Thursday, February 12, 2015

Just Write Thursdays

I don't have too much time before I have to head into work today, so here is a scene from the next book I'm working on. This book is going to be a YA Paranormal Romance. Are you intrigued?


“Wren, you have to heal her!” Raven commanded urgently as she quickly looked around the parking lot. Raven, Wren, and Zach were huddled around Sarah’s prone form.

Wren took a deep breath and felt the sharp bite of gravel against her knees as she hovered over her best friend. Sarah’s eyes were closed and blood flowed freely from a gash on her forehead. She didn't respond to Wren’s questions except to moan some more. Wren’s stomach clenched in dread.

Just moments before, Sarah and Wren had followed Raven and Zach into the dark, gravel parking lot behind the bleachers of the football field. Just as they caught up with the pair, a car sped through the lot, clipping Sarah as she pushed Zach out of harm’s way. The car had seemed intent on running him over, not slowing down in the slightest before racing off into the night.

“What are you talking about?” Zach’s voice cracked. His shaking hands fumbled in his jacket pocket until he found his phone. “We need to call 911.”

Raven smacked the cellphone from his hand. A short tussle ensued, ending when Raven placed her palm against Zach’s chest. With a purple flash of light beneath Raven’s hand, Zach’s eyes rolled back and he fainted to the ground. Raven palmed Zach’s phone.

Wren jumped to a stand. “What the hell?!”

Raven grabbed her by the wrist and jerked Wren back down. “Heal her Wren. I know you can.”

Wren shook her head, blond hair escaping from her messy pony-tale. “I don’t know what you’re talking about. You’re insane. Give me Zach’s phone!”

Raven cocked an eyebrow. “This phone?” With another small flash of purple light, the phone broke into several pieces. Raven let them drop to the ground one at a time. She stared Wren down, her violet gaze seeming to glow in the darkness. “You have to heal her. You have the power.”

Sunday, February 8, 2015

My Day Job

A short story from my day job. Non-fiction. You can't make this stuff up.


She glides her way into the store, trailing a colorful scarf behind her. When she arrives at my desk, she hugs her pink, gloved hands together around a crinkling stack of papers.

“I need to speak to a member of upper management, immediately.” Her serious words are undermined when she smiles, revealing lipstick stained teeth with a giant gap in the middle. I study her briefly. Her Mocha skin is heavily made up and her hair styled into a perfect ball around her round face. Her clothing is painfully bright for my tastes with pinks and yellows, but coordinated and clean.

Still, something about her unflinching stare sets off my “fruitcake” alarm. Her eyes. Yes, they are fully dilated despite the fluorescent light shining directly onto her face. And she's wearing a full winter outfit, despite the 70 degree day.

Much like when I'm at work,
I have no idea what is going on here...
I smile neutrally and offer, “The members of management are all in a meeting upstairs right now, but if you- ”

I don’t get to finish before she cuts me off, pulling some papers from her stack. “I am a street artist. I create gorgeous works of art on the street.” I examine the sketch she hands me. I think it’s supposed to be a portrait since there is a photo attached to it, but the drawing looks like two alien creatures being dissected. I command my neutral smile to remain in place.

She continues speaking, rapidly and I barely catch any of her words. “I've-never-been-formally-trained this-is-all just pure God gifted-talent that my Daddy the-Lord taught me but my Earthly daddy was a millionaire he died when I was 19 and left his fortune to me if you let me do my street art I would share 10% off my God’s blessings with you all.” She finally pauses to breathe. I start to offer my condolences regarding her Earthly father when I, too, pause.

I have no idea what she means by 10% off her God’s blessings: Is she offering 10% off of her prices or 10% of her profits… Before I can sort out my confusion she catches her breath and begins again while trying to stuff the horrid drawings back into a brown sack.

“I am also a singer.” And then she sings. Her words are unintelligible despite just being said tonally rather than sung. I don’t even realize she is singing until she stops and smiles at me, waiting for my applause. Definitely a fruitcake. But fruitcakes sometimes pack heat, so I applaud nicely and try to move the conversation along.

I say, “If I can just get your contact information, I’ll have the management- ”

Again, I am interrupted. “Oh you sweet thing, of course you can get my number.” Oh God help me. “What’s your name, sugar?” I’m pretty sure she thinks I’m asking her out now.

I reply, speaking as quickly as she does, “I’m-Susan and I’ll-give-your-info to-the managers so they-can-get-in touch with-you-about-doing-artwork-here.” I smile brightly and poise my pen over paper. Please woman, just let’s get this over with so you can go be crazy elsewhere.

She grins at me, her wide eyes getting wider. “Why of course I’ll give you my info. I would just love to help your store out by doing my artwork here. What a lovely idea.”

Wait. What?!

“I’m Krystal.” She smiles, waiting for some sort of recognition. I ask, “Is that Krystal with a C or a K?”

She is undisturbed by my lack of recognition. “That’s with a K. ” She traces her fuzzy, pink gloved finger over my paper. “Then an R-Y-S-T-A-L. That’s right. My name is Krstalyn. Not like crystal meth. Yes, you spelled it with one N but it has two. That’s right, I’m Krystalynn. L-Y-N-N. That second N makes it my legal name so you should put that in parenthesis.”

I write exactly Krsytalyn(n). “Perfect,” she purrs at me.

I ask, “And your phone number?”

“Do you know who I am?” She is still purring. I’m frantically looking for any of the FOUR other people who are supposed to be working right now and I do not see a single one of them. She continues, “I’m JFK’s niece.”

This has me pausing to look at her. Claiming to be the very black niece of a very white president is a bit bold even for a fruitcake. “That’s right, I’m his niece. You know who else I am?” I raise my eyebrow. “I’m the inventor of the refrigerator. You have me to thank for your cold foods.”


“That is wonderful,” I reply. “May I get your phone number to give to management?” She rattles off a series of numbers, stops, then gives me a nine digit number which I write down.

“Excellent.” I smile at her. “They’ll get in touch with you if they are interested.” Maybe finally this will be over now.

Her face turns nasty. Hell. I've overplayed my nice card or did something to give away my real reaction to her. Please don’t have a gun, please don’t have a gun…

She doesn't shoot me. She says, “I’ll get in touch with them if I’m interested.”
“That sounds great,” I reply. Since she doesn't have their phone number, it really does sound great.

“What’s your name, sugar?” Ahhhhh. Crap.
“My name is Susan.”
“That’s a pretty name.”
“Thank you.” At least she didn't say that I have a pretty mouth.
“Can I have this?” She points to one of our free catalogs.
“Absolutely. It’s all yours.” Please for the love of goodness, leave now.
“And what’s your name?” Stab me.
“That’s a pretty name.” Really. She says it again.
“Thank you.” This will never end apparently.
“Can I get your autography on this thing?” She points again to the catalog. I’m flummoxed. She says, “You are just the sweetest soul and I know you are gonna be famous. Will you sign this for me? What’s your name?”
“Sure,” I reply. “My name is Susan.” I lean forward and sign just my first name. She asks me to date it, so I do that as well. Then she makes me fist pump her. Just like the McPoyle Brothers in It’s Always Sunny.

I am now hoping she has a gun just to end this thing.

She finally bids her goodbyes, singing to me again as she goes. It truly is the worst singing I have ever heard. She trails her pink gloved hands over the products in the store as she goes and I keep an eye on her to make sure she isn't stealing things. Each time her hand fists around something she glances back, sees me watching, and releases the item again.

She finally walks out the door and I put my head on the counter until the next person comes in.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Guest Blogging

I just wanted to say that I am goofy happy because Sow True Seed like an article I sent them and they posted it on their blog. 

If you are interested, you can check it out! 

Sow True Seed's FREE 2015 Seed Catalog by Beatriz Carmen Mendoza

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Just Write Thursdays

One of my favorite author/bloggers, Lynn Viehl, has initiated an encouraging challenge that I would like to accept – Just Write Thursdays. Check out her original post at

As her title suggests, the goal of Just Write Thursdays is to just write something, anything and (if you want) post it on your blog for sharing. This is exactly the inspiration I need today, as I have been putting off writing to work on other projects.

Here is today’s Just Write assignment:

Tree Pose

The mountain meadow is crusted yellow from a winter hibernation. Naked trees reach their hopeful bud-tipped branches towards the fierce, azure sky.

She stands in the center, searching for balance.

Bare toes spread wide to root into seemingly dead grass. Legs braced, chest high, gaze fixed. She is the mountain. Unmoving. Unmoved.  

The morning breeze caresses her face, and she breathes it in. Her eyes track the swaying of the trees as she shifts. One foot grounded, the other foot free to brace against her own leg. Her roots and trunk are formed. She exhales her gaze to the ground. 

The wind nudges her, bringing the scent of crisp leaves and a hint of old snow. She tastes the air, raising her arms to the open ceiling of the meadow. She has branches, but she is not the tree. Her gaze is fixed, her balance stiff. 

Trees sway against each other in the wind. The wind unbalances her. Her foot returns to the ground.

She waits. The breeze strokes her ears. The trees whisper. She clears her mind and listens. The trees surround her, asking her to join them in the breeze. 

She breathes in and closes her eyes. Her roots grow deep and her trunk strong as her branches seek the sun. Fellow trees send her messages on the breeze and she leans in to receive them.

 She sways, and she does not fall. 

Monday, January 19, 2015

Ready. Set. Revise.

I've been steadily revising my first draft of Through the Woods (That Book I Wrote During NaNoWriMo). When I wrote the first draft, I left myself notes and reminders in the comments section for things I knew I would have to come back to and edit.

Some of these notes are just place-markers for major changes, like “From this point on, the cat is a girl not a boy. Make sure the cat gets turned into a girl from here back.”

But some of the notes are major [facepalm] moments that made me laugh out loud reading them. Here are a few of my favorites – I did edit the comments a bit so that my mom won’t shoot me for putting curse words on my blog. Love you Mama!
  • Oh crap – remember that Sam’s feet are all bandaged up? I think you forgot that in the creek scene. Also, she needs dry clothes like bad
  • Fix this; Sam doesn't have dry clothes.
  • Don’t forget that her feet are all f***ed up
  • Just realized I forgot to write that cat into the last couple of scenes. Got back and add the little critter.
  • This is lame. Fix it.
  • Dude. Did you forget that she has a sprained wrist and has her arm in a sling after this? Yes you did. Fix that shit.
  • Wait…. Is this what we named it? Check on that.
  • No really, fix this shit. 

I think I’m most entertained by how I started referring to myself in the plural by the end of the book. We have a lot of fun revising.

Friday, January 9, 2015

That Book I Wrote During NaNoWriMo

I've had a couple of people ask me what my novel is about. I've hesitated to post too much about it so far because I wasn't sure how much would change during the writing process. Indeed, one of my main characters did not care for how I was writing him, and I've already had to rewrite all of his scenes to keep him happy.

But now I have the meat of my first draft done and I’m halfway through my first round of revisions, so I suppose it’s time to share what this novel is all about.

My working title for this novel is Through the Woods. It’s a love story between a strong-willed outdoorsy woman and a gadget loving city guy. That city guy is the character who made me re-write all of his scenes. Apparently, he’s pretty strong-willed himself, more than I had initially realized at least.

Photo credit story will take them on an adventure through Pisgah National Forest, a corner of the Appalachian Mountains in Western North Carolina. What begins as a simple group backpacking trip led by our heroine and her burly brother will become a journey of new discoveries, recovery from deep emotional injuries, and (spoiler alert) a Search & Rescue Mission to save a lost hiker.

To keep things from getting too heavy, our heroine brings along her spunky hiking cat, and I provide the promise of a happy ending. It is a romance after all.

Feel free to post comments about what you think of Through the Woods. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be continuing my revisions and I’ll post some blurbs about each character along with a few scenes. Feedback is always welcome. Thanks for reading!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Book Review: Angel Food by Brittany Tuttle

Having just finished reading Angel Food, I can’t wait to read it again. The story is a journey which reveals its fullness to you, the reader, bit by tantalizing bit. The seemingly endless road-trip of the Camper siblings is never boring, although the characters in the plot may argue with me on that point.

Angel Food exposes the purest love between two people, a brother and sister. While there is a bevy of entertaining characters in this tale, it is the emotional journey of these two siblings that completely enraptured me. They encapsulate everything that it means to be human – even while one of them is decidedly not.

From the Back Cover:

Anson, River, and Isidore Camper have spent their lives traveling the country in an Airstream, on the run from the angels who have been trying to kill Isidore since the day she was born. On their own since a Gabriel killed their father, Anson has his hands full keeping River off his old drug habit and stopping Isidore from destroying the world with her strange abilities. Isidore just wants to have a good time before she dies--and make sure no other family members are taken out with her.

When the truth about their father's death comes to light, the Camper siblings set out to find answers about their family, dodging Isidore's stalkers, state troopers, accusations of polygamy--and yes, angels--along their way. Their journey leads them from posh seaside Los Angeles through the wilds of the American Southwest, finally culminating in an Oklahoma showdown between good and evil. The only trick is deciding which is which. Angel Food is a riveting tale that spins between humor and tragedy.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Writing Goals for 2015

The Drive to Utah. A 3 Day Epic.
Before I go into my goals for 2015, I should probably recap what was accomplished in 2014. I did not start 2014 expecting to work on my writing as major chunk of my daily life. Instead, I started the year off with goals of buying a house (done!), running an insane distance (done!), and some other non-writing related stuff.

But then Derek and I received this great opportunity in Utah and everything changed. We rented out our newly purchased house, gave teary-eyed hugs to loved ones left back East, and set out on a new adventure. With Derek’s new job, we realized we could still break even with me just working part-time and wham-mo, I was suddenly gifted with enough time to really pursue this whole writing thing.

So, it was around October that I set my 2014 writing goal to participate in NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month. In the month of November I met that goal with 50,000 words written, creating a whole plot with fun characters and my very first ever completed novel. Whoa.

Now, it’s time for me to take my next steps. My hope is that in 2015 I will grow my writing skills, build up my writing portfolio, and ideally get some stuff published. So, without further ado, here are my Writing Goals for 2015.

1. Revise my 2014 NaNoWriMo Novel and submit it for publication. This is going to require a little help from my friends who have offered to pre-read it for me (you guys rock!!)

2. Draft up and submit at least one article per month for publication in a magazine, website (like, or blog besides my own. While my biggest dream is to write novels, I know they are a time consuming process which may never fully pay off. Articles will offer me a shorter turn-around time on feedback, helping me to hone my craft more aggressively. Maybe I’ll even get paid.

3. Create one blog post per week. Some of these may be book reviews or otherwise writing related, but let’s face it, some of these will probably just be verbal vomit about my life. I’ll try to keep that to a minimum :)

Derek and me, climbing in Utah
4. Write 1,000 words per week for my next novel (or failing that, go all in for NaNoWriMo 2015 and have another writing frenzy like last year (okay, yeah, I’m gonna do NaNo again))

5. Write one gear review per month. Similar to Goal #2, gear reviews will help me practice another style of writing. Additionally, they will be a fun way to combine my interests in writing with my interests in outdoor adventures. My gear reviews are going to be posted in the blog I write with Derek, Rock. River. Run. Feel free to jump over and check it out.

I’m definitely looking forward to an exciting New Year. Wishing you the best of luck with any goals you have set for yourself!