From the Mind of Master Imaginationist Crystal Connor ~"A Trusted Name in Terror."

The Darkness, Artificial Light, In The Valley of Shadows

Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Little Red Hen.

In the most snide and hurtful way today I was accused of being “The Little Red Hen.” After thinking about for a while it really is the perfect analogy and I refuse to let that be an insult no matter the level of pretentious contempt in which the words where issued.

The publication of my 1st book has been a long time coming. The Darkness started as a short story five years ago and it hasn’t always been easy. Not only for me but it was really difficult for the people who love me most.

There was a phase where I wrote the same scene over and over…there where times I’d be out walking around in public with a blank glaze talking out the scenes and I’m sure I appeared quite mad.

There were times that people would be talking to me and I didn’t hear a word that had been said because I was distracted by the imaginary world that I had created and wanted to know what was happening there.

There were months on end when all I selfishly talked about was The Darkness despite the importance of what the people who cared about me spoke about.

There was a time when I wrote for 2 or 3 days straight, I didn’t eat and couldn’t sleep, my eyes felt like sandpaper and in a sleep-deprived state of delirium I called my sister at 3am mumbling frantically incoherently about a character from The Darkness. Because I startled her awake and I was near hysterics I scared her pretty bad and when she realized I was talking about the book she was pretty pissed.

I cried for 3 days when I saw the bloody gore on every page of my manuscript that had been caused by the razor sharp tip of my editors red pen.

Now after all this time and work The Darkness is starting to generate some excitement so now that the book is finished I’ve entered the business phase of selling a book. I have been inviting people from different crafts to this project in order to put together a franchise that will be successful.

I have been fortunate enough to meet people who are excited to offer their expertise; people who have suggested some pretty kick ass ideas and have made phenomenal contributions…but lately I’m come across some people who could easily play the roles of “The Lazy Dog”, “The Sleepy Cat” and “The Noisy Yellow Duck.”

These people covetously look at me with dollar signs in their eyes and hope to attach themselves to this project not for how they can represent their crafts but for what they think they can get for themselves.

A woman presented a bid that was 150% above union wages; a man believed that providing eight hours of work somehow entitles him to years of royalty checks and that’s just the tip of the outrageousness.

If these greedy selfish people are any indication of the potential success that I can hope to achieve with the unveiling of my début novel then I am going to have a pretty bountiful loaf of bread…and like “The Little Red Hen” I’ll be damned if I let anyone eat from my table while riding on my the coat tails of all my hard work.

My List of Unobtainable Goals & Dreams

Ok here are the items that fan the flames of my impertinent, blatant vanity and cheers me on from the side lines, let's count down from 10.

10. I want my back yard to look like this without having to be outside digging in the dirt and being surrounded by bugs in biblical portions.

9. I want a dog like this who will not chew my shoes or eat small children but I do not want to spend 6 months and 10K on Schutzhund Training.

8. I want to lounge all day in a bathroom like this...and I mean all day.

7. I want to eat like this...

...and look like this.

6.I want my walk closet to be stocked with these items.
If you’re wondering why there are no clothes in my closet please refer to delusion # 7. If I ever find the willpower to put the cake down, eat some vegetables and go to a gym so that I can look like that the very last thing I’m going to be doing is getting dressed.

5. I want a home office just like this one. (oooooh)

4. I want Laurence Fishburne to be the narrator for The Darkness and every other book that I publish.

3. I want this $120k Hermes handbag in every color they come in.

2. Beause the 16.4 Bugatti Veyron has a price tag of only $1,700,000 I want two of them. One in red & one in black.

1. The #1 most unobtainable item on my list this:

I want to solve this problem.
I want to solve it everywhere, for everybody and forever so that never again will a child on the face of this planet will go to bed hungry just wake up the same way.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Oh-oh the pressures on now (yikes)

I would like to welcome my 1st follower that I don’t know Maurizio, the creator of the blog where you’ll find postings and feeds concerning Global Issues, amazing tips for small business owner & entrepreneurs and the effects of Social Media.

There are gorgeous pictures of his region of the world Oman, feed that follows his twitter post and he’s got an ample following.

It’s easy to practice in front of your friends but once you get on stage to perform for real the anxiety & stage freight kicks in…let’s just home I continue to post interesting content to keep a non friend or family member coming back for more.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Crystal's DVD pick of the Week

“Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned / Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned” The quote by William Congreve is amplified a thousand-fold when the female betrayed is an 11 year old girl. Alison Lea Bingeman & Barbara Stepansky’s Hurt erase the line that divides the role of villain and victim while swiftly transitioning through the emotions of love, betrayal, hatred and vengeance.

The 2008 High Treason Productions races between the genres of Horror/ Thriller and Drama with the intensity of a world-class roller coaster but director Barbara Stepansky takes her time getting us there. Hurt is tense and its slow pace is what makes Hurt so sinister.

Hurt drops us off with the Coltrane family that is going thru turmoil after the death of the husband and we watch the mother Helen move her two teenage children Lenore & Conrad from a high-end home to a trailer out in the desert to live with her brother in law Darryl while they wait for the settlement check from the insurance company. It’s extremely hard to watch this family try to make the best of their circumstances.

Out of the blue the late husbands lawyer calls the Helen to explain that her husband was trying to save a foster child from an abusive household and promises a monthly settlement if she’ll take the girl in…but low and behold things start to spiral out of control once they take in 11-year old Sarah.

Because you’re so distracted with the controlling creepiness of Darryl, his obsession of his late brothers wife and the isolation of the desert setting you don’t see it coming so once the plot reveals itself to you it will leave you with the feeling that you’ve just been hit by a speeding truck.

We learn that Helen’s husband was not the knight and shining armor that Helen once believed him to be. Her husband had a second family and Helen is no random foster child, she’s his daughter. And from that revelation we see why it is that Hell has no fury like a woman scored.

Helen put all her hopes and dreams into her husband, her entire world revolved around him; likewise the greatness man on the face of the planet according to Sarah was her father her very one super hero that tucked her in and kissed her goodnight…and he betrayed them both. The disaster that results from this man’s selfish carelessness gives us a front row seat to witness the frightening apocalyptic power of the fury of a woman and girl betrayed.

This DVD gets a 4½ out of 5

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Crystal’s DVD pick of the week

The most horrifying and unsettling tale of Postpartum Depression since Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper Lars Jacobson’s Baby Blues is not for the timid.

From the opening scene you can tell something is horribly wrong and just 30 min into the movie you’ll start to feel as if you just slammed 2 Rockstars and chased it down with a 5-hour energy drink.

The 2008 Allumination Film Works production follows the rules of classic horror film shooting but it is clear that directors Lars Jacobson & Amardeep Kaleka graduated from Alfred Hitchcock’s school of suspense. The two beautifully create tangible, dangerous levels of stress and tension and don’t let up, not even after the movie ends.

In this visceral story we follow 10 year old Jimmy, the 1st born of the Williams family, as he tries to warn his father, get help for his mother and save his siblings. The scenes are shot up close –there are graphic and realistic, the acting of the children is heart wrenching and they get you hook, line and sinker.

The most horrendous thing about Jacobson’s Baby Blues is the clueless father who wants his wife barefoot and pregnant despite his son’s warning and regardless of the cost.

This DVD gets 4½ Stars out of 5

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Blood-Red Pencil: Do Some Writers Deserve to Starve - Part Two

This is a really good article for all of us who are chasing the dream of becoming a published author. Check it out over at THE BLOOD-RED PENCIL:

The Blood-Red Pencil: Do Some Writers Deserve to Starve - Part Two

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Black Women in Science-Fiction Where are they?

As a HUGE fan of horror and Scifi this something that I've thought about before and I feel the same way that this blogger does, so I decided to share this post with you to see what you think. The link to the blogger who wrote it is pasted below:

Posted by Alden, February 18, 2009 12:59 AM | Permalink

According to science-fiction television, black women remain a visible minority. Despite the dominant visibility of African American women on American television today, according to sci-fi know-it-all Richard Whettestone's, as of 2005 only 15 science-fiction television series have featured black women in lead roles:

Less than 9% of Science-Fiction television series have featured black women as main characters. And that is assuming you were to count recurring characters who were usually tossed in the background.

This has improved a little with recurring black female characters in the most popular sci-fi TV series Heroes and Battlestar Gallactica. However, the exhaustive list from 2005 (after the jump) still makes a statement, that up until recently, black women didn't exist in the imagined future. Weird!

Perhaps TV execs didn't believe black audiences watched science fiction? Just for some balance, see the List of black actors in science fiction film and TV on

Recent TV sci-fi heroines to note: Simone Deveaux played by Tawny Cypress in Heroes Season II (200&); Monica Dawson played by Dana Davis in Heroes Season II (2007); Anastasia Dualla played by Kandyse McClure in Battlestar Gallactica.

HEROES -- NBC Series -- Pilot -- Pictured: (l-r) Masi Oka as Hiro Nakamura, Ali Larter as Niki Sanders, Noah Gray-Cabey as Micah Sanders, Leonard Roberts as D.L Hawkins, Milo Ventimiglia as Peter Petrelli, Adrian Pasdar as Nathan Petrelli, Hayden Panettiere as Clair Bennet, Sendhil Ramamurthy as Mohinder Suresh, Greg Grunberg as Matt Parkman, Santiago Cabrera as Isaac Mendez, Tawny Cypress as Simone Deveraux -- NBC Photo: Mitch Haaseth.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Authors Anonymous: A Haunted House


Asha sat on the end of the couch with her long legs stretched out before her crossed at the ankles. She was looking out of the window at the Sabine River that was still as glass and the lush green Flora and Fauna that, at this time of year, made the Louisianan Bayou look like some distant beautiful exotic lands that you seen on the National Geographic channel.

Amber, Asha ever-present constant shadow asking a million questions a minute, was leaning against her and biting her nails. Asha was extremely agitated and in a pretty murderous mood. From the 3rd or 4th day that they had been here…Asha couldn’t remember, you couldn’t slide a sheet of paper between Asha and Amber, yet Amber pressed herself closer to Asha as she jockeyed for a better position in which to fall asleep. Asha ground her teeth but let it ride.

“We’re gonna be ok Jim, you’ll see. This is our home.” Stacy said. She looked tired. And who wouldn't be tired, there had not been a peaceful nights sleep from the moment they stepped in this house which was six months ago and the war waged at nights in the house was nothing but the calm before the storm.

We’re gonna be ok…Asha snapped her head in Stacey’s direction so fast she thought that maybe she strained her neck. The glare she threw her way was utter astonishment.
We’re gonna be ok.
Asha laughed and returned her gaze to the scenery of the lake.

The priest that was called to perform the exorcism of the house, there were three of them actually. They made it only to the 2nd step of the porch before the joint decision was made not to enter the house.

The voodoo priestess summoned from the French Quarter, and believe me she was the real deal, didn’t even get out of the car. Ambassadors from both ends of the religious spectrum wanted no parts of this but not to worry because We’re gonna be ok.

Now they were waiting for the “paranormal investigation team.” Asha took a long deep breath. If these guys were worth their weight in salt and not some band of traveling circus gypsies preying on the weak and desperate; they would know they were in over their heads.

No such luck. 20 min later the circus gypsies entered the house brandishing thousands of dollars worth of equipment to establish credibility.

The leader of this Ponzi scheme was Richard he read the desperation of Stacy’s body language like an open book and Asha watched Richard like a hawk. Richard offered crackpot hypothesizes while his team took notes and agreed with him for dramatic effect, did a “sweep” of the house and was now ready to “make contact.”

Asha was furious and her trembling woke Amber who knew just by looking at her that something was wrong.

Armed with an EMF meter, to measure electromagnetic fields, and a temperature monitor Richard took three big slow breaths, again for dramatic effect and asked his 1st question.

“Please show us a sign of your presence.” It was all too much for Asha. She stood up and all the storm shutters over the windows slammed shut. She snatched the EMF meter from Richard and flung it across the room where it shattered against the wall.

“Get out!”

Asha?” Amber whispered. Asha warned her to stay on the couch.
Clarence who had been filming dropped the high def camera and started towards the door.

“Clay, where are you going?” Richard demanded.

“Fuck you, what do you mean where am I going? You ain’t ever gonna hear about the Jenkins moving into that damn house in Amityville and you ain’t ever gonna see a movie about “the haunting of cousin Pookie and them” and you wanna know why?” Clarence asked as he opened the door, “Because when a house says get people we get our kids and we get our shit and we get the fuck out.”


But it was pointless Clarence was already in his Escalade and backing out of the driveway.


“Hi I’m Amber what’s you’re name?”

Asha was in the 2nd floor bedroom watching the Mayflower moving truck leave the driveway. “Asha. Now leave.”

Amber left…the bedroom, but continued to accost the entity from the hallway. “I’m four years old, and daddy says I can not play in the lake cuz its dangerous. How long have you been here? Did you see my new doll?”

Oh Christ. Asha turned to look at the little girl sitting on the floor in the hallway. Children had always been able to see Asha, but no child as old as Amber.

“See?” She asked as she held up her doll.

“I have been here for one thousand years. Listen to your father and stay out of the water.”

“A thousand years, wow. Why are you still here? You are really pretty, I like your earrings, my daddy says I can not have my ears pierced, my favorite color is yellow and besides I’m a really good swimmer.”

Amber had made her way back into Asha’s bedroom, struggled to climb into the large leather wingback chair and was now sitting in it and swinging her legs.

“I am still here because this is my house. Stay out of that water, there are things living in it that have been there longer than I have been here. I want you to leave.”

“But I like it in your room.”

“I’m not talking about my room baby doll, I want you and your family to move out of my house.”

“But why? Don’t you wanna be my friend?”

“No. I don’t.”

“There you are honey, who are you talking to?”

“My friend Asha, this is her house and I don’t think she likes us here.”

Stacy looked into the empty room. This was a big house and she expected that Amber would make an imaginary friend or two, she was after all only four. She thought it was Amber’s idea that they weren’t wanted there because she knew her daughter would rather still be in California.

“No honey I’m sure Asha is happy to have you here she’s your friend and this is our house honey. We’re home, come on Ber-Bear it’s time for lunch.”

Asha never understood why people never listed to their children. Oh well she guessed this family, like the others would have to learn the hard way.

The next morning Amber woke up wearing small yellow sapphire earrings worth about $3,000.00 dollars.

“Where did you get those earrings?” Even though they hadn’t been appraised the value of Amber’s jewelry was apparent.

“Asha gave them to me.”

That was a warning that Asha had sent to her parents, but of course they ignored it.


Every window in the house was shattered, every piece of furniture save for the couch that Amber was sitting, on was destroyed.

Stacy could now see Asha and so could Jim. Stacy couldn't understand how Asha could be so beautiful.

Richard and his band of gypsies were all dead, Jim’s injuries looked like they had been earned on a battlefield, Amber was trying to calm Asha down and Stacy was on her hands and knees knelling protectively over Jim with one hand in the air as to ward off Asha’s intentions.

She was crying tears of blood, blood rain from her nose and ears and she could taste it in her mouth. Stacy was in a frenzied state of negotiations.

“Please, Asha I’ll do what you want. Please do not hurt my family. Please Asha just tell me what you want.”

“I want you out of my house.”

Stacy was vigorous shaking her head, “Ok, ok we’re going. How can I move my husband?” She asked because his injuries were so serve that she feared if she moved him she would kill him.

Asha snapped her fingers and Jim was able to sit up, he was still in a great deal of pain but he was able to aid his wife in his egress.

At last Asha had her house back.

She felt another woman out there who shared her family name. The member’s of Asha’s family was dwindling there wasn’t too many left but this woman she felt was strong and this one was coming home and no one but her family would live peacefully in this house.

Authors Anonymous: Ruins

Coaches instructions: Write about coming across some unexpected ruins. You'll find my story below:

It sounded like a cannon. Not like the whisper of 16th century artillery, its ear-piercing scream was like the roar of the Mark 7 16inch guns blasted from the bowels of an Iowan class battleship.

The recoil from the .50 caliber was so powerful that the 2nd shot propelled me a full foot and a half, and I hit so hard against the wall I was afraid I was going to black out. I remained standing and snarled victoriously at my archenemy lying at my feet.

I saw my husband but couldn’t hear him, as I was still temporally deaf. He quickly glanced me over from head to foot, at the gun in my hand and then at floor. He looked at me slowly this time checking to see if I had been hurt.

I watched him halt the men from entering into our bath suite, his guards were only a fraction of a second slower than my husband was in coming to my aid. He closed the door. The sound was coming back to my ears, but for now all I could hear was ringing.

“I’m tired of these wild accusations.” I screamed that declaration I know that I did because I felt it in my chest but my hearing still betrayed me. Fahyim, pronounced Faw-heem looked down at the scale, which was now in a thousand smoldering pieces.

“That brutal instrument is the creation of the Devil.” I heard myself that time but I sounded far away. Nothing said I love you more than the way my husband was looking at me now. He told me all the time in seven languages how much he loved me, but it was this look that hammered it home.

I meet him in France; on our 1st date he flew me to have lunch in a city with a stunning view of the Arabian Sea, he proposed in Germany and we spent six months living in the US and six months in Iran. I married into a very affluent and powerful family, second only to the royal one.

I had been engaged in trench warfare with that damn scale since the birth of our twins two years ago and I was losing ground with frightening speed. His smiled melted me. He glided across the mosaic tiles with the grace of a dancer and the way he was looking at me then let me know he didn’t mind the extra.

I fell asleep on the bathroom floor but I woke up in bed but I wished I were still on the cool tiled floor. I was hot and sticky; spending the summer months in Iran was like vacationing in the fourth level of Hell. It was only May 11 in the morning and 93 degrees.

I was only out of the shower for five minutes before I started sweating again. I followed my children’s laughter into the kitchen. Sameer and Sameera where playing and chasing their cousins who were 4 and 6 around and the nanny was near tears. They we’re all going to the zoo today and in there excitement lunch was all but ignored.

After getting the children feed and out the door I went to check on the renovations. The East wing of our palace-sized home had been unused for almost 30 years and the space I was given to remodel was a 2700 square foot space with a tile and glass dome top – I was having it turned into my own private indoor rain forest.

The foundation and been dug up to accommodate my heated pool that snaked around my oasis like the Amazon River. My husband imported fragrant tress from Asia and Africa that were now tall enough to filter the sun. Tropical birds and butterflies were brought from Malaysia and Peru and last week I saw a python.

The grounds keeper, who was hired to stay on top of the butterfly and frog population, assured me that he was harmless and explained that since it was hand fed that it would not grow larger than 12 feet or so.

Last year I encountered what I believed was a leopard. It scared the shit out of me and I fled into the arms of Fayhim, who was just as started as I was by the sighting. Later we found out that the jungle cat was an Ashera, a large exotic housecat that had cost $20,000.00 courtesy of the emissary of evil – my mother-in-law. Both cats had been declawed for my safety, but that idea was not my MIL’s favorite.

I was in my 7th year of remodeling and my current project was incorporating two “natural” springs. One pool was to be fresh water to discourage the cats and birds from the drinking chlorinated water and the other, the Jacuzzi, would be the “hot” spring.

I could hear the call of the birds but I couldn’t see them from the tops of their canopy. I felt like I was being stalked and I probably was...fucking cats.
I was inspecting the site where the fresh water pool was to be installed when my foot was tangled in a thick vine. I tried to yank free but I fell as I was lying there trying to catch my breath, I felt the ground beneath me shift. I tried to get up but before I could I fell again, this time 30 feet beneath the foundation of my home.

I don’t know how long I was unconscious; when I woke up I realized that my left leg, right wrist, my jaw and maybe a rib or two had been broken. As I lay looking up at the shaft of light, jagged floor boards and pebbles of dirt that slid down the hole I left I did the best I could to stay calm and breath.

The worst-case scenario would be that I would spend the night here and would be found by the grounds keeper when his did his morning rounds. I drifted in and out of sleep, when I woke up again it was still daylight. My jaw didn’t hurt as bad and neither did my ribs. I was able to drag my self up to a sitting position and get a better look at the cavernous void that I had fallen into.

If I had of landed just a foot to the left I would have kept falling. I gingerly peeked over the cliff that I was perched on and saw nothing but blackness, it was cool and I could hear water.

There was a wall thrusting itself upward from the abyss and the pillars that crowned it stopped just a few feet from the foundation of my home. The temple wall was constructed of large stones that had been cut and placed on top of each other and I could see images carved within the wall.

As I studied the strange symbols that had been chiseled in the rock I wondered what message the ancient people who worshiped here were trying to convey when I saw an image that made my blood freeze in my veins.

Shaped within this stone that had been underground for God only knows how long we’re the faces of my children. I cried out and closed my eyes, opening them slowly to see if what I saw would still be there. It was. My two children, I saw the light from above flicker. I looked up and saw a silhouette of a head, and then another, and another.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Authors Anonymous: Color part 2

Coaches instructions: If you had to describe yourself as a color, which would you choose and why?

As you know I did not want to do this drill. It’s still just as challenging as when I wrote the 1st Color and I still couldn’t find a way not to incorporate race.

Well like I promised I gave it another shot.

My story Color part 2 follows:

I am the color of the Red Sands of African a land where my roots were 1st planted.

I am the color of Oxidized Iron, from shackles that bound my predecessors in the storage hold.

I am the color of the green, brown and white cotton fields and I am the color red from the blood that ran down the fingers that picked them.

I am the blue color of the Civil War Union uniform.

I am the white hot color of rage, I am the iridescent color of tears, I am every color on the spectrum from orange to red in outrage and am the bottomless color of black by the betrayal that the Choctwaw people felt when being removed from lands that been held since antiquity.

I am the Silver-Blue color of The Rio Grande that “Los Mojado’s”, the wet ones, risked their lives to cross in order to make a better life for their heirs.

I am the color of fire that burned bras in the 60’s.

I am all the bright colors of the arrogant peacock, because I am the color of my ancestors.

Try squeezing nearly 70,000 words into a page or two.

Writing the damn synopsis is so much harder than writing the book. It was so hard for me to scrape this story to the bare bone and still keep it interesting so someone want to read it. For your reading entertainment: The synopsis for The Darkness

The Darkness

Word count: 67,825

An urban fantasy/science fiction book, The Darkness is told in an urban setting. Artemisia, a scientist who also practices alchemy, is wealthy beyond imagination. As an alchemist Artemisia has created and controls an empire of jewelry firms and factories that monopolizes the industry globally. As a scientist Artemisia is one of the founding members of The Skyward Group, a privately funded, secret science research facility whose experiments erase the boundaries of where man ends and God begins.
Artemisia has everything money, fame, knowledge and power. She has everything except for a child.

Inanna, a powerful and dangerous witch is wealthy beyond imagination. At a very young age Inanna potential frightened the others in her village and in the middle of the night they tried to kill her and her mother. Inanna’s mother was able to get a head start but not by much. Inanna’s life was spared but her mother perished. In her grief and rage Inanna killed the all people of her village and resolved her self to studying all things occult vowing never to be hurt again. As a witch, never has there been one as powerful as Inanna. Inanna has everything money, knowledge and power. She has everything except for a child.

At three months old The Child only saw the world through the bars of his locked cage has nothing. At three months old he doesn’t have a mommy, he doesn’t have a daddy and he doesn’t have a name. The scientists working for The Alpha Omega Foundation do not talk to The Child; they only study him because The Child is dangerous. The Child could make things happen just by thinking about it – even if that something was to make you dead.

When Artemisia is made aware of the experiment being conducted by their archenemy she sets into motion a chain of events that will change both her life and the life of The Child forever. The Skyward Group sends a team to retrieve The Child. Under The Skywards Group guardianship The Child is finally giving a name Adam; and Artemisia finally has a child. For the next 3 ½ years Adam flourishes under the experiments of The Skyward Group until one day Adam mysterious vanishes from the secure facility causing Artemisia to be plunged into an abyss of turmoil and grief.

One night while Inanna was driving through a wooded area four year old Adam stumbles onto the road where she almost runs him over. Surprised to see a child in the middle of the night in the middle of nowhere Inanna leaps from her car to see if Adam is Ok. Because Adam is scared and confused he tries to kill her, this is his third murder attempt but unlike his 1st two victims Inanna does not die. From that night forward Adam lives with Inanna has her son, and Inanna finally has a child.

Artemisia was led to believe that Adam had been kidnapped and killed and 14 years later when Artemisia finds out otherwise it might be to late to salvage the relationship with the child she considered her son. Adam is furious with Artemisia and struggles with feelings of abandonment rejection as he feels like she just didn’t want him anymore.

Adam begins to stalk Artemisia, killing people she closely interacts with because he didn’t know that Inanna cast spells of protection and cloaking to ensure he would not be found. Inanna tries to comfort Adam but he refuses to be pacified because he wants to make Artemisia pay.

When Adam’s fury driven decision...

Ok so the thing that sucks about writing a synopsis disclosing the ending which sorry folks I'm not gonna do here. If you wanna know the ending support a starving artist and buy the book =D

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Preparing to be Published

So my handler from the PR firm that’s representing me, Tracee Gleichner from Pump Up Your Book Promotions, has begun lining me up for interviews and putting together the itinerary for my tour.

And thou I have dreams of grander and longevity, being this close to my publication date, it still feels like I’m dreaming and quite frankly I’m afraid that I’m going to wake up.

It’s seems surreal that I’m going on a book tour, that I have been schl’d for a photo shoot and that people are interested in what I have to contribute to the world of Urban Fantasy, Science Fiction and Horror.

Because I’ve been lying so still afraid to wake up, I just now wrote my Author’s Bio and I haven’t even started on my synopses and things are starting to move at warp speed.

A couple of years ago my little sister made me a Dreamcatcher. The Ojibwa people believe that only good dreams are allowed to filter through; the bad dreams are caught in the net and are destroyed by the light of day and the good dreams pass through and slide down the feathers to the sleeper.

More than ever I need that Dreamcatcher, because I cannot stay sleep forever – and I don’t want this dream to get away…

Saturday, January 9, 2010

New World Order

I’m just reaching the point in my career where I can start enjoying the fruits of my labor.

I have a large condo downtown on the 26th floor; I have a sprawling home just a drive over the bridge that sits only nine feet away from my own private beach, and I have a second condo in London – its small but its on the South Bank with an unobstructed view of The London Eye.

I’m also starting to be recognized. People timidly ask for my autograph, enthusiastically tell me about their favorite characters or vehemently disagree with a way I’ve ended a book and shyly ask if I’ll pose with them for pictures.

I get fan mail, hate mail and two weeks ago a paparazzi snapped a photo of me leaving Walgreen’s at two o’clock in the morning and shoving a cookie into my mouth.
I was both mortified and flattered to have graced the pages US Weekly under the “Celebrities: They’re Just Like Us!” category.

From my home I drove to a small neighborhood café, and despite it being a beautiful summer day, I took a seat inside against the back wall where I could write protected from the sun’s glare and have the perfect advantage point to people watch.

The barista brought me my usual and I pulled out a spiral notebook, my laptop and a pencil and two pens from my shoulder bag.

I’m not sure how long I had been lost in a world of my own creation but suddenly I felt the atmosphere in the coffee shift and when looked up I saw two unmarked black vans sliding to a stop.

The doors of vans open simultaneously, and what appeared to be the SWAT team jumped out and stormed the coffee shop. The three-inch white lettering on there did not say SWAT – it read INTELLIGENCE CRIME UNIT.

Patrons fled in all directions and everyone seemed to be screaming, the cops were too, which is why at first I didn’t understand.

“Drop that fucking pen right now, I will not tell you again.”

The only thing I dropped was my mouth. I was staring up into the barrel of a semi automatic, anti personal assault weapon.

I stood up to ask a question, to protest or something I wasn’t really sure but before I could say anything he backhanded me. My face exploded in pain, I swallowed my tooth and I dropped the pen.

Another office swung his rifle over his shoulder, he brook off my USB flash drive off of the slot. He picked up my laptop raised it over his head and then smashed on the floor.

“You are being charged with violating Section 4 Paragraph 8, Subsection 12.1, Section 9, Paragraph 12, Revised Subjection 6.3.78, and Section 11, Paragraph 1, and Revised Subjection 5.12.4 of the Intelligence Code.”

“You’re…you’re the though police?” I looked panicky towards the flag pool. The American flag was gently flapping in the wind but I could not find comfort in standing on American soil.

Looking at my laptop smashed into a million pieces on the floor pissed me off and I momentarily lost my mind.

“You’re not the fucking police! We have a thing in the country called The Freedom of Speech! Have you not heard of the First Amendment?” I demanded belligerently.
I was slapped again, harder this time, I to be more accurate I was knocked down. I couldn’t break my fall because I was handcuffed though I don’t remember being restrained.

My head bounced off the hard tiled floor and my eyes came to rest of the eyes of a woman who had lain down on the floor when these cops rushed in.
I knew her. She’d proclaimed to be my biggest fan and owned every book I had ever written, and now she was crying.

The officer who’d hit me yanked me back to my feet and I tried to tell myself that this wasn’t happening.

“The mandatory minimum sentence for the crimes you’ve been charged with is death. But they wouldn’t have sent us if you were getting off with the a slap on the wrist.”
“With the slap on the wrist…I don’t, I don’t understand.”

The contents of my shoulder and handbags were dumped on the table, and the cop who smashed my laptop collected every pen and pencil and broke them in half.

“What is it with you people, do you really think that no one is watching? You brought this on your self.” He condescendingly said while flipping through my notebook.

He showed my work to the cop who had violated my civil rights and they both shook their heads in disgust. “With this right here,” the bad cop said while flapping my notebook in the air. “You’re probably going to serve the maximum penalty under the law.”

I was being marched out of the coffee shop in a daze barely understanding what was happening.

“Maximum penalty, I don’t understand but I’ve done nothing wrong.” I was ignored but not before my question was answered.

“The Maximum penalty for the crime you committed is the surgical removal of your thumbs, larynx and vocal cords.”

The cop on my left thought that was funny, a cop behind me covered my head with a black hood and I was picked up and thrown into the van

Friday, January 8, 2010

Authors Anonymous: Color

Coaches instructions: If you had to describe yourself as a color, which would you choose and why?

So I was going to skip this assignment to work on the next one (which seems so kick ass, totally fun with a ton of room to maneuver…and that's right up my alley)
This drill seemed a little challenging and I couldn’t find a way not to incorporate race and clearly that’s not what’s she’s asking, but it’s the 1st thing that came to mind and the only thing that stayed there.
Because I sooo do not want to do this assignment I’ve decided to do it twice…two different stories. If you wanna wear daisy dukes you gotta do your squats & lunges there is just no way around it.

My story follows:

“What color we’re you?”

The little girl asked me what color I was and the question caught me completely off guard and ushered in a flood of memories that I had tried for ten years to forget.

Once I was alone and had more time to think about her question I realized I could no longer remember my native planet. I couldn’t remember what it felt like to breath relatively clean air or enjoy the warmth of the sun beneath the protective barrier of an ozone layer. That was a long time ago and Earth is no longer there.

This planet was different. The landscape was harsh and colorless, the weather was openly hostile and it was as if the sun was trying to use the cleaning power of fire to rid her 5th planet of disease.

It’s surprising how quickly the human body can adapt and evolve but I guess we can thank Monarch Pharmaceuticals for that because God had nothing to do with this.

Out of the 758,459 of us who had won the lottery to escape the Garden of Eden that God had given man in the form of Planet Earth, only twenty-eight of us were still alive. In this sector there were only two of us but that wouldn’t be the count for long because Eric was dying.

This planet already had a population in the billions and the girl who asked the question was a 3rd generation native and that was why she had asked the question in the 1st place.

In just 10 years I had become known as a settler. I was an immigrant, a relic from the “old country”, with an outdated language, ancient customs and conservative ways and I am only forty.

Thanks to Monarch Pharms, to deal with the combative environment of the brave new world, I no longer had skin but scales. I was still humanoid in form and so were the natives…sort of.

I guess you can say us settlers were like the Cardassian race from Star Trek; and like the lizards of the deserts of our old planet, our genetic manipulation allowed us to live on this one and it was our genetic manipulation that was also killing us.

You could still see that I had once been beautiful and I think that is why the youth of this planet got themselves “scaled” despite the fact that their shinny chromed skin was more than capable of dealing with the proximity of a sun that never set. Like the young of planet earth who in emulated African body modification by stretching their ears without fully understanding the culture or significance behind the act. Some things never change.

I closed my eyes and let my memory recall the green rolling hills, red desert sands, canyons carved from lakes, and deep blue-green seas that had once been my home. In my minds eye I saw the girl and heard her question asked and asked again…

“What color we’re you?”

I didn’t answer her question because I couldn’t. Tears breached past my closed reptilian eyes and flowed down my cheeks as I cried myself to sleep.
I didn’t answer her question because I couldn’t…because I didn’t remember what color I had been.

Acute Insomnia

So it should be obvious for anyone notices the ungodly hour that my post are published that I suffer from insomnia and though being awake has done wonders for my writing (if I’m up I might as well do something productive right…)

I hate not being able to fucking sleep because not being able to sleep reminds me of a time I so desperately wish to forget…the reason I can’t sleep in the 1st place. I am still seeing a doctor for posttraumatic stress syndrome from the first gulf war. The weight of what I am responsible for weighs heavy on my consciousness.

My best friend is always inviting me to her church, but she does not understand what I’ve done under the banner of the US flag—and in the name of God and country. There is no Priest or Shaman who can save me. I’ve earned myself a one ticket to Hell. The things I’ve done for my country; and the things my country has done for me HA!

I came home broken and my country cut my benefits!

There was a time that the only thing that got me through the day was hatred. Hatred for the lies I was told, hatred fore the things I’ve seen. Hatred that my baby brother wanted to join the military and be just like me.

Hatred for those who chose to stay at home and protest! I did not hate them because they stayed home; I hated them because they could sleep at night hatred for those who wouldn’t listen to the protesters.

“One must not underestimate the healing power of hatred.”

I don’t know where I heard that, or maybe I read it somewhere. But I clung to that mantra as if it were a biblical proverb.

I hated me. I hate the fact that every 4th of July I react as though being shelled, and can’t stop shaking. I hated the fact that when I 1st returned home I could not close my eyes at night unless my loaded .45 was under my pillow.

I hated the fact that I was prescribed dream-inhibiting drugs so that I could sleep at night. How in the hell is someone suppose to write if they can't fucking dream? I stopped taking them.

See, the reason not being able to sleep at night is so fucked up is because it reminds why I can't sleep in the 1st place, sometimes I still hate me.

I hate the fact that I removed my gun from the lock box, loaded it and placed it safely under my pillow.

I hate the fact I can’t see my doctor til 3pm. I don't know why I'm even going because the stupid pills don't work.

I hate the fact that I called someone I know to buy a sleeping pill off the black market and now I hate him too because he said he didn't think it was a good idea.

I hate the fact that my mom, kid sister and best friend won’t know any of this unless God forbid they run across the blog, and of course they will. I wonder if my BBF will still trust me with her children?

I hate the fact that my baby brothers knows exactly what I’m going thru only because he suffers too, and I hate that the fights between us are more frequent and unfortunately more vicious.

I hate President Bush. I hate Donald Rumsfled and everyone who supported them in ushering in a slew of new sufferers. I hate this war. I hate the fact that when I go to the VA Hospital I expect to see groups of men old enough to be my father or grandfather but what I see are tons of boys young enough to be my son.

I want so much to call my mom but I don’t want to disappoint her and besides she’s a mom with plenty enough to worry about. I hate the fact that I fell so helpless….
There’s nothing I can do about it now, I’ve made my bed, and bitching doesn’t help.

This is the end of this entry; I have a book to write.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Authors Anonymous: Close Your Eyes

So I joined another writing group, this one is Authors Anonymous in Renton Wa. What appealed to me and the reason I joined this group is that the organizer has these weekly exercises called “writing prompts” where she gives us a statement and we have to write about it.

I was a high school athlete and we had practice everyday after school, later when I joined the military we we’re constantly drilling and retraining and I think this is why Authors Anonymous appeals to me…because basically this is the same thing.

It’s the practice after school and the re-certifying on the firing range. You cannot write a bestseller if you don’t write and to do anything well you need to practice. I’ve been asked how in the world is it that I don’t suffer from writers block.

Well for one if I find my self struggling through a scene, I just stop and write about something unrelated or I curl up with a really good book. For me it’s the quickest way to relax and let the scene unfold itself or come up with a new idea.

The 1st training exercise is called: Close Your Eyes. The coaches’ instructions are; close your eyes. Move your head in a random direction. Open your eyes. Write about the FIRST thing your eyes land on.

My story follows:

As I opened my eyes and looked out the window the 1st thing I saw was the dog. I live in a rambler but the view from my bedroom window is of a gorgeous two story whose upper floors peeks over my fense.

Normally it’s the Samoyed’s barking that wakes me but as I sat up slowly struggling away from the caressing embraces of sleep I noticed the dog’s eyes tracking my movements and in that very exact moment I became aware of was the deafing lack of sound.

I didn’t hear any cars, or any planes. As I tried to slow my breathing and escape the undeived attention of Panic I realizated that I couldn’t hear any birds or the children from the house two doors down who, at this time of day, should have been in the reckless pursuit of play and making enough gleeful noise to wake the dead.

I turned on the radio and there was nothing but stactic and on the TV, just snow. I walked outside barefoot and wearing clothes intended only for sleep and saw the door to my neighboor’s house wide open.

“Hello?” No one was there. I walked through the empty rooms of her house, I put on her robe and turned off the stove because the stew she was preparing was bubbling and beginning to scorth.

Back outside the only sound I heard was jarring…it was the dog. His barking and whining had reached a state of frenzy. He met me at the door as I opened it. He was jumping up and down on his hind legs so I picked him up and the dog seemed to melt into my arms grateful for the comforting touch.

How odd, the owner of this house had a landline telephone I didn’t think anyone still did. When I held it to my ear, it might as well have been a seashell because the only thing I could hear was the echo of the sea.

With the dog trembling in my arms I walked awhile down the middle of the street listening to the clamorous sounds of silence when I thought I heard the faintest whisper of a distant voice, I froze in mid stride with my foot still hovering inches from the ground. I did hear a voice, the dog heard it too, and the voice we heard was singing.

“…Made damn sure that Pilate washed his hands and sealed his fate…”

I slowly turned around and the breeze that blew across my face was so hot that my face started to blister. I closed my eyes against the searing heat and I gagged on the scent of sulfur.

“…I’m a man of wealth and taste…”

I knew the man signing was getting closer because the lyrics were clearer, louder. At first I couldn’t see anything and then decided that I didn’t want to. I turned to run but the person I wanted to run from was now ahead of me, just a silhouette of a figure approaching me in front of a low hanging sun.

“…Pleased to meet you, hope you guessed my name…”

I couldn’t move, I started to cry and the trembling dog that I was carrying began to growl.

Blurry Vision

When I submitted my 1st manuscript last year my vision was blurry with illusions of fame, glory, seeing my name on bestseller lists, my work being translated into many different languages, book signings, movie deals, A-list rock star parties the whole nine yards…

As The Darkness approaches its publication date my vision isn’t blurry, I still want that kind of writing career, but I find my self reflecting on something my publicist said and I dismissed: “Writing the book is the easy part.”

Because writing is something that I do not struggle with, in my naiveté I though to myself, of course its easy...duh! I had no idea what “rework” meant, couldn’t have imaged the type “handling” and networking that’s involved into shaping and marketing a new writer and I get a headache thinking about everyone else’s “cut” of my profits.

I thought all you had to do to sale a bestseller was write a kick ass book…like I did. Boy what an eye opener last year was for me.

So as I review paper choices, jacket covers and fonts; as I read and reread contracts and terms of service from Bennett and Hastings, Amazon, Kindle and contemplate podcast vs. audio books, as I prepare for my upcoming two month tour, I feel like a hardened war veteran but the closer & closer I get to the launch date its getting harder and harder for me to see straight….because my vision is getting blurry with illusions