Wednesday, October 29, 2014

A Quiet, Exhausted, Awed Sort of Happiness

I don't usually talk about my work on my blog, but scenes from the last 24 hours are pulsing through my head and my body feels like jello from the strain of fighting for a life today.  I'm too tired to even try to make myself think about anything else.

I work in the medical field.  It's a reward, if demanding, position in society, and it puts you on the front row to see epic adventures that few others see.

Like today for example.

We had a problem.  We did not know the cause, but we had our theories.  It looked like a hopeless case, but, as is often the case with the good guys in the medical profession, we fought for a solution anyway.  Our training tells us that our efforts will be fruitless and yet, there is that wonderful unpredictable element in living beings (created by God) that often defies science...and it keeps us going against incredible odds.

I prayed.  The other care providers prayed.  The family prayed.  Church friends and extended family were called on the phone and asked to pray.

Still no change.

And then, suddenly...there was.  Suddenly the problem disappeared.  We crowded around, hoping to find a reason for the hours of struggle, but everything appeared perfectly normal.

What happened?

Is there an underlying cause that we just couldn't see -- an explanation for the problem?

Or did the cause suddenly become completely and totally resolved so that the problem disappeared?

The word used, as we gathered around, was "miraculous," and I think it was.  Something happened that medicine could not explain.  And I am so grateful.

Yes, that is the feeling that I have as I sit here at my computer.  Gratitude.  Gratitude to a big God who works miracles.  Gratitude for the faith of others who kept praying even when my trained mind was shadowed with skepticism.  I am very, very grateful.

And happy.

So happy.


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Plenilune in Paperback

https://www.createspace.com/5047739

For more info: see Jennifer's blog post.

Newest Project on the Block

I told you a little while back that I had this new, great story brewing.  Since then, I worked on it a little bit, just to give myself something to come back to once I finish my other projects.  Here are some snippets from it:


     The carriage rattled along, jolting Petura and the Lady of Wenshau over every gully and log.  Petura set her teeth and wondered why her brothers had not seen fit to maintain the highways.  There were two of them, were there not?  Shouldn’t they be able to accomplish twice the work?

     Petura looked into the dark eyes, hoping to find a friend there, but the maid dropped her eyes under Petura’s stare. 

     Her moves were not as graceful as Tansy’s, and she had a way of squaring her shoulders that was almost warlike, but she could never be mistaken for a kitchen drudge or a common peasant girl. 

     Rila’s lip curled back in a mixture of scorn and pleasure.  “Practice, my lady,” she corrected with a measure of pride.

     Calene’s smooth hands reached out and closed around Petura’s.  “I’m not making you do this, Petura,” he said softly.  “If you don’t want to stay, I will have Lady Estelle take you back to Preden tomorrow.”  His eyes upturned to hers with a wistful look.  “But..."

     He took a swig of his drink and then glanced at Peturah, seeming to notice her confusion.  “I’m not a morning person,” he grumbled, by way of explanation.

     Droben pursed his lips – whether from disdain or an attempt to not laugh, Peturah was not sure. 

     “Good morning, Petura,” Calene said, a pained look on his face over his brother’s manners.  “How did you sleep?” 

      Peturah lifted her chin.  Her blustery brother did not scare her.  “My tutors were as competent as your own, in spite of the different location,” she retorted.

      Droben snorted and rose from the table as well.  “Keep your eyes open, little sister,” he murmured, throwing his napkin down and stalking out of the room.


Monday, October 27, 2014

Frustrated

     Some of you were here for my previous post about the artist's emotional cycle.

Well...

This is where I am right now.


Saturday, October 25, 2014

Snippets from 100for100: Week Six

I think I have flunked the challenge.
I had 2 weeks where I only wrote 5 days in each...instead of 6 days.
But I'm going to keep going because that is what you do when you fail at something you really want to do.  You try again.
So here are my snippets from Week Six of the 100 for 100 Challenge:

The large group worried me. The two adults had their hands full of excited youngsters, and there was one little boy in particular who seemed to have a destructive inclination.  I winced several times as he narrowly avoided crashing into the exhibits.
He had come too close to disaster several times…he couldn’t keep his hands to himself.  And then it happened.  He pulled one of the small models down from a shelf and, to my horror, threw it across the room.  The head and body of the little figure separated, sliding across the floor and coming to rest somewhere near the T-Rex.  My eyes flew anxiously to the serious guard.  What would he do?

As I watched, his hand opened, turning palm-up like a cup, while no other muscle in his still form moved.  The woman stepped closer, shoving her fist into his hand.  His hand closed over hers and rolled away.  A flash of green appeared between their hands as she pulled her hand away and then it disappeared as the guard clasped his hands behind his back. 

 A drawling Italian voice answered the phone.  “Bert’s Pizza – can I take your order?”

Under his breath he mumbled, “Carter’s gonna pay for this,” then, louder, he asked, “Where are you?”

“Don’t you turn your nose up at me, Leila,” the man said.  “If you make one wrong move, I’ll shut you down permanently.  You’ll have to find a job in a fast food chain…as a burger.”

“I want that girl even if you have to kill him to get her.  GO!”



Wednesday, October 22, 2014

ReGroup

My typical method of story-telling is evolving.
Frog Life Cycle {From Tadpole to Frog: a Non-Fiction Thematic Unit}
Story-telling changes...kind of like a frog does... :)

I used to get a concept and start writing, with no idea of where the story was going.
Those are fun to write, but they frequently fizzled out when I ran out of ideas.
So there was this explosion and then...um...I don't know.  Where was I going with this?

Then I started working on a more complete story idea before I started writing.  Instead of "man, branded as thief, must live on the run in the forest," I started with something more like "an innocent man, branded as a thief must live as a fugitive in the forest.  His only goal is to clear his name until he finds the king, also on the run as his diabolical uncle tries to overthrow the government.  Together, they team up to restore the king to his throne and the nation to stability.  In the end, he saves the kingdom and proves his innocence as well."
Then I would start writing, beginning to end, letting all the other characters and plot points interject themselves as a "pantser" would write.

Russell Crowe in Robin Hood
The next scene will surprise me as much as it does you, but I have the advantage for I know where we are headed.


This time, I tried something new.  I wrote an outline...it was still very barebones, but it was a complete skeleton.  Then, because I generally knew what was going to happen.  I jumped around, writing whicher scene struck my fancy.  I have NEVER done that before.
Now I have a handful of disjointed scenes and it is time for me to re-evaluate my story.  How should I tweak my outline?  How should I tweak my scenes?  Does this method even work?
Yes, it is time to regroup and go again.  I think I can make this method work, and it is so much fun trying it.
I actually enjoy it more that traveling with my mom if I were with my bff that would be another story
Re-group and carry on!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Plenilune: Available Today!


My lords and ladies of planet Earth: Plenilune has landed! 
 
As of today, you may purchase your own copy in eBook format.

Paperback version still to come...

Check in with Jennifer Freitag's blog

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Snippets from 100for100: Week Five

I can hardly believe we are finishing week 5 of this challenge.  Although, I guess it is not so much when you realize that we are barely over a third of the way through 100 days.  Wow.  Long challenge.  But I am loving the results.
Enough chit-chat.  Here are some of my snippets from this week of the 100 for 100 Challenge at GoTeenWriters.
 

     “I’m not a charity case,” I said, bending over my math with a passion.
 
     “Mardove Canyon.  I know,” he said.  “The Rithavens go every year.”
     “It’s creepy how much you know,” I said, feeling a hint of amusement.

     I felt like I was shooting sparks from my eyes, but there was no answering spark from his.  His eyes were like calm pools – my sparks fell into them and sizzled into nothing.

     Mrs. Rithaven was setting plates on the table when Mr. Rithaven breezed in.  He went straight to her and wrapped his arms around her waist, planting a kiss on her cheek.
     She laughed.  “You are in a good mood,” she said.  “Does your last day at work before a vacation do that for you?”
     “No, but I’m feeling spontaneous,” he said.
     “Spontaneous?  Lord help us all,” she said, trying to squeeze past him with her hand full of utensils.


     "...and, besides that, you won’t have anything to fear but bears at Mardove.”
 

      “Clouds don’t break.  Scientific impossibility.  It’s not like glass or even cinder blocks.  You push against it and it only shifts, never letting you see past the thick collection of water particles,” I retorted.


Thursday, October 16, 2014

Super Awesome Idea

     I have suddenly been jolted by a super-awesome story idea.  It is like a very small bit of lightning coursing through my veins.  The magnitude of it is a bit mind-blowing...when I think of what I want to accomplish.  But it is also loosely based around events and people in my own life, which gives me a strong foundation for the tale.
     But I am busy working on my story for the Rooglewood Contest and on Broken Clouds (which I committed to for the 100for100 Challenge at GoTeenWriters)...which means that I cannot abandon them in my inspired pursuit of a new tale.
     So here is the balance point:  How can I write enough down (now, while my inspiration is hot) so that I can set it aside (to finish my current projects like a good girl) and yet pick it up later without losing this energy I feel?

October Chatterbox: Maples

Rachel Heffington is hosting her monthly Chatterbox event, and this month's topic is maples.  I'm going to make Mason and Kelsey talk this time, just for fun.  Although this is not a scene from the book, this is a scene that would have happened if, well, if something else hadn't prevented it.

Deciduous trees display autumn colours in Wendover Woods on October 11, 2009 in Buckinghamshire, England

     "So I know a lot about survival and stuff," Mason said, his chubby hand hanging onto mine as he pulled me into the forest.
     I ducked underneath a branch and followed his lead.  "Oh, yeah?  Like what?"
     "Like knowing what you can eat," Mason said.  He pulled me past a bristly evergreen and nearly ran me into a low branch on a maple tree.  He was a lot shorter than I was.
     I fingered the glorious red leaves on the branch that nearly decapitated me.  "What about this one?  Can you eat it?"
     "That's a helicopter tree," Mason said, his face lighting up.  "If you get a bunch of helicopters, you can throw them in the air and they fly like this."  He dropped my hand, spread his arms out, and spun furiously until he collapsed flat on the ground.
     I smothered a laugh.
     He sat up, with red leaves plastered all over him, looking to me for my comprehension.
     So I nodded wisely. 
     He grinned and scrambled to his feet in a way that only little boys can.
     "But I guess you can't eat a helicopter tree, huh?" I finished.
     His eyes went wide in defense of his tree.  "Yuh-huh," he countered.  "You can eat the seeds out of the helicopters.  But you gotta cook it.  Brant did it once."
     "Really?" I asked surprised.  Who knew the pretty tree could be so useful?
     "And you can eat the baby leaves...but not the old ones," he said, making a face and sticking his tongue out as though it tasted horrible.
     I nodded wisely again.
     "Aaaaaaannnnndddd," Mason added, raising his eyebrows to let me know that the climax was coming, "you can eat the syrup!"
     Maple syrup.  Of course.  Why didn't I think of that?
     I turned and looked the tree over.  "How do you get the syrup out?" I asked.
     "Call Brant," Mason said.  It was his turn to nod wisely.
     Yeah.  I had a feeling I would be calling Brant for a lot of things out here.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Two-Thousand-and-Second

Ron Hoben grabbed a bat and began to swing it, warming up for his turn. He winked at the other players on the bench. "This will be my two-thousand-and-second try," he said. "I'm sure to hit a homer this time."

Frank laughed - a laugh that would have been scornful if it hadn't been tinged with good humor. "You haven't hit the ball for the last two-thousand-and-one tries, old man. What makes you think you'll get it this time."

A chuckle rippled down the bench.

Ron grinned. "Might as well start somewhere, boys," he said.

Dayton lifted his ball cap and scratched his head. "Odd number, don't you think? What did you pick 2002 for?"

Ron gave his bat one final practice swing. "'Cause its the next one," he said. "I'm turning over a new leaf starting today."

His name was called then and Ron turned away, scarcely hearing the hoots from the men on the bench. As he trotted across the grass, his mind flashed back to the first time his father had taken him to the ball field.

Nearly Fifty Years Earlier:

Little Ron crouched in the hallway listening to his parents' voices.

"Just take him, Paul," his mother insisted. Dishes clinked in her hands as she submersed them into her soapy dishwater.

"I'm not going out there, Alice. I'm not going to stand around and subject myself to the speculation of those boys who have no idea what war is like," his father said, his voice agitated.

"What is war like?" his mother asked, her voice low.

Ron didn't hear a response from his father.

"Paul, you can't just sit in this house and brood. And Ron needs a father. I can't do everything by myself. Why can't you just take him to the ball field?" his mother said.

"Do you want me out of the house? Is that it? You want me to leave you and Ron alone?" Ron could feel tension crackling in the air as his father spoke.

"You know that's not what I want. I want you, Paul. I just don't know where you went."

"That Paul is dead," his father said.

"I'm not asking you to be the same. I'm not asking you to erase the war. I'm just asking that you don't give up on yourself, and that you don't give up on being a father," his mother pleaded.

His father's feet shifted, boots scraping on the linoleum floor, and little Ron hurriedly sneaked upstairs to his room, afraid that his father might storm into the hall and find him eavesdropping.

But he didn't expect his father to come all the way upstairs, and it completely took him by surprise to look up from his bed and see his father in his doorway.

"Hurry up, boy," his father said. "I'm taking you to the ball field."

 

Little Ron strained his neck to look in every direction at once. Men loitered by the fence, watching boys running on the field.

"G'afternoon, Paul," one of the men called, idle curiosity flickering across his face. Ron felt his father's hand tighten over his own. He nodded in the direction of the men and then pulled Ron to an empty space on the fence.

After a couple of greetings, the men left Ron and his father alone. The two of them stood and watched for a long time. Then Paul sighed.

"Wanna give it a try?" he asked. He strode over toward the other men and picked out a bat and a ball. 

Ron gulped eagerly.

His father handed him the bat, showing him where to place his hands. Then he stood behind Ron, reaching forward and placing his big hands over Ron's little ones, guiding him through the motions of a swing.

"Got it?" his father asked.

Ron nodded, wondering if he would ever get used to the weight and awkwardness of the bat.

His father stepped several paces away. He lightly tossed and caught the ball, rolling it around in his hand as though re-familiarizing himself with an old friend.

"Ready, son?" he asked.

Ron nodded, and his father wound up and tossed a gentle pitch in his direction.

Ron swung with all his might...and missed.

His father looked disappointed but he retrieved the ball and tried again.

Miss again.

Eight more times, he tried, and Ron ended up with a perfect score of 10 misses. He could see a couple of the other fathers watching him with a snicker. His father saw them, too.

"That's enough for today," his father said, shortly.

Ron felt a lump in his throat, and he tried not to cry. "I'm sorry, dad," he said.

His father looked at him, but Ron felt like he was looking through him to some place far, far away. Then his eyes focused on Ron and he reached out and ruffled his boy's hair. "Just don't give up on yourself," he said.

Ron swallowed the lump back and followed his father as they passed the other men on their way out. One of them smirked at Paul. "Too bad you couldn't get out here with your boy sooner," he said. "He's a little behind, isn't he? You weren't here to see, but baseball helped the war effort. My boys have been out here for a couple years."

Quicker than Ron could think, his father had the other man by the shirt collar. "You yellow-livered..." he shouted.

"Dad!" Ron yelled, alarmed. He grabbed his father's sleeve.

"You brute!" the other man said, pulling to free himself. "You think you're a war hero, don't you? But what were you really doing over there?"

Paul dropped the other man's collar like a load of manure and stormed away. Ron had to trot to keep up with his father's long strides. Neither one of them said anything until his father pulled open their screen door and stepped into the kitchen. Alice was bent over the stove but she looked up as they entered.

"I'm never going there again," Paul said, his voice raging with the conflict inside of him.

And Alice looked at Ron with sad eyes.

 

Ron reached the mound and nodded to the pitcher and the catcher.

"Morning, Ron," the catcher said. "Nice day today."

"As beautiful as they come," Ron agreed.

The catcher shifted his mask. "My wife and I were talking about this field this morning. Hasn't changed much over the years has it?"

Ron looked at the new floodlights, the digital scoreboard, the taller fence, the shiny bleachers, and the manicured grass on the field. There had been a few changes since he had been a boy. His eyes wandered to the gate on his right. It still had the same rusty latch. If he squinted he could almost see Lila leaning against it, her yellow dress fluttering in the breeze. "Nah," Ron said aloud. "It's the same field, all right."

Nearly 45 years earlier:

"I want to make the team," Ron said. It took all his courage to say that. He jutted his chin out and waited for the four high school baseball stars to register his words.

"You?" Sammy asked, incredulous. Sammy was a catcher, and he could read the field as well as the coach could. Ron's was not a face he expected to see out there.

Tristan and Mike doubled over in laughter. Tristan was a pitcher. He had dreams of making it to the big leagues. Mike was a stumpy guy, but his quick reflexes had proven him both as a batter and as a shortstop.

"Ron, you've never made a hit in your life," the fourth boy said. His name was Hollis -- he was the jack of all trades in the baseball field -- an even tempered guy unless you called him Holly. "What makes you want to try out for the team?"

Ron crossed his arms. "I want to make the team," he repeated stubbornly.

Tristan and Mike laughed again.

Sammy shook his head. "Forget it, Ron. Go find something you're good at," he said.

Ron didn't budge. Eventually even Tristan and Mike stopped laughing. For a minute everything was quiet.

Then Hollis slapped Sammy on the shoulder. "Come on. Let's throw the kid a few balls. We could use the practice, right?"

The other three grumbled good-naturedly but they grabbed their gear and trotted onto the field. Ron was elated by his success.

"Keep your eye on the ball," Hollis directed as Ron grabbed a bat and stepped up to the plate.

Ron nodded, settling into the wide-legged stance he had seen the others take. He tapped his bat on the ground and then held it over his shoulder.

Hollis and Tristan flipped coins, and Hollis won the right to pitch first. He stepped to the pitcher's mound.

Sammy signaled for an easy pitch.

Hollis lobbed the ball, straight and gentle, to Ron.

Ron swung...and missed.

"Come on!" Mike protested, throwing his hands up. "I can't believe he missed that. We're wasting our time, guys."

"No, hang in there," Hollis insisted. "Let's give him 15 minutes, okay?"

It was then that Ron saw her.

Lila Mosgrove. The most beautiful girl in high school. She picked her way across the gravel road and stopped, leaning against the gate. Ron held his breath, as if she were a mirage that would disappear with his exhale.

"You ready, Hoben?" Tristan called derisively.

Ron pulled his eyes from Lila and nodded to the pitcher.

The pitch came, and Ron swung. 

Strike Two.

Fifteen minutes later, Ron had accomplished nothing except to rack up more misses to his perfect score.

Lila was still standing by the gate. Ron watched to see which boy she was waiting for.  Who would she leave with?

Sammy left, followed by Mike and Tristan.

Still Lila stood there, her little yellow dress fluttering in the breeze.

"Have you had enough?" Hollis asked him.

Ron shook his head. "I want to make the team," he said.

"Stubborn kid," Hollis snorted. He picked up his bag. "I'll meet you out here tomorrow."

Ron's heart soared. After his performance, he did not think any of the boys would help him again. But Hollis hadn't given up on him yet.

"See ya," Hollis called as he left.

Lila was still by the gate.

Every day, Hollis practiced with Ron. Sometimes the other three boys came, too. And Lila came.

She never spoke to Ron as she leaned against the gate. And Ron certainly never spoke to her. But she was there.

Ron signed up for the baseball team. The coach promised him that he would never leave the bench. And so Ron came to the games, sat on the bench, and cheered for Hollis, Mike, Tristan, and Sammy.

Eventually, the four baseball stars got busy. Their lives carried them forward like a rushing river, and they were soon caught up in the excitement of it. But Ron's life crept forward, gently meandering like a small stream. There were no great talents that kept him in high demand.

One by one, Tristan...then Sammy...then Mike...and finally Hollis were unable to practice with Ron. In the end, Ron went to the field by himself, tossing a ball in the air and swinging at it as it came down. And still he missed.

But Lila still came.

In his senior year of high school, Ron went to Lila's house, only a few weeks before the school dance. He knocked on her screen door and waited, hoping that it would be Lila and not her father who greeted him.

His hopes were met. Lila smiled through the screen and then joined him on the porch. He asked her to the dance. And she said yes.

At the dance, he asked her a question he had been pondering for a long time.

"How come you always come to my practices?" he asked.

She furrowed her eyebrows thoughtfully as she danced. Her feet never missed a step, even while her mind was far away. "Maybe you inspire me," she said softly. She looked up at him then, her face earnest. "If you never give up, why should I?"

And that night, Ron found a new goal, more important than baseball. A year later, his new dream was met: he was married, setting up his new home with Lila by his side.


Ron squinted at the pitcher. It was Hollis again. After college and a long career, Hollis had returned to their small town about 6 years before and made himself at home in a house only 2 doors down from where he had grown up. It was good to have him back.  And it was no surprise to see him join the little ragtag team of older amateur ballplayers that Ron was a part of.

Hollis spit on the ball and rubbed it against his pants. He didn't seem to be in any hurry to make the pitch. Ron's eyes wandered to the bleachers.

Lila was there. She smiled at him, her eyes alight with eternal hope.

Ron's eyes fell to the bottom of the bleachers. A man was trotting up the steps with youthful energy. He turned as he reached Lila, and Ron saw the handsome young face just before Lila was engulfed in his embrace. A grin broke out across Ron's face as he recognized his son.  What a great surprise! Ron had no idea the boy would be home to see this game. The Minor Leagues had been jealous of his time. Ron shook his head. How a boy of his ever made it into the Minor Leagues was beyond him. But the boy had combined Ron's determination with his own natural skill, and was doing very well.

Hollis cleared his throat and Ron looked back to the pitcher.

Two thousand and one misses.

A voice whispered in his mind: "Soon to be two thousand and two misses." Ron shook his head and frowned. "Not this time," he whispered back fiercely. "I won't miss -- I'll break my record."

Two thousand and one tries.

Hollis wound up and delivered the pitch.

The world seemed to spin into slow motion. Ron could hear his own breath, slowly inhaling.

Two thousand and one tries.

Gripping the bat, Ron swung it around to meet the ball.

Two thousand and two tries. He closed his eyes.

CRACK!

Ron felt the force vibrate through the bat before he could get his eyes open. He had hit the ball. Open-mouthed, he watched it sailing over Hollis' head. The entire field and bleachers were silent -- so silent that Ron thought he could hear the ball whistling through the air.

Then the crowd erupted. The word "cheers" does not describe the emotion of the day. They screamed, they clapped, they whistled, they threw their hats in the air. Hollis ran and grabbed Ron, locking his arm around his neck and scrubbing the top of his head. "You did it, old boy," he murmured with tears in his eyes.

Ron twisted free and swung a fake punch at his friend. Then he turned to search the bleachers. Lila wasn't there. Swinging around, Ron saw her standing by the old gate, her hands clasped together in front of her face, too proud of him to express herself any other way.

"I told you I would do it," he shouted.

And he did...on the two-thousand-and-second try.

 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Hold Your Breath...For Four and a Half Months

     Ladies and gentlemen, I am entering the Rooglewood Contest.  You may have already known that, but then again, maybe you didn't.  Now you do.
     You can click on the link above to learn more about the contest.  In fact, it's not too late if you want to enter.  Basically, this particular contest asks that you write a short story or novella based on "Beauty and the Beast," but with your own twists.  From the myriad of submitted entries, Rooglewood Press chooses 5 winners who are then plunged into the publishing process.  Their stories are eventually marketed as a collection of retellings.
     I would like to win.  I can even say now that I am hopeful of winning.  But I would still enter even if I knew that I wouldn't win.  Why?  Because whenever I take on a project like this, I come out of it a better writer than I went into it.  The process of writing, the determination of finishing, the weeks of editing, and the leap of courage that it takes to submit my story -- these things mold me.  I can look at my work and see that I have improved.  And for me, that makes a contest worth it.
     The hard part of the contest is the waiting part.  Winners will be announced on March 1st, 2015.  That is four and a half months away.  It seems like forever.
     I am reading through my story today, applying final touches before I send it.  Even though the submissions deadline is in December, I hope that I can send mine this month...and that I remember to breathe.
     I'll keep you posted...

RosesBannerforWebsite

Saturday, October 11, 2014

One-Year Anniversary

So October 12 is the one-year anniversary of my blog.
Yay!

Congratulations Balloon Bouquet

So far, I have 10 followers, 306 published posts, and 4325+ all-time number of views on this blog.

WHO ME?
uh oh, someone got caught! @lindseybr2012 @marthabrooks


This world of blogging has been good for me.  It has connected me with other writers who encourage, challenge, and inspire me.  It gives me an outlet - a way to share my writing with the world and get feedback.  It also prods me forward: thinking that there are people out there waiting to read snippets or that I must put extra effort into my work to make something worthy of their expectations.

Painter: Andre Kohn - http://www.andrekohn.com
Oil Painting by Andre Kohn
via Pinterest

So I would like to take this one-year anniversary as an opportunity to thank:
     all of the bloggers whose blogs I follow,
     everyone who has read my blog,
     and each person who left me a comment on this blog.
You make me a better writer, and I thank you.

Feel free to like, comment or repin my stuff:) it would be appreciated . ill follow u on instagram.com/rockstarking

Snippets from 100for100: Week Four

Here are my snippets from the 100 for 100 Challenge at GoTeenWriters:

I squatted down to his level, took a piece of a cookie from his hands, and popped it into my mouth.  It smelled faintly of sweaty fingers and washable markers. 

“God…” I began.  But I stopped there.  Why should I ask Him to protect Mason? 

“You boys got a problem?” a voice rang out.  I twisted my head to see the outline of a man, leaning nonchalantly against a dumpster. 

My ears heard the genuine care in her voice, but my mind rebelled against it.  

“This some kind of set up?” one of the men demanded.  He looked like a nervous firecracker.

Life was not fair.  I wasn’t strong enough to protect everyone.  And there was nobody stronger to ask.


I found a smile somewhere in my brain and quickly pasted it on my face.  “Yes, it’s fine,” I said.

Prudence directed my steps toward Brant’s path, but the sound of Darla’s laugh stopped me in my tracks.  

A strong conviction took hold of me that I did not want to take the shortcut through the alley after all.  My safest course was to backtrack as fast as I could and promise to take the long cut from now until eternity, amen.  

I didn’t want to die.  I sooo didn’t want to die.

He stepped forward, putting his body as a block between Robert and me like a possessive Doberman.

The leaves hung limp and wet like so many drowned cats. 

I lay awake in my little bed, but I couldn’t sleep.  The day had been too perfect – I didn’t want to let it go.  In my 5-year-old genius mind, I decided I needed a drink of water.  I tumbled out of bed in my little pink nightgown and padded down the stairs, picturing my parents’ surprise and eagerly awaiting my momma’s laugh.  
     I knew she would laugh.


Friday, October 10, 2014

Beginning of an Eclipse


     I got up a little before 5:30am earlier this week to watch the lunar eclipse, and I took my camera.  My Sony is not designed for the study of our solar system, and it required every trick I knew to coax a decent picture out of it.  That being said, I was immensely proud of a few of my captures.
     The gorgeous one of the red moon that I posted earlier this week was taken by Thomas Warloe and I copied it off the internet, but this one was taken by yours truly.  Look at it -- that was a full moon before the earth's shadow started blotting it out!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Monday, October 6, 2014

Plenilune Cover Reveal

Falcon
via Pinterest

     As of today, Plenilune (Jennifer Freitag's latest novel) has a face to present to the public.  I am pleased to announce that, here and now, the cover will be revealed.  Would you like to see it?



     But perhaps you have missed my previous posts on Plenilune.  Perhaps you are looking at this cover and asking, "What is Plenilune?"  True?

     I am so glad you asked.  Here, for your benefit, is the synopsis:

The fate of Plenilune hangs on the election of the Overlord, for which Rupert de la Mare and his brother are the only contenders, but when Rupert's unwilling bride-to-be uncovers his plot to murder his brother, the conflict explodes into civil war.
To assure the minds of the lord-electors of Plenilune that he has some capacity for humanity, Rupert de la Mare has been asked to woo and win a lady before he can become the Overlord, and he will do it--even if he has to kidnap her.
En route to Naples to catch a suitor, Margaret Coventry was not expecting a suitor to catch her.

     "Why, that sounds fascinating," you say.  "But who is Jennifer Freitag?"

      Jennifer Freitage is a writer who has earned the title of The Penslayer among those who have read her work.  She has an amazing way with words...and sentences...and chapters...and stories.  Seriously.  You should check out her blog, ThePenslayer.  I have read one other book written by her (not related to Plenilune) called The Shadow Things.

     But, enough of my own observations, here is Jenny's bio for the book:

      JENNIFER FREITAG lives with her husband in a house they call Clickitting, with their two cats Minnow and Aquila, and their own fox kit due to be born early December.  Jennifer writes in no particular genre because she never learned how, she is made of sparks like Boys of Blur, and if she could grasp the elements, she would bend them like lightning.  Until then, she sets words on fire.
     Living with her must be excruciating. 

 

     Now that your curiosity about the author is somewhat satisfied, I expect you are turning your mind back to the story.  Very well.  Let's talk about planetary fantasy...because Plenilune is a planetary fantasy...and because 6 months ago, I had no idea what that meant.  Thankfully, Jennifer explained it in her own words on her blog.  So, if you want to know what sort of planetary fantasy Jennifer writes, check out this post.

     And now, perhaps, you have no other concern than to know when this book will be released so you can read it for yourself.

     The grand release date is...

OCTOBER 20


     Yes, we have but 2 weeks until Plenilune is out.  :)  In the meantime, check out the Goodreads page and mark off the days on your calender.  And don't forget to visit Jennifer's blog.  See you there!





Saturday, October 4, 2014

Snippets from 100for100: Week Three

Here are my snippets from Week Three of the 100 for 100 Challenge at GoTeenWriters.  Enjoy!


 
 
“If you so much as touch him, you are a dead man.”
Dead woman, I mentally corrected her.

“Starting to look a little suspicious, isn’t it?  Administration does these things by appointment.  How come you always get sent on an errand at the perfect time?”

Humphreys was smoking a cigar as I marched into his office.  He sighed when he saw me and tapped the ashes from the end of his cigar.
 
Hannah and Tory stood there, looking guiltily proud of themselves.

The woman came to me again.  “It’s time to go, Kelsey,” she said.  “We’re moving you to a new home after that fiasco.”
 
The homeless man turned away and sauntered out of sight.  I pointed my steps toward the coach and broke into a jog, but my mind followed the homeless man.  The stubbly beard and cast-off clothes masked him well, but I knew those eyes. 
 
“I don’t mean anything,” Humphreys said, coolly, his sudden frustration disappearing like ice cream in an oven. “Go back to your room.”

“I’m going to squeal on you,” she finally whispered.  “You better run fast, but I gotta squeal.”
 
“Kelsey Harpman!  If I have to call your name one more time…!” the coach shouted.



Friday, October 3, 2014

Secret Project Update

     Earlier this week, I finished my eighth round of edits on my secret project.  Believe it or not, I think this story actually has a chance.  Maybe my judgement is impaired because I am writing this at roughly 3 hours past my bedtime, but I feel encouraged at the moment.  And I hardly would have thought that possible a month or two ago.
     It's funny the emotional journey associated with this project.  Early on, I had to rally my courage just to let my beta-reader see it.  Later, my sister expressed her regrets that she didn't have time to read it at the moment, and I told her that I would let her read it later if it won (and that, if it didn't, "nevermind - because it must not have been worth reading anyway").  Then I let two young friends read it because they were so excited and encouraging and willing to offer their feedback.  And now, I am leaning back with a feeling of satisfaction and a tingling hope that it just might win.  It's the craziest feeling ever.

 
 
     I know a number of skilled, talented writers who are entering this contest.  Frankly, it's a little intimidating.  I feel like they have so much more experience than I do, and I wonder (since they seem so confident) whether my story even has a chance.  And that is not the feeling that I want to give you when you read of my "tingling hope."  Instead, I want to instill in you the understanding that any of us have a chance...and even more so if we work on our craft.  I want to promise that, even if a first draft doesn't seem prize-worthy, it can be improved upon.  I want to assure you that, somewhere down the line, you will look at your revised manuscript with a smile and say "THIS is better."
     And, yes, it is a pretty cool feeling.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Is Everybody Getting Hacked Over There?


      There is a lovely little band of writers whose blogs I follow, and last week their blogs were in a frenzy to get hacked.  Such hacking is fun for the writer as well as the reader.  Friends were writing hilarious and encouraging posts.  Even fictional characters were popping up to hack the blog.
      That is not happening here.
      However, I thought I would use the inspiration and take this opportunity to let one of my character make a guest post.
      You have never met him before.  His name is Brant, and he is 14 years old.  His parents decided to take in an orphan girl on a trial basis for the school year, and she's expected to come in on her flight tomorrow.  I've asked him to talk about her.


Hey, guys.  Brant here.  I've been asked to talk about Kelsey.
     My parents decided at the beginning of the summer to volunteer to take an orphan girl for the school year.  I think its a bad idea.  Mom and Dad don't seem to realize what they are inviting into their home.  It's not going to be like the movies.  This girl isn't going to be sweet and innocent, instantly transformed to eternal happiness because somebody loves her.  These kids come with a past.  And Kelsey's been moved so many times I have to wonder what tricks she has up her sleeve.  Mom and Dad are so excited to get a little girl, but I'm expecting a manipulative thief with a foul mouth and a well-disguised mean-streak.
     It wouldn't be so bad if it were just me here, but I've got a little brother, too.  I don't want him picking up her bad habits.  And he's going to be heartbroken when she leaves.  It's not that I'm scared of change, but this whole thing was a stupid idea.
     My parents are not listening to me.  I tried to talk to them about it, but they looked very sober and asked me what I thought Jesus would do.

That is not a fair question.
 
Jesus never adopted an orphan girl for the school year.