The Process

The Prophecy

This is the prophecy (that will be explained in the story). It was written in 1753, and gives information on the disaster Callie will be battling, the year of her birth, and the year of the disaster. I’d love to get feedback on what you think the different lines mean!

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Cover Option 1: The Tree, The Key & The Cross

Three days of design in Gimp, and here’s the cover for the book… what do you think?

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Dealing With Writer’s Block

I started my current novel-in-progress, currently titled “Stepsister”, in October last year. I began by prepping a partial outline, so that when November 1 rolled around, I would be ready to blast off with NaNoWriMo – 50,000 words in one month. My target was 1667 words per day.

Day one, I was off to a good start, with 1666 words. Day two: 1667 words. Day three: 566.  Day four: 238.


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Chapter Three: Looking into the Abyss

“And when you look long into the abyss, the abyss also looks back at you.”
– Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

The next seven days were a blur of numbness and passive activity, as Dr. Jared and assorted nurses tested, poked and prodded every inch of his body; fed, medicated and cleaned him; and asked him a never-ending stream of questions formulated, he assumed, to check the effect of his wound on his memory, personality and cognitive abilities.

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Chapter Two: A Necessary Evil

“Nothing is easier than to denounce the evildoer; nothing is more difficult than to understand him.”
– Fyodor Dostoevsky

His rage was fueled by love, stuttered with grief and loss. Behind him, his beautiful four-year-old Molly, the light of his life. She lay crumpled and torn, tiny arm extended to him, her baby-fine, flyaway blonde hair now stained crimson with the life that had drained from her precious body. Before him, the man


that had terrorized and murdered her.

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Chapter Two: The Devil’s Helper


For the time being, this chapter has been scrapped; I’m considering alternatives to the character Samantha.



“Where the hell is Samantha?”

The irritation in her boss’s voice set Sam’s heart pounding and pushed her to double-speed. She tugged at the three-quarter sleeves of her Ann Taylor short jacket and smoothed her short, dark auburn hair as she hurried towards Ms. Lotan’s office, mind whirling with excuses for her tardiness. She discarded traffic, flat tires, and alarm failure; she’d used these before with less than satisfactory results. She would have to use the old stand-by: non-specific illness. Not that it had more credibility than car incidents or power failure, but if delivered with a convincingly unhealthy face, it was acceptably difficult to argue. The trick was to present a sick face, and not an exhausted, I-slept-through-the-alarm-so-I’ve-only-been-up-for-25-minutes face.

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Chapter One: Lilith

Of Adam’s first wife, Lilith, it is told
(The witch he loved before the gift of Eve,)
That, ere the snake’s, her sweet tongue could deceive,
And her enchanted hair was the first gold.
And still she sits, young while the earth is old,
And, subtly of herself contemplative,
Draws men to watch the bright net she can weave,
Till heart and body and life are in its hold.

– Dante Gabriel Rossetti, “Body’s Beauty”

My name is Lilith Lotan. Trite, I know, but we love trite down here – at least, the upper class does. The damned don’t know the difference. I am perceived as the President and CEO of Abbadon Industries, but I prefer to be addressed as Queen, or Your Majesty. I can get away with it, too – because I create the realities here.

That’s what Hell is: your reality, created by someone who not only doesn’t care about you, but actively sets out to make you miserable. I don’t physically torture you, or even influence your existence to the point that that it has no more meaning. I just create situations of sustained discontent through the use of carefully planned, and – if I may say it – brilliant disappointments. I don’t push the damned to total desolation – there’s too much drama in that, which in turn gives the damned a redeeming nobility through their ability to endure. I’m going for the almost-but-not-quite unbearable unhappiness, caused by the kind of events that you can’t really complain about to others without receiving “other people have it so much worse” looks of disdain.

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Hell is not as you’d imagine it.

The Damned, those tortured souls that opted out of Heaven by exercising their God-given right to choose, aren’t all rapists and child-killers, though we get our share of those. Many of the Damned simply didn’t tend to the positive development of their souls. Some were doomed by small, repeated Sins; others by a Sin so great that the sum of their virtuous deeds couldn’t tip the scales back in their favor. They indulged in their Cardinal Sins in a proportion greater than the Heavenly allotment granted to them.

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