Posted in Fiction

The Boyfriend (Part V)

“You see,” said Gabe, the woman you met is an enchantress. The moment you and her spoke for the first time, whether on the phone or in person doesn’t matter, she cast an enchantment on you.”

“I’m not into that magic stuff. It’s nonsense,” I stated.

“Nevertheless, it’s real to your boyfriend…..or ex-boyfriend. Sorry.”

“So I’m cursed? Is that what you’re saying?”

“No. No. Not exactly a curse. Let’s just call it a homing beacon. It doesn’t matter where you go. You can be extra careful in covering your tracks. He will always know where you are.”

Gabe encircled an arm around my shoulders and guided me to my car. Wait, how did he know this was my car? I asked him that, now. Peering down from a good 6 feet in height, he smiled at me and cupped my cheek with his palm. “Do you have a park nearby where we can sit and talk?”

Caution gripped my insides. After what just happened with my ex-boyfriend moments ago, I remained on edge. “I-I don’t think so. We need to part ways. I don’t know you, and you want to go to a park and talk? Really? Uh-uh. Nope.”

“It’s ok. We can stay right here if you like. It is not my intention to scare you. You see, I am an angel, and I was sent to protect you.” At that moment a pair of white translucent wings appeared on his back as a light emanated around him.

Realizing my mouth was open, I closed it. I glanced around to see if anyone else was seeing this angelic spectacle. Two people walked by. One, a woman, walked by me smiling but never looked my way. The other one strolled by toward the store front with a scowl on his face. He, like the woman, walked by me without giving me a second glance. I reached for Gabe’s hand, picked it up by his fingers, and held it. Clearing all thoughts out of my head, I closed my eyes and made him my focus. An easy feeling filled my heart, and I cradled his hand to my chest’s center. “I feel your goodness, now.” I looked up and met Gabe’s eyes. They transitioned in hue from a light blue to a deep blue and glistened.

“You’re an empath, Julia,” said Gabe. He brought his other hand up and took her hand now his own. “I promise you this. Nothing will happen to you. Now come, let us go.

I nodded and smiled in response, turned to get in my car, but it wasn’t there. In fact, the parking lot was gone. The whole of everything had changed. Green, lush grass displayed in front of me and under my feet. A clear blue stream trickled water off to my left and rolling hills of flowers sat in the distance. “Where…..?” I turned around. Then I saw it. Behind me and off to my right a scene with my body lying on the pavement of the parking lot began to fade.

Gabe stood next to me watching my every move. I peered up at him now and blinked twice. “I’m-I’m dead? But, I don’t…..”

“Remember? I took that memory away from you the moment you saw me. Shortly before your ex-boyfriend, Jeff, left, he killed you.”

“But…..but.”

“You are safe now.” Gabe looked over my head and behind me and smiled.

I followed his gaze, turned, and found Jesus standing face to face with me.

THE END

Posted in Fiction

The Cross’s Key: Chapter 1 (a Snippet)

The following text is from my new novel, The Cross’s Key


Voices quarreled, shouted, cried, prayed. It culminated Kyle’s conscious, as he lay face down on the dusty ground. Voices drew near. Kyle slid his eyes open. Dust blew by and caught in his lashes causing hi to blink a few times. He lifted his head, pushed his torso up, and lumbered to his knees. Sitting on his heals, he checked out his surroundings.

The sight before him took his breath away, and he was glad he was on his knees, or he would’ve ended up on them anyway. Although he remained at a distance, the horror before him grabbed his gut. There before him…..

Posted in Fiction

The Tension Factor (Part 2)

In a previous post I talked about types of tension and where you can find it. In this post I’d like to talk more about using it in your story in order to keep your readers turning pages. I’ve read books where, once the action starts, there is no stopping until the end. I’ve watched television shows and movies where the tension was like that, too.

What also works is what I call on again off again tension. This is when the tension is rising and has the reader/viewer on the edge of their seats, then the story does an abrupt change and goes to a different scene thus breaking the tension. Those are the moments when you, the reader, might stay, “Nooo. What happens next?” You might put the book down at this point because you’re frustrated or you might continue reading. But that’s up to you. Eventually, you will pick the book up again and continue reading. Although, I don’t see you waiting very long if you are wanting to know what happens next.

Either of these two ways of creating tension is effective. It all depends on the story you are writing and how you, the author, wants to create that tension. BUT…..however you present the tension in your story, it must build as the story moves along. Continue throwing conflict at your main character(s), and continue stepping up the “gas”.

Posted in Fiction

Choosing a Genre

Whether you are writing a book or reading one, you’re choosing a genre.

  • Genre: The dictionary definition of genre is as follows “A class or category of artistic endeavor having a particular form, content, technique, or the like:” It involves, “a kind, category, or sort, esp. of literary or artistic work.”

Nonfiction, fiction, and poetry are the three main literary genres, but there are many subgenres within each of these three. I’m going to pick on fiction and list some of these subgenres below.

  • horror
  • mystery
  • fantasy
  • legend
  • thriller
  • science fiction
  • crime
  • romance

Let’s say you want to write a short story, but you don’t know which kind you want to write. Well, what interests you the most? If you are an avid reader of fantasy fiction, then chances are you’re familiar with that subgenre. In that case choosing fantasy would be best. But what if you wanted to challenge yourself and write in a subgenre you are not familiar with? Then choose one outside your comfort zone. If you do that, make sure you do your homework and read a few books or short stories in that unfamiliar subgenre and do some reading up on it. Trust me, they all have their particular rules one must adhere to when writing in them.

There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to choosing a genre. It really is up to you and what your goals are.

Posted in Social

Pretend

When I was a kid, my sister and I would play pretend all the time. I loved those times because we didn’t have a care in the world. We didn’t have the responsibility of grown ups yet. The freedom to dream stuff up while we played brought about so much enjoyment. Then as we grew older our interests changed (obviously). I remember, too, as a kid, not wanting to grow up because it meant taking on responsibilities outside of being fun. I think many of you can relate. Then, when I did get older, I wanted those not so fun responsibilities. Why? Because it meant a whole different kind of fun. But the pretend didn’t go away. Not really. It changed course by coming in the form of story telling and poetry writing.

Photo by Michael Morse on Pexels.com

Writing fiction and creating poetry gave me that same playful satisfaction that playing pretend as a child had. But not everyone writes. We’re all different and, therefore, we enjoy different things. I have one friend who loves to fish and goes on fishing expeditions by himself. It’s a time for him to relax and regroup. Plus it gives that time to allow his mind to take in the beauty of where his is. If feeds his soul.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

What is your pretend time? What is your enjoyment? If you don’t have anything that frees up your mind and body from the day’s stressors, find something. If you can’t figure out what that something is, try different things. For me, as mentioned above, it’s my writing.

Posted in Writing

Don’t Rush

Writing, whether you are writing fiction or nonfiction, is more than the act of writing itself. It is a process and it all takes time. Rushing through from the beginning to the end will only get you no where very fast. This is not a post about the writing process; although, that is come up in a future post. No. This post is about taking your time with it. Let’s dig in.

I understand the urgency to get the finished product in front of people. Trust me when I say, readers know when a writer/author sped through their writing. How, you might ask? The writing itself will be bad. There will be misspellings, awkward sentences, punctuation in places there doesn’t need to be any and vice versa, plot holes, and/or the format is all wrong. The list goes on and on. I’m not talking about a few errors, because we all make mistakes. I’m talking about many. You might say that a piece of writing like this needed a good editor. That is correct. However, here again, the time was not taken to even edit the piece. Editing takes time, too. Trust me. I’m not talking about a couple of days or a week. Instead, I’m talking about months. Then beta readers have to read it first before putting it out to the public. The beta readers, or test readers, will give you viable feedback in regards to what is and isn’t working with your story or book.

Once you get feedback from your beta readers, look at their recommendations one at a time, and fix them if you agree with their assessment. Remember, it’s your writing, so it is up to you as the writer to do with your piece as you see fit.

Here is a list that should give you a picture of the length of time it takes to write a book…..

  • Planning- How you plan your story is up to you.
  • Draft one- Depending on the length of your story (book length) it can take 1 to 3 years for draft one. My second novel is over 500 pages and took me three years to finish the first draft. But remember, we are all different, and life gets in the way.
  • Draft two- No, you are not starting over from the beginning. What you are doing at this stage is taking your first draft and working with it from the beginning to the end. What you will be doing is tweaking your story, characters, structure, looking for plot holes, etc.
  • Draft three- Repeat draft two process. Yes, there might be things you will miss.
  • Do you need a fourth draft and beyond? That is up to you.
  • Self editing- You will want to edit your story/manuscript first before you send it to an editor.
  • Editing- Get a good editor. Shop around. Don’t hire the first one that comes along unless they come with good references.

As you can see, writing a book is not a quick process. Take great care with what you are writing. You want to please your readers not make them shut the book before it begins.

Posted in Theme

Theme: Where to Find It

To start with, theme is a lesson or idea the story teaches and is carried throughout the story. But where do we find a theme to center our stories around? We can Google a list of possible themes and go from there. After all, sometimes our mind goes blank right at that moment you want to think of something. Google helps boost our minds. Of course, there are other search engines, so the choice is yours which one you use.

Another possibility is yourself. You’re probably going, huh? That’s right. Your own experiences can shed light on various themes you can center your story around. In your lifetime what have you learned? How did you learn it? Did you have to learn how to get along with someone you didn’t like? Did you have to learn how to give more? Did you have to learn to be patient? Maybe you had to learn to take risks. The list goes on and on. Or maybe you know of someone who had a learning experience.

Does this all mean your story has to be directly related to your learning experience? No, absolutely not. You aren’t creating nonfiction. You are wanting to create fiction. All I am saying is to use your learning experience (or someone else’s) and come up with a fictional story that centers around the theme (or what you learned) from your own life.

There are times, though, when all you have to do is start writing a story and the theme will present itself as the story unfolds. Yes, there are some writers who write this way. I am one of them. I don’t like to restrict myself, and I find it more freeing to just start writing. How about you?

Posted in Fiction

The Boyfriend (Part IV)

“How do you know him? My boyfriend, I mean,” I asked Gabe.

“Let’s just say he’s dabbling in something he shouldn’t. He has gone down paths from which there is no return. It’s sad, really. He was doing so well, and then…” Gabe paused and stared at the pavement of the parking lot.

“I don’t follow. He has always been controlling, jealous, and possessive. I’ve known him since I was a sophomore in college. I’ve never known him to be any other way. And how do you know him?”

“Oh, he and I go way back. But never mind that. You see, when his mom died…”

“Wait. Hold on a minute. When his mom died? His mom didn’t die. I’ve met her more than once.”

“When was the last time you were with him? Before you left, I mean?” asked Gabe.

“Two years ago. Just before I left, I spoke with his mom,” I replied.

“Spoke to her or saw her?”

“Spoke to her, and prior to that I saw her…at her house.”

Gabe reached behind him, pulled out his wallet, and flipped through the photos. He stopped at one of them and turned it so I could see it. “Is this her? Is this the woman he said was his mother?” asked Gabe.

“No,” I said. “That’s nothing like the woman I met. I’ve never met the woman in the photo. I peered up at Gabe and took a few steps backward.

“Please. You don’t need to be afraid. I am here to protect you.”

“Then explain to me what this is all about. Now,” I demanded.

(To Be Continued)

Posted in Fiction

The Boyfriend (Part III)

A lady on her right stared at her then shot her eyes in the direction of her boyfriend and stared. It was rather odd because the others who claimed they didn’t see him behaved as though they didn’t. Yet this lady stood and focused on him. After a minute, the lady glance back at me and said, “I don’t see anything either.” But how could that be? The lady looked right at him. I studied the lady’s face as she continued to stand in the parking lot. Her grocery bags piled high inside her cart.

“Can I help you?” I asked as I scratched an itch on the back of my neck. Then it happened. I think. Did I see right? Or was I mistaken? I could have sworn the lady now wore a feint smile. “What are you…?” I started to ask as my boyfriend faded. I looked back at the lady. She now wore a full smile, turned away from me, and continued walking.

It was obvious to me my boyfriend wasn’t here. Just a projected image of him. Maybe he caught on to where I was and maybe not. I couldn’t take the chance. I had to move, but where would I go? His abilities would allow him to find me no matter where I went. And what was up with that lady? She lied when she said she hadn’t seen him. Her body language told me as much. I glanced around to locate her. Maybe she knew something, but she was no where in sight.

I felt like a caged animal with the world being my cage. I had no choice but to stand and fight. For now I would go home. I turned in the direction of my car but came up short as I walked full force into someone. I stepped back and looked up into deep blue eyes belonging to a shiny, golden haired man around my age.

“I-I’m sorry. I should watch where I’m going next time. Excuse me, please.” I stepped to my right to move around him. As I did, a hand warmed my shoulder, so I stopped and peered back up at him.

He gave his head a gentle shake, as he smiled down at me. “My name is Gabe.”

The deep melodious tone to his voice struck me without words for a moment. Then I gave my head a quick shake and responded, “I’m Julia. Um. Hi.”

His kind eyes continued focusing on me. A kind of warmth penetrated my heart, and the fear from my experience with my boyfriend earlier subsided.

“It will not always be like this, Julia,” said Gabe.

“How do you know? I just met you.” I glance up at the sky, inhaled, and let it out slow. “You don’t know him.”

“Oh, but I do.”

(To Be Continued)

Posted in Writing

The Boyfriend (Part II)

I reached the front of the grocery store and ran outside. Before I could run across and down the aisle to where my car was parked, a hand grabbed my bicep, yanked me back, and spun me around. It was him. He grabbed my other bicep with his other free hand and jolted me with two hard shakes.

“I told you I would find you,” he snarled.

“H-how?” I asked with a shake to my voice I hadn’t intended.

“In my sleep. How do you think? You know what I am capable of.”

“J-Jeff…..I-I. I know. You told me the abilities you have. Th-they scare me. It isn’t that I don’t love you. I do. I…..it makes me uncomfortable. You know…..the things you can do.”

He shook her two more times. “I told you I would never hurt you.”

“Y-yet here you are grabbing my arms and shaking me. AND hurting me. L-let me go.”

“Only if you promise to come with me. If you don’t, I’ll drag you kicking and screaming. You have no choice.”

I reached up with my right hand to push his left arm away from me, but my hand went through it. I froze and stared up at him. He wasn’t there. He was using his ability of astral projection to find me, so he wasn’t there at all. I peered down at his grasp on my arms. How, if he wasn’t here?

“I see you’re learning,” sneered Jeff. “There are things about me I haven’t told you.”

Movement out of the corner of my eyes caught my attention. I glanced to my left then right. A handful of people gathered around and threw scrunched eyebrow looks at me. One lady shook her head and walked away. I asked them, “You all see him right?”

“See who?” asked another woman guiding her child in the opposite direction.

(To Be Continued)