Brilliance…of Love and the Season (a gift from me)

This is just a little piece, though I’ve been told it carries a big punch, a strong message. One of love, which was my intention. Not the romantic kind, but I can’t think of a better time to spread some love. It’s a sad time for many. For the families of Newtown, Connecticut and all those who mourn with them. There are so many others out there in our world suffering due to senseless cruelty.

I have tinkered around with the thought of perhaps one day having this little story professionally edited, then shopping it around – try and sell it.  This being a season of giving, I felt compelled to give it to all of you

I wish you all a happy holiday, a Merry Christmas — may you spend it with the ones (or the one) you love.

**

Brilliance was written for a writing site, my take on a prompt of the same word ‘Brilliance’. I have to say, it’s probably the piece I’m most proud so far in my writing journey. I had no idea something like this could come out of me. BRILLIANCE made me realize that being a writer, was truly a path I could walk down with more confidence and wonder.

BRilliance2

BRILLIANCE

If they were giving out awards for being clever, the boy had decided, he wouldn’t go to a ceremony to collect it.

His grandfather had told him that they were after the brilliance in him. That there weren’t many smart people around anymore—and that he, Elias Whitford L. Cranberry, was the smartest little boy in the world. Now when he was younger, it tickled him to death to hear that kind of praise. He used to throw his head back with laughter and clap his hands gleefully, when his granddad told him such things. Now it was also a fact, the old man told him there were folks who lived just over the horizon–who wore coats of many colors, and made prayers to the Sun, and ate flesh, and drink from a vine.

None of it ever made any sense to Elias but his father’s father was the only family he had and that, was reason enough for him to want to believe whatever the 88-year-old would tell him.

And the old man had been right about one thing…

He was smart.

Which is why he lived inside the compound, not outside—where the survivors of the Last War were left to their own instincts and the grace of Nature to find food, shelter, fellowship, and safety.

Tribes of like-minded people settled down together, gathering whatever limited resources they could find. Food, water…utilities were out there, but so much of the mind power to locate, facilitate and operate life-sustaining systems to harvest them was locked up in the gated compounds that were scattered across the country’s landscape.

Well, that’s what They had told him. Maybe there wasn’t anyone living on the other side of the barbed wire. And since he was—intelligent, Elias had enough wisdom not to take everything They said as being true.

After all, weren’t They the ones that thought it was okay to keep him shut up like a specimen in a jar?

The Scientists—

who poked and prodded him for his ‘brilliance’ and scurried off with the daily journals They insisted he keep. Apparently, scouring them for a miracle to fix the mess that civilization was in.

And Elias had started to believe that, yes, just maybe he was smarter than them, because day after day the only thing he wrote in those stupid journals, which they all seemed to worship so much, was the most nonsensical theories, and speculations, whose design was rooted in complete and utter– fantasy. And, They, the so-called men of science never questioned any of it.

Elias spent hours spinning out long and totally outrageously contrived supposition of how the world should work.

All of it, every word – his grandfather’s stories. Tales the old man had been told when he was a boy.

Snippets—

About small creatures that used to fly and sing songs, and large super-sized buildings with shelves piled high with shiny tin cans of food, and villages rising up out of black tar and rows and rows of dwellings where inside, a man and a woman covered trees with radiant glass balls as gifts for their children– and white coldness that fell from the sky and made mountains on the ground…and…

Sometimes, when it was too hard for him to write about it,

Elias would draw pictures of the things in his head, images left there from the stories he’d heard while curled up in his grandfather’s bunk.

Cones– with creamy sweet scoops of color on them, trees with great arms of palm growing in the sand–big enough to climb up to watch a sea of blue rolling in and out, great hunks of metal on wheels traveling over land and some navigated to touch the moon.

Such silliness made him smile. It reminded him of the only good thing he had known in this world.

If he sat really still and closed his eyes he could feel the prickly bristle of his grandfather’s beard on his cheek.

He had been the oldest man in the compound, nearly 90. Dead now, for many calendar months.

All Elias, the last of his seed, had inherited–were the fantastical tales. And so, if the Scientists wanted to know what made him so smart, if They would ever bother to ask, Elias Cranberry would tell them all– his pearls of wisdom were his legacy.

Nothing more than fairy tales a loving grandfather had spun so that a child could dream when he fell to sleep at night.

Every night, back in the barracks, after all the lights were out, Elias had rested his head on the old man’s chest, eyes wide in the dark, listening to the stories and the steady beat of his grandfather’s heart keeping time with the rhythm of the spoken words.

And then, the elder would whisper in his ear, Sleep, Elias. Always remember your dreams. No one can take them from you.

And it was the truth.

It was at nighttime, in– his dreams, Elias would find the only love he’d ever known.

His grandfather’s opened arms to greet him and lift him up over his shoulders…

To take him over the horizon.

And there was rejoicing–a resplendent celebration, tubes of meat cooked on fires in the ground…sparkling stars of color shot into the universe…creatures in the sky and on the earth, and…and laughter, and joy-filled people dancing together.

And They couldn’t touch him…

No more journals. No more locked doors, and eyes staring at him through bars of steel.

The most beautiful place ever.

And no one cared if he was smart,

—they only cared that he was a boy.

(fini)

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Changing Horses (Um…why didn’t I think of this earlier!)

Cowboy Lassoing a HorseChanging Horses

or

Why didn’t I think of this earlier!

I want to indie publish something else— and soon! I’m not a marketing wizard, but I do know it would work to my advantage to keep my name out there with IR fans.  While my short story BLACKOUT IN THE GARDEN OF LOVE  doesn’t appear to be taking the interracial romance world by storm, I’m sure I’ve got some eyes on me. People wondering — hmm, what’s up with this Venice chick?  Is this short story all she got? I’ve come to understand many readers aren’t interested in shorts, and some folks who do buy them, like them hot, hot and hotter!

I’ve told you guys about TENDING DEACON’S GARDEN, and explained to you all how my hero wanted me to give him his chosen name of Chase. I said, I’d probably let him have his way, and I said I’d be writing Chase and Lani’s story next.  I’ve got a strong outline and a few scattered scenes done for this novella, it seemed like a good idea to give the project the green light. Honestly, I’m not one of those speedy writers, and yes—building up my productivity is something I definitely need to work on. Deacon’s Garden, which I’m still planning to publish in 2013, is going to take me a while to whip into shape. The thing is, I realized that potential readers are going to see another short story coming from me if I roll out a novella.  I’m wondering–Is this my best move at marketing myself?

I’m glad I got BLACKOUT IN THE GARDEN OF LOVE out in 2012. Indie-publishing in 2012 was my goal, and I made it. I learned the ropes (okay, I’m still learning the ropes!), and I sold something that I wrote, with very little marketing. (I’ll get those November sales numbers up later this week.)

Here’s where I’m taking this–

Lately, I’ve been reading that IR fans are not happy that there are some many IR authors not putting out what the fans are craving—novels! They want a long read, they want a stories they can get lost in, and they want characters that aren’t cookie-cutter, but who have depth and layers.

Hmm, they want novels?

have a novel that I’m currently revising. I’ve got a good story they could get lost in and my hero and heroine have tons of depth and lots, and lots of layers

See where I’m heading here?

There’s an old Tower of Power song that says “Don’t Change Horses in the Middle of Stream”—but I’m gonna do it–

I’m changing horses!

A few weeks ago, I was happily revising the 10th chapter of my WIP novel I SEE YOU —and it hit me.

I SEE YOU should be my next published work.

I wrote the draft for I SEE YOU during a month long Novel-writing boot camp given by the folks over at Savvyauthors.com—a great place for new writers to take very inexpensive courses/workshops, and hang out with new and established writers. I had no idea that the deal was for people who signed up for the boot camp to commit to churn out 2000 words A DAY, mind you. I have to say, this was the ‘there’s no turning back now’ moment for me. I had failed several NaNoWriMO efforts in the past, and I was in the middle of remodeling my kitchen and bathroom. In my heart, I knew I had it in me to not go running for the hills when it came to this writing challenge. I had to stand up for what I wanted, and I was ready, house remodeling insanity be damned.  At the end of thirty days, I had a story I LOVED — and still do.  Now, for about a year after writing that first draft, I just couldn’t kick start getting to work on revising the twenty-four very drafty chapters I ended up with. I was happy with my story, but didn’t have confidence in my writing to complete it.

Well, that’s how things were going until June– when I took another leap of faith.  I started revising chapters and sharing them with a small group of folks who not only encourage me to keep it moving, but who give me great insight into reader POV of my novel.  (thanks, TST ladies!)

I’ve already revised ten chapters of I SEE YOU, and as soon as the holidays are over, I’m going to push myself to revise one chapter every week. That kind of schedule should get me through the remaining ones pretty quickly. I know I’ll have to work on a 2nd, 3rd, and … well, more run throughs to get I SEE YOU ready to send off for editing, but– this makes sense.  I can put all my work and energy, and focus on ONE project. This switching up on projects works out for me on lots of different levels! I guess, being able to switch direction like this just might be one of those great perks of being an indie-writer. 🙂

With life pulling me in so many different directions, it’s nice to know when I come back to the writing table; I’ve got one project to make happen. This is absolutely the right move for me. I feel like I’ve got a tight hold on the reins and I’m ready to take this ride!

Taking Leaps, facing challenges, oh, and not running for the hills, apparently, are all a part of this writing gig.

I SEE YOU, another contemporary, sweet IR from me, has tons of drama, and some LOL moments, too. Just like life!

EEK FLASH! Now I have to come up with a clever and kick-butt synopsis. Ouch!

🙂

Feeling good.

~venice

It’s December? Really?

Oh my, where did November go?

MS.OF time pic

What happened?

Well, there was the big storm Sandy and all the extra work hours I had to put in due to the technical problems our systems suffered. Then—there was all the cleaning house, shopping, and preparing for Thanksgiving. Okay, there was also that little bitty trip I took out of town at the end thereNow it’s – December? Really? 

Over the month of November, I made lots of choices, right?  And while I got a lot accomplished, I got very little writing done. Since I’ve set out to be an indie writer, that truth– the complete lack of attending to my dream, is a very bad thing. And I need to do some serious time management revamping. Did I really need to spend every free hour devoted to hunting down every dust bunny I could find? Washing and scrubbing, spic & spanning floors, walls, curtains, windows with such determination that all I could do by end of day was shower and flop down on the bed, unable to even put together a sentence or a lucid thought? How did that work for me, huh?

Choices.

I want to write. Why don’t I? It all comes down to the ‘choices’ I make, doesn’t it? Not more complex or complicated than that. I have to acknowledge that being a responsible ‘choice-maker’ on my part has to come down to factoring in what is important to me. To start putting what I want to do toward the top of the list and doing less of those dust bunny hunts, and running around doing things I’m hoping will make life better for others.  Especially when a good amount of my work-like-a-dog effort didn’t make much of a difference in ratcheting up my family’s enjoyment of the Thanksgiving holiday.  Being together, being thankful for our health and wealth (as modest as it might be), having a few laughs and sharing a good meal is what they were looking for. Not the fact that the kitchen and bathroom curtains had been washed and ironed. So, I won’t be taking my Christmas holiday prep down the same road. No way!

Time to get back on track with my dreams; put some goals into place and time for me to focus on making the kinds of choices that will make everyday a bit of a holiday for me. Lesson learned!

So here’s what’s going to be comin’ from me:

-My sales stats for November

– I’ll get another freebie posted

And, I’ll share with you all the changes I’m making to get my next story indie-published sooner in 2013 rather than later!

Though it’s a little late—I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

~venice