Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Embarking on the unknown

Back before I decided to finally write...I still wrote. I wrote down idea's, dreams, everything I cared about or ever wanted to do. I think I was born to write. I took a class when I moved to the town I now call home. It was an English course at the local Junior College I was still a baby. Nineteen years old. The class was a higher course, thank you very much test scores, and it was about Dreams and Interpretations and how to use them in creative writing. It is the only College course I have taken on creative writing.

I have no desire to sully that great experience. I loved my class. There was even a lovely section in the book written by Stephen King about his use of dreams in his writing. This made a monumental impact on me as a person and a writer. Now back to the ideas I used to write down. When I was in high school I had one big idea. This idea of course was terrible...as most first attempts are. I wrote down notes, and pages and pages of written dialogue and scenes.

When my grandma passed away, I found this huge pile of writings and cried as I went through them. Only God knows why she kept them, but I am forever grateful that she did. My first ideas, and the others that I wrote down when I worked at Cigna, were all thrillers. I love thrillers, I happen to enjoy them quite a bit. But I don't love them the way I love Harry Potter, The Hollows, and Stephen King, pretty much anything paranormal or with shape shifters...mostly werewolves.

Recently I finished The Otherside (queue obnoxious loud howling for myself by myself, yes I am that pathetic) I am supposed to be working on Lilith 2...it's not exactly happening. I tinker with Soul Eater, I open and close Lilith, and then for some reason a few months ago I thought, I'm jumping on the stupid Fifty Shades of Grey bandwagon and writing something smutty!

Why would I do this?

I read Fifty...and though terrible and cringe worthy at times I salivated. That damn pair of warn jeans with one button undone makes me hot...No shit. I like me a good erotic novel. Megan Hart is queen of the orgasm. Holy Crap if you want to read something smutty and amazing read Collision, or Deeper. They are so hot you'll sweat.

Back to my point...I am writing something smutty. Something that terrifies me, challenges me, and freaks me the fuck out. I don't normally do horribly graphic sex scenes. I don't by choice because even though I enjoy reading it, writing it is a whole nother ballgame. I hate cheese, like not the dairy product, but the heaving bosom, quivering womanhood fucking cheese. Dude there is nothing more annoying than a female that says her lady bits, her who-haa, her vayjayjay, fucking hell, call it a pussy, call it a cock and lets be done with this shit.

I've read some atrocious romance and I have to skip some of these horrifyingly juvenile parts. Sex doesn't have to be graphic, but lets not baby talk it either I mean my God, who-haa. Hit me, seriously just slap me, it'll annoy me less.

Back to the point I keep falling from, I'm doing something I haven't done before. Is it because of the trend...a little...its mostly out of curiosity. I read enough of the dirty hot smut to wonder if I can pull it off...guess we'll find out.

Oh YEAH...the book, or books...if it works out are the MEAN STREAK series, and the first book is named...drum roll please....MEAN BITCH

I happen to be pretty fucking proud of this cover. It is AWESOME. I did it myself. Queue another round of obnoxious clapping!



Monday, June 30, 2014

The Otherside of writing book #4

Every new book is a journey. I learn something about myself and the world around me. It's an adventure. Sometimes, that adventure leaves me jaded. It's like I am embarking into a huge cavernous world without a flashlight. I stumble, I fall, I make mistakes.

Except, every book gives me a little more night vision. During the first I was blind. No light was there to help guide me. I had no idea what I was doing. I read books on writing and read even more books studying other authors craft and I surged ahead. Reading about something and doing it are two very different things. You can prepare for the hurdles others have warned you about, you can ready your mind for the skull splitting amount of space a story will occupy.

I don't know how I can hold a novel in my head and not die of an aneurism. I don't know how Stephen King in his crown of superior Authorhood isn't a twitching vegetable. He has created so many stories. And though after you have written them that laser like focus dissipates, you don't forget them. They are parts of you. Each character carries some attribute that you can relate to. The protagonist that had issues with abandonment. The hero who fights the demon voices that tell him he is not good enough.

People are shards of broken pieces. They are jagged and sharp. They can cut you and harm you. They do not always fit together. These are the characters I love. The walking contradictions. The sweet face and petite frame of the cussing protagonist with so much personality its a wonder it can fit inside her small body. I love her. She is a small fraction of the person I am. A pebble out of the brook.

This is my fourth novel. Two of which were not nearly as long as this puppy. This is the biggest novel I have written so far. 127,000 + words. I didn't know I had that many words inside me. It's always a surprise to watch the numbers tick higher on the word count. It amazes me. I hope that feeling never goes away.

Writing has become a sort of therapy. That stumbling in the dark reveals so much about human nature, my nature. The nature of the imperfect creatures we are born. This fourth novel has made my vision in that cave a little sharper. A lighter in my hand to find the way. Someday I'd like to think I'll hold a flashlight, then maybe a spotlight, and eventually maybe even a whole room in that cave will be engulfed by light.

Write what you know...my father once told me.

It's a shame that his disease makes him incapable of seeing what I've done. I'll continue writing my stories. I hope you will continue to read them.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

The Otherside

It has happened again! That long awaited moment when a book is finished. (Not Edited for that in itself is a feat of its own.) But that moment, the one where you get to the end of a story/book. The one where the last sentence of that book is written. There is an ending. A stopping point.

It always feels like it's never going to happen. Like that moment doesn't really exist. It's a pipe dream, a fantasy, an unreachable destination. Like trying to peer into the future and see yourself there. Old and wrinkled. Worn by time and circumstances. Someone who has earned the right to be old. I can never see myself there.

I feel the same way about my children. I see them grow and move forward everyday but imagining them as men, men who are fully grown and not my babies is impossible. That future doesn't exist yet, sure we're walking towards it everyday but I just can't see it.

This is probably a terrible thing to confess. I'm a writer and I spend 99 percent of my time in my head. I live in fantasy worlds where anything is possible...but my boys being men, finishing a novel, growing old. Those are three things I'll never be quite able to fantasize about. It's just too important for daydreams.

Pfft, I did it again. I went off on a tangent of words and sentences when I was supposed to be making this short.

The Otherside is NOT short. It is in fact longer than The Wild Hunt, but for some reason reads shorter. I like to think it's because I'm getting better at this writing business. Of course, I'm sure every writer also has this same shared delusion. I get better every time I write a word upon the page. But is it really a tangible thing. That level of perfection, and improvement.

On a side note, I have started two other projects that are not Lilith. I'm not sure what's holding me back from finishing that story but I can't touch it...not yet. Maybe I like delayed gratification...as a puzzle even to myself who fucking knows.

So the two new projects:

Bad Witch, a prequel to The Wild Hunt about how Pillar meets Gideon.

Bite Camp, a sequel to The Wild Hunt that takes place when Jen is away during the summer at a camp to learn to control her shifts. Greene is also involved, really its about their budding forbidden romance.

The Otherside is finished!!!

It's still so unbelievable. Who would have known that almost seven years ago that I would meet the love of my life, have the balls to start writing, be a mother for a second time, and actually write four novels? I sure as hell didn't but here I am. I'd pat myself on the back if it wasn't so ridiculous. I am a writer.

The Otherside
Word Count: 127,109

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Character Profile: Sutter Casgrove

Sutter is a character that was introduced in The Wild Hunt. As the town of Concords Beta and former Alpha, he is tied to the Hunt like any Cwn Annwn, but while most Cwn Annwn males have an alpha gene that helps distinguish their strength within the pack, Sutter has two.

He is related to Arley Dufrey the Scent Hound. They share the same dead-beat father. Another dozen half-siblings are out there but none as close as Sutter and Arley.

He is getting a larger character profile this time around for The Otherside. His character is very present in this second installment. Sometimes characters surprise you, Sutter is definitely one that snuck up on me. I never saw him coming.





Sutter Casgrove



  1. Name: Sutter Birmingham Casgrove
  2. Age: 31
  3. Hair: Short Brown
  4. Eyes: Buttery Brown
  5. Build: Stocky
  6. Height: 5'10
  7. Personality: Southern gentleman, teaser, fierce.
  8. Likes: Hard work, animals,  loyal people, gambling, and teasing.
  9. Dislikes: Rule breakers, earth-bound spirits, needless killing.

10. Music: Rock, Three Days Grace, Puddle of Mudd, NIN, Tool.
11. Movies: Anything action, (chic flicks but you didn't hear that from me.)
12. Actor whom my character most resembles: A shorter, stockier Anson Mount
13. Clothes: Jeans, boots, my hat and shirts are optional.
14. Job: Big Animal vet. Beta to Concord pack
15. Song: "Between Us"-Peter Bradley Adams
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sutter's Family Farmhouse
 
 

 
 
 

The farmhouse is located in the mountains below Yosemite on the outskirts of the town of Concord. Sutter is a big animal vet, spending a majority of his time on the road to other farms to inoculate new foals and calves, and to provide the general care of the animals.

The Barn is located farther down from the house. It is very large and the traditional red. Inside it has many nice horse stalls, his office, a surgical room, and exam rooms. He treats Othersider's who are in need of emergency care. He sets a lot of broken bones and performs various stiches. In town the Othersider's go to Pillar who is a nurse and the local Doctor for more immediate and serious injuries.

He cares about people and animals alike. He is sarcastic by nature but genuninly wants the best for those around him. He will do anything he can to help those that are weak and need his help. When he was Alpha Concord ran smoothly. He is remembered well. It was his choice to step aside.


 





Sutter's words.


THE WILD HUNT



"Who might you be?" The deep voice came from the shorter of the two. He had dark hair and yellow eyes. His demeanor said gentle but his body screamed deadly. His muscles were bulky and cut sharp on his stocky frame.
"Uhh...." I gurgled before choking. "My name is...Lo." I sputtered.
Recognition crossed his features. "Duncan's Lo." He said.
I was getting really sick of being called that.

I slid away from Sutter, and placed my hands on the counter to lift myself up. He ran a hand across his face and glanced down my bare legs.
"No wonder they're fighting." He said.

His chair squeaked as he shifted. "I asked him about the earth bound spirits, the ones that rot instead of shine. He didn't see tem around here much so he didn't know anything about them. I told him bout the ones in 'Bama'. He didn't know how to get rid of them, and the more people I asked the more I wanted to know. I spent hours going through old books Gideon had left behind. While Duncan was busy babysitting Fin, I researched earth bound spirits and The Wild Hunt."

"In some way or another we are all connected to the Hunt, to the Otherside, like a great circle."




THE OTHERSIDE

 
Sutter laughed. "You were just being honest. Maybe needed is the wrong word. Wanted. I want to be wanted. I want to be someone's air. I want to feel like my presence makes their life better. Just by simply existing."
 
 
"See you think I mean all of that in a bad way, but I understand. You need that wall there because it doesn't keep them out, it keeps you in. It protects from them ever hurting you, because sweetheart, if there is one thing I know for sure about you. You've been hurt, and bad."
 
 
"No truly. I am. You have Lyle and that's great, it's wonderful...but I know what it's like to have parents that don't give a shit about you. The good doesn't erase the bad. It makes it tolerable, but it never takes it away."
 
 
 
NAN'S SAYINGS
 
 
Sutter's smile fell. "I'm serious. You little girl are what my Nan says is trouble. You like to play with fire. You like all the bright shiny colors that come along with it. I am old, and too smart to play with either the trouble or the fire. So, I will keep my hands to myself for the most part. Mornings and drinking too much will not be included in those statements. Both are outside of my control."
 
 
"Nan says you should never turn down an invitation to dinner or a fight."
I smiled. "Why the fight?"
Sutter grinned. "You gotta eat, and you don't need more chicken."
 
 
"You know what Nan says about tears?"
I was afraid to ask.
"They're just extra seasoning."
 
 
"You'll get over it. Nan says that you should do one thing every day that scares you."


"We can leave you know. Nan says the worlds hard enough without torturing yourself."
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Aunt Nan
 
 
Another new character in The Otherside is Sutter's Aunt Nan. Not only is she full of great words of wisdom and comic relief, but her part in the story is one of my favorites. She is a salt of the earth no-nonsense elder, which is something that has been missing from the series. Lyle while involved, is not a part of the Otherside world. He is only human. Nan is the voice of reason in the middle of a bloody world full of monsters.
 
 
 
 
 
 
  1. Name: Nannette
  2. Age: 64
  3. Hair: Medium length Grey
  4. Eyes: Brown
  5. Build: Proud, broad shouldered, tough,
  6. Height: 5'1
  7. Personality: Bold, strong, virtuous, no-nonsense, full of sayings
  8. Likes: Strength, honor, vengeance
  9. Dislikes: Evil, murder, hate
10. Music: Old Rock
11. Movies: Old Musicals
12. Actress whom my character resembles:
13. Clothes: Jeans nice blouses, long skirts, dresses, always apron
14. Job: Helps with Sutter's Veterinary Clinic
15. Song: "Like A Rolling Stone"-Bob Dylan
 



 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Blocking myself

I remember years ago when Sex in the City was still on air, and not in the reruns category. I remember this haunting episode in which Samantha's character (played by Kim Cattrall) ran out of orgasms. For any woman this is a very scary idea. To actually run out of what was once easy, or if not easy at least necessary for happiness in life.

You might wonder where in the hell I'm going with this whole line of thought, but I'm getting there, (this is where I insert snarky comment: that's what she said)...the point...yes that everything has a limit. We may not know how many breaths we get, or days, hours or minutes. We may not know how many orgasms we have until that part of our body just stops working. Who the fuck knows.

We stare in the mirror at our graying hair and wrinkled faces and the clock ticks on. We watch the skin on our hands grow clearer and spotted and the clock ticks on...tick...tock...tick...tock. Its moving along even as we are unaware of it. So my point is, what if we only have so many words in us. So many words we can think, say, type, share, only so many before the damn walls up and we have no more.

What if we only have so much creative juice to use towards our projects, be them book, home, painting or poetry.

These what ifs...keep me up at night. I worry over them more than a person should. Like peeking behind the curtain, or opening a present early, we don't know, and we shouldn't know.

But as I use my creativity on my home and countless other projects that don't include writing I can't help wondering if I'm squandering what ideas could be used for writing on other things. Am I using up that lovely creative juice on the wrong thing? Is there a right one?

I'll undoubtedly harass myself with this thought before I reach a conclusion, and I'll wonder...am I blocking myself with my own crazy thought process, am I killing my creativity just by pondering its limitations? Am I?

We all play the part of sabotage...

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Life is Good!

Every once in a while I have one of those days where everything goes as planned. I wake up and I don't hate the idea of moving. I drink a cup of coffee, look at the sky. Whatever it is something just makes everything align in this beautiful way.

I'm so glad for days like today. It makes me believe in what hard work and real effort can give you. Lately I've been working on my house. Little projects here and there, that I always mean to do, and never finish. Thing's I've pinned, idea's I've had. Not unlike all the story ideas I get and never have time to write down. For once, I put everything aside and decided that yes, I was going to work on my house.

One project turned into two, and then three. Three morphed into five, and then seven, nine. You get the picture. I went from painting a dough table, to buying five pieces of furniture I painted an distressed. An entry way remodel, then the hallway, the stairway, the backyard, the front yard, and now I'm soon be starting on my kitchen. That doesn't include little things like putting together the new built ins for the entry way or painting a mirror. It doesn't include making my own cupcake stands, or finally hanging the curtains in the master bedroom. My project schedule was like a damn gremlin that got wet, it freaking blew up.

I'm not unhappy about these events, quite the contrary my home has never been so wonderful. I feel super accomplished as well. And writing, well, sometimes you just need to take some time off. For my readers out there, I apologize, I needed to live a little life before I could write about it. Now I'll finish Lilith in-between painting my kitchen cabinets and hopefully by the end of this year I'll have countless projects, and a couple of books under my belt.

Life is good, its even better when you live in it the way you are supposed to!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Life...

Sucks....at least it does sometimes. I'm blessed enough with my husband, sons, family and friends to not take the good things, or even the bad for granted. Life happens, even when we aren't ready for it. It just moves on forward without really caring whether we are ready for the next steps or not.

God doesn't give us anything on our time frame, he gives it to us on his. The universe trucks on by, regardless of us and our plans.

My dad is fading. Faster and faster everyday. I see pieces of him disappear so quickly I can barely stand to look at him. He is a shell of the man who raised me.

I'm praying that the loss of my grandma will help me through this hard time to come. I'm praying that my father never knows his behavior or feels ashamed or lost. I'm praying that God takes him sooner rather than later because living a life empty isn't really a life at all. There is pain to come that I don't want to even think about. When he forgets me, when he looks in my eyes and there is no spark of mischief or laughter in his own.

I want to scream at God and ask him why?  Why must his children suffer so at the end of their life. Why can't they hold onto dignity, and why, oh why did my father have to be struck down with this horrible disease so early.

He's a walking miracle. He was a premie baby born at a time when premies rarely made it. He had a heart condition that could have taken his life at anytime during his childhood. A cancer that so ravaged his body he wasn't even supposed to see my younger brother born. And through all the odds, and suffering, and broken legs he has made it to this day, only to suffer all the more. My father has Vascular Dementia and Alzheimer's, and a part of me really wants to hate God.

Life sucks sometimes, but then I'm sure everyone out there knows it....even God.



Lit-"Miserable"

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