Saturday, January 28, 2017

What Writers Do: Addiction

Welcome to the twenty-sixth What Writers Do Blog. If you're a first-time reader, come on in, grab some popcorn and enjoy. If you're a faithful reader, thank you for coming back! If you're one of those who hasn't read my blog in a while, you have some catching up to do *wink, wink, nudge, nudge* Anyhow, this week I was going over some of my older blogs and realized that I've never addressed the addictions we writers have.

You may be thinking: What Addiction Jenn? We don't have addictions. And I'm here to rain all over that parade. We all deal with, at least, one addiction and, for "most" writers, that addiction is Caffeine. Between the late nights we pull writing that scene (or chapter) that we must finish before our eyes close and having to get up for our "real" job in the morning, caffeine becomes a well-loved friend.

Whether you guzzle down loads of sugar loaded energy drinks, take a shot of that five-hour energy you had stashed for a special occasion, chug five cups of coffee a day, or drink a vitamin and amino acid supplement like Spark, you must have that little boost of something to wake you up and if you don't have it you become an irritable, persnickety, and a downright rude grump. That, my friends, is an addiction but that's not the only thing we get addicted to.

Writers are addicted to, what I call, story. Yes, this addiction is much healthier than caffeine but it can be dangerous if we're not careful. It can lead to three a.m. nights, strange dreams, and even a want to stay secluded in your house all the time. The addiction to story started harmlessly enough, with the first book we ever read and fell in love with. This sparked the imagination and sent it skyrocketing into new worlds. Soon we were reading any book we could get our hands on within that genre. We couldn't get enough of story, but after a while, you began to see a pattern in every story.

It starts with an interesting enough character(s) who has everything going for them (whether wrong or right, it was going). Then some life-changing event happens that sends their destiny careening out of control and is later sorted out, hopefully. After finishing, you shut the book with so many feelings that you need time to process it all (if you're any sort of actual human being). You as the reader, don't mind at all, but when it ends in a cliffhanger or an unhappily ever after that’s when you care. Every book you pick up and read enthralls you for the length of the book (or series), but then, something big happens…

One day, you're working on some mundane task (or sleeping) and an idea for your own story pops into your head. For most people, they simply dismiss it and move on, thinking some like I can't write a story. I don't have time or I'm no good at writing. These people will usually write down the idea on some social media site and with the caption "Someone needs to write this" or "this would make a great story” and one of us writers will pick it up and run with it. This is not the case for those of us who are hardcore addicted to Story.

We, as Writers, mull the idea over in our mind until we can grab a pen and paper or our phone, in order to write down this new revelation. We then spend hours, or even days, character building, outlining and researching -for all you, outliners- or we sit down and write as much as we can, as fast as we can and work on all the other previously mentioned things later. This is a dose of our addiction to story. We then become so wrapped up in it that story and world -if we aren't doing anything or even if we are- that we are thinking about our story or writing it down on whatever we can get our hands on.

This is the most thrilling of addictions and can manifest at any time. Some don't become addicted to story until they retire or grow sick and can’t do much else.  Some get the spark in college and use it as an escape from the heavy load of learning and homework. While others -like myself- find the addiction in High School but sadly don't take it seriously until Graduation or College.

We all have addictions and these two are most every writer’s main addictions. They are mundane and relatively harmless but, when working together, can manifest themselves into such priceless works of art.

That's all I have for today, thank you for reading. I hope you enjoyed this. If you did, let me know by commenting below or shooting me a message on social media. All the links are listed in the Contact Me page which is in the bar underneath my lovely banner. If you're on your iPhone or Android, the Contact Me page will be in the drop down menu on the main page. Be sure to let me know if you share these addictions or if you have a few of your own that help your creativity (*cough* Pinterest *cough*). Enjoy the rest of your weekend and go be awesome.

-Jenny Williams

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Story Snippet: A Born Angel #2

First: Yes, I changed the name of the first book. It was a necessary change. Anyhow, here's another snippet from book one. (warning: First draft, very little editing)


I was surprised that the huge, black iron gate was open for us. I warily slipped my blades from their sheaths, crossed my arms over my chest, and slid them into the sheaths hidden in the lining of my leather coat before curling my fingers around my biceps.

When everyone was through the gate, they squealed shut behind us and the mist of the sector closed in around the group. I whirled around and there stood the woman who’d been trailing us. She was dressed in black from the top of her head to her feet with a cowl that covered most of her face.

As my eyes met hers, she lifted her gloved hands to her cowl and lowered the hood revealing long, coffee colored hair that she’d swept back into a high ponytail to keep it from her face. Her heteromorphic, sunken, amber and hazel eyes watched me from her caramel colored, regal face and her aura screamed dominance.

A few students gasped behind me but I didn’t let it faze me. I stared her down, never moving my hands from the knives. She held her arms out to either side and watched us.

“Welcome to the Outskirts, Senior Class of Fire and Spirit Academy. I am known as the Shadow, I will be one of five liaisons between you and my Clan, the Ancients,” she introduced herself, scanning the crowd while we watched unable to look away.

 A man, also clad in complete black, jumped down from the top of the wall to her left. “This is Kreshka. He is my equal and my mate. He will oversee Spike’s group. Those of you in his group will obey him or you will be brought back here to return to your families... after we're finished with you.”

My intuition warned me that finished meant our own mothers wouldn’t recognize us. Kreshka removed his hood to reveal sandy blond hair and blue eyes that looked as dry and as cold as the sands of the nomad at night. Another figure landed to the Shadows right. The being stood a few inches taller than Shadow, keeping her cowl in place.

“This is Sibyl. She will oversee Caleb’s group,” she assigned and Caleb walked over to her without question. He bowed his head to her and she put her hands together in front of her, bowing at the waist. Two more black-clad Ancients dropped on either side of the trio.

“To the right is Saksha. She will take Jericho’s group. To the left is Doshkin and he is assigned to Korah’s group. I will be working with Miss Aria’s group. Now that everyone knows their assignment: Ancients, take them to your camps to settle in before we meet for the mid-meal. We’ll meet at noon,” She ordered with a sharp nod of her head. The others bowed to her as Sibyl had bowed to Caleb before they led their respective groups in different directions disappearing into the mist.

Miss Aria approached Shadow and I watched unmoving. My powers surged, wanting to reach out to Shadow and peer into her mind. They spoke low enough that I couldn’t hear past the pounding of blood in my ears. Shadow turned to me and stopped speaking long enough to scrutinize my entire being. They approached me but Shadow was focused on the other Seventy-nine students of my group.

“Welcome, Students, this is the first in a series of tests to weed out the weak and prove which of you will become agents of the Preternatural and Mythical Creatures Agency and who isn't worthy of such a prestigious title. Those who fail will continue their studies under the teachers of the academy and not return to the Outskirts,” She explained slipping both hands behind her back. She clutched her right wrist in her left hand and began to pace, inspecting us like a sergeant inspecting her newest batch of recruits.

“You are going to follow Miss Aria and I, in two single file lines. Kalista, I want you behind me,” she ordered putting her dominance to good use. We obeyed without openly questioning but I continued to watch her. Her words left the coppery taste of lies on my tongue mouth and my fingers twitched around my knives. There was another reason for this week of training.

Shadow glanced over her shoulder at my eyes and smiled. It wasn't at all pleasant, more like an alpha lioness ready to pounce on a questioning subordinate. I was more than ready to prove myself to her.

“You’re smart to carry weapons. You’re going to need them over the next week. You’ll be training with my elite forces but that won’t be until Wednesday,” she commented watching my eyes for fear. I didn’t deign that with a response. She hadn’t lied this time but the uneasy feeling was settling into my bones. What were we walking into?

Saturday, January 21, 2017

What Writers Do: Procrastination

Today, I realized I haven't talked about any negative things that writers do that hurts their stories in the short-term. Procrastination is the biggest thing that we do that can hurt or stories. Procrastination is never the key to putting out your best work. If you procrastinate: you won't meet your deadlines, your work will be rushed, and you will leave things for tomorrow when they could be finished today.

Those of us who procrastinate usually have a good reason, like: I'm sick. I have other things that have to get done. My friends invited me out and so I have to get ready. These are all excuses that involve your character, health, and responsibilities.

Those excuses are valid but there are some that you have to work through, like: I can't focus, I have writer's block, and the famous "I'm waiting for inspiration." These excuses need to be deleted for our vocabulary. Instead of berating you (and myself) for using this excuses, I'm going to give you a few things you can do if you find yourself trying to justify your lack of writing.

  1. Remember your goals:
    You need to remember that your goals won't be achieved without work. You have to put in the time and effort now, in order to achieve your goals later.
  2. Be reasonable:
    Remember that nothing comes easy. If it did, we wouldn't value it.  No one can become an instant sensation overnight. Take YouTubers for example. Most of them were making videos for at least six months before becoming sensations and others took years. You can't become a General without first going through basic training or boot camp.
  3. Reread old manuscripts:
    Yes, you heard me right. Sometimes, looking through my old writings can help me remember what I'm aiming for and where I was heading toward (Especially since books 4, 6, 7, 8, & 9 are done but I'm still working on book 1). Even if you don't have books finished, looking back at your old manuscripts can encourage you and show you how much you've grown as a writer.
  4. Make an Outline:
    If you're like me, then you know this struggle. When I start a book, I know the beginning and the end but everything in between is flexible. I'll write out a tentative outline and halfway through the book I'll realize that it took a completely different road than I thought. This is usually due to character growth or just my character's reacting differently than I expected once it's out on paper. When I find myself stuck, I'll make another outline. One that is more suited to the characters than the first.
  5. Inspiration is everywhere:
    "I'm waiting for inspiration." This is a big one for many wannabe authors (like myself - though I have the opposite problem). Inspiration is everywhere! Have you sat down and thought about the lives of others around you? Seriously, watch other people when you're out grocery shopping or at the mall or any social situation. Watch how they interact, how they stand, how their eyes sparkle or dim when certain things are mentioned. Each person leads their own intricate life and this can bring inspiration to you.
    If you can't find inspiration from life, read a book. One famous author (I can't find the name now) once said, "All writers were first readers." They couldn't have put it any better and William Faulkner said "Read everything -- trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You'll absorb it."
  6. Sit down and write:
    There is no substitute for discipline. You may not want to write or feel like writing one day but you need to have the discipline to make yourself do it. Writing is as easy as riding a bike, but you have to be able to fall down or write something you think is horrible. Even the garbage you think you're writing can be turned into a great novel. So sit down, grab a pencil and paper or your writing instrument and get to work. Push yourself. Do it. 
That's all I have for today. Writing can be hard sometimes but don't let yourself stop. You owe it to the characters you created and your future fans to write that book. So, get off the internet, turn the ringer on your phone off, unplug from social media, and write. You'll thank yourself later. 

Go Be Awesome,

Jenny Williams 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Character Introduction II: Ashton Angel

Lilith walked into the room and looked around. Thinking it was empty she turned to leave before she saw the man in the high-backed chair at the end of the room. The word "man" didn't suit him. His short ebony brown hair was starting to fall into his eyes; those crimson red eyes looked haunted by something far deeper than he would tell anyone else.

She hated that look and wished that she could help him. He never let anyone help him anymore; This was his burden to bear. She started toward him but the door behind her creaked open and his daughter Kalista walked in. Lilith turned to the small girl and smiled, hoping to save her from her father's complacency.

"Hello, Esca'troikas (Sweetheart), what...?" she paused as she noted the hem of Kalista's dress was caked in mud. Kalista followed her line of sight and shrugged before her dress was instantly clean. Lilith rolled her eyes at the quick solution and set one hand to her temples. "Kalista, what did we say about using your powers?" she asked, mothering the girl. Kalista looked down at the stones beneath her feet and sighed.

"My powers are to be used only in emergency situations because using them might attract the wrong attention," she replied in a low whisper. Lilith nodded but a voice behind her caused her to stiffen.

"Why do you patronize her for exercising her abilities? She's perfectly fine Lily," Ashton contradicted her warning. Kalista's face lit up at the sound of her father's voice and she peaked around the skirt of Lilith's dress. Ashton stood up and opened his arms and Kalista ran to him, jumping into his arms without trouble. He held her close and kissed her forehead.

"I'm sorry for trying to protect her. You know that some of your Brother's would..." Lilith tried to make him see reason but his glare caused her words to fall away. That glare broke Lilith's heart and she forced herself to hold his gaze as she balled her hands in the folds of her skirt.

"No, don't say it, Lilith. As long as she is with me, they don't dare touch her," he almost growled at his friend and once significant other. She bowed her head and curtsied before walking out of the room with a tear on her cheek. Young Kalista had tears in her eyes when Ashton turned back to her and he brushed her long curling hair away from her face.

"Simakti (baby girl), don't cry. Mama is merely worrying over nothing," he comforted her but, when their eyes met, he knew that there was no reason to fear. Her lavender eyes were wide and they glazed over before the Iris' color bled to cover her entire eye. He held her close and laid her head on his shoulder. 

Another vision. Maker help her. He silently prayed as he sat back down facing the fireplace. Her small body began to shake and he combed his fingers through thick, waist length her curls. After five minutes she became deathly still and her tears soaked his shirt. Her breathing shallowed and her silent tears turned to sobs.

"Shh, Mi' Angeles Simakti. Et' shta vee (You are safe). Ri shta hokt lashta-jotta  (It was only a vision)," he comforted her in their native Demoki. Her crying slowed and she nuzzled her face into his neck, as the shaking returned.

"Ca'cha coda m'e (Don't leave me). Ca'cha anak vit tocona m'e (Don't let them take me). Ca'cha anak vit," she responded and his mind reached into hers to find it empty of all thought. He held her closer and rocked her back and forth.

"Torcha (never), Simakti," he promised as Cannon, his brother in law opened the wall next to the fireplace. His blue-grey eyes were dark, almost matching the hue of his dark hair, as they fell on Ashton and Kalista. Cannon's face fell and he held up an envelope bearing the insignia of the Celtic Demon's clan of healing.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Character Introduction and Updates

It's only Monday but I wanted to let y'all know what's going on before Wednesday's blog confuses you. I noticed that y'all really like the Story Snippet type Character Introduction rather than the Biography Sheet type that I started out with. In light of this, I'm going to be Reintroducing the seven (I think there are only seven) characters that I originally introduced with the other style, which will take us into March with Character Introductions.

Here's what the Blogging Schedule For Introductions looks like:
1/18- Ashton Angelic
2/1 - Anna Healer/Tragedy
2/14 (A Tuesday) - Justin Tragedy and Ivanya Angelic Revised in one blog
3/1 - Julian Maxwell
3/15 - Lucifer Angelic
3/29 - Kalista Iduna Angelic (Namesake of Kalista Iduna "Tragedy")

If you want to look ahead or back at those blogs: On your computer, you can find a link to their first Character Introduction Biography sheets in the Character Introduction page by clicking the button under the header or (for those on their mobile devises) Click here.

If your curious about anything about my books, have a blog idea, or any questions for me, visit the Contact Me page to find my Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr accounts, and Email addresses and I'll get back to you as soon as possible.

In other news, I heard back from my computer tech and got some bad news. My laptop is forever broken. I thought it was simply the fan needing to be replaced but on closer inspection, it is the piece where the motherboard connects to the fan. This means that the motherboard would have to be completely replaced but my computer was a limited edition item and HP does not make a replacement part for it. Bummer.

It is still useable. I can browse the internet, work on my 3D-Art and writing is good too. What I can't do (that's a bit disappointing) is play my video games. You read that right. I enjoy playing video games when I'm stressed out or angry at the world. I was playing Warframe and also Star Wars: the Old Republic on my laptop but that makes it overheat. Mega bummer. I'm going to be saving up to buy a new laptop over the next several months so that I can buy one with all the specs I want.

Anyhow, that's enough about my plans and computer issues. I hope you had a not too terrible Monday, since we all know Mondays are horrible (See Garfield for reference), and you have an awesome rest of your day and week. Thank you for reading and  Go be Awesome.

-Jenn Williams

Monday Face by Jim Davis

Saturday, January 14, 2017

What Writers Do: Story Ideas

**Forgive me if there are typos or issues, my computer is still in the shop so I don't have my usual writing program**

I don't know about you but I find story ideas everywhere and this isn't always a good thing especially because I have about thirteen books I have yet to finish writing, five that I haven't started, and eight that are in the rough draft/second draft/revision stage. That's twenty-six for those that are counting. I could potentially write for the rest of my life and never finish.

So, what do I do when new story ideas crop up? How do I stay focused? Well, I'm not exactly sure about the second part, since I get easily distracted when a new idea pops into my head but as for the first question, I go crazy. The definition of a writer, that I've found to be the truest was by Edgar Allan Poe, "I am a writer, therefore, I am not sane."

My process is simple. A new idea pops into my mind. I quickly grab whatever writing instrument is closest (Tablet, phone, notebook, laptop, etc.) and write down the idea along with some bullet points to help when I get around to it again. Then it gets stashed until I get the rest done... Sometimes. Other times the idea takes up all of my creative mind and won't allow me to sleep at night so I end up writing about 50,000 words before I realize that I've gotten sidetracked (this is why I have thirteen stories I'm working on currently).

There are times that I'm scrolling through Pinterest late at night and I come across a quote/prompt/or image that I can't get out of my mind because it either a) fits into a story that I'm currently working on or b) it sparks a whole new book idea. On Pinterest, it's easy to organize and write my thoughts down because I can type under the pin and slip it into one of my many book boards (I have one for most of the books I am writing or have written).

I'm not good at staying away from these ideas. I tend to nurture them like plants until they overtake my first project and I have to write it in order to trim back the bush so I can finish what I was working on originally. It's a process and it can become exhausting or even debilitating if you let it. I don't let it bog me down because no matter what happens I always have more books to write and I love to write. It gives me an escape and allows my mind to run wild.

Anyway, don't let your story ideas keep you from finishing what you've started. Focus on what you've started and if an idea won't let you sleep, write it down but don't do it in detail. Give your mind enough to run off of (like an outline) then return to your work. This is my go to method for dealing with story ideas. Write them down and refocus, refocus, refocus. Don't dwell on new ideas. Finish what you got.

So many writers have flopped before getting even one book published because they had too many ideas and no finished works. Don't be one of them. This is a new year. Refocus on works that you haven't finished and get the book written. Let's do this together.

That's all the insight I have for today. I hope you enjoyed seeing a glimpse of my insane mind. Go be Awesome.

-Jenny Williams

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Story Snippet: A Broken Redeemer

This is something new that I'm going to be posting every other Wednesday, opposite the Character Introductions. It will consist of a 500-1500 word "Snippet" from my current WIP (work in progress). This week, that WIP is A Broken Redeemer (Working Title), the first book in the Born Angel Chronicles (Also a working title, changed from The Kalista Chronicles).
Page 256

As wee walked into Academy, I dropped my hand because there was a no contact rule on school grounds... When we walked passed my sister and her friends, I kept my eyes on the ground. I didn’t want to talk to any of them. I had enough drama for one day.

“There goes the nerd,” Claire spoke up so that I would hear her. My muscles stiffened at the new insult but I refused to stop and confront her. “Look, now she’s too good to even say hello to us,” Claire spat from directly behind me and I shrugged it off too. Her presence loomed behind me, following me like a wraith waiting for me to die so it could take my soul.
“Claire, go bother someone else,” Michael threw at her and she scoffed. I balled my hands into fists, reminding myself that punching her would land me in detention and earn me a talking to from my parents. In my opinion, she wasn’t worth sullying my clean record or my reputation.
“Why are you sticking up for her? You should be insulted that they moved her in your class when you’ve worked hard to get where you are,” Claire taunted, that was the last straw. We both turned on our heels and glared at her. Alli was trying to hold her back and Charlotte was still at their lockers thirty paces back with a shocked expression on her round, cherubim face. Claire’s cold blue eyes searched my face and I noticed that she'd caked her flawless skin in makeup before curling her bleached blonde hair to perfection. It was all so fake and made her look like plastic.
“She’s my friend and I don’t let anyone bully my friends,” he spat in her face and her jaw dropped. I put my hand up and his argument died on his lips.
“Just walk away Claire. Go back to your petty gossip and while you’re at it, why don’t you eat some makeup so you can be pretty on the inside too,” I fed her some of her own medicine as a she started to walk away and Alli cringed at the insult. A crowd began to gather and all of their thoughts agreed with me. Claire spun around and I saw the fire in her eyes.
"Excuse me?!" She asked, venom dripping from her words as the crowd waited in anticipation. I crossed my arms over my chest and stared at her hair.
"I accused you of being shallow," I replied as she stomped up to me. She towered over me in her heels but I wouldn't let that get to me. I'd learned that short didn't mean inferior. I stared up at her face blank of any emotion.
"Run that by me again," she whispered trying to sound menacing. A smirk pulled the left corner of my mouth up and my eyes watched the anger burning in hers but I couldn't back down.
"Now your vain and deaf? Wow, what a winning combination," I scoffed and she pulled back her fist to punch me but stopped with it drawn back. Her face contorted and power swirled in the air. I titled my head to one side and she growled like a feral dog.
"What are you doing to me Angelic?!" She yelled and I put my hands up. The crowd disbursed and I spotted the bright white hair of Headmaster Jericho Misery walking toward us.
"Don't look at me Highest. Maybe you should be more careful about who's around when you try to start a fight," I matter of factly stated and she turned her head to find him standing beside her with his hand raised. His brand of telepath needed the hand gesture for their powers to work properly. I had no need of the dramatic display but I wasn't about to bring that up.
"Both of you, my office... Now," he ordered as the bell rang. I nodded with a sigh as he turned to Michael. “Mister Spiriter, you are to teach my class until I return with Miss Angelic,” he instructed, letting go of Claire. I ducked her punch that came sailing for my face with a sidestep. She toppled forward and I caught her on instinct. I started to help her stand and she struggled with a growl of anger.
“Let go of me, devils spawn!” She exclaimed and I obeyed without missing a beat. She let out a yelp as she hit the floor and Jericho rolled his eyes. “What was that for?” She asked from the floor. I walked toward his office before she could trip me up too.
“You told me to let go,” I called over my shoulder and Jericho walked with me. His presence kept Claire from trying anything and kept me from decking her.
Everyone had/has high school problems and my characters aren't exempt from that. Not everyone is happy when the Headmaster moves her from the sophomore class to the senior class, and she's one of them. Anyhow, I hope you enjoyed that snippet. Go be awesome.

-Jenny Williams

Saturday, January 7, 2017

What Writers Do: Scheduling and Deadlines

Hello, Lovelies. It's another bright Saturday in the hills of the snowy north and I had a few topics I was thinking about for today but I had to narrow it down. Scheduling is one of my downfalls and Deadlines intimidate me so I decided to talk about them.

For a writer scheduling is a big part of what we do. If we don't schedule in social activities, daily routines, and writing we may just not do any of them. I admit that I have more of a schedule now than I did back in High School and College but it still has some room for flexibility. I have concrete routines that I base my entire week around and other minor priorities that need to get done but if they don't, it's not the end of the world.

For example, I go to church on Sunday, blog on Wednesday and Saturday, work on Thursday, and I usually run errands on Saturday but the rest of my week (Mon, Tues, and Friday) is pretty much open ended. This week, I have to take my computer to the shop **bummer** because the fan isn't working right and it overheats when I play video games. This will make blogging interesting... and by interesting I mean harder to accomplish. Anyhow, getting off track.

Deadlines are something I'm not familiar with. I have had deadlines in the past, mainly at college, which I handled well. I would make sure papers were ready before they were due and things like that. With writing, at the moment, I have no deadlines because I'm still unsure of which publishing avenue to take and which one is right for me. I also don't have the first book written due to moving things around and diving more into the story than I previously had.

Anyhow, Deadlines can either help or hinder your ability to write well. Some people work better under pressure and some don't but all writers have deadlines that have to be met. In my writing career right now, I'm having to set my own deadlines and it's harder to stick to them because I don't really have anyone who holds me to them. (that's going to change).

So, in conjunction with this post, I'm going to start making a more concrete schedule, set deadlines for myself, and have someone hold me accountable to those deadlines (probably a writer friend, you know who you are). With that being said, here are a few tips to help you with scheduling and deadlines.

  1. Write it down or pencil it in on the calendar:
    Chances are if you don't write it down than it isn't going to happen. I know that if I don't have a deadline that something has to get done or I don't make a time for it, things won't get done. So, grab your calendar and a pen and get to work. 
  2. Have an Accountability partner:
    This may sound more daunting than any other tip but having someone to hold you to your schedule and keep you on task will help in the long run. You should start this even before starting down the road of publishing, because if you self-publish, you are the one making your deadlines and following through with them but if you go the traditional publishing route, your publicist, agent, or editor is going to be setting a deadline that you have to meet. Better to get used to it now than get run over by it later. 
  3. Once you've written out a Schedule and Set deadlines, Stick to it!
    Don't let anyone change your deadlines (this includes you). When scheduling a deadline, there are some things to keep in mind, i.e. how much you work, what time of year is it (because some seasons are busier than others), etc. Make sure to factor in your entire life before you make deadlines and a schedule.
  4. Beware, life does have a way of kinking your plans.
    There are some things you just can't plan for and this is where giving yourself extra time and a flexible schedule comes into play. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to accomplish your goals because life is messy and things happen, like: your car breaks down on the way to work, a family member dies and the funeral is planned for your busiest day, you hurt yourself doing a mundane task, or you get hit with the flu and all you can do is sleep. You can't plan for everything so give yourself more time than you know you'll need. 
That's all for today. Now, I'm going to sit down and write out my own schedule for the next month. I like to take things a month at a time (for small goals) or a year (for big goals). I hope these tips will help you and you enjoyed reading. 

If you have twitter, facebook, Instagram, and/or tumblr be sure to follow me on those for more thoughts, updates, and day to day happenings (or cute pictures of my dog), the links are on the Contact Me page. Also, you can subscribe to my blog by putting your email in the side bar on the right (if you're on the computer, I'm not sure where it is if you're on a mobile device) and the blog will get sent right to your email. Thanks so much and Go be awesome.

-Jenny Williams

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Character Introduction: Jennalynn Velarius

The sun was rising over the rolling hills as a young woman walked toward a whitewashed barn carrying two heavy buckets full of water on the yoke that sat on her broad shoulders. Her long hair whipped her face as the wind picked up and she stopped by the edge of the fence. She hefted the yoke off her shoulders and detached the buckets from the yoke all the time wondering why her family's horses hadn't met her at the fence. She easily picked up the buckets and poured the water into the trough waiting for one of the horses to come barreling down the hill or around the barn to drink.
It was strange that none of them were here to greet her this morning and the chill in the air was also eerily wrong for this time of year. She ducked in between the lines of barbed wire that ran along fence and listened to the lack of sound around her. She should have heard whinnying from the horses, baaing of sheep, and even the dogs barking. When she'd left this morning to walk down to the river she'd heard all of them, but now there was nothing to be heard but the old oak tree creaking by the barn. 
Goosebumps crawled up her arms and the fingers of the wind traced down her spine making her shiver. She pulled down the sleeves of her father's leather coat and walked up the hill toward the stone turret that sat on top, hoping that from the top she could spot their animals. Halfway up the hill she heard the shriek of a woman and the roar of a creature much larger than any they kept on the farm. 
She ran up the hill, heart pumping, wishing she could transform into a shire pony on a whim like her brothers but she hadn't mastered it yet. She was forced to run on two legs. She crested the hill with her heart pounding in her ears and that's when she smelled something foul on the breeze. She looked down into the valley and her eyes went wide with terror.
There in the valley below was dragon that was taller than the trees and almost filled the valley with its body. Its massive hide was covered in orange and red scales that danced like fire. Its teeth were red with blood as it roared in triumph and under its enormous claws were the bodies of the animals she was looking for.
She stood there still as a tree and watched as the dragon took a deep breath, filling its chest with wind before spewing fire from its ginormous maw. At first, it looked as if it were aiming at nothing but when the girl looked closer she saw her father running back and forth approaching the ferocious beast and the natural enemy of their kind. How had it found them? She'd only heard tales of dragons and never thought they would encounter one here, not when they were so close to the Fortress of the Council of Fire, the rulers of the preternatural world. 
The Council had seemingly put an end to violent outbursts such as this or at least that's what she'd heard. How was this possible? She manifested her long bow and quiver, notching one massive arrow into the worn ledge she'd carved in the Babylonian wood. She remembered her father tell of a weakness in dragon’s scales and she wouldn't have enough time to aim once she'd called it's attention. She took a deep breath, watched as it took another breath before she let out a lion's roar so loud that it echoed into the valley. 
The Dragon stopped and turned to her. It's large orange eyes shining in the light of the sun. Those eyes were intelligent and showed a glimmer of humor at the small humanoid child that stood on the ridge below. It shook it's mighty head and let out a laugh that sounded all too human. 
"What is this Gallivan? I was not aware that you sired a daughter. Is that why you ran from Greece? Is that why you've been hiding all these years?" the rumbling, deep, masculine voice of the dragon asked watching her father more than her. She let one arrow fly aimed at the jaws of the dragon, who had opened his mouth to speak once more. It roared in pain as the javelin sized arrow sunk into its jaw. It rose on its hind legs and then stomped them into the ground catching her father under them. 
Her heart sank as she notched yet another arrow and the dragon removed the first. It turned on her and took a deep breath before a bright light filled the clearing temporarily blinding her. When she could see again, a creature stood between her and the dragon. It stood seven feet tall, with three pair of white feathered wings down its back and long brown hair tied in a braid down the middle of them. 
This had to be an angel but she'd only heard myths about them. The dragon took a bit longer to recover from the bright light than the girl had and he was only now realizing what had caused it. The dragon turned to the new creature and let out another laugh. 
"Commander, you're too late. I've killed the entire family while you hid in your castle. Why not let me kill the girl as well, she's too young to be of use to the Council's cause," The dragon bargained but the angel manifested a broad sword that looked like a living, crackling fire. 
"You will leave this woman alone. You've done enough damage her Dark One. Leave now, and I will spare you," The angel warned but the dragon didn't listen. He lunged for them and the Angel raised his sword skyward before the sky went dark as night. The angel tossed the sword at the Dragon and like disk. It cut the dragons throat and returned to the angel before the dragon fell to the ground, bleeding silver liquid from the wound. The girl watched in horror as the dragon's body shrunk to the size of a man and the living orange eyes watched her from ten feet away. 
"This isn't the end," the dragon gurgled before it vanished leaving only the silver blood behind. All was silent again and the girl turned back to the massacre in the valley. Her chest tightened as she saw the broken body of her father starting to move and she ran towards him. The angel turned to the girl, but she was now running down the hill. He followed behind her knowing that the father and daughter needed a moment of privacy.
When she was close enough to the bloody mess, she slowed and dropped to her knees beside her father's half crushed body. She looked at his crushed legs and pelvic before he spoke, "Jennalynn, my sweet Simakti (baby girl), you weren't meant to see this," he groaned through the immense pain and watched her denim blue eyes fill with tears. Her pale face looked ashen in the morning light and he lifted his uninjured hand to her face. "Keӕtӕ (Princess), don't be afraid for me. I know I will join the Maker in His home on high. I fear more for you. Please, go with Beryx. He will take you to the fortress where you will be protected," Gallivan instructed, rubbing his thumb on his daughters face as he watched his friend, the Angel over her shoulder. Jennalynn nodded as her tears spilled onto her cheeks and she watched the light in her father's eyes growing dim. 
"Do not be afraid. Live for me Jennalynn. Live knowing that I love you and we all died to protect you," he continued proud and strong before the fire in his eyes blew out. Jennalynn laid her head on her father's chest and cried, silently begging the Maker for this to be a dream.