Saturday, July 31, 2010

WRITE, FARM, LOVE

She's Mika Fredricks, for now. This office managing farmer balances marriage, motherhood, and writing all with the flick of a finger. She hails from San Luis Obispo California, only a few percussion waves , rather, moments from the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant. She writes Time Travel Romance and Beginning Reader. Mika hopes the two genres never merge.


When did you begin writing with the intent to be published?
First, I want to thank you for having me here today. I’ve been enjoying your site and all the great information to be found here. It’s next to never an aspiring author has her day in the blogging sun. I’m excited to get  started! I started to apply myself last year in September. The kids were going back to school and my day wasn’t completely filled working in our home office. I’m so not a bon-bon/soap opera girl.


Why?
I’ve often asked myself that very question! Bon-bons are delicious, especially the… Oh, but wait. That’s not what you meant, is it? Back to writing. I’ve been told I already have too many pots boiling on the stove, so why do this to myself? Deep within my caffeine driven highly creative soul, searching for the answer, I believe I write because it’s a release of emotion and adrenaline. I can pour anger, happiness, sarcasm and more onto my pages. I’m able to vent or celebrate life through my characters. The adrenaline I thrive on keeps me pumped up all day. And the non-fat vanilla lattes don’t hurt either!


What sparked the author inside you to finally write?
It all started with an idea. You know the ones I’m talking about. What if… When I turned 8, I started writing in a daily diary. As I grew older, the name changed to journaling. To write down my idea for a story came natural last September. I didn’t realize how much I would enjoy writing fiction until I found myself 34 pages and 9700 words into it. Completely alienated from encouraged by my family in the evenings, I was in heaven.


What completed works do you have? Describe them.
The Beginning Reader book is complete and I’m learning what my next step to publishing is. Many of you know the process for children’s fiction is different from the Romance genre. If anyone would like to toss tips and hints my way, I would be most appreciative.


What avenues did you travel to get your MS complete? Crit groups, classes, research, writing communities where you live?
The time-travel MS is progressing, growing along with my online education (Laurie Sanders with Black Velvet Seductions taught a great class on deep POV – thanks, Laurie!). My crit group at Rom-Critters spanked me and soothed the pain as I learned from my mistakes and the mistakes of others. I learn something each day from everyone’s posts, including patience, humility, and tons of humor. I haven’t found a writing group in my area, but I posted an ad on Craigslist to see if there were any other lone romance soldiers like myself out there. Three responses to date: A female horror writer (perhaps she wants a romantic element to her MS), a reader of romance, and one male stalker sci-fi writer that gave me the heebie-jeebies. I think he was more interested in meeting women.

What inspires your characters? What breathes life into your work?
I can point an index finger at my husband first and foremost. He’s the living example of my MS hero. The sidekicks are either my his buddies or a combination of them. I’ve been around most of them for over half my life, the antics never cease to work my abs from laughing. My work comes to life on the view screen from watching the world around me. I’ll eavesdrop on conversations at the grocery store. I people-watch at events and games. All the world’s a stage…

What is a genre that you would more than likely never tackle, why?
Expository and technical! Where’s the fun in that? Always so serious and accurate. Dullsville.

What is a normal day like for you, tell us how you get all that writing in?
Holy crap! How about an average day? My husband’s alarm goes off at 5:30 a.m. (but we don’t get out of bed for an hour *wink-wink*), I make coffee and pack his lunch cooler for work. After summer vacation is over for the kids, I’ll be yelling hustling to drive them to school before the first bell rings. Then I head to the barn to feed our sheep and horses, clean a pen or two, and come back in for breakfast. I’ll email work in the business office until all or the majority of work is finished, and being the manager and sole office employee, I decide when that is. I’ll make beds, straighten up the house, and pick the kids up from school. Some days my office load is light and I can skip it all together. Those are the days I exercise the horses, work out, and find time for my writing. If I can’t write during daylight hours, I’ll write after dinner dishes are finished and the boys are glued to Speedvision. I recently bought my first laptop and I’ve been happier than a pig in mud ever since. Now I can write while waiting to pick-up the kids at school & sports, while hay is loaded on the truck, traveling with my husband to his sheep dog herding competitions, etc. Before the laptop, I used the office and my boys’ PC’s, saving everything to memory sticks.


What stage of getting published are you in, first draft, editing, querying, etc.? How has that experience been?
For the Beginning Reader, I’m in the process of receiving crits. The T-T Romance is in the first draft stage. When I posted my first three chapters of the romance for crits, I had a huge depression awakening. There were rules for writing that I never cared knew about. With this newfound knowledge, my respect flows for all those writers that never give up.


What is next for you?
Along with a writing career, I need to develop my platform now. Martha Ramirez needled encouraged me to open a Twitter account, which I’ve done. Now I have to figure out what to do with it.


Feel free to attach links to websites, blogs, FB, or twitter for yourself.
http//twitter.com/MikaFredricks
Other sites under construction


You are a sandwich, describe yourself on a menu.
Mediterranean Delight: Two long lengths of soft Pain de mie bread lightly spread with a white garlic cream sauce. Thin slices of capicola and prosciutto are placed down the center, followed by red julienned peppers, grilled eggplant, and hand torn field greens. Fresh mozzarella drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette and extra virgin olive oil completes the sandwich. Salt and pepper optional. Note: If you’re on a diet, anything consumed over the sink doesn’t count!

If you could be a superhero, what would your name and power be?
My name would be Anominous. My super power would be invincibility and super finger flick power! And if anyone comments on my shocking pink cape, I flick ‘em.

What is your porno/stripper name? Using the traditional formula- the family pet’s name and the street you grew up on? For instance, Charli’s is Betsy Orchard, AJ’s Ginger King Edward.
Psycho Flora. Yup, that about says it all.

Friday, July 30, 2010

MONSTER OURS

This is one scary monster, but easily outdone. I remember him getting a manicure and a new hairdo from that pesky rabbit. I found him so endearing I thought of him in my closet not Jason Vorhees or Michael Myers. Bugs was so smart.
Noah Bradley is no Bugs Bunny and his monster scares the crap out of me. I have had the distinct pleasure of working as Tammy Lee's critique partner for the past year. I know this story, I love this story.

This opening has been through quite a few ringers. And Tammy worked hard today polishing her up. Let her know how she did, if it still needs anything. But, I believe it's just right. Then again, I am biased.
Thanks ladies and gents, ye did a great job. JAWS sends her regrets. She is on her way out of town. Lucky me, all by me lonesome. The blog is mine. Mu ah ha ha ha!

MONSTER MINE ~ By Tammy Lee

Mondays were a bitch and today was no exception. Noah cut the engine. The sudden, stilled quiet hung like an omen in complete symmetry with what lay ahead. What he would bear witness to. Sweat beaded his brow as he slid from the Jeep and adjusted his sunglasses.

He glanced to the rear bumper making sure he’d pulled far enough ahead of the crime unit vehicles and checked to see if other cars could pass without sideswiping him. Satisfied, he grabbed the door, dropped his head and drew a deep breath. The crisp autumn air did little to alleviate the dread.

His nerves were fast becoming as bare-threaded and exposed as most of the long branches stretching over the road. Soon, the days would get shorter and the nights longer. But it wasn’t like he didn’t have anything to occupy his time.

He had a monster to catch.

One who liked to use a knife, who liked the solitude and privacy this part of Sumner County provided with its farms and miles of dense forest.

A perfect place to dump a body. Noah slammed the door.

Third Monday, third murdered woman.

“Hey, buddy, I need you to get back in your car and keep moving.”

Noah flashed his badge at the young patrolman. “Bradley. Homicide.”

Thursday, July 29, 2010

DINNER WITH JAWS

I’m like a Ringleader, I call the shots. Ok so I ripped off a line from Britney Spears, I know, I know, her word is abysmal, but I like the line.


Welcome to DINNER WITH JAWS ladies and gents, children of all ages. Your maître d’ will take your hat and coats and direct you to the nearest table. ‘Tis a full house tonight, so go, shoo, find a seat.


For dinner this evening we will be having Murder In The South, A Detective, And A Heroine With An Unlikely Ability.


Hungry? Without Further Adieu, may I present your main course, and mine, MONSTER MINE, by chef extraordinaire, Tammy Lee.


I’m famished!



MONSTER MINE

where murder can't always be heard ...


Mondays were a bitch and today was no exception. Noah stepped from his Wrangler and adjusted his sunglasses. He glanced to the rear bumper making sure he’d pulled far enough ahead of the crime unit vehicles and checked that other cars could pass without sideswiping him. He’d have rather been anywhere but here, not that he didn’t appreciate the country, just the reason why.

Hand braced against the jeeps’ open door, he dropped his head and drew a deep breath, the air crisp, refreshing against the dread weighing him down. Winter would come early this year he thought. Only three weeks into September and the trees were showing signs of the coming season. Soon, the days would get shorter and the nights longer. But it wasn’t like he didn’t have anything to occupy his time.

He had a monster to catch.

This was exactly why he was standing in the middle of nowhere. A larger segment of Sumner County heavily populated with working farms and wooded areas. And the perfect place to dump a body. Noah slammed the door.

Third Monday, third murdered woman.

“Hey, buddy, I need you to get back in your car and keep moving.”

Noah flashed his badge at the young patrolman. “Bradley. Homicide.”

___________________________________________________________________________________

My take ...

Mondays were a bitch and today was no exception. Noah stepped from his Wrangler and adjusted his sunglasses. He glanced to the rear bumper making sure he’d pulled far enough ahead of the crime unit vehicles and checked (to see if) that other cars could pass without sideswiping him. He’d have rather be been anywhere but here, not that he didn’t appreciate the country, just the reason why.

Hand braced against the (I would capitalize the word Jeep) jeeps’ open door, he dropped his head and drew a deep breath. the air crisp, The crisp autumn air did little to dull his sense of impending dread.refreshing against the dread weighing him down. Winter would come early this year he thought. (This sentence is not needed, work it into the next sentence. It pulls from the action you set up in the beginning. Try something like this; Bare trees, stripped of thriving life, signaled an early start to winter.) Only three weeks into September and the trees were showing signs of the coming season. Soon, the days would get shorter and the nights longer. But it wasn’t like he didn’t have anything to occupy his time.

He had a monster to catch. (BRAVO! Incredible line!)

This was exactly why h He was standing stood in the middle of nowhere. A larger segment of This part of Sumner County lay claim only to heavily populated with working farms and deep forest that stretched on for miles. wooded areas.

And The perfect place to dump a body. Noah slammed the door. (I moved these two sentences away from the last paragraph for impact)

Third Monday, third murdered woman.

“Hey, buddy, I need you to get back in your car and keep moving.”

He Noah flashed his badge at the young patrolman. “Bradley. Homicide.”

That was absolutely incredible. The first bite was invigorating, new, and thoroughly tasty. It whet my appetite, and yet, because the portion was so small, I was left wanting more.


Lets examine the first paragraph. We’re introduced to the protagonist in a no holds barred kind of way. It’s like he’s saying, ‘I’m here,’ with authority. Take notice.


With minimal description I got a feel for where he was. An isolated, country road, in the backwoods of, lets say, Tennessee. There is little set up before BAM, she drops a bomb. Noah isn’t on some scenic drive; he’s looking for a monster. I was intrigued even before the third paragraph, now I’m hooked!


There is some sentences Tammy could change to make it more show instead of tell, she could add a few more sensory details, but, I must say even without them, I feel compelled to read on. For a first page, brilliant!


I couldn’t have asked for a tastier morsel!


Thank you so much for jumping into the SHARK TANK, Tammy, please do come back anytime!



Stop by tomorrow for the FINAL product!


AJ

A QUICK NEWS ANNOUNCEMENT

Yo, fellow aspiring scribes!

If any of you are intersted in an aspiring author spotlight or having your work JAWSED please contact us. We'd love to get to know more about you and your work.

Please let us know what sites you'd like us to add to our "Pimp" page. If you have an author wesbite let us know so we can add you to our list.

We think of you all as our writing family and want your input. 

Happy writing all,
Charli

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

COFFEE, CATS, CHOCOLATE, AND CATHERINE... OH MY!

Aspiring Author Catherine Gayle is from Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas. When she's not wrangling her cats, feeding her caffeine  and chocolate addiction, or bloggin about it, she's writing Regency set Historical Romance.

When did you begin writing with the intent to be published? Why, what sparked the author inside you to finally write? I started writing years ago, but focused mainly on poetry at first. In a college creative writing class, I was still writing primarily poetry, but I tried my hand at a short story. My professor encouraged me to pursue long fiction, saying that out of all of the members of the class, he believed I had what it would take more so than most. Still, I didn’t know where to go with it. I’d already tried and failed to write a novel (a YA, which is NOT the right genre for me), and wasn’t sure where to go from there. Several months later, I realized that I should write what I like to read the most—which is historical romance. A little over a year and a half ago, I sat down with the goal of writing and seeking publication. It’s been all downhill (or is it uphill?) ever since.



What completed works do you have? Describe them. My first two manuscripts were part of a series I’ve since decided to place permanently in the proverbial drawer. They were Regency-set historical romance, yes, but I was finding my voice and learning the craft with them, and frankly, it shows. While I was midway through what was to be the third manuscript of that series, I decided I was going in the wrong direction and needed a new path. I put the entire series aside and tried something entirely different, though still Regency-set historical romance. In writing that manuscript, I found a new funny, somewhat sarcastic, sexy voice that seems to fit. That one is currently making the rounds to agents, and I’m working on another manuscript in the same vein that will be the beginning of a new trilogy.


What avenues did you travel to get your MS complete? Crit groups, classes, research, writing communities where you live? Research came first. In writing any sort of historical romance, research is mandatory, but Regency readers are very familiar with the period and will know if you get something wrong. I’m part of a fantastic critique group who have taught me more than I ever knew I didn’t know, and who have encouraged me every step of the way. I also read a number of books on the craft, since I’m not financially able to attend conferences or take classes.


What inspires your characters? What breathes life into your work? This is a tough question! Usually, I’ll get an idea for a scene before anything else comes along. Then I spend some time figuring out who these characters are and what brought them to that point. I have to understand them before I’ll be able to find a plot, to discover how they came to be in the scene I originally envisioned. As to the life in my work, it all comes from the characters. If they aren’t working, or if they are not fleshed out as fully as they ought to be, the writing inevitably falls flat.

What is a genre that you would more than likely never tackle, why? I can’t imagine myself ever writing something in the Sci-Fi/Fantasy genres. I enjoy Star Wars as well as the next person, but my brain just isn’t wired in a way to create these kinds of worlds and creatures.

What is a normal day like for you, tell us how you get all that writing in? I’m a full time college student and work part time, so there is no such thing as a normal day for me. My days vary depending on what classes I have, whether I work or not, how much studying I need to get done, and countless other factors. When I’m in drafting mode, I try to average writing 2,000 words per day, but that is not a hard and fast number. I find that I rarely write well in the mornings, so I try to schedule in some afternoon writing time at least a few days a week.


What stage of getting published are you in, first draft, editing, querying, etc.? How has that experience been? Right now, I’m querying one manuscript and writing the rough draft of another. The querying experience has gotten easier with time, but it is still nerve-wracking and frustrating. As to writing this new manuscript, even though I love the story and what I’ve written so far, I’m struggling. I don’t know if it is just because I haven’t really taken a break, or if I’m expecting too much from myself, or if it is something else entirely. So, I’m taking a little break and trying not to think about it. I’ll be back at it shortly.


What is next for you? I hope to be able to say I’ve signed with an agent soon, but I don’t have a lot of control over that at the moment. In the meanwhile, I’m going to get back to work on this new manuscript and make it the best I can make it.


Feel free to attach links to websites, blogs, FB, or twitter for yourself. You can find me at:
http://www.catherinegayle.com
http://ladyscribes.blogspot.com
http://catherinegayle.blogspot.com
http://www.twitter.com/CatGayle

You are a sandwich, describe yourself on a menu. Applewood smoked bacon, egg over-hard, and sharp cheddar cheese on a sourdough English muffin, brushed with a hint of salsa, served with a fruit salad accompaniment. Loads of bacon. Who doesn’t love bacon? This sounds like the best of everything…a little something sweet, salty, spicy, and savory.

If you could be a superhero, what would your name and power be? Because I would do anything to make my nephew smile, I would want my superpower to be the ability to conjure any of his favorite movie characters at any point in time. If he wants Lightening McQueen and Mater to show up on his doorstep, I want to be able to have then racing around the corner with a blink of my eye. If he wants to have Woody and Buzz Lightyear over for a slumber party, I want to give a little wave of my hand and have them fly in on Buzz’s spaceship. Not sure what my name would be for that. LOL.

What is your porno/stripper name? Using the traditional formula take the family pet’s name and the street you grew up on? For instance, Charli’s is Betsy Orchard, AJ’s Ginger King Edward. You’ve got to love stripper names. LOL. Just call me Bailey Lloyd.

Thanks for inviting me, ladies. It’s been fun!

Monday, July 26, 2010

ROLLERCOASTER RIDE WITH THE DEVIL

In the tapestry of life, we must compete all the time. This is especially true to writers. We battle against the tried and true best sellers and the millions of would be writers vying for a coveted spot on an agents list. But, mostly, we contend with the little devil on our shoulder; self doubt. Henceforth known as SD.


Its big, and ugly and weighs more than you. Indeed, it is so large; the mere weight threatens to crush you with its mighty force. When your creative muse bolts out the front door, you want to throw your computer at the wall. Ok, maybe not that bad, I do have a Mac and I won’t even let the hubby touch it, but you get my drift.


Suddenly, you finished your MS. Woot. Do a jig, the happy dance; pump your fist in the air, Jersey style. Then the devil appears and whispers, “You suck, lady. Don’t quit your day job.”

To which I reply, “F*ck off, I’m over educated and unemployed. This IS my job.” Self doubt eases up for a while, sometimes, you even forget its there. Until it rears its ugly head again.


“Didn’t I tell you to go to hell yesterday?” You ask.


“Been there. Done that.”


That’s right, I’m having a conversation with SD on my shoulder.


“That’s an understatement.” You reply, flicking SD of its shoulder perch.


Your muse returns, and you get back to work. Inspiration pours from your fingers. You write a kick ass scene, peeps love it. Your high on creativity, then 2 form rejections slide into your email box. One agent tells you, oh so subtlety, you need to take a second look at how to write an effective query letter. Wonderful. So in a nutshell, agent says, while I find your work intriguing, you can’t write a query letter. Um, I get, like everyone else, agents are busy. But really? Who isn’t? Don’t we have lives, careers, and a family? Could said agent have not added exactly what it was that intrigued yet threw her off? Not likely.


Feck!


“All right, all right. Your right –


SD laughs maniacially and jumps up and down. “I told you. You suc –”


“Not so fast, buddy. I tweaked a few things. Charli did a jig, and I got a partial request from one of my top agent pics. Take a hike.”

Poof, the devil vanishes.


We’re competing, aye, for bookshelves, agents, publishers, and readers. But most of all we’re contending with ourselves. The one that shouts to the world, “I am a writer!” And the one that continuously tries to drag you down.


In the early stages of writing, discovering, learning, you may battle with SD everyday. There comes a time, however, when each writer attains a certain amount of self-confidence in their work, and story telling abilities. Could be through crit groups, contests, publication – anything that elevates them to another level.


Confidence, to some degree, usually sticks, and it only happens after growing as a writer, learning how to flex those world-building muscles. So when SD appears, and looks up, way up, at CONFIDENCE, you smile.


We all experience this as artists, creators. ‘Tis the bane of our existence. But, it’s up to YOU how much you let it impact your creativity.


What sets you off? Why do you hop out on the ledge and wave hello to an irreverent Charli? If your reply is going to be long, I’ll pull up a chair, lean out the window, and have a martini.








Sunday, July 25, 2010

WANTED: ARI GOLD

This one's for Jill...

Fictional Agent Friday came and went. I had no chutzpah to search for my fairytale agent. Why? Real ones aren't exactly banging down my door.

I love this weekly spot, for many reasons. We get to delve into characters, ones we love or love to hate. Characters, we all have them, real, literary, some of us imaginary. Characters are what we live for.

I do want somewhat of a character for an agent. I'm not normal, as you may have guessed by now. The perfect agent for me must have BIG BALLS. Balls to sell my MS and balls to tell me what sucks, what I am doing wrong, and to scream to publishers what, as an author, I have done right.

Am I looking for a BFF? Hells no. Got those. A friend? Nope, got those two. But I don't was some  stiff either, in other words, NO YAWNERS. 

I want a CHEERLEADER.  My own personal cheerleader. Someone clappin', hootin', and hollerin' all the way to the NYT Betsellers list with me.

I want someone who pushes me to be my best, tough, in your face, take NO SHIT, and no prisoners, a deal making genius.

I WANT ARI GOLD.  Or the literary equivalent will suffice.

There, I said it. We all think it and he is a literal FICTIONAL AGENT. He is the best. He is all about the business of making YOU a STAR. But  more so about you doing your best work. He's a friend, a bodyguard, a spokesperson and the best agent gettin' it done in tinsel town.

But like REAL AGENTS, if we were some schleps walking Hollywood and Vine we probably couldn't get a meeting with the guy. I mean, I'm all for kidnapping Lloyd to get his attention. (Mental note, research possible assistants to kidnap.)

So, how about we channel our own personal Ari Golds and figure this whole literary agent thing out. We can chat about what agents have been blogging about, chat about what WE want as writers.

I mean, let's face it. Agents blog all over about what they want, what the business wants, what about what WE want?

Now it's a business and as with any other, there is a whole lot of crap out there. But there are also great books waiting to be published, maybe the authors are just bumbling through the query process. All we hear as writers is, we need agents. Well, they NEED US too.

Here, we can dish it all out. And maybe one of us will get it right.

So, my fellow aspiring kick ass AUTHORS. Find your balls, bring your A game, and channel your own INNER ARI GOLD.

Let's hug it out bitches and get'er done. Let's find us some agents.

SUNDAYS WITH ARI has officially commenced.

Today's topic: What do you see as your biggest
obstacle to getting an agent?

Saturday, July 24, 2010

ONE TOUGH MUTHA...

FASTER than a speeding three year old!
More POWERFUL than a caravan!
Able to LEAP tall toy piles in a single bound!
LOOK! Over at the computer desk!
It's the next Nora Roberts!
It's a future NYT Bestseller!
It's SUPER ASPIRING AUTHOR…MEGAN OLIPHANT!


Megan is from Utah, born and bred baby. She is a multi-genre writer, tackling all sorts of romance, contemporary, paranormal, suspense, and even thrillers. When she’s not Super Mom she’s at the computer. As a proud panster, she has multiple works going right now but is hoping 1 may be complete soon.


When did you begin writing with the intent to be published? Why, what sparked the author inside you to finally write? I fiddled with writing off and on for years, but I decided I was ready in January of 2010. The big spark was a Shania Twain song, “Don't Impress Me Much”. The idea of a romance trilogy came immediately to mind and opened the floodgates. That my youngest is 3 helps, too.


What completed works do you have? Describe them. "Um, do short stories count? Then, um...one."
 
What avenues did you travel to get
your MS complete? Crit groups, classes, research, writing communities where you live? I mostly use my wonderful online crit group, but ya gotta love the internet for research. I think that is what broke the barrier for me. Getting out of the house to get to a library to research was too intimidating. I might do that if the work calls for it, but right now, my computer is my best friend.

What inspires your characters? What breathes life into your work? Where do my characters come from....I have no idea. They come into my life as acquaintances, and as I get to know them better, I can write more about them. (Though the bad guys...I'm not so anxious to get to know them. They're too close to my evil alter ego to make my conscious self comfortable.)


What is a genre that you would more than likely never tackle, why? Probably 'literary' fiction. I got enough of that in college, thank you very much. It's all a bunch of whiny angst and “woe is me”. Or “life is so miserable I might as well not be living” and I'm usually screaming at the book “So KILL yourself already!”

What is a normal day like for you, tell us how you get all that writing in? I have five kids, a husband, and a house (not to mention the cat) to care for, besides aging in-laws and various other outside obligations. But my muse is very loud (you would not believe what she was saying in Walmart today!), and I make time where I can.


What stage of the getting published are you in? How has that experience been? I do have a short sweet romance out to an e-pub right now. Here's hoping! And other than wanting to shoot myself for silly stupid mistakes, it's been okay. It'll be a different story when the “novel” gets finished. I might go completely nuts then.


What is next for you? The one WIP that is the most promising to me right now is “Waltz With Me”, a suspense thriller with romantic elements. I actually produced an outline that seems to be functioning for me. A total first, as I've been a pantser till now.


Feel free to attach an excerpt of your work for showcasing. Here's the first 300 words from “Waltz With Me”.


CHAPTER 1-THE GIFT
Yet I would not have all yet.
He that hath all can have no more;
And since my love doth every day admit
New growth, thou shouldst have new rewards in store...”
John Donne, “Lover's Infiniteness"


Viv screamed. The knife, so thin and sharp, slipped under her skin, peeling away a small rectangle of her forearm. She felt her muscles bulge and the plastic binding cut into her wrists and ankles as she pulled against them. Warm blood trickled down her arm, growing cold in the dank dimness of her prison.


The voice, that hated voice, whispered in her ear, his hot breath fetid, rotten.


“I don't mind,” the voice said. “I enjoy the noise. It makes our time together so much more enjoyable.” He dipped his finger into the thickening blood on her arm and wiped it like lipstick across his mouth.


Viv squeezed her eyes shut, turning away from the voice and her blood on his face. Biting fingers gripped her jaw, pulling her back, forcing a wet kiss onto her mouth. The metallic tang of her own blood was sharp in her nose, making her gag. There was no tongue thrust into her mouth, though. He'd learned that lesson the last time. That's why he was dissecting her slowly, and alive. Retribution for her rebellion.


Finally the kiss ended. She left her eyes closed, panting shallowly. The torture was only beginning.


“Viv, baby, wake up.”


Another voice entered her dream, a welcome one, a rope to pull her to safety.


Viv opened her eyes with difficulty, the corners sticky with dried tears. Sam's shadowed back was all she could see in the gray light.


Sam's voice was thick. “Viv, sweetheart, you were crying in your sleep again. I'm sorry babe, but I gotta get up in an hour.” His hand reached over and patted her hip briefly before returning it to his side. His soft snore floated in the warm air.


You are a sandwich, describe yourself on a menu. A Reuben, no question. Crispy on the outside, with bizarre flavors smooshed together inside that make a rather tasty concoction.


If you could be a superhero what would your name and superpower be? Gees, this is hard. SuperMega Mom...able to solve all her children's problems with a single word, after negotiating world peace and a good deal on take out.


What is your porno/stripper name? Using the traditional formula take the family pet’s name and the street you grew up on? For instance, Charli’s is Betsy Orchard, AJ’s Ginger King Edward. Poppy Woodland. Hey, I kinda like that...maybe I'll use it as a pen name for all that secret literary fiction I have ready to be published!

Megan blogs, tune in and follow along here: http://meganoliphant.blogspot.com/

Friday, July 23, 2010

AFTER THE BLOOD BATH

Thanks to all the wonderful critters that came out yesterday to have DINNER WITH JAWS. 'Twas quite tasty. Mmm, BY GRACE ALONE, yum!

In all seriousness, your suggestions and catches were grand. Below is Charli's final version. Leave your thoughts, and if you think it can be EVEN BETTER, do tell her! She'll buy you a drink!
AJ

Prologue


People die.

Heartless, perhaps, but it doesn’t make it any less true. Parents die, spouses, even children. We pay homage to them with vibrant, colorful flowers. But the aromatic tokens eventually rot too.

That’s why Miguel never brought flowers.

Just his thoughts. His love.

Why give the dead something that wilts and perishes? Idiotic when you think about it, cruel if you ponder it. Yet it endures as a symbol that the person buried beneath still matters. Loved, cherished, and even missed.

If she could speak, she would tell him, it was time to move on, from many things. But, he knew, as he stood over the spot where she rested, he wasn’t ready to let go.


Philadelphia, Once Upon A Time


"Maybe different, but remember… I want you not to go." Stay or Leave, Dave Matthews


The soft chords of an acoustic guitar thrummed through the air. Dave Matthews live at Radio City Music Hall filled the room. Stay or Leave. My God, he hoped Grace stayed – forever.

Miguel made due on his promise – he made love to her, soft, slow and long. Their gaze never broke. Every stroke, every caress, and every move intensified their connection. He filled her body. She filled his heart, his soul.

They were one.

The fire cast shadows against rich honey brown walls. Cherry wood work and mahogany furniture mirrored the warm feeling inside his chest.

Light fingers traced the contour of her hip. “Comfortable?” he asked.

“Hmm, mmm.” Grace moved a hand across his cheek as she tucked her head beneath his chin. Dark tresses scented with lavender tickled his senses. “Mig, tonight was perfect.”

Never in a million years did he think they’d be together, especially after being apart for so long. “Tell me how perfect, Grace?” He moved the hair from her face, so his lips could take hers, soft and brief.

“Well, dinner at Nikki’s Bistro, salsa dancing, even the vanilla custard and cherry water ice, it was all so… amazing. Every moment.” Her legs entwined with his. “Especially now.”

How many people were given a second chance at love? And not just any love but the kind that went all the way to your soul.

Grace had always been the one.