Tuesday, December 14, 2010

First look at Toturia

It took many months, but we're finally done with the matte paintings! Here's a look at the entrance of Toturia, a vast underground city hidden under the mountains of Vermont (no, really!).

Above is the depiction of an important scene. Here's the actual passage:


As soon as the elevator doors opened, a gush of warm air rushed in the cabin. It flew over me, through me, like I was being cleansed. I took one step forward and lights came on. They might have been on all along; I was just beginning to get a sense of the place. I felt the uneven ground under my feet, but it wasn’t rock. My senses finally became more attuned. My nostrils picked up the scent of humid air. My nose swore it smelt trees and yet, my head knew it was impossible. No vegetation could live so deep underground. I looked up, perhaps instinctively, trying to look for a window, or something. All I saw was darkness: an opaque, black wall of air. I finally noticed the stone pathway that lay before me, serpenting towards a mist of bright light. I looked over my shoulder at Emilie, who nodded. She looked so calm and composed; it was all the reassurance I needed.

I began walking. The further I got, the stronger the scent was. I was panting, not out of fatigue, but exhilaration. What could possibly lie ahead, hidden under the mountains of Vermont? As soon as I crossed the mist, it was all unveiled, and I almost shit my pants.

I first saw feet. Big ass feet made of stone. The statue they belonged to was at least one hundred feet tall. Its body was definitely human, but the head was feline with prominent teeth. Two big red rubies took the place of its eyes, and the right arm held what looked like a sword made of diamonds. I was transfixed into place, unable to look at anything else but the gigantic sculpture. Once I overtook the shock, I saw it. And when I say it, I mean the sight of a lifetime.

An entire city stood in front of me. It wasn’t a sinister or dark place like I would have thought, but a glowing sight of beauty that could only take your breath away. The sound of running water finally reached my ears and in one instant, everything became alive. It was, quite simply, immaculate.

Click here for full resolution image of Toturia!


December 10th was my birthday, and December 9th marked the first year anniversary of my writing endeavors. For it was on the ninth that I wrote the first page of TRINITY. A reminder of said anniversary came in the form of a huge-ass snowstorm. It is white here, friends. White, white, white. I’ve gotten used to the whiteness after living in and around it for twenty four years, but once in a while, I’m still moved by the sheer beauty of snow. Then I remember why I resent it when I need to spend fifteen minutes shoveling to get to my car.

It’s now been seven months since I began querying, and since a new year is upon us, I thought I should compile stats from QueryTracker.

Queries sent:
92 Sent
15 Still Out
3 Partial Requests
2 Full Requests
58 Rejections
14 Closed / No Response

Sadly, all those manuscript were rejected save one, but I’m not holding my breath. I did begin to write something new, but I’m finding it hard to move on and leave that first novel behind. So I might not. I might explore other alternatives. As a matter of fact, I already have explored, I just need to make a decision. In any case, I’ve decided to keep querying until I hit one hundred (yes, 100) rejections, and then I’ll consider the project KIA. It’s been like a love affair, and I hear love affairs are hard to end (anyone can chip in on that?).

On top of thicker skin, I did get a lot of knowledge out of this entire experience. If anything, it has helped with my patience development. Nothing like getting a request for a partial, waiting three months before nudging then receiving an auto-reply that states the agent in question no longer works at agency X! Sadly, it has rendered me immune to excitement over partial/full requests as well. Whether this is a positive or negative thing, I’m still not sure. What is certain is that I’m a much stronger person now.

What about Nathan Bransford leaving the agenting business, huh? I admit I never saw that coming. Maybe he’ll help CNET’S write better reviews! Moonrat also closed her blog, which came as very depressing news to me aspiring author eyes. The Rejectionist announced she’d be taking some distance from writing topics. Finally, The Intern also closed shop! All four blogs were fantastic and they’ll be dearly missed.

The holiday is the best time to be writing for me, so I wish all of my author-friends a good writing season!