Archive | November 2009

10 Things I Hate…er…Am Thankful For This Thanksgiving

Well, well, the year is moving fast, isn’t it? I can’t believe how much time has passed and all I’ve been through this year, so I thought I’d write a little post about all the things I’m thankful for, since it’s Thanksgiving and all.

I am thankful for:

1. New friends I’ve met who have become a part of my extended family over these last nine months.
2. Wonderful friends who have helped me through this mess of a year in many different ways.
3. Wine. ‘Nuff said.
4. My brother and sister-in-law who moved down from Colorado. Without them, Umi and I would probably be starving. LOL
5. Not getting mugged while in south Phoenix Friday night awaiting the new tire for Umi’s car that ended up getting towed anyway.
6. More wine.
7. CJ’s query workshop, which I will be taking on Dec. 1st. I can’t wait!
8. New ideas sparking to life in my mind, regardless of their execution.
9. Umi‘s health. It’s been good so far.
10. My babies:

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Back Up Your Data

Far too many times have I witnessed a writer lose everything they’ve worked on over months of blood, sweat, and tears. It happened a couple of years ago on Writer’s Cafe with the Great Delete. Several writers hadn’t backed up their poems and stories, not even in a Word doc on their computers. That just boggles the mind. The site crashed (we still aren’t certain what exactly happened) and everyone’s writing disappeared overnight. During the time of that Great Delete, I worked at the junior high school and ran the Writer’s Club. Most of my kids lost everything. Now, I learned my lesson years ago when a floppy disk I had decided it wanted to reformat (yes, this was before flash drives/jump drives came along), but luckily my husband at the time was a computer geek and was able to save my file. That file was my first novel, which will never see daylight and probably would have been better off getting deleted, but that’s not the point. I have since backed up everything to two or three separate places.

The beauty of the internet is that there are several places online that offer free storage. Some internet providers even offer storage for your data. I know mine does, but I don’t use it. The link below is a referral to the place I use, Mozy. Sharon Gerlach, my partner in crime and Forever Nocturne, referred me. By doing so, it gave her extra space. There is no catch. You just sign up. They have a special offer running right now. If you choose to take a look at it, go to the right of the page and look for the free storage offer under “Home Users.”  It’ll be worth it.

https://mozy.com/?code=HB3AU2

Good luck and keep those files backed up daily, especially if you’re writing every day.

My Mini-Vacation…Sort Of

Before the clusterfuck of yesterday, I’d spent the week in Tucson visiting HC Zuerner. It was meant to be a write-in for NaNoWriMo, but we didn’t get much writing done due to the awesomeness of Dragon Age: Origins. But, before I get into that, I will say that I discovered my MS needed to tell its story in first person rather than third person and I did get that edit finished. It just seems to add the “voice” I’ve been searching for in this thing, which has eluded me for the past two weeks. Now, with one week left of NaNoWriMo, I have yet to break 10K and I can’t seem to move forward in the story, although I have figured a few things out along the way, which is cool all in itself. I don’t care so much about the word count at this point. The story is unfolding in my mind and the characters are revealing themselves. I will admit, however, that this has been the hardest time I’ve ever had with writing a novel. They’re usually not quite so stubborn in revealing the story to me. I see it in my mind, I write it down, and it flows out beautifully. But no, this one is being a pain in the ass.

I haven’t written much since I finished Nemesis in January, and if I didn’t know better, I’d think Big Daddy was my muse, but I don’t believe in muses and I wrote two books before ever meeting him. The issue really, is stress. That’s a guess. When I’m stressed out about real life, and I mean REALLY stressed out, I have trouble writing, which is odd considering where Nemesis came from. It foretold the demise of my relationship. The ideas for shorts and novels come in a steady stream, but I fail at the execution, or really, finishing the project. I’m hoping once everything has settled, and I’m in a new house and have money coming in again, that I’ll be able to concentrate on finishing all the things I’ve started this year. I mean, really, I wrote Nemesis in two and a half months, and last year I wrote a 70+K novel in three days. I can do this.

Things will get better… My grandmother used to say that all the time. Life is definitely a roller coaster ride and I’ve had my share of ups and downs, and seeing where I’m at right now, I know that the ups are coming again soon.

Back to this past week…

I had a great time hanging out with Heather. We laughed and played Dragon Age: Origins and drank A LOT of wine. She wrote a bit; I edited and tried to write but I was so immersed in the game she was playing that it completely distracted me. I wish sometimes I could just turn the ADD off. Shiny things, people. WTF was that? Holy crap, ZOMBIES! Let’s not forget the full-on screaming-at-the-television-and-jumping-in-our-chairs-watching-football-like reaction to her character killing an ogre in THE best kill move I’ve ever seen. I have now added an Xbox360 and that game to my wishlist. I don’t game very often, but when I do it’s an hours-long stretch of straight gaming. Usually I just go, go, go until I get pissed off at the game, but that surprisingly didn’t happen with this game. I’m even more impressed by it because of that. If you haven’t played it yet, you should.

My second night there, she made a beef stew. This, of course, followed the Peas and Eggs stew Sunday dinner at the Wookies’ house. My friends live to torture me, I swear. (kidding) I hate cooked peas and carrots.

My last night there, she took me to a Jordanian restaurant. Great place! Best hummus I’ve ever had. I ended up staying an extra night, but when Friday morning came, I reluctantly drove home…and right back into the clusterfuck that is my life as seen two posts back. *sigh*

Things will get better.

Yes, grandma, I know they will.

My Nano Project – October Sun

Chapter 1
Flames licked at the sides of the metal drum, stretching, reaching up into the night sky while hands gathered around to stay warm, forming a tight circle in the small pocket of the oversized backyard. I hit the person in front of me on the shoulder with a stick so he would move out of the way and allow the heat to reach me. He muttered something about my birth being the product of a Westminster dog show winner, but I ignored his stupidity of attempting to call me a bitch with added twang for effect as I reached into the bag sitting next to me on the old wooden picnic table. My fingers grazed fluffy white goodness as Scooter Boy approached.
“You okay, Raz?” he asked, his green eyes reflecting the flames, which accentuated his red hair. Not Weasley red hair, but bright freaking fire engine glory red. And the mess hung in his face, covering up one of those striking eyes.
I nodded. “Yeah, I’m cool.” I was so not cool. The hair on my arms stood on end, pins pricking every nerve in my body. Something bad was going to happen tonight. For weeks now, I’d been feeling it steadily strengthen—the faint noises in the background that no one else could seem to hear, the shadows slinking along that moved without the aid of the light source adjusting, that feeling of someone always watching. Just. Like. Right. Now.
I shoved a marshmallow onto the end of the stick in my hand and held it over the fire. Sometimes, I really hated being a sensitive, otherwise known as clairvoyant. Not much to do about it other than let it happen, though.
“You don’t look fine,” Scooter Boy, aka Christian, said. He hopped up onto the picnic table and sat next to me. “You getting those weird feelings again?”
I shrugged and turned the marshmallow over with care.
“Are they like the ones at the graveyard?” He’s talking about the night our friend Luann became possessed after taking a small vase from a grave. Yeah, that was fun. I felt it coming right before it happened. Christian has always been totally intrigued by my ability to sense things the others couldn’t. Even the three self-proclaimed witches in the group couldn’t “feel” the things I felt. It made me think they were just all talk, witchy wannabes, which was so the norm these days. Everybody wants to be a witch. I refused to go by that term. I wasn’t one. I was a sensitive. Huge difference. Of course, no one quite got that.
“I don’t know,” I replied, and then shook my head. “No, they’re different this time.”
“Different how?” Christian asked.
“Just different, like more … evil or something,” I replied. My marshmallow caught on fire and I pulled it out of the flames. As I went to blow it out, fear snaked through my veins and I looked at Christian. “Who’s playing with a Ouija board?”
Christian looked from me to the house and back. “Oh, I think Carrie Anne and Samantha are. Why?”
A scream filtered out from the house that had me going rigid as the fear spiked up my spine. “Shit.” I hopped off the picnic table, discarded the stick with the flaming marshmallow into the pit, and ran for the house with Christian right behind me. The door slammed open, hitting the wall, and my eyes went wide at the display in the living room past the kitchen.
The two girls huddled against one another, both of them staring at the corner of the ceiling. My eyes followed theirs … and there he was in all his bright greenish hue, scowling at them … until he saw me. That’s when he hissed.  One would think this would frighten a person, but I’ve seen too much of it in my seventeen years to let it bother me. I marched over to the girls, sat in front of the Ouija board, looked up at him and grinned.
“You know you’re not allowed to come out,” I said. Of course, the room just had to be a perfect square. Idiots. Spirits and other things liked the uniformity of a square room. It’s the corners. Perfect hiding spots for them, really. Just like where this one had placed himself. I was a bit shocked that he’d chosen to show himself so plainly, though. Like, everyone could see him.
He flew down from the corner of the ceiling in a blur of speed until he stood before me. His height wasn’t much taller than me sitting down, so I could nearly look him in the eye. A scraggly beard covered his chin, bushy eyebrows sat over deep-set eyes that held malfeasance in them like none other I’d ever seen.
“I come because I have a message,” he said in a gruff gravelly voice.
“For whom?” I  asked. Like I really cared. They all had a message of some sort. Always.
His lips parted in a grin, showing teeth that I’d swear would be yellow had it not been for his green tint. “You, Raziela.”
I sneered at him. “You have no right to call me that.” My fingers carefully moved toward the board in front of me. “Who are you, anyway?”
He laughed. “I am Tiq,” he said.
“Teak? Isn’t that wood?” I asked with the grin spreading across my light pink lips.
He leaned forward, growling, taking notice of my hands. “You cannot rid of me. The two who started the game must end it.”
I smiled again. “Not necessarily.”
Tiq leaned back once more. “Ah, so I see why they sent me to you.” He crossed his arms over his chest and beamed at me. “You hold power.”
My fingers moved across the board. “Time to say goodbye, Tiq.”
“You do not wish to hear the message?” he asked, a green eyebrow arching.
“You heard her, time for you to go bye-bye,” Christian said from behind me.
Tiq glared over the top of my head. “Be quiet, human.”
“You don’t talk to him,” I snapped and moved the piece across the board. “Goodbye, Tiq.”
A low growl crept from Tiq’s throat and reverberated through the air into the gasping gathering crowd behind me. Oh, wasn’t that lovely, I had an audience. Tiq reached forward, leaning over the Ouija board, grasping for my shoulders. “He’s coming,” he hissed. The moment his hands made contact with me, a bright light flared through the room, creating more screams from within the crowd before the Ouija board sucked his little green body back into it. The plastic triangle piece flew from my fingers and the board folded in upon itself as I fell back, hitting Christian’s legs.
“Whoa! That was wicked, Raz! Your own little dude came out of you and they clashed.” He leaned over, looking at me upside down. “You okay?”
I looked from his dangling mop of red hair to his bright green eyes and smiled. “Yeah, I’m fine, I think. That was my spirit guide, by the way.”
Christian hooked his hands under my arms and pulled me to my feet. “You think? Well, how about we get you a beer? That might help you out because you’re looking a bit fried from that shit.”
I laughed it off, but inside I questioned Tiq’s appearance and statements. It wasn’t like I’d never heard those two words before—he’s coming. I just didn’t know who the “he” was, nor did I care. “Yeah, a beer sounds good.” I’d have one or two, but that was all. I didn’t like losing control of my body and mind, especially with my gift. That would just invite the demons in to play, and I’d been fending those guys off ever since I discovered my curse.
Christian walked me into the kitchen while people filtered back out to the yard or sat at the kitchen table. What they saw, they were used to by now, ever since I came on the scene two years ago. I’d moved down from Colorado, and in that two years, a serious transformation had taken place with my appearance. I dyed my long strawberry-blonde hair pitch black a year ago and hadn’t stopped yet. It contrasted nicely with my light blue eyes and pale skin, according to Scooter Boy. He was the prime influence and my mother absolutely adored him even with his bright red hair. She did tend to complain about his clothes, though. He liked wearing skinny jeans and every time he walked into the house with them on, my mother’s face would crinkle at the sight. It usually made me giggle. I thought he looked cute in them, but I’d never tell him that. He’d hate it.
A beer cracked open in front of me and I pulled my trance-ridden eyes from the netherworld to Christian’s face as he handed it to me. “Thanks.” He smiled and cracked one open for himself.
“Let’s go back outside, near the fire,” he said. “It’s kind of romantic.”
I let out a short laugh. “You’re a dork.”
“But a loveable dork,” he replied, beaming at me. He hooked his arm around mine and pulled me toward the back door. “Maybe it’s safer out there anyway, don’tcha think?”
“Doubtful,” I said as he led me outside. The hair on the back of my neck had yet to settle down and the pinpricks were still in full force all over my body. We made it about three steps out the door before I froze, Christian halting right along with me.  “Oh fuck.”
“No shit,” he said.
The flames from the bonfire had grown in size, much larger than they ever had, changing in color as they sought entrance into the heavens, and people scattered back away from the varying flames of red, orange, yellow, blue, was that purple?
“That little green dude isn’t gone yet, is he?” Christian asked and gulped down his beer.
“Not unless he brought friends with him,” I replied. Shadows moved along the side fence between yards, but as far as I could tell, I was the only one seeing them. On impulse, I imagined a bubble around Christian and me for protection. It likened a ball of purple energy, one we couldn’t see like those kids in the Harry Potter movies because real magic just wasn’t visible, but it was there nonetheless because the shadows stopped moving and faced me, seeming to sense the power flare. I leaned closer to Christian. “Tell me you can see the shadows.”
He nodded slowly. “I can. Why’d they stop moving?”
“Me.”
I felt his hand grip mine. “Oh.”
“Yeah.”
“Shit.”
People ran around us to get into the house and I turned to Christian. “Okay, get the hose, I’ll turn it on. We need to put the fire out.”
His eyes met mine and he smiled. “I’m so glad you’re not one of those girly chicks.” Did his eye just sparkle? Must be the flames.
For a split second, the smile showed itself on my lips before I thwapped him upside the head. “Christian, hose, now.”
“Yes ma’am,” he said and we ran for the hose and spigot. Christian fumbled trying to find the end and as soon as he picked it up, water shot out, soaking his face and hair. His gaze met mine and he growled. “Thanks.”
“No problem,” I replied while I brought a hand up to my mouth to hide the laugh and smile. I was going to help him, but I wasn’t about to go near him now because he’d definitely return the favor.
Christian attempted to douse the flames while I watched the shadows carefully, only the flames weren’t going out. They kept growing. Sudden fear captured me and I stumbled forward, hand reaching out as though I could reach that distance and save him as the flames grew in intensity. He was halfway across the yard.
“Christian!” I screamed, but it was too late. The shadows disappeared, leaving me kneeling on the ground and sobbing as my best friend disappeared into nothingness.

God Truly Hates Me

This is the message I just sent to my cousin and uncle on Facebook:

Okay, so I got home from Tucson around 1:30-ish today and just after 2pm, Brian calls mom’s phone, leaving her a message that he had a blowout in her car on the freeway, changed the tire to the spare, which also blew out, and walked to 16th St and University. I chewed him out for the message he left her when I finally got him on the phone because he had her all kinds of freaked out. He left the car on the freeway. Sylvia went to pick him up. He has the only set of keys. Great. I can’t do anything until I have the keys. There’s $46 in the checking acct and I have $50 in my Paypal. Can’t even afford the tow truck. I called Big Daddy and as soon as Sylvia got home with mom’s car keys, I went to pick up Big Daddy. We drove over to I-17 and 16th St., found the car, pulled the original tire from the trunk and put it in the back of my truck. This is at the height of rush hour, mind you. Very dangerous and narrow on that part of the freeway. We take the tire/wheel and go looking for a Discount Tire. Find one at Central and Baseline that closes at 6. it’s just after 5. Okay, we should make it no problem. Get there and of course they don’t have a used tire in the size we need so I have to spend ALL the money I have to buy a new one. Meanwhile, there’s already a tow sticker on the car. Those fuckers move fast, but I should have 24 hours before they tow the damn thing. BTW, the tow truck would have cost me $103.50, so right now, I’m cheaper than the tow truck. Discount starts to close while Kyle and I wait outside. The guy brings our tire out, we throw it in the back of the ‘lance and hop in. It won’t start. Like nothing but a click sounds. Are you fucking kidding me? I don’t have jumper cables because they’re guess where? That’s right, in mom’s car that’s still sitting on the side of the freeway. Not one of the guys working at Discount Tire has jumper cables either, so I call the Wookie-man, who comes to our aid. We jump the truck and Wookie leaves, but he’s still sort of in the parking lot. Big Daddy gases the ‘lanche and the fucking thing dies! I hastily call Wookie back before he gets back onto Baseline. BTW, you should see all of my tweets during this episode. LOL Wookie comes back and has to fix his jumper cables because they broke right after we took them off. I’m on the phone with mom explaining what’s happening. She’s apologizing profusely. Finally, I decide I need to call g-ma to see if she can help because I’m now broke and I need a new battery and there’s a Kmart right there in the parking lot. I have to find out how much the battery is for her so I hang up and head over to Kmart. All the batteries are sitting on a shelf and I have no clue which one to buy and g-ma wants to pay for it over the phone with her credit card, which Kmart won’t do. So I call her back and ask for Aunt Jo because she’s all web-savvy and I know she’ll “get” what I’m talking about when I ask to transfer the money to my Paypal account because I have a debit card for it. She does so, giving me enough cash to buy the battery and a little extra for gas and such. Coolio. It cost like $124. Holy shit! We buy the battery and install it in the ‘lanche, then head back to mom’s car with a brand new tire, where Big Daddy notices the battery gauge dipping, which means the alternator might be fucked, but we continue on to the car…only, the car is not fucking there! It’s been towed already. Why? Most likely because my dumbass brother parked it in front of the speed cameras and it probably hindered them. I’m all “God truly fucking hates me” at this point, and it’s all so goddamn ridiculous that Big Daddy and I can do nothing but laugh at it. On the way back to his house, we stop for gas and leave the damn ‘lanche running because we don’t know what’s going to happen. I dropped him off at home and came home after that. I have no stereo now because Big Daddy took the fuse out, thinking that the CD stuck in my stereo might have been part of the problem, but now we have to call DPS to find out where they took the car and God only knows how much that’s going to fucking cost, which we don’t have the money for either. I’m really starting to hate my life. I’m gonna drive off a cliff. LOL Hey, I’ve got a blog here! LOL


And no, I still haven’t found the car yet.

My Life in Hell: Welcome Back!

And so it begins …

I have reached a point in my life over this last year that I never thought would be possible, that I didn’t think would ever occur. I know I’m not alone in my experiences as of late, but that’s not exactly how it feels these days. I feel more alone than ever before. I don’t expect you to understand unless you’re experiencing something similar.

A year and half ago, I was making $40K doing a job I loved. I was engaged and I owned this beautiful house. The only thing missing from my life were children, which I can’t have, and actually, I had a teenage foster daughter during that time.

Little by little, the walls around my world began to crumble. As I said, I know I’m not the only person experiencing these things associated with a failing economy and a housing market that’s tanked, but when it’s happening directly to you, it’s difficult to see outside of your own little world. Extremely difficult. I’m very glad my foster daughter went to live with her dad so she didn’t have to experience all of this.

I received a certified letter yesterday that I refused to open right after I woke up because I was pretty damn certain bad news was involved. I mean, since when does a certified letter come with good news, right? So I put it off and while speaking to Big Daddy (my ex) on the phone a little bit ago, he wanted to know what it was about because he received one as well, so I opened  it. Yep, it’s officially official, my (our) house will be going up for auction on January 27, 2010. I have less than 3 months to sell a bunch of shit and get out. Oh joy! I can’t tell you how thrilled I am about this. But, it’s not like I didn’t see it coming.

I still can’t find a job and neither can my brother. Arizona’s job market is one of the worst in the country. I may be moving out of state because I can’t afford to live here anymore. Period. I have family in Oklahoma and my uncle tells me there are jobs there, and it’s much cheaper to live there than here, so that may be where we’re heading. I just don’t know yet. I’m just saying the possibility of me moving out of state is very strong. If I can’t hear supportive words about it, I don’t want to hear what you have to say. End of story. I have to think about me and Umi and my brother and his girlfriend, and all the damn animals in this house, and how we’re NOT going to end up in a damn shelter. Preventing homelessness is my main concern here.

Big Daddy is coming over next week to help me pack and sort out stuff for an estate sale or something. I need to make enough money to move wherever, plus a little extra. I hope it’ll be enough.

I don’t know what else to say, or if there is anything else to say. I’m kind of numb right now. If there’s still a bottom I have yet to hit, I really don’t want to see it. I don’t think I could survive much more damage.

NaNoWriMo just may save my life. Writing always saves me in the end.

And the End of Days has certainly begun in my world.
I’ll keep you updated on what’s happening in the outskirts of Hell, because that, my friends, is where I live.

NaNoWriMo

I know, my blogsite is pink now. It frightens me as well. Don’t ask. I only have so many templates to choose from and I’m not all that knowledgeable in the CSS department or whatever it is. See? I don’t even know. It’s late for me and I’ve taken a sleep aid that’s now kicking in. Shut it.

That’s not what we’re here to discuss, though, is it? No. We’re discussing NaNoWriMo. You can see Snoopy off to the side there typing away and beneath him is my project status. This is my first year officially participating. Last year, I forgot until about mid-November. Then I started working on Nemesis to see how far I’d get. Next thing I knew, I had a romance novel two and a half months later. Wow. I’m still reworking that one a bit. It should be done soon and then I can query again.

I’m rather enjoying this project, but at the same time, it’s annoying the hell out of me because for the first time ever, a story is not telling me what it’s about until I write the words on the page, or in the word processing thingy on my laptop. All I had to start with was a beginning. There is no end yet. I’m really unsure about the middle. We’ll figure it out as we go along, but this I feel will need a major edit when I’m finished. Oy.

Project Title: October Sun
Genre: YA paranormal

Here’s the other thing; I don’t know what half of that title means yet. I’ve got vampires trying to jump into the story left and right, which I am REFUSING to allow. I am not writing a teen vamp novel. The thing is, vampires just naturally come to me. I can’t help it. Werewolves, too. I have to control the story a little bit, since I don’t know much about it. Normally, I’d just let the story take over and run with it, but I usually KNOW a lot more than I do right now. I’m leaving out a lot of detail while I’m writing this, too, so there’s a lot of dialog. I’m not doing it on purpose. When detail comes to me, it gets written.

That said, as you can see from my progress meter, I’m not doing so bad. 8K into a novel and I have no clue what’s happening. Okay, I lied. I have SOME clue what it’s about, but it’s all generalized right now. I have a great MC so far and I sort of worked her up a bit before I started.

Maybe it’s enough; maybe not. Who knows? We’ll find out at the end of the month.

Today’s lesson: don’t start a blog 30 minutes after you’ve taken a sleep aid. It’s all babble-speak.

How’s your NaNoWriMo project going?