Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sunday Poetry: Revenge

Breathe in
Blink away the tears
Show me all the pain you have
Let me be your fear

Take life
The best there is
I choose to let you live this way
He gives me all that’s his

Catch up
Tell me what you weep
Don’t you know it’s all a game?
I never lose my sleep

Your soul
It’s all I want
After what you’ve done to me
Let me be this blunt

You shiver
And so you should
I’m coming for your heart my dear
Like I said I would

A caress
A friendly glance
Has led you both to this moment
Now let us dance

Why now?
Didn’t you know?
I always take what’s mine
I never say for show

You lie
Just like before
Only this time I put you there
With him
On his bedroom floor

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Saturday Shorts: The Inevitable

by: Trozin
The Inevitable

I knew from the beginning that he was destined to kill me. He was exciting! I was thrilled to be around him, but he was dangerous, unpredictable. I didn't know why I was so intrigued by death, by him. I had no idea how he was going to kill me; I had no idea why he would kill me; but the most frightening thing, I had no idea what he was.


I worked at Snoodles and Companions and was half way through my senior year in high school. I couldn't wait to leave all the hullabaloo behind and go to college. I wasn't sure what I wanted to study yet, but I got into my college of choice as an undecided and at this point in my life that's all that mattered.

It was a crisp Saturday morning in early spring that death marked me. He had strong lean muscles that elegantly linked his long, tall bones together. He had piercing steal grey eyes and a long thin nose that flared at the end perfectly framing his full pink lips. He licked them as he studied the menu for less than a second before he ordered a regular mushroom stroganoff with chicken and a bottled water.

"That'll be $7.49." I said ringing up his order trying not to stare. He didn't seem to notice me at all as he paid with cash. I gave him his change and said, "Thank you sir we'll bring that right out to you." I gave him a number so we knew where to take the food. He mumbled what I thought was a thank you and made his way right in the center of the restaurant. He set down and pulled out a book, which I never could see the title of, and read peacefully.

The swarms of people that came after him blended into a blur of fake smiles and thank yous. After the afternoon rush, I took a break from the counter to "wipe tables." I really just wanted to get closer, so I could further investigate this stranger that had me so captivated. I was trying to be inconspicuous as I wiped the tables around his taking long glances in his direction. He looked to be in his very early twenties his jet black hair laid in thick rolling waves tight to his head. His skin was a light caramel brown, natural not tanned. I looked down realizing I went from observing to staring. I moved to the next table this one to his left. I wiped and cleaned the only thought on my mind was when I should look at him again. After a couple seconds I decided it was okay.

When I looked up, I froze, for only a moment when I saw him staring at me. His gaze was even his book was still propped up like he was only glancing in my direction. I looked down quickly wondering if he caught me. I finished this table quickly moving on to the next one right next to the one I just finished. Was I even doing a good job cleaning these tables? I looked back at my work and saw each table still had a wet wipe that was drying. I shrugged and figured that was good enough.

I started rigorously wiping this table not daring to look at the stranger, but when I was almost done I couldn't stop myself. This time when I looked up at him he was staring at me, not glancing. His book was closed now laying stationary on the table as if he had no intentions of picking it back up. I looked down faster now a heat of embarrassment rushing through my cheeks. I could feel his stare as I made my way to the next three tables.

I heard Meagan, a fellow co-worker, ask him if he needed anything else. I didn't wait to hear his answer. I took that opportunity to escape.

Once inside, I leaned against the door to the kitchen using this time to catch my breath. I couldn't go back in there.

"Lia, I thought you were on registers." Lacey, my boss, said in her usual attitude.

"I'm uh about to take out the trash." I said looking around my eyes landing on the three bags of garbage waiting by the back door. No body volunteered for trash duty. Everything made at Snoodles was organic and therefore, when it spoiled it was atrocious. I didn't care, I needed to get out of this building.

"Good don't forget to lock the back door when you come back." She said returning to her office to answer the ringing phone.

I took a deep breath of the dirt ladened spring air. It was crisp and a relief to my lungs when I waddled awkwardly to the dumpster, the three bags banging against my leg. I hoped they didn't leak.

It all happened in an incoherent flash. Pain! Bright red and orange! I bang then silence. The world moved slowly around me, but I heard nothing. I was freaking out inside but only for a moment.


I brought my heavy hand to my head.


I would have cried or screamed, but the darkness took me first.

A dull thud...voices...familiar smell... darkness.

Unfamiliar faces... distant voices... shouting that sounded like whispers... darkness.

Monotonous beep, beep, beep... white... a chair... darkness.


They said I was lucky, but I couldn't stop thinking about those that weren't. It was on the news even after I finally woke up from my two week coma. Even now, four months after, I still heard about the explosion at my old job on the news. I wanted to rip the stupid news caster through the t.v screen as she pointed out all the over looked mistakes that lead up to the "inevitable accident several months before. Officials are investigating several restaurants to make sure they are following code regulations..." No shit Sherlock. They should all be following code anyway. Those stupid government officials should have been doing their jobs. If they had, I wouldn't have lost... Meagan, annoying Lacey, Kurt, and not to mention all the faceless customers and... him. I almost felt guilty for feeling sorrow and pain deeper for the beautiful stranger than for the people I knew and worked with for over a year. I couldn't get his face out of my mind, and many nights he would haunt me.

I spent the rest of my high school career in the hospital refusing to take time off. I would graduate on time. I had to get out of here. I wasn't even sure why I was in the hospital for so long after I woke up. The doctors were insisting I stay even though I didn't have any broken bones.

My mother tried desperately to convince me to go to the local community college for the first year. She was obviously not ready to let go yet. I wasn't sure if it was my decision on a major: psychology, or the fact that I laughed out loud in her face that made her change her mind, but it didn't really matter. I'd been saving up for years now to get the hell out. After all the scholarships, and grants my parents just gave me cash to spend.

They said I was the only survivor. Saved by trash who would have thought? Saved by running away from the only person I wanted to see alive right now, as horrible as that sounds. I should have said something to him. I should have... It didn't matter any more. I'd been telling myself to forget about him, but it was as impossible as all the water in all seven oceans drying up instantaneously.

The plane ride took an eternity. I thought I'd never make it to my dorm. It was stuffy and smelled funny as dorms usually did. After visiting several colleges the past fall I knew the best and the worst.

My room mate was cool. We acknowledged each other's presence, but I didn't bother her and she didn't bother me. It didn't bother me that her boy toy was over before we even got our stuff unpacked. I left them to their privacy and walked to the theater on campus. I flashed my student i.d. and disappeared among the other loud freshman that obviously had nothing else to do besides watch what ever we were here to watch.

I didn't remember falling asleep during the movie, but when I woke up I was snug under my blankets, my roommate and her boy breathing deep in the opposite corner of the room.

It was the light that forced me to start my first day of class. I felt like I got hit by a ton of bricks, but it was probably the jet lag. I got ready for my advanced water color class and left the dorm in time to be thirty minutes early if I walked straight there. I decided to take a long meandering path through the campus between buildings until I arrived to class with only ten minutes to sit and wait.

The professor was already there scribbling madly on the chalk board his back to me. The ten minutes flew by, and right before the professor started talking about the syllabus that he handed out a few minutes before one more student came in and filled the only seat left, which was of course next to me. Did I smell or something? I sniffed my self discreetly, but didn't smell anything out of the ordinary. Maybe I just subconsciously turned people off. Oh well, I thought and refocused my attention on the professor.

"I can tell you are all so very excited to be in my class this semester, and I'm excited to have you." The prof. droned unenthusiastically. My attention diverted to something... something I couldn't explain. It was a smell, but more than that a feeling. Danger, intrigue, unwavering attraction. I finally looked over at my desk partner and froze inside out. It was him! He was alive! He was here! But why was he here? How could this be happening? What should I do? My instincts told me to leave, run, but the yearning in my heart told me to stay, to talk to him. I wasn't sure if I would get another chance. Maybe this was my chance.

"The person you're sitting next to now will be your partner for the rest of the semester so get to know them well. We have six projects in this course and four of them are partner exercises. Starting with the first one..." I forgot all about what the prof. was saying when I heard the most alluring low voice whisper softly in my ear. If I didn't smell the sweat lingering scent that I knew now to belong to him alone I would have thought I was imagining it.


I looked at the beautiful stranger. I frowned as I searched his fathomless eyes. They spiraled down, down, down for eternity. He was looking at me calmly no hint that he remembered me from the explosion. Was it really him? A sweet whiff of his scent told me it was without a doubt.

He smiled with just the slight movement at the corner of his mouth. Actually I wouldn't have been sure it was a smile had his slate grey eyes not sparkled a little. "You have no name?" He asked in a smooth low baritone. A shiver ran up my spine and stopped abruptly at the back of my head. It set there sending the strangest feeling through my body.

"Lia." I heard myself whisper. He smiled for real this time showing an all too perfect white smile. His glistening white eye-teeth were a little sharper than I thought they should be, but the warm feeling that his smile made run through me was enough to make that observation vanish into the back of my mind. He was every bit as lovely as I remembered. Maybe even more lovely which I couldn't figure out how that could possibly be.

He looked over at me again, and I had never taken my eyes off of him. I was less than a foot away from him and when he looked at me he leaned closer assaulting my senses with his sweet scent. From so close I could see that his eyes were not completely grey, but flecked with a rich grass green and golden yellow. It was subtle and took me a back, but it drove me deeper and deeper into them. I couldn't stop counting the flecks of color in is eyes.

Any normal human would have looked away at my insistent staring, but he just gazed back at me. Examining, assessing. He didn't look away or shift uncomfortably. I should have been embarrassed, but after almost loosing him I couldn't find it in myself to be embarrassed. I wouldn't lose him again, not if I could help it.

His gaze and my insistent stare broke off as his eyes drifted to some unseen place, and when they returned he straightened up in his chair bringing his attention back to the professor.

I blinked for the first time in who knew how long and did the same glancing at him from time to time only to see him staring forward.

Finally, after what felt like a decade of gabbing from professor Transin he gave us our first assignment which was a still life. We had to find an object that reminded us of our table partner and then paint them with it in another place and time. This guy was nuts, but I wouldn't mind spending an entire class period looking at Aechton. What a strange name. I like it though. It fit him well.

I shoved the syllabus in my backpack aggressively ignoring the wrinkled edges and zipped part of the paper up as well. I impatiently unzipped and shoved the paper further in and zipped quickly before it could unwrinkle and cause more problems.

"Throwing it away before you left the room would have been a lot easier." I heard Aechton say calmly a hint of laughter in his tone. I looked up at him, he was standing now. How long was he standing there? I felt the heat from my insides run up quickly to my cheeks before I could stop them. Obviously long enough to see me idiotically futzing with that stupid syllabus.

"Yeah, I guess you're right." I said standing upright. Maybe a little too quickly the blood rushed right to my head. He grabbed me right before I swayed slightly as if he already knew what was going to happen. When I steadied he let me go.

"What class you got next?" We both slowly started walking to the door.

"Uh... chemistry." I said looking at the schedule that would probably be pasted to my hand until the end of the semester. Took me forever to remember what order and day.

"Me too. What are the odds of that?" He said a smile tugging at his beautiful full lips. "Wanna walk?"

My mouth opened, but words never came out. I nodded instead of trying to make sense verbally.

We set by each other in chemistry as well, and it was almost too much smelling him through two classes. I reveled in it and wished for this half of my day to never end. Inevitably, it had to.

I couldn't sleep when the moon was out high in the night sky. I wanted to just skip the next day because I didn't have any classes with Aechton. Would I be able to make it through the next day? I laughed at my own desperate thoughts. I'd gone so many months without the stranger I haven't talked to until today. I was being foolish, but I didn't want to lose him again as strange as that may sound.


Every time I looked at the clock it was like it never moved so I told myself not to look. I didn't want to know that my life was poking by at an unnaturally slow rate. I had three classes today and I was determined to make the best out of them. After the first two classes I had a long three hour break so I got some lunch and decided I would use this time to find something that reminded me of him. Well jeez what didn't remind me of him? I couldn't stop thinking about him; so, therefore, everything reminded me of him. I decided to choose one aspect of his complete perfection to focus on: his eyes.

I was walking by the man made pond on campus trying to think of something I might have back at my dorm that would remind me of his eyes when I found exactly what I was looking for. Of course it was in the water just far enough where I would have to reach for it. It was the most alluring stone. It was mostly grey, but the water and the sun reflected hints of green yellow and shades of brown. It was perfect; if only I could reach it.

I knelt on the ground next to the pond and reached as far as I could my weight barely able to balance on the large stone on the water's edge. I dipped my hand into the pond and stretched to the bottom where I found my jagged grey treasure. I had it firmly in my hand and I was readjusting my weight to haul my body back in when I jumped at the reflection I saw in the water.

Before I could recover gravity did what it does best and I feel head first into the pond. I flew up surprised and dripping wet only to hear Aechton's low harmonious laughter echoing in my ears. I had to laugh too to keep from crying or blushing. The warm breeze made my wet body shiver as I walked to the edge of the pond to get out. He helped me out by taking a hand and pulling gently until I was far enough out of the water for him to wrap a hand around my waist where he hoisted me the rest of the way to dry land. It seemed almost effortless to him he was smiling the entire time, but said nothing. He was so beautiful.

"We should get you into some warm clothes." He said softly his breath brushing over my face gently as if it were the breeze. I was hopeless really. Why and how could I be so draw to him? This could only end badly right? Things this great don't last forever.

"So, why were you leaning so far over the pond? It was as if you were asking to fall in." Aechton said a smile spreading across his face remembering my embarrassing moment. I stepped out of the bathroom in shorts and tank-top while I combed my freshly washed hair. I washed it in the sink not willing to go to my last class smelling like a wet dog fish girl.

"Doing homework, and I was just fine until you scared the crap out of me." I said trying to glare at him. I must not have been too convincing because he smiled again with just the corner of his mouth this time. I loved that half smile he did where most of the smile was in his eyes. I stepped back into the bathroom and combed out my tangled mass of curls. Why did I even try?

His cool scent filled my nose as he appeared leaning casually against the frame to the bathroom door."Homework?" He asked crossing his arms across his muscled chest which was obvious now with the tight long sleeve black shirt he was wearing. Even in all this heat he was wearing black? He looked comfortable though as he waiting patiently for me to elaborate. I really didn't want to. With the whole falling in the lake I would look pretty stupid saying 'I was retrieving a rock that looked like the color of your eyes.' How dumb would that sound? "Not going to tell me?"

I brought my gaze where my mind already was and stared at him trying to look indifferent. It probably wasn't working, because the moment my eyes came in contact with any part of his body they melted as did every other part of me. "You'll laugh."

He smiled still looking at me calmly carefully reading me, trying to figure out if I'll tell or not. "Is that a bad thing?"

I laughed this time. "If it's at my expense again, yes. You can get me once, but twice in one day, not so sure I can do that."

He just leaned there waiting. Did he not hear me? I said I wasn't going to tell him.

"It's for water color class." My mouth blurted out without permission. I scolded myself inside as I quickly diverted my attention back to the image in the mirror.

"What, at the bottom of a pond could possibly remind you of me?" He asked a smile evident in his voice.

I sighed deciding the cat was out the bag thanks to my big mouth, so I might as well get the embarrassment over with. At least it wouldn't be a surprise tomorrow in class. I wondered what he found for me? I bent over and picked up my jeans rummaging through the pockets until I found the fist full of stone in the palm of my hand. I held it out to him and he took it rolling it around in his rather large hands. They looked like they didn't belong to him since he was such a trim person, but I guess he was tall.

I turned my gaze away from him waiting for the inevitable laughter. I rubbed too much lotion on my face and worked it in aggressively.

"A rock?" I heard him ask quizzically. "I'm waiting for an explanation, or I just may be offended."

I turned to him frowning. Offended? How could he be offended? Obviously it wasn't some random rock on the side of the road. I was reaching bending stretch, for no reason because I ended up soaking wet anyway, for that rock. "First of all it is not a rock, it is a stone. And you have no reason to be offended. Remember I was reaching over a body of water to retrieve this stone." I emphasized the last word.

He just stared at me; his glistening slate grey eyes assessing me gently, searching, debating, deciding. "But why go through so much trouble when their were plenty of stones on the shore?" He asked still calm still assessing.

"Because I wanted that one." I looked desperately into his eyes seeing if there was any hint that he would just drop it, but there wasn't even a speckle of hope in the depths of his bottomless eyes. I sighed loudly leaning against the counter looking at my feet. Then I approached him, only inches away, and took the rock gently from his hands and pointed to the colors. "It's like your eyes. You know grey, ordinary at first glance, but they have all these flecks of color in them too. Greens and yellows, and browns." I stepped back before daring to look at his face.

His expression was unreadable. I turned back to the mirror thinking of something to keep me busy, but there was nothing. I started cleaning my stuff off the counters.

It seemed like forever before he said, "My eyes?" But it was almost not a question. I looked over in time to see him effortlessly push himself away from the door frame smoothly, and approach me at a steady confident pace. His eyes gazing at me intently determined, sure. His steps didn't falter as I stepped back until my back was against the wall. My breath stopped in my lungs when he took his final step closing the small space between us. I looked up at his towering form. He was so close I could feel the heat radiating from his body.

"What colors are in my eyes now?"

His warm breath sent a rush of heat from my head to my toes every nerve in my body was standing on end. His face closed the inches between us and when his lips touched mine my body arched to form perfectly to his. His lips sent my mind reeling and spinning almost to unconsciousness. His strong hands were touching... moving... caressing...stroking my body gently with heated passion. To my surprise mine were exploring his body as well.

My mind told me I only knew him for a day, but my heart told me I knew him for an eternity. We stroked, touched ,and kissed until we both reached the inevitable: oblivion.


Even the time I spent away from him physically wasn't long enough to make me forget what it would be like to be in his arms again. I was so gone. A hopeless case. He made me focus on my classes because I wasn't paying any attention in any of them except water color when all I had to do was look at him, think about him, or paint him which was... well you get it.

I was waiting in chemistry for Aechton to return from the bathroom. He rushed into class right before the professor started talking. She explained the lab to us and sent us to our task. We walked down the hall to the lab and Aechton put an arm up stopping me from entering the room. He sniffed the air a frown deforming his beautiful face.

"You smell that?" He asked his face contorted, focused.

I sniffed the air too. "Yeah, It's sulphur. We're in a chemistry building." I tried to push to go passed him, but his arm didn't budge.

"We gotta get out of here." He looked down at me a hard wall closing off his eyes. I couldn't read them! I didn't know what he was thinking! I didn't know what was wrong!

"What is it?"

He didn't answer, but grabbed me and pulled me away from the room as fast as he could.

A familiar noise dampened my hearing as our bodies flew apart from each other.


My vision was gone, but I could hear his voice. It was hushed, whispering harshly to another.

"...if you don't one of us will have to. The job can not go undone. You knew the rules Aechton. Not to get involved. Staying away from home so long can get to us after a while. You're not usually known for a sloppy job. You should have finished her off at that restaurant all those months ago." There was silence until the other one started talking again. "You could offer her the choice if you so choose. She could be useful to him."

Who? my mind wondered? What were they talking about he should have finished her. Who was she? I was so confused. The voices disappeared, or I just couldn't hear them anymore. I couldn't tell if I was alive or dead, awake or sleep. I just set there in the darkness waiting.


Slate grey eyes flecked with green and yellow with varying hues of brown was the first thing that I saw upon waking. I scoffed at the familiar sterile smell of the hospital and the monotonous sound of the beep, beep, beep of my heart monitor. His eyes returned from far away as they focused on me.

"How do you feel?" He asked calmly the shield still covering the liquid silver I'd grown accustomed to over the past couple weeks.

"Like I got ran over by a bus. W-why aren't you all busted up?" I ask assessing him carefully.

He laughed maybe at an inside joke that I was obviously not in on and ignored the question.

"Who were you talking to the day of the explosion? Who should you have finished off months ago? What choice are you offering who?" I blabbered out after holding it in for who knew how long I was out this time. I wanted answers. I needed them. No, better yet I demanded them.

He looked at me seriously. "You heard that." It seemed like it should have been a question, but it was a statement. "It's a long story."

"I'm not going anywhere anytime soon." I said my eyebrow raised in suspicion.

He sighed for the first time I'd known him. His calm disappeared for a moment as he looked down at his feet. Then he said, "You weren't supposed to walk away from the first explosion."

I shook me head trying to understand the words coming from his mouth. "W-what do you mean? It was meant for me? The Snoodles explosion?"

He nodded quickly.

"I don't understand." I was confused. Shocked and a million other things that I couldn't explain with words.

"I'm a vampire." He said his eyes gazing into mine carefully. He waited for my response. What was I supposed to say? I wanted to laugh because it sounded absurd.

"W-what does that mean?" A small voice that I barely recognized as my own stammered out.

"We're assassins for Satan. You were on his list. You weren't supposed to live through the first explosion, and Rendaph wasn't planning on you living through the second one either." He stood up and walked up to my bed. I wouldn't have lived through the second explosion had he not pulled me away. I was scared, but I couldn't move.

He put his hand on the nob for the morphine. "You have a choice. Die here, now; or live with me forever." He looked at me, but his eyes were as cold as stone. He was waiting for me to choose. It seemed obvious: live with him forever, but I knew there was a catch. I would have to be a monster like him taking lives working for Satan spending the rest of eternity taking lives for the benefit of the kingdom of destruction and chaos. Could love drive me to that? Would what I have with Aechton be worth the pain I would feel taking lives.

He had already tried to kill me, what changed?

"You know what changed Lia. I was dumb enough to fall for you." He said startling me a bit. Had I said that out loud or was he in my head?

"No, I'm in your head. Now choose, your time is running out."

Either way I had to die he said. Which way should I go? Which direction should I choose? I knew the right way, it was obvious choose death. Live with God for eternity. He would make everything all right.

"Will he?" Aechton bit out his eyes far away and cold as a dark cave.

I stared, eyes wide at Aechton who hovered, waiting to end my life patiently.

Yes! I screamed in my head. Could he read my thoughts this whole time?

"No." He answered calmly. "Just now, when I give you the choice of a life time."

I knew from the moment I saw him at Snoodles and Companions he was destined to kill me. He was exciting! I was thrilled to be around him, but he was dangerous, unpredictable. I didn't know why I was so intrigued by death, by him.

The time ticked by slowly as the options played tennis in my mind. Was I happy with him?


Did I love him? Obviously yes.

The next question caught me off guard. The answer was vital. Was he even capable of this question? I looked up at him my eyes worried, prodding, searching his blank expression. I knew he was listening to my thoughts.

Do you love me? I asked in my head. I waited. His eyes stayed in that distant place.

I was about to look away when I saw his eyes return. They looked deep into mine and he tried to hold the wall, but it faltered for a moment. Just long enough for me to make my decision.

I was too intrigued by him to let him go. I had to be with him even if it meant burning in hell for eternity.

He smiled as he heard the decision echo in my head. He leaned down his mouth hovering over my neck and whispered, "You were mine. You've always been. Us, it is inevitable." Then his sharp teeth dug into my flesh and slowly I felt this life fade away until the monotonous beep, beep, beep of my mortality turned into a constant unending beep of eternity.
The End

by: Trozin

Friday, February 25, 2011

Book Review: Unwind

Science Fiction
Author: Neal Shusterman
Back Cover Summary: *Actually summary from Amazon*
In his chilling new novel, Neal Shusterman paints a picture of a world where there aren't any cures and doctors, just surgeons and replacements.
Three unwanted teenagers face a fate worse that death -- unwinding. Their bodies will be cut up, and every part of them used, from their brains to their toes. But if they can stay out of the authorities' clutches until the age of eighteen, they just might survive....
The most frightening science fiction novels are always the ones that are most similar to our world. Shusterman doesn't fail to describe how a wrong solution to a modern issue can affect generations to come. Thought-provoking, terrifying, and almost inconceivable, UNWIND will keep you reading late into the night.

This book was actually recommended to me by a friend. I've never really read a book quite like this and was intrigued by the idea of a dystopian future where abortion is outlawed and every baby is found a home. Whether it's with the family they were dropped off with or as a ward of the State...there is a place for every single child.

Until they are 13, that is. Between the ages of 13 and 18, every child runs the risk of becoming 'unwound.' Aborted in a way. They are not killed--instead they are harvested for anything...Hair, feet, organs, limbs...And donated to people who need them. Or can afford them.

Shusterman does an effective job predicting what our world will be like if this controversial moral issue got even more out of hand, by giving it human faces of the three young characters in his book. His style is very straightforward and I found myself riveted all the way through. Even if it's not 'your thing,' I recommend that everyone read this book.

Would I read this again?: I already have :)
My rating:  * * * * * (5 Stars)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

10 Steps to Follow before Submitting your Manuscript by Raven Clark

No blog post from me today but I encourage you to follow the link below and read the one my friend and brilliant writer Raven Clark has posted on her site.


Monday, February 21, 2011

Multi-Genre Writing

I'm guilty of doing this. I have dozens of stories (actually I think it was 35 at last count) in a variety of genres. I pretty much jot down any and every story idea that passes through my mind. No, I don't always finish them, but I plan to. Don't give me that look.

Then I started wondering about what would happen when I became published. Would I be able to sell all those stories? Would a publisher/agent want to represent all these different genres?

So I hopped online and did some research. Asked around. And much to my disappointment--the answer was usually no. Talk about a killjoy. I know about half y'alls hearts just broke, and I'm right there with you. Believe me. But let's talk about WHY not.

Authors, especially new ones, should pick a genre--a niche--and stick with it. Build a career on it. There is a reason this advice is the one most widespread. Agents work hard to get you published and once that happens, the publisher will expect (if your book does well) more titles from you in the genre that agent sold them on. It won't go well with your agent if you send him/her another novel--in an entirely different genre. It doesn't matter how good it is.

Yes, you'd think agents would be thrilled to represent that talented of an author. That they'd go running to the biggest publisher and exclaim, "I've got gold!"

But the truth is they don't want that. And here's why.

Let's say Imma Writer writes a horror novel. It's perfect. Frightening, bloody, and just screams #1. She gets an agent (Heesah Agent) who agrees to represent her. He finds her a publisher and soon her books sells 30,000 copies. The people and publisher demand more. So Imma sends a brand new MS to her agent--an erotic thriller.

Hold the phone!

Heesah Agent is not happy. This is a problem.

What do you think those 30,000 copies sold mean? That her book was a hit? Well, yes. Duh. But it also means that she has 30,000 people who liked her book enough to buy it and are waiting for more. Another horror. If you switch genres after your first book, you are pretty much throwing away the audience you've already built.

This was disappointing to me because I have so many wonderful stories in all sorts of genres. So hearing that made me realize--I gotta pick just one. One!

But then there are authors who have managed to make successful careers in multiple genres. Of course, they are big time sellers like Nora Roberts...but it is possible.

So what do you think? Do you/have you written in multiple genres? Do you think it's possible or that it should/shouldn't be done?

Who knows. Maybe you don't agree with a word in this blog post. :)

Happy Writing!

Sunday, February 20, 2011


I don't know what I did wrong but this weekend's Saturday Short and Sunday Poetry will be postponed until next weekend. I had them all ready and post dated so they'd go up automatically but something went haywire..not sure what...and the posts have disappeared! Same went for this past Friday's book review of UNWIND--which will be posted this week instead.

I'm sorry guys!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A Sweet Award :)

I've been honored with this delish AWARD by fellow blogger and writer Moana_B who is the author of Keeper of Secrets--a wonderful blog that everyone should go check out! I feel honored to have crossed her mind when passing on this award. So before completing the tasks attached to this award, I'd like to say a huge thank you!

As for the tasks:

  • Share four of your most guilty pleasures.
  • Impart this award to six blogspots that you consider worthy of The Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award.
So for my guilty pleasures.....

1.) People watching.
Yeah, you read right. I love observing people everywhere I go. It's a great way to get down different mannersisms and turn-a-phrase for my characters, but it's also fun making up stories in my head about them. What I think they might be like--beyond the way they appear. Idk...I think it's fun LOL! I also enjoy trying different accents on people. I'll answer the phone with a southern drawl, do a Scottish impersonation at the grocery store...stuff like that. It amuses me.

2.) Driving.
I love to drive on a cool, clear night with all the windows rolled down on the back roads near where I live, especially with the music blasting. There's this incredible road that passes through miles of preserve; it stretches and winds forever. It never fails to lift my mood.

3.) Singing for no reason.
I have this sick need to burst into song for no apparent reason. I could be in the grocery aisle, pumping gas, or waiting in line at the theatre--and I'll just get that urge to belt out "La Vie Boheme" or "Crazy Bitch" much to my friend's and family's embarassment. Ha ha...yeah...

4.) Reeses Pieces, Sweet Tea, and Lox.
I'm not much of a candy freak but there is something about Reeses Pieces that makes me want to eat them all day. There's also this sweet tea I drank while in Romania--it took a while to get used to the taste but now I am hooked and it's ruined any other type of tea for me. And Lox...ah, the salty salmon treat that most don't appreciate but I heart so much :)

I didn't add writing in there because that's pretty much a given ha ha

And now for the blogs I would like to pass on this award to...

Crazy Lady With a Pen

Madelaine Bauman

Raven Clark

Samantha Anderson-Author

Sometimes, even I talk nonsense

Word + Stuff

I hope you all will take the time to keep this sweet award going and expose some of those guilty pleasures you keep secret :) Thanks again to Moana_B!

Happy Writing!

Back Away From the Ledge!

We're all going to face it at one point or another and as big as we talk about how thick our skin is or how we can handle it--the truth is that rejection hurts. We may be able to swallow the bad news right off the bat but then again we might find ourselves gazing wistfully at that ledge. Maybe a nice bridge....

Don't do it!

Instead, consider this: Most agents receive 30,000+ queries a year from writer's who are dying to be published. At most, a tenth of those actually receive requests for partials or fulls which means we're looking at a very small percentage of writers whose dreams aren't crushed during the first round. Chances are if you received some form of rejection letter, it doesn't necessarily mean you suck or that you'll never be published. It's true when they say agents really have to LOVE your story.

Does that help the pain a little? No, probably not, but it does make us feel just a teensy bit better that we aren't alone in that rejection club.

So what does it mean when you open that letter from that agent only to have your heart broken? Is there a way to read between the lines?

Honestly--unless there is a personal note somewhere on the rejection form...Nope. But after doing some research, I found these helpful tips:

  • Standard Rejection Form:  Here is where we automatically assume we suck. No writing, no tips, zilch. Now isn't that something to freak out over? Don't. Remember those 30,000+ queries a year? many would you be able to personalize? Maybe you just need to hone your skills a bit more?
  • Rejection With Advice:  Okay, so they didn't like it but at least they gave you a reason for it instead of letting your imagination run wild while you teeter dangerously on that balcony. (Or was it a bridge?)
  • Rejection With A Personal Note:  So they liked it enough to write with their own pen--eh, so to speak. Still a no but this time the agent took the time (and they don't often have a lot) to give you some encouraging words. Perhaps it's a: "Not for me but hope to see something else of yours in the future." Which means they want to be subjected to the wicked way with words you have. Yay! Or a "Liked it but not sure if people will buy it." So you got a good story, unfortunately so does every other Tom, Dick and Harry. Dern.
And then finally--the golden ticket of rejection letters!

  • Needs Revision but Please Submit Again:  Sure it needs work but they're willing to wait for you to make the suggested changes to make a final decision. Which means you got a second chance to win them over!
Even the greats have seen their fair of rejection. JK Rowling's beloved Harry Potter was rejected more than ten times before finally making it into print. Stephen King's Carrie was rejected more than 20 times.

Can you imagine if they'd given up? Thrown in the towel and went on to do other things with their lives? I'm feeling dizzy just thinking about it. They didn't give up and neither should you. Keep at it and hang in there when rejection comes a-calling. Keep in mind that what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger. And while it might hurt your ego, a lot, it's not the end of the world or your writing career unless you allow it to be.

I hope this has lifted your spirits and given you something to think about. Until next time...

Happy Writing!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Voice (Part 3): Silence is Golden

Have you ever started reading a novel that just captivated you right from the start, draws you in, only to lose you halfway through the book because you realize you're actually...reading?

When you pick up a pen, pencil, or touch fingers to a keypad to begin laying out your story on paper, it's only too easy to lose ourselves in the world which we are creating. When we are in that 'zone' it's easy to forget everything else and become so focused that we literally become one with our writing. Your characters come to life in ways that surprise even you--every detail pours from your fingertips effortlessly.

Then the unthinkable happens...We confuse our author's voice with our opinions and in the process--obliterate the character's voice. Let's jump right into this with an example. This is an excerpt from my novel Yours for a Day before editing was applied....

Kiley felt dumb sitting on the back of a motorcycle with no idea where they were going. She had her arms wrapped tightly around him. There was only one helmet and she was wearing it, along with a bandanna, which covered her eyes. "I can't see."

Royce had to slow down to be heard. "You don't have to." He was the one driving after all.

“That’s what I’m worried about. Motorcycles are for young people. You’re a thirty four year old man.” When he didn't respond, Kiley knew she'd rubbed him the wrong way, so she changed the subject."Where are we going?"

“You’ll see.”

She sighed, clinging tighter when she felt the bike tilt to the right.

“You’d better be nice to the driver," he told her.

“Or what? You’ll push me off?”

“Maybe.” He sped up suddenly and then laughed because it made her yelp.

Not horrible but not good either. I let my opinions be heard in this by telling what the characters were doing and feeling instead of letting them show it. That is a common mistake. We might be tempted to 'set the stage' for our readers but we need to resist that urge and allow the story to reveal itself through the actions and dialogue of our characters. Make it a part of the story instead of creating a pause to tell what's going on. Nothing will make your readers close your book faster. It makes them realize they're actually reading. We don't want any of that. Now here is that same passage, revised....

“This is so dumb,” Kiley complained loudly. “I can’t see where I’m going behind this stupid blindfold.”

She felt Royce’s chest rumble beneath her arms as she clung to him. "You don't have to,” Royce slowed the motorcycle down to be heard. “I’m the one driving.”

“That’s what I’m worried about. Motorcycles are for young people. You’re a thirty four year old man.” Kiley felt him stiffen beneath her and she suppressed a grin. “Just kidding. But seriously, where are we going?”

“You’ll see.”

Her sigh was lost in a sharp left turn. "Hey! Watch it!" She tightened her grip, feeling a thrill prickle her skin.

“You’d better be nice to the driver.”

“Or what? You’ll push me off?”

He sped up suddenly, laughing when she let out a yelp. "Maybe."

Still not great but that's the wonderful thing about editing--it never ends. :) Well, it should at some point but we all know the feeling.

The author (us) should never be present in our stories. Our characters come to life in our minds for a reason--they want to come to life on paper. They have a story to tell damn it and you should not get in the way of that. Don't confuse your voice with that of your characters. A way to do that is a.) Practicing, as in write! b.) Learn how to show and not tell. It's true that most of our characters portray us in one way or another. We make them act and handle situations in a fashion similar to what we'd do but we have to remember that they are NOT us. It's hard to separate ourselves--our opinions--from that of the narrator (the character) but we have to! Otherwise how will our characters be heard?

So as you glance over your writing, repeat after me:
"I am not my character."
"I will not use my character to echo my opinions/views."
"My characters will have their own voice in telling their story."

Embrace your author's voice. Resist adding your opinions. Show--don't tell.

Write your story and write it well.

Happy Writing!

A good novel tells us the truth about its hero, but a bad novel tells us the truth about its author. ~G. K. Chesterton

Monday, February 14, 2011

What's Love Got to do With It?

Well, if you're a romance writer--then it has a lot to do with it.

In honor of Valentine's Day and overspending on flowers, cards, and candy that will go straight to my hips--I'm dedicating this blog to Love. Well....Love scenes, anyway. Ah yes, that four letter word. It doesn't matter if you hate overuse it...It can have so many different meanings. Lead to many different things.

Point is: Love scenes will/can make or break a book.

Is it the kiss your readers have been dying to see happen? The way your hero's gaze lingers in the direction of the woman he's interested in? The revelation of secret love? r is it the full out romp-in-the-sheets frenzy that sends your hormones buzzing with excitement? Whatever your tastes, make sure you write what you feel comfortable writing. If you don't enjoy sex, or feel uncomfortable describing it on paper, then maybe you will be more prone to writing those sweet, melt your heart romances. Trust me, if you write what you don't enjoy--it's going to show. Love scenes don't always have to be detailed to the very last dirty thought--you can always end it before the clothes come off. Then can always end it way, way later.

So what makes a good love scene? The trick is getting them right. I can't begin to tell you how important this is. A good love scene will add to your story. It's not something you put in just because you want it in there. That's just sex and there is a place for that...but not in romance. No, a love scene must move the plot forward, must change the people involved in it, and must serve some purpose other than getting your readers all hot and bothered.

The scene should be perfect only for the two involved in it. It can't be something that could happen with any other couple in any other story--uniqueness or tailor made scenes is key. This is where knowing your characters really comes in handy. You should know how he/she will act and what they like.

Dialogue is important to. It doesn't matter how much or how little, but use it. This can set the mood just as much as description. Real sex doesn't happen without at least a few words in between. Why should your story differ? You can really have fun with this. Teasing, dirty talk, tension building, humor. Yes, even humor! Sex doesn't always happen without some insecurity. Getting naked is sometimes embarrassing. Adding humor in it can give the mood a lighthearted lift--make things a bit more comfortable for your characters. As well as your readers.

Don't be scared to use naughty words. If that's what the scene calls for. I mean, you never have a virgin acting like a nympho. Right?  But don't fear being a little dirty. Four letter words during sex don't have to come off lewd...I've seen some great love scenes that used a good amount of this and still came out shining. (no pun intended) Also, don't use cheesy, clinical, or crude terms unless your scene calls for it. Or it's part of the character's personality. Nothing will make a reader grimace more than: "She grabbed ahold of his member, feeling her vagina react in such a way it made her heady."


Here's an example of a love scene done well, by Madelaine Bauman, from her novel Hybrid Blood....

I felt Owen sit down next to me. His hand moved in soothing circles. “What happened back there doesn't matter right now. You're safe.” his hand moved up from my back to the nape of my neck. I shifted in the seat as I felt my legs weaken. My mouth went dry and the hot temperature of my skin became comfortable.
“What are you doing, Owen?”
He chuckled. “What's it look like to you?”
“Like you're trying to seduce me.”
“Good guess.”
I stood again, my senses dizzy. This isn't right. I met Owen's eyes and I felt the heat travel dangerously low. I clenched my hands, mentally screaming at my body to not respond like a lowborn nimal. I turned away from him. You're not a love slave anymore—you bow to no one's wishes! Still, I could feel Owen's gaze burn into my back and my thoughts spun. I heard him get up. His arms wrapped around me, pulled me to him and I bit my lip. Don't react! Be as stone.
“Do you hate me, Calias?”
I sucked in a ragged breath. “What would you say if I did?”
Owen chuckled. “We always want things that are bad for us, don't we?”
“Get away from me!” But as his mouth traced my neck, I found every cell in my body exploding. It was hard to breathe. “This isn't right, my Lord...”
“Call me that again, love.” His breath, hot against my ear, made me bite down harder on my lower lip. Do. Not. React. I was trembling. Owen slid a hand down one arm, his hand closed gently around one wrist. A crooked smile appeared. “Your heart's racing...”
“Don't lie to me. That's not fear I smell.” His smile turned into a grin as he bent to kiss my neck again, inhaling deeply. The heat of his breath on my neck as his exhaled made me shift my weight from one foot to the other. His lips moved from my neck to my jaw, the touch featherlight. “You know, Calias,” I felt his teeth nip playfully at my earlobe. “have I ever told you of the greatest gift a narik can give his dasi?”
“I don't think so.” But I have a good idea of what it is. I felt my breath hitch as his hand moved up and down my stomach, teasing me. My hands twitched and I felt his hand lift my wrist to his mouth. My whole body burned with a strange, raw need. I fought his hold harder. “Owen...stop teasing me.” My voice came out a strangled moan.
“And why should I?” he laughed softly. “It's fun.”
“Fun for you perhaps...but for me it's...” I stopped, trying to think of a way to deflate this man's ego. Instead, all I could come up with was: delicious torture. Owen unlocked me from his grasp. Turning around to face him, I put my hands on his shoulders. Voice shaking, I smiled. Something felt off, even as another need—primal, instinctual—was unleashed full force. Pulling him to me, I felt his hands run down my back, sneaking up my shirt to touch bare skin. His skin was warm. So good. So wrong. I ran my hands through his hair and his lips came down on mine hard. His nails dug into my skin and I broke away to breathe, only to have him steal my breathe again. He let me go, nearly tearing my tunic and shirt off in his haste to unclothe me. I felt his mouth crush mine again and I felt his hands move to run under my thighs before he lifted me up into his arms. The heat was suffocating, but felt so wonderful as I pressed him closer to me. As I inhaled the scent of his skin, I shuddered as the heat within my stomach focused within my thighs. I felt Owen lower me onto the cot, his mouth hot on my skin. He seemed to have six pairs of hands, all running across my body, everywhere at once. But all I could smell as I tried to breathe was that smell on his skin—it made me think a strange mixture of cinnamon, soft glowing candlelight, and the warmth of his arms all at once. Dizzy, I pushed his shirt up and he muttered a curse as he fought to toss it aside.
He stopped and looked at me, his eyes alight with something wild. Untamable. He smiled. “You know, if I could stay in this tent with you forever, I would.”
“Would you be my property or would I be yours?” I felt my mouth tremble as I tried to hold in the tears.
“Calias...” he held my face in his hands and I felt his lips capture the tears. “I was angry, I wasn't thinking...I'm sorry.” I stared up at the ceiling, wanting fiercely to believe him, to forget this had ever happened. Pushing the incident to the back of my mind, I nodded and kissed him, hooking my legs around his waist...

Ha ha,  I know..I'm so rude to cut you off. :)
But you see how all these points can be worked into a love scene? Not only should it keep your readers on the edge of your seat--but even you should feel your pulse kick up by the time you're done writing it.

Bits O'Wisdom: Five Senses

Let's say you're writing a scene where....Jane has just murdered her husband in front of his lover. She caught them in the act and then waited for just the right moment to step inside the room, unheard at first. Now she turns toward the mistress who is cowering on the bed, nude body shivering in fear as she watches Jane step in her direction.

Sight:  Notice the light sheen of perspiration on the mistress' face. See how the glow of lovemaking is still noticeable on the pale face drowning in wide, dark eyes. You see that rose on the bedside table? The one next to the same label of champagne Jane's husband toasted with at their wedding...yeah, that one.

Taste:  The taste of her lover lingers on her tongue, turning the strawberries and champagne they'd shared into a sour film that she can't get rid of. All Jane tastes is the bile threatening to rise at the sight of her husband's dented skull..

Touch:  Can you feel the rough handle of the butcher knife Jane holds in her hand. She clenches her fist around it, begins pulling the white silk away from the mistress. No longer covered, the mistress shivers against the cool air that takes the place of her lover's caress. Feel the hairs standing on the back of her neck? Death's icy fingers inching their way up her spine?

Sound:  Hear Jane's heart drumming loudly in her ears, the short gasps coming from the bed as the mistress awaits her demise. The running bathwater that would have served as another setting for their lustful acts.

Smell:  Metallic salt invades your nostrils--Jane's husband's blood. The heavy odor of sex hangs in the air, only angering Jane further.

Incorporating the five senses into a scene always has more of an impact. Try it :)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sunday Poetry: Uninvited & Vous

by: lilith


you sweep in, all smoothness and silk
who are you to drink from my well
as you would your Mother's milk?
who are you to assume the coins
will land on the side you choose?
foolish to think they fall in your favor
you know I don't like to lose

you deal the cards, trumping the Queen of Lust
you think it's clever you stacked the deck
but take care you don't go bust
for i hold my cards close
i never reveal my hand
so place your bet, dear sir
don't wait for the river to make a stand

you think your numbers lucky, your web's been spun
you think your prey is caught, your trap holding fast
you think you've already won
yet in one short spin I'll be free
beginning my own delicate weave
dare you tread on my creation?
for if you're trapped, you'll never leave

Shall I tell thee my deepest secrets?
Shall I bare my soul without shame?
Shall I tell thee how my fever burns
Each time you speak my name?
Would these things trouble thee?
Would they make you turn away,
Leaving me with only the heartache
I feel when night turns to day?

So I must tell you quickly
Before you pass me by
I fear to pose such inquiries
For I am still a bit too shy
Yet you've cast a spell over me
I do nothing but think of thee
So I must know one thing:
Do you do nothing but think of me?

by: lilith


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