roh morgon

~ launch day #2

RohMorgon_Runner_BookII - Copy

Today is Launch day for Runner: Book II of The Chosen. The day it is officially available for purchase or borrowing as a Kindle Unlimited title.

It’s been a long journey for both the book and for me. But it’s over now – the editing, the revisions, the formatting, and the uploading.

It feels a bit surreal to no longer worry about this book ever being published.

Now my worry is a new one – that fans of Watcher: Book I of The Chosen will find its sequel equally engaging.

Guess we’ll just have to wait for the reviews to roll in and hope for the best.

But I suspect fans might like reading about the new challenges facing Sunny and how she deals with them.

Meanwhile, it’s time to turn my attention to Seeker: Book III of The Chosen and follow Sunny as her story continues.

roh morgon @ Wednesday, 25 October 2017 9:36 pm
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~ Runner: Book II of The Chosen – the journey, part I

RohMorgon_Runner_BookII - Copy

It’s finally here.

The day that I announce that Runner: Book II of The Chosen is available.

It’s been a long journey, filled with interruptions too numerous to count, medical issues, family problems, and repeated revisions.

It started eight years ago, when I finished writing Watcher: Book I of The Chosen. As the final words of the first book in the series hit the page in May 2009, I realized I needed to keep going. So I wrote the first section of Runner—about 20,000 words—and saved the file at what I felt was a good stopping spot. I then spent the next year and a half trying to learn how to write properly, and in October 2011, published Watcher.

Sometime in that eighteen months, I had a “shower inspiration“, also known as a “shower epiphany” or “shower thoughts.” (one study even noted that “72% of people get their best ideas in the shower“).

Anyhow, I had one of those moments. And in that moment, three characters walked into my head: a tall, massively built Native American male; a stocky, red-bearded Scot with a wee bit of an accent; and a diminutive, chocolate-skinned Creole woman every bit as lethal as the other two.

I had no idea who they were, or what role they’d play in Runner. I just knew they’d be pivotal.

And boy, did they turn out to be—in ways I never expected.

In June of 2011, I attended a self-publishing workshop in Oregon put on by Dean Wesley Smith. At the workshop, one of their recommendations for those of us working on a novel series is to write short stories that tie into the novels. The appearance of these stories in anthologies, periodicals, and other mediums provide an additional avenue through which to funnel readers to your series.

As my husband and I started the 16-hour drive home, I thought about that, and recalled the trio from my shower inspiration. The most interesting of the three was their leader, and so I decided to write his story about how he’d become a Chosen and how he winds up encountering Sunny, the series’ main character.

The result of that was The Last Trace, the first of three novellas that explore Taz’s life up to the time of Runner. But writing his story gave me more than just another book—it gave me a deeper insight into who he is and why he does the things he does.

But writing The Last Trace also delayed the writing of Runner, and the novel languished while I focused on historical research, editing, and publishing the novella.

Once Taz’s past was out of the way (at least the first part), I was able to dive back into Runner and made substantial progress on the novel.

A second major interruption (a wonderful one) was an opportunity to participate in a vampire anthology edited by Gabrielle Faust, noted author of the vampire series ETERNAL VIGILANCE and other dark fantasies. The theme centered on vampires and the games they play with both their prey and with each other, and I was fortunate enough to be invited to submit a story.

I didn’t even have to think hard about what to write. I had a ready-built world with The Chosen series, including characters. What I didn’t expect was the entrance of a character previously unknown to me—Colin O’Neill.

The story that ended up in 2013’s High Stakes: A Vampire Anthology, along with stories from nine award-winning authors, was The Games Monsters Play. And when the rights reverted to me after a year, I expanded the short story and published it as a novelette.

Again, all of that brought my work on Runner to a screeching halt. But I’m glad it did, because it allowed Colin to infiltrate my psyche, and he did it so surreptitiously that I was stunned when he walked onto the pages of Runner.

In early 2014, I sent the first completed draft to my core beta readers—Lex, Janine, Mellie, Edd, Earl, Vanessa, and Odette. The feedback was glowing, and contained wonderful suggestions for improvement, which I promptly incorporated.

But that draft was missing an early chapter—a chapter dealing with a complex medical emergency for one of the characters. I’d simply labeled it as “Surgery??” with the intention of researching that scenario once the first draft was finished.

That ended up being more complicated than I expected. And the more I researched, the more I realized I needed the expertise of a medical professional.

I found one later that year. Janeane was an emergency room nurse, and when I gave her the first part of Runner, she excitedly dove into her own research. Her critique of the chapters both before and after the missing one was invaluable, and I realized that I would need to completely rewrite the first section of the book in order to keep somewhat medically authentic.

That same year, and the one following it, was filled with my own medical issues, along with family problems and other distractions. The rewrite haunted me, and it wasn’t until 2016 that I completed it. I ran it past my sister-in-law, Gazelle, who is also in the medical profession, and after a few minor adjustments, she gave me the green light.

The second draft went out to another group of beta readers, including the wonderful Jeannie, my fox friend who read it several times and provided great insight and suggestions.

With a few changes and a last bit of polish, I handed the final draft over to a third group of betas, as well as my editor, Jodi Renee Lester.

At her suggestion, I sent it to a few readers who had not read Watcher. We wanted to ensure there was enough flashback and other references to the first book that someone starting the series with Runner wouldn’t feel lost—and yet, not be boring with too much rehash for current fans.

Another milestone in this journey was the discovery of a cover artist who captured the kind and quality of look I wanted for these books. I’d been looking for one for years, and though a couple were promising, I still kept looking. I was so thrilled when I found Deranged Doctor Design and fell in love with the covers done by Milo.

The timing couldn’t have been better—DDD was able to fit the first two books into their summer schedule in time for me to meet my publication deadlines in October. They’ve been awesome to work with, and I highly recommend their services.

And so here I am, with both of my main goals for the last six years just weeks away from achievement:

  • Watcher: Book I of The Chosen – with a professional, high-quality edit, additional content, and a shiny new cover, this book is finally what I’ve dreamed it could be, and, for the first time, I feel proud of it. The second edition premiers October 7. The ebook version is available now for pre-order.

What a long, strange trip it’s been. I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

In Part II of this post, I’ll talk about some of the folks who’ve helped me along the way. Be sure to check back – you may find yourself in the story!

 

roh morgon @ Saturday, 30 September 2017 9:49 am
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~ 50 minutes of fame

On Wednesday, July 26, I will be featured on Yvonne Mason‘s Off the Chain BlogTalk Radio podcast!

I’ll be sharing the latest news on The Chosen series:

  • Watcher is getting a makeover
    • The new cover is being worked on THIS WEEK and I hope to see the first draft by Friday
    • The revisions incorporating a professional edit and new material are nearly complete
  • Runner is with my editor
    • Its new cover will be ready at the end of August
    • Projected publication date – October 2017
  • Seeker is underway
    • Expect a Carpathian experience, courtesy of my trip to Romania last year

We’re gonna have fun on the show. I have all kinds of weirdness that I’m sure Yvonne will do her best to bring out. :)

roh morgon @ Tuesday, 25 July 2017 9:30 pm
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~ women in horror month blog talks – day 4

W.J. Howard is the organizer behind this week’s Women in Horror Month Blog Talks. Below is her blog post with a list of featured writers for today’s topic, “Evil Women in Pop Culture”.

~ ~ ~

Welcome to our fourth day of Women in Horror Month Blog Talks featuring a discussion on evil women in pop culture. Below is a list of blogs and guests in today’s talks.

To Connect with Participants and Join More Discussions
Go to the Facebook Event Page

W. J. Howard hosts
The Worst Kind of Villain
by James P. McDonald

James is a business and technology consultant, fiction and non-fic author, technology and futurist speaker.
Go to Blog

James P. McDonald hosts
Women Who Kill
by C.A. Verstraete

C.A. Verstraete loves writing with a bit of a scare! She is author of Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter and a young adult novel, GIRL Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie.
Go to Blog

 W. J. Howard hosts
My top 5 Villainesses in Horror/SF Horror list
by Juli D. Revezzo
Juli writes fantasy and romantic stories filled in with elements garnered from a lifetime love affair with magic, myth, witches, wizards, and fated lovers and legend.

C.A. Verstraete hosts
Death Personified
by Zrinka Jelic

Zrinka Jelic lives in Ontario, Canada. She’s a member of the Romance Writers of America and its Fantasy Futuristic & Paranormal chapter, as well as Savvy Authors.
Go to Blog

Claire Fitzpatrick hosts
Beverley Allitt: Serial Murderer and
Evil Woman in Pop Culture
by W. J. Howard

Wendy Howard writes dark stories mixed with comedy. She lives in Colorado with her husband and two boisterous beagles, and wine is an important part of her diet.
Go to Blog

roh morgon @ Thursday, 23 February 2017 6:13 am
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~ women in horror month blog talks

This week, Wendy Howard is sponsoring Women in Horror Month Blog Talks on her blog, http://wjhoward.com/

She’s bringing bloggers together to promote and celebrate women horror writers and has lined up a pretty cool program. Check out the flyer below for a list of topics, then visit her website to navigate to the various hosts. You can also find good info on the facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/events/1556103594403190/

I’m thrilled to participate with my contributions to Monday’s topic, “Choice of Weapons” and Tuesday’s “Favorite Women in Horror”. In addition, commenters on my posts will receive free ebooks.

Monday’s host – A. F. Stewart on her blog, Are You Afraid of the Dark http://afstewartblog.blogspot.ca/

Tuesday’s host – Morbidly Beautiful‘s Stephanie Malone on her blog, Morbidly Beautiful http://morbidlybeautiful.com/

EventWiHMBlogTalks-Facebook-300x251

roh morgon @ Monday, 20 February 2017 9:58 am
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~life imitating art

I’ve been absent from facebook and the blog scene for the last six months, and thought I’d offer an explanation as to why.

With that in mind, I considered titling this post “Becoming a Vampire”.

Yeah, you read that correctly. Think

  • extreme photosensitivity (unable to go out into the daylight without being covered head to toe)
  • need for blood (hemolytic anemia in which red blood cells are destroyed faster than they can be made)
  • rages and other wild emotional swings (due to the anemia)

But before I explain further, let’s take a step back into the past:

In December of 2008, I woke up with the tragic figure of a sad and lonely vampire woman in my head. I lay there wondering who she was and she began to show me her story. As her life unfolded in my head, movie fashion, I felt compelled to write it down as fast as I could. After five months of sleepless nights and weekend marathons with my laptop, I finished the initial draft.

And so, Watcher: Book I of The Chosen was born, and was published in its current version in October of 2011.

Fast forward to 2013:

In early July, I entered a clinical study to treat a long-term medical condition I’ve had for much of my life. After several weeks, I began to develop the side affects I listed earlier in my post. The photosensitivity is due to one of the new drugs, and the anemia is due to an old one that’s been in use about fifteen years. Fortunately, both were temporary conditions and resolved once I completed treatment.

So, yeah.

Couldn’t go outside during the day unless I was wrapped up like a Ninja.

Low on blood, which left me craving red meat, and well, needing more blood.

Rage issues, as in the least little upset triggered an emotional tsunami.

Vampire.

Life imitating art.

In spite of the above difficulties, I, along with my friends and family, had no choice but to laugh at the irony of writing a book about a vampire woman only to tread (somewhat) in her footsteps four years later. The experience certainly gave me fresh insight into what it means to be a creature of the night.

All I can say to my fellow writers is:

Be careful what you write, because you never know when you might become a character from one of your stories.

~roh~

roh morgon @ Friday, 29 November 2013 12:32 pm
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~SCAREanormal Fresno

(I know I still haven’t posted about my experiences at the World Horror Convention and the Bram Stoker Awards ® in New Orleans, but I’ll get to it. Soon.)

Wow. What an amazing three days at the SCAREanormal – Fresno Horror, Paranormal, and Pop Culture Fan Expo! At times a bit of a rocky ride, it ended on a positive note with Central Valley fans begging everyone to hold it again next year.

Special thanks to convention volunteers Kaci Hansen and  Sharon Kille Jenkins for keeping things going and taking such good care of us.

The Horror Writers Association vendor booth was the only bookseller at this film-based convention, and we had a fairly steady stream of visitors for much of the con. Most were readers excited to discover new authors–I enjoyed watching them as they left our booth bearing bright smiles along with their freshly purchased paper treasures.

But we also had a number of aspiring writers spend time talking with us. We shared our individual experiences as HWA members, handed out all of the HWA brochures, and in general spoke about how supportive the organization is. I hope to see their names listed in the membership directory sometime in the near future.

Saturday’s discussion panels–“The Best in Horror Literature: From the Classics to the Modern” and “The Evolution of the Monster from Folklore to Film”–were well-received by attendees, and I think the panelists enjoyed them too. Many thanks go to Brad C. Hodson, Eric J. Guignard, PS Gifford, Fred Wiehe, and Dana Fredsti for doing such a great job exploring their topics and answering audience questions.

Each panel was followed by readings from HWA members. Brad read from a work-in-progress about a pair of unique serial killers that left us all begging for more. Dana introduced listeners to kick-ass Ashley Parker in excerpts from Plague Town and its sequel, Plague Nation. Paul totally creeped us out with a semi-autobiographical story about an encounter with a red-haired girl. I tried not to bore the audience with an excerpt from my novella, The Last Trace.

The audience seemed to enjoy our panel discussions and listening to our stories, and many of them visited the HWA booth afterwards.

Due to a series of unforeseen circumstances, Lisa Morton and Richard Grove were unable to participate in Sunday’s programming. I know they were looking forward to the convention and I imagine they were quite disappointed to miss it. Hopefully we’ll get to work together on another event in the near future.

Our Sunday panel, “Psychological vs. Physical Horror – What Scares Us the Most?” was quite interesting. Since Lisa and Richard had to bow out, we were short two panel members, and this, combined with several other uncertainties regarding the con, led me to consider cancelling the panel altogether.

But when an attendee stopped by our booth–not once, but several times–to check on the panel status, I realized she might not be the only disappointed fan if we cancelled. In talking with her and a few others who came by, it became apparent that a number of Sunday’s attendees were there for just the one day, and that they had missed most of the convention highlights.

Paul and I were the other members scheduled for this panel, and we didn’t think we’d be able to explore the topic well with just the two of us. Fortunately, we’d spent the previous evening (or should I say the early-early morning) drinking, I mean, socializing with film guests Sid Haig (HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES, THE DEVIL’S REJECTS) and Ken Foree (DAWN OF THE DEAD, HALLOWEEN, THE LORDS OF SALEM). Both were intelligent and personable and seemed to enjoy spending time with our group.

With that in mind, I bravely approached Sid about an hour before our panel and asked him if he’d be willing to sit in on it with us. He graciously accepted my invitation.

All I can say is that our panel was absolutely amazing. Just think about what it would be like to discuss psychological and physical horror with a legendary master of both. Not only do Sid’s experiences covering decades of film and stage give him a special insight, but he’s a licensed hypnotherapist and has a deep understanding of what makes people tick.

Due to the unique opportunity offered by Sid’s participation in our panel, I elected to forego the reading and use the entire hour for our discussion. The audience seemed fascinated, and quite willing to add their own inputs. It made for a highly successful panel, and I’m so grateful for the fan whose repeated inquiries spurred me to do what I could to fulfill our programming commitment.

A number of audience members stopped by our booth afterwards,mentioning how much they enjoyed the panel as they examined our books. I remember seeing their smiling faces in the audience as they nodded in response to our discussion, and I’m glad we were able to contribute to their enjoyment of the convention.

Many thanks to Sid for helping us make it happen.

And a huge thank you to all the HWA members who gave up their weekend and spent hard-earned dollars on hotel expenses and gas to Fresno: Brad C. Hodson, Eric J. Guignard, Dana Fredsti, Fred Wiehe, Christopher C. Payne from JournalStone, and of course, PS Gifford, who was the first to arrive on Friday morning and stayed until the bittersweet end Sunday evening (couldn’t have done it without you, Paul). We made a great team and I look forward to working with everyone again.

Last, but not least, thank you to Lisa Morton and the HWA for supporting this event and making it possible for members to promote their works along with promoting the organization. This wouldn’t have happened without your support.

roh morgon @ Sunday, 30 June 2013 11:37 pm
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~ update on Ben

Thought I’d post a brief update on writer Dave Farland‘s son, Ben.

As you may have read in my previous post (or elsewhere on the Internet), Dave’s 16-yer-old son was involved in a horrific longboard (a type of skateboard) accident, breaking multiple bones, including his pelvis, and suffering a severe head injury.

It’s been two months now, and, well, his recovery is nothing short of a miracle.

From a website (http://www.helpwolverton.com/) which follows his progress:

June 2

  • “He returned home on Friday and promptly asked to go the Mongolian grill. I was surprised at how well he is learning to walk. He still needs a walker, or someone to hold his arm, but he’s very mobile for someone who said, just last week, ‘I can’t figure out how I ever learned to walk the first time.’  On Saturday, Ben had friends over to talk, and then we went to see Ironman 3 in the evening. For the first time in two months, Ben stayed up for the whole day, without a nap.”

Like I said, for a kid who 2 months ago underwent brain surgery which required removing sections of his skull and storing them (literally) for several weeks within his abdominal cavity, the fact that he’s walking and talking is absolutely amazing.

If you’d like to know more about his miraculous story, visit his website at http://www.helpwolverton.com/

roh morgon @ Monday, 10 June 2013 10:31 am
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~book bomb fundraiser

Hi all,

As those of you who follow my facebook posts may know, one of my mentors, fantasy writer and Writers of the Future judge David Farland, suffered a terrible tragedy last week. His 16-year-old son, Ben, was in a horrific longboarding accident that resulted in severe brain trauma and numerous broken bones including his pelvis. He is still in a coma but is showing improvements each day.

Dave’s former and current students, his fans, and his friends and family are spearheading several fundraisers to help with the astronomical medical bills. As with many self-employed folks in these rough economic times, the family had no health insurance.

One of the fundraisers is a book bomb. If you haven’t heard of these, a book bomb is a one-day concentrated push to purchase a book (or books) by a particular author in order to help raise their visibility on Amazon and other ranking lists. The short-term benefits (a one-day bump in sales) is frequently outweighed by the long-term increase in sales due to the improved visibility.

A book bomb is being held for Dave today (Wednesday April 10). This is a great way to help his family during their recovery. For as little as $6.99 for one of his ebooks you can add to this monumental effort and make a difference. You can make a bigger difference if you buy several, maybe even some as gifts.

So support an award-winning author whose contributions as a teacher and mentor have helped thousands of writers. Buy a book. Or two.

TODAY.

Here’s his multiple-award winning YA paranormal novel, Nightingale.: 

And his recently-published Million Dollar Outlines is garnering some great reviews:

 

 Both photos are linked to their Amazon pages – just a click will take you there!

You can visit his website to get more details on these books: 

http://www.davidfarland.net/writing_tips/?a=208

Here’s a little more about the book bomb from the coordinator:

~~~~~~~~~

As many of you know, Dave’s son, Ben, was in a serious long-boarding accident last week. He is 16 and suffers from severe brain trauma, a cracked skull, broken pelvis and tail bone, burnt knees, bruised lungs, broken ear drum, road rash, and is currently in a coma. His family has no insurance.

We are having a book bomb this Wednesday on behalf of Ben Wolverton to help his family out. You can view the event’s facebook page here:

https://www.facebook.com/events/453677124707603/

For those that don’t know, a book bomb is an event where participants purchase a book on a specific day to support the author, or, in this case, a young person in serious need: Ben Wolverton.

Many of you have expressed sympathy for Dave and Ben and have asked if you could help. Now you can. We need you to help Ben get the most out of this book bomb. Right now we are focused on spreading the word and telling others about it. If you could share this event on facebook, twitter, pinterest, your blog, or through email, please do. This is a way everyone reading this can help, whatever their financial situation.

On Wednesday, we will have the book bomb. If you haven’t yet purchased NIGHTINGALE or MILLION DOLLAR OUTLINES, please consider doing so on Wednesday. If you have already purchased them, you can donate money to Ben and his family here:

http://www.gofundme.com/BensRecovery

If you have a blog and would like to do a post about this book bomb, please email  at kami_marynda@yahoo.com, and she will send you some information you can use.

~~~~~~~~~

roh morgon @ Wednesday, 10 April 2013 8:53 am
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~high stakes

Yay! I love making these kind of announcements!

HIGH STAKES, ten fascinating tales of vampire games edited by Gabrielle Faust, is now available for the Kindle. The anthology contains stories by established, award-winning authors as well as newcomers to the world of writing: Joe McKinney, Jonathan Maberry, Jeff Strand, Gabrielle Faust, Jg Faherty, Sephera Giron, Rain Graves, David Hayes, and Michael H. Hanson, plus poetry from Bram Stoker Winner Linda D Addison and a foreward by Dacre Stoker.

The print version is scheduled for release on March 26.

I’m honored that my story, “The Games Monsters Play” resides among such a talented collection. You can find it along with all the others here:

roh morgon @ Sunday, 24 March 2013 2:55 pm
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~writing

It’s been awhile since my last post – a long while.

So I thought I’d give an update as to why.

I’m writing.

And when I write, I need to separate from everything outside the story except my job and my family. Everything else—my horses, my friends, my blog, facebook—only get minimal attention. I just don’t multitask well.

Unfortunately, mastering the skill of multitasking is a requirement for writers these days, especially those of us who indie-publish. Editor, book designer, publisher, marketer, social networker—these are all hats we must wear in addition to writer. I’ve found that whenever I change hats, though, it takes me a little while to get the new one to fit. Once it does, I’m reluctant to take it off.

And right now, I’m wearing my writer hat.

Runner, the sequel to Watcher, is nearing completion. Currently at 80,000 words, the story is moving into its third and final act.

I realize this novel is way behind schedule. Without going into details, 2012 was a very difficult year for me and my family, as well as a few others close to me. A number of events, some quite tragic, made working on this story nearly impossible, and rather than have it suffer from the constant turmoil of my personal life, I elected to set it aside until I felt ready to return to Sunny’s world.

But I’m deep in it now. Sunny faces many challenges in this book, some old, some new, and like my readers, I am just along for the ride and never quite sure what might be around the next bend. Rest assured, though—even if the details of what, why, and when are a little blurry, I can see the end of the road and I know exactly where it’s going.

Unless, of course, The Chosen have other ideas . . .

As a token of my appreciation for your patience, here is an excerpt from Runner: Book II of The Chosen:

~~~~~~~~~

It’s Halloween night. The streets and clubs are filled with witches and zombies and vampires, but no Chosen. If there’s any night they’d prowl among the humans, this would be it.

I’ve spent hours drifting from club to club, searching for the real monsters beneath the elaborate costumes. A silver-sequined mask is my only concession to the holiday, though my hunting blacks and black leather jacket seem to blend in well enough.

Disgusted with my fruitless quest, I walk back to the Cat Club for one last look before heading out of the city to hunt.

The place is packed. Fortunately the music is loud enough to cover the constant growl rumbling deep in my chest. My aversion to being touched by humans has increased since I returned from the wild, and it’s taking everything I have not to clear a space around me.

I spot a gap next to the wall and work my way through the crowd to lay claim to it. A couple to my right dressed as Raggedy Ann and Andy ease back to give me a little more room and I settle in against the cracked paint.

A black-caped figure to my left turns and regards me with eyes as dark as night. He flashes me a leering grin, his yellowish fangs in sharp contrast to the white of his teeth.

My breath catches, then slowly escapes.

Fake. His fangs are fake. Plastic.

Rolling my eyes, I turn away and stare out at the masquerade madness convulsing through the club.

The feel of the air surrounding us abruptly changes. I look toward the door and stop breathing all together.

A stir ripples through the masses as four costumed figures enter, drawing every gaze in the club. Their elegant 17th-century garments appear to be the real thing, with details that only my eyes are likely to pick out in the dim light.

Two stately females, blonde and brunette curls tumbling to their shoulders beneath broad-brimmed hats, glide into the room, their brocaded gold and ruby gowns sweeping the floor. Two males follow, sporting doublets and matching breeches in indigo and ivory. Their pale faces are bordered with shoulder-length hair, pointed goatees, and wide mustaches, no doubt the fashion of that time.

But it’s not the costumes that have stolen my breath.

The air shimmers around them, their auras pulsating in a tapestry of burgundy and black and grey. I’ve felt Chosen auras before, but this is the first I’ve seen them. I recognize the feel of Nicolas in them—these Chosen are of his lineage.

I push off from the wall and move toward my quarry.

As one, their haughty gazes shift in my direction and appraise me from across the room. Several lips curl, and the shorter male smiles, and with no further expression, they turn about-face and stroll out of the club.

Elbowing my way through the crowd, I reach the door and shove it open. As I step outside, I run into a broad, black t-shirted chest.

“Excuse me.” I start to push past him, but he steps in front of me again.

I look up into golden eyes perched above a hawklike nose and wide cheekbones. Full lips part and tug to one side, allowing me a glimpse of the fang behind them. Crimson flashes in his pupils and I ease back, hands up in surrender.

“Hey, I don’t want any trouble.” Instantly on guard, I yank off my mask and let it fall to the sidewalk.

The costumed Chosen behind him slip into a waiting limousine.

But they’re no longer necessary—not with this one standing barely three feet away.

I just hope he isn’t going to kill me.

~~~~~~~~~

roh morgon @ Monday, 4 February 2013 8:34 pm
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~back again

Life sometimes doesn’t go where we expect it.

I’d thought I’d be in Colorado this fall, signing books and fundraising for the Waldo Canyon relief efforts.

But such was not to be.

Other things happened, some writerly stuff, but mostly just life stuff.

I became very caught up in story submissions for a couple of anthologies. Alas, the short story I thought had the most potential for acceptance was rejected.

Oh, well. That’s the life of a writer.

A novella I received back from my editor has taken far more time to re-write than I expected. I actually have formed a love-hate relationship with this story, but I know the changes are for the better. My hopes for submitting it for the Bram Stoker Awards have faded as the deadline for voting rapidly approaches, and since a version of it has already been published, it won’t be eligible for next year. It’s too bad – it’s a pretty cool and unusual story, but my skill wasn’t quite up to telling it properly the first time around. Once I finish implementing the suggestions from my editor, the story will be much improved and a more engaging read for my readers.

All of this has slowed my progress on Runner. The story is coming along nicely, but I’ve had to move my target publishing date to the Spring of 2013. For those of you who are waiting for it, I am sorry and will make it up to you.

Keep a watch here for sneak previews and other tidbits from Sunny’s world.

roh morgon @ Sunday, 21 October 2012 11:52 am
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~ break

 

Life has a habit of taking unexpected turns.

This blog will be on break for the next few weeks.

roh morgon @ Monday, 5 March 2012 10:31 am
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~and the winner is…

Sue Mydliak!

Sue is the winner of an e-book copy of  Watcher: Book I of The Chosen in the Bloody Hearts Blog Hop!

All visitors to my blog during the Hop who answered the question about their favorite vampire were entered into a drawing for an e-copy of Watcher. The winner was selected using the online randomizer by RANDOM.ORG.

And who was Sue’s favorite vampire? Laurant from Twilight (the movie), who was one of the coolest vampires in that film.

Congratulations on winning, Sue!

roh morgon @ Thursday, 16 February 2012 5:17 am
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~bloody hearts blog hop

And now, we return to our regular programming…
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Bloody Hearts Blog Hop

The *Snowfest* Blogfest was a nice departure from the dark fantasy in which I usually dwell. I thought the topic would appeal to a wider audience, one that doesn’t typically write about blood and death. I was surprised (and pleased) by several entries that definitely stepped over the line of darkness.

For those who enjoy ‘walking on the dark side’, Vamplit Publishing, courtesy of Dark Media City, is hosting a Valentine’s Day event by the name of the Bloody Hearts Blog Hop.  This event takes place Feb 13 & 14 and entails <snicker> visiting the blogs listed on the Hop page, leaving comments, and getting free books.

Sounds hard, right?

The Bloody Hearts Blog Hop is still open to participants, so if you want to list your blog as one of the hot spots to visit, head on over and sign up.

As for what’s happening on my blog during the Hop, I’m asking visitors to list their favorite vampire in literature or film (or both!) in a comment on Feb 13 or 14. Those who do so will each receive a free ebook copy of The Last Trace.

In addition, all respondants will be entered into a random drawing at the end of the hop for a free ebook copy of Watcher: Book I of The Chosen. The winner will be announced on February 15.

So if you like your fiction a little dark, maybe tinged with fear or accented with splashes of red here and there, check out the Bloody Hearts Blog Hop on Feb 13 & 14. You may find a new author you like, or win a free book or two. And be sure to stop by here to get your free copy of The Last Trace.

roh morgon @ Monday, 6 February 2012 1:13 pm
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~*snowfest* sweep-up

Brrr…

It was blustery here in blogland yesterday!

We had nice turnout for the *Snowfest* Blogfest. I read a number of great entries that contained a wide variety of chill – from wintery temperatures to heart-stopping terror.

I just want to thank everyone who participated for not only providing readers with a selection of snowy stories, but for visiting one another and leaving such encouraging comments.

All participants who submitted stories are eligible for a drawing for a free copy of Watcher: Book I of The Chosen. I’m still waiting on entries from a couple of latecomers who had signed up. Since I know that ‘life happens’ and how I’ve even been late to my own blogfest party in the past, I’m going to give them today to get their stories posted and will wait to do the drawing until Saturday morning.

If you didn’t have a chance to check out the flurry of snow-filled scenes, below is a list of the participants. Be sure to leave a comment on their blog letting them know what you enjoyed most about their stories.

  1. Roh Morgon
  2. stuart sharp
  3. Jen Greyson
  4. Don Gilbert: So Many Words, So Little Time
  5. Rob Lopez: Forsaken Stars
  6. Tessa Conte
  7. Going Postal With Mitch
  8. Stephanie @ Scribbler to Scribe
  9. Donna Hole
  10. Gladiators Pen
  11. J. W. Parente @ In My Write Mind
  12. Wendy Tyler Ryan
  13. jeremy bates books
  14. Life Happens

Again, thank you everyone for joining our story snowstorm in the first annual *Snowfest* Blogfest. I will definitely do this again next year!

roh morgon @ Friday, 3 February 2012 6:47 am
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~kissing the clouds

Yeah. That’s where I am. High in the sky, kissing the clouds.

It’s amazing how much impact one person can have on the life another.

Watcher just received its first review from a professional in the industry. A writer and publisher for the last 24 years, Shannon Riley runs Southern Rose Productions.

Shannon contacted me in response to a mailer I sent out to members of the Horror Writers Association and requested a copy of Watcher to review.

Here’s what she posted on Amazon:

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“MOVE OVER ANNE RICE”

“If you think there is nothing new, fresh and original in vampire fiction, you haven’t read Watcher: Book 1 of the Chosen, the debut novel by Roh Morgon. I am not particularly a fan of traditional vampire stories, but I found this incredible book more engrossing than anything I have read in the genre in years. The reasons are not only the suspenseful and well written tale, but its potent underlying themes.”

“Sunny Martin is attacked and ravaged by an inhuman being who leaves her clinging to life and with an ravenous thirst for blood. In her half-human state, she determines that, for her beloved seventeen-year-old daughter’s sake, she must allow the girl to believe her mother is dead. Yet Sunny’s love for her child and her loneliness drives Sunny to stalk her daughter, hungry for whatever glimpses of her she can get. Five years later, when Sunny’s granddaughter is born, the sight of the child’s sweet face intensifies Sunny’s longing, and the separation from her family becomes almost more than she can bear. Sunny flees the state, hoping to begin her life anew.”

“She meets Nicolas, leader of a secret society, whose love for her may be able to fill the void in her heart, yet to bond with him, she must make the Change that would destroy the part of herself that remains human and give up her daughter and grandchild forever.”

“I loved this book, not only because I was able to identify immediately with the heroine, but because the premise is so undeniably true: Love does not always conquer all, and true happiness cannot be found unless one is true to him or her self.”

“Watcher: Book 1 of the Chosen is a suspenseful story told with such skill I wanted to consume it in a single read. This is a level of skill and professionalism seldom found in first novels, and I predict great things ahead for this writer.”

“Move over Anne Rice, a new “Queen of the Damned” is born. “

—Shannon Riley, writer and publisher

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When I read that, I have to admit it made me cry.

Shannon and I have corresponded several times since she finished Watcher, and, well… I’m blown away by her praise.

All my fears of whether or not my writing was good enough, my storytelling good enough, evaporated with the assessment of this industry professional.

It’s hard not to crave validation when you’re first starting out in any venture. Beginners need some indication of whether or not they’re on the right track. Friends and family offer encouragement to keep newbies going, but the feedback from an established professional is critical to the continuing evolution of the fledgling.

Well, this fledgling has taken to the air, and her first flight looks to be a success.

I know there will probably be other reviews not quite so glowing, because, after all, each reader interprets a story based on their own life experiences and desires.

But I will never forget this one and the generous encouragement from an experienced member of my new flock.

Now it’s time to learn how to fly.

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~Roh, still kissing the clouds

roh morgon @ Thursday, 19 January 2012 3:53 pm
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~surprises

Surprises.

I love them.

Well, unless they’re a bad surprise. Which really makes them more of shock.

But being the optimist that I am (though you wouldn’t know it from my dark writing), I naturally think of surprises as being good.

This one was. It was one of those surprise so good you can’t quite believe your eyes and you stop and say ‘no way!’ and ‘how cool’ and you almost fall out of your chair.

Yeah, one of THOSE surprises.

The other night, I visited the Horror Writers Association blog to catch up on their latest posts. As I was reading, the graphic at the top of the page was scrolling a collection of book covers. My eyes happened to drift upward just in time to see Watcher makes its leisurely way across the screen!

What?!

I watched the covers march by, and – lo and behold! – those red eyes staring out from the stark black strutted across the stage once again. It was the ninth book <grin>.

The third time I was ready and captured it with a screen shot:

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Now, those of you who follow my blog know that I’m not really all that happy with Watcher’s cover. It was only meant to be a temporary ARC cover (Advance Reading Copy), and will be eventually be replaced with imagery that fits the vision in my mind.

That said, I still felt the burst of pride parents feel when their child appears in the school play. You just want to elbow your neighbor and say, “Hey, that’s MY kid up there!”

So yeah, my kid’s in the play. In fact, it was on Christmas Day when Watcher took center stage and the spotlight shined (shone?) on my first-born:

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Pretty cool, huh?!

Yeah. That’s MY kid in the spotlight <nudge, nudge>. Go watch her dance across the stage yourself, and check her out as she takes center stage.

Have a great 2012. I know mine’s off to a galloping start.

roh morgon @ Monday, 16 January 2012 6:55 am
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~tuesday train

Tuesday Train.

I like the sound of that.

I’m participating in my first ‘Tuesday Train’, a weekly blog hop hosted by  The Survival Mama and My Mad Mind.

This is a great opportunity to meet new bloggers , both on their sites and yours!

You can join in here:

Photobucket

And for those visiting my blog for the first time, be sure to scroll down and get the details on my upcoming *snowfest* blogfest!

roh morgon @ Monday, 9 January 2012 7:50 pm
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~it’s official

Today is a special day.

For those who know of my obsession with the number 9  and its connection to Watcher, today is a nine-day.

For those who don’t know what the heck I’m talking about, add up the digits in today’s date: 10-04-2011 -> 1+0+0+4+2+0+1+1 = 9.

But it’s more than just a nine day.

It’s a birth day, and a day to celebrate the achievement of a personal goal.

Today is the birth day of Watcher: Book I of The Chosen, after a nearly three-year-long gestation.

And today I am an officially published novelist.

roh morgon @ Tuesday, 4 October 2011 4:14 pm
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~tim powers and kickstarter

An author I recently discovered (and have no idea how I’ve missed his work) is Tim Powers.

For those who aren’t familiar with his name, he’s known for an award-winning novel called The Anubis Gates. Oh, and a little story adapted as a film in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise by the name of On Stranger Tides.

I’ve only read one of Tim’s books so far, an older one titled, The Stress of Her Regard. It’s a paranormal twist on the lives of the great Romantic poets, Byron, Shelley, and Keats. I’m constantly on the lookout for vampire stories in which the vampires are a little different than the standard Dracula model, and this novel really fits the bill.

In my pursuit to learn more about this writer of secret/alternative histories, I discovered a project of his on Kickstarter titled “Last Call,” which is also the name of another of his award-winning books. The goal for their fundraiser is to raise enough money to film a scene from the book to be used for pitching to Hollywood (my son in the industry calls this a ‘tone piece.’)

Now this is a very cool project, and in fact, since I’ve become aware of it, they’ve raised over half of the amount needed to make the short film.

Kickstarter is an innovative fundraising tool oriented toward artist of all types. This is how it works:

The artist develops a proposal to raise funds for a project and pitches it on Kickstarter. The artist sets a dollar goal that must be met by a specific date. Donors pledge varying amounts and receive a variety of perks in return.

If the dollar goal is met, the donors’ credit cards are charged their pledge amounts. If the dollar goal is not met by the declared date, no one is charged a dime and the artist goes home.

Pretty simple.

In fact, it’s such a cool concept I think I might try it. My son, his business partner, and I are putting together a proposal to raise money for a book trailer for Watcher. I’ll keep you posted.

Writer L. M. May  blogged last week about several Kickstarter success stories. Maybe I can be one of them.

In the meantime, visit Tim’s Kickstarter page and kick in a little $$ to help his project out.

On another note, I’m attending the World Fantasy Convention in San Diego next month (more on this amazing convention later). Tim Powers is going to be there, and I’m hoping to be able to meet him!

roh morgon @ Friday, 30 September 2011 3:26 pm
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~Wednesday’s e-Watch: 11 May 2011

Today is the inaugural edition of Wednesday’s e-Watch and it’s packed with info for anyone interested in the status of indie and e-publishing.

In fact, you might feel a little overwhelmed with everything listed here. I do, because, with the exception of the final item at the bottom of this post, everything below happened in the space of ONE WEEK.

So far this week:

Joe Konrath’s post yesterday was another eye-opener in a long string of eye-openers. The first part included a guest post by indie author Scott Sigler. Scott shared his story of how he became a top-selling indie author and the marketing methods he used to build a devoted fan base.

Joe wrapped up Scott’s post with some astonishing sales facts: currently, the Number 1 e-book in Amazon’s horror category is Scott Sigler’s newly-released Blood is Red. Positions 2 and 3 are Run by Blake Crouch and Trapped by Jack Kilborn, both indie authors. In fact, Joe said that the top eight horror bestsellers are indie – and are outselling King, Koontz, and Harris.

Now that’s something.

~~~

Another well-known indie author made news of her own. Most of you have heard by now about indie author Amanda Hocking’s phenomenal success with her self-published books (900,000 books sold in ten months). She made the headlines again when she inked a four-book deal for a new series with St. Martins Press for $2 million dollars.

Well, last week she did it yet again. Amanda made a three-book deal with St. Martins Press for her Trylle Trilogy, a series she already published herself.

Big publisher buys previously self-published series. Thought they didn’t do that.

Looks like the rules of the game are a’changing.

~~~

Last week’s news:

Wednesday was a big day for announcements in the publishing world.

From Smashwords.com: Smashwords books are coming to an app store near you.Today we announced an agreement with ScrollMotion that will transform over 33,000 Smashwords Premium Catalog ebooks into individual mobile apps for distribution to the largest app marketplaces for smart phones, tablets and other mobile devices.

The relationship will gain Smashwords authors and publishers free entry into the app marketplaces for Apple, Android, Windows Phone 7 and WebOS.

~~~

Wednesday’s press release from Lulu.com might be of additional interest to those who are planning to self-publish.

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Also on Wednesday, The Wall Street Journal’s Market Watch published a press release from Amazon announcing their latest imprint, Montlake Romance.

Is Amazon moving in the direction of becoming a publishing house?

The question becomes more interesting. Read on.

Friday’s news contained an announcement about Bookish.com, a new book recommendation service backed by Hachette, Penguin (USA), and Simon & Schuster.

As in, Three out of the Big Six publishing houses have formed an alliance.

This alliance includes partnering with AOL Huffington Post Media Group. According to PR Newswire, Bookish will feature exclusive content, sell physical and digital books, and provide social networking.

Sounds like Amazon meets Facebook, right?

Is this an attempt to pool resources to better position themselves against the other Three? Against Amazon?

You can read more about this here and here, and draw your own conclusions.

In fact, Mike Shatzkin has an interesting post from May 8 that examines the mad scrambling taking place by anyone and everyone who’s a big name in publishing. Check it out on his blog, The Shatzkin Files.

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I was introduced to science fiction and fantasy by my dad. He signed me up for the Science Fiction Book Club when I was about twelve, which pretty much changed my life, as I’m sure it did for a lot of other readers and writers of the genre. I haven’t thought or heard about book clubs in years (other than Oprah’s), so when I saw an article on subscription e-books from The Shatzkin Files, I thought I’d pass it along.

~~~

This March 23 post on if:book, A Project of The Institute for the Future of the Book was from Kim White and, ladies and gentlemen, I hate to tell you, but this is where we’re headed: shift happened

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Phew! It’s hard to believe that (except for the last item), all of the above events happened in ONE WEEK!

ONE WEEK!

And I only included the major stuff.

If I missed anything, or you’d like to add to the list, let me know. Include it in your comments and I’ll cover it in a subsequent post.

Remember, even though writing is a solitary art, getting published takes a team. Be part of the team. Help us stay current on the latest events so that we as writers can not only survive these topsy-turvy times, but actually thrive and maybe even come out on top.

Let me know what you think.

roh morgon @ Wednesday, 11 May 2011 5:11 pm
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~thank you, students!


My thanks to everyone who took part in the Back-to-School Daze Blogfest. I’ve read some great entries and you all get an ‘A’ for participation.

However, the Blogfest hostess gets a ‘D’ for attendance, and I apologize to those of you whose entries I have not yet read. Due to a combination of a training class for my job, the Central Coast Writers Conference, and the Central Coast Book & Author Festival, I’ve been out of town for a week – with limited internet access. The Conference and Festival were planned months ago, but the job training (during several days of my blogfest!) was on short notice. The limited internet access was not on the schedule at all. Very frustrating. I will visit each and every blog I missed over the next several days – please bear with me.

I will also post a write-up about the Conference that featured Nathan Bransford as the keynote speaker, and what it was like to participate in the Festival with my very own author booth (my first!) and promote my writing projects.

But for now, I just want to say ‘THANK YOU’ to everyone who made it to class and got their homework turned in – you guys are star students!

roh morgon @ Monday, 20 September 2010 8:59 am
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~yeah, thru saturday!

Thanks, Drea, for this picture!  I’m so glad you posted the link to this! It’s perfect!

And yes, the Back-to-School Daze Blogfest is still happenin’ today and tomorrow! And there’s even class on Saturday!

This is to allow all those who couldn’t complete their homework on time to turn it in and still get credit for it.

It’s also to give all those teachers time to read the assignments and give ’em grades.

I know THIS particular reader is jammed right now between work and getting everything ready to attend the Central Coast Writers Conference that starts tomorrow.

Then on Sunday,  I have a booth at the Central Coast Book & Author Festival. I’m selling/giving away copies of Fur Before Feathers (the short story my blogfest entry is excerpted from). Here’s the cover that my good friend Paula Zima did for it:

Cool, huh?!

I also had bookmarks made from the cover:  one of Sanders w/ the falcon and the mouse, the other of the panther.

I’m so jazzed about this Festival. Paula and I are sharing a booth. I’m promoting my writing and she’s promoting her amazing artwork. I’m also on the schedule to do readings from my stories. They gave me 15 minutes, so I’ll be reading bits from both Watcher and Fur Before Feathers.

Speaking of readings, I need to read a few more blogfest entries and then I’m off to pack!

roh morgon @ Thursday, 16 September 2010 9:26 pm
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~The “Let’s Talk” Blogfest and dialog excerpt from Watcher

Fiction Groupie is holding an event called the “Let’s Talk” Blogfest. Participants sign up on her blog, then post a dialog excerpt from their WIP on their own blog.

I heard about this from Chris (one of my friends from FSFW) and immediately thought, “I have the perfect scene. I was just working on it.”

Thanks, Chris, for the heads up!

And without further ado, here is a scene from Watcher (oh, and today is a nine-day, BTW!):

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The first thing I become conscious of is that whatever I’m lying on is not hard.  I cautiously reach out, expecting to feel air, but instead touch softness and fabric.

I open my eyes open and lift my head to look around.  A bed, my bed.  Not a tree branch.

Or maybe it is still a dream, I realize, as I turn and see Nicolas stretched out next to me, leaning on his elbow with his head propped up on his hand.

“Good morning,” he says in a low musical voice, his emerald eyes shining.

As before, words stick in my throat, unable to escape. So this must be a dream after all.

He reaches out and brushes back the hair from my face, then softly strokes my lips.

But that felt pretty real.

He shifts, then leans over and kisses me on the mouth.

Oh, this is definitely real.

I feel my body respond, and then he is crushing me to him.  He holds me tight for a long moment, then slowly releases me and leans back.  He reaches out again and starts working the tangles from my hair with his fingers.

“I was unable to comb all of these out earlier, as you were sleeping on this side.”

“You carried me off the mountain,” I croak, my voice finally breaking free.

“I did,” he says quietly as he continues to pick at my hair.

“You are here.”

“I am.”

“How long have you been here?”

“Since the night you left.  A month ago.”  The pain beneath his words is unmistakeable.

“A month? I’ve been gone a month?”

It’s all a blur of mountains and forests, lakes and meadows, blood and more blood.

He purses his lips, but does not answer. His green eyes watch my face as I feel the wilderness sing in my soul.  He touches my cheek, jarring me back to the present.

“You waited here,” I whisper. “All that time. For me.”

“Yes. I could do…nothing else.” Again I hear the pain, accompanied by loneliness, and wonder how he survived.

Because the only way I did was to give myself to the blood and to the wild.

Once more it calls, and I shut my eyes and remember the colors and smells that caressed my senses, and the wind that softly brushed my skin. Life is so simple out there.  Hunt and run and swim and sleep.  No complicated emotions to manage, no one to argue with, or be disappointed in, or be embraced by, or be loved by.

My eyes grow damp as tears begin to well up beneath their closed lids.

“Sunny.”  His voice is calm and soothing. Feather-light fingers again touch my face.

Startled, my eyes fly open. Yes, he is still here. This is not a dream.

But I need to move, to stretch, to run. My body’s not used to being so still for so long. Slipping out of the bed, I back across the room, watching him. He gets up as well, and part of me starts to panic. I turn to the closet, take out a pair of  jeans and a sweater, and slip them on.  I don’t need shoes–quit wearing them weeks ago.

“I need to go,” I whisper to the floor on my way out.

“Will you come back?” he asks, his voice strained.

“I don’t know. Maybe.” I take a long, slow breath. “Yes. I just need…a little more time.”

Turning, I head for the back door. As I open it, I hear him in the doorway behind me.

“I’ll be here,” he says.

I breathe deeply and step outside, inhaling the pine and other scents that make up the forest, and take off up the mountain at a dead run.

roh morgon @ Wednesday, 19 May 2010 8:28 am
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more on ‘nine’

I’ve posted before about the number nine and will likely do so again.

This month’s post revolves around the once-in-a-year occurrence of two nine-days happening within two days of one another.

The first one was on Thursday, April 29.  4+2+9+2+0+1+0 = 18 = 9

The second one is today, Saturday May 1.  5+1+2+0+1+0 = 9

What’s really cool about it this year is that they bracket my birthday. Yes, my birthday is smack dab in the middle of two nine-days! For a nine-freak like me–that is monumental!

So when I realized that, I had to (you know, that OCD thing)  figure out when my birthday last was, or will be again, a nine-day.

Guess what? Just last year, my birthday fell on a nine-day (which was before I was aware of how important nine seems to be in my life).  Now, that might not seem significant (in fact, I doubt that ANY of this is significant to anyone but me), but 2009 was the year I was sucked into the world of Sunny and Nicolas and wrote the novel Watcher and half of its sequel. 2009 was the year I discovered I love to write.

So I think it’s pretty fascinating that my birthday was on a nine-day in a year in which my life took a much-needed change in direction.

The interesting thing about a specific month and day combining with a year to equal nine is that it only occurs periodically.  Like, every nine years (seriously!).

So my birthday won’t fall again on a nine-day until the year 2018…Sure hope I’m still around then.

But back to nine-days and assorted odd facts relating to them:

The new moon occurred twice this year on a nine-day:  January  14 & February 13. And that’s it for the year.

The full moon will occur only once this year on a nine-day: December 21, which also happens to be winter solstice. This seems to me to be a day that should be paid close attention to.

The only other oddity that I’d like to highlight is one that occurs in the upcoming leap year, 2012. This is  a year that already has a number of people a bit nervous.

So not only is 2012 a leap year, but Leap Day, February 29, has it’s own significance. It is a nine-day!

It is quite rare for a day that occurs only once every four years to also be a nine-day. So rare that it will happen only twice in this century: 2012 and 2048.

2+2+9+2+0+4+8 = 27 = 9.

Let’s all hope the world as we know it, or something similar, is around in 2048, and that someone can do the math to notice that Leap Day is also a nine-day.

roh morgon @ Saturday, 1 May 2010 11:52 pm
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