Please tell me at least a few of you continued on with the song from Tangled. Because I love love love that movie. So, for those of you who are a bit obsessive like me, here it is…
Okay back to the post. This week’s topic is Writing dreams and aspirations.
And I assume we’re talking beyond the obvious… be incredibly famous, make millions of dollars and win endless awards dream…
Okay, so what would I like to accomplish? I’d really love to have a series or a book go bigger than they do. I’m not talking millions of copies, but… I guess I sometimes don’t feel like I’ve ‘made it’, ya know? As if there’s a certain minimum level of recognition or distribution that has to be met before people stop considering what I do a ‘hobby’. Yes, I’m rolling my eyes. You know the type… because you work from home it’s not REAL WORK. Despite the fact I spend hours upon hours doing this NON WORK.
Unfortunately, I’m not sure I know what this magical level is that would make me feel as if I’d truly made it as an author. Maybe it’s a traditional publishing contract. Maybe it’s hitting a list. Maybe it’s just finally feeling completely in control of my career—a path I’m taking steps on. I recently regained the rights to the majority of my books, so getting them back out there under my own terms feels like a step in the right direction. But I still feel as if I have a long way to go. Like understanding marketing. I keep trying but then epically fail. Every. Time. And it’s hard to get your book in front of new readers if you’re not getting the word out. I just wish I knew how to do this…
As for other dreams… I sometimes dream about having my own actual publishing company. Something far beyond self-publishing and one that authors could trust and actually want to publish with. Though, in these days of questionable companies, I think convincing folks you’re honest might be the ultimate challenge. We’ve all been burned… I waffle on this a lot. Not just because of what it would take to get it going but because I know it would end up being so much work. Far more than I’m probably aware of… and I’d end up just wanting to write, again.
And if I’m going to be perfectly honest here, I’d love to have a book be turned into a movie. (maybe more than one, lol) Of course, I’d probably have issues with who was picked to star in them, because I know we authors are very particular about our leading men and women. And wouldn’t it just be dumb luck that someone you truly disliked got picked, lol.
So, I feel as if I didn’t do this topic justice. I think it’s because my dreams are quite simple—make a living to sustain myself completely on writing and graphic art. I’ve had some success with this but I’m not really where I need to be. And I think that would be enough for me. Maybe that’s the elusive… made it… level.
Anyway, go check out the other ladies. I’m sure they have far more in-depth ideas.
OMG… everyone sit down. I actually wrote this ahead of time. I know… no one is more shocked than me, but… once I saw the lyrics, the story just popped into my head. And it’s great, because I’m actually camping with my daughter as we speak. We decided to do a last minute mom-daughter adventure. Hopefully, it’s as awesome as I think it’ll be…
Anyway, the song is GHOST by Halsey. I’ve never heard it before, but I enjoyed it. You can listen to it below…
For the story, I have jumped into Lucifer’s head. It’s sort of an outtake between him and Michael and a bit of a setup for Lucifer’s book… not sure when that will be but most likely next year. Anyway, here’s the resulting story…
Lucifer groaned inwardly, closing his eyes as Michael’s voice echoed inside his mind. While he generally enjoyed being a thorn in Michael’s psyche, now wasn’t the time for the other angel to turn the tables and tap into Lucifer’s. “Christ, Mikey, if I’d known you’d use this connection to check up on me every fucking time I ventured to my sanctuary, I never would have made it in the first place. It’s bad enough you ‘sense’ me traveling through the wards.”
A hesitant sigh sounded from his brother, followed by a long, slow breath. “I’m not checking up on you. Not, really.”
Lucifer laughed. “So, you’re inside my head because you wanted to chat? And to think I was still planning on kicking your ass the next time we met.”
“Must you make it so hard? Every time?”
“Try telling me the truth, and maybe I’ll be more reasonable.”
“I’m not lying. I didn’t call out to you as a means of spying on you. I just wanted…”
Lucifer stilled at the desperate quality in Michael’s voice. He hadn’t heard that tone since his big brother had pleaded with him to bow before humanity—that last peaceful moment before he’d been cast out.
Lucifer straightened, ignoring the indignant huff of the woman sleeping beside him. He didn’t often bring humans to his sanctuary, but tonight was different. He’d wanted to escape—to pretend for a few precious hours that he wasn’t an outcast. That somewhere, someone missed him—felt the same empty hollow in the pit of their stomach, as if a piece was missing.
He glanced at the woman. She resembled Grace—same golden shade of hair, with delicate features and pale skin. But that’s where the similarities ended. And he knew, he could parade an endless number of women through his door, each one a better replica than the one before, but none of them would be her—that her soul was forever lost to him.
He released a weary breath. “I’m still here. Can’t really go anywhere, can I?” He chuckled. “Okay, you’ve got my attention. Why did you ring me up if you’re not trying pinpoint my exact location?”
Silence stretched between them until Michael grunted. “I told Grey this was a bad idea. That there was just too much…shit between us. But you know how Fae are—forever optimistic, especially where family is concerned.”
“You’ve lost me, brother. What has your mate got to do with you chattering away inside my head?”
“Grey thinks we should…talk more. About regular stuff. Try to bridge this gap between us.”
Lucifer chuckled. “Your faery prince thinks we should be besties? How quaint.”
“He didn’t…seriously, Lucifer? Must you mock everything and everyone?”
“Need I remind you that until Gabriel’s fire mage decided to summon my ass from the fiery depths of Hell, in a desperate attempt to stop Abbadon from torching all of humanity, I hadn’t seen any of you since… Well, since the night Dad tossed me out. Which was on this very night, a few thousand years ago, if you’re keeping track.”
“Fuck… Tonight’s the anniversary?” He sighed. “I didn’t…”
“Whatever. Though I’m glad that bit of grace I left inside you has loosened that stick you used to have shoved up your ass. Or maybe Greyson did that. Tell me, how is mated life treating you?”
Lucifer’s stomach clenched as the words rolled off his tongue. What the Hell was he doing? The last thing he needed was to be reminded of what he’d really lost that night so long ago—who’d he’d lost.
Michael’s sharp intake of breath drew his attention. “Are you…okay?”
“I thought you wanted to talk about regular things?”
“I do, it’s just…even for you, you sound…off.” Michael murmured something Lucifer couldn’t make out. “It’s the anniversary, isn’t it? I should have realized…”
“It’s been a couple of millennia. I think the initial shock is over.”
But the pain of losing Grace—the part of his soul he knew he’d never find again, even if his father ever forgave him. If Lucifer was ever welcomed back home—that never lessened. Never stop poking at him. It was the one festering wound he couldn’t heal.
“You say that, but…all those echoed thoughts in your head I’m picking up on… I don’t believe you. I think it’s still as fresh as it always was. And I think it will be until you get back what you lost.”
“No one can give me back what I lost, Michael. Not even Father.”
“That’s not true. There’s always a way back home.”
“Is that why you think I’m upset? Because I can’t go home? Christ, I don’t think any of you ever truly knew me.”
“But…what else is there?”
“As if you don’t know.”
There was no mistaking the tightness in Michael’s voice. The edge of fear that hadn’t been there before.
Lucifer huffed. “You really don’t know?”
“I’ll say it again. Know what? Dad cast you into Hell. What else is there to know?”
“How about the part where I wasn’t alone?” He swung his legs over the edge of the bed then pushed to his feet. “Why did she have to pay for my choice? Explain that to me, big brother!”
“She?” His breathing kicked up. “I don’t understand. Who are you talking about?”
Lucifer groaned. He needed to derail this conversation. Now. “It doesn’t matter. No one can change what happened, and I have to spend eternity knowing she died because I wasn’t strong enough to save her.” He scrubbed a hand down his face. “I’m tired. And I’d rather spend the rest of this cursed night with the lovely lady sleeping in my bed, so… if we’re done here.”
“Lucifer. Please. Talk to me. Who died? Who fell with you?”
He chuckled. “If you really want to know, why don’t you go ask dear-ole Dad. I’m sure he’d love to chat. Say hi to Greyson for me. We’ll talk again.”
Lucifer cut off the connection, building a barrier even his father wouldn’t be able to break. Then he leaned against the wall, staring out the window at the starlit sky. Grace would have loved it here—the rocks. The moonlight. The endless silence. But he hadn’t gotten the chance to bring her. Just another regret to add to the list.
He raked his hand through his hair, watching a shooting star light up the sky, as a ghostly image of her wavered in the distance. His mind playing tricks on him as it did every year on this night. And if she seemed just a bit more real this time, it was only his imagination. She was lost, and despite her parting words, he’d never find her again.
Now please go and visit the other ladies. My apologies if I don’t have everyone listed who joined in. Camping means no wi-fi, lol. But I’m sure they will be listed.
The summer is half over… at least by school standards. I don’t want it to end! Sigh. It’s also time for another promptly penned. I’ve missed a couple of flash fictions, so… jumping in for this one. This month the prompt is…
S/he gripped the rim of the porcelin sink and tried to steady his/her hands.
“One last time,” s/he whispered to her/himself. One. Last. Time.
Once again it’s super late… I know. One day I shall be prepared, just like the goat/ram/sheep? in Hoodwinked. Promise. Today is NOT that day.
“Christ, Shane, what’s taking so long? Everyone’s expecting an encore. You can’t just blow it off.”
Shane Driscoll glanced at his manager’s reflection in the mirror, instantly wanting to slap the judgmental look off the man’s face. Tom had no idea the toll simply performing had taken on Shane. Just thinking about having to walk back out on stage…
He suppressed the shiver that threatened to shake through him, splashing more cold water on his face. “I need another five minutes.”
Tom’s left eye twitched before he plastered on a fake smile. “I realize you’re probably tired—”
“Tired? I haven’t slept in the same crappy hotel room for two nights in a row since we left Montana four months ago. I told you I didn’t want to be gone that long, and you promised me you wouldn’t let it get out of control. Yet, here we are, balls deep in concert dates with no damn end in sight.”
“You can’t stay on the top of the charts if you don’t give your fans what they want, buddy.”
Shane glanced at the man. They weren’t buddies. Never had been.
Tom continued, apparently obvious to Shane’s glare. “And they want you strutting on stage—tight pair of jeans, that cocky smile of yours breaking hearts. Do you have any idea how crazy women are over you?”
Shane shook his head. “This isn’t what I wanted my music to become. It’s not supposed to be about whether or not my ass looks good in some denim, or if I’m sporting a six-pack. It’s about the melody, the lyrics. About making songs that matter.”
“The songs can matter once you’ve been at number one long enough no one will forget your name. Ever.” Tom moved a few steps closer. “You’re poised to be the next Johnny Cash. But that won’t happen if you hide away. So, drink, smoke, pray. Your choice, but get your ass back out for one more round. You’ve got a few days off after this one. You can hide all you want on the bus.”
Shane didn’t answer, watching the other man disappear out the door. Right. A few days off. On his way to another town. Another stage where his music got lost behind strobing lights and artificial fog. He’d told Tom he wanted to keep it simple. Him. His guitar. A backup band. Nothing fancy or fake. He just wanted to be…him. Shane Driscoll. Real. Unplugged. But Tom got caught up in the ugly side of the industry. The one ruled by money and fame. Shane just didn’t know if Tom had forgotten his roots, or simply never had any.
Shane took a calming breath, staring at his reflection again. Ten years. That’s how long he’d been chasing the neon lights, trying to make it big. He’d been thrilled when Tom had offered to take him on—make him a star. Not for the money or the fame, but for the chance to share his message. Hopefully inspire people to change for the better. But somewhere along the road, he’d taken a wrong turn, and his dream of using his music to make a difference had gotten lost.
Or maybe it was just him who’d gotten lost. Who’d forgotten what it was like growing up in a three bedroom shack with four other siblings all vying for a spot. How he’d had to work three part time jobs just to earn enough to help out his mom and still buy the guitar Mr. Wilson had set aside for him. It’d taken him six months, but he’d never regretted it. Hell, he still played it.
Another round of pounding sounded on his door, followed by the hollow echo of cheering voices. And he knew he couldn’t stall much longer. Not without going another ’round with Tom. And Shane wasn’t convinced he wouldn’t simply sock the other man in the eye before storming out. After all, this is what he’d wanted, wasn’t it?
He gripped the rim of the porcelin sink and tried to steady his hands. He’d figure out how to switch gears—get back to his roots. Find a way to make his music matter, again.
He glanced at the door, smiling as Tom’s voice boomed through. Hell, yeah. He was going to make some drastic changes, and he’d start by getting himself a new manager. One who understood what his music truly meant to him. Who didn’t try to commercialize it for a heftier profit. Who had earned the right to call him buddy because they were.
He just had to make it through one more song.
“One last time,” he whispered to himself. One. Last. Time.
And that’s it for me. Now jump on over to Bronwyn and Jessica to see their stories.
Hi All. I’ve been AWAL for a bit…summer is just so busy. But I’m popping in for the monthly top 10. This month, it’s the Top 10 Character Traits I Like Writing… I’m sure there won’t be any shocking surprises here, lol, but let’s see. There’s no particular order to these, just what sprang to mind…
1 — Intelligent. I thoroughly enjoy writing characters who could be considered ‘gifted’ in this area, mostly because I find intelligence sexy. Just look at Spencer Reid from Criminal Minds… who doesn’t want to climb that man like a tree 🙂 Or Charlie Epps from Numbers…
2 — Brave. I think we all want to believe we’d have the courage to put our own lives in danger if needed. I enjoy carrying this over to my characters. Men and women who are willing to conquer their own fears and put it all on the line to save those in need.
3 — Adventurous. It’s no secret that all of my books involve action/adventure. Regardless of the genre, it’s in there, somewhere. And I think that’s because I enjoy activities that make your heart pound and your pulse race.
4 —Independant. Maybe it’s because I sometimes question my own, that it’s so important for my characters to have this. Sometimes, almost to a fault and they have to learn how to let others in. To get help…but that’s all part of the journey.
5 — Stubborn. But not because I’m stubborn. I’m not. No, seriously, I’m not.
6 — Funny. Who doesn’t find a sense of humour sexy as Hell? I think it’s one of the most important traits in a partner. Because being able to laugh when you really want to cry is a gift. It has a way of making everything better.
7 — Romantic. While I love my alpha men, well, alpha. I also think it’s important that they have a sense of romance. That they’re willing to dig into their softer side for their partner, male or female. Sometimes you have to make a fool of yourself to show just how much you care…
8 — Possessive. Okay… not always a great trait, but I do sometimes enjoy writing (usually guys, I know, I know. I’ll work on that) That are completely focused on their mate. I try not to have it cross the line into being jerks, but… there’s something innately hot about a guy who wants you all to himself… in theory. And not in every aspect of your life. There’s a fine line between being charmingly possessive and being an abusive stalker dude.
9 — Athletic. I think because it’s such a big and important part of my life, I have it cross over into my characters. They don’t all have to be martial arts specialists, or SEALs. But, most of them love to go for a run, lol… no one is surprised.
10 — Confident. Like intelligence, confidence is sexy. But I try to make sure my characters aren’t overly so… we all have situations that make us feel less than confident, and I think it’s important to show all sides of our characters.
And that’s all for me. Visit the other ladies and see what’s on their list.