UNSETIC Files: Lost and Found – Chapter 2 (original draft)

At the end of Bering Songs and Silence, Brigid O’Connell makes a fateful phone call–and sets in motion a series of events that neither she nor her new partner, Tim McConaway, can predict.
What follows is the draft of Chapter 2 of Lost and Found, one of the UNSETIC Files.  I’ll be releasing the first couple of drafted chapters for free of this project and a some others through patreon, tumblr, and here with the possibility of releasing the full draft for patrons later–we’ll see what happens.
Lost and Found is a story told from the point of view of Alisa “AJ” McConaway, fledgling mage, anthropologist, and a team leader in UNSETIC’s Portal Corps.
I look forward to your feedback.  Happy reading!


Uncle Chris was climbing out of his SVU as I pulled up and into the circle drive in front of the house. He took one look at my face and came over to the driver’s side of my Jeep, his eyes narrowing.

“What’s the matter?”

“I’ll tell you inside. I have to pack.”

His brows lifted as I climbed out of my car and headed for the front door. He was wearing dress shoes. There must have been a board meeting or something today that I’d forgotten or that he hadn’t mentioned. “Pack?” my uncle echoed. “Where are you going now?”

“Virginia,” I said as we walked into the foyer. “I got a phone call today and I’ve got to get there tonight.”

“I can arrange—”

“I’m driving,” I said. “It’s going to take that long to get my head on straight.” I turned toward him, throat tightening around a lump. “Tim’s alive.”

“We knew that,” Chris said. “We knew that eighteen months ago after you and Kate came back.”

“He’s in Virginia, Uncle Chris. Brigid O’Connell called me and Tim was with her. He’s alive and he’s here, he’s back. I have to find out what’s going on.”

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Original Draft – UNSETIC Files: Lost and Found – Chapter 1 sneak peek

At the end of Bering Songs and Silence, Brigid O’Connell makes a fateful phone call–and sets in motion a series of events that neither she nor her new partner, Tim McConaway, can predict.

What follows is the draft of Chapter 1 of Lost and Found, one of the UNSETIC Files. I’ll be releasing the first couple of drafted chapters for free of this project and a couple others with the rest of the drafts appearing as patron-only posts at my Patreon site. This is early-access, since Lost and Found will be released in ebook and print form once it’s complete and edited.

Lost and Found is a story told from the point of view of Alisa “AJ” McConaway, fledgling mage, anthropologist, and a team leader in UNSETIC’s Portal Corps.

I look forward to your feedback.  Happy reading!

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Because I can’t not share this…. (NaNo 2016)

Site’s been quiet lately, but that’s because between school and work and writing and a few other things, there’s just not much time.  I’ll try to change that, but we’ll see what happens.

However…I can’t not share this.  I’m working on another one of the UNSETIC Files for NaNoWriMo and I’m just compelled to share this because…well, because I can.

Fiction below the break.

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Doc’s life – Update for December 2, 2015

So I move into my apartment in Grand Rapids in three days.  Mercifully, I’ve known I had a place to move into since October (which was awesome).  Right now I’m looking for a part to full time gig to pay the bills while I’m going back to school (fingers crossed very, very hard for a work from home gig that pays well)–resumes are out there in the void and I’m waiting on bites for the moment.  After talking to my aunt (my dad’s oldest sister, Lois), I’m 99.9% sure that I’m going to end up adding the group social studies major so I can be more marketable once I get my full-blown teaching certification.  I don’t mind the idea of extra stuff to do if it’s going to make it easier on me in the long run.

I’ve been trying to be a responsible adult in the course of outfitting myself for this move.  My father’s actually going to make me some new furniture (I love my dad–and he does beautiful work, so I’m super excited), which will save me some cash and will make sure that I actually have matched pieces in a lot of cases.  By the time he’s done, I should have an armchair (the cushions for which are my job to finish), a headboard and footboard for my bed, a TV stand/cabinet, a new dresser, new bookshelves, and a new coffee table, all of which matching my beautiful cherry desk that I adore.

Daybed – though those aren’t the linens I got. Linens on the daybed will be gray with pillows in blues and saturated colors.

We hit Ikea the Sunday after my birthday and I scored an iron daybed (which will be my couch), mattresses for said daybed, a kitchen/dining area/craft table and a pair of chairs to go with it.

My table!  It extends out on either side and the top drops down into the gap left when the sides are extended.  It’s the Bjursta style.  Only complaint was that they didn’t have non-fabric seat chairs to go with the color I really wanted.

My mother was a bit worried that it all wouldn’t fit in the car, but we made it work (thank you Dodge for making that vehicle just big enough to fit three people and the stuff we bought at Ikea into it!) and got everything home safely.  Mom also picked up some odds and ends for the house while I picked up some random stuff for the apartment in addition to the furniture (cutting boards, dishtowels, garbage can–that sort of stuff).

As usual, we headed to Illinois for Thanksgiving with the family out there (20-some odd people in my grandparents’ condo in East Dundee – always a big adventure!) and we got to see a lot of the family as a result.  Friday and Saturday we were in downtown Chicago and saw zero sign of the protests that had been going on since earlier that week (though we didn’t head down to Michigan Avenue on Friday at all) other than it being a little less crowded downtown than it had been in some past years.  Note to anyone who’s visiting the city at any point in the future: go to Room and Board.  It’s such a cool store.  I don’t love all the furniture there, but my mother and I were both completely blown away by a bedroom set we saw there (it’s the Bennett set – in fact, my dad’s taking the footboard and headboard on the bed as the design for the ones he’s going to do for me — and possibly the dresser design, too).  It’s definitely got a point of view when it comes to design, but it’s absolutely worth checking out.

In my wanderings in the city, I ended up finding the dishware and glasses I wanted for my new place (mother and younger brother approved, no less).  Awakenings fans will appreciate the name of the collection.  Ordered them online; now I just need to go pick them up at the Crate and Barrel at Somerset (except for the mugs, which are unfortunately on backorder – I’ll probably end up snagging them when I’m home for Christmas).

My back is trying to quit on me since I’ve been packing since I got back in sprints.  Getting an e-reader was the best decision I ever made, considering the number of books I have digital copies of–and the number of physical books I still have (which is a lot, let me tell you – between books, binders, notebooks, and magazines, I’ve already filled ten 12x12x16 boxes and then a few others of varying sizes–and I’m still not done packing that stuff–but nothing’s too heavy for me to lift, so that’s a good thing at least).  I’ve been trying to move stuff into the garage for easier loading come Friday night (since we’ll load Friday night, finish off Saturday morning, then head across the state on Saturday).  I’ve still got a list of stuff to finish packing that’s probably twenty categories (and locations) long, but I know I’ll get through it–I really don’t have a choice.

So in the midst of all of the super responsible adult stuff I’ve been doing when it comes to setting up everything for this apartment, I did do something…maybe less responsible than all of the rest of it.

I went to Target yesterday with my mom (I needed to get ultra responsible stuff like GARBAGE BAGS and TOILET PAPER and PAPER TOWELS and stuff like that for when I move in so I don’t have to run all over creation for those kinds of things immediately).  The whole world knows that walking into Target is dangerous–it just is.  I’m not saying it’s good, I’m not saying it’s bad (I love Target, let’s be honest), but it is dangerous.  Let’s be honest.

So my mother needed ornaments to make another garland to decorate for Christmas (tutorial found on Pinterest! It’s great) and I met her back in the Christmas decorating area.  I found myself eyeing a tree back there that I really, really liked.  Long story about this tree very, very short: the sign on it was wrong and the tree we thought Target had run out of was actually there in abundance.  The guy who helped me missed that and so did I–at first–and we both thought that they didn’t have any more of the tree that I liked. Then, when we were getting ready to leave and I said to my mom “I’m going to go look at that tree one more time and see if there’s something similar that I like that’s not too expensive.”  I have a tiny little two-foot tree that I’ve used at craft shows but I wanted something a little more substantial for my apartment–it’s my first Christmas in my new place, after all (even if I’m going to be spending the actual day and some time around it at my parents’ house with the family) and I wanted something of my own.  I love Christmas–it’s a favorite holiday of mine (note to self: I owe the world some good UNSETIC Christmas fiction).  After a little bit of poking around, I realized that the tree I wanted actually was there and the display was mismarked.  I let the associate who’d been helping me know and he was going to follow up with his manager (who was responsible for the oops in the first place).  I picked up a couple extra strings of lights and some ornaments and I’ll have Christmas in my apartment (probably set up to the sounds of White Christmas unless I miss my guess).

T-minus three days and counting.  Time to get back to packing.

Doc’s life – Update!

So it’s been a while since I gave the world an update on work, life, writing, etc. — so here it is.  A lot’s happened since August, beyond my teaming up with LP Loudon to write a new serial/web novel.

At the end of August I gave notice at the office.  October 30 is my last day there.  I’ll be spending November writing (it’s NaNoWriMo time again, after all), organizing my life, searching for a new job (telecommute preferred, but if there’s something in Grand Rapids, I’ll take it), getting ready to move to Grand Rapids, MI, and getting ready to clear out any necessary prerequisites for a teacher certification program (yes, boys and girls, Erin’s finally going to teach history at the high school level–brace yourselves).

My reasons for leaving where I’m at are myriad, but it boils down to this: I looked at my life and asked myself if I still saw myself with the company I was with in five years, possibly doing the same job and possibly not doing the same job for them, and the answer was an emphatic no.

That was when I knew it was time to move on.

So I’m moving on with my life, continuing to write, continuing to craft, getting ready to move to the other side of the state.  I’ve got an apartment on the north side of Grand Rapids and it’s going to be my first real place–the first place I’ve lived on my own, without roommates or family.

It’s exciting and terrifying all at once.

I’m still working on finishing Redeemer, When All’s Said and Done, and an UNSETIC project, Lost and Found, which picks up where Bering Songs and Silence left off–but from AJ McConaway’s point of view.  We’ll see where that ends up landing.

Stay tuned for future updates!

UNSETIC Files special preview/extra – Brigid, Tim, and AJ after the end of Bering Songs and Silence

UNSETIC Bering Songs and Silence tiny imageIf you haven’t read Bering Songs and Silence, you might want to stop reading right here and now and go do that before moving on.  Of course, folks who are currently reading The Man Who Made Monsters over at LP Loudon’s site will already know that something must have happened in the aftermath of Bering Songs and Silence, which is the story of the first mission for UNSETIC that Brigid O’Connell and Tim McConaway embarked on together.

Spoilers (and a preview of an upcoming piece, Lost and Found) below the cut.

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The Court of Twelve and the UNSETIC Files

Everyone who’s a fan of the UNSETIC Files–or just Tim McConaway and Brigid O’Connell, or James McCullough, or Ridley Thys–can thank LP Loudon at this point, loudly and often.  For the people who don’t know (possibly because they haven’t read Between Fang and Claw), LP Loudon is the brain behind the Hunters (remember Mara, Galahad, and of course, David Tierney?) and one of my longtime roleplaying buddies and, in the past few years, writing partners.  There had been plans between the two of us for some time to interweave my UNSETIC Files stories and her Hunterverse stories, but we’d never quite talked about when that might happen–it was always pushed out into some nebulous future time frame.

As of this past weekend, that time has already started.

I’ll be collaborating with LP on her Court of Twelve serial, The Man Who Made Monsters and with its subsequent sequels.  Monsters is set more than a decade after the stories where we first meet many of the UNSETIC characters that will be appearing in the serial (roughly 2022–we meet Jim McCullough in 2006 with Between Fang and Claw, Tim McConaway, Kate Berkshire, and AJ McConaway in 2008 with The Measure of Dreams, Ridley Thys in 2009 with What Angels Fear, and Brigid O’Connell in 2010 with Bering Songs and Silence), but not to worry!  I still have very definite plans to fill in the gap of time left between those initial appearances and Monsters, and future works will be written with the knowledge that The Man Who Made Monsters is out in the world and that people just might be curious about how and when certain things come to pass.

UNSETIC’s debut in The Man Who Made Monsters is currently set for July 23.