777 Challenge: A Little Weekend Fun

I have reblogged my 777 challenge tag because  I have been tagged again by Mollie over at Mollie’s Musings. Thank you for thinking of me, Mollie. I hope you enjoy this one.

I won’t tag anyone as I have done so before, but I will extend an open invite to anyone who wants to join in.

The 777 Challenge is a bit of fun to support and promote our fellow bloggers and showcase a snippet of our work in progress.

The rules of this challenge are to go to the seventh line on the seventh page of your work in progress, and share the next seven sentences. Then, tag seven of your favourite author blogs (I’m most definitely classing poets in this).

I was tagged by the lovely J.A. Allen over at Scribbles on Cocktail Napkins. Please check out and follow her blog for wonderful writing tips, musings, and advice. I’ve not yet read a blog post that hasn’t guided, helped or inspired me on my writing journey. I’m happy to have J.A. Allen as a member of my blog family!

Here is my 777 excerpt:

Adam laces his fingers in my hair and fans it out, so the sunlight filters through, streaking his face in strips of…

View original post 176 more words

Advertisements

Why Haven’t You Named A Character After Me?

This is a question I have been asked multiple times. Yep, I write books. Yep, I know you. Nope, I have never and will never name a character after you.

giphy (67)

Why?

  • Your name might suck. I don’t just name my characters the first name that pops into my head. The name has to suit their personality, their history, the era etc. Need I go on? 
  • Why do you think I should? Do you reckon you’re deserving of being immortalised on the page? Asking me makes you sound egotistical- just saying.
  • My characters need to be their own people. If I give them your name, then I’ve got you in my head when I’m writing. 
  • What if they make bad choices, or become psychotic? Like I say, characters are their own people, and if their natural progression is to ‘go over to the dark side’, don’t pretend you won’t be offended. YOU TOTALLY WILL.
  • On a related note- If I gave a character your name and a huge wart on the end of their nose, you’d have something to say to me.
  • Perhaps, just perhaps, I don’t like you that much. I’m just joking… Or am I?

However, take comfort in this- most of my characters have facets of me, my friends, and my family in them. I draw on experience from my own life and surroundings. So, I’ll leave it to you to make up your own mind whether you are the muse for my baddie…Mwahaha

giphy (69)


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

GIFs sourced from GIPHY.COM

 

Favourite Reads From 2015

What a lovely way to end the year!

I am made up to hear that EVO Nation made Sarina from Cookie Break’s ‘Favourite Reads from 2015’ list.

Thank you to Sarina for taking the time to read EVO Nation in the first instant. I’m chuffed you enjoyed it, and that it earned a place on your list. It really is an honour.

I have reblogged Sarina’s post, so you can check out the full list.

Happy reading!

Cookie Break

It’s been a great year for reading. I don’t think I’ve ever read as many books in one year as I did this year, and next year it’ll get even better! Since I’ve gotten a Goodreads account my to-be-read pile has stacked up immensely, and I’m really excited for everything that’s waiting for me on there.

There were a lot of great reads over the past twelve months, and since 2015 is coming to a close I thought now was a good time to share my favourite reads with you.

In no specific order:

Summer Reading List Stardust

I’m so glad I finally read a book written by the legend himself! It was everything I’d hoped for and more, cliche as that might be. There was magic, the storytelling was incredible, and it’s left me wanting to read more next year.

Review

Summer Reading List The Falcon Throne

Karen Miller has been one of my favourite authors for years, and…

View original post 319 more words

Prompt Me #8

This is a special post because it will be the last ‘Prompt Me’ post. I would like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who offered prompts. The exercise has been rewarding and such fun. I couldn’t have created any of the short stories without the inspiration spurred by your prompts. I have another prompt post to fill the Tuesday slot, so keep your eyes peeled for that one.

This scene prompt lends itself to so many scenarios that I was chomping at the bit to have a crack at it. I hope I chose the narrative wisely. It’d be a shame to fall short on such an interesting prompt.

This is the second prompt offered by Al from Hyperactive Pandemonium. The short stories featured on his blog are out of this world. If you’re not following, why not?

The prompt:

An American type diner in the middle of nowhere in England. Two people awake from a drunken night to find themselves alone. Then, strange sounds emit from the kitchen.

gardner-92433_960_720.jpg“Wake up, Dude.” Vin slaps at his friend’s face. Hadley just stirs, scratches his balls, and rolls over. “Wake up, you stupid dick.” Vin slaps him again.

“What is your problem, man?” Hadley groans, rolling too far, and falling from the pink, pleather seat. He clambers to his feet in a zombie like state. “Where the hell are we? I told you we should have got off the Jager train before we hit the club.”

Vin rubs a hand over his shaved head. They would never have voluntarily come to a cheese fest like this. Some kind of 1950’s American style joint in England was the cheesiest of cheese. “Do you not remember anything?” he asks Hadley.

Hadley shakes his head. “You don’t think we were spiked, do you?” 

“Why are we the only ones here? Where’s the waitress? It’s not like they could have missed your snoring last night.”

Hadley pushes on the door with little effect. Vin pulls out his mobile, but there is no signal. He scales the counter, and tries the diner’s phone. “There’s no dial tone.”

“What bloody happened last night?” Hadley pinches the bridge of his nose, and grabs an apple from the bowl by the till. “Weird? This is fake.”

Vin sticks his finger in one of the cakes in the glass cabinet. The rubber pings against his touch. “These too,” he says. 

A crash emits from the kitchen; metal on metal, like trays colliding as they hit the ground. Hadley jumps, dropping the apple, and cursing loudly.

Another crash. Vin edges toward the swing door, the noise inside the kitchen growing louder with each step. Whoever it is, is really doing the joint over. He peers through the round glass window and staggers backward, falling over a stool, and smacking his forehead on the counter. The skin splits open, but he doesn’t notice. Jumping to his feet, he grabs the stool and smashes it against the windows. They don’t give despite how hard he tries. They must be reinforced.

“Whoa, man. Are you alright?”

“Grab a stool,” Vin screams, blood pouring down his face. Hadley stands rooted to the spot. “Now, Dude!”

The swing door flies open with such force that it is knocked clean off its hinges. First, Hadley sees the green exoskeleton, followed by the elongated bug head and pincers. Second, he hears the creature’s shrill humming noise. It sounds like that of a cricket, but so loud it could make your ears bleed.

“What the fuuuuuucck?” Hadley grabs a stool and follows Vin’s lead.

The creature rushes them, it’s jaw extends from it’s mouth, displaying rows of razor sharp teeth. Vin launches his stool at it, taking it off guard long enough to scramble to the counter. 

The wind chime in the window glistens in the sunlight, the light dancing over the creatures green skull. It recoils slightly, twisting it’s head, furiously trying to rid itself of the twinkling light.

“It doesn’t like the light,” Hadley shouts to Vin. He crawls on all fours into the nearest booth. “What do we do, man?”

Vin grabs a knife from the cake display. At least that is the real deal. The creature’s attention is back on him. It tilts its head, its extended jaw gnashing at thin air. “Use the torch on your phone. Distract it somehow.”

Hadley fumbles in his pocket, finally retrieving his phone. The torch is bright and instantly draws the creature’s attention away from Vin. “What now, man? You better have a plan.”

“Now, I kill the asshole,” says Vin. He jumps toward the distracted creature, sticking the cake knife deep into its softer under belly. Over and over he stabs, until the creature’s squeals and flailing pincers stop.

His arm is covered in a brown, jelly like substance and he flicks it to the floor. Hadley peeks out from behind the chair. “I’m never drinking Jager again.”

The lights brighten in the diner, and the door swings open as if on a mechanised locking system. A military man strides in. Both Vin and Hadley know to salute him. He’s the Major General of the British marines, Bentley.

“You boys did good,” he says, stepping over the creature. “It took the others double the time to put an end to the ugly fuckers. Well, those who survived anyway.”

“What is that thing, Sir?” Vin asks.

“That is what our boys call a Jiminy. I’m sure you can guess why. You two lads will be briefed in ten minutes, and sent to a training base in the Lake District.”

“But we were dishonourably discharged, Sir,” Hadley says.

Bentley strokes his moustache with his middle finger. “Does this look like the face of a man who gives a shit, marine?” he shouts.

“No, Sir!” Hadley replies.

“At twenty two hundred hours on the fourteenth of this month, you will be shuttled to a planet known as Lox. You will join forces with some of the most skilled military personnel in the world. We want that planet, marines, and we need you to clear it of those buggy bastards.” He kicks at the creature as he speaks. “Any questions?”

Both men raise their arms in salute. “No, Sir!”


 

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: Seventy Word Story

This seventy word story came about by accident when I was writing last week’s sixty word story. I was happily typing away, when I realised I had missed the sixty words mark. When I counted the words it tallied to exactly seventy. A sign if ever I saw one, so I scheduled this post.

Without giving too much away, this story is based on one of my characters from my current work in progress…

sad-505857_960_720

If you asked me the worst feeling for a human to experience, I’d say yearning. There’s nothing more consuming, agonising, and downright pointless than yearning. Wanting something you can’t have is as productive as saying something you don’t mean. I can’t have him, but I want him. I can’t kiss him, touch him, make love to him, but I want to. Life is a bitch, it’s just how it is.

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


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

A Change to the Word Count Weekly Posts

I am at the final stages of my first draft of EVO Shift, so my writing time has stepped up a notch, and when I team that with my writing exercise posts, I don’t have enough hours in the day.

I have decided to bring my ‘Word Count Weekly’ posts to an end, and post updates as and when I have time. Once I hit the editing stage, the updates will be sporadic and dependent on whether I have anything of significance to report.

I have been posting up to five posts some weeks, and now, unless I have something worth sharing, I will be cutting back to three. It’s getting a little tight trying to juggle a full blog and my work in progress, and although I love blogging, I need to give myself back some writing time for my novel. At first, the three posts will all be various writing exercise posts, but when my ‘Write Me’ posts come to an end in a few weeks, Monday’s slot will free up for shorter posts of book reviews, musings, and tip shares etc.

6e6bdf3e9fe1c79f5bc8074f22f1c4b0I have big plans for 2016 and I am taking the necessary steps to ensure I achieve them.

Seeing as I haven’t any writing news to report, I have decided to share a few pictures of my totally awesome Christmas gifts. My husband has covered both my writing and fan girl obsessions with his enviable gift buying skills.

I hope you all had a fantastic time over the holidays, and are looking forward to a bright and productive new year .


Photographs featured in this post are the property of K.J.Chapman

What’s Your Name? Letter B

writing-exercise

I hope you all had memorable family celebrations yesterday. Merry Christmas and happy Boxing day to those who celebrate it!

This week, we’re moving on to ‘B’ names. I closed my eyes, jabbed at the first ‘B’ page in my naming book, and voila, I have a new character name to inspire my short story.

The name I randomly selected is… Ballard. 

Ballard is an Old English surname meaning ‘bald’. This exercise might prove interesting…

Ballard

“I didn’t pay attention to his name? I think it started with ‘B’.”

“I can think of a ‘B’ name to fit him. He was an ignorant piece of work,” I say. Leon agrees, but he doesn’t seem as rattled by the encounter. “You think he’s right, don’t you?”

Leon stops wiping the counter. “Don’t put words in my mouth, but when I tasted the coffee it was stone cold.”

“Of course, it was cold. He let it sit at the table for an hour without looking to drink it. I would have given him a fresh one if he hadn’t been so rude about it.”

Leon shrugs. “What does it matter? I refunded him for the coffee and now we can move on with our lives.”

I stack the chairs on top of the tables and start mopping underneath. When I see the scarf on the floor at table 12 an involuntary groans escapes me. I hold it up to Leon, and he just laughs before disappearing into the kitchen. It’s the coffee guy’s scarf. Let’s hope he doesn’t realise it’s missing for the next fifteen minutes and he can collect it tomorrow morning when Sarah is on shift.

There is a rap on the door. I straighten out, smooth my skirt down, take a deep breath though my nose, and turn to face the knocker. Yep, it’s him. He doesn’t look happy. It has started to hail, and he has pulled his jacket collar up around his ears.

I saunter over to the door, not rushing in the slightest. I take my time unlocking the two locks, and before he can say anything, I shove his scarf into his hands.

“Thank y-“

I close the door and pull down the blind on him. I’m not making small talk with someone who said I was incompetent at my job, and asked how I got by in day to day life if I find making coffee a difficult task.

There is another knock, but I ignore it. I’m technically off duty now, so any complaints about poor customer service can be shoved straight back up his ass.

He knocks again. I release the blind, glaring at him through the glass.

“Open up,” he asks. I shake my head. “I have something for you.”

“I don’t want anything from you, thank you.” I continue to mop.

He rubs a hand over his skinhead.”That’s fair enough.”

He places something by the door and walks away. A carrier bag tied in a knot to keep out the rain, rustles in the wind. There is bread and milk inside. I had told Leon earlier that I had ran out of bread and milk, and that the corner shop would be closed before we finished our shift. It was just a passing comment, but coffee guy must have heard.

I race down the street and round the corner as he unlocks his car.

“Hey, wait,” I call after him. He stops, tucking both hands into his pockets. “Why did you do this?”

I slip on the frozen hail stones and he grabs me, effortlessly lifting me back to my feet. “I was an asshole to you, so I wanted to apologise.”

“Yeah, you were,” I say, crossing my arms over my chest. He looks to his feet and for some reason I can’t stay mad at him. “But thank you for this.” I lift the bag slightly.

He waves my thanks away. “I shouldn’t have spoken to you like that. I’ve a lot going on right now and I took it out on you.”

His blue eyes sparkle in the street lights, and an unfamiliar feeling washes over me. He could be about ten years older than me, but he is an attractive man. He looks sad though; the way his shoulders sag, the way his lips turn down at the corners.

“Apology accepted,” I say, offering him a smile. I turn on my heels to leave. “If you come in tomorrow night, I’ll sort you a steaming hot latte, okay?”

“I might take you up on that. What’s your name?”

“I’m Freya North,” I say, holding out my hand.

He shakes it gently. “Henry Ballard.”

***

Saturday nights are always the worst when it comes to drunks. They order everything, eat messily, and always try to grab at my ass. The good thing about the drunks is that they tip well. Sometimes by accident, but I wont split hairs.

I massage out the knots in my calf muscles, and tuck my pen into my hair. Someone has just sat at table 12, and I make my way over. It’s Henry Ballard. He is suited and booted, and looking drained.

“Hello again. Steaming hot latte?” I ask. He half smiles and nods. I lean down a little. “Are you okay?”

“Much better now that I’ve seen you,” he replies. “Actually, I don’t really fancy a coffee. Is it okay if I just sit for a while?”

“My boss is on shift tonight and she can be a proper ball breaker. I’ll bring you a coffee just to keep her off your case. You don’t have to drink it, but don’t complain in an hour when it’s stone cold.” I say, winking.

Two hours later, Henry is sat with his second cup of cold coffee. I bring him another and take the cold one. “Please try and drink it,” I whisper. There is something wrong. I’ve never seen someone so withdrawn and vacant. His eyes meet mine and that same feeling as last night washes over me. “We’re closed now. My boss has already left, but if you’d like to stay and keep me company while I shut down-“

He gets to his feet. “No, I don’t mean to take up your time.”

I place a hand on his arm. “I wouldn’t have offered if I didn’t mean it. Anyway, I get a little freaked out when I’m here alone.”

He looks around, snapping out of his daze. “Can I help?”

We work quickly. Henry stacks the chairs and I mop underneath. He remains silent and the weight of it presses down on me.

“Please tell me what is wrong,” I finally blurt. Henry shifts uncomfortably. I make my way around the table until we’re face to face. “I know we’re technically strangers, but a problem shared and all that.”

“I buried my brother today.” I wasn’t expecting that. His eyes tear, and he coughs away the emotion. I don’t think, I just hold him. He sags into me and I squeeze tighter. “He was all I had. I’m not sure how to deal with this. That’s why I think I came here tonight. You distract me.”

“I lost my brother last year,” I admit. “He was killed by a drunk driver. Being told that it will get easier is the most cliche thing you’ll hear, and right now you can’t see light at the end of the tunnel, but you will, Henry. I promise you will.” I pull back slightly, so he can see my eyes. “I promise that you will eventually see the light come back in the littlest of things.”

He nods, unable to speak. I know his pain; I know the raw, agonising, bottomless pit of emotion he is experiencing. His finger brushes down my cheek, resting at my chin. I strain onto my tiptoes and kiss his forehead.

He pulls me closer again. “You’re the only light I see.”


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

Save

EVO Nation Support!

This is a little crimbo promotion post for EVO Nation, a science fiction and urban fantasy eBook. EVO Nation is my debut novel. It is book one in the EVO Nation Series, and I am currently working on book two, EVO Shift. EVO Nation is available from Amazon for just 99p. If you enjoy my short stories and writing exercises, why not take a chance on my novel? Go on, I know you want to.

Buy EVO Nation for just 99p.

EVO Nation blurb:

The 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?

You can check out the ‘look inside’ feature on Amazon, and/or read reviews left by other readers. If you have read EVO Nation, but haven’t left a review, I would greatly appreciate an Amazon and Goodreads review.

Merry Christmas, Folks.

Prompt Me #7

Today’s prompt is another from Sarina over at Cookie Break. I cannot stress enough how you are missing out if you are not following Cookie Break. You’ve heard it here, folks. I am a huge fan of Sarina’s blog.

Prompt:

Write two prayers for your character: One to be said in private, one to be said in public.

I am going to use this prompt as a little EVO Shift insight exercise. EVO Shift is book two in the EVO Nation series, and my main character, Teddie Leason, is struggling with certain issues and situations. I am still working on EVO Shift, so I hope this exercise will further my progress, and help me take a deeper delve into Teddie’s mindset.

My Public Prayer

You ask me what I pray for at night? But that isn’t the question you should be asking. You should be asking if there is any point bothering to praying at all. I can’t answer that one, but when I look around at the state of the world, at the state of humanity, I want to scream at the heavens to help us.

EVO or Non-EVO shouldn’t be the deciding factor in this war. Wake up and see that humanity is dying. When did we start torturing EVO children in the name of science? When did we start believing we’re superior to the Non-EVO because of an extra chromosome? The planet is spiraling out of control and I want off.

If you feel the need to pray, ask for our humanity to be restored. Perhaps someone up there will take pity, but if it was down to me I’d wash my hands of the lot of us.

My Private Prayer

Are you there? Do you even care? If you can hear me, then hear this- I hate you. I hate you with every ounce of life left in my body! Why are you doing this? Why would you take them from me? They were good people, the best of people. God? Is that what we’re supposed to call you? Tell me what to do. Tell me how to get through this. 

I can’t watch anyone else die. Next time you feel the need to fill your death quota, please do me a favour and knock on my door. I’m done.

Oh, one small side note- I doubt I’d be seeing you either way. After today, I’m probably headed for warmer climes.


I am no longer accepting prompt ideas.

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

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

Buy EVO Nation, book one in the EVO Nation Series for 99p