Magick is complete!

Back in 2009, I published my first novel, Eternity. It wasn’t the first one I ever wrote, but it was the first one I had the guts to submit to publishers. A small vanity press picked it up. I was so excited! I had the start of a trilogy and couldn’t wait to get to work on the second and third books. Magick, the second book, was started in late 2009, but life intervened. I had a few very tumultuous years, including a huge issue with my publishing house, and although I visited Magick often, and even wrote the prologue for Solstice, which is book three in the trilogy, I couldn’t devote time to my writing like I wanted to. I finished Magick in 2013  originally, but I rushed it and it was not good. I had two editors and a friend tell me to start over from the mid-point, where my writing obviously had suffered. Lots has happened since then, including me having a crushing case of writers block where I couldn’t write ANYTHING, but with a renewed resolve, I started working on Magick in earnest about two months ago.

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Now, tonight, it’s done. It was a hard birth, painful where Eternity was painless, but well worth it, I think. I have sent it off to my editor, and I think she’ll be pleased. I knew I was back in the groove when the book took me to places all on it’s own, like an old friend guiding me gently by the hand. I had an outline but the book and it’s characters said, “Screw that outline, we’re taking you on a ride” and they did. That’s such a satisfying feeling after being without it for so long. Next step, editing. Then I’m entering Magick into the Amazon Kindle Scout contest to see if I can get a contract with Amazon. It’s not much different than self-publishing through them, except I get an advance and better promotion! Wish me luck, and I’ll keep you posted!

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This is so true…

Close to publishing Magick!

It’s been too long, I know. I apologize for it, but Magick hit a few roadblocks. Regardless, I’m expecting to finish it tonight and get it to the editor! I’ll be entering it into the Kindle Scout promo before it get’s published. I wanted to give you a little taste in the meantime 🙂 Enjoy!

I oriented myself in the room. I was back in the same place I had been the last time I visited, and had a clear view of the two of them talking. Although instead of Charles being chained up, this time there was a man and woman chained. From the blood soaking their bodies, I had a feeling they were dinner. My stomach did a slow roll, even disembodied as I was.

“Is she ready? Do you think she’ll be able to handle it?” Charles asked Padraigan.

Padraigan leveled a look at Charles, a smirk playing about his generous mouth.

“Do you doubt my training? My powers of persuasion?” He may have worn a smirk, but his voice was ice.

I watched Charles duck his head, a submissive gesture if there ever was one. I guess if I was a sadistic vampire’s lackey, I’d be submissive too. Well, no. Not really. I probably would have already been eliminated.

“Forgive me, I meant no disrespect. It’s just a…delicate situation, considering what happened the last time she went up against one of their group.”

They had to be talking about Gemma. None of us had been visited by a female vampire other than Gemma, so they must be planning a return engagement. That’s ok. I relished the thought of beating down that bitch.

Padraigan paced the room like a tiger, all sinewy grace and caged ferocity. I could feel his rage simmering below the surface, driving his movements. He really was an impressive man. Too bad he was a psychopathic douche bag.

“She’ll do what’s being asked of her, regardless of what happened the last time she dealt with one of them. Very soon, they’ll all be dead, and I can go back to enjoying my life without that troublemaker working to destroy our lineage.” Padraigan snarled as he walked over to the woman. He bent down to look in her eyes.

“My poppet, you understand my needs, don’t you?” He asked the terrified woman, his voice almost a croon. She looked up at him with frightened eyes, tears having cut tracks through the blood on her face.

“Please, just let me go, I won’t tell anyone, I promise.” She begged, her voice hoarse, from screaming I guessed. My heart went out to her. Once I got back, I’d try my damndest to get her out of this hell hole.

Padraigan frowned at her, displeased with her response, and casually reached out and sliced her cheek open with his thumbnail. He straightened and licked her blood off his thumb as the women started crying hysterically.

“Where did all this romance go that surrounded vampires since Stoker painted such a pretty picture of us? You would think she’d be grateful.” He cast another disdainful glance at the woman and then turned his attention back to Charles.

“Once they’re gone Sir, I’ll become one of you, yes? Like we agreed?” Charles asked eagerly, casting his own glance at the man chained against the wall opposite the woman.

“Yes, yes, of course. Although Charles, it does seem that you’re doubting me again and I can’t have that.” A flash of lightening hit Charles in the upper arm and Charles was flung back against the wall by the force. I flinched as well, as he landed dangerously close to where I was observing. Being a sorcerer, he might have been able to feel my presence if he had gone through me.

“I’m sorry Sir, I’m sorry, I don’t doubt you!” Charles threw his hands up as Padraigan moved closer to him. Padraigan crouched down in front of him, his head cocked to the side. It made him look like a viper ready to strike.

“It’s getting very tedious listening to your mewling. You are practically worthless to me, yet I keep you around. Remember that Charles, the next time you decide to voice your inner doubts. Only my good graces keep you alive.” His voice was low but venomous, and I felt a tinge of fear for the first time since I arrived in the room. This creature was pure evil. If I believed in the Devil, I would say he was the physical embodiment of Satan.

I watched as he straightened up, so I shifted slightly out of the way. I still didn’t know if my first visit to him was just a connected dream or true astral projection but he knew then that I was there. However, he didn’t sense me the last time I was in this room, so I felt relatively safe, if cautious.

Safety is often an illusion we trick ourselves into.

Padraigan’s head swiveled in my direction, and I became still. He couldn’t be looking at me. No way.

“Well, well. An eavesdropper.”

Oh shit. Oh shit. He knew I was there.

Puppy love and care

Is Fido your best bud? Is he part of your family? Do you throw him birthday parties and arrange play dates with other pet parents so he can get together with his friends at the local bark park? Yeah? Me too! I totally get where you’re coming from.

We love our pets and they’ve become a part of our families-if they were human, they’d be the equivalent of your middle school BFF that you would spend hours on the phone with and who called your parents “Mom” and “Dad”. Therefore, you take care of them like you would your own child. You make sure you clean them, feed them, play with them, exercise them mentally and physically, and take them for their yearly check-ups and shots.

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When it comes to being a good pet parent, you don’t want to cut corners. I once had a fenced acre of land for my dogs to run in, but I also had a cheap husband. How does that factor in to dog care? He built the fence with recycled materials (not in an eco-friendly way but in a cheap “hey I found this length of chicken wire in the road” kind of way) despite my insistence that we buy solid, sound fencing, and my dogs were constantly running free. This is not cool. There were coyotes running free. My American Eskimo could have been coyote food! The lesson to be learned here is that you shouldn’t go cheap on your pal’s living environment, especially outdoors.

If your dogs spend a lot of time outside, whether it’s because they have a doggie door and a properly fenced-in area or because you like to go hiking with your pal and spend hours on the trail, water is essential. Fresh water in the yard that’s freshened every day (or every hour if your dog is like mine and washes their paws in the water bowl) not only keeps them hydrated but healthy, with no risk of infection from water-born illnesses. If you’re on a long hike or run, then carry a bottle of water for Fido. On hot summer days when you’re pouring sweat, that’s a good indication that your buddy is hot too. Especially considering all that hair he’s wearing.

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Inside, your pal needs stimulation. Let’s face it, you are not always home. People have to work, and Spot is home alone. She needs to have something to keep her occupied besides your expensive couch or dining room chairs. We recently rescued a puppy from the local shelter, and it had been a long time since either one of us raised a puppy. We got puppy chew toys, and rope pulls, and pork rolls…we went a little crazy with puppy toys. The weekend was wonderful, full of puppy-bliss and laughs, and then…Monday. She chewed everything but her toys. And this behavior wasn’t restricted to when we weren’t home.

Not only did we learn the finer art of crate training after that (which, for the record, I had fought against and now completely recommend. Kinda of like my resistance to digital photography at first), but we started a toy rotation with her, because it seemed as though if she had ALL her toys, she got bored quickly, but if I changed out her toys every day, she seemed to be happier and more engaged. Now, she knows to not chew on mommy’s expensive bookcases and instead enjoy her rubbery bone thingy until it’s time to switch to her rope pull toy, which she likes to toss into the air and catch… omgshe’ssocute!

There is a ton advice out there, and with the exception of the basics-food, water, excerise-it all varies. Some of it works, some of it doesn’t, you just have to find what works best for you and your fur-kid. I had a Lab puppy 15 years ago that would have chewed the same toy every day and not thought twice, but my Basenji-Shephard mix needs stimulation and variety. Who knew? One thing is for certain, you have many years ahead of you filled with joy and unconditional love…and maybe some chewed socks.

A wee break…

I needed a little break from all the writing-working-schooling things that I do in a day, and one of my favorite things is “Inside the Actors Studio”. I love to watch the actors answer questions, and I love James Lipton’s way of talking- slightly snarky, and yet warm and welcoming. I think he’s the only person that can pull off that combination. I was also feeling nostalgic for the slam books that we used to do in junior high and high school. Anyway, I love the 10 questions at the end and have used some of them to make conversation around the dinner table if my family is looking more at their plates than at each other, so I thought it would be fun to answer them here 🙂

If I were on “Inside the Actors Studio” these would be my responses to James Lipton’s 10 questions:

1. What is your favorite word?
Ludicrous. I find I’m using it a lot lately

2. What is your least favorite word?
That’s a hard one. I love words. Except for some weird, only-find-their-meaning-on-Urban-Dictionary words.

3. What turns you on?
That spark that occurs between two people that creates instant heat.

4. What turns you off?
Someone who is disrespectful and rude.

5. What sound do you love?
The sound of a river. Or the wind in the trees in autumn.

6. What sound do you hate?
Honking horns

7. What is your favorite curse word?
I know it’s trite, but I do love the word f*ck. I drop a lot of f-bombs.

8. What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?
Forestry. Either a field biologist or a forest ranger. I wouldn’t mind being a GC either and following in my father’s footsteps. I grew up on construction sites and love building and renovation work.

9. What profession would you not like to do?
Sales. I am so not a salesman.

10. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?
“You weren’t quite the bad person that you thought you were.”

Progress…

Sent off three chapters today, so that’s exciting 🙂 I admit, this one is going slowly, probably because it’s a transition book. I’ve never written a transition story before, so I haven’t *quite* gotten down the nuances and the flow of it. Plus, I want to make sure that it’s the best that I can write, and not just put out sub-standard fair, which the last manuscript WAS.

I just wanted to drop a line, give ya’ll updates, let you know that I’m still plugging away at Magick! Oh, there is so much more I know I wanted to say, but I totally forgot what it was. Something wise and motivational, but for the life of me, I can’t recall it. Oh, the vagaries of getting older!

 

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