Monthly Archives: February 2014

Gifted Excerpt 1

This November, I completed a novel entitled Gifted. It is a zombie apocalypse novel that came out of absolutely nowhere, but I love it. Here is a small teaser scene in which the main character, Jaz, sees the world outside of the compound for the first time.

The abandoned street is even creepier down here and it doesn’t help that as the shadows grow longer, my fear grows stronger. Bleached white bones lay everywhere in this part of town, and not necessarily in any recognizable form. I heighten all my senses, carefully drawing from my battery. I have a feeling I haven’t discovered all the things this internal battery can do, so I don’t want to use all the energy stored up inside of it in case my body decides to show me what it can now do.

Not too far away from me lay a set of arm bones. I crouch down beside them, examining them. The bones are sunken a bit into the ground a ways away from a bright red and rusted car turned on its side. The bones practically glow in the dark to my eyes. They are picked completely clean and I can see small gouges in them set in lines. Teeth marks. Lots of teeth marks.

My stomach rises. The paint on each side of the car is scratched as though it has been keyed and the passenger side door is ripped off and flung into a neighboring yard. Dents cover the entire body and all the windows are broken to daggers. Dark stains cover the upholstery inside and drag to the outside of the car on to the sidewalk. I back away slowly, hand covering my mouth, not daring to look further.

I don’t want to be out here in the dark.

Returning to stand beside my friends I face outward, Katana in hand, eyes watching as much of the vicinity as humanly possible and listening. Listening hard. As long as there is silence in the streets, we should be okay. Any signs of ragged breathing or dragging and I just might wet my pants and kill something.

I realize after a moment, everyone is watching me again. I shrug, to ask them why they were watching me. Bryan nods forward and I nod back, showing him a thumbs up. The coast is clear guys, for now.

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Posted by on February 25, 2014 in Writing Excerpts


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Life, the Universe, and I Learned Something This Weekend

Hello, World! After a year of silence, I have returned!

And the return is triumphant indeed.

This past weekend, I attended Life, the Universe, and Everything conference, and just like last year, I absolutely adored it! I got to meet so many wonderful people and some of my favorite authors as well– *cough* Brandon Sanderson *cough* Orson Scott Card *cough*.

Whew. Excuse me.

Anyway, I didn’t think I was going to learn anything different about the writing world that I hadn’t learned last year.

I’m pleased to report I was wrong. I didn’t learn nearly as many things, but I came away with one important point I have missed for the last 9 months:

If you want something to happen, you have to make it happen.

I’ve had a lot of less-than-savory experiences that initiated my silence. To make a boring story interesting, my graduate doldrums consumed me. The swirl of questions, indecision, and, on occasion, depression buried me and I found myself paralyzed by fear and discouragement. And I didn’t know how to get out.

That being said, as I sat through the panels at LTUE, I noticed a common denominator with a percentage of them: a number of them were self published.

Now, how does that have anything to do with swirls of confusion and intensifying sadness? I’ll tell you. When these authors didn’t find success and were stuck in their own Bermuda Triangles, they picked themselves up and rowed. They threw all their efforts into making their boat move. They made publication happen.

Over the past 9 months, I’ve been waiting for a fickle wind to pull my boat full speed ahead. I made sporadic, half-hearted efforts to get into the writing field and to get my book written. Thankfully, I picked myself up for NaNowriMo and outputted a zombie novel entitled Gifted (more details later!) and entered a poem into the National Amateur Poetry Contest in December. Both of those had their own rewards, but this concept of getting out and getting things done didn’t hit me until I saw it over and over again at the conference, particularly in Orson Scott Card’s keynote address at LTUE.

In the address, Card talked about how his parents got things done. His whole childhood, if his parents had a good idea, they always brought it to life. He doesn’t remember how they did it, but it happened often, and they were successful. Card then went on to do similar things while in college. In his theater classes, if he felt something wasn’t written very well, he’d rewrite and direct the scenes that didn’t work and in doing so, managed to fill the house every night. He. Made. Things. Happen.

So now what? I guess from a writing standpoint, I wasted a couple months of potential productivity. But that doesn’t have to keep happening. When I get down to it, I wasn’t completely sedentary. As I mentioned, I did manage to spill out a novel this past November, and I entered a poetry contest on a whim. I have raw materials I can work with. I have a start. And now, it’s time to write.


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Posted by on February 21, 2014 in Writing Events


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