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Posts tagged ‘characters’

Back in The Saddle

Well, technically, the saddle is a chair.

 

At my desk inside the master bedroom. That’s where I keep my laptop.

The Fall Semester has ended and the Holidays have passed, (Thank God! They were exhausting, weren’t they?)

While I am awaiting the start of Spring classes at my local Community College, I’ve been trying to make use of the downtime with WRITING!

And just in case you’re interested, I am working on the third and final book in my thrilling Sci-Fi trilogy!

The book is called REACTION and I’m planning on releasing late this year.

Still tinkering with the cover

INERTIA  and …

*free with Kindle Unlimited!

*free with Kindle Unlimited!

FORCE

*also FREE with Kinlde Unlimited

*also FREE with Kindle Unlimited

were the first two, and as exciting as those plots were, this last one is going to blow them both out of the water. AtomicBomb

I’m just over 20k words so far, but the book is already plotted out in my head! The final, BIG ending is going to be SO much FUN to write. I can’t wait for you all to read it.

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Plots and Socks: a writing process

(2014 re-post)

I like my plots the way I like my socks. Tight and free of holes.

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And, let me tell you, it isn’t easy.

I never really thought about ‘my process’ until this past weekend, when my husband and I had some friends over. I am one of those people who never really talks about their writing unless asked because I will go on and on and on until you are sorry you ever asked the question.

But, at some point during the many conversations, some unfortunate soul made the mistake of asking me how I come up with ideas for my books.

After the initial, “I don’t know,” it got me thinking about how, thus far, my stories have ended up nothing like the way they started out. And that lead me to the realization that I am an odd-builder.

Yes, I said odd-builder.

Let me explain it you you, reader, like I explained to my company:

I start with The End. It’s an image in my head, or a feeling that I get about a certain situation or story. Usually sparked by some event I read about or see taking place within the lives of people around me.

Then, I hit the internet. I search blog after blog, read endless amounts of advice on the creative process and the proper way to structure a story. But then, after a week or so–less if I’m really inspired–I remember that my brain won’t let me do it the usual way. I cannot tell you how many unfinished outlines I have stored in my computer.

Then, I jot down all the ideas about my ending (how it might have been reached and by whom) into a spiral notebook which then finds it’s way into my bedside table. It’s like binder after notebook after binder inside my nightstand.

This is my only form of organization when it comes to writing. Each idea, each plot, and character that graces the pages of my  books gets it’s own section in a binder. The binders are labeled with the wroking title and the notes on plot or character are tossed in there like a paper salad. It’s messy, but it works for me.

From there, I go back to whatever it is I am writing at the time. I try to finish one project before moving along to the next. This way I dont have a million manuscripts I feel pressured to finish.

Then, once I have had time away from the idea, I go back to my notebooks and re-read everything. If i am still stoked about the idea, I start constructing.

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UNDER CONSTRUCTION 

This is where it gets a tad messy. See, I have my ultimate ending, but I don’t know who the characters are yet. So here is the place where I begin the inquisition. I ask myself

What events must happen for the story to reach it’s ending?

What motivates the characters to make the choices they must make to lead to the end?

What type of person makes those choices? A pschopath, a lonely girl, a guy who’s strapped for cash…the posibilities are endless.

Who do I want my character to be? What age and/or gender would fit best with the situations presented?

What traits do they have that I can relate to? What type of upbringing would they have that might influence their choices?

And the list goes on. These questions are also helpful when I reach that point in the story where I’m not sure what the character should do. I can go back to these questions and find an answer.

Once I reach a point of comfortable familiarity with my main characters, I begin free-writing. And through the process of turning on the voice in my head and letting it flow to the page, I find out who they really are, beneath the choices.

Well, that’s my crazy process.

Inspiration Friday

(Yeah, I totally made-up that headline.) 

I’m a naturally upbeat person

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I’m the annoying friend that you purposely avoid when you wanna complain because I will find that silver-lining on your cloudy day and rub your stinking nose in it. (What do you mean, ‘tone it down’?) 

 I am a firm believer in the power of the compliment

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I give them all the time. Unabashedly. Because the world will never be short of negative thinkers and a little positivity goes a long way. So, this morning whilst trolling for positive news stories I came across the following and thought it deserved a share.


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An emotionally drained parent posted this photo of a napkin with the caption, “Went out for lunch and found out my meal had already been paid for. I really needed this, things aren’t always easy.”

The note reads:

I have enjoyed watching your precious children & how they interact with one another. I had 1 older sister & 2 younger brothers. My sister & 1 brother have passed away & I miss them terribly. It is always fun to imagine how we were as children & how mom handled all of us. You are obviously doing a great job….. big brother even shared his pickles voluntarily.

God blessed me this morning with a few extra dollars & I’d like to spread the blessing because your family was a blessing to me as I enjoyed my lunch.

Keep doing what you’re doing with them and the world will have 3 more great adults one day.

A Mom & Grandmother.

He added: “I appreciated reading this at a time where I felt challenged as a parent. That said, I have truly enjoyed being able to share it with others because a deed like this rarely gets the recognition it deserves.”


 

 

My Dream Cast for INERTIA

As you know, last November I released my first Science Fiction novel, INERTIA, book 1 of the Threestone Trilogy.

Well, today, I just realized that I never posted my dream cast for this book like I did for my others (September Rain and Between Octobers).

So here goes.


 

“I’m going to be dead in three weeks.”

Gerry, the man whose mysterious motives open the book. 

If I could have any actor in the world play this character, it would have to be Donnie Wahlberg. Just slap some movie makeup on him to age him another 20 or 30 years.  I think Donnie is perfect for this role because Gerry is an angry guy. He’s trying to prepare for his impending demise feels lost. Plus, he yells a lot and Donnie Wahlberg gives a great deep bellow when he yells.

Plus, we all know what a stellar job he did with that little scene in the Sixth Sense, right?

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G, Gerry’s 30-something son, who takes over the second and third part of the book could possibly be played by …

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“It’s scary how good I am at lying at the drop of hat…”

Robert Pattinson

Who else?

Don’t you know me at all?

Seriously, he is a GREAT actor. If you doubt, then you obviously haven’t seen The Rover or Remember Me. (Click the link to watch youtube clips. Powerful stuff!) G’s role is a tough one. The actor playing this part would have to be able to convey a lot with just a look, as much of G’s struggles with the external reality he finds himself in are also internal struggles with facing the mistakes of his past.


 

Then there’s Daemon! He’s so … just evil!

Or is he?

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Danger. Threat. Hazard. Terrorist.

The actor to play the very large, mysterious, dominating and subversive Daemon is none other than Ryan Hurst.

You might remember him from his role as Opie on Sons Of Anarchy, but Ryan Hurst has a very long resume.

He also happens to posses the unique ability to go from kind to dangerous with the flick of  a wrist, which is required for this role. That and the enourmous beard. And I think he’d look great with an enormous snake head tattooed where his hair should be.   Don’t you?

 

 


That’s my three leading roles for this book!

But here’s one more.

tumblr_inline_ngp8z0OfQQ1qgp297He didn’t come into the story until the later chapters, but don’t underestimate the importance of Elijah Thacker to this storyline. He was G’s High School buddy who grew up to be a gifted Physicist. He also excels in Quantum Mechanics.

If I got my way, Eli would be played by Jeremy Davies. I began writing this novel many years ago. So many, that LOST was still on the air. I was obsessed wit that show. I still am. I’m re-watching it on Netflix. And as I wrote this character, I just always had Jeremy Davies in my head.


I know, I’m missing one major character, Miss Blond Bombshell Abi Winston who get her heart broken repeatedly by G. But I have done that on purpose. See, as the story plunges ahead in the next 2 books, Abi will play a bigger role and I’d like to save that for my dream cast post on FORCE.


Before I go, I just want to put this out there:

I’m still looking for book reviews for this book, so if you’re interested in getting a free ebook in exchange for an honest review, hit me up on here, the review page, twitter, or facebook.


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What I’m Working On

Some time last summer, I decided that I should finish TWO books by the end of 2015. Well, I didn’t finish them but I haven’t stopped trying.

I did release my very first SCI-FI novel, INERTIA! (It’s got really great reviews, you should give it a read!)

But I’m still working on the next two books in my Savor The Days Series: November Mourning and January Falls (note: titles and covers may change)

Anyhoo, I’m pasting an excerpt of the first chapter of January Falls, just so you all can get a feel of what the story is like. Below is a rough blurb and a tidbit of the opening chapter. Be warned, there is a smidgen of bad language:


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January Smith: that is the name Elise Wilkinson chose when she started her new life, but the past has a way of breaking into the present.

Finally putting her abusive history behind her, twenty year-old Elise is anxious to start over. She finds a job, a place to sleep, and gets a new name, January. When she makes a new friend with a high profile family, the fear of discovery and the threat of her past catching up to her becomes all too real.

When January Smith meets Noah Zuniga she can’t help but fall for his gentle heart and deep brown eyes. When she learns that Noah is the step-son to famed Hollywood actor Rhys Matthews, she must make a choice: to keep hiding from the life of shame she’s tryingto leave behind, or stay and fight for the new life she’s found.  


Excerpt from Chapter 1–I Snapped

 

The car eased up. From the tilt, I guessed the flat tire was on the front driver’s side. We must have hit that coyote pretty good. I thought I saw it skitter off, but who could tell in the pitch black? The car made creaking noises with each rotation of the jack and dread filled my stomach. It was a steady, almost rhythmic cranking that made me think Jade would have us back on the road in no time.

My heart ached at that thought. I didn’t want to go to back Vegas. I hated that city. I’d only ever been there a handful of times, even though I grew up just outside Reno, but I hated every trip I ever took there with Jade.

Made me want to shower just thinking about it.

A noise drew me from the dark memories. It sounded like Jade, like he was calling my name. My heart beat faster. If he wanted me I couldn’t waste time. Just as I pulled the handle to open my door, the raised end of the car dropped and the bleak night surrounding the empty road was suddenly filled with Jade’s pained cries.

I was all adrenaline, scrambling from the back seat to run around the car.

I couldn’t see past the beam of headlights, but when i got around to the passenger side of the car, i could see the flashlight rolling over the pavement. I reached for it, calling out.

“Jade! Are you alright?” I heard him answer with cursing, only it was much quieter than before. Flashlight in hand, I turned the beam in the direction of his voice and gasped.

Jade was on his back, one arm trapped under the car nearly up to his shoulder. The flat tire was completely off the axle, lying in the gravel. Jade was squirming and demanding. Screaming at me to “Get the jack!”

I searched with the flashlight, aiming it under the fender. The small jack had flipped over. I could tell from the position how it had slipped out from its’ bracing and didn’t waste any time. I flipped it back up but couldn’t get it under the lip of the fender. I needed to lower the head if it was going to fit back underneath the car. To do that, I needed the lever.

“Jade, where’s the crowbar?”

He cursed some more as I searched the ground. I asked Jade where it was again, partly becasue I thought talking might help keep his mind off the pain, and partly becasue I didn’t see the thing lying around anywhere.

Did he throw it?

Why wasn’t he answering me?

Maybe he couldn’t hear me; he had to be in a lot of pain. Then, something else occurred to me—the possible reason why Jade’s arm was under the car near the wheel.

With my heart climbing up into my throat, I got back down on my hands and knees, and bent low to look underneath the car. Jade was still cursing me out like always, but there was something in his voice I hadn’t heard before. Or maybe it was just so long since I heard it that I forgot what fear sounded like. Well, Jade’s fear. Mine was a constant. I knew what my fear sounded like. It sounded like, “Yes, Jade.” “Of course, Jade.”

I spotted the end of the crowbar wedged between Jade’s trapped arm and the gravel. Just on the other side of that, I spotted a few lug nuts. He must have been trying to hold the flashlight and loosen the nuts from the tire. Stubborn man—changing a tire is a two-person job in the dark. Jade was trying to pull double-duty and shot it all to hell. He probably dropped the dang nuts and then reached under the car to get them. His shoulder probably knocked the jack loose. I shuddered to think of his stubborn flesh trapped beneath the heavy car. I had to get it off him.

“Never reach under the car.” I spoke the thought.

Jade shouted, reminding me how I didn’t need to tell him anything. He was sure this whole mess was my fault after all because the only reason he needed to make money this way was because I was a fat pig who ate too much. Of course, I moved inside the car, too. He was sure I made it fall on purpose. I was evil. I was trying to hurt him. I was a worthless piece of trash that belonged under the wheels of the car, not him. I did it on purpose, I must have, because he was too smart. He knew what he was doing. I was the one who was too stupid to know anything about anything.

That’s the way our relationship was. His mistakes were always mine. ANd i knew that he was just getting started and the longer he had to think on it, the more reasons he’d come up with to make his stupid accident my fault. It was always me. Present or absent. Jade would make me pay for my mistakes. In any way that crossed his mind.

Suddenly I was not feeling as hospitable and barely suppressing the urge to roll my eyes, even though with Jade, that’s about the worst thing I could do, short of kicking him in the man-parts.

I stood up from the ground, empty-handed, running the flashlight over his pinned position, inspecting his injury. It looked like his forearm was trapped. His hand and forearm, just below the elbow were pinned under the bare wheel mount. I was wondering if that made any difference to his body. It just seemed like it’d be a whole lot worse to have your upper arm pinned under there, too.

I stepped back, going wide, as Jade’s free arm swung wildly for me.

“You stupidfuckingbitch! Get me out! I’ll put you in the ground, too! Where you going? Get back here!”

Where was I going? I had no idea, but it’d be the direction opposite of wherever Jade was headed. I was already on the passenger side of the car. My hands were moving but my mind was all blank, back in that protective space where I learned to hide most of me away.

Aside from the fact that I never thought I was smart enough to form a plan—a real plan beyond the ‘if only’ and the ‘one of these days’—I knew the only things that kept me with Jade for so long were money and opportunity. I never had either one available to me at the same time.

I could never get out. Never get a big enough head start. He kept that house locked up so tight there was no way I could find my way to the other side of the front door. And I was not allowed to have cash. I couldn’t go to the store or Laundromat without him. Even the worst criminals under lock and key got an hour in the yard to exercise, but I couldn’t get a minute with the bathroom door closed.

Also, I couldn’t just leave Jade like that, all hurt and helpless, but I sure as hell didn’t want to be around when he was back on his feet.

“I’m calling you an ambulance. You’re bleedin’ bad, Jade. You need a doctor. Where’s your phone?” I sounded so scared. I was scared, but also numb.

He was terrified to die, I knew he was. In one of the few conversations I overheard him having with a rotten friend of his, I heard Jade admit that he thought dying was the scariest thing there was. It was also the threat he made most often.

“In the glove box,” Jade grunted. “Give it to me! Hurry the fuckup!”

Of course it would be in the glove box. The glove box he kept locked at all times. The glove box he wouldn’t let me near, which was why I was always riding in the back seat.

“What’s the combination?” I shouted sounding just as panicked as I felt, but panic was nothing. I spent most my life in a panic.

“Bitch, get this car off me!” Jade screamed. “Please Elli. Please!”

I ran back around to lock eyes with Jade. I hadn’t heard him say please before. Not sober anyway. Still, I kept myself out of his reach. My face was very serious as I broke the news that would surely end up breaking my jaw. “The crowbar is stuck under your hand Jade. I can’t get it out. I can’t raise the car off you. I gotta call for help before you bleed out on the road. You need an ambulance Jade and I need you! Who’s going to take care of me if you don’t?”

He took a short breath and something passed over his eyes. I felt so sorry for him. It must have hurt like crazy and he had to be so afraid.

“J-F-B-F-D.” Jade strangled out the letters to the combination lock on his most prized compartment within his precious car. It was like a safe combination at the Federal Reserve as far as he was concerned. The glove compartment is where Jade kept all his worldly possessions.

Scrambling back around to the passenger side, Jade hollered the combination to me once more because he was so sure I’d forget it.

I punched in the letters, the glove box opened and I took out his cell phone and started dialing.

“What road are we on?” I scrambled back toward Jade and he quickly supplied the highway number and the mile marker we’d just passed.

I waited on the line as it rang and rang. Then, I walked back around to the passenger side of the car when someone finally answered my call. The metered voice of the A-1 cab company dispatcher came over the phone line loud and clear.

“I need a car out on the highway. Mile marker 1-3-7-1.” The guy seemed a little confused, so I explained in the lowest voice I could manage that my car had a flat tire, and then repeated the important information. Once they told me how long it was going to be—he estimated a half hour—I had to break the news to Jade and pray the anger wouldn’t give him enough gumption to find his way up off the ground.

But before I did that, I hung up the phone and emptied the glove compartment. Like the selfish bitch he always accused me of being, I pocketed all the cash in his wallet, his cell phone, and the .25 caliber pistol with the extra magazine. Lastly, I shook out all but one of the baggies of dope onto the front seat and floor of the car.

Then, I had to say goodbye to the first boy to ever tell me that he loved me. I stood for a moment in the dark, pretending to say the words aloud as I looked down at him. Jade understood what was happening when he spotted me running for my life.

I heard his screams for at least a half-mile. Once I got to a place near a street lamp, I tossed the flashlight. The second I spotted my taxi coming up the way, I made the call for the ambulance, giving them the information in an urgent tone, which I didn’t even have to fake. I was worried about Jade. I wanted him to be okay, but I also never wanted to see him again. So I told the 9-1-1 dispatcher to make sure the police came along with the ambulance. “The driver was swerving all over the place before he crashed and he’s been screaming at everything that moves. I think he’s high on something.”

After, I hopped into the back of the taxicab, asking the driver to take me into Vegas and telling myself that I was doing what I had to.

I wasn’t a bad person.

I’m not a bad person.

What I’m Working On

You all know that I have been in the writing cave for some time now. So, I thought it might be a good time to share what I’ve been working on.

In Between Octobers, readers were introduced to Evan, aka Rhys Matthews. If you remember, he is an actor who has never received any real recognition for his body of work, then you should understand what and why he is so angry in this opening scene . . . .

Here’s an excerpt from Book 3 in my Savor The Days Series: November Mourning.

NOVEMBER

CHAPTER ONE–“There is no loneliness greater that the loneliness of a failure. The failure is a stranger in his own house.” —Eric Hoffer

There’s a storm brewing inside me.

Hot and cold fronts are clashing.

It’s the heat of my temper flaring against a cold reminder.

There is a roaring wind climbing up my throat, aiming to tear through the thin veil of my lips to make its’ presence known in the quiet if this house. That glower from the mantle, so cruelly illuminated, makes me want to scream.

I literally feel mental because like the storm there is also this calm—small though it may be—in the center of me that I must cling to. Cling just as plainly as my white-knuckled grip on the edge of the mantle over the living room fireplace.

Control it. I command myself and work on a deep breath.

What’s got me so twisted is the simplest, most benign thing: a ray of sunshine. The way it brashly shoots through the window that overlooks the back garden is bloody dreadful. It’s not so much the light itself—it’s rather gloomy this time of the year; an early morning in November—it’s that the damned light has found a way through the patchy fog. It wouldn’t bother me if this seemingly inoffensive ray simply floated through the window as most shafts of daylight do, but it’s not.

This ray is taunting me in the way it callously lasers past me to hit a glass portrait on the opposing wall of the great room where I’m standing. The golden beam is then bounced directly from the glass that protects the image of my late wife to land again on the object of my gaze: a golden statuette. Something I once coveted.  

I’ve kept the thing hidden away since I got it because I can’t stand looking at it, but I’ve been gone for several weeks and in that time someone—Lily, I’m sure—must have found it and placed it atop the mantle of the fireplace to be illuminated by this ridiculous stubborn beam of sunlight that first strikes my wife, then the award.

Like it knows.

A Closer Look

INERTIA_1_COVERIn honor of my upcoming book release (10/15/15), I’m posting a small section of Chapter One, entitled, BEFORE

I walk up the main road, cane in hand, trying to ignore the pain in my hip as I swerve through the witless crowds.
Getting closer, I can feel the shifting forces in my bones; the familiar power of the stones already at work. The earth groans beneath my feet.
Today is important and if I’m not mistaken—which I’m not—three streets over on the corner near the potted Palm trees will be the place.
I hate being here. I don’t want to see him again. I don’t want to remember.
Regret is the most difficult and probably the worst part of getting old. Through all the things I’ve seen, the cyclical mistakes I swore I’d never make again, I’ve come to accept it is my legacy—this regret—for there’s more of it than anything else.
As I come upon the last corner, I spot the potted grouping of Palms. And it’s there. The humming, as familiar as my own hands. Not an audible noise, no, but a slight vibration in the inner ear that I’ve learned to recognize because of those regrets I mentioned. This is numbered among them. It is the sound of the gateway opening.
I move off to a side street and try to disappear behind another pluming cluster of trees.
No one sees him coming. They only see him burst onto the road—hands out in front like he’s been flung from a moving vehicle. He probably was. For them, the ones blessed enough to be ignorant of this man and his secrets, the burst is instantaneous. For me, it’s like a scene from my own life playing out at half speed and I don’t miss a thing.
The energy overflow makes gravel of the pavement. I imagine the pain of pebbles digging into his skin, lodging under a fingernail. It hurts when that happens. It’s petty, but I hope that’s what’s happening to him right now. I hope dozens of pebbles get lodged under his skin so deep, he can’t pry them out. And I hope they swell with infection.
This man who’s flown through unseen portals, seemingly appearing from nowhere—he’s wearing the same tattered trench coat I’ve come to identify him by. I watch his shoulder blades slam together as his body meets the ground, grating bone against bone. The plastic guards strapped to his legs slam against the man-made street. The sound is like shattering glass. Despite his efforts in deflection, the man’s chin hits next. I smile a bit seeing his neck snap back, knowing his mangled beard is no help against impact—only road rash and hiding scars. When you travel this way, one of the first things you learn is how important it is to keep your face away from the impact zone. My teeth sliced straight through my tongue once. After that, I started using a mouth guard. Either this guy was in a hurry or he’s new to the game. He’s not even wearing a helmet. I keep watching the crash as seconds seem to stretch, feeling like minutes, as intemperate energy pitches him into a roll.
This scene is so familiar. Bile rises, coaxing my breakfast into my throat. How I loathe and regret his part in my life. I’m not looking forward to our next meeting and wonder how many collisions he’ll endure before his body breaks down completely. Like mine. We’ve both walked away from things no one has a right to.
This section of road is now a shallow crater—the impact marking his entry into my world. His body limply tumbles another twenty feet before hitting a concrete step in front of what is supposed to be a flower shop. Blood spatters onto the ground as he coughs, turning his head for a look around. I feel the black, like an aura surrounding him as the bearded mans’ face twists into a misplaced grin. He loves a violent landing.
A normal man would be dead, but this one—this Keeper—is like me. We aren’t normal, only men in the classic sense that we were born and one day we will die. But not before I take the thing that keeps him going—those three, precious stones that make him so capable and dangerous.
This man has many names—the one he gave me many years ago was Nahuiollin. As he grew, he began calling himself Serpent and Revenge. His tribe was also called the Keepers, for they were the protectors of the Threestone. His father was Guardian to the Sacred Powers, a title that was supposed to fall to his son when he passed.
To me, this man is Death Incarnate because his purpose is my destruction.


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Hey, nice stapler. . .

Well ,you heard wrong, Milton, from Office Space. I’m still working on the trailer, but thanks for asking.

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