It's November, and a very interesting time of year for writers. This month is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo for "short") and during this time a writing event takes place. The event challeneges writers/authors to write 50k words in one month. Many novels end up this length so the goal is really to write a full book in a month, but my genere allows for more, so it's not really a full book for me.
I've never participated in the event, other things, like self editing, always getting in the way. But after going back and forth on the idea of participating this year, since I've been deep in self editing books 2-4 of the Experimental Heart series, I decided to give it a try. Book 2 went off to some betas two weeks ago, and I'm so tired of editing, that I figured a break was in order, so I've been working on an idea ofr this event.
Because my mind likes to jump around a lot, my plan is to work on one main book, but also allow myself to work on passages for other future stories. So what is this book you ask? Well, it's not part of the EH series, that much I can tell you. Yes, I know some of you may be say about that, but I didn't think it'd be a good idea to write about book 5 in the series and post about it, when books 2-4 aren't even out yet. Good new though, it's part of that same world, so hopefully that gets you guys excited. This book is also a Paranormal Romance, or that's the plan. Might just turn into a Urban Fantasy like the EH books did. We'll see how it plays out.
Also, you heard me correctly when I said I was going to post about the writings. Whatever I write, bookwise, will be posted to you guys to read. That means a blog post every day for the next month. You'll get to follow along with me as I write out the disgusting first draft of a book. Yes, I said disgusting. You guys will find out how rough my drafts are before they are polished up and ready for release. This also means you might get some jumping around. Even though I have an outline for this book, itdeas sometimes jump at me at different time, and whatever speaks to me the loudest, gets written. So you'll also get a glimpse of what I'm like as a writer.
Now some of you may be wondering, if I complete this book in the month, when will it be published. And it's a question I don't know the answer to. Unfortunitely, the book that spoke to me the most for this event, was part of a huge series (I won't say how big, as I don't need to give you guys a premature heart attack), and this book isn't close to the begining, sadly. The books are stand-alones, technically, but they're connected enough where I would need to release them in order for it all to make sense. Some of you might be okay with this, as it means you get a glimise of this new series, and some of you might hate me, and for that I'm sorry. I really did try to get into wanting to write the first book in the series, but this book really wouldn't be ignored. It's been trying to be written for several months but I've been trying to ignore it as much as possible so I could focus on the EH series.
So, many of you might be wondering, is that all there is to this lengthy post? Luckily no. I already have some passages written up to share. What I'm posting today are passages I wrote in advance to get the creative juices flowing for this book. They don't count towards my total word count, but that's okay, I needed the time to get the ideas straght for this book. I'll be posting today's words tomorrow, so I guess in stead of 30 blog posts, you'll get 31 since the last day will contain the last words I get out at the end of the event.
"Are you ready? This is the ideal match for you."
"I've experienced much in the lives I've lived. No matter what is given to me, I can handle it. I am ready, Rashta."
"Very well. I will always be there for you when you need me."
I jolted away when the car hit some sort of bump. My startled state had me looking around and the young man with ebon hair and tan skin sitting in the driver's seat next to me chuckled. "Sorry, Rinneth. I meant to miss that pothole."
I rubbed my eyes and glared at him. "You did it on purpose, Ramos."
His sapphire eyes danced with amusement. "I did not. Besides, we're almost at the convention."
"I need as much sleep as I can get."
"Well maybe you shouldn't have been up until four in the morning playing Evenstar."
I shrugged and looked out as the city flashing past us. "Couldn't sleep so figured I'd work on that new quest line some more."
"You're going to make it very difficult for me to catch up to you, you know that?"
I shrugged. "Not like I can't find a tank elsewhere."
"Oh c'mon. You're not going to find many out there that are as good as me."
"True, but I'll find more who are far more dedicated."
He sighed and pointed to the bottle of sunscreen in the pocket of the console between us. "You're going to want to apply some of that. Weather man said it'd be warm and sunny today and we both know how badly your burn with your light skin."
I rolled my eyes. "One, we're in a car. Two, it's early enough in the morning that the sun won't cause me any problems. And three, we're going to be inside. I don't need it."
"Rinneth," a female voice in my head said.
"Hey, Rashta, what's up?"
"Something is different about today," she said.
"Besides the fact I'm out of the house?"
She chuckled. "Yes. Something fate has a hand in. I sense it."
"Sounds rather interesting. I wonder what it could be."
"You sound excited."
"It's been a while since you said fate is involved in what happens during my day-to-day routine. And since my existence is based on that, well, I get pretty interested."
"I was under the impression you hated me for the fate I bestowed you."
"I dislike the type of Halfling I am. No one understands what it means to be like me. No one really wants to understand Halflings anyways, but when there are so few of your type, it's hard finding someone who gets it. But, I don't hate you for what you did, Rashta. You did what you thought was best for me, and for that I'm grateful. I just have to make the most out of the life you've given me."
"I'm also grateful. It's not often you've thanked me in the past for the choice I made. I sometimes wonder if it was the right one. But seeing you happy in the end, each time, reminds me that I did make the right call."
"Hopefully I'll get that happy ending too."
"Rinneth, are you talking to Rashta?" Ramos asked.
He shrugged. "You're making funny faces, that's all."
I hit him in the arm. "Shut up."
He chuckled as he rubbed his arm briefly and then pointed out the window. "We're here."
I looked out the window and gazed at the glass skyscraper towing over the city. Lumas City’s tallest building, the Mial Convention Center. This is where the Evenstar pretournament convention was being held today. Not many games out there could get a build this nice for their conventions, but Evenstar wasn’t your average game. The first to successfully use virtual gaming beyond standard video helmets with game controllers, Evenstar was a full body and mind experience that transported you into a world of fantasy beyond your imagination.
Well, that’s how they advertised it for the last two hundred years. It was more like Lumaraeon in the past with imagined beasts and small tweaks to current creatures--like Dragons. They were mere beasts in this game with no shapeshifting abilities or higher intelligence. Ramos, even know, complained about that from time to time, not that I could really blame him since no other sentient race received a similar treatment. It should have affected me more than it did, but I figured it was just a game so why throw a fit?
We pulled into a parking space and I flipped down the sunvisor in front of me to quickly apply some eyeliner and mascara to accentuate my green eyes. I then fixed my medium length red hair with black lowlights into neat low pigtails.
Ramos looked at me. "Back up. You weren't wearing makeup?"
"Uh, no," I said. "I figured I'd fall asleep so I didn't want it smudging everywhere."
He shook his head. "I don't know why you wear it when you look good without it."
"Because I want to? I wear it all the time anyways."
"Then why wear it now? It's just a convention full of nerds."
"You act like I'm looking for someone's approval. When have I ever looked for someone's approval? Certainly not when I got my ears pierced several times, and definitely not when I got my nose and tongue pierced."
Ramos chuckled, clearly remembering when I had gotten those two piercings and my father threw a fit. He never managed to convince me to get rid of them.
We climbed out of the black super car and walked through the dead, muddy garden laid out before the convention center. This winter had been very mild, a while cold, acted more like spring with all the rain we were getting. It was the rain we needed last year during the summer. Most of Lumaraeon had been in a drought. Hopefully the rain now meant more rain later in the year as well. I looked up at the sky to find rain clouds rolling in quickly.
“Looks like the weatherman lied,” Ramos said, noticing the clouds as well. "Good thing this convention is inside."
We entered the convention center and our ears were slammed with the loud chatter of thousands of people. We pushed through the crowd in the entrance until we made it to the front, ignoring the series of protests, where we were met by a line of security guards keeping the convention attendees from entering the building just set.
“I’m sorry you two, but you’ll have to wait a little longer for the doors to open,” One guard told us as we approached.
Ramos and I dug into our back pockets and pulled out two badges.
“We’re with Fallon Industries,” Ramos told him.
My Name is Ramos and this here is Rinneth. We’re here on behalf of Fallon himself to meet with the committee to make sure everything is going smoothly for the tournament in a few months. We’re not here on leisure.”
“Not entirely at least,” I added.
I may be working, but I was going to have fun too. I had planned to attend this convention for months before I had been given this little assignment. The only way I had agreed to it was if I was allowed time to mingle like all other Evenstar fans.
The security guard nodded and spoke into his walkie talkie. "Sir, we have two representatives, Ramos and Rinneth, from Fallon Industries here."
"Excellent. Send them up," came the reply.
The security guard lifted up the block-off rope and nodded as us. "Follow me."
We followed him into the large first floor main room where most of the attendees would mingle with each other and buy from booths. We passed several PvP, player vs. player, battle stations, and as we made it to the glass elevator to head up to level, the levels we passed had more battle stations and booths, as well as auditoriums where Q&A sessions would take place. I caught brief glimpses of several PvP teams setting up for their sessions and wondered if any of them were any of the top teams. I wanted to witness one. I may be a PvEer, Player vs. Environment player, I did like the PvP scene, especially in these past few years. Hopefully there'd still be some good teams answering questions when Ramos and I were done here.
"Rinneth..." Rashta said quietly.
"What is it, Rashta?"
"I sense it."
"My essence. I sense it. Your champion is here."
"Are you sure?"
"I'm positive. I thought I sensed it when we arrived but wasn't sure. Now I am. He's here."
"I hope you're wrong."
The elevator came to a halt and we followed the security guard out and down the long hall until we came to two glass double doors. The guard held out his arm to encourage us to go through the doors and then headed back down the hall for the elevator. Ramos opened the doors and I followed him inside where several men and women in suits and lab coats worked with computers and what appeared to be full body gaming stations.
A dark skinned man with no hair wearing a suit, looked up from a noteboard with hologram display and walked over to us with a smile. "Ramos, glad you could make it."
"Well, when we hear progress on this project, Nazre, we always want to see it for ourselves," Ramos replied.
"And we have quite the progress report." Nazre looked at me. "I don't believe we've met." He held out his hand. "Nazre. A pleasure."
I grasped his hand in a firm handshake. "Rinneth."
His eyes lit up with excitement and surprise. "A pleasure to finally meet you, Miss! I'm so glad you came. You're really going to love the progress we've made."
I smiled. "Then let's see what you have."
He gestured for us to follow him and we walked over to a large white pod long enough for the average height man to lay on with room to spare.
"Are these the new gaming stations?" Ramos asked. "Looks sleeker than the last one you showed us."
"Yes, along with internal changes, we felt a new, sleeker design to the pods would be ideal," Nazre said as he opened the lid of the gaming station. "As you can see we've made a few luxury modifications to make longer playtimes less strenuous on the body. The pre-contoured gel pads have been replaced with thermal memory gel to help keep the body temperature regulated while allowing for maximum comfort and adjustments to body mass changes or user changes."
I nodded. "That's a plus. A major complaint about the gaming stations is that they don't offer superior comfort over the gaming helmets."
"We've also improved the menu entry," he continued. "As you can see, there is no external computer input for games or other simulators. It's all built into the pod for easy access by the user."
"Impressive," Ramos said. "What technical improvements have been made to the pods?"
Nazre chuckled. "What hasn't been made is a better question. Along with adding thermal control to the padding, we've imbedded state-of-the-art neuron scanners and increased the number of updated scanners on the lid of the pod for better cranial imaging and more accurate brain scan readings. This also ensures better connection to the games with few risks."
"Just what we like to hear," Ramos said. "What can you tell us about the changes that will enhance gameplay?"
"Total immersion," Nazre said dramatically. Ramos and I looked at each other and then back at Nazre who laughed. "Yes, I know. We already advertise this, but this immersion is a whole new level of real. With the current pods, the main five senses are rated at a three and a half out of five by current users, and while this was the start rating for total immersion, we've continued to research ways to improve this feature as we feel this immersion is what sets us apart from any other company out there."
"So, cut to the chase," Ramos said.
Nazre shook his head. "So impatient. With the upgrades to the neuron scanners, we're able to trick the brain into believing it's actually part of the new reality, whereas before we would only make the brain pretend it was somewhere else. This caused dilution to the in-simulation senses, as the brain was still capable of registering the outside world."
"Do we only have a prototype to test this immersion, or do we have a full functioning station?" I asked with great interest.
"The pod before you is no mere prototype, miss." He handed me his noteboard with data. "She's been tested for several hundred hours with no ill side effects, including after lengthy tests lasting longer than five hours." He smiled and gestured to the gaming station. "If you'd like, you can give it a try yourself."
I grinned with excitement and nodded. The biggest perk about being part of Fallon Industries was getting the latest product we invested in long before the public.
Nazre entered several prompts into the menu display on the gaming station. "Seeing as Evenstar is the big game simulation your company favors, I've loaded in a test environment for that particular game." He stepped aside. "Hop in and give her a test yourself."
I didn't have to be told twice. I tossed Ramos the noteboard and hopped into the pod, immediately noticing how much more comfortable the new padding was. Once comfortable, Nazre punched a few more buttons and then closed the lid, enclosing me in the dark until blue lights turn on and cast dots all over my body, particularly my face. I closed my eyes and relaxed. A tingling sensation pressed on all sides of my head as I slipped into the virtual realm.
I opened my eyes after several minutes to find the pod gone and me no longer laying down. Instead, I stood in an abandoned merchant shop and I wore leather and fur armor with a few metal accents. I touched the armor and excitement flooded through me at the feeling of realness. I almost couldn't believe how real the material felt.
I inhaled deeply, taking in the mixture of smells, and then looked around on high alert when the sound of creaking floor boards echoed in the building. Nothing caught my eye, but a nasty stench wasted into my nose. I snarled. The scent was unmistakable and with the enhanced features of this gaming station, the smell was even more detestable. Orc. A brutish, green-skinned humanoids created for this game. They were nasty creatures that only lived for one thing, battle.
Just then the wall to my left burst and the battle hungry creature came rushing for me with a large spiked club in hand.