Sucking Ashes Sneak Peek & Sunlight

September’s Theme: Sunlight

Before I give you a Sucking Ashes Sneak Peek, let’s all marvel at my follow-through. As I promised you last month, this blog now has a monthly theme, and for September, that theme is Sunlight. Oooh. Ahhh.

We all know vampires aren’t allowed in the sun… except the ones who are. This month is dedicated to the Daywalkers and the effects of sunlight on vampires. I might even go wild and read Twilight. It’s the wild west of vampire media out here, folx.

Vampire Movie Weekend

Last month I decided to instate a Vampire Movie Weekend once a month, and ideally, the vampire movie(s) of the month will link to the month’s theme. You may have missed my livetweet session of my viewing of the 2012 version of Dark Shadows, directed by Tim Burton. I decided this movie fit the theme of rebirth for multiple reasons:

  1. It’s a reboot film of a 60s television show I’ve never seen, and
  2. Barnabas (played by Johnny Depp) is vampire who was buried for centuries who then comes back in the 60s and has to acclimate to a new age, new culture, new people.
  3. Beyond that, what vampire-focused story isn’t about rebirth at its core?

Curious what other vampire-filled media I’ve been consuming? Check out my Vampire Fiction Aficionado Progress Report.

To read my thoughts as I watched Dark Shadows, head to the thread I tweeted last weekend. Here’s some highlights (you should follow me on Twitter too!):

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For September’s Sunlight theme, I’m watching Blade. Image contains movie poster for Blade (1998).

For this month’s theme of Sunlight, I’ll be watching The Blade Trilogy. TONIGHT! And I’m gonna drink margaritas and take notes for a future blog post while I do it.

Wanna know a secret? Writing is hard.

Writing is hard. I’m sure no one has ever told you that before. As usual, I’ve adjusted my plans for completing my novel, but rest assured I will complete a draft, as in from beginning to the ending of the story instead of deciding to rewrite things a third of the way in, by the end of October! For now, I’m leaning into my brain’s malfunctioning at the idea of continuing drafting when things in the beginning are up in the air and revising what I have so far before I add more. Honestly, revising will involve writing more anyway because I know there are some major scenes that need rewrites from the last version of the story to make this one make sense. After all, it is, as they say, what it is.

I have a sneaky peeky gift for you!

A Sucking Ashes sneak peek! TWO OF THEM, actually. Every once in a while, there is a passage of my own writing that I really enjoy, and I hope that you will do the same. To stay on theme, I’m choosing passages from when Lai was still a human and could go in the sunlight as there will be a major flashback thread through Sucking Ashes.

Sucking Ashes Sneak Peek #1

This is the very VERY beginning of the book. You’ll need this sneak peek to help prepare you for the next one. It’s like a quest!

“You smoke?” Matthew asked.

I wondered if he was talking to me, even though I was the only idiot sitting there, alone in the passenger seat of my brother Ras’s blue 85 Civic where Matthew and his killer smile leaned in to talk to me. 

The answer was: I didn’t smoke. Decades of smoking had put my dad in bad shape a long time ago, and I knew it. I wasn’t going to forget the recent coughing fits, the hospital visits, the lung cancer diagnosis, the tension in the room when Mom and Dad told us about it a year ago just after my nineteenth birthday, how mad I was that Dad had been killing himself slowly in front of us since we were kids.

And I still took the cigarette from Matthew through the open window. He handed the lighter off to me, and I took it gingerly, as though it might explode. Then I watched his dark eyes watching me until I’d waited too long and there was no way he didn’t know I was staring.

Chapter 1, Sucking Ashes by Shailo Satór, work-in-progress

Want to read ALL of chapter 1 RIGHT NOW? Sign up to join my audience.

Sucking Ashes Sneak Peek #2

“You won’t use that kind of language in my house.”

“What kind of fucking language, Mom?”

Lai and his home life. #relatable? I made this one longer because I love you so much.

By the time we got home, Mom was making dinner, and Dad was sitting at the table doing a crossword puzzle. Before we walked in, I helped Ras make sure he didn’t look like he’d been beaten up. He said he’d taken a hit to the stomach while he was inside the house, but it wasn’t like he had a black eye or a busted nose. I couldn’t quite figure out if he’d tripped when he came out of the house or if Adam had thrown him out. 

Mom noticed us first, turning up her eyes from a skillet with sauerkraut and brats. We had the same colored hair, a light brown trying very hard to make me look like a ginger (I’m not, I swear). She kept her hair in a tight bun, always flat to her head with few pieces straying aside from those little curlies that were impossible to control for anyone. 

“Good, you brought your brother home,” she said, probably to Ras. 

I had to pass the kitchen to turn down the hall to get to my room, and I tried not to let her see me roll my eyes. I dropped off my backpack in my room. 

“Laisellus!” she called. I groaned at the full name. God, I fucking hated my name. 

“What?” I stood quietly and waited for her to answer, but she didn’t. With a frustrated sigh, I turned back to the hall and called back to her again, but I still didn’t get a response until I was all the way in the kitchen. “What do you want?” I asked, exasperated and ready to go to my room and not be seen. 

“Your father needs a drink.” She didn’t look at me, pretending to pay attention to the stove again like it was more interesting than anything I could say at that moment. 

I stood completely still aside from casting a look around the room at all of the completely capable hands available at the table, including Dad who wasn’t so sick he couldn’t grab a beer or water or whatever he wanted. 

“What would you like, Dad?” I asked, deciding against arguing. I opened the fridge and looked over the options, ready to read them out to him if he needed a menu for some reason. 

“Hm?” He turned around from the table, stopping mid-sentence in his conversation with Ras to pay attention to me. “Oh, I’ve got a water right here.” He held up a near-full glass of ice water and rocked it back and forth to illustrate. 

I shut the door on the fridge while giving my mom the flattest look I could muster.

She nudged at a brat with some tongs and said nothing.

I pushed my tongue over my teeth as I considered saying something. Not sure what I could say. Call her out?

“So what did you really want?” I asked. 

“I guess I was wrong. Is that what you want to hear?” She slapped the tongs down onto a paper towel on the counter and turned off the stove more forcefully than I knew could physically be possible. 

“You always fucking do this,” I said. “If there’s something you want from me, just say it.”

She didn’t listen to the second sentence, her eyes growing wide at my use of fuck. Laisellus.” 

I opened my arms wide and looked around the room. Ras and Dad had both shut up to give audience to my spat with Mom. “What?”

“You won’t use that kind of language in my house.”

“What kind of fucking language, Mom?”

“You know damn well what you’re doing right now.”

I scoffed. “Jesus fucking Christ, just tell me what you want!”

Dad stood up. “Lai…”

I backed up, putting my hands up in a show of innocence. 

“Sit down,” Mom ordered Dad, wiping her hands off on a dish towel as she came around the center island to physically escort him back into a chair. “Laisellus, you’re grounded.”

“Mom, I’m twenty years old.”

She spun around and planted her fists on her hips, her eyes just as wide as before. She stared me down. “Should I kick you out instead, then?”

I was already backing down, so I didn’t get it. I waved her off. “Whatever. I’m going to my room.”

“That’s exactly the problem!” she shouted.

I was in the middle of taking a step toward the hall when I stopped again…to get yelled at some more. 

“You stay in your room. You listen to your music. You do…” she fluttered her hand in the direction of my room. “Whatever it is you do in there, probably inappropriate things. You never spend time with us. With your father.”

She emphasized the last part in the way that made me feel guiltier than anything. Didn’t she see why I didn’t want to spend any time with her? Didn’t she know what I was avoiding? But I heard everything she didn’t say: Dad probably doesn’t have much time left, and I didn’t care about him. Boy, was that the fucking untruest shit ever.

Chapter 3, Sucking Ashes by Shailo Satór, work-in-progress

Guest Content

Did you see Villimey Mist’s story from last week? Check it out here.

Next week, you can read an article from Jenn Windrow about vampires and sunlight in pop culture. And later this month, I hope to entertain you with an article on Blade and a short story of my own. Stay tuned!

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