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

 

I can’t Write Normal

This weekend I was asked why I don’t I write something “normal” or something that isn’t filled with things that could never in a million years happen. I was asked this because the person would really like to read something I’ve written, she just doesn’t like those action/adventure, out of this world, fantasy, science fiction novels; whereas I do.

As much as I’d love to write something that she would really enjoy, my mind can’t seem to grasp the concept of normalness to fill the pages. Sure, I can start off on a new project with my mind set on making it your average, run of the mill book. The type where the guy gets the girl and they spend their lives proving their love to one another. My project might start out this way, but something happens and my mind switches to the abnormal very, very quickly.

The idea of my characters falling in love will almost always take a drastic turn for the dangerous side of things. They’ll hit a speed bump (literally) and run into monsters or bad guys or some sort of alien that drops down from the sky to ruin everything. (There’s a little inside on what The Day The World Burns is about.)

I thrive on the stories that are so packed full of fictional adventure that I’m not sure if I’ll make it out alive or not. My head enjoys the thrill of the ride while reading and writing stores or books that get your heart pumping. The ones that keep you on the edge of your seat with action and perilous tasks that leave you wanting more. I know romance novels and coming of age stories, and other types along that line are also filled with edge of your seat words and there might be a day where I find myself sitting down to write something like that. However, at this point in my life, I just can’t do it.

I can’t do normal when normal is boring.

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!

Free Book: Crazy For Love

I thought it was time again to do a special promotion for one of my books, Crazy For Love. It will be free starting today and going through this weekend, ending on Sunday. Go ahead and download your copy for Kindle today and leave a review with what you thought of it.

This makes a great read for anyone who enjoys a good suspenseful page turner. You’ll follow a young man on his short journey of slipping out of the clutches of a female stalker. She fell in love with him so easily, she just had to make him hers. Nothing will stand in her way of making that happen.

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.

Going Strong

I feel like I’ve been getting a lot accomplished lately. Not on the publishing end of things, but on the writing end. My current project (which happens to be the only one I’m working on at the moment and that’s a first for me) is going great. I’m 22 chapters and 40,000 words in. I always set a goal for each of my books and my goal for this one is 75,000 words. I shouldn’t have any problem getting there.

On another note, I signed up for not one, but two different programs this year. As an introvert, I’m actually going out of my way to be interactive with others in my local writing community and enrolled in a one day book publishing class at the community college in my town. It’s only two hours long and won’t happen until October, but I’m already excited.

I also registered for the ShowMeWriters Conference this year. This will be the first writer’s conference I’ve ever attended. I’m nervous, excited, and totally looking forward to October this year. This definitely won’t be the only conference I plan to attend. I’ll have to stick with ones that are closer to my home town, but no matter what, they’ll be worth going to.

As for the publishing end of my plans, my goal is to learn as much as I can about the profession and marketing in order to become successful at this. It’s always been a dream of mine to see my book on a bookstore shelf and dammit it’s going to happen one day.

So, that’s my rant for the day. Hope you enjoyed it!

What Happened After I Died?

Let me tell you about the day I died. Well, there isn’t much to tell really. I was stupid and young. Driving too fast and texting was more important than looking where I was going. Car accidents happen every day and people die every day.  I simply became part of that statistic.

The day I died isn’t as important as the day I came back. It was your typical Tuesday morning with snow falling from a cloudy sky. After an eternity of floating through a black void of empty space that was my afterlife, a flash of light devoured my eyes and sent a shockwave of torment ripping through my chest. That burst of energy kicked my heart into overdrive which triggered an effect on my brain activity that got me to open my eyes and stared into the buzzing annoyance of a fluorescent light in the ceiling.

Like I said; a typical Tuesday morning.

I woke up in an empty warehouse, strapped to a metal examination table in the middle of a rundown room. That fluorescent light was the only source of electricity in the entire three-story building. No heart monitors, no electrodes attached to my skin. Nothing. It was as if the people who wanted to bring me back, stopped caring if I ever would and took off.

I found clothes in a bag near the table with slip on shoes that were a size too big. I found my way out into the snow, clutching onto the false reality that I was trapped in some sort of heaven or hell. It took a bit for me to realize that the coldness of winter didn’t pierce my skin like it once had. I saw no fog from my breath or goose bumps cascading down my arms and spine. Something about my return to life erased my sense of hot and cold and that was more than fine with me. Sweating sucks and freezing is no cake walk either.

The first town I came to was filled with strange life and fancy new cars and technology I had never seen before. People passed me awkward glances and crossed the street to avoid the strange girl walking along the sidewalk. It wasn’t until I saw my reflection in a storefront window that I realized why they gave me such odd looks.

My hair was a complete disaster of tangled curls and dried blood. Purple bags stuck out against the pale skin of my face and deep veins throbbed on my neck. I leaned closer to the window and noticed a trail of dried blood at the corner of my mouth. I scrubbed it away with the sleeve of my hoodie and ran like hell to get away from the crowd.

Running only attracted more of the wrong attention. Someone called the police and sirens blared through that town like an ocean of madness ready to release a tidal wave of death in my direction.

But I still ran. I ran until the town was a mere shadow in the background of the world behind me. Until the snow stopped falling and I was completely alone in the middle of nowhere.

I ran for days, passing through cities and towns that gave me the same derisive looks. I met the same fate as police cars and governmental figures chased after me. And for what? Because I came back from the dead? Because I walked upright like a normal human being and could put on a damn good act to blend in?

No. They chase me for none of those reasons. They chase me because of what I became after I woke up. After I learned the truth about what happened to my body after I died and the insanity of experiments that brought me back.

You see, as much as I hate to admit this I am no longer a human. I can put on makeup to hide my pale skin and purple veins. I can put in contacts to deceive those around me that my eyes aren’t filled with a hunger drive so strong it could wipe out an entire city block within minutes. I can dress the part and act the part as a normal human being, but deep down inside my once beating heart, I know I’m not.

I’m nothing more than a savage beast, doomed to roam the world until the end of time. A constant hunger always burning in my mind and I can’t give in. I don’t want to give in to the creature I became after death or face the disgusting path my life is now headed down.

The government is after me. People want to kill me. I can blend in with a corpse like there’s no freaking tomorrow. I wish I could find the demented people who did this to me and turned me into a creature I prefer not to recognize, but there is no escaping this. There is no hiding the truth from myself or the rest of the world.

I am a zombie, but I’m trying not to be.