New Book

I have a new book of short stories out. They are mostly urban fantasy with a bit of humor.

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Shameless Story Plug

Looking for something short but sort of festive to read? Do you like fiction? How about overworked civil servants that deal with keeping the paranormal under wraps while maintaining the ignorance of the general population?  I’ve got just the thing and it is available for download on Amazon for only $0.99!

Bite Of The Sugar Plum FairiesChristmas is coming and the officers of the Arcane Investigations Division are finding the holiday season to be a busy one. Everyone has been working extra hours but Paul and Mike have been promised two precious days off if they can just manage this last case without major incident. All they have to do is break into an occupied house and round up a bunch of angry fairies without waking the owners or exposing the existence of the supernatural. Easy right?

A bit of Fiction from a tired writer

Out of the list of things I had planned to accomplish today, I managed one. It wasn’t a blog post. However, it is still Monday so by the end of this my daily accomplishments will be up to 2.

I had over a dozen topics to blog about just a few minutes ago. Then I sat down at the the computer and my mind went as blank as the page I have been staring at. It is a good thing that blog post aren’t viewed in the real time it took someone to write them or I would have lost you all after the first paragraph.

Okay, so here is what I am going to do. Last week I didn’t do a proper post and this week I am struggling. So how about some fiction?

I wrote this short for a writing contest in October but never got to use it because they closed submissions early. It’s not exactly my best, but the few people I’ve shared it with found it amusing.

 

tink's moonlight pic

Lunch Break

It was a dark and stormy night. All I wanted to do was to eat my Hot Pocket before it cooled beyond room temperature but the rain and the full moon, hidden behind the clouds, drove people into the store. Some were on their way home. Some were stopping in before heading to work a swing shift. All had the wild look a full moon, visible or not, brings out. Eyes open too wide revealing more of the white than normal and pupils dilated dark and round.

I just wanted to eat my lunch, but the flood of people ridden by moon madness prevented me. Who really needs a pack of gum at two in the morning?

I felt a growl slip out as I handed the lady chatting on her phone back her change. She snatched it and her diet coke up without ever making eye contact. My hot pocket was growing colder, my stomach emptier, and my temper hotter with each customer.

I finally got rid of the line and sighed as a glance out of the dirty windows revealed no one in the parking lot. Once again I turned to my lunch. Just as I raised the food to my lips a car pulled up and sat idling in front of the building.

I paused before biting into my Hot Pocket as a couple of teenagers hopped out of the car. One stood in front of the door while the other rushed inside wearing tan pantyhose to disguise his face. Any other day I would have laughed, but I was hungry and I had dealt with enough people for one night. Then he did the unthinkable.

Brandishing a gun he slapped my Hot Pocket out of my hand. I watch the flaky crust of my lunch splatter and crumble on the stained tile floor, all of its cheesy goodness leaking out to join whatever people had tracked in on their shoes. I couldn’t hear what the robber was saying over the rushing roar of my anger reaching its peak.

My hands shifted as I reached for the desecrator of my Hot Pocket. My claws dug into his arm as I bent it backwards, bones snapping as the were forced to go in an unnatural direction. Then the idiot pulled the trigger, shooting himself in the chest. His buddy rushed in from outside, yelling profanity as he took in the blood joining my ruined lunch on the floor. I let him jerk his friend free from my grip when he grabbed for him and the two slipped and tripped their way back to the running car.

It spun out of the parking lot in a squeal of tires and I let my hands return to normal. When I was sure they were long gone, I washed my hands in the employee’s only sink, popped another Hot Pocket into the microwave, and went to fetch the mop.

 

Literature In School or How The Dog Dies

My daughter is in the 6th grade. She has enjoyed most of her class, as much as a 12 year old can anyway. She does have a reoccurring complaint about the curriculum however.

It is a complaint that I echoed at her age and still ponder to day. The friends I have spoken with about it have the same issues. We can all agree, that while well written, they could have chosen better books for required reading.

I am not a dog person. I like dogs. I like most animals. I will happily play with and pet a dog. I had an absolutely amazing terrier mix as a kid who would go fishing with me and was smart enough to know when I had a fish hooked.  However, I am not really a dog person. As in I don’t think I am a good dog owner. They deserve more love and attention.  Cats on the other hand never ask for love or attention. If they want it, they take it and it doesn’t matter what you are doing at the time.

My cats are one of the reasons it is important for me to reread things I have written. Not only are there my own mistakes to look out for, but the keyboard sometimes gets walked on when I get up to get coffee. There won’t be a cat insight when I get back, but the evidence remains.

Some of you are wondering what that has to do with books and school. Well, when I was in middle school the preferred reading was every well written book where an animal dies at the end. Most of those books were dogs. Yes, they were heroes first but they still died.

Old Yeller, Where the Red Fern Grows, Black Beauty, Frankenstein, Animal Farm. These are all bloody death books from when I was in school. Good books from the vantage point of adulthood but when I was a kid I wasn’t so pleased.

Like my daughter said: “Why do they make us read books where everything dies? Isn’t life depressing enough? Are they trying to drive up the suicide rate?”

The thing is she has a whole new batch of books. They are ones I have never heard of but the theme remains the same. Someone or something dies at the end. I have to wonder if all of these authors read Romeo and Juliet and thought “Yep that is the way to go. Kill them at the end.”

If they want kids to read about death and such at least give them something else to focus on than a mom dying of cancer or a dog with rabies. How about some science fiction? How about the Hobbit? Yeah, some of the kids wouldn’t like it and a lot of parents don’t like their children getting wrapped up in fiction “nonsense”. But good heavens, Stephen King has happier endings than some of these things.

I am fortunate that both of my children like to read. The library is a fun place for us. Some kids don’t and the only exposure to books that they get is the enforced reading in schools. It would be nice if they got a chance to read something where, just once, everyone lives.

Thursday Is Not Monday, but here is a post

whats-your-storyIt is currently 6 a.m. on a November Thursday morning. I missed Monday’s post again. It is getting more and more difficult to post on my work week.

I may have to go down to two posts a month rather than one every week. That is something I will have to consider later. Right now it is November so that means it is Nation Novel Writing Month.

Truthfully, I did not plan on participating this year. I have so much going on I did not intend to add one more thing. That was before vampire slaying hobos happened though. (Long story.)

So now a friend of mine and I are writing novels about the same characters hoping that by the end of the month, between the two of us, we will have an actual readable book or at least a few short stories. We only have working titles right now but look for our finished project sometime in January.

Right now I have some writing to get done. Since both kids are home sick I need to get to it while they are still asleep. Have a great day everybody and happy writing!

A good book

A couple of weeks ago I went to LibertyCon in Chattanooga, TN. While there I picked up a copy of Witchfinder by Sarah A. Hoyt. It takes place in her Magical Empires world and I absolutely loved it.

It has been a while since I read a book I just couldn’t put down. (I think the last one was Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman.) In fact, I got so engrossed in Witchfinder that I smuggled it to work with me and got a stern talking to for reading on the clock.

It was one of those days where I was stuck behind the counter. My boss will probably end up borrowing the book from me later though. Some how I don’t think that that was what the author meant when she signed my book and wrote “Sometimes you have to break the law.”

If you like fantasy novels, if you like magic, and if you like regency era fiction this is a book you really need to check out.