I know that you were scared. I know that you keep worrying and stressing. Not writing is slowly killing you on the inside. But you’ve been here before and you’ve escaped the darkness, resolved to push through all your fears. You keep telling yourself that you aren’t a writer, but you know deep down that isn’t the truth. You feel that constant need to write. It is a niche that refuses to go away. All those single line sentences that leads to wondering if that’s a good line for story. Names you here suddenly spark an idea for a new character. You see someone do something and you tell yourself you know exactly which character would do that. All those things you secretly do all amounts to one fact. You are a writer. You may let those fears and doubts drown you for a week, maybe a few months, maybe even longer than a year. It won’t change the truth. You are a writer. Always will be. So suck it up buttercup. Just right now. Yougotsdisfersure. Love, Me
Elizabeth opened the door, prepared to count the twenty-seven steps that led her toward her one bedroom apartment, when she heard a dog bark and felt something hard and small jam into her back.
“Take the steps slowly, like you always do, Elizabeth.”
She didn’t recognize the voice and when she moved to turn her head to the side, it pushed harder into her and she heard a gun cock. Somewhere in the near distance she heard a man whistling and she wanted to scream for help.
“Think twice and you’ll see your instincts will get you killed.”
“What do you want from me?” She felt a hand on her shoulder, urging her onward. Her feet, glued to the rubber mat, refused to move. “I have some money in my bag. Take it.”
The whistling faded away and the man behind her sounded as if he was grinning. “I told you what I want. Now, go on. Count your steps.”
She didn’t know how he knew her habit but if he knew that much about her… “Who are you?” The gun left her back and she winced as the assailant twisted her arm behind her back. She was shoved into the entryway of the apartment and she heard the door close and the lock turned. As she looked up the first twelve steps Elizabeth realized her arm was free. She turned and swung wildly at the man. Hands pushed against her and she fell against the first three stairs. She was down low now and she used her legs and began kicking at the stranger. She didn’t care that he had a gun; knew that if he got her all the way upstairs he would likely kill her anyway.
“Elizabeth? Is that you? I used your spare key and let myself in. I hope you don’t…”
Hearing her sister’s voice, Elizabeth was about to yell up to Samantha, but as she began to call out, the gun was shoved into her mouth. It startled her so much that she felt herself lose a little of her bladder. Footsteps were descending above her and a dam of tears broke and her body began shaking.
“Oh my god!”
Elizabeth couldn’t see her sister; she didn’t dare move. Instead, she continued staring at the man in front of her, pleading with her eyes.
“Samantha. I wasn’t expecting you.” The man spoke calmly. “Why don’t you come down here so we can talk?” He smiled at Elizabeth. “You wouldn’t want to make things any worse for your sister, now, would you?”
Samantha, crying pitifully, walked the rest of the stairs down before stopping five feet away. “Please don’t kill her.”
Elizabeth watched the man move his empty hand to his blue jean jacket pocket and pull out a syringe. He held it out above her head.
“Samantha, I want you to carefully step down and take this out of my hand. Then I want you to inject it into your arm.”
Elizabeth shook her head, felt the gun move with her mouth. She tried to tell her sister not to do it.
“It won’t kill you. I promise. It will just make you really sleepy. I’d urge you to run upstairs pretty fast, otherwise, you’ll fall and I don’t want to see you hurt yourself.”
Samantha was moving her head left and right.
“Yes. Or it will be all your fault when Elizabeth’s head gets blown to pieces.” His hand stretched out closer to her. “Now, be a good girl, and take your medicine.”
Elizabeth closed her eyes and listened to her sister step slowly closer.
“You promise it won’t kill me? You won’t kill her?” She asked, whimpering now.
The man didn’t reply.
Elizabeth opened her eyes when she heard her sister running back up the stairs and then heard glass fall and shatter.
“I guess she didn’t make it all the way up.” The man looked at Elizabeth. “She’ll be out for hours, but she won’t die.” He pulled the gun out of her mouth, stepped half a step back. He watched as she wiped saliva away from the corner of her mouth. “Go.” He motioned upwards with the gun.
She turned around, put her hand on the wood railing, and stepped cautiously, one at a time, counting in her mind, and reminded herself to breath. She stopped when she reached her sister, who had fallen in the hallway just before turning down another hallway that led to her living room and kitchen. She was about to turn around when she felt a pinch on her neck. Icy fluid seeped into her body and she finally did turn around.
“One. Two.” The man counted slowly. “Three. Four.”
Elizabeth’s legs grew heavy and her head woozy. She saw the man putting his gun away, saw herself falling into his arms, and then blackness took over her world as he reached five.
Taking the bull by the horn and deciding to dive into the grueling activity of writing a novel, there are a number of things the author must decide. Characters, plotline, to use magic or not, how much research is needed, and so so much more. Today, as I work to edit a previously written novel, I embraced, for the first time in my life, a new decision to make. Do I want to use chapters? Like…Chapter 1, chapter 34, chapter 799. (just kidding)
I’ve read a myriad of novels that broke portions of the book in a number of ways. I’ve read books, recently, where instead of using chapters, the author just wrote the character’s name whose POV was for that portion.
So I’m taking an active approach and asking you, my favorite people: Does it matter whether the book has chapters or names to divide sections? Does it even need chapters? What other suggestions might you have to offer?
So, Camp NaNoWriMo is about to begin. As if starting a new job, moving to a new city, and having to change and embrace just about everything going on, I’m about to embark on a new writing project. Yowza!!!
I know. I’m crazy. I can’t help myself, though. I just sat down, during my first period class, and discovered this story sitting within the walls of my mind.
So here is the idea I’m playing with. It’s called What the Hand Draws Continue reading
TO BE CREATIVE AND ARTSY~~ Last Christmas I really wanted to give my husband something homemade. So in June (I think) I purchased a paint-by-number piece with good intentions of completing it and wrapping it up. I think it’s still … Continue reading
So for three long years my writing partner Will and I worked diligently on co-writing our epic fantasy series. We finished in January with book one. I’ve not been able to touch the dang book (book two) ever since. Oh, I tried. I definitely tried. And we even got a good 25K words in to book two. But, I just wasn’t feeling it. And I could not for the life of me figure out why. Continue reading
When I was three or four my Granny O. had these three small, fat books. They were my favorites and I learned to read using those books. I’ll admit today when I go visit her I always fondly recall those books. Even though she doesn’t live in the same home as when I stayed with her I still go to her house and can’t help but look around the place and I am swept back into time. A time where she would give me flashcards with letters and I would have to put them together to form words. A time where a myriad of Disney Comic books and others drew me into a world of make-believe where princesses could slay the dragons, youth had power and could save the world by believing, and magic closets and lions were something to seek and fall in love with.
She instilled in me a passion for reading and writing. She introduced me to many fantastic voyages. She proved to me that while television and movies were fun diving into a book created many more opportunities and there was no limit to where I could go, who I could meet, and what I could do. While my mother would show me books like Good Night Moon and I loved those special moments of her reading to me, it was my Granny O. who gave me the book Fievel, An American Tale. I loved that movie but seeing the story in words, along with the pictures, it was amazing. I learned that those movies I loved were only a bunch of words and some colorful pictures.
It may sound silly to you, the reader, but for me, that was a pivotal moment of change for me. I was forever altered, never to be the same girl. From that moment I was a writer. I wrote stories. I was only six and seven so my experiences weren’t wide and far but I still ‘wrote what I knew’. I merged characters like Curious George and Shirley Temple and gave them adventures. In fifth and sixth grade I was fascinated with the emergence of AIDS. TV commercials offered advice and info (just call this 800 number!) and learned as much as I could by getting brochures and pamphlets. In sixth grade I wrote a novella (though I would hear that term for years to come) and I won a Young Author’s Award for my story about a young girl whose brother had contacted AIDS and if she didn’t change her life she would likely end up the same. Continue reading
“With this kiss the promise is sealed.” Raiva’s lips curled into a mischievous grin as she raised her pinky to her lips.
I wanted to spit on my own but the ritual required a kiss. Had I known, had I any inclination that her kiss and my promise was sealing the fate of the one person who stood any chance of making the right choice, I would have elected to die, no…I was going to die no matter what. What is worse than dying? I couldn’t think of an answer at the moment.
“Ryder?” Raiva’s finger was extended and waiting for my own. “Do you choose me or not?” Her other hand was on her hip.
“I need a minute.” I looked across the room and though the wailing and pounding behind the mirror came with no sound, inside my head I could hear her voice and my heart swelled within my chest.
“He doesn’t want you Raiva.” Devlin laughed. “Come on Ryder. After all we’ve been through, make the right choice.” His greasy black bangs swayed over his left eye. He brushed it aside, looked towards the mirror. “Only you can save her.” Continue reading
When I went to Pikes Peak Writers Conference I had the highest hopes of attaining inspiration to write. I had, to be quite honest, the feeling of that cold dark notion of ‘writer’s block’ over me. I wasn’t producing anything and I just knew the conference would help me come out of this rut but I came home not really feeling all that excited to write. I’m not saying I wasn’t excited. Oh I was indeed in seventh heaven for so many reasons. However I wasn’t really feeling that ‘carpal tunnel syndrome’ feeling if you get my drift. LOL
I had met some fantastic people. OMG. I met my most favorite writer, Chuck Wendig of Terribleminds. I tried my absolute best not to walk that ‘stalker’ line. I got to get my books autographed. He even predicted my ‘demise’ Hehe! I got to sit at his table during one of the banquets. He even stopped and talked to me in the hall on various occasions. I felt honored! You must understand! This man is someone I’ve been following, learning the writing craft from, and studying. I consider him a mentor. I am not just a fan but a student. So to get to meet him meant the world to me. And to be treated like an equal was…well, as I said, an honor, and I am humbled. Listening to his keynote speech was inspiring in itself. Not to go out and write, but to persevere. Thanks to him, I came home understanding it wasn’t writer’s block. Thank you Chuck. 🙂
I got to meet Hank Phillippi Ryan. That remarkable woman’s very presence just made my mouth drop! The experience made me nearly faint! Watching her during the read and critique was fascinating. Watching her in action, listening to her speak….let’s just say…when I grow up, I want to be just like her! Wowza!!! She is so poised, professional, and just super stardom. I mean, there are just no words to express what is was like being around her. At one point, I was walking and I had asked the person beside me where the book signing was being held *with her book in my hand* and I unknowingly asked HER and she smiled and stated that it was the highest praise for that to happen in such a way, unknowingly for the two of us to run into each other like that.
I also had the honor of sitting down a number of times and speaking with Jim C. Hines. This man is so creative. I tell you what, if I was a brain surgeon, that is one head I would LOVE to crack open and take a look at because there is some wicked cool stuff happening inside it. He is a fantastic man, and this is coming from just having sat down for a just a little while with. I’m sure if I had more time….well, you might just hear on the news that of a case of body snatching (blame it on aliens because there is some intelligent life going on inside that man). He is certainly a couple generations ahead of the times.
Gail Carriger is a beautiful soul. She had me in tears through her keynote speech. And I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to sit down with her the next day and have a gut level conversation with her. Life resonates within her, showing her passion and sincerity. It is no wonder creativity resonates through her veins and she continues to write best sellers. I pray that she continues to have success and she finds answers she seeks, and that beauty comes to her through characters, through love, and through life forever.
There were so many names, so many people that I can’t list them all. YOU ALL KNOW WHO YOU ARE. I consider them all friends now. I went into this conference hoping for the inspiration to go home to write. To want to write rigorously. That wasn’t so. Instead, I took home with me the experience of a lifetime. Education and knowledge from professionals. My eyes were opened in ways I’d not expected to happen. I see my writing the way agents and editors look at it. I also have a lot of new friendships.
And I reached a new milestone in my life. I pitched one of my novels. I pitched my fantasy novel series to Del Ray Spectra and they requested to see more! What a huge success that was!!! My first ever pitch and they want to see more. WOW! I am a realist but also an optimist. I may not make it all the way through the publishing process. They may look at the book and opt to not take it. However, to even be considered it a HUGE success, an honor that I take and in such an early stage in my writing career, I can say I am just truly, truly grateful to even be considered. I am humbled and in awe. Many many thanks for just reaching this point in my life.
I walked into that pitch workshop, completely overwhelmed and walked out totally numbed and truly disheartened and certain of failure. But I took what information I was given, studied, practiced, and worked like crazy. And two days later gave my pitch. And had success! 🙂
I have been a bit stranded in regards to my antagonist in my trilogy. Though book one is finished and I felt for the most part it had an extremely strong protagonist, fabulous supporting characters, and a storyline that moved at a good pace, I still couldn’t help feeling a lackluster emotion about my supreme ‘bad guy’. His henchmen, if you could call them that (as they aren’t directly related to the antagonist’s purpose, were great at their assisting roles in the story. And yet, though all these key elements connected and made for an overall good story, I just wasn’t satisfied. Continue reading