Flash fiction: The Golden Glow of Home

Standing below the skeleton tree I looked up at the golden glow coming from the window. It had been too long since I left her side, wandering the world in search of my destiny. So many miles of road beneath my feet, yet my path brought me back here, ending up in the place I had started.

It had been winter when I walked away, the world blanketed in soft white that reflected the glow from her window. She had sent me away, angry at my choices. I swore then I would never return. Spring had found me far away, yet my heart harked back to that window, longing curling in my belly for her sweet face.

I fought my way through summer, splashes of red staining the bright green that flowed across fields. Men and boys dying meant less to me than the home I could have had. The song of a single bird echoed with my memories of home.

Fall called me back, the dying of the colors bringing memories of times lost. Finally I came back to where I started, standing here working up the courage to climb those stairs and ask if I could come home.


Writing unsure

As a writer I get to put a lot on the page. Emotions, beliefs, imaginings and so much more. At the moment as you know I am working on the next in the Saga of Loralil Greyfox boos. A Fragile Peace: Found picks up after the ending of Revenge is a more emotional book than the first two. Writing the journey Loralil needs to go through to become an adventurer is something I didn’t expect to be quite so difficult.

When writing the inner emotions of a character you actually have to delve into your our beliefs and understanding of the emotions. Not that I understand truly how this character feels. She has been cut off entirely from any family due to death. Lots of death and that is always a fun topic.

Working on the traveling sequence I realize that you can’t have a fantasy quest type story without a lot of creatures dropping in to visit, fight and probably die. So I am currently trying to deal with those sequences.

One of the important things is to make your creatures recognizable without having them be too cliche. I was going to use bugbears for a monster attack and realized that they are both cliche and not what I remembered them to be. One of the things in fantasy writing is that the monster creatures evolve. Bugbears have been around for a very long time. In fact they are based off of old Germanic boogymen tales. Centuries ago mothers would tell their children to behave or the bugbear would get them. Just a wee bit too cliche don’t you think?

So instead I have turned to a different monster. Still a bear but one that thanks to a twisted mage in the past is actually a cross between a bear and an owl. I am sure you can see the potential of such a monster.

The fact that these are truly monsters means that not everyone who goes up against them will survive. Sad but true but you can’t keep everyone in the party alive till the end of the book. Currently I am working on the aftermath of that encounter. Coming up with funeral rites for two different cultures is a little confusing but I can’t wait to see where it goes.

While I admit that working on this part is coming slowly but once I do finish up the writing part it actually reads really well. Here is hoping I can get more done and move into the Spine mountains. I all ready have a plan for the traveling through the mountains to Tal’shin.

Canada Day is tomorrow or I better do a lot of writing today

Yup another Canada day is nearly here.  I have been living up here now for four years and thinking of their national holiday my right wrist gives me a major twinge.  I don’t think I will ever forget getting that injury for sure.

but other than the bad wrist I have had a good life up here.  I have writing and publishing a lot since I moved up here.  Before i moved to Canada my life was too busy with taking care of kids, working and being sick.  Here the pressure, while different, is much less.  I can create and I am so glad I can.

Over this past week I worked on two battles for the newest WIP. First a knife fight in space. Okay not actually in space but on ship board.  Having a resource that I can ask hand to hand combat questions of makes that so much easier. Then i worked out my very first ship to ship battle, again thanks to the live in research specialist.

Trying to understand the physics of space flight and battles is way beyond most of us humans. My hubby gave me a very intelligent answer.  What shows like Babylon five or Firefly.  They have those ship to ship fights.

Now I have watched both of those and of course enough anime to get the general idea but I still plan on having him read what I have in chapter fifteen to make sure it doesn’t seem lame.  Yes I said lame.  While I can write, I just am not sure on the battles if they are lame or not.

It looks like once this little bit is done I will be starting the next act of this book. Having the heroine be more a classic heroine that needs to be rescued is different for me. After all most of my female characters will kick butt and take names.  Yes I have done the rescue me theme with the heroine from The Knight Protector but I wrote that piece over fifteen years ago.  A very different me for sure.

So the thought is do i keep her as a victim or do I let her learn to kick butt?  I am not sure. The two lovebirds in this story are not true warriors but the hero was a part of that knife fight on shipboard.  Guess we will see right?

This week i did take a little time off to write a flash fiction length tale for an anthology. Something to refresh my mind. It is odd to go from writing in third person past tense science fiction to writing first person present fantasy.  A twist of the mind right?

Now today I will be doing all my blogs, maybe write a poem or three, a drabble or two and maybe just maybe I will type up the raw emotional letter i wrote to my now deceased biological dad.  I just can’t decide. Should i or should I just forget?

Another Monday and the heat is here

Trying to decide what to work on some days can be a battle.  I of course did my early morning chores and kept thinking.  Should i work on this or that today?  While sitting and watching Warehouse 13 (Yes I adore that show) I started jotting down a little ghost story inspired by something I found online.  Seems way back when before I was born (yes children I was born) back even before my grandparents were born there were these places called Post Houses.  There were places where the city would quarantine sick patients.  Those they considered too sick to be in general populous.  People who had small pox or consumption, etc. were taken there to be treated. We all know that medical care in the 1800s was pretty hit or miss.

Now there is no way I can say that what popped into my mind happened but it does make for a fun little ghost story.  So I have half of one written.  Death Would probably not have liked these places where they put the poor to die I am betting but we all know he can’t do anything to the living.  This story will of course be in the Death Walks Through collection.

And I am sure you are asking what about Singer of the Blood Song?  I thought that was your next tale.  Well see I do work on multiple things at the same time.  I am not quiet sure what Monica plans on doing to Ohanko but I am sure she will be unpleasantly surprised when Kiele opens for him.  Having a female villain is almost cliche in this type of story but well why not?  She is a rich, sexy, A type personality that expects to get what she wants.  She is not human and has desires and appetites that really should not be thought about.  Ohanko would be a very very tasty treat for her since he too is not what he looks like.  But just what might he be?  With the title I have you would think a vampire but you would be wrong.  Just what he, Kiele and Rogers are I haven’t done the full research for yet.

That is the crux of what is holding me up.  I need to do some research.  Thankfully my little short fantasy tales are far enough from reality that if I don’t get them quite right I can just say…oh well…after all I am not writing close to real world stuff.  I am writing fun odd tales that touch on reality but come from alternate worlds.


A silly happy day

Okay most of the time I write about writing and the weird world around me but today..ah today.  I just received my very own copy of the book Dark Minds.  Why this is cool is because I am one of the contributors!  My story, A Different Kind of Hunt is actually the second story in the book.  That is cool.  I know sometimes when you read a anthology you can get bored and not finish but my placement pretty much insures it will be read!..not that I never finish an anthology.  I am crazy about that type of book.  Collections of short stories make me eager to dive in and try new authors.

This is a good sized book for sure.  The nice little bit that David, the editor did was to have us make images to go with our tales.  So the image in the book was something I made up.  I have posted it out on the web of course for people to see.  While this story I wrote is a bit dark it is still fantasy.  Most of the other stories are horror but David liked it so it is all good.

One of my hope for dreams is to be able to have a copy of each anthology I have contributed to along with my own collections and novels on my shelves.  Just having books with my name on it on a shelf will be a boost to my writers soul.  Artists have their paintings or sculptures, singers and musicians have their CDs and writers have their books.  I have a lot of stuff out but right now they are mostly just ebooks.

Now while ebooks are taking over the world I admit I love the feel of a real book in my fingers.  You can hold it, smell it and cuddle it if you want.  Yes it is weird but we never said I wasn’t weird right?

Now hopefully this tale will bring in some more readers to my other works.  I am holding my breath (figuratively) for my 200th sale.  At the moment I am at 186 but it might happen soon.


So dern busy lately…

Yes i know I should do this every day but between my poetry collections, getting Harry’s book together and helping on getting Reflections up and out I lost track of time.   Thanks to all that work though I now have a number of new releasing showing up all over.

Twist of Fate is the most recent charity collection.  Stephen Wilson is the man behind this one and it came out really exceptional.  There are a lot of talented writers/poets/photographers and other people inside this book.  I am very proud that I have two poems inside.  The money from this book goes to those effected by the Tornadoes that destroyed so many homes in Oklahoma.

Reflections of the End is a facebook group anthology about what else?  The end of the world.  I submitted one piece to that one and hopefully it will be well received by the reading public.  It just went up life this morning after all lot of shuffling around.  I got added as an admin to this group so I could help push it through.  These folks are another group of highly talented indie authors.  We will now work on the second book..all kinds of stories about secrets.

The Writers stuff group is closing up submissions for their anthology and I have a tale in that one too.  Plus we have been doing a bunch of drabbles to help fill pages.  I have quite a few I have done but I am not sure if all of them will make it into the book.  Drabbles are a lot of fun.  Exactly 100 words written about an image.  Good practice for sure.

Guardians of the Gate City is live on Barnes and Nobel, Kobo and Apple but for some reason not yet on Amazon.  I put through the paperback version this morning on Createspace so it will be available to those who prefer a real book in their hands.   I really hope people will buy the collection.  That is a lot of Harry stories all in one place and I basically tossed in Sudden Disappearances for free!

The two poetry collections are out and available and I will work on finishing the third one next month.  I needed to step away from that one.  Just too intense.  I plan on finishing up a few short stories this month instead.  Blackbird is two thirds done and then I can dive into a few other projects.

My sales might have been slow in June but at least I had some.   Not as many as in May but I am told things go like that.  I got one review of my own work and a few of the anthologies.  Funny thing about anthologies some people just don’t get them.  I know we got dinged on one of the collections because of all things that the stories were not all set in the US by American authors…really?  I mean anthologies are so you can try out a new author, see if you want to read more of there work.  No where in the description did it say the book was US or American based.  Now I can understand wanting to read stuff like that but dont expect it to be there if it isn’t listed in the blurb…

Finished the edit

Not sure how well I did but damn I caught stuff my spell checker should have.  Yes I do use spell check and grammar check but for some reason the darn things have been only checking half my files.  What i mean is that I will be editing along happily fixing the booboos and wham I get an error message saying that the .dll file for spell check and grammar check is missing…how can it be missing halfway through using it?  I am thinking maybe my computer needs a nice check up from the hubby.  He can probably figure it out.  If he wasn’t working so hard and so much at his job.  Poor guy.  Having to work Father’s day is not fair but well it happens.

Now as far as I can tell Harry’s tales are ready for the world to read in one place.  Once I get a spiffy new cover done (thank you for this hubby mine) then i will post it up for sale.  Still trying to work out the price point for this.  I have sold the first five stories in the collection for 99 cents each (okay I put them up they didn’t sell lots) but I can’t see putting the collections at six or seven dollars.  Maybe I will go with $4.99.  See if people want it that way.  It will be a real bargain because they will be getting the five stories all ready released plus the novella that I finished up.  A lot of pages of some of y favorite character’s stories.  After doing that final edit last night and luckily caught the paragraph where I switched from first person to third.  That would have been embarrassing to have pointed out to me.

Now the Guardian tales don’t have any romance in them so I know I won’t be getting an audience from that part of the reader world but they are fun.  Yes they get darker, everything does right?  But Harry’s view of the world is still what you would expect after reading the first one.  A little world weary but a lot honorable.  He is just a good guy with a tough job.

I got the poetry book started.  I know I should be sitting down and working out what images to add to what poem but well I am not in the headset to do that.  Between finishing up Harry, getting stories together for another anthology and trying to remember to advertise all my work I seem to be tired.  Tired enough that I have taken off time to just read some good stuff.

I have a lot of other people’s work to read and since I have been having trouble with the whole head hurting thing I have read between headaches.  But tomorrow is a new week so I can just get my butt in gear and hopefully finish Blackbird for the anthology and get the images I want set up for the poetry book.  Ah goals..we all need them right?

Editing and formatting…or oy my head

While the writing part of my job is fun and confusing it is the editing and formatting that truly drives me nuts.  Once you have your immortal words down on the computer screen/notebook you have to go through and fix all your booboos.  In my case typos need to be fixed.  I think faster than I type, yes that is possible.

Like all authors  I could go through and edit my work into nothing but I try to stop at a point.  Yes it would be great to be able to afford a prereader and a proof reader and an editor but I still haven’t reached that point in the wild world of writing.  When the average price I have found so far is $300 or more, well it puts it way out of my price range.  Someday when I actually make money at this all my early works will get the professional treatment but for now I just have to do what I can right?

Now last night I took all the Harry stories and put them into one file.  This morning I ran the spell and edit checker on them and made sure the formatting was okay.  I plan on putting little commentary bits before each tale for those who have not read these tales.  As a book it comes to about 95K, which makes it my second largest book.  Hopefully having a full collection will boost sales.    The final tale in that collection is an exclusive story that will not be put up for sale separately.

Once I get that part done I will have to come up with a really good cover that will work for both the ebook and paperback version.  Yes this well be in paperback for those of you who want it.

The other thing I have been doing is sorting through my over 300 poems and making a new collection.  This one will not be quite as big as Love, Loss and Loneliness.  I went with less poetry so that I can price it lower.  I plan on sorting through my images and putting in things that will hopefully be a good match for these poems.  Unlike the last book these are less emotional and more pondering or musing.  I write a lot of different things as my readers know.  I have not decided yet if I will change the images to black and white though.  If i do it will be because in a paperback it is cheaper than a full color book.

I have tried in the past few days to write some new poems for another collection.  While the one I have compiled contains mostly musings on the world, the other two I have in progress are about the seasons and about family.  Generations of Love so far has twelve poems about daughters, mothers and grandmothers.  Yes all female but that is my family.  While I have nephews I have no sons.  Writing about my kids is very personal and I hope inspirational to those who will read them some day.

Yes I am still working on short stories at the moment.  Blackbird is about two thirds done and hopefully I will finish it by the end of the month so it can go into the Writer’s stuff anthology with I Can’t Love you anymore.  Two different stories with romance at their roots.  I Can’t love you is another Death Walks Through short but done in a totally different way.  I will release it as a separate tale a few months after the anthology comes out.  Or I might just hold onto it for the Deaths anthology.  Never know.

It looks like In the Dark will be longer than I first thought.  This tale has barely begun but it has interesting images coming together and it went from just and Urban Fantasy to an after the world Changed tale.  That will probably take it into a new series or at least a different one.

So much to work on and only so much time right?

Music is the muse today

Music is definitely my muse right now.  The two ghost stories I have put up over the past two weeks were both inspired by songs on my IPod.  I have another started that I am not sure will be a ghost story or something from what I am tentatively calling my horror series.  anyone who knows me or has read my work realizes that I am no HP Lovecraft or EA Poe.  I write stuff that is odd yes but not necessarily that dark but it seems I have a number of stories (in pieces right now) that would really be more a horror story than a fantasy.  They are dark for me (which can be quite dark) and don’t have a happy ending for sure. 

My original dark tale was Descents, which is in the Gates collection.  Dark and eerie it fit in that book because of the gate in the story.  Though I will admit I am thinking of a new set of tales once I get Descents and the others back.  With titles like Man’s Roads, And Darkness Claims it all, Light search the Night and Walk Blind Into the Night these tales would be darker than my usual.  I guess I could call the series Descents into Darkness.  That would be a nice title don’t you think?

Course not all of my tales are dark.  I do have lighter more romantic fair just waiting for me to finish them up and put them out.  Flame Vixen is one of them and Singer of the Blood Song another.  They will of course have me normal odd fantasy flavor but with romance as a big component.  What to call them I have no idea.

Now I finally put up the last of my finished erotica stories.  And He makes three is pretty much smut but well you never know what sells right?  I obviously would rather my fantasy sell but I will take sales where they come. 

Today I started writing to Richard Marx.  One of my all time favorite singers.  His songs have inspired me to write poetry and of course short stories.  Hazards is based on his song Hazard and Children should be heard is based on Children of the Night.  So this now story, Now and Forever, is of course based on the lines of that song but it always has bits inspired by other songs from the same album.  While I have only typed as of now 710 words, it is a start.  Who knows where it will go.  This man telling this tale is doomed for sure though.  Never ever sign a contract with blood, no matter who tells you to do it.

I will post excerpts from some of the tales I have mentioned over on books by Lisa Williamson and of course the two covers on my newest stories over on Window of my mind.

What did I do with my umbrella?

Yeah walking every day is good for you.  Gets your muscles warmed up (um sure it does) gets the heart pumping and today got my joints yelling.  The rain that I was hoping would hold off till after I got back from the walk to school was coming down hard this morning.  My umbrella has decided it needed a vacation somewhere warm so I came back pretty drenched.  And I thought my joints were made before I left!

Yeah that is way I have been a bad writer.  I haven’t blogged like I should, haven’t written like I should or pushed my work and anything I should be doing.  Been aching and cold but well I am planning on pushing through it today and getting some work done.  Yes I have actually been working on Sudden Disappearances.  Right now there is over 12K in words typed up, so it is moving along good.  I had to do a lot of research for this one.

Now the research in writing fantasy is an odd thing.  You need to look up myths and monsters, cultural stuff and weapons.  This can be fun and hopefully not put you on the radar of a government agency.  After all I am a pacifist except in my stories.  Yeah if a troll decided he wanted to eat my kid I would turn into the mother monster from hell but in general I keep my weapon work in fictionalized form.

But the hard part about research is trying to pull up reminders of what a neighborhood is called and where the exact boundaries are.  Since I am writing this series set in my home town I like to try and have some of it accurate.  Course the problem is pulling up a good map with things like the streams, rivers, ponds and parks on it.  Then remembering what neighborhood is called what.  Since I no longer live in my hometown I can’t just go take a drive around town and look for the signs.  I have to go online and pull up google maps and other searches.  Which can be good but not as good as being there.  I have seriously thought of asking old friends from back home to do a drive around, take photos of the signs and email them to me.  Heck that wold be a grand idea if anyone had the time.

I was pretty stuck on how to bring the connection together of two different cultural creatures in my story but wham it came to me while I was out doing the weekly shopping.  Surprising when things come to you.  You can be sitting on a bus, or walking in the rain or best yet taking a nap!  You never know when a connection will hit you.

Now I admit part of my issue this past week is that it is the first part of the month.  All the wonderful sales I made last month have been wiped off the charts and I have to wait for someone to be interested enough to pick up my titles. Took until day before yesterday so I was feeling rather in the writers dumps.  You writers know that is the time when you doubt yourself.  You doubt that anything you are writing is being seen by anyone, liked by anyone.  That you think why the hell am I doing this to myself.  Yeah I go through this almost Manic depressive episode once a month…no I am not manic depressive nor am I making fun of those who are.  I know it is a real illness and I know people who are living with it but I do go back and forth in my writing.  There are times I get all angry or weepy or just plain non-motivated because it seems why bother.  But then I get this idea, this wonderful you will write me or i will never stop bugging you idea and I am off to the races again.

Writing is an addiction that is both good and bad.  Mostly good because it allows you to express things you think and feel or tell stories of things you wish were.  It is a way for those of us who don’t talk a lot (yes I do talk people, just most times I can’t get a word in edgewise around my family and friends) so I write.  Poetry for those hard emotions and stories for other things.

Now back to Harry.  I totaled up the stories I have on Harry and realized that when I finished this current story I would have enough to do a collection.  No it shouldn’t be a concluding story to his tales because Harry will have many many many tales but enough for those readers who wanted a paperback before they read him.  Yes I have been asked for one.  So once this is done I will be working on different covers. One for the tale as a stand alone, one for the ebook collection and one for the paperback.  I think the collection will be called Harry’s Tales, A Guardians of the Gate city book.  After all I have side stories that will be told about other guardians in the Gate city.  Jackson has a story that is partially written that is just Jackson and I have Daniel and Maeve, two others who will be working to protect the city.  Then there is Angela, the stitch witch as some call her, Sheldon the dragon and a fun little side tale about Agnes helping some in danger creatures when Harry is out of town.  All fun and all set in Nashua.

Any of you wondering when i will do the next Loralil or Chaos Wars, dont worry I will.  Just not yet.  I need to finish up Traveler, The Price of Freedom and Whether to Save Face or Family first.  All three of those will be longer works and should hit a different audience.  Plus i have a sequel tale to Descents, my horror story in Gates to work on.  Next month I will find out if I get the rights to my Gates stories back or if I get a nice fat check.  Not sure which I prefer but at least if I get them back I can fix the editing issues and put them up as stand alones and or add them to a all ready existing series or make a new one.  I know that Descents and the sequel Man’s Roads will probably start a more horror type series and Seven Moons will be put into a series with Knight Protector of my fantasy romance stories.  Yes more series but it helps me keep track of ideas.

I have been reading lots of books but mostly by other established authors.  I should put together a section here of reviews of the indie authors I read so you can all lake a look at good books.