Posts Tagged ‘writing’

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I guess I should probably get to posting my own response for this blog challenge #1, shouldn’t I? The prompt was to write a story including the following three elements: A stolen ring, a fear of spiders, and a sinister stranger. So… let’s get to it then, shall we?

–WARNING: Mature Rating–

“You shouldn’t have taken it, Kaleigh!” My voice was damn near an octave higher than usual, and I could hear the fear tremoring through the tone in nearly palpable waves. I knew it was stupid — legends were just that, stories that had no proof of truth. Maybe I was superstitious, or maybe I was smart. I wasn’t sure — but my girlfriend was looking at the ring that she’d snatched with reverence in her eyes. The stone was almost garnet, but the color was even deeper than that.

It almost swirled red like blood. From the moment that I’d seen it, I knew it was trouble. Every story that I’d ever heard as a child said that to take anything from the catacombs was to court a demon. The fact that we’d even come down here at all was almost more than I’d been willing to do, but Kaleigh had wanted to, begged me to… and in the end, I’d given in to her demands.

“Oh, Sarah, stop it. Nothing’s going to happen. See,” she wiggled her curvaceous body back and forth, “I’m still alive and kicking. There’s no demon.” And then, with a happy grin, she picked my hand up before I could stop her and slid the ring onto my left hand. “And now you have the prettiest damn engagement ring that anyone could ask for.”

I opened my mouth to protest, and I started to yank the band off… and then what she’d said hit me.

Engagement ring. My eyes widened, and my breath caught in my throat. She was asking me what I thought she was…

“Really, baby?” My nervousness was still there in the background, but I couldn’t hold back the smile that split my features. Suddenly, the whole idea of the curse wasn’t so bad.

“I love you, Sarah.” And her lips crushed against mine in a hot, excited kiss that made me all but forget the sensation in the back of my mind that something was going to happen.

I didn’t notice him until the next day. I was walking home from work when it happened; the dark shadow was a few blocks down, making sure to stay in the darkness so that I couldn’t make out his face. I had to assume that it was a he, because the figure was big and hulking. It was either that, or some Amazon Warrior had decided to follow me. My eyes continued to flick behind me, and I twisted the ring on my hand nervously. With my other, I quickly reached into my purse and wrapped my fingers around my mace.

I’d use it if I had to. Hopefully, whoever it was following me was just walking the same way that I was, and there wasn’t anything to worry about.

When I turned around again, the figure was gone. I breathed a sigh of relief, but it quickly turned into a scream that caught in my throat when I turned back in the direction fo my path. Before me stood the man that had been following me — of course, saying the word man was a very loose term.

The creature hulked at eight feet tall, and its skin was a solid, liquidy black that left him looking like he’d rolled in wet ink. Its eyes were slits, pointed and catlike, though blood-red in color.

The same red as the ring that I wore, which burned hot on my finger.

Its body was huge, though it wasn’t muscle so much as presence — and its spindle like fingers that stretched out towards me had two too many digits. I stepped back, raising my mace and spraying it, though I already knew it was pointless. Whatever I was seeing, which threatened to tear the sanity away from my mind altogether, wasn’t human.

I was hoping I’d simply gone crazy, but I could smell sulfur in the air and feel the cool sting of the night air sucking out the oxygen in my lungs from terror. I wasn’t dreaming. I wasn’t crazy.

The thing didn’t flinch when I sprayed it. Those long, needle-like fingers wrapped around my throat and lifted me into the air as though I was nothing more than a rag doll.

“You are the one who took my ring.” And though he spoke, the words that he said were whispered in my head. What came out of his mouth was dark, vicious speech that no human had heard before.

“N-no. I–” I struggled to choke out the words around its grip, to let it know that I hadn’t taken the ring at all… but my fiancee’s face sprang into my mind, and I knew that I couldn’t betray her. “Take it back.”

My hands struggled to pull the ring off, but it wouldn’t budge. It felt glued to my skin, and I yanked and pulled until my finger was raw and bleeding, and the thing was laughing richly in my face again.

“It’s too late for that now.” It leaned in, inhaling my scent and grinning — its teeth were stained the same inky black as its skin. “You smell like fear. I want more.”

Those red eyes flashed bright, and for a moment nothing happened. I felt it slowly — a soft trickle of eight legs trailing along my neck. I knew the sensation, and I brought my hand up to smack, a scream trying to rip from my chest around the choking sensation on my neck. I saw the fat, black spider a moment before another crawled along my arm. I tried to scream again, and I flailed in his arms like a thing on fire, a wild cat caught in a trap. I wasn’t afraid of many things, but spiders… spiders were on the short list. I screamed again, and felt something tickling on my tongue. Huge, fat, it crept from my throat and against my lips, all fangs and legs and itching, scraching hair.

I screamed over and over again, but the creature holding me seemed to drink the sound down, and soon there were spiders pouring out of my mouth, my nose, my ears. I could feel them trickling from between my legs — they were coming from everywhere. And then, with a rip of pain, they began to spill from beneath my nails, until every part of me was alive and crawling with them.

I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t think — terror made my heart throb so painfully in my chest that I thought I would die from it; the hot stream that soaked along my leg was evidence to that fear… and just as I felt I was going to faint from it… suddenly…

They were gone.

I was limp in its arms now, and it brought me forward to cradle me almost affectionately against its chest. Its words were a dark rumble, and its fingers held me tight when it spoke.

“Oh, this is going to be so much fun.” And, paralyzed by his touch, by my fear, by my trembling body and my aching throat, I couldn’t manage the strength to break his grip and get away as he took a few steps and walked into a swirling dark shadow, passing us through the world of humans and into his realm.

Uh… dang. That was dark guys. I apologize. Still, really fun prompt! I hope that you guys enjoyed it! I am going to be running this challenge for the foreseeable future, so if you want in on this awesomness, just start responding and link back to my page! You’ll get free shares out, and become part of our writing network for better exposure, blog comments, and just all around fun!

My Awesome Participants!!!:

http://www.readlistennibble.com/home/2018/6/5/blog-challenge-prompt-1

https://www.myloeyeager.com/2018/06/09/mirandas-ring/

http://torylynnwriter.blogspot.com/2018/06/escape-working-title.html

https://hrstephens.com/2018/06/08/the-duke-and-the-thief/

https://heretherebegames.blogspot.com/2018/06/egos-blog-challenge-1-all-for-wish.html

https://havenofchaos.org/2018/06/08/when-a-stalker-follows/

https://wp.me/p9W30w-1G

http://flyingkittystudio.com/?page_id=43

https://plotbunnywhackamole.wordpress.com/2018/06/09/ring-phobia-stranger

https://thewritingkennel.wordpress.com/2018/06/06/blog-challenge-2-tyra-part-3/

https://giannarobbin.wordpress.com/2018/06/09/challenge-prompt-1/

 

Stay tuned for the next portion of my blog challenge! I’ll be getting it up tomorrow! Until then,

Author Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Facebook PageNaNo Page | Tumblr | Blog Masterpost | My Writing Group
Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

 

 

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New beginnings are always tough, but I’m more than experienced in starting over. I’ve done it a thousand times before, with a thousand different faces.

I guess that sounds a bit… well, odd, does it? Don’t worry, I’ll explain myself. If you want to understand, though, you have to abandon all of your conceptions of what is real and what is not. You have to give up on your silly, human notions of what is possible and what isn’t.

I am not a possibility — I am an inevitability.  I am what your life will eventually come to, whether you will it or not; I am that long sleep and an earthen embrace.

I am death.

Of course, your very conception of what I am is skewed. I am not a creature who roams in a robe with a scythe. I am not a singular entity. There are thousands of my kind, and we all reap the souls of the humans around us. We are unseen, but sometimes felt — you equate us to ghosts when the memory of your loved ones resonate within us. You equate our presence to the chill that spills down your spine, and to the shimmering shine that you call ‘orbs’ within your photos.

It isn’t just a ghostly presence, however, that you can attribute me to. Humans have trouble understanding when someone that they know had a sudden change of personality — humans blame it on an imbalance of hormones, on shock, on trauma. Sometimes, it is these things… but…

Sometimes, it is one of my kind.

New beginnings are always tough, but I’m more than experienced in starting over… because I’ve lived a thousand lives. When a human succumbs to death, I sometimes choose to slip into their skin, to assume their life. Their soul flees and flits, I absorb it into my being… and I become who they are — who they were.

Sometimes, I enjoy living life just as much as you do. I want to feel; I want to experience. When a young girl has suddenly become sexually promiscuous without cause, perhaps I am to blame. When a rich man tosses aside his fortune to travel the world and live life to the fullest? That’s me, too.

And when a seemingly innocuous and innocent individual suddenly goes on a murderous rampage.

Well, sometimes I like to cause a hassle to my brothers and sisters.

Guilty as charged.

Just a writing prompt I did for my discord server! I’d love to see what you guys could come up with for this though!

Author Amanda McCormick

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Deciding a project is always hard to do… and I’m having that issue right now. I’m doing my commissions, and I’m working on getting a very good rhythm going with those. I’m pleased on that front… but I’m still torn about which project I want to select as the novel that I really focus down on and polish until it shines.

And that’s just the thing — sometimes it isn’t always an easy decision. And sometimes you need to get some outside advice. I’m going to finish rewriting one into first person, and I’m going to add the last few chapters onto the other… and then I’m going to give the manuscripts to some very well trusted people to ask them which one they think has the most potential. It’s honestly so important to have people that you can trust, and people who you can go to for an opinion. It’s not me going for a critique, or for editing. It’s not even me going for constructive criticism (which is so important, trust me), it’s me trusting a small group of people who I know can read the book without me having to edit it and tell me, “Hey, this idea is better.”

You need to surround yourself with people who understand your needs, and who understand your desires. Look for a writing group, make some writer friends ❤ You won’t regret it!

So, that’s my bit of advice for the day ❤ I hope it helps, and I’d love to hear your thoughts! If there’s a subject you want me to touch on for the next blog, leave it in the comments or email me!

Author Amanda McCormick

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*Eyes header* Daily writing… oh, I’m supposed to be doing that, huh? I’ve finally hammered myself out a proper schedule that I want to start with again, and I am determined to keep with it. That is one of the hardest and best things that you can do when you’re really trying to establish a writing habit.

You (and when I say you, I mean me xD And it might work for you, too) need to have some sort of game plan when it comes to your writing if you are trying to take it seriously and make it a job. I’m not saying that you have to have a strict and stringent amount that you always stick to. I’m not saying that the world will implode if something happens and you can’t do it.

But having a plan, mapping it out, figuring out your goals for the day? It helps a lot. It gives you boxes to check when you’re done and a feeling of accomplishment when you’ve done it.

It’s more than that, though. I’ve talked about goals a lot, but they aren’t just to show you the finish line so you have something to work towards. They’re there to show you when it is okay to stop, and when it’s okay to not feel guilty that you’re done. That sounds weird, right? But, as someone who writes for a living… I pretty much feel guilty any time that I’m not writing. I could have done 5,000 words for the day, and if I take time to play a video game for a few hours (Hello, Stardew Valley Beta, you beautiful thing you) I feel guilty. I think to myself, “I should be writing right now. I could get more words.”

You can’t do that to yourself. Yeah, writing can consume your mind. Yeah, you can draw storylines from things as silly as Stardew Valley… but, sometimes, you have to give your brain a rest. Sometimes, you have to know that it’s okay to stop. That’s what goals are good for. If you hit that 1k, 2k, 3k goal — if you hit that 250 word goal — if you hit that 1 page goal…

You did it. Congrats. Yes, you can keep going. Yes, it’s awesome if you do. But you don’t have to. You can rest, and you can rest without feeling guilty.

I don’t know if this is a problem you guys run into a lot, but I know it’s something that I’ve had issues with more than once.

So, that’s my bit of advice for the day ❤ I hope it helps, and I’d love to hear your thoughts! If there’s a subject you want me to touch on for the next blog, leave it in the comments or email me!

Author Amanda McCormick

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I’ve been listening to On Writing by Stephen King lately (it’s a fantastic audiobook, especially since King himself narrates it!). There was a quote in the book that really resonated with me:

Writing is a lonely job. Having someone who believes in you makes a lot of difference. They don’t have to make speeches. Just believing is usually enough.

I am fortunate enough to have a husband who is more than just passingly supportive. He constantly encourages me, constantly urges me to write and to attempt to publish. He constantly cheers me on, and I wonder what my writing life would be like if I didn’t have someone like that in it?

I think that’s why I try to keep my writing server up and running and positive. I want to offer the same support to people as I get on a daily basis from my husband. I’ve really started thinking, and I really do realize that it’s that encouragement that helps people to go on. If you didn’t have someone who told you you can do this, I wonder… how hard would it be to find the will to wade through the hard parts of writing.

So… I guess that really the point of this blog is for me to give you a bit of advice. Find someone who will encourage you — whether it’s a writing group, someone in your life, or just an accountability buddy that you make via blogs, tumblr, or a physical writing group that you join. Find someone who can encourage you, because just having that person believe in you will make a difference between a good day and a bad day.

And if you can’t find someone, either join my Discord Group (Linked at the bottom of the blog), or listen to me here ❤ You can do this, and I believe in you. Your story is yours, unique to you and your mind. Only you can tell it! If you need someone to listen to you, just comment on this blog! I’ll listen, I’ll encourage ❤ I will be here to tell you that your writing is important and you can do it!

I have faith in you. You have someone to believe in you right here.

 

Author Amanda McCormick

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Who here is gearing up for Camp NaNo? I’m personally pretty excited about it! My writing Discord Server has an entire section for it, and we’re all hopping into a cabin together! I’m not sure what I’m going to do for my project, or if I’m going to be working on my commissions for it… but I think I’m going to try to do original work as well.

So, if you’re prepping for camp, make sure to bring your essentials:

A Notebook and pens!

A writing buddy!

Some snacks!

And of course caffeine. So much caffeine.

All the caffeine.

I’d love to hear what ideas you guys have for your projects! Maybe it will help to inspire my own!

Author Amanda McCormick

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Writer Habits

Hey! Look, finally a use for one of my tags!

I’m going to try to get back to a proper posting schedule, both for this blog and for writing in general. It’s been strange, the way that things have been going. Motherhood certainly shifted my life (for the better, because I couldn’t imagine something more joyful than my son and his sweet little smile!). Now I’m trying to figure out where blogging, writing, and everything in between that used to be how I identified myself.

Right now, my only identity is Mama.

I’m working on that. I’m going to get back to daily posting — I’m going to get back to themed posting. I have a journal that I’m planning that out in, so I’m really excited. Today is my first step towards that!

This blog is here for multiple reasons. Both as a declaration of my intent, so that I have you guys to judge me if I randomly fail… and also as an open suggestion box. Do you guys have anything that you’d like to see? I’d love to get blogs that you’re all interested in. Let me know!

Until then, keep reading and writing!

Author Amanda McCormick

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Scrivner up, baby monitor on, writing group active on the other side… I have my headphones on, even if they are only covering one ear. I’m trying to learn how to write at my desktop again while I have a baby.

Life gets a little complicated once you’re a Mama, doesn’t it?

I can write while I’m in bed just fine — my amazing and supportive husband bought me a new laptop to make it easier than it was before, even. However, I really get into my best flow when I’m at my desk. There’s something about the setup here, and the fact that I feel like I’m actually working instead of just tapping around while laying in bed. I’ve recently decided to double down on working (though I’m not actually working on RipTide right now, I was just organizing files xD), and part of committing to that is getting out of the bed and working at my desktop again instead of just working at my laptop.

It’s a bit difficult, and I know that any new parent, anyone who is going through a big change in life, anyone who has moved and is trying to get organized… anyone who is going through anything really can attest to this. The matter is though, it’s about taking a deep breath and deciding that you’re going to really commit to the goals that you set for yourself. I’ve always been a huge advocate for goals, for setting them, and for going with them.

This is the exact same. I’m going to try to spend at least 20 minutes a day at my desktop working on writing things, even if it’s just composing a daily blog until I’ve gotten more into the swing of it. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but when you have a nearly 8 month old clinging to you ever moment of the day… trust me, those 20 minutes can come few and far in between.

But I’m going to do it — and I think that this is a lesson that anyone can take to heart. Even if it’s just you trying to get into a habit of writing. You just have to tell yourself that you’re going to do it. You’re going to take those twenty minutes. Whether it’s 20 minutes to get writing done, twenty minutes to plot, to plan. Even if you’re only taking ten minutes.

Say you’re going to do it.

Do it.

You can do it, I believe in you!

Until then, keep reading and writing!

Author Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Facebook PageNaNo Page | Tumblr | Blog Masterpost | My Writing Group
Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

 

limboOh, look it’s Zombie time! What’s that? You guys haven’t seen this cover in a little bit, have you? Well, I wanted to give a small update on what I’m doing!

I’m narrowing down the novel that I really wanna go forward with. It’s a toss up between my fantasy novel Cerulean Darkness and Limbo! The thing about Limbo is that I need to finish it.

_> Yeah. I did like 50,000 words, but it’s not done. Oopse.

So, I’m going to be prodding to get it finished. At the same time, I want to finish my rewrite of Cerulean Darkness. Once I’m all done, I’ll do some edits and then look for beta readers. O_O It feels crazy, but I really wanna crack down on getting these things done and getting things going. There’s an odd urgency to me now, a desire to feel like I’m accomplishing things.

I’m going to ride that as hard as I can and get this done. I’m excited.

What are you all working on? I’d love to hear about it! Let’s work together!

Until then, keep reading and writing!

Author Amanda McCormick

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21430430_10212951907566235_7660145199798381790_nSo, floppy necks make for really bad writing time, as my title says. I was expecting to be able to get some writing done while the baby was fresh and new… but alas, he has a distinct radar for a few things.

One: He knows when I’m eating. He senses it and finds complete indignation in the fact that I would feed myself and not feed him.

And Two: He knows when I’m trying to write. He can sense it. He wants to be held. Now, I don’t think he would mind, if it weren’t for the fact that I can’t write and hold him unless he’s laying in my arms. He doesn’t want to lay. He wants to sit up and see the world.

He can’t sit up and see the world when he has a floppy, floppy head and a penchant for trying to give himself brain damage if I’m not supporting it. Ergo… floppy heads make for pretty poor writing. Still, he’s getting bigger and stronger every day, and I know that he’s gonna be able to support himself soon. It’s crazy, because I’m both excited and terrified for that fact. He’s growing so fast ❤ and I know he’s gonna be this little only for a while. I’m excited to get a proper writing habit re-established. I’m ready for it – I’ve been ready for it… but I’m going to enjoy all of the tiny baby cuddles while I can.

So, that’s really the update of what’s been going on with me. I’ve been holding a baby, and have progressed to being able to play Fallout 4 (slowly) while holding him if I’m on the PS4. I know I’ll end up improving and being able to write soon. Hell, NaNo is just around the corner, and I intend to get writing done then no matter what. I do think things would be easier if I had a decent laptop x.x mine is busttteedddd, so writing while in bed isn’t so easy.

Ah well, things will work out and I will be back to regular writing soon!

Until next time, guys! Keep writing!

Author Amanda McCormick

Twitter | Patreon | NaNo Page | Tumblr | Blog Masterpost | My Writing Group
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