Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wacky Writer's Wednesday Prompt 4

This week's WWW prompt was inspired by Selena Gomez's song, A Year Without Rain.  The lyrics are posted after the video.  Picture your MC in love with someone they can't live without.  What would they do if they disappeared, or went away for a long time?  You can also interpret the song how you like. Just remember that the response is due by Sunday at midnight! 

Here's the video:

The lyrics are:

Can you feel me when I think about you? 
With every breath I take 
Every minute, no matter what I do 
My world is an empty place 

Like I've been wonderin the desert 
For a thousand days 
Don't know if it's a mirage 
But I always see your face, baby 

I'm missing you so much 
Can't help it, I'm in love 
A day without you is like a year without rain 
I need you by my side 
Don't know how I'll survive 
A day without you is like a year without rain 
Ohhohoh, Woooaaahh woaahh 

The stars are burning 
I hear your voice in my mind 
Can't you hear me calling 
My heart is yearning 
Like the ocean that's running dry 
Catch me I'm falling 

It's like the ground is crumbling underneath my feet 
(Won't you save me) 
There's gonna be a monsoon 
When you get back to me 
Ohhhh baby 

I'm missing you so much 

Can't help it, I'm in love 
A day without you is like a year without rain 
I need you by my side 
Don't know how I'll survive 
A day without you is like a year without rain 
Ohhohoh, Woooaaahh woaahh 

So let this drought come to an end 
And make this desert flower again 
I'm so glad you found me 
Stick around me 
Baby, baby, baby, oh 
It's a world of wonder with you in my life 
Still hurting baby 
Don't waste no more time 
And I need you here 
I can't explain 
But a day without you 
Is like a year without rain 

I'm missing you so much 
Can't help it, I'm in love 
A day without you is like a year without rain 
I need you by my side 
Don't know how I'll survive 
A day without you is like a year without rain 
Ohhohoh, Woooaaahh woaahh 
Ooohh, Ooooooooouuhh

Monday, February 7, 2011

WWW prompt 3 posted for Amy Judd

Heat traveled through the chipped cup, and into her cold hands. Black limp hair hung around Viktoria’s face hiding her features. She lifted the cup to her cracked lips. Gulping down the scalding liquid, Viktoria didn’t stop until every drop was gone. 
Above her came the sound of gum popping. “Sugar, you want another cup of coffee?” 
Viktoria head slowly rose to look up at the woman in her 50’s. The woman’s hair was a lovely vibrate Easter egg. The girl nodded and pushed her mug towards the edge of the table. Steam rose up from the mug as the black brew sloshed against the sides. Dragging the cup in front of her, Viktoria hovered over the cup ignoring the waitress. Viktoria sucked the coffee into her mouth through her teeth, and winched as it burned her taste buds. The coffee was black, and bitter from being brewed too long. 
Gazes passed over Viktoria easily, never noting anything of circumstance. All around her was the signs of life. People talked among themselves while some of them devouring the food that came from behind the diner’s counter. The clock ticked down the hours, the minute hand finally making it 3:35 pm. A couple burst through the door, a woman with short spiky blonde hair and a man with short hair. The man was scarred from a severe chicken pocks. The woman was of medium build, with a happy-go lucky smile. The woman hung on the arm of the man. They laughed boisterously and wobbled on their feet as they dropped down into a booth. 
Viktoria’s eyes followed the waitress who walked to the couple’s table. “Can I get you kids anything?” 
The man’s arm wrapped around his companions jerked her up against him. “Heck yeah! We’re going to need coffee. I want steak cooked rare, and eggs. What do you want baby?”
The woman was laughing, and turned to kiss her companion’s cheek. “Coffee, with lots of sugar and cream. Oh, and a pancake stack.” The waitress nodded before walking off to give the order. The waitress returned placing cups in front of the couple, and pouring them a large helping of coffee. With a yellow smile, the waitress placed their food in front of them.
“Get you anything else, sugar?” 
Viktoria’s head lifted from her empty cup of coffee, her eyes focusing on the name tag pinned the woman’s pink uniform. “Betty Joe, thank you.” Reaching out, Viktoria brushed her hand over the top of the waitresses. “But, I have everything I need…”
Betty Joe’s eyebrow lifted in confusion, her mouth hanging open the words hanging on her tongue. 
A male voice shouted from the couples table, “HEY YOU! WAITRESS.”
Betty Joe turned away from Viktoria and stepped up to the table. “Can I help you sugar?”
“Yeah, what the heck is this shit?!” The man picked up his plate shoved it across the table at Betty Joe. “I thought I asked for rare. That ain’t rare. It’s freaking beef jerky. “ The man picked up the knife and stabbed his streak repeatedly. 
Betty Joe said apologetically, “I’m sorry! I’ll get the cook to make another one for you.” Betty Joe stepped backwards, her foot landing on a plastic cup. The glass slammed forward forward hitting the woman in the knee. Betty Joe fell backwards her head slamming against the counter behind her. Betty Joe crumpled to the floor lying in a heap on the ground while blood oozed from the fatal wound on the back of her head. Viktoria wiggled out from the bench, and slipped her hands into her pocket. People moved forward hurrying towards Betty Joe’s body. “Someone call 911!” Easily, Viktoria moved around the group stepping out of the diner.
Betty Joe stepped you beside Viktoria. Her hands twisted around and around. The sound of her shoes squeaking as she hurried to catch up to Viktoria. “I’m dead, aren’t I?” 
“Yes. You’re dead.”
Betty Joe stammering, “But…I…What are you?” 
Viktoria turned to face the waitress, “What do you see?” Grey silver eyes gazed at Betty Joe, who starred off at the horizon. 
A sigh of relief cascaded from Betty Joe’s lips, “It’s beautiful.” Betty Joe dropped her head looking down at herself. A transformation had taken place on the old woman. Her hair was long and cascaded down her back in a deep chestnut brown. Her wrinkles smoothed out, and the body that had been worn away by hardship and old age. “You’re an angel of death. Thank you. Thank you for taking me home.” Betty Joe took a step towards the image. “I’m….I’m going to sing now. I always wanted to sing.” Tears streamed down Betty Joe’s face, as she ran forward in her high heels towards the image of her heaven. 
Viktoria’s eyes moved over Betty Joe’s heaven. “No. I’m no angel.” Bright lights flashed in big letters the name, Elizabeth Josephine. Jazz music came from the old Hollywood dance club. Betty Joe didn’t look back, as she slipped into the building, and once she did the heaven faded. 
Viktoria shoved her hands deeper into her pocket, and stepped towards the road. She’d only stood there a few moments before a trucker pulled over. “Going my way?” Limp haired nodded up and down. Viktoria lifted herself up and slid into the cabin slamming the door shut. The onyx ring with its snake eating the stone reflected the light. Dark light cast a shadow on the bearded man sitting behind the wheel, illuminating the skeleton beneath the drivers face, and a clock counting down the minutes till his death.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Wacky Writer's Wednesday prompt #3

Ok, I am a little late today, but better late than never, right? Right! This weeks WWW prompt is:

If you or your character could have any super power, what would it be, and how would they use it?
I think this one is MUCH easier than last weeks, don't you agree?

Remember, each story is due by Sunday night at midnight, EST.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Gideon's Story- WWW Prompt #2 response for Erin Danzer

Posted for Erin Danzer
Title: Gideon's Story

“Gideon McAuliffe.”
Gideon was used to the disembodied female voice by now. He’d been hearing it
for weeks, so to hear it tonight was no surprise. His sleep was never interrupted, but the
dream always started the same. The voice said his name, he turned towards the door
and Rosemary Simon, the woman he loved, would be there. Tonight, he turned towards
the door and it wasn’t Rosemary who stood waiting for him. This woman had blond
locks down to her waist and wore a bright red dress with a black corset. Her pale skin
glowed in the moonlight and her blue eyes sparkled like the shiniest sapphire. He was
mesmerized and for the first time since Rosemary’s disappearance six months ago, he
forgot about her.
“Gideon McAuliffe, you have been chosen to end your current life as a mortal,”
the woman said as she floated into the room. Gideon just watched her enter his
bedroom, her morbid words bouncing off his frozen mind.
“What will I become?” he asked. The woman’s feet made no sound as she crossed
the room to sit on the edge of the bed where he lay. He rolled over to look up at her and
she reached out to stroke his cheek. A small smile played at her lips.
“Why, immortal, of course,” she whispered and his heart pounded in his chest.
“Immortal; like a vampire?” he questioned and her smile widened.
“Yes, exactly that. Isn’t that what you want; the one thing that will bring you
closer to your true love?”
He sat up so fast, he would have knocked the woman off the bed if she hadn't
had such great reflexes. She jumped to her feet and looked down at him, her long nails
skimming his cheek once again. This close, he could smell her: lilies and jasmine with
just a hint of decay.
“What do you know about Rosemary?” he blurted out. Rosemary had been his
life, his one reason for existing before she disappeared. And try as he might, no matter
how long he stayed out looking for it, it was like she fell off the face of the earth. To have
this strange woman tell him she knew Rosemary was like a dream come true; if she
knew his love, he could force her to take him to her.
“I know she hides. I know she’s scared and she needs a companion during these
endless, lonely nights,” the woman declared and returned to her place next to him on
the bed. Her hand cupped his cheek as Gideon stared up at her in disbelief.
“How is it you know where she is when I haven’t found her in the six months I’ve
been searching?”
“You don’t know where to look, but accept my gift of immortality and it will open
the doors you need to be reunited with your true love.” She leaned closer to him, her
fangs glinting in the moonlight. “Say yes, Gideon; say yes to finding your Rosemary,” she
whispered and his breath caught in his throat. This was what he wanted; it was what he
needed. He needed to find Rosemary. Being without her was not living; only when he
found her, could he truly be alive again.
“Yes,” he whispered and the woman smiled as she lowered her face to his neck.
His head tilted back as her fangs pierced his skin and his life force flowed into her

Gideon woke with a start and was surprised to see the final rays of the setting sun
through the open window. He blinked several times and shook his head, trying to clear
his mind of the nightmare he’d just woken from. That woman, he silently swore; the one
who’d been haunting his dreams for weeks. She’d come to him again last night and while
he usually forgot what happened in them, this dream he remembered perfectly. His neck
hurt where her fangs had pierced it and he reached up to feel the phantom wound. He
drew his hand away and his eyes widened when he saw a trace of blood on his fingertips.
His heart pounded as he jumped from the bed and ran to the mirror across the room.
It couldn’t be; it had always been a dream. He couldn’t be a vampire! He looked in the
mirror and gasped at the mostly closed wound on his neck. A bite mark, two holes where
her fangs had changed his life.

WWW Prompt 2 - Mr. Swoon

It's often said that when we dream, we become boundless and our spirits soar to other worlds, other dimensions, other times. Our embodied energy can indeed, go anywhere. Often times sleeplessness can be incurable to a traveler of this sort. Where seeming peaceful sleep is anything but. The subject is always tired, drained, a relative walking zombie amongst the bustle of social or work environments. Their consciousness confused with reality and fiction (although, is it truly fiction?).

Isobel was burdened with such an affliction, carried forward into late twenties from childhood. The dreams from her life were more vibrant in memory then her actual. Memories of her family, of her friends, all back seat to the various dreams that she'd had; mostly violent. Blood, death, tribulations beyond typical mortal comprehension.

Nothing had ever worked, sleep-aides doing little to aid aside from the intensity and weirdness of it all. It was a part of life; something she'd long since surrendered to.

So it was no surprise the morning found her with half-lidded emerald eyes vacantly staring at the screen in front of her. Dark circles shadowed in stark contrast to pale skin. Even her lips seemed white and lifeless. Rivers of ginger hair cascaded down her back and along her shoulders although disheviled.

Her finger hovered over the mouse, mind lost.. lost ... lost in the dream before. Adversely, she could hardly remember most of her morning. Everything was some dull fog she was having a difficult time shaking from. There was a face, a face painted in the smoky recollection which refused to leave. Beautiful, although he was. Fit for a dreamscape, desperate in his beauty and plight.

The dream was soft and colorless. Oddly grayscale which was atypical of her usual vivid hues. Her role in this one was invisible, doomed to spectator much like watching a movie. The era was aged falling more into the roaring twenties. The subject of the dream, was a man. A beautiful man. As most of the participants, she'd never seen him before. Nor this place. The moon was a pale gray crescent obscured by various cloud coverings, and Mr. Swoon (as she was referring to him in her head now) was quite alone, walking along an empty city street in the early morning. Various flappers and dancers spilled out on occasion from different jazz clubs, quickly disappearing in their early generation vehicles. He, however, was just walking. It was like some dusty old black and white film, the viewer sensing that impending violence quickly approaching.

And it did, Mr. Swoon jerked in an alley and mugged for what little he'd had in his wallet. It was the Great Depression after all, everyone was desperate. She'd even rationalized this to herself upon awakening, sweat dampening her brow and heart racing.

His face was one that haunted her all day, what with the realism. The simplistic beauty of it. He'd have had blue eyes, she reasoned. Dark hair. She was in a mental debate upon this when a fellow employee approached, forcing a refocus on reality. Along. Single. Desk job. The only warmth she had that dull, neon glow of a computer screen as she pushed things around with a cursor.

The morning disappeared, and on her lunch break she snoozed in her car. She was startled awake by a large pigeon landing on her windshield, pecking at the glass. Again she'd dreamt of him even in that short amount of time. His scream. She imagined him calling to her this time.

The drive home almost resulted in a few accidents from her lack of attention. She didn't bother to cast even one apologetic glance or awkward wave. No, just home. Home where some food was consumed. Something in the microwave, the taste and contents unmentionable.

Isobel fell asleep to the droning sound of the television. Somehow it soothed her, lulled her into unconsciousness with fewer dreams. Mr. Swoon wouldn't be denied another visit. Not even by the background noise of a infomercial on the latest kitchen gadget by some overzealous host. He replayed his death, hands faux reaching for her before he died, blood gushing profusely from the knife wound between his ribs. A large black puddle in grayscale.

The next morning, the shower shook off most of her horror and she opted a walk to work instead. Five blocks away seemed manageable as the sun was rising. Her body protested but her mind utterly enjoyed the crisp fresh oxygen of twilight.

Through the maze of buildings, she caught something painfully familiar. Updated, but near identical to her dream. The edge of a building, a window, a street lamp all in the same location. Her breath caught and that humming bird heart slid to her throat.

Was this still the dream? Some new progression of it? The alley was coming into focus now, the dark depths interrupted by trash and dumpsters and....... a man. A man. A man was laying face down on the asphalt ahead of her, moaning in agony.

Her feet moved before her and somehow she knew what she'd find as she turned him over. It was him, of course it was him.

Police were called. Ambulance. He was rushed to St. Mary's Hospital and saved, of course. Saved. And not once did she leave, rotating between holding his hand to pacing in a waiting room. It was the next day in fact that his eyes fluttered open, the most amazing of cerulean. Blinking away the medical veil, he swallowed thick and turned to face her. His was a look of confusion, as much shock as he could display on morphine. "I've been dreaming about you.."

Owning & legalizing your pen name

So, I was asked "how do you go about with legalizing your pen name?"  I feel really bad for taking so long for responding to the question, but life has been busy this last week.  Anyway, I had the chance to speak to a few authors that I knew who used pen names, and I was told this; there is really no way to legalize or copy write your pen name.  I was however, told that you should google the name that you want to use, and make sure that no one else is using it.  The last thing you want is to take someone else's name, and have a whole big legal issue on your hands!  Once you are absolutely certain that the name you want is available, then go ahead, make it yours!  Start plastering it everywhere. Make a website with your pen name, a facebook page, blog, twitter....etc.

Just make sure you google the name first and make sure that it's available!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wacky Writer's Wednesday Prompt #2

Sorry this is a little late in the day guys.  Life seems to have escaped me!  This one was inspired and suggested by Ira.  I kind of like the idea; it's original and unique. Are you ready? here it goes:

You wake up one night after having one of those deep, thought provoking dreams.  Only, instead of forgetting about it, this dream changes your life.  What is this dream, and how does it change your life?
There you go! That's your prompt for this week. It's due by SUNDAY night instead of Saturday.  Remember the minimum word count is 500 words and the max is 1,500!


Remember, for those of you who have posting rights, please make sure to post your story with the subject WWW Prompt 2 + the title of your story if you have one.  If you don't have posting privleges, e-mail me at with the subject WWW Prompt #2

Friday, January 21, 2011

How to spot a scam

This blog was inspired by an e-mail I received today from  I received an e-mail from someone with what seemed like a potential position, but it sounded too good to be true.  So, I did my homework, and it turns out, they were a scam artist.  The sad part was, it was for a "real" position.  And that got me thinking; there are a lot of scammers out there; how do you tell the legit people, from the scumbags?

In this day and age, everyone is looking for a quick buck.  However, there are ways to earn it, and then there are ways.  And with this horrible economy, it seems as if most people are desperate for money.  Some people can get so desperate for cash, that it can cloud their judgment.  This is where people like scammers come into play.

Unfortunately, it is hard to crack down every single scam out there, so I am here to offer you advice on how to avoid getting trapped in one.  Scams are not only common in the literary world, but they are common in the real world as well.  In the literary world, it is a little bit more difficult to spot one, but if you do your homework on a publisher or agent, you should be able to avoid getting caught up with one.

Let me tell you a little story or two.  Before I signed with Otherworld Publications, I almost got involved with a company called The Writer's Literary Agency.  I found them through an add on, and thinking they were legit, I clicked on the add to see what they were all about.  I followed their guidelines, and was contacted.  Naturally, I was excited, and went through most of the process, minus getting my book critiqued.  I got the contract, and thankfully I did not sign with them. first off, they wanted me to send my work to a THIRD PARTY to have my work critiqued.  This raised some suspicions.  Not only that, but they wanted me to PAY to have my book critiqued.  Then, I opened the contract and read it.  Luckily at the time I was working at a law firm, so I had access to hundreds of attorneys.  So, I had one of them look at the contract.  There were things in it that I never agreed to, and I am glad that my mother was smart enough to google this company.  It turns out that they are a self publisher type company (which is fine for those who have the money to self publish), but they don't say that on their website.

Take a look on their website for yourself to see what they say: Writers Literary Agency

They say right in their description that they don't sell your work to vanity publishers or charge reading fees.  BUT what they so cleverly leave out is that they want you to have your work critiqued, and that it costs YOU money.  Another thing I just noticed on their website, is that they say they don't edit, but they do mention that they will help you polish your work.  Talk about a double standard there.

When you google their name, the word scam comes up along with it.  Read this one article that comes up with by someone named Bionic Lady and on Eisla Sebastian's blog.  Both blogs pretty much say the same thing.

Another Agent that I consider to a partial or full scammer, is Barbara Bauer.  She came up one day in a search I conducted for literary agents.  She seemed legit, and so I queried her.  Within a month, I received a letter in the mail (an actual letter from her!).  I was impressed and quite surprised when I received it. I was standing in the kitchen with my mother when I opened it.  The letter was basically offering me representation if I paid a "membership" fee.  Sure enough, along with the letter, came an application, that was much like a job application. It asked me for my school information, my work history, and here's the ticker: my social security number!  A red flag immediately went off at the request of my SS#.  NEVER, EVER give out your social security number to ANYONE.  My mom and I looked at each other, and I decided that just by having to pay the membership fee, I wasn't interested. Her clients are legit, and although she might not be a scam, she does charge a fee.

From what I have learned over the last two years, is that any reputable literary agent or publisher will offer to pay you money if they are truly interested in your work.  Yes, they need to earn a living, but they will take money out of your books royalties, not from you specifically.  Now, this is with traditional publishing, I can't say much about self publishing.

The bottom line is this; if it seems to be too good to be true, it usually is.  If something seems fishy or "funny" to you when dealing with a particular agent or publisher, go with your gut or intuition, because trust me, it's usually right. Make sure you use common sense, and do your homework.

Prompt #1 Story

The air was thinner here in the mountains, although dry. That sort of thinness that strangled you, working into your blood to simmer it down to dust. I sat perched in my usual, an orange dirt carpet at the edge of a cliff. Precarious to some, although common place to a man unafraid of death. The sun was bleeding behind the broken horizon, red strewn all over the clouds. Some would call it glorious although I had seen so many now, even that sort of majesty was commonplace. Surely I'd become more a monster as I sat there unmoved, just lost in my thoughts unaffected on the face of Bat Rock Summit.

Even now, as the seconds were pissing by, lost to the consumption of life, she was dying. That shriveled up porcelain goddess. If I were any kind of man (which I only was relatively speaking), I'd be at her side, holding one of those thinning hands, kissing her fingertips and telling her how much I loved her. She'd smile as she always did, her head tilted in warm affection as she replied, "I love you too Binky." I'd always hated that name, but I know if she'd ever stopped calling me that my heart would shatter.

I'd tried everything in my power, everything I was taught to try and save her but the old ways put down on me were just not enough to compete with aggressive cancer. My "father" would have said something generic like it was her time. But even in that vague statement, he always managed to have a tone of unique wisdom with most everything he said to me. I'd sulk or brood, but he was always right in the end.

I think she just tolerated my attempts. More of those weak smiles, some secret understanding that they'd fail. I think she'd known for a while she was leaving and nothing would disrupt the peace she'd made with that. Especially not me.

I tossed a rock into the gorge, watched it fall and hit somewhere on the bottom soundlessly, hardly a speck. The sun was lost, followed by the vague milk of twilight. It was time to go. I couldn't sit up here all night debating over this anymore. Debating if against her wishes and my better judgment if I'd participate in the 'forbiddens'. That magic Lou' had tried to keep me from knowing but I found out about anyway. For now, I had to go. I had to be a man. Her man.

My 85 Camero left dust trails in waves behind me. I think, at one point this bucket used to be black. Over time and abuse it was more brown, either from dirt or rust it was uncertain. It worked, which was all that mattered. I wasn't a man that cared two shits about appearances and the niceties of life. I lived in a shack. I drove a car riddled with dents and filth. My clothes matched the unkempt ensemble. Boots. Jeans. Flannel. Yeah, you get it… a real bum.

The hospital looked like it was preserved in the seventies and it was really no wonder how they couldn't help her. She wouldn't be moved though, predictable. I rested on her bedside, a crooked smile offered as sacrifice despite my sour mood.

She was some technological angel, wings of bedsheets and decorated in wires and tubes and all manner of annoying beeping things in a sickened chorus of noise. It smelled like chemicals, muting down her usual natural fragrance of vanilla.

"Hey Binky.." she said weakly, her voice a soft hoarse whisper bespeaking of pain she'd never admit or complain of.

"Hey sweetheart," I replied gruff, stubbly face pressing against her palm, "How you doin'?"

"I'm alive," she smiled, nose wrinkling. My god what an angel.

I smoothed back golden hair, thinned from the chemo before she'd ultimately told them to shove it and allow her to die with some dignity. But she wouldn't be dying here. Not in this place, which was partly the intention of my visit tonight.

"Baby, let's get outta here.." I said against her ear, eyes darting cautiously towards the door. That look of confusion lasted only a second before she understood, you could see it within those gleaming cerulean pools.

She nodded once, and I managed a wheel chair, blankets. I wrapped her up carefully and walked her down the halls. We only had resistance from one doctor, one that recognized her who briefly voiced her inability to leave.

I say briefly because my knuckles connected with his jaw shortly after leaving him out cold in the elevator. We were gone after that. In that piece of shit car, to my piece of shit shack and she was settled down amidst fuzzy knitted afghans and clean sheets. (She'd washed them before she'd gotten bed-ridden, as if I knew how to operate that machine.)

We talked all night, enjoying the bliss of mild conversation. One that, unless I intervened, would be here last. I had shimmied down between a rock and a hard place. What remaining moral value left in my by ol' Lou screaming against the darker magics. My love for this woman screaming pro blackness, her survival at any cost.

When the sun rose again, another murderous landscape against the sky, I knew what I needed to do.

Lou had made me the shaman about two hundred years prior, in this very place and surprisingly it'd changed little during that span of time. The wizened old Native American man had found me in the desert, half-dead. One of the first colonists of this country. I was so hungry for it then, and now. Now I'd rather it burn down, every square inch. Lou made me a shaman so he could himself pass on. I'd done little with those abilities in the mean time. He'd had hope for me, and I failed him with the inability to have hope in myself. Devoid except for Patricia. This frail dying goddess.

As the sun set, she was sleeping. Maybe she was already on that pathway towards the other side. Some restless unknown she was unafraid of. I held her hand again, and aligned my lips with her ear. "I love you sweetheart. This world needs you, not me.." and I kissed her fevered cheek.

The ritual took a few hours, well into the heat of the afternoon. She'd slept through it all, her life dimming before my eyes. Her breath shallow, but my own comprehension weaved in and out from a spirit realm to here. Hallucinations of Lou and his predecessors all staring at me with emotionless expressions that refused to indicate their approval or disapproval.

When it was over, I was drenched in sweat and her color was returning. She was now the life of this land. She was its voice. She was a healer to the people, a comfort to all the beings of nature. She was the shaman. Her heart and patience were suited to the work.

I staggered outside, returned with a desert blossom which I adorned in her hair, now that lustrous spun gold that I remembered. I kissed her unconscious lips feverishly and left. Walking. Walking. Walking until I was again on that dirt carpet, spread out watching the stars gain life in the sky above me. Little white flecks slowly materializing into existence. Lou was sitting beside me now, a smile on his face. Just a small one. It was the only way I ever knew I'd done something right. (which wasn't often).

"Close your eyes.." he said, accent thick. I did so. I did so and dropped down into utter peace, suspended in a bleeding sunset.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Delilah-Posted for Erin Danzer for WWW prompt #1

I am posting this for Erin, as she was having trouble posting this herself.  Please be nice and comment on her story!

Prompt #1 - If you were a paranormal creature, and you had a friend with an incurable disease, would you "save" them or let them suffer and possibly die?

I’ve never told anyone this before. Everyone around me thinks they know me so well, like I’m their best friend or something. In reality, nobody knows me and I am their worst nightmare. My name is Delilah and I am a vampire. My bite is intoxicating even as it takes the last drop of blood from your veins. You love me. You beg for me. You wish it would never end. I hate you. I’m incapable of anything other than lust and satisfying my own needs. Or at least that’s what I always told myself… until James came along, when everything I thought was right was turned upside down.

James and I met in a bar. That’s where I used to meet a lot of my “dates” and I figured he wouldn’t be any different. The first night he said hi to me in passing. The second night, he completely ignored me. That irritated me; nobody ignored me if I didn’t want them to. I tried to get close to him, to learn his story, find out who he was, but every time I tried, he moved further away. Finally, a week had gone by and then another and I knew as much about James as I did the first night we said hi. I knew I needed a different approach.

So I peeked into his mind and found out where he lived. I started haunting his apartment building, waiting for an opportunity to approach him. I had to have him – I had to know him! Due to the lack of contact, he’d become an obsession. He had to be MINE! And I was going to make it so.

Finally, after another month of haunting his apartment building and anywhere else I knew him to be, he let me approach him. After six agonizing weeks of being left out in the cold every night until dawn, his eyes met mine and I knew he’d finally relented. He nodded as he passed the shadowed doorway where I hid and my hungry gaze followed him into the building, where he left the door ajar instead of pulling it closed tight. Swiftly, I raced to the door and followed him up to his fourth floor apartment. Though I’d never stepped foot inside, I’d spent plenty of time in the hallway outside. This door was also ajar and I pushed it open with ease. It never occurred to me to take caution. He was letting me in! After what felt like a small eternity, he was letting me into his home – his  life. And now his life would be mine!

The apartment was brightly lit and sparsely furnished. A low couch and a table made up the front room. I stepped around both, listening for sounds of him throughout the apartment. The kitchen was straight ahead and I thought I heard something from that direction. Or was it the bedroom down the short hallway? I just didn’t know. I stopped in the middle of the living room and closed my eyes to better concentrate. Now that I was surrounded by him, I couldn’t keep my mind on the task at hand.

I felt him enter the room the same moment I heard the whisper of his bare feet on the plush carpet. My eyes popped open to find him standing just inches in front of me. Surprised, I stumbled back, catching myself on the corner of the table. I would have fallen if not for his quick reflexes. He reached out and kept me steadily on my feet. I was eternally grateful.

“Who are you?” he whispered, his voice raspy. His slate blue eyes stared at me hard as though he was trying to answer his own question without giving me a chance to. I narrowed my eyes at him and flipped my long mane over one shoulder, but his grip on my arm stayed strong and kept me within kissing distance. He shook me a bit, enough to set my hair fluttering around my face.

“Who are you?” he repeated, his voice stronger now that he had an edge of anger in there. I planted my feet and stood my ground.

“I am Delilah,” I told him regally. He studied me another moment before doing the one thing I’d never had done. He threw his head back and laughed in my face. Anger warred with awe at the beautiful sound and I debated whether to punch him or pull him closer.

“Seriously; that’s what you’re calling yourself these days?” he asked still chuckling. I cocked my head at him. Did I know him? I took in his torn, ratty jeans and faded shirt, his white hair that looked in need of a trim and wash and the slate blue eyes that never left mine. Unease settled in the pit of my stomach as I thought back over my 300 years, trying to place his face. It all took a matter of seconds, but it felt like a year. I shook my head. I didn’t know him.

“Who are you?” I asked in return. His eyebrows shot up in surprise as he finally let go of my arm and took a step back to put some distance between us.

“I am Gideon,” he announced. My heart pounded in my chest as I blindly stumbled back from him. Gideon! My love! Shakily, I sank onto the corner of the worn couch and stared up at him with renewed interest. This couldn’t be the strong man I’d loved. The Gideon I’d known had long dark hair and eyes the color of the summer sky. Gideon had been human; even after my own desertion into becoming a monster, I’d made sure he stayed safe. No one was supposed to touch what was mine. Anger bubbled within me as Gideon sat down next to me.

“What happened to you?” I asked brokenly. It was impossible to deny who he claimed to be; what reason would he have to lie? I forced my nose to wrinkle. “Why are you old?”

“I’m dying,” he declared and I recoiled as though he’d hit me. Dying? He wasn’t supposed to die!

“How?” I barked. “Why are you here now?”

“I sought out another after you became a vampire,” he admitted. “I knew you wouldn’t like it, but you couldn’t stop me if you weren’t around. It wasn’t until after the transformation that I was told about the curse of my existence. Not only did I have to drink blood to survive, but I also had a deadline. After 300 years, if my true love did not die before me, I would die. It’s been 299 years and nine months. I have only three months to live.”

My world crashed down around me. Three months to live? After finding my true love again, all I would get was three months of happiness before Death took him from me for good? NO! It couldn’t happen! There had to be a way to stop it!

“What can I do?” I whispered, horrified but knowing I would do whatever possible to restore him to his former self. He shook his head, averting his eyes to his hands clasped on his lap.

“There’s nothing you can do,” he declared and I glared as I grabbed his arm and forced him to look at me.

“What do I have to do?” I repeated vehemently. “I don’t care if I die; knowing you’re still alive is enough.”

His eyes narrowed again. “I won’t lose you again the moment I regain you.”

“Then we need a solution. You have to tell me how to help you. Please. I can’t lose you again.” 

Bloody tears streamed down my face and neither of us made a move to wipe them away. We sat staring at each other for several minutes, lost in the memories of what we would never have again. Finally, he grasped my hands as he sighed. His eyes met mine and they were kind, the eyes of the man I’d fallen in love with more than 300 years ago.

“You have to die,” he whispered and I nodded.

“I will,” I agreed and pulled him close for our final kiss.

What's in a name? part 1-choosing an author pen name

So, I have been thinking about this all day.  How do you decide what pen name to use for your writing?  I mean, an author's name is very important.  Do you use your own name, or do you come up with an alias?

Me, personally, I decided to use my name that was given to me at birth.  It was honestly a tough choice, but in the end, it just seemed right.  My last name is famous enough; I am a descendant of the first president of the Czech Republic, Tomas Masaryk (the last name was changed to an i when he came to America).  I have been doing a lot of research about him, and have found out that he has a lot of work published. Granted, it's mostly scholarly work and political type stuff, but still.  It obviously runs in the family, and if the first president of the Czech Republic (the man responsible for freeing the Jews during the Holocaust) isn't afraid to publish under his own name, then why should I be?  Heck, the man has a university named after him, and there are several statues of him; one in Chicago, Washington D.C., and one in Prague!

However, there are some instances where you just have to change your name.  For example, say if you write children's or YA books, and you decide you want to venture out into erotica or something.  Would you really want your young readers (who probably look up to you as a role model), to associate those two very different types of writing with you?  Some people might say that it's pointless to use a different name, but in some places, especially if you're active in your church or synagogue, you might want to consider publishing under a pen name.

So, how do you choose a pen name?  That's something that is up to you, the author.  I would go by something that has a special meaning to me/you.  But, no matter what, make sure that you like the name, because once you sign that contract and your book goes to print, that's how people will remember you!

Wacky Writer's Wednesday Prompt #1

This week's Wacky Wednesday Writing prompt was inspired by author Ashlynn Monroe's short story, Dark Miracle.  The prompt is this:

 If you were a paranormal creature, and you had a friend with an incurable disease, would you "save" them or let them suffer and possibly die?

Be sure to take a look at the rules before you start writing your story! 

Wacky Writer's Wednesday Rules

Wacky Writer's Wednesday is a fun little writing game that I came up with.  Every Wednesday I will post up a different writing prompt.  It will either be in the form of words, a music video, a poem I come across or as simple as a photo.  The following are the list of rules to participate in the game.

1a) Check this blog every Wednesday for your new writing prompt.  I will do my best to post it as early in the day as possible, but they will most likely be posted in the late afternoon or early evening.
1b) If you decide to participate, please make sure you link back to this post on your post so that I know you understand the rules.
2) All posts on this blog/in this game are in eastern standard time (if that makes a difference for anyone)
3) Each story should be between 500 & 1,500 words (max & min).
4) If you find yourself going over 1,500 words, make sure to put a TBC (to be continued) comment at the bottom of the page and you can continue with the following weeks post.
5) If you would like to participate in Wacky Writer's Wednesday (Or WWW for short), please E-MAIL me at OR comment that weeks writing prompt blog post.
6) You do not have to play every week, but I would love it if you did.
7) ALL stories are due by Saturday night at midnight, eastern standard time.
8) Please MAKE SURE YOU TELL ME YOU ARE INTERESTED so that I may make you a contributor for this blog, so that you can post your story.
9) After you post your story, please make sure you READ & COMMENT everyone else's stories that are participating.
10) Every story that is entered, will go in a "pool" at the end of every month, and we will all vote on which story we like best. (I will ask my publisher or someone close to me who is a non participant for help with this)
11) The story that is voted on the most will be featured on the WWW page until the end of the following month.
12) The monthly winners will then be put into one big pool at the end of July/beginning of august and will be entered to win a FREE copy of my debut novel, The World Among Us, a YA Fantasy novel with a Romeo & Juliet mythology twist.
13) The monthly drawings will be held on the 29/30 of every month, except in the month of February, where I will draw it on the 28th.

Marked as to read- Dark Miracle by Ashlynn Monroe

Ashlynn Monroe is one of the most amazing erotic and romantic writers I have ever come across.  I recently had the privelege of reading her short, erotic story called Dark Miracle.  In it, a vampire named Orion tries desperately hard to save one of his employees that he secretly loves from a horrible illness.

Dark Miracle is nothing like any of the stories that I have ever read.  It may be a short story, but her amazing use of description and dialogue suck you right in.  She gives you plenty of character background, while keeping your attention (and trust me, she kept my attention.).  I really felt for Orion and Jessalyn's characters, and wanted to reach out and help them myself, but as a reader, obviously that was impossible.

My only "complaint," which is not really a complaint, is that it ends on a cliff hanger.  I was sad when it ended, and found myself wanting to know what happens next to Jessalyn and Orion.  Ashlynn is definitely a talented writer, and it takes a skilled author to be able to write erotica.

My warning is this; it is not for the feint hearted, and if you do not enjoy reading stories with hot, hot sex, you probably won't like it, and it is not suitable for children under the age of 18.  I, however, personally enjoyed it and give it a FIVE STAR RATING!

To read an excerpt from her story, you can read it on her website at:

To purchase a copy of Dark Miracle, you can buy it on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

WWW-Writing prompts

Wacky Writer's Wednesday, or WWW for short, is a new idea that I got.  I will post different writing prompts every Wednesday.  You can do whatever you like with these prompts-you can use them to inspire poetry, or a short story.  If you want to participate, you should send me an e-mail at with the subject being WWW WRITING PROMPTS.  The short stories should be between 500 and 1,500 words long.  Those who participate, will get their short stories posted here on my blog for people to comment.  You're story doesn't have to be perfect, but it should be legible.  Make sure you use spellcheck BEFORE you submit your work.

I am working on a point system, and the person who submits the most stories between now and August and who racks up the most points, will receive a FREE copy of my debut novel, The World Among Us.

Writing and Exercise

Well, we all knew that this one was coming, right?  I feel that this is an important subject to blog about.  When I first started writing and networking, I used to see Tweets and facebook updates from authors about constantly going to the gym and keeping in shape.  I'll be honest, I used to think that they were crazy.  I'll admit, I'm not one much for exercise, but lately, I've had my eyes opened and checked so to speak.  Exercise and writing go hand in hand.

We spend all that time sitting in one place for hours on end most of the time.  Most of the time our Muse just takes over, and when we are in the zone, we don't want to stop, am I right? Of course I am!  It is VERY important to get up and stretch, and take a break for at least ten minutes every now and then.  We're professional writer's aren't we?  We should be able to turn our muse on and off whenever we want.

I know that exercise and stretching is very important from personal experience.  I have arthritis in both legs and my left elbow, and it gets very painful for me to sit in one place for more than an hour at a time sometimes.  I just had a conversation with my Rheumetologist, and she thinks that my lack of taking breaks and exercising could be what is making my arthritis worse.  And you know what?  She might not be totally wrong.

It's very tempting to sit or lay in one spot with your laptop on your lap (especially if you are writing in bed & snug under the covers.).  But in reality, if you don't give your body exercise and get some fresh air every now and then, that lack of fresh oxygen could do more harm then good.

Same thing goes for eating and creativity.  It's important to make sure that you eat a healthy and balanced diet  to ensure that your brain functions properly.  Have you ever noticed that when you're hungry, you don't concentrate as well?  When you're stomach growls, like really growls at you and you're losing focus, make sure you stop.  Get up and stretch, go to the fridge and grab a snack, and take a breather.  Trust me, you will feel MUCH better after words, and your Muse will be happy that you're taking care of it!

So, take it from someone who has experience...exercise and a decent diet plays a big roll in the writing process.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

To write or not to write-that is the question

A friend of mine sent me a message with some topics that she wants to see me cover on this blog.  Now, this particular topic wasn't exactly on her list, but I thought it would be a good first topic to cover...WHEN, WHERE, and HOW OFTEN should you write?  This seems like a simple answer, right?  Well, no, it's really not.

Everyone writes at a different pace and at different times of the day.  Some people are morning people, and some are night owls like myself.  The one place that you should never, EVER write in is your office if you have another job.  Your bosses won't like that, and you'll run the risk of getting fired.  (I know this from experience.)  If you get an idea thats nagging at you while you are at work, try to wait until lunch time or your next break time to write it down. My theory & motto is this: If it's a REALLY good idea, you will remember it a few hours later. Sometimes you just have to make your muse wait.  Remember to thank your muse for the idea, and ask them to help you remember it when you can have a pen and piece of paper handy.

How often should you write?  I always try to write something everyday.  It's hard, I know, and I don't always get to write, but it's a good habit that you should try to do.  Even if you just blog, or write in your journal or doesn't have to be fiction writing if you can't think of anything to write about in your stories.  I always try to aim to write between 500 & 1,000 words a day.  If I can meet that goal, then I am a happy person.  If I don't make that goal, then I usually feel like crap, and make myself concentrate harder the next day.

Either way, whatever your word goal is, reward yourself with some chocolate or a cookie if you meet it.  Also always remember to stretch and take a break if you feel your fingers cramping up after a while. (I will blog about a healthy diet and writing at a later time.)

So, grab a pen and paper (or open up your writing software on your laptop), and start writing, but, make sure you aren't in the "office" first ;)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Advice Blog

As a new writer, the literary world can be a very intimidating place.  You don't always know which way is up or which way is down.  And let's not forget about where do we begin?  Well, worry no more!  I am here as a writer's advocate & a guide to help new writers and authors like you to get your name out there.  I am NOT claiming to be a guru, as I am still learning just like you, but it's no fun learning these things alone, am I right?

Who am I you ask?  I am a new, and upcoming author.  My name is Beth Ann, and my first novel will debut in August.  I have a contract with Otherworld Publications, a small press traditional publisher for my book The World Among Us, a YA fantasy for ages 14+.

This blog is going to rely on interaction from you, the reader.  If you have a question, simply e-mail it to and I will post your answer here on my blog for all to see.  You aren't alone, and I am sure there are tons of people who have the same questions as you do.

So, don't be shy!  I promise not to bite, and NO question is stupid or silly, and I promise to answer any questions you have to the best of my ability.  If there is a question that I don't personally know the answer for, I will do my best to find you the resources you need so you can look into it further.

I look forward to hearing from you all!