Summer Excerpt – Theme “Coffee” #3

July 14, 2016 at 11:36 am (fantasy, Magic University, writing) (, , , , , )

11794430_10155841286760032_4772023191227114902_o - EditedYesterday was a shopping day for me, which included buying some coffee for a coworker and a t-shirt with a coffee slogan for me. Today is a national holiday here in France so there will be music, good food, wine and fireworks. I expect it will be a fun evening.

This will be my last “coffee” excerpt. I’m revving up for a wine fair this weekend and I am, after all, in wine country, so appropriately, the next one will be “wine”.  This one is from my Masters & Renegades novel, Magic University:

Ebon was halfway to his destination when his map slipped away from his telekinetic grasp.  This had never happened to him before, but he had also never put such a demand on his physical reach before today.  He juggle the map with what little physical force he could still manage to muster, flipping it over so that he could at least memorize its contents.

He continued onwards, abandoning the map face up in the mud.  He had not expected this would happen, and knew it meant that he would have to feed, something he rarely felt the inclination to do.  This did not please him.  Feeding took time and energy, and he had neither.

Arriving at what he believed was his destination, he began his search.  He had no trouble locating the leather wallet that contained the token.  He could pick out with ease the two glowing magical auras surrounding the purse, and they smelt absolutely heavenly, like the aroma of fresh bread or strong coffee.  He salivated at the thought of absorbing all of that sweet, distinctly different energy.  The one reminiscent of coffee was harsh and bitter, but strangely satisfying, the other somewhat bland, but slightly sweet and very substantial.  That was the only one he intended to feed off of, absorbing what he could as quickly as he could.  This was the plan, but once he started, he could not stop.

He had not recognized his hunger, had not realized just how ravenous he had become.  He sucked back the spell’s energies, lost in the instinct to feed and absorb.  Before he had realized it, he had completely devoured the first spell and had started in on the second.  He had lost all track of time, and as the last drop of energy slipped past his ethereal lips, he stretched out, thoroughly satisfied and replenished.

Now I’m off to make myself some lunch.  ‘Til next time 🙂

 

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Summer Excerpt – Theme “Coffee” #2

July 12, 2016 at 12:16 pm (horror, writing) (, , , , , , )

zombie3CB[1] - EditedWe took a stroll this morning down to “Le Cafe d’Arts” today to have a coffee “grande creme” (served with Belgian dark chocolate). The coffee shop is a host to many paintings and handicrafts that are lovely to look at while you sip the frothy brew which our server, Julia, offered up “mild or strong” – I can’t imagine asking for mild, only strong for me.

Today’s excerpt comes from my zombie short story, “Deadline,” and the coffee in it is nothing like the coffee I had this morning:

“Three weeks,” Kimberly muttered, “Shouldn’t have taken three weeks. It made me miss that deadline.”

Before reaching her desk, she would have to pass the coffee machine, Kimberly considered, and she was hankering for a caffeine fix. She was tired from her flight and the one blow to her ego after another was not helping things any. She came to a stop in front of the percolator, which to her surprise was stone cold and filled with a dark sludge that was already growing a fuzzy greenish-white film on the top. She gasped. Clearly, nobody had bothered with the coffee for days. Kimberly knew that she was normally the one to make sure that Kevin had a fresh pot available to him, but she could not imagine the others letting that task fall to neglect, especially not with an eager intern upon whom they could foist such a nuisance. Now she was really puzzled. She put the coffee pot down with an exhalation of disgust and proceeded on to her tiny office empty-handed, past the rows of peon cubicles.

The offices surrounding hers were just as vacant as every other work space that Kimberly had passed along the way. She sat at her desk, pulled out her laptop, and then started going through her Rolodex. She checked her e-mails – still nothing – and then began to call those on the roster of her best and most regular sources of information. Every single call went to voicemail. Nobody was even picking up their cell phones. That or they were screening their calls and ignoring her calls selectively. She fumed.

“I can’t believe these creeps,” she grumbled.

I’ll only be away from the office for just under two weeks, and I’m sure the Keurig will be fine when I get back (thanks Jolene.)  Then again, I don’t expect to find my co-workers transformed into zombies either.  Hopefully. I’ll have some warning if that’s the case.

More later 🙂

 

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Summer Excerpt – Theme “Coffee” #1

July 11, 2016 at 6:56 pm (writing) (, , , , , , )

zombie1CB - EditedOne of the things I like best about travelling in France is their amazing coffee, and my mother just gave me a painting she made using coffee as a medium, so my next theme will be one of my favourite things – coffee. I write about it when I can squeeze it into a story.  Here’s an excerpt from my zombie coffee story, “Waking the Dead”:

Approaching the counter, Alec noted that someone had erected a new sign. They were offering a special promotion– a free muffin with any purchase of their introductory Haitian blend. Alec approached the display, brow furrowed.

“Haitian blend?” he asked, directing the question at Jeremy. “What Haitian blend? I didn’t know we had a Haitian blend. We already carry a dozen varieties of coffee – why this one?”

One side of the assistant manager’s face curled up in a smile. “I’m grinding the beans as we speak. It was Clyde’s idea. He asked me to come up with something to attract a higher class crowd. We have our share of doddering seniors, bookish old maids and older blue collar workers, but they tend to stick with the house blend and avoid the more profitable specialty coffees. He wanted something to appeal to the younger crowd, and your typical trendy metrosexuals. I did my research and this is the new in thing.”

“I didn’t even know Haiti grew coffee,” Alec remarked, and then realized with dismay that he had just opened the door to Nora.

“They’ve been growing coffee for a long time,” the slender girl lectured. “And part of the reason it’s trendy around here is because it can help Haiti’s economy recover after being devastated by civil unrest and natural disaster. Of course, they’ve had their issues, like problems with the coffee rust fungus and a lack of consistency. They commonly grow a fairly standard Arabica bean, and a more current type called Haitian Bleu. Jeremy hasn’t told me which type that they’ve used in the new blend.”

“That’s because we haven’t used either,” he teased, holding out the bag that he was loading into the grinder. He thrust his fingers in and drew out a few beans, which he allowed to trickle slowly back into the bag. They were a dark rich red in colour, a sanguine shade.

“Red coffee beans?” Alec observed. “Well, that’s odd.”

And tomorrow, I’m off to the night market here at Eymet where there will be shopping, food, music, and likely coffee,  More about my stories and my travels tomorrow – ’til then!

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Tis the Season

December 1, 2015 at 11:26 pm (horror, Links, writing) (, , , , , )

Dethlehem3

This has been a good week for me. To begin with, I have a new notebook computer. It was going to be a “family” Christmas gift to me, but thanks to my lovely mother, Christmas arrived early. This means I’m writing consistently again and I will have a number of submissions to make over the next month, even though I won’t be blitzing. It also means a return to regular blog posts – happy, happy.

I’m also celebrating the release of “The Hack-Jack Prospect” in time for Christmas.  And Grinning Skull’s latest Christmas charity anthology should soon follow.  Watch here for more details.

So I’m off to saturate myself in coffee and get in more writing – happy holiday season to all.

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Time for a Change…

December 13, 2011 at 12:52 am (Elevation, horror, writing) (, , , , , , , )

Some may have noticed that I missed my regular blog posts last week. This was due in part to trying to wade my way through the swamp of work I had to deal with when NaNoWriMo came to an end. In addition to tying up Sleep Escapes Us, my NaNo dark fantasy/horror novel, I also had to complete the last touches to Elevation, including things like the preface, acknowledgements and the back cover blurb. I’m also feeling kind of run down and burnt out (I have a cold right now.) I’m officially taking a vacation, which means as soon as I get out the last couple of submissions I had already promised to send, I’m just going to take it easy for a couple of weeks. I’m doing a bit of gift-wrapping, baking, game-playing, lots of reading and just chilling with friends and family.

Of course, going on vacation means time to try something new, so I decided to play around with a little cartooning, just for fun. I’ll be putting out a few strips before year end, and if people like it, I might make it a regular thing. Here’s my first go at it (still a little rough, but I’m working out the kinks.).

 

COFFEE & ZOMBIES

 

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