Valentine’s Teaser

Valentine’s Teaser

Posted by on Feb 14, 2014 in Story Time, Writing | 2 comments

With today being Valentine’s Day, I thought I should tell you how very much you mean to me. You, as my readers, fans, and friends, make my literary world go round. You support my novels, take part in some great discussion topics, and you take time out of your lives for me. Every time you visit my website, Tweet or Facebook me, read my novels, or recommend them to a friend, you support me and contribute to a young man’s dream to be his own boss and create something special for the world. Since I can’t give you candy, chocolate, or any kind of flowers through the internet (yet), I thought I’d give you a little snippet of what I’m working on. Sacred Cities is a Dystopian novel. In other words, it’s a post-apocalyptic Urban Fantasy, taking place in the not-too-distant future. Alex is the main character trying to survive a broken world, and keep himself and his brother alive for just one more day. That’s his task everyday–just make it to tomorrow. In a world that’s been nearly destroyed by demons, what else is a boy to do? Happy Valentine’s day, everyone. May your day be filled with kindness, sweets, love, and friendship. I give you the first page of my work-in-progress: Sacred Cities, due to rock the world, summer 2014.   ****** I pulled what remained of the tattered blanket to my chin, shivering against the cold air. The singed edges of fabric were curled and hard, scratching along my neck. One too many nights had been spent lying next to the fire. I didn’t know how far we were from the next Sacred City, but I’d need to find something to trade by then. It was only going to get colder and this blanket wouldn’t be enough once our free nights were spent. Weathered boots scraped along the dirt; my ten-year old brother, Joshua, turned in his sleep. He coughed twice and I cringed, as though that could muffle the sound. “Alex?” he asked, his voice was hoarse and dry. “What’s up, buddy?” I crawled over and crouched beside him. I unscrewed the canteen’s lid and it clanked against the side as I tilted it to his lips. “Can you light the fire again?” he asked. Sweat had forced his brown hair to stick to his forehead. He’d had the cold sweats for two days and now the coughing  had come. “You know I can’t.” “It’s so cold. Please, just for a little while.” “It’s too dangerous.” “But there’s no monsters out tonight. It’s quiet.” I looked back over the still glowing embers in the ashy pit, then out at the darkness around us. I strained to hear something, anything, but there was only silence. I shook my head. “There are monsters out every night. The quieter it is, the more dangerous. Here.” I draped what...

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Poo Karma

Poo Karma

Posted by on Aug 3, 2013 in Random, Story Time | 6 comments

In light of yesterday’s post that sometimes you have to just get some rambling out of your mind and onto the digital white screen, today’s post is brought to you by a random life event. With life being a mess thus far this year, I find getting back into writing isn’t as difficult as it seems, unless you have a purpose. If I sit down to just write fictionally, my focus is regularly interrupted by  ridiculousness that doesn’t need to be acknowledged. However, I’m all about getting back into routine in any manner that works, so today we’re talking poop. Yes, you read that correctly. One of the best ways I let my imagination go is to be busy. I don’t sit around and day dream all day, but rather day dream while I’m doing things. Today I took the house by storm, laundry, vacuuming, dishes, etc. When that was all caught up, I still had most of the day in front of me (I’m kind of a house cleaning ninja), so I decided to take the dogs and kids for a walk. I hadn’t realized when I made this decision that the usual walking stroller was in the vehicle my wife had taken to work, and so I was left with a smaller, more of an ‘in case of emergency’ stroller. That’s fine, I can make do. What I didn’t realize was that I hadn’t stocked this stroller up with bags to clean up after my dogs. So halfway through our walk when my sheltie decided to stop and do his business, I had nothing to clean it up with. So naturally, I did what any conscious-of-other-people person would do—I dragged him along on the leash and cut him off. Mostly because this was on somebody else’s front lawn. I felt horrible for having to cut the poor boy off, but I didn’t want to be the reason somebody has to clean up dog crap from their front lawn. I’ll leave that to some other asshat. Naturally, when we got home, Asher has some finishing to do, and while I tidied up the yard, my two-year-old daughter, Elena, came up calling my name. “What is it baby?” I asked. “Ew, ew, ew!” She shouts, holding out her hand. I see some grass clippings on it, no big deal, I just mowed the lawn. “It’s just grass baby.” She looks down at her hand, back at me, and through her soother shouts “Yucky poo!” I look again and find some smears of brown on her hand. Oh…that’s not grass. Then she proceeded to spread her fingers apart, showing more than just a few smears. Awesome. So daddy-nina-style, I pick her up with one hand, holding her other hand out in front of her so she can’t touch me or anything else. The bathroom counter down here isn’t very large,...

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Story Time: When Cat Poop Attacks

Story Time: When Cat Poop Attacks

Posted by on Feb 22, 2013 in Story Time, Writing | 19 comments

It was a Canadian day, meaning it was windy, snowy, and cold outside. I’d slipped on my warm slippers, built for the everlasting cold of my world. I moved towards the stairwell, each step glaring at me with opposition. One at a time I overcame their adversity, avoiding their metal claws and dust bunny fangs. Something rattled inside my slipper, but I ignored it. By halfway I felt defeated. I leaned against the wall, catching my breath, wondering why I would walk all this way. I could’ve stayed downstairs where I was comfortable. There was coffee downstairs. Mmmm, coffee. I realized the magic of the stairwell was trying to consume me. It wanted to syphon my strength and fuse fear into my soul. I pushed past it and demolished the final stairs, biting my thumb at the stairwell as it sneered at my triumph. But something wasn’t right. I hadn’t escaped the stairwell of foreign hairballs unscathed. It was a lump at first, cold and hard, moving beneath my foot. Each step pushed it harder against me until it attacked, lashing out with sharp jaws. I gasped, lifting my foot from the ground and shaking my slipper, as if the tremor of such a quake could dislodge any opponent who dare feast upon my heel.  The lump moved again and I stared down at my slipper, attempting to  penetrate the black shell and strike fear into the heart of my attacker. After all, I didn’t want to slide my slipper off and empty it if I didn’t have to. That would be too much work. That’s what the demons wanted. Two more steps and the lump tried to tear away my skin and make its way into the sugar-infested blood that lied beneath the soft shell of my humanity. I cursed under my breath and sighed. My foot slipped out of the slipper and I reached down. The creature had ignored my stone-cold Canadian glare, but now it would suffer my true wrath. With my hand wrapped around the front of my slipper, I lifted it from the carpeted earth and tipped it vertically. A clang and rattle sounded, then silence. I gave the slipper a shake of supernatural proportions sure to dislodge any clinging opponents. A muffled scream came from the inner fabric and finally the villainous creature dislodged, falling to the dust bunny hallway and rolling away with an aerial aversion technique I’d never seen. It was like an enormous piece of dog food that sought deeper meaning from its life. One that avoided the ride to my Labradors stomach. Startled for only a moment, I attacked. Ice-covered fingers reached down and hit the attacker, grasping it with a grip no demon could escape. It lashed out, it’s body remolding itself with each ounce of pressure I applied. It squished. Squishy? The dog food had become a...

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Story Time: When Cake Mix Fights Back (AKA: It’s A Good Thing I’m Pretty)

Story Time: When Cake Mix Fights Back (AKA: It’s A Good Thing I’m Pretty)

Posted by on Feb 4, 2013 in Story Time | 11 comments

Anybody who has read any of my Story Time posts, may have noticed there is a slight fantastical edge added to each of them. I’m a writer, so naturally I like to spice things up a little. This story, however, needs very little added to it. It speaks volumes all on its own. For my wife’s birthday last year, I sent her away for a spa weekend in the mountains. Two days of beautiful views, and well-executed relaxation with a professional hot stone massage, pedicure, and facial. I thought this was a pretty good birthday gift. She works so hard (she deals with me seven days per week) she deserved a break, even if it was just a brief one. So, with a baby strapped to my back and another holding my hand, I vowed to make her return spectacular. She was to come home early afternoon at the end of the weekend, and my kids and I had spent copious amounts of time designing birthday signs, blowing up balloons, and decorating the house. Having been a cook for ten years prior to becoming a writer, I decided to cook her a wonderful meal. But on top of that, I wanted to really surprise her, so I baked her a cake. I’m a cook, not a baker. That said, I am also a freestyle type of cook. I don’t use recipes or anything of the sort. I throw it all together and make original masterpieces. Never will two dishes taste alike. The problem with this approach is that it doesn’t work for baking. Anyone who bakes knows that everything must be precise, or things do not work out. This is the reason I dislike it and on most occasions, refuse to bake. But this was a special weekend, and so I would step out of my comfort zone. Since I’m not a baker, I didn’t try to do anything so handily as start from scratch. I bought a box of cake mix, icing, and set out to make the best cake I could manage. Everything was going splendidly, until it came time to mix it all together. Now for the most part, any time I’ve ever baked anything I’ve used the electric mixer. But since I know baking generally requires the directions being followed explicitly, I did exactly as it said. I came to the final step before pouring the mix in the pan and the directions stated, “beat by hand.” For any seasoned baker, or for anyone with a drop of common sense, they would know what this means. I on the other hand, decided to follow that direction a little too closely. So there I was, staring into a massive bowl of ingredients floating together in unmixed madness. I glance to the box, nodding after consuming the directions, and plunge my hands into the mixture, ready to fuse every...

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Unseen

Unseen

Posted by on Nov 7, 2012 in Author, Story Time, Writing |

So usually I don’t do this, but I am going to post a guest post I wrote for another website on my blog. It was for a Halloween-themed blog event with Confessions of a Book-a-holic that is over now, but it’s really one of the first short stories I’ve ever written, so I wanted to share it with you too! Hope you enjoy.   Rachel applied the last stroke of mascara and turned the power off on the stereo. The music that pumped from the speakers stopped and silence fell around her. This was the first time in her life she’d lived on her own without roommates and getting used to the solidarity was taking longer than she expected. A loud bang sounded behind her and she jumped. Darkness filled the hallway behind her and she stared into the shadows. Chills ran down her spine as the hairs rose on the back of her neck, and she crept forward. “Hello?” she asked, but naturally there was no answer. Her bare feet pressed into the carpet as she stepped closer to the edge of the hall. The silence was a weight bearing down around her and she jumped as something moved in the shadows. A dark blur slid from one room across to the other, and she shivered. Rachel swore the chill wasn’t just in her bones, the room was colder now. As she came to the opening of the hallway she reached for the light switch but hesitated. The thought of dipping her hands into the shadows for even a moment had her on edge. Images of a rotting hand with sores and callouses pulling her into the darkness flashed through her mind and she pulled her hand back. Cool air tingled along her neck like someone was blowing against her skin and Rachel flinched, quickly flicking the light switch up and turning around, but there was nothing there. She rubbed the side of her neck and found her skin cool to the touch. She shivered again and stared down the now well-lit hall. This wasn’t the first time she’d had a strange feeling about this place, but the rent was cheap and cheap was what she could afford. Not having roommates was a little harder on her bank account. “This is ridiculous. Get yourself together,” Rachel said, storming down the hall and flicking on the lights to each room. With the exception of the bathroom and her bedroom, all the other rooms were empty. No furniture and definitely no corpses that roamed in the shadows. She turned the lights off and went back to the kitchen, slipping on her high heeled shoes. A loud horn honked from the street outside and her pulse leapt again. A checkered yellow cab idled on the street, waiting to take her to the party. Tucking a loose strand of hair that dangled around her...

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Halloween: Where Did The Magic Go?

Halloween: Where Did The Magic Go?

Posted by on Oct 11, 2012 in Story Time, Writing | 10 comments

When I was a kid, Halloween was one the greatest times of the year. My favorite part of Halloween, or any holiday for that matter, was one of the houses a few streets down from my home. For the sake of this story, we’ll call this house, Sam. I didn’t know the owner of Sam, but I knew he was crafty, and not in the sneaky kind of way. Sam’s owner used to hand-build all kinds of custom decorations and on Halloween his front lawn became a house of horrors. Remarkably detailed vampires would jump out of full-size coffins as you walked past. Dead, motionless hands that lay upon the moist grass would come to life, reaching for your ankles. And every year things were different; new decorations with more detail than ever would appear, and you’d never know what to expect. Being a house, I imagine Sam was very happy with the way he was dressed for each and every holiday. Halloween was a big deal when I was little. The streets were packed with children until nine or ten o’clock at night. We all loved to go see Sam, curious about what might be in store for us each year. But as we got older, and the displays became more elaborate, something terrible happened. The kids that had grown up, terrified and excited to go see Sam, were no longer interested in treats, they were more entertained by tricks. Unfortunately for Sam and the next, younger generation, those tricks were not of the friendly variety. Vandalism and outright destruction plagued Sam’s yards, for reasons I don’t know. I cannot imagine the amount of time and effort Sam’s owners spent on their extravagant displays, but I can imagine how distraught they might have been to see what someone else – who once loved and adored that hard work – had done to it. The next year the decorations were slightly less, and as the terrors of all hallows eve reigned destruction over them once again, Sam lost his desire to be dressed in festive intricacies. I was too old for trick or treating at this point, but I always made a point to stop by to say hi to Sam. I was sad to see the next year that Sam looked the same as he did every other day. No growling zombies, no floating ghosts, not even a decal to decorate his windows. The magic of Sam had been destroyed and future generations would miss out on his magic. As more years passed and I started to hand out candy at my own home, I’ve found myself buying less and less each year. The doorbell stops ringing by eight o’clock and the streets are sporadic with goblins. Many parents take their kids to the mall where they hold a candy-grabbing event for the ghosts and ghouls of the...

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