Meet Aditi Sharma, Writer

It’s my pleasure to welcome Aditi Sharma to my blog!

Aditi Sharma, Writer

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

If only I could tell about the books I write. Right now I can only tell about the books that I read written by others.
Anyhow, as this question is about me I would suffice its answers with a few adjectives and phrases about me as a person-
A loner by choice; dog-person; peace lover; morning and green-tea person; planner; moody (big time, and trying to get it removed from this list); simplicity-believer; stories over poems; inclined more towards mountains than beaches; stationery lover.

A quote I firmly believe in and always keep by my side-
“There is no short cut to success and there is no everlasting success achieved through short cuts.” 

How long have you been writing for?

If copying quotes, stories, and small messages in my diary can be considered writing then I had been doing that since I was a kid of around 12 (maybe). But if something serious, something new, something original is concerned, that I have started writing only in my late teens. I started when I was 19, but after a long break of two-three years (due to graduation, which by the way is in Engineering) I restarted when I turned 22.
It is after being 22 that my writing got down on the race track with no other pen to compete with but just with its own previous records-striving to create new ones. I am yet to turn 23 in July, so it’s been 9 (serious) months that I have taken my found passion to another level, a level of nurturing.

What is your writing process like?

It depends on the kind of content that I am writing.

If I have chosen to write on a political issue then I ought to do a sufficient amount of research. Once done with researching, I bookmark the pivotal pages or points and then I put my thoughts down on the screen. Even though I haven’t written much on political or social agendas, this I have understood that the deeper and accurate the research, the more impactful the end product would be.

If it is something fictional (which most of the times my writings are) or simply a self-help article, all I do is put down my story or article on paper. I prefer to (though still struggling) pen down my story the way it comes to me, without any pause or over-thinking. Then I rephrase the sentence structures, replace the almost-right words with the perfect words and the placement of paragraphs is rearranged.

Do you have a writing routine? If so, what’s a typical day like for you?

Being a naïve, I am still struggling (like lot of other things) to have a routine, a decent writing routine. Having heard a lot about how a fixed time at a fixed place can help in creating and maintaining the writing flow, I still am trying to make such a routine my niche.

But if it comes down to a typical day for me then such day cannot be inclusive only of writing. My typical day involves sessions of writing, reading and studying about reading or writing.

What motivates you to write?

I have always been an artistic person. Since childhood I had been into many such fields like sketching, calligraphy, pottery, and music during school-time. After hopping from domain to domain, finally I have landed down on the art of writing and reading. If art cannot define me then nothing else can and if I cannot define art then I dread if there is anything else that I can ever define; that is the reason which motivates me to write and strive for betterment every day.

Also, immersing into the world of fiction allows me to be the creator of my new world, lets me decide what should and should not be happening, and that fun is what keeps me going.

What was the first thing you did when you found out your book was being published?

When I will find out that my book is being published then like any paranoid person, I wouldn’t believe it first. Then my optimistic side would try to overpower the paranoid one and I will re-confirm the news from every source that is possible. I know this because this is what happens when I achieve anything huge.

Once everything is confirmed, I will share it with my dad and all my close ones.

Are you currently working on anything new?

Well, I have a lot going in my head but haven’t settled down on anything as of now. Though there is a project that has been offered to me and soon I am going to get started with it. The project is nothing like what I had thought but as a beginner I wouldn’t mind experimenting.

If you weren’t a writer, what would your career be?

This question is bit weird for me to answer, *laugh* as by profession I am an engineer and writing is what I do before and after my office timings.

But there are plans, some major ones, in my head. Let’s see how the implementation goes.

What is the easiest part of writing for you? What is the hardest part?

For me, the easiest part of writing is to have the crux of my story in my mind. Knowing what is the basic message or theme of my fictional work/ non-fictional article is almost always there in the back of my mind.

Hardest part (here I am talking about the content of my blog-posts) is definitely to be me in my short stories and still make them go along different paths from the ones my previous stories/articles had gone through. Knowing what I want to write about but how and what form of story would convey it in the best way becomes a daunting task for me.

What’s one thing you learned through writing that you wish you knew before you started?

As I am still in the inception stage of this art-Writing, I think I am yet to find/ learn about any such thing, if there would be any.

What is your favorite book or genre? Is there a special book that made you realize you wanted to write?

Anything that pertains to fiction, be it fictional romance or suspense or thriller or anything, can be considered my favorite.
I won’t say that A Thousand Splendid Suns and The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini made me realize that I wanted to write because I knew that writing is something that I should be doing long before reading them, but it was after I read them that something clicked and I started my serious writing.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

Myself being one of them, the only advice that I give to myself and would offer to others too is-Never give up on your dreams. And if you dare to dream, dare to work for it too.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

I think I have already said enough in my answers above. The only thing I would like to add is to pay my gratitude to Rachel, the interviewer, to have my interview published on her blog even after me forgetting to send her my answers back on time. *giggle*

About Aditi

Aditi SharmaHaving relished the diversity of an as large nation as India, Aditi Sharma, a B.Tech graduate, has her home in New Delhi and is currently working in Bangalore. Having said about diversity, she has lived in Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, and Bhubaneshwar during her course from schooling to graduation to her job in Bangalore.

Engineer by profession, her soul’s most cherishable moments are the ones around books. Reading and writing came naturally to her (though a bit late) when she had her first serious read-The Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini, but now they are here to stay, for ever. Though she prefer to read and write more of fiction work, now-a-days she is having her hands and eyes on non-fiction too.

Through blogging she is trying to reach out to more and more like-minded people, who believe in the art of writing, in the hard work behind writing, in the qualitative writing.

Connect With Aditi

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Welcome To My Newsletter!

I’ve finally put together a newsletter for my blog! This is something I’ve been wanting to do for a while and it’s finally ready.

My newsletter will go out on the last day of each month starting this month (November).

So, if you enjoy my blog and would like free, exclusive content about reading and writing sent straight to your e-mail, click the image below and sign up for my newsletter!


Or, if you would like to know more information about the newsletter, such as what content will be included each month, check out my new page here: NEWSLETTER

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Short Story Sunday 133: Watchers (Part Five)

            “Maria!” I heard Dad shout.

I could see him standing in the doorway on the other side of my bedroom from the corner of my eye. Yet, the red-eyed monster was still right in my face. I didn’t dare look away from it to look at Dad.

I heard some rustling and before I knew it, Dad was scooping me up in his arms. He hugged me tight jerking my gaze away from the red eyes. Then he placed me gently back down on my bed. I scanned my bedroom for the three monsters, but they were all gone again.

My shoulders relaxed, but I wasn’t sure if it was a good thing that they were gone not. They always disappeared when Dad came so Dad never believed me that there were any monsters.

“Maria, what are you doing in here?” Dad broke me out of my thoughts. He backed away from my bed and stared at the floor in disgust.

I leaned over the edge of my bed and noticed the glass shards lying on the ground. I had completely forgotten that the lamp fell and shattered on the ground. I peeled my eyes away from my favorite, but broken, lamp to look at Dad.

“Did you feel the house shaking?” I asked.

“What?” Dad narrowed his eyes confused.

“Didn’t you hear the monsters talking to me?”

Dad folded his arms across his chest and stared at me blankly.

“Didn’t you see the three monsters standing directly in front of me? One of them was in my face!”

Dad hung his head and let out an exasperated sigh. After a moment of unbearable silence, Dad looked back up at me and pointed to the mess on the floor.

“I have no idea what you’ve been doing in here, but it’s late and you really need to go to sleep. Enough fooling around, Maria. I’m going to get the broom to clean this up and then you have to go to sleep.” Dad turned around to exit the room.

“But Dad!” I called after him, but he was already out in the hallway. I was sure he heard me call after him, but he didn’t want to hear anything else I had to say to him about the monsters.

Frustrated, I hopped off my bed on the other side of the broken glass as to not cut the bottom of my bare feet. I ran over to the other side of room as quickly as I could. I didn’t want the monsters to come back before Dad came back upstairs with the broom. When I made it to the door, I turned on the light, my heart pounding in my chest as I raced the darkness.

As soon as the light shone in my bedroom, I let out a sigh of relief. I turned around leaning my back against the wall, but it turned out the light didn’t help at all.

I thought the monsters ran away when Dad came into the room and when the light was turned on. But that didn’t seem to be the case now. The red-eyed monster was standing at the foot of my bed, while the two yellow-eyed monsters stood tall behind it. All three stared at me and none of them looked happy.

They all looked the same. They were all scary, broad, and tall. They were covered in brown fur as though they were large bears, except their nails looked to be at least five inches long on each hand, even on their feet.

Each monster had two long fangs sticking out of the tops of their wide mouths. I didn’t see a nose on any of them, but their eyes were big enough to cover half of their faces. The red-eyed monster was a little bit bigger than the other two and it had three horns coming out of the top of its head. And while that one had horns, the two yellow-eyed monsters had two pointy ears like bats on top of their heads.

I slid my back against the wall eventually sitting down on the ground. I brought my knees up to my chest and just stared at the monsters. They clearly weren’t going away anytime soon. I had given up. Dad wasn’t going to believe me that there were monsters in my bedroom. In fact, I wasn’t even sure where he went. I didn’t think it would take him so long to grab the broom and come back upstairs.

The red-eyed monster took another step closer. The whole house shook again. I lost my balance and fell to the side. I put my arms out to catch myself even though I was already on the ground.

It took another step.

Dad was probably still getting the broom, for what was taking him so long I had no idea, but I bet he didn’t hear anything. He didn’t feel the whole house rumble earlier when he was right down the hall. He definitely wasn’t going to hear anything downstairs.

Frustrated, I crawled along the floor back over to my bed. The monster stopped walking and his gaze followed me as I shimmied along the floor on all fours.

I was careful around my nightstand as to not cut myself, but I noticed a pretty large shard of glass. I picked it up as gently as I could. I stood up, turned around, and whipped the glass right at the red-eyed monster.

The shard bounced off the monster’s leg as though it had a protective coating around it. I let out an exasperated sigh.

Okay, now I was out of ideas.

“Maria!” Dad growled.

I twisted my neck to look back over at my bedroom door. Dad stood in the doorway holding the broom and the vacuum. He stared at me appalled.

“Now you’re throwing the glass around your room? What is it with you tonight?” he glared at me and I could see his forehead veins beginning to pop out.

Whatever I had to say about the monsters now definitely wasn’t going to go well. He didn’t believe me before and he certainly wasn’t going to believe me now.

I turned my attention back to the monsters and I could have sworn they were smiling.

“You need to help clean this up.” Dad was suddenly standing beside me now. He handed me the broom and reluctantly, I took it.

I watched the monsters as they slowly vanished from my sight. I still didn’t understand how Dad wasn’t able to see them.

I swept up the broken glass into a pile and then pushed it into the dustpan. I walked over to the other side of my bedroom to dump it in my trashcan while Dad turned on the vacuum to pick up any of the smaller pieces we may have missed.

As he vacuumed, I peered into my closet. There was nothing there.

Dad turned off the vacuum and sighed. “Look, Maria. I don’t know what kind of nightmare you had, but there are no monsters in your room. There are no monsters anywhere near here because they don’t exist.”

“Okay.” I murmured in response. What else was I supposed to say? There was no sense in arguing with him anymore. He wasn’t going to believe me.

Dad walked over to me and closed my closet door so I couldn’t look inside it anymore. “Why don’t you come sleep with me in my room tonight? At the rate this night is going, it seems as though that would be best.”

I smiled at Dad. I knew he was suggesting this to me so that we could both get some sleep before our alarm clocks went off in a couple of hours, but I was grateful that he thought of this solution.

We shut the light off in my bedroom and closed the door. I crawled into bed with Dad once we made it to his room.

No monsters showed up for the rest of the night.

We were just going to have to wait and see what the next night would bring.

Words: 1,353

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Short Story Sunday 132: Watchers (Part Four)

            I swallowed a hard lump in my throat. As much as I wanted to believe there was no such things as monsters like Dad said, I knew he was wrong. There was nothing in my closet that would trick me into thinking a pair of yellow eyes was staring at me.

Nothing in my closet changed to add a second pair of yellow eyes. And nothing changed still in order to add a pair of red eyes. They multiplied every time Dad came into the room and told me there was no such thing as monsters.

This was not my imagination. I was not dreaming. This was not nothing. There were monsters in my closet and I had to get rid of them somehow. If Dad couldn’t see them, then I was going to have to do something about it.

I shifted my weight on my bed and sat up tall on my knees. I bit my lower lip. All three pairs of eyes were staring back at me. Neither one of them moved, none of them groaned. I was at a loss of what was going on.

“What…” my voice cracked and I cleared my throat. “What do you want with me?”

The six eyes blinked in response.

“Where did you come from?” I asked again stepping down from my bed.

They blinked again.

“Are… Are you friendly at least?” I choked out walking towards my closet again.

The more monsters that entered my closet, the more times I called my Dad to check my closet, I felt less afraid. They weren’t doing anything. They hadn’t done anything in the past week. I wasn’t sure if they were biding their time until something big or if they were just camping out for some reason.

It didn’t make sense to be afraid of these monsters anymore. It was time that I confronted them. It was time I confronted my fears.

“I’m not going to be afraid of you anymore. Just tell me why you’re here and what you want.” I sighed exasperated. They must have wanted something if they kept hanging around to watch me sleep.

All six eyes blinked once more. I grunted in response and stopped in the middle of my bedroom. I didn’t want to get any closer. I didn’t want to touch any of the monsters again. They growled at me last time, who knew what would happen if I accidentally bumped into them again?

I raised an eyebrow at the six eyes staring at me blankly. “Hello?” I shrugged. I knew they could move since they disappeared whenever Dad entered the room. I knew they could communicate in some form since one of them growled at me earlier. I didn’t expect answers to my questions, but I expected some sort of response other than blinking.

Yet, as soon as I said that, all six eyes shifted to look at each other. I clamped my mouth shut and took a few steps back. Okay, I clearly got their attention. But now what were they doing?

In just a couple minutes, all the eyes turned to me once more. The yellow pair, the first monster that first appeared in my closet a week ago, seemed to come forward. My bedroom shook and I latched onto the edge of my bed to keep my balance. Holding onto my mattress for my dear life, I took a few more steps back.

The eyes lowered as though the monster was ducking in the doorway of the closet and then they got higher once more as if it stood up tall again.

I craned my neck to look up as the monster took hard steps closer to me. My bedroom continued to rumble after each footstep. I glanced at my bedroom door wondering where Dad was. Surely he could feel the house shaking! Wasn’t he going to come check up on me?

The monster stared down at me while the other monster with the narrow yellow eyes repeated what the first monster did. The whole house shook again under his steps. He stood beside the first monster, both of them staring down at me.

Then it was the red monster’s turn. It seemed bigger than the other two monsters as his eyes were closer to the ceiling and his footsteps were so heavy that I thought he was going to fall right through my floor breaking my house.

I climbed back on top of my bed as though that would help me get away from the three monsters. I was suddenly afraid of them again. They had never left my closet, though they still didn’t speak and they still continued to stare at me. What were they doing and what was I supposed to do to retaliate?

I stood up willing myself to be brave and stand before them as though I wasn’t afraid, even though I felt like wetting my pants. I hoped they weren’t the type of monsters that were able to smell fear. If so, I was in trouble.

“Wh—What do you…” my voice shook and I had to clear my throat again. “What do you want?”

The monster with red eyes took another step forward shaking the entire room. The lamp on my nightstand beside my bed vibrated so far between the monsters moving that it fell off the stand and crashed to the ground with the bulb popping like a balloon.

I let out a quick scream turning to the sound of the lamp. Then I immediately turned back to the monsters and the red eyes were directly in my face.

I held my breath trying not to panic. I could feel a warm air breeze by my face as the monster breathed on me.

“Maria.” A deep, raspy voice rang out through the room.

Then my Dad entered my bedroom for the third time that night.

Words: 982

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Short Story Sunday 131: Watchers (Part Three)

            I recoiled my hand away the moment I touched… was it fur? I wasn’t entirely sure what it was, but I knew I shouldn’t have been touching it. I backed away slowly holding my hand with my other hand as though it had been burned on a hot stove. I tilted my head back up and the eyes were staring at me again.

The first pair of yellow eyes, the eyes that have been there every night, stared at me normally. The other pair of yellow eyes looked narrower now, almost as though it was glaring at me.

I thought I was closer to the first pair of eyes, but I guess I was wrong. Maybe I touched the monster that looked scarier and meaner?

The growling had stopped.

I looked into the first pair of eyes. Whatever it was, it didn’t seem angry at me for being curious and going right up to it. It didn’t seem as though it was going to do anything.

It just continued to stand in my closet. It continued to stare at me and watch my every move.

“Dad!” I screamed again from the middle of my room. I didn’t take my eyes off of the four eyes staring back at me. I wanted to watch them and see where they went when Dad came into the room. There was no way they were going to try to escape this time.

After just a few minutes, Dad opened my bedroom door groggily. I continued to stare at my closet, but as soon as Dad turned my light on, both pairs of eyes disappeared.

I gasped.

“Maria? What are you doing standing in the middle of the room?” Dad yawned.

I frowned at the clothes hanging in my wide open closet. “There was another thing in my closet… There were four yellow eyes instead of two this time. But now that you turned on the light, they’re gone.”

Dad sighed. “Maria, I told you. There are no such things as monsters. Whatever you see in your closet is just your imagination playing tricks on you because it’s late and you’re tired.”

I turned around and looked at the clock. It was already midnight. I went to bed three hours ago. How was this night going by so quickly and yet so slowly at the same time?

Dad walked over to me and pointed to the inside of my closet. “I don’t know what is in here that looks like a couple of eyes staring at you, but you’re fine.” He closed the closet door all the way allowing it to click shut. “Now, come on. You have school in the morning and I have to go to work. I’m tired, you’re tired, it’s time to go to sleep.”

I released an exasperated sigh as Dad gently pushed me towards my bed. I climbed back in and he tucked me under the covers for the third time that night. I continued to stare at my closet. The door was still closed tight. I wasn’t able to see inside and nothing will be able to see outside.

Dad kissed me on the forehead once more. “Goodnight, Maria.” He said gently.

He walked over to the other side of my room and turned off the light. He smiled and winked at me. I forced a smile back at him as he closed the door again.

I lied back down rolling over onto my side. I closed my eyes lightly willing myself not to look over at my closet. Dad closed the door and he checked inside the closet twice. There was nothing there. It was just my imagination because I was tired.

Yet, I couldn’t help myself. I needed to double check that the closet door was still closed and that the monsters hadn’t come back. Surely, they must have been tired too, right?

I immediately regretted looking over my shoulder. I shot straight up in my bed gaping because not only was the closet door back open, but now there was a pair of deep red eyes staring back at me as well.

Words: 687

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Short Story Sunday 130: Watchers (Part Two)

Read Part One.

            I pulled the blankets over my head and squeezed my eyes shut willing for the second pair of eyes to go away. It was bad enough there were now two monsters staring at me, but the second pair of eyes was a deep golden color. The eyes were bigger than the other monster’s and the pupils were thin and looked like diamonds. It was much scarier than the other monster, whatever it was.

But that was it. This monster had been coming to my room every night for a week and now more were coming. I had to get rid of it once and for all.

I finally peeked over my blankets. Sure enough, four yellow eyes were still burning into my own gaze. I kicked the covers off of myself and reached down over the side of my bed. I had a plastic baseball bat to play wiffle-ball with my Dad. Whatever these monsters were doing, I would get rid of them. I could at least try to knock them out so they couldn’t run when I asked my Dad to come back into my bedroom to help me get rid of them.

Drawing in a deep breath, I swung my legs over the side of my bed, my knuckles turning white from gripping the bat so tight. I hopped off my bed inched my way closer to the closet with the bat high above my head as though I was waiting for a curve ball to be thrown at me.

I stared intently at the four eyes and each one of them slowly blinked as I made my way closer to them.

They blinked again. I swallowed a dry lump in my throat.

The first pair of eyes grew bigger. I stopped walking and held my breath. Did it grow bigger in size? Or was it coming towards me?

It stopped. So I took another deep breath for courage and stepped forward once more.

The closet door was already open since Dad forgot to close it all the way. He knew I liked it closed all the way, but it didn’t seem to matter anyway. The yellow eyes were going to come back no matter what. And they were able to open the door themselves anyway.

My closet door seemed so far away. My arms were getting tired from holding the bat up in the air. I wasn’t even sure if the bat would do anything to the monsters. I wasn’t sure if I would be strong enough to hit them or even have enough guts to swing the bat.

But when I finally made it to the closet I craned my neck to look up. Both pairs of yellow eyes were nearly as high as the ceiling. My mouth gaped open and I lowered my baseball bat. My breathing turned shallow and my neck ached as I stared up with wide eyes at the two monsters before me.

It was darker in my closet. I couldn’t see any form of body in front of me other than the four yellow eyes staring down at me. Neither one of them moved, only blinked now and then. They didn’t seem as though they were going to make the first move.

I gripped my bat tighter, but it still remained by my side. One part of my brain was trying to tell my arms to swing the bat, but my muscles weren’t cooperating. The other part of my brain was screaming at me to run, to go crawl in bed with Dad and hope the monsters wouldn’t go into his bedroom.

I took a step backwards. What was I doing? I couldn’t take on any monsters. Even if I did have the courage to whack them with the bat, it would only make them angry and I would certainly lose that battle.

But what were they doing here? What did they want? Why did they just stand in my closet and watch me? Even now as I stood directly in front of them they didn’t do anything to me. I didn’t get it.

Finally, something took over me, and I leaned the baseball bat up against the wall next to my closet door. I took another step forward and reached my arm out.

Dad had to have been right. There were no such things as monsters. Whatever was in my closet was a figment of my imagination. Maybe I was already asleep and I was dreaming. I had the same dream every night for the past week. My subconscious was trying to tell me something.

But as I reached my arms out further, I glanced up and noticed the four eyes followed my arm watching silently.

Then I touched something. Something soft, something furry.

And I heard a low growl coming from right in front of me.

Words: 807

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Short Story Sunday 129: Watchers (Part One)

            Yellow. It was all I could see in the black of night.

Dad had tucked me into bed just moments ago and it had already showed up. Usually it took about an hour for it to come, but it was right on time tonight. It seemed to be coming earlier and earlier.

I didn’t know what it was or what it wanted. I didn’t know what it was doing there or where it came from. It didn’t do anything. It didn’t bother me. It just stared.

The yellow eyes stared at me and never blinked.

I lay stiffly on my back in bed. My blankets were pulled up over my neck covering me completely. I peeked over my covers also trying not to blink. I was afraid if I did the yellow eyes would move elsewhere in my bedroom.

I felt as though I needed to keep an eye on it just like it was keeping its eyes on me.

However, I did sometimes try to close my eyes and sleep. It never did anything except watch me and I always eventually fell asleep as tired took over. When I woke up the next morning, it was always gone and I was always okay. The only way I could get through the night was to just fall asleep in hopes morning would come faster.

So, pulling together the little courage I had, I closed my eyes.

“One, two, three…” I counted to myself hoping that would help me sleep faster. “Four, five, six…”

I opened one eye slightly. It was still there. Watching.

I squeezed both my eyes shut. “Seven, eight, nine…”

I opened my eyes again. “Ten?”

It was still staring. I sighed. And then it did something it had never done before.

It blinked.

“Dad!” I sat up straight in my bed screaming as loud as my lungs would allow. “Dad, Dad! Come quick! Hurry!”

I heard heavy footsteps pound up the stairs. I breathed deeply anticipating my dad to open my bedroom door and charge right in. He would get rid of the yellow eyes for me. Right?

My bedroom door opened the light from the hallway streaming through the cracks. Dad flicked the light switch. My eyes squinted in the sudden bright light. Once my vision adjusted, I pointed to my closet.

“What is it? What’s wrong?” Dad asked in a panic.

“There’s something in my closet.” I whispered. Though I didn’t know why I whispered. If it was still in my closet it could probably hear me. It probably knew why I had called my dad to my room.

Dad sighed and his shoulders relaxed. He cracked a smile. What was he smiling about?

He walked over to my closet and opened it wide. There were my clothes hanging neatly on their hangers, my clothes hamper on the floor beneath them, and my various pairs of shoes surrounding the basket.

He turned around and pointed to the inside of the closet. “See? Nothing here. No monsters.”

I blinked. Of course it wasn’t going to be in my closet. Dad was there and the light was turned on. Why would it stay in the closet for Dad to see it?

“It must be under my bed now.” I said. That was the only other place I could think of for it to hide.

Dad chuckled and walked over to my bed. He got down on his fours and stuck his head under my head. “Nope. Nothing here.” He sat back up resting on his knees. He took my hands in his smiling.

“You’re okay. There is nothing in here. We have an alarm system, no one can get in.”

“It’s not no one, though. It’s a monster or something. It doesn’t need to come through the front door.” I stated.

“Maria, there are no such things as monsters.” Dad stood up and tucked me back in again forcing me to lie down once more. He kissed me on the forehead and walked back over to the door.

“I’m right down the hall if you need me.” He winked turning off the light again. Then he closed the door.

I pressed my lips together trying to keep my nerves in check. The room was pitch black once more and my vision wasn’t adjusted to the darkness.

I looked back over at my closet. Dad forgot to close the closet door.

The yellow eyes were back.

And this time he brought a friend.

Words: 744

Read Part Two.

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September 2016 Wrap Up


I read most of the books I had planned on reading this month. Time got away from me when I started back at work halfway through the month, but I still read a good amount. My Reading List has been updated with the books I read and reviewed this month.


My writing was non-existent this month. I started off strong in the beginning, but then once I had to get back into my day job routine, everything kind of fell apart. There aren’t enough hours in the day, but I’m playing around with different schedule ideas. I’ll see what works and hopefully get back into a routine soon.


I did manage to get a lot of blogging done, though. I had most of my September posts done by the time the first week of September ended. So that was a load off my shoulder to say the least.


September wasn’t as productive as I thought it would be. But I had worked on other things and tried to write whenever I could. I have a plan for the next couple of months, provided I can get myself into a good rhythm balancing work and life.

Posts to Remember

1. September/October 2016 Writing Contests
2. Top Ten Things To Do When You Lose Internet
3. 5 Quotes by Mark Twain
4. Guest: When and Why Did You Begin Writing? With Topaz Winters
5. Guest: When and Why Did You Begin Writing? With Nthato Morakobi

How was your month? Did you get your goals accomplished? Let me know in the comments!

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Blog Round Up: September 2016

September 2016 Blog Round Up

The Looking-Glass, Part 1
How To Make Lemonade When Writing Gives You Lemons
Still Can, Still Am | A Poem
First Signs of the New Season – Fall 2016
What’s Your Sign?
Saoirse & Connor: Ch.1
Just Thought I’d Point That Out
Seeping Scarlet Screams 

Apparently, all the posts I bookmarked this month were writing-related… I’ll try to have more of a variety next month!

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Thinking Ahead

September is almost over. I feel as though the month dragged on, but now that the end is just about here, I feel as though the month went by too fast.

I didn’t get as much done as I planned to this month mostly because of work, but I’m still trying to figure out ways I can still be productive without burning myself out. I’m always planning ahead.

October begins at the end of this week, which means a lot of things for some people. Autumn is officially here, Halloween is coming up, and pumpkin everything. But, if you’re a writer, you think of one thing:

NaNoWriMo prep time!

I’ve known what I wanted to write for NaNo for the past few months now. I think I decided what to write at the end of July, the last Camp NaNo session.

Last November I wrote a novel called Second Chances, which I think came out very well and I enjoyed writing it. But I probably won’t continue that novel for a while.

The year before, I didn’t write a novel at all. I wrote short stories.

This year I’ll be doing the same thing. I’m going to write my Short Story Sundays ahead of time for 2017.

My Short Story Sundays are mainly flash fiction, but some do run a bit longer. And who knows? Some stories may turn into actual shorts and some might even turn into novella or novel ideas. So some shorts I write in November may not actually appear on the blog.

Either way, I’ll be able to get new ideas out of these short stories while getting a little ahead on my blog for next year. Every little bit helps.

The reason I’m not working on a novel this year is because I already have two novels I’m currently editing. I’m hoping to spend some of my NaNo time editing at least one of those novels if it’s not too much between writing 2,000 words a day on top of my day job.

Kris and I are still trying to work at least one hour every day on one manuscript, though we’ve missed pretty much this entire month. We’re going to try again between now and the middle of October and then swap manuscripts to look at each other’s work.

Both October and November will be busy months, but I’m determined to find a rhythm that works to fitting in work, writing, editing, blogging, reading… and whatever else I do in my life.

Plus, even though November is NaNo, I only have two full weeks of work due to voting, Veteran’s Day, and Thanksgiving. So I’ll definitely take advantage of those days and there’s always the weekends.

I just hope that I can remain focused on those ideas.

Have you started thinking about NaNoWriMo yet? Let me know in the comments!

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Short Story Sunday 128: Storm

            Lucy checked the weather upon waking up that morning. It was bright and sunny already outside at six-o’clock in the morning. The summer heat was rapidly increasing as it was already almost 80-degrees. It was supposed to reach 96 within the next couple of hours with a chance of thunderstorms later on.

She didn’t mind this. Now that she was working part time at her job, she didn’t care what the weather would be like. If there was going to be a lot of rain later on, at least she would be home. Even though she would rather go swimming in her pool after work thanks to the heat, she didn’t mind the rain. She’d curl up on the couch with a book instead. The rain would be a good excuse for her to lounge around.

The rain started the moment she got home from work. First it was a light drizzle and then it got heavier as minutes past. Lucy made herself some macaroni and cheese for lunch. She stared out the window as she ate mesmerized by the drops of rain smacking against the slider glass door. She loved watching the rain drip down making streaks of water along the door. Sometimes it made little pictures, just like the clouds did. Other times it just looked like water and the door was wet.

She loved the sound of the rain as it pitter-pattered against the windows and the roof above her. She closed her eyes with a smile across her lips listening the steady beat of the rain.

Then she felt the mist.

Lucy opened her eyes and looked up above her in a slight panic. There wasn’t a leak in the roof, was there?

No, her skylights were just open.

Lucy jumped off of the couch and grabbed the pole to close the two windows. She hooked one end of the pole to the window on the ceiling and twirled the other end around as the window slowly closed. Once she couldn’t turn it anymore, she moved onto the next window.

She put the pole back up against the wall behind a cabinet and drew in a deep breath. She was so hot. The house was awfully muggy. The mist from the rain coming through the skylights actually didn’t feel so bad.

She wiped some sweat off her forehead and then glanced back over at the slider door. Lucy cracked a smile. She opened the slider and the mist from the downpour hit her through the screen door.

Without another thought, she opened the screen door and stepped out onto her deck bare-footed. The air was warm, but the rain beating against her skin was cool to the touch. She outstretched her arms and tilted her head up with her eyes squeezed shut. The rain poked at her face and arms almost like it was giving her a nice massage. She giggled.

Lucy stayed out there for only five minutes, but it felt much longer. She listened to the rain pound on her deck and felt it poking at her skin. It was refreshing, it was relaxing.

When she was finally soaked from head to toe, she decided it was time to head back inside unless she wanted to get sick.

She stepped inside her house closing and locking the slider door once more. Lucy tip-toed through the house as though that would help keep the floor dry. Though her footsteps stained the kitchen tile and rain water dripped from the ends of her hair.

Lucy made it into the bathroom and stripped down immediately. She struggled with her shirt as it stuck to her, but she managed to shimmy out of it instead of trying to pull it over her head. Then she stepped into the warm, steaming shower allowing another water massage.

Words: 637

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The Magnus Covenant by Toni Pike

The Magnus Covenant by Toni Pike book review by Rachel Poli
Via Goodreads

Title: The Magnus Covenant 
Toni Pike
Genre: Religious Thriller
How I got the book: I got a free digital copy from the author in exchange for an honest review

Summary (from Goodreads):

The fate of the world is in the hands of one man and the covenant holds the key.

The Reverend Jotham Fletcher is in Rome to give a lecture on his PhD thesis about Simon Magus at the church where he fell to his death beside the Roman Forum. Magus was a cult leader mentioned in the Bible and his libertine sect disappeared by 400 AD.

But did it really die out?

A robed man is pushed from the belltower of the church at midnight and Jotham becomes the prime suspect. His lover Antonella, an expert on ancient documents, has a shocking secret. Rumours fly about a papyrus scroll that mentions Magus. A ruthless Catholic Brotherhood will stop at nothing in their hunt for the Simonian Sect. And a reclusive billionaire has the chance of a lifetime to get his revenge.

Jotham is kidnapped, tortured and on the run. He races from Italy to England to Sweden. But the body count continues to rise and so does the heat in this non-stop thriller that will leave you breathless.

My Review:

The Magnus Covenant was an interesting read, to say the least. The religious aspect of it was a fun twist and created a whole new meaning to the usual standard murder mystery.

Jotham goes on quite the adventure as he tries to figure out what exactly is going on. In the end, you find out the reason behind everything and Jotham, despite everything he went through, realizes that he needs to stop it.

Like Jotham, I felt as though I didn’t really know what was going on in the story. There was no clear motive right off the bat. Being a mystery, that’s fine. We’re supposed to figure that out.

However, I even had a hard time following the characters. There were a lot of page breaks switching between each character’s point of view (especially in the beginning of the book), but the point of views were all third-person. So there weren’t any need for page breaks and sometimes the character switch went to a character who wasn’t part of the main cast, which confused me even more. A lot of characters were introduced at the beginning and it was hard to follow.

The book was a quick read and each chapter was about three pages long. But there were sometimes about five or six page breaks and it made the story jarring to read.

While I liked the characters, Jotham, Antonella, and even Iago at the end, I couldn’t relate to any of them. When someone died, I didn’t care. The dialogue was a bit bland at times so often I had to reread what they said because I found myself not paying attention.

Overall, the plot drew me in. I was curious about where the story was going to end up, who killed who and why. It was a unique thriller and a fun mystery to follow, but I think I would have been into it more with a different set of characters.

The Magnus Covenant by Toni Pike gets out of 5 stars.

Favorite Quote:

“There was a subdued round of applause. It was far too polite, as if they were not there for the lecture but for the fireworks that came afterwards.” –Toni Pike, The Magnus Covenant

About the Author:

After graduating from the University of Sydney, Toni progressed from being a veterinary surgeon to a high school teacher and then a public servant in Canberra, the capital city of Australia. Her husband Jon was in the Air Force and, while raising two beautiful children, they had several years living in England and America. Toni’s main passions are family, writing and travel – in that order.

Connect with the Author:

Website | TwitterAmazon | Goodreads

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