Sunday, March 30, 2008

Ben Jonson - The Jackman's Song

Just a piece of poetry for today, for I am tired, but I found this, and wanted to share it. Ben Jonson poet was a poet in the time of William Shakespeare, and competed with him, writing plays, poetry and epigrams.

The Jackman's Song
by Ben Jonson. (1572-1637)

The faiery beame upon you,
The starres to glister on you,
A Moone of light,
In the Noone of night,
Till the Fire-Drake hath o're-gone you.

The Wheele of Fortune guide you,
The Boy with the Bow beside you,
Runne aye in the way
Till the Bird of day,
And the luckyer lot betide you.

Nikki Watson.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Brother and Sister - Another story courtesy of the Brothers Grimm

Continuing to read through my bible-like Brothers Grimm, I have found another story that is one of my favorites from childhood, though I don't remember then that it was given the name simply Brother and Sister. So I will try to give a simple outline of it here.

The brother, once leaving the family home with his sister, gets turned into a roebuck by the evil machinations of token evil step mother, but come the King's hunt, he can't resist being a part of it. He wants to go, but the sister stays him in their house, giving him the password of 'My little sister, let me in.' He goes, and is chased, but on the second day, one of the King's men follow him and tell the King of the apparent roebuck's words. On the third day, the King comes to the house before the brother, says the password, and the sister opens the door. He is, of course, overwhelmed by her beauty and sweet disposition and asks her to marry him, she of course says yes, and when the step mother is killed for her evil deeds, the brother reverts back to his human form.

I'd like to add this as a second fairy tale to my list that I would like to rewrite... sometime.

Nikki Watson.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Frog Prince

"Princess! youngest princess!
Open the door for me!
Do you not know what you said to me
Yesterday by the cool waters of the well?
Princess, youngest princess!
Open the door for me!"

Continuing on my fairy tale kick, I have started reading my Grimm Complete Fairy Tales. Specifically here, The Frog Prince, which I have half plans to write up as part of a retold fairy tales anthology. Maybe this will kick my arse in gear on another project that I keep putting off.

There are way too many of those. ;)

Nikki Watson.

The Snow Queen

And I'm back from the beach and reading up on my very own copy of The Grimm Brothers, Complete Fairy tales, which does, in fact, include the elusive story, The Juniper Tree. Apparently, that's been excluded from several editions because there was no way to soften it. Can't say that I'm familiar with the story just yet, but no doubt I'll report back on here when I have gotten to it and read it.

Funnily enough, it was thinking of Hans Christian Anderson that got me to picking up the Grimm Brothers again. I know some people have their fairy tale teller favorites, but for me, I just like them both.

I've noticed lately, however, much to my horror, that there are people out there who aren't familiar with my favorite of Hans Christian Anderson's stories, The Snow Queen.

Growing up, this was my very favorite fairy tale. I was endlessly sad every time Disney came out with a new adaption to a fairy tale and it wasn't The Snow Queen, because I'm an unrelenting Disney fan too. Or at least, a fan of the old school cartoon movies, anyway.

I had a picture book that told fairy tales through the seasons, so it started with the Spring relevant stories, went through Summer fairy tales, on to Autumn fairy tales, and finally to Winter, where my beloved Snow Queen fairy tale was located. I must have read that every other week when I was little. I unfortunately don't know where that picture book ended up, and I've never been able to find it since, but my memory of it is still pretty potent.

Because I thought that everyone should be familiar with The Snow Queen, I took the three seconds on Google to find a copy of it on

The Snow Queen, by Hans Christian Anderson

Nikki Watson

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Easter Break

I'm going away tomorrow for the Easter weekend. As I am in Melbourne, and Melbourne is highly known for its unpredictable weather, it is still summer-ish in this state. Although that has had it's days of being annoying up till now, I must say, it is terribly convenient, for I am going to be going to a beach house for the next four days!!

Wonderfully well wishes to everyone here, and I will be back again after the holiday.


Nikki Watson. ;)

Friday, March 14, 2008

Opinions on Writing

I've just written a scene in my latest WIP that makes me wonder about the evolution of characters. How they start on a page with one fairly distinct personality, but within a scene can suddenly embody a person that you actually know, or just appear in a slightly different light than the one in which you had originally viewed your character.

I think I'm going to state that this is a good thing. Suddenly you have this character on a page that you are going to get to know. While you are on the train, you might hear his or her opinion to something that you are seeing out the window, and you might have a little bit of a chuckle. Sure, the people in the seats around you might think you are crazy, but you know that you are just a writer. And that this is the way that things just happen to us sometimes. ;)

Things like this signal, at least to me, that the characters you have chosen, out of all the possible choices, are the right ones, and that, like real people, they are multi-faceted. They should be. I like it when my characters do something that surprises me. Sure, in the next moment I then have to get out my notes and figure out how I'm going to suit any future scenes I may have in mind to suit this new character development, but yeah, overall, it's a good thing.

Likewise, I like to have the ending of my stories kept from me until I am very near the end. This sounds really silly to some people, because how can you write a story when you don't know how it's going to end, right? Wrong. At least for me, it is. I have a vague idea, maybe three main plot points through the story that I know I'm going to have to cover, but the very end result to come out of these things? That's as much a mystery to me as to the reader. At least I hope so. I like to think that my stories do not have predictable endings.

Nikki Watson.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Changeling: Of Elves and Men. Excerpt Two

It's been a little while since I posted an excerpt from my urban fantasy novel Changeling: Of Elves and Men, so I might just take this occasion to do that now. For anyone new to this blog since the last time I posted one, you can click on the 'excerpt' tag to take you to the last excerpt.

Shane and Ivy are my main characters in this novel, and their love/hate relationship is one I got great entertainment out of writing. I'm in a particularly fluffy mood today, so here is a rather amorous scene between the two of them. Hopefully you will get some entertainment out of them too.

* * *

Changeling: Of Elves and Men. Available Now! from New Concepts Publishing.

Shane never once looked over his shoulder to acknowledge Ivy there so close behind him. Only once he strode in through the French doors and into the hall where the bedrooms were located, did he spin around to face her.

“Damnit, Ivy. I told you you weren’t to come tonight.”

“And I told you what you want has nothing at all to do with me!”

Looking up into his raging eyes, Ivy lifted her head higher and reminded herself that she was not afraid of his fury. She had just followed him back here to tell him that he had no right to tell her what to do, that was all.

With a growl, Shane took a step forward and wrapped an arm around her waist before she could step back nimbly to avoid him. As his lips crushed hers, he felt any resistance she felt toward him wavering. This hadn’t been what he had planned to have happen at all. When they pulled away from each other, Shane’s eyes raked over her body, taking in her reddened lips that looked like they had been well kissed.

His jaw tightened, as he told himself to stand away from her.

“If you followed me just because you wanted to sleep with me, there were better ways of doing that,” he said, trying to turn his frustration into sardonic amusement.

This time, it was Ivy’s turn to growl her frustration. “You stupid, stupid man!” she told him, though Shane noted with interest that it was not exactly a denial of his supposition.

With the hint of a smile playing the edges of his lips, he stepped toward her again, curious to see if she would dodge him the second time around. His fingers found her hand, and silkily, laced their way between her fingers. The simmering heat in his eyes drew her in despite herself, and when the door closed soundly, Shane wasn’t the only one behind it.

Again, he swept towards her, and ravaged her lips, forcing them to move under his as he wished them to, claiming them for his own. Ivy would have moaned if she had been given the breath to do so. As it was, she had to press her body against his to keep herself upright. The rising bulge at the crotch of his jeans told her he didn’t seem to mind. Eventually, she would have to go back to using her own balance to keep her upright. She wasn’t quite sure how she felt about that.

Shane maneuvered them slowly around in a half circle, directing them ever intentionally toward the bed where they would make their consummation of this union. Ivy’s eyes fluttered shut, and she allowed him to guide her where he would. Within the strength of his arms around her, the thought occurred to her that she had never felt safer.

Her breath rushed out of her when Shane picked her up. A second later, she was placed reverently on the bed, a throw back, she thought, of the injuries he was so convinced he needed to protect her from. Before she could complain, Shane began to undo the buttons of her shirt. She arched up a moment later, so that he could cast first it, and then her bra, aside, somewhere between the bed and the door. Then she was reaching up to him, and his kisses moved down from her lips, to her neck, in an unrelenting trail to the waistband of her pants.

He looked up at her for a moment, as if waiting for Ivy’s signal that it was okay for him to go on. Willingly, she gave it to him, and her tight, black pants were unbuttoned, then eased down her shapely legs, and forgotten on the floor beside the bed.

Morning found the two bodies still entwined around each other. It was Shane who woke up first, lifting his finger to flick a strand of Ivy’s dark hair out of her face, which in turn woke her up, too. He had a ready smile on his features, even as Ivy looked around herself in disorientation.

“What I want has nothing to do with you, huh?” Shane asked. It was the ill-timedness of her comment, just before they had fallen into bed with each other, that amused him.

Because it so clearly amused him, it angered her, and Ivy immediately pushed him away from her, as much as she could with their legs still entwined. Another moments’ trouble took care of that problem, too. She sat up, grabbing the pale sheet against her chest.

The smile never left Shane’s lips. “I reckon it’s too late to do that now,” he said to her with a wink that made her flush with embarrassment and anger at the same time.

Buy Changeling: Of Elves and Men here!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Violin Faery - Emilie Autumn

I'm lying in my bedroom. The Lady of Avalon lies open beside me, and the pages of the exercise book that I'm writing my current fairy story in are on the other side of me, with the pen marking the page.

On my bedside table, my dragon lamp is on and my lady candle holder with pretty wings has two candles burning. Amongst all this, there seems to be a heavy energy of magic and fantasy lingering in the room.

I've just brought music into my room. I'm not sure how much other writers use music to get into the mindset of their stories and/or characters. I know some writers who swear by soundtracks for particular stories of theirs, and can't write a word without one soundtrack or other playing in the background.

Me, I'm nowhere near that particular. Don't get me wrong, I love creating a magical atmosphere around me (see above, right? *grins*) but when it comes to music, I can pretty much put my whole playlist on random and let it do its thing.

One song that has just come on though, is Swallow by Punktorian, Violin Faery, musical artist, Emilie Autumn. For anyone who hasn't heard of this beautiful songstress and violinist, here, let me just say this:

I'm not a fairy but I need,
More of this life so I became,
This creature representing more to you than,
Just another girl,
And if I had a chance to change my mind,
I wouldn't for the world.

Not only is she gorgeous and incredibly talented, but she currently has two CDs out in completely different musical styles. Enchant holds towards a ye olde Victorian majesty, with such songs as Chambermaid and Rose Red, and the tune to Greensleeves is part of her song Juliet. Her second CD, named Opheliac, is inspired by Nine Inch Nails and has everything from Shakespeare quotes in the lyrics of the title track, to her own take on the Lolita story in Gothic Lolita.

But don't just take my word. You can listen to her music at her myspace:

Buy this lady. She is awesome and inspiring!

Nikki Watson.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Unity - a novel for Tease Publishing's imprint?

I just spent a bit of today lurking around The Romance Room, watching as the ladies there handed it over to the authors of Tease Publishing. And I gotta say, I'm pretty impressed by the standard of work that seems to be there.

And the diversity.

So, I sent them my submission for their Dark Tarot imprint yesterday afternoon. I suppose now, I have to think of a kind of synopsis to give them if it's accepted.

When obstinate Darcy and artistic Celeste lives first crossed, they couldn't have known that would start them on the path into the fantasy worlds they both had an interest in. In their sleep, the world of Faerie draws them in, and comes alive for them. They are drawn into the lives true ladies, of balls and gorgeous men in dark cathedrals and the world of abusive stepfathers and fits of depression are left behind them. As they change for the experiences of their dreams, they realise that they a balance must be found between their Faerie travels, which they visit in their dreams, and the Real Life of their waking world.

Like all my favorite authors and poets at the moment, I have tried to tell a tale that mixes real life with fantasy elements to create the novel Unity.

I finally chuffed myself up and made all the last edits I wanted in there, finished writing the cover letter, then pushed the send button. Then I heard back from the editor in chief at Tease this morning. She told me they are looking over submissions this week and I should hear back from them next week.

Holding my breath until then sounds like a plan, yes? :D

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Charles de Lint, author of the 'Newford' novels.

Charles de Lint is an author of 54 novels, novellas and short stories. His novel by the name of Trader was the first one I ever read, and it was a part of the series that de Lint sets in the mythological town by the name of Newford.

Trader brings us the idea of a man who is in the body of another person, a not very much liked person, and how he deals with that dilemma. While not as involved in the various fairy worlds of European and Native American folklore, the very nature of someone waking up one morning in another man's body is not so untypical for a book coming from Charles de Lint. When you pick up a book by this author, you come to expect the unexpected, and for it to be delivered to you in a way that is believable, in a world, and with characters, who are believable, and who you could actually know in real life.

In other books in his Newford 'series', it is easy enough to pick any of them up out of order. Things that you can expect can range from trading bodies, to ghosts, fights between fairies from different countries, to men who turn into dogs, or deer, or birds. Some of his books are aimed towards young adults, and others towards adult readers. There's a broad range of fantasy and fairy tale stories covered in his books, and just a look at the back cover blurb will tell you all you need to know before turning over that first page. :)

Nikki Watson.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

World building and submissions

For my works in progress, I have lately been working on the next series of stories that I plan to release after the three Of Elves and Men titles are released and doing well. :)

I have said before that the Of Elves and Men trilogy was based on the idea of following the passage of magic through the ages: -- contemporary, Dark Ages, and Georgian Age. I've done that, and I'm very pleased with the mythology and characters created around that idea. I also think that that series has opened the way for what I'm working on now.

The books I am working on now do not share the same world as Of Elves and Men. I think this is a good idea, because there always gets to a point in a series of an author's books where the reader just starts to lose interest, and so stops buying. I think three or four books in a series is the perfect amount, before the author should pick up his or her pen and start on a new idea.

It has also crossed my mind that one of my new series of fairy stories might fit in with Tease Publishing's Dark Tarot submissions call. There is one big reason why this tempts me, and I'll tell you what it is: If I get accepted by Tease, this book might be released sooner than it would with New Concepts Publishing after my books Ascent and Haunted come out with them. Tease's Tarot submission call is open till March 31st of this year, which means that I am likely to hear back from them regarding an acceptance or rejection before I hear back from New Concepts even hinting that they might be ready for a new title from me.

This new idea I currently have is not so structured as Of Elves and Men. I had such trouble in finishing the third book in that trilogy, and didn't want to put myself in the situation again where I had an obligation to the publishing house, and to myself, and my readers, to finish what I had started. This series is open ended. In just choosing to follow through an established mythology, I feel as though I am going to take a leaf out of Canadian urban fantasy author, Charles de Lint's, writing style.

As I like his books set in Newford, and the world building evident in these books, I can't complain.