Just a Taste

I wrote this short story for the fictorians blog I write for occasionally. However, I have gone through and changed it a wee bit as I have learned a thing or two about writing.

So without further ado…Just a Taste:

The feeling the Iter gives me is unique. I have tried other drugs, of course, but the Iter is specific with its high. I see things that are unexplainable, things that any sane person would call disgusting. But since I am not sane, I continue to crave the dark and disturbing visions that the Iter gives me.

Some of us don’t survive the Iter. You die flying on a cloud of pure bliss as you fade into oblivion. Those of us who survive our first encounter are treated like kings and queens. We are rich beyond measure and could have anything we could ever dream of. Riches, cars, clothes, mansions, fame–anything we want, it is ours. It is the least they can offer us. But, after having the Iter, we want nothing but to feel the release and music it brings. We are the Iter’s muses, and we need it as much as it needs us. We are one.

I lie there with black leather pants and a dark lacy bra on. My hair is done in an elegant bun, and I have been painted with enough makeup that I might rival them for their beauty. I cannot feel anything from the neck down. All of the feeling in my body is gone. But for the time being, I can see things as they do. The world is brighter. The colors I can see are vast–more than any human brain can even begin to fathom. The first time I tried the Iter I wanted to cry at the beauty that surrounded me. But of course I couldn’t. I have no control of my body. I can do nothing but stare at the lovely room, and them.

The room is a garden in a large greenhouse near campus. The grassy ground is the most lovely shade of pure emerald green. I can see dew drops on the flower petals that surround me. I lie on a bed of fresh, blood-red roses on a table in the middle of the garden. The trees are of varying heights and colors. Pinks and reds, shades that I dream about when I am not here. The night sky is a dark purple, and the stars shine brighter than even the sun.

The mirror on the ceiling shows me the scars on my pale skin. They are of varying colors and age. The ones that mark my stomach are many sizes for different organs. I watch as they place plates and trays around my body, filled with bloodied meats and liquids. I am the main event tonight, the center of everyone’s attention. Therefore, my table is the most exquisite. I watch as the masked ones bring in the guests. They are the Elite, the powerful ones. They have paid more money than I could ever accumulate in a lifetime to be here. They are here to see me, to be able to be next to me. It is the highest honor to be the main event.

The music starts as the Iter takes hold, and I become its puppet. I am surrounded by a dozen of them. They are dressed in finery and expensive jewels. They whisper excitedly as they take in the spread on of the table, and their eyes rake over me hungrily. The chef welcomes them and introduces me: Elana Arravey, 20, of Norse descent. Diet: Sparkling water, strawberries, pineapples, and low protein. The crowd applauds excitedly. The chef murmurs a few words in their language, and then she cuts into me. Blood trickles down my chest as she cuts open my skin. Servants catch my blood in champagne flutes, and pass it out to the ravenous crowd. I feel the chef’s hand inside of my chest, as she reaches inside me, through my sternum, and grabs my heart. I watch as she pulls it from my chest. It pulses with life, blood squirting from the valves, painting the chef’s pale, white hand like fondue. It’s beautiful. She places my heart in a bowl.

The bidding starts at 1 million. I watch in the mirror as the heart is bid on by the room. The pulsing never stops, filling the bowl with my blood. The crowd grows frenzied as the bidding war continues. 2 million, 3, 4, 5 million. We are down to three guests left bidding. 6, 7, 8 million. Two guests. 9, 9.5, 10 million. Going once, twice, three times, sold!

My heart, sold for 10 million dollars. A hush goes over the room. It is rare that a heart goes for 10 million dollars, but it is the first time this organ has been touched. It is a trophy to take someone’s heart for the first time. The one that gets to taste my heart comes to claim his prize. I wish I could see him. I hear the crowd murmur their excitement as the chef takes the bowl from the servers and places my heart on a silver platter. I can hear him lick his lips as he reaches for my heart. I smile as he licks it, the blood dripping from his mouth. Just a taste.

It is over in mere seconds, as the chef whispers words in their language again and places my heart back into my chest. She positions her fingers over my wound, and my flesh magically closes. She motions for the servers to carry me away, into the kitchens. I want to cry out because I know my time on the Iter is coming to an end. My legs start to tingle as it wears off, and before I can ask for more, my world goes dark.

I awake in my bedroom, the alarm blaring like a foghorn. I open my eyes, everything around me blurry from the sleep in my eyes. I sigh as I sit up slowly and place my feet on the cold floor. My body is numb except for the dull ache in my chest. I smile at the pain, and start the shower.

 

What do ya’ll think? I am pretty proud of it. When I first shared this story with my friends their reactions please my dark soul.

“WTF AUBRIE?!”

“I can’t with you.”

“Only you Aubrie, only you.”

 

Those are just a few! Would this be a story you would read? I have been thinking of turning it into a full length novel and going from there. However, part of me thinks it should just stay a creepy and bizarre short story. What do ya’ll think? Does it leave you wanting more? Let me know in the comments! ❤

-Aubrie

My Story of Survival

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. I have struggled with whether or not I was going to post something or not. And here I am on April, 22 2017 getting my butt in gear and deciding to post about my experience. GAHHH! Its not that I am nervous to share my experience. I have never been shy about it. I was raped. I was raped by my ex boyfriend and his friends at a party. I have never shied away from detail because I am someone who believes in NOT shying away from the nitty gritty. Knowing details and talking about them in every aspect of my life has helped me overcome some of the greatest obstacles. So why would it be any different for ‘”my story?”

Well, I think I have figured out why I was shying away from talking about it. I think its because i didn’t want other people who I love and care about to either be hearing about it for the first time, or to have to relive it. But then I remembered that I relive it every time I go to sleep. Every time I hear about sexual assault and rape I relive it. Whoever there is a rape scene on TV, in movies, or books, I relive it. It wouldn’t be fair of me to not share my story to all of the other survivors of sexual assault who relive their worst nightmare every day. I need to speak out, my voice needs to be heard. Just lime every single survivor out there needs to be heard.

Now, when I was raped over and over again by my boyfriend and his friends I had been drugged. I cant even begin to explain the feeling of knowing what is happening to you, but not being able to do anything about it. And you know what? A drop of liquor hadn’t even touched my lips at that party. Not one. I drank a freaking Dr.Pepper. And even if i had something to drink RAPE IS NEVER OKAY. EVER. PERIOD.

They boys thought it would be hilarious to video tape it and send it to me a few days later. Not knowing if what I had experienced was real or if it was a dream When I got that video I knew it wasn’t a dream. I think deep down I knew it never was, but I wanted to deny it. My BF had broken up with me the next day after all of it happened. And the sick part was I still wanted to be with him. HE RAPED ME, LET HIS FRIENDS RAPE ME AND TAPED IT. And I still wanted to be with him. How disgusting is that? How freaking sad is it that I hated myself so much that I thought it was okay to be treated like that? The worst part is when I asked him why he did it, he responded “Because you deserved it.”

I will spare my friends and  family reading this the nitty gritty of all of it. Not because I am one to shy away, but because those of you who know the story in its entirety already know it, and those of you reading if you want to know more can email me. I am happy to answer any questions a curious mind has.

Anyway, after all of this happened I pined for this guy. It got so bad i dropped out of High School and started doing home school. I was severely suicidal, I was acting out at home, my life was a mess. I never told my parents what had happened until years later, and I am sure if I would have told them they would have gotten me the help I severely needed. I was sick and I was depressed. I needed help. But because I was so self-loathing I thought that I deserved it. Why would I seek help for something I deserved?

We moed away about a year after that, and I started over. I slowly learned to move past what happened. Or so i thought. It wasn’t until I had sex with my next boyfriend that I realized I didn’t want him to do certain things because it triggered memories. I had severe PTSD. From the age of 14-20 I suffered from it. Yet, I still slept with any guy who looked at me because I wanted to be punished. I wanted to feel the bad things, I wanted the self loathing and fear because I deserved it. He said I deserved it so I did. He had been so mentally abusive that up until my marriage to my husband, I honestly thought that all men wanted from me was sex. So that is what I gave them.

When I met my now husband I was 18. We of course had sex, and for a while it was beautiful. He treated me with a soft kinds that no one had ever done before. He was careful and sweet with me. I thought my PTSD might be over. Then one day it came back. I attacked my (bf) husband during the night, trying to fight him off of me. Trying to get back what dignity I had gained. When he was able to calm me down enough to make me realize it was him and not my ex I cried. I cried until the wee hours of the morning. He just held me a stroked my hair until I fell asleep.

My husband is the most patient and kind man I know. It has taken YEARS. But I can proudly say that I have worked through my PTSD and self-hate issues. I am free from the feelings of disgust in myself. Instead, they have turned to feelings of disgust for the boys who did this to me. For the boys who ruined my teen years. Disgust for anyone who would do that to another human being. I am a freaking survivor. While I still relive that day with great detail, I no longer shudder away from it. I relive it in all of its heinous detail because it makes me stronger. I replay that day because I want to remember everything that happened. I want to feel the hate and hides act that took place that day because I can use that hate and disgust to be strong. I can use it to move on and be the powerful woman I am today.

Not all survivors cope the same way I do. Some want to forget it. Some want to talk about it sparingly. It doesn’t matter how you cope. As long as you are coping. If I could look back at my 14 year old self and speak with her I would tell her that YOU MATTER. YOU ARE WORTHY. I never had the experience of people shaming me or not believing me. But I know there are other survivors that have. And I have something to say to you. I BELIEVE YOU. I AM HERE. Please, email me. Add me on FB I understand what you are going through. We need to stick together and be strong for each other and ourselves.

If you have a story and you are willing to share, please let me know. I would love to feature you on my blog for the rest of the month of April. It can be anonymous. We need to stick together, my friends.

#ISURVIVED #SURVIVOR #SEXUALASSULT

 

 

Guest Post: Sophia Probasco

New Beginnings By Sophia Probasco

 

The beginning of a story is not always exciting. For a long time though, I truly thought it was. My failed novels all started with the perfect idea: a flash of inspiration and understanding that inevitably came to me at the worst possible moment. Once during a funeral, once during an orgasm, and countless times in the dead of night when there was no paper around. The worst one, by far, was when I was 17. I woke up from a dream with the perfect idea for my novel. It was brilliant, I knew it. I grabbed a sheet of notebook paper from my back pack and scribbled the basics down, confident I would be able to fill in the blanks in the morning. I went back to sleep peacefully, sure in the knowledge that the premise of the next great American novel was sitting on my bedside table. I woke up rested and exhilarated, ready to start blocking out my plot, when I realized that I had written the entire idea on top of itself. Words scribbled in disorganized cursive, stacked one on top of the other in a spectacular disarray. It was completely illegible, and utterly disappointing. I still occasionally sit down and try to recall that story because I remember how it felt: hopefull, dramatic, adventurous, and fun. It remains lost to me, however, possibly forever.

That lost story is much like a lot of the dreams from my teenage years: full of potential but not enough follow through. It would be almost a decade before I realized that writing isn’t just fun and easy, and finding the right story to tell isn’t like finding a $20.00 bill in the street.

Instead, for me, it’s a lot more like growing fruit. Now that I’ve finally gotten around to actually writing something, and am working seriously on it, I can look back and see how well I have been watering this idea for years. Like any tree, it has been growing up and out of the earth, putting down roots, extending its branches, and creating sweet sap to nourish itself with before bearing fruit.

My character, Camilla, is able to exist so naturally in the world I’ve been building for her precisely because I’ve been thinking about it over a long period of time. She is a real thing, tangible and flawed, perfect in her own way, because I have stubbornly willed her into existence with night after night of writing and re-writing. I spend hours examining her-everything she is and everything she could be-with a magnifying glass. Her story comes from her. She is the fruit of the tree I have been growing, and without patience she simply would not exist. Camilla’s beginning wasn’t a flashy bomb of inspiration that hit me as I ran on the treadmill. Instead it was quiet and slow, like a flower blooming over days. It began so subtly in fact that I am not exactly sure where she came from. I only know that she is, and she has been for a very long time. I know her almost as well as I know myself, though she does still surprise me from time to time. Honestly, I am half in love with her. My hope is only to do her justice. I want to tell her story the way she wants it told, and share the beauty of her world with others because she is asking me to do so.

My Character’s struggles are mine and her pain is my pain. I have written a difficult scene and cried until I thought there was nothing left inside me to release. I have gloried in a kiss, and celebrated her victories as if they were mine. In some ways, my character and I are one, and sharing her with the world is a frightening thing. In others, I know that I am the creator of her storyline, and am capable of taking her places she doesn’t necessarily want to go.

Sometimes, in order to help her grow even more delicious and beautiful, I have to graft on a branch she doesn’t want to accept. If it’s a good idea, the graft takes and the story is the better for it. If not, it dies, and I have throw the deadweight into the burn pile, and prepare her to start again. Every time I remove dead branches It feels as if this story will never be finished. It can be disheartening to write for hours and come up for air at the end with nothing to show for it.

However, each new sentence is a new beginning, another hope, another opportunity for growth and satisfaction. Each page written fills out Camilla’s story a little more, and helps her to be more real, so that when its time she can befriend my readers and take them by the hand to lead them into her world, hopefully with very little resistance on their parts. Even the pages I discard are important, they are paths explored and found to be hostile. By process of elimination, I find my success. If I’ve done my job well, and watered the tree enough, Camilla’s story will engulf her audience, and when it is over they will feel both disoriented and fulfilled, like a part of her will stick with them forever. Her story becomes a part of theirs. This way, she can keep having beginnings every time someone new reads her book, for as long as humanity exists. That sort of connection is the closest we can get to eternity in this life, and I want it for Camilla. I want it for me: beginnings forever.

Interview with Author Leah Cypress

I was lucky enough to be able to interview fantasy author Leah Cypress. I met her back at Baltimore BookCon last September. She is so humble, sweet and talented! i am so grateful for this opportunity to be able to share a little bit about her here!

You can reach her here.

 

Are you traditionally published or self published? Why did you choose that path?

I’m mostly traditionally published. I did self-publish a collection of my previously-published short fantasy stories, and will probably self-publish another collection and maybe a novella soon.

When I started out, self-publishing wasn’t as viable an option as it is now. I’m also not a business-oriented person, and have a limited amount of time, so I would rather not sacrifice too much of my writing time toward the nuts and bolts of self-publishing. With that said, my eventual goal is to have a hybrid career. Both traditional publishing and self-publishing have their pluses and minuses, and some projects are better suited for one or the other.

 

When did you first become interested in storytelling?

Always! I wrote my first fiction story in first grade, and by third grade I was working on a “novel.” (It had no paragraph breaks, but it was very adventure-packed!)

 

What was your first book/story published?

My first short story was published when I was 17 years old, in a magazine called “Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Fantasy Magazine.” (It’s currently reprinted in my collection, “Changelings & Other Stories.”) My first book, “Mistwood,” was published in 2010, by HarperCollins.

 

What was the hardest part to write?

Sad scenes are the hardest for me to write. I love my characters and don’t want them to be sad! But as the author, I have to be brutal with them. 😉 That’s just how it goes…

 

What would your ideal career be if you couldn’t be an author?

Illustrator, probably, so I’d still be making books! Of course, in this hypothetical I’d have to actually possess some artistic talent.

 

Do you read reviews of you books? If so, do you pay any attention to them, or let them influence your writing?

I do read reviews, but I try to be judicious about it. Five-star reviews make me feel good about myself, and there’s some value to that, but it’s also easy to be taken in by your own good press. One or two star reviews usually means this book wasn’t meant for this reader, so I try to avoid them as much as possible. I try to take the feedback in three and four star reviews seriously, and to use them (cautiously) to assess the strengths and weaknesses in my writing and to think about how I can improve my next book.

 

What well-known writers do you admire most?

I can’t possibly answer this question — there are too many! To pick a couple at random: I admire Sarah Beth Durst for the variety and quality of her writing, I admire Sarah Rees Brennan for her mix of humor and tension and her skill at pulling off trilogies, and I admire Tana French for her ability to completely immerse herself in so many different types of characters. I also admire Swati Avasthi because I think her debut, Split, is one of the best contemporary YA books I’ve ever read.

 

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

  1. Love the writing for the writing; don’t think about publishing until the writing is over. 2. Get a critique group! 3. As the last step in revising, read your entire manuscript out loud.

 

Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

Not deliberately, but there are a couple of things I put in for my own amusement and the amusement of the few who will get them.

 

What are common traps for aspiring writers?

I think the most common trap is taking the advice of established writers too seriously. Everybody in this industry, no matter how successful, really only knows a little slice of what’s going on. If anyone ever says, “THIS is the one way to write a good book/become successful,” they probably don’t know what they’re talking about.

 

What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

When I was working on Mistwood, my critique partners all told me that the book didn’t have a good sense of place. I was going to Israel for a friend’s wedding, so I arranged for a stopover in England and spent a couple of days running around the country writing descriptions of castles. It was super fun and it paid off! But even if it hadn’t, I think money spent to travel is always money well spent, especially for a writer. It opens your mind to new creative ideas, and broadens your understanding of the kinds of stories there are to tell.

 

What is your current binge watch?

Speechless. I’m pretty picky with sitcoms, but when I find one I like, I just stream it until there’s literally nothing left to see.

 

Who is your favorite fictional villain?

Well, I created her, so I have a soft spot for Clarisse in Mistwood.

 

What is your most interesting fan experience?

I can’t think of any! I must have very well-mannered well-adjusted fans. 🙂

 

 

I wrote my first story in first grade. The narrator was an ice-cream cone in the process of being eaten. In fourth grade, I wrote my first book, about a girl who gets shipwrecked on a desert island with her faithful and heroic dog (a rip-off of both The Black Stallionimg_leah_cypess and all the Lassie movies, very impressive).

After selling my first story (Temple of Stone) while in high school, I gave in to my mother’s importuning to be practical and majored in biology at  Brooklyn College. I then went to Columbia Law School and practiced law for almost two years at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, a large law firm in New York City. I kept writing and submitting in my spare time, and finally, a mere 15 years after my first short story acceptance, I sold my first novel to Greenwillow Books (HarperCollins).

I live in Silver Spring, Maryland (right outside of Washington, D.C.) with my husband and four children.

You can check out her books Mistwood and its sequel Nightspell here.

and her books Death Sworn and Death Marked here.

 

 

 

Interview with author Angela Roquet

I was lucky enough to be able to interview Angela Roquet author of the international bestselling series Graveyard Shift Reapers Inc.

 

Are you traditionally published or self published? Why did you choose that path?

I have a few short stories published with a small press, but I’m mostly self-pub. I chose this path because my first agent retired and I didn’t want to embark on that massive quest a second time. It’s been a huge learning experience and a lot of work, but well worth it.

When did you first become interested in storytelling?

I’ve always been interested in storytelling. Even as a child, I had a very active imagination, and I often had illustrations to go with those early stories.

What was your first book/story published?

Graveyard Shift, the first book in my Lana Harvey, Reapers Inc. series, was published in October of 2009.

What was the hardest part to write?

“The End.” That’s still the most nerve-wracking part of any story for me.

What would your ideal career be if you couldn’t be an author?

I’d say an animator for Walt Disney, since that was my childhood dream job, but since my artistic skills are so rusty, now I’d rather direct movies. It’s like writing a book, but on a larger scale. It requires a massive team effort to bring those stories to life, but I think the challenge would be exciting.

Do you read reviews of you books? If so, do you pay any attention to them, or let them influence your writing?

Not as frequently as I used to. I sometimes find them inspiring and motivating, but at other times, they can be downright heart-breaking. It’s very much a rollercoaster experience. One reader will say how my books renewed their desire to read or to write, or that they helped them through a rough time in their life—and then the next reader will write an essay about how awful or offensive they found my books. I’ve been lucky in that the vast majority of my reviews have been favorable. Graveyard Shift has a 4.2 star rating on Amazon, with over a thousand reviews. That makes the ugly ones more bearable.

What well-known writers do you admire most?

Oh wow. This question kills me every time. There are so many. MaryJanice Davidson, Patricia Briggs, Kevin Hearne, Kim Harrison, Christopher Moore, Jasper Fforde, Charlaine Harris, Terry Pratchett…

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Do your homework. The internet is a magical place. There are countless FB groups and blogs on writing and publishing and marketing. If you want to be a part of this community and this industry, get familiar with it now. You don’t have to wait until you publish your first book—in fact, you shouldn’t. Learn how to network early on and it will save you so much doubt and confusion in the long run.

Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

There are a few inside jokes and sayings that only my husband would find funny. And there are a few deep research jokes in the Lana series that only mythology buffs are likely to catch. Other than that, I try to keep everyone in the loop.

What are common traps for aspiring writers?

Not finishing what you start, not outlining (sorry, pantsers), and thinking you don’t need an editor or even a proofreader before sending your book to an agent—or even worse, before clicking publish, if you’re going the self-pub route.

What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

*without missing a beat* BookBub. Hands down.

What is the first book that made you cry?

Erm… I read a lot as a child, so my memory is a bit fuzzy, but I want to say The Boxcar Children. It was pretty heartbreaking, as a child with younger siblings and a close-knit family, to read about orphaned kids struggling to keep what was left of their family together, even if it meant being homeless.

If your book was a food, what would it be?

Devil’s food cake. LOL

What is your current binge watch?

Firefly. I could watch the series over and over and over. ♥

Who is your favorite fictional villain?

Spike, from Buffy the Vampire Slayer (which counts even though it’s a TV show, since there are also comics and novels). He’s not fully considered a “good” guy until the very end. Most of the good deeds he does before that are selfishly motivated to win Buffy’s approval. His character seemed to grow and change more than any other throughout the series, and I enjoy that about a villain, when they’re humanized and given the chance to redeem themselves on occasion.

What is your most interesting fan experience?

I’d have to say when a reader emailed pictures of their front lawn that they had decorated for Halloween with a reaper theme inspired by my Lana series. That was awesome! ♥

 

You can find Angela on social media

here

or

here

Her book Graveyard Shift is free on amazon! You can find it here. Its one of my favorite series!

 

International bestselling author Angela Roquet is a great big weirdo. She collects Danger Girl comic books, owls, skulls, random craft supplies, and all things Joss Whedon. She’s a fan of renewable energy, marriage equality, and religious tolerance. As long as whatever you’re doing isn’t hurting anyone, she’s a fan of you, too. 
ang
Angela lives in Missouri with her husband and son. She’s a member of SFWA and HWA, as well as the Four Horsemen of the Bookocalypse, her epic book critique group, where she’s known as Death. When she’s not swearing at the keyboard, she enjoys boating with her family at Lake of the Ozarks and reading books that raise eyebrows.

SOP: Amy Carpenter

SOP

By Amy Carpenter

I’m an SOP.

Yep. You read that right. SOP. That’s no typo. The P was not supposed to be a B.

I am a seat-of-the-pantser. Or a pantser, if you like (I don’t like—it makes it sound like I go around pantsing people, but to each their own). I write as the story comes to me, without the safety harness of an outline.

Free fall.

There’s nothing like it.

If I’m writing a novel, I start with an idea. That idea brings to life a character. And that character has a conflict. A major one. Something that could mean the end of all existence (or the end of something, but there must be some kind of end, something my character needs to fight for or against).

Idea, character, and conflict in hand, I start typing. The story unfolds. There’s world building and research, but mostly word vomit. Sentences spilling out of my head, through my fingers, and onto the screen (or, sometimes, paper).

I start daydreaming about my novel, my character. All day, every day while I’m writing the story, I obsess over it. I think about it the instant I wake up. I think about it while I wash the dishes and clean the toilets. I think about it while I drive. I think about it in church when I should be paying attention to the Sunday School lesson. The only time I don’t think about it, oddly enough, is when I sleep. Scenes fill my head, but I force myself to wait to write them, because if I write out of order (I do write chronologically, even if I don’t outline), I’m afraid I won’t be able to put the scattered scenes in the right order or write those pesky transition scenes. It’s a discipline thing. And a fear thing. Maybe someday I’ll take the plunge and start writing the scenes as they emerge (free fall into the ocean), but the novel I take that risk with has not yet come.

So my novel ends up being a series of scenes. Each chapter is its own short story, a little silken thread added to the web I spin (in case you’re wondering, I’m a black widow; I kill off major characters all the time—no one is safe from my venom). Just as my novel starts with an idea, each chapter starts with a sub-idea, which I expand upon as it comes to me (except when there’s an entire daydream to translate into words—then the idea has already been developed by my extremely active imagination).

On the other hand, when I write a short story, I don’t just free fall into the ocean. I free fall into the ocean with no clothes on.

No, I don’t sit at my laptop naked. But my thoughts are naked. My creative process is naked. I get an idea (no more than the equivalent of a writing prompt), and I fall with it. Tumble through the air, wind ripping and rippling away at my skin, letting the gravity of my story take me where it wants to take me.

It’s me, all my Freudian secrets (and all my character’s Freudian secrets) coming to fictional fruition in a written picture.

There’s no need to wait to write a transition scene as I must do when I write a novel. There’s no need to think of how I’m going to get from point A to point Z. I can just write and let the story happen, because it’s on such an itsy bitsy scale. My black widow self crafting her delicate, tiny web on the shrub just outside your door, not there the night before, but waiting for you as you come out the door in the morning. One sitting, and it’s done. (Until I edit it.) I’m Mozart, putting the notes on the staff as the song flits through my inner ear. The story is pure, straight from the source. Let the reader decide if that source is God, the devil, or just the tangled mass of neurons in my brain.

Those daydreamed scenes I force myself to wait to write for my novels, however . . .

They don’t always translate so well from daydream to written word. I keep them trapped so long in my head that sometimes it’s disappointing when I finally let them loose. I’ve been patient and waited for that climactic experience of finally writing them. But then they don’t come out as I’d so gloriously imagined. Which is why I should probably plunge in and WRITE them as they come to me. Which is why writing short stories is so much more fun than writing a novel. Free fall. Adrenalin junkie.

One time—and one time only—I strayed from being an SOP. I wrote a novella. I had a deadline to meet and a word count to stick to, so I started with an idea, got my character, got my conflict, and then put the whole thing down in a synopsis. It wasn’t written nearly well enough be labelled a short story. It was more of a play-by-play to keep me focused and within bounds. I didn’t quite cross over into the architectural realm of outlining, but there was a definite organization. Writing a synopsis before writing the actual story allowed me to fuse the creative, word-vomiting process with a more organized method that I’ve only used in my scientific, non-fiction writing. Because I had the synopsis, I wrote faster, unhampered by actually having to think about how to get from point A to point Z. Totally opposite from my experience with writing short stories, but with the same outcome—a readable (and hopefully entertaining) story.

But free falling naked into the Mariana Trench is so much more fun. Which is why I will keep writing like I do, SOP style. Black widow hopping about between branches, weaving my story in the night, ready to catch you in my web of improvised insanity.

Because that’s life—living by the seat of your pants, no matter how much you try to follow a plan. Remove that safety harness. Spin that web. Write that story.

Fall.

 

 

Amy Carpenter is an editor, writer, mother and friend. Her professional works include the co-editing of the upcoming Secret of Souls. She spends her free time writing and revising her novel Transcendence. 

My TBR (to be read) for April

Hello lovelies! I am ashamed to say I have only read THREE books this year… How depressing is that? I used to clock in at 100-200 a year… I have been in a book slump. Merg. I have also been fairly depressed. Boy does depression like to suck all the fun out of life. Jerk. So this month I am committing myself to read at least THREE books.

I am going to start with my bookclub book since I should probably read along with the rest of my book club…Haha which is UNHOOKED by Lisa Maxwell. Here is the synop:

unhook

For as long as she can remember, Gwendolyn Allister has never had a place to call home. Her mother believes they are being hunted by brutal monsters, and those delusions have brought them to London, far from the life Gwen had finally started to build for herself. Gwen’s only saving grace is that her best friend, Olivia, is with her for the summer.

But shortly after their arrival, the girls are kidnapped by shadowy creatures and dragged to a world of flesh-eating sea hags and dangerous Fey. And Gwen begins to realize that maybe her mother isn’t so crazy after all…

Gwen discovers that this new world she inhabits is called Neverland, but it’s nothing like the Neverland you’ve heard about in stories. Here, good and evil lose their meaning and memories slip like water through your fingers. As Gwen struggles to remember where she came from and tries to find a way home, she must choose between trusting the charming fairy-tale hero who says all the right things and the captivating pirate who promises to keep her safe.

Caught in the ultimate battle between good and evil, with time running out and her enemies closing in, Gwen is forced to finally face the truths she’s been hiding from all along. But can she save Neverland without losing herself?

Sounds pretty good, right? I am excited! Especially since I know Lisa personally. She is a fantastic human being and is very kind and thoughtful. She will be blurbing Secret of Souls too! Blurbing basically means that an author reads, and gives their stamp of approval for the upcoming novel along with a little tidbit about it. You can check out the current blurbs I have on the My Books page.

The next book I want to read, or reread is A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas to prepare myself for A Court of Wings and Ruin which comes out May 2. Spoiler ahead if you haven’t read the first book A Court of Thorns and Roses stop now!

Feyre survived Amarantha’s clutches to return to the Spring Court–but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can’t forget ACOMAFthe terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms–and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future–and the future of a world cleaved in two.

I love this series SOOO much! And I am so very excited to see where Sarah takes the story!

 

And last but not least, I am currently rereading one of my favorite series by one of my favorite authors. Angela Roquet! She is an Independent author, and is seriously PHENOMENAL! The first book in her Reapers Series is free foe kindle. YOU MUST READ IT!!! Get it here.

326664254The Inferno has Evolved… Lana Harvey is a reaper, and a lousy one at that. She resides in Limbo City, the modern capital of the collective afterlives, where she likes to stick it to the man (the legendary Grim Reaper himself) by harvesting the bare minimum of souls required of her. She’d much rather be hanging out with Gabriel, her favorite archangel, at Purgatory Lounge. But when a shocking promotion falls in her lap, Lana learns something that could unravel the very fabric of Eternity. If the job isn’t completed, there could be some real hell to pay.

 

The series is fun, quirky, dark and unlike anything I have ever read. Plus, I have been a total slacker and haven’t read the final two books in the series! Shame! Shame! Shame!

 

I am hoping this will jump start me and get me back into reading. Hopefully next month I  will add a few more books to the list! Lets say 5?

 

What are you currently reading? Any new reads? Reads? Tell me in the comments below! I always love to find out about new books. ❤

 

-Aubrie