This is my personal blog and does not necessarily reflect the collective views of Hard Limits Press

Friday, March 21, 2014

Changeling: the Lost or what am I doing now

Right now, Onyx Path Publishing is looking for freelance writers. I picked up my first Werewolf: the Apocalypse book at thirteen, and the World of Darkness has had an immeasurable effect on my work since then. One of the first novella length things I ever saw through to the end was a piece of Werewolf fanfiction. To say I want this job with a deep and all encompassing passion would be understating the case. So everything else is on hold while I go in to emergency mode and try and write the best thing I can for this all call. 

The game I think I love the most from their New World of Darkness line is Changeling: the Dreaming. Exploring trauma has always been a major theme of mine. No Deadly Thing revolves around it. In fact I would say it's the very heart of the story. 

For a long time the Werewolf: the Apocalypse tagline inspired me: "a story telling game of savage horror." But what grabbed my attention even more? "Changeling the Dreaming: a Storytelling Game of Beautiful Madness." 

Madness, insanity, lunacy and so forth matter to me just as much as trauma, and Changeling: the Lost has brought them all together in a mix I find completely irresistible. My little project therefore is Changeling: the Lost related and I feel cautiously optimistic about it. A close friend of mine is doing a write up for Mage: the Awakening and his project is also totally kick ass. To share in the creative process has been wonderful. Think good thoughts for both of us, okay? 

Back to the worktable with me. 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Anita Blake inspired novel, wip excerpt

Here's a little more from the ms:

I pressed the door [to my loft] open and stepped inside, coming around through the kitchen to put a bag of groceries on the counter. I turned and walked through the living room, intending to go and rest my forehead against the cool, blue walls the way I did when there was too much in my brain, as if I were putting my head in the freezer on a hot day. I'd read somewhere that blue was a calming color. Instead I whipped my keys at the lamp sitting next to the couch and it shattered in to a thousand pieces.

I fell over. I didn’t really sit down, and I didn’t faint. I just…fell. I curled up on my side. I wanted my mother. I wanted to undo the killing I’d committed earlier. I briefly but genuinely considered quitting the force and opening a bakery in some little town no one has ever heard of. Too bad I can’t bake. Maybe a bookstore, then. Yeah. One of those places with a bunch of antique maps in gilded frames and dog eared copies of War and Peave on the free shelf.

I didn’t hear the door buzzer at first. The grief had sunken in to all my limbs and I could barely move. I felt buried, as if they’d put me in the coffin alongside my mother’s corpse.

I made myself get up. I leaned on the intercom button. I couldn’t make myself say anything, but Saffie’s voice came through anyway.

“Ginny?” She sounded uncharacteristically diffident. I had a petty thought about how I hoped she wasn’t having a crisis she was hoping I’d handle for her. I was lucky because some quirk of my brain structure made me more resistant to trauma than some, but I was human. I had limits, and I was finding every single one of them today.

“Fuck. Come in.”

She showed up at my door so quick I wondered if she’d learned how to teleport. She was wearing a robin’s egg blue sweater and silver hoop earrings. Her white coat and dark wash jeans were both designer. Her flawless dark skin shone like she’d just been to the spa. In short, she looked fabulous and I looked like shit.

I stepped back to let her in, hoping she wouldn’t bring up the broken lamp. I went for my bag, digging through it like a starving coyote for the packet of clove cigarettes in the bottom. I jammed one between my teeth and lit it.

“Bad day, huh?”

Saffie asked, sounding like a farmer trying to calm a skittish horse. I couldn’t be assed to get annoyed over it. I felt as unpredictable as a skittish horse, anyway.

“I killed someone, Saffie.”

To my horror I welled up with tears and my throat closed. I got the shakes so bad I had to take a seat at the nearest bar stool, and the lighter tumbled form my hand.

“Jesus. What happened?”

“Vampire came out of nowhere. Tried to bite my throat out.”

Saffie walked over, close enough that I could smell her vanilla and black musk perfume. She dipped in to my pack of cigarettes, like she needed something to focus on too. She lit one of the cloves and drew a breath, taking the seat next to me.

“These things are fucking terrible.” She informed me. I managed a smile.

“They get the job done.”

“He was trying to kill you.”


I knew what she was getting at. I had been acting in self defense, and I knew that once the department reviewed the camera footage from my on board, they’d rule the same. But it didn’t really comfort me much. The guy was still dead. Sure, he was a vampire, but he hadn’t been in his right mind either. I suspected the guys in the house had been starving him, waiting to unleash him like an attack dog. He’d just had the misfortune to attack someone well trained and well armed. Now some family out there was missing their son, if they hadn’t disowned the poor bastard for being a vampire already. 

Monday, March 3, 2014

Another excerpt from the Anita Blake inspired novel

We filed out and in to the police van while the lead hostage negotiator patched in to 911 and got the brief from them. The guy looked like he could handle pretty much anything, lean like a greyhound but with remote grey eyes that told me his slight body was just to lull people in to a false sense of security. There was steel underneath all that, and he gave me the impression that he was a fantastic mimic, able to put on an air of sympathy as easily as he could play the hardass. That made me feel a little better. They put him through to the suspect. I could hear the suspect screaming even in the back of the van.

I put the Benelli M4 shotgun across my lap and collapsed the butt stock. I doubted I’d have enough room to use the weapon’s full length. The frangible rounds would get me through whatever shitty look they had on the back door, once I was sure I wasn’t going to set off any explosives by using it. Any nervousness I’d felt before fell away like a crumpled piece of paper thrown in to a trash bin, leaving a fresh, blank sheet behind.

We parked the van just behind and to the side of all the black and white police cruisers, parked sideways to form a barricade. The hostage negotiator got out, still talking in to the phone in a tone so hushed I couldn’t understand what he was saying. Even though this was my first live situation with S.W.A.T. I knew what to do; I got out and waited for the others to take their positions, then followed and darted around to the back of the house.

No one. I drew my magical shields close against my body, imagining a beige veil with no distinguishing marks. If anyone scanned the area for those with awakened auras, they’d miss me. For all the average seer knew, I didn’t exist. This was also why I didn’t need a bomb suit or a riot shield for this type of work. If I could keep the magical protection powered up, the average projectile would burn up before it hit me. I still wore a spine protector panel sewn in to my vest, and every piece of equipment that came in contact with my body was made of ballistic integrity approved materials, but the fact remained that I could go in quieter and lighter than the average mortal.

I could smell the stench from out here, that distinctive mix of garbage, piss, and despair. The clapboard was rotting too, eating away at the floors so that the house sat at an obvious angle. Magic coiled beneath my feet, telling me that underneath it all the earth still breathed, that one day nature would reclaim this place.

I put my back against the wall and slid around to the backyard, a sad little postage stamp filled with sere grass. A kid’s bike lay tipped over in the overgrowth, glinting purple and teal. I grounded, reaching in to the black soil somewhere beneath the stones. Those steely wires bit in to me again, my magic, my will. They lit up with power, needles piercing my heart, my lungs, filling me with liquid potential. I could shape whatever I believed in enough from this source, all of it waiting under my bland covering. I was a star in Nuit’s firmament in my own right, a solar system unto my own in Lucifer’s endless night, and I burned like one.