Posted in #8Sunday, Blogfest Entries, Just for Fun!, Life Writing, Marketing my Writing, Parenting, Writers' Resources, Writing in Freedom, Writing Samples

Slicing Through My Soul: #WeWriWa #8Sunday

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors’ Eight Sentence Sunday!

It’s the weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! We’ve got a variety of genres and talented writers just waiting for you to come sample their wordy wares. Come read one, or all, or pick a few like leftover holiday memories….

If you’re inclined to share your own 8-10 sentence snippet, follow the link and sign up. It’s a great community to be a part of! =D

It’s the weekend as I prep this post – a full week before Sunday the 12th. Yup, that’s right – I’m running EARLY!

I know; that’s a little shocking, since I’m usually the caboose on the links list. But I’ve shifted my main focus from Story a Day May to JuNoWriMo – and from exploring characters and their stories to actually, well, writing the novels these characters will inhabit, and I’m trying to get some of the smaller, slip-through-the-cracks stuff tended to before the noveling pulls me back in for another round of creation.

And so, here I am – so early it’s a little disorienting, but in a good way. I think I could even get used to this…(except that, after I wrote this, I got sick, and then it was all a scramble to get those big things done, and now it’s Friday, and I’m close to running late again, which makes me rather happy in a run-on sentence kind of way that I started this way back when!)

But now, onward…

We’ve gathered here today to explore another snippet from “A Splash of Red,” which I’m serializing. This surreal fantasy story is the child of my own life and dreams, with a generous dollop of imagery and a big dash of creative license…we’re getting close to the end, now, so things that have been mysteries will maybe begin to come clear…or as clear as they will get, anyway.

More on the story after the nine-sentence snippet.

Context, such as it is…A woman is attempting to win the trust of a little girl in a red dress, while hawks wheel above.We left last week with the child’s truncated question still unfinished.

Given the surrealism of the story, punctuation is a bit creative, so be warned!

Slicing Through My Soul

“Do you hit them? Yell at them? Call them names?”

I know that, if she’s ever to trust me, I have to give her the truth, even when it’s not pretty. “I yell, sometimes – not as much as I used to. I don’t hit them, or call names. I used to, though, before I learned how not to.”

“Why?” Her voice is an accusing cry, more fearsome than the hawk’s, slicing through my soul.

How will the woman answer?

Will she answer at all?

Will the child be able to trust her?

Next week may bring answers – and certainly more questions!

Previous “A Splash of Red” snippets:

Did you like what you read? “A Splash of Red” was originally published in the 2014 inaugural edition of World Unknown Review, which is edited by L.S. Engler. Since I retain all rights beyond first publication, I intend to revise the story and use it as my own initial self-publishing experiment.

That being said, I’d love any and all input and criticism you’re inclined to offer. Until then, may your week be delightful! =D

And in tangentially related news, I’m honored to be May’s Featured Writer for the 2015 edition of World Unknown Review! Here’s my story, “Monday Morning Coffee” at L.S. Engler, available free for a limited time. You can also read my interview with L.S. 

Want more #8Sunday?

Posted in Blogfest Entries, Challenges and Contests, Just for Fun!, Life Writing, Marketing my Writing, Novel Excerpts, WIPpet Wednesday, Writers' Resources, Writing in Freedom, Writing Samples

“Without Tethers and Poisons”: Sea Changes (Kifo Island Chronicles Volume 1) for WIPpet Wednesday


Welcome to WIPpet Wednesday, a weekly blog hop which encourages writers to move WIPs (works-in-progress) to publication by posting excerpts related to the date.We’re led by the capable fingers and nimble mind of Emily Witt.

I made it to everyone last week! Before the weekend was over, even!

It helps that I’m settling into my new June focuses, and finding something of a rhythm. Yup, it’s the rhythm of Paul Simon’s new album, Stranger to Stranger. It varies, with driving beats, lyrical grace, short and longer tracks – there’s a certain amount of lovely chaos in it that suits me perfectly – and it’s Paul Simon, my all-time favorite singer/songwriter, so there’s that.

Anyway, I think I’ve got the hang of this transition from Story a Day May to JuNoWriMo and noveling. I’m finding a pace, moving between projects, and I can finally see my way to finishing the rough draft of A Rising Tide and the plotting of the next project on my summer schedule, The Far Shore.

But I’m getting a little ahead of myself, here…

Because now it’s time to rejoin Donovan Nash and Ava Garcia in Sea Changes.

Donovan is one of my favorite Kifo Island characters. He had a major supporting role in both of my previously drafted Kifo stories. Now, he gets his own (well, shared with Karina and Ava, but still, he’s finally the star he was always meant to be!)

For those new to this story, here’s the premise:

In advocating for a dying girl seeking emancipation from controlling parents, can an overburdened young woman and a lonely young man find a future together?

Note:

This passage is NaNo rough. My plan is to begin creating a revision plan within the next few months, when all 24 scenes have passed through my local crit group. Of course, that means I’ll have to do the rough revision pass on this one, so I can, you know, SUBMIT it….)

That said, any input is gratefully accepted!

WIPpet Math:

  • Today is June 8, 2016
  • I‘ve got 11 sentences today. Why 11? Well, because I had the wrong date, and 11 sentences brings us to a very nice stopping place (from my perspective, but maybe not yours…) Or, we could say that it’s because I added the 8 and 6 from the day and year to get 14, then subtracted the 2 and the 1 from the year, leaving us with -presto! – 11 sentences. Wouldn’t be true, but we can still say it, right? =)

Donovan and Ava are exploring a possible working relationship. Donovan has asked Ava what she wants and needs.

“Without Tethers and Poisons”

“I want to live. I want not to have leukemia – but those are wishes no one can grant, not even that fairy godmother in all those ridiculous princess stories my mother read to me whether I wanted to hear them or not. What I want most is to live and die somewhere beautiful. Somewhere without tethers and poisons. Somewhere where walls and elevators and hospital policy don’t separate my from the rest of the world, ‘for my own good.’ Somewhere just like here, where someone like you might be my friend, and occasionally even hug me.”

Her eyes were still wet with tears, but, for the second time today, Donovan encountered a stranger who met his eyes without fear or surprise or revulsion. He thought he loved her for that, and it decided him.

“Whatever happens, Ava, I’m in this with you. I don’t need to hear anything more, but I will need access to your medical history, if I’m going to be the best support person I can be – “

“It may take longer to read it than I have left to live,” the girl said, and she sagged back against her chair as though in mute testament to the living of those records.

Will Donovan be able to help Ava reach her goals?

Should she have the right to refuse further treatment?

What will Ava’s medical records reveal about her status?

Some of these questions may be answered – and others will certainly be posed- next week, so be sure to come back then to learn more of Donovan’s story.

To catch up with Donovan’s scene, just follow the links:

And now, a friendly reminder:


If you’re enjoying my Kifo Island posts, and would like to see the evolution of two upcoming novels, The Far Shore and Tsunamis, I’ll soon be posting an index for my Story a Day May 2016 vignettes (OK, maybe soon is a relative term. Maybe we should go with ‘eventually’ instead….

Want more WIPpets?

You can find them, and add your own date-related excerpt, by following the little blue froggy from WIPpet to WIPpet to WIPpet!

 

 

Posted in Blogfest Entries, Just for Fun!, Life Writing, Marketing my Writing, Stream of Consciousness Saturday, Writers' Resources, Writing in Freedom, Writing Samples

Scattered Bookishness for #SoCS

This post is part of Linda G.Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday meme -an unedited stream of consciousness piece that ties into the weekly prompt: ‘book,’ used any way we like.

I’m scattered today. Probably a blend of fatigue from swimming and a good deal of activity yesterday, and buying the new Paul Simon album, Stranger to Stranger. I’ve been listening to it all day, and it inspired me – not so much to blog about books, but to finish a Trip and T’Pol fan fiction story I began a week or more ago, to do some mellow hometending, and to go out in the yard and take pictures on Instagram in the fading light – the view from here stuff. You can find those and the rest of my growing Instagram gallery here. =)

What you can’t see or here is the way my neighbors are randomly exploding fireworks. That’s distracting, an it makes me jump.

But we’re here today to discuss books, and books are and always have been a huge part of my life.

  • I learned to read at age 4. At school in the mid-70s, we weren’t “taught” to read until first grade, with Dick and Jane books. I know some people love them; I found them insulting and nearly deadly dull, even at age 6. I went home every night and read things like Black Beauty and Heidi.

  • When my parents wanted to punish me severely, they didn’t ground me. They took away my reading privileges!

  • I’ve been sorting books. Everyone in our family can now read at an adult level, and we have probably a couple of thousand children’s books here (a lifestyle occupation of our unschooling life,) and we’ll be moving cross country in the next year or so, so we’re sorting through, little by little, to keep only what is loved and wanted – and, apparently, letting go of books isn’t an easy matter for me, or my daughter. But, oh, the cool books we’re rediscovering! =D

  • A few years back, my sister was at a party at my house. At one point, she looked around my living room, where only a portion of our many, many books reside, and exclaimed, “I thought I had a lot of books, but you’ve REALLY got a lot of books!” I looked at her incredulously, and said, “Have you met me?!” Maybe that was rude, but I just couldn’t believe that my sibling, with whom I’d shared a room all through childhood, and a house and an apartment as adults, wouldn’t have known beyond doubt how intricately interwoven my life is with books.

  • There are 160 books on my Kindle! I didn’t realize there was that many, and, to be honest, most of them are in the cloud drive, but the idea that I have access to 160 books on a device barely taller, no wider than, and definitely thinner than, a paperback – and much, much easier to read in bed or carry in my bag – is amazing. I know some people are anti-paper book, or anti-e-reader, but I say “Vive la diversite!”

  • And, of course, I write books. I’ve learned to plot them first, and I’m getting the hang of revising them. Once I get firm footing with that, I will learn how to self-publish and market them.

Well, I think the neighbors just did their very loud, very pretty, and very distracting finale. A good sign that this post, too, has come to a natural end.

Did you enjoy this dip into the Stream of Consciousness waters? Come join in – there’s plenty of room, and just a few simple rules. Check out the #SoCS hashtag, or on the Friday  Prompt post.


Posted in Blogfest Entries, Challenges and Contests, Flash Fiction Pieces, Just for Fun!, Life Writing, Marketing my Writing, Sexuality and Erotica, Story a Day May Challenge, Stream of Consciousness Saturday, Writers' Resources, Writing in Freedom, Writing Samples

Whoa, Wait – What? The Kifo Project for #SoCS and #StaD Day 21


This post is part of Linda G.Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday meme -an unedited stream of consciousness piece that ties into the weekly prompt: ‘break/brake,’ using one or both, any way we like.

Why, hello there!

No, you’re not imagining it. I’m here for the second week in a row! OK, so that might have a lot to do with combining prompts with another challenge:

Let me tell you a Story A Day, all May long…

In June and July, I’ll be drafting two new Kifo Island novels. I know something about 5 of the 6 point of view characters, and I’ve got a sketchy idea of the plots – but I need to learn more about these people and their stories.

So, in May, I explore. Every day, I’ll follow the prompts in A Month of Writing Prompts 2016. I’ll play while moving through my planning efforts. Some of these stories may become part of the eventual novels, but my goal is to invite these characters to show me who they are and what they want – and how their lives fit together to make a novel.

I wanted to get this post up yesterday, but the story felt like it wasn’t quite right. I set it aside and slept on it, and today, I was able to figure out where to go in revisions.

The daily prompt is, A Classic Story-Starter.” You’ll find in in the opening quote. I thought it was going to go in another direction, but, in classic stream-of-consciousness style, it went somewhere else.

Week Three is our Rescue Week – some easier prompts that offset the challenges behind and still ahead.

Zeke and Yvette are in bed together for the first time…needless to say, this is an R-rated story. Potentially NSFW.

Whoa, Wait -What?

Huh,” he said. “I didn’t think that could fit in there.”

“That’s what she said.” Yvette reached up and tangled her fingers in his curls, pulling him in for a close, tight kiss. “But no more talking, now, mon chere. Now is time for l’amour.

Zeke focused on the kissing. It had been so long since he’d been with a woman, and she was a hell of a woman. He was desperate to put an emergency brake on the urge to just plunge in and let himself go crazy.

That was no way to treat the woman he loved.

Whoa, wait –

What?

Love? Did he? Did he love her?

The question floated there in his mind, in their tangled-up breaths, sighs, and moans, as they learned how to give and take pleasure together…

It floated there as they strained for every last crumb of ecstasy, and as she fell asleep in his arms.

Zeke held her as though she might break, like there was no greater treasure in the world, and he knew.

He was in love with Yvette Perrault.

And she was another man’s wife.

Did you enjoy this dip into the Stream of Consciousness waters? Come join in – there’s plenty of room, and just a few simple rules. Check out the #SoCS hashtag, or get more SoCS right here!

Posted in #8Sunday, Blogfest Entries, Just for Fun!, Life Writing, Marketing my Writing, Parenting, Writing in Freedom, Writing Samples

To Help Her Heal: #WeWriWa #8Sunday

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors’ Eight Sentence Sunday!

It’s the weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! We’ve got a variety of genres and talented writers just waiting for you to come sample their wordy wares. Come read one, or all, or pick a few like leftover holiday memories….

If you’re inclined to share your own 8-10 sentence snippet, follow the link and sign up. It’s a great community to be a part of! =D

Is it the weekend again, already? It feels like it came very fast, from out of nowhere, but that probably has more to do with my level of busyness and the addition of our daughter’s new kitten, Amelia, to our clan. Oh, and that thing where I pretty much always reach further than I can grasp, and then stubbornly proceed to ignore that fact…

Enough about that, though. It is the weekend, so it’s time for another snippet from “A Splash of Red”, which I’m serializing here. This surreal fantasy story is the child of my own life and dreams, with a generous dollop of imagery and a big dash of creative license…

More on the story after the eight-sentence snippet.

Context, such as it is…A woman is attempting to win the trust of a little girl in a red dress, while hawks wheel above. She’s found a talisman of sorts, and wants to gift it to the child.

Given the surrealism of the story, punctuation is a bit creative, so be warned!

To Help Her Heal

I extend my hand out flat, the little heart-shaped pebble resting on my palm. I make of my hand an altar for the offering, the way you feed a horse. The way we were required to hold our hands as altars for the blessed blows of the Whippin’ Stick.

She’s trembling, and I long to pull her close, as I would my own daughter, to warm her chill cheek against my breast, her cold heart within my embrace… but I’ll have to earn the right to touch her, to hold her, to help her heal…

The hawks stay silent in the hopeful sky, their feathers brighter than the changing leaves.

“This is for you.” I watch her from behind the fall of my hair. She edges a little closer, then again, as the hawks circle silently, watching, waiting.

Will the child accept the gift?

What will happen if she does?

If she doesn’t?

Next week may bring answers –

and certainly more questions!

Previous “A Splash of Red” snippets:

Like what you read?

“A Splash of Red” was originally published in the 2014 inaugural edition of World Unknown Review, which is edited by L.S. Engler. Since I retain all rights beyond first publication, I intend to revise the story and use it as my own initial self-publishing experiment.

That being said, I’d love any and all input and criticism you’re inclined to offer. Until then, may your week be delightful! =D

And in tangentially related news…

I’m honored to be May’s Featured Writer for the 2015 edition of World Unknown Review! Here’s my story, “Monday Morning Coffee”, at L.S. Engler. An interview is also pending. Exciting stuff!

Want more #8Sunday?

My daughter and me, pre Phantom of the Opera, 2014. She was almost 10.
Posted in #8Sunday, Blogfest Entries, Challenges and Contests, Just for Fun!, Marketing my Writing, Writers' Resources, Writing in Freedom, Writing Samples

“The Dreams That Took Me There”: #WeWriWa #8Sunday

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors’ Eight Sentence Sunday!

It’s the weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! We’ve got a variety of genres and talented writers just waiting for you to come sample their wordy wares. Come read one, or all, or pick a few like leftover holiday memories….

If you’re inclined to share your own 8-10 sentence snippet, follow the link and sign up. It’s a great community to be a part of! =D

I never made it here last week. A combination of showers of April challenges and a trip with the kids to visit friends in central New Jersey, five hours from our upstate New York home…oh, and Friday afternoon spent in train and subway riding, and a visit to the American Museum of Natural History, which was spectacular even if we stuck to the gems (for those Steven Universe fans in our group); human evolution (because it’s good to know where you come from); and animal evolution (for my wild-child daughter, almost 12, who loves wildlife, evolution, genetics, anatomy, dinosaurs, mastodont, and BONES!)

By the time I remembered to pull together a post, the list was long since closed, and I think I was headed north on the New Jersey Turnpike with a full belly from Sunday dinner, a full heart from time with dear friends, and two sleeping children.

 

So, here we are again…a week later, and it’s Friday. I’m typing from my bed, next to an open window that’s bringing me a cool spring breeze, sunshine, and birdsong. The children, nocturnal this week, are asleep still. It’s calm, and time for my next snippet fromA Splash of Red” , which I’m serializing here. This surreal fantasy story is the child of my own life and dreams, with a generous dollop of imagery and a big dash of creative license…

More on the story after the nine-sentence snippet.

Context, such as it is…A woman is attempting to win the trust of a little girl in a red dress, while hawks wheel above. She’s found a talisman of sorts, and a boulder that sparks memories they share.
Given the surrealism of the story, punctuation is a bit creative, so be warned!

“The Dreams That Took Me There”

“No. I didn’t steal them. I wouldn’t. They’re yours. They always have been. You dreamed the dream of bison, and the desert, and the ocean. You dreamed the dreams that took me there.”

She uncurls from her lair, hawks still in her eyes, but now, too, the bison, and sharp-scented sage, the rhythm of the waves, heard and felt in the darkness..I can feel her, and I open, inviting her in –

The hawks go silent, but still they wheel in the hopeful sky, their feathers brighter than changing leaves.

 

How did the child’s dreams take the woman anywhere?

Can the woman give these places back to the child?

What do the hawks intend to do?

Come back next week; I may have answers…

And I will certainly ask more questions!

Previous “A Splash of Red” snippets:

Did you like what you read? “A Splash of Red” was originally published in the 2014 inaugural edition of World Unknown Review,  which is edited by L.S. Engler. Since I retain all rights beyond first publication, I intend to revise the story and use it as my own initial self-publishing experiment.

That being said, I’d love any and all input and criticism you’re inclined to offer. Until then, may your week be delightful! =D

And as a special thank-you for my readers, I’ve been participating in the Blogging From A-Z April Challenge. Boldly Go with me as I let Trip and T’Pol use me for their stories, all month long – and if you want even more strange new worlds, you can visit my newly-active page at fanfiction.net, as well!

Want more #8Sunday?

Since one of my favorite tunes is now being used by a political candidate, I thought I’d share it in its entirety.

Posted in CampNaNoWriMo, Just for Fun!, Marketing my Writing, Novel Excerpts, Writers' Resources, Writing in Freedom, Writing Samples

“I Find It Fascinating”: Sea Changes (Kifo Island Chronicles Volume 1) for WIPpet Wednesday


Welcome to WIPpet Wednesday, a weekly blog hop which encourages writers to move WIPs (works-in-progress) to publication by posting excerpts related to the date.We’re led by the capable fingers and nimble mind of Emily Witt.

Happy Wednesday once again!

Holy cow – April is less than two days away, and that’s no joke!

Fortunately, I’ve finished plotting my April CampNaNoWriMo novel project, A Rising Tide (Kifo Island Chronicles #4). Yes, there are a few things I’d like to do before the drafting commences, but it’s not necessary to finish them in order to start writing.

The Blogging From A-Z Challenge preparations are another matter. Because I love challenging myself (and because I just might be going slightly mad), I’ll be offering 26 alphabetical fan fiction vignettes, AND (at least hopefully) extended stories based upon these little treats. I’ve moved forward from last week:

  • Instead of a rough copy of a post template, I’ve got a finished draft.
  • I‘ve added Week Two’s vignette revisions to Week One’s.
  • My A post is roughed out; still waiting for embellishing and that extended story link, but getting there. That should be done sometime today, and then I can start on the B post with some idea what I’m doing. It’s my hope that I’ll get faster as I go along.
  • In addition to the two extended stories I already had because the originals were too long to be vignettes. I’ve drafted and begun revisions on the A story (nearly 4K words; they won’t all be that long!).
  • I now have open-ended outlines for 19/26 stories, so moving right along there…

By the way, Zootopia was wonderful, full of jokes on a variety of levels, all while providing some very relevant social commentary. Well worth the time spent not writing.

But none of that’s really what we’re here for today, which is another snippet from Donovan Nash‘s opening scene in Sea Changes.

Donovan is one of my favorite Kifo Island characters. He had a major supporting role in both of my previously drafted Kifo stories. Now, he gets his own (well, shared with Karina, and maybe Ava, but still, he’s finally the star he was always meant to be!)

For those who’ve forgotten, or are new to this story, here’s the premise:

In advocating for a dying girl seeking emancipation from controlling parents, can an overburdened young woman and a lonely young man find a future together?

Note:

This passage is NaNo rough. Mygoal is to have a revision plan within the next few months. That said, any input is gratefully accepted!

WIPpet Math:

  • Today is March 30, 2016
  • I‘ve got the next three paragraphs of Donovan’s story today. Why three? Well, it’s the third month, and, using the date, 3+0=3. Also, three just happens to be my favorite number.

Context: Donovan has just met Ava Garcia – a small and as-yet indistinct form in a darkened room. She’s recognized that he’s albino, in a way that puts Donovan at ease. Now, we get a better look at Ava.

“I Find It Fascinating”

“You don’t need to keep your hat and glasses on, if you don’t want to,” she said, as he crossed the floor to where she was sitting. He was rather startled to realize that he’d been talking to a young girl – maybe twelve or so.

“Some people find my appearance – off-putting, without them.” He settled himself in the other chair. “But, if you’d rather -”

“If we’re going to work together, we should both be comfortable. I’ve spent a lot of time in hospitals the last three years- most of it, in fact. I’ve met four other albino people; I’m used to the way you’re colored, and, to be honest, I find it fascinating.”

Why is Ava all alone?

What type of work are they hoping to do together?

Why has she spent so much time in hospitals?

What’s next?

Some of these questions may be answered – and others will certainly be posed- next week, so be sure to come back then to learn more of Donovan’s story.

To read Donovan’s scene in its entirety, follow the links:

Want more WIPpets? You can find them, and even add your own date-related excerpt if you’re so inclined, by following the little blue froggy from WIPpet to WIPpet to WIPpet!

“Fascinating” quotes: Because I couldn’t resist!