Midnight-A Short Story

Here is the promised short story for January. This month we were asked to write a story that takes place within an hour. Well, being the unconventional kid that I am, I literally wrote ABOUT an hour. Enjoy!

Midnight, a short story about the spirit of Midnight

I watch 23:00 trot through the trees toward me. As usual, there’s a skip in her step and she’s humming something light-hearted. Vivaldi? Last night it was Sinatra. A swaying love song. Tonight it’s a chipper tune. Bouncy. Just like 23:00.

“Good evening,” she says to me.

“How was it?”

23:00 sighs. “Lovely. As usual.” She’s back to humming. Bobbing her head along with the melody. The silver specks in her black hair sparkle when they catch the moonlight. She wears it long, and lets the curls cascade over her face and down her back. Never bothering to tie it back. The perfect teeth of her smile match the scattered swirls of silver in her black skin. “It’s a perfect night.”

“Alright then,” I say. “I’ll be off.” I don’t like to delay The New Day. It’s dangerous to keep time waiting.

“Don’t you ever enjoy the fact that you can stop time?” 23:00 asks. “I can hold off an hour, but you… You can keep an entire day in suspense.” She sighs again.

23:00 has always been a dreamer. A child of “what if”. But, being in her position, that makes sense. She ends the day. People of the world are often left feeling hopeful of what The New Day may bring. 23:00 conveniently ignores those who wished the day had never happened.

“It’s irresponsible,” I tell her.

She giggles. “So? I mean, don’t get me wrong. I wouldn’t want your job. Too many people are afraid of you. I prefer to be adored. By those happy to see the day end, or those reveling in its glory. But, you seem uninterested in your eminence. Don’t you ever find yourself amused by the power?”

“Amused?”

“You can keep them waiting.” She gazes into the black starry sky. “All of them. Those who wish for tomorrow. Those who dread it. The New Day is in your hands.” Another sigh. “Midnight. The most powerful of us all, but she doesn’t care.”

She’s wrong, of course. I care very much. The weight of The New Day rests on me. I fully understand my position. My power. “I respect the power. It’s not my place to abuse it. The world depends on you to end the day, and me to begin the next. Who are we to deny them?”

“Fine,” she tosses her hands up in surrender.

“Now, if there’s nothing to report, I’ll be off.” Turning away, I step out from under the trees.

“Oh,” 23:00 calls after me, “There is one thing… I guess.”

I stop. Waiting. Refusing to turn back unless it’s important. For with her it rarely is.

“I’d watch your back,” 23:00 says. “I may not want your job, but someone does.”

Looking over my shoulder, I see her shining smile. The subtle swirls of silver playing on her face. “That’s not news,” I say. “But, thanks anyway. Good night, 23:00.”

“Good morning, Midnight.”

After a few steps, I take to the air. Swooping into the night. Twelve customary chimes echo on the wind. Bellowing of Midnight and the approach of The New Day. The rush from flight tousles some of my hair from its wound up braids. The purple buried deep within the black twinkles, if one were to look closely. My glossy black skin tingles with the shifting time. That’s always been my favorite part. The feel of the change. With the birth of The New Day comes hope, fear, wonder. So many different things from the world, and I get to feel it all.

As I glide over the dreamers, partiers, love-makers, and non-sleepers, I guide The New Day into being. Seeing it wash over the world. Almost every New Day is the same. But, a few stand out. Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, a Coronation Day, or momentous history making days. Their shifts are bigger. Like a tidal wave instead of a steady river.

As usual, Between Beings scatter as I fly by. Springing into action as their hour finally arrives. As long as they don’t linger, I leave them to their mischief. They’re more of a gleeful annoyance to the world than a real problem. Faeries, Sprites, Ghosts… They have their jobs too, and it’s not my place to interfere. Only if they exceed our hour do I involve myself. The wrath of Midnight isn’t pretty. And they know it. So, approaching Between Beings is a rarity.

In my presence there is mystery or opportunity. In my wake I leave hope or uncertainty. Depends on the person. Depends on the circumstances. Depends on the day. I don’t command The New Day. I only introduce it. Holding its hand as it meets the world for the first time. I like that about my job. The day will do what it will do. Same as the people of the world. I get to usher it all in, and see it begin. Whether it’s exciting, scary, or completely routine, I get to see it all.

But, reflecting on the beauty that is seeing a New Day often shines a light on its lack of permanence. Not only is The New Day fleeting, but my station may be as well. I’ve always been The Hour of Midnight. I was born with Time. Just like the others. Some of them have moved around, however. Who was once 4:00 overtook 7:00 so they could have The Dawn. To the former 4:00 it seemed more prestigious. And some time ago Noon became lazy, thus bargaining with 3:00 to trade positions. The new 3:00 enjoys the idea of nothing but sleepers and insomniacs. And the new Noon finds lunchtime activities refreshing. I’ve never been one to crave something different. I love my hour. I love The New Day. But, as 23:00 said, others do too. I’ve been challenged a few times. None have come close to claiming Midnight for themselves. I’ve proudly held my post. But still… there could be a time when I’m defeated. Jealousy among The Hours has always been and always will be.

I try my best to push away the idea of losing The New Day. I’m here now. Bringing a new beginning as I always have. As I hopefully always will. Seeing the forest approaching, the tingling of my skin starts to fade. I dive for the trees, and find 1:00 ahead.

He’s leaning against a tree, waiting. Staring at his feet with a look of irritation and boredom. His matte black hair flops lazily. Lifeless eyes peek through. The dull, dark skin of his face has no delicate purple sparkle like my own, nor a playful silver swirl like 23:00. Sometimes, he really seems a shadow.

More than once I’ve heard him grumble about his neglected hour. It’s not romantic enough, he thinks. There’s never anything fresh or hopeful about it. He sees the hour after Midnight as an after thought. Of all The Hours, he feels the most ignored.

With careful precision, my feet gently touch down. From the trees, Fae, Sprites, Ghosts, and other Between Beings emerge. They creep toward me. I open my mouth to condemn them. Their time has expired! They know that! But, I stop. Why so many perpetrators of our ancient law? Looking to 1:00 I see a gray-toothed smile.

“You know…” 1:00 says without lifting his eyes, “When children count, they start with the number one.”

The Between Beings swarm. A deafness hangs in the air where the ring of a single chime is missing.

Heads Up! Short Stories Coming Soon to a Blog Near You!

That’s right! I’m going to post short stories right here on the blog! I’ve recently joined a writing group (more info below) and once a month we’re given a prompt for a short story. I’ve decided to post them here. I may publish them in a book down the road, I may develop one or two into a novel, I may hate them and print them, just so I can burn them. Who knows?! My point… Be on the look out for at least one short story a month.

Short Stories written by Author K.D. Reed

Some amazing things are happening! I’ve got two new full length novels in the works. I’ve found an amazing community on YouTube. And, I’ve gained a lot of new friends lately from Twitter. THINGS ARE ON THE MOVE.

I’m working on a science fiction novel. It’s post-apocalyptic and really cool. I started it for NaNoWriMo. And, while I learned NaNoWriMo is a NaNo-NoNo for me personally, I absolutely LOVE the story I started. So I’m going to keep going with it. It’s too good not to. Also! I’m currently in the process of creating a new author platform. I’ve felt the pull to write something Middle Grade. Call it fate. Call it destiny. Call it me trying to get my little niece and cousins to love reading as much as I do. I have to do this. I can feel it. But, to do so under the name K.D. Reed is going to be… problematic. My stuff is for grown-ups. Like… the grown-uppiest of grown-ups. If you’ve read my books, you understand. Therefore, when the time comes, I’ll be creating a whole new name and platform for my kid stuff.

Because I can.

I’ll also keep working under the name K.D. Reed at the same time, though. So don’t worry, adult people. I’m not going anywhere.

Next! Thanks to the beautiful people on YouTube, I’ve joined a writing group. As I mentioned above, we’ll be prompted for some short story work. It’s mostly for fun, but I wanted to share it with all of you lovely people.

Lucky you.

I want to quickly give a special thank you to Ben Sanders. We met on BookTube/AuthorTube (the people on YouTube talking about reading and writing, respectively) and he’s the super neat dude that organized our cool kids writing club. Yeah… it’s not actually called that. It just makes me feel like a cool kid, okay? Any who! Ben is really great, and a talented writer. Check out his YouTube channel. You’ll thank me later.

Lastly, if you haven’t noticed, I’ve moved most of my social media activity to Twitter. Facebook, especially right now, has A LOT of problems. Every time I log on I feel like Wesley in The Princess Bride when he’s hooked up to the machine.

Funny meme from the movie The Princess Bride

So! Most of the time, I only go to Facebook for the groups I’m in and to keep up with family. There’s a lot of people I’m connected to there that I love both personally and professionally. (Not like in a hooker way. Like in a writing way. But, you knew that, right?) Moving to Twitter has gained me some amazing friends, and I like it A LOT better. Here’s my Twitter, if you want to follow me there.

That’s all the news! I’m hoping to post January’s short story tomorrow. Or soonish. Sooner rather than later. Definitely. Probably. Maybe.

As always, you guys are so great. I have the best readers. I really do. Thank you so much for sticking with me. Please know that you are appreciated.

Also…

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Until tomorrow! (Or whenever…)

Now Coming to you from YouTube!

Big news today!

My YouTube channel has officially launched. There’s videos on there and everything!

Videos by the author K.D. Reed. She's a writer by day and a princess by night. Funny videos about her books and her life.

So get over there and SUBSCRIBE.

Things you’ll find on the YouTube channel:

  • Books I read
  • Books I write
  • my cute dogs
  • Bad dancing
  • Stories from my Princess gigs
  • Rants
  • Kind of funny stuff

Here’s the intro video to give you an idea of what it’s all about.

I’ll be doing a “trailer” for the channel next week, once I have a few more videos up.

Also, the Happy Halloween video is pretty funny. I’m adorable in a tutu.

Go visit and subscribe!

Please and thank you.

 

4 Reasons To Do NaNoWriMo You Haven’t Thought Of.

NaNoWriMo is only a week away!! Are you ready? Because I am… not. I’m close. I think. Any who, I decided that along with my post containing NaNoWriMo resources, I’d also jabber on about why I’m choosing to participate in the insanity for the first time. I mean, let’s all admit it, writers are crazy. I know I am. These are the reasons I’m ramping up my crazy factor and why you should consider jumping on the NaNoWriMo train to psycho-ville.

4 Reasons to do NaNoWriMo you haven't thought of

 

1. It’s a chance for a new beginning

In case you didn’t hear, I published a couple new books last month. And while I’m incredibly proud of them, sales didn’t go as I’d hoped. (It never does, really.) I found myself a little more discouraged than expected. Many who PROMISED to buy/review/promote/whatever simply didn’t come through.

It sucked.

So! I’ve taken hold of this raging knife in my heart and yanked it out. Now, the blood is spurting everywhere and staining the carpet. Instead of mopping it up, I’m going to collect it, and pour it into a new manuscript. An AWESOME manuscript. A few reasons for this:

  1. As a writer, the most common piece of advice is “keep writing”. The best way to sell books, is to write the next one. Produce content. Publish more. Give readers something else to love. Yada… yada… yada… While I don’t necessarily write to make me rich, I do require food. I have a husband who insists on eating every day. And, don’t even get me started on student loans! Therefore, I gotta try to make a penny or two. This is where NaNoWriMo comes in. The timing is right for me to take a step back from marketing, and follow the advice of those who have gone before me. WRITE THE NEXT BOOK. So, that’s what I’m going to do.
  2. I actually LIKE writing. It can build my confidence (it can also demolish it to rubble, but that’s another post for another time). Writing can help me feel like I’m not wasting my destiny. It can spur on new ideas for even more books. There’s just a thousand reasons to write, okay? I’m really feeling the call, though. I hear a whisper on the wind saying, “write that story you keep thinking about in the shower…”
  3. I’ve had several ideas for fairytale retellings, and it’s high time I birth them unto the world. One is done (by done, I mean the first draft is finished), and the next is my NaNo project. Hooray!
  4. The final reason to write a new story… it shakes off the rust and reminds me I am a writer. It’s that simple. I am a writer. So, I will write.

 

2. We can try something new!

NaNoWriMo is the perfect opportunity for me to try some new writing techniques. Since I have a draft deadline, instead of a publishing deadline, I can experiment with new routines, techniques, and what not. Oddly enough, the quick deadline has given me the gift of time.

I think of it like this…

I’m usually writing with a strict timeline of all the following steps:

  • Draft
  • Beta reader
  • Rewrite
  • Rewrite
  • Edit
  • Teaser promo
  • Edit
  • Heavy promo
  • Edit
  • Format
  • Even more promo
  • Final edit
  • More stupid promos
  • Final read-through
  • Giant promo dump all over the internet
  • Submit
  • Wait for Amazon to decide the book’s fate……..
  • Publish!!

For every book it’s been like that. (Mind you, that’s just a bullet list of the basics.) It’s a lot of work and a lot of steps to get the book into the hands of readers. For NaNoWriMo, I only have to accomplish step one. That’s it!

So! Since I only have one thing on the to do list, I can mix it up. I can try a new way of writing. A new approach. Maybe I’ll write in a different room. Maybe I’ll write first thing in the morning, instead of whenever I can squeeze it in. Maybe I won’t write beginning to end. I might start in the middle! The possibilities are endless!!

My point, now that I’ve taken a hundred years, is that I can try to find new ways for myself. I very well may come across something that works amazingly and can implement it into my regular writing routine. That’s the point. I have a chance to better my process. How else do you figure out a better way to do something? You try it out!

Specifically, I’m going to focus on NOT EDITING AS I GO. Write first. Edit later. I’m 100% the worst at this. I can write fast. I can publish fast. But, I edit as I write my first draft. Honestly, for my novellas, it works out okay. But, for a full novel, it will definitely not work okay. I’m not so set in my ways that I don’t see that. For NaNoWriMo however, we’re going to write write write. And edit in December.

 

3. There’s a legit community.

NaNoWriMo has an awesome way of bringing writers together. Our industry is often a solitary one. We sit in our dark rooms, alone with the keyboard. Clattering away in isolation. AND WE LIKE IT THAT WAY.

But! NaNo is different. We sort of become this giant group of cheerleaders. Pep talks, meet-ups, write ins, parties. You name it. We’re in the same boat. We boarded “Ship Insanity” together. So, we enjoy the cruise as friends.

NaNoWriMo has an awesome and helpful writing community
(CLICK TO TWEET!)

It’s awesome. There’s support both online and in person. People helping people. It’s beautiful and wonderful. And, I’m excited to be a part of it. I know, for a fact, I’m going to come away with more than a manuscript draft. I’m going to make legit friends.

I’m going to be a cool kid! Finally!

Honestly, the writing community is one of the best things in the universe. We’re helpful, encouraging, and supportive. I’ve had an amazing experience. Other writers are simply the best. And NaNoWriMo is an opportunity to expand my “personal community”. It’s a great time to meet EVEN MORE awesome writers. I’ll take as many friends as I can get within the writing world. They’ve been an invaluable resource. My success is attributed to the community. And, I can’t wait to grow mine!

 

4. Writing can FINALLY be a priority.

Sometimes, it’s all I can do to kick out 500 words. The day gets away from me, too long of a to do list, stuff comes up, whatever. There are days when it just… doesn’t… happen.

Enter NaNoWriMo! For a month, I get so say, “Sorry, can’t do that. I gotta write!”

I have prepped my family and friends. They know that come November, I’m gone. I’ll be head down, cranking out 1667 words a day. AT LEAST. My goal is at east 2000 a day. Pretty sure my story is going to need more than 50,000 words, so my target is a bit loftier than NaNo “requires”.

My point is, tell yo kids… tell yo wife… November is YOUR time to write. Say no, as often as you can to the other stuff. This is when you get to make writing a priority. It can come first. Not second, or fourth, or umpteenth. First.

As best you can, anyway. Obviously, we all have responsibilities we can’t throw away. But, for NaNoWriMo, we get this legit excuse to move writing closer to the top of our to do list.

I’ve literally told people, “Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen. I’m booked until December.” I’m really excited to immerse myself completely. I’m diving all the way to the bottom of my imagination’s ocean. See you in December everyone! Byeeeeeee

I am seriously looking forward to it just being me and my book. My words. A golden opportunity is lurking within NaNo. An opportunity to write your story. For you. You deserve it. We all do. We deserve the time to write what we need to. And in November, we get it!

So… Are you NaNo-ing??

Because, if you’re a writer, you totally should.

And, most importantly, enjoy the writing.

 

NaNoWriMo 2016- LET’S DO THIS

In six-ish hours it’ll officially be NaNoWriMo prep time. For me anyway. Some have been preparing since September 1st, some before that, some may not gear up for a few more weeks. But! No matter when, or how, NaNoWriMo is coming for us all.

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo for those that don’t know) takes place November 1st-30th. It’s a challenge for writers to complete a novel draft of 50,000 words during those thirty days. Basically, write a book in a month. Boom. Easy, right?

Um…. no.

It is not.

This is my first year participating. While very excited, I’m doing my best to OVER prepare so as to avoid getting overwhelmed. As a result, I’ve gathered some awesome resources. And, lucky you! I’m going to spill it all here, so you can play too!

NaNoWriMo advice, resources, and general help for National Novel Writing Month

Okay!

Let’s start with NaNoWriMo in general.

First, I found this great, probably pretty accurate, representation of what to expect. Our friends at BuzzFeed wrote this up a few years ago. While not SUPER helpful for participants, those who know someone involved may learn a thing or two. I’m planning on sending this to my husband come November 1st. It has some hilarious info and gifs on the stages we writers will experience during NaNoWriMo. Like this gem. Stage one:

 

NaNoWriMo Madness from BuzzFeed

(It is from like… 2012 I think? But still relevant)

 

Next up, some great posts on preparation:

Checklist: 30 Things to do for NaNo Prep

A great list of stuff to do. Everything from plotting to social calendar clearing. Even a handy graphic I may print out and carry around with me. She’s has great visuals with every step. Many of which cracked me right up:

 

Game of Thrones NaNoWriMo funny meme

 7 Strategies for NaNoWriMo Prep

A lovely compact list to help with plotting. I especially like the idea of drawing a map. Fantasy or not, a map of your character’s surrounding and geography can be immensely helpful. Also, thoughtfully choosing a point of view helps a ton. Pick one and stick with it.

The National Novel Writing Month official website

Alrighty. Head over here. Register. Get yourself set up for success. I did. My profile is still a bit bare for the moment, but find me. Add me. Let’s be friends and cheer each other on. I love to hear from readers and writers. And, I love talking and joking and sharing ideas. All that jazz. Sign up!

Now for the juicy stuff.

Once November is here, these will help you stay organized and keep you going.

Day-by-Day NaNoWriMo Outline: Your 30-Day Cheatsheet

An awesome day-by-day process of where your story should go. Great for the planners (like me) to read through before you outline. Can also be good for the Pantsters*. You crazies can peek at it to keep your plot moving along. Super great list for story construction. Also contains a neat graphic. Woo!

*A “Pantster”, I learned, is a writer who “flies by the seat of their pants” when book writing. For example, they don’t outline and such. Pretty sure I would actually die a death if I tried it. They’re cool and badass and I want to hear their war stories…

NaNoWriMo: The Art of 1667 Words Per Day

Great tips on how to keep your micro-goal of 1667 words per day. That’s all we have to do. One thousand six hundred sixty-seven words. A day. For thirty days. We can do that, right? It’s going to be fine.

If you’re like me, and have momentary panics about achieving even a hundred words a day, this post will really help. Awesome advice, about distractions, momentum, etc… I also loved her idea of changing your font color to a super light gray. To keep from editing as you write. I’m a major culprit (victim?) of that. I’m horrible. Fixing every little problem that shows up when my atrocious first draft crap spews out. I tweak here and there. Bad! No! I’m the worst person to tell you not to do that, because I can’t stop doing it myself. But, DON’T. I’ve actually made a sub-goal for NaNoWriMo. JUST LET THE CRAP FLOW. Don’t edit. This blog made some great suggestions for overcoming that. Awesome.

This Generous Person’s Spreadsheets

If you’re like me, I love to see progress. While I’m usually one for instant gratification, sometimes it’s nice to see steady progress toward my goal day-by-day. Especially if I have thirty days where I have to stay focused and finish. These spreadsheets (all totally and completely free) can really help us keep track of word counts. Which, as we all know, are important to be watching.

The spreadsheet with this link is technically for 2015. But! The post states there will be an updated one for this year posted soon. Hooray!

Also, you can donate to the cause for more spreadsheet goodness. If you’re feeling extra nice, it’s a cool thing you can do.

Write a Novel in a Month (without Losing Your Mind)

This one isn’t NaNoWriMo specific. But, it’s a great resource for reminding you why we write first drafts. It’s got some good stuff on plotting and discovering your story. While the post is sort of an ad for a book about writing a novel in thirty-one days, it still has some great points about first drafting.

I hit up this blog a lot for advice and motivation. So, browse through some other articles. This is where I first read about publishing shorter stories on Amazon. And even though my novellas are longer than what is suggested, I found that I loved writing shorter fiction. It taught me a lot and I’ll keep doing it. My point? You never know where you’re going to find inspiration, or have an “ah ha!” moment. So poke around. Read a little about what you don’t think will interest you. You’ll be surprised. This applies to ANY blog, of course.

To conclude…

NaNoWriMo is going to be awesome. I’m really looking forward to it. Even though it’s my first ride on this merry-go-round, these are the things I’m going to keep in mind that you’ll also want to consider:

  • Don’t forget to prep your friends and family. Let them know you’re not going to be as reachable as normal.
  • Guard your writing time. This is one month out of the year when you are going to choose you. You owe it to yourself to write. You love it. You deserve it. For thirty days, say no to the other stuff. Protect the time you’ve set aside for yourself to do what you love.
  • Write through writer’s block. That syndrome doesn’t get to exist in November. My best advice when you think you’ve got it? Pretend you don’t. Write anyway. The point of this exercise is to write. Not to write well. Remember that. Just put words on the page.
  • Don’t edit as you go. Just say no, kids.
  • Try to get enough sleep.
  • Plan. Plan. Plan. Have an outline. Set micro-goals. Word counts, page counts, scene completions, whatever. Strategize so you can be successful. And so you don’t get overwhelmed. (As a side note, this point may be lost on the Pantsters. I don’t know how you do it, and I have MAD respect for you dudes that can fly like that. PLEASE tell me how you do it. I think I’d just end up weeping under my desk.)

The point of #NaNoWriMo is to write. Not to write well. Remember that. 

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There you have it! For now, at least. As I find more throughout this crazy writing spree, I’ll update this post. Again, find me on the NaNoWriMo official website so we can hold hands and cry together. I mean… win together.

LET’S DO THIS!

Hell’s Princess

Now available for purchase!

 

Hell's Princess a paranormal romance and horror book by K.D. Reed

Now you can own the final installment of Demonic Illusions!

The complete set will be released tomorrow. The paperback next week.

It’s been a roller coast of a late summer. Waiting for Sam to tell me where he and Delilah were going to end up took some time. He wasn’t quick about it. But, I’m so pleased to have worked it out. Feel free to send me hate mail about the ending. I don’t invent the stories, I just tell them. But! I love talking about it. So, comment away!

Click the big ol’ cover up there, get the book, review the book, tell everyone you know to buy the book. It’s just that easy!

But wait there’s more!!

Actually, there isn’t. This post just turned into an infomercial for a second.

BUY THE BOOK.

That is all.

Thanks!

Hell’s Princess Tomorrow!

hells-princess-promo-quote-2

Hell’s Princess comes out tomorrow! Here are the details you need to know:

TOMORROW: Hell’s Princess will be available

FRIDAY: Demonic Illusions The Complete Series will be available digitally (ebook, Kindle, Nook)

NEXT WEEK: Demonic Illusions The Complete Series will be available in paperback

There is a slight delay in the print version. I was afraid it would happen. But, there isn’t much to be done about it. The paperback just wasn’t high enough quality. So, I had to fix some formatting issues. But! Another proof is on its way to me, meaning it will be available to all of you soon. I cannot apologize enough for the delay. I absolutely hate it. However, I want to give my readers the best, and it just wasn’t good enough. We’re on our way, though! Just a tiny… bit… longer…

Links will be posted in the morning for Hell’s Princess. I cannot thank you all enough for your support. See you tomorrow!

(Need to catch up? Demonic Illusions Book 1 Demonic Impulse can be found here for Kindle or here for Nook)