Sparks, Brilliant or Dim: Points of Inspiration
Points of inspiration are like stars in the night sky. Sometimes they are clustered together creating this brilliant picture, or one can draw a line to connect that point to another, or it can be faraway dim light in a space all by itself.
Inspiration can come in several forms and many authors find that spark in some of the same things. An arresting photo. Lines of poetry or song. Life experiences. Secret hopes and desires. Conversations. Dreams. Or in something as simple as the frayed end of a coarse rope. There is no right or wrong way to draw inspiration. Two people can look at the same object and withdraw two completely different ideas from what they see. Inspiration can be drawn from sorrow and give back hope.
Inspiration can be endless, fathomless, elusive, or overwhelming. At times, one could either experience feast of famine, where everywhere you look there are sparks that create one idea after another. Then there are days when you stare at the computer screen or notebook for hours with no spark to guide the way. Sometimes, it feels like the tides of an ocean pushing up the shore, rearranging the sand to tell the story of its passage and then the waters withdraw out of reach, denying the shore its cool touch.
I draw inspiration from many of the things listed above, expressions in a drawing or photograph, lines of myth a folklore, reference books on history or cultures, and the frustration of not being able to find the story I want to be told. That last point is what led to the beginning of the Sumeria's Sons series. I wanted the story of a person who defied the all-hallowed mating bond. I'd read too many stories where Alpha meant Jerk, and instead of the mate telling them to go pound sand, the mating bond made things all better, and the alpha was still a jerk. So in a moment of utter frustration, I wrote the first three chapters of Twin Flames. That small spark turned into something big.
Just this past April, at Rainbow Con 2014 I had the privilege of being a part of a conversation with Angel Martinez and David Hawk about coal mining states, history, area culture, and the aftermath of abandoned mines. For days I mulled the topics over and over. I had no idea the discussion would spark the plot to a short science fiction story, The Aurora Conspiracy, which I wrote in May for a submission call.
The Valespian Pact series was sparked by a story prompt. (Honestly, I have a real weak spot for such prompts, it's like an addiction.) "Intergalactic mm romance between a human space mechanic genius and an alien that morphs to be "human" when they mate. Have a way for the "alien" to be able to reproduce despite being male without the aid of technology for the pregnancy itself. Maybe technology was involved in the past and they "evolved" to be able to continue the alien species? HEA of course. Maybe a start of a series? Up to the author. I like series." Then Alpha Trine was born. Although, the spark didn't stop there. It jumped from the name I chose to become a flash fire of world building and plot ideas.
I will admit that when I started writing my first series, I had this fear that I wouldn't find inspiration or ideas for another story to become this one hit wonder in the publishing arena. Not to say that is a bad thing. A couple of my favorite authors, Robert Jordan and Frank Hebert, are well known for the epic series they wrote. See, I wanted to write about scores of different topics, characters, and places, to have a plethora of sand boxes to play in, discover, and experiment with. Not that I had anything to worry about because I have a notebook full of ideas that I continue to add to.
Now, if I could find the time to write our all of those ideas…
About Lexi: Lexi has always been an avid reader, and at a young age started reading (secretly) her mother’s romances (the ones she was told not to touch). She was the only teenager she knew of who would be grounded from reading. Later, with a pencil and a note book, she wrote her own stories and shared them with friends because she loved to see their reactions. A Texas transplant, Lexi now kicks her boots up in the Midwest with her Yankee husband and her eighty-pound puppies named after vacuum cleaners.
Web site: http://www.lexiander.com/index.html
Lexi Ander is offering a signed paperback of Alpha Trine and Striler bundled together to one commenter on this blog. You can comment on LJ or DW if you have an account (I will send a PM to the winner), if you don't have an account, please leave a comment on DW with a contact email. Shipping outside US included.
Alpha Trine by Lexi Ander
Paperback: 200 pages
Publisher: Less Than Three Press (September 25, 2013)
Amazon: Alpha Trine
Amazon Kindle: Alpha Trine
The sole survivor on a science vessel adrift in deep space, Zeus was adopted by the Emperor and Empress of the Mar'Sani, though he is both human and blind, and seen by most as unfit to join the royal family. Though they were able to repair his vision, Zeus does not trust his eyes and the nobles of his parents' court refuse to ever trust a frail human.
Dargon Kal-Turak, along with his symbiote and lover Alpha, command one of the most dangerous ships in the stars. Narrowly escaping a trap, they dock in a space port to make repairs, but find that the Psionics hunting them are closing in fast. In desperation they kidnap the port Master Mechanic, unaware that the man they've brought on board is more than he seems, and will bring far more upheaval to their ship, their lives, and the stars than any of them could have imagined.
The rain forest suddenly gave way to a cleared grassy field bordered by trees. Off in the distance, beyond the administrative buildings, were the half dozen shuttle launch pads. Ashari saw only one stationary ship on the tarmac before the glider turned into the drive for the main complex.
The Mar'Sani architecture shunned angles for soft curves, rounded edges, and domed peaks. When forced to use ninety degree corners in construction, the engineers over-compensated by rounding out the angles, adding cupolas and softly peaked windows. This gave the military base a fanciful appearance accentuated by the marine colors ranging from deep greens to turquoise blue.
The lift stopped in front of the Ares Command Center, and Warlord Sohm'lan, along with other officers, waited outside the great arching doorway for her. Unbuckling from the seat, she knelt in front of her boys and kissed each on the forehead.
"I love you so very much," she whispered. The twins trilled their delight. "Now, are you ready to meet your new brother?"
Without answering her, they scrambled to release the belts that secured them to their seats. The driver opened the door to the hovercraft, and the twins bounded out of the glider ahead of Ashari. They ran down the paved, stone walkway to Sohm'lan, hopping around him, their tails causing mayhem as they unintentionally lashed the other officers' legs as they circled Sohm'lan. The officers hastily moved away before they accidentally tripped over Azaes or Mestor. Sohm'lan held still while he watched the younglings dance around him in their excitement. Ashari took in the dark brown of his scales, noting how they blended perfectly with his military uniform, allowing him to easily disappear in the Atlainticia rain forest, until his luminous blue eyes were revealed.
"Empress," Sohm'lan murmured calmly. "The Emperor said you would claim the Terren youngling."
"I have come to pick up my Mar'Sani son, Warlord." Ashari's voice was flinty. She gazed coolly at Sohm'lan, glancing behind him to take in the silenced officers. Humans were not held in high regard throughout Galactic space. She would not tolerate discrimination of any kind. Once she claimed the youngling, he would be Mar'Sani and raised no differently than those born of her womb. They needed to understand her stance quickly, before she or Valdor were forced to take issue with malicious talk or deeds.
Warlord Sohm'lan bowed deeply, making a hiss-click display of the highest respect. After the initial shock, the attending officers scrambled to give various forms of acknowledgment, although not as reverent as Sohm'lan's gesture had been.
"Then let me escort you to the prince." Warlord Sohm'lan opened the door for Ashari and the twins.
In the far corner of the medical center, a doctor stared into the makeshift birth bed as the youngling sniffled and mewled. Ashari halted for a second when she realized her body responded to the infant's noises as if it knew she would be nursing again. Azaes and Mestor rushed to peer inside the shell.
"Greetings, Empress Ashari," The doctor bowed slightly, taking in the group of military officers following in her wake. "I am Solon, the leader of Team Deimos."
"You found the boy?"
"Yes, Your Highness. He was in cryo-sleep. He has just awakened. The decontamination team cleared him before we took him for the abandoned vessel. I am told his blood is clean of any harmful bacteria or viruses. We bathed him well when we arrived but his skin may breakout from the chemicals unused to make sure he was free of contagion. I have sent a team back onto the Terren ship to locate food for the youngling. The database on human infants has been very helpful to his needs."
Before she knew it, the twins started with the questions, their twin connectivity easy to see in that moment. "He is so soft," Azaes whispered in awe.
"And he has no scales," replied Mestor.
"Will he grow scales?" Azaes tapped the infant's fingernail.
"His head is fuzzy?"
"He must grow fur …" Azaes leaned in and sniffed the hair.
"Instead of scales." Mestor nodded his agreement.
"Oh! He is changing colors."
"He is chimera then?"
"I want to be chimera, too."
"I like his eyes." Mestor touched his own eyelid.
"All the females will want him for his eyes." Azaes scowled.
"That is okay, they can look." Mestor crossed his arms over his chest, giving a tiny but fierce frown.
"Yes, and we will protect him." Azaes placed his fist on his hip, exactly like his father when his word would become law.
Mestor gazed up at Ashari. "What is his name, Meme?"
"He is called Zeus." She gave her sons a heartfelt smile, so very proud of the two of them. They would grow to be fine males one day.
Azaes nodded his head solemnly. "Because he is from the sky. Poseidon named him well."
Mestor ran his fingers down Zeus's arm. "He is soft," her little prince whispered then smiled when the youngling grabbed his finger in a fist. "Meme, he could be easily hurt."
Azaes scented the youngling again. "He is definitely from the sky—he smells like rain."
Zeus started mewling again, and Ashari's body responded by lactating. She had been breast feeding Canry when … she thought her mother's milk had dried up. Now the strange noises the child made, so different from the noises of the younglings she had given birth to, seemed to awaken her body.
"The team should be back soon so we can feed him," Dr. Solon offered when Zeus's noises rose in volume.
"I do not think that will be necessary." Ashari grinned. "Show me how to pick up and hold the youngling, doctor."
Mestor and Azaes stepped back and watched Dr. Solon with rapt attention. Ashari was glad she had listened to Valdor regarding her claws because the youngling was impossibly soft and fragile compared to what she was used to. They all seemed to be holding their breath as she settled Zeus into her arms.
Ashari had never seen a human before, but there was something—she could not quite put her finger on it—something about him called to her. Zeus's silvery white eyes stared unblinkingly up at her, his toothless mouth in an O, pink tongue making a soft sucking sound. He did smell like rain, warm and clean. The black fuzz on his head floated straight out, dark blue highlights streaked throughout. The youngling had her completely mesmerized.
Zeus's creamy alabaster skin began to turn a pink, then a deeper red. A wail to rival their military sirens burst from the babe. Ashari smiled with utter delight, eyes bright and wide as she listened to the beautiful noise. Mestor and Azaes hissed in excitement and started dancing around her. That was the sound of a great warrior. She offered the youngling her tit, and he latched on with robust effort. Yes, he was a fighter.
Striker (The Valespian Pact Book 2) by Lexi Ander
Paperback: 356 pages
Publisher: Less Than Three Press (June 4, 2014)
Amazon: Striker (The Valespian Pact Book 2)
Amazon Kindle: Striker (The Valespian Pact Book 2)
The peaceful respite for which Zeus and his intended, Dargon and Alpha, had been hoping for is shattered when Zeus is unexpectedly drawn to the Waters of Poseidon and told that the safety they've been promised is a trap.
But the Fal'Amoric aren't the only important cargo on the Oethra 7, and countless others are depending on the success of their mission. If Zeus hopes to break the silent siege on Valespia and protect those most precious to him, he will need not just powerful allies but the fortitude to survive overwhelming odds.
This journal is friends only. This entry was originally posted at http://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/4358854.html. If you are not friends on this journal, Please comment there using OpenID.