News & Announcements:
I've been writing, but I haven't posted an update since December. I was without my computer for over a month, so I had to use a super slow mini laptop. It took forever to load most pages, and there was no way I could post here from that. I've since built a new computer and writing is much less frustrating. So, I'm back! :D
I did write during that time, but since my computer was a chrome book (or Chromium book, since I installed Chromium over Windows), I was able to write using Evernote. I got my word count each day using wordcounter.net, and sent my writing to myself so I'd have an additional backup. I also saved my work to Big Huge Labs Writer: The Internet Typewriter. Evernote runs much better on the super slow chromebook than a lot of other things, including my website editor.
Now that I'm back, I've got a new excerpt for you-- a chapter from the book I'm writing. It's only the first draft, so it will change a bit, but I thought you might enjoy it. I've also added a new freewrite to the Freewriting page: Khamael: A Magical Cabin Freewrite. It's romance, but it's clean. It's just an idea I'm playing around with (the magical cabin idea). I'm currently working on a short story I'll be adding to the site soon. It's related to the Fallen stories I've been writing since November. If you want a taste of the Fallen storyverse, check out the short story, The Hellhound, I wrote for this past Halloween. I had a lot of fun writing it, and I hope you enjoy reading it.
For now, my plan is to post every other week. This way, I can better edit and proofread the excerpts and freewrites I include in my entries. I'd rather offer a quality reading experience than to rush a piece out that's riddled with typos and misspellings.
In any event, happy reading!
I've missed a few days, but I'm trying to write more often, like I used to, even if I only get 500 words for the day. I mostly shoot for more than that. I've written the first draft of the third Fallen novel, The Medusa Orb, and I've just finished writing the short story, "Gabriel," also from the Fallen storyverse, which takes place during the fourth Fallen novel, Drug War. I've now started writing Drug War. At some point, I also need to plan the outline for the fifth novel, Nemesis. That one's proved to be the toughest, as I've tried to plan it twice already and didn't like what I came up with. So, I'm waiting until I finish writing Drug War before I resume planning Nemesis.
In the progress below, I've added up the totals from the 9th of May to the 23rd. That's 15 days:
May 9: 2,284
May 10: 0
May 11: 2,249
May 12: 0
May 13: 2,851
May 14: 1,472
May 15: 0
May 16: 1,032
May 17: 0
May 18: 707
May 19: 3,628
May 20: 3,305
May 21: 5,228
May 22: 6,208
May 23: 0
Short Story Total: 17,528
Novel Total: 11,436
Excerpt from Fallen: Drug War, Chapter Seven - A New Man With A Plan:
Katrina was ready for Zach before he expected, and he met her in the room she shared with Sam.
“We need to make up some excuse in case Sam walks in,” she said.
“He won’t be back in the next hour,” Zach said. “He went to the Agaean to talk to Kristiel. He wanted to see some old friends while he’s there, too.”
“He’s already been gone for half an hour.”
“Trust me,” Zach said with a grin. “Get him together with Jaoel and Anak, he’ll lose track of time. You might not see him till tomorrow.”
“I’ll take your word for it,” Katrina murmured. “First, I’ll need to bleach your hair. It’s already short, so no one will accuse you of being a celestial as long as we can get you some contacts to change your eye color. Got a preference?”
“How about brown?” Zach asked.
“Alrighty. While I bleach your hair, I want you to tell me what this is all about. I’m not going to tell Sam, if that’s what you’re worried about, and—”
“It’s not. I just don’t wanna put you in danger.”
“I can take care of myself.”
“Maybe so, but I don’t want to risk it till I have to.”
Katrina led him over to the sink, where she showed him three packages of hair bleach. You want to go light, medium light, or super light?” she asked.
“I like the super light,” he said.
“Okay, then, have a seat.”
He sat on the seat she indicated, which was raised up so it could recline over the sink, then she mixed the bleach and color and started mixing it into his hair. When done, she tilted the chair forward so it was straight.
“Don’t touch it. It has to stay on your hair for half an hour, then I’ll rinse it out.”
“Then what?” Zach asked.
“Then I’ll get your contacts. You can try them out, and I’ll take some pictures of you for your new identity. In the meantime, we need to decide on a name. Got any names you like?”
“I’ve always been partial to Jack,” Zach joked.
Katrina stared at him. “Ha ha,” she said. “I’m serious here. What names do you like?”
“I don’t know. I’ve never really thought about it.”
Katrina studied him for a few moments. “You look kind of like a Matt.”
“Naw, I don’t like that one.”
“How about Luke?”
“Mm, maybe. Got any more?”
Zach shook his head.
“How about Connor?”
“Yeah, that’s one’s okay. Any more?”
“How about Ryder?”
“Yeah, I like that,” Zach said with a nod. “It’s different, but not strange.”
“Okay, now for a middle name and a surname.”
“Ryder William Nolan?”
“Like the last name.”
“Ryder James Nolan?”
“Yeah, that works for me.”
“Okay, I’ll enter it in,” Katrina said, moving to her computer and typing the name into her software. She turned back toward him. “You’re—6’4”, right?”
“Yeah, and 205 lbs.”
“Got it. You need to check out the contacts.” She went and got a small box, then carried it over and set it on the nearby table. She took out a smaller box and let him look at the contacts. “What do you think?” she asked.
“I think brown will work for me.”
“So what do we do after you rinse out the bleach?”
“I’ve got some clothes for you to try on. A different style from what you normally wear.”
Zach looked down at his tank top and holey jeans. “What’s wrong with what I’m wearing?”
“Nothing, but if you want to pull this off—whatever this is—you’ll need to dress differently, too. They can’t know who you are.”
“Just don’t make me wear a dress. Or an ascot. Or a suit and tie.”
“Don’t worry. I don’t want you to be uncomfortable. And I don’t want to see you in makeup and a dress. Ew.”
Zach let out an exaggerated sigh, then grinned. “You had me worried there for a minute.”
“I’ll have you know I’ve got very good taste in clothing, and I know what will make you look good. You’ll like my choices.”
“I don’t doubt you. When do you have to rinse the bleach out?”
Katrina glanced at her timepiece. “Now.” She tilted his chair back and rinsed the bleach out of his hair, then she towel dried it. She held up a mirror. “It will lighten up as it dries, but what do you think?”
Zach studied himself in the small mirror. “I like it. It’s me, but it’s not. Kinda creepy, actually. It works.”
“Okay, then let’s check out the clothes I bought and see if you like anything.”
He sat down on the foot of the bed, and Katrina went to the closet. She pulled out several pairs of jeans in all different styles and colors and laid them out on the bed. While Zach looked them over, she took out some shirts from the closet and set them beside the jeans.
She stepped back, looked at Zach, then looked at the clothes on the bed. She picked up a pair of black jeans and handed them to him. Then she looked through the shirts. She took up a black t-shirt with the logo of an Indasian heavy metal band. “Try these on first.”
Zach went to the rest room and changed into the new outfit. He had to admit he liked the fit and look of the clothes. They hugged his body like a second skin, but allowed him to move freely.
“I like these,” he called through the closed door.
“Let me see you in them,” Katrina called back.
He opened the door and stepped back. Katrina smiled at once. “Those clothes are you. We need to get you more like those.”
“What do I owe you for them?”
“Nothing. You’re family. I want to help.”
“It’s too much,” Zach said.
“No, it’s not. And you don’t have that kind of money yet. Start saving up, then we’ll talk.”
“You’ve got more?” Zach asked, wanting to change the subject.
“You need a jacket. And accessories. And footwear.”
“Okay,” Zach said. “What’ve you got?”
She handed him a pair of sneakers, and he put them on. “Perfect fit,” he said. “How’d you know my size?”
“You’re only a little taller than Sam, but you can share shoes, so I just looked at his and shopped accordingly.”
“Nice,” Zach said with a laugh.
Katrina handed him a black leather jacket. “Try this on.”
“Why? I know it’ll fit me.”
“Just try it on,” Katrina laughed. “I want to see how it looks on you.”
As with the jeans and t-shirt, the jacket fit like a glove, but allowed him to move freely. “Perfect, as expected,” Zach said with a grin, holding his arms out to his sides. He turned around so she could see him from all sides.
“You’re right. They’re perfect. I’ve got more like them, but in other colors. You take a look. You can have the ones you want.”
“Okay,” he said.
Katrina went through the clothes she’d laid out on the bed. Some things she put back in the closet, and she brought out others to add to what she’d left. “Okay, go through them and see what you want.”
Zach went through them, and by the time he was done, he had three more pairs of blue jeans, five t-shirts in different colors, a hooded sweatshirt, a pair of hiking boots, and some odds and ends.
“And not a dress or ascot in the bunch,” he said with a laugh. “I like your style, Kat. If I ever want to change my style for real, I’ll come to you. And I’ll pay you good for it.”
“No, you won’t. I’ll do it for free,” she smirked.
“Then I’ll give you the money so you can give it to Sam. He can give it to one of the charities.”
“That I can do.”
They took the clothes off the hangers and folded them, stacking them in three piles on the bed. She got out a large duffel bag, and they set the clothing and other items inside.
“Okay, let’s go over the paperwork,” Katrina said, heading for her computer.
She sat down at the desk, and Zach stood behind her, looking over her shoulder.
“Everything looks good,” he said.
“Good,” she turned and looked up at him. “Now, tell me what this is all about.”
Zach sighed for real. He’d been dreading this moment. He trusted her, but he didn’t know how she’d react to his plan. After everything she’d done for him so far, he couldn’t refuse.
He pulled a chair close and sat down.
“I’m sure you know about the angel drugs.”
“Who doesn’t?” Katrina asked.
“I’m gonna do my own investigation into it. I’m going undercover to learn more, see if I can find out who created them, and see about bringing them down somehow.”
“You can’t do it alone, Zach. You’ll need help.”
“Which is where you come in, if you agree. If not, no hard feelings.”
“I’m not agreeing, but what do you think you’d need?”
“That I don’t know, at least not yet. I’ve got a little money saved up. That will get me started. I’m mostly just gonna play it by ear and see what I can learn, then take it from there.”
“You’re going to be really careful, right?”
“Sam’s already worried about you. If you get into trouble—”
“Can I be honest with you?” Zach asked. He needed her to trust him, and the only way she would was if he opened up to her about what he wanted to do.
“I feel like a fish out of water here. I don’t fit in. Not here, not everywhere—”
“That’s not true—”
Zach held up a hand, silencing her. “I didn’t say that’s the way it is. I said it’s the way I feel Sam’s told me often enough that his place is my place, but that doesn’t change how I feel inside. After everything I’ve been through, everything I’ve done, I don’t feel like I fit in anywhere. I have no purpose. This—I really want to help other celestials out there.”
“I get that. Really, I do, but isn’t there a safer way to help?”
“What? You mean like the government’s doing? They’re doing a real bang up job, wouldn’t you say?”
“Good point. Still, shouldn’t you get some help with this? I mean, it’s just you against how many?”
“I don’t know yet. Right now, it’s just information. Reconnaissance.”
“Sam can help you. I can help you.”
“I don’t want to get either of you involved. If anyone goes down, it should be me. I don’t even know if I can earn my redemption. If I can’t, at least I can help save a lot of others who might end up down under otherwise.”
“You really feel strongly about this, don’t you?” Katrina asked, her eyes studying his.
“I do,” Zach said. “I need to do something. I can’t let these freaks keep preying on my people. It’s not right.”
“Okay, and what do you need from me?”
“You’ve done a lot already. I’m not sure what I’ll need from you, if anything, but you can rest assured that if I come to you with a request, I’ve given it serious consideration. I’m not going to do anything stupid.”
“I believe you. You’re a smart guy, Zach. I just wish you’d let us help you more.”
“If it was anything else, I’d let you. This, I feel like I’ve got to do it on my own. It’ll be extremely dangerous for me, even in disguise. But I’ve been through worse than anything they can dish out. You and Sam haven’t. It’s got to be me who does this. That’s just the way it is.”
“Okay, I’ll accept that for now. But if you get into any trouble, you call me, okay? I’ve got connections. We can get you out.”
“I’ll remember,” he said, a small smile coming to his face.
Katrina covered his hands with hers. “I really meant it when I said you’re family. Don’t ever forget that, okay?”
“I won’t,” he said, and he kissed her on the cheek. He rose to his feet. “I guess it’s time for me to become Ryder James Nolan.”
Katrina printed out the counterfeit identification papers and card. She laminated the card, then scratched it up a little to make it look like he’d had it for a while.
She handed them to him, but wouldn’t let go for a moment or two.
“Promise you’ll call me if you get into trouble.”
“I promise, if I’m able to, I’ll call you.”
“Good, and don’t be a stranger. I want you to let me know how it’s going from time to time, okay?”
“What do you want me to tell Sam? You know he’ll ask when he sees you haven’t been around.”
“Don’t tell him anything. He doesn’t need to know that you have any idea what I’m doing.”
“So—lie by omission?”
“It’s for his own good,” Zach said.
“That’s one interpretation.”
Zach lowered his voice. “I don’t like lying to him any more than you do, but it will keep him safe. Just pretend you have no idea, because really, you won’t. I don’t even know what I’ll be doing, other than asking around to see what I can find out.”
“Just remember what I said. Be careful. If anything happens to you, it would kill Sam. And I’ll feel guilty as hell.”
“Nothing will happen to me. I’m too stubborn,” Zach laughed. He touched her face. “At the risk of sounding morbid, take care of Sam, okay? Just in case—”
Katrina put a finger over his lips to silence him. “Always.”
At that, Zach thanked her one last time, picked up the duffel, and left the room.
Book I'm Currently Reading:
I'm actually listening to an audio book this time around. It's a bunch of short stories read by an all-star cast, and they're based in the Drizzt Do'Urden series by R.A. Salvatore. Only available on Audible:
The Legend of Drizzt: The Collected Stories, by R.A. Salvatore
Music I'm Currently Listening To:
This week's selection is from the Japanese electro-pop group, Perfume. The album (MP3 version linked here) is Game:
Game, by Perfume
Video I Like:
This Ultra Modern Tiny House Will Blow Your Mind, from Living Big In A Tiny House
Lois Eighmy (pronounced like Amy) is a full-time fantasy and thriller writer. She's also an artist and fledgling photographer. You can see some of her writing and other creative works here on her website. She lives in Missouri with her husband, Jeff, her white calico cat, Chloe, and her brindle mutt, Nikita. She dreams of moving anywhere she can experience an annual White Christmas, but is happily working on being content with where she's at in the present.