Sunday Snippet February 19, 2017

I decided to still post from the twelfth book of The Academy of the Accord series.  This is something that I’m pretty sure I’m going to cut, but I like it too much to just let it disappear, so it will probably be transformed into a side story or something.

Jorsen took Autheren home with him for the summer and the two of them went on a sailing trip up the coast for a few days. A storm blew in and they took shelter for the night in a cave on the cliff, only to wake up and discover that they were being watched by an Afiani, a bird-like race that is not known for friendliness toward humans. I’m picking up from last week’s snippet, in which Autheren (who is known for his friendliness to everything and everyone) has invited Lirit to join them for breakfast and they are trying to get dressed without exposing themselves to her.

(Autheren is currently using a levitation spell to hold a blanket between them and Lirit while they dress.)

 

“You mate for life?”

“Ideally, yes.”  Jorsen tucked his shirt in and hesitated, but belted his sword around his waist.  He was fairly certain that she was no threat to them, but he had Autheren to protect. He gave the wizard’s shoulder a squeeze and nodded, and Autheren let the blanket drop.

Lirit studied the two of them for a moment.  “The two of you are mates?”

Jorsen glanced at Autheren and smiled. “You could say that.” 

She nodded.  “Life mates usually are the same sex.  For male and female to nest together for life is very unusual.”

 

Find more great reading
at the Sunday Snippet group.

 

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Rainbow Snippet for 2-18-2017

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.

I’m still posting from Onyx Sun, a science fiction novel that is currently in revision. The revisions are turning out to be more complex than originally expected so the release date is, um, to be determined. (I’ve given up trying to predict one, but I have at least one more round of revisions which I’m hoping to finish this month.)

This snippet comes directly after last week’s in which Ayess was explaining a bit about Araxians and Araxian society.

 

“But you were asking about our families,” he said.  “When our young are first hatched, they are tended to by the entire…”  He frowned.  “You do not have a word for it.  It is not a family or tribe or clan or city… Group will have to do.  Everyone tends to the needs of the youngest members.  As they get older, they will form… bonds… with an adult.  Not exactly friendship, but close. That adult will then take that young one into its household and take responsibility for it, see to it that it is educated and becomes a productive member of society.”

“I hate the word ‘it’.”

 

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I Don’t Want To Write

Oh, I still want to create worlds and characters and bring them to life and share their stories.  I love doing that.

But I hate writing.

There, I said it.

I hate writing.

What I really want is for the stories in my head to appear on the screen in front of me, exactly as they play out in my mind, without me having to do the actual writing.

For one thing, I can’t type fast enough to keep up with the flow of ideas.  Plus, typing takes too long. I want them done now.

But the main thing is that what I type never matches what I see in my mind.

And a lot of that is because I don’t do a good job of setting a scene. I need to work more on describing the setting, of showing where my characters are and letting the reader see what they are seeing.  Description really isn’t my forte, but it’s something that I know I need to work on so I do make a conscious effort to include more of it, at least in the rewrites. (First drafts, not so much.  I actually left myself a note in one that says “Where are they having this conversation? Setting, please!”)

A friend who beta read my first (published) novel, Song and Sword, was the first to point that out to me.  He said something along the lines of, “Now, don’t go all Tolkien on me and spend three pages describing the mountain, but give me more than talking heads.”

And that’s another part of the problem.  I see the scenes play out in my mind like I’m watching a movie and I want to include everything that I see, including the sky and clouds and grass and backdrop and…

And if I put all of that in it would take me a thousand words just to do a single paragraph and the story would never move forward.

I know there’s a happy medium there somewhere, but it’s really hard for me to find.

 

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Wednesday Words #112 (2/15/2017)

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 cherry
a beard
a wax seal

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

 

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The (Plot) Bunny is Growing

I had no idea what I was going to write about for a blog post today. It’s been a very stressful weekend at work and the creative portion of my brain was hiding. (Can’t say I blame it, and I’m tempted to go hide with it.)

But then I read an article that a friend posted and it triggered all sorts of interesting plot bunnies. I don’t know if I’ll actually write anything based on it, but it might be something that I can work into Paranormal Picnic

(Yeah, it’s trying to turn into something other than a short fun story.)

(And, yeah, I’m trying to tell it that I really don’t have time for another WiP.)

(And, yeah, it’s not listening.)

(And, yeah, I’m losing the battle.)

(And, no, I do not have an addiction to parentheses. Why do you ask?)

So, anyhow…

It’s kind of amazing how one little thing can change the whole tone of your day.

(Well, okay, maybe not the whole tone. I am still dreading going to the evil day job this afternoon, so that hasn’t changed.)

Since I’ve mentioned Paranormal Picnic a time or two now, I thought maybe I should give you a snippet of it.

 

“Dad?  What are you doing here?” 

Maya rubbed the sleep out of her eyes and stared at the scene outside her door.  Her father stood at the grill, smoke rising from around the meat he was turning and an assortment of people she didn’t know were gathered around the picnic table.

“I’m barbecuing ribs, what’s it look like I’m doing?”

“But…” She took a deep breath and decided to ignore the rest of the scene and focus on him.  “Dad,” she said gently. “You’re dead.”

“I know I am.  That doesn’t mean I can’t cook.”

“Well, yes, actually, it does.” 

“No it doesn’t.  Now bring out some plates and silverware.  Everyone’s eager to meet you but don’t worry, no one bites.  Well, Alfred might, I don’t think he’s fed recently, but it won’t hurt, and, oh, hell, you’re my daughter.” He turned toward the table and raised his voice. “Alfred! No feeding from my daughter.”

An older gentleman, lean and well-dressed, nodded and waved off the comment, not really looking up from the chess game he was involved in.  His opponent, however, looked up and laughed.  She was a short stocky woman with reddish brown hair and almond-shaped amber eyes. 

“Dad? Who are all these people and what are they doing here?”

“Having a picnic.  That’s Alfred and Ginny playing chess.  Ginny brought fried chicken, and potato and macaroni salads, would you get them from the fridge?”

“Right.”

“The two little girls playing tag are Dina and Annie. Dina’s the one with the dark hair.  Oh, and don’t worry, Mariposa is keeping an eye on them.”

She followed his gaze and saw a woman perched in the old oak tree, her clawed feet clutching the branch as easily as any bird.  She waved a wing at her in greeting and turned her attention back to the children.

“A harpie?”

“And the girls are ghosts and Ginny’s a werewolf. Alfred’s a vampire in case you hadn’t figured that out.”

“I’m going back to bed until I wake up,” she muttered. “This can’t be real.”

Juice from the meat dripped down onto the coals, splattering and hissing, and the smoke that rose from it carried a scent that made her stomach rumble.

“On the other hand, maybe I’ll just set the table.  If I’m losing my mind I might as well enjoy it.”

“You’re not losing your mind.  And can you grab me a Pepsi?”

Dead people don’t drink Pepsi, she thought. But then, dead people don’t cook ribs, either.

 

 

 

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Sunday Snippet February 12, 2017

I decided to still post from the twelfth book of The Academy of the Accord series.  This is something that I’m pretty sure I’m going to cut, but I like it too much to just let it disappear, so it will probably be transformed into a side story or something.

Jorsen took Autheren home with him for the summer and the two of them went on a sailing trip up the coast for a few days. A storm blew in and they took shelter for the night in a cave on the cliff, only to wake up and discover that they were being watched by an Afiani, a bird-like race that is not known for friendliness toward humans. I’m picking up from last week’s snippet, in which Autheren (who is known for his friendliness to everything and everyone)

has invited Lirit to join them for breakfast and they are trying to get dressed without exposing themselves to her.

(Autheren is currently using a levitation spell to hold a blanket between them and Lirit while they dress.)

 

“I don’t understand,” Lirit said.  “If you never see each other naked, how do you know who to mate with?”

“Who to mate with?”  Jorsen asked, puzzled.

“How do you know who would be… physically pleasing?”

Jorsen was glad that Lirit couldn’t see them; Autheren was turning an alarming shade of red.

“It’s… a bit more complicated than that for humans,” Jorsen replied.  “We choose our mates based on feelings, on if we love someone enough to spend the rest of our lives with them.”  He smiled at Autheren and the apprentice smiled back as a rush of feelings flooded him.

 

 

Find more great reading
at the Sunday Snippet group.

 

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Rainbow Snippet for 2-11-2017

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.

I’m still posting from Onyx Sun, a science fiction novel that is currently in revision. The revisions are turning out to be more complex than originally expected so the release date is, um, to be determined. (I’ve given up trying to predict one, but I am hoping to be through with the current round of revisions by the end of the month.)

This snippet comes a bit after last week’s in which Ayess was explaining a bit about Araxians and Araxian society.

“We do not have males and females because we are all both.”

 

“Hermaphrodites?”

“I believe that is your word for it.  We don’t have one because it just is.”  He smiled.  “It is said that when Araxians first met humans we thought that males and females were two different races.”

“We must be as confusing to you as you are to us.”  She looked up at him. “Thank you for answering the question that I didn’t ask.”

“Why didn’t you ask?”

“I thought it was too… personal.  Some people – and some races – have taboos about discussing sex.”

“I do not. Nor is there anything in Araxian culture that makes it awkward.  And you were merely curious.  Questions are how we learn about one another.”

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Back to Work

Well, as of yesterday I am back to work.

At the evil day job, that is.

Having eight days off in a row was wonderful, even if most of them were spent hacking up a lung, but it sure was hard to go back. It always seems like the longer I’m off the harder it is to back.

I need to remember that for writing, too, “the longer I’m off the harder it is to go back.”  Maybe that’s the real wisdom behind the advice to “write every day” — if you skip one day, it’s easy to skip the next, and the next, and the next, and… And then it’s really hard to get started again.

I haven’t been writing much, but I have been plugging away at writing stuff, adding to my current Work in Progress. Maybe not every day, but just about, even if it’s just a few words.

And I also started something new.

(Well, kind of. I’m not sure where it’s going or even if I’m going to turn it into something, but I did start it.  It’s based on a nightmare that a friend had, but I’m turning it into something… well, I have no idea where it’s going, but it is leaning toward being a light, fun piece with some… unusual characters.  The current title is Paranormal Picnic but if I expand it into something longer it will need a new one — I’m pretty sure I can’t write an entire novel set at a picnic.)

I’ve not been doing so well at editing Onyx Sun, sadly. I really need to get back to focusing on that so that I can get it finished so I can focus on The Academy of the Accord.

Ah, yes, The Academy of the Accord.  I had a major realization about it yesterday morning, and not a good one.  I seem to have left two major plot points unresolved in Book Six.  Part of me wants to go back and fix it now, but that would mean swapping out it and Book Seven, so I think I’ll wait until I finish the first round paper edits of Book Seven, then put Book Six back in the hot seat to try to fix those “oopsies.”

(But seriously, though, how could I have read something that many times and not have realized what I’d missed?)

So, yeah.  Back to work.

 

 

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Wednesday Words #111 (2/8/2017)

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!

an evil man (or woman) turns good

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

 

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The Flesh is Weak

I think I’m starting to feel better.  I still have almost no energy and even less stamina, but I want to do stuff.

I want to do creative stuff and I even want to do housework stuff. (Some of which I really need to do so I can do creative stuff.)

For instance, somehow I have once again managed to create a roadblock between the chest of drawers that currently holds paper crafting stuff and the rest of my room. I need to get to said chest of drawers so I have to bulldoze through the blockade.

Why do I want to get there? Because I’m pretty sure that I have some 8.5 x 11” cardstock in there that I want to use to make inserts for my A5 traveler’s notebook so I can use it to keep track of writing projects.

See? It all comes back to writing, but that was never a question, was it?

No, the question is, why do I only get the urge to clean when I start recuperating after I’ve been sick?  (Or really late at night.)

But I really do need to get to that chest of drawers.  I’d at least like to organize the stuff there a little as it was pretty much just shoved in there in a hurry with no real method to the madness.  (Well, most of the paper is in the bottom drawer – maybe two – because of weight.)

I also need more room to work.  Writing doesn’t take up much space, but other crafts do, and I don’t have the room to spread out in my bedroom.  I do have a craft room in the basement but it’s become more of a craft storage room so I also need to attack it and get it cleared out.  (It used to be more organized but that fell by the wayside when I rushed to get stuff moved down there out of the way.)

*sigh* I’m a pack rat.

Anyhow, the craft room project isn’t going to happen this week.  I’ll be lucky to get to my chest of drawers, actually.

But I want to do it.

All of it.

Right now.

The spirit is willing…

 

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