The Upcoming Event!!

In less than two weeks, I’ll be soaking up some writing knowledge at the very first conference I’ll be attending. The Show Me Writer’s Conference in Missouri is going to be fun and a new exciting event for me. I plan on meeting and socializing with other writers, as well as gab about my upcoming book, The Day The World Burns.

Speaking of my book and this conference, there will be agents at the event as well. As nerve racking as this sounds, I’m going to push through the anxiety and stress and pitch my book to a couple of agents. I’ve been practicing my pitch to my family and friends and also my reflection in the mirror. I’m terrified, excited, and nervous all balled up into a neat little package.

I’ll post how everything goes and all about the conference when it’s over. This will be a learning experience for me and will be the first of many more events I plan to attend.

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Poem: Running Through a Daydream

I wake up in the morning,

Throw my hair in a bun.

I lace up my sneakers

And head out for a run.

 

I’m out of breath

By the end of the block.

Still I push myself harder,

Never checking the clock.

 

All this time I spend running

My daydreams take shape.

I go into a world

One I cannot escape.

 

There are monsters and demons,

Zombies and vampires too.

A red-headed stalker

With eyes oh-so blue.

 

There are heroes and good guys,

Someone there to save the day.

It wouldn’t be a fantasy

Without them out to play.

 

There are castles and oceans

And skies with bright stars.

I see chaos and beauty

And love hidden behind by bars.

 

All these things that I see

As I jog through the world

Are created by one thing;

My twisted mind unfurled.

 

I can run on forever

In the madness of my mind.

And keep going and going

Until the end of time.

 

But, alas, I cannot

For my breath has run short.

It is time to head home

And rest up from the sport.

 

I’ll start again tomorrow

With my dreams set on high.

I’ll see where they might take me

And always reach for the sky.

 

Copyright 2017 T. R. Justus

 

The Music That Moves Me

Every night as I sit at my desk and get to work on my stories and books, I plug my phone into the speakers and let the music take me to a place that sets my fingers in motion and the words flow onto the page. I’m not the only one out there that has to listen to music while they work–no matter what that work might entail. I can’t listen to classical hits or tunes from the 70s and 80s eras. Although, I do have a few Queen and Journey songs on my playlist.

What gets me motivated the most? The songs that have a good beat. Rock music, mostly, but I do have a few hipper songs on the list. However, if you go through my phone you’ll notice that the majority of songs come from my all time favorite band on the planet, Fall Out Boy. They have been my favorite since high school, so about 15 years. (Man, that makes me feel old and I’m only 29.)

But, it’s with these select songs that I’m able to get over any writing slumps that stand in my way. They help me see the story happening as I punch the keys with delicate and, sometimes, angry care. Without music, I believe the world would be a very dull and boring place. What would we have to sing badly to? What would we have to fight off the dreadful silence of the night while we sleep? How on earth would we get to work without pumping our favorite tunes as loudly as the speakers will go?

I don’t think humanity would survive without music or books or any of the creativity that drives this planet forward. It’s in the arts of all generations that makes this planet spin smoothly.

And thus ends my rant for the evening!

Onto the Second Draft!

Well, I finished the first draft of The Day the World Burns, my science fiction novel. I met my word count goal at 75,000 words and that is just exciting. It’s time for the second draft and with that comes a few revisions and a couple scenes may need switched around so it flows a bit more organically. From there, I’ll enter the wonderful world of editing, then it’s off to the beta readers and eventually publication. (I’ll have a clearer date of release as the end gets nearer.)

So, for those of you science fiction/alien invasion/survival fiction fans, you’ll want to keep an eye out for this one. It’s jam-packed with heart pumping thrills that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end. You’ll wonder “are they going to make it?” or “when will they find someplace that’s safe? They deserve to be safe!” And, like always, I’ll keep you guessing.

I’m not quite positive if this will be part of a series or not, but it might be heading in that direction. Maybe a trilogy if my mind allows enough imagination to flow onto the pages. I have a gut feeling it will.

What if…

I’m a bit of a believer of life after death. I tend to think that there’s more to be experienced in a different life once this one is fulfilled. Being a writer with an insane imagination, my mind took that thought and came up with a what if scenario for those who are imaginative and weird like myself.

If you’re anything like me and you come spend 90% of the day daydreaming and having little stories in your head, then you’ve lived a ton of lives in your own imagination. Now, let’s say those stories and random thoughts are more than that. What if they’re actually memories from a different life on a different planet or in some sort of parallel universe? What if  you’ve already lived a dozen or so lives before this one and your soul has travelled millions upon millions of miles to get where it is today?

I don’t know about you, but I’m not exactly sure that’s a good thing. In my case, half of the stories I think of and daydream about are terrifying. I’d hate to imagine living in a world with zombies, vampires, monsters, aliens, etc. In my head, I’m the main female character. I get in trouble a lot and wind up in sticky situations. If, by some chance, my stories are actually memories (I’m doubting they are) then I’ve lived a lot of scary lives. I’ve been kidnapped, I’ve fought aliens and demons, I’ve travelled the world through hell and back just to save the one I love. It’s adventurous and wonderful, yet terrifying and exhausting to think about.

I’m sure my thoughts are nothing more than thoughts. That my dreams are simple stories created by the mind of a person who craves the abnormal parts of life. But, and this is a very bit but, if there’s any chance that they are more than just dreams and stories, I’m a little afraid to find out where my soul might head to next. I hope she’s prepared.

Time to Rant

I’ve been so busy on my latest project, that I haven’t had much time to update my blog. So, here it goes.

I’ll tell you a smidge about my latest novel project. I’m at 61,000 words and my goal is 75,000. At the rate I’m going, I will definitely get there with the first draft. With some help of a few, amazing friends, I came up with the perfect title–The Day The World Burns. It’s a science-fiction novel packed with action and a life-altering adventure. Then again, I’m not sure if you can call it an adventure novel since they are constantly trying to survive horrible things. It’s more of a survival tale, now that I’m thinking about it.

I’m ranting…time to focus.

I hate giving away too much of my work before it’s 100% finished and I still have a ways to go on this one. I think you can get the gist of what it might be about based on the title. I’ll give away more details when it gets closer to being finished and if I choose to publish this one. So long as everything works out and I spend more time researching self-publishing and marketing a bit more, I plan to release my baby into the world for all to enjoy.

But, this is it for now. I need to get back at it. This book ain’t going to write itself.

Although, that would be pretty amazing if it could.

Disappear

I just want to disappear

Into the stories that I hear

 

Onto the pages from which I read

Becoming my imagination’s most precious seed

 

I want to fly above the sky

Happy as a kite so high

 

I want to dive into the sea

And live with mermaids filled with glee

 

Fight battles of magic, mystery, and lust

Finding true love is always a must

 

Travel to the edges of space

Finding out my secret grace

 

I want to be much more than I am

Become my own personal grand slam

 

Never look back at what I used to be

And become a more powerful and much better me

 

Take over a world and become their queen

Rule until life fades to a dream

 

Because I just want to disappear

Into the stories that I hear.

 

Tahnee Fritz 2017

Finally Making Headway!

Lately I’ve been so unfocused that I kept jumping from one project to the next–thank God for the insane amount of notes I keep for each story idea.

I couldn’t seem to keep my head on straight. Suddenly, out of freaking nowhere, I was on my evening run through the neighborhood–I’m pretty sure I was listening to some Fall Out Boy to keep my heart pumping–and it hit me. A spark of inspiration for a project that’s been on the backburner for a while now. I found and created a new beginning, made an outline from beginning to end (although the exact ending isn’t set in stone just yet). I got to work on this one the other day and I’m 8,000 words in so far. At work, I tend to write a rough chapter on my phone and I have three of them waiting to be transferred to the computer.

Needless to say, my mind’s been busy with this one!

I’m finally out of my unfocused rut and can get back to bringing my characters to life. Of course, they have to endure some amount of tragedy and end-of-the-world peril or I’d be pretty bored.

I even have the perfect title for my latest story: The Day the People Disappeared. I’ll let you use your imagination to see where that will go!

It was but a dream…

I had the strangest dream last night. It was heart-racing and romantic at the same time and I remember a good chunk of it which makes it all the more worthwhile.

Lately, I’ve been working on a few different projects at the same time. Needless to say, my mind is a bit frazzled and overstuffed with the usual weirdness that needs to spill out. I think a few of my story ideas meshed together while I slept to create a large masterpiece of a chaotic disaster. My mind took bits of Eternity mixed it with chunks of a science-fiction novel I don’t have titled yet and also threw in a dash of my young adult trilogy, The Human Race.

I don’t exactly know why my mind opted for this random array of my writings, but I’m not complaining. Despite the randomness of my dream, it inspired me to change up my science-fiction novel that I’ve been working on for the last two years. I think I might finally have the perfect storyline that will add the perfect amount of suspense to my characters’ lives.

Dreams are definitely a point of inspiration for many writers and I am proud to be one of them. I’m just glad I can remember them most of the time.

Short Story: The Far Beyond

The ground is thirty-feet below. If I mess up this jump, I’ll snap my ankles for sure. The pain won’t be the worst of it, either. They will catch me and lock me away for being a nutcase and believing in worlds their eyes could never see. But I have seen them. I have dreamt of the wildest and most beautiful places this human world could never imagine.

I have longed to go there for years. I’ve searched far and wide, losing those I once held dear because they failed to see the wonders of this place beyond the stars. The land that is far away from time and space, where human life can be transformed into something mystifyingly beautiful. Every day will be an adventure and have a purpose that will only be meant for me.

After ten years, I finally found the portal to the land in the far beyond and I haven’t much time to make the leap.

The tree is dying and it will take the powers of that land straight to the gates of heaven. I will forever lose the opportunity to discover the true meaning of my existence.

How can I go on with my life if that life is dull and relentless?

I need to make this jump and stick the landing with perfection. It is the only way to escape the madness chasing after me through the woods. I hear them shouting my name and ordering me to return. They threaten and curse, claiming me insane for having visions they could never fathom.

They will never understand the dreams I have.

A dog barks; low and terrifying. They’re getting closer by the second. The sunlight casts their shadows over the grass and heavy boots trudge through fallen leaves of an early autumn. Men, women, and even children are hunting down me—the wild girl standing on the highest branch in the tallest tree.

I inch to the edge, nervously clutching the strap to my satchel. I packed only what I may need to survive whatever lives in the land far beyond. Clothes, water, a loaf of bread, and the only photo I have left of my parents. They disappeared when I was seven and left me with dreams of the place I seek. It’s a longshot, but my gut is telling that I will find them there. That they will be waiting with arms wide open for the daughter they love.

I can’t mess this up.

I take a deep breath. The voices grow louder. One of them shouts that they’ve spotted me and startles me. I nearly fall off the branch before I’m ready. The limb wavers and creaks beneath my wobbling legs. I stretch my arms out wide to obtain my balance. Down below, I see them. They’re running toward my tree now. They carry torches and pitchforks as if I am some type of monster. If only they could see the monsters in themselves before destroying the dreams I hold dear.

The tree begins to quake and I glance to the lowest branches. Two, strong men with thick beards and axes are hacking away at the trunk. I shake my head and breathe a faint no.

I’m out of time now. If they succeed and the tree falls, I will die right along with the land I love so much. My heart pounds wildly and I let my right foot dangle over the branch.

This is it; I think with a smile crossing my face, this is the start of something wonderful.

I step over the branch and shrieks of terror erupt from the hunters below. The wind whips through my hair as warmth wraps around my soul. I bask in a light that blinds me and slip into the land of the far beyond.