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I am nothing. I am a single grain of sand amongst billions. I am a single voice within a crowd. I am human, I am god, I am here, and this is what I have to say:

Friday, June 26, 2009

Original Work Update---Serious Attachment part 1

Today for the original work update, I'm switching gears a little bit. The following is the first half of a short story that I have written. I'll be following this up with the second half next Tuesday. Thanks to all the newcomers for stopping by, I hope you enjoy the blog and please feel free to leave your comments, I really enjoy reading and responding to them all.

Rachael was staring at the puddle of blood and white chalk outline at the foot of her driveway. Her hands were open at her sides and shaking so violently she was forced to wring them together and clasp the folds of her skirt tightly between her fingers. Her eyes were wide open raining down silent tears. Her mouth opened, closed, and opened again, but not a sound escaped her lips. She heard the sounds of the men moving at the edge of her vision. Her eyes widened as her attention turned upon them and she heard the sound of the body bag being zippered closed. The men pushed their load into the back of the ambulance and slowly headed away on quietly weeping tires.
Rachael’s eyes stared fixedly at the dark red puddle thinking of how empty she felt inside. There was a voice addressing her, but she did not respond. Her eyes were fixed within her skull, fixed upon the puddle at the bottom of her driveway, on the life spilled upon the curb.
“I’m truly sorry Ma’am.”
The voice finally succeeded in pulling her attention away and slowly she turned her head and her wide, dark eyes to the man in front of her.
“I am sorry, but we’ll need to get a statement from you as soon as possible.”
Rachael opened her mouth to speak and coughed, the words catching in her throat. She was no longer able to hold the officer’s gaze and she dropped her head down to tare at her feet.
Seeing her disposition the man hurriedly continued to speak calmly and softly. “Perhaps you should sit down, miss. Take your time.” He put his hand gently on her shoulder and tried to guide her to the bench on her lawn, but she made no response.
His hand went to the radio at his side, but as he went to retrieve it she looked up, drew a deep breath and with her shaking hands wiped at her face. “No.” She said firmly as the color slowly came back to her complexion. “I’m fine. I’m ready. What should I tell you?”
“Tell me how it started.” The man replied readying his clipboard and pencil.
How did it start? She tried to remember. It started with a phone call. No, that was not right. It started before that. “Well, I guess it started a couple weeks back.” She said quietly. “No, several actually. It was the beginning of the month. I was at the mall with my aunt. We were doing some shopping when I ran into him.” Her eyes were distant, vacant and glazed.
“Slow damn, ma’am.” The officer said calmly. “I need you to go back to the beginning. Please, tell me who he is.”

Her phone was ringing. It had been ringing, she realized slowly, as it pulled her from her sleep. Then it silenced. Rolling over she shut her eyes and pulled the covers back over her head. It rang again. Sighing she rolled out of bed and groped around in the darkness for several minutes before she grasped the phone, flung it open, and squinted her eyes away from it’s light. She sat down on the edge of her bead.
“Hullo?” She spoke into the receiver, the words grating in her throat.
“Hey Rachael, how are ya? It was really nice running into you today at the mall.” The voice was loud and chipper on the other end and she pulled the phone away from her ear frowning.
She took a moment to process the information. “. . . Josh?”
“Of course, who else?”
“Josh, I dunno, how you got my number but--”
“You gave it to me, silly.” He laughed. “You must be sleepy, sorry if I woke you.”
“BUT,” She interceded. “It’s. . .” She glanced at her clock. “It’s three in the morning, Josh. And I didn’t give you my number!”
“Of course you did.” He said with a hint of playful laughter behind his voice.
Sighing, she fell onto her back and fluffed the pillows around her.
“Whatever.” She snipped. “What the hell do you want?”
“I was just missing you, that’s all. I wanted to call and tell you how glad I was to see you today, I mean, I haven’t seen you since classes got out for the winter.”
She sighed again, very loudly, into the phone. “That’s sweet, Josh. Thanks. I really appreciate you waking me up at three a.m. to tell me so. Look, I gotta get up for work in a few hours and--”
“Okay, I’ll see you in the morning then, good night.” He quickly hung up the phone and she was left listening to the sound of the dial tone buzzing in her ear.
“What the hell?” She muttered and dropped the phone from the side of her bed. Tossing and turning it was long moments before she returned to sleep.

That morning the strange phone call was long forgotten by the time Rachael had readied herself for work. She grabbed her purse and opened the door, locking it closed behind her. She froze in mid-step, her eyes drawn to the pavement. There, on her front step, lay in a neat, little pile easily a dozen stubbed out cigarette butts and tiny pieces of burnt paper. She stared at them for a minute before looking around. Seeing nothing, she kicked the butts into the shrubs and hurriedly got into her car.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Guest Blog!

As the headline states today’s update is my much talked about Guest Blog. Rebecca Emrich, the mastermind behind the great blog Living a Life of Writing, and I recently exchanged posts for one another’s blogs.
As some of you may have seen she has been doing several different inspirational series and currently she has been tackling the topic of Writing Retreats and Mentoring. Be sure to head over there and check out her stuff, personally, I’ve found the things she has to say to be really inspirational. It was such a good experience for me to contribute to her blog, and I am really quite thankful that she took the time to contribute to mine as well.
For those that have been following, I have not been keeping any set structure to this blog, so when Rebecca asked what I wanted her to talk about my answer was simple: anything.
Imagine my surprise when she picked a topic that I myself am very guilty of more often than I want to admit. Procrastination
So without further ado I present Rebecca Emrich:

What's challenging when you write?

That's the question I've always had to ask myself, how does one person get about 3,000 words done in a day and I'm happy if I get 750? It wasn't until recently that I looked over my answer. Because I'm happy?? no, no I'm not! but that doesn't make me want to write more.

For me it's the art of procrastination, the fine art, which I'm sure everyone has. You can plan and plan and dream out what you’re going to do. Really all this means is that you're thinking. While thinking and planning are good, and I do this often, the commitment part is harder. It's not as if we can't, but we make excuses. One of my friends, over an evening of discussing writing, (This is a guy thing... so the effect didn't work as well on me) said to drop the "pro" "ination" add a couple of letters and you get: Castrate.

Every guy in the room looked sick. The point is that when you're happy with "just" you are doing exactly that. I think it's because we want to do better that we get angry at the ones who won't let anything get in their way. Yes, I know, you have kids, you only have twenty-four hours in a day, you need to work, you need... Do you need to write?

Gotcha. See, many of us find a million excuses not to write, or edit or do something we all dislike. But we in the end lose; it's not easy to think of what we can do, when we're finding things not to do. I love writing, and it comes first, well second, I have two girls under the age of five. I still find time to work around this. Coffee is great. So is not going to the latest movie, or reading the new bestseller. I have work to do. Each day I'll work about 6 hours on my book. It's in the second edit. Still it should be done soon. My editor also thinks like a reader, and thank goodness for that.

Writing can be challenging, but it's also fun. There are ups and downs, but if you're committed to being a writer, this will be the most important thing you can do for yourself. Commit to write.

I'll need to say thanks to Andrew for allowing me to guest blog here. I hope to see you on my blog. Enjoy Andrew's as well.
Thank you, Rebecca, for such a thought provoking post! There is just no easy way around it, no matter how you want to excuse not writing; by procrastinating we all are really castrating our work. I know when I take too long away from a project it can be very difficult to get back into it, to get back into my characters heads and remember the way it is that they think.
How many projects have we all set aside unfinished? Personally, I can’t even answer that question there has been so many, but as Rebecca said the key is to stay committed.
Please take a moment to share your thoughts on this topic. Although we have been discussing writing specifically it really applies to everyone, even people outside of the artistic fields. How often do we find it a lot easier to set aside what we really want to accomplish for a simple and short lived distraction?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Original Work Update---Jaccen's Story part 3

So it's Tuesday, and as promised for the original work update I'm continuing with the next scene in the installment I have been sharing. If you missed the first two parts and want to catch up check my blog archive and you'll find them under the name Jaccen's Story. This might be the last one of this story I post for a little while, I'd love to know what you guys think. So as always, please leave comments.

On a different note, something that may be old news to some of you, but is totally worth another mention for me tomorrow morning I will be posting up a guest blog by Rebecca Emrich from the blog Living a Life of Writing. www.rebeccasbook.blogspot.com Be sure to check out her blog when you have the time she has alot of great things to say.

And now for the (drum roll please) ORIGINAL WORK UPDATE!

It was only sometime later, after the room had been more or less abandoned, that Jaccen felt like he could move again. He had listened to the heavy footfalls of the giant returning and his loud snores overpowering the woman’s soft breaths beside him long enough. He forced his eyes open.
“How do you feel?” Kathraan purred beside him.
He looked down at his stomach and watched as the last traces of his wounds disappeared before his eyes. Even the black substance marring his pants began to vanish.
“Lost.” He said at length. He fumbled in his pants and found the pack of cigarettes that he had been carrying. Taking one he put it to his lips and searched for the lighter. “And I’m getting really damn sick of passing out.” he added.
“The transition is hard.” She said, and placed her finger to the end of the cigarette as he was bringing the lighter from his pocket. He froze as the end suddenly flared beneath her finger. “It gets easier though. It really does.”
“I wish I knew what the hell you were talking about.” He said, turning his wide blue eyes to stare at her. He coughed as he breathed in the toxic fumes.
“Don’t worry about it.” She said. “You’ll get your answers.” She stood up, leaned over him, and kissed him hard upon his lips. He felt his hand reaching to her side, but she pulled away just as his fingers met the thin fabric of her shirt. “Get some rest. You’re gonna need it.” With that, she began to walk away. “Hey,” she said stopping and looking back, “I don’t know what to call you.”
“It doesn’t matter.” He muttered.
She shrugged and disappeared into the hallway.
Jaccen sat back and turned to his left where the giant was snoring loudly on the other couch. He sighed, dropped the cigarette on the floor and crushed it beneath his bare foot without thinking. Grimacing he reached for his socks and shoes with the idea of leaving clearly in his mind and every intention to do so. It was when he moved, however, that he realized just how tired his body was. He stretched out and lay back on the couch. His body crumbled, his eyes closed, and his mind became more restless than the rain beating upon the roof.

“WAKE UP!” The sense of urgency behind the male’s voice snapped Jaccen to attention.
I’m awake. He thought, then, I’ve been awake. He realized that he had not gotten even a moment of sleep, since his body collapsed his mind was traveling the rainy streets of the night, tirelessly.
“Get everybody in here. NOW!”
Jaccen’s eyes shot open. The woman was gliding down the hallway quickly. Her eyes locked with his briefly, and he watched as she dropped her gaze and shook her head with a slight sigh. He wondered what that look was for.
“What’s going on?” Kathraan asked.
“Dunno, yet.” Grim was standing by the wall next to the window. His hand grasped the heavy, black curtain and he pulled it slightly to the side. Bright light flooded into Jaccen’s eyes and he blinked to adjust them while standing up. “Summin’s goin’ on out dere. Thas fir shir.” He dropped the curtain.
Jaccen decided now would be a good time to don his clothing. As he did so, he noticed Fritz’s eyes intensely upon him.
Hedrick appeared in the room and Rithain came out from down the hallway, straightening his black hair with a hand. “The Rabanaur’s?” He asked. “Looking for some vengeance, perhaps?”
“I doubt that.” Hedrick said. “What can you see, Grim?”
“Bloody-damned-nuffin’s wud Uh see, boss.”
Everyone turned and looked at Hedrick, Jaccen felt himself included. Just then a piercing note split the air persistently like the highest note of an organ whose musician fell asleep with his finger to the key.
“What did I tell you?!” Fritz snapped facing Hedrick. “It’s them!”
“Be quiet.” Hedrick said quickly. “We have no choice but to vanish.”
“And I was starting to get acquainted with this dump too.” Rithain said.
Hedrick ignored him. “Grim, can you provide a distraction and not get carried away?”
“Shir thing, boss.”
The next few seconds flashed so quickly Jaccen had a hard time following. At the same moment he heard Kathraan’s voice speaking, “Alright, people, we’re goin’ underground.” Grim vanished and the front door was sent flying into a thousand splinters of wood. His eyes were drawn outside the vacant opening to the three figures standing in a perfect triangle on the lawn. They were tall, humanoid figures, as tall as Grim, and their faces were lost in the light that seemed to radiate from them. In each of their hands they clasped a flame that flickered and danced and came to a point as sharp as a sword. He noticed the pure white, wings protruding from each of the three’s backs, like shards of glass. It seemed that in the very instant the door had shattered Grim was attacking the nearest one as the other two swarmed around him. Everyone was shouting in a mad sea of voices.
“Those are Thrones!”
“This is his fault! He brought them on us!”
“Grim, get outta there!”
“Look at how many there are!”
“He’s going down.”
“They’re gonna kill him.”
“Forget it, just run!”
Everyone was out the door as the three figures converged upon Grim bearing their weapons of flame. As Jaccen found himself on the lawn he could see at least a dozen nondescript shapes of light circling around them. The giant that wanted to kill him the night before was in a fight for his life against three figures that seemed to have no intention of losing. He could not fathom why he cared and before he knew what he was doing, Jaccen stepped into the fray to try and drive the winged creatures back.
Driven on instinct alone he dashed forward, struck one in the back with his knee, and leapt over its flailing wings to kick it into one of the others. Grim was face down in the grass. A flame came towards his legs, without a thought he kicked at it and was surprised to see, from the corner of his eye, it sail through the air, and dissipate into nothing. He noticed Kathraan was getting Grim to his feet as another figure attacked from behind; he spun, grabbed its arms and, ignoring a searing pain that shot through his hands, tossed it away. The things were relentless. Two more were beside him and he kicked, swiped and danced, just to keep them away. Somehow he managed to notice that Hedrick, Fritz, and Rithain were doing something to keep some circular balls of light at bay at the edge of the lawn. He felt like he was dreaming. Kathraan and Grim were reaching them. Then he heard her voice shouting towards him.
Something pierced his sides and he found one of the creatures had dug both of his hands into him. Shaking violently he broke free and tossed it into one of the others, then, as quickly as he could manage, which was actually much faster than he could imagine, he joined the others and together the six ran behind the house and through an alley.
They jumped walls and twisted through back streets never once bothering to look behind them at the bright figures in constant pursuit.
“Fritz, get us underground. We need a portal now.” Hedrick hissed as they continued to run.
“I’ve been trying, but I can’t here.” He said never breaking step. “Just keep running.”
Jaccen felt as if he would collapse at any moment. His sides were gasping in pain. Determination kept him just behind Grim and Kathraan who, helping each other, were a just little faster than he could manage. It was obvious, though, even in their flight, that Grim was having a hard time. Just then Fritz stopped suddenly drawing Jaccen to a panting halt. Fritz, leaning over to one side, spread his arms as wide as he could and between his open hands sprouted a thick dark substance impenetrable by any light. It look like an oil spill floating in the air.
“Everybody in.” Fritz shouted. Hedrick and Rithain ran straight into it and disappeared without ever slowing. Grim and Kathraan followed. Jaccen took a step forward naturally.
“Forget it, kid,” He said his face set in a hard scowl. He straightened himself and pulled the pitch-black, ovular mass behind him. “But this is as far as you go.” Without waiting for a response he stepped into it and instantly both he and the portal vanished leaving Jaccen alone in the alley with the flaming-white creatures closing in.


I guess my big question is, as readers do you feel like you relate enough to Jaccen in that short period to be concerned about the cliffhanger he was left at? Or is more development needed prior to that? Of course if you want to comment about something else entirely, that's always good too. See you all tomorrow!

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Picture is back!

All is right with the world... so, let me try again now that everything seems to be working... Does anyone like this picture as much as I do?

Now I'm in a pickle...

For some reason commenting doesn't seem to be working on my blog. Evidentally my really awesome background that I was extremely happy with broke my blog. Or I broke my blog. Or something. But I don't know anything about this sort of thing and am not even certain what was broken yet alone how to fix it. So uh... help?

Until this gets squared away if you need to get in touch with me about anything please use my email addy aa5029@gmail.com.


Well, I finally figured out how to get a decent background for this blog. I could do without all that red garbage at the very top, but since I don't know anything about html and I am using a free premade background I suppose I have to live with it for the time being. I am absolutely in love with this picture though!

So this will be a pretty busy week for the blog so I hope everyone stops back in again later. As you can undoubtedly see today was dedicated to appearance. Some of you may have seen my announcment earlier that Tuesdays and Fridays are now officially....... ORIGINAL CONTENT UPDATE days. What that means is every Tuesday and Friday I'll be putting onto the blog a piece of my own writing for everyone to view, dissect, or praise as you see fit.

Since Rebecca Emerich of Living a Life of Writing. has already let the cat out of the bag, I guess it is okay for me to make a mention of this. She and I have agreed to do guest blogs for each other. Over the last week she has been working on a really great series on Writing Retreats and Mentoring. If you haven't yet seen the ideas that she has had you owe it to yourself to go check it out.

In the past month I have been acquainted with her, Rebecca continually manages to inspire and amaze me. So yeah, I'm a little excited to see what she is going to contribute over here on my corner. I am aiming to have her guest blog up here on Wednesday of this week. You should be able to find my thoughts on mentoring on her blog tomorrow. I'm not too proud to grovel and say please, go check it out and be sure to read her back posts while you are there. I can't stress how great a job she is doing over there.

So I thought I had more to say, but all of a sudden my mind is drawing a blank. I could rattle on about nothing, but instead, I'll just leave you be with a simple question: What do you think of the new background?