Short Story: Nightshade and Pomegranate, Part Two

“Zeus,” she said, her voice small.

“Where is the Goddess of Spring?”

“In the gardens,” Calypso said. Zeus nodded to her, and she scampered off, escaping the ire or desire of the King of Olympus.

“You heard her, brother,” Zeus said, his voice dark. Without looking, his shadow peeled away from itself, and a secondary shadow walked away, silhouetted against the wall. It crept up to an open window, and slunk away outside.

“What is that horrible stench?” Demeter asked, annoyance across her face. Zeus approached her, attempting to calm the nervous mother.

Persephone sat outside in the gardens, alone, still cultivating multiple bushes. A shadow came over her, tall and dark, and she turned towards it, and had to contain her excitement. Hades stood before her, his physical form materializing out of the shadow that he had arrived in. His tall, slender frame came into reality, his pale, gray skin and gaunt face looked down at his love with adoration and affection.
To Persephone, Hades smelled like autumn leaves and his shadow was a deep shade of black she was never able to get her flowers to achieve.

To Hades, Persephone was like a cherry blossom tree in bloom: timelessly young, elegant, and floral.
Hades took Persephone into his arms, holding her against him. “I’ve come to claim you as my bride. I’ve come to bring you to the Underworld.”

Persephone looked at him, beaming with excitement. “I want to be there with you, I want to go there now.”

Hades approached the flowers and bushes that Persephone had grown, and from it he crafted a crown of Pomegranates, Roses, and Nightshade flowers, a floral crown symbolic of their love and matrimonial bond. Hades loved Persephone more than anything he had ever known, her beauty was beyond any other Goddess in existence now, or ever to exist, and he was willing to do anything to have her as his Queen. Gently, he placed the crown upon Persephone’s head.

Zeus edged towards Demeter.

“What do you want?!” She said, her voice harsh. She didn’t trust the God of Olympus, the man who would go to great lengths to disrespect his wife and sleep with anything that moved.

“What is so bad about letting your daughter make her own choice?” He asked, his voice soft.

Demeter looked at him with daggers in her eyes, she bit her lower lip in anger.
“Let my daughter, the Goddess of Spring, lock herself in the Underworld to be the Queen of the Dead?! What kind of mother would I be if I allowed her to do that?!”

At this point, all of the Gods were looking at the pair, their eyes boring holes into Demeter. Demeter’s eyes flicked around the room, she saw that Persephone was nowhere to be found.

“You all smelled him, the stench of death he brings with him!” She cried, whipping around the room, looking for her daughter. “You all know he came tonight, snuck in the manor behind my back, and yet you all laugh in my face and console me with your feigned kindness. Where is he?! Where is my daughter?!”

It was at that moment that the room fell into hushed whispers, everyone’s eyes darting back and forth.

Within a few more moments, the back doors to the garden swung open. In came Persephone and
Hades, wrapped in each other’s arms, a crown upon Persephone’s head.

“I’ve chosen my suitor, mother,” she said, happiness written across her entire being. “I wish to marry Hades!”


Blog Post #31: Where Did I Go?

Hey guys!

Life has been a whirlwind these past three weeks, and I’m sorry for not giving you all a head’s up on what I was doing.

To cut straight to the chase: I had neck surgery and I started freelance ghostwriting romances! I am no longer unemployed, I am SELF EMPLOYED!

Like I said, it’s been wild!

I am recovering well from surgery and I have three clients who I am regularly turning pages into for cash. I am finally a paid writer! All three of them are looking to be long term clients and I am so happy and grateful for them!

I started an LLC for my ghostwriting/editing business, and as soon as I have the official declaration of my business, I’ll be promoting it on this blog 🙂

You can still look forward to my short stories and blog posts (Nightshade and Pomegranate is still getting written, no worries), I’ve just been having a hell of a time juggling everything with three clients who I am trying to impress with my work and consistency!

I am very thankful for my surgery, it was to correct a genetic condition inherited from my grandmother, and it should be the answer to me becoming a mother. Once my calcium regulates naturally, I will be able to start trying again with my husband. I am thrilled and terrified. Losing our first pregnancy last year still chokes me up with tears, and I’m petrified that I’ll experience that loss again. However, I can’t let that fear swallow my life whole.

Fear is the mind killer, after all.

Short Story: Nightshade and Pomegranate, Part One

“Demeter, what if he comes for her?”

“Come? Here? He’s the God of Death, would he dare walk the halls of Olympus and cross me?”

Demeter turned to the nymph, her round face and dark eyes looked down with smoldering fury and annoyance. Her lips pulled in a tight line, curled downward at the sides. Her hand pulled to her hair, pushed a strand behind her ear. Demeter’s eyes flicked around the room, scanned the other gods in attendance, deities that she had known since their births, since the destruction of the Titans, and since Zeus had taken his throne over them all. They had all come tonight in anticipation of who her daughter, Persephone, would choose as her king.

Gathered in the room were the bachelors that Demeter had chosen: Ascelpius, Hermes. She had even invited married Olympians who despised their wives like Hephaestus, which drew the criticism and interest of the rest of the gods who now stood in the halls of the sprawling manor, filling it with the murmurs of their words.

“All of the men of Olympia are here,” a feminine voice said.

“All of the bachelors except for one,” another, masculine chided.

Aphrodite looked to Eros, a gleam in her eye. “Demeter can try what she may, but you and I can feel the tug between her daughter and the God of the Underworld. I can’t blame Demeter, her daughter, the Goddess of Spring, so overflowing with life; to watch her wither away at the side of Death himself.”
“Would she wither?” Eros asked, a finger pulled to his puckered lips in sincere thought. “Or would she become something new?”

“Persephone’s change to anything other than her mother’s babe will be like withering in Demeter’s eyes,” Aphrodite said, watching Demeter and her devoted nymph, Minthe, talk to one another in fevered, hushed pitches.

“Where is the woman of the night, anyway? Where is Persephone?”

“Probably out in the gardens. That girl is always looking for a rose bush to talk to, Calypso even said Persephone told her that she prefers to talk to flowers than the rest of Olympia. What a strange lady.”

Persephone was outside in the gardens, joined by Calypso who watched as Persephone’s hands cultivated a rosebush three times larger than a naturally occurring bush.

“Your gifts, Persephone,” Calypso said, cupping a large rose in her hand and
taking in its scent. “What a gift to Earth you are.”

Persephone smiled softly, but it soon faded from her face, She took her friend’s hand into her own. “Calypso, I don’t want to be here.”

“I know, Persephone,” Calypso said. “Have you considered talking to Zeus about taking a spot with Athena, Hestia, and Artemis as a virginal Goddess?”

“Yes,” Persephone said. “I want to take that virginal pledge as much as I want to be here, at this courtship party.”

Calypso wrapped Persephone in a hug, putting her head on her shoulder. “I know that who you love is not here but your mother, the rest of Olympia… they’ll never accept your love for one another.”
“Then I don’t want live here, in Olympia with them. I’ll live in the Underworld, with him!”
“What will happen to you there?!” Calypso said, her words fast and scared. “What what happen to the Goddess of Spring, the embodiment of burgeoning life, when she lives in the Underworld of the dead for eternity?”

Persephone turned away, pulling out of her friend’s embrace. “I would rather die in the Underworld with my love, than live here, dead already.”

“You speak with no regard,” Calypso said, rolling her eyes.

“I speak with no regard?!” Persephone asked, her eyes throwing darts at her friend.

“No, you don’t,” Calypso said. “Your mother is here to set you up with a respectable suitor and you’re moaning about it! You walk the land with mortals, you understand what their lives are like! Hard, and rough. Not like your existence, not like here.”

“Calypso, I thought you of all would understand what it was like to have love ripped from you,” Persephone said, her voice tight with sorrow.

“The fates set that dream straight,” Calypso said, her voice heavy with relived torment. The sadness she had felt releasing Odysseus, and telling him how to build a ship to sail away washed over her again. As did the pain as she watched Odysseus leave, knowing he was to return to his true love. The anguish that even the body of a Goddess was not enough to sway a mortal man from his wife had ripped anew, an old, ever existent wound.

“The fates,” Persephone said, ruminating on the thought. “Are they here? They would know the truth of what’s to happen. They can guide me tonight.”

“I didn’t see them –” Before Calypso could say anything further a large commotion echoed from inside the manor. The voices of gods and goddesses clamored among one another, creating a torrent of sound.

Calypso ran to the doorway to see what caused the excitement. Her soft steps carried her through the manor, a large crowd gathered in the center of the foyer. A hand snatched her arm, she turned her head back to find Zeus holding her. Her eyes widened, her legs shook. A smile spread across his face.

Blog Post #29: Facing Burnout while Writing Submissions and Entering Short Stories for Cash in between Writing/Editing Novels

When I began this blog my goal was always to “soft publish” my short stories here and then submit them for publication before compiling them into a short story compilation. Finding where to submit, how to submit, and when not to submit has become a whirlwind of quick learning. Keeping my muse from burning out has also become quite burdensome.

Submissions is a new realm. When I was in community college there were student journals and papers that were published where students could submit work. My best friend got a work of hers published in it while she was pursuing her AA in English. At the time I was working full time and burning myself out, causing myself to lose financial aid and nix my ability to continue college at that school. Bummer. Due to that burn out I never got the chance to attempt to write anything, let alone submit it.

Currently (but not in the future), my short story titled Dejavu is on this blog in five parts. I will be taking these down soon to polish it up and submit it for publication to Silver Blade Magazine. Fingers crossed, I will get chosen and receive a small cash prize. In the works I just plotted a new short story I will be posting, in parts, on this blog titled Nightshade’s Fate, a retelling of the story of Persephone, the Goddess of the Underworld and the night Hades takes her away. I will be submitting this to Quill & Crow Publishing for their The Damned and the Divine submission call. I’m extremely excited to write this short story.

However, I also feel the siren call of burn out on the horizon. I just finished the first draft of Silver Blood in September, then I finished Dejavu, a short story I started two years ago (and something that had been on my mind for two freaking years!). Now I’m jumping into a new short story. Short stories are, admittedly and obviously, easier than full novels. Short stories can move faster where a full book requires more pacing. Short stories are where clever prose matters most, where every word counts in a tale.

Short stories, like novels, are still work, nonetheless.

My next steps with Silver Blood are to add a B plot to thicken the word count and add more to the world. I’ve wanted to step away from the manuscript for a few weeks to a month (or two, even), so I can come back with fresh eyes and fresh ideas. The short stories I’ve been writing are entirely different than the storyline of Silver Blood, so I’m hoping not to succumb to burnout for too long.

Even if I do burn out, I’ll still be here to tell you about it. Not every part of writing is easy, and now that I’ve been pursuing writing stories as a part-time job to full-time hobby, I recognize that burnouts are cyclical, not a reflection of my inability to become a great writer who has an awesome following. My burnout does not reflect my inability to write well, or to craft stories. My burnout is just a result of pushing myself hard, and when I let my mind rest I allow myself the space to let my muse ponder and give me some ideas.

See you all next week! I will be starting Nightshade’s Fate Wednesday morning!

Blog Post #28: The Prevalence of Romance in Any Kind of Story and the Romance Story Beats

A majority of stories, even those geared towards male audiences, have “Romance B Plots” included in the stakes. Gwen Hayes’s Romancing the Beat is a great, fast read on applying a romance arc to story structure.

Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat has a story beat specifically called “the B plot” — and it is explicitly stated as the beginning of the love line (if there’s going to be one). These B characters, whether love interests, villains, or friends, are used (mostly) to either show the MC their own flaws or to reflect to the audience a theme, character flaw/virtue, or idea. If executed well, the audience will receive the message the author is conveying without feeling as if they were being “beaten like a dead horse” with the idea.

While many platonic B characters can come to mind (Samwise Gamgee/Golem, Ron Wesley/Hermione Granger/Draco Malfoy), for many people love interests will dominate the mind when thinking on these characters (Princess Buttercup, any Disney Prince, Ginny Wesley). We even may recall stories which revolve around letting go of your platonic B (often best childhood) friends for a love interest B character who’s demanding more out of the MC than anyone had prior (The Jungle Book, Superbad). Sometimes the story revolves around trying to make it work with a love interest B character, only to have them realize their platonic B friends were right all along (Saving Silverman). Either way, because of the relationship, the MC learns something about themselves. What the MC learns plays a major role in what kind of book you’ve written.

Crafting a story with a believable love plot line is one of the most difficult writing technics to achieve. If placed under a lens of scrutiny most modern day romances would be reduced to insta-love between two hot characters. To this day insta-love remains one of the biggest complaints about Twilight and its subsequent series, one of the highest grossing romance series of all time (and a potential dreaded future classic because of its impact on pop culture, which… please no). Love requires two characters do more than find each other mutually attractive, especially in an age when hooking up on social media doesn’t guarantee love in your reader’s own lives.

So, how do you craft two characters who have enough commonalities with one another to not only find each other attractive but also fall in love with them? How do you create two completely believable people and convince the audience not only that they exist, but that they they’re madly in love with one another?

Enter: Gwen Hayes’s Romancing the Beat

Now, no, this book cannot give you the inspiration with which to write the next great American romance novel (which will rightfully destroy any chance of Twilight becoming a classic novel because your novel will be so perfect, it will outshine).

What this book gives you is a plotting road map on how Romance books are structured, and what your readers are looking for as Romance genre readers. I argue it is ESSENTIAL to any writer who wants to write a romance B plot in any story, as it gives an excellent outline of the ebb and flow of a romance arc. The flow can be described as so:

1. Set Up (Meet Cute)
2. Falling in Love (realizing the B person is amazing)
3. Retreating from Love (MC lets their past trauma keep them from committing fully)
4. Fighting for Love (MC comes to terms with past trauma and strives to make the relationship work)

These beats align very easily to the plot points of a novel described in James Scott Bell’s Super Structure:

1. Set Up, Disturbance, Care Package, Trouble Brewing
2. First Doorway of No Return, Kick In the Shins, Pet the Dog ((SAVE THE CAT))
3. Mirror Moment, Second Doorway of No Return, Mounting Forces/Bad Guys Close In
4. Lights Out/Dark Night of the Soul, Q Factor, Final Battle, Transformation, Final Word/Denouement

The more writing books I read, the more I realize they are simply maps. We as writers must walk the path they can guide us through. My most current manuscript (a dark fantasy romance) was written with this book at the helm, and at the end of the draft I felt as if I had the strongest first draft I had ever written.

Still, it is not enough to sustain an entire book, I implore anyone pursuing writing to read into character arcs, story structure, dialogue, and theme utilization (as well as literary devices and techniques in general), but it is a perfect guide for anyone looking to sharpen their Romance skills.

You can find Gwen Hayes’s Romancing the Beat on Amazon today!

Short Story: Dejavu – Part Four

Everyday more people arrived to James’s door, the word of what had happened in the apartment spreading across town in the few weeks. They wanted to see him: the man who could tell when people would die. They wanted to know if he could see other things, like affairs, lies, or the future. James tried to shake them away, tried to get them to leave, but they wouldn’t go, but on one condition. They would only leave if they got to see him perform his gifts.

So, that became his daily mission. He’d pick five random people out of the crowd which filled the hallway to the brim. His neighbors always watched from their opened apartment doors.

“My daughter, what is her name?” The woman asked James, her eyes squinted in suspicion.
“Jackie,” James said after a few moments.
The woman gasped in shock, the crowd murmured that he had guessed right again. He had guessed right every time in the last two weeks.
“Did she steal from me? Did she take the wedding ring her dead daddy gave me and pawn it off for drugs?”

James’s mind opened further to a vision of a young woman, with the same flaxen hair and brown eyes as the woman sitting before him. Her slim, shaking fingers gently opened the dresser drawer in front of her in the dark bedroom. She pulled out a key. The young woman’s addled body shook so much from dope sickness she actually dropped the key in the bedroom and spent a good five minutes fumbling around, asking herself whether this was a sign from God to get her “shit together”. She found the key under the bed, buried in a dust bunny. The key to her mother’s jewelry case.

“Yes,” James said, his hands covering his eyes as a headache radiated in his brain. She was only the first person this day, would he be able to continue with his head pounding again?

Never before had he used his gifts so frequently. The woman, shaking her head in disbelief and anger, left a few loose bills on the table in front of the occult man. The rest of the crowd parted for her to exit, and waited with baited breath for him to call his next contestant.

“That’s it for today, I can’t do this any longer,” James said, unable to move his hands from his eyes. His headache had become the strongest migraine he had experienced in a long time; it brought him to his knees, sent his head to the linoleum.

Some people cried out as they left, unable to stand the sight of what they were doing to him. “We have to go, he’s not feeling well! He can’t keep doing this to himself!”

Others spit fury into the air.
“I’ve waited here for days! Missed days of work to find out when I’m going to die!”
“He’s going to fucking tell me, I’M NOT LEAVING THIS HALL UNTIL HE TELLS US!”
The crowd roared with anger, pushed themselves all at once to his doorway. They had become creatures to James, all squirming and fighting one another to enter his apartment.

Their shouts drove the nail in his head even deeper, and he began to cry, to beg them to stop and leave him alone. They heard nothing of it, the shouts of their rage against one another overshadowed his anguish, and finally James could not take it longer. He lifted himself upon his knees and screamed with all his might.

James expected the people to just gawk at him, he had no real faith that they would leave him and go off to their own lives. What James didn’t expect was for his front door to slam shut on its own, crushing against the people trying to enter his home. The darkness and silence finally set in, as James collapsed to an unconscious heap on the floor.

Blog Post #25: My Schedule Working from Home for Myself

How I utilize time blocking to get things done and keep myself from spiraling into anxious chaos. 

I need routines, now that I’ve entered my 30’s I can admit that to myself.  In my teens and 20’s my schedule was all over the place. Even after getting married and living with my very conscientious husband, who often lectured me on how I wasn’t helping myself by staying up late into the night and waking up at eleven, I couldn’t manage to get myself on a decent routine.

With the tragedy of the new year, I realized how deeply I needed a routine to pull me out of my depression, and now that I’m working on fine tuning that routine, I’m returning to the concept of time blocking.

Time blocking is something that I’ve tried to do multiple times but always failed due to burn out. When I was working fulltime, clearly my job “blocked” a huge amount of my day. Staying up late into the night was the only way I was able to get any writing done because my husband would go to bed at a decent time, unlike me. I would stay up until 1AM, 2AM, sometimes even 3AM if it was a Friday or Saturday night. No longer do I push myself into the wee hours, mostly because I realized how counter productive it was to wake up half way through the day. 

I get to bed every night at 10PM. I do not set an alarm, I let myself sleep as long as I need. Sometimes I wake up at 6:30-7:00, other times I wake up at 8:00-9:00. After waking up I try to go for a walk/jog as soon as possible, otherwise I will talk myself out of it. I’m focusing on weight loss these days, as I am a matron of honor for a wedding and I challenged myself by ordering a dress two sizes smaller than I am… The wedding is Oct 2… Five weeks from now.  So, five weeks to lose two dress sizes… what could go wrong? Heh… 

With the approaching wedding and a HUGE need to get into this dress no matter what, since last week I’ve cut out my carbs again and started walking/jogging and cycling. I was already weight training with my female friends two days a week, so adding cardio + yoga the remaining five days, and reducing my sugar/carbs should do the trick. Hopefully. Otherwise I’m going to have to resort to some insane K-POP idol crash diets in the remaining weeks.

Once I’m done with my hour long walk/jog I make my husband and I some breakfast. This is also the time I’ll have my iced coffee with a sugar-free vanilla pump and a quarter cup whole milk. Then I’ll jump on the stationary cycle down stairs for 25 minutes. After that it’s time for some yoga, about 20 minutes. Then it’s time for a shower. 

After I’m showered I get ready for the day: do something with my hair and face; at least apply sunscreen. Do a little eye make up, throw on a sun dress for the summer (and because my man likes to see me in dresses throughout his work-from-home day). Then it’s time to write, baby. Weirdly enough, being all spiffed up makes me more excited to write romances, as if feeling sexy translates to my writing. Go figure. 

My writing time block is roughly 6-8 hours a day, and will consist of a few sprint sessions (30-45 minutes at a time) followed up by whatever else I need to work on that day, whether its blog posts, brainstorming story plotlines, or working on future projects. I break this time up by taking breaks to clean the house and cook. An example of this would be doing a load of dishes in between writing sprints, something I’m literally gonna go do once I’m done with this blog post. 

My goal everyday is to have the following completed before my husband is off work: 

1) house cleaned
2) dinner cooked
3) writing/project tasks for the day and next day’s tasks planned
4) workout
5) showered/looking beautiful/smelling good

Then we spend quality time together until we go to bed at 10PM to do it all over again. The weekends get crazy because social obligations arise, but my goals for the weekends are to maintain the house enough that I can wake up on Monday morning and not have a stack of dirty dishes, a disgusting bathroom, and four loads of laundry looking at me in the face before I’ve even had coffee. 

Besides, I have to get my cardio in. 

Thank you for reading! See you all Monday!

image credit: getty images, pulled from “How to make running a habit for longer than the lockdown” by Andrea Gaini for Runner’s World 

Short Story: Dejavu – Part Three

Hello! I hope you are enjoying this short story, and if you are please leave a like! I will be publishing more periodic short stories once this one is completed, eventually turning them into compilations.

The knocking on James Sanderson’s door was heavy and quick, and made him dart out of his bed to grab a baseball bat before approaching the door. He looked out of the peephole. A man he had never seen before was shaking and stammering on the other side of the door, choking back tears and sobs. A folder of papers was grasped tightly in his left hand.

“Come out here now! I need to talk to you about her! Answer this door right now!”

“Who are you?!” James yelled, holding the bat intensely as he peered through the small window.

“My name is Brian!” The man howled. “My wife… Bethany Myers. She’s dead!”

Brian heard the small clicks and grinds of multiple locks being undone, and finally he saw the man whom his wife had told him about. He saw James’s half face leer through the door gap, a security chain keeping the door from opening further. The dark apartment behind James seemed to engulf the man; the windows were all taped over with papers, no light was permitted to enter the man’s home.

“I’m sorry,” James said.

“You knew! We were crossing the street after the show we had tickets for, she looked down at something shining on the ground. A car ran a red light, sent her body flying.” Brian convulsed into sobs again, losing his composure as he relived the moment in his mind.

James felt that memory ripple through the man, felt the heavy sorrow of grief wash over him. James shook his head violently, covering his eyes with his hands. The bat fell, smacking against the hard linoleum flooring. “I only see it, I can’t do anything!”

Brian’s face twisted in anguish and pain. “She’s gone! She’s gone and you saw it! How?! HOW?!” The incomprehensible truth, he cried in the apartment hallway with no shame, his anguished howls echoed through the hall.

The sounds of doors opening, neighbors peeping. James’s anxiety flooded into a panic.

“You knew she was going to die! You saw it! YOU SAW IT!” Brian was a sobbing heap on the floor, his hands crumpling the notes written just the day before.

“I’m sorry, sir, goodbye!” James’s voice was soft and stunned. He looked above the man to see his neighbors gathering around, looking in at him. James slammed the door shut, his heart racing. He heard the man sob at his door for another fifteen minutes before he finally left, his footsteps heavy. James’s thin frame fell back on to his bed, his eyes filled with tears.

Another fortune told with no way of changing the future.

Blog Post #23: My Daily Schedule as Someone Who Rarely Leaves the House

Juggling work, housework, and leisure is essential to all workers, but especially those working from home or managing a business launch.

I rarely leave the house, it is the reality of my life now that I don’t have a job to go to everyday.

My days as a housewife consist of three main duties: cooking, cleaning, and writing. Once I have a baby life will be thrown into the utter chaos of love, baby feet, and poop, but for now it’s simpler. My husband and I have always had the goal of me being a stay at home wife and once Covid hit I’ll be honest, I wasn’t exactly hitting the pavement trying to get a job in the middle of a pandemic. My husband, through his hard work and conscientiousness received a very big promotion, and he began working overtime weekly as an IT manager, requiring me to manage the house.

This means that all meals and cleaning falls on me, something that I enjoy. I had many jobs as a housekeeper at hotels in my young adult years, and thus I know how to clean a house rather quickly. It’s just getting the motivation to do it, heh. In turn, I try to plan the meals out for the day, as my husband and I are working on getting in better shape before we try for a baby again. Once I have my surgery, I’ll have to wait a month or two for my hormones to stabilize and then I’ll be able to get pregnant and carry a full term baby.

My medical conditions, as well as various other experiences that happened during the year has depleted our emergency savings, and now we’re working to stash it back again. That’s achievable by me cooking basically everything.

My mornings start with coffee and fasting. I fast a lot. Generally, I fast between 16-20 hours a day, only drinking coffee, tea, and water in that time. I avoid carbonated drinks, but I have a soft spot for Truly’s on the weekends. Generally, I’ll bring my husband breakfast between ten and eleven, lunch around two to three, and dinner at six to seven. Then I do the dishes and shower for the night. Twice a week my friends come over to workout the makeshift gym in my basement. We’ll be going on a bachelorette weekend getaway in a month and we plan to look as good as possible!

As for writing, from approximately 9AM to 5PM I’m at the computer trying to write. According to my writing tracker spreadsheet (which I will be uploading for download here at some point) I have averaged 2500 words a day during this manuscript. My highest day was 5600. I hope to hit 10K at some point, but I doubt that will be consistent on a daily basis. Maybe one day. Hopefully. In the early morning I’ll check my social medial pages (as of today I only have a twitter) and post some positive and feel-good content. My goal is to never talk about politics or anything negative; I imagine people are readying dark fantasy romance to ESCAPE reality and to ESCAPE the negativity of the world.

My average writing sprints are 25-55 minutes but I don’t keep a timer, I just try to get myself into flow and don’t stop until I am done with the scene or I get stumped at what should happen. I have a few tricks in my back pocket now if I get stumped, including backing up the previous interaction and sending it into a different, more interesting direction.

I hope in the following weeks to get more a stable schedule with everything in my life. At the very least, I have begun to write and schedule my blog posts, so that I do not just blip off the map for a two year stint again.

Also, I finished my first draft (YAY!) at 45K words. I am working on brainstorming scenes to bring that up to 65K. Then it’s editing and completed! I will keep you all posted on my plotting and editing systems.

See you all Monday!

picture credit: “person holding yellow plastic spray bottle photo” by JESHOOTS, published on

Short Story: Dejavu – Part Two

Come back every Wednesday, I have these scheduled for upload now!

“Really?” A man said, suddenly doubled over in laughter, his hand keeping him steady against the marble topped island counter in the kitchen.

His wife, removing her cat-eye spectacles to rub her eyes with the palms of her hands in frustration, let out a heavy sigh and a light chuckle herself. “I’m overthinking it, right?” she asked.

He stood up, putting a hand on her shoulder. “Beth, honestly, you’re taking it too seriously. You basically got your hand read by a crackpot fortune teller. You put stock in your daily horoscope, too?”

Bethany left out a small laugh. “I know, Brian. Just being told that, and the look on his face, the look in his eye, you should’ve seen it. You should’ve seen how he ran out of the office, and I… I was almost in shock from the experience; I didn’t even try to stop him.”

Brian took her into his arms, pulling her into his body. “Make sure to have your admin reach out to him for an appointment. The poor guy needs help, even if he did creep you out.”

Bethany tilted her head against his chest, taking in the scent of his cologne. Her eyes watched the birds outside eating at a hanging feeder in the kitchen window. “Yeah, I will, it’s still pretty wild, though, getting told you’re going to die soon. Hit by a car while looking at a key on the ground, like, where would that even happen?” Beth felt a rush of reassurance over her, her tightened shoulders slung easy to her sides, and she exhaled, letting go of the stress.

“Listen, don’t think about it, how many other times have people said insane things?” He leaned down and kissed her cheek. “Let’s head out, wouldn’t want our seats to be given up.”