Tag Archives: writing

I’m a Planner!!

Are you one of those people who has a five-year plan? This morning, I had to admit that I am. I know many people like to plan things; a day, a week, maybe even a vacation at some point later in the year; but how far away is too far to think ahead?

I always like to know how I want things to look down the road. It’s ok if things change, and the plan gets altered; just knowing that it is there helps me to be more relaxed and focused. And I’m talking WAY down the road. I have my two year goal or list, the five year ‘where I want to be’ and even a ten year set of activities that I want to take place, and having this ‘decided’ makes me feel better!

Case in point; this morning I was able to finally settle a matter that had been weighing on me as far as my schedule in Nov. of 2016. Yeah – that far away, but it bothered me that I could not get this nailed down. Fortunately, I received some vital input from another party; information that normally might have been heartbreaking. However, since the event that I have been worrying over is still going to take place, in 2017, I can let go of that worry and be at peace with it.

I have been teaching (long term subbing) at a school for one of my friends who had a baby this summer. This was NOT in my plan for this year, but now that I only have one more week, I am happy that I was able to be here for these kids when their regular teacher could not be. The extra income will be nice, even though being here has been a disruption. I had thought that this was the root of the ‘writer’s block’ that I had been experiencing with a particular story that I am working on.

Nope. As soon as I had my plans squared away, the floodgates opened, and I have written ten pages of new text in my journal for the story. Amazing! Gosh I love being a writer, and pouring all of my imagined adventures out for others to share. I can’t wait for you guys to read this one – oh, and you will probably need some tissues.

Where has the time gone?

WOW – today is so special to me… It is the release day of my 15th work, counting the short story that I published. For those of you who have been reading the IRREVOCABLE SERIES – I can’t wait to see how you like the ending, and for those of you who have not, they are all out there, so now is the perfect time to get in there and binge.

It has been a great second year (yes, Life of Recovery first came out two years ago, almost to the day). I realize that I have grown a great deal as a writer over this time. I am so aware of how different my stories feel from one another, both in topic, tone and style, and I like to think of that as a tool that I can use to take you to new and exciting places and make them all the more real.

I also want to thank all of my fans – some of you have been with me since the beginning, and I appreciate you very much. It is your strength that I lean on, and your pleasure that motivates me to put out my best work, accepting nothing less from myself. I hope that you have enjoyed the ones you have read, and that you love the ones to come even more!!!

OK – here is my self-promotion for today’s release… And don’t worry – I have focused on Bailey in this little blurb, but Caleb will be right there with her, in the thick of things, along with the rest of all those crazy preppers down on The Ranch…

WILL BAILEY and her orphaned brothers survive the APOCALYPSE, or is mankind DESTINED to be wiped from the face of the Earth?
.
The thrilling conclusion to the IRREVOCABLE SERIES is here – and you can get book 1 for only 99 cents!!!
.
I’m already getting messages and reviews – like this one…”Great series and I’m SAD that it has come to an end. Love it!!” and this one… “So loving it. Looks like a late night for me… can’t put it down….”
.
One click your copy today – find out if Bailey has what it takes to survive global disaster and keep her family together in the end…
.
RENDERED – only 99 cents!!!
US – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00WS2ABH0
UK – http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00WS2ABH0
CA – http://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B00WS2ABH0
AU – http://www.amazon.com.au/gp/product/B00WS2ABH0
.
RETAINED – only $2.99!!!
US – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01041AG4Y
UK – http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01041AG4Y
CA – http://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B01041AG4Y
AU – http://www.amazon.com.au/gp/product/B01041AG4Y
.
RECOMBINED – series finale AVAILABLE NOW!!!
US – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B013OJZ30U
UK – http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B013OJZ30U
CA – http://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B013OJZ30U
AU – http://www.amazon.com.au/gp/product/B013OJZ30U

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.

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.

Working for a Living… confessions of a hit and run employee

I am keenly aware of the hardships of those who are stuck in a job or career that no longer, if ever, brought them joy. I love what I do, don’t get me wrong, but since deciding to publish my stories, I have realized that soon I will walk away from my full time job in pursuit of something else, and that makes some of my days now more trying than they have to be.

If you read my previous post, Random Vs. Random, you may have gathered that this is something that I do and have done several times during my life. I have to admit, I do have a hard time staying put. I have never, previous to my current job, held a position longer than 3 years at any given location, and now that I am in the process of transitioning again (I can say that this time because I didn’t just walk in and say ‘I quit’ and am actually not leaving for a few more months), I find myself reflecting on all the different types of jobs that I have held over the years…

Church Nursery Worker – My first job, I kept the nursery at our church on Sunday and Wednesday night. This was back in the late 1980’s, so $5.00 an hour was really good pay for 16 or 17 years old, even if it was only a few hours a week. I loved the kids and the experience I gained knowledge about being responsible and having people count on me.

Fast Food – During that time I also worked at a local fast food place one entire summer, and that was a crazy hectic time and a real eye-opener to see people / women in their 20’s and 30’s working at such a place. Minimum wage back then was $3.35 an hour, and it was important to me I think to see how hard life could be if I did not keep my head on straight and make it through school. I also worked at a second such establishment for 1 full year while attending college, and developed a deep loathing for the smell and demands of such a job. I would have to be pretty desperate to accept such a job today.

Flower Delivery Driver – I delivered flowers for a florist who owned a shop and attended our church for about 3 months time. It was a fun job, and I would pester the designers when I wasn’t busy to teach me things about how it all worked. That is the one thing I can say about all of the jobs I have held – as long as there was something new to learn, I didn’t mind it so much and rather enjoyed all those little bits of insight.

Data Entry Clerk – I did this job in several forms over my life, particularly as a temp when I just needed some income without the commitment of a full time job. It helps that I am proficient at so many types of software programs as well as being experienced at typing (90 wpm) and overall keyboarding with 10 key by touch. Thinking back, this was one of the easiest types of jobs, if all that was required was entering the data, but talk about monotonous… no that did not last long at all.

Substitute Teacher – if you have college hours and want a new appreciation for educators in our country, you should try this one. I did it twice, and I guarantee it will open your eyes as to what the men and women devoted to the betterment of our youth face every day. All I can say is, you haven’t lived until some 10 year old kid throws their book across the room and calls you a ‘bitch’ because you are just the sub and you still expect them to complete their assignment.

Medical Billing / file clerk – another fun one. Actually, I kept this job about 2 years, but after having my 3rd child I realized I needed something that paid better or all I was doing was working to pay the daycare. It was during this time that I cross trained to work with the social worker and the office manager to help them with higher level functions of the business, as well as spent time working with nurses and techs. Of course, I grilled everyone I could when I got the chance and was always eyes and ears open to take in what I could about the processes that were going on around me. All in all, I spent 2 years at the company, but my duties changed several times while I was there, so it wasn’t like I did the same exact job for 2 years straight.

Debt collector / patient accounts manager – I almost hate to admit this was a job I really got into. I had various numbers of employees who worked under me, so I did training and oversaw the ins and outs of the process. What I enjoyed most was organizing the process, as the office had no one in this position before I took it on, and I came in to clean it up and make it work, and I was damned good at it. However, after almost 3 years, I got restless again, and with no way to move up, I moved on. I guess you could say it was good timing, because this office actually closed not long after I left… good intuition.

Retail manager – I did this job at several locations over the years as well. My first and favorite was shoe department manager, and as a severely OCD type person, there was just something about perfectly aligned boxes in numerical order that made me almost high. That was my longest stint, lasing just over 2 and a half years and 3 Christmas seasons (I started there as a seasonal employee and moved up after the holiday). When I went back with the company a few years later, I took on different departments, and the last time I worked for them I worked in the back office taking care of the money and deposits, spending less than a year at each position after I left the shoes. A real shame that chain closed down completely… I really liked that store. My favorite part of this job – training the seasonal and new employees… what a blast.

Accounts Payable Clerk – if you don’t know what this is, it is the person who pays the bills for a company. It is also not as easy as it sounds if it is done properly. I loved and hated this job, as so much of it depended on other people doing their job well for you to do yours. I only did this for a year or less and I moved on, taking my plant and walking out at lunch one day. I also had this type of work as part of my duties from time to time, and it is just the sort of thing I could really enjoy if it paid well enough to make it worth my time.

Accounts Receivable Clerk – again, this job did not last long, only about 3 months. I had done this particular type of work in various other positions and the lady who hired me told me if I was good at it she would pay me well. Apparently, my definition of well and hers were two different things, and after my 90 days and she finally told me what my pay was going to be (and she claimed it was more than she had ever given anyone), I left. Should have pinned her to a number up front and not wasted the 90 days.

Receptionist – I have only done this job under the most dire conditions, as I detest answering phones and playing errand girl. I think I will starve before I do this on a daily basis again.

Teacher – yup. High School. And I truly love my job. If all I had to do was walk into a classroom and teach, it would be the coolest job ever. However, there are many things that go on outside that make it the most stressful job I have ever had. I am not even going to rant about all of them here; all I am going to say is this – classes are too large, budgets too small, and teachers don’t get paid near what they are worth. Sometimes you make a real difference in a kid’s life that needs it, and that can give you the best feeling ever. Too bad feeling good about your job doesn’t put food on the table. I may go back to this again some day, as I do love it. I just don’t need it right now, and need to get away from it more. Maybe a small private school next time.

Accounting / Auditor – I held this job for about a year, and I knew it was only short time when I took it, as I was finishing my bachelors and planning on changing towns. However, I loved this job too, as it was just the kind of detail work that I take pride in. It also was pretty independent, and any screw ups were mine. I could do this again some time, no problem.

Small Office Manager – I actually ran a small office in it’s entirety for about 6 months. I loved this job too, as it was all mine as well. However, there was actually one man who owned two separate businesses housed in the same building, and although I enjoyed my side, the girl who had the other side was very into drama, and I had a better offer fall into my lap and decided to move on… sigh. The good thing here, I learned all about both sides of the business, as I did any time I worked as a bookkeeper / accountant, and so I have knowledge about 4 separate industries that I would never have had if I never took on those little jobs.

Newspaper Delivery Driver – I moved to east Texas for a couple of years and found a small town in the midst of a group of small towns and rural areas north of the metroplex. It was a great place to live, but the economy was horrible, and many were out of work. The first week I was there, I attended a job fair for a new retail store where a couple of thousand people were applying for 80 positions, and that was my first time to see such desperate conditions. I was in shock. I started off at my favorite retail chain, but they closed that store, so I took this job just to pay the bills for about a year… and I loved it!!! It was mostly independent work, with lots to do and learn about. However, the industry is dying, or it appeared that way to me, and I eventually left the area and moved back closer to home and my mother. The best part of that job – where else can you drive 80 miles per hour down a dirt road at 2 am and get paid for it?

I did try to go to college right out of high school, but it actually took me 12 years to earn my degree. I also took classes for nursing, and decided that wasn’t for me, and changed my major 2 more times before finishing with a BS in management. Looking back at this list now, I can say one good thing about it – I do have a lot I could write about, and I am sure that I will.

Audiobook Creation Exchange Blog (ACX)

Audiobook Creation Exchange

Creative Writing with the Crimson League

Creative Writing Tips and Authorial Support from Fantasy Writer Victoria Grefer

cherime Macfarlane

Live in Alaska

Ella Medler

Author, Publisher, Editor

Diane Rinella, Author

Romance & Visionary Fiction Books That Rock