Sunday, December 15, 2013

Holly and Ivy- A Christmas Story

Holly Peters picked up her press pass at Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. Reporters and photographers bustled around her as if she didn’t exist. But she did and she was here in New York City at the parade. How exciting! She put the pass over her neck and retied her bright red scarf around her neck. Smiling, she stood against the wall and just watched all the excitement. She turned to find her best friend Alli. Someone grabbed her arm, she whipped around and it was a tall thin good looking man in a black woolen coat. He had hazel eyes and soft puppy dog brown hair.

"Ivy, you look so amazing. How long has it been, three years?" he asked.

Holly smiled, "I’m sorry but I am Holly Peters, you must have me confused with someone else."

He blushed, "I’m sorry. You look exactly like one of my friends from college. She’s a reporter, her name is Ivy."

"Well they say everyone has a twin so I guess maybe I do. I’m a reporter too," Holly said.

He shook her hand, "I’m Brad and I should’ve known you weren’t Ivy, you are actually smiling."


Ivy Anderson, picked up her press pass and slung it over her neck. The Thanksgiving Day parade? Freaking great. She was tired of happy little fluff pieces. She needed the job because she didn’t have many options. She was on probation. How was she supposed to know her source was a drug addict and a pathological liar? He was a good liar. He passed the polygraph with flying colors. So she wasn’t fired but put on happy duty. Ivy looked over at the people standing in the streets and behind the scenes. This would be a perfect time for something bad to happen and she would be here. She would get the eye witness accounts save face and save her career. And who knows a story with such atrocity would win her the Pulitzer.

"Holly, here you go I had to stand in line for a half an hour and then I got lost. So I am so sorry if it’s a little on the cold side," someone said behind her.

Ivy turned around, a woman her age with flaming red hair fiddled with her phone as she held out a large latte. Before she could speak, the woman kept talking, "I called David but he’s already at work and mom says the kids will be watching me on Tv. I told her that I don’t think they will see me on TV but I guess you never know. Hey, do you think you can take a picture of me standing in front of one of those balloons. I would love to have my picture taken with Snoopy."

"I’m sorry, I am not Holly," Ivy said when she found a break.

She looked up, "oh my god I am so sorry. You look just like my best friend Holly. I mean you really look like Holly except her hair is curly. We were up early this morning and I saw the black coat and the blonde hair. I am so sorry."

"It’s fine," Ivy snubbed. Then she saw Holly it had to be Holly because she was talking to Brad, an old college friend. What kind of best friend didn’t know what her friend looked like. Holly, if that’s who she was, wore a puffy black ski coat with a bright red scarf and red ear muffs. Red ear muffs? Who wears earmuffs an adult? And her hair, she had bouncy blonde curls in a cute little ponytail. Her hair bounced as if there were a million golden Tiggers bouncing at the same time in her hair.

"Oh there she is," Holly’s best friend said.

Ivy walked over with the red-haired woman who still fiddled with her phone.

"Ivy," Brad said.

Holly turned around and stared into her own face. Ivy stared into her own face. This couldn’t be. This had to be a doppleganger, maybe this chick was evil all dressed up like a sweet present ready to assume the other’s identity.

"I can’t believe this. I am Holly Peters. You must be Ivy. Your friend here said I looked just like you."

"Ivy Anderson. Are you a reporter or something?" Ivy asked.

"I work at the Lock Haven Maven, Lock Haven’s a small town in Pennsylvania," Holly answered with a bright and beaming smile.

"Fantastic so this must be the big time for you being in New York City and all and covering the parade," Ivy said.

"Ivy, you don’t have to be a bitch. I remember when you were a little nicer. What happened to you?" Brad asked.

"The world happened to me. Maybe I see things how they are instead of a fantasy world."

Brad kissed Holly on the cheek, "good luck with your story and I will be looking forward to your call. Happy Thanksgiving Holly. Nice seeing you Ivy, take care." He disappeared into the crowd.

Holly took the coffee from Alli, "so Ivy I am guessing you work for the Times or the Post? Maybe you are a big time columnist that is syndicated or maybe you just work at some sub par newspaper and you were told to be here."

"As a matter of fact I write for the Newark Ledger with a large circulation so I am doing okay," Ivy defended herself.

"Well good for you," Holly said.

"You know I am going to say this but you guys look exactly alike. More than just similar looking strangers but actual twins," Alli said.

"That’s not possible, Alli. I am not adopted," Holly said.

"Neither am I," Ivy said.


Read the rest of the story in Santa's Shorts available on Kindle. Part of Kindle Unlimited.

Saturday, December 14, 2013


Hello all, Here is the book cover for my new ebook Nickolaus. In a nutshell, this is a Santa story with a twist. In this book we learn about the a man named Nickolaus who would become Santa Claus. It is a short story and it shouldn't take you too much time to read.

Here's a fun fact ever since I wrote Moonswallow Gates writing all of a sudden got a hell of a lot easier. This book only took me a week from start to finish and it is about 6,000 words. The words would flow from my fingers.  In fact, I am writing another Christmas story for here and I have a bunch of the story already done and I started last night.

Nickolaus is $.99 at the time of this writing but it will go free in the next couple of days. Now I am going to beg... please please if you read this book, leave a review for this book. A good review can help me sell more books, a bad review can make me a better writer (hopefully anyway unless the bad review just says 'you suck' I highly doubt that is going to help me out). This is marked for the Amazon Prime program so if you have a Kindle device you can read it for free if you are a Prime member and I still make money off the book. If you don't have a Kindle device all you need is a free app from Kindle, they have apps for iOs, Android, Mac and PC.  Speaking of money, I make $.35  for every book I sell. So why do I publish ebooks anyway if I am not getting gobs of money (Amazon requires $10 in royalties before I get paid I think I have $.70 or so). One day I will have a traditional publisher who will want to buy a novel I wrote. 

Until I get to that point in my career, I am building a fan base of readers who like my ebooks and might actually buy a physical book from me. Self-publishing short stories to Amazon gets my work out in the world much easier than other avenues. I keep plugging forward until the buzz starts building, maybe it won't be this ebook but another one I wrote and I will sell more books and become more popular. I know everything takes time. I am a small fish in a digital ocean that is infinite but I am there and my ripples are growing everyday and then the day will come where I am a typhoon.

I am writing this while a large snow storm is ransacking north east United States, you probably are not going anywhere today. I know I am tucked inside my house and watching the snow fall and the absence of plow trucks. Why not curl up with a blanket in front of the fire, if you have one, and read Nickolaus.

Monday, December 9, 2013

The End of One Thing, The Beginning of Another

So in my last post I rambled on about how I have to finish my novel. Then I sat down and actually finished it since there wasn't that much more to go. As of now, the final word count is 64,705 which more than likely will change before I feel there is a final draft. I double spaced the manuscript and the novel is 210 pages. Which seems like a lot to some people and it is amazing to say I wrote a novel. Hot dog. As I say over and over again, I don't want this to die, I want to edit it and find either a publisher or an agent.  The world of publishing now is a lot different than when Stephen King started so I needed to find an author who was popular and current to figure out my next step so I chose Stephenie Meyer author of Twilight. According to her website, she eventually got picked up by an agent at Writer's House and the rest is history.  I am going to try that one once I get a few chapters edited. There is another agency that I might try first because they are  supposed to be experts in horror, fantasy and science fiction. I think I will fit better there.

Are you wondering why I am not editing my glorious and shocking and amazing novel? You have good reason to wonder. There is one thing that I do if I have the allotted time (sometimes freelance jobs I can't let a story sit, I have to write and edit in the same shot) is the let the story rest. I make sure I "x" out of the file and I don't look at it or read for at least a couple of days. So in that time of rest period (speaking of rest period, did you know when you cook meat you are supposed to let it rest before cutting it up? Its supposed to keep the meat juicer as it is cut up) I am working on an upcoming ebook.  The cover is already done and the story is almost finished. I do have a self-imposed deadline because it is a Christmas story so I want it on Kindle before Christmas.

The ebook is called "Nickolaus" and it is a story about Santa. I will say this because I don't want to give too much away.  This ebook is intended for young adults and older and there is a twist. Sure, there is some sentimental moments but the twist will blow your socks off. It is not a story like Silent Night, Deadly Night (killer Santa) or the other one which has some wrestler in it which I can't think of right now (It was on Netflix maybe it was called St. Nick). Since the cover is done I will be working on finishing the story and editing in the next couple of days.

Once the ebook is published I am going to start editing the novel. I figured out the best way to approach this and that is one chapter at a time. I don't use fancy shmancy writing software, I use Word Perfect which more people should us as opposed to Word because it is more superior than Word. Anyway what I am going to do is copy one chapter and edit that chapter. I already made a list of things I already know I need to fix when  it comes to story. I also know how the story ends, I know every detail so things I wrote in the beginning may have to reflect the ending. One chapter at time, one day at a time. When it comes time to put the book back together it is simple with Word Perfect. I used asterisks for chapter breaks so it didn't interfere with the word count. In the final draft I will have Chapter 1, Chapter 2 etc (no titles I don't like them and I think it gives too much of the story away.)

I love Christmas so I tend to write a Christmas story and a poem. I already wrote the poem. I hope to have a Christmas story written for here before Christmas. Suburban Vampires will return in the New Year with an exciting new chapter where I going to try something new and it has to do with POV (point of view. Don't worry I am switching between first person and third person). This is something I dabbled with in the book I wrote. Sometimes things just switch into place.

My advice for the week: drink plenty of fluids, piss often and remember my name.

Monday, December 2, 2013

50,000 and Beyond

I probably was supposed to write about the novel last week but more than likely I forgot or I didn't feel like it. I made it 50,000 words one week before the end of November then I marched right on over and validated the novel. But it is not done and the week between getting that word goal and now well that is a different story. I totally slacked on writing. The novel is not done but it is close at 60,000 words. Then  I went to ultimate panic mood which was not necessary, the going rate for a novel is MORE than 75,000 words. I am aiming for 65,000 because I don't think the novel needs to be boring just to fill in words. Then I did a little bit of searching...

Stephen King's first novel Carrie had around 62,000 words. This novel is special because it was rejected so many times and finally someone had the belief in this book and look at him now. The Old Man and the Sea  was really short with coming in less than 30,000 words. Of Mice and Men and The Great Gatsby were all short books coming in with word counts less than 75,000. You can look all this up on the web, sites like and have information on word counts. So my blood pressure went down, some that is. I am a crux now in the writing, I am so close to finish and I want to finish but the scene I am working on his holding me up. Oh yes, I know that is an excuse and that is probably why I am writing on here right instead of finishing the novel.

Of course, if a book is a good it doesn't matter what the word count is. Speaking of word count, I always hated word counts and many times when I had to write literary essays, my teacher was a stickler for word count and didn't matter if the essay was good with a short word count she want shit filler. For a long time, I wrote what I wanted to and when the story was done it was done. I have written very short stories to novellas in my time. Of course, the anti-word count sentiment does tend to be troublesome when it comes to finding publishers because publishers have adhere to word count because of space issues. Okay that was off topic...

The title of the novel I am writing is Moonswallow Gates which is the name of the house in the book. I wasn't going to use that name as the title but oddly enough there were no other titles worthy. So my main goal now is to finish the book. Then edit the book somewhere in there I should start looking for a publisher because I don't want this to die, this book just might change my life. This might be the book that allows me to stay at home and keep writing without working in the real world. This is my book and I think it is awesome.