Quote of the Moment

"What's Past Is Prologue." - William Shakespeare

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Born of Blood and Spells - Release and Excerpt

Today, Born of Blood and Spells: 13 Dark Fantasy Stories & Poems releases!

I decided it would be best to combine some of my stand alone titles, while adding in some poems and flash fiction to the mix. This collection includes the previously individually published short stories Dancing in the Wind, Bound, and Sunset Street. It also includes the two titles from Blood & Booze, as well as the two titles from Tales of Chyraine. If you're still looking to get any of those individually, they'll be up for a couple more days, but all aside from Dancing in the Wind will soon no longer be available outside of Born of Blood and Spells.

Born of Blood and Spells is currently $2.99 for the eBook, and you can get it from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo Books, Apple Books, Google Play, and Smashwords. If you want to see a more comprehensive retailer list as well as the description, pop over to Books2Read. A paperback version will be available some time in April.

Since I've posted excerpts of the already mentioned titles before, I thought it would be nice to give a brief snippet of the beginning of one of the flash fiction pieces. Only a little, though, since it's a super short story!

Enjoy Born of Blood and Spells, and the excerpt from Daina's Dance below.

Pound. Throb.

They keep the beat with their movements.

Twist. Bend.

Every night the music makes their muscles twitch.

And I can’t join them.

Black walls, black floors, black ceiling, stiff and wooden, contrasting the fluid forms. A gold anklet here, a scarlet scarf there, splashing color constantly moves against the monotone box. Pale skins flow in the black, beckoning for me to join them. But I can’t blend in – my ears pointed and theirs rounded – so I stand against a wall and watch the swirling bodies.

Drops of crimson and muttered incantations... the stories in this collection are Born of Blood and Spells.

Short stories, flash fiction, and poems – thirteen tales of dark fantasy all written by Alexa Grave.

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

Mini Mind Splat #5: Balance

MINI MIND SPLAT WARNING: Nothing I comment on is meant to offend. It's simply my opinion and how I feel about certain things (mostly inconsequential things). I'd love to see thoughts from others in the comments. Just remember, have fun with it. This isn't meant to be super serious.

I know I've probably grumbled about balance in past posts. It's a thorn in my paw, for sure. Seeking that ideal balance in life is near impossible, though so many things out there insist you should easily be able to attain it (lies, all lies, I say -- those who claim it's possible, just want to make you feel like a failure).

Of course, the big obstacle in the way of perfect balance is time.

Did you think I was done with the time theme? Nope. Nowhere near. Heh.

Anyway, there are so many things in my life that need attention -- writing career, editing business, reading, kids, husband, extended family, house management, house cleaning/organizing/projects (and yes, management and cleaning are two separate things -- the mental load of the former can be a bit crushing at times), social media, friends (this one seems to be the first thing kicked off the list nowadays), errands, going out to movies or events, TV, video games, hobbies (and I have many which get ignored, including cross-stitching, drawing, and coloring), exercise, spiritual studies and work (I really have to put myself in the non-practicing Wiccan category at this point), cats, and probably several other things that I can't think of right now because I've ignored them for too long. (Also, I didn't mention cooking because I avoid it at all costs, though I really should cook more often.)

The above is in no particular order of importance, but just making that list causes my head to spin. I can't do it, I can't keep all the balls in the air, I just don't have the time.

And it sucks. Let's face it, most of us realize we have a limited amount of time on this planet, and to know that we'll never accomplish all we want to do, well, that more than sucks.

I've attempted to plan it all out, the whole time management thing, in hopes to divide that time up more wisely and squeeze in a little bit of everything, but it always fails.

Balance is a unicorn. An annoying unicorn (I'd say a rabid unicorn, but those things only think of supple human flesh). But I don't think I'll ever stop trying to tame the damned thing.

What is the toughest task in your life to balance?

EDIT: I realized after posting, I forgot the most important thing on my tremendously long list. I never seem to get enough of it (maybe if I would, I would have remembered it). Sleep!

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Writing Prompt #4: Turn Back Time

I've decided to stick to the time theme for a bit. Life really does revolve around time, and it's fun to explore the different facets. So, here we go with a Writing Prompt -- the first in a long time! Heh.

Any past Tips & Prompts can be found on my website: Writing Tips & Prompts.

Writing Prompt #4: Turn Back Time

Turning back time. Are we in a science fiction story? Nope, not quite. Though you could always convert this prompt into one if you'd like.

Almost everyone has regrets, and those regrets usually stem from decisions we've made -- decisions that hindsight indicates were wrong (though hindsight isn't always right either). Confused yet? Wondering what this has to do with a writing prompt? No, sorry, I'm not delving into your psyche. This isn't a therapy session. Though, like the science fiction story, you could always make it into one. After all, writing can be quite therapeutic.

Therapy aside, delve into your memories and pick a time when you made a decision that you feel was the wrong one. Now, think about what would have happened if you chose differently. First, write down the immediate difference. Then go from there. What would your present look like if you would have done something differently in your past? Follow the dominoes as they fall, each change leading to a new one.

Or if you don't want to explore a regret in your life, pick a time you made the right decision and your life was better for it. Then consider what would have happened if you'd chosen a bad path instead. What other occurrences and decisions would that have led to?

This is a great way to explore cause and effect, which is so important in fiction. Every action has a reaction, and every choice will change the path of your character. Since you know yourself well, it's easier to map out the possible differences due to a changed decision, which you can then apply to your fiction.

In essence, writing out how much your life would have morphed due to different choices is fiction itself. With a few tweaks, you could even change it into a story in whatever genre you'd like.

You want me to give it a whirl? Let's see...

In my 20s, I had a bit of an obsession with Mage Knight (if you don't know what this is, Google it). I wanted to collect all the rare figures in every set. To do this, I bought Mage Knight booster packs by the case. And I told myself I'd actually play the game as well. Of course, I never actually played, and I still have a bunch of Mage Knight figures packed away in a closet.

What if I never sunk all that money into those Mage Knight figures?

I would have saved hundreds of dollars. True, I could have just spent it on another silly obsession. But what if I'd spent it more wisely? Put it toward my student loans, perhaps. I'd have much less debt right now. Invested it for the long term -- money saved for retirement (though, let's face it, I'm a writer, I'll only retire when my brain truly comes unhinged).

Or... and here comes the true fantasy. I could have spent it all on lottery tickets and hit it big! Today, I'd live in my dream re-modeled Victorian and be able to hire someone to clean my house and watch my kids while I write until my heart's content. Ah, if only.

Then a fairy would come along and steal it all.

Go on, give it a try. You don't need to be too serious. Turn back time and explore how different life might be. And write!