beginingsinwriting

Join me as I stumble along the rocky path of becoming a published author.


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I’m Curious

Why is it that folks suddenly pop up saying how much they care when they think you’re going to kill yourself, but they don’t do so before then? I mean, wouldn’t it be more believable if you showed it prior to said declaration, or implication?

 

I don’t understand that.

 

Due to having been the one to discover my best friend’s dead body after he committed suicide when I was twelve,  I’ve not had any sympathy for those who killed themselves. I’ve always maintained they were supremely selfish, and cowards. I still think so, but, I sympathise with them a bit more. See, I suffer from depression. Every so often, it creeps up, and dropkicks me in the back of the nugget. I start to beat myself up, going over, and over, and over, all the ways I’ve hurt those I love. I start to think it would be better for them if I were no longer around. Or, I wonder if someone, anyone, really cares about me. When I am in that dark place, the answer always comes up, “No.” And then I start to think I should end my life because, what’s the point in living if no one cares about you, right?

 

But, there is something that stops me every single time. Let me tell you: It’s not noble, or selfless at all. I don’t kill myself because if I do, it’s all over. No more learning. No more hearing the sound of the love of my life’s voice. No more hearing her laughter. No more learning about our world, and universe. There would be no more long walks during the summer. No more dreams about the future.

I’m selfish that way.


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Know Me Better Pt 3

Part one is here and part two is here.

 

11: Do you like your siblings? Why or why not?

Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. It all depends on what is going on at the time. However, I always love them, and will do my best to always be there for them.
12: How did you meet your best friend and why did you become friends?

I met her on critiquecircle.com, which is a great resource for new writers. We became friends over shared experiences, love of reading, and we enjoyed each other’s work.

13: Name one movie that made you cry.

I was very young when Masters of the Universe starring Dolph Lundgren came out, and it made me cry because it had nothing to do with the cartoon I loved. Plus, he was too skinny to be He-Man!

14: Do you prefer to read poetry, write poetry, or neither?

Neither. I simply don’t get, nor understand it.

15: Things about someone who you find attractive?

I find their intelligence attractive as hell. Their sense of humor is also very sexy to me.


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Jennifer Steel, Agent of the F.S.I.A. (chapter 4)

On the other side of the door, lit only by her flashlight, was an almost empty room. Dusty cobwebs clung to sheet-covered objects. A table, split in two by the weight of a fallen chandelier, lay in the middle of the floor where it had died. The faint odor of decayed mouse turds floated up, disturbed by her footsteps. A floorboard creaked wetly under her weight.

The beam of light swept over the walls, revealing peeling, faded wallpaper, and lathing strips poking through the plaster like the ribs of a starving man. A nearby door hung drunkenly from one hinge. Jennifer slowly walked further into the room, nerves stretched taut.

Glass crunched underfoot, causing her to start. She paused to catch her breath. The sound of a blade being sharpened reached her ears. It seemed to be coming from the next room. She cocked the hammer back on the USP, and carefully slipped passed the door.

The dancing light revealed a grandfather clock in a far corner, a cold fireplace, rodent chewed chaise lounges across from the cold hearth, and a pair of antique rocking chairs on either side of a sagging bookcase with moldy books. She stepped closer, and heard a music box tinkling softly. She moved the light around, but couldn’t find it.

A baby began to cry further in. Her heart dropped like a stone in her chest as it became the sound of a young child shrieking in terror. The beam of light shot around the area in jerky motions as she frantically looked for the source. The child’s voice morphed into the screams of a young woman.

Jennifer raced into a hallway and up a rickety set of stairs when the screams became the voice of an old man gasping for air. At the landing, a door slammed shut with a horrific boom, cutting off the noises. She whipped the gun around, biting back a gasp of fear. Her stomach was hard as a rock. She slowly headed down the short hallway, trying the differing doors. Each was locked.

“Danni?” She whispered.

Near the end of the corridor, she spotted a dusty mirror. She brushed away some of the dust, and glanced at her reflection. A pallid, and sweaty countenance stared back at her. She took a deep breath. ‘Get a hold of yourself, girl.’ She took another breath, closing her eyes. A stealthy sound from behind her made her eyes open wide.

A shadowy figure slipped down from the ceiling. As if it realized it was being watched, it looked into the mirror. A black-haired, pale-faced man with black circles under his eyes stared at Jennifer. His eyes flew open and his mouth opened. A horrible rasping sound came from him. It sounded like he was being choked under water.

The noise galvanized Jennifer into movement. She whirled, screaming. The USP thundered three times, tearing apart the darkness with flashes of lightning as she fell to the floor. The dropped flashlight rolled on the floor, illuminating the hallway.

It showed… nothing. The hall was empty except for her dusty footprints.

“Remember, Utsukushī*, trigger discipline is the second most important thing to remember when handling a gun.”

 

*beautiful


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Know Me Better, pt 2

If you’re interested in pt 1, it is here.

 

6: Do you wish to travel a lot?

Wish to? No. Want to? That depends on your definition of a lot. I’d be okay with a few times during the year.
7: Did you participate in any sports while in school?

Yes. I was in track (50m, 100m, and the 400m), and I was Shortstop for the baseball team.
8: Have you ever given blood?

No. I take part in pharmaceutical research studies. The first rule of that is I’m not allow to give blood.
9: Do you like the way that you grew up?

Considering how ugly it was? No.

 

10: What is your favorite physical feature of the sex you’re attracted to?

A woman’s eyes. Intelligence, which is what I’m most attracted to, shows clearly in someone’s eyes. So, while other features may grab my attention at first, the eyes are what keep it.


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Jennifer Steel, Agent of the F.S.I.A. (Chapter 3)

Rob grunted and rolled off the surgical table. The sudden movement made him light headed. A short woman, dressed in blue scrubs, her blonde hair partially out of the disposable cap, caught and steadied him. “Be careful, Rob. You shouldn’t even be getting up yet.”

“I’m fine, Director. You know I always rebound quickly.”

“Yes, but you’ve never had nanobots implanted into you with a nano-sized factory either.”

“Fair point.” He stretched and was relieved to not grow dizzy again. “So, what will these do for me again?”

The Director looked out the observation window. “Mr. Stevenson? Would you remind Mr. Worthington of the nanobots’ capabilities?”

The curly-haired tech nodded. “Yes ma’am.” He beckoned for the pair to exit the operating room. Rob pushed one of the big lamps up on its gimbal, and walked through the door. As the Director and her patient removed their scrubs, and gown, Stevenson started the computer simulation.


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Know Me Better pt 1

I’ve done a couple of these before, but it’s been a while. So, that’s why this one is called pt 1. Well, that, and because it’s part of a series. If figured it would be fun to share with y’all, and to let you take a peek into the dark, twisted corridors of my mind. Some of the originally appeared on tumblr, but I don’t remember where I saw them. If you know the source, post a link in the comments, and I’ll update this to cite them.

 

1: What is your name and does it mean anything?

Robert. It means “Famous.” Obviously, I’m not there, but soon (I hope).
2: How long have you known your best friend?

I’ll  have known her two years, August 23.
3: What position do you normally sleep in?

The buff. ;)
4: Were you a part of any “clique” in high school?

A clique? Oh, no. I was an outsider in school. I always had my nose stuck in a book, and was seen as weird by the other kids. Of course, I didn’t help my case when I was attracted to a girl, and tried to pretend to be suave, and cool. Looking back, I was actually kind of creepy. Yeesh.
5: Who was your favorite teacher in high school and why?

That would be my science teacher, Ms Davis. That was because I thought she was attractive, and even better, she made science fun. It helped that she taught me how to make my own fireworks, too. :D


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Jennifer Steel, Agent of the F.S.I.A. (Chapter 2)

Heartbeat thrashing in her ears, Jennifer waited to be torn to shreds by the large wolf. She soon became aware of her breath rasping in and out of her sore ribs, and crickets singing in the woods. Further away, a lonesome owl hooted. She slowly lowered her arms, eyes darting around.
Truck.
Road.
Trees.
Shadows.
Rusty gate.
Truck again.
No sign of the wolf. Jennifer sank to the pavement, her weak knees no longer able to support her. She placed her trembling hands over her eyes, uttering a shaky laugh as she did so. ‘Oh, thank God. I thought I was dead.’ She looked around again. There was no evidence a wolf had ever been around. ‘Okay, what the hell is going on?’
She rose to her feet, a little wobbly, but made it to her truck. She opened the door, and slid in, dropping the flashlight on the seat. ‘Whatever the hell Danni wanted to show me will have to fucking wait. I’m getting the hell out of -’
A piercing scream rent the night air. “JEN! Help!”
“Danni! Hold on! I’m coming!” She ripped open the glove compartment, not noticing her nail breaking as she yanked the gun out. She pulled the slide back, and saw a round was in the chamber. She snatched the light up and bolted out of the truck. She ran to the gate. The USP was in her right hand which was crossed at the wrist of her left. This hand-held the flash in a reverse grip, illuminating the path to the gate. It gapped open. She darted through, heading in the direction the scream had come from. ‘I wish Rob were here. He’d be great bait for the monsters which might be out here.’ She laughed uneasily at herself. ‘Monsters aren’t real, girl.’

***

A hunched form watched the lithe young woman head into a building. A couple of minutes later, it followed. 


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What The Fuck Is Wrong With Americans?

Straight off the jump: I am American, born & raised in Baltimore, Maryland. That’s irrelevant to my rant, but just in case some genius takes offense to my title, and gets his panties in a twist, it’s there. I can, and intend to rant about my fellow citizens.

Ray Rice. Number 27. Running Back. Ranked as the Ravens’ second all-time leading rusher behind Jamal Lewis (7,801) with 5,940 yards, and also second in attempts (1,273). He is ranked second all-time for rushing touchdowns (37) and third for combined touchdowns (43) in Ravens history. Woman beater. Suspended for the first two games of the 2014 season. Convicted of 3rd degree assault. Possible jail term of 3-5 years, and a fine of up to $15,000.

Public outcry, and backlash? Nil.

Michael Vick. Number 7. Quarter Back. In 2006, Vick became the first quarterback to ever rush for over 1,000 yards in a single season.[25] He also set a record by rushing for 8.4 yards per carry. Vick and teammate running back Warrick Dunn became the first quarterback-running back duo to each surpass 1,000 rushing yards in a single season. Dog fighting ring operator. Sentenced to serve 23 months in federal prison, transported to Virginia in November 2008 to face state charges. Received a 3-year prison sentence suspended on condition of good behavior, and a $2,500 fine.

Public outcry and backlash? Protests outside of the courthouse, and his home. Nationwide rants about how he was a horrible person, and should be buried under the jail. Loss of endorsement deals. Threats against his life. Just to name a few.

So, the media, the courts and the rest of the nation thinks that dogs are more important than women. Let that sink in, and percolate for a moment.

But, is that really a surprise? Look at the recent Supreme Court Hobby Lobby ruling. A business was deemed more important than women. Hell, a scary thing about that? There were some women cheering that ruling, too. Seriously.

I really don’t get this. I’m going to wax poetic a bit here: As a straight male, I love women. They are wonderfully fascinating. They are endlessly inventive, intelligent as hell. They are wise, kind, loving, warm and caring. They are also strong as hell. And, then there’s the other appealing aspects of them: They’re beautiful with soft skin, curvy bodies, and delightful… well, never mind. I’m a huge fan of women, is what I’m getting at.

I honestly am confused by how our nation insists on marginalizing, and oppressing them. I get that they do, I see it everywhere. But, I want to know why? Why insist that half of our species is unimportant, and lower than animals?! Why say to them (and brainwash some of them into saying), “Bronze Age superstition is more important than you?”

Does anyone even know? If not, why do it? Oh, and before commenters jump in with other countries, or “not all of us,” let me put it like this: Where is your protest about how lightly Ray Rice got off? Where is your on-air rant about Hobby Lobby? Where’s your service in a domestic violence shelter? Or anything of that nature?


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Jennifer Steel, Agent of the F.S.I.A. (Chapter 1)

Jennifer pulled up to the rusty gates of the abandoned amusement park and shut off the engine of her tan Isuzu Rodeo. She gazed through her windshield at the dark land. A derelict rollercoaster, with a couple of cars frozen at the peak of a drop, was silhouetted against the moon. Her eyes trailed the forlorn ruin, noting the sections of missing track. She shook herself and glanced around outside her truck once more. There was no sign of her friend. ‘That’s odd. Danni is more punctual than this. I’m the late one to our meeting places.’
She pulled her phone out to check the text requesting the meeting here again.

‘Jen, meet me at the old FunZone Amusement park at 8pm. I have something you’ll want to see.’

The cell chirped, and the screen when dark. “Damn it. I forgot to charge. Grrr,” she said. She leaned over to the glove box and felt around. Her fingers slid over crumpled parking tickets, napkins, a dried out doughnut, and the cool metal of the handgun her friend Rob had given her. He’d called it a USP Tactical and said it was easy to hide. She leaned over and attempted to look into the glove compartment, but it was too dark to see inside. She reached out and opened the passenger side door. The dome light came on as the sound of crickets entered. The gun blocked her view of the inside, so she pushed it aside. No charger. ‘Shit. I must have forgotten to grab it on my way out the door this morning.’
Jennifer sighed, and pulled the door shut. At the same time, she slammed the glove box shut. She got out and glanced around. The wind moved through the woods, shaking tree branches, and making shadows dance in the moonlight. Still no sign of her best friend. An owl hooted, making her jump. She leaned against the truck, her hand over her racing heart. A rhythmic squeaking caught her attention. When she glanced back to the interior of the amusement park, something darted by. The sudden movement in her peripheral vision caused her to turn to look, as her breath caught in her chest. Her gasp turned into a brief coughing fit.
She regained control of her breathing, and opened her truck once more. She reached under the seat and grabbed the flashlight. As she turned it on, she registered what she’d done, and smacked herself on the forehead. ‘I could have used this when looking for my charger. Dummy.’ She shone the light in the direction of the movement, and became aware the crickets no longer made a sound. The flashlight swung in short, quick arcs, following the motion of her eyes. She took a slow step back. The crunch of gravel underfoot seemed like miniature explosions to her sharpened senses. A wolf howled, startling her. She screamed and dropped her light which broke on the ground.
‘Shit.’ She squatted, gathering the pieces in the moonlight. ‘Get a hold of yourself. If you can handle being attacked by a couple of hood rats, you can handle a wolf howling in the distance.’ The hood rats in question had intended her to be their initiation into the local order of the Four-Nines, a ruthless gang of drug runners. She’d surprised the young girls by being more vicious than they, and as they put it, “Not fighting fair.” Two on one was fair game, though, it seemed. As Rob had taught, a quick knee to the groin of the closer girl had persuaded her to lose interest in continuing. A short jab to the voice box had made the other one lose interest as well, also as he’d instructed.
Jennifer reassembled the flash, and flicked the switch. Nothing. ‘Did I put the batteries in right?’ She removed the top and reversed them. This time the flashlight came on. At the same time, something heavy thumped onto the roof of the truck. She whipped the light up to see what made the noise. The air left her lungs in a rush as an enormous black wolf was revealed. The animal’s eyes glowed yellow in the beam. The wolf’s upper lip curled up, showing gleaming fangs as it snarled at her. Woman and wolf stared at each other for an unknown amount of time. Their standoff ended when she took a slow step back. The sound of gravel being compacted under her foot caused the wolf to spring at her.
She screamed, and threw her arms over her face, certain she was going to die.


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Where’s My Into the Realm Updates?

Funny you should ask that. Since I published it on Amazon.com, I also enrolled it in KDP Select. It’s a way for Amazon Prime members to borrow my book for free, and I get royalties based on how many people borrow it. As part of being able to do this, I’m not allowed to sell my book on any other website (or blog), nor am I allowed to post it anywhere, even for free. But, that’s okay. After I pull it from there, I’ll resume posting it here.

In the meantime, taking its place will be Jennifer Steel, Agent of the F.S.I.A. You may remember me posting some excerpts from that a while ago, but I’ve been rewriting, and revamping, it. I hope you guys like it.

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