Posted in Blog Hops and Fests, Kifo Island Chroincles, Novel Excerpts, SoCS, Stream of Consciousness Saturday, Weekly Features, Writing Samples

Empty Places for #SoCS August 19, 2017

(brand-new badge from J-Dubs)

 

Note: This post contains suggestions of adult material. PG-13.

Empty Places

Did she want to be alone? To live here, by herself, without Tim? Stay here, and not run off to Devin, asking him to fill the empty places inside her?

“Well, why not?” Her voice sounded strange in the room – different and more echoing without Tim’s things. Or was that all in her head?

So many questions, and really no answers. That was scary in the same way it had been every time she left the courtroom in her mother’s custody. She’d always known she’d end up back in the courtroom, then a foster home – and, sooner or later, back in another courthouse, leaving with her mother again, with no one asking her if that’s what she wanted, because it was cheaper for the state if she wasn’t a ward of it.

Maybe that’s why she and Tim had worked. He didn’t know anything at all about that part of her life, or how fast she’d been willing, once upon her time, to drop her pants for anyone who’d let her get in what was in theirs. It didn’t matter whether they were men or women – or even how many there were, sometimes.

It was only about the empty place. Only now, years later, did she see the truth.

She’d been trying to fill herself, exactly the way her mother had. Only, what she had done with sex, her mother had done with heroin.

She’d always blamed her mother for that, for the destructive addiction that had eventually killed her, and left Drea parentless. But she was the same. Her destructive addiction just hadn’t killed her.

But who was to say it wouldn’t, if she didn’t find a healthier way to fill the voids?

Will Drea find a way to heal her emptiness?

Who is Tim, and where has he gone?

What’s next for Drea?

This snippet comes from my novel-in-progress, The Last House, from my Kifo Island series. I expect to finish this draft by the end of the summer.

This post is my entry for Linda G.Hill’s Stream of Consicousness Saturday (#SoCS), where the weekly prompt is “pant,” used any way we choose. To read more unedited stream of consciousnes pieces, click on our brand-new badge at the top of the post, or right here, for post listings.

Posted in #8Sunday, Blogfest Entries, Writers' Resources, Writing in Freedom, Writing Samples

How Do They Live? for #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!

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

Monday Morning Coffee” has been with me since I was sixteen. A local boy with schizophrenia wandered away from his family at a large outdoor event. Several days later, he was found, deceased.

From that story came this one – the connection might not be clear to anyone but me – but it’s there.

Context:


Rose has a newspaper rose made by a shabbily dressed man whom she finds compelling. As she takes her commuter train to work, she reflects on the experience of meeting him.

How Do They Live?

I hold his rose, and wonder.

How does he survive, alone on the streets? How does anyone? Especially now, with winter stretching for months ahead, and the nights falling well below freezing? Where do the forgotten humans go, when it’s killing cold outside?

How do they live?

Again, my cloak feels like a weighted accusation of excess, of plenty when others have not enough. I’ve remained carefully unaware, pretended not to see, not to notice, not to be either part of the problem, or the solution. But now I hear Jeremy’s voice in my mind.

What will Rose do now that she’s so aware?

Will she ever see Jeremy again?

What will she do with his rose?

Any guesses?

“Monday Morning Coffee” was originally published in the 2015 edition of World Unknown Review,  edited by L.S. Engler. Since I retain all rights beyond first publication, I intend to revise the story and use it as my initial self-published offering.

On Saturday, my Accomplice and I attended a Wine and Food Tasting held by a local Lions Club chapter. It was held in a yacht basin, and he was there to represent the restaurant where he works. His employer also said he could sell his artisanal hot sauces, so I was there to offer those, as he served up fresh-grilled Cajun catfish and dirty rice.

The food ran out in about an hour, and we shifted our focus to the sauces, setting out our samples and signage. We already had our new shelf stocked. We sold seven bottles – that’s pretty good, as it’s a fledgling cottage business that’s only existed for about 3 months.

My Accomplice makes the sauces by hand – it’s a labor of passion for him – but I do all the labeling, signage, platform building, and marketing….and I’ve essentially been learning as I go. It’s keeping my brain very busy (and kept me from getting to as many other #8sunday folks as I wish I was).

And, on that note….

If you’re looking for more #8Sunday, click this link!

Posted in Challenges and Contests, Enterprise fan fiction, Flash Fiction Pieces, WIPpet Wednesday, Writing in Freedom, Writing Samples

Beautiful Naked Ears 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. 


Hello there, fellow WIPpeteers – and, to those just along for the ride – welcome! Hop in, get comfy…but don’t leave popcorn in the center seat!

Well, last week I was announcing that I was getting into the habit of posting early…but then the month ended, the month began, my focus shifted…and now it’s after 7 PM on Wednesday, and I’m just getting to this post.

Okay, so it’s a habit, but not yet an ingrained one. =D

Anyway, I’m here now, and that means…

It’s time for another installment of my finally-getting–sassy-TnT fan fiction story, adapted from Humanity’s Enterprise. It’s a patchwork of stories, written in different styles, at different times, and for different projects. I’m slowly figuring out how to pull them all together into a coherent whole that explores just how and why T’Pol was the one Vulcan chosen to accompany Enterprise NX-01 on her maiden voyage.

Recap:

Trip’s “Vulcan Surprise Package” has just walked into his life for the second time –and he’s seeing lots of possibilities….

Here’s the standard disclaimer. I don’t own them; I don’t make money from them; I just love them, and I tell the stories they give me as well as I can.

WIPpet Math:

  • Today is July 5, 2017.
  • I have 5 paragraphs for you today – one for each day of the month, so far.

Beautiful Naked Ears

“Oh, I forgot – Vulcan females have a heightened sense of smell -”

John said it like the lady didn’t know, and went on to blame poor Porthos. But Trip was thinking fast, wondering if she liked the way he smelled as much as he liked the way she did. Maybe this conversation was his way to find out, and wangle an opening with his sweet Vulcan Surprise Package into the bargain.

“I took a shower this mornin’, Cap’n. How ‘bout you?” He laid the accent on nice and thick, friendly-like, hoping it would hit those beautiful, naked ears just right, compared to the way Jon was snapping at her.

It worked. Jon made the introduction – okay, he dumped the entire “Commander Charles Tucker the Third” on the poor woman, but that was all right, because now that the formalities were over, he could focus right where he wanted to – on the informalities. Trip got up, trying to look to Jon like he was just extending courtesies along with the hand he stuck out for her.

What he said now mattered. One chance to see whether he still mattered to her. She was turning to him, and his hand was waiting. He looked into those guarded hazel eyes, and wanted more than anything to see them open up again. “Trip. I’m called Trip.”

Will T’Pol shake Trip’s hand?

Will she call him Trip?

What’s next?

Any guesses?

If you enjoyed this snippet, and want something more before next Wednesday, you can pop over to my fanfiction.net page, or go directly to my Story A Day May drabbles – a loosely-connected serial of bite-sized, 100 word stories written to prompts.

Read one, all, or anywhere in between – these are the seeds of longer stories to come, and each one has its own tiny little twist.

And, as always, clicking the little blue froggy above will carry you on to other WIPpet offerings from our talented and diverse group of writerly folks. You can even add your own date-related excerpt if you’re so inclined!

Posted in fantasy, Kifo Island Chroincles, Sea Changes (KIC #!), Weekly Features, WIPpet Wednesday, writing, Writing Sample

“But I Don’t”: 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

Hi there, and, if no one’s welcomed you to March yet, let me be the first!

It’s been a busy week in Shan-land so far…busy enough that I’m a little shocked that it’s only Wednesday! Today’s my first completely at-home day since Saturday, and I’m enjoying being able to do some hometending that’s not fitted hastily into the cracks between going hither and yon. I can’t say I enjoyed the dead mouse my daughter’s kitten gifted me with, but I’ll pretend that I’m grateful. =)

I think I’ve decided what TnT story to offer you (no, I’m not ignoring your comments on last week’s post, it’s just that my cup have runneth over a bit these last few weeks, and I keep meaning to get to them without actually, you know, getting to them…

The general consensus seems to be for sassy, so hopefully my selection is suitably sassy. I’m not sure how long I’ll stay with it, but it will be at least a month or two…maybe all four months of my creative marathon that begins in April and runs through the end of July. I do know I have several chapters, and sharing them with you will give me the chance to revise them, which means everyone benefits (even the readers over at fanfiction.net, who will get to enjoy the end results). I like it when everyone wins!

Now I think we’ve kept Ava waiting long enough, and it’s not like she has the time to waste. So let’s jump back into Sea Changes,  from my Kifo Island series.

Ava Garcia was a constant revelation during the writing of her story. Her struggle goes beyond the issue of whether people should be allowed to choose the manner of their death. She encapsulates my personal attitudes about how children deserve to be treated. It’s an honor to share her voice with you!

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 has been rough-edited (trust me, you don’t want to see the muddled-beyond-hope original version! I’ll be creating a more structured revision plan once the 24 scenes pass through my local crit group (proceeding very slowly, due to Other Things), and I’ve completed Holly Lisle’s How to Revise Your Novel class.

Your input is gratefully accepted, and might go a long way toward making this a better novel!
 

Context:

Ava reacted impulsively to her father’s salacious accusation about her and Donovan. And now, the aftermath…Ava has just declared that she has the right to live on her own terms….

WIPpet Math:

  • Today is March 1, 2017

  • I have one paragraph for you.

But I Don’t”

Maybe you do, Ava – but I don’t. This is my job, and my home. If he thinks we’re involved that way – not only will I not be able to take your case – I could end up with no cases, no home – and, worse yet, maybe even criminal charges.”

Is Donovan right?

How will Ava’s father react?

Can Ava fix this, or is it already too late?

What happens next?

Next week, we will reach the end of this scene – and, at least for now, this story.

Want more WIPpets? Click the button below, and even add your own date-related excerpt if you’re so inclined!

Posted in fantasy, Kifo Island Chroincles, Sea Changes (KIC #!), Weekly Features, WIPpet Wednesday, Writing Sample

She Knew The Truth: 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’m working on a three week trend of getting to everyone. It helps that things have been quieter around here, with fewer people to visit. Still, since I’d been dropping the ball more often than not until recently, it feels good to make it around to all of the other posters. I’m still slow at getting to comments, though, so that’s what I’m trying to improve now. It’s not that I don’t appreciate the comments; it’s that life is life, y’know?

And now,  back to Ava Garcia in Sea Changes

Ava grew on me during the writing of her story. She was a constant revelation. Her struggle is compelling. For me, it goes beyond the issue of whether people should be allowed to choose the manner of their death. She encapsulates my personal attitudes about how children deserve to be treated. It’s an honor to share her voice with you!

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 has been rough-edited (trust me, you don’t want to see the muddled-beyond-hope original version! My plan is to begin creating a more structured revision plan once the 24 scenes pass through my local critique group (which isn’t happening very quickly, at the moment).

Your input is gratefully accepted, and might go a long way toward making this a better novel!

Context:

Ava is dreaming, and possibly drowning…or is she?

WIPpet Math:

  • Today is October 19, 2016

  • I‘ve got 11 sentences todaybecause adding the digits of the day (1+9=10) is equal to the monthand, because it makes more sense and there’s an equality there, I’ve given you an extra sentence. You’re welcome!

She Knew the Truth

“You’re not in the tub to play, Ava. Bath time is for getting clean. I can’t wait until you’re old enough to take a shower without me babysitting you the whole time so you don’t drown.”

Ava wanted to scream that she was drowning, right now, but she didn’t have enough breath left to her for that. But she wasn’t under the water anymore, was she?

How could she be drowning, if she wasn’t under the water?

“Now hurry up and finish. I’ve still got plenty to do once you’re in bed, you know.”

But Ava was drowning, and the bubbles were gone, lost in the thick jagged ocean of angry words – wait; where was the tub?

But she knew the truth. It had been a long, long time since there were any bubbles in her life.

Can Ava find some bubbles in her life?

Is she in the water, or is this part of the dream?

Will Ava find her way forward?

Next week, we’ll learn a little more.

Want more WIPpets? Click the button below, and even add your own date-related excerpt if you’re so inclined!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in "Monday Morning Coffee", Published Works, Short Stories, Weekend Writing Warriors, Weekly Features, Writing Sample

Five Hundred and Thirty-Seven Mornings: #8sunday #WeWriWa

 

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! 

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 wrapped up “A Splash of Red,” last week, so it’s time to move along. This week, I bring you a brand new project! I’m sharing my second published story, which will also be self-published, hopefully in 2017.

“Monday Morning Coffee” is both similar and very unlike “Splash.” It’s not as autobiographical, but it is a story that’s been with me longer than my oldest child has. It began, in its earliest form, when I was only sixteen, and there was a compelling news story that fired my sense of empathy and imagination, together. A teenaged boy with schizophrenia wandered away from his family at a large outdoor event, and, several days later, was found, deceased.

From that story came this one – the connection might not be clear to anyone but me – but it’s there.I’m not quite sure how to classify this story; any ideas and impressions you have, I’d love to hear!

 

Five Hundred and Thirty-Seven Mornings

Squeezing onto the edge of the bench furthest from the track, I’m glad for my warm, blanket-like cloak that makes the metal and the cold air tolerable, if not comfortable. Another winter morning where I spurn the warmth of my bed to face the emptiness of my tiny little office, and my solitary work. I juggle my oversized purse and my latte in its lidded plastic mug as I try to settle next to a woman whose stiff body language says that she doesn’t want me here.

Five hundred and thirty-seven mornings I’ve ordered the same large caramel hazelnut double-shot soymilk latte from a chain of apathetic coffee-shop girls, interchangeable links with only appearance distinguishing one from another. My mind muzzily plays with images of coffee beans and the daily grind while I watch the writhing mass of humanity, all seeking warmth, but not connection. Five hundred and thirty-seven mornings, now, I’ve come to this plastic-walled little shelter, carrying the same cheap blue plastic travel mug to await my train.

It’s painful, almost, this combination of random touch and absence, the shuffling and low-grade babbling that says nothing. Body brushes against body; no real contact is made.

What will morning #537 bring?
Who is this woman?
What does she do?

Are you interested in her story?
Come back next week and learn more!

Monday Morning Coffee” was originally published in the 2015 edition of World Unknown Review,  edited by L.S. Engler.  Since I retain all rights beyond first publication, I intend to revise the story and add it as my own self-published library.

One last thing before I go – throughout this post, there are three Cooper’s hawk portraits – all candidates for the cover of “A Splash of Red.” If you’ve got a favorite, don’t hesitate to say so; it might help me  decide!

Want more #8Sunday? Here’s the button for you!

 

 

 

 

Posted in fantasy, Kifo Island Chroincles, Sea Changes (KIC #!), Weekly Features, WIPpet Wednesday, Writing Sample

Drowning Again: 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.

YAY! I made it to everyone last week (or, at least I think I did!) I’m going to be making that a focus every Thursday, so that I can keep caught up. I love reading the snippets, and it seems a fair trade for wanting people to read mine, so…I’m making it a priority.

It’s a time of change here, but not the type that’s obvious above the surface. It’s more a changing of attitudes and perspective. So, in that way, it fits well with this snippet, where Ava Garcia feels lost beneath the surface of the water…So, let’s get back to her, in Sea Changes.

Ava grew on me during the writing of her story. She was a constant revelation. Her struggle is compelling. For me, it goes beyond the issue of whether people should be allowed to choose the manner of their death. She encapsulates my personal attitudes about how children deserve to be treated. It’s an honor to share her voice with you!

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 has been rough-edited (trust me, you don’t want to see the muddled-beyond-hope original version! My plan is to begin creating a more structured revision plan once the 24 scenes pass through my local crit group (which isn’t happening very quickly, at the moment).

Your input is gratefully accepted, and might go a long way toward making this a better novel!

WIPpet Math:

  • Today is October 5, 2016

  • I‘ve got 11 short paragraphs todayten for the month, and one for the first Wednesday in it!

Drowning Again

The red-tinged bubbles floated away, up and up, carrying away her breath, all that was still alive within her. Filled with the last of her air, the bubbles rose, up and up through the sharp jagged ocean of words, and, somehow, they didn’t pop, but only rose and rose…

The bubbles rose. Yes!

Bubbles rose. If she had enough strength, she could follow where they led, up through this jagged, hurtful ocean, to safety…

But did she have enough air left in her tortured lungs to make the bubbles that might save her life?

Ava exhaled slowly, the way she’d seen pearl divers do in videos on the tablet that had been taken away from her. Slowly, drowning in the angry jagged ocean, she trusted the bubbles, and gave the rest of her air to them, and they led her up to the surface.

Rising, rising, but so slowly…

Too slowly.

A precious bubble popped beside her, and Ava was three. Not in a jagged ocean of hateful words now, but in the tub in the first house she remembered. She’d learned to blow bubbles in daycare that morning, and she wanted to show off what she’d learned.

Mami, look!” She was bouncing so hard the water sloshed over the side. “See what I can do!”

“You shouldn’t let her call you that name. It’s low-class; we agreed to raise her as an American, Cara.” Papi’s voice threw hard edges into the happy warm glow of the bath, and his big body blocked the doorway, throwing huge shadows that made her duck down under the surface of the water –

And Ava was drowning again.

Will Papi’s hard-edged voice pop Ava’s bubbles?

Can she find her way to the surface again?

Is there real danger awaiting her?

Next week, we’ll learn a little more.

Want more WIPpets? Click the button below, and even add your own date-related excerpt if you’re so inclined!

This memory may have informed Ava's...art imitates life!
This memory may have informed Ava’s…art imitates life!