What to do…

It’s a big day in the Wicker household. Actually…it’s very quiet, but there’s a good reason for that. Today my husband went back to work for the first time in about two and a half years. He’s not been very well you see, so this is a triumph for him.

Usually at this time of day Bargain Hunt or such like is on the TV. This is after being subjected to the Jeremy Kyle show, which I cannot stand, but Ricky loves. Right now everything is quiet – you could hear a pin drop in here. The only sound is my fingers as I tap tap on the keyboard and the occasional snort from the dog as he chases dream bunnies.

It’s weird, to the say the least. So as I sit here, tapping away, I’m pondering. Dangerous, I know. What ever am I going to do with myself? Should I try to find a job that I can do during school hours. Employment is pretty hard to find, especially if you can only work school hours during term time. I could redecorate the house (I think I just heard my husband groan all the way from London).

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I have some tins of paint in the utility room and I never did finish that restoration project I started on the porch….or on the stairs. Yep, I think I’ll finish those. They need doing, but I was going to do them anyway, so that still doesn’t solve my problem.

There’s always the pets to play with.

cat

dog

Or I could take up Parkour, I kind of need to if I want to be a good vigilante 😀

parkourNo, okay that probably wouldn’t end well.

I’ve always wanted to learn how to ride a motorbike.

motorcycle

Or, I could learn cross stitch – I used to do that, wasn’t very good.

catsew

I could maybe get a treadmill.

treadmill

Or, join the gym…

weights

I suppose I could work on a new talent.

eat

Or try some cool moves.

slide

Most of those look dangerous. Maybe I should just write. I’ve been having problems on the writing front lately, they’re pretty much solved now, but I did fall waaaay behind. So while I puzzle it out, I’ll write. Sounds pretty darn good to me!!!

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The Life Stages of a Pantsers Manuscript

A friend of mine is faced with having to write her first full-length novel for a few years. It’s not going to be a problem for her – well, she thinks it will be, but her words are so epic that I know it’ll be fantastic once it’s done, even if she hits some rocks along the road. But it got me to thinking about the life stages of our books. I know we are all different, but for your amusement, here’s mine.

0 Words – Stark Beginnings

In the beginning – there was… actually, I don’t know what there was. The beginning of a book is not when you or I put pen to paper, it’s when that first little seed enters the brain. Who knows how it begins? I couldn’t tell you. I do know, that for me, it began with an image while listening to a song, but something must’ve triggered it before that? Maybe…

noidea

 

500 Words…of notes

So now I have the main characters name and a little background. But not much more. But I do know her hair color. Hell yeah!

2000 Words…still notes

Whoop whoop! – I now have names of LIs, Protagonist, and friends and a tiny bit of their background.

whoop-whoop-o
—— Words…I’ve lost count

My notepad doesn’t have a word counter, but it’s full up and I have everyone. Still…I have no plot.

200 Words…of my manuscript

So it begins. Kind of. Or is this complete crap. Should I delete it and start again? What’s going on. Anyone know?

hmm

 

1000 Words in.

I have main character, I have setting, I have action. I have…crap – which character should I introduce next. I should really know this by now.

0 Words in.

That was rubbish. Start again.

2500 words in.

I did it!!! I wrote a chapter. OMG – It’s fabulous. I can totally do this.

ican

10000 words in.

Still rocking it!

rockingit

12000 Words in.

That’s just….that’s just awful. I don’t even know what that is.

what

15000 words in.

I Wonder what everyone’s up to on Twitter.

think

25000 Words in.

And….I’m baaaack. I am the QUEEN of this place. Ooo, yeah. Look what I just wrote. How freakin awesome is that. Honestly…my own genius scares me.

queen

 

 

30000 Words in.

I am a total failure.

paper

 

40000 Words in.

Beginning – check. Middle – check. Ugh – what’s that chapter all about. CUT.

50000 Words in.

There’s a pigeon in that tree. And a squirrel in that one. Ooo – a dragonfly. *Runs off to have a look.

dfly

50005 Words in.

That dragonfly sure was pretty. I wonder what other colors they come in. Google has the answers….

60000 Words in.

I actually just don’t care anymore.

65000 Words in.

Oh yes, now I’m rocking it like the God that I am.

freddie

65002 Words in.

Wait…what? That’s crap!!! *Jams finger on delete key.

what1

30000 Words in.

I can’t believe I just deleted 35k words. *Sobs while jamming cake into mouth.

cry

30000 Words in and several weeks later.

*Peeks out from under pillow fort. Area seems safe. Snatches notepad from beneath junk food rubbish while swigging cola.

30000 Words in.

I guess I turned into a plotter somewhere along the way….

40000 Words in.

Yes. This is much better.

50000 Words in.

Is it really better? Is this too much? Are there too many twists? Consults critique partner.

scratch

60000 Words in.

OMG – I did NOT see that coming. Thank you character who shall not be named for guiding me toward the light.

70000 Words in.

*Stares at screen. Sniffles. Is it really over?

75000 Words in.

Of course not. Layer – you idiot.

80000 Words in. Several months later.

Draft one million and sixty finished.

77000 Words in and several weeks later.

CP’s have ripped it to pieces and I’ve put it back together again. Off to the editor it goes.

OMG – I’m finished. Now I can do all those things I wanted to when I was writing.

happy

A half hour later.

*Fires up laptop… Chapter One….

typing

And there you have it. My writing process. I would love to know yours!

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

New Release: The Dracula Deception by Jake Devlin

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I was really lucky to read this book prior to release and I have to say, it’s genius! Like all of Devlin’s books, the humor will have your belly shaking with laughter.

draculaThe setting: The Transylvania Institute for the Terminally Insane (TITI; pronounced “Tie-Tie”), where patients are not treated to be cured, but are allowed to live out their delusions in relative comfort in a supportive environment.

The plot: A down-on-his-luck actor’s audition for a role to support one particularly peculiar patient plunges him pathologically into a nightmarish maelstrom of madness and mayhem.

The characters: A manic mix of patients and staff catapults the roller-coaster plot to its shocking, heart-stopping finale.

Adapted and updated from the hit 1974 stage comedy of the same title. (The print version includes photos from one of the original productions.)

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Free on Kindle Today: A Journal of Sin by Darryl Donaghue

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A Journal of Sin, by Darryl Donaghue, is free today on Kindle! This is a fantastic crime/thriller/mystery and deserves a place on any fan of the genre’s shelf. Whip it up now, while it’s free – you only have the weekend!

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?

Grab it Now!

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My First Short Story

I finally wrote a short story. I’m actually really happy that I did it as I thought it an impossible task. But here it is and I would love to know what you think, please!

Stepping Out

Lost.

The stupid word ran through my head again, playing over and over. I flicked my gaze to the window, tipping my head to the side as I observed my outer sanctum. Yellow petals danced in the breeze, waving to the stray dandelion heads as they floated by. The glare of the bright sun bounced off the lush grass; still healthy despite the sweltering heat. Several gardening tools lay dotted across the trail of stones leading to the forest that hugged the edge of my backyard. The branches from the huge pines shuddered.

Rising up from my chair, I slipped out the side door to answer the forest’s beckon, my brown hair swaying around my hips.

My bare feet padded over warm soil as I brushed past the row of perennials. The scent of pine, earth and lavender played a delicate tune in my nostrils. When I reached the end of my yard, I flipped the catch on the rusting Iron Gate. From the moment I stepped into the forest, a blanket of serenity shrouded me. Lost. Like hell. Still, the psychologist’s words played again through my mind.

“Evelyn, I believe it is now fully apparent that you have become disconnected from humanity. You continuously refuse to see the good in people, disillusioned by your broken heart.”

Pff, yeah right. My heart had long healed, bringing with it an iron cast shield. Yet every time I retreated to the shelter of the forest, another small chink appeared in my armor. With slow assured steps, I travelled the path now worn from my bare feet beating into it. My white sundress kissed across my knees as my heart pulled me toward my destination.

“Evelyn.” The psychologist’s words reared their head in my mind again. “You have cut yourself off from any form of human contact, content to wallow in the misery that, quite frankly, you are bringing upon yourself.”

My skin prickled with irritation. My ex-husband had forced the solitude upon me, taking custody of our friends as if they were our children. Have at it. Not one had believed me when I told them the truth; he had been the serial cheat in our relationship, not me. I had passed the sorrow stage of losing those friends within days of our separation. Friendships’ I had thought were forged with infallible strength, cracked, then shattered under the weight of truth. With a blessed clarity, I pulled away from those people.

The bubbling of the small stream pulled me back to the present. Taking a deep breath of the summer air, I allowed the wash of earth, wood, and pine to cleanse its way through my system. Closing my eyes, I pulled my bottom lip between my teeth. The corners of my mouth tugged, insisting on breaking out into a smile. I tipped my head back, savoring the tranquility of nature. Nature couldn’t hurt me – it wouldn’t. We were one. We were the same. Just leave us be. We could look after ourselves without interference.

Padding forward, I made my way to the gentle river. Water skirted the small rocks jutting up from the riverbed, barely breaking the surface. Kneeling down, I rested on my side and settled into the soft moss underneath. I pushed my hand into the water, savoring the cool swirl around my fingers. Cicada’s sung songs of love, calling to the other half of their souls. Birds chirped a melodious tune from the green canopy overhead. Branches reached out, extending to the touch of their neighbors. I lifted my head in the direction of a rustling across the stream. Two squirrels pattered through fern, dancing to the tune of an emotion as old as time itself. Emotion. The stupid psychologist’s words sliced into my peaceful resolve.

“You show little to no emotion, Evelyn. Your ability to trust has dipped so low that if you continue on this path, you will inevitably end up alone.”

You are never alone. The trees whispered words of comfort and belonging, draping me in their protective caress. I stretched out my toes, waiting for the signal to move. On cue, the strike of metal against wood permeated the air, sending my heart into a wild flutter. Scraping my tanned legs across the soft earth, I rose from my resting place. The breeze pushed against the small of my back, urging me forward. Sinking my foot into the river, I sighed as the water rolled across my ankles. I waded through the crystal clear liquid until my toes touched against the soft moss on the other side.

The breeze eased me forward again, ushering me toward the sound. With each step, it grew louder, until only a small gathering of tall fern blocked me from the heavenly being on the other side. As I moved to part the fronds, the wind rustled them and they kissed the back of my hands. I widened the curtain, exposing the view I’d been searching for.

On the other side of the treeline, long arms glistened as they lifted and fell with each strike of the axe. His muscles strained with each movement, biceps bunching then releasing against the crack of wood.

Tossing the axe to the floor, he swiped his hand across his forehead. His short, tousled black hair shone in the sunlight. A bead of sweat trickled from his temple, over the high curve of his cheekbone and past his broad nose before settling at the edge of his strong, square jaw.

Dipping his head, he blew out a breath before bending down to reclaim his axe. As he curled back up, the smooth curve of his abs rippled. A sheen of moisture covered his body, clinging to his tanned skin. Unable to help myself, my gaze travelled to his well-defined pectorals as they rose with each breath he took. I licked my lips, but my tongue left only the faintest trail as my mouth dried from watching the beautiful creature before me.

The breeze that had so faithfully guided me to him turned into a single gust, flattening the wall between me and him. He glanced up and his deep blue eyes found mine. His lips curled up, accentuating long dimples in his cheeks. My heart stuttered, then raced as he took a step toward me.

“For as long as you continue to hide from others, Evelyn, you will be unable to find the happiness I know you crave.”

Right, Mr Psychologist. You’re right.

The breeze nudged me again and I succumbed to it, stepping out into the unknown.

How to: Format your book for Kindle

This week, I’m adding How To videos to my blog. Writing a book is a huge job, formatting it for kindle can be a real pain in the butt if you don’t know what you’re doing. Also, it’s my aim to save you guys money. There’s no need to pay to have your book formatted if you learn these simple steps. I use Microsoft Word, therefore this video teaches you how to format using MS Word.

Also, at the end of this post, I’ve added a picture of a page that I sent to my Kindle app on my phone that displays the formatting used here.

By the time you’ve watched this video, you’ll know how to do two things.

  1. Format your book for Kindle
  2. Create a Chapter Heading that will be ready to use in the click of a button.

I advise you to full screen the video so you can see it clearly, then just pause when needed.

(If you don’t like Brandon Flowers, mute now)

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