🛸Come And See… 🛸My Novel #3… 🛸W I P

Hi, readers! 

Apologies for my scatter-brainedness. I fully intended for this blog to feature more posts about my Hecctrossipy series—(Yes! It does exist!)—characters. Especially now that I had unpublished the first book to do some additional maintenance on it, before re-releasing it when the second book comes out. I had started a fic-fact story series for this blog as a replacement for putting appendices in my books, but I hadn’t written a single story about vervetts and grungols since back in May when I posted the five-part The Trolly Tracks Are Alive story. 

The whole point of running this blog in the first place was a means of getting out there on social media to build my author platform. And part of this platform building was intended to be having people get to know Artheena and the rest of the Hecctrossipy crew with the hopes of getting them into these alien folk, enough to someday earn book sales. I was taught, in writers’ workshops, that readers want to know the author too. So I threw true story posts in the mix. and the post writing inspirations kept coming. Then I wanted to write listicles. I wanted to write a coffee review series, a series about my synesthesia, a series about my drunken reasons why it’s best to stay sober, and other series ideas I never went through with. I wanted to write about nightmares, and true stories themed according to what month it was. Then I ended up starting a book review series too, and on top of that, there’s re-blogged posts from others, and—bobobobobeebeebeebee—this blog of mine lost its sense of direction and went all over the place. I just wrote wherever the inspiration took me, making it seem like this blog should be called something like, Bia’s Disorderly Life Blibbity-Bla & Her Randomly Twirled In Book Reviews. Seriously, how in the blue hell would anyone be expected to care that I have a YA Sci-Fi series, when I only write about something that has to do with this series, like, maybe two or three times a year? 

After blogging ADD-style for the past few years, I finally have a plan. 

From now on, posts will be put in this cycle. Not exactly on a day-of-the-week or week-of-the-month schedule, but in more of a predictable order. So readers would know what to expect, and so this blog would make more sense. The new post cycle will consist of… 

1. A post or mini series of posts that have something to do with the Hecctrossipy Series: a Fic-Facts and Flashbacks story, a character profile post, a book excerpt etc. 

2. This would be proceeded by a post or mini series that has something to do with real life: a funny memory, a paranormal experience, a listacle, something that went on recently that makes for a blog-worthy story, etc. 

3. Lastly, a Bia Bella Book-Hoarder book review. 

4. Not really fourth in the cycle, but the only thing that will be posted with no particular rhythm is re-blogs. They’ll come whenever the bloggers I re-blog come out with a new post. 

Now that I got a more organized plan, I’ll start this writing rhythm drumming with a post from across the galaxy. I’ve been working on HECCTROSSIPY book 3 The legend of the Land Lives Again. Here is an excerpt of my WIP. This is not chapter 1, but an excerpt from chapter 5. Sorry I’m starting off in a weird place, but excerpts from the chapters before chapter 5 might give away too many spoilers for books 1 and 2. I put a list of notes below the excerpt, in case certain details don’t project clearly enough in your mental movie. 

I should mention that, before the scene in this excerpt happened, Artheena had gotten abducted from her backyard by gravely ill grungols whose sickness had turned the purely herbivore people into blood-thirsty meat eaters, hungry for the flesh of young vervetts. During the abduction, Audry and Artheena’s friend, Karen, had a bout of sanity and locked Artheena in a fermentation box that’s used for making a nutritional supplement for senior aged grungols, as an attempt to keep her safe from the other insane grungols. Karen, who works at the local hospital, is the only one who knows how to unlock the box. However, after locking Artheena inside it, she’d unintentionally fallen asleep too long. The box trapped Artheena’s body heat from when she was panicking and putting up a struggle. The trapped heat intensified, like a preheating oven, and cooked Artheena alive. 

Also, there’s the mention of water bottle muggings in this scene. I know that sounds silly, but it’s a serious issue for grungols with an illness that makes them feel constantly tortured by unrelenting intense hunger and thirst.   

So here goes… 

***      

The moment Karen lifted the heavy hatch door of the morgtoast box, she and Audry were blasted by the heat and an intense smell of aluminum foil, sugar, and freshly cut grass—The smell of a cooked vervett. Both grungols burst into panicked tears. 

“I think we’re too late, Audry!” wept Karen. “We killed her! Oh, I’m so sorry! I’m so sorry!” 

“I’m so sorry, Artheena!” Audry sobbed. “Oh, curse of Jyoseppy!” 

Artheena laid at the back of the sweltering box, her body in the tightly balled up position vervetts often go in when they die in agony. She was on her shell with her head bent toward her chest and her limbs tightly folded around her head and body. Her glistening skin looked bright red and swollen. 

“We have to tell the guardians!” sobbed Audry, as they climbed into the box, shuttering and flinching at how hot the metal floor felt beneath their feet. “I know it was an accident, but her family should know what happened! Oh, Artheena, I’m so sorry!”  

They bent over and grabbed Artheena by the shell with their upper hands, dropping her into their lower hands as they hurriedly lifted her out of the box and placed her on the bearen ground.  Her metal shell felt like a dish that had been left in a fully heated oven, which was terrifying. The ambush, the slaughtering, and cleaning up the aftermath still seemed so surreal in the grungols’ minds, but there was no questioning their reality now.   Artheena had been cooked to death. Audry’s life-long vervett best friend was gone. Artheena was a sweet, kind hearted, fun and lively person who had so much talent, including her gifted abilities, and so much to contribute to her village. Now here she was, a lifeless body that smelled like it was still cooking. 

The grungols stared down at her, their tears instantly evaporating as they fell onto Artheena’s skin. Audry just wanted to end it all with a spear through the heart. This was more so her fault than Karen’s. She was the one who was foolish and careless enough to give in to Jyoseppy’s tempting her to try vervett meat, and then once she started the killing, it instantly caught on and didn’t stop. Artheena and that other girl wouldn’t have been abducted in the first place, if it wasn’t for her. 

“I’m going to the surface and turning myself in to the Guardians.” wept Karen. 

“This wasn’t your fault.” Audry protested. 

“I killed her, Audry! I killed her! I need a yellow collar around my neck right now!” 

“You didn’t kill her. You tried to save her,” Audry touched Artheena’s skin, gasping and pulling her hand away at how hot and tender it felt. “I killed her! I’m the one who started all this evil!” 

“What are you talking about?” Karen argued, her crying driving her into a coughing fit. 

“You know what happened at that dinner party at my house, on the night the three moons aligned.” Audry sniffled. “You were there. Remember?” Karen’s sickly coughing lead to another fit of sobs at the horrific memory. “If you go to the surface and tell the Guardians about Artheena, Karen, please tell them about what I’d done to Jo Joga of South Section 5,835, and how I’d turned Under-Village 3 into a bunch of murderers because of that sick, disgusting dinner party. I’ll wait here with…” Her voice choked before she could say her best friends name out loud.  

“Whose going to give her to the forest when we’re yellow-collared?” Karen asked between weepy coughs. 

“I don’t want to think about that right now!” Audry sobbed, collapsing beside Artheena’s lifeless body, and going into hysterics. Karen collapsed to the ground too, crying and coughing up rotten stomach fluid. 

Audry’s mind was a wash of many happy memories she and Artheena had shared. She couldn’t believe her best friend was gone so soon and so unexpectedly by a careless accident. Probably the worst accident to die from. She’d known people who had died from losing their footing on uneven forest ground and falling over the edge of a high drop-off, or who had gotten in the path of an on-coming hunting spear, but at least these accidental deaths were mercifully quick. Not even the most evil jyoseppy admirer in the world would’ve deserved to die the way Artheena did. Audry’s heart broke for Artheena’s family too. How were they to get past something so traumatic as getting the news that Artheena had died from being cooked to death by their neighborly grungols? 

The vervett uttered a weak moan. 

“Audry!” Karen exclaimed, sitting up and wiping the back of an upper hand around her slimy snoot. “Audry, she’s alive!” 

Artheena moaned again, and her legs twitched slightly. Both grungols jumped to their feet, embracing in a tight hug and praising Jumellica through tears of joyous relief. 

“Artheena! Artheena, wake up!” They repeated frantically, gently touching her and shaking her by her shell, which had cooled off a little. She was unresponsive. 

“I’ll go get some water,” said Karen, before sprinting away. 

“Sweet Jumellica,” Audry began, sitting beside her vervett friend. “Please let Artheena get through this, so I could get her out of this disgusting, evil place. I don’t want her to ever end up back down here again. Me and Mom and Dad, and all of those who had a bout of strength against Jyoseppy’s vervett killer influence, we all want her to be back home with her family. We want her to reunite with her sister, and make a full recovery before the wedding. We want her to go on and have a normal, happy life, and forget about this terrible virus that made Under-Village 3 go completely insane.” 

Artheena made a whimpering sound as her arms and legs twitched. 

“Artheena, can you hear me?” said Audry, touching the vervett’s burning hot arm. She whimpered again. “Artheena, it’s Audry…” She hesitated on what to say next, knowing that Artheena hated her now. She dreaded the thought of her vervett friend coming to and refusing any help, and then doing something careless, like trying to escape the under-village by running for the nearest trolly tunnel. 

While on their way through the West Section, Audry and Karen had heard the sickly coughs of grungols lurking about inside and behind empty buildings. They themselves were scared, fearing that those grungols might be waiting around for some vervett meat or extra water bottles to steal, and might ambush them at any moment. They didn’t have another vervett with them, but Karen’s fake fur still had Artheena’s scent on it, which would trigger the grungols’ insanity if they caught a whiff of it. There had been water bottle muggings since the virus took over. Some grungols, especially the elderly, would cooperatively hand over their well water to prevent a fight. Other times, the muggings turned violent. They were all mad from the unyielding hunger and thirst. The ambush that happened after the two vervetts’ abduction brought on the hellish truth of how ruthlessly Audry’s own kind would turn on one another, desperate for their symptoms to be relieved, no matter how temporary. Nowhere in the under-village was safe. 

In case Artheena was able to hear her, Audry didn’t want to tell her where she was and what had happened to her. Instead, Audry focussed on the positive experiences in their nine years of friendship. She told Artheena stories about how the two of them and Mell May used to play Lamb Stalker and Moon Code in the back yard at night when they were little. And those few fun times when she and some grungol friends took Artheena out hiking through the forest in the middle of the night. All the while, Artheena twitched and moaned and whimpered as though she was trying hard to wake up. 

Karen came hurrying back, lugging a stack of water barrels in her right arms. A small cave moss fabric bag swung wildly in her lower left hand. 

“Karen! Oh, thank Jumellica.” Audry quickly got to her feet and helped her friend unstack the water and put it on the ground. “You’re back a lot sooner than I expected.” 

“I went to the hospital instead of going all the way to the water store, and then trying to find a place that sold medical supplies that hadn’t been trashed or looted.” They were right in the hospital’s back yard, but safely hidden behind a brick wall that divided the section of medicinal fermentation devices from the rest of the yard.  Since Karen was a doctor, the other hospital staff would’ve had no problem sparing her some medical supplies and water.. 

“What’s in the bag?” Audry asked. 

Karen knelt beside Artheena and put the bag on the ground, taking each item out. “I got a barrel opener, of course, a cup for getting her to drink once she wakes up, a jar of Coxin Dulsinnamite, and scissors for getting off her nightshirt so we could get the oil on her whole body.” 

“Coxin Dulsinnamite?” Audry looked uncertain. “Are you sure that stuff works on vervetts?” 

“It works just as good as lisp leaf gel,” said Karen. “Maybe better. Vervetts just don’t use it, because they hate how it smells.” 

Karen and Audry began piercing open barrels of water and pouring them over Artheena. Her skin eventually turned a shade or two less red. The water made her twitch a lot more, which was a sure sign that she was coming back. 

When the fourth barrel was poured over her, her limbs and neck unfolded and slowly spread out, like she was a blooming flower. Audry and Karen rejoiced to the good entity. Artheena’s moaning and whimpering became a mumble. Another good sign. 

Karen carefully cut away Artheena’s stained and sweat soaked nightshirt. Her tender, heat damaged skin would’ve made the simple act of untying the night shirt and pulling it off excruciatingly painful. Once she was stripped, all eight grungol hands got to work thoroughly rubbing the Coxin Dulsinnamite all over her skin, from the soles of her feet to her tender, reddened scalp. The extremely greasy, clearish yellow-brown condensed root oil stank like a cross between Earth’s cooked shrimp and dirty socks, but it was a highly effective healer of venomous insect bites, allergy rashes, welts, infected cuts, and other injuries or damages to the skin, especially severe burns. Karen gently examined Artheena’s eyes before lotioning her eyelids. They looked swollen at first, which frightened them. Would the heat have done permanent damage to the vervett’s eyesight? To the grungols’ great relief, the swelling wasn’t swelling, but a build-up of thick, milky mucus that Artheena’s eyes had defensively excreted to help keep them cool. When Karen poured water into them, the mucus washed away down the sides of the vervett’s face in gelatinous globs, revealing Artheena’s beautiful, pearly, purple-ringed blue eyes that looked perfectly in tact. It was a miracle. The grungols praised Jumellica, but were careful to not cheer to loud.  

They talked to her as they continued lotioning her skin, telling her all the good things they hoped would happen in her future, once she was back in her village. Artheena’s eyes fluttered open for a split moment, and she opened her mouth as though about to speak. 

*** 

QUICK NOTES 

*Grungol: A furry, lop-eared, nocturnal species of Velva Leenan people. Two legs. Four arms. Flat torso. Hands have Four flat fingers and feet have four flat toes. Dog-like head and face, except for herbivore teeth. 

*Vervett: A diurnal species of Velva Leenan people that are anatomically human-like. Silver or gold turtle-like shell on their backs, which spans from just above their butts to partway up the back of their necks. Vitamins, minerals, and other elements that go unused during vervetts’ everyday digestion form deposits on their shells that look like colorful gemstones. These people have a distinctive natural smell, like a mixture of foil, sugar, and cut grass. 

*Guardian: Velva Leena’s hierarchy race of vervetts. 

Yellow collar: An outstandingly yellow metal collar that is worn by those who committed a serious crime and sentenced to serving time as the Guardians’ slave. 

*Under-village: A village deep below the ground where grungols reside. 

*Lamb Stalker: A game similar to Hide and Seek, except it’s preferably played outdoors where there’s a lot of bushes and trees to hide behind or beneath. Two to four players seek out the lamb, while the player who is the lamb has to sneakingly change hiding places without being seen or heard, except for when the lamb makes a bleating noise to give the seekers a hint where they might be hiding. The seeker who finds the lamb first gets to be the lamb next. 

*Moon Code: A fortune telling game where the three moons are asked questions, and the moons’ frequent shifting and tilting are interpreted to mean certain answers. 

*Jumellica: A faceless, genderless entity in charge of the positive side of Velva Leena’s creation. Similar to Earth’s God. 

*Jyoseppy: A faceless, genderless entity in charge of the negative side of Velva Leena’s creation. Similar to Earth’s Satan. 

*** 

Thanks for reading. I hope you found it enjoyable, in a disturbing sort of way. This is from my rough draft, so this scene will most likely be re-edited and tweaked fifty times over, before book 3 is officially out on Amazon. 

Love you all! Post you soon!   

🙃Five Most Annoying Things Book Reviewers Do🙃

Hi, bloggeriffics. 

Truly nerdy confession—I love reading book reviews almost as much as I love writing them. I hate to admit it, but reading bad book reviews are a guilty pleasure, but I don’t like negative reviews in general. Gosh, I’m not that dark. You ever read negative reviews on I-Tunes? If people don’t like someone’s album or single, holy hell, could they get verbally abusive towards the artist about it. Talk about dark. Negative book reviews, for the most part, are at least more tactful and constructive, and they’re usually the most unpopular opinions. I get curious about why this teensy handful of people didn’t think a book was great, like the rest of the world. One and two star reviews could be kind of funny sometimes too. A lot of book reviewers make fun of the parts of a book they don’t like. 

As a book reviewer on this lovely blog, I make fun of books, even when I like them. And now, I’m going to make fun of other book reviewers. Because I make fun of everything! That’s just what I do. Maybe my name shouldn’t be Bia Bella Baker, but Bia Bella Roaster, ha ha. 

So here are five things that book reviewers do that are annoying. 

**** 

1.  THE SYNOPSIS RE-TELLER 

I notice this a lot with positive four and five star reviews, where the reviewer has to give this lllooonnnggg-ass summary of the book before they get around to their actual review. On Goodreads especially, like every other positive reviewer does a book summary. Why? Seriously people, you don’t need to repeat the whole premise of the story. That’s what the book blurb is for, on the book page! Just say what your opinions are about the book. Sometimes, it sounds like they copied and pasted the blurb into their review. Or they took the blurb and added 5,000 extra words to it, like a freaking school book report. It’s great to see how into a book someone is, but please, positive reviewers, just tell us why you liked or loved the book. Especially if you want to post a review where so many hundreds of other reviewers had already written their doctored up and severely mutated versions of the book blurb. 

2. THE THREE-WORDS-OR-LESS REVIEWER 

This type of review is at the opposite end of the review spectrum, but it’s just as annoying. Those lazy reviews where it would just say something like, “Loved it!”, or “No. Just no.”—But why did you love the book? Why was this book just no? This vagueness annoys me as a review site browser. As an author—or whenever I get my books back up on Amazon, so I could actually get reviews—This would drive me fucking nuts. It’s like the portion control diet version of a review, where a lite opinion of a small portion of words should be all you need. Just in-jest those words slowly and take small bites, and then you’ll feel satisfied. It’s more of a tease than when someone just gives a star rating without a review. Maybe it’s just me. I have a pet peeve about words being expressed in a vague and generic way that leaves a lot up to one’s imagination. 

3. THE NEGATIVE REVIEWER WHO JUDGES A BOOK BY ITS FRACTION 

Readers have their reasons for DNFing a book and giving it a one or two star review, which is fine. They stopped reading because the book couldn’t hold their interest, or it was poorly edited, or the writing style was too blah, or whatever. That’s all fine. I’d seen some reviews where it just says something like, “DNF at 50%”, or just “DNF” Nothing wrong with that either. What’s annoying is when someone stops reading at like, ten or fifteen percent of the way into the book, and then goes off about some awful thing that the main character did or some part of the plot that doesn’t make sense, which was what made them stop reading. Then they judge the whole book and give it a bad review over it. To harshly judge a whole book, just because you didn’t like something that happened in the wee beginning? So you stop reading and assume the whole rest of the book is bad and deserves a bad review? Not cool, and that’s not fair to the author either. That’s like giving a book a bad review just because you didn’t like the cover art. And these reviewers go off about the book, like they know what they’re talking about. That reminds me of, if someone gets upset because they overheard a few words someone said in another room, and didn’t hear the rest of the conversation. But they jump to negative conclusions of what the whole conversation was about, when it might’ve not been what they assumed. 

Chill out, hypersensitive book DNFers! Maybe if you took your  Adderall or Riddlin before reading, you would find out that by twenty percent of the way through the book, the character that was an asshole in the beginning might start feeling remorseful. Then twenty-five percent of the way through the book, the first missing pieces of the plot might start coming together. 

4. THE CHRONOLOGY HATER 

It gets me when reviewers, say, start a series at book 4, and then get annoyed when they realized that they have to read the series in order to fully know what’s going on. Uh…… yeah…… dumbass. That’s why books in a series are numbered. 4 doesn’t come before 1, 2, and 3. 

However, this is excusable when the author or publisher says that each book can be read as a stand-alone, but they really can’t. I’ve read a series like that. It was a series where, even though each book had a different plot with different characters, the storylines did tie together. The author attempted to make each book a stand-alone by re-introducing the main character at the beginning of each book and re-introducing other characters throughout the story, and adding in some rehashing of things that happened in previous books. Still, there were things mentioned in some books which readers would have no idea what the author was talking about unless they’d read the previous books. If you want to know what series I’m referring to, I’m talking about the Josiah Reynolds Mysteries series by Abigail Keam. Awesome, fun, unputdownable reads, but those books are absolutely not stand-alones, like it says they are on their pages. I wasn’t bothered by this, because I’m anal about reading series’ in numbered order, stand-alones or not. 

Some of these series book reviewers, my God. They seemed really offended about having to read a series in order. Like how could the author have the audacity to expect readers to read more than one or two books in a ten book series, and on top of that, expect readers to pay attention to numbers? 

5. THE DESPERATE SELF PROMOTER 

A lot of people use Goodreads to promote their own blogs or book review sites. Sure, this is an abuse of a review page, but I understand. All of us who have blogs or other websites have to do what we got to do to get our sites noticed and going somewhere, and there is a non-obnoxious way to self promote. When someone writes a book review, and then after the review, says something like, “For more of my reviews, go to http://www.review/blahbiddyblah.com” I don’t see anything wrong with that. At least they used the review page to post a review before slipping in a little self promotion. 

When people give the book a star rating, but instead of posting a review, they post the link to their website where their real review is—Okay, that’s pretty spammy. It’s an abuse of a site’s review page, and it’s disrespectful to the author, but it’s quiet and passive which is also non-obnoxious. 

What really annoys me is when someone only posts part of their review, and says something like, “For my complete review, go to https//totalprick.reviews” Oh, HELL nah! Now that is totally obnoxious! That’s worse than the “Read More” or “Continue Reading” feature on WordPress. Short-changing an author on their well-deserved feedback and attempting to lure book review browsers with a sample excerpt of a review, in order to gain more views on your own site? That’s cheap and a pathetically desperate cry for attention. Does that really work? It must, in some way, because I’ve seen quite a few reviewers pull that shenanigan. Some book review browsers out there with too much time on their hands must find it enticing to click onto some no-name website to read what else Billy Bob Shmo has to say about the latest Oprah’s Book Club, New York Times bestseller. 

**** 

That concludes my five most annoying things book reviewers do. I’m done with being a meanie. 

For now… 

To my future book reviewers—(I do have a book series. I know I’ve been mentioning my series for the past forever, but it does exist, and it will be available.)—I hope when you review my books, you will please express your written opinion in more words than three. If you’re in a lazy mood, or can’t think of what to write, just give a star rating. Please write your opinion minus a summary of the story. My books are more on the complex side, so there’s too much to summarize anyway. 

I’ll warn you beforehand, NONE of the books in my series or its spin-off trilogy can be read as a stand-alone. I do include rehashings of things that happened in previous books, and repeated memory refreshers, but the series MUST be read in numbered order to avoid getting lost and confused. 

Some people among the infant’s handful of those who’d read the first and second edition of HECCTROSSIPY  book 1  The Legend of the Land had found my main character, Artheena, to be unlikeable. She’s still the same self absorbed, egotistical Artheena in the up-coming third edition, but please don’t judge the whole 300 or so page story by its one flawed character. If you don’t like her, you’ll like the ending. If you DNF the book—or any other of my books that I swear on my life are coming out—for whatever reason, I wouldn’t hold that against you. All authors get a book or two DNFed sometime in their career. According to what I’d seen while perusing Goodreads and even Amazon, the bestselling authors get the most DNFs. 

Last of all, future reviewers, please don’t spam up the review page for my books with your own self promotions. Please, ESPECIALLY don’t use my review page on Goodreads to promote a black magic murder-for-hire service. Ah, crap, you would’ve had to have read one of my previous posts to know what I’m referring to. 

Love you all! Post you soon!       

🌞What’s up💛 It’s a bookdate📚

What the, HI! 

That was a few weeks hiatus that I did not mean to take. 

First, I went on vacation with my parents. Oh, it wasn’t much. We are the most astonishingly boring vacationers on the planet. We went to the Tuscany Resort in Orlando, which is our once-a-year Timeshare tradition. So it was a staycation, since the thing is only about a forty minute drive away from where we live. 

Mom still cooked and cleaned—Just like she does at home. Dad read a lot of news on the internet and watched political comedy skits on Youtube—Just like he does at home. And they both watched a lot of TV, drank wine, and talked in loud voices about politics—Just like they do at home. 

I read, but not like I read at home. Oooo, now doesn’t that kick up the excitement a bit? Hahaha, it did for me, because I am made up of nerd cells. I didn’t worry about blogging or keeping up with the Writing group, or working on my books, or anything else that takes discipline and extra concentration. I just read novels and drank chocolate raspberry, dark chocolate, and bourbon truffle coffee, like the fate of my soul depended on it. I had a vocal lesson video call, but didn’t have to do anything during that hour, because my voice coach likes to talk and give informative music lectures. After that, it was back to novels and coffee. 

Maybe two or three times during our stay, we got our bump-on-a-log asses up and took a walk around the resort’s lake. Yeah, never go on vacation with we Wojos unless you need to catch up on sleep. But hey, my parents are true homebodies, and I’ve grown to be more of a homebody too, because I don’t like doing things that I used to like to do when I had decent eyesight. Vacationy stuff like souvenir shopping, going to theme parks, and going on sight seeing tours are pretty boring when you can’t see what’s going on. Books, on the other hand, are awesome. I get entertainment, escapism, adventure, travel, and plenty of visual descriptions all in one. 

The downside to our glut-any of relaxation was that we all got sick. I felt not so good on the day we checked in. Then the next morning, I officially felt shitty. I had that yucky virus fatigue, along with that weird, foggy, almost sedative-like feeling you get when coming down with something, and I couldn’t taste my breakfast. I didn’t want to say anything about this, because it was our first full day of the vacation. Then mom piped up and warned us that she felt like she might be coming down with a virus. By the next day, all three of us were on a generic Dayquil and Niquil regimen. It was a double whammy for me, because I was also battling, what we suspect was sinusitis. Along with the liquid meds, I was also popping generous doses of Advil to keep the inner nose inflammation under control, and taking 2,000 milligrams of vitamin C every day, and menthol lozenges became a dietary staple. Wooow! I haven’t been so heavily medicated since my boob job! 

Getting sick didn’t ruin our homebody chill-athon. We still had a pleasant vacation. 

When we were back home, I got a few days’ worth of work done on one of my books, but then it was time to pack up and move on to the next staycation. My other sister, Gina, and her family went to Scotland. So the parents and I stayed at her house to petsit the dog and the guinnie pig. She left us this cute little strict food and activity schedule for the critters. 

I meant to continue working on my books. I meant to write blog posts and keep up with what’s going on with the bloggers I follow, and what’s going on with my writing group, but I didn’t. I’m used to writing in my little hermit cave upstairs with the door closed and my clunky, loud-ass oscillating fan on for white noise, so I could concentrate. Gina’s house is an open planned ranch house with sound amplifying tiles everywhere and high, arched ceilings. My parents love their Netflicks dramas and political shows, and Gina’s humungous TV echoed all through the house and was right by the guest room where I was staying. So no writing or blogging got done, because the arteeste couldn’t concentrate—Ah, who the hell am I kidding. Excuses, excuses. The vacation-like feeling of staying over at somebody else’s house, and wanting to spend more time with my doggy niece gave me a case of the lazies. I spent a majority of my stay, once again, indulging in reading novels. I haven’t done anything truly productive for over a month!  Psht, whatever, it was fun.  

Now that Gina’s back, and the parents and I are back to our usual routine, it’s time to knuckle down with my own novels and continue the drawn-out slog of trying to build my author brand. 

Within the few weeks since the hiatus began, my other sister, Christa changed my blog’s name, but not to be medalling and invasive. She helped me get started on WordPress, so she knows my account password. I let her have access to my account in case I need her to do something visual that I can’t do, like adding a photo to a post. I know that my new blog name is not all that interesting, but she said that it was better for my SEO. I don’t know why, but the NO PICTURES ALLOWED title didn’t work well with the SEO. She’s been in the digital marketing biz for years, so she would know what was best for my blog better than I would. So I’m cool with the title change. I just got to change that display name. My pen name is annoying enough, which was deliberate. Having it said twice in every post is like, ugh

The other changes are, I’m re-releasing book 1, because I decided to re-write the prologue. I’m sure as hell not re-writing the whole book again, even though that would be tempting, but book 1 is also undergoing another proof read. There was a glitch in my editor’s computer, which converted my American way of spelling to the British way. I didn’t think anything was wrong with my book’s narrative having a little British accent. After all, it was published in England, so I thought it made sense. However, come to find out, the British spelling is inconsistently mixed in with American spelling. It still has the American style dialogue quotation marks too. Sometime after it was published, my proof reader also noticed there was still some tensing problems with my narrative. I didn’t think this was a big deal either. Because the three or four people who’d bought my book didn’t seem to notice this. Now that I’m re-writing the prologue, I thought, what the hell, I might as well give those other things a tweaking. 

The new prologue is going to be more focussed on Mell May’s early childhood trauma before Artheena’s family adopted her. The happy part of the sisters’ alien childhood is going to be more glossed over. I’m cutting out all the positive but info dumpy details that might bore readers, like the details about the alien games the girls used to play when they snuck outside during the night to play with their nocturnal grungol friend. Like with my decision to discontinue Appendices, I’m going to recycle a lot of my info dumpy material into fic/fact based stories that will be featured on this blog, and I plan to also publish them on WattPad. I’m toying with the idea of not even calling the new prologue a prologue, but title it maybe something like, The Trauma

I’m also changing the title of my  Velva Leenan fic/fact story series. A TREMENDOUS thanks to all of those who had read the first story, The Trolley Tracks Are Alive, by the way. The series title, Once Upon An Appendix Removal was a play on words, since I decided on no more appendices in my books, but my sisters didn’t think blog readers would get it. I did write a blog post explaining my new series idea and its title, but still, the title is kind of icky. Anyone scrolling through WordPress would easily mistaken the series for being about the surgical removal of my appendix. Needless to say, my appendix organ was never removed and is doing just fine. As for the series title, it’s now going to be called Fic/Facts and Flashbacks. Okay, maybe that’s kind of dorky and annoying, but it’s kind of catchy.  

This re-release of book 1 will be the third edition. I hope that doesn’t make any potential readers lose trust in whether or not if the book is worth reading, because I keep changing things around. I swear on my life, the third edition will be the same old story, just with a few narrative tense changes. And the prologue will have less detail on the light hearted but mundane stuff and more detail on the dark and dirty stuff. The re-release will happen at the same time I release book 2. 

I also plan on changing book 1’s cover. My author/editor/ridiculously multifaceted friend, Jo, did book 1’s cover. The way others described it to me, it sounds gorgeous. Like a picture of alien weather that, if I were able to see it, I would have it blown up to a poster size and hang it up in my hermit cave. It baffled me that that pretty green storm didn’t attract book lovers’ attention. However, now I’m glad it didn’t. Now I’m kind of embarrassed about my info dumpy prologue. I almost want to apologize to those who’d read it, and give those who had bought the first or second edition a refund, and give them a free copy of the new and improved edition. The cover, as cool as it is, also doesn’t really represent what happens in the story. There is the mentioning of a storm, but only in a storybook about the tale of the hecctrossipy, which becomes a story within the story as Artheena reads it to her little brother. And there’s the mention of a storm in Leeandro Paul’s song lyrics. Otherwise, the weather stays bright and sunny in book 1. It’s book 2 that has the real storm action. 

Jo’s book cover design was from one of those pre-made artwork websites that everyone is welcomed to help themselves to. He found some cool artwork for book 2’s cover, an even prettier blue storm with a caped figure standing beneath it that kind of resembles a Guardian, but unfortunately, I’m picky. There are Guardians who have parts in the story, but none of their parts are big enough to have a Guardian featured on the cover. I want book 2 to have a picture of a mah dackrel on it, which is a strange and rare Velva Leenan weather phenomenon that can happen during a storm. Velva Leenans believe that the mah dackrel is the eye of Jyoseppy—the creator of all things negative, because from ground-view, it does look like a giant, swirling, silver-gray eye peaking down from storm clouds. However, there’s no pre-made digital artwork around of beautiful but creepy looking storm eyeballs. So I’m going to save up money for a book cover artist who can create a picture of something genuinely Velva Leenan. I’m not sure what I’d want for book 1’s new cover. Maybe a picture of the three moons in the Velva Leenan night sky? Jo is going to hook me up with some artists who won’t be wrecking balls to my budget. 

A few months ago, when my birthday was coming up, my birthday present from Christa was going to be having her submit HECCTROSSIPY  book 1  The Legend of the Land to Book Sirens, which is a site where authors can find book reviewers. I actually prayed that my book would be accepted. I prayed for a whole hour strait, and tried to conjure up as much positive energy as I could. After all that, Christa sent me a text on What’s App, informing me that Book Sirens declined my book, and right on my birthday too. Ouch. I was both pissed off and bummed out when this happened, but now I look at it as a blessing in disguise. Thank God reviewers didn’t see my embarrassingly info dumpy prologue, which might not have earned me glowing reviews. They might’ve not been bad reviews, just not the rave reviews every author hopes for. It also doesn’t hurt that I made zero book sales within the past six months. Since the first edition was published back in late 2020, Jo sent me my meager book sale royalties every December and June. This June, there was no email from Pay Pal in my inbox, informing me that Jo sent my royalties and they are waiting for me. If I didn’t have any re-releasing plans, this would’ve made me want to cry. When I decided to re-write the prologue, I actually started dreading the thought of people buying my book. I even thought of removing the link to my book from all my previous blog posts. So it was actually a relief to see that nobody bought it, and I’m relieved that no reviewers on Readers’ Favorite had picked it up either. Nobody buy my book until it’s re-released with its more gripping prologue and more kick-ass cover! I’m not even going to include the link to my book on this post, or any other posts until the big re-release. You’re not gettin’ any of that book! Hell to the nah! 

Between rewriting my prologue, finding an artist for both books’ covers, having book 1 proof read again, the fact that I don’t have an official blurb for book 2 yet, and the thing still needs to be proof read, this pushes back book 2’s release to maybe the beginning of 2023. So come the new year, books 1 and 2 will be simultaneously released! Hopefully to be met with the enthusiasm of more than three or four readers! Woohoo! 

Love you all! Post you soon!                       

🎈🎈🌮Aliens In The Nude

Am I the only odd-ball who doesn’t feel like writing a holiday related post??? 

I have a really annoying habit of thinking way, way ahead of things. The second book in my YA Sci fi & Fantasy series isn’t going to be out for another few months, and I just started working on the third book. Yet I’m already mentally planning how the storylines in all three Hecctrossipy books will be combined together and adapted into a movie. Yeah, I know, ridiculous. 

I’ve already made mental notes of what parts of the story to keep, and what parts would be either tweaked or edited out. (Stop wracking your brains, honey, you’re a million miles away from getting a movie deal. Out-sourced employees make more money than your book sales.) I envision the movie to include lots of breath taking tropical scenery, the scenic beauty of the grungols’ underground civilization, and scenes that show a lot of the characters’ rustic and pre-industrial, but very alien way of village and under-village life. Only the most visually stimulating, action packed, and emotionally intense parts of the story will be allowed in this movie, and there’ll be some macabre scenes in the mix too. 

There’s only one problem with making this dream movie come true. (Aside from the fact that there’s no movie deal.) Velva Leenans aren’t modest about their bodies. Being that there was never any strict religions on this planet, they have no concept of shame or indecency being associated with nudity. 

Earthling movie goers won’t be offended by seeing naked grungols. This nocturnal race, who look like two legged, four armed puppy people, are covered in thick, wiry fur that hides their no-no spots. Their fur is dirt-proof, which allows them to actively burrow to and from their under-village at night without it being any hindrance to their hygiene. It also protects them from surface elements, like wind and wet winter humidity. So grungols never saw a point in waring clothes. Clothes would also get in the way and be an annoyance, while they’re traveling through the ground. 

Naked vervetts, on the other hand, are a different story. Aside from the turtle-like, jeweled half shell on their backs, their bodies are anatomically similar to humans. They even have the same types of skin color as us. On Continent 15, the tropical paradise where the story takes place, the vervett men and women have some sexy tight bods. Even the old people. 

Their sexy tight bods are a result of the Velva Leenan pre-industrial way of life. No conveniences like cars, or even horse drawn wagons exist. If someone needs to turn in a library book, or pick up some groceries, or if they’d rather go out to eat instead of cooking, they travel to those places on foot. Many of which would be a torturously exerting journey, according to us humans who have inferior strength and stamina. Many vervetts raise their own domestic crops and animals, and hunt and fish for their own meat. All of their everyday tasks in their homes or places of work are either done manually, or by machinery that is mostly powered by muscle. 

Vervetts also eat much healthier than us. Things like processed foods and chemical additives don’t exist. All foods are home grown or fresh from the wilderness, and all recipes are made from scratch. Even their junk food is wholesome and nutritious. 

Vervetts aren’t nudists all the way. They do ware clothes for the most part, but clothes are more of a personal preference than a necessity. These people had evolved from warm blooded but turtle-like aquatic animals that existed millions of Velva Leenan years ago. These ancient ancestors’ shells covered up the whole back of their torsos—from midway up the back of the neck to below the butt—and the front of their torsos were protected by leathery  armor plating. Eons after evolving into a race of people, their instinctive preference to keep their chests, abdomens, and bottoms fully covered still echoes within their subconscious psyche. 

All the books in this series have clean language, and non descriptive love scenes that are at a PG13 level. But they also have scenes that include naked vervetts, especially book 2. But 99% of these nude scenes have nothing to do with anything sexual. Still, I could picture Earthling movie goers—mainly parents and Extreme Christians—getting all bent out of shape, claiming that the movie version of the Hecctrossipy series is way too inappropriate for its targeted young audience. Knowing how people are, and how anti-female America and most of the world’s other cultures are, the naked vervett women would most likely be the bigger public offense. 

Not only do vervett women have a much lengthier pregnancy than women on our planet, its common for them to have twins. So their hips further accentuate their busts and their slimmer-than-human waists. To Continent Fifteeners, this is how normal, healthy vervett women are supposed to look. To human eyes, their figures might make them look too sexy and pornographic for viewers under 18. Young adolescent boys might be inclined to see the Hecctrossipy movie, just so they could see some naked, half-shelled alien babes, which is something that would ruffle the feathers of many moms. My apologies in advance. The vervett women featured in the story are just trying to get through their trials and tribulations, with no deliberate intentions toward giving Horney perv male Earthlings a woodro. 

Here are some examples of vervett nudity that might make humans get their panties in a wad. (No sexual pun intended.) 

In one of the chapters in the up-coming book 2, my main character, Artheena, and her dad came into the kitchen and took off all their wet clothes, and then stood naked together in front of the open oven. 

They were searching for a missing child, and got caught in a deadly summer storm which drenched them in freezing cold rain. They came in through the back door, which opened to the kitchen, and the oven was right there. Artheena and her dad had just barely escaped death, and needed to get warmed up as quickly as possible. Still, humans might see this as creepy and icky, and feel that father and daughter should’ve went to their separate bedrooms and changed into dry clothes first, before warming up in front of the oven. 

While Artheena and dad were thawing out, mom assisted a young woman named Olzenbeth who was the missing child’s grown niece, and who had joined dad and Artheena on the search. While trudging the storm, Olzenbeth had gotten wrapped up in clingy vines that ooze sticky sap. After mom cut and unraveled all the vines, she removed Olzenbeth’s sap soaked clothes. I could see people finding this kitchen scene disturbing, because all this stripping went on while Artheena’s five-year-old brother was in the room. Even more cringe-worthy to some people, As Olzenbeth was getting stripped, little Willberry was watching and laughing. But he wasn’t laughing because he could see her hiney. Everyone in the room, including Olzenbeth, thought it was funny how, when mom pealed off Olzenbeth’s sappy clothes, it gave her a shorts and shirt tattoo. 

Nothing sick and perverted was going on here. This is just how things are in a world where there’s no moral hang-ups about nudity. 

The kitchen scene is a highly emotional one. The village is going through a crisis. One vervett had already mysteriously disappeared, and his remains were found the previous night, in a place that made no sense. Then Olzenbeth’s kid uncle mysteriously disappeared before the storm started picking up, and she and the others couldn’t find him. They eventually had no better choice but to get back in the house, or die. Velva Leenan summer storms are like Earth’s hurricanes with roid-rage. There was nothing more they could do about the missing child, but have faith in their good entity that he was able to call on a grungol to bring him down to the under-village where he would be out of harmful weather’s way. So nobody in that kitchen was giving Artheena’s, dad’s, and Olzenbeth’s nakedness a second thought. Still, I could picture Hollywood directors either editing the kitchen scene out completely, or altering it to meet humans’ moral standards. Artheena and dad would either be fully clothed, or have blankets wrapped around them, and mom would take Olzenbeth into the bathroom to get her out of the clinging vines and sap soaked clothes. 

In another part of my up-coming book 2, Mell May was supposed to have been staying at another family’s house for a while. Then Artheena’s grungol friend, Audry, found Mell May wandering around in the forest, in the middle of the night, with no memory of who she is. The Mell May crisis drama carries on for another few chapters. Why was she living in the forest all by herself, and for how long? What happened that was so traumatic, it gave her amnesia? Did somebody try to kill her, and dumped her deep in the forest? Should they take her to the hospital? Will Artheena’s gifted abilities help them find answers to what happened? Artheena brought Mell May home, and tried to reunite her with her family, which she sadly had no memory of. Through this whole drama, Mell May was in the nude. She had been living among wild animals for some unknown amount of days. Animals don’t ware clothes, so in her erased mind, she didn’t know any different. Audry, being a grungol, of course had no spare clothes for Mell May to borrow, when she found her. A few chapters after Mell May was found, Artheena finally gave her a comfortable nightshirt to put on, before tucking her into bed. 

Later on, Artheena showed Mell May a picture of their old celebrity crush, Leeandro Paul, with the hope that it would help make some of her memory come back. 

In the picture, Leeandro Paul was giving the picturizer a seductive smile, while posing nude on a beach. Artheena had to bribe another fan of his for that picture. That fan, to humans’ possible disapproval, was a twelve-year-old girl. “A child possessing pornography?!” Earthlings might think. However, in a world with no moral hang-ups about nudity, nobody ever thought of inventing the bathing suit. Every vervett goes about naked when their swimming and sun bathing on one of Continent 15’s sunny coastal beaches. To Leeandro Paul’s young female fans, and to those fans’ parents, a picture like the one Artheena had would be no different than a picture of him posing in swimming trunks. Maybe in the movie version, the picture would show him in a pose with his legs crossed, so no one would see his extra terrestrial boinker. 

When the first three Hecctrossipy books are adapted into a movie, I hope to keep the naked vervett scenes. Not to sexually promote my characters, or encourage interplanetary perversion. But to keep the movie version as authentically alien as the books. If us humans really did get acquainted with another race of intelligent beings from another planet, it’s very possible that there would be things about these beings’ lifestyle, beliefs, and culture that would make us uncomfortable. Heck, how many times throughout the history of the human race has one culture been uncomfortable or offended by another culture’s way of life? Probably no less than a few million times. 

Vervetts are physically and temper-mentally humanish, but not 100%. I would hate to humanize them even more, by making them shy and self conscious about the healthy bodies their good entity gave them. 

Maybe Hollywood directors would agree to keep the scenes with naked vervetts, but just show the men from the waist up, and the women, no lower than the tippy top of their cleavage crack. Heaven forbid if anyone sees their space nipples. 

Whatever the case, I won’t be giving the movie rights to Disney. 

Love you all! Post you soon! 

PS. Does this link work?                           

🤞🤞

Earlier today, Clennell sent me a short promo for her latest soon-to-be-published book, via emailed attatchment, and politely requested we fellow writing group members to spread the word on our social media platforms. My first choice of platform is, of course, this lovely one. 

I thought I was doing everything right with following the simple steps to sharing an attachment to WordPress. First I opened the attachment and hit the “Share” button. This took me to a list of people and apps to share with. I tapped “Wordpress”, and it opened me up to an empty title text field and ridge text field. I assumed that this meant I was supposed to write something about the attachment I was sharing. Just like Facebook offers you a blank text field to say something about a link you’re sharing, before you post it. So I wrote about Clennell’s books. 

I found it odd that the title and ridge text fields, and all the writing attribute options looked like the old classic editor style of post. The attatchment wasn’t anywhere on my phone’s screen either, like how links are, before you share them. But I trusted that my Iphone knew what it was doing. After I wrote my little two cents, the only options I was given was to publish, or not to publish. So I added tags and published. Then was surprised to see that WordPress only published what I wrote, but it didn’t share Nel’s attachment! 

Any of you have an idea of what I might’ve done wrong? 

It was embarrassing. I appreciated the 4 likes my incomplete post received, but it really showed how faulty my computer skills still are. It could just be a glitch, and not me. 

Later on, I made a second attempt to share Nel’s attachment to WordPress, but this time I tried the “More Options” option on the sharing menu. To my annoyance, that only lead me to another menu with the same options. What the…? When I told Nel about what happened, she suggested I try the “More Options” menu. Aaarrrggg

Here is my second try at getting Clennell Anthony’s promo out there. This time, I’m doing it from my computer. It’s been saved into the computer as a Pages doc, and then copied and pasted into WordPress. 

Eh hem. Let’s start this over. 

I had read Clennell Anthony’s first book, The Circle multiple times. It’s a short but intense love story with beautifully poetic prose, vivid nocturnal scenery, and who doesn’t love a love story about two young people who won’t stand for being controlled by their feuding families. The second book in the series, The Cursed will be available on Amazon soon. If you’re into witchcraft, family drama, and demon drama, trust me, you’ll get sucked into this series. 

The following book is one of a different genre, but it doesn’t need witchcraft to be magical.

***

COMING SOON to AMAZON.COM

Dark Brilliance by Clennell Anthony

Be Surprised! Experience a Bit of Trepidation & Fear! Fall in Love! Be Empowered! & Above All Else, Enjoy!

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Dark Brilliance is a series of short stories that will have you struggling to catch your breath one moment, sighing with pleasure in the next one, and feeling powerful by the end. Don’t miss this work of love and endurance by a new author you won’t want to miss! Clennell Anthony is also the author of The Circle and is currently working on the 3rd book in her Circle Trilogy, entitled, The Convicted.

12 More Things That Authors Do That I 🥰Love Or 👿Hate

Hey, people who are reading this! 

It’s time for a second batch of things authors do that I either love or hate. 

As I said in last week’s post—if you’re an author reading this, and you feel that I’m making fun of your way of writing, never mind what my opinions are. Just keep doing what you’re doing and be proud of it. So here goes… 

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1. I HATE WHEN MODERN DAY POETS USE OLD ENGLISH, BIBLICAL SOUNDING WORDS 

Oh, here I go again, picking on the poets. I did quite a bit of that in last week’s post, but don’t get me wrong. I am NOT a poetry hater. I do enjoy poetry. I’m just a lot pickier about it than with books. 

One of the things that further exacerbates this pickiness is that it really irritates me when writers in this day and age use words like, “thine” and “thee” in their poems. I’ve seen this mainly in love poems or poems that have to do with personal growth and nature, and all that soul stuff. I guess they do it because they think it sounds prettier than the modern versions of those words. 

Whenever I see that, I’m like, seriously. What are you, freaking Amish? This is the 21st century!! Pleaseth stoppeth!

2. I LOVE EPILOGUES 

Epilogues are awesome! They’re the ending after the ending. I especially love when they go into how each character’s life turned out years later. They’re also great for patching up lose ends. Sometimes, if well written enough, they could even redeem the offensive abrupt ending. I wish all fiction novels and novellas had an epilogue. 

3. I HATE WHEN STAND-ALONES HAVE ABRUPT ENDINGS 

Some months back, I once reblogged one of my sister’s Let’s Get Published posts which featured an article by our author/editor friend, Joseph Sale. His article talked about the end of the ending. How endings that don’t fully complete the story have been becoming more and more common. **One of these days, dear readers, I’ll learn how to insert internal links in my posts, that lead to any past post I’m talking about.** Anyway, this article made me feel very unsettled about buying more stand-alone novels in the future. I dreaded the thought of having one compelling book blurb after another allure me into buying the books, and then I’d find out too late that I wasted money and irreplaceable hours of my life on a book with a shitty abrupt ending. As much as I love to read, I am an ending nazi. Lazy endings, abrupt endings, endings that leave behind loose ends—They all should be wiped out of existence! The only time an abrupt ending is forgivable, is if the book is in a series where the story continues on in a following book.  

A few years ago, I’d read Somewhere off the Coast of Maine by Anne Hood, and it was my first encounter with the shitty abrupt ending. The dam book didn’t even end, it just stopped all of a sudden. Some of the story arcs were wrapped up in other parts of the novel, but the ending made it seem like the author DNFed her own book. This pissed me off, after I spent $11 on that unfinished jip of a book. An unimaginative ending that’s been done to death would’ve been better than the story just stopping all of a sudden. It was more like a quitting than an ending.

Perdido Street Station by China Mieville is another example of how authors shouldn’t short change their readers. This book was pure genius! Mieville’s trippy but often sick imagination, His world building, and his descriptive prose had me awestruck. I laughed, cried, and got grossed out through hundreds of pages of awesomeness. Then the ending made the book go out like a wet fart. It wasn’t as sudden and abrupt as Anne Hood’s quitting, but it was still a quitting. This book is the first in a series, which got my hopes up. But then I read the blurbs for the other books, and was disappointed to see that book 1’s story wasn’t continued. 

I used to read a fellow blogger’s stories, which she serialized in her posts. Some of these stories would extend to 10 or 20 posts long. I got sucked into them, and thought they had potential to be published as real books. That is, until I got to the ending. All of her endings were quittings. Each story left me disappointed and regretting the time I’d invested in religiously following her story posts. However, I still gave them a chance.

One day, after yet another story came to a quitting, I politely and constructively pointed out to her that her ending didn’t really end the story. She responded by sticking up for her quitting. Saying how there’s no need for a complete ending when nothing ever really ends. 

Jo’s article also pointed out this way of thinking, which empowers the end-of-the-ending trend. When something ends, it’s never an official ending. Not even when it’s someone’s life that ends. After their death comes a funeral, the aftermath of how their death effected others, how those others move Along with their lives, and the cycle of no official ending continues. 

It’s only human nature that, in the back of my mind, I wished that blogger would’ve decided instead to abide to my way of seeing how a story should end. Then after reading Jo’s article, I realized that her abrupt-ending writing style is probably more “with the times”. So her books might do just fine on Amazon. 

Despite the end-of-an-ending trend, I do see quite a lot of book reviewers complain when a book ends too abruptly. So it gives me the hope that this trend will soon die off. Maybe it has already. 

Publishing companies focus so much on how much the beginning of a book should hook readers in. They should put just as much focus into making sure the ending of a book is complete and satisfying. So nobody who bought the book would feel short changed and regret investing their time and money. Or worse, be discouraged from wanting to buy any more books by the author. 

That’s kind of how I feel about Anne Hood and China Mieville. As for that story serializing blogger and her quittings—I still follow her blog. I just stick to reading her cutesy poem posts. 

4. I LOVE WHEN NON FICTION AUTHORS WRITE IN A CASUAL TONE 

Why, oh why, oh why are non fiction books written in dry, flat, scholarly writing styles? Who in the world would really be like, “Ugh, this book sounds too much like a human wrote it. It’s putting me to sleep.”, or, “Man, I love me some collegiate jargon and repetitious conjunctive adverbs.” It amazes me how people can retain any knowledge from dully written books. I sure can’t. 

That’s why I love, love, LOVE non fiction books that are written in a casual way. When the author can teach you something, while expressing their personality by mixing anecdotes and corny puns within the facts. I love to learn and am curious about nearly everything. When educational books are written in a casual, more conversational tone, it makes the subjects they teach seem even more fascinating and easy to delve into. I can retain knowledge better from such books. If it’s a teacher or College professor who shares their written expertise with color and sass and humor, it makes me wish I could take one of their classes. 

I’m currently reading the audio book version of The Big Book of Mars: From Ancient Egypt to The Martian, A Deep-Space Dive into Our Obsession with the Red Planet by Marc Hartzman, which is an awesome read so far, and it’s narrated by the author himself. It’s about how the red planet influenced civilization and pop culture throughout the millennia. The author jumps back and forth through history a little much, but a lot of the history is so crazy and ridiculous, you got to laugh. That, along with his witty little remarks makes me feel like I’m listening to a presentation at some kind of quirky convention for eccentric space nerds. I could almost hear the laughing, shuffling, and coughing among the audience—And yes, I’m learning a lot. 

5. I HATE WHEN MEMOIRS GO LOOP-DEE-LOOP 

What I mean by this is when the memoir is not only out of chronological order, the author keeps jumping back and forth, and running rollercoaster loops through time. Like when they tell a story that happened closer to the present, and then jump back to something that happened in 1992, and then in 2011, and 1996, 2003, 2019, and back to 1992 again. Even if the stories they tell have me sucked in, this writing style drives… me… nuts. I like stories to be in order. 

When a memoir goes all over the place, it reminds me of getting stuck sitting next to one of those people who are telling some rambling story, and they can’t get the order of their story strait. 

“We did some site seeing on Wednesday, and Thursday we spent the day at the mall—Oh, yeah. Before we went site seeing, we went out for chicken and waffles for breakfast.—Oh, no, wait, that was on Friday. Wednesday was when we went out for old fashioned flapjacks. Our vacation technically started on Tuesday, when we arrived. So anyway, on Friday and Saturday…” 

Yes, you know the type. We’ve all been stuck sitting next to one of them on a bus or a plane, or in the dentist office waiting room. Were you also screaming at them, from the inside, to either get their dam story strait or shut up. 

Oh, those loop-dee-loop memoirs. As much as their stories held my attention, I wished they would’ve taken some Riddlin before writing their books. 

6. I LOVE A GOOD CRAZY STRAW PLOT 

I absolutely, positively love a good twisting, twirling plot. One that keeps me guessing and fools me until the end, almost every time. I especially love when there’s sub plots that intermingle with the main plot, which often makes the twists even harder to predict. Add in multiple secondary characters and more than one antagonist, and the mystery becomes one big beautiful brain-fuck. Now that’s good writing. 

7. I HATE HOW AUTHORS ALLOW THEIR AUDIO BOOKS TO BE ABRIDGED 

Do authors have control over this problem? If they don’t, why won’t they fight back? What the hack? It’s butchery! 

It’s almost as much of an insult to a book as an abrupt ending! 

The first time I came across a poor audio book that had been abridged, was back in 2001. It was superstitious by R. L. Stine. I had a paperback copy, which I’d read several chapters of, but eye surgery complications prevented me from finishing it. So I checked out the audio book version from the local library. 

Back in the day, they were called talking books, and they weren’t a big thing like they are now. Mainly read by the blind, like me. They also used to come in the form of these strange ancient artifacts called cassette tapes. 

I used to listen to talking books on cassette all the time, as a kid, from the Daytona Talking Book library for the blind. They never, ever abridged books because, thankfully, they couldn’t. People volunteered to read physical copies of books out loud in the library’s Recording studio. 

So when I started listening to Superstitious on cassette tape, starting from the beginning, I was horrified to notice that whole sentences had been chopped from each chapter. The chapter titles were gone too. So one would have no idea what chapter they were on, if they lost their place after turning off the cassette. “What the hell did they do to this book?!” I wondered. Then once again, Superstitious was DNFed. 

I won’t eat only part of a candy bar for a snack. I don’t bother watching a movie, if I tuned into it more then ten minutes past the beginning. And I most definitely will not read a book with some of the writing snipped out. Even though abridging only eliminates mere sentences and maybe a paragraph here and there, all while still allowing the listener to get the gist of the story—It’s not the author’s complete work! 

Come to find out that talking books were abridged to save space. Why have a book take up ten cassettes when it could be a more compact and convenient four cassette book. seriously? People were bothered by having to listen to more cassettes? And bothered by talking books that took up a mere extra few square inches of space? I guess there was enough book listening folks out there who sweated the small stuff to make talking book editors and producers feel that abridging was necessary. 

Now that talking books on cassette or CD had evolved to digital audio books that only take up invisible space, WHY is this mutilation of books still happening?! According to what I’ve seen while browsing through audio books, the mutilated versions aren’t even cheaper than the true whole ones. So what’s the point??? 

The only thing abridged audio books might be good for, is for kids who hate reading, but are obligated to read a novel as a school assignment. 

8. I LOVE A GOOD HOLY-SHIT TWIST AT THE END 

Like the crazy-straw plot, I can’t get enough of the good old big twist at the end. The bombshell. The whopper. The big jaw dropper. What book fiend doesn’t love that? Sometimes—depending on how the book is written—a simpler plot that ends with the holy-shit twist can make that twist even holy-shittier. 

I love when authors have the gift of making an idiot out of me. When they drop bread crumb hints or slight foreshadowings throughout the book that go right over my head until the shocking end. Then everything adds up in my mind, and I’m like, “Duh! How did I not pick up on that?!” 

The Wife Stalker by Liv Constantine was one of those books that got me. Sure, it’s not the most well-written book, and not all that realistic in some parts. A lot of the dialogue is a little on the basic, generic side too, but I couldn’t help getting sucked into the feud between Piper and Joanna. Guilty pleasure. A lot of reviewers saw the twist coming, but I didn’t. Especially not the twist about Joanna. I realized that there were little hints about her, lightly sprinkled throughout the book that went right over my head. Some of these hints were disguised as plot holes. These hints went right over reviewers heads too, and they stupidly complained about what they thought were plot holes that the editor shouldn’t have overlooked. Or maybe they had zoned out, or were multitasking while reading the book. Both women had a few screws loose, and both were playing victim to the reader, through their narratives. It was weird that only one chapter of the husband’s narrative was thrown in at the end, but readers needed him there to set the record strait because he was the stable, right-minded one out of the three. Not only did that silly little book have me fooled, it kind of creeped me out. The message I got from it was—Parents better be careful how they treat their children, or else they might turn out like Piper and Joanna. 

9. I HATE DARK AND DEPRESSING ENDINGS 

I really don’t know what’s worse, the abrupt ending, or the depressing ending. Being one of the judges for the Let’s Get Published short story contest twice, I’ve read more than enough entries with dark endings. Endings where the characters end up dead, or evil wins, or the character fails in life. Yuck! What’s up with that? 

While exploring random blogs on WordPress, I learned from one of them that there is a bad-to-worse style of storyline. I’ve read some classics before that were like that, and wondered how such awful stories ended up getting published. How much would a person hate the world and hate themselves to actually enjoy reading that type of stuff? 

Sure, the doom and gloom ending may be a lot more realistic than happy endings, since our dear world is crawling with negativity. But how many of you book lovers out there would honestly want to curl up with an action packed downer, or a feel-bad romance? 

When I read a book with a dark and depressing ending, it gets me bummed out for the rest of the day, and I end up ruminating about how much I hated how the book ended. Hell, it took me a whole month or two to recover from reading Chief Joseph by Bill Dugan. 

10. I LOVE BIG FAT BOOKS 

500 pages or more! As someone who reads for escapism, there’s no great joy like a huge feast of a book to dig into. Yummy. I consider books that are 200 pages or less to be thin. 

Even better than an extremely obese novel is the blessed book bundle. Digitally, book bundles are like one massive, overweight book giant on steroids! Whether its a bundle of series starters or a series box set, I happily dive into them, like Thanksgiving dinner. Book bundles where each book is over 500 pages—Jackpot! 

11. I HATE ROMANCE STORIES THAT END WITH THE COUPLE NO LONGER TOGETHER 

When it comes to reading romance, I’m a happily-ever-after purest. I hate, hate, HATE those love stories where the romance isn’t the real moral. The type of romance with the tear-jerker, bittersweet ending. Where the real moral of the story is the important life lesson that the relationship taught the main character, or the lost lover. Or how much the lost lover helped the main character learn about themself, and learn how to be strong and see their true self worth, and all that noxiously sweet disappointment. 

I saw the movie versions of Message in a Bottle and Nights in Rodanthe, and hated them both. After that, I don’t think I’d want to be within less than a hundred feet of a Nicolas Sparks novel. “Tis better to love and have lost, than to never have loved at all.” Oh, please. I would rather reincarnate as an asexual nun with no clitoris. My own love life has been nothing but one crappy life lesson after another. I would’ve rather found the right life-long partner, instead of learning and growing spiritually, or whatever I was supposed to get out of it. So the last thing I’d want to read is a book about someone else’s depressing “growing from love” experience. 

I prefer the dreamy, happily ever after kind of romance, as cheesy and unrealistic as they sometimes are. Romances that have the couple’s names as the subtitle are usually my first pick, because it means that the couple will be together at the end. 

The only exception to this personal tabu was Bittersweet by Nevada Bar. This was a lesbian love story that took place in the mid 1800’s, about how two women independently made their way out into the world together. The fascinating descriptions of how rugged and hostile life was during that time, overruled the sad ending. Most stories I’d read that took place in the pioneer days romanticized how life was back then. This book pointed out how unapologetically chauvinistic American culture was, how bad hygiene and poor sanitation was the norm, and how much more insect infested the world was. The romance part was so clean that I didn’t feel any romantic love between the two women. At one point in the book, I thought I might’ve misunderstood their relationship, and thought that maybe they were two spinster friends who were roomates instead. Not feeling the romantic connection made the ending tolerable. I cried more over the execution of their pet coyote, Moss Face.      

12. I LOVE WHEN A BOOK HAS ME ENTERTAINED 

Whether it’s a fast paced thriller, or a relaxed paced classic. Whether an author’s writing style is light and simple, or intense and poetic with lots of vivid detail. Whether a book is mediocre or a work of brilliance. Whether it’s fiction or non fiction, sci fi, new adult, young adult, erotic romance, clean romance, historical fiction, or a horror story anthology. The all-around, most important thing to me, as a reader is, if the book is entertaining! 

I read a little of every genre, and find that most books are entertaining in one way or another. Even the ones where the author does the things that annoy me. I just love books, and love the fact that human brains had evolved enough to have created written languages that grace the world every day with millions of stories and countless wealths of knowledge. 

*** 

PHEW, was this a long post! That concludes the twelve more things that authors do that I love or hate. I hope that you, as a reader, were entertained. 

Love you all! Post you soon! 

P S: I apologize for posting links that didn’t work, last week. Not cool. It seems I might’ve done it in a way that confused the block editor. Let’s give it another try… 

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Check out my book on Amazon!    

☯️ May I have your opinions? 🥺Pretty, pretty, please? ☯️

Hello fellow bloggers, and those who are also authors. 

I FINALLY came up with a blurb for book 2, The Will of the Dark Creator! The book has been FIFTEEN months in the making, so it’s about dam time. This is the rough draft of the blurb. I know it probably needs to be shortened, because it’s a little over 400 words. And the ideal blurb is supposed to be under 400 words, right? Here’s what I concocted so far. Let me know what you think… 

*** 

The alignment of the three moons is a sign of positive changes to come… 

How come the opposite is happening?… 

This second installment picks up where the first book left off, as the fun and festivities continue at the Hecctrossipy Festival—Continent 15’s yearly tradition that celebrates the victory over a legendary evil monster who had the power to manipulate the elements, and create chaos. However, not everyone is having a good time. 

Artheena has been unexpectedly betrayed by her sister, and cruelly used and disposed of by who she thought was the man she was meant to be with. While Mell May basks in her stolen glory, Artheena is left to figure out how to piece back together her shattered world. 

Shortly after the festival ends, she learns that there are far worse problems to worry about than her broken heart. Jyoseppy—the great entity in charge of the negative side of creation—is taking over other lands on Velva Leena with its catastrophic weather, strange and deadly new diseases, and other dark forces of nature. In a world where the majority supports Jumellica—the great entity in charge of the positive side of creation—even the Guardians can’t figure out how and where the dark creator is getting its steadily increasing power. Continent 15 is one of the few remaining safe havens on the planet—but for how much longer? 

An unknown virus is wrecking havoc among the grungol population. Young vervetts are disappearing without a trace, even while safely inside their own homes. Gruesome killings happen deep within the forest, that are too brutal to have been done by a carnivorous animal. Guardians and villagers have to put up a harder and harder fight to drive Jyoseppy’s destructive forces out of Continent 15. 

Jyoseppy’s dark influences also overshadow the lives of Artheena and her close-knit circle of friends and loved ones. 

Mell May returns to Village 3, alone and mentally unstable. Is she suffering through emotional trauma from being used and disposed of too? Or is it possible that there could be a much more disturbing reason behind her short-lived stardom? 

By the end of this second installment, someone will become a cold blooded killer, another will become a prisoner, and another will die.  

The dark creator’s hecctrossipy may be just a storybook myth, but the great entity’s will to take over all creation isn’t. 

🧀💩 Skeevids! Eeeeew! 💩🧀

Hello, blogsters! 

Here is a sample of what I’ve been working on while not blogging, and not being all that social on WordPress. I had posted Chapter 20: TRUDGING THE STORM, of the second book in my series, a few months ago. A huge thanks to all who had read, liked, and commented on those posts. Since then, that chapter has been re-numbered and revised. Being the extreme writing perfectionist I am, it’ll most likely end up getting another revision or ten. 

Are you ready to get grossed out over an extraterrestrial illness? This chapter tells all the gray, rotten cheesy details. This first section tells about Artheena’s traumatic childhood memories from when she had skeevids. 

For those of you who know nothing about my YA/sci-fi & fantasy series, or if you’re someone who just randomly stumbled upon this post, here is a little fill-in for you. 

*** 

This story takes place on a different planet. Artheena is my main character in books 1 and 2. Mell May is her adopted sister, and Willberry is her five-year-old brother. Vervetts are the species of people they are, and Guardians are just a ruling race of vervetts. Jumellica is like a Velva Leenan version of God. A garden feeder is where compost is stored, and sackamuppo is an herbal skin treatment that prevents scars. 

*** 

Here is the first rough draft excerpt of Chapter 24: SKEEVIDS, from HECCTROSSIPY 2 The Will of the Dark creator. Enjoy—but don’t read this before, during, or after a meal. 

***    

Like how human children get chicken pox, vervett children get skeevids, including little Guardians. Artheena and Mell May had gotten skeevids when they were Willberry’s age. 

Mell May got it first, but her case was unusually mild. She had a fever like Artheena did, but her grayish white skeevid bumps were small—no bigger than the average pimple—and she didn’t suffer through the other unbearable symptoms. Her appetite was normal, she was able to get up and move around without being in constant pain, and her recovery was quick. Freakishly quick. The inflamed holes left behind from when all her skeevids popped, barely needed any plugging paste to boost their healing. They seemed to close up on their own, and her skin was almost magically smooth and healthy again. 

Mom and dad and the other grownups they knew gushed about how little Mell May was such an amazing surviver. She escaped death twice, and then Jumellica took exceptional care of her, by healing her skeevids so miraculously. They took this as a sign that the good entity must have something extra special planned for Mell May’s future. This was one of the few and far between times during their childhood, where Artheena felt jealous of her sister.  

Meanwhile, Artheena’s case of skeevids was the most traumatic twelve days of her life. She couldn’t eat or play, or do anything, but lay in bed and suffer, or scream in agony in the bathtub. All the while, the grayish white bumps all over her skin constantly swelled and popped, and then regrew. Skeevids usually form and grow gradually throughout the day, but sometimes Artheena saw them appear as gray circles on her skin, and then swell into round, hard bumps, right before her eyes. It was a total nightmare. The sound skeevids made when they burst was one that would stay in her memory, like a permanent scar. It was a loud popping and splattering sound that, to us,, would sound like someone shooting water balloons with a BB gun. The bigger the skeevid, the louder and more liquidy the pop. Even worse, when skeevids burst, they splatter out a greasy gray fluid that, to us, would smell like rotten cheese. 

Artheena’s fever was so high, it felt as though her body might cook itself to death. Mom tried to cool it down by putting damp wash cloths over her forehead and cheeks, but she could only keep them on Artheena’s skin for a short few moments at a time. The wash cloths weren’t wet enough to make them heavy, but to Artheena’s severely tender, skeevid infected skin, they felt heavier than bricks, making her face feel as though it was being painfully crushed. When mom removed the wash cloths, it barely gave Artheena any relief. Her head and joints ached from the fever, and the skeevid bumps made her skin constantly ache all over. She got quite a few of the largest sized ones, that swell up to the size of Earth’s tennis balls. These always swelled up on one of her limbs, while she was sleeping. Then she’d wake up with her leg or arm in throbbing pain, which didn’t go away until the huge skeevid burst.

Even the simplest movements were agonizing. She couldn’t sit or stand, or open her mouth to drink and eat without crying out in pain. So much pain made her unable to walk. 

When she needed a bath, mom and dad had to carry her into the bathroom, using a towel like a stretcher. Being carried in their arms felt a hundred times more crushing on her body, than the damp cloths did on her face. She was in too much pain to be able to use the toilet bucket, leaving her with no choice but to pee in the paper shroud that mom and dad kept her wrapped in, while she was in bed. Even worse, her vomiting and diarrhea was beyond her control. This humiliated her more than what a grotesque, rank smelling, skeevid popping, grease dripping mess she was. 

She always loved her bath time, but while sick with skeevids, taking a bath felt like the most brutal torture that could possibly exist. Mom and dad persistently tried to comfort her with reassuring words of Jumellica’s love for her, and how she was going to be all better, any given day. But Artheena was in too much agony to listen to them, and she screamed over all their coddling. The sensation of water on her skin felt both icy cold, and scalding hot at the same time. No matter how gentle mom and dad tried to be, when they wiped Artheena down with a wash cloth, to her, it felt like they were shredding her skin with a giant vegetable peeler. 

Her skin was so sensitive, she couldn’t even ware clothes. The slightest brushing of fabric against her skin felt like being stung by hundreds of insects while getting scratched with razor sharp thorns. 

The only thing that she had to let touch her skin was the coping shrouds. The uncomfortably stiff paper shroud, which was dusted with powdered herbs on the inside, was believed to have good healing benefits. However, the only thing they did was enhance her discomfort. Mom and dad wrapped her up in a new dry, crinkly, gritty shroud, every time they put her back in bed. Between the coping shroud and the rest of her aches and pains, she couldn’t get comfortable. Sleep only came if she cried herself to exhaustion. Or when her energy became so drained from her vomiting and diarrhea, it made her desensitized to the pain. 

The vomit and diarrhea erupted from her body, as though they had minds of their own. She couldn’t understand where it all came from, when her stomach could hardly hold anything down. It didn’t take much to make her queasy. The smells that she smelled every day, like the cool, earthy smell of her house’s stone interior, the aromatic wood and mylo mellow furniture, and the garden scented breezes that came in through the open windows, seemed noxiously overbearing. The poultry broth, nutritional teas, and porridges that her parents fed her tasted and smelled more like they were made from the contents of the garden feeder. Artheena couldn’t help gagging, as she obediently forced down the nourishment her parents carefully spooned into her mouth.

This living hell lasted for seven days. Through it all, the people around her did what they could to keep her distracted from her pain, and cheer her up. Friends, teachers, neighbors, and even some Guardians stopped by the house to deliver positive affirmation cards, and colorful bouquets of sensitive-stomach-friendly paper flowers. Mom read to her, dad entertained her with his stories about his intercontinental piloting great grandparents’ world traveling adventures, and both parents quizzed her on the lessons she was learning in school. When Mell May had fully recovered, she and their friends paid visits to Artheena, whenever they played outside. They talked to her through her open bedroom window. Or they’d sing to her, and tell jokes. A couple times, they made puppets out of their hands, and things they found around the yard, and performed a silly puppet show on Artheena’s outside windowsill. She appreciated everyone’s concern and attentiveness towards her, and did her best to act like she was getting enjoyment out of it. But Artheena was so miserably sick that she honestly wished to be dead. 

On her eighth day of suffering, no more skeevids formed, and all the ones that were there had popped. When she awoken that morning, her fever cooled down and most of her pain had subsided, but her skin was hideously honey-combed with greasy gray holes that were ringed with scaly rashes. She was in hysterically panicked tears, fearing that she was going to be ugly for the rest of her life. This fear got worse every time her parents reapplied the dressing around her skin, and she saw that the disgusting holes hadn’t closed up yet. 

While her skin was healing, she still was sick with a mild fever for another five days, and spent most of that time sleeping. Throughout those five days, mom and dad had to change her dressing, three or more times a day. She had to stand in the bathroom for a long many moments of time, while they carefully unraveled the tightly clinging fabric strips from her body. Then they tediously dug out the used plugging paste from each hole, with their fingernails, and plugged all the holes back up with fresh paste. She was then slathered head to toe with slimy lisp leaf gel, and re-wrapped in more fabric strips. Stay strips is what they are called, because they cling to the skin, and are better at securing medicine in open wounds than regular cloth bandages. When those five days were over, and Artheena was feeling better, she still had to undergo three days of full-body sackamuppo treatments until her skin was back to normal again.

This all happened ten years ago, but when poor Willberry got skeevids, the traumatic memories came back to Artheena as clearly as though they had happened last season. 

*** 

That was only a section. There’s more dialogue and drama in the rest of the chapter, and more of how awful life gets for Artheena and her family. Thank you so much for reading. I’m aiming to get The Will of the Dark Creator ready for beta readers, before the end of summer. 

Love you all! Second excerpt coming up tomorrow!… 

PART 😬😬 of… 🧀💩 Skeevids! Eeeeew! 💩🧀

Hi, again. 

It’s tomorrow! As I promised, here is the second excerpt to Chapter 24: SKEEVIDS from HECCTROSSIPY 2: The Will of the Dark Creator. The plot thickens, and oh, ugh, so does the mess. 

*** 

“What’s wrong with me?” Willberry asked, through frightened tears. 

“You’re sick,” said Burjiss, gently. “You have skeevids, but it’s going to go away soon.” 

“Every little vervett boy and girl gets skeevids,” said Tabatha, in the same gentle tone. “Even mommy and daddy got it when we were little. So did Mell May and Artheena, but we’re all OK now. So you’re going to be OK too.” 

“Just because you guys got it, doesn’t mean I should’ve got it!” cried Willberry. “I’m cold!” 

“Want me to put you’re blanket back over you?” mom offered. 

“No!” Willberry wined. “My blanket hurts! My bed hurts! Everywhere hurts! Why did I have to get skeevids!” He let out a howling cry of misery. 

Artheena’s heart swelled with empathy. In that moment, she felt what he was suffering through, as though she became that sick five-year-old self again. She felt the full-bodied pain of his infected skin, the burning and the aching bone chills of his fever, and the unbearable stinging and scratching sensation he probably felt when his blanket touched his skin. She wanted to hug him and hold him, and reassure him with all the words of comfort she could think up, but of course, that would do more harm than good.    

Willberry’s case of skeevids looked even worse than Artheena’s. His skin bubbled all over with the gruesome, grayish white bumps. Many of them were large enough to bulge like stones beneath his nightshirt. Tennis ball sized skeevids swelled over his knee caps. Clusters of smaller skeevids swelled between the larger ones, making his skin resemble a parasitic insects’ egg sack nursery. His whole neck, from above his collar bones to the bottom of his chin, was completely covered with the bumps, making it too painful to move his head. Skeevids were on his palms and on the soles of his feet. Egg sack clusters of them formed between his fingers and toes. They even formed on his scalp. Artheena couldn’t help feeling sick to her stomach, seeing the round, grayish white bumps slowly swelling up from beneath Willberry’s hair. 

“I know it hurts, and you feel lousy, but every little vervett has to go through it,” said mom, about to pat his head, but quickly stopped herself. “It’s a rough part of the journey of growing up, but it’ll pass very soon.” 

“Do grungol kids get skeevids?” Willberry asked, sniffling. 

“No,” said dad, “But grungols get other sicknesses.” 

The thought of Audry voraciously eating her own coins flashed into Artheena’s mind, and the way she hungrily licked the blood off her hands after she’d accidentally bitten them. 

“That’s not fair!” Willberry shouted through sobs. “Why wasn’t I born a grungol!” 

One of the tennis ball sized skeevids burst with an explosive, POP, startling them all. As much as it hurt to move his head, Willberry couldn’t help look. He screamed in horror at the sight of the gushing gray hole in his knee where the skeevid had been. He scrunched his eyes shut, crying with panic. Burjiss, Tabatha, and Artheena tried to calm him. They tried to get through to him that they were going to take care of him, and he was going to get well, and then once he was all better, the skeevids would never come back. However, he was inconsolable. He cried and screamed over them, like little Artheena did during her baths. 

Willberry knew about skeevids, but he was never exposed to the disturbing illness in real life. Tabatha was pregnant with him, when Artheena and Mell May got it. Some of his classmates went through it, and so did his friend, Snap, but he didn’t see them when they were sick. Snap’s parents were especially strict about not allowing him to have visitors while he had skeevids.   

“I’m sure I still have that old roll of stay strips from when you girls were sick!” said mom, raising her voice over Willberry’s hysterical crying. “But we might need more lisp leaves and ingredients for plugging paste for when he starts getting better!” She looked directly into Willberry’s tear streaming, disfigured face. “You hear that, little hecctrossipy! You’re going to get better, like a strong little monster!” 

“I’ll go get his supplies!” Artheena volunteered. “I hope to Jumellica that the place is open this early! We’re here to save you, Willberry!” Then she hurried out of the room, and made a leap and a short sprint to the front door. 

The rainy early morning air was so cold, it made her cough the moment she bounded onto the wet front walking path. Puddles splashed beneath her, their icy coldness uncomfortably nipping at her bare feet. She broke into a sprint again, once she reached the sticky, wet clay street. It was as putrid as Earth’s swamps outside, from so much waterlogged and rotting vegetation all over the village. Artheena’s beloved gardens were suffering too, but she hung on to the optimistic hope that all her trees and plants would survive and fully recover. The neighborhoods were a rushing blur as gray as the sky, as she sped through them, faster than Earth’s cheetahs. Rain drops pelted at her like icy pebbles, stinging her eyes, and soaking her shirt. 

It wasn’t until she reached the South Section boundary, when she realized that she had been in such a hurry, she forgot to change into daytime clothes before she went out. Artheena laughed this off without a care. It didn’t matter if she looked like a complete weirdo, going to the store in her nightshirt. The rain was getting a little heavier, which meant there was no time to waste, and her poor brother needed his coping shrouds. 

The Children’s Medical Supplies store was a boxy, blueish purple wooden building with a few pieces of colorfully painted, babies’ sized playground equipment on its wooden front porch. Once she saw that the store’s lights were on, she leapt over the porch steps, accidentally knocking down a tiny pink slide as she scrambled through the front door. 

Two orange-collared men greeted her, each carrying a bucket of warm, frothy mange water, ready to wash the wet clay from her feet. As long as it continued raining, this was to be part of the shopping routine. Artheena thought it was kind of nice. 

“I’m so glad this place is open.” she said, smiling and lifting a foot to the orange-collar standing nearer to her. The other orange-collar proceeded to clean the floor where Artheena stepped.

“They’re open all day and night, for the time being,” said the public servant, pulling a wet wash cloth from his bucket, and scrubbing her foot. “Guardians’ new orders. Thank Jumellica too. I don’t know if it’s this bad weather, but a lot of kids are getting sick now. The hospital is getting too crowded with sick people as it is.” 

Artheena shuttered at the thought of when the Guardians admitted the truth about Jyoseppy’s dark forces spreading through the world without explanation. 

“But at least no one has gotten sick enough to die, right?” she said, letting the orange-collar dry off her foot and begin washing the other one. 

“Nope,” he said with a smile. “And by the grace of the good entity, we’ll all make sure it stays that way.” 

“I see you ran out of fresh daytime clothes.” said the other public servant, smiling at her as he finished wiping the floor, and took a seat on a half-empty table of large medicinal roots. 

“She gave the men a look, as though she thought they’d lost their minds. “Oh, come on, you guys. You didn’t here about how new Scientific studies have shown that nightshirts are a more suitable garment for running in cold, wet weather. They allow a better aerodynamic air flow which helps you move faster than if you wore shorts or pants.” Her factual tone was so convincing, the two men pondered over this bit of information for a split moment. “I’m only kidding,” she laughed. “My baby brother came down with skeevids, this morning, and I need to get some coping shrouds, lisp leaves, and extra ingredients for plugging paste. But I was so in a rush to get them that I left the house without paying attention to what I’m waring.” 

“I like it,” said a young man who suddenly appeared in the room. “It’s blue, my favorite color.” He gave Artheena a crooked-toothed, flirty smile. “And it matches your pretty eyes.” He walked over to her, and shook her hand. “Hi, I’m Danknoid. I’m one of the new staff here, and I’ll be more than happy to help you.” 

Artheena smiled at him graciously, mentally reminding herself to not go back to her old snobby ways, by judging Danknoid to be a total dweeb. His curly main of bright yellow-orange hair looked like a giant briar. And his slight build and round, pimply face made him appear no older than thirteen

“You boys go ahead and restock the tea and snacks in the break room,” Danknoid said to the orange collars, as though he owned the place. “I’ll be helping this beautiful lady with her shopping.” 

“Thank you, but you don’t need to,” Artheena said politely. “I know where everything is. I’ve been here before many times.” 

Danknoid looked amused. “No, you do need my help. You not only ran to the store in your nighttime clothes, you forgot to take your shopping tote with you.” 

“Ugh!” Artheena groaned, stomping her foot. “I forgot to bring money too! I can’t believe what a flake I am, this morning.” 

“Don’t worry about it,” said Danknoid, putting a hand on her shoulder. “I’ll be your tote and hold your things for you, and I have hundreds of coins in my coin holder. Just tell me how many you think you need, and your shopping is covered.” 

“Oh, thank Jumellica!” she exclaimed, throwing her arms around him as she mentally thanked the good entity for granting her the fortune of being the girl that all the single guys want. She had always taken her way with men for granted, but for once, she truly needed this power of having above-average beauty for unselfish purposes. 

“My tote is in the store owners’ office. Follow me.” He took her by the arm and lead the way. The office was a tiny room in the back of the store that could barely fit the cluttered, two-person work desk that was crammed within it. Once they were in the office, Danknoid closed the door. A mischievous look flashed across his pimply face. Artheena felt a pang of anxiety, immediately knowing that this boy was up to no good. She backed up against a narrow space of wall, as Danknoid reached under the desk, and pulled out a purple polka dotted leather tote. Then he took out a coin holder that was twice the size of hers. He opened it up to show her that it was filled to the brim with Rewards and Thank Yous. 

“You can have all of this, and buy your brother all the medicine in the entire store if you want.” he said, in a lowered voice. “But on one condition…” He eyed her up and down with a wicked, crooked-toothed grin. 

*** 

Woe! Heck nah! Do I have the indecency to make this book, which is geared for a 14 + audience, get a little juicy??? Check your WordPress reader for tomorrow’s excerpt to find out. 

Love you all! Post you soon! 

💘🧧THANK YOU NOTE🧧💘

Thanks to all of you who had read my rough draft excerpts to the second novel in my YA/sci-fi series, HECCTROSSIPY  book 2  The Will of the Dark Creator. Your likes and your feedback means the world, the galaxy, and the universe to me! 

I’ve never been employed. As a person who is both blind, and has confused, haywire sensory perception, it’s been an impossible journey trying to get into the workforce. It’s my dream to one day be able to make a living writing novels and children’s books. Yeah, I know this sounds delusional, knowing how the book business is these days, but I have iron clad faith in God that this dream is possible. 

There was a time when I thought that joining the writing Community would be like throwing myself into an infinite battlefield where competition is fierce, and artistic egos may clash. Boy, was I a big-time ignoramus for making that judgmental assumption! 

We authors and aspiring authors are all aiming for the same dream—to write books, and have them sell. However, those among the writing community are the least ego-clashing group of people I ever got to know. We support each other, rather than compete against one another. The help we give to one another, whether it’s beta reading, feedback, sharing writing knowledge and links to helpful resources, or promoting each other’s books on social media, the writing community represents the good side of humanity. It’s like a positive, brilliant light that outshines the darkness and conflict among the rest of the world. 

I know that I have a long way to go, and hundreds, maybe thousands of hours of hard work and perseverance ahead of me, before my writing career starts heating up. But your willingness to take the time to read and respond to my novel excerpts is like the sparks of hope that could help build things up to a steadily rising smolder. 

Once again… 

Thank you! 

Love you all, post you soon! 

Coming up is another enlightening re-blog of the latest Let’s Get Published post…