How to NaNo

In the past, I’ve been the unofficial ML for the Portsmouth (UK) Region. This year, it’s official. There will be a series of tweets running through October to get you prepared for November (from @AngelLithium and @NaNoPortsmouth), but if you can’t wait to see them each day, here’s an outline. I’m mostly using my worksheets to get you planning, but there are some days when I leave you to your own devices. Good luck! Continue reading

The Rage: Part 29

XIX

Topi comes out first when I give them the signal that it is clear to move. He eyes the man with suspicion, but does not speak. The man barely looks him over; he knows he has strength enough to overpower us. If the Rage takes him, he’ll have more than enough. Topi and I work together to help Emilia up the ladder. As soon as she is upright, the man steps towards her. Topi and I block his route.

“How far along are you?” he asks, stopping only just on his side of the line.

I scowl, looking between him and Emilia. She looks away, her hands clasped in front of her, pulling her clothing more tightly over her front. If she had been injured, we would have known about it; there is no way she could be infected and we not know about it. The last time we saw a Rager was days ago. She would have turned by now.

“Two months?” He asked. “Three? More?”

“What are you talking about?” I begin. “People don’t last—”

“Three,” Emilia interrupted.

I look at Topi. He shakes his head before I speak.

“She’s pregnant. How did you not know?”

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Story Emporium and Other News

So this year has been a bit of a downer so far, but finally, I have writing-related good news! Issue 2 of Story Emporium (Purveyors of Steampunk & Weird Western Adventure) is coming out in August and my short story The Herald may be featured. You can check out the cover art for the magazine here.

In other news, I promise I haven’t given up on The Rage. I’m just taking a little break and rebooting my writing brain so that the next part is as good as it possibly can be. I’ll admit, I lost my way with it a little and wrote several versions of the next episode, but none of them were quite good enough. Plus, with all this summer, you’ve got to get outside while the sun is shining!

Also this year, I will be publishing my world-building book and I’m looking for people to join in with my cover reveal. Post a comment below to let me know if you’re interested.

The Rage: Part 28

XXVIII

He’s still there when darkness falls. Still alone. I hear no movement outside. We both hear Emilia complaining beneath the floor hatch. He says nothing. We haven’t spoken for hours.

I still don’t know what he wants.  I don’t know if I can trust him. All I know is that Emilia will not stay put much longer. If I don’t speak to her, she will force her way out of that tunnel. If I do speak to her, she’ll demand to meet the man. Either way, she’s the weak link.

Emilia is desperate. She would accept his help without even stopping to think about it and if she dies because he is dangerous, I have failed. I cannot let that happen.

The only way I can protect her is to go with her, but then Topi will be alone if he refuses this ‘help’.  Topi is more capable than Emilia, but even he won’t survive long alone. None of us would. I wish Miro were here. He would know exactly what to do. Now it is all on me.

I look at the hatch and back to the man. What else can I do?

“How close is your shelter?”

 

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Goodbye, Harvey

Harvey & his teddy
Harvey & his teddy

Harvey. Harvles. Stinky old fish.

I recently lost my dog. He was a Labrador, 13 years old. He came to us when we needed him most and immediately became my best friend. He had lymphoma. I don’t want him to be gone.

Pooch. Mushroom bum. Waggles.

Words fail me. As a writer, this is rare, but there is nothing I can say to make you understand what this dog meant to me. He was beautiful, gentle, quirky. He was clever, stupid and manic. He was Harvey.

Wiggy dog. Wiggles. Stoopid poopid.

He used to get me out of bed in the mornings. First, he would shake his head. Then he would poke his nose under the covers to dig me out. Failing that, he would bury his head under my pillow and lick my face. One time, he climbed up and stood on me. The whole time, his tail would be thumping against the wall like a war drum. All because it was time for a little walk.

Slow coach. Pumpkin. Babyboy.

He only ever wanted to play with other dogs when they weren’t very friendly. Or if they weren’t allowed off the lead. But the people… Well, he’d be friends with anyone for a gravy bone!

Harbar. Doggy. Hound.

But now… Now there will be no more cuddles on the sofa. No more belly rubs. No more piggy time. He’ll never lead me around the house for no discernable reason or take me on one of his missions around the estate. No one will wag at me when I come into the house. No one will sleep on the bed when I’m not looking.

H. Harvs. Harvey.

He shouldn’t be gone. He shouldn’t have gone that way. He was the kindest, specialest doggy in the whole wide world. I never met a single person who didn’t like him. Even people who hate dogs liked him. And they may be other dogs in the future, but there will never be another like Harvey.

Goodbye, friend.
01/05/2016