Monday, November 30, 2009

To hide your identity or to get stalked on the Internets

As a lot of writers/artists/musicians/artsy-fartsy people may already know, these is creepy times. I guess for writers etc it's always been creepy times, but there have been things that have protected them from the creepies. I am most definitely talking about pen names.

I won't give you a history lesson on pen names (even though I have the inching to), but I do find them fascinating in the sense that I find names fascinating (because names are words, and words are cool). I think the most beneficial use of a pen name these days are the protection it gives an author. There is just something about having your full, real name out in the world that is just very vulnerable. I'm not a big fan of the vulnerable.

Then again, opposite this, there is something about claiming your work as yours that I also like. When I use my real name to sign a piece of work, it's mine. Mine. Nobody else gets to have it.

So, will I, do I have a pen name? Yes and no. I do have a pen name that I thought long and hard about that I've been using on FictionPress mostly because at the time I didn't want to use my real name and get mauled. My pen name: Maria T. Allen. For some reason I think long names are pretty and it took off of my full name that I use having that middle initial. The name is a conglomerate of some family names etc. I like it, it's shiny.

Would I use my pen name if I got published? I don't know. I think Terri M. Moore looks really nice and I like it. However, for protection I would go with something else if I had to. I wonder how many of the author out there are using their real names? I know Stephenie Meyer is a pen name, but I think only in the last name and spelling. Stephen King wrote under a couple, etc. Who knows what other authors are really using their real names. It's a world of mystery to me.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Writing Sample: Eyes on Fire Sequel

This small snippet is actually from the sequel of my first novel (Eyes on Fire) which has yet to be written since EoF isn't even completed. The plot isn't important so much as the emotion. This portion was written during a rather bad night, however the emotion seemed to create this really vivid, tangible scene in my mind. I call this one of my "fits" because I grabbed the computer, wrote this down and then my fingers just stopped.


The blackened sky glared down upon me, boring holes into the dying auburn of my eyes. I hadn’t seen him for weeks, months even. The emptiness was beginning to feel tangible. On nights like these, when the stars traveled close enough in the blanket of sky so that it felt as if all I needed to touch them was to swipe my hand through the air, were the most unreal to me.

If I concentrated hard enough, I could feel the moist line of searing cold dirt beneath my back. A sharp rock cut a swath across my shoulder blade that I had ignored for over an hour. The air stank with the mold and decay of the fallen autumn leaves, as each breath I took became impregnated with the feeling of being below ground. My body was weightless. I had long become the sky and the darkness had consumed me.

I lay on the underbrush for hours trying to become nothing and something all at once. I let my heavy body sink into the harsh ground. My bones were solid as rock, my skin silky, slick moss over a river of swirling, oozing blood like river water. I had a theory that if I became the black that had become our connection, perhaps it would swallow me and lead me to him.

The drowning never came.

My nightly escapades into the engulfing darkness of the Michaux forest only succeeded in leading me to my euphoria of a stiff drink, or four, until I had achieved the vertigo that I craved atop the Downy-scented cotton sheets of my bedroom. Isaac was gone, my connection with him severed. At least, that was what he was leading me to believe. I felt the barrier he had placed between us like endless miles of hot, molten desert of which I could never see the end of. If I ventured forth into it, as I did most nights while trying to find him, I would quickly become lost, disoriented, and banished to the place I had started from by morning. Isaac didn’t want to be found; that much was obvious.

Things you never knew about me, part 1

Have I ever told anyone how much I absolutely adore the Thesaurus?

Besides copies of the Twilight Saga, (which I will openly admit I collect. I'll embarrass myself with that obsession later) the Thesaurus is the one published book that I have more copies of than most sane people. I have at least 6 printed versions, spanning about 50 years of publications as well as an electronic copy on my iPod Touch. That application alone is the sole reason I didn't trade it to my mother for an 80gb classic (because lord knows my music obsession is second only to my book obsession). I carry a copy with me in my bag and I technically have one in my purse if you count my iPod.

I'm not quite sure where this love/obsession came from. I blame it on the weird occurrence that happened when I went to college of getting stuck on words. Sometimes I lose words in my head. I'll know what it is I want to say, but I just can not think of the word. Hence why the Thesaurus is magical. The right word can make or break language, I think. For example, if I'm really pissed off, and I mean shaking with rage (great word, btw) sometimes the word "angry" just doesn't convey it. So, you pop open the magic book and look up "angry". Like a gift from the Heavens, you're given a plethora of more suitable options. "Convulsed" is a good one, or perhaps "incensed". Some people might not have a CLUE what you you're implying, but you and your best friend Thesaurus will know, and that's all that matters.

I will never turn down a copy of the Thesaurus. Heck, I'm itching to buy the newest copy right now. Pocket sized ones are magic.

In the Beginning

There was a blog. (As I'm sure you've already learned)

You see, this one time a young woman, who had just graduated from College, had a life altering summer. In an effort to create something productive out of the lovely black hole that ensued, she decided to start a blog, chronicling her efforts at the one thing that she never lost, writing.

The Blood and to speak
Within this blog you'll find an array of things such as sections of my actual projects, things that inspire me, insights on my process, and anything else about my writing that fancies me. Hopefully, this blog will follow me as I attempt to start my second novel and go back and do some writing on my first. You might find some insights on my reading life as well, as I have a pile of 50+ books that need reading and I am very far behind.

The Name, The Name
For the curious. The origins of the name of this blog "Last Exit in Ohio" comes from a sign I saw while driving back from college a couple of years ago. The sign literally said and was the "last exit in ohio" and there was something infinitely poetic about that. I always aspired to give that name to my imaginary band (cause doesn't that sound like a GREAT name for a band?), however, I think naming a writing blog after it is just as honorable.