ORACLE (Book I)–complete

So things haven’t improved all that much since the last time I wrote here. But I’m still writing though and gearing up for National Novel Writing Month.

Oracle (Book I) by S.T. Rucker is complete. You can head over to Wattpad and read it totally free.

Welcome to Oracle–a sprawling school of magic overlooked by a crystal mountain, surrounded by fields and forests beneath whipped clouds and endless blue skies. Caprice Bilberry is a witch who suddenly arrives at Oracle’s extraordinary campus and is informed that as a student here, her greatest wish will be granted: She will be freed from generational enslavement and have the right to go to school and practice her magic. Why say no and return to life as a slave in a colonial village where using magic is an offense punishable by mutilation and death? But you know what they say: If something is too good to be true…it usually is. Caprice, Nezzle, and Bossa become friends, soon unraveling a terrifying secret: The school is more than what it seems, demanding a price more sinister than its lofty goals reveal or make up for. Its the ultimate fine print. For one does not simply enter and become a student at Oracle school….

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Oracle (Book I) by S.T. Rucker is available to read online at Wattpad

 

The Village Hidden in the Vale (Book 2) is already in the works. I hope to have it finished in 2019. I started writing Oracle in about May 2016, so now that I’ve spent time in the world of Oracle my goal is to finish the second part much earlier, barring the blow back of the devastating, emotionally and mentally crippling things that tend to happen to me.

Exasperated, drained, and writing on,

–S.T.

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Returning

Struggle. Since I last wrote here or updated any of my social media accounts I have gone through so much struggle. I’ve lost a loved one. Had to resign from my job and leave my students. Been let down over and over again by the system. Realized that there isn’t a single soul except myself that I can rely on. Suicidal depression brought on by lifelong disadvantages. Poverty. Anger. Abuse.

When have I had time write anything, focusing on what I love? Stories. Creating worlds and crafting. How can I focus on what I love when struggling to survive? How can I feel like my stories matter when my life is valued by no one?

So here I’m updating for the sake of updating.

NaNoWriMo 2016

National Novel Writing Month is nigh!

This will be my seventh NaNoWriMo and I was introduced to it in college. I never go into it without plans to “win”, and by “win” I mean reach the 50,000 word goal of this yearly event. My intention is to finish as much of whatever stories and writings I’ve got that has an ending.

My primary project this month is Oracle, which I started writing back in June. I took October for hiatus on the novel to rest my brain since it’s been at the forefront of my thoughts since I started it. The story is over 50,000 words and I’ve been trying to decide whether to write one long novel or split it into two or three book. Splitting it into books doesn’t change the fact that it continues where some readers would like to stop reading and/or start a new book. I can’t guesstimate how long Oracle is going to be and I don’t really want to. I just want to be true to my story, let it do what it do, and hope people enjoy it.

Though I have never committed to it before and have mixed feelings on the topic, I’m also writing a fanfiction based on a manga/anime that I recently discovered and really like. My fanfic is an estimated novella to light novel length (40,000 to 50,000 words apprx). It seems I’m incapable of writing anything too short, I’m too detail-oriented I guess.

That’s what I’m up to. I hope I can finish Oracle, my fanfiction, and a couple of short stories this coming month. I shouldn’t even be writing this post since I’m supposed to be resting up for NaNo ’16 for ! -__-

Still alive

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Hey, hey, hey there.

I didn’t “win” 1888’s 2016 Summer Writing Project, not at all unexpected, but I am still working to finish my novel, Oracle, serialized on Jukepop. Usually, I’d really be down about this kind of thing after putting myself out there but I’m managing the mantle of disappointment and suspicions of inferiority pretty well.

I appreciate the recognition of 1888, everyone who voted for me on Jukepop, and the grace of entering the Top 25 in the writing project. And believe me, I thirsted for the rewards and further recognition of winning this competition. I’m not sure how I should or should have used the opportunity so it’s now time to move on, I guess. Time to get back to the heart of this story…ME. Though I really wanted my novel to win, I started writing Oracle as a gift to myself for my birthday, to write a story I (in the precarious state of both reader and writer) want to read–not for a competition or for votes or to participate in the virtual Hunger Games that is literary/publishing world.

Oracle is going on its 37th and likely 38th chapter this week. I look forward to seeing its journey though.

There are so many stories yet trying to get out of my head. Because I feel it’s unwise to divide my energy and attention, I don’t usually work on more than one book or short story at a time. I’ll be an old lady before most of them get squeezed out. -__-

 

Why I’m Not All That Interested in Rowling’s ‘Cursed Child’

Got this jacket from Hot Topic and I wore it religiously in high school.

Harry Potter’s at it again, this time with three kids of his own in tow in this…stage production, Harry Potter & the Cursed Child, now being called Book 8 in the series. Now, here’s the thing:

  1. At first they were saying Cursed Child wasn’t a continuation of the series, its a play written by somebody else. Now they’re saying it is a continuation of the series in the form of a script for the stage.
  2. I didn’t like the way Harry Potter ended in the first place. I deeply felt that Rowling excused Slytherin House’s legacy of hatred, elitism, racism, warmongering, and violence through Harry’s words to his son at the end of Book 7. And the fact that he names his son after Albus Dumbledore (don’t get me started) and Severus Snape, who is the architect of his own misfortunes with Lily Evans and, though he is a complicated character, he is certainly not someone I would name my child after.
  3. I don’t want to read about Harry’s angsty son and his heavy destiny. I’d rather be writing heartfelt, bad ass magical girl characters of my own than reading another story about another boy living in daddy’s shadow, or whatever the case is.

Every time a Harry Potter book came out, I was there. I pre-ordered my book and I was at the book release of the closest Borders Bookstore (before they shut down). I put on my Gryffindor tie and I would go to the midnight book release. After standing in line for hours,  I would promptly leave the store instead of participating in party activities so I could start reading in the car by book light on the way home. I wouldn’t stop reading until I was finished, only pausing to eat, use the bathroom, and sleep until I was awake again, then I’d rub the crust out of my eyes, crack the book open, and keep reading.  My room was virtually plastered in Potter paraphernalia. No one better dare say I wasn’t a fan.

At this point, I still can’t even accept the Book 7 ending and that’s why I won’t read or fangirl any further. I loved the structure of Rowling’s world, the fantastical and the norm all rubbing elbows and whatnot. But maybe I’ve outgrown the entire thing.

Thinking about wearing it today…but its probably hot…

Writer’s Voice, Reader’s Mind

Every time I re-read a book, I see something I didn’t see before. My journey as  reader and writer is to see the soul of an author’s work.

Sometimes readers will make comments about my work that make me think, You didn’t actually read what I wrote, did you. I’d be the last person to turn down constructive criticism. But if I sense that they’re offering “advice” or “criticism” but didn’t take the time to read the words and understand them to formulate a useful opinion, I get irritated and jazzy in the mouth, just downright sassy towards them.

When I read, I don’t go in saying, “Let me see how well this author writes like my favorite author!”. (Also because I don’t have a favorite author.) And I don’t write stories for people who skim and speed read or want something fun, quick, and trashy to read at the airport. No, as a reader, I try to see how that writer is delivering information, details, so that my imagination paints on the canvas of my mind and shows me the story.

Science Is Story: Why We Need More Stories About Science by Dr. Kathy Kitts

This is a great piece by Dr. Kathy Kitts for National Novel Writing Month that discusses some of my issues on the divide between scientists and artists, namely fiction writers.

We’ve all seen the posters that list nifty inventions that first appeared in science fiction and later in our pockets. Scientists and engineers readily admit they take inspiration from the stories they’d read. Yet there is another very important contribution that story makes to science that we don’t talk about. Often, story communicates science concepts better than science itself does.

 

It’s not that scientists don’t know how to write (or can’t be taught), but rather a strong cultural bias exists against employing the tools of story in science. Somehow by using metaphor, we contaminate the data, dilute the message and undercut our credibility…

 

This bias is so pervasive many of my colleagues use pseudonyms for fear that writing fiction may reflect badly on their grant submissions. (If they make up stuff for stories, they might make up stuff in studies.)

Read it all here