Another batch of Macabre Macaroni

Entertaining Stories

Lisa Burton


Nadine’s jaw fell open in disbelief. Sara Spears wrote her up for receiving a personal email. Her mother invited her over for Sunday dinner. It wasn’t like she invited the email. She watched Sara strut away from the cubicle, obviously congratulating herself for a job well done.

Several deep breaths later, Nadine awoke her computer from sleep-mode. Sara’s constant pacing the floor to make sure nobody looked at Facebook convinced her not to use company time to look for a new job.

Nadine’s coworkers ducked their heads and pretended to work. There was no hiding what happens in a cube farm. They all heard.

When lunchtime rolled around, Nadine grabbed a light jacket and walked to a corner bistro. Some fresh air, and a huge cup of their coffee might improve her outlook.

She took a chair at one of those outside, wire-mesh tables and waited for…

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Raven’s Wrath Part 16 #horror #thriller #Halloween

(We’re over the halfway mark!)

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“I’m sure you understand why we’re doing this away from the camp,” Melissa explains, her rifle aimed at Dawn’s head. A gunshot goes off in the distance and she peeks through to trees to see that the angry mob is still being kept at bay by the guards. “The only thing keeping them from tearing you apart is my request to handle it alone. I won’t lie and say the thought of putting a bullet in both of you hasn’t crossed my mind a hundred times.”

“Leave the girl alone,” Dawn growls as she steps in front of Kara. Crouching to use her torso as a shield, she makes sure to keep her hands away from her knife. “The message said to blame me. She had nothing to do with it. The only mistake she made was bumping into me and not running away. All she wants is to be a part of the Grand Caravan. If I have to leave then that’s fine, but she deserves to stay.”

“I go where she goes!” Kara shouts, her fists clenched at her sides. Seeing that her friend is off-balance, she knocks her onto the ground and gets closer to the caravan leader. “Dawn helped me when I was alone. She could have abandoned me in the desert, but she didn’t. So, I won’t leave her behind either. You people have been mean to her since we arrived. I have ears that work and tents aren’t as thick as buildings. Nobody trusts her or wants her around, which means you don’t want me to stay. I want to use the language I heard the adults use, but my mom and dad told me not to.”

Feeling the scar on her throat start to itch, Melissa lowers her weapon and takes out a handkerchief to dab at the old wound. Sweat forms on her brow as she looks back at the caravan, which is an unorganized mob of damaged vehicles. She can see smoke billowing from a few of the trucks, the mechanics too busy screaming for Dawn’s blood to tend to their job. Her guards continue yelling for everyone to stay back, but the terror of nearly getting wiped out by Ian is still too fresh to be controlled. The wind carries the loudest voices to the trees, each one demanding justice for someone who died during the escape. Melissa grips her rifle when she hears a mother talk about her lost children and she nearly loses her temper. The only thing that stays her hand is Dawn’s expression, which is a mix of shame and grief. With a muttered curse, the caravan leader leans against a tree and stares at the ground.

“Kara is right,” Melissa finally says. She is about to kick a pinecone when she remembers that they are standing among oaks and maples. “I know you want her to be safe, but that might not be here. The people know she’s your friend. Also, many think her actions cost us a quarter of our medical experts. All to save you. What I’m saying is that some may decide to go after Kara if they can’t get to you. Whether as a surrogate or in the hopes of drawing you back, her life is already in danger. I can’t protect her either. Those who want to lead the Grand Caravan could use me being nice to a friend of yours as a reason to remove me. I have thousands of people to protect here. You’re only two. Sorry, but those are the numbers.”

“At least you aren’t sugarcoating it,” Dawn replies, her lip quivering as she holds back a smirk. She attempts to stand, but stops when she notices Melissa’s rifle move an inch in her direction. “I know you didn’t ask, but it wasn’t like I went to Ian willingly. There was a guy in your camp named Trent. Maybe you know him or he was recently added to your people as a trap to draw all the hunters into the wilderness. It was a slaughter as soon as we got to the ponds and trees. The only reason I escaped was because-”

“No lying,” the caravan leader angrily snaps. Walking over to the other woman, she yanks her up by the hair and stares into her eyes. “I don’t know why, but I can just tell that you’re lying right now. There was no reason for our hunters to be drawn into a deathtrap. We were never a threat to the monsters. They never even paid attention to us until you showed up, which is why you surviving is suspicious. You even called the male by his real name. What is your connection to Ian Connors and Dawn . . . Addison?”

Pushing herself away, the brown-haired woman swiftly puts up her hands in the hopes of delaying her execution. “This is going to sound crazy, but maybe the unhinged world we live in will help me here. Years ago, Ian and Addison got into a fight. He hit her hard enough to knock what little sanity she possessed out of her head. That’s where I came from. I am the sane side of Dawn Addison, which means I’m her, but not her. By the time they noticed what happened, I had wandered off and made a home in a little forest. Addison decided to made that my prison, which obviously didn’t hold because she no longer had a rational side to think things through. Please believe that I don’t have her powers and have no desire to hurt humans. All I want is to be left out of their fight and get Kara to this haven. None of that has changed.”

“Why are they interested in you now?”

“Because I left my area, but I don’t know anything beyond that.”

“What do they want with you?”

“Addison wants to bond with me, which I refuse to do.”

“I could kill you now and solve that.”

“We don’t know if I’d go back to her if killed.”

“What about the male?”

“Our conversation ranged from my death to an alliance.”

“Obviously, you disagreed with his ideas.”

“Yes, so where does that leave us?”

For a second, Melissa grips her rifle and lets her finger tap the side of the trigger. She looks from Dawn to Kara, who has been quietly sitting on the ground while the two women talk. A pang of guilt hits the caravan leader and she considers returning to camp to argue for the pair to remain. Hearing the angry voices, she knows it is no longer an option and the recent attack might be only the beginning if they stay. With a sigh, she gives in the inevitable and immediately feels a wave of relief that eases her tense muscles. Reaching behind a tree, Melissa takes out Kara’s satchel and a new backpack for Dawn. She silently drops them at her feet and gently places her rifle on top of the pile. Taking a box of bullets out of her jacket pocket, she turns it in her hands before putting it in the crook of a small tree. The caravan leader is about to walk away when she thinks of a better idea and draws a pistol. She aims for the sky and fires two bullets, adding a pause between the shots to help with the illusion.

“As far as the Grand Caravan is concerned, the two of you have been executed,” Melissa states with her back to Dawn and Kara. She watches her people, who have stopped yelling and pushing against the guards. “Wait for darkness and then go anywhere, but east. If we cross paths again, I’ll probably be killed alongside you. Consider this a gift for you being honest, Dawn, and an apology for not being able to keep Kara. Good luck and I’ll pray that you can stay ahead of those monsters.”

“What if we meet at the haven?” Kara asks as the caravan leader walks away. Not getting a response, she hurries to check her satchel and finds canned food added to her belongings. “I think they were nicer than we realized. Maybe we’ll see them again and be friends. Do you hope that happens?”

Blindly picking up the backpack, Dawn cannot stop staring at the large crowd that is celebrating her execution. “Sure, kid. Be great if we can all meet up at the haven and live happily ever after.”

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Clyde Answers Your Questions! #fantasy #vampires

Cover Art by Alison Hunt

Here’s Clyde and all of his answers.  Check out more of his adventure in War of Nytefall: Lost on Amazon.

C.S. Boyack asked: Would Clyde ever take up something not fight related to help take the edge off?

It’s been suggested and I’ve tried a few things.  Meditation failed because being left with my own thoughts just made me twitchy.  Mountaineering resulted in me splitting a peak during a fight.  Hate to say it, but trouble seems to find me whenever I leave Nytefall.  I do think I’ll try to fit some stealing into my schedule once things settle down.  It isn’t much of a challenge due to my strength, but I can hold myself back at times.  Another option is to put rules on each heist such as doing it blindfolded, walking backwards through the whole thing, or trying to put the treasure back within minutes of setting off the alarms.  It won’t be easy since the battle lust is always there.

L.Marie asked: What would you describe as a real fight? What is the first quality you look for in a friend? What are some of the qualities you think a leader needs to be effective?

  1. It’s hard to describe a real fight.  I mean, each one can be different and that doesn’t make one more real than the other.  Personally, I prefer a challenge even if it’s not life-threatening.  It isn’t worth doing if I don’t have to work for a victory.
  2. That’s a tough one because I haven’t made any new friends in at least a century.  Common interests is what brought my gang and I together.  Even though we had different crimes of choice, we were still criminals and decided to work as a gang instead of solo.  There was a sense of loyalty though.  I do look for that even if it isn’t the first quality that catches my attention.
  3. Wish I knew, but I’m still figuring it out.  As a gang leader, I felt that it was very important for me to be active instead of staying in the hideout.  A leader needs to be an example to others.  Why bother following someone who isn’t willing to put their own life on the line?

Victoria Zigler asked: If you could go back in time and stop yourself and your gang from stealing from the Sun God’s temple, would you?

To be fair, my gang wasn’t part of that heist.  It was all me and they tried to get me out of trouble after the fact.  Many people would say that they’d change the past or do things differently, but I don’t think I would.  If I hadn’t gone into Durag’s temple then I wouldn’t have been set for an execution.  If I hadn’t been set for an execution then I wouldn’t have been hit by those spells as the Great Cataclysm hit.  That means I wouldn’t have become a Dawn Fang and probably have ended up as a special agent for Xavier in the whole vampire war.  I prefer how things turned out.

Deby Fredericks asked: With all the stress and conflict of being a leader, is there anyone you trust to be your second in command? Or what is your plan of succession in case you get stuck in some kind of situation?

The one I trust the most is Mab, who has been my partner for centuries.  So, she is my second in command without question.  That being said, I wouldn’t leave her in charge of Nytefall if something happened to me.  You think I’m in over my head with leading an entire species?  Mab would be a lot worse and probably hand it off to her brother before my body went cold.  Before anyone says anything, Dawn Fangs have beating hearts, so we feel warm to the touch.  Getting back to the main topic, I really don’t have a plan and I’m not really interested in making one right now.  I’m sure everyone here will figure out what to do if I die.

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Simultaneous Action #writing #editing

Interesting post on a fairly common oopsie.

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Hello, SEers! Mae here, sending out a “thank you” for visiting with me today. I’m in WIP mode right now and concentrating on writing. I’ve gotten so much better about catching “unlikely simultaneous action” with my characters, but every now and then something slips through. Thankfully, if I don’t catch the goof during editing, I have critique partners and an editor who will.

What am I talking about? Take a look at this paragraph:

Caith drew a slow breath, forcing quiet unpleasant memories. When he’d collected himself, he headed down the steps, wandering into the kitchen where he found Aren. His brother was seated at the table, bent over his iPad, a cup of black coffee at his elbow.

At first glance you might not notice anything amiss, but take a harder look at the structure of the second sentence:

When he’d collected himself, he headed down the steps, wandering…

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Raven’s Wrath Part 15 #horror #thriller #Halloween

(About time that guy showed yesterday, right?)

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The horizon shudders as a large chunk of the earth rises up and part of the sky bends forward. With a loud crash, the enormous expanse slams down as if somebody has folded the landscape. The blast of force sends dirt, plants, and animals flying towards the caravan, which is struggling to get the vehicles out of the defensive circle. Tents are abandoned and fires are left burning as the people scramble to pack the necessities. Melissa stands atop an armored motorhome and yells into a megaphone, but her voice is drowned out by the screams and howling winds. The rolling wall of debris is nearly upon the broken campsite when everyone leaps for cover. Bears and moose that were caught in the blast are slammed against the trucks, those that are alive going berserk and becoming a danger to anyone nearby. All of the tents are hurled into the sky, including those that have people cowering inside. Unable to save them, the survivors give up on packing and pile into the vehicles that roar to life. Instead of a neat and organized departure, the caravan heads out as a chaotic mob that bounces over the uneven ground.

On the edge of the pack, Kara stares out of the window of the doctor’s bus and wonders if Dawn made it to a vehicle. She watches as a motorcycle hits a bump that explodes and sends the armed guard flying backwards. A powerful wind rushes from the clouds to rip the man to shreds, which are cast over the caravan like confetti. The horrific sight causes her to scramble to the other side of the bus where she happens to see a figure heading towards the caravan. At first, Kara thinks it is another monster and is about to warn the adults that they are about to be attacked. She pauses with her mouth open when she recognizes Dawn, who is clinging to the back of an elk. With a symphony of echoing calls, the entire herd charges over the hills and continues heading for the vehicles. Two of the doctors hear the noise and instantly shout for the driver to go faster to avoid a collision. Even when a nurse points out that someone is riding the lead stag, the others refuse to slow down or make any move to help.

“Damn humans,” Kara mutters as she listens to the adults argue.

Sliding out of her seat, she quietly pads to the back door and removes the tools that are hanging from exit. Checking on the herd, she guesses that the animals are going to pass the rear of the bus instead of hit the side. Screams from the other side of the vehicle distract the girl and she watches as several trucks hit invisible roads that lead them off the ground. Most of those trapped on the pathways go sailing off an unseen ramp and slam into the earth in front of the panicked caravan. Crashes and explosions are scattered about the mob as the frontline slams into the fallen trucks. Kara looks away from the destruction and happens to see that a lone vehicle is still in the air. It bounces off invisible walls and follows a spiral towards the clouds, which gradually open to show the sun. With a loud boom, the truck sprouts a rocket from its bed and is launched towards the blazing orb. A flaming tire falls to the ground and bounces alongside the bus until it hits a bump and careens into a nearby motorcycle. The driver is knocked under the wheels of a motorhome, which swerves for a second and sends the mangled body flying onto the windshield of a car.

Becoming numb to the ensuing carnage, Kara throws the door open and leans out to wave for Dawn. She immediately jumps back when she sees the lead stag is only a few feet in front of her, its antlers grazing her forehead. The beast knocks the door off its hinges and crashes to the ground, which trips up part of the herd. Trucks swerve to avoid the animals and those that are unable to get out of the way are sent flipping into the forest by chunks of earth that are connected to springs. Not seeing her friend, she fears that the woman has fallen off, so she hurries to the nearest window. To her relief, Kara sees Dawn on another elk and watches as she jumps to a third. Returning to the opening, the girl stays low enough to avoid getting hit again and screams at the top of her lungs. She is suddenly yanked back by one of the doctors, who she instinctively kicks in the groin before scrambling away. Grabbing two scalpels, she stands by the exit and makes sure none of the adults try to block it. A nurse tries to get closer and is about to whisper to the girl until a blade slices her shin and drives her back.

Everyone jumps when there is a knock on the hatch in the roof, but nobody makes a move toward the handle. Too short to reach, Kara looks to the adults for help, but knows that they are more interested in escaping. The bus swerves to avoid a suspicious dip in the ground and another crash from behind sends a fresh wall of debris towards the caravan. Fearing that Dawn is about to die, Kara puts the scalpels on an empty seat and scrambles up a shaking shelving unit. While the doctors shove a cabinet in the opening, the girl leaps for the handle and plants her feet on a nurse’s face when the black-haired woman tries to grab her legs. Taking a moment to read the directions, she quickly opens the hatch and sticks her head out to see that Dawn is sliding to the edge of the bus. Hoisting herself up and lurching forward, she catches her friend by the hand and desperately yanks on her arm. Swinging her feet to the ceiling, Kara pulls with all of her strength and helps the woman inside.

The hatch is slammed closed a second before the fresh wave of dirt, trees, and animals come over the caravan. A doctor struggles to keep the cabinet in place, but a branch punches through the metal to impale him through the head. With his weight against the damaged furniture, he begins to push it out of the bus. Two of the nurses rush forward to save as many of the supplies inside as they can carry. They are left standing in the open, their arms filled with bandages and medicine, when the cabinet tumbles to the ground. Both women scream at the sight of a mountain lion hurtling towards them, the confused predator snarling and extending its front paws. The animal collides into the nurses and the impact snaps one of their necks while the other is savagely mauled to death. Before the beast can attack anyone else, Kara rushes forward to stab it in the nose with one of her scalpels. With a yelp, the animal scrambles out of the bus and limps towards the hills that are turning a blood red. The last they here from the mountain lion is a mournful call that sounds eerily human before abruptly cutting off with a hiss.

With a low rumble, the land behind them begins to revert to its original form and the sky clears to show the stars even though it is still daytime. The ground becomes flat and even, which gives the caravan a smooth ride that puts them on edge. Brakes screech at the sight of an enormous gateway rising out of a stream that they continues to run up the pillars and across the arched top. A neon sign bursts from the wooden surface along with an arrow pointing at the bus, which is slowing to a stop. Ian’s messy signature appears above the gateway as clouds that emit a horizontal rain that gradually falls into the confused caravan. Kara is the only one who looks at Dawn while everyone else stares at the message that they have the woman to thank for their recent tragedy.

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Raven’s Wrath Part 14 #horror #thriller #Halloween

(For those who time traveled the wrong way, here’s your fix.)

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Another scream rings out from the towering reeds to the right, which shiver as a woman is sent hurtling out of the cover. Dawn lifts her rifle and fires an instant before a slimy tongue bursts out of a swamp. The bullet knocks the stretching body part to the side, but another erupts from farther away to snag the flailing hunter. Missing an arm, the man with two harpoon guns comes charging out of a patch of oaks that are throwing acorns at him. A hand rises from the dirt and grows claws to neatly slice both of his Achilles tendons and four more emerge to catch his falling body. The tear him to pieces and fling the chunks into the nearby ponds to attract goldfish that glitter beneath the water. Two hunters catch sight of the shimmering colors and are drawn to edge where they kneel. Dawn fires at the mud between them in the hopes of snapping the pair out of their stupor, but they only gaze at him in silence. The fish begin spitting at them, the strange liquid gradually turning them into wooden statues. Hearing movement in the bushes behind her, the brown-haired woman whirls around and prepares to fire at whatever creature is approaching. A tiny mouse leaps from the leaves, but she shoots anyway and watches the animal explode into more gore than its tiny body should have held. Heavier footsteps cause her to turn to the left and she nearly shoots Trent in the face, the man’s hands flying up so quickly that he tosses his pistol into the pond. They are about to talk when a blast of hot air slams the area from above and flattens all of the reeds. No longer hidden from view, the remaining hunters can be seen falling into a wide variety of deathtraps.

Fearing that they are too exposed, Dawn grabs Trent by the wrist and tries to run back to the camp. The path moves beneath her feet like a conveyor belt and turns her towards a patch of trees that hold watermelon-sized pears. Sensing that there is a problem, she tries to jump into a space between two thorn bushes. She stops when she spots a hunter’s legs kicking a few feet away from the opening, a swarm of hungry roses tearing into the man. Lifting her gun, Dawn uses the scope to search for anything that she can destroy to stop the ground. She knows it is a pointless hope, but the attempt helps keep her calm and alert. Out of morbid curiosity, she shoots several of the fruit and watches as ghosts emerge from the blasts of crimson mist. The specters howl and race into the sky where they disappear into the clouds. A constant click from the rifle causes Dawn to throw the weapon away an instant before it curls into a ball and bounces into the distance. As she enters the forest, she is mildly surprised by Trent grabbing her by the arms and turning her towards a metal-walled cube. The door swings up to reveal a broom closet that is caked in dried blood.

“I’m not even sure how much of that is mine,” Ian claims as he appears next to the two hunters. Reaching out to run a finger along Dawn’s arm, he gags and coughs as if he is about to puke. “I think our meeting is long overdue. To be honest, I considered approaching you years ago, but I didn’t want to draw you out of your home. Best to keep you away from the events that will forever shape this dismal world. I am very curious. Do you have an urge to call me a puppy or tease me? What tics do the two freaks share? I know you don’t have any of her powers, but it’s fascinating that losing you has weakened her so much. Why did you bother to come out of your forest, fake one?”

“Any sane person would help a child in need,” Dawn replies as she struggles against Trent’s grip. She freezes when the reality-bender takes her by the chin and stares at her with swirling eyes of silver. “I notice you’re wearing the drab clothes from Raven’s Hold. There a reason you don’t stay in your suits for very long? If I didn’t know any better, I’d think you missed the old days when Addison was messing with your head. That would explain why you created a double of Corvus. Did you really think I’d care about my insane self’s imaginary husband? I was the voice in her head screaming for her to erase him in the first place.”

The rustling of leaves is enough of a warning for Dawn to abruptly pushes herself back, which knocks Trent off-balance. She narrowly avoids getting smashed by a figure who leaves a burning hole in the ground. The strange woman’s left side is flesh and blood with tufts of red hair sticking out of the pale scalp. Humming gently with every movement, the right side of Ian’s assistant is robotic with weapons that Dawn barely recognizes as coming from a variety of old movies. It takes her a moment to realize that she is looking at the other half of Gemma Cooke, the human face having been distorted by armor plating beneath the skin. With a grinding snarl, the cyborg rushes forward with a punch that Ian pretends to stop with a lackluster stretch of his arm. Going limp, Dawn drops herself forward to pull Trent into the strike and she closes her eyes in preparation for a painful ejection from the forest. Instead, the man’s body loudly tears at the shoulders and he slams into a tree that sucks him into a knothole. Stuck with his arms dangling from her elbows, the nervous woman backs away from Gemma and tries to think of a way to escape. With no other ideas, Dawn spits at the robotic side of the assistant and is knocked onto her back when sparks fly. Cursing and snarling, the cyborg is stuck with only the fleshy side able to move.

“Rainproof is not spit proof,” Ian mentions with an amused chuckle. He snaps his fingers to repair Gemma, but immediately catches her by the shoulder. “Let’s not kill this one just yet. I know that was the plan, but I need to think. You see, fake one, I came here thinking that destroying you is the smartest plan. With you dead, your true self can never become whole. It makes perfect sense, especially if I don’t leave even a speck of you behind. The problem I have now is that you lack any true power and obviously hate yourself. Perhaps we can work together to destroy the other Dawn Addison and make you the only one left.”

“You’re really playing up this supervillain thing. Right down to the talking patterns and the way you move your hands when you speak,” Dawn replies while she pries Trent’s fingers from her arms. Tossing the limbs to Gemma, she sighs when a splatter of blood causes her robotic side to spark again. “If you must know, Addison and I can only combine if I want to. At least that’s what I think, but I avoid contact with her just to be safe. Even so, I don’t want to be involved in your fight. Kill her and we’ll see if I stick around. I truly don’t care. Just let me live a life and pretend I’m nothing more than a weak human.”

Throwing Gemma into the broom closet, the reality-bender stomps his foot to drive the forest into the ground. “I kill the ants that you desperately want to join. So, I recommend thinking very carefully before making a decision. We don’t have to be enemies, but we have to be something. To let the sanity of Dawn Addison roam the lands unchecked would be foolish on my part. What if I was to promise that killing didn’t mean your own demise? She would be dead, I would change the world to what I desire, and you can pretend to be one of these piddly humans that you seem to love.”

“Such a pathetic creature,” she states, a wide grin appearing on her face. Her fists ball up as if she is about to attack, but all that happens is her knuckles pop at once. “You act like you were never one of them. As if you were always this powerful being instead of a man who went looking for help. You want to talk about being fake? Addison was born a goddess and she made you a god by accident. You’re nothing more than a human who has been launched above his station and thinks he’s always been there.”

“Watch your tone.”

“Know your place, Connors.”

“I can destroy you with the snap of my fingers.”

“And that could put me right back in Addison’s head.”

The thought of undoing the damage he inadvertently inflicted on his archenemy causes Ian to sputter in rage. As his fists clench, the metal room begins to shrink and twist with Gemma standing inside. He barks an order for her to leave the broom closet before he smashes it into a flat piece that flops to the ground. The destruction of his little sanctuary does nothing to ease his rage, so he turns back to Dawn. Before he can strike, she spits at his assistant and causes the robotic side to explode. Having been standing next to the cyborg, Ian is peppered with shrapnel and he instinctively yells in pain. It takes him a minute to remember that he is no longer a mortal man, but his prey has already sprinted towards the distant camp. Creating a counter in the sky, he calmly walks towards the humans, who he can already hear screaming and running to pack up their belongings.

“Let’s have some fun,” Ian hisses as his clothes transform into a crimson suit.

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Whirlwind Week . . . Have I Used That Title Before?

As usual, I’m not sure where to start.  My anxiety has been really bad, so things were moving slow.  That means no writing or editing or even future blog post scheduling.  I had to use what energy I had for other things.  I’ll just categorize here and see how it goes:

Teaching Assistant Quest

I’ve done all I can here. I’m submitting to all of the schools that have openings, but I don’t have the certification yet.  Everything is in, but my college transcript and the ATAS exam need to be processed.  The test score isn’t going to be released until the 17th and I was told that there is a 2 week backlog with the transcript processing.  Not even getting call backs and it doesn’t look like anyone will take me until I have that certification.  I’m still hoping that I can get a job as a school monitor to get my foot in the door, but I haven’t heard about that either.  This is making me fear that I’m going to spend months job hunting with very little luck.  Sacrificing or pausing my writing momentum (which is now dead) for such a fate would be painful, especially if it leads to other events happening.  Can’t go into detail in public there.  I’m trying to stay hopeful because it’s out of my hands and all I can do is submit and call.

Charles the Chauffeur

A week ago, my wife’s car had problems and it was worse than we thought.  So, I’ve been the only driver here for the week.  We’re hoping she gets the car back by Tuesday.  This isn’t really a new thing either since I was the driver when her wrist was broken and when her car was out of commission for nearly a month.  Still, it means I’m getting up and running around more than I expected.  This is another reason my anxiety is running high because I’m not getting a moment to rest.  When I do have time to myself, I don’t know what to do and my mind starts overthinking things that are going on my life.  Seems not writing or working means my imagination has decided to entertain itself with running wild with real life issues.


For my wife’s birthday, we went to see ‘Venom’.  This was a really fun movie.  It was simple and straightforward like the older superhero movies.  I’ve heard people call it a throwback to the Raimi Spider-Man and original X-Men movie era.  Not sure why that’s a bad thing since that includes Spider-Man 2.  My favorite part of ‘Venom’ was the interaction between Eddie Brock and the Symbiote.  There was a good amount of humor here, but it also gave you a sense that he’s wearing a living creature with thoughts and desires of its own.  Was it identical to comic book Venom?  No, but I found it very enjoyable and worth watching because it was respectful to the source material.  Keep in mind that my first set of comics was the ‘Maximum Carnage’ storyline in the Spider-Man comics  So, my introduction to the scene was Venom and his son Carnage, who is my favorite super-villain and set to debut in the sequel.

Twitter, Sales, & Writing

I’ll just do a catchall here.  I noticed that I was getting a lot of retweets on Twitter, but none of them turned into sales.  In fact, only Beginning of  Hero seems to be moving and that’s the free one.  Other authors have told me that they’re not seeing much activity regardless of their social media presence too.  Has anybody read about what’s going on or is this just the nature of the beast?  It does feel like everyone who can’t afford expensive promos are dropping out, so the game is now going to whoever has the most money instead of the better story.  Feels like it wasn’t too long ago that the indie author stuff seemed so promising even as a supplemental income.  Now, it’s like a ghost town for some authors or that there are only a handful sitting on the top.

In regards to writing, I’ve been told that I need to get back into it.  It’s been pointed out that I don’t do anything for myself and writing was one of the few things that was for me.  I dropped that and now I’m just . . . here.  It’s even reached a point where people can tell that I’m not sure how to do things that are for me.  So, I’m going to start editing Derailing Bedlam to get the rust off and prepare it to start going live on the blog in November.  I wish I could publish it officially, but I lack the money for that and I think more people will read it off the blog than if they had pay even 99 cents.  I’ll save up my promo and cover art money for War of Nytefall.  I know I scheduled a post for late December about this, but I might be putting Ichabod Brooks on the blog after Bedlam is done.  That’s not going to be for a long time, so maybe things will change and he can return to Amazon with a new collection.  Either way, I’m going to be trying to revive parts of myself this week.

Goals of the week:

  1. Start editing Derailing Bedlam.
  2. Civil service test next Saturday.
  3. Driving, cooking, cleaning, etc.
  4. Get back into biking once mornings calm down.
  5. Mow the lawn.
  6. Do whatever I forgot about while writing this post.
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