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!

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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!

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!

Looking ahead

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Hello! Bet you didn’t think you’d hear from me again today.

So I’m rethinking my entire website. I’m considering taking the serials down for a while, and coming up with a better look/feel to everything. Not to mention I have lofty ambitions for The Deal and A Vampire’s Bride. Both those stories have real potential to become at least novellas, and that’s not a project I’ll work on unless I start rewriting them now. And I want to make Secondhand Soul and Provisional Freedom more cohesive with each other. Now that I have tons of material for both of them (aka what amounts to a shitty first draft), I can tell the stories semi-properly. But I’ll need to rewrite those, too. I think the last couple of weeks of constant writing have gotten me into a rhythm I can maintain. Or at least proved to myself that I can, in fact, force myself to write everyday.

And so I want this to be more than a dumping ground for my orphaned ideas/crappy stream of consciousness type of writing I’ve been putting out there recently. And to do that I need to restructure. A lot. I want to polish and expand upon what I’ve written to give a cohesive story on here. If that means I can only do one at a time, then so be it.

That’s not to say I’ll stop doing writing prompts responses! Because those will never stop. I do think that my flash writing needs work, though, and I need to learn to tell a “complete” story with flash instead of just coming up with the starts of new ones.

On top of that stuff I really want to go back to regularly reviewing books. And maybe even TV shows. And to do that I need to place more focus on reading. To read more, I need to have fewer commitments on my plate. So we’ll see how this goes.

Change is good and coming soon!

So stay tuned for that!

As always, think happy thoughts 🙂

Flickering Sun

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Hello!

So the piece below was inspired partially by the eclipse a few weeks ago and by a writing prompt I saw around the same time. Basically, one day the sun starts to flicker. What happens?

I started this story with the hopes of entering it in a contest but lost track of time and missed the deadline. Not to mention I didn’t finish writing it. I’m putting it up now because I don’t think I’ll have time for my fifteen minute writing burst today but I don’t want to lose momentum. So instead I’ve edited this short piece.

Enjoy!

~~~

No one thought the sun’s death would be so slow, or breathtaking.  At least, that’s what we thought was happening when the sun began to flicker. I slept in that morning, and when I woke up I thought it was just one of those days when the passing clouds would fade the light in and out. It wasn’t until after my morning coffee that I really looked outside and saw it was more than just clouds. The longer it went on, the darker those brief moments. Looking up at a cloudless sky, I nearly dropped my coffee when I saw it – a brief blink. The sun disappeared – for several seconds – before reappearing and nearly blinding me with the sudden light. Below me, my shadow followed suit, in and out of existence with the sun.

The air stood still, as if holding its breath. In the darkness of those flickering moments I could only hear my own heartbeat, my own breathing. For the first time in my entire life, it was total silence. With the light went all natural sound. That is, until the panic started.

My phone rang, cutting through one of the longer periods of darkness.

“Blake – are you…this?” Her words tried to cut through static.

“Ana? Can you hear me?”

“…can’t…mom and dad…home…” I couldn’t catch more than a few words before the call dropped. When I tried to call my sister back, all I got was a busy tone.

Before I could really analyze what I was doing, I packed a bag with my essentials and booked it out of the apartment. If I hurried, I could reach my parents in a few hours. Assuming my sister had the same plan, I’d meet her there.

Outside, chaos reigned. People ran scared, clutching their children and belongings. Those without either shoved the others out of the way as crowds attempted to flee – though no one actually knew what we were trying to escape. A fire had already started in a nearby storefront, lighting the area when the sun didn’t. By the time I reached my bike, I was battered and bruised. I wasn’t sure how I’d be able to drive with the intermittent light, but I started the bike anyway, driven by instinct.

~~~

And there’s that! Maybe someday down the line I can extend this to be a short story instead of just a scene. We’ll see.

As always, think happy thoughts!

An update!

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Happy Friday!

So I’m pretty awful, I know. Last night was the first time since my last post that I actually sat down to get any writing done. Some of that is due to writer’s block, but most of it is due to plain laziness and a complete and total lack of motivation. Not to mention it’s hard to sit down to write when I could be playing with a puppy instead.

Just look at her!

Ada

Ada aka The Potato (check her out on Twitter!)

So as you can see I have extremely valid (read: bs) reasons for why I’ve been absent. Anyway, here’s hoping to slowly easing my way back. As usual, my comeback will be due Our Write Side’s prompts.

And speaking of prompts, check out the Flash Train’s new incarnation!

Keep a lookout for a prompt response later today!

As always, think happy thoughts!