Story Unlocked: Against Our Better Judgment

I’m pleased to announce that my Instagram followers have just unlocked a new story!

Against Our Better Judgment

It sounds like the beginning of a joke: A vampire and a werewolf meet in a New Orleans graveyard to settle an old score. Then things go horribly wrong. When their scuffle is interrupted, the two are forced to put aside their differences and try working together for once. The results are a mixed bag of action, deception, and a sprinkle of humor.

Read the new Story Unlock: Against Our Better Judgment

Story Unlocks

Congrats to my Instagram followers for unlocking the first story in my Story Unlocked series! Check out the link in my Profile page to read it. 💖

What happens to stories that are lost or forgotten? Sometimes they can be picked up in a reprint anthology, but most writers will tell you that unless you are a huge name, that is not common. For those quirky stories that don’t fit cleanly into those anthologies, they get lost to time. Out of print means that the book isn’t even printed on demand any longer, and the only sellers are the ones who have copies of their own to sell. So the price goes up, and the chance to read those stories goes down.

I don’t like that. I want my work to be accessible to as many as possible. Even my older stories which may not be as refined, but are just as fun. What about if I mixed it with new stories, ones that are homeless and don’t quite fit what editors are looking for? That’s when my Story Unlocked series was born. The more milestones I hit in Facebook and Instagram (my main hunting grounds), the more stories I’ll post. What are those milestones? That part is a secret. You’ll know once they get hit. 😉

Part game, part unearthing, part sparkly and new, I hope this series is as fun for my readers as it is to put together. Eventually I’ll probably collect them into an anthology, but who wants to wait for that?

A Mid-Summer Sale

It’s been a busy summer so far, and it’s only July! I’ve got lots of new projects coming down the lines, including a whole slew of weird horror shorts.

NIGHTFEEDERS ii.iiSmashwords is running a sale for the month of July, I like to think of it as Christmas in July. Authors can opt-in to have deep discounts on their books. So for this month only you can get Night Feeders for FREE over on the Smashwords website, which means you can download it for whatever e-reader you prefer including Kindle, Nook, tablet – heck, you can even get it in PDF format.

All you have to do is go to the Smashwords listing and enter the Coupon Code on checkout: SW100. And if you’re interested in seeing what other books are on sale right now, check out the full July Summer/Winter Sale (you know, depending on what end of the globe you’re on).

And if you like it, I sure would appreciate a short comment or a quick rating on their site or elsewhere.

Fair warning though that this story has been known to give “stressmares” if read before bedtime…

And done!

At a total of 58,737 words, Ghosts of Pikes Peak is finally finished!

YAAAAY! *Happy dance!*

Is it perfect? No. Do I care? Absolutely not! Having the first draft done just feels so very good. Tonight’s writing was all the epilogue. It delved into some real philosophical parts at times, but ended up on a high note which is how I prefer to end my novels. (Omg I can say novels now. With an s!)

I looked over my blog posts and realized that I started writing this piece on April 5th, or at least that’s when I first blogged about it. I hadn’t expected it to balloon up into a full length novel then, and my maximum expected length was around 10k. I guess that got thrown out the window. 😛 Took me two months to churn out the first draft, and compared to my (much more dense) Secrets of Leekston piece which has been a WIP for over a year, that’s not half bad!

I had other stuff I was planning on blogging about, like Amazon’s request for proof that I owned the rights to publish Clawbinder which was kind of weird. I have links all over that piece about where it was originally published (also where it still is listed), and describes when that happened, but I guess I have to reaffirm that for them? I don’t know, but I’ll go into that mess later.

I also wanted to talk about how I’ve been ritualistically checking Zharmae’s Twitter page to see if I placed in their contest. They’re supposed to be announcing the top five winners later on tonight and they’ve been doing a countdown of their top 27 pieces. I haven’t seen my name yet which could be good or bad. Probably a bad idea to be checking so much if I don’t get in, but oh well! Right now, I’m just tickled to have another finished draft on my table!

Project: Ghosts of Pikes Peak

Summary: The old, abandoned Davis Farm just outside the bustling city of Pikes Peak is riddled with malicious spirits. Werewolf detective Colton Fen has been assigned to a half-vampire partner, Rennick Dalton, to handle the troublesome ghosts, but even their combined strength may not be enough to dissuade the poltergeists from plucking victims from the outskirts of town. Is this a simple case of ghost infestation or is there something far more malicious going on beneath the farmhouse?

Current total words: 58,737
New words written: 2,445

Progress in Story: Finished! Isn’t that all that’s needed? 🙂

Total Words for 2012: 71,260

Two actors were playing their audience

Went to the zoo today, and took a ton of videos and pictures. Here’s one of my favorites!

White peacocks are so beautiful. Seeing one showing off his feathers like that is a real treat! I remember going as a kid to the zoo, and how the peacocks would just wander all over the zoo grounds. I’m sure it was dangerous for them, so I’m glad that they don’t allow that sort of thing anymore, but I still miss it. It was always amazing to come around the corner and see one doing a beautiful display like this.

Had a great time being the DM last night, even though one of my monsters ended up being a friend of the party. Long story short, they now have a half-human, half-machine “scarecrow” to keep them company. Even though touching him causes a person to go into fits of screaming and terror, they still like him. I guess you could say I have a pretty unique party to work with. 😉 He’s pretty awesome, so I certainly wasn’t going to prevent it from happening. Some of the most fun games come from just allowing stuff to happen like this, and I love that sort of thing.

Today’s writing updates:

Project: Ghosts of Pikes Peak

Summary: The old, abandoned Davis Farm just outside the bustling city of Pikes Peak is riddled with malicious spirits. Werewolf detective Colton Fen has been assigned to a half-vampire partner, Rennick Dalton, to handle the troublesome ghosts, but even their combined strength may not be enough to dissuade the poltergeists from plucking victims from the outskirts of town. Is this a simple case of ghost infestation or is there something far more malicious going on beneath the farmhouse?

Current total words: 56,292
New words written: 3,381

Progress in Story: So I admit, I did a little bit of extra writing last night after I made my blog post. 😉 Epic battle has finally been resolved, though it is rather bittersweet in the end. Now its just finishing up, which really isn’t as easy as it sounds! I found this site to be pretty darn awesome for inspiration too.

Mythical Creatures List – I love how it shows where the myth came from, what kind of landscape they’re typically found in, and what part of the world they originated. This is just perfect for my needs. Sure, browsing through the site is fun, but doing a site search with Google makes this a requirement in my future fantasy research.

Total Words for 2012: 68,815

He would have spat on his shoes

Day two of Camp NaNo and I’m still above water! Sure, I was afraid I’d dip under a few times, but so far it’s going well.

This morning was quite busy. Took two terrified cats to the vet for their shots and a bath. I learned a lesson while we were wrangling cats too. When two kitties are locked in a bathroom, and you walk up to the door carrying two open cat carriers in your hands, it’s probably best if you don’t frighten them. Especially don’t open the door making loud noises while pushing the bags through. Poor Watson, being the big kitty that he is, tried to back up really fast, then jumped up into the tub. By the time I walked in he was straining his neck up over the edge with big, frightened eyes. I felt so bad! I’d intended just to scare them away from the door so that they wouldn’t run away, not frighten the hell out of them.

So yeah, I terrified them then took them to the vet. I rock. 😛

Ran lots of errands this morning in addition to getting my word count in. I’m a little more hesitant about tomorrow since I’ll be going with friends to the Atlanta Zoo. It’s going to be great seeing them, and getting to hang out with them before they leave town in a few months, but life does seem to be conspiring against my writing plans. Next week I’ll be taking off two extra days from work just to get some breathing time now that our major website has gone live.  Turns out that will also be the next Guild Wars 2 Beta Weekend. Ugh, I’m pretty sure I’ll be falling behind those days. Oh well, if you don’t live a little, what the heck are you going to write about? Maybe I’ll get some inspiration from the Zoo tomorrow. Hmm…

Tex_maam mentioned how she really liked some of the western resources I’d found, and I remembered that I never did put up this one. It’s a fellow WordPress blog that I started following, The Cabinet Card Gallery,  where they post up pictures of folks who did these types of portraits and put up a small blurb about who they were. There is no About page that I could find regarding where they find these cards or where they find the information, so I can’t tell you any more information than that, but I did find the photos and information to be very inspiring. If I had to put a time stamp on Ghosts I would say its in the mid-1800s, and a bunch of these photos come from mid-1800s to early 1900s. Fanny Davenport was the lady that really got my attention. I think she showed up on a search I did for something completely different, but then I got drawn into the site. I was pleased to see that there were so many actresses working in that time period since Mary works as one. Anyway, I needed that validation just to keep my head straight. The site even has a section for actresses, which is pretty darn cool.

Today’s writing updates:

Project: Ghosts of Pikes Peak

Summary: The old, abandoned Davis Farm just outside the bustling city of Pikes Peak is riddled with malicious spirits. Werewolf detective Colton Fen has been assigned to a half-vampire partner, Rennick Dalton, to handle the troublesome ghosts, but even their combined strength may not be enough to dissuade the poltergeists from plucking victims from the outskirts of town. Is this a simple case of ghost infestation or is there something far more malicious going on beneath the farmhouse?

Current total words: 52,911
New words written: 2,353

Progress in Story: One on one battle time followed by a very bad realization. Looks like our group just got sucker-punched. Had a fabulous time describing the bad guy too.

Total Words for 2012: 65,434