About My Book.. Some More

About My Book.. Some More


I’m really looking for feedback. I have hit a wall of writing lately. I know that it is mostly due to lack of planning than lack of content. This is Chapter Fifteen. Tell me hate it. Tell me you love it. Tell me I have typos. Tell me that I should keep my day job. Seriously. Rip it apart. (More can be found at ChapterBuzz… No I’m not a masochist, I just need a reality check)

Valerie held Scotts arm tight and rested her head on his shoulder in the back of the package truck while he gently stroked her hair with his free hand. She was almost complete. Having her husband by her side made the entire journey seem very trivial. She was minutes from reuniting with her son and would have time to truly rest. With Scott she could figure out how to take on the CDC and free the rest of her family.

Twenty minutes passed since they left her home for the resort. With no windows in the back compartment they only saw strips of light at the seams of the door but she could hear Griffin snoring. There was no doubt Hyka was napping as well. Aaron and Austin were in the cab in their new blue uniforms, navigating to the resort.

“I’m so sorry,” Scott whispered in the dark and kissed her head. “I had no idea you were in danger. I’m sorry I wasn’t there to help you. I’m sorry I wasn’t with our son. I had to wait an entire day to get word that you were alright. They had me take a train to get the affected in Kansas and said I could pick up Caleb and meet you. I can’t believe I helped them.”

“They were probably hoping you would lead them to Caleb. I am so thankful for Gia. I am glad it was her. Did you know my dad actually hired her? Remember how I wanted the other nanny, but she declined at the last minute? I guess that was all Dad’s handy work.” Valerie smiled and found her husband’s hand. “How lucky are we? I love you more than anything.”

“I love you so much.” Scott kissed her hand.

She held him tighter has the truck turned into the resort parking lot. When it had stopped, Austin and Aaron got out of the cab and walked around to open the back to release its occupants. The afternoon sky was thick with clouds that threatened rain. Like most of their journey, there was no one around. The parking lot was quiet and only a few cars were left in the lot. No one came in or out of the building and the power seemed to have been turned off. The sliding doors stayed open and warm humid air blew from the inside like the building was breathing. There were only a few people in the lobby that quickly disappeared when they saw the uniforms.

“It’s this way.” Valerie led the way in a jog to the farthest corner of the hotel. She knew this was where she would find him. The clue was so clever, but no doubt this was exactly what Gia intended to convey with the French birthday card. Valerie ran down a hallway that opened to a giant atrium. A stream that ran through the hotel was stagnant and smelled lightly of algae. She followed it around to a bridge. The artificial island hosted a cluster of restaurants and “Little Venice” where she had taken Gia for her birthday. It was completely empty, and with a quick once over she decided there were no more clues.

“The room is on the third floor. 356. She quickly found the stairs, heart pounding, and ran up as fast as she could. 395 was the first room. She sprinted down the balcony of rooms that overlooked the restaurants and the stream. Each room she passed she ran faster until she came to the room. Her heart in her stomach, the door was open. Without bothering to knock she pushed the door open to see Gia face down on the bed.

“Gia? Oh, Gia!” At the sound of Valerie’s voice Gia lifted her head and looked at her. She had fresh blood coming from a cut on her lip and a significant bump on the side of her forehead. Tears poured down her face, she shook her head to Valerie. Caleb was not there.

Valerie collapsed on the floor as Griffin walked in and lifted the girl from the bed and held her tight. He brushed the hair off her head wound to examine it and kissed her mouth.

“They took him, just left. I didn’t know they were watching the house. They must have planted microphones. They knew exactly where we were. I’m so sorry. I tried to stop them.” Gia cried to Griffin. He cradled her head and reassured her. Valerie watched like it was a movie, like it was not happening. She was numb to even her own grief. Scott stood next to her in the door way equally devastated. Something caught his eye and he move across the room to a sitting chair. He picked up Caleb’s blanky, held it to his chest and looked back at Valerie.

Lights in the room sprang to life, music could be heard down toward the island and the pumps began moving the water in the stream. Valerie stood up, confused. Loud rumbling came from overhead.

“Planes.” Austin said entering the room. Then he stopped and looked at the two on the bed. The sprinkler heads popped down from the ceiling and began spraying everywhere.

“No,” Austin whispered. He looked over at Scott when the electricity exploded into the room.

“Valerie stop!” Aaron yelled over the volume of the surge.

“It’s not me,” as the words left her mouth, Scott was hit by the electricity, then Griffin, then Gia who was still in his embrace.

Valerie screamed as she watched the Scott fight the pain. She reached out to him to pull the energy but it simply transferred through her continuing its path to the couple on the bed. She wanted it to stop. She tried to control it, but could not. She wrapped her arms around Scott and held him as tight as she could. What felt like an eternity was about fifteen seconds, then the current, sprinklers, and all power stopped at once. Still screaming, she lowered Scott’s weight to the ground. Austin fell to his knees at the site of his dear friend still embracing the young woman on the bed. Screams could be heard from outside the open door behind him. Aaron held Hyka out on the balcony as she stared blankly at the destruction.

“Phase two,” she said to no one in particular. Valerie knew she was referring to the CDC’s next phase. Austin had seen it in his dream. He had known they were going to lose Griffin, Gia and Scott. Valerie thought they could stop it from happening. Her pain quickly turned into anger. She kissed her deceased husband on his forehead and stood. She did not dare look toward the bed at her friends that had also been taken. She moved past Austin who was still sitting on his knees and out the door to the balcony.

“There are survivors. Like us. We need to bring everyone together, as many as we can find. They have taken everything from us. I’m going to take it back.” She clenched her teeth so hard fighting the tears, but could not stop them. Just as her knees buckled Aaron swooped her up like a child can carried her to the next room. He kicked it in easily. The room was covered in water but vacant. He stood her on her feet, opened the closet and handed her a dry robe.

“Change your clothes.” He did not ask her and she did not argue. She could not think, but went through the motions mindlessly. She turned the light on without touching the switch and closed the bathroom door. As she took her clothes off, she realized that they had been burned and left very little covered. Her boots had even melted from the incident. She removed her garments and covered herself with the soft hotel robe similar to the one that hung outside of her own shower at home. Scott had bought it for her. Everything reminded her that, though his body was in the next room, his soul was gone. She pulled open the door to receive her set of directions. Aaron had flipped the mattress of the bed offering a dry place to lay down. He had also pulled out the sofa bed and had already taken his own boots off, laid down, and closed his eyes. She knew he was not sleeping. How could any of them sleep?

Valerie opened the mini refrigerator and without glancing at the labels, grabbed three small plastic bottles. One by one she drank. Grief dulling her senses, she was unable to taste the alcohol.  She tossed the empty bottles in the trash can and crawled on the mattress. She laid down facing the wall and just stared waiting for the liquid to take effect. The hole in her heart suddenly felt like it would swallow her. She felt so empty. She did not want to talk or even breathe. It shook her soul and with her tears came a scream so loud that the roar of the planes continuously flying low outside were no match. She pulled a wet pillow into her and squeezed it so close to her body. She buried her face into it so hard it hurt, trying to stifle the emotional pain that wrecked her being.  Every time she would open her eyes something would trigger a memory. A small desk lamp reminded her of Caleb’s bedroom and how Scott would turn it on and hold Caleb during thunderstorms to keep him from being scared. Scott was everywhere. There was not one thing in this world that would not bring his memory back to her mind, ripping her apart over and over again. For hours she sat like this, rocking back and forth, cycling through various intensities of sobs. Finally her exhaustion caught up with her, and she fell asleep.

In the middle of the night Valerie was awoken by the phone ringing and a small red little blinking in the pitch. She looked to the lamp next to it and it popped but did not light. The bulb had broken. She groped in the dark for the receiver.

“Hello?” she was still groggy and unsure of where she was.

“Ms. Russel, I am so sorry for your loss,” a man’s voice said on the other end. The death of her husband the day before seemed like a horrible dream, but the slimy voice that had an audible smile brought back the reality of the situation far to quickly.

“Thank you, Dr. Jarrett,” Valerie answered politely. He knew where she was and that her husband was gone. He could be watching her with the security cameras in the hotel. She knew she had to be careful of what she said and did to not give herself away.

“It is my pleasure to inform you that young Caleb is safe and having a great time with Grandpa Burton. Would you like to talk to him?” The mere suggestion choked her.

“Say hi to Mommy, Caleb.”

“Hi Mommy!” Caleb’s sweet voice was completely oblivious to the situation and fate of his father.

“Hi, Sweetie-Petey.” Valerie could not help but cry from heartbreak and relief. She had to play Lucas Jarrett’s game now. That had been his plan from the beginning. He needed her and she would do anything for Caleb. “I love you so very much, Baby. You be good for Grandpa and Uncle Johnny.”

“I love you, too, Mommy.”

“Now, Ms. Russell, I would send a vehicle for you, but now that I no longer have drivers, this would require me to make a personal appearance. As it is, since you have yet to cooperate, this has put us significantly behind schedule and I must tend to matters here. I also understand that you are capable of operating your own vehicle. So, neighbor, why don’t you take a trip down the street and come see your family. They miss you.” Dr. Jarrett maintained his audible amusement while Valerie fought to keep her frustration and tears silent. She had to pull herself together and buy some time to develop a plan.

“Please let me bury my husband. You can expect us this evening.” She did not wait for a response before ending the call. Hearing her son’s voice left no question in her mind of where she was going next. She had to look forward or she would lose herself in the trauma of the previous day. It was so unfair that the world continued without recognizing Scott’s death. Why did Lucas Jarrett get to go on and he did not? Valerie laid back down on the bed and closed her eyes. She cried until she fell back to sleep.

Hyka pushed the door open and it slammed against the wall, causing Aaron to jump to his feet from the sofa bed, but Valerie did not move. She knew she was no longer being hunted. They could not take anything else from her.

“You up?” Hyka asked Aaron who was caught off guard and could not articulate his anger at being woken up. He huffed trying to find the words.

“Everyone is waiting at that France place downstairs.” Valerie got up from the bed and walked past Hyka out the door to the balcony. There were about fifty college aged kids assembled at the restaurant with a few smaller children. One girl held a tiny baby.

“We gathered everyone in the hotel. The power surge took their age, or whatever, so they all look like that. There is about seven others, not including ours. We collected the casualties in one area to say some nice words.” Hyka tried to be as sensitive with the facts as her vocabulary would allow.

“Where is Scott?”

“They are still in the room. We laid him on the other bed. We knew you would not want us to move him without you knowing.” Valerie nodded and was satisfied with the answer. She remembered how Hyka used to scare her, but now she found her to be something steady in her life that she could count on.

“Dad wants to give Scott and Griff military honors. It won’t be one hundred percent protocol but it would mean a lot to him. Also, there is a backhoe out in the far south parking lot. If you could help us out with that, it would save us hours of digging.” Hyka was the best person to handle these details, and Valerie was thankful someone had taken the lead. Despite sleeping hard, she still did not feel like herself. She had horrible vertigo and she felt weak. She gave an approving nod to Hyka to proceed with all plans for the deceased. She looked again to the group gathered at the restaurant wondering how she was going to rally these people to action so soon after many of them where hurting from loss. Valerie turned to address her friends who were exchanging whispers of their own. Valerie lost her balance and fell backward hitting her back on the balcony before falling to the floor. Aaron caught her head and guided it to the ground as her eyes rolled back.

When she came to, she was in the room Aaron had taken her to the night before. She had been stripped of her robe, but dry blankets were pulled up to her chin and she had an IV hung next to the bed.

“You feeling alright? You got dehydrated and passed out. I am disappointed that three little shooters would knock a DiaZem on her ass,” Hyka joked trying to keep the mood light.

“I’m so sorry,” Valerie began to cry. Just when she needed to lead them to vengeance and victory, she could hardly keep her eyes open. She was broken.

“You need to rest. There is no hurry.” Aaron spoke up from the other side of the room.

“If you help me outside, I can help with digging. Not physically obviously, but I could probably keep it going. I need some air. This place is so humid.” Valerie needed to occupy her mind. Sitting in a room, unstimulated let her thoughts wander back to Scott and the fact he was gone. She also needed to talk to Aaron outside and away from any surveillance the CDC had access to. There might not be anywhere safe, but being around heavy machinery could offer a better environment for secrecy.

“No,” Aaron said with a paternal authority. “You’ve been out for two hours and frankly you look horrible. There were a few volunteers from the group to help outside. No one needs to see you like this. Just rest.”

Anger welled up in Valerie’s throat. She understood what he meant but denying her human emotion in front of the masses was infuriating. All things considered, she felt her current state to be easily justified.

“I am going outside. Someone will drive that truck thing and we all need to talk. Get my clothes from the truck, and something to eat. I am starving.” Valerie felt a tinge of guilt for being so demanding, but she did not want to divulge too much of her suspicions. She had told Dr. Jarrett they would be there by the evening, but at the rate things were going, they would not make on time.

Outside, the air was notably cooler and refreshing compared to the dank humid air of the resort. The sky was the same overcast as the day before, but evidence of a past rain still covered the ground. Valerie walked independently to the area where the backhoe was and where they would say good bye to their loved ones. Five young men were already working in the area, three digging and two breaking down furniture to fashion wooden crosses to mark each plot. They rotated these jobs before noticing her approach.

The backhoe’s engine turned over with ease, but startled the workers out of their focused tasks. Aaron gave a thumbs up to one of the workers who took up a position in the driver seat of the truck and wasted no time getting started.

“Dr. Jarrett called last night. He has Caleb and is expecting us to arrive this evening. He knew exactly where I was and what had happened to Scott. I imagine he is tapped into the hotel surveillance. I’m going to just air on the side of caution and just assume that he can see and hear everything, regardless of where we are.” Valerie stopped and took a seat on a parking curb close enough to the running machine that her three companions had to strain to hear her. “The only way to face this is to face it head on. We have to go in. But aside from that, I have no idea how to fight this.”

Austin exhaled hard and rubbed his brow. “I’m not going with you. Someone needs to stay back and gather reinforcements. If you can’t fix things from inside someone has to figure out a different angle. Valerie, I do not doubt your ability to see this through, but you might find yourself in need of pocket Aces.”

Aaron nodded in agreement which helped Valerie. She did not have the energy to argue. She understood Austin was looking out for her.

“I’m going in.” Hyka said in case anyone wondered where she stood on the matter. Valerie smiled and nodded.

“I’m coming,” Aaron said next. “I’ll meet up with your old man and brother, try to pull others into our cause. Once they know the fate of everyone they left behind, it should be easy to host a revolt from the inside. Then all you have to do, Val, is play the game.”

“How long do you think all this will take?” Valerie asked motioning to the men making progress on the make-shift cemetery.

“As long as you’re up to it, a couple of hours. Once we get two or three done on this side, we can move down the way and dig more. Give people room to pay their respects while they’re still working. We’ll do Scott, Griff and Gia’s last before we leave, but it’s going to be late. We should wait until morning to move,” Aaron suggested. His expression was that of concern.

Valerie shrugged, “Dr. Jarrett knows where to find me if I’m late.  What else could they do?”

It started to rain.


Dacia Arnold is an author that struggles to find a balance of work, motherhood, marriage, writing, and the occasional craft. Her first full length novel, Apparent Power, is in the works to be released December 2018. Dacia served 10 years in the U.S. Army as a combat medic and deployed twice to Iraq and often incorporates these experiences into her writings both fiction and non-fiction. She currently lives in Denver, Co with her husband, two children, and a fat beagle named Watson.

Reader Comments

  1. First of all, I haven’t heard of Chapterbuzz before so I am way behind. There are typos, yes, but it’s to be expected for a first draft. I have to register for Chapter Buzz first and read the book from the beginning. Love the premise/blurb so far and thought this chapter even though I haven’t started the story yet, was riveting. Sometimes it’s more important to capture the essence of the scenes first before worrying about the details. Just get to the end first 🙂

    1. Thank you Liz. That means so much coming from you. Maybe one day I’ll be a legit published author, too. <3 Until then I will hold these words close to my heart.

      1. You’re very welcome! I’m so happy to discover Chapter Buzz and your story. I don’t know why I never figured it out even though I know you wrote about it a few times. I just kept thinking you weren’t posting it anywhere online. But I’m glad I found it and will be reading it!

    1. The more people say this the more I believe it. It plays like a film in my head. To have it translate as such is incredibly important. I just want to stay home with my kids and not have to work.

  2. I can’t be a fair INFJ without making the time to read every little bit you put out here. And, I don’t see that happening. But, I thought I’d say something in regards to the effort and what got my initial interest, your opening lines.

    It’s pretty “ballzy” putting your raw work online like this (especially after I read your post about being open at work but more closed up at home). [I’d consider this work closer to home than on the job, more personal than public/professional.] I haven’t the nerve or desperation, yet, to do it. And, I have been pecking at a few novels, myself. I have big aspirations and plenty of ideas on the back burner. But, I have yet to complete a good, solid story. I even have a few short stories I’d like to put in a collection but not enough to make a decent-sized book.

    I just like how you took the brave road to say us readers can critique and “rip apart” your work, letting you know about typos and such. That’s very refreshing and healthy, and pretty much what I’m dying to have someone do with me as a good writing partner. I’m a good editor myself. But, it’s nice to have a trustworthy sounding board. I’ve been trying to get family to look at my work, but they want everything on paper and neatly typed. I can’t do that too readily and hate to print pages that just get trashed anyway.

    I see similarities in us, not just the INFJ (and potential addiction to personality tests, no matter how ridiculous they may be) bit but facial components. Maybe that Meyer Brigg or whatever test is impacted by certain facial features as well as personalities/genes.

    I’ve also had my battle with panic and depression since my teens.

    One suggestion, as I’ve read/heard about it but have yet to properly try it: Start a book by deciding what goes in each chapter before filling each chapter. Basically, you create file folders in a connect-the-dots fashion to guide the story and then fill in the details. I keep telling myself to give that system a go but have attacked every book I write pretty much the same way, head-on from page one. Actually, I usually attack a book from both ends, writing the intro and then nipping at the conclusion before teetering back and forth between both ends with the rest of the content.

    1. Up until recently I was 100% sure I was an INFJ… but as of recent posts I’m sure you’ve read that lately I’m leaning more toward ENFJ (i really think this has to do with the time of day. Once I have spent all my E engergy, I definitely retreat into I status)
      I have been told multiple times that putting my writing out there is quite risky. Ballzy? Nah. I can take a good critique. I’m most terrified that someone will steal it and release it before I can. Before picking it up again this year, I had thought about building on my smaller works to just publish SOMETHING. But like you, I’d have to do a lot more to make it a decent size.
      Sadly, after many promises, my family is not my #1 source of support. My husband refuses to read it because he doesnt want to wade in the errors and would much rather see a finished copy. Among other reasons I’m sure.
      Thanks for the writing advice. I think that approach would help me if I ever show up to a NaNoWriMo. This work in progress only has 30,000 words left to be written. Which in the plot is the final show down and tying of loose ends (not all of course). I just havent quite hammered out what the final show down looks like. I know who wins and how. But with the world I have created, I feel like I am teetering on being too hokey and not making it dramatic enough. And i have noticed that I am an A to Z writer. I take the journey just like the reader. That and I write as if it were a movie. Only important scenes, only needed dialogue, only necessary characters.

      Thank you for taking the time to not only read, but actually put some thought toward it. It is quite refreshing to have an unbiased opinion, especially when I constantly question if it’s even worth pursuing. CHEERS

      1. I can’t remember what the E, I, J or P mean. My memory is a bit “swiss cheesy” in a Quantum Leap sort of way, lately. If I had to guess, I’d say, Empathic, Intellectual, Judge and Participant? or Philosophical?

        If you are an air sign (Gemini, Libra or Aquarius) or have a strong air presence in your “natal chart,” you could be wavering between one mindset and another. The same seems to go for Leos, “Krabulus-es” and Pisces. Leos bounce between being leaders and followers. Pisces is easily angered or discouraged and thus quite shifty. And, “Krabulus” is reputed for being moody.

        My concern for publicly posting writing isn’t so much about critique. Though, many of us online wanderers are quite sensitive and could be more hurt by a response here than you’d expect in person. I am more concerned with people taking an idea someone hasn’t fully stamped a business seal on, signed a contract with or made a business from and making their own version to turn into profit. Heck, I’d say the swamped marked of vampire love stories is a fair example. I could look at this more than a dozen ways, but why expend the time/energy?

        [Gosh, I’m slow. I should read before commenting. You just said what I did. More reason we think alike.]

        I’m also kinda concerned that too many in the world turn to the internet for the friendship they lack in person and fall short trying. This is NOT the home away from home we all need. This is just supposed to be a conduit for communication. It’s some other forces that seem to compel so many to use this like a therapist, gas station or family member that isn’t there. We come here for something that isn’t guaranteed to happen like hoping some genie will appear to give us that wish. And, while some we run into may appear to profit, our profits are not so ensured. It’s a big casino, to bring this whole bit to a point. And, I am sick of gambling. [But, even the reforming addict has a hard time stepping away without a substitute/crutch.]

        I suspect the dividing line between us is you saying “get a tattoo” and me saying no to tattoos. That seems to be a common thread in this world/life. There is something about me saying no to permanency and the rest of the world saying “Why not?”

        Not only do I feel I don’t have enough to make a decent book, but it pains me to see so many books get published just to GET PUBLISHED when I know my English teachers would have picked them apart if they weren’t praising the works just to protect themselves or get a buck (as celebrities do every time they’re asked the stupid questions on camera!). [Did you like working with __ on this film? Like they’re going to say no on camera! No, let’s force them to spew more lies to keep the peace and poison their hearts.] I’ve encountered books that are pretty much fluffy covers with little content inside. And, some are written by struggling actors trying to diversify their profit sources. It seems to be a growing trend–publish just to be published–and it’s infuriating. It’s wasteful. It saturates an already enormous market which keeps bookworms munching and probably not thinking about what they are munching (like my sis who seems to just process books like tissues).

        I think we both need a MeetUp group or something safer than a Craig’s List to find like minds that can GET together (not just connect via email or some paid website parking space and hope that works). We need to post ads and fish for writing buddies or a reading/writing group…or something bigger cuz I may be giving some considerable time to writing, lately, but my heart is in art.

        He doesn’t want to wade in errors and would just want a finished copy? What is he? A husband or a publisher? He sounds like a boss looking for a polished resume! Jerk! If I had a spouse who talked like that, I’d be distraught.

        I don’t think I could ever do a NaNoWriMo without some considerable confidence in the group I join. And, I’ve never felt that. Nor can I be one of these people posting online content every day as if they are getting paid to do it or they are mice in a wheel. I am blessed with creativity. But, no higher power said I had to be milked every day. It would burn me out faster than I already do, most likely.

        I can’t even gauge a work–most works–in terms of time, words or money. I can’t say how much is left to do. I have one project I’ve been tackling over the past few years which I’ve given a sort of system and can count pages that way. But, I don’t like looking at something from the heart in “numbers.” I can’t put a price on my creations, well. Which is bad business. But, who said I’m business? It might be nice to make something purely for profit/business, but I consider that commission work, provided I like the project.

        Is this normal for your work? A showdown? Or is this something new/rare? It seems so many story buds in my mind are compelled to have some kind of showdown. But, I blame what goes into my head, which seems to be a lot of repetitive, combative programs. I want to say it doesn’t rot my brain, but maybe, in a subversive way, it has. So, I continue to look for alternatives.

        I too strive to make the most of a dramatic climax/confrontation. 🙂 So many movies have compelled me to do that, too.

        I’d say we both watch enough movies and don’t get enough input from other minds in our company to stimulate the soil we need.

        My English teachers used to say, “Use dialogue only when you cannot convey in exposition. And, don’t use exposition to replace progression.” They also said to diversify sentence types, avoid run-ons, etc. Which makes writing a constant challenge. And, I become a nasty critic when reading published works that get away with what appear to me as errors.

        Actually, I have been considering throwing in plenty of unnecessary stuff to distract readers. In the case of a mystery, it seems common? to toss in a few “red herrings.” You see it on TV mysteries, too. Dramatic music tries to sway viewers into thinking something is important when it is not. It’s sort of a waste of time, but that’s the nature of a maze; not every path is the way through.

        And, sometimes, the “unnecessary” stuff can be diverting or enjoyable on its own. It might give people a pop culture/current events pause or a funny tale to tell in passing, even if it’s not relative to the title.

        That’s what I do. INFJ or whatever through life. My heart wants to give and produce. It just keeps getting into the “wrong” places to do so.

        When I question if something is worth pursuing, it’s not because I question if it’s any good. I question what I or anyone will do with my creation. Just as I imagine the man behind the internet had to be thinking. Will it be abused/misused? Will it inspire greater harm? Will it do some good? Will it improve lives? I suppose this could be one way of looking at that whole “made in God’s image” concept. Or, this is a touch of the Adam and Eve disease/punishment, the extra consciousness some of us suffer with while others ignore or dilute it with drugs.

        We pursue something because: 1) it’s the desire of our heart, 2) we are helping someone we care about or 3) we are pursuing something as someone’s slave. I don’t ever want to be doing #3, but crap happens, and this world can be bossy.

        My mailbox is normally open if you want to stay in touch. 🙂

  3. Nice jab at the MBTI. Introvert, Intuitive, Feeling and Judging. I jump from Introvert to extrovert depending on my internal tank of self worth. But I thrive on being intuitive, I have big feelings, and I judge immediately. I will almost always give someone the opportunity to prove me wrong, but I think I am pretty good at pinning people down.
    Fire. 100% fire sign. I’ve been to war twice and have spent most of my adult life terrified that someone is going to rape me or kill me. My guard is up 100% of the time. I cringe when anyone outside of my household touches me because of this. My sister gets a kick out of it. But all I want to do is kick out her teeth, every time.
    So fire and ENFJ make me are to match wits with. I hold my personal values to such high esteem, that it would be difficult for one to persuade me otherwise (Not a challenge. Just a fact. But I am not above agreeing to disagree).
    I write because I have a damn good idea, and it’s mostly geometry.. Hear me out. There is a tried and true formula to success in the literary world. Readers are hungry.and my goal is to dish it out before they get full of it. At the end of the day, it’s not the compliments i receive, but the simple fact that some one took the time to read and digest what I wrote. Simple to say, all writers just want to be read.So you read, and you develop the formula. Constant feedback throughout the process helps me tweak said formula to something delicious, and they eat it up. (I do too sometimes. It’s pretty exciting).
    If my mister was a “reader of books” and just refused to read MY book, then yeah I’d be upset but after a decade I’ve learned what battles are important. We’ve been through so much (above mentioned wars in separate third world countries for well over a year) that there is very little that would change that status. I’m happy. He’s happy. Our kiddos are cute and subsequently happy.
    So yes, the showdown is inevitable. It is part of the formula. It is ingrained into my being. Good guys versus bad guys.
    In moving forward, I know my work can be adapted to other platforms without my creative oversight. I will, of course, attempt to have a hand in it, but think of poor Shakespeare and his works. Adapted this way and that. But thank the literary world that he did not hide his talent. Say what you will of technology, but the writer of The Martian started out chapter by chapter on some guy’s blog and here’s 20th Century Fox pounding down his door.
    Ultimately, I am doing it for my kids. I have no desire to continue a 9-5 Mon-Fri job. My kids are being raised by multiple different people, and I am tired. If I can make a modest income writing that is comparable to my day job, I’ll put in my resignation. Until then, I’ll stay up late and pound the keyboard until it’s done.
    But anywho, now I’m rambling when I should be writing. CHEERS.

    1. I knew it was Extrovert about twenty minutes after I walked away from the computer.

      The only time I am an extrovert is when I feel at ease with who is in my presence, like most pets. Find common ground or tickle my comfort zone, and I’ll probably turn into Prince Charming. I can also talk a blue streak and be completely UNeasy if forced to be with someone who hasn’t earned that comfortable side of me. As it stands, I am terrible on the phone, filling every gap of silence with more talk than necessary. Whether I am E or I has nothing to do with self-worth. It’s about the company I keep/am forced to face.

      I am good at guessing things about people in a strange, random psychic way. But, I cannot say I am an immediate good judge of character. I’ve had just as many moments when I assume things or speak before thinking and get into trouble. I don’t get as many chances to confirm such quick judgements. But, I too make quick assessments, and continue to assess until I am comfortable…and, even then, I think part of me is continually weighing details as they come in, like a presidential election tabulating votes. And, I am SO tired of people calling me “judgmental.” I don’t necessarily think I am better than anyone, just different. And, since I don’t know them that well, yet, I put up defenses. But, when some people push my buttons, I finally cave and say I AM better because I don’t annoy myself the way they annoy me (and annoy others). 😛

      Interesting fear. Probably from going to war in countries where I presume men are even more dangerous than your home town.

      But, how does someone so full of fire have such a fear or any fear? How are you NOT so full of yourself or shouting at others all of the time? You must have a quiet aspect/side, or a peace-making animal in some zodiac.

      Yea, I do the cringe thing, too, usually, but try not to appear weird or mentally challenged though that doesn’t stop family and especially male coworkers from calling me names. Some people test boundaries and get stung. Others surprise me, and part of me linked to the fear part has a sort of reverse curiosity that wants to know what’s hiding in the dark yet not invite it into my heart. Sort of like an owl or cat seeing in the night. I don’t want good people to be afraid to get near me. But, it’s hard filtering out the bad ones, otherwise. [And, sometimes I question my assessments.]

      I don’t like hugging or shaking hands with people I don’t know well enough, yet I keep shaking hands because people seem to make it important to completing business (like job interviews)! I don’t like it; I don’t like giving in. And, it was a bit of an OCD thing at one time, but there’s more history to my adverse feelings. You could say I went to war with the core of one’s being and nearly met my demise. I had to find new reasons to fight and keep myself alive. [Yet, fighting is so very taxing on my spirit, my inner peace and better abilities.]

      OOkay, there’s the violent streak. I usually just give my sis the “finger of pain” versus wanting to kick out her teeth.

      I’m not sure you can hold values in high esteem if your own esteem is low. 🙂 Just think: How high can a midget hold anything if a taller person can reach it with ease?

      Who’s above agreeing to disagree? 😛 I think it’s too easy to disagree and much harder to agree without appearing a slave or kiss-ass.


      Dish it out before readers get full? That’s like throwing money out a window. Haste makes waste. Don’t rush anything. Take a page out of J. Rowlings’ book. She wasn’t as happy with certain Potter books as she was with the first. And, the last book she insisted upon having more time to complete. Publishers were apparently pushing her to produce. Bad juju. Don’t listen to the pressure cookers.

      There will always be an audience if you believe in your work. And, if you put your heart into it. There is no shortage of people in the world. But, even so, we may get stuck in some horrible city or village where it’s hard to find the sounding board. I am not sure if this is some big cosmic trial to face or a way of denying some success to give it to others.

      I am sure constant feedback could also have its negative side(s). I can’t say I’ve ever had constant feedback or support with anything that didn’t come off as peer pressure. Depending upon how “hungry” you are, you could get by with one person looking over your work when it’s done or you could need a boardroom of supporters nodding and kissing your feet just to make a move.

      Well, as long as you are happy. I don’t want to press the point too much. But, if art is close to my heart and I hooked up with someone who thought art was worth nothing compared to making money in some non-creative way, I’d likely look for a parachute. And, you want to replace other work with writing as your primary source of income, aka family financial support. [I once questioned a potential partner for thinking gymnastics was a good career path.]

      I know I’m no soldier, at least, in terms of actual gunfire and explosives. But, I am under the impression that not every war or battle called for is justified. Not every “bad guy” need be a bad guy. [I’m channeling a lil Wreck-It Ralph here. 🙂 ] I even question WW2, knowing there was more to Hitler than just a mad man with a strangely powerful sway over people twice his size and strength. He was an artist who felt slighted enough to push a button. And, the more people prodded/bullied him, I’ll bet, the “uglier” he became. And, in other wars, like the “weapons of mass destruction” claim, I am one inclined to say that was misguided or mis-labeled and had ulterior motives behind it. Perhaps the showdown is inevitable. But, there could always be a plot twist and reveal the bad guy as the one pointing the finger.

      Psh! Don’t even get me started on Shakespeare. How a guy who writes in his own sort of riddles and metaphors became so popular like a boy band, I dunno. I had a hard time reading most of his works. As for adaptations, I am as inclined to chalk that up to flattery as I am to say it’s greedy butt-heads trying to profit of someone’s work. He’s like a mad tea party. Fellow mad people like it. Others, myself included, do not.

      I can’t say The Martian is anything great. I have not seen the movie or read the book. [Just cuz something gets made/public, doesn’t mean it’s truly worth 4 stars or any other gold trophy. And, what really are the stars or trophies worth? People tell you to jump because it will make you famous/cool. That doesn’t mean you will get what they say or you won’t hurt yourself. Or, what price comes with the prize you thought was worth chasing.]

      And, as far as I am concerned, movie makers are just as starved and ravenous to make new movies that they will grab at just about anything these days. Just look how fast books are being made into movies. And, bands/artists release new music which is suddenly added to soundtracks and commercials. It’s like an mental sink hole with hundreds if not thousands of hands grasping for something to fill it before some disaster unfolds.

      I just wonder if there aren’t more Salingers and women writing stories like Mary Poppins who actually resist those knocking on their doors so quickly. And, I think the title of “best seller” is more easily stamped on a book than it is earned.

      Or, are you rambling when you could be sleeping? 😛

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