Happy Friyay! May your work/school day be short and boring but in the good way, not the bad way.
I know it’s been forever since I’ve posted anything. I’m sorry. I’ve been really really really really busy. April was crazy and May has also been crazy.
Anyway, I know I warned you all at the end of Chapter 4 that there was a good chance that I probably wouldn’t update in May. I was right, clearly.
BUT I’m hoping to maybe update in June? I don’t know, this chapter is being a huge pain in the ass. I guess you’ll see why when you read the preview though.
Speaking of… here is the Chapter 5 Preview:
I wasn’t prepared to wake up in the emergency room with a bullet wound and a concussion, but I was even less prepared to find myself staring into Alex Sterling’s stunned face.
I had thought I was dreaming. I used to have that dream often. That nightmare. Her face often plagued my mind, when I was stuck drifting in the chasm between awake and sleep, like some painful, constant reminder that I had been to Heaven for a minute before falling back to Hell where I was destined to stay lost forever, wandering all nine circles like Dante before me.
If my heart was a house, Alex was locked in the basement.
She was a secret I kept buried in the darkest room, a place I never went to except in the late hours of the night, when exhaustion would weaken the defenses I had spent years building. Against better judgment I would open the door and take a peek inside, where I would find her shivering and starving, chained to the wall of my barely beating heart.
My visits to the room grew more and more infrequent as the years passed, until one day I realized I had stopped going entirely.
Mmmm symbolism. Delicious.
Oh, and surprise! Guess whose head we’re going to be in for Chapter Five? Here’s a hint– It’s Val. We’re going to be in Val’s head. You already knew that, you didn’t need a hint.
I’m still in ‘first draft mode’ with this chapter so this passage may be completely taken out, or moved around, or tweaked further, or who knows what, by the time I’m ready to post the actual chapter.
Oh, and as for the group chat… if you want to join, you’ll have to log onto Skype, search for my Skype profile/account (searching for it via my Email: Taleth.Phaulkon@gmail.com), add me as a contact, then REQUEST to be added to the group chat by messaging me. This is the ONLY way to join it now.
Would love to hear your thoughts, so feel free to leave them below (or, you know, in the comments on Wattpad. Whatever floats your boat.”
Chapter Five will be posted (HOPEFULLY) in May. I say “hopefully” because it’s still a very rough draft and I’m honestly not sure if I’ll be able to update the story in a month or not yet. On the bright side, I think you’ll all be pleasantly surprised with it. Not gonna tell you why yet, but you’ll know when I post the preview (HERE) in two weeks, so keep an eye out.
Here’s the Chapter Song: Greetings From Califournia
Hands up it’s a stick up Nobody’s leaving this room for a minute Everyone’s breathing these fumes That are in it Sick of the people who make the decisions
Put your hands up it’s a stick up Hopefully God is still down to forgive us Nobody’s breathing Who let the evil in?
What’s in the water? Are you bothered? What’s the problem here?
I can feel it go down I can feel it go down all the way All the way Give it to me slow now Give it to me slow then watch the way It comes and comes
Handcuffed and I thought of you I made love and I thought of you My Daddy died, I just thought of you My Sister cried and my Mama too I got a place and I thought of you I tried to decorate and I thought of you I’m seeing red but I’m singing blue I never knew what black and white would fit you too
Anybody, somebody, please I’m begging I’m even on my knees I’ve got a dozen insecurities But I don’t think you should be worried for me No I don’t think you should be worried for me
I actually had another song in mind for this chapter but then I heard this song and I dunno, I dig it.
ALSO: In other news… I started a chat group last month on Skype that’s free for anyone to join. It’s basically a bunch of us from Wattpad just hanging out. It’s a 24/7 thing so people pop in and out as often or as little as they like. If you’re expecting a literary discussion you will be disappointed. The books do come up sometimes but it’s mostly people shooting the shit and chatting, which is better anyway.
SO, if you’re interested and wanna check it out, either add me on Skype (firstname.lastname@example.org) and let me know so I can add you to the chat OR follow this link: https://join.skype.com/NJip7H9A0LbH.
It gets crazy in there (and sometimes totally dead) but it’s fun, I promise!
I know this is a little late but pretty girls distract me on the daily. Chapter Four will be posted early April! Fair warning, it’s a doozy. That’s right, a doozy.
Here’s the preview of Chapter Four:
“It was a long time ago, for about two months give or take,” Val said, waving her hand in the air as if to shoo the label of ‘ex’ away. “Totally not a big deal.”
Laura was now staring at Val as if through new eyes. Alex wasn’t sure which was more obvious, the intense jealousy or the admiration.
“How did you get her to commit?” Laura asked, leaning back against the bar. She shot Alex a sidelong glance. “I thought Alex committing to a relationship was the stuff of legends.”
The Greco woman spun the straw around her drink then took a sip. She let out a humorless laugh. “It was pretty short-lived,” Val said, lifting her eyes to Alex’s again. “It probably didn’t even really count.”
The look of mischief was gone, and instead Val looked… honest, like her old self. It caught Alex off guard, causing her heart to thud harder against her chest.
The blonde woman was still staring at Val, seemingly speechless. She had never felt so tongue-tied. What was she supposed to say? Was she supposed to go along with this casual mood Val was setting? Why did Gabe disappear when she needed him for moral support?
“It counts,” Alex said, surprised when she heard the words force themselves from her throat. Val was clearly pretending that the encounter they had had last week hadn’t happened, so Alex decided to play along. She took another minute to look Val slowly up and down again. Her soul quaked. “You look good, Val.”
ALEX BACK AT IT AGAIN WITH THE UNDERSTATEMENTS THO.
And click HERE to read last month’s chapter, Chapter Two.
Here’s the Chapter Song:
My friends don’t walk, they run Skinny dip in rabbit holes for fun Popping, popping balloons with guns, getting high off helium We paint white roses red, Each shade from a different person’s head This dream, dream is a killer Getting drunk with a blue caterpillar
I’m peeling the skin off my face ‘Cause I really hate being safe The normals, they make me afraid The crazies, they make me feel sane
I’m nuts, baby, I’m mad, The craziest friend that you’ve ever had You think I’m psycho, you think I’m gone Tell the psychiatrist something is wrong Over the bend, entirely bonkers You like me best when I’m off my rocker Tell you a secret, I’m not alarmed So what if I’m crazy? The best people are All the best people are crazy, all the best people are
Mostly I picked this song because SOMEONE does some crazy shit at the end of Chapter Three and I imagine Alex is thinking something along the lines of “Is this chick nuts?”
To which I’m sure she would say, “Uh, yeah, kinda.”
The chapter preview for Chapter Four will be posted in two weeks, right here and also on my Facebook page which can be found HERE.
Chapter Four will be posted in April 2016. No that does not mean April 1st, 2016 at exactly 12:00AM. It’s a SUPER FUCKING LONG chapter and a LOT OF AWESOME STUFF HAPPENS and I’m REALLY EXCITED ABOUT IT IF YOU COULDN’T TELL BY MY USE OF CAPS.
Anyway, thanks again to everyone for reading and for voting and commenting!
Also thanks to my lovely betas, Res and Andrea, who are super fucking helpful and my writing would be a shit show without them.
Here’s a snippet from Lost Then Found‘s Chapter Three 😉
“Alex.” It was Laura’s soft voice. She was sitting on the edge of the bed, her hand lifting and resting on Alex’s forehead. Her soft fingers felt cool against Alex’s skin, and the blonde woman let out a hum to show that she was awake.
“I feel like I got run over by a truck,” Alex mumbled, letting out a slow breath as she felt Laura run slender fingers through her blonde hair. “That feels nice,” Alex said, feeling sleep pull at her once again.
“What happened to you?” Laura asked, and Alex had never heard such a tone in the girl’s voice before. Alex opened her eyes to peer at her. Laura’s pretty copper eyes were filled with tears as she poured over Alex’s face, her other hand gingerly reaching forward to feel over the bruises on Alex’s face. “What did they do to you?” She was choked up, and Alex worried that she might start crying, really crying, at any minute.
“Laura,” Alex cooed, managing to sit up against the headboard despite it sending shockwaves through her abdomen. She winced in pain and grunted, her hand lifting to rest over her stomach. She took a few deep breaths and then put on a mask. She offered Laura a small, fake smile and reached forward to cup Laura’s face. “I don’t look that bad, do I?”
Laura smiled and let out a giggle despite the tears beginning to spill over her cheeks. She placed her own hand over Alex’s, turning her warm cheek into the woman’s palm, her eyes fluttering closed as if to relish the sensation of skin on skin.
Blue eyes were fixated on the concern etched on Laura’s pretty face. Alex hadn’t known that getting hurt would have had such an effect on her friend. “Where’s Gabe?” Alex asked, glancing around the dark room again.
There you have it!
Stay tuned for the actual chapter, which is set to be posted sometime in early March 😉
Just kidding. If I were to actually write a guide to romance you’d all be fucked, and I wouldn’t do that to you, because I care.
This is just a post about my awesome Valentine’s Day plans.
So I’ve been dating this girl, codename SEXY MCHOTSTUFF (McHotStuff), for a few months. We’ve been talking since Thanksgiving but didn’t actually start going on dates until early December. So I guess it’s been like 2.5 months?
Well, whatever. Anyway. McHotStuff is pretty hot and awesome. I’m into her. I’m tryna get dat shit on lock, yo.
Okay no. Seriously though she’s pretty great, so I did some cute shit for Valentine’s Day and I want to share!
So last week, after we had awesome sex, I handed her a card. On the inside I had written ‘Will you be my Valentine?’ and then put two check boxes that both said “Yes.” Sort of like the pic below:
And then in the bottom right corner I put a tiiiiny check box that said ‘No :(‘ next to it (gotta give her the option, at least.)
She immediately freaked out at how adorable it was, and checked off both Yes’s.
So then there was a minor mishap where she was like “Wait, were you asking me to be your girlfriend? It was dark” and I said “uhhh no, the card was asking you to be my Valentine” and then things got awkward for like 10 seconds (because she thought she checked yes to being in an official, committed relationship with me) but anyway, that’s not what this post is about.
I love searching Etsy when looking for funny Valentine’s Day cards. We haven’t been dating very long at all, so anything serious/sentimental is a NO GO. It had to be lighthearted and fun. But also, I’m not a sentimental or serious person, so it was going to be lighthearted and fun anyway.
I was actually in a similar situation a year ago (different girl, obviously), and this is the card I ended up getting her:
So I was like, damn, that’s one ROMANTIC CARD. Gonna be tough to beat! And I couldn’t get this girl (who is TOTALLY BETTER than last year’s girl, and the girl before that, and the girl before that, and the girl before that, by the way) the same card!
So I did some searching on Etsy and LO AND BEHOLD I found the best card that accurately summed up my feelings while remaining relatively minimalist!
So in case English isn’t your first language, this card is funny because ‘Jalapeno’ is the name of a hot pepper, but when you pronounce “Jalapeno” it kind of sounds like ‘Ha-lah-peen-yoh’ and THAT sort of sounds like ‘All-Up-In-Yo’.
So, when you read this card, it basically sounds like you’re saying “I would love to get all up in yo(ur) pants.”
And since I do, in fact, love getting all up in her pants, I figured it was, as Korra says, perfect!
But then the question was… what do I write in it? I asked one of my best friends for advice.
So I ended up writing something similar. Warning: My handwriting is AWFUL. Like. Embarrassingly awful. Basically I have the handwriting of a 10-year-old boy. I tried explaining how bad it is to McHotStuff and she was like “I doubt it’s that bad, I mean you obviously know how to use your hands” which was really sweet but also my sexual prowess has nothing to do with my shitty handwriting.
I know I’m going to regret posting this image online because you’re all going to fixate on how TERRIBLE my handwriting is and miss all this romantic genius I’m spewing.
Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
Congrats on your face,
And your booty, too.
(but also, like, everything else)
Happy Valentine’s Day!
You’re awesome and stuff.
Let’s make out?
So essentially I’m saying, “I like you! Let’s have sex.”
I think it’s gonna be a winner.
She also loves this magician guy that is always at this bar she goes to with her friends, so she’s always sending me pictures of cool tricks he does for her (I’m convinced he’s trying to bang her but w/e).
So, naturally, I told her I’d learn magic to impress her.
She said, “PLEASE DO.”
SO! I went on Amazon and bought this “magic trick” that I did for show and tell once in 2nd grade. Allow me to demonstrate (apologies for filming this in portrait mode like a plebe):
Now you see the ball… NOW YOU DON’T…Now you do…NOW YOU DON’T AGAIN!
She’s going to be very impressed.
NOW, FOR MY NEXT TRICK, WATCH ME MAKE HER PANTS DISAPPEAR.
I also got her a box of chocolates from Max Brenner (an amazing chocolate place in Union Square).
So yeah, that’s how I will be impressing McHotStuff on Valentine’s Day.
I hope you all have a wonderful Valentine’s Day (or Singles Awareness Day, or Galentine’s Day, or whatever other variety of ____ Day they have these days.)
Also, I give you all permission to plagiarize my Valentine’s Day card poem, it’s pretty romantic.
As promised, here is the sneak preview of Chapter Two!
Just a heads up, I couldn’t find a particular part of Chapter Two that I thought was ‘sneak preview’ worthy, or the ones that were gave the story away. So instead I’m just giving you the first few lines of the chapter.
Alex, mind racing, stared dumbfounded at Laura. She had always thought that Laura might still have a crush on her, but she did her best to ignore it. It would only cause problems, anyway, and Alex respected Laura too much to just sleep with her and cast her aside afterwards… despite that being exactly what Alex had done the first night they had met.
Both of Laura’s brows were lifted as she peered steadily at Alex. “So are you going to let me in, or continue staring at me like I just murdered your parents?”
Finally, the doctor came to her senses, and managed to reply, “A mob princess can’t joke about murdering people, it’s eerie.” Alex took a step back and gestured towards the living room. “Come on in. Gabe’s already here.”
“I don’t murder people, my henchmen murder people,” Laura said. “Plus why can’t you just say weird instead of eerie like a normal person?”
Chapter Two of Lost Then Found will be posted in February! If I had to guess I’d say probably sometime during the first week, but don’t hold me to that. Seriously, don’t. It’s a LONG chapter to make up for the fact that most of you had already read the first half of Chapter One back when it was the ‘Epilogue’ of Alex’s Girl.
Oh, in other news, I have brought on another beta to make sure I’m providing the best possible writing to you guys. Yay two betas!
There’s Res, who will be doing the first read through, and then there’s Andrea, who will be doing the second read through. They’re both awesome and well qualified (one is a lawyer and the other is a great writer with a degree in English… or maybe it was Creative Writing? Regardless, they both know their shit.) I’ve also known them both for years, and they’ve read a TON of my stuff. A ton of my really really bad stuff. They’ve seen some shit and I trust them to edit the fuck out of Lost Then Found to the best of their ability.
Also, Important Note: Some established details from Alex’s Girl / Book 1 have been changed in Lost Then Found / Book 2, and those changes will be made to Book 1 during the editing process which will NOT be updated on Wattpad. So if you notice an inconsistency between the two stories it’s probably intentional. First example that’s happened so far: In Alex’s Girl Gabe’s eyes are described as green, in Lost Then Found they’re described as hazel. When I’m editing Alex’s Girl I will be updating it to reflect the changes made in Lost Then Found. Changing a character’s eye color is a minor example, but there will be bigger changes later on and if I remember to I’ll try my best to address them in a blog post.
Okay, that’s it! Stay warm for my fellow east-coasters and see you guys in February 😉
“How long did it take you to complete Alex’s Girl?”
“Where did you get the idea for Alex’s Girl?”
A lot of people have been asking me the above questions so I figured I’d just write a post and explain how Alex’s Girl (and my presence on Wattpad) came to be.
Warning: I’m going to say ‘technically’ a lot.
So technically Alex’s Girl has been in production for a LONG time. Short answer? Three years. Basically, I posted Chapter One of Alex’s Girl Fall of 2012 and marked it complete summer of 2015.
But it’s actually a bit more complicated than that, because I technically could’ve written Alex’s Girl in a year or less (90% of the story was finished by mid-2013), but life got in the way. I didn’t write anything for almost an entire year (2014), but once I started up again it only took me a few months to finish that remaining 10%, and that took longer than it had to because as you probably know, I like to space my updates out and won’t post a chapter immediately even if it’s finished/ready to go, not to mention that one of the chapters (21) wasn’t even an actual chapter, but instead a teaser for book 2.
But anyway, from the beginning:
So, sometime in late 2011 (I was probably 19 at the time, a sophomore in college) I had a dream one night, the description of which can be found on my FAQ page but I’ve also copied & pasted below for your convenience ’cause I know you’re probably a lazy fuck like me:
I had a dream about a homeless girl (running away from something) that got a job at a salon sweeping the floor. Her boss was a hot blonde woman who owned the salon. The girl makes enemies with a hair dresser there, who finds out about the girl’s situation and tells the owner. Instead of being mad, the owner ends up driving the girl to her place, where she promises to let her stay until she can get back on her feet. It’s worth mentioning that ‘Alex’ and ‘Val’ have been in my head for YEARS before this dream, and were at the center of several other stories and plots. But for some reason this dream was so memorable that I had to write it down. In the process I made it more interesting (because bars are way cooler than salons) and voila, Alex’s Girl.
You know those dreams that stick with you for a few days and for whatever reason it has some strange effect on you and you just can’t get it out of your head? This was one of those dreams. What helps me get ‘rid’ of these kinds of things is just writing it out and moving on. So that’s how I started Alex’s Girl: Unintentionally!
I wrote it while I was on a family vacation, and was bored out of my mind. I was sitting on the floor of our hotel room with my laptop in my lap, and just typed up the first few pages of my dream, of what would one day have the ill-thought out title of ‘Alex’s Girl.’
Now, at 19 I had already been writing and working on three separate story projects at the time, and was posting my writing on a different website. I didn’t have time to start a new story, and definitely never intended on turning ‘Alex’s Girl’ into anything other than a quick drabble meant to get my dream out of my head so I can finally focus on other stuff.
I don’t normally write in first person, and hadn’t in years, so it was sort of like an experiment for me, a writing exercise even. I only wrote a few pages. I didn’t even get to the part where Alex’s invites Val to stay with her/AKA write out the whole dream, I think I only got to the description of how hot Alex is before I got bored and closed the document, leaving it to sit in my computer indefinitely. I never intended on ever opening it up or working on it again.
If someone had told me back then that I would not only continue writing Alex’s Girl, but also end up developing what would one day be my first completed story from that terribly written 4-5 page drabble, I would’ve laughed.
So anyway, Alex’s Girl (which was not called Alex’s Girl at the time) sat on my computer for maybe a year, a year and a half? I totally forgot it existed.
So then it’s 2012 I think. It’s the end of the year. I had just gotten back from spending a summer semester in LA and had just broken up with my then girlfriend. It was my senior year, I had barely any classes or responsibilities. Basically, I didn’t have much going on that I needed to worry about. Aside from a few easy classes, life was relatively stress free.
One day I was browsing Reddit and someone had posted a question on r/writing asking about websites where they can post their stories to to get some feedback. Someone in the comments mentioned Wattpad.
I decided to check it out. The platform I was writing on at the time sucked, and Wattpad’s concept of being the ‘Youtube of Books’ intrigued me.
I obviously couldn’t post anything I had already been working on/had on a different site. Soooo what do I post? I looked through my computer for something I could post that vaguely resembled a first chapter of some story.
Lo and behold! I dug up the document that would one day become Alex’s Girl.
Fun Fact: the original Word document was titled ‘Avalanche Flow’ at the time. What’s Avalanche Flow? It’s actually an exact bit of dialogue I remember from the dream. In the dream, the girl is handed a blue drink, and another person (I guess dream!Gabe?) tells her he invented it himself! I included this minor moment in a scene in Alex’s Girl, actually.
Anyway, I realized Alex’s Girl/Avalanche Flow was perfect for testing out Wattpad. It’s the beginning of a story, which is always the hardest part to write, it’s not written too long ago so I didn’t feel as though it was a poor example of my writing quality (these days I would disagree, it’s terrible), and it’s written in 1st person which is ‘all the rage’ these days, as the kids say.
I quickly picked up where I left off, added a few more pages, finished the chapter and presto! Had a very short chapter to a new story.
At this point I still hadn’t planned on continuing it, I just wanted something finished that I could post up on the site and see what the Wattpad community was like (AKA would something I post get any traction or would it disappear into the masses of stories?)
Anyway, I remember being pretty excited getting like, maybe 10 comments!!!
Maybe less than 10 actually. Maybe there were only 20 views and like 6 comments.
Ahhh such humble beginnings.
Anyway, six people seemed to like it, so I wondered how long I could keep the story going, just as an experiment. Anyway I ended up enjoying writing the story! I got really into it. I was writing 20-30 pages weekly, and posting every other week or even every week if my readers hit a certain vote limit. The frequent updates kept Alex’s Girl from falling into obscurity, and each month meant more followers, more views, and more comments! It was awesome. I was on a roll.
Then I met my girlfriend, HLC, and updates slowed down (because honestly I was too busy getting laid and falling in love to write, sorry guys.)
THEN I graduated college in 2013, got a shitty job, left my shitty girlfriend (fuck you, HLC), got a new girlfriend (what up Hillter!), and for an ENTIRE YEAR I didn’t write anything. I couldn’t! My job drained me. My crazy girlfriend drained me. I would stare at Microsoft Word, angry that I was so close to being finished (CHAPTER 18!! Of a planned 20!!) and then would give up.
So I worked there from Fall 2013 to Fall 2014. Broke up with my crazy girlfriend (bai Hillter) and quit my shitty job in the same week almost.
BAM. Everything was better! I started writing again, finished the final 2 chapters plus a Book 2 Teaser (which is truly a miracle because I was almost 100% certain I would not write a sequel, and yet here I am.)
So there you have it. TECHNICALLY, I could have finished Alex’s Girl in a year, but I took almost an entire year off before finally writing the final chapters.
Alex’s Girl took a very long time to get ‘popular’ if you can even call it that. At it’s height it was ranking extremely high (top 50/70s) in the romance category on Wattpad’s Hot List, but that required lots of frequent chapter updates and I’ve learned recently that taking longer between chapter updates allows me to provide higher quality writing!
Once I finished Alex’s Girl and marked it as complete the views SHOT UP, which is pretty cool, but I also fear I lost a few readers somewhere in that nearly year-long hiatus.
Anyway. That’s how this all started! From a 4-5 page drabble that was never meant to see the light of day to my first completed (and most popular) story!
And now I’m working on a sequel, I can hardly believe that still.
But I’m glad I wrote Alex’s Girl. I learned a LOT during that entire process, a lot about myself and writing and even about you beautiful, impatient fucks that I love so much.
In Lost Then Found news, a snippet of the upcoming chapter to follow once I can find a worthy part, so stay tuned 😉