Tuesday, December 27, 2016

I'm still here

Hey, it's been a while. I hadn't realized how long of a while it was, however. Sorry about that. I've been dealing with real life stuff, Meanwhile, something went wrong with my email, so I haven't been getting notificiations from this page, and while I have been trying haphazardly to fix it, I finally gave up and created a new one.

My official author email is ljmcdonald.author@gmail.com. I see at the top of this page that it's listing hydraarill@gmail.com instead and won't let me change it, but either will reach me.

It looks like people have been asking me the same question of what's up with the writing and when the next book is coming out. Unfortunately, the answer is, absolutely nothing. The fifth book is written, but there's been zero interest in it from the publisher. I have no feedback on why or if that's going to change. At this point, I've basically stopped asking because I'm not getting an answer. There's also been no interest in anything else I've written.

I've looked a bit into self-publishing and put out a few things on Smashwords, but the response isn't really worth the sheer amount of work it is to prepare a manuscript for publication, especially when you have to do all of the work yourself. I think that the last piece I put up, "Memories of Alexandria" sold maybe two copies. The thought of preparing a full length novel and getting that sort of response is outright depressing and I honestly don't know if I have the legal right to self-publish book five of the Sylph series anyway. Or if anyone would be interested in anything else I've done.

So that's where I am right now. I'm not writing much. I keep tripping over 'this isn't what people are going to want, this isn't good enough' and not writing anything. I'm creating a lot of art, which keeps me busy, but no one really sees that.

Sorry I don't have better news.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Soon to be appearing on Smashwords...

Hi, everyone. Sorry I haven't been around much lately. I haven't been writing much lately. I wouldn't say that I've got writer's block. More like my writing muse has gone into a fallow stage or something. I have been doing a lot of art instead, not that that matters much to any of you, I'm pretty sure. :)

I have, however, decided to try putting a short story up onto Smashwords, to see how it does. I don't have any major publisher prospects on the horizon, sadly. I guess I don't really fit into any one specific genre, so I make publishers leery.

Anyway, I'm putting up a short story, once I'm happy that the formatting in the ebook is good. It's titled "In Memory of Alexandria" and I've always liked it. I've also done the cover art for it. If it does well, I'll see about tossing up more works that I have, so if you like it, please buy it and tell your friends. I'm putting it up for .99 cents, which hopefully people will think is fair.

Here's the cover.

Monday, December 1, 2014

LJ's Easy-Peasy French Toast Recipe

Okay, here's my recipe for the 3 Seas Inaugural Joint Author Promotion event on their Facebook page.

Keep in mind two things:

  1. I can't cook. I've burned water. Literally. I'd have starved to death years ago if it weren't for my husband; and
  2. Since I just found out that I can actually write a post and schedule it to release on a later date (Joy!), I'm still doped up on the cold meds mentioned in the last post while I write this. 

Okay, this recipe is special to me because it's literally almost the only thing I can cook without the use of a microwave. I don't remember where I learned it, but I've known it for a long time now and I break it out occasionally on the odd Sunday for breakfast.

Here's the recipe.

LJ's Easy-Peasy French Toast

  • milk
  • eggs
  • vanilla
  • cinnamon
  • nutmeg
  • cloves
  1. Get up wondering why you're awake on a Sunday morning
  2. Drink coffee
  3. Drink coffee
  4. Pet the cat
  5. Decide you're hungry
  6. Find a frypan and some sort of dish big enough to hold a slice of bread and some liquid without getting it all over the counter.
  7. Crack maaaaybe three eggs into the dish
  8. Add a couple blorps of milk into the dish (uh, maybe a quarter cup? I literally pour it in and listen to it go "blorp blorp"
  9. Grab the vanilla bottle, pour it and count to two
  10. Add a bunch of dashes of the cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves
  11. Stir up the whole thing with a fork
  12. Remember to turn on the stove, set to HIGH cause you have no patience (if you do and/or want to be able to walk away from the stove without testing your fire alarm, set it lower)
  13. Drink coffee
  14. Put a piece of bread into the egg mixture. Let it soak a couple seconds, flip it over. Let it get to your preferred soggy level
  15. Slap the bread into the pan (repeat if you have room for more than one)
  16. Watch the pan sizzle and drink coffee.
  17. Check the bottom of the bread numerous times to see if it looks cooked.
  18. Flip the bread over. 
  19. Push the bread randomly around the pan with a spatula while it cooks.
  20. Put everything on a plate
  21. Go wake up the husband and find out he wants one piece less than you just cooked.
  22. Realize you're out of maple syrup
  23. Enjoy!

Friday, November 28, 2014

3 Seas’ Inaugural Joint Author Promotion!

Hey, everyone! If you're looking for a chance to win something before Christmas, 3 Seas (my agents) are running a contest starting next Monday 1 December and running through Friday 5 December. The way it works is, (from my limited drugged-up-on-cold-medication understanding) go to their Facebook site anytime that week and see all the author sites who are participating. Each of them will have a recipe they love posted that will hopefully be less random than mine.

Go to all the different sites, collect delicious recipes, and "earn" raffle entries for the prizes. The more sites you visit, the more raffle entires you get. I'm not sure how that's counted. You think I understand computers? Not really.

The prizes are:

1)      Grand Prize:  A $300 gift card for Amazon, B&N or iTunes – winner's choice
2)      Sample boxes of current releases from participating authors

Not too bad. So come back and see my recipe offering on the 1st and good luck winning the prize.

(Their Facebook URL in case I messed up embedding the URL:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/3-Seas-Literary-Agency/75205869856?ref=bookmarks)

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Has it really been that long since I posted? Wow. Even for me, that's almost impressive, in a sadly pathetic sort of way.

I'm sorry about that. I doubt anyone's sitting around with bated breath for me to say anything, but I didn't really mean to keep quiet this long. It's the introvert in me. I'm not the best around at the social interaction thing and if I don't have anything concrete to say, I don't seem to say much of anything.

I will have something for Dec 1. Not writing news, I'm afraid. My agent's running a 3 Seas Inaugural Joint Author Promotion where we'll all post recipes. Mine should be somewhat frightening, given as I can't actually cook. >.>

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Sylph Hunter is out!

Woohoo! My book is out! I really hope all of you enjoy it! And if you do, spread the word!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

First Blush

Hey, good news.  THE SYLPH HUNTER is being featured by Amazon. If you want a chance to win a free copy, go here.


Good luck!

Friday, January 3, 2014

That took way too long...and btw, here's the prologue for my new book.

Okay, I managed to fix my stupid book listing page. Pain in the butt! I've even put the excerpts for my last two books in the page descriptions, which is apparently something I totally forgot to do sooner. Books 1 and 2 always had them, but now 3 and 4 do as well.

That said, here's the prologue for book 4. Keep in mind, this is a cut/paste of the last doc version I have of the manuscript (frighteningly full of copy editor remarks and cuts that I've cropped out). I don't usually have the clean official final version of the book, so this might be a bit different from the published version (I'm talking maybe a word here or there and some formatting, I hope).

Here's hoping it wets your appetite. Uh, pun not intended, if you see what I mean by the end of it...


The sylphs were dancing.

There were hundreds of them, a storm of colors swirling around each other in a glorious celebration of life. Despite the fact it was once a place used to lure and trap their kind, the underground chamber they used was now a brilliantly lit place of joy. Air, earth, water, fire, healing, and battle, they whirled in a mad happiness that had no music.

Over by the far wall of the massive chamber, Gel sat on the floor with his arms across the tops of his knees and watched the sylphs play. They were ecstatic with the idea of being free, the joy of being allowed to do what they wanted and to interact as they never had before the queen came. Not in Meridal, where even human beings were once sold as slaves and sylphs had been nothing more than property.

In the center of the chamber, a circle of noncolor gleamed, floating a dozen feet above the ground. The sylphs danced around it, calling those on the other side to come through and join them.

He’d been told it was a small hive past the gate, one badly depleted by predators, though Gel couldn’t imagine what kind of predator would threaten sylphs. He’d seen the battlers the day the queen had arrived. He’d seen how much they had destroyed, including all of the nobility and even the emperor himself.

Gel closed his eyes, not really wanting to remember that day any more than he did any of the days before it. He’d spent years locked in a cage not much larger than he was himself, his tongue chopped out to keep him from speaking to the earth sylph who had been bound to him. She was only supposed to feed from him after all, him and the four others caged with him.

Are you all right? he heard Shasha ask in his mind.

Gel opened his eyes. Before him stood what appeared to be a young girl, except her skin was formed of smooth marbled stone and her eyes were rubies. She looked at him critically, her hands clasped behind her back while the sylphs behind her continued their silent display. The only real sound in the chamber was the chanting of the priests, left alive for their skill with the gates, and the fearful chattering of the humans brought in—sometimes against their will—to become masters for the newest sylphs. Most of the more experienced masters were like Gel, sitting against the wall and watching. To them, none of this was truly real and it was easier to just stay out of the way.

His earth sylph kept watching him. Her official master had been killed by the battlers during the rebellion for the newly established crime of having kept a sylph under control like a tool. Gel had been nothing more than a feeder, one of the five men kept caged for her to feed from, all of them tongueless to stop them giving commands. Of all of them, he was the one she’d chosen to be her only master after they were freed. Gel didn’t know why, but he wasn’t unhappy about it because he’d always liked the little creature. When he’d been in his cage, she was the only highlight of the day, coming as she did in the shape of a pillar of earth and somehow seeming both sad and kind to him. He’d loved her a little bit and had always wanted to set her free. Perhaps she’d sensed that in him.

“I’m okay,” he said slowly. The feel of his regrown tongue in his mouth was still alien to him and his words slurred.

Behind Shasha, the gate continued to glow, the storm of sylphs happily flickering around it . It shimmered briefly, and a tendril dropped out of the hovering gate like a thread drawn across his vision. Gel blinked.

“Do you want to leave?” the earth sylph asked. Spoken aloud, her voice was gravelly.

Gel shrugged, hugging his knees. Where was there to go? At least it was cool in here and there were no expectations. “It’s all right.”

“Okay.” Leaning forward, she kissed him quickly on the cheek and turned, stomping back toward the dance. Gel lifted a hand to his cheek and touched the skin where she’d kissed him with a trembling smile.

The line swished again, dragging across the floor. Gel blinked a second time, squinting to try and see it more clearly, but the sylphs were in the way. He wasn’t even sure he was seeing anything at all, since it was almost invisible and no one else appeared to notice it at all. Gel blinked a third time and shook his head, but the thread didn’t go away, though the sylphs continued to ignore it. If they didn’t see it, it had to be imagined. Gel sighed, feeling odd and out of sorts. He had his freedom, but he didn’t know what to do with it. Going in a heartbeat from slave to . . . what? What was he?

Shasha came back toward him, her expression concerned. Gel didn’t know what to say to her or what she wanted from him. Not much it seemed, save his energy and his company. She certainly didn’t expect him to work, though he accompanied her when she did. Gel didn’t like the idea of being alone. This whole freedom concept was much easier on her than him, but then again, sylphs in Meridal were now the rulers. All of the old leaders and masters of the former regime were dead or being hunted down. Those who remained weren’t allowed to give orders at all; they were just supposed to exist in harmony with their sylphs.

Gel didn’t have any urge to order Shasha to do anything, but harmony wasn’t something he was sure he could ever get his mind around.

Shasha hunkered down beside him, looking at him with worry he could feel as well as see. She put a cool stony hand on his shoulder and he just stared toward the swirling dance and the gate, not knowing what to say, or even what word to put to this tumult of emotions inside him. Being mute had been so much easier.

The gate was swirling now as well, in a mimicry of the sylphs around it. That distortion was one that everyone saw. Gel watched the sylphs stop their dance, many even becoming solid as they peered curiously at the gate, and the battlers started to move in. Everyone seemed puzzled; they still didn’t see the thread that swayed down from it. No, threads. Gel saw dozens now, dropping out of the gate and swishing across his vision. Hundreds? Gel blinked, now seeing the entire opening of the gate bearded by them, though that was the only place where he saw them. If it was his vision gone strange, wouldn’t they be everywhere? Some were thicker than mere threads, grown in width to the thickness of a man’s arm, or even a man’s body. Gel stared. Shasha looked at him, confused by his confusion, and turned to peer uncomprehendingly at the gate, seeing absolutely nothing.

A water sylph that looked like a rolling ball of liquid wandered into the forest of threads. Immediately, she turned translucent and vanished, flowing so swiftly up the length of the tendrils that she was gone before he even realized she’d been touched. Gel’s breath caught.

The sylphs definitely couldn’t help but notice that. Even as the water sylph’s master started screaming from somewhere at the edge of the chamber, the battlers began to roar. They didn’t have time for more than that.

Things exploded through the gate, and these weren’t thin as the first threads had been, but tentacles that were thick and barbed. The sylphs still couldn’t see them, and even to Gel they were clear as water, visible more as a distortion than an actual object. He drew breath, forgetting he had a tongue to scream with, and saw them tear into the sylphs, lashing together dozens with a single tentacle and yanking them in, only there were hundreds to lash with. Ozone stank in the air as the sylphs vanished, turning strangely gray before they were sucked away and the tentacles reached farther, sweeping through the room where the only sounds were sylph wails and human screams.

Gel finally remembered how to scream then, forgotten after years in the cages. His voice came out shrill and inhuman and he clutched Shasha’s arm tight, his fingers turning white and painful against her stone. She was staring around, terrified and not understanding even as everyone else died.

We should have left, was all Gel could get himself to think. We should have left.

Something forced itself through the gate, ripping it apart but still managing to hold it open while the priests died. Gel continued to stare in horror. Whimpering, Shasha threw herself at him and he felt her arms go around him as tentacles ripped through the air toward them both.


It had been a good feed, the best it had had in a long time, but one that would have been dangerously rich had it been in free air. If it hadn’t been in this enclosed space, it could have made itself float much too high above the ground, with the risk of winds tearing it apart or pushing it to where there was no food. It had just been so hungry though. Already through the gateway before it realized the way back would close behind it, it swept through the chamber, looking and feeling with its tentacles for more food, but it had devoured everything.

It paused there for a moment, collecting itself, but it was pressing uncomfortably against the ceiling and the way it had come was gone. There was nothing left to do but go out through an opening in one wall. There was no other exit and it could smell more food that way. That was all in the world that mattered. Just the sky and the food.

Picking the only route out of this place where the food had drawn it, it lashed a thousand tentacles, some as thin as a human’s hair, others as thick around as an oak, flashing them down a wide corridor, and anchored them into the walls. Sure of its grip, it pulled itself forward, sliding its way down the corridor. The way was tight, but the creature was malleable when it had to be. Still, it didn’t like this feeling and it swept its tentacles farther, grabbing and pulling.

It found even more food during the process. When a human wandered around the corner, drawn by the noise, it wrapped a dozen tentacles around him and sucked him in to feed. The taste was strange, different from anything else it had ever tried, but it was food and the food was all. It chewed, swallowed, absorbed, and nothing but a splatter of blood was left as it pulled itself forward again, making its way into a huge area of abandoned, shattered cages and catwalks. There it let itself float, squeezing its way upward to the ceiling and then across to another, smaller corridor. That was harder to get into, but it managed, pulling itself through and to an even smaller staircase that led up. It was almost trapped there, but it exhaled some of the gases inside it, forced itself out, and finally was free, letting its tentacles hang below it as it floated up, giving itself wearily to the winds and wherever they decided to take it.

Anything it saw on the way, it ate.


Uh, anyone who's visiting my site today, I kinda sorta accidentally deleted the My Writing page. Working on it...

I'll be updating the front page too, once I remember what program I used to create it with...

*sound of head hitting desk*