I am excited to introduce a new story complete with new characters from the world of the DPA Declassified Files.
Brought to you as a graphic novel, find out what happens when Elbie hosts and the DPA team up to be...
In the past I have posted pictures of what some of my characters would wear. Since I am working a lot with the four, Brendan, Kristy, Matt, and Derek, in book three I wanted to expand that a little bit. So here you go.
Because of the terrible weather that day I didn't make it to the after party for NaNoWriMo. There you can bring two pages of our novel to share. Since I didn't get to share it there, I will share it here.
Book Three of the DPA Declassified Files: Iteration
Downtown Los Angeles, 3:00pm
Lysandra watched the steam from her coffee swirl in the afternoon sunlight. Her mind turned over all the possible explanations for the consistent smell of boiled cabbage that permeated the tiny cafe.
“So...” Matt sat down across from her with his usual glass of whole milk and a warmed chocolate chip cookie.
The Formica table they sat at looked like it had been stolen from a fifties drive-in dinner. The small mom and pop type shop was directly across the street from the Department of Planetary Affairs building. When the DPA had fist moved into the neighborhood people were alarmed by their presence. The imposing uniforms with classified weapons and an association with the government intelligence and the mystique of dealing with aliens unnerved people.
Lysandra imagined this must be what it’s like to be a cop, a strangely contradictory position for her. The nervous looks and the way people moved out of the way for them wherever they went. She had never liked giving the authorities deference and she certainly did not like receiving it.
But now after months, the area workers and residents had gotten used to them and the interactions with public were usually positive. Putting names and faces with mysterious members of the DPA really helped people feel more comfortable with their presence. Most officers had gotten used to the impromptu question and answer sessions citizens asked them. Commander Draegg had been very pleased with this turn of events.
Matt cleared his throat.
“Sorry,” Lysandra shook herself and took a sip from her coffee. “What were we talking about?”
“We weren’t. You’ve been suspiciously quiet all day.”
“What’s suspicious about it? You’re the one who usually does all of the talking anyway.”
“Not all of it. And yes, I have always been more talkative than you, but today it’s like you’re not even here.”
“Sorry, I’m distracted.”
“Uh, I wouldn’t call staying out all night nothing.”
Lysandra could feel the heat in her cheeks. She was not going to be discussing her sex life Matt of all people. The thought made her cringe. How many people knew she had been off the premises all night? Did it matter? She had never cared what people thought about her before, but it could make for awkward working relationships.
“Edward Drake asked me to marry him.”
Matt gagged on his milk and started coughing violently. Lysandra jumped up from her chair and got him a cup of water. She patted him on the back until he regained his composure. “Are you being serious?”
Lysandra nodded solemnly.
“What did you say?”
“What any sane person would say, ‘we’re not going to talk about this.’”
“Uh- huh.” Matt turned in his chair to sit square with the table and held his milk at arm’s length, silent and unmoving.
“Speaking of which, how was your date?”
“Not yet, no changing the subject on me.” He relaxed again and looked at her. “So what are you going to do?”
“Do? There’s nothing to do.”
“Well you have to give him an answer.”
“No I don’t. Where’s the rule on that?”
“Lysandra. Come one. The guy is—“
“Is what, Matt? Being vulnerable with me? Going out on limb? Exposing his soul? What are you going for here, buddy?”
“Okay, sarcasm is your defense mechanism. So for whatever reason, this is hitting a raw nerve. But yeah, all those things. This is some serious stuff.”
“Okay. Now you and me are not going to talk about it.”
“Hey, woman, you’re the one who brought it up with me.”
“True. But only because you’re supposed to agree with me. You’re my friend, on my side, partner.”
“Friends don’t let friends act stupid unless it will be hysterical.”
“I. Am not Derek.” Lysandra tapped the table with each word. “So you do not get to make jokes at my expense.”
“I’m just being honest. I don’t like the guy but I think he’s good for you.”
“Why don’t you like him?”
“For all the same reasons you shouldn’t like him either.”
Esben was the Elbie, not the man. Esben had been the worst of them all and caused all of them the most suffering. Edward, as a host, had not come onto the scene until well after the damage had been done. Being allied with the worst Elbie of them all did not help his case in the eyes of Matt and his friends.
“You mean you don’t like his Elbie.”
“I don’t like either of them, but as a host Edward has really tamed that Elbie and I’m sure the world is a better place for it, even though he refuses to register or cooperate directly with us.”
Lysandra drew doodles in her cup sleeve with her thumb nail. Edward and Esben were very distinct entities that happened to work really well together.
Lysandra looked up. “What?”
“I said, you are smiling.”
“Shut up.” She sat up in her chair and took another sip of coffee. Matt broke off pieces of his cookie, looking at her. “Fine, Matthew. I’ll think about it.”
“There ya go.” He gulped down his milk in triumph.
I am not a fan of social media. I think it's a time suck that takes away from spending time with actual people. There are some good things about it too, but that is for another time. I am on Facebook because of my friends. I am on Twitter because it's expected of writers but that is where I drew the line for a long time.
Then one day I was searching Google Images for something and the object of my desire could only be seen on Pinterest and only if I signed up. So I did. The next four hours disappeared down the rabbit hole that is this site. But now that I have my boards up and filled I have to say it is my new favorite place to go. And here's why.
I love fan art. I love that people use their mad skills to express their love for something in the most creative ways. If I could draw I would do the same thing, but I can't. I'm a writer so I could do fan fiction but I have enough trouble keeping my own worlds spinning, much less those of others. Besides, the immediate gratification of a visual art is so satisfying.
So what's a fan girl to do?
I can't draw, but I can pretend. That is a game I have always excelled at. So I am taking it to the next level in a new blog.
As you may have read, Red Vs. Blue is currently my favorite show and Michael J. Caboose is my favorite character. This blog will be a pictorial account of his adventures which will most often coincide with my own, because we are best friends after all.
See! It's up in the menu if you want to take look. Scroll back to the top, you'll see. Stop by! This is going to be so much fun!
I just watched Pacific Rim again the other day. And once again I am so impressed by how unpretentious the movie is. I already have an affinity for giant robots and dinosaurs so this is the perfect cross over film. But it is unabashedly just giant robots beating up giant monsters and del Toro does it so well. Even so, it doesn't beat a dead horse in this area, unlike some other giant robot movies that shall remain nameless.
The other nice element is that the relationship between the male and female lead doesn't ever degenerate into romance. I only say degenerate because if I'm going to a movie about giant robots I don't want to watch humans flirting or kissing or being forced into any other completely unnecessary situations. Unlike some other giant robot movies that shall remain nameless.
I was reading the Wiki page on the movie and learned how del Toro structured the plot around the character arcs between each set of charcater relationships. It made me realize why he is such a great director and why his movies are so good. There is a thoughtfulness to the cause and effect of each scene. There are not arbitrary scenes for sake of some ridiculous need to blow shit up, unlike some other giant robot movies that shall remain nameless.
I'm not saying it's an academy award winner but, unlike some other giant robot movies that shall remain nameless, it is worth your time and your money.
You can read my review here.
My first obsession was (and still is) Transformers G1. I love Optimus and his Autobots. I'm also a sucker for classic good versus evil showdowns that were so prevalent in cartoons of the 80s: Justice League vs. Legion of Doom, Thudercats vs Mumra, G.I. Joe vs. Cobra, X-Men vs. Brotherhood of Mutants, He-man/She-Ra vs. the Horde, et al.
But what good are Prime and his noble Auotobts without Megatron and the Decepticons? You can't have one without the other. I'm not an advocate of wars or violence but there is always a fight to be won. It could be in your own head, a co-worker you don't get along with, whatever the obstacle(s), life is a series of battles. And the thing about those battles is the people that see you through, that fight along side you in those things, you never forget. Sometimes they are the people you fight and you realize you've picked the wrong battle and now you're best friends.
Which brings us to my newest obsession. Red vs. Blue. A certain streaming service that shall remain nameless, had been recommending it to me for a while now and I finally decided to give it a try. That was two months ago and a day hasn't gone by that I haven't spent sometime watching the show. In two short months I have probably watched every episode five or six times.
I had this vague notion that it was based off of the Halo universe. I'm not a gamer but I have played Halo 3 at a friends house so I had a little background on things. But then when I ran out of RVB episodes I needed more. So to the Halo universe I turned. Suffice it to say You Tube has been scoured for in game videos and I am almost done with the 3rd book of the series. And several of the comics from my local library have been read and returned. (Master Chief is the Optimus Prime of the Halo universe. But this is a great topic for another time.)
Now when I get hooked on something like this I like to stop and ask my self, why? What is it about this thing that has gotten a hold of me? It didn't take long to realize it was the Transformer affect all over again. What that means for me, is characters, it always come down to character for me. But it's the chemistry of all of them together. The interplay between the factions and even within the factions. The relationships. I don't know if the writers of the original TF had that in mind and I don't know if the writers of RVB do either, but it's there.
The best part about RVB is that it started out so organically and the creators have really upped their game as their fan base has grown and they've taken all of intertwining relationships as seriously as the fans do. Season 13 is currently underway and it's still great character building with the humor and heart that it started with. RVB has really nailed that camaraderie that comes with fighting along side and often against other people but coming out of the fray all the more wiser for it.
That is the other thing about the sim soldiers in red and blue. Everyone is exactly who they are and are totally accepting of who they are within themselves. The integrity of the characters never waivers and I personally really appreciate that. To be honest, do not judge the series on the the first four seasons. You may like the humor, but I recognize it is not for everyone. My favorite season so far is 10, but the stories and animation start getting really sophisticated in season 6.
I recommend you watch season one as a foundation, then jump to five and watch everything after it in order. If you are in love with the knuckleheads by the end of season ten, go back to two, three, and four so you can see how far they've come. My deepest appreciation to Rooster Teeth for giving me my newest obsession and the other fans who have just as much fun with and love for it.
One of my favorite things about writing has always been naming characters. First it was just about the sound of the name or the significance of the name but it quickly became about the meaning of the name. I think it's important that as you build your characters you take their names into serious consideration.
I think I have a preconceived notions about certain names and these names often get used to fill side characters as a kind of stereotyping. Like Arthur. First things that pops in my head is King Arthur. I don't think of a bear, which is what Arthur means, I think nobility and integrity. This is how I feel about many English/Welsh names.
Sometimes I discover a cool name and I want to find a person to go with it. This is the case with Esben. It's a male name that means "god." With that kind of name I needed a character who thought the world of himself. I wouldn't say Esben is conceited but he is extremely confident and sure of who he is and what he wants.
On occasion I have characters that name themselves. When this happens I think a lot about the meaning. What is my subconscious trying to tell me? I have a fantasy type character who just appeared one day and I knew that his name was Thomas, which means twin. Thomas Anderson is Neo from the Matrix. Neo is the twin of Thomas, they are two sides of the same person. I haven't found the actual twin of my Thomas which makes me think it's metaphorical.
The only precaution regarding naming is you want to mix it up. Don't have all your characters names start with the the same letter or the reader will get confused. If all the names rhyme or end with the same sound it could get confusing too. Say the names out loud. List them together and see how they look on the page.
In this day and age it doesn't hurt to have a unique name but always Google it make sure it's not already taken by some famous book or movie you aren't familiar with. That is of course you are wanting to create an association in the readers mind, i.e. Darcy.
When in doubt workshop it or take a poll. You'll know the right name when you see it.
As promised here is my choice for Esben/Edward Drake, CEO of Alpha Cortex Solutions Pharmaceuticals.
Mr. Cavill has the dark curly hair that Esben has. He most certainly has the charisma and charm and I think it would be great to see him in a more sinister role.
Since the character is East Indian he would need a tan but I'm sure that won't be a problem. I would be open to someone out of Mumbai so please send me your nominations.
As a bonus I have found his cohorts Nolin and L'heilh. Nolin is the head of security and L'heilh is Esben's assistant. They are together constantly, as hosts often are.
That would be Edward Drake's thought. It's not in the new novel but maybe it will be in the next one. BTW, it's this exact quality that drives Commander Eriksson crazy.
Linchpin is now available on ebook and print. Check it out HERE.
The reason I say that Trespassing the movie is ten years from now is because the next two actors I want to suggest are too young at the moment but in ten years they will be the perfect ages.
As it happens both of them are amazing actors and it would be awesome to have them as part of the project.
I am currently seeking suggestions for Lysandra's twin brother Brendan and their older brother Robert.
Next time: Esben/Edward Drake
I need a role for Chris Pratt too. Hmm....
If something comes up, I'll put it here, otherwise find me on FB and Twitter.