Finished with my first draft!

I just finished the first draft of my book Midnight in Vegas.  Sorry I haven’t posted anything new or exciting but the finale of my story was all encompasing. I had to finish it! So spending time writing blogs or poetry or anything other than my novel just wasn’t possible.

I hope that readers find the ending as exciting to read as it was to write. It took hold of me and I couldn’t type fast enough to end it.

At 125,294 words it it alot longer than I wanted and I am breaking out the hatchet and scalpel to do some serious editing but the story is done. It has an ending, and a good one at that. So I am happy, even if I don’t cut another word it has a beginning middle and end, that is an accomplishment in itself.

At this point I am willing to let anyone who wants to read it have a look. I would like to thank the people who have read the work in progress for their help and feedback and I am looking for more of the same. For those people who have been dying to read it, now is your chance, let me know if you are interested.

More updates later

Tchuss

-Lystra

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Published in: on April 26, 2009 at 11:50 pm  Comments (3)  
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Book In a Nutshell Version 3.1

Okay so I decided not to leave my versions as comments.

Here is version 3.0 for those of you who haven’t looked at the comments.

Just UPDATED: V3.1

Jeff Heaven is getting a bit long in the tooth to be a club kid, let alone an Ecstasy dealer, he had thought he had seen it all when a strange and powerful new drug emerges from the pulsating clubs of Las Vegas, instantly replacing Ecstasy as the drug of choice, the substance spreads like a cancer throughout the city, and Jeff discovers his friend is the sole supplier. Niccolo Casciano is a young Las Vegas Metro Officer out clubbing with his girlfriend, unaware that deep within the pastel shadows cast by neon lights a demon patiently watches as her essence is consumed by thousands, she grows in power and influence; soon she will have enough to return to our world. Can either one of them realize what is really happening, and if they do, can they stop her?

Tell me what you think!

-Lystra

BTW you can see version 2.0 in all it’s 160 word glory in the comment section of the first post.

April 17th PAD Entry

 Prompt: All I Want is…..

All I want is that mouse to die

He has been eating the food that I set out for my dog

Stupid dog, will not kill the mouse

Wish I had a cat

Stupid dog lets it eat his food

I think they are friends

I go to the store, they have built better mousetraps

At least that is what the shelves say

So many options but what will work

What can I buy that will get the mouse and not my dog

Not poison, no, the dog will find the poisoned mouse and eat it

It would eat a poison mouse for sure, stupid dog

So a trap then, but I can see him now running around the house

Yelping with a trap on his nose, stupid dog

Glue? Stick little mouse feet to a pad of glue

Could work, should work, but then the dog

His face glued down with the mouse side by side

Little black eye staring into large brown one

Live traps, little cages, but then what?

Release him out into the wild or the neighbor’s yard

Throw it into some water the package reads

I have visions of little bubbles escaping a cute pink nose

Time to buy a cat.

 

Published in: on April 17, 2009 at 7:09 pm  Comments (1)  
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April 16th PAD Challenge Entry

Prompt: A Color

Brown

The people who come to the desert always describe it as brown

They leave their lush green surroundings and are shocked by the browness of it all

They speak of brown like it is a bad thing, the color of dead and dying plants

They like red sometimes, when it flares up in the rocks around the brown

You can take them to see the red rocks, some can appreciate that

But deserts are brown for a reason, not because the grass has died

It is brown because it is the raw and powerful color of the earth

They talk of all the hues of green, but brown has just as many forms

I have seen tan sands, rich dark brown alluvial fans, ochre colored cliffs

Brown is alone in all the colors that can join them and coexist

There are reddish browns, bluish browns, yellowish browns

You have never seen a greenish red have you?

I am surrounded by brown in all her majesty

So when I travel to watery places where plants grow and abound

When I say that it’s so green here, it is not in jealousy

I say it because I miss my earthy brown

Published in: on April 17, 2009 at 6:55 pm  Comments (1)  
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April 15th PAD Entry

Prompt: Take the name of a poem you like and change it, then write a poem with the new title.

The Shooting Of Dan’s Left Shoe
(The Shooting of Dan McGrew, Robert Service)
Dan’s left shoe was shot one day
While Dan was out a hunting
I heard his partner Johnny say
That it was really something
They were after chukar in the rock
And climbing up a mountain
And Dan heard a chukar squawk
Below him where a spring did fountain
Now Dan was always quick to draw
Never careful with his aim
And Johnny said he never saw
His foot before the game.
The birds were all aground
But Dan wasn’t above a sluice
Beside Johnny was the only one around
And he was on the juice
So Dan he threw up his gun
And then he pointed it down
He aimed and then he fired one
Blast with a thunderous sound
Johnny said it took a while
For him to see what he had done
Then the pain wiped away his smile
Johnny said it wasn’t fun
Carrying Dan on down the hill
But I saw Dan stump out yesterday
Looking for chukar to kill
The first time you hunt chukar
You do it cuz it’s fun
The rest of the time you’re a sucker
Looking to revenge someone
But Dan’s out there limping around
Looking for more of the same
Chukar in the air or on the ground
Are a dangerous sort of game

Published in: on April 17, 2009 at 2:27 am  Comments (3)  
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Knight Agency Book in a Nutshell Contest.

I am going to enter my book Midnight in Vegas into the Knight Agency Book in a Nutshell contest.

The basic premise is that you have to sum up your book in three sentences and less than 150 words. They are going to ask for full manuscripts from the best entries.

I have been working on my three sentences but I would like to hear what you have to say about them.

Here is what I have:

A strange and powerful new drug emerges from the pulsating clubs of Las Vegas, instantly replacing Ecstasy as the drug of choice, the substance soon is found in every corner of the city. Deep within the pastel shadows cast by neon lights a demon patiently watches as her essence is consumed by thousands, she grows in power and influence; soon she will have enough souls to return to our world. Can a burned out Ecstasy dealer, grown old and disillusioned with the scene, or a young Metro officer, oblivious to the unseen world around him, realize what is really happening, and if they do, can they stop her?

I am looking for feedback here people! Critique, suggest, help me!  I don’t need platitudes. This is a great opportunity for a big agent to look at my work, but my sentences have to be really, really good. I know they run on but they are looking for up to 150 words so I’m not too worried about that. I want my sentences to stand out and I don’t think they are there yet.

You can comment by clicking on the headline and filling out the comment box. I can approve or disapprove comments so don’t worry about being too harsh! If you don’t want me to post your comment let me know. You can email me at lystraeudaimon@msn.comor send me a private tweet at @lystrapitts if you don’t want to comment on the blog.

Thanks

-Lystra

April 14th PAD Entry

Prompt: Love

The doctor was there

In the room doing his work

I didn’t notice him

Or the nurse or anyone else

There were only two people

In the room at that moment

One was my wife, sweaty and exhausted

Her smile shining through despite her exertions

The other was my son

Red and squalling at the bright cold new world

I had cut the cord

Severed one tie

While two new ones were formed

I thought that I had known love

First kisses and midnight trists

In poems and confessions

In caring parents and family

In close friends and companions

In ceremonies and weddings

I was wrong.

This new person was here to prove that.

I looked at my wife and the miracle we now shared

His little hand wrapped tightly around my finger

He stopped crying

This is love, my heart sang.

They cleaned him and wrapped him

And carried him to her.

She held him and looked at me.

I put my arms around them

This is love, my heart sang

There is no moment that can equal

The arrival of a child

There is no love stronger

Years later in a different room

My daughter arrived

Shinning and new

Bright blue eyes stared into mine

This is love, my heart sang

Now they giggle and play

We watch them baffled by emotion

We look into each other’s eyes

This is love, our hearts sing.

Published in: on April 16, 2009 at 2:27 am  Comments (4)  
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Unnamed Writers Group of Reno

This weekend I attended a meeting of the Unnamed Writers Group of Reno (www.unnamedwriters.org). I am very excited to find a good writers group that meets close to my house. The group was extremely friendly and welcoming and wasted no time introducing me around to the other members and slapping a name tag on my chest.

As most writers are a bit introverted, even if we sometimes overcompensate and over extrovert to hide it, I think that they use precisely the right method of getting writers into the group. I didn’t feel like an outsider once at the meeting.

I met some very interesting writers, poets, and authors.  It is always good to be among peers. I could tell that the longtime members were all close friends but there was no cliquish vibe, which is all too common with social groups.

The highlight of the meeting was their guest speaker Gideon For-mukwai. Gideon (blog www.1xtramile.com) gave a presentation on using the new social networking tools for promoting yourself as an author. The topic was the same as the topic at the Writer’s Digest Editor’s Intensive but Gideon’s take on it was a little different.

Gideon faced the same knee jerk reaction of several technophobes in the crowd to the use of Facebook and Twitter as a tool to market yourself and your work. What I found remarkable was his use of anecdotal similes to illustrate how times are changing and while we may not like it, the tools at our disposal are ultimately for the better and we need to use them.

His stories got the point across to the nay sayers without having to resort to a confrontational dialog. When people have their already have their backs up about the Internet and you throw in web 2.0, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and blogs into the mix the last thing you want to have to do is beat them down with the same old, get on board or get out of the way rhetoric.

I will sum up the story that Gideon used to illustrate his point. I warn you that I will not do it justice as this story, like all good anecdotes, is intensely personal to him. Also Gideon is one of those gifted public speakers who have the charisma and ability to capture an audience and take them with him on a journey; everyone was entranced by his tale.

Here is his story (I am going to keep it short and sweet, if you ever get the chance ask Gideon to tell you the full story):

He grew up in a small town in Africa. When he was a boy they went to the river and used gourds to retrieve drinking water. This worked fine and everybody was happy.

Then they started to get plastic 5 liter containers. The containers were not as fragile as the gourds and worked better. Still many people didn’t like them. They complained that the water tasted bad or didn’t like losing their traditional method. Over time, as the benefits were realized, most people started using the plastic containers.

Years later a pipeline was installed. Water was processed and piped to people’s houses or central areas where people could access it. Again many people complained. Why should they pay to have pipes brought to their house when they could use their plastic containers to get water for free?

The analogy was hard to miss. Nobody in the room thought that piped and processed water was a bad thing.

With that simple story I think Gideon was able to bridge over to people who would have normally been bucking in protest.

Obviously everyone is talking about social networking right now. It is a very powerful tool, almost as powerful as piped water. I just wish that everyone had Gideon’s skill for explaining it to people whose initial reaction is one of fear and confusion.

I am very glad I went to the meeting and plan on joining the group, especially if the guest speakers continue to be of this caliber.

April 13th PAD Entry

Prompt: Hobby

My hobby
I started with small animals when I was young
I wanted to see what made them work
So I took a knife and cut them apart
I started by flaying them
Peeling off the skin to see the muscles underneath
Then I sliced them down the middle and pulled their entrails out
I read the future in the messy results
I would do this again
It took a long time to get a larger animal
More complex animals took a lot of work
But I did what I had to do to get them
I put them up on my altar and sacrificed them
For knowledge and for pleasure.
It thrilled my mind like no other thing
I was obsessed, I could not stop
It was all that I could think about
It was everything I wanted
I loved slicing down to the bone
To see where the ligaments attached
I took notes and made drawings with my bloody hands
I remember clearly the first woman
I remember looking into her cold dead eyes and thanking her for her gift
Such a precious gift to me,
I worked on her for a long time
When I was done with her there was no organ I had not touched
No muscle, no tissue that I did not know
It was wonderful
Now it is over
All the years of cutting and pinning
The examining and questing for knowledge
Now they call me doctor
I am here to save your life.

Published in: on April 14, 2009 at 2:35 pm  Comments (5)  
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April 12th PAD Entry

Prompt: So we decided….

So we decided to put the children to bed.

So we could spend some time together

To talk of our days

To watch Letterman or Lino

Be adults for a while.

It was late, far too late for little feet running

Too late for giggles and secrets

We bathed them and bundled them up

In pajamas and blankets

We cautioned against bedbugs

told them to sleep tight

We read books and told stories

We turned on night lights

Checked closets and underneath beds

We tucked in the bottoms and loosened the tops

We kissed lips and foreheads and hair

We watched them drift off

Heavy eyes start to close

Then exhausted we collapsed in our bed at last

We were too tired to talk or to watch TV

Too tired to enjoy each other’s company

But we fell asleep smiling and closer than ever

Published in: on April 14, 2009 at 2:55 am  Comments (4)