laughing 'til I cried. It's such a good question. Why would I write bits I didn't like?

Wot am I reading?

Well, I'm glad I asked me that question. I'm currently reading Loamhedge, the latest Redwall book. I love these books. They're meant for kids, I guess, but Brian Jacques is a damn good writer. The best bit about these books is the food. They eat the most delicious-sounding food you could ever imagine in these books. I spend half my time salivating all over the pages. It's an intriguing story so far - very typical Jacques and very enjoyable.

I recently finished re-reading A Sorcerer's Treason by Sarah Zettel. It's the first part of the Isavalta trilogy, even if the second one takes place before the first one. The first book is a brilliant read. I'll read the second one after Loamhedge and I'm hoping it will be just as good.

And Monstrous Regiment did finally reach up and grab me. It was only as I got towards the end that I started revelling in it. So much happens in the last quarter of book that will change the first three quarters when I re-read it. Because I have to re-read it. I knew that the minute I reached the end and started thinking about everything Pratchett was saying.

I think I'll finish off with an enormous 'thank-you' to [livejournal.com profile] morbane for reading and editing my story Ever Again. If I had your address, I'd send you a proper thank-you in the form of an enormous basket of lemons.

When looking for my Sarah Zettel links, I discovered that the third book has been released! I still have a book voucher left over from Christmas, so now I know wot it's destined for.

April 2011

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