Category Archives: no greater love

plot bunny #3: our story, our year

link to Pinterest board here.

This story has been sitting in my brain for months (ever since I started collaborating on it with my dear friend, Sierra), and I’ve recently been given permission to work on it myself, so I rethought the whole premise (the main character falling in love with the reader) and discovered that I wasn’t ready to go into speculative fiction like that, so it’s turned itself into a more normal YA light romance novel.  I think I’ll have a lot of fun writing it whenever I get around to doing so, because it’s a lot brighter and happier than most of my story ideas.  Basically, this girl, Sadie, and her older sister, Dawn are orphans.  Sadie works part-time in a coffee shop (she and Dawn share an apartment, so that’s her contribution to the finances).  She frequents a used bookstore, and comes across this guy named Archer and his brother Ed in it one day.  She and Archer clearly like each other, but then Archer gets into a car accident and goes blind.  Most of the novel revolves around the repercussions of the accident and how love can still grow under the most difficult circumstances (that’s a wayyy oversimplified version of it, but this kind of thing is supposed to be simple, so…).  And here is Ze Snippet.

I stand in front of the old bookstore – Ye Olde Bookshoppe. I pull my winter coat more tightly around me as the wind whistles around the corner of the shop. I really shouldn’t be standing around out here, staring up at the antique sign and waiting for who knows what.
I step inside quickly and am greeted by the familiar tinkle of the bell set to go off when the door opens. The comfortable smell of musty old books greets me. There are hundreds of books stacked in great heaps on both levels of the store. I glance around, ready to make some new friends and meet some old ones – literary friends, that is.
Something makes me pause. The unfamiliar smell of food – hamburgers and fries, my sense of smell informs me – wafts across the close, stale air. Mrs Hudson, the proprietress of the bookstore, never eats in here and so, more than a little curious, I follow my nose.
It leads me straight to the front desk, the desk that’s usually covered with even more stacks of books, although these are mostly rare first editions, complimentary bookmarks, a few scattered business cards and several pencils and pens.
But now all the clutter is cleared away, the precious books are in a glass case under lock and key and there are two burger wrappers gracing the top of the desk along with a mostly empty milkshake cup and some bits of French fry. Sitting behind the desk is a young guy, probably close to my age, with dark hair and light blue eyes.
He looks up. “Oh! Um…can I help you?” he asks, trying to hide embarrassment under the guise of assumed professionalism. He looks nice enough but my main question is – what are you doing here?
“No, not really. It’s just-”
“Really. I can help you find a book if you want.”
“I thought Mrs Hudson was here?”
“No. Mom retired a few weeks ago. She left the store to me and my brother,” he explains. “You caught me on lunch break.”
“Oh, I’m sorry.”
“Don’t be. I was basically done anyway.” He grins.
“I see you’ve cleaned up all the mess,” I say.
“That was actually my brother. He’s sort of obsessive-compulsive about cleanliness. I’m more relaxed about it.” He laughs, waving his hand around to pull my attention to the wrappers and empty containers.
“I can see that. Well, I’m going to browse around.”
“Sure. And seriously, let me know if you need any help.” I nod. “And now I’d better get all of this cleaned up before he sees it.”
Leaving Mrs Hudson’s rather quirky son to clean up the mess from his lunch, I move deeper into the back of the bookstore, toward the classic books. I’m planning to purchase a few more Jane Austen books and Great Expectations if I can find them.
And then another guy materializes seemingly out of nowhere.
“Hi,” I say, not sure who he is. There’s a slight resemblance between him and the guy back at the desk so… “You must be, um, Mrs Hudson’s other son, right?”
He nods. “My name’s Archer.”
I hold out my hand, and he shakes it. “I’m Sadie.”
Archer nods, and then says, “So you’ve met Ed?”
So that’s his name. “Only a few moments ago. I didn’t know you were actually here.”
“Yeah, I spend most of my time inventorying and classifying the books. Mom left everything in a real mess so it’s a 24/7 job. I’ve got the comics and classics sorted out so far – now I’m moving on to biographies.”
I notice the three books in his hands. Jane Austen: A Life, Queen Elizabeth I – The Virgin Queen and Victor Hugo: Life Of France’s Leading Author.
“Don’t let me keep you from your work,” I say.
“Oh, it’s time for my break,” he replies. “Actually, thanks for coming here when you did. I work through my lunch break all the time, so the interruption was useful.” He gives me a warm smile. Genuine. The kind of smile that makes me want to smile back. So I do.
“See you later,” I say, as he disappears back up the narrow aisle, toward the front entrance.
He turns for a moment and wave. I find myself hoping that I’ll see him again.

I quite like it.  You?


P.S. I finished No Greater Love today.  Please don’t ask…


will you join in our crusade?

Anne-girl, over at Scribblings Of My Pen & Tappings Of My Keyboard is hosting her third annual June Crusade.  I didn’t participate in last year, or the one before that, because I wasn’t all that into writing, but this I’m definitely going to be.  She always has a unique challenge for each of her crusades, and this year it will be plot bunnies (hence, the blog button above).  Yes, indeedy, those pesky little things that worm their way into our current works-in-progress, our hearts, and our minds.  But this June, instead of trying to push them away, I’ll be fully embracing them.  I’m not going to go over the rules, or any such things, since it’s all very neatly laid out in her blog post.  I’ve calculated that I’ll have to do a plot bunny every four days or so, and that won’t be a problem for me.  I’ll be posting about my progress as I go along, and I highly encourage all of you to join in this challenge.  It’ll be tons of fun.
P.S. The reason I haven’t been posting lately is because I’m nearing the end of No Greater Love and I don’t. want. to. talk. about. it.  Please bear with me, and I’ll try to get you an update soonish.

the moms of vengeance is mine

I originally planned this post for Mother’s Day, but things got hectic and I’ve been writing too much to concentrate on this blog (even though it’s a writing blog).  But I thought it was still a good idea, so today I’m going to be sharing a little bit about the mothers in Vengeance Is Mine, as well as some snippets.  Each mother is the mom of one of my main characters (although I didn’t plan it that way).  I have roughly four main characters – Aaron, Nathan, Lily, and Dylan – but Dylan’s mom isn’t alive (I don’t think I ever even mention her), so she won’t be on this list.  And now…to the list!

1. Becca

[I don’t have a character casting for this mom, since she just appears in the prologue of book 1]

Rebecca, or Becca as she’s commonly called, is Nathan’s mother.  She only has a part in the first book’s prologue, as I mentioned above, and I can’t even say that she made an impact on her child’s life, since Nathan never knew her.  However, she does drive the plot because, really, if Nathan hadn’t been born, there would’ve been no book, right?  Becca’s words are the first sentence in the trilogy (although, by the time I’m done editing, that might not be the case) and I found her point-of-view very easy to write.  It might have been because I was in the first fervour of NaNoWriMo where everything seemed fresh and new, but I was able to connect with both her fear and her faith on a personal level, and she’s one of my favorite minor characters.  Five pages into book 1, and I was already crying, because page 5 was when Nathan was born and I was completely overwhelmed by the scope this trilogy would take on.  And Becca started it.

Jase’s eyes widened and he nodded. He made as if to duck outside, making sure to check that no one was anywhere near when he did so, but he came back inside. “If you want me to take you back to the city, and your family until the baby comes, I can do that.”
Gratefulness welled up inside her, and even some hope, but she shook her head. “The journey would be too dangerous, and, besides, I want you with me. And they think we’re dead.” She had said and thought such a thing too often for it to have much effect on her anymore, but the thought still hurt her heart, no matter how little. To succeed in their mission, they had given up everything, even more than a normal Existent did. Their home, their families, their very identities. It was only in the privacy of their own little dwelling did they call each other Jase and Becca. To the rest of the world they were Ethan and Jannara.
“Still, we should have someone. A-a midwife, or something.”
“Jase, women have been doing this by themselves since time began,” she said with a faint smile on her face. “As long as I have you with me, I can manage. Truly.”
He hesitated, then gave a quick nod, as if assuring himself of the truth of her statement. “Well, then, I’ll be off.” She raised her hand a little in farewell, and then he left.

Reading over this snippet, I confess that I knew very little about my story world back then.  And I wrote this in a flood of NaNo inspired words, so if it’s garbage, blame the 30 day writing challenge.  It was the only passable snippet concerning her that I could find.

2. Laii

i feel like this could be laii.

Okay, so I figured out that I couldn’t share who Lily’s mother is, because that would be a pretty big spoiler, so I’m going to share with you some things about Nathan’s other mom – Laii.  She isn’t really his mom, of course, but she’s as close to it as anyone could get.  She loves him and scolds him and makes sure he’s safe (no small task).  And she has a mysterious past.  Which isn’t really relevant to this post, but that’s always cool, right?  Laii made some big mistakes when she was younger, and taking care of Nathan and the other boys under her charge in the facility is one way that she tries to atone for those mistakes.  Laii is hard to write at times, because she’s flawed and I still don’t think I have all her motives and dreams down.  She’s both strong and broken, all at the same time.

“Sneakers?” Laii asked, her voice filled with incredulity. “That’s what this was all about?”  He nodded halfheartedly, much as Dylan had done. “Why?” she asked.
“He’s a bully,” Nathan said, and decided to leave it at that. He wouldn’t tell her the details, especially about the time Dylan had sneered at him and said that he didn’t really belong here at the facility. He was afraid that Laii would admit that Dylan was right, and that he would have to go. He had waited all his life for this day, and it would not be spoiled by a fight with Dylan. He wouldn’t allow it.
She nodded slowly, at least that’s what Nathan thought she did. The hood made it difficult to read head motions, and he suddenly wished that she didn’t wear that everlasting hood and cloak so he could read her eyes and facial expressions and body language as he did with the other boys. It would make everything so much easier.
She gave a frustrated sigh. “You’re too angry, Nathan. You let anger wipe away all your good sense far too often. Why?” Her tone of voice showed she genuinely wanted to know, but Nathan wasn’t about to give her what he knew was the reason. It was because at times he felt like he didn’t belong, that he was an outcast, and so he became angry and violent if anyone questioned his position here. Or even if he thought they had. He just shook his head.
She huffed again. “Go and apologize to Dylan right now.”
“What?” Nathan said, all anger and sullenness gone, replaced by amazement. That was all? No punishment, no- Then he realized exactly what she had said. Apologize to Dylan? Impossible. He would rather take a week without food than apologize to that low-down rat. Why wasn’t she giving him a proper punishment?
“Right now.” Her voice was firm, and devoid of emotion once again. “Or you will not go through the ceremony today. You will have to wait another year, and then be behind all the other boys.”

Again, I didn’t really have all that firm of a grasp on my story at this point, but I’ve always liked this little scene, mainly because I had no idea how things were going to play out.  I was just discovering that Nathan wasn’t going to be a perfect hero, struggling against circumstances.  I had no idea how important Dylan would be in the future (although the sympathetic way in which I handled the scene right after this might have told me something), and I knew nothing about Laii’s past.  Of course, I’m still learning things about my characters (I doubt I’ll ever stop) but it’s fun to look back at some of my earlier writings.

3. Callie

Callie is one of my favorite characters ever.  She’s Aaron’s mom, and she’s just plain wonderful.  Besides her great skills as a mom, she always sticks behind her husband, David, through both the good times and the bad (and, believe me, sometimes it gets bad).  She holds the Nonexistent’s community together when David is away (which is often) with the help of Matthew, an old family friend, and she welcomes her wayward son back into the family and their life, despite what he did earlier (*cue dramatic music*).  I’m not done No Greater Love yet (the only book, so far, that she shows up in), but as the story continues, she’s going to be called upon to be even stronger than she has been before.  There’s going to be a lot of stress and strain, but I know she can pull through it.

Monday’s early morning light brought him to the entrance of the community. He stared out across the landscape in front of him, Callie at his side. The ground looked as though it had been chewed up. There were cracks and lines everywhere, all over the ground. Already, he feared for his men’s safety.
“Feeling tired?” Callie asked.
David shook his head.
She put her arm into the crook of his arm and rested her head against his shoulder. “I would’ve thought you’d be exhausted. I don’t think you slept all last night.” She sighed. “It’s been a frightening time for all of us.”
“Looks like the outside got it worse than in here,” David commented, pointing his chin at the scene in front of them. “But we’ll rebuild in there, too. We always have. And the accident seems to be pulling everyone together better than any of my messages ever could.” He closed his eyes for a moment as the sun’s early glare hit him right on. “I should go.”
Her arm slipped out of his gently.
“Be safe,” she said.
He nodded. “I’ll see if we can get some supplies back to here.”
Callie smiled then. “That would be good.”

So there you have it!  The mom’s (some of them, at least) of Vengeance Is Mine.  Do you have any mothers in your book(s)?  What are they like?



snippets – no greater love


I’m now 26,000 words into No Greater Love, and I’ve written some awesome scenes, so I figured it was time to share some snippets.  Enjoy!

Dylan sighed, rolled his eyes, and turned the rock piece that served as a knob.

“There,” he said.  “It’s open.  And I don’t know why it took you guys so long.”

He did, but since it was the same problem that plagued him, he wanted to cover up his own embarrassment by pointing out theirs.  He didn’t know why he did it, since it made him feel even worse, but that was the way it was.

The door was open, but no-one made a move.

Oh, come on.

“Let’s go,” he said and led the way in.

Aaron followed after a moment’s hesitance, but Nathan took longer to accept the offer.  Whatever.  Dylan didn’t feel like waiting for him to make up his mind about whether he was going to bolt like a scared horse or come in.  He would enter the main living area by himself, with Aaron, or all three of them.  He cared little how it happened.

But it was going to happen.

How many times before had he walked through this tunnel?  The floor was rough with little rock bumps and pebbles.  It was cold, and dirt free, since it was swept every day.  Dark as black fire, since they didn’t want any light to escape from the rock-posing-as-a-door, but flashlights were in a box about five metres in.

He grabbed one and flicked it on.

It took him his usual time – about fifteen minutes – to reach the inside door.


He let out a deep breath and then pushed the door open, his movements firm and decided.  He glanced behind him and saw the beams from Aaron’s and Nathan’s flashlights a little ways down the tunnel.  He would go in alone, not wait for the other two.

His entrance was greeted with surprised stares. ~Chapter 1


“Where’s Mom?”

Zach grabbed his hand.  “At home.  Let’s go.”

Aaron half smiled and allowed himself to be led.  His stomach felt all twisted up in knots, and his heart was pounding wildly.  He’d imagined coming home a hundred times, but now that he was here, it was nothing like how he’d imagined.  Nothing could have prepared him for the nervousness he was feeling.

Everything he knew of lay between him and reconciliation.

His fight with Dylan.

The horrible, heartless letter he’d left.

Joining Nathan.

And now, finally, returning.

But it was too late to run away, or back out now, so he followed Zach, even though he still knew the way back to their apartments well.  All he hoped was that in telling her and his father about how he had left Nathan and tried to help other Existents get home safely, they wouldn’t feel as badly toward him as he knew they did.

Zach pushed the door open.  “Mom,” he called.  “Guess who came home.” ~Chapter 1


“It’s silly,” he protested.  “It’s a cliché.  Everyone does it.”

“I know,” she said, grinning.  “That’s why we need to do it.  To continue the silly, clichéd, but very sweet tradition.”  She took the pen knife out of his pocket and handed it to him.  He reluctantly took it.  Their hands brushed together for a moment before she pulled hers back.

They looked at each other for a moment, and then he went to the business of grumbling about the whole thing again.  Inside, he was already resigned to doing it – perhaps even looking forward to it – but he wanted to make her laugh in an irritated way at him.  To make her tease him into doing it.

“Well,” she prompted.  “Are you going to do it, or not?”

“Not,” he said, hardly keeping the grin off his face.

She shoved him playfully.  He shoved back.

“Listen, Dylan.  I want this to be serious.”

“How can something that’s not even happening be funny?”

She rolled her eyes.  “You’re going to do it.  I know you.”

He raised his eyebrows.  “Really?” he asked, in surprise.


With a sigh that was supposed to sound exasperated, he fiddled with the pen knife and finally got it open, after much grumbling and muttered comments under his breath.  “Where do you want it, Your Majesty?” he asked, sending her a sideways smirk.

She pointed to a stretch of railing right next to her favorite spot with an immediacy that showed she’d been thinking of the whole thing for some time.  It wasn’t a silly project to pass the time of day.  For her, it was serious, so he decided to stop playing games and be as serious as possible too.

With a bit of grunting, just to show her how hard it was, he chipped out their names in the water spray softened wood.  It was crooked and crude and some of the letters were hardly recognizable, but, overall, it looked fine.

She stared at it, a smile on her face.

“Thank you, Dylan.”

He smiled back.

“Oh, put the date in too,” she said.

He did so, and then asked why the date was so important.

“We can take our children here someday and show them, and-”  She broke off, flushing bright red when she realized what she’d just said.  They weren’t even engaged yet – hadn’t even talked about marriage, much – and she was already talking about their children.

In a way, though, he was glad she’d said what she did.  It had showed him her innermost heart, and he was happy she felt that way, because he felt that way too.  And that day, sitting in the light mist of the waterfall and looking at the shadowy rainbow made of weak sunlight and water, he promised to himself that one day, he would ask her to marry him. ~Chapter 1


David stalked out of the cave and walked deep into the forest that stood to one side of the hidden cavern.  He had never killed any animals – deer, rabbits, foxes, or bears – choosing to practice on tree targets instead.  But if his years of preparation were finally going to bear bloody fruit, he might as well begin with less than human targets.

Besides, his men needed meat.

Others had often shot animals, but never him.

Let’s begin.

For the hunt, he grabbed some plain wood arrows with sharp metal tips, instead of the highly advanced sonic-explosive arrows.  Those were too valuable to be wasted on simply getting some food.  He sometimes used them for tree targets, just to get used to the rush of energy they gave off as they were released, but not often.

Until a deer or two revealed itself, he would shoot off a few arrows as a relaxant.  It always worked that way.  He would get frustrated by some petty thing, too tired to care about anything anymore, or something of that sort, and then he would come out to the forest and shoot arrows.  In his mind, a good leader recognized when he was over his head – or when his men were – and he would retreat to gather himself together again.

It was best for all parties concerned.

He sighed again and settled his back against a tree.  He wanted to try the technique of bracing the bow with his feet and shooting.  It was something he’d done only a few times before, mostly because he was terrible at it and he hated the feeling of missing his target.  That was a bad attitude to take, but he couldn’t shake it.

Still, he wanted to try and failing again and again was the only way he knew how. ~Chapter 1


“David,” she gasped, as soon as she was able to speak again.

She laughed a little, but there was a strange look in her eyes.

Worry, perhaps even fear.

“What is it?” he asked, looking around.  Everything was as it should be.

“Aaron is back.”

He stared at her for a moment, unable to comprehend what she’d just said.

“Our Aaron?”

She nodded.

“When?” he asked.

“A few days ago.  He and Dylan returned with most of the Existents that were captured last month.”  She laid a hand on his arm, her eyes full of concern.  “What are you thinking?” she asked.  Blond hair fell back from her face as she looked up at him.  Her face was worried. 

Did she think he would be angry with their son? ~Chapter 2


Something deep inside him warned against the water.  It told him that being hypnotized by the stuff was dangerous, something that could result in injury, even death, but he didn’t heed it.  The power of nature acted like a drug on his soul and mind, wiping away thoughts of pain and the ache of his heart.

He leaned even closer.

The thunder filled his ears.

Blood pounded in his brain.

Cool mist fell on his face.

And then he found himself slipping away, over the edge, into endless space.

A crack resounded off the cavern walls. ~Chapter 2


No matter what Callie said, he still didn’t trust Nathan.

He was willing to give the boy a try, not irritate him, and listen to him if he had to.  But beyond that he still viewed Nathan as a dangerous antagonist, if not an outright enemy.  A wrench in his plans.  An undetermined quality in the chemical make-up of his home.

Callie stood in front of him, adjusting the pack straps.

“Come home safely, okay?” she said, eyes soft.

She said the same thing every time he left, but it never failed to fill him with confidence and determination.  Confidence, because she believed he would come home, and determination, to prove her right and return next Saturday, just as always.

“I will.”

She smiled.

He kissed her.

“Take care of Aaron,” he said, just as he was leaving.  “He worried about Dylan.”

“I know,” she said.  “And I will.”

Then he was gone. ~Chapter 3


The rustling returned.

He glanced down at the ground from his elevated position.  His hand tightened around the smooth wood and metal that made up the weapon.  His breath came slow and steady.  A figure stepped into the clearing.

It was Nathan, just as he’d expected.

The boy wandered around the camp for several minutes, disappearing into the cave two times.  David drew back the taut bow string.  His eyes followed Nathan’s every move.  He had a clean shot.  At any moment, he could take it.  But he didn’t.  He kept the bow’s sights firmly on Nathan’s head at all times, but he didn’t take the shot.

“Just go,” he whispered.  “There’s nothing here.”

Nathan looked around the clearing once more, shrugged, and then disappeared back the way he came.  David let out a long, deep breath.  Good.  That was over.  The camp and his men were safe.  If Nathan had taken the other path, he wasn’t sure whether or not he would have shot the arrow.

Even if he had, it wouldn’t have been to kill.

A hand, an arm, a leg.

That would have been the beginning and end of it all.

As it was, he was glad he hadn’t taken the shot.

He waited a few more minutes to make sure Nathan was truly gone, and then he eased himself down from the tree.  He stretched his legs and arms, and then set off down the opposite trail towards his men. ~Chapter 3


When Callie went to check on Aaron the next morning, the door was open.

That was surprising, but what was even more surprising was the fact that there were three boys in the room, not two the way she’d left it last night.  Dylan lay flat on the bed, as always.  Aaron had scrunched himself up on the chair, probably trying to get comfortable in his sleep.  He would at the very least have a sore neck when he woke.  And Nathan was sprawled on the ground, with his back to the wall, and his legs out in front of him.

She stood just inside the room for a moment, looking at the trio.

All so alike, yet all so different. ~Chapter 4


Matthew ran his eyes over the new railing the next morning.

“What do you think?” Nathan asked.

The man didn’t answer right away.  He walked over to the railing, and felt it, testing for any imperfections or weaknesses.  He took the top board of railing in his big hand and pulled with all his might.  The board didn’t move.

Nathan stayed silent through the whole inspection.

Finally, Matthew turned back to him.  “It’s good work,” he said.  A flicker of a smile broke through the thick, black eyebrows and straight mouth that normally made him look so formidable.  It wasn’t a full commendation, but it was enough.  Still, Nathan guarded his secret of repairs around the community.

He didn’t want to reveal everything, just because Matthew had given his approval to one job.  But he couldn’t deny the satisfaction – even happiness – that swept through him because the man in front of him had approved of something he’d done.  All his life, he hadn’t tried to win other people’s approval, and so he didn’t expect any.

Getting some was a new experience.

Matthew glanced over the railing once more, nodded to himself, and left without further word to Nathan.  But this time, Nathan wasn’t offended.  He grinned so wide his face hurt.  Things were right in the world, at least for the moment.  Now he’d go find something else to do. ~Chapter 4


Callie’s face was worried.  “It isn’t just wanting to know where he goes, you know.  They think he’s a traitor.  Or, at least, they think that they think he’s a traitor.  They say he told the queen all about the Existents and that’s why you were captured.  All of you.”

“That isn’t true,” Aaron said, voice shaking.

He thought of Lily.

“The queen would never have done that willingly.”

She quirked an eyebrow.

“I know her.  Sort of.”

“Be that as it may, they’re also angry about your father sending out the Existents in the first place.  It was Matthew’s idea to begin with.”  She drew her hands together.  “And even though it was a good plan, and a necessary one, he was very reluctant to accept it.  That’s why he always tried to have an older Christian go out with each one.”

She put a hand to her forehead for a moment and closed her eyes.

“Your father has always tried to keep everyone safe.”

“I know, Mom.”

“No.  You-you don’t.”  Callie took a deep breath.  “He would do anything to keep everyone safe.  Anything.  He takes huge risks every day to do that.  He’d sacrifice himself.  He’d-he’d do more than he’s already doing.  And that is why he can’t share where he goes with anyone.  It would endanger everybody.”

For a moment, Aaron thought she would start crying, but she was stronger than that.  “That’s why you’re worried about him so much,” he said quietly.  She nodded.  He stood there, thoughtful.  “Thank you for telling me,” he said.  “I should get back to Dylan now.  We were talking.”

She nodded.  “Please don’t mention this to anyone.”

“Of course I won’t,” Aaron said, smiling.

She gave his shoulder a quick rub, and then let him go. ~Chapter 5

What are your thoughts on these snippets?  Do you need anything about them explained?



update on DOOM

I adore these characters. Every single one of them.

Okay.  So.  Here’s the update: I WON.

*fist pump*

Yep, I won.  I wrote about 2,000 words this morning (as usual…I mean, it’s not usual that I write 2K – it’s usual that I write every morning), wrote around 2.5K in the afternoon, because I had an awesome idea for a short story, and that’s how I reached 50,000 (I love all the zeroes after the ‘5’…).  It was lots of fun, although I felt completely exhausted afterwards.  I always find it interesting how you can be so tired after just sitting in a chair for a few hours.  Your fingers are (for the most part), the only things that are moving.  I guess it’s because, as my mom said when I mentioned it, you’re thinking constantly.  Hmmmm.


As well as reaching 50K in my DOOM document (in which I pasted everything I wrote during the past two months or so), I’ve also hit 15K (and over) in No Greater Love (the third book in my Vengeance Is Mine trilogy, in case you didn’t know).  It’s going SO WELL.  I think I’m finally connecting with my characters for the first time in forever, and it’s the most awesome feeling in the world.  I never understood how authors could fall in love with their own characters, but, um, now I do.  Because it’s happened to me, and, believe me, it’s making so much difference in my writing.  See, I’ve been writing my characters’ stories for over two books now, and looking back on books 1 and 2 makes me want to cringe.  I didn’t understand my charries well enough and it shows.  It affects everything about my writing.  But now.  For instance, I’ve introduced Aaron’s parents in this book (David and Callie, up above…I think Callie looks wayyy too young, but what can I do?) and they are amazing.  David is one of my new favorite characters (and don’t give me the line about authors not being allowed favorite characters – it’s ridiculous).

Dylan, however, is my favorite character out of all my favorite characters.  When I introduced him in book 1, I thought he’d only be in one or two scenes – as a bully to annoy the life out of Nathan.  But then escaped with Aaron to go to the Nonexistents.  And I thought that was the end of him.  But he kept popping up when Nathan travelled to the Nonexistents and I started developing an entire subplot for him with a girl called Esther.  Which turned into an even bigger role in book 2, until he became (quite accidentally), the focus character of book 3.  Now, why is he my favorite?  It’s kinda hard to explain at the moment (at where I am in NGL right now, Nathan’s pouting, Dylan’s whining, and Aaron’s sulking…it’s not fun), but it has to do with Certain Tragic Things that happen to him in book 2 (Tanya knows what I’m talking about), and Certain Tragic Things that will happen to him later in book 3 (well, some have already happened).  He’s a damaged, flawed boy, who’s uncertain about a lot of things.  So, basically, he’s human.  Realistic.  That’s probably why I love him so much.

Annnnnd…I don’t have much else to say.

So I’ll just say goodbye for now


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Posted by on April 26, 2014 in DOOM, no greater love, vengeance is mine, writing



I have a huge amount of writing news to cram into this one post.  And all of it is big.  Really big.


All in all, it’s been a great past few days for me.  LEY ended up being about 25K words less than I Will Repay, but I can live with that.  I’ll probably be mercilessly chopping both books down before I deem them ready to be ‘hard edited’.  My plan for editing the trilogy is this: I’ll cut down all the un-needed scenes/points of view, get everything down to a manageable level, and then start fixing plot holes and strengthening characters.  All the stuff I delete will be dumped in a ‘delete file’, in case I need to use it again (a little trick I learned from one of the numerous writing books I’ve read).  Now, I’d already written a plot outline for NGL (because I didn’t want to get to book 3 and be completely stuck), but I wasn’t happy with it.  One character’s death, in particular, seemed really contrived and just…dumb (it was Aaron, btw).  Also, I didn’t think I had enough material to do a third book, so I’d just be filling in the word count with fluff.  Then Something Happened.  I was washing dishes (which, according to Agatha Christie is the best place to get writing inspiration), when I realized I’d been doing everything wrong.  See, I have a main character for each of the three books, even though the whole thing is really about Nathan’s journey.  Aaron was the main character for book 3.  Not anymore.  Dylan got quite a lot of ‘screen time’ to book 2, and I’ve realized he needs his own book.  So he’s the new main character.  Aaron will still be a big subplot (particularly his unrequited love for Lily), but everything is working out so much better now that Dylan is the focus.  There’s still a death, but it has meaning now.  And a real purpose.

I entered Blood & Rubies into my library’s March Break short story contest.  I hate writing short stories (mostly because the few I’ve written besides this one are terrible), and there were so many limitations to what I had to write (it had to be a mystery, it had to start with ‘The old woman turned and smiled…’, it could be only two pages long, and the font had to be 12 pt. or bigger).  But there was something about the whole thing that captured my interest, so I brainstormed with my sister and decided to try it.  I wrote it, sent it off to beta-readers, revised it, proofread, took it to the library, waited for two weeks and THEN I WON.  I was going to post it on this blog, but my mom already did it on hers, so I’ll just direct you there (it’s at the bottom of the post).

Last thing…the adorable scene in Betrayal.  I wrote out the plot thingy for book 3 of VIM, and I’m not going to start it for a bit, but I still had to write.  So I pulled up the document that I’m writing random scenes from Betrayal in and started writing.  I meant for the scene to be Samuel (the hero) telling Alexia (the heroine) all about his brother, Matt, who had died a long time ago.  And he did that (a bit), but then this ridiculously cute/melt-worthy thing happened that I totally didn’t plan.  I hadn’t meant for their relationship to go so far so soon, but it did.  And I’m perfectly fine with it.

“Matt showed me the textures and colours of music. How to completely immerse yourself in the tune and just play whatever comes to mind. As for painting, he taught me to look beyond the outward appearance of the subject and capture the spirit.”

His face glows as he relives those memories.

I feel as though I’m intruding on something personal and private.

But there is one question I have to ask.

“That-” I begin.

He looks at me, the spell broken.


“That day you sketched me. Did you, you know, look beyond me?”

He holds out a sheet of paper, face down. “You never saw the sketch, did you?” he asks, extending the paper even more.

A flush of red comes up my face, remembering the day I snuck into his studio, hoping to get a peek at it, frustrated that he wasn’t showing it to me. But Annie had discovered me, and I’d left without once getting a look at the sketch lying face down on his messy desk.

I accept the paper, hesitating just a moment before turning it over.

What if he hasn’t captured me?

It’s not a vain question.

If he has, I’ll know that for a brief moment, there was a small something.

If he hasn’t-

I turn it over and gasp, covering my hand with my mouth.

Tears come to my eyes.

“You-how could you do this?”

The sketch shows him and me, dancing on a rainy summer day.

I’m laughing, he’s grinning.

And in that one moment, us is perfect.

It’s only a sketch, but I feel like I’m living that moment.

“We-we never danced in the rain,” I say, my voice shaky. “We never danced.”

“I know,” he says, laying a warm hand on mine. “But I imagined it.” His voice cracks ever so slightly. “Oh, Alexia, I’ve imagined it so many times. Do you think I gave the moment justice? If you don’t, I’ll burn it and make a new one.”

“It’s perfect,” I say. “It’s beautiful.”

“Do you-?” He clears his throat. “Do you want to make it a reality?”




P.S. They do make it a reality.  But this post is long enough.