#100WordChallenge, we meet again

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Sometimes you just need to scroll through your own content for inspiration. Today, I was scrolling through, trying to jog some memories, when I came across one of my posts for this word prompt series. Then I realized it’s Wednesday, and the new challenge for the week should be up.

This has always been among my favorite prompt series – I perform my best word acrobatics under tight word counts. So here we are!

Prompt: Delicacy


As a human, I never realized how breakable I was. It wasn’t until after I died that I understood how fragile my existence had truly been. Now, tasked with protecting everyone left behind from unspeakable horrors, I have to harness a delicacy I’ve never possessed. I barreled through life tripping over my own feet. I’d always relied on my stubbornness, my brute force of will, what I saw as resilience.

But that won’t work here. The smallest mistake, tiniest miscalculation, and I’ll be the horror they have to worry about.

And there’s no one around to protect them from me.


That took a darker turn than I was expecting. Not to mention that I did not go into this intending to write something in the realm of Withered Legacy. But what can I say? When Lexia takes over, she does not let go.

As always, think happy thoughts!

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Review: Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet

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A wild review appears!

It’s been a long time since I’ve done reviews of any kind on here, so I want to get back to it. I’ve been really good about my reading goals for the year so far (shooting for at least 52), and I’m excited about how much reading I’ve been getting done, so I want to share that excitement with you guys while simultaneously attempting to revive this blog. Maybe after I get into a regular rhythm, I’ll open up to submissions so I can get more indie writers in my life.


Book: Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet
Author: Charlie N. Holmberg

Blurb:

Maire is a baker with an extraordinary gift: she can infuse her treats with emotions and abilities, which are then passed on to those who eat them. She doesn’t know why she can do this and remembers nothing of who she is or where she came from.

When marauders raid her town, Maire is captured and sold to the eccentric Allemas, who enslaves her and demands that she produce sinister confections, including a witch’s gingerbread cottage, a living cookie boy, and size-altering cakes.

During her captivity, Maire is visited by Fyel, a ghostly being who is reluctant to reveal his connection to her. The more often they meet, the more her memories return, and she begins to piece together who and what she really is—as well as past mistakes that yield cosmic consequences.

From the author of The Paper Magician series comes a haunting and otherworldly tale of folly and consequence, forgiveness and redemption.

My Review:

This was an odd book. I picked it up because I recently read Smoke & Summons and absolutely loved it! So I wanted something by the same author to hold me over while I wait for Myths & Mortals. That brought me to this one.

To be honest, it was a little slow and underwhelming for me, maybe because I loved Smoke & Summons so much. A lot happened around the main character, Maire, but it never felt like she was the one driving the story. I’m sure that was intentional, since she spends most of the story as a slave and it’s more of an introspective piece that examines her past. Still, based on the blurb I’d expected something with more action, and I was a bit disappointed at having figured out exactly what the secret was long before Maire did.

The world is pretty cool, though, and while the characters didn’t keep my attention I was curious about how the world worked.

In the end, I still enjoyed it, and would recommend it to people who like a lighter read with good world-building.

Rating: 3/5


I’ll be trying to post these at least once a week, so keep an eye out for them!

As always, think happy thoughts!

Blog Tour: Tattoos by Stacy Overby

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Tattoos by Stacy OverbyOne hushed cry in the middle of the night, and Eli Thorson’s life unravels. A highly trained Black Ops specialist, he is used to danger, but Eli’s path forces him to confront the illusions he’s been taught his whole life — ones that make him question all the good he thought he was doing.

Unable to work for a command that defiles the oaths he swore, he works to untangle the web of lies and deceit he finds woven throughout his worlds. The tattooed marks of his profession run more than skin deep. As a Specialist it is his duty to protect the people, the laws, and all the United Earth Government stands for, even if it means taking down the entire Black Ops division to do it.


Happy Hump Day!

I’ve got a special treat for you guys today. I’m participating in the blog tour for Stacy Overby’s new release, Tattoos! Stacy’s a great writer and I’m super excited to help promote her work and share this interview.

Without further ado, here’s Stacy Overby!

Tell me a bit about the book you’re promoting. What inspired it?

Tattoos came from a love of science fiction. However, I tend to shy away from a lot of hard sci-fi because I lose focus and can’t engage well with the story for all the science being added to the stories. Maybe it’s just because I didn’t find good hard sci-fi, not sure. But I wanted sci-fi more reminiscent of Star Wars, where the characters and the story were the bigger players. The space and science type stuff were there, but played more of a supporting role. Combine that with a healthy dose of “Oh crap, NaNoWriMo starts in two days. What am I writing about?”, and Tattoos was born back in 2011.

Favorite author(s)?

This question keeps coming up and I struggle every time to answer it. There are so many good authors out there I have a hard time picking just one. For big name authors, I tend to go with Neil Gaiman, Douglas Adams, Anne Bishop, and Anne McCaffery. They have such a knack for great story-telling with characters who feel real. Indie authors are just as tough because I have the privilege of knowing so many who are wonderful. I’d have to put JK Allen, Rebekah Jonsey, Rebecca Pierce, Robert Cano, Eric Keizer, and Sam DeLoach on my list. They all have a gift for bringing the reader into their words, be it in poetry or in verse, and creating something bigger as a result.

Favorite underrated read?

I would have to go with the Major Ariane Kedros series by Laura E. Reeve. It’s a military sci-fi series that I stumbled across, but rarely hear much about. I think Reeve did a nice job of balancing the science part of the science fiction with the story and character elements.

Who/What influences your work?

Obviously, Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy had an influence. I can’t pull off the truly absurd the way Adams did, but I love the “anything goes” way he wrote and it all worked in the end. It’s that daring that I aspire to. Honestly, though, some of the themes and a lot of the emotion stems from my day job. I’m the program director for an adolescent substance abuse/mental health treatment program. I used to be a case manager for them for 4 years prior to taking the director position. In that time I’ve heard so many dark, scary, heart-breaking, angering, frustrating, hurtful, etc. stories from kids it’s almost unbelievable. Part of my own self care with all of that has become my writing. I channel all of that into my fictional/poetical worlds. That’s why they so often take a darker bent. Not always, though. There are some lighter spots.

What’s your ideal writing space? What’s your actual writing space?

Let me start with my actual writing space. It’s pretty much anywhere I am in that five minutes. Between my job, my other hobbies, and my family’s stuff, I’m so all over the place, I’ve had to learn to write on the fly. The backs of receipts dug out of my purse while putting gas in have been fair game in the past, as has the margins of flyers sitting poolside at my son’s swimming lessons.

Ideally, I’d have a nice office type spot with a couch and that is totally off limits to anyone else in my house. It’s also not allowed to collect all the clutter and junk because that’s the convenient place to throw it. Lots of windows and light as well. Plus good speakers for music and room for yoga. I’d also have family pictures along with my various fandom stuff up everywhere.

How do you get in “the zone” before sitting down to write? Do you have any rituals?

Again, I tend to forego most rituals for time’s sake. However, one thing that does help me stay in “the zone” is that I build playlists for my major projects. That way, I can listen to them while I’m driving or doing things where I can’t write. They keep me in the right frame of mind for the characters and events in the book. Here’s the post I did sharing some of my playlist for Tattoos – thisisnothitchhikersguide.com/2018/12/15/my-soundtrack-for-tattoos/

What’s the first thing you ever wrote?

Ever, ever? That was a really bad piece back in about third grade with a wizard and an elf and I don’t remember what else. I even got another kid in my class to draw some pictures to go with it. Man, I thought I was cool with that story. I wonder if I still have that somewhere…

What piece of advice would you give a young writer just starting out?

It’s a tough business to be in. I know it’s easy to think that all you’ve got to do is put words on a page and how hard can that be? But there’s so much more. Getting that story down is only the first step of a long journey. Persevere, though, and that journey is so worth it. All the work that comes after getting those first words down is about making sure every possible bit of that story looks its best and shines as beautiful as possible. It’s also about getting that story in front of readers to enjoy. Remember that when the road gets tough and you want to quit. I don’t know that anyone loves your story as much as you do. It deserves all of that work to be the best it can so that readers can see it for the amazing story it is.

When you’re not writing, what are you up to?

Sleeping? Wait, I already gave most of that up. Kidding, mostly. I love spending time outside. Hiking, camping, photography. It’s all great. I also love spending time with my family. My son’s six now and he’s getting into Cub Scouts, swimming, and such. So we spend quite a bit of time at the pool or Cub Scout events. I also quilt and crochet. Oh, and I love to cook. At least when I have time.

You can purchase Tattoos at the following links:


As always, think happy thoughts!

A wild post appears!

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Me, entirely too happy about Complete The Story, a prompt book by Piccadilly, Inc

Hello!

It’s been a while, I know, but I haven’t forgotten about this blog. With all the craziness going on with Tumblr, this blog will probably start seeing a bit more activity, maybe.

That being said, that’s not why I’m posting today. Today, I’m posting because I’m super excited about this book I just bought! Every page is a new writing prompt in the form of the first couple lines of an unfinished story, and you all know how much I love writing prompts!

Anyway, I’m just really excited and wanted to share. I’ve even already filled one of the prompts! Check it out below! I’ve bolded the portion that was the actual prompt.

Happy reading!

Continue reading

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!