Character Profile – Callie Gracen

Callie is one of Penelope’s best friends. She makes up the third part of the Penelope, Bailey and Callie triangle of friendship. Callie and Penelope have been through a lot and no matter how far apart they are physically, they could’t imagine their lives without each other in it. I really hope you enjoy this little spitfire who keeps everyone on their toes.

Callie Jo Gracen met Penelope in Bootcamp. They got lucky enough to go through boot, and school together, then get stationed in the same place afterward. When Penelope got out of the Navy after her four years were up, Callie stayed in. She intended to make a career of it. At one point she was going to get out, but then her fiance was killed in action. She re-enlisted after that and hasn’t turned back on it now. She’s not sure she ever will. It was a constant when her whole life turned upside down. It was easier to go through the motions and not feel the things she really didn’t want to. It helped her not stay stuck in her grief.

Penelope introduced her to Bailey as soon as she could and the three of them got along well. After that it was the three of them against the world. Despite everything, Callie gets along well with Ryan, she makes friends quickly with Nora after she’s added to the girls group chat, loves how happy Asher makes Bailey and hits on Reid enough to make everyone uncomfortable.

She isn’t involved too much in the first book, but she does play a major role later in the story. I can’t wait for you guys to really get to know her. It’s an amazing story of love and loss for her and the ability to get back up and live again after unspeakable tragedy. She’s a great friend and never asks for more than they can give. In turn, her friends are always there to support her and cheer her on.

I hope you guys liked the little bit of Callie you get to see. There is so much more happening for her that I just can’t tell you guys about yet, but I can’t wait for you guys to meet her. Like Rich, she’s a secondary character that thinks the story is about them, and it makes her that much better. Especially after her and Nora meet in person and somehow become partners in crime. I love her. She’s survived every re-write and re-edit and I’m so glad that i never got rid of her because she is so important.

That’s all for today, now i’m off the the lovely place of work. If you haven’t hit up the instagram yet, go do so. As always, be awesome!

Character Profile – Asher Jameson

Hello again! I’d like to introduce you to our second Vampire character, Asher. Asher is the friend everyone wants. He is the gentlemanly boyfriend we all wish we had. He is amazing and I’m so glad you get to meet him today. You’ve already met Bailey, and even though I created them, it is hard to think of one without the other. I briefly debated on just doing one long blog post with the two of them in it because I have a hard time with it. Then I decided against it because I wanted to do justice to Asher’s story. So, without further ado, please meet Asher.

Asher Dean Jameson was born in September, 1931. He was poor and grew up with strong morals thanks to his parents. When he was turned into a Vampire in 1952, it was with full knowledge of what that would mean for him, but after losing his entire family, he didn’t care about living without them anymore. At least this way he could be of service. Unlike Reid, he is actively trying to do the things he needs to to climb the ranks of Vampire and Elentori hierarchy. He wants to be the best he can be, and he’s good at his job.

Asher met Reid shortly after he was turned. Reid was one of the people sent to kill Asher’s maker for crimes unspecified. He hit it off with Asher and took the young vampire back to Paris with him for a few years. After which Asher made his way back to the US. When Reid left Akina, he sought out Asher to help him hide out. Asher is one of the few people on the planet that Reid considers family and as such, would do anything to protect him. The feeling is mutual. Asher would do anything for his family at Vampire House, but Reid especially. He’s the one that introduced Reid to Atlas and got him the job with them once Emma was grown. They’ve spent most of the last decade acting like typical twenty-somethings, and enjoying themselves.

Asher has a fascination with cars. He tends to spend his free time fixing them up and then donating them for charity auctions. He’s going back to college for a couple of reasons, it helps maintain the blending in, and he is learning something new about cars that he doesn’t know. With the advances in technology and the computers that now run almost every part of a car, he wants to know how to do that. It wasn’t a class when he was last in school. That’s where he meets Bailey.

Bailey was like no one Asher had ever met before. His attraction to her was unmistakable and more than a little overwhelming. After explaining it to his brother Eli, he learned about the concept of Twin Flames. It was then he learned that Bailey was his. Even so, he wanted to do things the right way. He woos her, romances her, respects her parents and more than that respects Bailey and everything she wants to achieve.

He meets Penelope and Ryan and forms and instant connection with Ryan. They become unlikely friends and despite the drama surrounding their mutual friends, they never lose touch. Asher goes to visit Ryan quite a bit and they stay quite close. He gets along with Penelope as well, and because of how important she is to Bailey, he feels the immediate need to protect her from anything that may harm her. He supports her like he would his sister Becks and Penelope, in turn, doesn’t give him too much trouble about dating her best friend.

Asher is one of my favorite people to write. His relationship with Bailey is my favorite thing about this story, in all honesty. I want what they have. I can’t wait for the next book so that you guys get to see what is next for them.

That’s all for today. As always guys, Be Awesome!

Character Profile – Bailey Stills-Parker

Bailey is probably the most important secondary character. She is Penelope’s best friend in the entire world. They trust each other implicitly, and would do anything for each other. Having been raised together the way Mike and Cohen were, they are more like sisters who would love to do anything together. Penelope even has her own room at Bailey’s house! Bailey is the one that keeps Penelope from being too down on herself and sits with her when the grief gets to be too much.

Bailey Ann Stills-Parker was four when her parents were killed in a car accident. She was 4 when she moved states to live with an aunt, uncle, and cousin she only saw on holidays. It was Penelope who drew her out of her shell and made her feel welcome. It was Mike and Cohen who proved they would protect her from anything, even the monsters in her nightmares. She was five when she was officially adopted and became a Parker.

Bailey is a strong woman who knows exactly what she wants and while she is willing to compromise on certain aspects of her life, she will never compromise being treated with the respect she deserves. She finished college and started working at her Dad’s law firm. Once there she decided to go back to school to be a paralegal, and with the support of her family, she went back to school. She met Asher Jameson in one of her classes and was swept up in a fairy tale romance that she goes into with eyes open. She is fiercely protective of her friends and would do anything to make them happy. She is kind and sweet, but with an edge of steel. It’s usually Penelope who will get defensive and up in your face, but it’s Bailey’s wrath you should fear. Her’s is silent, and decisive. She hates injustice in all forms, and tries to actively fight it with every tool she has in her arsenal.

Her relationship with Asher is something that she is protective of, and will do anything to make that relationship work. She falls hard for him, and even after he tells her that he’s a vampire, there is nothing she wouldn’t do for him. He makes her want to be the best version of herself, but knows that even if she is a mess and at her worst, he will be there. She loves his family, because he does and that is enough for her. She accepts them for the sometimes violent and crazy mess they are. She hates when Asher is away on a mission or job, but trusts that he will do what he has to do to come home to her. Which he always does, with presents.

Bailey has goals and dreams independent of those around her, and while she prides herself in being a good sister, friend, girlfriend, and daughter, she will never compromise those dreams for anyone else. She cares not for other people’s drama or feelings about each other. She is supportive of Ryan when Penelope tells her about him. She adores Penelope no matter what but she is that friend that will call her on her bull. She tells it like it is, and it isn’t always what you want to hear. She’s going to tell you the truth, just like her brother will, but also like him, she is going to have your back as well. No matter what, she will always be in the corner for those that are in hers.

Bailey is one of my favorite characters, and her and Asher’s story line is the constant in the series. Even though a couple of the books change perspective, Asher and Bailey are constant and help to serve to keep everyone around them grounded. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

As always, be awesome.

Character Profile – Micah Parker

Hey guys! So we’ve talked about all three of the main characters, but now I want to talk about some of the important secondary characters, starting with Mike. My favorite secondary characters are Bailey and Asher, but you’ll learn about them tomorrow and I can’t wait for you to meet them. Today, however, we are going to talk about Mike Parker. Mike is Bailey’s older brother, and by extension, Penelope’s as well. He is important to the story, and I’m so happy to introduce him (and his faceclaim) to you.

Micah Griffith Parker is the older brother of Penelope’s best friend Bailey. Mike, as he’s usually called, was best friends with Penelope’s older brother Cohen practically since birth. With their parents being friends, there wasn’t much time that they weren’t together growing up, at least until the Sawyer’s moved to Michigan when Cohen and Mike were in high school.

Mike has a few defining moments in his life that he is aware have shaped his current outlook on life. The first being Penelope’s birth. He got to share in the magic of being a big brother along with Cohen and even at the age of four, he knew what a big responsibility it was. He and Cohen would spend hours wanting to hold her, and feed her and play with her. When Penelope got more mobile, they got less interested. The second defining moment was the day his Aunt and Uncle died in a car accident. He was eight when his cousin Bailey came to live with them. She was four, and the same age as Penelope. For a couple of years, the four of them became inseparable. Mike was happy to finally have a little sister of his own. The next few defining moments all involved Cohen in some way as they grew up and went through school. Even after they moved away, they would regularly make the six hour drive to visit. Once Cohen and Mike were able to drive, the four of them would meet halfway and hang out almost once a month.

Mike and Cohen joined the Marine Corp together straight out of high school. They’d made the plan their senior year and when the time came, Cohen drove down so they could enlist together. They were lucky enough to be stationed together almost their whole careers. He got to watch his best friend fall in love. Helped him pick out an engagement ring. Then held him in his arms as he bled to death in a place too far from home.

Losing Cohen was extremely difficult on Mike and he didn’t re-enlist afterward. He did go back home and for a little bit of time he could barely get out of bed, let alone attempt to fulfill the dreams that he and Mike had once held. Eventually, thanks to support from his family and the VA, Mike got back up and started working again. He started working with a local construction company and learned as much as he could while he saved his money and made plans for he and Cohen’s dream of starting their own company.

After Cohen’s funeral, he can’t bring himself to look Penelope in the eye so the two of them lose contact. He even goes so far as to not attend the Thanksgiving party the two families regularly held. When Penelope comes to town, he leaves for any assorted reasons, anything he can do to avoid her. When Ryan brings Penelope to town as a surprise, Bailey convinces him to come to the party and surprises him with Penelope. The two reconnect and things get a little better between them.

After reconnecting with Penelope, and a conversation where he gets a lot of things off his chest, Mike feels like he can finally move forward with starting his own construction company. He’s bought a house and is doing well mentally. Things are starting to look up.

Mike is a wonderful guy, he is loyal to his inner circle, but cautious about his friends as well. Cohen was more like a brother and while he knows he’ll never have that kind of relationship with anyone again, but does like the camaraderie of the people he works with. He is a typical big brother to Bailey (and Penelope after they’ve reconnected) and generally likes Asher. There was a long conversation between the two of them early in Bailey and Asher’s relationship that no one knows the specifics of, but afterward Mike was generally accepting of Asher. While Mike doesn’t try to be the overbearing type, sometimes he can come across that way. Especially if he thinks something is wrong with one of his sisters.

Mike is one of my favorite characters. Not for the same reasons as Reid or Penelope, or Ryan, but because he’s the guy who is always in your corner. He’s quick to tell you that you’re in the wrong, but he isn’t going to abandon you over it either. He is awesome and the kind of brother anyone would want. I am lucky enough to have this kind of brother, which is the only reason that I know how to portray a brother worth having.

I hope you guys like this little peak into Mike, and the other views into the characters. I’m thinking of making this a semi-regular thing. Not with this kind of frequency, but once a month or so introducing a new character from a story or something. I’m still thinking about it. These are fun to write so I might do it just for me.

Anyway, have a great day guys! Don’t forget to be generally awesome today!

Character Profile – Reid Walker

Reid is a special case. Reid has been around since the beginning of the ideas of this story, only he didn’t always belong to me. He’s had countless name changes but I keep coming back to this. Several characters have had name changes since the inception of this story, Ryan being the only exception. Reid’s name has changed, but it also hasn’t. I’m pretty sure originally he had the last name of King, but his name was Christian. That part never left, no matter what’s happened, his name will always be Christian, and I can’t imagine calling him anything else.

In the beginning, he actually was a character from another book by another writer friend of mine, we were attempting to collaborate, but our stories were going in two different directions, so we split our characters, took our own back and I lost him. I had every intention of creating someone to fill that void in my story, but before I could, my friend called and basically told me “You keep him, he won’t work with me anymore.” So with a laugh Christian became my character and she created someone new. We even made it legal when I moved away by putting it down on paper and framed it. It was my favorite going away present. He isn’t quite the same now as he was then, but there are characteristics that have carried over.

Christian Reid Walker, when we meet him, is nothing short of an asshole. At least that’s how he’s described by the people that know him. Penelope has a slightly different opinion of him and everyone thinks he’s being weird whenever she’s around because he doesn’t treat her like he does everyone else. Asher goes so far as to call him out on it in front of everyone. Reid gets understandably upset and walks away. When Penelope goes to check on him, he explains to her that he usually is what everyone claims he is, but goes on to explain why, sort of. The condensed version at least.

Reid has been a Vampire for 120 years. He should have long achieved the rank of Master, making himself available for a position of power within the Arkane society. Reid has no interest in those things like he once did. He likes living quietly and doing the tasks and jobs that Atlas assigns him. Atlas Rivers is the Sage in charge of their area, and his second in command is Eli Holden. The position of Second in Command should be Reid’s but he doesn’t want it.

His maker, Akina Rue, is the resident Sage in Paris, France and that was where he spent most of the first century after she turned him. He was being groomed to take over as the other Sage in her area, but he shunned everything twenty years before the story started and went on the run. He doesn’t speak to Akina any longer and has renounced anything that had to do with her, except his title and his sister Echo. Echo is the older child of Akina, and her and Reid are the only two of Akina’s children still living. They both feel the same about their Maker, so they get along well.

Reid’s soft spot and change of heart happened on a cold New Years Day when Akina asked him to do a job that he didn’t have the stomach for, something so terrible no one would want to complete it. Instead of killing the newborn Dhamphir, he took her and ran. Emma Walker is his daughter, as far as he is concerned. Even though he hadn’t met her before that night. He spent years on the run, only communicating with Asher and occasionally one or two of his other friends, just letting them know he was okay.

Now that Emma is fully grown and living on her own, he’s settled into an easy life working for Atlas. He spends his time doing work, and actively shunning most responsibility; he likes being a grunt. He doesn’t know how drastically meeting Penelope will change all of that. In the beginning he’s not really thrilled that her and Ryan are coming to the party at his house anyway.

He ends up alone with Penelope pretty early on and they get along well enough to argue about Football before they party starts. He can’t help but feel drawn to her, and as such has a deep dislike for Ryan. When Atlas assigns him to guard Penelope once she goes home, to keep her safe from the potential threat her and Ryan have walked into, he thinks it will be an easy job. Stay hidden, don’t let Penelope know he’s there, and keep her safe, what could go wrong?

Apparently a lot.

He gets further involved in Penelope’s life when they start hanging out and the Reid she gets to know, is playful and fun. He’s the one that only his closest friends know. She also gets to know the side of him that his daughter knows, the caring side, the part he doesn’t tell anyone else about. The last pieces of his humanity are in this part of him that he hides away. This is the Reid Penelope gets to know and trust.

When things go fully off the rails, he tries to revert back to the way he had been, but Penelope can see straight through his tough exterior and even though he tries, she calls him on it. Eventually they find a balance of sorts and things settle down. Her relationship with Ryan is an ever increasing thorn in his side however, and he doesn’t want to be that guy, but at the same time he kind of does.

Reid’s character development happens mostly through commentary from his friends, as they can see the shift Penelope doesn’t see. Penelope only sees him close himself off and knows something is wrong. She earns herself a protector and permanent bodyguard because of this as it hasn’t gone unnoticed that she is important to Ried. There are only a handful of people on the planet that are, and all but Penelope can handle themselves, so he makes it his mission to keep her safe.

Reid is one of my favorite characters to write for because he is so dynamic. He carries the pressure of his bloodline, because of who his maker is, and who her maker is. They’re the closest thing to royalty as the Vampire’s can get. It carries a lot of weight in the entirety of the Arkane community, something Penelope and her friends learn about first hand at one point. Right now, two of the books in the series are going to be from his perspective so that we get a real look at what is actually going on with him. There are snippets sprinkled through Noctivagus, but I can’t wait to work on the next book to really explore all of the things that make Reid the complex character that he is.

I hope you all enjoyed this little sneak peak into who Reid is. There is so much more I want to share about him, but they would be spoilers and I don’t want to do that. Instead, I will leave you with one of my favorite vision boards that I’ve ever made. And it has to do with Reid, so enjoy.

So that’s it. Remember to be awesome! See you later!

Character Profile – Ryan Meade

Hello again! We are going to talk about Ryan this time. While Penelope is the main character, Ryan would be classified as a secondary main character. Throughout the series, Ryan plays a very important role in Penelope’s life. It’s through him that her life changes to begin with, and he is instrumental to those changes. So, without further ado, let’s meet Ryan.

Ryan James Meade is the oldest child in a family of five, and stays as down to earth as possible given his current career, thanks to his Dad. He tries to stay very family oriented and not give in to the traps and pitfalls of his fame. When we meet him, he’s recently gotten out of a relationship with his ex girlfriend, and co-star Charlotte Townley. When he meets Penelope, she’s like a breath of fresh air for him. He is instantly attracted to her appearance but after talking to her, he finds he’s enamored with her personality as well. He thinks nothing of their differences in class or the fact that they come from very different worlds, just that she is someone he wants to continue to know.

His life makes it difficult to meet people who want to see the real him, so it’s nice that upon meeting Penelope, and subsequently her friends, that there is a large group of people that genuinely like him. He strikes up an unlikely friendship with Asher Jameson, and despite his initial hesitance due to him being a Vampire, finds that he becomes a good friend rather quickly and someone he wants to keep in his inner circle despite the relationship twists and turns that he and Penelope experience.

Despite knowing a lot of people, he finds he most cherishes his friendships with Rich Cunningham, and Asher most of all. They see him as a person and don’t care what his position in society or his money can do for them. They are more comfortable just hanging out, drinking beer, and playing video games in Rich’s small apartment than going out on the town and for that he is grateful.

Even though he and Penelope have trouble seeing eye to eye and go through a period where they don’t even speak, he never loses touch with some of their mutual friends and when he and Penelope start talking to one another again, it helps to ease the tension.

He becomes a confidant to Penelope and eventually the have the friendship they should have started with instead of jumping into a relationship. So when Penelope hits a low point and needs a friend, he’s glad that their relationship has grown enough for him to be able to keep her secrets and offer a reassuring shoulder to cry on with no expectations attached to it.

Ryan himself continues to grow in fame and as such, holds the people who keep him grounded closer. They help when everything else seems to be too big. He’s a genuinely nice guy and just wants to help people, so he does a lot of charity work in addition to everything else. He’s a good friend and a good brother to his younger two sisters, Lorelei and Ariella.

I hope you guys enjoyed learning a little more about Ryan today. He’s a great character and honestly, there is a lot throughout the series that happens for him. He does get a happy ending, just like almost everyone, but not always in the ways they expect. Ryan is a good friend and values the friendships he has because of what they contribute to enrich his life. For someone that can buy anything they want, it’s nice to have people that could care less if he worked at the grocery store down the street, and are more concerned with his sarcastic wit, and trivia about weird things. He’s ever the English gentleman and most of his friends love that.

Have a great day everyone! Again, if you haven’t already, head over to insta to get the latest on the giveaway! See you guys tomorrow with another Character Profile. Until then, be awesome!

Character Profile – Penelope Sawyer

So this week we are doing some character profiles on the different characters from Noctivagus. I can’t draw so I can’t create their exact looks so I did faceclaims instead. If you don’t know what a faceclaim is, let me explain. A faceclaim is when you take the face of a famous person or some real life person that looks similar to what you think your character looks like in your head. I wish I could draw because I can never find anything exactly, but my stick figures cry. So here is the faceclaim that I have for Penelope, and then I’ll tell you guys a little more about her.

Penelope Jane Sawyer is the main character for Noctivagus. We meet up with her just before her internship is set to start. She’s been studying interior design in school and all she has left is the internship before she graduates. She’s managed to snag one of the few paid internships available, which she is really excited about. It has an added bonus of a continuing mentoring program that comes with it, which will be good for her after she graduates. The program is highly coveted and she is proud to be the one who received it.

She goes on vacation, planning to spend a couple of days in London by herself, and then a few days in Florence, Italy with her friend Callie Gracen. Callie is active duty Navy and they met while Penelope was still on active duty as well and have remained very good friends even after Penelope got out. While at the airport in New York, Penelope gets bumped to first class unexpectedly, and decides to wait in the first class lounge. It’s there that she meets actor Ryan Meade. The two strike up a conversation and get to know each other through a game of twenty questions. They happen to be on the same flight and when Ryan’s friend and bodyguard, Rich Cunningham, asks Penelope to switch seats with him so he can finally have some peace a quiet, her and Ryan spend the trans-atlantic flight talking.

Once they make it to London, Penelope fully expects to never see him again, only for Ryan to ask her if he can tag along to the pub with her and Rich, since the price to switch their seats was a pint of something. The next couple of days in London are a whirlwind and Penelope almost cannot believe what is happening to her. Before she leaves to meet up with Callie, Ryan makes sure that she knows he’d like to keep talking to her.

Callie and Penelope have a lot of fun and enjoy catching up with one another while they are together. On the final day of their trip, they are both surprised by Ryan showing up to whisk Penelope off to LA instead of home like she’d planned. She attends Ryan’s newest movie premiere as his date before he surprises her further by taking her to visit her best friend Bailey Stills-Parker, who has been trying to convince Penelope to make the six hour drive down to her place in Illinois for an end of summer party. Penelope had previously refused and was looking forward to seeing her friend at Thanksgiving instead.

While Penelope is thrilled to finally meet Bailey’s new boyfriend, Asher Jameson, she isn’t as thrilled by the attention from Reid Walker, Asher’s self proclaimed brother. It isn’t until she figures out that Bailey is dating a vampire that everything starts to make sense. Instead of being afraid, like she knows she should be, she’s intrigued. The party helps Penelope reconnect with old friends, and brings new people into her life that she wouldn’t have ever met if she hadn’t. She didn’t know that her and Ryan had walked into a war, and when she finds out, she tries desperately to keep it from the people she loves.

Back home in Michigan, with Ryan gone back to work, and her internship started, she finds out just how much of an impact the last two weeks have really had on her life. With the sudden addition of Reid playing babysitter and watchdog, she isn’t sure her life can get more complicated than it has already become. She isn’t prepared for how much things will change, or how desperately she feels pulled to leave her home and go back to Illinois and the comfort of her friends. She doesn’t know what to do with the new feelings of loneliness in her apartment and life that weren’t there before she’d gotten on a plane.

Through the ups and downs that happen, Penelope tries to stay the same upbeat, optimistic person that everyone knows, but struggles with bouts of depression and the still semi-fresh grief of losing her brother. Especially when she has finally reunited with her brother’s best friend and pseudo older brother, Mike Parker. Between the start of the story, and the end of this one, she finds love and loses it. She accepts the new changes in her life, and her ever expanding knowledge of the Arkane world, that seems to operate quite successfully within our own.

So that’s all I can tell you about Penelope right now. This story is honestly about all of the things life can throw at you in a year and how she copes with them. It’s not gonna always be happy or sad, and throw some Arkane elements in there, a war, and Vampire politics that she really doesn’t understand, and it makes an already complicated life even more complicated.

Hope you guys enjoyed this little snippit into Penelope’s life. If you have any questions, feel free to ask away and I’d be happy to answer anything! If you haven’t already, make sure you get over to the insta and check out the contest to win exclusive Noctivagus merch! All you have to do is tell me your favorite book quote and follow the page to be entered! Talk to you guys later!

What did I write?

I don’t remember the first story I ever wrote. We had this assignment every year in school that required us to come up with a story and then illustrate it. We put them in fancy blank books, and worked very hard on them. From first grade to sixth grade, every year like clockwork we worked on these stories, and it was one of my favorite lessons. The stories have somewhat faded in my memory, and I remember giving the books as gifts each Christmas to some grandparent or another. I do, however, remember the first time I picked up a pen to write something that wasn’t an assignment.

It was my freshman year in high school. I was at a friend’s house and we were watching a concert on TV with her cousin. We wished so desperately that we could meet the band, that we started to spin these wild tales of what our lives would be like if we did. I remember I dreamt about it that night and when I got home the next day I grabbed a notebook and thought I’d just write a little something down. Drawing from the experience of meeting another band at the mall earlier that year, it gave me a good foundation of where to start the story. The idea was, that we managed to score meet and greet passes to meet the Backstreet Boys and it went downhill from there. I was writing fanfiction before I knew fanfiction was even a thing.

I filled three notebooks. The story itself was horrible. There was no clear plot, or anything like it. I just knew that I was writing what I wished would happen but I knew never would. It was great. I was married to AJ, we had two kids. It was dramatic as all get out. Here I was, a thirteen year old kid, writing about adult life and marriage, and real scenarios, but I had no clue how any of that actually worked. It was horrible. But I finished it, and then wrote an even more dramatic sequel. If I remember correctly, it all turns out fine, but there’s something about getting shot, cheating, gambling, scams, it was a lot. I knew nothing about any of it, and it clearly showed.

I’m not saying that someone that age cannot write good fanfiction or a good story in general, I’m just saying that what I wrote was horrendous. I was naive in the sense that I didn’t want certain things in the story, so there wasn’t any alcohol, that’s not what people drank, when upset, people drank milk. Nothing was realistic, and I remember when I moved on to a new idea, which didn’t turn out any better. It did do wonders for me though in other ways.

I learned so much about writing and editing back then. How to let the story get away from you, how to reel it back in. How to plot something and then get to that point. I learned how to shape a story, and I learned to love the sound of the pen as it scratched it’s way across the page. The Best Surprise Ever may have been a piece of garbage, but to thirteen year old me, it was the best thing that had ever happened to me. I have never looked back. So maybe in the end, the surprise wasn’t meet and greet passes to meet the Backstreet Boys, but the love that I discovered for writing. How’s that for a lesson?

Warm nostalgic regards,

The City Lights

Once upon a time I decided that for Short Story Saturday I was going to follow a list of prompts. One of these prompts that actually turned out great, was writing a scene with no dialogue. This is especially challenging for me as I am great at dialogue. I love writing dialogue. One of my favorite parts of any story is the interactions between two characters. When I wrote this, it was difficult to write something and convey an emotion without dialogue for me. I have grown as an author since then, but this stood out to me as something good. I hope that you enjoy this flashback to me as a writer in 2014. Enjoy.

Christian sat in the dimly lit living room of his top floor loft, gazing out at the city through the floor to ceiling picture window.  He rolled the liquid in his cup back and forth before bringing it to his lips and feeling the familiar burn of the whiskey slide down his throat.  He may be located in the center of the city, a city currently bustling with Saturday night life, but he felt as alone as the ice cubes in the now empty glass.

Feeling the need to get up and move, he stood and crossed the room in quick deliberate strides.  After refilling his glass, he paced back across the large room.  Agitation was crawling under his skin and taking root; he didn’t understand it.  Normally he was poised, self-assured, calculating, but when it came to her, he was lost.  It was as if he was a fifteen year old boy all over again.  He was certain this woman would be his undoing.

It wasn’t as if he’d never been in love before, but this was entirely new.  They’d been good friends for two years now.  Not once had she effected him like she had the last three months.  She was driving him insane.  He was no longer the same confident being he had been in her presence.  No; now he felt as if he needed to do anything and everything to win her over.  But every time he tried, he ended up looking like a bumbling fool; too distracted by her eyes, her hair, and her mouth.  Oh God, her mouth, how he longed for her lips to be pressed against his own…

Christian stopped the though in its tracks and downed his drink in one swallow.  He had to do something to stop this madness.  His sudden inability to communicate the smallest of things to her was the cause of his agitation, that was certain.  Wasn’t it? He shook his head in dismay; there he was, second guessing himself again.  It seemed to occur more and more these days, and there was only one cause.

Christian shook his head, set his glass in the sink and took himself to bed, before he managed to lose all of his self respect.

Across town, Azaria laid in bed wondering what on earth had happened to Christian lately.  They used to hang out a couple of nights a week with co-workers and friends.  Grabbing a bite to eat, watching a movie, a drink on Friday evening….now she barely saw him.  When she did she him, it was different.  Now, instead of long conversations on whatever subject of interest, he was quiet, standoffish, and barely said more than a couple of words at a time.  Something had changed between them, she longed to know what was wrong.

Should she tell him that she missed the old him? The confident, funny, intelligent man she’d fallen for when they first met?  Had he finally found out how she felt?  Could that be the reason for the distance between them? No, she dismissed the thought before fluffing her pillow and wrapping up a little tighter in her blankets.

Whatever Christian’s problem with her was, it was probably better in the long run if she just outright asked him about it.  So with a resolve to do just that the very next time she saw him, she closed her eyes and let sleep take her.

Well, I hope you enjoyed that! As always, please enjoy your weekend and be safe out there!

Waiting…

So, this is something that I wrote seven years ago, and if you follow my personal blog at all, you’ll recognize it from there. I’m cross-posting it here because at this moment in time I just do not have the time to write something new for Short Story Saturday. So, for the next few weeks, I will be cross-posting the short stories I’ve already written here. That will give me a little bit of time to get something new to you guys. What with figuring out online school for the kiddos, the launch of my whole writer platform, editing Noctivagus, writing No Ordinary Love, and did I mention that we’re getting ready for Christmas already at work? Yeah, so that’s a thing. I’m just swamped. So please enjoy this short story and tune in next week for another one! Thanks!

I took my order from the clerk at the counter and looked around for somewhere to sit while I waited.  I finally found a small table nestled against the windows and surrounded by writers and college students typing furiously on their laptops.  Worry creased their brows as impending deadlines loomed in the future.

I unwrapped my scarf and sipped my tea while I gazed out at the bustling street. People rushing to their next destination, not bothering to see the beauty around them.  The leaves on the well-manicured trees were aflame with autumn oranges, yellows, and reds.  They had only begun to turn and the colors were still vivid. Soon they’d turn brown, die, and fall off, and then the snows would come. I mentally shook myself and took another drink, I needed to keep the dark thoughts away.

The familiar sounds of espresso machines, milk being steamed, and the smell of coffee beans being roasted permeated the small shop and brought comfort to the warmth.  The consistent clacking of keys on keyboards added to overall ambiance which helped to ease my apprehension.  I let it wrap around me like a cocoon of warmth.  Only then did I allow myself to think of him.

It had been three weeks since I’d seen him, and so much had happened in that time.  Absently I sipped my tea while I thought of his smile, his eyes, his sense of humor, and mostly how much I missed him.  A brief glance at the clock on the wall told me that he was late.  Maybe he wouldn’t come at all.  He had only reluctantly agreed to meet me here.

With each passing minute, the sound of the ticking clock grew louder. It was like an intrusion on the brief moment of peace I’d found.  After a few more minutes, or was it seconds, the clacking keyboards joined the clock in sounding the panic that I’d been stood up.  Everywhere I looked, people were staring at me.  The pompous writers peering over their screens.  The college students thinking how old and washed up I must be, sitting here on my own.  The clock was getting louder.  My anxiety pushing my heart to an accelerated pace.  My pulse echoing the ticking, and accentuating the conversations in the far corners of the shop.  Why was everyone staring?  Maybe I should go, make it seem as though I was only settling down a moment before I went off again.  Save myself the humiliation of him not…

“Sorry I’m late.” he said.  His voice breaking into my once warm cocoon that had become a prison.  

At that moment everything stopped.  All I could hear was the rush of blood in my ears and my shallow breaths.  He was standing beside the table, smiling down at me.  In his hand he held a bouquet of sunflowers and his own cup.

-end-

Well, I hope you enjoyed that. I remember when I wrote it, I wasn’t sure who the characters were, what was happening in their lives or anything else. I’m still not certain I know seven years on. Oh well, they pop up from time to time in my Short Story Saturday submissions, so maybe we can find out together. Well, I’m off, please enjoy what’s left of your weekend my dears!