Monday, December 31, 2012


Guys, guys, the publisher told me that book 1 of the Touched series: The Sword, will come out the latest at mid-February. Mid-February, guys, MID-FEBRUARY!!! AT THE LATEST!!!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Something Wicked This Way Comes

I have this, I guess you can say, condition that makes it necessary for me to hole myself inside a room, completely alone with no contact whatsoever from other human beings.

Sometimes the need comes slowly, other times it comes so suddenly I just immediately shut down. 

This time, it comes slowly, like storm clouds gathering in the sky, ready to unleash thunder and lightning. 

I'm not kidding. 

The signs are easy to detect; I get easily annoyed, easily angered, feeling the compulsion to hit just about everybody and everything. The slightest sound becomes way too loud and irritating, especially human voices. Just a simple sound of the human voice could raise my blood pressure...which is why I always have headphones around my head when I go out--cause people tend to leave me alone. Most of the time I don't even turn the music on. 

The filter I have in my brain, that picks out things I should or shouldn't. The easy going demeanor and tolerance I have for other people's shenanigans...yeah, that would basically be GONE.

Sometimes, it feels like there's another me rising beneath the surface; someone who says and does whatever the hell she wants without regarding other people or consequences. 

This is usually the time where I lock myself inside my house and not go out. At all. Usually, it takes days. The longest I stayed in this state of mind was three weeks...where I do not want and do not speak to another person, at least not face to face or even through the phone.

Seriously, not even my friends. Or my family.

Yes, I'm fucking serious.

One other thing though, when I'm being like this, I also dislike being touched, which isn't at all weird because I'm not really a touchy feeling kind of person in the first place, but someone touches me when I'm in this condition; that person will be in danger of losing a hand. My temper just spikes without warning. 

Anyway, this self-induced isolation is easy to do when I was living in my own house way over at the other island...but not so much where I'm currently am, surrounded by family. And it's not really something I talk to my family about, this'thing', because although my family knows I like my space and I'm not particularly talkative, touchy feely and/or social, they don't know to the extent of  how this 'thing' makes me feel. 

I'm not going to label it as depression, 'cause I don't go inside my room to wallow and despair, no, I usually do things, like read, cook, clean, do laundry, or write or draw. I don't lie in bed and stop living, although I do lie in bed and sort out my feelings--because oddly I also have this really weird delayed reaction when it comes to serious things that happens in my life--and try to exorcise this twisted knot inside me. 

It's kind of like when I go to a party or an event and usually after a while I just have to find some spot or dark corner where I can be alone--just with a longer time-span.

So far, my family has been kind of good in leaving me alone (sort of), but, we'll see. 

Oh, and it's also funny that the 'thing' is happening so close to January NaNoWriMo.

Huh, so because I was kind of curious whether other people have experienced this kind of 'thing', I googled it and found this in Yahoo Answers:

Light touch (including a hand on my arm, pat on the back, gentle caress, etc) creates a sensation somewhat akin to the hairs raising on the back of my neck, except that it radiates out from the point of contact across my whole body. My chest tightens up and it becomes hard to breathe. I experience the intense urge to hit the offending hand (or other limb) away* as hard and fast as possible. It feels like some sort of hostile invasion. I have no particular aversion to germs, it's the actual sensation of being touched that I find unpleasant, even from people I know well. Same thing with hair or clothes accidentally brushing against my body.

Unexpected touch is just as bad, if not worse, because I have no way to mentally prepare myself for it in advance.

Interestingly enough, although light touch is abhorrent, being grabbed or held very tightly (to the point where an NT might find it uncomfortable or somewhat painful) is quite pleasant,
 ...the words in italics is exactly how I feel. I've never froze up or experienced panic attacks before but I do feel...not disgust but I cringe away from the touch, same goes when I walk in a crowd, I dislike having even the clothes of people touching me.

The thing is, the woman that answered this has Asperger Syndrome and I don't think I have it. Or maybe a mild case of it? Is that even possible?

I just have this aversion for touch, especially when I'm in hibernate mode, even from family or friends. 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

New fantasy novel+artwork

I've always wanted to write a fusion of novel and artwork, not quite like graphic novels or visual novel but, a novel, with some artwork thrown in between the pages. And from all the ideas in my idea books, I've actually found one that would set a challenge and give freedom to create for the artist.

Anyway, CC is going to work with me on this one. The book isn't written yet, so it's a work in progress for both of us. 

Here are her works that drew me to her as an artist and that just fits the new fantasy novel. I love how Hayao Miyazaki she can be with her colors and whimsy. 

Isn't it gorgeous? We're currently discussing which styles we'd use and world-building and character descriptions. It's going so well and very fun!

I love when I find new people that I can talk these things with. You can see her other works at her deviantart site. 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


So, the story is, editor reread final manuscript of The Sword and felt that the original cover--

--which is this one:

--suits Leah perfectly.

And, of course, I agreed with her, so it's decided that we're going to use the original covers:

Monday, December 24, 2012

How to Deal with Bad Reviews

I just realized that when my book gets out, I will have more reviews than I've ever dealt with. And I'm certain that not all of them would be favorable. 

The thing is, I've never had a bad review other than the generally bad-tempered ones like "you suck", "this is lame" or, and I'm quoting word for word here, "meh". To be honest,  I've never considered comments like this as reviews because, well, they're not. 

There was another review that said, "I read all the reviews that you've gotten and it's mostly good but most of the stories here have good reviews. They give it to everybody" which confused me. Basically he or she was saying that I shouldn't get too much of a big head over my good reviews which really reeked of jealousy.

There are constructed criticism once or twice, but mostly about grammars and typos, which is cool. 

But as soon as I get published, now, that's where all the wackos usually come out, especially since my book plays with religion and angels/demons. 

Now, I've developed a thick skin through the years, but I have a feeling that I should grow a few more layers before my book is out.

I think I can manage. 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Book Talk: The Lynburn's Legacy's Jared Lynburn

“She’s funny and she’s—she’s kind.” 
-Jared about Kami in The Spring Before I Met You 

At first I didn’t really get what made a catch appear in my throat just with that short sentence from Jared. Then I realized it was the word “kind”, how he used the word ‘kind’ to describe her. The way he hesitates to find the words.

It’s something that I’ve been noticing lately, that when we describe people that we know, we use the words ‘funny, smart, witty, okay, adorable’ when we actually like the person, but think about it, we rarely use the word ‘kind’.


Because kindness is something that you take for granted, something that, for fortunate people-I suppose I am one of those people-are treated with kindness by family members and friends. It is something that you expect, so when I’m being treated in a respectful and kind manner, I don’t really take note of it anymore, unless I am expecting something the opposite or when I am meeting someone for the first time.

People who do, are usually the ones who are in short supply of kind people in their lives.

So, Jared describing Kami as kind is heartbreaking for me. For a teenager no less, to appreciate kindness in such a way…it makes my heart go ‘waaaa’ and I just want to hug him.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Wolf At The Door: Short story: Werewolf Tea Party

For all of you who had nagged at me for writing something about ConnorxMey before he was Lycaon and she was Waerloga. Enjoy this short story. And more will come!!

Wolf At The Door: Short story: Werewolf Tea Party: Connor eyed the eight year old girl who looked dainty and delicate in her white lace dress; looking as fresh and innocent as a n...

Living Back Home and Latest Publishing News

You know what comes with big families? BIG PILES OF LAUNDRY.

Well, I really can't complain. It's not like I do the laundry everyday, in fact my brother does and all I have to do is wash my own laundry. But something came up so I had to do it. *shrug*

I think most of my problem with doing it is the boredom. The way I have to wait for it to be over. For reasons unclear to me, the house does not use automatic washer but the old school one where you actually have to fill it up with water (with a faucet but still).

Anyway, not complaining. No sirree. 

Writing is doing horribly. Something about coming home kind of killed my drive. My imagination is still off the charts and I have a new book idea to prove it but....probably because of the 24 hours internet access though. 

I guess that's just something I have to get over and deal. SNAP OUT OF IT, PUNY HUMAN!

Other than that, life is pretty great. At least I'm not starving and so far, family drama has not succeeded in bowling me over. So, yey, for silver linings.

Anyway, PUBLISHING NEWS, editor said that they're working on setting the layout watchamacallit. No news about the covers though.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Wolf At The Door: The Wolf series song.

Wolf At The Door: The Wolf series song.: I was browsing youtube for new songs and I found this band. LOVE THEM. And hey, a lot of their songs fits my books from atmosphere to lyric...

Friday, December 14, 2012

Rurouni Kenshin live action movie?

At first I was afraid, I was petrified...and then I watched the trailer and now I just WANT IT!!!!

Rurouni Kenshin is one of my favorite animes, it hits all my sweet spots; family, heroism, philosophy, political intrigue, sword fights, badassness, bromance, twisted has it all.

I remember always waiting for the clock to strike 3 so I can watch it; lying on the couch with my cat Shadow on my chest. I remember trying to figure out what makes Kenshin tick, half-amused and half-awed by Kaoru's naivete about the ways of the sword, snickering at Saito's hair, enjoying Megumi and Sannosuke's bickering, at Yahiko and Saya's cute romance-to-be.

I remembered most of all bawling my eyes out when Kenshin had to say goodbye to Kaoru ( I'm a big KaoruxKenshin shipper, okay?)

And I love Aoshi's misguided understanding of the word strength, of Hanya's gentle concern for their Oniwabanshu family, of Misao's spunk and her obvious crush on Aoshi (yes, I am a shipper of AoshixMisao).

And Seta Soujirou in Jupongatana, well, I think that's his name, with the insane Shishio.

And...and...well, I just love it so much okay?

I remember whining to the teacher when we had an afterschool class, trying to persuade him to take the lesson to the library so we can all watch it on the TV. And laughing when the teacher also said that he had also wanted to watch it but he can't because he had to be stuck with us.

And most of all I remembered the super awesome sword fight between Kenshin and Saito!!!


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Publishing News and Reminders

I thought since Touched is in the publishing process that I update on the news I got from publishes about where you can get Touched. Like I mentioned before, the trilogy will be first available as ebooks, with an epub format. We will also be searching for foreign publishers so we can get it on print. Meanwhile, agent have ideas about translating it into Indonesian for the purpose of Indonesian market.

Anyway, editor mentioned that Digital Mizan, my publisher has some ebookstore partners: Qbaca by Telkom on Android/google play platform, wayang force on appstore, scoop on android and appstore, indobooks on android, also we are on negotiation process with , and some ebookstore in thailand and Vietnam. They are also considering and reviewing the terms from Amazon.

Hardcopy of manuscript has finally arrived in my editor's hands and now I'm waiting for news about the covers. 

Since we're waiting, I thought I'll refresh your memory (and mine) with the early chapters of the book and dreamcasts. I will also upload some snippets along with a playlist. 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Publishing News, COVER FIASCO, and artwork

So, TOUCHED publishing progress news: 

Hardcopy of manuscript was sent to publisher and we've discussed about the covers. I was thinking, since Stacey K. Wall had done such a great job in turning my ideas into three great covers--

--we might as well just used hers! Look at it, isn't it awesome???

And editor has agreed but then one of my readers, @allyinthemoon (and fellow writer) stumbled upon something that shattered my dream of having such awesome covers. What did she find? 

Well, this:

Do you see it?

YUP, it's the same girl on it!!!!

Evidentally, we got our model picture at the same place (which is completely legal and fine since we got from a site that if you buy the printing rights, you can use it) and I figured no one would even notice but--

--I really don't want a mess with it, you know, especially since this would be my first published novel... I told my editor and she told me that it would be fine, we could just make a different cover.

BUT I DON'T WANT A DIFFERENT COVER, because these covers are like, BAM, perfect in every way already (Stacey, I love you!!!) and notice how it had an overall theme.

So, my editor said, we could just change the models but how would Stacey feel?

So, I told Stacey the problem and I ask her whether it was okay for us to use her implementation of my idea, and change the models--she will get her credit of course--and she said yes (again Stacey, I am blessed with having meeting you). So, we're currently in the process of making the covers.

That's all for publishing news.

On other news, hey, #TOUCHED art. 

What happened with this is that I befriended CC, a person on facebook who was a reader of my story (no matter what people say, facebook is an awesome place to me...although Tumblr is where I find soulmates) and I saw that she'd been doing wonderful sketches and artwork and I was like, hey, you fancy doing some artwork for TOUCHED?

And she was like, YEAH!!

So, I gave her two scenes to work with and then we were like, "GAME ON, BITCHES!"

I gave her this JustinxLeah scene to do her magic to:

When I blinked I found myself on Justin’s lap, his arms trembling around me, his breath hot on my neck as he breathed me in. The pain inside my chest disappeared with every ticking second and the pounding inside my head was replaced with our heartbeat; fast and strong and steady.

His palm pressed against my lower back while his other hand curved around my shoulders and he held me like I was a touchstone. His touchstone. 

Right now I was his connection to himself and to the world. The urge to reach out to him, to rub his back and comfort him was strong but I kept myself rigid against him. I was doing this because I had no choice and a small part of me couldn’t stand to see him or anyone in pain. And he was in pain, I could feel it now. It was the displaced feeling I felt times a billion. He was so lost, so lost without me and no matter how much I resent him for putting me in this position, I couldn’t let anyone feel that way when I could do something about it. 

He held on to me, not just with his hands but with everything inside him, everything that made him what he was. I could feel it like a blanket, a web wrapping around me, absorbing me. There was a hole inside him too and he filled it with everything about me; of how I smelled, how I smiled, how I talked, how I laughed and how I fought. Of everything he had come to know about me, of my scars and my loneliness and my pain. Of how I looked like in his eyes and how I felt against him. These little simple facts he catalogued and fed it into the emptiness inside him, using them to piece himself back together.

So I let him touch me, let him hold me, let him press his face against the curve of my neck but my two hands remained in my lap.

“Thank you.” He whispered against my shoulder. 

My shoulders twitched against his arm. “Sure.”

“Just give me a minute.”

“Take your time.” I said and focused my eyes on the spice rack above the stove instead of the calm feeling of belonging that I felt. 

And resented it.

Copyright © 2012 by D.F. Jules

And then she came up with this:

I love this black and white version because it worked more with the scene, it has an almost menacing atmosphere because of the smudges at the background, contrasting greatly with the softness of his expression and the gentleness in the way he was holding her. It even almost looked like he was protecting her from the darkness behind them (or inside him *evil smile) and that worked.

Granted, the scene was supposed to be a little more intense and desperate for Justin, be fair, I did let the artist to have free rein and I was intrigued by how she interpreted this scene.
In this color version there is a lot more gentleness because of the colors, and it looked more alive than the black and white ver. but what really sold me about this one was the shattered glass all around them; it was the perfect way to convey how Justin was feeling. How he was all broken up inside and was very vulnerable and delicate and the only thing that could save him was Leah. 

And most of all, I loved that she didn't draw Leah holding him back, because she's not supposed to. 


You can see her other work on HER SITE!

Monday, December 3, 2012

I'm back home!!

So, traveled back home to Sumatra with only one hour of sleep.

Never a good idea.

But I have arrived safely, and my room is gorgeous.

Family drama has not raised its ugly head, yet. So all is good.

My room is really quiet and cool so I'm pleased. I can imagine some improvements, like a closet for my clothes and shelves for my books but I think I can steal something from one of the lower rooms.

I can also see myself writing peacefully here. *yawn* need my sleep now. Night night.

Saturday, December 1, 2012


So, finally received the proofreads and am now doing final rechecking/editing before publishing and was surprised when my proofreader said, "feel free to ignore my edits when it comes to your characters thoughts, she has a way with words". 

At first I wondered about it, I mean, if I could just ignore you than what good is proofreading for but then after I reread my work (I have moved on to two other books so the 'sound' of this book was kind of a vague rememberence for me) and understood what she meant. 

Because the book is in 1st person POV, the whole thing runs on my character's words; on her dialogs and how she chooses her words and how she says them. So, what she's saying is that I have a right to use wonky grammar and weird structures because hey, people don't talk like dictionaries. 


I can finally use that as an excuse and will be justified. It got me thinking though, how much bad grammar could I justify with this excuse? 


Not too much I think.