When Tragedy Strikes

Hi, everyone. I know, I dropped off on a long hiatus again. I didn’t keep up with writing as I had wanted to. I have, however, started to keep up with weekly flash fiction challenges. (Namely #ThursThreads hosted by the lovely Siobhan Muir and #MenageMonday hosted by the amazing Cara Michaels.) I need to get myself back into Wednesday Words from the awesome P.T. Wyant, too.

Today is not about a recap of what’s going on with this sporadic blogger author though. It is not about my own announcements or my own experiences. Today’s post is a memorial to a beautiful young soul who’s life was tragically cut short late Tuesday night.

Yesterday I wrote a tribute to her life and memory on Facebook.

We all live to believe this world is big and what happens to it and others are not our own problems and won’t affect us. But we are wrong. This world is small and fragile and more often than not right on our front steps.

I learned that today. This afternoon I got a group text. A text that brought shock, grief, anger, and pain.

Last night there was a shooting in the Hill District at a graduation/birthday party full of teenagers and young adults. A potentially senseless shooting that destroyed what should have been one of the best days of a young girl’s life. That young girl was my employee and now her life is gone. She had literally just turned seventeen. Just graduated high school. Full of potential. Hard-working. Willing to learn. Upbeat. Happy. A beautiful soul. She was planning for college. She was going to be a nurse. She had her whole life ahead of her, and now it is all gone. And because of what? For what?

This world is not as big as we think it is. The problems of this world are always closer than they appear to be. Today I learned that as I still sit here in shock. She may have only worked with my company for a short period, but it was enough to make a connection. A simple passing “hello” is enough to make a connection. It is enough to leave an ache in my chest, to make the weight of this messed up world press down on my shoulders. This life and world we live in is precious and it only takes one second, one pop of a gun to take it all away. Senseless. Greedy. Worthless violence. And it needs to end before another beautiful soul is taken from this earth for useless reasons. #RIPbeautifulsoul #stoptheviolence #whereisourgunreform #whereisthejustice

Today I turned the #ThursThreads prompt into a lesson to honor her in my flash piece.

~*~*~*~*~

The erratic beep, beep of the checkout scanners around me reminded me of the beep, beep of a heart monitor. I watched the cashier scan each of my items. A bag of Doritos. Carrots. Gallon of milk. Tissues.

My expression fell, following that item all the way to the end of the belt. Hazel eyes drifted up to the young woman. She was African American. Her name tag read “Faith” in bold, black letters. Tight braided hair that fell past her chest. Warm brown eyes. She couldn’tve been more than seventeen. She looked bored.

“First job?” I asked softly, randomly.

Faith gave me a weird glance. I knew that look in retail. “Um, yeah… Why?”

“Just curious.” The beep, beep of the scanners overtook the awkward silence. I sucked in a breath. “Cherish this job, hun. I know it feels demeaning and customers can be royal asshats. But cherish it while you have it. This world is cruel. It only takes one second, one pop of a gun for tragedy to strike and life to be stripped away.”

She gave me a haughty look, understandably. “Why are you telling me this? Because I’m black?”

I couldn’t blame her. I was white. To her I was privileged. I held my calm, looked into her eyes with grief in mine. “No,” I whispered. “Because violence is everywhere. It doesn’t discriminate and even when we think the world’s problems won’t affect us they have a funny way of showing up on our doorstep.”

~*~*~*~*~

When tragedy strikes I am only able to write and feel what is tumbling through me. I am only able to light candles and honor the one who passed through the veil however I can. So write for her memory I will, and light candles to guide her soul I will. For I will not just do nothing.

May you find peace wherever you are now, Alexus. Fly high, beautiful soul.

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So Much Numbness (Snippet Sunday 5.12.19)

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 Facebook group that does all three.

snippet sunday

Happy Mother’s Day! To all you moms, grandmas, pet moms, figurative moms, all of you! I hope you all have a special day. I can’t believe it’s May 12th already, either. Where has this month been going? Anyways… Camp NaNoWriMo is over until July but I’m still trying to hang around. Hopefully I can build enough of a habit so I stick around continuously again. Only time shall tell here. In the meantime, ready for some more sneak peaks from me?

This week’s excerpt is coming from an oldie but a newbie. My Camp NaNoWriMo project was to work on the revision/rewrite of one of the first short stories I ever wrote. Rivers of Black was written at least six — perhaps seven — years ago and it shows in the original draft. Cringe city, ladies and gentlemen. I shared from the original version of this story ages and ages ago when I first began this blog, but let’s forget all those snippets and start anew on the story! For those of you unfamiliar with the tale, Rivers of Black is a paranormal short story.

(FOREWARNING: This story deals with topics that some may find triggering. If you find depression, self harm, and suicide to be touchy subjects for you please read at your own caution, or don’t continue to read at all.)

Now then, let’s pick up from last week with the next ten lines of the rewritten Rivers of Black… Please allow for errors or creative punctuation; this is a rough draft WiP rewrite thus far. Constructive feedback is appreciated though!

~*~*~*~

It took my happiness. Without me even knowing how or when, the universe took away my spirit. The laughs and smiles were gone, replaced with hollow faces and forced chuckles. No more straight A’s. No more fun family banter. No more adventures with friends. Nothing. I became an empty shell. An empty shell full of dark thoughts and numbness.

So much numbness.

~*~*~*~

It’s a short look into the story this week. I better get my butt in gear working on it again or I’m about to run out of snippets to share.

Like what you read? Have a thought about it? Want to offer constructive feedback? Leave me a comment! And thanks for coming along to read!


RoB cover 1 by person

Cover made by @_teenagers on Wattpad

Due to the fact this is a WiP rewrite there will no “if you wish to read more…” statement as of yet, nor does it have a working blurb at the moment. Technically the original version does still reside on Wattpad but because of how cringe worthy it is I’m going to suggest not reading it and instead waiting for the polished version to (hopefully) be published by some literary magazine when I finish it.

However! If you wish to read anything else that I have out for free, you can click the tabs above to browse through my available works and then follow the links to my Wattpad account. 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 and now my Twitter 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!

I’m No Princess (Snippet Sunday 5.5.19)

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 Facebook group that does all three.

snippet sunday

Welcome to May, folks! “May the fourth bewitch you!” Okay, so yesterday was technically Star Wars Day and that’s not exactly the Star Wars Day motto. But I’m not a Star Wars fan and that version of the saying just suits me better. Now I just need a new name for the day to use my saying with. Anyways… Camp NaNoWriMo is over but I’m still trying to hang around. Hopefully I can build enough of a habit so I stick around continuously again. Only time shall tell here. In the meantime, ready for some more sneak peaks from me?

This week’s excerpt is coming from an oldie but a newbie. My Camp NaNoWriMo project was to work on the revision/rewrite of one of the first short stories I ever wrote. Rivers of Black was written at least six — perhaps seven — years ago and it shows in the original draft. Cringe city, ladies and gentlemen. I shared from the original version of this story ages and ages ago when I first began this blog, but let’s forget all those snippets and start anew on the story! For those of you unfamiliar with the tale, Rivers of Black is a paranormal short story.

(FOREWARNING: This story deals with topics that some may find triggering. If you find depression, self harm, and suicide to be touchy subjects for you please read at your own caution, or don’t continue to read at all.)

Now then, let’s pick up from last week with the next nine lines of the rewritten Rivers of Black… Please allow for errors or creative punctuation; this is a rough draft WiP rewrite thus far. Constructive feedback is appreciated though!

~*~*~*~

I had a good family that stayed together, I had a dog, I had great friends, I got straight A’s in school. I had been happy. The kind of exhilarating happy you feel after stepping off the most wicked roller coaster in the country. I had everything I could have wanted back then.

So the answer to “why not me” was, in fact, quite simple. My life had been too perfect in the eyes of the universe. Therefore, the sun, moon, and stars collectively decided to ruin something about it. Because, let’s face it, life is only completely perfect in fairy tales.

And I’m no princess.

~*~*~*~

*Sigh* If only life were like the fairy tales of our childhoods how lucky we would be.

Like what you read? Have a thought about it? Leave me a comment! And thanks for coming along to read!


RoB cover 1 by person

Cover made by @_teenagers on Wattpad

Due to the fact this is a WiP rewrite there will no “if you wish to read more…” statement as of yet, nor does it have a working blurb at the moment. Technically the original version does still reside on Wattpad but because of how cringe worthy it is I’m going to suggest not reading it and instead waiting for the polished version to (hopefully) be published by some literary magazine when I finish it.

However! If you wish to read anything else that I have out for free, you can click the tabs above to browse through my available works and then follow the links to my Wattpad account. 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 and now my Twitter 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!

“Why Me?” (Snippet Sunday 4.28.19)

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 Facebook group that does all three.

snippet sunday

Okay, I admit, I dropped the ball again. I got a late, late start on the Camp NaNoWriMo train but I am here now! Hopefully in this last week of Camp I will be able to build a habit and stick around continuously since it’s the last weekend of April already. Only time shall tell here. In the meantime, ready for some more sneak peaks from me?

This week’s excerpt is coming from an oldie but a newbie. My Camp NaNoWriMo project was/is to work on the revision/rewrite of one of the first short stories I ever wrote. Rivers of Black was written at least six — perhaps seven — years ago and it shows in the original draft. Cringe city, ladies and gentlemen. I shared from the original version of this story ages and ages ago when I first began this blog, but let’s forget all those snippets and start anew on the story! For those of you unfamiliar with the tale, Rivers of Black is a paranormal short story.

(FOREWARNING: This story deals with topics that some may find triggering. If you find depression, self harm, and suicide to be touchy subjects for you please read at your own caution, or don’t continue to read at all.)

Now then, let’s begin with the beginning. Here’s the first seven lines of the rewritten Rivers of Black… Please allow for errors; this is a rough draft WiP rewrite thus far.

~*~*~*~

I USED TO look up at the stars at night and ask:

“Why me?”

What did I ever do to deserve this pain?

Then one day it hit me, like a brick to the face. The question had never been, “Why me?” The question had always been, “Why not me?” The answer to that question had been much easier to wrap my head around. I may never have believed it back then but I had a pretty good life before the darkness invaded my every waking and non-waking moment.

~*~*~*~

“Why me?” … Isn’t that one of the biggest million dollar questions of all eternity?


RoB cover 1 by person

Cover made by @_teenagers on Wattpad

Due to the fact this is a WiP rewrite there will no “if you wish to read more…” statement as of yet, nor does it have a working blurb at the moment. Technically the original version does still reside on Wattpad but because of how cringe worthy it is I’m going to suggest not reading it and instead waiting for the polished version to (hopefully) be published by some literary magazine when I finish it.

However! If you wish to read anything else that I have out for free, you can click the tabs above to browse through my available works and then follow the links to my Wattpad account. 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 and now my Twitter 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!

The Enemy Trade — Part 2 (Snippet Sunday 3.31.19)

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 Facebook group that does all three.

snippet sunday

Last day of March? Already? Oh no. That means the first Camp NaNoWriMo of the year starts in less than twenty-four hours! So not ready! I hope to stick around through at least the end of April here, then we’ll have to play things as they go. In the meantime, ready for some more sneak peaks from me?

This week’s excerpt is from something brand spanking new from me! It’s that time of the year again when Queer Sci Fi holds its annual flash fiction contest. I got pestered to submit again so here I am! This year’s theme for QSF is “migration” and I came up with a fantasy tale this time. Like last year when I shared from my submission piece I’m only giving two short previews, so this will be the last snippet of this work considering the whole piece is just under 300 words.

We left off last week with Danny speaking: “The ‘rogue assassin’ bit should really have tipped you off from the start who you were getting into bed with.” So without further ado, here’s the next eight nine lines of The Enemy Trade

~*~*~*~

“Danika-!”

He shot a glare upwards, silencing the princess with a steel-tipped amber gaze. “Danny. I don’t go by that name anymore. I might bed you though, if you weren’t such a fragile human.” Heat rushed into Selene’s cheeks. Danny smirked then sobered seriously. “Listen, princess, I’m gonna level with you. I didn’t travel across this godforsaken realm to your kingdom just to be told I can’t do what I do best: eliminate problems by killing.”

~*~*~*~

I mean, what else did the princess expect from a ‘rogue assassin’? Also, if you’re interested in submitting to QSF for this contest you still have time! The deadline is April 10th this year. How hard can it be to write a 300 word complete story, right? Wrong.


Migration QSF

Image belongs to QSF at queerscifi.com

Due to the fact this is a flash fiction submission, I do not have a cover or blurb understandably, neither is it going to be posted to Wattpad in the near future. 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 click the tabs above to browse through my available works and then follow the links to my Wattpad account. 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 and now my Twitter 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!

The Enemy Trade — Part 1 (Snippet Sunday 3.24.19)

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 Facebook group that does all three.

snippet sunday

Hello! Hey! Hi! *Waves enthusiastically* Wow it’s been a long time since I’ve done one of these. Almost a year ago to be exact. Time just hasn’t been my friend but I’m hoping to stick around at least through the end of April here, then we’ll have to play things as they go. In the meantime, ready for some sneak peaks from me again?

This week’s excerpt is from something brand spanking new from me! It’s that time of the year again when Queer Sci Fi holds its annual flash fiction contest. I got pestered to submit again so here I am! This year’s theme for QSF is “migration” and I came up with a fantasy tale this time. Like last year when I shared from my submission piece I’ll only be posting two small parts of it considering the whole piece is just under 300 words.

So without further ado, here’s the first eight lines of The Enemy Trade

~*~*~*~

“You killed Aramath?!”

Danny rolled his eyes, pushing runaway red strands of a half-shaved pixie cut aside. “Don’t act so shocked. I wouldn’t sick me on my worst enemy, and you knew my reputation when we made this pact.”

“I signed up for trading enemies! Not killing them! Dragonshifter leverages the dragonshifter, and royalty influences royalty so you can keep going rogue assassin.”

“The ‘rogue assassin’ bit should really have tipped you off from the start who you were getting into bed with.”

~*~*~*~

Oh the snark. Gotta love it. Also, if you’re interested in submitting to QSF for this contest you still have time! The deadline is April 10th this year. How hard can it be to write a 300 word complete story, right? Wrong.


Migration QSF

Image belongs to QSF at queerscifi.com

Due to the fact this is a flash fiction submission, I do not have a cover or blurb understandably, neither is it going to be posted to Wattpad in the near future. 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 click the tabs above to browse through my available works and then follow the links to my Wattpad account. 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 and now my Twitter 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!

Breaking the Fourth Wall: An Interview Hosted by K.S. Trenten and Quartz

*Knock knock knock*

Does this thing still work at all?

*Blows dust off keyboard and pages, tentatively pokes around all of Darkling Dreams’ nooks and crannies until it thrums to life*

Aha! There we go! What do you know? It still works! *Sneezes, fans away lingering dust* It’s sure been awhile though, hasn’t it? *Looks back at date of last post, cringes* April 22nd to be exact it seems. Time and life has really gotten away from me I’m afraid, and not all of it for the best sadly.

But I’m here now so I might as well make the most of it while I’m here! For however long that may be this time…

hello there

So hello dear darklings! How have you all been? Still kicking I hope. It has been a roller coaster of a few months for me but I’m not here to make excuses for myself anymore, or for my lack of consistency here. Shit happens. Hopefully I will find some semblance of balance and routine in my life but now is not that time so for now I will make the most of what I can here on this blog through my journey. One day I may be here for a bit and the next I will have fallen down the rabbit hole again for weeks, months perhaps. But on this day I am here so let’s get to the point of me being here!

Have you ever wondered what it’s like inside an author’s head? Listening to their characters babble on all day, bickering with them over plot issues and plot points, giving each other the silent treatment, wanting to throttle them for making your storyline difficult (or is that one just me?), and also loving them because they are yours and they belong only to you.

To you readers this may sound like I’ve gone off the deep end into the loony bin, but I assure you this is a normal day for us socially acceptable insane breed of people — I mean, us writers and authors.

So would you like to see a little further into the characters we breathe life into?

Well, now you have a chance at seeing one of mine break down the fourth wall with me, a fellow author, and one of her own characters as well! Myself and Matt — okay, mostly Matt because this is his show, not mine — are featured right now over on the Cauldron of Eternal Inspiration! It’s run by the lovely K.S. Trenten and her segment of monthly interviews called Secondary Characters Speak Out, hosted by none other than her dwarven sidekick Quartz.

(Is Quartz going to despise the fact I called him your sidekick, K.S.?)

For those of you that have followed along with my blog you might recognize the name Matt. It’s been a long time so even I don’t honestly remember if he ever made an appearance in my Snippet Sunday posts for Fated to Darkness, but that is the story he belongs to. And for the first time ever he’s getting a chance to speak out about his character and the series he belongs to, The Dark Heir. If you’re curious hop on over to the Cauldron of Eternal Inspiration and join the conversation with myself, Matt, K.S., and Quartz. It’s bound to give you some hints to The Dark Heir series. *Wink, wink*

A big shout out thank you to K.S. and Quartz for having us! It was loads of fun and I hope to return with another secondary character some day.

To sign off for the night I want to leave with a question. Talking and arguing with the characters in my head is something I do on a daily basis as an author — as weird as that may seem to you non-authors out there — and with fellow authors I’m comfortable with my characters tend to speak out on their own in my real conversations as well. As I write now there’s at least one of them nagging to put their two cents into this post. With posts in the future these characters might start making their voices heard through this platform and my other social media. Talking with myself, like Jeff Dunham and his crew of misfits, only it’s not with just myself in some form. As an author if I began letting their voices mingle in with my own, or if say they even decided upon their own segment of posts for news updating or something, would that be a turn off for you readers? Or would it be something you guys would enjoy seeing and would make you want to keep coming back? It is an issue I’m sure numerous authors out there want to express because to us the characters are more than just characters, but not all of the rest of the world sees them as we do. Readers and writers, I want to know what you think.

An Unknown Abyss (Snippet Sunday 4.22.18)

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

Happy Earth day! Sooo… Three weeks into Camp NaNo and I still don’t have a word count to show for it. With only nine days left I better get my butt in gear and finish this short story I switched to. I mean, I dropped my goal to something pitifully small for me, I better be able to pull it off. Here’s hoping the last week of NaNo is going better for all you readers out there than it is for me!

Even though I’ve switched what I’m working on for Camp NaNoWriMo I’m going to continue to share from Embermyst just to finish out the month. For those that have followed along over the last couple years, you know I got my debut publication in 2016 with this short story in an anthology. Since the company went out of business last year and I received my rights back I began rewriting Embermyst into a full fleshed out novel last November.

I’m picking up right where I left off from in last week’s excerpt. If you missed last week, or need a quick refresh, Morticia was feeling some peaceful coming over her fatigued state, like loving arms pulling her close. So without further ado, here are the next six lines to the never before seen prologue of Embermyst

(Excuse any errors; this is still an unedited WiP. This passage is a bit edited from what I have in the Word document as the whispered speech is actually spoken in Latin. I just haven’t created the exact translation yet so I substituted just the English to avoid looking like an idiot. LOL. If anyone knows Latin well enough to translate or knows someone who does and would be willing to give me a shout on the translation, it’d be greatly appreciated!)

~*~*~*~

“Maiden, Mother, Crone, hear me now for I am thy daughter. Hold me safe in loving arms, guard and bless my steady path,” she whispered under her breath.

In the midst of security something pricked the essence of her being. Alarm coursed through weak limbs and a groggy mind. The safety net surrounding her snapped away harshly like a knife through her soul. Her chest rose and fell with one last erratic breath, arching upwards in a spasm of quiet agony, straining against the ropes that bound her before the unknown abyss snatched her away and reality faded out of existence.

~*~*~*~

And good energy turned bad… Well, it was nice while it lasted? Sorry for the shortness this week, that was the end of the Prologue!


I Was Engaged (Embermyst Promotion)

Due to the fact this is still a WiP I do not have a reworked blurb to share yet and the image comes from the original short story (a part that has not changed, mostly, the second question is a little different; I just haven’t fully figured out the new question to change it yet). Nor will the story be posted to Wattpad either as I have all intentions of pitching it for publication upon its completion. That being said there will be no “if you wish to read more” option.

However! If you wish to read anything else that I have out for free, you can click the tabs above to browse through my available works and then follow the links to my Wattpad account. 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!

A Tickled Breath and Promise (Snippet Sunday 4.15.18)

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

Sooo… Two weeks into Camp NaNo and with my eight day vacation from work and I still don’t have a word count to show for it. Worse yet, I ended up dropping the project I was getting nowhere on and changed to something else. That something else isn’t going too well either. The word count still isn’t coming, the motivation still isn’t there, and the want to write still hasn’t return. And we are halfway through Camp today. Just my luck.

Even though I’ve switched what I’m working on for Camp NaNoWriMo I’m going to continue to share from Embermyst just to finish out the month. For those that have followed along over the last couple years, you know I got my debut publication in 2016 with this short story in an anthology. Since the company went out of business last year and I received my rights back I began rewriting Embermyst into a full fleshed out novel last November.

I’m skipping ahead just a few lines from last week’s excerpt. I left out a plea from her fiancé to basically come back to her for explanation purposes. So without further ado, here are the next ten lines to the never before seen prologue of Embermyst

(Excuse any errors; this is still an unedited WiP. Minor punctuation abuse this week to fit the limit too.)

~*~*~*~

She let her head fall to the side, catching a washed out glimpse of her fiancé in the doorway through spots of black light in her vision; his voice whispered against her senses, so far off and faint she thought for a moment she imagined it. The priest’s babbling had become just as distant as the seconds ticked by.

A strange heaviness began to creep into her limbs, dragging her down to the earth. Her wild heart had begun to still, the roaring in her ears turning to a light buzzing sound; she could almost hear a reassuring call among that buzzing. A tickled breath and promise of release from this torment. She knew the energy surrounding it, recognized it cocooning her in safety like a second skin. Welcome familiarity surrounded her soul, driving out the heightened sensations of pain, grief, and misguided belief suffocating her in the room.

Morticia closed her eyes, relaxing into those open arms. The world around her bled away, coming to a peaceful standstill. No chanting, no pain, no rough hands forcing her down, no stress, no fear.

~*~*~*~

Any guesses as to what energy she’s feeling? I love hearing guesses.


I Was Engaged (Embermyst Promotion)

Due to the fact this is still a WiP I do not have a reworked blurb to share yet and the image comes from the original short story (a part that has not changed, mostly, the second question is a little different; I just haven’t fully figured out the new question to change it yet). Nor will the story be posted to Wattpad either as I have all intentions of pitching it for publication upon its completion. That being said there will be no “if you wish to read more” option.

However! If you wish to read anything else that I have out for free, you can click the tabs above to browse through my available works and then follow the links to my Wattpad account. 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!

What is Camp NaNoWriMo?

Goodbye, March. Hello, April and insanity! For those that already know what Camp NaNoWriMo is, welcome to another month of the madness. For those that don’t know or are new to the world that is NaNoWriMo I’m going to give you a crash course.

I know I’ve talked briefly about Camp NaNoWriMo and NaNoWriMo before on this blog, but those times have mainly been discussing my own successes, failures, or bouts of insanity among writing for these month long challenges. I’ve never talked too much about the challenge in general though.

So today I’m going to paint you the journey of Camp NaNo and all its perks.

camp nano banner

Camp NaNo is affiliated with the non-profit organization called NaNoWriMo — an acronym that stands for National Novel Writing Month. Perhaps many of you have heard of it, but I’m not here to talk about the big NaNo show perks. Not today at least.

Consider Camp NaNoWriMo a trial run of the big and bad NaNoWriMo. Whereas NaNo is a more cookie cutter challenge with a set goal and fewer options of what you’re writing, the Camp version allows you more flexibility on numerous levels. And is more fun in my opinion.

Camp happens twice a year — once in April, and then also in July. Unlike NaNoWriMo, you don’t have a set number goal of 50k, and you can choose from more than just a word count goal. You can make your own goal to fit your own lifestyle. Within Camp you have all these options to choose from in creating your goal: word count goal, page goal, line goal, hour goal, or minutes goal.

From there you choose any goal count from thirty to one million. (I’m not sure I’d suggest trying one million. That sounds impossibly hard.)

One of the best things about choosing your own goal that can be more than just a word count is it allows you to do more than just write. Take this for example:

Last year for July’s Camp NaNo session I choose a page count instead of word count. Wanna know why? Because I had finished writing the first draft of my novel in April’s session and needed some more motivation to edit. You heard me. Edit.

Camp NaNo is flexible enough that you can use your goal for editing instead of writing if you wish.

I choose a page count equivalent to so many chapters of my novel that I had to read through, edit, and make notes on for what needed changed or fixed. That month was the furthest progress, and most accurate progress, I have ever made on editing because it kept me moving without losing my focus. It worked out really well.

If you’re ever lacking motivation to get started the forces that run this month long retreat send out a Camp Care Package every day in your account mailbox (not your email). These Camp Care Packages range from pep talks, to writerly advice, daily challenges, and invites to word sprints, write-ins, and other goodies hosted on their YouTube and Twitter account.

And if you ever need more than those daily packages, their site has an awesome Writing Resources tab full of events, information on the Camp counselors, and lots and lots of Q&A’s for planning, characters, beginnings, scenes, and so much more.

On the side of great resources, since NaNoWriMo and its affiliated sessions are part of a non-profit organization you can win some great goodies from their sponsors by meeting your goal. Sponsors that include (but are not always limited to): Scrivener, Dabble, Scribophile, Storyist Software, She Writes University, and Litographs. Scrivener I know is a big sponsor of NaNoWriMo and its affiliations, and they offer a great discount on their software if you verify you met your goal. Though I’ve not tried the software myself I’ve heard it’s a great tool for writers.

Another great thing about Camp sessions, you don’t have to work on just a novel or novella for Camp NaNoWriMo. You can be writing a screen play, poetry, a short story, multiple short stories or poetry pieces, revisions, essays even. As long as you can fit a goal of hours, minutes, words, pages, or lines to what you want to work on, you can make it work for Camp sessions. That’s the true beauty of Camp NaNo.

However, there is one more perk to Camp that happens to be my favorite.

The cabins.

Cabins are Camp’s version of a small writing group full of buddies you can chat with about anything during your month long journey. You can have up to twenty people in a cabin, and there’s three different options for joining. There are two types of cabins: public and private.

Within the public cabins you have two options. In your cabin preferences you can select to be tossed into a random cabin with mates you don’t know anything about. Or you can choose to be filed into a cabin that meets a certain criteria of similar interests. Whether that interest is by age group, the same genre writing as you, and/or with similar goals as you. That part is totally up to you.

Private cabins are a little bit different. Any member can create their own private cabin, give it a name, and invite campers they know by their username. If you have friends who join you on this mad challenge private cabins are a perfect option to chat along with them and nag — or congratulate — them about their progress.

If you don’t want to be in a cabin that’s okay too. Camp does offer an option to elect out of being placed in a cabin so that you can hole yourself up on your own to write if that works best for you.

So there you have it! Camp NaNoWriMo’s perks and workings crash coursed in all its brilliant madness. Of course, there’s much more I could talk about for Camp NaNo, and their other affiliations — like NaPoWriMo and the Young Writer’s Program — but those are topics for another day.

Here’s to writing like mad for the month. If you’ve taken the plunge into the challenge, share how it’s going and what you’re working on in the comments below.