Write Me: Thirty Word Story

It’s week three of my ‘Write Me’ posts and I’m getting into the swing of these exercises. The more words I have to play with, the easier it gets.

My thirty word story:

There comes a day in every girl’s life when she has to hoick up her big girl panties, wipe off the black mascara streaks, and admit that she deserves better.

 

Feel free to join in with your own thirty word stories, and let me know what you come up with.


All written works are the property of K.J.Chapman

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Word Count Weekly #16

I may not have hit a similar word count target to last week’s 10k, but I have had a good week in general and that’s all that counts. First things first, I have hit a reasonable word count that I’m pleased with…

4012 Words

I’ve also been finalising wedding prep this week; spray painting decorations like the concept is going out of fashion, and a girly day of make-up testing on Thursday. Next week’s word count may be lower again due to the fact that my wedding is on December 11th, eek!

12313731_1076468465737903_5274154940506809865_nNot only has wedding prep consumed my week, but Christmas prep has kind of spiraled too. This weekend has been the only weekend we all have had time to put the decorations up together, so that’s exactly what we did! Decorations, Santa meet ‘n ‘ greets, and Christmas shopping have made the week a busy one.

As for my writing, I had a monumental brainwave on Tuesday. An ending idea exploded in my mind with little ghgjgwarning, and had the force of a lightning bolt. However, jumping around the room with excitement was quickly replaced with nausea and heart break. Yes, the idea is a good one (even if I do say so myself), but it’s going to be a killer to write. I’ll get the tissues ready.

As I fore-mentioned, next week is going to be hit and miss as I try to keep Bridezilla at bay. There will be a small blog hiatus planned from December 5th, so watch out for the blog post about that one.

Excerpt from this week’s W.I.P:

I start awake to screams and a swerving sensation in my stomach. Rio wrestles the wheel as we careen off the road and into undergrowth. Cooper’s full weight pins me to the chair, but I push him away, raise my hand, and force out a blast of energy. The windscreen shatters outwards in a splintering crash, and the van stops dead, its tail end rising, and then slamming to the ground with a brain rattling thud.

“Is everyone alright?” Rio asks, his voice shaking.

I feel every inch of my body to double check. “What the hell happened?”

“You just saved our asses that’s what,” says Brick. “Was that lightning?” Rio just nods, staring out at the smoking bonnet. “Isn’t that lucky or something?”

Pug pulls a gun from his waistband. “Lucky? Where the fuck did it come from?”

“The sky dumb ass,” Brick says, laughing.

“Hardy har. Don’t you think it’s a little coincidental that there’s not a cloud in the sky and a bunch of renegade EVO get struck by lightning? Everyone out, masks on, and be ready.”

I reach out my telepathy- silence apart from Kid singing along to ACDC in his head. “There’s no one except Kid for as far as my telepathy can reach.”

Pug chews at a hang nail, unsure of my ability and the reliability of what I said. “Just keep your heads out of your asses and be vigilant.”

I pull my mask over my face, open the door, and step out into the chilling air. Pug’s right, the sky is clear. Lightning is not a possibility.


 

All excerpts are the works of K.J.Chapman

 

Review: The Change (Unbounded #1) by Teyla Branton

The Change (Unbounded #1) by Teyla Branton 4/5

Blurb: There are only two ways to kill Unbounded, and fire isn’t one of them—as law school dropout Erin Radkey learns the hard way. By fluke of a recessive gene, she has become Unbounded, a nearly immortal being with paranormal abilities.

Erin’s Change separates her from her loved ones and alters everything she believes to be true. A week earlier she was considering a marriage proposal; now she contemplates the best way to stay alive. Caught in a battle between two Unbounded groups, she is also hunted by a secret mortal society sworn to eradicate the Unbounded gene. Worse, a new identification software could mean death for all Unbounded—or enslavement for the entire mortal world.

As Erin plunges into this dangerous new life, she must carve out her own place in the madness, protect her mortal family, and decide which group she should join. Her powerful attraction to Ritter Langton, whose family was massacred by opposing Unbounded two hundred and forty years ago, complicates her choices. There are no second chances. Death, life, or love—Unbounded always play for keeps.

The concept of immortals is not a new one in fiction, but Branton’s unique take on a old concept was refreshing and engaging. She realistically builds a world where a select few are Unbounded, which means that around the age of thirty they stop aging at the speed of average humans. They are not immortal in the literal ‘live forever’ sense, but age centuries slower, can survive otherwise life threatening injuries, regenerate, and can be killed in a certain manner.

Branton highlights the struggles of these Unbounded humans in regards to relationships with family who inevitably they will see grow old and die. Some Unbounded even embark on relationships with ordinary humans, have children, and have to live with the possibility that they will watch them die too, unless on the off chance, one of their children inherit the gene. Unbounded female’s bodies reject birth control, and those who have lived for years and have felt the hurt of loss, understandably take a committed view on sex.

Erin Radkey is in an horrific car crash, severely burnt, and on the brink of death. That is, until her fourth great grandmother and a team of Unbounded known as Renegades steal her from the hospital, heal her, and introduce her to an Unbounded war between the Renegades, Mortal ‘hunters’, and the Emporium. Erin has to deal with her new life, the possibility of never seeing the only family she has ever known again, and picking a side in the deadly war.

The characters are well rounded and developed with personal stories and backgrounds that the reader is shown in snippets. We get to know Erin and the changes she is experiencing, and her new romance, although it feels doomed from the start, is engaging and real.

I thoroughly enjoyed this story and the writer’s ability to build a believable world with realistic consequences. I gave it 4 out of 5 stars due to a  fast paced plot twist in the mid section of the book that left my head spinning. I understand the motivation behind the twist (no spoilers), but it wasn’t drawn out enough for me to fully grasp the emotions, and the impact that should have been huge, felt a little disappointing. That being said, the fast moving story line is hypnotic and kept me turning the pages. I finished The Change in 3 days.

I would highly recommend this book, and I can’t wait to crack on with book two in the series.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J.Chapman and no other parties.

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review.

Prompt Me #3

Thank you to Gabriel over at A Little Me, Apparently for this week’s prompt. Check out Gabriel’s blog for fantastic, original poetry. Click that follow button, you won’t regret it.

I have just ten minutes to expand on the prompt, and I think you’ll agree that this is a GREAT prompt with a lot of scope to work with.

The Prompt:

“You’re crazy.”

“I may be crazy, but you’re insane.”

“What’s the difference?”

I laugh at Heath’s expression. “My craziness is just an extension of my eccentricity and I fully embrace that. Your insanity is an extension of your need to be institutionalised and that you can not accept.”

He tucks a loose strand of hair behind my ear. “It’s a good job you love me then, isn’t it?”

I pull him toward me and tangle my arms around his neck, pushing my lips against his. He still hasn’t lost the knack of making my knees go weak and he knows it. Lacing his fingers in my hair, he pulls me in closer still.

Dana scoffs. “The pair of you are fruit loops. Now, can you stop snogging and get back to work? These bombs ain’t gonna programme themselves.”

Heath offers her a mock salute and disappears down the corridor to find Judd.

“You still haven’t told him,” Dana states, without looking up from her laptop. I don’t reply. “So, he’ll want to take care of you, is that such a bad thing?”

“I’m not ready to admit it to myself let alone Heath. How can I be anyone’s Mum, Dana. I don’t understand babies and they certainly don’t understand me.”

“What’s to understand? Feed it when it’s hungry, change it when it craps, and don’t leave it in a locked car on a hot day.”

I chuckle whilst typing in what feels like the millionth code. She’s right, but if Heath knows I’m pregnant he’ll take me off the job. I’ve worked my butt off for the past thirteen months and I’m not going to sit it out now. I have the most riding on it. My Dad was one of the eight hundred and seventy six people who died because of that damned drug, and yet, they hushed it up, swept it under the rug, and are now making millions from the new and far from improved sister drug. We need to stop them, and I am sure as hell going to be there when we do.

“I’ll tell him tonight.”

“Tell me what?” says Heath. He lugs a chest of guns through the narrow passage, followed by Judd. I can’t catch my breath to speak. “Hallie, what is it?”

“I’ll tell you, but first you have to promise me that you won’t take me off the job. You know what this means to me.” He nods his head, concern etched in lines on his forehead. “I’m thirteen weeks pregnant. You’re going to be a Daddy, Heath.”

The look of concern is instantly replaced with euphoria. “Are you serious, Baby? I’m going to be a Da–“

A gun shot rings through the passage and Heath’s eyes glaze over. Instantly, tears of blood run from the sockets and down his cheeks. He drops to his knees and onto his stomach. The hole carved into the back of his head smokes, and Judd stands behind him with a gun raised.

“No!” I scream as Judd turns to Dana. The second gun shot is the last thing I hear before the world wanes and darkness beckons me.


If you would like to offer prompts for future posts, please check out the original post and leave a comment: Prompt Me

All excerpts are the works of K.J.Chapman.

Please request permission from the prompt creator for use of the prompt in this post.

Write Me : Twenty Word Story

Twenty words is a little easier than last week’s ten, but it’s still no simple feat. That being said, I’m never one to bow to a challenge. The trick isn’t to get twenty words strung together, but to also make them interesting… no pressure.

My twenty word story:

“You can’t outrun that thing.”

“I don’t have to, I just have to outrun you.”

“I’m a professional athlete, asshole.”

Feel free to join in with your own twenty word stories and let me know what you come up with.


All written works are the property of K.J.Chapman

Word Count Weekly #15

I’m on fire at the moment. It’s nice to be able to report a whopper of a word count this week.

10,012 Words

I know, right? Is this the same girl who moans about her low word counts the majority of the time? Yep, it’s me… I kicked my W.I.P’s ass!giphy (17)

I estimate that I have another 30,000 words to finish the first draft of EVO Shift, and if I carry on in the same way as this week I’ll be done in three weeks. But… I’m a realist, and I can hand on heart say that that will not be happening. Double those three weeks and we’re in business.

Excerpt from this week’s W.I.P:

He leans in closer, lowering his voice to barely a whisper. “You know you’ve got me, right?” He looks around, making sure he can’t be over heard. Woe betides anyone thinks he has a heart and not a swinging brick. “We’re solid you and me. I’ve been thinking about what you said back at the fight house… I feel protective over you. You’re like my little sister.”


 

Excerpts are the works of K.J.Chapman

GIF sourced from GIPHY.com

That Nagging Second Series

I know I’m not the only writer to have a nagging second series gnawing away at the back of my mind. If my experience is anything to go by, you may have more than one.

Are you a writer who acts on these nagging stories and starts to work on it alongside your current work in progress, or do you leave it, think logically, and complete your current work in progress before tackling another project?

I’m the former. If an idea for another series forms in my brain it is there to stay, screaming at me to give it even just a little attention.

Me: ‘But I have to concentrate on finishing this project first.’

Idea: ‘Stop making excuses and get on it woman. You can do both, I have faith in you.’

*Starts jotting notes for the new series*

Me: ‘Wow, balancing two projects is pretty hard going…’

Idea: giphy (16)

Yet, I still continue to do it. What can I say? I like to make life hard for myself, and I love a new idea as much as the next writer.

This is my current problem at the moment because if I get in a rut writing EVO Shift I use my new idea as a distraction. In some ways, it gives me a break to recharge and go back to EVO Shift with a fresh perspective. In most ways, it’s a way to bury my head in the sand.

I doubt I’ll ever change, seeing as the lure of an exciting idea is my life force and I’m addicted to that high. Are you a multi-tasking writer? And more importantly, do you do it well?

Shameless Self-Promotion: EVO Nation

I’m not one to shy away from self-promotion. I do, however, try to be tactful about it, but hey, tact doesn’t equal awareness in all cases. So, my plan is to dedicate a post to my self-published eBook with reviews and all the other bumf that goes with it, and let my shamelessness reign supreme…

EVO Nation Series Book One: EVO Nation by K.J.Chapman

Summer Reading List Evo NationThe government tortures her, her own kind uses her, and she is learning the true meaning of ulterior motives. Teddie Leason has been dragged into the festering underbelly of the secretive world of EVO; a world about to be blown wide apart.

EVO are the next link in evolution, but with that title come the dangers of capture, torture, and experimentation. And with that threat come the need to survive, and a breed of EVO who are set to not only thrive, but rule.

Teddie has the fate of the EVO and Non-EVO world resting on her shoulders, and now, the reclusive teenager who couldn’t get upset without her unruly ability causing destruction, has to somehow embrace her gift to save her new friends and her new love.

Will the actions of one man fuel a suppressed, supremacist cult’s desire for war and vengeance, or will Teddie be strong enough to stop him?… Should she stop him?

Reviews: 

Sarina over at Cookie break read and reviewed EVO Nation recently. Check out her review: here

Amazon reviews:

‘Brilliant. Loved it – so much so I’ve read it twice now. It’s energetic, fast paced, romantic, come-uppance story line interacts well with the sci-fi futuristic theme throughout. It is definitely a teenager/young sci-fi readers book. Being past that age group has not stopped me loving the book. I enjoy sci-fi/futuristic books, and this one is well worth a read for anyone who enjoys these style of books, no matter the age. The author explains who is who and what they can do without taking up whole chapters, you get drawn in and at each twist and turn just when you think you’ve got it sussed there’s something else. Got to the end and wanted to pick up the next book straight away, hence read it twice, which has only peeked my interest even more for the second book. So please get on and finish the next book. Well done for your first book and I hope there are many more to come. Everyone out there who enjoys this type of genre (no matter your age) should read and recommend to anyone that they know.’ – Kaz

‘I absolutely love this book!!! I could not put it down and read it in two sittings. The author has created believable characters; you will fall in love with them and you will hate them. (My favourite is Golding). The narrative throws you some curve balls to keep you in suspense and on you toes, but still grabs your attention in its unpredictability. The target audience would be teenagers, but this did not stop me from enjoing every page. The author’s writing style is straightforward and easy to read. This book has the power and the sci-fi element of X-Men, the sheer brutality of The Hunger Games and the political message of V for Vendetta. I cannot wait for the next instalment.’ – C.M.Bain

Facebook reviews:

‘Anyone that knows me, knows I hate reading but this book is so catchy it’s unreal, catches you in the first few pages, it’s so good! I’m still reading it, even though I can only get through a few pages at a time but it’s a story line that just doesn’t leave your head! Completely recommend! Go and read ‘EVO nation’ search it on Amazon.’ – J. Billing

‘Just had the pleasure of reading EVO nation. The illiterate part of my brain was screaming WOW! The higher functioning part was screaming too many big expressive words for me to keep up with lol. But seriously what an amazing book. Right away you’re sucked into a roller-coaster storyline filled with characters you can’t help but relate to and love.. But also one you love to hate and can’t wait to see them get a damn good comeuppance! And oh what fantastically satisfying comeuppances K, Chapman dishes out!! EVO Nation is the sort of book that makes you want to abandon every day life in favour of a comfy chair and silence (and the book of course!) , the kind of book that makes you read till your eyes feel like they’re going to shrivel up! A sassy, addictive read! Can’t wait for the sequel! If you haven’t already read it, get on with it!’- L. Carter

You can purchase EVO Nation for 99p on Amazon Kindle: here

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All reviews featured in this post are genuine.

Our Child and Thanatophobia

I wanted to write this post as it’s been the centre of our lives for a few months, and we are now seeing light at the end of the tunnel. Our five year old daughter has been suffering with thanatophobia- a fear of death and/ or dying. ‘But she’s five,’ I hear you cry, and believe me, we thought it too… at first.

As most mothers would, I hit google. I spent many hours researching every aspect of this phobia in children, and other parents advice, tips, and experiences. Knowing that it is more common than we first thought, and that other people have come out the other side has really helped, hence why I felt the need to write this post on our experience.

How it started:

One night, I was putting Sophie to bed and she suddenly broke down in tears (hysterical crying). When I finally calmed her down enough to understand her, she said, “I don’t want to die and I don’t want you and Daddy to die and leave me all alone.” Millions of questions sprung to mind. How do I answer that without lying? Where has she heard about death? Why does she look so petrified? What should and shouldn’t I say to comfort her? And most importantly, how can I make it better? After an hour she was sleeping and all was well again.

One week later:

It happened again, but her questions were more intense. Why are we born if we die? Do we live for a long time? Will you and Daddy die before me? Nothing I said would appease her and her anxiety grew and grew. I finally got her to sleep again, but the questions and tears started again as soon as she woke up in the morning.

We noticed a connection with her anxieties and starting primary school in September, but it took a sudden turn when I was leaving her at school crying for me, and she’d cry in the mornings expressing concerns that I might die in the day and not come to pick her up.

I spoke to her teacher and she made me feel a bit better. She told me that thanatophobia is common in children between the ages of 4 and 8. Especially in intelligent, sensitive children like Sophie. She has an understanding that death is final and happens to us all eventually, but due to her age, she doesn’t have the mental capacity to process the information emotionally. She told us to tell Sophie that we are all young and healthy and she has nothing to worry about, and then to change the subject. Letting her dwell on information isn’t helpful. She also suggested that it was a control issue which now, looking back, is blatantly obvious. Sophie didn’t like the not knowing of where we were or what we were up to.

We acted on the advice and it worked for a time, but Sophie’s anxieties branched out to worrying if disabled people would die, or if she even thought about us dying that it might come true. We were treading on egg shells with anything from cancer research adverts on the TV, to people absentmindedly mentioning, what we dubbed the ‘D’ word. Friends and family grew accustomed to minding what they said around her. By this time we were worried about her mental health. Is our child ‘normal’? Don’t get me wrong, in between her bouts of anxiety, Sophie was your average, happy, playful child, and although the episodes were more frequent, they were by no means all the time.

Parents Evening:

Parents evening was a day after a particularly difficult day of comforting Sophie, tears, tantrums, and us falling into bed feeling emotionally drained. The first thing Sophie’s teacher asked was if we had any concerns. Uh, yes… I explained the situation in detail.

“I’m glad you said that because we too are concerned with Sophie’s anxieties. It is now affecting her at school.”

My heart is pounding in my ears. Oh my god, is there something really wrong with my child? What have they experienced with her at school?

She told us that Sophie needed constant reassurance from an adult, and if taken out of her comfort zone in regards to different educational activities she’d become very clingy and would constantly express worries about ‘mummy and daddy’. Again, the control issues were the stem of her anxiety.

We agreed to try different techniques with Sophie; getting her to take a deep breath when she felt anxious or scared, and for her to tell herself out loud that she doesn’t need to worry. She had to deal with her anxieties herself, just like we do as adults. When it came to questions of death, we continued with the brief explanation that we are young and healthy, and then would change the subject. But it was agreed that after the school half term holidays, if there was no improvement, she’d get a school nurse referral to get professional tips on how to deal with her anxiety.

My head was swimming, but I felt better knowing that the school believed it to be a phase, and that no other underlying factor was present. Other than those anxieties, she had friends and was a happy, academically bright child. ‘She will work through this’, the teacher said.

Conversations:

Over the week, I had spoken to Sophie’s old nursery teacher who told me that she experienced the same anxiety at Sophie’s age, and that made me feel much better. Speaking with different people was enlightening. Some had experienced it themselves, or their child had a similar phase. Being told that what we were doing was the correct way to handle it was reassuring too.

Religion:

Sophie goes to a Church of England school, so is taught about Christianity, sings hymns, says prayers etc. She was singing ‘He’s got the whole world in his hands’ at home and I explained what the hymn meant. She was fascinated. We tell her that her great Grandad and great great Nana are in heaven watching her, and have done since they died when she was 2 years old.

One day, she came home and asked about God and Heaven. She said she didn’t know what Heaven was and that it scared her because it was connected to dying. I explained it to her and this had the best effect on her emotionally. Finally, we had found something to make her feel a little better. The idea that spirits go to heaven and we all get to see each other again was a massive comfort to her. I would say I am a spiritual person, not conformed to organised religion, but I’m happy to comfort her and let her make up her own mind when she’s old enough to.

Half Term:

I was expecting a difficult week, but we were pleasantly surprised. We created a sticker reward chart. If Sophie had what we called ‘silly’ thoughts, (we are aware that her thoughts were valid, but ‘silly’ was a term she understood), but dealt with them using her deep breath techniques, then she’d get a sticker. This worked brilliantly. We’d sometimes see her taking a deep breath, and then getting on with what she was doing. She was learning to deal with her anxieties without our reassurance.  Of course, we had the occasional question, but minus the hysterics.

Back to School:

The Sunday before school resumed, my nerves were a little all over the place with worry and anxiety of my own. We had such an improved week on the previous that I was worried Sophie would regress a bit, knowing that she had to be in school without us. I took her in as usual, reminded her of her breathing exercises, kissed her goodbye… and … she ran off to play without so much as a quivering lip.

The teacher and I gave each other an ‘okay, that just happened’ look, and I ran out before Sophie had a chance to miss me. This happened for a few more days, and although we were ecstatic, we couldn’t help but worry about when her anxiety might get the better of her.

End of the Week:

Sophie was asking less about death, and when she did she was rational and attentive. She was going to school without tears, happy for me to leave, and coming out exuberant. I asked the teacher if they too had noticed a difference… and… yes, “Sophie has really turned a corner, she is nowhere near as clingy, she is getting on with other activities outside of her comfort zone, not expressing concerns about mummy and daddy, and SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESprogress is being made.” *Massive exhale with relief*

Of course, she may still have anxieties and express them to us, but she is dealing with them and they’re not over coming her. If this post reassures just one other parent that there is an end to this emotional, exhausting, worrying phase, then I’m happy to have helped.


All images are the property of K.J.Chapman

 

My Muse-ic of the Moment

Every so often, a piece of chart music catches my attention, whether it be for personal reasons, inspiration, or relevance to my WIP. Jess Glynne’s new chart song, fits perfectly with what I’m currently writing on EVO Shift…

Take Me Home- Jess Glynne