Trouble Focusing

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I have so much trouble focusing these days. I say this because I’ve written nothing in a couple of weeks.
“Lingering Evil” lingers without much progress!
It isn’t deserted or forgotten, but when writing is a struggle, you have to leave it until it flows.
My day job keeps me busy. My home in Italy is always on my mind. It’s the “Holiday” season in the US so there is always something going on.
Longing for the day I retire. I can rise early, drink my cappuccino and look out of my window at the beautiful village of Colledimezzo. There is no question in my mind that this will inspire me to write. I think a lot more stories will emerge too!

Alone Again!

FootstepsLes washed his anger away in the shower and came down for breakfast in a better mood.

“Time to get my kit together after breakfast, my flight leaves at two fifteen.”

“I’d forgotten you were flying today, I suppose it’s best, DC is a long flight, if you left it until tomorrow you’d miss a full day of work.”

“Yes, and we go live next week. Are you OK, you’re quiet?”

Had he really already forgotten my nightmare? 

“I’m fine.” I replied. Not that you care anyway. I returned to my thoughts.

Shall I visit the barn again, or shall I go and talk to the old guy down the road? Yes, this could be my next story, but I had to see how it ended before I began to write. 

“I said, what do you think?”

I snapped out of my thoughts and looked up. Les was staring at me, waiting for an answer.  “Sorry, think about what?”

“Oh forget it,” he said irritated again.

“What did you ask me? I didn’t sleep well remember! I’ll probably try to nap this afternoon when you’re gone?”

“I said what do you think about flying out to DC in a couple of weeks instead of my flying home. You said you wanted to see where the President lives. How about it?”

“Yes, sounds great, I’d like that. Can you arrange a visit with him?” I replied, trying to be light-hearted and not show how I really felt. I really did enjoy traveling I’d wanted to go to DC for a while. DC and Boston were the only two US cities I hadn’t managed to cross off my bucket list yet.

I was relieved when Les finally left for the airport. I’d managed not to show it, but I really was hurt and upset with the way he’d talked to me. I needed him gone for a week to get over it. A nightmare was one thing, but surely he knew this was more. I waved him off, smiling as though nothing was wrong, but the smile faded as he drove away.

How am I going to handle this? 

My question was answered. As I turned to go back inside, a solitary figure appeared at the end of the drive. It was the old guy from the Stagecoach. He walked slowly towards me as though every step he took caused him great pain. I wasn’t sure if he’d even seen me standing at the door, his head hung so low his chin almost touched his chest.

I shivered as I looked at him, and the shadow that followed behind.

Gran, I hope you’re still looking out for me, I think I’m going to need you!

Working and Walking

041113-2nd-walk-300x225I’m sure many of you share my problem, no time for the gym. I love to work out and feel my heart racing, but I’m a part-time author and have a full-time and very demanding job. I decided a brisk lunch time walk was answer. Not quite a power walk, but a fast walk. I started walking a mile or so a day, and it felt good. Then I bought myself a Nike Fuel Band, wow, that certainly did the trick. I set the fuel at 2,500 and the steps at 10,000. Once I could see the numbers, it pushed me to exercise more. Now I’m walking three miles almost every day. If the weather doesn’t permit, I use the gym in my office building……I feel GREAT! So those of you who can’t find time to work out, use your lunch hour. It makes the day go much faster and energizes you, especially if you can walk outside.

 

Dead of July – A novel by Sandra Thompson

Dead of July by Sandra Thompson

 

Where do I get my inspiration?

I try to walk as often as possible, it clears my head, blows away the cobwebs and reminds me how lucky I am to live in the wonderful state of Colorado. This is my neighborhood. After years of traveling, this is where I settled, and this is where I became an author. Let me share a few photographs with you.

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Dead of July

Dead of July by Sandra Thompson

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coming soon, ‘Fire and Darkness’, by Sandra Thompson.

 

 

Fighting Back – Dark Angel

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Although I was still sitting on my sofa, everything around me had changed. The room was dark and full of writhing whispering shadows. Objects floated before me, indistinguishable at first, and then one by one, they came into focus. I was back under the bridge, lying on the ground, dying! I watched the life trickle away from me. A man lay dying next to his truck, moaning, clinging to life. A dark shadow crossed his face and he breathed no more. I saw a woman standing by a grave, crying. I knew it was his wife. A little girl held her hand, her face full of grief.

“No, stop I can’t watch this.” I yelled.

“Hush be still, I’m here.” Jeff whispered. I looked at him, he seemed to glow. He looked strong.

A cold harsh laugh pierced the darkness of the room. “Who dares to call me?”

Jeff spoke, and although I heard his gentle calming voice, I knew not what he said. It sounded like a prayer, but in a language I’d never heard.

“Go away, you can’t hurt me with your mumbling.”

Jeff continued to chant. Objects flew towards us and I cowered, my hands in front of my face, but nothing reached us. Some hidden force field protected us. Jeff continued to chant.

The voice of the Dark Angel laughed, shrieking. “You’ll never escape me, until I’m done with you. I kept you alive. You ungrateful bitch.”

“I’d rather be dead than owe you anything.” I shouted, trying to be brave.

“Oh I want to pleasure myself a little longer, you haven’t suffered enough yet,” the evil voice responded.

Jeff continued to chant. We were in the eye of a storm in my own home. I saw things I didn’t want to see. People writhing in pain, world-wide disasters. Were these visions things that had already happened, or a preview of what was yet to come. I grew dizzy……..the phone rang.

Everything stopped moving. Jeff stopped chanting. The dark fog that filled the room faded away.

“Answer the phone,” Jeff said, as thought nothing had happened.

“What?”

“The phone, answer it, it’s the vicar!”

I picked up the phone. “Lucy, I think I’ve found someone to help us with your problem. Can you take the day off work tomorrow. I think we’re running out of time.”

I gulped, “Yes, I’ll call in sick.”

I put the phone down and looked at Jeff, who was packing his canvas bag. How did he know who was calling?

“What the hell just happened?” I asked.

“We’ve begun our fight against the evil that haunts you. We have quite the battle on our hands. It seems you owe it your life.”

I looked around me, everything was still neatly in place. No sign of the chaos I’d just witnessed, except a scattering of dark feathers on the rug. Jeff followed my gaze and walked over to them. “We have to keep working at this. Whenever you see a dark feather, burn it. It weakens her.”

He gathered the feathers, counting them as he did so. There were seven. He dropped them in the sink and put a match to them. The odor they emitted as they burned smelled of decaying flesh. I covered my mouth and nose while Jeff washed away the ashes.

“Please will you stay with me tonight?” I asked.”I’m scared!”

Jeff smiled, “I’m moving in for a while, it’s not safe for you to be alone anymore.”

My first novel, Dead of July, is available on Amazon and Smashwords, see the links below.

Dead of July – Smaswords – formatted for most eReaders

http://amzn.to/1aXh4Md

Dead of July by Sandra Thompson

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coming soon, a new short story  by Sandra Thompson – Fire and Darkness – more info to follow soon.

The Journey of an Indie Author

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We pick up a book and we read it. It takes us away from reality. It’s an escape, an adventure. Until I became a writer, I never realized just how much was involved in putting together that escape. The adventure doesn’t just happen.

In 2009 I started writing my first novel, which I originally referred to as ‘A Walk in the Park’ because the story started with a walk in the park. As I continued to write, the title became, ‘The Evil Russian’, but that didn’t do my story justice either. Eventually, with the help of a friend, I named my story ‘Dead of July’. Yes the story is set in July and the title just fit.

When I finished writing I sent my story to an editor. Unfortunately one year (and six hundred dollars later) she wasn’t even half way through. What a shame, I trusted her. I learned my lesson the hard way, but managed to find a wonderful content editor I knew I could trust. She managed to edit my book in a couple of weeks, and did a GREAT job. I took her advice and used more colorful words. I brought the characters to life.

After re-reading I send my manuscript to two beta readers. The story was still a mess, but they waded in and gave me a report on what they liked and didn’t like about my story. I studied their comments and made the necessary changes.

Next the book went to a copy editor. He made short work of reading the manuscript and fixing typos, grammar etc., and sent a lovely neat manuscript back to me. What next? Lay out of course. I burned the midnight oil as I worked with my patient publisher. She was patient and a great teacher. She made my book look pretty with different typefaces. It took a while, but we got there.

Ready to publish…..NO!

Next the book had to go to a proof reader. A lovely lady who said my story was just wonderful. We got together and went through all 256 pages to make more grammatical corrections. I re-read the book and still found typos. Was I bored yet, was I over it? NO! I was loving it. I was turning my manuscript into something beautiful, something to be proud of.

So when I was finally happy with the layout and the book cover, the time had com to load my manuscript onto ‘Create Space’, my paper back was ready to go. Was I done? NO! I had to send the pretty new manuscript to the nice man who did the eBook layout. When he was finished, I was SO nervous about screwing things up, I had him load it onto Amazon for me.

The whole process of producing my first novel took over three years. Everyone who read my book during the editing, beta reading etc. told me just how much they enjoyed the story.

Now I need to convince the world it is worth reading…..my next adventure is MARKETING. Not sure how to get everyone’s attention, but I am certainly going to try. If you want to give an Indie Author a leg up…..BUY THE BOOK and then give me a lovely review on Amazon.

I worked very hard on this book, not just for me, but for you. I love reading a good story, escaping into a different world and I hope when you read my book, you will find yourselves in the head of a young British Army wife living in Germany in 1982. I hope you feel fear, pain and laughter. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

amzn.to/1ci8iX3 (eBook $4.99)

amzn.to/1hFBT45 (Paperback $14.99)

A German Ghost Story

A German Ghost Story

PS. It would make a great stocking stuffer!

 

Distracted but back on track

I have been more than a little distracted lately because of the activity on Amazon with my free eBook. As it stands, almost ten thousand people have downloaded ‘Girl on the Beach’ and hopefully have happily read it. I know for sure that it has been read and enjoyed by at least three people. See below!

This is a pleasant journey through a few ordinary days with a not-so-ordinary 7-year-old girl. It starts with an unusual incident she has on a beach during her last day of summer vacation, and you spend the rest of the book waiting for the other shoe to drop. When it does, towards the end, you won’t necessarily be surprised but it is very well done and will leave you feeling satisfied with the hour you’ve spent listening to her tell you her tale.

A good story, told very well. Sort of a ghost story, without being macabre or creepy. As another reviewer mentioned, you can see early on what’s going to happen, but you don’t mind because it is so well-crafted and paints such a vivid picture of the author’s childhood. I highly recommend it.

I really enjoyed this story, its supernatural feel, its sense of mood and foreboding, and I loved this special little girl who broke my heart. I really felt I got to know Sheila, everything about her, and I found her charming and endearing. The author completely put me into the mindset of this seven-year-old child. And several times, Sheila actually had me tearing up. I knew what she would soon be facing, and it’s always heartbreaking to see a small child face tragedy.

This story is written in such a gentle and natural way, every word smoothly and easily flowing to the next, never sounding forced or hurried. With well-chosen words, this author made me a picture of summer and sand and of a little girl so happy on her holiday. The author then breaks this idyll with feelings of dread, juxtaposing the brightness of summer with the dark foreboding of death.

Told in first-person from Sheila’s point of view, this story is well-written and thoughtful, with the author showing and never telling the story, allowing the reader to experience all that Sheila feels. And you will feel many different emotions, from sadness to happiness, from dread to hope. Even suspecting the outcome of the story, I still felt the chilling beauty of it.

The last review actually brough tears to my eyes. I feel like these three reviewers understood what I was trying to get across in my story, and I thank them for taking the time to write their review.  I will get back to writing, blogging and sharing ghostly experiences, but not tonight. Tonight I am basking in the glory of knowing my stories are being read. 

To download your free copy of  ‘Girl on the Beach’ or purchase ‘Guy at the Bar’ for $0.99 check out the links below.