The Ghost Who’ll Be Coming to Ohio

By Holly Lisle

The text message at the top of this post (which I sent to Matt at 3:34 AM on 12/6/20) includes the date and time because my half-sister, Julie, died in 2016, before her birthday, which was December 3rd.

I got the news of her death from my older son, Mark, who called Matt while we were sitting in a Pancake House in South Florida.

Mark had received the news from his grandmother, my first ex-mother-in-law, who’d been told by my mother, who was the bitch who didn’t even let me know my sister was sick. “Mom” (said with the sort of sneer that inserts your favorite epithet in its place) just waited for Julie to die before passing on the news, and in her spectacularly cowardly fashion, sending it by third-hand sources.

That’s “Mom’s” style — waiting for folks to die, so that she can gloat over the knowledge, punishing me because after my son came to me to tell me about being molested by his father, Mom called him a liar — and me too. And I told her I that she and I were done.

My ex was found guilty, and convicted, and sentenced, by the way.

So both my sister’s and my father’s deaths have been third-hand news and both discovered way after the fact…

But you’re never as done with the trash in your life as you might hope.

The funny thing is, when the Bitch Queen croaks, I’ll never know. I’m remarkably okay with that.

But in any case, my sister’s birthday was December 3rd. She would have been fifty-six this year, and I’d celebrated her birthday privately. And I’d been thinking about her.

And in one of those weird, disorienting dreams, on December 6th, I dreamed that I was fifteen again, that she and I were in the horrible torture-device fold-out couch in the sunroom of our single-wide trailer, which, in the manner of most sunrooms, didn’t have any walls between it and the room next to it. In that trailer, the kitchen/dining room was there.

In my dream, Julie was on the right side of the fold-out bed (her spot) and sound asleep, while I was awake on the left. I’d dreamed that she stole the covers and kicked me — she was a magnificent blanket-stealer and kicked like a mule, and it was her kick that woke me up.

And I reached over to grab the covers, and she wasn’t there.

So I grabbed my phone and texted Matt (who was awake and downstairs): “What happened to Julie? She was here…

And he didn’t text me back. He just came upstairs, looked in at me, and said, “Are you okay?”

And first I remembered that I wasn’t fifteen. Not asleep in a single-wide trailer in the trailer park above Beaver Creek State Park. Married, with kids. With a husband who at that moment was looking in on me with slightly unsettled bemusement.

I said, “Oh.”

But following right on that first realization, I remembered that Julie was dead. It came as a hard, mean shock, because just a second before, I’d been fifteen and she’d been right there with me and had kicked me awake while stealing the covers yet again.

And I said, “OH!” And my throat tightened up and for a couple minutes it got hard to breathe.

And that would have been it — weird dream, disturbing and disorienting but totally explicable — except for this morning.

When I woke up realizing that my main character in the Ohio Novels also has a half-sister. It was just a line in passing in the revision of Book 1, and I’d never planned to use the sister character.

This morning however, I realized that while my bitch of a mother made sure I never got to say goodbye to Julie, I don’t have to. Not entirely. A part of my memory of her can live on in fiction. 

My main character’s sister is going to become part of the Ohio series. I probably won’t name her Julie. But she’ll be dark-haired, blue-eyed, and not look even remotely like her half-sister. Or her mother.

Just like Julie and me. Unlike Julie, the fictional sister won’t have been born with cerebral palsy or mental retardation, so she’ll get to do all the cool shit Julie never got to do in real life.

And in my own way, I’ll get to say goodbye.

Related links:

  • https://hollylisle.com/into-the-new-year-words-for-2017/
  • Contents © Holly Lisle. https://hollylisle.com All Rights Reserved


    Why I shut down my Patreon fundraiser

    By Holly Lisle

    I’d intended to send a Questions & Answers email to my How to Write a Novel launch list, but that’s going to have to wait.Instead, I did THIS.

    Closed my “Move out of Florida while writing fiction” fundraiser.

    Here’s why — it’s this clause in the Patreon Legal Agreement

    https://www.patreon.com/legal

    By posting content to Patreon you grant us a royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive, sublicensable, worldwide license to use, reproduce, distribute, perform, publicly display or prepare derivative works of your content.

    Understand that I read that clause and all the rest of them before signing up.

    BUT… I’m not a lawyer, and I understood that clause to mean that Patreon was claiming the right to use my Patreon-created content (in other words, my POSTS) to promote the site.

    I DID NOT think that they were claiming the right to use and abuse the content I was giving my patrons. In this case, three monthly chapters of the raw first draft of one of my current novels in progress, Dead Man’s Party.

    A friend emailed me with a link to this post, however:

    https://www.thepassivevoice.com/the-beginning-of-the-end-for-patreon/

    Turns out, I was wrong. Patreon is claiming rights to my novel.

    So I’m out. I sent the first copy of this email to my patrons using a private Patreon post, and then I shut down my Patreon fundraiser, and am now trying to figure out how to actually close my account.

    I’m not letting this kill my dream of moving us out of Florida…
    …(hopefully before the next hurricane, if not the start of the hurricane season).

    How you can help, if you want to —

    IF YOU’RE HERE AS A WRITER:
    I have created original classes ranging from under ten dollars to way over a hundred. If one of the classes I offer could help you, then you buying it would help me.

    MY COMPREHENSIVE CAREER-LEVEL CLASSES (in recommended order)

    *** How to Write a Novel *** 

    http://hollyswritingclasses.com/class/how-to-write-a-novel.html

    (IN LAUNCH: On sale ONLY through Tuesday APRIL 8 — Final Discount Launch)

    How to Revise Your Novel: 

    https://hollyswritingclasses.com/go/how-to-revise-your-novel.html

    How to Write a Series: 

    https://hollyswritingclasses.com/go/how-to-write-a-series.html

    How to Think Sideways: Career Survival School for Writers: 

    https://hollyswritingclasses.com/go/how-to-think-sideways.html

    WRITING CRAFT SERIES (Each class is under $10)

    Create a Character Clinic: 

    https://hollyswritingclasses.com/go/characterclinic.html

    Create A Plot Clinic: 

    https://hollyswritingclasses.com/go/plotclinic.html

    How to Write Page-Turning Scenes: 

    https://hollyswritingclasses.com/go/pageturningscenes.html

    WORLDBUILDING SERIES (Each class is under $10)

    Create A Language Clinic: 

    https://hollyswritingclasses.com/go/languageclinic.html

    Create a Culture Clinic: 

    https://hollyswritingclasses.com/go/cultureclinic.html

    Create a World Clinic: 

    https://hollyswritingclasses.com/go/worldclinic.html

    WORKSHOPS & MID-SIZED CLASSES (PRICES VARY)

    How to Write Short Stories: 

    http://hollyswritingclasses.com/go/how-to-write-short-stories-class.html

    How to Write Villains: 

    http://hollyswritingclasses.com/go/how-to-write-villains.html

    How to Write Dialogue with Subtext: 

    https://hollyswritingclasses.com/go/dialogue-subtext.html

    Title Cover Copy Marketing Basics: 

    https://hollyswritingclasses.com/go/titlecovercopy.html

    How to Find Your Writing Discipline: 

    https://hollyswritingclasses.com/go/writingdiscipline.html

    How to Find Your Writing Voice: 

    https://hollyswritingclasses.com/go/writing-voice.html

    How to Motivate Yourself: 

    http://hollyswritingclasses.com/go/motivate-yourself.html

    Beat Writer’s Block: 

    https://hollyswritingclasses.com/go/beatwritersblock.html

    FREE, INCLUDED WITH (also Free) SITE MEMBERSHIP

    How to Write Flash Fiction That Doesn’t Suck

    https://hollyswritingclasses.com/go/free-flash-fiction-class.html

    ===================

    IF YOU’RE HERE AS A READER:

    You can help out by buying some of my indie-published fiction.

    SHORT STUFF, CURRENTLY AMAZON ONLY:

    Light Through Fog: 

    https://www.amazon.com/Light-Through-Holly-Lisle-Singles-ebook/dp/B0096F4HY0/

    Rewind: 

    https://www.amazon.com/Rewind-Holly-Lisle-Singles-Book-ebook/dp/B00AY1OHAE/

    Strange Arrivals: 

    https://www.amazon.com/Strange-Arrivals-Twisty-Fantasy-Tales-ebook/dp/B00EOWMYRW/

    FANTASY – ARHEL TRILOGY

    Fire in the Mist: 

    https://books2read.com/FireInTheMist

    Bones of the Past:

    https://books2read.com/BonesOfThePast

    Mind of the Magic:

    https://books2read.com/MindOfTheMagic

    DARK SCIENCE FICTION-ISH

    SETTLED SPACE

    Both of the Cadence Drake novels Hunting the Corrigan’s Blood and Warpaint, are off sale while I come up with new titles and new cover art for them, and new key words, descriptions, and other marketing that allows me to correctly put them in front of the audience that likes a few vampires and a bit of horror with its spaceships.

    The Longview Chronicles (complete Series) is in the same universe — still dark, but without the vampires:

    https://books2read.com/longview-chronicles

    Or you can get the individual stories:

    Born from Fire: 

    https://books2read.com/born-from-fire

    Suzee Delight: 

    https://books2read.com/the-selling-of-suzee-delight

    Philosopher Gambit: 

    https://books2read.com/the-philosopher-gambit

    Gunslinger Moon: 

    https://books2read.com/gunslinger-moon

    Vipers’ Nest: 

    https://books2read.com/vipers-nest

    The Owner’s Tale: 

    https://books2read.com/the-owners-tale

    STANDALONE URBAN FANTASY

    Minerva Wakes: 

    https://books2read.com/minerva-wakes

    PARANORMAL SUSPENSE

    Author Page: 

    https://books2read.com/ap/xbzgyx/Kate-Aeon

    Midnight Rain: 

    https://books2read.com/midnight-rain

    Last Girl Dancing:

    https://books2read.com/last-girl-dancing

    I See You: 

    https://books2read.com/i-see-you

    I have much more fiction that’s commercially published, or which is out of print and has reverted to me, but which I have not yet republished.

    I’m not linking to ANY of that fiction, because your purchase of used books or books where publishers haven’t paid royalties in years will not help me.

    So there we are.

    I want to thank all my patrons again, and I am so sorry that I had to do this, but there is no way I can permit this:

    Excerpted from Patreon Legal Terms

    You keep full ownership of all content that you post on Patreon, but to operate we need licenses from you.

    By posting content to Patreon you grant us a royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive, sublicensable, worldwide license to use, reproduce, distribute, perform, publicly display or prepare derivative works of your content. 

    No. Just NO.
    Holly

    P.S. I have had one of my Patreon patrons already ask me how she could continue to support me on a monthly basis.

    Here’s the answer I gave her:

    “I’ll look into what’s available. Right now, I’m crushed to discover the rights Patreon actually claimed, and worried about getting involved with any other site. So I’m in limbo. You’ll find my blog at HollyLisle.com. I’ll be keeping my folks there up to date on how I deal with this. It sucks.

    Hugs, and thank you for asking.”

    Why is EVERYBODY on my blog, my mailing list, and in my forums getting this?

    Because if you know me, you’re probably either a reader or a writer. If you’re a writer, you may be considering using Patreon, and you need to know. If you’re a reader considering funding someone on Patreon, THEY need to know.

    And this is the ugliest, broadest rights-grab I have personally ever seen. Or sadly, been caught up in.

    Contents © Holly Lisle. https://hollylisle.com All Rights Reserved


    I have NEW Fiction and Nonfiction available!

    By Holly Lisle

    It’s taken a while to get past the indigestible lump that was How To Think Sideways, but from now on, I’m hoping to get at least one new item into print every month.

    This month, I have two—LIGHT THROUGH FOG, the first Holly Lisle Single (short fiction), and CREATE A CHARACTER CLINIC, 2nd EDITION.

    Both feature introductory discounts that end October 1st.
    LIGHT THROUGH FOG

    Some people only fall in love once…

    SHORT DESCRIPTION: When a young widow abruptly loses her beloved husband, she finds a way to reconnect with him…but there’s a price.

    REVIEW: “This is a hauntingly brilliant story about second chances. Sam and Sarah are married, with two wonderful kids. They are soul mates and each other’s childhood sweetheart until Sam is killed in a car accident. Sarah is devastated and bereft. In a moment of peace after the funeral Sarah retreats to a tiny island on their property where they had built a whimsical adult tree house together. Sarah plans to spread Sam’s ashes – a promise they had made to one another. As a fog rolls in she hears a voice and then a figure emerges from the mist – Sam. Whether dreaming, or going crazy or not Sarah embraces a last opportunity for a goodbye she never had the chance to say…” — SciFiGuy.ca

    99¢ until OCTOBER 1st. Save $1.00

    PARANORMAL FANTASY NOVELETTE: 7600 words
    Includes a new afterword by the author.
    Reprint: First published in The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance, edited by Trisha Telep

    About Holly Lisle Singles:

    Along with novels, I write short fiction. Like my novels, my short work comes in all genres, in many styles, and is about all sorts of subject matter. If this is your first experience with my work, there’s a LOT more out there already.

    With Holly Lisle Singles, I’m both reprinting out-of-print work and writing new stories, trying out new characters (or revisiting old ones), and exploring new genres and voices. I figure it’s a good way for folks who have never read anything by me to try out my work. Besides, short fiction is fun to write.

    So with every Single, you’ll be getting something different. If you find something you love, or meet a character you would love to see more of, TELL me. Post comments and requests here, or go to my site and send me a message via SUPPORT. I listen.

    CREATE A CHARACTER CLINIC, Second Edition
    You can create and write characters who live and breathe on the page; who capture the attention of readers, agents, and editors; who drive your story from a compelling start to a captivating ending.

    It’s not a trick, it’s not some gift of the Fiction Fairy bestowed on only a few. You have everything you need within you to start creating brilliant characters today.
    Today? Yes.

    If you jumpstart with the Shadow Room exercise, you can know enough about your first new, compelling character to start writing about him…in about 15 minutes.

    My system is simple, and step-by-step. I break character development down into techniques you can start following immediately. I’ll show you what I do, and then take you through doing it yourself.

    COURSE INCLUDES WORKSHEETS, WORKSHEET DEMOS, PRINTABLE CHARTS, and A WRITING EXERCISE MP3

    And I keep it short—you shouldn’t have to wade through tons of words to find the few kernels of useful knowledge that you can start applying to your own work.

    You can get your copy from:

    Contents © Holly Lisle. https://hollylisle.com All Rights Reserved


    The New Paranormal Suspense Covers

    By Holly Lisle

    I finished the following covers for my upcoming novels today:

    Midnight Rain

    Midnight Rain: "He'll NEVER forget you..."

    Midnight Rain: “He’ll NEVER forget you…”

    I See You

    I See You: "Someone's watching..."

    I See You: “Someone’s watching…”

    Last Girl Dancing

    Last Girl Dancing: "Don't talk to strangers..."

    Last Girl Dancing: “Don’t talk to strangers…”

    Night Echoes

    Night Echoes: "Your past is waiting..."

    Night Echoes: “Your past is waiting…”

    Because of a bit of a financial bump, I’m pushing hard to get all the backlist up in the next couple of months. To my amazement (because I thought exactly the opposite), I think the suspense novels are going to take the longest. I’m having to go through them and edit to bring the late-draft manuscript versions I have up to the published versions.

    The scans don’t have to be rewritten. They just have to be edited, and my guys (and in two cases, my co-authors) are working on that.

    So my release schedule is going to change completely, and will probably start with either the Arhel trilogy or the Devil’s Point trilogy.

    But there will be books soon. 😀

    Contents © Holly Lisle. https://hollylisle.com All Rights Reserved


    The Ghost Story, WABWM, and TALYSMANA

    By Holly Lisle

    I finished my ghost story. Title?

    >>>–4EVR—>

    The title means a lot.

    I got it to Trisha Telep in time, heard back that I’d made the deadline—and we are NOT going to talk about the morning-to-next-morning hours I worked for several days getting that revision done. What was supposed to have been a 6500-word story that might creep up to 7000 words became a 12,000 word PROJECT.

    But I love the story. And when The Mammoth Book of Ghost Romance comes out, it’ll be in there.

    Meanwhile, with that done, I’m holding firm to my commitment to the Write A Book With Me project.

    To that end…

    TALYSMANA is live again. I finished chapter 26, posted chapter 26, and am prepped to do 10 minutes or 300 words a day on this from now until I wrap the first draft of the project.

    What this means for Write A Book With Me folks is that we’re jumping BACK to the TalysMana blog, because that’s my WABWM project. You’ll note that Write A Book With Me now has its own tab at the top of the weblog, too.

    Post your wordcounts and progress to the most recent post tagged Write A Book With Me. I can’t promise to post every day. I’ll do my best.

    Contents © Holly Lisle. https://hollylisle.com All Rights Reserved


    FInished My Ghost Story

    By Holly Lisle

    1399 words, and my ghost story, The Other Chance,; is done.

    The story in first draft runs 7641 words.

    I always add some words in second draft, because my first drafts run lean.

    I like my ending, I like the twist I got, and I definitely did not see the last bit going the way it did.

    I’m going to collect my short paranormals into a Kindle edition, I think, after this story comes out. Probably throw in a couple of original short shorts, and maybe some other things.

    So. Anyway. That was my words.

    How did yours go?

    Contents © Holly Lisle. https://hollylisle.com All Rights Reserved


    Aleksa learns the secret

    By Holly Lisle

    Ki finally admits the truth to Aleksa…and she didn’t react the way I expected.

    Interesting. So tomorrow, I’ll pursue the conversation further, and find out why she responded as she did.

    293 words.

    How did your writing go?

    Contents © Holly Lisle. https://hollylisle.com All Rights Reserved


    Staging A Rescue of the Untrusting

    By Holly Lisle

    Back to Ki’s POV, and him pulling Aleksa out of a situation he previously got her into.

    I did 3588 words on Lesson Four of HTRYN today, and was pretty happy to get the 287 I managed on Dreaming the Dead.

    I’m not exactly enthralled by what I got. But I’m dead tired, and I got something. I’ll leave it at that.

    Hope your fiction was more fun.

    Contents © Holly Lisle. https://hollylisle.com All Rights Reserved


    Main Character Transition

    By Holly Lisle

    Aleksa has discovered having people trying to kill her, in some odd way, agrees with her.

    Her life, derailed when she was fifteen, has taken an odd turn suddenly, and she discovers that she has something to live for—that her life has become valuable to her again.

    569 words.

    How are you doing?

    Contents © Holly Lisle. https://hollylisle.com All Rights Reserved


    Saturday NOT In the Park (WABWM)

    By Holly Lisle

    The Brain Mass Issue

    The news on my brother-in-law, by the way, is there is no news. He’s in a holding pattern now, where the hospital with the doctor who WANTS to do his surgery suggested he go to a bigger medical center, and the bigger medical center said he’s not a county resident and he’s self pay, so no chance.

    At this point, he’s controlling the seizures pretty well. In theory, he may be able to get the surgery in January.

    My Writing

    Last week went OVER seventy hours working on Hot To Revise Your Novel, including working all morning today.

    Next week, I think, will be more sane. A lot of what I’ve been doing is one-time stuff associated with setting up the How To Revise Your Novel course software, the course forums, adding a NaNoWriMo forum to HTTS, testing things, creating workgroups….

    A lot, of course, is writing the course and interacting with my two beta students, so even once everything is set up, I’m still going to be logging some serious hours. And once the Early Birds hit How To Revise Your Novel at the end of November or the first part of December, that’s going to require some additional time, too.

    But, to get to the point, I wiped out around 3 AM last night without ever getting to my fiction.

    I’m not going to write tonight. Today is my Official Weekend, DammitTM. 🙂

    But I’ll be back tomorrow night. With fiction.

    How did you do yesterday? How are you doing today?

    Contents © Holly Lisle. https://hollylisle.com All Rights Reserved