Saturday, July 31

Making up for lost time

A while back I was gifted with some Versatile Blogger Awards, but since I fell off the face of the earth just before receiving these, I have yet to pass them on.  It gives me great warm fuzzies to know others follow  my blog and find it worth their time, and I appreciate that enormously.  
There are so many great informative and imaginative blogs out there and following so many can be time-consuming.  That's why I am happy to pass this award onward to other bloggy friends who make the reading worth my time.

1. Thank and link back to the person who bestowed upon you the wonderful award:  
Great big fluffy thank you to Bryan at the Time Guardian Blog.  I can't wait until your books get picked up because I'm looking forward to reading them.  They sound like exactly what my kids would love to read.  

L'Aussie at L'Aussie Writing, I love the imagery in your writing.  Thank you for all your input and for following my blog.

Thank you also to OfficeGirl at Tired but Writing.  We have quite a lot in common.  It's almost scary sometimes to read your posts ;)  Make sure you tell us all about your upcoming writer's conference.  I haven't gone to one yet because I'm too darn poor for conferences, associations, contests, etc.  Some day it's going to be all that's on my Christmas list, and then someone (*ahem*--hubby) will have to pay for one.

2. Share seven interesting or amusing things about yourself.
Hmmmm. Tough one.  Feels funny to tag myself as interesting or amusing, but here's my best...
  1) I foresee the cause of my death to be dark chocolate overdose, most likely Lindt or Lindor truffles.  Should I just sue them now?
  2) I love creepie/crawlies.  I had to adopt out Pebbles, my Red-Tailed Columbian Boa when I left for boot camp because my husband couldn't stand to feed it the rats.  My dream pet: a Monitor lizard.
  3) I lived in a nudist colony for a very short period of time when I was a child.
  4) I was groped twice at The Hobbit House, a restaurant/bar in Manila staffed entirely by little people.  I guess my budonkadonk was too hard to resist at eye level.
  5) I won a big, fat essay contest with a piece I wrote on washing a chicken. *make sure you use Woolite*
  6) I've eaten locust, deep-fried.  Tasted like chicken, but I couldn't stand the "hull" in the mouth afterward.
  7) I can't let myself play RPG's.  Nope, can't do it.  I'll end up living at the computer, and not to blog or write, but to RPG the last half of my life away.  Damn you, EQ (aka EvilQuest).  You started all this!

3. Pass the award top 15 bloggers you have just recently discovered and who you think are fantastic for any and all reasons!! I tried to choose blogs I follow which didn't appear to already have this award.  Without further ado and in no particular order:
  1) Matthew @ The Quintessentially Questionable Query Experiment
  2) Jo @ Shoveling in a Jo Storm 
  3) Katie @ Creepy Query Girl
  4) L.@ Spunk on a Stick
  5) Stu @ Stusplace
  6) Sara @ Sara B. Larson
  7) Tina @ Sweet Niblets 
  8) Karen @ Eternal Moonshine of a Daydreaming Mind
  9) Roni @ Fiction Groupie
10) Megan @ The Write Stuff
11) Shelli @ A*Musings
12) Julie @ Silver Lining
13) Tara @ Feel of Something New
14) Anne @ Piedmont Writer
15) Margie @ Spin Me Write Round

4. Contact the bloggers you picked to let them about the award so they may pass on the awsomesauce.
Please stop by and visit any of my bloggy buddies you haven't visited yet and check out their blogs!

Friday, July 23

Sometimes I LOVE my job!

This time out to sea brought my ship some redeeming factors.  There's been a lot of rare evolutions, lots of missile shoots, some test platform activities, the sinking of a ship, and a movie filmed onboard.  Wow.  It's a lot to pack into a two-month underway, which is why we've been working so many hours each day.  I was so excited about this, I thought I'd share it with you.

I actually hung out with and ate dinner with Alex Skarsgard (Eric on True Blood and Sgt. Colbert in Generation Kill) and with Peter Berg (credits too many to list).  They were very laid-back, easygoing, and great to talk to.

I'm psyched to learn that Peter Berg's next project is "Lone Survivor," an account of one of the largest Special Ops disasters in US history.  If you haven't read the book by Marcus Luttrell, I highly recommend it. 

The rest of the film crew, Phil, Jimmy, Brett, etc., who stayed on board for several days filming some of our missile shoots were also very memorable guys.  They didn't get irritated once with our questions and interest in their jobs.

So in 2012, the movie "Battleship" comes out featuring some shots from my ship, the USS Benfold.  I'm looking forward to seeing my friends running around in the background as extras.  I'm in some of the shots they took, but you can never be sure what scenes willl be cut.  I suppose there's a chance I'll be in it as well.  Woohoo!  This makes movie #2 for me.  My first ship, the USS Carl Vinson, was featured in the movie "Behind Enemy Lines."  David Keith reenlisted me while he was on board.  He signed my discharge papers, and Owen Wilson signed my reenlistment bonus check.

Also, our missile shoots were outrageously successful.  At least you'll all be safe on our watch :)

In writerly news, my new WIP has raced up to over 18,000 words.  I can't wait to get back so I can catch up on how everyone else is doing.  Thanks for reading!

Sunday, July 18

Blogfest of DEATH!

First of all, I miss all of you Awesome Bloggers!  I sincerely wish I could get to your blogs where I'm at, but it's impossible to view more than a couple of them.  I have a difficult enough time loading just the Google search page.  In fact, I'm now writing at 0330 after having been awake for over 26 hours.  Yeah, fun.  But on the bright side, I've had some really awesome experiences. 

If you'd like to see where I'm at just Google "Rimpac 2010" or USS Benfold Rimpac or anything along those lines.  I'll attempt to get a blog post in tomorrow as well with some crazy pics of our missile shoots.  We had a film crew onboard, and you'll never guess who I got to hang out with all day!  And yes, I'm sorry, but I'm leaving you hanging.  I'm waiting to get pics in the right format to post.  Anyway, without further ado...

I've been waiting for this Blogfest forever.  Seriously.  I cannot wait to read the entries for this one.  Thank you Tessa for hosting this fantastic Deathapalooza.  Please visit the other Blogfesters' links on Tessa's site.

My entry is from my first MS, The Elder, a paranormal romance with some sci-fi.  Gabriel is an alien who has a keen interest in the MC, Emma.  She's been away at Dayspring, a neighboring settlement, which is now under heavy attack by another race of aliens, the Vamphyri.  In this scene, he heard her scream so he knows she's nearby, but he hasn't found her yet before he encounters a few of his enemies.

Gabriel crouched low underneath one of the long, open tinted-glass windows, closing his eyes to sharpen his other senses. He detected her scent, light and floral, and strained to hear her voice. She remained silent, spiking his desperate need to find her. Was she unconscious, lying somewhere in there bleeding to death? The thick stench of death blotted out any chance of finding her by a blood trail, and her scent lingered all over the room. He assumed her office had to be in this building.

Creeping to a shattered doorway at the side of the building, he listened for the Vamphyri's movements. He counted three in the immediate room with no detectable human life and another squad of undetermined quantity on some level above them, still fighting judging by the gunshots.

Waiting patiently, he entered as one of them walked unwary across the doorway. One brutal pass of his black carbon blade severed the creature’s spine and gouged its airway. A faint gust from its throat alerted the two remaining Vamphyri. He dropped its body carelessly to the ground as they moved toward him.

Frenzied screeches raked at his sensitive ears as they leaped at him, their movements blurry with speed. Gabriel dodged to meet one of them midair, twisting to bring it to the ground. He knew he had to dispatch this one right away. The creatures weren't exactly known for fair fights, and they could overpower him together if he wasn't careful. Grappling with the thing's arms, he used his knee to pin it down at the hips. His claws were useless restrained as they were. Instead, he worked at flipping the Vamphyr to its belly to get a constriction hold on it without getting his throat ripped out by its clashing fangs.

To his advantage, the vamp had been shot a few times, enough to slow the healing process down, and in its weakened state, he turned it, sliding one arm over it's left shoulder and the other arm under his right. He rolled, his opponent still trapped but struggling in his grip, to counter the second vamp's clawed attack. Gabriel grunted in pain as the claws caught the side of his right forearm, slicing it wide open, before gouging deeply into the restrained vamp. It shrieked again, piercing into his ears painfully. He squeezed tight, then tighter, breaking the blood flow, still keeping its body between him and the second one. Just a little more. Within a few seconds, he burst the monster's heart.

He dropped it to the floor, knowing he would have time to remove its head before it rose again. As long as he could take out the last Vamphyr. It screamed its fury at him, its needle teeth and half of its face dripping blood and gore, white lips drawn back almost to its jaw bones. Gabriel wondered at how he could be in any way related to this thing, an empty shell, nothing inside save base instinct.

With their eyes like black orbs, it was near impossible to tell which way a Vamphyr would move, unlike humans who give their intentions away so easily. Gabriel watched for the minute muscle movements that would eventually give the thing away, but finally tired of waiting, he sprang forward head on, then ducked down and to the side as the vamp moved to meet him. It tumbled over his legs, but immediately rolled into a defensive squat. Surprised, Gabriel rose to face his opponent, absolutely the fastest damn vamp he'd ever encountered.

Given no other choice, he reluctantly went in for a direct brute strength approach. He hoped that he was the stronger one of the two. At this point, he didn't have the time to waste on strategy while more Vamphyri lurked above him and Emma hid who knows where in the building among them, alone, terrified, and defenseless. His urgency to find her lent him an energy and power he hadn't felt since before he'd ever met the humans.

Gabriel roared in fiery rage as the two seized each other's arms, both pushing to keep the claws and fangs away from their throats. Minutes passed as their bodies tossed and tumbled in their struggle. As they neared the wall, the Vamphyr pushed Gabriel sidelong onto a broken pipe, shoving it part way through his chest between the armor plates of his vest. The anguish forced his arms close in. The vamp took advantage of the slip, digging its teeth into his shoulder, just missing his throat by inches. Gabriel bit back a cry of pain, pushing against the vamp with every bit of muscle, his teeth clenched tightly. Then the thing slumped against him.

He straightened in shock, shoving it away and pulling himself free of the pipe. Bewildered, he looked down at the rag doll at his feet. It had a large hole at the back of its neck, nearly lopping its head from its body. His eyes focused on the doorway, where a very proud of himself Bozant stood with his monstrous plasma gun over one shoulder, a thumb’s up toward Gabriel, and a wide, swaggering grin on his face. Gabriel didn't think he'd ever been so glad to see a human. He smiled, one hand over the wound in his side, and limped over to the doorway where the rest of the team took cover against the wall.

Well, I hope you enjoyed the Death and Dismemberment.  I know it's a little on the long side, but at least you get three for the price of one.