Everything That Counts

Hurricane Harvey won’t win

Although I consider Annapolis ‘home’ I’ve lived in the Houston area for twelve years, and unless you’re living under a bridge then you know we’ve been going through it.

harvey-2I hold our furriest friends at the highest regard, and in face I’ve had the pleasure of adopting my baby, Madame Bijou, from the Houston SPCA.  This charity has done some amazing things, and although I can’t save all the animals from the flood waters I can support those who do.

Isiah Courtney carries his dog Bruce through flood waters from Tropical Storm Harvey in Beaumont Place
Isiah Courtney carries his dog Bruce through flood waters from Tropical Storm Harvey in Beaumont Place, Texas, U.S., on August 28, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Bachman

Therefore I will be donating 50% of the profits from the sale of my novel ‘Everything That Counts’ during the month of September to the ASPCA which is working to save the animal victims of Hurricane Harvey.  You can find ‘Everything That Counts’ on Amazon.

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I know that not all animals were lucky enough to have a safe and dry home, like my tuxedo kitty, but I’m going to do my best to help.IMG_3033
For more information click below.
ASPCA responds to Harvey

If you want to help humans then may I recommend the Houston Food Bank
or the charity that Texans player JJ Watt started you caring.
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Everything That Counts, Signing Events

‘Everything That Counts’ Release Party

It was amazing to finally have my novel out and available to the public, although Mother Nature had other plans.

For those of you that don’t live in Southern Texas like me (although I’m assuming Harvey is on national news) we’ve had some weather issues thus on Thursday evening many people were getting their homes prepped for the impending hurricane.

Thankfully I’m fine as is everyone that I’ve spoken to and I did have some great friends visit me at River Oaks Bookstore while I signed copies of ‘Everything That Counts’.

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Rebecca Nolen is a dear friend and fellow writer who has been integral in ‘Everything That Counts’ and really helped me get the editing process of the novel started.  Jason Brandt Schaefer took it home so without both of them then the book would not be as incredible as it is.

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Carla Conrad spearheaded one of the critique circles that I brought Blake’s story too, and she’ll be highlighted in next months 20 Questions.

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Patricia Flaherty Pagan has been one of my longest writer friends and she has started her own publishing company Spider Road Press which I’ve had the pleasure of working with.  She not only was in the critique circle that I brought ‘Everything That Counts’ as well, and my flash fiction piece ‘Thomas’ not only won an honorable mention in the Spider Road Press contest but it’s included in the thrilling ‘Approaching Footsteps’ available on Amazon and from Spider Road Press.

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Last, but not least, is my handsome man Izzy who has been with me through every draft that made me want to give up on writing completely.  All my love to you.

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I will have another release party-not during hurricane season-at a later date which will include a reading but I do greatly appreciate all those that did attend (including Chantell Renee which although I somehow forgot to get a picture of my fellow hairstylist author bestie!) (But we are working on another anthology (and looking for authors) for ‘Hair Raising Tales of Villainous Confessions’ out in ebook early 2018 )

 

Until then ‘Everything That Counts’ is available on Amazon as well as River Oaks Bookstore.  And don’t forget to leave a review on Amazon and Goodreads.IMG_1991

20 Questions With..., Everything That Counts

20 Questions With…Melissa Algood

 

This is usually the time that I tell you how much I love the author that’s answering my 20 questions, or how we met, but this time I’m taking over.

I’ve throughly enjoyed reading my friends answers, because they all have done it so differently.  Honestly I didn’t expect them to put so much thought into their answers, or trying to figure out the ‘right’ answer, when in fact there is not right or wrong.  I intended for the author to interpret the questions however they wanted to, not for my ‘permission’ on how to answer.  Therefore I did cheat on pretty much all of the questions (if there is a way to cheat on questions that don’t lead to a grade).

So thank you to all of the authors that I’ve highlighted before, not only for being good sports, witty, and insightful, but for being my friend.

The first time I remember saying that I wanted to be an author was when I was about eleven or twelve.  I never imagined that people would really read my stuff, I mean at least not while I was alive.  Sylvia Plath has always been a favorite of mine, hence naming my publishing company Mad Girl’s Publishing after her poem ‘Mad Girl’s Love Song’.

I am very happy to announce that I’ve publishing my first book-which will be officially released on August 24 at River Oaks Bookstore.  I hope that you’ll join me to celebrate the release of ‘Everything That Counts’ from 4-6 pm.

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I don’t really know what else to say-other than that writing isn’t something ‘fun’ for me-it’s a necessity due to the people that live out their lives in my head.  Thankfully at least some people like to join me on the journey – thank you for that.

So without further adieu I answer the infamous 20 questions

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Twenty Questions With…Melissa Algood

  1. Every writer has that one book that made him or her want to be a writer, what’s yours?   ‘Watership Down’ by Richard Adams.  I remember reading the introduction (yes I’m such a dork I read the introduction to novels) in which he said that the story of Fiver and Hazel was originally something he told his daughters as he put them to bed and they begged him to write it down.  Also ‘Fool On A Hill’ by Matt Ruff-it throughly transported me and I wanted to take a ride like that as often as possible.
  2. How old where you when you started writing?  Young, maybe 11.  In middle school a tutor mentioned how detailed a piece I wrote for English was (I described a door creaking open as if a rat were being crushed in the frame).  I also wrote little short stories for my first boyfriends mother (a dramatized version of a woman crossing the street was my first).  In high school I pledged to write a poem a day which helped me the most overall, and I still read the poems if I want to go back in time.
  3. Name four authors that you’d love to have lunch with.  Richard Adams, Matt Ruff, Nicola Yoon, and Courtney Summers.
  4. What would you eat? Probably not rabbit…I’m picturing a sleep over environment which includes pizza and sodas.
  5. How do you plot out your work? I usually don’t.  I get a scene in my head, and I’ll play it over and over again until it is as clear as an Oscar winning film and then I write it.  Although this often causes a lot of work once I’m ‘done’ with the first draft so from now on I really need to do an outline first (but I did do that for ‘The Bakery Assistant’ which I have yet to complete and I lost the outline).  
  6. Do you write in the morning or evening? Whenever I can, but usually after I’ve had my coffee.  But I have written many a scene while a color client of mine has been processing (I’m a hairstylist in ‘real’ life)
  7. Is there music on? This is the most important part of the writing process for me-I will spend more time on a playlist then virtually any other planning of a piece.  It will get so intense that a song will forever be intertwined with a character or scene.  I have posted the playlists for ‘Blood On The Potomac’  and ‘Everything That Counts’ on this blog.
  8. What inspired your last story?  A client inspired ‘Everything That Counts’ but I’ve been working on a lot more short stories which seem to be inspired by the copious amount of true crime podcasts I listen to (My Favorite Murder, Up And Vanished, Serial, Undisclosed, True Crime Garage, Last Podcast On The Left)
  9. Name three books so good you wish you wrote them. ‘All The Rage’ by Country Summers and ‘Thirteen Reasons Why’ by Jay Asher because both stories are so fucking important for everyone on Earth to read especially young adults.  ‘All The Rage’ is so poetically written although the content is something most people won’t read because it’s a difficult topic.  Similarly Asher’s novel does shine a light on many things that American society wants to put in the dark and he does it so intelligently that you’re enraptured.  ‘The Sky Is Everywhere’ by Jandy Nelson is achingly beautiful more like an epic poem, or a song, than a novel.  And I wish I could create another world like George R.R. Martin, but I can’t plan ahead that well.
  10. What television shows, movies, or albums do you believe are written well? ‘The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’, ‘House of Cards’, and ‘Master of None’ on Netflix.  I’m also the biggest fan of ‘Breaking Bad’, ‘Sons of Anarchy’ (which I binge watched while writing ‘Everything That Counts’), and ‘The Sopranos’ and my all time favs ‘Daria’ and ‘My So-Called Life’ and ‘Lost’ (which I binged while writing ‘Blood On The Potomac’).  As far as films I love ‘Donnie Darko’ although I’m not really sure what happened, and anything by Wes Anderson.
  11. Which actor would you cast in the protagonist role of your most recent piece?  I kinda like Miles Teller for Blake, but I’m not sure if he’s tall/lanky enough…maybe he’s more of a Nat Wolff. Rachel Hurd-Wood or Daisy Lewis for Sophie, Britt Robertson for Zoe.  
  12. Which of your pieces was the hardest to write? I would say all of them, but for different reasons.  ‘The Bakery Assistant’ needs more research (so if you’re a lawyer on the east coast lemme know) ‘WinterGull Lane’ because it took me to such a dark place.
  13. Which was the easiest? Most of my short stories are quick as lightening, which might be why I write them so much more often.
  14. Which of your pieces did readers ‘get’ when they told you their thoughts on it? ‘The End’ is a short story I won an award for about a young boy who grows up during the apocalypse.  I didn’t get hung up on how it all went down, but what it’s like to actually live after everyone else is dead.  At a book release the wife of another author told me that she loved that George still found it important to look at the artwork that still existed on the walls of the hotels in Las Vegas, because what’s the point of living if you don’t have the opportunity to enjoy art.
  15. What are you working on now? The novels that I mentioned before, and to write enough short stories to publish my collection called ‘Everyone Dies’.
  16. What story do you have to write before you die? All of them
  17. What’s your best fan story? When I sold an anthology to a teenage girl at a Comic Con in Houston and she shared with me her journal of poetry that she carries with her, then later that day came by to told me how much she loved my story.  Or when I read my piece ‘Thomas’ at the Spider Road Press award ceremony and one of my friends told me that it was the only piece that made her cry.
  18. What sentence have you written that you feel encapsulates your style? ‘We trudged onto the darkened stage covered in blood and glitter.’ from the story ‘Even Aliens Watch Reality T.V.’ my man’s favorite story that I’ve ever written.
  19. Have you ever based characters off of real people?  There are attributes that are based off real people, and I talk a lot so I listen to how people talk and infuse that into my work.  So yes, but not enough to have anyone worry.
  20. Who’s your favorite character?  I’m gonna cheat and say that I have a fav from each piece-Samantha Locke ‘Blood On The Potomac’, Blake Morgan ‘Everything That Coutns’, Claire Fisher ‘The Bakery Assistant’, and Stormy O’Dell ‘WinterGull Lane’

 

 

You can follow me on this blog, on TwitterFacebook, and you can buy all my work on Amazon

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novel, pictures, Signing Events

Comicpalooza Part 1

As usual I had the best time at Comicpalooza, and not just because I met Felicia Day (that will be another blog post all together) but because I got to see old friends, dress up, and meet new readers.

I love meeting readers and I hope that they love reading my work as much as I loved creating it-be sure to leave a review on Amazon, and THANK YOU SOOOOO MUCH for supporting local/indie authors.

I also had the pleasure of picking up some reading material for myself including D.L. Young’s newest book ‘Indigo Dark Republic Book Two’  ‘Chrysalis and Clan’ by Jae Mazer (who I had the pleasure of sharing a table along with Chantell Renee and Jessica Raney) and ‘Soul Chambers’ by Paul Vader and Dominic Dames.

IMG_0969IMG_0947It was the most wonderful time of the year when I had the chance to go to Comicpalooza-I look forward to seeing you next year (I’m going to join a panel which I’ll talk more about later) until then here are some more pics of the amazing cosplay at Houston Comicpalooza 2017

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novel, pictures, short stories, Signing Events

Amazing Comic Con 2016 Pictures

Let’s just say that the highlight of Amazing Houston Comic Con was that I did a podcast for bfe podcast.

Basically incredible because I got real for the interview.

Also terrifying because I got real for the interview.

It should drop on Monday September 12…so be sure to check out bfe podcast

 

 

It is always a joy when I meet someone that loves my work, therefore it’s awesome when I can find a new reader.

 

Without each of them I wouldn’t keep writing, much less get to do all the cool things I get to do on a regular basis.  Like meeting cool people…

It’s always a pleasure to do these events with good friends, like D. Marie Prokop and Chantell Renee, and by making new ones.

It was a pleasure meeting everyone!  Thanks to everyone that is so supportive of me-love to all of you.  This month has been a wild ride-later I plan on posting some pictures from my vacation back home on the east coast.

 Please remember to leave an honest review on Amazon and Goodreads of anything you ever read-especially my work.

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20 Questions With…K.R. Thompson

Thank you for joining me for another edition of 20 Questions…this time with an author that I’ve never met (in real life at least).  K.R. Thompson and I have been corresponding via social media for at least a year, and both of us had books that were published around this same time.  Although each include a character named Jack, in my romantic thriller Blood On The Potomac he’s brutally murdered in the first chapter, while in Thompson’s Jack he becomes the only of the lost boys to grow up-then he falls for a mermaid.

Obviously we have very different styles but when I read Jack I was instantly drawn in by the sticky sweetness of the main character wanting to return home before he completely forgets his mother, only to meet a mermaid that makes him reconsider leaving Neverland.  You might think you’ve heard this story before, and in a way that’s true.  I have the strong belief that every story has already been told-it’s up to the author to make it their own.  Thompson exemplifies my belief in her writing; she’s truly a storyteller.

I hope that one day we can meet and grab a cup of coffee together because if she’s half as interesting as her stories then I’d be in for a treat.

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20 Questions with… K.R. Thompson

  1. Every writer has that one book that made him or her want to be a writer, what’s yours?

 

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. Her characters literally jumped off the page when I read that book. They became so real that I felt I would know them if I passed them on the street.

 

  1. 2. How old where you when you started writing?

 

I’m a late-blooming writer. I didn’t begin telling my own stories until about seven years ago. (And nope, I’m not going to tell you how I am. 🙂 )

 

  1. Name four authors that you’d love to have lunch with.

 

Do they all have to be current writers? If not – Mark Twain, Diana Gabaldon, Mary Higgins Clark, and J.K. Rowling.

 

  1. What would you eat?

 

I don’t think I’d eat a single bite of anything if I were able to have lunch with any of them.

 

  1. How do you plot out your work?

 

I fly by the seat of my pants for the most part. I typically have an idea of the ending of my story and I know how it will begin. The middle is an adventure that works itself out as I go.

 

  1. Do you write in the morning or evening?

 

I am -not- a morning person. All of my writing happens at night when everyone goes to bed. (It’s also the reason that I look like a zombie when I go to work in the AM.)

 

  1. Is there music on?

 

Nope. Silence is golden.

 

  1. What inspired your last story?

 

My last story, “Jack,” was inspired by the Lost Boys in the original JM Barrie tale, “Peter and Wendy.”

 

  1. Name three books so good you wish you wrote them.

Outlander, Harry Potter, and The Hunger Games.

 

  1. What television shows, movies, or albums do you believe are written well?

 

The Hunger Games, though I think that could be because it is based on the amazing books.

 

  1. Which actor would you cast in the protagonist role of your most recent piece?

 

I was lucky enough to have a model specifically for “Jack”s cover and I can’t imagine anyone else being him. (The model is Pirate Joe from the Real Mermaids.)

 

  1. Which of your pieces was the hardest to write?

 

The second book in my Neverland series, “Hook.” My husband is a huge nautical fiction fan. Every scene that I wrote, he tore apart. I had to re-write so much in that book it wasn’t even funny. But, it made it a much better story and it became more realistic.

 

  1. Which was the easiest?

 

My first story, Hidden Moon, because I didn’t write it intending to show anyone when it was finished. I had written it solely for me, so it was easy to write.

 

  1. Which of your pieces did readers ‘get’ when they told you their thoughts on it?

 

Ironically, “Hook,” has been the one that people have “gotten.” Once they read the reason why he became the villain, they understood him.

 

  1. What are you working on now?

 

I’m currently working on the next book in my Keeper series and also a fairytale mash-up that has dragons and a princesses.

 

  1. What story do you have to write before you die?

 

I pretty much write as the characters come into my head. None of them have given me a “dead”- line yet. 😉

 

  1. What’s your best fan story?

 

My best fan story is of one reader who took one of my books and read it to her mother before she passed away. That made it very special to me. You never know when your stories will touch someone or how far they will reach. This journey is a special one and we, as authors, are blessed to experience it.

 

  1. What sentence have you written that you feel encapsulates your style?

 

“Ye’d have much better luck with rum, I should think,” the old man said as he stared into his own glass. “The ale’s watered down. Fit for a fish to drink, it isn’t.” (Hook: The Untold Stories of Neverland)

 

  1. Have you ever based characters off of real people?

 

I do have one character who is based off of my daughter.

 

  1. Who’s your favorite character?

 

Ack. Just one? I can’t do it! How about two? Patches and Beetles, two of the Lost Boys in my Neverland series.

 

 

You can find out more about K.R. Thompson on her website http://www.krthompson.net and purchase her work from http://www.amazon.com/author/krthompson

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20 Questions With..., pictures

20 Questions-Chantell Renee

I’ve always loved talking with other writers about their process, and I love reading their work.  Thus I can only hope that my readers agree with me.  In the vein of James Lipton I’ve come up with 20 questions that I want to ask my fellow writers-half the fun will be how each of them interprets the questions themselves.

Each month I’ll feature another talented author-the first of which is Chantell Renee author The Shifter Series including ‘Belonging’ and ‘Consumed’ as well as the HWG NaNoWritMo winner of 2014.  Without this author I wouldn’t have joined the Houston Writers Guild, thus never would have written ‘Blood On The Potomac’ or any of the other stories that I’ve published.  So thank you for that, Chantell, and also for being the debut author to answer my 20 Questions…

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1. Every writer has that one book that made him or her want to be a writer, what’s yours?

For me that was the book “The Darkangel” by Meredith Ann Pierce. This was the first time I picked out a book to read on my own. The power of the words to capture me and take me far away, discovering love and fear and romance, it was amazing. Not to mention the sexual undertones that I soooo didn’t get at the age of nine!

2. How old where you when you started writing?

This would have been my freshman year. I was a poet in the making. It wasn’t until way later. like six years ago, that I started to write novels!

3. Name four authors that you’d love to have lunch with.

Really, this would be hard for anyone. Okay I’m going with dead or alive. Edgar Allen Poe, Kahlil Gibran, P.C. Cast and Stephen King. They are all very different but similar in the way that they are deep thinkers with an amazing knack to push boundaries. Though I’m sure it would turn into dinner and breakfast, very long conversations at that table!

4. What would you eat?

Roast Beast! and if someone is a vegetarian, they get carrots. LOL

5. How do you plot out your work?

I see a blurry ending, and I build towards it until it solidifies. Usually I write the scenes that are most vivid and that is never in order! I have tried going straight through, and it’s not the same. Everyone has a different process and whatever it is, do that. As long as you keep writing.

6. Do you write in the morning or evening?

Both. If I haven’t written in a while I will sit down and write until one in the morning. But I always get loads done in the morning as well.

8. What inspired your last story?

A cat eating pizza in outer space shirt. I needed something about outer space and I thought, wouldn’t it be cool if one of the things that survives once we move out into the stars, was those crazy shirts?

9. Name three books so good you wish you wrote them.

Witching Hour!!!!! One of my all time favs by Anne Rice.  Last book of the Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead. And Harry Potter!! I want a mansion.

10. What television shows, movies, or albums do you believe are written well?

Supernatural, Penny Dreadful, Walking Dead,  Home for the Holidays, Portishead self titled album, Practical Magic…too much really!

11. Which actor would you cast in the protagonist role of your most recent work?

I am currently writing book three of my Shifter Series. I’ve thought about this many times…Adelaide Kane from Reign. Not sure why really, that character isn’t anything like Vivian, but that’s who I’ve picked.

12. Which of your pieces was the hardest to write?

I’d say the current novel I am on! Mostly as it’s probably the last in the series and I want to make sure I tie up all loose ends. Plus, saying goodbye is hard!

13. Which was the easiest?

Second book. I didn’t want to make it long and drawn out, and I had a few twists to put in, and it worked perfectly!

14. Which of your pieces did readers ‘get’ when they told you their thoughts on your work?

This would probably be the short story I wrote for Tides of Impossibilities. This was a short story about one of the characters in another project I have yet to embark on, Effa. It’s titled ‘Effa on Fire’. Many who read it felt her surprise in surviving her trials. It’s a fun one.

15. What are you working on now?

I find myself writing a few things for my next series in between the third book of the Shifter Series. Though honeslty, I am not sure what series will come next….

16. What story do you have to write before you die?

I am strangely fascinated by the Dean Correll case. Not sure if I will ever get the opportunity to do that one, but it does interest me. I also love my Punk in Space story line.

17. What’s your best fan story?

Let you know when it happens! For now, it’s just getting people who walk up and say, my friend has your book, let me get one. 🙂

18. What sentence have you written that you feel encapsulates your style?

“With her stick figure and giant curls, she’s like Side Show Bob, but less attractive.”

19. Have you ever based characters off of real people?

No, not exactly. I ‘ve pictured the things about people and set off to write it, but the character changes a bit once I get them out.

20. Who’s your favorite character?

For me it’s my ladies, The Aunts. They are wise, silly, genuine, and selfless. They are just fun to write and may not be completely done telling their stories after the last novel….
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You can find out more about the author on their blog achantellreneeblog.wordpress.com and purchase their work from Amazon.com, Belonging Shifter Series.
Everything That Counts, pictures, Uncategorized

What’s going on with ‘Everything That Counts’?

I’m proud to announce that my debut novel-a romanic thriller- ‘Blood On The Potomac will be released on May 21 through Inklings Publishing and will be available for purchase on Amazon.com.

But right now I’d like to talk about another novel-my debut Young Adult novel-‘Everything That Counts’.  In the novel you meet Blake Morgan the biggest loser in all of Annapolis, Maryland; maybe even the world.  We follow him throughout his senior year of high school as he makes the decision to finally live life rather than plan out every detail as he has with his future plans to become an astrophysicist.

I met with Kimberly Morris who offered her professional advice as a manuscript consultant.  Her feedback (the best of which I’ve included in this blog) was invaluable and thus I will re-work the novel to make sure the voice is consistent throughout before I hire an editor and eventually self-publish it.

At this moment in time I believe I can have it ready for you guys to read by late 2018, but until then here is a scene that really gets to the ‘core’ of Blake, through his conversation with classmate and crush Zoe Malone-the hottest girl in school.

 

 

That Saturday, Zoe and I were in my Dad’s car driving to the illustrious Annapolis Mall when she said. “I like you, Blake.”

My breathing stopped. No girl had said those exact words to me. I knew Sophie liked me but it wasn’t as if she liked me. She just enjoyed my company for some strange reason. But, Zoe was different. Zoe was free. Everything was an option for her, and that concept was highly intriguing to me. I let my eyes wander from the road toward her.

“I like you too, Zoe.”

She bit her lip briefly. “It’s just I got my heart broken by my last boyfriend which really sucked.”

“Sorry about that.” But I wasn’t really. I mean, since he dumped her she was available for me to date.

“Thanks. You know, when I told my Mom, she was like,” Zoe whined and puckered up her face as if she’d swallowed a lemon, “‘that’s what you get for being stupid enough to go out with an asshole.’” Then reverted to herself. “Which wasn’t helpful, like, at all. So, when I saw you I knew you’d be different, because you looked really smart.”

We’d been in the car a few miles and already the conversation had taken me to uncharted territories far beyond imagination. “Thanks?”

She leaned close enough that I could smell her perfume. It smelled like cotton candy. “I don’t mean for it to sound bad. It’s just that I don’t do well in school all the time, and feel so frazzled about it. But, you seem to know what you’re doing. It’s like you’re going somewhere, Blake. And that’s what makes me like you. You’re gonna be something when we grow up, and I want to be something too. I want to be remembered as something more than the blonde airhead that giggles all the time, you know?”

“I know exactly how you feel. I think that a lot of people feel like that, it’s just that not everyone says it.”

She giggled. “I can’t believe I make sense to someone as smart as you.”

“You’re smart, too. I mean we have English together, so you’re just as intelligent as me.”

“Maybe you’re just bad in English. I mean I bet you get that poem we were supposed to read. You know the one about the heart inside the heart, which totally grossed me out. I mean who carries around a heart, of like, someone they love?”

She was right. I didn’t understand language and the way it would evoke emotion when one might read or say a word. Much less why writing so incorrectly would ever be appropriate. Phrases held no power; it was only how they might be interpreted by others that gave them any meaning. And who’s to say that what someone wrote would ever be read? And who did e.e. cummings think he was to write so oddly thus making it impossible to understand his work and therefore get me a ‘B-’ on a test?

Although, my stomach turned into a tangle of knots the moment Zoe started this dialogue. I mean our plan was merely to grab something to eat, and watch a movie not divulge our deepest secrets. It was the same feeling I got the first time that I heard ‘Undone (The Sweater Song)’. When I opened my mouth next I put to rest all my preconceived beliefs about a well chosen sentence, the hierarchy of high school, and that the loser never got the girl, because I’d never felt more confident. “We’re not as different as you think, Zoe, about poetry especially. And that’s only one of the reasons you’re the most amazing girl I know.”

Her smile was wider than I’d seen it before and her dark eyes glittered like the night sky. “You really mean that don’t you?”

“I will never lie to you.”

“You know, if I was ready for another boyfriend, it would totally be you.”
Zoe saved me the unending embarrassment of responding like a geek by leaning over the gearshift, and kissing me. It was just long enough for me to get the taste of cotton candy on my lips before the slender fingers of her right hand turned the radio dial. She made a noise I thought might shatter the windows. “Oh I love Christina Aguilera!”

For a moment I contemplated the lengths a man would go to be in the company of a pretty girl, and the possibilities that her acquaintance might entail.

 

Her mouth on mine for the majority of the day seemed well worth listening to a pop star.

 

 

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What you should be reading

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I had the pleasure of attending the annual Houston Writers Guild Conference this weekend-I’ll blog more about this later once I’ve ‘downloaded’ all the information I got at the amazing event.

But today I want to discuss the first workshop I attended which was given by Jay Asher.  The workshop was about adding suspense to every novel no matter the genre-which he did perfectly in his debut novel Thirteen Reasons Why.

In my own novel ‘Blood On The Potomac’ I made sure that the reader not only wanted to know what happened on the next page, but needed to know.  Although I find that is imperative for a novel in my genre (romanic/thriller/spy) I hadn’t thought about how useful it would be in my other works like ‘Everything That Counts’ which is my first YA novel (more on that in a later blog).

Not only did he remind me to write for myself, yet keep the reader in the forefront of my mind, but that you can discuss difficult topics, like suicide in his own novel, and still get people to read something they might find ‘depressing’.

When I wrote ‘Blood On The Potomac’ and especially the character Samantha Locke I touched on many touch issues ranging from PTSD to human trafficking.  It was a balance that I had to set early in the process so that I didn’t overwhelm the reader with the many issues that people silently battle everyday, but I also knew that these are real human problems that I wanted to address in a creative way.

You can also find examples of how I, as an author, have my own message when writing about certain topics like drug abuse in my short story ‘Molly’ and rape in ‘Caroline Hearts Toby’ both which are available in the anthology Eclectically Criminal by Inklings Publishing.

I hope that my stories speak from themselves, and I feel that Asher does that exceptionally well in his novel, but the message of this blog is that although something might be difficult to talk about-silence is not an option-we as a society have to shed light on what is happening so that we can change it.

And know that there is help for you Click here to live chat with Suicide Prevention Life Line

 

short stories, Uncategorized

Reading makes writing easier

I read all sorts of books, from all sorts of genres, not just the one I’m writing in.  Any author should do the same.  That’s why I’m so excited that my short story ‘The Trail’ was shared on a writing website in order to help authors improve their craft.

In journalism school we were taught that the average American has an eighth grade reading competency.  Don’t be average-read more.

Start by checking out Readers & Writers United where you can check out my short story ‘The Trail’ and the other amazing posts.

Storytellers live for their work to be read.  So feed a writer: read a book, then write an honest review.