camp Update and a new chapter of the voice in the forest!

April, er, showers?

Hi Everybody!

Most of us know the old saying, April showers bring May flowers, but… what the heck does this weather in April bring?

So many places are experiencing out of season snow, winds, thundershowers, and here we have more cold than is usual. So, what does this portend?

Don’t tell me it’s the return of Murder hornets.

Wait. It’s aliens isn’t it?


This apocalyptic hangover from 2020 is going to leave me a very odd old person. I can just see it coming.

I hope all of you have had better luck with the weather in your area.

Camp Update

I am, as of this morning, 47,265 words towards my 50k goal for the month. Woohoo!

Through writing this particular story, I have also made some serious discoveries about my stories.

So, what I have found is that I NEED to write stabby. We’ll skip what that says about me, but let me explain what I mean.

Cinder, in the Cinders in Midnight Glass series which has book 4 coming out on May 31st, is a very stabby main character.

In her case, because she is an assassin, this is literal. She is skilled at dealing out death and she likes it.

For one of my as yet unpublished books, the main character never raises a hand to anyone but has a very stabby attitude.

Both of these characters are easy for me to write. Even the softer side characters around them are easy for me to write from their perspectives.

The challenge, for me, is when the main character isn’t very stabby. I have found that in those cases, it is just more difficult for me to write the story. It may take me hours to get the same number of words the other books take me one hour to accomplish.

So, what am I to do with this information?

Well, I think it is pretty obvious that I’m going to lean into this. Most of the books I have planned (of the over ninety… I know) are already books with main characters that have some stabby capacity to them when they come to my mind.

But, from now on, I will lean further into that for the stories I have yet to write that currently don’t have that capacity in their main characters.

This may come in the form of sarcasm, biting thoughts, strong and loud opinions, or even a literal sword.

I, personally, really like the sword.

Now, onto our hot mess first draft story!

Remember, this story is one unedited, unrevised chapter at a time here in the newsletter and all the past chapters can be found on the blog on my website.

Once it’s all done, I’ll revise, edit, and make it a whole book available for you.

Speaking of that, I have a surprise coming this year just for those of you on the newsletter that I’m excited about, so news on that soon!

the voice in the forest

Chapter 38

Out in my little courtyard, Henry lowered me onto the edge of one of the planters, his head swiveling from side to side as he frantically looked around.

“Are you sure you’ll be okay here?” He asked, again.

“Yes. I’m okay. Now that I’m sitting, I’m fine.” Which was only partially true. If I didn’t have Montgomery there with me, I wouldn’t be so sure. That walk to get out here took a lot out of me, and my muscles felt empty.

But Montgomery wrapped an arm around my back and kept my hand in his, allowing me to lean on him and breathe with my eyes squeezed shut.

“Good. But I’ll only be gone a second. Then I’ll be right back,” Henry said, patting my hand with a look on his face like he wasn’t sure what to do, and he darted off around the side of the house in search for a real chair for me.

“Just tell me if you start to fall over,” Montgomery whispered, giving me a barely there kiss on my temple.

“I’m okay.” The corners of my mouth turned up, and I thought for the first time since I got out of the ward that talking to myself while I was alone out here probably didn’t look too odd. Chances were, if my mother, Jemeson, or anyone else saw me telling myself I was fine right now they would think it was just the kind of self pep talk someone in my position needed to get up and around.

Noises came from behind me in the direction of the lake, the sounds of the wind in the trees, stronger up high than it was running along the ground and brushing along my cheek.But there were more noises underneath that I couldn’t make sense out of. I wanted to see. I wanted to know what was happening out there.

Something was going on, and Henry said he stopped all the work on the house.

Maybe it was tree trimming.

Although, the wind up high whipped the trees back and forth on the other side of the yard and I couldn’t imagine people would be stupid enough to climb high into a tree with that kind of wind going on.

What did I know? I wasn’t a tree expert, or anything close to it, so maybe I was just assuming things based on my own fear that didn’t actually matter.

“I should spend a few minutes while I can’t do much else deciding what I’m going to do,” I whispered, talking to myself more than to Montgomery, and not feeling too bad about it for now.

“Deciding what you’re going to do about what?” Montgomery said, tucking a piece of my hair behind my ear.

“School, work, not much has been part of my life planning besides survival, but I need to do something.” Although even thinking about it, thinking about trying to go be in the world now that I knew the things I saw were real and that still everyone around me wouldn’t believe me and I might end up back in the psych ward sent a chill running through my still spent muscles.

“You need to get better before you think about doing any of that.” He squeezed my hand his brow furrowed in concern.

“Get better,” I muttered under my breath.There it was. No matter how much I knew he didn’t think I was crazy the way my mother did, Trenton, all of them did, it was still the words they said to me so many times.

But there was nothing to get better. Not anymore. Not in the way they meant for so many years.

Now, I needed to find a way to have a life, to have some balance, especially as I looked into Montgomery’s eyes and knew, no matter how I felt about him, I was supposed to let him go.

He deserved to move on like most people did. He deserved better than being stuck in a half life tethered to me, the one person who could see him, for as long as I lived.

Going back and forth on how, why, and if I would help him move on like I knew I should was going to be as exhausting as my walk down here. And I couldn’t see my way through to the other side of that decision, to certainty.

I opened my mouth, to say what, I wasn’t sure, but Henry came bounding around the corner with a chaise deck lounge awkward in his arms.

“Arabella, I found you one that should be the most comfortable. It’s the one your mother insisted she have for when she came to sit outside.” Henry grinned as he juggled the chair, almost dropping it.Of course my mother wanted an ornate looking lounger just to deign to go outside.

While Henry tried to position the chair and the cushions on the less than perfectly flat courtyard, I couldn’t help smiling and shaking my head a little bit. The movement sent a jolt through my brain, but it was gone fast.

Part of me wanted to just sit here on the little wall of the planter area. And part of me worried that my mother wouldn’t appreciate my need of borrowing her stupid chair.

But the rest of me looked forward to resting on it.

“Henry,” I said, and he looked up at me, brows lifted in silent question, “I’m sorry to ask you more, but do you mind pointing the chair so I can see the woods around the lake?”

“Oh, of course.” He smiled at me and picked up the chair, moving it again and resettling the cushions.

Finally, he must have been sure it was the way he wanted it to be, because he finished fussing and came to get me from my perch.

With Henry on one side, and Montgomery on the other again, they took me to the chaise and helped me lay out on it.

Henry pulled a blanket out from behind one of the cushions supporting my back and draped it across my lap.

I grabbed his hand and looked into his eyes as I leaned back, giving Henry a smile.

“Thank you, Henry. I needed to get outside.”

Eyes softening, his mouth quirked up at one corner and I had to admit, he had a nice face.

Maybe when I first met him I didn’t trust him, but he had been so helpful since I fell, and even before that, now I felt bad I ever doubted.

“You’re welcome,” he said, pulling my hand up to kiss the back of it and all the air left my body.

Next to me, Montgomery went still, his body becoming less solid, less visible, the courtyard showing through him.

Pulling my hand back to rest in my lap, I nodded, no longer able to keep smiling.

“Here,” Henry pulled a little black box with a button on it from his pocket and placed it in my lap. “If you need anything, press this. You are never all alone and we’re all here to help you.”

I nodded again, hoping the twitching of my mouth managed to look like a smile as I deliberately broke eye contact and stared out at the woods.

Another soft look, and Henry left, Montgomery’s ghost body turning more solid again, and my breath finally easy again.

But even as I could breathe, and hold Montgomery’s solid hand, my eyes narrowed on the sight in the woods.

“What the hell?” I asked, a chill running through me that I didn’t entirely understand.

Ta da!

What do you think? What’s going on in the woods?

Next week we’ll have another chapter of our story and more news.

As always,Happy Reading!

— Everly

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