November, 2017

2017 is winding down…

November marks the time I officially start prepping for the end of the year.

Many of these preparations are fun- Thanksgiving, Christmas trees, hot chocolate and family time. Others are a little more tedious: year-end bookkeeping comes to mind.

The gray weather and shortening days give me an urge to reflect, and start making plans for the year ahead. There’s something powerful about owning the things that have happened in the year gone by: things I’ve accomplished, things I would like to have accomplished, but didn’t, things that happened to me that were beyond my control.

All of those things are mine. They are part of my path. And they all factor into my planning for the coming year.

Expect more “reflection” posts in the coming weeks. Right now, I’m off to hunker down with some hot chocolate and my favorite journal.

While I’m gone, here’s what I got up to last month…

Current Word Count


Song Of The Moment

My Least Favorite Life – Lera Lynn

This is my least favorite life
The one where you fly and I don’t
A kiss holds a million deceits
And a lifetime goes up in smoke
This is my least favorite you
Who floats far above earth and stone
The nights that I twist on the rack
Is the time that I feel most at home

We’re wandering in the shade
And the rustle of fallen leaves
A bird on the edge of a blade
Lost now forever, my love, in a sweet memory

The station pulls away from the train
The blue pulls away from the sky
The whisper of two broken wings
Maybe they’re yours, maybe they’re mine
This is my least favorite life
The one where I am out of my mind
The one where you are just out of reach
The one where I stay and you fly

I’m wandering in the shade
And the rustle of fallen leaves
A bird on the edge of the blade
Lost now forever, my love, in a sweet memory

Written by: Lera Lynn, Rosanne Cash, T. Bone Burnett
Album: True Detective (Music From The HBO Series), 2015

Recent Research

I spent November brushing up on my monsterology, namely using this book:

  • The Chinese Dragon, by L. Newton Hayes

It’s a reprint of a 1922 treatise on the role of the dragon in Chinese culture. Super awesome!

Pleasure-Reading Recommendations

Between Thanksgiving and writing, I unfortunately didn’t have much time for pleasure reading last month. Hopefully this December, I’ll have a few spare moments to sit down with a good book and some hot chocolate…

WIP Excerpt

“So this Xiao Xiaolong is a…ah…”

Cyrus took the paper back.  “A lóng?  Yes.”

“A lóng.”  MacMillian reminded himself to keep breathing.  “You mean a dragon.”

“Dragons go by lots of different names.”  Cyrus stuffed the paper back into his pocket, and opened his door.  He spoke over his shoulder as he climbed out.  “They’re as diverse a group as any other species.”

MacMillian huffed out a breath, grabbed his cane and pushed himself out of the car.  He met Cyrus’ eyes again over the roof.  “Shouldn’t we have some sort of protection?  Guns?  Spears?”  He paused.  “A fire extinguisher?”

Cyrus snorted.  “Easy, Saint George.  A lóng isn’t the same as a drake.  Drakes are creatures of fire.  They’re native to Western Europe and tend to be cranky; probably why they’re always getting into fights with overenthusiastic knights.”  He started around the back of the car.  “The lóng are native to the Asian peninsula.  They’re creatures of water.  Much more even-tempered.”

MacMillian nodded slowly.  Some of the tension leaked from his muscles.  “So we’re safe.”

Cyrus smirked.  “I didn’t say that.”

He reached down and popped open the trunk.  Against his better judgement, MacMillian joined him, and peered inside.  It was empty.  Cyrus felt around inside, and tugged on a small lever nearly invisible against the wall.  Something clicked.  The floor of the trunk folded back.  MacMillian’s mouth went dry.

Weapons, more than he had ever seen in one place before.  There was a crossbow, daggers of every size and shape, several handguns, a shotgun.  His eye fell to one piece in particular.  “Is that a…”

“Longsword?  Yes.”  Cyrus reached into the trunk and gingerly pulled out a sleek black revolver.  He checked the clip, then pulled aside his jacket and slipped it into a shoulder holster.  He flipped the jacket back into place.  His arm settled neatly at his side.

MacMillian blinked.  He prided himself on his ability to tell when someone was carrying a weapon, but the gun didn’t leave so much as a bump underneath Cyrus’ thick leather jacket.  Nothing from his posture suggested he was armed.  He tilted his chin towards the effectively-invisible holster.  “You have practice carrying one of those.”

Cyrus didn’t look at him.  “Some.”  He reached into the trunk and gave the lever another quick tug.  The floor slid back into place.  Cyrus reached up, and slammed the trunk shut.  He locked the car, and set off towards the pier without another word.

MacMillian watched him go.  Ma Bob’s voice echoed in his head.

This is a dangerous life, Mr. MacMillian.

Be sure you know what you’re getting into.

The more time he spent around Cyrus, the more he realized he didn’t know much of anything at all.


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Published by L.J.K. Oliva

L.J.K. Oliva writes urban fantasy and paranormal romance, with a heavy dash of suspense. She likes her whiskey strong, her chocolate dark, and her steak bloody. Most of all, L.J.K. likes monsters... and knows the darkest ones don't live in closets.

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