I’ve been taking some art classes to improve my sketching which I haven’t worked on with any degree of regularity since high school, and my instructor and I were chatting about life, and writing, and drawing, and she asked when I started writing. I had no answer for that. I don’t remember ever not writing. There have been times when life has gotten in the way, and I haven’t written much in the way of fiction or anything that could be remotely considered fiction, which is my first love as far as writing goes, but I have always written.
When I was in grade school and middle school, I wrote stories and poems, most of which were what you would expect from a kid. In other words, they were horrid, but I have gotten a somewhat embarrassed laugh out of them on those occasions when I have been cleaning out something and came across one. In high school, I wrote stories, and rather bizarre philosophical analysis of different words that would strike me as odd. On one occasion, I remember waxing philosophical about the word nothing. I believe it had to do with why we were naming the absence of a thing.
Yes, I was an odd child, but I think that’s probably true of most writers. In order to get anything done, we have to lock ourselves away from the rest of the world, shut out all distractions, or try to and focus on a fantasy world that we’ve created in our heads. This is not something most people choose to do. Personally, I can’t imagine anything else, and I don’t ever remember a time of not being like this.
Once we started talking about it, Katie, my art teacher, realized she was the same way about drawing. I think most people probably have something they enjoy that they can’t remember ever not doing, and that’s a wonderful thing. I hope you have found yours. I feel sure you have one, but we don’t always realize what that thing is until we are asked about it.
The discussion made me think about that business of letting life get in the way, so in that spirit, I also set goals for the year rather than making resolutions, and this year, one of my goals is to write more of what I like. This means blogging more regularly, and working on my fiction. Blogging is sometimes hard for me because I’m an introvert, and putting myself out there without a character or twelve in front of me is not something that comes easily. However, one thing it does do is get me started writing, so my goal for the year, and yes, I’m late getting started, is to blog at least once a week, even if it’s short. I will also be sharing bits and pieces of my work in progress, the new book in the Tales from Atlantis! The working title is Reaching for Beyond, and I think you’ll enjoy it.
Reaching for Beyond Excerpt:
Blood and death. All I could smell was blood and death. Sometimes having a Shape shifter’s sense of smell is not a good thing. The void energy of death mingled with the scent and echo of life cut short echoed inside me. Slamming up against that was a dark, dark energy that stunk of ritual magic. No one had mentioned blood magic when the call came in to DUE.
My partner, Jason, and I flashed our D.U.E. IDs as we crossed the police tape and started up the cracked walkway. Somehow, I always expect more cops, but other than a few on the perimeter, it was just the crime scene team and the M.E. The house looked normal enough, a big, old rambling thing that might have made the historical register with a bit of refurbishing. It sat in one of those neighborhoods that should have kids riding bikes up and down, and touch football games going on. Normal. What was inside wasn’t normal.
My stomach churned. The blood and death were bad enough, but the smell of werewolf, and Lilin combined with the dark energy that I couldn’t identify emanating from the house concerned me more than the smell alone. The dark energy shivered over my skin, and I could feel anger rising. I grabbed Jason’s arm to keep my balance.
His blond head turned to me and he whispered. “Are you ok?”
“Fine,” I said. “Just a little shaky.”
I’d fill him in on the dark energy later. Maybe by then, I could figure out what it was, and why it was making me angry. The energy wasn’t an emotional energy. It was just dark. Even so, with my training and shields, it shouldn’t have affected my emotions at all, much less so strongly. The only benefit I could see right now from either my training or my shields was that I realized the dark energy was making me angry, and that let me push it back and not take it out on the people around me. Unfortunately, I couldn’t tell exactly where the anger was coming from, and it didn’t seem to be connected to the Lilin or Werewolf energy. It might not have helped if it was connected to one of them, but at least I’d have a place to start.
“Do you need to stop?” Jason put his hand at the small of my back, lending me his energy.
“No. Let’s get this done.” It came out sharper than I intended it, but the anger kept rising, pushing me to lash out. Knowing what was causing it helped some, but the urge to punch someone was increasing. When an empath lashes out, our emotions spill out over everyone. If I wasn’t careful, I could start a brawl at the crime scene. Not particularly helpful when trying to solve a crime and a good way not to be invited back.