Vampire Diary: Resolutions

Dear Diary,

I do not understand all of this talk about resolutions. I am already doing every task I need to do. Why should I proclaim in public my short comings and lack of decisiveness?

My love Gillian told me that it would be fun to make resolutions. She said I would feel more modern. Fun? Bah. Writing such things is not fun. Chasing down Vampire Hunters in the forest on horseback and ramming them through with spears is fun. Dancing with beautiful women then sinking my teeth into their necks is fun. Finding no blood stains on my clothes after a night out is fun. Resolutions are not fun.

Alas even a Vampire Kings has to do things to amuse his lovers, so I made a resolution. I told Gillian that I would take it upon myself to learn all there is to know about the games held in the huge arena where large men play with their balls before a cheering crowd.

She told me not to say that to others. I questioned her about that. Why should I not talk about sport? It is the only thing men are allowed to speak freely about. She said it was how I used the expression, “their balls.” I did not understand.  Then Gillian told me not to be a fool. I called her a bitch. She locked me out of the bedroom. It was not a good night.

I will make a resolution to ignore her next time she asks me to do resolutions and talk about the confusing sports of idiots with balls.

~ Vlad

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Dear Diary,

Balls. Now I know what BALLS is. Why did not a soul tell me about balls? Back when I was Vampire King heads and balls would roll. Now I look back and realize I sounded like a young boy laughing at his first vulgar jest.

~ Vlad

___________

Dear Diary,

Balls! How did I not know?

~ Vlad

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Dear Diary,

I brought Gillian a case of Romance Writers’s Blood, and a diamond bracelet. She is now happy with me again.

Tonight we went out in the city streets to see fireworks and other lights in the old part of town.

As Gillian and I walked through the crowds I could see heads turning, and eyes upon me. They smile and whisper to each other. “Oh my God,” they say, “he is so cute.” I do not understand what this cute means, but I do know it is important.

One New Year’s Eve when I a young Vampire of eighteen years my Auntie Dorgania said, “Vlad it is too bad you do not have the dangerous hooked nose, the pointed chin, and dark large eyebrows of your grandfather, and your uncles. He made those who saw him in his magnificent robes recoil with fear, but also bow with respect. Vlad, you are hardly a figure to be noticed. You are like your father. You are more like a woman. Do you have anything under your tunic or just a smooth spot like a fork in young tree branches? You will be nothing. That is too bad. You have so many other talents. Maybe I should sew you a dress. You should grow your blonde locks and braid them with pretty red ribbons. I will find you a husband who will beat you into submission.” The she laughed and licked her lips like a dog. We were not alone. Everyone at the party in the great room of the castle laughed with her.

I went home and looked into a mirror. It was nothing but fog and I had a hard time finding my reflection. I caught my eyes and my image became clear. I did not look like a woman. Yet, the cruel words of Auntie Dorgania still stung. Later that year I sent a pack of wolves after her horse and she was never seen again.

My father kept saying, “I wonder what happened to Dorgania?” I said nothing. I kept her skull for many years then gave it to a monk who made it into a goblet and gave it to a nun he was in love with. Nobody can accuse me of not believing in true love.

Tonight I walked proud, as I had when I finally became King of the Vampires. I was no longer the ruler of anything but I was coldly confident and content.

For Vampires the eve of a new year is the time for secrets. I asked Gillian how she became a Vampire. I have known her for four hundred years but never had heard her story. She smiled and kissed me under the first explosion of fireworks. I forgot about her secrets.

Gillian and I dined in the dark basements of the old city on merry makers. They slept well, and we celebrated. Then we made resolutions. Only two.

  1. We will learn games with big and small balls.
  2. We will drink no bad blood.

Then we wished all we saw, and all who saw us, a Happy New Year, as much as two Vampires in love can wish anyone anything, which isn’t much. That is our nature after all.

~ Vlad

 

 

Vampire Diary: Resolutions

Dear Diary,

The diamond earrings went over well today. My Gillian is a happy Vampire. If Gillian is happy then I am happy. A Merry Christmas to me.

~ Vlad

 

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Dear Diary,

What is all of this end of the year commotion? It is as if humanity wishes to forget the mistakes of the previous year and try to wash themselves clean. What strange rituals they will perform on midnight January 1st I do not know. Six hundred years ago I would have been able to tell you but now… now anything is possible.

~ Vlad

 

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Dear Diary,

Tonight I walked along the streets past bars and clubs watching the people who stood in the doorways and sidewalks. Women and men smiled at me. I smiled back. The thrill of the hunt is almost as good as that first taste of blood on my tongue. Unlike the cat who uses her claws, I seduce my prey like a lover.

A young woman with a round face and long eyelashes asked me in a pretty voice what my New Year’s Resolutions were going to be?

Resolutions? This must be like a vow knights would take to keep their honor for the year. Honor. There is little of that among Vampires or most men for that matter.

There is nothing I could change or imagine doing better. It is the world that needs to become better.

She said she lived near by and invited me to walk her home. I could see in her eyes that she was nervous and excited. She told me her name was Samantha, not Sam. She told me that she thought I was cute. Of course she did. They always say I am cute. I just smiled and did not ask her what she meant by cute.

The apartment was upstairs in a home that had once been a grand mansion, now divided into four separate living quarters.

It was odd, the juxtaposed sadness from Samantha and the cheery apartment decorated with flowers and the colors of sunshine and blue skies.

She poured wine then asked, “Why would a guy who looks like you come home with a girl who looks like me?”

“You’re cute.” She reminded me of her cat with her bright eyes and round face. Cats are cute. Her hair was glossy and moved with her. “Where I come from no woman has hair as beautiful as yours. No woman lives alone in a place as lovely as this. Do you think you’re not worthy of the company of a man like me?”

A tear came down her cheek. “Maybe you should go.”

Suddenly something inside of me became colder than usual. “Sit down Samantha. Let us talk.”

So she talked of her hopes and dreams. She spoke of a man who had left her for another girl. She spoke of a man who ignored her. She spoke of being alone.

I looked into her big blue eyes and put her into a trance. Her neck was warm and her blood was hot. When I was done I let her sleep. But I did not go. I stayed. I do not know why.

An hour later she opened her eyes and looked at me, surprised I was still there.

“Did we?” She asked me.

“Did we what?” I asked back.

“Never mind. You’re still dressed. I’m still dressed.”

It was then I realized what she had asked. She spoke first. “Why are you still here Vlad?”

“I have nothing else to do tonight,” I told her. It was true.

She smiled and the sadness came over her again. I could feel it like a great greedy troll looming in the room. Then she went to the bathroom.

While she was gone I looked on her desk and saw a paper where she had written her “resolutions.”

I will feel beautiful.

I will feel loved.

I will run every morning.

I will

Then I heard the click of the door lock. Then the sound of a body falling.

I stared at the nob of the door and made it unlock. As I stepped forward pills crunched underneath my feet. Inside the small room I found Samantha barely breathing, almost at Death’s door. I could feel the icy chill of a phantom waiting outside to take her soul. Given any other night I would have left her to die, but tonight I had to stay.  No deathly phantom would take her if I could help it. My actions were not out of love. It was something else. I do not know what. Maybe it was the Vampire King in me wanting to protect my people. It was justice for a girl who had been wronged. I wanted to rip the throats out of the men who had hurt her.

I had two choices. I could bring her back with my blood or I could call 911. Giving her MY blood was not an option. Not tonight. Not with Samantha. I had never called 911 before, but that was what I had been told to do if humans were near death.

At the hospital I waited on uncomfortable chairs in a room full of quiet people.

Gillian came and sat with me until a woman who said she was a doctor said Samantha wanted to talk to me.

Samantha lay in a bed with needles and tubes in her arm. It was as if a mad lunatic was experimenting on her.

“You saved my life,” she said.

“Of course I did. I ripped the beating heart out of a man after almost draining his body of blood after he had raped a child. I am not without feeling,” I told her.

As soon as the words came out of my mouth I realized I had said the wrong thing. “You are worth saving. You are worth being alive Samantha. You are loved by many. You are talented beyond compare. Listen to me. Make your resolution to love yourself. Make your resolution to thrive. That will be your best revenge against those imbeciles who scorned you. You are beautiful. Believe me. Samantha, you are beautiful.”

I kissed her on her forehead and she tried to smile and touched my face with her tube infused hand.

I left Samantha with her best friend and her parents. Gillian and I went home.

~ Vlad

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Dear Diary,

I do not know what is wrong with me.

I used to be so delightfully cold and uncaring.

I do not know who I am anymore.

~ Vlad

 

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Dear Diary,

I am not writing any resolutions. Neither are my cats. We shall all remain cute. LOL. That is supposed to mean I wrote something humorous. I know what WTF means. WTF. WTF. WTF.

I suppose I will try to make sense of this modern world. Maybe not.

~ Vlad

 

 

Resolutions and whatever those things are called…oh right, predictions

Rather than resolutions for a new year, I used to write down predictions for the coming year and seal them in an envelope.

It could be anything from world news events to a romance involving a friend. Crazy, total fantasy or something very predictable – it didn’t matter. There were no limits to what could be written. It was usually my brother Val and me who did this. We once brought in a friend who tried to make it into something mystical and way too serious.

It wasn’t mystical at all. It was like a Ouija board where you know somebody is pushing but everyone giggles with shock over the messages from the spirit world.

No, it was just us putting down stuff on paper and sealing it up for a year.

The funny thing was that, no matter how outlandish or silly, 90% of all of the predictions came true. Huh.

OK that is that story. No dramatic music building up behind me and a dramatic twist. Maybe we were just good at observation. Maybe we were just lucky.

But what about resolutions? You know, those things we say we’re going to do to improve our lives and the lives of others. I dare not admit to the long list of things I plan on doing each year but end up not doing. It is easier to give up something for Lent (but I’m not Catholic so I don’t give up anything for Lent either, but the idea behind it is good if done with the heart and not out of a sense of mindless duty.)

But predictions…

Ahhhh. That could be fun. But please no mumbo jumbo or fortune-telling. No spirits. No grand illusions. No wishing for the impossible. No wishing at all – just predicting.

Just gut reactions off the top of your head. Add in a few funny ones. Add in a few wishful ones. Add some silly in there too. Then seal it up and forget it for a year.

  1. I predict that someone I know will become a famous writer. I predict more than one will make their mark in that circle.
  2. I predict that it will rain in March… for a week… or two.
  3. I predict that another dog will come into my life.
  4. I predict that I’ll attend an unexpected wedding.
  5. I predict that my children will do well.
  6. I predict that something extraordinary will happen in Congress.
  7. I predict that it will be a good year.
  8. I predict that an old rocker will make a real comeback with someone fairly new.
  9. I predict a week at the beach.
  10. I predict art – a lot of art.
  11. I predict finding treasure of some sort.
  12. I predict that someone close to me will do something very stupid but funny at the same time.
  13. I predict that the space program (NASA) will come back in full force.
  14. I predict that there will be a Volcano go off in North America – south of Alaska.
  15. I predict that I will see a bear (but I hope not too close.)
  16. I predict beautiful dresses and shoes to match.
  17. I predict my brother Max will finally get “it” right.
  18. I predict all Vampires I know will get exactly what they deserve.
  19. I predict that someone dear to me will find true love.
  20. I predict that my nails will always look good in 2014.
  21. I predict that there will be an amazing discovery in Louisiana.
  22. I predict that a planet with life will be found.
  23. I predict that Juliette aka Vampire Maman and Modern Vampires will become part of the popular vernacular.
  24. I predict that everyone will read my blog.
  25. I predict that my readers will retain their sense of humor, sense of wonder and any good sense they have.

Those were pretty random, but that is how it is supposed to be. That is what makes it so much fun.

I didn’t seal this in an envelope or keep it private… but this is just to give you an idea. Try it. Have fun. Happy New Year.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Be it the click of the metal keys or the click of a computer keyboard...I will write.

Be it the click of the metal keys or the click of a computer keyboard…I will write.

It’s my novel and I’ll cry if I want to (a Vampire’s guide to writing that book)

How to Write A Novel

HA, like you’d really want to hear about it from me – A Vampire Mommy Blogger.

Take that back. I’m a parenting blogger NOT a mommy blogger.

OK back to novel writing.

I’ll give it to you in one of my famous and popular bulleted lists.

  • Don’t just sit down at your writing machine cold. Guaranteed writer’s block. This is for novels, not for blogs. With blogs we’re all Vampires – cold but not unfeeling and anyway it is an entirely different animal.
  • NUMBER ONE MOST IMPORTANT: Come up with great characters. If the characters are compelling and real they can sit in a room with nothing but a couch and a cat for five days and still turn into a best selling novel. Undeveloped characters are BORING.
  • Have a back-story for your characters even if you don’t use it in your book.
  • THINK ABOUT YOUR BOOK when you’re not at your writing machine.  Go over it in your head when you are driving, in the shower, gardening, cleaning house, at work (when you’re not wasting time on Facebook or Twitter) or anywhere. Think about it until it is REAL.
  • Tell a trusted friend your story. If they give you the deer in the headlights look go back and rewrite. If they want to hear more then write more.
  • Early in the process – write an outline. You don’t have to stick with it but try to write one down. Then write up some options.
  • It is ok to rewrite things over and over. It is ok to rework things over and over. It is ok.
  • This is YOUR book and YOUR story. Don’t worry about genres. Don’t worry about what is on the bestseller lists. Don’t worry about what the folks in your writing group think. Don’t worry about what your family will think.
  •  If you self publish fork out the extra money for a good cover. Please nothing will turn your readers (and me) off more than a cover that looks like a 6th grader did it (unless you really are 11 years old). Hire a professional.
  • Worried about offending someone? Don’t. No matter what you do someone will be offended.
  • Have fun. Do this for you.
  • Relax.
  • About Fan Fiction. Please don’t do it. Use your own stories.
  • And remember writing a novel IS a lot of work. It takes time. It is a craft.
  • Don’t feel as if you need to rush it (no matter what your girlfriend, boyfriend, mom, husband says)
  • Don’t’ use overly fancy contrived language. It will suck if you do.
  • Your novel doesn’t need to be deep or meaningful. Really.
  • Don’t Panic!!!!!
  • Read. The books you read don’t have to be like your novel. Sometimes it is better if they aren’t like YOUR book. Just read. Take my word on it. And even if you aren’t writing a novel you need to read.
  • Tell your kids what you’re doing. They’ll be so proud of you.
  • Keep your cat off of the keyboard.
  • You don’t need to bleed or give blood – just write. WRITE.
  • PLEASE be objective and read it over and over and over. Is it as good as the kind of books you like to read?
  • Write it like you feel it! (Thank you Paul)
  • Believe that you CAN write that novel. You’re good. You can do it.

I’ve been working on several books for several years…more than several years. Two are 90% done. Two are about half finished.  All are much better than any writing you’ve seen on this speed writing blog. Do I need to finish them us? Why of course I do. Will I find the time? I have no idea but I would like to finish at least two, maybe three before the kids start college so I’d better get to work.

One is a fantasy/technology/romance, one is a thriller, one is murder mystery involving the Ghost (but I’m not in it, just the Ghost), and one that is going to put me on the bestseller list longer than Dan Brown. NONE are about Vampires. At least four more are in the works as well. I need to get organized (something which generally goes against my nature.)

You might think I’m totally unqualified to write on this subject BUT I read a lot and I hate to waste my time on 400 pages of bad storytelling. An editor can help with bad writing but NOTHING can help bad storytelling. But hey, you’re not here to learn about writing are you? You’re here to maybe get a laugh and learn about silly Vampires.

You can find my short stories on Amazon in some of the WPaD anthologies written under a few other names (I’ll post on that in one of my summer reading list posts or you can search this blog).

In the meantime I’ll keep blogging about parenting the Modern Vampire way.

And keep singing: It’s my novel and I’ll write if I want to.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman (and novelist)

slowwriting

 

2013 New Year’s Resolutions for Parents

blu butterfly

I’m ending the year with resolutions, not just for my family but resolutions I hope all parents try to follow.

There are three words we should say to our kids every single day: I love you.

Three additional words we should always keep in mind: Love, Listen, Learn.

So with that note, here are my 2013 New Year’s Resolutions for Parents

Resolutions for ALL Parents:

  • Listen to your children with an open mind and an open heart.
  • Guide your children with wisdom and respect rather than force.
  • Talk to your kids. I’ll say it again TALK to your kids. Not AT your kids but TO your kids. This means conversations – yes, actual conversations. Talk WITH them.
  • Every single day ask your child/teen “How was your day?” and don’t take “OK”, “Fine” or any sort of grunt for an answer. Make your kid answer you in at least 25 words.
  • Don’t use your child as a tool to hurt your former spouse or other family member. If you need to CONTROL your situation or hurt someone keep CHILDREN out of it. Get professional help for your control and anger issues. No child deserves to be used as a tool of hurt.
  • Laugh with your child.
  • Know who your child is hanging out with. Start this early so by the time your kid is a teen he’ll know who is a good friend and who is not.
  • Teach your child that it is an honor to care about others.
  • Teach your child to love animals. That doesn’t mean you have to have 347 cats, a rabbit, a pony and 34 dogs. It means that creatures (even those we eat) should be respected and cared for.
  • Don’t dress your kid funny.

Resolutions for YOU:

  • Get enough sleep.
  • Don’t worry about those “super moms” who volunteer 60 hours every week at school, make organic gluten free cupcakes that would put Martha Stewart to shame, go to all the latest parenting classes, are into all the latest health and nutrition trends, have kids who are perfect etc etc etc. What to know a secret? They aren’t perfect. They might be control freaks, or bored or just plain annoying to the rest of us who ARE GOOD PARENTS. Every family is different and we all have different parenting styles. Don’t compare yourself to anybody else.
  • Get your nails done (HA HA HA. Maybe twice a year for me if I’m lucky. I wish but it keeps slipping off of my radar).

Resolutions for Vampire Parents:

  • Teach your children to accept themselves for what they are.
  • Teach your children to be responsible for what they are.
  • Teach them the history and lore.
  • Teach them the difference between popular culture and reality.
  • Tell them NOT to try to read their teacher’s mind. Come on now kids, school is for learning and learning to learn. Don’t use your Vampire abilities to get into the minds of others to get good grades. You need to get those grades on your own.

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