Archive for November, 2013


Hey guys. In celebration of nearly reaching 2000 views and 100 followers, I have something for you. the (Pre-first draft, I guess) chapter of a new book I’m working on: “Undesirables” , a superhero story told from the perspective of the villains. I’m enjoying writing it a lot, and I hope you guys will let me know what you think of it. Enjoy.

Note: No need to point out typos or mistakes, I probably know about them by now.Plus, WordPress has messed up paragraphs a little, so there may be spaces where there shouldn’t be at times 😉

-1-

Risking a glance behind him as he burst through the apartment block’s side door and tore down the alleyway, Beckett couldn’t see his pursuer. But he could hazard a guess that he was close behind.
This was monumentally bad. Weeks of preparation, reading through dossiers of his target, finding a location he was guaranteed to show up at, planning his hideout and escape routes, even pissing in empty jars so he didn’t have to pause his stakeouts and after nights of waiting, when he finally shows up, it all goes down the drain when he decides to turn around at the worst possible moment to see Beckett’s speckled eyes staring right at him through a pair of binoculars. From his vantage point in the third floor apartment overlooking the street, he’d thought he’d covered everything. But he realised, as he backed into one of his jars, that when it came to it he was just shit at spying at people.
That, or Snowfall had discovered psychic powers, and kept them a secret from him all this time. He missed nothing, it would seem.
He had hastily shaken his foot to get rid of any broken glass or urine that still clung to his shoe, and made a mad dash out of the apartment block into the cold Chicago night. If he wasn’t being chased by a dangerous and lethal super-powered freak, Beckett would have stopped to turn the air blue swearing. This could have led to something big. This would have led to something big. Snowfall, one of the world’s oldest and most renowned vigilantes, taken in thanks to the brave actions of Sam Beckett, a simple informant. It would have at least been worthy of a promotion, maybe becoming a full field agent if he’d played his cards right. The Coven wanted Snowfall. Badly. Any scrap of information that would lead to them getting their grubby hands on him would be a godsend to them, and the person who handed it to them would be reimbursed greatly for all the trouble they went to procure it. Promotions were the very least they could do.
Of course, right now, he didn’t really have any information to show them and was running for his life from a man able to create and control ice. And he happened to be running through Chicago on one of the coldest days winter so far. Luck was on the “good guy’s” side, it would seem, as he tried to avoid the icy puddles that littered the alleyway.
He really hated superheroes. Ever since real life superpowers had been brought to the attention of the world, all hell broke loose. You’d hear about it on the news: children dying in homemade attempts to acquire powers, millions of dollars spent by the rich and powerful in the hope of finding a way to shoot lasers out of their eyes. It was all for nothing, of course, but that didn’t stop them. All they wanted was to be like them. Different, unique, free of the chains that came with regular life. Beckett only had one question for those people: Why? Why try to become someone who was seen by many inside The Coven as a freak of nature, an outcast?
As a result of this landslide of adoration for vigilantes like Snowfall, some tried to be more like them then others, and those were the people Beckett hated the most. While some merely tried to have powers for the sake of having powers, others took to the streets to take the law into their own hands, to uphold justice, just like those brave super-powered men and women who did the same every day. Why they wanted to was anyone’s guess, but most would wind up dead in a gutter with a bullet in their head, unaware of just how in over their heads they had been. But the ones who didn’t, the ones who started meeting up with like-minded people, were dangerous. Lynch mobs could form as people accused others of crimes, sometimes requiring the intervention of the very people these people were trying to be like. Whole militias would rise with the intent of ‘peacekeeping’, but would usually end up as bad as the people they swore to eradicate. Anyone and everyone with a mask and a weapon if sorts wanted in on the action. With the introduction of superpowers into the world, chaos was ensuing. The whole novelty of having superheroes may have fooled others into accepting this change in the status quo, but not Beckett. He saw past this change for what it really was: hell on earth, or at least the lead up to it.
His mind snapped back to the present as he cleared the alleyway. He made a mad dash for the next apartment block across the street, trying to keep a steady foot on the icy road. It wasn’t easy and the fear of being caught by Snowfall wasn’t helping much. Managing to slide across to the sidewalk, he looked back to check for his pursuer. Beckett could find no trace of him. Had he actually given chase? Or had he overlooked the hideout? It was possible, in this weather, that he might have merely glanced in his direction and had seen nothing…
It was at this point that something picked its moment to land right in front of him. Beckett yelped and jumped back, losing his footing on the sidewalk and landing unceremoniously on his ass. Staggering back on his hands and feet, He looked up to see a giant of a man wearing hooded cloak. standing over him.

Everything about Snowfall looked like it was ripped straight out of the medieval times. The blue tunic and leather jerkin that fit snugly around his torso, the brown leather boots, the gloves and bracers, even the long cloak and hood that shielded his face gave him the look of a old worn traveler, a lost soldier. Here stood a superhero, in all his pretentious glory.
“Beckett?”
Watery grey eyes stared down at Beckett, and he could see Snowfall’s brow furrow in confusion.
“H…hey.” Was the only think he could bring himself to say. He didn’t know whether or not he was shivering from the cold or the fear. Snowfall tilted his head, like a dog trying to figure out what you were saying to it. He was obviously confused that the person he caught spying on him was a trusted ally to him in recent months. Nevertheless, he offered his hand out to Beckett. Taking it to pull himself up, Beckett noticed that even through the thick gloves he wore, his hand was deathly cold. One of the downsides to his powers, he guessed.
Snowfall still looked concerned as he helped Beckett of the ground. “You seem to be in a hurry.”
Beckett could only smile sheepishly. “Snowfall, you’ve got it all wrong” he mumbled, trying not to trip over his words, “This is all just a misunderstanding, I… I can explain myself, why I was here, I mean..” Beckett’s mind hadn’t caught up with his mouth though, and he struggled to think of something, anything that could get him out of this. But nothing came. He had caught him right in the act, their was nothing he could say to argue otherwise. What came next was anyone’s guess…
He wasn’t a man to be taken lightly. At just under 6″5, Snowfall towered over most folk. Broad shouldered and imposing, he was the type of person who drew attention to himself no matter what. Although the lower half of his face was obscured by thick layers of a scarf of sorts, what little Beckett could see of his face looked worn and scarred, showing His age.
Snowfall’s expression turned from concern to confusion. “Explain what?” the look on his face was so genuine, Beckett paused.
“W…what?”
“I saw you running like a madman down the street, you looked like you’d seen a ghost. Everything alright?”
Beckett’s mouth couldn’t help but fall open in disbelief. Was he that stupid? He had been staring directly at him through the window, of course he had seen him. He’d have to have been monumentally idiotic to not add 2 and 2 together and realise Beckett had been running to get away from him.
But Snowfall genuinely seemed worried about his safety. Incredible. He was that stupid.
Trying to compose himself, Beckett did his best not to laugh at the brainless lummox of a man that stood in front of him. Perhaps he wasn’t as perceptive as he thought.
“No, I’m fine, really.” he replied, warmly patting Snowfall on the shoulder. “Just trying to get out of the cold. With you around, it’s no wonder I’m freezing my ass off.”
Snowfall grinned and Beckett chuckled, glad to put that matter behind him. He could wait for a while, bide his time. Surely he’d get a second chance to get something useful to The Coven. The thought of promotions came back to him, and for a split second, he relaxed, letting the tension in his muscles go as he laughed.
As it turned out, a split second was all Snowfall needed.
Immediately, snowfall dropped the grin, and grabbed Becket by the collar of his coat. Before he even knew what the hell was happening to him, jets of ice burst from below Snowfall’s free hand and feet, propelling them up the side of the apartment block. Beckett could only cry out in horror as he was heaved over Snowfall’s shoulder. Facing the ground, there was nothing he could do but watch the ground become smaller and smaller, climbing higher and higher with each passing moment until they were the height the roof of the complex, at which point Snowfall flew across the building and unceremoniously dumped him onto it. Beckett landed in a heap on the roof, cursing and shouting as his arm took the brunt of the fall. Broken? Maybe. Trying to rise to his feet, he could see Snowfall hovering daintily over him, his gaze fixed on him.

“I’m not one to sound threatening…” he began.

“Bull,” Beckett managed to cough out, “you’ve been threatening ever since you put on that costume of yours.”

Snowfall’s stare didn’t waver “I don’t want to sound threatening, but I don’t like it when the people I put my trust in are watching me behind my back.”

“Well, it’s not like you didn’t expect a rat like me to stay loyal for long, did you?” Beckett grimaced, but managed to stand upright, his left arm bruised and aching like mad.

Landing on the roof himself, Snowfall started walking towards Beckett, his eyes always fixed on him, flickering every now and again to his arm, waiting for him to pull a weapon. Perhaps he was even tempting him to. “Oh, I don’t know about that, I thought you were quite a nice guy. For a rat.”

Beckett started backing away from the slowly approaching Englishman, clutching his battered arm. Trying to scramble an explanation was difficult when he was trapped on the roof of a building late at night with his arm sending jolts of pain up and down his body. “Look, I dunno how thing’s are working out between us right now, but can I go out on a limb here and guess I’m not your best friend right now?”

Snowfall shook his head. “Why were you spying on me?”

Beckett laughed, causing his arm to shake with pain. It was a guttural laugh, and Beckett noticed how psychotic it had made him sound. Maybe he was more scared of him then he was willing to admit.

Snowfall’s step never faltered across the snowy rooftop. “I’m not going to ask again, Beckett. Why were you here? Who sent you?” There was something in that tone of his that made Beckett pause, and begin to sweat, despite the freezing temperatures.

“I… whatever a freak like you can do to me, I swear, they could do it a lot worse.” He had momentarily found his courage, but immediately lost it again when he realised Snowfall had stopped walking.

“We’ll have to see about that, won’t we?” he mused and began walking towards him again. Beckett started moving faster away from him, pain still raking his arm. He was breathing heavily now and something deep down was screaming at him. “Panic, panic, for the love of God, please, do something.” The only thing that came to mind though, was to keep backing away from the man spouting ice from his fingers. It was a horrible plan, but it was the only thing that seem to make sense. “Keep backing up, get away from him, get away,” the voice inside of him was crying. He could feel tears welling up inside him, he had never been this scared before. Why was he so scared? Snowfall was getting closer, walking faster towards him. Beckett’s cheeks were red, and he was starting to tremble. “Get away,”the voice was screeching at him, and now Beckett had begun shouting it out loud, “Get away, get away, get away!”…

And then, his foot was over the edge of the roof. Beckett stumbled, surprised that he had reached the end of the roof without knowing it. He struggled to keep his balance, one foot hovering over empty air. He shot his arms forward, blindly trying to grab the space between him and Snowfall, as if he could pull himself forward with it. He saw Snowfall’s eyes widen as he realised what was happening, he lurched forward, trying to grab one of Beckett’s outstretched hands. Too late, he thought, as he slipped over the edge.

The last thing he saw was Snowfall jumping off the roof after him, frantically trying to catch up with him as he plummeted to the ground.

The second-to-last thing to go through Beckett’s mind was how lucky Snowfall was to be able to fly and how jealous he was that he could survive all this.

The last thing to go through it was the pavement.

Advertisements

Proof-Reading

Dear Saul,

I’m proud to say, when it comes to writing, I know my way around it. I’ve still got a hell of a lot to learn, but I’m optimistic that I can string together a coherent sentence. Maybe I’m not the fastest at typing, but I get it done, and maybe it’s not top notch quality, but it’s entertaining (I hope). But even me with my mastery of… mediocrity… cannot help but sin every once in a while. And I’m afraid it’s a big ‘un. I dun goof every once in a while, and I’m not proud of it.

I never proof-read my work properly. And I mean never.

Before you start lighting your torches and grabbing your pitchforks, let me say that I do not recommend doing what I do. Proof-reading your work is one of the most important skills when it comes to writing and editing your own work. If you don’t proof-read for grammatical errors, typos, and simple mistakes, you make you work come off as just a little bit shit.

Just a little bit.

“But why would *someone* (and I’m not saying who) choose not to proof-read their own work? Surely they practice what they preach.” Well, to answer this, you need to know how much of a lazy git I am. I procrastinate a lot, and I’m afraid of missing deadlines, so everything is usually done in a last minute panic (which is such a good mindset for a writer, I might add…). As such, proof-reading isn’t as high up on the list as “getting the work done, and getting it done well” is. Of course, getting it done well requires me to proof-read my work., but I’m too busy “getting the work done, and getting it done well” to proof-read…

See the paradox I’ve created? I’m trying desperately to climb out of the rut I’ve made for myself, but no luck so far. The simple answer is, I’m lazy, and if I want to fix the issue of me correcting my own work, I first have to fix the issue of me not wanting to do anything except sleep in and play video games. And for a teenager, that is a steep hill to climb, my friend. Why not stay at the base of the hill and eat chocolate, you ask? Well, believe me, as soon as you bring yourself to check your own work, you’ll soon notice the quality of your writing is improving as well, and not just the little things. You may notice huge plot holes you managed to overlook originally. You’ll see scenes and characters that don’t work, and you’ll get a feel for your own style of writing, one that will continue to improve as time goes on.

So surprise surprise, being lazy hasn’t really helped me accomplish anything, or make me better in my craft, and chances are, it won’t work for you either. So get off your backside, put down that controller, and go read your own work. But what can you do to stop yourself from caving in and just being lazy all day?

Well, give yourself an incentive to work, and reward yourself for getting to a certain goal you’ve set. Just try not to overdo things too much:

Also, get a schedule, and stick to it. If you get into a routine, it’s easier to break that habit of  going off to procrastinate. Give yourself a set amount of time to do something, and give yourself some short breaks throughout the day. If you’re finding it difficult to stick to your schedule, start later or just have a shorter amount of time for work, then slowly build it up over time. Don’t just rush into things expecting to break out of your old habits straight away.

Finally, hang a nice “Hang in there, baby” poster on your wall. It’s the single most important thing for breaking out of laziness. Seriously.

Well that’s all I’ve got. Any thoughts on being lazy? Do you have problems proof-reading?

I have to go proof-read this post now. Maybe.

Best wishes,

-Fiachra

Dear Saul,

Hope you had a good Halloween, because November is gonna get busy. Real busy. I ‘moustache’ you a question, (geddit?) ever heard of Movember? Movember is a charity event that takes place throughout the month of November, in which brave men (and possibly women) shave their face on the first day of November, then duke it out to grow the most fabulous hair on their top lip, all in the name of raising funds and awareness for men’s health.  It’s a hilarious event. and it goes towards a good cause.

Obviously, given my teenage gumption and stubbornness, I shaved off my peach fuzz of a beard, and got to work, sitting there, slowly straining until my face went red. I kind of gave up after that, and just sat there looking slightly disappointed in myself for not being able to pop out a luscious comb of hair over my mouth. But, I still have a month to go, so it’s not all bad.

Want to have a go at it yourself? You can sign up via their website. Even if you can’t grow a moustache (You big girl’s blouse), you can support the more manly of the human race in their endeavours to make men’s health a nicer, fuzzier topic.

Don’t feel like growing a moustache? There’s always NaNoWriMo. If you have even the slightest interest in writing, then I’m guessing you have an idea of what NaNoWriMo, or National November Writing Month is.  30 days to write 50,000 word novel alongside tens of thousands others. This one isn’t for anyone else but yourself. If you succeed, it’s a testament to your dedication to the art of literature.

If you should fail…

Well…

We don’t mention those who fail…

Actually they do fine.

Seriously. And if you think you can achieve his goal, and forever be entombed in the annals of writing history, sign up on their website, and get cracking.

I’ll leave you with those for now Saul, I have to get my stache goin’.

-Fiachra

The Cardinal

UCD's finest news source. Preaching the truth since 1854.

DEPRESSING DOUGHNUTS

"New mysteries. New day. Fresh doughnuts"

softchap

A band. Plus the writing, poetry, and art of J.C. Grennan.

igotboredoftumblr

it's true, I did get bored of tumblr. Here shall be a hodge-podge of creative endeavours past, present, and future.

Jacob H. Baugher IV

Writer, Photographer, Musician

The Byronic Man

We can rebuild him. We have the technology... Drier. Hilariouser. More satirical than before.

If Books Could Blog

The written word is the only saviour this world needs.

feedmyreads

A place for authors, bloggers, illustrators, publishers & fans

After Dark Gaming

the red eye gamer

Tipsy Lit

the publishing imprint of author ericka clay

Aaron Dembski-Bowden

Don't worry. None of this blood is mine.

lasesana

From my disorganized mind

Teens Can Write, Too!

Changing the world's opinion... as soon as we finish this math homework

The Life and Times of Sevner Red

A general blog about writing, games and all things tech

bloodoverithaca

We aim to amuse.

Lucien Maverick's Blog

The ramblings of a creative intellectual

Cut The Crap Movie Reviews

...for people who don't read movie reviews.

Nhan Fiction

"Hope is my catalyst."

CURNBLOG

Movies, thoughts, thoughts about movies.