Tag Archives: vampires

WIPpet Wednesday- Feline Photobomb Edition

I just wanted to take a picture of my new, autographed paperback copy of Evensong for you guys, because I was SUPER excited when it came in the mail this morning. Harriet said, “Nope. PHOTO ME AND LOVE ME AND PET ME.”

And then she purred, and I can’t argue with that. So here you go. Book and cat. Add a cup of tea and you’ve got a perfect afternoon.

I apologize for the hugeness of the image. Apparently WordPress is no longer letting us edit photos down by percentage. Huh.

Note to self.


Let’s get this final ROW80 Update out of the way first, because I’m ending this round on a bit of a cliffhanger.

My editor started working on my book this morning. I have no idea what’s going to happen with that. Could be a wonderful experience, or it could leave me deciding that my leisure hours would be better spent playing Minecraft because writing is just wasting my time and my money. I’m expecting something in the middle, with lots of work to be done at the end but me still feeling like this is a thing I can do.

We’ll see. Right now I feel like I can handle pretty much anything.

In other news, I read Rayne Hall’s Writing Fight Scenes this week, and it was quite informative. I picked it up because I knew mine were lacking something, and I discovered lots of ways to punch things up. Lots of tips, lots of links to videos* demonstrating fighting styles and weapons, and it’s a quick read at a good price. Recommended.

Also still reading The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. I’m FINALLY at the actual story, and am finally enjoying it. I have no problem with the author’s writing style– it’s gorgeous, and I think he’ll be one of few Fantasy authors who won’t make me want to throw the book across the room because I want to skip all of the descriptions (see: A Song of Ice and Fire and ALL THE FOODS). I mean, there are tons of descriptions, but at least they’re interesting. It just took forever to get past the framing. I know, I’m a terrible reader. Maybe “get to the action” has just been drilled into my head so often as a writer that I’m no longer willing to slog through chapters of Not Much Happening to get to the good stuff.

I hate feeling like I don’t have time to just enjoy a long, drawn-out story anymore, but that’s kind of where I am. My attention span is HEY LOOK, A MARMOSET.** That, and my TBR list is so huge that I find myself putting books down and moving on to something else if I’m not hooked right away.

New resolution to work on next round: try to get over that. Slow down, smell the marmosets roses, try to give books a chance.

WIPpet Wednesday

26 (short) sentences from Resurrection for the 26th. We’re heading for the climax here (and the reason I needed that book on fight scenes). Shivva (the vampire) is on the run, trying to solve a mystery of sorts, and trying not to hurt any innocent humans while she does so.

A bell tinkles as I enter the restaurant, a greasy little diner with plastic menus and  probably a filthy kitchen. The decor hasn’t been updated since the sixties. That, or it’s a convincing retro set-up. I don’t even care.

“Bad night to be out walking,” says the short guy leaning against the counter. He doesn’t seem to care that his boots are leaving a puddle on the chipped linoleum.

“Yeah.” I count out my buck seventy-five and accept the white paper cup of steaming heaven.  The coffee’s shit, of course, but it’s hot, and it helps.

“I’ve got an umbrella in my car, if you want it,” the guy says.

I shoot him an irritated glance. “No, thanks. I’m fine.”

“Not made of sugar, are you?”

“Excuse me?”

He shrugs. “You… you’re not worried about melting in the rain. So you must not be made of sugar.” I roll my eyes, and I feel him watching me as I turn to leave. “You sure look sweet, though.”

I flip him the bird without looking back.

Three blocks later, I’m in an industrial area, enjoying the quiet. A long, high-pitched whistle sounds behind me. I don’t stop, and I don’t turn back, even at the sound of several sets of footsteps splashing over the asphalt. Humans. Bring it on.

Oy. I’ve heard worse pick-up lines, but not by much.

So there you go. Thank you to everyone who volunteered to beta read and/or rip my work to shreds. I’ll try to have that out next week.

For more WIPpet Wednesday fun, swing by our host KL Schwengel’s blog to say hi, click on the link, and be transported to a world of… um… well, I don’t know. I have to go check that out myself.

*Useless on my PaperWhite, but good to have available for another time.

**That’s… actually kind of weird.



The Good News and The Bad News (call for beta readers)

The good news is that Resurrection is finished.

Pretty much.

The problem is that I don’t have a last line. It’s been so easy for other stories (much easier than first lines, certainly), but this one is giving me NOTHING. So I’m going to have to stew on that.

I’m going to try something different with this one and let people see it before it’s been in revisions for years. I know, crazy. But I know now that I can take criticism, and I’m thinking that it might actually be easier to take when I know there’s still work to be done. Fear not, dear betas. I’m not sending rough draft crap. This thing is in good shape, as far as I can tell, and I’ve enjoyed reading it over. It’s just that I know there’s work to be done.

I need to get this last line in, go over the last few chapters to get them out of “first draft” and into “revised draft” state, maybe improve some fight scenes, and get her out.

Annnnd I have to remember who volunteered to read it.

#ImSoOrganized  #MarthaStewartRightHere


So anyone who’s not put off by a little blood, dead bodies*, and maybe a little undead sexytimes and fighting, who likes the WIP snippets I shared here and here and here… comment or drop me a line at kate.sparkes (at) live.ca. I’m just looking for impressions, thoughts, places you think it drags or could use more of something. It’s short (30,000 words), so there is room for more… whatever. I might throw this one up on Wattpad, too. We’ll see.

This one’s been a lot of fun to write. I’l be waiting anxiously to see whether it’s fun to read…

*Seriously, not for people with really weak stomachs, or who are going to hate me for killing children. I DIDN’T DO IT. It was the rogues.

Welcome Back to Vampireland, Population Me. Kind Of.

In which I’m somewhat incoherent and write in the least-formal manner possible because I’m getting a cold and am kinda woozy-like. Don’t judge me. I’m a good writerer, really.

So, you might remember the story on what’s happening with that whole vampire thing. Good stuff, but I’m not back at it yet, as I had a brilliant idea regarding another project that I had to take care of, and then I had no time for anything.

Maybe not brilliant so much as fixing what ain’t broke, but that’s what happened. And I had to plan this other thing, and write a book review, and… you know. Stuff.

So for WIPpet Wednesday, here’s five sentences for the fifth of February, from the last scene I wrote in Resurrection before I was a big stupid poopy head and didn’t finish it. *kicks past me in the hypothetical nards*

Shivva (vampire) and Daniel (also a vampire, who you might remember from here and here) just fed at the club, and are looking for somewhere to be alone together.

I’m used to being here with Daniel my trainer, not Daniel who’s amazing in bed. And shower. And floor. And… oh, a meeting room. That’ll do.

Whatever works, Shivva.

Want more from the WIPpeteers? Mosey on over to the linkie and check them out. Just don’t go dragging them into any meeting rooms (or showers, or…). I can’t guarantee you’ll make it out alive.

Oh, and say hi to our host, KL Schwengel, will you? I sort of convinced her to sign up for Pinterest. We might need to pull her out of that black hole.


Wednesday also means updates on A Round of Words in 80 Days, the writing challenge that likes to pretend that I have a life. HA!

I got nuthin’. I mean, I’m doing stuff, but nothing worthy of AN OFFICIAL UPDATE.

So… Yeah, we’ll catch up on Sunday.


ROW80 Update: WTF, Past Me? Edition

Well, I figured out what to do with myself. I started reading over Resurrection, and had happy times all over the place. And then I got the the part where it stopped RATHER abruptly, and screamed at Past Me for not just finishing it so Present Me could ENJOY IT IS THAT SO MUCH TO ASK?

Apparently, yes.

So I’m going to have to finish that up, if only to satisfy myself (and anyone who wants to volunteer to beta read approximately 40,000 words of vampires, addicted victims, gory crime scenes, snappy banter, betrayals and sex. No fun at all, really. First chapter’s here, BTW)

I think that Cinderella story just got them back into my blood.

ROW80 Update:


  • New goals as of last Wednesday: Plan out the rest of Resurrection. COMPLETED.

Oh, I planned it. It took an hour, five pages in my notebook, a lot of work on my dry-erase board and a few slams of my head into a wall to clear it, but I did it. Guys… it was so good I wanted a cigarette after. Then I remembered that I’ve never smoked, so I settled for a Fruit Roll-Up instead*. It was fantastic.

I always knew how this one was going to end, but didn’t know how to get there. I do now.

  • New goal as of today: Finish first draft of Resurrection by the end of February. I only have two hours per weekday day to work this month, but that’s okay. I should be able to do this. My husband might lose me for a few evenings, but this is going to happen.

Oh, and this week I also kinda sorta found a cover designer for Bound and got that information sent off so she can start in March, NO BIG DEAL.


Read “Under the Empyrean Sky” by Chuck Wendig. SO GOOD. The concept (agricultural dystopia, creepy-ass GMO corn, oppressed people and flying cities) is fantastic, and the story lives up to its ideas. I’ll get a review up on Goodreads soon.

LIFE- Goes on. I can’t talk about it. I have vampires in my head.

Crime Scene Number Two: WIPpet Wednesday

Gore Warning (though I cut it off before the really nasty bit. You’re welcome.)

More from that vampire story, which is now tentatively titled (yay!) Resurrection. The crime scenes are pretty nasty. It’s not me, guys, it’s the rogues. I do worry that they went too far for me to show this story to anyone… they say you can’t kill kids or dogs in a story, but what if it’s just their bodies? Well, neither of either this week, anyway.

WIPpet math: 10/2 = 10-2 = 8 paragraphs. As noted in the title, this is poor Shivva’s second crime scene, and for anyone just joining us, Daniel is her trainer. She didn’t react well to the first set of bodies. Is #VampirePuke a valid hashtag? Poor thing’s trying to keep it analytical this time…


White carpets. No children, then. Everything is spotless, light and airy, until we reach the master bedroom.

At least they didn’t waste as much blood this time.

More bungee cords. Must have been a sale at Canadian Tire. The man is naked, tied into an antique chair that hardly looks like a comfortable place to relax– or to die. He’s slumped forward as far as the bonds will allow, jaw slack, eyes wide and staring down at his feet. The wounds on his neck stand out against his drained-pale skin. He would have needed to shave this morning if he was going to work, and I assume he has a regular job; his is hair short and freshly trimmed, and a charcoal-grey suit hangs neatly on a waist-high rack in the corner. The door to the bathroom stands open behind him. Clean. No surprise there.

I turn toward the bed that occupies the other half of the spacious room, a king-sized affair in dark wood. Blankets litter the floor, but I can’t see much else with Daniel standing in front of me. I move to push past him, and he places his hands on my arms. Not holding me back. Warning me. He leans in, and his broad chest fills my vision. “Shivva, take a second. I need you to keep it together this time.”

“I’ll be fine.”

He squeezes my upper arms and lets go.

I won’t be fine.

Keep it together, Shiv.


Looking for more (and probably more pleasant) WIPpet fun? Check out the linkie here, and add your own if you feel so inclined. The more the merrier! And go say “hi” to our host, KL Schwengel, who has returned to us from The Land That Blog Forgot.

In other news, I’m sorry I haven’t been posting here much this week (at all, actually), and I haven’t been commenting as much as I usually do. I’m taking a little time away, trying to figure some other things out, making some sh*t-or-get-off-the-pot-type decisions. I’ll be back, and in the meantime, I’ll try to visit all of the WIPpeteers and as many others as I can. ‘Cause, y’know, I like you guys a whole lot.

WIPpet Wednesday, “I’m Running Out of Stuff Again” Edition (and #ROW80 Update)

Wednesday again? Really? Seems like we just did this. It’s so weird how individual days can seem to drag on, but then a week goes by and I have no idea where it went.

For anyone who’s new to this (and hello, welcome!), WIPpet Wednesday is the day when we post a bit of a work in progress that somehow relates to the day’s date: 22 lines, something from page or chapter 22, 22+5 lines (for the 22nd day of the 5th month)… we like to get creative.

As I said in the title, I’m running out of stuff to post on Wednesdays, for a few reasons. One is that I’m going back to editing Bound, and I don’t know whether I can finish this story before I do. I read a post on heroines at There and Draft Again the other day, and it made me miss Rowan so badly I wanted to cry. I need to get back to her story. But I don’t want to disappoint anyone waiting on this one… The other issue is that while I love how this Newfoundland vampire thing is going,* a lot of it might not be appropriate for WIPpet Wednesdays. Some of it is sex, a lot of it is violence. Gory post-murder scenes, tortured bodies of innocent people. Necessary for the story, but kind of only appropriate for a certain audience.


Well, here’s something for today, anyway, 22 paragraphs. This takes place a few days after the training from last Wednesday. After they went to help investigate one of these disturbing scenes, Trixie decided to leave Daniel and Shivva to go train under an experienced rogue hunter. Now Shivva and Daniel are alone in the townhouse. Shivva was pretty shaken up over the way the people died, and by suspicions that Katya, the rogue hunter, had something to do with the murders (she’s keeping that to herself for now). Sorry if some of what they talk about is confusing; it was all explained earlier. :/

Again, this is first draft stuff. You’ve been warned.

I sit on the counter, swinging my feet, banging them against the wood of an empty cupboard door. Daniel leans against the fridge, and kicks it when it starts making that thrumming noise like it does sometimes. We’ll need to replace that, too.

My thoughts are everywhere tonight.

“So,” Daniel says. “This shouldn’t be weird, right?”

“I don’t think so. We’ve been alone in the house before. You and Trixie were here together before I came along, I assume that wasn’t weird.” I assumed a lot of things until he kissed me. Assumed there was nothing more to our relationship than the hard-ass trainer/desperate-to-achieve underling. Sure, I’ve always known he was attractive, but I’ve never really considered dating vampires… or whatever. I have my fun with the humans I feed on, some times more than others, and I’m satisfied with that. To consider a relationship is just crazy. Especially with him. He doesn’t want that, of course. It was a training exercise. Calm down, Shivva.

He’s watching me again. He steps closer. “This morning was hard for you, wasn’t it? Worse than the other one.”

“Um. Well, yeah.” I’m not sure what to say. Katya is an old friend of his, and someone he respects. Who respects him. Who I’m wrong about. Why do I have to keep telling myself that? Best to focus on something else.

God, his eyes are gorgeous.

“Maybe telling you to open yourself up to that whole compassion thing was a bad idea. I’m sorry, Shiv.” He pulls his hair back from his face, then lets it fall forward over his eyes, shadowing them.

“No, it’s fine. I was getting something, but I guess it wasn’t quite there. I think it’s helping, I just need to learn to hide my emotions better.”

“Yeah.” There are a thousand words floating in the air between us, unspoken. I wish I knew what they were. He wants to say more, I can feel it. He steps closer again. “Shiv, about the other night…”

“Oh. I told you it was OK.” I try to laugh, but it falls flat, adding to the weight of the room’s atmosphere. “You were right about a lot of things, you know. About not trying to be a good vampire and just letting it happen, about my enemy perception being flawed when my expectations are too… specific.” He’s locked his eyes onto mine, making me stumble over my words. My mouth is dry.

He swallows hard. “I can’t be your trainer anymore.”

“What?” I want to jump down to the floor, but I can’t without crashing into him. “I’m fired?”

“No, you’re not fired.” He’s got that worried look again. No, confused. Uncertain? Why can’t I get a handle on this? “I just can’t do it anymore.”

“But I’m doing better, really! I know I haven’t been making much progress recently, but I think with your new ideas, I could do better. I am doing better, already. Daniel, please—”

He holds up a hand, places a finger on my lips to silence me. My skin prickles, and a shiver like a bucketful of cold water washes across my back. He feels it, and smiles. “Shivva, you’re doing fine. I know I don’t tell you that enough. Or ever, actually. But you’re doing great. Once you get past this last block, you’ll be ready for whatever you want to do. When I found you, I thought you’d be suited for investigations and hunting, but if this isn’t working out for you, the world is yours. I’m proud of you. You’re strong and smart and amazing, and I wish I could say that it hurts me to kick your ass, but it’s actually pretty fun. I like training you.”

“So what’s the problem? I’m not done like Trixie.”

He steps forward again, into my space, his hips between my knees, hands resting on the counter on either side of me. His face is just inches away from mine. “If you feel like you’re not ready, I can find someone else to train you, but it would be unethical for me to be in a position of authority over you.”

“Daniel?” Is he going to kiss me?

“Just say I’m not your trainer anymore.”

“You’re not my trainer anym–”

His mouth cuts me off, pressed against mine. Harder than the other night, forcing my lips back against my teeth. He stops, pulls back so that his lips are a hair’s breadth from mine, not touching. Giving me a chance to pull away.

Think she’ll tell him to shove off? 🙂

Be sure to check out the other WIPpeteers’ contributions here (updated all day long!), and thank you to the splendiferously spectacular K.L. Schwengel for hosting all of this. If you want to join in, post your own work on your blog (relating to the date in some way) and add your link!

And if you have a moment…

ROW80LogocopyNow, I also need to toss in a ROW80 update, don’t I? Not much to say. I’ve had a few days when I’ve got my 1,000 words in, but I’m feeling a little uninspired right now. I know where this story is going and how to get there, but I’m tired. We’ll see if tonight’s write-in with the writing ninjas perks me up at all. I haven’t been waking up early; the tiredness extends to everything, not just writing. I’m reading a bit, but it’s on the Kobo, and I find myself wishing I had a paperback copy. Still adjusting to it. I might hold off on reviewing anything I read on there, because I think it’s affecting my enjoyment of the stories, and that’s not fair to the author or the story. Maybe after I find one I can’t put down, my brain will get the message. 🙂

I really want it to work out, because books are so much cheaper that way, especially stuff that doesn’t come from big publishers. I’m finding myself much more likely to try a book I wouldn’t have otherwise when I can get it for less than $5 (so no, this doesn’t include most traditionally published stuff, but I’m finding some interesting-looking books from other sources).

I hope everyone’s having a great week, whether you’re a WIPpeteer, a #ROW80 participant, or someone who’s actually sane and does neither. If you’re here, I want you to be having an amazing week.

*My kingdom for a title!

WIPpet Wednesday: Bite Night

Welcome to WIPpet Wednesday, where we share a snippet of a work in progress that in some way relates to the day’s date, hosted by the scrumdiddlyumptious K.L. Schwengel.

In keeping with last week, when I showed you a first draft (of a first scene) on the first, I’m going to give you something else from the same story for the 8th. Not an 8th draft, but the last 8 paragraphs of a scene I had a lot of fun writing.

To set the scene: Shivva has gone to the club, yadda yadda, it’s feeding time! She’s chosen a first-timer, taken him to a dark alcove, and tried to make him comfortable; the human’s emotions at the time of feeding will affect her, and she’s nervous enough about the assignment without him adding to it.

Content warning: much groping of bodies and nomming of necks.


He pulls me closer with one arm while his other hand continues to explore, now pulling in frustration at my jeans, now slipping under my shirt. His skilled groping is a little distracting, but it sends delightful tingling sensations to places I don’t have much use for these days, and I let it continue as I press harder against him, kissing his neck down to his collarbone, nibbling a little, teasing myself. I could have had him by now, but it’s so much more fun to make it last.

His rapid breathing indicates that he’s enjoying himself already, but I trail my hand down over his chest, over the hard muscles of his stomach, lower, just to make sure. Hey, there. I laugh softy into his ear. “You like that?”

He whimpers in response, and I spin around, straddling his legs, grinding my hips into him. He groans. I can only imagine what anyone listening outside would think, but it’s no worse than what’s happening in whatever sound-proofed room Trixie has disappeared into. My lips are on his neck again, drawn to its heat and to that thing that goes beyond physical senses and calls to something deeper inside of me.

My body shudders. His hands are so warm; the chill of my skin doesn’t seem to bother him. Perhaps it excites him, as it does so many others. He pulls me closer still and moves his body beneath me, and I wonder whether perhaps feeding couldn’t wait just a little longer.

Then he moves his head to catch my lips with his own. The shock of it freezes him, but only for a moment. It’s our saliva that poisons them, that sends them out of their bodies with the overwhelming pleasure that keeps them coming back. He’s just had the tiniest taste of it, and he wants more. His tongue pushes into my mouth, any skill he’s acquired with his fragile human girlfriends forgotten in his desperation to be closer to me.

My left canine scrapes the delicate skin of his mouth. He gasps at the pain, but doesn’t pull back. The taste of blood nearly drives me mad. It is life. It is existence. It is everything.

I pull away before I can bite his tongue off. He twists his fingers into my hair to hold onto me, but his strength is nothing compared with mine. He’ll get what he wants, though. I lower my mouth to his neck again and sink my fangs into his skin, savoring the resistance of that thin barrier. He cries out. Yes, it hurts them, every time. And then my mouth is sealed over the twin wounds, drawing the blood from him, and the sounds he makes turn to soft gasps of wonder and disbelief as my poison overcomes everything else that’s in him. His pulse is strong and his blood hot, and it flows easily down my throat. The melancholy that plagued me earlier in the evening and the uncertainty I felt in Miranda’s office are gone. I am real, I am present, I am powerful, and there is nothing outside of this moment that matters.

It’s going to be hard to stop.

WIPpet Wednesday is growing all the time! Click here to visit the linkamajig and take a peek at everyone else’s contributions and share the love. If you’d like to join in, add your own link. You know you want to. All the cool kids are doing it.

Off My Meds… kinda

*runs around screaming*

Aah, but sadly, it’s nothing that fun or crazy. All that’s happened is that I’m trying to get down to a lower dose of antidepressants. Cutting it in half, in fact (though not cutting the pills themselves… that’s a no-no with this one).

Have you ever talked to a doctor about Depression? I always have a hard time not laughing at them. There are certain questions they have to ask you about your mood, etc. When they get to the ones about thoughts of suicide or self-harm, they always look at me like I’m a dangerous animal. Maybe not a tiger, but definitely a mangy raccoon that may or may not have rabies. They approach cautiously, gently, and very apprehensively. All of them. It’s kind of adorable.

When I mentioned it last week, my doctor looked at me like I was asking her for a referral to have my nose grafted onto my forehead. Things have been going well. Really well. I feel good, I’m sleeping well for the first time in years, my brain is functioning on many levels (even if my memory is still crap), I’m getting writing done, though I still can’t concentrate on anything that doesn’t interest me. Why would I want to change anything?

Because I don’t like being on more medication than I have to be. My body is sensitive to a lot of chemicals: MSG and aspartame give me headaches, and I’ve had to switch meds several times because of nasty side-effects. I don’t think I’m suffering now, but who knows? Maybe I’ll feel better once I adjust. I’ve been told by several doctors that I’ll probably never not need something. I have Depression, I’ve learned that needing medication for that is no more shameful than someone with diabetes needing insulin (this seems to be the go-to comparison), it’s part of my brain chemistry, runs in my family, all of that. That doesn’t mean I want to be on more than I need to be.

It’s not an easy adjustment. Missing a dose leaves me feeling cloudy-headed and muddled, and today, after four days of half-doses, I’m experiencing the same thing. I’m moving at regular speed, but my brain is processing everything around me in slow-motion. I feel like I’m sitting inside of my head looking out through my eyes. I can’t focus on editing; those words won’t come. I did that WIPpet Wednesday thing after one reduced dose, and that was OK; I wrote 6,000 words on it yesterday (and I owe the house and my kids an apology for kind of letting chaos reign while I did). I guess letting new ideas flow is easier right now than perfecting the ones I’ve seen a hundred times already. But I’m not in pain, and so far my mood isn’t crashing. Well, I’m feeling a bit down this morning (Friday). It’s partly because of that, but partly because of a simmering stew of other factors, including the fact that I forgot about Ike’s last KinderStart class.*

So why now? Because I’ve been getting more exercise, and they say that’s as good for depression as antidepressants are. I can’t get out with Jack every day, but we do pretty well, working around AJ’s work schedule and the weather. If we get an elliptical for the basement, even better. I think the exercise is doing a lot for my mental health (darn them for being right, I hate sweating!), and I want to see if it holds up without as much pharmaceutical support as it’s been getting. I’m trying to eat better, but that’s hard sometimes. The days are getting longer, and sunlight helps. There’s no perfect time to try this, but now seems better than January would have been. *shhudder*

I’m going to keep writing, even if editing my beloved primary WIP has to be put on hold until my head is de-muzzified, one way or another. Writing helps as much as the exercise does, but it’s harder to do when I’m feeling all stupid-like.  I’ll keep going with those vampire types, just for fun. I’m excited about the club, the food-people (better name pending),  Shivva and Trixie’s first assignment, the bad guys who are just SO persuasive about their cause, and the possibility that one of these young ladies isn’t going to stay true to hers… It’s just a jumbled mess of ideas right now, but it’s been a while since I really explored something new, and the excitement might keep me going through the tough days.

I’m also going to get outside more with the boys; we’re starting a vegetable garden, and I want to get them out to the walking trails when the snow is all gone from down there. I’m going to read more. I might need to sleep more, but I’m not going to let it become an escape.

TL;DR – I apologize in advance if things get weird around here in the next few weeks.

Er… weirder 🙂


…but at least I don’t feel like he looks.

*It was only an hour or so, less than once a month on an irregular schedule. I don’t do well with irregular schedules. I feel like a bad mom. 😦

I’ve Been Bitten

Oh help.

I knew it was a bad idea to let that new idea start to come out, especially when I’m supposed to be editing something else. But I needed a break, and it seemed so innocent. Just put a little taste down for WIPpet Wednesday, then go back to the other stuff.

It’s not that I’ve lost interest in editing, though a vacation might be nice. I still love that story and those characters, I believe in them and want them to be the best it can be.

But I’ve discovered why so many people write vampires. I said I was never going to do it. It’s overdone, right? But then one of mine tapped me on the shoulder on Easter Sunday and said, “Well, why not? We’ll have fun.”

And darn it, she was right. I just wrote my first bite scene, and IT WAS FANTASTIC. The world and the story are coming together faster than I can get the words out. It’s exciting, it’s new, it’s different from what I’ve been doing for the past few years.

I can’t let it go now.

What do you think? I know some of you work on two or three projects at a time. Do you find it makes you lose focus, or does a little time “cheating” on your main project refresh you and let you come back looking at things in a new way? Do you tend to work on things that are similar, or very different from each other? I know I could never write two at the same time, but maybe I could write in between rounds of editing… or maybe I’m just rationalizing so I can get my fix.

2,000 words today, and it’s only 1:00. I think I’m going to see where this is headed.

WIPpet Wednesday: The First, You Say?

Confession: I was going to give you one word, but I already gave you my best word yesterday.

That word, of course, is “Hmrflphmrmbn.”

So now what am I supposed to do? For those of you just joining us (and by the way, welcome!), WIPpet Wednesday is a fantastic weekly event hosted by K.L. Schwengel where we share a bit of a work in progress that somehow relates to the day’s date. Today is 5/1/13… let me see what I can dig up.

So many possibilities! A first kiss? First dance? First anything else? Perhaps. Paragraph one of chapter five? Nope, already did that. Something that’s in first-draft stage? I wouldn’t do that to you.

Wait, yes I would! We WIPpeteers are all about exposing ourselves, aren’t we? Wait… that’s not right. You know what I mean.

First of May, first draft. First pass at the first scene of a new series of… eh, short stories, novellas, who am I to say? Set in our own world, just to shake things up a bit, no connection with previous WIPpet posts (lest you all think I’m a less-than-impressive, amateur, one-trick pony). It’s a long one; feel free to skip if you’re not fond of questionable language,  or the undead talking about sex and religion. For reals, I’d rather have you give this one a pass than offend anyone.

(And yes, I know, flogging a dead horse, but it’s fun!)


Easter Sunday, early evening.

The faithful file into the little white church, oblivious to the dark shape huddled on a rooftop across the road. It’s always cold here in the spring, especially near the water; their breath puffs out in clouds, like the wood smoke that rises from the chimney beside me. I force my diaphragm to expand, pulling air into my lungs and forcing my leather jacket tight against my breasts, but the exhalation that follows isn’t at all visually impressive. One needs body heat for a trick like that.

The river of the congregants slows, but the music continues. If you can call it that; the pre-recorded clanging coming from the speakers on the steeple is dreadful, but it serves its purpose. No one in town could possibly be unaware of the fact that there’s a service about to begin. O Come All Ye Faithful and all that. Wait. No, that’s Christmas. I should remember, but it’s been so long since I stepped into a church that it has become muddled. A minivan pulls into the full church parking lot, circles around, then winds its way through the rows of cars to a spot at the school next door. A harried-looking mother drags a crying toddler from the back while the father lifts a little blonde girl in a flowered dress to the ground. It would be a perfect picture if not for the fact that the dress isn’t nearly warm enough, and the parents hurry the girl into the church when all she wants to do is pause on the steps and twirl to make her skirt flare out. Her father drags her inside, and the door closes again.

“You bastard,” I whisper, and wish I had a cigarette in hand so I could flick the ash for emphasis.

She lands silently on the roof, out of sight, but I feel her coming. “Hey, babe,” she whispers, rousing me from my pensive state. She’s supposed to be my mentor, having been at this five years longer than me, but Trixie has always taken a casual approach. She slides down the slope of the roof and drops to sit beside me. “What’s happening?”


“Jesus Christ.”

I’m not sure whether she’s cursing or making conversation. “Exactly. I feel a certain affinity for him this time of year. Death. Coming back. Unbelievers.”

“Fluffy bunnies and chocolate.”

“That, too.” I remove my sunglasses and squint at the cross on top of the steeple. So much more tasteful than the full crucifix displayed at the Catholic church down the road, though when I think about it, both seem odd. I was killed with a gun; if I had followers, I wouldn’t want them wearing pistols around their necks.

Trixie watches me, apparently finding the situation amusing. “Poor little child, stuck in the past.” She tilts her head to one side, flipping one of her electric blue pigtails forward over her shoulder. “Did you go, before?”

“I did.”

“Do you miss it?”

“Nah.” We’re not supposed to dwell on our lives. Regret is pointless, and nothing can be changed, in life or in death.

“Of course she doesn’t.” I didn’t hear Daniel coming, or feel him. I don’t spend as much time with our field trainer as I do with Trixie, and I’m not attuned to him. It’s an ability that’s been slow in coming to me, and it makes training difficult. “Shivva thinks of nothing but the future, her role in the maintenance of this miserable land’s supernatural resources, the enforcement of… what?”

Trixie is grinning at him.“Shivva’s got a girlie hard-on for church bells.”

“Oh, that’s fine. I was worried she was thinking about sampling from this holy buffet.”

Trixie giggles. “Smorgasbord of the righteous!

I glare at them and put my sunglasses back on. It’s not summer yet, but the light is already getting to me on clear days.

“Aww, whatsa matter, Shivva my love?” Daniel asks in his thickest bayman’s accent, which he’s perfected over his years on the island. “Is de sonlight bodderin’ ye?” He laughs at his own stupid pun, and I take my time raising a fist and flipping him the bird with one pink and green-painted fingernail. “Oh, that’s not nice.”

“I’m sorry, is that too intimidating for you?” I unroll my pointer and ring fingers a joint to leave less of the middle digit exposed, and Daniel claps a hand over his heart and falls backward off of the roof.

“That hurt, Shiv,” he calls up from the ground. “That hurt a lot.”

“Come prove me wrong.”

When his pale brown eyes appear over the edge of rooftop gutter, they express more sadness than I believe he’s capable of feeling. “Be good. I shows you when we gets back to town.”

“Oh, yes.” Bullshit teasing is all it is. Maybe I would have found Daniel attractive if we’d both been alive, but it hardly bears thinking about now. Not only is he my trainer, he’s also dead. Not having a pulse wreaks havoc on a guy’s sex life, unless he’s keen on pharmaceuticals.

Trixie leans back on her elbows and watches the sun set as Daniel pulls himself back onto the roof. “We going, or what?”

“Yes, my dears.” Daniel has dropped the accent, but not the dialect. We’re not really his dears. He’s what the locals call “best kind” on days off, but when we’re training it feels more like we’re his soldiers or his slaves. “Vacation is over, and we leave these fine people to their— Oh, what in the name of everything unnatural is this shit?” He’s been interrupted by the church’s speakers, which are now blasting some hymn, broadcasting the congregation’s mixed vocal talents aver the town. He shakes his head. “I remember when church bells meant something, when they sounded good, played on the hour, and didn’t split my head open with the wailings of Mrs McGuillicutty and her Caterwauling Carolers.”

“Carols are for Christmas,” I remind him.

“Don’t care.” He glares at the church, and turns back to us, all business. “We’re needed in town, ladies.” He studies us for a few seconds, frowning as we continue to laze on the cooling shingles. “Though it doesn’t look much to me like either of you is ready for your first assignment.”

We’re on our feet before he finishes the word. “What?” we ask together.

“As I said. I told Miranda you’re ready, and she said to bring you to the club tonight. Get changed, we’re flying home. Oh, and if you disappoint me, your young, dead asses are mine. Understood?”

Trixie grins at me, and I bounce on the toes of my boots as the excitement fills me. Daniel has been telling us we’re not likely to be ready until well into the next century; this news is both thrilling and terrifying. “What is it?” Trixie squeaks.


The energy seems to flow out through the soles of my feet, leaving me empty and weak. Trixie and I look at each other, and she chews her lip. “On our first assignment?” she asks, but Darius is gone in a flurry of fog as he transforms into a hulking gargoyle-like shape and flies East.

There’s nothing for us to do but follow.

That’s it. Aren’t first drafts charming? It’ll kill me not to pick at this, screaming “LIKE ME! LIKE MEEEE!” But I won’t. Oh, also first attempt at more than a few paragraphs of present-tense, inspired by this blog post by kiralynblue- but hey, it’s first person! Oh, and their first assignment. Hey, I’ve got this May first thing locked up. 🙂

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the WIPpeteers’ works for this Wednesday and share the love. If you’d like to join the fun, click on that link and add your own work in progress snippet, as per the rules stated above.

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