Let’s hear from Masha…
There's summer... and then there's summer. Once upon a time, summer was the magical time of freedom and warmth we still imagine, regardless of where we end up living.
But then, there's real summer, and real summer in South Texas is the Hotter time of the year (as opposed the Regular Hot time of the year that may by interrupted by a few Not So Hot days).
Summer is a time of no-classes, that's for sure, especially if you have kids, and more so if the parents are teachers or academics. But then, if the parents are teachers or academics, you know that summer is not a time of do-nothing, but instead a few stolen months of research, writing, preparation, and all the other projects and tasks that never get done during the work months.
And if you're a writer with a twisted imagination and you start thinking beach... sand... sea... and you keep going with bodies washing up on the shore, murder, mayhep, pirates -- vintage or modern, spy games... And maybe eventually a story like the one that got me going on a little video project over on my site.
Video project, you ask? It's kind of like a book trailer, but not exactly. Like a book trailer because it uses all the techniques and principles I apply to my actual book trailers (Click HERE to view some), but it tells a story instead of inviting you to read a book.
The thing is, I have fun with these little videos. Actors are too expensive, and I've seen my kids wrestle professional-grade cameras and lights for their school projects. I'm not up to that. As for getting them to do something for me? Forget it!
However, I have a whole stable of willing "actors" at my disposal, entire worlds of settings, infinite wardrobes, and Ken Burns doesn't mind if I steal his pan-and-scan technique to animate still images.
So what do that video project, summer, twisted imaginations, and everything else have to do with each other? Well, take a look over at my site at the first installment of a new adventure. And while you're there, take a look at the web-comic novel, too. Click HERE to visit my site. Don't forget to register for a chance to win your own 2-minute video story. It could be a book trailer, or it could be the story of your summer vacation. I'll add captions, music, opening and closing credits. You can also gift it away to one person if you prefer.
And if you don't win the free video story, Otter Creations offers 50% off on video trailers through September. Sign up to get special offers, news, and updates.
Meanwhile, if you don't feel warm enough, I invite you to read a story by Violetta Caprice, Spring Rites.
Left behind by her fellow human expatriates, Nere Aditi is caught in the sensual upheaval of the Komentani spring celebration. When Akosh Feltiruakh rescues her from the uninhibited crowd and hides them in his house, they both become prisoners of their passion. But there are other powers fascinated by the telepathic abilities of the Komentani and seeking to profit from a tie between a human female and a half-alien hybrid. Once the marsh winds die down, Akosh and Nere will have to fight for their lives, and the fate of their union may herald the future of a whole race.
Excerpt: Nere reached a trembling hand toward her home's biosphere control panel. She pushed the dampening field to its maximum setting, but it seemed to have no effect. The native world beyond the barrier still infiltrated her protected zone, penetrated the shielding. The pulse of drums resonated in her blood, matching the beat of her heart. The skirling of pipes vibrated against her skin.
The villa she'd been assigned stood in a newer human enclave, floating into the native city like a drop of oil into water. The wild and colorful Komentani usually stared with disdain at the encroachment of squat, utilitarian buildings erected by the sober-faced, drab-dressed strangers. Humans and Komentani lived side-by-side, barely acknowledging one another, never intruding on the other's world.
But not today.
The energy of the unconstrained spring celebration broke through the shield carefully erected by space-faring human technology. It pierced Nere's defenses, trickling into the marrow of her bones like a thousand flashes of lightning, bringing every organ to life with unfamiliar sensations, as if she could smell colors and see scents. Her skin chafed, and the utilitarian bodysuit worn by all human expatriates suddenly seemed constricting and heavy. Tearing at the fastenings, she shed it like a snake’s skin grown too small...
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