Monthly Archives: December 2013

2014 Writing Goals


It’s that time of year where people are thinking about the new year and making resolutions. For some reason, I don’t like the word resolution. I feel like resolutions are strict, that if you veer off the path once during the year, then you’ve failed. A resolution is an absolute. Goals, on the other hand, are something to strive for. You make a plan and work towards it. To me, that means there are a variety of paths you can take to reach your goals, so if something isn’t working, you can change it and still make it to the finish line. Because of this, I’m going to list my writing goals for the new year, rather than make a writing resolution, because life is crazy and gets in the way sometimes and I don’t want to feel like I’ve failed if I didn’t get to the end the way I “resolved” to.

So here goes, my goals for 2014:

1) Make more time to write. Between a new job and a new man, life has gotten busy, especially over the holidays. I feel like my time to write has dwindled and I still have projects to finish and ideas brewing!

2) Work on promo.  With Heavyweight coming out on January 23rd, I’ve got to get back to my Twitter-ing and other self promo things. I’ve started by looking into ideas like using Notegraphy and Instagram to hit a new audience.  It looks like it’s generating some interest, but who knows if it will translate into sales. Only time will tell!

3) Finish at least one outstanding project.  I have to admit, I have several unfinished projects that need finishing. Staying Alive, the sequel to Near Death is so close to being done. For some reason, I just couldn’t seem to wrap it up this year. Maybe in the coming year, or maybe the last story in the Errand Girl of the Undead series.  I’ve got options!

4) Read outside my comfort zone.  While I find it very important to read within your genre so you know what’s out there and what the trends are, I find I haven’t been expanding my horizons with new things, so I’m going to look to pick up and get through some books I wouldn’t normally gravitate to. I think I may be pleasantly surprised!

5) Get more involved.  This kind of goes hand in hand with working on promo, to get more involved with other authors, whether it’s in my writing group, participating in blog hops and contests,  doing more cover reveals and reviews for folks.  I feel like I had a bigger support system and because I got busy, some of those connections slipped through my fingers.


What are your writing goals for the New Year?


Happy Holidays!


BookTree1-550x550I just wanted to take the time to wish all my readers, fellow authors, friends and supporters a very happy and healthy holiday season!  There’s no point in being an author if no one reads your stories, so I’m exceptionally grateful to everyone who has bought a book, shared a link, written a review, commented on the blog or given advice and encouragement.

May you get the lovely gift of literature and poetic verse, quality time with loved ones and some pile-of-books-001holiday cheer! 2014 is already looking to be a fantastic year for me and I hope it is for all of you as well!

Publication Update


Things are moving along with the publication of Heavyweight. Edits have been done and sent back in.  The blurb is perfected and the bio written.  Info has been sent to get the cover art created.

While I’m not outwardly doing the Myposian dance of joy (who remembers that?! ^_^) I’m definitely squeeing inside.  I’m super impressed with Harmony Ink and how quick, yet thorough, their process is.

No one has officially given me a publication date yet, but from little clues I’ve seen, it’s looking to be January 23, 2014. That’s so soon! I can’t believe it’s a little over a month away. It seems like there’s still a lot to do, but they are on top of it!

One of the most exciting things for me so far was when I received twenty sheets of vellum in the mail with a little note asking me to sign them so they may be put into print copies and that those will be specially sold through Dreamspinner’s website.  Not only did I sign them, but I put a little message as well so those twenty folks to buy them get an extra little treat!

Things are going great and I’m excited to see what the next step is.  I’m hoping to do a bit of a cover reveal when it’s ready. If anyone would be willing to host my reveal on their blog or author/reader facebook pages, please comment!

Thursday Teaser – Errand Girl of the Undead – Chap 4


Life is so busy folks! I hope you don’t mind another sneak peek of the project I started during NaNoWriMo, the second story in the Errand Girl of the Undead series, The Trouble with Zombies. Remember, no editing has been done, blah blah blah.

Here are previous chapters!

Chapter One: Read me first!
Chapter Two: Read me second!
Chapter Three: Read me third!


Chapter Four


Trying to do legitimate research on zombies when we live in such a zombie-crazed society was next to impossible. Using the Web, I got hits about movies, make-up tips, zombie walks and debates over whether they should walk slow or fast.  Ridiculous.  There were a couple of sites with ideas about how a pandemic could cause a wide spread zombie outbreak, but from the story I heard and the articles I found on the attacks, it seemed like it could be done by a singular zombie. Glancing at the clock I saw I was running short on time.  Additional research would have to wait. I had errands to run.

After a bit of a confrontation at the blood bank–I admit, I’d question a teenaged girl picking up multiple bags of blood too–I got through the rest of my errands with ease, even getting a chance to return all my calls and book a few more jobs for next week.

My energy level was teetering on empty when I walked in the front door. I was not looking forward to putting in a couple hours’ worth of work into my school assignments.

“Everything okay?” Tyler asked, meeting me at the door like a well-trained Labrador. I often joked with him, asking where my cigar and slippers were when he met me. Rather than get annoyed, he always joked he’d fetch whatever I wanted.  Patting his head, I stepped past him, not engaging in our typical banter.

“Ellie?” He was at my heels, but I really needed a shot of energy before I could launch into my theories with him.

“Hey!” Tyler was suddenly in front of me, his newly filled out physique keeping me from moving forward.  When had he gotten quick enough to get the jump on me? Annoyed, I attempted to push past him. Much to my surprised, he backed me up against the kitchen wall, holding my arms above my head with one hand.  I was too shocked to react and fight my way out of his grasp.  His body was flush against mine and I could feel the heat radiating off of him.  Not that I’ve been so up close and personal with guys’ bodies, but Tyler’s seemed to throw off more heat than I expected. A wolf thing?  Tilting my head up, I caught his gaze, surprised to see anger there. It clicked on my bitch setting.

“If you’re going to violate me, your junk might thank you for patting me down first. You never know what sharp toys I may have hidden under these clothes.”  I knew the second the words left my mouth that I should have shut up.  It was the kind of retort I would have given Samson, who would have laughed it off before slapping my ass and going on his way.  Ty was sensitive and didn’t always get my warped sense of humor. The hurt that flooded his features had me feeling lower than dog crap on the bottom of my favorite pair of shoes.

“I’m sorry, you know I didn–”

“You could have just said you were fine,” he cut me off, dropping my arms like they were burning him.  Without another word, he slipped past me and headed up the stairs. My chin dropped to my chest, my arms limp at my sides.  How could I be so stupid?

“No wonder why you don’t have any friends.” Samson’s low voice reached out and pushed my remaining buttons.

“Maybe I like it that way. Maybe it’s better to be alone so it doesn’t hurt when,” I made air quotes, “‘friends’, stop being friends,” I said, head snapping up,  my gaze landing on him so he knew my comment was about him.  He cocked his head to the side, raising one shoulder and just watched as I stomped through the kitchen.  Taking my frustrations out on cabinet drawers wasn’t nearly as satisfying as I had hoped.  I almost hoped Samson would push back so we could have a physical altercation.  I was going to be all wound up until I got to hit something. Instead, he took a seat at the table and watched me as I made a pot of coffee and slapped together a ham and cheese sandwich.

“There’s food on the stove for you,” he commented, nodding towards a covered pot. I glanced at it, wondering what wonderful concoction Siobhan had come up with.  Glancing down at the sad ham sandwich in my hand, I cursed myself for not checking for dinner before making something.  Samson’s hand appeared at my side, palm up.  I looked at him, my anger going from a boil to a simmer. Without a word I placed the sandwich in his hand. He took a huge bite before smiling around his mouth full of food.  Even without the words, we both knew it was an apology to each other.

Stepping around him, I took the lid off the pot and took in the sweet aroma of curry.  Siobhan had made my favorite.  Spying the rice cooker on the other counter, I knew there’d be perfectly fluffy rice away for me to coat with aromatic, spicy curry and chicken.

Samson settled back into a chair at the table, one leg crossed over the other as he took somewhat dainty bites out of the ham sandwich.  I tried to ignore the feeling of his stare as I grabbed a bowl from the cabinet.

“Ya know, some people might consider a bowl of curry a peace offering. Especially curry made by Siobhan.”  His tone was nonchalant but I knew what he was getting at. Could food soothe the savage beast? Only one way to find out.

Grabbing a second bowl, I scooped out the pristine rice and coated both helpings with a generous amount of curry. Digging in one of the bottom cabinets turned up a dinner tray.  I loaded up the bowls, utensils and a couple of cans of soda before heading out of the kitchen.

Samson, his sandwich gone, followed me out without a word as I made my way up the stairs.  I wondered why he was following, but when I got to Tyler’s door, I realized I didn’t have a free hand to knock with.  The furry blue demon reached around me and rapped sharply on the door before disappearing in a puff of sulfur.  I didn’t even get to say thanks.

The door opened a crack and Tyler’s soulful eye peered out.  It looked a bit glassy and bloodshot. Oh God, had I made him cry? I’m an awful, awful person.

“I’m sorry,” I said, head bowed and tray of food shoved out towards him. The silence stretched on for an achingly long time. Was he not going to accept my apology? Would I have to get down on my knees and beg? I valued his friendship, but I wasn’t sure I would go to that extent. I do have a reputation to uphold. Finally, my outstretched arms shaking, I lifted my head to see what was going on. Tyler had opened the door more and was leaning against the molding, arms crossed over his chest.

“Well?” I asked, exasperated by the situation.

He smirked at me. “I thought I’d make you sweat it out a bit; see how it feels when someone keeps you waiting.”

Ooh. He’s giving me a taste of my own medicine. That’s so not good.

As the silverware on the tray started to rattle from my waning arm strength, Tyler reached out and took the food from me.  My arms dropped, screaming their thanks.  I guess I needed to find more time to get into the gym if my arms were going to be such pansies. He used his foot to push the door all the way open and gestured with his head for me to enter.

I’ve been in his room numerous times before, but it felt different this time around and I wasn’t sure why.  My thoughts flashed back to Tyler having me pushed up against the wall.  A flush rose to my cheeks and I hurried to his window and threw it open.

“Smells like boy in here,” I said, keeping my head down so he hopefully wouldn’t notice my blush.

Tyler sat crossed legged on the floor, his back leaning against the bed, a bowl of steaming curry in his lap.  I took my position next to him and we ate in blissful silence, simply enjoying the flavorful meal.  Tyler, being the boy that he is, scraped the bottom of his bowl long before I did, stopping only to down his entire can of soda in one take. The resulting belch was award winning.

“You ready to talk now?” he asked after wiping the back of his mouth on his long sleeve. “I was worried when I left you earlier.  You came home looking wiped and didn’t answer me. I assumed something had happened.”

Guilt rolled in again. “Sorry. I’m okay. I just had a lot on my mind and a busy afternoon.  I needed to build up my energy before getting into it with you.”

Tyler rolled his eyes. “You could have just said you were fine or to give you a minute. I would have backed off.”

I sighed. “I know…sorry.”  Scooping some more rice into my mouth, I thought back to the reason I had been upset when Ty and I had split for the day.  The bowl was abandoned on the tray as I fished in my pocket for the note from my locker. I was so wrapped up in the whole zombie possibly attacking people thing that I had forgotten about the mystery message.

Taking a closer look, I noticed the paper was ordinary, probably ripped from a journal or something similar since there were no lines on it.  It seemed a little thicker than normal paper so maybe something from an artist’s sketchbook?  The ink, a dark blue almost black color, bled slightly into the pores of the page.  The message was written in small, tight script.  Bringing the paper closer to my eyes, I noticed areas where little of ink gathered and bled a bit more, as if the point of the pen was left on that spot rather than continuing it’s smooth journey to the end of the word.  That led me to believe the message wasn’t penned with a ballpoint, but possibly a fountain? Who still used fountain pens, pretentious literary types? More likely, someone who is very old but doesn’t look anywhere near their age.  The stopping of the pen also led me to believe the author was trying to make the note very neat and probably make sure the writing didn’t look like their typical scrawl.  If that was the case, did it mean I knew the typical scrawl? Was the note left by someone close to me?  It seemed very likely, considering very few people knew what went on in the moments before Tomas’ death.

Who knew and why weren’t they coming right out and telling me what I wanted to know? I was going to find out and they would be sorry they had play games.



You Should Be Improving


A little over a year ago, I wrote a post titled The Difference Between Liking to Write & Being a Writer, outlining what I felt made a writer into a professional rather than someone who wrote for a hobby.  I want to expand on that a little and talk about how the writer should be improving.

I believe each short story and novel you write is a learning experience. You learn about your writing style, plotting, grammar, how to better describe scenery, situations and characters, etc. It’s a journey from the rough draft to the finished product, getting advice and making  corrections as you go.

When you finish your first book and put it out there, it’s your baby and you’re (typically) so proud of yourself and the amazing thing you’ve created.  When you put your second book out, you read through it and perhaps the light shining from your original baby dulls a bit.  That’s not to say that the first book won’t always have a special place in your heart, but in my opinion, your most recent work  should be the shining star.

I know a person who likes to write.  They’ve  self published a bunch of things (which, according to my previous post should make them a pro rather than a hobbyist) but their stories are extremely formulaic and the writing never improves.  The same grammatical mistakes are made in book after book. Typos, plots holes, formatting issues, etc.  Because they’re not learning from each experience is why I still consider them as someone who likes to write rather than being a writer. They even once told me they didn’t think grammar mattered! O.0

Life is a journey of experiences and we grow by learning from them.  Our writing should be no different. We should be learning from the journey and taking in the advice and suggestions as we go.  To know that there’s always room to improve is another quality of the professional. Keep striving to be better.

What do you think separates the writer from those who just like to write?