Witches, and Vamps, and Daemons oh my!

The yellow plague is here, aka pollen season. Being my only allergy, it is a little like feeling you’re slowly dying for a few weeks. Breathing is a bit essential so it’s miserable. Thankfully I can still get some quality reading time in as well as keeping up with my bookish friends. Speaking of, there are several out in the blogosphere that have been doing link-up posts about various topics under #BookishBloggersUnite This week is Favorite Side Characters. I’ve thought about this for a few days, but I couldn’t settle on one. Initially, I looked at this as sidekicks. For instance Dr. Watson. He is a great side character, but it wasn’t quite what I was looking for. I wanted someone who stood out, someone who really stole the show. It needed to be someone who grew with the story and really evolved as it went in unexpected and brilliant ways.

As of today, I think I have finally found that side character. I finally started reading A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness a few weeks ago. It’s the first book in the All Souls Trilogy. Diana Bishop is a history professor visiting at Oxford who specializes in the history of alchemy. She stumbles across a magical book that starts to bring out her own suppressed magic that she has fought her entire life. She also stumbles upon Matthew de Clermont. A vampire who can brood with the best of them. What follows is a love story, a war, and hope for a new world. I got sucked in from the very beginning! The cast of characters expands to include several other vampires, witches, and daemons (I’m looking at you Kit Marlowe). Daemons here are the incredibly creative and sometimes a bit unruly, not the evil, glowing-eyed monsters many think of.  Vampires meld into society largely unnoticed but live by their own very strict set of rules and loyalties. Then there are the witches. Some power hungry, some genial, all powerful to some degree. And the book? It could very well hold the answers to where they all came from…and how to get rid of them. It appears to have chosen Diana, but unfortunately, EVERYONE wants to get their hands on it.

The world that Harkness creates is so rich in history and characters, that it’s hard to pick just one favorite. Phillipe, the patriarch of the de Clermonts has been writing history the way he wants for as long as anyone can remember. Gallowglass is a sweet vamp whose protectiveness makes him a valuable asset. Chris, a human scientist and Diana’s best friend, doesn’t come into play until Book 3 but he isn’t afraid to put Matthew in his place and keep him in line. Any of the 16th century School Night players, Christopher Marlow/Walter Raleigh/Lord Northumberland and their brotherhood of sorts. They all play such a crucial role along the journey, but as I finished book 3 today, one character stood out as so beautifully fleshed out and spirited I knew I had found my answer.

Ysabeau.

Ysabeau if Matthew’s creator-mother and matriarch of the de Clermont family. She is stubborn, wily, loving, and clever. All along the way, she grows from a cold, hard, witch hating vampire you wouldn’t want to cross in an alley to the number one person you want with you were you to cross her in an alley. She evolves so much over all three books that you can’t help but grow to love her. At one point Matthew tries to explain to Diana that people always knew Phillipe was in charge but that Phillipe always knew it was actually Ysabeau who ran the show. He wasn’t kidding. There’s a scene late in the story when they need to get past a vamp guard. She walks right up and says “meet your grandmother” before she stabs a dagger into his heart. At the same time, she loves more fiercely than anyone else when it comes to her family despite her personal views. My heart broke for her time and again but her strength comes across on the page as clearly as if she walked into your living room.

Conveniently, she may be doing that soon. It appears it will be a tv show this fall. Matthew will be played by Matthew Goode, and if that isn’t enough to convince you to check it out, you may need your head checked. He’s a perfect choice! Why do the Brits get all the good television?! I digress. Trust me, if you want to feel allllll the feels, go check out A Discovery of Witches and hold on for the ride.

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Little Victories!

So I’m sitting at work this morning feeling pretty confident after a call and getting stuff done when suddenly the hubby’s face pops up on my cellphone. Little man is throwing up so I pack it up and head home. The next several hours involve a lot of Star Wars:Clone Wars and Dinotrux in the background. (it’s exactly what it sounds like. Dinosaurs made out of machines. Look it up on Netflix if you’re ready to call DSS on Ryder’s parents and have the Paw Patrol taken care of somewhere far far away). Of course little dude thinks he’s totally fine now but pesky health regulations means he’s staying home from daycare tomorrow & I’m taking the day off to hang with him, because let’s be honest, he’ll be wide open all day. One very good thing about this is I will have loads of time to write tomorrow and can potentially go to bed at a decent hour finally! Yay for little victories. I can’t even say that without immediately hearing Matt Nathanson in my head. If you haven’t heard “Little Victories”, fix that. immediately. Here, I’ll even do the hard work for you ( Little Victories )

“This time I’ll be sailing
No more bailing boats for me
I’ll be out here on the sea
Just my confidence and me
And I’ll be awful sometimes
Weakened to my knees
But I’ll learn to get by
On the little victories

This time I’ll have no fear
I’ll be standing strong and tall
Turn my back towards them all
And I’ll be awful sometimes
Weakened to my knees
But I’ll learn to get by
On the little victories

And if the world decides to catch up with me
It’s a little victory”

You’re welcome. Speaking of little victories, I finally broke through the wall on my story I think! I’ve been circling around the real meat of the story for awhile. It feels like we’re just dragging our feet, playing at a real story. I could feel it, I could almost see but it was somehow still out of grasp. But ya’ll. I think I did it. I went from feeling guilty about having to report I wrote less than the 1,667 goal, to deciding to tough it out and just dump until I got there. Before I knew it, there it was. Not only do I finally have a working world backstory, I finally have the how! I knew I wanted some kind of fantastical element to the story but I didn’t want it to be straight up witches and wands. I’ve been doing lots of ‘research’ lately, aka reading/listening to a whole bunch of different ways other authors have written about powers/magic/fantasy, etc. to get some ideas of what I can relate to and what I don’t like. That’s why my Goodreads shelf is jumping all over the place lately; you can conveniently follow it below in a box to the left, all the books in a box to the left. (Sorry Bey, I know. That was bad). That brings us to the hard facts from today:

Your Average Per Day
1,746
Words Written Today
2,137
Total Words Written
24,445
Words Remaining
25,555
Current Day
14
Days Remaining
17
At This Rate You Will Finish On
November 29, 2016
Words Per Day To Finish On Time
1,504

42. and the wait will soon be over

If you don’t know what the meaning of life is by now then I suggest you go buy Hitchhiker’s Guide To the Galaxy. Speaking of animals I need, where can I get a babel fish?? Hubs and I started watching Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency on BBC America (because I LOVE all things British) and while he’s over here saying “wait what? WTF. What is going on?!” the whole time and finally walking out mid-episode today, I am thoroughly intrigued. It’s too complicated to describe other than Dirk follows Fate around to solve (maybe?) crimes and his unwilling sidekick is played by Elijah Wood. There’s an assassin the Universe won’t let be harmed. Oh yeah, and it’s based on a book by the same guy who wrote Hitchhiker’s Guide. So yeah. Super weird but I dig it.

My husband was then making fun of my writing soundtrack today. It was Ernie Halter’s Acoustic Throwback – 90s Rhythm and Blues with such classics as “No Diggity”, “Pony”, “Poison” and best of all “Waterfalls”. I, myself, love this album, he not so much. I’m clearly the fun one guys so you should take my advice and check him out. You will not be disappointed.

Wins: I can’t really pinpoint one today BUT once I get beyond this bump in the story (probably in the next few days I believe) I will give you an insight into what I’m actually writing about. I’m almost to the point in the story where I got frustrated the first time round, hence the rewrite. A bit of reward for all 2 of you long suffering readers.

Struggles: focus was awful today. I tweaked my knee yesterday so I didn’t get much sleep last night from the discomfort. In fact I fell asleep midday for several hours so I will admit I cheated more than usual today. Since I’m doing a rewrite, there are some scenes I like (albeit I am reworking them, *promise*). So I switched back and forth to get a sentence or two here and there but mostly lifted the entire scene idea to redo it. Up to this point I’ve done very little of that as I’m trying to expand my male character and give him more life in the beginning but I am at the point where the story really turns so I don’t want to mess with what I started there. To be fair, I still hit the mark without the copy +paste though so I won’t be too hard on myself

Your Average Per Day
1,808
Words Written Today
1,932
Total Words Written
10,853
Words Remaining
39,147
Current Day
6
Days Remaining
25
At This Rate You Will Finish On
November 28, 2016
Words Per Day To Finish On Time
1,566