Six Sentence Sunday – Nanowrimo Rewind, Part 2

It’s the last weekend before Nanowrimo begins. Sensible people are preparing for their writing frenzy. I’ve been called a lot of things in my lifetime but I don’t remember anyone ever calling me sensible. Nonetheless, I’m one step ahead of my usual routine. I actually have an idea and I might spend some time this weekend sitting down and getting to know my characters. When Thursday arrives, I’ll be ready to rumble.

Well… assuming, of course, that the superstorm hasn’t knocked out power…

To celebrate this awesome time of year, last weekend I chose to share six sentences from my very first Nanowrimo. That was a great year writing even if I didn’t end up with a story that I could share with the world. (It was tough enough pulling out six sentences!)

After that first Nanowrimo, I was hooked. There was no resisting the temptation of joining in a second year. Today I’m picking out six sentences from my equally crazy second year disaster from 2009. That year I wanted to go for a bit of a comedic story and I came up with the vague notion of a single mom turned porn star. (I know, I know…) I wasn’t sure exactly how this would happen but I knew I wanted a lot of laugh-out-loud moments to get from point A to point B. I didn’t disappoint myself.

Granted, just like the first year, I didn’t end up with a story that I felt worthy of revision and sharing with the world and it never really did take the porn star turn that I’d originally envisioned … BUT I did end up with something quirky and fun that maybe someday I will revisit. You never know. There might be the seeds of story in all that craziness that is just waiting to grow.

So without further ado, let’s dive into my six for this happy Sunday…

Poor Amy. Her husband has up and left her in favor of a sunny life in Florida. Amy has to find a way to move on with life for the sake of her nine year old daughter Casey but despite the ways he’s devastated her, she still believes he’ll wake up one morning and realize the mistake he’s made and return for her. She sleeps with his photo by her side. Amy’s sister Mary is quick to push Amy back into the real world leading the way through disastrous job interviews and the craziness of online dating. (Ah, who couldn’t love a character who becomes infamously referred to as ‘Fish Guy’.) In the meantime, a mysterious, yet handsome stranger, shows up looking for Mary and he’s got something urgent to tell her that will plunge them both into a perilous mystery. The mutual attraction hits hard but Amy still clings to the life she had before … at least for a while.

Here Amy meets our mystery man…

***

I got up to rummage through the nearby desk looking for anything that would pass as paper. He didn’t look convinced but he’d relaxed enough that he didn’t make a run for it like a scared rabbit when I got up. He was watching me closely when I turned back to hand him the yellowed envelope and pen.

“What?” I asked. Okay, so I wasn’t wearing my most attractive outfit but I didn’t think I looked that awful.

“Nothing,” he said as his cheeks flushed.

***

Make sure you check out the official Six Sentence Sunday website for more fun from fellow writers and tell them Stephanie sent you!

Next week (gasp!) I’ll be ready to share my first six from this year’s Nanowrimo fun.

And just in case you are curious what happened to my third and fourth Nanowrimo endeavor, well, let me tell you. During my third year, I expanded on a short story that I had written for a contest. It was a little messy, of course, but after November I kept at it and eventually rewrote most it – turning it into my first published novel titled The Between World.

During my fourth year, I decided to take the comedic turn again and played around with a girl and her demon lover. That story is undergoing yet another round of edits and will soon make its way into the world as Ghosts Don’t Wear Silk Stockings.

And this year? Who knows! Let’s see where this takes us, shall we?

Until we meet again…

Six Sentence Sunday – Nanowrimo Rewind Part 1

I feel a little guilty about indulging in Six Sentence Sunday when in fact, I haven’t actually written many sentences this week. I suppose it’s just as well that October is nearing an end and November is upon us. You know what that means, right?

Yep, that’s it – Nanowrimo. National Novel Writing Month.

The goal is to write 50,000 words in 30 days and I’ve always managed that easy peasy. This year for my 5th anniversary I want to up the stakes a bit and challenge myself to write at least 60,000. Maybe more? Who knows. How adventurous am I really feeling? (or how insane, depending on your perspective?) More to come on that …

At any rate, November will bring a fresh well of sentences to choose from when it comes to sharing. I hope you’re ready because I know I am.

But, for the moment, let’s concentrate on the task at hand – it’s Six Sentence Sunday and I am to share six sentences of something. Hey, I know! In honor of upcoming Nanowrimo fun, let’s press the rewind button and share six sentences from one of my past crazy November concoctions. How about it?

And once you have finished reveling in my genius, please feel free to visit the official SSS site in order to sample some of the other super duper fantastic writers. You never know what you’ll find there but I guarantee you won’t be disappointed…

Right … So, we’re scrolling all the way back to my first year with Nanowrimo. It’s November 2008 and I found out about the challenge and signed up with very little time to spare. I had no idea what to expect when I sat down on day one and I didn’t believe for a second that I’d actually write 50,000 words in a month but I was willing to give it a try. I had, of course, no idea what to write so on day one I just started typing and waited to see if it actually went anywhere.

I started with Lisa who had just finished hauling the last of her boxes into her boyfriend Ron’s house. They were (finally) moving in together and she should have felt happy but now that it was real, something didn’t feel quite right. Turns out that Lisa should have listened to that little voice because of course, Ron has a secret. It lives in his attic and isn’t too eager to welcome the new girl. To complicate matters more, Lisa quite literally runs into Steve shortly after … like with her car… and those two find they have an inexplicable bond despite the fact that they are both involved with other people. They exchange more than car insurance details. Oh Lisa, how could you?

So, let’s see… random page jump into madness? Pick a number, any number? … (but I warn you, no page is safe.)

What’s that? Did I hear page 22? Alright then, you asked for it …

Ron is remembering his ex, the one that is now dead and haunting his attic. (umm, yeah, okay…)

***

“Amy?” he yelled. There was no response, not even laughter, only a violent crash of thunder following a brilliant bolt of lightning overhead. He instinctively cowered before getting hold of himself again. The rain beat against him harder despite his efforts to shield himself by pulling his jacket up around his head. He was about to give up any hope of escaping the woods before the storm let up and instead started scanning the land around him for any obvious hiding place that would suffice as a shelter while he waited.

Amy jumped out in front of him scaring him off balance, which resulted in him hitting the mud with a thud.

***

Crazy!

Come back next week and I’ll offer a snippet from my second year’s Nanowrimo disaster. It just might be even crazier than the first year. 😉

Author Spotlight: Christina McKnight

We interrupt our regularly scheduled posting to bring you this important announcement …

There is a new book on the loose and you just might want to check it out.

It’s not every day that I have the honor of sharing news on behalf of a fellow author. (Oh wait, it’s never actually happened on this blog before.) Today I’m pleased to offer you a peek at Christina McKnight who is currently promoting her new book titled Only in Her Dreams. (Yay!)

Do I hear a round of applause? Great!

Who is this author?

Christina McKnight is a book lover turned writer. From a young age, her mother encouraged her to tell her own stories. She’s been writing ever since.

In college, Christina took many courses to help develop and enhance her writing skills. She completed a seventy-page dissertation on the need for community policing in American society. Now, she focuses on Historical Romance, Urban Fantasy, and Paranormal Romance.

Christina lives in Northern California with her husband, daughter, two boxers, two cats, and a Beta fish named Marmaduke.  If she’s not behind a computer screen or book, she’s busy leading her daughter’s Girl Scout troop. She is very active in several writing groups and a local book group.

I don’t know about you, but I love the paranormal so I’m intrigued. Kind of makes you want to  know more about her new book, doesn’t it? Yep, me too.

So then, what is Only in Her Dreams, The Oneiroi Book 1 about?

When Lucessa Sarcona awakes from a recurring dream, she has no idea her life is about to be turned upside down. A stranger, familiar to her dreams, shows up in the flesh, and Lucessa knows she’s either crazy or experiencing something not of this world.

A war ensues between three demigod brothers. One, trained to rule Erebos, is violently replaced. One forced to return to his homeland and lead the dream-gods of the Oneiroi. And one is charged with the impossible task of protecting Lucessa. How is she linked to the Oneiroi? Why do two brothers seek to keep her hidden and protected? And how does another plan to use her against the two demigods who love her?

Will Lucessa’s dream man have the courage to claim her as his own or will he bow to the command of another, forsaking the one he loves?

Only in Her Dreams is a modern spin on a Greek legend–the new direction of Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance, moving from angels, demons, vampires, and witches and toward the realm of demigods.

Tempted? You can click HERE to purchase a copy of the book right now.

Or… stick with me a tad longer and enjoy this little snippet from Chapter 8:

Darius preferred to let his brothers believe his powers had indeed been stripped, gone with his banishment. That’s where his deal with the Dark One came in handy. He’d had a link to the girl for years now, bringing a dark presence to her dreams-her nightmares.

Closing his eyes he concentrated on the dark side. A thrill coursed through his body every time he traveled to this forbidden land. He would lead these people, his type of people.

His eyes opened and he stood in front of a rusted, black iron gate. It parted to allow him entrance.

He proceeded down the fog-ridden path toward the castle in the distance. It was an imposing structure covered by black tinted ivy. Everything in this place held a black tint; the streets, the building, and most of all—the people. Soon-to-be, his people.

As he approached the massive fortress, the doors glided open of their own accord. The interior was as dark and fog laden as the exterior, dim candles shown upon the rug laden floor he moved across.

“The Dark One will see you in the billiards room.”

Darius stiffened and stopped his progress, turning toward the voice behind him.

No one in sight. What the fuck?

He straightened his shoulders and continued through the foyer and down the hall leading to the billiards room. Again, doors parted and he entered.

The Dark One lounged against the far wall, cue stick in hand. He studied the freshly racked pool table. “You’re in time for a game. Grab a cue, Darius.”

“Yes, My Lord.” Darius retrieved a cue stick from the wall and turned toward the table. The Dark One leaned across it, aiming for the racked balls.

“I hear you have good news for me,” he said as his stick connected with the white ball. On impact, the colored and striped balls rolled toward the corner pockets.

Darius watched in awe. Every ball found its home in a hole, ending the game before it start. What the fuck?! he thought to himself, for the second time in less than ten minutes.

“Well?”

“Yes. My informant gave us accurate information about where the girl lives,” Darius said.

“Have you confirmed this for yourself?” The man stood straight and returned his stick to the rack on the wall. He faced Darius across the table, hands on his hips. The man was intimidating, the thing that nightmares were made of.

“Of course.” I’m not an idiot.

“Well?”

“Well…what?” Darius asked. Standing around a pool table, in such a casual setting should be relaxing, but he was on edge.

“Why isn’t Erebos mine yet?”

Good question. How to answer that without getting his ass set on fire, he wondered. “I’m working on it.”

“Work faster. I’m in need of a new home, this one’s going to shit.” The Dark One stared at Darius, no hint of a joke on his face.

“I don’t plan to drag this out longer than necessary.”

***

If you want to get to know more about Christina, you can find her via the links below. If you’d like to purchase her book, then click HERE and enjoy!

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Six Sentence Sunday – Between World Revisited

Oh, Six Sentence Sunday, we meet again. How I’ve missed you so.

Don’t know the rules to play our little game? Click HERE and prepare to be dazzled. There are many brilliant authors waiting for you to sample their six.

As for mine? Oh, it’s a tough one. I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t like anything I’ve written. I realize that sounds a tad depressing but it’s kind of a good thing. When I look back and re-read, I come across a million things I’d like to change. I’m seeing mistakes that I’ve made that I’m itching to fix. Perhaps what I’m trying to tell myself is that it’s time to sit down and do a little rewriting? Make those stories shiny and new?

Perhaps.

Let’s begin with The Between World, shall we? It is my first (and at this point only) self-published novel and is essentially the story of a woman lost in life who suffers a terrible car accident, which for all intents and purposes, should have killed her. Her handsome rescuer, it turns out, is not from this world and for reasons, which even I can’t explain as the author, she gets all needy and clingy from the start. Whew! High maintenance this one. Not only, Yalen, will you have to save her boring life as saleswoman but then she’s going to refuse to hit the road when she’s well enough to do so. (ha!) How is that for gratitude when you’ve just broken the rules of your world to save this crazy girl in the first place?

Yalen needs to forcibly send her back to the earthly world where her injuries force her to move back home with her dad and face the small town that she tried to leave behind. She also must confront former best friend / love interest Neil that Dad makes it clear that he still desperately wants her to hook up with. Good grief, Dad, worry about your own life, would ya? Nina doesn’t remember Yalen but she knows there was someone… she’s left with strange longings she can’t quite explain. Settling for a mere mortal just isn’t good enough anymore. And geez Louise, Neil is engaged anyway.

Yalen ruffles the feathers of his superiors and because he works for a sadistic bunch, they send him back to earth to seek and destroy. Now he’s forced to kill the crazy woman that he wasted all that time saving. How is that for a thankless job? Nina senses something the moment he sets foot in the bookstore where she works. She wants him bad because he makes her tingly but she’s also terrified of him. I guess rightly so since he’s planning to kill her and all. All in a day’s work. Just in case Yalen decides to chicken out, Charlie is keeping a watchful eye. We’ll find out later that Charlie was in on the whole conspiracy.

And just in case you didn’t guess it, Yalen does indeed have second thoughts when he sees this hot chick. He’s falling in love with her. Gosh darn it, leave it to love to get in the way of killing a girl and moving on with life, right? Good thing Yalen also catches a whiff of the conspiracy going on here so he’ll at least dig a little deeper before following through on orders anyway. He lures Nina into the woods and then tells her that her mother didn’t actually commit suicide. Now, I don’t know about you but if I had to move forward after my mother’s suicide when I was only 17, I might not appreciate some stranger showing up at my door years later to tell me that it was all a joke and I might not to be feeling so romantic when the psycho tries to kiss me out here in the middle of nowhere. I don’t know. Maybe that’s just me?

I guess I shouldn’t give away the whole story. After all, now that you’re enticed into reading it (?), you’re going to want to find out for yourself how this crazy mess resolves itself. Trust me, it gets weird. But there are good things as well and I hope that since I’ve distanced myself a bit that I can focus on pulling out the parts I like and creating a better story.

You with me?

Good… Now here are my six for the day. I’ve stolen these from the end of chapter two after the accident and after Yalen and Nina’s initial meeting. Happy Reading!
***

They were pictures, frozen in time of events either past or yet to come. Were they real or imagined? She continued to watch until it occurred to her the one thing that all of the images had in common: not one of them included her. The revelation left her feeling unsettled and she managed to turn her attention to a darkness that existed just beyond the slideshow. Her mind went quiet and she relaxed. Only Yalen’s face lingered in her memory.

GUTGAA Meet and Greet

First of all, thanks for taking the time to visit my blog. Please make yourself at home and enjoy your stay. I’m looking forward to meeting all of the participants of this year’s ‘Gearing Up To Get An Agent’ event hosted by Deana Barnhart. Deana has done an amazing job of putting together what promises to be a fun-filled event and although, I found out about it at the last minute and am still struggling to find my feet, I know I’m bound to have a good time.

So, to start it all off, I’m posting my meet and greet questions and brief bio to help others get to know a little about me. Here goes…

Questions for the Meet and Greet
-Where do you write?
     Nine times out of ten, you’ll find me on the living room couch sitting in a lotus position with the laptop balanced on my lap. If I’m not there, I’ll be somewhere in the house. I rarely venture outside to write unless it’s with paper and pen to brainstorm.
-Quick. Go to your writing space, sit down and look to your left. What is the first thing you see?
     Hey, guess what? I am already there! (Turning head to the left) I see a lamp, a family photo, and a big stack of magazines, books, and papers that one of these days I should get around to organizing. lol There might be a bit of dust there too but I’ll never admit to it… Nope, don’t see it. Don’t know what you’re talking about.
-Favorite time to write?
     If I had a preference, it would be mornings when I’m most ready to tackle the day. In reality, it’s whenever I’m able to sneak in a few minutes.
-Drink of choice while writing?
     Water is what I normally drink during the day but I have been known to indulge in a glass of wine or enjoy a rum or coke (or two… or three?) when I write in the evenings. All depends on how much fun I’m having or how much I need to unwind after the kids go to bed. ha ha
-When writing , do you listen to music or do you need complete silence?
     I go both ways. I enjoy listening to music while I write and will often find that it helps put me in the write mood to get the words out but I’m just as happy listening to silence. Usually music is the catalyst to visualizing a particular scene and if I need to re-trigger those feelings, I’ll play it while I’m writing. Otherwise, whatever is on works.
-What was your inspiration for your latest manuscript and where did you find it?
     You know, I’m not even sure anymore. I wanted to write a story about a woman involved with a man that she finds out is dangerous so that she’s torn between hanging on or letting him go. I didn’t want this to be an easy choice for her and if he was simply human, well, that would be too booorrring. (ha) I sat down to write, gave up on it like I usually do about ten pages into it, and forgot about it. I stumbled across it one day and thought hey, I really like that. I changed it around a bit and voila, the story was born. I often wonder about the inspiration for my stories though (not to mention, some of those crazy dreams I have!) and since I’m a paranormal writer, I have a few odd ideas about that too. As a matter of fact, one of these ideas is currently begging to transform into one of my next books. We shall see…
-What’s your most valuable writing tip?
      Just do it. Seriously. It’s the one and only tip that truly gets me from Point A to Point B. Otherwise, I sit and worry and wonder so long that I never type a single word. Even if it’s crap, I need to just do it and tell myself I’ll fix it later. So far, I haven’t found any other way to finish a book than to actually put one word after another. Crazy!
And who am I?  I’m wife to one and mom to three. I have one self-published novel under my belt titled The Between World and I’m determined to follow a traditional path with my recently completed second novel currently titled Ghosts Don’t Wear Silk Stockings. Sitting down to start my third book over the next few days. (ooooohhh, I always get so excited to start something new!) I live in Pittsburgh and when I’m not writing or reading, you’ll find me doing yoga, camping, or spending time with my family. My stories often have a paranormal flavor to them and ghosts are a personal favorite. I’m an Aries, an INFP, and my favorite color is red. Find me on Facebook, Twitter, or come back to visit me again here on the blog. The doors are always open! Feel free to say hello.
Anything else you want to know? Just ask! I’m a friendly person.