Tuesday, November 15, 2011

V Trooper, a novella by Thomas Rowe Drinkard, now on Amazon!

Click here to order!

Is Wil Boyd the ultimate weapon in the war on terror?

When a former Special Ops officer, Vic Russell, is told that the calm, unassuming Boyd is a vampire, he’s skeptical, but sees in the young sergeant a possibility of striking at the heart of the Taliban in a way they’d never expect.  The vampire can strike terror in the hearts of terrorists. He will become the V Trooper.

Boyd’s first assignment is extremely successful and sets in play a series of events that will challenge his superhuman abilities.  If he is successful, many lives, civilian and military, will be saved. Failure will change the course of all wars in the Middle East and beyond.
            To the rest of the world, Boyd is undertaking what most would consider a suicide mission. They have no conception of his remarkable abilities, but only Wil knows a source of help only he can call on.

            Boyd has the full might of America behind him, but time is short and the consequences of his actions could be cataclysmic.

Come with Wil Boyd, Vic Russell and Bobby Flynn.  Feel the adrenaline rush of battle when a vampire takes arms against terrorists in the novella, V Trooper.

Monday, October 31, 2011

NaNoWriMo Looms...

Okay, so my life isn't crazy enough; I've got to add more, more, more to it. Sure, why not?

Enter NaNoWriMo. 50,000 words in 30 days to win. I can so do this! My personal goal, however, is not to simply write 50,000 words - nay, I want to write my entire novel in that short amount of time. I'm shooting for 90,000 words.

The challenge begins November 1st, and runs through November 30th. I can do this, right?

Count me in!

Monday, April 25, 2011

No More Boring Writing!

When I became interested in writing, I plowed through book after book on how to write well. How to create characters, how to construct perfect scenes, how to write within your chosen genre, etc. In fact, I read so much I almost forgot to write. I was so worried about getting it right, it was paralyzing. 

Finally, after the gazillionth book, I figured I'd better stop reading and start doing or I'd never get anything done at all. I'd end up wanting to be a writer, but I'd never be a writer, so I put aside the writing books, rolled up my sleeves, and wrote. I wrote a couple of books, some short stories, a few articles. The other day I realized something.

I'm boring.

What? How can that be?

I realized I've been trying to play it safe with my writing. When I first decided to write, I wanted to be more than "just" a writer; I wanted to be a successful writer! I wanted to make my living that way, to be that person signing books in a book store with a long line of people winding their way through the aisles and even out the doors, all clutching my book in their hands, waiting patiently for their turn to tell me how great a writer I am and how much they love me. But it didn't happen that way. I was left holding my book and wondering why it wasn't… more. More exciting, more passionate, more… whatever. Just… more.

For those of you who know me personally (you know who you are!), you know I'm not at all boring. I'm passionate and vital. Impulsive. I live life on the edge, generally on the fringe of what is considered "normal." I may be a bit strange, but boring? Not even close.

So I'm done writing that way. There will be no more "safe" writing from me. From now on, I'll write the way I live - with gusto and no safety net. I'll close my eyes and dream and my words will spill out of my strange brain and onto the computer screen the way I see and feel them. I'll taste their wildness. They'll have my own particular (and sometimes peculiar) accent and that's okay.

Because I will be writing for me.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Cemetery Girl, with Goggles - a Short Story

Cemetery Girl, with Goggles

"She's weird, Charles."  The words from my mother fell flat, dropped like stones down a deep well. I can still hear them, echoing in freefall. "A cemetery? At night? Wearing goggles? Whatever will the neighbors think?"

My shoulders hunched. Who cared what the neighbors thought? Sweat ran down my face, stinging my eyes as I gripped the thick cotton pad wrapped around the handle of a hot iron and pushed the wrinkles in the pin-striped pants into submission. They resisted, of course, but the iron was adamant. The iron reminded me of my mother, the pants, me. My dad, too. We were both garments to her iron.

She's weird.

Ironing was my penance. Before Mom and Dad left for their evening walk, she'd pointed to a distressingly large mound of rumpled clothes in the corner, then to three irons on the steel plate by the fire, one to use, two to keep hot. The trick was to alternate them before they either cooled off too much to do any good or stayed by the fire too long which scorched the clothes. I wasn't very good at it, but then, ironing was not my forte.

Hair stuck to my face and I could feel moisture gathering in my armpits, running down my ribcage, seeping into my petticoat. A soft movement of air from the open window had me lifting my sweaty face to it, begging for comfort.  I wanted to climb right out that tiny window, wade through the salt marshes, and leap into the ocean, half-framed by sand dunes dotted with sea oats.

My right arm ached from the iron's drag. I pushed it forward once again and felt a bump against the pointed black tip. I set the iron on the warming plate, and fished in the pocket for the culprit.

It was a key.

Not just any key. I knew this key. It was to my father's workshop, a place to which I'd been forever banned. Tinkering around with Daddy's "inventions" was not ladylike, and above all, I must be ladylike, which forbade me from wearing goggles while sitting in cemeteries, or helping to build Daddy's steam-powered dish cleaner.

The key dug into my palm as I considered possibilities and ramifications. It didn't take long - I am my father's daughter, after all.

In the workshop, I touched the flywheel and boiler of the dish cleaner. It didn't look like he'd gotten any farther with it. The dials were still missing, for one thing. I'd had an idea for that, but… I sighed and moved on, running my hands over the gears of a non-working cuckoo clock, the bird stuck in mid-journey, shiny copper eyes connected to a brass head aged to a rich patina.

Oh. Wait, what was this?


I hadn't seen this before. The entire contraption was fitted onto a tailor's mannequin. The shoulder harness was fashioned from thickly tooled leather, the small hydrogen tank mounted on a solid brass back piece. Copper tubing ran from tank to steam thrusters and riveted to wide wristbands. A thinner tube ran from wristband to handheld trigger mechanism. The wings themselves were massive, tips of the long white feathers brushing the floor.

Strapping on the contraption in awkward haste, I trembled and pushed my hair back from my sweaty face.  Did I dare? I looked back through the opened doorway and into the tiny kitchen. The irons waited.

Right. Of course I dared. A groping hand under the mattress of my bed yielded my beloved goggles and I was out the door.

Figuring I needed a bit of height to get started, I climbed the old wood trellis to the roof. The wind tugged at the feathers as I tread carefully on tarred shingles. I slipped the goggles over my eyes, spread my arms wide and stepped off the roof.

The air whooshed under my wings and sent me flying, barely missing the old oak at the edge of the yard. I banked, squeezing the hand trigger and shot across the salt marsh. The ocean beckoned, whitecaps rolling onto shore.  I frolicked in the air currents, riding the thermals, soaring with the wheeling gulls.

I sighed, remembering the ironing and turned back reluctantly, leaving the ocean and salt marsh, flying above the old gravel road leading home.

It was there I saw them; three men and my parents.  I climbed higher, not wanting them to see me, gliding in large concentric circles, watching.

Wait! What were they doing? They were… attacking? The men leapt upon my father and he went down, while mother beat at their backs ineffectually.


A squeeze on the trigger mechanism and steam hissed through the thrusters, lending speed to my dive. I shot toward the group, wind tearing the scream from my mouth.  I can only imagine what I must have looked like coming from high above, goggled, white wings flattened against my side as I bulleted toward them, hair streaming out wildly behind. A monstrously-feathered, avenging angel.

The men looked up, wild-eyed and slack-jawed as I swooped by. I banked, wheeled and dove again, chasing them through the salt marsh until they were well and truly lost.

I hovered a moment, hydrogen and steam releasing slowly, sun-kissed wings spread wide to stay aloft. Satisfied, I whirled and glided away.

My parents knew where to find me, of course - alone in the cemetery, perched on a gravestone, winged, with goggles. It earned me more rumpled laundry to iron. The lock was changed on the workroom.

I didn't care. My mom didn't know about my latest invention - a tiny brass lock-picker. I smiled. I am my father's daughter, after all.

First blog post!

Quick, break out the champagne!  We should hit it across the side of this beginning blog, just to wish it success.  =)

So what do y'all want to see on this blog? Not some erudite musings from yours truly, surely? I think I'll leave that to the great philosophers. I'm just Tessa Blue Jones, purveyor of Things Strange, a skulker alongside the Corridors of Life. 

Oh, I know!  Maybe for now, I'll post a few of my short stories.  I'll begin by posting one of my steampunk stories.  How's that?