A couple of months ago, I read an article in a magazine I subscribe to about an author with ADHD and I thought what a good idea, I should share my experiences on my blog. I believe that was in mid-August. It is now late October. A fact that highlights exactly what ADHD is like. It's wanting to do something, but procrastinating for a long time before it actually gets done or it becomes urgent. As someone diagnosed this summer, at the age of 36, I have had to deal with my 'eccentricities' without knowing what they were for my whole life. I knew that I procrastinated a lot, but when it came to deadlines, I always got the work done, so no big deal right? Well, kinda. I could have done so much more if I didn't procrastinate. Which is one of my main anxieties in life - so much to do, so little time, so why am I watching Netflix instead of doing them?
Writing has always been my passion, the only 'hobby' that I have stuck with since childhood, while everything else fell by the wayside. I believe it is because, with writing, you can create any world, any character, the possibilities are endless, so the passion for it never goes away.
I started writing around the age of 7, so for thirty years I have made up stories and fantasy worlds in my head and this I believe can also be attributed to my ADHD. When bored in class as a child, I would escape into these worlds, more eager to get home and write them down than listen to what the teacher had to say. So for me, the desire to write has never been the issue - meeting deadlines and sticking to one story at a time is.
When I first started writing, I would get an idea and get incredibly excited about it. Grabbing my notebook, I would start scribbling away until I filled several pages. Then another idea would pop into my head and I'd write that instead. By the time I was a teenager, I had dozens of notebooks and folders full of half-written stories. (With the certainty that I would eventually go back and finish them - spoiler alert, I didn't.) I even still have one of the folders.
It wasn't until my twenties that I finally realized that the only way to succeed in writing, was to get strict with myself and finish a story! Having a deadline, though frustrating, does drive me forward and makes me focus on the story. It was one of the first stories that I took through to the end that got published in 2012. I haven't stopped since, sometimes writing close to twenty short stories, novellas, and novels a year! Crazy and something I never thought I could do. The key to me was routine, and a deadline with something to lose if I didn't meet it. For example, if you fail to upload a story to Amazon by the date stated, you lose your preorder privileges for a year. A pretty big consequence. I also let my readers know when I plan to release and I hate letting them down.
That isn't to say I don't still put things off and let things slide, I still do, but I have learned to be tougher with myself and not rely on hyper-focus to get me through. (For those unfamiliar, it is the total focus that kicks in a few days before the deadline. While useful, I did write 9000 words in 6 hours once and couldn't move my wrists the next day so...)
Having a diagnosis has been a big step forward, knowing that I'm procrastinating for a reason and not just because I'm 'lazy' has really made a difference. I hate the word lazy in reference to ADHD because if you know someone who suffers from it or you have it yourself, you know it couldn't be further from the truth. We are fully capable of doing all the things, we just have issues because we try to do them all at once and mess ourselves up!
But while it has its downsides, ADHD can be a superpower at times and I wouldn't want to be any other way. So here are my top tips that help me as a writer. (Everyone is different, but some may help you too.)
Genre: Young Adult fantasy
Date of Publication: July 31, 2022
Number of pages: 86
Word Count: 20,000
Cover Artist: The Book Cover Designer
Tagline: A young engineer, a ghost, and a mystery at the morgue
How does one keep a promise to a ghost? Engineering student Ana Juliet (AJ) Diwa takes a summer job as a swing-shift security guard at a hospital morgue—the same morgue once investigated by the police for unusual calls received during full moons. And the calls happen only when Matt, a guard assigned to the overnight shift, is on duty.
AJ scoffs at the idea of otherworldly activities. But soon after, she witnesses a mysterious orb at the morgue. The orb reveals itself to be the ghost of Binni Almond, a teenager who went missing thirty years ago. Despite AJ’s shock, she befriends the entity. She vows to use her problem-solving abilities to find Binni’s family and solve the mystery of the young girl’s disappearance. But darker spirits are afoot.
As AJ descends to the morgue’s basement to capture evidence of Binni’s remains, Matt’s visions worsen. Evil spirits surge around the premises. And AJ is in danger of getting caught in the middle of a paranormal showdown.
Chapter 1: An Unusual Call
AT half past midnight, a public safety dispatcher received a familiar but unsettling call. Amid the static and crackle, a voice uttered, “Send help.”
The strange calls started nine months ago, and they always occurred on or near the full moon. The voice supplied only their first name and location. The caller’s name changed every month, but the location stayed the same—Shoreline Hospital morgue. The police officer who responded to the first dispatch spoke with Matt Faulson, the morgue’s overnight security guard. He denied dialing for assistance. The officer walked around the perimeter of the building and witnessed nothing out of the ordinary.
But after three monthly calls involving the same person on duty, the department assigned Officer David Jackson to patrol around the time of the full moon, when they estimated a call would occur. They suspected the twenty-seven-year-old Matt to be the prankster.
Police interviews failed to pin him. Instead, the detectives saw video footage of stationary objects moving randomly in various rooms in the morgue late at night.
The young man admitted to seeing strange activity during his shifts. Adding to the mystery, the city’s emergency dispatch system saved the calls, but the hospital had no record of any of their phones being used.
David arrived at the parking lot with another patrol car at 12:25 a.m. He saw a lone figure sitting on a bench near the morgue’s main entrance.
“Matt.” He approached the security guard with friendly caution. As the guard greeted him, the officer couldn’t help but notice the dark shadows under the young man’s eyes and the ruffled hair. “Man, you look terrible.”
Matt sighed. “There’s not a lot of sleep with the graveyard shift, as you know. I don’t like walking the floors between midnight and one a.m., but I took too long answering an email, and I forgot the time. I rushed through the hallways, and let me tell you, I had more than one sighting,” Matt said. “I guess you received a call?”
David nodded. “You have to get me in there one of these nights. I want to see for myself.”
“I’ll call next time. But I didn’t make the call tonight,” Matt replied. He stood up and prepared to go back in the morgue, but froze. “Oh.”
“What is it?” David asked. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw the second officer took a defensive stance.
“A gray entity floated out of the wall to my left,” Matt said softly as he kept his head very still.
David looked as soon as Matt spoke. “I don’t see anything.” He glanced at the other officer.
“I don’t see anything either.”
“Really?” Matt asked as his shoulders dropped. He gingerly turned his head and looked. “Am I the only one who sees ghosts?”
“I’m beginning to believe that,” David replied.
At Half Past Two
Our movie broke at half past two.
I begged Time to return to the black and white film
We lived in, with you by my side;
But the grand drapes stayed shut in silence and shock.
I closed my eyes and opened my mouth,
Mad about your sudden absence, with unrestrained outbursts
To a greedy God adored by millions. Only one adored me!
Had He really just snatched you away?
My mind kept restarting the movie before half past two.
Each time I waited for the roll to resume play
With you and me in high-definition color,
But tears blurred my vision and I couldn’t see you.
I kept moving your souvenirs back and forth,
With eyes unaware they should blink.
I struggled to savor each memory of you in my mind,
Flashing every second until my gut retched.
I followed your scent aimlessly through the house,
Before strength left my knees and I curled on the floor.
Then I saw my arms dance, caressing the air
Where you lay last night — I thought I heard you laugh.
Enough of this cruel joke. Stop it.
Come back. Please.
A Moment at the Louvre
With map in hand and Mona Lisa in my heart,
I joined the mass of harried tourists scurrying
From wall to wall of gilded frames. My eyes entranced in art
Until from my periphery you stood, perusing.
I moved right in a small intentional dance
Impulsively and without thought — ugh, amateur guile,
But then successfully, our eyes did more than a fleeting glance,
My cheeks felt warm. I managed a smile.
We stood close, face to face, enough for an embrace,
But seconds left with only our smiles. (Sigh!)
I still remember the moment, and not attempting with grace,
Any human greeting as I passed you by.
About the Author:
J. ELIZAGA is a fan of science fiction and science mysteries. Born and raised in Manila, Philippines, she peered over her father’s shoulders as he watched TV shows such as In Search Of, and Carl Sagan’s Cosmos during the 1970s.
J. lives in California. She wrote stories in high school but had set aside her hobby for college and career…until she attended a writer's conference in San Francisco in 2010. The experience unsealed a door in her mind that she thought had long closed.
J. works in information technology by day, and makes time to write stories about humans who face extraordinary circumstances and discover their superhuman abilities.
Kindle eBook copies of Unusual Light (young adult fantasy) and Penchant for Darkness (adult science fantasy), both written by J. Elizaga
The Ghost Circus: An Onyx Webb Supernatural Thriller
Genre: Paranormal Thriller
Publisher: Lust for Living
Date of Publication: July 26, 2022
Number of pages: 280
Word Count: 64,000
Cover Artist: Alex at https://www.nessgraphica.com/
Tagline: If You Think Life is Precious, Just Wait Until You’re Dead
A ragtag traveling circus sits outside a small California town. Two hundred miles north, the rumors of Onyx Webb, a legendary ghost, are "alive and well" in the seaside hamlet of Crimson Cove, Oregon.
After mysterious deaths occur in both places, the FBI gets involved. By the time the circus travels to Crimson Cove, the little town is starting to unravel. It's one thing to stop people from committing crimes, but how do you stop ghosts?
Onyx existed in a constant state of guilt over what she considered to be stealing the best years of Noah’s life. What some would call robbing the cradle or being what was currently called a cougar.
It was the opposite of the norm, in which men had a tendency to date and marry younger women.
When Onyx brought up the topic, Noah pointed out how it was no longer a big deal for couples to have differences in their age. “Age is just a number,” Noah would say, having pointed out the age difference between Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher. “She’s like 15 years older than he is.”
First, Onyx had absolutely no idea who these people were since she never watched television. And the 15-year age difference paled in comparison to their ages since Onyx was 114 and Noah was still in his 30s.
The thing that made the age difference livable, no pun intended, was that ghosts appeared as the age they were on the day they died and returned as their perfect selves. No scars or blemishes or wrinkles. Even severed limbs reappeared.
She may have been 114 years old, but in terms of appearance, Onyx looked 39.
And as a ghost, she would be 39 forever.
Assuming she could get the energy.
Onyx watched as Noah took advantage of the last bit of daylight, shirt off—sweating and swearing when the rocks wouldn’t fit together—his skin glistening with sweat and red with color.
Onyx held up her hand and examined it. Unlike Noah’s, her skin was gray. Transparent.
When she held the hand up to her face, she could see right through it.
Tonight, she would go to the hospital and see if there was anyone whose time had come. If there wasn’t, she would go into town and look for an addict shooting up in a dark alley—the kind that could be found in all towns, even small ones like Crimson Cove.
She had no problem taking drug addicts. They were killing themselves, anyway. If they wanted to die, she was happy to help them along.
Those who were young and healthy? No. Onyx’s code would not allow it. They were off-limits.
And children? Never.
Onyx walked to the opposite side of the lighthouse and peered out toward the water, seeing thin red lines of red forming as the sun was being slowly swallowed by the ocean.
Soon it would be dark. It was time.
1 Onyx Webb: The 31 Immutable Matters of Life and Death
(Based on the original 10 book, 31 episode Onyx Webb series. )
“Should you one day discover you have both light and darkness inside you, do not despair. We all do. The only thing that matters is which you choose to act on.”
“We do not fear heights, we fear falling. Nor do we fear the darkness… but, rather, what we think may be lurking there. And in matters of life and death, we do not fear dying: only that it may be final.”
“It is not important to know what fate awaits you beyond the living plane. All that matters is that you know there is a ‘there’ there.”
“The greatest temptation in life is to pursue everything that catches your eye. What matters is: Are you willing to pursue only that which captures your heart.”
“The universe is a blank canvas, and you are the paint. The only thing that matters is how much of yourself you are willing to splash upon it.”
“The universe is impressed when you find the courage to stand with others. What matters more, however, are the times you find the courage to stand alone.”
“Everything in the universe is temporary, yet everything lasts forever. And it does not matter if you believe this—it will be true with or without your consent.”
“It is not the job of the universe to tell you what your destiny is. For that matter, no one is destined to become anything other than what they choose to become.”
“No matter how unfair the world may seem, the world is perfect just the way it is.”
“Those filled with hate believe the edge of the universe is surrounded in darkness, while those filled with love believe it to be bathed in light. But what does it matter? Upon their deaths, both will discover they were correct.”
“Your forgiveness may not matter to those who harm you, but it was never intended for them anyway. It is a gift you give yourself.”
“When you die, one of the following two things must be true. You are dead and gone, or you are dead but not gone. To settle the matter once and for all, as far as the Universe is concerned, we are never gone.”
“The desire to remain young matters most to those who do not realize that growing old is a privilege denied to many.”
“Your dreams matter to you, but also to the universe. Do not let anyone who has given up on their dreams talk you out of yours.”
“The world is filled with unspeakable evil, but it is also filled with unstoppable love. The only thing that matters—as long as there is one person with a single ounce of love in their heart—is that evil cannot win.”
“The thing that matters most in your final hours is that you do not find yourself crying and begging for more time. Only those who have failed to live fear death.”
“There is no such thing as a lifetime—only a series of moments strung together that matter to us that we call a lifetime. To miss these moments is to miss your life.
“The universe is not interested in your long list of casual wants. The only thing that matters is your short list of passionate desires.”
“No matter what you think or how you feel when times are tough, life is a precious gift. Just how precious is it? Don’t worry. You know when you’re dead.”
“If knowing every secret in the universe matters to you, your time on earth will be a disappointment. The number of secrets is infinite; the capacity to understand is not.”
“The best way to deal with matters of hate, jealousy, anger, fear, and regret is to be so busy living your life that you simply have no time for any of them.”
“It does not matter that you reach out to the universe. What matters is that you reach inside yourself.”
“The universe does not care if you are beautiful. What matters is that you surround yourself with that which is beautiful to you.”
“Nothing in the universe is good or bad, big or small, hot or cold, up or down, right or wrong. The only thing that matters is the perspective of the observer.”
“If fulfilling your mission on earth truly matters, why have you yet to even start? And don’t say it is because you don’t know your mission. You have always known.”
“In matters of karma, the universe is excruciatingly fair. What goes around does indeed come around. But you must understand: the universe is under no obligation to ensure it comes around to you.”
“Thoughts don’t just matter. They are matter. In the same way that the moon tugs on the oceans, the gravity of your thoughts have pulled both things and people into your life.”
“The true wonders of the universe can be seen in three ways: through the lens of a telescope, the lens of a microscope, and—when it matters most—the lens of human understanding.”
“Every choice, large or small, matters more than you’ll ever know. In the end, your life will have been nothing more than a collection of your choices.”
“Show the universe what matters most to you, and the universe will show you… you.”
“The differences between us matter less than the ways in which we are the same, for in the end we come to understand we were all connected by the same frail web called life.”
A Poem from the Journal of Onyx Webb
I want to be alive again, feel wind blow through my hair.
Take a deep, glorious breath, have my lungs fill up with air.
I even want to feel the pain as thorns draw drops of blood.
Run outside in a pouring rain, dance barefoot in the mud.
What good is hearing music when you cannot sense the beat?
What purpose does passion serve for a soul that feels no heat?
Why pray for more tomorrows when your present is such hell?
Why hope to one day fall in love if you have no heart to swell?
There was a time when I believed that I would do it all—Climb the Eiffel Tower; walk China’s long Great Wall.
Dance on my wedding night, in the arms of the perfect man,
But life did not turn out that way, for fate had other plans.
What good is one more day on Earth? I ask myself again.
I know that I was happy once yet cannot remember when.
Why continue on this way, doing nothing but survive?
Why stay among the living, simply dying to be alive?
Crimson Cove, Oregon
About the Author:
Diandra Archer is the pen name for professional speakers and best-selling authors, Richard Fenton and Andrea Waltz. Richard and Andrea have been entrepreneurs, writing and publishing non-fiction business books for over twenty years. Onyx Webb is their first fiction book series. They live in Central Florida with their cat Storey, and newly adopted senior dog, Peppers. Diandra Archer is a combination of both of their first names.
$20 Amazon Gift Card from Diandra Archer
About the Author:
S. K. Gregory is an author, editor and blogger. She currently resides in Northern Ireland.
“Description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s.”