In the dark

Here it is: another morning awoken early for no apparent reason. I’m torn between going back to sleep–and only getting another two and a half hours max–or just staying up to write. Sure, sleep sounds nice, but let’s be honest…I’m not going to get back to sleep right away. Too many thoughts running around inside this head.

The apartment seems strange since my husband unplugged the nightlights I had been using to help me navigate in the dark (they were bothering him and he couldn’t sleep with them on). Not that I’m bothered by the dark; it’s just strange to look around and see no lights on except for my laptop screen, the clocks, and, for whatever reason, my husband’s tablet screen. (Why is that screen on, anyway?)

I suppose since I’m not really tired enough to get back to sleep I should be writing. But I should be trying to get back to sleep. Two and a half hours? Might as well write.

In the quiet before dawn

Despite my former hatred of mornings, I’ve come to embrace the time before the sun rises as “me” time, a time when I can get things done that otherwise wouldn’t get finished. I write. I draw. I mess around on the Internet–a lot. Some of my most productive non-work hours are now predawn.

Sure, I’m sleepy when I first get up and sometimes I’m able to get back to sleep, but for the most part once I’m up I’m up and that’s all there is to it. Might as well make use of the time somehow, right?

Yesterday morning I got about two thousand words written on the new manuscript. Will I get as many today? Doubtful, because I have to go in to work early, but still, it’s a start. I may take some time to stare at the computer screen waiting for a name to come to me.

As my husband snores softly next to me, slow and even, I wonder if I should be trying to get back to sleep. Then I remember that there are whole worlds that I have to create in these early morning hours. So here I am: bright eyed (more or less) and bushy tailed (I guess squirrels are early risers?) and raring to go.

It’s slow going, but I hope to finish the first draft of my manuscript by the end of the year. If this novel is anything like my first one, once I muddle past the first half a dozen chapters it will flow much more smoothly.

A Whole New World

I think I’m getting there. It’s been a rough road these past couple of months, but I’m finally starting to get inside the world I’m writing. I’m understanding where the characters are coming from and their motivations.

I still have a long way to go, though. I don’t even have a name for where the story takes place. I have a bunch of places in the story that say “[insert city-state name here],” but I haven’t gotten a good name for said city-state yet. I’m just plugging along, hoping it comes to me eventually. Then a little “Find and Replace” will take care of that part.

The first two chapters are really short, which is a problem, but I keep trying to tell myself to just get the story down and worry about chapter length once the first draft is done. I’m terrible at listening to myself, though. Lol

At least I have something to fill my early mornings once again. I think I’ll be able to move along more quickly now that I have my head more immersed in the world I’m creating. But we’ll see. I still have 10 months to reach my goal of having a complete first draft by the end of 2016.

There’s such a thing as too much information

I’m so terrible. I wrote an opening chapter that was 90% exposition. Info-dumping. I can’t believe I did it.

Luckily, I have a terrific critique group that has already given me a lot of advice on how to fix the problem. I have rewritten most of the chapter, which cut my word count quite a bit, but I think that most of it is tolerable. Editing/revision will have to fix the rest of it. And I may be getting ahead of myself a bit. Have to finish the first draft … eventually.

My plan is to finish the draft by the end of the year. Plenty of time, right? Not necessarily, but if this is anything like Whispers of Death, once I get the first few chapters done the rest will come more quickly. I had five chapters written at the start of last year and finished the draft in April. It took quite a lot of editing and revising to get the word count from novella to novel, but I managed.

This one will hopefully be better because I’m trying to plan more of it as I go. Trying being the operative word. I’ve plotted out some of it, but so far I’m flying by the seat of my pants again. Maybe outlines just aren’t for me lol

New Year, New Me?

It’s that time again! The past two years I’ve made a list of resolutions with decreasing success in accomplishing said list. The first year I did great; the second, not so much. This year, I’m keeping it short and sweet. I want to finish the first draft of my work-in-progress, and I want to eat less. Not necessarily “lose X amount of poundage,” but control my cravings and try to have small portions.

I’m hoping that by having a short list of resolutions I’ll better be able to stick to it. Last year was dismal, and I know it kind of started with the disappointment of the weight gain after the holidays and the snowball effect of being depressed about the weight gain, eating because I was depressed, more weight gain, etc.

There will be a few semi-resolutions, I guess. Make more friends, even if it’s just through social media. Try to learn how to market my book better so I can get more sales and have it reach a wider audience than just friends and coworkers (that was part of this year’s resolutions, but since I don’t think that anyone other than friends bought it so far I’m calling that one a dud). Come up with more ideas for my own original content/articles for Talk Nerdy With Us. Not really resolutions per se, as they were things I was wanting to do in general to begin with, but just some sort of goals to strive for.

I don’t want to make sweeping changes. Just some little things that will hopefully make life better in the coming year.


I think I’ve finally done it. After a couple of dismal attempts at starting a new novel from a ghost of an idea, I have settled on a more solid concept that, while not the most original (and what really is original these days after all), has promise.

Now, I may be jumping the gun, but my hope is to have a first draft by the end of 2016. Ambitious, I know, but I have missed writing and think this will be good for me. I’m going to plan this one better than the first. Not so much pantsing this time around. Oh sure, there will be some–that’s just who I am–but I want to see how it goes.

Early in the morning

Some mornings I have to get up early for work.

And some mornings, there’s Rory.

My cat does not seem to understand the concept of allowing me to sleep past 2:30 or 3:00 a.m. Every morning, he at least attempts to get me to wake up around that time, though sometimes I can fend him off and get back to sleep for another hour or two.

Rory is a little too smart for my own good. He trained himself to play fetch…and he trained himself to wake me up early in the morning.

It’s slowly getting better. This morning, after his failed 2:30 a.m. attempt, he let me get back to sleep until 4:30. Which, on a day when I don’t have to get up until 5:30 or 6:00 a.m., is still a bit early, but it’s an improvement.

My muse had been silent for a while, but I think I may have an idea for another novel. It’s kind of contrived and probably has been done before, but I’m hoping I can execute it well and have a good story. This time, I’m going to try to put more thought into the plot and not pants it quite so much. The last couple of times I tried pantsing, the results fell rather flat. If the plot does come along, I’ll have something more to do in the mornings other than just mess around on Facebook and Twitter 😉

Resolutions revisited


It’s coming to the end of the year, and as I look at my resolution list I’m both proud and disappointed.

I not only completed the first draft of my novel; I published it as well. I exercised more (not much more, but more than last year). I published a few short stories and flash fiction stories. I sold a few art pieces. And I did more cosplay.

Some of the other resolutions, however, were less than successful.

I gained more weight than I wanted to lose. I didn’t get the tattoo that I wanted, but that’s a trivial thing. And thus far, my marketing sucks.

I’ll try for more realistic goals next year. Perhaps another rough draft? Developing an exercise routine? Who knows. I have a couple of weeks to figure it out.


I see those around me

So successful, so confident

With interesting stories and interesting lives

I see their triumphs and their accolades

They rise up

And I stay stagnant

Nothing new, nothing remarkable

Just me

Safe, boring me

Where is my life going?

What am I doing that is special?

Even my accomplishments are trivial

The few things I can name as my own

So small, so insignificant

A tiny speck of space dust

In a universe of stars

Flash Fiction Friday: Snowmen

Kathy rolled her eyes as Eric pulled on her arm, dragging her towards the snow-covered cemetery. Convinced that he could scare her, he had begged for weeks until she finally gave in.

She didn’t know what the big deal was, though. It’s not like there are any real ghosts or ghouls or things like that. It was just a place where you buried dead people. People who stayed dead. Eric was an idiot if he thought an old cemetery would scare her just because she was a girl.

They entered the gate and Kathy resisted the urge to giggle. Eric had made quite the effort. On top of every grave was an elaborate snowman–or rather, a snow zombie, “crawling” out of the dirt. Points for creativity, she thought, but not scary.

“Eric, just give it up. Yes, you made some pretty snow zombies. Very creepy. Oooh. Can we go back to the house now? It’s freezing out here.”

Eric didn’t respond, though. Rather, he had stopped in his tracks and was backing up slowly. “I didn’t make these,” he said, his eyes wide.

“Sure you didn’t,” Kathy said. “Let’s just go home. It’s not scary.”

Eric’s hand shook on her arm. He was putting on quite the show. “I didn’t make these,” he repeated quietly.

Kathy sighed, irritated, and wrenched her arm from Eric’s hand. “They’re just stupid snowmen. Watch.” She pulled back her foot and kicked at the nearest zombie, ready to undo Eric’s dirty work just to prove that she wasn’t frightened.

When the zombie grabbed her leg, she screamed.

Eric started to run, but he was so blinded by fear that he didn’t see the snow zombie around the corner of a large tombstone. Eric and Kathy’s screams echoed through the dark cemetery for ten minutes…then all was quiet once again.