Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Lotus Effect by Bridget Ladd: Tens List and Excerpt

Must haves for a writer’s desk space . . . .

1. Blanket - When the blanket comes on, that’s when the magic happens. Well, sometimes at least. In addition to protecting you from a chill, it can also look like a cape or a robe for extra inspiration.

2. Thesaurus - Who was it that spoke unkindly about the Thesaurus? Well, it’s my favorite dinosaur. It helps me remember that one pesky word, the one that always tends to sit right along the edge of my memory.

It can also amuse you when you stumble upon words such as this: Pooh-Pooh

(I promise—I’m not always immature.)

3. Pen & Paper - Obvious enough. They help when you need to draw and or write out ideas when Word and Notepad just doesn’t seem to cut it.


4. Little trinkets - Or anything to amuse you/inspire. I have rocks. They’re nice to handle while thinking through a difficult scene. I find myself looking at them and describing them in my mind to help get the creative juices flowing. Optional: A rubber ducky. This is usually a Programmer’s choice for a desk item. (My boyfriend informed me of this) You can speak out your thoughts to it without fear of criticism. Also, make sure you’re alone, because you’ll look crazy.

5. Beverage - Water and caffeine. Mtn. Dew is my ‘It’s Go Time’ drink. (I need to cut back—it’s horribly addictive.)

6. View of nature or outside - Let’s face it, sometimes you just need to stop and watch the squirrels do flips. (True Story.)

7. Chapstick – Whatever brand you prefer. I like the kind that smells nice (like berries). ‘Smell’ is one of the strongest senses tied to memory. Perhaps it can help you describe a scene? If not, your lips will at least thank you for it and you’ll feel pretty! Guys . . . you know you want to feel nice too.

8. Make sure to get dressed for the day - (not really a desk space item, unless you include yourself.) There will be times or possible times when you’ll be so in tune with what you’re writing that you’ll rush to the door for a UPS package and realize you’re still in your skivvy’s. This hasn’t happened to me yet, but I’m terrified it will.

9. A tissue/napkin - you never know what may go wrong. *see #5 (Beverage)

10. Music - YouTube playlists are handy. They can play for hours, which can help you through those tough scenes.

The user ‘ThePrimeCronus’ has some great playlists uploaded. He often includes epic scores from Audiomachine, Two Steps From Hell, Fired Earth Music, Thomas Bergersen...etc. All of which I find to be great inspiration for my fighting/action/dramatic scenes.

For example, here’s a 3 hour long compilation:

And if you’re feeling so inclined, there’s also an 8 hour track listed. Believe me when I say, I’ve sit through the entire thing on a few days while writing and editing The Lotus Effect. SO MUCH EPICNESS to be had that I was ready to battle Orcs by the day’s end. (Also a True Story.)

 The Lotus Effect (Rise of the Ardent #1) 

 Lily Emerson, daughter of the Head of Council and Mistress of Science, has lived a privileged life. It’s Lily’s 18th nameday, the day she is to follow in her mother’s footsteps, becoming the next Mistress of Science—the most powerful woman in all of City Prosper. The Architect and designer of Prosper’s future.

During the night of her Coronation, the corruption of the Council spreads before her . . . opening her eyes to the cruelty that resides in the Council, even within her own parents. Lily realizes now the title of Mistress only comes with superficial power, that to truly save the citizens—she has to fight.

Fight in the Barrage—the mechanical gladiatorial tournament in which one chosen pair of volunteers from each Sector fights, armor-clad and as a team, utilizing unique weapon specialties: the Gatling gun, the Cestus, Klaives, Crescent Knives, mechanically engineered beasts—in the hope to win the right to change the Law. A law that has remained unchanged since its creation almost eighty years ago.

The tournament that Xander, Engineering Blacksmith and Lily’s partner, believes she has no business being in.

But Lily’s different. And she sets out to prove just that.


One . . . two . . . three . . . four . . . . One . . . two . . . three . . . .
“Lily?” I heard Xander’s calm voice break through from beyond the panic.
“Just breathe,” he spoke softly by my side. “We can do this. We stay together. If we happen to separate, we fight our way back to each other. If something happens to me, never lose sight of the goal. Not the Key. Not finding the others. Only surviving. You understand?”
I nodded quickly, not allowing myself to think about that possible outcome. If something should happen to him.
“What’s our plan?” I asked with a wavering voice, hating myself for trying to prepare mentally only moments before the fight.
“We don’t have one, and that’s how I’d like to keep it. It’s too unpredictable out there to get tied up with prior logistics. I saw how you worked your way around the Shadow Kanes. Today is no different, trust your instincts.”
My instincts were telling me to run away while I still had the chance. I cleared my throat. It was dryer than the dirt beneath my feet. “What about the Key?”
Xander looked at me hard, his eyes tight. “Forget the Key. Focus on staying alive.” Xander shifted his weight in his armor. “You’ll make an easy target if you’re the first to go running up and grabbing at it. Let the others do the work for us.”
The thundering applause from the audience shook the roof above as we stood waiting behind the door. I blanched and gripped my shield tighter. I felt sick to my stomach, overwhelmed by the responsibility and pressure.
This was it. Nothing else mattered.
If I failed today, I failed everyone.
Xander’s look of worry snapped me out of my terror. His brow was furrowed and he looked . . . angry.
“Lily, what’s wrong? Never have I seen you like this,” he scolded quietly. “Your energy is . . . unbalanced, erratic.” Xander closed his eyes and looked down, his voice steady and even. “I know you’re terrified of failing, but know this: You will go out there and you will fight. You will prove your worth and you Will. Not. Die.”
A furious passion lit up the gray to become now silver in his eyes.
I had never seen such disappointment and fear linger within his gaze. Fear for me. He gripped my shoulders and shook me slightly, urging me to find my sense. “Remember your people who suffer. Remember Mrs. Fawnsworth. Remember your mother. Do not give in to this fear—” He dropped his hands from me. “—I will not allow it.” The plains of his face were tight with disapproval as he looked towards the closed door.
Never had I seen Xander like this before a battle either. He was always calm. Always focused. Now he had a fire within that rekindled the one inside my own chest.
I slid on my helm and gripped my axes with a new determination. A determination that was uniquely made within me, different from all the others which only seemed to last until a swift wind of doubt whisked it away.
This determination was red hot and potent. One that intended to stay. Xander was right, I was losing myself. Losing my nerve. Without it today, I would surely die.
I shook my head and bared my teeth behind the bronzed barrier of my helm.
     “I. Am. Ready,” I said just as the last murmurs of the announcer echoed into silence, and the blare of the starting horn blew.

Bridget Ladd never quite grew up. She's most likely to be caught carrying a pocketful of souvenir rocks and shells (to the washer's dismay) and gets excited over trivial things like colorful ponies and raiding tombs alongside her longtime favorite video game pal, Lara Croft. The smell of freshly turned dirt and the sea air are her favorites, and she isn't above doing twirling spins barefoot in the grass on a beautiful day in her yard. Her books are her shields and she will admit to having her head in the clouds more times than she probably should . . . but she doesn't let any of this bother her too much, remembering her favorite quote by Le Guin, and knowing that the creative adult is indeed the child who survived.

She graduated with honors with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 3D Computer Animation/Interactive Design and minored in Art History at East Carolina University. Living her life solely as an artist and illustrator after school was not enough--knowing that a picture was only worth a thousand words--she felt she needed more. She had to get the trapped stories, the vivid, sometimes adventurous, sometimes terrifying dreams, out of her head. Like the authors, artists, musicians, scientists, peaceful warriors who inspire her, she too wishes to share her worlds with others, let them escape into the unknown. Let them know that like her, it's okay to be different.




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