My December

Current reading:  The Godfather Returns

Inspired by:  Heavy,  My December   Pick a Linkin Park song tonight

So,  I wish I could find the right words to describe such a loss.  The music industry lost a great creator today.  I love this band.   I have followed their evolution since Hybrid Theory.  That album has so many songs that talk to me.  I remember hearing Closer on the radio for the first time and I was like “okay guys,  I’m listening.”    The next song that hooked me was Crawling.   The song that made me go out in the album was In The End.   Once I listened to the album as a whole,  the song Papercut stuck with me.

I thought, at the time and quite mistakenly, that they were a one genre, one style kind of band and then someone played My December for me.  So much heartache lingered in that song.   I remember crying the first time I heard it because I was fighting my own demons at the time. I remember the chord it struck.  I still have a hard time with this song.  It’s so…achingly lonely.  I can listen to it now without tears but it still makes my heart hurt.

As time went on, more of their songs hooked me but I don’t think I really started listening to them closely until I heard the song  “What I’ve Done.”  That song is about atonement.   It’s my interpretation, if you disagree, well  good for you.  =P   Then I started going back and catching up.  Now,  I write to their music.  There something in the tenor and lyrics that inspire me.  It’s with that in mind that I started the writing below.   This has no bearing on future or past plotlines,  just kind of a what if in my writer’s mind.

Thank you for the impact your music had, and still has on my life.  You will be missed.

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Another moment more, Alexandra.   Please. Nicholas snapped awake with a gasp.  In dreams,  she haunted him.    In his dreams, she laughed, she breathed, she teased him without mercy.  Fate took her first and left him to rot,  he felt.  Sea-shaded eyes and platinum curls danced just beyond his field of vision.  Fate above he missed her.  In a sudden rage Nicholas swatted the alarm clock from the bedside stand.

He cursed.  What he wanted most in this world he could not have.  To Nicholas, this was Fate’s path for him—suffer and wait.   Just thinking about the fact exhausted him.  Why hadn’t the cup passed to another?  Nicholas watched his children; his grandchildren pass on but the burden of Johl’s book remained with him.    The thought annoyed him more than he could give voice to.   The temptation to just let the world burn was strong.  Yet, in his mind, his duty was a yoke that he continued to pull.  Like a faithful jackass.  He thought with a scowl.

Fate’s tides were swirling around Kaylen Burke;  he could see the path ahead clearer than the woman herself.  He knew soon enough an adversary would present themselves.

Yet he could not find it in his heart to care about this conflict.  All that he loved and knew was gone.   You said once that duty’s halls were cold, beloved.  How could you have known I would walk them without you?  If she had, his beloved Sorceress never said a word.  He knew she never would have.   What would be would be,  she would have said. If she were here.   If this, if that,  if solved nothing.  If did not return her to his arms!

In frustration,  Nicholas plowed his fingers through his graying hair and rose from bed.    Again,  he was alone in his prayers.  The small altar in his bedchamber was a relic by today’s standards.  Tess Starson and Emma Jacobs blessed the small marble stone  for them the day they were wed.  Engraved in the stone were their names, the date they were wed.  This stone would go for a fortune in the modern world. Historians would have a field day with the names and dates engraved.  In the modern world, it would be the only proof of their lives together.

For him, their life lived on within.   Fate grant me the strength to carry this burden alone but,  forgive me my wish to be with her, with them… these trials are too much this time.  Light grant me the peace to see it through.  In a whisper of movement, Nicholas would have sworn he felt her gentle, familiar touch.  “Fate let me come home.”  He whispered.  For the first time in his long, long life Nicholas Taltos lost hope in the world surrounding him.


Just a snippet that twirled out of my fingertips, dear readers.  I promise you.  It was just an idea that came through while listening to that song.   I do not know that  I could do that to the poor man.  He’s suffered enough,  I think.

In random bits of news,  head over to my Facebook page to check out teasers for the Maeselorian series and the new book Shadow’s Journey.  My editor,  the amazing and talented,  Kymber Nations,  has been gracious enough to help me design some absolutely gorgeous images that I get to share with you as the release date for the new book approaches.   Please, check them out.  Comment, like the page and hang out.  I have a lot more in store as the days get closer.

Stay tuned to Facebook Live on October 1, 2017 at 7:30 PM EST for the cover reveal of Shadow’s Journey.  Here are the teasers I have posted so far. The first is from the upcoming novel,  Shadow’s Journey.   The second is from book two,  Duty’s Song. 

 

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As always, let me know what you guys think.

Take care!

 

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Tick-tock

Current listening:  My husband and our friend playing DC Deckbuilding.

Well, I have a lot of nifty news to share.  Twenty four hours and I’ll get to preview the final layout!

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Shadow’s Journey has been submitted for Amazon’s review well ahead of schedule.  Make sure you check me out on Facebook Live October 1st at 7 pm for the cover reveal!   Now begins reviews to make sure the layout is right.  This part is usually the most stressful me because I go through page by page to determine if the layout is right or text needs to shift.    I get talked down from the ledge more than once during this time period.

We are THREE MONTHS from release! Three months! Stay tuned to my Facebook page for more updates and MAYBE some teasers.     I’m really excited about this book because it advances a character whose story I have always loved.  I hope you all love m favorite Shadow’s development too.   I can’t wait to hear your feedback! I wonder if other authors get as psyched as I do when a plan comes together.  Kudos to anyone who knows what 80’s classic show I’m referencing.

Five weeks from vacation! I cannot wait!  I need to be out and unwind.  See some old friends, enjoy GenCon and play some games. If any of you are at GenCon 50,  by all means,  drop me a message.   🙂  I’m excited to relax and game and just be with my husband for four days.  It will be fantastic.  What’s your favorite thing to do on vacation?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Updates!

Current reading:  Prophecy – Cassandra Morgan

Inspired by:  “Come From Away”  – Original Broadway Cast

Hello people!

So I have a major announcement.  Shadow’s Journey will be released October 15,  2017.  Please join me from 2-5 to celebrate at Gathering Volumes!  I will be raffling off a copy of the new book.  Can’t wait to see you there! Summer is here. What do you guys do in the summer?  I admit, I read.  I have never been the outdoorsy type. I like my books and my little corner of the world.   I do like walks when it’s cool and sunny.    The photo below is from one of my favorite parks in our area.  I love walking down by the river.  There is always -something- to see.

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In other news,  revisions are going well.  I should finish right on schedule.  This will be what I’m going back to as soon as I finish this blog post.   9 more files to goooo.  Then onto layout.   I have also written a little more of The Guardian’s Fall so those of you that have missed the continuation of that story will get to see more in the July edition of the Maeseloria Monthly.     So, with that being said, back to work for me.  Stay tuned to Facebook for information about the new book release.   Hope all is well in your corners of the world! Take care.

 

Poking  My Head Out of the Sand

Current Reading:   Prophecy – Cassandra Morgan

Inspired by:  My playlist,  keep reading.

So I was inspired by a dear friend who posted on her blog about twenty songs that make her move. Check out her website here.   I commented on her blog with my twenty songs that make me move and promised her that I would write up a little list of songs I write to.  I am adding a twist to this.   I’m giving you guys the list and a challenge.  Tell me which characters you’d associate these songs with.    I will tell you if they match what I utilize certain songs for.   Game on guys!  Keep reading,  there’s a few book updates coming after the list. Feel free to steal for your own lists.  I’ve linked a YouTube video to each song.

Top 20 writing songs

  1. Beyond the Veil – Lindsey Stirling
  2. Shatter Me – Lindsey Stirling
  3. Sounds of Silence – Disturbed
  4. Only One – Lifehouse
  5. Beyond – William Joseph
  6. Into Darkness – BrunuhVille
  7. Eternal – Evanescence
  8. The Ghost of You – My Chemical Romance
  9. I Will Not Bow – Breaking Benjamin
  10. Voodoo – Godsmack
  11. The Chain – Fleetwood Mac
  12. The Reckoning – Halestorm
  13. Throne – Bring Me the Horizon
  14. Writing’s On The Wall – Sam Smith
  15. Via Purifico – Nobuo Uematsu
  16. Words as Weapons – Seether
  17. Here – Alessia Cara
  18. Master of Tides – Lindsey Stirling
  19. Best I’ll Ever Be (Acoustic Version) – Sister Hazel
  20. Moonlight Sonata – Ludwig van Beethoven

So, happy guessing.   Comment with your thoughts below. I’m excited to see what you guys think. Also,  what songs make you move?  Thanks to Mia for the idea.

In other news, I have completed round one of revisions for Shadow’s Journey.  Round two is underway.    I am already flirting with ideas for the next book. (THANK YOU – You know who you are)   School is out so finding time between parenting and work has been a challenge.  We are shooting for an October  release date.   I say we because I might write them,  I might publish them but my family and friends keep me level during the process.  Thanks guys.  ❤ Stay tuned for teasers.

Seventeen and Thirty-Seven

Inspiration:  If It Makes You Happy – Sheryl Crow

Thirty-seven has a  way of forgetting what seventeen feels like.  Especially when seventeen shows up and bludgeons you right between the eyes.  Thirty-seven has a way of looking at seventeen and asking  “what the fuck were you thinking?”    At times, this can mean  just about anything from questionable fashion choices to choices that impact and, perhaps, change the outcomes of the rest of our lives.   I will be the first person to admit I did stupid shit.  At seventeen I had big dreams but was so ill prepared to meet those challenges that I chuckle now.     So seventeen smacked me upside the head tonight in the form of this photo:  (Sandra’s note:  If anyone that did not know me when I was seventeen can find me in this photo, brownie points to you.)

Senior Class Photo 1997

I no longer really keep up with the people I sat near in those days.  I naively thought they would be the kind of friends that would be around forever.   I could not have been more wrong.  I lost track of everyone.  The person I was then and the one I am now are very different people.     In a way,  I think that is how it was supposed to happen for me.  I do not mean to say my growing process was different or more difficult than anyone else’s.  Everyone’s journey is different.

I was a kid then.  A kid who could not be certain what she wanted.   A kid who was always afraid to say what she really felt because she did not trust herself.  A kid who tried too hard to make everyone else happy and tried too little to figure out what made her happy.  The kid I was probably could not have imagined me now and that’s okay.  That growing up,  I think,  started my senior year but did not really gain traction until my early twenties.  Having children forces you to grow beyond yourself.  At least, I think it should.  The girl I was could not understand that disappointment is a natural part of living,  so is failure.    That girl had not yet learned to pick herself up from those things.    She learned the hard way, to be honest.

That girl expected it all to be sunshine and roses.  I just smile at her now because I see her so often in my daughter.     I see her uncertainty.  I see her willingness to hide in her sarcasm rather than tell anyone what she really thinks and feels.   I see her struggle “not to hurt anyone’s feelings”  and hear her regret when she says things she “didn’t mean to” because she just couldn’t take it anymore and exploded.  Yeah,  I know that kid.

I  am not at all ashamed of the girl I was.   The girl I was,  in a way, makes me the woman I am.  The woman is wiser.  The woman rushes less, thinks more.   She trusts less,  analyzes more.   At times, she analyzes too much but hey,  I am only human.  So, it was hardly my intention when I wrote this to turn it into a depressing diatribe about the past.  I just find the whole thing amusing and sad at once because, in hindsight, I see wasted and missed opportunities.   When I look at it that way,  I look at my husband and think,  “Okay, maybe not wasted,  those misses had purpose and brought me here. I wouldn’t trade here for anything.”

So, to end on a higher note.  I looked up the top 100 songs of 1997.  I graduated the summer of ’97.   I look at this list and cringe a little because I am painfully reminded that popular is not always good. This chart is according to Billboard music.    So be honest readers, did any of you jam out to any of the following top twenty songs:

1 Elton John Candle In The Wind 1997 / Something About The Way You Look Tonight
2 Jewel Foolish Games / You Were Meant For Me
3 Puff Daddy and Faith Evans I’ll Be Missing You
4 Toni Braxton Un-Break My Heart
5 Puff Daddy Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down
6 R. Kelly I Believe I Can Fly
7 En Vogue Don’t Let Go (Love)
8 Mark Morrison Return Of The Mack
9 LeAnn Rimes How Do I Live
10 Spice Girls Wannabe
11 Backstreet Boys Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)
12 Hanson MMMBop
13 Monica For You I Will
14 Usher You Make Me Wanna…
15 Meredith Brooks Bitch
16 Keith Sweat Nobody
17 Third Eye Blind Semi-Charmed Life
18 Duncan Sheik Barely Breathing
19 Az Yet feat. Peter Cetera Hard To Say I’m Sorry
20 Notorious B.I.G. Mo Money Mo Problems

 

I have to admit I rocked out to Meredith Brooks and still do at times.   I still love Semi-Charmed Life,  Foolish Games, and  Don’t Let Go.   Did anyone else do the Macarena at senior homecoming? For the record, I still don’t dance.  What are some of your favorite 90s tunes?    This is just a snapshot  of a year in my life.  What does your snapshot look like?

 

 

 

 

 

Just an ordinary day.

….where I get to participate in my first blogger interview.

Check this out:

Blog Interview

Let me know what you guys think.   Also,  for the time being,  the Maeseloria Monthly will be on hiatus, possibly until I finish revising Shadow’s Journey.   Let me know what you guys thought of the interview.  Take care!

Because I haven’t had enough coffee for a title…

Current reading:  Prophecy –  Cassandra Morgan / Mage: The Awakening,  2nd edition

Inspired by:  The Chain – Fleetwood Mac

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Books and roses, two of my favorite things. 

 

So a first happened for me on Thursday…

I got asked to speak at a writer’s group.

For those of you that know me well,  I am not at all comfortable with being the center of attention.  I am always stepping back for more knowledgeable,  more eloquent people.  I come across better in my writing than I do in person.  I have an inordinate fondness for the word fuck. I am not always appropriate or fluent.  I’m just me and, at times,  I feel that’s inadequate for the task I am given.  Do I bite the bullet and do it anyway? Sure. It just comes out kind of awkward.

Public speaking is a concept that terrifies me.  Hell, at my first book signing I was too keyed up to do a reading .  My teenager graciously agreed to do so.   So being invited is a big deal to me.  To the friend that invited me, thank you.  To the people that graciously listened and asked questions while I tried to stammer through a coherent explanation to my process, getting published and everything involved with that craziness,  thank you in duplicate.  It really mean a lot to me that you feel like I have advice to give.   And honestly,  I’m  a firm believer in paying it forward.  When I started a support group did not exist.  I knew no other writers in my local area to connect with.

Until I met my husband,  people did not get that need to create inside me or respect the fact that it was a need in the first place.   I did not understand the need half as well as I do now.  I take that back.  One person understood but at the time he was so mired in his own situations that I did not lean when I needed to.  You know who you are.  M’bad.  ❤

I meant what I said at the end.

No matter what,  keep going.  Don’t hesitate.  Life’s going to keep right on moving whether you do or not.

What have you got to lose?

So, in a nutshell,  I got to meet some new folks who suffer from a lot of the struggles many of us do.  Lack of time,  stories fizzling out,  ideas that always seem stuck in work-in-progress land.  In truth, it happens to all of us.  I have two or three unfinished, unfollowed through on ideas.  Maeseloria takes up a great deal of my time and focus.   Admittedly, the single track for my creativity helps with my focus.   And, in truth, Maeseloria evolved from multiple stories that I played around with for years.  I just found a thread to tie them together and it worked.

At any rate,  to those in the group that may be reading this…thanks for having me.  I’d be delighted to join you again sometime soon.   If you need feedback, brainstorming,  even a pep talk…or if you just want to shoot the shit,  you have my email address.

In other related news,  I see the light at the end of the first-round revision tunnel!  The last chapter has been hand revised and needs keyed.   That should be tackled this weekend.   I’ll keep you posted.     I am going to try and post more often here but life has been crazy as of late and the motivation on my part lacking.   So with that being said,  I am requesting feedback from all of you.  What do you like to see on this blog? Do you enjoy the snippets and potential storylines?  Do you like the life updates? The social commentary?  Do you wish I would post more often?   Throw me some feedback in the comments guys or email, or tweet or Facebook me.   I’m pretty easy to find.

 

 

Cut me from the Light…

Current Reading:  Prophecy –  Cassandra Morgan

Inspired by:  Shatter Me – Lindsey Stirling

Yes.  I readily admit to being a slacker about my blog as of late.   I have been busy with Shadow’s Journey revisions and work and life.  I recently had a local author event at Gathering Volumes.  The event went well in spite of the freezing cold and rain.  If you want to see photos, check out the May edition of the Maeseloria Monthly.    For those that have been waiting for the next installment of Alex and Marc,  allow me to proceed. If you missed the first installment leading up to this, check out the blog post Reunion.  Happy reading!

 

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How appropriate.  Alexandra thought when she observed the dawning daylight. She turned towards her brother.  He leaned against the wall next to Emma’s front door with his arms folded over his chest.   The look on his face was thunderous.  “Years ago,  Fate above, we must have been children.”  As he spoke he pushed from the wall and fell into step with her.  The path led away from Emma’s home.  “I made you a promise that I would never leave your side again.  Do you remember?”

“We were not children, brother-mine.”  Alexandra responded as he took her hand.  “Just naïve.”  Her words were gentle,  thoughtful.  The warmth of his hand was much missed.  In those dark catacombs the thought of her loved ones kept her alive and allowed her to keep fighting.  She suspected admitting such a thing though would simply fuel the fire that burned within her brother.  Emma was  a curious puzzle that she would address with him soon.  For now, however, Alexandra savored the warmth of Marc’s hand in hers and the familiar comfort of his mind occupying her own.

“Perhaps naïve but since we retook the kingdom,  have I ever failed you?”    He murmured as they took the path away from Emma’s.  With a minute flex of will, he pulled them both away into the early morning light.  He knew she allowed him to exert that level of control and power over her.  Marcus understood her better than anyone but Nicholas,  he felt.   When he realized the old man was in on her scheme,  the thought infuriated him that much more.   The training clearing of their childhood sprawled before them when they reappeared.    “I have of much to lose in light of your passing as you do.”  He jerked her to a halt and turned her to face him.  Marc never used force on his sister but the grasp on her shoulders bit into the skin.  “What compelled you to believe you could not trust me with this?”

Their gazes clashed like fire and ice.  “Are you done whining, love?”   Alexandra spoke on tones so gentle that they further provoked his ire.  “I did what must be done.  This consequence included you and yours.  I could not change that.  The tale had to be believe.  This was a consequence of that choice. What would you have me do?  Risk the kingdom at the consequence of your tender heart?”

“For fuck’s sake Alex, do  not patronize me.”  He rounded on her and growled.  “I have someone to lose here beyond you and she might not fucking survive my passing any more than I would survive yours.”  Marc raged against the calm emerald of her eyes. Fate above, he wanted to shake some emotion into her eyes.  How could she not regret this choice and all the pain the decision had caused?

“I would not insult your intelligence Marcus, however tempted I may be.”   Alexandra shot back and arched a white blonde brow.  “Now who is being patronizing?  Riddle me this, Marcus.  Were you so blind as to see that you were not the only one with a life to lose?”  Without a word, Alexandra flexed her will and brought Lily to the clearing.   You may be angry with both of us but you need to understand.   “I have a daughter, a husband, a family just like you.  Must we revisit this lesson because you now have someone so beloved to you that it terrifies you to consider losing her?”

Marc could not find words and struck as their fights so often erupted into when they disagreed. Alexandra dodged the blow and met him stride for stride by countering his physical force with her mental.  “I did what I must Marcus.  I will not allow you to guilt me for so difficult a decision. Yes,  I could have told you but then to what end?”  She asked as his knuckles pounded against the physical shell she set around herself.  He would be bruised later.  “What purpose would it serve beyond easing your own conscience?   You were safer not knowing and we both know it.  Your nature could not have kept you away from me no matter what state I was in.  Your power could have been a detriment to my survival.”  Alexandra scowled as she lectured him.  Fed up with his constant battering of the shield instead of listening, she shoved him hard enough with her mind to send him skittering across the clearing.  The temperature around them was rising as her brother, at last pushed her towards anger.

Glancing beyond them to Lily,  Alexandra whipped the dagger from her belt and buried at the girls feet. The ward was activated with no more than a though.   I will not have you harmed when I brought you here. Least of all by my temper.  “More the fool you are to your own nature Marcus. My point was proven when you tore the realm apart because you realized I lived.   The poison worked against our magic,  Marcus.  The same poison that killed Devin accelerates at the touch of Jade bloodlines.  Of the two of us,  you simply cannot allow matters to be what they will.”

“Do you hear me?  Tessa could have saved him.  Nicholas could have saved him but I could not and I will carry that ghost until I die. Forgive me for excluding you.  Fate gave me a duty and I fulfilled it.  Her brother was picking himself up from the ground and cursing.   His words and his bruised pride did not move her in the least.   “I will not ask you to agree with the choice or the consequences.  I never have but I will be damned if you will not respect them or me and the courage it took to make them. “   Her eyes narrowed.  “You promised, your honor is not harmed by my choice.   You did not leave my side for you were in my thoughts every day for the last year.  The thought of you and those in my care enabled me to survive.”

Marc glared though he saw both her reason and felt the air’s temperature rising between them.  He did not see Lily until Alexandra build the dagger’s ward around her. His heart broke to see her standing there before he turned his attention back to his sister.  “I get it, Alex.  You did what duty required…truly but you have lost before sister-mine.  I have not and do not intend to.  Your secrets might put her at risk and I cannot abide that.”  He turned towards Lily.  Anger bristled in her green eyes.

As he stepped towards his beloved, Alexandra spoke.  Her words were intended to turn his blood cold.  “And what would you have done if it had been her and not Devin?”   When he froze,  she nodded to Lily and vanished from the clearing.  Her dagger remained as an invitation for him to locate her later.    Fate had best believe he would and they would finish their discussion once calmer heads prevailed. His was not.

“Lily.” He murmured as he met her eyes.   With a thought, he disabled the ward.  Once it was disabled, she came at him with a flurry of kicks and strikes that caught him off guard.  He wrapped her up in his arms.  He absorbed each blow though he would be bruised later.  She could stab him at this point for all that it mattered.

“You’re an idiot,  my lord.  A Light blasted fucking idiot.”

 

 

Why Introverts Make Good Writers

I thought this was fascinating and very apt. Let me know what you guys think. 🙂

A Writer's Path


by J.U. Scribe

I return to blogging because I like to write. Never did it cross my mind that my keen interest in writing had anything to do with who I am on a fundamental level until recently. After you read this you’ll understand the connection I started to make with introversion to writing.

It is estimated that at least 1/3  of the population are introverted. For a significant portion of the population, including myself we felt largely misunderstood. We felt something was wrong with us. I may not have been able to articulate it during childhood, but I learned early on that being outgoing, sociable, and assertive were more socially acceptable than being reserved, quiet, and passive.

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