Camp NaNo Prep

It will be July before we know it! That means you should get to prepping your Camp project! Camp is a lot more laid back than November NaNo. My favorite part is can be any project with any word goal. Poems, short stories, novellas, etc. It’s up to you!

 I’ve found a few helpful pins if you follow that link. There are a ton of tips and tricks on that board. Here are a couple of my favorite ones. 

This one is great for getting an idea of your project. 

I love this. Those three questions at the end are awesome. I can easily apply them to my apocalyptic WIP. I even made a chart of all my main characters throughout the various projects and figured out answers for each. With a couple of the stories it helped solidify the main storyline because I hadn’t previously thought about it in this way. 

An example:

Who: Lucky Bailey. 

Want Most: Keep his family safe

How Can I Prevent: ZOMBIES

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”              -Ernest Hemingway
Remember that Camp Nanos(April and July) are FUN. You create the project here and can choose any goal. I usually pick an accomplishable one. (10k or 15k) and it gives me a little self esteem boost to win at the end of the month. 

Make sure to check out some facebook groups for support and feedback. 

Go forth and conquer! 

Unicorn Meat Part 3

(Part 2 ending recap)

“Bejon.” I said calmly and his eye widened in a flash of horror before he disappeared from the train. The orb was hot in my hand and I suddenly found myself struggling to stay upright. The weight of the orb and the pain was too much. I struggled to stuff the orb in my pocket as the train began screeching to a stop. I stumbled back towards the door, feeling the support of the shadows once more. Marie yowled as the train stopped and I struggled to pry open the door, but my arm was useless. From the edges of my vision the shadows surrounded me before slinking between the crack in the door. It slid open and I fell onto the stone platform, not realizing I had been leaning against the door. I called for Marie, but it came out more of a whimper as I struggled to breathe through the pain. A blur of white bounded out of the train and over my head as the door slammed shut with an audible thud.

My vision threatened to go black as I watched one of the creatures slam their fists against the door. The swirling mass of black that was hard to look straight at was outside the train one second, and inside the next. The creature jumped back as the shadows materialized around them, blocking them from view.  A scream sounded throughout the tunnels as the train pulled away, gaining speed quickly. Marie’s voice in my ear urged me to move, but I couldn’t process. I couldn’t feel besides the agony of my arm. The rushing of the train car disappeared as a heavy blackness took over.

 

 

Part 3

A rough scraping against my brow slowly pulled me from the darkness. I moaned as pain exploded across my body; the worst of it at the appendage attached to my shoulder. The coarse scratching continued onto my cheek. I lifted my non-leaden arm and swatted at it, which resulted in a biting pain on the back of my hand. I jerked away but gasped at the motion.

“Oh stop your whining. You’re fine.” Marie’s annoyed voice startled the silence. I worked to open my eyes, but they felt glued shut. I reached up to rub at them and discovered that my face was caked in dried blood. Please don’t let that be mine. I thought as I tried to scrub my eyelids free. I would actually prefer it

“Mace, stop.” Marie commanded and I obliged. As soon as my hand was at my side, the scraping started again but this time around my eyes.

“Are you seriously licking my face?” I asked hoarsely. “For real?”

Marie huffed but the rough tongue continued until I was able to open my eyes. I squinted at the darkness around us. Two small weights appeared on my forehead as Marie’s pale blue eyes came into view above me. Her fur was matted with blood and the bridge of her nose was swollen.

“Are you okay?” I asked with a mouth full of sandpaper. I tried to wet my tongue but didn’t accomplish much.

“Eh.” She hopped off and moved towards my side where she began sniffing at my arm.

“Oh please don’t touch that. I think I’ll vomit.” I moaned.

“Those stupid Maws. I hate them so much.” She growled as she returned to sit next to my head. Her long fur tickled my ear annoyingly.

“I agree.”

“Why didn’t you run?”

“I couldn’t run! It was a train car!” I closed my eyes as my head began to throb in time with the rolling of my stomach.

“I suppose.” She began to clean herself, judging by the sound. I focused on keeping my breathing even so I didn’t pass out again, though the idea sounded more pleasant the longer I was awake.

The ground was cold and hard beneath me. I used my good hand to grope around, trying to determine where we were without having to open my eyes. There was a far off train whistle that echoed slightly and I could almost feel the vibration underneath me. I opened my eyes slightly and looked at the arched stone roof above us. The bricks had long ago begun to decay and crumble, but it still stood. To my left was the drop off where the trains would speed by, though the amount of debris on the tracks told me this was a retired stretch of track.

“Where are we?” I mumbled as I rubbed at my forehead.

“In the western part of the subway tunnels.”

I glared up at her, hoping it didn’t convey the uneasiness I suddenly felt. “You mean the part that’s infested with the Araneae?”

“Uh huh.” She licked her paw nonchalantly.

“Wh….How are they any better than the ones on the train?”

“Well your shadows are back. So I’m not as worried.” She switched paws. “Besides, the ones on the train are dead.”

“You killed all eight?” I looked at her, not sure if I was scared or impressed.

“No. You killed two.”

“I…what?” I tried to recall the fight, but the only thing I remembered was the Maw biting down on my arm.

“You shoved your knife into the Occultist’s eye,” She looked down at me as her whiskers twitched, “that knife is gone by the way.”

“You said two.”

“You used  that to disappear the Kilij that was keeping the shadows away.” She turned her head and I followed her gaze to the wall opposite of the tracks. A small orb sat against it in a crevice of broken stone. The orb was a pale grey color and beautiful in the low lights. I wanted it.

“You can’t have it back, Mace.” Marie said softly, but I could hear the edge in her voice. I dragged my gaze from the orb to see her staring intently at me, her big eyes mostly black in the underground lighting.

“You said the Kilij was keeping the shadows away?”  I asked, changing the subject from the grey orb.

“Yes. I don’t know how but he was creating some kind of force field around the train. As soon as he disappeared your shadows showed up and made quick work of the last of the creatures. Unnecessarily messily, I might add.”  She glared past my head but I didn’t have to turn to know where they were. I could feel them.

“I don’t remember anything past the Maw attack.” I said as my arm throbbed painfully, as if to remind me it was still injured. “How did we get here?”

“You walked, kind of. But you’re okay, and that’s all that matters.”

“Am I?” I asked doubtfully.  “I’m pretty sure this is what death feels like.”

“Yes, it’s just the effects of the Raxia.” Her tail twitched against the top of my head, brushing my short hair. “You’ll recover with some food and once we get that arm healed. We just need to get to the surface.”

“That sounds way simpler than it’s going to be.” I sighed again.

“Yup. Get up, let’s get moving.” She stood with a stretch, her claws scraping against the rough stone beneath us. “Stop whining too, it’s so irritating.”

“Says the one that was wailing in my kitchen sink a few days ago.”

Her ears flattened briefly and her tail flicked. “I lost toes, thank you very much.”

“You’re walking fine now.” I ground out as I slowly rolled to my side.

“Because I was healed and I have excellent balance.”

“Well my arm has been shredded so leave me alone to whine.”

She huffed and started down the edge of the tunnel, which I noted slowly narrowed until it was barely big enough for a cat to pass through. Just awesome. I tucked my injured arm against my chest as I stooped to grab the Raxia orb. It flickered black then dark blue before it disappeared into my pocket. I turned around but Marie was lost to sight.

“Marie, wait for me!” I called out, finding very little comfort in the shadowy presence behind me when there was so much of the cold stone around that I couldn’t see.

 

Unicorn Meat Part 2

 

Marie launched herself at the Kilij with a viscous growl. Her claws ripped into his flesh without restraint and he cursed at her. He tried to hit her with his normal hand but she dodged, spinning her agile body around in order to grip either side of his arm with her front paws. She slid several inches as he lifted his arm up and he roared in pain as her claws left bloody gouges. He tried to shake her off but she used the motion to jump off of him and velcro herself onto the next man’s head. He screamed as her claws scraped across one of his eyes and her teeth tore into his face. My attention shifted to movement behind them.

I watched in growing terror as a small woman crept around the fight, her dark eyes zeroed in on me. I fumbled for the pocket knife I always wore but she was quicker. With a too-wide smile that almost split her face she jumped at me. The closer she came the wider her mouth was until it was a gaping hole filled with rows of razor teeth.

“MARIE!” I yelled in panic as I instinctively protected my face with my arms. I heard an annoyed growl before pain blossomed all along my forearm as hundreds of teeth bit through my skin. I cried out in agony as some of the teeth struck bone. The Maw increased her bite and I cried out as her hands reached for my throat.

“Mace, move!” Marie shouted at me but I couldn’t unless I wanted my arm shredded. I peeked out from under my free elbow but everything was blurry from the tears in my eyes and the pressure at my throat.  I barely had time to register the leaping blur of white before she hit us with ferocious growls. The Maw screeched earsplittingly loud before her hands released me to swipe at Marie. I couldn’t see what the cat was doing but the creature hated it. Suddenly Marie jumped over me before lunging away again and I peeked out to see her barrel into the legs of another attacker, sending them crashing forward into us.

The Maw screamed as hot liquid gushed from her mouth and all over me. She screamed again and released my arm, but this time it was more of a gurgling than a scream. I looked up to find another Kilij with his blade impaled elbow deep into the Maw.

I used my feet to scoot myself back as the train sped onward. I could barely focus on anything aside from the horrendous discomfort of my torn arm. I looked down at it as Marie growled and someone screeched. The entirety of my forearm had been bitten. I didn’t even bother counting the bleeding gouges and puncture wounds. There were a lot. No gush or spurts of blood were happening, which was good. I looked up as a flash caught my eye.

I barely registered the blade as it impaled itself into the side of the train car, a hair’s breadth from my ear. I jumped against the seat as far as I could go and stared at the glazed eyes of the first Kilij. I looked behind him to find Marie flattened low to the floor. Her deadly but delicate paws left bloody paw prints as she tried to get back in front of me, but the remaining four people, or creatures I couldn’t tell, wouldn’t let her. She glanced through the legs of one at me but through my haze of pain I couldn’t tell what she wanted me to do.

I sensed her impatience and worry, but I was struggling to keep my eyes open. My arm was throbbing and trembling so badly, I couldn’t form a thought. I struggled for my pocket knife and had to use my teeth to pull the blade free. Note to self: a new knife. I pushed myself to my knees as Marie darted away, giving me time to pull myself to my feet. I stumbled as my head swam but I managed to keep my eyes open, which is how I saw the last woman pull an object from her pocket. My heart stuttered in panic and I lunged forward with a screech.

The woman looked around at the exact time I reached her, and my knife settled smoothly into her eye. I let it go as she staggered back a step and I fell to my knees to catch the small orb before it could shatter. The occultist’s body landed with a thud as I cradled the black orb in my hand. Oh shit oh shit oh shit. I looked up in time to see the last Kilij throw Marie across the train.

Oh hell no.” I growled as I pulled myself to my feet, a scowl heavy upon my brow. I flexed my fingers around the orb and stared at the man as he turned around with a bloody smile. One of his eyes was swollen shut and bloodied, while the other was barely open between the nasty scratches around it. His eye flickered towards my dripping arm and his grin grew wider as he took a step towards me.

“Bejon.” I said calmly and his eye widened in a flash of horror before he disappeared from the train. The orb was hot in my hand and I suddenly found myself struggling to stay upright. The weight of the orb and the pain was too much. I struggled to stuff the orb in my pocket as the train began screeching to a stop. I stumbled back towards the door, feeling the support of the shadows once more. Marie yowled as the train stopped and I struggled to pry open the door, but my arm was useless. From the edges of my vision the shadows surrounded me before slinking between the crack in the door. It slid open and I fell onto the stone platform, not realizing I had been leaning against the door. I called for Marie, but it came out more of a whimper as I struggled to breathe through the pain. A blur of white bounded out of the train and over my head as the door slammed shut with an audible thud.

My vision threatened to go black as I watched one of the creatures slam their fists against the door. The swirling mass of black that was hard to look straight at was outside the train one second, and inside the next. The creature jumped back as the shadows materialized around them, blocking them from view.  A scream sounded throughout the tunnels as the train pulled away, gaining speed quickly. Marie’s voice in my ear urged me to move, but I couldn’t process. I couldn’t feel besides the agony of my arm. The rushing of the train car disappeared as a heavy blackness took over.

Unicorn Meat

The plastic flap that covered the crudely cut opening on the bottom of my back door rustled as the cat stepped in. I paused on the way to the couch, with my dinner, to sigh.

“For God’s sake. Who have you killed now?” I asked the blood soaked feline. She glared up at me in the way only cats can and limped towards the kitchen.

“Marie, this isn’t over!” I called after her as I went to sit. I sank onto the old sofa and started eating, but I could hear her whines of pain from the other room. With a heavy sigh I set my food down and got up to help.

Marie was sitting in my sink, bloody paw prints trailing across my counter. I grabbed a towel and approached. She may be smaller than me, but this Maine Coone could pack a punch…er a bite. A scratch? She was freakin’ deadly, if startled.

“You gonna talk about this?” I asked to alert her to my presence over the water she had turned on. She turned her fluffy head towards me and growled as she tried to lick her paw.

“Let me help.” I gently picked her up and set her back on the counter so I could see better. She handed me her front foot and I sucked in a breath. Christ. What had she done? How did you lose TWO toe beans?” I asked. She ignored me as I set it back down and started checking her over.

“Well I’m not taking you to the vet.” I began rinsing her paws of red. “I don’t care how much you love him; he’ll think I’m abusing you.” She hissed as I picked up her back paw and discovered more missing toes.

“Oh stop your blubbering, you whiny little beast.  It’s only a missing toe…or three.” I shook my head and rinsed her off completely. The red stained her normally gorgeous white fur. “I’m going to need to shampoo you, you know.”  I gently wrapped her in the towel so I could take her to the bathroom and continue the bath before I bandaged her paws.

***

“Shush!” I whispered harshly at Marie. She was growling lowly on my lap in the subway and glaring intently towards my face.  When I had first found her at the shelter, I thought she had a staring problem. It took almost a full year before I realized she was staring just behind me, at the shadows I thought no one else could see.

The red was completely gone now, days later, and but she had been strangely silent about the whole incident. I smiled at the old woman sitting across from me and ran my thin hands down Marie’s back. Her pale blue gaze shifted to my face for an instant as if to tell me to knock it off. I smiled warmly at her and kissed her forehead. Another low growl rose from her and I coughed to hide it from the passengers.

I noticed as a man made his way over. Oh please go away. I silently begged him. But he stopped in front of me so I looked up.

“That’s a gorgeous cat you have there, son.” The old man said. I nodded and pet her again.

“She’s my best friend!”

“Poor girl. What happened to her paws?” He asked, though his concern seemed forced.

“She had a little accident. She’s okay though.” I said with a reassuring smile.

“May I pet her?” He said politely.  I didn’t like how he looked at Marie though.

“Actually she doesn’t take well to strangers. I’m sorry.”

Marie looked around at him and flattened her ears to emphasize my comment. He took a step back and nodded. “Oh okay. Sorry to bother you.”

After he sat back down on the far side of the train, Marie turned around to me and continued her glaring at the shadows. Her tail twitched in annoyance and to my disbelief she growled under her breath.

“Can I kill him?”

“No!” I looked around, worried someone would hear her.

“Just a little bit?”

I glared at her. “You don’t talk for days and then decide to do it in a subway? Are you kidding me? Why can’t you just act all dainty and lady-like….like most cats do.”

She flexed her unwrapped feet and her claws dug through my jeans. “I don’t want to be lady-like. I want to lure creepy men to their death.”

“Oh for Christ’s sake, Marie. Just be quiet.”

I shot a forced smile to the old woman who was watching the strange man talk to his cat. She smiled back hesitantly and turned away.

Once we reached our stop I relaxed a little. Marie jumped off my lap and strode out the door as I gathered my bag and hurried after. I followed her out of the station and up the stairs. She stayed close to my feet, occasionally shooting a growl behind me.

She really was a beautiful cat. And huge.  Bigger than most Maine Coones I had seen. Her back reached my knees. Granted I was only 5’2” but still. We walked for a mile before we found the building we had come for.

The old wooden house was nestled against large apartment complexes on three of the four sides. There was a sign on the front porch that only showed the outline of a cat, but this was definitely the place. I shifted the heavy bag on my back as we climbed the stairs and I opened the door for Marie.

The inside was musty and Marie sneezed. I gave her a look when she jumped onto the counter and rang the bell with her bandaged paw. We heard shuffling from the back room and a deep, sick sounding cough preceded an old woman with short, spikey white hair. She glared at Marie as she approached.

“What do you two want?” She said with a too deep voice. Marie’s tail twitched on my side of the counter.

“We brought more to trade.” Marie said in an even voice. The woman harrumphed and motioned to the table on our right. I walked over; keeping my eye on Marie and the way the old hag cast glances at her.

The cans that tumbled from my bag were loud as they clattered against the wooden table top. I set to work arranging them to be more appealing before turned to see the gleam in the hag’s eyes. “Where did you find so many?” She asked suspiciously. I pointed to Marie, playing my part of the mute human.

“I had a debt from an old friend. These are fresh, less than a week old.” Marie yawned, showing her bright white fangs.

“Why should I buy them from you?”  The hag asked. I reached down and picked up one of the cans, admiring the hand-painted label. Marie’s ears twitched towards me as I slowly opened the can. It was really hard not to gag at the odor that arose, but the way the hag’s pupils dilated to fully black was worth the struggle. She licked her cracked lips and took a step closer, but Marie’s warning growl made her freeze.

“Trust me, it’s worth it. Our price is one thousand.” Marie replied nonchalantly. I kept my face blank, but I wanted to gape at her. Why would she ask such an outrageous price for these counterfeit cans of unicorn meat?

“D…done. Give that here.” She reached for me but Marie gave another warning, her last one judging by the way her ears flattened. The hag turned to the cat and backed behind the counter. We watched as she counted out the money and laid it by the feline. I set the can down and stepped towards the cash as Marie jumped down. We slowly left as the hag edged closer to the cans. Man I hope she won’t be able to tell they’re fake. We need this money. We left the house and hurried down the cracked sidewalk as we scanned every direction for signs of pursuit. It wasn’t until we were back at the subway that Marie’s warning growl sounded and I spun, but found nothingness.  My heart froze as I stared at the emptiness behind me.

“Wh…where are the shadows.” I whispered shakily to Marie as she stepped in front of me, her body seeming impossibly bigger with her fur on end.  My back bumped against the door of the subway car and I hurried to get it open as Marie hissed. The door finally slid open after what felt like an hour struggle and we jumped in. I strained to close the doors again as she growled and batted at the emptiness from between my feet.

The doors closed and I breathed a sigh of relief, until I turned around. The car was full, and every set of eyes was trained on me. Marie growled and placed herself in front of me. My hands started to shake. “Get down, stay behind me.” Marie ordered and I obliged. I sank to my knees against the door as she stared down the people that were beginning to rise to their feet.

“We have at least five people trying to kill us right now.” I whispered. “What are we supposed to do?”

“Actually it’s more like eight.” She corrected me and I wanted to scream.

“Oh, sorry I wasn’t specific enough!” I shot back as I reached down and unwrapped the gauze from her feet. She flexed her remaining toes, the rest having healed already, and took a sideways step closer to me while emitting a low growl.

“I’m ready.” She murmured to me. Christ, why did the shadows leave me? I asked myself as the first person’s arm morphed into a pointed blade and he lunged.

Writing

It’s Camp NaNoWriMo time! I’m really surprised at how much I’ve accomplished already. We are 6 days in and I am sitting at 5,000 words of my 15k goal. Whoo! I know it isn’t a TON but it’s more than I was expecting to be able to do….especially with two sick kiddos.

I definitely wouldn’t be so far without help from writing buddies to bounce ideas off and share with. If I didn’t have someone fangirling over my WIP couple then I don’t think I’d have half of what I’ve written. 😉

Secondly, facebook groups! There are SO many good ones. My favorites are Writing Writing Bad and C&GB Writing Circle.  Both great groups for support and help. 

I try to avoid the internet completely when I sit down to write. I only open Word and that’s it. I even use the shift+f7 shortcut for the thesaurus. Even listening to music will distract me.

Anyway, let’s get those words in this month and get those stories told!

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What are some things you do to help focus while writing?

Character Contest-Pinterest

I entered a writing contest on Pinterest. Tried thinking up a few different ones until this one popped into my head.

From the world of Harry Potter, I give you……..(drum roll)  Adaliah Roseth!

11 month old Adaliah Roseth stared up in curiosity at the man hovering over her crib. Her strawberry blonde hair was longer than it should be for a child her age. She watched with intense grey eyes as the dark haired man smiled at her. She grinned back as he spoke.

“You have no idea, little one, the future that was laid out for you.”

She cooed in response as another man entered the room.

“Harry, I mean, uh, Mr. Potter sir.” A young Auror stuttered. Harry was used to it by now.

“Yes, Grayson?” He addressed the young man.

“Are you sure it’s her sir? The one from the prophecy?”

Before Harry had a chance to answer, the clock struck 6. Suddenly Adaliah’s hair changed to a deep shade of black and her eye color melted into a startling blue. Harry looked down at the girl sadly.

“Yes. This is her.”

As the men prepared to leave, Harry paused and brushed a loose strand of hair from the now 1 year old’s face. “I’m sorry you had to have this fate. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.”

He gazed at her a moment then his robes billowed as he turned and exited the house, disappearing into the night.