An exciting Kickstarter! 4 Artists and 20 Writers.


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I don’t typically promote on my blog, mostly because I don’t really show interest in many things other than art, games, and more art (writing/books). I just couldn’t pass this project up. Recently a post was made to one of my favorite local author’s blog, announcing that he was a part of a project that collected four amazing artists and twenty authors who will write a 50 words or less description of what they interpret the word Nightmare as. If you’re someone who reads my blog I’m sure you have gathered, by now, that I am no stranger to dreams and nightmares and a project like this one is a wonderful collaboration between some of the best authors of darker fiction. Because I’m so excited about this project I hope I can share my enthusiasm with all of you. If this is something you feel enclined to help support or spread the word about please take a look at the Kickstarter here: Nightmares.

 

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Attention Deficit Disord… SHINEY!


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How do I even explain the things that I see in my mind? How do I even attempt to share my soul with someone unwilling to pay attention. I’ll be over here, when you notice me. I’ve been here the whole time. 

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Dream in Color


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Dreams are scientifically supposed to be in black and white, the color completely drained from the story being told in your own mind. My dreams are never in black and white. I have more colors in my imagination than I have ever been able to find or recreate. I feel my dreams in my heart and on my skin and they linger with me for days at a time, and some even stay with me for years. I have grown accustomed to these dreams and have fallen for their adventures. The dream I have chosen to share with you now has been with me for 10 years.

 

Her eyes flutter open heavily, the weight they held was so immense that she thought sleep would take her again. She fought the urge to allow herself to sleep when she realized that she was not in her bed. She was surrounded by roses of any color. Not just every color but colors that she had never seen before. The roses were such a deep purple that they nearly glowed black, or a red that shined gold, and a blue that sparkled with stars.

She sat up slowly, stretching her arms into the air over her as she inspected the garden around her. The sky was gone, hidden by a glass surface that shared the galaxy beyond her world. As her arms drifted back to her sides she tilted off of the soft grass platform that had held her sleeping form and stood. The cobblestones beneath her feet were so meticulous that they must have been hand made. Kneeling, she realized there were words inscribed within the stone, her fingers grazed the engravings and felt the smooth surface of a gloss finish over each stone within reaching distance. The words read her dreams, her wishes, her hopes, and none of her fears.

“I would never want you to fear this place.” A deep melodic voice came near her and his soft footsteps echoed along the stones. She looked to him as she stood in acknowledgment. His eyes were a kind sea blue and his light blonde curls were a contrast against the black button up shirt that he wore. He was slender but obviously fit with regal high cheekbones. “I am not afraid.” She whispered. She checked her heartbeat in her chest and though it was racing it was not from fear. She knew she was happy to see him, but could not remember him.

He offered his arm to her and she slipped her hand through and cupped his forearm, his free hand protectively resting over her hand. She looked up to him then and saw that while he was kind he was sad. A sorrow beyond anything she had ever felt. He led her then, through the garden and the colors grew brighter. Brilliant unimaginable beauty bloomed before her. The smile she felt pulled from her heart, her soul.

They walked in the glory of this world silent, but it was a content silence. Words were not something they needed. They could spend an eternity in complete silence and always know everything of one another. His hand gently pressed more firmly against hers and it told her that he was pleased by her reaction to the garden. It had been created for her, nurtured and perfected with a never ending love, for her. The stones were created at the birth of her desires, and the colors were born of her imagination, the roses nurtured from her heart.

He turned them to face each other after hours of spending silent time together. “It’s time for you to wake now.” His voice was a sad caress  Loving and beautiful but terribly sad. She rested her head against his chest and whispered, “I want to stay…” His hand brushed through her hair, never tangling and always comforting. “Come here when you wish, love. But for now, you must wake.” She looked up to meet his eyes, his hands moving to rest gently along the sides of her face. He brushed her lips lightly with his own.

 

A click always sounded just before the stereo would kick on, and for the life of me I never understood why that would, forever be, what would wake me up, and not the music that followed. I slipped from my bed and proceeded throughout the day with a heavy heart. I think I knew it the moment I woke, or even within the dream, that to this day, I’ve never returned.

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My Escape…


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I was born an artist, a dancer, a believer, a singer, but most of all I was born a writer. I draw and paint and create, but it is only within my words can I truly escape. 

I bury myself in my books, dreaming of passion that can only be written, and tales that can only be dreamed of. This is my escape.

My drive is my dream, my motivations come from my readers, and my inspiration is purely within my imagination. I sleep, wake, and breathe my stories. This, is my escape. 

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I’m Incredibly Awkward…


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The printer had jammed again. Seriously, this mammoth of a machine has the most difficult time just feeding itself paper. I stare at it, thinking that it’s lucky it isn’t actually alive otherwise it would starve itself from incompetence. I start pushing the touch screen to move it on to its next bright idea, another useless solution for me to attempt to unjam it.

Since it is the third time in the last hour this particular machine had jammed I automatically work my way through the list and pull drawers that it says are blocked but they really aren’t and shake the ink cartridge because it thinks this brand new one is empty. Through some wondrous stroke of luck it just starts printing. I glare at it as the image floods my brain of this cartoonish machine as it  giggles like a dumbass and says “Oh! I totally forgot what I was doing! I’m sooo A.D.D. sometimes. How many more do I have to print for you?” It’s fictional smile sends a wave of heat through my face as I control every urge to kick it multiple times.

“Hey! You got it to work! I should just call you over whenever things break instead of IT.” Reality punched me in the gut and his voice nearly made me jump, and I seriously worried that my fictional dialog wasn’t showing on my not-so-secretive face. “Heh…” I cough out, “Just going through the list of things it thinks are wrong.” I think I smiled… Honestly, I’m not sure. I may have looked away too…

Out of the corner of my eye I see my co-worker walk away to another co-worker, “Alexis is some kind of master at everything.” I look up and literally pout! Seriously, no joke! My lip stuck out like an offering to a bird for a perch! He looked horror-struck. “Aw! Don’t give me THAT look. I meant it as a compliment.” He offered me a genuine smile and not only did I feel completely stupid for my reaction, but I felt that I needed to explain myself. “I… It’s just… I’m not a master at EVERYTHING.” I attempted and noticed that my voice sounded oddly strange and not at all like myself. The comment hadn’t offended me in the slightest, but what it had done was make me feel like an ass. Some know-it-all. I have no idea why, nor do I believe he understood it either, but at that moment I let out one hell of an awkward half laugh and fled the village. I ran. Well, not literally, but I did walk away rather briskly.

As I sat back at my desk, completely horrified by my actions I played the scene over and over in my head. Witty quips that I should have said but instead I metaphorically tripped over my own tongue and crashed onto my face. What on earth is wrong with me?! I forgot my copies at the printer.

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This is just a bad dream…


*!* DISCLAIMER*!* This is not one of my happy light hearted stories. Read this chapter with the knowledge that it is meant to be a horror/thriller and there are some gory details that you may not like. If you have no interest in these types of stories, please to not read. For all of you that have just read this and are now going to continue reading it because of my disclaimer, remember, I did warn you.

I was awake, but my eyes wouldn’t open. My ears were ringing so loud that I couldn’t hear my own thoughts. My head was pounding to the point of vomiting. Slowly things began to clear and I wish the pain and ringing had taken me. I became aware of the low moans and cries from around me, the sounds were both close and far away, and I couldn’t pin them down to their distance. The deep drum beats inside my head were slowing and becoming quieter and the ringing subsided enough for me to notice the warm, slow moving, dampness creeping down my face from my scalp.  To this day I still wish I wouldn’t have opened my eyes, that I would have stayed still and waited for them to move past me, but I know now that they wouldn’t have, they would have sensed the life still in me, and then I wouldn’t be alive, nor would I be dead.

I opened my eyes and saw how they work, how they spread and how they change. I opened my eyes and saw a necromancer for the first time. She was beautiful. She was what men say they dream of. Long flowing blonde hair, green eyes that shined with color, maybe more than I realized, and her figure was what I’ve seen men drool for and woman start a gym membership for. She was wearing regular jeans and a red button up short sleeved shirt, nothing fancy, I remember liking her brown leather boots and how the cuffs of her pants were tucked into them. She was casually stylish. As my head cleared a little more I realized how odd this made her. She wasn’t even scratched and here I was, lying on the ground bleeding from my head in the middle of a battlefield, my friends and soldiers around me, dead or dying, or just… screaming.

When people thought of a necromancer, we all had imagined this crazy bastard running around a grave waving some magical stick in the air chanting something unknown. Undead shambling zombies rising from the grave, completely incoherent except for what the master ordered it to do, usually involving an overpowering need for tasty, tasty, brains. We were very wrong. In fact, that would have been wonderful. I would have liked those crazy fucks so much more.

The beautiful woman crouched down to a body of a man whom I could tell from my twelve feet away, was certainly dead. He sat up, facing away from me, the back of his brown hair spattered with congealing blood. He had died after propping himself up against a propeller that had secured itself firmly into the ground when our plane had crashed.

I had just survived a plane crash… The memory flooded me at once in a dizzy blur.

I blinked, trying to get myself to focus as I watched the woman stare where the dead man’s eyes should be. Her head started to tip from side to side, and reminded me immediately of a snake, a cobra with its neck flared wide and its smile promising the most painful of poisons. Her brilliant red lips parted slightly as she paused in the center of her dance and it was as if the legs of a never ending spider pried her mouth open from the inside. Her perfectly formed jaw unhinged as the legs from her mouth entrapped the dead’s face. From my distance I couldn’t say for sure if it was true or my imagination running away with what I thought was already impossible but I thought I could see the dead’s throat drink something in. I simply blinked again and the twenty spindly legs were just… gone, but she wasn’t done. She tilted her head and I watched in horror as the dead man moved his head to mimic her. But then she paused, almost moved back from him, her eyes narrowed and then she hissed, mouth wide and voice harsh and pitched. He threw his head back in a dominant scream as something slithered out from under his skin at the base of his throat, at that soft spot just before the collar bones meet. It didn’t take the creature inside him very long to split open the skin and slither it’s tendrils out in a guttural hiss.

I hadn’t noticed that I had been rising to my feet and by the time I did notice I was already running, or scrambling as fast as I could manage. The necromancer stayed put, only absently watching me run, as if she didn’t give a shit whether I stayed or shot at her. But the fact that her freshly dead and extra limbed minion came rushing right up to his dead feet and frantic heavy footfalls came barreling behind me told me that she had cared, oh, she had cared a lot.

It was impossible to run silently, or run without sliding on the gravel, so I just pushed my legs as fast as I could. I’m not a runner, and I should mention that I hate to run, but it’s surprising how quickly your legs will move and your lungs will take in air when you’re terrified. I was gaining ground quickly, thankfully the undead take a little while to get their stiff limbs up to speed right away.

I made a sharp turn around a storage container, conveniently slamming into a solid steel wall and pushing off it to propel my feet to run even faster. I had to find another sharp corner before he rounded around the last one if I had any chance at losing him. At the end of the storage container I made another sharp turn and found that on the other side was a narrow slip between it and another container. I made it around and stopped in the corner and took as deep a breath as I could and then held my breath. Not so surprising that this was ridiculously hard given all my heart wanted to do in response was suck in more air.

He came barreling around the corner and stopped so fast I almost thought he had run into some kind of invisible wall. He turned and looked straight at me, his eyes grey and fogged over, the eyes of the dead. His throat flared open as he exhaled from the run, tendrils hiding behind the skin. I tried to back up instinctively but realized that I had already shoved myself as far into the crack between the containers as possible. The only way out was toward him. He came up on me faster than I could run past him and he grabbed me from behind by the back of my neck, his fingers stretching to curl around my throat like claws. He pulled me into him, my back pressed against his cold chest and he secured me there with his other arm, his strength forcing down on me as if to crush me.

Apparently hiding behind this particular container was a bad idea, in many more ways than just the one I chose. He pushed us forward toward the doors to the container. I tried to drag my feet but when I did I nearly choked from the vice grip he had around my throat.  He threw me against the ground then, so hard I swear I bounced off the stone earth. He kicked at the lock to the container as if it was merely bothersome and it crumbled apart, the doors swinging open. There was a table and chairs, a hanging bare light bulb from the ceiling, and a generator near the back and that was all I had time to take in from the ground before I was in the air, hoisted up by my own shirt and set on my feet. My balance still escaped me so when he pushed my shoulder to force me inside I landed on my hands and knees. I could feel something crumbling beneath my hands and when I turned my palms up crumbles of dried blood and long dead mold imbedded in my skin as if I had fallen on sand. I sat down, my back to a metal wall and wiped the crust from my hands on my jeans.

“We’re going to offer you your life.” His voice came out dry and rasping. I looked up to meet his eyes and stared into the death inside them. He didn’t feel anything, he only followed orders. “Who’s WE?” I asked sharply. “Looks to me like it’s just you and me, dead man.” I expressed myself by throwing up my arms and waving them around. He didn’t even blink at me.

“You might want to cool your tone, wee lamb.” She sounded Irish. The necromancer strutted in as cool as could be. “Oh! Hi there. I was afraid that we’d lost you back there.” I smiled my best cheerleader grin and she slapped me, hard, so hard it felt like slow motion to pull my head back around. “Okay. Ow.” I expressed before adding my own blood and spit to the metal and crap that scattered around me. “So,” I coughed up more blood and spat again, “What was the corpse saying about my life, and letting me keep it?” She smiled, all lips, and circled her no longer human pet, “That’s such a terrible way to talk about your friend. Wasn’t his name Jason, before he died?” I looked up at her and couldn’t keep myself from looking back at the dead man standing in front of me. I swallowed hard to keep myself screaming as I started to recognise him. His hair was dusty but still the dark slightly wavy mess that he usually kept it in. Behind the grey death in his eyes I could see the slightest hint of that light blue that they once held. She slipped her hands through his hair and wiggled the dirt from his hair and it came out in a dusty cloud. “Not enough, lass?” She whispered in his ear and it was like Jason was becoming more alive, he skin darkened and his eyes came back to their crystal blue. “ Isn’t he just perfect?” She giggled and Jason’s eyes lit up and his deep throated laugh that had always been full of life and that sarcastic humor he always had made me want to melt into the metal wall, push through it and maybe not even stop with the ground below the container. I wanted to scream and cry, but more than that I wanted to set them both on fire. Instead, I laughed with them, my fake glee carrying over them both. They stopped before I did, and I stopped when I was slapped again. “ Don’t press your luck, lass.” I wiped the blood from my lips this time with the back of my hand and nodded a childish wiggle of my head. “Alright. So, talk to me instead of trying to traumatize me. If Jason were still Jason he would know that’s not so easy.” She rolled her eyes and gave the, newly alive looking, dead Jason a pat on the shoulder. “ I’ll leave it to you, luv. There is much cleaning up to do on the field.” She winked at me and her boots clicked as she walked out the door.

I woke up shaking. My heart pounding and sweat dampened my hair to a thick mess on the top of my head. I look around me to see that my room is still dark and my husband is still fast asleep. Two out of my three cats lay looking up at me from the end of the bed. I reach up to wipe at my eyes and realize my hands are shaking and weak and I couldn’t help looking for the crumbled blood and moss on my skin. Deep breaths… Deep breaths…

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The Phoenix Comic Convention


The second I open the door I am greeted by a massive wave of people. I bite the tip of my tongue to escape the shock and glance very briefly back to my group. My husband met my eyes but quickly looked away. “You can handle this.” the look told me and I turn toward the crowd and take my first steps. 

Wading through this on my own would have been easy. I’m small and very quick and I have no problem weaving in and through tight groups of people if it means I will progress further and closer to my destination. However, I was with family. If I were to zig and zag through these people I would surely lose them and luck wouldn’t be what would bring us back together. Desperate searching would and that would waste the precious time we had all planned. 

My husband obviously sensed this in me as he shouldered next to me and we walked quickly and with the expressions of people with intent and serious purpose and the wave split. Convention goers moved out of our way like the parting of the red sea. People dressed in all manner of costumes fluttered about and it was only those whom hadn’t looked behind them that unintentionally blocked our way past but they were easily avoided. 

We made it to the vendor’s hall and paused. The booths of nerd heaven ascended before us and one couldn’t possibly see through the river of costumed geekery that danced and squealed throughout the main hall. We had arrived  We survived the treacherous roads that led us to the end of our quest and now our costly prize was ours to patron. 

The Phoenix Comic Convention this year was beyond packed! We were there both Saturday and Sunday and not only did we all get to meet and greet our favorite authors and artists but by the end of Saturday we even went to a book release party where we were fortunate enough to even hang out with some of these creators of imagination.

*Please click on the images to go to these author’s/artist’s websites.

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Jessica Feinberg, a Tucson local artist and good friend of mine was very generous and gave my husband and I passes to the convention and in return we were there to help her out in any way possible. Drinks, food, deliveries to other people at the convention, whatever. Jessica is a FANTASTIC artist! She pretty much draws and paints anything. Check out her website and see what I mean!

ImageI met Janni Lee Simner earlier this year at the Tucson Festival of Books, turns out we have a mutual friend, small world. She is the fabulous author of the highly recommended Bones of the Faire series and she just released her new book Faire After, the final book in this series. We were fortunate enough to attend her book release party where my sister Lindsey won Simner’s entire collection AND tickets to next year’s comic convention!

ImageI also met Jeff Marriotte at this years Tucson Festival of Books. He is one of the few authors that can relate with his fan’s different interests. My husband, whom is a complete science geek loves his books and Marriotte is one of the few authors that my husband will actually sit down and read the entire book in two days. I have a great interest in the psychology within his books and may have shared this fascination with my Mom. I highly recommend his book The Slab and Season of The Wolf.

ImageRob Osborne (the Absolute Tyrant) and I met a few years back at the 2008 Phoenix Comic Convention where he was gracious enough to work a commision for me of Gwen Stacey. We became friends on the classic website MySpace (I know, super dead) but lost touch shortly after we both forgot  our passwords or just lost interest in MySpace all together. He writes and illustrates his own comics and I highly recommend reading his Zango series about a supervillain striving to take over the world whilst in his pajamas.

ImageFrank Beddor is the author of the Looking Glass Wars series. I met Frank Beddor at the 2008 Phoenix Comic Con when he was publicizing his first book. I had been walking by nearly missing him when he captured my attention by pulling us over and bursting into his story. He fascinated me with his excitement for his story and the passion he shared with his potential readers. I bought his first novel then and there and have been hooked ever since. Definitely a Must Read!

While I love staying with family here in Phoenix I just can’t wait to get home and start reading all of the wonderful books and comics I purchased from the above authors. Tomorrow is most definitely going to be a pajamas and a book day. I love this weekend!

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