Saturday, January 25, 2014

Subconsious Writing

I mentioned in a NaNoPrep blog post that I like to write subconsciously and with ninjas. The ninjas aren't an every-story occurrence but I try to write subconsciously most of the time. What does that mean exactly? Well, read on fellow story-teller.

Writing subconsciously means writing without thinking about it. Now, now, I know you're asking what the HELL I'm on. I mean I've said before that you have to know what you're doing, where you're going and all that, right? That is important but you don't have to know all that in great detail. Why? Because you all ready know all that in great detail but you just don't know it yet.

Confused? Stick we me. You're going to be okay.

What I mean is that somewhere, deep in your brain, your story is all ready planned. Your characters know their fate, the bad guy knows his plan will ultimately fail (or not), and your world has all ready moved on from the event that you're writing. In the far recesses of your brain that story has been told and you just haven't read and recorded it yet.

You have to remember that you're a story-teller. A recorder, if you will, and a mere means for your characters to let their lives been seen by others. You're not a story-forcer, you're not a story-demander, you're a story-teller. You tell stories. You might not know the story or your characters in full consciously but if you stop worrying about "what happens now" and focus more on simply writing what comes next, you'll be better off.

I know it sounds hard and a bit confusing. But I have never had success without writing subconsciously and letting my characters tell me their story. I am a recorder and am simply a means for my characters to have life for a little while.

Yes, I need to know the general ending. Yes, I need to know  who most of them are and what world they live in. But do I know that character one is an orphan? Not until it's important to the plot. Do I know that there's a greater evil hiding in the shadows and controlling the baddie that my mains are facing? Not until the reader has to know. Do I need to know that the random 12 year old on the ship is important to the sequel that I don't know about? Not until he becomes important. By the way, that last one is the whole reason The Harmonizer exists.

I write subconsciously. Even if I have a detailed scene by scene plan (which I do for most of the Crime Fiction books I'm working on) I will veer off path and begin writing whatever is supposed to happen even if I haven't planned on it happening. It's the writing Zen. It's being so in-tune with your characters and story that you really don't have to plan as the plan is all ready there, growing inside you and coming out as you allow it.

Some may call this writing Zen or writing subconsciously pantsing, that is, writing without a plan but it's more then that. You do have a plan. The plan is taking its time to reveal itself because deep down, you really don't need the whole plan.

Is there a way to find the writing Zen? Yes. To find the writing Zen all you have to do is write. Until next time: comments, questions, rage, rants and everything in between can be directed to the comments.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Childless by Choice

So as I was eating dinner tonight (it's where I get my best thoughts, I swear) I said to myself: "Wow, it's great eating as a single person. I can eat what I want, when I want and not have to worry about someone complaining about my cooking" which is true. I don't have to worry about the carrots being too hard (it's a salad), the chicken being too spicy (it's Shake n' bake; don't blame me) or being told that I should make more things from scratch (HA!). I can just decide, cook, and eat. If I blow something up or burn it then it's my own fault and the only witness is my cat.

As per normal my mind began to wander. It strode to a conversation I had a while ago with a religious relative who could not understand why I wasn't married with at least one kid by now. Then came the explanation: I don't want to get married or have kids. Of course, that's the wrong thing to say to anyone who's religious and over 50.

But children are God's gift. You can't be alone forever. That would be wrong," etc, etc, etc. Oh poor deluded religious relative of mine: I don't believe in the same things you do. Which is fine. She is entitled to her beliefs and I respect her for believing in them as strongly as she does. But (contrary to popular belief) I am not a horrible woman for not wanting to be married or not wanting kids.

I am simply a woman of the 21st century. We don't have to be stay at home moms, we don't have to get married, we can have careers, we can be successful, and *le gasp* we have choices.

It's not all cut and dry: find your true love, get married, have 1.5 kids, live in the white picket fenced house, and cook all day so when your manly man comes home with the pay check he can eat well. It can be more like: wake up, go to work, come home to your cat, feed said cat and self then write until bedtime.

Is either woman better than the other in those instances? Not really. It's their choice and if they're happy with their choice then it's good enough. Who are we to tell people what they can and cannot do? It's not the right of anyone but the person who's making that choice. Pressures from family, friends, coworkers, and society should not dictate who we are or what choices we make.

My choice is not to pass on my genes. Why should I allow a being that fed off me like a parasite for nine months dictate the rest of my life? Why would I want to give up the freedom of doing what I want, when I want because I have to bend to the needs of a being that's only goal in life is to make me worry? Sorry, that's not for me. BUT KUDOS TO ALL THE PARENTS OUT THERE. You folks are awesome for taking on that responsibility. Me? I'll stick with my cat. Maybe a dog later down the road and a few fish.

Of course, when you pose those two questions to said religious relative the answer is: "It's fulfilling." Bullcrap. Fulfilling is getting to laze around in your pjs all day doing whatever the living heck you want. There is no fulfillment in knowing that a mini-me will be running around until after I die then produce mini-not-me-but-genetically-close-to-mes. Well unless one of them dominates the world. That might prove to be cool. But that is not enough to sway me to produce the mini-me.

Then of course: "What if your parents thought like that?" Well, then I wouldn't really know now would I? I mean I'd still be a body-less soul hanging out with other body-less souls doing whatever souls do before they get a vessel. Don't get me wrong: I'm happy my parents made me and all that but if they hadn't then I wouldn't have known, right?

"But you'll love kids." Uh, no. I barely stand my cousin's kids. Plus, why would I want to bring a little girl into a world that pressures her to look a certain way and act a certain way then makes fun of her if she doesn't? Why would I want to bring a little boy into a world where a boy can't have long hair and God-forbid he act feminine? I can preach that "gender roles don't matter, be yourself, be unique, F the haters, just be you" all I want but that doesn't mean they'll have the strength to listen.

Why do I want to bring any child into a world where despite our best efforts racism, sexism, war, hate, famine, and all that other ugly stuff still reign? And don't forget about the persecution if you're gay, want to be the opposite gender, or don't share any beliefs with the "norm." Our world sucks. I don't want to subject a child to the true suckiness of the world. Why do I want to bring a kid into a world where we're told to be ourselves then are ridiculed for not being normal? Whatever normal is. Has anyone figured that out yet?

"You're over-thinking things." No I'm not. If my hypothetical little boy wants to keep his hair long then you're going to tell me to get his hair cut (and don't lie; I saw how you reacted to a fictional character's little boy's long hair). Then you're going to slyly insult him enough (without coming off as truly insulting unless I say something, which I will)that he'll feel like crap and tell me to get his hair cut. And I'll do it because I want him to be happy, even if he's not happy and he's just conforming to society's belief of what a little boy should look like because he wants to please you and strangers.

And therein lies the problem. I know my kids will be different because I was different. I didn't push the barriers until I was in my later teens and even now I'm not pushing barriers simply because society doesn't want me to. We can all pretend that we'll teach our kids to be themselves and be strong but eventually the need for acceptance from peers (and people in authority besides us) wears them down until they morph into something a tad more acceptable.

There are very few people who can be exactly who they want to be without fear and my genetic dice are not strong enough to produce that type of person. Frankly, I don't want to see my hypothetical spawn hide their true selves like I did for so long and not realize their dreams because of it. Also, I know, deep down, those people who seem to be living exactly as they want without fear have all ready conformed so well that they think they're free. Or they've conformed another way. I don't believe that anyone is truly free from society's rule.

"Well that's just depressing." I know, trust me, I know. But, there is one more point. "What?" Why should I bring another child into the world when one: we're over-populated as it is, and two: there are over 150 million orphans in the world? "150 million?" Yes. One hundred and fifty MILLION. So, ask me again why I'm childless by choice. Go ahead. "*silence*" That's what I thought.

And another thing. "There's more?" Yep. One more thing. "Okay, what?" If I'm going to subject myself to children it'll be one of those orphans. If I'm going to try and raise a kid to survive in this Battle Royal we call life I'm going to make sure it's one of those poor souls who through unfortunate circumstance came into this world without the love and care of their biological parents or who can no longer experience their parents' love. "What's the difference?" Well, I'm not bringing a child into the world, for one which means no over-populating the planet for me. For two, I'm simply helping a kid who's parents checked-out unwillingly. It's the least I can do for the poor kid. "You're strange." I hadn't noticed.

But seriously: I choose not to bring a child into this messed up world for the sake of passing on my genes. I'd rather help, nurture, and protect one of those kids who were brought into the world then dumped into an orphanage for whatever reason. If it ever comes to that which it might not solely because hey, I had fish and salad for dinner tonight without having to consult anyone first.

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

Sunday, January 12, 2014

2014 Novel Series #1: Dryer

I probably shouldn't be writing this right after finishing the book but I couldn't help it. This marks book number one of the year and book three of the series. I plan to write 14 books this year and there are 13 in the series. Yeah.

Dryer is like it's counter-parts, Face Snatcher and Hangings and is so far the shortest of the series clocking in at about 69,000 words when cutting out a 3K block I know I'll remove for a final draft. I'm not sure why it's so much shorter but it's a good thing. Mystery/Crime Fiction is supposed to be shorter. Anyway, onwards:

Genre: Crime Fiction

Word Count: 72,820 (minus about 3K for two or three scenes I'll likely removed in editing and put into a "cut scenes" file)

Prompt: Body parts in a dryer. Yes. Originally though Lucy's "Bugs" in her "Blood, Bones, and Bugs"/"Triple B" nickname was supposed to come out more but I couldn't find anything adequate about finding bug corpses in clothing/dryers/after being in a dryer for 45+ minutes. Plus the unsub kind of evolved into something different which happened in Hangings too.

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

Minor Characters of Note: Detective Catherine Turner, Patterson and SSA Devin Howell. Oh and David Jones made an appearance. Again. For a character that was supposed to be a throw-away in book one he's certainly making a name for himself. I have this feeling he'll appear in the other books too until either dying in a gruesome way or simply disappearing, never to be seen again.

Summation: Again: body parts in a dryer. Just the arms and legs though. Yeah, it's that interesting.

High Points: I, huh. OH. James telling Turner off in a completely respectful way. And of course, James and Mia referring to McGregor as Lucy now. That means they're friends people. It's a turning point.

Low Points: Describing the level of mutilation on victim five. You know it's bad when your seasoned forensic specialist curses, has to take deep breaths and turns away from the scene.

The World: Ours.

Memorable Lines:

The scent was what hit them all first. It smelled like someone had barbequed rotten meat over a grill. It was not a pleasant scent but none of them would cook meat on the barbeque again. Not after this.
The woman working today screamed. The young man who had been waiting for the dryer turned and threw up in the middle of the floor. Someone else started screaming and soon everyone was running over to see what was going on. Instantly they regretted it and wished they had not picked this Laundromat to clean their clothes today.

"Dragon-God, speak or be torched." (This/something similar has become Brown's catch-phrase.)

"Get something to eat before going back to it. We don't need you collapsing from exhaustion." James said.
"Oh. Right, food. Sure. I'll have the autopsy done sometime in the next few hours. Good night." McGregor said.

"Well, let's go see another slew of witnesses. Maybe the perp slipped up." Liu muttered.
"Good luck." McGregor said.
"You're completely happy you're not us right now." Reeves said with a chuckle.
McGregor could not help but grin at that.
"You want to remove body parts from a dryer, be my guest." She told them.

"Riding around in McGregor's SUV in the snow then riding around in your car in the snow made the decision for me. No offensive but SUV trumps car in the winter." Mia answered.
"That makes logical sense." James muttered.
"Plus it looks badass." Mia said.

"That's the Mia I know." James said with a grin.

Sleep was for the weak. It didn't matter that his (Brown) eyes were burning or his wrists were numb. He needed to help them find this asshole.
"I'm fine, Boss." Brown answered.
"Michael, I mean it. I don't know how long you've been up but you look ready to collapse. Once you've narrowed down the missing person's list to who donated in May or June: get some sleep." Reeves said.

No one had called him by his real name since he'd been captured by the FBI. He had been a color or a mythical beast for the past five years. It was foreign to hear his real name on Reeves' lips but it had the effect Reeves was going for. That was the main reason Reeves was Boss.
"Fine. But wake me up when you need something else." Brown said.

"There is no physical way we can get ahead of him. He takes his victims when he drops the limbs (of the one prior). The missing persons list is useless because they're not reported missing until the day after we have the limbs of the victim before." (Yeah, that's bad.)

"So we're looking for a five foot eight white male with dark hair, who dresses in all black and drives a dark Honda?" (Yeah, think of how common that is for a moment.)

The door of 134 slammed open a moment later from one of Mia's well placed kicks. She was in before the sound stopped, gun out and looking through the front of the apartment. James turned to the girls who were staring at him in shock.
"I'm Detective James Reeves by the way. And yes, we need to talk to Timothy Allen."

"Now, when are you and Mia going on a date? I have a lot of restaurant ideas that are nice and cozy," Mom started.
"Ah, NO. We aren't going to date, mom, how many times do I have to tell you that?" James asked.
The fact that Mia was the only straight female he knew that could keep up with him and understood him was a mote point. The fact that he had no social life and would not likely find someone soon enough for his mother was what scared James more than not being able to solve the case.
"Oh honey, I'm not getting any younger."
"You're 47!"
"And you're 27. You're not going to stay 27 forever and I'd like grandkids at a time where I could still enjoy them."

"Don't you "mom" me. You're my only son and you need a good woman to help you raise your kids. Besides, imagine how kick-butt you and Mia's children would be." (HA!)

"Help! Minions! Help!" Brown tried.
"Any one of you help him and I'll use your computers as targets." Mia said over his voice.

"You, this, no!" Brown protested.
"I'm going to let you go just because I'm really grossed out by how sweaty you are. If you try and run: I'm cuffing you. You're going to James' for a day to sleep, shower and eat a few proper meals. He and I are staying with you to make sure you don't escape. Clear?" Mia asked.

Brown looked up at her, eyes blinking rapidly and mouth dropped open so much that she could see his tonsils. His eyes went to James' face and Mia glanced at her partner. He had his "don't you dare argue" face on which was patent for making perps squirm. Brown sighed in defeat and sagged:
"Fine. You guys are lucky I like you or every electronic thing you owned would become an expensive paperweight."
(She's physically pulling Brown from his office as he's been up for four days straight and is on the verge of collapse. Brown was trying to get the rest of the research team to help him.)

From the scene that'll be cut (cuz it's funny):
"Weird question." (Mia)
"Because this is perfectly normal." (They're sharing his pull out couch while on guard duty to make sure Brown sleeps).
"Funny. Do you mind if I take my bra off?" (Ladies, you know how uncomfortable it is to sleep in those things.)
James had to swallow once or twice to get moisture back in his throat so he could speak.
"You can if you want." James finally got out.
"Okay. I would say don't look but I you're blind as a bat and I don't plan on taking my shirt off." Mia said.
James kept his eyes on the ceiling and tried not to think about how it was feasibly possible for Mia to take off her bra without taking off her shirt (haha). He heard her moving and concentrated on breathing.
"That's better." Mia muttered.
"Good. Um, never mind. I said nothing." James said.

He lay perfectly still as Mia shifted to lean over him. Her lips were mere inches from his. All he had to do was lift his head and he'd be able to kiss her. James banished that thought, cursing his mother for putting that into his head.
"Mia?" James asked.
"Shush." Mia said.

James nodded. He heard it a moment later. Brown was muttering in his sleep. Mia had only moved to listen better. James was half disappointed and half relieved.
"What is he talking about?" Mia asked.
"I think he's talking about flying hippos." James said.

"Wow." Mia muttered.
"Yeah." James said.

Mia didn't move. James was fairly sure she had no idea how close she was to him. He tried to concentrate on Brown's sleep talk but Mia was too close. He also knew she had no bra on and her shirt was stretched tight across her chest because of her former movements. James was a 27 year old male, partner or not, Mia had the parts he was interested in.
"He's singing. What is that?" Mia asked.
"Don't know." James said.
"You're surprisingly unobservant." Mia said with a snort.

"Oh. Sorry?" James tried.
She finally looked down at him. A look of realization came over her face and James blinked when she moved so quickly he hadn't even been sure it happened. (Hehe)

"Um, no. He's (James) just repeating the case information. I hate sounding like a kid or something but can you come, well, fix him or something? He's kind of blocking my way out and I really don't want to get in his way or something." McGregor said.
Mia could hear the nervousness in McGregor's voice. Mia wanted to say something to comfort McGregor but had no idea what to say. Instead she sighed and looked around the empty lot one more time...(James has a bit of a mental break)

Lucy strode into the bathroom and closed the door lightly. When she came back out she was no longer Lucy. She was McGregor, Triple B, and the Forensic Specialist working with Reeves and Liu on a case that was proving to be BAU material. (She's good at separating her personal life from work life while on case).

"He's angry, no, this is beyond angry. He screwed up, he knew it and now he's taking it out on them." James said.

"I've watched a lot of horror movies, slasher flicks, and seen a lot of really shitty stuff doing this job. It comes with the job, you know? But I've never seen anything like that before. This guy is absolutely insane." (Lucy after discovering victim 5)

"You would think I would have picked up some of your curses by now." James mentioned.
"Oh please. You only curse when you're extremely pissed. I curse all the time." Mia said.
"It's when you're not cursing that we have to worry." James said.
"Damn right." Mia agreed.

"Oh stuff it, manko." Mia said.
"What did you just call me?" Turner demanded.
"Jigoku ni ike." Mia said.

"One of these days you're going to run into someone who understands you (A/N: speaks Japanese in other words). Then what are you going to do?" Turner asked.
"Kick their ass." Mia said easily. (Seriously, go look those up if you want. I will be proficient in Japanese curses by the end of this series. ;) )

"Yeah, James. You know, about five ten, longish blond hair, glasses, blue eyes, always in suits? He's walking right in front of you." Mia returned. (Ha)

"Lucy? Are you okay?" James questioned.
"I, my head hurts and I'm going to have a bruise on my pelvis, right above the ilium." McGregor said.
"You're bleeding. I don't think you're going to be dissecting any limbs or bodies today." James said.
"I'm fine." McGregor said.
"Lucy, you're bleeding," James started.
"Don't you "Lucy" me, James. I mean, Reeves." McGregor said.
Their eyes met. James was grinning. She could feel the heat in her cheeks and blood trickling down the back of her neck. It would only slow because of her shirt where it would then gather and stain. At least she was wearing black.
"Well, your eyes are dilated oddly. I'm fairly sure you have a concussion. Plus Mia and Turner are on the way, so is an ambulance." James said.
"I don't need an ambulance." McGregor muttered.
"You whacked your head of a table and got hit by a car." James said.
(Later in the scene)
"Don't they teach you anything in school? External occipital protuberance is on my occipital bone, the posterior, also know as the back of my head. And the ilium is located between the iliac crest and Acetabulum on the anterior or front of my hip. It's the uppermost and largest bone of the pelvis. Goddess." McGregor said.
Both paramedics looked at her in wonder. Liu started chuckling but James kept quiet. He was still grinning though.
"Are you some kind of doctor?" a paramedic asked.

"No, she's a Forensic Specialist who specializes in blood, bugs, and bones. She's a good friend of ours so make sure you treat her well." James answered.
McGregor could not help but stare at him as the paramedics looked between them. She kept staring even as she was loaded onto the stretcher and until the doors of the ambulance were shut. It had been a long while since anyone had called her a good friend. (This entire scene, from Lucy's POV took up a good four of five pages and every bit of it was awesome for her and James. I wish I could put it all here but it'd reveal too much.)

He (Brown) realized the different a moment later. The people in horror films and in video games were fake. The person hanging in front of him had been a real, breathing, living person at some point. Brown closed the image and scowled.
"Sonofabitch." Brown muttered.

He would wait for Reeves to return before hacking into the laptop. Reeves was right. Looking through that kind of thing was not something a person should do alone.

"You don't owe me anything." Lucy said.
"You got hit by a car because I can't shoot. I owe you dinner." James said.
"Don't argue, just accept." Mia suggested.
"But," Lucy tried.
"Ask Brown how persuasive I can be." James said.

Mia wanted to laugh at the expression on Lucy's face. She knew James was referring to bodily dragging Brown out of the office so he didn't collapse.

"And that's why he's not."

"How do you do it?" (Mia to Lucy)
"This may sound cruel but once they reach me they're nothing but dead flesh and bone. There's no soul attached to them and the person they were is gone and at peace. I like to think that by dissecting what's left that I'm helping them be at peace. It's what helps me do what I have to do to put their killers behind bars. You guys have it worse though. You have to deal with the family, friends and co-workers. You guys go through their things and deep into their lives all the time. I don't know how you deal with it." Lucy said.
"It's nights like these that I'm not sure either." James added.

"You've picked up my swearing along with my attitude. Cool your jets, turbo. I don't think the station can handle two of me." Mia joked.

"You were right. That wasn't his first time." (That sounds kinky out of context. I'm leaving it.)

"Thanks. Also, Lucy, her girlfriend, and Mia are coming for dinner probably this week at my place. You're welcome to join us." Reeves offered.
Brown blinked before looking up at the other man. Liu was grinning. Reeves was smiling lightly. Brown listened to Du Hast for a moment before letting out a breath. Reeves' food was great and it was tempting.
"Sorry Boss, I'm good here." Brown said.
"Are you sure?" Reeves asked.

He looked a bit disappointed. Brown didn't mind. He liked staying in his office. Outside was never a good place for anyone. That was where all the crazy people who did shit like he saw kidnapped the people who were trying to be normal. Staying inside was safe.

"Our units normally work with a team of five. As you can see, my team is missing a person...We need a fifth, even if it's only until he returns and I think you would be a good addition to my team."

"Doctor? And you're single? Damn." Anne (Lucy's girlfriend) said.
James flushed when Lucy and Mia laughed at that. His mother said the same thing.

"You didn't tell me he was a doctor, love." Anne said.
"I didn't know you'd want to know." Lucy told her.
"You know I like to know everything as long as it's not too icky." Anne returned.

"Icky? You do know she specializes in blood, bugs, and bones, right? All icky kinds of things?" Mia asked.
"Oh yes, I know. She's the one who identifies the spiders in our flat and instead of killing them, picks them up, studies them, then carries them outside." Anne replied.

"Oh, work, work, work, don't you three think of anything besides work?" Anne asked.
She was being deliberately dramatic. James chuckled at it and Lucy grinned.
"Sex." Lucy said.
"I know that, love." Anne returned.
"I don't want to know how your brain works, Lucy." Mia said.

James ended the call and placed his cell phone back on the table. He could not help but smile as he leaned back on his couch and looked up at the ceiling. This was where he belonged and no amount of money, benefits or special titles would make him leave.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Novel Series 13: Hangings

This marks book number 13 in 2013 and when completed gave me 1.3 million words. Let me take a moment to let that sink in. Okay. We're good. Also, do you find it funny that I started a 13 book crime fiction series in 2013? Yeah? Good. I have a thing for numbers.

Hangings is book two in a thirteen book crime fiction series set in the real world. It's also the first time I allowed a throw-away character to become important. Remember the name David Jones? If not, go check out Face Snatcher and note that David Jones is a special mention under "Minor Characters of Note." Hangings is the third and final novel I completed for NaNo2013 which brought me to 235K words on day 25. The other 15K I got from a continuation. More on that in my NaNo WrapUp. Onwards to Hangings:

Genre: Crime fiction set in the real world

Word Count: 76,319 (A bit better as far as WC for crime fiction goes)

Prompt: Originally it was about a jealous lover hanging people who should have loved him but didn't. Then it kind of...morphed. The hangings stayed though, hence the title. That's going to be the common theme in these novels: the title is what's happening in the novel.

Main Characters: James Reeves, Mia Liu, Lucy McGregor, Michael Brown, and David Jones. David deserves to be here. Oh and of course our killer.

Minor Characters of Note: Chief Patterson (I don't think SHE has a first name yet...), Catherine Taylor, and Damien Jones.

Summation: Two suicides at a university seem like nothing until Reeves and Liu look deeper and see that there's much more then the hangings then they think.

High Points: McGregor and Mia bonding. James and Brown bonding. The four of them starting to form an unofficial team which is happening a lot sooner than I thought. Also, another minor character of note was supposed to have come in by now but he's taking his time. I think it's okay.

Low Points: Er, David. I was so mean to the poor guy.

The World: Ours.

Memorable Lines (More like scenes this time around and yet, no reveal on what's going on in the book. I'm good like that):

“I tell myself every year that I’m going to move somewhere warm.” McGregor said.
“Tell me about it. It’s got to be minus twenty out there.” Mia said.
“It could be minus sixty. That’s normal in Alaska and the upper part of Canada.” James added.

“Oh a hanger. Great.”
Mia looked up from her perusal of the floor under the body to see McGregor with her kit. Steel and Knight looked at McGregor in wonder. Steel shook his head and opened up a camera case while Knight began looking around the room for evidence.
“Is that a good “great” or a bad one?” Mia asked.
“Well, he’s been there for at least 12 hours. He won’t pop.” McGregor answered as she came closer.
“Pop?” Mia didn’t want to ask but couldn’t help it.
“Just like it sounds. Pop.”

“Where’s the chair?” McGregor asked.
“Pardon?” James questioned before Mia could.
“The chair. You know, the thing he would have been standing on then kicked away? Where is it?” McGregor repeated.
Mia could only stare at her in awe. She wanted to smack herself for forgetting something so obvious. The dead body was in the middle of an open area of the room. There were not shelves close enough to balance on then jump off. There had to have been a chair or something so the kid could reach the rafters then jump off.
“That’s what, damn it.” James muttered.
“Ah, good thing you did call me. So, without a chair that means someone was holding our friend up there then let him go. Ten to one I’ll find a date rape drug in his system. Too bad these floors are so clean or I would’ve found drag marks. Unless he was led down here, knocked out then hung. Hm. Well, Reeves, you’re the tallest. You cut. Liu and I will hold.” McGregor said.

Mia could only watch in awe as McGregor leaned into the body and sniffed.
“Huh. The unsub is using some kind of chemical to reduce the smell. I thought something was weird. You know what’s weirder?” McGregor questioned.
“You mean besides you sniffing a dead body?” Mia asked.

“So, we’re looking for someone killing people around my age who are afraid to be gay because their parents are religious f***tards?” Brown asked.

“I could make you walk home.” James said.
“Oh please. We all know you’d feel guilty after five feet then come back for me.” Mia returned.
He saw McGregor purse her lips to keep from laughing but it didn’t help. A chuckle escaped and McGregor covered her rouge lips with one hand. Mia was grinning.
“Okay, so you’re right. I can still make you walk those five feet.” James said.
Mia snorted before rolling her eyes. She stood, grabbing her coat off the back of her chair and pulling it on. James stood with her and McGregor followed in their motions.
“What five feet? I’d wait for you to turn around.” Mia said.

“What band is this?” Mia questioned.
“Marilyn Manson.” McGregor answered.
Marilyn Mason was saying something about not being a slave to a god that didn’t exist then not being a slave to a world that didn’t give a sh**. McGregor said nothing as Marilyn Manson continued to essentially scream after an energized riot of the word ‘fight.’
“I can turn it off if you want.” McGregor said.
“No, it’s fine. Never heard of Marilyn Manson before but I’m open to new artists.” Mia said.
Mia looked up to see McGregor shaking her head with a little smirk on her face.
“Manson’s been around since 1989 if you want to get technical.” McGregor told her.
“Oh. I’ve been living under a rock then.” Mia said.
McGregor chuckled as the song changed. Mia stared at the dash again and looked up at McGregor.
“Slayer. You need to get out more.” McGregor said with a grin.
“Yeah.” Mia uttered.

“So, why do you guys refer to each other by first names?” McGregor asked.
“You know, I’m not sure. It just kind of happened one day and we stuck with it. Plus we kind of became friends outside of work. I met his mother, he’s met my cats and yeah.” Mia answered. (This first-name reference thing actually becomes important later ;) )

“We didn’t want to believe Steve was gay. It’s a sin, Detective, a sin. Not only had he committed sin in killing himself but he was admitting to being a homosexual. We were embarrassed and angry.” Thomas said.
James wanted to tell them that it was up to their God to judge what was and wasn’t sin. He wanted to tell them that as comforting a thought as the afterlife was there was no proof and James simply could not believe in something there was no proof of. Even a vengeful God would not allow the people James dealt with regularly to exist. That would be too cruel. He said none of this and adjusted his glasses.
“I don’t really understand that but I’m not a parent,” James started.
“Are you religious?” Thomas interrupted.
“Not particularly. I don’t think it’s possible to be religious in this job.” James answered easily.
Thomas frowned at that. Susan looked as if James had grown an extra arm or two and turned green. He had not wanted to explain his religious stance, or lack thereof today.
“But you do believe in God and Satan, right?” Thomas enquired.
“I believe we should be talking about your son. There was a third hanging yesterday and I’m on a 48 hour time limit. Once that’s up the lead I might have gets cold. It’s why Detective Liu isn’t here right now.” James said.

“Mukatsuku? Did I say that right?” McGregor asked. (I had way too much fun looking up Japanese swears)
“Ah, yeah but I wouldn’t be saying it if you’re ever in Japan.” Mia answered.
McGregor looked at her and Mia wished she had spoken lighter. James tended to ignore her rants.
“Why? What does it mean?” McGregor questioned.
Mia sighed and wished McGregor did not look so utterly lonely and curious at the same time.
“It means “fucking bullshit pisses me off.” Mia said.
McGregor blinked at that before grinning.
“Wow. I love how one word can mean all that.” McGregor said.
“Yep. And for your information, I meant the snow, not Jones.” Mia told her.

“I’ve got a rule.” Brown said.
“Okay.” James returned, unsure.
“You’re not allowed to have coffee unless I get one too.” Brown told him.
“Oh. Well Suzy from reception had an extra one,” James started.
“Bull. She knows when you’re working and buys you one.” Brown broke in.
“Huh. Wait, I’m working all the time. It’s kind of hard not to buy me one.” James returned.
“Yeah but she knows what’s in it, right?” Brown enquired.
He still had not turned around to face James. His fingers had not stopped moving on the middle keyboard either and James wanted to ask how Brown was capable of doing that. It probably had a lot to do with practice.
“Well yes,” James said.
“Then she wants you. She’s bought you like 34 coffees in the past two months. You honestly think a coffee shop is just going to happen to have an extra one 34 times she’s gone in before work? Even better, she only buys one coffee: yours.” Brown explained.
James blinked at that. Mia was right. He was oblivious.
“Wait, how do you, oh don’t tell me you’ve been looking into her bank statements.” James said.
“Then I won’t. But I do for everyone in the building. Patterson put me on it to make sure no one was stiffing stuff from evidence.” Brown told him.

(Brown from an overhead speaker to Taylor:) “Snippy bitch. The warning extends to Bossette (Mia) and Triple B (McGregor). And stop messing with my minions (the others in research). Get your stuff and get out. If there is no stuff to get then get out and make sure the elevator doesn’t close on your ass.”

“If we’re going by nicknames, I want a new one.” McGregor said.
“But you’re Blood, Bones and Bugs. We can’t call you, like, Blongs. That sounds gross.” Brown said.
“Where in the Hell did you come up with that?” McGregor asked.
“First two letters of blood, middle two of bones and last two of bugs.” James offered.
“Okay, it’s scary that you figured that out so quick Boss.” Brown muttered.
“Sorry?” James tried.
Brown shook his head. He turned when Mia and McGregor began walking side-by-side down the path. Mia placed the laptop on a clear patch of desk. McGregor placed the cell phone and camera onto the laptop.
“Gifts from the goddess, the Dragon is pleased.” Brown said.
“Did anyone ever tell you that you’re weird?” McGregor asked.
“Probably as much as they told you the same.” Brown returned.

“The laptop isn’t password protected, oh, more Jones. Jeez. Bad enough the guy looks like a girl and can be a model now I’ve got to see him everywhere.” Brown muttered.
“Why is that bad?” McGregor asked.
Mia had a feeling they didn’t want to know. Brown confirmed that.
“My dick is confused, that’s why it’s bad.” Brown said.

“Do you guys hate waiting? I hate waiting. I usually play some Pok√©mon when I’m waiting but I all ready finished the newest games.” (Brown...hehe)

“Okay, good point. Reading expands my mind though, helps me learn new things and all that. What does video gaming do for you?” McGregor questioned.
“Improves my hand-eye coordination, response to stimuli, problem solving skills, and lets me take out my aggression on fictional things so I don’t have to become a crazy dude hanging people in a supply closet.” Brown answered. (Which is what their unsub is doing...of course)

“Enter the Lair of the Dragon at your own risk.” Brown called out.
“I’ll never get sick of that happening any time of the day.” James said.
“Yeah, the day he’s not in the office is the day I think I’m on the wrong planet.” Mia told him.
He chuckled as they walked in. Mia shut the door and almost jumped when Brown turned around so fast that he must have broken some law of physics.
“You have food.” Brown said.
“Yes, I have food and Mia has the drinks. I didn’t know what you liked so I just got a big breakfast platter with pancakes, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage and white toast.” James said.
“You? Me? Food?” Brown asked in awe.
James managed to only smile but Mia started chuckling. Apparently gifting Brown with food made him incoherent. Mia would have to remember that.
“Yes, we got food for you. Now, do you have a table or empty space I can set these down on?” James questioned.
Brown turned to his desk, wrapped an arm around a pile of empty energy drink cans, some white cartons, napkins and plastic utensils. Mia watched in half wonder as he swiped the whole pile off the desk then kicked it towards another pile that was growing at the end of the desk.
“Empty space.” Brown offered.

“What is it McGregor?” Mia asked.
“This might sound weird but I’m weird.” McGregor said.
She was not in her SUV. Mia knew that only because the wind sounded strong over the line. Being in a car would block it. Mia gave James a look and he stared at her. He followed as she began to move and the four officers dropped in behind him.
“Go on.” Mia said.
“So, I was sitting in my SUV and I’m facing the field that runs beside the dorms. Just chilling, listening to some music and staring at this lump. Field’s are lumpy in the winter but the more I kept staring, the more my thoughts starting running away from me. There aren’t any other lumps in the field. Maybe it’s a student who fell over. Maybe it’s a dead animal. Maybe it’s the kid that supposed to be in his room.” McGregor said.
“Which kid?” Mia asked.
She was surprised at how smooth her voice had come out. More surprising was how easily she broke into a trot once she was out of the lobby. They rounded the building a moment later but it was too dark to make out anything in the field.
“Not David. I’m at the lump now but snow’s covered it. When you’re in the field I’m in there are certain smells that you know right away, you get it? I smell blood. Piss. Shit. Someone’s lying here dead.” McGregor told her.
The line went dead. Mia saw that her phone suddenly had no service. It didn’t surprise her. It was not even a surprise to see someone standing in the middle of the field that was beside the dorms. That person was squatting down and Mia saw a flash of metal from what she knew was a CSI kit. Benjamin Clark was all ready dead.

“I need to start running with you. Seriously, I can’t keep up to that.” Mia said.
“And I need to learn to shoot.” James said.
“Yeah but that’d take a small miracle.” Mia told him.

“Do you think I insulted her?” James asked. (It's later ;) )
“Huh?” Mia returned.
“McGregor, do you think I insulted her by calling her by her first name?” James questioned.
Mia smirked and shook her head in the negative.
“No.” Mia said.
“Oh good. Wait, why not?” James asked.
(She doesn't answer him for fun.)

As a side note: I should mention that YES Mia and James refer to each other by their first names rather than their last (as normal detectives do) because they are good friends and it shows their bond. They call anyone who is not yet a friend by their last names and the closer a victim was to them (as in the case of David), the more they refer to that victim by the first name. James is especially prone to referring to victims or witnesses by their first names, especially in interviews with families as it connects him to the family. Of the two he's the profiler and Mia is the "take down" specialist. Mia is also a petite Asian woman with the mouth of a sailor. Let that mental imagery sink in. Good? Awesome. ;)

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Resolutions and Revelations

Ah the start of a new year. Adrenaline is pumping from the simple thought that "THIS YEAR WILL BE DIFFERENT", you can't wait to face the day and GET THINGS DONE. You've made a list of resolutions that are meant to better your life and you're telling yourself that you WILL stick to them this year.

Like some people that's the way I'm feeling right now. I'm excited, raring to go, and I can't wait to keep going. I've made a list (which I'll be sharing in a moment) of things I want to do and like others I've resolved to stick with that list. We'll see how that turns out.

Let's get this started though, shall we?

1) Milwordy: Because I'm crazy like that. I am resolving to write another million words from today until the end of the year. I'm actually aiming for November 31st as that's when my writing year ends since I take December off. My online tracker ( is ready, my back-up Notepad file to keep track of monthly successes is ready, and the first book of the year all ready has 3938 words in it.
2) Finish the Crime Fiction Series: It has 11 more books and no general title but dang it I will finish this thing this year so I can move onto other things. In total it'll have 13 books. I'm planning to do this by June because all Hell will likely break loose then. More on that later.
3) Write a query letter then send it out: also known as: TAKE THE FIRST STEPS TO BE TRADITIONALLY PUBLISHED. I keep putting this on my list but never do it. This year, I will. I don't have a choice anymore. I can't self-promote and I can't bend my brain to think like a marketer. It's just not possible. So, I'm going to focus on what I do best (writing) and let someone else worry about getting my books into other people's hands.
4) Lose Weight: See, not all my goals are writing based. I've had this one on my list every year for about ten years and it doesn't happen. I'm sticking to it this year because I'm damn well tired of being 40ish pounds overweight and being limited to what I can and cannot wear because of it. I'm also not too keen on having health issues associated with carrying too much weight and I'm not getting any younger. It's time to make the lifestyle change now, while it's easier, before things really get out of hand. Plus being at your ideal weight/exercising apparently gives you more energy and more energy is great when trying to reach a million words. You knew I'd link that back to writing, didn't you?

That's it. No really. I only have four goals. All four of which I've all ready broken up in my head of how to accomplish them. For example, this month I'll finish Dryer, book three of the crime fiction series before doing the final edits on Cara, the book I plan to query with. Once that final edit is done to the best of my ability I'll write the query letter. Then I'll start Witches, the fourth book in the crime fiction series. All that will hopefully be done this month. I know, I know, I'm crazy.

As for the losing weight thing I'm going to start eating properly: in moderation and adding more fruits/veggies. I'll be taking an hour long walk at a normal pace every day (even if it requires me to pace my house) and once my body gets used to moving, I'll shorten it to half hour with other exercises to help tone. I plan to lose only a pound a week and hopefully by November be at my ideal weight. This is the healthy way to do it people. Crash dieting will only cause you misery and make you gain it back one the diet is "done."

Hey look, it's later. If you look back at resolution 2 you'll see that I mentioned all Hell will break lose in June. More details here. Summation: I might be out of a job come June and may have to look for a new one. I'm not sure yet and I hate not knowing. This is also why I've resolved to try and traditionally publish this year. If I am out of a job I don't know how quickly I'll find a new one or if I'll even like the new one. That's why I'm hoping to take myself out of the "traditional" job market by becoming an author instead of a writer.

Now, you'll notice the title of the blog includes the word "revelations." I had a revelation of sorts on the 27th. The revelation was that I don't care what happens in June. If I'm still with the company I'm with now: awesome. If not: awesome. I know, right?

The reason both are awesome is because either way I'm going to try to make the leap from writer (one who writes) to author (one who gets paid for writing). I will not stop querying until I've given it my all. That's what this year is about (my epiphany so to speak): not giving up until I've given it everything I've got.

For the past, oh, decade or so, I've been coasting through life and letting things go as they please. This year I've resolved to make life bend to me the best I can. I won't coast. I will work. I will push. I will move forward in any way I can to reach my goals. Pretty words right now yes, so come back and talk to me next month to see how I'm doing. ;)

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