Wednesday Words #130 (6/21/2017)

Welcome to Wednesday Words!  Every Wednesday I will post some sort of prompt for a flash fiction piece.  The prompt will go live just after midnight Eastern time.

The prompt might be a picture, or it might be a list of things to include in a story, or maybe a phrase or a question or something from a “news of the weird” type thing, or a… who knows?

After that, it’s up to you.  But if you do use the prompt to write a bit of flash fiction (say, 500 words or so) I’d love to see what you came up with, so comment below with a link to where it is on your blog (or on WattPad or wherever).

(And a pingback to the post here where you found the prompt would be appreciated but isn’t necessary.)

Oh, and this isn’t a contest or anything.  It’s just a (hopefully) fun thing for all concerned.

And, hey, if it inspires more than 500 or so words, run with it!

This week’s prompt:

a wren
a bowl
a wreath

 

And, as always, I’d love to see what you come up with!

 

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Families II

 

Way back at the end of March I wrote a blog post on Families.   It’s about the kind you (well, your characters) are born into and how they shape you/your characters.  And I said that my next post would be about the kind of family that you find or create. That didn’t happen because the next post was for Camp NaNoWriMo and for some reason the topic got pushed aside. But seeing as yesterday was Father’s Day I’ve been thinking about families again so here it is, at long last.

I think that most people have someone (or multiple someones) that they consider to be family, even if not related by blood. For instance, my roommate is my best friend and the sister I never had. (And the person I’m most likely to murder, which I’ve been told is the actual definition of a sister.)  My mother even says she has two daughters: one genetic and one generic.

(I also have someone that I think of as a daughter.)

In the Academy of the Accord series, it is noted that families you “find” are often better than those you are born into. It’s also noted that the school feels like a family, mostly because the leaders have formed their own sort of family unit.  Marsden, the Commander of the Garrison, is the father Kordelm never had and the one Wellhym wishes he’d had.  Vinadi, the school’s Headmaster, is viewed in much the same light by Torlew and (especially) Yhonshel, and as a surrogate father by Caristen. (Kordelm and Wellhym are warriors; Vinadi, Torlew and Caristen are wizards, and Yhonshel is both.)

When the “second generation” starts, they all think of Senzu as a daughter. (Her race doesn’t have families as we think of them so she doesn’t think of them as fathers.)

When Draethlen joins the group, he thinks of Marsden as a father. (He doesn’t remember his own family.)  Kordelm and Wellhym think of him as a little brother, and as the other cadets join their family group they (along with Torlew and Caristen) think of all of them as “the boys” – the same way that Vinadi and Marsden think of them.

(Kordelm and Wellhym do, however, refrain from thinking of Marsden as the boy’s grandfather, mostly out of a sense of self-preservation of their pride; both are relatively certain Marsden could probably still “dust the pit” with them in a spar.)

The family that the characters form is unbreakable, unlike the ones some of them were born into.  They share a common bond, not of blood, but of Honor.

In other not-yet-published (or even completed) novels, I also have families that were found, not born. In Book Two of the Other Mages trilogy, Katheri is confused when a visitor helps with the dishes, thinking that it isn’t right for a guest to be put to work like that. Trebor and D’Laron explain to her that Luthen isn’t a guest, he’s family.

Doing the dishes becomes sort of an inside joke then, and when they later send Katheri to the kitchen to do the dishes (so they can talk about things she’s not ready to be involved in yet) she sees it not as being dismissed, but as being accepted.

And after all, isn’t that what family is?  People who accept you as you?

 

 

 

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Sunday Snippet June 18, 2017

 

More from Song and Sword, the first novel I published, since I’m working on a sequel and need the motivation.  This follows immediately after last week’s snippet.

Other voices – male – caught his attention and he turned.  A group of young men were setting out on a hunt, their spears resting on their shoulders, and he smiled, silently leaping from his perch in an old oak and giving a whispered whistle. 

A moment later his mount appeared, his dark red coat appearing brown in the forest shadows, his horn gleaming black in the filtered light.  For a moment he leaned against the unicorn, the only true friend he’d ever had, the only thing that could never be taken from him. “What do you think, Rebel? Should we join the hunt?”

Rebel tossed his head, striking at the ground with one hoof. He seemed uneasy, and Dakkas frowned. “What is it, Reb?”  For a moment fear gripped him.  Perhaps Jehadi or their father had come after him – his death would be easier to explain if it happened outside of Raes’drao-V’len, the Drow Kingdom.  No. If it was a threat to him Rebel would be taking him away by now, not standing here, waiting. 

Song and Sword cover

Blurb:
Pashevel: a simple Elven Bard — and the Crown Prince

Marlia: a Paladin of Arithen, the Elven God of Justice – seeking vengeance for the destruction of her village

Dakkas: heir to the Drow throne — if his father and elder half-brother don’t kill him first

Kashrya: raised among a tribe of nomadic Humans, she is unaware of her true heritage — or of the prophecy that made her mother an outcast

Their goal: build a bridge between the Elves and their outcast brethren, the Drow, reuniting them and undoing the damage caused in a time so far gone that history has become legend and legend has become myth.

But first, they have a problem to solve:  how do you stop a war that hasn’t started?

Available for Kindle at Amazon

and at Smashwords for everything else

 

Find more great reading
at the Sunday Snippet group.

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Rainbow Snippet for 6-17-2017

rainbow logo 1

Rainbow Snippets is a group for LGBTQ+ authors, bloggers, and readers to gather once a week and share six sentences from a work of fiction–a WIP or a finished work or even a 6-sentence book recommendation (no spoilers please!).   Check out all the other awesome snippets by clicking on the picture above.

Picking up from last week’ snippet of Onyx Sun.

Taliya sighed. “It’s been a long day – for both of us.  I’m going to bed.”

 

“No,” Luzita pleaded softly.  She stepped closer to Taliya and wrapped her arms around her, and a moment later Taliya was lost in the feel of her lips, soft and gentle, then almost fierce with a growing hunger.

Luzita’s arms and lips – the things she had missed the most, the only things she had been looking forward to when she was heading home from Roseeba Seven – the only things that had drawn her home at all…

And yet she could not quite lose herself in them; she was too hurt, and too mistrustful, and she pulled away.

 

 

 

 

 

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Bad Idea

Guess what I did on my days off?

Nothing all that productive (other than planting the grapevine my roommate bought to replace the one the neighbor destroyed).

Nope.

Mostly I read. I’m telling you, that Kindle app on my phone is the death of productivity. Of course, it was also much cooler downstairs than it was up in my room. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Now, reading in and of itself isn’t a bad thing. After all, when you’re not writing or re-writing you should be reading.

But…

But for some reason I started thinking about one of the stories in my “Novels I’m Ignoring” folder so I opened it up and re-read it.  It’s Hedge House and was my 2015 NaNoWriMo novel.

And you know what? It’s not too bad for a first draft. If you overlook all the typos (I fixed a bunch) and the notes that I left for myself, it’s really pretty good plot and character wise.

It’s not finished, though. I haven’t had the big final fight and wrapped up stuff, and I’m not even sure I’m to that point with it yet. I do know that I shouldn’t have read it because now I want to get back to work on it, but there’s so much else I should be focusing on.

Maybe it would be all right to start a spiral bound notebook for it of things to check on, threads I don’t want to let drop, etc… That’s not really working on it, is it?

Anyhow, lesson learned:

Don’t re-read old WiPs unless you intend to go back to work on them right that minute.

And I still have no idea what I’m doing for Camp in two weeks, but having re-read Hedge House I now have one more option to try to sort through.

I still have two weeks to decide, right?

Meanwhile, someone keep me from re-reading any more old WiPs or I’ll never be able to decide.

 

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Wednesday Words #129 (6/14/2017)

Welcome to Wednesday Words!  Every Wednesday I will post some sort of prompt for a flash fiction piece.  The prompt will go live just after midnight Eastern time.

The prompt might be a picture, or it might be a list of things to include in a story, or maybe a phrase or a question or something from a “news of the weird” type thing, or a… who knows?

After that, it’s up to you.  But if you do use the prompt to write a bit of flash fiction (say, 500 words or so) I’d love to see what you came up with, so comment below with a link to where it is on your blog (or on WattPad or wherever).

(And a pingback to the post here where you found the prompt would be appreciated but isn’t necessary.)

Oh, and this isn’t a contest or anything.  It’s just a (hopefully) fun thing for all concerned.

And, hey, if it inspires more than 500 or so words, run with it!

This week’s prompt:

a card
someone whittling
a backpack

And, as always, I’d love to see what you come up with!

 

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Reasons, Excuses, and Other Dodges

So I was laying in bed this morning trying to make myself get up and get my day started and thinking that it was too hot to move. (For those don’t know me, I hate the heat and it was already about 80F and the fan wasn’t helping much.)

And then I was thinking about how much the heat drains me and how I don’t feel like doing much of anything, including writing, and then I wondered if that was a reason or an excuse.

I decided that it was an excuse and that excuses were a good topic for a blog post.

(Hey, it’s better than my original thought of comparing writing a novel to gardening – I’m saving that gem for another day.)

So then I started thinking about a form I have somewhere about excuses and believe it or not I found it on my computer.

It’s from my days as a Municipal Liaison for NaNoWriMo and it’s called “Resistance vs. Life Happens: How to Tell the Difference.”  I don’t know who created it (and the URL given at the bottom apparently doesn’t work anymore) but it was passed freely so I’m going to try to share it in the blog post.

And then I’m going to use it.

Of course, first I’m going to have to set up scheduled writing times because it’s based on “Broken Writing Dates” and forces you to look at why you stood yourself up.  Then it asks you to identify themes and form a plan of correction and start the process all over.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Resistance vs. Life Happens: How to Tell the Difference

Fill in the following information over the course of several weeks to a few months depending on the frequency of how often you miss your scheduled writing time. (Make additional copies as necessary.) Identify any themes that become obvious. Address those specifically and aggressively. Are you allowing any distraction to come between you and your work or are there specific problems that can be easily remedied? For example, turning the phone off, finding childcare etc. If you find that every time is a different reason, then you will need to be more proactive in protecting your writing time and space by asking for and receiving help from family and friends. Answer the questions at the end and develop an action plan.

Broken Writing Date

Date scheduled:
Time scheduled:
Location:
Did instead:
Other people present:
What else was going on at the time?
Thoughts that were going through my head at the time:
Emotions felt immediately before scheduled writing time:
Emotions felt immediately after missing scheduled writing time:
Identification of themes:  ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Action plan to address missed appointments:

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

 

Action-oriented replacement thoughts to deal with emotional aspects if present:

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

 

After implementation of the action plan, have you missed fewer writing appointments?

_____ YES _____ NO

If not, have the themes changed?

_____ YES _____ NO

If so, what is your new action plan?

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

 

Based on questions developed for a critique group at A Ream of Writers (http://areamofwriters.freeforums.org/index.php). These questions were inspired by Chapter 14 in Kelly L. Stone’s book Time to Write © 2008.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

If anyone knows the originator of the above, please let me know so I can ask permission to post it here.  I know it was made available to MLs to share with their regions, so I’m hoping it’s all right to share here.

 

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Sunday Snippet June 11, 2017

More from Song and Sword, the first novel I published, since I’m working on a sequel and need the motivation.  This follows immediately after last week’s snippet.

He could hear the voices of the young women, could hear their laughter.  There seemed to be a cruel edge to it and he winced, knowing that it was directed at Kashrya. He had heard enough of their conversations to know how they felt about her, and it both saddened and angered him.  It also gave him hope that she would leave with him, should he ever have the courage to talk to her.

Kashrya moved away from the others, toward the forest, and Dakkas tensed, his breath catching.  Now would be the perfect time to approach her, he thought.  But then what? Aside from the fact his presence would most likely frighten her, he was a Drow. She would never be interested in the likes of him.  He closed his eyes.  He was Drow. He didn’t deserve someone like her.

 

Song and Sword cover

Blurb:
Pashevel: a simple Elven Bard — and the Crown Prince

Marlia: a Paladin of Arithen, the Elven God of Justice – seeking vengeance for the destruction of her village

Dakkas: heir to the Drow throne — if his father and elder half-brother don’t kill him first

Kashrya: raised among a tribe of nomadic Humans, she is unaware of her true heritage — or of the prophecy that made her mother an outcast

Their goal: build a bridge between the Elves and their outcast brethren, the Drow, reuniting them and undoing the damage caused in a time so far gone that history has become legend and legend has become myth.

But first, they have a problem to solve:  how do you stop a war that hasn’t started?

Available for Kindle at Amazon

and at Smashwords for everything else

 

Find more great reading
at the Sunday Snippet group.

11 Comments

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Rainbow Snippet for 6-10-2017

rainbow logo 1

Rainbow Snippets is a group for LGBTQ+ authors, bloggers, and readers to gather once a week and share six sentences from a work of fiction–a WIP or a finished work or even a 6-sentence book recommendation (no spoilers please!).   Check out all the other awesome snippets by clicking on the picture above.

Picking up from last week’ snippet of Onyx Sun.

“Don’t lie to me, Luz.”

“I’m not.  Please, Taliya.” 

Taliya closed her eyes so she wouldn’t see the tears in Luzita’s.  “All right,” she said finally.  “You can stay.  But if there is any trouble, you go, not Ayess.”

“You would choose… that… over me?”

“I know what you were like in school, Luzita.  If there’s trouble, I’ll know where it started.”  Taliya was surprised at the coldness in her voice.

“I…”  Luzita lowered her eyes and nodded slowly. 

Taliya sighed. “It’s been a long day – for both of us.  I’m going to bed.”

 

 

 

 

 

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De-Stressed

Well, somewhat.

I had an appointment with a cardiologist yesterday and he cleared me – no stress test needed.  Happy happy happy day!

The countdown has begun – only 16 more shifts at my current job. Just having made up my mind to not go with the new company has relieved most of my stress. Now if my doctor would just get back to me with when I can pick up my physical form…

And with the stress starting to fade away my energy has started to come back.

Yesterday I planted some tree lily bulbs, Dutch iris bulbs, and some other kind of bulbs that my mother thinks are some kind of lily. I also planted some chocolate mint and regular mint.

This gives me hope that my will to write will come back soon too, so I can do something about these plot bunnies that are nibbling away at my mind.

Meanwhile, I still have other stuff to plant, and some columbine to pry out from between the bricks in the retaining wall and transplant to my garden.

And lots of other craft stuff to keep me occupied.  (Not to mention the Kindle app on my phone.)

And I only have three weeks to decide what I’m doing for Camp. I should work on Onyx Sun or the Elven Bard novel.  But doing one thousand words for 31 different plot bunnies sounds like fun too.  And then there’s the werewolf thing that’s preying on the edges of my mind. It has some characters (without names) and a scene or two, but no real plot. Of course, I have 3 weeks to flesh it out. But I should work on Onyx Sun or the Elven Bard novel…

I hate being undecided.

Or, rather, I hate being decided on too many things – I want to write them all! Right now!

Sadly, I have to go to work.

Sixteen more shifts.

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