Fiction Friday, writing

Flash Fiction Friday 3/22/2021

I’m late again. Surprise, surprise.

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Wind echoed across the field, casting the scent of blood through the matted switchgrass. Moments before, it carried the cries of the dying, and now there was only silence. Desmond shuddered under the breeze, though, from the chill or the blood loss, he wasn’t sure. The world began to blur at the edges, and he let out a whimper. His fifteenth birthday would be his last, and his final gift was a battlefield.

He was tall, the man who settled beside him, laying a hand on his shoulder, his breath rattling in his chest. “I’ve burned through this body,” he said with a laugh. “But I can fix yours. Are you afraid?”

Des shook as he stared up at him, but the tears that spilled down his cheeks was answer enough.

“Good. Good.” He stroked Desmond’s hair back, and smiled, following it with a rattly cough. “Will you let me fix you? My only price is sanctuary. Do you know what that means?” Again, Des shook his head, hiccupping on a sob. “Safety. Do you think that’s fair? You have to say so. Out loud.”

“Yes,” he moaned, and doubled over, clutching his belly. That hand brushed his hair again, and fell away. When he looked back at the rattly-voiced man, the pain was gone, and there was only a charred corpse where he was.

The pain disappeared, but then darkness closed around his mind.

Fiction Friday, writing

Flash Fiction Friday 02/12/2021

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The strands of spider silk wound around Aradon’s fingers, and she pulled them taut between her hands, weaving lazily in simple, twisting patterns. She rested her antlered head back against a toadstool pillow, sprawled across the floor, and draped her legs up onto the seat of a velvet-cushioned chair.

With her eyes closed, she tugged the silk, and a thread snapped. A scream echoed from the halls behind her, and her lips twitched into a faint smile when desperate, racking sobs followed. Taking new threads, she weaved around the split in her work.

The sobbing ceased, and she carried on, a light, melodic hum finding its way to her lips.

Writing Progress Wednesdays

Struggling and World Building

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Lately, I think we’ve all been struggling with the effects of COVID-19 and the constant drive to keep our heads above water. So, this week’s #WritingProgressWednesday is focusing on bringing myself back together.

My husband is still working at Target during this whole disaster. I’ve been lucky enough to have him home for the last week on what would have been our anniversary vacation, but it’s not quite the same. He goes back to work on Saturday. We’ve made him masks to wear, just in case. He deals with a lot of people every day.

I spent the better part of March panicking over COVID-19, but I’m not there anymore. I’m sad. Tired. Unable to process the numbers. Florida is a growing train wreck, and I’m never quite sure what’s going to burst into flames next. Every press release is worst than the last.

Needless to say, depression has pulled me away from the writing that I’ve been desperately trying to get back to. It’s always a struggle–the depression and anxiety–trying to balance when I feel best and where my focus can be applied, if I have any focus to give at all. The virus has amplified these issues, but it’s not like they weren’t already there.

So, I’ve got over 200 pages of ms to edit and restructure. I have the same six chapters left to finish the primary story line in the first draft of PSCW. I’m pulling information I wrote on the fly and creating a world building bible for that world–though it really does need a lot of fleshing out. I’m missing so much, it’s a little intimidating.

For now, with the world building and the work I have ahead of me with PSCW and Fae’s Light, I have plenty to work through. I just need to find the drive to push through my issues to get to the end of it.

How are you all handling isolation or continuing to work? Stay safe. ❤

writing, Writing Progress Wednesdays

Six Chapters Left!

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I’m adding a weekly element to the blog! Writing Progress Wednesday! I probably don’t make enough progress, but I’m hoping this bumps me into moving a little more quickly on certain projects.

In any case, I’m happy to announce that Pirate Selkie Civil War (which still has no actual title, and whose working title isn’t really even accurate anymore) has only six chapters left in draft one! It’s a big deal, since I’ve struggled with my fiction for several years now. PSCW was a project I took on as something fun and unusual to alleviate the creative block I’d hit with Amity Dawn, and it turned into something much bigger.

Amity Dawn is still sitting on my hard drive, collecting dust and being a mess, but I’ll get back to it one day. I guess I just lost my handle on it, and I needed to set it aside. Hopefully, some distance brings a little clarity.

But, right now! Pirates and selkies and faeries are making a full scale mess in another world, and I need to handle that.

So, I’ve got a sailor and her crew trying to fight a bastard king, who is burning through the country trying to find the key to the Fae realm. The Fae aren’t going to take that lying down, and I’ve got six chapters to resolve it with. Then, it’s onto hole-fixing.

Aside from PSCW, I’ve got some drabble bits going, but nothing concrete. Just trying to keep it fun for the time being!

What are you working on?

writing

NaNoWriMo 2018: Victory

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National Novel Writing Month. Another year. If you know me, you’ll know that I’ve done NaNoWriMo every year since 2008, with mixed success, but with consistent enthusiasm. I know you’re expecting a long, exclamation point-ridden post about how amazing it is every year, and how incredible I feel taking part in such a massive creative undertaking, but it’s going to be a little different this time.

I love National Novel Writing Month. I’ve loved all four years I’ve participated as an ML, and the collective effort I’ve been a part of with Inkwell Imaginings and my writing group friends. You are all amazing, and, success/participation or not, I’m so proud of you all for everything you’ve worked on and accomplished in your creative lives! Keeping the socialization aspect of NaNo in the forefront is typically what drives me.

This year was my eleventh year! Eleven! That’s craziness to me. It feels like just last year that Jess and I embarked on NaNo together and took up our ML mantels to rally our central Massachusetts regions to victory. NaNoWriMo is what pulled me out of my badly-written Final Fantasy VIII fan fiction from early high school, and into my badly-written original fiction. It showed me that I was able to imagine more than I ever thought possible. It gave me a reason to exercise my mind and broaden my scope of what I thought belonged on paper. It gave me purpose during the darkening days of New England winter, and the onset of seasonal depression, and warmed me up to something that connected me to other people like me.

NaNoWriMo this year was bitter sweet for me. I’m honestly not even sure why. My second year serving as the Daytona Beach Municipal Liaison brought me to a handful of fantastic people who undertook the challenge, and wound up with more creative content than they started with. I met my 50,000 word goal, and I found a story that has a fair bit of potential. It brought my back my drive and my creativity.

I missed a lot of my old tribe this year, though. Life has put the act of creating on a back burner for so many of us, and it just cements the fact that adulting puts such a demand on time and focus.

So, in the wake of a good NaNo season, I’m going to challenge myself to be more and to do more in my creative life. I’ve purchased two courses on Udemy, hoping to expand my ability to practice, and to add to my accountability. I want to be prolific and work harder and be better. Almost four years after leaving college, I’m gaining my love for creation back, and I need to hang onto that. I need to ride it into the new year and establish new habits now.

Bittersweet, but motivating, I owe NaNoWriMo 2018 the exact thing that brought me to it in the first place: affection for making something new. I’ll be here to push out more and more, and I’ll see National Novel Writing Month in November 2019, ready to lock it down again.

It’s going to take a lot. It’s going to take focus and work, but I’m back. I’m not great at it, but, through and through, I am a writer.