Sunday, November 23, 2014

Pushing Away November Blues by Making Warm Things

Hello, all my pretties. In case you were so doused in the abnormal winter chill in your area, you didn't know that we, in the north part of Illinois had winter early, well, I'm here to tell you, we did. Oh, the snow wasn't a factor. But being 20 or so degrees COLDER than you should be in November, and having to run every dang heater you own, just to stay warm--that's what we did for those 10-12 days. Today, we've got rain and temps are in 40's. It's going to turn around and snow tomorrow, but for now, I don't mind the rain.

So, since my office was not winter prepared, I couldn't get in here to do anything. Not even check my emails, and I'm still working on getting caught up.

Meanwhile I've been crocheting (since I don't have a laptop). I've been making things non-stop. Here are a few of the types of things I've been working on.

I made this headband in one afternoon. But they didn't have the "flower" in the pattern, which was a dang shame, but I've found one, and will add it to this. And I need to buy a large button for it, as it buttons underneath. I made it in medium blue, but turquoise might work too.

I've also been making "boot cuffs", and I like these pretty well.

but I also want to make leg warmers. Like these...
Remember these? I haven't seen any in the stores, but I haven't gone shopping in a while.
I need "skinny pants", in order to wear such things. Since dropping 25 pounds, I need to buy some new clothes!

I've also made a few "fingerless gloves", like these...

And my larger project is this autumn afghan/throw

This looked simple, until I got into it. Thankfully, I'm not a beginner, and I work on this one later in the afternoon. I'm using a darker olive green, burgundy and terra cotta for centers, a gold for the second row, and for the browns I'm using coffee, cafe, and warm brown.

I've been experimenting on "finger knitting" and "finger crocheting". But it wears out the fingers too much. I prefer working with a hook. I might invest in a very large hook for something more dramatic.

I am slowly doing work on my writing. I've lost interest, basically in trying to make a sale. Not making money at the the writing doesn't bolster my need to get something done. So, it's sort of a "whenever" attitude if I do publish another book, or not. I'm going to look into selling my crocheted, and craft things. That's the thing about art. You can see a painting, or, a craft item, or something like the above in a craft store or show, and decide right away you want it. With a book, a sale is tough to get because it's a commitment to something you can only go by the reviews (if you believe them), and the description. And I've found that selling to other writers is not where the fan base is. You are competing against these other authors. I've had only minor success (sales) placing my books into the facebook groups where you basically are selling to other authors. It's really a waste of my time with a slow modem. I can't compete with people who have aps and can plunk their books down all day long, shoving yours down in the page, so no one ever sees it. What's the point?

The blog, too, doesn't work. Non-writers won't come to look at your blog. Not that I've noticed, anyway. So, I'm falling back on doing the blogging as well.

But, I'm just going to work on my two loves (writing and crocheting), and see what happens, where it gets me, and not stress about it. I get a sale here and there, make only $100 a year with the ebooks, fine. I want to try and sell my art. I can sell things like the above for $10-$100, depending upon what it is.

Years ago, I made the mistake of going too diverse when I was making/selling crafts 15-16 years ago. I was only making enough to go buy more supplies (paint, brushes and wood is really expensive). I also didn't like that I had to change my stuff from one holiday to the other. The small stuff sold really well, but again, I didn't make any profit. This time, I'm going to go about this differently. But, until I find a shop that will take my things, that's just a pipe dream. There aren't as many shops like that around any more. But the craft shows are more abundant.

Next week we have six days off, so I'm going to be happy about that, as long as I can work on something. Depending upon the weather, I may have to move my computer into dinning room again!

Well, until I blog again, have a good Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Moon Lighting... well, sort of...

"Moonlight" starring Alix O'Loughlin, above,
ran for only one season and then they pulled the plug!
I love the show, "Moonlight" with Alix O'Laughlin as Mick St. John (he's a hunk).

The show was great. Someone should be blindfolded and shot for letting this show go off the air.

Okay, I got my rant done.

Wait, another one might come to me.

Anyway, To get you all up to speed, now that we're into the NANOWRIMO where no one does any blogging, unless it's to other people who aren't trying to get their writing quota done for the day (yup, you guessed it, I am not that focused OR abusive toward myself in that way.) (And yet, as a writer I get shit done).

I've just about put the nail in the coffin on one of my older manuscripts that has spent more time in the dark than Dracula.. Originally called "Vampire Legacy" it is now renamed AND rewritten, Dhampir Legacy. I've got to put the ending to it. Since I had the day off, I wrote the climax and have still got my nasty master vampire yet to be put to a final rest, but my dhampirs are going to get to that, eventually.

I stopped working on Sabrina Strong #8, to get this one done. And earlier--well, let me see, now, it would have been last month, I guess--I finished up first edits of #5. Have more to do there, but giving it a rest for now.

Not sure how much longer I will continue doing this. Really. I'm having to re-evaluate the reason why I write and figure out if it's all worth it.

Oh, and my husband just told me we'll have to pick a new plan with health insurance because we'll be paying nearly $150/mo--which would not be possible. And the odd thing is we're making less this year than last year. Isn't life just grand? Now I'll have to deal with that crap. AGAIN!!! ARG!!!

I'm going to sit and crochet rest of the afternoon.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Post Birthday Post

I had a special birthday, yesterday. But I was scheduled to work. So was my husband. There should be a law passed that you do not have to work on your birthday.

However, because I worked, and my husband could "get away" for about an hour, he was able to go to town and get me stuff for a birthday surprise. So, I couldn't wait to see what he bought me.

Dennis greeted me at 2:20 at the door, helped bring in my things and got into the air conditioning. There on the dining room table was a large bag with "Happy Birthday" all over it, and stuffed with lots of turquoise paper. Off to one side was an African violet--it was orchid with white centers. The card I read first and it was pretty good. Almost like he had the person who makes card write out exactly what I needed to hear and what was true about me and turning sixty.

Then, I went into the bag. Well, inside a large latte cup (not unlike the one above) were two bags of special coffees. One was French vanilla/decaf, and the other was chocolate macadamia, a Godiva chocolate bar and to the side of this large cup was a gift box with a large gourmet mocha espresso cupcake! OH! The frosting was to die for! I want one for every day I get off the bus and come home! Anyway, I ate it with a glass of milk right away because I was hungry.

While I ate the cupcake, he told me how he went to town with the old park truck--not knowing if he'd get it back or not! He went blow-by-blow how he went to the bakery and selected this cupcake from the special window and they put it into the fancy box for him (he had wondered how the heck he was going to get it home and put it into the bag--hahah!) Then he had to find the coffees and the chocolate and a cup. Then he went to the florest and picked out the violet. And of course the paper and bag and card.

I do not question that I married the right guy. I did. He pampered me all day, not letting me do dishes, or put anything away after we ate our easy deli chicken and coleslaw. He did it all!

I'm drinking a cup of one of my coffees right now. Need to get some whipping cream, however. What luck! It's actually on my diet! The cupcake was not, but I get to be naughty at least once a year!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Vampire Fans Wanted, Dead or Alive

Ha. Ha. Joke. Get it?

I have been working all summer on the 8th book. I have had this further section written, it seems like forever. A few months ago, probably. I finally got the in between and middle sections written, just today. I've got over 260 pages done in this. I'm not the type who puts some sort of word count per day on myself. If it feels right, I write. If not, I won't force it. All summer I've had things to do, other things to occupy my time, like gardening, and crocheting. I was feeling somewhat burned out back in the spring and just needed to chill on the writing. This was a good plan of action. Each day I did write, I got a little further along. It adds up.

Yep. I've got a birthday coming up (August 27th). I've always hated the date my birthday came on. It was always after school started. In this case, I begin work again, next week--NIU starts back up and I'm driving the big bus again. And Wednesday I'll be on it for 7 hours. Bummer.

But I've been celebrating it all month long by having my first two ebooks of the Sabrina Strong series at 99 cents each.

Vampire Ascending
Vampire's Trill

I won't be doing this again. I only turn (60) once in a life time.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

That's a lot a BULL! (And updates)

Largest statue of a bison, Jamestown, SD
Yeah, had way too many "anonymous" comments on both blogs, and had to get rid of them. These people are not interested in me or my posts, their aim is to sell something from their web-site. Among a number of things which tips anyone of us off that they are not one of us, is their leaving their website and asking you to come and check them out. Plus, they've got no NAME!
So, hopefully, I've eliminated their comments from getting into my email--yes, it goes there and I can DELETE them! 

Now, on to other things.
All aboard!
Silverton, Colorado
Work on WIP, is coming along. I've been writing a couple of scenes which take place on board a train--yes a locomotive, as a matter of fact. This book takes Sabrina back to the world she visited in the 3rd in series Vampire Nocturne, called Black Veil. Since I've never been on a train, I went and did some checking about trains, best I could. I found out that the conductor takes care of all passengers and everything else except for driving the train, and there's a man who feeds the train either coal or firewood called a "fireman".

I've found some pics of inside of trains on the web to help me out.
seating car
I would love to be able to buy a ticket on a locomotive out west and experience the ride, some day. I've been on short rides where you're cramped in with other people. I've even rode a stagecoach at least twice. Like this one in Silverton, Colorado. It's a dusty ride, in case you have the chance to ride one--bring a scarf--yeah there was a reason cowboys had those scarves around their necks. In our case it rained and we had to put down the window coverings. That was a new experience. In case you haven't noticed, I'm a throw-back--I was born in the wrong century (Dennis and I both). So, these sorts of experiences are something we both enjoy.
Stage ride in Silverton, Colorado 2010
I'm also hunting for a picture of a statue of a woman's face--from the neck up (tight). I may have to ask someone to take a picture of one, if I find something suitable. It's for the next book. Not an angel by no means. I'm not certain where I'll find something, but my search is on.

Other than that I've figured out where the title of my 8th book comes from (usually it takes me a while to either come up with it, or invent it). Six Shades of Hell is the name of a desert that Sabrina must cross in order to get to where she needs to find clues about the missing princess Aljehambra.

My summer has been pretty good, so far. I've gotten a lot of gardening work done--some of it involved moving large, heavy rocks, and setting them down in a spot I needed for run-off when it rains. Still uncertain we'll get away for a day or more. We'll see. I know my husband needs a break from mowing--bouncing on a mower several hours a day does terrible things to your insides.

That's all for now. See ya around. You know I'm busy, but I'll check in with everyone now and then!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Screw Writing What You Know!

Make it all up as you go. It's more fun that way!

That's my advice for the day. Plus a few more tips that I've had clipped to the back of my upright desk for a while.

When starting out in a new book, you've got to ask and answer two main questions:


In other words, are the stakes high enough?
There has to be DEATH.
Either physical, professional, psychological or spiritual.
You pick one of the above.


This one is one that I sometimes have to kick myself on the behind to produce. I hate putting my favorite characters through so much horror/terror. But, you gotta do what you gotta do.

I remember one fan of my Sabrina Strong series asking me why I had killed off Dante in the end of second book, Vampire's Trill.

Why, indeed. Because he made Sabrina happy. But he couldn't be with her, because he was Tremayne's scion. If Dante (a handsome Native American hunk who happened to be both a shape-shifter and shaman in life), had continued his wooing of Sabrina, Tremayne would have had a hissy-fit in vampire terms. He'd of killed him. Which would have fit nicely in the above. But I needed her to loose him in a different way.
Besides, I brought him back to be Sabrina's biggest secret weapon when shit hits the fan in the third book.

With my current WIP I'm working my way into the meat of the story, and am plotting things to go awry, in every damn way I can think of. Dante, who is now an Undead, can't always be with her physically. He has to feed. Since I've invented this sort of unusual vampire, I'll explain that he has to feed either on the soul of the dying, or on sex. Because at this point I've written books 5,6, & 7, a lot has happened. Let me just say I've made things more difficult for these two to be together--either intimately, or him being able to become a physical being. Otherwise, he's a spirit who can reach her only through a mirror. As long as she carries one, or there's one wherever she happens to be.

I'm working up the villains in this story. One worse than the next. And sometimes, it'll be hard to figure out if the one that's supposed to have been the bad guy, is really all that bad. I'm having fun with it.

Rule #1:

That's the other unwritten rule. If you aren't having fun writing whatever it is you're writing, then stop. Take a break away from it. If ideas aren't coming to you, you need to rest. Your brain needs to rest. Find something else to occupy your time, but above all, don't let the inability to write get to you. We won't call it "writer's block". To me that's a fancy schmancy word that the "professionals" have invented to make you paranoid about your inability to produce every day.

Rule #2

If you pay too much attention to what the "professionals" say about the craft, you'll become constipated on the page. Don't. Listen. To. Crap.

I once attended a critique class a long, long time ago. The word "was" was considered bad, and if you used it in your writing, well, you weren't very good at writing. I busted my buns to try and write without using that word too much. All I got was crap on the page. I got nowhere with that rule. I'm not going to take out every last damned word that other writers - "professionals" - say we mustn't use. I've read all the masters from King to Rowling. What do you know? They don't pay much attention to "the rules". They most definitely break the "rules". So why shouldn't I?

Your main objective is to get the story down, first. Worry about the flow of words later. But the plot is number one. You also have to know who's going to suffer and how and where and who the bad guy's going to do this to your good guy from the beginning. Even if you don't have a name, names and descriptions can come later.

Eventually, "Six Shades of Hell" will get Sabrina down into some hot, nasty, hard to travel territory--that's why the title was chosen. This takes place in a world which is poised in the 1870's. How will she get through it, to her destination on horseback?  Will she be attacked by marauders? Will Dante be able to help her?

Her objective is to get to a small village named Elvira, and find the man who is supposed to have abducted the Princess Aljehambra (we know her from 3rd book, Vampire Nocturne). If she doesn't find Ali, they will kill her.

To top things off, Sabrina becomes romantically involved with the man, Hawk, who may have abducted her. Plus, in the very beginning of the book a wizard, named Booth, has asked her to find his wife and child, who he claims has been abducted by King Drakulya. (Drakulya/his son, Joha, denies this.) Sabrina declines to work for Booth, as she feels there is conflict of interest, since she has worked for Drakulya in the past, and would rather work for the Drakulyas to find the princess, instead.

So, you see, the stakes not only are high, but they become stacked higher and higher. Ali is Sabrina's friend and an innocent waif of a girl. When Sabrina digs deeper, she is startled to find that something more sinister is afoot in another place all together, and by someone else, who may be the most sinister villain I will write as yet.

Lorelei is author of Sabrina Strong series,
Spell of the Black Unicorn,
and short stories

Thursday, July 3, 2014

The "F" Word

This is a rant, if anyone is not interested in my rant you may leave now.
The subject it's a word that is creeping into so-called "romance" books. It's the F word, and I don't mean Fork. See Definition from

I have no problem in using the word, if appropriate in my writing. My character Bjorn Tremayne uses it as an expletive--a lot. But I'm not a big fan of it in using it as a--well--verb. I find it vulgar. Especially when used by women. But then I'm from the old school where women were taught not to swear (and I do my share of it on a daily basis), or spit (I only spit when I'm brushing my teeth, or eating watermelon at a picnic).

Anyway, I got something in my e-mail box the other day, and it simply bothered me, when I read the excerpt. I don't know why I went ahead and opened it. The title [of book] should have warned me off. It's called "Carnal Magic" by Lila Dubois. The site is Paranormal Book Reviews. If you read the excerpt (here). You'll see that the POV is the woman's. And from descriptions I'm guessing it's sort of "high fantasy". But what I don't get is the use of fuck. Twice in the same passage. The rest of the excerpt was well written. But using that word ruins the whole atmosphere of it.

In a way the use of this word is becoming all to common in this way, in writing and speaking. I hear it used a lot by not just men, but women too. Back to the the writing. To me, when I read it in such a book, I feel that the writer didn't use her writing abilities to say what this woman actually wanted to do. Why didn't she say something like rip my clothes off and rape me, or visa versa? There's a lot of ways I would have written it and it would have been more fitting. But then, I'm not a young writer. I'm more seasoned and know that if you're going to write something that you want a broad array of people to read, you don't want to use foul language to do it, or in this manner, and in such a fantasy genre. But that's just me.

It's usage, I read at my is that it's first use was in the 1400's, but it has been used before this. I have read somewhere that it is a German word for "strike", but because it was considered a banned word, it's history has been lost.

Anyway, I had to get this off my chest. As a writer, I hate to see women resort to the word in such passages as the example above. If you're going for gritty novels, fine. However, think about who your audience is, and consider if your female character would really think I want to fuck him.

Have a Happy 4th, everyone!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Time In A Bottle

Not sure why I chose that title, only that I liked the song by Jim Croche. And possibly, that's what time is for me. Segments. Memories. Cycles...

What's up for Lorelei this summer:
I'm taking time off from my "regular" job. 2 months, to be exact. This is my birthday present from my husband to get me off that stupid bus, and to enjoy the summer. We plan on doing a few things together. He's taking a 4-day weekend for his birthday from the fourth of July through the seventh, so, we'll be on the loose. But we won't be going far. Just a stay-around the area, sort of time.
Dennis and me 2010 vacation in Taos, NM
I plan on doing some gardening--not that it's anything extraordinary, just small flower gardens. And trying to keep the wild grapevines tamed back in our jungle. I do have another brick pathway to put in, and that will require some muscle and digging. But I'm up to the task. Last year I was suffering from being over-weight. This year, after getting on the Atkins diet, I've trimmed 15 pounds off, and still have about 12 more lbs. to go to get to my goal weight of 125. I know it's possible, because I did it when the diet first came out. Now, they have meals, meal bars and so forth to keep me satisfied, and the carb counter booklet to help me plan meals.

Anyway, because my metabolism has been boosted, I've more energy, can go much longer doing the outdoor activities (as long as the rain stays away), than I have been able to do in years.

My birthday: Can you say "sexagenarian" without giggling?

My birthday is in August. I am a proud "Baby Boomer", but one who never did illegal drugs, and one or two drinks late afternoon is my limit. (With Atkins, I've gone to zero to occasional, because of the carbs and your body has to fight the alcohol first before it goes after the carbs.) And I don't look my age. Something in my father's genes, I'm sure. Plus, never smoked, or lay out in the sun, and never had children. So, I'm ahead of the game where stress is concerned.

Dennis doesn't like me to tell people my age. My sister always lies about hers--she's 10 years older--but I've never been embarrassed about my age. At the moment, I'm not certain about turning 60 (am I really that old?) The whole thing about being only as old as you feel is true--sort of. You are as YOUNG as you feel, in my opinion. I've always had this in the back of my mind "I'll never act my age." I'm still a kid at heart, have a lot of interests, which include outdoors, crafts and writing.

I'm fortunate to not have any health issues, and for that I am grateful. I actually don't trust doctors. I think they're too into money $ to really care about you as a person. A few years ago, I had a palpating heart beat--stress was the cause of it--I did go to a doctor, and he assured me there was nothing wrong with my heart. I was relieved. He gave me prescription for a sleep aide. Then, he wanted me to set up an appointment to have my cholesterol checked. Right. After not really having the money to pay for this doctor's visit, I was not going to spend more money on that test. I am not the type who goes off to a doctor at the first sniffle. At the first sniffle, I'm proactive about how I'm feeling. You'd be amazed at what gargling with hydrogen peroxide will do. I get a bit of tonsillitis every spring and I gargle and in a week it's gone. No sore throats either, probably because we use hand wipes or Purell to keep from catching and spreading germs. Another thing to stay away from is the all too-popular buffets. Think about how many people have touched the spoons to serve everything. Plus, it's not so good on the waistline, either.

The writer:
I'm calculating how long ago I began writing. Holy Crap! 42 years ago I began taking a big interest in writing. I think back to all the years spent where no one really took me under their wing and helped me get a few things right--the mechanics. I was also bad at grammar, and horrible at spelling. I'm dyslexic. I had to learn how to spell--I'm not quite as horrible as I used to be, surprised when I write some difficult word down and the little red line doesn't appear underneath it--I know how to spell that word?

Me in April 2013
Despite the fact that my publisher quit on me, last year, I've moved on and have gotten my books out there as an Indie. This year, number four in the Sabrina Strong series, Vampire Caprice, is published.
I am working on editing # 5 Vampire Crescendo, and am writing # 8, (Six Shades of Hell) so time off will help, since I need to concentrate on getting the plot worked out.

I've also got to put an ending to the book I worked on over the winter, Dhampir Legacy. I'll work on it when I feel I've a handle on the eighth book. Not sure when either one will be done. But I think 9 weeks is a good goal for me to get Six Shades at least 3/4's done, and try and put the end on Legacy.

Other Interests:
Over the winter I began crocheting, and am still working on 3 afghans at this time. This is something I picked up again, after years of not having any interest. Now, I find I enjoy the down-time from writing. It's an extension of my creative side that doesn't get stroked enough, so, picking this activity up again is something that makes me happy, and my husband likes to see it too. Especially when I made one huge granny square afghan for the bed, and two lap-ghans for each of us over the winter.

With summer I'll be outside more, when the weather cooperates. I've got raspberries coming on and I enjoy picking them, but don't like being stuck by the thorns. That's why earlier this spring I went in and cleared out the snarl in the small area where they grow. I had to go in there yesterday too, and trim back a few new growths. Once I get my berries, these can do whatever they want the rest of the growing period.

I don't want to think about working at my job, after tomorrow (Monday is my last day to work), as I want to be as far away from that mind-set as possible. Need to relax my mind and try and do the writing and other things I enjoy more than two hours a day.

That's my up-dates for now. Have a good week, all.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

The Voice

"Well, when are you going to put this down?" he asked.
"I'm trying to sleep, damn it! Go away," I said.
"But this is brilliant stuff! Listen! I've got a '57 Mustang, and I was turned into a vampire in 1974--or you can change it within a few years. I'm working on who my neighbor is... get this, my neighbor lady is a psychic! She's hounding me, and doesn't know I'm a vampire, yet, but she'll learn it sooner or later and that will eff everything up for me--"

"WAIT A MINUTE!" I shout to this voice. "I don't have a pen or paper on me... I want to get some sleep here."

"...and then she comes to my door pretending to 'borrow' something. Or maybe she has a piece of my mail that somehow got into her box... something like that. You have to throw us together. It will be great!"

Okay. It's me again--without the voice. You go through this as a writer. A new character, a new idea a new whole story comes to you in the middle of the night--in the middle of EVERYTHING you're doing and interrupts the flow. Damn it! GO AWAY!

I'm in the middle of final go-through of the 4th book, and have another book--the only other one I plan on writing this year, and here we go again....

This character's name has been haunting me ever since I saw it somewhere: Peter Warlock. I don't know if I'll keep the first name. If it's someone famous, I don't know where I saw it. But over the past 3 or 4 months I was wondering what sort of character/person he was. Was he a magical person? Did his name fit him? Or was I going to go with something else? Then, a few weeks ago, The Voice came to me out of the blue. He began yammering his whole deal--and it was worse than that. It was the story in his voice. Did I get it down? I don't know if I did it justice, but I tried. Mr. Warlock isn't a warlock at all. Well, here, in his own words is how he puts it....
From Peter Warlock, Private Eye
My name is Peter Warlock, PI. I investigate anything. I've even investigated paranormal happenings when things were slow. Once did a ghost invasion, and that was pretty wild. It was a poltergeist. Nasty fucker, but you know, I got him to leave. You never know what sort of strange situations I get into.
Same thing with my name. With a last name like mine, you'd think I was a wizard, or at least dabbled in the art of witchcraft, or wicca. Nope. But I like how it keeps people guessing, and helps keep them from inferring that I'm really a vampire. No one else, except a few close friends know what I am. That's because they're vampires too. The rest of the humans have no clue. By the way, I get my blood from the hospital. Got friends in low places, if you get my meaning. He's a vampire too, which makes things really easy for me to get information when something comes in and I need to check it out. Like a rogue vampire out of control, and one of his vics come in on a gurney, that sort of thing. It's up to me to find the stupid fuck and either put him straight or take him out. One way or the other I always do my job.

Why is it that vampires portrayed on TV or in the movies have cool, ultra modern digs? Me, I've got a small one bedroom, utilities included and I'm a bit behind on my rent. I keep ducking my landlady because I'm perpetually a bit behind on rent, and have to wait until I get a client—and they pay me. Yeah, I'm not one of those rich bastard vampires who've been around a few hundred years who manage to somehow accumulate wealth (most likely steal it from those they've attacked). I'm an honest vampire, trying to make a living—and not get caught at it.

Anyway, I've changed my locks on my door so that my landlady doesn't barge in here demanding pay, or try and evict me. I really don't want her to storm in on me while I'm sleeping—during the day. Yeah, that would pretty much freak her out if she catches me in bed because I sleep in the raw, no blankets or sheets, either. I don't think she'd want to see that. Well, maybe she would, but I'm nothing to write home about. I'm medium build and height, brown hair and eyes, and I could pass for good-looking, but I wouldn't go as far as saying I'm handsome.

Wait. That's my phone. I'd better see who it is... it might be important.

Okay, that's about all I've got so far. At this juncture, I know things will change. As to when I get to write about Mr. Warlock, I have no idea. Got my fingers busy at the moment.

How many times does this, or has this happened to you? New character/ a voice comes to you and you haven't got time to write about it?

Sunday, March 30, 2014


First of all, happy Sunday to you all. Yes, today the thermometer is rising. We "might" see 60, but I some how doubt it. Snow piles around the yard, under the thicket of trees and ditches are being burned away by the sun. A slow process, as it has taken it all month. Unlike what it might be for a vampire under those conditions. Not quite as dramatic as a vampire bursting into flames, but that would have been my preference on all this pesky snow that still lingers. I'm still putting the last sight of any snow piles as April 8th. We'll see.

Okay, that out of the way, I'm going to post this last chapter of the up-coming (4th) book of the Sabrina Strong series, Vampire Caprice.  I've worked on it since a beta reader seemed to think it needed more of something with the moment when she faces her dreaded foe once again.
So, be forewarned, this reveals the ending, if you don't want to read it: 

Set up: Sabrina has come home after being away in Colorado, where Tremayne *vampire* has tricked her in order to mate with her. The reasons and so forth are within the novel, of course. While there she had been hunted by an "undead" vampire called "The Albino" who wants to feed on her soul. He's already tried and failed to kill her in a cave-in. She is now home, and knows that the Albino is still out there--as are demons who want to attack her, but the Albino is her biggest problem for now. 

Chapter 53
The next morning the sun rose in a brilliant blue sky. I had to flip my calendar over to the next month. It was the eighth of December. It had snowed over night. I hadn't thought of getting out the snow shovel because when I last was home there had been a rainstorm.
I pulled on my snow boots, and winter coat and stepped out into a crisp new day. A thrill of excitement went through me. Christmas was around the corner. I was already thinking about where to put a tree, and the gifts I'd buy for my nieces. And this time I'd throw something in for Constance and Randy, because I could finally afford something nice to give them.
I had to stomp through six inches of snow to get to the snow shovel, which was in my dad's old garden shed next to the garage. I was happy to see my Jeep was parked inside the garage. My brother, who I'd called to let him know I was fine, had told me he had brought my Jeep back to my house, and I thanked him for that. I'd nearly forgotten that I'd left my Jeep at his house over Thanksgiving. That seemed like so long ago.
My mind busy with plans for the season, I hummed a Christmas tune—Rudolf The Red Nosed Reindeer—and strode between the garage and my father's shop, to the tool shed where all the tools were kept. It was a nice tool shed, in the shape of a barn, only in miniature. I unlocked the hasp, and threw open the door, knowing I'd encounter a few spider webs. Fortunately, it was too cold for a spider to live out here now.
The garden tools hung to one side, like the hoe, spade, and rakes. A wheel barrel stood on end and leaned against the back wall. I'd last used it to haul weeds I'd pulled from the garden. My harvest of squash, onions, tomatoes and beets were stored, or canned. I loved pickled beets. Constance knew how to make them the best.
Mind phasing out from what I originally had come in here for, I stood inside staring at all the implements. My gaze fell across the weed eater, and the tiller—two things I definitely didn't need now. Up above it were more tools hung where my father had placed them, and I rarely touched. One was a scythe. It was old and rather large and heavy, and the blade was made of iron. I remembered my father using it to attack some particularly aggressive weeds one year. I pictured him in the heat of summer, he stood in the ninety-degree sun, his shirt off, tanned skin glistening as he hacked and chopped. The weeds never grew back, as I recall. The memory filled me. A terrible depression came on. I'd lost so many people this past year it suddenly caught up to me.
I leaned against the door, wanting to dispel my gloomy mood. It was too easy to allow myself more self-pity. Stop it, Brie.
My Knowing skittered through me and I saw myself holding that scythe and swinging...
The air twanged and pulled me to the now. The aroma of pine needles and leather filled me.
Dante?” I said, looking around.
Tingling sensations went through me, and that definite feel of a Being occupying me, taking over, shocked me.
Don't be alarmed. I'm here. I'm inside you, Sabrina. He is coming.
My heart hammered. A strength I didn't know I now surged inside me—Dante.
Sabrina. You need this, the voice inside my head said. Automatically, I reached up. My fingers going around the handle of the scythe. I brought it down, off the hook and held it. I waited.
My Knowing prickled again with the sense of some other Being with me there, but invisible. Like Dante, only not. The familiar, and very evil feel of him, along with a terrible stench of death overwhelmed me. I steadied myself and took a few empowering breaths. If I were a guy my 'nads would have crawled up inside me to play pinochle with my pancreas. As it was my girl parts were reacting oddly. My nips had become hard. Funny how terror and passion worked on me the same way. I don't know how anyone else's body might react, but that was just me.
I slowly turned around with the scythe behind my back to find myself staring into the Albino's pink-red eyes. A dark cloud had overtaken the brilliant sun, putting us in near-darkness. The Albino wouldn't like sunlight, I was sure of it.
He smirked. “I see you're all alone,” he said, blinking, his pink eyes slanted. I had a feeling that daylight wasn't his regular hours. But he knew my vampire husband was a creature of the night, and would not be around during the mid-day sun.
That makes two of us,” I said, making my voice strong, hiding the fact that he'd caught me by surprise. Well, not really. I knew he would come. I just didn't know when. My gloved hands might have been shaking, as were my knees, but I put on a brave face, nevertheless.
Too bad,” he said. “I'd rather like the challenge.”
That's totally up to you,” I said and looked up into the sky. The sun's rays slanted through openings of the sky. “It's a beautiful day.”
He pursed his lips and made a disparaging sound. “A beautiful day to die, perhaps?”
Yes. I think so,” I agreed, amazed at the sound of my voice, finding it was so calm. Perhaps Dante's presence had something to do with it.
He sighed as if bored. “But this is so mundane and boring. No. This won't do at all. I want to see you die terribly,” he said. “I want to see you beg for mercy, I want to feel your pain and drink it into myself.” He smirked again. “Perhaps I might someday blow out the flame in your furnace, or in your oven perhaps. And then, when the gas has fills the house, light a match!” He laughed, head tilting back, pink eyes going up and off of me.
His arrogance made my anger boil up. Then the memory of how Bill had died in that cave-in, and how all of us came so close to dying because of him, I simply lost it. The one part of me—my hands and arms—which were taken over by Dante was the only part of me that wasn't shaking. Using both hands like a baseball bat, I brought the scythe around in a slicing arc in a wicked and lightning fast swing. I had a mean batting arm, my father had once said when I hit a home run out into the field one summer. And, because I'm psychic, I knew exactly where the ball would be when I swung. In this case Dante had mostly taken over, but I could have done it myself. I'm pretty sure, now.
The white head flew off the shoulders cleanly. No blood—I was sort of relieved about that. The cleave so clean, I had given him a hair cut as well—at least on one side of his head. White hair fell to the snow, his body fell next, only backward. He landed almost exactly as if he were about to make a snow angle. While I examined my handy work, the sun popped out of the black cloud. I looked up at the brilliant rays and smiled.
That's for Bill, and for my father, you son of a bitch!” I said in a low voice and wiped the tears from my eyes with the heal of my hand.
Good job, my lady. Peace be with you, many blessings. Dante's voice in my head said.
Thanks,” I said, and then wondered how much of me was in that swing. Maybe we went 50/50 in this decapitation of the Astral Vampire known as The Albino. Dante's essence seeped from me, and I knew he was gone. I did feel a peace surround me as his presence pulled away from me. He had not come to me since the cave incident. He had been vigilant, of course, watching for the Albino. He'd told me he knew he would be coming for me. When was the question. The relief I felt that I'd been able to kill him on a first try pulled through me as the adrenaline rush crashed and my whole body was jittery.
An odd sizzling made me look down at the Undead's body. The hair went up first, looking something like those snakes on 4th of July. Then portions of the body, clothing, all of it went up in weird red flames that shot up so high, so quickly, I stumbled back from the heat and explosion. The head was last. I watched it burn to a black lump. Hollowed out eyes burned with red coals, and then, all of it went up in smoke and ash. It may have been five minutes I stood there watching this ancient creature die at my hands.
Calmly I turned, replaced the scythe. I grabbed the snow shovel below it. The steps needed shoveling, and I walked toward the house. The sound of a voice caught me completely off guard again. But this was a kindly woman's voice.
Hello! Sabrina!” The tiny form trudged through the crystalline snow up my driveway looking like an elf wrapped in blue wool. She had a magnificent looking coat on. It was as blue as the sky above with silver buttons. Her knitted hat matched perfectly, handmade no doubt by her old, gnarled hands.
Hi, Mrs. Bench!” I said, my heart at first light, drop out of my chest. I had bad news to tell her.
I've brought some rum cake!” She said, waving a large chunk of something wrapped in tin foil. “I thought we could have coffee and eat my cake and talk.”
I nodded, making my way back to the house, meeting her at the steps. “Sure! I'll make some coffee. We need to talk.” I then realized I didn't need to tell her about Bill's death. She, being a witch and psychic herself, would know already. But she would want to know the details, that's what we would be talking about.
And the other things I wasn't too sure to bring up.
I smiled at her. She stopped and looked long into my backyard.
You have some trouble?” she asked. Our eyes met. Hers were a deep cerulean blue. She knew.
Only a little matter that needed tending to. But I got rid of it. It won't bother me anymore.” Or anyone else, for that matter. I guess I was getting the hang of being the sibyl. Finally.
Good. I was wondering when you'd take him out.” She then chuckled. I chuckled too, but out of relief.
I'm looking forward to your rum cake,” I said.
Bill always liked it.”
I'm sure he liked everything you baked,” I said, taking her elbow, leading her up the steps. I set down my shovel, and opened my door, we entered the warmth of my house.
As we did, I suddenly knew where I would put the tree. I'd place it in the living room, in front of the picture window. I'd have someone move the TV. Vasyl wouldn't mind doing that for me.
It was going to be a wonderful Christmas. At least I hoped so.


Sunday, March 9, 2014

Time... Change?

It was predawn, after breakfast. We had something yummy, I assure you. A New Age station played a Japanese piece that was soothing, relaxing and I turned off the lights to meditate. I watched the birds search for yesterdays seed on the portion of ground that isn't covered by snow. Oh, yes. Lots of snow yet to be melted here. We've mountains. I don't expect it to be gone any time soon. We keep getting snow every time it melts, so...

But enough of that. My body and mind refused to consider waking up. I'm still trying to motivate myself to write something in my current WIP. I've got a future scene in my head--you ever do that? This isn't a scene that you're on, but one much further up the line? Write it. Get it out of your system. I don't like sitting and fretting about some current scene I need to write. I've got something in my head and I write it. I had a scene and dialogue rattling around in my brain yesterday morning, and it was for Book #8 in the Sabrina Strong series. I had to write it down on paper before it stalled and left me.

Before I go further, I'd like to mention that James Garcia Jr., who has very little time to write, let alone blog, did a post on his turning another year older and other news. His 11-12 hour job would kill me, and I have to hand it to him for his pushing himself to do what he does. So, if you have a chance, go say "happy birthday" to him.

I'm going to try and get something done today. Happy Time Change to those of you who had to turn the clocks ahead... if you're up, yet, that is.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Lorelei Bell's Writing Revolution

I don't know if any of you are following the Huge Howey theory of how Indie authors are making more in ebook sales than trad published authors. I've been getting a lot of the story through the blog "The Passive Voice" Here is only one of those posts about it. If you want to read up on it, go over to The Kill Zone to find a bunch of links about it--the arguments against, for, and the up-in-arms posts. People are arguing over his stats on this.
Actually I couldn't care less about what someone I've never heard of say in regards to publishing. I don't even care if his stats are right or wrong. It matters not to me.
Really. I've probably spent more years writing and being rejected than he's been alive.

But I do agree with one thing Howey says and I'm quoting from what I grabbed over at The Kill Zone with James Scott Bell. It goes like this:

There’s no guarantee you’ll get rich from self-publishing. There’s less guarantee you’ll get rich from querying agents. My contention is this: Most people will be happier getting their works out in the wild and moving on to the next project than they will reading rejection letters.

The real choice is that 99% of you can write a novel, pour your heart into it, and watch as every agent you query rejects the thing. And then you can give up. Feel like a failure. Walk away from your dream.

Or you can self-publish, have the pride of having done so, hold a copy of a physical book you wrote in your hands, see your e-book up on Amazon, get a sale or two, hear from a reader, and want to write more.

It isn’t about getting rich. It’s about having the opportunity to feel pride of accomplishment.” - Huge Howey

I'm in total agreement about this. I spent 40 years trying to do it the traditional way. I failed every time with an agent or publisher. It was a horrible wait for a horrible out-come: REJECTION! When I turned 50 and had not yet landed an agent, I said "enough". I self-published Spell of the Black Unicorn. Granted, it wasn't edited, and it needed it. And I did pay a "vanity" publisher, but their price wasn't ridiculous, and I made the money back, and a little over, but I certainly didn't get anywhere near rich on it. 

What it did was boosted my morale, I validated myself as someone who wrote a book and people LOVED it. They were readers not writers. To most of them any problems with the book's mistakes was over-looked. What they wanted was an entertaining read--which they got. And I got my reward by having a book signing at Borders (thank goodness they were 2-3 years away from closing).

While this self-pubbed writer, Huge Howey is making noise all over the place trying to--I don't know, gain more readers by being controversial (because they say that bad publicity is better than no publicity), I've already had my go-around with agents and publishers.

Before I had even written Spell of the Black Unicorn, I'd written gobs and gobs of other novels, and half-finished ones. Hey, 35 years of writing is a lot of writing. I wrote "Vampire Legacy" back in 1982-'83. I joined a writing group (which I had to travel 3 hours to), and had high hopes with it. Problem was, I was still really green. I was so green, I think the apple hadn't even developed, in fact. I had great ideas for the book, or thought I did. I had a lot of high hopes, thinking I'd get a break with writers who had already been published, and the teacher had an agent. But that wasn't to be. I couldn't keep on traveling to meet with these people every week, so had to quit. Not that it would net me any great out-come. I was just too new and needed to learn how to plot and basics of writing.

Of course since then, Spell of the Black Unicorn has been re-written/edited and now available in eBook on Amazon. And I paid not one red cent to do it, I didn't have to go through any publisher or agent. I LOVE that part!

So, where am I today? My thoughts about this "Writing Revolution" is this: It's about time we writers have a place to publish and someone isn't taking advantage of our desire to have a book out there where people can buy it, whether it's ebooks or a physical book. No matter what, when I decided to take the plunge to self-publish my first book, I had said good-bye to the query.

 I'm doing whatever I want with my books, and getting them out there for people to enjoy. I may not make a lot of money, but I'm able to get my books out there, and when someone tells me they enjoyed it, that is my reward.

When I tried to find an agent for Vampire Legacy, I thought I nearly had one. The vampire genre was really going strong, with Anne Rice's "Interview with a Vampire", and "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" was big on TV. She told me to cut the book in half (it was 800 pages long. Yeah. Sort of over did it. I cut it in half and tried to make some adjustments, and sent it back to her, and she decided against it, saying "vampire stories are hard to sell", and so I wasted about a half a year both working on the book and waiting for the slow response. It was/is really devastating to a person who is hopeful, and waiting for word. It's like your whole life hangs in that delicate balance. 

So, now I can say this revised version of "Vampire Legacy" renamed "Dhampir Legacy" will see the light of day, and will be published this year at some point. 

So, here it is. My rejection to all agents and publishers. I DON'T NEED YOU!

"Dear Agent. Thanks for looking at my book, but really I don't need you. I don't need you to tell me 'this isn't just right for us' or 'good luck in placing this with someone else'. No. I've had it up to my eyeballs putting up with your lame excuses as to why you don't think my book is right for you. The fact is YOU are NOT RIGHT FOR ME! \

My first self-published book is available on Amaxon

Sunday, February 9, 2014

No Inert Writing, Please

Last week I read a few of the Insecure Writers posts and one blogger asked the question: "How do you know what good writing is?" (paraphrasing, probably, so forgive)

My answer was quite simply I write what I like to read. Or, rather: I write what I would like to read. There aren't that many authors out there that please me. I do not like boring books. Well, who does. But what I mean is, I don't like boring plots. I have to be fooled at the end, even if I think I know what's going on, or who done it, you'd better by golly pull the wool over my eyes in some way, shape or form.

My other mainstay is: Have fun while writing. 
Yes. Otherwise what is the point of it all? If I'm not having fun, if my characters are boring me to death--I chuck it. If my characters don't pop off the page--same thing. Something is wrong. Each one of your characters have to not only look different, they should talk different. They shouldn't always get along with everyone, either. Maybe some little thing they do bothers the other character (a partner), so, you need to mention that. It doesn't have to go into great detail. A line here or there will do.

Case in point, in my current WIP, Dhampir Legacy, My detectives are different as bananas and oranges. Vince Tobin isn't absolutely straight lace, but deep down he's a cop. His hero is John Wayne. He has quit smoking, and yet holds on to his Zippo lighter and he likes to snap it open and shut every now and then. Another nervous habit is snapping his fingers.

Meet Detective Jan Vladislav. Romanian/Gypsy. The serious end of the spectrum. He doesn't smile a lot. Doesn't joke around much, he's hard to get to know, and even harder to understand. He is Tobin's partner, but they get along because Jan has uncanny ways of knowing where a crook is and what he is doing. He does have sixth sense and it spooks most people, but his abilities have saved Tobin more times than not. So, they get along.

Now, for the more crazier side of the spectrum of characters there's Phil Green and Dr. Herb Rubin. Phil has left his hometown to get away from his past, he was dumped by his former girlfriend at the time, but more importantly, he was attacked in his church by a vampire who killed a deacon right in front of his eyes. But he returns to Lockwood because things are happening again. People are being abducted, his church was burned down, and he knows, or suspects, who is behind it. He wants to know the identity of the master vampire, and go after him, and his minions. Now that he's become wise in the ways of dispatching vampires over the last 20 years.

Dr. Herb Rubin, retired from vampire slaying, has taught Phil everything he knows about vampire slaying, and knows a lot more about the lore than you can poke a stick at. Phil has called him to Lockwood to help him out.

Here is a scene between these two who get along somewhat like an old married couple. It's a humorous addition to a book that would get overly serious if I didn't add something to lighten it up. Phil and Herb do just that.

Herb has been called and he knocks on Phil's hotel room door:

It was after six when the knock came to his hotel room door. A square of pizza balanced on thick fingers, Phil got up from the bed, and went to the door. He peered out the peek hole. The grizzled bearded man standing there looked out of sorts and impatient.
Phil opened the door to Dr. Herb Ruben.
Hi, you just get in?” Phil asked, taking two strides back to allow him room to come in. The short, portly man limped in, a cane in one hand and a large carrying case in the other.
Yes. Someone helped me get my luggage to my room. I'm downstairs.” He gave Phil an up and down look. “I see you've dressed down in my honor?”
Phil stood in a T-shirt and black silk briefs.
Oh, yeah.” Phil shut the door, gripped the pizza wedge by the teeth, and grabbed his jeans off the chair. He hopped around, putting them on. “I didn't know when to expect you,” he said, after taking a bite out of the pizza.
And do you usually open the door in your underwear?” Rubin asked, the sound of the football game surged, nearly drowning out his words. “Does that have to be on?” Herb shouted, pointing at the TV.
Phil quickly grabbed the remote and turned the TV off. “It's off now.”
Herb turned away, shuffled toward the bed and set the cat case down.
What's rattled your cage today?” Phil asked, bending down and looking into the cage. He poked his finger into the dark hole and was rewarded with a cat's claw slicing his fingers. He yanked his fingers out. Examining them, he found blood beading on his middle finger, and put it to his mouth. “I expected you earlier.”
I got a speeding ticking, if you must know,” Ruben growled.
Phil chuckled and sat on the bed, ate the last of the pizza in his hands and sucked at the sauce on his fingers.
Not funny, chum. That's why I'm late. One hundred bucks—you'd think these guys would have something better to do than prey on law abiding citizens,” he grumbled, his face still ruddy, and the contrast against his white hair and beard was startling. He looked like a disgruntled Santa at the moment. His normal color was returning gradually to a lighter pink.
Uh, law abiding?” Phil flopped back on his bed and leaned back into a pile of pillows to prop up his back, and crossed one leg over the other—exactly where he had been before the knock. He grabbed another piece of pizza from the box and took a huge bite. “You were speeding, weren't you?” he said through a mouthful. “Pizza?” He gestured.
Herb grimaced. “No. Thanks.”
Why didn't you call me from your room?” Phil asked.
I thought it best to come directly to your room, since they put me on the first floor and you're on this floor.”
And you brought your furry little friend with?” Phil glanced at the cat carry-all. The striped gray feline was twenty pounds of nasty cat. He could give “Grumpy Cat” a run for his money. They say that a person's pet matches him—this was proof positive.
I ordered a pizza.” Phil said, pointing to the pizza box. The pizza was half gone all the corner pieces left, of course.
Looks like you've enjoyed your two-thirds.” Herb grimaced. “I need to watch my cholesterol. Besides, this barely passes as food,” he added.
This has every major food group!” Phil retaliated. “Look, you've got your bread—right? Cheese, which is your dairy. Then your vegetables, like onions, peppers, artichokes—”
Artichokes? Who puts artichokes on pizza?” Herb argued.
I do! They're great! And there's tomatoes in the sauce, of course.
Tomatoes aren't a vegetable.”
What? They aren't?”
No. Tomatoes are a fruit. They grow on a vine.”
Well, see? I've got fruit on my pizza too. Plus all kinds of protein from meat and cheese. Unless you've gone vegan on me, this is a great pizza!”
What sort of meats?”
Pepperoni—” Herb grimaced. “Ham, Italian sausage, bacon. And four cheeses, carefully blended.” Phil took a bite of the pizza. “Mmm! God! You've gotta try a piece.” He leaned over the pizza box. He pointed to a middle piece. “Here. Take that one. It's loaded. Take a bite.” He picked up a large middle piece.
It has pepperoni. I don't like pepperoni. I'll have flatulence if I eat that.”
Live dangerously for once. Whatever. Here.” Phil plucked the round of pepperoni off and then passed it to him. “Now you won't have flagulance, er whatever.”
Flatulence. That's intestinal gas,” Herb said, taking the offered piece and bit into it. Chewed. His head bobbed a little, conceding that this might be good after all. Phil's smile deepened under the bushy mustache.
Good, huh?” Phil said, smiling his goofy closed-lip grin.
It's fine. What do you have to drink around here?” He looked around as if he'd find a bar in the corner.
I've got pop.” He held up his can of soda. “You want one?”
Gosh, no. I'm trying to quit.” He gave him an exasperated hiss, waddled to the chair and dropped into it with another gush. “So, you've found a nest of vampires, did you?” He took another bite of pizza and glared at him through his thick glasses.
Phil leaned over, still holding a wedge of pizza in one hand, and reached to the other side of the bed. He grabbed the folded up newspaper and flung it to Herb who caught it against his paunch. He unfolded it with one hand and began reading.
St. John's Church burnt down, too,” Phil said.
Shhh!” Herb said, waving him off while reading.
Phil turned his attention to the game. “Aw! C'mon, Cutler. You can do better than that!”
After five minutes Herb said, “You said something about last night you found one?”

Yeah. History. Dusted.”
Well, you get the idea. These two seem to rub each other the wrong way, but they get along because they're on the same side. They are vampire slayers.

The whole idea about "good writing" isn't just the mechanics. Mechanics can be fixed. That's just one ingredient in your writing. In order to bring it all together the work has to bring in characters who shine, who sometimes disagree--in some cases like these two, but it's humorous. I don't like to read books that are so stiff I yawn and have to put it down. I just read a police procedural that nearly had me putting it down, except the author made me care about the characters. It was a long book and it was more of a "man writing for men" type of writing, but I weathered through it. Had a lot of police jargon I could note down for my own work, that was the one reason I read it.

So, if you are writing along and wonder "What can I do to make my characters more interesting?" you want to see if you have made them get along too well. If so make your characters disagree on things. Have them get into an argument here or there. Not always, because that gets a little much, too--unless they are enemies, of course. Don't miss the opportunity to give them an opinion that might not agree with others. Give them annoying habits--they chew their nails, bite their lip, twirl their hair--this gives them personality traits and also the reader can "see" this happening. It makes your character pop a little.

Okay, that's my wrap up for this Sunday. Hope you're all dealing with the winter well, where ever you are. I'm sick of it, myself.