Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Blood of Eirny paperbacks are here!

Paperbacks of Blood of Eirny are finally available on Amazon and CreateSpace! If you would like a signed one, please click the button on the left side of the screen underneath the Blood of Eirny cover!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Random Observations as a Newcomer to the Gluten Free Lifestyle

I have decided to make a random non-book post, today. This is also my personal blog, after all.

I've started this gluten free lifestyle change within the last several months, because my body apparently can't handle gluten. In case you're wondering, gluten is found in wheat, rye, barley, triticale. I had symptoms like high insulin levels, sciatica, eczema, joint pain, and full-blown migraines nearly every single day.  It's a really hard change to make, at first. However, the symptoms I listed above are gone. My general allergy problems are far less. I've lost a lot of bulk, though I'm not quite skinny, yet. I feel a million times better.

However not everything is super easy, and it's definitely not all sunshine and roses and healthy food. These are my observations with this change so far:

  1. Most products with modern wheat are ridiculously bad for you. Seriously. Just look at the labels. Loads of sugars, little nutritional content, I could go on.
  2. Gluten free processed stuff isn't necessarily good for you, either. Most of them are higher in carbs. It's why you should eat more fruits, veggies, non-gluten unprocessed grains, etc. before reaching out for those processed gluten free vanilla wafers. Although those wafers are delicious. Just throwing that out there. Besides, avoiding those processed foods and adding more natural ones makes it easier to get all the vitamins you actually need straight from the source. Just because a soda is enhanced with vitamin C, that doesn't mean it's good for you, or even better for you than that other soda over there. I'm just saying.
  3. If you don't get enough fiber on this diet, you will have to supplement or feel really terrible. The pills tend to stick in your throat. The powder stuff tastes like orange sawdust koolaid. I suggest getting enough fiber.
  4. Far more people have a gluten intolerance or gluten allergy than even THEY know. Want to know the symptoms? Here and here. Talk to your doctor, even.
  5. Wheat is in darn near everything. Grocery shopping for me was ridiculously hard at first. While breads and things are more obvious, it's also hidden in less obvious places, such as seasonings, bags of sunflower seeds, oatmeal, chicken broth, soups, some types of bacon, soy sauce ... It can even be in your medications. This is why label-reading is your friend.
  6. Of all the people I know with allergies, more people who have a wheat allergy actually refuse to avoid it than any other allergen. Why? Because wheat is addictive. It has this stuff in it called gliadin that is an opiate. There were days I contemplated robbing babies of their cookies. I never did, of course. But fighting the urge was intense. Fun, huh? You can actually go through withdrawal symptoms when you cut gluten out of your diet. None of those symptoms are fun. Not even kinda.
  7. You will (probably) not die if you slip up and eat something with wheat in it, once in a while.
  8. However, if you do slip up, your body will hate you. Especially if you've gone a few months without it (long enough to get it out of your system, completely). The level of which it hates you will depend on why you stopped eating it, in the first place. Even if you have no reason to stop eating it, but do anyways, you will feel like you just ate an entire tub of rubber cement. Delicious.
  9. Gluten free products are stupid expensive. I'm serious. You get less product for a much higher price. Unless, of course, you get things that have always been gluten free, such as milk, vegetables, fruits, etc. However, they can charge you more if they put that gluten free label on it.
  10. It's far more satisfying to take the time to make things yourself. It really is. It tastes better, and you're absolutely certain of what's in it.
  11. It is NOT hard to find something gluten free at most restaurants (fast food is more difficult). However, with many restaurants, you will not be super happy about what is available to you. I get really tired of salads and sandwiches sans bread. Also, you still run the risk of wheat contamination.
  12. Gluten free pretzels are WAY better than regular ones. Don't believe me? Try it. They're worth the extra dollars.
  13. Many Hershey's candy bars are gluten free. I am ashamed of how happy this fact made me.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Random Musical Memories

So, as many of you know, I have struggled for most of my life with severe depression. I've written about it here, if you'd like to read about what it's like to actually have it.

Anyways, I was listening to my Spotify station, as I usually do when I'm writing. Suddenly, a song came on that I hadn't heard in a while. You know those songs that immediately pull you out of whatever mood you're in and give you stability and hope? This was mine. This song (and the album it came from) has gotten me through so much, be it events that happened to me or my own self-destruction. I decided that I wanted to share it with you.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Sneak Peeks from Facebook

There's a Facebook game for authors going around right now that requests authors give 7 lines or the first full paragraph from page 7, 70, or 170 of current works in progress or recently released books. Since I've posted them on my personal wall, I decided that I'll also post them here so all can read them! I'll also edit this document to include as many as I post there. :-) Which are you looking most forward to? Answer in the comments!

All pieces are copyright by me!

~*~    ~*~    ~*~    ~*~    ~*~
Out Now!
~*~    ~*~    ~*~    ~*~    ~*~

Avery stared blankly through the charred remains of the library, as the residents slowly made their way through, up the ladder, and out into the castle above. She felt as if another piece of her had burned to death in the flames. Thousands of years of history had been reduced to ashes within minutes.

~*~    ~*~    ~*~    ~*~    ~*~
~*~    ~*~    ~*~    ~*~    ~*~

She squealed and pulled her knees in front of her face. She wanted to get up and run, but she had frozen in place.

Almost instantly, his teeth flattened to appear normal, once again. “I told you not to be afraid of me.” He reached out to her, but she yanked herself away. He sighed deeply. “I swear I won’t hurt you.”

“H-how am I supposed to believe that?”

“If I were going to, I would have done it, already. Even better, that idiot kid was already doing a good enough job of it. I could have just left him to it and saved myself the energy.”

~*~    ~*~    ~*~    ~*~    ~*~
~*~    ~*~    ~*~    ~*~    ~*~

And then Liv happened. Suddenly, he understood why he’d put up with Liv’s controlling ways. He had been desperate to make the pain stop. He had tried to fill the void that Lilliana’s absence had caused. Without her, the Gavin that she had mentioned had been crippled. “You might be here a while.”

She looked up at him. She instantly recognized the look of wishful thinking on his face, which caught her slightly off-guard. Not knowing what else to say, she decided to go with the only safe bet. “Let’s go check out that roof.”

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Special Surprise!

So, I have this friend who is an AMAZING writer, but she thinks she's awful. She gave me permission to share a short story of hers with you all, but only if I give her a pen name. So, I've decided to do just that! This is so amazing that it needs to be shared! Make sure to tell her what you think in the comments!

by Evangeline

Red. The reason I work in a slaughter house. Red. The only color I can see. My eye is drawn to it. Just like my ears were drawn to the sound of your laughter. Ha...laughter...slaughter. There are so many links to you.

You stepped into my life and for the first time I felt like I was normal. Like I wasn't missing anything. Growing up almost completely colorblind is not easy on a kid. People are mean little shits. God forbid my socks don't match. What a fool I was.

Now that doesn't matter I wear the same thing every single day. I couldn't tell you what fucking color the material is. But no matter. By the end of the day it is soaked in sticky jam like clumps of deep, dark red.

Red like your lipstick. It drove me wild those pouty full lips of yours. I would imagine how your breath felt against your breath would sound in my ear.

You were such a pretty little thing. Your short Catholic school girl skirt. Getting called into the office because it wasn't regulation length. Fixing it in front of the principal only to hike it back up in the hall. You'd pull that skirt up slowly and watch me watching you. Your soft pink flesh coming into view.

And when you'd walk by you'd brush up against me. Every. Single. Time.

For months we flirted silently. More so you than me. I was never the flirt. Still am not.

One day fate stepped in and we were paired up in chemistry the two of us. Finally, a name. Alicia. Ali for short.

Ali. Oh...the name is like music to my ears. Even now. Even after everything.

That day in chemistry you cut yourself on broken glass. It oozed from the palm of your hand...the life draining from your body. Slowly. So very slowly.

I offered to walk with you to the nurse. The cut was so bad your parents were called and you were taken to a doctor.

Somehow, I still don't know how, you found out where I lived. That tiny little house...falling apart while my mom slept around on my dad..while my dad drank himself to sleep almost every night.

You showed up at my door. Cookies in a tin. Smiling at me and thanking me for helping. Apologizing for getting blood on my clothes.

A smudge in the middle of mute, depressing gray. The most beautiful thing to happen to my boring old pants. Your blood...on me.

We walked around the block a few times. You made me try a cookie. They were the first you ever made. They were the most delicious cookies I've ever eaten.

We found a bench at the park. Sat down. You told me about how your friends always made fun of me for being different. So what, you said, if my clothes didn't match or if my paintings in art looked like murder scenes. You told me I was always kind to other people and that's all that mattered.

Suddenly you took my hand in yours. I could have sworn lightening went through my entire body and shot me right in the brain. A feeling of tingly warmth flooded over me.

You told me you liked me and rested your head on my shoulder, scooting closer.

My head was swimming. Swimming in lake of pure bliss. I was a million miles away and yet had never been so grounded in a moment in my life.

I looked down at our hands, palms pressed together. A slight hint of red on your bandage.

You know I have liked you for a long time, I finally whispered softly into your hair. I lifted your hand and kissed the bandage.

You smiled at me.

I walked you home. You said you would see me in the morning.

I went home and put the cookie tin in my closet. I actually still have those cookies and that rusty old tin. Sitting right there on my dresser. The red reminding me of you...the rust dull and beautiful. Like time has done to my memories of that day. The only light in my otherwise bleak ass world.

I never saw you again. The next morning you were hit by a car. A man had a heart attack at the wheel and lost control. You died. He lived. I died.

Life hasn't been the same since that day. The day you cut your hand. The day you confessed your feelings and held my hand. That day your blood soaked into my clothes and changed my world.

And I never felt happy again until I went into the slaughter house.

Every day I get relive our perfect time together. Slicing the skin so carefully. Watching the blood drip...

All I see is beauty and your face. Where animals die I see life. Where blood runs I see possibility.

Red. It is the only color I see. Ali is the only word I hear.

Those old pants will need to be framed soon. The red spot. All I have left of you.


Sunday, July 14, 2013

Learning as we go!

So I thought I would share something that I learned recently. Hopefully it will help some of you who feel a bit blocked when you're writing a story that wasn't fully born in your own brain.

I recently decided to work on an entry for an anthology. It was for a great cause, and there are a bunch of amazing people who will be involved. Anyways, the I was given a bare bones plot, a genre, a few character names, and was then left to my own devices. Easy, right? Ha! Yeah, not really. It's way harder than I expected.

I spent a week or two diagramming where I wanted to go with the characters and where the story would go. That was slightly difficult (Obviously. It took a a week or two.), but I managed. I almost never fully go along with my own diagrams and such, but I like to keep up with them in case I get stuck or in case I forget something I've already written in a story (like character appearances, events, etc.) Trust me. It's easier to forget small details like that than you think. If I had any advice for a new writer, that would be it. Jot down finicky details that you'll likely forget. It's easier to look at your notes than try to figure out where you put it in the story.

So anyways, after the diagramming and stuff was done, I dove right in. It's my typical method, and it hasn't failed me yet. Well ... until this time. It was really hard to get into the story. Which is a bit surprising because the stuff I was given is great material to work with. So I did some meditating. I tried to come up with a logical answer as to why I couldn't get into the story, despite the fact that I was able to diagram the heck out of it.

And then it hit me. I do so well with Avery, Lilliana, Madeline, Lana and Eden (the latter four are all in currently unreleased stories), because they were born in my brain. They're my characters. They're like my children. I know them almost as well as I know myself. While I came up with the looks and personalities of these new characters, they still just didn't feel personal. Like that random kid at school that you always said hi to every once in a while. You don't dislike them. You just don't really know them and don't click together like you do with your BFF.

So then I had a new problem to solve. How do you MAKE these characters personal? How do you become BFFs with this character that you know so little about? How would you find a connection to this character who wasn't born in your head?

Well, I have a relatively new friend that has a personality that fit in somewhat with the personality that I wrote for the main character. I wondered how much it would help to place his personality inside this awesome new character. With his permission (or really me telling him I'm going to do it and him just so happening to be okay with it), I set to work. While this character is not EXACTLY him and he isn't EXACTLY this character, it somehow made it easier for me to relate to this book guy. It somehow made me care about the character a bit more, and it completely wiped out my relatively apathetic feelings for the story. It somehow breathed new life into it, so I'm just as excited about it now as I was when I was told about this anthology. Somehow, making even that tiny connection was enough to turn this character into my adopted child.

So, I don't know if this trick will work for absolutely everyone. However, it worked amazingly for me. Perhaps if you have the same problem, it wouldn't hurt to give it a shot. Or at the very least, perhaps it gave you direction in figuring out why you can't relate enough to your own project that was given to you by someone else. At any rate, if it helps even one person, I figure that's a success.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Blood of Eirny is here!

Have you been dying to read the the next book in the Chronicles of Eirny? Well, it's out! It's up on Amazon and Smashwords right now, but I'm working on getting it up on Barnes & Noble and Createspace! Blurb and links below!

~*~   ~*~   ~*~   ~*~   ~*~   ~*~   ~*~

After spending weeks in the Angelic Realm under the guidance of her father, Arzamael, Avery returns to rescue two young strangers from horrors beyond her worst nightmare.

As the newcomers settle into their new lives, secrets of Eirny’s past are revealed, threatening to tear Avery’s world apart. While she tries to figure out what these revelations mean for her, she is given a mission that will shake the citizens of Eirny down to the core.

Can Avery defend her home and the people she loves from forces stronger than anything she has ever faced before? What secret does Eirny’s past hold, and what does it mean for Eirny’s future?