The struggle is real…but here we are.

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Sup!

I’ve been a bad kid and haven’t written anything in what feels like ages. The new year has not been kind to my motivation or work ethic, so I’m slowly getting back into it. I told myself I would participate in #ThursThreads again, so I figured this was a good jumping start. Now that my serials are kind of in limbo, though, I won’t be using those for prompts – I’m just going to write willy-nilly. Maybe this is the start of a new one. We’ll see where the prompts take us.

Prompt: “You should come with a warning sound.”

The piece below is a continuation (kinda) of this one I wrote a while back.

Enjoy!


When Nate offered to help, I wasn’t sure he meant it. Now that we’re meeting for the first time since our arrangement, I only half-expect him to show. But when I round the corner of the parking garage, I spot his car at the end of the aisle. Nate leans casually against the hood, looking at his phone. Still, it could be a trap. He could have alerted my father, so I’m careful, ready my gun, and stick to the shadows, doing my best to stay quiet.

It’s midnight and dead in the parking garage – the tiniest sound would be deafening.

I come up behind him, but he doesn’t move. When I clear my throat, he nearly drops his phone. The sight of him fumbling to catch it would have made me laugh if our lives weren’t in danger.

“Christ, Selah – you should come with a warning sound.” He catches his phone before it meets the ground. “How long have you-?”

“That was my warning sound. And long enough to think this was a mistake.” I re-holster the gun and cross my arms.

“What? No – I said I’d help, so I will.” He pockets the phone. “I’m here, aren’t I?” There’s a plea in his eyes – he’s scared, but that fear makes him sincere.

I sigh. “Fine. What do you have for me?”

He walks around the car to open the trunk before reaching inside. The file he hands me is thicker than I expected.

“Enough to get us started.”


Be sure to check out the other stories!

As always, think happy thoughts 🙂

 

 

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Starting the new year…

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Happy 2018!

I know, it’s a bit belated, but I just got back from vacation. The worst part of getting back from vacation, I think, is the readjustment period. As much as I struggle with motivation on a daily basis, it’s a million times worse when I’m trying to get my brain back in work mode after a month-long vacation.

But anyway, that aside, I thought I’d make a resolution post. Writing my goals for 2018 down might make them more likely to come true, so here goes!

  1. Read more! I have a whole list of books to read (see pic), both indie and not, and I’m going to be doubling down on my effort this year. Maybe I’ll actually make my Goodreads challenge. (Ha!)
  2. Review more! This goes for the indie books I’ll be reading. My reviews will go up over on OWSInk.com, so keep an eye out for those and the reviews written by the rest of the staff/our readers.
  3. Write more! I ended off the year pretty prolific, if I do say so myself. NaNoWriMo 2017 saw the full rewrite of Secondhand Soul and energy from that jump-started a rewrite of A Vampire’s Bride that I intend to finish by the end of February. If I keep up this pacing, all my serials (minus Provisional Freedom) will be at novel/novella length by the end of this year, and maybe I can ride that motivation wave all the way through Withered Legacy, my eternal nemesis.
  4. Edit! Can’t just be satisfied with those rewrites! Secondhand Soul is ripe for editing, as well as some other works I’d like to see published. This is one thing I need to be more disciplined about and really should dedicate more time to.
  5. Get back on my health kick! I was pretty good about consistently exercising last year, as well as starting to eat better. I fell off toward the end of the year, so here’s to picking that up again (after I get over a stomach bug that’s had me in its clutches for almost a week now).

I probably have more goals, but those are the Top 5. Here’s to an awesome, fun-filled, and productive 2018!

As always, think happy thoughts!

On the other side of #NaNoWriMo2017

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NaNo-2017-Winner-Twitter-Header

Happy December!

For those of you still hanging around despite my lack of activity, I thought I’d give an update. Also – check out my new look! I got bored of the other theme, so I went for something a little more stable.

Did you participate in NaNoWriMo this year? I thought about not doing it but changed my mind at the last second – that turned out to be an awesome idea!

This year for NaNoWriMo, I decided to take on a rewrite of one of my serials, Secondhand Soul. If you’ve poked around here in the last couple of years, you might have read some of it. As of this month I’ve taken it off the site, since I’ve rewritten it and intend to polish this draft into publishable material. Instead of the full serial, I’ll just have an excerpt of the story up. It’s the first time in years that I have an actual “finished” draft of something book-length (57,283 words!!) , so I’m pretty excited! As much as I wish this was news about Withered Legacy, I’m happy to just be writing regularly again.

Eventually, I intend to do this to all the stories here. The other one in the middle of a rewrite right now is A Vampire’s Bride. This one might take a little longer, as that story isn’t quite “finished” yet on the site, and I’m re-writing it by hand to try something different. It might still get the odd update here and there on the site while I rewrite it, if inspiration strikes.

I know – my writing process is all over the place. I don’t recommend it.

So wish me luck!

As always, think happy thoughts!

Menace – a return to #ThursThreads

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I live!

Sort of. Like last year, I’m participating in NaNoWriMo. My writing habits in general have also changed which means less will pop up here and more will happen behind the scenes. Alas, such is life when I have trouble keeping up with everything I want to do. Still, every once in a while I’ll throw something up here and today is one of those times!

But first, a few announcements.

If you haven’t read my serials yet, but you want to, now’s a good time. They’ll be coming down soon as I get their rewrites done. A Vampire’s Bride is four hand-written chapters in and Secondhand Soul is my NaNoWriMo project. These’ll be the first to go down as I try to make them something more. You’ve been warned!

Like I mentioned above, I’ve been doing some by-hand writing. This means stuff that won’t see the light of day for a long time. I think I’ve succeeded in what I set out to do when I started putting snippets up here. I’ve got work to do on the writing that exists on here, but if I keep holding myself to having to post it here, I don’t think I’ll ever get it done. Thus, you won’t be seeing much of my writing on here outside of what’s already there. I do want to eventually return to book reviews and movie/show commentary here, but that won’t be for a while.

Onto today’s piece!

Prompt: “I’m a danger.

~~~

Is it bad I enjoy the feeling of bones breaking against my fist? It’s as satisfying as stepping on a particularly crunchy leaf. I don’t tell Max that – they would disapprove, despite their support of my newfound love for vigilante justice.

I drop the latest scumbag to the cement, releasing him from the collar of his shirt. Somewhere down the alleyway, his victim’s hurried footsteps echo as she struggles to run away. She hasn’t noticed he’s no longer chasing her, but I don’t bother to let her know. Max, like always, will take care of it and make sure she’s okay. When they show up a few minutes later, it’s after they’ve seen to the younger girl. Unlike the first girls I saved, this was just a kid – no older than maybe fourteen.

Max brought her back in their arms, unconscious.

“She fainted at the end of the alleyway when she realized it was a dead end. I don’t think she saw you.”

“She didn’t.” I kicked the guy on the ground, turning him over. “She was too scared of this asshole.”

Max grimaces at the state of the man’s face. It’s hardly recognizable after I got done with it. A broken nose, some missing teeth, and eyes so swollen they were shut and would be for a long time. I couldn’t help but smile.

“You’re a menace.” But they smile, too. Never thought I’d see an angel smiling at violence.

“I’m a danger only to jerks like this one.”

~~~

And so that’s how Paola spends her time now – kicking ass and taking names.

As always, think happy thoughts!

A conversation

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Happy Saturday!

Another brief bit today, inspired by a prompt I saw on Facebook.

Prompt:

“Who are you?”

“Demon to some. Angel to others.”

Enjoy!

~~~

“Who are you?”

“Demon to some. Angel to others.”

“And what are you to me?” I try to keep my voice steady. It’s hard when I can’t even see who I’m speaking to.

“That depends. Why are you here?” The voice suddenly comes from behind me. A chill runs down my back.

“I was told this cave grants wishes.”

“Who do you think does the granting?” There’s a smirk in the voice. My eyes are still trying to adjust, but I think I can see a shadow across the chamber. “So what would you like? Fame, fortune, love?”

“Revenge.” Even now, my anger boils deep beneath my fear.

“Very well. A demon, then.”

~~~

I have no idea where this is going but I enjoyed writing it.

As always, think happy thoughts!

Snake eyes

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Happy Friday!

This’ll be a quick one. In an effort to get myself to write, I dug through the WritingPrompts subreddit and found this guy:

You work as a volunteer at a local zoo. One day, whilst cleaning handprints of the snake enclosure, you realise one of the handprints is on the inside of the cage.

And so here’s my response!

~~~

As a kid, I always loved the zoo. I dreamed of the day I might get to work at one. In all my dreams, it never struck me that I’d be at the zoo after closing. Do you have any idea how unnerving zoos are after hours? There’s only a handful of us left this late, and in a zoo this large, I almost never see anyone else until I leave. The only thing that kept me around was the thought that they might consider hiring me after I finished my degree. Until then, I volunteered cleaning exhibits.

Of all the exhibits, the creepiest by far had to be the reptiles. As a self-professed animal lover, I acknowledge that all animals are important and beautiful, but that doesn’t stop snakes from freaking me out. There’s just something about them that gives me the heebie jeebies. So I usually left their enclosures for last. The huge emerald boa at the center of the room in particular got me every time. I always found myself having to do a little pep talk before getting close to the glass.

Today, the visitors were particularly awful. There were literal food smudges and grime on the glass. Unfortunately for me, that meant really getting in there to make sure it was spotless for the next day. After my five minute pep-talk, I approached the glass and got to work.

Once I got into it, it was almost easy to ignore the snake on the other side of the glass as it watched me work. After about an hour of scrubbing, I got stuck on a particularly stubborn hand print. Usually the hand prints were child-sized (couldn’t expect children to heed the ‘keep off the glass’ signs) but this one was a little bigger than mine. I was on it for fifteen minutes before I realized why it wasn’t coming off.

It was on the other side.

“What the hell?” People weren’t allowed in the enclosure. All the cleaning on the inside was done from above the large tank, without anyone ever actually stepping foot inside. My mind went into over-drive, picturing the worst case scenario. No longer caring about the proximity of the snake, I pressed close to the glass, trying to narrow down if it looked like someone had been in there, while pulling out my walkie-talkie. “This is Sarah. Has anyone reported someone falling into the boa tank?”

“What? No. Why?”

“There’s a hand-” The boa lunged at the glass, right where my face was. I dropped the walkie talkie as I fell on my back.

“Sarah? Sarah!”

I wanted to respond, but I couldn’t move. While I’d always felt like the animals watched me, I’d never actually seen this kind of focus in any of them. The snake almost looked like it was glaring at me. Its gaze was so intense I was frozen in place. And then the damn thing actually spoke.

“Sssshhhhh.” It would have been easy to tell myself it was a hiss. I might have been able to convince myself, too, if it didn’t start changing shape before my eyes. It pressed against the glass, stretching up to the ceiling of the tank before it started to fill out. As the body grew thicker, it developed a human silhouette. Arms formed against the torso until it pulled them away, the hands pressed against the glass. One of them went right over the handprint. Before my brain could really register what happened, there was a naked, green-tinted woman on the other side of the glass. While she looked mostly human, she still looked at me with snake eyes.

“Sarah, was it?” She drags out the letter ‘s’ as she speaks, giving her already haunting voice a creepier resonance.

“Y-Yes?”

“Be a dear and don’t tell them.” Her eyes dart to the walkie, where Jeremy is still calling my name. I scramble to grab it.

“Hey yeah, I’m fine. One of the snakes spooked me. That’s all. I’ll be done here soon.” I rushed through the words, but he didn’t question it. Everyone knew I was terrified of the snakes.

As I talked on the walkie, the snake woman walked across the enclosure to grab a large leaf. After fogging the glass with her breath, she wiped at the handprint. “My apologies. I’ll try to keep it cleaner in here.”

~~~

Snakes always creeped me out.

As always, think happy thoughts!

Ambrosia: A Poetry Anthology

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Ambrosia-ebookTitle: Ambrosia
Genre: Poetry
Synopsis:

*Delight in the nectar of the gods. Feed your mind with Ambrosia*

Whispers to the gods are like honey from a poet’s lips. When several poets raise their voices together, it’s a sacred feast of memories and dreams. Poetry is divine food for the soul, full of emotional and celestial feeling. Join us in our longing, our pain and passion, heartache, logic and insanity, fear, faith, confusion, hope, unity, solitude, daily life, political strife, and more. 

From the creative minds of Eric Keizer, A.L. Mabry, Sam DeLoach, Alyssa Trivett, Mello Sakia, Stacy Overby, Phillip Matthew Roberts, Veronica Falletta and Stephanie Ayers. 

The Poets of this project have partnered with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and all royalties will be donated to this charity.

My Review:

I’ll preface this the way I preface all my poetry reviews: I’ve never been a huge fan of poetry. It’s not really something I read for fun. That being said, this is yet another poetry collection I’ll find myself coming back to now and again.

From the first poem, to the last, you can feel the raw emotion behind each and every piece. Rather than present one large picture, like the last poetry collection I read, this one presents an array of beauty, longing, pain, and every other emotion you could think of. Not every poem deals with vast emotion – many focus on quieter moments, small snippets of a life not difficult to imagine. I found myself settling into these poems the way I settle into a favorite novel. Like a warm blanket at the end of a long day, if that makes sense.

It’s not only the emotion behind the words that make this a great read, either. The technical aspects contribute just as much to the experience. Many of the poets play with format in a way that increases the enjoyment of the work. Some of the poems I had to read out loud, as they were lyrical and begged to be actually heard.

Like I said, this is one I’ll be coming back to every few months. If you like poetry, don’t miss out on this great collection! Not to mention, proceeds are going to a great cause.

As always, think happy thoughts!