Sunday, September 26, 2010

Welcome, New Followers!

It's been a while since I've made an acknowledgment post, but let me assure you, I've certainly noticed the new people who have joined my small but loyal band of followers.

To the new folks, welcome to my humble corner of the web! If you haven't done so already, check out the links to the right of this post. You'll find a few short stories under The Everyday Divinities Project that will give you a better idea of the world I'm building within my soon-to-be-rewritten trilogy. Then, check out The Hero's Journey posts to learn more about the story structure behind my work of modern mythology. And if you've read through those already, you can read my earlier entries and laugh at how green I was at the whole "blogging about my writing" thing. ("Was?" Still am, in some ways.)

And to both the new people and the longtime followers, you guys (and gals!) are awesome, and your presence helps me keep focus on doing what I do best - writing, writing, writing. I salute you all.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Hero's Journey - Reward

We’re finally here! It’s been a long, hard road up to this point, but the payoff is worth it. Through all the battles fought and won, friendships forged and villains thwarted, we’ve finally arrived at the part that makes it all worthwhile – The Reward!

Joseph Campbell calls this stage Seizing the Sword, in honor of all the stories of dragons slain for their treasure. The Hero conquers the Shadow and wins his reward, which may include a magical sword, a grateful kingdom and a very pretty damsel. The exact reward can be anything – a hidden treasure, a captured princess, a secret weapon. In spy movies, it’s usually some key to saving (or, in the wrong hands, destroying) the world. In romances, it’s some hottie (guy or girl) who the Hero has been trying to woo. It can be anything from the Holy Grail to a childhood toy. The one thing they all share in common is that they were fiercely sought after by the Hero. This is also where the characters can relax for a moment and savor their victory. We won the day, so let’s party! This is where the trumpets sound, campfires are stoked, and everyone can relax around the holochess table on the Millennium Falcon while Han takes them to lightspeed.

Story-wise, the Reward stage is where your readers can breathe a huge sigh of relief. We’re not at the climax yet, but after the harrowing battle of the Ordeal, there should be a way to relieve all of that pressure with a payoff. Don’t cheapen the victory over the Ordeal! This is what the whole story has been building toward all this time, and while there could be a strong lesson to be learned in the Hero not getting everything he wants, he’d better get something to show for all his pain and suffering up to now. This is as necessary for the readers as it is for the characters. While the story isn’t over yet, there should be some time to linger in the feeling of accomplishment before launching into the next leg of the Journey.

Now, how does this apply to the ongoing tale of Rob’s Journey? His Ordeal is at an end. He’s got his first novel written – it’s time to celebrate! As the winners of National Novel Writing Month gather to share their novels and the stories behind them, he joins in the revelry, proud to have made it to the winner’s circle. It’s cathartic for him to relax with others who have just made the same marathon run for the literary finish line. For some, this is something they do every year. Others have only completed their first, same as him. And among them all, only a handful dream of having their tale published. Rob’s novel may be complete, but his story is not yet over...

Neither is ours. True, we’ve come a long way, and we’ve reached the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, but where do you go from there? Home, of course! When next we return to the Hero’s Journey, we’ll be packing up to take The Road Back.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

They're At It Again!

WriteOnCon was such a hit, the talented ladies behind the kidlit convention are moving forward with it in a big way. Check out the awesome announcement regarding future con events here, and enter for a chance to win one of five truly incredible YA books here!

Epic epicness abounds! So what are you waiting for? Get in on it now!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Everyday Divinities Project - The Cell Phones

The Cell Phones - by R. B. LeMoyne
© September 9, 2010 *

“Are you kidding me? There’s no way I’ll be her cell phone again!”

Sal blinked as B.B. Tana threw the new assignment folder back onto his desk, shocked at the conviction behind her retort when he told her which mortal was to rejoin her divine client list. For a tense moment, the two gods of the cell phone domain stared at each other, Sal sitting behind his office desk in a crisp dark suit and the lithe goddess Tana standing with her arms folded across her sporty attire, until Sal finally gave in.

“Uh, come again?” he asked.

Tana shook her head, pointing at the discarded folder. “I’m not going to be her cell phone again. No way, no how. Not now, not ever.”

Sal gathered up the file, replacing the papers that had spilled out of the manila folder. “You’ve served hundreds of thousands of mortals since joining us here in the Division of Cellular Communication. Why the flat refusal to serve this one?” He held up the photo of the mortal in question, a young girl of exotic beauty pictured laughing with her friends.

“Why? Because she’s a cruel, heartless, careless witch with a vendetta against cell phones. I’d sooner walk into the heart of the Great Void than go back to serving her.”

“Wow.” Sal looked at the picture before putting it back into the folder. “That’s… extreme. You’d rather be unmade than serve this one mortal?”

“It’s the difference between years of abuse and a single catastrophic moment,” Tana answered with a shrug.

Sal’s eyebrows shot up in surprise. “Abuse? Now you’re the one kidding me.”

“Do you even read these files before you hand them out? Give it here.” Tana snatched the assignment folder out of her boss’ hands to read off her crimes. “Okay, let’s start with her first phone, Flip. He sure lived up to his name – she flipped his top half clean off.”

“So you have one incident that-“

Tana shushed him and continued. “Her next phone was Talnax, who got infected by a fatal virus. Kablooey, another one bites the dust.”

“It was completely unintentional, a stroke of bad luck,” Sal countered. “And as I recall, he was more than a little absent-minded. I always got complaints that he failed to put calls through.”

“Yeah, so that makes it okay.” Tana gave him a withering look as she forged ahead. “And I guess it’s okay that she tossed her next phone, Vernon, into a pool? Seriously, Sal. SHE THREW HIM INTO A POOL!”

Sal squirmed in his seat, at a loss to offer an explanation.

Tana glowered at the file as she reached the end of the document. “Here we go: my cousin, B.B. Monique. Your mortal didn’t staff Monique with a memory card so she could serve her properly – totally not my cousin’s fault – but it didn’t matter. She ditched her for my sister, Alicia. Not six months into serving as her cell phone, she broke Alicia’s ability to take a charge. She dumped her and went for her twin, Amelia, and the same thing happened. The same thing! So what did she do? She ditched Amelia for me, and ended up abandoning me in a cab in Santa Monica. And then, if that wasn’t enough, my twin sister Tamara picked up where I left off, and…”

“…And her domain was destroyed, too. No one’s sure where the pressure cracks came from, or how they spread so fast. It’s likely we’ll never know.”

“Yeah, well, maybe now you understand why I want nothing to do with this mortal.”

“I do,” Sal nodded, rising to circle around his desk. “And believe me, if it were my call, I’d reassign her to someone else. It’s not up to me, though. You know how these things work, Tana.”

“The system is broken,” Tana shot back, closing the folder with a sharp snap. “Everyone’s so concerned about pleasing the precious mortals. What about us? Who looks after us? The Animates? The Ephemerals? I doubt it. So answer me, Sal, who cares about us?”

He wanted to comfort her. He really did. And years ago, when the mortal champions of the inanimate gods were still active, he could. But those days were long gone, and there was no one left in the world to look out for them. Rather than expose that painful truth, Sal changed the subject. “I can try to pass it back upstairs and get it reassigned to another divinity. It might take some time, though, and someone will need to-”

“Oh, shut up,” Tana grumbled. “I’ll do it. I’m not going to like it, but I’ll do it.”

Sal touched her arm and smiled. “You’re one in a million, Tana.”

“Yeah, well, she’s damn lucky I like you so much,” Tana quipped, poking him in the chest with the assignment folder. “And if she so much as tosses me onto a table, I will curse her so hard, her great-grandchildren will have problems with phones.”

“I’ll pretend I didn’t hear that,” Sal laughed. “Now go on, do what you have to do. If you need me for anything at all, you know where to find me.”

“Thanks, boss.” Tana gave Sal a brief hug before leaving his office. She opened up the folder on the way out of the building, chuckling. O little mortal, it’s time for some payback…

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Status Update

Greetings, my loyal followers! I hope you've been enjoying The Everyday Divinities Project shorts, because I've got another cooking for the ol' blogosphere. The inspiration has been running rampant over here, and short story ideas are flowing from my writing left and right.

But what about my trilogy? Well, we're in the final stages of the rewrite for Book One. By October 13, the rewrite should be done, and then the Inanimate Gods will live and thrive in a story far beyond what was in the original draft. It's pretty exciting to see where my manuscript is now compared to what it looked like when I first put it down in words. So much has changed in it, and all for the better. I can't wait to be able to share it with you all!

Alright, back to the writing. Keep watching for that new short story!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Everyday Divinities Project - The Desktop and Laptop Computers

The Desktop and Laptop Computers - by R. B. LeMoyne
© September 1, 2010 *

“It’s about time you got here, old friend! Let me guess, another MMO?”

Holland Parcell, dressed in his usual divine business attire, heaved a sigh and joined his counterpart at the outdoor cafĂ© table . “Of course,” he replied. “You’d be surprised how many people let themselves get absorbed into those time sinks, Dall. They look like good fun, but one hour becomes five, and the mortals could care less that they haven’t eaten or showered or even stepped outside. Not that I mind – more business for me if they’re using my domain instead of, say, playing sports – but I’m constantly amazed by the mortal capacity to ignore all other concerns when it comes to playing a simple computer game.” He smiled half-heartedly, adding, “Many apologies for my tardiness.”

“Bah, think nothing of it,” Dall countered, waving his hand in the air to dismiss the apology. “Believe me, enough mortals use my domain for online gaming, so I can sympathize. I swear, it’s amazing how much time a mortal will sink into a game that has no tangible reward or gain. As if they were actually making money at it!”

Holland raised a finger. “Ah, but it is entertaining. Sometimes there doesn’t need to be a concrete gain, only a good time.”

Dall rolled his eyes and muttered something about mortals and the other good time they search for online. “Anyway, can I get you a cup o’ joe?”

“Ugh, no, thank you,” Holland answered, face twisting in disgust. “I’ve had enough of Java for the time being. I’ll take a green tea, if you’d please.”

“Suit yourself.” With a slow wave of his hand, Dall conjured up two mugs, one filled with coffee, the other brimming with tea. “Me? I’ve been craving coffee all day. I blame that damnable college kid earlier today. I thought he’d be taking up residence in a coffee shop to write that paper, but he went to that accursed Penara place.”

Holland inhaled his fragrant cup of tea as he cocked an eyebrow at Dall. “Penara? I don’t believe I’ve been there.”

Dall shook his head. “No, you wouldn’t have, and truth be told, you’re better off for it. I hate – HATE – having to go there, and wouldn’t you know that every laptop owner with an inflated opinion of themselves just loves to take me to Penara,” he drawls, the last few words drawn out with a heavy dose of sarcasm.

“I take it there’s more to this loathing than meets the eye?”

“Okay, it’s like this,” Dall began, ignoring his steaming mug of coffee. “You know how coffeehouses used to be the place to go to sit down with a laptop, have some coffee, and check your email or write a school paper or whatever?”

Holland nodded, replying, “Of course. Has that changed?”

“Oh, plenty of people still take their laptop to a coffee shop, sure. That’s fine. But Penara…” Dall frowned, struggling for just the right words. “Let’s put it this way. If you were a snob who liked to pay far too much for far too little food, and you wanted to check your email in the most elite and trendy way possible, you’d go to Penara.”

“I don’t understand. The food is overpriced, so you don’t like mortals taking you there?”

“It’s not necessarily the food. Okay, it’s not just the food. No, it’s the type of people the place attracts. They’re the same stuck-up, prissy rejects that the mortals who created our domain back in the day loathed. Now they’re using me as some sort of elite status symbol, checking their social networks in an eatery that isn’t even all that good, and doing web chats right there at the tables. Web chats!” Dall shouted. “In Penara! It’s disgusting!”

“You know that the mortals you call ‘rejects’ are the very same mortals who give you power through their devotion to your domain, yes?” Dall scowled at Holland, who sat there smugly sipping his tea, before finally taking a drink of his coffee mug. His silent retort sent Holland chuckling. “All the same, I do believe you need to come to terms with the evolution of mortal gathering holes. Before our time, it was the tavern. Now that we’re leading the mortal information age, it’s all about who can best supply our needs, regardless of the environment’s image, yes?”

“Well, something better than Penara needs to come along, and quick, before I stage a protest,” Dall grumbled into his mug. “It’d serve those stuck-up mortals right if all their precious laptops blinked out all at once, right in the middle of their all-important and totally inane web chats.”

Holland laughed, sipped his tea, then rose from his chair. “Well, as entertaining as it is to listen to your rants and would-be plots to rebel against your sacred duties, I really should get back to work.”

“What? You just got here, and you’re already headed back? Honestly, H.P., the online gamers can do without you for another few moments!”

“Ah, but the gamers are only a minority of the mortals I serve,” Holland countered with a sigh. “The others who use my domain for business and other noble pursuits are why I must depart. As ever, it was a pleasure to see you, dear friend.”

Dall nodded, a smile sneaking across his lips. “Yeah, same here. Don’t be a stranger, now. Your domain may be stationary, but it’s good for you to get out now and then, you know?”

“But of course.” Holland bowed, smiling warmly and, in a brilliant bolt of light, returned to his domain in the Bureau of Computational Processing.