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Showing posts with label author. Show all posts
Showing posts with label author. Show all posts

Saturday, August 22, 2015

An Entry From The Private Journal Of Doctor Jack Tyler - September 2nd, 201-

 *Greetings one and all.  Today I take great pleasure in introducing you to yet another character from "The Vampyre Blogs - Coming Home".  Meet Doctor Jonathan "Jack" Tyler, or Doctor Jack as everyone calls him.  He's another member of Nathan's extended family, as well as a dear friend to Brian and his family.  Jack of course knows Nathan's secret and being the town surgeon, keeps a good supply of blood on hand for him.  But Jack didn't always know about Nathan, and he's here to tell you all how he found out.  I hope you enjoy meeting him and hearing his tale...

Things were busy at the clinic today, as they've been most of the week.  With the start of school there were a lot of last minute immunizations, check-ups, summer sniffles and whatnot to deal with.  Things should quiet down for a bit, but soon it'll be cold and flu season again.  Then of course there'll be the holidays, not that I mind.  I love helping decorate the clinic with my staff.  I'll also get to help with the decorations at home as well, but that won't be for a few weeks. 

God I love this time of year, seeing all the leaves turning it's as if mother nature whipped out her most vibrant paints and started dabbing at the trees.  Looking up I saw the sun was already setting and quickly got into my car.  From there I drove out of town and soon found myself driving down some the most beautiful country roads, bordered by forest on both sides.  

Turning down a well-known side road, I headed deeper into the woods until I started seeing cars dotting both sides of the street.  But I could see people heading back to their cars.  Not many folks like to wander the trails after the sun started going down, but me and my wife love it out here.  I manage to find a good spot to park near where the street actually ends in a wide circle, designed so folks can turn around and head back the way they came.  There's also a fence with an opening that puts your right on the walking path that leads into the woods.   


Getting out, I recognized a number of my patients and neighbors.  This is a popular stretch of woods and in autumn, none of us can get enough of this area.  As I make my way down the picturesque path I'm transported back to another time, some thirty years ago, when my life had taken a much darker outlook. My mother had been diagnosed with cancer, and suddenly my world of popularity on and off the playing field had become so meaningless...

My ruminations are suddenly interrupted by the appearance of a red fox who is standing in the middle of the path a dozen yards ahead of me.  The animal is looking at me and cocks its head in a curious fashion.  There had been a fox back then too, I remember. 


The animal starts to swish its tail excitedly and then proceeds to trot towards me, stopping occasionally as if to check me out.  Finally, when it's just a few feet away, it gets excited and then races around my legs and then starts heading off to the path.  It pauses briefly to stare at me and I just know I'm supposed to follow him, which I do.  

Soon, I find myself deeper in the woods, listening to the crunching of the leaves beneath my feet, as well as enjoying the canopy of gold, red, yellow and green  above me.  I also keep track of my guide who keeps stopping to make sure he hasn't lost me.  As we venture deeper into the woods the sounds of a running water reach my ears and I know for sure where I am and who's waiting for me. 


We come to a clearing that overlooks a large stream with a waterfall just off to my left.  Ahead of me there's a big blanket spread out with my wife Cheryl setting out plates.  My son and daughter, Joe and Darlene are with her.  While over by the edge of the stream stands my mother and the man who saved her, Nathan.  Although she's still in her late sixties, I have to admit she's still a fine looking woman.  The fact that she wouldn't still be here if not for our family friend and guardian, has never been lost on me or my wife.  She and I had been high school sweethearts and I'd nearly pushed her away when my mother got the cancer diagnosis, but Nathan kept me from losing her as well.  

He'd found me in this very spot all those years ago and given me hope when I thought there was none to be found anywhere.  That was the day he'd also shared his secret with me and showed me that even when life throws you what seems to be the ultimate curve ball, that hope can appear out of that darkness if you just keep your eyes open.  

I look up and see the sun is fading.  Soon the stars will be out.  I wonder if tonight will be the night that Nathan shares his secret with my children?  A part of me hopes so.  The truth can be frightening, but it can also be wondrous as he showed me that lonely autumn night so long ago...


TO BE CONTINUED...

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Nathaniel's E-Journal May 2006 - I'm Now A Published Author

As I sit here typing my mind is still in a whirl.  The idea that something I've written is actually getting published seems unreal.  Then again a lot of things I've done in my long life feel that way.


The first time I stepped out onto a stage in vaudeville to play a part in one of the Marx Brothers routines I felt the same way.  I'd been helping out in their rehearsals and knew the routine by heart, so when Gummo wasn't able to appear with his brothers one night, I was drafted then and there.  I'm proud to say that I did not suffer stage fright, but that was mostly because I had Julius, Arthur and Leonard with me.  I knew they had my back and I wasn't about to let them down.  In a way, it was like being back in the Union Army, where I knew I had a bunch of guys watching out for me just as much as I was keeping an eye out for them.  When we finished our routine they made sure I took a bow with them.  After that I started finding myself on stage a number of times with some of the other acts who knew me pretty well.

But I digress.  As my second semester taking writing classes was drawing to a close, one of my instructors urged me to try and submit a few of my short stories to a few magazines for publication.  This was in March and I trusted my instructor's judgement and with their help I prepared a cover letter, synopsis and a sample of one of my stories.  Needless to say the results were pretty much what I half expected...


Not to say I wasn't a little hurt, but my instructor was like, "Good, now you're really on your way to being an author."  Needless to say I gave her a very curious look, but nodded and kept trying.  Withing weeks the responses, or rather more rejections, came rolling in...


Yet in spite of this, Brian, his family, fellow students, and even other members of the English and Literature faculty kept urging me on.  So I kept at it.  Finally, yesterday, I got a response from of all magazines Playboy, who wanted to publish one of my stories. It was one I submitted on a whim to their college fiction contest last year.  I didn't win mind you, but one of the editors kept it on file because he thought it was really good.  

In any case, somehow they were looking to fill space and he remembered my story and contacted me saying they wanted to run it.  Naturally I said yes so next month, my first published short story will be coming out in Playboy Magazine.  I'm hoping the readers like it, or at least those who read Playboy for the articles, all of two of them.

Still, to have my first published story appear in a magazine of that caliber is an honor.  I'm hoping it will help springboard me into other publications or at least get my name out there.  Or rather my pseudonym Daniel Bachmann.  Bachmann was my mother's maiden name and Daniel was my grandfather's name.   Too many people out there know or heard of Nathaniel Steward over the last few decades who don't know my secret.  So a fake name just seemed more appropriate on this occasion.

So my first published work will be sandwiched somewhere in between naked women and... now I'm jealous.  Time to head out and enjoy some nightlife.  I hear there's plenty of great places here in London, and the lights at night are beautiful.  Who knows, I might get an idea for a few more stories.  Yup... I'm a writer all right.  Always thinking about the next tale.







Thursday, April 9, 2015

Nathaniel's E-Journal, August 2005... Beginning A New Chapter Part-II


Another night and I stand once more in my artist's studio located on the top floor of the building that houses my club "The Crypt".  No one's allowed up here unless I say so, and tonight I wish to be alone with my thoughts.  For two days now I've been wrestling with the idea of trying my hand at writing novels.    

In some ways the idea seems ridiculous.  Me? An author?  

Then another question comes to mind in the form of one word, why?

That's the sticking point for me.  Why would I take up writing?  Because I'm bored and want to try something new that I've never done before?   It wouldn't be the first time.  When I joined vaudeville, it was simply to keep myself busy and working behind the scenes as a stagehand at night seemed ideal.  But then I started to get to know the performers like Julius, Arthur, Herbert and Leonard... better known as the Marx Brothers.  Their range of talents fascinated me.  The number of instruments they could play, or the snappy patter they should spout on a moments notice never ceased to amaze me.  Plus, they seemed to sense the feeling of being 'lost' and 'adrift' in me, which made them reach out so I could be a part of their comeraderie.  But it didn't stop there.  Others in the troupe welcomed me as well, like "Fatty" (Roscoe Arbuckle), the Keatons, Harry and Bess Houdini, the lovely and sweet Mae West and so many others...




Before I knew what was happening they'd be teaching me all kinds of skills and even dragging me out on stage to help out in their acts.  I could write endless stories about those days and the ones that came before.  

My days on the battlefield while serving in the Union Army.  So many stories were lost there that only I know about.  The hopes and fears of my brothers in blue, as well as some of those who wore the rebel gray.  In 167 years of walking this world, I've not forgotten a single person who I've met, good or bad, I remember them.  I also remember the stories they shared, the sweethearts they pursued and the outcomes.  

So many stories to choose from, but where would I begin?  

I brought up the idea of my taking up writing to Brian and his family last night at dinner.  Much to my surprise no one laughed.  Instead they eagerly supported the venture.  Brian in particular urged me to take a couple of creative writing courses at the college where he teaches history.  "We've got some really good instructors there and they could really help you hone your skills?" Brian pointed out.  "I've taken a couple of them and they were really helpful.  Of course, you'll need to decide on a genre to write in.  Agents and publishers like to represent someone who has a specific kind of novel."

"You should write romance," his daughter Lisa suggested with a twinkle in her eye as she looked at me.  Even though she's only a child I have a feeling she's developing a crush on me.  I've seen that look before in girls her age and even younger, over the decades.  But only one ever managed to land me, but she was extremely persistent.  

Even now I can feel her eyes on me after seven decades.  Looking up I find myself staring into a pair of dark eyes, forever captured in oil.  Dark hair frames those eyes along with the lovely face and strong chin.  "Magda," I whisper and smile.

Our time together was not nearly as long as either of us had hoped, but it was magical.  Our first meeting and her prolonged pursuit for my love could fill several volumes.  Her persistence paid off and after three years she became my wife at the young age of sixteen.  

As I stand there lost in thought, the sounds of music reaches my ears from several floors below.  The Crypt is now open and is already filling up with the usual crowd.  Even from here I can sense the whirl of emotions and life down there.  Laughter, sorrow, broken hearts, lust, hopes for love...  

A flash of light through the window catches my eye.  After several nights of gathering clouds it looks as rain is finally drawing near.  I make my way up the stairs and onto the roof of the building to watch the approaching storm.



I see lightning in the distance over my hometown, it's going to be a good one.  But instead of retreating back inside, I stay where I am and feel the breeze on my face and close my eyes.  I can feel the storm's energy on the wind and without thinking, several lines of words describing the feeling come to mind.  Some of the words are trite, but they still help paint a picture within my head.


Suddenly my eyes shoot open as realization sinks in.  Painting a picture, but with words instead of oils or acrylics!   No pencils, no paintbrushes, just words that form an image or a scene within the readers mind.  That's what an author does. But they don't just paint one picture, they paint a whole series of images, coupled with emotions and thoughts.  Yet, I can still use my skills as a painter as well.  Illustrations and book covers... yes.  

And I have so much material to draw upon.  My own experiences as well as those of people who's memories lives I keep alive within me.  I've shared their stories countless times with descendants so they are never forgotten.  

But what kind of stories to write? 

From down in the alley I hear the sound of raised voices.  Looking over the edge I see a young couple having a heated argument.  The boy is obviously breaking up with the girl and leaves her in the alley alone.  But she does not remain that way for long.  Three others, friends of hers arrive and comfort her.  One of them is a young man who obviously has feelings of his own for her.  But instead of being foolish and declaring his affections, he merely gives her the support and comfort of the friend she needs right now.  

But I can sense a change in her.  It's not big, but her gratitude to him and the two girls with him is obvious.  I hear her say she wishes more guys were like him as they step inside.  Perhaps something will come of it eventually.  

However the thing that gets me most is the image that forms in my mind.  Just like the other night down in the club, I could see other figures, superimposed over the trio.  Their outfits changed several times within the span of a few seconds.  I saw flappers, soldiers, suits, gowns, hippies, but their actions were all the same and leading towards one thing... romance.

"Love Across Time..." I murmur as the first drops of rain start hitting my head.  

Why not?  I've seen and experienced it so many times in the last fifteen decades.  Oh, the settings and ways one behaved have changed over time, but the feelings never do.  

Feeling elated at the idea, I spread my arms wide and let the rain and story ideas pour over me.  






Friday, January 2, 2015

A Note From The Author Plus A New Entry From Nathaniel's Private E-Journal...

From the author: I hope everyone enjoyed the first, of what I hope will be many holiday tales shared around Christmastime.  It was supposed to be just a quickie short-story that I would put out on Smashwords as a free download for all, but obviously it grew as I continued to write.  Also, time was getting away from me due to my workload at my college.

So I wound up releasing the story in pieces here on my blog and over the course of days it continued to grow and grow.  In the end I wound up with not a short-story as planned but a novelette (a story between 7,000 and 20,000 words in length).  Not quite long enough to be a novella, but much larger than short-story.    Also due to the time-crunch what I posted here was basically a first draft, which would explain any editing errors some of you might have noticed as you read.

However, I'm still not quite done with the story.  I'm going to release it as a small novelette this coming Christmas.  It will basically be the same story that you read, but there will be an epilogue added to the end as well as original pen and ink illustrations created by me.  For those who don't know, I'm also an artist and have done the covers for my other novels that have already been published.  I'm aiming for pen and ink in the hopes that it will be easier to upload into e-book form as well as in print.  Yes, I intend to make a small paperback version for those who'd like to hold the book in their hands if at all possible.  I may also try using charcoal (which would simply be black and white, along with shades of grey).   Ideally, I'd use my favorite medium soft pastel, but I wouldn't be able to guarantee the quality of the colors in the printed form or on the computer.  However, I will be looking into it.  If anyone else out there has had some experience in color artwork in an e-book or in print, please tell us about it in the comment section below.

Now as I've told you all before, Nathan's first novel-length story will be coming out around either October or December of this year (2015).  Of course, I will have a number of new blog and e-journal entries for him and the other characters to post here.  I'll also be releasing another novel before then titled "The Door", which will be the third in my Para-Earth Series.  It will star several of the characters you already met in my holiday novelette, (Sergeant Veronica Ross, a grown-up Julie, and Police Chief Roy Petersen).  Alas Jason will not appear having joined his ancestors, but not before he passed the mantle of shaman on his niece.  If you'd like to read how this all happened, you can check out "The Bridge" and its sequel "The Ship":

NOTE: Both e-books are just $1.49 each for the next two weeks.  After that, the price will got back up to $2.99 a piece.  You can also sample the first 30 pages of each story for free at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords.  Just click on the title and start reading.  I'm providing the links right here:


Amazon: 



With all that said, I hope to see more and more of you here as I supply you with more short tales of Nathaniel and his friends.  I plan to introduce more characters here as the year goes on, so keep reading and spread the word about this site.  Happy New Year to you all, as I step aside and let Nathaniel take the stage...

Nathaniel's Private E-Journal, January 1st, 2005

12:10 AM



I'm standing on a deck overlooking the great wide Pacific Ocean.  Another year has passed but I am not alone.  I am surrounded by members of my extended family located in Aptos, California.  Although that's not where I am at this moment.  We're standing near the famed Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk having just watched a fabulous fireworks display out on the water.

The Cloudfoots have been part of my life since 1999 when I first met Jason, the patriarch of these wonderful people.  As their name implies, they are of Native American descent, specifically they are Seneca one of the five original tribes that formed the Iroquois Confederacy.   

Together, Jason and I, along with Otto located his missing niece Julie who had run away from home just two days before Christmas.  The moment Jason and I locked eyes, I knew there was something different about him and I was right.  He was a shaman, one who knew about the Para-Earths, as Otto has named those alternate realities of this world.  Jason also knew right away I'd been to one and had come back changed, but he also knew I was still a good man and our friendship formed. 

He's here with me tonight enjoying the love and joy of his children and grandchildren.  Jason lost his wife two years ago, for which I was very sorry.  She had been a wonderful woman, warm and caring.  I'd spent that New Year's Eve with him, to make sure he did not face it alone.  Not that I had much reason to worry.  Julie and her parents were there as well.  It was the first time I'd seen her in 1999 and my how she'd grown.  From the pudgy little girl I'd help locate, she was now slightly taller than me and still growing.  She also had filled out in more ways than one, especially in the muscle department.  I feel sorry for any boy who pissed her off.  Not that she seems very interested in them.  A part of me suspects her yearnings lie elsewhere.  I just hope I never have to compete with her for a date.

Not that such a thing is likely.  I've kept to myself more since Veronica and I parted company three years ago.  I've found myself thinking about her a lot tonight.  Probably it's because of all the police officers watching over tonight's festivities.  There was one female officer in particular standing near her patrol car that caught my eye.  She looked nothing like Veronica, but the way the officer stood there reminded me so much of my red-headed love.
    

God she was amazing.  It's not often you find someone so passionate and dedicated, not only to you but to her work.  But I digress...

A new year stands before us all.  I have no idea what surprises this one will have in store for me or those I call 'family'.  But I know I will not face this new year alone which is a great comfort.  I have people like Jason, Otto, Brian, their families and so many others who's lives touch mine.  I think that's been the greatest gift of all.  Even though I have outlived so many people who I've loved, I am never truly alone.  And because I remember, none of them are ever forgotten.  

My existence is a strange one, but at least I find it serves so many others.  

Jason is proposing another toast to all so I better wrap this up.  A promising new year awaits and I for one am looking forward to seeing what it has to offer.





Friday, November 28, 2014

Novel Update...


Hello everyone, I've given Nathaniel and company a break this week because of the holiday.  They'll be back shortly with more blog entries.  But in the meantime I thought you would all like to know how things are progressing on the actual novel.

I'm sure you'll all be happy to know that I completed the 2nd draft yesterday, which gave me something extra to be thankful for on Thanksgiving.  Writing in the first person has been quite the adventure for me.  Most authors stick inside one character's head and they act as the narrator for the entire story.  But I prefer sharing various character's points of view, so I normally used limited third person, where I give each character a chapter where we see inside only their heads for that chapter. 

Doing blog, journal, and diary entries to tell the story, has allowed me to do something similar with this novel.  However, I've had to create unique 'voices' for each character as well.  I didn't want a blog entry by one of my teenage characters to sound the same as one of my middle-aged male characters.  

I've also had a bit of a challenge dealing with past tense vs. present tense.  After all, if you're writing about something that happened to you in your blog/journal you use past tense.  So I've had a little bit of a challenge making the events sound just as exciting as if I were using the present tense like I have in my other novels.  Plus I'm trying to make sure I 'show' people what happened and not just have the character 'tell' you what happened.  I like to give enough details that my readers can picture the scene and all the action inside their heads like it was a movie.  So I'm going to be paying close attention to what my beta-readers say when they get to look at the book.

Now, that I've completed the 2nd draft, the book is getting looked over and the first edits will be under way.  I won't be doing much new writing for a few weeks because I'm attending university and it's getting towards the end of the semester.  This means the professors are loading us up with last minute assignments, as well as getting us prepped for final exams.

I will be putting out a short story involving Nathaniel and several characters from my previous novels, creating my first cross-over story.  Being a short story it won't take me long to put it together.  It will be a holiday piece which I plan on releasing on Christmas Day.  So stay tuned for more detials on that.

In the meantime, Nathaniel, Lisa, and Marisa, as well as a few others will be posting here again very shortly.  So you won't be without anything new to read here. 

With that said, thanks for all your support and feedback.  I'm glad so many of you are enjoying my vampyre's experiences along with those who are a large part of his extended life.  For those who celebrate Thanksgiving I hope you had a wonderful holiday.  I'm looking forward to this weekend to start decorating as well as study and do homework.

Until next time be happy and healthy.


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Nathaniel's Blog July 23rd, 2014 - Reflections On The Past And Ponderings Of The Future...

The Crypt is silent tonight.  It's a Tuesday and the place is closed as usual.  Usually I only open the place on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.  If I have it open during the regular weekdays, a lot of the kids would never get enough sleep for school the next day, and I don't want to deal with angry parents complaining that my place is an attractive nuisance.  Not that anyone would believe it.  My place is a drug and alcohol free zone.  It's actually one of the safest places teenagers can come to get away from the darker elements out there. 



Still, keeping the place open seven days a week would be quite demanding on me and my DJ Scar-Man.  He has a family these days and needs to be able to spend time with them.  And I need time to myself.  Even after a hundred and fifty years, I still enjoy some 'me' time.  I know, I know, most vampires you see in movies or read about are lonely and longing for company.  Well this is real life and I have plenty of extended family and friends who love to have me visit, or who like to drop in to see me, and I love it.  

However, I do need some time alone every so often and tonight is one of those evenings.  So with the doors locked up I've scaled the many steps that lead to the top of this old building where my art studio awaits.  I though I might be in the mood to pick up a brush and work on a canvas or two, but not at the moment.  Instead, I'm in a more contemplative mood.  



There's a huge picture window at one end of the studio that allows me to gaze out at the town.  It's very pretty at night.  The streetlights are lit up, as well as a number of houses.  The evening is still young so very few have gone to bed just yet. 


Who knows who I might meet this evening if I venture out into the streets.  That's half the fun of being a night walker.  It's always an adventure.  You see things and people, most folks overlook in their busy day.  For me, I find stories and inspirations for paintings, novels, or just things that make you think a bit.  No, I'm not  one of the gloom and doom vampyres of legend.  I'm going to be walking this earth for some time yet and I'm fully aware of it.  I am what I am these days.  Although I did not choose this existence, it was pushed onto me by a very unlikely source, but unlike others I treasure each moment I have.  

I've touched and had my life touched by so many wonderful people.  Not just the stars I met back in vaudeville, or the heroes I met out on the battlefields, but everyday people and I thank them for it.  The ones who've come and gone, as well as those who are still with me now.  Yes, I've said goodbye to a good many friends over the decades, but there are always new people entering one's life that you can share and experience so much with.

In my hundred and fifty... correction hundred and sixty-seven years on this planet (I always forget to count my life before the change) I've seen so much.  How many people can claim they saw the first silent films?  Or heard the first radio broadcasts?  I encountered and even got to work on some of the earliest computers when punch-cards were the high point of technology.


Plus I got to watch man reach the moon and take his first steps onto that barren alien landscape.  And there are so many years ahead of me, which both fill me with wonder and a slight dread.  For unlike vampyres of legend I do age, albeit at a much slower rate.  I was only seventeen when I was changed and these days I barely look thirty.  For every ten years that pass for others I age only one.  This means I have a long time ahead of me, but what about when I finally start to reach 'old' age?  Will I start to turn grey and less able-bodied?  With I spend centuries trapped in a body that is feeble and infirm?  That' is a frightening prospect, that I try not to think too much about.  

There's still so much about my condition I don't know anything about.  In spite of twenty years spent getting degrees in botany, anatomy and physiology, and several other sciences, there's still so much to learn.  Luckily, science continues to move forward and I can always go back and take more classes and learn more about the new discoveries that may help me fully understand what I've become.  And that's something I actually look forward to.  

I love taking classes and learning new things.  I've taken all kinds of classes over the decades including art, dance, languages, mathematics, writing, etc.  Learning can be so much fun.  I meet new people and get introduced to new ideas and skills.  Life is a wondrous thing and whether you have only one life-time or many what you do with your time can be very enriching.  It all depends on the individual.  



And right now, this individual feels like stepping out for a while.  I'll come back here later and start working on one of my unfinished canvasses.  There's one in particular I'm very eager to get back to.  

I've already put it on an easel so it can be waiting for me when I get back.  It's a portrait of a young girl with flowing black hair and the most amazing brown eyes.  I can never forget her eyes.  They saw through me like no other and loved me for who AND what I am...



Saturday, May 10, 2014

Nathaniel's Blog April 3rd, 201- "My Visit to Marye's Heights"



 


I visited Mary's Heights over in Virginia today.  It's something I try to do every year.  Partly to pay my respects to my Union brothers who fell that day, as well as to those from the Confederate side who took pity that night cold December night.  War can be hell, but it can also bring out a certain decency among men when the shooting stops even for just a little while.  I was there... sort of.  Or rather, I could see everything from where I landed up.  

Like so many others I was badly wounded, but out of anyone's reach.  However, the thing I passed through which led to my current condition, was still open.  I could see down onto the battlefield and witnessed all that transpired.  

Those wounded during battle, like myself, who could not drag themselves to safety had been left where they fell.  Still alive and crying piteously for water.  But no one dared go out into the open for fear of being shot.  There were hundreds of them

Night had fallen, the guns and the cannons had gone quiet.  But silence was nowhere to be found.  The screams and the cries for water from the wounded left on the battlefield still echo in my ears.  But what happened the next morning is etched into my memory like a treasure.

The legend of the Angel of Marye's Heights comes into question at times, but I saw what transpired.  Admittedly, I was drifting in and out of consciousness occasionally, but I was awake enough to see the Confederate soldier carefully climb over that stone wall and take those first tentative steps onto the battlefield where thousands of Union soldiers lay, many still alive.


The fellow was armed with dozens of water canteens, blankets and little else.  I remember silently praying that no one from my side would take a shot at him as he carefully made his way to the nearest Union soldier and gave him water and a blanket.  He made my brother soldier as comfortable as possible, before moving on to the next  man.  I didn't know the man in gray's name, but I wished like crazy to shake his hand and offer a word of thanks for what he was doing.  He went back for more water and blankets time and again.  I also prayed that by some miracle he'd look up and see where I was and could show me some of that compassion, but his eyes were fixed on those before him.  

Eventually, I passed out and when I awoke again all was quiet.  The battlefield was quiet, I vaguely recall crying out myself, hoping someone would hear and take pity on me, either with a bullet or medical aid.  Of course, no one heard and if they did my voice would've seemed to come out of thin air.  

Although I say 'no one' heard me, something else did and made me what I am now.  Eventually, I managed to fall back onto the battlefield, partly to escape a menace that still haunts my dreams.  It was night and I remember falling next to one of my fellow soldiers.  He'd been stripped of his wool uniform by some poorly dressed southerner who had been desperate to keep warm.  How do I know this?  Because of the person who mistook me lying next to my fallen comrade as a another dead body.  I saw into his mind as I sank my teeth into him and tasted blood for the first time.  

Miraculously, I did not kill him.  I was too taken aback by my own actions to finish the job.  The thirst was still with me though and it took every ounce of self-control to keep from indulging in the fluid pumping through his veins.  However, I managed to make myself let him go and slaked my thirst with the more stale blood of my fallen friends.  At least in their case, I did not have to see the terror I inspired as I took from them what my altered form demanded.

To this day, I prefer my blood to be in bags or from a willing volunteer who's mind will not hold terror or fear of me.  Instead I will see and feel the friendship that drives them to making the gesture.  I find their thoughts a great comfort on those occasions.

On this day, as I venture out onto the field where I fought I feel the pull from above and know the opening to the place I went is still there.   I do not sense presence from it though and allow myself a sigh of relief.  This is the other reason I keep coming back to this place.  I keep hoping to find the 'door' or whatever it was I passed through to be closed.  Perhaps it does and it's merely my presence that makes it open again. 


I make a sweep of the area anyway and find nothing amiss.  After a while I bend down and offer a prayer up to my fallen friends who lost their lives in this place all those years ago.  Then I stand up and head off to a particular memorial.  

It's a beautiful piece that helps renew my faith in man's ability to show compassion even in the heat of war.  There etched in the dark stone I see the name "Richard Rowland Kirkland" the man I saw bringing water and aid to my injured brethren in arms.  I quietly offer a quiet thank you to his memory and move on.  Although he never reached me to offer water or comfort, his actions that day did feed my soul with hope and a desire to be as good a man as I could be in spite of what I'd become, a vampyre with a human heart.







Saturday, March 8, 2014

Nathaniel's Blog March 19th, 201- "An Evening With Family"


Finally got back into town after several weeks of book signings. Of all the things I've done over the years, I thought becoming a writer of novels would be the least demanding.  Boy was I wrong.  Writing the books was one thing.  I made my own hours, wrote when I felt like it, etc.  That was all well and good.  No one told me about the other half of the equation.  

Finding an agent to represent me was a bit of an issue for a while, but I had time on my side and I eventually got one.  Then having them pitch and find a publisher was a bit of a wait, but nothing I couldn't handle.  Once we found one and their editors got a hold of the manuscript, then things started to change.  Seeing my oh so wonderful pages come back covered in so much red I had to run to my 'supply room' just to make sure I hadn't spilled any bags on the pages without realizing it.  

Mind you, the day I got to see my first book on the shelves at the bookstores and online, was a real thrill.  It got even better when I found out it made the NY Times Besteller list.  I was so proud.  My hard work had paid off and I could sit back and relax while planning out the next installment in the series.

That's when reality decided to come knocking at my door, and it brought it's buddy 'The Learning Curve' along with it.  

The demands for book signings and the interviews started pouring in.  It wasn't easy getting people to understand I rarely do daytime appearances, and even those I keep short and sweet.  I have to glut my cells with fresh blood in order to handle the exposure, even at a minimum.  Unfortunately, this gives me a very 'pink' complexion that people often comment on.  I usually tell them I got a bad sunburn the day before.  Actually it's partly happening right at that moment, but I can usually last a few hours so long as I'm not in direct sunlight. I learned this little trick decades ago out on the battlefield, but I also learned the downside of too much blood and the nasty side effects it could have.  It's a delicate balancing act, but I've learned how to maintain a balance.

Anyway, with the latest round of publicity for the newest installment of my 'Love Across Time' series out of the way, it felt good to come back here and spend time with my godchildren.  Or rather, this particular set of godchildren.  Lord knows I've got a number of them out there, including a few overseas.

But, Brian and his family are rather special to me.  Their ancestors were friends of my family before I joined the Union Army.  One of my best friends was David Weston.  We fought and nearly died together several times.  He became highly decorated and became my captain in time, or rather just in time.  It was shortly after his promotion that I... became what I am.  I confided in him what had happened and he helped keep my secret by assigning me to night duty and scouting missions.  


When David fell at Gettysburg, I had myself listed among the fallen and came back here in secret to break the news to his widow Madeline, who was expecting at the time.  She had braved the lines to be near him and had been sent back home after becoming pregnant.  Upon hearing the news she went into labor and I was all she had available to help her with the delivery.  Long story short, I managed to keep my own needs in check while I helped deliver the first of my many godchildren.  Although, that boy, also became my step-son, two years later.  But that's another story.

In any case, you can understand my attachment to this family, who also consider me one of their own.  Especially, Brian's children Lisa and Geoffrey.  In spite of a thirteen year difference, Lisa is very attached to her baby brother.  Who sometimes attaches himself to me with a vengeance.  Like tonight.  

He's been well-behaved, but I couldn't help noticing how he keeps watching me intently.  As if he's hoping for something, but is afraid to ask.  I can't figure out what he wants though.  I did the 'money-shake' thing with him as soon as I came in.  He loves being turned upside down and watching coins suddenly rain down around him.  I used to do it to his sister too, until she complained she was too old for that sort of thing.  Too bad.  I was going to start using dollar bills in her case.  Oh well.

Anyway, we'd just finished dinner and were sitting in the living room when Geoffrey finally comes up to me and asks, "Are your feet going woof yet?"

It takes me a moment to realize what he means.  I got into the habit of using a phrase from the 1930's to complain about being on my feet too much.  The last time I did it in front of little Geoffrey, I'd used a little of my shape-shifting ability to produce two smaller versions of my 'Black Dogs' to play with him.  Poor little guy is allergic to dogs, which is sad because he loves to play with them.  

I smile and grab a blanket from nearby.  After covering my legs with it I tell him, "As a matter of fact, my dogs are barking."  Then I look down and he follows my gaze. 

There is movement under the blanket and radiates down to where my feet would be.  A moment later, two black puppy-shaped heads peak out from beneath the blanket.  

Immediately, the boy's face lights up as they bark happily at him and pounce.  Since they're smaller than what I usually produce, I was able to give them complete bodies this time.  I let them detach from me so they can play with Geoffrey.  As the three roll around on the floor together, Lisa comes to sit next to me.  She knows I won't be able to move for a while, or at least until her brother gets tired and goes to bed, which will be in about an hour or so.  I hope.

"Would you like to come with me to The Crypt tonight?" I ask her, knowing it will be all right with her parents.  I checked with them earlier.  "It's Friday so there's no school tomorrow."

"YES!" she cries excitedly and kisses me on the cheek.  

As she takes off to get ready, I turn to Brian and his wife Mary, "Don't say I never give you any time off from your kids.  Just make sure you enjoy yourselves.  Maybe you can make me another godchild."

"No way," Mary replies archly, "I got my tubes tied after Geoffrey was born."

"Doesn't mean you can't enjoy going through the motions of making another one," I smile.

She blushes furiously, but I can tell the idea has a lot of appeal to her.  

Behind her, I see Brian grinning broadly and mouth the words 'Thank you.'

I simply nod and continue to watch Geoff and the puppies at play.  He'll be good and tired by the time they're done with him.  The boy will sleep soundly tonight.  An earthquake wouldn't be enough to wake him up.

It feels good being part of a family, every once in a while anyway.  Maybe, one day, I'll even let myself settle down and stay put.  The question is where?  

My family homestead is nearby.  I know it's just sitting there empty, waiting for me.  The problem is that there might be another who's also waiting for me, within its walls.  A person I made a promise to, that I failed to keep...




Friday, January 24, 2014

Marisa's Musings October 5th, 2006

Author's Note: today I'm introducing you all to Marisa.  She will be one of the lead characters in the actual novel and will be playing a vital role in the story.  Here we see her very first blog entry, when she is only ten years old and very happy.  

Hi Everyone and welcome to my blog.  

I'm Marisa and I'm a huge fan of ghosts, scary movies, and vampires. Especially vampires, I love watching movies about them.  Probably because of my dad.  He has got like every vampire movie made it but he hardly ever gets to watch them because Mom's not into them and he hates watching them alone.  

So about a year ago, I got the book "Dracula" for Christmas and now he and I watch the movies together every Sunday.  We just watched Christopher Lee in "Dracula Has Risen From the Grave".


He has got to be like my favorite Dracula, even though in real life he's like ancient these days.  Though I did see him in Star Wars "Attack of the Clones" and frankly, he was the best thing in that movie personally speaking.  Even being so much older now, he still has an air of power and charisma.  I kind of hope he stays around for a while, he seems pretty cool.

Though, I really can't say the movie was all that bad.  I loved all the robots and battles, those were pretty cool.  I wasn't too keen on Anakin because he seemed kind of whiny sometimes, but I could certainly understand his killing all those Sand People after what they did to his mom.  If anyone hurt either of my parent's I'd be going all Terminator on their asses.  

Um... did I mention I also love Sci-Fi movies with robots and cyborgs?  I get that from my dad too.  

Mom likes to think he was hoping for a boy to share all these things with since she's not into that stuff.  I don't know if that's true or not, but I don't care.  The guys at school like the fact that I'm into that kind of stuff.

That's all for now, my Mom's telling me to get  ready for my first Girl Scout meeting.  Up until a few months ago, I was still in Brownies.  Now I'm old enough to join the big girls.  See you all later.   


Sunday, January 12, 2014

Nathaniel's Blog January 4th, 20--

It's been two days since my last entry.  I had expected copying the letter I'd left Isabella to be hard, but not like that.  I should have known better.  Father told me in one of his letters that Isabella had kept my note on her nightstand to look at every night before she went to bed.  I had made her a promise that she had hoped I'd be able to keep, in spite of all the news that came back from the front lines.  I had always been able to keep my promises to her.  No matter what the odds were, I always found a way to fulfill them.  Which was probably why she was still clutching it in her hand that December night when... 

I'm getting ahead of myself again.  There are more letters and journal entries that must be copied and saved, but not tonight.  Something happened after I left here the other night, that I need to follow up on. 

You see, after Brian took the letter away to clean it, I left and began wandering the streets.  I don't even remember what I saw or whether or not I passed anyone as I walked.  I just had to keep moving.  At times I ran, even though there was no one chasing me.  It was foolish of course, one cannot can run from memories of guilt, pain, or loss.  Especially not when you've had a hundred and fifty years to accumulate them, and God knows how many more decades ahead to add to them.

Probably that was what my brain was telling me when I finally came to a halt.  Back when I still had a breath to catch, I'd probably have been bent over trying to do just that.  But not these days.  Instead, I simply stood there taking in my surroundings, trying to figure out where I was.  Imagine my lack of surprise when I realized I was standing in front of my old homestead.  Perhaps the old saying you can't run away from the past is more accurate than we think.


I stood there for several minutes staring up at the old manor.  Time had not been kind to it.  Probably because no one has lived in it since the 1970's, when the last of a series of relations tried inhabiting the place passed away.  After she passed on there was no one else to take over the place, so it became another forgotten edifice from a bygone era.  I could have come forward to try and claim the place, but there would be awkward questions about my lineage,  Especially since I'd had myself declared among the fallen back at Gettysburg during the Civil War.  But that's another story.

Anyway, I felt compelled to enter the old grounds.  I did not go inside the building itself, I rarely do these days.  Maybe it's seeing how time has and has not touched the interior.  Oh, the wallpaper has faded and peeled in many places.  Yet, a lot of the furnishings are still there, untouched, preserved by yellowed sheets that have accumulated layers of dust.  On the shelves sit figurines and books, untouched and forgotten.  As if waiting for someone to brush away the cobwebs and clean them off to they can be admired once again.




The portraits still hang in the gallery beneath dust cloths, their colors preserved and vibrant thanks to being spared and denied the light. Forgotten and unappreciated works of art by some of the most skilled painters of their time.

Why has no one ever gone inside and tried to steal any of the these forgotten treasures, I do not know.  Perhaps, some of the rumors of the place being haunted have a ring to truth to them?  I wouldn't put it past some of my 'nephews and nieces' to have come up with story of the place being inhabited by spirits.  They probably even played a few tricks to help reinforce the idea.  Heaven knows the number of times they've begged me to claim my old homestead and live here permanently, so I can be close to them.  Generation after generation have made this plea, and I always refuse.

Not that the idea isn't tempting.  But as I pointed out in my last entry, the longer I stay in one place, eventually tongues wag and trouble follows.  I couldn't bear the idea of the place and all the things within, being destroyed.  I know time will eventually take its final toll, which is why I helped Brian's father create the museum forty years ago.  My goal was to slowly remove the more valuable and treasured items from here and transfer them into the museum for safe-keeping.  Yet, every time I go inside the old place, I cannot bring myself to remove even a simple knick-knack.  It always feels like someone is glaring down at me with disapproval.

I did not enter the house, that night.  Instead I walked the overgrown path towards the family plot which sits a back in the trees behind the house.  There was once a little chapel as well, but that fell during the 'Night of Fire', along with my parents and our servants.  Again, another story, for another time.

The family plot is surrounded by a wrought iron fence which is only a few years old.  The original had long fell into disrepair and I'd had it replaced, with a new one that still had the old world look to it.  Oddly enough, the new gate creaked like its predecessor.  I could have had it fixed, but the sound seemed appropriate somehow.


So when I heard it groaning in the distance I new we had visitors.  Normally, it would be one of my extended family, but not at three in the morning.  Besides, I'd already caught a whiff of smoke in the air.  No, these were most likely unwelcome guests.  And as the only liv... still walking member of the household, it was up to me to greet them.

My footsteps become silent, even thought I'm walking over layers of dried leaves from autumns long past.  Not only do I make no sound, there are no imprints to mark my passing.  I'm still not sure how I manage this little trick, it just seems to happen whenever I go into stealth mode.  Even after one hundred and fifty years, there are questions I have yet to answer about my condition.

I turn the corner and see three figures entering my family's resting place.  Young would-be toughs.  I've seen countless numbers of them over the years.  The costumes may change, but the attitudes and arrogance is always the same.  I'm tempted to wait and get an idea of what kind of mischief they intend to get up to.  But I already hear the rattle of a spray paint can coming from one of their pockets, while another starts brandishing a crowbar.  The third kicks an old white stone I know so well.  It belonged to William, our butler.  It strikes me as disrespectful to see someone of African descent violating the grave of one of his own kind.

I decide to make my presence known.  "If you're not here to pay your respects, I suggest you take yourselves elsewhere and find some other form of enjoyment," I say loudly.

I won't bother repeating the profanity they shoot in my direction.  Needless to say, it was followed with threats against my person if I didn't start running.  Naturally, I did not retreat.  I merely stood my ground and repeated my request in the form of a warning this time.

The one with crowbar was the first to start walking towards me.  He was white, about sixteen, with all the swagger and arrogance of someone who'd watched way too many 'Gangsta' films.  I kind of felt sorry for him, which is probably why I didn't kick the living shit out him like I wanted.  Yes, I do curse and swear with the best of them.  However, I was also raised to be a gentleman and as such I refrain from using unnecessary violence when a simple scare can be far more effective.

He was about  twenty feet from me when I smile at him, put my hands in my pocket, and then and look down at the bottom of the jacket I'm wearing.  It goes all the way to the ground, similar to the style of coats back in my day.  It's a style I've always been partial to and have kept using throughout the years.  Though I make sure the cut and collar are always in keeping with whatever the 'modern day' trends are of the time.

In this case, my coat has what's called a Mandarin or Banded collar, which I leave unbuttoned as is the custom these days.

I glance up at him and smile.  This enrages him and he gets even more angry, which pleases me.  Anger can be your worst enemy sometimes.  While it may give you an adrenaline rush and maybe add a bit more to your punches, it can also make you careless.   He obviously has not noticed the movement taking place at my feet.

He soon does though.  The first dog head slips out from beneath my coat when he's just ten feet away and growls.  That catches his attention.

It throws him for a second and then he laughs, "Oh you got a dog, huh?  You think he's going to stop me from cracking your fucking skull open?  You a dead man, you here me?"

Then the second head emerges from the folds of cloth at my feet.  His blustering begins to waiver as the two hounds emerge.  Both are black with heads the size of  beachballs, with bodies to match.  I decide then to make their eyes glow red, a little something I picked up from the countless movies I've seen over the years.  It may seem trite, but the effect they have are always impressive.

As he takes his first few steps backwards, I can see his friends coming out of the gate looking worried.  There's just something about seeing something that looks like a Pitbull, but is the size of a Great Dane that is really off putting to people.

Tough guy yells as the first dog lunges for him.  He takes a step back and tries to hit it with the crowbar.  He connects and the dog's head splits in two.  For a moment he thinks he's won, then realizes that each half is now shaping and becoming whole.  Now he's dealing with an angry two-headed beast.

Unfortunately, I can smell the urine running down his legs as he screams like a girl and flees.  His buddies are already far ahead of him, chased by the second hound which had silently shot past Mr. Crowbar before he could blink.

Once I'm satisfied that they've had enough I retract my pets.  I've not moved an inch from where I'm standing, with good reason.  Thanks to the darkness, none of the trio noticed the long black lines stretching  from beneath my coat, across the ground and all the way to where the dogs should have hind quarters.  As the canine figures distort and stretch back beneath my coat, I sigh.  I could've easily shape-shifted into the form of a huge wolf, but that would start rumors.  And as you know I abhor those.

After my 'pets' are back in their proper place and I can feel my legs again, I enter the family plot and right the headstone.  I'm relieved to see that it hasn't broken, or even cracked.  I was worried, considering its the original stone and fragile.  Eventually, I'll have to replace it, but not yet.  Maybe in another few decades, but for now it's still quite legible and beautiful in a weathered sort of way.

I check on the other graves, none of them were harmed.  I got here just in time.  But the flowers have been trampled, plus there are a few looking rather wilted.  I know what needs to be done.  As sacrilegious as it sounds, I slowly walk over each grave.  As the tails of my coat pass over them, the flowers are looking strong and healthy once more.

Satisfied with my handiwork, I take a final look around.  There's no one near. I can even hear the trio still running, they're at least a mile and half away.  Good.

I knew they wouldn't be back, but I checked on things last night and stayed in the shadows until I sensed the dawn coming.  I intend to do the same tonight.  Brian is insisting on coming with me this time.  He wants to keep me company and go over some of the other letters I have to transcribe.  I think he's going to bring his laptop with him in case the mood to type strikes me.

If he offers to do it for me I'll decline.  Those letters and journal pages tell just a part of the story, only I can fill in the other sections.  No matter how hard or difficult I may find it at times, it needs to be done.

I can see it's almost nine now, I've been here for over an hour already and Brian is looking antsy.  He wants to read what I've typed, which I will let him do.  He's a good man, just like his father and grandfather and so on all the way back to his great-great-great grandfather, the first Brian Weston.  Or rather I should say Captain Weston, hero, and childhood friend.

I'll probably speak more of him in my next entry, since the next letters will begin mentioning my military service.

Good night.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A Brief Introduction To This Blog...

Welcome to my newest project, "The Vampyre Blogs", the precursor to my novel of the same title that will be coming out in December of this year.  It will be my first attempt at a vampire story that will take place around Christmas, hence the timing of the book's release.

The purpose of this blog is part experiment, part entertainment.  

The experiment comes in the form of introducing the audience to various characters who will be appearing in the novel, before you ever get to read the book.  I will be posting entries by the various characters on this blog, just as if they were making entries on their own blogs, or in a private diary or journal.  This format (using journals, diaries, and even letters) was used by Bram Stoker, to create his classic novel "Dracula".  So in tribute to the 'master' I am following a similar pattern but using blog and electronic journal entries for my novel.  I'm taking advantage of doing the blog you are reading to get reactions from my possible readers and get some feedback.  I am also hoping to gain more insight to the characters themselves as I write their entries on this blog, so I will be more familiar with them when I begin the actual novel.

The entertainment part of this blog involves letting you the reader get to know some of the characters in advance, aspects of their lives, personality, loves, hates, etc.  Some of them you may find irritating, others sympathetic.  While still some you might not be able to fully make your mind up just yet.  But remember, the purpose of any novel is for characters to grow and change in the course of the story itself.  

This  endeavor is a huge step for me and I hope, you will find the entries both informative and entertaining.  Please note, that NONE of these entries will appear in the book itself.  It wouldn't be fair to let you all read these posts and then turn around and ask you to pay for having them put together into book form.  I prefer to give these as a gift to my readers so you can know a bit more about who you will be meeting and learning more about their motivations and histories.  Some of this same material may get touched on in the novel itself for those totally new to the storyline, but you will have a more in depth insight into things by following this blog.

For now I will leave you with this final note: the next entry will be posted by Mr. Nathaniel Steward, born January 1st, 1845 in what would later become West Virginia during the American Civil War.