A peek at my WIP ‘Finding Immortal’ and my battle with ‘the pit’

For the last few days I’ve been in a funk. You know that point where you can no longer form a coherent sentence? Where any words you string together are a bit crap, or even a lot crap. And even those times where you seem to be able to kill it when writing dialogue but as soon as you need to add the action, reaction, emotion, you fall on your ass and pick yourself up only to rather unceremoniously face plant the floor? That stage of writing – that’s where I’m at. In that dark little pit trying to claw my way out. Of course, the faster I claw, the further I slip so maybe some quiet contemplation is needed. Hmm.

I keep reading and rereading my earlier chapters and thinking – hey, I wrote that, I like it – so why can’t I do it anymore? I dunno. We all get to this stage though, that’s for sure. Then, at some point, something strikes and we can do it again. I’m waiting for that moment, but in the meantime, I thought I’d share a little bit of my WIP because one of my cp’s tagged me to do so. So here’s the opening of Finding Immortal – it’s still a little rough around the edges and there’s stuff I need to add per my amazing cp’s advice.

Finding Immortal

The text notification from my cellphone cut into my thoughts with the sharpness of a razors edge. Another message from Alex. I knew without casting so much as a glance at the screen. It was always him. Lana preferred email and sent me pictures of whatever country she’d chosen to gallivant through that week. I tipped my head back, staring into the sky above the Mallory estate. Clouds, heavy with the weight of unfallen snow, hung low, threatening to explode at any moment.

Lucas shifted next to me on the cold porch steps. “Aren’t you going to read it?” His breath billowed into the air, mixing with the muted light of the frosty morning.

Shaking my head, I pulled my phone from my jeans pocket and tossed it to Lucas. “No point.” Alex’s messages only ever consisted of one letter, a simple ‘x’, and though I’d replied on several occasions, asking how and where he was, he never responded.

Lucas slipped my cell into the front pocket of his green hoodie.

I tried to take a deep breath, but the familiar stabbing at my chest prevented anything more than a small inhale. For the past three months, the simplest of things hurt, opening my eyes each morning ranking amongst the most painful. My mind began to fog, pulling me back to the night of the ferocious battle with Sol and Selena. The night the colors in my world had paled to barely recognizable blurs of insignificance. Nathaniel’s face flashed and I clawed at the memory, desperate to hold it strong and unwavering, but as always, it faded to obscurity.

I raised my head as the crunch of hurried footsteps sounded across the yard of the Mallory estate. Kyle’s black hair lay flat and damp against his forehead, his maroon t-shirt and gray sweatpants bearing the sweat patches of his run. As he drew closer, he pulled his earphones from his ears and whipped off his top, then used it to scrub the moisture from his face.

Lucas rose from the steps to greet him. “Just in time, breakfast’s ready.”

Kyle slung his t-shirt across one shoulder and used his other hand to rub his taught stomach. “Good, I’m starving.”

Lucas pushed the front door open and stepped inside.

Kyle held his hand out to me. “You coming?”

I dropped my gaze to the ground. “No, I’m not hungry.”

One, two, three. I counted the maroon stripes on Kyle’s sneakers, at the same time, wondering when he’d begun to color co-ordinate his wardrobe.

“Tough shit, babe. You’re eating.” Kyle grasped my wrist and pulled me from my perch. I landed with a thud against his solid chest.


So I’ve kinda killed two birds with one stone(<<< ooo – a cliché, I should know better). I’ve talked about my feelings without talking about my feelings and I’ve shared some words. Now I’m off to stare out of the window. Hope the rest of you are coming along well in your writing endeavors!

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Book Blitz: The King’s Sword by C.J. Brightley

Cover - The King's SwordA disillusioned soldier. A spoiled, untried prince. A coup that threatens the country they both love. When retired soldier Kemen finds the young prince Hakan fleeing an attempted assassination, he reluctantly takes the role of mentor and guardian. Keeping the prince alive is challenging enough. Making him a man is harder.

As usurper Vidar tightens his grip on power, Kemen wrestles with questions of duty and honor. What if the prince isn’t the best ruler after all?

Invasion looms, and Kemen’s decisions will shape the fate of a nation. What will he sacrifice for friendship and honor?

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You can also purchase The King’s Sword direct from the author, Barnes and Nobel, Smashwords and Kobo.

ATA

I live in Northern Virginia just outside Washington, DC, with my husband, young children, and our sheltie mix. They keep me pretty busy, but in my free time I write, read, teach karate, make jewelry, and bake. I love the smell of snow but I hate being cold. I once hugged a tiger. I love hearing from readers, so please get in touch!

You can find C.J. Brightley on her website, Google+, Facebook and Twitter.

gaWin a signed copy of The Kin’s Sword!

Enter Here.

The Vampire of Vancouver by Liz Meldon

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After reading book one in the Lovers and Liars series: The Manead of Manhattan – I was delighted to be able to read this prior to release and I can honestly say – it’s excellent, I really love it.

tvAphrodite, goddess of love and lust, is not impressed. After giving up her penthouse suite in trendy Manhattan to go monster hunting around the world, she finds herself in a sad hotel room in Vancouver with a decidedly distracted Loki. She hadn’t expected this job to be so serious, and her Norse partner isn’t exactly bowing to her whims these days. What was the point in coming with him if they weren’t beneath the sheets all hours of the day? It seems like such a waste of sexual compatibility. Humph.

Meanwhile, Loki, Norse trickster, is equally unimpressed. He hadn’t thought taking on a beautiful partner would make his work so difficult. Her unfocused energy grates on his nerves, and his lust for her is only surpassed by his desire for more godly power. He will complete this job, whether she likes it or not, and he’ll walk away one step closer to regaining his old abilities. Now, if only he can get his partner to focus on the task at hand, not seduction. Ridiculous woman.

Aphrodite and Loki, an unlikely team if there ever was one, find themselves in the City of Vancouver hunting vampires. The job is pretty straightforward: rescue the damsel, kill the monster. Unfortunately, even the easiest of jobs hardly ever go according to plan.

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If you haven’t read Book 1 The Maenad of Manhattan – you can grab that here:

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aboutLiz is a Canadian author who grew up in the Middle East. She has a degree in Bioarchaeology from Western University, and when she isn’t writing about her own snarky characters, she is ghostwriting romance novellas, loitering on social media, or taking care of animals.

As a freelance ghostwriter, she has written eleven romance novellas, eight of which have been published and are doing well. She loves writing realistic characters in fantastical settings.

Catch up with Liz Meldon on her blog, Twitter, Goodreads and Facebook

How to: Format your book for Createspace

It’s a tough world out there. There’s bills to pay, growing children to feed, clothe etc and necessities to buy. It’s really not that easy to wipe your butt with newspaper. Writing and publishing a book can be a costly venture. There are things you can’t avoid – an attractive cover, an excellent editor, and pens. Many, many pens to stow away along with a notebook so if inspiration strikes – you’re prepared. High Five.

But there are things you don’t need to spend money on and formatting is one of them. So, I made a little video to teach you exactly how to format your book for 5×8 on Createspace (I’ll bring you a 6×9 video too, if wanted). The video assumes you use word. I’m aware that many use Scrivener, so I will look into this and bring you an easy to follow video on that too. Again, I know some people like to convert to PDF’s so they can embed their font and chapter numbers. I will try to bring you a video on that too. However, I use this simple method for my own manuscripts. I don’t use fancy fonts and listed chapters/table of contents. My book is a New Adult fiction and us grown ups don’t need a table of contents.

The font you use is up to you. I use Times New Roman in 11pt. I just went with whatever for this video, though.

There are a number of things I will teach you.

  1. How to set your margin size
  2. How to set your page layout
  3. How to format your book
  4. How to have a Chapter Header ready to use, with the click of a button.

So, by the time you’ve watched this video (and I advise having a test document open already so you can follow it) – you’ll be able to do it all yourself – for free. I advise enlarging the video to full screen so you can see and just pause when needed. Here goes:

(If you don’t like Greenday, mute now)


I hope that helped!

My 2014 in review. I owe you guys a big fat thank you.

I’ve seen a few of these posts around so thought I’d add mine to the mix. My blog has only been running since June, so I’m pleased with the numbers. Actually, I’m over the moon. I think we’ve all come to realize by now that I waffle on about random nothingness most of the time. I really want to say thank you to everyone who stops by to read my spiel and THANK YOU so much for making the day that I revealed my own book cover the day that also generated the highest numbers. I am really grateful.

 

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,000 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 50 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

The Little Things We Do

I’m inspired by my cat to write this. Yes, that’s right. My cat. He has a weird habit of eating with his paws. Rather than shove his face into his food, he picks up each piece of meat with his claws and eats it that way. I have no idea why he does it and he doesn’t do it all the time, but still, I find it funny. My other cat, Connie, she chases her tail like a dog and the dog, Monty, he tries to climb onto my lap as if he’s a cat and not a 45kg giant Labrador. I think we have a bit of an identity crisis going on in my house.

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Anyway, those little things they do got me to thinking about the little things we all do. Is it just me, or do most men like to sit cupping their junk? Why is that? Hmm. I don’t know about you, but if I sat with my hand in my pants I’m pretty sure it’d make people uncomfortable. Maybe I’ll sit with my hands in my bra instead? I can hardly talk. When we’re drunk me and my friends have a tendency to flash. Not when we’re out clubbing, we’re not like that. Just when we’re having drinks round each others houses. At some point in the evening, the ‘nipple talk’ inevitably comes up where one will moan about theirs while the other says they’re fine with usually another bouncing around dancing with boob puppets (usually me).

puppets

We all have little things we say or do a lot. I scratch the side of my head when I’m stressed. I also have a very strong urge to sing ‘Silent Night’ like a choir boy every time ‘Mistletoe and Wine’ by Cliff Richard plays. And lastly, (but not really last), I feel it pertinent to let everyone know when I feel unwell. You shall all suffer with me through my gregarious whining. I may be a woman, but I get man flu worse than any man I know. True story.

Im-dying

When I’m writing characters, I like to give some of them tics. Lucas from Fractured Immortal purses his lips, raises his brow and nods. Evangeline scratches the side of her head – took my cue from Bill there. Hey, I can use that!

So what little things do you all do? Is there something you tend to do often in certain situations? I’d love to know.

New Release: A Journal of Sin by Darryl Donaghue

New release alert! And what a good one it looks to be! A Journal of Sin by Darryl Donaghue is the first in what looks to be an awesome mystery series and it’s right up my ally, so I’ll be reading it for sure.

journalA village, isolated by a severe storm, and a young officer, alone and out of her depth. A troubled priest is brutally murdered, leaving behind a journal of the resident’s confessional secrets; secrets certain people would prefer he took to the grave. As word spreads, the pressure rises as the eyes of the town watch her every move. With no forensic team, no support and a savage killer hiding in a turbulent town, is PC Sarah Gladstone up to the task?

 

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About

darrylI grew up in Wimbledon, London. Tennis country. I didn’t have the enthusiasm, or the lung capacity, for sports, preferring more introverted pursuits such as reading, writing and Super Nintendo. Had the ‘ball boy’ tryouts referred to the shape of my silhouette, I’d have been on centre court, but all the running involved only encouraged me to sit at home and watch with a bowl of seasonal strawberry ice cream.

My early reviews weren’t positive. Miss Molyneaux, my middle school English teacher, regularly awarded E’s and F’s for my creative pieces. In high school, Mr Potter continued the trend, but one day added the most encouraging thing a young writer could ever read:

“I know you copied it. I’m just not sure where from.”

This misplaced accusation of plagiarism was the greatest compliment I’d had. Someone thought my work was so good, it couldn’t possibly have come from the grey matter between my ears.

At 17, I was diagnosed with cancer. It’s something I’m happy to talk about more if you’d like, just drop me an email, but for the purpose of this section, suffice it to say, it changed my life and with the help of very supportive parents, I decided to go to university.

I left Wimbledon to study Criminology and Psychological Studies at Southampton, graduating in 2003. On the discovery of beer, women and freedom (and how the first two really eat into the third), the writing went by the wayside.

In 2005, I became a Police Officer and in 2008, a Detective. In later years, I led my own team and became a Detective Tutor.

As I’m sure you appreciate, writing with any full-time hectic job is a very difficult task and, although I wasn’t able to produce a novel, I had three short stories published during this time.

Heartbreaking as it was, in 2014, I quit policing and am now teaching in Seoul, South Korea. I was working far too many hours to be able to write productively, so had to decide between two loves. I’ve got more time to write now and am working on my first crime fiction novel, trying to understand the crazy world of social media and having a good time doing it all.

My writing philosophy is  to humbly admire and learn other people’s work and the stories they tell by living the lives they do, aspire to produce the best stories and the best characters I can and understand that I have to work harder than ever before to get to where I want to be.