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Anti-Hope: A very real emotion

Have you ever wanted something?  And you've wanted it so deeply and for so long?

    And then, against all odds, there is a whisper that it could happen this time?  Maybe instead of the expected rejection letter, you got a "we've taken your submission for further review."  Maybe a sudden source of income appears that may allow you to earn enough for horseriding lessons.  Maybe you find a nebulous symptom in your own body that hints at the possibility of a long-awaited pregnancy.  Whatever the case, you have that realization that your dreams COULD come true.

    And, instantly, anti-hope appears.

     What is anti-hope?  It is that emotion that springs up as a counter-balance to keep you from being too disappointed if your hopes are dashed again.

     Anti-hope says, "Don't get too excited.  'Further review' isn't the same as an acceptance.  They could still reject your story."  Anti-hope says, "You still might not earn quite enough …
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First Snippets from 12 Dancing Princesses

I haven't settled on a title for my Twelve Dancing Princesses story.  But I've written about 4500 words so far.  Here are a few snippets for you to enjoy.

I chose my words slowly and carefully.“I think it’s important for you to do what you feel like you were meant to do.I’ll always support you in that.” ***
I released my nose, confident that it would now stay on my face...
I broke into a run and reached my yard in time to see a dozen soldiers on horseback.One of them had pulled Hope into his saddle with him.My papa was lying on the ground, and a mounted soldier held a spear aimed at his chest. “Hey!” I shouted.“Leave them alone!” *** The General and our captain bowed. “We honor you on the beginning of your new life,” murmured the captain. *** King Howenth sat on the throne, looking rather like a pudding that has fallen over against the side of its pan.“Come, my daughters!” *** “As you know, I am never one to accept any lie fed to me.Nor am I one that simply sits around and waits f…

Twelve Dancing Princesses

Inspired by Kendra Ardnek, I am now attempting to rewrite the Twelve Dancing Princesses.  Something about a short story, based loosely on an old tale, is a little easier to tackle than a full-length novel.  So I am doing this as a warm-up, as I get back into writing.

     But it is fun!!!!

     I had never read the Twelve Dancing Princesses before yesterday.  For a moment, I doubted that I could turn it into a write-able story.  (I need to find a way to do it without magic.  And I need to have a heroine that isn't an empty-headed flirt because I have no idea how to write a story with such a heroine. And I was a little intimidated by the fact that there are TWELVE princesses -- I can barely keep up with one on a good day, lol.)

    So here is my question to you:  What would you need to change if YOU were going to rewrite the Twelve Dancing Princesses?

    (And here is the original Grimm story:…

A Challenge: Real Life Imagination

I hereby issue you a challenge: Take a moment and write down where you see your life in 5 years. What do you think you will accomplish in the next 5 years? What major life events do you think will happen in the next 5 years? Will you still be living where you are? Will you still be working on the same things?
There's no pressure to be right. Usually when I do this, I seal my imaginations in an envelope and open it in 5 years. And it rarely matches reality. At first, that embarrassed me.  I thought either I should be embarrassed for guessing wrong, or I should be embarrassed for not achieving my intended purpose. But now I realize that it is just fun. It's fun to see how your ideas change and how life changes in unexpected ways. It's fun to see what was important to you 5 years ago. It is such a neat little self-study, and it's totally worth it.
So, go ahead. Write a real life imagination of where you think you will be in five years. Have fun!
(And comment below to let…

Building Pelestia

I started a three-ring binder for this.

I have tabs and dividers.

I am building a world.

I've built little worlds before for stories, but none of them needed very much building.  This one is bigger and the world plays into my story in a vital way.  So I am drawing maps and naming rulers and playing around with economies and politics and religious views and weaponry and technology and many other facets.

And I would like your advice:
    How do you build a world?
    Do you have any checklists that you use?

Life Will Change Again

When I look back over the changes of the past 3 years, I am impressed that I am still standing.        In 2015, I was finishing up a midwifery apprenticeship that ended up being a little rocky at the end.  I became a Certified Professional Midwife after about 8 years of study (5 part time and 3 very full time) and a Licensed Midwife in the state of Virginia.  I met Garrett.      In 2016, I started working as a midwife at the Birth Centre of Charlottesville.  And I got engaged.  And I got married. And I moved to "The Valley" (as everybody up here calls it).      In 2017, Garrett and I moved into our beautiful little trailer.  And had countless adventures.      And this year, the changes have continued at an alarming rate.  Now I am getting ready for another change -- a job shift.      I am backing down from full-time work at The Birth Centre of Charlottesville.  This is something that the practice owner and I talked about at the end of August, and we've been taking …

Where Have We Been

It's been good.
There's been a lot of it.
But not much time for creative writing.

I'm still keeping a journal.  It will come in handy someday...someday when I have time to turn my reality into stories that the world can relate to.

This year has been so full.  I know I'm not alone in feeling this.  You each have your own fullness. I said...I will regale you with my adventures.  But not today.

Today, I am sad. And tired. I touch this blog like a girl caressing the cover of a beloved book that she has missed.  I have missed you guys.  Missed you so much.  And yet...still not sure when I can return.  Which sharpens the little pang I feel.

I will return.  That is one thing I do believe.
It's like a compost pile...are any of you familiar with this precious recipe of the gardening trade?  You throw your rotting vegetation into this pile -- leftover salad, old banana peels, the random apple core -- and wait for it to fully rot.  They are all bits of y…