Tag Archives: writing

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 Challenge #2: Caged

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Prompt # 2: A picture is worth more than a blank page. Take out those dusty photo albums. Pick out photo #14. Count however way you like, but make sure you stop at photo #14. Look at the photo for 2-3 minutes. Then for 10 minutes, write all the feelings that photograph made you feel. Don’t censor yourself. Just write.

Okay, So I did what I was asked. While I take the 2-3 minutes to write this, I’m now studying the picture and getting some feelings. In a moment I’m going to start the 10 minute timer… Wish me luck. J

 

Caged.

I don’t know how long it’s been since my incarceration, but the time has started to eat away at me. I fiddle with my fingers, my hair, my clothes, anything to keep my mind from going crazy in this chamber of deprivation. I’m left with few items with which to occupy myself, but nothing seems to hold my attention like the seemingly teeming amounts of LIFE to be had on the outside of my solitary confinement. I am at least given a blanket, but no pillow. I suppose my captors fear that I would suffocate myself for lack of entertainment. I am also given sufficient amounts of drink, also probably to stave off the desperation that comes with thirst.

I am not entirely alone in my “Solitary” confinement, however. Mr. Biddles is with me. He is a very quiet chap, and not much company, but the length of his ears amuses me, so I tease him. He is either a very good sport, or an idiot who does not understand my ridicule of him, for he never retaliates. I am leaning towards thinking him an imbecile.

Between the two of us, the blanket, the beverage, and the dull drone of the warden’s television set, there is a puzzle of sorts. Even with my dazzling wit, and Mr. Biddles’ modest (or nonexistent) wit, we can’t seem to master the puzzle. I know that the answer to our freedom lies within the solving of the device. Five concentric rings, aligned along a vertical post… If only I could figure out the arrangement.

In my frustration, I yank on Mr. Biddles’ long ears and drag him across the puzzle, longing to start a prison riot to escape the dissatisfaction of my predicament. The rings are no longer concentric, scattering across the base of my confinement cell in all directions. I then begin to scream.

Finally, my warden returns from her vigil at the television. I lift my arms while I scream, incidentally still holding Mr. Biddles’ by the ears. She lifts me from my jail, and I smell freedom for the first time in forever. Life is good.

 

***

 

🙂 Yep, I bet you know what my #14 picture was of.

Lord of Dragons – Live on FictionPress!

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Okay, so it isn’t “Live”, per se. I am working on it. A LOT. So far, my polished rough draft of it is a 100,000 word monstrosity, and it doesn’t even have an ending yet. 😛

If you are interested in it, go take a look! I’ll be posting new chapters as I edit them, with an aim of at least once per week. First two chapters are up. 🙂

HERE IT IS! 

So, here is the synopsis:

Andrew Card is a normal guy with personal issues. For example, he just found out that his dad is dead. The good news is that he left him a castle and a kingdom. The bad news is that it is in another world entirely, and he’ll have to fight his aunt, who already has a death warrant on his head, for it. Add in magic, imps, mysterious persons, and court intrigue.

(They limited me to 530 characters…)

 

Writing Prompt Challenge #1: Black Box

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So, I found a website that has over three hundred writing prompts on it. I’ve decided to challenge myself! I will write something for every prompt. J

So here I go!

Writing Prompt: Close your eyes briefly. Think of one object that’s in the room and focus on it. Without opening your eyes, recall as much detail as you can about it. After three minutes or so, open your eyes and write about that objects without looking at it.

And here is what I came up with:

BLACK BOX

About six weeks before my husband was scheduled to return home from Afganistan, he sent home a rather large black Tuff box. When he told me that he was sending a box home, I didn’t truly appreciate HOW large the box was going to be. In my opinion, it was gargantuan, imposing even, and it sat in my living room, securely locked for several days, serving as the world’s most intimidating coffee table. I believe that all three of my little girls could have fit into it with ease.

So engrossed with curiosity was I to learn what was inside the box, that I often fantasized and had nightmares about the items that my husband might have sent home. The plan had been for my husband to send the keys to the box ahead of time via post, but unfortunately, the box arrived first. Menacing, taunting, and driving me to the outer limits of curiosity. I waited by the mailbox daily, eagerly looking forward to the day that the letter containing the keys would arrive.

I waited in vain. Two weeks, I waited, hearing neither word from my husband, nor receiving the aforementioned letter. I speculated. Perhaps my husband was still adjusting to his new duty station, or perhaps they simply did not have working internet yet? Those were the most innocent of thoughts, forcibly screamed through my brain to shut out the more horrible and terrifying of imaginings. With the lack of word from my husband, and the lack of the keys, the box became more and more of an obsession to me as the days progressed.

I walked past the box constantly throughout the day, staring at it from the corner of my eye. I became irate with my children, admonishing them for climbing on top of the box, leaving toys on top of it, or even simply touching the locks. Even I sometimes had ideas about how out of character I was acting, but it was not something I could help.

Finally, it happened. The rain pounded outside, slamming into the windows in thick thumps as it was blown sideways by the howling wind. It had been six weeks since the box’s arrival. On this particular day, I had sent the children to my mother’s house so that I could have some alone time. It was just me and the box. It had three grooves on the top, with unknown purposes. It was rough to the touch. It smelled of hot plastic up close. It was sealed tight with three master key locks. The page sized packing label was secured to the side with clear packing tape that was beginning to peal from the edges. It was also extremely heavy. I had a hard time dragging it from the living room to the utility room.

I’d had enough. I needed to know what was in the box. I broke the screwdriver trying to open the locks, both by trying to pick them, and then by trying to use it like a lever. The crowbar didn’t really work either. I wasn’t sure if it was my lack of strength, or the metal’s resilience. I pouted, and thought hard for another option. Finally, I spotted the chainsaw.

I bit my lip. It was possible. If I could cut at an angle, I could cut the lip before the lock. I wouldn’t even have to go through any metal. It took me a couple false starts, and one trip to Google to get the chain saw started, but I managed. I even managed to lift it.

Finally, with the smell of gasoline and burnt plastic filling the utility room I had succeeded. The box was no longer secured. Putting the chainsaw down, I smirked while I wiped the sweat from my forehead. Lifting the chainsaw had been harder then I had thought it would be. I approached the box and smiled, ready to finally lift the lid. The stray thought entered my head that I might have just destroyed government property, but I wasn’t sure I cared. I HAD to know what was in the box! Then, I heard the phone ring. I paused, with my hands on the lid. I briefly contemplated not answering the phone, but what if it was my husband? I hadn’t heard from him in weeks, and missing his call would kill me worse than not knowing what was in the box.

With a sigh, I left the box, unopened, and rushed back into the house to get my phone.

 

“Hello?”

Static answered me. “… me? … lo?”

It sounded like my husband from what did come though. My heart skipped a beat. “I’m here! Don’t hang up! Can you hear me?”

More static, but then, “ …me? Don… pen… the box!” Click. Beep, Beep, Beep. The call was disconnected.

Uh, oh.

Espionage and Etudes

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Espionage and Etudes both come at a price.

Passer-byes looked on in muted curiosity while a petite, blonde, and somewhat attractive woman pounded on the back door of the tavern, shouting, “You forgot to pay me, you foul troll!” Her efforts were in vain as they went completely ignored. She kicked the door with a soft leather boot and cursed with words that no lady should know and gave up with a huff, giving a tentative smile to the onlookers. By their faces, it was obvious that a few were contemplating giving her aid. She pushed her long golden hair behind a slightly pointed ear. The onlookers quickly looked away, perhaps deciding that it was best they mind their own business. It didn’t’ surprise the woman. They had heard of her, heard her sing and play the lute, and most of them probably whispered about a darker reputation than that of a comely bard.

It was all rumor and conjecture, but this mystery was part of the bard’s allure. The nobility paid good money for an entertainer of intrigue. A woman of beauty and mystery was a wonderful draw to any noble woman’s soiree, guaranteed to make the event a success. They’d be dazzled by her voice, enraptured by her lute, and enthralled by the fantasies that she herself inspired them to entertain about her. She had many pasts, and no past. However lucrative this usually was, this same intrigue turned away any help she could have otherwise gotten. It was a shame. She was a favorite of many patrons, and it was a shame that none were present to champion her.

Miffed at the lack of coin in her purse, she straightened her shoulders and secured her lute case across her back. The day was not yet lost. She made her way to the main street while she plotted ways to receive the compensation she was owed. The street was crowded, filled with excited whispers and rampant gossip. Magistrate Thaslay was dead after a sudden illness. She knew about the death hours ago, but it was interesting to see how the population was now reacting to the news. If only they knew. She was pulled back to some particularly vengeful, though delicious, thoughts when her attention was drawn to a cacophony across the street in front of the Governance building.

By first appearance, it seemed as though the town guard was arguing with a Knight of the Order. “This is an outrage! How was I to know that wasn’t the real chef!? I was hired to protect the Magistrate from knives and arrows, not poisoned pastries!” The knight was indignant, proud despite obviously failing in his task.

Taliesen paused and watched the scene unfold from across the street. Mystery and intrigue indeed. Had this fool knight succeeded in his task, then hers would have been successful as well. The coupe actually cost her a bit of money, since any information she could have gathered on the recently deceased was now moot. It was a shame that he had doomed them both to a poor evening. It wasn’t as if she was entirely without options, though. She simply needed to strum the right chord for the right person.

The surly, and rather large, human in the guard uniform scowled at the man he had just thrown out. “You can crawl back to your order and cry to them if you want, but remove yourself from these premises before I and several of my good friends remove you to a cell.”

The knight rolled back his shoulders, seeming twice his actual size, almost like a blowfish in breastplate. “My family…”

The town guard snickered. “Has disowned you, I’ve heard. You can’t call the Cantu name, no matter who whelped you.” There was something exchanged between the two, through Taliesen did not see what it was.

And like a blowfish, the knight deflated. As if it had been the tale of Halfling Tom and the Giant, the town guard had bested the knight.

The Cantu name was one that Taliesen knew. They were a prominent Elven family in Capital of Lyndhol. It was interesting that this man was son of that house when it was painfully obvious that he was human. The knight turned away but not before casting a smoldering scowl at the guard. He would have demanded satisfaction had the guard not been in the right. Even despondent and shamed, however, Taliesen couldn’t help but notice the look of a tough, intimidating, and surprisingly helpless knight in distress. A sly smile crept onto Taliesen’s face as she prepared to pluck the strings of fate.

***

Eric Cantu, Knight of St. Cornelus; son of the favored mistress of the late Jonathan Cantu, the Third; half-brother to Jonathan Cantu, the Fourth, Marquis of Cantu; Protector of the nobility of Vestus; and newly fired protector of the Pellan Magistrate, felt the strong urge for a strong drink. Clenching the letter of disownment from his half-brother, complete with the Cantu insignia, he made his way through the crowd on a mission to find the nearest flagon of ale.

The Hanged Horse wasn’t the finest establishment, and had Eric read the name, he might have realized that. It wouldn’t have mattered anyway. His mission was not to be hindered by such trivialities.

It wasn’t long before the aroma of stale smoke and musk assaulted Eric’s nose. Nevertheless, he took a seat at the bar, waving for the burly barman to deliver up some of his strongest brew. With a curt nod, the barman silently slid a flagon down toward his hand. Eric downed half of it in the first draft.

“Didn’t know Knights were allowed to drink like that, Sir.” The barman cocked a hefty eyebrow to his patron, leaning against the kegs as he cleaned a mug with a filthy rag.

Eric grunted. “They damn well do when the situation warrant’s it, believe you me.”

Wordlessly, the barman nodded his approval, and returned to scanning his more unscrupulous clients.

The drink was stale and tasted more than slightly watered down. Eric wasn’t sure he cared. The dark, loud, and foreboding atmosphere meshed well with his dark mood. He had a reputation, a good one. One failed job had apparently been all his elven half-brother had been looking for to disown him. Cut off from his family name, a knight in disgrace… Eric didn’t want to think about the repercussions this might have with the Order, both for his failure and his lack of family connections. No matter how hard he worked, “Youngest Knight of the Order of St. Cornelus” just translated to “lucky bastard with connections” to some, and those persons were going to push until his honor demanded satisfaction.

If he had any honor left.

He lifted the flagon to his mouth and took a more thoughtful drink.

The bartender returned and leaned over the bar, whispering conspiratorially with a furtive glance to the other patrons, “Say, you Knights don’t have one of those ‘vows of charity’ things, do you?”

Eric’s eyebrows furrowed, and then he realized what the barman meant. “You are thinking of priests.”

“Ah.” He leaned back and gave Eric a smirk. “Right then.” And then he left.

The odd question somewhat worried Eric. Thinking that it may be time to leave, he downed the rest of his ale and half rose to leave, and then caught sight of the slip of a female sitting at the bar next to him.

“Oh, please don’t leave yet. You may be the most interesting person here,” she said. Her voice was delicate, melodious. It was a shame that he couldn’t make out her features under the heavy cloak. He sat back down and studied her. She was very petite. Elven maybe? No, the elongated point of her ears would have been obvious even under the hood. Half-elf, then, he decided.

He shook his head. “I’m not entirely sure that is true, madam.”

She laughed. The sound turned more than a few of the near-by heads. “Nonsense,” she replied. “Let me rephrase. There is no one here more interesting to me.” She pointed to his empty mug. “May I?” She took the mug and sniffed its contents without waiting for permission. “Ugh. This is revolting.”

“Um, yes, it is,” he said cautiously and took it from her gloved hand. “Is there something you need of me, Madam?”

The hood nodded. “Undoubtedly, though I believe there is something you need from me as well.” She waved down the barman, who seemed to answer her faster than anyone else that evening. She leaned slightly over the bar and spoke in a low voice, holding out the mug. “Surely this is not the best of your finest stock.”

“Err…” the barman replied.

She crooked her finger at the barman to come closer, and she whispered in his ear. His smirk flitted across his face for an instant. Straightening up, he nodded at the woman, who had sat back down. “Right away, Madam.” He left with the mug, leaving his associate to watch the bar.

Eric frowned at the woman. “I’m mystified.”

Again, she laughed, though it was more of a soft, private laugh. “I’m sure you are. Allow me to elucidate. We share a common problem that I believe we are both in better positions to solve for each other.”

He raised an eyebrow. “Elucidate further.”

He imagined that she smile under the darkened hood. She sounded like she was smiling. “We both need to be paid. I need a strong arm for negotiations, and you need… a more refined touch.”

Eric frowned. How much did this woman know? He had an idea. “If you are looking to establish a connection with Cantu, you would do better to look elsewhere.”

She sighed. “You silly man. Not every woman is after fortune.” She paused. “Well, your family’s fortune.” So she was after a fortune somewhere. “I am simply looking to exchange services. I help you receive your due reward, while you help me receive mine.”

He cocked an eyebrow at her. “What is the catch?”

The barman was back, and laid down a mug of clear amber liquid and a thin glass of presumably wine. The woman took a delicate sip from the glass. “On me. Consider it a good will gesture.”

He took a cautious sip from the mug. It was potent and heady. He took a drink. If the swill he had first been served was ale, then the liquid in this glass was undoubtedly ambrosia. He looked at the minx beside him. How had she coaxed this out of the epitome of corner-cutters?

He smiled and took another sip. Perhaps it was worth the risk to accept her offer. Besides, honor agreed with him helping the distressed maiden, though truth be told, he was surprise that she hadn’t drawn blood from stone yet.

“Madam, I don’t even know your name.”

She held up her glass. “My name is Taliesen. To joint ventures?”

He considered her raised glass, and after a moment of deliberation raised his own. “Eric Cantu. To joint ventures.”

They both took a drink.

What do I do now?

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For all of my dear writer friends out there, and all my lovely followers, I want to share a little post-nan0wrimo wisdom with you. YOU AREN’T FINISHED! (insert maniacal laughter here)

writer tree

So true. So very, very true. I am still a student in the way of the writer, myself, but this bit of author humor seems to strike a certain chord with me. I’m working on book two of my Riesa Grimshaw series, but after the flurry that was November, I had to take a break from my novel. I had to step back and breath for a moment. I had to read someone elses words for a while. I had to forget what I wrote so that I could go after it again with fresh eyes.

And that is the story of how I managed to read seven harlequin romance novels in nine days. It’s my guilty pleasure, what can I say.

Admittedly, I did keep a running notepad of ideas while I was taking my “break”. The better to edit with, my dear.

Time to go back to work, I guess!

NaNoWriMo, the twilight hours.

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Phew! After thirty days of struggling with time and motivation, I’ve finally validated the rough rough rough draft of Ghost of a Chance. Clocking in at barely 50,500 words, it still needs an ending and a lot of polishing! And trust me, “a lot” is an understatement. 🙂

But, I am still proud of myself for sticking it out, and I am proud of all of you fellow nanowers too! Whether you won or just got started, you all created something. 🙂 ain’t it nice?

I look forward to reading your books!

-Tamara

 

NaNoWriMo 2012 – Day 10

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While we are officially approaching the end of the first 10 days of NaNoWriMo, I am pleased to report that I am on track! I’m actually a day ahead in the word count, which makes me very happy. I’ve got the best NaNoWriMo group in the world, I do believe. Anytime you get a group of crazy, inventive, like-minded individuals together, you are bound to have a great time. =) As a group, we have collectively written over 860,000 words these ten days, and I have personally contributed 18,179 of those words. Still got a little ways to go, but Riesa’s holding out okay. There is more I can throw her way, I’m sure. =)

So, as a little something extra, here is the rough, rough, rough draft of the first scene in Riesa’s 2nd book, Ghost of a Chance

–  –  –

The man dressed as a monkey riding a unicycle while blowing bubbles during a 5k race was the most interesting that I’d seen all day, but that was before the snow started falling. Falling snow isn’t so unusual, but it was late October, clear skies, with a high of seventy-five degrees. In Alabama. During a burn ban for dry conditions. At least I didn’t think the Monkey-Man was my fault.

“Not again,” I groaned.

A nearby customer, tall woman with a cute orange sweater, stopped trying on shoes and looked out the same storefront window. “Huh. Funky weather today, yeah?”

I managed a half smile. “Yeah. Funky weather. Can I help you with anything?” I asked, turning away from the window and returning to marking down sale prices.

She waved me off with a smile. “I’m good for now, thanks,” and off she went to the boot isle. I slapped the last label on a pair of purple and black tennis shoes and retreated to unpack a new shipment, distancing myself from the storefront. It was unlikely that anyone would blame the weather on me, but you never know.

The truth is that it probably was my fault. For the past month, strange things had been happening all around me. For example, the weather would turn strange while my thoughts wandered to the gloomy side, or random objects would breaking or levitate depending on my moods. There was one instance where I accidentally made a man’s beard catch on fire. He was hitting on me at the transit station, so he kinda deserved it.

I set the tape gun down on a box in the storage room and grabbed the box cutters. In the past month, I’d had a lot of time to think about the whys and hows, and I came to the conclusion that it was because I was a baby-demonologist-slash-angel-descendant with lots of power and zero control. I had cut myself off from my soul-bound demon, Azaraphel, or Phil, as I called him, and I refused to call him for help. I was in Atlanta to avoid him, and asking for his help would have been counter productive.

Thinking about Phil brought those dark, heavy, unwelcome thoughts back. I wanted nothing more than to call Phil. Even worse, I wanted nothing more than to drive back down to Salem, back to my friends, and back to him. It was a shame that such a thing would end in disaster, like he and I destroying each other. Not that he knew this. I decided it best to keep him blissfully ignorant. Of course last I checked, he was totally furious with me. It thundered loudly enough to rattle the shelves in the storage room. So much for clear skies.

“Grimshaw, is there something going on in here?” Mr. Sorrels, the manager, peeked into the storage room just as a tremor hit. Shoe boxes fell off of shelves as they toppled over, setting off a domino effect across the room. I watched in horror, cast a protective circle around myself out of habit, and waited for the chaos to come to an end.

I stared slack jawed at the disaster around me. “Uh…” was all I managed to say.

“Grimshaw, you’re fired.”

–  –  –

Well, that is all for Riesa tonight. If you are dying to hear more from Riesa, check out the first book in the series, Devil in the Details, now available on Amazon Kindle!