Today’s Write: “Something is Wrong in the Town of Ashton”

This may be used in my novel. Please excuse the formatting. I do a lot of this from my phone.

Something was not right in the town of Ashton, Massachusetts. Meredith O’Rourke, walked around for two weeks with a deep unrest at the bottom of her stomach. It was almost Halloween which because of her family history always made her twitchy, but that wasn’t it. This was deeper, she felt it in her bones. It all started the day her brother Sean found the family journals. She should have told him years ago. He had not spoken to her since. She was concerned but knew he wouldn’t do anything rash. And yet this feeling sat in her stomach. Her senses on high alert for any paranormal activity in town.

The paranormal elements typically stayed out of Ashton. Not because of the three hundred so called witches and vampires that were burned there in 1642 mostly with the help of her ancestors, but rather because of the witches and vampires that were not destroyed there in 1642. The ones her family let go. The ones she knew lived at the De Morlais Estate on Pleasant Street.

Whenever Dan Okada visited Ashton he stayed with his good friends the O’Rourkes. Since his last visit two weeks ago he felt an anger rising within him. Something had been stirred in his soul. A part of him just wanted to go back to his hum drum existence. But this new rage needed a vehicle. When he was approached at work by his mentor Rich McDonnell to join an office walk out. “The words, “Sign me up,” flew out of his mouth without a thought. He noticed a difference with his friend Sean as well. He was smoking like he a lot of stock options in Marlboro. He recalled a difference in the air on his last visit to Ashton. It was colder than usual for October. And it was creepier than usual for October. He saw more spirits in that two day trip than he had in the last six months and a few times he felt like someone was whispering in his ear. But what he remembered most was how angry Sean was with his sister Meredith, so angry they headed back to Boston a day early. 

The Vampiress Tegan, felt a shadow watching over her the past two weeks. She tried to pick up a scent, a glimpse of it in full form out of the corner of her eye, but nothing. Just the heaviness of its presence lingering over her and her clan. She told everyone to be extra careful. Some of the young vamps looked at her like she was crazy. She didn’t blame them. They didn’t know the horror that had preceded their existence. They didn’t know that there are creatures out there far more dangerous than vampires. A few times she found herself on her evening walk outside the O’Rourke House. She could see Meredith O’Rourke pacing the floor through the front porch windows. She could feel Meredith’s unrest. She thought about warning her. Something was coming. But what good would that do? Meredith and Sean were never trained to be hunters. The truce between the vampires and the O’Rourke family which had kept future descendants safe since World War II now seemed to have left this current generation of O’Rourkes helpless to defend themselves. 

She moved on and against her better judgement went up to Ashton Cemetery. Maybe the dead would have answers, she thought. The wind felt colder, sharper yet heavy. The 17 th century cobblestone sidewalk just outside the cemetery had been dismantled from underneath their three hundred year home. Inside two of the O’Rourke family tombstones had been knocked over. She noticed the iron gate to her family tomb, the De Morlais tomb was wide open. Her stomach dropped. Unease turned to all out fear and after a thousand years not much scared her. She ran inside the tomb. The secret passageway in the floor was ajar about an inch. She lifted the granite stone from the floor which triggered the lights in the secret vault below. She ran down the hidden stone stairway to find Wilhelm’s empty open coffin. The iron chains that once sealed the mahogany box were broken on the cold concrete. Empty blood bags littered the floor. Someone or something had let him out!

Cherry Blossoms Part of Chapter 2 or 3

Meredith O’Rourke walked through the cherry blossom trees the petals below her feet covering the blows of her black heeled boots as they marched down Wesley Street.  She sped up as she got closer to her parked car. Had she gone mad?  No one was behind her, no one real. Her blue eyes darted back at the pink street behind her and nothing or no one was gaining on her. More blossoms blew off the trees as the wind kicked up. A storm of pink funneled toward her as the wind gained momentum. Then, in the middle of the flower storm he emerged, a beautiful man with short brown hair.  He walked slowly toward her, dressed in all black. He was calm, powerful and coming.
His bright blue eyes beckoned her from five hundred feet away. She turned her head.  I can’t look into his eyes. But I want to, she thought. This must have been the pull my grandmother wrote about.
“Meredith,” he said in the whisper she felt chime through her whole body.
A loud crash jolted her. She awoke in her dark living room and noticed the family journals were all over the hardwood floor. A pang of fear shot up through her chest and into her throat as she realized someone else had been in the house. She reached for the lamp in back of her. The light gave false comfort that she knew was temporary. The vampires knew that she knew. They were now watching.
The “Clair De Lune” went off on her phone.  She jumped off the couch and searched the mess for it.

 

“Hello, this is Meredith.”

 

“You sound winded are you alright?” Rich McDonnell asked.

 

“Yes, yes, I was just cleaning.”

 

“I’m sorry to call you with this …….I don’t know how to …..”

 

“What is it, is it Sean?”

 

“He has gone missing.”

 

Her heart beat so hard it hurt.

 

“When did this happen?”

 

“This morning, I’m sorry we were looking for him, the police have looked for him. I didn’t want to call you I kept hoping we would find him.”

 

“Where is Dan? Why isn’t he calling me?”

“Dan is in Mass General.”
She dropped the phone. She felt light-headed and nauseous.
“Meredith, are you ok?”
She reached for the phone trying to hold it together.

 

“I am coming to Boston Immediately.”

 

She knelt down to grab the most important journals as she would take a few with her.  Everyone she picked up had cherry blossom petals under them. She ran to her kitchen sick and threw up mostly in her long brown hair. This was it after all these years they found us, but why now?  Sean was innocent, he was never told about this family secret. She knew it was the vampires, they took him.

Winging It, Parts of a future story

The house smelled of cinnamon, like Christmas, like Thanksgiving, like a warm safe home. Something Alex had not known until now. He tried to play it cool, blend in, act like he was one of the spoiled elite he went to school with. But they knew the truth. He was a fraud. A foster kid who got lucky, he thought. He told himself things would get better maybe over time they would forget where he came from. Maybe he would too. Maybe this life was contagious. He was willing to catch it. The best part of it all wasn’t the money, it was Dan. He wasn’t very parental, there were no rules that he knew of, but Dan did care. He showed up at the art show and seemed to like his graphic novel. Dan also liked comics. Maybe this was it. A real home once and for all. He tried not to focus on it. The thought of losing it was too upsetting. He had become attached to Dan and the idea of having a father who actually cared. For now he would continue to play it cool, blend in, wing it.
 

The Ramblings of the Solitary Writer, Character Revival

I have been struggling with my lead character, Dan. But at my novel class Monday night at the San Francisco Writing Salon, he came to life. Our teacher asked us a very important question. What does your character lack? As opposed to the typical question of what does your character want? Writing about the lack I feel as though I went back to the depth Dan had when I first started writing him.

The backstory that made me what to propel him forward from the beginning–his fear of love, his greatest shame, his inability to be vulnerable, these wounds make him just as interesting as the vibrant secondary characters, that aide him or stand in his way. He is my main protagonist, at least in the first book. I have been focusing too much on the actions to propel, when I should just let him propel what happens on his quest. After all, it is his story.

Ramblings of the Solitary Writer

Writer’s Diarrhea I do not have writer’s block, I have writer’s diarrhea. The ideas don’t stop, the what ifs don’t stop, and the creation of new characters doesn’t stop. One would think this is gre…

Source: Ramblings of the Solitary Writer

Ramblings of the Solitary Writer

Writer’s Diarrhea

I do not have writer’s block, I have writer’s diarrhea. The ideas don’t stop, the what ifs don’t stop, and the creation of new characters doesn’t stop. One would think this is great! Well it’s not great when you are trying to send your synopsis to a New York agent and realize that maybe all five plot lines just can’t work in one book.

And the plot line I’ve been in love with from the beginning lacks a good villain, actually all the plot lines lack good villains. The attacker in the first scene of the series I am working on seems to be just that, an attacker; I have no place for them other than the first scene in the rest of the series.

This is tough because this scene is what drags the rest of my characters into the world of the vampires and I want it all to loop back or be connected to what happens in the secondary plot line of the vampires lives in a past time period. Oh and the time period has not been decided upon yet either because I have two different sets of those written as well, one in WWII and one in the late 1880s.

I have decided to write out each plot line out in its entirety and see which ones link best together. After all for a first novel, I do not think it’s a good idea to write the “Game of Thrones” of vampire novels. But that is often how it has felt.

Con Men and Heart Break in NOLA

Another Tale of New Orleans

Desperation swims at people like waves. If you push too hard against something it typically makes it float away. This was part of a discussion I had with a young man named Nate I met today walking through the French Quarter.  After lunch with him I walked with him to my Saints and Sinners Tour. Which was a relief since the tour started from an area I didn’t know. He was nice company but he got too clingy and seemed to want a pretty deep connection for someone I just met.

My tour was cool I got to try absinthe for the first time. It tastes like black jelly beans or liquorish. And makes you feel a little relaxed like you are almost floating.

I went to meet Nate at Cafe Dumond at 3:30 pm for beignets against my better judgment, where he tried to get me to invest in his next movie project.  I told him I don’t give men money which startled him, that a single woman from San Francisco wasn’t an easy mark. When he went to the men’s room I jetted out of there and went back to the hotel to jump in the pool.

I had a nice dinner at Dicky Brennan’s restaurant called Tableau before my next tour, a haunted, vampire, voodoo, witch combo. The tour guide was very good but also a bit upset, he told us his girlfriend of 25 years had left him a month ago. Bad relationships seemed to be the theme of the day.

Séance Rooms and Vampires

Day 5 New Orleans June 2015

Today, I followed the instructions of one of the locals I met yesterday and I went to Murial’s and had a light lunch then in the middle of lunch I asked about the Seance Lounge which most people don’t know about. After I was done eating the waiter led me upstairs and I got to see the outer and inner seance rooms. The inner seance room even had  two sarcophagus inside. Both rooms were decorated in 1920s decor and red light which many mediums use to develop physical phenomena mediumship.

I also got to see their upstairs dining rooms and go out on the balcony. It was pretty cool, especially since these private rooms seem to be well-kept secret here, even though they do talk about it on their website, no one on any of the haunted history tours have ever mentioned this. The only guy working at my hotel who knew about it used to be a bartender there. Even he seemed surprised that I was given access. He said normally that’s a place for private parties.

Next I headed to the Pharmacy Museum where in the 1820s a Dr. Dupas experimented on people trying to cure yellow fever. He killed a lot of people and later I read that he stacked some of the bodies in the lovely courtyard I took some pictures in. What a town!

Later on when I went back to the Boutique Du Vampyre shop for my tarot reading and Marita the owner told me Jonathan who is the best tour guide for the Vampire Tour is back from vacation.  I immediately booked the tour. I saw him last year and he was fantastic. I had already seen another vampire tour on this trip and it was pretty good, but after seeing him, no one can really compare. It was like having a movie star do a role meant for Meryl Streep. I went back for Meryl Streep and was not disappointed.

Napoleon and The Amazing Golden Coconut

Day 4 New Orleans June 2015

This morning I took a city tour where I got to see St. Louis Cemetery number 3, Lake Ponchitran which was beautiful and City Park. These were all places I didn’t get to see last time I was here. After the tour I ate at Napoleon House built in 1797. Napoleon was supposed to escape exile here in the 1820s but of course that didn’t happen. On one of the ghost tours I went on they talked about how the ghost of Napolean often shows up at dinner parties there.

After lunch I headed back to the hotel to get in the pool. It was really hot today. I almost didn’t go to the bar tour I  Had at 4pm but I’m glad I did, Joe our tour guide was excellent. He’s a local authority on cocktail and bar history he has even been on Parts Unknown with Anthony Bourdain on CNN. He told us a lot of great stories on the local places in NOLA.

The first bar he took us to was Tujagues established in 1856. It’s the second oldest restaurant in New Orleans. And its still a standing bar 200 years later. I had the best Pimms Cup there.

Joe next took us to Pirate’s Alley right next to St. Louis Cathedral. Their signature drink is 120 proof Absinthe from France by a company called Lucid. I had that the other day on another tour. Next we were onto the Court of Two Sisters a very popular restaurant and bar that has the only death mask of President Andrew Jackson in the world on the wall. One of their signature drinks, is the Golden Coconut which reminded me of a White Russian but seemed lighter. It felt like I was drinking a cloud. It was one of the best drinks I’ve ever had anywhere.

The last place we visited was Antoine’s where Joe got us access to some of the private dining rooms, like the room President Clinton dined in. Joe was the best tour guide, everybody knows him so we got easy access everywhere we went.

After the tour I walked into the Boutique Du  Vampyre in the French Quarter. And met the owner Marita who is going give me a Tarot reading tomorrow.  It is such a nice little shop with all things vampire.

Swamp Crack and Butchers – Day 3 New Orleans

Day 3 New Orleans June 2015

While I was waiting for the tour van to pick me up, one of the locals told me I could go on their porch if it started to rain. The locals treat the tourists very well here.

Did the swamp tour, got to see alligators up close because the tour guide throws marshmallows at them. They call the marshmallows, “Swamp Crack.” I also got to hold a baby alligator which was horrifying, but what are vacations for? It actually felt really smooth. It acted cute like a puppy which surprised me.

I liked how fast the boat swerved through the swampy waters. Next time I will take the smaller boat so I will get hit by the Southern air even harder.

When I got back to the Quarter I did some souvenir shopping, ate lunch and went to Cafe Dumond for the beignets. Then headed back to hotel to rest up before the Ghost and Vampire Tour at the Voodoo Lounge, which is a local dive bar.

This tour had some stories I had not heard before about more local residences where horrific murders took place. I learned two things on this tour, do a thorough history on whatever house I ever buy in NOLA to make sure no one was murdered there and never date a butcher who has a huge wooden trunk. We were told two stories of butchers who killed women on the same street and hid them in trunks.