Saturday, October 29, 2011

Silence: A Special Short Story Just For Halloween

So, I was trying to figure out something to do for a post this week since it's Halloween weekend almost everywhere. (I know Halloween's actually Monday, but most people are trick-or-treating as I type this.) After a little thought I came up with this. A short story that I hope you all enjoy. And don't forget to come back for updates on my NaNo project! Happy Halloween everybody!!



Silence

Pink mixed with violet while a slice of orange hung low in the evening sky. Laughter danced on the delicate breeze that weaved its way through the multicolored trees. She sat silently in the distance. Watching. Listening. Observing all that he did. A slight smile crept along her lips as he exited the park headed for home.

Sweeping her raven locks into a pony tail that was soon to be hidden under a coal hoodie, she ditched her solace and took her place behind him. Her cold gold eyes bore into his muscular back as she jogged behind him, making sure never to get close enough for him to know she was there.

He stopped once or twice to look around him, but she was smart enough to slip behind something just in time to keep from his sight. When he would turn back around she'd do the same while mumbling, “Stupid boy.”

Suddenly, she noticed he was gone. Glancing around frantically, his tanned body was nowhere to be seen. Her eyes narrowed as she ground her teeth. Somehow he'd found a way to escape her.

The orange faded into the darkened denim sky as she turned vowing to return to her post tomorrow. With fist clenched, her long legs stomped up the street back to where she'd come from. That's when she spotted him.

Cocking her head to one side, she whispered, “What are you up to?” She stayed silent as she snuck up behind him. She watched as his sandy blond hair that she once loved so much played with the night's cool breeze. Her heart skidded to a stop when she heard his deep voice speaking to something as he knelt down to look at it.

“I'm so sorry, Becky. It should've been me.” Tears streaked down his face as she walked around him to get a better look and forgetting to keep herself hidden. She had vowed to make him pay for what he had done, but hearing him cry made her want to change her mind.

Seeing her grave, Becky closed her eyes. It was an accident. What have I been doing? John loved...loves me. When she allowed them to reopen, she made her decision. Placing a hand on his strong shoulder, she whispered, “It's okay,” as her tears freed themselves from her ghostly eyes.

“I'm so sorry. But you were going to tell. I couldn't risk that. I'll live with it for the rest of my life. Please forgive me, Becky? Please?”

Anger shot through her as the last night of her life flashed before her eyes. She saw John's tanned hands wrapped around her throat as her eyes focused on the liquid lemon Halloween moon that mocked her gasping pleas for him to stop. She felt the sear from his iron grip around her fragile throat as the last breath of life fled from her lungs.

As he begged for her forgiveness one last time, Becky found her ghostly voice and shouted, “Go to hell!”

Turning around slowly with his brown eyes wide, John stuttered, “B—B—Becky? Is that you?”

Her eyes stared daggers at him as a smirk graced her face while responding flatly, “Yep.”

“How? Why? What are you going to do to me?”

Twisting a lock of her silky hair, she playfully touched his nose. “How about we have some fun?”

John's eyes widened again. “Fun?”

“Yeah. How about we play a game someone taught me called Silence?” She watched with glee as realization registered on his once youthful face. “Wanna know how to play?” When John shook his head no, she added, “Oh, that's right! You're the one who taught me the rules!”

She walked around him as he stayed frozen in place. Becky had to admit that she loved having power over him for once. As she faced him once again, she allowed her silky voice to be laced with the venom he deserved to hear while saying, “So, Silence begins with a little Halloween murder. So I guess you're safe.”

John allowed a little breath to escape him as his skin began refilling with color. Becky began walking away and then stopped, spinning around with a huge smile on her ruby red lips. “Oh, wait! I forgot! In my world, it's Halloween everyday!”

Flying through the air just as an electric bolt of lightning crashed through the sky, Becky stood nose to nose with her killer. Eyes lighting up with a ghostly light, she placed a finger to her lips while saying, “Shhhh,” just as John's screams echoed through the still night's air.



Happy Halloween everybody! See you during NaNo! Happy writing!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Entry For Brenda Drake's Can You Leave Us Breathless Contest



Hello readers! Once again, I have entered one of Brenda Drake's awesome contest. This time I have to post a 300 word excerpt of one of my works. I went through my ms and then decided to write something special for the contest. After writing my excerpt, I decided to write a wip around it. So stay tuned for that.

Now, for my entry!

Title: A Night To Remember


Michael’s lips traced up Lila's neck. Her body began to shake as his strong hands wandered from her waist, down her hips, then back up just below her chest. Her nails dug into his tanned back just as he lifted her in the air in one swift motion. Her shapely legs wound around his muscular waist while her arms rested around his neck as he carried up the stairs without any trouble at all.

Her fingers tangled in his raven curls as his steel arms released her body, allowing her to fall gently to the silky sheets of her king size bed. Lila moaned as Michael’s body crashed into hers and sent shock-waves throughout her senses with every motion he made.

“Are you sure about this, Lila?” He had stopped just short of sealing the deal and was now staring down at her in a way that made her heart flutter like a thousand butterflies were locked in her chest.

Searching his golden eyes, she whispered, “Yes. I love you, Michael.” It was the first time she'd noticed the little creases around his eyes from squinting so much while working in the sun for so many years. To Lila, they didn't say he was older, it was just one more thing that made him irresistible.

Michael’s mouth crashed into hers before he could change his mind. Lila clutched the sheet as she felt Michael ushering her from girlhood into being a woman. Her nails met his flesh making him growl just as her back arched sending fireworks throughout her tiny frame.

“What was that?”

Her ice eyes searched the blackness as she listened intently for the sound that made her push him away. Rising up, she could hear the distant thudding of heavy boots meeting the hardwood floor. Closer and closer they came until finally they stopped just as the door swung open to sound of Lila's bloodcurdling scream.



I hope you enjoyed it! And go check out all of the other entries over at Brenda's Blog! Happy Halloween, reading, and writing!!


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The 5 Stages Of Revising

After receiving notes back from one of my CP's and betas, I have begun the process of revising my ms again. Their advice has been tough, honest, and exactly what I needed to kick my ms into what it needs to be. The thing is, I found something strange while going through this process. Revisions are a lot like dealing with grief. I'm not saying that the two are the same. That is far from being true. But any author who has dealt with the nasty revision process can tell you that you do in fact go through the same stages. Below you will find the 5 stages of revising through this writer's eyes.

Stage 1. Denial: "What are they talking about? This is totally fine. They must be crazy!"
Yes, I have said this. In fact, it was during my first round of revisions and before I met my CP's and betas. (The crazy person by the way would be my husband. I'm sorry for saying it now, but his advice was hard to hear at the time.) The point I'm making here is, we all go through the denial process. We all think something about our ms is fine even though others are saying otherwise. Once you push past this phase and accept that they're/we're not trying to hurt you, the better off your ms will be. I promise!

Stage 2. Anger: "Why don't they get it? Why are they coming after me? It's like they're jealous!" Or "Why did I write this crap? It sucks!"
I've never said the first one, but I have a friend who did. Yes, The second one is me. I have been angry. But it was at myself for writing something that wasn't up to my standards. The thing I've learned is that anger comes along with the job of being an author. Not everyday will be all, "Oh! This is totally good!" Most days will be, "What was I thinking?" Come to terms with this and make your life a lot easier. Accept the anger and find ways to deal with it that won't effect the people you love. My favorite thing is to listen to music or watch something that makes me laugh. Do whatever works best for you.

Stage 3. Bargaining: "I'll give you my first born if you won't suck!"
*giggles* I admit it. I have offered my first born (whenever I have one) to an ms before if only it wouldn't suck. Unfortunately for it, the ms still sucks to this day and has never been seen by another's eyes. I've heard many people pleading for this exact thing, (Not sucking. Not my first born, silly) and until the end of words will continue doing it. Bargaining will do nothing to help your ms shine. Only hard work can do that. But it may make you feel better if you do it. So, make all the bargains you want. Just as long as it's nothing that will actually happen. Like unicorns taking over the earth or something.

Stage 4. Depression: "I'm a horrible writer. Why should I even bother finishing it when it sucks so much?"
Ah, I know this stage well. I've went through it many times with this ms and will see it with many others I'm sure. I've cried and just sat around not writing. Then my hubby, CP's, or another writer friend will say something that shows me that I'm only seeing the shadows and not the light that is the heartbeat of what I love to do. When you reach this stage, and you will, find what made you love writing. And realize that being depressed isn't going to help anything. Once again, that's something only hard work will do! Now, smile!!

And finally, Stage 5. Acceptance: "I can do this! This will be THE ONE! I can feel it!"
Once you accept that your CP's, betas, or whoever critiqued your work isn't trying to hurt you and your ms doesn't suck, you will see everything more clearly. I've been through the other stages and have seen the light. I've been here for a while actually. Sure, there are times I get down; but everybody does. Once I accept that it's just words and I have the power to change them, the more I smile and write. Accepting help is a good thing as well as accepting what is wrong with your ms will help you fix it. Once you reach this stage, a weight will be lifted and the words will flow again. I'm so happy to be at this stage. It feels good.

Now that you know the 5 stages of revising, I hope it makes your revision process go easier. Know you're not alone when you go through any of these stages. We all feel this way one time or another. It's all how you deal with it is what counts. Now, happy writing my lovely followers!!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Book Blogger Meetup: Guest Post By Pica


So, I mentioned on my last post about having a guest post. Well, here it is! This is from the lovely Pica from Pica Reads Blog. This guest post is in honor of the Book Blogger Meet Up that Brielle B. thought up. I thank Pica for doing this swap with me & introduce you all to a wonderful girl! Enjoy!!

Of all the books on my shelves, and there are a lot of them, many of my favorites are fiction-fantasy.  I do love the wizards-and-quests type of fantasy, of course, that is always fun; but even more, I love stories that take me out of this world to a place where everything is possible and anything can happen.  Released from gravity, freed from constraints of time and distance, using human skills in ├╝ber-human ways, my mind is unhinged from the here and now and soars the hyper-speed of adventure, abandonment, conquest, and connection.
 
Reading in any genre is my time off and my time to myself. But through fantasy books I escape to another world, built in words over a foundation of ideas. For the hour, or 4, I spend reading each day, regular life is suspended and I get to explore, play, be in alternate realities. Fantasy gives me the alternate realities of kite-powered, floating coffeehouses or enchanted clockwork people. What could be better?
 
Within fiction, within fantasy, my favorite-favorite are books about  the rise of the human spirit over incredible challenges.  I don't like reading really sad and/or really really depressing books. When I’m on my break from reality, I want to soar, not bury myself in bleakness.  I have to face enough “issues”  when I'm not reading. Give me a good ol' save-the-world story any day.
 
And you .... my blog compatriots, what is your favorite genre?  If it is not fiction-fantasy, tell me why!
 
Thanks, Jamie, for featuring me on your blog!

And than you, Pica for writing such a lovely post!! Also, a big thank you for featuring my guest post and for doing this swap!

Pica brought up a wonderful question at the end. What is your favorite genre and why? Let us know! I'd love to hear your thoughts!! Happy writing and reading everybody!!
 





All That Jazz: A Little More Flash Fiction

This post, like the one before it, was supposed to be dedicated to a guest post. The other was supposed to be an interview, but since I didn't have those handy, I think a little flash fiction will do nicely.

So, I promised in my last post that I'd post the second flash fiction I did for one of Leah's After Midnight Flash Fiction Contest. For the first one I did that won, look below or check out this link A Little Flash Fiction So, here it is. I may not have won, but I still kind of like it. These two story's are the ones that made me realize that I'm not a light kind of writer. Any way, I hope you all enjoy!




All That Jazz

The record scratched as the needle reached its destination. Light reflected off Gigi's platinum bracelet as she turned the handle of the record player. The sweet sound of jazz poured from the machine while whiskey filled the air making Luke's head spin in the most delightful way. He loved Gigi more than he had anybody in his life. He only wished he could take away the frown that had made its home on her delicate face.

The black tassels of her dress danced as Gigi crossed the floor with a cigarette in between her fingers. Taking a drag, her chocolate eyes met with Luke's. Slowly exhaling, she asked, “What?”

“Gigi, you're seventeen. Why do you insist on acting like this?”

Walking to a window, she sat down while nodding at Big Ben. “I never wanted to come here you know. So don't act like you don't know why I've changed, Luke.” Another slow drag while cutting her eyes over to her lover.

London had changed his lady love. What had once been a lighthearted airy girl, was now nothing but a snide broken shell. Luke closed the distance between them. Running his hand through her onyx hair, he said, “You miss him.”

Gigi batted his hand away while jumping to her feet. “I have no idea what you are talking about!” She put out her cigarette before touching the coin that hung from her bracelet as sadness filled her eyes.

“He didn't love you like I do.” Luke's normally scratchy voice became soothing as he spoke to her. He knew he was too old for such a young girl. No thirty-five year old man should be with someone her age. But when he watched her dancing, his heart belonged to her. The problem was, Gigi's heart belonged to another. Someone who couldn't take care of her like he could. Someone who couldn't love her like he did.

The upbeat song ended as a slower one took its place. Gigi's bobbed tresses bounced as she sashayed to her favorite perch in the room. She propped her head on her hand while she avoided eye contact.

“Haven't I given you everything you could ever want?” Luke kept his distance. Gigi didn't know the power she held over him. With the flick of her feminine smile, his heart took to the sky. The coldness that filled her eyes as she glared at him now, sent him into a hypothermic chill that he found no warmth to bring him back from the brink.

Once again, the song changed to a song Gigi had never heard before. Her eyes flicked up and widened. “Luke! No! Stop! You're being crazy!”

Tears filled his light brown eyes. “I love you, Gigi. I've always loved you. But you've never given a damn about me!”

“That's not true, Luke! Please—think about what you're doing.” She put her hand out while slowly rising to her feet.

Moonlight caught the coin on her bracelet and reflected in his eyes. In a flash, Luke was in her face with his finger intertwined with her bracelet. “Why couldn't you let him go? Do you hate me so much that you want me to remember?”

Her fearful expression went from confusion to realization. “You? You're the one who—Luke, no!”

“I knew you'd never leave New York if he was around. So, I took care of it.” A new Luke appeared as he ripped the bracelet from her sun kissed wrist. The momentum of his actions sent Gigi flying back onto the chair.

The tears she had been able to hold back no longer stayed in their place. “Luke, please?”

He raised the small silver pistol he always kept concealed inside his jacket again as his tears slid down his face. “You just had to love him didn't you?”

“I love you, Luke,” she said with a shaky voice. Gigi's eyes locked with his.

The song found it's climax just as Luke's finger found the right pressure to move the trigger. As the jazz left the air, Gigi's body slid from the chair and landed on the floor in a puddle of scarlet ooze. Luke leaned down and gently brushed his lips against hers. Her lifeless eyes stared vacantly into his as he whispered, “Now you can choose who you love most.” With that, he brought the pistol to his head and joined her in a new speak easy for another round of winning her love.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

A Little Flash Fiction

Two nights ago, I was on twitter with nothing to do. Still no ms to revise/edit and not really in the mood to work on my WIP. As I sat there scrolling through tweets, I landed on one of my favorite authors Leah Clifford's tweets. She was doing a 1000 words or less writing prompt flash fiction. I saw the picture she posted and immediately got an idea. Below you will find that picture and said idea and I hope you enjoy it!

After doing the first one, I decided to try another after staring at the writing prompt for a while. Suddenly, like a rose blooming in the moonlight, an idea came to mind. In a few days I might post that one too. Either way, I found something out about myself by doing these...I'm a dark YA author. Not like super dark. But I'm not the warm, fluffy, hug your kitty, life's a rainbow kinda girl. I've come to terms with this and my teen readers seem to root this on. So, I think I'm golden! LOL!

Any way, here's my flash fiction. I had a title, but I don't think it's that great so it's gone. I hope you enjoy! Happy writing everybody!!



Leslie Higgins loved running through the freshly fallen leaves just to hear their crunch under her feet as the cool autumn air danced through her strawberry hair. Her laugh was melodic and became louder with every step she took. When she was a child, it was her favorite thing to do. Now that she was sixteen, it had become something that kept her alive.

“Leslie! Don't run so fast!” Her mother's raspy voice echoed in her mind and rang in ears as her sneakers crunched through another pile of golden foliage. Tears stung her eyes, beckoning to fall. Leslie refused to set them free. If she wanted to survive, she had to stay strong. After all, wasn't that what Karl had taught her?

Faster and faster she ran. The leaves' crunching sound became music to her ears as her laughter gave out to puffing as she tried to pull in enough air to keep breathing. A right at the old oak tree meant she was almost back to the compound and Karl's next round of training. Another step and Leslie found herself flying through the air. She landed with a thud on a patch of leaf free dirt. Rising up and dusting herself off, she looked to see what she had tripped on so she could curse it for being there.

Her steel gray eyes widened as she slowly got back to her feet. They never left the pale flesh that was sticking out from the forest’s autumn quilt. She fought the scream that was fighting its way from her throat. Karl had taught her long ago that kind of emotion would only make her the next target.

She crept closer while keeping herself aware of everything around her. A snapping twig made her flinch just as she was about to reach the lifeless body.

“I'd say she's been here for at least three days,” Karl's said as his booming voice echoed in the morning silence.

Dusting off her hunter green tee, Leslie turned her focus on him. “Where did you come from?” She hated how Karl was always able to appear out of nowhere and she could do nothing to stop him. She followed his gaze back to the dead girl's lifeless legs that arched out of the leafy blanket. “So, what do we do?”
Grabbing her by the arm, he said, “Run.”

*

Pacing around Karl's office inside the compound, Leslie asked, “What the hell was that about, Karl?”

“I brought you here to keep you alive. Finding that girl means he's close.” Karl was only nineteen, but his years inside the compound made him look like he was thirty. He walked over and took her face in his hands. “Les,” he sighed, “I don't want—you to worry about that. I'll take care of it.” He let her go and started to walk away.

Leslie caught him by his arm and with a roll of her shoulders, sent him sprawling on to his back. She sat on his chest with a smile planted on her face. “Whoever this guy is, Karl—I think I can handle him.”

She jumped off him and began to walk out when she found herself locked in Karl's strong embrace. Her eyes fluttered shut as his lips came close to hers. When they never met, she opened them to find herself alone. “Damn him.”

*

A few days passed and Leslie found herself the object of frightened stares. No one came near her. Not even the small children that usually loved her company. Karl had said that her finding the body freaked them out, but they'd get over it. As she watched them shuffle away from her, she wasn't so sure.

As she went on her morning run, Leslie found she wasn't alone. Darting her gray eyes around, she knew it was time. He's here. She quickened her pace while keeping herself guarded. Karl had prepared her for this. Leslie just hoped she was ready.

Her usual turn was coming up. This time however, she went left instead of right. If he was after her, then she wasn't going to lead him to the compound. The wind tugged at her tresses as she cut through the forest like a deer fleeing a hunter.

Soon, she found a hand clasped over her mouth as she was being pulled inside a hidden hollow tree. Karl's blue eyes filled with tears as he cupped her face in his hands. “Shhhh, Les.”

“He's following me.”

Karl shook his head making his long sandy hair dance like the leaves on the trees. “No he's not.”

Leslie frowned. “Then it was you following me?”

He shook his head again. His thumb traced along her cheek. “It's my fault. I didn't want to lose you.”

She searched his eyes for an answer. “What are you talking about?”

He leaned forward and lightly pressed his lips to hers. Pulling away, he took her hand and led her to the girl still lying dead in the forest. “It's all been a lie.”

Leslie's gaze fell where his was and watched as the leaves parted to reveal the hidden truth. She gasped as she met her own lifeless eyes.

“I loved watching you run. You were so free.”

“What is going on, Karl? Tell me!” She backed away from him.

Tears sprang free from his eyes. “You fell. I was supposed to make you return to your body, but—I,” he walked to her and cupped her face in his hands, “I fell for you, Les.”

“What are you?”
“Death.”
“Is this a dream?”
He shook his head.
“If you loved me, you'd let me live.”
Karl closed his eyes and brought her lips to his.

*

Freeing herself from the leafy prison, Leslie felt the October air filling her lungs with life. As she rose to her feet, she felt the light touch of Karl's lips on hers as he whispered, “I love you.”

Realizing he'd returned her, she whispered, “Me too, Karl.”