Nothing Out of the Ordinary

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Aira clutched tightly to her lunch bag as she turned the handle of the door with her free hand. There were only three doors left till she reached the freedom of her car. Work was long and relentless and the weekend was far away, but Aira liked her job even though it was exhausting. When she reached the second door Aira quickly crossed the tiny reticular room as she rushed towards the third door. That’s when she noticed the elevator door was open. She barely paid any attention to it before, but there was something different about it. The colors clashed against the ones in the room almost as if it did not belong there.

The walls were covered in sandy tan wallpaper and the floors were neatly tiled in marble stone. She’d forgotten there was another elevator at all, but this one was far fancier than the busted metal box they used to haul supplies in. Her hand pressed against the handle of the third door, as she debated taking a step inside the elevator. She applied enough force to the door that it cracked open, but curiosity got the best of her as she let the door close and walked towards the mysterious elevator.

It wasn’t as dramatic as her imagination led her to believe. From the inside, it looked like any other elevator she had been in. Aira allowed her fingers to trace the soft textured wallpaper as her eyes rolled over the detail on the marble floors. There was a patient hum coming from the elevator that waited for her next move. That was when Aira realized that the elevator had four floors instead of two. She looked curiously at the dimly glowing yellow buttons, letting her eyes wander freely up and down the panel as she counted the number of floors in her head. The buttons were smooth and felt like glass, not like the other elevator buttons warned from use. She hit the button for the first floor and the doors opened again to the room she had just left. She poked her head out and shrugged and allowed the doors closed again. She tapped the button for the second floor, expecting to reach the back hallway of the administrative offices upstairs.

When the elevator lifted it moved effortlessly as the gears and machinery merged together in a marvelous chorus. The doors opened and a light blinded her as the sound of music rattled through her ears. Once her eyes adjusted she looked out at the sea of dancing bodies below her. She peered over the patio at the crowd, all moving to the beat of the music coming from the bandstand. She was shocked at first, unable to take her eyes off the faces in the crowd, who looked so content and carefree; something she had not felt in a long time. Part of her wanted to dwell in this transitional state, as her eyes passed over the sweat covered faces of the people below her. She couldn’t help but feel a little bit envious, but she leaned back into the elevator as the doors closed once more. She stood there for a second trying to wrap her mind around how a crowd full of hundreds of people could possibility be on the second floor. It was so bizarre, almost unbelievable, but she was curious and pressed the button for the third floor.

It was the smell of the ocean that she noticed first when the doors opened. There was a gentle breeze and blue skies when she looked out in front of her. She noticed the endless sea around her, she wondered if she were now on a boat. She looked out onto the wooden deck which was completely empty except for a few patio chairs and tables when suddenly she heard gunshots. She pressed her hands to her ears and ducked. A few yards in front of her a man came hurtling towards her. Behind him were three tall men not far behind. They were shooting at him. She immediately hit the close door button, but as she did she couldn’t help but notice the smug look of excitement and exhilaration on the running man’s face.

The doors closed leaving only the gentle hum of the machinery. She stepped back and leaned against the wall listening to the beat of her heart. What in the world did she just see? A part of her wanted to stop this crazy adventure, but she couldn’t take her eyes off the fourth floor. This time, she was more hesitant, as she reached out and pressed the button for the fourth floor. The doors opened to an all-white office, with tiny light gray cubicles with people crouched over their computers like drones. On the walls were hundreds of clocks with no hands, silently ticking away. No one noticed her on the opposite end of the office; they were too immersed in their work. It was odd, she took a second to look at everyone’s faces – all were stoic, empty, and emotionless.

Aira stepped back into the elevator, her mind reeling as if she had just lifted the curtain on reality. She stared at the floor as her mind shouted to her to hit the first-floor button and run away, but inside of her she couldn’t ignore the tiny spark of curiosity. It burned brightly in the depths of her self-conscious, driving her forward. She reached for the third-floor button.

The doors opened, “What took you so long?” smiled the running man.

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The Thrill of the Chase

Lately, I’ve found myself eager to jump into the page. The prospect of editing and revision has put me in a better mood, which is very uncommon for me. These feelings, reminiscent of my college days, are a welcome refresher as I finalize my novel for publication.

I may not like every part of the publishing process, but nothing brings me more satisfaction than the headways of progress. Earlier this month I received my draft from my Editor filled with lots of mistakes and errors to be fixed. Goosebumps jolted down my spine as I read the feedback. It was exhilarating to have someone look over my work and give good feedback. I’m hungry for it, I want to know what I can do to make my story better, to drive it forward. I can’t wait to start up again and much work needs to be done, but I’m loving it. Yes, I’m sure the revision process will have me pulling my hair out, but I’ll be better for it and Ouji will be better for it too because this is what passion is. Passion is seeing the value in every part, even the parts that drive you to the breaking point and when all is said and done you can look back with pride at your work.

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I’m excited to finish this project, not just to get it out of the way, but because I want this story to be the best story it can be.

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Ouji The Curious Cat comes out this February and is recommended for readers eight and older.

Coming Soon

I realize I don’t talk very much about my novel coming out in February and in truth I wouldn’t know where to start. I have that sort of writer’s point of view where I feel the need to unload every little detail of the story and I know that can be a bit over the top. I’m not going to let that be an obstacle, though, I believe I’ll get better with practice. So let’s have some fun, let’s try to flush this out a bit.

My first project is entitled Ouji The Curious Cat, a modern tale about a very curious house cat with a heart for adventure. He dreams, like many other creatures, to have the freedom to do what he wants, when he wants but soon learns that freedom comes with a lot of responsibilities. It’s a lot for a little house cat from the suburbs, but he quickly learns that he is not alone and that there is great value in having friends.

Themes of adventure and friendship are very important in this story. As Ouji starts to step further and further out of his comfort zone. Join Ouji this February on his journey from his warm cozy home in the suburbs to the vast mountainous forest of lore as he discovers that the most important part of the journey is not the destination, but the friends you make along the way.

How was that? Needs work, I know, but time is on my side!

Ouji The Curious Cat comes out this February and is recommended for readers eight and older.

The Gift of Supernatural

It’s been three years since the television show Supernatural came into my life. Entering in at the height of my undergrad procrastination period, I found the episodes of the fantasy show on Netflix one evening at the library. Looking for something to save me from another tiresome physics lesson I clicked on episode one and have been hooked since.

To all my friends and family it is no secret that I love Supernatural. I enthusiastically bring it up all the time and when I meet a fellow fan I know immediately that I am in good company. I’ve dressed up as the characters, bought seasons and collectibles, even met the cast in person, but those things aren’t the greatest gift the show has given me.

When I’m not working on my novels or short stories, I write fan-fiction. I love creating stories based on established universes and Supernatural has been my writing outlet when life was too stressful or busy to craft my own worlds. Through writing about the show I have met many amazing writers and people. Fans who are in love with the craft of writing just as much as they are in love with the show. These writers and readers, who are eager to share their wisdom, offer a peer edit, or be a wall to bounce ideas off of. I am truly lucky for this unexpected gift and grateful for the amazing people I have met through the show.

This show has given me so much and helped me become a better writer because sometimes you need a place where you can express yourself and feel welcomed. Every author can benefit from this. I am lucky to have found this community because of a television show, one that continues to inspire and be supportive of its fans.

 

To all the SPN fans, Happy Supernatural Day!

See you Friday!

 

**Photo credit – Brittany Rose Photography

Picky Reader

If you walk down the halls of any English department or sit in at any writer’s club you’ll hear lots of writers chatting away about their favorite books. With passion in their eyes, they’ll explain the plots and character development with such enthusiasm drawing you to open up the page. Within thirty minutes of conversation I could get a library of recommendations, but what comes naturally for some, does not come naturally for all.

I’m talking about having the passion for writing, but not for reading. This does sound a little weird and is more commonly found the other way around. I’m not sure why the passion of reading passed me over. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good book and would put away a manga in a heartbeat, however when it comes to reading novels I can’t start and finish them at the pace that others seem too.

Now it’s wrong to compare yourself to others, and if I were being honest I tend to be a little afraid of longer books. Maybe I have some kind of condition or maybe I’m just lazy, regardless even I can see the benefit of being a strong reader. I know once I find the right book I’ll power through it. I’m just not someone who can simply pick up a book and go, I need to put in the work and search for books that I like. So this year I would like to add reading to my hobby list. I want to be able to start and finish a book just like I would with a Netflix show. I’m not sure yet how this is going to work, but I know it’ll be worthwhile.

Into The Storm

Sorry for the late entry!
Life happened as it always does, but I have my journal entry at least!

On my journey to self-publishing, I was faced with many options and even more questions. There was the choice of who to publish with, how to find an editor, and how to find a cover artist. Each of these was just the icing on the cake, though, as the cost of copyright and ISBNs and marketing popped up out of nowhere. It was frustrating and confusing for a new author like me to process this, let alone finance it, but hope was not far away.

I loaded up my old friend Google and did countless Facebook searches and was shocked to find a large number of resources out there for new authors. You’re not alone when you have access to so many writers’ blogs and support groups and I’m not shy about joining support groups. I recommend any new author or seasoned author seek out similar groups related to writing. Now this isn’t as easy as it sounds, you still have to test the waters.

I learned a lot about my book looking for support groups online. Firstly, find out what kind of book you’re trying to publish, is it a children’s book like mine or something for teens or adults. Is it fiction or non-fiction, these are important questions to ask when searching for the best group for your writing style. From there, find out what you’re looking for in a group and what you can offer. Are you already published and looking for a group focused on marketing? Are you looking for beta readers or peer editing groups? Or are you fresh to the writing world and looking for support on getting your idea onto paper. Whatever you’re looking for they’ll be a group out there for you, but you have to put in the work and do your research.

I’m no pro and I’m still feeling my way around, but Googling and searching on Facebook has helped me this far. So I would definitely recommend.