When you forget a word…

Ever have that moment in a conversation?  When even a simple word like ‘door’ or ‘yesterday’ completely escapes you.  Yeah, me too.  All. The. Time.  Which is the last problem anyone expects an author to have.  (Isn’t that kind of our job?)  

Following up on my first vlog post earlier this week, I decided to have some fun with one of the outtakes.  Enjoy a chuckle at my expense!

PS.  That title scene is Chapter 1, Scene 2 and it is AWESOME!  Go get your copy here.  Kindle edition on sale for 99 cents until Nov 3.

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In Case of Asteroids…

One of my most popular blogs since I launched my WordPress site, has been “Finish What You Start.  Follow-through is a skill many of us are still working to perfect. As I was reading this Freshly Pressed blog today about the asteroid that will be making a fly-by of the Earth in a few days while possibly listening to Tim McGraw’s “Live Like You Were Dying” (no judgement; my daughter is a country music fan), I decided I’d share the story of the meteorite that inspired me to finish Blood Toy in the first place and that, in part, propels me to finish Kindred Shadows.   

A few years back, I awoke to a strange phenomenon.  Everything just to the left of my central vision was distorted, as if I was looking at the world through a swirly bokeh lens or a large crystal ball floated prominently in my periphery. 

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Yeah, exactly like that.

Of course, I did the only reasonable thing to find some answers in that situation: I googled it.  Best guess, I was suffering from the onset of an ocular migraine.  It was only because my husband wouldn’t let me take a chance on it that I even went to the optometrist that day.  I was so confident it was nothing, I drove myself.  About an hour later, I drove myself home and let my husband drive me to the retinal specialist. The doctor was stuck in traffic, so we had to go back the next morning for the first eye injection that might save my vision. 

Turns out, I have a rare (except in the Midwest) eye disease called Ocular Histoplasmosis. It is caused by exposure to the histoplasmosis bacteria usually found in bird poop.  I was asked repeatedly if I had been around many chicken coups growing up.  Nope, but my Grandfather raised pigeons (if such creatures can be raised).  He constructed elaborate multi-room condominiums in his barn for the little sh*t factories.  I spent many a summer swinging under a canopy of pecan trees watching them peck around the yard and roost on the ridge of the barn’s roof.  Wondering if I caught one and tied a message to its leg if someone, somewhere would get it and send a reply back to me. 

Those damned pigeons nearly took my eye sight.  Typically the histo bacteria causes mild upper respiratory and flu-like symptoms, then goes away. On rare occasions, it doesn’t.  A regular histo meteor shower rains down poking holes in other organs to be discovered twenty years later and scare the bejeezus out of you. 

We got the initial bleed under control within a few months, and my vision returned to 20/20, with just a smidgen of blur where the histo spot lives.  But the chances of another bleed one day are 50/50.  The chances of a bleed in the other eye, also 50/50.  I am fortunate in that I have a mild case and only one spot threatens my central vision, but I didn’t know that at the time.  Doctors are hesitant to give false hope, so sometimes just don’t give any.  I spent a few weeks convinced it was only a matter of time before I lost my vision completely.

I made up my mind to finish Blood Toy when I got the news; I was afraid I might run out of time.  Who knew if I could re-learn how to write…blind.  I know better now.  My vision may not always be 20/20, but it is unlikely to deteriorate completely due to the histoplasmosis. But you never know. Asteroids happen. If there is anything you might regret not doing if you lost your chance, you better get while the gettin’s good. 

Like reading Blood Toy.  You would definitely regret not reading it;)  And the gettin’s especially good right now.  The Kindle edition is on sale for 99 cents through Nov 3rd!

Secret Identities and a Reading

Two days ago, I jokingly posted on my Facebook page: Work-life balance when you have a secret identity is really hard!  What I really wanted to post was: In two days, I am going to post a vlog (mostly) concealing my secret identity!  I might have felt a little silly donning the mask any other time of the year, but…it’s Halloween.  Enjoy.

Sunday Snippet–Special Edition!

I haven’t posted a new snippet or teaser in ages. Today is special one, not only because it breaks the silence, but because today I give you a first look at Book 2, Kindred Shadows. Somewhat of a misleading one, which may or may not have been deliberate. Reading these lines, you might be inclined to think I’ve decided to write a paranormal romance after all. Let me dissuade of that illusion immediately. Book 1 has been called ‘sadistic’, ‘abusive’, ‘urban fantasy with a mean backhand’ and very much an anti-love story. When I wrote it, I honestly didn’t think it was any more dark or sadistic than any classic vampire story. Book 2, on the other hand, crosses lines I am already wondering if I will end up re-drawing in developmental edits. So don’t let the sweet talk fool you.

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If you haven’t read Blood Toy Book 1, pick up your Kindle Edition for 99 cents on October 27th (just in time for Halloween)!  It will be on sale until Nov 3rd.

The Girl: A Comparison

Screen Shot 2015-06-20 at 7.07.26 PMEven Blood Toy’s critics have cited Diane’s determination to keep going, despite regularly getting beat or bled to unconsciousness, her best quality. While Diane compartmentalizes herself(AssassinDreamer-Girl), the Assassin is her dominant persona whenever she is awake.  It must be…or she dies.  There isn’t much room in her life for the Girl, so that persona inevitably gets squished into the corner.  Maybe she’ll have time one day to experience all that ordinary stuff that girls do—like shopping, dating, going to work, learning how to order a coffee at Starbucks.

The Girl has always been a reflection of myself.   When I started writing Diane, she lacked the sharp edged wit and resolve that characterize her now.  In fact, she was the very persona of despair, exhibiting the kind of self-absorbed, fatalistic depression that only a teenage girl could pull off.  She still has a little tendency to over-dramatize, but as Diane got older—as I got older—her unhappiness became more grounded in reality.  A vampire killed her family, and her mission to avenge them cost her the remainder of her childhood, her friends, her home, and her future.  She missed out; nobody’s gonna fault her a little self-pity.

I have often envied Diane for her ability to just be one thing, even if that one thing is pure misery.  But I tend to compartmentalize myself as well.  I am Wife and Mother-Breadwinner-Author.  Personas listed in order of dominance, Author is not last by accident.  When the first two parts of my self are not over-tasked, I have plenty of time to play Author.  Over the past month, the Author has been squished in the corner….way, way, way in the corner…an itty, bitty corner of the basement you don’t go down into because “Here be Spiders!”

Over the past month I have had to become an Assassin of a Wife and Mother.  The school year started seven weeks ago.  Four weeks ago, my daughter was put on behavioral probation.  Three weeks ago she was invited to withdraw.  Two weeks ago, my husband and I  had the opportunity to get on first name basis with the parking valet attendants at the Children’s ER.  And one week ago, we set up house to run nearly as orderly as an Inpatient Behavioral Health Ward from which she was discharged and enrolled her in school #2.   

My Wife and Mother duties hopefully can be managed by my husband for a few days, as next week I travel to the other side of the country to fulfill my Breadwinner responsibilities.  This has to be my current priority.  Last week, I forgot how to count.  Not big numbers with four or five digits apiece.  Nope, I forgot how to count to FOUR!  (I somehow got eight.)  My husband often jokes that my logical brain switches off after work.  We are all in big trouble if it switches off during.

I am hoping to go into Author mode on the 5 hour departure and return flights.  Then it’s back to Wife and Mother again.  Somehow, somewhere, I will make time to get back to this blog, marketing Blood Toy—my next Kindle Countdown deal starts this month!—and finishing Book 2.  Thank goodness I already know how to order coffee at Starbucks.