0 thoughts on “Mobi

  1. It’s always nice to hear that my work is appreciated, especially by folks I don’t know, out of the blue. Thank you. I’m glad you enjoyed the story. Here’s hoping we all sell more next year!


    • I’ve always got a soft spot for those types of action stories, and then mixing zombies in with it: just awesome. It’s not often you come across such a unique twist on a zombie tale, but you definitely succeeded. I ended up referring a lot of my horror buff friends to that book (and the site) based on that.

      Good luck with your writing!

    • Thanks! Definitely an uphill battle, but its worth it! Just have to keep ourselves motivated, right?

      Always great to see fellow writers drop by. =)

  2. Thanks for reading my post at Teacherwriter.net. I also have dreams about my writing and I use it in my writing. It’s amazing what our subconscious minds can accomplish.

  3. Very true! I think most writers would agree that without their subconsciousness, writing would be an even more difficult feat.

    I really enjoy reading on your posts at Teacherwriter whenever I get the chance. They always make me introspective. Thanks for dropping by!

  4. Wow, this is one of the more helpful blog posts I’ve read about writing and characters. Right now I’m struggling with showing character growth in my novel, but I am definitely going to have to keep in mind pushing my character and her relationships with everyone around her as I work on this in my final drafts. Thank you for sharing such an insightful post.

  5. I’m real sorry to hear about your kitty. I used to have ferrets, and my baby ferret died while I was holding her when she was only 1 year. Since she had cancer I knew it was coming, but was still hard.

    When I was in highschool my parents and doctor tried to get me to have allergy shots and I refused. I really hates needles, even though I know that the shots would have made me feel 1,000x better. Good luck with them, I’m told that they really do help.

    • Thanks, Kati. Wow, holding your pet while he died must have been just grueling. They’ve offered me to be present while they put my kitties down before, but I never do it. I don’t think I’d be able to stand it.

      Yeah needles are not something I’m looking forward to either, though I’ll deal with them if I know it’ll help. I get them as a quicker way to get well when the doc offers it. I am looking forward to having fewer allergies though. In the long run, of course!

      Thanks for dropping by!

  6. Thanks Kati! Yeah she’s had quite a time trying to get everything sorted out. I’ve never been in that situation before, but seeing what she’s had to deal with – I’m hope I never do!

    Yes, the kitties are finally learning to play nice. Amazing how that improves your home life. They’re even figuring out the whole dominance thing which always seems weird, but whatever it takes to make them comfortable I suppose.

    Happy cats help make a happy home. =)

  7. Hi Lena, just ran across your blog today. Congratulations on having a story in Rapunzel’s Daughters! I’ve got one there too, and will look forward to seeing yours as well as mine πŸ˜‰

    • Thanks James! Definitely looking forward to it coming out in a month or so. Feels like it’s been a while since I submitted it, but I’m sure impressed by the beautiful artwork that’s being done for the stories. Can’t wait to read your story too! I guess we’ll both just have to be patient. πŸ™‚

    • Hi Jeyna,

      Camp NaNo is short for Camp NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). The regular NaNo is typically held in November each year, where you try to write 50k words in a month. It’s really handy cause you can get word statistics, and it really forces you to put words down on the page.

      Here’s a link to the regular NaNoWriMo: http://www.nanowrimo.org/
      And to Camp NaNoWriMo. The beta July camp just finished, but the August camp is about to start tomorrow, if you’re interested. http://campnanowrimo.org/

      Hope you try it out!


    • Yeah and figuring out whether it should end on a positive note or not, sometimes that’s the hardest part. Especially when fairy tales are involved. For some reason there’s a general belief that they should always end happily.

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    • I’m glad I did too! I guess that’s why we keep an incomplete folder around right? I’m glad Catharine’s grabbed your attention. She certainly has a strong personality.

  9. This is why I love YA fantasy. The fascination, the mystery, the need to know what’s going on!!! xD Honestly, can i haz moar? (sorry, the Icanhazcheezeburger meme just attacked)…seriously, good job.

    • Haha, I’m glad you enjoyed it! This piece is kind of built around mystery, and the reader doesn’t really understand why Catharine has this lifestyle until later in the story. Now to go finish editing it and start shipping it about.

      (That’s okay, icanhazcheezeburger is known for randomly hijacking threads! xD)

    • No problem! I actually hadn’t even considered it to be YA, but now that you mention it, it fits the genre very well! This is kind of a snippet of her young life where she learns more than she wanted from the real world. So yeah, definitely YA material. πŸ˜‰

  10. I always go with Stephen King, but then I’m biased. Take them all, you never know and nothing is worse than time on your hands and nothing to read. Have fun!

    • Hey he’s always a fun writer to fall back on! And I’ve been wanting to finish his Dark Tower series for a while now. I love his creepy mix of scifi, horror, and western. πŸ˜‰

      Thanks – I’m definitely looking forward to it!

    • Thanks Lindsay! I admit that I did consider just tossing it aside and not submitting it for a while, but I really do love it. So I just kept at it.

      It’s good to know that perseverance sometimes really does pay off!

    • Even mild banter between characters is better than bland dialogue. And I had a lot of fun with their dialogue together. Terry is a character whose personality I’m slowly building, and he turns out to be a main character in one of the novels I’m working on.

      Thanks, Jennifer! I was glad to find a market for it as well! Here’s hoping folks love the storyline as much as I do!

    • Oh good, I’m glad I’m not the only one. =) Thanks, the edits are pretty massive at the moment, but seeing the comments so far on this really makes me inspired to work on it some more!

    • Well that certainly gives me some encouragement! I went to a YA panel at Dragon*Con over the weekend, and got a good spectrum about how dark some YA work is out there. I guess compared to some pieces, mine is pretty tame!

    • Thanks Monica, I really enjoy setting up the atmosphere in my pieces. After all, that’s usually half of what makes it horror to begin with! Besides even kids know when they should keep their voices down after all.

      Glad you liked it!

  11. Really really interesting six. I don’t know if there’s such a thing as “too dark” in YA nowadays. There is such a wide variety in YA right now! And I’m very interested to know exactly what these two found!!

    Amy Durham

    • I’m glad you enjoyed it! I’ve been looking into it more lately and apparently YA is a much darker field than I thought, so I guess my novel isn’t too far off the mark.

      These two just discovered the tip of the iceberg unfortunately, and it’s all downhill from there. πŸ˜‰

    • Thanks Cheryl! Glad you liked it. Good to know I wasn’t the only one submitting fan fiction too!

      I’ll be happy once I can see it posted up at the Big Bang come October. =)

    • Haha sounds like you’re back down to a normal workload again! Lately my workload at my FT has been eating into my mental resources for writing time.

      And hopefully the summary will grab people’s attention. I’m anxious to continue writing my second book, so getting through the edits/rewrites on this one just feels much slower. Ah well, I guess that’s something to expect! Thanks for dropping by!

      • Oh, the summary will definitely get people’s attention. How far until it’s completed?

        I like starting new books, but enjoy as much the wordsmithing of a WIP. It’s fun to see if I can put my exact thoughts and feelings on paper. Sometimes, it’s quite a struggle.

      • Well I’m working on rewriting bits of it, and slowly adding more scenes to flesh out the world. The beginning (as always for me) was in definite need of additional scenes. But I’m hoping to have this part of the editing done within the next month or so, then it’s off for a final review of the sections I’ve added. So… hopefully by the end of the year. Then I can finally begin shopping it around to find a home. =)

        The wordsmithing is quite fun, but I think my favorite part of writing books is watching the multiple threads come together to surprise the reader. I have a lot of stuff that goes on in the background, and then when it finally does come to the forefront, sparks fly!

    • It’s good to know that her awkwardness still shines through, even in so short a snippet. School politics when you’re that young are always a bit difficult to grasp, especially if you’re new in town and now especially well known.

      Thanks for dropping by!

    • So very true! Young girls can be especially cruel and this trio I felt were especially necessary as a counter to Suzie and her friends. Incidentally they’re the characters I’ve gone back in and added during this revision, and I think the novel is much more flushed out because of it.

      Glad you like it!

  12. …little sociopaths, every last one of them πŸ˜‰ …and I mean that in the most sincere way possible. Kids just don’t have the same big-picture view to be able to think about what others are feeling.

    • Very true. Kids are just too self-centric to be able to understand empathy very well, which isn’t a fault of their own. It’s just a natural development process of the human brain. I think it’s even worse at times with teenagers.

      Of course, that’s what makes them so much fun to write about! =)

    • Thanks Christine! At this point I think the edits are coming to a close. Cleaned up some major plot holes in the last edit batch, so I’m curious to see what my two kind editors say the second time around. I’m excited & nervous at the same time for my agent search, though I hear that’s pretty normal.

      Thank you for dropping by!

    • Thanks Randi! I’m glad you enjoyed it – and that it caught your attention. Here’s hoping the novel as a whole is just as interesting when it comes out. πŸ˜‰

    • Thanks! I’m trying to use NaNo to get my word count up on this novel, so it’s coming along!

      Oh and here’s the snippet I use for the word count. Just replace the numbers for words and target and insert like you would a regular image. I got it originally from Cherie Priest who uses all the time for her fiction updates.

  13. I’ve heard of human servants of vampire masters (who may or may not be addicted to their masters in some way) referred to as thralls or familiars. Hope this helps!

    • Thanks! Both of those sound like viable options for this piece, especially thralls. That kind of sounds like the sort of state they’d be in. I’m thinking of Renfield here. πŸ™‚

  14. Mentioning Renfield made me think of it this way: Thrall being the definition of a normal human being addicted to the blood, with Renfield being a derogatory nickname for a thrall. A Renfield is human, nothing special, gets used and is kept addicted in order to continue to be used.

    A human servant, in my head, is more deeply supernaturally bound than a thrall.

    Familiar wouldn’t work for me in this instance because I keep wanting to associate an animal with the term familiar.

    • Ooh I like the proper name being used, but also the derogatory term as well. That’s very appropriate — especially for a werewolf pack. πŸ˜‰

      And yeah familiar does make me think of a pet raven or snake that serves you. Not quite the dependent human drunk on vampire blood type. It seems almost too kind of a word for them since vampires obviously don’t consider them worthy of turning into full vampires, or at least find them better suited for servitude.

      Thanks for your feedback on this – I knew you’d have a few ideas to toss in considering the subject matter! πŸ˜€

    • It really is quite an experience – that’s probably the easiest way to describe it at least! There’s really no comparing it to other writing times during the year you work on, because it doesn’t feel the same when you don’t have a whole mass of peeps online to compare and contrast with. Although I don’t know if I’ll be able to finish this year, I know I’ll be doing both NaNo and Camp NaNo again next year. I guess I’m just a glutton for punishment. πŸ™‚

      I’m glad you enjoyed your first time doing it! Sounds like it’ll be just as addictive for you as it has been for me! haha

  15. I think sometimes we aren’t even aware of why we like watching one actor more than another, but it is this type of research that leads to a very layered, rich performance that transcends what is on the written page.

    • Exactly, and whether or not the audience consciously realizes that or not, the effect is the same. Like you said, at face value, you just prefer one actor over another. It’s more difficult to always say why, and that’s the difference that background research and character study make.

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  17. Great snippet!

    I’m a fan of fanfiction, too. And I got the idea for one of the stories I’ll be publishing in the near future from a BBC Merlin fanfic I wrote. πŸ™‚

    • That’s great! In my opinion fanfiction is grossly underrated as viable practice for writing. In my experience, fans can be even more demanding of quality in fanfiction than in regular fiction. πŸ˜‰

      Always great to find a fellow fan/original fiction writer!

    • Thanks! I dropped by and added you on Twitter too – there’s so few of us folks that have one foot in the technical world, and another foot in the writing world.

      Glad you liked the snippet!

  18. Cherie Priest does give amazing advice. I follow her too. Being a teacher, I love your story about your Berenstein Bears puppet plays. Too cute! Good luck on your writing journey.

    • Yes, Cherie gives some amazing advice. Reading her trail to publishing is what gave me the motivation to get started myself. I got to meet her at Dragon*Con when I went last year, and she’s just as awesome in person as she is on the web. I guess I was far more outgoing when I was a kid than I am now, haha! Glad you enjoyed it though. πŸ™‚

    • Hi Katkasia – I’ll probably end up posting a snippet as a Six Sentence Sunday submission once I’ve cleaned it up a bit. I like to shelve stories like that and then go back in to spruce it up later. I may end up making it longer too, i just depends.

      I’ve learned that writing short stories is anything but an exact science! πŸ˜‰

    • I’m glad you liked it Angela. It’s interesting because I didn’t include much detail about the clock until I was doing edits, and it seemed only natural to include it. Although it *seems* like a rapid end here, Motley’s fate is anything but quick, the poor guy.

    • I’m glad that even in this short bit, the feel for the place comes across well. That was one of the fun parts of writing this horror western though, diving in and hanging on to that gritty mood. πŸ˜‰

  19. As many times as I’ve read through my book, editing, I could almost swear to gods that I’ll never read it after it (hopefully) goes to print. But I know good and damned well that if I have MY book in MY hand, I’m reading that biotch just once. Then never again. LOL!

    • Even then I don’t know if I’d read it. I’d probably pet it as though it was my cat, and fawn over it every few minutes, but I don’t know if I could bring myself to read it again. I’ve read my Suzie’s Nightmare book (still in edits of course) at least three times now, and have to read it again to finish up edits. I love the story, but not so much having to edit again haha.

      Of course, if I ever DO get to that point, I’m totally celebrating first. πŸ˜€

  20. Just started and finished this quick read last night. Even though it was the end of a very long week, I couldn’t put it down. It moved very quickly and the depictions were so thorough and well written that I was rewarded with stressmares when I did go to sleep.
    I would definitely read any follow-up stories to this one.

    • Hi Leia, I’m really glad to hear you enjoyed it! I have to admit I didn’t *intend* to leave folks with stressmares, but at the same time I’m glad it left such a lasting impression on you. πŸ˜‰ Thank you for coming by to let me know too, it means a lot to me!

      I have considered continuing Colton’s story, maybe with more of the horrors he faces as he works to aid his kind in need. Hmm…

      • It is actually a kudo that it did cause the intense dreams. I can get very into my reading and the more intensely depicted scenario’s naturally find their way into my sleep. I would LOVE to read more on Colton and his adventures. Likewise, maybe more about the humans that coexist with Colton and his kind and the dynamics of their inter-existence. Again, thank YOU for the read. Very interesting and intriguing.

  21. When that happens to me, I just open a mindmap and dump as much detail as comes to mind. Then I know when I come back to it, it’ll all be there waiting for me.

    I think your “Destruction” story would work as a novella or short. Sounds interesting.

    • I like that! OneNote serves as my mental dumping ground, though it is a bit unorganized at the moment. Sometimes I’ll even record dreams as well for inspiration later. You never know what sort of stuff will be useful.

      I may try this as a novella – I never really know how long a piece will be until I sit down to write it. When I tried to turn it into a short story, Sam’s pessimism and rage at humanity just didn’t make enough sense. It needed more build-up so that you understood where he was coming from. He’s going to be a sympathetic but unlikable fellow for a good chunk of the story though. Either way, he’s been begging to be written for quite a while now. /sigh

  22. I like your clever blog. I am writing a ghost story spoof, but I am not tantalizing readers as you do. What a cool idea. Do you take days off from writing? I have to!

    • Oh absolutely! In fact I only wish I got more time to write. Being able to write daily would be wonderful. I hope your ghost story spoof is coming along well though!

    • I’ve never heard that, but it is so very true. Usually I just let these sort of things slide off, but they can get disheartening after a while. Persistence is the key though, right? πŸ™‚

      Thanks for the encouragement!

    • I have considered that. When I first wrote Night Feeders, I was writing it with hopes to submit it to an anthology, but the specific genre is a bit of a harder sell which is why I went with the self-pub route. I’m not putting that kind of limitation on the sequel though, instead I’m just letting it be whatever length it wants. It may very well turn into a novel at this rate.

      Glad you liked this bit!

  23. Isn’t that funny how a minor character ends up being more? I had that with one of mine–Booger. He was supposed to be a walk-on, walk-off character, but he just wouldn’t leave.

    • Sometimes those are the most entertaining characters, aren’t they? The same thing happened in another novel I’m working on. At first I just referred to him as “the sad man”, but eventually he grew a name and became a main character. He made me proud. πŸ™‚

    • Some names can get stuck to a character, like Hermoine for example. It’s a perfectly good name, but that character has claimed it as her own now. Anyone else who tries to write a book with that name may have trouble getting the reader to see the original character and not JK Rowling’s.

    • I know, it’s a tough call. I figure I’ll see how far I get in my western piece and go from there. I’ve been at a standstill for so long with my Secrets of Leekston, I’m worried I’ll get writer’s block again when having to write on it under a strict deadline. But it might be the only way to move forward with it sooo… Yeah. Either way I get writing in though, right? πŸ™‚

  24. “block… under a strict deadline…”

    Good point and glad you said it. Seems I needed that particular bell rung in my own head.

    You’ll handle it. You’re not nearly as insane as I am. πŸ˜‰

    • It’s always tough with this type of music because some bands, like Rammstein for example, make you wish you hadn’t looked up the lyrics for it. This song having German and Latin mixed in makes for an even choppier translation. Anyway I heard it first before I saw the video and thought the sound was meant more for a beast or creature in the woods, naturally werewolves came to mind. πŸ˜‰

      Here’s a link to the translated lyrics if you’re curious:

  25. As much as I admire Cherie Priest, I had never read either of the posts you linked. They are both so inspiring and helpful, so I thank you for linking them. πŸ™‚

    • Her blog posts were some of the first glimpses behind-the-scenes for me. Whenever I feel a lack of motivation, her posts always make me smile. They are definitely inspirational and eye-opening. I’m glad you liked them and thanks for the follow!

    • I love when that happens in a session I’m running. It really adds to the flavor of the game, and makes the game feel more dynamic. I can understand how some DMs might be intimidated about that though: their plans are tossed to the wind and their monster’s fate is now uncertain.

      We were actually talking about this over dinner earlier. Someone was trying to explain what D&D was about, and they pretty much said:
      It’s kind of like Dragon Age, except instead of just a few possibilities, you can write the developers and ask them for a completely different option. Then they can go back and work it into the game for you, and this is all done in real time.

      I thought it was pretty accurate!

    • I wouldn’t say I write that much *consistently*, but when I sit down to write, I do aim for around 2k words. I think it’s a good habit to get into and many writers who write professionally (Cherie Priest, Stephen King, etc.) usually aim for around that much. Since I hope to do that myself one day, that’s what I aim for too.

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  27. I tend to be a planner, but percolating is a big part of that. Pantsing it is exciting and can be a blast, but for me I get stuck way more often and much too easily when I don’t have a good idea of where I’m going.

    I prefer to have an outline, even if it’s just the first part of the novel at the time I start writing. The outline comes from days and months of percolating. But my outlines are fluid. I use the Storyboard feature in the Liquid Story Binder writing software for my outlines. Each scene is in its own little box. So at any point I can delete, add, or even move the order of the boxes around to accommodate what I’ve actually written as opposed to what I thought I was going to write.

    • I have to agree with the benefits of a fluid outline, I don’t know how folks are able to use strict outlines and actually stick to them throughout, that would drive me nuts! I like having the guideline there if I’m unable to come up with where to go next.

      It’s amazing how long you end up percolating (I’m beginning to like this word) before you sit down to write your novel. Sounds like it’s a requirement of both camps, planners and pantsers alike. πŸ™‚

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  29. I’ve always thought of myself as a planner, but maybe percolater is better. I find the happy medium for me involves spending a lot of time on worldbuilding notes and character notes–I write dark fantasy and building worlds is so much fun–but very little on an actual outline.

    Of course, for me it’s more dependent on the novel I’m writing. Last year my novel came to me in a dream; I had the whole thing outlined months in advance. This year, all I know is where my characters live, who they are and that they’re going to escape their little mountain town. I’m satisfied with that–what I do want to know before I get started is what my male main character’s name is!

    • You know I hardly ever get the full gist of my novels in dreams, only a few scenes that I find a way to incorporate into stories. It’s amazing to see how much dreams influence major writers too. I think I wrote a while back about Tolkien and how much his dreams influenced his Lord of the Rings series.

      That’s a good point about the genre affecting your writing method. I’m finding that it’s taking a lot more research and preparation to build my world around an existing city in this upcoming novel than it was to drop the characters into a made-up town. I’m still not really outlining per se, but I’m definitely having to put more research in this time around.

  30. Thanks Larry! Hey I can use all the cheerleading I can get! I did Camp NaNo in June but dropped out in August, and I didn’t get through last November either. Much appreciated!

    Maybe you could try one of the Camp NaNos instead since November is such a bad month for you? My sister had the same problem too, but she enjoyed Camp NaNo quite a bit.

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  32. Add the words “grimoire” and “sigil” to your search. I found all kinds of things regarding the occult using these terms, including medieval summoning rituals for various demons. Another useful reference is the work “Visions of the Occult” by Gettings.

    Sephiroth originally refers to Kabbalah; Final Fantasy VII actually boasts many references to witchcraft, the occult, history, and mythology that go over many people’s heads. It could even be considered a complete allegory if given the treatment normally reserved for literary novels. I was at one point considering writing my masters thesis on it just to piss off the professors at ASU.

    • Ooh very good to know! Anything to help me get to some decent search results on this stuff is helpful. It’s frustrating when all I get are D&D and WOW magic systems instead of more realistic sources.

      That is really funny that FF7 has so many references. I admit when I saw that in the Encyclopedia I did a double-take. Now that you mention it, I’m thinking of the Tree of Life and all the references I saw to that as well, it makes total sense. I for one would have been interested to read your paper talking about all the occult references. My sister wrote hers analyzing literary learning behaviors in Yu-Gi-Oh card game tournaments, so yours doesn’t seem that crazy to me.

    • Thanks! Here’s hoping I can keep at it for the rest of the week. Sometimes I need that fire that NaNo provides to get me serious about churning out words on a regular basis.

    • I’m glad you enjoyed it, Irtrovi! Would you be willing to drop by on Amazon or B&N to write a review for it? I’m finishing up a novel-length sequel with Colton Fen and a few others. So you’ll be seeing more from this mix of genres. πŸ˜‰

    • It certainly is never easy, but each time I do it I get a little bit better at it. I think this is the seventh NaNo I’ve participated in, and have only one maybe half that amount. I’ve certainly noticed that I can produce more words in a shorter amount of time that I used to, which helps to make the plot more cohesive. It gets a bit easier to quiet your inner editor to get the words out too.

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  34. Your character could work at a pachinko parlor, which are very similar to casinos and are EVERYWHERE in Japan! (They’re also not illegal.)

    I’m also doing Camp Nanowrimo this July! πŸ™‚

    • I had to do some research on those to find out what they were. They don’t really have any card tables though, and I was going to make her a card dealer. It seems like a silly requirement, but she’s a Duel Monsters duelist in the world, and it’s a profession she did in the US when she lived there.

      Oh well! Thanks for the recommendation though.

      A fellow NaNo-er who has a fondness for dystopias? Totally just followed you. πŸ™‚

      • Ahh, it makes sense that the character would have a job related to cards if it’s Yu-Gi-Oh! Sorry the pachinko suggestion didn’t work. πŸ™

        Yay dystopias! Thanks for following. :3

    • Having seen the movie now (twice, haha), there are definitely some major diversions from the book. However I can totally see why those choices were made, and I really enjoyed it! The book is a quick read too.

      I’ll be curious to see what you think after you read the book & see the film!

  35. Try living in the UK! Here half a millimetre of snow brings the whole country to a complete stand-still. I grew up in Northern Germany where everybody is prepared to deal with several meters of snow every winter…and bus drivers apologise, if they turn up at the bus stop with a couple of minutes delay! Britain’s only got snow ploughs in the north (Scotland mainly), so when the South is hit with snow, you can forget about travelling anywhere. Don’t feel guilty though, you made the right and responsible decision to stay at home.

    • That does make me feel better! It’s hard to explain that a lack of infrastructure makes an enormous difference when it comes to even a little bit of snow – and definitely ice. I think we have less than ten snow plows and salt trucks for the entire state, and when the roads are as congested as they were on Tuesday, nothing is getting through.

      Thanks, I’m glad I made the decision I did, but still, you feel rather useless iced in at home and unable to help out. I always hope this sort of thing will be a lesson to our city, county, & state leaders, but somehow I doubt it.

    • Definitely! I imagine they have a way to trigger it, or at least delay it so that they can enjoy the zombie shooting gallery one day a year — why not Halloween?

      Using zombies for entertainment purposes would probably be the best way to fund & get public approval for their disposal. πŸ˜‰

  36. MOST curious about Rennick! Lots of intrigue and wonderful description in that 250. Good luck!

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  39. A great read, and so good to have their antics, and skills documented. I’ve had them remove food from my travel bag when it was laying on the ground, and I didn’t note the lunch box was gone until lunch time. Found it on the return journey. Empty!
    Too clever birds.

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    • Thanks so much! It’s easily my favorite holiday too. How can you go wrong with a month dedicated to telling horror stories, dressing in costumes, *and* having an excuse to eat candy?

  46. Those look like some great stories to look forward to. I think the most important step to achieve any goal is organization and you sure have that. Have a good year full of wonderful achievements!

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  57. You’re totally psyching me up! I can’t wait to read this book!!!! I love listening to authors talk about how their stories lead them in writing the book. The characters and story take on a life of their own. I find that so fascinating!! I try my hand at writing and ever year I attempt NaNoWrMo…even though I never make it…but I never come near experiencing anything like that. That’s incredible and I can only imagine how it must feel.

    • Thank you so much, I’m glad you’re enjoying these posts! I got inspired to do little updates about my writing from Cherie Priest who does them regularly on her blog. It’s also nice cause I get to see the progress of my own story just by going back and looking over the tags.

      I used to do one or two NaNos a year, but have gotten out of it since I tend to write year-round now. I still try to participate in at least one each year though, even if it’s with a smaller word count or with edits instead of writing.

      It’s taken me a while to get a grasp on how to build story and structure and characters properly, but I think now I’m finally getting the hang of it! πŸ˜‚β€οΈ

  58. Sounds like you’re doing really well πŸ™‚ you definitely seem to be enjoying yourself, which is great! Keep up the good work and good luck with your ongoing progress for your WiP

  59. Pingback: Next Stop: The Fantastic and Horrific | Fantasy Sources: Art, Gifts, Ideas, Article Resources, News

  60. Pingback: Blog Tour – The She-Wolf of Kanta by Marlena Frank Feat. Deleted Scene and Giveaway! – What A Nerd Girl Says

  61. Pingback: Rockstar Book Tours: Book Review & Giveaway — The She Wolf of Kanta by Marlena Frank | The Life Stories

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  94. This is such a novel idea. All the best for your stories, Marlena and hope we get to read your stories via these short stories dispensers here in India too πŸ™‚

  95. WOW!!! I want to read every one of these!!! Except The She-Wolf Of Kanta i’ve read and own. Actually, I wouldn’t mind reading that one again too!!!! I love how creative you are!!!!!

    • I agree! If you get the chance to watch them, they are very powerful. They’re only a few minutes long, but dang, she makes some excellent commentary. I would attend her church if I lived closer!

  96. I like that she is progressive and her church is open for LGBT people, people with addictions, compulsions and depression, and even nonbelievers.Thanks for sharing this story!

  97. WOW first of all, im in love with your journal and Harry Potter and the fact you are also an author!!!! Check out my blog for some ideas, I love bullet journaling and am also an author, I never thought to mix them together!!!

    • Aww thank you so much! I’m still getting used to being an author myself. As for bullet journaling, I’m in LOVE with using it to keep me on track with my writing. It’s seriously like night and day as far as how organized I am! <3

  98. Congratulations! I’m really interested in hearing it! I always love the interpretations the reader makes as they go along. It’s an under appreciated art πŸ’œ

  99. I use it as a teacher and artist too! I honestly would be list without the scheduling. I can’t go back to a regular planner now: none of them meet all of my criteria.

  100. Whoa! This is awesome! I haven’t seen Fallen Kingdom yet, but I plan to. The first Jurassic Park movie is up there with my favorite movies! And I’m old enough that I saw it for the first time on the big screen and I had tears in my eyes and goosebumps on my skin when I first saw that brachiosaurus πŸ¦• and I screamed and was terrified when that T-Rex πŸ¦– first attacked the kids in the car. It was incredible. But I also remember Malcolm talking about how they were so busy with how to create these dinosaurs, that they never asked themselves if they should! Your comparison to Frankenstein’s monster was spot on! I wondered how you were going to compare them and when I read it, I was like..she’s absolutely right! I’m really looking forward to Fallen Kingdom now, and you know I will be picking up on what you did now that I read this. I’m really glad I did! OK…what’s next?!

    • Oh absolutely! The first Jurassic Park movie is one of my favorites, so I have high expectations of all the following films lol. Oh goodness same though! We were in line for the movie and the line wrapped outside around the building!

      I’m so glad you liked this comparison! Fallen Kingdom really has themes that stick with you. We’ve been talking about it for weeks afterwards and are planning to go see it again if we can.

      I’m sure I’ll have more ideas on what to tackle with this film when we go see it again too. So expect more about this film!

  101. While standing I a long empty hallway, if you close your eyes, you can imagine the ghosts of those who lived and died while on the ship. The primordial intuition which we have inherited from our ancestors tells us that entrapment can happen at any time and death is just a breath away

    • It’s interesting, it’s a feeling that’s hard to shake when you’re on a ship in the middle of the ocean especially when you’re alone. I have so much respect for people who work on ships like that.

  102. Love the outpouring of support. I love libraries, browsing the stacks for hours and often take out hard copies. Although I tend to use my e-reader quite a bit, I do download epubs from my local library especially books that are difficult to find.
    Thanks so much for sharing this and for being part of #WATWB.

    • I have so many good memories of libraries! I also still use them regularly for working remotely or writing. 😊 I actually use the library audiobooks more than the epubs! I’m a pretty slow reader so that’s easier for me.

      Thank you! I’m glad to be part of it! ❀️

  103. Libraries should be replaced with Amazon?? NO WAY!
    Libraries are so important… like one of the last bastions of civilization and democracy.
    As one of the quotes goes: “Without libraries what have we? We have no past and no future.”

    I need to check out that collection of tweets.
    Thank you for sharing this article with us for the WATWB.

    Writer In Transit

    • I know right? When I first saw that article I was like, they better not! Very thankful that others felt the same way too. Those tweets give me life.

      Thank you for stopping by! πŸ’•

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    • I use Scrivener and ever since I moved to that from Word, I just have never gone back. It was a bit of a learning curve at first, but now I’m able to keep the 3 books in my series in one project file. That means all my character notes, location notes, and research is in one place. I would definitely keep an eye out for discounts though because they do them regularly. They’re also a normal sponsors of NaNoWriMo so if you win that, you can get like 50% off or something like that. πŸ˜€

  105. I thought the officer was going to arrest her. The ending creates such a shift in emotions that my face began to tighten. Unexpected kindness indeed. Thank you for sharing and for participating in #WATWB. I’m co-hosting this month.

  106. Congratulations on making the 20k mark.

    We’re getting Michael wind and rain, too (in Virginia). It’s not nearly as bad as your area though.

    Are you doing Nano this year? I’m still working on my outline for a ghost-of-an-insane-witch story, but I expect to be ready to go on November 1st!

    • I’m considering it! It would help to have that writing motivation every day to finish this draft. I tried Camp NaNo this summer and was too busy to really do it. Maybe November will be better?

      By the way your story sounds amazing already!

  107. It’s so heartwarming to see such supportive response on Twitter. Glad that hate lost and love, compassion and positivity won! Thanks for sharing this lovely story, Marlena!

  108. You’re behind in Nano . . . BUT YOU MAILED OFF A MANUSCRIPT THIS WEEK! That’s pretty darn cool.

    I am doing Nano, and so far I’m right on track. I’m not confident with the credulity of my story (“that would never happen”), but I’m going to keep going.

  109. Yes, I do WIP to-do lists. Here ya go:
    Jan 2-13 outline Manor (adult horror).
    Jan 14-March 23 draft Manor
    March 24-31 rest, read a lot. It’s also empty space that I could use in case my drafting hits a speed bump like a family emergency or the flu or something!
    April-May edit my 2018 NaNo book (adult horror).
    June-Sep edit Manor, work on writing technique/voice.
    Oct outline for NaNo.
    Nov NaNo!:-)
    Dec rest, enjoy Xmas, read.:-)

    Question: Is Stolen novel length? Because on Amazon it’s listed as four pages long.

    Best of luck this month in finishing your Broken draft!

    • Oooh I love all the horror you’re working on! πŸ’€β€οΈ

      Yes! Stolen is around 100k in length. We are just finishing up the digital copies to get them up on Amazon. We had a lot of delays, including one of my amazing editors unfortunately being in the hospital. But Stolen is still on schedule! πŸ’•

  110. Pingback: Release Week Blitz ~ Stolen by Marlena Frank ~ Excerpt + Giveaway – Twirling Book Princess

  111. Hello Marlena! I am a spec-fic author too (paranormal sci-fi thrillers featuring the modern day remnant of an ancient clan of werecats) but in my day job I’m a railroader. I’ve been a train buff since boyhood and have been making my living “playing with trains” going on twenty years now. If I might be helpful in your research, please look me up. If I don’t know the answer to your question right off the top of my head, I very likely know someone who does. I’ve included a link to my web site, where you can message me or look me up via my various social media links.


  112. This is my first time reading about you and I’m also trying to get back into writing. My life long dream is to be a published novelist. Do you have novels already published? If so did you go through, Amazon’s self publishing? Or, a publishing house? Please text me back, because your the first person I’ve bumped into and on a platform that we can communicate. I’d really like to get to know how you write and once completed a story, how you go from there to get published. Also, how you stay motivated and- I have so many questions that I’d be writing for hour’s. I’d like to have a writer friend and mentor, so to speak. I like horror and suspense. Psychological horror suspense, also. I have a blog, website, wadescreations. It’s in the raw and trying to find time to learn more about how to develop a blog and adding my interest. If you can’t get on my blog, I gave wrong way to get on it- see told you I’m a very new blog builder. Or go to, WordPress.wadekitchen.com. That may work. Please text me and , please help me with your knowledge of the writing and publishing process. Look forward to hearing from you. Wade. wadekitchen@ymail.com

  113. Thanks for replying. I know I got carried away with emailing you. Sorry, just got caught up in the moment. You’re right. I have to find my own way to write a novel. It boils down to, sitting down and writing! Simple when I’m not over thinking it. I get so caught up in published writer’s and feel they have some kind of special wisdom or something and I must find that in order to write a novel. Crazy when I actually write it down. Yes, you’ve been a get help. Good luck on your new book and many more to come. Thanks, Wade.

    • I sure do wish we had a special wisdom! I hope you got the email I sent you where I talked in a lot more detail about things. Feel free to reach out to me if you ever want any help, I’m happy to assist whenever I can. πŸ™‚

  114. Yes that is certainly a good thing to do Here in Christchurch were it happened they encourage all to talk about it to be able to process it.

    • That’s honestly the best way to process things. It’s when people clam up and don’t discuss it that it only makes things worse. I’m glad they’re taking such a healthy approach to it!

  115. This is heartwarming to listen to. It’s so hard to explain, and so hard to live with, but it’s a part of our world, and we can’t be frightened. I remember being afraid of a nuclear war. These things are always hard to cope with.

    Thanks for sharing this for WATWB !

    • Absolutely, it never gets easier coping with these things. I remember watching those “Duck and cover” videos before and shuddered at the thought that it became the normal of the time. It seems like shootings like these have become today’s normal, and I don’t like either one of them.

      No problem! I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  116. Hi Lena – what a lovely programme that Sammy has on YouTube … and so interesting in the way he explained it to Jesse … very clever – we need light and with it we will understand more. Excellent #WAWTB – cheers Hilary

    • Exactly! In a way I thought that this kind of embodied the whole goal of #WAWTB because you have to fight that negativity with positivity. I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  117. Wow. It’s easy to forget not everyone has the same experiences. I grew up haunting used book stores and thrift stores for every book I could find. That’s an amazing story; hopefully that book will touch someone’s life the way books touched mine.

    • Thank you so much, Priscilla! I love building Pinterest boards for my books, and this one was especially fun. Thank you for supporting me through all of my books!

  118. Thank you so much, Marlena, for participating in #WATWB and sharing this story of a kind-hearted soul. Krystal is an amazing woman – to spend so much time learning sign language so she could engage with one customer. This is what loving others is all about. Great story!

    • You’re welcome! I always try to give spoiler warnings if I need to.

      She’s an amazing writer and has a very unique style in my opinion. If you haven’t read her work before, I definitely recommend it!

    • Thank you! It was really rough since we had a limited time to get the booth setup. Thankfully I was sharing the booth with some amazing people. We weren’t the only ones in the group to get delayed either. Just crazy!

    • I knoooow! The place was huge and we were busy vending, so I didn’t get the chance to see them until I was looking over Kelley’s footage. I was kind of glad I didn’t know about those until afterwards cause that’s where I would have stayed haha!

  119. This is a fabulous post. I actually have “business cards” on my to-do list, but I’ve been too skittish to move forward with it. I really like how the black-pink-white design with the butterfly detail ties in with the black-purple-white design on your sign.

  120. I know you’re probably sick of hearing this but I’m so glad for these tutorials! I’m bookmarking every one of them to quick reference as I work on my writing projects <3

    • They almost don’t look real! Knowing that their albinoism leads to blindness too, at least for the parents, I’m sure they wouldn’t last long in the wild either. I’m so glad they’re in a safe place!

  121. This is an interesting topic. I can see how a bookshelf would encourage kids to read, but an overwhelming bookshelf might send easily-intimidated kids outside to play away from too-many-choices. Maybe the key is the children need to see the parents reading, actually engaging in quality time with a book whether it’s from a large bookshelf or a minimalist e-reader.

  122. What a wonderful written piece you have here! We always realized the importance of books and education. We felt that a variety of books in the house gave our kids ways to find themselves and where they wanted to be in life. Parents need to give up their demand for β€˜control’ and allow their children to become smarter and stronger in mind than they are. There are many avenues in life’s journey that are opened for those who read. Reading allows us to believe that anything is possible.

  123. They are really cute and kudos to the Wild Florida team for giving them safe harbour! Thanks Lena, great #WATWB post! I haven’t put up a post this month – am commenting!

  124. Your environment is so important for creativity. Just thinking of art class in school with the mess of paint and tools to create. Without words or explanation, a space can speak to you and motivate you to start creating!

    • This is a really good point! Just having so many books around adds to the environment for the kids. I hadn’t thought of comparing to an art class, but you’re right!

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    • I know, I love unreliable narrators so much! I love having that moment where I stop and question the character’s motives, because then it helps me define my own beliefs. It’s really interesting!

  126. Hi Lena! I’ve been checking out some of your posts, and I think you would be a good fit for a monthly author blog hop that I run. The theme is learning and resources for authors, and so basically, one of the things you’re already blogging about anyway. πŸ™‚ I started the hop three years ago as a way for authors to both learn from each other and gain traction on the web, because the hop is also about reciprocal commenting/liking, and we share one another’s posts on social media. Anyway, more info about the hop is below, and whether you join or not, I look forward to reading more of your posts! https://raimeygallant.com/2017/03/22/authortoolboxbloghop/