Novel Excerpt #1

 

Copy of Who Is Melody T. -

As many of you know from previous posts, I have written a novel and a novella. Currently, I am in the process of trying to do self-editing on my novel and eventually publish these works.

The below is an excerpt taken from a Chapter 5 of this novel. Please read and comment below!

Taken from Chapter 5 of “untitled” Novel…

It was humid out. I thought about taking my little chair and sitting outside on the front walkway in front our suite, but not today. I decided it was best to stay in my room and try to get some more reading done for my Government 101 class before heading over for dinner. But the stories I had already made up in my head kept playing over and over. After reading for about 5 pages about Government and it’s history in America, I put down the book and got on my computer.

Maybe Xavier would be online on Instant Messenger and I could chat with him.  I knew anytime he turned on his computer it automatically signed him in to his account, but sometimes he didn’t turn his computer off and it just looked like he was online. I logged on and didn’t see that yellow happy face next to his name.

“Where the heck is he?!”

I was beginning to get that sick feeling in my stomach. The same one like when we had broken up before. Maybe it was all the excitement of the first day, maybe it was that I had to eat dinner soon because I was starving. I knew something wasn’t right and wanted to know why. I needed an explanation. He was not going to play me to the left again THIS time.

I tried not to think about it. Shoving all the negative thoughts to the back of my head. I, Melody Thomas was most certainly was not going to chase him. But forcing myself not to dial that number for me was like taking a deep breath and seeing how long you could your head under water. 

We had just started back dating four months ago and now this again. I was starting to feeling like a Yo-Yo. A toy. I most certainly didn’t like being toyed with. Being played with emotionally was the worst feeling.

“Damn!,” I said out loud.

It was too early in the school year to be havin’ drama already. I had to figure this thing out.

It was time to play Shirlock Homegirl!

As I dialed Kianna’s number, I shook my head.

“I don’t have time for this.”

If anyone had experience with guys and the games that they played it was Kianna.

“Hey what’s up,” Kianna replied on the other end.

“Hey girl”

“You haven’t seen Xavier today, have you?”

“Naw, but I saw his friend Mark earlier,” Kianna replied laughing.

“Dang you know Mark already?,” I chimed.

“Oh my goodness, everyone or excuse me every female know’s that fool by now. He was in one of my classes for orientation and was trying to holla at my roommate.”

I rolled my eyes. “He is always trying to spit game to some chick. He’s so full of it,” Natasha echoed.

“I know……I haven’t seen or heard from Xavier all day and I told you how he’s been playing me to the left. I don’t know if he’s trying to make me mad so I’ll dump him first or he’s about to dump me. I just wish he’d just do it instead of stringing me along again.”

“I don’t know what’s going on with him. He seems so sweet,” Kianna replied.

“Let’s go to dinner though, it’s about that time and I’m starving.” I looked at my clock and it read 5:30pm on the dot.

“Yeah, I’ll meet you over in the Student Union in about 5 mins,”I said. I hung up, still frustrated.

I guessed I was caring about Xavier too much. I was feeling distracted, unfocused and off my game. That wasn’t like me. I had to do something fast. But what? I didn’t want to let a relationship ruin my joy. My mother’s word echoed in her head about if I didn’t do good my first year.

“Girl, you are there for one reason and if you don’t do good your butt will be back home next year.”

Xavier knew how I was with my studies, he knew me. Sometimes lately though, it seemed it didn’t matter. After dinner and talking with Kianna, I still felt like I needed to clear my head a bit more. I came back to my room said, “Hey” to Elle who was watching yet another re-run on TV Land. I grabbed my green folding chair and walked back out the room.

As I proceeded to unfold my chair to sit on the walk way outside our suite door, I knew I was taking watch. Watching for him, Xavier Michael. I would see which direction he was coming from and certainly he had to come walking through the courtyard to get to B Hall, in which everyone had already name “Watts” or “Compton”. They said it’s where they had stuck all the kids from the ‘hood.

It had seemed that they had purposely stuck all of the kids from the inner city schools in one dorm. It had already been one fight over there in the courtyard between two girls during orientation. What the fight was over, I never really found out.

The dorms looked like three square shaped U’s. Some say they looked like the projects. They all had ugly beige colored thick metal doors with the Suite number stamped on the front in black letters.

However to get to B Hall from campus where all of the classroom buildings are you had to walk through a passage way and down a long side walk that split off into three pathways like a “Y”. So there was no getting past my dorm unless he took the long way around, which no one did unless coming from the dorm parking lot.

As I sat outside “observing”, “watching”,“waiting” I saw Anthony coming out of his room down the way. I hadn’t noticed, but he must have stayed just around the way from me three doors down.

As he passed he nodded his head and spoke a quick, “What’s up?” I stared and managed to whisper,“Hey” as he walked by. I looked, surprised that he even spoke to me.

Just then I felt my heart drop then flutter. Anthony was cute.

“I have a boyfriend, right?”, I whispered to myself.  And He’s Xavier’s friend.

My eyes followed Anthony as he passed me and jogged down the loud clanking metal staircase. I waited for a minute to see if he was going to visit someone downstairs, on the first floor were a bunch of girls rooms were too. Sure enough he appeared in front of the door to the farthest suite room downstairs at the end, 112. The door opened by itself and shut and my eyes scanned back onto the courtyard pathway.  

I heard two all too familiar laughs coming my direction and to my surprise there was Xavier and Mark walking toward B Hall laughing loud, slapping each others shoulders. My eyes eagerly followed them and I saw them go upstairs to the second floor in their building to the room just above them.

My heart started beating rapidly, as I forced myself to take a deep breath. I got up and moved further down the railing to see where they were going. I almost passed out trying to hold my breath and not say one of their names as they had passed by. I wanted to see where they were going and I got my answer. I thought I wanted to see if he was lying. But I didn’t brace myself for the way I would be feeling. My head was racing. I ran back inside to my room and grabbed my room phone to call Kianna.

What should I do, what should I do?

All I knew was to call anyone of my friends who would listen to me vent at that point.

She didn’t even wait for the phone to stop ringing, but I knew she would answer.

“Kianna, girl I got something to tell ya! I just saw Mark & Xavier go into the room above theirs and I know it’s an all girl’s room!”

“Oooooooh, I am soooo mad right now I’m shaking.” I whined.

“Breathe, girl, just breathe,” Kianna replied.

“Do you want me to go up there with you,” Kianna asked gently

I wasn’t sure Kianna had my back like that yet, but I  knew if she came with me it might be a fight. Kianna had been in several fights in Middle School and High School, but I didn’t want trouble like that. I just wanted to find out who she was.

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My Editing Process for My Upcoming Novel

My Editing Process for My Upcoming Novel

On NicoleAliciaWrites.com, I’ll be walking you through the process of where I am on the road to getting my first novel published as an indie author or self-published author. I think it’s important to share your journey because you never know who you may help!

My goal is to have this Novel of mine published sometime this Fall.

After letting this manuscript sit since July 2015, I am just now doing the second read through to do line editing. I am in the process of going through and correcting all grammatical errors, words with missing letters and most importantly dialogue structure.

I know some people who do self-editing in stages for the entire manuscript all at one time. That just seems like a lot!

I have decided to do mine in steps!

More like itty, bitty baby steps compared to most of you guys!

I am doing two chapters at a time and that is all. I know some of you are saying that will take FOREVER. But it’s actually going quite well so far. Although, I am only on my second week of editing starting today I am on Chapter 3, which is about page 25 out of 230 pages. I know that sounds like I’m far away from finishing, I have hope!

At first, I was quite nervous going through and actually reading my writing in black and white when I had only been used to seeing it on a computer screen. I was surprised to learn that it is quite different to print your writing on paper and read it, but it’s been cool. I’ve actually enjoyed marking up the paper like an out of control English teacher (except, I refuse to use RED ink I’m using purple…one of my favorite colors)!

I know the words, “writer” and “perfectionist” might now be seen together very often, but this is an adequate description of me.

Before I even started writing a novel and before I started editing, I researched everywhere how to do this. Let me tell you there are 1 million posts and articles on how to do proper editing and writing. Most will scare you off before you even begin!

I had to remember that everyone starts differently and there’s more than one way to get something done!

So, I’ve decided just to jump in!

Even though editing is going well so far, my goodness I’ll be honest this first draft is a disaster and I’ve wanted to just quit more than once already. But as a writer I know that nothing is going to be perfect on the first shot.

So, I’m going to hang in there!

Next post…

I’ll share an excerpt from my upcoming novel!

Talk to you guys later!

-Nicole Alicia

Jumping On The Road To Being Published

Jumping On The Road To Publishing

It’s two years later after finishing the first draft of my first Novel. I am seriously pursuing publishing my first Novel. I have gone through a lot of different changes since I last edited it and thought about publishing it.

First, I got laid off from my corporate job, we lost a child and I started a handmade & vintage business. Initially, I started to put this book out under a “pen name” and even started a blog to promote my fiction writing under the name Daysha Devine, but I then I thought about it and I changed back to my original writer name Nicole Alicia (I’ll do a post about pen names later). Writing has always been my passion, but things such as depression and just life straight through me off track from my main mission. Now I’m back pursing being published as an indie author seriously.

I first started this blog when I was freelance writing, but now it will serve a different purpose which is to serve as a writer’s platform.

I have a finished Novel of about 250 some odd pages and a Novella of about 70 plus pages. The Novella I will be publishing in 2018. I don’t have a definite date for the Novel right now, but I would like to pursue publishing it in Fall of 2017 I’m aiming for about October. As many of you know the road to being published can be quite bumpy especially if it’s your first time.

I’m totally excited about sharing here on this blog and going more in-depth about my works.

-Nicole Alicia

A Letter to Myself at 17: Summer Before College May 2002

A Letter to Myself at 17- Summer Before College May 2002It’s graduation season again! Kids are graduating High School preparing for College or the Military. Some are graduating College and are about to step into “The Real World” and maybe get a real job for the first time in life. These times make me reminisce back on those days.

Dear Nicole,

Life isn’t what you think it is going to be. There will be some up and downs, but you’ll be alright in the end. That really cute guy you’re with, isn’t who you think he is. He’s going to break you’re heart into a million pieces and you will be devastated, for a long time but you will get over it. There’s this really great guy that you’ve known for along time…well I’ll let you find out for yourself. He comes in the picture a little later after you graduate from College.

Anyways, don’t go to College just to get a job and make a lot of money. You will be miserable! Really soak up the knowledge and the experience. Pursue what you want to be, not what you think everyone else wants you to be.

Try to tune out all the foolishness and the distractions. Stay focused! Relationships are important, but now is not the time to be in anything serious. Oh yeah, drinking is okay, but just try not to over do it.

You are a smart girl! Stay away from stuff you know you shouldn’t be getting into. Remember you are Gods child and you’re not alone. Your best friends in high school will take two different paths than you and that’s OK, but you guys will grow apart, but you will find new friends eventually.

This is a good time in life. You’ll never be 17 again! Be nice to your roommates and forgive them every once in awhile. Except for the crazy one that will pee on the floor next to your bed when she drunk out of her mind.

Sincerely,

Yourself

 

Getting Back To It #Writing

Getting Back To It #Writing

I’ve been struggling.

I have two scripts sitting on my computer that I haven’t handed over to an editor. Not out of fear or anything but well actually one I am almost finished self-editing and the other is a novel I finished nearly 2 summers ago editing that I need to hand over to an actual editor. There I said it!

I’ve done what I didn’t think I’d ever do and that is put my writing career on the back burner…yet again.

I used to write nearly everyday before I became a parent (I can’t blame this on my son but I will for now). I started back up shortly after he was born just journaling here and there and then when he was about a year and half got the great idea to write a novella.

Once again I totally lost direction and my husband and I’s lives when I became pregnant almost a year ago and then devastatingly lost our son inutero. I’ve been a slow path to coming out of a really low point of grief and regaining  my footing in life.

Most recently while being a stay at home mom to our 3 year old son, I wanted to continue to pursue my hobby of selling antiques and vintage items. I also love making things and decided to slam one of my other passions together writing, music and making stuff and started making these little handmade notebooks/journals and selling them on Etsy in my store Dear Alice Company.

I admit I had become a bit obsessed with selling on Ebay and Etsy. For awhile it seemed like I was making a few couple of sales every other day. I loved it! It kept me motivated! Between making things for my shop and shopping for items for my stores I had become really busy, very fast.

Now I’m working my way back around to writing every single day like before. It’s a struggle from what I have to do with my other tasks, but I am sure I can do. Heck I have to be able to do it! Seems like if I don’t write, seriously I become a miserable person. Writing is my therapy and more. Also if I don’t get these stories out that are floating around in my head…well let’s just say I irritate myself!

It’s a struggle. Hey someone has to do it, right?

5 Reasons I Loved Netflix Original Series Dear White People

 

5 Reasons I Loved Netflix Original Series Dear White People (1)

I watched the original movie, Dear White People like 10 times when it first came out. It’s still one of my favorites. A movie centering around a student ran radio show that address the dislikes of other white students by a mixed race activist on campus, what an interesting view.

But there are more than a few reasons that I liked the movie and this new series on Netflix but here’s 5 Reasons I Loved Netflix Original Series Dear White People:

Logan Larice Browning is gorgeous! I was sad when the actress from the movie Tessa Thomson wasn’t playing the part of Sam on the series, but I think Ms. Browning did a great job as well! Plus I think she’s drop dead gorgeous!

The individual character focus. During the DWP series, each characters story was told further in depth. Much like the movie, but told in 10 chapters instead for the series. I love to hear the back story of characters even when I’m read a novel it helps to understand where the characters are coming from. We knew that Coco was a complete witch with a capital “B” but why was she this way? I love that they explained it from her point of view.

The out front relatable, healthy dialogue about race relations in this country. Many times things are just hit on or touched on but in no way did they take that approach. The hit on the whole police officers killing young black men and even the incident where Reggie gets a gun pulled on him by campus police. Talk about relevant!

Things that really happen on predominately white College campuses to black students. Just from experience, I did attend a predominately white University. Some of the things that went on while I was there was just that the white kids weren’t purposely ignorant, they just simply didn’t know because they had not been around kids of any other race. Much different from some of the characters on the movie, I didn’t experience any but a certain roommate who clearly had a problem with me because I was black.

Oh, the drama of College life. The protests, the love triangles, experimentation, secret rendezvous’s, where do I fit in and campus scandal. I loved it all! I liked how the writers addressed the struggles of many black student’s but also portrayed the positives like the nightly meeting to watch “Defamation” a spoof of the ABC series “Scandal”. Also, the inside cook-out where they had my favorite  Shasta Grape Soda!

What a excellent series! I hope they make a Season 2.

What were you’re thoughts?

Don’t Wait For The Perfect Writing Conditions

DayshaDevine.com (1)

 

Writing has always been my thing.

Often times words come easily, naturally. When I’m really passionate about a subject it can take me less than 3 minutes to compose a paragraph.

I love it! I have written stories, articles and have kept a journal or diary of some sort consistently since childhood.

I can’t get enough of writing. As of lately though, I noticed I had been waiting for what I call the my perfect writing conditions to write or blog. With a 3 year old however, that is happening less and less these days.

Ideally for most writers, a quiet or mellow environment with little distractions is needed. And this is same for me, sometime. I used to not be able to work in a cafe or around a lot of people or noise. Now, I can tune out noise with no problem (the skills of motherhood…maybe).

Seems like the harder I fight for the perfect writing conditions, the harder they are to come by. Many writers who are parents, choose to write either early in the morning or late at night when there house is still. This was working for awhile but for some reason not so much lately. So through out the day when my child is really engaged in playing or napping is where I have been able to squeeze in work and (an occasional trip to my favorite cafe maybe once a week when the hubby can be home).

So what do I need to get into my writing mode?  (everyone lean in close for my secret…)

It pretty simple most days. A good beverage (smoothie, coffee or hot cocoa), a good playlist on Spotify and a clear mind.

Is this what I need to get in touch with the my creative mind/heart…Sometimes.

As of lately though, I just have to do it. Sometimes it’s good just to jump in it. Much like a weather occurrence like rain, a hurricane or a tornado you need to have the perfect mix of weather conditions to get that good story or blog post going.

However, I’m sure that waiting on the perfect writing conditions is a waste of time.

Besides what really are perfect writing conditions?

These “conditions” can be so dramatically different for each individual. I know some writers need this and don’t get me wrong, it’s nice when I can catch that perfect moment… it’s awesomely euphoric.

But for now, I will fight through the distractions, duties and time constraints to do what I love and what is necessary.

Write!

One’s Man’s Junk Is My Treasure

One Man's Junk Is My Treasure

In addition to writing, I recently opened another Etsy store. I know you’re probably saying another Etsy store, but yes this one is different. I started out making notebooks but then realized that I could take my love of vintage items and move it over to Etsy.

From a very young age, I had some what of a love for searching, rummaging if you will. My mother and grandmother both had these “junk” drawers that I loved to go through. I had no idea what I was looking for. If I was looking for anything in particular. I was just a kid on a hunt for something cool they may let me keep.

I often stumbled upon interesting and unique items. In my adult years, as the whole “vintage revival” started I fell in love with going to the west bottoms an area in Kansas City, Missouri where old warehouse had been made into stores that housed floors and floors of antique/vintage dealers.

I love the smell, the dust (my allergies don’t), the touch of an older object. The detail, the care that was shown to put it together. I love the history!

So in realizing that I have the time now as a stay-at-home mom (SAHM) and definitely the skill, I stared a shop on Etsy Dear Alice Company . Alice, was my maternal grandmother who loved making things as well. She was an excellent cook and sewed everything from pillow cases to dresses. She was very inspirational in my upbringing. She also loved to write relatives letters and they wrote her back. Hince the name!

I have combined my love of making things and finding things. It’s been quite fun thus far. I’ve come across some nostalgic items like a See ‘n’ Say from 1983 and some older items like this cool old Jim Beam decanter from 1968.

I’ve heard one that one man’s junk is another man’s treasure…and well it’s this woman’s treasure!

 

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