Monthly Archives: March 2016

Wednesday Words #66 (3/30/2016)

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:

an old (written in)  journal found in a second hand shop

 

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

 

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Four More Days

Remember on Friday when I was lamenting the fact that I didn’t really have a bad guy?

I now have two.  Maybe three.  Okay, two and a half. (The third is behind the scenes, manipulating bad guy number two.)

Sadly, the only one who has a name is the one behind the scenes.

(I should probably work on correcting that sometime in the next four days.)

Overall, though, the outline is shaping up.  (I’m not going to say what it’s shaping up into, but it is shaping up.)

The antagonists are making me tear my hair out.  They’re all after the same seven year old boy.

One wants him dead.

One wants to use him to blackmail the first one.

And the third? The third wants to use him as a pawn to destroy Vinadi and the Academy of the Accord, and is using the second one to get him.

The problem now is figuring out how to weave all three of those together.  The first two aren’t bad, but that third one…

I really want that third one in there, as it will be a great way to tie this into the overall story arc of the series, but I’m not really sure how to make it happen. I’m hoping that as I keep tweaking the outline and moving stuff around and asking and answering questions I’ll figure it out.

Meanwhile, another problem has cropped up, namely, the order of events.  Specifically, the length of time between the arrival of bad guy number two at the school, the arrival of a messenger, and the disappearance of the seven year old boy.

This thing is seriously giving me a headache.

 

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Sunday Snippet March 27, 2016

Books One and two of The Academy of the Accord are safely in the hands of  brave beta readers, so I’m going to post from Book Three this month.

Yhonshel was already a Caped warrior and now he has his Master’s robes.

 

“And do you swear to follow, uphold and defend the Accord?” Marsden asked as the black robes settled around the Tuanae.

“With my life,” Yhonshel replied.

Marsden smiled at the calm certainty in the young man’s voice and opened a box that was on the table and drew out a sword.  “Welcome home, son,” he said, his voice choked with emotion as he handed it to him. 

Yhonshel met his gaze. “Thank you, sir,” he said, his voice tight with emotion as he took the blade from him.  Set into the top of the hilt was one of the pins that Vinadi had had made for the school when they were still at the Fortress, and he ran his thumb over it gently, deeply touched by the significance of it, then fastened the belt around his waist, settling the sword at his hip, using the familiar motions to regain his center.  He drew the blade and saluted Marsden with it, then bowed as he returned it to its scabbard.

“Master Yhonshel.” 

He turned at the sound of Torlew’s voice. 

“You know that this isn’t going to make us respect you any more than we have in the past.”

Yhonshel laughed and embraced the Journeyman as the others mobbed him.  One thought kept running through his mind.  Home.  He had come home.

 

 

 

Want to read more snippets from some really great authors?
Check out Sunday Snippets on Face Book.

 

 

 

 

 

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Rainbow Snippet for 3-26-2016

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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.

Continuing from last week’s snippet discussing why Sword Dancers no longer exist.

 

Tirza tilted her head to one side, considering Kel’s words with a soft frown.  “Another thing I don’t understand – if Sword Dancers were as good as the legends say they were, how were they defeated?”

“Treachery,” Kel replied.  “And once they were captured they were put into a fighting pit, one at a time, and forced to fight – wild beast after wild beast, fighter after fighter – no rest, no food, no drink, until they collapsed and were killed.  After the first few, the others refused to fight, refused to take life needlessly, and simply allowed themselves to be killed.”

 

 

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Camp Countdown

One week!

Camp starts next Friday and my outline is a mess.

I have all the scenes listed, and I know (mostly) what happens when and to whom, but I’m lacking a couple important elements.

Like the villain’s motivation.

For that matter, I’m rather lacking in a villain, too. I have a couple candidates, but no clear choice.

Then, of course, there’s the fact that this book ties in rather closely with books five and seven, so a lot of my outline says to check them to see what happens.  Since I won’t have time to stop and check them next month, that’s probably going to be what the manuscript says, too.  Maybe I’ll build a timeline in the next week.  That would help, but realistically, it isn’t likely to happen.

After the final plot point on my outline there is roughly a page of notes, mostly ramblings about who and why and how. Somehow I need to integrate those notes into the outline so everything makes sense and flows in some sort of more or less natural order.

So, for now, my daily routine is to print out what I have and edit it, writing notes on the paper, moving minor things around, asking and answering questions, and trying to make it look at least semi neat so I can follow it next month.

That’s actually how all my outlines get done.  The problem this time is that I only have a week to iron out the details — and it’s really wrinkled.  I feel like I should have started this daily outline workout a month ago.

On the other hand, I do tend to work better under pressure and with a tight deadline.

And on a brighter note, I have the first day off from work to hopefully get a lot of words written.

 

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Wednesday Words #65 (3/23/2016)

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 basket
a fire
an arrow

 

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

 

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What A Mess!

I’m finally starting to feel alive enough to start working on editing again, so last night I tackled some more of the first round paper edits of Book Five of The Academy of the Accord and…

What a mess!

I mean, I knew the end of it was a mess because that’s where I’m untangling the starts of Books Six and Seven, but I’m not nearly that far in yet and…

What a mess!

I know why it’s a mess, but that doesn’t help with fixing it.

It’s all Shander’s fault…

Shander is a character that is introduced in this book (although he’s more of a central character in Book Six) but I’m having some trouble deciding exactly how to introduce him.

The original way was kind of a plot hole, so I came up with about three alternative methods.

They aren’t much better, and using any of them will negate a scene that I totally love so…

(One of the alternative methods may get worked into Book Six next month, so they aren’t going to be wasted.)

So, I’m going back to the original method.

But I had cut all of that out of the last “final version” of this book.

All is not lost, however, because I keep all of my previous versions of everything, just in case. (No, you really do not want to know what the files on my computer look like.  Trust me on this.  Your sanity will have a better chance of surviving an encounter with Cthulhu.)

So, all I have to do is find the right file, right?

Well, yes, and no.

When I got this book ready to print I included at the end of it a bunch of stuff that had been cut, and a bunch of miscellaneous scenes that may or may not need to go into it, and the alternate versions of Shander’s rescue, and…

Yeah.

So, there I was, chugging along with edits and making pretty good progress and then I hit the spot where Shander used to be and he wasn’t there anymore.  Since I was no where near my computer at the time I started looking at the back of the print out, trying to find the missing scene.

I found it, and the alternative versions, and scenes that probably go in Book Seven and my already be there… (But they’re fairly early in Book Seven and I don’t know yet how far entwined these two books are going to be so they might need to be in this one too and…*sigh*)

What a mess!

 

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Sunday Snippet March 20, 2016

Books One and two of The Academy of the Accord are safely in the hands of  brave beta readers, so I’m going to post from Book Three this month.

Now that Caristen and Torlew have their Journeyman’s robes (and it’s been established that Torlew is, in fact, not naked underneath his) it’s time for you to meet Yhonshel.

Yhonshel is a Tuanae – both wizard and Warder.  He has just returned from his Journey – he was gone for five years, learning how to balance the two halves of himself.

 

“There is one more thing we need to do,” Vinadi said quietly and they turned to him.  “Yhonshel.” 

He motioned for him to approach and the Tuanae stepped forward.

“Your sword,” Marsden said, holding out his hands. 

The younger four exchanged worried glances, but Yhonshel removed his sword belt and handed his weapon to Marsden with a soft smile and they relaxed, then felt their breath catch as Vinadi opened a drawer in the table and pulled out a black robe. 

“Yhonshel,” he said softly, “I have waited a long time to be able to give you this.”  He gazed into the Tuanae’s grey green eyes for a long moment. “Do you accept the rank of Master, and all the responsibility that goes with it?”

“I do.”

“Remove your robe, Journeyman.”

Yhonshel let his grey robes fall to the floor and as he accepted the black ones from Vinadi their hands met and they both smiled as Yhonshel gave his mentor’s hands a gentle squeeze.

 

Want to read more snippets from some really great authors?
Check out Sunday Snippets on Face Book.

 

 

 

 

 

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Rainbow Snippet for 3-19-2016

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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.

Tirza is curious about Sword Dancers, despite Kel’s insistence that they don’t exist.

 

“Why are they illegal?”

Kel sighed, sensing that there would be no rest until Tirza’s curiosity was satisfied. And maybe it would be for the best; the sooner she was convinced that Sword Dancers did not exist, the safer they both would be.

“Because they were considered to be too dangerous to be allowed to live.”

“I would think,” Tirza said slowly, “that it would have made more sense for the rulers to have taken them on as personal or palace guards, an elite force.”

“No,” Kel replied. “The Sword Dancers swore allegiance to no one.  They held to their own codes, which were far more honorable than those of the ones in power.”

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Sick Days

Apologies in advance if this is ramblier than normal…

Remember on Monday that I mentioned I wasn’t feeling well?  Well, on Tuesday I broke down and went to urgent care.  (I’m a nurse and I have to be dying to seek medical care, but I was on day four of a sore throat and wanted to make sure it wasn’t strep (it wasn’t) and I’d also started coughing and wanted to make sure that my cold wasn’t heading into bronchitis.)

The doctor assured me that it wasn’t heading into bronchitis; it already was bronchitis and was heading into walking pneumonia.

Lovely.

I called off yesterday and I’m not sure about working today.

I know I should go in because we’re short handed and because I was just out for three weeks with gallbladder surgery, but on the other hand, I don’t know if I can make it through the shift.  And all I did all day yesterday was cough and blow my nose.  Not qualities I’d want in someone taking care of my loved ones.  (And my cold medicine that you can take every six hours gives up about four hours into it.)

Anyhow, I’m now on Amoxicillin, and wishing I could tolerate a Z-pack because that gets rid of it a lot faster.  Unfortunately, Z-packs make me double over in pain, which is also not a good quality for a nurse.

So, how miserable am I feeling? I haven’t even thought about editing.  Oh, the idea did occasionally cross my mind to pull a chapter from the notebook and start entering changes, but that just seemed like too much work.

I did write a flash fiction piece for Siobhan Muir’s Thursday Threads contest, though.  The limit is 250 words.  My first draft had 422.  I got it cut down to fit but I think it lost a lot in the process.  So I guess I still managed to get some editing in.

I should probably write more flash fiction.  It’s a good exercise in word economy.

Unfortunately, it usually ends up unleashing a novel-sized plot bunny.

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