Monthly Archives: January 2017

Just Breathe

That sounds so easy, doesn’t it?

And it is, usually.

Friday night at work I started coughing and my chest felt tight. I put it down to the fact that it was hotter than hell on the floor I was on, but Saturday morning I woke up coughing and couldn’t go more than 20 minutes without hacking up a lung.

So, I dragged myself to urgent care.

(I hate going to doctors, so going that soon says a lot…)

The overall decision was that it’s bronchitis, but my lungs are clear, so it’s probably viral, which means there’s nothing I can do but suffer through it and suck down albuterol every four hours for five days.

This morning I coughed so hard I almost threw up and I think I may have cracked a rib.

And in true writer fashion (see Friday’s post) I’m taking note of how it all feels. (And debating a trip to the ER – see above about hating to go to the doctor.)

And all I can think of is a line in Book 6 of The Academy of the Accord, where Rahmael asks, “How important are ribs, anyway?”

(Sorry so short, but breathing is taking all of my energy.)

 

 

 

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Sunday Snippet January 29, 2017

 

I decided to still post from the twelfth book of The Academy of the Accord series.  This is something that I’m pretty sure I’m going to cut, but I like it too much to just let it disappear, so it will probably be transformed into a side story or something.

So, more of Jorsen and Autheren, but this is from the start of the book, before the spider incident that I posted about last month.

Jorsen took Autheren home with him for the summer and the two of them went on a sailing trip up the coast for a few days. A storm blew in and they took shelter for the night in a cave on the cliff, only to wake up and discover that they were being watched by an Afiani, a bird-like race that is not known for friendliness toward humans. I’m picking up from last week’s snippet, in which Autheren (who is known for his friendliness to everything and everyone) has invited Lirit to join them for breakfast and they are trying to get dressed without exposing themselves to her.

 

She frowned. “You do not undress in front of the opposite sex?”

“No, we don’t.”

“Then how do you procreate?”

Autheren was turning as red as his hair, but Jorsen chuckled.  “Well, for that we get undressed, but in general, no.”

“Why is he changing color? Is he ill?”

Jorsen glanced at Autheren out of the corner of his eye.  “He’s all right.  He’s blushing.  It’s a sign of embarrassment.”

“You are embarrassed by nakedness?”

 

 

 

 

Find more great reading
at the Sunday Snippet group.

 

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Rainbow Snippet for 1-28-2017

rainbow logo 1

Rainbow Snippets is a group for LGBTQ+ authors, bloggers, and readers to gather once a week and share six sentences from a work of fiction–a WIP or a finished work or even a 6-sentence book recommendation (no spoilers please!).   Check out all the other awesome snippets by clicking on the picture above.

This follows directly from last week, so here’s the last line:
“Nothing.  Nothing I can describe, anyhow.  But if it happens again I’ll tell you and you can put a trace on it.”

 

Ayess laughed at the joke.  “I am getting closer to the source of the power flux,” he told her.  “I haven’t been able to locate it yet, or even completely narrow it down, but it does seem to be coming from the same place every time.”

“Is there a pattern to it?”

“Not that I have found.”

“Wouldn’t life be dull without random anomalies?”

“Very,” he murmured.

She tilted her head.  “What are you thinking?”

He smiled. “I was thinking about randomness.  Without it, we might not be here right now.”

“True.  I wonder how much of life is randomness and how much is fate?”

“And I wonder if there is a difference between the two.”

 

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Punched

Writers are just… different.

I once saw a definition of a writer as “someone for whom the act of writing is harder than it is for other people.”

It’s true.

I’m a nurse, and part of my job involves documenting incidents. I usually go through three or four drafts before I actually make an official note in a chart.

We also see things differently.

Last night at work I got punched in the face by an agitated and aggressive resident. He knocked my glasses off (and a lens popped out so I had to go get them fixed this morning).  My face is still sore on that side today, so I’m going to need to write a longer incident report than the brief notes I was writing last night.  I’m going to type it up here at home so I can edit it as I go and print it out to take to work with me to turn in. (Also, it will be easier for the powers that be to read – I freely admit that I have atrocious handwriting.)

But the thing is, I’m taking note of how it feels. I don’t know if I’ll ever need to describe it in a novel, but I’m storing the sensations away for future reference, just in case.

And that’s one of the reasons why they say that writers should keep a journal, to store away things like this so they don’t get forgotten.

I’m horrible at keeping a journal, though. Most of my life is pretty dull and not worth writing about, and when it isn’t, well… then I don’t have time to write about it.

I do take note of physical reactions associated with strong feelings, though, so I probably should start writing them down.

And, oddly, I take note of the fact that normal people probably don’t do that. (It doesn’t help that I’m an Aquarian, and an INTJ, so emotions don’t “fit” well with me.

Maybe that’s why I have trouble writing romance…

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Wednesday Words #109 (1/25/2017)

Welcome to Wednesday Words!  Every Wednesday I will post some sort of prompt for a flash fiction piece.  The prompt will go live just after midnight Eastern time.

The prompt might be a picture, or it might be a list of things to include in a story, or maybe a phrase or a question or something from a “news of the weird” type thing, or a… who knows?

After that, it’s up to you.  But if you do use the prompt to write a bit of flash fiction (say, 500 words or so) I’d love to see what you came up with, so comment below with a link to where it is on your blog (or on WattPad or wherever).

(And a pingback to the post here where you found the prompt would be appreciated but isn’t necessary.)

Oh, and this isn’t a contest or anything.  It’s just a (hopefully) fun thing for all concerned.

And, hey, if it inspires more than 500 or so words, run with it!

This week’s prompt:

a list
a calendar
a brick

And, as always, I’d love to see what you come up with!

 

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The Stress Factor

I’m pretty sure everyone has heard of The Fudge Factor, but if you haven’t (or have never heard it defined) The Fudge Factor is any number which when added to, subtracted from multiplied by, or divided into the number you got gives you the number you should have gotten.

The Stress Factor is something that I just made up. It is any event (or series of events) which when added to or multiplied by the stress you already have gives you more stress than you can deal with.

In that case, of course, the first instinct is to retreat.

We’ve had a lot of that in the last month and a half or so, and I — a lot of us — have been retreating.

And then we’ve found other ways to deal and get ourselves back on track.

And then something else happens.

Anyone remember those big bowling pin shaped punching bags that you knocked down and they bounced back up?  That’s pretty much how I’m feeling lately.

And that’s not a bad thing: knock me down and I bounce back up. And if you’re not careful I’ll bop you on the head.

But sometimes, before you bounce back up, you need to retreat, to find something to do to lessen the effects of The Stress Factor until you can find your feet (and your balance) again.

A long time ago (before personal computers were common) I used to paint D&D figurines to retreat from work stress.  I showed one to a co-worker once and she asked how I could do that after a stressful day at work.  I replied that it helped with the stress because all of my attention was focused on the end of a very fine (sometimes only a couple bristles) paintbrush and everything else was just pushed away.  I don’t think she got it.

Now, though, I do jigsaw puzzles.

I am a jigsaw puzzle addict. I always have been.  I’ve been known to ignore chocolate cake with peanut butter icing while working on a jigsaw puzzle.  I don’t really have any place here to set up a table for a one, so I’ve been spending a lot of time on JigZone lately.

Jigsaw puzzles (physical or computerized) don’t require much thought, just a focus on color and shape. Focusing on a puzzle (I like the harder cuts) lets me get my conscious mind off of the day’s Stress Factor so that my subconscious can deal with it.

(And, okay, JigZone provides an unhealthy dose of procrastination, too.)

So, what does everyone else do to procras regroup from stress?

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Sunday Snippet January 22, 2017

I decided to still post from the twelfth book of The Academy of the Accord series.  This is something that I’m pretty sure I’m going to cut, but I like it too much to just let it disappear, so it will probably be transformed into a side story or something.

So, more of Jorsen and Autheren, but this is from the start of the book, before the spider incident that I posted about last month.

Jorsen took Autheren home with him for the summer and the two of them went on a sailing trip up the coast for a few days. A storm blew in and they took shelter for the night in a cave on the cliff, only to wake up and discover that they were being watched by an Afiani, a bird-like race that is not known for friendliness toward humans. I’m picking up from last week’s snippet, in which Autheren (who is known for his friendliness to everything and everyone) has invited Lirit to join them for breakfast.

 

Autheren started to throw off the blanket but Jorsen stopped him. 

“If you would give us a minute to get dressed?” Jorsen asked.

She tilted her head curiously.

Jorsen flushed.  “You are female?”

She nodded.

“We’re both male.”

She frowned. “I don’t understand. I know what a male is,” she added. “But I don’t understand why you need me to leave so you can get dressed?  Or maybe you would be more comfortable if I undressed?”

“No,” Jorsen assured her quickly.  “It’s just that… among our people, males and females do not go without clothing around each other.”

 

 

 

Find more great reading
at the Sunday Snippet group.

 

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Rainbow Snippet for 1-21-2017

rainbow logo 1

Rainbow Snippets is a group for LGBTQ+ authors, bloggers, and readers to gather once a week and share six sentences from a work of fiction–a WIP or a finished work or even a 6-sentence book recommendation (no spoilers please!).   Check out all the other awesome snippets by clicking on the picture above.

I’m still posting from Onyx Sun, a science fiction novel that is currently in revision. The revisions are turning out to be more complex than originally expected so the release date is, um, to be determined. (I’ve given up trying to predict one, but I am hoping to be through with the current round of revisions by the end of the month.)

This snippet comes a bit after last week’s in which Ayess was setting up something to trace the source of the intermittent power flux on the ship.

 

“Just wait until we finish the paperwork at the bank,” Taliya grinned. “You’ll probably wish you were still in a collar.”

“Only if you were my owner.”  He smiled, stretching slightly. “Im glad you will let me stay with you.”

For just a moment there seemed to be a soft glow from his eyes and Taliya blinked hard and shook her head to clear her vision.

“Are you all right?”

“I’m fine.  I think my eyes are just tired, or not used to the air here.  I’m seeing things.”

“What did you think you saw?”

“Nothing.  Nothing I can describe, anyhow.  But if it happens again I’ll tell you and you can put a trace on it.”

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Progress and a Plot Bunny

So, there’s this plot bunny starting to form.  I don’t actually have a story yet, just a main character: a Mexican demon named Charlie.  And I’m not sure, but I think maybe he can only possess pencils.

If you’re as totally unaware of trending teen things as I am, you’re probably scratching your head wondering what on earth I’m talking about, so here’s the explanation.

At work last night I was on a different unit than the one I usually work.  One of the aides there is also a preacher and is a bit… over zealous… at times.  I’m not sure what prompted the conversation but he asked another aide if she had heard about “the Charlie Charlie pencil game.”

She thought for a minute and said, “Do you mean the thing with the piece of paper with yes/no/no/yes?” and started to get a piece of paper to draw it out and was demonstrating how the pencils laid on top of each other for it.

He stopped her and said not to do that because it would summon a real demon.

He was completely serious.

And apparently it’s a Mexican demon. (Although he did say that demons don’t have nationalities.)

Anyhow, I now want to write about a Mexican demon named Charlie.

I’m just… not sure what his story is.

Yet.

Any work on this story (other than kicking it around in my head) is probably a long way from happening, but it’s so rare that I have a clear example of where a story idea came from that I had to share.

In other writing news, I started working through the bit that blocked me from working on entering changes to Onyx Sun. And I wrote (more of) a scene to be added to the first book of the Academy of the Accord series.  The scene seems kind of… not really necessary (although it will further character development, world building, etc) but it’s needed for a scene in Book 12, so…

And I got a bit more done on the Elven Bard novel that only has half a title.

So, there you have it. My weirdness and inspiration for the week as well as a bit of progress.

 

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Wednesday Words #108 (1/18/2017)

Welcome to Wednesday Words!  Every Wednesday I will post some sort of prompt for a flash fiction piece.  The prompt will go live just after midnight Eastern time.

The prompt might be a picture, or it might be a list of things to include in a story, or maybe a phrase or a question or something from a “news of the weird” type thing, or a… who knows?

After that, it’s up to you.  But if you do use the prompt to write a bit of flash fiction (say, 500 words or so) I’d love to see what you came up with, so comment below with a link to where it is on your blog (or on WattPad or wherever).

(And a pingback to the post here where you found the prompt would be appreciated but isn’t necessary.)

Oh, and this isn’t a contest or anything.  It’s just a (hopefully) fun thing for all concerned.

And, hey, if it inspires more than 500 or so words, run with it!

This week’s prompt:

a history book
a letter
moonlight

And, as always, I’d love to see what you come up with!

 

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