The Liberty Chronicles: Book One- Chapter One

Jordana Black had three weeks left until the end of the summer and the beginning of her Freshman year of college. She was enjoying every minute of it. During the school year, she had to find time to squeeze in reading, writing, and relaxing between all of the studying and homework. During the two months she got to be away, she could do all of those things.  

On a fine summer day, she was laying in the hammock her stepdad strung between the two oak trees in the backyard. She was reading a book, the one where the guy gets the girl and they live happily ever after when she got a call from her boyfriend Kade. The call went to her tablet and she saw Kade’s face on the screen, overlaying the book she was reading.  

“Accept call,” she instructed the device. “Well hello there stranger.” She could see Kade rolling his eyes on the video feed now taking over her screen, his normally curly black hair now mostly hidden underneath a ball cap.  

“Strange? There’s not a thing strange about me.” As he said this, he demonstrated his ability to shift both of his eyeballs outward at the same time. “Nothing at all.” 

“Gross, you win just stop that!” 

This always makes Kade laugh. “Hey, you. What’s a girl like you do with her time on a day like this?” 

“Well, you know, things that girls like me do, of course,” she said, “whatever that means.” 

“You’re reading, aren’t you”? 

“You know me too well. What are you doing handsome?” 

“Thinking,” said Kade.  

After a moment consisting of nothing much more than a blank stare, Kade breaks the silence.  

“Well, it’s been a while since we’ve done anything other than talk on the phone and, not that I don’t like talking to you, I just thought I might take you to a movie and maybe get some dinner before.” 

“A smile reaches Jordana’s eyes. “You would, would you?” 

“I would.” 

“Hmm. I guess I could make time for a guy like you to take me to a movie.” 

“Great. Then a guy like me will pick you up at about 730. Oh hey, I think you should be expecting some sort of delivery soon. Love you, bye!” 

“Love you too,” said Jordana to a blank video feed before her screen filled back up with the book.  

A few pages later, she was interrupted again by a low buzzing sound coming from above. The sound was coming from a delivery drone from Ember, a massive online retailer that sold nearly anything and, in the major cities, delivered most packages by drone shortly after an order was placed.  

Jordana got up from the hammock as the drone landed with the package a short distance from her. It shut down its motors as she approached. There was a red light above a small screen. This screen instructed her to place her index finger in a small box to certify receipt of the package. She did so and a green light replaced the red one. A message now appeared on the screen advising her to stand back, gave her ten seconds to do so, started its motors, released the package, and zoomed to the sky.  

When the drone was gone, she picked up the package and opened it to find another box labeled “Converse All-Stars”. Inside this box was a pair of shoes which she had only dreamed of having before today. They were white with pink accents. High top Converse All-Stars. At first, she could not even process what she saw in front of her. This was something that she had mentioned to Kade years ago when they were in Middle school. There were only 1,000 of these made and they cost over $200 when they first came out which meant either he paid a ton of money for them or he found a way to buy them back then. Either way, she was grateful she had someone in her life who cared this much for her. She wanted to call him back and thank him but she knew he would want her to wait and just wear them tonight. That’s exactly what she did.  

***

She was sitting on the curb waiting when Kade arrived. She stood and watched in unexplainable anticipation as the door on the PodShare pod lifted, allowing him to stand and walk out to her. The first thing he did was look at her feet to see her wearing the shoes he got her.  

“So, you got my gift.” 

Jordana slapped him on the arm before embracing him in a hug. “You’re crazy, you know that? I can’t even imagine how much these things must have cost you.” 

He smiled. “Eh, only a small fortune.” 

“Well thank you. I can’t even believe you remembered me talking about these.” She broke the hug but immediately took his hand.  

“You look good Jo. Really good.” She had the perfect outfit picked out for the shoes. She looked like a blast from the past with her ripped jeans, pink and white band shirt, and a pink hoodie, despite it being nearly 90 degrees outside. If he ever had any regrets about spending what he spent, it was gone now seeing her standing there.  

“Let’s go then, shall we,” said Kade, motioning for Jordana to get into the pod. Once inside, Kade pressed an icon on the tablet in front of them that said “continue”. A voice from somewhere in the pod said “continuing to Fire Grill. Arriving in seventeen minutes.   

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The Daily Westin

Hey friends!

I haven’t blogged in a while. To put it simply, it’s because I haven’t written in a while. Okay, I’ve written but not like I need to be writing if I am to become a published author one of these decades.

On Painting

If you’ve read any of my more recent posts, you know that I took up painting. Do you want to see how that’s going? Let’s get that out of the way real fast, shall we?

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I’m kind of proud of that one. I had just completed one layer of a very colorful painting, which took me about a week, and decided to turn around and do a grayscale within about 30 min of that. It only took me a few minutes but was very satisfying. If I were ever to make prints of my paintings to sell, the grayscale one would be the first one I’d think about.

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This colorful piece was done purely on instinct. It was completely random and very reactive in the sense that I had no idea what was coming next and, thus, had to react to every single brush stroke. It was challenging but also very fun.

You can see that my painting style has changed dramatically if you take a look at what I was doing when I first shared a painting with you. I threw any attempt at realism out the window and have since focused my energy on the abstract. It’s much more challenging than even I would have ever imagined, and it’s because of that intense challenge that I find it so rewarding.

On Writing

I was doing so well with my novel, The Liberty Chronicles. I’d made some major revelations in the story and was super excited, as per the usual, to build on it more and more. Then I got a shiny new idea and I could not stop. I kept on developing it despite knowing that I should just write it down and move on. It is my firm belief that this is what did me in.

I haven’t written in something like three weeks now. For whatever reason, my creativity has manifested in visual art lately and, despite how much I love painting, writing is still my passion. Sure, I would love to make an income as a painter but I want even more than that to be a published author and make my living that way someday.

Maybe this is what I needed to do, to publically say, once more, that writing is what I want to do. Perhaps something as “simple” as blogging will be enough to get me back into the writing groove.

It’s going to be tough trying to balance writing with painting, but I am going to try my hardest to do just that. I am going to put my shiny new idea down and get back to work on The Liberty Chronicles. I think I have been away from it long enough now that I can actually do what I was planning to do weeks ago. I think I will go back to the drawing board, keeping the main points but developing a new outline for the story and then starting the manuscript over from scratch. It’s a big task but I am glad I was less than ten thousand words in when I decided I needed to do this.

So, that’s the plan ladies and gents. Thank you to those who’ve stuck around and I hope you will continue to do so. I will be doing better at blogging and trying to be the example I set out to be for you all.

Happy writing!

–Trevor

NaNo and Me

Hello guys and gals!

For all of you who are participating in NaNoWriMo this month, I hope you are doing well meeting and exceeding those word counts!

For me, well, let’s talk about that, shall we?

I had high hopes when I started this NaNo, even going back during PrepTober. I felt like my story had come together, despite not having a full and proper outline. I hadn’t fully fleshed it all out but I had the main points and it was all great. I was excited.

Then November came, and it did so with what seemed like zero notice whatsoever. Seriously, where the hell did October go? I blame the crazies who started celebrating Christmas on October 1st. I kid, I kid. Mostly.

And here we are nearly a third of the way into November and I’ve gotten so far behind there’s no way I can catch up, not with work never letting up. So. Who am I kidding. I’m not winning NaNo. Why am I giving up? I’m just not good with the pressure I guess. I don’t know. I need to do things at my own pace, whatever that may be.

I love writing and I will write without NaNo. It would be so cool to say I won NaNo and was able to tackle such a challenge. I just don’t have it in me. I have so many things I want to write and sometimes I can’t stick to just one, which makes NaNo virtually impossible.

So I’m going to continue to write no matter what. It’s my dream. And I’m going to continue to share my dreams with you all. I hope you’ll continue with me on my journey.

As you may have figured out by now, I have a problem with Story A.D.D (it’s a thing, look it up) and I don’t want to leave you today without telling you about a project I am working on.

About 8 years ago, I was really big into screenplays and film making as a whole. I bought and read (many times over) several books on both subjects and began writing multiple scripts in various genres from comedy to drama to crime. One of my biggest undertakings was a comedy which mimics a sort of gangster story where five groups of people go against one another in something we would look at as trivial but which they take very seriously. It was a huge project because there were so many characters, so many personalities, and so many moving parts.

While I never wrote a single word to the script, I did do a metric ton of planning. I built the world, named the characters, built broad descriptions for the groups of people involved, and outlined the story, more or less, completely.

Well, I was looking through one of my screenplay books the other day to get some tips for my NaNo project and, tucked within the pages, was the bulk of the planning notes I had made for that screenplay. It had been nearly eight years since I had touched those pages so, naturally, I had to read over them. Immediately, I felt the fire. The same fire I felt back when I first wrote those pages years before. Now, I cannot tell you why I put the project down. Hell, I had even contacted some people who were willing to participate in the making of the film. I was on the right track but something happened.

Well, I am picking it back up. I can’t let this one slip away, not again. I have learned a lot in the years since starting that story. Most importantly, I’ve learned that I don’t want to make films and, because of this, I can write the script as I would write any story. I can write it as an author, not a director, camera man, set designer and builder, location scout, none of that. This is what I needed to write this story, to think about it as a story and not such a demanding project.

So, I am going to spend some time on this one. I hope you all will understand what I am doing and I hope you have at least some interest in this aspect of writing because there are some things I would like to share with you about the project as it grows.

I am sorry I wasted your time as far as NaNo is concerned. Maybe I will make up for it next yeat by actually winning. We will see what the cards hold.

If you read this all, thank you so much for spending some time with me.

All the best!

–Trevor

On Rebranding My Blog

Hey readers!

So I have been thinking a lot lately about the route I want to take with this blog. As most of you who have stuck around know, I write about writing most of the time but I also like to do product reviews.

Here is my dilemma. I still want to write about writing. I still want to share my journey to becoming a published author with all of you. That hasn’t changed and will never change. However, I also really love doing product reviews. It is honestly a joy for me to reach out to various brands, get their products, take the best photos I can, and then write about my experience with those products.

No, no, that wasn’t the only part of the dilemma. The biggest part of the dilemma is that my current brand doesn’t really fit too many niche’s. It’s not entirely difficult for me to get journals and pencils to review as a writer. It’s when I want to reach out beyond those things that I find a problem. I want to review all sorts of things. Tech, food, toys, all sorts of, well, lifestyle things.

So, here’s what I am thinking. I am going to find a way to rebrand this blog as sort of a writer’s lifestyle blog where I will still bring my readers along with me on my journey, but I will be able to share with you all some of the things I love and use on a day to day basis. I hope that sounds a little more fun to you guys.

It will take a little bit to get my brand figured out and then adapt the blog to it and I hope you all will stick around to see what comes out on the other side. I truly believe this is going to be fun.

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please don’t hesitate to leave them below.

I hope you all are having a wonderful day!

–Trevor

The Daily Westin- 10/11/2017

I’m so torn.

I have always just used Microsoft Word to do all of my writing. That is, until the past year and a half or so when I started using the famous (or infamous) Scrivener.

The thing about it is that Scrivener has a huge learning curve. I will use it for a while and then get discouraged because I don’t know all there is to know about it and go back to Word before I even give myself a chance to figure it out.

I really want to use Scrivener though. But it’s not enough to just use it, I want to use it effectively. Word is easy because all you have to do is create a new document for every chapter and place it in a folder for the novel. Unbelievably simple.

Scrivener, on the other hand, is easy in the sense that all you do is create a new project and all the files and documents that have to do with your story are right there in front of your face. You don’t have to create a new file somewhere on your computer (and let’s be honest, it can be anywhere, even somewhere that the rest of your story isn’t) and try to keep track of it all. When you want to write, just open the project and it’s all there. But there are so many nuances. Things that are supposed to make it a more streamlined experience. But you have to learn all the things first. Ugh.

In trying to plan during PrepTober, I am also trying to decide where I want to write this novel. This is tough. The only real benefit to Word, aside from it being simple and being able to save a copy to the cloud so I can edit on my phone, is that when I send this to publishers, it will likely have to be in something like Word. Not Scrivener format.

I don’t know. If any of you have any suggestions or want to share your thoughts on either program, please comment!

Sorry about the rant, just wanted to share my PrepTober struggles.

–Trevor

On PrepTober

I am failing miserably at PrepTober. We are 1/3 of the way into the month and I am not 1/3 of the way done planning for my #NaNoWriMo novel.

I started the month with big plans. I was going to begin to use a bullet journal and plan out times when I would prep. I would split the tasks up by days, world-building Monday, character creation Tuesdays, outlining Wednesdays, something to that effect. Yet here I sit, having only fleshed out a small piece of my main character and, though I know the world in my head, I haven’t gotten it down on paper. Outline? Ha! Not even close.

Queue the excuses. As per the usual, work is wearing me out. I truly hate my job anymore. I love writing and that’s what I would rather do so I also spend a lot of time getting product reviews ready to publish. I have countless products that I need to review and they can’t take a backseat anymore. It’s something I am truly passionate about. I love taking the photos, editing them if I have to, and writing about my experience. It’s fun to try and craft my words into something that can best represent my experiences with a product. It’s challenging and hurts my brain sometimes, but I love it.

Also, finding and reaching out to brands I’d like to work with isn’t as easy as you may think. So that’s what’s been taking my time.

No more of this not prioritizing my novel. I have to get back to getting ready for Nano, because dammit I’m going to win this year.

I hope you all are doing better than me if you’re spending October prepping for Nano.

Thanks for reading and have a wonderful day!

 

–Trevor