Sunday, May 5, 2013


That's all that's in my brain right now: mush and slush and the zig-zaggy little wing-wangs of excitement that are left over like not-quite-duds on the 4th of July.

I will post something great in the morning. Maybe that piece about eating dinosaurs (how many people would a brontosaurus omelet feed? How many hamburgers could you make out of a stegosaur shank?). Or some squealing about my unyielding Beatles obsession (I sang my voice to shreds with Oh, Darling! last week, and First Wife only got me to sit still for hair prep by putting on Help!, the way she would with my 2-year-old godbaby).

Perhaps I will write some more about Lorelei, Once. I've officially begun working on the sequel (no title yet), but I may set it aside and work on a different, related, much shorter project. This whole matter with the Writers Voice contest has lit my fire, and I am all about work right now.

Maybe I'll discuss Shakespeare a little. I am an undiluted Shakespeare fangirl--I have a few of my favorite monologues memorized, and I'm going to work on a new one as soon as I pick which play to favor next. Someday, I may even pick a favorite monologue, and then I'm going to have it tattooed on my forearm so everyone can see that I am either a very dedicated literature nerd or a girl with tattoo money who wanted to look smarter and deeper than she actually is. Either way. SHAKESPEARE!

There's also the See vs. Touch matter I promised to talk about. And I really should draw something--the last serious art project I took on was the cover for Lorelei. It turned out great, but--in fact, here: enjoy!

Yeah. There's a lot of things I might write about, or do, tomorrow. But we'll see when we get there. For now, I am utterly spent. I'm going to sleep a bit before I dayjob tomorrow.

Peace out, Internet!


Saturday, May 4, 2013


So, I just got back from the Lorelei, Once Dinnerd Party. Which was essentially me cramming all of my Beta readers (in state) into the same room, pushing Lorelei themed food (which First Wife and Wifey made...I was going to feed everyone cheap pizza) at them, insisting they dress up (THEY DID IT WAS INCREDIBLE), and then basking in the glow of their DEFINITELY UNBIASED thoughts on the book.

My ego needs that much attention. It really does.

This was super awesome fun, and even though I have pestered all of them constantly since they first started reading, at the moment they said they were finished, and in the days leading up to the party, I still got to hear some new things.

Then, because I am a sucker and I luffles them all, I offered them each a single, no-holds barred yes/no question. They asked some of the bigger things, I answered, and I almost immediately regretted it.

The thing is, I hate telling people things. Hate it! I like implying things. I like leaving things vague so other people can make up their own minds. I LOVE it when people pick up on clues I've left and figure the mystery out on their own! But I hate giving out straight answers. It feels like I've noped out of some great game. "Sorry, gang, I can't play Clue tonight. I have to go organize my socks instead."

Also, it was not entirely fair...because most of the things I straight-answered are nearly reverse-meaninged when you put them in context. This is intentional. When they reach the points in future books where these matters are revealed in-universe, they will probably still be surprised. But now they have an expectation--one supposedly based in fact--and that takes a good deal of the fun away.

Boo! Hiss!

And on top of that...there is a very strong possibility that some of the secrets will change. Some of the best scenes--one of the pivotal conflicts, in fact--were deleted in the final draft of Lorelei. I didn't know they were going to be. I had absolute confidence in where the plot was going. But when I got to the point of actually writing things down...the story naturally unfolded in a different direction.

It is a fact that I have written some things with people (who became Betas) sitting a few feet away from me. I'm all a-giggle, clapping my hands and muttering that this is THE BEST scene, that they are gonna LURVE it...and they never get to read that scene. Because it gets hard-deleted.

The point of this post is that I have to apologize to my sweet Betas, and, in a way, retract whatever answers I gave about the future of Lorelei. Because it might change!

But I love that you have the questions, anyhow :) And I love you all for the magnificent, unyielding support you have offered me, and I am deeply grateful that you have joined me on this slapdash ride.

Thank you!


Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Writer's Voice

Dear Internet: I have been afforded the opportunity to take part in the glamorous competition known as The Writer's Voice. After absolutely no freaking out at all, because I am a cucumber of the cool variety (and also the most honest person you will ever meet) I set up this post as my audition. Please enjoy.


Dear Coaches,

She is nameless, she is ageless, and, like all sirens, she knows only the call: the means through which humans are drawn into her mother’s pond, and the means through which they are drowned. But after drifting through an existence with no knowledge or need of choice, something terrible has grown inside of her: sympathy. 

She does not know how or why, but she has lost the desire to claim human victims. Unwilling to fulfill her only purpose, she accepts a challenge set by the greatest power in her realm: if she can guide a troupe of lost humans through her forest home, she will have her own humanity restored to her.  But the forest breathes, preys, and wants the humans gone. If she cannot guide her wards to safety, the forest will strip them of their humanity and be done with it.

Her mortality is not all that is at stake. She finds herself charged with both nobility and rebellion: a torn royal family, and the banded rogues who oppose them. None of them are what they appear to be—the timid prince, the wild rebels—all carry within them the turbulent undertow that has led to revolution and warfare, far beyond the borders of her haunted home.  

She means to remain neutral to their squabbles, but even an unbeating heart may be led astray. One of the rebels names her, speaks to her as if she were one of them, and makes her feel as if she might already be living again. Her surprising affection for him proves more dangerous than the tides of war—to favor one group means to alienate the other.

Should she fail, two nations will be left floundering. But how can she guide two groups that have already chosen their paths?

Lorelei, Once is a YA Fantasy, complete at 98,000 words.

I have no published works notched in my belt, but I come from the generation that is prepared for the zombie apocalypse (whilst still being terrified of spiders). Except I’m not even terrified of spiders. I just think they’re rude. 

Thank you for your time and consideration, 

Jenni Brown (writing as J Larkin)


I scarcely remember my final day of life. I do not recall how the weather was turning. I do not remember what I was wearing, or if I was running to or from something terrible. It was so long ago, it might as well have never happened. My last living moments are phantoms; faded against the dawn of now, they tease at my memory, only resurfacing when I have given up hope of ever fully recapturing them. 

This day, I could not stop the thoughts of that forgotten time from swimming around in my head.

I kicked away from the trunk of the tree that grew through the pond, pushing myself in a slow line through the stems of the blue lilies. My robes—gray and flowing, like those of my brothers and sisters who shared the pond—floated behind and around and above me. The scarlet strands of my hair, which should have fallen away and dissolved decades ago, drifted across my vision. I came to a stop, settling on the silt floor of the pond. Just above me lay the man who had arrived three months ago.

Tangled in the lily roots, his fingers remained frozen in a desperate, claw-like grasp. His skin was puffy. His clothes were starting to mold. Humans last a while once they’ve joined us, but he was nearing that ripe moment when our mother, Saictast, would emerge from the cavern beneath the pond and claim his corpse.