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Sunday, June 28, 2015

A Good Day for Writing

How do you know how well you're going to write tonight?  Seems like an odd question, but aren't all us creative types a bit odd anyway?  As a matter of fact, I can tell you what kind of night I'm going to have writing just by the kind of day I've had.

Today for example was a good creativity day for me.  I was really into the music that popped up on my I-pod.  I found myself hyper focused on lyrics today....drawn into the musicians choice of words, the meaning of the words themselves.  Then, the emotions those words induce, the effect they have on me all combine for a firestorm of creativity.  There's that moment that you realize the musicians music and lyrics evoke emotions for you.  Ah, creativity, sharing your inner most thoughts with others.  The same happens when you write, your characters and their emotions become "real" as you write them on the paper.  They become living works when someone else reads them, they don't just live in your imagination anymore.  Hopefully your reader care for and are moved by your characters and their story.

That bond of creativity, inspiration and the fear of sharing your creations with others really called to me today.  Here's part of what it pulled out of me tonight for Survival...Enjoy! :)


Excerpt from Survival of the Fittest by Emily Fleming:

     As soon as I returned to the kitchen, I revisited the sink.  I pumped a fresh dollop of soap into my hands and scrubbed them under the hottest water I could stand.  It was a cold, arid day and the skin covering my knuckles was dry and beginning to crack.  I knew I had better put lotion on them before Father got home or he would be angry.  He regularly called my behavior obsessive compulsive, but in reality, it was the only thing keeping me sane.
     I could hear Sean playing video games in the family room.  As I walked toward the stairs leading up to our rooms I called out, “Is your homework finished?”
     “Yes, ma’am,” he replied a little too regimental for my liking.

     Closing the door to my room, I slowly exhaled relieved that I could finally stop exuding false composure.  On the inside, I was a mess of emotions.  I was a sixteen year old who had been the mother figure for her eight year old brother essentially since his birth.  My life, all of it since I was eight, had been wholly dedicated to protecting Sean.
     I reached for the hand lotion as I slowly lowed myself onto my bed.  Snapping open the top of the bottle, I welcomed the pain I knew I would feel as the lotion tried, in vain, to quench the thirst of my dry skin.  Emotions were not something that I liked to feel.  I often found myself supplementing them with something physical.  The lotion felt cool and filled with relief at first, but the stinging burn quickly took over.  I closed my eyes as I let myself feel something, if only for a moment.  As the pain subsided, an eerie feeling of peace replaced it.  I let my body collapse onto my bed and enjoy this moment of complete relaxation.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

A First Peek at Survival of the Fittest :)

Hello!  As many of you know, Blood Rivalry is complete and published!  Yay!

Well onward and upward, I have begun my newest book Survival of the Fittest.  Survival is an apocalyptic novel set just before, and during, a world ending flu epidemic.  In this first sneak peek, you get to read a very poignant presidential address to the nation.  As I am not a White House speech writer, I would appreciate any thoughts on how to improve it.  I hope you enjoy this first look at Survival as much as I have had writing it.  :)

Write well,

                                                           From Survival of the Fittest
                                                                     by: Emily Fleming

           Sean tossed me the remote as he sat down on the couch.  I sat down next to him as he rested his head on my shoulder.  We were quiet as a color coded map of the United States came onto the screen.  Three states on the map were shaded green indicating that they had confirmed cases of HI-38.  My stomach dropped as I saw only Alabama stood between us and the sickly shade of green.
            “My fellow Americans,” the President began, “we are entering an unprecedented time in American history.  The emersion on the HI-38, human influenza 38, virus has caused us to make some difficult decisions.  I have no doubt that you have seen the effects this disease has had on our brothers and sister to the south.  Our hearts and prayers go out to the Central and Southern American countries that have seen much loss of life.  Here in our county, we have only just seen the beginning of what we fear could be similar casualties.  If not contained, the CDC believes that half, if not more, of our population could be lost.  It is with great sadness, and concern for you, our citizens, that I am mandating the closure of all state borders effective midnight tomorrow morning.”
            The President paused only a second to take a breath, when the press core ignited into action shouting questions and yelling for clarification.
            “I have no further comment at this time.  Any questions that you have regarding quarantine and vaccination processes can be directed to the CDC.  Thank you for your time and God bless America,” the President concluded his address and walked stiffly off the stage followed quickly by the Director of the CDC.
            I held the remote in my hand frozen.  I could not believe what I had just heard, the state boarders would be closed effective almost immediately.  I looked at the clock and did the math…5 hours and 45 minutes.  The President had done the unthinkable.
            The TV switched back over the stunned anchor.  There was a moment of silence before he began to speak again.  Obviously in shock, he started to stutter on about state’s rights and federal authority, but none of it really made much sense.  I didn’t know if that was because he wasn’t speaking coherently or if I wasn’t registering what he was saying.  I was in utter disbelief.
            “Dani?”  Sean’s voice was trying to fight through the fog that was inhabiting my brain.  “Dani? What does it mean?  Are we going to be okay?  Is Dad coming to get us?
   I didn’t know how to answer, so I just took a deep breath and switched on the TV hoping that some 
comforting words would come to mind.  They did not so I just said, “We’re safe Buddy.”  That was 
all I could muster.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Book Research is Fun When You Shoot a Gun

     I've been thinking about book research a lot lately, probably because I am knee deep in it.  With my first novel now published, I dove head long into writing a new, yet unnamed, apocalyptic series.  Although I love this genre, it has required me to do a bit more "formal" research than I had to for my first paranormal, fantasy book since I can't make the world up as go along.  Writing in reality is tough!  Lol!

     After a fair amount of internet research the other night (on cities, locations of Army bases, and the contraction of diseases), I came to the conclusion that I am exceedingly happy to be an author in the time of the internet.  Finding the three largest cities in Mexico and a small boarder town in Texas took me grand total of about 3 minutes.  (Thank you Google Maps!)  I love the library as much as the next girl, but I can't imagine the laborious process research must have been for “preinternet” thank you!

     And now to the real reason you've clicked your way to my blog today...research as recreation.  In a post-apocalyptic world what is your best friend?  Yes, you guessed it, your firearm.  Well, enter your gun shy, baby squirrel saving author...yours truly.  How am I supposed to realistically write as a gun toting bad ass post-apocalyptic heroine?  Well, I guess I gotta learn how to shoot.  And that my friends was today's adventure.

     A good friend of ours took us out to the shooting range to meet with his buddy Pjete (yes, with a j) ;) who is an instructor.  As I stepped onto the range, I'm not going to lie, I was nervous.  I was trying very hard to play it calm, but if you know me, then you know I was talking a mile a minute!  After going through the safety info, he handed me the orange training pistol.  He talked me through the correct way to stand and I was thinking this isn't so bad, I can totally do this.  Then he showed me how to hold the pistol and aim.  That's when I saw the gun wobbling in my hands.  Mind you this isn't even a real gun yet and here I am shaking like a leaf.  I just kept hoping he didn't notice.

     After a quick lesson on how to load the magazine, I stood back and watched my buddy fire.  I was pretty sure I could do that.  I'm not much of a girlie girl, so how hard could this be?  Pjete looked over at me and told me I was up.  After having to explain how to place my left hand over my right about a bazillion times, (I think I finally got it.)  I fired off the first round.  Honestly, I wasn't exactly sure of what to expect as I fired the first shot.  It was loud of course, but kind of exhilarating too.  You get a serious feeling of power, but it's also a little nerve racking knowing that you're holding something that could seriously harm, or kill someone.  Once the final casing popped from the chamber, I tilted the gun so that he could see it was clear.  I'm pretty sure I had held my breath the entire time because my lungs were happy to take a long slow one as I walked back to the table.  I had survived my first foray into firearms as had everyone else around me.

     Pjete was kind enough to spend an hour and a half taking us through the paces.  The more shots I took the less tense I was.  I can't say I was ever relaxed; in fact I was happy for the continual step by step instruction each time I was up.  Tell me where to stand, where my thumbs go, remind me to chamber the first bullet, and then tell me when to carefully squeeze the trigger....I needed all of it.  I'm sure everything would become easier if I continue to shoot, but baby steps are good.

     Toward the end of the lesson, we got down to the real business at hand, book research!  Since this newest book is set in a time after most of the human population is gone, society isn't as well behaved as it is today.  Lawlessness is rampant and a girl stuck in this mess has to defend herself….right?  Like I said earlier, Danella can take care of herself and knows her way around a gun.  So Pjete had me lie down on my back and shoot like my life depended on it.  No words can describe how that felt.  Just watch the video.

     And just in case that wasn’t enough, I got to walk up to an “attacker” shoot them down and then shoot while retreating too. 

     Although today was all about book research, I had a lot of fun.  It was really neat to try something new that I probably never would have tried if I didn’t need to for the book.  I might have even found a new recreational activity that I never in a million years would have thought I’d enjoy.  A big thank you to Pjeter Berishaj with Black Mountain Defense, he was an awesome, incredibly patient, instructor.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Excerpt From Chapters 9 and10

Well, it's been a while since I've put an excerpt up here, so here's a bit for you to read.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I liked to write it.  Oh how I love scenes with Lizabeth and Gabriel!!!  :) 

Write well!


                                                                    End of Chapter 9
            Christian hesitantly handed over my things and turned to walk back to the Jeep.  Gabriel quickly closed the door behind him. As soon as I heard it latch, I collapsed into him.  He carried me over to the couch and sat down next to me.  Every ounce of anger that I had had from him leaving me at school alone was gone.  My stomach was still turning, I was in extreme pain and I wanted his help.
“What really happened Lizabeth?” he asked in a no nonsense tone.
“It’s a long story,” I said, “but I was in the library and I felt that feeling of being watched again.  I thought I heard something in the balcony upstairs and I knew that if I could just concentrate my senses on it I would be able figure out what it was, what was scaring me.  It was so strange though.”  Then I had to stop speaking, I curled my knees up to my chest.  My lungs burned and stomach cramped.  I could feel it beginning to heave again.  “Please?” I looked up at Gabriel begging him, “Please, just a drop.  I know it’s the only thing that will make this feeling go away.”  Tears were welling up in my eyes and I knew he would never agree.
“So that’s what caused this. You were ready to feed, all your senses were focused on one person…”
“Yes, and then the rotten smell of death hit me.  I can’t get it out Gabriel; it’s all I can sense.  I just need a little bit.”
“Absolutely not,” he snarled turning his head away.
The longer this feeling consumed me, the more obsessed I became with the thought of it.  There is nothing in the world sweeter than your maker’s blood.  I was sure that nothing could push away the death that I had taken into my body, except Gabriel’s blood.  I yearned for it.  It had been a very long time since I had asked him.  I had only tasted him once, when I was turned, but for years after I begged him for just one more taste.  He would never agree because he wanted me to stay with him by my own free will, not because I lusted for the taste of him.  It was true that for a time I would fantasize about how I would get it from him, but he was older, stronger and wiser.  He told me that the feeling would pass and over time it did.  I learned that human blood could be a respectable substitute, but today I had lost all reasonable thought.  I had to have his blood.  The death inside me had to be stopped.
“When was the last time you fed?” he asked.
“Last week,” I said dismissing him.  “I’m not hungry Gabriel, something inside me isn’t right.  It’s as if I’m dying from the inside out.  Help me,” I begged.  Tears began to spill out of my eyes.  I put my head down on my knees as another wave of pain washed through my body.
I felt Gabriel’s arm wrap around my body and pull me onto his lap.  I unfolded my legs and looked up into his eyes as I let my head fall back into the crook of his arm.  He held me just like the night he turned me.  My body lay across his lap, he had one arm under my neck and the other was wrapped around my body holding me close to his.  He looked deeply into my eyes and said, “Just this once.”
I saw his teeth flash as his bit into his wrist.  His blood began to pool in the bite mark immediately making a striking contrast between his ivory, white skin and the bright scarlet liquid seeping from it.  I reached my hands toward his arm to pull him closer, but he held them down.  He was in control of this, not me.  My mouth began to water in anticipation of the sweet nectar my maker was about to share with me.
“Just this once,” he repeated in my thoughts over and over.  He brought his wrist closer to me as the blood began to drip dangerously close to falling to the floor.  My heart nearly stopped, not wanting a droplet of it to be wasted.  A quiver shot through my body, I wanted it…now.  The smell was intoxicating.  It was a delicate mix of a fragrant floral bouquet and the sweetest honey you’ve ever encountered.  He paused a moment to look into my eyes.  I could tell that he did not want this.  His eyes were sad as he placed his wrist against my lips.
I was euphoric, the taste was beyond explanation.  Unable to grab his wrist and press it to my mouth, I lifted my head to make as much contact between my lips and his skin as possible.  I drank quickly at first, and then slowed to savor every last second.  His blood was cool, almost cold, in stark contrast to that of a human’s, but the taste and the intimate feeling of feeding from the one who turned me was indescribable. His blood slid effortlessly down my throat as if it knew exactly where to travel in my body.  The pain in my stomach and the burning in my lungs began to ease instantly.  I was in paradise.  Gabriel wouldn’t let me drink for long, only enough to help me heal, but nothing would have been enough for me.  I could have stayed there, like that, with him forever.
Just as quickly as it began, it was over.  Gabriel effortlessly twisted his wrist away from my lips.  I had been careful not to bite onto him knowing that if I had, he would have ended the exchange immediately.  I tried to struggle free hoping for one last drop, but he was too strong for me.  He was holding me down gently, but firmly.  I could go nowhere.  He wiped the remaining blood on a handkerchief as I desperately watched the wound seal itself.
I closed my eyes and turned away from Gabriel, I knew that I had forced him to do something that he did not want to do.

Chapter 10
We stayed on the couch for what seemed like forever.  I was intoxicated by the experience.  Completely relaxed and wholly Gabriel’s at that moment, I could feel his blood moving through my body and it electrified me. Right then, I would have done anything for him, with him.  He asked nothing of me however.  In fact he didn’t even speak.  His arms were still wrapped around me holding me tightly, as if he were afraid to let go.  I felt safe, like nothing could touch me; I was with my savior, my angel.  He had given me the gift of this life and we had just relived that gift again together.  I belonged only to Gabriel.
I was the one who spoke first, “Thank you.”
“Do you feel better?” he asked without emotion.
“Yes, completely,” I gushed, rolling over to gaze into his dark eyes.  I reached my hand up to his face and stroked it gently.  Breathing in his sweet scent, I pressed my body closer, deeper into his.  I put my arms around his waist hugging him and buried my face into his chest.   I never wanted to let go, ever. 
“Oh Lizabeth,” he hissed, “This is exactly why I would never do this.  The emotions you’re feeling aren’t real.  My blood has clouded your judgment.”
“I’m not hostage to my emotions Gabriel; I’m just seeing things more clearly than I have, maybe ever.  This, sitting here, being with you.  This is what I want.   It’s what you’ve always wanted too.”
“Lizabeth, that’s enough,” he said standing up.  My head slid off his lap and onto the couch abruptly.
I was still so blissful that I hardly noticed that he had moved.  “Enough of what?” I prodded.  “You’ve always wanted me to feel this way about you and now you have it.  You don’t know what you want Gabriel.”  I was annoyed with him.  How could he act one way with me for as long as I had known him and then just stop feeling that way when I was just figuring it all out in my head?
“Not like this Lizabeth.  Not like this,” he said shaking his head.  “I need you to want to be with me.”
“I do want to be with you Gabriel.  How much more obvious do I need to make it?” I questioned, frustrated that he wasn’t accepting my advances.  I got up off the couch and started after him.  “Look at me,” I demanded, “Gabriel, look at me.”
He turned around slowly.  I could tell that he was fighting a battle within himself.  Which side would win; his moral side or the side that desired me too strongly for words?  His eyes were dull.  I could tell that he was tired; tired of the internal turmoil I caused him.  Our heightened emotions were difficult to handle and I could only imagine the amount of restraint it took for him to deny his feelings for me every minute of every day.
“This isn’t you Beth.  You’re not thinking clearly.  I just need to be alone,” he said as he walked toward his room.
I rushed past him and positioned myself in his doorway so that he could not pass.
“Lizabeth move, now,” he said growing angry.  His internal battle was becoming too much to handle as I continued to push myself on him.
“Or what?” I shot back as I pushed my face closer to his.  I brushed my cheek slowly along his and exhaled ever so slightly into his ear.  Continuing to grasp hold of the door jam, I stood on tip toe and leaned closer to him squarely pressing my breasts against his chest.  He closed his eyes and I heard him moan slightly with his next breath.  I was winning.
“This isn’t right Lizabeth.  This isn’t how I want this to happen.”
“It’s okay Gabriel, you are what I want,” I whispered.  “This is what we both want.”
He slammed his hands onto the wall on either side of the doorway.  The wood frame splintered and plaster crumbled to the floor.  I didn’t move.  I was not going to let him scare me away.  He was angry with his emotions, not me.  I rested my forehead on his, breathing in his breath.  I wanted this more than ever.  A shudder tore through my body as I awaited his next move.
“No,” he roared slamming his fist against the wall, “get out of my way.”