Monthly Archives: April 2012

100 Word Challenge #40- 9:15

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I missed last week’s Challenge, so, here is the 100 Word Challenge for Grown Ups, going on Week #40  =)

Since this is the 40th week of the 100WC4GU, Julia chose our promt to be “Ruby”. We can do whatever we like as far as genre is concerned and the only rules are that it is only 100 words long and is suitable for a PG certificate. =)

My kids inspired me this week, particularly my toddler. If you don’t know what “Max and Ruby” is, it is a children’s cartoon that comes on PBS Kids. =)

And without further ado…

9:15

“I WANNA WATCH MAX ‘N RUBY NOW!” the Monster of Sheffield Lane bellowed. I huffed and put my hands on my hips, assuming the “assertive” stance.

“It’s not on right now, so pick something else,” I said as evenly as I could manage. I think that I’m good with kids, but after five minutes of being Mindy’s sitter I was ready to throw in the towel. Shoes don’t buy themselves, however.

She dissolved into a temper tantrum just as phone rang. I picked up the cordless and walked out. “Hello, Lafayette Residence.”

“Nine – Fifteen,” a male voice intoned, then disconnected.

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April Showers (Blog Hop)

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This post is for the April Shower’s Blog Hop, hosted by Blogaholic Social Network!

In Honor of this auspicious occasion (my first blog hop), I have taken the liberty of writing a small bit of Flash Fiction, titled (teehee) “April Showers”

 

It was spring, and instead of planting a garden or looking for love, I was skulking in the doorway of an old book store, avidly avoiding the torrential downpour that currently assailed the small town of Whitehaven.  I scowled at the offending sheet of constant rain that blocked my escape through the open doorway. I took a deep breath, fully taking in the musty odor of ancient books, and let out a disgruntled sigh.

“Just make a run for it, lass. So you get a tad wet,” Oliver shrugged, giving me that crooked smile that he usually reserved for old, battered, and rare tomes.

I leveled my eyes at him, glaring over the top of my glasses. “That isn’t funny. You know that they hang out in the rain.” I waved at the doorway. “It’s a frigging monsoon out there. They will be out in droves.” I crossed my arms and scowled, leaning against the Horror section.

He chuckled. It was a raspy, like the sound one gets from quickly flipping the pages of an old book.  “You can’t hide from them forever, Anemone.”

“Ann. Why can’t you remember to call me Ann?” I ranted, pushing my glasses back up my nose. “They are going to find me if you keep calling me by that other name.”

Oliver grabbed his cane and something else, and hobbled around the counter. At first, I thought that he was bringing me a rolled up newspaper, folded longwise and wrapped around a broom handle, but unfortunately, it turned out to be an ancient umbrella. It did not inspire confidence. He thrust the unwanted contraption into my hands and nudged me towards the door. “I suggest you hurry, then, lass. Those manuscripts aren’t going to fetch themselves.”

The old librarian was probably my dearest friend, but it was times like this that made me question his priorities. The rain still showed no signs of abating. I frowned and reluctantly opened the umbrella. It smelled like mothballs. I cocked an eyebrow at Oliver, but he just gave me that crooked smile.  “If they catch me,” I warned him, “I’m going to blame everything on you.”

His wrinkled face curled into a smug smile and he gave me a small wave, effectively shooing me wordlessly out the door.

I stood in the rain, under the ancient umbrella, and prayed that the Nixe didn’t find me. Much to my dismay, I turned towards the street and walked right into one.

I fell backwards, dropping the umbrella and nearly landing in the puddle. The only thing that saved my tush from being completely submerged in puddle was the Nixe catching my arm and pulling me against him. My heart stopped, but not because I was afraid of the water spirit.

No, it was something worse. Flower sprites liked Nixies. It was a Mother Nature sort of thing. I looked into the face of the Nixe and into the face of my doom. All these years of avoiding them and my day of reckoning had come. I, Anemone, am a flower sprite, and Nereus is a Nixe.

There are going to be lots of flowers around the old book house in May.

beautiful views.com

We’re going on a field trip!

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Hello, blog peeps!

My muse has been very fickle today. She wouldn’t let me work on my short story, and she barely let me do some edits to Devil in the Details. She didn’t want me to work on my outline for my upcoming Camp NaNoWriMo submission, or the outline for the second Riesa Grimshaw book. What she did want me to do, however, was edit a friend’s novel, and write the following snippet from the second chapter of “Taerne”, a fantasy novel that encompasses both the “normal” realm of existence, and realm of Taerne; a land filled with magic, dragons, and mayhem. This is also where our main characters are going in the following short scene:

The next day, Card finished the last bit of packing, stuffing a few necessities into the side pocket of his vinyl backpack. He took a step back and stared at the bulging zippers with a frown. He wasn’t even sure that he would need any of the things that he had packed. Someone knocked on his bedroom door. “It’s open,” he called out still scowling at the bag.

Brianna opened the door and walked in, putting a small, seemingly handmade bag down on the bed beside his back pack. It looked like a burlap purse. She cocked an eyebrow at Card’s backpack and pointed to it while giving him a pointedly amused look. “Really, Card? We are going to a completely different world, filled with wizards, magic, and God knows what else, and you are going to take that?”

Card shrugged. “What’s wrong with it?”

“Its florescent orange, for crying out loud. You might as well tattoo ‘I’m outta this world’ on your forehead.”

Now my muse is demanding a klondike bar, and is refusing to let me do anything else productive.

In closing, I’d like to ask a question: What would you pack if you had a heads up that you were about to leave your current realm of existence, and why would you pack that?

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I’m pretty new to all of this social networking promoting, and I know that several of my friends are as well. I came across this post by Kristen Lamb, and was instantly made wiser and more efficent. =) Go and check out her blog, if you haven’t already!
-Tamara

Kristen Lamb's Blog

 

Normally, I only talk about social media on Wednesdays, but today we are going to talk about something vitally important for anyone using Twitter to build a platform. Hash tags. Hash tags are wonderful. They can connect us to people all over the globe that we could never meet any other way. Hash tags are a powerful way to build communities and friendships. They can also be a fabulous tool for making information manageable.

And yet…

Ah, the trouble with Tribbles hash tags. Hash tags are so cute and adorable. They make Twitter fun and help us connect with people all over the globe. But, before we get too excited…

BEWARE!

Before we talk about how hash tags can get out of hand, you might be asking yourself this question:

Um…Kristen. What’s a hash tag?

Fair enough. For those who happen to be hash tag savvy, feel free to…

View original post 2,112 more words

Conriocht (By the Light of the Velvet Moon page 2)

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Back to Page One

My private place was a small indention in an overhanging rock face, covered over by ivy and tall grass. It was low enough to the ground that someone could step over my hiding spot and be none the wiser, but also open enough that I could get in quickly and easily. I slid in quickly, pressing my belly as low as I could to the dirt. A feral howl rang out desperately. The cicadas no longer chirped. Everything was still but for the running of paws and the desperate call of the unnatural creature that seemed to be drawing ever nearer.

Seasons ago, when my mother called me Cana and nursed me through my pup stage, she told me of the ones who were different. They weren’t born of the fur and traded pain for the freedom of the hunt. I could only guess that this creature was one of those wretched beasts. My mother had once given them a name, but I struggled to remember it. In the near distance, perhaps a mile from my secret place, I heard the final cry of a deer. Conriocht: that was the name of the cursed ones. Men-wolves.

My ears remained perked, twitching to the sounds of the forest. I heard the conriocht howl. His heady musk, wolf with remnant hints of the outside, still filled my nose, and I knew that he could smell me. He was a stranger to this forest, and he called to me to join him. He was like an infant, calling to the pack, and I was the nearest to his senses. I knew it would not be long before he stopped waiting and sought me out.

A worried whimper barely escaped my throat. I was conflicted. I had not known the ungrudging presence of another wolf since my mother left me the spring after my birth. The local pack would tolerate me, but only for so long. They warned their pups against me, and those pups grew, and warned their pups against me. I was lonely. I longed for a pack that would not have me. I stuck my nose out through the hanging ivies and gazed out into the forest.

The moon was now full and high above the trees, casting steady beams of soft light through the gaps in the trees, including one that fell just outside of my den. A moment of panic gripped me, and I noticed, probably too late, the fallen limb that had once filled in the gap in the treetops above my secret place. I retracted my head and backed as far as I could into my den, flattening my ears and tucking my tail as close to myself as I could without actually sitting on it. I was going to have to find a new den after this night was over.

A breeze wafted through the ivies, carrying the scent of the kill on the wind. I knew better than to attempt to hunt amongst the moonlight and therefore had hunted before the sun left the sky. Nevertheless, my ears perked to the aroma, even if it was accompanied by the nearing musk of the conriocht.

Leaves crunched outside my den, and I pressed further to the inside. I was trapped. I could not escape into the moonlight. My only hope was the shadows of my shallow cave. A grey muzzle, tinged with the ocher of remnant blood, poked in through the tall grass and ivies and rudely intruded into my space. He whimpered at me, chastising me for not answering him while he rubbed his sides against mine.

Once I realized that I was safe from the moon for the time being, I found myself annoyed with the intruder. A low growl rumbled in my chest, but it was half-hearted. For an unfamiliar wolf to intrude upon another’s den without welcome was impertinent, but it did not take me long to recognize the reason behind this conriocht’s behavior. He considered himself an alpha. He nuzzled my side and then plopped down beside me, knocking down the tall grass and pulling down a plug of ivy while he did. He was quickly asleep.

I was given to believe that this was often the case with his kind. They embraced the wolf and the hunt for a few brief hours during the full moon, only to fall prone once their hunger and curiosity had been sated. I attempted to rouse him with a nudge of my muzzle, but he remained unresponsive. I huffed through my nose and laid my head on my paws, watching the cursed one sleep.

The moon crept through the sky, and I watched the moonbeams shift with it, inching closer to my paws. The conriocht slept on, as I knew he probably would until morning, and I was thankful for it. The gentle glow crept over his sleeping fur, and touched mine. I sighed in resignation and embraced it as the moonlight pooled, pouring over my skin, enveloping me like a moth’s cocoon. My fur melted away into smooth skin as I metamorphosed painlessly and gently. The glow faded away into the normal shallow rays of wispy moonbeams.

A tear ran down my woman-face, and I whimpered while I ran my reshaped paws through his fur. The sound was odd from my reshaped throat, but his fur was warm and comforting. I hated this new shape. Every sense was dulled, and I felt ungainly. At least I had no need to move for some time. I remembered from experience that my legs would feel as unsteady as a newly calved deer. I laughed, which was probably one of the few human actions that I had a firm grasp on, at the irony of a conriocht curling up next to a faoladh on the night of a full moon.

 On to Page Three

By the Light of the Velvet Moon

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Dear Reader,
You have before you my newest short story, title evident. As the story evolves, I will post a link on the bottom of each page, leading to the next segment of story, and on each subsequent segment, I will put a link back to previous segments. I do this for a few reasons.

1.) I want to allow readers to get a quick taste of fiction during their hurried blog readings. Not everyone has the time to read a 10k word short story. =)

2.) I hate long posts that stretch for miles. I like the feel of “turning a page”, even if it means clicking a button.

3.) (Selfish Reason) I won’t have to struggle with what I’m going to post on the blog today!

And now, without further ado:

By the Light of the Velvet Moon

 (Part 1)

Cicadas sang their long awaited mating song, drowning out the other usual sounds of the night. The whisper of the wind, the hush of the stream, the chatter of the crickets and the frogs, all masked by the cacophony of the insects firmly set in finding a mate before the end of the summer and their ultimate deaths. That seemed to be fate of all the creatures of the forest: a fast, hurried life, brief moments of pleasure and procreation, and then death, either at the mouths of other beasts in search of a meal, or by the curse of a short life span.

I was bothered by none of this. I had no hunter, I was in no hurry to die, and a mate was not in the cards for me. No wolf would have a mate so queer. This was the very reason why I wandered these woods alone. The call of my brethren sang enticingly, even over the song of the cicadas. I whimpered, but did not respond. They would not welcome me into their packs, would not walk fur to fur with me through the woods as I longed to do. My scent was in harmony with theirs, but soon my voice would no longer be capable of the bittersweet song that I longed to sing.

Even if I were to join them, it would not be long before my presence was no longer welcome.

I turned my nose to the sky and inhaled the crisp night air. There was something different in its fragrance tonight, something that did not smell of fur or feathers, honey suckle or hickory. It was foreign. Odd.

Leading me away from the calls of the pack, the smell moved my cautious paws, driving them closer by curiosity. In a moment of self-awareness, my eyes scanned the blanket of stars. The moon was full, but still hidden by a mask of trees. My heart raced, conflicted between investigating the mysterious smell, and seeking shelter before the moon hit its apex.

I whimpered and pawed the ground nervously in my indecision. In the end, curiosity won. With a huff, I put my nose to the ground and air and sought out the object of my obsession. I found it near the edge of the woods, almost outside of my territory. If I had continued much farther, I would have crossed the black river. I was afraid of the black river. It often smelled of death.

The source of the scent was a discarded heap of colorful skins. They did not move, smell, or look like fur or scales, but they had the same disembodied movement of a snakeskin when I brushed them with my paws. A sound in the near distance snapped my ears to attention, like the snapping of a twig. It was followed by other sounds, familiar sounds, more snapping, accompanied by an anguished scream, like the final yell of a dying bear that morphed into the bitter howl of a pained wolf.

I panicked and ran, leaving the mysterious skins behind, racing through the woods to my secret spot. The unnatural howl followed me on the wind. It was lupine, but I had no desire to join it as I did the howls of the pack.

On to Page Two

 

Lucky Sevens

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I saw this on my new pal Julie’s blog, and cajoled a tag out of her, because this idea was too fun to pass up!  She was tagged by her friend Gabriellan, who I stole the instructions from. xD Yay for making new friends!

So here is the basic idea for the Lucky 7s game:

  • Go to page 77 of your current MS.
  • Go to line 7.
  • Copy down the next seven lines or sentences and paste them as they’re written.
  • Tag seven other writers to play the game.

I went to where I was told, and the snippet I found astounded me! I wish that I could have included a few lines before and a few lines after, but then again, the mystery is part of the fun, right? =)

***

      He looked sternly at her. “Just tell Riesa what you came to tell her.”
      “Down, boy,” she cajoled. “I’ll tell her, just as soon as she answers a question for me.”
      “Ask.” I said, running out of patience.
      She seductively swayed over to me, and brushed the side of my face with one of her long nails. “Tell me, love, how good is your delicious ‘Greg’ in the sack?”
      I looked to Phil for help on this, because I didn’t want to answer such a crass question. He looked at Gamori, blank faced. “Riesa, you can answer her question.”

***

Okay and now for the tagging part…

 Lucas (Who is extremely talented. You should check him out)

Lindsay (Who is also richly talented!)

…Well, those are actually the only two people that I feel comfortable tagging. xD I’m still making friends, and I’m not sure who all writes novels or would enjoy a game like this yet. =)   Let me know if you want in, and I’ll “Tag” you. ^_^

-Tamara

Straight from the Horse’s Mouth

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It has arived once again! The 100 Word Challenge for Grown Ups, going on Week #38  =)

I loved this weeks idea! The prompt was to write a sonnet: abab cdcd efef format, at least 14 lines, around 100 words, in honor of the Great Shakespeare! But the Twist, oh the twist… To incorporate this wonderful painting, entitled “St. George and the Dragon”

St. George and the Dragon, Painted by Raphael

 

I couldn’t get over that horse’s expression! So, here is my horrible Shakespearean Knock-off, For the…

Straight from the Horse’s Mouth

St. Georgie-Boy, I knew him well,
That true and loyal soul!
But woe befell with sudden yell,
A dragon in the hole.

Dear faithful maid, with virtue sure
At least as Georgie knew,
Sat by and watched with motive pure,
Her captor runneth through.

But unbeknownst to George or Maid
The truth quite hidden sly,
The dragon wasn’t quite as bad,
As one beknownst to I.

A right old beast, was dragon, true.
Of this I don’t refute,
But as Georgie-Boy was sure to rue
The woman’s tongue acute.

Remember this, my beamish boy,
When faced with beast or maid,
The woman hides her fiendish way,
While the beast is plainly laid.

Checking in through the Chaos

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Probably one of the toughest things that I have to face while pursuing my interests in writing is finding time to actually do it! I think that this is true for all things in life. You have to make time for work, family, church, friends, and the list goes on. As humans, it is in our best interest to socialize, make a living, and make the most of the time that we have on this earth.

During my day job, I’m a teacher. I’m not just saying this in self interest, but teachers never have enough time. I didn’t realize how time consuming the profession was until I actually joined the rank and file! Luckily for me (and not so luckily), my current position is part time. It leaves me with some leeway to actually get some writing done. =) There are still lesson plans to be formulated, papers to be graded, actual teaching to do, but in between all that, I’m often at my desk, making notes about story ideas, hashing together ideas, and multitasking.

At home, I have a deployed husband, and three children, one of which we are currently potty training! Making time to write is hardest at home. I want to spend time with my family, help my kids with homework, teach the little one that the potty is a good thing, and try to keep collateral damage to a minimum. As a mother, I make time for my kids, and as a writer, I make time for my computer. The result is usually me staying up until the wee hours of the morning, after the kids have gone to bed. =) (For the record, it is currently Nap Time, on a Sunday, while the older two kids are spending the night with Grandma.)

I guess my main point here is that when you find something you love, you make time. Besides, our writers’ brains need time to think, compile, and come up with these wonderful lightbulbs that keep us writing! How flat are your stories going to be if you neglect to take part in your own life story?

Live, Love, Write, and Prosper!

-Tamara