Monday, January 30, 2012

Before I Continue

Yes, I will be continuing the image thing (which I am now dubbing: Project Inspiration). But first, I want to do a quick post for allllll those fabulous people that read Blood on the Moon (Yes, I mean you three). You're all awesome. Seriously, you're some of my favorite people in the world.
But you're starting to bug the crap out of me. Why? Because you all ask me the very same question, and I give the very same answer every time! Now, I don't mind so much, because I love you all and I love to connect with readers.


One can only answer the same question so many times without becoming the tiniest bit annoyed.

Sooooo, I'm officially announcing that there WILL be a sequel to Blood on the Moon! It's titled BLOOD CRAVE, and it will be released this Fall. I can't say much about it, except that all your burning questions will be answered, and I will, of course, give you a whole new batch of questions to stew over for the final book (if it gets published. That one isn't a sure thing yet).

So, wonderful readers, that is your answer. In the future, whenever one of you writes me an email (which usually goes like this: OMG! I loved your book. But is there a sequel? There's a sequel, right? You wouldn't leave us hanging like that indefinitely....right?) I will direct you to this post, and you will be like, YAY!

Project Inspiration will continue now. Sometime this week....when my kids decide to nap.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Last Image

Okay, I know I'm late on this one, but it seriously took me SO long to write something about this image. I got all nuts with the story and wanted to keep writing it. But I knew the whole time that I had to keep it short, so it was messing me up. In the end, I think it turned out okay. I love all the family drama going on. I'm very into that at the moment, so it's interesting to play with.

I really, really love this whole inspiration idea. While before, I was feeling a little rusty on the idea front, now I feel like I could write an entire book about any of the three images. And I haven't even done the songs yet!

This is ridiculously exciting...I don't know which image I should choose to continue writing about. If I had more readers, I might have a vote. I guess, I'll just have to choose myself! =P (although, feel free to vote if you want. I love the input.)


Generally, hexxers don’t do weddings. But every once in a while, a hexxer will marry a commoner and we have to endure the ridiculousness of the white-dress, cake-smash, chicken-dance traditions. Luckily, my brother’s new wife was not so traditional. Her wedding? A masquerade.
Which is perfection when you’re marrying into a family of hexxers—all of whom have some pretty sick tattoos around their eyes. To the commoners, we look like thugs. They totally wouldn’t get it, so I can’t say I blame Molly for wanting to cover us all up.
It’s all we ever do, anyway. Hide. Hex people so they don’t see our tattoos, or the magic we work with them. It’s nice, for once, not to have to hide. To enter the real world and do something normal like a wedding, even if we all have to wear masks.
I said Molly wasn’t traditional. And she’s not, I guess, but then she must like the chicken dance, because her and Mason are going a little nutty out there on the dance floor. Me? I prefer to lurk in the shadows, watching. I’ve never been the outgoing type, so weddings make me a little uncomfortable.
Okay, really uncomfortable.
Everyone is one drink away from drunk, and you have to mingle with all these people you don’t know, but are supposed to be part of your family from here on out. It’s weird. Especially when the elephant in the room is that none of the commoners know that they could be dead or worse at the wink of an eye from any one of the hexxers.
Not exactly dinner conversation.
I feel someone come up behind me and I whirl around, eyes narrowed. But it’s just Aaron. Big brother numero dos. I have three of them, all over-protective, all irritating beyond belief. Aaron is the worst offender. He seems to think, somehow, that he’s dad now, when he’s probably the least like our passed father of all my brothers.
“Sulking again?” he asks as he sinks into the seat beside me. He’s dressed rather extravagantly in a royal blue and gold suit with matching mask. I want to tell him he looks like Willy Wonka, but I doubt he’s seen that commoner movie.
“Hiding,” I correct him.
He shakes his head. “You need to make an effort. For Mason.”
“Mason’s an idiot. Why on earth would he marry her? Really.”
Aaron sighs and shrugs slightly. “It doesn’t matter."
I round on him. “How can you say that? He was supposed to take over for father, and now he’s going to be stuck in hiding for the rest of his life. He’s an idiot.”
“I can replace father.”
I sneer at him. “You’d just love that wouldn’t you. Yeah, well, mom will never let you. Justin is next in line, and he wants it. They’ll…work it out somehow. You’re out of luck.”
Aaron pushes out of his seat and goes to leave, but leans down to whisper in my ear. “Now I can see why no one is sitting with you. And, by the way. Mom already agreed.” He spins away, leaving me gaping after him.
No way. No possible way mom would let Aaron jump ahead of Justin. Justin was more ready to head the hex coven than Aaron would ever be. Justin had ten years on him for one thing. For another, Justin was dad’s right hand man for seven years, while Aaron partied away at a commoner college and banged chicks.
He had to be lying. Justin was the obvious choice. But Justin had been…off ever since dad died, and now with this marriage thing...I hadn’t been given the details on how dad died, but something in my gut said that Justin had somehow been involved. If that was true, I could kind of see mom skipping Justin in favor of Aaron.
I shake myself. Mom would never do that to Justin, no matter what the circumstances.
Across the room I see Justin sitting alone at a table, much like me. It’s hard to tell his expression behind his blood red mask, but I know him well enough to read his posture. He is rigid. Furious. Tense.
And I want to know why. I stand and begin making my way around the outside of the room, heading for my brother. But, just as I get close, he suddenly rises and flees the room. I stop momentarily, deciding if I should follow. If he saw me coming and is avoiding me, I want to know why. And if he’s just escaping to blow off some steam, I definitely want to join. I want to work some magic right now, that is for sure.
I chase him out into the hotel lobby and see him hurriedly tapping the button of the mirrored elevator.
“Justin!” I call, as I jog toward him.
He flashes a look back at me, and then slips into the elevator. The door closes just before I can reach it.
Now I am furious, too. I pound the elevator button, intending to follow him even though I don’t know what floor he’s heading to. I can only imagine the roof, since we don’t have a room booked here. Though what he plans to do on the roof is beyond me.
The elevator door is about to close when a hand stops it. A boy in a black mask saunters in. I don’t know him, so I assume he is a commoner. Great. Exactly what I need.
He grins at me. I can tell because his mask only covers his nose. Mine is the same, so I know he can see my scowl.
“Not a wedding person either, I take it?” he asks. He has a deep, easy voice that makes me want to shiver. I stave it off.
The elevator door closes and I hit the roof button.
He cuts me a look. “Not planning on jumping, I hope?”
Something twists in my gut at the thought of what Justin has planned for the roof. I shake my head at the boy. He contemplates me a while as he leans casually against the gold railing, arms crossed.
“So…” he says slowly. “You’re a hexxer.”
I only now realize that he has not pressed a button on the elevator.
I meet his eyes – blue and sparkly, which I guess means he’s laughing at me.
“Do I know you?” I blurt. “Or did Molly blab to her family, after all.”
He shakes his head. “I’m not a friend of the bride.”
“Not a friend of the groom either, or I’d know you.”
He sniffs and steps closer to me. I back into the wall.
“I hardly think you’re acquainted with every hexxer in the coven,” he drawls.
My heart begins to pound. I want to take off my mask so I can hex him if I need to, but I also don’t want to threaten him unnecessarily. He might just be heckling me. He also might be getting ready to kill me. Never know with hexxers.
“My father was Gregory Hurst,” I say. “I know pretty much everyone.”
He smiles. “ that means you’re Ivory.”
At my frown, he steps closer. We are two feet apart now. Why doesn’t this elevator move faster?
 “You’re practically royalty,” the boy says. “Of course I know your name.”
“And do I get to know yours?” I ask. My hands itch to pull my mask off.
For some reason, that makes me relax a little. Then he steps closer again and smiles and I am back on edge. The back of my head is flush with the wall, hands clenching the railing like I’m standing on the edge of a skyscraper.
Henry pushes the emergency stop button and the elevator grinds to a sudden halt.
“Hey!” I start, but he puts a gloved finger to my lips and I can’t help it. I am silent.
He pulls his mask up and my heart rate triples. I want to rip mine away too, and make it an even fight. But I am paralyzed with fear and wonder. He is a hexxer. That much is immediately clear from his tattoos. They look like black tear drops that stretch down his cheeks. I have never seen tattoos like his before. Most are symbols, swirls or glyphs. Tears…why would he choose that?
“What do you want?” I grind out. “At least tell me that much before you kill me.”
Suddenly he laughs. “Kill you? Is that why you think I’m here?”
“Why else?” Lots of people would like to kill me, since I’m the one and only daughter of Gregory Hurst. As his daughter, I inherited most of his magic. Girls, for whatever reason, are more receptive to magic, and are always the most powerful hexxers. Since dad was the leader of the coven, he was the most powerful of the men. Meaning I am probably the most powerful female hexxer in the world.
Which also makes me the biggest threat to somehome who might be, I don't know...looking to take over control of the coven? Someone like Henry?
“I’m not here to kill you,” Henry says. His lips quirk to the side in an almost-leer that makes me nervous.
“Then why are you invading my personal space?”
He sighs as if greatly inconvenienced, but then, without any warning, he kisses me. It startles me so much that at first I cannot manage to fight him off. By the time I think to punch him, I realize…I don’t want to. Maybe I’m hexed, maybe I’m not…for whatever reason, I just don’t care. I let him kiss me, let him sweep me away until there is nothing left.
Finally, he pulls away, brushes a finger across my cheek and says, “You still want to know why?”
I shudder and nod.
In his eyes, I read remorse, but his voice is like an ice cube slipping through my veins as he says, “I did it to give your brother time to kill himself.”

Friday, January 20, 2012

It's Early...

So, I just woke up (please excuse any typos) and I have to take my son to Pre K in about 15 minutes, but I thought I'd choose the last image to write about, since I have time. And, I thought it might be fun to post some of the rejected images and explain why they weren't chosen:

This made me LOL like crazy, but I couldn't think of anything to follow it. In my head, the guy walks away chuckling and then he and his girlfriend go ride the tea cups until they puke. I debated briefly on making the woman inside the Minnie costume his girlfriend, but....meh...

This one is spooooooky! Which is why I almost chose it. For some reason, it reminds me of hell, so I thought about starting there. I don't know, I guess it creeps me out too much.

This one was almost chosen because I'm currently writing something that it reminds me of. I'm a sucker for the whole forbidden romance garbage, so kissing someone through the fence that divides them...*sigh* I could go on forever. BUT I did promise to try and choose something non-romantic.

When I look for an image to write about it kind of has to already tell a little story. This is just plain adorable. The cats, I mean....not the...*ahem.*

Moving on. HERE is the photo I chose to write about today:

(No clue what the words say at the bottom...anyone have an inkling?)

I know I said no more romantic stuff, but...Come on! The masks and the blue and the pretty! Maybe I'll have him eat her instead. This one totally speaks to me. I can see the story in my head playing out, and that -- above anything else -- is what I looked for when choosing images to write about.

So! I'll post the story later on today. And if at all possible, I'll include cannibalism.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Image Numero Dos

I know it's a late post, but I did get it in today. I only had time to do one image today (nap time was unusually short), so I'll get the third one in tomorrow, PROMISE!

I tried to pick a non-romantic image this time, which was exceedingly difficult for me. I still made about relationship stuff, though. It's more fun that way, I think. It's also rather long, but I couldn't stop writing this character, so I just went with it.


Right now there’s only one thing on my mind, and it’s not how did I end up here? I know perfectly well who’s responsible for chaining me to a cinderblock at the bottom of the ocean.
Yeah. That part I totally get. But as I float weightlessly here, waiting for the air in my lungs to run out, I can’t help but think…it was worth it.
Something inside me – the cynical side my mother tried unsuccessfully to squash – screams that this thought is likely the most asinine to have ever crossed my consciousness. My cynical side is correct. To feel anything but utter loathing for the boy who tried to kill me is ludicrous. Unfortunately, however, I’ve always been a little off kilter. A fish out of water, so to speak.
And even as my chest tightens and my eyes fly wide with the realization that time has run out, I cannot hate him. Which is infuriating, and exciting at the same time. Mostly, however, it’s just sad. Sad that I let him gain that kind of control over me. Sad that he was a Fisherman. Sad that he didn’t love me…not even a little.
I cannot hold my breath any longer; the impulse to breathe is overwhelming, even though I know there’s no air to intake. My body convulses. I can hear the chains jingling, feel them biting into my flesh as it expands. Two sharp stings erupt on my throat, and a flurry of itchiness attacks my legs like a thousand mosquito bites. The chain is so tight it draws blood.
I am about to pass out when it’s finally over. I can breathe again. Cool, smooth water floods my lungs like a winter breeze and my tail swishes gently – a blur of amethyst and jade. I sigh.
Now what?
I could call father, but I know what he will say. How could you be so stupid, Lisha? You let a Fisherman steal your heart? What did you think would come of that?
I seriously don’t need the lecture.
Which leaves only one person – the only siren in the entire ocean that I never want to see again. The reason I ran away to dry land to begin with: Coran. He’d hear me if I called, that much I can be sure of, but do I really want his help? If I let him free me, I’m in his debt. He’s going to want to…talk.
I shudder to myself.
For a moment, I weigh my distaste for lectures against my complete and total aversion to seeing Coran again. Before I can decide to who send my beacon to, I hear something overhead. I turn my face to the surface and see a shadowy figure floating above me. At first I think it’s just a dolphin or something, but then I realize what it must be.
That gutsy bastard.
Well, at least he plans on explaining himself. For the life of me, I can’t think why he’d throw me down here when I told him I was no longer a siren. If it wasn’t to kill me, I can’t see the cause.
I yell his name and the shadow stops. A flash of moonlight crosses his face and I can see it’s not Jason. Not even close. It’s a woman – a Fisherman for sure from the harpoon she carries – and she’s not alone. I’m being hunted.
At least Jason’s actions make sense now – he wasn’t trying to kill his girlfriend (which was terrible enough to contemplate), he was trying to kill a siren. He was working with the Fishermen after all.
We’re both liars, I guess.
The shadows converge on me, and – not knowing what else to do – I send out my beacon. To Coran. Its like a wave of light that passes from my being and straight into his. For one instant, I am him and he is me – we’re one creature. And he knows I need him desperately. In my head, I hear his scream within milliseconds, almost as if he’d been waiting for me this whole time.
A great pain erupts in my chest and I know it is his heart breaking. I immediately regret choosing him.
The Fishermen are close enough to fire – one shoots a harpoon at me, but I dodge, however awkwardly. The next harpoon is aimed my tail, and I only just manage to keep it from hitting me. I hear them yelling curses through their scuba gear. One comes up behind me and throws his arms around me, holding me still, as another drops down in front of me.
I have never seen the woman before, though something about her is familiar. I look around at the other two Fishermen. Jason is nowhere to be seen.
Unless he is the one holding me in place.
I squirm against him, trying to swat him with my fin, but the chain is too tight. Plus, whoever has me is very strong. My heart begins to pound, my movements are frantic as the woman aims her harpoon straight at my chest.
“Coran!” I scream.
And suddenly, he is there. He bashes head-first into the woman, throwing her aim off. She harpoons herself in the foot, and floats away, howling. Coran lunges at the man holding me, stabbing him ruthlessly with his spear. Something rips inside of me as the arms go slack and the Fisherman’s body floats to the ocean floor in a gush of scarlet. Was that Jason?
“Be gone from here!” Coran roars, positioning himself in front of me.
“They can’t understand you,” I grumble behind him.
He hisses at me to be silent, and I obey. He is saving my tail after all.
He jabs his spear at the woman and the surviving Fishermen. The woman appears to be out of ammo, and the others are, apparently, under her command. She glances down at the boy dying on the ground and gestures to him.
They want to bring him up with them. If they think Coran will let them, they are sorely mistaken. Coran is not what I would call merciful.
But, to my utter shock, he raises his spear and lets them haul the boy away.
“Coran,” I whisper, appalled.
He makes a guttural warning sound; he remains on total alert until the four of them are out of sight. Then he rounds on me.
“Why have you come back?” he demands.
I sigh. “I was thrown back.”
He sneers. “So the humans are not so wonderful, after all.”
I am silent.
“I did not save you because you mean anything to me,” he says a tad too defensively.
“Of course not. That would mean you have feelings.”
He swims around behind me and snaps the rope around my wrists. With my hands free – if a little numb – I undo the loop of painfully tight chain around my tail. Free now, I swim a few feet away from him. It feels completely wrong to swim…I miss my feet. Fins suck. Coran, however, cannot seem to take his eyes away from mine. His presence after all this time unnerves me. And – although I’d previously thought this was impossible – he has become even more handsome.
“You smell of sunlight,” he growls.
We float there awkwardly, not looking at one another.
“You will return to the surface,” Coran says, although I know he has asked a question.
I shrug my shoulders. “It’s not the full moon yet, so I can’t.”
He nods slowly. “I suppose you wish to come with me, then.”
“Not really.”
Our eyes meet. His are hard and guarded, and mine reveal the joke I was trying to make. He doesn’t get it. He never did get me.
Coran stows his spear in the holster on his back and waves me toward him. “Come. I will take you home.”
He starts to swim away, and I wish so badly that I could tell him Aquanta is not my home anymore. But I just can’t hurt him again. Even I am not that heartless.
I look up to the bright white surface and think once more of Jason. Was he the one who had held me still as the woman tried to shoot me? Was he the one who was shot? Is he even alive?
And why…oh why, do I care?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Reclaiming the Mojo

I’m feeling rather uninspired lately, and I’ve been thinking about what – exactly – does inspire me to spend months of my time and energy writing a story. I used to be inspired by everything. Any little snippet of conversation got me going, a commercial on T.V., a song lyric, something my son said…anything! And now? Very little makes me burn with that unquenchable fire to write—write all day, every minute and into the night for weeks until I type that last, glorious word.

Which is totally lame. It means, unfortunately, that I am uninspired.
I don’t understand why this is happening (although I’m pretty sure it has a lot to do with insecurities and fear), only that it is, and I have to fix it somehow. I’ve tried waiting it out, hoping it was just a phase and would work itself out. Nope. I’ve tried forcing myself to write, but I absolutely HATE every word that comes from that, so I stopped. Now? I’ve got a new idea. And I’m sharing it here in the hopes that it’ll help others out there who have (temporarily) lost their mojo.
For me, inspiration comes largely from two things: music and images. I’m very visual. If I see it, I understand it better. It’s why I print out all of my manuscripts and put them in binders so I can mark them with pen. Yes, it’d be easier to do on Word, but for whatever reason, I like to hold the book in my hands. It helps me grasp the book better. (haha, I made a pun!)
Anyway, images. I’m GREATLY inspired by images. My favorite image-hunting website is It’s awesome. Totally diverse. Completely shocking at times, and heartwarming/breaking at others. So often, I go there and scour the pages, saving images at my computer to look at later when I need inspiration. Well, I need it now. But just looking at the images does very little. I have to actually do something with them. (Write about them. Duh.) Which I’ve never done. Usually, I just hoard them all up into a folder on my desktop and let them sit there. Not helpful. So I decided to do a little exercise to get my juices flowing.

I’m going to pick three images and write a little story about each one. My sister, who majored in Creative Writing (GO ‘NOLES!), would call this Flash Fiction. She’d be right.
Since this post has gone on long enough, I’ll do one right now and post the other two tomorrow**. Then, I’m going to do a few songs, because let’s face it: music is awesome.
Well…here goes!

She was asleep when I found her. Early morning sun pounded out her skin tone, flashing white on my eyes and making me wince. Endless tendrils of black hair stretched around her face, bleeding like an ink spill on the sand. She laid face-up, arms splayed out to the side as if she’d fallen asleep while making a snow angel. It was impossible that she was here – too strange to be allowed.
I didn’t understand the why, but I did understand one thing: this wasn’t a coincidence. I realized, finally that she was meant for me, after all. Everything else – all the excuses, the fear, the drama – it all faded to white, blinding me like her skin.
Without totally realizing I was doing it, I dropped my guitar, and walked toward her. The shush of the ocean lapping at her toes drew my attention. She was soaking wet from high-tide. She’d been here all night. Something stopped in my chest and I bent without hesitation, bringing my face so close to hers I could feel the sun’s warmth rebounding off of her skin and onto mine. I stared upside down at her, waiting to feel the tiny hairs above my lip tickle with her breath.
Warm, steady air caressed me. She was breathing. The adrenaline rush ceased, leaving me numb. What was she doing here like this? I should wake her but I just . . . couldn’t. Instead, all I could think about was how devastatingly beautiful she was. I wondered if I kissed her now, would she wake? Would she remember? Was it wrong?
I didn’t know enough about her to determine whether she’d find an unconscious kiss romantic or molestation. In truth, I’d never spoken a word to her. She did all the talking, and she only ever said five words to me: “Play me a song, Will.” Every day, every lunch period underneath the oak on the front lawn, she would escape her silly, shallow friends and find me. She would sit opposite me on the benches, mottled daylight painting her face with spots of yellow and white, and say those five words. I would pick out a new song for her, gathering inspiration from the color of her shirt, or the curve of her lips, or the way just her presence made my heart stutter in my chest. And then the bell would toll; she would send me a grateful, yet almost disappointed smile…and walk away.
I’d never understood why she came to see me every day, or what, exactly, she wanted from me. But none of that mattered. All that mattered was that for ten minutes a day, she was mine and no one else’s.
Now, once again, she was mine, only everything was different. She was asleep, and I was motionless above her – paralyzed with the fear that she would awaken and everything would disappear as it always did. In her sleep, she seemed to smile – a wan, almost-smile that made me wonder if she knew, somewhere deep in the labyrinth of her mind, that I was there. Did she even want me there?
Then, as if she’d grown tired of my hesitancy, she sighed. Her eyes fluttered, and everything began to shatter. My moment was passing – I couldn’t let that happen.
“Melanie,” I whispered. My lips were so close to hers I could all but feel them part beneath me.
“Are you going to kiss me?” she asked.
I blinked. “Do you want me to?”
She grinned. “Yes.”
I touched my nose to hers, and crushed my eyes closed. “Do you even know who I am?”
I pulled back slightly to see whether she would open her eyes.
She didn’t.
Instead she reached up and touched my arm, squeezing it gently. Through pink, perfect lips, she said, “Play me a song, Will.”
And I did. Only this time, there was no music.
**So pretty much all of them will be gushy and romantic because well....I'm gushy and romantic. I'll do my best to find ONE that isn't TOO romantic. ;)

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Eventually Excuse

I am a huge fan of eventually. Eventually may be my favorite excuse for putting off those things I know I need to do. I’m not ignoring the laundry, I’ll do it eventually. I’m not forgoing editing that book, eventually, I’ll get to it. 
It feels a lot better than my old excuse which was more like: “I don’t feel like doing this right now, so I just won’t do it.” The problem with that one was that after a while, I realized that you can’t just act on how you feel. Sometimes I don’t feel like changing a diaper (actually, I pretty much never feel like doing that) but I can’t very well leave my kid in a doodie diaper. Unless I’m a sucky mom, which I’m not.
So I started using the eventually excuse. Eventually, I’ll do the dishes. I’ll finish the book eventually. Not now. Now I’m busy. But eventually it’ll happen.
The problem? My handy little eventually excuse is exactly the same as my juvenile I-don’t-feel-like-it excuse.
I read a blog post by Maggie Stiefvater once where she said that every time you do something you’re making it a priority. I didn’t want to believe this at the time, because, well (my agent will shudder to read this) I was being a slacker. I wasn’t writing nearly as much as I should have. I wasn’t reading at all. I wasn’t learning or being creative. I was slacking. Plain and simple. And, at the time, I believed that my slacking was justified.
I’d say to myself, I don’t need to write now; I have other things to do. Important things that make me happy. Maggie doesn’t know what she’s talking about. Just because I’m doing these other things first doesn’t mean they’re more important than writing. Writing is the best. It’s the most fun, rewarding, exciting thing ever. It’s just that…well, sometimes writing is work, too. And sometimes having others read your writing is plain terrible (people can be very cruel). So sometimes, I don’t want to write, simply to spare myself the bad parts. I’ll do other things first, and get to the important stuff eventually.
Except, eventually didn’t come for a long, long time. I kept using my little excuse. Kept making other things a priority. Now, eventually is here, and I’ve realized that the time I’ve wasted on eventually will never return. I made those other things more important than my GOAL. Which is, quite simply, to be an amazing writer. Not just a good writer. Not an average writer. But a flipping amazing writer.
And it became clear to me, very suddenly – though I don’t know exactly when it hit me – that I can’t make that happen if I make other things** more important than writing. Writing is my favorite thing in the world, and I shouldn’t let laziness or fear get in the way of doing what I love.
So, since it’s January and everyone is making resolutions, I’ll make one of my own: I’ll start making writing my priority again. No more eventually. No more excuses. Just writing.
It’s pretty much the easiest resolution I’ve ever made. Hands down.
**Now, this, of course, doesn’t apply to my kids. My kids take precedent over writing, simply because if I don’t take care of them A) they’ll die. B) child services will take them away. Neither of which I want to happen.