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Golden Aura

Fluttering to the porch like an errant autumn leaf, an envelope, unblemished by address or sender, stopped against the toe of Deylin’s boot. The demon lord raked eyes the sickly yellow-grey of a storm laden sky over it dismissively.

    “Ensure they arrive at 3 am.” His severe gaze returned to his demon underling. “Foolish souls are the easiest to harvest.”

    Parchment skin glistening with ill boding, the creature bowed, slitted nose flaring as it slithered away, leaving a curving trail through the freshly fallen snow.

     The hem of Deylin’s ebony long coat snapped in the frigid air as he turned, quirking a finger over his shoulder. The envelope swirled along in his wake. Stepping into the entryway, heat from the lava tunnels to each side cuffed the chill back outdoors where it belonged. Using a sharp nail, he sliced open the envelope and withdrew a letter. The image of a man, hunched and bundled against winter’s bite filled his mind. Grey eyes swept the park from where he sat, pinched against an unseen ache.

    Intrigued, Deylin left the letter to hover, dragging the words behind him like a swarm of gnats. Removing his coat he draped it over the dark leather of a wing-back chair. Sweeping dexterous fingers through long auburn curls, he tapped his ear and turned to stare out the single window. The voice of the man whom had sent the mental plea filled his mind as snow began once more to fall.

‘Who needs friends? They are an unnecessary encumbrance— as are lovers.

I hate watching hearts collide, fuse, shatter and reassemble. Do they enjoy the torment?

Winter has done little to curb lustful appetites.

This imp and that imp, just waiting to land the debilitating blow, be it hours or years from now.

If only they would ooze their joy away from me.

If I had a demons whim, I would ask for clarity to be brought to their rampant senses.

Mine can not take much more.

They are raw and bleeding.

Why should I not be allowed out here? Winter is long and extremely cold. If only it could numb my pain.’


Caramel brows furrowed then relaxed as Deylin donned his coat and stepped through the window, shifting space to sit upon the bench beside the man. Startling, grey eyes darted up and down as though a ghost sat there instead of a demon. Deylin grinned. “Your thoughts were loud enough to bring me to your side. Tell me your dearest wish and I may be able to assist.” The heat in his gaze sent a flair of color onto the man’s cheeks as he pushed back his hood. The steel of his gaze glinted as sharply as winters bite while Deylin scoured the man from his ebony locks, over the furrowed brow, long nose, curiously pursed lips to the chin dug into the safety of a brown and white knitted scarf.

    “My thoughts?”

    “You see friends and lovers as an encumbrance.”

    The man paled though the flush remained stubbornly upon his cheeks. “How could you know my thoughts?” His expression was defensively wary.

    “You wished for a demon’s whim.” Deylin indicated himself. “I am Deylin, Demon lord and currently bored.” Lidded stormy eyes locked with the man. “Use me as you will-” his lips curled, “Carter.”

    It was fascinating to watch the thoughts churn within the man’s mind, so loud it was easy to pluck them from between the snowflakes tumbling down. Crossing an ankle over his opposite knee, Deylin leaned back.

    “Tell me, Carter, do you have a disinterest in love or lust?”

    He shifted beside Deylin, who could sense his discomfort— and attraction.

    “I dislike it flaunted in my vicinity.”

    “Unless you are a partaker?”

    Carter shifted again, a magnet attempting to distance itself without success.

    “I’ve had my fill of such nonsense.” His tone was bitter. Deylin’s grin sharpened.

    “Love and lust are not synonymous. Love entangles emotions,” he flicked his hand. “Lust is a primal need to build a golden aura that pulses and flairs, gained only by the combining of two wanton beings.” Sharp sunlight and fractured iron clashed in his gaze as he turned it back to Carter, letting the man read his intention.

    “Let these creatures have their love and let me create a salve for the raw and bleeding parts of you.” His lips lifted as Carter, seeming transfixed, leaned in like the perfectly magnetized piece he was. “Shed the past and welcome the future with the understanding of one burned and built then of stronger mettle. I will not disappoint.” His fingers lifted Carters chin from its cocoon, his lips parting.

    “How do I know lust is not a way into love?”

    Deylin chuckled, brushing his lips across Carters and watching them swell with wanting as though he had already partaken of his pleasure.

“A demon does not love.” He nipped Carter’s bottom lip, watching his gaze glaze, pupils dilating. “But I can offer the kind of golden aura all those out there will never come close to achieving.”

    Deylin felt Carter’s breath puff out, caressing his cheek with a heat he could not wait to partake of.

“Does one become addicted to such things?”

    Deylin chuckled, a deep rumble of anticipation. “One hopes.” Capturing Carter’s mouth, it bent and broke to his teasing, hungry and hot, a delicious counterbalance to the weathers bite.

 

~writing is my passion

*The Tick Tock Clock

(I am proud to present this one. I quite enjoyed writing it some time back but, like with many of my short stories, they still have not made it to my blog.)

 

Tick-tock

Tick-tock

 

That clock. That infernal clock. That always ticking, always tocking clock.

 

It is lucky it does not talk. Not really. Not in the way of words, but in the silence between its tock-tick, tick-tock. But this clock that does not talk, I know it knows. It sees and knows. Though it has no mouth nor ears in place, it has a face. A face that knows and with every tick and move of its hand, my obsessions are measured. My time keeper this clever clock. Noisy clock.

 

My Accomplice.

My Witness.

 

How I hate your incessant tick-tocking; like a nagging lover who knows only how to nag in a circle. A cycling circle.

 

But I love it, too. This tick-tocking clock. My reliable clock. My companion in loneliness. Nothing living ever stays. It moves away. They run away.

 

Away and on, into a distance where I can not follow…

 

But that is why I keep them here. Behind and down.

 

Down, down, down.

 

The clock knows. My tick-tick-tick-tocking clock.

 

Move her to the left and down, down down.

 

They can not leave if they do not breath. We like their presence, my tick-tock clock and I.

 

My witness.

My accomplice.

My companion.

My friend.

 

You can not leave because you do not breath. But you know. You watch and keep count, with each pendulum swing and tick of your hand-

 

You know so you watch.

You watch so you know.

 

Tick-tock, Tick-tock

 

You can not walk, so you can not go.

*Thump, thump, thump

THUMP

  THUMP

     THUMP

Samantha sat up with a frantic gasp. Scrambling for her glasses, she quickly shoved them on and stared around wide eyed. As her heart rate slowed, she gave an immense sigh of relief and fell back onto her pillows. A shaky laugh split the silence. It had only been a bad dream.

Normally she only had those after staying up late watching horror movies.

With a large stretch and yawn, she bounced out of bed. Glancing through her window, she came to an abrupt halt. Blinking in confusion, Samantha peered quickly around her room, then moved closer to the window. A cold chill embraced her as she stared in budding fear at the scene across from her.

It was her room, exactly as the one she was standing in. And there she was, asleep in her bed. Only, it was dark over there, with nothing but the faint light from her glow in the dark fish tank to illuminate anything.

“Am I still sleeping?” Her whisper hung in the air. Air, she realized belatedly, that was freezing. Shivering, she continued to stare into her room that couldn’t really be her room.

No.

She was dreaming and the room was only cold because someone had turned the ac on in the house again. Wrapping arms around herself, she shivered even more as a figure came into view, standing at the foot of her bed. Whirling around, she stared at her bed.

With the overhead light casting away all shadows, she found nothing standing there but her desk. Closing her eyes, she felt compelled to turn around. To find out what was happening in the other room. Slowly, she turned her gaze back.

With a sharp intake of breath, she clasped a hand to her mouth. The figure was staring right at her, a grin stretching the dark surface where its face should be. Head shaking in denial, she stepped back. The thing in the other room was standing at the opposite window.

Grabbing the blinds, Samantha yanked and the blinds fell down to hide the other room from view. Staring around, she couldn’t stop her shivering. “I want to wake up now. Please, please let me wake up.” Teeth chattering, she went to her door.

It wouldn’t open.

THUMP

  THUMP

     THUMP

With a shriek, she spun around. Something was at the window, pounding against it hard enough to make the room shake.

“LET ME IN SAM! LET ME IN!” A shrill voice screamed.

Breath coming in panicked gasps, Samantha turned back to her door. It still wouldn’t budge, no matter how she tugged, and the pounding at the window became so loud that she had to put her hands over her ears.

Then suddenly, it stopped.

Trembling, Samantha turned to stare at the closed blinds. With slow, hesitant steps, she moved closer. As her fingers touched the string, she drew in a deep breath and yanked on it.

The night was pitch black beyond but, reflected in the surface, was the grinning shadow now standing behind her. Samantha screamed as a hand slithered through her hair and clenched vice-like around her neck.

“THANK YOU SAM, FOR LETTING ME IN.”

 

(I wrote this years ago and it has been sitting in my short story folder. It isn’t often I creep myself out, but I managed to do that when I wrote this. I don’t generally attempt to create something spooky, mostly because it isn’t my strong genre, but I was happy with this one. I hope you enjoy it too)

Multi-project Brain

I have decided that my brain is keen on frying itself out. I’ve always been the kind of person that can read multiple books at a time, so my writing is the same way. It is NOT easy, but it is possible. For years, I’ve slung-shot from one WIP to another, with my coauthor and my own projects. Call me crazy because seriously, it is. But I often want to work on them all at the same time, though there are plenty of times I am more invested in one over another. When one or two have my full focus, it is better.

Recently, my coauthor began writing with me again. We were finally able to resume where we had left off on our first novels rewrite. And (thankfully) she has been fully invested which is AMAZING! Already, she has solved not one but TWO plot holes we had previously been struggling with. Now, this was wonderful on it’s own, but we also began the rewrite for the second novel in our (very long) series. I am beyond happy to be working on these so diligently again. However, I am still invested in my own current WIP which my coauthor began reading and is freaking out over. (Talk about a confidence booster). So I am also trying to keep this in the balance, though it is a bit slower going now that I am juggling 3 works.

As I am a sucker for pain, I have also been working on a very important revision for my Element Seekers novel. It is coming along well, but this one, more than any of the others, is falling to the wayside. I need to find myself a better balance, what with having to actually work too (the kind that pays the bills, that is).

I recently got sick, probably from a mixture of pushing myself too hard to do everything (and all the sick people around me). And still, I was trying not to stop. Didn’t work out well and I had to call out of work today and am also going to be resting tomorrow. And yet what am I doing but still writing. I should be fully focusing on getting better, but I can’t help but take this extra time to write even more. That’s half resting, right? I even took a nap.

Does anyone else do this? Or can you only focus on one project or book at a time?

It isn’t that I can’t, just that my brain seems to be programmed to multi-task, despite writing one book being overwhelming enough at times. I think it helps that two of my current WIP are with a coauthor. She is a gem. Writing with her gives me new vigor in my solo pursuits.

So, this post was more a spur of the moment one than planned. I happened to be typing up a very painful but sweet moment and thought about all the threads I was currently working on.

-Abilities stretched beyond her endurance, flesh flayed by invisible weapons, love unattainable.

-A shipwreck and twins left floating on the ocean, far away from their destination.

-The unfurling of the beginnings of love, safe away from the raging storm outside.

-A secret unveiled, cracking the hardened shell of a broken soul to the truth she had forgotten.

All of these things, so many characters at different locations in their respective stories. I couldn’t help but laugh. I can’t remember things from ten minutes ago, but keeping four stories separate? Pfft, piece of cake.

And so, to everyone who takes on one or many stories, I congratulate you. These things are important and worth every second you put into their creation.

 

*Roaming Rex

(I love dinosaurs, so was more than happy when one of the prompts introduced a T-rex ^~^)

A loud rumbling came from outside my window. At first, I imagined it to be a summer thunderstorm rolling in, but when I looked, my curiosity turned to disbelief when I saw a Tyrannosaurus Rex! Certain this couldn’t be happening, I rubbed at my eyes and looked again. But there it was, standing on my land—

Eating my cows.

Jumping from my chair, I struggled with what to do. It was a Rex! There weren’t supposed to be any wild ones in Traxis. It was the whole reason I had moved. Though I adored the wild Brachiosaurus herd that crossed through my lands multiple times a year in Aevoth, the Archaeopteryx had become pests, constantly attacking my chickens. I’d thought building a better enclosure would work but the stupid birds just tore through the mesh or dug under it. At least I hadn’t had raptors. They were too smart, too dangerous and too persistent for me.

And now a Rex was tearing into my herd. Not cool.

Grabbing my phone, I dialed the local Dino-team. They had some serious explaining to do. An herbivore was one thing, even a smaller carnivore I could forgive. But this was pure negligence. What if I had been outside?

“There’s a Rex eating my cattle.” I said, irritation creasing my brow as I cut off their initial greeting.

“Rex? No way a Rex got through to Traxis.”

“Well, someone screwed up somewhere because I know what’s eating my earnings. Now get someone over here before I have no cows left. It’s your job to keep them in check. My reimbursement is growing, so move your ass!” Slamming the phone down, I glared out the window. My herd had taken refuge in the bunker I had created for smaller dinosaur incursions. I could only hope it would hold with the weight of the Rex trying to get at them. That damned Dino-team better hurry.

At least the Archaeopteryx had been easy to scare off. This was on a whole different level to those pests.

*Falling into dreamscape

(I recently asked on Facebook for people to supply me with prompts. I enjoy challenges. Originally I was going to choose one, but I got a lot of good ones, so wrote a short story/scene for each of them. All of which I am now going to share here! Just, not on the same post. Enjoy ^~^)

A night of tossing and turning prompted Alice to venture out into the warm summer air. The moist grass felt cool and soft as she dropped from her window. Using the moonlight, Alice walked with determined steps towards the tree at the edge of the meadow. Her dreams had often led her there, as her waking thoughts did now.

A voice. A sudden drop. Darkness.

Shaking her head to dislodge the residue left by her dreams, Alice stopped by the thick root weaving through the soil like a large water snake in the ocean. Pushing the mental image aside, another thought from her dreams, she drew in a calming breath. Fantasy wasn’t real. Dreams weren’t real– but this night, and this tree, were.

As was the hole at its base. Perfect and welcoming, dark and snug. Alice felt the pull to explore. Glancing with worried eyes towards her house, she wondered if her elder sister ever had such strange dreams as she did.

As fireflies dotted the air, Alice followed one into the hole. It was the only light in pitch. What was here? Where was here? Why here? Her thoughts churned.

“Home calls to those who have wandered far.”

Alice paused, eyes wide in the dark, focusing on the firefly. A flicker. A smile spreading wide before her, then gone.

Then gone was the dirt beneath her. Air sweeping upward, catching at her night gown, hair and voice. What voice? She felt the scream build, wanting to lift upward towards the firefly growing further and further away.

All was dark. Falling and darkness and no ground. Alice felt suspended, her fear warping, expanding into keen curiosity. Dreaded curiosity.

Would she ever hit bottom? Or would she be falling eternally in darkness? A suspended nightmare, never-ending.

2018 Pitchwars is drawing near

I am jumping in with a new manuscript this year. I did not participate last year, but that is perfectly fine. This year, I will be submitting my MG Fantasy (quiet applause). I generally write YA or Fantasy, but I am super in love with my world and characters– like this one –

leaf-sheep-sea-slug-costasiella-kuroshimae-1

I adore this cutie pie. He kinda wormed his way in and ended up with such a big personality, despite being small (not as small as a real sea sheep cause it isn’t exactly the same creature, but still).

I love that pitchwars is such a loving and warm community (despite those who have negativity that can sooo go swim down a sewer somewhere.) Over the last couple years since learning about pitchwars, I’ve felt more at home with this online community than anywhere else. There is so much support given, everyone offering advice or congratulations and it just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy. I always find myself rooting on fellow authors and I think that is how it should be. You might want to succeed, but you genuinely feel happy when others succeed too.

Leaving off with a bit of my own love, everyone participating, whether a potential mentee or an amazing mentor, you are wonderful ❤. You are talented and smart and wonderful. I believe in you and I want the best for everyone. Don’t give up on your dreams, or let certain stinky nay-Sayers bring you down.

With all my bookish-heart love,

Sarah ^~^

PITCHWARS 2017

Though I’ve realized I’m a terrible blogger, I’d like to think my writing isn’t too shabby. I love my characters and I’d like them to have a chance at reaching out to the world– even the shy ones.

Though I didn’t get chosen last year, I can’t be anything but grateful. I ended up in an amazing YA Pitch wars group and found myself an even more amazing CP! I learned so much about writing, editing and my novel through all of this. From what I learned, I was able to cut bits of my MS that dragged it down. Now, I am finally able to do the re-writes I was afraid to do before. The story from last year is similar, but different in a way I believe strengthens it and fills in those plot holes I was afraid of filling in before.

I’d like to think I found them all, but hey, with all the edits and re-writes, I’m having a hard time remembering the new formation of what I said and didn’t say >.> Lots of looking back to make sure I’m not repeating myself or forgetting to say something that wasn’t mentioned before.

My heart is set on entering Pitch Wars, but only if I manage these re-writes in time. I’ve made very good headway and am pleased, but I’m not entering with something less than, well not perfect, but as nicely polished and shiny as possible.

Since my MS is from the POV’s of my Element Seekers, some of the re-writes ended up being from a different POV than original. Flipping a scene from one pov to another is definitely new to me, but fulfilling and fascinating.

Have I mentioned how much I love my characters?

To all you mentor’s wanting a wide variety of characters, I’d like to think I deliver. They all have their own unique flavor. Sometimes with sprinkles. Sometimes with cherries. Sometimes mixed into a brown puddle at the bottom of a cup that looks weird but still tastes good.

Anybody seriously want some ice cream now? I know I do ^~^

The mentor blogs I’ve gone through are pretty much insanely impossible not to love. Why you make it so hard to choose?! Narrowing a list is like trying to figure out which kitten you don’t want, cause, who wouldn’t want all the kittens?

To everyone participating, both mentor and mentee, I adore you all! You all have a passion for stories and their is nothing more wonderful. I always see so much love and support, I can’t even express how much I love the writing community.

Best of luck to those who wrote a book and have a dream of one day being published. This is but one opportunity of many. Never give up your dream and never stop loving stories of all kinds.

One word at a time.

One word becomes a sentence. One sentence becomes a paragraph.

You are a writer. You are writing. You find time to squeeze it into a busy schedule despite everything.

Write in a notebook, on an app on your phone, on a napkin, a scrap of paper, your computer, your type-writer. Anything and Everything is fair game to be used when you have an idea. I’ve used labels at work before when I had a couple seconds to jot down something that had been on repeat in my head. An idea I refused to lose. Writing on breaks, lunches, parked in the car, before bed or as soon as you wake up; one word at a time.

It might not be easy but I doubt anyone is a writer because it’s easy. We write because something inside of us needs an out. This story that won’t quiet. These characters rustle around, telling us what we need to know (and sometimes what we don’t need to know). We are the only ones capable of telling this story. We love it with an intensity that borders on obsession.

How do we keep writing?

One word at a time. Just like putting one foot in front of the other to keep walking.

Writing is sanity and insanity mixed together in a tangled web.

We write because we have to. We write because we want to. We write because we can’t picture not writing.

Each sentence becomes a piece of the whole.

You are a writer, so keep on writing even if it is tiny piece after tiny piece, strung together during your ‘in-between’ moments.

Take pride in each success, even if it is just one sentence. It is one sentence wouldn’t exist without your perseverance.

One step after another.

Keep moving at whatever pace you can.

Don’t give up.

 

Changing schedules

Change, though not a bad thing, can sometimes derail what you have paved for yourself in day-to-day life. I recently started a new job that is 4th shift. 4th shift is 7pm to 3am. And by that I mean clock in at 6:42 and stay some nights until 5 or 7am. I knew how to schedule around my schedule before. Still struggling trying to schedule around this schedule. For one, when I’m awake on my day off…. everything is closed; except for Walmart and the casino. Thankfully I have the internet at home again because there will be no more going to a coffee shop and chilling to get some writing done (unless I set an alarm and manage to wake up to it.)

Has anyone ever done that? Set an alarm and slept through it? Yeah. I’ve been setting three alarms every day and using them depending on when I get out of work. Struggle struggle struggle. I was used to going to bed around 10 or 11 and waking up around 6. Sleeping during the day seems to have made getting out of bed even harder.

Thankfully, I’m acclimating. But it’s a work-in-progress, like my writing that has been being neglected while I try to get used to the new schedule >.>

All in all, I know I can figure this out, however, my biggest struggle/worry starting tomorrow is NaNoWriMo. I am determined to do my best (which is really all anyone can do, right?) but some people aren’t sure I can actually do it with how my schedule is. I’ve been prepping to get myself ready but I’m feeling this dark hole of hopelessness lurking nearby-

-like the vulture of the writing world, waiting for me to give up.

Well, I certainly didn’t get this far by giving up, but my time for acclimation before NaNo has kind of run out. I now have two options: Write when I get out of work, or try to squeeze in writing before work (I hate feeling pressured when it comes to writing, but hey, maybe this will be a good learning experience?)

Problem with the first one?

By 3am, I’m normally okay, but I have noticed that once 5am rolls around I feel like-

And any later than that-

I get extra goofy and laughy and my focus has flown far, far away. Then, I get all zombie-esque with a blank stare and droopy figure and words just don’t stay in my head long enough for me to keep them there longer than a few seconds, let alone write them down.

Problem with the second one? If I get out of work at 3, I can wake up easily at 1pm and get writing done. Get out at 5, wake up around 3 or 4. 7am?…. Let’s just say I hope I put my work cloths in the dryer before I went to bed (or remembered to wash them in general >.>)

Then there is option three where I over-caffeinate myself…. yeah, bad idea. I tried that last Wednesday when I had to get up at 2 after a 7am shift. FYI, caffeine does NOTHING if you don’t get enough sleep. I feel like I am only just learning this.

So, even though I feel like I veered a little in what I was originally going to say in this post, I want to close it off with some positivity! Cause I’m a positive person usually, so I want to stick to that as closely as possible!

For everyone who is taking on NaNoWriMo this year (despite whatever struggles you may be dealing with) you are amazing and no matter how little or how much you write, you’re a winner. Why? Because you are trying. You are getting out there and attempting to write a novel in a month. That’s impressive, and anyone who puts in the effort needs a round of applause and a reward.

Not all days might be supper productive but-

So just keep trundling on. That’s what I plan on doing. Even if I fall behind on word count, I will keep trying my hardest to figure out this schedule and, by the end of November, maybe I’ll be a pro at ‘lifeing’ around the night job.

^~^ Have wonderful day, night, afternoon, bedtime or morning.