Windows of Life (Wednesday Words 4.19.17)

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 an occurence 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.)

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

Windows of Life

“Mom! I’m home,” I called through the house as I shut the front door. I didn’t exactly expect an answer so when no voice greeted me back I wasn’t surprised.

Setting my book bag down by the door I wandered through the downstairs, looking for my mother. The floor was quiet though, dark with drawn drapes. I threw a couple of them open, fading light playing off the floating dust particles in the room. In the kitchen I frowned to find there weren’t any new dishes in the sink and the bowl of cereal I had left out on the table when I skipped out that morning for school was hardly touched.

I sighed as I took the bowl of dry frosted flakes and threw the rest out to the animals out back, then put the bowl in the sink and started for the stairs. “Mom?” I called again.

My foot hesitated on the first stair, hand gripping the railing as I took a deep breath. I always feared what I would come home too. Would I find my mother actually functioning by eating or reading or watching TV on the rare days she was doing better? Or would I find her laying in bed upstairs once more, barely having moved the whole day?

Or, worse yet, would I find her dead?

I let out the shaky breath I was holding and ascended the staircase. My eyes glanced over the box of books in the upper hallway, frowning. My mother had refused to leave the encyclopedias on the shelf in her room after my father died. She claimed it reminded her too much of him, too much of how he came alive when he was teaching a class at the university. One day, in a fit of hysterical crying, she had thrown every book off the shelves in their bedroom, and since then they had laid dormant in a box in the hallway.

My mother never wanted to see them again, but that didn’t mean I wanted to part with the set. It was almost all I had left of him now after she broke or packed up every other reminder. She claimed it was too painful to leave it sitting out, but to me it was like she was trying to forget dad ever existed.

I picked up the box of books and moved them into my bedroom, hiding them under the bed. Out of sight, but never out of mind. Maybe later I could read the inscriptions of quotes he wrote on the inside cover of every book he ever owned. Maybe later I could let myself feel the pain again.

A deep breath dropped my shoulders and I started down the hall before I could think too much on the subject. It was easier to deal with my mother if my mind was devoid of every emotional thought.

“Mom?” I asked softly as I stopped at her door and rapped on the wood. A tiny murmur greeted me this time and relief flooded my veins.

Today was not the day I would find her dead.

Pushing open the door I walked in, peering through the gloom to find her huddled up under the covers, staring blankly at the wall. I hated that look on her face. It was like she had become a shell of a person. I wanted to hide from the world and grieve too, but I couldn’t, because if I did then there would be no one left to take care of her, and no one to maintain this house or whatever life they had left here. I hated that she got to be the grieving, deadened one and not me. I was the child, she was supposed to be the strength for both of us. She was supposed to comfort me.

“Have you eaten anything today, mom?” I asked, shoving aside the resentful thoughts.

She didn’t answer, only slid her glassy gaze toward me before looking back to the wall with a sigh. I frowned.

“I guess that’s a no… Have you been out of bed yet?” She shrugged and a pinch of anger bloomed in my chest. “Mom… You can’t keep-” I bit my tongue before I could finish that sentence, knowing it would only fall on deaf ears, then let out a breath. “Never mind. I’m going to go make dinner and come get you when it’s ready, then you’re going to take a shower while I’m doing my homework. You didn’t take one yesterday.”

My mother gave a weary incoherent mumble and turned over in bed, facing away from me. I stared at her for a second before turning away to go start a load of laundry and cook dinner with a heavy heart.

I hadn’t just lost my father on the night of that fire, I lost my mother too.


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

Could’ve, Should’ve…Didn’t

How do you write a blog post when you have absolutely nothing writing related to talk about?

The answer is I don’t know, but I guess I’ll figure it out as I go because that’s exactly what I’m doing right now.

You would think that because I’ve had the last four straight days off work that I should have a ton of words written and be done with Fated to Darkness and have moved onto Clockwork Heart. You would think that I should have done 20k or more in these past four days and be close to goal, or upping it.

But no. You would be wrong.

Very, very wrong.

Four straight days off. FOUR! And I haven’t written a single word.

Why? Why, me? Why do you do this to yourself?

It’s Camp NaNo. You are supposed to be WRITING.

(Yes, I am yelling at myself.)

*Sigh*

In my defense — or maybe this is my excuse, which, *slaps self*, bad me! — it has been a fairly busy four days. Saturday was spent catching up on everything I didn’t finish the beginning of that week thanks to holiday madness. Sunday was Easter of course which meant spending time with family and apparently it also meant coming home sick that night with a splitting migraine. Monday was a friend’s birthday so that meant I had to spend time with them, and I was still feeling a bit iffy that morning. And today…

I don’t know what happened to all of today. I think I pretty much screwed my own morning and afternoon. The evening was spent at the hair dresser where I got my first ever coloring. (I got highlights, and it’s amazing how stunned every single hairdresser was I had never done any coloring with my hair before. I was like a star. LOL) But let me just say… AHH! I love it!

*Clears throat*

Anywho, as I was saying…

My four days off were pretty much screwed. I know I should have had writing time in every single one of them, but it just…didn’t happen. (Well, except maybe for Easter.) I guess I really am just making up excuses now, because I know I should have been writing Saturday night after I finished things and settled down, and if I had been up a bit early on Easter I could have written something before leaving and ending up sick the rest of the night. Monday I could have done some writing before I went to bed, and today I should have done some before my hair appointment.

I could have, I should have on all accounts, and I…didn’t.

I’ve pretty much completely failed at Camp NaNo this time around.

You know what the really scary and disappointing bit to this is though?

Facebook does those “on this day so-and-so years ago” memory posts and do you know how many words I had last year in April on the 11th?

40,131 words. Forty thousand, one hundred and thirty-one words.

In just over a week I had managed 40k last year.

This year?

*Snorts*

I’ve just barely broken 13k and we’re almost three full weeks into this month. It’s half over already! And I’m below par by 5k, about to be 6k at midnight. I haven’t written a word in a week.

Like…

What the hell happened to me?

Did I just completely and utterly fall apart this time around, or… ??????

Like… GAH!

I don’t even know anymore.

The good news is I have one more day off before I go back to work, which means if I really light a fire under my ass, I can pull off probably 8k words easily, especially if I write a lot before I crash tonight too. And I’m pretty sure there’s someone who can light the match for me… The same person who is already glaring at me from the virtual world, and threatening me playfully in a way that I can’t tell if its bluffing or not — and I’m not sure I want to find out, and who also may or may not be ready to chase me with a sword as my Muse instead of the ever so popular…

writing muse

Okay, well, maybe not chase me. That would defeat the purpose of sitting and writing, but the gun in that photo might turn into a sword instead pretty soon. Or a whip. Or… Yeah, I’m going to stop imagining what she might have the capability of pulling out to make me write. I really can’t tell if she’s bluffing. LOL.

The bad news is as of right now my “At This Rate You Will Finish On” date is May 12th, I need an average of 1.3k words a day to win on time, I won’t be bumping my goal up anymore this month like I had hoped, and after this last day off I will essentially be screwed the rest of the month because our assistant manager will be going on vacation now, which again means more flipping hours I don’t want right now.

Go. Figure.

Nothing like a closing in deadline and running out of time to make me write, right?!

…..

Gods I hope so. This novel was supposed to be done in the first week of NaNo.

A Good Right Hook (Snippet Sunday 4.16.17)

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. Lavinia had asked him if he was close to his mother, and this is his reply.

And now for the fifth peek at Chapter 1…

~*~*~*~

“Very,” he answered softly. “After my father died she was all I had left, save for my grandmother. She cared for me and raised me best she could despite her job. Did you know I had no idea what a Traveler was, let alone that she was one, until only a couple years ago?”

His gaze flickered to her and Lavinia shook her head slowly. “I did not.”

“I didn’t know. Then one night, while my grandmother was watching me because my mother was away on one of her business trips, she came home in the middle of night unexpectedly. The commotion downstairs woke me up and I wandered down to see what was going on. My mother had gotten into a tight spot on her trip, a run in with some pirates, and she had come back hurt.” His eyes became distant, staring at the flower with a mistiness clouding them. “I panicked to see the blood staining her side, ran out demanding to know what had happened to her. My grandmother and her had shared one loaded look before they finally sat me down and told me everything while my grandmother patched her up.”

“Did she tell you what the run in was over?”

Eric shook his head. “She refused to tell me that.” A chuckle spilt from his lips. “Probably because I was swearing up and down I would give the scallywag a good right hook to the jaw to teach him a lesson for hurting my mother. I was fifteen at the time. That was… Geez, that was almost four years ago now.”

~*~*~*~

Every time I picture that scene of Eric fuming over a pirate in my head I can’t help but chuckle.


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!

Falling in the Black

Camp is…sucking.

And right now that’s putting it lightly.

So far nothing this month has really gone to plan, or even close to how I had hoped it would. The last several days are no exception to that trend.

Exhaustion has been my constant companion since Tuesday’s work shift. I have trudged through the last several days with bleary, burning eyes and a complete lack of focus in most times. Somehow I’ve managed to not royally screw anything up in my exhaustion, but I’ve definitely done and said some delirious things.

Thursday was supposed to be a day off for me, and I was looking forward to it because I could hopefully sleep and try to get somewhere on Camp again. And then… Walking into work on Wednesday morning changed everything, again. For once I can’t blame it on my boss, but I can attribute this one to my DM (District Manager).

Apparently him and my boss held a conversation something along the lines of this before I came in that day:

DM: How are you doing for Easter? How is payroll? Do you need more hours to bring more people in?

My boss: We’re in good shape.

DM: What about payroll? Do you need extra hours? What are [Daelyn’s] hours like this week?

My boss: About 30.

DM: Take another 10-15 hours and give her another day.

*Sigh* Thanks, man. I so wanted an extra day. Not.

At the very least, my boss let me choose which day I wanted to work — Thursday or Saturday. I definitely did not want to work Saturday knowing how much madness THAT was going to be, so I took Thursday and screwed over every plan I had once more. Unfortunately, I also ended up with a longer shift today thanks to those extra hours our DM gave us.

So not only was I disgruntled over that the rest of Wednesday, that night looking at my email I also received some bad news that I feared hearing one day. I’m not going to go into it yet — I don’t have the heart or decision to talk about it yet — although I will have to eventually because it does involve my publishing. I’m not gonna lie, I’m pretty upset and stressed over the news. I feel like a fish out of water, uncertain and worried.

As a result of those extra hours, exhaustion, and now more stress, I’ve finally fallen below par for Camp. Yesterday I was only 13 words above par, and since I didn’t manage to write anything in my bleary-eyed state, I’ve officially fallen below as of today.

I know I’m not going to get anything written today with work, and right now I have no idea how tomorrow is going to go. There’s other things I need to address now.

The bad news also shook my enthusiasm for writing, and its taken my heart out of it right now. In a way, it affects the tentative plans I had for Clockwork Heart, the other novella I was going to work on this month. The one I wanted to finish and release this year. But now…

Now I have absolutely no idea what I’m going to do with it again. For the second time this year. (It’s like the universe is trying to make me doubt myself, and it’s working.)

Right now I guess all I can do is force myself to write for Camp and figure out what options I have left, but that doesn’t bring back my motivation and confidence, that doesn’t help me make a decision. A decision I don’t have all the time in the world to think over and make. A decision I really don’t want to make during Mercury’s Retrograde, but will have to.

None of this now is going to help me figure out where I’m going from here. I think I’ll be lucky if I make my Camp goal this month, no upping it this time. Or if I find my heart for writing again. I can’t even honestly describe what I’m feeling and thinking now. I’m falling in the black.

My Damned (Wednesday Words 4.12.17)

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.)

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

My Damned

I see you
Out there,
Tiptoeing among the
Rocks and moss in bare soles.
You’re looking for…
Something,
Among the trickles of water and
Slippery shale.
A smile graces your face,
Your eyes twinkle in amusement.

My eyes glint too —
Not in amusement, but in
Wickedness.
You don’t know I’m here.
Watching.
Waiting.
Lurking within this cavern of rock.

How could you know?

I am invisible to the
Untrained eye;
A phantom of
Superstition.
Those who don’t believe
Never see me coming,
Luring them away.

Your bright laughter makes me
Sneer in contempt.
I loathe that sound —
The sound of
Happiness, of
Life.

You splash closer to my lair.
I grin a feral smile.
The match to
My beacon,
My trap
Ignites.

The blaze of my eternal fire
Captures your attention.
It scorches your
Soul from behind the dribbles of
Fairy-sized waterfalls.

Beckoning,
Tempting.
It draws you closer,
Curls you around my
Spell.

Your foot skims over the
Shallow puddles.
One step closer —
Then another,
And another.

“Yes, come,”
My voice slithers, as
Slippery as the rock faces
Surrounding my Rift.

You stop and crouch
Before my mouth.
My grin widens.
I whisper across your senses,
Blurring your reality.
The moment you begin to see
Etches across your face in
Creases of terror.

But by then it is
Already too late.

Ancient demonic tongues enthrall
Your consciousness in
Ropes,
Drawn taunt.
Eternal fire licks its
Fingers toward you,
Swirling around your being,
Pulling you in closer,
Deeper.

Away from
Mortality;
Away from
Salvation.

I am
Abdaddon, and you —
My
Damned.


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

Struggling Through Camp

You know what’s a major distraction from writing?

Sunshine. Warm weather. Eighty degree weather.

An all around beautiful day in which it is too nice to stay inside with your butt glued to a chair writing.

I had all the plans in the world to take my day off yesterday and just write. Simply go dark for the whole day and write. I hadn’t touched my Word doc since last Wednesday when I managed only about 600 words and I was getting close to falling below par. I knew the rest of the week was going to be draining with the holiday and work, and I needed to get another cushion built up. Just another 5k or more, definitely doable if I sat down and didn’t touch one ounce of social media all day.

In a way it would have been a nice break of peace and quiet too because Sunday wasn’t a good day for me. I’m blaming Mercury going Retrograde for that one, and the fact I was drained in more ways than one after three long, crazy work days. (Easter madness has officially begun.)

That was the plan.

And that plan then went out the window when I found it was eighty degrees of beautifulness outside yesterday. Warm, bright sunshine. A nice breeze. Considering it dropped to the thirties and snow on Friday, I was beyond happy to have a perfect day again.

Instead of writing my day ended up consisting of being outside most of it. Which is, of course, counterproductive to writing and meeting word goals.

Eventually I did manage to pull my ass inside to sit down and write, but…I was still a bit distracted. Part of me is still dragging my feet on finishing this novel, but I’m trying to force myself to write. I didn’t manage nearly as many words as I would have liked yesterday, but I managed enough to keep myself just above par for today as well.

Today and tomorrow are going to suck though and be a struggle. Gotta love retail, where you can close the store one night and then have to be back to open it again early the next day. So much for sleep, or enough time to regain some energy. Which means I’m going to be dragging to try to get my Shard done tomorrow too.

Unless I just stay up late after today’s shift and lose even more sleep. If I do that I’ll probably end up napping after my shift Wednesday. At least I have Thursday off so I can crash that night and sleep in. Actually, after Wednesday’s shift I should be able to sleep in till at least next Tuesday because Friday I work a late shift, Saturday I’m off, Sunday we’re closed for Easter believe it or not, and Monday I know I have off. Yay!

Anyways, I’m getting off topic.

For right now I’m holding above par by about 200 words, but once Wednesday hits if I don’t manage to write anything today I’ll fall below for the first time this month. I don’t want to fall below, I hate falling below. It’s easier to try to stay above than it is to try to catch up.

However, considering how these next two work shifts may go, I could very well fall below by about 1.5k by the time Thursday rolls around. I hope not, but I’m not holding my breath either. I’ve learned my lesson before on getting too hopeful I’ll have the energy to write after back to back shifts like this, especially in busy seasons.

With any luck, Thursday will go a lot smoother in writing and maybe I can get a lot more completed. I’d still like to up my goal from 30k to something else, at least 40k, if not 50k, but that means I need to get my butt moving a little faster, and start being more productive. I’m really struggling with this Camp NaNo though. On all fronts from excitement to writing in general.

We shall see I suppose. My fingers are crossed at the very least because pretty soon we’ll be half way through Camp already. I wonder if upping my goal now could be the kick in the ass I really need. Hmm…

And I should keep writing now, but, headaches are also major distractions to writing.

Not A Mechinel’s Way (Snippet Sunday 4.9.17)

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. For the purpose of reminding what they were talking about, this was Lavinia’s last line:Then maybe you are not lost enough to find the charm.”

And now for the fourth peek at Chapter 1…

~*~*~*~

His gaze turned up to search her face. This time she could not determine what classified emotion was flitting across his expression. Whatever it be, it was intense.

“Perhaps you’re right…”

Lavinia’s eyes whirred silently within their sockets as she studied him, wishing she could determine what he was thinking, or feeling. Such foreign concepts were beyond her capacity to understand though. That was not the way of a mechinel. Silence hung between them in which she could detect the faint rhythmic clicking of her heart tinkering away in her chest.

“Eric?” She finally broke the silence, computers spinning with questions.

“Hmm?” he mumbled as he fell back to lay in the grass once more.

“Were you…close to your mother?”

The question must have caught him off guard for his body stilled. A brief moment passed in which he remained silent and plucked another flower from the grass, inspecting it carefully. What he was looking for within its petals was beyond her. It was just a flower.

~*~*~*~

Anyone care to guess what his answer is going to be to that question?


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!

Sleepless Tangents And The 100 Word Trick

!DUE TO A LACK OF SLEEP, THIS BLOG POST HAS BEEN CANCELLED!

Just kidding. No it hasn’t. A friend dropped that line to my exhausted self when I had no idea how to start this post and I had to use it.

For real though, I am running on less than two hours of sleep as I write this so I’m going to warn you readers now: There is a high possibility very little of this will be coherent enough to understand, or not wander off on a tangent because I am too exhausted to focus.

The lack of sleep was totally worth it this time. Do you ever get so caught up in a book or plot or scene that when it’s coupled with music you just…can’t? Like, there’s not even any words that can describe the feeling. It’s just powerful and emotional and Oh.My.Gods. All you can do is swear, squeal, mutter incomplete sentences, and die while you cry internally at the amazingness that is the plot/scene/book.

Yeah. That was totally me all last night. I would have said screw sleep and stayed up all night — despite the looming long ass early work shift — if a friend and I had kept going in the roleplay because it was just that good.

I just couldn’t stop. Still can’t. I didn’t want it to end. I read back through every reply again before I finally did crash just so I could picture it again in my head. It gives me chills, it makes the heart clench and stop in emotion, makes your breath hitch in your chest. I would have kept reading it over and over if I didn’t put my phone down. Hell, I left the same song playing on repeat the entire plot because it just made it so much more powerful and deep. Actually, I’m still listening to the song on repeat, and it’s been two days straight now. The only time I haven’t been hearing it is in my sleep and at work. Not even gonna lie, I am listening non-stop. (My household wants to strangle me by now for singing it and blasting it so much.) I’m listening to it right now, but with earphones. It’s better with earphones.

It’s just… UGH. I CAN’T. CAN’T EVEN. HOLY DAMN.

See what I mean? Total incomplete sentences because I can’t put the feelings into words when I mesh the plot and song together. Unless you want a long stream of curse words and one word answers, mixed in with some squealing and screaming. All I have to do is think about it and…nope. Can’t even.

So, yeah, the less than two hours of sleep was totally worth it. No regrets. I wish it didn’t have to end, but alas, all plots must end to some degree. Sadly. Ah, well, I’m sure there will be another soon enough that I’ll be slack-jawed and addicted to again. They’re like a drug. A wonderful drug that I can’t get enough of.

Hello, I’m Daelyn and I am addicted to stories.

I’m an author, I’m supposed to be addicted to stories.

Alas though, it is Camp NaNo and the stories I’m supposed to be creating right now are novels, not co-written freaking amazing roleplays. (Though they can give you soooooo many plot bunnies you can actually USE in the REAL story. I’ve lost track of how many things I have planned and resolved to use in the real book from roleplaying it. It’s an insane number. Roleplaying with your characters is seriously an author’s greatest gift of ideas, it is so damn helpful.)

And I’m getting off track. Already. Again. I mean…

Which track was I even on to begin with?

I have no idea.

The first week of Camp NaNo is just about over and I’m still just under 10k. I’m kinda upset with myself for not being further, for not having finished Fated to Darkness already this month. My motivation is seriously waning and struggling this month. Which is weird, because normally I’m excited times a million on the first NaNo of the new year.

I mean, some unforeseen stress hasn’t helped matters, and the fact Easter is right around the corner and work is getting crazy because of it doesn’t help either. But… I don’t know. Something just still seems off with me this month for Camp. I can’t quite put my finger on it.

Part of me thinks it has to do with finishing this novel. One minute I’m excited and squealing that I’m so close! Then the next I’m almost scared to be finishing it so I think I start dragging my feet. I mean, this novel has taken up two and half years of my life writing it. It’s going to be…weird to be done writing the first draft. Weird is going to be an understatement of the century. I’m going to miss it. As a friend explained to me, maybe I don’t want to stop interacting with the characters.

In a way I think she’s right. Granted, I know there is going to be a Book 2 and I’ll see them all again for that adventure, but… This series is my heart and soul so I think I’m hesitant to finish it and have to let it sit while I work on Clockwork Heart. (I DO want to release something this year, and that is my most logical WiP to complete and release. It’s also a fun story to write.) I don’t have to let FtD sit completely untouched because I do need to work out the notes I need to print with it too when it comes to editing, and all the other concordance notes I want to finish too before I get to the major editing. But…that’s just not the same as writing it.

I’ll get myself moving on it somehow. I must. I would like a bigger goal than 30k for the month, and I would like a decent amount of words added to Clockwork Heart by the end of the month.

The last two days have sucked in writing though. I haven’t touched FtD the past two days. Or… Wait, did I add at least some words to it Tuesday night after I did my other blog post? I feel like I did, but… Oh hell, I can’t think straight to remember that. I mean, I did do some writing the past two days. I haven’t blown it off completely. I did my Shard and I posted to the #ThursThreads challenge again this week.

I kinda really liked what I came up with for the flash fiction challenge this week. I took it my normal dark direction, but I broke the glass ceiling of normal statistics for serial killers, and I also took it to a slightly sexual route, not even straight sexual. And I don’t normally ever write anything sexual, let alone LGBTQ+ sexual.

Was that too much information?

Oh hell, what do I care? I don’t follow the normal stigma. I like open and honest and brave people who aren’t afraid of themselves, who shed their masks and are willing to speak out despite the societal norm. It’s oppressing enough as it is to not lend my voice to the growing volume of acceptance. Change starts with one and grows.

Wow… This blog post really is all over the place. Not to mention shit just got deep.

And this post has had next to nothing to do with Camp NaNo progress, hasn’t it? I should rectify that a bit here…if I don’t end up wandering off on another tangent of thought. (I did warn you folks at the start of this post.)

So week one of Camp NaNo is coming to a close today and I am just under 10k words. I have two more work shifts before I have a day off again, but at least these next two are short shifts. They are also closing shifts which means, thank the Gods, I can sleep. Glorious sleep.

Hopefully since these next two shifts are short and closing I’ll be able to get some writing in without being exhausted or worrying about needing to be up early and if I should be sleeping instead of writing. I truly debated on just saying screw it and staying up all night last night to write, but I had a feeling my brain was going to kick me in the ass if I did that so for once I listened to logic.

It still kicked me in the ass.

Should’ve had that Monster earlier to wake me up…

I wish I had the energy to write tonight — I’m getting antsy from not writing for Camp — since I don’t have to be up early tomorrow, but I’m not sure how well that’ll work out this time. Then again, if I just start writing it might just keep flowing and I’ll forget how exhausted I am as I get caught up in it. Or, you know, I’ll write something so incoherent that I’ll fall off my chair laughing and wonder what the fuck just ran through my head.

Both of which I’ve done before.

Although that reminds me of another piece of advice a friend gave me yesterday: It’s easier to tell yourself “write a hundred words” than it is to tell yourself “I have to write”.

I never realized how true that was until I tried it, and I’m now calling it the 100 Word Trick.

The hundred words comes almost easily, and once you get that hundred words, if you’re lucky, it just keeps flowing and the next thing you know you have a thousand words, or two thousand, or five thousand.

The other trick she just taught me in regards to the 100 Word Trick: Start that hundred words of writing in a brand spanking new pristine white Word doc.

Why?

I asked the same question, and the logic she gave me I cannot dispute.

What’s less daunting? Going from 0 to 100 words, or going from 259,658 to 259,758?

Makes sense when you look at it that way, don’t it? Having a word tracker with charts and visuals like NaNo does helps make it seem less daunting too because you can see your progress in more than just rising numbers. You see jumps in a bar graph and your estimated win date going down, not to mention your “words left to write” number gets smaller too.

So perhaps I really should just drag my zombie ass off to my Word doc and start writing that hundred words. See where it leads me. Some words are better than no words, some progress is better than none.

After all, “you might not write well every day, but you can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page.”

Time After Time (Wednesday Words 4.5.17)

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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Time After Time

The trilling sound of a whistle rang shrilly through the air. A loud, blaring sound cut through his senses, followed by nails on a chalkboard squealing and screeching. He turned his head just in time to see the massive rectangle on wheels barreling down on him. Terror gripped him and he threw his hands up in a desperate attempt to shield himself.

Its flat face came within inches of smashing into him before the screeching stopped with a puff of dispelled air and the smell of burning rubber.

“Get the fuck out of the middle of the road, foreigner!”

Henry lowered his arms and peeked one eye open to find the metal beast looming over him. What was a fuck? Was it a thing he needed to move? A sharp burst of sound from the machine made him jump.

“Get out of the road! Are you trying to get yourself killed, you dumb moron?! Move!”

His gaze flicked to the angry person leaning out a window of one of the other, smaller metal things, shaking a fist and yelling at him. He straightened his dress jacket and glanced back to the mechanical beast in front of him, then hurried out of the road. Another metal beast came to a grinding halt as he hurried past, bumping into him lightly. He stumbled, holding his hands up.

“Sorry, sorry,” he tried to apologize to the disgruntled driver, moving past again and making it to the sidewalk where the rest of the pedestrians were hurrying along. He caught a couple strange gazes as he leaned back on a building, looking upwards at the towering skyscrapers in awe. He had never seen something so tall, so magnificent!

Everything here was beyond what he could have ever imagined on his own. Time travel was truly remarkable. He wasn’t quite sure where to look first. There were so many different people, of different color too! Astounding! Then there were these towering buildings, and metal beasts zipping along. Flashing lights and signs. And the noise! My Gods the noise!

It was overbearing, and incredible the types of sounds this futuristic new world managed to produce. He could hear music down the way, the many sounds of the people, dogs barking and cats yowling in response from an alleyway. Then there was the screeching and honking from the metal machines on the road, and those coming from some of the signs or from inside propped open doors to shops.

Remarkable! It was truly remarkable the world he had visited.

“Pardon me, madam?” he asked, reaching out to a passerby.

The woman yanked away from his touch, hitching her shoulder bag further up on her arm and gripping it tight. A stern, wary gaze traveled up and down his person. “You’re wearing some odd clothing, dude. What’d you do? Fall right out of the colonial days?”

Henry blinked. “Well, actually, I have. But might you be so kind as to tell me what year this is?”

The look she gave him might as well have been that of someone who saw four heads sitting on his shoulders instead of one. He could have sworn her heard her mutter something along the lines of “bat shit crazy freak” but he couldn’t be certain.

“Pardon?” What was bat shit crazy anyway?

“Look. Weirdo. Why don’t you run along back wherever you came from before you get yourself killed by running into the street without watching your step. Though you wouldn’t be the first crazy lunatic to do so.” She flipped bright pink hair over her shoulder and turned, walking away before he could stop her.

Henry watched with a combination of bafflement and amazement. Such bright hair! He wondered if it grew in that color. Never before had he seen something so bright, and so pink. He glanced around again, then found a bench not far away, wandering over to sit down. The other patron seated upon it gave him a sneered glance before getting up and walking away, babbling into a little rectangular device held up to his ear. He dismissed the person — though he was curious what the device had been — and pulled out a miniature tattered book from his vest pocket. Flipping through it he glanced over the pages filled with details and notes of the years he had visited, the places even.

A wistful smile pulled at his face. It was like watching mankind and the world grow and evolve, all in one lifetime. He stopped on the next blank page, glancing up to look at a flashing sign on a building that read PNC Bank. The screen showed the weather, then an advertisement for a strange product called a tampon, then to his luck it showed the time. Or, more importantly, it showed the date. He smiled more.

“Hello, 2017. You are quite astounding indeed.”


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

Camp Creatures And Eureka! Moments

Happy Camp NaNoWriMo!

Camp NaNo 2017

The first plunge into madness for 2017 has finally begun! Hooray! I’ll be honest, I’m quite a fan of the banners and icons they have for Camp this year. They even named some creatures to pertain to writing and novels. Like the infamous, abundant Plot Bunny pictured above on the banner. I’m not quite sure why the bunny has antlers, unless they’re supposed to represent the branches of scenes and story that make up a plot.

I totally pulled that from thin air but it actually makes sense.

I think my other favorite creature they came up with is the Block Ness Monster. It’s just so perfect in so many ways. They also had the Darewolf, Chore Grizzly, Guilt Monkey, and Storysquatch.

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I think I might end up using these creatures when I talk about writing now, just to reference them. Like when I’m stuck and I’m screaming at my story, I’m going to yell, “Get out of my way Block Ness Monster!” Or something along those lines. I love it.

So onto the stories of NaNo so far!

I did start writing the eve of NaNo before I went to bed. I was a little bit late starting because I was distracted by things and amused with other stuff, but I did write before crashing. I ended up not going to be till about 5am, but I got a little over 2k written and finished Chapter 38 that night.

I will admit I’ve been slacking the first few days already. I mean, I had four days off in a row — today is my last day off, which, heh, work tried to call me in, I didn’t pick up or ever respond — but I should have had oodles of words written by the end of tonight!

As I did in past NaNo’s, I should have had 5k written for each day off. My own little personal goal I set for myself in past years because normally on work days I’m lucky if I do any writing depending on the shift, and rarely do I have more than one day off in a row to gain any momentum. Welcome to the wonderful life of retail. *Heavy sarcasm*

With that math, by tonight I should have a word count of roughly 20k already written. And, ah, yeah. I don’t.

At the end of the first day I was just under 5k. I was tired that day because I was woken up early with less than five hours of sleep from my late night by a whole lot of banging and voices coming through the vents. Gotta love when you have to fix a vehicle. I also had a spontaneous road trip so that didn’t help productivity too much. Lack of sleep helped even less after the week of work I had before Saturday.

Day 2, which was Sunday, of NaNo I severely slacked and I don’t think I wrote anything. I was kind of bleh that day and I also had to get through my taxes so the day was kind of shot when I add on my shows for Sunday night. Or, well, show now. No more plural. ABC cancelled Time After Time with no warning right in the middle of the first season. I was so pissed. Still pissed.

Yesterday was sorta, kinda better. I didn’t start writing until later at night, but I also had a major eureka moment. And I mean like…

“EUREKA! THAT’S IT!”

…kind of major.

Jumping up and down, grinning from ear to ear, squealing uncontrollably kind of eureka moment. The kind where I run through my house crazily to get a drink and make my parents wonder if I won the lottery or something in my excitement. (Winning the lottery would be nice though, because then I could quit my job and just write.)

Surprisingly, my eureka moment didn’t come from a shower this time. I was meaninglessly scrolling through Facebook, trying to find my motivation to write, and I think I was looking at the cover of Paranormal Pleasures, staring at my name in print when suddenly motivation reared its head hard and nearly knocked me off my feet like this:

“You know what, dammit, I want to publish my first standalone novel this year and that is not going to happen with me sitting here mindlessly on social media. I’m going to write. I’m going dark for several hours until words bleed from my fingertips onto the page. And I have absolutely no idea where this is coming from so strongly all of a sudden but I am running with it dammit. Onwards! To Word, and to fantasy lands! *Holds out sword and pen, charges away from the internet*
(Yep. I’ve definitely lost my mind.)”

So at that point I did go dark. However, I managed about 200 words before I started to hit a brick wall. That’s when I realized my lack of excitement for NaNo the first two nights while working on Chapter 38 was because I was unsure exactly how the final chapters were supposed to go, and I was still trying to figure out my Epilogue issue. If anyone remembers my post from Friday I had a slight break through on the Epilogue, but it still wasn’t fitting perfectly.

My problem wasn’t a lack of excitement and motivation this time around, after all, it was that I was unsure how to work out the end of the novel without knowing how to fix my Epilogue. I mean, I was only 2.5 chapters away from the Epilogue, I had to figure it out soon.

Instead of writing then, I grabbed my fidget cube and started pacing my room, talking to myself and in the mirror as I tried to work out what was going to happen. I ran through multiple scenarios of, “Okay, what if she does this instead of this, how would that affect the end?”. That eventually made me realize I needed to change the timeline between Chapter 38 — which I just finished — and Chapter 39, the chapter I was stuck and dragging on at the moment.

By realizing I need to change the timeline just a bit to allow more time in between the chapters so it would fit my original outline and plotline, I stumbled across where the chapter needed to go, and how the next chapter needed to work. That then lead me to working out kinks to better fit my original ending of the novel and then suddenly…

BAM!

The solution to my Epilogue was slapping me in the face, all with a simple town scene, all with a single character showing their face in my head. It was perfect. Instead of using the character I thought of in my shower inspiration, I could use a different character I had never introduced yet, but someone who would become important in the next book. My Mystery Man character would hold the similarity I needed to match to leave my readers on cliffhangers and questions as the hook of the end of my book, and it still allowed me to the use the Epilogue how I originally planned for.

It was absolutely perfect!

I spent probably a good ten to fifteen minutes squealing and jumping around because I was so happy over the fix. (It’s an author thing, don’t judge me.) After that I grabbed paper and pen and feverishly began to record everything step by step I had just figured out in my head. I even went to a couple friends to run a scenario past them to see if they, as the reader, would assume and react in the way I was thinking the reader would.

(It’s not easy being author, reader, and character all at once. At one point I even threw my pen across the room and grabbed another because it stopped working and I didn’t have time for that.)

To my excitement, they pretty much assumed what I had hoped for, and after that I was all set. I’m still going to have to be careful with the Epilogue so I don’t give away anything I don’t want to, but I have my fix and that was all I had hoped for at the moment.

An hour and a half later of pacing my room talking to myself, reciting character lines out loud to see how they would react, much squealing and yelling, feverish writing of two and half pages of scribbled notes, and somehow a pulled muscle in my neck — don’t ask, I still don’t know how, and I finally had the FINAL two and a half chapters and the Epilogue all planned out.

No more uncertainty. No more plot holes. No more hesitance.

I can write like the wind from here on out in this novel, and that’s exactly what I did afterwards. I sat back down around 1am and just wrote. No distractions. Just music, my notes, my Word doc, my characters, and my fingers bleeding away on the page. A little over two hours later and I had written about 5k words and had finished Chapter 39.

There’s only two chapters plus my Epilogue left to write in this novel and I will officially be done with the first draft. I seriously can’t believe I’m saying that. I will be done with the first draft of the first novel that is my heart and soul series. Ho-ly. Shit.

I think my estimate of 20k to finish this novel might be a little bit off, but I don’t think it’s going to surpass 25k. I only have three full chapters to write altogether, and I’m pretty sure the Epilogue is going to be short. Chapter 40 will be the longest one, and Chapter 41 won’t be too long I don’t think, depending how much drama this final scene ends up bringing.

But I’m almost there! *SQUEALS!*

I’m half terrified and half excited to finish this first draft. Like, AHHHH!

Two more and the Epilogue and then I can move onto Clockwork Heart for the month, because I do want to finish and release that novella/novel this year. As of last night I’m just over 9k words for Camp this month already, I think by tomorrow I might be near 15k. Right after I hit the post button on this bad boy I’m jumping into starting Chapter 40. Once I grab a snack to munch on too.

End of the novel, here I come!