Thursday, July 29, 2010
Here's me with Ally Carter:
Here's me with Simone Elkeles:
Jennifer Echols does her best Miss America impression:
Here's me with Tina Ferraro:
Tomorrow I have the Steampunk panel and I'm still super nervous about it. Hopefully everything will be fine. I'll post more pictures eventually.
Meanwhile, if you're not at conference you can check out the "Not Going to Conference Conference" at Romance Divas where there's all sorts of fun stuff going on, including a Steampunk Workshop.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Maggie was talking about writing and how you have to practice just like you would an instrument, and like playing an instrument, when you first start out, you suck. The tot leaned over and whispered "Mommy, you don't suck at writing, not anymore."
Talk about epic cuteness.
Hopefully her epic cuteness made up for the fact that I babbled like an idiot and spilled juice all over myself...and that would be why I wear a lot of black. I'm prone to spilling, and tripping, and babbling.
In my defense I had ingested way to much caffeine and way too little food. The signing was close to my house, but far from work, and I promised to bring the tot, who adores bookstores. So, I skipped dinner so that I could get there on time. Probably not the best idea.
It was a very nice signing with an art contest (someone even sang a song). The tot became very concerned about the fate of the cupcakes (there was a cupcake art category). Maggie (who was very sweet and patient, especially with the tot) assured her that no ill would befall the cupcakes. You know, the important things.
Speaking of important things...
I'm off tonight to the RWA national conference. Can I get a whoop whoop?
Yeah, I'm just a teeny tiny bit excited. I'm all packed--bustles, ball gowns, and tiaras, oh my! I'm going to miss the hubby and the tot so much, but I'm really looking forward to the conference. I'll have my pink "first sale" ribbon, my shiny new PAN status,I'll get to see some friends, and even meet my agent in person for the first time.
I'm also a little nervous about the panel I'm doing on Friday with Shelley Adina, Cindy Holby, and agent Jenifer Jackson.
When I say little, I mean I am downright terrified. Yeah, maybe I should wear black instead of purple.
Our panel is also opposite some very good ones, including one I'd like to attend -- the Ally Carter/Melissa de la Cruz one on building your YA empire (okay, it's not really called that). Now I'm convinced no one will be there and I'll be speaking to an empty room.
Of course if no one's there, then no one will see be trip, spill something, or make a complete fool of myself except for my fellow panelists and the moderator.
I did a post yesterday at Steamed! on getting ready for conference.
I'll be tweeting from the road and next week I'll hopefully have tons of pics for you. Please say "hi" if you see me. I'll be the hyper one with the pink "first sale" ribbon and a tiara who's probably managed to trip over someone and spill something all over herself while trying to meet Nora Roberts.
Friday, July 23, 2010
© 2010 Suzanne Lazear
A golden moon hung heavily, illuminating the ocean on this warm summer night. A light breeze whipped around me, teasing my unbound black hair. Waves, grey-blue in the moonlight, sung to me in haunted whispers as I sat down in the moist sand on the quiet stretch of beach.
It had been a year.
Taking the top off the bottle of Glenfiddich, I took a long swig of amber liquid, savoring the sensation as it slid down my throat. She loved thirty-year-old Scotch. I preferred a good red wine. Tonight I drank to her memory. The memory of Niniane. My lost love.
It had been a year.
A year since we sat on the on the sand, Scotch in hand, talking and looking at the moon in front of her little beach house.
It had been a long year.
Memories of that last night together still haunted my dreams. Sometimes I awoke thinking her pale arms were still wrapped around me. This I admitted to no one. It would be weakness in the vampire world.
My world. A dangerous world. A world where she was no longer there to love me unconditionally, as only she could. To ground me. To remind me that I, Sofia Amoretto, only pretended to be an evil vampire because my job, my life, depended on the fear I instilled in others.
Deep inside, I knew that night when she asked me to take her home, to her little beach house, that it would be our last night together. Even though she pretended that she was fine. Even though she called her best friends and her protector to make plans for us all to meet the next night for dinner. To celebrate.
But when we met the next night it would not be at her favorite restaurant to celebrate her finally breaking the curse that had bound her for millennia. It would be at the little Irish pub in
I had awoken with the sunset to find that sometime during the day she had breathed her last breath, curled in safety of my arms.
Her death hurt more than a stake in the heart, more than meeting the morning light.
We had pledged our love to each other, our lives to each other, planned everything out...
By all rights, we should have had an eternity together. Breaking the curse was supposed to be the start.
But we were cheated from that happiness, that life together we envisioned.
Who would have thought her crafty, long dead stepmother would have woven into the curse a spell that would cause her to die upon breaking it? She must have been a powerful one indeed to have the magic to kill an immortal. Especially one as uncommon as my Nini.
Taking another swig directly out of the bottle, raising it in a silent toast, I stared at the ocean as the waves continued their never-ending dance. She had loved the beach and warm weather.
Oh, I missed her so much. I missed her much more than a vampire should miss someone. I had loved her more than a vampire should love someone. She filled a void in my very being and every day her absence widened the hole her death left in my life.
Reaching into my pocket, I pulled out the golden medallion I had given her long ago when we lived together in
“Why did you have to leave me again, Nini?” The evening was quiet except for the music of the night and my voice carried across the empty expanse of sandy beach.
Our torrid affair in
Kicked out of Italy, I rebuilt my life in California and rose to a coveted position within the local hierarchy. One day, I was with some other vampires in a bar in
And there she was.
It was as if I had finally been given a second chance.
She looked as she always had. Enchanting. Beautiful. Ethereal.
The Fae always were.
But she was skittish. Nini’s heart was as big as the ocean. She loved with abandon and had been hurt many times. Too many times.
It took awhile to convince her to be with me again. To make it up to her. That I could heal her fragile heart--just like I had in Rome centuries before.
My love for her was still as strong as it had been in
Vampires liked to think that they were the best lovers. So did the Fae.
Together we were pure magic.
Taking another swig of Scotch, I felt it burn the back of my throat, wishing it would dull the pain. It should not hurt so much. After all, I was vampire.
But when you live forever, what else do you have to live for, if not for love?
That was hardly a vampiric statement
The medallion still in my fist, I brought that hand up until my fingers rested against the lapis pendant I wore around my neck. Still wore. She had one just like it, which now rested in my jewelry box. Our pledge to each other.
Her protector had given the medallion to me before he took her lifeless body back to her home, Gwlad y Tylwyth Teg, though her soul was in a place she called Annwyn, an otherworldly paradise where those like her went when they died. A place I would never go. Could never go.
Now I regretted my part in breaking the curse. My fingers curled around the medallion so tightly it cut into my palm. I wanted her to know what it was like to be free of it before I asked her to be my mate, to stand by my side, to stay with me for the rest of our centuries.
It was uncommon enough among vampires to take a permanent mate. After all, forever was a very long time. But for a vampire to take up with a non-vampire, even another immortal, in such a manner…
Also, faeries and vampires didn’t exactly get along. But my Nini was always an uncommon faerie.
When she finally found the information she needed, I pushed her. I pushed her to go through with it and finally break the curse. After all, what harm could come from being free?
The breeze brought me a scent that should not be there, interrupting my rumination.
In the moonlight, the intruder walking down the beach looked like a marble goddess from the ruins of Ancient Rome. I had not been born yet, when
She had many stories and was an expert at telling them. Nini was an old faerie, chronologically. But the curse kept her young in so many ways.
Sometimes I had been jealous of her, which made her loss all the harder. Nini had it all. She could walk in the sun or under the moon. She had undying youth and beauty. She had magic. She was immortal. All without paying the price we vampires did.
All she had was her curse. Eventually I’d find out that it was hard on her. That she was so weary that it ate at her very soul. An eternal teenager cursed to never to come of age. To forever be on the brink of womanhood.
The apparition’s hair was a billow of platinum. Bare feet left footprints in the damp sand. All she wore was a satiny purple negligee, the same color as her intense eyes.
Something Nini would wear. They were her favorite sleepwear this decade. Purple her favorite color.
Pale lavender wings stretched out behind her in a splendor few had ever seen.
If I still had a heart, it would have skipped a beat. Holding up the bottle I confirmed that I hadn’t drunk that much.
The apparition made me miss my Nini all the more; mourning the centuries we had not spent together...
Yes, that was it.
She was just a vision caused by the mist, the salt, and the full moon. Dawn would be here soon. I would need to go inside before then.
Still, I watched. Enthralled. Captivated.
Closer she drew until I had to stand up, angry at being disturbed. This was my private sorrow. It was not to be shared, even with apparitions. Already I mourned her more than a vampire should.
Finally the specter looked at me with violet eyes luminescent in the moonlight. The sculpted face was more beautiful, more radiant, than I remembered.
Part of me wanted to yell for her to go away, to leave me in peace so I could learn to live without her.
Part of me wanted to run into her arms.
What had I done in life to deserve this?
Reaching out, I wanted to touch her, but I hesitated. She looked like Nini, but my Nini was dead. I had held her lifeless body in my arms. I had attended at her wake. I had watched as her faerie protector, charged with watching after her until the curse was broken, walked though the gate that would take them back to the Otherworld, the realm of Faerie. To take her body back to her father, back to her court for them to mourn.
“Nini?” My voice shook slightly. My love. My dearest. My darling.
We were supposed to have been together forever. We had so many plans.
“I missed you, Sofia,” she reached to me, but didn’t touch me.
Why would she? This was just an apparition, a figment of my imagination and sorrow.
After all, it had been a year.
But I missed her.
Reaching out, I touched this figment. This specter. For a long moment all I did was touch her. I stroked her face, her unbound hair, those pale purple wings.
“I miss you so much.” A year should be nothing in the life of an immortal, but I swear it was the longest year in all my centuries. “What are you doing here?”
Even someone as uncommon as she could not come back from the dead. Could she?
Or was it just madness?
She put a finger to her lips. With a coy smile, she drew me close. Her familiar scent wrapped around me like a blanket.
Then she kissed me.
I kissed her back.
Quickly, I stripped off her nighty and my own clothes. Lowering her down on the sand I reacquainted myself with her body, with her. I had her back. Happiness filled me.
“Don’t leave me ever again, Nini.” Niniane was my everything. She made eternal life worth living. Without her...
I could feel her all around me as we entwined our limbs, our hearts, our souls. All that existed was each other. I was so immersed in our reunion, in the elation of being with her once again, that when the rays of dawn hit my exposed body I never felt the pain.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
I'm at a really good part where everything is coming together and my young characters reach their darkest moment and have to climb there way out...well, bike at least.
This book takes place in a city I've never been to, so I have to do a lot of research and things keep popping up as the story progresses. As I was writing I texted my friend and asked her if the city was small and safe enough that three eleven-year-olds would be able to ride around on their bikes to the different places they need to go (the things you have to think about, you know, lol).
Meanwhile, I'm getting ready for the big RWA national conference in Orlando. I'll be on a steampunk panel. Just last night I picked up my outfit for the panel, which some wonder friends altered for me. I can't wait to wear it.
Now, I just need to finish my ball gown for the steampunk ball.
Um, yeah. I need to remember to buy some sewing machine needles. I really don't want to sew on eight yards of ruffles on by hand. No thank you.
And well, I still have to decide between two dresses for the Ritas. Decisions, decisions.
I also need to figure out how ball gowns, day dresses, hats, and bustles will fit in my suitcase with all my regular clothes (and still have room for all the books I plan on bringing back.)
Anyone going to Orlando? What have you been up to this week?
Monday, July 19, 2010
My first panel, speaking about going to the RWA conference at my local RWA chapter meeting went well.
But I'm still obsessing about conference. How *am* I going to get all my steampunk stuff, and my clothes, into one suitcase and still have room for all the free book?
Today over at Steamed! I'm blogging about Elfpunk and how it's different than Urban Fantasy.
Friday, July 16, 2010
Sign up to win.
I've also been working on a Steampunk YA/MG Reading list. Is there anything you want to add?
Happy Friday. Any big plans? I need to do laundry. Maybe a little organizing for the RWA National conference coming up...
Oh, and I will also be speaking about how to prepare for the RWA National Conference at my local RWA chapter meeting on Sunday. The Los Angeles Romance Writers
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
This story has a lot of surprises for me, like hedgehogs who like smarties and purple taxis not everyone can see. It's shaping up to be imaginative and charming (I hope.) Now, I just have to figure out where the seamonster lives.
The main problem is that i have another project that has been drafted and needs some editing. That MC is getting a little impatient while I work on this and one of the characters has reveled quite a lot of his past to me (I never realized he played baseball).
In the mean time, I just have to keep drafting, lol. The other character will just have to wait.
Laurel, Kerri, will you be at RWA nationals? If not, email me your addys so I can get you your tiaras for wining the MG challenge. Any other winners out there?
Anyone up for a superhero challenge in August? A group I belong to will be hosting it, details later. It could be fun. :) yeah, like I need to be drafting *another* project right now.
Have a good week everyone.
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Today we have author Eden Bradly who shows us how she steampunked a pair of pants for a photoshoot.
Did you catch Steampunk band Marizane
Don't miss Q & A with author Ben Winters.
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
I'm at about 32k and about 2/3 of the way through with my story, so I'm making progress. I have a good ideas of what is happening when, which is really helping to keep me on track with this project. For me, every project is different. Some I outline, some I pants completely, some is a little of this and that. It's kind of strange, but hey, whatever works.
Currently, my MC is poking around where she shouldn't...setting the stage for the upcoming major act of micheif, lol...
I think I'm going to keep posting daily until I finish. If you want to join me, feel free.
Thanks again for joining me on this crazy experiment. I hope you wrote a lot.
How did everyone do? What progress did you make? Do you think you have the momentum you need to finish? Did anyone besides Laurel "win"?
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
I didn't win. It pains me to say it. But I didn't. There really wasn't anything I could do about it other than give up sleep. When you have a commute like mine (major freeway intersections + canyons) that's a very, very bad idea.
But I wrote in the morning, I wrote at lunch, and I have about 30k more than I did when I started. That's ultimately what this is about...getting out butts in gear and adding words.
In all honesty, it's not that bad of a word count. It's like NaNoWriMo pace. (1600 words a day = 50k in a month) If I continue I'll have this done in no time, though it looks like it'll be more than 45k, lol. But hey, that's what editing is for.
I appreciate you all slogging though this with me. I hope it's been helpful to you. I know it's been helpful to me.
So here's to one more day of fab wordcounts for everyone.
Monday, July 5, 2010
Saturday, July 3, 2010
Friday, July 2, 2010
Thursday, July 1, 2010
But I'm through that chapter and on to the next, logging 3,674 words in the process. Not bad...except that it's 3 days of work.
I'm nearly at 25k now, so I'm chugging along.
How did everyone else do today?