Death’s Rival — Happy Writing


I wrote something today that made me happy. Happier than I have been a long, long time. Happy enough that I found the delight in the craft that I’ve been missing. Happy enough that I am ready to get up tomorrow and write some more. And just because I am so happy with it, I want to share it with you just way it came off my fingertips. It’s missing some words, it’s got some repetition I’ll fix later, because this is the rough stuff. Writing it made me happy.

The house Bobby had picked out was freshly painted, white with purple gingerbread trim, one of many that had been recently restored. It had a new cement block foundation, making it sit high off the ground, a four room square house on a tiny lot with a picket fence. And not a hint of magics about the place. Until I stood back and viewed the building with Beast-vision. Then the blackish, purplish, bloody-broken magics stormed up from the house in a writhing heated swarm, like frilled snakes or flaming worms, magic so strong it was nearly sentient, yet broken like a battlefield still full of the dead.

No one else may love it, but I love it. And loving it is why I write. That happiness is more than, better than, the euphoria of defeating my fears, better than getting news that I’ve sold a book, better than a great, five-star review. Happiness trumps fear by a mile.

Oct. 2 is the release date for Death’s Rival. I would say that I’m not scared, not tense, not excited but I’d be lying. I am on tenterhooks and only the joy of writing is helping me to cope. I have been through 60 days of hell with four elders on my plate. Not to eat. I’m not Beast. But on my plate to have to deal with. And writing helps me cope with that too. I am happy, sane, un-panicky, healthy, pain-free and peaceful when I write. Even the day that it took two hours to write five and a half paragraphs.

One way to tell a real writer? When only writing makes them truly happy.

This is a short post. And because Death’s Rival is out on Tuesday, I’d like to close with a part of DR that made me happy. Because hey – PR is important.

The vamps moved into the night like snakes in the grass, their bodies weirdly not-human, disjointed. I dropped into the hay, Derek behind me. It wasn’t a long crawl, but it wasn’t going to be easy as loaded down with blades as I was. And wearing the wrong boots. And the wrong clothes. Not that I would gripe about it. I didn’t have time to gripe about anything.

We crawled through the hay, crushing the stiff stalks, disturbing insects, sending rodents scurrying, and snakes slithering. From one whispered curse, I gathered that Derek was not fond of reptiles. We also set up a cloud of mosquitoes as we moved. With all the activity, the vamps had to see and hear us coming. Great plan. We’d have been better to just charge, except that one group had done that, and engaged someone at the front of the barn. Blades clashed and voices shouted.

I stood up at one corner of the barn, Gee across from me. We met eyes, and the smaller man nodded. Derek tapped his mic. On one, I pulled the pin. On two, I stepped to the door, Derek behind me, mirroring my actions. On three, I threw the grenade. Derek’s lofted high and at a different angle from mine. I pulled the pin on the second flashbang and tossed it, eyes closed, and continued the arc of the throw, bringing up my hands to cover my eyes and ears. A flashbang explodes at 170 decibels and a pyrotechnic metal-oxidant mix of magnesium and ammonium, at over 6six million candela. The night went white in a series of blasts. Moments later, we rushed in.

I figured it was useless, but I shouted as I ran, “Surrender and you’ll live. Put down your weapons.” Surprisingly, a few listened and surrendered. The fight with the rest was short and brutal. Derek and his men herded half-blind vamps and injured humans out into the night and dropped them onto the ground. Three enemy vamps who could still see went after Derek and his men, leaping off of huge farm equipment and out of the hayloft at the former Marines. Innara and her vamps attacked before they landed. Sneak Cheek moved off the side at a dead run and clubbed two vamps to the ground. They stayed down. Tequila Sunrise staked them in the lower bellies to immobilize them. It was nice work.

Gee and I turned to the two vamps rushing us from the corner. I fired the M4 at one, emptying both barrels, two hand-packed, silver fléchette rounds into his abdomen, the recoil reverberating through me. The vamp went down, but was still alive, struggling back to his feet, even without any flesh between ribs and hips, and only a damaged spine holding him together. He was gripping a sword and an old six-shooter pistol. I kicked the gun away and blocked his human-slow-because-he-no-longer-had-blood-inside strikes until he fell for good.

That’s it. Happy writing y’all.




16 comments to Death’s Rival — Happy Writing