Quarterly Goals for the Third Quarter

Sorry I forgot to do this at the beginning of this month. I was able to purchase my first house halfway through June and I am honestly still not completely unpacked. And, almost as soon as I began to move, ants invaded my space; I honestly feel like they were there before me and I can’t find the stupid anthill… I know it’s out there somewhere.

So before I list my new goals for this quarter, I need to go over the goals I had for the last quarter and see how I did. Are you as worried as I am?

Goals I had set for the second quarter:

  • Instagram challenge – I definitely did not do this. In fact I did not do this so much that last quarter I didn’t even know what it was or would entail…. and I still don’t. Oops.
  • Finish new draft – I feel like this just showcases how naive I am in the art of novel writing. I didn’t finish it, but I am working on it…. slowly. Between my full time job, my full time plus overtime parenting job, and my new house, I am finding it extremely hard to find any time (or energy, let’s be real) to write. Not to mention (this part is fun), half of the electric in my house doesn’t work and I don’t have internet yet. It’s like I’m in the 90’s again.
  • Research Bookbub promotion – I did this! Mostly. I researched into it enough to know I’m definitely not even close to this point, but enough to know that I am definitely going to be doing this. Nothing to lose in this case, although real experience could change that opinion real fast.
  • Research Editors – I did do this a little, but it got me no closer than it did while I was researching for them months ago. I am having the hardest time trying to find one that feels like a good fit. At least I’m not putting this one off until the last minute, considering how much trouble I’m having.
  • Pay off all my debt – I’m still at the point I was then. It’s still on my mind (all the time), but I’ve decided to watch it for now. I’ve been getting small hints that this last one is in the process of being sold to someone else, but I’m not sure. That and how I just bought a house put that on the back burner because now I’m broke.
  • Get a mortgage and a house – I halfway did this. I have a house. But it’s more of a rent to own kind of situation than a mortgage situation. Which works well for me. For now at least.

Three out of six ain’t bad (…. I want you, I need you, but there ain’t no way I’m ever gonna love you…). If you don’t know Meatloaf, we can’t be friends.

Third quarter goals! (I’ll admit, I did zero planning on this)

  • FINISH NEW ROUGH DRAFT. I have to sit down and come up with some strategies to get this nonsense done. Period.
  • Find and join some writing communities. I need writer friends. I fee like a lone wolf if my current group of friends and family. I need someone who can slap me silly when I cry about how awful I am at making words work. That and I would really like a critique partner (wink, wink).
  • Join Patreon. I only found out about this site less than a month ago. But I feel it’s worth a shot. In case you have no idea what it is, it’s a crowdfunding type site but instead of funding for one goal, patrons can donate a set amount (set by them) to donate every month for something/someone that they wish to support. And like other crowdfunding sites, these patrons [can] get something in return. I guess the rewards aren’t required, but out of the dozens of profiles I looked at, none of them offered zero rewards. I plan on doing rewards, I just don’t know what they’re going to be yet. I am going to sign up for this though and I will let all of you know the instant I do.
  • Find an editor. I’m starting to think that the best course for me to take is to look for a freelancing editor. I don’t have any extraordinary editing or photoshop skills so I can’t do any skill trading or bargaining, but I still want to get a freelancer. I think I’ll take a look  at Mark Coker’s (Smashwords) list of people he recommends for those kinds of this.
  • Create a book club on Goodreads. I don’t plan on this club being super active, I’m thinking only one book a month, but I think it would be fun. If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work.

I believe that’s all I’ll do for this quarter. I don’t feel confident I’ll have the time to do more than that. Especially right now my priority is ant extermination and getting my electric fixed. Til next time!

A Meeting of the Ants

Edward hurried as fast as he could; being late meant he wouldn’t get a chance to voice his opinion. Not that it mattered much. He wouldn’t have known about it at all if Bernice hadn’t told him first. He huffed. Just because he was old didn’t mean his voice didn’t count. Age should have nothing to do with it and these young ones just couldn’t figure that out.

“Hey!”

“Sorry!” In his haste he hadn’t seen someone coming towards him and he almost knocked him over.

He reached the group a little late, but only missed the preliminaries.

“…. that will only anger her more, my dear Baron. Surely you know that.” Edward heard enough to know that they needed him. Badly.

“Why wasn’t I informed of this meeting?” He glared at each one in turn, ending on the Archduke Henry Bishop III. He liked him the least of all. These past six years working with him had been hell. “And why is it being held here instead of in the council room?”

“This meeting was called in haste and upon an emergency. I’m sure you have noticed the recent killings?” the Archduke peered down at him, his nose held slightly in the air.

“Of course I have. Only a dunce wouldn’t have noticed. Everyone is in a panic. Order has completely left our civilization.”

“We were discussing what should be done about it all. The Baron over here was just suggesting we gather all of our forces, recruit the younger ones, and attack tonight while they sleep. Would you like to explain your idea, Baron?”

“Absolutely.” The sound of his voice grated against Edward’s ears. “Due to the circumstances, it has been highly agreed that we are in the midst of an attack on our home front. War, dear Grand Duke. In true fashion of war, I think it would be best to gather as much strength as we can and drive them out by sheer force.” Edward could only stare. We would have to completely recruit at least three colonies to have even a chance. The Queen herself would have to fight.

“Impossible. We don’t have enough power to successfully accomplish that. Not even close.” He saw a few eye rolls. He pursed his lips. If he wanted them to take him seriously, he would have to choose his battles very carefully. He could tell that this one was absurd enough that no comment from him was necessary.

“Well I think it would work.”

“Don’t be silly Baron. Edward, unfortunately, is correct. We couldn’t possibly ever do that and be fortuitous. Our entire existence would be executed. We really just need to decide if it would be in our best interests to stay and hide or flee to a new location. Any thoughts?” The Archduke looked around to everyone, including Edward.

For a few minutes, no one said anything. Then the Count cleared his throat.

“I think we should flee. If we can’t fight, then why stay?”

“Hear, hear.” The Viscount and his wife both nodded their heads while the present Knights shook theirs, they were no doubt in agreeance with the Baron.

“If we flee, then where do we go?”

“Simple,” He had decided that it was time he spoke up. We go East. We travel East for a few days, two, maybe three, and settle there. We won’t travel too far, or at least not so far that we wear the Queen out, but it’s far enough away that I believe our current enemy will leave us be.” He didn’t dare mention the rest of his idea, he knew none of them would want to hear it.

“That’s too far. I don’t like the idea of fleeing at all. You know the Queen is expecting any day now. She cannot be moved for at least another week.”

Angry murmurs broke out after this. Edward listened intently. They seemed to be divided equally in half, with just the Baron and the two Knights wanting to fight. The ones who wanted to stay didn’t want to move the Queen or anyone else. They loved their home and couldn’t fathom moving for any reason at all, not even imminent death. The ones who wanted to leave, knew the dangers of moving, but also knew that certain death awaited them hear. The enemy only grew angrier the longer they stayed.

Edward watched the Archduke listen to every side that was given. He was curious as to what his decision would be. The Archduke stepped forward slightly and cleared his throat, he was ready to speak.

“I think it’s best to flee, just as the Grand Duke suggested. And I agree that we must do it now and to the East.”

“This is preposterous! What would he know about our current situation? In my opinion, he’s too old to be making these decisions and it has been well past his time to retire. If we follow any of his suggestions, then he will surely die.” Silence followed the Baron’s speech. The Archduke looked to Edward to see how he would react. Edward stared back at him, amused by the frown on his face.

“My dear Baron. It does not matter what decision we make, there is a very large chance I will die. I no longer can move as fast as any of the others and I am resigned to the possibility of my death. However, do not let my twelve years of age to deter you. I have been making very sound decisions for the entire ten years I have served under our precious Queen. Moving now saves lives. Staying for any length of time will bring upon the death of most, if not all, of our people. Even our Queen. If we fall, who will protect her.” The Baron stayed silent and looked down to examine his feet. Edward looked to the Archduke and gave him a small nod. He nodded back before turning to the rest of the crowd.

“It is decided then. We will take the proposal to the Queen, though I doubt she will argue much. She is a great Queen and knows the dangers we are facing. Although, I don’t think our Grand Duke is not finished with what is on his mind, is he?” All eyes turned to Edward. He cleared his throat with anxiety.

“Sacrifices.” Before he could even get anything else out, uproar broke out in the gathering. “Now hear me out,” Edward raised is voice above the rest. “I am not talking about everyone. Not even the majority. I’m only talking about a few of us. Volunteers. Then the volunteers attack as a diversion. The goal is to make it look like we’re fighting back while everyone else escapes safely.”

“Volunteers.”

“Yes. Volunteers. Like me.” Edward raised his head proudly. Twelve years was a good life. A life well spent. The Archduke looked at him.

“And me.” Edward snapped his head to him, surprise surely showing on his face.

“I’ve lived a good life. I don’t feel right letting you go this alone. I shall stay behind with you.” Edward gently bowed his head is thankfulness. As they continued to discuss who would stay and how many others they would need, Edward noticed faint screaming coming from the distance and getting louder. He turned around as the screams suddenly became deafening. Big booms began to sound in the air.

From his spot on the corner of the wall, he saw her. The brat child was nowhere to be seen, thankfully, but her mother was worse. Fear ripped through his body as everyone else, except the Archduke, fled the scene, scurrying up the wall to the small hole as fast as they could. He held his ground with the Archduke by his side. They watched in horror together as others rushed past them, deafening screams in their ears. They watched as she grew nearer, an angry look of hatred upon her face. The ground trembled under them from the force of hundreds of their fellow ants fleeing. Edward turned to the Archduke one last time.

“I just wanted to say, even though we don’t usually see eye to eye on many things, I am happy I served under the Queen with you. Our disagreements have made me feel young and alive again.”

“I feel the same. Had we not come upon this predicament, I would have been very happy to serve out the rest of our time on Earth here with you.” They nodded to each other and as one unified body, moved rapidly towards the enemy. The mother, her expression clearly showing her feelings about them, pulled up a blue can with a black top.

“FOR FREEDOM!” Edward shouted out as tears ran down his bulbous face.

The mother sprayed the ants, killing first both the Grand Duke and his friend, the Archduke, then traveled the can up until she reached the hole where they were all coming in. When she had finished, she put the can down, grabbed her tube of caulk, filled the hole and smoothed it out.

Nodding her approval at the massacre, she grabbed her tools and walked off.

“Fucking ants.”

***

I bought my new home a few weeks ago. This past weeks ants have moved in. While I stood there watching them and plotting their death, this picture happened. They looked like they were in a meeting so I wrote this. Silver linings, right?

No Blog Posts For Now

So last week I bought my first house (yay!) and moved (yuck). Since then, I have had no time for anything other than moving stuff, work, and sleep. I also don’t have Internet yet because I’m still price shopping. So, until further notice I won’t be posting anything new and I’ll probably be a little quiet on Tumblr and twitter too.

Bugs – Chapter One

I have a treat for you today! Today, I present the very first chapter on the book I am currently working on, Bugs. Please remember, because I am still working on the book, the final copy of this chapter will most likely be different, but I am confident it will mostly remain the same. Plus, I edited it myself, and it’s been nine years since I took an English class so I’m positive there are mistakes in here.

 

BUGS

CHAPTER ONE

The History

Lily sat on a bench on the other side of the road, ogling him from a safe distance. She ran her fingers through her honey blonde hair, feeling nervous that he would look up and over at her. Her heart continued in a steady pattern of quick heartbeats. She had sat at the bus stop every day for four months now, waiting for her bus home from her job. And every school day for the past four months, she watched his movements from the school to his car. She watched the elites of the school flood him as he carried his football gear over his shoulder. Everything he did came with a smoldering grin on his face. He was the most handsome boy she had ever seen in her life.

She was chewing on her fingernails when he looked up at her. Their eyes connected for a brief moment before she looked down at her backpack between her legs. Her heart dropped in despair as her eyes fell on her grease stains on her work pants. Tears began to prick her eyes as she continued to avoid his fleeting attention. She would never get a guy like him if his first impression was her in her fast food uniform. Though,to be honest, her every day clothes weren’t much better.

Lily looked back up to where he had been, and saw with a further fall of her heart that he was no longer there. She slumped on the bench and was about to give in to tears when she saw his black Mercedes pull up to the curb in front of her. His window rolled down and revealed his perfect face, a smile stretched from ear to ear.

“Hey. Do you need a ride anywhere?” Lily felt her stomach flip and flutter as he addressed her.

“No, thank you. I think I’ll be okay.” Her cheeks blushed from his attention.

“I insist. You’re always alone here, waiting for a bus I assume. Come on, hop in the passenger seat.” He winked at her, his smile growing ever larger. Her stomach flopped again as she hopped up from her spot and tried not to run to the passenger door. She gripped the handle and plunged herself inside. She buckled up as he pulled away from the curb, trying to avoid his gaze, her cheeks still a deep crimson.

“So, where do you need to go?” He asked her, looking more at her than the road.

“You can just drop me off at the Shell station.” She replied, still not looking at him.

“At a gas station? You don’t want me to take you home?” He veered into the far left lane and turned his blinker on, coming to a halt at the red light.

“No, the gas station is fine.”

“Okay, then.” They fell into a mutual silence as he headed towards the gas station three blocks down. Lily kept her eyes forward, but her mind was still on him. He looked even more perfect up close, and that made her timid, too nervous to look at him.

As the car pulled into the parking space in front of the doors, Lily prepared herself to bolt. She was afraid he would have too much of a chance to take in her cheap and dirty appearance. He put it in park and spoke before she could open the door to blissful freedom.

“You know, the bus doesn’t stop here. And you could have walked here from the bus stop. Where were you going to go?” He turned in his seat to take a good look at her, one eyebrow expertly arched. He had to have known that his tight designer button down was taut in all the right places on his toned chest. She forced herself to look at his face and tried to sound convincing, but was taken aback by the muscles bulging through his shirt.

“Oh, nowhere important. I hadn’t exactly decided yet.” She tried to sound calm and cool, but feared she failed miserably. He sat there for a moment, chewing on his lip as he thought.

“I’m Ryan, by the way.” He finally said, holding out his hand for her to shake. Feeling unsure, she reached hers out and shook his hand.

“My name is Lillian, but everyone calls me Lily,” His smile returned to his face.

“That’s a lovely name. And fitting, too, considering you’re as pretty as one.” She blushed again at his charming words. “Do you want to go to a party with me, Lily?” She hesitated at his question.

“I don’t know if I should.”

“Why? Will your parents get mad?” Lily looked down at his words and began to examine her fingers.

“My parents are dead. I live with my Aunt and Uncle.” He nodded in response as a new heavy silence fell on them.

“So, would they get mad if you stay out late and have some fun with me?” Lily looked up as his words penetrated her mind.

“No,” she drew the word out as she evaluated, “I guess not.”

“Do you want to go to a party with me?” He repeated his question when she failed to give a definitive answer. “It’s Friday night. No school tomorrow so we can stay out as late as we want.” Lily looked at him, excitement replacing the nervousness in her stomach. She had never been invited to a party before. She knew she shouldn’t, she would most likely get in trouble. But her Aunt hated having her around her perfect children and her Uncle didn’t even seem to know that she still lived there.

“Okay. I’ll go. But I need to change my clothes first.” She grinned as he broke out another one of his dazzling smiles.

“Fabulous.” He turned forward facing again and reached to pull the car back in drive.

“Where do you live?”

“Actually, I have some clothes with me. I’ll just run inside here real quick and change in the bathroom.” She looped her arm through one of the straps on her backpack and reached for the door handle once more.

“Even more fabulous.” Ryan put the car back in park and turned the engine off. Lily climbed out of the car and turned her head when she heard Ryan do the same. She looked at him questioningly, wondering in her head what he was doing. “I’m just going to get us some drinks. Do you like Coke?”

“I don’t need anything. Thank you though.” She replied, feeling awkward about him buying her things. She rushed in the building, Ryan not far behind her, and headed straight for the bathroom. She dressed in the dingy coldness, trying her best not to let her clean old clothes touch the dirty floor.

Lily walked back into the main part of the store and looked around for Ryan. Her heart began to hammer when she didn’t see him anywhere. She walked out the door, the bell jingling as it moved, and looked to where he had parked. Her heart fell into the acid abyss of her stomach and her eyes began to fill when she saw that the only thing in the spot was an oil stain. She turned away from the spot, hiked her bag on her shoulders, and began to walk to her home.

A sudden car honk brought her to an abrupt stop and she spun around in the direction it came from. She smiled when she saw that he had pulled up to a pump and was standing next to the hose sticking out of the back of his car. She rushed over to where he was, both of their faces displaying large grins.

“Didn’t think I left, did you?” He asked her, his smile never leaving his face. Lily didn’t immediately respond. Instead, her eyes took in the sight of him leaning against his sleek car, his arms crossed in front of his chest. His muscles bulged even more through his tight shirt as the soft wind blew his hair. She swallowed the saliva that had gathered in her mouth and forced her eyes to meet his.

“Of course I didn’t.” She tried her best to appear as if his absence hadn’t caused any due stress. They stared at each other as the pump continued to eat away his dollars. The handle clicked and the pump stilled. Ryan pushed himself off away from his car and pulled the nozzle out before recapping his tank. Lily walked around to the other side and dropped back in the front seat. Ryan slid into his seat as she closed her door and eyed her backpack on her lap. Without saying a word, he reached over, plucked it from her legs, and tossed it in the back.

“That’s better, right?” She laughed at him, but her eyes followed her bag all the way back. She was still eyeing her bag, wishing it was back on her lap, when she heard a click followed by a hiss. She turned back around and found an opened Coke held out to her. All at once, she felt like she hadn’t had anything to drink in days. Without a second thought, she accepted the drink and began to down it. Ryan smiled at her compliance as he fiddled with some garbage in the front pocket of his jeans. He watched her as she chugged half the bottle down before pausing to take a breath. Laughing, he strapped his seat belt on and ignited the quiet engine.

Ryan pulled away from the pump, turning right out of the exit, and headed for the highway. They talked the entire way. Ryan led most of the conversation and locked his eyes with her more often than he kept them on the road. Lily grasped just enough of what he was saying to keep up, but was more distracted by his appearance. She could feel her heart falling for him. She soon began to feel drowsy and it wasn’t long before she lost the ability to focus on the conversation she was able to understand before. Ryan looked over at her when she didn’t answer his question and saw that she was slumped in her sleep with her forehead pressed to the window.

“Are you alright? Do I need to pull over for you?” He asked her, a look of concern on his face.

“No, I think I’ll be alright. I’m just tired all a sudden. And my head feels a little fuzzy. I must have stayed up too late last night.” She slurred. Closing her eyes, she didn’t see the faint smile of triumph on Ryan’s face. She had no idea that he was taking her far away from the life she knew.

When Lily woke up again, she realized two things in an instant. One, that they were somewhere she had never been before. They were parked in front of a large house with an expansive lawn all around it. If being somewhere new wasn’t confusing enough, the scenery was even worse. They were definitely not in the city anymore and no matter where she looked, she only saw trees. The second thing she realized was that it was now dark. This confused her even more. They had left the gas station no later than five in the afternoon, and now it appeared almost midnight. She sat up in her seat, an odd staleness on her tongue, and rubbed her messed up hair with one of her hands. She was looking at the house when Ryan’s voice came from the driver’s seat, making her jump out of her skin.

“Good morning, sleepy head. Did you sleep well?” He laughed, his hands still on the ignition key he had just turned off. Lily looked around to him and her brain became foggier, a headache formed from trying to think too fast.

“I guess. How long was I out?” A note of panic escaped her lips as she spoke, causing a hint of a blush to creep on her cheeks.

“About six hours. You didn’t miss much. I was only driving us here.” He told her, shrugging his shoulders as if this was a normal occurrence in his daily life.

“Where is here?” Again, she looked at the house.

“This is my buddy Tony’s house. He’s having a party while his folks are out of town. Although that part doesn’t matter much, they let him throw parties when they are home. It just comforts other people when they’re not here.” He opened up his door, letting in a blast of cold night air, chilling Lily to her bones. She instinctively folded her arms around herself and slumped back in her seat to escape the chill. Ryan leaned back down to look in the car, smiling his most charming smile at her.

“Are you coming silly? Or did you come all this way to fall back asleep?” He laughed and closed the door on her, cutting off the howling wind. Determined to not appear like a child, she opened up her door, bracing herself for the second cold blast. She grabbed her coke, jumped out, and sprinted over to him at the top of the porch steps. He laughed at her and wrapped his arm around her shoulders as she took a large swig of her drink. Without bothering to knock, Ryan opened the door and ushered her in the large entryway. She was engulfed in the welcomed warmth as he shut the door. A teenage boy emerged from another room where loud laughter and music was coming from.

“Hey, man! You made it!” The boy walked over and slapped Ryan’s back before looking at Lily.

“Lily, this is Tony. Tony, this is Lily.”

“I’m charmed to meet you, Lily. Welcome to my humble abode.” With a flourish, Tony swept into a bow and kissed the top of her extended hand. She giggled at his behavior and immediately felt welcomed.

“Are you two thirsty? We have beer and some hard liquor.” Tony asked, straightening back up.

“We’re fine. We both had some coke on the way here.” Tony nodded in understanding as another teenage boy came down the stairs.

“Hey! About time asshole.” He too slapped Ryan on the back as a way of greeting.

“Erick, Lily. Lily, Erick.” Lily smiled at him, barely suppressing a giggle.

“Before I forget, Ryan. There’s something I wanted to show to you upstairs.” Tony remembered as he headed to the second floor. Ryan looked down at Lily, his arm wrapped once more around her shoulders.

“Let’s follow him. I’m sure it’s something good.” Lily nodded, a giggle escaping her lips. Her brain felt fuzzy again, but this time she couldn’t help but find everything funny. She allowed him to steer her up the steps and down the dark hallway to a large bedroom off to the side. Erick followed close behind them and shut the door, cutting off the only light source to the hallway. It took her drowsy eyes a moment to adjust to the sudden light change. A lamp near the bed provided the light in the room, not quite reaching all corners of the dark blue walls. Lily looked around her in a haze, her head spinning circles now. She stumbled over to the bed and sat down, holding her head in both hands, trying to steady her spinning world. She looked at Ryan’s face as he bent over in front of her. A look of concern was on his face as his lips formed words that she could no longer hear. With one final spin, she blacked out and fell back on the bed.

Ryan heard his two buddies laughing behind him as he studied her. She wasn’t any prettier than the girls at his school, but she had something about her that made her stand out. Her body was slender but toned and her blonde hair fell in beautiful natural curls around her pretty face. Her green eyes had been what stood out the most for him. They were the color of the greenest grass on an Irish hill in the springtime. They were the green of emeralds. A green he wanted all for himself.

“Hey, are we going to do this or what?” He heard Tony ask him. He didn’t turn around immediately, still staring at her body splayed on the bed. He looked at Erick holding a lighter under a metal spoon and Tony tightening a rubber tube around his upper arm. Ryan gazed back at Lily, still passed out, and finally answered Tony’s question.

“Yeah. We’re still doing this. Pass me a tube.” He held out his hand behind him and felt someone place it in his grip.

“Is she a virgin?” Erick asked.

“Most likely.” Ryan tied the tube on her left arm, not caring how rough he was. “Definitely not a druggie. I don’t think she even drinks. She has no problem taking off with strangers though.” The boys snickered. “Tonight will change all that though.” A smile crept on his face. His handsome features darkened, as he turned completely around to face his buddies.

“Pass the needle. And tonight, I’m first.” Erick complied with his request, his empty needle still in his hand. Ryan turned back around, his left hand fiddling with the button on his pants as he climbed on the bed. Ominous muffled noises filled the house, replacing all laughter. The house stood dark and still as the tape of party noises continued to play in the empty living room down the stairs and across the hall.

The Twins

I know. It’s Wednesday. A few days ago, while I was driving to work, I wrote yesterday’s blog post. In my head. By the time I got to work, I forgot what the subject was let alone what I was going to say. And I haven’t been able to remember it in the days since. Must have meant it was a boring subject. Oh well. But that meant that I had nothing for yesterday. And suddenly I needed to think of something else.

A few weeks ago, I caved. I had joined Tumblr a few years ago, but did absolutely nothing with it. And a few weeks ago, I started doing stuff. And I found that it was incredibly FUN. And now I’m addicted. While I write because I enjoy writing (and I immensely love cackling when I kill fictional people), I do want to make it my only source of money. I know, good luck Krysteen. But seriously. I would love to be a full time writer. Easier said than done. But in order to achieve this goal, I kind of need to market myself. Which means joining social media sites that I had been avoiding (0n purpose) for so long. So now I am on twitter and Tumblr. I am learning to enjoy twitter for its simplicity and ease of use (and I’m getting better at this hashtag nonsense) and I’m openly embracing everything I find on Tumblr.

My favorite thing about both of these sites has to be all the amazing writing things I find. From prompts to advice, from authors to publishing platforms. Holy cow! I can’t believe I allowed myself to keep my head in the sand for so long. This stuff is so awesome. There are more of these kinds of things on Tumblr though, most likely because of the whole character limit twitter has. And last night, I tried my very first intentional flash fiction. I’ve written short pieces before, but not since I discovered that flash fiction was an actual thing, so I am going to consider this my first. So, now, I give you…

The Twins

rigor_mortis_1

He woke up early the next morning, the bedclothes still tousled, his skin prickling with the memories of the night before. He slowly sat up as he rubbed the sleep out of his eyes, looking around him for them.

Congratulating himself on not only his manly feat, but for also getting rid of them without the morning after awkwardness, he pulled on his pajama pants and walked out of his bedroom door.

His hallway was gone.

“What the fuck.” His mind instantly cleared as his eyes adjusted to the sudden dimness. His boring, small, white painted hallway had been replaced with what looked like the hallway of an abandoned insane asylum. Curiosity drowned out the nagging fear and he walked out the door. The door to his bedroom slammed shut behind him and seemed to melt away into the moldy walls. His skin prickled again, this time for something less pleasurable. He turned back around as a lone light began to flicker just outside his vision. His heart dropped as his eyes fell on them.

The twins. The ones he had pursued for months stood halfway down the dank, moldy hall lined with barred doors. The light above them flickered in a slow rhythm.

Flick.

Pause.

Flick. Flick. Flick.

Pause.

The light was driving him mad. But not as mad as the twins. They stood there in complete silence.

In complete stillness.

Fear rolled in waves all over his mind and body. His eyes darted all around him.

Barred door to his right.

Twins.

Flickering light.

Twins.

The black pool of water in the corner.

Twins.

Flick.

Twins.

Pause.

Twins.

Flick. Flick. Flick.

Twins.

He couldn’t take it anymore. He screamed. He yelled for them to leave. He yelled for them to stop. He yelled for them to do something, anything.

The beautiful twins. He just couldn’t believe it. Last night they were your classic beauties. Almond shaped hazel eyes. Chestnut hair. Creamy skin. Bubbly personalities. And the skimpiest clothing you had ever seen.

Now they looked drastically different, but he knew it was them. Their eyes were still the same. Hair dripping in gunk. Sullen expressions. Grey skin. But the eyes. They looked like demons in their blood stained nightgowns. How could their eyes be so human?

His heart beat faster as the light flickered faster.

Flick.

Flick. Flick. Flick.

Flick.

Flick. Flick. Flick.

He knees trembled. His palms dripped. His eyes bulged.

Feeling close to tears, and madness, he looked at the twins once more, hatred burning through his being. He yelled once more.

Nothing came out.

The light stopped flickering.

The twins slowly smiled.

Tears filmed over his eyes.

Slowly, they turned their heads to look at each other, the smiles on their faces growing to disproportionate sizes.

His knees buckled as he began to sob. Apologies fell on deaf ears. The light flickered, out of control.

Suddenly they were staring him down, the grins and sullenness replaced by a piercing anger.

Flick.

Flick.

Flick.

Flick.

Flick. Flick. Flick. Flick. Flick. Flick. Flick. Flick. Flick. Flick. Flick. Flick. Flick. Flick. Flick. Flick. Flick. Flick. Flick. Flick. Flick. Flick. Flick. Flick. Flick. Flick.

Suddenly their faces changed. Their mouths opened up wide, taking up the majority of their faces. A vacuum like sound issued from deep in their throats. Rows of teeth moved in alternating circles.

Then they screamed.

The ground shook.

The walls shook.

His inner ear burst.

His closed his eyes in the pain. When he opened them, they were right in front of his face. He screamed as the light burst.

Back at the bar, Jerry reached out for his beer as someone sat down on either side of him.

Taking a sip of the foamy broth, he turned his head right and raised his eyebrows at the pretty brunette.

“Hi!” She giggled as he placed his beer on the counter.

“Well howdy there.” He couldn’t smile large enough at her eagerness. She giggled again.

“I’m Tina.” He opened his mouth to respond.

“And I’m Gina.” His head spun around a little too fast. There on his left side was a replica of Tina. He grinned from ear to ear.

“Well ladies,” he spread his arms out and wrapped them around their shoulders. “how do you feel about Texans?”

The twins giggled.

Chloe’s Character Bio

Chloe! She’s the last of my character bios (I didn’t feel like the other characters needed a full blown bio). Chloe is the daughter of Ryan and Lily. She. Is. A. Cutie. Pie. Your average little cute 5 year old. She doesn’t really have a huge role in the story, but she is probably the most important character…. for reasons (I can’t say without spoiling anything).

Chloe

Isn’t she cute?! I got all of these pictures from Google. This little girl is exactly what I’ve thought Chloe would look like. 

NAME: Chloe Jane Withers (Born Chloe Jane Vanderbilt)

NICKNAME: Chloe

DATE OF BIRTH: July 20, 2011

DATE OF DEATH: N/A still alive

ZODIAC SIGN: Cancer

PLACE OF BIRTH: Owego, NY; born in the hallway of the apartment complex

PLACE OF DEATH: N/A still alive

RESIDENCE (PAST AND PRESENT): Born in Owego, NY; lived in a foster home for GENERAL APPEARANCE: Super cute. Small for her age (5). Locks of curly chestnut brown hair with golden highlights (from Ryan), vivid green eyes (from Lily). Big smile with dimples on both cheeks. Very pale porcelain like skin (from Lily).

HEIGHT: 3’3”

WEIGHT: 35-40 lbs

CLOTHING CHOICES: Second hand items, but generally clothing that is well taken care of and is on the cute side (more dresses and other stylish items instead of just jeans and plain shirts).

HAIR COLOR: Chestnut brown with golden highlights (from Ryan); loose curls (from Lily)

HAIR LENGTH: Long. Touches butt.

EYE COLOR: Vivid green (from Lily)

HANDEDNESS: Left

JEWELRY/TATTOOS/SCARS: None

ROLE IN THE STORY: Child of villain and heroine. Minor, but plot does revolve around her existence.

KEY RELATIONSHIPS: Ryan is her dad, Lily is her mom. No other family. Stays with the Williams during story.

EDUCATION: Has just started kindergarten at Nathan T. Hall Elementary in Newark Valley, NY

WORK HISTORY: N/A

SKILLS: Being cute.

PHOBIAS/FEARS: A small fear of the dark, nothing outside of normal childhood fears.

BAD HABITS/VICES: None.

QUIRKS: None

BEST QUALITIES: She’s compassionate like her mom. She genuinely cares for other people and worries about the welfare of Lily and the friends they have made in her short little life.

WORST QUALITIES: She is like most 5 year olds, throws tantrums, can get a little greedy and selfish.

KEY CHILDHOOD EXPERIENCES: She becomes possessed by her dad when one of his bugs bites her in the beginning of the book. While it is not a full possession, it is enough that he can easily control her. She is used as an instrument in her dad’s mission to bring Lily down so that he can gain control of the world without her there to stop him. She is able to break this spell when her love for her mom beats her dad’s hold.
KEY TEENAGE EXPERIENCES: N/A

KEY ADULT EXPERIENCES: N/A

SEXUAL BACKGROUND: N/A

FAVORITES: Candy, unicorns, rainbows, pink, bows, sparkles, and dresses.

GOALS AND MOTIVATIONS: N/A

MORALITY/ETHICS: She has learned the basic code of life, no lying, cheating, or stealing. She is honest about lying, refuses to steal, and does her best to be a good person.

STYLE OF SPEECH: She is articulate for a young child, but does make little mistakes in her sentence formations.

WORDS/SLANG/JARGON: None.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: While is a model child at this age, once she is bitten, her personality slowly changes to the complete opposite. She becomes moody, she hits a few people including Lily, she destroys things, and she becomes angry. These little fits on unusualness don’t last long, but don’t go unnoticed either.

Lily’s Character Bio

So last week I posted the bio of my villian, Ryan. This week, I’m posting the bio of my heroine, Lily. Take Ryan, think of the complete opposite, and you basically have Lily. Ryan is fun for me to write, but I absolutely LOVE Lily. Out of everyone in the book, she is probably my favorite.

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This is Dove Cameron. She is beautiful. This is the closest I could find for my image of Lily. Lily is slightly less glamorous than Dove and her personality doesn’t really allow others to easily see her beauty, but it’s not far off.

NAME: Lillian Rose Withers

NICKNAME: Lily

DATE OF BIRTH: March 11, 1994 (17 at time of death, passes herself off as 22 during most of book)

DATE OF DEATH: July 20, 2011

ZODIAC SIGN: Pisces

PLACE OF BIRTH: Cayuga Medical Center, Ithaca, NY

PLACE OF DEATH: Owego, NY

RESIDENCE (PAST AND PRESENT): Bedford, NY (while alive), Newark Valley, NY (while dead)

GENERAL APPEARANCE: She has a small frame, but with some curve to her hips, butt, and a size C bra size. She is mostly ordinary looking, but is known for her vivid green eyes. Pale porcelain-like skin. She burns in the sun so she is diligent about sunscreen. Average natural blonde hair.

HEIGHT: 5’5”

WEIGHT: 125 lbs

CLOTHING CHOICES: Nothing that stands out. Plain t shirts, jeans, and sneakers. She lives with an inattentive aunt and uncle who refuse to really support her so doesn’t have access to anything costly and is used to second hand items. Associates wealth and grandeur with expensive brand name clothing.

HAIR COLOR: Natural honey blonde.

HAIR LENGTH: Long; goes to bra clasp (mid back); loose curls

EYE COLOR: Green (grass green)

HANDEDNESS: Right

JEWELRY/TATTOS/SCARS: Pierced ears (normal holes only); no other piercings, wears plain cheap studs. No tattoos. No important scars.

ROLE IN THE STORY: Heroine.

KEY RELATIONSHIPS: Ryan (villain) is the only boyfriend she’s ever had. No parents. Lived with an aunt and uncle after parents died. Chloe; her daughter. Tony and Erick are Ryan’s friends but she used to hang out with them all the time so she knows them, but she does not like them.

EDUCATION: Bedford Central School District: Fox Lane High School. No college, doesn’t even ever plan on going to a college.

WORK HISTORY: She started working when she was 11 by doing little odd jobs for people around the neighborhood; housecleaning, lawn care, dog walking, etc. When she turned 16, she got a job at a local fast food joint (specification not needed). After she dies, she forms her own small business of selling handmade crocheted items (blankets, hats, booties, etc.; she learned this school at a local craft store)

SKILLS: Crochet (learned skill to help make money). She is very empathetic; she is able to relate to people on a more intimate level without having known them for very long. She is very creative so making things out of her mind with her hands is easy for her. She is also musically inclined and in the first year of her death, she uses singing to calm Chloe down and make herself happy. Very hard working and is willing to do anything to survive.

PHOBIAS/FEARS: Ryan, mostly. She avoids confrontation as much as possible. Ryan represents dominance, tyranny, and intimidation. She fears people who use their strength and position to beat others down, but she is not the greatest at recognizing it because she is always looking for the good in others.

BAD HABITS/VICES: Picked up smoking while with Ryan. Even dead, she feels weird sudden urges for a smoke.

QUIRKS: She looks down/cowers/attempts to take up as little space as possible when put in a negative situation. Think of a dog cowering with his tail between his legs when he’s in trouble.

BEST QUALITIES: Compassion. She looks for the good in people.

WORST QUALITIES: No backbone; she doesn’t know how to stand up for herself. Bad self-esteem. Gullible.

KEY CHILDHOOD EXPERIENCES: Doesn’t have any parents. Her dad killed her mom during a very vocal fight when she was 2 before he killed himself, but she was too young to remember anything. She was taken in by her dad’s sister and her husband, but was never happy. While they were more well off than not, they refused to give her anything more than the basics, convinced that she was going to be a druggie nobody like her parents and didn’t want to waste their money on her. They ignored her as much as possible and kept her existence a secret. (Think Harry Potter at the Dursleys).

KEY TEENAGE EXPERIENCES: She meets Ryan at the end of her junior year. She immediately falls into a relationship based off of abuse, sexual torture, extreme secrets, and drugs. She is somehow still able to complete school. Not long after meeting Ryan, he convinces her to claim emancipation with promises of providing for her so she wouldn’t have to work anymore. She agrees and her aunt and uncle don’t put up a fight. She moves into Ryan’s; he got an apartment to do his dirty stuff in and keep secret. They stay there for just a little bit. When Ryan has to ‘go to college’ at the end of August, he moves them and Tony and Erick further upstate to Owego to the apartment that they had been keeping for about a year to do their drug and prostitute peddling in. Owego provides the perfect place to take drug deliveries and then spread the drugs in the local community. She reluctantly participates in the drug business, but refuses to be a part of anything else; Ryan internally acknowledges that she is not a good candidate for murder secrecy. She is high and very pregnant when she goes into labor and dies.

KEY ADULT EXPERIENCES: She dies at 17 but comes back as a fully functioning dead person. Her body and her spirit (deformed from death) are separated; her body is buried and her spirit goes in the real world as if she is truly alive. She is able to hide her dead appearance with meticulous makeup. Because she isn’t in her original body anymore, she doesn’t continue to rot and therefore does not smell. But she has no real need to breathe either (though she does it out of habit). She steals Chloe from the foster home after killing Paula and runs off to Newark Valley and finds an abandoned hunter’s cabin in the woods on the edge of town. This cabin is hidden from the road and she is able to establish new identities for them. She starts her own small business selling crocheted items.

SEXUAL BACKGROUND: Ryan is the only partner she has ever had (and the rape from Tony and Erick).

FAVORITES: She loves all music; will listen to anything. She loves pasta the most, but isn’t too picky about anything else, or is usually too polite to complain about not liking something. Her favorite colors are green and blue. She is a romantic at heart and loves romance books and movies.

GOALS AND MOTIVATIONS: She is motivated by anything happy and/or beautiful. As a teen, her goal is to earn money with her singing, get married, and have a lot of children. As an adult, her goal is to provide for her daughter before her stolen time on Earth is up.

MORALITY/ETHICS: She is highly moral, follows the same kindness code children generally follow. She doesn’t say anything if she doesn’t have something nice to say. She doesn’t lie, cheat, or steal (this changes when she dies and needs to steal makeup to hide her dead appearance, though she makes up for this by giving extra merchandise or selling cheaper).

STYLE OF SPEECH: Slight New York accent. But nothing notable otherwise. Does not appear uneducated.

WORDS/SLANG/JARGON: Nothing of notice. Does not use y’all. Says soda, not pop.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: The relationship between Ryan and Lily is the definition of domestic abuse. Both come from abusive families themselves and aren’t able to recognize it themselves. She is unable to stand up for herself during their relationship due to her background and personality, but learns her value as Chloe grows up and as she spends more time away from his influence. When she first reaches the cabin, she searches every inch she can of it and finds a small stash of money (just a couple hundred dollars). While this is not much, it does help her a little bit. She is forced to ignore her conscience and has to resort to theft to get basic beauty needs (hair care, body wash, and makeup) to hide her appearance as well as clothes, and she has to steal quite a bit of baby stuff for Chloe (clothing, diapers, wipes, body stuff, and formula). Once she has these basics, she is able to take a bus to a town called Vestal to try to find a job and maybe a different place to live. She prefers the cabin she found, because of its secrecy, but knows that it might not work for them because her daughter will need to eat. While there, she is able to take a crochet class at a Michaels; they even let her bring Chloe to the classes. She quickly excels in these classes and is able to produce make different things that she is able to market and sell in her new town (Newark Valley). There are a couple little mom and pop stores there that have contracts with her. While this does not bring in a bunch of money, it brings in enough that she doesn’t have to find another job to sustain their living. Around the time of the fire, Lily had been researching on expanding her business online; she had learned how to make her own patterns and was interested in selling these patterns on Etsy (this allowed her to do something she had come to love without having to worry about having to crochet on demand or hold stock of items that may never sell). Even after the fire, this seems like one of the best courses for her to take, though it isn’t exactly the thing she’s worried about. She still doesn’t buy anything first hand, everything comes from thrift shops. She learns to grow her own food and tends her own garden to help keep food costs down (she doesn’t have to eat, but does for appearance sake).

Ryan’s Character Bio

I have a secret. I must admit, I love writing Ryan’s character. I mean, he’s a dick, but the dicks are so much more entertaining to write…..and then (usually) kill. I’m not saying that he dies though. You’ll just have to find that out for yourselves.

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NAME: Fitzwilliam Ryan Vanderbilt II

NICKNAME: Ryan

DATE OF BIRTH: August 1, 1992 (19 at death)

DATE OF DEATH: July 20, 2011

ZODIAC SIGN: Leo

PLACE OF BIRTH: Northern Westchester Hospital Mt Kisco, NY

PLACE OF DEATH: Owego, NY

RESIDENCE (PAST AND PRESENT): Chappaqua, NY (while alive), Newark Valley, NY (while dead)

GENERAL APPEARANCE: He’s sexy. Chiseled jaw. High cheekbones. Pink lips that are the perfect size for kissing. Angular nose. Thick, yet shaped, eyebrows. And very striking dark grey eyes. Very toned body (v near crotch). He’s tanned but not artificially, and he never freckles or burns.

HEIGHT: 6’2”

WEIGHT: 160 lb

CLOTHING CHOICES: Anything expensive yet stylish. Likes to look wealthy. (blazer, polos, slacks) But also tries to blend in enough that others feel like they can talk to him (jeans with dressy shirts, the most expensive sneaker, sometimes the expensive ragged stuff)

HAIR COLOR: Chestnut brown with golden highlights

HAIR LENGTH: Short, but with some length so that the wind can shift it and fingers can play with it

EYE COLOR: Dark grey, steely

HANDEDNESS: Left

JEWELRY/TATTOS/SCARS: No jewelry, ever. No tattoos. One small scar (cigar burn from father) on the front of his chest between his shoulder and collar bone, left side (is able to convince everyone that he was shot saving a woman from a rapist)

ROLE IN THE STORY: Villain

KEY RELATIONSHIPS: Doesn’t let anyone get close enough to form any real relationship, but has two “best” friends, Tony and Erick, and has a child (Chloe) with Lily. No parental relationship other than familial obligations. No love interests at all (unless you count himself).

EDUCATION: Horace Greeley High school. Had a full scholarship for Harvard, but never went. He receives his monthly inheritance from his parents’ estate and lives easily off of that.

WORK HISTORY: None, he’s rich by inheritance, doesn’t need to work ever.

SKILLS: Extremely charismatic. Manipulative, charming, and is able to make everyone around him comfortable and social.

PHOBIAS/FEARS: His father in some basic human way, but generally idolizes his father’s dark side. His big fear is being anything less than extraordinary/ the best/ anywhere close to average or forgettable.

BAD HABITS/VICES: He smokes and does other drugs (mostly coke). No alcohol, he fears that liquor will bring out his true nature and destroy everything he has worked for.

QUIRKS: His smile is perked on the right side when he is deliberately trying to be manipulative. He flicks his hair off his forehead slightly when he’s trying to be alluring. And he crosses his arms when shows his dominance (Lily visibly shrinks from this).

BEST QUALITIES: He’s sexy as hell. The devil should be ashamed.

WORST QUALITIES: Everything else about him. He believes his life’s purpose is to become higher than everyone else and deliberately crushes other people’s lives. Loves to torture and destroy (drugs, rape, even murder).

KEY CHILDHOOD EXPERIENCES: His father was a serial psychopath who raped, tortured, and killed young girls (16-23). They are very similar in personality, his father was a state Congressman and used his position to hide his true nature and going ons. His father once burned him with a cigar when he forgot to knock before entering “The Room”. (The Room is where his father did his work. His wife knew on a very deep subconscious level, she was brainwashed and abused by him herself, and he invited Ryan to join him once he reached the age of 12). These experiences mixed with bad genes led him to be who he is now.

KEY TEENAGE EXPERIENCES: Ryan took over the ‘family business’ when his father was arrested and executed. At the end of his senior year, he meets Lily. From the first moment he thinks she’s pretty, but easily sees that she is the perfect girl to fulfill the role of obedient girlfriend (like his mom was for his dad). He uses calculated conversations and manipulation to convince her to go with him to a party at a friend’s house. Before they go, he stops on a gas station to get some drinks. While she dresses, he puts a few sleeping pills in her soda. This knocks her out and he drives her a few hours north to the party where a cd of fake party noises is playing and takes her upstairs where he first injects her with coke and then rapes her along with Tony and Erick. Because of his lifelong training in manipulation and torture, he is able to make her do what he wants without much of a fight. They move up north to Owego when he should have left for college; instead of taking full advantage on his free ride, he continues to milk his inheritance and chooses to live an easy party life. This is where he differs from his dad; while his father would have gone to college to make the important connections he would have needed to gain more power and wealth (as well as a new hunting ground), he failed to see the importance of this and decided to become a rich druggie sociopath. While in Owego, he tortures, rapes, and sometimes kills prostitutes while he peddles drugs (he receives them from the city and has Tony and Erick sell them in the local community).

KEY ADULT EXPERIENCES: None. He dead.

SEXUAL BACKGROUND: Lost his virginity to a prostitute at 12, right before his dad helped him kill her. He is only able to be aroused and get off when torture and force is involved. Doesn’t find anything or anyone else attractive.

FAVORITES: He likes whatever is trending. He has no personal taste when it comes to music, movies, food, etc.

GOALS AND MOTIVATIONS: Domination. Power. Lust. Blood. All that stuff.

MORALITY/ETHICS: Anything opposite of good. Other people are his playthings.

STYLE OF SPEECH: Well educated. Is very selective about his words; everything he says is meant to manipulate any situation in his favor (pursuing victims, making friends, getting out of trouble).

WORDS/SLANG/JARGON: He only uses what is trending at that moment. He is not a trendsetter himself, but because he is always informed on the whole world, he is able to bring brand new trends to his circle soon enough that he is viewed as a trendsetter.

Monthly and Quarterly Goals

So I’m trying something new. I’m going to try a writing schedule filled with goals; daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly. This is pretty new to me, I prefer to write by the pants, but let’s face it, that’s not working out for me at all. So now I’m going to have a schedule. I’m still trying to get a feel for just how much I can accomplish between my daughter and my job (I do need to feed us). The first week I did this, I piled on way too much. Lesson learned. I got almost none of it done because I underestimated the amount of time the first task alone was going to take me. So for the first few months, I expect a lot of failed tasks.

I also plan on posting them here at least monthly. Accountability. Should work. Hopefully. But here goes!

Okay. I’m starting off with my quarterly goals. Because I’ve only recently decided to do this, I obviously had to wait until the beginning of April to start this one. So technically I’m starting in the second quarter of the year.

Goals for the Second Quarter of 2016:

  • Instagram challenge. To be honest, I have never even seen what an Instagram challenge looks like, so I’m not really confident in this one. But I would at least like to figure out what they are (I heard about them in a passing conversation).
  • Finish new rough draft. Okay. This one may seem slightly confusing because I was already about halfway through my rough draft the last time I posted. However, I was having a LOT of issues with the direction of my story. I felt like it lacked in a lot of things and I was having a hard time saying what I wanted to say. So, out of desperation, I looked at my entire outline again. And I discovered it was shit. Well, almost shit. It at the very least didn’t have enough oomph. I found plot holes, lack of character depth, and in a lot of it, too much unnecessary action that was a little misleading. So I rewrote it, almost. I only have to finish outlining the last four chapters. That alone shouldn’t take too long, the last eight or so chapters aren’t really changing all that much, I’m just adding more detail. This new outline is about three times longer than the old outline already. But I’m not changing too much about the story. There are three chapters that I’ve already written that I’ll need to completely trash and rewrite, but the rest of it could probably just be rewritten to work for what I now need. And most of what I haven’t written yet is all action, and that alone is exciting. I have faith that I can accomplish this task. It might be at the last minute, but I think I can do this one.
  • Research Bookbub promotion. I also heard about this one in a passing conversation, but I have already been exposed to Bookbub in general, so this one shouldn’t be too hard to do. I did a little research on this already today, and so far it sounds like something I will be doing, but not until the book is already launched so I have time.
  • Research editors. I started doing this about a week ago. And so far I’ve found that there are a lot of editors out there, but not a lot of them specialize in horror. I could pick a general fiction editor, but I think I would much prefer someone who does horror and maybe a couple other related genres. And I’m having a hard time finding someone I like – and I haven’t even looked at any prices yet (getting kind of nervous). –Psst. If you are or know someone who is a freelance editor that does editing for horror novels, please let me know in the comments section with links. I would greatly appreciate it.

Okay, so far all of my goals are writing goals. But I do have some personal goals as well. Might as well group them all in one so I’ll feel motivated to get them done as well.

  • Pay off all my debt. This may be too personal for some, but I feel more motivated to get my finances in order when I talk about them with people, for whatever reason. And I’ve already mostly gotten this done. Yay me! I have one account in collections left that I need to settle, but it’s my big one. It accounts for half of my total debt. And it makes me nervous. But now that I’ve gotten all of the other ones paid off, I feel excited to be one account away from being debt free. I haven’t been debt free since I started college way back when I was 18. I turn 27 next month. That’s a long time to be in debt have that much money stress pushed onto me. I got sick of it. So back in November, when my lease was up on my apartment, I moved back in with my parents. It sucked. It still sucks. But I couldn’t afford where I was living anymore. It was bad enough that if my lease hadn’t ended when it did, I probably would have had to borrow rent money from my parents. Not fun. So I moved back in with the intention of saving up my awesome earnings from work (Christmas time is my favorite time when it comes to my checks, they’re usually about $500 more per check) while I looked for a far more affordable option. I found one at the end of December. It had income limits, a washer and dryer in every unit, and it was affordable. I met the income requirements, I actually almost made too much. But when they processed my application, they wanted me to have a cosigner. What? I almost make too much money to live here and you want a cosigner? Well, that didn’t happen. The only people I would ever ask to cosign with me are my parents, and they are buying a house and couldn’t do that. So when that fell through, we came up with the idea of just buying a house. I would be paying just as much as if I rented, if not less, but it would be mine. Only problem is I had a substantial amount of debt. I have always intended to pay it off, honestly, but as an introvert, I didn’t want to call any of them. Talk to people? Me? Hell to the no. I wanted them to magically know my new address, assume I would want to pay the debt off (preferably at a discount), and send me a nicely written bill. Apparently, it doesn’t work like that. Boo. My dad is much more comfortable with that stuff and helped me through it.So this is where I am now. One more account and I’ll be debt free. Can I get a woot woot! ……woot woot.
  • Get a mortgage and a house. Or at least a house picked out. I know that technically this step takes time, but time is kind of working against me right now. My credit score is actually pretty good considering what’s on my report, but it’s not quite enough. However, I have found a government backed program that I qualify for that will help me; I just have to show proof that I’ve paid the accounts that I have paid because they haven’t fallen off yet. The reason time is running against me is because also next month, my daughter turns five. Which means in September, she’ll be starting school. I have never intended on pulling her from any school she starts and I don’t like the idea of enrolling her in the current school district we live in only to transfer her somewhere else after a few months. I feel like I need to get a mortgage and find a house soon. Like really soon. It’s a little stressful actually.

So those are my quarterly goals. All in honesty, that selfie should have been a goal. I hate taking pictures of myself. Don’t even really like the word selfie and hashtags are painful. Here’s to hoping I accomplish all of them. Now for my monthly goals for April!

  • Rewrite outline. Should be done tonight. Yay!
  • Rewrite chapters 1-9 and the prologue. Right now, I have a prologue. In my new rough draft, my prologue will become chapter 1 because it’s only a page shorter than my current average chapter length. Even if this ends up changing so that it’s shorter than the rest, I’ll keep it as chapter 1. Which means all the other chapters will be pushed back by one. It will still only be nine chapters though because I completely cut out one of the old chapters because it is no longer applicable.
  • Do character maps for my main characters – Ryan, Chloe (oh hey, I renamed Lizzie), and Lily. I’m ashamed. I never did these to begin with even though I had them all thought out in my head. I will never make this mistake again.
  • Do mini character maps for secondary characters – Tony, Erick, Hannah, and Gideon. These characters have more substance than background characters, but don’t need to be as fleshed out as my main characters.

And that’s it! This week I only planned on finishing my outline. But because I’ll probably have that done by one tonight, I should be able to do at least one character map too. I would like to have all the main character maps done by the end of this week, but I’m not sure I’ll be able to do that. Today is my last day off and I’ll be working 10+ hours for the next four days. In a warehouse. That’s exhausting.

Blogging will also be partly of my weekly goals. I haven’t picked a day yet, but I have a feeling it will be Tuesdays. I have a fixed work schedule and my days off are Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. They’ve reopened voluntary overtime right now and I plan on work half-shifts on Sundays so that day is out of the question (I tend to sleep all of Sundays anyway). My daughter has school on Mondays so I guess I could technically do it when she’s learning stuff then, but I’ve been using that time to work on my writing and researching marketing techniques and whatnot anyways and I would really like to keep doing that. So Tuesdays will most likely be my day. I could always schedule posts, but I’m not so sure about that one. We’ll see.

I guess that’s all I’ve got right now. See you next week!

My short stories are still on sale at Amazon! Check them out!

New Cover Photo

I have a new cover for “Come Find Me“! I’m pretty excited about it. A new cover, a new preorder, and the rolling ball gains momentum. Good things are happening. In case you’ve never checked out my short story “Come Find Me” before, here’s the old cover:

come find me

And here’s the new cover:

26965c08-152f-42fd-ac47-ca915699d164

Better, yes? i love it. It looks….. less…… homemade. Or more professional. Whatever you want to call it. I did kind of cheat with the new cover because I created it using Amazon’s cover creator and then just saved the image. But it’s alright. As long as it looks enticing.

Have a good day!

Find “Come Find Me” at B&N, iTunes, Smashwords, Kobo, and Amazon.

Preorder “He Loves Me Not” at B&N, iTunes, Smashwords, Kobo, and Amazon.