Give thanks and win!

I am thankful for The Tapestry by Henry Neff because it gave me a way to spend more time with my son.  He was reading the book, and mind you he almost never reads, and he told me how much he was enjoying it, so I started reading with him.  Soon we were hooked and we sit here on pins and needles this November waiting for book four to come out next month.

The reason for this post is twofold.  One, I really do love that book series.  Two, if you click on the link to the picture above, you can create a post like this one and win the contest!  19 signed YA novels just for reading and posting blog posts about being thankful for books.  Not too shabby if you ask me!

NaNoWriMo Project – Chapter Two – first draft

(Sorry for out-of-order.  I guess I’m that sleep deprived.)



I was face down on the ground when I awoke.  I felt a warm weight pressing on my ribcage and it was …. vibrating?  I lifted my head to try to see what was pressing on my back, making it difficult to breathe, but when I did that whatever it was stood up and apparently stretched….digging 18 claws into me.  I wriggled underneath the animal and knocked it off me, then stood to see what it was.

“Mrowr?”  I heard.  At my feet was the most disheveled cat you can imagine.  ”Mrowr? Purr-purr-purr,” she said as she rubbed up against me.  I noticed her tuxedo coat was matted against her body, I could see teeth marks and a small tear in her left ear, one eye was larger than the other, and her little bobbed tail had been broken in several places.

I bent to scratch her behind the ears and she purred louder, moving her head to tell me where she wanted to be petted.  It seemed her favorite spots were right on the ridge of her little nose and just under her chin.

“What were you doing sleeping on top of me, huh?”


“Well I have to go find somebody, little kitty, maybe I’ll see you again soon?”


I scratched behind her ear once more, got my bearings on where I was and headed towards the city to find out if there were other attacks like the market and to attempt to learn the control Athena had taught me, but most importantly: I had to find Reena.

I walked toward the city, trying to find a deer to practice on before I got there.  After walking a few feet, I realized the cat was right on my heels.

“Oh you want to come with me?”


“Well alright little one, but be quiet while I try to find a little snack.”

The kitty stayed right by my side while I hunted and fed, just as quiet a she could be.  When the deer ran off after I let it go, she looked at me cock-eyed, “Mrowr?”

“Yes, Kitty, you can talk now.  If we’re going to be friends, maybe we should come up with a name for you.”

“Meow, purr-purr.”

“Hmm, how about Truth?  Because you came along after I discovered the truth about what I am.”

She purred a little louder, rubbed against my legs and swished her tail.  ”Okay, Truth it is!  Off we go, Truth.”


Truth and I headed toward the city.  I needed to find out about my market victims and I hoped Reena might be there looking for me.  When we arrived, the market was open.  Folks were coming and going as though nothing had changed.  It appeared to be business as usual.  As I got closer, I heard a few people talking about a ‘massacre’.  I knew they must be talking about what I’d done, so I used my sensitive hearing to hone in on those discussing the tragedy and, well to put it bluntly, I eavesdropped.


“They’re still setting off funeral pyres, you can see the smoke from here.”

“I imagine it’s taking a while, what with so many bodies.  Each one takes hours to build and there are so many families to gather.”

“Has anyone figured out yet what happened?”

“Nobody really remembers.  Those who remember anything only remember hearing a whirring sound, like a fast wind, and they ran to the market to see what the noise was.  Everyone was there when they got there and nothing was ever found that could have made the sounds they heard.”

“Forty-two people, just suddenly dead.  It doesn’t make sense.”

“And what about those others?  There still seem to be more dying every day.  But nothing like the market, just one person every other night, but they all die the same way. Have we come upon a plague?  What is happening to everyone?

“I don’t know, but let’s hope nothing happens to us.”

“Definitely.  I don’t want to lose you.”


Others.  There were others.  Finding Reena would regrettably have to wait.  First I needed to find my progeny: the ones like me whom I had created.  I had to teach them how to control their hunger. I didn’t want to be responsible for more people dying.


NaNoWriMo Project – Chapter One – first draft



I wandered aimlessly after I realized what  had done.  I tried to stick to the fields and wooded areas, feeding on the occasional goat or deer.  I had to try to prevent what had happened at the market in the city from ever happening again.  I didn’t know what to do or why I’d ever thirst for such a thing.

Weeks passed, maybe longer.  I contemplated thoughts of suicide, but even the deepest cuts from the thorns in the woods healed in just seconds.  Could I even die?  Was I doomed to this horrific existence forever?  That thirst was ever-present, only moderately sated by the animals I fed on. It haunted me. It taunted me.  How could I go on like this?

I was pondering these things while walking a path in the woods.  I was just beginning to see a clearing up ahead when suddenly there as that smell. And the thirst took over.


Hours later, I sat on the rocky cliff at the edge of the woods, mourning the people I had killed over the past few months, but mostly mourning my first two victims:  my beloved Epi and Reena.

“Gods help me!” I cried, “I can’t seem to control myself!  What do I do? I’m so alone!”

Suddenly I felt a tap on my shoulder.

“No, my dear, you are not alone,” said the beautiful glowing figure who could only be a goddess.  The goddess who had given me the gift of weaving stood before me, beautiful as ever.  Her shining dark hair flowed down her back and her eyes sparkled with the wisdom that was her domain.

“Why are you here?” I asked, for I was certain that the gods had forsaken me after I’d released such a foul curse into the world.

Athena smiled.  ”My father set you up to fall because of his animosity towards your beloved Epi.  Now that he is dead, Zeus has allowed me to help guide you and to ease your suffering.”

“My dear, you are not alone, for I am with you, and for now my gift is control.  If you feed regularly and in small doses, nobody has to die and you will no longer suffer such insatiable thirst.  You have the ability to mesmerize the humans if they gaze into your eyes.  Do this to feed small amounts regularly and you will quickly gain control over your thirst.  And soon you’ll need to feed much less often.

“Beware, however, for you are not the only vampire now, although you are one of the two mothers of all vampires, and therefore one of the two strongest.”

“Two?” I heard myself say.  ”Who is the other mother?” I asked.

Athena faded away, but I swear I heard her whisper Reena’s name as she vanished.


I immediately fell prostrate on the ground, tears pouring down my face and shouting, “Thank you gods!”  Suddenly, not only was I not alone, but I had hope!  Maybe my future wouldn’t be so bleak after all.  The gods had NOT forsaken me!  This truly was a miracle.

And Reena!  Oh Reena!  Had she really survived?  Could she truly be alive and like me, another mother of all….what had Athena called us? Vampires, I think.  Yes, a mother of all vampires, like me.  Oh I must find her!  But first I should prepare funeral pyres for those who I those victims from the clearing in the woods.  I’d not been able to return to the market for fear I’d kill others, but that clearing should have been clear by then.

As I rose to head towards the clearing, dusk was settling and I noticed through my new eyes, which were now full of hope, something that I had failed to notice in the weeks before when I was hopeless and lost.  I noticed that even with the sky darkening, I could see more clearly. Everything had a crispness to it; a clarity and intensity that was almost overwhelming.  How I had missed it before then I couldn’t tell you.  I’m sure it was much like the sensation you must get after going many years with flawed vision, then suddenly having corrective surgery, only even the colors were brighter, deeper, richer.  I had noticed earlier that I could hear the animals in the trees around me.  I’d used that, along with my incredible speed to survive these past weeks in the wilderness.  I supposed these two things were just part of what I had become, and I was sure I’d discover more.

I was still pondering what other changes I had missed when I came close to the clearing and felt a strange sensation.  I slowed.  I heard movements and people talking, some of them weeping.  I carefully remained out of sight and used my enhanced senses to determine if there was danger, or if someone had actually survived my attack.

As I watched, I discovered some HAD survived.  And the ladies (yes, all women; why were there no men there?) who were still alive were digging. Sticks? Rocks? Whatever they could find, they were using to bury the bodies between the stones of what appeared to be some sort of ritual area.  At the time I had never seen such, but it was much like a smaller version of your Stonehenge.

Burying bodies was unheard of in that time.  Bodies were instead burned on a pyre and sent off to the next life with hope.  I must say I was fascinated!  I watched until the earth had been scattered over the last body and I watched them pray in a circle, asking the gods to release their spirits. They prayed that the bodies would consecrate the land that had been fouled by their blood.  As they finished praying, the leader spoke in a language I was unfamiliar with and I watched as the earth smoothed back into place as though the ground had never been disturbed.

I was stunned and even a bit frightened.  I started to leave but as the ladies left the consecrated ground for what appeared to be a casual meeting area, a small family of deer came into the clearing from the direction in which the ladies were heading.  Suddenly all six ladies were on the deer, feeding as I must have fed on those they had just buried.  I realized with a start that I must have fed on them too and they had become like me!  I backed a way, shaking my head in horror, and then I ran from what I had just seen.

I ran hard and with no destination in mind.  I just had to get away from that awful scene.  Athena had told me there were others like me but now I realized….I HAD CREATED THEM!  How many others were there?  Had some of them been burned on a funeral pyre, thought to be dead?  Were they all out of control and blindly killing others as I had?  Sure these ladies had only killed a few deer, but what if there had been humans around? Were there other massacres like my market incident?  Six ladies out of about 30…the percentage was astounding.  And each one would probably create more like us without even knowing, as I myself had done!  Dear gods how could you allow this? Why would you allow me and others like me to survive? I was so lost to the horror that I stumbled and fell.  It had been weeks since I’d slept, or even wanted to sleep, so I allowed oblivion to take me.