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 🙂

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Breaking through a lull

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Hello!

So I’ve been really struggling with getting myself to write. To be honest, I’m not entirely sure why. The ideas are there (sort of), but when I sit down to write I just can’t seem to make myself type the words. Or if I do nothing is good enough. In an attempt to fight this I’m going to try taking 15 minutes every morning starting today. I’m going to just write what comes to mind (with or without a writing prompt), while trying to continue either Provisional Freedom or A Vampire’s Bride. Seeing as the plots of both are pretty loose right now and all over the place, I think this might work!

Here goes!

~~~

Finding people to train proved a bit more difficult than we anticipated. I was under the impression people would jump at the chance to ready themselves against the vampires, but I suppose they were intimidated by the idea of training under the beings they’d be hunting. The tension and hints of fear thickened the air around us. Luckily, their fear doesn’t have the same effect on Niklaus that mine does.

“That’s all you could gather?” Niklaus whispers to me so the others can’t hear. Before us stand ten recruits, Layla and Soren among them. I recognized a few others from the hunting group Niklaus and I encountered during our first outing by the castle.

“This is good to start with.” Nadya scans the group, assessing them with her eyes. It’s clear she makes several of them uncomfortable. Layla’s the only one that meets her gaze. After a round of introductions, Nadya addresses the crowd. “I’m sure Ariella has told you the danger your village is under. Trust me when I say Nik and I are here to ensure your safety. If at any point you feel uncomfortable or frightened, please feel free to take a break, step away, whatever you need to do. But please don’t wander off or do anything foolish.”

The crowd, for the most part, is still clearly reluctant, so I step up. “Nadya and Niklaus won’t hurt you. They’ve both protected me on more than one occasion and I trust them with my life. You can, too.”

Layla’s the first to speak up. “So where do we start?”

~~~

Oh my goodness those are actual words! And, though brief, actual progress on a story. Cool!

Here’s to continuing to inch forward, however slow.

As always, think happy thoughts!

Tainted fortune

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Hello!

So my last bout of productivity was somewhat short-lived. At least on here. Behind the scenes I’ve been working on restructuring Withered Legacy and that’s going better than I expected! I even have what might pass for a poor excuse of an outline, which is a lot for me, so yay! Here’s to getting more writing done!

Today’s post is inspired by  Our Write Side’s Master Class Monday prompt series. Provisional Freedom is still kind of in limbo while I figure out what’s next for Paola. In the meantime, though, there’s plenty of angst and personal drama to explore with her, so the story will consist of smaller moments – less grand than the overall stories of Videl, Ariella, and Emma. Maybe that’s what her story will be  – despite the supernatural, she’ll try living a normal life. We’ll see.

Prompt: Mused mourning/Tainted fortune

~~~

Is it weird I can’t remember how my mother died? Ever since I saw her in purgatory, it’s like that experience replaced the memory. My dad never talks about it, and I can’t bring myself to ask. Max would probably know, but something inside me stops me from asking them. Maybe it’s better not to remember. The anniversary of her death is coming up – I only know that because of the date stamp on her grave – and the closer we get to it, the more my dad shuts down. It’s been about a year since I came back, and I’ve done the math. It happened on the anniversary last year.

In small ways, I’ve tried to reassure my dad it won’t happen again. I don’t even know why I did it in the first place. Still, the look in his eyes when he realizes what I’m trying to say isn’t one of relief.

At Max’s suggestion, I’ve been spending more time at home. Maybe I’ll go back to school, too, but I don’t know how that could work. How would I be able to focus on papers and homework when none of it matters – at least not to me. To be honest, I’m surprised my father hasn’t been more vocal about a return to a normal routine. After all, it’s been a year.

Pa?”

“Hm?” He looks up from his morning newspaper. It’s like this every morning before he goes to work. I make breakfast and we sit together in silence. It’s not awkward or uncomfortable silence – it just is.

“I was thinking…that maybe, um, it’s about time I go back to school.” My eyes wander around the room as I speak, unwilling to meet his when the suggestion registers.

“That’d be great, mija.” As always, his eyes carry a melancholy kind of tranquility, but there’s hope there, too. Is it wrong to give him that hope, when it’s only a matter of time before I have to disappear? “Have you given any thought to your major?”

“Not really, no. To be honest, I don’t know if I’m ready to go back yet, but I think I should try.”

He reaches across the table and places a hand on mine. “Whatever decision you make, I’m here with you.”

I wasn’t really expecting this to turn into an emotional moment, but the words catch in my throat and the beginnings of tears prickle behind my eyes.

“Just let me know when, and we can start looking at schools.” My dad squeezes my hand for a split second before standing. With a smile, he places a kiss on my forehead before heading out to work.

~~~

And that’s it for now. The beginnings of something resembling a plot! Woo!

As always, think happy thoughts!

Tainted Treasures

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It’s been a rough week. I was in a car accident on Tuesday, the most recent and worst one I’ve been in yet. Thankfully no one was hurt, but I’m still a bit shaken over it (as morbid a thought as it is, I feel like I’m running out of lives). The entire ordeal is a huge pain and I don’t very much feel like ever getting behind the wheel of a car again (though I know I don’t have much of a choice). So I guess you could say my car (which I only just bought in October) is a tainted treasure now.

Anyway, in an attempt to keep my mind off the awful that is dealing with the aftermath, I’m going to try to write a little bit. I haven’t revisited A Vampire’s Bride since January, so here’s my attempt at moving that story forward a bit. The prompt, as usual, comes from Our Write Side’s Master Class Monday series and serves as general inspiration.

Prompt: Tainted treasures

~~~

When Niklaus leaves, I almost don’t notice. He’s careful not to wake me, but a soft kiss on my brow triggers my awareness and I open my eyes in time to see him close the door. Though I want to reach out, ask him to stay longer, I know that’s impossible. And asking would make it worse. Outside, sunrise is only a couple of hours away – he stayed until he absolutely had to leave.

Though I’m still tired, I’m aware enough that I need to change before my father wakes. I still haven’t told him what I’ve been doing with my nights, and this isn’t really the best way for him to find out. So I remove Niklaus’ shirt, taking it and his cloak and hiding them under the bed. My neck wound is still wrapped, too, and it’s only then I realize I’m going to have a hard time continuing to hide this from my father. My hair can only do so much – it’s only a matter of time before he notices the scar it’ll leave behind, even if I manage to avoid him noticing the bandages.

I gather some water in a bowl, light a candle by the small mirror in my room, and go about checking my wound. Like I told Niklaus, the blood made it look worse than it really is. It’s a nasty-looking scratch, but nothing life threatening. With some clean cloth I re-wrap the scratch, coming up with a less terrifying explanation to give my father.

Once I’m satisfied with my bandaging job, I change into a new shirt and move on to pulling my weapons back out from under the bed. They’re in desperate need of cleaning, too. Holding them close, I settle onto the floor and go about the task as carefully as possible. The hatchet doesn’t require as much care as the crossbow, though. I’m careful to clean every crevice, and I double check the weapon for any damage. Dropping it was a stupid move, and now it’s scuffed at the handle.

“Dammit.” In all the years my mother used this crossbow to hunt, she never let it fall or get damaged. The thought hits me harder than I expect, and the stress of everything just comes crashing down. My head hurts, and I can’t stop the tears that well up. Unfortunately, that’s how my dad finds me.

“Ariella?” I nearly drop the weapon again at the sound of his voice. Startled, I turn around to look at him. “What happened? Are you alright?” He rushes over, crouching beside me as his eyes scan my neck before returning to the crossbow.

“I’m…it’s fine. Just that the crossbow is a bit damaged.”

“And what’s this?” He brushes my hair away, catching on to my attempt to hide my neck.

“I…I was hunting. It’s just a scratch. It’s fine.” I hope he doesn’t pry but I know that’s asking for too much.

“And how did it happen?”

“I said, I was hunting.”

“Ariella.” His tone is all reprimand, and I realize it’s been years since he’s spoken to me like that. Since he’s had to. The word is like a whip, and I’m transported back to my childhood. “Tell me.”

Though I don’t want to, I look him in the eye. “I was hunting vampires.”

~~~

And the truth comes out! How will her dad react? I have no idea yet – hence why I ended it where I did.

Anyway, if you’re stuck in your writing endeavors, be sure to check out the rest of Our Write Side’s prompts! There’s something for everyone!

As always, think happy thoughts.

Life goes on

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Hello!

It’s been tough trying to get back into writing, but I’m slowly inching my way back. I have gotten some stuff done, but have little to show for it considering it’s the stuff I don’t post here. Not to mention I just haven’t been feeling the prompts lately. Nothing’s jumping out at me, but I feel like that’s more a problem with my motivation than anything else. I just need to power through it.

So power through it I will.

This post will chip away some of Paola’s outer layers and give us a better look at her as a character. Here’s to some meaningful development and figuring out where her story will take her now that she’s helped Videl.

Prompts: Surly/Unpleasant, Chilly demeanor  – courtesy of Our Write Side, as usual, & “You can’t be here.” – #ThursThreads

~~~

“You can’t be here. You know that, right?” It’s been months since I’ve heard Max’s voice, and to be honest they’re the last person I want to see right now.

“Pshh. What’s it going to do, kill me?” I look at the signs warning of radioactivity everywhere. There’s no one for miles because of those signs. And nowadays I find this is the only place I can go to for some peace of mind.

“Fair point. But wouldn’t your father be worried?” The angel approaches, settling onto the curb beside me.

“He doesn’t know. Obviously.” Shooting a glare at Max, I continue. “And no one is going to tell him, right?”

“Of course not. But you should probably reconsider your new hobbies.” They cross their arms before leaning forward to rest against their legs. “Last thing we need is people getting suspicious and catching wind of your, um, condition.”

“You say that like it can be fixed.” As if immortality can be turned off with a switch. Believe me, I’ve tried. “But fine. I’ll be more careful or whatever.”

Silence hovers around us for a beat before they speak again.

“I haven’t abandoned you. You know that right?” Max doesn’t wait for me to respond. “You’re a special case, Paola. It’ll take some time to figure out how to help you, but I will.”

I don’t respond – there’s nothing I can say – yet angry words linger in my throat.

Max stands and reaches out, offering me a hand. “I promise.”

~~~

And that’s how you kill three birds with one stone. I don’t mix prompts often, but when I do it’s because I’m hella lazy.

Dont’ forget to check out the other submissions to the prompts!

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!

Grand weakness

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Happy Friday!

Eventually, I’ll get back to posting multiple times a week. We’re twenty-seven days into the new year and I’ve yet to adjust properly. Maybe in February. We’ll see. Until then, weekly Friday posts will have to do.

This week’s post comes courtesy of Our Write Side’s Master Class Monday prompt, which I’ll be using as general inspiration for the next scene. We’re going to pick up where we left off with A Vampire’s BrideSecondhand Soul is still in a bit of a limbo, since I’m still not sure how to wrap it up.

Prompt: Grand weakness

~~~

The silence of the ride is all-consuming. Resting my head against Niklaus’ back, I let my thoughts take me, playing back the events of the hunt, everything that went wrong, where I could have reacted better. Why did the fledgling have to look so much like Niklaus?

“I’m glad you’re okay.” His voice startles me from my thoughts. “I don’t know what I would have done if-”

“Don’t think about it.” I tighten my hold on him as one of his hands moves to rest over mine.

We don’t say anything else the rest of the ride. There’s a tension in the air when we get to the cottage. Nothing seems to have happened in the village while we were gone – the atmosphere is sleepy and quite. And yet the tension follows us off the horse and to my room. I thought he would just leave me at the door and go, but when I invite him in he follows. Niklaus hovers at the door to my bedroom, though, face shrouded in thought.

I’m about to say something when he beats me to it.

“That fledgling – you said his appearance caught you off-guard. Why?” Is that what he thought about the entire ride back?

“Isn’t it obvious?” By now I’ve discarded my weapons, hidden them under my bed. “He looked like you…” I avert my gaze when I say it, unsure of how he’ll react. “I…”

“Ariella…” At some point, he entered the room, because now he’s standing right behind me. When I turn around, he’s right there. “If I ever…ever lose control, you have to be prepared to put a bolt in my heart, understand?”

I can’t look away from his eyes, trapped in the gravity of his words and the intensity of his gaze. “I can’t.”

“You don’t have a choice.” He places a hand on my cheek, the touch light as a feather. “It’ll be your life or mine.”

“It won’t happen. You won’t lose control.”

“Nadya won’t always be there to keep me in line.”

“But-” I try to pull away, but he takes both my hands and holds me in place.

“Promise me.” Again, his eyes trap mine. There’s that loathing, that disdain for what he is radiating off him in waves. “Please. You have to promise me you’ll do it…”

“And if I don’t?” My words are hardly a whisper, and all I can do is look at our hands. He doesn’t have to say it out loud. If I can’t promise that I’ll kill him if I have to, Niklaus will leave. Just like he sent me away from the castle for my own protection; he’ll do it again. When he doesn’t say anything, I pull away and sit on the edge of my bed. Reluctant, he follows and sits beside me.

“Please.” He takes my hand, the gentle caress at odds with what he’s asking of me.

“Okay. I promise.” But I don’t look at him when I say it. If he can tell I’m lying, he doesn’t show it. When I look at him again there’s relief in his eyes now, a sad smile turning the corners of his mouth.

“Thank you.”

I don’t want to hear his thanks for agreeing to kill him, so I press my lips to his. His arms slide around me as he shifts closer in response, lips gentle but firm against mine. My fingers slide into his hair and he deepens the kiss, biting softly on my bottom lip. It’s not long before the kiss turns passionate, and I’m all but sitting in his lap. Niklaus pulls back first, his breathing heavy as he rests his forehead against mine. I don’t want him to leave – not yet.

“St-Stay with me?” The words escape me before I can stop them, and I’m afraid I’ve crossed some line. There’s no taking them back now, though. “For a little while?”

Niklaus looks like he wants to say no, but he doesn’t. Instead, he shifts farther back onto my bed, pulling me with him so I’m lying down. “You need to rest, but I’ll stay as long as I can.”

It isn’t until I’m settled into his arms, tucked against him and on the precipice of sleep that I realize how much I missed this.

~~~

Hopefully next week we’ll take a turn into Secondhand Soul. As much as I love vampire fluff and angst, I really want to get back to Videl and Marcus.

As always, think happy thoughts!