Quote of the Moment

"Magic comes from what is inside you. It is part of you. You can't weave together a spell you don't believe in." - Jim Butcher

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The X-Files - It's Back!

***WARNING: There are spoilers in the post below. If you have yet to see the first two episodes of the new season of The X-Files, you may want to wait to read this until after you've watched the episodes. Unless of course you don't mind spoilers.***

* * * * *

Forgive me, but this may be more of a fangirl post than observations with a critical eye. But hey, I'm allowed to get excited over something and just enjoy it for what it is. Right? Right? Well, I am!

Anyway, I was to no end thrilled when I heard The X-Files was coming back to TV. See, I was in high school when it first aired, and I fell in love with it almost instantly. I have fond memories of watching episodes. Heck, even my mom watched the show, and it's not really something that would usually interest her.

Now, while I love the series, and I label myself a fangirl, I have to admit I probably haven't seen every episode. College happened. I also haven't seen the second movie (my husband and I kept saying we needed to see it, then we never got around to it - I know, horrible, especially since I bought the soundtrack and the score for the first movie, you'd think I'd have made more of an effort). My memory also sucks at times, and it has been a long time since I watched any episodes (though I own several on VHS - lol). I am actually regretting not binging and re-watching all the episodes before this new season started. Eh, live and learn. Though I'm guessing I may start watching them soon anyhow.

Until I watched the two new episodes, I didn't realize just how much I missed The X-Files. It brought back a lot of memories. Especially since they used the old intro for this new season as well! I thought that was amazingly awesome - it really brought me back.

Oh, but who wants to hear about my silly reminiscing? Probably no one - ha. That's OK, I'll move onto the episodes themselves.

The first episode, "My Struggle," started out with a brief summary from Mulder, which was much appreciated due to the aforementioned sucky memory. Clearly, Mulder and Scully have moved on with their lives. OK, maybe Scully has - Mulder will always be that dog that just won't let go of the damned bone. That's what makes him Mulder. =D Because of this, he's easily dragged back into things by Tad O'Malley. We also get to see Scully's unending skepticism. This is great, especially for fangirls like me. We get to see the characters we fell in love with over two decades ago.

Of course, Scully is less skeptical by the end of the episode, and Mulder's bone morphs a bit. I love the transition, though. We start out the episode with the usual song and dance, that the government has been hiding the existence of aliens. That's The X-Files we remember, the conspiracy Mulder always wanted to crack wide open. But by the end of the episode, things are flipped a bit. Instead, it's theorized that the government is using alien technology to experiment on humans, to change their genetics, and to eventually use this to pretty much take over the world. Humans are the ones behind the abductions, not aliens.

The apparent cover up of trying to out the truth on O'Malley's show (which includes the death of at least one person - spaceship blowing up her car no less), results in re-opening The X-Files. And now we get to my favorite scene of the episode. Yup, the Cigarette Smoking Man is back! Smoking through the hole in his throat even - awesome.

"Founder's Mutation" is the next episode, and it really does continue with the strain of manipulating human DNA with alien DNA. I loved the mirror of Scully and Mulder thinking about what life would have been like if they kept their child along with the sister and brother whose genes had been tampered with to give them powers. Could this be what their child is like? Could he have been tampered with? I really do hope we get to see their son in a future episode!

This episode, though, made me realize one thing with this revival of The X-Files. They are not pulling any punches! From watching a man shove a letter opener into his brain via his ear, a woman graphically cut open her belly to release the baby inside (oh, yes, we see the cutting and the blood and the baby sticking his little hand out), and finally seeing blood pour out of all orifices of the doctor who experimented on his own children. Holy cow! I love it.

I'm looking forward to the next episode, and I may need to start sneaking in some of the old episodes during the week when the toddler has driven me to insanity.

What are your favorite recollections of the old episodes? And what did you like (or not like) about the new episodes?

Thursday, January 21, 2016

(Not) Writing With A Toddler

Almost two years ago I wrote a post called (Not) Writing With An Infant. That was a fun little post, wasn't it? Well, I think it's time to write an upgraded version. The Toddler Terror definitely adds a new layer to trying to get something (anything) done. I hope you can at least get a laugh from this post.

WARNING: What follows may or may not be a work of fiction. Tread carefully into the realm of possible hyperbole. Do not let any likely truth scare you from either a) writing or b) having a child (though it may scare you from doing both at once). I take no responsibility at the emotions the following text will invoke.

* * * * *

(Not) Writing With A Toddler

1. Wake up, tired and bedraggled, but determined to get some writing done today. Some things don't change from one age to the next, huh?

2. Quickly hop into the shower before toddler wakes up. Of course, when you get out, she's already awake. But she's not lying nicely in bed. Oh, no. She's already grabbed your phone and texted your husband ten unintelligible messages. You receive a text back asking if you've already dipped into the booze.

3. Change toddler's diaper, get her dressed, and feed her breakfast. The first two things usually include kicking and laughing, the last an insane amount of multi-tasking because she's sure to be banging on the computer keyboard while you're trying to cut up her banana. Or turning the computer off.

4. No hope for a nap yet (for her or you), you offer toddler about a million toys to play with while you sit down at the computer determined to get some work done. She seems content for now.

5. Open up your current project, start formulating your next sentence, and then halfway through the thought, toddler screams. A toy offended her. It wouldn't bend the way she wanted it to. She proceeds to have a meltdown for five to ten minutes.

6. Toddler finally calms down. OK, back to it. You try to remember what that sentence was you were pondering, but it's fled. Drat. Ah! You start typing, but halfway through the sentence you hear, "Blankie! Blankie!" The toddler is a yard away, lying on the floor with her blankie next to her. She wants to be covered up. No, she can't just grab the blankie and cover herself. Of course not. You get up to cover her to silence the screams of "Blankie! Blankie!"

7. You type another word in the sentence. "Cup!" Toddler wants her water while she's snuggling under her blanket. You oblige. "Plate!" Now the bananas she never finished eating. You set it next to her. "Pikachu!" Her favorite stuffed toy. You hunt around downstairs looking for the stuffed animal, and when you finally find it, toddler has thrown the blanket off and upended the bananas. She takes Pikachu and runs up the stairs.

8. For a second, you ponder leaving her to her own devices upstairs while you get some writing done. What's the worst she can do? Then the sound of a radio blares--she's playing with your alarm clock. You climb the stairs, change her diaper and brush her teeth while you're upstairs, then drag her back downstairs kicking and screaming.

9. Right when you set her down, she darts back upstairs. How can a 2-year-old be so damned fast? After a few cycles of going up and down the stairs to fetch her, you decide to hold onto her and sit at the computer.

10. Toddler bangs on the keyboard. Oh, look, she's written more words than you have. When you pull her hands away, she grabs at your neck and face and pinches. You imagine bruises forming on your throat. How can a 2-year-old be so damned strong? She wiggles like a crazed wildcat and you almost drop her.

11. Once she finally settles down, she stands next to you and says, "Hi." You say, "Hi," but you're sure there's a catch to the sweetness. She then proceeds to grab everything off of your desk. After a few minutes of chiding and snatching the items back, she runs off squealing.

12. You sigh, and hope you have a few moments reprieve. Amazingly, you bang out a whole paragraph! Wait. But it's awfully quiet. Too quiet. Uh, oh. You find toddler in the kitchen eating the cat food.

13. Toddler runs off after being scolded and starts torturing one of the cats. You pull her away and say, "Not nice!" She decides you've offended her, like the toy did earlier, picks up a hard toy from the floor and throws it at you. Then she throws her pacifier, flings herself on the floor, and bangs her head until you pick her up and try to contain her fit.

14. After another ten minutes of calming the wildcat, you decide it's nap time. Of course, the only way to get her to sleep is to sit in the bed with her. After ten to fifteen minutes of fiddling on your iPad quietly while you tell toddler to lay down, she finally drifts off to sleep.

15. Now you can get some writing done! But the last fifteen minutes of sitting in a nice, warm bed has made you sleepy. You snuggle under the covers and tell yourself you'll only close your eyes for a few minutes, then you'll write.

16. Two hours later the toddler giggles and wakes you up.

17. Change toddler's diaper, then prepare lunch (while taking your phone and iPad out of her clutches--your husband texted you again asking how much booze is left in the house and if he should pick more up on the way home). You both eat.

18. You're at your limit, and you really need to get some writing done. So, you inhale the guilt, and put a TV show on for the toddler. Bad, bad mom. You have her sit nice, then gather all the items she needs--blankie, pacifier, bowl of Cheerios, plate with the rest of lunch, water cup, and Pikachu. Once she seems sucked into the show, you sneak off to write.

19. Look at that another whole paragraph! Then the tell-tale sound of a plastic bowl hitting the floor interrupts your flow of thought. Toddler spilled her Cheerios all over. You clean them up, and then she has another fit because you're throwing them in the garbage. She throws her plate of food.

20. You finally calm her down and clean everything up. Maybe she'll sit through another episode, if you're lucky. But then you look at the clock and realize you need to pick up the grade-schooler. Crap.

21. You pat yourself on the back for writing two paragraphs today, knowing once your eldest is home, there will be no getting anything done. But that's a whole 'nother list.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Love Fades Snippet

It's another release day! Today Love Fades, the second story in the Fortunes of Fate series is available on Amazon. For those of you who like romance in your fantasy, this is definitely the story for you. Again, you can get it via Kindle Unlimited or the Kindle Owners' Lending Library as well.

I'm sure you'd love to get a taste of the story, though. Right? Well, here it is. Happy reading!

Caradeci stared at her hand – it was happening again. The flesh and bone faded, her fingers paling to dim outlines. She raised her hand, now translucent; the water of the pond she knelt next to shimmered through it in the sunlight.

Relief flooded Cara when her hand returned to normal, but her hope was brief since it flickered back to transparency. This cycle Cara was trapped in sent shudders to her soul.

The breeze tousled her hair, but she felt nothing on her faded hand – no wind, no warmth – like a black hole sucking at her being. It left her stranded and alone. If this was what death felt like, she wanted none of it.

Cara's hand flashed in and out, the rhythm akin to a stoplight in the wee hours of the morning. Fear snagged in her throat. Only one reason why this could be happening – she didn't belong here, shouldn't be here. Ten years ago she had tripped over a stump, landed in a pond, and somehow slipped from her world of purple hues into this Earth of green. Instead of hitting bottom, she'd emerged here – an accident, some dimensional goof, but one that meant she could no longer find her way home to Fate.

Caradeci didn't want to go home.

Loves Fades

A woman who's fading away.

Years ago, a portal in the world of Fate sucked Caradeci up and deposited her on Earth. She struggled to fit in and adjust to the differences. And then she met Alex. She fell in love, confessing her true origins, and he believed her.

Now her body flickers in and out of existence, threatening to pull her away from the life she's made. She fears Fate beckons to her, that she must return home to save herself, leaving her love behind.

Alex, refusing to lose her, drags her to a fortune teller. Their only hope is that this strange woman can tell them what to do before Caradeci vanishes from existence.

Fortunes of Fate Series

For every card, there's a story.

The three cat sisters, Joslyn, Mia, and Amber, are world-hoppers. They're in search of a world to call home, and they finally find it in Fate.

However, they've grown fond of Earth as well, and they stick their noses into the lives of people from both worlds. From Fools to Magicians, the three cats are witnesses to the stories that unravel.

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Chains of Nect: Obsidian's Obsession - Chapter 22

DISCLAIMER: This is rough draft material. Don't be surprised if you fall into plot holes, trip over inconsistencies, and get hit in the head with direction changes. I've done my best to read through several times before posting, though, to make sure most spelling and grammar errors are corrected. Any constructive comments are welcome for when I revise this novel. Thank you for reading!

All current and previous chapters for Chains of Nect: Obsidian's Obsession can also be found on Wattpad. And for an easy to access list of all chapters that have been posted to Born to Write, please visit the Table of Contents.

This is the last chapter that will be posted for some time. I have other writing projects that need my attention more than this one. However, if I have enough people contact me, requesting that I continue Chains of Nect, I will rearrange things to start posting again. You may post in the comments or use the contact form on my blog. I apologize for placing this on hiatus. I hope you've enjoyed what you're read so far!

Chapter 21

* * * * *

Chains of Nect: Obsidian's Obsession

Chapter 22

Sid beamed at Damian as he left the room.

He paused, gripping the door's edge, shook his head, then let her be. The door clicked closed behind him. Thankfully there wasn't a lock on it, or he would have been sure to pen her in.

She thumbed through the precepts absentmindedly, waiting until she thought Damian would be out of the library and not standing right outside the door waiting for her to break out.

Of course she understood his reasoning, and it was a risk to not remain sequestered in the study room, but she couldn't just sit here. Memorizing pointless rules was trying at the best of times. Now with Bishop stalking about the grounds, the thought of reading these stupid things made her imagine her eyes bleeding.

She'd be careful. Really.

And he should have known better than to put her in here alone. If he hadn't learned she had a penchant for not listening to orders by now, it was all his fault. Or perhaps he didn't care anymore whether she got caught or not. After all she had dragged him into, her getting snatched up by the Council would be a weight off his shoulders.

Sid hoped that wasn't it.

She turned a few more pages, then slammed the book shut when she couldn't stand to sit there any longer. Enough of this.

She left the book on the table and slipped out the door. No Damian looming on the outside with a disapproving glare. Thank the Ancients for small favors.

But then she stood there, not knowing where to go. She should have planned this better. Obviously, she didn't want to run into Damian. He also knew the House of Portals better than she did and likely wouldn't be questioned if he searched certain areas.

Sid looked up at the balconies above her, the mazes of bookshelves lined with books.

Of course. What better way to claim she was simply studying and taking a small break from the precepts than by starting her search here? Damian might already be weaving through the shelves, but she'd take that chance. At least he couldn't yell at her for leaving the library, and probably the worst he'd do was escort her back to the study room.

Surely Bishop wouldn't be among these dusty, useless tomes, though--most of the books were probably endless copies of the precepts. Sid bit her lip. She had promised herself to be careful, and by searching here first, she'd do just that.

She pulled at the collar of her robe and ascended the stairs to the next level.

So many books. She ran her hands along the spines as she passed, glimpsing a title here and there. It seemed this floor held a lot of information about Nect itself. Politics, agriculture, religion, and the like. They seemed to have information on each individual sanction and all of the towns in each of those. Dry reading, likely--Damian had probably read all of them.

And she kept her eye out for Bishop while she perused the titles. The Guardians and dedicants she passed paid her no heed. Just another dedicant searching the shelves, making a path around the oval while making sure she didn't get lost in the maze of stacks.

No luck on the second floor. Onto the third.

Finally on this floor there seemed to be a few more interesting books. Histories of Nect. That book Damian had absentmindedly pretended to read was probably up here. But in all the histories, she saw nothing about the portals. Like part of Nect's past had been expunged, burned away, as if it never existed.

The gates were a testament to that past existing. They couldn't burn those down. She wondered if they had ever tried, though. Perhaps not--that would mean all the Guardians would be out of a job, and they sure seemed to enjoy their air of superiority over the rest of Nect.

Desperate to find something, anything pertaining to the portals, she almost didn't see him. She nearly walked right past him, none the wiser.

Bishop sat leaning against one of the shelves in a quiet corner, books scattered about him. That's what had caught her attention--all the books. No Guardian would be so messy.

"You know, if you want to blend in better, you may want to put those back on the shelf."

He started, dropped the book he was reading, and looked up at her, scowling. "Nothing. Nothing but drivel in these books."

Sid picked up some books and slotted them back into place. "What were you hoping for?"

"Anything but this." He picked the book back up and shook it. "This is an insane list of rules, you know that?"

Ah, he'd found the precepts. "I'm expected to memorize all of those."

That heart-melting grin spread across his face. "Good thing I showed up to distract you from such boring studies."

"Do you think it was wise to leave Damian's room?" It took too much effort to ignore that comment. She felt the tug to become that girl--the one who batted her eyelashes and just smiled at a man while he complimented her.

"I didn't come here to remain a shut in."

There it was, her opening. "Then why did you come here?" She peered down at him, forcing herself to keep a straight face, to listen to his words objectively, without clouded vision. Either he'd tell her the reason, or he'd try to spin a lie--perhaps change the subject.

Bishop stood and handed her the book. "Because my world needs help."

Sid tilted her head. There was more to it than that. Damian was right, Bishop had no love for Guardians--he seemed to blame them. "And you thought tagging along with a Guardian and dedicant would get your world the help it needs?"

"Maybe."

She shelved the precepts with all of the other copies, the book thunking into place. "No revenge planned? Take down the Guardians who abandoned your world how many decades or centuries ago?" When she turned back to him he had taken a step closer. His heat, his closeness made her heart pound.

"What can one man do against a bunch of Guardians?"

She would stay strong. She would. "It only takes one man to light a match."

Bishop laughed, a melodic sound. "No, Sid, I don't want to burn this place down." He took another step closer. "But I must admit, I did have a bit of an ulterior motive in coming here."

Yep, her heart was now in her throat, her brain, her stomach--anywhere but where it should be.

"Have you ever felt drawn to something?" His eyes shimmered in the light filtering in from a window.

"Something?" The portals came to mind, more specifically his portal.

"Or someone." He touched her chin and leaned in.

No, no, this was not her keeping control. She pushed on his chest before his lips touched hers, and she stumbled backwards. All the breath sucked out of her, her heart threatening to leave her body from numerous spots, she didn't know what else to do.

Sid couldn't let him kiss her. She steadied herself on a bookshelf.

A pained look crossed Bishop's face. "I thought..."

She shook her head--her breath was still lost to her, and she couldn't speak.

"Unless it's because you've never been kissed before." There was that smile again--mischievous and warm.

Heat flooded Sid's face. Her body needed to stop betraying her. No, she'd never been kissed, but that wasn't why she had stopped him.

Why exactly had she stopped him? Because of Damian's fears and warnings? Perhaps she was only looking for deception because of him.

Bishop quickly closed the distance between them, and before she could react again, he kissed her.

His lips were soft, the taste of him sweet like strawberries. The heat traveled from her face and spread throughout the rest of her body.

Obsidian kissed him back.

Thoughtless, foolish girl. Her logical, methodical side scolded her. Attraction and emotions would only mess up her ultimate goal, distract her.

But so much had already steered her off her path. The hope of opening her gate back home was even further away than it had been the first day she had discovered it.

So, she kissed him back.

Bishop wrapped his hand around the back of her neck, then pulled his lips from hers. "I have a confession."

Here it was. Now she'd have to admit to herself how she'd been stupid, gave into his pretty smile instead of truly paying attention to the truth behind his words.

"I've never kissed anyone before either."

She laughed, and then she kissed him again. Not bad for both of their first times.

"I guess I should have started in the library." Damian's words were followed by a soft growl.

Sid untangled herself from Bishop and stepped back. The heat coursing through her now had nothing to do with embarrassment or desire. Guilt throbbed unpleasantly at her temples.

Why in all of Nect would she feel guilty? "Damian."

"Did you know where he was all along? You did, didn't you?"

"No. Honest." How could he think she'd hide something like this from him? Oh, well, she had hidden a lot from him. He still didn't know about her portal.

And Bishop said nothing to refute Damian's claims. The doubt she had earlier rekindled itself. She'd lost her mind, that was it. The madness that had taken her when she had opened Turmoil still wormed its way through her. That had to be it.

One glance at Bishop, though, and Sid knew that wasn't the case. She'd officially become the damsel in distress who had fallen for her rescuer.

And another part of her hated herself for upsetting Damian so much, even if she hadn't truly done anything wrong.

* * * * *

Chapter 23 - New chapters on hiatus until further notice. Please contact me if you are interested in seeing more chapters posted.