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Write Like the Wind was created to bring together writers–new and experienced–and readers. The goal is have interesting content for both.

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The Novel : Part 2

This is part 2 of my WIP, as I put it up in stages. The rest can be found under “Works in Progress” on the menu. I appreciate any thoughts at all, especially if you like it so I will be motivated to keep on going. This is just a first draft, there may be typos.

 

He got off at midnight, and with great alertness made the long, snowy trek home.

He pulled into the drive, smiling at the sight of his house. With its white siding and navy blue shutters it was the quintessence of home. The kitchen light glowed like a fireplace, promising warmth and comfort. The house begged for a painting. He’d have to do it this year—between his writing, of course.

Just inside the back door, he stomped his boots, set them neatly by the bench, and hung his dripping coat and hat.

Norma was always in bed when he arrived. She had probably spent the afternoon painting china, like she did most days. She painted flowers and frills on cups and plates for hours on end and he had no idea why. The dishes never seemed to leave the house either, and every surface was overflowing with delicate china. Only once had he suggested relieving themselves of some of the clutter. He only made that mistake once. If she liked it, who was he to stop her?

He turned off the kitchen light and went into the office. It was just off the living room and in the summer succeeded in being both bright and cozy. His sprawling collection of books lined the walls, every shelf overflowing. On the sturdy mahogany desk sat a green lamp, the kind one sees in old libraries or lawyer’s offices. He sat on the creaking wooden swivel chair and pulled out the notebook. He paused for a moment, looking at his books that surrounded him like old friends. If Norma suggested relieving themselves of some books he would have the same reaction.

Someday, his own book would find its place on these shelves. Right there, in fact, front and center. Smiling, wrote until he fell asleep, crouched over the desk.

“Did you fall asleep like that?” Norma asked, pulling open the green curtains that covered both large windows. The sun cut through his eyelids. He yawned and stretched his stiff neck.

“What time is it?”

“Time for breakfast,” she said as she went out.

“Do you know where the typewriter is?”

Norma came back in the room to look at him. “Why?”

“Writing by hand is too slow. I can’t keep up with my thoughts.”

“Mr. Speedy-thinker here, hm? Go get cleaned up and I’ll find it.”

When he came back down for breakfast it sat on his desk, dusty, yet shining with potential.

“You and I are going to do great things,” he told it.

They ate eggs and toast and coffee, and read the local paper.

“Time for Jeopardy,” she said. She always recorded it the night before and waited for him to watch it.

“Not today.” He finished his coffee and headed to the office. “It’s my day off and I have the whole day to write my masterpiece.”

She followed him down the hall. “Twenty-four years we have been watching Jeopardy. Even when you had your surgery we never missed a morning. And today you’re just going to quit?”

“Just for today. I’m sorry. You go on ahead.” He sat in the waiting chair and swung toward her.

She stood with her mouth open. A string hung from the bottom of her pink bathrobe, reaching for the pink rabbits on her feet.

Greg turned back to the typewriter. She walked off down the hall.

He licked his lips and rested his hands on the keys. They trembled together in expectation.

Once there was a man by the name of eore. And he lived in a town named eoria.

“Ugh! Come on.” He pushed the G key. Nothing. He fiddled with the key. Less than nothing. It flat refused to move.

“Norma!”

She ran in the office. “What’s wrong?”

“This key is stuck. Do you know how to fix it?”

“Good lord, Greg. I thought someone was dying by your voice. Now I have to rewind the VHS.” She turned away.

“I can’t write a whole book without the letter G. Or what about my name? It will read, ‘The Novel by re erwitz.’ I’ll look like the subject line of a business letter.”

He heard Jeopardy rewind and play again in the other room.

“What do I do now?”

He kept typing. After he pulled the page from the machine he hand wrote the missing letter. After about three pages, he rethought the name of his main character.

He wrote for several more hours. The frantic tap-tapping encouraging him to continue. It was the sound of progress, of success.

At lunch he looked through the Times.

“I think I’ll buy a new typewriter,” he said between bites of turkey and cheese sandwich.

Norma made a fake surprised face. “You’re going to spend money on a new hobby?”

“Don’t say it like that. It won’t be a hobby when I get paid for it.”

“Do you really need a new typewriter? How long are you really going to use it?”

“Until I finish my novel, at least.”

“How long will that be—if you finish?”

“Robert Louis Stevenson wrote The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in three days.”

“Didn’t he also marry his thirteen-year-old cousin?”

“That was Edgar Allen Poe.” Greg waved his hand.

“Whatever the case, he probably knew what he was doing.”

“Now-”

“Is this going to be like the time when you wanted to take up painting? And we had to buy an easel and paint and canvas?”

“It was too difficult to learn from books. And you used most of that stuff.”

“Or when you bought that harp?”

“It made my fingers bleed.”

“Or maybe when you bought that expensive camera and all that film, but you didn’t want to go outside to actually take any pictures?”

“I’ve liked writing since high school. And I was quite good at it, if you’ll remember.”

“I know. The newspaper club.” She put her hands up. But you see my point, when’s the last time you finished something?”

“I will finish this. I’ve set a goal for myself. It’ll hit the press by the end of December.”

“Want to bet?”

“We have the same money.”

“It doesn’t have to be money.”

Greg shook his head. He didn’t like the sound of this.

“If you finish, I’ll get rid of my china.”

Greg gulped. “And?”

“If you don’t finish,” she rubbed her chin. “(You have to get rid of your books/other things. Take me on vacation.)

“I hardly think that’s fair.”

“Of course it is. But it shouldn’t matter, since you are so sure you will finish.”

She reached for his hand.

He shook it. “You should start packing now.”

“But really, if you’re going to buy something, why don’t you just get a computer?”

“How is that better than a typewriter?”

“You can do more things with it. It will be easier to edit. The keys won’t ever get stuck.”

“Let’s go get one.”

“Are you serious? Computers have been around for twenty years and you’ve never once been inclined.”

“Now I am. Are you going to the store with me or not?” He stood and looked for the keys. He had no idea where the computer store was, and hoped he wouldn’t have to ask.

Her mouth hung open. “Sure. I’d like to see this historic moment.”

Wiley was so small, in fact, that they had to drive to the next town over for the store.

The automatic doors slid open, and warm air blasted out at them. A handful of people milled about inside.

“Sure is busy,” Greg said.

A young boy came up to them. “Welcome to Computer World. How can I help you today?”

“Maybe we should go to a smaller store,” Greg said to Norma, reaching for her arm.

“This is where they sell computers, Greg.”

The boy stood waiting. His name tag read, ‘Blaze’ and his hair was blue at the ends.

Blaze and Norma were both looking at him. He couldn’t back down now.

“I’d like to buy a computer?”

“Right this way.” Blaze set off and they followed, Norma tried to hold in her laughter.

“Do you want a laptop or pc?”

“Pardon?”

Blaze squinted and spoke slowly. “Do you want a computer that you can take with you, like this? Or a bigger one that stays in your house?”

“I just didn’t understand you,” Greg said. “I’m not deaf.”

“Sorry, man. So what do you want to do with the computer?”

“He’s writing the next American classic,” Norma said, adding a mocking face.

“Come on, Norma.” He spread his hands out.

“Your words, not mine.”

“You probably won’t be needing much processing power or video cards for text only files. Something like this would probably be good for you.” He led him to a monitor.

Greg moved to the smaller ones. “How about one of these portable ones?”

“Where in heaven’s name are you going to take a computer?” Norma asked.

“You never know where my research is going to take me.”

“Any chance of Timbuktu?” (“Back to the side of sanity and reason, I hope.”)

Greg tapped at the keyboard of one. “No sticking. I’ll take this one.”

“This one is more for gaming. Maybe-”

“The man wants that one,” Norma said.

“Okay. Will you be needing a printer?” Blaze dared to ask.

Greg turned the laptop over. “You mean this doesn’t print?”

 

The typewriter—a page still hanging out of it all askew, and missing all its g’s—sat forgotten in the corner of the office. Greg tapped at the keyboard, watching letters appear on the white screen. He nearly giggled with joy.

“Now we are writing,” he said.

The words flowed from his fingers like never-ending rivers; they poured out like a roaring waterfall. His characters were quirky and likeable. His plot twisted like a vine, creeping its way up a tree in the rainforest. He could feel the awards coming—the Faulkner Award, the Pulitzer Prize! If there was a walk of fame for authors like there was for actors in Hollywood, his name would be memorialized with names like Hemingway, Twain, Poe, Lovecraft-

“Are you ready to go out?” Norma stood in the door of the office, putting on her pearl earrings.

The breath went out of him. “Now?”

“What do you mean now? It’s four o’clock. It’s Wednesday.”

He looked from his blossoming masterpiece to his wife, then back again.

“Yes, now, Greg.”

“How about next-”

“I let you skip Jeopardy. If you think you’re getting out of our one night a week out for dinner, you can forget it.” The pointer finger was out and resistance was futile. (to resist any more would be futile.)

“Yes, dear,” he sighed. He looked at the keyboard and typed one more word.

“Now!” she yelled from the kitchen.

“Just finishing my thought, dear,” he said.

♦♦♦♦

Behind the Scenes: Get Lenin

Take a peek behind the scenes with author Robert Craven of the first book in his Wartime Spy Thriller Series.

Fans love Get Lenin‘s “intrigue and suspense,” “believably flawed characters,” and “rare insight into the truth.” – Amazon Reviews

 

  • What was the seed that started this Get Lenin and the series?

Get Lenin started roughly in 1996 when I read a review in The Sunday Times of a book called ‘Lenin’s Embalmers’ by Ilya Zbarsky. In 1941, when Nazi Germany invaded the USSR, Stalin had the mausoleum shipped in its entirety to the Urals, for fear it could be used as a propaganda coup by Hitler if it fell into his hands.

Eva who became the heroine appeared in the first drafts only half-way as a translator, and my wife, Fiona read it suggested I develop Eva more. Eva then became the book and altered its shape from then on.

  • Who is your favourite character – the one you’re most like?

Eva’s handler – Henry Chainbridge. He usually articulates my thoughts the clearest. He’s a complicated character, born in Belfast in a mixed marriage of protestant and catholic and the family leave Ireland to live in Liverpool. He’s an idealist, but has quite a cynical streak. He can be utterly ruthless too, a trait I share with him. His name came from a playground climbing frame that my son, Liam, was trying to cross – a chainbridge.

  •  Which is your favourite scene?

My favourite scene is the opening chapter of the book. Eva is in Munich in 1938 for the conference. She has retrieved information from a Russian attaché, and as she devises the method to send this on to the allies, we find her clever, beautiful and sexy. I pictured in my head as an opening, a single tracking shot from a luxury hotel suite, through the foyer, past the Gestapo and into a waiting cab. You never see Eva’s face until the cab drops her to the hotel.

  • What scene is on the cutting room floor?

Great question! Henry Chainbridge is followed through London by two German assassins, once Eva’s information has been passed on. It was tightly written as Chainbridge evades his attackers. A bit like The French Connection involving the underground tube and the streets on London. I plan to slot it in somewhere in another adventure.

  • What was your writing process?

The process was laborious at times. I didn’t really start writing properly until 2006 when I turned 40 and drew up a bucket list. Write a novel was on the very top. !
I started writing (as I still do today) with any free time I have. I got the first draft to 26,000 words and then was fortunate to meet the late Neil Marr who owned a small e-book publishing company; BeWrite Books. He put me in touch with another writer, Hugh McCracken, who had been a child in the London blitz and a WW2 buff. He knocked all the historical errors into shape and got me disciplined in editing. I then rewrote the entire book building it up to 50,000 words.

I researched extensively, reading books such as ‘Stalingrad’ by Antony Beevor and ‘Russia’s War’ by Richard Overy. For Eva I read up on the lives of Ava Gardner and The Mitford sisters. Now, I usually read up extensively first. Fill notebooks, then start writing, trying to weave history into the narrative.

  • What was the hardest part?

Getting the history right – politics, world-view – guns, uniforms and ranks for the soldiers. You must remember a phone call in 1941 took 20 minutes to connect and there were no supersonic jets to ferry the characters into action.
The second and probably harder part was the pitch. I still have a log of the all the emails and postage I made – 285 pitches in total as far away as Australia and India of which I received 71 responses, all rejections.

  • Did you ever want to give up?

Yes. I took a year off from writing the piece, and really believed during that time, it wouldn’t see the light of day. I kept pitching it in its raw form and it became quite debilitating. I attended life figure drawing classes in Dublin on weekends and on one sitting I was drawing a young woman. As I kept working on it, I had a light-bulb moment – Eva could become an artist’s muse in pre-war Europe and her character began to develop in my head. What kept me going? I really thought I had an original story, an original book that I would love to see on a bookshelf. As the book became more refined, I started to believe totally in it. 

  • What’s next?

I have three other Eva books after Get Lenin. Zinnman, A Finger of Night, and Hollow Point. Eva fights through the war years of 1939-1943. I’ve stopped at that and have started the fifth and final adventure for her, provisionally titled ‘Eagles Hunt Wolves’, its set in post-war Europe in 1946.

Get Lenin is an adventure book, very much in the airport turntable tradition. But it does have a thread of universal truth; how propaganda is as manipulative today as it was over 80 years ago. The novel doesn’t try to be preachy, or opinionated, but in amid the crash-bang-wallop is a message: Powerful men with twisted beliefs can all too easily unleash the dogs of war.

get lenin1

Check it out on Amazon

or Kobo

Writing Advice From Kurosawa

Akira Kurosawa is widely accepted as one of the most influential filmmakers in the history of cinema. He directed 30 films over 57 years, including the famous movies Seven Samurai (1954) and Yojimbo (1961). You’ve probably heard his name somewhere, even if it’s just that Bare Naked Ladies song, “One Week.”

Point is, this guy knew what he was doing. He knew not only how to make great, iconic films, he also knew how to write stories. Stories that were timeless and unforgettable, that spoke of human nature and truth. In this interview I found on YouTube (I’ll put the link at the end) he gives a bit of advice to aspiring filmmakers, but it applies to us writers just as well.

People would complain to him saying its hard to make films, and expensive. He said, write screenplays. All you need is paper and a pencil. And, most importantly, patience. Writing can be dull, editing can be boring, especially after hours of it, or compared to something else that’s much easier. But we need to have the patience to “write one word at a time until you reach the required length.”

How patient are you? The times we live in do not promote patience. Everything is instant gratification, get it now, do it quick. If your internet is being slow, how long does it take you to freak out? And we all want our book to be done now. For our ideas to be out on paper already, getting read as soon as possible, and on to the next thing. Really, we might need to relearn patience.

And you might really need to relearn it. Kurosawa says that if you can improve your patience, you’ll get to a point where writing is easy. Patience can help in many aspects of our lives and they’ll all relate back to our writing, making it all the better.

Like mountain climbers, we should keep our heads down and walk one step at a time, not constantly looking up at the peak to see how far we have to go. (We all have a long way to go, let’s not think of it!) He urges us to not give up right away, and to “write all the way to the end, no matter what.”

He goes on to give other priceless advice, but I’ll keep it just to being patient. What about you? Is writing a habit for you? Is it so routine that you don’t give up when it gets tough? If you aren’t there yet, then keep on writing everyday until it’s like brushing your teeth, you don’t even have to think twice about it. Just keep putting down one word after another.

Here’s the video on YouTube.

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Let’s all keep plugging along until we get to the top!

The Novel – Part One

So I thought I would share my Work In Progress here. This is just part one, and I will regularly add the rest of the story (subscribe if you want to keep up.) Any feedback is appreciated. Please feel free to rip it apart, it’s still the first draft and anything is subject to change. It’s a feel good story and the synopsis is as follows.

Aging Greg Gerwitz has never written a line in his life, nor has he done anything worth writing about. One January morning he decides to write a novel within the year. But first he must figure out how to write, what to write, and maybe he’ll learn what life’s all about.

 

The Novel : A Novel

by Greg Gerwitz

(But really by Brittany Miller)

 

“All I have to do is put fifty-thousand words down in an interesting order. How hard could it be?”

“Sounds great, darling.”

“I’ve been wanting to write a novel for a long time now, it’s not a snap decision.”

“I know.” Norma set the coffee pot back in its place. She leaned against the counter and sipped. He sat at the kitchen table the table and they looked at each other.

“And I was washing my hair this morning and I decided, Greg, today’s the day. Today I write my novel. It’s a new year, a new beginning.” Indeed, it was January third, and there was no time like the present. The beginning of a new calendar was the perfect time for new goals.

“I don’t think you’re going to finish it today.” She looked up at the clock. “It’s already three in the afternoon.”

“Well, okay, not all of it.” He put his turkey and cheese on wheat sandwich in the lunchbox, along with an apple and a bag of pretzels.

“What is it going to be about?”

“I think I’ll write the next modern American classic.” Like Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, Moby Dick. Wait, Melville was American, but is Moby Dick considered an American classic?

“I don’t think you get to decide that.” Norma filled his thermos with the rest of the coffee.

“You have to put the sugar first,” he said, but it was too late. She dumped the sugar on top and stirred. He sighed. “You think I can’t write a classic?” After twenty some odd years one would think the woman would know how to make a cup of coffee.

“I didn’t say anything about can’t.” She set the thermos beside the lunchbox and stood in the middle of the kitchen, with pink slippers over her nylons. They always reminded him of rabbits.

“Why not?” he asked.

“Because then every author would write a classic.”

“They can’t all be classics.” If they were all classics, then none of them would be. He put on his jacket over his button-up shirt and sweater vest.

“Exactly my point.”

“Fine. I’ll write a heartwarming, haunting tale of a tollbooth operator and his quest to find the meaning of life.” He pulled on his tweed flat cap.

“Sounds great.” She patted his chest and left the kitchen.

Greg grabbed his lunch and thermos and went out the back door. “And then it will become a classic.”

Snow drifted through the air, settled on the wooden deck and shivering birches. From his home he couldn’t see any of the neighbors, although they stood close enough. The air hung silently, padded by the snow so that even his footsteps were quiet. In the shoveled gravel driveway the station wagon awoke like a bear after hibernation. Chopin blasted from the radio; he jumped to turn it down a notch.

Greg hummed down the drive, down Chestnut Street, past naked trees gathering snow and streams freezing at their edges, swaying his head with the rise and fall of the piano, contemplating his plot, his characters, his impending success in influencing literature forever. Orchestras the world over provided the score for the half-hour commute through Wiley to the highway.

 

Greg pulled into the tiny employee parking lot, just left of the three-lane tollbooths. The booths straddled the highway from Vermont to New York, halting workers and tourists in their commute much longer than Greg’s.

He took a deep breath, pulled down his cap, then went into the even smaller break room and office.

“Hey, Greg. What’s going on?” Joey was a dependable, if unimaginative boss, with brimming cheeks covered by a struggling beard. Greg wondered if he grew the mutton chops to keep from having a baby face. Who could respect a boss with a baby face? It wasn’t his fault, it was just his face.

“Hey there, Joey. I’m going to write a novel.” Greg stood in front of the coffee station and took a Styrofoam cup. He picked up the sugar dispenser. It was empty.

“That’s nice.” Joey sat behind the desk smashed in the corner and covered with papers.

Bill came in and instantly filled the crowded room. He had a voice that reminded Greg of a death metal concert he had gone to once, mistaking it for a symphony. Bill clapped Greg on the back.

“What’s going on, Gerwitz?”

“I’m writing a novel.” He finished filling the sugar dispenser and screwed on the lid.

“Oh yeah?” He reached past Greg for the coffee pot and emptied it into his cup. “What about?”

Greg watched his coffee spill down the throat of another man. “I think about a tollbooth operator.”

“A comedy then? Yeah, let me read it when you’re done. It’ll give me something to laugh at. You hear this guy, Joey?” He clapped Greg on the back again and went out to his car.

Greg sighed and put back the empty cup.

Joey grunted. “Write it on your own time, you’ve got rush hour coming and it’s holiday season still.”

“Of course, sir.” He tromped through the gathering snow to his booth. He tapped on the glass and Maria waved. She finished with the car at the window and collected her things.

“Whew, it’s busy today,” she said, switching places with him. She was a kind soul; Greg always regretted that he never had the time to talk to her past pleasantries.

“Do you think it’s a silly idea to write a novel?” He asked, taking off his hat and settling in.

“Not at all. Why? You going to write one?”

“Yes. Yes I am.”

She smiled and trudged off. He closed the door to the booth, closing out the sharp breeze. All he knew about her was that she had four kids and a sick husband. How she still managed to smile, he didn’t know.

The man at the booth held his money out the car window. “Come on,” he said. “I don’t have all day here.”

“Sorry, sir. Shift change. Have a nice day.”

The line of cars stretched out beyond the horizon. He settled down in his chair and cleaned melted flakes off his glasses. When he had a second to breathe, he pulled out his notebook from the lunchbox. Covered with soft, brown leather; stiff paper lined and graced by a dancing swirl in every corner. He had bought the thing, boy, years ago, when he first got it into his head to take up writing. Somehow he had never gotten around to it. Now that he thought about it, he couldn’t think of a single thing that had prevented him—only he just never started.

He would fill it now though—this year. Soon it would be brimming with ideas and maps, with details and plot twists, with crazy characters and stunning metaphors. He rubbed the cover. Yes, by the end of December, at least, he’d have a complete manuscript in his hands. No, better than that, he’d have an acceptance slip and advance check from the publisher. This time next year, his name would be in print, hardback, in the window display of Love’s Bookstore. Although Jeff wouldn’t be able to hold them for long, the way they’d fly off the shelves like-

“Hello?” said the person at the window.

“Oh, excuse me.”

Sometimes between cars, he’d have a minute to jot down some notes. When traffic died down after six, he sat back and thought. Between flashes of inspiration he worked on the Times crossword puzzle and sipped the cooling coffee.

♦♦♦

Behind the Scenes: Necrotic City

Take a peek behind the scenes of the story of Adrian, a professional Hero with a conscience; a dying city wracked by corruption and civil unrest; and a company that will stop at nothing to prevent Adrian from spilling its secrets.

Fans were instantly hooked. “I immediately submerged into its futuristic world and simply could not tear myself from the book till the last page was turned!” –Amazon reviewer, giving five stars.

The author of Necrotic City, Leland Lydecker, gives us an inside look into this dystopian future.

Necrotic City ebook

  • What was the seed that became Necrotic City?

I had an idea for a situation where the main character kind of has the weight of the world on his shoulders. He’s responsible for people’s safety, but he’s also just another cog in the machine of a company that doesn’t need him anymore. His compassion and dedication to his purpose are costing them money. There are consequences for disobeying the Company, but he keeps doing his job because people will die if he doesn’t.

  • Who is your favorite character? Which character are you most like?

My favorite character is Melbourne. She’s tough, fearless, smart, and unstoppable when she sets her sights on a goal. Both she and Vey, who rescues Adrian from a gruesome death in the second half of the story, were inspired in part by a lot of awesome women I’ve known.

As for who I’m most like, that’s a tough question. There’s a bit of me in many of my characters, but in this story I have the most in common with Adrian.

  • Which is your favorite scene?

There’s a scene later in the book where Adrian makes the mistake of trusting the wrong people. They drug him, drag him into the back of their safehouse, and strap him to a table. They’re going to dissect him so they can remove his high-tech implants and sell them. I feel like it really conveys the horror of being completely immobile and realizing that your hosts have been butchering unsuspecting people, and you’re about to be next.

  • What scene is on the cutting room floor?

In the first draft there was a scene that tied malware called Marionette.exe to the actions of a citizen who killed one of Adrian’s close friends.

In this high-tech future, virtually everyone has a brain implant called a neural interface. It allows the user to connect to the internet, take pictures, record video, chat with their friends, and pay for goods and services– basically all the functions of a phone, wallet, and laptop rolled into one. Thanks to the implant’s connection to the user’s central nervous system, this Marionette hijacker can basically turn people into human puppets, controlling their movements and even cutting off their ability to speak or call for help.

  • What was the hardest part of writing the book?

The hardest part to write was probably Chapter Six. Adrian is arrested and interrogated by a corrupt Enforcer, and I had to completely rewrite the interrogation a number of times. It was challenging to portray that kind of sneering, egotistical corruption and indifference to human suffering. It’s also painful to see a character you really like get beaten to within an inch of losing his life.

It was also hard sticking to it and not starting on other ideas that came along while I was writing Necrotic City. I kept going because I really like Adrian and a lot of the other characters, and I feel like their story deserves to be told. Plus I think it’s something people will really enjoy reading.

  • Will there be a sequel?

I am working on a sequel to Necrotic City and several short stories. I’m also working on a story told from the viewpoint of a sentient robot. The basic premise is what if you knew you were a person, but also knew that society would never view you as an equal? Would you try to escape? Would you try to prove your creators wrong?

I have a lot planned for 2018!

Necrotic City ebook

Check out the five star reviews on Amazon!

 

Leland can be found on Twitter, in his Author Website, or at his Blog.

What Can You Offer the World?

Imagine yelling in the middle of a riot, “I just want to be heard!” That’s what life can feel like these days. Especially if you’re on Twitter. Everyone is yelling, “Look at me!” or “Buy my book!” And we can start to believe that those who yell loudest get heard. Usually those people don’t have anything to say anyway.

There is a place for you in this world. There is something that only you can offer–be it a story, a picture, a song, a kind word at the right time. Every single person is unique and has something unique to share, and even one person can make a difference.

What do you have to offer the world? Maybe you don’t know yet, and that’s okay. The journey to figuring it out is worth it. You don’t have to follow the crowd or sell something to be worthwhile. So explore your strengths, write your stories, sing your songs, or whatever it is you do. You can enrich the world and make it better too. Every story is worth telling.

First Lines 2017

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Thank you all that participated to bring this list together! 

The list is presented in no particular order. Clicking on the Author’s Twitter name will open their profile in a new window.

  • Today I make history. – Tainted @MorganLBusse

  • The minister’s words were inaudible as Landon stood in acute silence. – Down to Sleep @TheKTDaxon

  • “You do know that even though your eyes are closed others can still see you.” – I Close My Eyes @ReginaPucket

  • Contrary to what it may seem at first glance, this isn’t a book that preaches the dangers of scientific progress or any of that pretentious anti-STEM field crap. – 2065 @bee_icey

  • The lights in the small living space brightened, signaling the end of his scheduled sleep cycle and causing Adrian to reluctantly open his eyes. – Necrotic City @Leland_Lydecker

  • I think back sometimes to the girl I used to be. – Children of Fate @JBStoneWrites

  • “It’ll be fun,” Millie promised as she dragged me into the dilapidated Victorian home where Madame Zaloney supplemented her Social Security checks by telling fortunes. – First Case Scenario @AuthorDeClark

  • Jan’s heart beat fast as he crouched, quite still, behind a huge beech tree. – The Hidden Village @ImogenMatthews3

  • The hypnotic sound of the surf lapping the shores of my private Maldivian island, along with the feel of the hot sunshine beating down upon my darkly tanned shoulders, was akin to heaven. – “No, I Haven’t Been Fishing!” @johnnieboy7

  • How is it that the best day of my life might also be the worst? – Wren @AliceLongaker

  • You pull me in closer, the words you said to me, “I’ll love you always and forever this was truly meant to be,” still felt as real to me since the day you told me. – Swept Away By Falling Leaves @RisingsonNews

  • Maybe this really was the day they’d go up in a blaze of glory. – The Goodall Marauders @GretchenRix

  • Rachel is having trouble sleeping and searches the kitchen for something edible to console her. – The Light in the Sound @vgonzalesauthor

  • The whistling in his ears faded. – A Hundred Tiny Threads @judithbarrow77

  • “Do you know what, Jacko? I’m going to be ten years old, on the tenth day of the tenth month—that’s got to be magical. – Billy Gets Bullied @thebillybooks

  • The early hours of the city drifted up through the hotel window-trams, cars and music. – Get Lenin @cravenrobert

  • Parlee set her travel bag down on her packed trunk, walked back into the dimly lit room, and stopped resolutely in front of the stone fireplace. – Parlee and the Dragon Keys @parleeauthor

  • Clyde Ridley is so butt ugly his own dog won’t look him in the eye. – KNIFE @BrendaNeil10

  • Oh the joyful rush! – Ceres 2525 @MicheaLeeNelson

  • I retreat slowly, cautiously, the ground shaking beneath me, his incessantly agonized cry screeching through my head as I toss his eye over my shoulder…it takes a while to realize I’m grinning…a grin as feral as I feel. – The Unnamed Ones @UGhostZWriterO

  • “Shit, I’m going to be late!” – Rapier @RADocCorrea

  • Do you want to know what goes on at a busy International Airport? Do you want to know how you behave when at the airport? – El Dorado? No! Heathrow Airport @author_tonylevy

  • The grey mist clung to her skin as she was led out the door, her sweater still hanging on the back of the kitchen chair. – (Untitled) @dcaroline78

  • At Ryan’s signal, Sage set her shield, Tempe dropped the guard on the left, and he took out the guard on the right. – Revealed @_nrtucker

  • I sucked down the last bitter foam of my warm beer with a final slurp, and banged the glass down on the makeshift bar. – Manumission @lizzyharding777

  • I feel like I’ve been riding through this desert for years but it’s probably only been a few weeks. – I In Time @MBergmannwriter

  • Tumbleweed Flats was the only town on this side of the country and it wasn’t much of a town. – Tumbleweed Flats (Afterworld) @writelikewind

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