Belly Floppin’ Manta Rays

Everybody is posting their anticipated books posts this week. I still need to work on mine now that I have returned to the land of internet. In the meantime, I’m posting cute animal videos!

But not just ANY cute animal videos. My wonderful mom took me on a cruise of Baja/Mexico. On our port days we parasailed in Mazatlan and zip-lined in Puerta Vallarta. I spent my ship-days editing Chiaroscuro (because that’s my version of fun!), and I took lots of pictures of the coast because Central/South America is (along with the Cinque Terre in Italy) my geological/environmental inspiration for Chiaroscuro (seriously, Puerta Vallarta in particular was so perfect). But the best port day by far was the whale-watching by zodiac that we did in Cabo San Lucas. And while the whales were cool (I’ll post vids another day), the best part of the whale watching was the manta rays.

Entirely by luck, we happened on a huge (what is the collective noun? School? Pod? Flight?) of manta rays, and a bunch of them were leaping out of the water and flapping their little ray fins so hard before belly-flopping back down onto the surface. There’s probably all sorts of biological reasons why they do this, but sitting there on the bouncy prow of the zodiac, all I could think was that they were little skiffs trying to break atmo to return to the mothership.

I mention my friend Sam in one of the vids, and how I can’t wait to send these vids to her. That’s because she has a series of stories centered around marine-life inspired living spaceships. And seriously… there need to be more of those stories in the world.

So I give you all the belly-floppin’ manta rays, and I’ll save my thoughts on the privilege of media avoidance and the excessive consumption of resources involved in cruising for some other day.

This first one has a brief glimpse of the school/pod/flight below us:

More flopping on this second one:

The third one has some of the clearest and closes ones:

And the rays actually staged a grande finale for me!

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The Next Big Thing

So there’s this thing going around a bunch of people’s blogs where we talk about our current writing projects. I got tagged, and after blowing it off for a week or two, I finally got around to making my post. It’s a long one, but hopefully it sounds interesting. Really hopefully, cause I’ve been slogging away on it for a while now! Stick to the end and I will link back to some other blog posts by other authors, and I will also tag some new folks. IT COULD BE YOU!

Interview Questions for The Next Big Thing

Continue reading

Writing meme

Because all my cool friends are doing it:

1. Go to page 77 (or 7th) of your current ms
2. Go to line 7
3. Copy down the next 7 lines – sentences or paragraphs – and post them as they’re written. No cheating.

I thought about pulling from Dragons, but I guess that would be cheating. Chiaroscuro is my ‘current’ manuscript, even if it is on hiatus.

“What if I were to say that I loved you?” Giuliana asked, changing tactics. Pippa’s stomach rolled, and it had nothing to do with the movement of the ship. She clenched her teeth hard enough to make her whole body tremble.

She wouldn’t cry. She would not cry.

“You’ve known me your whole life, and I doubt you care for me as much as you do for this new toy of yours.” Pippa meant the accusation to be light, but the words fell like lead between them. Giuliana sucked in a breath, drew back as though struck. Pippa stepped closer, hand outstretched. “Giules, I–”

“No.” Giuliana cut a hand across Pippa’s apology. “I suppose you’ve the right of it. Given a choice between you and the Hummingswift… well, I agreed to the betrothal, didn’t I?”

A tap at the cabin door interrupted them. That aerisian, Visri. Pippa hadn’t seen any other crew. She stifled a groan. Chances were he had heard her fight with Giuliana.

“Captain, we have clearance. If we don’t lift off now, we’ll be–”

“All right, Visri. I’ll be out directly.” Giuliana scrubbed her face. Sniffled a few times. Sighed hard enough to puff out her cheeks. Then she met Pippa’s gaze. “Well, come along. You wanted to see her fly. You can sit in the reserve pilot’s jumpseat.”

Music!

 Thank god for Pandora.  Somehow, I completely missed that Loreena McKennitt released a new studio album in 2006 (after a 10-year hiatus), an expanded one in 2008, and another completely new album in 2010.  How did I miss this?  I must have been living under a rock!

Also… apparently ES Posthumus has two albums I’ve never heard of, so I’m going to have to get those as well.

This is excellent news, because I have little doubt that these five albums will form the core of the music-scape for The City of Light and Shadow.  Yay!

Writing ponderables…

 How does one go about researching bladder configurations in zeppelins, dirigibles, and other balloon-oriented flying machines?

Also, hull configurations for shipping versus passenger versus sporting/messenger types.

I come to you even before I go to google – cause I’m lazy like that.