Nov 25, 2015

NaNoWriMo - update 3

Well hello there, glad you're still here :-)
I'm still here, too. Talk about a coincidence.

Yeah, yeah, I'm feeling silly.

Here's another update on my NaNo project.
Due to work and other events, I've had a few really slow days (sometimes only managing a few hundred words), but the good news is that I have been writing every single day for the last 3 weeks!

So, days 12 & 13 were slow, 12 because of work, 13 because of the soccer game between Belgium and Italy. It was a friendly match, but that doesn't make a difference.
I shouldn't even have been able to watch it, since I had tickets to a classical concert by Andre Rieu that same night (bought them as a present for my mom's 70th b-day), but she didn't feel like going. I know she has a thing about crowds and being indoors with a lot of noise, but I thought she would've enjoyed going to the concert. I guess not!
Anyways, I was home for the soccer match, which we won 3-1 against a world class opponent.
Right after the game, we heard the news about the Paris attacks. Shit hit the fan in no time (but I've already written a blog post about that, so I'm not going to dwell on that now)

Day 14: with everything going on and shopping needing to be done, I didn't get to write as much as I would've wanted to (especially on a Saturday) and only managed 700 words or so.

Day 15: Sunday was a much better day writing-wise. A lot of stuff was going on all around us, but I managed to pull back from that and plunge myself into my alternate world. Added over 2.500 words.

Between day 15 and 20, I only added about 2.000 words in all. Not much writing going on. On Tuesday, I was planning on going to the soccer game against Spain, but that was cancelled the night before. Too dangerous. Despite that cancellation, I didn't get to write much.
On Friday, I went to the cinema for the Mockingjay marathon (both movies back-to-back). Upon leaving the cinema, we encountered massive police and security forces at the subway/bus station. I was wondering what the heck was going on, but didn't find out until the next day. The only words I squeezed in on Friday, were those written before bed that very early morning (I hate going to bed early and am never in bed before 1 am)

Day 21: Again, not a good day for a Saturday, more shopping, more lockdown consequences, more fear all around. Only managed 700 words.

Day 22: Now that was a good day!! The best so far I think, with a grand total of over 3.500 words added.

Day 23: Brussels is in lockdown, my workplace is shut down along with everything else. We are invited to either take the day off or go to a local branch to work from there. My son's school is closed as well (though not in Brussels). I took advantage of being home all day and added another 2.500 words.

Day 24: It has just ended (just after midnight now) and I have totalled 1.700 words today.

I am nibbling my way to my target and even though I'm not sure I will make it, I am thrilled to be writing again. Let's hope we can keep this going and I can finally get back to all those projects that are waiting for me.


Good luck to all you fellow NaNoWriMo's!!


Bye for now.

Nov 21, 2015

Threat level 4

Jeez, what a weekend this has been and it's not even over yet!! Yesterday, I went to the movies with my son for a "Mockingjay marathon", planning on seeing both parts back-to-back. On the way home from work, my subway was stopped twice for nearly 10 minutes each time, making me worry about getting there in time. I did make it and I even had to wait for my son to join me (he was late coming home from school as well and still had to have dinner). We took the subway for just one stop to get to the cinema, but they were making an announcement just as we entered the station, both lines 2 and 6 (the one we were taking) were delayed. Thankfully, a metro rolled into the station just as the announcement was being made. It departed 2 minutes later, so we were at the cinema well in time for the movie. When we got in, we received a "Mockingjay care package" consisting of a poster (the 4 movie posters side by side), a voucher for a free Red Bull, a discount voucher on candy and a Mockingjay armband. Part I was awesome (we'd seen it before) and even though my neighbor tried to be a bitch (shushing me and poking me in the arm because I said something to my son), we had a good time. During the break, I went to the loo and grabbed our Red Bulls. Part II started out very promising, but 20 minutes into it, my Red Bull got to me negatively. I pushed back as much as I dared, but then figured I had better go because I would never get to the end of the movie. I missed about 5 minutes (duh), but got back in time for the action. Again, very promising, but wow boy, was I disappointed!!! Really not a worthy ending!! And soooooo damn short!!! Not even 90 minutes!!

We left the cinema and headed for our bus stop, seeing a bunch of police and security vans had gathered there. The cops were in full gear with assault rifles and a dog on standby. One of the lady officers watched us coming towards the bus stop and I simply said "good evening", to which she replied with the same. A bunch of cops standing together don't intimidate me and as long as they're not trying to stop me from going where I'm headed, I don't have to worry about going there. Since "there" was a bus stop, I really don't see why I should be worried.
Anyways, we got home around midnight and pretty much headed straight for bed (it had been a long day).

This morning, my mom called me out of bed around 10, asking me if I'd heard the news. Obviously not, since I wasn't up yet. The city of Brussels has been under high alert since last night (that's why those cops were there). The whole of the metro and pre-metro network was shut down, events were cancelled and people were advised not to go to "busy" places such as shopping malls or areas. So much for getting some shopping done in Brussels. Half an hour later, she calls me back, asking if I want to "take advantage" of her neighbor's car since she was taking my mom shopping. I accepted (much easier by car) and we headed out. When we got to the mall, it was closed. We then crossed the parking lot and headed to the supermarket. One of the entrances was locked and everybody had to go in on the other side. There, we were "greeted" by security personnel who asked to check our bags/purses. Even my mom's purse which is just big enough to have her wallet and her cell phone in it. The guard's response "even a little bag like that can hold a lot of things". Seriously?? Saying that to a 70-year old who is out shopping with her daughter and grandchild?? Asshole!!! And they weren't even "checking" everyone!!! Bigger asshole!!!

We went on about our business and got our shopping done. By the time we left (2 pm), they were "filtering" people out through a single door and not letting anybody in any longer. Really???
I usually don't even set out before 2 pm, so I would've found all doors closed if I hadn't gone with my mom's neighbor.

Nothing but a bunch of assholes and scaredy cats, that's what they are!!

And all that because of what??
Because of ONE idiot who might've been seen in Brussels. But then again, he was reported in 3 different cities over the past week, and three days ago, he was possibly in Paris (the raid on Tuesday) and spotted in Germany.


The only thing I have to say to all those assholes who are trying to scare the shit out of everyone:

FUCK YOU!!!!


I will live my life and if it's my time to go, it's my time to go, but I will not hide in the dark and hope for things to get better. If we don't do anything about it, it will never get better, it will only get worse. And honestly, it's bad enough as it is already.

Make love, not war.

Nov 12, 2015

NaNoWriMo - another update.

Hello guys!

How is everyone today??

Here's another update on my NaNoWriMo project.

Since I decided to skip ahead from the troublesome part, things have gone much better. My daily wordcount is up and so is my average. I did have 2 more slow days on Monday and Tuesday because I was back at work after a week. Mother Nature also decided to leave me my monthly present on Sunday, so I was pretty much a wreck on Monday. If you're a woman, you probably know what I mean.

So, day 8 was a success. Skipping ahead really was a breakthrough and I added a big chunk that day, despite Mother Nature's untimely gift. Over 2.000 words written that day. I believe they call that victory.

Day 9 was okay overall I guess. I did write some after midnight, so that went to Monday's wordcount. I added about 1.300 words.

Day 10, Tuesday, was really bad. Since I hadn't written on Monday evening, there had been no update after midnight. I was worried about it and I kept telling myself I would have to update my count before midnight if I wanted a chance at getting all the badges. And I want them. Seriously! Thankfully, I wrote some during my lunch break at work, mailed it to myself and .... updated my wordcount on the spot. It was a good call because I didn't get any writing done at all that night. I stranded at a mere 520 words, but I got them in. That's another victory for me. Still winning the fight.

Day 11, Wednesday. We had the day off, like most people and I took advantage of it, pouring out another 2.500 words. It simply happened. No problem writing now that I've moved on to the central part of the story. I'll still have to go back to write the missing section, but those are worries for later.

Let's hope I can get a little more writing in the next few days, then it's the weekend again.

Whoop whoop!!!

Nov 8, 2015

Update on NaNoWriMo.

Nothing fancy, just a quick update.

First off: I'm still writing!!
And I've been writing every single day!!

That alone is a victory worth celebrating.
A victory over my writing lethargy (can't call it anything else, really).

Sure, I've had a hard time. I wasn't used to it anymore. Sitting at my desk for so long and hammering away at my keyboard. I've had my distractions (Facebook mainly) and I've had my troubles (migraine, you suck!!) which caused me to fall behind on the target word count.

On day 3, I was really close, just a few dozen words away from the target.

On day 4, migraine struck, keeping me home from work, but away from my computer screen as well. I only managed a few hundred words and that's only because I forced myself to write at least *something*. I wanted an updated word count and I really didn't want to skip a day. I didn't. I didn't write much, but I wrote.
Another victory.

Day 5 was a small day as well, again a few hundred words only, again because I forced myself to get at least *some* writing done. Another updated word count. Another small victory.

Day 6 was better, the headaches less intense and the writing more focused.

Day 7 saw me getting back into it, but glaring at the receding target line. I was only about halfway where I should've been. The fact my story wasn't letting me write it as smoothly as I should be writing, didn't really help. I struggled mainly because the beginning of the story wasn't really planned. I had a "vague idea" of how things would happen. The main section was much more detailed in my mind, but I had a hard time getting there.

Day 8 (today): Breakthrough!
With a little advice from my friends over at FWG, I decided to skip the "hard" part and get cracking on the main section. In just a few hours, I added over 1500 words. The best part? This day is far from being over.

I'm gonna hit the hay for a few hours of sleep and then I'm gonna get back to it.
Hopefully I will get my wordcount up to where it needs to be (+/- 4k left to go). If I can achieve that goal, I can achieve anything.


Bye for now!!!

Nov 1, 2015

NaNoWriMo 2015

Well, despite everything that *didn't* happen the last year or so (writingwise I mean), I decided to do NaNoWriMo this year. I never thought I'd ever be able to write 50.000 words in just one month, given the fact I have a fulltime job and a single mom, but to hell with it. The least I can do is try it, right?

What more is there to say?
Just get your thumb out of your ass and start writing.

Plain and simple.

And guess what! I actually got it going.
I kept myself "busy" playing some Call of Duty until midnight, then started up the computer and actually did get some writing done. Not that I did a whole hell of a lot of writing, but those first 200 words are all that matters.

Actually, those first 5 words were the ones that mattered.

They put an end to a very longlasting lack of writing "juice". Aside from a short story I whipped up just about a year ago for the FWG Anthology (which I didn't even finish and ended up pulling out of the anthology due to a lack of interest), I hadn't written anything. Proof enough is right here on my blog. I hadn't posted anything since February until I took a leap of faith and asked one of my English speaking colleagues to beta my novel. I still needed to finish the edit I had been sitting on for over a year, but having asked, I knew I couldn't make him wait forever. That same night, I finished the edit and posted on my blog. A double victory.

My mind has been working overtime on stories lately (which is always a good sign), but I needed something to get me started on actually *writing* them. November 1st did the trick.

I will try to keep the updates coming, but for now, let me get back to my alien invasion .... lol.


For those of you who are joining me: Have a Fabulous NaNo!!!


Bye for now!!

Oct 21, 2015

Finally ... an update on my first novel

So, what can I say?
I've been soooooo absent lately and I don't even know why. I haven't written anything in nearly a year and I sure didn't work on my novel. Well ... until last night, that is.

I wasn't sure if I made the right choice in asking a co-worker to beta read, but apparently I did. I pulled myself up and out of that bottomless pit I had tumbled in and finished editing the final chapter and epilogue.

It's a bit scary to think I'm sending this to someone who can rub my failure in my face on a daily basis, but I don't think he will, he's too much of a gentleman for that :p

Either way, I have now finished the final draft and am hopeful for (maybe) and end-of-year release date. I'll have to make up my mind about the back cover blurb and see if the person who agreed to do my cover is still game, and then I'll be ready to rumble. Unless I get a chuckload of comments that force me to do a complete re-write .....

I'd better not think of that possibility or I won't close an eye.
Better to keep the focus on the good news: I finally went back to it and managed to finish the edit that had been going on for such a long time. Now, all I can do is send it on, cross my fingers and hope for a positive response.

For now, I'm heading to bed.

Night all!!

Feb 2, 2015

Coming right up.

Yup!That's about how close I am to my first novel!

I'm editing the final chapter now and the cover is coming along real nicely, so I'm guessing it's a matter of weeks now.

YAY!!

Something else that's coming right up, is another anthology I'm part of. Then again, my submission for it, is what's coming right up. I wrote a first rough draft a few months ago, on a surge of inspiration, then left it untouched for weeks at length, but did a first revision of it last night. Made some minor changes and I think it's just about as ready as I'll ever get it.

Some of the other authors who will be published in that same anthology, were pretty lyrical about my first draft already, calling it much more than just a draft. I guess I haven't lost my "touch" :o)
It's only slightly longer than a flash fic (approximately 1.400 words), but I don't think it needs much more. Everything is said and done, and aside from giving it a little more color to "buff" it up, there isn't much I can add to it. Sometimes perfection just comes a knockin'.

Estimates are for a March release date, so keep your eyes on this blog as I will be promoting the anthology as soon as it's out. It's another Fiction Writer's Group project and it will go by the name of "Anything Goes II". It's a mix of 20-odd stories where literally "anything goes". If you're not sure what you're looking for, but you know you want a good read, that's where I'd put my money. Lots of different stories (haven't read them all at this point, but those that I have, are very promising) from a diversity of authors, just waiting to take you away from your daily drab and drop you into wonders unknown.

Will keep you all apprised!!

Cheers for now.

Jan 28, 2015

The Final Stretch - an update on that novel I'm writing

Hey folks!!

I realize it's been ages since I last blogged.
Actually, it's been ages since I last wrote something altogether.

I haven't been feeling all that good lately and with the energy gauge dipping below zero, it's not easy to get things done. It's a lot easier to just sit around playing stupid games instead of trying to force your butt in gear and get busy.

I'm not feeling all that much better per say, but I have found the courage to get back to editing my story. I have finished editing 9 chapters and am currently struggling my way through chapter 10. It's a big one and I've been thinking about chopping it up to make two shorter ones. Also, it contains a lot of action and since I want these scenes to feel as real and as intense as possible, it's taking some time to get them just right.

After this, I have two more chapters and a short epilogue to edit and then it's off to get formatted (won a free format a while ago, so now I'm gonna "cash in" on that). My cover is also coming along nicely and I'll have to get busy on the back cover blurb as well. I posted the 2 versions I had a while back, but I think it's gonna take some serious looking at before I've got the catchy, teasing blurb I'll need. I have to get it right, it's the billboard for my novel, so I want people to look at it and go "Hmm, I'd like to read this!"

It's looking good so far, so I really hope I can keep this momentum going and get it done within the next few weeks. I might be looking at a Valentine's release.

Keep an eye on this place for further updates.

Bye for now!!

Aug 22, 2014

Just a reminder

Heya guys,

I just wanted to post a little reminder to all of you out there reading my blog.

Have you picked up your copy of the "Writers' Anarchy II: The End of the World as we Wrote it" already?

This awesome anthology features my first "officially" published story.
The title should tell you all you need to know, but let me tell you a little more about it anyways. This anthology is the result of a collaboration over at the Fiction Writers Group on Facebook, a great community of writers, young and old, beginning and established, self-publishing or not. There are 30 stories to be read, all by different authors, all with their own view of The End of the World.
Some have interpreted that in the largest possible way and have chosen to write the End of the World. Others have narrowed it down and tell the tale of an individual whose world comes to an end. Still others have written about the End of the World as we know it and have established a new world.

So what's your take on that?
Is there someone somewhere with his finger hovering over the "reset" button?
Are aliens stalking us, waiting for the best time to strike?
Or will Mother Nature put an end to human life on this planet?

"Writers' Anarchy II: The End of the World as we Wrote it" will give you a shot at each of those options and more, so pick up your copy today!!
Available on Kindle or paperback on Amazon, or at Createspace and even available for my Canadian friends on Amazon.ca

Make sure you get your copy and leave us a review.
You can also visit the Writers Anarchy website for more information on the project, the participating authors and upcoming project at the Writers Anarchy website.


Hey wait, there's more!!!
It's not the only thing I've published!!!

There's another anthology, called "Flash It!".

In this anthology, each author is featured with two stories. There is no general theme, just a collection of 60 stories you can read faster than lightning. That's right, you heard me. All of these are 1.000 words or less. You won't even have time to blink and you'll be done.
So, if you're always running short on time and are afraid you'll never be able to read anything anymore, pick up your copy of the "Flash It!" anthology and you'll get exactly what you're looking for; a quick read for whenever you find a gap in your busy schedule.

Available in e-book or paperback version, whatever fits your needs the best.

Paperback can be ordered here and this is where you go for the Kindle version.

I'm looking forward to reading some reviews, so hurry on over and get your copy now!!!

Happy reading!!!!!


Aug 2, 2014

Talking Trash

Something I have to get off my chest.
And no, I'm not the one who's talking trash. And no, this post is *not* related to the latest "news" on Kiefer.

What this post *is* about, is a co-worker. Now, I'm not the type of gal who will come online and get into the blame & shame game and I usually keep private stuff to myself, but this is really starting to bug me, so I need to vent. Once you're done reading, you may think it's no big deal, but it is and if you give it some time, you'll find out why.

So what is this about??
Kiefer in the first place.
How?
By constantly (and deliberately) getting his name wrong. In Dutch, there is only one way to pronounce it and that's the right way!
-IE- in Dutch is ALWAYS pronounced "e" whereas -EI- sounds more like the word "heir". There is no way you can get it wrong, unless you're *trying* to get it wrong. And that's what bugs me.
That intention to say it wrong just to tick me off.

News Flash!!
It's a lack of respect when you don't get a person's name right, especially when you're doing it on purpose. You want to disrespect Kiefer "to my face"? You're gonna get a reaction and you know it.

And here's another news flash!
Stuff like that is "funny" when you're 15 and in mid school! Not when you're a grown woman and even less so AT WORK!

Makes me feel like I'm 15 again and being constantly pestered by my stepdad. HIS biggest joy, was to talk trash about my idols just to tick me off. Just to get me going. For the sake of pissing and setting me off.
Ten years worth of that are enough to last me a lifetime, thanks a bunch for putting me through it again.

Yeah, I'm stronger than that, but honestly, enough is enough.
You're really starting to piss me off by intentionally disrespecting someone I admire and respect immensely. You don't like him? Fine! To each their own. That doesn't mean you can/should disrespect the man. You're also disrespecting me in the process.

That's the first point.

And this is the second one.

You trashing my writing!!

You asked me what my upcoming novel is about. When I told you it was Sci-Fi, your reactions said enough. When I added the word "aliens", your response gutted me.

"Booooo-ring"

How do you know?
You haven't even read THE FIRST WORD and you're saying my novel is boring, simply because it's about aliens. What makes you think a story about aliens can be nothing but "boring"?? Don't you think you should try *reading* it before deciding whether or not it's "boring"?
It could be. But how do you know?

How can you say something like that, when you haven't read ANYTHING I've ever written??


I tried explaining the difference between "not being interested in something" and "something being boring", but you weren't listening. You even dragged another colleague into it, asking HIM what he thought about aliens, and practically telling him he should agree with you in saying aliens are "boring". Thankfully, he's slightly more tactful than you are. And a little more respectful as well.


Do you have any idea how hurtful that remark was?
You don't even know what the damn story is about!
How do you know the book is going to be "boring"?
Simply because it's about aliens?
Why couldn't that be intriguing?
Thought-provoking?
Riveting?

What makes you think it's impossible to write an interesting story about aliens?


Maybe Sci-Fi is not your thing and maybe you don't believe in aliens.
That's fine by me, I won't judge you over that.
But what gives you the right to judge my work without even reading it?
What gives you the right to shoot my story down without even giving it the benefit of the doubt?


What gives you that right??



It's a good thing I've been publishing my work online for over a decade. I've had more than enough compliments and confidence boosters over the years and I know I can write a good, strong, intriguing story. You're not the one who will convince me otherwise.


Just know that talking trash about people and disrespecting them and those they admire, isn't going to make you many friends.


You know who you are.

Enjoy your weekend, I'll be working on that "boring" piece of junk you'll never read.

Jul 28, 2014

Making some changes

Heya folks,

I've been fiddling with my blog for a few days now, and I've made some major changes. I hope they will work out the way I intend them to, because I'm definitely not "tech savvy" at all and wouldn't know how to fix it if it didn't work out.

First of all, I've changed the colors a bit, hopefully these will make for a better reading comfort.

Next, I've added extra pages and have (hopefully) linked the posts to the "appropriate" pages so things will show up on certain pages instead of having everything on the "main" page. There might be some issues with that, as I'm still trying to figure out how to do it and get everything where I want it.
Initially, I figured I could add a page, which I could then use in the same way as the main page, but it doesn't work that way, so I had to remove the pages I had created, and create a "link page" instead. As I've said, not very tech savvy at all, so I might not have everything set the way it should be.

I'll have to wait and see what happens.
So far, everything seems to be where I would want it to go.


I've added these new categories:

* Moody - This is where I will post stuff about me, my life, my son, my dog, etc
* Dreams - Need I explain?? I'll be posting about my dreams, wild and other, and maybe help you dream a little as well
* Published Work - This is where I'll be bragging my butt off .... once I get something published that is ... LOL
* 24 Fan Fic - Instead of having everything slapped together, I decided to filter my posts for you and here is where you'll find my fan fic
* Erotic - The secret little nook, the adult section of my blog. You *must* be in legal age to browse it, stories will be both in Dutch and in English, so if you're looking for some inspiration, here's where to get it ... LOL

More might follow at a later stage.
For now, this is it.

I hope you'll all enjoy the new set-up and if you have any comments, remarks or requests, I'll be happy to read about it in the comment section.

Moody

It's a word.
It's a name.
It's a state of mind.

But where did it come from?

Here's the place for you to find out more about me.

Who is Moody?

I guess everyone can be moody at times, but no one can be as moody as Moody is. LOL
Now, where did it come from?

A few years ago ... okay, fine, over a *decade* ago, I worked at Disneyland Paris.



I'm not sure how people feel about that, but I don't really care. I had a blast. I worked there for 3 years, starting in 1995. The main reason why they hired me, is because I speak 4 languages and Main Street is the one place where they need that most since all visitors come through there at least twice every. The more languages you speak, the more visitors you can assist, so the choice was logical. After a year and a half approximately, I moved on to Discoveryland before moving out of the park and into one of the hotels about 6 months later, where my languages still opened all the doors. At the Sequoia Lodge hotel, I was also "noticed" by the Parade manager, which resulted in this:

 

It's hard to tell (and maybe even harder to believe), but that's me (oh, but don't tell the kids, okay!!!!)

I had an absolute BLAST, even though it wasn't always easy. The feeling you get when all those kids rush you, happy smiles on their faces and magic in their eyes .... you can be depressed when you walk out "on stage", but it sure doesn't last long. Before you know it, there's an ear-to-ear smile on your face that just won't go away, no matter what.

It's excellent therapy!!!

Something else I did while in Disney, was spend a lot (a whole heck of a lot actually!!!) time in the Village, more specifically at Billy Bob's Country and Western Saloon. It still exists nowadays, but things have changed so much since they added the second park, I don't think I would still enjoy it as much as I used to. The one reason why I spent so much time at Billy Bob's, is the fact they had live country music every night. The band's name: The Moody Brothers.


In this picture, from left to right: Billy Helms, Marcc Nutter and Brian (sorry, can't remember your last name), in the back, behind the drums is Greg Auch.

These guys rock in more than one ways.

When I returned home after 3 years, I wanted to do something to keep the memory alive. I started using the internet and when I was prompted to enter a username, I adopted "moodywizz" as a name. It later morphed into simply "Moody" and more recently into "Moody Val".

Bottom line, Moody Val is a total fruit loop who likes to run around in costumes, making little kids happy and loves country music so much, she didn't want the memory of a great bunch of musicians to fade away.

Stick around to learn more about me.
I promise you, there's a LOT more to come.

Toodles for now!

Dreams - A new page

A place for me to share my dreams with you.A place for you to dream along with me.

Welcome to the Land of Dreams.


Jul 27, 2014

Fancy!!

How do you like the new look of my blog??
I've been fiddling with it for the past hour or so, and it's looking pretty fancy to me.

So what do you think??
Do you agree?
Or do you think it looks cheeky? Childish maybe?
How do you like the colors?
Does it improve the reading comfort/quality at all?

I'll be looking into a different cover page photo as well, but don't expect to see a huge pic of me sitting there in the near future, that's not gonna happen. EVER!!!

Feel free to drop me a note if you'd like, any feedback is highly appreciated.

I've also added new pages (took me a while to figure out how to actually make them show up, but hey, I did it!!!) so tell me what you think.
Is there anything else you would like to see here?
Or is it too much already??

LOL

Looking forward to reading some feedback!

Imagine - A novel update

Might as well give it its own post.

I finally got back to editing my novel, even though I'm still waiting for my beta readers to get back to me with their feedback. Having only 1 person comment on the first 50 pages isn't going to cut it, but there's not much I can do aside from asking them every other week or so. Unfortunately, I keep getting the same answer and still no "full" feedback.
One of them admitted to having stopped reading "for some reason" at about the halfway point, but upon reflexion, he said it was probably due to the fact he had been reading it on his computer screen. He promised he would transfer the file to his e-reader for a more comfortable read and he also told me he had a 1-week vacation coming up, during which he would finish the read and send me feedback .... but I can't remember which week he said ... lol
He did however, give me some general feedback already, along with a pretty massive compliment I never saw coming. It felt great hearing it, even though I immediately had to put things back into perspective. Yes, my English is really good and yes, I do master my craft, but to say I'm better than native writers .... I'm not gonna go that far, even though he sure did. Makes me wonder what kind of books he is usually reading .... LOLLLLL!!!

Okay, back to the update.

Last night, I went over chapters 2, 3, 4 and 5 with a fine comb, filtering out 1 typo (yep, just one in 4 chapters and it wasn't even *really* a typo, I just put "the" where it should've been "he") and changing 1 action scene (which I had been given feedback on, and agreed to the fullest) and 1 description (which actually gave me more trouble than it's worth!!!).

So now, I'm about to tackle chapter 6. Hopefully I'll be able to work my way through a few more and get it polished a little more, then I can sit back and wait for the feedback, which will - again, hopefully - enable me to make the story shine even more.
Once I've rubbed enough wax on and off again, I'll be sending it off for professional formatting. It's the perk I chose "in exchange" of my contribution to a project that ran on the FWG Facebook page. When all is said and done, I'm hoping to get my cover finalized as well (and I am once again looking at the possibility of having a hand-drawn front cover .... whooop whooop!!!) at which point my first novel *will* be ready for publishing.

I also hope having "broken the spell" on the writing side of things, I'll be able to work up the energy (and catch the flow) to get back to writing book 2 in this series. I still have 3 stories planned with the same MC, so I really need to get busy on this.

Bye bye for now.

Neglect!

It's the only correct word for it: Neglect!
I have neglected a lot of things lately.
This blog in the first place.

I had so many things I wanted to blog about. So much stuff I wanted to share or just "throw out there". I ended up doing no such thing. And this just made me think of one of my co-workers, because he always gets it wrong, he says "I will do not such thing" .... blahhh. Yes, I keep correcting him and yes, he keeps getting it wrong. Smartass!!

But no, work is not something I wanted to blog about, nor are my colleagues, I have to deal with that 5 days a week already, I'd rather not think about it/them when I don't have to.

I might be flooding this little area with posts in the next few hours, get those things off my chest/mind/hands that I've been meaning to get off and maybe - hopefully - find my "inner peace" again. Maybe that's what's been keeping me awake at night, or maybe it was just the heat. I don't know, and I don't really care. Bottom line is: I have been extremely tired lately.
I have no idea what caused it or how I can "fix" it again, but I do know I can't stay like this much longer. I'm starting to see two words wash in and out of focus at times and they're not inspiring confidence .... at all.

The first one is "Burned".
The second one is "Out".

Together, they scare the hell out of me!

I'm 42, I shouldn't be facing those two just yet.
But here I am, neglecting everything and everyone just the same.
Like I said, I have no idea what caused it, nor do I know how to stop those words from becoming reality.

Thing is, I've got things going for me. I have a job that pays reasonably well, I have a place to live and food in the fridge, running water and electricity, a bed to sleep in (even though I *really* need a new mattress!) and a connection to all of my buddies out there. I have finished writing what will be my first novel, my kid is growing up real nice and my mom is helping me out in everything she can. So, what's wrong with me? Why are those two words sneaking up on me? Where did they come from? And how the *hell* do I wipe them away?

Do I need a vacation? (I know I do, but is that going to solve "the problem")
Or do I need professional assistance? What kind? A doctor? A shrink? An exorcist??
Or do I just need to kick my ass into gear and break the spell? Is that going to keep them at bay? And if so, for how long?? Will they just draw back into the shadows and wait for another chance to sneak up on me?
Am I better off breaking the routine?
Getting away from the "drag" of life?
But how can I?
Quit the job? Take up sports? Force myself to go out more?

For now, I've gotten back to my writing project, which is good since I've neglected that for far too long already. Now, if only my beta readers would get their butts in gear as well, it would help me make this thing better yet. Without their input, all I can really do, is filter out any typos I may have left in (found 1 last night in the 4 chapters I edited) and edit bits and pieces that don't feel or sound right, or that flirt with the surreal a little too much. Keeping in mind this story started out as another one of my 24-fan fics, it goes without saying the power of the Bauer is greater than anyone else's (HA!!) which is why I had to change a few scenes that Jack Bauer might've gotten away with, but no "normal mortal" would. Like shooting at the military (oops!) and blowing out a headlight with a single well-aimed shot (yes, Jack Bauer *can* and *will* do that!!)

I'm happy I decided to leave the 24-fandom though, because it enabled me to create my own character, make up his background, think up a family situation and build up from there. Granted, Brian Tucker is a lot like Jack Bauer, in many ways, but he *is* an original character with a mind of his own. He will also have adventures of his own. Yes, you'll probably *feel* a little Jack Bauer in my books, but hey, I wrote about the man for over a decade, what do you expect???

So much for neglect.
I'm gonna get back to it and see if I can put a lid on those two words.

Catch ya later!!

Apr 15, 2014

One down, twelve to go

Alrighty then!!!

This isn't going to be a very long post, but merely an update on my work.

I started editing my soon-to-be novel yesterday and have finished Chapter 1. That now has 4.200 words and is looking in much better shape than it was before. A few tips from my beta reader gave me what I needed to work certain section out a little more, changing and/or adding to them to keep the pace and make for a better reading experience (or so I hope).

I will have to get my butt in gear though (which is why this post won't be long) because I have 11 more chapters and an epilogue to get through and only 7 days off work (and a few things planned, which will further limit the available time).

There's no need in saying I'll keep my fingers crossed, because then I can't type anymore, so I'll just keep that rabbit's foot close-by and hope I can get to the end of this in a timely manner.

On to chapter 2 I go ....


LOL

Apr 9, 2014

At long last ....

Those of you who know me personally or even just more than "only online", you know I have a number of tattoos. These are a means for me to express certain feelings and emotions.
Now, at the age of nearly 42, I have finally gotten to a milestone.

My mother, who has always been against tattoos and has never had anything good or positive to say about my tattoos, has finally gotten to a point where she understands and accepts my way of expressing certain things.

3 years ago, I got my son's name tattooed to my right wrist while I was in New York to see Kiefer perform in "That Championship Season". Right from the start (I sent her a picture of the tattoo while I was still away), she disliked it. Not the tattoo itself, and definitely not the fact I had my son's name inked to my skin, but the "extra" curl on the M. She felt it made the letter look a lot more like an N instead. It bugged her and she didn't miss a chance to tell me so.

Here's the picture for reference.


Since my son is just about everything to my mom, I didn't want her to have bad or negative feelings about that tattoo, so I went looking for something to add, which would camouflage the curl. I ended up finding a dragon image I liked and sent it off to a tattoo artist I recently discovered (who lives 5 houses down fom my mom's actually, which is super convenient) and I asked him if he could fit it "to" the other one.

The result is this:


He went over the name as well, making it look and feel like it was only one tattoo.
My son was born in the year of the Dragon and he has always liked dragons (toys, movies, books, you name it, he wanted it!!!) and I found an image of a dragon to go along with his name perfectly fitting.
My mom loved it!!

At a later time, we were talking about it and she actually told me she likes that tattoo very much. She still doesn't approve of the fact I have so many and she's not a big fan of the idea I still want more, but she came to the conclusion (finally!!!!) it was my body, my life and my decision. In the end, I'm the one who has to live with them.

This conversation meant the world to me. When all you've ever gotten was negative or reprimanding, this felt like a "get out of jail free" card. As a result of that conversation and the fact my mom has now gotten to *that* point, I could add another one, as meaningful as every other one I have.

This is it:


In case you can't read it well, it says "Those who mind don't matter, those who matter don't mind".

The day after I got it done, my son asked me what the text means and I translated it for him, then explained what it truly means. My mom matters to me, and now she doesn't mind anymore, so I could get that one done. I think my mom finally understood the deeper, true meaning of all that ink (I have 16 in all now, ranging from tiny ones inside my left hand, to the one you can partially see in this shot on the inside of my right forearm).

She finally understands the fact these actually mean something to me and it's not me being a rebel or a pain in the butt. All of my tattoos mean something, maybe it's something silly, but it's always part of who I am, where I've been and what I've been through.

My life hasn't always been fun and games, I've been through rough patches, but I've never let that stop me. My tattoos are a testimony to that.

Kiefer once said it about his tattoos and I really couldn't agree with him more: My tattoos are a road map, at my funeral, nobody will have to speak, just take a look at my tattoos and you'll know where I've been.

When your 'ink' is inspired by your heart and pulled from your soul, that is exactly what they are: a road map of your life.

Now my mom gets that.

Mar 27, 2014

Motivation

This post has nothing to do with my writing, that's not where motivation is lacking.
Where is it lacking, you may wonder. I'll tell you where, in my young teenage son, that's where.

He's been hell so far this school year and today, he came back with a note: Detention!!!

The reason?
Very simple, he managed to get 10 "points" on his "behavior" card. It's a very simple concept, you misbehave, forget your workbooks, forget to hand in an assignment, you get 1 "negative" point. When you reach -10, that's it, you're in detention.
This card has to be signed by the parent(s) each week and on Sunday (yes, 3 days ago!!) I noticed he was already at -8 with 2 more weeks left "on" this card (it's one card per trimester). I warned him about it, told him to be careful because he was only 2 points away from detention. He said he knew and he'd try his best .... Yeah, right!!
On Monday (so the very next day after he said he'd try his best to avoid taking any more), he forgot one of his workbooks. BAM!! (but here's the catch, he didn't tell us about it!) And today, my mom texted me after he got home, letting me know he's got detention next Wednesday. So, when I came home after work, I asked him why and he said he'd forgotten to hand in an assignment which he did on Monday at my mom's and she reminded him to take it THREE times (!!!!) while I was there because he had to hand it in. And when I asked him what the other point was about, he "confessed" he'd "totally forgotten" his workbook on Monday.

He's 13, going on 14, but jeez, we're going to have to start treating him like he's 5 again!!!

There is absolutely NOTHING that seems to help to motivate him. Last report card was a disaster (with 2 failures and a total of 59,5%), which resulted in him having to hand over the MP3 player my mom got him for his previous report card, which was 71%. His challenge was set, if he reaches 65% on the next report card, he can have it back. I gave him another challenge to see if we could tease him into acting a little more responsibly. If he doesn't reach 70% again, he's handing over his Nintendo 3DS. So far, I haven't seen any really bad tests coming back, but I've got a feeling he'll be handing over his game anyway, because the test results aren't all that good either and if he's "forgetting" to hand in his assignments again, he's not going to make it.
Thing is, if you hand in the assignment one day late, you still get 50% of the grade, if it's any later than that, you get no points at all. Last report card, he had "forgotten" to hand in FIVE assignments. These poor grades were the major reason why he dropped from 70% to not even 60%, but apparently, handing over his MP3 didn't do the trick of motivating him.
And I don't think the 'threat' to his Nintendo did any better, because he's still as incredibly sloppy in his school work as he was before, forgetting his workbooks, forgetting to hand in the assignments, or simply forgetting he had one to do, ....

I just don't know what to do to get him to move his teenage butt a little.
I don't know if I have to be more strict with him or if being less strict will help.
Do I have to go back to holding his hand and guiding him, or do I let him figure it out "the hard way" and hope it'll work out? I'm all in favor of letting him grow up and find out things aren't always going to go the way he was hoping for, but I'm not entirely sure that's what he needs. He's always been overprotected by my mom, so I'm trying to give him challenges that will help him be a little more independent, but I'm not sure that's not backfiring right now. Maybe I let him go too quickly, too suddenly, after such a long period of always having grandma around to do everything for him, I don't know.

I don't know and it's getting really frustrating!
And being alone with it, isn't helping either.
Being mom AND dad at the same time is difficult enough as it is, but when the kid's not responding to either, it gets even harder to figure out what needs to be done. Maybe he needs a boot to the ass to get him going, but he might be in desperate need of a big cuddle instead.
He's not talking either. When you ask him what's wrong, or what's going on in his head, he doesn't give you anything to work with. Also, we've noticed he's lying a lot more lately. Lying about school work, about his friends, about what he does with the money we give him so he can get a drink or a snack from the vending machines at school, ... That's really bugging us, but we don't know if it's just him being a teen, or if it's bad influence from his old man or from hanging out with the wrong kind of friends. Again, I don't know and he's not telling us, that's for sure.

I thought letting him go on skiing vacation might help, but apparently it didn't do the trick either. He said he had a lot of fun and he really enjoyed it, but when you see everything else that's happening, it makes you wonder if it's true.

Basically, I have no idea what to do right now.
Do I kick his ass or do I give him a big ol' cuddle?
Do I yell at him over his poor results or do I cheer when he gets good results on individual tests?
Do I keep trying to be mom and dad at the same time, or do I pick and 'tough luck' on what he's not getting?

Anyone with teens, or with a habit of dealing with them, feel free to leave me your suggestions in the comments.

Thanks!!

Mar 23, 2014

Game face off .... kinda


 Well, I've finally gotten to the end of it.

I have copied the content of three 120-page notebooks onto my computer, doing a first edit as I was going.

The next step in this process will be to give it a once-over and filter out the mistakes I will (probably) find (too many of) now that it's complete. Given the fact the writing process has been a stop-and-go ride which started last July (at Camp NaNo) and finished in October, being able to read the whole thing "in one go", will bring out any issues with consistency and/or pace/flow much more easily. I'm looking forward to it, hoping to discover my own work in a different way.

Next, I will have to convert my file to PDF so it can be sent out to my beta readers for revision. I'm hoping they'll be able to get it back to me in a timely manner, so I can give it another read-with-comments (or final edit if you prefer), after what I'll have to get my butt in gear to get it formatted and submitted.

Work on my cover is also coming along nicely, so I have that base covered as well.

I know there's still a lot of work that needs to be done, but I am much closer to publishing a book than I have *ever* been, which has me jumping for joy (and ignoring the pain it causes in my knees).

So far for the progression update, stay tuned for more information as it becomes available.

Mar 9, 2014

Game face is on!!

Alrighty then!
After asking several of my graphic artist friends, and getting rejections or simply no answer from everyone, I had to get busy myself. I have now made a first draft of what might very well be the cover of my first ever (self) published book.
I'm about midway copying everything to my computer as well, so this project is moving on a little more rapidly now. Gotta keep my butt glued to my chair for a while longer to finish all the copying (and first edit) so I can get it out to my beta readers for feedback.

Initially, I had been hoping to publish before the end of last year, so I'm a tad behind on schedule, but hey, I've been thinking about doing this for almost 30 years, so what's a few months ... right? Either way, this is going to happen. With the possibilities we now have to do the whole thing ourselves, and with the support of my friends and fellow writers at the Facebook community, I'm sure I'll see this one project through and put it on the (e)shelves soon.

Maybe I should try to get it out for my birthday.
Wouldn't that be a blast?
To publish my very first book for my birthday??
I think I'll go with that deadline.

See? It's not such a bad thing after all, to be talking to myself. I keep giving myself great ideas ..... if only I had enough time to follow through on all of them ..... LOL

But yeah, Game Face on and let's do this!!!

April 28th will be my deadline.
Keep your eyes on this blog, I'll be keeping you updated on the progress.

Booooo-Yahhhhhh!!


Nov 25, 2013

Feelings unmixed ...

So, let's give you an update on that incident that occurred last week.

My ex has released himself from the hospital, even though the doctors told him he really shouldn't be going anywhere OR staying on his own. But - butt-headed as he is - he decided otherwise and left anyhow (no booze to be had in hospital, ya kno).

My mom ran into our regular doctor today as she was going to the post office and they chatted a bit, so this is what my doctor (and his) told my mom.

He left hospital against all recommendations (but this isn't the first time) and he called her for an appointment. She told him he should've stayed in hospital because he had 2 small blood vessels that had been breached somewhere in his brain and he should be in medical care. He doesn't care. Neither do I!

After that, he sent a text message to my son, telling him he had just gotten back from the doctor's and he was very ill AND that he was "contagious", so it would be better if he didn't come at all over the weekend. At this point, you've got my kid cheering wholeheartedly and me fighting back a smile while wondering what the hell is contagious about being a drunken prick who hit the pavement headfirst.
Or maybe it's the stupidity that's contagious.
Or maybe the lies.
I'm not sure.

He either misunderstood what the doctors told him and thought he had meningitis, or he's just lying his ass off as usual, trying to come up with a reason for people to pity him. That's what he does best, after all, playing the poor little victim.

But anyhow, my son texted back something short and to the point "ok" and got another message back saying "aren't you going to wish me a speedy recovery?"
If you have to ask, you're not ready to hear it!
Jackass!!!!
If I had given in to my first thoughts, I would've had the kid text back "oh, are you out of the hospital already?" or "What's contagious about being drunk?"

Either way, he's not "getting that weekend back" and in 2 weeks, the kid will be in the middle of his exams and he won't be going either. It'll be the end of the year before he has to go back (besides, if he's that contagious, the kid shouldn't be going anywhere near him, right????)

But yeah, there you have it.

Sick SOB ran away from medical care -AGAIN- and is -STILL- bugging the shit out of me.
Feelings have been very much unmixed and are back to what they were, even tipping deeper into the red with all of his crap!

My mom must be right: drunks DO have a special kind of god just for them!

Nov 20, 2013

Mixed feelings ....

Today, a phone call was made to my son's cell phone. Thankfully, it was charging and so I was the one to pick it up, and not my 13-year old. It was a call from the hospital. They were calling about my ex. He was found sometime last night, after he "fell" on the street and is in intensive care right now. They were trying to locate relatives and found my son's number (they could only know it's his son because of the text messages) after they got no response at his mother's number.
According to my son, he hasn't visited his mother in over a year because they are in dispute (which doesn't come as a surprise), so I'm betting they're not about to get anything positive from that angle. I gave them his brother's name, but it's not in the phone (doesn't surprise me either), but I couldn't remember his sister's name (not that I think her number will be in there any more than the brother's is).

They told me he had a brain hemorrhage and the lady asked me if I knew what it was due to (tiptoeing around the question a bit), so I told her I could easily imagine what had caused either the bleeding, or the fall, which resulted in the bleeding: Alcohol.
She didn't need to spell it out for me, since this isn't the first time he lands his ass in hospital that way.
I asked her if she had any idea how severe his condition was and if it was a potentially fatal incident. She said she didn't know. She could only tell me there's always a risk of it being fatal. She also told me visiting hours for the ICU and that he should (normally) be moved to a regular room as of tomorrow, if his condition remains stable. She said it would be nice to have someone visit, but given the fact I'd rather see him burn in hell, I didn't really feel like going. I said we'd have to see about it, because I'm sick for the time being and him being in ICU, I may not be the best of visitors with all my viruses and bacteria.

After the call, I told my son what had happened and what (little) I knew. I asked him if he wanted to visit and he glared at me, wondering if I had lost my mind without saying the words. I told him his father probably wouldn't be going home anytime soon, so he wouldn't have to visit him this weekend and his fist went up, coming down a moment later along with a heartfelt "YES". I guess he's not really worried about skipping a weekend. Already he wasn't planning on going both days, because he has several tests next week and he wanted to have time to study for them. Now, he'll have all weekend to study.

At one point he asked me what I had asked the lady (nurse?), "can it be fatal". When I told him there was always a chance it could be, his reply made things very clear to me.
He said "On one side, it would be better if it was fatal."

I don't think I have to question his feelings about his father any longer, if he thinks we'd all be better off if he died. I agree. On one side.
On the other side, I'm still a human being and I have feelings (I even had feelings for him at one point), but I can't feel bad or sorry for him. I can't even imagine him in hospital with drains and stuff 'sprouting' from him, which is something I usually have no problem with.

Has my heart turned to stone?
No, it hasn't. Just a while ago, I was watching this video on Facebook and I cried my butt off, so I know my heart hasn't turned to stone.
I guess it just does when he's concerned.

Do I want him to die?
Maybe I do.
Maybe I don't.
I think I do, because of all the shit he put me through in the 7 years during and the 7 years after our relationship.

Does that make me a bad person?
No, it doesn't. It's a result of what he did and didn't do, of what he said and didn't say.

I started this post with the words "mixed feelings", but I guess they're not really mixed.
I think what it all comes down to, is this:

I don't give a damn either way.

And neither does his son, apparently.
I think that says enough about him.

Nov 19, 2013

Feeling like crap

It doesn't happen to me often, but when it hits, it hits hard.
You all know the feeling, right?
It starts with an irritating itch in the throat, which you think nothing of, but as the day progresses - and you're talking on the phone or to your colleagues all the time, not really giving your throat much of a rest - the itch grows into a scratchy feeling that gets more and more painful by the hour. Then, the sneezing starts. Once, twice, three times in a row, practically forcing your lungs out of your chest. Your nose starts to play along after a while, either clogging up or leaking inexplicably and unexpectedly. The worst is when it does that alternately because you don't even know what to do about it. And when the headache starts, you know you're in for a rough ride.

Now, 24 hours into it, my head is pounding, my nose is leaking while being clogged up, my ears are 'plugged' (hate that feeling of not being able to hear correctly) and I barely made it out of bed. The white on this screen is actually making my headache worse now, so I'll be cutting this short I think, but you all know what I'm talking about. Right?

Well, let me tell you one more thing about it: it sucks and I hate it!!!

Now, off to take some pain meds and drag myself all the way across town for my 2.30 appointment at my doctor's.

On the bright side: maybe I'll have some time to finish copying my notes to my computer (I'll be sure to change the background color before my skull splits in half) and finally get that book out to my beta readers.

Catch y'all on the other side.

Stay healthy (lol)

Nov 2, 2013

Flash It! Anthology - Released!!!

Heya folkies.
The second anthology I have contributed to, has been released today, November 1st.

Get your copy now!!!


This Flash It! anthology contains flash fiction (1.000 words or less) of any genre. It's a great collection of very short stories that will carry you away when you don't really have time to get into a long read. Each of the contributors has done his/her very best to offer a wide variety of high quality, inviting and thrilling stories.

You can find the hardcopy here and your Kindle version here.

I will be looking forward to reading your comments!!!

Happy reading!

PS. Edited to add: You can now also get your copy as a PDF downloadable file. Get it at Lulu

Oct 16, 2013

First published work!!!

It's here!!
It finally has arrived!!!

Come and get your copy while it's hot!!

Available on Amazon.com for Kindle here

Paperback here
It's also available for Kindle on Amazon.ca for my Canadian friends: here

Or if you prefer, you can get your copy at Createspace

It will also be available on Lulu.com in the near future, but no dates have been given yet.

I hope you'll enjoy your read!!

Oct 5, 2013

Two down, many more to come .....

Okay, so I have sent in my second "release form" today.
This one will cover my short stories featured in the "Flash It!" anthology, which will have about 60 stories, coming from 30 or so different writers. No theme, anything goes. All stories are under 1.000 words, that is the only limitation or guideline for this one.

I haven't read any of these stories, so I have no idea what to expect, which makes it even more exciting.
As of now, I don't have a release date yet, but I will be sure to keep y'all posted about the developments on that side.

For now, October 15th is still a go for the WAII project, The End of the World as we wrote it, and I'm super duper excited about that.


I'm also in the final paragraphs of my first novel, so I'm hoping to get that finished within the next few days, copy it all to my computer and get it out to my beta (may have found my second one today, but that's not confirmed yet).
For the time being, I've got mixed feelings about the blurb that will go on the back flap of the book, so I'll share both with you. Feel free to comment with which one you prefer.

1) Head of the Federal Anti-Terrorism Agency and former Special Forces weapons specialist, Brian Tucker is sought out by an alien race in their attempt to find an ally. Tucker, a recent widower, answers the aliens' plea and –with his twin sons safely away at boarding school- embarks on an adventure far beyond his wildest imagination. But can experience alone suffice when the creatures' motives become more shady by the minute?
Tucker will have to fall back on his many years of training and find a way to put a lock on his excitement, in order to see this mission through and make it back home to his boys.


I've had some feedback on this and took some of the suggestions, thus making a completely different version, from a different point of view.

2) Driven to despair/desperation by a conflict they can no longer control, an alien race roams/crosses the stars in hope of finding an ally. Brian Tucker, head of FATA (will be spelled out in full) and former Special Forces weapons specialist, fits their profile.
Tucker, a firm believer, is easily convinced his combat/military experience can help these aliens restore order/peace on their planet. A recent widower with teenage twins in (military) boarding school, nothing holds him back and he embarks on a journey beyond his wildest imagination.
But will experience alone suffice when the aliens' motives become shadier by the minute?
Tucker will have to rely on his training and improvisation skills in order to survive and make it back home (to his family).


On this version, I haven't had as much feedback yet, because it's still pretty "new". The words separated by a / is when I'm unsure which one will fit best and the bits between brackets is extra info I'm not sure I'll add in.

I'd love to read what you think about these blurbs.
Would they convince you to pick up my book and give it a read?
What can I do to convince you if it doesn't?
Where can I improve?
What can I improve?
Is it too long, too short, too much info, not enough info?

Thank you!!

Oct 3, 2013

Published Author - Blogging - all audiences

Okay, this is it!!!
Less than 2 weeks from now, I will be a published author!!!

Yes, that's right! Less than 2 weeks!!!

On October 15th, 2013, the "Writers' Anarchy II: The End of the World as we Wrote it" will become available. This anthology features my story "Weapon of Mass Destruction", along with 20 or so other stories, all touching the theme, one way or another.
More information can be found at this super cool website

It will be available on Amazon and Lulu.com for download or in printed version. This means everyone can get it just the way they like it. Come get it while it's hot and enjoy the read.

What can you expect?
A wide array of approaches to the common theme, some sci-fi, some adventure, some romance, a lot of surprises and a damn good read. I know, I helped with the editing process, so I've read at least half of the stories in it and I can assure you: you won't be disappointed. And don't let the theme discourage you, the world will not be blown to pieces in every story .... it's just the end of the world "as we know it".

Press Restart, Sniff, Operation Adam and Eve, The Human Garden; these are just a few stories that will take you on a journey with a surprising end. So, do yourself (and all of us) a favor, mark the date on your calendar and get your copy!!!

Thanks and ..... Enjoy!!!!!

Oct 1, 2013

Excited - Blogging - Life - all audiences

The last two days have been really good to me. Despite a (very) short night Sunday (slept about 2 hours), I had a productive day at writing as I hit "a roll". Apparently, I'm still on it and I am drawing really, really close to those two magical words I have been dying to write again for some time.

Indeed, the project I started during this summer's NaNoWriMo Camp, is coming to conclusion. I decided not to wait for another NaNo-moment and continued writing it, bringing it from 16.500 words approximately at the end of July, to a full size novel. I am not 'up to date' when it comes to copying it from my notebook to my computer, but so far I've got about 32.000 words on my computer already, with another 20.000 or so waiting patiently to be transfered from print to digital form. I will have to find the time to get to that, especially since I will have to send it to my elected beta-reader.

Right now, I have a few more steps to take before I get to that point.
First, I have to finish the story. I'm in the final stretch and I can practically *feel* the magic happening, but I'm not there yet. My commute should be a little (lot) longer and my hands should move faster (and stop scrapping stuff).
Second, I have to copy the whole thing to my computer. This is going to take some time, but if I can really sit myself down and forget about Facebook and my son's war game, it shouldn't take me more than a weekend. Now, to convince my mom to stay away .... (fingers crossed!!!)
Third, I have to reread it. All of it. It was written in many different states of mind, under many different impulses and I have to make sure those don't reflect in the writing. I also have to make sure I don't repeat myself too often. And possibly filter out some typo's and other flaws.

After these three steps, I can move on to the next big stage in this process: get it out to my beta-reader(s). It is a sci-fi, action novel, so if you're interested in helping me out, feel free to comment and I'll get back to you.
I will also have to contact a former colleague of mine, who makes the most awesome drawings (and who will hopefully accept to make my cover image).
I will also have to get cracking on that blurb I want to put on the back flap. I've started on it, but I knew it wouldn't be easy, so I'm struggling (and asking for feedback on a few different levels, including my beta-reader who already said he's really interested in reading the story now that he's read the first draft of the blurb (yayyyyyy!!!!!))
Finally, I will have to get my butt in gear and gather all the information I need in order to self-publish this little piece of me.

And the very last step, is pray it gets picked up by some folks. At least a few. That would be nice ... ;o)

And for now, I'm gonna go and get busy on it.

Bye for now.
Will keep you updated when I have more to say.

Aug 30, 2013

The Chosen - WW 24-hour contest - Summer 2013 - all audiences

Heya folks,


We've heard back from Writer's Weekly as the results are in: I didn't win a damn thing!

Duh!!

But hey, that means I can ask you guys to give my story a read and tell me if you think I should've won something, even if it's just a door prize (which is an e-book of your choice). So, here it comes, I've left the prompt in, so you can see what the starting point was on this one.

Enjoy the read and make sure to let me know what you think ;o)

Thank you!!!



Prompt:


Holding the sleeping infant on her shoulder, she gazed peacefully at her surroundings. Tourists wandered in and out of stores, an old man was setting up his easel by the lakeshore, and a
child's balloon escaped into the breeze. A moment later, she looked up as shouts startled her and the baby. Everybody was running in her direction...


~~~~~


The chosen.



Holding the sleeping infant in a loving embrace, she let her eyes drift. Feeling peaceful and emotionally fulfilled, she took in her surroundings. The sun warmed her face and she instinctively adjusted the hat to better protect the small head and face, keeping her baby safe from the sun. Tourists wandered in and out of stores down by the lake, eager to find the perfect souvenir to take home with them and thankful for the momentary escape from the heat. Others strolled along the lakeshore, happy to be near the water as it brought some relief. On the far side of the lake, an old man was setting up his easel, his slender limbs moving in slow motion but with experience. He had probably performed these actions a thousand times before.
Her eyes continued to float as she took in the scenery; a group of children playing near a fountain, their cheerful voices carried on the warm winds blowing across the land; the seemingly endless line of people at the ice cream cart enjoying a clown’s entertainment while they shuffled forward a few inches at a time, their minds on the ice cold treat that awaited them. A young family walked by, the children running ahead, dragging colorful balloons in their wake. She smiled and watched as one of the balloons came detached, causing an immediate reaction in the entire family. The younger boy, his balloon now drifting up lazily, cried out in anguish at the loss of his toy; his brother, a few years older, stopped and turned, his face turning to sadness in a blink; the mother moved forward to comfort her child while the father attempted to recover the balloon. He only missed it by an inch, but the wind lifted it beyond his reach and he turned to his child, an apology ready on his lips.

The baby in her arms stirred and she looked away from the family, giving all of her attention to the child. A moment later, she looked up as shouts startled her and the baby. Everybody was running in her direction. She tightened her arms instinctively, comforting and protecting as her baby cried in alarm, but she could not tend to it now. First, she needed to understand why everyone was running and why they were all running in her direction. She saw nothing that might have caused a panic in all those people, yet they ran as if their lives depended on it. Her eyes found the young family as they joined the others in their inexplicable race; the youngest boy -still sad about the loss of his balloon- now cradled in his father’s arms for safety; his brother pacing their mother with some difficulty, holding on to her hand for dear life. She could not see fear or anguish on their faces. What she saw puzzled her and she turned away from the advancing crowd, looking behind her for answers she did not have.

The mountain slope behind her house was empty, as it had been when she stepped out a few moments earlier. She saw nothing that might explain the sudden rush of the villagers and tourists alike. Even the old man had abandoned his easel and was making his way to the mountain, an eagerness in his halting steps she could not clarify. She could hear their voices, excited and vibrant, rolling up along the path ahead of them. The mountain trembled softly beneath her bare feet as dozens more began the gentle climb some 200 feet away. They would be upon her in moments and still she knew not what had caused the stampede in the quiet and peaceful lakeshore village. She whirled around, still trying to hush the child in her arms, as the fastest men reached the edge of her property. They slowed but did not stop and quickly pushed the ornate gate out of the way, continuing their rush forward as others followed in their wake.

Her fear gripped her tightly as they approached gingerly, arms outstretched, an expression of amazement and happiness on their faces. She took a step back, turning sideways to protect the child, but they were all around her now, filling the garden with their excitement. Their voices blended together, making it impossible for her to understand what they were saying; their hands touched her, gently, reverently. The murmur overwhelmed her with its rhythm and the words became clear.
‘The one.
You are the one.’

She turned slowly, feeling their hands on her body, realizing with a sudden shock her child was no longer in her arms. Her breath stalled in her throat and her eyes scanned the crowd, urgently and desperately. She did not see her baby boy. She did not hear his cries. A tug on her arm made her look down and she saw the young boy who had lost his balloon moments before their irrational rush. He was no longer sad, instead his little face beamed with expectation.

“Can you bring back my balloon?” he asked, hopeful.

“I don’t know.” she answered, her mind racing.

Suddenly, the world went dark and the murmurs ceased, causing her ears to ring with the memory of them. The hands fell away from her and everyone stood in silent shock.

“Cut!” a voice rang out from the darkness, “Who turned off the lights in here?”
“Goddamn it!”


 The end.

Aug 5, 2013

Leap into the unknown ....

As far as "leaping off into the unknown" goes, I've had my share this year already. Not only did I start this blog in January, I have also chopped the head off a good number of other things.

First of all, I joined the group of Fiction Friday writers, discovering a new prompt every week and daring to write non-fiction for the first time in my life. It was quite the experience and I like what I did with those non-fiction prompts. In a way, it's enabled me to shed some light on certain things and to shake some stuff off. It's therapeutic to some extent and I know there will be more.

Next, I joined a number of communities, both on Blogger and on Facebook, expecting nothing but hoping for the best. Not all have proven to be interesting or useful or even helpful. Others have given me so much more than I could ever have expected. One of these Facebook groups (yeah, I can hear your comments all the way across, Facebook of all things!) has turned out to be the best thing I could possibly have gotten involved in. Not only did I find an incredible vibe there, and a bunch of awesome people, but they are also giving me the push I need to do what I want most: get my work published.
That's right, you read that correctly. I am going to get some of my work published because of/thanks to a Facebook group. These folks are fabulous and they are intense. They want to make it work and they will drag you along if you let them. I let them. In November of this year, the group will publish it's second anthology. I will be part of that. One of the short stories featured, will be mine. And there you go, Facebook isn't all bad, mom. It's getting me published!

This group has other plans on the table aside from this second book. There will also be a "Flash It!" anthology before the end of the year, which will feature 2 of my flash fics. A flash fic, for those who are unfamiliar with it, is a short stand alone story, written in 1.000 words or less. If you've been reading my blog, you might recognize the stories, I have edited 2 I had already posted here. Let me know if you find which ones they are. I'll be sure to keep you updated on a release date for this anthology as well.

Aside from these project, I have also participated for the second time in the Writer's Weekly 24-hour Flash Fic Contest. I think this story is much better than the one I wrote for the Spring Edition and I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a positive outcome. Maybe I'll win something this time. The votes should be in by the end of this month at what time I'll post the story along with its prompt.

Next to all of those projects, I also enlisted in the summer edition of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). This usually takes place in November and you have one month to write a 50.000 word novel. Being a single mom with a full time job and a horribly long commute, I didn't think I would manage 50k in just one month, but the Camp version allowed you to set your own word count. I set my goal to 15k, hoping I would be able to juggle everything I had committed to.
I have no idea how I did it, but I did it and I got to a total word count of 16.451. That makes me a very happy camper. In more than one way. Not only did I reach my goal, the cabin I was part of, reached it's total word count, despite the fact one of the cabin mates balked out. One other mate didn't reach her goal, but the rest of us made up for that.







Now, I'm on vacation and I'm looking forward to a relaxing time with my son, possibly a few days at the beach, but not sure if and when and I'm hoping I can continue working on that novel I started. It's well on its way, that's for sure. And I am pretty confident this will be my first ever (self) published book. I will be sure to keep you updated about that, but now that I've found the drive to do this and the support I need to pull me through the hard times, I am definitely going to make that childhood dream come true. Finally!


And for those of you who are interested in that anthology I was talking about: here's a link http://writersanarchy.com/

Jun 30, 2013

Mission X - Fan Fiction

Hi folks.

Yes, I'm back. Well, actually, I was never away, I just wasn't posting anything, because I lacked the time (poor excuse, I know!). I recently joined a Facebook group of/for writers and have been sucked up in that, working on several projects all at once (writing my own and beta-reading other people's work), so I have been very busy, but it really isn't an excuse for not posting anything here.

So, today I make amends.

This here story, is one I just cooked up and it's kind of a request. I say 'kind of', because it's not really a request per say. We were discussing this in the Fiction Writer's Group (that's the one on FB) and I mentioned some of my readers (at Kieferland forum a few years ago) had told me I should be writing 'on' 24. One of the other members commented that he would want to write an episode for 24 as well, act in it and be killed by Jack. So, I offered to write a story for him to which he replied with "Kill me, Moody, kill me good."

And so it shall be.

Enjoy your demise, my friend!





Mission X.


It was a simple task. Find the person of interest and bring him in for questioning. If that could not be achieved, terminate the subject.
He wasn’t happy about the assignment at first, because he didn’t like the idea of censorship, but after reading some of the man’s works, he agreed it was the only course of action. This man had to be stopped. By any means necessary.

The first part of the job was the boring one: determining the man’s location. It meant countless hours of going over all the available information, checking video material, pulling up surveillance footage and running face recognition on all of it. It took hours, thankfully it didn’t take him hours, he had people to do the boring work for him. He kicked into action once their work was done. Once they had a possible location, he would strap on his flak, get behind the wheel and get out there to apprehend the subject. That was his job.
For now, he waited, impatiently so. He hated sitting around doing nothing. Twice, he picked up the phone to get an update. Twice, he was told they had nothing new and couldn’t work any faster than they already were. He paced his office, eyeing the phone on his desk, but he refrained from using it again. It took a lot of energy to keep from yelling at his people to get a move on. Data simply didn’t work as fast as he would’ve wanted it to.
When his phone rang, his eyes went down into the bullpen, trying to determine who was calling him even before he saw the caller’s name on the display.

“Yes, Chloe?”

“I have a possible location.”

“Talk to me.”
She gave him an address.
“Send it to my PDA.”

“Already did.”
The device bleeped in his pocket.

“Good. Send an assault team to that location but tell them to wait for my orders. I don’t want them barging in and spooking the guy.”

“Got it.”

“Thank you, Chloe.”

She blushed but didn’t respond and hung up without another word, only to pick up the receiver and dial another number.
He hung up, turned to his locker and slipped his flak on, checked the weapon on his hip and secured it and turned back to get his jacket.
“What do you want, Chase?” he asked, as the young man was standing in the doorway.
He hadn’t bothered knocking, which was a habit he wouldn’t mind knocking right out of him.

“Chloe said you had a location.”

“Possible location.” he corrected.

“Can I come?”

“Why would you want to come, Chase?”

“I’m a field agent, no?”

“Yes. So?”

“Shouldn’t I be coming?”

“Do you think you should?”

“Yes.”

“Then why aren’t you geared up?”
Three weeks on the job, but the kid was giddy as hell and he knew it would take a strong hand to guide him.
“Flak, weapon and spare ammo.” he stated, “Cell phone, PDA and handcuffs. I’m not waiting for you.”
He slipped his jacket on and walked out of his office, down the stairs and across the bullpen to the security desk. A swipe of his badge logged him out and he greeted the men on the way out of the building. He was halfway to his car when Chase caught up.
“Did you log out?”

“Yes.”

“Did you?”

“They called me back.” Chase admitted sheepishly.

“You’ll learn.” he commented with a grin he couldn’t hide.

“Can I drive?”

“No, I’m not suicidal.”
He got in behind the wheel and drove off seconds later. There was no way in hell he would let the rookie drive the powerful –and fully loaded- SUV through downtown LA in rush hour traffic. It was bad enough negotiating it when you were accustomed to both the vehicle and the traffic, he wasn’t willing to die just yet.

Thanks to the siren and flashing lights, they made good time, arriving on the scene mere moments after the assault team. He issued his orders, having the team stand by until further notice, and took Chase into the building. He checked in with a reception clerk and was quickly directed to the conference room, hosting the critique event. Armed only with a pixilated photo of their subject, they entered the room and started scanning faces. He sent Chase off to one side, while circling around the other side himself. Their subject was nowhere to be seen, or at least no subject resembling the grainy photo on his PDA was to be seen. He approached the host of the event, quietly separating him from the main group of attendees.

“My name is Jack Bauer, I’m with CTU.” he said, discreetly showing his badge, “Do you know a writer by the name of Dave Perry?”

“Well, not personally.” the host replied, “I think his name is on the list, though. Would you like me to check?”

“We’ll check it with you.”

“Of course.”

The man’s sudden agitation put Jack’s senses on alert and he followed closely behind him, trying to locate Chase in the crowd. When they passed by a service door, the man turned, shoved him hard enough to throw him off balance and blasted through the door.

“Dammit!” he cursed, struggling to find his footing.
The helpful hands weren’t helpful at all and he shrugged them off as they held him back.
“Chase!” he bellowed, dashing forward now that he was free of the crowd’s assistance.

He shot through the door, banging his shoulder harder than he would’ve expected and went down the stairs, taking them three at a time. He turned the first landing before Chase even made it to the door.

“I don’t know where he went,” he called, “check upstairs, I’m going down.”

“Got it, Jack.”

Taking the stairs faster than he knew was healthy, but determined not to let the man get away from him, he tried to focus on footsteps other than his own. A door banged and he used the railing to slow himself down. Judging from the sound, it had come from below, but he wasn’t ready to put all his eggs in one basket, so he continued alone instead of calling Chase to join him. He did call the assault team, informing them someone might try to break out, probably from the underground parking lot. They moved into position to intercept and he acknowledged that as he pushed through the door and into the parking area. Being on the radio and assuming his quarry was on the run, he didn’t see the threat until it was too late. A bright red flash, then a skull-splitting impact and he went down hard, darkness enveloping him.
The fire extinguisher clanged to the ground and his assailant ran off now that his first pursuer was out for the count. The blood on the agent’s face didn’t stop him, even though he felt more like throwing up right now. Instead, he turned and ran, trying to locate his car. He found it just as booted feet ran down the ramp and into the parking lot, guns at the ready. He slipped inside and locked up, staying low and out of sight. Hopefully. Through his rearview mirror, he kept an eye on the men at the ramp and cursed softly when the group broke up, leaving two men with automatic weapons to guard the ramp, while the rest of them started searching the area. He would never get away from them. They would gun him down before he got anywhere near the ramp.

“Agent Bauer, come in.”
“Agent Bauer, do you copy?”
They got no reply.
“Agent Edmunds, do you copy?”

“Edmunds here.”

“Do you know where agent Bauer is, sir?”

“He went downstairs.”

“We’re in the parking lot, but he’s not responding to our calls.”

“Find him. I’m coming down.”

“Copy that.”
“You two, stay here and don’t let anyone out. You, with me. You two, take that side.”

Minutes went by, but when Chase came through the door, he found Jack’s body, unconscious and bleeding from a gaping wound across the forehead. The fire extinguisher lying nearby told the rest of the tale. He summoned the assault team and together, they managed to rouse Jack.

“What the hell happened?”

“I don’t know.” Jack grumbled, “The sonofabitch was waiting for me.”

“You took a bad hit, Jack. Stay down.” Chase suggested when Jack started struggling.

“I’ve taken worse.” Jack growled, shoving Chase’s hand away from him, “Did you find him?”

“We found you.”

“There’s no APB out on me.” Jack replied grumpily, “Find him.”

“The exit is covered, sir.” the team leader said, “We didn’t see anyone leave, so he’s still here. Somewhere.”

“Get a few more teams in here and find him.” Jack ordered, raising a hand to his face.
It came back sticky with blood.
“Dammit.”

“You need an ambulance.” Chase said matter-of-factly.

“No kidding, Sherlock.” Jack huffed, once more shoving Chase’s hand away, “Go find the bastard.”
Shaking his head in disbelief, he moved to a nearby car and sat on its bumper.
“I can’t believe I asked him.”
He pulled out his PDA and checked the picture on the device again. It didn’t look anything like the man he had spoken to. What a fuck-up.

It only took the extra teams –and the ambulance- a few minutes to get there and –despite two paramedics hovering around him- Jack orchestrated the search of the underground parking lot, setting the teams in motion before allowing anyone a medical time-out, especially himself. One of the medics dabbed at the blood on his face while the other checked his vitals.

“This will need to get stitched up.”

“Patch it up for now, I’ve got a job to do.” Jack grumbled angrily.
Those two weren’t going to stop him from getting the job done.
Not today.

“You may have a concussion, you need to go to hospital and get checked out.”

“I’ll go to the clinic when we get back. Just stop the blood from running in my eye.”

“That’s easy for you to say. Did you see that gash?”

“No.” Jack admitted.
It had felt pretty nasty when he touched it.

“What did they hit you with anyway?”
Jack nodded his head toward the fire extinguisher on the floor.
“Then I’ll make the call myself. You have a concussion, you need to go to hospital.”

“I’ll go when we’re done in here. Now stop the bleeding or I’ll do it for you.”

“Have it your way.” the medic huffed, pressing down on the wound and making Jack hiss in pain.
It took a long moment, but then the bleeding finally went down to a minimum and they quickly applied some surgical tape to keep the wound closed and put a bandage over it.
“That won’t last long. You need to go to hospital.”

“I heard you the first time.” Jack grumbled, pushing up and past the medics, “Chase, give me a sit rap.” he snapped into the microphone.

“I think we found his car.” Chase’s voice came back.

“Where?”

“Lot C 154. Straight ahead and to your right.”

“Copy that.”

He left the paramedics behind and went off to find lot C, the congregation of agents telling him where to go.

“Dave Perry, show us your hands.” he called, approaching the vehicle from the side.
There was no response, but he could see the figure huddling inside.
“I’m not going to ask again,” he warned, “show us your hands and exit the vehicle. Slowly.”

Instead, the engine turned over and the car shot away from its parking space, going backward with the intent of plowing through the group of agents. These men were well trained though and opened fire even before stepping out of the way. The bullets bit into the metal frame and punctured the tires, causing the car to come to a screeching stop mere feet from where it had been parked.

“Show me your hands!” Jack bellowed, moving in on the vehicle with his weapon drawn, “Last warning!” he added menacingly.

His eyes met his quarry’s and in that instant, he knew this was one subject he couldn’t apprehend.
His finger curled around the trigger, tightening in a slow but controlled way, squeezing off a first shot as the man in the car threw it into drive. If he gunned the engine, Jack would end up on the bonnet. Or worse. His bullet bit into the windshield and smashed through, changing its angle only slightly, ending its course in the backseat cushion, blood and brain matter spraying in its wake. A second bullet followed a slightly altered path, adding another hole to the windshield as well as to the man’s head and the front and back seats. The lifeless body slumped in the seat and the assault team moved in, killing the engine for everyone’s safety first.

“Chase, you wrap this one up.”

“Sure thing, Jack. Where are you going?”

“To hospital.”
He needed to get that wound stitched up and he needed to lie down.
Fast.

He still couldn’t believe how messed up this ‘simple’ mission had been.
And all of that because of some damned anarchist writer.