WRITING: Basile’s Dream

I was inspired after last week’s D&D session and felt the urge to write again. Finally! It had been too long since I wrote something creative. Please enjoy my interpretation of the dream sequence from last session:

 

Basile laid down in his bed and closed his eyes with a sigh. All he wanted was a good night’s sleep, but the lingering thoughts of his companions filtered through the walls and into his subconscious. His telepathy only seemed to be growing stronger, and while he appreciated it in the thick of battle, he despised it when all he wanted was rest.

He heard Rhaegar’s mind drift toward battle and could imagine the clanging of swords in his mind. Down the hall, he felt a lingering sensation of anxiety that he attributed to Alkaid. As for the others, they all seemed to merge together into white noise. Basile groaned and rolled onto his side, covering his head with a pillow and willing the voices to leave.

Just let me sleep…

Ciaran’s sudden scream jolted him out of bed, only to realize that he was in a dimly lit room made of stone. Confused, he turned around to find Ciaran and instead came face to face with a reptilian monster. With a started gasp, he backed up and bumped into Ciaran, who grabbed his arm in response. They were surrounded by five strange creatures they had never seen before, and all of them were slowly drawing closer.

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STORY: The Body and Blood of Brothers

It’s been a while since I shared some writing. Here’s a piece of flash fiction that I had published in Oakland University’s Swallow the Moon 2015. Enjoy!

 

 

The wooden pews of St. Valerie were filled. Not a single seat was empty, which was a pleasant sight to see in a small suburban church. Sitting in the front row between proud parents was Zack. He was the same age as me, and we went to the same Elementary School. He rode on my bus, but we never sat near each other. I also went to Catechism with him on Mondays. Most of the time, he dressed like all the other boys. Today, he wasn’t wearing a t-shirt, shorts, and sneakers. Instead, he was dressed up really fancy, like me. 

He was wearing all black. His shoes were polished, and his suit was new: freshly ironed, crisp, and free from any dust. His hair was slicked back with gel and was as dark as his clothes. It reminded me of my half-brother, Eric, because that’s the only thing I really remembered about him, other than the fact that he and Dad both played guitar and liked music a lot.

The only thing that wasn’t black was his tie. It was pure white. It matched my dress, my Mary-Janes, and my veil. I looked like a bride, but I was far too young to be one. Seven year olds didn’t have to think about marriage or husbands.

However, this was a wedding of sorts. After all, I was about to marry myself to the church, to God, to Jesus. He gave his life for me, to save me from the sins I had yet to commit. Now it was my turn to give back.

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AOF: The First Reviews Are In!

As you all know, The Art of Falling is my baby, and I want nothing more than to be able to promote my book, work on the sequels, and try to make this first novel of mine a success. Unfortunately, with how crazy life has been with trying to plan the wedding, I haven’t had any time to do much with my book other than think about all the things I want to do: mainly, a book signing event.

I’ve been so preoccupied with big life events, I haven’t even been keeping track of Amazon reviews or sales. So it was a pleasant surprise when I stumbled across the first few reviews for the novel!

February 3, 2018

Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
The Art of Falling is a fun take on good versus evil, heaven versus hell, and two unwitting lovers in a battle for their souls. This book’s got enough familiarity to entice you, and plenty of new steps to make it refreshing and interesting. I can’t wait for the next one!
Nancy

January 20, 2018

Format: Paperback
Can’t wait for the next book! 😱

Amazon Customer
January 23, 2018
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I would definitely recommend this book. It was a great read that had me on the edge of my seat at times. I’m waiting on the next book! 5 stars.

In addition to these, fellow author Shanon Rohrer wrote a thoughtful and honest review over on goodreads that you can check out here. (But be warned, there may be spoilers.)

I am so thankful for these simple reviews and ratings, as it shows that my five years of work haven’t gone to waste. Sure, I’m proud of myself for achieving a dream of mine, but seeing others enjoy my hard work makes it worthwhile.

Reviews are so important to a writer. If the writing process is our life blood, and a following of readers are our backbone, reviews are the bread and butter that keeps us going. If we never receive feedback – both positive and negative – we can lose our drive and energy to keep writing.

So please, do me a favor the next time to read a book: go to the author’s Amazon page, Goodreads, or website. Leave a review, even if it’s just a simple statement. It will make the author’s day and help boost their chances of becoming the next big success.

AOF: Cover Reveal and Available to Purchase

I know I typically post on Friday, but I don’t care. I’m breaking the pattern because it’s official. The Art of Falling is now available to purchase on Amazon in Paperback and for Kindle!

It still doesn’t feel like I’m a published author yet. I don’t think it will quite sink in until the first few reviews appear on Amazon, and a physical copy is on my bookshelf. You can bet I’m ordering one as soon as possible.

And check out the GORGEOUS cover that my publisher and I worked on. I am so happy with how it turned out. I am so thankful for the amount of brainstorming and time that went into determining what would be a good cover for the audience I’m aiming for, and I feel that this hits the nail on the head. Simple, clean, and easily able to expand into a series.

While an “official” launch through Dragon Moon Press won’t happen until after the holidays, I plan on holding a giveaway to win a free signed copy, as well as holding a book reading and signing.

But don’t feel like you have to wait for an official launch to get your hands on a copy. If you want paperback, you better hurry! Copies are selling fast (a lot faster than I expected, to be honest!) If you prefer digital, get it for your Kindle, or download the Kindle app to read on any device. Please a review and share with your friends! But most important, please enjoy reading Keir and Regal’s story. I have put a lot of time, energy, and soul into this work. It will mean the world to know that someone other than myself will get sucked into their life.

Now, onto the sequel.

 

D&D: Undead Attack

I’m not sure how many people can say this, but I love spoilers.

This is true for practically every aspect in my life. When I go to a concert, I google the setlist so I know which songs area going to be performed so I can make sure I know the lyrics. When there is a movie that I’m interested in seeing, I’ll look up the plot synopsis. Even when I read, I find my eyes drifting toward the last page of a chapter before I’ve finished. While I do enjoy surprises and will hold back so I can go along for the ride, I think I enjoy being “in the know” more.

Because of this, I had an absolute blast during the last D&D session. Since Ciaran was left behind in town during the undead attack, I had a chance to know what was happening even though Basile and the rest of the party didn’t. While we were all in Dis, I was also rping via Facebook chat with Eddie to determine what was happening back in town.

To top if off, Eddie asked me to write up a summary of the events that took place before Neebs and Associates could come to the rescue.

Of course, a summary isn’t good enough. So, here’s a short story of the events from Ciaran’s perspective:

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D&D: After the Tournament

Last week I was bored at work and felt like writing. Ever since our last session, I had been thinking about everything that took place after the tournament: specifically how Basile handled seeing his mentor and father again. So, I wrote a short story based on what happened! (At this rate, I might end up writing another novel…)

Enjoy!

 

Basile lay in the middle of Rhaegar’s home with his eyes closed. He was too exhausted to keep up his invisibility or to silence the internal and external voices of his friends as the slowly made their way to the house. Rhaegar was arguing with Dwayne about something unimportant, while Lorn watched him and jot down his thoughts about Ciaran’s performance in the tournament. He knew that he’d have to explain everything to the nosy druid soon. Meanwhile, Ciaran sat beside him on the floor, recounting every moment of his fight.

“I had to fight Roger Lord Mortimer, Neebs, and that new guy!”

“Yes, I know. I was there.”

“I kicked them all in the dick, like you told me to. It really got them all mad.”

“You did a good job.”

“I know I was protected by our bond, but I can’t believe my arms didn’t come off or that my eyes didn’t get gouged out!”

Basile grimaced. “Before a mark can be made on your skin, I’ll have to die first.”

“I’m sorry you had to get hurt for this to work,” Ciaran murmured, laying down to rest his head against Basile’s shoulder. The tiefling held in a whimper of pain. His shoulders still ached after having his arm ripped off and regenerated. “I wish I was stronger.”

“I can handle it. You’re very strong, and Lorn was there to protect me,” Basile assured his brother. “It will all be worth it in the end.”

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STORY: Ride Down Memory Lane

edits

I realized that I’ve never actually shared many of my stories on here, whether they were previously published or rough drafts. So, I thought I’d share one that I’m quite proud of! I wrote it for my Creative NonFiction class at Oakland University, and later had it published in Echo Cognitio’s 2016 Edition.

Also, I apologize for the formatting. This site isn’t the best for proper indentation or paragraph breaks.

 

The sound of metal scraping against concrete is far from pleasant. It’s worse than nails on a chalkboard or a baby crying. My boyfriend’s 1998 Dodge Neon is currently making those agonizing sounds. It’s jerking about, vibrating, as its massive steel girth drags against the ground. The engine sputters and the purple body of the car shakes more aggressively. With a jolt, something is torn away. I look in the passenger side mirror to see what has broken off, but I can’t see anything. It’s after midnight and there are no lights to illuminate the freeway.
“Eddie, get off at the next exit,” I say. It’s not a suggestion. It’s a command. My hands are gripping the seat, the door, the dashboard; anything I can hold onto. In my head, all I can imagine is the engine exploding, the brakes failing, or the tires blowing out.
As Eddie gets off M-59 at the Dequindre exit, the car gives one last jerk of life before completely stalling out. We coast to a rough stop, the breaks indeed failing, at the red light. Eddie turns the key and tries to start the car. A dull clicking noise — a flat-line in car language — is our only response. Eddie curses loudly and bangs his palms on the wheel.  He turns on the hazard lights before we step out of the car and open up the hood. Smoke billows out. Just our luck.
“I just bought this damn thing,” he grumbles angrily.
“At least you didn’t waste any extra money on buying a new muffler,” I add.
After his first car, a hand-me down green Taurus from his grandpa, kicked the bucket and went to the car lot in the sky, Eddie got the Neon. He had found it on Craigslist and bought it from a guy he met at a gas station near the freeway. Not the most ideal situation, but it was the only option he had. After a test drive and $800, the car was his. It turned out to be a lemon.
The only place to get a good used car is at one of the hundreds of used car shops that litter Metro Detroit. With so many cars being manufactured, it’s not hard to find a car that runs. Finding one that it’s a college kid’s rice range is the difficult part.
We stand outside the car, hugging each other to keep warm. Cars zoom past as they come off the freeway. Only two people stop to ask if we’re all right. We reply sullenly that we’re fine. They leave without offering any more help. What else could we expect? When traffic — oddly busy at this time of night — dies down, we start to push the carcass of Eddie’s car down the road.
Even though we live in Metro Detroit, in the heart of Automobile Country, there are no car repair shops lining this strip of road. Again, our luck has run out. We settle for a Hospital parking lot.
As we sit in silence, waiting for Eddie’s dad to pick us up, I wonder if this is how my mom feels.
My mom has horrible luck when it comes to cars. Every car she has ever owned has broken down on her at least once. It never mattered if it was brand new, like her silver Kia Rio, or a used car from a friend of the family, like her red Pontiac Firebird.
“I’m glad this didn’t happen when either of you were alone,” she says when I call her to let her know why we’ll be home later than expected. Mom always seemed to be alone when her cars broke down.

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