Archive | January, 2014

Australia Day!!!

26 Jan

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Happy Australia day everyone! (well everyone in Australia!)

I hope all you Aussies out there had an awesome one.

I, like a great few of us had to work today, but don’t be sad, penalty rates are awesome! double time and a half baby!

On the plus side i did get to finish at lunch time and home now to have a BBQ with the family. So I didn’t miss out of the Aussie tradition after all 😀

wishing you all a awesome day, a safe one, and in most case a happy hangover!

Meanwhile-In-Australia...

HAPPY AUSSIE DAY!!!

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Day 256: 9 Words to Get Rid of In Your Writing

25 Jan

as I’ve said i do my research before i write an advice post, my next post was going to be on words you should watch out for, this was something i have been told recently, and i decided to look into it. but when i was researching i come across the post, it’s amazing. helped me so much, and sums up what i wanted to talk about very nicely.
trust me super helpful,
check it out 🙂

In the Garden of Eva

YESTERDAY’S STATS:

# of pages written: 8.5

# of literary mags submitted to: 2

I have a flash fiction piece coming out in Compose Journal this spring, and recently the fiction editor asked me to look at a “few little things” that needed reworking in my story. She had uploaded my story onto google docs, and all three of the Compose editors had made comments. A lot of comments. I went through and responded to them, and they commented back. We haggled a bit when I didn’t want to switch the order of two sentences or get rid of a word I thought was necessary.

But I did end up deleting words, reworking a few sentences, and adding a new description to the ending. Through it all, they encouraged and supported me. This, I thought, my heart swelling, must be what it feels like to have a really great editor…

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Ryder’s Story: chapter 28

21 Jan

ok little note before i start, sorry for the delay in the end  of this little story, there is only a few chapters to go now  🙂  i’ll try to get them up soon, so here we go chapter 28….

 

Chapter twenty eight

1923, New York

 

 

“Ey, Boss word on the street is raids are happening tonight, you want me to tighten security and break out the fine china?” I looked up from the revenue reports I’d been reading and gave a small nod.

 

“Thank you Nik. When that is done return here, I have some things we need to go over,”

 

“Sure thing boss,” I leant back in my chair as the concealed door slid back in place and I was once again alone.  I looked around my underground office, at all of the pre prohibition bottles of alcohol lining the walls and smiled. I operated one of the few speak easy’s that still served the fine, non-poisonous variety of alcohol. After my many failures as a hunter, I had finally found something I was good at; breaking the law. What had originally started out as an underground saloon, was now New York’s hottest supernatural speak easy and thanks to the prohibition laws business was booming. We worked on the principle, no fangs, no claws, no service. Now don’t get me wrong we served humans, in many ways, on occasion as paying customers. For those in the know this place was perfectly safe, stumble upon it by mistake and, well, that was when things went bad. I kicked back in my seat and just relaxed. It was something I had the pleasure of doing these days and I took it. I had ‘boys’ to do my dirty work and ‘girls’ to get my intel. It was a time where alcohol and money equalled power and I was swimming in both. There was another knock at my door.  I flipped the lock by using the button under my desk. Few people knew my office stood behind that wall and only one other person knew where the latch was on the outside, but he had already left. Magenta walked in dressed in her usual flapper attire. Her short brown bob was styled perfectly and today her cloche held a single white feather that matched her white fringed dress. She sat on the edge on my desk, her hemline riding above the line of her white silk stockings. It was the age of women’s independence and I was all for it. I had known plenty of powerful women in my time, so if they wished to vote, smoke, drink and dance who was I to stop them?  She crossed her legs and gave me the smile that flappers were famous for. It promised sex, no strings attached. Except hers was a little more dangerous, on account of her fangs.

 

“Evening boss, I thought I’d check in before my shift, see if you, uh, needed anything from me,” she winked and I did my best to stop the smile I could feel forming on my lips. Magenta was the first vampire I’d met when I had arrived in New York. Being a local, she had contacts I could not have dreamed of but no money to fuel her overwhelming ambitions. We had come to an arrangement, she’d work for me and I’d provide for her. It was a small price to pay, she was a very valuable woman. She did all the things I had no head for, booking bands, controlling the working girls and managing bar stock.

 

“I’m fine, just keep a low profile, raids tonight, the last thing we need is trouble.”

 

“When have I ever caused you any trouble?” I decided not to respond to that and merely continued to watch her. “Anyway isn’t that what we pay protection money for?” she asked, I sighed.

“I refused to pay them,” she stared at me as if I’d said I fancied wearing a dress and dying my hair purple.

 

“Ryder have you gone insane?! Well… more so than usual?” I stood abruptly, my anger getting the better of me. My damned control had gotten worse the longer I lived.  New aged people might have said that it was because I repressed so much, but I knew the truth.

 

“Why would I need protection? I’m a vampire! I all but rule these streets and my body guard is a demi god! I need protection from no one, least of all a bunch of humans that have a fondness for threats and guns.”

 

“You have lost it. Oh, Ryder when the shit hits the fan and the brotherhood is breathing down your neck don’t come crying to me,” I laughed dryly.

 

“I should fear a fictional organization that was created by hunters to keep vampires in line?” I laughed out loud.

 

“They aren’t fictional, they are very real and they will come after you Ryder. I’m not hanging around if they do, consider yourself warned.” I fixed her with an impatient look but nodded.

“Duly noted,” I replied just as the door opened. Nik walked in looking frustrated. Magenta threw up her hands in anger.

 

“He knows where the secret door switch is!”  She snapped as I sat back down.

 

“That is because I trust Nik,” I replied simply as she glared at me. Nik leaned against the wall looking as sullen as usual and she glanced back and forth between us.

 

“You know sometimes I wonder what really goes on between you two. You are always together. You arrive together and leave together, are you two like…” she trailed off and both Nik and I gave a dry laugh. I did not dignify that with an answer and Nik looked to her.

 

“Hardly” he looked away his expression not changing in the slightest. His accent was so different from anything I’d ever heard before; though the man did hail from ancient Greece, so it was to be expected. “The boss isn’t my type,” Magenta’s jaw dropped and I knew Nik was only messing with her. Nik didn’t seem particularly interested in anyone; he wasn’t exactly someone you would call approachable. I’d met Nik probably thirty years back, purely by accident. He’d been facing a firing squad and I had almost let him. At that point I’d still had somewhat of a ‘good’ side and as soon as I’d passed, I had turned around to go back and help. He had said he was innocent, though his voice lacked conviction and he’d told them all exactly where they could go, I’d believed him. Little did I know that he hadn’t needed my assistance because he was truly immortal, or so he claimed. Never the less he’d been thankful and informed me that he owed me one. We now had a standing tally and frankly I don’t think we will ever be even. Despite that fact he now worked for me and he did in fact live with me as magenta had suggested.

 

“No shit!” Magenta exclaimed and a hint of a smile played out on his lips.

 

“Magenta,” I sighed

 

“No shit,” he agreed.

 

The two of them started bantering and I rubbed my temples. Neither of them knew how to leave well enough alone. Nik despite his hard arse, cocky exterior was incredibly loyal and a good friend. Though he had some trust issues. His father was supposedly Zeus, or so he had told me. He had been shunned when he was young because of what his people considered a ‘deformity’, though I would hardly call a scar that, even one that marred half of his face. His left eye was a milky white and he was totally blind on that side. The thick scar ran from his forehead, down his face and onto his chest. It marred the edge of his lip giving him a somewhat permanent scowl. Without it he would have been quite handsome, still could be if you caught his good side. Buzzed hair, that was either blonde or red, he always kept it too short to tell, and eyes (or should I say eye) a spectacular gold.  His skin was a rich golden colour even though it hardly ever saw the light of day and the two of us were of a very similar build, though he was a head taller than me. He was a very medicining looking man, and to top that off he could call storms to ravage the earth. Thunder and lightning was at his beck and call and often out of his control when he was mad. He gave a whole new meaning to being in a stormy mood. They had continued talking and I tuned in at the tail end of their conversation.

 

“And to think all I have been trying to do for months now is get in your pants,” Magenta actually pouted at him. Nik sent a questioning glance at me, one I was sure no one but me would have been able to see and I gave a small nod in response.

 

“Well why didn’t you just ask, if sex is all you want I have a break in ten minutes,” Nik replied flatly. Magenta’s eyes found mine before she smiled at Nik.

 

“Ain’t you going to say anything boss,” she purred. I shrugged and picked up my pen.

 

“Not in my bathrooms, they are only for paying customers,” I replied and set about taking notes from the reports in front of me. I actually heard Nik laugh and Magenta sighed.

 

“Lovely Ryder, you are such a charmer,” her voice was flat and I think I detected a note of hurt in it but I had been very clear our relationship was strictly professional. I’d had enough of romance, love and all those pointless things; I was done with them, for good.

 

“Sorry I was unaware that I was trying to be charming. I merely think it’s only fair if Nik gets a turn, everyone else already has,” she glared at me, as Nik stifled another laugh.

 

“Arrgh! You are such prick! You know I hope the brotherhood comes after you, until then why don’t you fill your head of security in on how you have been saving money on protection fees!” she snapped and stormed off, knocking Nik with her shoulder as she passed him.

“Boss?” I sighed again. I was going to have to tell him now because he would never let it go otherwise.

 

“I did not pay the protection fees,”

 

“Damn it Ryder!” he stepped forward and slammed his palms against my desk to get me to look up at him. Thunder cracked at the same time his hands hit the wood and rain viciously hammered against the roof in a sudden downpour. The sudden onset of a storm was not uncommon in our neighbourhood. His golden gaze darkened as the storm leached into his eyes. I got the distinct impression he was not a fan of my idea. “Do you have any idea the shit this will cause me and my guys! We are on the verge of war with the local mobsters as it is and don’t even get me started on the coven. They hate you and would do anything to see us wiped off the map. I have invested too much into this place to see it be taken down because of you and your pride!” I considered that for a second and decided I didn’t care it had been too long since I had been in a good fight. I was skilled in the ways of war, considering how many I’d fought in my time but it was unfair of me to drag others into one alongside me. Thunder rumbled low and long warning me of his simmering anger.  I pitied anyone on the street around the flower shop that served at our cover.

 

“I know, it is what I wanted.” I replied simply. Even if at the time I had not planned it, I had known that eventually my refusal to pay would lead to a fight. The rain falling against the roof slowed to a light patter and his shoulders sagged as he hung his head. When he looked up the storm was gone from his eyes and resolve washed out his features. He was going to stand with me, even if I had acted rashly and I was thankful for that.

 

“I just wish you would ask me before you declare war on the supernatural underground, I might have plans you know. I could not help the smile that came to my lips.

 

“I’m sorry. Nik are you to free to help me declare war, or do you have other more pressing matters to attend to,” he pretended to consider this and I indulged him. I knew his habits as well as my own because in truth most of the time they were one the same.

 

“Nothing I can’t reschedule, I guess, but next time a ‘hey Nik, planning on declaring war in the near future, clear your calendar.’ Would be nice, you know boss.”  His tone was light, well as light as Nik’s ever was and I nodded.

 

“Duly noted, I will try to remember that for next time.” He nodded in return and left my office. Neither of us truly believed there wouldn’t be a next time, because in my world, there always was.

 

I finished up what I was doing and headed out to help on the floor. Jazz filled the darkened space, while girls, working and other moved about the floor, in a dance that was still rather new at the time. I was pulled into the Charleston by a woman I had never met before and we danced alongside the other patrons. I flashed her some fang when it was over and gold filtered through her royal blue eyes as wings sprouted from her back in a shimmering mass. I smiled, giving her a small bow. New York had quite the fairy population but I had never had one grace my club before. I pulled her close to me again and whispered a warning before I walked away.

 

“I’d be careful with those fair one, New York is a dangerous place.” She laughed and smiled showing her rows of sharp pointed teeth before grabbing a shape shifter in an army uniform to dance with her. I had extended my hand in friendship to the fae in the city, in the hopes they would be able to offer me passage back to their realm. They claimed they couldn’t but that didn’t mean I did not still have an arrangement with them. A small amount of longing welled inside me for the place that had never truly been my home, regardless of how much I wished it were, but I pushed it away. That did not matter, not anymore.

 

I walked to the bar and took a seat nodding at Nik who disappeared into the shadows. The place was crowded tonight; we had been getting busier and busier every night. I let the music seep into to me and closed my eyes for a second. For the first time in a very long time I felt as if I had found where I belonged. I was still aware of the hunter’s actions, their movements throughout the world. They had grown into families, they were strong and their presence governed the supernatural beings of this modern world. I had created a monster, but without it, without them, the world would have fallen into disarray long ago. The demons flourished in this world, they hid and their presence grew in the shadows, not even the hunters could stop them. I had known they wouldn’t, Ryan had warned me, but still to this day I hadn’t the faintest clue what he expected me to do about it.

 

A ruckus in the ally outside the club drew my attention and caused me to open my eyes. Only a few beings in the club had the ability to hear to over the music, so thankfully it did not cause too much of a disruption. I got up from my stool and walked towards a side door, the voices growing louder as I made my way outside. Thunder rumbled in warning and I knew Nik had intervened.

 

“I didn’t come here to speak with his body guard,” growled a vampire as he faced off with Nik. He did not look anywhere as frightened as he should be. I stepped into the ally, a few curious patrons had followed me. I took Nik’s side and sighed. The vampire turned his gaze toward me and stepped forward. My hand shot out and I grasped his neck with a crushing force, narrowing my eyes as I lifted him off his feet. I had not lived as long as I had to be intimated by a fledgling with an inflated ego.

 

“That will be all Nik.” I said, my voice like ice. Nik stepped back but did not leave my side. I did not need his protection any more than he needed mine but we never let onto that fact often. Tonight, though, I planned on getting my hands dirty. “Now you listen here and listen well. I run these streets now, I will not bow nor will I relent. I catch anyone who has not sworn loyalty to me and my men, or anyone charging any of my people protection ever again and I will annihilate them and their families. I will crush all they hold dear and bring their entire world to ashes. I will burn this city to the ground and rebuild it as my empire. Go against me and you will die, this is the only warning I will extend, tell your boss to submit or die. I run this city now!” I growled my voice inhuman through my fangs. I dropped the fledgling and he stared at me in wide eyed shock. His gaze flicked over my shoulder and I knew what he saw. Assembled behind me were the various fractions of our world, all on my side. They had trusted me with their safety and I was going to win it back for them. Today it was these thugs, tomorrow the hunters. We would have free reign of our world once again I would be sure of it. The vampire was quick to flee, returning to its master. I was not foolish enough to think they would return with a white flag flying, but if they didn’t I would do as I promised, I have always been a man of my word. After all, I did run these streets, whether anyone liked it or not.  I turned to face the people who had put their trust in me and they did not look disappointed. The fairy I had danced with beamed and threw herself at me our mouths meeting rough and hard. She kissed me with the mischievous passion that only the fae could manage and I kissed her back. I was too caught up in the thrill of it all to resist the temptation of this alluring creature. Her wings were silk under my touch and felt like water as they slid through my fingers. I had always wondered what they would feel like. Nik cleared his throat, reminding me had had more pressing matters to attend to. I pulled my lips away but still held her close as we both caught our breath. Her bright eyes fixed on me and I whispered in her ear before planning a kiss on her check.  “Dance floor at midnight,” I breathed as I turned to follow Nik back into the club, we had a lot of planning to do if we were to win the war I had just declared.

 

Writing tips: (kinda!) advantages of planning plots against/ free writing

16 Jan

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As writers, we know that a good idea can come from anywhere.  They often start small, and then build into entire worlds, full of people, places and adventures that we could not have even imagined originally.  I’ll admit, not every idea is a keeper, and ones that originally sound amazing don’t always work out. It’s tough to find that one idea that is original, yet you like enough to want to invest of much of yourself into to it, because let’s face it, essentially you are playing god. The world that you create as a fiction writer, is entirely you’re own. You control the seasons, the weather, the landscape, the time and the people. Every little aspect is under your control, just waiting for you to manipulate it.  I think it’s safe to say us writers, have a bit of a god complex, we do. We love the control of writing, the freedom of it. So when you have so much control over you’re fictional world is it better to decided everything that happens in it even before it’s created or is it better to let it create itself?

I’m divided on this writing cannot work without structure, it cannot work without that one idea, it cannot work without those memorable characters, and it cannot work without the twist and turns that keep people reading. I know there is actually so much more to the process than that, but I’m talking really basically.  So in a general way even the most unstructured writers still have structure. Personally I’m the type that likes to see where my world takes me, I know what I want to happen,  and where I want it to go but how it gets there depends on the world I have created. I think its called character driven writing, but the idea of planning every chapter before I get to it blows me away.

Recently as I tend to do I was looking for writing books on line, I like writing books, everyone is different and I’ve learnt that there is always something that you can learn. I was looking for books on self-editing, because as I have previously mentioned I’m dyslexic, so my grammar isn’t always what it should be. I often see and read what I want to see and read, so I don’t often pick up my own mistakes. I was hoping these books could help me a little because as I said there is always something to learn. Anyways, I come across a lot of books on plot planning and chapter planning and the concept of it blew me away.  I wondered how could someone plan out every chapter right from the beginning.

So I decided to try it.  Initially I was going to post it with this post but as soon as I started, I realized that that was not a good idea at all. To anyone but me the thing would have been total nonsense, my structured plan lacked structure and eventually looked like the ramblings of a mad women sprawled all over a word document.  However, even if that thing never sees the light of day again, my idea of, two brothers, a girl and a arrange marriage, has turned into one of the most epic story lines I have ever come up with. Have I planned out any’s chapter? No not really. Do I know what’s going to happen, of course; probably better than I would have had I not done it. So as far as planning goes I’m somewhere in the middle. I liked the structure it gave me, in having to plan it all out first but for me getting to what I want to happen is the fun part, and I never really know how it will turn out until it does.

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Happy writing!

shan

The Author Extension Community

6 Jan

i thought i’d share this with you all, just something to check out. 🙂

Shannon A Thompson

It’s a new year and so much has changed already. My publisher – AEC Stellar Publishing, Inc. – has cranked its gears and remodeled itself for the future. Instead of being a simple publisher, we are now an open and growing community of writers, cover artists, and editors supporting one another. You don’t have to be published by AEC or spend money to participate. The website is designed for everyone to connect in one place. This website is for you, and hopefully, by the end of this piece, you’ll want to check out The Author Extension Community and/or join it. It’s a great place for authors to support one another as well as readers to come and meet them. We simply need people to help us spread the word, and I’ll give you three, great reasons to do it:

1. The website has many places where you and your work…

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