Monthly Archives: February 2015

It’s finally happened!

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It’s finally happened!

Holding my first book in print was like holding a newborn baby. My newborn baby. I’m fairly certain that I love my other (human) children more, but still… the happy endorphins are real. 🙂

So, like I was saying: Devil in the Details is now available in print, as well as on Amazon Kindle! Advance copies are available now in the CreateSpace - An Amazon Company store, with an Amazon release within the week.

More happy Pics:

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For Kindle and Kindle app users, the eBook version is still available on Amazon.com.

Oh my gosh, I’m rewriting! Finally!

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The title says it all! 

*Squeals of Joy*

So, I took the plunge and decided that my original document was too ugly to permit to live, so I formatted the whole thing using the Back Space bar. The result was a freedom of expression that got me out of my writers block by removing the gunk that I was trying to fix. Instead of doctoring up the dinner to make it edible, I scrapped the whole plate and decided to make a new dish. So far, I like it much better. 

Though I came across something that I’ve never encountered before… How do you write a text message into a story?

Check out what I have so far, and let me know if I did it right. 🙂 (Warning: opening teaser, subject to change)


It was a beautiful fall evening. I hated it. The sun was setting out of a cloudless sky, painting the horizon with various shades of blue, red, and everything in between. The slight chill to the air was a relief from the pressing heat of the summer’s remains. A day of reviewing inventory lists and preparing purchase orders for the fall selection of pumps and boots had done little to lift my spirits. Even though fall was my favorite season, my mood was better suited to overcast gloom. My 27th birthday was in two weeks, and even though I had friends nearby, the people I missed the most were going to miss it. I sighed and donned my sunglasses as I stepped out of the office building where I worked and prepared to walk the two blocks to the parking garage.

Two months ago, if someone had told me that I would miss being out in the country, separated from high speed internet, reliable phone coverage, and readily accessible retail therapy, I would have told them they were crazy. And yet here I was, doing just that. Surrounded by my favorite parts of Atlanta and unable to enjoy it.

I looked back to the city skyline, made note of the rapidly setting sun and picked up my pace. It was more a reflex than a need, though. I used to carry mace, but in the past few weeks since returning to Atlanta, I’d found that I was becoming particularly adept at hexing people, whether I had meant to or not. It always left me a little tired, but the victims of my mislaid powers always came out worse for wear than I did. They even deserved it, most of the time, so I didn’t feel too bad. What did concern me, however, was the source of these powers. Through recent events, I’d become something of a demonologist, complete with demon familiar. Add to that a little bit of Angel in my family history with a side of Demon, and I was a veritable cocktail of wicked good times. I was fairly certain that my soul bound familiar, Azaraphel, was not the source of my outbursts. I knew what his energy felt like, but this was different. All me. The one time I’d fully let it loose was in a fight for my life against a crew of demons, and what I’d done was not pleasant. I still had nightmares about that night.

I turned the corner into the parking garage, making sure my keys and cell phone were already in my hand. Another trick one picks up when living in a city- always be prepared to dial 911 and make a quick getaway. While my phone was in my hand, I turned my ringer back on and checked my messages. The first one was from Holly, who was arguably my best friend from Salem, Alabama. She called to let me know that she was making some decor changes to my house down there and to let me know that she and her son, Tommy were both settling in great. That was good news. I sent her back a quick text to take care and do whatever she needed to do with my full blessing. I owned it, but it was her home as well now.

The second message was from Jennifer, my city BFF and fellow shoe junky. She worked in the marketing department of the office complex right above mine. We often met up for gripe sessions during lunch and sometimes ventured out together to enjoy the night life.

Going out man hunting tonight. Be my +1? It looked like tonight was going to be one of those nights. I smiled.

Not hunting, but sounds great. =) Time? I unlocked my Prius and climbed in. It didn’t take long for the next message to jingle on my phone.

Y not?

I sighed and replied. Guy issues. Tell you later.

I watched the ellipses on the bottom of the conversation screen blink for a good minute before her short reply was finally sent.

K.Pick u up at 8.

I bet she had typed and erased at least five different questions before that answer. I knew that I was going to be grilled later, but I shrugged. That would be just enough time to get home, shower, and get ready. I sent back a quick confirmation and started up my car. Just before I put the car in drive, however, the dulcet tones of Stevie Nicks filled my car. I checked the caller I.D. – Phil Brennan. Speak of the Demon, it was Azaraphel.

Novel Update: A Comedy of Errors

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Novel Update: A Comedy of Errors

It isn’t pretty, it is sort of puzzling, and it it looks strangely like something else I’ve written before…. I just can’t decide what.

That, in a nutshell, describes my feelings about the second (and third) books in what I planned to be the Riesa Grimshaw series. The first book went well, and I’ve gotten good enough reviews on the Kindle version that I’ve finally decided to bite to bullet and publish the hard copy. But then my overly eager friends (who really liked my book, and not just because they are my friends) became very excited and started saying things like “You can do a book signing! You should get in touch with Barnes and Noble, and the Campus Bookstore, and *insert yada yada yada* and let them host your debut! I want the first signed copy!”

“. . .” I reply.

The very idea of having the gall to go and talk to these people and say, “Hi! You don’t know me from Adam, but I’m a self-published Indie Author and I’d like to take up your valuable business space and shamelessly plug my book during your open hours” fills me with utter terror.

But that is another story. The first story, actually. The one that is already written, edited, rewritten, re-edited, previewed, beta read, and published. The one that is FINISHED. This post is about the second (and third) story. I’ve outlined, plotted, erased scenes, added scenes, and massaged much, though that’s been interspersed throughout the last couple of years. The ending effect is something resembling the bones of my original idea put through the Van Gogh-inator, a la Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz  of Phineas and Ferb fame, and then eaten and subsequently spit back out by a malfunctioning Chaos Engine. It is like my ugly child… I love it, care for it, and would never abandon it… but I really don’t want to look at it.

It has made me reevaluate what I want. Do I want this to be a trilogy? A series? Should I let the first book just be a Stand-alone and move on to something else? And then I got to thinking about endings. Did my first book wrap things up enough? Will my main character ever escape her fate? Will she ever resolve her relationship with the male protagonist, and if so, how? Will the evil powers lurking within her prevail, or will the goodness? How many characters must I kill off in order to sate the needs of the Plot Gods? Why is a platypus even a thing?

I just don’t know.

So what do you think? If you’ve read my book, would you like to see a continuation? If so, what would you like to see happen? If you haven’t read my book, do you think I should move on, or should I buckle down and work until this comedy of errors reaches it’s conclusion?

Langston Hughes – reminding me of my dreams.

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In the Spirit of Black History Month, I’m pulling up my favorite poem of all time. To every aspiring artist, struggling student, and full – yet unfulfilled – laborer, I present to you a poem that transcends age, race, and gender and makes us question the fate of our dreams and aspirations.

Harlem

BY LANGSTON HUGHES

What happens to a dream deferred?
      Does it dry up
      like a raisin in the sun?
      Or fester like a sore—
      And then run?
      Does it stink like rotten meat?
      Or crust and sugar over—
      like a syrupy sweet?
      Maybe it just sags
      like a heavy load.
      Or does it explode?

Writing Prompt #3

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“The dictionary atop your shelf has more than 200,000 words defined. Why don’t you blow off some of the dust on its cover and randomly pick out ten words? Don’t look at the meanings; just concentrate on the words. Write down your chosen words on a (blank) sheet of paper. Now you’re going to have fun creating meanings for those words. What do the words make you think of? What do you think they should mean?”

Capsicum – (ADJ.) If something is capsicum, it is on the precipice of reaching its peak, or being at the top of its game. CAPPED, one might say. An example use of this: After a capsicum career, the sanitation worker could think of nothing more than getting out as soon as possible. Alternatively: (N.) The highest point of fulfillment. Example: The Sewer had finally reached the capsicum of excrement.

Boanthropy – The brotherhood of boyfriends. Related, boanthropology, the study of boyfriends, has existed since the dawn of the human relationship, though it is colloquially known as “gossip”, and is greatly practiced in many female circles. The prefix is derived from the old term for boyfriend, “Beau”.

Euneirophrenia – A mental disorder in which one believes himself to be a reborn and reformed version of Emperor Nero. Such individuals tend to have acute fears or aversions to Fiddles or Fire.

Groak – A sound between a groan and a croak. Alternatively, “Groak” is also the name of a pixie like creature that lives in the swamplands of Louisiana. The lure their favorite food, frogs, with imitations of their various mating calls, giving the Groak its signature sound and name.

Preantepenultimate – before the beginning of almost the ultimate ending of everything. Subscribers to the theory of the Butterfly Effect could say that the wind causing the butterfly to flap its wings was a preantepenultimate occurrence.

Timmynoggy – this is an indelicate drink created by the Snarflewoggins as a means of celebrating the Carflookle of Snogsburgs birthday. Since no one liked the Carflookle of Snogsburg, the drink tends to taste like the mix of a Fliggy’s toe jam and the musk of a cogsnerg. The actual ingredients are far worse.

Zarf – This rare creature is found only in the most alien of places. So alien, in fact, that the Zarf is in fact extraterrestrial. Being roughly the size of a mastiff hound, the Zarf is a florescent green color and has a large proboscis, roughly two feet in length. It stands on two legs, and has wing-like protrusions from its shoulders instead of arms. The proboscis is used as the main method of manipulation of items. The Zarf, though flightless, can manage to remain airborne for approximately 10 yards, given a good enough running start. The wings can also be used to soften the falls from the numerous cliffs of its native landscape.

Quisquilian – A creature that has sharp quill-like protrusions that seem to quizzically serve no purpose.

Scroop – The technical name for anything found on the underside of a shoe.

Rasceta – A delectable dish made from antelope cheese and noodles processed from rare varieties of gluten-free, calorie-free, carbohydrate-free monomolecular wheat particles. It is often garnished with leaves adorned with the first dew of spring, cryogenically frozen to preserve freshness.

 

ACTUAL Definitions (via google):

Capsicum –  noun – a tropical American pepper plant of the nightshade family with fruits containing many seeds. Many cultivated varieties with edible, pungent fruits have been developed.

 Boanthropy is a psychological disorder in which a human being believes himself to be a Bovine.

Euneirophrenia” is a peaceful state of mind that occurs after experiencing a pleasant dream.

Groak – to watch people eat hoping that they will offer you some of their food

Preantepenultimate (Latin prae-, before) is one step further back still, making it the fourth from the end of the series, the last but three.

Timmynoggy – a device the saves time and labor

zarf (plural: zarfs, zuruuf, zarves) is a holder, usually of ornamental metal, for a coffee cup without a handle (demitasse or fincan).

Quisquilian – consisting of trash and rubbish.

Scroop – rustle of silk.

Rasceta – creases on the inside of the wrist

… I think I like my definitions better.