Thursday, February 26, 2009

Catch Up

There are times when life is terribly hectic, and now is one of them. I still have 4 edits waiting (think 4 impatient, irritated editors) plus am panicking because I have 3 new books in progress, but in the early stages for 2 and only halfway on the 3rd. No new work to sub out. I have to get at least 2 more books started, and they should probably for Melody. Romance, in other words. The others are all in straight sci-fi/fantasy/horror. Last year, I worked on 5 books, and managed it quite well.

Half the problem lies in edits. Some of my older work which has been contracted is being edited for publication now, and I'd like to think my writing is a bit smoother now (practice, and all that!). So, when I re-read older work, it's very time consuming. I want to make lots of minor changes.

Dread sets in.

Back to writing. I'm giving myself 3 hours, and a 3000-word minimum today. Let's see if I can do it. Then, the dreaded edits. Two are for shorter material, so maybe it's time to get those out of the way…

I'll leave you with an excerpt—this one from Static. An oldie (2000), but a goodie. It remains one of my favorites.

EXCERPT: Today he'd found a path he'd never taken before—and he'd already promised himself he'd never take it again. Nature had been communing with him big time. He'd been tramping for less than two hours when the skies suddenly opened. Rain and hail—and they were coming down so hard it hurt. Nate was soaked before he could drag his rain gear out of his bag.
Good thing Aje isn't here, Nate thought. I'd never hear the end of this…
I probably won't, anyway. Aje, despite his protestations, would have half an ear tuned on the weather report.
Nate had never expected him or Brandon to come along. It was just a way of covering his ass, without sacrificing his pride. Brandon always insisted he needed to tell someone when he was going hiking on his own, and Aje had been adamant about it since that ledge goof-up. So, he'd tell them, they'd give him a hard time, and that was that. Except he'd always get a call on Sunday—just in case. In Aje's words, "If I have to save your stupid hide, I want to know before I make other plans."
Nate's thoughts were interrupted by a loud rumble, and a flash of brilliant white, that lit up half the sky. Lightning!
No! It was the thing that terrified him more than anything else. The thing that sometimes invaded his dreams. There was probably some name for it—for this kind of irrational terror, but right now, he didn't know—or care. The lightning was coming—heading his way.
A burst of adrenaline shot through him and he started to run, slipping and sliding in the muck and leaves. Panicked, he ran off the trail, heading toward an overhanging knob of rock.
Solid. Safe. It can't get me there.
It's okay, Leighton. You'll make it…
Only, he wouldn't. It was at his back, watching him ominously from the skies, and it was going to get him.
There was a tingling in his shoulder blades.
It was going to stab him, right in the back.
He'd never told anyone. How, when a lightning storm came, he'd hide behind the door, or in a closet. Deep in his house, or burrowed beneath the desk in his office.
His mother had said he'd been struck once, when he was little. A baby. He didn't remember it, but some part of him did. He'd been running from the stuff ever since.
It was coming. His hair was standing on end and his gooseflesh was doing a shivery dance. The pressure in the air was so thick he couldn't breathe…
The next moment, his world exploded, and was gone—in a massive blast of overwhelming white.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Writing about gargoyles. If you can find beauty in gargoyles, a trip to the mirror won't hit you so hard. Piece of wisdom for the day...
Painted yesterday and day before for an hour each. The picture's finally taking shape.
Writing...panicking.The world is a deadline.Refuse to succumb to a-writing (read that not-writing) state. At work soon.Mod at CTR chat after

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Fallible as I am, I know edits are necessary, but I'd rather be writing...
Just home from work. Sent off my contract for Dink. Trying to bring my word count up to 1000 today on my latest. 4 edits waiting, blast it.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Turnout for the Starlight Symphony only about 40,000, I figure. Too much rain the day before. We were drizzled on, but definitely worth it.
Starlight Symphony last night! Brooke Fraser sang, & traditional laser light show, fireworks, & CANNONS (yes!) for William Tell overture
Many of you are probably familiar with this site: It's interesting - involving microloans & escaping poverty thru work

Friday, February 20, 2009

Tomorrow, have to get contract #42, for a werewolf story called "Bane of his Existence", printed out and posted

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I've been busy jumping around the web, blogging my fool head off.

A Grand Sale on Gilded Folly

It's a muggy and rainy day here in Auckland. Phew!

I was scrolling through my emails today, and found some posts from Terry Odell and Sharon Horton, some of my fellow Cerridwen Press authors. Apparently, CP is having a big sale at the moment.

I checked on my books, and sure enough, the paperback copies of Gilded Folly are less than the ebooks (only $3.50!). This is a scary - and funny - fantasy. Very suspenseful at times, too. I've posted 3 excerpts below.

I don't know how long this sale will last, so forgive me if it's run its course before you have a chance to get there.

Regards, and best wishes,



1 - "Fantastic imagery, suspenseful plot, tension to beat all tension, incites the reader to sit on the edge of the seat and read until the last letter, the last dot, until THE END. ND Hansen-Hill weaves a tale of the battle of good versus evil that seems so real the reader will look askance at his/her neighbor and wonder. ND does a great job balancing the story elements and creating a story worth reading. Unexpected statements are written and/or made throughout the whole story instilling humor and a bit of surprised delight. Great for the fantasy lover, the sci-fi lover, or even the romantic one. What can be more romantic than a woman being protected from an
assassin? Loved this story!
" Reviewer: Lucille PRobinson


It was no longer dark, but Dacey was beginning to wish it were. A subsonic hum vibrated her eardrums and her teeth, the resonance rising into audible range, where it shook her body.

Like a microwave. The cooked scenario entered her head, but she wouldn’t let herself think it. It was enough of a prod, though, to get her moving. Her unseen adversaries weren’t entirely stationary. She would like to believe that was more mechanical action, too, like the hum, but the sounds were far too restless—like a multitude of boots grinding and crunching on gravel.

Alive. No inanimate pistons or gears. Claws and teeth, restlessly gnawing away at rock...

Stop it! Dacey swore right then that no matter what, she wouldn’t give up without a fight.

She ran for the steps—for where she hoped they’d be. You fell down them—landed on your knees.

Get it right, Girl...last chance...

The light was so startling she tripped over her feet and went sprawling. It wasn’t coming from the walls or the ceiling. It was coming from her skin.

Her own body was brightening the room, like a white shirt under black light.

The sight was so shocking Dacey froze. All kinds of thoughts were running through her head. She was so caught up in confusion, that she almost missed the movement.

The walls were losing integrity, as man-size pieces detached and dropped limply to the stone floor. Rustle-thud, rustle-thunk. Now, the pieces shivered and shook, then arose, finding their whole within the fallen tangle of limbs. Skeletally thin beings, with a near-human cast...

...arising out of rock.

Dacey backed away, and headed once more for the steps—only to find they’d beat her there.

They’ve been in the dark so long...

It was almost as though she could read their thoughts. Her light was a lure, to draw them in. They wanted light...and heat.

...but mostly, they wanted food.

Dacey opened her mouth and began to scream.


Humans! he thought, with a sigh. It had been a long time since he’d made any distinction between himself and these others he called friend. Today, it seemed, he was destined to call attention to it, if he were to be of any help to Rom...or the woman.

At that moment, in the middle of Wick’s dire reflections, Fitz sat down in a chair, his eyes drooping. Wick held off maybe ten seconds, then slipped one foot out of bed, his toes touching the cold floor.

Fitz didn’t stir. Hopeful now, Wick passed a shaking hand over the top of the monitor, effectively silencing it. He was grinning triumphantly at his own success when he twisted his head, and met Fitz’ eyes.


Humans could be truly intimidating at times...

Fitz was so angry his face was set, in a way Wick had never seen before. It would appear that however determined Wick was to leave, Fitz was equally determined to keep him here.


When Fitz turned his back, to fiddle with the machine in a furious, frustrated, what-the-hell-did-you-do-to-it, I-refuse-to-look-at-you way, Wick decided it was time to make amends. He was undervaluing Fitz’ efforts—something he’d never intended.

I’m destined to cause trouble wherever I go...

Regretful now, Wick reached past Fitz and snapped his fingers. The monitor took up where it had left off.

Wick, for his part, was exhausted by the small effort. Shivering, he leaned back on the pillows, desperate to retain any dignity he had left.

Fitz was still refusing to look at him. He was watching the monitor angrily, adjusting it with stiff fingers, and ignoring Wick completely. It wasn’t until he noticed something in the readings, though, which alarmed him, that he hastily turned back, and grabbed a glass by the bed. “Drink,” he ordered sternly.

Vinegar water!

Wick was too weak to argue. He drank deeply, unable to control a shudder which started somewhere in his centre. “Th-Thank you, F-Fitz,” he whispered. “F-For everything.”

Fitz continued to watch both him and the monitors. “You’re a damn fool, Wick,” he grumbled, a note of concern in his voice that Wick was certain he must have misheard.

This human friend was more right than he knew. As Wick’s eyes drooped closed, he murmured mockingly, “Both a fool, and damned. There was never such a kavlklakt as I...”


The idea sent a shudder down his spine.

A lone bat strayed through the low branches and Wick jumped. Any movement was suspect. Had something chased the bat from its perch? He squatted down, his back pressed against the coarse bark of a Monterey pine. The solidity of it gave him an illusion of safety. The night remained still, as though holding its breath.

Sucking in the sound and holding it hostage...

It was like a black hole in his surroundings: sucking in sound, and light, and life.

When the night quickened once more, and the insect chorus returned to clicked and chirped mating signals, Wick moved on, nesting his feet in the thick needle beds so he wouldn’t accidentally tread upon a branch.

He never saw It come. It was camouflaged in the nightsound clutter, which took him by surprise. The night suddenly darkened, and the stars were blotted out.

He was slammed back, against a tree. Slammed and pounded to centre the blood beneath the skin. Wick kicked and punched and pounded back, but he was blinded by smoke. It rose around him, while bony fingers raked at his clothes. His eyes ran, his lungs screamed, and a howl was choked off in his throat.

He was falling now, dimly aware of pine needles jabbing his skin. Awareness faded quickly, displaced by the lassitude which was filling him. He knew he should fight the feeling; knew what it signified, but all he wanted to do was sleep.

It was the Hambre Muerte, the Death Gorge.


Tradition demanded he lie here and die now, grateful for the mercy of last-moment oblivion. It was the way these things were done...

No! Not here! Wick’s fingers were already growing numb. He gritted his teeth, forcing the digits to close on a pointed branch. Then he jabbed it, into the bony head. There was a satisfying crunch and thud.

The Mictlampa ripped back, with an audible slurp, its jagged teeth torn away from Wick’s muscle. Its moment was past, and instead of a wily predator, it was confused and disoriented—flailing and blind.

Tastes of a leech, and eating habits to match...

Wick lay there limply, worried about the demon’s reputation for persistence, and worrying more about its companions. Was it alone?

He recalled another sorry fact from his past. Micts never travel alone...

He wriggled his fingers, clenched his fists, bent his toes, and jiggled his limbs—determined to lose the lassitude. The blood scent would bring the others in.

No way! He crunched the bloodsucker with his foot, right in the face. The creature flopped back, writhing in agony, all the while making a low-pitched grunting sound.

Wick pushed himself up to a sitting position, grabbed another branch, and whopped the thing again.

The beast was knocked back, onto the pine needle carpet. Silent now, it did what tradition claimed: melted away, into the undergrowth. At least, Wick was sure that was what it had intended. Its actual disappearance looked a lot more like a wobbling retreat.

Wick sat there, in bloodied triumph, listening to the crunch and thud as it ran into branches, shrubs, trees. He wondered if, ten years ago, he would’ve had the balls to offer a challenge.

Too indoctrinated.

He savoured his victory a few minutes longer. That’s what he told himself, anyway, but himself knew he was actually waiting for his heart to stop that erratic flopping in his chest. He leaned back, impatient, but unwilling to risk his life on a quick escape.

If I pass out here, I’ll never get up again...

When the stars reappeared in the sky, he tugged himself up the rest of the way, using the trunk for support. Cursing and swearing, he staggered back the way he’d come.

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Collisions in space? I mean, honestly! That's why it's called "space", isn't it?
Baboons & pigeons can distinguish between different types of objects - & use a computer touch screen to prove it
Better means to capture solar energy: Japanese researchers have found a way to convert sunlight to chemical energy
Arctic & Antarctic species the same, even tho 1000s of miles apart?
Environmental oil spill? Use liquid smoke to clean 'er up

Monday, February 16, 2009

Nice composite pic of Carina Nebula, with its starscape More pics of the Nebula
Drying of rainforests during global warming may result in massive forest fires
JEEP:light 10 billion Xs that of sun used to investigate artifacts, including Egyptian bronzes from British Museum
US & France in battle over timber ship in Lake Michigan. Is it the Griffin, sunk 300 ya on mission for Louis XIV?
Rock art sites in Permian sandstone, 2 hours outside Milan. Area has 100s of 1000s of prehistoric figures.
3-D scans now being used to "draw" artifacts - versus hand drawings formerly used by archeologists in the field
Earliest animal life formerly dated to 580 million yrs evidence of sponges at 635 million yrs ago!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Chocolate transported when US leaves border a jar (sorry - couldn't resist!)
Celtic quiz - do you know your Celtic myths?
Take 1 cup of maggots & call me in the morning... Maggots growing in popularity as therapy for dead tissue removal.
Beaches harbor deadly Staph bugs. Either shower thoroughly, or stick to chlorinated pools...
Only 6 a.m. and I've been working on edits. Hope to squeeze in a little writing time before work...

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day! Visited LASR with one of my publishers today. Hoping to watch boxset Season 4 of the 4400 with my kids later.
Just turned in the author info forms for Burnt Amethyst & A Spirited Exchange. Not really a slacker. Still, 3 weeks late...oops.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Have decided I hate email. I am being inundated. Up to the gills with it.
Are you paraskevidekatriaphobic? Blogged about Friday the 13th today at:
Did review edits this a.m., and visited a street fair in central Auckland this afternoon.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Had a great time chatting on Savannah Chase's group loop! Delightful hostess, interesting group members.
Flubbed my radio hosting. On dialup, so couldn't okay guest's appearance. Poor guest left clawing at the stage door, unable to get on air...
Just finished review edits for CTR. Hoping to steal 1 hr to write before I run to the University (and clean & do radio show & chat & kids)
2 major commitments 2day: Novel Origins radio show & Savannah Chase's author spotlight. + my kid's having friends over, so have to CLEAN

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Writing?! What's that? Did well in contest returns from judges, tho. "Can't wait to see this book on shelves". Too bad. She'll have to wait.
Delayed my radio show till tomorrow. Planning to discuss references to NZ in literature, plus hooking with the prologue. Must be mad.
Exhausting day. I have been trying to enroll for my postgrad archeology diploma, to finish up. Just now, helping my offsprung with homework.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

400,000 years ago, sea levels in Bermuda were significantly higher (70 feet) than now
Incidence of some birth defects > 2X as prevalent in obese mothers ("spina bifida, heart problems, cleft palate ")
48 new spp, 8 of them dinosaurs, discovered in river sediments. Scientist hauled and sifted 3 tons of mud
Wooden/stone sarcophagi + 22 mummies ( >2600 years old) discovered in one tomb at Egyptian Saqqara necropolis
Worked on review edits for a site. Now, to get ready for work. Taking on new challenges there and loving it!
Click your heart out: the Breast Cancer site is having trouble getting clicks to sponsor mammograms.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Jade trade active throughout Southeast Asia for 3000 years
Bronze Age amber necklace uncovered in England
3 new species discovered on deep sea explorations off Tasmania
Biomimicry may result in cars that move like crabs.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Now, I just have to figure out for that workshop just HOW I write suspense. Hate tearing my writing apart & finding all my flaws. Ugh...
Planned Novel Origins radio show with co-producers, went to writers' meeting (am signed up to give horror/suspense-writing workshop in May)

Friday, February 06, 2009

Off to jot up my blog, and get ready for my meetings! Great day, all -
There's now a phone that looks like a Star Trek communicator! Is it too geekish to admit I'd love to have one?

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Mammoth discovery made in San Diego...literally. Tusk and skull unearthed this week
After the dinosaurs came Titanoboa. Just found - bones of mega snake, 40+ ft long, 2500 lbs, thick as a doorway
Inject a locust with serotonin, or tickle its back leg & what do you get? A locust swarm. Still..tickling its leg?
Pantheon in Rome may have acted as a gigantic sundial
Spent hours yesterday on a big group as the featured author, posting excerpts. So tired of me, myself, and I. Off to do book research now!

Monday, February 02, 2009

Looked over and mutt was asleep on my pillow. He knows it's bad and I'm giving him the guilts by staring at him. Does he move? Of course not
How to do justice to 41 separate titles? To 11 different publishers (I think)? So that all the books get presented to the public, at least?
As there such a thing as too many contracts? The inevitability of promotion is a cruncher. I'm panicking - only 1 more book available to sub
Opened my email this morning to another book contract! That makes 41 book contracts. Feeling ecstatic, but a wee bit overwhelmed.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Been working on Hunter this morning. So good to be writing again! Eating doughy spring onion pancakes, and wishing I wouldn't, LOL