Friday, May 31, 2013

The WIP It Good Blogfest

This fantastic blogfest is brought to us by D.L. Hammons and Elise Fallson.  It gives writers a chance to get the word out about their current projects.

Most of you know about my A-Z Challenge story I wrote called Adam's Apple. (You can find the story in its un-revised form HERE.)  I'm still editing it and intend to self-publish it when it's ready.  Still, I thought I'd take advantage of this blogfest to let anyone new to my blog know about it.

WIP Title: Adam's Apple

Word Count (projected/actual): I am expecting this novella to end up at about 25,000 words.  Right now, it's about 17,000 words long.

Genre: Science fiction/humor.  I knew I wanted to write something along the lines of Douglas Adams, yet I also wanted my own voice to shine through.

How long have you been working on it?:  I started it about a month before the A-Z Challenge.  I only worked on it sporadically at first, but as the challenge drew closer, I dedicated more time to it.

Elevator Pitch: A young man is rather disgruntled when he's exiled from existence, but thanks to a mysterious young woman and a grumpy man with a big red button, he finds himself immersed in a rather odd revolution.  He wants to get his life back together, but he doesn't necessarily want the life he once had.

Brief Synopsis: Adam Evans learns that due to the theft of his apple by a woman he doesn't know, he's being charged with murder by the overly bureaucratic Magistrate Bibble. His punishment is to be expelled from existence.  While his physical body would live on, it would be illegal for anyone to interact with him.  However, just before his chemical castration can be done, a young woman wisks him off.  She is a member of a rebellion that wants to get rid of Bibble since he clearly presents a danger to any sane creature in the Federation.  Adam must take risks to find help from some rather odd knitting knights, and he learns about why his life has been so odd and unlucky as far back as he can remember.  Only by embracing this fact of his own oddity can he get his own life back.

In addition to the main story, I'm adding some appendices with humorous side stories and fun facts about the universe of Adam's Apple.

I'm not currently looking for any CP's or beta readers since I'm still working on the revision, but I would welcome any ideas from those who've read the version of the story on this blog.

Now that you've read what I have to say, feel free to hop around and see the other entries in this blogfest!

Celebrate the Small Things-Week 20

It's Friday once again, and that means it's time to Celebrate the Small Things with VikLit!

The state of Iowa has seen a lot of flooding this week.  On Sunday we got trapped in Zearing when all the roads leading out of town were covered with rising waters.  Luckily, the rain subsided and we were eventually able to get out.  It certainly made for a memorable experience.

Even with all the rain, our own town of Radcliffe is staying pretty dry, so that's good.

We saw Star Trek Into Darkness this past Sunday.  I thoroughly enjoyed it.  It's always nice to see a movie in the theater.  We don't get to do that much since we have two small children.

We took the kids on a long walk through a nice park on Monday.  It was an enjoyable family outing for all of us.

I got a lot of detail cleaning done earlier this week, so the house is looking better than normal right now.  That's always nice.

Memoirs From the End of the World: Entry #38

Those of you who have not read previous installments of this serialized story can find it all on this PAGE.

Memoirs From the End of the World
Entry #38

The next couple of months passed largely without incident.  The rebels had to uproot twice within that time, moving their base of operations to keep any patrols, robotic or organic, from figuring out where they were hiding.  The snow disappeared, then reappeared a couple more times before melting away for the last time of the season.

The largest indicator of the passage of time, however, came from RC’s body.  A distinctive bump began to appear on her slender frame, and she knew her clothes would no longer be able to hide it.  The time for full disclosure had come.

RC lay awake long into the night, struggling to work out what to say.  Would there be questions about who the father was?  Beneath the thin blanket, she rested her hand on her growing stomach.  Alyx’s hand rested next to hers as they lay shoulder to shoulder in the dark.  He didn’t fill the silence with platitudes, but he didn’t have to.  Just having him there next to her in quiet solidarity steadied her.

As it turned out, RC’s worries were unjustified.  When she approached Brock and Becca the following morning, Alyx and Harrison were with her.  Alyx held her hand while she spit out the only words that would come out of her mouth.  “I’m pregnant.”

Brock looked calmly at Harrison.  “Have you confirmed this?”

Harrison nodded.  “Yes sir.”

Brock glanced back at RC and shrugged.  “All right.  We’ll take care of you and figure things out as we go.”  Then he looked at Becca.  “We need to get going if we’re going to have those mines set up in time.”

That was it.  No overt concern.  No talk about handing her over to the overlords.  No awkward questions.

That is, there were no awkward questions until the rebels returned later that night with Ollie in tow.  He headed immediately over to confront RC and Alyx.  Crouching down beside them, he didn’t waste any time with small talk.  “Why didn’t you guys tell me?  I had to find out from William.”

“I guess word has traveled fast since this morning,” RC grumbled.

“It’s a sensitive topic,” Alyx insisted.  “This isn’t exactly what she’d planned on, you know.”

“So, whose baby is it?  Since it’s obviously not yours,” Ollie said with a quick nod to Alyx.

“Obviously not,” Alyx replied, his volume rising in sync with his level of irritation.

Ollie sighed.  “I’m sorry, Alyx.  I didn’t mean to insult you, but it’s a valid question.  I’m not hinting at anything but the simple medical reality that you can’t have kids.”

Which is one of the facts you used to justify getting romantic with him in the first place, she reminded herself.  Still, she could have hardly expected everything to work out the way that she planned.  And ignoring Ollie’s question would do nothing to change that.  “It happened when Alyx and I were captured.  Let’s just say that the person who did this to me didn’t ask my permission.”

Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Alyx turn away, and she assumed he did so to choke back the anger that still flared up from time to time.

Ollie seemed to deflate a little.  He leaned back and bit his lower lip.  “To be honest, I should have known by looking at you when we got you out of there.  I guess I just ignored the obvious.”

The conversation dwindled after that, though plenty remained to be said.  As RC once again dove into the safe embrace of Romero’s pages, she overheard Ollie whispering to Alyx.  “What are you going to do about all this?  This doesn’t have to be your responsibility, you know.”

“It may not have to be, but it is,” Alyx replied firmly.  “I’m going to stand by her through this, and that’s final.”  He paused.  “Remember talking about leaving the city?  How we wanted to find the group that Sheera and Peter came from?”

“Yes.  I remember.”

“Rose and I have been thinking that would be the best option.  She doesn’t want to have a baby here for obvious reasons.”

Ollie exhaled slowly.  “That makes sense.  Look, I can help you guys get there, but I won’t be leaving with you.  I like it here, and I feel like I’m fighting for something important.  You looked after me for long enough.  It’s time for me to stand on my own.”

“But . . .”  Alyx started to protest, but the words wouldn’t come.  Finally, he simply said, “You’re sure about this, aren’t you?”

“You’re sure about staying with her, aren’t you?” Ollie replied.  That single question stopped any further inquiries.

“I’ll miss you.”

Ollie laughed nervously.  It must have been a tad too much emotion for him to process.  “I’ll miss you too.”

Over the next few days, plans fell into place.  Brock seemed to have no problem with the departure plans, most likely because that would end his responsibility toward RC before anything became too complicated. 

Sheera and Peter seemed anxious to accompany them, and understandably so.  That would complicate matters slightly, but it hardly seemed right to deny them the ability to find something of their old lives again.

In the end, they decided to have Ollie and a few more rebel soldiers escort the four of them out of the city.  The plans were carefully drawn up over the course of a couple of weeks.  Soon the night before their departure arrived, and nerves mounted as they all considered the things that could go wrong.

RC could only hope their plans would unfold the way they’d anticipated.  Not that they ever really had.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Friday Flash Blog Hop: Galactic Traveler

The Friday Flash community is invaluable to writers who want to share their stories with the world.  It isn't easy to have your work seen when you're starting out, and through participating in this community, I have gained a lot of experience and useful knowledge about the world of writing.

This community is celebrating its 4th year of life, and they're hosting a blog hop to celebrate. You can find the details about the hop HERE.

Here is my flash fiction contribution to the blog hop.  Happy birthday FFDO!  I hope you have many more to come!

Galactic Traveler

The planet-sized creature once known as N’Pock had sailed the depths of space for four years, traversing vast distances with her fragile cargo stored safely inside her belly.  The creatures living within her body had designed and grown her for this purpose.  As their home world died, letting out its final breath in a great sigh of exhaustion, the people climbed inside N’Pock for the long journey.

N’Pock had no need of external things.  No oxygen or sunlight was required to keep her going.  Her organic systems worked in harmony with the technology that had been woven into her to produce artificial gravity, a miniature sun, and everything else the people needed to grow crops.  As time passed, the people were born, grew old, and died without ever seeing beyond N’Pock’s green, crater-pocked flesh.

So many generations had completed the cycle of life since their journey began.  N’Pock often wondered what measurement of time the people used to organize their ephemeral lives.  She marked the time by observing the galactic rotation.  This scale of time would be far too long for such short lived creatures.

Did the creatures living inside her even remember that their ancestors had built her to keep their race alive, or had that story descended into the realm of myth?  Or had they dreamt up an altogether new origin story for her?

N’Pock sailed on, aware that she would never know the answers to these questions, nor would she ever have anyone with whom to share her thoughts.

Four galactic years gone.

Soon she would pass beyond the rim of the galaxy.  How then would she mark the endless expanse of time?

FSF: Desolate Times

It's time once again for Five Sentence Fiction!  The prompt Lillie chose for this week is DESOLATE.

If you've missed previous installments of my serialized FSF story, you can find the entire thing on this PAGE.

Chapter 34: Desolate Times

Charmers were clinically insane psychics who had powers that could both heal and damage the fragile flesh of those with whom they came in contact, but the Wrath was so much more powerful than the Warmth that a charmer could not undo the damage they inflicted.  Even if they could track down the charmer that harmed her, it would do no good, as the Wrath would steadily eat away at her until she was gone forever.

Ylana sat at Nara’s side, her thoughts filled with desolation as she recalled the dead world that Nara once called home, and that her friend would soon meet the same fate.  Was there anything she could do other than sit there and watch Nara die?

Just as Ylana’s thoughts were about to turn utterly dark with despair, her hand found the goggles of fate still perched atop her head, and she felt a glimmer of hope emerge.

Go to Home of Nara's Final Hope

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A Call for Reader Participation

I've been thinking, and I'd like to try something different with my Wednesday posts.  Instead of using random word generators to come up with my inspiration, I'd like to turn to my readers.

Starting this week, I'll be asking you for random words.  I will need you to provide the following in the comments.

1 noun
1 verb


One short sentence setting up a scenario.

You can also specify whether you'd rather have me write a poem or a piece of flash fiction based on the words or scenario you provide.  If you don't specify which you'd like, I'll decide which I would rather do.

I will choose one comment and post the resulting piece of flash fiction or poetry the following week.  I'll also link back to the person who provided the inspiration for the week's piece.

I want to try this, because there are a lot of creative people out there, and the idea of interacting with all of you during the creative process sounds more fun. Feel free to get crazy with your suggestions, if you'd like.  Nothing is too crazy for me!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Express Yourself: Author Quotes

It's time once again for the Express Yourself Weekly Meme with Jackie @ Bouquet of Books and Dani @ Entertaining Interests.

What are some of your favorite author quotes?

I have a lot of favorites, but since this is asking for only a few, I chose these.

"It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might has well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default."

-J. K. Rowling

"It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see."

-Henry David Thoreau 

"If knowledge can create problems, it is not through ignorance that we can solve them."

-Isaac Asimov 

"Keep away from people who try to belitte your ambitions.  Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you too can become great."
-Mark Twain
"The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can."

-Neil Gaiman

Monday, May 27, 2013

The Woven Tale Press: A-Z Blogging Challenge Special Edition

Something exciting, at least for me, is happening today.  Not long ago, I learned of an opportunity to submit A-Z Challenge posts to The Woven Tale Press.  I decided to submit the first chapter of my challenge story, which was called "Adam's Apple and the Infinite Regress."  Much to my surprise, it was selected to be published.  Yay!

Thanks to Sandra Tyler for putting together this cool magazine, and for my blogging friends who've encouraged me to keep writing!  You're the best!

So, if you have the time, click the link above and check it out!  There are plenty of great things to read in this edition, so it will be well worth your time!

3 Ups to Yolanda!

The 3 Up! Blog Hop was dreamed into reality by randi lee over at The Emotional Process of Writing a Novel.  The idea is to visit someone's blog for a bit and give the a list of 3 positive things about their blog and/or themselves.

I've been assigned to Yolanda Renee at Defending the Pen for this hop.  I've known Yolanda for a little while now (at least inside the blogosphere), and I'm excited to be able to tell her some positive things, because with her, there is an abundance of positives to share!

1. Yolanda is amazing with her comments.  She spreads the joy of blogging by reading with care and consideration, which is made apparent by what she has to say.  Her comments are the kind that can brighten your day.

2. Yolanda's blog is extremely interactive.  She participates in lots of blogfests, and her posts for these events are carefully written and insightful.  You can tell she isn't only jumping in for the extra blog traffic.  She wants to genuinely contribute something, and this is an invaluable quality in the blogging community.  She also does interviews, which help us get to know others we might not have met otherwise.

3. She blogs frequently, but the quality of her posts never seems to suffer.  She provides quality and quantity, which is not an easy thing to achieve as a blogger. In this regard, she serves as an inspiration to those that know her.

If you've never met Yolanda in your blogging travels, I recommend that you stop by and pay her a visit.  You'll be glad you did!

Musing About Crazy Weather

It's been a bizarre weekend to say the least, so hopefully that will serve as inspiration for the coming week.  I don't want to go into too many details right now, but I will say that flash flooding temporarily washed out all of the roads leading out of town when we were at my in-laws house yesterday.  It took about an hour and a half for any exits to become viable.  While there, my husband and I saw that the park where we got married had turned into a raging river.  The current would have easily swept anyone away who tried to cross.

Needless to say, though I'll say it anyway, the weather has been volatile around here.  We went from getting about ten inches of snow, to breaking a heat record, to flash flooding.  Our house is nowhere near the flooding, however, so that's at least a good thing for us.

My goal for this week is to keep up with my editing, and to try to stay sane.  With all the craziness going on around here, I won't be bored, a least!

How has the weather where you live been treating you?

Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Weekend Philosopher: Douglas Adams

This has been an extraordinarily busy weekend.  With my Towel Day Blogfest going on through Monday, and this being a holiday weekend on top of all that, I'm going to do something simple for my philosophical post for the week.

In this spirit of Towel Day and Douglas Adams, I'm going to share a few quotes that I feel are philosophical in nature.

"For instance, on the planet Earth, man has always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much-the wheel, New York, wars and so on-whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time.  But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man-for precisely the same reasons."
-The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

"The fact that we live at the bottom of a deep gravity well, on the surface of a gas covered planet going around a nuclear fireball 90 million miles away and think this to be normal is obviously some indication of how skewed our perspective tends to be."
-The Salmon of Doubt: Hitchhiking the Galaxy One Last Time

It's all about perspective, indeed.  If that makes you feel uncomfortable at all, remember this.

"I'd take the awe of understanding over the awe of ignorance any day."
-The Salmon of Doubt

If your new expanded perspective on life is freaking you out, you can choose your outlook, as we learn from the following quote:

“What to do if you find yourself stuck in a crack in the ground underneath a giant boulder you can't move, with no hope of rescue. Consider how lucky you are that life has been good to you so far. Alternatively, if life hasn't been good to you so far, which given your current circumstances seems more likely, consider how lucky you are that it won't be troubling you much longer.”

The Original Hitchhiker Radio Scripts

And, above all, keep this in mind.

"Don't Panic."
-The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Hopefully that gave you plenty to think about as you go about your weekend. Cheers!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

The Towel Day Blogfest

It's May 25th!  Do you know where your towel is?

Today is Towel Day, a day to honor the memory of the amazing Douglas Adams.  I decided to host this blogfest, because I've loved the work of Douglas Adams for most of my life.

(A quick note.  The linky list will remain open through the end of the blogfest, so feel free to jump in!  Click HERE to find all pertinent details.)

I've read all of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy books.  I've heard the radio programs.  I also own the book below, which is a great peek into the life of Douglas Adams.  If you're a fan and you haven't read this, I highly recommend it! I also find it notable to mention that page 42 of this book is left blank.  This was an appropriate choice.

I wasn't sure what I wanted to share at first, which is funny since I'm the one hosting this blogfest.  I decided to share a few Douglas Adams quotes that speak to me, and I figured I would wrap things up with a little flash fiction tribute.


"I love deadlines.  I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by."

"A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools."

"Flying is learning to throw yourself at the ground and miss."

"For a moment, nothing happened.  Then, after a second or so, nothing continued to happen."

"The Guide is definitive.  Reality is frequently inaccurate."

"The mere thought hadn't even begun to speculate about the merest possibility of crossing my mind."

"There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable.  There is another theory which states that this has already happened."

"Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so."

I could cite so many more amazing quotes, but I'll have to leave it at that for now.

Now I hope you'll enjoy my flash fiction.

The Tale of the Lost Towel

Zerndoggle Ramfort Smith III woke early on the morning of his 42nd birthday with a sinking feeling in his kneecaps.  Most people got sinking feelings in their stomachs, except for the Fetts of sector ZZ5 Plural A Beta who had no stomachs at all, but Zerndoggle could never get the hang of normalcy.

Why did he have this highly irregular sensation?  He’d committed a grievous error, one far too ghastly for even the Monks of Eternal Repentance to understand.

Zerndoggle forgot where his towel was.

Not that he would admit this, of course.  He instead contended that his towel suffered from spontaneous massive existence failure.  Surely if it could happen to the Starship Titanic, it could happen to his towel.

Unfortunately, the mystery of the missing towel went far deeper than a simple SMEF problem.

The towel, still damp from Zerndoggle’s last bath, was inadvertently left next to a ballpoint pen.  When the wormhole inevitably opened to take the ballpoint pen to its home planet, the towel was pulled through along with it.

The damp towel landed on the back of a giant mutant star goat that happened to be floating past the ball point pen planet.  Mold soon began to grow on the towel, and soon it was home to an entire mold colony.  Over the millennia, the mold evolved until super-intelligent mold spores began to launch from the towel.  The spores encountered many species, and they settled in the brain tissue of the travelers they encountered.  These travelers didn’t suffer from any outward signs of illness due to this mold infestation, save for one terrifying symptom.  The infested all developed a sincere love for Vogon poetry.

As for Zerndoggle . . . his fate was too terrible to mention here.  What else could you expect?  You always need to know where your towel is.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Celebrate the Small Things-Week 19

It's Friday, which means it's time to Celebrate the Small Things with VikLit!

I have a few things to celebrate this week.  

First of all, my youngest Lyle was playing on the playground when he fell off a ladder.  I had been momentarily distracted by my oldest getting himself into trouble, so I failed to avert the accident.  A fall of five feet onto the rocks below is never fun, and when a two year old does it, it looks quite scary.  He cried, but fortunately he was fine.  He didn't even have any bumps or bruises to speak of, and he was running around and playing again within a few minutes.  I still felt guilty, but let's face it.  Kids will have accidents in spite of our best efforts to prevent them.  I'm just celebrating the fact that my kids are safe and healthy.

We also had a tornado warning here.  While my husband was at work, my kids and I got to spend a half an hour in the basement.  No tornado actually touched down, so I'm celebrating that.  With the horrific tornado that tore through Oklahoma this week, there's no escaping the realization of how bad tornadoes can be.

My nephew Asher turns one on Saturday, so that's another thing to be happy about.

Saturday is also Towel Day.  To celebrate the life and works of Douglas Adams, I'm hosting the Towel Day Blogfest.  I starts today, and runs through the end of the day on Monday.  Anyone participating need only post once during that time, and the post can be pretty much anything to do with Douglas Adams and his work.  I'll be posting on Saturday, so feel free to stop by and check out my tribute.

What would you like to celebrate?

Memoirs From the End of the World: Entry #37

Those of you who have not read previous installments of this serialized story can find the entire thing on this PAGE.

Memoirs From the End of the World
Entry #37

The test was done.  The results stared RC in the face.  Though the test only confirmed what she suspected to be true, that didn’t make it any easier.

Her hands trembled as she attempted to go about her daily tasks.  Harrison discreetly brought RC a little extra food for lunch, but he warned her discretion could only go so far.  “I’ll give you some time to get used to this news,” he assured her, “but Brock will have to be told about this sooner or later.”

“I know.”  RC simply hoped that she could put off that conversation indefinitely.  Once the topic came up, she couldn’t begin to guess how Brock would react.  Maybe he wouldn’t want to have a squealing infant around.  The sound of a baby crying could attract all kinds of unwanted attention.  Or maybe it wouldn’t even go that far.  Maybe he’d decide that, due to a lack of medical resources on their end, it would be easier to drop her on the doorstep of the breeding facility.  She shuddered at the thought of living in a meat locker until she turned thirty, being passed around to whatever males the overlords felt were genetically compatible enough to produce superior offspring.  Having to hand over every child she ever had.  She’d do anything before facing that fate.  She felt certain of that.

Even so, the fear ate away at her, and she only had one person with whom she could share those fears without having to engage in awkward explanations.

Alyx listened to every word, and while he tried to maintain a calm expression, she could see the worry in his eyes.  “No matter what happens, I’ll make sure you don’t end up at the breeding facility.”  He looked around the room.  Most of the rebels were out on a mission to raid a warehouse filled with food.  Ollie had gone along with them.  Isabel was watching Peter and Sheera, though Sheera resented the idea that she needed to be watched.  “Maybe you don’t need to worry too much about Brock’s reaction.  He had no problem bringing them in.  Or us.”

RC sensed that Alyx wasn’t convinced by his own words, though he surely wished he could be.  There was a clear difference between bringing young teenagers in and RC’s situation.  Still, she didn’t say this aloud.  She wanted to wrap herself in the delusion that everything would inexplicably turn out all right, even though it couldn’t possibly last long.

Later on in the day, RC balanced Romero in her lap.  Though she trusted Alyx with her feelings, she needed to sort things out for herself first.  Perhaps writing her thoughts on paper would make things more clear.

Dear Romero,
More than anything, I wish I could talk to my mom right now.  Growing up, I trusted my older brother Pete with everything.  After all, he always looked out for me.  Still, I don’t think he’d understand this.  Not really.  Instead of comforting me, as if that were even possible anyway, he’d probably try to castrate the guy who did this to me.  I think my mom would have known a way to make it all feel better.
Of course, after Pete died, all the fight seemed to go out of her.  Maybe she wouldn’t have enough strength left in her to help me.  My grandmother would have though.  If the overlords had let her live, of course, she would have found a way to help me.  She was never the type to quit.
I want to be like that, but right now, I wish I could pull a blanket over my head and block out the world.  I wish I could go back to a time when life seemed to make sense.  To a time when I had a family, and I didn’t have to worry about whether I’d still have my freedom when I woke up the next morning.
Maybe that’s why I’m so worried now.  This might be the most disgusting way to end up having a family, but this child is going to be my family nonetheless.  I’m just hoping
RC paused, almost afraid to write the rest.  Did her lingering thoughts make her a bad person?

She shook her head.  Her thoughts certainly couldn’t make her any worse than Leo, or Gas Can, or any of the others.  Confident in that much at least, she put pencil to paper again.

that I don’t hate it.  Will I be able to look at its face without remembering where it came from?  Will I even be able to make it through this pregnancy without resenting it?
I won’t lie.  If I could go back in time right now and undo all of this, I would.  Yet here I am, living with a reality I cannot undo.  So, I can only hope that I’ll be able to look at my child and love him or her.  I hope I can look back on this one day and say I wouldn’t change it after all, because this is where I am now.
My life has changed forever.
She closed the journal and set it down beside her.  Alyx, who had kindly averted his eyes while she wrote to respect her privacy, wrapped an arm around her shoulders.  They sat in silence for a long time.

“What are you thinking about?” he finally asked.

RC bit her lower lip.  “I’m thinking that while we may be safe here for a while, we need to make it outside the city.  I can’t risk giving birth here.”

Go to Entry #38

Thursday, May 23, 2013

FSF: The Charmer's Wrath

It's time once again for Five Sentence Fiction!  This week's prompt as decreed by Lillie is CHARMED.

For those who have not read previous installments of my FSF serial, you can find the entire story to date on this PAGE.

Chapter 33: The Charmer’s Wrath

Ylana’s hands and feet seemed oddly detached from her body as she stood above the bed inside the shaman’s tent.  Nara had lost consciousness by the time she arrived, and her bandaged face and arms hinted at just how severe this accident was, though she didn’t yet know the details.

Image "Burning Eye Hot Tears"
 by abdelrahman/deviantART
“Do you know what happened to her?” Ylana asked, the desperation she felt leaking into every word.

The shaman, a tiny tangerine-skinned man who only stood as high as Ylana’s waist, replied, “She accidentally got in the way of the Charmer’s Wrath, and it marked her as a result.  The Wrath wasn’t even meant for her, but she’ll have to pay the steepest of prices all the same.”

Go to Desolate Times

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

3 Up Blog Hop

I thought I'd give a quick shout out for a blog hop I recently learned about. Randi Lee over at The Emotional Process of Writing a Novel came up with the idea.  All you have to do is say you want in, and you'll be added to a list.  Your name will be paired with someone else on the list, and at their convenience, they will visit your blog.  After reading a couple of posts, they'll tell you three things that they like about you or your blog.

The next person to sign up after you will be the one you visit.  Once you have the information, you can head on over to their blog at your convenience and give them three positive things that you like about them or their blog.

That's it!  All you need to do is visit one person one time and give them 3 Up! Hence the name of the blog hop.  It's quick, easy, and a good way to network with your fellow bloggers!  It's also a confidence booster, and who couldn't use that every now and then?

To learn more and sign up, click here.

Revision Strategies

Today, I wanted to talk a little bit about one step in the writing process. Revision.  This is the step where we polish our words so they can shine in the world.  Or at least, we hope this will be the case.

For me, revision is the most difficult part of the writing process.  The fevered excitement of creating that first draft has faded.  You know that first draft isn't perfect, and if you're going to turn it into something you can truly be proud of, you need to dive back in with a critical eye.  You need to understand which parts of your story work.  You need to understand were the weaknesses are.  You need to see how each scene contributes to the story as a whole.  Without those crucial pieces of knowledge, you cannot tell your story in the most effective way possible.

I can honestly say that I've always struggled a bit with revision.  It can be difficult to motivate myself to revise, because I want to tell new stories.  I also don't know where to start.  If you jump in without a plan, it can all be a bit overwhelming.  I'll share my current revision strategy with all of you.  It seems to be the best method for me thus far.

  1. Have someone you trust read your work.  They will be more able to point out the flaws you've missed, because you're too close to the project.
  2. After having stepped away from the project for a few days, go back and give it a thorough read through.  Have a notebook available and make notes as you go.  Ask yourself what the goal of each scene is and how it relates to the overall story, how well you think you accomplished the goal of the scene, and what changes you think you might like to make.  If you find the scene doesn't actually contribute to the overall plot or character development, consider getting rid of it altogether.  You may like a scene, but that doesn't make it essential.
  3. Begin your rewrite with those notes in hand.  You may come up with new ideas as you go (and that certainly isn't a bad thing), but it will help to have a reminder of the issues you need to address.
  4. Once the rewrite is complete, have someone else take a look at it.  It's important to know whether the changes you've made are successful ones.
  5. If all has gone well, your next look at the story will be a quick polish where you look for grammatical and spelling issues.  Make sure you've made the most effective word choices you can.
Keep in mind, steps 1-4 may need to be repeated more than once before you proceed to the final polish.  This is not a pleasant fact to face, but if you're passionate about writing and truly want to do this, you may need to confront that reality head on.

Image courtesy of Idea go
Anyway, I know there's no single correct method, but this seems to be the one that works for me.  It gives me an organized plan of attack, and I need that.

Do you enjoy the revision process, or do you dread it?  What method do you use?  Do you have any handy revision tips?