Overnight

Don’t camp overnight by yourself they say. It’s dangerous they say.

I trek through the green forest, branches smack me in the face but it doesn’t bother me. This is why I’m out here; to experience nature, to be free, to getaway.

Although the mosquitoes are a pain, even after using a can of bug spray they keep buzzing around. I smack one on my arm and the guts spread then wipe it on my pants.

It’s only a two-night trip, many women camp alone, right? Well, I am. I will dominate nature and make it my bitch. I have all the right gear, skills and attitude for this, at least I keep telling myself. Besides, the photographs I take will be amazing for the photography contest. My next months rent check depends on winning.

Sure, I could have picked a less scary place to camp; they don’t call it the Dark Trail for nothing. There are stories of people disappearing or seeing things that couldn’t exist, like ghosts. The stories are by loonies anyway.

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The Dark Trail isn’t so dark. It leads to the most beautiful waterfall in the area. Pictures of it are non-existent since the area is apparently haunted. Most people get so frightened they don’t stay the night, or don’t return at all.

I hike ten miles to my destination by the lake, using the GPS. Sweat has saturated my clothes leaving them damp. I peel them off and hang them from a tree to air out. After I set up my tent and build a fire, the sun is setting.

It’d be a good time to grab photos before it gets dark. I pull out my Canon and snap a few. First of the lake, trees and then someone next to a tree.

What?

A figure, standing is all black with nothing to show. I jump up and gasp, moving away from the lens. My eyes wide open but there’s nothing there. It’s gone. I peer back through the lens, nothing, just a bird taking a crap on a rock.

I shake off the jitters and try to focus. I saw someone, I swear.

I call out across the lake. No answer and the air is stale and humid.

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Darkness is near and I don’t feel like having a S’mores anymore. I crawl in the safety of the tent and grip the sleeping bag close. The woods aren’t haunted and it’s in my mind. I’m asleep within minutes.

The next morning dawn breaks and I crawl out of the tent. A few scattered clouds create a dark cast. I don’t hear any birds chirping, it’s silent like nothing is alive. After stretching out, my eyes gaze forward and stop.

My camera, it’s in the middle of my campsite. How did it get out here?

I pick it up and look around. There are no animal tracks. Did I sleep walk and drop it in the middle of the night? No, I didn’t even wake up to pee. I woke up still clutching the sleeping bag. A chill crawls up my spine.

I turn the camera on and scroll through the photos. My heart stops and fear enters my veins like an IV. No matter what explanation I come up with it’s not rational, there’s no way I took these photos. They are pictures of me asleep in the tent.

 

Thank you for reading! All feedback is welcome! Pictures taken from https://pixabay.com/

I will be posting more short stories soon!

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What’s the Obsession with Zombies?

Zombies are everywhere, on television I mean. If the zombie apocalypse happens, I’m getting the heck out and bringing my guns and ammo with.

I can say I’ve been into the zombie madness since I was a kid. I remember watching George A. Romero’s movies thinking zombies were so scary. The thought of people being eaten alive makes me cringe and freaks me out. I still have zombie nightmares but that could be attributed to I watch a lot of horror movies.

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The first Resident Evil game (back when it was good) took many hours of my youth. I remember we’d play that game waiting to be scared shitless. Back when I was a teenager and could drink Mountain Dew and eat pizza by the boxes. Boy, do I miss those days.

I’m a fan of The Walking Dead, who isn’tThe show has its ups and downs, but overall I enjoy it. Team Daryl! I also love Abraham, Glenn and Michonne.

I have a zombie/horror novellas series I’ve been working on for a few years. It takes place in Washington and the main character drives a muscle car. When I feel the urge to work on something different it’s a good time.

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It’s almost October which means horror madness and more zombies! I plan on doing a few rounds of zombie laser tag and a haunted house or two.

Is anyone sick of the zombie trend yet? What are your thoughts?

 

Other Projects

I wrote a novel! That’s great, now I need to work on another one. Successful writers are always coming up with new ideas and continue to write. I have to keep this in mind when it comes to writing.

I finished editing one of my novels and I’m ready for something new. It’s easy to get wrapped up on one story, and not work on other projects. There are so many ideas I have and I keep them written down for later.

My new book is a thriller with some mystery. It’s an idea that’s been floating around for quite some time, and I feel like it’s the right time to write it. The creative process is so much fun and I love making new characters. This new story has gotten me into the creative flow and I try to keep the ideas coming.

My goal for the next two months is to complete a rough draft. I estimate about 1000-2000 words a day, so I think it’s doable.

 

 

 

My Hero Bruce Campbell

This post is something that gives me inspiration and a good laugh. Next week, Ash Vs. Evil Dead returns so I’m going to write about my favorite actor and hero, Bruce Campbell.

Bruce Campbell is the star of Evil Dead and Army of Darkness. I’ve been a fan of these movies since I was a teenager. I saw Army of Darkness with my older brother Jimmy for the first time. SPOILERS AHEAD! (If you haven’t seen these movies you need to check them out.)

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Jimmy swore it was, “An awesome movie, and that I needed to watch it.” Jimmy always got me into horror movies and let me watch South Park and all the stuff I shouldn’t have been watching that young, so I was all for it. Anything he liked, I liked. I didn’t realize it till the other day but I got a lot of inspiration and credit my sense of humor to my big brother. (Thanks bro, I owe you one.)

So Jimmy and I watch it and I’m hooked from the beginning. When Ash fights the evil witch in the pit, and throws it into the spikes. The Wiseman drops him the chainsaw and it fits perfectly in the nub of what used to be his hand. My brother even acted it out with the CLICK and I will always remember that. We laughed so hard my stomach hurt. I can’t remember a time where we laughed harder. It’s probably one of the best memories I have with Jimmy, and I’m sure he doesn’t even know that.

Ash has so many cool one liners I can’t list them all, but here are my favorites.

“Groovy.”

“This is my Boom Stick!”

“You’re leading but two things right now, Jack and shit and Jack left town.”

“Hey, what’s that you got on your face?”

“Good. Bad, I’m the guy with the gun.”

“Honey, you got real ugly.”

There’s plenty more that would fill up this entire post.

Ash has to say the three words to get the Book of the Dead, he does a fake cough on the last word because he forgot. Ash ends up raising the Army of the Dead and has to prepare the primitive screw heads (Ash’s words not mine) to fight the army. I could write about this movie for ten pages but I’ll keep it short.

Bruce Campbell is very inspiring and reminds me of the kind of hero I’d like to write about. There are a few things you can learn from him, to fight evil you need…

  • Chainsaw
  • Boomstick
  • Sarcastic humor
  • Wooden hand (optional)

Bruce makes mistakes and a lot of them. He messes up all the time but usually finds some way to fix it. Sure, it’s not always a happy ending but that’s Bruce. He has no special powers compared to Superman but his wit helps him fight evil.

Are you a Bruce Campbell fan? Let me know!

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Critiquing My Work

Having a big ego and writing will not mix well, I’ve learned to throw it out the door. I’m still an amateur and have work to do. My grammar isn’t the best and I tend to throw in a lot of useless words in my writing.

I’ve been working on short stories because they are fun and easier for a friend to read. There’s no time commitment and I can show what I’m capable of. This also makes it easy for someone to give me feedback.

This past week I’ve shared a short story with three different people, so far the comments were positive with some minor questions. Overall, they enjoyed the story. One person said it even stuck with them for a few days. That was so awesome to me! Fear has always kept me back on showing my work but I’m trying to move past that. I think it’s a good first step.

It’s easy to feel our stories are perfect, even after hours of editing, but there is always something that could be better. I’m learning that having my work critiqued is crucial.

I’ve been using a software called ProWritingAid. It’s been helping me quite a bit and for now is the most cost effective for my work. It’s been helping me see what words I can omit and fixing grammar.

Now if I find a Beta reader to read my 75,000 word novel that’d be great!

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Do I Really Have to Edit?

The dreaded edit process, its one reason I could never finish a writing project. It’s always the least amount of fun when it comes to writing. However, in the last few months I’ve been editing a lot more and learning how to make it easier.

I just finished editing my novel and this time scenes were cut or added. When I say cut it was extra words, run on sentences or dialogue that just wasn’t necessary and didn’t move the story along.

Editing was something I used to dread but it gets easier each time. I feel like the next step is to find some beta readers to give me their input and criticism. It’s hard to put my work out there since I’m very shy but I need to learn to get over that.

Here’s a rundown on what I’ve learned so far.

  • Give your draft time to cool off (at least a week, more if you can) look at it with fresh eyes
  • Read it aloud, especially the dialogue. Pretend you’re the characters speaking
  • Give yourself enough time to edit thoroughly; a chapter a day works for me. I work full time so this works best without being rushed. It also leaves me time to write for fun and work on other projects
  • If you can, don’t do it when tired or your brain is fried. If you can edit when you first wake up kudos.

I’d like to start sending out query letters, but there is more to learn first. I still want to improve my manuscript and learn more about the industry in general.

Anyone else dread the edit process? What works well for you?

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