Poll: After reading "Homes, Hearts, and Heroes", if you were going to chose deities for patronage, who would you pick? (Pick 3) Vote Now!
Author has written 6 stories for Justice League.
Derecho Nox @ FictionPress - I started this page as a place to publish my original stories. These will consist of writing prompt results, musings, and maybe even some poetry. But you'll still see signature Derecho Nox personality. (Is that a good thing? I'll let you decide.)
Random thoughts and updates:
So, I'm going to give you the good news first - I'm finished with a story. Currently, I'm editing for grammar, flow, and plot, but for the most part it's ready to go.
The bad news - it's the wrong story.
If you look at the lineup, you'll see that there are two stories in progress. The one that is finished is the 8th story. The 7th has to come first. Or, in the way I'm planning it, they will work together, if I do it right.
And to those who have PM'd me, I apologize for not getting back to you sooner. My time is so crunched, when I have a moment to write, I'm tackling the story instead of writing responses. I don't mean to ignore you, but I figured you'd like me to get to the story and publishing it as soon as possible. I promise to reply sometime soon.
What am I listening to?
I mention below in my bio that I'm a photographer. Among my favorite subjects are dancers, especially ethnic dancing. Sri Lankan, Bangladeshi, Indian, Polynesian, Afrikan drum, all of that. Bellydancing is also fun to do! Having taken some myself, I can't help but want to shimmy when
BTW - I'm also a cosplay photographer. I sign my photos with a watermark with the initials NLA in them. Think you can find me? ;-)
Preview of a short story - Code named "The day after"
“I need to get a message to Diana,” she thought out loud. “This is her responsibility, not mine.” Like the younger sister she was, she folded her arms across her chest and pouted. I'm second daughter... I'm not supposed to do this. I don't WANT to do this! “If only Mother allowed some communication antenna on the island, then I could have called her. Can’t even get a signal out here!”
Donna sighed in frustration and grabbed her hair to dissipate the tension. She wanted to be out looking for Hippolyta, but she could see the greed in some Amazons’ eyes. When the queen hadn’t shown herself in a day, they whispered that it was their chance to take over the throne. The second day, they were gathering in front of the palace, a ill-hidden attempt to form a coup. The adopted princess was having none of that.
“In place of my mother and my sister, I will rule Themyscira until one of them returns. If anyone has a problem with that, you can take it up with me in honorable combat, but only after the allotted time and as the gods decree.”
Donna knew it was a stalling tactic, and she had no idea if or when she would actually fight for the throne. She possessed gods-given strengths, like Diana, but she didn’t have the divine heritage nor the royal lineage to truly stake her claim. Her people followed power, but they respected tradition more.
And yet, she still felt like it was her duty to guard the throne. Not that it had any real value, it was only a glorified chair. The real power came from what it stood for.
Eternal rule. Gods. She didn’t want that.
“Keep pouting like that, your face will stay that way, and I don’t want to look at that forever.”
Donna jumped out of her thoughts and looked towards the speaker. A tall warrior stood in the doorway, a spear held loosely in one hand, a shield in the other. She faced away, so all that could be seen was her muscular back and long, red, floor-length hair. Leaning against the doorframe, her posture was deceptively calm. Everyone was aware of her ability to strike like a snake. And her bite was very, very poisonous.
“How can you tell I’m pouting? You haven’t turned around,” Donna said.
“I can feel it. The air ripples when your mouth turns down, and the room chills when you feel sad.”
Donna touched her face. “Really?”
The warrior shifted slightly, and lifted her shield to eye height. Her reflection looked back at the princess. “Not really.”
Donna sighed, then sat down on the stairs. “You have a weird sense of humor, Artemis.”
The Guard Captain huffed. “Some would argue that I didn’t possess a sense of humor at all.”
“You have one, it’s just… abrasive.”
“Or sharp, like this.” Artemis lifted her spear.
“And you use it to poke at people when they are down.”
Artemis finally turned to face the princess. “I don’t wait until they’re down. I will ‘poke’ them as I stare them in the eye.”
“I’m not sure how to take that, Captain,” Donna said.
“Take it however you like, Your Highness.” Artemis waved her spear. “I’m a very generous person. I give these away as often as I can.” She flashed a toothy grin. “With force and gusto!”
“You want this coup to happen, so you can show how giving you are,” Donna droned.
“Not at all. I’d rather not poke any of our sisters, no matter how greedy and misguided they are. Throw them around… yes. Knock some manners into them… absolutely. Run them through until the shaft of my spear impales them with its wood and tear them limb from limb… not so much. But I’m not opposed to the idea if it keeps them off the throne.”
“Your loyalty is comforting, and a little scary.”
Artemis answered with a shield salute.
Here's a little snippet of the next story - Code named "Tuesday Afternoon Founders' Meeting."
14:00 Hours, Council Room. League Founders’ Meeting
“Damn, Diana! I didn’t think you could eat that fast,” Flash exclaimed. He took a chair at the table.
“I missed lunch,” Diana said. “I was really hungry.” She sat at her customary place near the front.
“I’d say. Looks like you were trying to keep up with me.”
“Oh, gods. I didn’t look like that, did I?”
“You would have done Miss Piggy proud.” Flash shied away from her glare. “It’s only an expression.” He considered her. “What were you doing that made you so ravenous?”
“Training,” she blurted out. “Ah, you know, practicing my warrior skills.”
“Who were you fighting? Superman?”
“No.” ahem. “Batman.”
"Ah hah!” Flash sat back knowingly. “Warrior Training," he said, motioning quotation marks in the air. "Is that what kids are calling it these days? Who won?”
“I did.” Both flinched at the deep voice. They watched as Batman entered the Council Room. Diana admired how he strode confidently to his seat. Flash covered his smile. He considered his walk more of a cocky strut. Batman took the chair to Diana’s right.
“Did you find time to eat?” Diana asked innocently.
“I grabbed something along the way. I’m fine. You?”
“Ah, yes I did.”
“Did she!” Flash exclaimed. “You should have seen her! You’d think she hadn’t eaten for days!”
“Seems like you worked up an appetite during our combat session,” Batman said, leaning back smugly. He threw a sidelong glance at Diana. She wanted to wipe that smirk of his face. Where was a honey pot when you need one.
“When the terms say that I can’t use super powers, it takes all my strength to hold them back. It took all my energy not to hurt you.”
“So that’s what that was. And I thought you were letting me win. Even better knowing that I won legitimately.”
Diana pressed her lips together to stop herself from retorting. Yes, she held back her strength. No, she didn’t let him win. But… she didn’t mind losing, either. And once he won the first round, each successive bout had her conceding defeat, over… and over… and over again.
“I claim the right to a rematch,” she proclaimed. “I name the terms next time.”
“If you say so, Princess,” the dark hero answered. “I think the results will be the same.” He glanced lazily at her. “Pack a lunch.” He sighed contently at her muttered string of words. He was becoming familiar with Ancient Greek curses.
What I'm listening to:
This has kept me company a few times the past few nights while I write, edit photos, work on a website, and/or clean. It's calm, yet it helps me see some of my scenes.
Preview of "The Fewer... the Proud."
Shayera and Wally sat at a Watchtower cafeteria table, reading a letter from Diana describing her first duty on Parris Island. Every now and then, one would gasp out loud, and another let out a sharp laugh before returning to the handwritten pages. They leaned up against each other, sharing the experience of Diana playing the drill instructor.
"Can you believe it? Di's yelling at a bunch of young girls. That's too funny," Flash said.
"I like what she wrote here." Shay read out loud. "'They looked at me like I grew another head, and I think one poor girl was about to faint when I called her out.' Awww. She probably ruined every image that girl had on growing up to be like Wonder Woman."
"Have you ever heard her? She might be a nice person, but she can really project when she wants to."
"She was projecting all right. It looked like she was channeling Bats there for a minute."
"I wonder what she looks like in a military uniform. I bet she's hot."
"What? I was just wondering. I always thought a woman in uniform was sexy. But on Diana? Rrowr!"
"What else does she say?" Shay quoted again. "'So far, the food is mediocre. Not up to the standards of the 'Tower cafeteria. No mocha. Slowly being tortured here.' I bet we'll have a surplus of iced mocha now that she's not here to drink it all."
"Hmmm, definitely a sign of deprivation." Flash took a long, luxurious drink from his own iced drink. "You think they would mind if we sent her some?"
"Do you want her to get in trouble? That's the surest way of getting unwanted attention from your commanders." The two so-called friends of the absent hero looked at each other. A signal passed between them.
"We'll think of something," Wally confirmed. Shay nodded. Both looked up as a familiar dark figure moved towards his usual table at the far end of the cafeteria. Batman glanced over to the duo and nodded. Shay waved the letter in her hand as acknowledgement.
"How do you think he's doing?" Wally asked.
"I don't know. He's a little hard to read right now. Basically, he's being his normal, mysterious self."
Flash starred as Batman sat down with a drink and a report. The Dark Knight calmly turned to a page and read.
"What do you see, Wally?"
"Absolutely nothing." The young speedster sat back in his seat thoughtfully. "But something doesn't seem right. He's off. I know it."
"What? You think he's silently missing Diana? You want to go over and give him a hug?" Shay teased.
"Why don't you? You're a woman, he could use a softer touch."
"And give John another excuse to start a fight with him? No way! I just got over explaining things to him. I don't need talk of me and Bats cuddling up to each other in the cafeteria getting around the station."
"Oh, so you and GL are together now?"
"Well, no...he's actually taking a break from any type of relationship. I can understand that. I'm just going to continue to push him into thinking he wants to be with me. Can't do that if there's rumors of me and Bats doing The Dirty." Shay glanced to the dark figure in the corner. "He's fine, Wally."
"But, I know he's not taking this well. Just...just LOOK at him!" The pair watched as Batman took a drink of his beverage, then turned a page.
"You're right, Flash. He looks absolutely, positively normal. I'm worried out of my wits over him," Shay droned blandly.
"Maybe now is the time we can show him that he can rely on his friends in a time of need. He won't come out and say it, so we'll have to take the initiative."
"You go ahead and do that. I won't interfere unless I can actually see the need to do so. He's not 'boo-hooing' so I'm keeping my distance."
"I know how to get him to open up. I may not be able to do it, but I know someone who can," Flash decided resolutely. "But first, I have to know..." The speedster stood up, brushed imaginary dirt off his shoulder, and took a step...
Flash suddenly stood in front of Batman's table. "Hi Bats! How ya doin'?"
Bats didn't even look up. "What do you want, Flash?"
"Okay, you seem fine. Just wanted to come over and say 'hey'." awkward pause "Hey."
"Is there a reason why you're standing there?"
"Um...sure, there is...if I can remember what that was...oh yeah! So Shay and I are thinking of sending Di something. Wondered if you could give us an idea of what that should be."
"And what makes you think I would know what she needed?" Batman growled. He finally looked up.
Flash cringed away from the glare. He gulped in fear. "Well, you seem to know everything. Figured you'd know the whole 'military' thing in and out already. We wanted to know..."
"Pictures," Batman grunted. "She's allowed to have pictures. Letters are also appreciated. The more, the better."
"Ah. Okay. Well, we got that covered. So...is there anything I can do...get for you? You look busy, so I figured I could...you know..."Flash stood there, awkwardly hopeful that he could prove that he's a good friend.
Batman sighed. "Here. If you have to do something, refill this." He handed Flash his now empty Styrofoam cup. Wally opened it up to see what he was drinking. Recognizing it, Flash zipped over to the mocha machine, poured a new cup, and included a fresh straw. He was back before Batman could turn to another page.
"Here you go Bats! I figured you'd want a new cup and all, so...yeah. Um. If you need anything, just let me know. I'll be there in a flash!"
"Sure, Flash. Thanks." Batman turned to another page. "You can go now."
"Oh, okay. Bye!" Wally returned to the table he shared with Shayera. "I just can't see it. I know he's not all there, but I can't figure it out. Oh well, maybe you're right, Shay. He's probably doing fine." He picked up his own mocha, taking a drink of the rapidly warming sweetness.
Shayera shook her lowered head. She looked back up, glancing towards the far table. Batman absently took a drink of ice mocha and turned another page. She restrained from rolling her eyes.
Watcha doin' there, Bats? Having a little taste of Diana?
Only because she was looking for it did she see the slight slump in his shoulders.
There it is. A soft, sympathetic smile crossed Shayera's lips. He's missing her.
Other Stories I've written:
Sun, Moon, and Stars
The "Interrogation Series" Theme Song -
Stories in Progress
"The Fewer...the Proud" - 9th in "Interrogation Series"
Code Name - The Day After - 8th in "Interrogation Series" - In Progress
Code Name - Tuesday Afternoon Founder's Meeting - 7th in Interrogation Series - In Progress
Welcomes, Traditions, and Family - 6th in Interrogation Series - In Progress
Book of Hera:
Playlist for "Home, Hearts, and Heroes" - 5th in "Interrogation Series"
Preludio: Aspirir, Espirir -- Sade -The Best of Sade
Book 1: Hestia -
Book 2: Hermes -
Book 3: Artemis -
Book 4: Pallas Athena:
Book 5: Demeter: -
Book 6: Aphrodite -
Book 7: Home -
Book 8: Second Star on the Right...-
Epilogue: Straight on 'til... -- Collide - Xetrov (Vortex II)
Song for "Tuesday Morning Breakfast - Epilogue for 'Baila Conmigo'" - 4th in "Interrogation" Series
Playlist for "Baila Conmigo" - 3rd in "Interrogation" Series
Prelude: Friday Night Monitor Duty
Playlist for "Two Days" - 2nd in "Interrogation" Series
Prelude: Tempest -
Playlist for "Interrogation Tactics"- 1st In Series
Chapter 1: Establishing the Crime Scene -
Thank you to those who PM me with new music inspired by the BMWW relationship and my stories. You just might have your song used in a future story! Here's who sent me recommendations so far:
- Chaotic Angel7 for recommending the band Bitter:Sweet. The tracks Dirty laundry, Heaven, Mating game, and The Bomb, will make you want to sit back with a martini and and feel cool. Angel felt that this reflected Bruce's sexy, jazzy vibe. Oh yeah!
- KenjiMania with "Finally Found You" by Enrique Iglesias featuring Sammy Adams. Kenji felt this song illustrated Diana's feelings towards Bruce very well. (Hmmm...recommending a latin based song for the date story, Ken? Are you catching on to me?)
- Derecho Nox - I'd Die Without You - P.M. Dawn - The Bliss Album...? - I changed Chapter 1 of "Two Days" to a different song, but this was the original inspiration.
- Casualreader111 - Dead Hearts by Stars on the The Five Ghosts & The Seance, a hauntingly beautiful duet. Wistfully captures the BMWW spirit. And Undisclosed Desires by Muse from The Resistance. As Casual says, its like it plucked out Batman's thoughts as he's sitting by Wonder Woman during a a meeting. You caught it dead on, C!
-as19 - Some Unholy War by Amy Whitehouse - She quotes the sexy chapter "Quédate Conmigo" in the story Baila Conmigo - "She would face them, the man in her arms by her side." A bluesy, passionate song. Gracias mi amiga en Colombia!
Batgirl2923 -by Don Omar - She enjoyed chapter 7 of Baila Conmigo and was listening to this during one of the Hawkgirl/Green Lantern conversations. I took a listen and couldn't help but start moving. Shayera would definitely approve! (As Batgirl says "Just ignore the random scene at the beginning.")
InvincibleInc -by Jason Mraz from the "We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things"album. He/she thought it matched my writing style, and right you are my dear InvincibleInc.! Very sexy. It's like it plucked a few scenes from "Baila Conmigo" right out of my head. Picture dancing in the sunset while a young girl stares dreamily. And, then later, ahem, the part with wearing shoes - and nothing else. Mrow! If this was in Spanish, I might have used it. Just might, later, since we haven't seen the last of El Club Cielo...;-)
The Craft - Permanent links on writing advice and inspiration:
"I write about what interests me. It's very dangerous when you try to satisfy an audience." -Jonathan Carroll
“A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.” ―
Writing advice, guides, and other helpful places:
- Print this out and have it beside you as you write!
- A place to practice writing. Subscribe to her email list. The writing prompts really get you thinking. Lots of fun!
- I highly recommend subscribing to this site! receive writing advice in your inbox, and peruse the archive for great articles.
- I wish I wish I wish I lived in New York City! (Okay, not really. I like where I live.) I would attend their seminars and free write-ins, but they do have online classes. I haven't attended any due to my busy schedule, but I really want to. I subscribe to their Facebook page for their daily quotes from writers. Very inspirational!
My own writing advice (from my experiences, mistakes, and random musings)
Open a Google Docs account and use that for your writing. It automatically saves as you write and it has all the advantages of a typical word processing program. It is also available anywhere you have an internet connection. If that's not possible, make sure you email yourself what you've written so far. It's a great way of backing up your work.
Free flow your writing. Just let it go! No one is seeing what you write, so no one is judging you. It feels so good to get it out, and you'll see where you're story is going that way.
Develop a critical eye. Your first draft is never a finished product. I've deleted THOUSANDS of words because the story wasn't working. However, save those deleted words somewhere else. They can be used in other stories.
Learn the basics of grammar. Nothing ruins a story more than bad craft. Even if your idea kicks ass, you'll lose your audience if it's written badly.
Read more outside of your comfort zone. If you're into sci-fi and fantasy, read a few articles on human interactions. It might be dry, but it will work its way into your writing. Try not to fall into genre patterns that are too familiar to those readers. I found that's the best way to surprise them!
Be brave! Push that button. I got the nervous pee every time I published a chapter. What if it sucks? What will others say? Shit...does it even make sense? Listen to those voices - then tell them to stuff it. And if anyone does say nasty things about your writing, remember...even JK Rowling has her critics. Yet she sat in a coffee shop, wrote what was in her heart, and let it go. You can do it, too!
I cannot emphasis this enough...when you're writing an emotional scene, do NOT do it at a coffee shop. You'll look like a complete nutcase crying at your computer with a Mocha beside you. Experience is telling you this. You've been warned.
Soapbox: My opinions about...things.
It's not always about more more more...more sex, more violence, more ugliness. While in context, those elements do make for a great story (and we all know I like "sexy"!), but it seems that "darker" is all some want to write. I'm disturbed by what comics are putting out, seeing that they think that plotting heroes against each other makes a more interesting story. Sometimes, it's best to pull back...look inward. These are HEROES! They care about the world enough to try and save it. Don't make them petty and fight against each other. Yes, they have their differences - they're only human (or Kryptonian, or Thanagarian...or Martian. You know what I mean.) Personalities clash, but in the end, they are heroic figures. It's what separates them from the villains. By fighting against each other, they're doing evil's dirty work for them. Lift them out of that quagmire, and make them shining lights of hope again.
I'm an aspiring writer that uses Fan Fiction to hone my craft. Some might go "huh? Why don't you write your own stories?" I will, and I have many outlines and ideas in mind, but this is a labor of love. I've become very invested in this series, and I've come to care about these characters. Diana and Bruce belong to other creators, but I wanted to give them a chance to grow in this world that I'm building for them. And I wanted to expand their personalities to be more approachable, believable, and possibly... attainable.
Other things about me - I have a background in art, music, design, and technology. I have experiences in the military that, when I share them with other veterans, they look at me and go "WTF?" and I tell them "I know, right!" I'm a web manager by trade, for a cool-ass nonprofit and for an anime convention. I get to wear jeans to the office. Effen-A!
I'm also a photographer, and it finds its way into my prose. Much of what I write is viewed through a fixed focal-length, wide aperture lens, natural lighting only, no flash, and with varying shutter speeds so I can capture movement, expressions, and mood.
Did I mention I have an interest in poetry?
I was deeply influenced by a college course, "Women in Science Fiction Literature". The idea was to see how women wrote the future different than the established 'babes and spaceships" pulp fiction was popular then and now. Assignments included reading the works of Ursula LeGuin, Mary Shelley, Severna Park, Connie Willis, and Rebecca Ore. I wondered "this is college credit? This is way too much fun to be work!" But then I was introduced to Octavia Butler's books, and I never thought the same again.
Include Dan Brown, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Steven King, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edgar Allen Poe, Carrie Vaughn, J.K. Rowling, Homer, and many others as my influences, favorites, and aspiring models.
Okay, and I read Stephanie Meyer's series. I was caught up in the hype, too. I was weak!
And I am a student of all religions, modern and ancient. I don't subscribe to one, though I lean closer to Buddhism and Zen philosophies. Be like water...it keeps you hydrated.
Of course, I also like comics, science fiction and fantasy, and movies. And I love a good documentary! Science, history, space exploration, and human interaction gets me stuck on the Netflix documentary section for hours. National Geographic rocks!
I'm not one for team sports, thought I did play softball once. Friend talked me into it. She also talked me into joining the Marines. I was impressionable then. My family history is steeped in martial arts. I dance socially, but am I good at it? Eh...with about the same amount of skill that I have in cooking. I haven't poisoned or injured anyone yet.
I'm a huge fan of the Batman/Wonder Woman relationship from the animated Justice League series. It just makes sense to me. You could say my stories are a little AU since I want to push them out of their comfort zones, let their personalities expand a little bit. I'm going for the full range of emotions here; I'll be pulling out qualities that the characters might not otherwise be know to show. Batman is allowed to smile (within reason, and only if he feels like it), Wonder Woman is allowed to be sassy.
I WILL NEVER EVER WRITE SMWW!!! (Yes, I did shout at DC. They suck.)
I tend to write fluffy, sexy fics, but I will be trying adventure, angst, and sadness later. But I won't wallow in it. I prefer happy endings, or at least endings with a glimmer of hope. And full of laughter...that's what's really sexy, I think! I don't like being depressed after reading a story. I won't do the same to you! I write the type of stories I would like to read, so if you're enjoying them, I am, too!
Add me to your favorite author's list so you'll know when a new story has been published. I won't start posting anything until the story is totally or almost finished, that way I can guarantee a full story. Some may wonder why I don't post the chapters as they are completed as other FF authors do. I tend to write in a nonlinear way, jumping from chapter to chapter as the inspiration comes. So I could be on chapter one, hop to the epilogue, start chapter four, see a detail in chapter one that needs more clarification for chapter four, so on and so forth. I feel I can give a better story if I complete the story first, then post each chapter one day at a time. TMI, maybe, but just thought I'd get that out there.
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