A Pat On My Back!

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Okay… I don’t usually toot my own horn, but come on – If I don’t, then who is gonna do it?!?!

I have been doing a lot of spring cleaning these last few weeks, and while digging through my office closet last night I came across a series of employment letters of recommendations that were written for me throughout the years. I can’t lie, reading through those letters gave me a sense of pride that I haven’t felt in a long time. They reminded me that I can do anything I set my mind to, something I believe everyone needs to be told from time to time.

The following are just a few of the many quotes that really made me think about myself, my life, and the career path I have taken.

“Nina is, by far, the most responsible, reliable and thorough member of the support staff. I know that I can rely on her to oversee a job and complete it in a timely and exemplary manner…”

“She consistently does outstanding work without regard for whether or not she will receive credit for the achievements.”

“I believe that Nina’s organization, creativity and caring as well as her ability to learn quickly make her an excellent candidate for any job. Her eagerness to develop as a person, attend available training and to go beyond her normal job responsibilities have made her an excellent employee.”

“Nina is both a team player and an independent thinker and is highly self-directed.”

 

FINALLY… MY PERSONAL FAVORITE: 

“From the first day, she demonstrated all of the skills to master the position. From a technical perspective, her computer skills, problem solving approaches, and ability to manage multiple projects are very good. She has excellent organizational skills, and the ability to prioritize projects using sound business judgment. She is very reliable and if she says something will get done, it will get done. She is an excellent team player who is respected and valued by every person here. But, her most valuable characteristics are her intangible traits. From my perspective, these abilities are the hardest to find and the most important to get. Nina possesses the ability to handle difficult situations with a calm professional manner. Everyday she brings a positive attitude and a willingness to do anything necessary to help the team. She is conscientious and demonstrates the unique ability to be professional, enthusiastic, but also has fun at work. This is a difficult balance, but she does it very effectively.”

 

I believe that sometimes we need to take a step back and look at ourselves through someone else’s eyes. Do I believe that everyone sees me in these ways? No, but the fact of the matter is… I do strive for a strong work ethic and I do try to put my best foot forward to work as a team player and get the job done, no matter what that job might be, in the best possible way. Sometimes it is nice to know that those efforts aren’t going unnoticed. I guess that was why reading these letters really touched me… It is probably why I have kept them all these years.

All to often employers fail to show their employees the appreciation they deserve, until it is to late. If you are an employer… I challenge you to take time out each day to tell a handful of employees what they mean to you and to the success of the company. Let them know you appreciate them and their hard work.

That is all…

Behind Locked Doors: A PRISONER of her flesh

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As the wind carried a feather across a field, the music began to fill her heart. She knew not where it came from or who his heart played for, but her soul longed for more. As the sun set and the moon began to climb higher into the dark midnight sky she lay still waiting and longing… listening as the melody repeated, again and again and again.

More intense with every movement… Her heart began to pound, and her eyes began to fill with tears. For she could feel his love… she could feel his desires… She could feel his pain…

She wanted desperately to go to him… To comfort him… To hold him in her arms.

But… She was bound and tied… Forever to remain where her chains held her.

A prisoner of her flesh… A captive to her fears… All she could do was send her soul to be with his, to know that her heart would always live in his.

(c) Nina Soden 2014

Behind Locked Doors: Nameless

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The hot water ran down her face and tickled every inch of her body from head to toe as it caressed her skin gliding along her smooth curves. The steam filled the shower as the floor to ceiling glass walls around her steamed up creating a cloud-like feeling of safety. Though the stress of the day could not be lifted by simple desires or cravings of the average being – she wanted more, craved more, needed more. She didn’t know what the burning inside of her was, but felt a deep longing as if calling out to someone or something. Then, in the distance she heard a scream. Though it should have scared her- it didn’t! She felt no fear but excitement burned inside her. Her heart raced as she waited, for what she didn’t know. But wait was all she could do! With her eyes closed she turned back to the door just as he stepped in. A chill of cold air-filled the shower and sent lightning throughout her body. She went limp in his arms as he tilted her head to the side. His teeth as sharp as blades pierced her skin like butter and the connection was made. Within moments the thirst had built up within her so extreme she felt that she could no longer contain it. With a quick movement he sliced his own wrist and she was drinking as deeply as he was. The connection was strong-intense-fierce. Slowly the thirst took over and she began to feel like there was no way to control it. She had to have him – all of him! No blood escaped her lips for all of him now belonged to her, and in his last breath she feasted. For her Blood thirst was too strong for even him to control. All have heard of her and know of her stories. It is said that she has no true name she is simply called…

(c) Nina Soden 2014

Behind Locked Doors: The Caged Bird

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He walked into the club pushing past the bouncer… sliding his way through the crowd to the bar. Bodies rubbing together… the music so loud, you couldn’t hear your own voice, pounded throughout his body. Women threw themselves at him almost begging for his attention.

Once at the bar he called to the tender. B positive is his drink of choice. Behind the bar he looks over the assorted selection of humans on display. Glass rooms line the back bar, and inside each are men and woman eagerly waiting to be selected…

Taking his drink, poured from the tap, he turns to scan the room. Dancing… Jumping… Grinding… Feeding… There was action and movement all around him. “I’m here!” he heard her voice clearly as if she was whispering right into his ear, but no one was there. “I’m here!” he heard it again.

Looking around he couldn’t find her. “I’m here… Please… Up here.” the voice was in his head… She called to him… This had never happened before and he couldn’t understand it now. He looked up to find, hanging from the ceiling, large cages… one prize in each. As he scanned the cages his eyes crossed those young and old… But there in the center hung a woman… More beautiful than any he had ever know… Trapped like a caged bird.

Their eyes met… “Yes… I’m here… Help me please. I don’t belong here…” a surge of emotion flooded threw him. He knew he had to get to her… Had to have her… Had to help her! Without thinking he pushed his way into the middle of the floor… Leap up with more force than he had ever used before. Clinging to the bottom of the cage he pulled himself up…

The crowd still hypnotized by the music didn’t even seem to notice. Eye to eye they stared at each other, her inside the cage and him clinging to the outside. Never before had either of them felt such a connection. He tore the cage door open as he grabbed her into his arms. The door flew through the air landing on the crowd below.

Screams… Panic… Anger… Filled the room as everyone’s attention was pulled in their direction. “Are you ready?” he asked her. She responded without saying a word. With her in his arms he took a step. Seconds later they were on the ground… Back to back… Surrounded by the angry crowd.

The fight began. It felt like a dance the way their bodies moved together kicking… pushing… punching… scratching. She got her hands on a bar stool and spinning it over her head she managed to break it’s legs into perfect stakes! She took out 5 vamps for every 15 of his… Not bad for a human!

They finally made their way to the back of the bar as the fighting continued on the floor… No one really knowing why they were fighting but loving the trill of the game. Out the back door and into the night deep in her eyes he fell. Passion took over and in moments they were together… Locked in a passionate embrace.

He knew she was different… Knew he would never be able to have her… But longingly he would always love her. She thanked him with a look, and kissed him once again… Then into the night she disappeared never to be seen again.

(c) Nina Soden 2014

Why I Write!

It is no secret that becoming a successful author, one who can quit their day job and fully support their lifestyle through their writing, is about as likely as stumbling across a big pot of gold on Saint Patrick’s Day. Okay, maybe it’s not quiet that rare, it does happen… but not very often.

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So, why do I write? 

Believe me, it isn’t about the fame and fortune! The fame… hasn’t come. The fortune… sure, I have sold a few books. Actually, I have sold more than a few, but nowhere near the number I would need to sell in order to quit my day job. I’ve sold enough to make back the money I spent on developing and publishing my first two books… So, breaking even, is that the reason I write? NO!

No one wants to put their heart and soul into something they are passionate about just to “break even”. But, like I said for me it isn’t about the fame and fortune. For me it is about the story!

I write because I have stories that fill my head and are itching to come out. I have characters that my imagination has made up… that feel so real to me that they need to have a voice. Okay, maybe you’re thinking that right about now I sound a little crazy… maybe I do, maybe all authors are a bit crazy, but I’m not really saying that I have imaginary friends that talk to me or anything. So, don’t take it the wrong way. I’m just saying that I have, and I think many authors do, an active imagination that presents itself to me through stories. I could keep them all bottled up in my head, but how fun would that be? No much. For me the fun is putting them on paper and seeing if anyone else, no matter how many or how few, thinks they are as cool as I do. If authors didn’t write we wouldn’t have books, plays, movies, TV shows…

Have I had success? That is a hard question – first you have to understand what success really is!

suc·cess [suh k-ses]  Show IPA

noun

  1. the favorable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavors; the accomplishment of one’s goals.
  2. the attainment of wealth, position, honors, or the like.
  3. a performance or achievement that is marked by success, as by the attainment of honors: The play was an instant success.
  4. a person or thing that has had success, as measured by attainment of goals, wealth, etc.: She was agreat success on the talk show.

Okay, so I may not have success in the financial sense, but YES I feel I have had success, and let me tell you why… (1) I have accomplished a goal of mine – PUBLISHING A BOOK… Not only one, but two – and I’m getting ready to publish number 3!!! (2) I have a few “fans” that ask me on a pretty regular basis, “when is the next book coming out?” WHAT A GREAT FEELING!!! I love the fact that there are actually people out there… not many but some… that are eagerly waiting for my next book. I’ve only published two books (I did publish a book of poetry before the two novels… but I’m not counting that) but those two books have been read and enjoyed!!! Success!!! (3) Another reason I believe I have had success… There is a girl… in Michigan… who actually wrote a BOOK REPORT for SCHOOL on Awaken, the first book in my Blood Angel Series! SUCH A COOL FEELING!!! Yup, an official school book report about my book was written, turned in, and graded! She sent me a photo (see below) and everything. It was one of my proudest moments as an author. The idea that she enjoyed it that much.

Book Report

So yeah, I might not have financial success from being a self-published author… but I still feel successful, and even if I only have a couple dozen avid readers… I will continue to write for them, and for me!

So, you know my passion and why I do it! What is your passion and why do you do it?

Behind Locked Doors: Beauty of the Night

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The streets were crowded. Elbow to elbow people pushed past each other as they tried to get a glimpse of what was up ahead. Standing high above the crowd a beauty like no other was atop the distant building wall. Long dark hair glistening in the sunlight. Her silky white skin sparkled as the rain started to fall.

Looking up into the sky then down at the onlookers she gracefully stepped off the edge. As if moving in slow motion she floated to the ground. Without a sound she landed and was instantly gone. Confusion filled the crowd, but within seconds people were talking of the beauty, power, and magic that they had just witnessed.

No one noticed the young couple that had fallen victim to this deadly beauty, or the young man who disappeared now standing by her side in the shadows of the night.

Together they will rule the night, together they can’t be stopped. But boys don’t you worry he won’t last long for her temper is hot and she is bound to be looking for a new love soon. Just watch what you say and watch what you do! For she is sharp around the edges and she’s not afraid to cut you!

(c) Soden, Nina 2014

Progress!

Progress means different things to different people.

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The dictionary defines progress in the following way:

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prog·ress [n. prog-res, -ruhs or, esp. British, proh-gres; v. pruh-gres]  Show IPA 

noun

  1. a movement toward a goal or to a further or higher stage: the progress of a student toward a degree.
  2. developmental activity in science, technology, etc., especially with reference to the commercial opportunities created thereby or to the promotion of the material well-being of the public through the goods, techniques, or facilities created.
  3. advancement in general.
  4. growth or development; continuous improvement: He shows progress in his muscular coordination.
  5. the development of an individual or society in a direction considered more beneficial than and superior to the previous level.

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For the purpose of this post I am going to talk about progress as referenced in #1 above.

In my post titled 2014 – New Year’s Resolutions!!! I stated that one of my new year’s resolutions was to publish my third book; Revenge – the 3rd book in the Blood Angel Series. Well, today I got one step further in that process.

Let me explain.

What steps do I take when writing a book, well… since I am only on book 3 I haven’t really figured all of that out, but here is my basic process:

  • Decide on a topic
  • Map out a basic outline (I don’t write this down – I just want to know where I think the story will go)
  • Start writing… This is when I find out that my characters were laughing at me when I was thinking through the story line, and that they actually have a much different story in store for me.
  • Once the first draft has been finished I send it off to editor #1
  • Re-writes
  • Send it off to editor #2
  • Re-writes
  • Send it off to editor #3
  • Re-writes
  • Reread (I normally go through the book cover to cover two or three more times to see if I catch any more edits that need to be made or to make final rewrite changes that I feel are important).
  • Publish

Okay… where am I in the process now? The answer is PROGRESS!!! I just did the re-writes after receiving my edits from editor #2. Now I am just waiting for the edits from editor #3 so that I can do the final re-writes, read through two or three times, and then publish.

I know it doesn’t seem like I’m almost done, but trust me I am. That makes me a very happy girl… BUT…

After getting the edits back from Editor #2 I am seeing a trend… so far 2 out of 3 editors have told me that there now needs to be a BOOK 4 in the Blood Angel Series. When I started this series the plan was to write a trilogy… it looks like, unless some major changes happen, the trilogy isn’t going to be a trilogy any more. I guess I have some thinking to do before I get the book back from Editor #3.

What do you think? Have you read books 1 and 2? If you have I would love to know your thoughts… Where would you like to see the story go? Do you want it to continue or do you like the idea of a trilogy?

Either way… progress is progress  and I have made movement toward my goal – I AM A HAPPY GIRL!