Heartstone Voids (Wednesday Words 5.10.17)

Welcome to a piece of Wednesday Word’s flash fiction on Darkling Dreams!

A good friend of mine, P.T. Wyant, is doing a blog post every Wednesday called Wednesday Words with a new prompt for a bit of flash fiction writing, just to get in the habit of writing something, anything. (Even if said flash fiction is complete garbage at the time. Garbage is better than nothing though, right?) If you’re looking for some inspiration yourself or just something to aimlessly write, then go check out her blog for this week’s prompt!

With that being said, I am going to share what I came up with for this week’s flash fiction Shard based off a photo prompt. So here is my very rough around the edges minute of inspiration based off her prompt. I’d love to hear what you guys think of it!

(Please excuse any errors you may see, I said it was rough around the edges.)

This tale is also a continuation of Dragonstone from 3.15.17.

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Heartstone Voids

Innin’s bellows echoed off the high stone ceilings. The sounds of distress carried through the maze of passages linking Flamer hideouts to their winged mounts’ dwellings, disturbing those that were trying to rest in the mountain. She didn’t pay mind to the responding screeches and yells from them trying to get her to quiet down. She was too agitated to care.

Smoke filled the space around her, flowing freely from her snout with each distressed huff. The sound of raking claws on stone only furthered her agitation as she paced around and around, wings flaring.

He should have been back by now! Foolish rider! Why did he have to go off on his own?!

The sun had nearly set below the horizon and still there was no sign of Fenian. He had left that morning to try to track down the dragonstone and should have been back by now. He should have been back hours ago, or at the very least have gotten within range to reach out and say he needed her now.

Can’t trap a leprechaun while trying to hide a dragon. She snorted. I could have been out of range while he hunted the leech. He didn’t have to go alone!

Another roar of worried frustration shook the cavern, sprinkling dust down over her shimmering emerald scales. The prickling of dread seeping through her veins with each passing moment was making her antsy. The bond was trying to tell her something, she knew it, but she couldn’t figure out what it was trying to say.

Was Fenian in trouble? Had he bit off more than he could chew without her? Or had he just been delayed in finding the leprechaun and was on his way back now?

Her tail flicked against the stone as she rounded and stomped to the mouth of the cave, staring out over the dwindling landscape below. She could see the forests, the lakes, the towns and kingdoms from here; almost as well as she could see them from the skies. With eyes like a hawk she caught the flurry of movement along the mountainside. She snaked her head out further and looked down to find a female elf hurrying up the carved staircase set into the cliffs. One rickety line of wood railing kept them from plunging to their death. Worthless railing if anyone asked her.

The setting sun glistened off the elf’s hair. Red hair, petite… Is that…? Innin flared her nostrils, trying to catch the elf’s scent on the breeze. Alenia!

Innin rushed out of the cave and pushed off the rocks, flinging her wings open to ride the wind currents down to her. The passing of her great shadow caused the elf below to pause and look up, then retreat a few steps backwards when she landed hard on the mountainside, digging her claws into the rock to hold herself. Pebbles and dust rained down onto the stairwell. She left her wings open for balance and turned her head toward Alenia.

:Alenia!: she shouted telepathically, catching the elf off guard by the booming voice in her head. To her credit, dragons didn’t normally mind speak with anyone other than their Flamer or other dragons. :Have you seen Fenian?: she demanded.

The elf shook her head and blinked before focusing on Innin’s words. “I…” She floundered out of breath. “I… No, I haven’t seen Fenian. I was…actually coming here in hopes of finding him. He said we would meet at the tavern tonight for dinner but he never showed and I haven’t heard from him.” Her brow creased worriedly. “Is he…not here?”

Innin reared her head back and shot flames upward over the rock with a guttural growl, scorching them. Her scales rattled when her body quivered.

“Innin!” Alenia exclaimed. “Innin, what’s wrong?! Where is Fenian?”

:I don’t know!: she snapped, fangs clicking together as she cut off the flames. Smoke poured from her snout with each heavy breath. :He said he went hunting to find the leprechaun that stole the dragonstone, and he didn’t want me to come because a dragon is easily spotted. He left this morning. He should have been back by now! But I have not heard or seen heads or tails of him since. Something is wrong.:

“Have…you tried reaching him with the heartstone?” she asked timidly. “Have you felt anything through the bond?”

:It is blank! An abyssal void! I cannot feel or sense anything even when I should, I can’t even sense HIM!:

Alenia flinched at the senseless fury and worry in her tone, giving her head a shake. “Did Fenian say where he was going?”

Another billow of smoke wafted from her nostrils, curling her head toward the elf with blazing eyes of fire. :He mentioned the Enchanted Forest, that was all.:

“Then let’s go and look for him.”

:It’s almost dark!:

“I know…” she replied, trying to sound soothing. It was kind of hard to be soothing toward an enraged dragon though. “But we can still look. If he did run into trouble then we can’t wait till next sunrise. You go on and fly ahead, I will race back and get a horse and a few scouts to help, then I will meet you out there.”

Innin stared at her, trying in vain to calm her racing heart and all the unspeakable thoughts darting through her head. Leprechauns were not a friendly bunch, and their people had never gotten along with those thieves and murderers. She feared for what could be happening to Fenian if he had run into trouble with them. She whipped her tail back and forth.

:No. Send a hawk with a message for scouts to meet us there. I can’t waste any more time. You’re flying with me.:

Alenia’s eyes widened and some of the color drained from her face. “Wha-?”

She broke off in a squeal when Innin wrapped her tail around her waist and raised her wings. She pushed off the mountainside and beat hard to raise higher in the air. Only once she was level in the sky and hovering did she wind her tail to her back to set Alenia down between two of her dark green spikes. The elf clung to the spike in a bear hug for dear life.

“Innin,” she squeaked. “I don’t like the idea of-”

:Oh just hold on and you won’t fall off. I’ll catch you in my claw if you do.: She heard Alenia gulp, then she shot forward in the sky, taking off for the Enchanted Forest. :Now hang tight, I have a rider to find and flay to a crisp after saving.:

“But I haven’t sent a hawk!” she exclaimed, voice nearly lost on the wind.


Now you can find this flash fiction work and others on my profile on Wattpad! Click here for my profile and go dive into a sea of Shards of Imagination!

Shards of Imagination Cover Final

Now What?

On Sunday I finished the first draft of Fated to Darkness and since then…I have felt like a lost puppy. I’ve sat on my desk chair spinning in a circle because I haven’t known what to work on. I’m so used to working on FtD for so long now that it feels weird to not be working on it, to not be pushing for that end scene yet.

I feel so lost.

There’s still a very palpable sense of grappling for straws on the reality of completing this novel right now. The “now what?” feeling as I try to figure out what I’m supposed to be doing. It’s been five days since I finished the novel, but I’m still staring somewhat dumbfounded at the binder that holds my concordance for FtD and at my other WiPs with an “aaaaahhhh….” kind of expression. I could almost just flip a coin to try to figure out what I’m doing.

Granted, there are many, many things I could be doing now.

For starters I could get back to working on Clockwork Heart like I wanted to use part of Camp for. I could use the rest of the year, or however long it takes, to work on that novella/novel. Or I could go back to the very first novel I ever started writing, Breaking Point, and continue that. (The more I look at that novel though the more I need to do some outlining and brainstorming and probably a title change too. To what though I have no idea…sort of.) I could even start outlining Shapeshifter Wings and start work on that. Then there’s the option of starting one of the plentiful, new novel ideas kicking around in my head — like Alice in Court, or Book 2 to The Dark Heir series, or the horse ranch storyline that’s been kicking around up there since I was little that actually has a title and subtitle already.

Or, I could forgo novel work for the time being and start on some short stories. I could write the sequel to The Black Lake, or redo that story altogether to make it better then do the sequel. Or expand and fix up The Beast. I could also poke around at Seductress and see if it leads me anywhere beyond the vague storyline and grand ball scene it has.

On the other hand, I could refocus my efforts to editing instead of writing. I don’t mean editing Fated to Darkness. No no. That is going to sit and wait until I can come back with fresher eyes. I mean that I could take this time now and focus on re-editing, polishing, and maybe expanding Rivers of Black more. The thought has crossed my mind to try to publish the story, but I’m not going to explore that spurt of consciousness any further yet. I don’t want to think about publishing right now…

The fact I have finished the first draft of Fated to Darkness doesn’t mean it’s not going to be touched at all until I’m ready to edit though. I won’t let it collect dust for a couple months. I still have a binder concordance I need to flesh out and finish, and there are multiple notes within my book that I need to find a way to organize and put together in a notebook or something so that as I go along and edit and answer the questions I left myself I’ll be able to avoid plot holes or errors.

There’s still quite a lot of work to do on FtD before I get to the true editing phase. So while I spend the rest of the year — I’m hoping to be done before December, because…holiday — finishing the concordance and finding a way to organize those notes and questions to myself, I am going to be working on something else as well. I would like an entire month of letting FtD sit completely ready for edits before I do dive into full on scrutiny paper edits, but until then there’s lots left to do.

My tentative plan right now as I start to get the ball rolling again is to get working on the concordance and an organization technique for the notes/questions I left. In doing that, I will be reading through my entire novel, which also means that while I’m reading I can minimally fix light edits. Say a missed word, or the wrong version of a word, missing quotation marks, and so forth. The things that won’t require me stopping for an hour on one paragraph to make it sound the best it can possibly be. Doing this will make the paper edits a little less daunting in red marks.

That’s the plan for Fated to Darkness from here till December. *Prays I can be ready by then*

Because I don’t want to lose the next six or seven months with no writing to show for it — well, that wouldn’t have happened anyways because of July’s Camp NaNo and November’s NaNo — I am going to work on something alongside the next stage of FtD. I believe that “now what?” feeling is going to be geared toward writing Clockwork Heart and trying to finish that story this year, as well as re-editing Rivers of Black.

Actually, my original goal of May was to re-edit Rivers of Black finally since I kind of failed on that one last year. Perhaps that will actually happen now that FtD is done. Then again, I had expected Clockwork Heart to only be a short story and already be done by this time too, but…

Yeah, the universe hasn’t been kind to me this year in more ways than one.

But that’s the plan for now. I guess I’ll see how it works out, though I don’t have many expectations for it. I’ve learned better at this point. The hardest part I think is going to be finding a balance between these three projects now when my life is already so screwy and unpredictable.

Or, maybe, the hardest part is going to be finding the heart that says it’s worth it again…

A Life Too Short (Wednesday Words 5.3.17)

Welcome to a piece of Wednesday Word’s flash fiction on Darkling Dreams!

A good friend of mine, P.T. Wyant, is doing a blog post every Wednesday called Wednesday Words with a new prompt for a bit of flash fiction writing, just to get in the habit of writing something, anything. (Even if said flash fiction is complete garbage at the time. Garbage is better than nothing though, right?) If you’re looking for some inspiration yourself or just something to aimlessly write, then go check out her blog for this week’s prompt!

With that being said, I am going to share what I came up with for this week’s flash fiction Shard based off a three word combination prompt. So here is my very rough around the edges minute of inspiration based off her prompt. I’d love to hear what you guys think of it!

(Please excuse any errors you may see, I said it was rough around the edges.)

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A Life Too Short

In Loving Memory of a Dear Classmate

One of my classmates died yesterday. Unexpectedly; just like every other tragedy that occurs. The sun is shining and birds are singing on this picture perfect day outside, but the beauty is lost on so many today. To us it is overcast by shadow and storm clouds of a different kind. Our worlds have come to a standstill, but life around us hasn’t slowed or stopped to mourn with us.

It keeps on turning, blissfully ignorant to the pain in our hearts.

The clock continues to tick away the agonizing seconds, minutes, hours, transforming them into days and weeks. They say time heals wounds of the heart, but that isn’t always true. Sometimes time only makes the pain worse. It makes days likes this, perfect days, become mockery to our suffering.

Doesn’t the world care?

Of course it doesn’t. At least not all of it. The world as a large whole is unaffected by this tragedy, just like so many others that happen every day, but so many individual lives around me are now grieving and trying to process a loss that is incomprehensible.

How do you deal with the unexpected tragedy of a life so bright, and so full of heart, snatched from a world that was better off with her in it?

The answer is I don’t know.

Maybe you sit and stare blankly at a wall, unable to feel, unable to cry just yet because it still feels surreal. Part of you believes the phone next to you is going to light up and start ringing with a call from your friend, daughter, cousin, sister… But it doesn’t.

No matter how much you will it to not be real it unfortunately is.

Or perhaps the reality slams into you so fast and so hard that you want to find some place secluded where you can scream at the world at the top of your lungs for this injustice. The middle of the woods, a garden shed, sitting in your car, anywhere available where you can let it out. Where you can curl up and cry until you have no tears left, and scream until your lungs give out.

I don’t know how you grieve, how you may cope. Everyone is different. Maybe one day time will scar the wound we now bear, but that day is not today. For when our hearts freeze like an unexpected snowstorm in May, I do know one thing for sure…

The world lost a beautiful soul yesterday. A kind, caring, selfless individual who always smiled and always welcomed everyone around her with open arms. She could light up the room with her presence. I had never met another person so devoted to their family, with such a bright future and a good head on their shoulders. A young woman who touched and changed so many lives with her own. The memories and photos left on her wall speak of a life that was worth every moment of it, and it is a shame it was cut so short at just twenty-two years.

I guess it’s true when they say the good ones are always taken first.

I saw a quote a friend of hers shared yesterday: “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”

How lucky we were indeed.

Tonight I choose not to mourn anymore, but to celebrate the bright life she lived instead. Tonight I light a candle in her honor. She may be gone but she will never be forgotten for the joy she spread and the lives she forever changed. The world may not have stopped to mourn with us, but know we would have stopped the world for you.

Rest easy now, and fly high, angel.

not to die


Now you can find this flash fiction work and others on my profile on Wattpad! Click here for my profile and go dive into a sea of Shards of Imagination!

Shards of Imagination Cover Final

Declaring A Win And A Completion

Camp NaNo 2017 Winner

Camp NaNoWriMo April 2017 WINNER!!!

That’s right. I managed to pull off the win on the very last day of Camp. As predicted, after the long work week I had, I totally blew getting anything done on Saturday. So come Sunday I was up and writing from the moment I woke up to get that final 5,669 words I needed. Come to think of it, I didn’t even stop to eat until I had validated, which by that point was definitely dinner time. Whoops…

But I pulled off the win! Hooray! *Throws confetti*

30 days, 30,058 words (30,053 after validating), 65 pages, and 4.5 chapters plus a blurb.

It may not have been a pretty win this month, but it’s a win. And guess what else?

That’s right, baby.

Fated to Darkness is FINISHED!!!

SQUUEEEEE!!!

Excuse me while I scream, cry, laugh, and essentially freak out internally for a little bit again.

I can’t believe I’m finally typing those words. I’m in shock. It’s a dream come true. (Or, well, the beginning of a dream come true.) I actually did it. I actually finished my first full length novel after almost three years of working on it with NaNoWriMo’s and spare time.

And this isn’t just any novel to me. This is the first book of the series that is my heart and soul. The storyline that has been kicking around in my head since I was a little girl. The characters that have literally grown up with me in my head. They’ve been waiting for this to happen for as long as I’ve been waiting for it to happen.

I finally did it.

Book 1 of The Dark Heir chronicles is complete.

I’m still in shock, and I’m definitely still freaking out internally. *Happy dances*

This whole month, this whole book, has been a roller coaster. I started out this Camp with the intentions of having Fated to Darkness finished within the first week so I could spend the rest of the month working on Clockwork Heart. (Obviously I didn’t get to work on Clockwork Heart at all.) But I was both excited and scared out of my mind to finish this novel.

I struggled to get through the end of this book for many reasons ranging from frustration to hesitance, but I made it and I managed to type these words for the first time in my life:

end book 1

When I got to those words — which I’m not going to leave them in come edits, I just wanted to be able to write them, lol — I had to stop and just stare at my Word doc while I tried to process the fact that I actually did it.

It was quite an interesting day of writing on Sunday to get to that point. Because I was so frustrated with Chapter 41, I left it off with my lengthy ranting note to redo the chapter. I didn’t try to pick up from where I had stopped, but I did jump ahead just a little to the end of the chapter where I knew how it was going to go down to the smallest detail.

Once I got to that part the words just started flowing again full force. The end of Chapter 41 went down without a hitch — though it could use a bit more bang — and I went onto writing the Epilogue. (That was another word I had to stare at whenever I typed it because I couldn’t believe I was seeing it.) I thought the Epilogue was going to be a bit difficult to write because I have to be very careful in what I reveal in it. (No I’m not going to tell you why. Mwahaha!) Surprisingly it didn’t give me the issues I thought it was going to, and it even ended up setting up the Prologue for Book 2!

Of course once I got to writing the words “End Book 1” I realized I was about 150 words short of hitting goal for Camp.

Go. Figure.

I was not going to write a 150 words of something new or another WiP, and I realized the blurb I made years ago for Fated to Darkness needed some tweaking and kind of sucked. So you know what I did? Yep, I took that final little spurt of words and wrote another blurb!

Gods I hate blurbs…

This one wasn’t that bad to write though, shockingly.

It got me to the NaNo win so that’s all I cared about. I just can’t believe I’m going to be setting this novel aside now for awhile so I can come back to it with fresh eyes. I miss my characters already. I miss Kailyn, and Matt, and Gods…I even miss Ciara, the evil bitch. It feels really weird to not be working on their novel. I feel lost.

Granted, I’m not putting it away completely yet, there’s still a few things I need to do with it before I’m ready to begin editing — which I plan to be the start of next year — but I still miss them already.

But alas, the explanation of that headache stuff I need to do, as well as my next plans, can wait a couple days. After all, I’m still celebrating my win and the completion of my first full length novel.

Camp may not have gone the way I had planned for it to go last month, but it will definitely be one that goes down in my history books. I did it, baby! Now excuse me while I go celebrate some more and squeal in happiness.

The Word ‘Miss’ – Part 2 (Snippet Sunday 4.30.17)

Welcome to Snippet Sunday on Darkling Dreams!

Where writers come together to share a few sentences (8-10) of their current project — whether it’s a recently released novel, a WIP (work in progress), or an older manuscript that’s being revived. Intended to hook readers, gather feedback and build an author’s fan base, Snippet Sunday is the FB group that does all three.

snippet sunday

The madness that is the first Camp NaNoWriMo of 2017 is over, and this author is proud to say she made the win! Not only that, but after three years of working on this novel I can officially say I have FINISHED the first draft of Fated to Darkness! Ahhh! I can’t believe I’m finally saying that! Now it’s time to work on the concordance so I can start editing next year. Squee! In the meantime I’m going to work on Clockwork Heart and Rivers of Black. Since I’m hitting a point in FtD that I don’t really want to share from it anymore, I’m going to jump back to sharing from Clockwork Heart this month. Part of my motivation to finish the short story/novella/whatever it ends up being. This story is a steampunk, fantasy, modern-cross kind of genre. It’s still a WiP and I only have the first chapter completed – so far – so please excuse an errors and suggestions are welcome.

This week’s excerpt picks up right where I left off in last week’s snippet. Eric had just finished up with this line: “Yes, I did already miss her. The word ‘miss’ can have more than one meaning though. It can describe an action, but it can also describe an emotion or feeling.”

And now for the seventh peek at Chapter 1…

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Lavinia blinked slowly. “How?”

“Think of it like this…” His lips pursed and he held up the flower, waiting for the next breeze to catch it and carry it away. As it skittered off in the air, Eric tried to reach out and snatch it back, but missed. “That is the action of missing something. I tried to grab the flower back but my hand missed and caught nothing but air. The emotion of missing is more like loneliness, or a deep ache in your heart. When someone dies or goes away, you miss seeing them and talking to them, you miss their constant presence and everything about them that used to fill a spot of your heart, because now you are without them. It’s not a physical motion, but an internal emotion in that sense.

“I miss seeing her every day and talking to her. I miss laughing with her and helping her in all the ways she would let me when it came to her Traveler’s duties. I miss her cooking, her kindness, her determination and fierceness. Most of all, I simply miss my mom like a knife to the heart. Does that make sense?”

She thought about it for a moment. “It is like loneliness?”

“Yes. In a sense.” He waved his hand whenever she looked at him for explanation. “I would probably end up making it harder to understand if I described what I meant.”

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Well she was understanding… Darn English language.


Due to the fact this is a new WiP, I do not have a cover or blurb yet, neither is it posted to Wattpad at this time. So there will be no “if you wish to read more…”

However! If you wish to read anything else that I have out for free, you can hop on over to  my profile on Wattpad and check out what I have to offer. Or if you wish to read my debut release, Embermyst, you can find out more about that in the tabs above. I love to hear any and all feedback on my work as well. Comments are greatly appreciated, as are the reads. You can also find me on my Facebook author page to keep up to date with all that’s going on in my writing.

And if you’re looking for some other great snippets of fellow authors,
hop on over to Facebook and check out Snippet Sunday!

Final Days and Final Chapters

This is it.

In more ways than one.

The final days of Camp NaNo are here. Only three days left to write to get the win. Now is the time to push hard and commit yourself to losing sleep if you still have a long way to go. (I’m not the only one who does that, right?) Now is definitely the time to panic and make a mad dash for the finish line as you curse to yourself for procrastinating so much earlier in the month.

My brain to me: If you hadn’t procrastinated so much and stuck to your self-imposed day off work goals, do you realize how many words you could have had by this time? Do you realize how far you’d be in Clockwork Heart too?

*Dead stare* Unfortunately my brain has a point. I really did slack this month on Camp. If I had stuck to my self-imposed 5k word goal days on the days I have off work, I would have had 60k alone just from those days already, 70k by the 30th. And that wouldn’t be including my word sprint days or any words I wrote on work days.

Sixty thousand words! If I had just held myself more accountable throughout the month, and stopped hesitating and being so unsure about finishing the novel. But no, I essentially screwed myself this month.

The funny thing is… Okay, maybe it’s not funny, but more like a distant sobbing moment of yelling at myself. Anywho, I’ve said throughout this month I had hoped for a repeat of last year’s Camp NaNo in April where I did 61k in a month. My Facebook “On this day blah-blah years ago…” throwback post ended up showing me my win status from last year’s Camp NaNo in April today, when I did that 61k.

I looked at it and just started sobbing internally, wishing I could have done that again. I validated two days early last year, with that 61k, and somehow managed 128 pages and completed six and a half chapters, plus starting a new one.

I’m nowhere close to that this year.

I wonder if part of my reluctance this month to write was not just because I was going to finish the novel and that both scared and excited me, but also because I hate splitting my NaNo project into two separate novels. It’s weird to me to do that. I don’t know why, I’m just strange like that, and a bit of an OCD nit picker.

Even though I didn’t get to up my goal at all this month, I’m more than likely still going to run into the issue of needing a thousand to two thousand words of…something to hit goal.

Maybe…

I don’t know for sure. Right now the only thing I know for sure is I want to rip my hair out on this final chapter. It’s…ugh. I don’t even have words anymore except a fluent, colorful string of curses and some screaming.

The chapter is worse than sucking now.

It still feels fake and forced, and there’s still no bang to it or tension like I envisioned. The scene in my head is not flowing out through the fingertips in the slightest. It’s maddening, it’s infuriating. I’m so damn frustrated over this chapter that I was inches away from deleting it to start over Wednesday night.

And I don’t do that. I don’t delete to start over. That’s what editing is for.

Believe it or not on top of the this total hell week of work — no it has not gotten any better at all, let’s just say that by Wednesday I had more hours on the clock than my boss, and I’ve still got one more shift tonight — I did manage to do some writing Wednesday night with a friend, about a thousand words I think. And…

Well, the writing went something like this:

-*Is writing*
-*On the final chapter of Book 1*
-*Nothing is going according to plan or how I can see it in my head*
-*Mentally starts to throttle both my main characters*
-*Whole chapter feels forced, fake, and non-directional; hate every bit of what I’m writing*
-*Keeps writing anyways because that’s what you do*
-*Starts to think I’m finding the groove finally and getting on track*

Five minutes later….

-*One main character says something they shouldn’t, and AREN’T, supposed to make known*
-*Starts swearing like a sailor*
-*Bashes head off wall*
-*Throttles characters even more*
-*Stops writing and leaves lengthy ranting note to rewrite the whole damn thing because I give up on this chapter because it royally sucks monkey balls*

Yeah…

I’m that frustrated with Chapter 41.

Never before have I been this fed up and frustrated with a chapter. Never before have I wanted to delete something so badly and start over with it. Never before have I said I’m skipping the chapter and moving on to the next one because I don’t do that.

But guess what?

That’s exactly what I’m doing for the first time.

I don’t know why this chapter is so hard to write, but it is driving me insane. Is it because it’s the final chapter of the book? The big cliffhanger ending and the final show down? Is it because I know if the ending is no good then no one will want to read Book 2? Is it because I need it to be perfect because it’s the end of the first book?

Whatever the reason is for this chapter being so damn hard I am still ripping my hair out and screaming over it. It’s a miracle I didn’t throw something (like my laptop) Wednesday night when I got to the point of giving up on it. I was ranting up a storm.

One friend offered to take a look at the chapter and give me any pointers or opinions, and surprisingly — after a lot of hesitating — I finally agreed. I mean, I’ve never showed a whole chapter of Fated to Darkness to anyone before. This story is my heart and soul, this series is my heart and soul of writing. I was terrified out of my mind to show it to someone, especially completely unedited, and especially because it sucks monkey balls in my eyes.

But perhaps that was part of my problem. I’m so close to it and in knowing what it should be, that I can’t see what it really is. So eventually I agreed and sent the chapter to her for a fresh set of eyes. To my complete and utter dumbfounded shock, they actually liked it. That for a first draft they found it pretty good, and with coherent thought.

I was…speechless.

Hell, I’m still speechless over that.

Granted, they didn’t know the full context of the rest of the book since this was the very end, so it’s hard to give more specific pointers or opinions, but just the fact that they said they liked it and it was pretty good for a very first draft with no editing yet blew me away. I will admit it lessened my frustration and doubt a little. It lifted my confidence just enough that I debated on continuing to write the chapter as it was with my character’s blunder to see where it went, but I haven’t. I’m reluctant to let that train continue because I know she was not supposed to let known what she did.

It can’t happen. Just can’t.

So that leaves me back at square one on wondering what to do about the chapter.

Another friend suggested two things: Either keep writing and see where it leads me, or stop and write another version of it where the screw up moment doesn’t happen.

Writing a second version of a chapter is something I’ve never done before. I’ve always been reluctant too because I think that makes for a double headache in the editing phase, and I also believe that if your second version happens in the middle of the book, it can royally mess with details all throughout the rest of the book. That was a maze of confusion and editing nightmares that I did not want.

If I end up rewriting and changing some things in edits later, fine, I’ll deal with the out of place or missing details then, but I’ve never wanted the hair pulling of multiple options to edit with.

However, for the fact this is the final chapter of the novel and a second version wouldn’t affect anything more than the Epilogue perhaps, I’m toying with the idea of writing a second version just to see what happens. There’s a chance the second version and first version could both have the parts I need combined to be what I’m looking for. I think I’m starting to lean toward writing a second version just to see where it takes me.

Even if it’s complete and utter shit too at least it’s words written for Camp and provides me with more options or ideas for when I come back to it in edits. I mean, once I finish the chapter it will sit for a long time before I reach it again, and by then I might have fresh eyes on the crap I wrote and not find it as big a pile of crap as I think it is now.

Who knows, and I won’t know until I get to that point.

She also gave me another piece of advice that I think I need to print and frame and hang where I can see it every day:

BoCFoK!

Butt on Chair, Fingers on Keyboard.

(Read the link, it’s like a mini pep talk. Which is exactly why I need to print and frame it. Thank you, P.T.)

Right now though I still need 5,669 words to hit goal for Camp, with only three days left and one more work shift to go. So I better put my butt in the chair and my fingers on the keyboard as soon as I can. I’m hoping that final 5.7k of words will entail only Fated to Darkness, but I’m not sure the characters will manage that, and I don’t want to be dragging things out just to make that happen. On the other hand, I still don’t know what I can finish with if I need more words because I’m reluctant to do a thousand or so of Clockwork Heart this late in the month.

I think what I’m going to do is skip forward and write the Epilogue to see how that goes, and to put some distance between myself and Chapter 41. Depending how many words are left at that point I’ll go back and try to write a second version of that last chapter. At the very least I’ll skip the hard part of the chapter right now and write the very end of it, because I know exactly how that part goes down. I’ve known how those final pages end since the very beginning of this novel. I can at least write that part without issue I know, and then find a way to tie it all together in edits.

But as soon as I finish the Epilogue and that little bit, I have officially finished the first draft of Fated to Darkness, Book 1 of The Dark Heir chronicles.

I’m oh so close…

Now I’m just praying the Epilogue doesn’t give me as much trouble as Chapter 41 has, because I know it’s going to be a bit tricky to write as well. Cross your fingers for me and wish me luck for smooth sailing on the Epilogue because this is it.

This is the final days of NaNo, and this is the final chapters of Fated to Darkness. If my next post isn’t a declaration of a win and the completion of this novel, then my dear followers, do smack me.

Tea Party (Wednesday Words 4.26.17)

Welcome to a piece of Wednesday Word’s flash fiction on Darkling Dreams!

A good friend of mine, P.T. Wyant, is doing a blog post every Wednesday called Wednesday Words with a new prompt for a bit of flash fiction writing, just to get in the habit of writing something, anything. (Even if said flash fiction is complete garbage at the time. Garbage is better than nothing though, right?) If you’re looking for some inspiration yourself or just something to aimlessly write, then go check out her blog for this week’s prompt!

With that being said, I am going to share what I came up with for this week’s flash fiction Shard based off a three word combination prompt. So here is my very rough around the edges minute of inspiration based off her prompt. I’d love to hear what you guys think of it!

(Please excuse any errors you may see, I said it was rough around the edges.)

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Tea Party

Darcy skipped over to the garden patch and reached in to pluck the garden gnome from his post next to the tulips. Then she skipped to her left and plucked the green and brown ceramic turtle from his home by the decorative rocks. Tucking them under her arms she hummed her way back to the plastic table and chairs set up in the center of the backyard.

She set them each on their respective chairs then took her own seat with a giggle, picking up the kid-friendly teapot to pour an imaginary cup for each of them. “So how has the week been for the two of you?” she asked.

The reply they gave was only heard in her head with the power of her imagination, but she smiled all the same to the turtle.

“Oh that’s great, Hooper! It was a big rainstorm we had the other day. I knew you’d like that.” Darcy then frowned and looked to the gnome. “What’s the matter, Grumpy? You didn’t have a good week?”

The gnome stared with a fixed disgruntled expression and Darcy’s face fell.

“Rocco did it again?” she whispered. “I’m sorry, Grumpy. You know he can’t help it. He’s just a puppy. At least the rain washed it all off though, didn’t it? You got a nice bath!” She beamed for a second, then frowned slightly once more. “Oh… I’m sorry. Rocco doesn’t mean it.”

Silence fell between the trio as Darcy sipped at her imaginary tea. The squawk of a crow grabbed her attention after a moment and she looked up to see one streak across the yard overhead, landing in a nearby tree. It preened its wings and a black feather floated to the ground.

Darcy got out of her chair and scurried toward the feather, bending to pick it up before holding it up to the crow in the tree, head tilted all the way back. “Excuse me, Mr. Crow!” she called, “I think you dropped this.”

The bird cocked its head at her, staring with beady eyes for a second. It squawked and flapped its wings.

She frowned in confusion. “Oh? You don’t…need it? But it’s yours. Why don’t you need it Mr. Crow? Doesn’t it help you fly?”

Mr. Crow hopped along the branch with wings out, rustling the leaves as it continued to stare down at her.

“Are you sure?” she asked.

A series of caws left its beak this time before it pushed off and glided into the sky, flying away over her house and out of sight. She watched the crow leave before waving goodbye to it with a smile, starting to skip back to her tea party as she tucked the feather into her hair.

“Goodbye, Mr. Crow, and thank you for the gift!”


Now you can find this flash fiction work and others on my profile on Wattpad! Click here for my profile and go dive into a sea of Shards of Imagination!

Shards of Imagination Cover Final

Five More Days

Five more days.

There’s just five more days left to the first Camp NaNoWriMo of 2017.

Remember on Friday I had said I had a huge writing sprint of 8.2k words and had caught up to par and even surpassed it again, even finishing the chapter I was on? Remember that I was excited and confident that I’m oh so close to the end now?

Heh, yeah, I’m not excited anymore. And I’m no longer at par. Once again I’m 2k below, and my odds of getting any word count added until possibly Saturday or Friday night is slim to nothing.

*Sigh*

It’s been a rough weekend, and yesterday started five days of work hell. (Our assistant manager is on vacation which leaves three of us to run the store, and more hours than I want because of NaNo.) What makes it even worse is all the shifts I got are the long ass early afternoon till close. The shifts I don’t ever get a damn thing done at home with. Why I get all the closing shifts and the other keyholder gets all the openings is beyond me. I don’t see how that’s fair but whatever.

I am ending up with one opening shift instead of five straight days of closing, only because they needed to switch shifts with me due to previous commitments that were overlooked. But switching the shift also leaves me with even more hours, as well as two long ass back to back close and open shifts that always kill me.

So, yeah, I’m not expecting to get any words written until Friday or Saturday, which then leaves me three days — not even — to write 6,811 words.

I know it’s doable for me if I can do 8k in a day, but I also know from experience by Friday I am going to be so worn out that my motivation and energy to write is probably going to be non-existent. Which means Saturday will pretty much be a bust day more than likely, and I’ll have to write all that on Sunday.

And did I mention there might have to be some other things I do that weekend to help get ready because there are only three free weekends before the camping season starts for me.

In other words, I’m starting to worry, and stress — more than I already am over too much shit, and panic.

Five more days, and 6,811 more words.

And four more work days of hell. If they’re anything like how yesterday’s shift went, I am done.

It’s not just the stress and frustration dragging me down on writing again either. I started the final chapter to Fated to Darkness on Sunday — not the Epilogue, but the final number chapter — and I could see it in my head as this tension-filled, edge of the seat, drama and action extravaganza. I could see it perfectly right after I had finished Chapter 40 last week, when I was on a roll.

I should have said fuck sleep and kept going when I was on the roll last week.

This chapter is…sucking now.

It feels like I’m pulling teeth and everything feels almost…fake. There’s no real tension to it, I can’t even tell where the damn dialogue is going. I’m essentially drowning in this chapter and not getting where I wanted it to be. It doesn’t have an ounce of the bang I wanted, and I want to rip my hair out and throw it across the room.

Quite honestly, I want to just skip it and go write the Epilogue, but I don’t do that.

Maybe it’s the last few horrible days getting to me that has stunted how the chapter was supposed to go. Maybe I’m writing crap because my emotions are crap right now.

I don’t know, but the frustration and lack of excitement to it now is certainly not helping the fact I’m running out of time to get the NaNo win.

I’ll be glad when this week is over. I think I’ll be glad when NaNo is over, too, and I don’t normally say that. And I’m about ten seconds away from just hitting delete on his post instead of publish. Am I just ranting instead of talking about NaNo and writing because I’m fed up and have no one to talk to?

The Word ‘Miss’ (Snippet Sunday 4.23.17)

Welcome to Snippet Sunday on Darkling Dreams!

Where writers come together to share a few sentences (8-10) of their current project — whether it’s a recently released novel, a WIP (work in progress), or an older manuscript that’s being revived. Intended to hook readers, gather feedback and build an author’s fan base, Snippet Sunday is the FB group that does all three.

snippet sunday

The madness that is the first Camp NaNoWriMo of 2017 has begun! Who else has plunged into the madness with me? I’m spending the month FINISHING Fated to Darkness and then using the remaining words of the month to work on Clockwork Heart. The tentative plan I would like to do is finish and publish Clockwork Heart this year. Since I’m hitting a point in FtD that I don’t really want to share from it anymore, I’m going to jump back to sharing from Clockwork Heart this month. Part of my motivation to finish the short story/novella/whatever it ends up being. This story is a steampunk, fantasy, modern-cross kind of genre. It’s still a WiP and I only have the first chapter completed – so far – so please excuse an errors and suggestions are welcome.

This week’s excerpt picks up right where I left off in last week’s snippet.

And now for the sixth peek at Chapter 1…

~*~*~*~

Lavinia fell quiet, then asked, “When did your mother go missing?”

His expression fell, letting the flower lay on his chest while he gazed up at the cloudless sky. “In one week’s time it’ll be a year. I miss her…”

“But she is already missing.”

Eric paused, looking over to her with a furrowed brow. “Huh?”

“You said you miss her, but she is already missing, so did you not already miss her?” Her head tilted ever so slightly.

The confused expression he wore gave way to that sort of light bulb realization he had described to her once. Eric shook his head and sat up. “Yes, I did already miss her. The word ‘miss’ can have more than one meaning though. It can describe an action, but it can also describe an emotion or feeling.”

~*~*~*~

The English language can be such a tricky thing, can’t it?


Due to the fact this is a new WiP, I do not have a cover or blurb yet, neither is it posted to Wattpad at this time. So there will be no “if you wish to read more…”

However! If you wish to read anything else that I have out for free, you can hop on over to  my profile on Wattpad and check out what I have to offer. Or if you wish to read my debut release, Embermyst, you can find out more about that in the tabs above. I love to hear any and all feedback on my work as well. Comments are greatly appreciated, as are the reads. You can also find me on my Facebook author page to keep up to date with all that’s going on in my writing.

And if you’re looking for some other great snippets of fellow authors,
hop on over to Facebook and check out Snippet Sunday!

Gaining Momentum

We are officially in the home stretch of April’s Camp NaNo madness. Only nine days left. Yesterday the site officially announced that validating had begun, and to those who don’t follow NaNoWriMo that means that there’s no more changing your goal. It is set in stone now so if you’re slacking, you better light a fire under your butt and work like mad to come out with that win.

Validating is essentially the proof that you did the work throughout the month. If you’re using Camp to write it means you have to copy and paste every single word you wrote that month into the little box they provide and click validate so it can compute the number of words to prove you haven’t lied on your word count.

(Which is exactly why I write everything for NaNo in a separate Word doc. It makes it that much easier to copy and paste at the end, and that much easier to update your word count during the month.)

Then if validating accepts your progress as a win… Voila! You get a nice big winner badge, banner, gold star, and goodies! Not to mention the satisfaction that you made it! That might be the best part about the win.

(I’m not quite sure how validating works for anyone who’s used Camp to edit by page numbers, or an X-number of hours put into working on writing-related projects that month. That part is still really knew to me and I’ve never used it.)

So with only nine days left to the madness, where am I sitting at now?

On Tuesday’s post I was sorely failing in all accounts for NaNo. I was below par by 5k and I had blown every single day off I had in a four day stretch for writing.

Before I went to bed Tuesday I forced myself to write. I had a little help from a friend who wrote with me, and I also had a little bit of motivation in the form of a snail-mail letter bribe if I hit 2k before I went to bed, and that eventually got me going. Needless to say, I ended up making the 2k before I crashed around 4am.

Wednesday was my final day off, and my last chance to get some serious words written. Of course, it’s also my Shard day, and I had a couple errands and menial chores I needed to run as well. Unfortunately. That meant my writing didn’t start till late afternoon again, but once I got started…

There was literally no stopping me. The apocalypse could have started and I would not have stopped writing. I was on fire, the words were just rolling right off my fingers, bleeding over the keyboard. You would have had to pry me away with a crowbar, kicking and screaming bloody murder, to get me to stop writing.

At the start of Wednesday I didn’t think I was going to catch up to par, I was still 4k below once midnight hit that evening, even with the 2k I did the night before. I expected at the most to get maybe another 2k or so and then that would be it.

So boy was I blown away when my final numbers showed I had managed to write 8.2k in twenty-four hours by the time I crashed for bed Wednesday night — which was again somewhere around 4am.

Not only did I catch up to par, I passed it by 1.2k again. I’m still caught up to par right now, and I haven’t done any writing since late Wednesday night thanks to work and exhaustion. (Granted once midnight hits I will drop 800 words below par again, but I have a nice, free, undisturbed night tomorrow after work, and I am going to use it.)

You know the best part about my 8.2k frenzy?

Chapter 40 is finished.

I am one chapter closer to the end of Fated to Darkness.

I’m on the final chapter, and after that is completed all that is left to write is a short Epilogue. The first draft of Fated to Darkness will finally be completed after almost three years.

I have no words. None.

The range of emotions coursing through me over that fact are unreal.

I will finish this novel this month. I won’t get to bump my goal up any now because I struggled so much in the beginning of the month, and I won’t be getting to write anything in Clockwork Heart for the month more than likely — at the very most it might be one or two thousand words, if that. I’m not going to have a 60k month like I did last year in April, but I will be finishing this novel, and right now that is all I can ask for.

Nine days left. Only 8,750 more words to validate.

April’s win, here I come. My momentum and motivation are back, baby, and I can see the end of the novel that much closer within my reach.