Getting excited about this new novel

It’s only day 2 of working on this novel, and I’m already excited for what’s to come.

I’ve written the first 3,500 words, and I’ve explored some very interesting areas that I wouldn’t normally explore in my writing. For one, this is an urban fantasy of sorts. I HATE

Just a quick book cover that I made in Photoshop using my own Mount Rainier star photos and some free image light vectors. It’s just for fun, nothing too serious.

writing about our modern world. I prefer to write epic/high fantasy so that I can create a world from scratch and really introduce readers into my full imagination. So, for me to be excited about writing an urban fantasy is really something.

Second, chapter one jumps right into the action. I always include action in my first chapter, but I usually spend a little time working on setting and showing my characters’ lives beforehand. With this one, the chapter includes the discovery that will launch the plot, just so that readers can get a taste of what they’re in for.

Third, I only made a 1 page outline. I usually outline and world build for much longer, and I think that’s partly why the fun has been sucked out of writing for me. This novel has an end goal, and I have enough notes to drive the story forward, but I’m just going to let myself and write and come up with things as I go.

I’m just trying new things that I’ve never done before, and we’ll see where it goes.

As part of my excitement, I decided to make some graphics for the novel, just to really sell it to myself. They aren’t professional, they’re just something I whipped up in Photoshop using my own star/mountain photos and stuff. If I were to actually sell this novel, I’d spend more time making a cover that fits the story better, but for now it’s all about having fun.


Announcing a new project

As promised I want to start writing a fiction project exclusively for this blog. I’ve tried to start one a few times but they turned into novels instead.

Sometime this month I will start a series called The Curse of Me, a supernatural romance-thriller based off a piece of flash fiction I wrote in September for the Story a Day challenge.

I don’t think it will be a weekly segment or anything, but it will be exclusive to this blog. I may not actually get to it until January, but it will happen.

Winning NaNoWriMo, Again

10 minutes before midnight on November 28, 2015 I validated my novel to finish my third consecutive quest for 50,000 words in a month.

This year was my most stressful National Novel Writing Month yet. I had to balance my first quarter of college, my first job, and writing a high fantasy novel in one month. It makes me never want to do it again (jk).

I clocked in at 50,055 words but I’ll probably keep adding more throughout December. I made the mistake of quitting on this day last year when I won NaNoWriMo and not going back to the novel until July. Whoops. I need to keep writing while the plot is fresh in my mind.

Not having NaNoWriMo hanging over me means that I can gradually return to blogging! Yay for free time.

Congrats to all of the other winners.

NaNoWriMo Update: Day 8

13,364/50,000 words

I just finished day 8 of National Novel Writing Month and I’m exhausted. It’s been such a busy week with work and college, yet I was still able to write and meet today’s goal.

This year’s NaNoWriMo feels harder than usual, yet this is the first time I’ve ever had 13,000 words on the 8th (my previous day 8 total was 10,653). I just started writing Chapter Three: The Letter, which is a bit of a fun chapter to write. Chapter Two was hell because I wasn’t sure where I was going with it and it seems to childish and unnecessary, but Chapter Three rocks. Chapter Three has snow, mountains, tea bricks, and an attack on the outpost. What could be better?

Actually, I’ve only written up to the tea bricks, but there WILL be an attack.

I spent most of the weekend working on world-building. I developed the basics of the world religions and gave them all names. I also worked on the currency system in use by my world and I have started renaming things.

I’ll see if I have time for another update this week.

Until then, happy writing.

NaNoWriMo: Day 2

It’s day two of National Novel Writing Month. This is my third year participating and my third year working on the same novel. Each year I hit 50k words, but I have never written THE END. This time will be different, however, because I think I can finish it before NaNo 2016.

My first day of writing went well. I broke my first-day record for NaNoWriMo with 3821 words. Now it’s day two and I haven’t had time to write yet, but I will. So, I’m keeping this short and sweet for now. I’ll hopefully be back tomorrow with a much longer post about NaNoWriMo and my novel.

Until then, best wishes to you all.


NaNoWriMo: preparation time

November is just around the corner, and that means it’s time for another National Novel Writing Month. Many of you have stuck around to watch my journey over the past two NaNoWriMos, where I completed the quest for 50k words. You may have also watched me win July Camp NaNo 2014 and fail miserably at July Camp NaNo 2015.

As if it were possible I have become even more critical of my writing. I have also become more creative. When those two forces meet, it’s hell.

I’ve been writing the same novel for the past two years. I started the novel in 2009 or 2010, but I scrapped it when I only wrote 60 or so pages in my notebook. I came back to the story for NaNoWriMo 2013 with new characters and a slightly different plot. I succeeded in writing the first half. I rewrote that first half for Camp NaNo and started the second half for NaNoWriMo 2014, where I managed to get 50k more words, ending up with like 111k when I combined both my edit and my second half. The problem was that it needed editing and it still wasn’t done.

So, I tried to rewrite it again for Camp NaNo and failed. I just kind of gave up on my new plot and I wasn’t sure how much of the original story I was going to keep. I spent a week in August writing up a new plot and characters, even changing the name of my novel from Prophecy of Euphinor to A Clash of Crimson. Everything was going well, and then I shelved it. I got busy and let writing slip my mind to focus on work and college.

Well, I’m back and ready to put this new plot into action.

The new plot is very complex and it will involve some new writing choices. Before the novel was told in third person, but it focused 80% of the time on Arrellinor Sharp and 20% of the time on Austrevur the wizard. Now, the cast is larger and many of those characters get chapters of their own.

I still haven’t finalized the new plot, so on Sunday I started to world build again and wrote page 1 of my story bible. I also joined the brand new writing club at my college called The Inkslingers Writers Coalition or something like that, which focuses heavily on surviving NaNo.

I guess we’ll just have to see how it goes.

Who else is participating in NaNoWriMo? How are you guys faring?

Story A Day Challenge – Sept 10 – The Tunnel

No fancy title for this one, only the default one that came with the challenge. I’ve already mostly written creepy/supernatural stories this month, so I knew that this one would be the same. But than I thought, well, I haven’t done anything post-apocalyptic yet.

The Prompt
Today’s prompt has your main character about to enter a tunnel, what sort is for you to decide but here are some tips

  • The Tunnel – You are in control.  Is it dark or are there lights along the walls or roof ?  Is it long and winding or can you clearly see the thrs ugh to the other end?  Is it running through a cliff face making it impossible to go over or round because there’s a sheer drop to the ocean below, or through a mountain.  Set the scene.

The Tunnel

Kareddar sat on the rock, happy to be off his feet, even for just a little while. His plate armor had been weighing him down on his travels, and without a horse, it made it all the more difficult. But he was a knight of the Emperor’s Inner Circle, and that meant he had to complete his journey, horse or no.

He removed his helm and let his long blond hair fall to his shoulders, dripping with sweat. Now he could see much better. The gate before him was sealed shut, all except a small access point that had been covered in plants and rocks. The gates were nothing like Kareddar had ever seen before: huge and solid as a rock, yet similar to the armor of his order, an alloy of various metals no longer seen in the world.

The ground leading to the gates under the hill was littered with rocks and small pieces of stone, which looked to Kareddar to be an ancient roadway, cracked and overgrown with trees and bushes and yellow grasses. The gates themselves were also covered in vines and hanging trees. What’s in this tomb? 

The Emperor’s command had been a surprise to his order. After centuries of neglect and ignorance, the Emperor decreed that the old world be researched and restored, no matter the cost. A few major artifacts such as a metal machine that was used for transportation had been recovered, as had many items in the ruins of an ancient city. Old bridges had been reclaimed across the Empire, and broken dams fortified with weaponry and infantry to prevent enemies from controlling the rivers.

The old world was full of strange contraptions, many of which seemed to serve no purpose.

“Electricity,” Kareddar’s grandfather had told him when he asked decades ago. “The old world relied on electricity to survive.” Kareddar had asked how he knew that, and his grandfather had smiled. “I read it in a book.”

Now Kareddar had perhaps found the greatest of them all: an ancient tomb, sealed shut to the changing world. He struggled to his feet and approached the small overgrown opening, cutting back the plant life with his sword, swinging and swinging. Then he spent what felt like hours moving boulders and smaller rocks out of the way, clearing an opening just large enough to squeeze through.

He had expected the tomb to be engulfed in darkness, but that was not the case. Light poured in from holes in the ceiling and cracks in the walls, where small valleys faced up toward the top of the hill. The ground was cracked and crumbling, plant life reclaiming the old civilization where the sun shown.

Many of the machines old humans used for transport were lined up like a cemetery, among other things, rusted and broken. He pulled out the old map. Thebsull’s Tomb was not a tomb at all, but a tunnel of a forgotten age. He would make sure that got corrected.

Again, not a completed idea, but it could be interesting to return to in the future.

Story A Day Challenge – Sept 9 – Six Kingdoms

Yes I didn’t write anything yesterday. I was exhausted after my first day if work, so I read a book and laid in bed. Now I’m back to it.

The Prompt

Write a story based on Gabriel Fauré’s “Pavane.”

Into the Six Kingdoms of Actovias

­The bells had rung day and night. The ringing echoed off of the steeples and turrets, curtain walls and towers. “Dead,” they sang. “Dead, dead, dead. The emperor is dead.” Even the clouds agreed, closing off the valley, thick and gray, raining on the city streets like tears, had anyone been crying.

Cygrien had never cared much for the emperor, but it was also no cause for celebration. He stumbled up the slick steps to the gates of Violaceia, grasping a walking stick tightly in his right hand. His robes got in the way of his feet and he tumbled before the watchmen, clad in chainmail that reeked worse than an old iron pot, chuckling.

“Poor fool,” one muttered, stepping forward to give him a nudge with his boot. “Another push and we’ll send him back down to the valley floor.” The two watchmen had a laugh about that as Cygrien rolled to the side to avoid another kick.

He found his walking stick along the soaked stone, pulling himself up. Aiming the stick, he watched the watchmen’s faces fill with bemusement. “Be careful with that stick, old man. We wouldn’t want anyone getting hurt.”

“Be careful who you challenge,” Cygrien replied, grinning. He raised his walking stick and swung it around a few times, knocking both guards to the ground with ease. “Don’t fool with a wizard, gentlemen.”

He moved around the groaning soldiers, tapping on the city gates for entry. When they let him in, he would set everything right.


The letter fluttered to the ground, becoming one with the crème-colored carpets. The prince’s hands trembled, the skin boiling to red and dripping with cool sweat. It was getting too hot, even with all of the windows open to the evening mountain air.

“No, that can’t be right,” he quavered, shaking a finger at the letter. “It’s a lie.”

“He’s dead,” the courier affirmed. “His Grace, Emperor Eleazar Beardess II has been slain by the hands of Norman Blade the Arrogate, as he shall hence be named.”

“Which is why we should be leaving at once,” a soldier near the door interrupted. “Half of the Empire blindly follows the Arrogate, and they will seek to strengthen his hold on the realm by finding you.”

Prince Aethten Beardess closed his eyes. “You’re right, as always, Sir Kenric.”

“But where would the prince go?” The courier asked. “As you said, half the Empire will be out for the reward on his head. And what of the rest of us, who served the Emperor until the end? They will have our heads on stakes to be certain.”

“What of my Empress mother?” Aethten implored. “Did she make it out of the capital?”

Sir Kenric shrugged his armored shoulders. “The capital has been cut off from the east. We have no way of knowing. Only the road to the Kingdom of Tal-Taiorm lay open, and I suggest we take it.”

Well…that’s as far as it goes. Not really a complete plot, but its a good starter for a future story.

A Story A Day Challenge – Sept 7 – An Unfortunate Accident

Today’s prompt might be the hardest one so far. I don’t do well at that suspense thing, so I just went for more of an occult-detective story.

The Prompt

“A killer is on the loose, having broken into the home of a wealthy woman and left her for dead. He absconded with a few items, then left the initials, ‘M.A.’”

To mix things up a bit, create a sleuth who is not such a good guy/gal, and a villain who has some amiable traits. Maybe your detective is a womanizer or is mean to her Mother, and your criminal stoops down to pet puppies.

An Unfortunate Accident

“Ouch!” The tea splashed over the rim of the cup as Crystal Eddings sat it down on the coaster. She needed to be more careful, she noted as she dabbed her sun dress with the napkin. Her tongue was scorched, but she managed a sighed. It was useless, the dress was stained. She would have to put something on it. “Maggie, can you get me an ice cube for my tea? It’s still too hot.”

“Right away madame,” her red-haired maid replied, heading for the kitchen, leaving Crystal all alone in her formal living room. She faced the window, watching the gray clouds swirl above, dumping rain on the foothills of the Cascade Mountain Range. Or maybe it’s snowing up there. That wouldn’t be a bad thing, she knew very well that Washington had suffered one of the driest and warmest years on record. She was glad when the rain had returned last week, thunderstorms brewing and 70 mph winds knocking down power poles. Ever since, it had been gray and desolate outside, and that was how she preferred it.

Fall had arrived early, she decided, remembering the cold gust that lifted her dress on the front porch just an hour earlier as she watered the potted yellow and orange flowers that swung in their baskets. The yellow matched the color of her mansion, painted that way as to bring sunshine to the rainy state. Oh how I got it all wrong. She liked the rain better.

“Maggie dear, I asked for ice,” Crystal said, turning her head toward the archway that led further into the dark house. It’s not even midday and its dark as hell. She waited, expecting Maggie to come around the corner with ice at any moment. Instead, it was silence that arrived. “Maggie?”

Thumps echoed through the house as the rain picked up outside, battering on the roof in song. The wind crashed against the house as it always did, making a familiar swoosh and howl. All of the sun’s light had disappeared, leaving the house with an eerie gray haze. Crystal stood up from the sofa, stepping onto the hard wood floor to peak through the archway.

“My tea is cool enough now, Maggie,” she hollered, continuing her walk towards the kitchen. She could hear only her footsteps on the wood and the rain outside. This isn’t right. She had dealt with these kinds of situations before. Whenever something seemed off, it probably was.

She turned into the small doorway to her right, the long way to the kitchen, when she heard the scrapping on the walls, like claws. She slowed to a crawl, focused on the path ahead, but always keeping watch behind as well. She was nearing the kitchen, the lights illuminating the next doorway. Blood was splattered on the orange walls, and a pool was growing just below the archway. Crystal gasped and turned the other way. She had to get out!

“Going somewhere?” A voice asked. Crystal stood still, fear overtaking her. “You have to pay for what you did to me, what you did to all of us!” The sound of a knife being sharpened rang out like a bell, and Crystal gulped. “I don’t want to do this, but you’ll keep on torturing others if I don’t.” The man’s footsteps drew closer, and Crystal prayed that death would come quick.


When David Coleman pulled up alongside the curb, flashing lights already illuminated the front of the mansion. He stepped out of the Camaro, his dress shoes slipping on the soggy pavement. His trench-coat billowed like a flag in the wind as he made his way over to the detectives that were gathered at the scene.

“Excuse me, Sir,” one of them said as he crossed the police line. “This is a restricted area.”

David pulled out his badge and flashed it. “FBI. This is a federal investigation, and I don’t want you interfering with my work.” He stepped into the house, immediately taking in the damage. The coffee table in the formal living room was smashed, the decorative white pillars scratched as though the murdered had claws. He proceeded to the kitchen, where two bodies were surrounded by pools of blood, flowing toward the dining room. Ah, so the house has a bit of a tilt in the foundation. Another detective was crouched over the bodies, examining the gruesome murders of the two young women.

“Pretty,” David commented as he approached. “Don’t suppose you’ve found the murder weapon?”

“What’s the FBI doing here?” The detective asked. “This is my investigation.”

“Not anymore, Mr?”

“Griffin Stone,” the man replied, standing up and removing his blue nitrile gloves. “Why would the FBI be interesting in the murder of Crystal Eddings and Maggie Brooks?”

“That’s classified, but I will tell you Ms. Eddings is very resourceful, and has brushed the law more than a few times. Has anything been taken from the house, that you can tell?” David asked, grooming his black hair.

“The file cabinets in the office look as though they were pried open and emptied. I’ll let you do your work, for now.” The detective withdrew from the home, leaving David to work alone.

The idiots always fall for it. David Coleman was not employed by the FBI, but he had gotten away with it for years. His badge and ID were genuine, as far as anyone could tell, and his contacts in the FBI would just confirm his employment if it came down to it. After all, the government relied on him to make sure that anyone with special abilities was rounded up and kept in confinement in either Seattle or New York.

He looked at the bodies with disgust. Their throats were slit, almost like something had nibbled on their esophagus. It wasn’t a pretty sight, the blood, brain matter, and whatever else was smeared around the floor and the cabinets. On the island counter top a small blood painting left the initials M.A. David wondered if the police had seen it, or if they had simply missed it because of the state of the bodies before them. All he knew was that they had couldn’t run the DNA. He hoped Marshall was smart enough to wear gloves. Yes, this was done by Marshall, wasn’t it? Figures…the claw marks, the nibbled throats.

David proceeded to the office, finding cabinets on the floor and papers scattered everywhere. He fingered through the folders and the drawers, trying to locate the box. It wasn’t there. Shit. He was afraid of what might happen when Marshall read those files, when he discovered the Verabrar Corporation records on him and his kind. Our kind.

He returned to the kitchen. There was still enough evidence to link Crystal to Verabrar, and David couldn’t have that. His company’s intentions had to remain a secret at all costs. He smiled. No one would like to hear about our state of the art prison, nor our imprisonment and experimentation on them. He had to destroy the evidence before the detectives came back.

He placed his palms flat against the wood cabinets, allowing his powers to ignite. The kitchen burned, furious as it devoured entire walls. The structure would collapse in seconds when his safety barrier fell, and he had to make sure he was gone by then. He fled out the front door, warning everyone to move back. “There’s a bomb!”

The house exploded behind him, windows shattering and wood splintering, flying in all directions. David fell to the ground, doing his best to fake an expression of terror and disgust. Another job well done. They think M.A. is a terrorist, and Verabar is safe. Next stop: Portland, Oregon. 

Story A Day Challenge – Sept 5: Gloomy Forest Lullaby

I’m participating in the Story A Day Challenge. You can read my previous post here, which takes place in the same world as this one.

Prompt: Dark, Gloomy Forest

Your character is alone in the woods and finds blighted trees, drooping plants…rot and slime everywhere. It once was beautiful but overnight is turning into a swamp–its not natural. Your character must get to the bottom of this and stop it before something they love very much is threatened also. Extra points if your character actually doesn’t know this forest and ends up getting lost. Maybe the trees have turned evil and… *gulp* developed something of an appetite?

Gloomy Forest Lullaby

Oliver Gray awoke beneath the canopy of softly blowing trees, watching pinecones fall and leaves drift in the breeze. He smiled. It was rare for him to smile in the morning, but today was special. It was the second day of his camping trip with his girlfriend, and he planned to make the most of it.

He rolled out of the sleeping bag that was placed on the hill above the campsite, water splashing on impact. Huh? His clothes were soaked with the murky water, slime and goop sticking to his skin. It didn’t rain overnight. He stood up and looked around the dark trees, their bark surrounded by moss and vines. No one else was around, and that worried him the most.

“Shelley? Shelley, where are you?” He hollered, stepped back to higher ground.

Nothing was right. He had gone to sleep in the Gifford Pinchot Forest, a place of tall firs and hemlocks, not swamp lands. And he had slept with Shelley by his side and now, she was gone. No, he corrected himself. She probably just went back to the truck to get something.

He pulled himself away from the campsite, following the flooded trail back to the forest road. He climbed up the steep hill and gasped. The forest road had turned into a stagnant river overnight, his truck stuck amidst lilly pads and algae. “Shelley!”

“Oliver! Oliver!”

His heart jumped. She was alive. “Where are you?”

Shelley emerged from the trees, out of breath and dirtied. Her hair was mangled and caked with dirt and weeds, and her clothes were ripped.

Oliver embraced Shelley, feeling her warm body, her smooth skin. “We have to get out of here. This isn’t right. It has to be someone from Verabrar, trying to steal me away to that prison again.”

“No, Oliver.” Shelley let go and backed away. “It isn’t someone from Verabrar. It’s me. I’m special too.”

“That’s good!” Oliver assured her, reaching for her again. Shelley pushed him away, tears starting to drop from her eyes. “What’s wrong?”

“Me.” Shelley wiped the tears away. “I can’t control it, Oliver. I didn’t want any of this to happen. I could hurt you.”

“I can get you help,” Oliver offered. “I have friends who deal with abilities. They can teach you how to control the urge. Before I got help, I would freeze everything I touched. Now, I don’t even think about my abilities. This can be you too.”

Oliver grabbed her hand and led her away from the truck, following the river towards civilization. Neither of them said a word as they walked. Minutes seemed like hours, but they still seemed to be heading nowhere. “We didn’t drive that far in from the forest highway,” Oliver said. “We should have reached it by now.”

“It’s me again,” Shelley admitted. “The river, it keeps changing course. We’re going nowhere and everywhere at once.” She let go of Oliver. “You’ll make it out of here if you leave without me.”

“No! I’m not going to do that.”

“Goodbye, Oliver.” Shelley turned and fled, rushing into the darkness under the trees.

“Wait!” Oliver ran after her, falling down the bank and nearly rolling into a tree. And he would have, had he not thrown this hands up, freezing the tree and causing it to shatter like glass. He stood up, dizzy and disoriented. He had no idea which direction Shelley had gone. Paths led through the growing swamp in every direction, grasses and flowers growing and growing before his eyes, covering any footprints that may have been left. Frogs croaked all around and insects closed in on him by the dozen. She doesn’t want me to find her.

He chose the path in front of him, knowing it was best not to overthink her course. He stepped carefully between the plants, not knowing what may lie ahead. He took another step, his foot slipping into a small hole, water once again filling his boots, and it was cold. Not that the cold bothered him much, he could freeze things after all. He lifted his foot and kept going, following the bend in the path around a bog, full of stumps and logs. She’s killing the forest.

Flowers continued to bloom as he pressed on, but every time he looked back they would shrivel and die, turning to ash. All he could think about at that moment was fire. I hate fire. He didn’t mind heat because often times it helped him control his abilities, but fire, fire was something else. It could kill, and he was sure he would melt if he caught fire.

The trail ended abruptly at the edge of a large pond, but Oliver knew the way. Shelley stood at the center of the small island, turning to face him. She smiled at him, then threw her arms in the air. They split and twisted, blood spilling all over as her body continued to split apart and change. The pieces of her arms grew longer, twisting and twisting like branches. The blood began to turn green and still, like the vines that surrounded Oliver in the trees. Then her skin turned to bark and she became still, leaves blooming from the branches of the new tree, more beautiful than any of those around him in the decaying forest. Flowers bloomed in the meadows of the island, pinks and oranges in neat rows.

Oliver waded across the water, tears filling his eyes, then freezing. Even the water grew colder as his sorrow took hold. He climbed ashore and knelt beside the tree. He felt weak, and his spirit was broken. Shelley had been his only true love. How can I love again?

He closed his eyes and tried to weep, but the tears continued to freeze, preventing him from crying. It hurts like hell. He felt something tap him on the shoulder, again and again.

Do not weep for me, Oliver. It is better this way.

I’m dreaming, Oliver thought.

Open your eyes.

Oliver did as he was told. A snake-like branch of the Shelley tree had touched him. “Shelley?”

I’m here. 

“Why, I could have helped you! I could have saved you.”

I am safe. I did as I was told. There are things about this world you have yet to understand, Oliver, but you will in time. I have fulfilled my duty, a protector of the enchanted woods. You must leave. Find others like you, and keep them close.

“I will come back for you,” he promised. “I will help you.”

Don’t make promises you can’t keep. 

The branch lifted itself from his shoulder and the tree straightened itself once again. Oliver remained there for a few moments, anger setting in. How could she do that to me. He yelled aloud and felt his strength leave him, just as it began to snow.