A Summers Day

It was a hot, summers day. She went out to the field. It was filled with flowers, floral, and fragrant. She had a book in her hand and a basket for a picnic complete with a blanket that she’d grabbed from the attic. It was in one of the old trunks that no one did anything with so she didn’t think anyone would miss it.

She’d cut her hair short for the summer. It was too hot for it to be long. Her mother had been furious, but she’d felt lighter when she’d chopped it all into a brown bob.

Millie finished setting up her picnic, read, and ate, taking bites of the sandwich she’d prepared for herself. As she was in the middle of a particularly good part, a shadow fell over her.

Reluctantly, Millie looked up from her reading. She found herself staring into a pair of emerald, green eyes. “Charlie!” she gushed, dropping her book and getting up to hug him tightly. “When did you get home?”

“Just this morning,” he said, “walked all day from the train.”

Millie pulled herself away. He might have been a soldier, but he was still the butler’s son. Even if they had grown up together. She might have been the fifth youngest in a family of five, but she still had responsibilities, didn’t she?

She smiled. “Oh. Well, I’m glad you’re home.”

“Me, too.” He took his cap off.

“How’d you know I’d be here?”

“I simply had an inkling,” he said, with a grin. “Anyway, your father was kind enough to keep tabs on me the whole time. Always sent me stuff if I needed it and….”

“And what?”

He pulled something from his pocket. It was a velvet box, and inside was a ring Millie recognized. Her mothers engagement ring. Millie’s brows furrowed together. “He did say once I made something of myself, I could marry you. That is if you’ll have me. Will you?”

Millie smiled at him, wrapping her arms around his neck, and kissing him deeply. “Of course, Charlie. Of course.”

Winter Break

It was the day before winter break. We stood in the school courtyard, the old, brick building casting long shadows on our faces. Our breath came out in puffs it was so cold out.
You were smoking a cigarette. “That’s a filthy habit,” I told you.
You smirked at me. “Give me something else to do with my mouth then, and I’ll stop.”
I coughed. “Like what?”
Your eyes were blue, and sparkling even though the sun was covered up by clouds. My heart pounded against my chest.
I licked my lips, and stared at yours. “Kiss me,” you said.
Then, I leaned over, and I pulled out a single, Hershey’s kiss from my pocket and I handed it to you. Your bare, freezing cold hands grazing mine as I did.
“Happy Holidays,” I said.
“Happy Holidays,” you said softly back, grinning, “maybe next year, I’ll get a real one from you.”
“Maybe,” I said softly.

Fairytales are gone

There are no fairytales anymore. All that remains are relics, buildings covered in cobwebs, with carpets covered in glass and blood stains of revolutions. Shells of bullets left from battles fought long ago. And lonely ghosts wandering the halls and ballroom floors. Kings and Queens put to the grave, in the ground, where they should be. With a different kind of fairytale to take their place.

One without crowns and dynasties.

The Internet looks for scarlet letters

When people talk about Hawthorne, they talk about him like he’s this dusty, out of touch author. And sometimes I wonder if that’s because people miss the point of one of his most famous works and that’s why we’re where we are at now.

Hester Prynne gets put with a big, bold Scarlett A on her clothing. For a mistake that wasn’t hers alone to make. Marked forever.

And isn’t that what the internet does? It looks for scarlet letters. Sometimes deserved. Sometimes not. And so we’re all Hester Prynne.

Living with mistakes. Sometimes not even ours.

Cinema is a church

I’m not religious. Maybe because I never had any faith I could tie myself to. Maybe because organized religion has hurt too many souls for me to feel anything but apathy towards it. Still, every once and a while when I’m seeking something, I go to the movies.

The cinema. The multiplex. Whatever you want to call it.

I sit in those plush, leather chairs. Or velvet depending on which theater you are in. In total darkness. Sometimes with a friend, mostly by myself these days. And I watch the images dance across the screen. Light and sound moving together, capturing something that never was and never will be again. Introducing me to people and places that have never existed.

Delighting me, thrilling me, saddening me.

I experience the whole spectrum of human emotions in the span of two hours. For two hours, I feel something that I’ve never felt in any kind of church or temple. The feeling of, “Oh, there’s something bigger out there. And someone understands.”

But maybe I’m just sentimental. I am Californian after all. We make movies there. I think it’s in my blood to love them. Anything else would be blasphemy.

Some Projects I’m working on

Okay so aside from The Vampire Institute series on Kindle Vella, I’ve started some other things. The first is a personal blog where I’m going to write about projects and different things I like called Cambrian Culture. Its https://cambrianculture.wordpress.com.

The second is this new way of storytelling I’m trying, through Instagram. This has been done before by Rachel Hulin. She wrote heyharryheymatilda through a series of e-mails using instagram posts to do it.

I’m doing something similar, only I am using aesthetic pictures from pinterest. The series is called The Diaries of Series and I plan on doing some different ones. The first one is The Diary of Lucy Collins and it follows her summer with the Gold family.

Follow the account @thediariesofseries on instagram if you want to follow along. And don’t forget to follow https://cambrianculture.wordpress.com


Kindle Vella Again

So, a while ago I was documenting my experience with Kindle Vella. When it first started no one really knew it was out there. And it was cluttered with things like Role Plays and a bunch of other nonsense that I wasn’t quite happy with.

I’ve tried writing on Wattpad, and have started to understand the type of content that works there by reading as well as writing.

And so I decided to do the same with Kindle Vella. I read one of the serials which was actually Hot Vampire Next Door by Nikki St. Crowe. It’s a steamy adult paranormal romance novel and actually pretty fun.

So, now that I understood the tone and what was popular on there I decided to give it a try. I think with platforms like these it’s really important to write FOR the platform if you want to be successful. I don’t think literary fiction is going to be popular on something like kindle vella, unless maybe you were already an established audience.

I took this week to rework a story I had published on another platform a few years ago and published it on Kindle Vella. This one is called The Vampire Institute and it’s about a girl who signs up to be a blood donor for vampires. Of course, it’s a romance.

The first seven episodes are up now and the first three are completely free! If you were able to read Her Dark Love that is the story I reworked for this. Click the cover to go read or at the very least like to support!

Writing on Wattpad

It’s been a while since I’ve posted but I’ve had a lot going on. I have still been working on my free wattpad novel, Finding Serenity. I think a lot of people jump onto a platform without really understanding it and just start posting. When you do that though, it’s really hard to get success.

As I’ve been writing on there, I’ve also been reading which I think you really have to do to understand what’s popular and what’s not. I’ve seen successful sci-fi and fantasy stories on there. But the ones that do really, really, well are usually romance.

Contemporary romance especially. As of 2015, the most popular novel on there was called Chasing Red and it has 260 million reads. It’s a sports romance written by Isabelle Ronin. Ronin’s work was so popular it got published traditionally and she is part of the Wattpad Stars program so she gets paid for her work whenever it is part of the website.

Wattpad stars has a submission process, and you’ve got to have a certain number of reads and followers to participate. Which means you’d have to be consistent in posting and very active on the website in order to get that kind of activity.

I’ve been actively writing on the website for less than a year, and only have 42 followers but I imagine it depends on the genre that you are writing too.

I think the reason romance is so popular has to do with tags and searching. It’s really easy to search for something like ‘enemies to lovers’ or ‘friends to lovers’ in the search tags. It is a lot harder to search for like ‘aliens take over the planet’ or something.

And while I don’t want to discourage anyone from using the website to post their writing, that is something to keep in mind. Romance writers will definitely find their niche here. Especially if you are writing contemporary romance or YA romance.

That said, it has been encouraging even to get something as simple as a like on my writing. The wattpad audience is a lot more interactive than the Kindle Vella audience because they’ve been on the writing platform longer and it is a social platform, not just an e-commerce store which is basically all kindle vella is.

While I do wish Wattpad would make their paying program for writers a bit more accessible, it is nice that there is a community for writers online to post fiction. There just needs to be more of them.