Monthly Archives: January 2014

Dark Intent – a Writing Prompt

So, one of my author friends posted another prompt…By request, a writing prompt: Use the following anywhere in your story. Up to a 1000 words or so.

On a dusty road near Memphis I pulled to the side of the road, turned in the seat and said, “It doesn’t have to be this way.” Here is my response…

On a dusty road near Memphis I pulled to the side of the road, turned in the seat and said, “It doesn’t have to be this way.” I killed the motor, intending to give the issue at least one last attempt at rationality.

Shifting my eyes, I could see the cold blue glare before the ice of her words bore into me, “The fuck if it doesn’t.” Glaring at my hands, I shifted uncomfortably in my seat, tapping my fingers anxiously on the wheel.

“Look,” she plowed on, “You’re the one who got us into the mess, runnin’ that god damned mouth of yurs. Nobody knew shit until you –“

“Alright, alright, please not again…” I threw up my hands in mock surrender, “This is entirely my fault. I realize I may have acted a bit foolishly…” I tried to make peace, but Shayla was all wound up, again.

“May have?” her voice full of venom, “Let’s examine the evidence –“

“NO!” my fists slammed into the giant ring, “We have had this conversation too many times now, and quite frankly I am sick to death of it.”

The car fell silent at the irony of my words. Without further comment, I restarted the engine and maneuvered out onto the rocky path. Seeing the lights of our intended target ahead of us, I could feel my chest growing tight. The car rolled to a stop in front of the bent chain link fence. Still gripping the leather cover, I glanced over at the familiar blue trim on front of the house, trying to muster my courage.

“We better go on in,” she spoke quietly, “No need in getting his dander up before we make it inside.” She was already outside the car as she finished speaking, giving the door a heavy slam.

“I still say it doesn’t have to be this way,” I muttered to myself as I climbed out of the vehicle.

The gate closed with a loud clang as we made our way over the cinder brick stepping stones. Catching her heel on a chunk of grass sticking between the gaps, Shayla stumbled forward, barely able to prevent herself from plummeting to the ground in the darkness. Clutching her oversized bag to her chest, the bottle hidden inside, she cursed as loud as she could, “Why is the damned porch light out, grandpa?”

Seeing the wooden door swing open through the screen, the glare from the entrance was now blindingly bright, and I held my hand up to shade my eyes a bit as we made our way up the rickety steps. So much for not getting his dander up. But that’s my wife in a nutshell, crazy bitch twenty-four-seven. “Hello, grandpa,” I shook the old man’s hand as I entered, noting that she was already headed into the kitchen with her special surprise.

“So, how’s the game?” I quickly inquired, ready to do my part, and keep the old man occupied while she did her thing.

“No damn good,” he replied, wafting a hand towards the tiny screen, “Damn referees callin’ fouls left ‘n righ’. The whole damn mess of ‘em needs to get dey eyes checked.” He paced around, brooding as he spoke. I only nodded, tossing in an uhuh here and there as he fumed. Yeah, I see the resemblance, I thought to myself as his rant went on for a good five minutes.

Coming back in from the kitchen, her now thinner bag slung over her shoulder, Shayla handed me an ice cold beer. “Dat de’ las’ one?” her grandfather shot her an angry scowl.

“No, grandpa, you still have another one. Jesus, you think we come fo’ a visit an’ drink yur last beer?” she was shaking her head as she matched his heated tone.

“You have afore,” he challenged, the deep lines sinking into his crinkled features.

Shayla gave him blistering look, and I reached over to calm her, my arm draped around her shoulder affectionately, “It’s ok, baby, we can share,” and moved to hand her the frosty bottle.

“I don’t think so,” she snapped in return, slapping at the glass container. “You know grandpa, I don’ think you appreciates us, drivin’ all the way out here jus’ to see yur happy ass.”

“You don’ neva’ come out heya lessen you wont sumfin’, so what is it dat you wont, girl?”

It was his turn to receive her icy glare. “Not a damn thing, old man. Let’s go baby.” I didn’t bother to argue, shaking his hand again hurriedly before darting out the front door, allowing the screen to slam with a bang in my haste.

Inside the safety of our car, we both exhaled heavily in relief. “You know, we could have stayed a little longer, I mean considering it’s the last time –“

“Don’ you even say it!” she cut me off, pointing her stubby finger at me. “This is still yur fault. Now we jus gotta hope he don’ take too long to finishin’ up the process.”

“Wow, I never realized how cold hearted you really are.” I gripped and released my fingers for several minutes, as my wife didn’t give me a reply. Glancing over at her I noticed she was staring out into the blackness that surrounded us, and we rolled along in silence, the dust creating a dark cloud that loomed behind us as we flew down the dirt road, making our way back into Memphis.

2500 Like Giveaway

Posted this giveaway on FB, hope to see you there!!!!

Oh, and you can do as many or as few of the items as you like… there is no minimum to participate =)

 

 

In the Midst of Chaos

This morning I am finding myself pulled in so many directions, I just want to sit… and do nothing. My son has been sick for a couple of days, and I have had to miss work to care for him, so I feel entirely out of sorts right now. Plus, we got a new dog which is totally shaking up our routine. I swear he needs more attention than the kid does, (I am laughing about this of course, as he is a pup and it is to be expected.) And being sick, my little one needs his mommy, which is so cute since he is the last one at home.

The good thing is, I finished the edits to Recovery (notice the new name!!!), and it is now in the hands of my new publisher. For those of you who have not heard, I did sign with a traditional publisher. They are a smaller firm, which I totally love because I will get personal attention, and yet they don’t charge me to do stuff with my books, which means they only get paid if my books do well. I love this, as it puts the emphasis where it belongs – on making good quality books for my readers!

We are going to revamp the covers on books 1 and 2, and I can’t wait for those to be released with something that looks less ‘self-helpish’ and more engaging. As many of you know, I am getting great reviews for what’s on the inside, and it is time the outside looked as good.

We are also going to make some changes to the titles, so the books will be easier to locate in searches, which is great!!! The series will be shortened to Life Series, or maybe it was Life of… Series. Not sure there, but it will be one of those two. The books will become one word titles… Recovery, Doubt, Love (coming in May), and so on, which is also a vast improvement. There will be a re-release on those first two, and we will have more control over pricing, so I can’t wait to see what kind of deals they come up with to promote them.

Finally, I took book one and totally overhauled the interior. There were quite a few typos that needed fixed (10 is too many to me and was driving me nuts), and I was able to streamline 2 of the chapters that I never really liked the way they flowed in the finished work. The story itself is the same as it was, it just looks and feels better without compromising anything with the overall outcome. And of course, I did not have to pay someone to make the changes, which is the best news of all.

I am starting on the Doubt interior today, and I will be cleaning up those few errors that were in that one as well. However, I was already on to my old publisher by the time it came out, so it is in a lot better shape over all and so the changes inside won’t be nearly so much or as noticeable, as they will pertain solely to correcting grammar stuff. I am going to add one thing to it though… I am going to give it a Prologue about the note that Eli wrote inside the German Fairytale book, and I may release that here on my blog at some point for those of you who already purchased Life of Doubt. As much as I want to sell copies, I wouldn’t want you to buy it all over again just to see that.

Gosh, this is just what I needed. I think I am ready to get to work. Have a great day everyone!!!

Author Bash – Katy Texas

For those of you who are not aware – I will be at the author bash in Katy, Texas on Feb. 22nd. This is a free event, but you need to pick up tickets early as space is limited.

If you are interested in attending, seeing which authors will be there (there are over 60 of us) or any further information, please visit our sponsor’s web site   www.winesandlabelsproductions.com/index.html

We also have a facebook page that you can ‘like’ and follow for updates.  www.facebook.com/houstonauthorsbash

This is going to be alot of fun and I hope to see as many of you there as possible!!!

houston bash banner

Houston Author Bash 2014

I Got a New Publisher!!!

I am so excited – we are going to re-release books 1 and 2 in the next couple of months before book 3 comes out at the tail end of May!!!

The new covers she designed are astounding – I cannot believe how different they are.

Plus, we are (or she is) going to have the interiors all ironed out, so all those little typo’s (I know, there aren’t that many) will go away…

Of course, the original two will still be available through Xlibris, my current publisher, with the covers that they have now. Due to this, there won’t be any down time or anything, and both will be available for purchase through the current channels until that happens and even beyond.

This does mean that the title to the first one will change somewhat, and be what it should have been – Life of Recovery… A New Life is the series name and should never have been placed in front like it was… so it will be interesting how it all unfolds.

I also got my shipment in of Life of Doubt, so I will be searching out blogs to host giveaways on book 2 starting this weekend. Be sure to keep an eye out and I will be posting when and where those will be taking place as they are arranged.

Such a great day and great news guys – and I will keep you posted about dates for this and other events. HUGS!!!

Enter the Madness of Twitter

WOW I have learned a great lesson in the last few days. As I have posted a few times, I have been looking for ways to advertise more fully and efficiently without going broke in the process. I have a few facebook friends who got me into some retweet groups… boy isn’t that fun!!!

No, it really isn’t.

My twitter is now packed with tweets from other people and I can’t even find my own. Plus, every time I send out all of my retweets for the other group members, I lose followers. And this helps me, how?

So, now I am ready to KISS it… I will not be retweeting like mad and having them do the same with mine. I think that they get lost in the mass deluge and I want to be more personal with my followers than that. I like finding a Friday Funny to tweet about and like to think at least some people like getting them.

From now on, I will only retweet things because I think they are worth the share. I just wish some of my followers would retweet a few for me once in a while and pass on the message. I wonder if there is a way to ask people to retweet a tweet….

Clouds with Silver Linings – Have you found your word yet?

Every day I drive to and from work, allowing my mind to run in all directions. During that time, I come up with dozens of things I need to do or want to write about, both in my books, and here on my blog. The other day, for example, I posted about not feeling well and how that ties to the winter season, and made a challenge to myself and my readers to spread a little love to those around them. Because of this, I later realized that even though I was feeling the down swing at that moment, many of my clouds do in fact have silver linings.

In the evenings, I always feel so busy, and work on my computer, often eating in front of it, and not getting away from it until time for bed. So, I took my own advice, and spent the next two evenings after my post just hanging out with my family. The first night, we watched The Lone Ranger, which we thoroughly enjoyed. I heard from other people it wasn’t that great, but we really liked picking out the parts and sharing where we had seen them before. It turned out to be a great evening and I felt much better the next morning. The second night we had dinner again and watched After Earth, which I could not convince my significant other to go see in the theater due to poor reviews. This time, I wish I had insisted, because my son and I LOVED IT! I didn’t pick it apart, which is usually my problem as a science teacher and those types of movies. I see things and just can’t take them as plausible. I enjoyed the story and it was overall one that I am glad to own. I didn’t spend all of last night with them, and did work some. However, I made an hour escape to go see my new grandbaby, and I have to say, she is the most beautiful baby girl ever.

Another thing that had been wearing on me was being tied to my job, besides the fact that it takes up such a large amount of my time, far beyond the amount I spend at the school. This is one cloud that seemed to grow darker as the new semester began – they changed my schedule and at first it looks horrid with a straight 7 hours or so of classes with only 1/2 hour lunch. This really sucks, by the way, as you don’t even have time to go to the bathroom between each class (you are a hall monitor in between classes), and have no time to rest or regroup anywhere in your day.. But now there is a silver lining, as I have a later start in the mornings and can go to the gym without alot of issues trying to make it after school. I made it to the gym Wednesday morning, which I have not been able to do regularly in months due to my schedule starting early and running late. I am going again this morning, and am looking forward to returning this activity to my regular routine. So score one for me and admins who schedule teachers six straight classes and give them a half hour lunch. It was a dumb move on their part, but I will take it and make the best of it.

Somewhere in the middle of all of this, I have also realized I had found my word. If you have not heard of this, I picked up on it through a post by Lucy Pireel. I joined her blog because, lets face it, I wanted her to write about my books. However, I read her blog because she often has interesting things I like to read about and ponder, and this was one of them. In a recent post she talked about not making new years resolutions. Instead, she suggested finding the one word that you want to focus on for the year, and hers was Time. I had been thinking about this ever since, and after making that semi-gloomy post and the events that followed, I realized that I had found mine.

My word is Sunshine. As I said in my previous post, this is not the light that lands on our plant every day. In essence, this is all of the good things we have that come into and radiate out of us and our lives. Me and my life. My sons are sunshine. My new granddaughter is too. I have lots of sunshine in the people that surround me, and even returning to the gym I was greeted by people who knew me and were eager to catch up on what had been going on in our lives since we saw each other last. I loved it.

So that is the thought I am leaving off with today, two fold really. First, as the old saying goes, find the silver linings in the clouds. They are there, if we just take the time to look for them. And finally, my word is Sunshine, and I plan to use it like a mantra, pulling me away from the dark things that have the potential to absorb and waste so much energy and time; that trap where every potentially bad thing that happens just weighs more heavily than it should. I am curious, too, how many people even read that last post and if they shared in my challenge that day. If they did, how did it go, and have they found their word yet?

Mid-Winter Blues – Looking for the Sunshine

I woke up with a headache today. Same as yesterday. And the day before that. It happens to me every year in January, so you think I would be used to it by now.

I wonder how many other people get this cold weather funk. I read one time that it is caused by lack of sunshine, but I don’t normally spend a great deal of time outside anyways, so I really find that hard to believe.

I think it’s the cold. It is cold outside, so you can’t go anywhere without having it smacking you in the face. It’s enough to put anyone into a bad mood I think, either being bundled up in the clumsy restrictive coats and scarves or the having to wait for the car to warm up so the heater will work nonsense.

Even if you stay in doors, you can’t get away from it. The heater puts out recycled warmed air, lowering the humidity and drying everything out, including the vital parts of your anatomy that bring on those headaches. And of course the places you can’t get warm. Like my work – “cheap bastards” is all you can think when the highest point your thermostat hits is 68, and that is at noon, the peek from 60 when you arrived and on its way back down because it turns off at lunch every day. Thanks to technology you can’t even adjust the thermostat in your own space because it is all controlled at a central location. You know how many times I have changed jobs in February? Too many…

What I am really looking for right now is sunshine. And I don’t mean that giant chariot of fire that blazes across the sky every day. I am talking about the laughter and the good times. I think that could be part of this murky business as well.

Last month it was Christmas. Good times, good friends, good family. Like the month long party that goes on between Thanksgiving and Christmas. People wishing each other happy days and merry evenings. And then… its gone. All that is left is that empty wind that is now blowing snowdrifts outside so many windows.

So now I have an epiphany. We don’t love each other enough the rest of the year. That’s what brings the sunshine. The caring and sharing that all those things bring out in us – the hugs and the how are yous. We were surrounded by it just a few short weeks ago, and now that we need it most.. its just not there.Like its in the wrong place and should have been at the end of February or March instead of December so we could see each other through the darkest part of the year.

So this is my challenge to all of you – and myself for that matter. Fight those mid-winter blues and pass out a little sunshine today. Something you wouldn’t normally do or have done. Something extra to let the people around you know that you care about them, and that the winter will only last so long. Besides, it will be alot warmer when we are all handing out sunshine.

Caretaker of the Crows

HI GUYS!!! This is a writing prompt that one of my friends shared in one of our groups and the short piece that I wrote to go with it – just wanted to share… Have a great Day!!!

Caretaker of the Crows

 

Corina knelt in the snow, watching over her friends in the swirling frost. A smile curled the edge of her lips as she caught the glimpse of large white wings fluttering across the small frozen pond. Daniel, Divinity of the Doves, tending his flock with equal enthusiasm. Glancing at her underlings, she considered if she would have time to meet him, or if she would be missed.

                Slipping through the leafless trees, she made her way around to the far side of the clearing, catching up to her lover on quiet feet. “Hello, stranger,” she cooed to him, beating her wings gently in the crisp air.

                Only grinning in response, Daniel shook his blond curls and grasped her hand, guiding her back into the serenity of the barren saplings. “You come to me again, my dearest,” he whispered into her dark locks as they shared an embrace, the taste of her lips a bit salty in contrast to the sweetness of his own.

                “Of course, my darling, and I always shall.” Her pulse was quickened as he ran his firm fingers to tempt her into more willing poses.

                “Ah, but you know, birds of a feather…” he mocked her gently.

                “I am not a bird!” she countered him sharply, catching his wandering digits to rebuke him. “I am a fairy, a princess, and I don’t care that our love is forbidden. Tell me,” she pressed her body closer to his, basking in his warmth, “Tell me when we will go. When will we leave our charges behind and run away as one, our mingling of the darkness and the light?”

                His blue eyes danced as he considered her again, her black feathers in sharp contrast to his white. “Soon, Corina. Soon we will find our way and leave this place forever.” Seeing a shadow move in the distance, he stiffened against her.

                Sensing his distress, the Caretaker turned and peered through the forest, well aware of the consequences if they were caught. “What is it, Daniel? What do you see?” Her pulse thumped in her ears now, loud in the quiet of the winter’s day.

                “Nothing,” he whispered, “I am sure it was nothing. But you should go.” He slid his hands over her willing curves again, dropping his warm lips for one last taste of her, reveling in the splendor of their amour. Pulling away from him slowly, she obeyed with quickened steps.

                Slithering through the desolate trunks once more, Corina padded along to rejoin her fowl, dropping easily to the ground nearby and calling them to her side. Over her shoulder, the shadow moved once more, angry eyes glaring across the clearing, staring at the white wings of his adversary. Moving out of the cover of the bush, he sauntered up next to her, the girl he claimed as his.

                “Good day, Corina, tending to our kin I see,” his deep gravelly voice praised her in earnest.

                Not turning to meet his gaze, her palms grew sweaty as she realized she might have been seen. Failing to garner a response, Cronos pushed for more, “You are looking as lovely as ever, my betrothed,” he caressed the ebony plumage of her left wing as he spoke.

                “I am not your wife!” her words sharp as her eyes snapped to take him in, shifting to remove her feathers from his grasp. A deep, earthy laugh escaped him.

                “No, you are not. Not yet,” he made a show of glowering across the sheet of ice before them. “But you will be. And I would caution you to remember that. I wouldn’t want anything to happen to anyone… else. Should you make unwise choices, you know there are others who would pay for them.”

                Corina did not follow his stare, well aware of what he was looking upon as he spoke. Swallowing hard, she stood with the bits of snow stinging her legs as it began to fall more thickly around them. Finally, reaching out, she grasped the cold fingers of his right hand, longing for the warmth her lover’s skin would have afforded her.

                “You have no worries, Cronos. You know our day will come, and I will take my place beside you.” She offered the lie sweetly, hoping to placate him and protect the man she loved.

                Cutting his eyes back to her, he considered her silver tongue. “You have no place with him. We are creatures of the darkness. Remember that.” He pulled her body against his, roughly caressing her in the chill before releasing her as he made his way back into the trees to leave her to her thoughts, the night closing in around her in the quiet of the woods.

Release Party – Life of Doubt

Book 1book 2 cover

OFFICIAL RELEASE PARTY – LIFE OF DOUBT is FRIDAY 5-8 PM
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Buy your copy of Life of Recovery for only $1.99 at Amazon
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Register your purchase (Book 1 OR Book 2) on the Event page on Facebook

Introduce yourself to Tori’s story and get Life of Recovery
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Continue her story and get Life of Doubt
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See extended excerpts at Scribd…

http://www.scribd.com/doc/191333821/Life-of-Doubt

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