Friday, August 19, 2011


I'm falling out of love with my writing space.

I'm grateful that I have writing space at all, but it's feeling cramped and dirty and disorganized. I could be noticing this because winter is on its way (it's Alaska-September might toss a couple of nice days our way, but I've already resigned to the inevitable) and I'm mentally rebelling against months of choking seasonal claustrophobia. Or possibly because I'm having some trouble transitioning from one project to another so I'm looking for things to distract me.


Maybe it's time to paint

Or perhaps install some shelves

Or go shopping for new drapes

Or download that new Uzbekistani noir songs for writers album

Or learn a foreign language so that I can describe my discontent in Yezidi

Okay, so I'm totally looking for a distraction. This means that I must eliminate them, and fast, so I can get to the next level. That's right, I do live my life like a video game!*

So tomorrow I'll spend a couple of hours cleaning, which will mostly involve selecting cleaning music**, dusting and trying to keep the cats from eating lemon-scented Pledge***

And then everything shall be wonderful and the words will flow like wine. Or, if they don't, the wine will flow like wine.

Do you have a designated writing space? In your home or out? Anything you want to change about it?

* A boring-ass video game.

** This is actually the same music I always listen to.

*** I don't know what mineral deficiency causes them to lick up cleaning products. I just...I do my best to keep them out of them, okay?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


This month's prompt is The Continuing Story of a Song. It's a two-pronged doozy.

Step 1: Choose a song. 

Step 2: Continue the story. Read the post before yours and continue the story in any direction you see fit. Your continuation must be based on, inspired by, or in some other way influenced by your song choice.

My lovely fellow participants are:
Story beginning
orion_mk3 - (link to this month's post)
BigWords - (link to this month's post)
AbielleRose - (link to this month's post)
Ralph Pines - (link to this month's post)
hillaryjacques -
Darkshore - (link to this month's post)
pyrosama - (link to this month's post)
Diana_Rajchel - (link to this month's post)
Inkstrokes - (link to this month's post)
soullesshuman - (link to this month's post)
Alyzna - (link to this month's post)
Cath - (link to this month's post)
dolores haze - (link to this month's post)
Alpha Echo - (link to this month's post)
pezie - (link to this month's post)
jkellerford - 

We are Stars - The Pierces

The branches, bowed by heavy leaves, parted, revealing a sloping band of white sand. Chris paused, his eyes adjusting to the diminishing light. The sun exhaled a final pastel sigh and disappeared. Before it went, he saw her, motionless at the water’s edge. Sand ground through his sandals as he walked to her.

He stopped an arm’s length away, admiring the way the thin sheath she wore draped the curves of her body. She turned, and sweat bloomed cold across his back.

“I saw you,” she said, casually, like they were in the middle of a conversation. Like she was alive.


“You aren’t like those people. You want more. Like me. This is the place where you can find what you’re looking for.” Her hair drifted around her head, though there was no breeze. She raised a pale hand, and her smile reached her milky blue eyes. “Let me show you.”

He recoiled from her, slogging backwards through the cloying sand. She tilted her head to the side. The smile fled her face.


“This isn’t…this isn’t happening.”

“Please don’t be like this.”  She followed him, her movements eerily stilted. “We know what you want, what you came here for. We can give it to you. Just let us in.”

Christ, he’d had too much to drink, or too much sun. That was it. “High UV index,” he stammered, turning when his heel landed on hard ground. Leaves slapped against his face. He ran.

The lights of the resort bobbed in the distance. He’d go back, ask for the doctor. They had a doctor; he’d seen her tending to a man who’d sliced his finger on coral while snorkeling. Chris looked over his shoulder; darkness stared back. He slowed, pressed the back of his hand against his forehead. He was burning up.

He’d take a cold bath, sleep with the AC on. Tomorrow he’d stay in the shade beside the pool. Talk to the people there, maybe find someone to have dinner with. A breath fluttered across his left ear. He spun, hands raised, but saw nothing. He ran again, barely able to make out the path, his feet sliding in his sandals.

The lights got closer. He heard laughter. He wouldn’t leave again. He’d stay there, stay amongst the living. He laughed, a high-pitched cackle. God, he was delirious. He burst onto the manicured lawn, slowed to a hasty walk as a foursome in the hot tub fell silent, watching him. He pulled open the first door he found.

Music assailed him, and his shoulders dropped in relief. A woman slid out of the crowd, arms flailing, and collided with him. He grabbed her to steady her, to steady himself. She was warm, smelling of floral perfume and perspiration. She was alive, and he never wanted to let her go.

“Are you alright?” he asked.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

BORN OF WINTER: Roots of a Character

At just past midnight on August 1st, summer quietly packed its bags and fled the state. We had a nice summer, especially compared to last year (record-setting rainy spell, not-FTW), but now it is done. Over. Finito.

It's been raining and windy, with warnings of gusts up to 80 mph. As I write this I'm watching our mature may trees being tossed by the wind, and hearing them scraping against the second story deck. Inside, the ficus looks peeved.

The rumors about Alaskans hibernating aren't untrue. It's time to retreat. To books, both reading and writing. To art, little crafts and attempts at projects far beyond my talent and expertise. I will clean obsessively. (When trapped in a small space, it's best if you maximize that space by storing every mobile item and removing every room-taking-up mote of dust.)

I will spend hours at the computer, engineering elaborate vacations (to destinations exotic, warm or both) that I will never take. That's actually how my novella releasing in January from Carina Press came about. I'd written a few scenes for my own amusement, then closed the file. Winter arrived on cold, hard feet, and I wanted to go to Hawaii. I wanted sweet, humid air and warm, lapping waves. My main character decided that sounded pretty damn good. Only, where all I had to do was buy a plane ticket, she had to escape bombs, fangs, and a brewing street war.

She might not be able to make the perfect escape, but she'll take you for a hell of a ride.

Don't Bite the Messenger - Carina Press - 1.16.12