Circle Of Life

2015-10-09 09.54.13

I hate to be the barer of bad news, but on November 2, 2015 we had to put down my best friend, Hunter.

I know it’s been over a month, but I was too upset to really talk about it. I usually post a eulogy-type post whenever one of my pets pass away. Hunter and I were very close so I wanted this to be a good one.

I’m not the best at poetry, but once I started I just kind of rolled with it. It turned out to be a bit on the longer side, but nevertheless I hope you enjoy it and it does Hunter justice.

You were a stray when I found you sitting in my yard.
We played together all the time,
We never missed a day.

You walked into our lives just at the right time.
Auntie had just passed away and our dog was not far behind.
So when you watched us load Casey into the car to be taken to the vet,
We knew you were a sign that everything was alright.

“I guess I should take him to the vet,”
Dad said upon realizing you were here to stay.
“We have a neutered two-year-old son.”

You put up with a lot in our busy household.
Two girls under the age of five,
A golden retriever who turned out to be your best friend,
And later along came Chip, your little sister in dog form.

You waited for me late at night to come home,
See my car pull in from the window and come greet me at the door.
You’d help me brush my teeth and then tuck me into bed.

You were energetic and mischievous,
Sometimes you didn’t even act like a cat.
The house was never quiet with you around,
As you used to howl late into the night.

In the summer of 2015,
You got sick—not once, but twice.
We didn’t know what was wrong.

We knew you were aging.
We blamed the heat.
We wondered if it was your time to go.
It turned out you had just lost two lives.

So on Halloween night,
Little did we know,
You were on your ninth life.

We took you to the vet.
“We think his kidneys are failing.”
They said they could run some tests.
“Don’t put him through anymore than he already has been.”

We lost you that day.
It wasn’t unexpected,
But it was just as heartbreaking.

You were probably about 20-years-old.
You lived a long, fulfilled life.
We were happy together,
We were lucky you walked into our lives.

You were mine for ten years.
I am so grateful for those ten years,
But it still wasn’t long enough.

However, with bad news come good news. About two weeks after we had to let Hunter go, we had my sister’s, Lisa, baby shower.

It was a rubber duck theme because it was a gender reveal shower and Lisa loved Sesame Street when she was little and loved Ernie singing “Rubber Ducky.”

2015-11-14 10.47.47

We got two cakes, one for people to eat and one for the gender reveal. We brought the gender to the bakery in an envelope so we didn’t know what the gender was. The baker then put blue or pink frosting in the middle of the cake.

It was a lot of fun. We made pink barrettes and blue bow ties so people could wear their guesses. Kris and my mother cheated and wore both pink and blue. I chose blue while my friend chose pink. We were very competitive about the gender.

Of course, I didn’t care what the gender was. It was just getting to the point that I wanted bragging rights.

Halfway through the shower, my sister and her husband cut the cake.

2015-11-14 14.18.31I’m having a nephew!

It still hasn’t quite sunk in yet that I’m going to be an aunt of a little boy.

So aside from reading and writing, that’s what’s been going on in my life lately. And I didn’t even touch upon my friends, work, the holidays… Life is busy and hectic, but it’s been good to me for the most part.

Excerpt: Hunter

There are about five days left of Camp NaNoWriMo. I have hit 50k in my novel Hunter, but the story is far from being over.

I wanted to post an excerpt to you guys since you’re the one who voted for me to write Hunter for Camp in the first place.

I ended up deciding to post the whole Prologue. I think it’s a pretty decent teaser of how the story is going to unfold.

The prologue is when the protagonist, Cat, is just a baby so she’s not even in it. But you do get a good sense of her parents (and their relationship); especially her father, who is a huge character throughout the novel.

I haven’t worked out the timeline just yet. Cat is 16 in the first chapter, so you can imagine that the prologue is 16 years earlier… whatever year that may be.

Here is the summary of the novel in case of you don’t remember:

Cat Webber is the daughter of big-shot Cedric Webber, founder and owner of X-Terminate; a company that rids mutants off the streets to keep humans safe. Raised as a Hunter, Cat believes all mutants are bad simply because they’re different from humans. However, her morals are questioned when she gets to know some mutants; especially Brandon Hurst.

Brandon Hurst is a mutant who can teleport and bend time. He knows some secrets about X-Terminate and Cedric that Cat doesn’t know. Cat is curious to find out what Brandon may or may not know. It’s not until she discovers her father is killing off the mutants that Cat struggles with her choices: taking her father’s orders or standing up for what she believes is right.

Please keep in mind that the prologue was proof-read for typos and minor errors to be posted on here, but it isn’t edited. This is first draft material.

Enjoy.

            The house was quiet except for the rush of water pouring from the kitchen’s sink faucet. Steam rose from the bottom as the hot water slapped against the dirty dishes. The scent of dish soap wafted in the air as Christina Webber squirted a small dab of liquid soap onto a sponge. She wiped her forehead with her arm, careful not to let the rubber glove scrap against her face. The young woman scrubbed a dinner plate with all her might, sighing as she put it on the drying rack next to the sink. She looked to her left at the digital clock on the microwave.

9:10 PM. He was late again.

Christina grunted in frustration. She was getting tired of her husband always missing dinner. She picked up a baby bottle in the sink and scrubbed that clean. She stared at it before putting it on the drying rack. Her husband was not only missing dinner with his family, but he was missing out on being with their daughter.

It wasn’t until Christina finished washing the dishes that she heard the front door open in the other room. She took off her rubber gloves and placed them in the cabinet under the sink. Her husband would be getting no warm welcome from her.

A tall, stocky man entered the kitchen. He stood in the doorway watching his wife as she folded a dishtowel and placed it inside a drawer. She shifted her eyes trying to see her husband without actually looking at him, but she couldn’t see out of the back of her head. Christina finally gave in and turned around. She leaned against the counter staring at her husband leaning against the door frame.

“Cedric,” she said; it was the best greeting she could come up with.

“Good evening, Christina.” Her husband smiled. He walked towards her with his arms open wide readying for an embrace.

Christina turned her head and walked over to the stove. Cedric stood by the sink with his arms still stretched out for a moment. He frowned, slowly lowering his arms down by his sides.

“Okay… what did I do now?” he asked.

“How was work?” Christina replied wiping down the top of the stove.

“Busy,” Cedric teetered his head to the side as if he was trying to remember what happened that day. He walked across the tiled floor and sat down at the circular kitchen table. He folded his hands together resting them on the surface and watched Christina clean. “How was your day?”

“Fine,” Christina continued to give him the cold shoulder.

Cedric sighed. He scratched the top of his head wondering what to say.

“I know you’re annoyed with me, so just come out and say it.” He said through gritted teeth. He tried not to be angry with Christina, but he couldn’t stand it when she didn’t talk to him like that.

Christina paused in her cleaning and turned around. She leaned back against the stove glaring at her husband.

“What caused you to miss dinner again? I thought you were supposed to be home by six. I had a chicken cooked and ready to eat at six o’clock for you. I waited until 7:30 before I decided to eat without you.” Christina explained.

“I’m sorry. I should have called.” Cedric stood up from his chair and walked over to his wife, his arms stretched out again.

“Should have doesn’t cut it.” Christina glared at him. She walked away before Cedric could pull her into an apologetic hug.

Cedric took a deep, calming breath trying not to lose his temper. He knew Christina had a right to be angry with him; he just didn’t like it.

“I’ll call next time.” He stated.

Next time?” Christina turned around, her narrowed eyes burning into him. “There shouldn’t be a next time! Cedric, you leave for work at six in the morning. Why is it that you need to work over 12-hour shifts? You should be home by three in the afternoon when you leave so early.”

“Do you really think it’s that easy to run a company?” Cedric glared at her, his temper slowly getting the better of him.

“Just because you’re the owner doesn’t mean that you need to be there 24 hours a day, seven days a week. What about James? He can handle the company while you’re not there.” Christina countered.

“James is busy with other things I give him to work on. I can’t ask him to do everything.” Cedric shrugged his shoulders. “I’m the one in the charge. I have to do the big-boy work. Sometimes it takes all day.”

“Just sometimes? You have a life outside of work, you know. Or did you forget that?” Christina snapped.

Cedric swallowed a lump in his throat. He rubbed the back of his neck, turning around to leave the room. Christina shook her head in disgust knowing that he was running away from their fight.

“How old is Catherine going to be tomorrow?” she called right as he made it to the doorway.

Cedric stopped and looked at her. “Six months. Do you honestly think I don’t know how old my own daughter is?”

“Seven.” Christina corrected, her voice getting caught in her throat. “You’re daughter will be seven months tomorrow.”

“Right,” Cedric cleared his throat, “Seven. That’s what I meant.”

“Where have you been?” Christina whispered through teary eyes. She wiped her face and sniffed before any tears could make it down her cheeks. “You’re missing everything.”

“You and Catherine both will be thanking me 20 years from now. She’ll be  able to go to a good college because we can afford it.” Cedric narrowed his eyes.

“She’s seven months. Do we really need to think about affording college at the moment?” Christina asked softly.

Cedric grunted. He turned away exiting the kitchen. Christina closed her eyes, squeezing a tear out. She took a deep breath trying to compose herself when Cedric walked back into the room with an envelope in his hand. Christina opened her eyes as Cedric waved the envelope in the air.

“I noticed this on the coffee table when I walked through the front door.” Cedric stated.

Christina glared at him. “And you read it?”

“It was opened.”

“I don’t care. It’s a letter addressed to me.”

“Then don’t leave it out in the open next time.” Cedric shrugged.

“Why not? Is this not my house? I can’t leave my things anywhere I want?” Christina glowered at her husband. She wanted to raised her voice, but knew that would only make things worse.

“Why is Robert Acton writing to you?” Cedric demanded.

Christina narrowed her eyes trying to figure out what Cedric was getting at. “I used to work with him before I had Catherine. He writes me every so often asking how we and the baby are doing.” She answered quietly, cautiously. She didn’t know how Cedric was going to react; not knowing what was going through his head.

“You shouldn’t be talking to him. In fact, he shouldn’t even have a job!” Cedric hissed slapping the envelope down on the kitchen table.

Christina raised an eyebrow.

“I don’t want you talking to him anymore.” Cedric placed his hands on hips looking all around to room, avoiding his wife’s gaze.

“I’ll talk to whoever I want.” Christina countered standing straighter.

“You shouldn’t be associated with him in any way, shape, or form.” Cedric glared at her. Christina took a step back knowing this look on his face all too well, but she managed to stand her ground.

“He’s an old co-worker. He’s a friend.” Christina stated as calmly as she could, but her voice shook in the slightest.

“He’s a mutant!” Cedric raised his voice.

“He’s a human being.” Christina retorted. “So he may be a bit different from us, but he’s a person nonetheless.”

“Damn it, Christina!” Cedric shouted slamming his fist on the kitchen table.

Christina watched unblinking as her husband threw a temper tantrum. She didn’t respond, not wanting to feed into her anger anymore than she already did.

A faint cry came through the baby monitor sitting on the counter. Christina closed her eyes, groaning. She glared at Cedric shaking her head.

“You woke the baby.”

“You can go soothe her.” Cedric grunted. He sat at the table with his head buried in his hands. “You’re her mother and I’m apparently not a good father for trying to make money to provide for my family!”

The baby cried louder as he shouted again. Christina rolled her eyes at his dramatic speech. She walked across the kitchen floor to leave the room.

“Then while I’m soothing our child, you can get some extra blankets and pillows out of the storage closet.” She ordered as she left the room. “You’re sleeping on the couch tonight.”

Cedric glared at his wife’s back, but didn’t respond knowing her comment meant the argument was over. He picked up the envelope and took the letter out. His eyes glazed over the words re-reading Robert’s friendly conversation with his wife. He growled through gritted teeth before making it to the end of the letter. He tore the paper in half a few times until it was shredded into small pieces.

Update: Hunter

Week one of Camp NaNo has come and gone.

I’ve been writing Hunter, book one of The Hunt trilogy. I’m 24,277 words in; nearly halfway there to the finish line.

The novel started off great and then slowly turned into… Well, a first draft. I’m getting down the ideas of the plot, but it’s going to need a lot of editing, as it should.

I’m using the sticky note app on my computer to keep track of editing notes for myself as I write. The editing notes are getting pretty long, but I guess that’s a good thing. It will definitely help me out in the long run.

My only concern is that I’m not sure if there’s going to be enough information for a trilogy. I have ideas and a plot for each book in the trilogy, but I don’t know if they’ll be long enough to stand as their own novel.

I was thinking I might make one novel titled The Hunt and break it into three parts; each being the three “novels” of the “trilogy.” Then again, that’s something to figure out way later once I have it all written. It was just a thought that popped in my head, though.

The main character, Cat, has been developing not as smoothly as I would like. She grew up hating mutants because that was how she was raised to think. She hunts them down for a living. Throughout the novel, she’s supposed to realize that mutants are people to and not all of them are bad.

Well, she’s coming to that realization, but it kind of happened overnight. So that needs to be fixed a bit.

Plus, I need to do math. One of the mutants can go back in time and I need to figure out everyone’s ages and the years and such.

I don’t like math. I like English.

That will certainly be interesting trying to figure out when all is said and done. In the meantime, I’ve been putting all the ages and years in bold to remind myself to check it later.

Nobody has time for math.

If you’re participating in Camp, I hope it’s going well for you! If you’re not, I hope you’re writing is treating you well all the same. If you’re not writing anything… Well, happy Thursday to you!

And The Winner Is…

I received 19 votes on last week’s poll, What Should I Write for Camp NaNo. I have to say that the results were kind of close. All three novels were tied up for most of the race (which was why I spammed my social media accounts for more votes).

In the end, one did pull ahead and actually stayed in first for a while. The winner is…

Results

Hunter!

The picture might be a bit hard to read, but Hunter came in first with 9 votes. Cybertra and A Job To Get Done both came in second with 5 votes each.

I have so many novels that I’ve started and never finished because new ideas always pop up in my head. These are only three of the many novels that are half-finished.

A Job To Get Done was started a long time ago at a writing session with my sister at Barnes & Noble. I forget how the idea came to me, but it was spur the moment as I couldn’t decide what to write that day. I did write it for Camp NaNo one year, but didn’t get too far. The novel only has seven pages written.

Cybertra was a novel inspired by Iron Man. I decided to write that for Camp NaNo one year and never finished. The novel has 97 pages written.

Hunter was yet another Camp NaNo novel (trust me–I didn’t think of that when I put them in the poll together… I only knew they were all started and never finished. I remembered I wrote Cybertra for Camp, but not the other two). Believe it or not, I never finished that one, either.

However, Hunter is actually already completed. It was the second novel I ever wrote and finished at 221 pages. I started writing the sequel shortly after completing only the first two chapters before I came up with the idea for George Florence.

A few people mentioned they didn’t agree with me writing Hunter because then I would be writing two series at once. I agree with that, but I need a change of pace (no offense, George!) and need to write something different. I think a month is a good enough break.

I’ve edited Hunter a few times and while editing the most recent draft I realized it needed some serious rewriting. So, that’s just what I’m going to do for Camp.

Despite it being part of a series, you guys actually picked the “easiest” one for me to write. Wish me luck!

I hope you all know what you’re writing for Camp; we have about 20 more days.

Thanks to all those who voted! I think it’ll be a great camp session!

Goodbye 2014!

Via Pinterest
Via Pinterest

I feel like I wrote Goodbye, 2013! just yesterday. I blinked and now the end of 2014 is here and 2015 is right around the corner. Time sure does fly.

Last year, I decided to go through all my blog posts for 2013 and highlight them in one post in an attempt to recap and say goodbye to 2013. I am going to do that again to say goodbye to 2014.

Let’s see what happened in 2014…

January:
-I went over my New Year’s resolutions
-I continued to write Detective Florence and completed it
-I came up with the Short Story Sunday feature on my blog
-I started writing Inspiration Station
-I had a schedule of writing 5,000 words a day and changed it to writing 5,000 words Monday-Thursday, editing Friday-Saturday, and relaxing on Sunday
-I discovered the Reading Bingo and challenged myself to it
-It was Kris’s birthday

February:
-I decided to write only 1,000 words a day when school started
-I completed two Reading Bingo squares by reading Coming Clean and The Hobbit
-I continued to post my Short Story Sunday throughout the month

March:
-I planned on editing more than writing to help prepare for April’s Camp NaNoWriMo
-I completed another Reading Bingo square by reading I, Robot
-I was nominated for the Liebster Award

April:
-Camp NaNoWriMo started and I wrote Diary of A Killer
-I discovered the website Noisli
-I was nominated for the Beautiful Blogger Award and the Howler Award
-Easter happened plus I was busy with work and school… I got behind on Camp NaNoWriMo
-I got 1,000 followers on Spilled Ink

May:
-I lost Camp NaNoWriMo
-I discussed what “Success” is
-I joined Critique Circle
-It was Spilled Ink’s two-year anniversary

June:

–Edited Detective Florence in preparation of Camp NaNo

July:

–Camp NaNo: wrote Detective Florence 2
Trying to balance life, writing, work, school, etc.
–I accidentally saved over my Camp NaNo novel (150 pages and 44k words) with my Short Story Sunday with five days left of Camp NaNo
–I wrote 50k in five days to beat Camp NaNo

August:

–I beat Camp NaNo in, more or less, five days
–I updated my Reading Bingo with many novels
–I discussed how my English degree is basically in nothing
–I got a new job
–Lucky Seven Challenge with Detective Florence 2
–I currently had 15 WIPs… yikes.
–I came up with a writing schedule for the rest of the year
–I went to Disney and discovered the “Writer’s Stop” store and met Peter Pan
–Reality checked back in after vacation with school starting, work, Sunday school, etc.
–I wanted to enter some contests, but missed the deadlines

September:

–I turned 21
–School started with a few creative writing classes
–Cookie the Beagle joined the family
–I tried to come up with a routine to balance homework, writing, etc.
–I discuss why I became a teacher, go to school, became a teacher/director or the Sunday school, write, etc.
–I updated everything in my life with my sister’s wedding coming up as well as November NaNo.

October:

–I decided to edit Take Over and plan to write Far Away for NaNo
–I started editing Take Over which I noticed I’ve grown as a writer in the past year or so
–I watched “Authors Anonymous” and the screenwriter contacted me. It also inspired a new potential story idea
–I watched a NaNo video on Blurb
–I decided to give myself a reward of one dollar for every 1,000 words I write for NaNo
–I changed my mind again and decided to write short stories for NaNo

November:

–I bought a new fish named Nano
–NaNoWriMo started and I wrote Short Story Collection and came up with new ideas for novels
–I did my best in balancing homework with NaNo
–I planned on finishing NaNo by Thanksgiving and did it
–I came up with a new novel idea called Fire and Ice
–I won NaNo
–Thanksgiving happened and I made a list of all I’m thankful for
–I compared NaNo 2013 to this year’s NaNo
–I edited while on vacation and discussed how that’s the best time to write

December:

–I came up with a plan for my Detective Florence series
–I finished typing the second draft of Detective Florence
–I wrapped up yet another semester of my Bachelor’s degree and made it out alive and with good grades
–I hand edited the first draft of Detective Florence 2
–I changed the title of my blog, bought the domain name from WordPress, and made some slight layout changes

So much has happened in one year. Some good, some bad, but I think it was mostly good. I’m happy to be where I am right now. I have a wonderful job, I’m going to school, and I’m on my way with my writing. There’s nothing for me to complain about.

Here’s to another great year in 2015!