Friday, December 1, 2017

A Friday Quote: Part 18


     Hello, delightful friends! 

     This is the last post of my Friday Quotes, at least for now.  Join in the fun today and let's make it a grand finale!  Here's how it works:

IN THE COMMENTS BELOW:
      Post a quote of something YOU wrote.
Or
Something you edited this week (of something you previous wrote).

    Don't make the quote too long because I don't want you to spoil your story.  

     For this finale, I am lifting the restriction that you had to write it THIS week.  Pick any quote that you have written (preferably this year).  So excited to see everybody's snippets!

      Thank you for playing with me!!!!!

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

No Matter How Bad You Have It...

...There's always someone in worse circumstances.



Which I found peculiarly inspiring.

I just found out that one of my contest compatriots is also cutting words to make her manuscript fit the requirements.  Only she is cutting it down from 33k words.

Wow.

I thought that cutting from 24k was bad.

But, hey, if she can cut 13k words from her story, I certainly can stop whining about cutting 4k from mine.

Link arms with me.  We can do this.

P.S. Also, please join me in a round of applause for my compatriot.  Because she is amazing.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Sarcasm and Ink - part 3


     It was almost dawn when the prince let her go.  Rayen wiped the weariness from her eyes and headed straight to the bakery. Coups or no, her family still had to eat.  But just as she reached the door, a figure stepped from the shadows.  It was Danwell.

     “You did it.” He murmured, admiration in his voice.  “Targallin is on our side. Help is coming from the East.  The prince will be overthrown.  Our people will have a chance of survival.”

     Too exhausted for sarcasm, Rayen pushed open the bakery door and donned her apron.  “I’m glad.”

     Danwell followed her.  “I was wrong to doubt you, little badger.  I’m honored to have you on our side.”

     Rayen glanced at her finger.  The inkstain had almost faded.  “My ‘sweetness’ and your ink.”  She rubbed her finger thoughtfully.  “Watch them change the course of a nation.”

Monday, November 27, 2017

Love/Hate Woven Stories

I've spoken before about how I love woven stories.  That's one reason I love Charles Dickens -- he weaves so many threads, all inter-twining, into his final masterpiece.

But editing such a story is a nightmare!

I just deleted 5 entire chapters from my Snow White retelling.  But that means I have to read through every single other chapter, deleting threads that are no longer relevant. 
--Those deleted chapters were foreshadowed and hinted at, random objects were put in place for later use, the first half of humor was layed out so you would laugh when you read the chapter. 
--And then, once the chapter itself was deleted, the hints that were hidden in the deleted chapter are gone, so your later chapters are lacking the foreshadowing, hinting, placement of objects, et cetera, that would have been wrapped up in that chapter. 

     No scene is one layer.  You have your primary objective but a million other tiny things are happening.  And cutting the threads makes the whole story want to unravel.

     In editing, I found myself appreciating the way my stories really are all interwoven.  That's cool.  I didn't realize how much I did that.

     But...AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!  It makes editing a NIGHTMARE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Poor Charles Dickens.

Friday, November 24, 2017

A Friday Quote: Part 17


     Hello, delightful friends! 

     I am continuing my fun event.  It is called A Friday Quote.  I have been doing it since the first Friday in August.  I was going to stop in November, but I'm going to do one last one next week.  Here's how it works:

IN THE COMMENTS BELOW:
      Post a quote of something YOU wrote THIS week.
Or
Something you edited this week (of something you previous wrote).

    Don't make the quote too long because I don't want you to spoil your story.  Probably 5 sentences or so would be a good amount.  But that is a guideline and not a rule.

     You don't have to participate every week.  But you can participate any week that you write.

      And it will be so much fun to see everybody's quotes.

     And, for me, it will be a reward for writing this week.  :D  Next week will be the last one!!!!

     Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Sarcasm and Ink - part 2


     Rayen pulled her apron off and dusted flour from her leggings.  The letter in her boot poked at her leg – a constant reminder that she had a purpose awaiting her.  “I’ll be back by dawn,” she said to the baker as she folded her apron and laid it over the counter.

      He nodded without a word.

     The rattle of the carriage caught up with her on the way home.  Was this the summons that she was waiting for?  Rayen paused as it stopped beside her.  It was the same royal carriage that had first discovered her nearly six months before.  Then, it carried the prince.  Today, it carried only his manservant, Callun.

      Callun swung down as soon as the carriage stopped. 

      Rayen surveyed the carriage in scorn.  “Rather late in the evening, isn’t it?  Has the prince no concept of beauty sleep?”

      “As fiery as ever, I see.” Callun bowed.  “But the prince wishes to see you at once, regardless of the hour.”

       Rayen curled her lip and crossed her arms.  “Tell him no thanks.  I have an early day tomorrow.”

     “With all due respect, I fear you have no choice in the matter.  The prince is in a foul mood, and only you can cheer him up.  Consider it your duty to your entire country.”

     Indeed.  This game she played was for the entire country.  But not in the way Callun believed.  Rayun pursed her lips disdainfully and allowed herself to be escorted onto the carriage.

      As the carriage rattled over the roads, Rayen felt her heart pounding.  It was not the prince she needed to see but his second-in-command, Targallin.  It was for him that Danwell wrote the letter in her boot.  But getting a letter to Targallin would not be easy.

      The carriage took Rayen out of the city into the surrounding countryside.  It was too dark to see the rolling hills and peaceful trees.  But as they drove through the palace gates, torches lit the front of the restored mansion, making a pretty sight.  Rayen could almost picture herself in a shimmering gown instead of the short brown dress and leggings as she trotted up the steps to the front door.

       Once inside, she was escorted down the finest halls to the great room where the prince spent most of his time.  He was there now, playing pool with his councilman.  Rayen glanced around. Targallin was not in sight.

     The prince looked up as she entered.  “Rayen de Crune!  Did you miss me?”

     “Not in the slightest.”  Rayen raised her eyebrows at him before she crossed the floor and flopped into one of his giant couches.

     The prince laughed.  “The one person in the entire kingdom with the nerve to talk back to me!  But I shall tame you yet.  Do you remember when we first met?”

     Rayen yawned.  “I think I have forgotten.”

     “I leaned from the window of my carriage and asked you for a kiss.”  He leaned forward, crossing his arms on the pool table.  “Do you know what you said to me?”

     “I told you I didn’t kiss toads.”

     The prince laughed.  “And I told you that if you did, you would find me a prince after all.  Which…” he turned to his councilmen “…was a clever comeback, was it not?”

     They all agreed – the prince’s wit was astounding.

     The prince threw his arms out to the side and laughed heartily.  Then he crossed his arms again, surveying Rayen’s disdain with interest.  “But you are not as easily impressed.  What must I do to make those brown eyes open wide with wonder?”

     Rayen leaned forward and threw her eyes as wide open as possible, hoping it had a rather creepy-looking effect.  “Like this?”

     But the prince didn’t laugh.  Instead he tapped his fingers on the pool table and his eyes took on a strange appearance.  “You must cheer me up, Rayen de Crune.  I am angry tonight.  Do you know why I am angry?”

     The door opened and Targallin entered the room.  Rayen felt her pulse quicken and she tried to hide it.

      But the prince was too absorbed in his own emotions to notice hers.  “The king of the East sent me a letter.  He wishes to form an alliance.”  Anger exploded across his face and he slammed his fist on the pool table.  “And my own council thought I should agree to this!”

     Targallin took a seat across the room, next to the bookshelves, and leaned forward to rest his forehead on his hands.

     One of the councilmen held his hands palms up in a pleading motion.  “We meant no disrespect to your illustrious reign!  We only thought the people would benefit from…”

     “Silence!” the prince screamed.  He shoved away from the table to pace around the room.  “I know what they really think!  They think the country is perishing under my hand.  They think that we should give ourselves to the king of the East!”  Grasping the nearest object to him – a blue glass vase – he flung it at the pool table and watched as it shattered.

     “Great!” Rayen’s voice was bright and mildly sarcastic.  “And I’m supposed to cheer you up from this?”  Her eyes twinkled saucily.  “Tell me what you want to hear…and I’ll say something opposite.”

     His eyes focused once more on her face.  The anger faded and the joy of scheming returned.  “In that case, I wish to hear that you hate me.”

     Rayen tapped her fingers on her lips thoughtfully.  “Then I think…that I should read you a story.”  She rose to her feet and headed for the bookcase, glancing back playfully.  “Have any good books over here?”

     “You can’t evade me forever, vixen,” the prince laughed.  “I shall trap you yet.”

     “Not if I can help it,” Rayen muttered through gritted teeth.  She turned her gaze to Targallin.  She needed to find some way to pass the letter to him.  Perhaps she could ask him to help her choose a book.

     But, no, Targallin was standing to his feet.  He was leaving.  Rayen quickened her steps.  He was passing the end of the couch.  If she could get her timing right…

     She brushed past him, intentionally catching her foot on his boots and crashing ungracefully to the floor behind the couch.  “Gah!  Help me up, you clumsy oaf!” she shouted, her voice full of irritation.  She couldn’t see the prince from her spot on the floor.  Looking up at Targallin’s surprised face, she pulled the letter from her boot and shoved it into his.  He bent down then and grasped her arm, pulling her to her feet.

     Her hair was in her face, rumpled by her fall.  She brushed it back, hoping her tumble explained the flush of excitement on her cheeks.  The prince stood in the middle of the room, his head thrown back as he grasped his stomach and laughed hysterically.  “Serves you right, you little viper,” he gasped.  “I wish you had broken your arm.”

      Rayen glared at him.  “Aren’t you sweet?”

     His laugh died down to a chuckle.  “Almost as sweet as you, cupcake.”  He gazed at her wryly.

     Rayen shuddered.  “Shall I read you a book or no?”

     “If you think you can make it all the way to the bookcase without breaking your neck…”

Friday, November 17, 2017

A Friday Quote: Part 16


     Hello, delightful friends! 

     I am continuing my fun event.  It is called A Friday Quote, and I shall play this game every Friday from August through November.  Here's how it works:

IN THE COMMENTS BELOW:
      Post a quote of something YOU wrote THIS week.
Or
Something you edited this week (of something you previous wrote).

    Don't make the quote too long because I don't want you to spoil your story.  Probably 5 sentences or so would be a good amount.  But that is a guideline and not a rule.

     You don't have to participate every week.  But you can participate any week that you write.

      And it will be so much fun to see everybody's quotes.

     And, for me, it will be a reward for writing this week.  :D

     Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Calling All Beta-Readers

Hello, writerly friends!
     I have 1 person who is currently alpha-reading for me.  I need a couple beta readers.  Please comment if you are willing!

Saturday, November 11, 2017

I DID IT!!!!!!


     I finished my first draft.

    Boy is it rough.

    But it is done, and I can hardly believe it.

    Seriously, I was starting to think that I would never finish this story.

     I'm a little overwhelmed with the editing now required.  The deadline still looms dauntingly before me.

     But, hey!  I thought I wouldn't make it this far, and yet here I am.  Who knows what can yet be accomplished?

Friday, November 10, 2017

A Friday Quote: Part 15


     Hello, delightful friends! 

     I am continuing my fun event.  It is called A Friday Quote, and I shall play this game every Friday from August through November.  Here's how it works:

IN THE COMMENTS BELOW:
      Post a quote of something YOU wrote THIS week.
Or
Something you edited this week (of something you previous wrote).

    Don't make the quote too long because I don't want you to spoil your story.  Probably 5 sentences or so would be a good amount.  But that is a guideline and not a rule.

     You don't have to participate every week.  But you can participate any week that you write.

      And it will be so much fun to see everybody's quotes.

     And, for me, it will be a reward for writing this week.  :D

     Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Sarcasm and Ink: Part 1



     The inkwell tipped, sloshing two spatters of black liquid onto the desk.  Rayen impulsively reached forward, dipping her forefinger into the puddle.  It turned her fingertip black.  She wiped her thumb across it, watching the ink spread from thick to thin.

       Danwell looked up from the letter he was writing.  Light from the candle flickered, casting threatening shadows against the wall.  “This is not a mission for a child.”

     “I know.” Rayen raised both her eyebrows, daring him to make the response she knew was coming.

     “Then stop sticking your fingers in messes like a 4-year-old.” He folded the letter with crisp precision.  From a drawer, he pulled a stick of sealing wax.  For a moment, he held it over the candle.  Then he let a drip fall onto the folded letter.

      “Aren’t you going to stamp it with your royal seal?” Rayen let her sarcasm fall heavy on the word “royal.”

     “Anonymity is best in our line of work.” Danwell passed the letter, sealed but unstamped, to Rayen.  He stood to his feet and ran his fingers through his salt-and-pepper hair.  “I don’t know what the prince sees in you.  You are a badger, Rayen de Crune.”

      “And your plan would fail without me.  You should be glad that I amuse him…and that I despise him.”  She kissed her hand and blew the kiss saucily in Danwell’s direction.

     Danwell’s hand suddenly snaked out and grasped her wrist.  “This is not a game.  If you fail us…”

     Rayen glared at him and yanked her wrist free.  “I won’t.”

     The silence stood between them, connecting them and driving them apart at the same time.  Danwell was the first to break it with a sigh.  “God speed,” he said, though doubt still lingered in his eyes.

     Rayen shrugged.  “Or, sometimes, He moves slowly.”  She blew a kiss again, stuffed the letter in her boot, and sauntered out of Danwell’s tiny apartment. 

     Dust and trash blew down the street.  Pavement lingered in places, leftover from a previous era, but no one had paved these roads in over a hundred years.  Rayen had heard stories – of wonders beyond her imagination.  Harnessed powers that could light a whole house without fire, keep food cold, cook without a flame.  There were cars, too.  Rayen had seen the rusted metal shells abandoned in fields.  But rumors said that they once raced down roads at indescribable speeds.  Rayen wasn’t sure how many of the stories were true and how many had been exaggerated.  All she knew was that everything changed after The Collapse.

     The world that Rayen knew was the one that arose after The Collapse -- a world of kings and queens, horses and swords, fire and ice, and leftover pieces from the era before them.

      Rayen reached her own house, several streets away from Danwell’s.  Hers was a humble one.  Here she lived with her mother and 4 younger sisters.

      “Are you home, Rayen?” her mother called out, as soon as Rayen pushed open the front door.  “The baker on 16th street said he will need your help next week.”

      “That’s good,” Rayen called back.  The letter crinkled in her boot.  “And I’ll be running errands for the merchant in the evening on Monday and Wedneday.”

      Her mother appeared in the doorway, wiping her hands on a towel.  Her tired face smiled wanly.  “My sweet girl.”

       Rayen was not a sweet girl and she knew it.  But a sweet girl would not have attracted the notice of the prince, and Rayen had done just that.  She crossed the room and kissed her mother on the cheek.  “I’m going to bed early.”

     “Supper?” her mother queried.

      “I ate on the way home,” Rayen lied.  She danced quickly to the room she shared with her sisters.  Thankfully, it was empty.  The letter was transferred from her boot to the mattress.  Then she flopped back onto the bed to stare at the ceiling.  Now came the patient part.  There was no way to know how long it would be before the prince sent for her again.

Friday, November 3, 2017

A Friday Quote: Part 14


     Hello, delightful friends! 

     I am continuing my fun event.  It is called A Friday Quote, and I shall play this game every Friday from August through November.  Here's how it works:

IN THE COMMENTS BELOW:
      Post a quote of something YOU wrote THIS week.
Or
Something you edited this week (of something you previous wrote).

    Don't make the quote too long because I don't want you to spoil your story.  Probably 5 sentences or so would be a good amount.  But that is a guideline and not a rule.

     You don't have to participate every week.  But you can participate any week that you write.

      And it will be so much fun to see everybody's quotes.

     And, for me, it will be a reward for writing this week.  :D

     Enjoy!

Friday, October 27, 2017

A Friday Quote: Part 13


     Hello, delightful friends! 

     I am continuing my fun event.  It is called A Friday Quote, and I shall play this game every Friday from August through November.  Here's how it works:

IN THE COMMENTS BELOW:
      Post a quote of something YOU wrote THIS week.
Or
Something you edited this week (of something you previous wrote).

    Don't make the quote too long because I don't want you to spoil your story.  Probably 5 sentences or so would be a good amount.  But that is a guideline and not a rule.

     You don't have to participate every week.  But you can participate any week that you write.

      And it will be so much fun to see everybody's quotes.

     And, for me, it will be a reward for writing this week.  :D

     Enjoy!

Monday, October 23, 2017

Friendships

Moriah has cut herself off from all friendships. That's partly her fault and partly the dwarves'. But she's at a point in the story where she realizes she can't do this on her own anymore.
This means she is about to make some new friends and, perhaps, rekindle some old ones.
But what if the things she feared... The things that kept her from forming friendships for so many years... What if they come true after all.
Then what?
Does that mean she should never have friends?

Friday, October 20, 2017

A Friday Quote: Part 12


     Hello, delightful friends! 

     I am continuing my fun event.  It is called A Friday Quote, and I shall play this game every Friday from August through November.  Here's how it works:

IN THE COMMENTS BELOW:
      Post a quote of something YOU wrote THIS week.
Or
Something you edited this week (of something you previous wrote).

    Don't make the quote too long because I don't want you to spoil your story.  Probably 5 sentences or so would be a good amount.  But that is a guideline and not a rule.

     You don't have to participate every week.  But you can participate any week that you write.

      And it will be so much fun to see everybody's quotes.

     And, for me, it will be a reward for writing this week.  :D

     Enjoy!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Hang in There, We Can Do This


     I have been tempted to quit.  How can I finish this story in time?

     And I'm not the only one.  Thanks to Facebook I know several writers, with promising stories, who have decided not to enter this year.  Maybe they got discouraged.  Maybe other areas in their life took over.  Maybe they decided to finish their story and pursue another venue of publication.

     Those other stories sounded intriguing.  They had a chance of winning.

     But so does mine.

     Hang in there, Esther.  We can finish this story.

Friday, October 13, 2017

A Friday Quote: Part 11


     Hello, delightful friends! 

     I am continuing my fun event.  It is called A Friday Quote, and I shall play this game every Friday from August through November.  Here's how it works:

IN THE COMMENTS BELOW:
      Post a quote of something YOU wrote THIS week.
Or
Something you edited this week (of something you previous wrote).

    Don't make the quote too long because I don't want you to spoil your story.  Probably 5 sentences or so would be a good amount.  But that is a guideline and not a rule.

     You don't have to participate every week.  But you can participate any week that you write.

      And it will be so much fun to see everybody's quotes.

     And, for me, it will be a reward for writing this week.  :D

     Enjoy!

Monday, October 9, 2017

Twelve Truths: The Answers to the Guessing Game

Hello, friends!

A week ago, I posted a guessing game with 10 truths and 2 lies about myself, and I challenged people to guess which was which.  Today, I give you the answers!




1. I am married.


     It's true!  I am pouring my love and passion and prayer into my marriage, and seeing it blossom delightfully.




2. I am 5 ft 3-3/4 inches tall.


     Nope.  Guess again.




3. My mother self-published a book when I was a child.


     That one is true!  It is called Bring Them Up.

4. I have read Plenilune by Jenny Freitag.


    True.  I like the "bigness" of Jenny's writing style.  And I relate to her main character more than I usually relate to female protagonists.




5. I wear glasses.


     Yep.  It's not exactly a super-power.  But...almost.




6. I ran over a toad with a car.


     Sad day!  I was still a new teenage driver.  It was a lovely summer night -- still cool from a passing rain shower.  The windows on my car were open.  The tires made a lovely swishing sound on the damp road.  And then...I saw him jump through my headlight beam and a second later I heard the pop as my tire ran over him.  I was pretty upset...calling back emotional apologies through my open window to the flattened shape on the road.  Very sad day.  This one was true.



7. I love the sound that crickets make.


     Totally true.




8. Clear blue skies are my favorite.


     False.  I like storms and dark clouds.  I like a sky covered with big puffy clouds.  I even like those little swirly clouds.  Give me adventure, give me brushstrokes, give me epicness!!!!

     Clear, blue skies are boring.

     That is my personal opinion.

     (I will say, for all you clear sky people, that clear blue skies are my husband's favorite).


9. I like dark green colors.


     Yes...like her shirt.  Mmmhmm.  I would wear that.




10. I am a midwife.


     Aannd, the answer is yes! (photo shared with permission)  This is one reason my life can never be boring.  Nor can it ever be normal.  Lol.  But I love being able to bring my skills and experience and calmness to a mother as she is doing one of the most amazing things she will ever do.




11. I used to live in Alaska.


     I did live in Alaska for 1 year.  It was amazing.  I could tell you about it but it would probably take me another year...yeah...I can be wordy sometimes.  :/  When I was little, I used to always ask, "Can I tell you a story?" and whoever knew me would sigh and ask, "Is it a long one?"

     Yes.  Yes, it is.




12. I love to eat spinach.



     Of course I do!  Who doesn't?  This stuff is yummy.  I like it fresh, in salads, on sandwiches.  I like it cooked.  I like it in dip.  Yummmm!!!!!  Good stuff!



So there you have it!  A little bit more about me.  Everything was true except #2 and #8.  And the fact that both Skye and Julian guessed #8 blew my mind.  How did you know?  You guys did great!  It was so much fun to see your answers!!!!  If you want to try it on your own blog, make sure to leave me a link so I can come comment!

See you later this week!

Friday, October 6, 2017

A Friday Quote: Part 10


     Hello, delightful friends! 

     I am continuing my fun event.  It is called A Friday Quote, and I shall play this game every Friday from August through November.  Here's how it works:

IN THE COMMENTS BELOW:
      Post a quote of something YOU wrote THIS week.
Or
Something you edited this week (of something you previous wrote).

    Don't make the quote too long because I don't want you to spoil your story.  Probably 5 sentences or so would be a good amount.  But that is a guideline and not a rule.

     You don't have to participate every week.  But you can participate any week that you write.

      And it will be so much fun to see everybody's quotes.

     And, for me, it will be a reward for writing this week.  :D

     Enjoy!

Monday, October 2, 2017

Ten Truths and 2 Lies: A Guessing Game


Greetings, gang!  I stole another idea from Scattered Scribblings.  She played a game of 10 truths and 2 lies, where she posted 12 things about herself, 10 of which were true.  And all of her readers got to guess which ones were lies.

Want to play?

Okay, here are 12 things about me:

1. I am married.

2. I am 5 ft 3 3/4 inches tall.

3. My mother self-published a book when I was a child.

4. I have read Plenilune by Jenny Freitag.

5. I wear glasses.

6. I ran over a toad with a car.

7. I love the sound that crickets make.

8. Clear blue skies are my favorite.

9. I like dark green colors.

10. I am a midwife.

11. I used to live in Alaska.

12. I love to eat spinach.

Leave your guesses in the comments below! Which are true and which are false?  I can't wait to see what you know about me!

And, if you want to play this on your own blog, leave me a link in the comments below so I can come guess on your page!

Friday, September 29, 2017

A Friday Quote: Part 9


     Hello, delightful friends! 

     I am continuing my fun event.  It is called A Friday Quote, and I shall play this game every Friday from August through November.  Here's how it works:

IN THE COMMENTS BELOW:
      Post a quote of something YOU wrote THIS week.
Or
Something you edited this week (of something you previous wrote).

    Don't make the quote too long because I don't want you to spoil your story.  Probably 5 sentences or so would be a good amount.  But that is a guideline and not a rule.

     You don't have to participate every week.  But you can participate any week that you write.

      And it will be so much fun to see everybody's quotes.

     And, for me, it will be a reward for writing this week.  :D

     Enjoy!

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Is that a catastrophe happening, way over yonder?


    The next scene in my story is meant to be an important one.  Readers get to meet the dwarves in their own evil lair.  My heroine is tormented for their selfish purposes.  Big scene.

     But when I started writing it, it looked incredibly detached and boring.  "Yeah, look over there.  See those dwarves by the table?  They are tormenting our heroine.  Very sad.  The cottage is cute, though."  The scene just wasn't working.  And my story has been sitting in stasis awaiting inspiration.

     Last night, I flopped on the floor to daydream and snuggle my dog.  For a while, I let my mind wander here and there.  But gradually I came to my senses and realized that the first thing I felt on "awaking" was the hard floor.

     Suddenly, I was Moriah, regaining consciousness.  Hard floor.  Noises.  Light.  Hands on my hair.  And the scene came alive for me.  I could hardly wait to get up and start writing again.

     So, if your scene is too detached, try lying on the floor!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Flash Fiction Contest winners will be announced soon!


     I'm still pounding away at my draft for the Rooglewood contest.  And the deadline for submission is still 3 months away.  So I'm excited about nearer milestones...Savannah's flash fiction contest.  The deadline for entering is today, and she's announcing the winner on Saturday.

     Maybe it's an unhealthy use of adrenaline, but I get excited about these contests.  They play in the back of my mind, even on humdrum days.  Like the old-timers, plodding away in poverty and dreaming of their ship coming in, I perform my routine tasks and go to work with this little secret tingling in the corners -- "I could win a contest on 9/30."

     I haven't won a contest yet.  With the crash that follows such a high of anticipation, you might be surprised that I still enter them at all.  But the improvement in my writing skills each time makes it worth the effort, according to the logical side of my brain.  And the thrills of hope are sufficient to counter-act the plummet of disappointment, according to the emotional part of my brain.  So my contest-entering days are not about to end any time soon. And...someday...I'll win.

     Did any of you enter Savannah's contest?

Friday, September 22, 2017

A Friday Quote: Part 8


     Hello, delightful friends! 

     I am continuing my fun event.  It is called A Friday Quote, and I shall play this game every Friday from August through November.  Here's how it works:

IN THE COMMENTS BELOW:
      Post a quote of something YOU wrote THIS week.
Or
Something you edited this week (of something you previous wrote).

    Don't make the quote too long because I don't want you to spoil your story.  Probably 5 sentences or so would be a good amount.  But that is a guideline and not a rule.

     You don't have to participate every week.  But you can participate any week that you write.

      And it will be so much fun to see everybody's quotes.

     And, for me, it will be a reward for writing this week.  :D

     Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The Reluctant, Dutiful Wife

     I have a confession to make.

     I was grumpy.

     I was so excited about the opportunity to do a Word War.  It's something I have never done before.  But the idea of sitting down with a community of writers, pounding out material for your manuscript, and then sharing how far you got just sounded amazing.

     And maybe it isn't amazing.  I used to want to ride a school bus.  And I wanted to ride it so bad that, when I finally got the chance, the smell of sweaty socks and stale kiddy perfume was sheer delight.  But I'm sure that people who HAVE to ride the bus are not nearly as enamored with it.

    But, be that as it may, when I realized that I actually got the chance to do a real, live Word War, I was ecstatic.  The night of the War, I sat down and started typing.  Ready, set, here we go!

     And then my husband called.

    And he needed to tell me about his day.

     And I missed the rest of the Word War.

     I was so disappointed.  But the dutiful part of me knew I should set aside the Word War for the real life husband who loves me.

     He could tell I was sad about something, though.  And he wanted to know what it was.  (Isn't that sensitive?).  So I told him.  And he told me that it didn't really sound like that much fun anyway, and I probably wasn't missing out.  (Isn't that insensitive?  Lol.  He's a unique mix,  my man is.)  Which made me mad...and even more adamant that a Word War was truly the most amazing activity on the planet.

    But I recovered.  Or at least I thought I did.  And when a second opportunity arose for a Word War, my heart leapt.  I would get to do one after all!  My husband was at work -- not due to get off until later.  At last, the world would be set right, and I could experience the joys of a full Word War!

     Imagine my surprise, as I sit down to start, when my phone rings.  It is my wonderful husband.  He got off work early today!!!  And he wants to tell me all about it!!!

     Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!

     Once again, that feeling of what-is-right rises up in me, and I close my computer down to talk to my wonderful man on his way home.  I know that I could totally tell him at any moment that I'm busy and he would quickly let me go.  He is considerate like that.  But duty tells me that spending time with him is more important.  And duty is right.

     But I'm still struggling with the grumps.

     1 Corinthians 13 tells me that I could give my body to be burned, but, if I don't have love, it doesn't do me any good.  In other words, when I make this great sacrifice for the sake of my husband but it do it with a grumpy-I-hope-he-appreciates-what-I'm-giving-up-for-him attitude, then it really isn't helping him or me or my marriage or anything.

     What I should have done is either to communicate effectively (aka, "hey, baby, can I call you back after this Word War?") or to change my attitude to one of gratitude, trusting that God will work out the Word Wars in the future.

     Which is what I'm going to do now because, oh, the irony, he is calling as I write this post.  Haha!   Now's my chance to practice what I preach!

     After all, reluctantly dutiful is not nearly as good as joyfully supporting. ;)

     I'm not the only one who shares my life with interrupting beings.  I want to hear about you, too.  How do YOU love your parents, siblings, children, roommates, husband, pets, etc. when you are writing?

Monday, September 18, 2017

A Post that You Should Read (and it's not mine)

Hi, guys!  I have been sitting at my computer, checking on some of the blogs that I follow.  This one was such a perfect post that I wanted to share it with you.  It's not long.  It's called: Stories are Remembered.  Go read it!

Friday, September 15, 2017

A Friday Quote: Part 7


     Hello, delightful friends! 

     I am continuing my fun event.  It is called A Friday Quote, and I shall play this game every Friday from August through November.  Here's how it works:

IN THE COMMENTS BELOW:
      Post a quote of something YOU wrote THIS week.
Or
Something you edited this week (of something you previous wrote).

    Don't make the quote too long because I don't want you to spoil your story.  Probably 5 sentences or so would be a good amount.  But that is a guideline and not a rule.

     You don't have to participate every week.  But you can participate any week that you write.

      And it will be so much fun to see everybody's quotes.

     And, for me, it will be a reward for writing this week.  :D

     Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

All the King's Horses and All the King's Men

(Encouragement for the writer in the editing phase)


    No, no, no, no!  It's okay!

     It just looks bad.  See these broken pieces?  They are supposed to be like that -- don't cry.

    Do you know why this is good?

     Because this is how you make it better.

     It's a piece of art.  The broken pieces catch the light better.  And you can rearrange them into the most stunning visuals and thrilling patterns.  With the bits like this, we'll make a picture that will take people's breath away.



     That's why we sent our story to the beta readers in the first place, remember?  Here.  Take the  pieces.  It's going to be amazing.  I can't wait to see!

Friday, September 8, 2017

A Friday Quote: Part 6


     Hello, delightful friends! 

     I am continuing my fun event.  It is called A Friday Quote, and I shall play this game every Friday from August through November.  Here's how it works:

IN THE COMMENTS BELOW:
      Post a quote of something YOU wrote THIS week.
Or
Something you edited this week (of something you previous wrote).

    Don't make the quote too long because I don't want you to spoil your story.  Probably 5 sentences or so would be a good amount.  But that is a guideline and not a rule.

     You don't have to participate every week.  But you can participate any week that you write.

      And it will be so much fun to see everybody's quotes.

     And, for me, it will be a reward for writing this week.  :D

     Enjoy!

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Visiting Another Blog + Flash Fiction Contest

      I stopped by Savannah's blog yesterday and found that she is celebrating her 1-year anniversary of blogging.  Hurray for her!  It's a grand accomplishment, and I feel like she has done better in her first year of blogging than I have in almost 4 years.  If you haven't been to see Scattered Scribblings, it is worth checking out.  I enjoy it.

     As part of her celebration, she is hosting a writing contest.  The rules are simple.  The wordcount must be between 500 and 2,000 words, the word "ink" must be somewhere in the story, and you must submit it by September 26th.

     As most of you know, I have been working on a Snow White retelling for the Rooglewood writing contest.  In fact, I worked on it for a while yesterday.  And then, yesterday evening, I saw Savannah's short story writing contest.  And I decided that it would be refreshing to write something different for a little while.

     I stayed up far past my bedtime.  Once I got started, I didn't want to stop for fear I would lose my momentum.  And my fingers danced across my keyboard to patter out a little story about sarcasm and ink.  I ran through a couple rounds of edits as soon as I finished and submitted it.

     Somehow, writing-editing-finishing-and-submitting a short story gave me hope again that I will be able to write, edit, and finish my Snow White story, too.  I CAN do this.  Even if my little story doesn't win Savannah's contest, it was worth it.  It's funny how much these contests help me.

     And, I'll be checking back on her blog at the end of this month to see if I won.  :D :D :D Such an exciting thought!


Friday, September 1, 2017

A Friday Quote: Part 5



     Hello, delightful friends! 

     I am continuing my fun event.  It is called A Friday Quote, and I shall play this game every Friday from August through November.  Here's how it works:

IN THE COMMENTS BELOW:
      Post a quote of something YOU wrote THIS week.
Or
Something you edited this week (of something you previous wrote).

    Don't make the quote too long because I don't want you to spoil your story.  Probably 5 sentences or so would be a good amount.  But that is a guideline and not a rule.

     You don't have to participate every week.  But you can participate any week that you write.

      And it will be so much fun to see everybody's quotes.

     And, for me, it will be a reward for writing this week.  :D

     Enjoy!

Friday, August 25, 2017

A Friday Quote: Part 4

 
     Hello, delightful friends! 

     I am continuing my fun event.  It is called A Friday Quote, and I shall play this game every Friday from August through November.  Here's how it works:

IN THE COMMENTS BELOW:
      Post a quote of something YOU wrote THIS week.
Or
Something you edited this week (of something you previous wrote).

    Don't make the quote too long because I don't want you to spoil your story.  Probably 5 sentences or so would be a good amount.  But that is a guideline and not a rule.

     You don't have to participate every week.  But you can participate any week that you write.

      And it will be so much fun to see everybody's quotes.

     And, for me, it will be a reward for writing this week.  :D

     Enjoy!

Friday, August 18, 2017

A Friday Quote: Part 3


   Hello, delightful friends!  I am continuing my fun event.  It is called A Friday Quote, and I shall play this game every Friday from August through November.  Here's how it works:

IN THE COMMENTS BELOW:
      Post a quote of something YOU wrote THIS week.
Or
Something you edited this week (of something you previous wrote).

    Don't make the quote too long because I don't want you to spoil your story.  Probably 5 sentences or so would be a good amount.  But that is a guideline and not a rule.

     You don't have to participate every week.  But you can participate any week that you write.

      And it will be so much fun to see everybody's quotes.

     And, for me, it will be a reward for writing this week.  :D

     Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

House of Mirrors



     Snow White puckered her brows.  “I appreciate your concern for me, but there is no need to kill this man without a trial.”

     “It’s not my blood they want, princess.” The prince kept his hand on his sword.  “It’s yours.”

                                                                                                                                             ~The Blood of Beauty


     Sometimes a mirror lies.  Have you ever been in a house of mirrors?  Enemies lurk around you -- but where?  The mirrors cast the images everywhere until you don't know which to trust.  Are they in front of you?  Behind you?

    The mirror for the queen has been a secure source -- the only entity that she felt she could trust, the one who would tell her the truth no matter what the consequences.  But for Snow White, the mirror has been exactly the opposite.

      Beauty is being reflected in too many mirrors for Snow White.  The Mirror of Jealousy.  Of Envy.  Of Exploitation.  Poor Snow White doesn't even care about glass reflections, or who is the most beautiful.  She just wants to be herself, to be happy, and to make other people happy.

     But somehow she got caught in this house of mirrors.

Friday, August 11, 2017

A Friday Quote: Part 2

   Hello, delightful friends!  I am continuing my new event.  It is called A Friday Quote, and I shall play this game every Friday from August through November.  Here's how it works:

IN THE COMMENTS BELOW:
      Post a quote of something YOU wrote THIS week.
Or
Something you edited this week (of something you previous wrote).

    Don't make the quote too long because I don't want you to spoil your story.  Probably 5 sentences or so would be a good amount.  But that is a guideline and not a rule.

     You don't have to participate every week.  But you can participate any week that you write.

      And it will be so much fun to see everybody's quotes.

     And, for me, it will be a reward for writing this week.  :D

     Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

A Ticklish Procedure

          I. am. terrified.

     This next scene is supposed to be big.  It's supposed to be powerful.  Climatic.  Thrilling.  Intense.  The peak for the reader.  This is my culmination of everything.

       What if it comes out flat?

     I am genuinely worried about this.  It is so big in my head, but what if I can't make other people see that?  What if my Mona Lisa looks like a stick figure when I put her on paper?

        Ahhhk!

     I remember some famous author (I have forgotten who) talking about what a ticklish procedure it is to extract a story from your head and put it onto paper.  He warned that sometimes stories don't survive the transplant and sometimes he wondered if it was worth the effort at all.

        Please, please, please, turn out well!



[P.S. The picture is one of those encouraging phrases people use in birth.  I'm a midwife.  I have lots of pretty, encouraging phrases laying around.  Surely one of them will apply to writing, right?]