Posts Tagged ‘short stories’

(personal/writing/resolutions) It’s a new year

And with the new year, I love to do resolutions.  Usually I do wildly optimistic resolutions that fall (mostly) flat after a month.  So this year, I’m going to do what I consider to be realistic resolutions.

1. I resolve to take care of myself.

This sounds like it should be a no-brainer, but it’s something I’m surprisingly bad at.  I love to stay up late, I hate getting up early, I love to read but not to exercise, I suck at taking my medications on time, and quite frankly, I tend to be lazy in terms of cooking good food for myself.  I’m not going to fix this overnight, or even in one year, but I’m going to get better on this, especially on the meds, the exercise and the food front.  With my issues (including Crohn’s Disease, degenerative arthritis and gluten allergies), these are the big ones.

2. I resolve to enjoy life more.

Life is far too short to be unhappy.  I don’t want to be unhappy.  So part of taking care of myself is doing things that I enjoy, that bring me happiness, and that make my life and the life of those around me better.  Which may  mean less going out and more time around the house, but that’s okay.  I want to make my house a place that both hubby and I can love to come home to.

3. I resolve to write more.

This is a definitely.  I’m looking forward to blogging on a regular basis, writing and self-publishing some short stories (12 this year), finishing the first draft of at least 3 novels, and editing and polishing at least 3 more.  I’ll do another blog later that’s just the writing schedule for the year.

 

Those are my resolutions for 2014.  What about yours?

(writing) Phone call

So, I have to admit that sometimes my brain works in weird ways…  Sometimes, it expresses itself in a flash story.  Like this one.

 

Of course, the phone rang while he was working.

 

He sighed and let it ring, knowing who it probably was. She had a talent for calling at exactly the wrong time, and since his job required concentration, he rarely answered. He’d listen to the voicemail later, between assignments.

 

After five minutes of blessed peace, the phone rang again. He swore, shifted one hand so he could tap his earpiece. “This better be important,” he told her.

 

“Oh crap, are you out on call tonight?” Her voice sounded contrite. She was good at contrite. Then again, his schedule wasn’t that fixed, so he couldn’t blame her. “I’m sorry, I thought you were in the office.”

 

“Yeah, three assignments.” He shifted as the package moved beneath his legs. “It’s okay, though. What’s up?”

 

“Can you pick up eggs on the way home? Sam’s got a bake sale at school and of course, he neglected to tell me. I made cupcakes, but we have no eggs for breakfast.”

 

The package shifted again, and he sighed. “Hang on a second, Cass.” Then he picked the pillow up and stared down at the package lying on the bed. “Do you mind?” he asked. “I’m trying to talk to my wife. Please stop moving – it’s very rude.”

 

The man looked up at him with terrified eyes and mumbled something, but with the duct tape over his mouth, he couldn’t make out words. He took it for assent and replaced the pillow over the package, leaning down firmly. “Just eggs?”

 

“Well, if your assignments take you by the 24-hour Safeway, you could get bacon too,” she said. “But if not, the eggs are the big thing. You know how Sam is if he doesn’t have his strangled eggs in the morning.”

 

He chuckled at the family joke – his son hadn’t been able to say scrambled when he was younger, and the name had stuck. “I’ll have to look,” he said. “I’m almost done here – maybe five more minutes.” The package jerked beneath him, and he pressed the pillow down even harder. “My appointment book is out in the car. I’ll text you and let you know if I’m heading that way.”

 

“Sounds good.” She paused and then said, “No messy jobs tonight, right? I hate washing your work clothes when you have to get messy.”

 

“I wore my coveralls,” he said. “Don’t worry.”

 

“Oh, good.” Her voice sounded tired. “How late do you think you’ll be?”

 

“Don’t wait up. I’ll try not to wake you.”

 

“Be careful.” She blew a kiss into the phone. “I love you.”

 

“I love you too.”

 

The package gave one final shudder and sank back into the bed. He held the pillow for a minute longer, just to make sure, and then he climbed down, dusted his gloved hands off, and let himself out the back door.

 

There were two more assignments before he could get the eggs, after all.

(writing) Update on the writing

Happy Friday!  Happy August!

 

As promised, Fridays on the blog are writing days.  I’ve been plugging away at the rewrite of Into Thin Air, the very first Pendragon Casefiles novella.  Since I do a pretty extensive rewrite, it’s slow going.  Also, I’m exhausted this week, since my schedule has been all out of whack.  I’m hoping to get some major work done this weekend, but we’ll see.

 

I’m also working on the first draft of my new novel series, which has the working title of Baker.  The series title is Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker and it’s paranormal romance.  Lots of fun.  Witches in New Hampshire!

 

What’s coming up?  Well, once I finish the rewrite of Air, I need to start working on the next Schrodinger story.  Christmas is coming, you know!  I also need to start working on some outlines, I think – there are a few stories that are niggling at my brain, and I want to at least start planning them out.  Even if I don’t get beyond worldspinning on them, that’s more than I have now.

 

And I have to decide what next year’s plan is.  I’m continuing to write every day, and I will need some new projects!  (As my bunny brain goes “Yay!” and starts offering things.  Not yet, bunny, not yet!)  I have a bunch of ideas, and I’m toying with doing a series of short stories and self-publishing them next year.  We’ll see.  I need to decide soon, but not that soon.

 

And, since I haven’t given you much yet, I think you all deserve some actual writing.  So here’s a bit from Air.  This is the first in the series that I want to write, and it’s my ghost hunters.  Because ghost hunters rock, you know.

 

Sapph Pendragon is not a ghost hunter, exactly.  She’s a psychomorph, which is a very specialized type of psychic.  Literally, she turns into a ghost.  Which is damn cool, I think.  Lance and Amari are ghost hunters, and very skeptical of psychics.  Which is a good thing in the real world, but in my world?  Not so much.  Scottie is Sapph’s bodyguard.

 

Enjoy!

 

Lance looked over at her and Scottie, wondering just what he’d gotten himself into. This was NOT what he’d expected.

 

“I don’t know how to say this any way but outright,” he said finally. “Uncle Malcolm didn’t specify what kind of psychic you were, just that you were reliable. We don’t usually work with psychics…” His voice petered out as she grinned at him.

 

Sapph removed her glasses; her hazel eyes were bright with mischief, which worried him. “Malcolm told me it was a special case. Luckily for you, he sent a very special psychic.”

 

“Oh?” Lance couldn’t help it; he raised his eyebrows at her. “What kind of special?”

 

“Do you know what a psychomorph is?”

 

His jaw dropped. “You can’t be serious.”

 

Sapph nodded, her eyes sparkling. “I am serious.”

 

“What’s a psychomorph?” Amari demanded, looking back and forth between Lance and Sapph.

 

“A myth,” Lance said flatly, recovering. “A legend. There are no such thing as psychomorphs.”

 

“I hate to correct you when we just met, but they are not myths,” Sapph said. She turned to Scottie. “I like legend, though. Remind me to add that to my business cards.”

 

Scottie snorted softly. “As if your ego needed feeding.”

 

“Hey!” Sapph turned back to Lance and Amari. To Lance’s surprise, she squinted at the small dog still snuggled up under Amari’s chin. “I think it’s okay,” she said. “Bear hasn’t alerted, so that means that it’s quiet around here, parapsychologically-speaking.” She looked back over her shoulder at Scottie. “Do you sense anything?”

 

“No,” he said. “And Bear’s far more sensitive than I am. I think you’re safe for a short demonstration. But keep your jacket on, and keep it short.”

 

“Yes, MOM,” she said, wrinkling her nose. And then…she vanished.

 

“Holy shit!” The words exploded out of Lance’s mouth as he looked in awe at the spot where Sapph had just been standing – probably was still standing, he corrected himself. “She really is a psychomorph. They really exist.”

 

“What is a psychomorph?” Amari demanded again. “And where did she go? How did she do that?”

 

“She moved into the Ghostland,” Scottie said calmly, crossing his arms over his muscular chest. “That is her talent. She can physically move herself into the world of the dead.” He raised his voice a little. “And she needs to come back, as she’s not really dressed for ghostwalking right now.”

 

Lance forced himself to stare at the spot she’d stood in, and this time, he saw the ripple in the air, almost like the shimmer of heat rising from the asphalt on a summer’s day, right before she reappeared. Instead of heat, though, he felt an icy chill surround her, and her cheeks were bright red, as if she’d been somewhere very, very cold.

 

“How did you do that?” Amari asked, staring in awe at Sapph, her hazel eyes wide.

 

“I don’t know,” Sapph admitted, rubbing her hands together. “I just can. I’ve been able to do it since I was about ten or so.”

 

Lance was still staring at her, unable to look away. It was real. “It’s really real,” he said finally. “The Ghostlands. It exists.”

 

“Yes.” Sapph wrapped her arms around herself and shivered. “It’s very real.”

 

 

 

(personal/writing/health) Not dead!

In fact, I’m doing really well.  Just amazingly busy.  (What else is new?)

 

I’m up to day 34 of writing every day.  I leveled up last week, which means in order to get my points, I have to write 300 words a day, not 250.  I’m not up to NaNo level yet, but the habit is really sticking.  I have high hopes for Camp NaNo next month!

 

The current project is Pendragon Casefiles #1 – ghost story.  It needs a better title, but that will come.  At this point, it’s going to be a novella.  I’m looking at doing a series of them.  In anticipation of that, I submitted a prequel story to Every Photo Tells…  for their March photo.  As soon as that goes live, I’ll have a link for you!

 

I’m also still in training for my 5k run in April – only like 3 weeks away! Eek!  I’m so not ready.

 

But I’ll make it through.  The current plan is to blog here 3 days a week (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) and blog over at Cassandra’s blog on Tuesday and Thursday.  That blog is going to be more centered towards editing and proofreading, but there will be all sorts of things going on at both.

 

Also, con plans.  At this point, the only con I am planning on attending is CapClave in October.  I might go to Readercon, but I haven’t decided yet.  A lot depends on finances.

 

More info to come.

(personal/writing) 12 days and counting…

That’s the current chain on my writing.  I have now written at least 250 words for the last 12 days in a row.  I love it.  I’m finally getting things done.  I’ve already finished the rough draft of a short story for Every Photo Tells and gotten the synopsis for the first of the Pendragon Casefiles (which is the new series I’m working on) done.  I’ve also started the actual rough draft for Pendragon 1 (which really needs a title…so does the short story, for that matter).  I’m embracing a new me – one that does, rather than says.  One that writes, rather than talks about writing.

 

Race day is coming up too – April 6.  Just a bit over 6 weeks.  Eek!  But I’m heading to the gym, and I’m working on running.  I will cross that finish line.  I will.

 

Also, I’m branching out a bit.  Those who know me know that I’ve been building a bit of an alter-ego for a while, because I’m looking at branching out in the stuff I’m writing.  However, I’m changing her focus (sort of).  I was a copy editor and proofreader at a major newspaper for several years (the Daily Campus, which is the 5th largest daily newspaper in Connecticut), and I’m offering proofreading services.  If you are self-publishing, or just want to make sure your manuscript has no typos in it before you start submitting, stop by Cassandra’s blog to look at rates and other information.  I’m not editing right now (I don’t have enough time) but I’m a good, fast proofreader.

 

That’s life lately!  I’m trying to update the blogs as I get a chance, and I have several ideas in the hopper of things that I want to do.  Including a full website redo.  At some point.  And I’ll probably do a blog post soon about being a ghost hunter.  Especially since we’re getting busy!

Cyber Monday – and we have TWO anthologies available!

Yes, TWO!  How exciting!  And they can be yours, for very little money!

The first is the FM anthology – A Princess, A Boatman and A Lizard, which has my original story “Convoy” in it, along with some other fantastic stories.  All proceeds go to help keep Forward Motion running, and since I don’t think I would still be writing if not for them, I’m happy to help support them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can order this at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Smashwords for $4.99.

Also, as I posted to Twitter/FB Friday, Tee and Pip have released Tales of the Ministry: Collection 3, which includes my story “The Sun Never Sets.”  This is set in their Steampunk universe from The Ministry of Peculiar Occurances, and was a lot of fun to write.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can order this one from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Smashwords for $2.99.

 Also, in case you wanted more goodness from me, let me remind you that I have a stand-alone novella, “Snow,” set in the Horseman Universe, also available for $0.99.  This was a fun romp through a “what-if” – what if Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus and Jack Frost not only existed, but were Elemental Lords?  And what if Nikki had to deal with them – without killing anyone?  Warning: this one is adults-only.

You can order Snow from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Smashwords.

There will be more coming – I will be releasing a couple of short stories in the next couple of months, including Schrodinger and Molly’s first adventure together, and another Christmas story that I wrote and released on the blog a couple years ago.  I’m also working on a novella for publication in the spring.

And coming this Saturday, the second Schrodinger and Molly adventure!

 

 

Dealing with the sick

I hate colds.  I hate colds with a fiery, cottony passion that matches the gunk in my head.  Bleah.

Other than that, life is progressing.  I passed “Convoy” in and am starting work today on the new Advent story outline.  That’s my NaNo project, so I want to get it done (the outline, that is).  I suspect the rest of the year will be finishing things and starting outlines for new stuff for next year.

The Writing To-Do list for the end of the year:

1. Finish writing Tales of the Scorned Lady, season 1and then record it (more on that in a bit)

2. Revise novella for early next year

3. Write Advent 2 and get it up on the blog

At some point, I’ll get the edits for Last Rites and have to turn those in – we’re aiming for a spring 2013 release, and I have to check with the studio, but I think we’re going to try to do a combination release party/gallery showing with a friend of mine who did some amazing art based on the first novel up here in NH.  I think we’re also going to try for a spring Con launch – I just have to look at finances and see where I can afford to go.  More on that later as well, but things are moving forward!

I’m trying to blog every day.  We’ll see how it goes (I already missed yesterday!).  I’m writing every day too – really.

Deadline met!

My newest short is done and off to the editor. 5499 words. Giant spiders. Wine barrels. Demons.

What’s not to love?

Sunday morning, and life is good.

It IS good!

I’m thinking I should start inserting some graphics or something into these posts, so they aren’t all text, but sadly, I’m a writer, not a graphic designer.  We’ll see.

I got 1k written last night!  I never get 1k written in a night!  I’m so excited!  Today’s goal is a NaNo day: 1667.  (actually, it’s more than that, it’s the 5k I need to finish the story to turn in, but I’m trying for NaNo days now, so I can be in the groove for November)  I’m really enjoying the book The Busy Writer’s One-Hour Plot by Marg McAlister – it took me more than an hour (because I didn’t set a timer – bad me!) but I got the plot hammered out for Convoy and then wrote the first 1k in about 90 minutes.  For a slow writer like me, that’s amazing!  I’m so using this system from now on!

Once I finish Convoy and turn it in, I have to start working on prepping for NaNo.  The NaNo project this year is the 2nd Advent story (yay, more Schrodinger!) and I have to get it plotted out very soon, because I have to get the outline to the other folks who are helping me!  Yes, there will be OTHER STORIES!!!  (Sorry for the exclamation points.  I’m very excited this morning!)

Now, though, I have finished my morning pages, so it’s time to take the laptop into the kitchen and start catching up on podcasts while I make breakfast, do dishes, clean up and cook for the week.