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Monday, April 30, 2012

Star-crossed Romance



I read once on an interview with an agent that the difference between Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance is that the relationships in UF end unhappily. While I disagree with this point for a lot of reasons, I’m going to focus on one: the unhappy part.

Through a lot of series I see the protagonist struggling to form a relationship with one or two (or three or four) love interests. Sometimes, the romance subplots seem to overshadow the main plots of the story. The MC becomes so wrapped up in their thoughts on their messed up relationships that they make stupid mistakes.

Now, I have no problems with a slow build to a relationship. By all means take as many books as you need, but please make it worth it in the end. I don’t just mean hot sex. If you spent five books with the buildup, please don’t break them up in the next book.

To me, maintaining a relationship is more difficult than forming one. Yet, I see a lot of books that almost irrevocably break up the characters. This is usually because the writer feels the reader will grow bored and cannot come up with an interesting conflict unless they are apart. I guess I am saying that I would like to see a conflict that the characters have to endure and stay together, instead of their own arguments driving them apart.

I have seen a few that has relationships that work and still keep us interested, like the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs. (Well at least where I am. I’m behind on it.) So, I still have hope. 

What are your thoughts on relationships in books? Do you like the on again off again struggle? Or would you like to see other conflicts in relationships

Monday, April 23, 2012

Eclipse



So, many of you are wondering why I named this blog Trip the Eclipse. Well maybe not, but I’m going to tell you anyway.

I have always loved the word eclipse. I have used it often in many of my online handles, like Twitter for example (@velveteclipse if you want to follow me). Now, I have decided to use the word Eclipse to refer to the world of spirits in my books.

Wikipedia states: “An eclipse is an astronomical event that occurs when an astronomical object is temporarily obscured, either by passing into the shadow of another body or by having another body pass between it and the viewer.”

In my book there are two parts to the Eclipse. There is the Upper Eclipse, where the Material Universe obscures Hell. This area is home to spirits of the higher order such as old gods of different pantheons. The Lower Eclipse where the Material Universe obscures heaven. This area is home to spirits such as darker gods, malevolent spirits, and ghosts.

 
This is a rough sketch I made of my cosmology. 

Spirits play a major part in my story. Many of them are the driving forces behind the characters. These spirits have the capacity to gift humans with their powers. This creates a connection strong enough for possible possession.

So, to trip the Eclipse is to enter my world. Welcome. I hope to continue to entertain you.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Vlad Dracula


 Ok, I'm not talking about Castlevania but this Dracula is so cool.

So, I accomplished a great feat last night. I finished reading Bram Stoker's Dracula. I love the story, but I am not a fan of the whole story written in journal form. Besides, who write accents in journals?

Anyway, there are a lot of differences from the book and the movies. The older movies, while keeping with whole Dracula just wants blood thing, are pretty campy. The one with Bela Lugosi has Renfield traveling to the count's home instead of Johnathon Harker. In the book, Renfield only shows up as a inmate in Seward asylum who becomes fascinated with Dracula when he moves in next door.

The movie by Francis Ford Coppola is a different story. Coppola depicts a love between Dracula and Mina that has lasted through lifetimes. In the book, Dracula chooses Mina as revenge for being hunted by her and the others. Despite this, Mina continues to do everything she can to see the creature vanquished. So where did Coppola come up with this?


Vlad Tepes.

Also know as Vlad III, Vlad Dracula, or Vlad the Impaler, he was the historical figure that most believe Stoker based the fictional vampire on. He is known for impaling his victims on stakes to frighten his enemies and warning any transgressors of his strict moral code. He is believed to have killed between 40,000 to 100,000 this way. Quite a lot, but he was in a war with the Ottoman Turks for the Wallachian throne for most of his life. Many Romanians still consider Vlad to be a hero for fending off the Turks.

There is a local legend about Vlad's first wife Jusztina Szilagyi and her death. During a turkesh raid on the castle lead by Vlad's brother Radu (he chose politics over family it seems,) an archer shot an arrow into the bed chamber to warn Vlad of Radu's approach. Jusztina read the warning and threw herself from the tower into a tributary of the Argeș River flowing below the castle, saying she would rather rot and be eaten by the fish of the Argeș than be led into captivity by the Turks. This is where Coppola got the inspiration for the romance between Vlad and Mina.

Castle Bran, also known as Castle Dracula.

I think I prefer Dracula more driven by cunning and revenge than romance, but that's how I'm feeling these days. How about you? Do you like the book or one of the movie versions?

Want to read about supernatural hunters? Check out A Prescription for Delirium available now on AmazonBarnes & Noble, and Smashwords

Monday, April 9, 2012

Hauntings and Visitations

Outside of the Pride House (Taken from website)



Last October, my friends and I travelled to Jefferson, TX in search of ghosts. This is sort thing we try to do for Halloween. Yes, I know cliché, but it beats the haunted houses. For the record, I do believe in restless spirits and know that sometimes they can be dangerous. We took precautions.

Jefferson is a small town in Northeast Texas located on the Big Cypress Bayou. It is a stone’s throw away from the Louisianan border. It was considered one of the great riverboat ports in Texas starting in 1845. That ended in 1872, when the Red River Raft was destroyed and the level of Caddo Lake and Big Cypress were lowered so much that riverboat travel to Jefferson were no longer feasible.


Jay Gould signed the guest registry for the Excelsior Hotel

Many actually attribute this to Jay Gould, the river magnate. Legend has it that Gould wanted to bring his railroad through Jefferson but the town leaders refused. So, Gould responded with a curse: “Grass will grow in your streets and bats will roost in your belfries, you decadent port.”

This was a cool photo I got of my reflection over the story of Jay Gould

So, why did we choose this town? Because Jefferson is also the most haunted town in Texas. Seriously, nearly every hotel or Bed and Breakfast has a ghost or five. The most famous ghost is Diamond Bessie, who was murdered by her husband/pimp for her diamonds.

We were going to stay at the Jefferson Hotel, but at the last minute our reservations were cancelled. So, we stayed at the Pride House, which was a stroke of luck for us. The Pride house, documented as the first bed and breakfast in Texas, was built in the 1880’s by George W. Brown and his wife Daisy. Now it is run by a lovely lady named Jenny (Check out her The Pride House Facebook Page page).

Ironically, there is a ghost in the house named Jenny. She was the 15 year old daughter of George and Daisy who succumbed to burns from catching her gown on fire on Christmas Day. There were two other ghosts that we think we had contact with during our stay. One, I think was George and the other was a little girl named Sarah.

I never saw any ghosts or ghost lights. Most of our experience was sound. I’d left my phone in my room to record while my friends and I went to the parlor. While we were away, my phone recorded a rattling. Ok, so here are some of the sounds.

So in the recording you can hear the rattling. At the end is where my boyfriend came in to check the recording. Note his breathing. There was a lack of breathing with the rattling. This one is a little long but I want you to see the difference.

video

Next, this is when my friends and I were in the parlor. Yes, we were having a semi-philosophical discussion, it was 2 in the morning. You can hear my friends. One asks a question and the other answers.

Next, you can hear a little girl giggle.

video

We checked. There were no children staying at the Pride house that night. Jenny said that was Sarah and she did that often. During our weekend, we had several other experiences though I did not get them on tape. Mostly, the ghosts liked to chime in on conversations.

This may not be proof for others, since they were not present, but it is enough for me. So, what about you? Have you had any supernatural experiences?

Monday, April 2, 2012

Music to My Ears


Where would we be without words? They have the power to make us laugh or cry. They can incite violence or bring peace. The old saying goes: “The pen is mightier than the sword.” All because of words.
I know. You’re thinking: Why is she writing about words? We all know what they do, but I think, like a lot of other things in life, people take words for granted.
As a child I was fascinated with words. I wondered who invented the first words and why? For instance, why is a cow called a cow? (The answer of cow’s origins are here)
With my love of words, grew a love of reading and spiraled into a love for writing. I always can appreciate a clever turn of phrase. I fall in love with certain musicians because of their word play.
For instance, a band I find phenomenal is VNV (Victory not Vengeance) Nation. Ronan Harris and Mark Jackson combine the ideals of Spirituality and Futurism in their lyrics. They are lyrics that make me think and lyrics that make me feel.
For instance, my favorite song from them is Carbon. A song I believe is about our sustainability versus our need for electricity.


Lyrics:

A million points of light ascending to the sky
Monuments in darkness standing watch until the sun will rise
Screaming to an emptiness of how we deified ourselves
With our hands over eyes, claiming all of creation.
What inspires in us this madness
That our existence should be defined
By a light that can’t be seen by anyone?
What inspires in us this madness
That our existence should be defined
By a light that we can’t see?

A million points of light ascending to the sky
Monuments in darkness standing watch until the sun will rise
I can’t see this all as progress
How did we come this far when we see ourselves as deities,
Claim nature for ourselves?
By our actions we betray the instincts in our race
By our blindness and stupidity
We kill everything, we kill everything.

Can someone see our self destruction?
Are we reminding ourselves that our existence is so delicate
That without this light we are no more?
That without this light we’ve made we are no more.

A million points of light ascending to the sky
Monuments in darkness standing watch until the sun will rise
We torch the earth until it bleeds, rain ashes from the sky
Just to make a light that no one can see
We cut the earth until it bleeds, rain ashes from the sky
Just to make a light that no one can see.
Just to make a light. Just to make a light
We kill everything
By our blindness and stupidity
We kill everything.

In a thousand years what will be our legacy a million lights that no one could see?

A million points of light.

Be it the lyrics of a song or the verse of a good book, words have always moved me. What about you? Are words just a part of life or do they hold a special place in your heart? What are your favorite words?