Changes – This is Me

You may have noticed that I’ve recently changed a few things about my blog lately after being absent for quite a while. Life, as always, is crazy, but I want to share why I’ve decided to make these changes. Let me tell you about me.

I don’t remember learning how to read, it’s just something that has been part of me for as long as I can remember. Books have been such a large part of my life, they make up the core of who I am. I have been writing nearly as long. I dictated my first stories to my mother who kindly wrote them for me and then moved on to writing them myself. There was nothing that I enjoyed more than getting lost in a good book or creating a story.

When I was fifteen, I finished my first novel. With all the brash enthusiasm of teenagers, I sent my book off into the world to be published. I made the mistake of choosing Tate Publishers to send my book to, a company that I later found out did not have a great reputation. After waiting months to hear back and being told repeatedly that everything looked good, I received an email saying that they could publish my book….. for four thousand dollars. I was crushed, naturally, for what teenager has 4k just lying around. Also, at no point was any discussion of payment brought up, so I felt blindsided and betrayed. Looking back now, I know that this was a rather naive way of viewing the world, but it set off events that changed my life for the next fifteen years.

After receiving this email, I swore that I would never show anyone my writing ever again. Again, teenagers are so dramatic! And I was a terribly shy teenager so having summoned the courage to share my writing, this made it’s rejection all the more painful. (I think I had some wild idea of becoming the next J. K. Rowling or Christopher Paolini, an overnight sensation with people begging to read my books. I don’t know, time has passed since then.) From that day forward, I never shared my writing with anyone, not even my family, although thankfully I never stopped writing.

Years passed and I finished high school and then college, before moving into the workforce, landing my dream job as a librarian. Throughout this time, people had told my that my writing was great, although I never showed them the stories that I wrote, just college and workplace assignments. Office politics happened and I ended up quitting my job as a librarian and becoming a full time essential oil wellness advocate for doTERRA essential oils. This allowed me to travel to Guatemala and Nepal as well as meet some incredible people. I know, you’re wondering why I’m telling you this, but it’ll become relevant later, I promise.

Two years ago, in September 2017, I got fed up with living my life in fear. I challenged myself to write a mystery and publish it in time for Halloween. Imagine my surprise when I sat down to write the mystery and a six book series popped into my head! And thus, The Seeker Files were born. I did manage to write the first novel in a month and publish it, but I was soooooo burnt out, lol. Since then, I’ve written and published the second book and recently finished writing the third book in the series. (It is now in the editing stages, which I admit takes a bit longer. Editing is not in my wheelhouse, lol). All of this was done under the name Kat Seaholm

Fast forward to May of this year. I am still with doTERRA essential oils and right now, the company is really focused on something called Gallup or Clifton Strengths. If you don’t know what that is, check it out, it is totally amazing and life changing! https://www.gallupstrengthscenter.com/

I ended up taking the full 34 strengths test and it was life changing for me. It allowed me to see that there was nothing broken or wrong with me, that I was simply being ME. By learning about these strengths and how to use them properly instead of holding me back, it was life changing. It was like finally being able to breathe deeply after holding my breath for all of my life. It give me permission to be me fully, without shame or regret. And this is when I realized, that even though I had published my book, I was still living in fear. I was afraid to put myself out there, fully and totally, was hiding behind a pen name using a plethora of excuses as to why it was a good idea or why people would hate me. And I’m tired of it. So I’m currently working on rebranding everything under my real name.

So goodbye Kat Seaholm. You were good to me, you helped me get past my initial fears and to actually get my work out there. But it’s time to let you go and to step boldly out so people can get to know the real me, with all my quirkiness and rough edges.

Hello! I want to invite you to get to know me, the real me. My name is Katie Holmburg. My mother loves Irish names, so my name originally was going to be Kathleen, but as my middle name is Colleen (I’m the third generation to have Colleen as a middle name and love it), it was decided that Kathleen Colleen was too many een’s so I ended up with Katherine instead. But I am and always will be a Katie, not a Kathy or a Kate or even Kat, but simply Katie.

I turn 30 tomorrow. I know that this is a big milestone for a lot of people, but I am so grateful to be turning 30. I feel like I am just beginning to hit my stride in life, to figure out who I really am.

I am happily single and enjoying life. I have waaaaay too many cats (8) but wouldn’t get rid of a single one. I am about a year away from getting my black belt in International Kenpo Karate Jiu-Jitsu or IKKJ and love being a martial artist. My mom doesn’t understand how it is that her only daughter is the one who took up martial arts or writes murder mysteries instead of one of her three boys, but she loves me anyway.

I love to write and I love to read, but I hate grammar and it hates me back. I still have the first novel I wrote, but it needs a serious overhaul and is NOT a part of The Seeker Files. I’m still figuring out the part of being a writer/publisher/wearer of all hats, but I learn something new everyday. But I know that my characters will always have a story to tell and need someone to tell it, a.k.a. me.

So thank you for being part of my journey so far. And I hope that you continue the journey with me as I continue writing The Seeker Files and discovering Aletta and Lirim’s story. As I discover who I am and share it with the world.

Happy Friday!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wEJd2RyGm8Q

This is Me

Featured post

Celebrate Achievements

Something that we don’t do nearly enough of is celebrate our achievements, be they big or little ones. People are amazing and we deserve to celebrate ourselves and others. It can be anything from ‘I did laundry today’ to ‘I ran an Ironman Triathlon’. Let’s celebrate ourselves and others. I want to hear where you won today.

In the spirit of fairness, I’ll go first.

I flew a kite today with my little brother (he’s in his 20’s, lol). It was just a nice moment of being together.

I did a progress check test for my martial arts over Zoom along with the rest of my classmates. It was nice to be part of the community and it helped me see where I was succeeding and what parts were a little bit rough. Another step on the path to black belt, it makes me happy.

This last one’s a bit happy/sad. I finished up my largest Fanfiction, put up the final chapter. This story was my first attempt at dipping my toes into The Hobbit fandom of writing. I did NOT expect how large the story would become, 35 chapters/167k words. There may be a sequel for it someday, there may not, but I’m proud of the story that it became.

Only in My Dreams: https://archiveofourown.org/works/21115682/chapters/50247068

So what’s going on in your life? What achievements have you had happen in your life? Let me know your victories so that I can celebrate them with you!

How do you de-stress?

So what do you do for fun while having to stay at home during this time of corona?

Ok, time to share something cool (and kinda nerdy) about myself. As I’m sure that many of you know, I’m a writer. I write urban fantasy and I have some books published and available for people to read.

But that’s not the cool thing. I write Fanfiction as a way to de-stress. What is fanfiction you ask? That’s where you take a story or character from an already established book (think Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings) and then write a story about it from your own perspective. Don’t like how the story ended? Rewrite it the way that you would’ve liked it to end. Want to explore a character more in-depth? Write a story about them and/or throw them into a totally different situation and try to predict how they react.

This is really fun for me, because it allows me to explore already created characters and worlds, but from my point of view. It’s been a great way to help take my mind away from the craziness that it currently our world. Also, I’ve had several people comment that it helped them de-stress and forget their problems for a little while, which made me very happy.

I mainly write in The Hobbit fandom featuring a female Bilbo Baggins, although someday I may expand beyond that into other fandoms.

Curious? Wanna check it out?

Here’s the link for my largest (currently at about 160k words), most popular fic, a “Fix-it Fic”if you will:

Only in My Dreams:
https://archiveofourown.org/works/21115682/chapters/50247068

And here is the link for a place where my various one shots land. These are story snippets that wouldn’t leave me in peace but didn’t quite have enough material for a full story by itself:

Female Bilbo Oneshots
https://archiveofourown.org/works/22775707/chapters/54423808

So what are you doing to unwind during these trying times? I’d love to hear from you!

It’s Hard

Today is May 12th.

There’s nothing really special about today, it’s just a typical Tuesday, one day in a blur of many more.

But it also means something else to me.

Two months.

That’s what this date means to me. On March 12th, I tested for my Provisional Black Belt at my dojo. Two months ago, I participated in my test and being tired at the end of it, I said brief goodbyes and headed out because I was tired and had a long drive ahead of me. After all, I would see them all next week in our usual classes.

I was wrong.

Next week, my dojo had to close in order to be compliant with Stay at Home orders, because we had a pandemic on our hands that we had no idea how Covid-19 transmission happened or what the symptoms or ultimate outcome of infection was.

Just like that, a large part of my life was gone. And I want it back. Don’t get me wrong, I wanted to flatten the curve and get as much information about this disease as the next person. And my dojo did and is doing an excellent job with videos and zoom calls and even one on one video lessons to make sure that our training isn’t interrupted during this time.

But the longer we have to stay home, the more a little bit of us dies inside. Humans are social creatures, we need other people. And studies have shown that stress and depression can lower our immune system. The longer we have to stay at home and worry about normal or when can we get our jobs again, the weaker our immune systems are getting. Even our exercise is highly limited and regulated, because our gyms and dojos are closed, as well as our parks and open spaces where we could get fresh air and sunshine. Because of this, our chances of getting sick are actually increasing drastically.

I’m not saying that we should go hog wild and disregard everything. But America needs to start opening up again and letting people start resuming our normal lives, even if it is just slowly. Otherwise, we’re going to have a pandemic of a different sorts on our hands. One of suicides from depression and the inability to pay bills or feed our children. One of deaths from domestic violence where family members cannot get away from their abusers. One of deaths from strokes and heart attacks of people too scared to go to the hospital because they know that they will be locked away from their loved ones.

I know that some of you will hate me and say that I’m just willing to let people die from Covid. That’s not the truth. Every death breaks my heart. But neither am I willing to pretend that this pandemic isn’t costing innocent lives in other ways as well.

Let’s work together to find a solution and work towards a brighter, stronger future. Let’s be the beautiful, strong country that I know we are.

We are strong together!

It’s Friday Night!

So it’s Friday night, also known as the start of the weekend.

However, the world has changed. Due to Covid-19, things are no longer what they once were. Instead of going to see a movie or get a dinner with friends, we’re told to stay at home and social distance from each other.

So tonight, I’ll be attending a virtual karate class for half an hour and then I’ll probably settle in and write some more. Then, if I hit my writing goals by a reasonable time, I’ll go wild and treat myself with a book that I’ve been wanting to read as I’m rereading the series since the newest book came out and so that I can be ready when the latest book comes out in November of this year (The Guild Hunter series by Nalini Singh. A mature read but I love her depth of world building.)

So what are you doing this Friday night in a world that is different from just a few months ago? I’m honestly curious. And would you have gone out before on a Friday night or typically stayed in?

Happy Friday!

Extras:

Here’s a snippet from my writing today on Book 4: In Search of Pack:

Spreading her magic out to about fifteen feet around her in all directions, she made sure that she lessened the signature so that it was nearly undetectable. Only a very, very strong sensitive or someone looking for it specifically would be able to find it. Then she started working her way towards the warehouse complex. She made sure to keep her walk a mixture of determination and insecurity. She was a good girl, so what was she even thinking going to this place. But she really needed this place, needed it badly enough to through a lifetime of morals and scruples away to come seeking it. What then, could she need so badly?

She passed some of the lookouts and knew that she was heading in the right direction, although she pretended to be oblivious of their presence. They were doing their best to blend into the scenery and her looking at them would’ve raised some serious alarm bells. Nope, not what she wanted to do. So instead she monitored each on until she was out of range, making sure that she glanced around enough for an average person outside of their comfort zone.

As she walked, she found herself relaxing into the persona, almost as if it was another role that she had picked up. This was familiar, this was something that she could do. Just sitting around had driven her up the wall. So even without backup, someone out there who wanted to kidnap her and find something, and her leg sore and achy, she felt more herself than she had in days.

(c) Katie Holmburg

(There is no guarantee that this will make it into the final cut of the book, but it’s always fun to share tidbits. Let me know what you think.)

Here’s another fanfiction of mine, a one shot from The Hobbit with a female Bilbo lead

Dealing with Dragons

https://archiveofourown.org/works/23138608

Happy Friday! We are strong together!

Happy Birthday + Bonus Content

One of the most amazing women I know has a birthday today. A U.S. Veteran and one of the sweetest, kindest women that I have ever met, Patti has supported me and my writing wholeheartedly from the very beginning.

I wanted to do a little something extra special for her as a thank you, especially in these trying times when friends and family can seem so far away.

So this bonus scene is just for her.

Happy Birthday!!

The Shortest Partnership Yet

In Search of Justice

Chapter 3, pg. 46

He had sighed internally, expecting this to be the shortest partnership yet, beating the one that had only lasted for twelve hours.

This is a short scene detailing the partnership between Lirim and another agent that lasted only 12 hours. This scene occurs shortly before Aletta joins HSI.

Lirim entered HSI early as was his want, enjoying the quiet of the office before it came alive with agents and office gossip. While the gossip was often amusing, for some reason most of the other agents seemed intimidated by him. He didn’t know why, he always made sure to treat his fellow agents with respect and courtesy, although usually he needed his solitude at the end of the day and often declined their invitations to go out drinking. Still, he did his utmost to pull his fair share of the caseloads and watch out for his fellow agents.

Making his way over to the desk, he was pleased to see a file waiting on his desk. He had wrapped up the last of his active investigations the night before and was only waiting on confirmation of a few things on the other two cases. Setting his bag in his chair, he picked up the file and started reading as he made his way over to coffee station. Pleased to see that the pot was fresh, he poured himself a mug without stopping his skimming.

Taking a sip of coffee, he frowned as he continued to skim. This seemed to be a fairly cut and dried case, a bonded criminal had failed to appear at his court day, it should just be a matter of a simple skip trace. So why had they assigned it to him instead of one of the newer agents who needed to build up their experience?

He had almost reached his desk again when Cara called, “Agent Bosk. The captain will see you now.”

Lirim sighed internally, although he kept his face impassive. He had the feeling that he knew where this was headed now. Knocking, he waited patiently for Jones to call enter. Once he did, he found his suspicions to be correct as another agent was waiting in the office along with the captain. Jones nodded at the file that Lirim still held, “Good, I see that you’ve already read the file. You’ll be working with Agent Smith on this case. It should be a fairly easy assignment, although the regular police have been having trouble ascertaining his whereabouts. Report back in at the end of the day.”

They both nodded their acknowledgement and Jones dismissed Smith but asked Lirim to stay back so he could have a word. Once the door closed behind the other agent, Lirim said wryly, “I suppose this is where I get the usual lecture not to break the other agent.”

Capt. Jones offered him an apologetic look, “His partner is retiring at the end of the month and Smith’s stated that he prefers to be a part of a team. You were next on the roster of single agents.”

Lirim shrugged, “I understand. I’ll do my best to work with him, you have my word. I swore an oath to serve HSI in any way necessary. I have nothing against being partnered, but other agents seem to find me unsuitable for some reason.”

Jones gave a bark of laughter at that, “You are single minded when you’re on a case. The others tend to find that rather unsettling.”

Lirim didn’t shrug again or sigh, as much as he wanted to. “We deal with dangerous criminals on a daily basis. Anything less than total focus could get someone killed.”

Jones nodded, “You know that and I know that. Most of the agents realize that as well, but they’re just people too. Many haven’t had to deal with the circumstances that forged you, where one wrong move guaranteed that someone would pay for it, most often with their life. So just, be patient. Dismissed.”

Lirim nodded and left the captain’s office. He would do his best, as always, but his hopes weren’t that high. This only increased when he found Smith complaining quietly to an agent about being teamed up with a robot, the other agent nodded sympathetically. Lirim thought about going back to his desk for his coffee, but abandoned it as not worth it, it was probably cold by now anyway.

Instead he made his way over to Smith’s desk, slightly amused by the way that the agent that Smith had been complaining to quickly excused herself. Lirim asked, “Have you looked at the file yet?”

Smith was a genial young man, one of the office favorites, always quick with a grin or funny story. Lirim thought that he was related somehow to Ian in IT, a brother or a cousin, although he couldn’t be completely sure. He grinned now, offering Lirim a quick shrug, “Not yet, just got in when the captain called us in.”

Biting back the words that he wanted to say, Smith had plenty of time to read instead of complaining to another agent, Lirim said instead, “Captain Jones tells me that your partner is retiring at the end of the month.”

Smith nodded, “He’s been doing this for over forty years now, says it’s time to retire before he starts losing his edge.”

Lirim agreed with this way of thinking, “Agent Williams is an incredible agent with an impressive case history. He will be missed at HSI.”

He relaxed slightly, “He’s been a good partner to me, had my back ever since I first joined HSI. I’m sorry to see him go, but he says that I’m seasoned enough that I shouldn’t have a problem working with other agents.”

Lirim nodded gravely, “A high compliment, coming from him. How long will it take you to read the file and be ready to head out?”

Glancing at the clock, Smith nodded, “Give me thirty, that’ll give me a chance to have some coffee and go over the file. Will that work, Agent Bosk?”

Resigning himself to the inevitable delay, Lirim nevertheless forced himself to say politely, “That will work fine. Please, call me Lirim or Bosk. Agent gets old fairly quickly.”

Smith seemed startled by this, but nodded, “Ok, Bosk. You can call me Bill. See ya in thirty.”

Lirim gave him a brief nod and made his way back over to his desk. Trying his coffee, he found that it was lukewarm but still drinkable. He’d drank much worse during. He quickly cut off that thought before it could fully form and glanced over at the coffee station, where Bill and his friends were laughing and chatting. Opening up the file to go over it in much greater detail, Lirim allowed a small sigh to slip out. He had the feeling that this was going to be a long day.

X

It was closer to an hour when they finally managed to leave HSI, Smith reluctantly trailing Lirim out of headquarters. Once they were firmly ensconced in the car, Lirim asked, “Where to?” Although he already had a good idea of where to start, this would help him get a better measure of the other agent. Seemingly better focused now that he wasn’t around the others, Smith flipped open the file and skimmed it.

After a moment, he found the section that he was looking for. “Ah, here we are. I thought that we could go speak with the bail bonds man first, get his take on the perp, then go from there.”

Hiding his wince at the slang, Lirim nodded, “That’s not a bad idea. Are you by any chance related to Ian?”

Bill nodded, “He’s my cousin, why?”

Making a right, Lirim asked, “Think he’d do us a favor and trace the subject’s money transactions? His purchases and spending habits can tell us a lot about a subject.”

Bill grinned at that, pulling out his phone and putting it on speaker, he called Ian. When Ian answered, Bill said, “Hey Ian, can you do me a favor? Agent Bosk and I are on the skip trace case, think you can pull the financials for us?”

Ian scoffed, “Am I a computer wiz or not? What brass did you offend to get stuck with the Ice Man?”

Bill cleared his throat awkwardly, “Um, Ian?”

They heard a loud sigh from the other end, “I’m on speaker, aren’t I? How many times have I told you not to do that, Bill? My apologies, Agent Bosk.”

Lirim laughed, “I’ve been called worse, but I appreciate your apology. Just Lirim is fine. And in answer to your questions, yes, you are a computer genius. Your skills have pulled me out of tight spots more than once. Also, your cousin and I are working together because I was the next single agent on the roster. I’m looking forward to working with him and seeing if we’re compatible or not.”

Ian laughed at that, “And the others say that you have no sense of humor. Take careful notes, Bill. Finally someone that appreciates my genius. I’ll send the information to you as soon as I have it.” Without bothering to say goodbye, he hung up.

Bill rubbed the back of his neck awkwardly, “Ian’s right, he’s told me many times not to have my phone on speaker. Sorry about that.”

Lirim shrugged, “It’s all right. Here’s the bail bonds place. Let’s go.”

X

Their talk with the bondsman didn’t reveal any new information, although it did help HSI’s information about the subject. By the time that they had finished talking, Ian had the financial records forwarded to their phones. Lirim was pleased at that, “Ian works fast. Look through these and see if you can see a pattern or not, I’ll do the same.”

Smith sighed but obediently started going through the list. After going through the list three times, Lirim was certain that he had narrowed the subject’s comfort zone to a five mile radius. When he shared his observation with Smith, Bili just joked and said, “Well, that’s one of the best areas to get a beer. Why are we even going after this guy anyway. So he skipped bail, it’s not like he hurt a super or anything. How is this even HSI’s jurisdiction?”

Lirim took a deep breath before answering, those questions showed how close of attention Smith had actually paid to the folder, “He’s a short range jumper, which makes it hard for the normal PD to pin him down. Not only that, he’s reputed to have a recreational drug habit. Although he’s shown no signs of violence in the past, such things can make the user unpredictable in the extreme. Mix in magic and it could shape up to be a major incident. No, it’s better that HSI handle this quickly and quietly before it becomes an actual situation.”

Smith nodded, “So we’d better use the magic cancelling cuffs then, if we want to hold onto him.” Tucking his phone away, he changed the subject abruptly, “When’s lunch? I skipped breakfast this morning.”

Glancing at the clock, it was barely ten, Lirim’s gut feeling that this partnership wasn’t going to last only grew. He only said calmly though, “Let’s talk to the family first, make sure that he hasn’t bolted there, then we can stop for lunch.”

After several fruitless stops, they finally reached the end of the list of friends and relatives and called a break. Lirim let Smith chose the restaurant, which turned out to be a mistake as their fries were abysmal, their sandwiches only slightly better. Lirim just picked at his food while Bill downed a Monte Cristo sandwich like it was going out of style.

Finally pushing his meal aside as a lost cause and reigning his increasing temper in with both hands, Lirim asked, “What’s our next course of action?”

The red head frowned slightly, “Since he hasn’t been in contact with any of his friends or family, I’m out of ideas for the moment. What do you suggest?”

Relieved, Lirim said firmly, “When under stress, people run back to what is familiar, what is comfortable. His spending habit clearly suggests that he has a very distinctive comfort zone. I suggest we start hunting there, asking questions and making it uncomfortable for him. People there know him. If he’s anywhere in the vicinity, he’ll hear about the agents asking questions about him. It’ll either bring him out into the open or it will send him out of his comfort zone where he’ll start to make mistakes.”

Smith stared at him, his expression wary, “Hunting?”

Lirim shrugged, unwilling to pretty it up by calling it something that it wasn’t. “We are hunting for him, to bring him back in for justice. What would you call it?”

Bill fiddled with his empty drink, “Locating. We’re locating him in order to bring him back for due process.”

Standing, Lirim left a tip on the table. “Hunting, locating, either way we need to get moving. The longer he’s on the run, the harder it will be to find him.”

Smith’s expression was uncertain, but he quickly smoothed it away as he rose and followed after him.

X

It had taken several hours of pounding the pavement before their inquiries finally paid off. One of their last stops, a little dive bar that was dimly lit and filled with people well on their way to being three sheets to the wind despite the fact that it was barely past five o’clock. They were showing the subject’s mug shot to the rather shady bartender when the subject himself shot out of one of the booths and ran through the back.

Immediately abandoning the bartender, they chased after the subject. For a man who was a middle tier accountant, the man was in much better shape than Lirim anticipated. Still, he couldn’t help the small grin that slipped out at they chased after him, the adrenaline and thrill of chase burning away the increasing frustration that he’d felt and being partnered with Smith.

They’d gone several blocks when he tried to escape by climbing up the fire escape of a short two-story building. It was obviously an office building of some sort, the three dumpsters out back filled three quarters of the way with paper waste. That was to their advantage as it meant that the building was most likely empty, most offices emptying out at five.

Lirim reached the ladder a good five strides ahead of Smith and was up the ladder after the subject in mere seconds. He had cleared the ladder and Smith was halfway up when the first shot ran out. Flattening himself to the roof, Lirim pulled out his own gun and called, “Thomas Reynolds! HSI Agent Bosk, cease fire at once and lay down your arms. Right now, your violation is a petty matter, you do not want to add assault of a law officer to it.”

Smith chose that moment to climb up on the roof and Lirim yanked him down just as another shot rang out. Smith cursed and pulled out his own gun as Lirim yelled, “Reynolds, last chance. I won’t give you another.”

Reynolds shouted back, “Why should I give myself up? I don’t want to go to jail.”

Since he had started talking and stopped shooting for the moment, Lirim carefully stood and started moving forward, motioning for Smith to stay behind him. “Reynolds, right now, your crimes are negligible. You allegedly embezzled some money from your company. Even if you are indicted, you probably will not serve jail time but just be ordered to repay what was taken. Now, listen to me. Surrender your weapon and I’ll tell the lawyers that you cooperated. The word of an HSI agent carries weight, as I’m sure you know.”

Lirim swore internally when Reynolds replied. He was obviously impaired and Lirim wondered what sort of drugs he had taken and what the chances were of things getting violent. “You HSI agents. You all think that you’re so high and mighty, think that you’re better than the rest of the world. Well, I am invincible. I’m not scared of you or any other law enforcement officer.” The sneer was blatantly evident, even in his slightly slurred words. “Well, you’re all going to answer to me now and I say that you can die.”

Reynolds stepped out from behind the air conditioning unit that he had been hiding behind, a small submachine gun in his hand. Lirim’s mind instantly switched to the cold calm place, the one that calculated all of the risks and odds of any given situation. Knowing that they were in deep trouble, Lirim knocked Smith’s gun from his hand before pushing him off the roof, the other agent so startled that he didn’t even have time to scream.

Lirim turned his attention back to Reynolds just in time to see the magic glow around him before he jumped the few feet between them, firing as soon as the magic spit him out. Lirim felt burning pain along his right bicep as he threw himself forward, taking Reynolds out at the knees. Ignoring the injury, he’d had worse, they tussled for control of the gun. The drugs had granted Reynolds unnatural strength, negating any natural advantage that Lirim had. Finally Lirim managed to wrench the gun away from him and tossed it over the side.

They struggled all over the roof, Reynolds nearly escaping several times and Lirim hanging on with dogged determination. The struggle only ended when Smith rejoined them on the roof, looking rather disheveled, and hit Reynolds across the head with the butt of his gun, knocking him out cold. As Lirim struggled to catch his breath, Smith ruthlessly cuffed Reynolds, a scowl on his face.

Checking out his bicep, it was just a flesh wound as he’d thought, Lirim offered Bill a smile that was probably a little more wolfish than he intended from the way the other agent inched back slightly. “Thanks.”

Smith just nodded, “No problem. Let’s get him back to HSI and get your arm looked at.”

Lirim shrugged, bending down and hauling the unconscious Reynolds up as well, “I’ve had worse. Good work today, Bill.”

Smith didn’t reply, just took half of the unconscious man’s weight and helped maneuver him down to the street level and over to where the car was waiting.

X

Lirim was shrugging his shirt back on in the infirmary when Capt. Jones found him. Before he could speak, Lirim said tiredly, “Let me guess, Smith doesn’t want to be partnered with me.”

Jones looked at him incredulously, “You threw him off a building, Bosk. Did you really expect him to be happy about it?”

Lirim ran a hand roughly through his hair and sighed, “I knew that he’d land in the dumpster and be fine. Reynolds had a machine gun, what else was I supposed to do?”

Jones turned grim, “According to the doctors, Reynolds was high out of his mind and he’ll be facing serious charges for trying to murder two agents. As soon as he comes down from his little trip, I expect that he’ll be singing like a bird to try and save himself. How badly were you injured?”

Lirim pulled up his sleeve enough that Jones could see the bandage wrapped around his arm, “Thankfully, he was a lousy shot. Just grazed me, only took five stitches. I’ll have some nice bruises tomorrow, but nothing serious. Is Smith ok?”

Jones sighed, “Smith is fine and he’s agreed to not file a complaint as you did indeed save his life. However, he requested a transfer to a satellite branch, one that sees less action and deals with more white collar crimes. I’ve agreed to his request.”

Lirim looked down, shame and tiredness rolling through him. “I am sorry for tossing him off the roof, but my instincts just took over.”

Jones rested a hand lightly on his shoulder, “I know, Bosk. And I think that you took the right course of action. The crime techs said that it was a miracle that you were unhurt as you were and that anyone standing next to you would’ve been killed instantly. Don’t beat yourself up on this one, it’s a win in my book. And hang in there, Bosk. I know that there’s a partner out there who will be just the right fit for you.”

Jones squeezed Lirim’s shoulder lightly before turning and leaving the room. Getting slowly to his feet, Lirim wistfully wished that the captain’s words were true, that there was a person out there who would be willing to give him a true chance at partnership. Little did he know that in less than a month, a fiery, stubborn woman with a caffeine addiction would turn his world upside down and yet save him at the same time. He just had to hold on a little bit longer.

(C) Katie Holmburg – The Seeker Files

Happy Tuesday Everyone! We are strong together!!

I’m Still Here

Hey Everyone!

I know that it’s been a while since you have all heard from me. The good news is that I’m still here. The bad news is that I’m busy and quite forgetful, so sometimes my consistency isn’t always the best. That means as a blogger, I’m rather hit and miss, my apologies.

So what have I been up to?

Well, I’ve been under stay-at-home, the less said about that the better, Imma bout ready to start climbing the walls. Thankfully I live on acreage and I can at least get out into the fresh air and sunshine. I’m ready for life to get back to normal.

I am still practicing my rad ninja skills. I recently tested for my provisional black belt. That means that I’ve learned what I need to know, now I need to hone and refine it before going for my actual black belt. My sensei’s have been doing an awesome job with videos and online classes so that we don’t lose our skills.

Farm life has always been fun. We recently had a single turkey poult hatch. He’s a little corker, that’s for ever sure. (‘Scuse the dirty farm hands, spring time equals a lot of dirty hands but it’s nice to be out in nature)

Corky Trotter, newest resident on the farm

Other than that, I’ve just been writing. A lot. I’m currently working on book four of The Seeker Files: In Search of Pack. It goes, not smoothly, but it goes, lol. I’m hoping to have it finished and published by the end of this month. I’ll keep you updated one way or the other.

Other than that, I’ve been writing a lot of fanfiction. It you want to check it out for yourselves, here’s my most popular story,

“Only in My Dreams”

https://archiveofourown.org/works/21115682/chapters/50247068

Check it out, tell me what you think.

So, how are all of your lives going? I want to hear your trials and triumphs.

Happy Monday!

(And May the fourth be with you 😉 )

Balance

Hey Everyone,

If you are anything like me, the past few weeks have been crazy. Between the holidays and family birthdays (A lot of our family have birthdays in December, I’d say nearly two-thirds). Because of this, I have been drained. One of my biggest goals over the past few months have been writing every day. After all, I’m a writer and that’s what’s writer’s do. After all, I did manage to get the third book in my series published on Black Friday (Halfway there, woot woot!) So what’s going on?

Well, I am pleased to say that I have managed to write every day for the past three months at least five hundred words a day, if not a thousand. That means that I’ve written at least 45,000 words by just consistently writing 500 words a day. Often when I sit down and write, I find it flows well and I average between one and five thousand a day, the hardest part is just finding the time and energy to sit down and write.

However, while a portion of the words have been on my stories, a large portion of them have also been on my play writing. I.e., fanfiction, story snippets that I know will never go anywhere, bits of my main story that have absolutely no bearing on the overall story, just weird quirks about the story that popped into my brain. This is how I cope with stress, but ultimately it is not helpful in helping my share the rest of Aletta and Lirim’s story with you guys.

So how am I going to balance my play writing with my purposeful writing?

First, let me explain a couple of things. When I say purposeful writing, it does not mean that it is not enjoyable for me to write. I love writing, period. I love bringing my characters to life and sharing them with others. However, when I do writing that I intend to share with others, I’m a lot more conscientious of how I write. I pay a lot more attention to what words I use, my spelling and grammar, that all the plot lines make sense and that there are no gaping plot holes or ends left untied up. I want to make sure that people other than me can understand and enjoy the story.

When I say play writing, this is writing that I do for myself, that I really don’t plan on sharing with anyone. It doesn’t bother me if there are typos or grammar errors, although I usually go back after the story is done and smooth it out. There are also gaping plot holes at time because I was eager to get to the next scene and again, I’m the only one that’s going to see it and I can go back and smooth it out later if it really bugs me. It is also rarely linear, as I just around from scene to scene. It’s effortless and fun, but it is rather a mess.

So how can I balance this out, because my goal is to publish 5-6 new books this year?

I’ve decided to treat my writing like a ‘normal’ job. I will write my books Monday through Friday and make good progress on them. However, since my goal is to write everyday (and that’s not really a hardship), I’ll leave my play writing for the weekends and the occasional day when I’m stressed to my eyeballs and just need to escape. Trust me, we all have those days and it’s better just to factor them in instead of feeling guilt and despair when they inevitably happen and spiraling worse than you were before. Fingers crossed that things will go well.

So how do you balance your serious writing and your play writing? I would love to hear how you do it!

Happy Monday!

Let’s Talk Nanowrimo – Daily Writing Habits

Nanowrimo is just around the corner and we are already two-thirds of the way through Preptober. Time flies, right? So let’s talk a bit about the nuts and bolts of Nanowrimo.

Have you declared a project yet? I’ve decided to be ambitious this year and go for 100,000 words instead of 50k. This means that I’ll have to write 3,334 words instead of 1,667 every day. Now, this may seem a bit daunting to some but for me it’s more of a target than a set in the stone, the world will end if I don’t finish this, goal. But even if I don’t manage to get all 100k words done, the key to accomplish anything is to sit down every day and actually do it. So here are some tips to help both you and me have a more successful Nanowrimo.

Commit yourself to writing every day

It doesn’t have to be some grand scheme of slaving over your keyboard for hours and hours every day, chained to your desk until you finally manage to grind out that first draft. It can be as little as five minutes a day writing in a notebook while waiting to pick up the kids from school or that load of laundry to finish. Instead of taking a smoke break, use that time to get a few words down. As long as you write something, a paragraph, a sentence, a word, you are winning. But if you don’t commit to carving out that bit of time every day, there will always be a hundred other things more than willing to take over that space.

Set yourself goals

So many people see 50k words and shut down before they can even get started. Even broken down, the idea of finding the time and inspiration for 1,667 words is daunting. But like so many things in life, that’s just an arbitrary number. It’s easy to be so overwhelmed that you never end up starting at all or if you do start and then miss a few days, then you feel like you’ll never catch up. And truthfully, when I’m writing I’m rarely thinking about word counts, I’m too focused on my story line and characters. So set goals that motivate you. Instead of saying I’m going to write X amount of words in X minutes (although if that’s the way you get your best writing done, go for it. Find a way that works best for you!), say that you’re going to write until you finish the next scene or next chapter. Maybe you’re stuck on a scene, so instead of not writing, set the goal of writing out one of your character’s back stories and what their motivation/goal/purpose in the story might be. It could be that you feel that your characters are stuck in place, so set a goal to sit down and write all about the world they live in, fleshing out all the little details like where’d they shop, hang out, all the little things that people do in every day life.

Think of it like this: You’re taking a road trip to a new amazing location (remember, books open new worlds to us 🙂 ), this isn’t like the trip that you take every year to the lake or Grandma’s house. This is somewhere that you’ve never been before. You might’ve spent some time preparing snacks and necessities (outlining chapters and the plot) or you might be planning to pick things up along the way (pantser). You’ve got a basic roadmap (your story idea) and your destination (your completed first draft). But if you don’t start, you’ll never reach your destination. There are many ways you can travel, making stops at certain towns (chapters or scenes), or you could be planning to stop and stretch your legs every so many miles (word count). Although you might have certain stops planned (outlines), you never know what you might find along the way. All you have to do it start.

Accountability Partners

When we know someone else is going to ask if we’ve done something or not, we are much more likely to complete the task. It’s also true that if someone asks to help them keep on track, we’ll be a lot more mindful of whether or not we’ve done as we said we would. I tend to be a solitary writer, although I like talking and sharing ideas with other writers and learning from them. But if having a buddy along the way helps you keep on track, then I highly encourage you to find someone to do Nanowrimo with you.

Writing Platforms

Something that people may not know about me is that I have a highly competitive streak. It’s not that I like to beat people, as a matter of fact I like to help people succeed along with me, but I like to always challenge myself to do better. I’ve recently found a site that speaks to that side of me. 4thewords is a writing community that gamifies your writing. It is set up in word sprint style, where you have to write so many words in so many minutes in order to defeat monsters. There are also quests that you can work towards defeating. Also, you get rewards for writing every day. If you write 444 words a day, a reasonable amount, you build up a streak and the longer the streak, the cooler rewards you get. The story line is intriguing and the community is out of this world. Also, they’re doing a special Nanowrimo event with bonus events and rewards. By getting rewarded to write, it helps me to get my word count every day and I find myself hitting my goals quicker than I ever anticipated. Like I said earlier, the main thing is to write, just write, every day, and this program helps me do this.

If you’re interested in checking this out, use my referral code for an extra free month. I highly recommend at least checking it out 🙂

My code: VXKKX33097

If you are participating in Nanowrimo, tell me what you’re writing this year and what your goal is. Can’t wait to hear from you 🙂

Happy Monday!

Let’s talk Nanowrimo

Hey Everyone,

It’s October, which means that Nanowrimo is just around the corner. This year will be my third year participating in this challenge.  .So let’s talk a little bit about Nanowrimo and the pros and cons.

Accountability

Writing is pretty much a solitary sport, unless you’re collaborating with someone on a story, but that’s a subject for a different blog post. Although we bounce ideas off of people and then have them beta read our work (so thankful for betas!), the process of actually creating is done by the writer alone (and maybe the cat perched nosily on their lap.) Unless you’re really good at setting deadlines independently (which I’m not) or under contract which keeps you on track, then it’s just as easy to not write on busy days as it is to carve out a bit of time to write. By participating in Nanowrimo, you are promising yourself that you will write a certain number on words in a certain amount of time. You’ve probably also told your friends and family this, which adds another layer of incentive for you to do as you said that you would and sit down and write. (Not surf facebook or update your pinterest boards, but actually write).

The cons of this can be that some people panic when they see the end goal, overwhelmed by the amount of words they’ll need to churn out, not realizing that if done in smaller chunks daily, it will be much easier to breeze through. Or they write when inspiration strikes them and freak out that their characters will not be amenable to writing every day, digging their heels in and creating writer’s block. (I find that most characters want their story told and with a bit of coaxing, will keep telling you their stories.)

Word Counts

The typically goal for Nanowrimo is fifty thousand words over the course of the month of November. It works out to about seventeen hundred words a day. This has been my goal the past two years and again this year. I did not manage to do it the past two years, but that was because of lack of discipline on my part. However, I do feel like I made good progress on my books and was glad that I had participated. The pros of having a word count for Nanowrimo is that it encourages people to sit down and write every day. I have a very high competitive streak and also like to cross things off my list of things to-do, so this encourages me to hit the goal words every day. Also, you can set the goal at whatever you want for the month. I’ve seen everything ranging from a few hundred words to 250k words. It allows you to chose what your goal is and let’s you work at your own pace of whether you are a fast or a somewhat slower writer. (You are still writing, so never look down on yourself for your writing speed. As long as you put even one word on a page, you are a writer.)

The cons for word counts are this. Some people, myself included, never know where a story is going to take them. The bonafide pantsers. And the thought of being tied to a specific number of words is daunting. What if the story wraps up in less words? What if the story takes more words to tell. Here’s the good news. Your word goal is not set in stone. It’s a general target that you can adjust as you need to as you get a better idea of where your story is going and how long it will take to get there. Another con is the fact that you have to create so many words a day.  What happens if you have a slow day and only manage to write a few words? Or that you have to go back and edit a large portion before you can continue the story? Or life happens and you aren’t able to sit down and write at all? Again, this goal is just guidelines. There are no penalties for not getting the “required” amount of words done and the unnecessary stress you are putting on yourself needs to be let go. Make a quick face, promise that you’ll try again tomorrow, and move on. The whole point of Nanowrimo is to encourage you to have a go at a project that you may have been putting off, not to make you so miserable that you give up on it entirely.

Cabins

Many new Nanowrimo participants wonder what the cabins are about and even some veterans. The short answer, community. If you already have a writing group established, you can create a cabin together and share your work back and forth throughout the month. If you don’t have people to create a cabin with, you have three other choices you can do.

One: You can do it alone. There is nothing wrong with this option and many people do Nanowrimo this way. 

Two: You can search for a cabin that’s your specific genre and get placed into it. This is what I most often do, I write fantasy and I like to have fantasy and sci-fi people to bounce my idea off of.

Three: If you are adventurous or outgoing, you can ask to be placed in a random cabin. This is a great way to meet fellow writers and get a diversity of opinion. The cabins are a great resource and community. It is a group of like minded people that you can reach out to when you hit a snag or are feeling discouraged in order to get some help and encouragement. And who knows, maybe a hurdle that you’ve overcome is something that someone else is struggling with and you can help them out.

The cons of this? Writers can be very sensitive about their work (heaven knows that I am) and are unwilling to show anyone their work until it is finished and polished. There is nothing wrong with that. Also, sometimes personalities just don’t mesh well, you may have someone in your cabin that chimes in on everything, whether or not they have anything helpful to add. Remember, there is always the option to switch cabins. You are not locked into one that just does not work for you.

So this is just the barest sneak peek at a few components of Nanowrimo. I will be writing more about this throughout the coming days. If you have anything you want to know about specifically, drop me a comment and will try to cover it.

Participating in Nanowrimo? Comment below about your project, goal word count, and what you would like to get from the month. I’d love to hear from you!!

Happy Monday!

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