An apology, an announcement, and a new project

So, wow, I just checked the last date on this site and it was 2019, just prior to *gestures* all the things. It’s been a strange year. I had all the time to create and absolutely no brain function to do so. I played a lot of Animal Crossing. A lot. More than is healthy, really. I’m sure I’m not alone. With the vaccines rolling out, and an end to refusing to step outside my house for anything but the necessities in sight, I started to get that itch to create. I pop in to see the site is all dusty, full of cobwebs and regret, and I think I spotted a spider or two. Time to clean it up, evict the dust bunnies, and get things back on track. Which leads me to the other two parts of this post.

First, the announcement. I am two-thirds of the way through with the revision of Draxton’s Destiny, the second in the Edgeworld Chronicles. These are sci-fi lite, M/M romance, set in a distant future. The first, Subject 5691: Petri, was a joy to write. Draxton is a little tougher. Both began their lives as flash serials, but I found parts of the original to be problematic and needing a deep rewrite. At this point, I’m keeping the old text as reference but am otherwise rewriting the book from scratch. It will still need several editing passes as well as beta read-throughs, but there is forward progress being made which is more than I can say about anything in a rather long time. I’m hoping for an end of year release at the lastest, but… we all know how I am with deadlines. I love the sounds they make as they whoosh overhead.

The new project came out of nowhere, completely unplanned, but helped with Draxton as it made writing fun again. It’s loosely tied to the same scifi universe, only with a M/F pairing. Once upon a time, I wrote a flash piece called The Wolves of Sorrow based on a prompt from Chuck Wendig (back when he did flash prompts). Set on Earth Prime, the abandoned homeworld of the humans who make up the Alliance in the Edgeworld books, it owes a lot of its premise to the Isle of Dr. Moreau. Back when the Genetics Modification department which created Petri was shiny and new, it blended human and animal DNA in an attempt at creating humans with a wolf’s endurance or a cheetah’s speed. Few of those early experiments left Earth Prime, but those that did are rumored to be the origins of many of the more bestial races, such as Fieryl, the jag’haar who’s Kasseus Minshaar’s best friend.

Anyhoot (as Blathers would say), back to the new project. Several crafty folks I know decided to do some flash pieces, and we all know how much I love my flash prompts, so I joined in. The first prompt was first meetings, real-life or fictional. I floundered for a while, bouncing from idea to idea, but nothing stuck. A few days (a week?) before the deadline, I got the idea to return to Earth Prime and Sorrow. At the end of the short, Mercer had sent out a distress call. What if someone answered? Who would it be and where did they come from? Enter the Rifaniir ship, the Kaleidoscope, and Captain Vaistu Elloufen of Korlyn’s Glen on the planet Barif. I decided to bring in a new character from the village of Sorrow, someone not as beloved as Mercer but just as strong. Thus, Shoba was born in all her growly, snarly glory.

The story, just under novel length at arount 35,000 words, takes place on the Kaleidoscope as they journey from Earth Prime to Barif and was an absolute delight to write. I wrote the entire first draft in about three weeks! The words flowed so smoothly, it was like the characters jumped out of my head onto the computer screen. It took over my life, y’all! It’s sitting with beta readers now (and if anyone is interested, I could use one or two more) as I ponder which title to give it – it’ll either be Wolves of Sorrow: Shoba like in the header or Caught. There are reasons for both. I haven’t decided if I’m releasing it once it’s ready or after I’ve got a draft of book two, but as of now, it’s seen a second pass, a new prologue, and progress toward a cover.

Other than writing news, there’s not much going on. I live in a very red county in a very red state, so I’m astonished (not really) by the idiocy around me on the daily. I haven’t experienced the anti-mask screaming Karens yet, and I don’t feel left out. Prison orange is not my color. My quarantine bubble remains healthy with everyone either fully vaccinated or have had their first dose. We are a mix of J&J, Pfizer, and Moderna so if there are side effects to be had, we might see one or two lol I hope everyone is staying safe, washing hands, wearing masks, and on the list for the vaccine and maybe we’ll all be here if I forget to post for another year.

Microflash – Waiting

Continuing the microflash prompts on our local creative writing group’s Facebook page, I found this photo from our time in Washington. It’s not the best picture, taken with my cell phone in the underground beneath the city, but the light and colors sparked my imagination and I knew I had to use it. Continue reading “Microflash – Waiting”

Flash Fiction: Going Home

Well, I totally forgot to post this last month. We skipped May due to our scheduled meeting date falling on Mother’s Day and the library not having an opening on other dates, so we met in June. This should have been posted in July at the latest but… well, we all know how well I remember things. Anyway, the prompt was centered around Midsummer (or the summer solstice). I wanted the day to be important in a magical sense but wasn’t sure how I was going to use it. What I ended up with owes some credit to Seanan McGuire’s Wayward Children series. Not fanfic, per se, but definitely influenced by that series. If you haven’t read it, I recommend that you do.  If you want to read my flash, carry on! Continue reading “Flash Fiction: Going Home”

Smashwords’ Summer/Winter Sale

For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, the summer heat has us grabbing towels, sunscreen, and books (ebooks, audiobooks, or physical books) and heading to the beach. For those south of the equator, the cold of winter forces us inside with blankets, hot cocoa, and… books! In order to help everyone through the summer heat and winter cold, Smashwords is holding a sale from July 1 – July 31, and I’ve enrolled all four of my titles! Continue reading “Smashwords’ Summer/Winter Sale”

Microflash – Marking Time

In looking for a way to provide content on the local creative writing group’s Facebook page, I toyed with the idea of posting our monthly flash pieces. It would serve a few purposes: highlight great stories, highlight lovely people, and blow away the cobwebs forming in the corners of the page. But 500 words, while not a lot, is a pretty big wall of text for a Facebook post. Continue reading “Microflash – Marking Time”

Flash Fiction: Dangerous Temptation

For April’s flash prompt, we were given the phrase “a compelling voice.” Now, those who know me, probably know how hard it was not to go full-on phangirl and do a Phantom of the Opera fic. But Fieryl, my jag’haar security chief from the upcoming Draxton’s Destiny, roared quite a bit louder. This is a snippet detailing how Ta’Naii Levegaer came to be on Fieryl’s tech team to remove Draxton’s slave bands. Enjoy! Continue reading “Flash Fiction: Dangerous Temptation”

Monday Mumbles: Why Tuesdays?

Have you ever looked at something and wondered why? Check out any major media release—whether it’s music CDs, DVDs, or yes, books—and you’ll find a strange coincidence. They’re all (usually) released on a Tuesday. Smaller titles across the spectrum of media might pop up on the other days of the week, but the major titles, the Star Wars and the Stephen Kings? Tuesdays. Always Tuesdays. But why? Continue reading “Monday Mumbles: Why Tuesdays?”

Flash Fiction: One of Those Days

March’s prompt was based around an old saying, “In like a lion, out like a lamb.” The proverb, first recorded in the early 18th century, was used to predict spring weather. If March was stormy and windy, it was a “lion,” and the month would end in a much calmer fashion. The reverse was also believed to be true, a calm first of March meant storms by the end of the month. Since this is a common phrase in the southeast, it was chosen as our prompt for March’s flash piece. Continue reading “Flash Fiction: One of Those Days”

Flash Fiction: The Valentinus Ball

The prompt for the February flash fiction was, unsurprisingly, related to Valentine’s Day. Instead of choosing the day itself, we decided on Valentine’s Cards. This piece, longer than the requirement of 500 words, was an idea I simply couldn’t compress enough and be happy with it. It’s a world that’s been stewing in my brain, an alternate history ruled from the shadows by a vampire caste called the Night Barons. Not steampunk, just…Regency with a bite. So I give to you, the Valentinus Ball, a combination of Valentine’s and Sadie Hawkins Day, where a young woman shows her interest in a suitor via a simple card in hopes of catching a monster of her own. Continue reading “Flash Fiction: The Valentinus Ball”

Flash Fiction Friday: Snow

Back in November, our local writing group gave us the prompt of “Winter in the South” for our December flash story. I have very firm opinions of my fellow southerners attempting to drive in snow, most of which I probably shouldn’t put down for general consumption, so the prompt proved rather difficult for me. I wrote one story, Winter in Dixie, which I posted in December and decided against bringing to the meeting. It needed more than 500 words to make it work the way I wanted it to, and it only marginally touched on the prompt. Then the December meeting was cancelled due to holiday obligations. Continue reading “Flash Fiction Friday: Snow”