Friday, July 30, 2010

Chapter 1 Excerpt: Trashing the Ha-ahk-oo (draft)

She came to a mound, a square pyramidal structure with nothing more than a small, one-room hut at the top, decorated with prayer strips and pinned money, the base of the mound scattered with ashes and broken flatware and food scorched into black char. She stomped up the slope, which rose only about seven feet into the air, hoping they were north enough that the door would actually function and south enough that this was a good place to stay the night. She threw the wooden latch open and slipped inside, ducking down almost to crawl due to its size, and was instantly in a room about as square and large as a suburban parlor.

There was simple furniture inside, and the lights were on in the corners, lamps that shone steady, a radio set in the corner, with crystal candlesticks and a corn blanket over the top, showcasing a ring of sculptures that would be more at home in an upper-class dwelling. She heard the gentle hum of music as she entered, some stereotypical drivel borne on strings after a trumpeted opening.

“Oh, well, good afternoon!” someone belted out, his voice distorted as from a speaker.

Her head jerked up to the stairs, eying the man descending the stairs with a critical gaze; his shirt had no symbol on the right shoulder, a blank family guide, but deeds surrounded the empty space, trailing down his sleeve and part of the way toward his neck. He wore suspenders, with loose slacks like a city man. He was some kind of house spirit. His deeds strictly remained confined to homes, protecting them from intrusion, earning money, and fixing broken things. Wondering how to trick it, she pressed her lips together. Taking in a deep breath, she shifted to a cheery voice.

“Hi, honey!” she said, and he cracked a smile.

“Oh, well, hello, Maude!” he replied, and she waved Rules up to the door.

“You're not going to believe this!” she shouted, “I found the boy out wandering with his friends, and he's still on that whole human thing.”

He glowered at Rules as he entered the building, and she fixed a glare on him.

“You're probably going to have to give the boy a good talking-to,” she nodded, approaching the spirit, one hand reaching into her pocket, the other held up to point at him.

He nodded in response, crossing his arms.

“Well, you know how Zachary is," the spirit laughed, "the more I try to talk some sense into him, the further apart we drift. I think we should cut the boy a little slack.”

Ten-Ghost nodded and shoved a handful of dried nettle into the spirit's face, who immediately began to scream and cough. She dumped out her moccasins, spilling sand on the floor, and ordered Rules to do the same, shouting and banging on the walls as she did. The man stumbled back further, screeching and howling, and she pushed the sculptures off the radio top and told Rules to pull off the corn mat and sit on it; she kicked over a coffee table, and shook her pack, rattling the pots and belting out forest songs in a rough voice. He shivered and fell apart into a small crab-thing that resembled a high chair with human arms and a preponderance of rusted feet, the carapace scrawled over with those same deeds, etched in gold.

“Why did you do that?” he howled, opening one large eye with his mandibles.

“I had to assert my dominance,” she said, “I need to sleep here for tonight, and I didn't want to ask you when you have the possibility to say no.”

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

So Yeah.



The majority of chapter 6, to me, is actually fairly weak. My dialogue was a little flimsy, and I can really tell I'm still getting used to the medium here. Chapter 7 is actually a little stronger, even if the art is still pretty foul. I'm working on around page nine of chapter 8 right now, and hope to forge even further ahead before seven really gets itself moving. Chapter 6 was necessary to me in order to close a gap, and that's all it really does, is close a storyline gap; the really relevant parts are the reference to Yog-Sothoth and the last couple of pages with Shub-Niggurath emerging from the red-veined oddly-angled stones in the backyard, and the fact that the house used to belong to William Dyer of the Pabodie expedition.

Ten-Ghost 2: Son of Ten-Ghost: Everybody Sick up in This Shit has a full summary and outline, and a first chapter draft that is 50% complete. It's going slow because I have to split my time between Ow, My Sanity, Ten-Ghost 2: Return of the Whiny Doctor, and a boatload of City of Heroes alts, also, trying and failing to do artwork for friends and family. My roommate wants me to do a pair of tiger shark jaws for a tattoo of his, and I don't know if it's a good idea for my art to be on someone's skin for the rest of their life (admittedly, he already has one, a Machinato Vitae symbol I designed).


Fresh from one ordeal, spiritual doctor Ten-Ghost wanders the countryside with her adoptive son in tow; after a visit with an old friend and hitching a ride from a forest without a home, she receives a letter. In the town of Hawiya, people are dying of a mysterious illness. Where physical doctors have failed, her contact hopes that she can succeed. But when even she can't pinpoint the cause for the sickness, and when it begins to spread like wildfire, she becomes trapped in the town. Cults and alternative practitioners take advantage of the spreading sickness to blossom, and even Death itself arrives to view the proceedings with detached amusement. Her frustration over an illness she can't solve compounds with the thought of being unable to leave causes Ten-Ghost's psychopathic mandrake instincts to begin to take root. To deal with the plague and protect the people she's been hired to help, she may have to do the most unsavory thing of all: interact with other people.

Monday, July 26, 2010


I didn't miss an update. I mislabeled a comic, even after double-checking it. Everything should be good tomorrow. I feel horrible, I can't even name my files right...

Thursday, July 15, 2010

David Finally Fails a SAN Check

He can't resolve reality when good things happen to him.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Ten-Ghost Part Two

"I, Lucy Alraune Greeble, Finishes the Test Satisfactorily, do hereby solemnly swear, through direct or indirect action, to perform no activity that will harm a patient, to practice to the best of my ability for the good of my patients, to avoid violating the morals of my community, to avoid attempting that which specialists can do better, to keep the good of the patient as my highest priority, outside the interests of vigilantism, monetary concern, community welfare, or conserving economic resources, and to avoid any and all sexual relationships or other inappropriate conduct with my patient and his or her family."

Writing began on the Ten-Ghost sequel today in earnest; I could probably turn this into a trilogy at least, but I don't want to go too far. These things have a habit of turning into bizarre, seemingly overpowered characters, and Ten-Ghost is someone I want to remain a bit neurotic and not much more than she is right now. The story is a rather cliché one nowadays, but I think I can do something new with it, namely in the direction I'm going with it, and the fact that the part that's cliché in the plot is only a vehicle for character development and inner conflict. Basically, the goal is to take something that's normally an outer conflict and turn it into an inner one.

Ten-Ghost/Lucy is very interesting to write, since socially she's about where I was perhaps ten years ago.

Oh, shit, that's right, she will have written a thesis. I'd better get on that.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Finding a House

Finished a novel. Ten-Ghost. Currently in the hands of an agent, maybe something will come of it, maybe not. If not, I'll just buy some ISBNs and publish it my damn self. Working on a sequel, even though it stands alone just fine. I can see it being a trilogy, but that's as far as it goes.

The "Buy Owner" joke is an old one among my mother and I, having figured out a bunch of "code words" a long time ago and spending hours looking at house photos, trying to discern the good ones from the bad ones.