Sunday, February 28


Wow, it's already the end of February! This weekend has been great. I've finally finished polishing my first novel in the urban fantasy series I'm working on. It has been both a burden at times and really fun at others (brainstorming with my husband was great). I finished writing it December 2008, so it's been on my plate for a while. I'm thrilled to be able to query agents now! I spent a decent part of the day researching them more. Although, I do have a spreadsheet list set up. I sent out a few, my family went out for dinner to celebrate, and I came back to have my first response asking to me to send a partial! Hooray!

I've been smiling and excited all day.

Thursday, February 25

The Wolfman

Recently, I went to the movie with my family, and we saw The Wolfman with Anthony Hopkins and Benecio Del Toro as I mentioned in a previous blog post. If I had to have one favorite paranormal creature, it would have to be the werewolf. Yummy! One of my favorite werewolf movies had to be Underworld: Rise of the Lycans. Those werewolves are what I think of when I read a book with werewolves, but what was in the movie The Wolfman was definitely more related to the classic monster movies with Lon Chaney, Jr. as opposed to what we have more of today with the Underworld movies.

Definitely wolfman instead of werewolf. I thought the movie was great for the approach it was aiming for. I had thought it would be a little more werewolfish instead of completely wolfmanish, but I didn't do a lot of trailer watching and research into what it was like before we went. A family member laughed after it was over, but maybe my love of the paranormal is what gives me more of an appreciation for it.

All in all, if you're thinking about seeing it, if you like classic monster movies, go ahead. But if Underworld is a bit more your style, maybe catch it at Blockbuster or on pay-per-view. =)

Wednesday, February 24

I've done it...

I finally signed up for a Twitter account. *takes a couple of deep breaths* Don't think I'm going to be tweeting 20 times a day, but one of the reasons why I signed up is to follow others that have insightful things to say. It also seems great to be able to relay short messages instead of having to think of a lot of things to say for a blog entry. And finally, it'll be a way to network with others, which is a goal of mine for 2010. I'll put up a Twitter button to my blog soon, so watch for it. =)

Tuesday, February 23

Into the Paranormal: Cures for Lycanthropy

Today, since I've been busy cleaning the past few days again because of my in-laws coming into town, I'm going to repost one of my favorite paranormal blogs I did at The Deadly Vixens. I remembered this post as I watched The Wolfman with Benecio Del Toro and Anthony Hopkins, which turned out to be different than I had expected, but still really good for what it was aiming for. But that's a blog for another day soon.

Anyways, as I was looking at Wikipedia's entry Werewolf, I happened to see a section that said Remedies. I am a huge fan of werewolves. They are probably my top favorite of paranormal creatures. I have heard of some authors who have figured out ways to cure their vampires of vampirism, but not really anything about curing a werewolf of lycanthropy, or as Wikipedia says, werewolfism. So, let's take a look at a few of these "remedies."

First one of interest is from the Ancient Greeks and Romans. They believed that to cure a person of "werewolfism," you needed to get the person to the point of exhaustion by long and hard physical activities. They thought this because of the fact that werewolves supposedly were weakened after ravaging their prey.

My thought on that is it doesn't matter about making the person exhausted if they really are a werewolf because they'll just gain back some of that strength during their shift, and then they'll be just as likely to eat whoever happens to be on the menu. I haven't really heard of werewolves supposedly being weaker after killing their prey either. From the books I've read, they usually feel satiated and content, if not exhilirated, but not weak. Hmm...

The second is grouped together ones that pretty much fall into the same category. In medieval Europe, they believed there were three ways of curing one of "werewolfism." Those ways were medicinally, surgically, or by an exorcism. The cures performed by their doctors mostly were fatal. Some Sicilians believed that you could cure the werewolf by hitting it on the forehead or scalp with a knife, while others thought you needed to pierce the werewolf's hands with nails.

A lot of those sound very painful. The fact that medieval Europe believed lycanthropy/werewolfism could be cured surgically boggles my mind. Perhaps those fatal "cures" weren't really intended to help the victim, but instead to kill the victim so that they wouldn't have to bother with him anymore. Poor wolfie. The Sicilian beliefs were a bit odd as well, especially if, oops! that wasn't really a werewolf. It was just a normal human. Ouch!

The third and final group are the less extreme ones. In lowland Germany, they believed that if you addressed the werewolf by its Christian name three times that it would be cured. And a Danish belief is that if you simply scold the werewolf that it would be cured.

These "cures" I wouldn't want to perform in front of the werewolf when he's in wolf form and about to attack. I think if the person really was a werewolf that they'd eat you just for trying them, but then again, that might just be me. It's good that some didn't go for a violent approach to curing werewolves, but these seem least likely to work. What do you think?

Let me know which group you think would be most likely to cure a werewolf, if any. If you don't think they would work, tell me ways you've heard of to cure werewolves, or if you have read a novel that has dealt with trying to cure a werewolf. *smiles*

Wednesday, February 17

Character names, blogs, and workshops

With my current WIP, I've been going through a final review, which has had me filling in a couple of blanks I'd made during the initial go through, and a few of those blanks have included introducing new minor characters.,, and have been my friend the past couple of days. It's funny how when looking at one website to find a name and then the others to look up the name's meaning as well, I get multiple answers. One character's name was shown to be of Greek origin on one website, English origin on another website, and Italian origin on the last website. I just sat there and scratched my head for a moment on that and decided to pick a new name with a starting letter I haven't used yet.

It seems like I have an affinity for names starting with "J" and "T" as well as "M". And a few names that I was almost sold on for the new characters started with M, but I've restrained myself from going overboard and having too many with the same beginning letter. That's not to say that I'm super critical about not having any two characters with the same name letter, but past two or three, then it's time to start expanding my usage of the alphabet!

I updated one of my blog gadgets to not just list the links for the blogs on my blogroll, but to show when they were last updated and the title of the blog post. Yesterday, I checked out some of the blogs links I have listed, and I really enjoyed reading them again. Woo!

I also recently found a great website with some very cool looking workshops called Savvy Authors. I'm currently taking one on revision with Holly Lisle, who mentioned that she would be teaching an inexpensive course on Crash Revisions (editing a novel in 7 days) at Savvy Authors. Very cool stuff there. =)

Monday, February 15

Busy, busy, busy...

Happy belated Valentine's Day! And Happy President's Day!

This past week I've been silent because there were so many things going on. Getting prepared for Valentine's Day with the hubby, which involved cleaning and gift-getting as well as watching the Winter Olympics, taking one of my kitties to the vet, etc. Anyways! Now I'm back on schedule and ready to conquer the week.

Something of interest I found this past week was a website called Hot For Words. The creator of the website, Marina Orlova, is a philologist, which is the study of linguistics and origins of words. She picks words to investigate and find the meaning to and does YouTube videos explaining the word origins. It's very interesting how some words reach the meaning that they have today.

Sunday, February 7

Just finished reading...

Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs.

I really enjoyed reading Ms. Briggs book Moon Called, the first book in the Urban Fantasy Mercy Thompson series, partly because I love werewolves. So I was looking forward to this one. In this book, she delved more into her vampires, but the werewolves were still quite present. She explores more of Mercy's powers, which as a walker just means she is able to turn into a coyote and is very fast... Or does it? A little more about her can be found in my Skinwalkers blog below. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys werewolf or shapeshifter books. This week I've been working on my work-in-progress's synopsis, but I had a hard time setting down this book down! I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Thursday, February 4

Into the Paranormal: Skinwalkers

I had the idea for today's topic from the awesome book I'm currently reading, Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs. The main character, Mercedes Thompson, is a walker, which she distinguishes is different than a skinwalker since a skinwalker is an evil witch that breaks a cultural taboo to achieve the evil powers. They shapeshift into an animal by magic and wearing the animal skin. Mercedes can shapeshift into her coyote form without magic or an animal pelt, but she is not a werecoyote since she is not controlled by the cycles of the moon.

Skinwalkers are from Navajo legend. There is also some belief that they could possible steal human skin to change into another person. Unlike werewolves, they specifically turn into the animal instead of a mixture of man and animal. In animal form, they are described as a deformed version of the real thing. Their eyes and stature are off and not very alive. They also take on the characteristics of the animal they are in as well as being very fast. They can control humans into killing and hurting themselves, leaving there to be no way to mistake that these paranormal beings are evil.

If they are injured in animal form, they will show the same injuries in human form, which is another way someone could figure out that the witch is a skinwalker. A few thoughts on killing skinwalkers include, "if a Navajo was to know the person behind the skinwalker they had to pronounce the full name, and about three days later that person would either get sick or die for the wrong that they have committed." Another is that firearms don't work too well again skinwalkers since some "find their weapon jamming or frozen [or] the rounds fire but have no effect," unless one "dip[s the] bullets into white ash" [1].

There have been several other things on skinwalkers recently aside from the Mercy Thompson books by Patricia Briggs. There was an episode dedicated to them by the TV show Supernatural, where Sam and Dean face off with a skinwalker. A movie in 2007 about werewolves fighting each other because of a boy who supposedly is the cure to lycanthropy was called Skinwalkers. Although, with the movie, which I saw, I can't remember too much about if it had any ties to actual skinwalkers or if the person who titled the movie thought it would just be a cool title. I'm thinking the latter though.

Links with more information:

Tuesday, February 2

It's February already!

First off, Happy Groundhog day! Every February 2nd Punxsutawney Phil comes out of his burrow to see if he can spot his shadow, and if he does see his shadow, then there is six more weeks of winter, according to folklore. If he doesn't see his shadow, then spring will come sooner. Well, not surprisingly, he saw his shadow, and with all of the wintry weather going on in the Southeast, I figured winter would continue.

It's surprising that we're already into February. It seems like not long ago we were starting a new year, let alone a new decade. January was a productive month for me with getting my website updated, second revisions on an urban fantasy novel completed, two books read (the latter of which was Sweet Revenge by Anne Mather, a 1970 Harlequin Presents), among other things. I already have goals for February, which I've been working on. I'll make sure to keep everyone up to date on that as well as get back to doing fun, paranormal related blogs again.

Well, I'm going to get back to working on my urban fantasy's sypnosis now. I hope everyone is having a great month.
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