Friday, September 19, 2014

2014 Novel Series #9: Pieces

So this was book 9 of the year, the first book written for July's Camp NaNo. I finished it in 13 days which is funny because there are 13 books in the series. Anyway, I then took a mental break and wrote a scene for a completely different world. I planned a bit of the 13th novel, wrote Best Friend: The Body Part Fairy and moved on the to the 12th book of the series.

This one wasn't as hard to write as the ones prior. It looked back to the events before Face Snatcher where James was on his own as a profiler and basically helped people. Also, this is the book that (with Dammit_Woman's help) inspired Best Friend: The Body Part Fairy. I was giving everyone body parts so...yeah. ONWARD!

Genre: Thriller/Mystery

Word Count: 67,010

Prompt: Voltaire's Ex Lover's Lover:

Main Characters: James Reeves, Mia Liu, Lucy McGregor, Michael Brown, Sable Abella, Gavriila "Karma" Saytakhmetov and our killer.

Minor Characters of Note: David Jones and his boyfriend Andy Smith (again, I know), Cade Golding, Patterson, and, Voltaire - the singer, animator, musician.

Summation: An old case that James tried to solve comes back to haunt him. It was his first official failure but not because of something he did. Now he has a chance to catch the killer who is systematically sending all the survivors of James' prior cases the body parts of the killer's new victim.

High Points: Voltaire.

Low Points: Michael, kind of.

The World: Ours. I'm going to be so glad when I don't have to type that...

Memorable Lines:

(James is 22 here:)
"It'll be fine, kid." Rogers (a much older detective) said.
James scowled. That was the other thing he hated about being a decade younger than the youngest detective. They all called him kid, son, sport, or boy because of the age gap. James had always hated those kind of nicknames.
"I am not a child, nor am I the offspring of a goat." James told him.

What if I were to cut you up and mail each part to a different town? It would take the most brilliant private eye the rest of his life just to put you together. Are you ready to play again Mr, pardon, Detective Reeves?

"Okay. So, what exactly is going on?" McGregor asked.
"Um, there's a severed finger in the box." Izzy said.
Sable dropped the folder she had been holding. Mia cursed under her breath and began moving the boxes and files off the table. McGregor raised her eyebrows and strode towards James. He offered her the box and true to whom she was; McGregor pulled a pair of bagged latex gloves out of her back pocket before taking the box.
"Huh. Do I dare ask where the rest is?" McGregor questioned.
"You can ask but you won't like the answer. The rest won't be coming for a while." James said.
They all looked at him like he'd lost his mind. The funny thing was that he was sure he had just found it.
"What?" McGregor asked.
"I've worked this case before. It won't end like it did the last time." James said.
"Okay. I'm going to go get my kit. Then we can get updated on the old case." McGregor said.
"Two old cases." James said as she started walking away.
"What?" McGregor questioned.
"Oh, James saved me from a serial rapist eight years ago." Izzy said.
"Of course he did. He's James." McGregor said.

"I wondered why I recognized the note." McGregor said.
"Bet you thought you were going crazy, huh?" Mia asked.
"Not really. I recognized the song lyrics." McGregor said.
"Song lyrics?" Michael asked before James could.
McGregor looked at the speakers then at James. It had been a song. No one had figured that out. They had simply thought it was a way for the unsub (The Puzzler) to taunt them.
"You guys had no idea it was a song?" McGregor questioned.
"No." James answered.
She snorted then started half-singing, half talking:
"What if I were to cut you up and mail each part to a different town? It would take the most brilliant private eye the rest of his life just to put you together, a piece in each mail box all over the planet, from Moscow to Tokyo to Guadalajara. I wait for the day when I finally defile, the bodies of my ex-lover's lovers. I'll pile high to the sky, the bodies of my ex-lover's lovers. I wait for the day when I finally destroy, the bodies of my ex-lover's lovers. It's a song called "Ex-Lover's Lovers" by Aurelio Voltaire." McGregor said.
"You okay over there?" Mia asked.
"I'm fine and not lying about it this time." James said.
"Oh, good. I guess you just needed to be given a severed finger in a box." McGregor said.

"He moved to live in Woodborough, followed the cases we worked on, and is now physically watching each survivor just to taunt me. I would be flattered if this wasn't so morbid." James said.

"Who gets the job of sewing that (the fingers to the palm) back together?" Mia asked.
"Sable." McGregor said.
"Huh?" Sable gasped.
"Hey, you're my assistant so you get the jobs I don't want to do. Plus it'll be fun putting the hand back together. Oh and you need practice with sewing body parts back to the main body. You're great at closing wounds but this is entirely different."

"Well, you found him. Hello Detective. Whatever it was: I didn't do it." (Hehehe)

The surviving victim of the Face Snatcher (blind among other things) :
"I never got to see what any of my rescuers looked like. That hurts."

"Now I know why dorogaya fits in so well with all of you. You are all weird." Gavriila said.
"It's an exclusive club." McGregor said.

"Well it's an excuse to bring you all over to the dark side with me and give you Gothic make-overs. This is going to be fun."

"Nah I'm good. Besides, it'd be weird to jump to protect James, you know?" Mia replied.
"Why would it be weird?" James asked.
"Cuz you're a guy and generally guys protect women." Mia said.
"Oh. Sorry?" James tried.

"I love you." (Brown)
"You do?" Gavriila asked.
"Yeah. You're my 42." Brown told her.
"And you did not even have to use a masterball." (Ha)

"You can say it, Ki-, detective. I know I made a mistake. I should've listened to you." Rogers said.
Eight years. It had taken eight years for James to hear Rogers admit that. It was not as satisfying as James had thought it might be. James was glad for that at least.
"But hey, I didn't think a 22 year old that looked so damned young could be right on something as simple as whether or not to go to the media. I should've known better with your track record and education." Rogers said.
This was getting out of hand...

"I know you made them for yesterday (McGregor made James cookies for slapping him), but, oh never mind. You know I'm giving most of these to Michael, right?" James asked.
McGregor snorted.
"I know. You've got to keep your girlish figure and all."

"It wasn't. Yeah I got all my homework done before 8PM and could spend my nights reading ahead in textbooks or just reading. But everyone who befriended my used me for homework help or passed off projects on me. No one wanted to be the one to pick me for a partner unless it was for a project that had a huge grade percentage attached then they'd trip over themselves and make me do all the work. Then there are the accusations of plagiarism, cheating, and the glares you get when you correct a teacher? Not worth it." (McGregor on being the smart kid)
"Would you give up being smart in order to be normal?" Sable asked.
"Never. Normal's over-rated." McGregor said.

"Though I'm not sure why I'm not improving." James said (about shooting)
"It's totally your eyes. Have you noticed that very few cops wear corrective lenses? There's a reason for that." McGregor said.
"I figured as much." James said.
"You could get laser eye surgery." McGregor told him.
"Well," James started.
"Then again there was this scene in "Final Destination Five" where the laser freaks the hell out and ends up making the hot chick's eye melt. When she finally gets off the table she trips on the button eye that popped out of the teddy bear she was squeezing and fell out the window. Then her other eye popped out. It was awesome though I'd never trust one of those machines." McGregor said.
"I don't like the thought of lasers penetrating my eyes." James said.
"Good reason. Why don't you wear contacts?" McGregor asked.
"Let me modify my last statement: I don't like the thought of anything going near my eyes including my own finger." James said.
"It figures you'd have ommetaphopia." McGregor said.
(It's the fear of looking people in the eye - he can still do that- or have anything going near your eye. Fun word for the day. :D )

"And I'd like to eat nothing but chocolate all the time and never gain an ounce. We don't always get what we like."

"Serial rapists are always fun."
Sable was sure McGregor's perception of fun was screwed up. Then again this was the woman watched horror movies and shows to point out what was wrong with them. It made sense that McGregor's perception of fun was off.

"Don't worry about it Michael. We can never win them all."

"You should watch "The Walking Dead." McGregor told him.
"Why?" James questioned.
"Zombies. Is there any other reason needed?" McGregor asked.

"He went to the library where my mother worked every other day for the entire time he's lived here." James said. (He is the unsub, the entire time is five years. Creepy, no?)

"I know, I know, I can't keep looking towards the past because I'll miss the future." James said.
"Oh look, I've trained you to lecture yourself." Mom said.

Friday, September 12, 2014

2014 Novel Series #8: Bloody X-Mas

So yeah, this novel totally shares the same name with a novella I wrote about a Christmas Horror Story. Yes, a horror story involving Christmas. It's free so check out the store. It's also beta-read only cuz I don't have the funds to get anything professionally edited. That in itself is a long story.

Anyway, this was novel 8 of the year, book 10 of the series which still has no name. It was completed sometime in June. June also marked the over 600,000 words in the year point. Oh, and I should mention that these novels weren't the only thing I counted towards MilWordy. There were a bunch of short stories and a few novellas as well. ONWARDS with the summary.

Genre: Mystery/thriller

Word Count: 81,842

Prompt: Er, bloody snowmen. Don't ask. My brain is really weird.

Main Characters: James Reeves, Mia Liu, Lucy McGregor, Sable Abella, Michael Brown, and the killer.

Minor Characters of Note: Karma (Gavriila Saytakhmetov), Michael's online girlfriend. And if I'd know she'd become his online girlfriend I would've given her an easier Russian name. Let's say them together shall we? James, Mia, Lucy, Sable, Michael, Gavriila...ha. Anyway: David Jones, his boyfriend, and Cade Golding. They're ALL back.

Summation: People are being strangled to death then buried in snowmen with just their heads sticking out. Eventually they get stabbed to death so the snowmen become bloody.

High Points: Michael and Gavriila becoming a thing, well, more than a thing. Yeah. All their conversations.

Low Points: The last few chapters because, well, I can't say or I'd completely ruin the ending.

The World: Ours

Memorable Lines:
"Faku it's cold." Mia muttered.
"Well, winter does that." James said.
"Yeah well, winter can fuck off." Mia returned.

"Well, let's head out. I was finally nice and warm too." McGregor said.
"I haven't even gotten warm yet." Mia told her.
"Sucks to be you." McGregor retorted." McGregor retorted.
"Yeah, yeah." Mia said.
"It's supposed to be "I know, I know". You know, like the song?" McGregor said.
James had no idea what McGregor was talking about but smirked at the look Mia gave her. Sable was pursing her lips to keep from giggling. Mia shrugged into her coat without breaking the glare she was giving McGregor.
"Yeah, sorry, I'm not a living Prozzak song." Mia said.
"Such a perfect opportunity and now it's completely wasted." McGregor said.
It was good that they could joke. it was one of the few things that would keep them sane doing what they did.

"Good news: she was strangled before being buried in the snow. Bad news: she's been here for 12 hours. This happened sometime around 9PM last night." McGregor said.

"I have a feeling this is going to be exceptionally difficult." James said.
"Oh yeah?" Mia asked.
"Yes." James answered.
That wasn't good. James was usually right on with his instincts. It was what got them on the Witch Hunter Case and what helped them with basically everything else. If James said this was going to be hard then it was going to be hard.
"How hard are we talking here?" Mia questioned.
"Probably one of the harder ones we've dealt with." James told her.
Yeah, that wasn't good.

So a bit of set-up: They found the first body at 9AM. It's now around 10PM on the same day:
James' phone rang and they all looked at it. He picked it up with a frown. Brown never called and the receptionist downstairs didn't know the particular name they would be looking for. Sable knew this call was not going to be good news.
"Pardon?" James asked.
His eyes were wide and he had become stiff in his chair. James scowled, thanked the person on the other end and hung up. He stood and Sable knew there was no way she was going to get her assignment done when James spoke:
"We have another body."

A better summary of the pace this is going to be set at:
"Second (victim) in 12 hours, well 13 now and we haven't even talked to the first victim's family yet. Brown just got the information on the first victim an hour ago because we just identified her two hours ago, give or take." James said.

"Anyway, thanks for sticking around and have a good night." James said.
"It's all up from here. Good luck." Davis (an officer) said.
James couldn't help but grin at that. Davis was right though. His and Moore's night couldn't get any worse.

Drag0n:D'aww course I'll ask kitten.
Brown waited for the impending nickname of doom.
Karma: Good. I'll leave you to it.
She left. Brown blinked at the screen and paused the videos. She hadn't called him out for calling her kitten. She hated being called kitten. At least, he thought she hated being called kitten. Maybe because they were kind of a thing she liked it. Brown shook that out of his head and went back to the videos.
...(Doesn't last long...poor guy)
Drag0n: I called you kitten.
Karma: ???
Brown rolled his eyes. She wasn't going to make this easy and he'd never had a girlfriend (he's 27). That was kind of sad. (ha) He tried not to think of that as he typed.
Drag0n: Before you left. I called you kitten and you didn't say anything. Why?
Karma: So?
Drag0n: I thought you hated that...
Karma: I got used to it...and we're kind of a thing or something so it's better than any other nickname you could give me.
It didn't make sense to him. If she hated it while they weren't together she should hate it more now that they were. Getting used to it made sense but despite Brown being called Mike or Mikey his whole life he still hated it.
Drag0n: Okay.
He wasn't going to argue. Obviously she thought differently than him and he wasn't going to try to find the logic in her thinking. It might make his head explode and he really should be watching the video footage.
Karma: Get back to work, dorogaya. ;)
Brown watched as she left again and wondered what in the Hell she'd just called him. He didn't know any Russians besides her and had to resort to Google Translate. Brown grinned when he saw it meant "dear" or "sweetheart." It didn't sound like it would be a sweet thing but he supposed that was Russian.

It was too fucking cold to be standing in the snow. It was also too fucking early to be out in the cold. At 7AM a call had come in about another person buried in a snowman at the park. (That's 3 in 22 hours.)

"Yeah, spree killer with no pre meditation or warning kills. It's like this guy woke up one morning and decided he was going to strangle people to death and bury them in snow. That doesn't happen. There's a graduation, a pattern to follow. They don't just wake up and say "I think I'll kill someone today instead of making eggs for breakfast. It doesn't happen like that." (This shouldn't have been so funny...)

"I think my brain may have liquefied and come out my nose or ears."

"You're awesome. When we have more than 12 hours between bodies I'll bake you some cookies." McGregor said.
"Yes. Cookies. Dragon-God likes cookies. They make his tummy smiley." Michael said. (This is what happens when you get 3 bodies in less than 24 hours apparently...)

"James is calling the family now while Michael looks for footage and an id on victim three. He's also seeing if there's a link between the two. I feel like we're being over-shadowed." McGregor said.
"We're doing all we can and he's doing all he can. It just happens we deal in blood and guts while he deals with ones and zeros." Sable said.
McGregor stared at her until Sable looked up with wide eyes and a flush.
"That was the most profound thing I've heard come out of your mouth after being awake for this long. Congrats." McGregor said.

Karma: Everyone needs mental help and if you don't then you're weird. (This is why she became a recurring character.)
Brown couldn't help but grin at the pet name. It was such a stupid thing to get giddy over but every time her message box came up he smiled and got a weird feeling in his chest and tummy. Brown wondered if he should get that checked out.

He didn't want to see her failing, not now, but James had a feeling his wants weren't important.

"It's fine. One of us needs to be somewhat awake. James was asleep when you got here anyway." McGregor said.
"Yeah but he was injured." Sable said.
"He seems to be doing that a lot lately. We need to wrap him in bubble wrap." McGregor said.

"But you almost saved (victim four's) life." Sable said.
"Good point but there's a big difference between almost and did." McGregor told her.

"Your girlfriend wants you." Mia said.
"That's a good, wait, she's not my, well, we're, it's weird. Shut up." Michael said.
What was weird was that he barely left his office, was hardly socialized, and had a girlfriend. Well, a female that was more than a friend but less than a girlfriend. It was too odd to think about with no sleep.
"You're more than friends but not dating. Got it. Too bad she's the ocean away. You can't even be friends with benefits."

"Yeah that. Hey look, we have the start of a profile. Did you see the sketch artist yet?" McGregor asked.
"I was about to grab one." Mia said.
"Good, just don't be too touchy. They don't like it." McGregor said.
Mia blinked at that and looked to James. His eyebrows had risen a bit. Yeah, he was shocked that McGregor, not Lucy had made a joke. Michael was right to use some combination name. The two were combining.

"I'm too tired to think completely straight." McGregor said.
"You're not straight anyway." Brown mentioned.
(Yes, he came DOWN from his office to eat with them.)

"Look at me." James said.
"Huh?" McGregor asked.
"He wrote "Look at me" in the victim's blood." James told her.

(Guy taking a video with a phone as Mia and McGregor are putting a body in the CSI van):
"You think this is entertaining?" McGregor asked.
The guy's eyes went wide and the people around him backed off. He shook his head in the negative but kept staring at McGregor. That took balls. He didn't stop the phone from recording and didn't lower the camera.
"How would you like it if it was your mother, sister, or girlfriend in that alleyway, dead and someone was recording what was going on to get views on YouTube?" McGregor questioned.
At this the man paled and shut off the phone. He slinked back into the crowd and McGregor began moving the stretcher again. (By the way, victim 7 in four days.)

The fucking Targaryens talked about waking the dragon. They knew nothing. The bastard had woken the Dragon, God of All Hackers, Seer of All, and Burner of anyone who got in his way. This asshat was not going to get to a victim nine.

"Is it weird that you're making the person whose job is to cut up people, cut up the turkey?"

(James relays an entire conversation every one thought he missed):
"All right Mr. Smartass." Mom said.
"I don't know how you do it Boss." Michael said.
"It's a talent. He used to read fiction during all his classes but still got all the homework done perfectly before anyone else and had the highest marks in every class." Mom said.
"That's Dr. Smartass by the way. I have a degree, remember?" James questioned.
Mom rolled her eyes but Michael laughed. Mia and Lucy smirked.
"Well Dr. Smartass, you keep your butt planted in the chair while me and my little helpers deal with dessert and clean up." Mom said.
Mia stood at that but Lucy remained seated with a smirk. Mom gave her a look.
"You said little. I'm as tall as Dr. Smartass." Lucy said.
"You can cut the pie." Mom said.
"Yay, more cutting things." Lucy said.
She paused in getting up, considering.
"I really shouldn't be excited to cut things, should I?" Lucy asked.
"Hey, as long as you know it's weird." Mia offered.

"They need to see. They need to wake up. They need to see my snowmen. They love my snowmen."

"No. I had a feeling this was going to get worse before it got better. I'm not sure when it's going to get better."

"You cut up dead people, right?"
"That's the simple way to put it but yep." McGregor said.
"It was either that or become a surgeon. At least if they're dead I can't kill them worse." McGregor said.

"So, top or bottom bunk?"
"Bottom this way if I roll out of bed I won't have far to fall." McGregor said.
"Why would you roll out of bed?"
"I'm used to a King size, not a double. Less space lends to thinking you have more space and boom." McGregor explained.
They burst out laughing. Sable was right, McGregor had become more personable. That meant she and Lucy were blending more than anyone thought. It used to be a scary thought but now McGregor welcomed it. Maybe she could become whole.

Friday, September 5, 2014

2014 Novel Series #7: Child

You know why I had to take a break from writing this series? IT WAS FREAKING EMOTIONAL. Seriously, every book dealt with some new horrible thing my characters had to work through and this one wasn't any different. And you know how I took a break? I put them all into a post zombie apocalyptic world and killed them all. Yeah, that's how I take mental breaks.

Anyway, this was novel 7 of the year completed on May 24th. This is also novel 9 in the series which at the time of this writing I still don't have a name for. May also marked six months I'd been working on this monster. ONWARD!

Genre: Mystery/Thriller fiction

Word Count: 65,777

Prompt: This one's actually such a bit spoiler that I can't mention it. Sorry. ;)

Main Characters: James Reeves, Mia Liu, Lucy McGregor, Michael Brown, Sable Abella, and the killer

Minor Characters of Note: Patterson Chief of police who still doesn't have a first name, James' mom.

Summation: Kids are ending up with teeth pulled out stuffed in trash cans with angel wings carved onto their backs. Each kid is a bit older and each one looks like they could be related to the ones prior

High Points: I, huh. WAIT! James calling Sable by her first name, meaning they're friends now and her calling him by his first name. I knew there was something good in this thing. Oh and Michael and Karma become more than friends. ;)

Low Points: Everything else.

The World: Ours

Memorable Lines:

"Okay. I'll complete the cycle." - The Killer

"Are you okay?" James questioned.
"Ask me that one more time and I'm sticking this pen up your ass." Mia told him.
"Um, okay. If you need any, um, feminine things," James started.
"I'm fine. Drop it." Mia broke in.
Boy Scout Detective of the Year was an understatement when he was willing to get one of his female partners' pads or tampons. More men should grow up with a single mother if they turned out like him.
"Dropping it." James said.

"I think we're dealing with two unsubs or an unsub that has multiple personalities."

"Stupid question time: you okay, Boss?" Michael ventured.

"Your mom really needs to learn time management skills or something." James said (about Mia to her cat).
Marty meowed in agreement. At least James liked to think the cat was agreeing with him. For all James knew Marty could be tossing insults at him in cat. (Ha)

"Can we not talk about boobs?" Brown questioned.
"I thought you like boobs. And hey, I like boobs so why not?" McGregor asked.

"He's spending more time looking for a victim that resembles him almost completely. It takes three days for him to be done with the victim and then he disappears. How can we catch a man with nothing?"

Death was a fact. Everything that at one point had taken breath would die when the body could no longer support it. Sometimes death wasn't the fault of the body and was the fault of outside sources. McGregor knew it was her job to determine what outside source had caused the death of 12 year old Simon Haley.
Simon Haley had died en route to hospital after being found by a young woman who had stepped off to one side so she could answer a text. That was when the woman had seen the blood, screamed, and alerted the five or so people around her to a problem. Every one of those people would have nightmares for the rest of their lives.
McGregor tried not to think about how one murder could affect so many lives in an instant. Haley's parents and younger brother were destroyed. The half dozen or so people that had seen Simon in the trash might never be able to look at a trash can or walk down that street again. The paramedics would go to sleep tonight and every night with the knowledge that they had not saved a 12 year old boy.
It was up to her to finalize the death, to figure out why he had died, and to witness how horribly he had suffered. McGregor let out a final breath, snapped her protective gear into place and approached the body of Simon Haley.

"You don't have to work so hard to impress any of us you know." Reeves said.
Sable couldn't think of what to say. He knew. It figured he would know. He had gone to school to learn how to dissect a person's brain while they were still breathing. All her knowledge of dissecting a dead person meant nothing to that kind of education.
"I, well," Sable tried.
"Lucy's all ready got you on a first name bases. That's impressive enough since it took her a year to start calling me by my first name. We bonded after she got hit by a car." Reeves said. Sable tried not to laugh but couldn't help it. Trust Lucy to bond with someone after one of them got hit by a car.
"That was during the Chopper case, right after we managed to chase down (unsub) and just before we brought him in while he tried to get a seventh victim. It took her longer to call Mia by her first name and longer still for Michael. You don't have to impress us. We all know what you're capable of and it's good things, really." Reeves said.
Sable could only nod. He gave her another grin and suddenly he was James. Sable wanted to tell him but kept her mouth shut. She was still Abella to him.
"We should head back to the station, Sable." James said.

Karma: I need your help with something.
Brown had figured that. Normally he wouldn't mind but this was potentially FBI stuff. Karma had been recruited by the FBI because he had said she was ready. If she needed his help this early in her recruitment than Brown hadn't been thinking straight.
Drag0n: FBI?
Karma: No.
That was good.
Karma: I think someone's hacking into my system.
That was bad.
Karma:: You're fast.
Drag0n: It's probably why I'm single.
Karma: Outside graphics suck, the smells are sometimes shitty, but there are a lot of interesting things out there. (I totally agree with her.)

"It's difficult, not education wise. I can handle that. It's the mental and emotional part. I had to sit there and listen to parents talking about how their dead little boy went missing last month. I can't stop thinking about how tough it was for them to tell their younger son that the older one wasn't going to come home ever again.
"Before that I had to listen to what the unsub went through as a child, how his parents abused him and how he suffered from Dissociative Identity Disorder because of the abuse. The whole reason the unsub's doing what he's doing is because of his father beating him up as a kid. I don't know if I can keep hearing about all this stuff."

"Yes, yes I know. I like that you know how I feel every time you go out running late at night." (James') Mom said.
"I'm running. If anyone could catch up to me while I was running it would be a feat." James said.
"Oh please, you can't outrun bullets," Mom started.
"And I can't outrun a car. I know. But you're," James broke in.
"Older, less fit, and an easy target. You tell me that enough and I might start believing it" Mom finished. (They've obviously had this conversation before...haha)
"What don't you know?" Mom asked.
James frowned. There was a lot he didn't know. Where (unsub) was hiding was at the top of that list.
"Too much. Good night." James said.
"Don't think too hard. No one can know everything. Good night."

"You're working with James Reeves and Mia Liu to find the Tooth Fairy, right Ms. McGregor?" a reporter asked.
McGregor looked at the woman and the young, blonde, too pretty, reporter gaped before taking half a step back.
"That's Detective or Forensic Specialist McGregor. That's also Detective or Doctor James Reeves and Detective Mia Liu. Back off. I've got a dead body in a trash can to saw free." McGregor said. (This is why she has a shirt that says she doesn't play well with others ;) )

"It's going to be okay."
"I'm not so sure about that."

"Why did (unsub) take the teeth?" McGregor asked.
"(unsub) didn't take the teeth. He took the teeth." (unsub) said.
"Who's he?" McGregor questioned.
"The other one. The bad one. He suggested giving away the pain but it worked."
"So, why did he take the teeth?" McGregor asked.
"He wanted to keep them." (unsub) said.
"Why?" McGregor questioned.
"I don't know. He buried them in places around the city. A different place for every tooth in a place that could be dug up with his hands. They're in flower pots, parks, school grounds, everywhere in the city. No one will ever find them all." (unsub) said.
That was a little over 100 teeth buried throughout the city. McGregor felt a chill race down her spine but refrained from acting on it. The look in (unsub)'s eye had changed. Unsub had become him. He was grinning now. It was a grin that made McGregor wish she had more than just Raven to cuddle up with tonight. She caught Sable shiver out of the corner of her eye. This was going to give them both nightmares.
"Why?" McGregor asked.
"Because it was fun." The voice said.
"So you're the one who hurt those kids, killed two and hurt my partner?" McGregor asked.
"Yes. But I won't be in court. The new one, maybe (personality one) or (personality two) will but I won't come out." The voice said.

"I'm alive. That counts for something, right?"
"Yeah but there's a difference between being alive and living."
"Yes, well, how do you live after something like this?"
"You keep putting one foot in front of the other and remembering that despite everything you're still capable of doing a lot of good. We're all here for you."

"I know. We all did. I wish I was good at profound shit so I could help you better but I'm not." Brown said.
"It's enough that you're here, really."

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Achievement Unlocked: MilWordy

For those of you who just found this blog: welcome. Take a minute to look around and make sure you understand that I'm generally insane when it comes to word count and writing. A testament to this insanity is the sole fact that I undertook the MilWordy challenge for the third year in a row.

What is Milwordy, you ask? Why, it's the goal/challenge/insanity to write one million words in a year. Some people modify that goal (like me) and try to write a million words in less than a year (also like me). I know three people who can write a million words in a month. What those million words are depends completely on the person.

For me the goal was to write a million words from January 1 to November 30 which is the end of National Novel Writing Month. Last night, August 29th at about 8:30PM I wrote my one millionth word. It was "down." How, bleh.

Anyway, those million words DID NOT include Tweets, comments on forums, blog posts, or work related stuff. It is 1,000,000 words of fiction spanning across 11 novels, various short stories and a short story turned novella turned ongoing thing that's now novel sized. For a more detailed review keep checking my Novel Series tab under the 2014 year.

It's kind of funny that I'm writing this post now. At the beginning of the year I had set out to write two books a month then failed miserably by March. I wasn't even sure if I could get to the million and here I am three months early. I'm about 99.9% sure this happened last year too thought I think I hit the million in the beginning of August. Meh.

The difference between this year and last year is that I've still got a series to finish and another single book I really want to write. Maybe a short story for some kind of submission thing going on in October. I'm not likely to stop like I did around this time last year.

Now I know anyone reading this blog post is asking how in the HELL I wrote a million words. It's simple. I have no life. I have two friends who work opposing schedules to me so I see them once a month if I'm lucky. I have no kids, no significant other, and really no other hobbies besides reading and writing. When I get home from work (9AM -5PM) I eat dinner, go to the gym then write.

My average word count per hour is 2,000. During November or Camp NaNo months, it's closer to 3,000. If I'm researching something it's about 1,500. That means in about 2 hours I can write a 4,000 word chapter, maybe more, maybe a bit less.

Also: PRACTICE. Like I said somewhere up there this is the THIRD time I've completed Milwordy. I didn't wake up on January first and say "I'm going to write a million words this year because I've never done this before." I woke up and said: "Well, time to start writing another million words."

I've been writing for close to two decades. For the first 15 or so years of my writing career (of sorts) I wasn't really writing as much as I probably should have. The last four years have shown the most output solely because of National Novel Writing Month. I would not be sitting here celebrating my third Milwordy win in a row if I hadn't found NaNo back in 2010 and beat the challenge by 50K.

I owe every story to Nation Novel Writing Month and if I could donate my words in monetary increments every year I would. If I ever get around to self-publishing properly and actually making enough not only to survive but to have a lot of extra disposable income, NaNo is one of the places I would donate large amounts to regularly.

But I suck at marketing. I've said it before: I am a writer. I don't know how to edit. I don't know how to promote and I sure as heck don't know how to make a living off my writing. I just write. That's all.

For those curious folks, here's a look at my monthly stats and what I wrote:

Word count: 84,755
Novels: Dryer finished on January 11. The start of Witches.
Other: Various summaries, queries, and pitches that never got sent out.

Word count: 142,503
Novels: Witches, Car Jacking
Other: Continuation to Lies.

Word count: 124,571
Novels: Hunter
Other: Short stories set in the mystery series universe (called Memories) and a character from one of my other worlds meeting another character for the first time.

April (Camp NaNo)
Word count: 145,067
Novels: Disease Finished on April 13, start of Trust
Other: Memories, and more with the other characters from a different world.

Word count: 125,308
Novels: Trust finished on May 2 and Child finished on May 24.
Other: Memories, and back to the other world.

Word count: 96,563
Novels: Blood Christmas
Other: Memories, other characters again.

July (Camp NaNo)
Word count: 148,522
Novels: Pieces finished July 13, Senses finished July 31
Other: Best Friend, some planning for The Tattooed Man, another scene for other characters

Word count: 134,191 (as of the 30th)
Novels: Zombies finished on August 16, The Tattooed Man
Other: Planning for Mists of Time, November NaNo project.

Note: My online WC says 1,004,287 but if you add the above totals you'll get 1,001,480 meaning I miscounted on my personal tracker. I'll fix it when I'm not so lazy about checking from Jan to April.

Now that I've update the people who follow this blog I'm off to write three chapters (or so) for the last book in the Mystery series I've been writing since November 2013. This is book 13. I'm losing my mind.

Until next time: questions, comments, rants, rage and everything in between can be directed to the comments.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

2014 Novel Series #6: Trust

This was probably one of the hardest books in the series to write. Why? It deals with suicide. I'm one of those people who sometimes thought that the world would be better off without me and went so far as to plan how I would die. So yes, this one was quite personal for me and there were a couple of times I had to sit back and wander around online so I could keep my head together.

Trust is book 8 of the 13 part series, book 6 of the year, and the second book I wrote during April's Camp NaNo. I finished it on May 2 which brought my April Camp NaNo total to 145,067. My goal had been 70K but then the whole NaNo excitement set in and I went a bit crazy. My cabin didn't win but we wrote 500K in total. It was awesome. Onwards to the details:

Genre: Mystery/Thriller fiction

Word Count: 77,312

Prompt: Being honest: Saw. Originally the killer was supposed to be a psychologist who captured suicidal teens and put them through a Saw-esque test to see if they wanted to live. When I mentioned the name of the psychologist, he informed me that he wasn't the killer. It changed a bunch of things but I like it better.

Main Characters: James Reeves, Mia Liu, Lucy McGregor, Michael Brown, Sable Abella, and our killer.

Minor Characters of Note: Patterson the Chief of Police, David Jones (yeah, he came back), Cade Golding, and Brent Mitchelle.

Summation: Crazy person kidnaps teens and puts them in a sort of trust game, hence the title.

High Points: Lucy finally getting her cat. She was supposed to have had one for the whole series but it didn't happen until this book. I'm not sure why but it worked out.

Low Points: The entire freaking novel because of subject matter.

The World: Ours.

Memorable Lines:

"It's a trust game, right? I mean that's all life is too: a big trust game. You have to trust the people around you to help you when they say they will and all that. So, this is like life. You either trust that I'll be back before you like, starve to death or dehydrate or well, you don't." Killer to his first batch of victims.

"You do know that sometimes this shit happens and the people wanted to disappear, right?" Brown asked.
"I know but I don't think this will be like that." James said.
Brown looked at him and scowled. Boss had a feeling this wasn't going to be a normal missing person's case. The last time that had happened they had lost their person in Cynthia Fucking Myers.
"Yeah?" Brown questioned.
"Yes. This is different. I'm not sure how but it's not a case of three teens simply running away together." James answered.
Yep. They were fucked. Brown wouldn't be getting any sleep for at least two more days unless the rest of the team couldn't make sense of what he had. But this was his team. They would figure out what was different almost as fast as his system could pull all the information.
"I have every text you've ever sent in your entire life. Think about that for a minute." (This is why Brown is called Dragon-God)

"I'm not being replaced by Lucy, am I?" Mia asked.
"I don't think she can take down unsubs or kick in doors like you can. You think of things differently than her and I. We're logical, sometimes too logical, where you're more, well, not emotional but you see things like a human being. We don't sometimes. We need you." James said. (Foreshadowing...woah...)

"What if the perp knows they're suicidal and hates that?" Mia asked. (And the prize goes to Mia! Self doubting can take a hike.)

Brown wished he could keep his big mouth shut. It would keep him out of a lot of problems. He couldn't. That just wasn't in his coding.
"Do you really need to find him?" Brown asked (Lucy about her father).
That was the one thing he couldn't understand. Finding Chang wouldn't change who she was as a person. It would give her a full identity but it wouldn't change how she'd been raised or what choices she'd made up to this point. It probably wouldn't even effect what choices she'd make in the future. Hell, it could make everything worse, especially if Chang didn't accept her or believe her.
"Yes." Lucy replied.
Brown wondered if he could re-code his brain so he knew when to stay quiet and accept things. That wouldn't happen until he could figure out how to upload his brain onto the net. That might take a few more decades.
"Why?" Brown enquired.
He could feel McGregor's stare on him and turned. It was McGregor. She was glaring and scowling. That was always a bad combination.
"I just need to." McGregor said.

She was switching more than she had before her mom died. Brown knew it was because Lucy, the weaker half was still dealing with the death and couldn't handle complicated conversations that dealt with emotions yet. McGregor, the unemotional and stronger one could. So whenever something big went down that would fuck up Lucy emotionally, McGregor jumped in like some kind of alternate personality super-villain. It was weird.
"Would finding him really make a difference?" Brown asked.
He watches at Lucy and McGregor struggled. It was strange to see because it only happened in her eyes. They flicked back and forth from wanting to cry and wanting to make his head explode. Brown wondered if there was any mental illness in her family history but it wouldn't cropped up by now. Maybe McGregor existed because of stress. That made sense.
"It would to me." She said.
Brown wasn't sure who she was now. He didn't want to think about that for too long because that would fuck his head up. Whoever she was kept her stare on him and Brown sighed. He ran a hand through his hair and met the imposing stare.
"Fine. I'll do my best, okay?"

Dealing with McGregor all the time was like running through a maze full of mines blind. You never knew what to say or when or if saying the wrong thing would set her off. (He then leaves the office WILLINGLY to go home to sleep. He was always dragged out before.)

"Morning." Samson greeted.
"Still looks like night to me but I'll take it." McGregor said.

"No signs of struggle but he was chained down by the right ankle with his boot on. Like I said before: he drank the bleach." McGregor said. (Literally, drank bleach. Yes, this is why this one was difficult to write.)

"So it's the second type of perp? The one that wants to help them? How is this helping them?"

(This is the scene that makes Sable stick around: )
"McGregor?" Sable asked.
"Yeah?" McGregor returned.
"You stopped recording." Sable said.
"Yep." McGregor said.
"Um, why?" Sable questioned.
"I'm taking a breather." McGregor said.
It was almost six in the morning. Her head was throbbing because of the smell of bleach and the thought that Adam Muller had given up. She couldn't get over that fact because she had been him at one point. She had been a loner, a freak, made fun of, and thought that she was worthless. At least he had friends. McGregor never had a friend until James, Mia, Michael and now Sable.
"I, um, well; I didn't think any part of this job would affect you." Sable said.
"When the job stops affecting you then you have to worry. You'll get nightmares. You'll see the dead in your dreams and sometimes you'll wake up and smell death, burned skin, bleach, or chemicals in general. Sometimes you'll dream that you're performing an autopsy on yourself. You'll start to look at people differently, wondering what's under their skin, literally. You won't flinch at gory scenes in horror moves and you'll start pointing out inaccuracies. And sometimes, like now, a case will hit close to home in ways you didn't expect. Other times the torture, the pain, and the dead will be so horrific that you can't afford to think of the body on the table as a human or you'll just want to sit in a corner and cry. You've only been at this a year. You haven't seen anything yet and working with me, well, it's not going to make anything easier.
"I've seen people have their faces torn away, be thrown into dryers, get burned at the stake, and get tortured so badly that not even dental records could be used to identify them. That's only been in the past three years.
"This kid might not be as marked up but I could relate to him. I was him in High School. Sometimes it's better to deal with the burned and the tortured than cutting up someone who you could relate to." McGregor said.

"So why do you still do it?" Sable asked.
"In the end I'm helping people. I'm giving families closure and I'm making sure that the people who are sick enough to do this are put in a place where they can't do it again. I'm weeding through all this shit so the world's a cleaner place."

"I seriously considered Michael not being in his office." McGregor said. (She'd tried calling him to no response, yes this is right after he left.)
"Where did he go? I didn't think he left the office." Sable said.
"He doesn't, not willingly. There was one time when Mia and James had to physically drag him away so he could sleep. Heck, we still have to bodily drag him away for birthdays and he doesn't leave for holidays like Christmas or Thanksgiving. This is beyond weird." McGregor said.
(informs James)
"Okay. Are we the only survivors in some kind of end of the world thing?" James questioned.
(Not in this story. Funny how that's the first thing they all think of when Michael leaves the office. :P )

"Um, I hate waking you but we need you to hack into a laptop and look up some things for Lucy." James said.
Michael made some kind of unholy noise from under the sheets and James almost took a step back. He remembered this was Michael. Michael wouldn't physically hurt him.
"I'm on strike." Michael said.
"You're not part of a union." James told him.
"Ha." Michael said.
James waited but Michael didn't move. When James was about to shake him, Michael flipped the sheet down and sat up. James stood then yelped when Michael thwacked him with a pillow.
"That kind of hurt." James said.
"Sorry, not sorry." Michael said.
"I slept." Michael announced.
He looked proud of it. Hell, James was proud of him for leaving the office and sleeping.
"I know. I'm happy for you and still a little freaked out that you left the office to sleep in the first place." James said.

"I'll find him in the phonebook." James said.
"Do you mean Michael?" McGregor asked.
"I mean the actual phonebook. Michael's busy with other things and I'd rather not distract him with something so simple. Besides, the day I need Michael to look up a listed phone number is the day I should seriously consider retiring." James said.

Jameson was a large, intimidating, African-American while Miller was a small Asian man. It reminded Sable of a movie but she couldn't remember the name of it.
"Well we got Rush Hour this time." McGregor said.
"Huh?" Sable asked.
"Rush Hour: Jameson and Miller. You know the movie with Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker?" (Hehe)

"He's meeting them online through some kind of game or internet forum." James said.
"Okay, great, but why didn't Brown see that?" McGregor asked.
"Brown missed it because three good friends being a part of the same online group wouldn't look strange." James said.

"I hope you never have to. I'm not supposed to be bring my daughter. I'm meant to be guarding her from guys until she finds the right one then walk her down the aisle. I'm expected to be excited when she gets pregnant then hold my grandchild in my arms. I'm supposed to be giving her advice on how to deal with the terrible twos and other little things. She was to bury me when her kids were in their double digits and I'd lived a life seeing her grow into the beautiful, smart woman she had the potential to be. I'll never get that. Some monster took that away from me and I'll never forgive him."

McGregor wasn't just the part Lucy used to separate herself from her work like the other people in forensics or the detectives like Boss and Bossette did. McGregor wasn't a calmer more collected Lucy. No, McGregor was a shield, a weapon to use so Lucy didn't take the final plunge and end up sitting in a bathtub of her own blood.
Without that mental break, or whatever the fuck it had been, Lucy McGregor wouldn't be here right now. The snapping of her brain and the creation of McGregor had saved Lucy's life. It was horrifying and sad at the same time. Brown wanted to know what had caused the snap, what had caused McGregor to be born. It might help them understand both McGregor and Lucy a little bit more.

"You're getting help?" Lucy asked.
"Well, no, not for the variety of mental problems I probably have..." Brown said. (and we take a moment to remember who he's saying this to.)

"Is it sad that I think she reminds me of me?" McGregor asked.
"One of you is enough. We don't need two." Miller said. (Well technically...)

"Are you all right now?" James questioned.
"Yes, well, mostly." McGregor replied.
"Is Lucy all right?" James asked.
McGregor stared at him and he stared right back. He knew. Of course he knew. He was James Reeves, Doctor James Reeves and Criminal Physiologist. One woman with a bit of multiple personality disorder wouldn't throw him for a loop.
"Lucy's fine. You know, you're the first person to notice that." McGregor said.
(Tells her story)
"I've felt the same as you." James said.
McGregor swallowed hard to get rid of the tears but it didn't work. James was there to hold her when she fell into his arms and started sobbing. It had been the song lyrics. James probably didn't even know that his last sentence was tattooed on her back and had been one of the few things that helped Lucy get through the first year of High School.
"Good job, you broke McGregor." Mia said.

Michael was seriously considering leaving his office without being forced. James wanted to check the weather in Michigan and the Grand Cayman's to see if both Hells had frozen over.

"Where do you put it all?" Sable asked.
"In my belly." Michael told her.
"Well you must have two bellies." Sable said.
"Maybe but you ain't cutting me up to find out." Michael said.
"Aw, but it'd be fun. Besides, we know how to put you back together." Lucy added.
"Funny but it's still a no. I like my skin all in one piece, ya know?" Michael said.
"Fine, be that way. We could have made a scientific discovery and been famous." Sable said.
"Hm, fame brings fortune and chicks but if I'm normal anyway then it was for nothing. I'll think about it." Michael said.

"Gotcha you sonofabitch. No one escapes the Dragon-God."

On Lucy making 12 dozen (YES, 12 DOZEN) cookies:
"I didn't say anything. You kind of learn to take the quirks as they come because over-thinking them just hurts the brain." Abella said.

"What would the name DrKiller signify?" James asked.
"That he was in the medical profession and made some mistakes." Lucy answered.
He was about to tell her that he was being serious but so was she.
"Or it's just a name he pulled out of his ass to fit in with the forum. I asked Michael what Drag0n meant one time and he said that "dragons are cool and 0 usually means the beginning or end of all" so, yeah." Mia said.
"One of his online friends is named Karma. She's a 19 year old Russian punk Goth girl with a huge dragon tattoo on her entire back. Actually, that's kind of how I would picture a human manifestation of Karma." Lucy said.

"David wouldn't mind coming out." James said (as in running with him but it's too late.)
"David as in David Jones? I think he's all ready come out, but you know." Lucy said.
Baking did something to her brain, James was sure of it. She hadn't joked this much since before everything happened with Anne and her mother.
"Don't eat all the cookies and get crumbs all over my map while I'm gone." James said.
"We make no promises." Lucy said.

"Now if we could combine you three into one person." Sable said.
"That would bring forth havoc on the world unseen in all of history..." McGregor said.

(about to go out in the rain):
"I'm made of spice and rock n' roll so I won't melt in the rain." McGregor told him.
"I thought you wouldn't melt?" James questioned.
"There's a point where even spice and rock n' roll gets a bit rusty." McGregor told him.

"There are two kinds of people in the world: the ones who can power through the suicidal thoughts and the ones who can't. You're obviously one of the formers. So am I. Those kids weren't. Why do you think that is?" McGregor asked.

"I realized that if I took those pills then they won. All the taunts, the beating, the rape, all of it would have made them right. It would have made me another statistic. I didn't want to be a statistic anymore. I was, no, I am better than them."

"The fun part is figuring out what you're meant to do."

Sunday, August 17, 2014

2014 Novel Series #5: Disease

This was book five of the year and was the first book I did for April's Camp NaNo. I finished it on the 13th of April, wrote a few short stories for a kind of "mental break" then started the next book in this series.

For a reminder: there are 13 books in this series. When I started writing this particular blog post it was May 24th and I finished book nine of this series about an hour prior. It's kinda, sorta, August now. Someone has to poke me to remind me to do these things, seriously. Anyway: no the series doesn't have a proper name. I haven't figured that out yet.

The books in order: Face Snatcher, Hangings, Dryer, Witches, Car Jacking, Hunter, Disease, Trust, Child, Bloody Christmas, Piece, Senses, and The Tattooed Man. I'm going to be summing up Disease:

Genre: Mystery/Thriller fiction

Word Count: 65,978

Prompt: I can't remember besides wanting the team to go to Las Vegas.

Main Characters: James Reeves, Mia Liu, Lucy McGregor, Michael Brown, Sable Abella (she became Female Main Character 3 in this one), and our killer.

Minor Characters of Note: Patterson, Miller, and a few famous people two of which I'll probably change the names for. The one I won't change the name for: Criss Angel. It's Las Vegas and Michael got the team into the Luxor. This was bound to happen.

Summation: Twelve people have died from a new form of flesh eating disease that only affects the face. The team is brought in as a consult to help find the killer.

High Points: James and Mia. Lucy and Sable meeting Criss Angel.

Low Points: What happens when they find the killer.

The World: Ours.

Memorable Lines:

"What the Hell is this?" Lucy questioned.
If Lucy didn't know what it was they were going to have one fuck of a hard time. Mia caught James looked at Lucy. Even Patterson raised an eyebrow.
"Pathology said some kind of burn." Patterson said.
"This isn't like any burn I've ever seen. It looks like a cross between necrotizing fasciitis and a chemical peel gone wrong. Normal burns, even chemical burns don't present with swelling or that much blackening of the skin." Lucy said.
Mia caught Patterson grinning. This is why they had been placed on the case. Mia watched as Lucy took the first picture and stared at it. She spotted the second picture then started at that one, looking confused and intrigued all at once.
"Look at the case file on the way. Brown, I'd suggest using your system to get all of you booked into a section together so you can study the file...Good luck." Patterson said.
Mia could do nothing but follow James as he stood. They were out in the hallway moments later surrounded by Lucy, Abella, and a twitchy Michael.
"Um, holy shit." Michael said.
"I can agree with that. Okay, we're going to have to head home to pack. I can only assume this might take a little while so we'll have to be close to somewhere that we can get laundry done. There's no way we can pack for months in one suitcase." James said.
"I don't even own luggage." Michael muttered.

"Really?" James questioned.
"Really." Michael said.
"I've got an extra one at my place. I'll bring it back with me." Mia told him.
"Thanks Bossette." Michael said.

"I've never been to Las Vegas before." Abella said.
"Neither have I." McGregor told her.
"I don't think any of us have." James said.
"I bussed it from my home town to Washington then was bussed from Washington to here. This is my first time on a fucking plane, never mind Las Vegas." Michael piped up.

(After being put in a private section in first class)
"I don't want to know how you managed this, do I?" James asked.
"Nope. Ya'll didn't even ask what hotel we're at." Michael said.

"What hotel?" James asked.
"The Luxor." Michael replied.
"That's the famous casino, how in the, no, I don't want to know how you managed." James said.
"Then you won't want to know how I managed two Tower Luxury Suites side-by-side for half price." Michael said.
One of the flight attendants nearly tripped over her own feet when she heard that. McGregor could feel the jealousy radiating off the woman when the flight attendant passed.

"You all right there twitchy?" Lucy asked (Michael).
"Nope. I don't like new places. My office is safe. Safe is good." Michael answered. (Aw)

"Okay, I don't want to move." Lucy said.
Mia looked to see her curled up on the couch. Lucy seemed ready to fall asleep right there and Mia couldn't blame her. In four hours they would have been up for 24 hours and that included a five hour flight.
"I'm sorry." James said.
"You're going to make me move, aren't you?" Lucy asked.

"Well, no. You can sleep there if you want but you're going to wake up cranky from stiff muscles. I'm apologizing because Michael's going to have his computer going still and you'll likely hear him all night." James said.
"Faku." Lucy muttered.
"Joder." Abella murmured.

"Huh?" Lucy asked.
"It's 'fuck' in Spanish." Abella told her.
"Ha, we've got multi-lingual swearing going on." Mia said.

"You should get one of those shirts that says you don't play well with others." Mia told her (Lucy).
"I have one and brought it with me." McGregor said. (I need one...hehe)

"We can help." Chief B suggested.
Brown gritted his teeth at that. The mere thought of him needing help was enough to make him want to jump out the really high level window behind him. He hadn't needed help in looking up stuff since he was ten.

"The unsub, the case, it's horrible. The unsub is giving the victims a chance to finally live like they'd been unable to because of low self-esteem then just rips it away."

The scene that makes Ms Anti-Social (Lucy) accept Sable Abella into the team first:

"Do you like The Walking Dead?" McGregor asked.
"Yeah, despite the fact that a zombie can't sneak up on people. I mean the stench alone would give them away." Abella said.
McGregor stared at her but she simply tilted a head to one side, curious. Criss Angel was one thing. The Walking Dead was an entirely different thing. Maybe...
"Game of Thrones?" McGregor questioned.
"Dany's dragons are awesome. And it really sucks that it takes Martin three years or more to write one book. I mean, I understand that it's hard and all but there are still two more books. That's too long to wait." Abella replied.
McGregor continued to stare. Abella looked normal. She shouldn't be into things that most people found odd or unusual. That was too weird.
"Huh." McGregor said.
"I also like Rammstein and am totally jealous that you got that shirt before they took it off their shop." Abella said.

McGregor couldn't help but smirk. Having Sable (YAY!) around was going to be better than she thought.

"If you say anything to Patterson about this I will go Michonne on your ass." McGregor said. (It's her favorite threat)
"Why would you go Michonne on Abella's ass? Is that some kind of sex thing?" Michael asked.
"No." McGregor said.
"Yeah, that answered question two. Where's the answer to question one?" Michael questioned.
"Nope. I'm not answering that." McGregor said.
"You forget my power, mortal." Michael said. (Hehe)

"Dragon-God is tired and hungry. Feed me." Michael said.
"I'll bring you something up, wait; you have room service right there" James said.
"I know but I can't think of what food to eat. I can't just call 'em up and be like "Yo, I heard you guys make food. Gimme some." They'd hang up." Michael said.
(a bit later in the conversation)
"Bring food or I'll eat your books." Michael said.

"There's no phone number." James said.
"Oh. OH! Yeah, that's my job. Hold on." Michael said.

The men looked at each other. They were both a good four inches taller than him (over 5'10") and twice his width in muscle. James briefly wondered if there was some kind of company that made these kids of stock body guards and rented them out for high prices.

"Well that's, I don't have an adjective." James said.
"Would you like to buy one?" McGregor offered.
"Sure." James said.
"It's worth your first born." McGregor said.
"Ah, I won't have a first born though." James said with a smirk.
"Yep. I've had my daily dose of creepy now. I was starting to get worried." Michael said.

"Michael doesn't talk about where he even came from. I've got a theory that he grew from a microscopic cell in an abandoned computer somewhere."

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Transgender Models and Writing

For those of you that don't know or have stumbled upon this blog for the first time: I've written over 3 million words which translates to 78 stories of both long and short fiction. In almost every single one there is usually a gay male or a feminine man. The mystery series has a lesbian woman of color and I wrote a novel about a person who transitioned though not in a very nice way. That one's complicated, seriously. There is also an asexual male and a gender neutral character who's not really gender neutral, yeah it's complicated. We'll leave it at that.

The funny thing about this is that I am a straight female. Yeah, I do feel "masculine" at times and I've wondered what it would like to be male but despite my complaining once a month: I am female and happy as a female.

The odd thing is that even though I have written male characters who were feminine (I'm looking at you VanHelgrove clan) I didn't know what it was called. And when some of these male characters started wanting to dress as women I got really confused. All that was solved three (or more) years ago.

Back in 2011 (or so) I discovered the model Andreja Pejic. She was billed as being "The Prettiest Boy in the World." Yes. SHE was billed as being the Prettiest BOY in the world. At the time Andreja was an androgynous model: a male who made a living off dressing feminine which is something I'd never heard of until discovering her.

And of course, I swan-dived (I'm a horrible diver) right in for the sake of the characters who were trying to do the same thing and leaving me completely confused as to how to write them.

I tend to research everything I'm interested in like crazy and Andreja was no different. I found interview after interview and studied picture after picture. I'm pretty sure I've collected everything about her that I possibly could.

It was a whole new thing I'd never heard about (no offense intended as I live in a small city that's a good decade behind the rest of the world) and I began broadening my research to include the "trans" part of LGBT.

What I found was amazing. I had no idea there were people out there who didn't feel comfortable in their skin. I had no idea there were men and women out there who sometimes dressed as the opposite gender all the time because that was how they felt comfortable. Yes, I had heard of drag (that's a whole story it itself) but trans is entirely different.

Anyway, I had no idea there were people out there who were born as one gender but felt the opposite and sought to change their outer body to match their inner self. I had no idea that those characters were a part of the trans community. I had no idea what the word androgynous really meant.

Suddenly I needed to include more people into my stories. I'm not saying that to be arrogant or to get some kind of nice "push" from any kind of community. I say that because I believe that despite what's happening in my worlds: everyone should be included.

Now don't get me wrong. I don't look at my characters and go "Okay, well, you have to be trans because I need a trans character." That would be WRONG OF ME. I also don't look at my characters and go "Oh you have to be a person of color because I need more people of color." Again, THAT WOULD BE WRONG OF ME. Why? Because then I would become that writer that's including people for the sake of being Miss ALL INCLUSIVE AREN'T I NICE? *giggle giggle*

No. Discovering a trans model like Andreja enabled me to give these male characters who wanted to dress feminine a voice. Seeing what trans was and really looking into it helped me make these characters who they were supposed to be. It helped me to discover who they really were: NATURALLY. I knew what they wanted to do but I didn't know why. Knowing why helped me make them into real people, the real people they deserved to be.

Because of Andreja characters like Shawn (Seer/Seeker), Drew (Testing Grounds), Dragon (Lies), Star Van Votte (Model), Andre (Chosen Ones of the Forbidden Object), and Jordan (Changed) FINALLY had their full identities. These stories had always been in my head and sitting in my "why can't I go ahead with this thing? What's MISSING?" pile.

Because of Andreja the above characters were finally allowed to grow and become who they really were when before they just had a huge question mark beside them because I couldn't figure out who they were, not really. I didn't understand that yes they were a male who wanted to dress as a female because before Andreja I didn't understand it. Those characters and those stories just sat there and it wasn't fair for them.

Now when I find myself thinking/writing "he" and "she" about the same character I know it's not weird and I'm not confused about it. Now I can sit that character down and ask them exactly how they feel without wondering what the Hell is wrong with me as a writer or that character as a character.

The best part? Because of Andreja I will be writing an entire fantasy trilogy based around a transgender main character: Blaire. Blaire is physically male and dresses as female but does not prefer either personal pronoun. I'm not sure if Blaire will transition into a female in the story as (s)he's going to be saving the world and all, but we'll see in November.

So a big thank you goes out to people like Andreja Pejic, Lea T, Laverne Cox, Ines Rau, and many others for helping me see that there is more to gender than just what you're born with and that sometimes your physical and mental/emotional gender does not match up. Thank you for helping me see that it's not weird or wrong and that everyone deserves the freedom to live their life as they feel they need to, including the imaginary people I write about daily.

Thank you for helping my characters become who they really are and allowing them to express themselves as they needed and wanted to for their stories to be told. Thank you for helping me understand. Thank you for being the powerful individuals you are and for representing people who may be struggling with what they see in the mirror. Thank you for being true to yourselves. You're all beautiful, no matter what anyone says.