Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Writing Exercise

Write about your Christmas experience.  It could be the adventure of shopping for the perfect gift or the wonder in a child's eyes when they see that amazing gift.  Make sure to include all the sights and sounds and sweet and savory smells.  You can also focus on creating a story about a stuffed animal.  There are already many stuffed animals stories that are famous, such as; Winnie the Pooh and The Velveteen Rabbit.  Remember focus on one aspect and make it rich with details and interactions.   

Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays, everyone!

Susan Hanniford Crowley

Monday, August 05, 2013

Wicked Readings by Tawania Contest and Interview

I'm at Wicked Readings by Tawania (today) Monday,

Aug. 5th. Vampire King of New York Max Vander Meer is being interviewed and there will also be a contest. Be sure to join us.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Excerpt from the Vampire King of New York & A Party Announcment

Hi Everyone,
Here's an excerpt from the Vampire King of New York!
Maximillion Vander Meer stood in the jagged mouth of the ice cave with a wolf skin girding his loins
and fur boots on his feet. A frigid breeze breathed its welcome over his bare chest, arms and legs.

He smiled and closed his eyes to step back into the Viking past he loved, where he was free. He threw back his head and howled in exuberant abandonment. Then he ripped off the wolf skin and kicked off his boots. Max ran to the shadowed alcove he knew so well. A flicker of the past sparked in his brain and Vikings filled the cave, their voices rich in the chant of a ritual forgotten in the modern age, invoking the protection and wisdom of Odin, Thor, and Freya. Then he blinked and they were gone. Their voices silenced by time.

Every time he entered this sacred place hollowed out by his ancestors, their presence worked magic and distracted his weary heart from the curse inhabiting his body. This power brought him back to the Viking warrior deep within him, as only here could he reconnect with his lost humanity. Every passing moment the curse pulled him further from whom and what he’d once been. That was the danger in being a vampire. It wasn’t the chill of his body, but the distance that crept into his heart. He was on the edge of forgetting how the laughter of his son warmed him to his toes. The memory of Svenna’s delicious heat as her soft skin lay against his flesh igniting the fire between them, slipped through his fingers like water. Inhaling the fragrance of flowers in her hair had made him feel powerful. Even the excitement of the next adventure filled with salt spray and swords clashing faded away. His heart no longer raced.

The dire flaw in immortality was the sameness. Centuries of monotony blurred into others. Few ancient ones survived the deadly soul-numbing tedium of every day being the same. Closing on a thousand years, too many chose to lie in the sun and burn in agony over the course of two days until they crisped away in the wind. When the true burning began, night, the blessed night, offered no reprieve. The recent “chosen” death of his friend Coelhus was etched in his memory, making Max’s need more urgent than it had ever been. Coelhus had given up. After centuries of dreaming of a woman named Celeste, he ceased to believe she could be real. Coelhus could no longer bear the loneliness and the endless searching. Consumed by his dashed dreams, he gave his body to the sun. Max stayed with him in his last moments, and while he couldn’t deter his friend, he resolved not to end in ashes himself.

Time had robbed him of love, but today, in this moment, Max meant to get it back. Right now! Only this sanctuary of ice and stone seemed real to him; the human world faded into insignificance. Even the responsibility he owed his own kind lost its meaning. He had come to make a last sacrifice. If it didn’t work, he didn’t know what he would do next. His belief, however antiquated when viewed by others, never failed him.

He had nothing to lose, and everything to gain. Since the death of his wife many centuries before, nothing more could happen to his empty heart. The feeling of being human haunted him from time to time like an elusive fragrance or taste. Memories were a different matter. The curse, as he called it, made every memory eternal, the pain as raw and consuming as the day he’d lost her.

Squeezing the ancient dagger in his fist, Max stepped up to the frozen altar. The three carved stone figures stared blankly at him. Time, and a growing sophistication, taught him that they were nothing but stone, still the part of him that was Viking would always believe. Holding fast to that reverence of a bygone age, he stood before them.

“I do not call on you, Odin, Father to all, but I respect your wisdom.” He bowed. “I do not call on you, Thor, the strength of every warrior, but I respect your power.” He bowed again. “I call on Freya’s mercy to regain my house, to find the only woman who can heal my heart.” Kneeling with his gaze fixed to the ground, he then rose to stand over the frozen altar. Before the feminine carved figure, he sliced his forearm and let the blood drip onto the icy surface. “In the name of Freya, let me be worthy. Lead me to love. Help me find it or lock me in the ice forever. I can no longer bear the torment of life without true love.”

Vampire King of New York is currently only available at Amazon Kindle at (Shortened link) (Actual long link)

Now for the party announcement:
I will be participating in the multi-author party at The Romance Studio on Thursday, June 27, 2013.  It's an all day party and yes I will be giving away an ebook of Vampire King of New York.  Not sure what format yet.  How do you find this party?  I will be publishing the link on Facebook and Twitter as soon as I get it.

Friday, March 01, 2013

A Tribute to My Friend The Wombat also known as jan howard finder

jan in the red shift -red corvette

There's Wombat in his red corvette. It's a borrowed picture from one of his friends on Facebook. I've been looking for my photo of him from the Worldcon (World Science Fiction Convention) several years back in Glasgow, Scotland. It's hard to find the definitive Wombat photo. If you don't know me on Facebook, then you don't know that jan (he preferred the lowercase) died on Tuesday. Today would have been his birthday!

Happy Birthday, Wombat!

Ever have a feeling that you should do something? I don't usually check my personal email during the day. This feeling came over me and I went on my iphone and saw a notice from the science fiction organization up in Albany, NY. The subject line said, "jan finder RIP". I didn't want to open it but had to. This took me back to when I found out that my editor Marion Zimmer Bradley had died--the subject line of an email. I sat down and then began a day of inner silence and sadness and later a lot of crying.

Wombat had been one of the first people I met at a con. He kissed my hand and said, "You must be 'Ladyknight'." My fantasy novella 'Ladyknight' had come out that year in the anthology Spells of Wonder edited by Marion. He introduced me to people and there began years of adventures, meetings at cons, phone calls and emails.

Seeing him at cons was always a highlight whether it was a chat in the dealer's room or going to a meal or just hanging out. At one con, he asked me to come outside to see his new car--the red corvette. One day we were talking on the phone. He was saying that he'd been ill and wondered if I would mind driving with him to Arisia (convention) in Boston. I drove three hours to his house and then we traveled three more to Boston. He was concerned that if he became ill, he would not have been able to drive back. I didn't end up driving the corvette, but it made me feel better that he knew that I would if necessary.

Wombat would encourage me when I was low, and most authors may not admit there are low times in the wild world of writing and publishing. He called me up one time because he was going to be an extra in a movie and had gotten permission from the director for me to be on the set. It was an independent film called "Scenes in the Mind" and was about the Holocaust. He stayed over at my house and got along great with my husband; the both of them clearly being hobbits. He left the next day after his part of the film was done. I wrote about the experience of being on set on my other blog--The Writing House Look closely at the last photo and you'll see jan.

Wombat was an editor, a writer, a masquerade judge, and honored Fan at many conventions. He was a Tolkien devotee and chaired the Middle Earth Con. He did a special Middle Earth Tour of New Zealand. He was immensely talented and enjoyed and did so many things. Wombat was also a world famous flirt, gave talks on the art of flirting (which is not hitting on someone) and even came here and humorously shared his expertise and experiences with Nights of Passion

At another convention, he took me aside and told me he met a wonderful woman. That was his dear Lin. I'm sending love and hugs her way.

There's a billion things I could say about jan but it wouldn't be enough. So I'm saying this.

Dear Wombat,
Thank you for everything, the fun and the friendship. On Wednesday night I watched the "Return of the King", and as Frodo went on the elven ship to go West, I imagined that you did too. I always cry at the ending, but on Wednesday night I cried for another reason. You were gone from the world of men. Someday it will be my time. I know there are still some elves left in the world, so there's bound to be another elven ship.

Next time I see you there will be "white shores and beyond them a far green country under a swift sunrise."

Until then...

May the star shine brightly on the traveling hobbit!
Wombat with Wombat
Wombat and Wombat

Susan Hanniford Crowley
P.S. Friends of jan's, please, feel free to post your remembrances. Thanks.