HazelHolly_FC_FNL_BNGTime flies, eh? It’s been almost two years since I started serializing Hazel and Holly here on the blog, with the first post going up early September, 2015. How was I supposed to know that what started out as a flash-fiction story for the 2015 A to Z Challenge would end up being an epic novel of about 150k words? It was, essentially, an experiment. To see if I could do it. To see what would happen.

It’s been interesting, to say the least. I managed to keep my schedule of posting every Friday, with the exception of one month-long lapse last Spring. It’s a story I let myself have fun with. It was an indulgence–at first, anyway. And then, later, one of the hardest things I’ve managed to wrap up and wrangle into a story since, well, I started writing. At the end of it all, it feels, to me, like a story worthy of having been told. And I really can’t ask for more than that.


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I keep saying how I don’t write to music. But I’m starting to realize that’s not entirely true. It’s true in the sense that I prefer quiet when I’ve got my hands on the keyboard… most of the time. But the more I think about it, the more I realize that music plays a big part in my creative world.

 

Music for Walking

I’ve mentioned before that I go out walking almost every day for about an hour. I do it in part for the exercise, and in part to process the story-happenings in my mind. It’ll sometimes help me untangle problems, come up with new ideas, and review the day’s work as a means of mentally winding down. And for most of these walks, I’ll be listening to music.


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Shadowed-Spirit-coverOne more week to go until A Shadowed Spirit is published. I will remain calm. Yes. Calm. In the middle of all this calmness, here’s the second chapter. In case you missed it, you can find the first chapter here. Enjoy. I’ll be over here, you know, not hiding.


A Shadowed Spirit

Chapter Two

Addigan sat in the Tower library as she wrote in her journal. The vast room was largely empty save for a pair of Magisters leafing through tomes and a group of young apprentices who were fetching books in accordance to whatever was written on their slips of paper. She pretended not to notice the glances they cast her way, or the seemingly innocuous rasp of their whispered voices. She knew they were talking about her. The others in the Tower always were.


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Shadowed-Spirit-coverWell, the countdown has begun. In two weeks A Shadowed Spirit will be released. I’m pretty excited, but also pretty nervous. All the standard bundle-of-nerves issues definitely apply here. But I think I’m mostly excited. I think it’s a good story, and in some ways I like it better than the first one. But maybe that’s just because I believe I’ve improved as a writer, so it’s sometimes hard for me to separate “good story” from “good storytelling.” And that’s when the nerves come in, because after release day I might get a very rude awakening when reviews start popping up. You see the dilemma.

Anyway, it occurred to me recently that I still haven’t shared a preview for the story, and now seemed like a good time to do it. Chapter one this week, then chapter two will follow next week. And then the week after that the book will be out and we can throw glitter and confetti and toot many virtual horns. Woohoo!


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Series. What a funny little word. It sounds like seahorses and eyeballs, and while eyeballs can be unsettling (though don’t underestimate those seahorses), “series” doesn’t really seem like the kind of word to strike terror into unsuspecting hearts.

But it has. Though, I suppose my heart wasn’t exactly unsuspecting, but I digress.

Series. It’s coming. Specifically, the Hazel and Holly series I said I would write way back when, which was so long ago now that you probably thought I pulled a “Just kidding!” and hid under the bed. Bed-hiding may or may not have happened, but that’s not the point. The point is that the series is happening, and it’s happening this Friday. And every Friday after that or until I have a mental breakdown and you find me cowering in a corner petting my hair while I call the cats “pretty.”

Breaths. Happy little breaths. Bob Ross would be proud.


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There are a number of blogging awards and challenges floating around out there, some of which I’ve been tagged in. So, rather than doing separate posts, I decided to bundle them up into one mega post. Woohoo! The first one up is…

 

The Love Hate Challenge

Celine Jeanjean over at Down the Rabbit Hole tagged me for this one. Thanks, Celine! The idea is to post ten things you love and ten things you hate, and then tag ten people to do the same.

The pedantic part of me feels compelled to point out that I don’t actually hate anything on this list (well, except for shopping, maybe, and ticks…). Hate is such strong, virulent word. Most of my dislikes aren’t worth that kind of energy.

Anyway, here’s my list:


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