To Agree to Disagree? That is the Question

Once upon a scroll on Twitter, I came across the following question:

“What’s one thing you and your main character would vehemently disagree on?”

Now, obviously, I’ve got several dozen main characters to choose from. And contemplating overt self-insert characters like Annabelle Iole Gray from the “Inspired” novels and Moon’s Melody from “The Queen’s Lady” (part of “Beyond Her Infinity: Tales from Across Wilderhark’s Great Sea” – newly released!) won’t get me very far, given our major overlap in nature. But surely, I thought, I could pick out a few Deshipley MCs with ideas quite contrary to mine.

And so I have. Let the conflict of opinions begin! (Featuring many an Avengers-related illustration, because ‘tis called for.)

<<<>>>

Edgwyn Wyle (MC in “The Stone Kingdom”, “The Seventh Spell”) = Edgwyn and I have actually had a longstanding disagreement demonstrating a fundamental and perhaps irreconcilable difference in worldview. His opinion: It is perfectly okay to slurp one’s soup.

Maybe it’s just as well I never got the chance to marry him.

Avengers Gif_I Don't Like It

Gant-o’-the-Lute (MC in “The Song Caster”, “The Sky-Child and Other Stories”, “The Story’s End”) = As a virtuoso wandering bard and admittedly something of a superman, Lute believes himself to be the ideal toward which we lesser beings ought in futility to strive – including the author with supposed power of the pen over him. This attitude has caused any number of bitter clashes between us.

Avengers meme_Civil War

Shots were fired. Tears were shed. It’s all in the past now, but only because I guess we’ve mutually decided it’s not a debate worth reopening. Ever.

Mach Jenius (MC in “Out of My Head”) = Quoth our boy Mach:

“I am a brainstorm. And the number one rule of brainstorming? There is no such thing as a bad idea.”

Replied his rival muse:

“That rule,” Luc said through clenched teeth, “is a lie.”

And I’ve gotta side with Luc on this one. This reality I’ve written words in the hundred-thousands to escape is run (quite badly) on bad ideas. Sometimes I’ve dreamt up and thrown out as many as six impossibly bad ideas before breakfast. I understand where Mach is coming from: We often need to shuffle through a few bad ideas before the good ones make an appearance; that’s just the creative process. But to claim that all ideas are equally meritorious in their own way… No, darling Jenius, no.

Avengers Gif_No, Try Again

Abishan (main supporting cast member in “Inspired”, “Out of My Head”) = Not surprisingly, the jungle cat god thinks cats are the best animal. And I mean, I’m practically a cat myself, but dogs, foxes, and krakens are where it’s at, dude.

Avengers Gif_Black Panther Side-eye
Abishan @ me

Liliavaine (MC in “The Surrogate Sea”) = To watch this princess carry on, one would get the impression that it’s better to recklessly go after what you want than to be well-behaved and responsible and maybe not get people killed. Honestly, it’s not even so much that I disagree with that. I’m just too much of a socially anxious, people-pleasing good girl to run away in the night and become the Sea. Bigger disappointment me, really.

Avengers Gif_Black Widow Shrug

Raeve (MC in “A Morrow More”) = This short story heroine (first published in the “One More Day” anthology, re-pubbed in the 2nd edition of “Inspired” when both the 1st edition and the antho went out of print) seems to hold fast the belief that life is inherently worth living, by virtue of it being life. And I’m over here frequently wondering whether death mightn’t actually be the more attractive option. But to each their own.

Arthur Pendragon (MC in “The Once and Future Camelot” … coming sometime this year, if all goes to plan!) = This reanimated king of legend seems to hold fast the belief that people are valuable and worthy of love, by virtue of being people. Oh, sweet Arthur. Too good for this world – too pure. I can only wish to share your heart.

Avengers Gif_I Can't

Johnny Crow (MC in “Deathsong of the Deep”) = This exchange had me shaking my head even as I wrote it:

Molly’s eyes tightened at the corners. “You meant the sort of ridding in which a life is ended before it’s half begun?”

Crow shrugged the shoulder which wasn’t bearing a portion of his weight. “It’s an option.”

“It’s a violation.”

“Violation? Of what?”

“Of a person’s right to life.”

“Right?” Crow’s head tipped to a quizzical angle. “Living isn’t a right. It’s a privilege. If we live, it’s because we’ve been minimally fortunate, not because we /deserve/ to. If living were about deserving, nobody would live long.”

Yeah-yeah-yeah, I know I’ve just been saying that both life and people are bad ideas. And that last line of Crow’s… grr, he’s not wrong. I’m just… very much opposed to the idea that it’s only okay to kill humans who haven’t yet been born to become the humans who’ve actually done things arguably worthy of a death penalty (as opposed to having literally done nothing but exist somewhere they weren’t wanted). That is targeting the entirely wrong demographic, to my view. But this post isn’t about me trying to untangle all my feelings re: life and death, so let’s find another note on which to end.

Avengers Gif_Hulk Punch

Will Scarlet (MC in the “Outlaws of Avalon” series) = Red is the best color, full stop. Enough of anything is never enough. If something scares you, flirt with it. Why plan ahead when you can fly through life by the seat of your hose?

Avengers Gif_Tony Eye-roll

No and no and no.

Also, no.

<<<>>>

How about you, fellow writers? Any big players in your body of work with whom you’ll never see eye to eye? And for you readers, an opposite question: Which characters have you encountered whose notions made you go, “YES. My thoughts EXACTLY”? Discuss in the comments!

“Thanks” or “Advance Gratitude for the Bounty to Come”

Thanksgiving’s tomorrow, in my little part of the world, and I’m already getting into gratitude mode. Specifically, I’m thinking about how glad I am that J. Taylor Publishing’s “One More Day” anthology launches on Monday – (this coming Monday, guys! How did this day creep up on me so fast?! Next thing you know, I’ll blink and it’ll be Christmas!) – and ways in which I want to show how appreciative I’ll be for every display of support by readers, friends, and fans. And few things say “thank you, thank you, thank-ity thank you!” like a giveaway, right? Right!

This is by no means the only giveaway that will be going on in celebration of the book’s release. It’s just the one I’m most excited about at the moment, because come on, look at what I have to give you!

OneMoreDayCharmBookmarks

One More Day” bookmarks … laminated … with little clock charms in keeping with the book’s theme of frozen time. Are they not the most adorable, gorgeous little things I ever assembled?!

*tries to remember if I’ve ever assembled a more adorable, gorgeous little thing*

*nothing comes to mind*

I want to give these away! …And I want to keep them and stroke them and call them my preciousss, but don’t worry, I’m totally giving them away.

OneMoreDay-Blog-Tour-Button

Entry will be the usual easy-peasy affair I try to make ‘em: Blog comments, Facebook shares, retweets, and the like for raffle points. There will be seven winners, in honor of the seven authors (myself included) who contributed to “One More Day”. The action starts on December 2nd (Launch Day!) when I post my first of a series of interviews with the anthology’s authors for the “One More Day” blog tour. ^.^ So, yup – plenty to get hyped about, and plenty to be grateful for, and I haven’t even had a bite of turkey yet!

Stay tuned, and stay thankful. (:

“Yes, And” or “Just When You Thought You Had One Day or More…”

This just in! …Well, this in last night, but I didn’t see the e-mail until this morning, so we’ll consider this one hot off the presses: Today’s the day that We the Authors of the One More Day anthology, in Order to form a more perfect Union… no, wait, I’m getting off track. J. Taylor Publishing didn’t tell us to draft a Constitution, but what we do get to do is share a tiny taste of our stories with the world at large!

That is swell, and that is kinda inconvenient, ‘cause I already had a blog post I was about to put up when I saw the news. Oh, well. First rule of improvisation: “Yes, And”. Take what you’re given and run with it. So you’ll all just have to read my intended post of awesomeness another time, for today, I give you the opening few hundred words of my “One More Day” contribution, “A Morrow More”!

* * * * *

Lorrel lifts his gaze from his writing desk as the autumn breeze and I enter his tent. His glossy black lips smile before his dark brow furrows. “Good morrow,” he says. “Word from the commander?”

“Good morrow,” I say. “Only this.” I step forward to present him a small square of old cloth.

Lorrel folds and sets aside the cloth already on his desktop, the patch I’ve delivered now taking its place. He opens the desk’s shallow drawer, extracts a broad-tipped painter’s brush, and removes the tie holding his hair in a knot at the nape of his neck. As he slides the brush through the sleek black waves hanging free just above his shoulders, it takes immense effort on my part not to blatantly gaze.

I have yet to lose my fascination with Inkborn hair.

Or Inkborn movement.

Or the king’s part-Inkborn son.

The brush now coated, Lorrel sweeps the bristles back and forth across the face of the cloth before him, and the fabric quickly begins to stain—save, of course, for the sections treated with a solution specially devised to withstand the oils of Inkborn hair. In moments, the once-hidden message is plainly visible, unstained lines forming the words, The war is over.

Lorrel lifts his chin, his mouth twitching toward a smile like the one spreading unchecked across my own face. “This is old news, word-runner.” If he means to sound reproving, the twinkle in his eyes spoils the effect.

“And, yet, it is good news,” I say, wishing it were my place to throw my arms around him in shared victory, shared relief, shared love.

Standing, he comes around the desk and clasps my hands, my needle-pricked little fingers lost in his strong and sinuous ones. Not the embrace I wish for, but a touch I relish. “Yes, Raeve,” he says, voice weighty and warm. “It is good news. Every bit as good this morning as when first delivered two days ago. For a moment, I feared you brought word to contradict it.”

I shake my head happily. “The old word stands. The Vale is won. Your company turns toward home tomorrow.”

His liquid black eyes search my face. “And what of you?”

“That will depend,” I say, my meaning as carefully encrypted as our military’s textile code, “on what the Crown may require of me.”

“Less of you than of me, perhaps.” His gaze drifts past me toward the wind-fluttered tent opening and the castle of Likanstone—a long day’s travel beyond.

* * * * *

…Yes?” you prompt me. “And?

Well, that’s all you get for now, guys! For the rest of the story, you’ve got to wait ‘til the anthology’s release on December 2nd! But if you simply must have One More Taste of the book before then, you can go get your fix via my fellow anthology authors, who’ve got excerpts from their own stories cropping up on their blogs, too. (: Need a refresher on their names? No worries: It’s all in the blurb.

OneMoreDay_Cover-blog

What if today never ends?
What if everything about life—everything anyone hoped to be, to do, to experience—never happens?
Whether sitting in a chair, driving down the road, in surgery, jumping off a cliff or flying … that’s where you’d be … forever.
Unless …
In One More Day, Erika Beebe, Marissa Halvorson, Kimberly Kay, J. Keller Ford, Danielle E. Shipley and Anna Simpson join L.S. Murphy to give us their twists, surprising us with answers to two big questions, all from the perspective of characters under the age of eighteen.
How do we restart time?
How do we make everything go back to normal?
The answers, in whatever the world—human, alien, medieval, fantasy or fairytale—could, maybe, happen today.
Right now.
What would you do if this happened … to you?

I’d love to hear your thoughts! How’s the opening of “A Morrow More” strike ya? ^^

“Time” or “ONE MORE D[Giveaw]AY”

FLASH: We interrupt today’s scheduled announcement of the winner of my 200th follower giveaway to announce… another giveaway!

More free stuff?!” you gasp. “Good gracious, what’s the occasion?!

Oh, it’s just a little something in anticipation of December 2nd release of One More Day!

Ri-i-ight, the YA anthology through J. Taylor Publishing that’s got your short story, A Morrow More. Sweet! So, how’s this giveaway work?

Well, you all remember the premise of the book right?

OneMoreDay-Desktop

What if today never ends?
What if everything about life—everything anyone hoped to be, to do, to experience—never happens?
Whether sitting in a chair, driving down the road, in surgery, jumping off a cliff or flying … that’s where you’d be … forever.
Unless …

And I’m gonna cut it off right there.

Huh?? But there’s a whole second half to the blurb!

I know. But you see, I am the master of this blog post, and so have the power to stop whenever I choose. And that, ladies and gentlemen and beloved riffraff, is the big question of the giveaway:

If given the power and choice … at which point in your life would you like to freeze time, for a while?

A special holiday? A wonderful moment in memory you wish could have lasted longer? Or perhaps a special moment yet to come?

Share your answer to that question anywhere I ask it – here in the blog’s comments, on my authorial Facebook page, on Twitter, even on my page for my post-Wilderhark-project, The Ballad of Allyn-a-Dale – and I’ll enter your name to win the prize!

OneMoreDay-Bookmark-Front-webWhich is…?

Firstly, a custom-made One More Day 2014 wall calendar – including quotes from my anthology piece, A Morrow More! – with which to mark time. Secondly, a pair of One More Day bookmarks – signed by me! – with which to mark…well, books.

But HURRY! There isn’t much time! You’ve all got only until the fateful hour of midnight, when the clock signals the change between Thursday and Friday the 19th,  to get your entries in. That’s also the ***new extended deadline*** for my 200th follower giveaway, and I’ll be announcing both winners later that day. So you’d better get commenting, friends, because time waits for one!

Or does it?

“Announcement, Part 1” or “The Wait is Half-Over”

Alright, I’ve teased you long enough. My gag has been removed. You want to know what big news has got me so excited?

Short answer: I’m going to be published!!!

Longer answer: …In a YA anthology by J. Taylor Publishing!!!

Even longer answer: I think I’ll let the official press release handle this one…

* * *

J. Taylor Publishing Signs Seven Authors To One More Day, A YA Anthology To Release December 2, 2013

Six authors to be featured with L.S. Murphy in Young Adult Anthology, One More Day, from J. Taylor Publishing.

Apex, NC – March 27, 2013 – On December 2, 2013, J. Taylor Publishing will release

One More Day, an anthology of seven short stories written for young adults, with a world’s end theme.

The anthology’s theme, centered around what would happen if ‘tomorrow’ didn’t happen, produced dozens of entries with seven stories selected. “We asked authors to think on a prompt, particularly what happens as characters feel the stop, feel the shift, as they realize, only they know how to make everything go back to normal,” says J. Taylor Publishing.

With a singular theme, one might expect all stories to be “the same”, but in One More Day, the challenge to create something completely unique was met by all authors. From contemporary to paranormal, fantasy to comedy and mixes of multiple genres, each of the seven stories represents the author’s interpretation and method of ensuring the world doesn’t end—somehow, someway.

The anthology will open with Anna Simpson’s Time PIece, a contemporary romance centering on a girl’s first kiss. Transitioning to a darker sci-fi, paranormal will be Marissa Halvorson’s Dark Rose. The anthology will then move into a more whimsical, twist-filled story, Dragon Flight by J. Keller Ford, perfect for those on the roller coaster ride of love. Anchoring the center is L.S. Murphy’s The 13th Month, a ready-made fight to the end. Following comes a different take on an old fairy tale with Kimberly Kay’s Sleepless Beauty, and afterward, Erika Beebe’s Stage Fright, which is exactly how it sounds. Rounding out the anthology is Danielle E. Shipley’s A Morrow More, concluding with a bit of humor intertwined with fantasy.

“In choosing the stories, we looked for diversity, unique, intriguing stories and solid writing. In our six additional authors, we found a wonderful collection to add to L.S. Murphy, who’s debut Young Adult novel Reaper, released in January 2013,” says J. Taylor Publishing.

[And then they go on to more fully introduce all the authors, including…]

About Danielle E. Shipley
Danielle E. Shipley’s first novelettes told the everyday misadventures of wacky kids like herself. …Or so she thought. Unbeknownst to them all, half of her characters were actually closeted elves, dwarves, fairies, or some combination thereof. When it all came to light, Danielle did the sensible thing: Packed up and moved to Fantasy Land, where daily rent is the low, low price of her heart, soul, blood, sweat, tears, firstborn child, sanity, and words; lots of them. She’s also been known to spend short bursts of time in the real-life Chicago area with the parents who home schooled her and the two little sisters who keep her humble. When she’s not living the highs and lows of writing young adult novels, she’s probably blogging about it.

The cover for One More day, and short summaries for each story, will release on May 13, 2013.

About the Publisher

J. Taylor Publishing is an Independent Publisher who, thanks to the Internet, has a worldwide reach. Our debut authors are in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada. The company produces print and electronic books. For more information about J. Taylor Publishing, please visit www.jtaylorpublishing.com.

* * *

So, yeah! That! This is the biggest “yes” I’ve gotten from the publishing industry since I started submissions, and I am absolutely dizzy with delight!

If you happen to feel like going over and above in your extension of congratulations, I’ve got a brand new author page on Facebook in want of “likes”. https://www.facebook.com/Danielle.E.Shipley.Author

BUT WAIT. THERE’S MORE.

…Which I will share with you on Monday, after we’ve all had a bit of time to digest today’s excitement.

Yes. I’ve known about this for weeks, and I’m still digesting. Happiness is a heavy meal, y’all. 😀

Author Pic, Danielle E. Shipley
Behold the author photo I had taken just for this. Thanks for the shot, my lovely photographer/sister!
Yay! Yay! I get to work with these people!
Yay! Yay! I get to work with these people!