Friday, December 23, 2011

WIP TCE 51--Opposite

Back to writing my Chrysalis stories! Hooray! Warning:  Contains heavy cursing and mild adult content.

This is going to be something completely different, yet again. Hope I can capture what it is I'm going for. Been doing a lot of people watching lately (don't worry, no one in particular!). Hmm...

Title still tentative.

Opposite




Shawn Mullins was a very nervous, shy young man. He chewed his fingernails, but when he did so he hid them furtively, so as to throw people off his track. When he went to bed at night, he set three alarms, because he feared he would not wake up in time, and when his friends came over he unplugged the extras. Crossing a road was a production; he spent so long twining his thick neck back and forth, all the while pretending to be fixing his hair under his hipster hat--so as to look some form of debonair--that a good five solid minutes would pass before he stepped off one curb and onto the pavement. That sort of thing; you understand. But what is really remarkable about Shawn Mullins is that he had no idea he himself was a nervous, shy young man. In his own mind, Shawn thought himself, as he would say, the fer-shizzle. The truth is that Shawn had spent so long convincing everyone in the world that he was outgoing, fun, hip, or whatever other descriptive word he liked to use, that he had finally succeeded in convincing himself. Jack of all trades; anaconda for the ladies; gift to the world in general.

It is men like these that give women the most trouble.

After spending a few years working in his hometown’s local hardware store, Shawn decided it was time to go be cool elsewhere. He had “outgrown” his town. Big fish; small pond. We all know what this means: he feared, deep down, that his peers were onto him. And nobody likes to have their self-perception broken down by rumours and rumblings. So he picked up and moved to Wyoming to work in a dude ranch, because he just knew it would fit his rugged, cool-guy personality better than working in a hardware store in Charlton, Tennessee. And when he arrived at the ranch, along with his eleven pieces of luggage (full of striped scarves and hipster hats—because he must be perceived as not only warm, but interesting), he saw her and he knew that he had to give her even more trouble than even the most troubled woman has ever endured, because she was the one for him.



Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Tuesday Teaser

Ack! Surprise of all surprises, I got behind! Here's Tuesday's Teaser for you; a nice classy winter selection:

"What is natural in me is natural in many other men, I infer, and so I am not afraid to write that I never had loved Steerforth better than when the ties that bound me to him were broken. In the keen distress of the discovery of his unworthiness, I thought more of all that was brillliant and good in him." --David Copperfield, by Charles Dickens

Viola! Happy holiday reading, everyone!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Friday Fave: Train Rides!

Some times I happen across a thing so obviously fantastic that I have a hard time reconciling the reality of life with my newfound love. So it is with me and trains.  Who knew?!

The last time I took a train ride, I was, at best guess, a whopping eight sound years' old. Don't remember a single moment of it. Always time for a second chance, right?  So, due to the unusual timing issues, I ended up booking a train ride this last week for my westward move. Did I get stuck next to a crazy? Ermmm, yes. For a couple hours (not bad, considering the length of the trip). This is apparently not a problem particular to airports and creepy bus stations of the sticks. lol. BUT  I had the luxury of movement. Of leaning my two seats backward and stretching out like I was on a bed. And this was coach?! Again, who knew?!

Then there was the view:



Remind me again why I take airplanes everywhere?

Oh yeah, they're quick. And ... and ... and ... .

I can't think of any other single decent reason.  Very, very, very long story short: Train riding is my new favorite thing!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Arrived Alive!

This is at the very edge of the Front Range. Look at me,
tossing out the lingo!


Monday, December 5, 2011

Random Scribblings in Nebraska

Warning: the following is unedited and the result of...35 sleepless hours and counting. Hence the ... . 'Cuz I had to count. lol. Oh, and coffee; the following is the result of 35 sleepless hours [and counting] and coffee. And yes, I did make up my own word. So there. 



Oh Snide, Bitter Omaha, How Inspiring. Is This Tongue in Cheek?



Oh Omaha how I hate you but
your sidewalks are dusted
in snow and ice
and it makes me smile and
it makes my nose run and
it makes me write


Oh for the snow gray grown black winter
you that are so white once you dust
down it doesn’t seem right our grime
and our dirt
there it is
where are you


I am one woman in this snide wide city and
my own snidity is naked to one and all oh how
you bluster around me
bluster and fall
one and all
you buildings you
people
Nothing is nothing
that is all


Bitter cold bite and blowing through the
door why do you make me so bold
and so fearful
of nothing Is nothing


Change that music yeah find a
new station I’m on my way
to Amtrak and I
like blues too


Red bicycle framed upon the wall
your wheels don’t roll but you’re up
nice and tall decorating corn bound downtown
coffee shop loft walls
that must be the best heaven for bicycles


I have decided that I shall not
decide why America is wondrous or horrid
keep your opinions to yourself
nothing is Nothing





Going to Colorado, Colorado here I come...

That was to the tune of "Going to Kansas City, Here I Come,"  in case you couldn't follow my mental humming. So yes, I'm moving! Right now! Right this very second!

Actually, this very second I'm sitting in a surprisingly friendly-but-dingey convenience store in Omaha  (complete with its own friendly neighborhood creeper, lol ) while I wait for the library to open. Then, uhm, what, twelve hours later or so, I'll be moving again. Via train. I haven't been on a train since I was eight, can you believe it? To Colorado! To the Rockies! Yay!

Never lived in the mountains before, but should be fun. I'm a snow freak. Bugs the crap out of everyone back home. I love, love, love snow. Love snow. LOVE SNOW!

Anywhosers, the majority of my trip will be taking place during the dark, but I'll try and snap some pics when dawn hits; I should be just getting to see the mountains about that time. Unless, of course, I run into any delays; I've already had a minor one. Not that it was any big deal; I'm not exactly in a rush, what with my whole umpteen-hour layover and all.

So, any of you been to Omaha? Is the library good? I hope so; it's an uphill walk from here, in 7 degree weather with snow-and-ice crusted sidewalks, and me lugging all my worldy whatsists in three incredibly heavy bag. Yeah. If any on you readers happen to be in Omaha today, I'll be the bleary eyed girl all bundled up and dragging three giant bags up a hill, trying to figure out if there could possibly be a way to sip that coffee I have pinned between my lips, hanging only by the little styrofoam lip, en route. 'Cuz I'm still not sure it's impossible, and it's certainly worth a try, right?

P.S. My toes are cold :)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

News! Hot off the, errm, keyboard!

As if the early winter months weren't busy enough, I had to run off and attempt NANOWRIMO. Did I win? Yup, 52K or so. Did I complete the novel? Nope. Let's be honest here--how many novels are actually 50K words? What can I say, I'm a longwinded kind of gal.  I've got about 100K to go, I think. Give or take.

But before I get onto a whole tangent about that, I have more news.

You see, my subconscious must have thought that my early winter months, even with NANO thown in, would not be hectic enough. So I tossed in a job application.  You know, in case I got bored with the whole novel-in-a-month-plus-random-family-dropping-by-for-the-holidays thing. lol.

Long story short, I may be moving. Soon. Like, this weekend  (at the earliest) or next weekend (at the latest) soon.Whew! --That's very soon indeed! I should find out any day now, and if I disappear for a while, that's probably why.

So, what about you folks? Those of you who NANOed, how did it go? Everyone's holidays shaping up nice and neat?

Friday, November 18, 2011

Friday Fave: Late Night Thanksgiving Goodies

In honor of the coming holiday, this post will contain two favorites. And again, I'm going with recipes, but don't worry--nothing complex, as these are meant to be whipped up after all the other Thanksgiving goodies are gone or no longer sound tasty. Or when you need your relatives to shut up and get a little tipsy. *laugh* Whichever comes first.

I'm referring, of course, to the all-star combo of  Apple Betty and Hot Whiskey.

*happy sigh*


Apple Betty

Difficulty: Easy

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

***

4 apples, cored and cut into sixths
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup flour
1/2-to-1 stick butter, melted
Few pinches cinnamon
Pinch nutmeg
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to approximately 375. Coat a baking dish (I like small, deep ones for this, but any size/shape works fine) with cooking spray; fill with apple pieces. Combine dry ingredients and toss slightly. If you want a  "crust," you can add more oats and sugar to the top and not toss. Gently pour melted butter over the mixture, paying special attention to the oats. Bake 20-30 minutes.

and then drink some of the following when you eat it!

Hot Whiskey

Difficulty: Easy peasy until drunk

Prep Time:  2-5 minutes

***

1 1/2 oz of  [decent] whiskey.
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp honey
1 lemon wedge
4 cloves
1 cup boiling water


Puncture lemon with cloves. In mug, combine whiskey, brown sugar, and boiling water; stir. Dizzle in honey; stir. Give lemon-clove wedge a good squeeze and drop into mug.

YUM! Also good for sore throats, by the way.

Update! Nano and otherwise



What's your word count, fellow NANO writers?
Anything badass happening with your novels?



As someone who writes and reads for bread and butter, 1,667 words per day, especially on a fairly well-planned novel, is not that bad. Right? Right. This being the undeniable truth, I set my goal for at least 2,000 words per day. Again, not that bad. Right? Right. So I changed my goal--again--and set it for 4,000 words per day on said novel. (On that vein, any of you set wild goals?)

Ermm...

Thursday, November 17, 2011

TCE 44 WIP: The Effected

Well, this is all I got last week; ahh well. *sigh* At least I have a working title, right? Didn't get close to working the prompt into the blurb.

Yeah, erm...lol...



The Effected

I pounded, loud, on one of the heavy metal doors. Pounded hard enough that my fist made a sound like metal on metal. Behind me, I felt the children jump, long over pretending to be brave. Bravery equaled stupidity in days like these. There was no answer, but I knew someone had to be inside the warehouse or factory of whatever this building was. I’d been sure I’d seen steam, from the hill of the overpass, and standing outside its doors there was the smell of laundry drying. Laundry, of all things. I pounded again.


A face appeared in the narrow window pane. It was the face of a girl, still a teenager but probably only in number. The glass fogged up in front of her breath, but I saw her eyes dart behind me to Pilar and Michael, still in their school uniforms. When the face ducked down, the sound of grinding, metal on concrete, perhaps, came through the door, and then it opened.

“Do you have it?”

“No,” I said, pulling the children forward so she could check their jaws and mine, their eyes and mine. We hadn’t displayed any of the symptoms, even as far as we’d came. Not one.

“Get in.” And we did. The metal door banged shut.




The gilr-woman led us round about through a thick hallway, then offices, then into an open area, machines still present—looked like a plastics plant—but now littered also with makeshift cots and various items of the few living within its walls. Her head jerked at my shoulder, where my semi-automatic hung, making her long red hair jump with the force of her gesture.

“Not gonna happen,” I told her with my own head jerk. “You don’t get my gun. Like hell.” I sounded way more bitchy than I ever had before the drug bombs, but then, I hadn’t any reason to be bitchy back then. I’d stolen this gun fair and square, and it had helped us get all the way from Midtown to out here, where the suburbs turned back into the boondocks.

“Don’t be a bitch,” she said. “None of us are carrying. We can’t let you keep that on you. Just stash it some place; we won’t look.”

Pilar nudged me.

“I don’t want to go back out there, Auntie,” she said. “My nose hurts…and I’m tired. Real tired.”

“We both are,” mumbled Michael. I said nothing. The girl and the seven other people stared at me, inching behind the lumbering machines, as I stared at them.

“Let her keep the gun, for now,” a voice called. The man to whom it belonged stepped from a back left doorway I hadn’t yet noticed. He wore a gun too, I saw, but it was a handgun, snug against his waist. “John?” His voice was grim. Another man, presumably John, dislodged himself from behind a machine.

“Come on,” John said, a gray fringe around his head like a monk’s tonsure. “Let ol’ Doc take a look at you.”

Saturday, November 5, 2011

TCE 44--Rudyard's Clara

Okay, so I was playing with verb tenses in this and it probably reads a little funky; hopefully I'll get that squared away soon. The TCE prompt was  "Fell down a well/ It should be pretty/ Like a little fairy tale."

Here you go!


Rudyard's Clara 
You’d think being dead would mean you don’t care about the living. But you’d think wrong. In fact, I’ve seen so much of humanity…well, suffice to say that on occasion it’s hard not to get attached. A beautiful soul really sticks out when you’re dead, it shines, almost. Like a beacon. A very hard to ignore beacon of everything you miss about life.

My beacon likes to hang wallpaper.

“Why do you live alone here?” I asked Clara. She’d bought the house from the bank because they lady before couldn’t pay her bills. I’d never liked that woman; she smelled like old cats, only she had none, and I haven’t had a real nose in 217 years, so my olfactory sense is a little dim; she smelled that bad. Clara was a different story. She smells like the honeysuckle blowing through the window she’d hung the lace curtain upon.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Friday Fave: Cold Weather Soup

It's finally chilly here, with gray dawns, gray days and brilliant sunsets. Which means it's nearing winter, and time for cold weather soup. Yum. So this week--yet again--my Friday Fave is a recipe.

Cheater's Potato Soup

Difficulty: Easy!

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time:  20? minutes

***

Four potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 small mushroom cap, diced (optional)
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 stick butter (butter, yum!)
1/4 cup-ish instant mashed potatoes
1/4 cup-ish water
2 cups-ish milk or heavy cream
healthy amount of parsley
pinch nutmeg
salt
pepper

Cheddar cheese for topping


In medium saucepan, melt 2 tbsp of butter. Saute onions until soft; add mushroom and saute until soft and onions are lightly browned. Add potatoes and remaining butter, bring heat to med-med-high. Add water, salt, pepper and parsley. Lid and simmer until potatoes are done al dente, stirring occasionally. Add splash of milk to moisten, then add instant mashed potatoes and nutmeg. Pour in remaining milk slowly, stirring and pouring until just a little more liquefied than you actually want it, as it will thicken. Cook for another minute or so, stirring gently.

Serve immediately with cheddar cheese and hunk of sourdough!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

NANOWRIMO Is Here!



NANOWRIMO is officially in full swing. Anyone start writing yet? Anyone get a purty Paint star for writing during the wee hours?

Feel free to tell me all about your titles, your plots, your characters, or that one thread you can't stop reading when you really should be writing, or, you know, sleeping. Like that thread about DID/MPD. Incredibly interesting, right? My username is Jimothea, if you want to contact me on NANO.

Here's my stats:

Title: "Of These Fine Days"
Genre: Err...Lit fic. Basically.
POV: Third Person limited.
MC: Emilie Hirsch, age 8-29
Current Word Count: 2018


What about you?

Saturday, October 29, 2011

NANO Midnight Write-In

How many of you are doing NANO this year? How many of you  (the ones jumping up and down in their computer chairs, wriggling their hands in the air....you know who you are) are hoping, wishing, craving a good start? How many of you are willing to give up your regular sleep schedule for the first night of NANO?

I mean, come on. It's Halloween. You're probably going to be up anyway. Just put down the candy and coctails and do some writing with other members of your friendly online writing community. Or hell, don't put down the candy and cocktails. Who could write a better story than you, writer/Jessica Rabbit-costume-wearer,  all bedecked in your slinky red sequin gown and purple faux velvet gloves you got from that weird little vintage store in the hippy part of town, cocktail and candy in hand (or rather, beside your pen and keyboard)?

Image courtesy of http://blog.moviefone.com/


Cuz that's the perfect getup for a midnight write-in. Very conducive to creativity, you see. It's the sequins.

Anywhosers, I'm going to begin writing at Midnight, November 1st, CST. I will not stop until at least 2 a.m. Midnight write-in participants will get a prize---a shiny star designed in Paint by me! Very high tech, I know. Please take a moment to catch your breath from the spectacularness of the prize.

Be sure to include your first line or completed word count or the like in the comments below so I can give you your shiny, shiny prize!

Shoo-woop! Happy writing!

Friday Fave:HALLOWEEN!

Halloween, to a costume-loving dork like your's truly, is one of the three most awesomest holidays of the year, one of the three Holiest of Holies. (*laugh*) What are my other two? Wouldn't you like to know....tee he heee.



So here, in honor of that Halloween holiday awesomeness, are some random facts. Some of them you probably know, some of them you might not.

Friday, October 28, 2011

TCE 43--The Bone Song

Something completely different this week, and hopefully in keeping with holiday creepiness. The prompt was "She was like a sponge, he mused."

**oOOOooo-wEEEEeee-oooooo**



The Bone Songs
The moon shined through the trees and onto our earth in cool shafts of almost-light. This time of year, the branches of even the oldest trees are nearly finished with their die-back. They wear their last leaves like old human women wear jewels, clutching them, rattling them, banging them against one another in a garish attempt to outshow one other. The sound of the rattling only served to cover our breaths, our steps, as we stole through the wood at night. Not that any who need fear us could hear us. We tend to be silent as our namesake.
Our namesake, you see, is Death. We are the Death Wights.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Have I mentioned lately...

That I'm a holiday wh*re?  'Cuz I am. I love the holidays. Halloween?!?!? Get out of town!

I love Halloween so much I couldn't resist redoing the entire blog... yet again, this time with a uber spooky picture! *cough* lol. I coded this myself, which is saying something because I'm not exactly tech savvy, as some of you know, so, err, I'm still ironing out the kinks.

Which brings me to my next point: The text for the gadgets and for the posts have decided they want to be centered too, just like my spooky picture background. (I wanted the background centered, just not all my text.)

Until I figure out a way around that minor issue, the best I can do is manually change the posts back to their original justifications. And I'm not gonna lie, I won't do that for all of 'em, and even if I did, it still wouldn't fix the centered gadget text.

So instead, I ask you noteworthy bloggers who've messed with the Google Template CSS, how exactly do I get around this issue? Any ideas?  I'll keep tweaking tonight with the hopes of fixing it, and in the mean time, sit tight for me to get all the text back to the way it was.

***

In other news...NANO!!!

Whoa, it's in, what, 4 days? Exciting. How many of you are participating this year? Details too, please.

Pasta with Butternut Squash in Alfredo

First: YUM. I love squash. Squashie squash squash. Squash in my mouth. Down into my belly. Nom nom nom.


I foresee plenty of you non squashers to be wrinkling your noses right now. Don't. I repeat: DON'T! I've found butternut squash to be the most squash hater-friendly of all squashes, shorty followed by spaghetti squash, which you can sneak into lasanga and nobody will be the wiser. Butternut squash is extremely sweet, but it's a mellow, nice sweet. Tasty sweet. Tasty, period. You can doctor it up a thousand different ways, either ignoring the sweet back flavor and going for herbal or salty, or you can coat it with honey and coconut oil and brown sugar and go to town that way. It's just damn delicious.

Alright, enough. Here's the recipe:

Pasta w/ Butternut Squash in [Cheater's Beschamel] Alfredo

Difficulty: Moderately easy

Prepping time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tuesday Teaser

I almost forgot! Here's this week's Tuesday Teaser, an exerpt from a fun kid's series, 100 Cupboards. These lines are from a letter to one of the character's daughters, as it is expected they will never be in the same world or the same time period ever again. *sniffle, sniffle*

"If you grow old someplace without me and find some man who's my better, tuck some tumbleweed into your bouquet for me. I'm nothing pretty, and I've always been out of place, but something of me belongs there."--N.D. Wilson, Dandelion Fire, Book 2 of the 100 Cupboards series.

Viola!

Hiking and Epic Falls

This weekend dear old mumsy and I went hiking. The weather was high and fair, the sky high and blue, the, err, uh, football scores low and dreary....errr...well, enough with that. You get the point!

Here's a pic of where we went a-walking:


Monday, October 24, 2011

Prime Time: Platform Challenge 3

Bust out your bugles, everyone, because the last Platform Building Campaign challenge deadline has arrived ... and I'm just barely gonna make it! This time, the focus was on the classic idea of showing vs. telling.

"Write a blog post in 300 words or less, excluding the title. The post can be in any format, whether flash fiction, non-fiction, humorous blog musings, poem, etc. The blog post should show:

  • that it’s morning,
  • that a man or a woman (or both) is at the beach
  • that the MC (main character) is bored
  • that something stinks behind where he/she is sitting
  • that something surprising happens.

Just for fun, see if you can involve all five senses AND include these random words: "synbatec," "wastopaneer," and "tacise." (NB. these words are completely made up and are not intended to have any meaning other than the one you give them)."


And here's my pansting write-up:

Prime Time


Luann dug her fingers into the sand on both sides of her, still damp from the high tide. The grains rolled under her fingernails. What a long night, waiting for the morning. She’d begun to hate time. It always took so long to get it where she wanted it, took so long to get the synabatec rays of post-dawn light to fall into her studio just so. Deep in the sand, her fingers grew cool, calm. But there was no way to do with her mind what she did with her hands, no way to tacise it into stillness.

Even on the beach, with its salt-bleached driftwood and the sea still awash with muted ceruleans and viridians, she still hated the wait. She twiddled her toes, shifting her weight from one side to the other.

Ughh. What was that? Suddenly the colors around her seemed tinged with an ochre gone all sorts of wrong, awful and rotten like the pears still in her fruit bowl, on the counter in her cottage. Accidental splashes of black and orange, stale tasting, putrid. She looked over her shoulder, up the embankment’s sharp ridge of ferns. Nothing. Nothing she could see, anyways.

“A-rraugh!”

Luann toppled with the joyful impact of her spaniel, Mister Bierstadt, who continued to bark, rolling clumsily onto Luann. A mess of legs, paws and tongue, the sick, rotten-ombre-colored smell rolled off him in waves; dead fish and wet dog.

“Now I stink too,” she laughed, pushing herself upright. Bierstadt jumped the embankment, disappearing. Guess she’d shower while she waited.

Soon the sun would be risen, and the world might be primed. Might be. Then she could finish the experimental wastopaneer she’d spent so long developing into the painting it needed to be. Smiling finally, Luann walked back to the cottage.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

TCE-WIP. Aaaack, I'm so behind!

Okay, so I'm not done yet, but I want to get this one posted so I can guilt myself into finishing it. Still untitled, still not sure where I'm going with it yet. But a start is a start. The prompt was "You can have seconds, if you want."


UNTITLED
The non-sound of snow.


I rolled in the blanket, stretching against the car seat. Even it was cold where I hadn’t been sleeping. Freezing, in fact. Each time I blinked it got a little easier to see, even though my breath fogged up the interior of the car and the windows were opaque with ice. White and gray; white and gray. I rolled again, towards the driver seat. Saul was hunched over the console, face hidden.

“Saul.”

Nothing.

“Saul. Saul. Wake up.”

“Whaa? Where? Whaa?” The Browning's chamber aimed through his foggy breath. Saul always woke like that, glaring and brandishing a gun. Said if you didn’t wake up ready to kill, you’d wake up dead. Only his glare was visible from his gaiter.

“Easy, now. It got cold; we need some heat.” As soon as he unearthed the keys, I nabbed them and started the car so he could put down the gun. There was a rumble, then the glow of headlights against snow and the mountain face. We’d parked base of the drive, just behind a nice edge of trees that ran parallel to the main road. Out of sight, out of mind. At this elevation, the snow stole the nighttime and even with the headlights, it was all still white and gray, just splashed with two bright beams. Saul flicked the headlights off, curled over the steering wheel, then straightened.

“O-2-hundred,” he mumbled, jerking his muffled head at the clock. “Storm wasn’t supposed to be here until near breakfast.”

I nodded. It was cold. My brain felt heavy and sharp in my head.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Friday Fave: Buttermilk Scones

I love to bake. Love, love, love. And one of my all time favorite things to bake — and eat, of course — are scones. NOT those hard, dire concoctions you find in popular coffee chains; I’m talking about real scones. You know, the kind you actually want to eat. And eat. And eat … In fact, I would have a picture included in this post, but they're already gone, lol, no joke.


I had planned to save this for later in the year, because it’s great for getting the kids involved during holiday get-togethers, but after making that batch realized I couldn’t wait.

By the way, you’re gonna want an apron for this.


The Best Scones Ever

Difficulty: Moderately Easy (but messy)


Prep time: 30 minutes?


Cook time: 8 minutes


Glaze time: 2 minutes


***

3 cups Self-Rising flour
2/3 cup table sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 cold stick of butter
4 tbsp buttermilk powder
1 cup H20


Cereal bowl of powdered sugar
Splash of milk


First, pop the butter into the freezer, and cover your work space with wax paper (when finished, just fold up the wax paper, and viola! The mess is gone!). Preheat oven to 450.

In a large glass mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients. Remove the butter from freezer and cut into tablespoons; cut each tablespoons into fourths. Add butter to dry ingredients and cut (smash and crumble) together with hands until mixture resembles a coarse meal. Make a well in the center; pour in the H20. Stir with fork until combined and the dough is pliable. *

Spread a generous layer of flour on the wax-papered counter space, and turn dough onto surface. Knead for approximately 2 minutes, until the dough is smooth (if dough feels too wet, don’t worry, just add more flour and knead). Pat into a ball and flatten until approximately ¾ to 1 inch thick. Use the medicine cup to cut bite-sized scones; place on non-stick cookie sheet. Re-knead and re-ball the edges and continue cutting until all dough is gone. Bake for 8 minutes, watching closely as they burn easily. When scones have light golden tops, they’re done.

While dough is baking, prepare glaze by combining the powdered sugar with splashes of milk until the consistency of slightly runny icing. Remove scones from oven; coat with glaze. Serve with clotted cream and curds/jam. And of course, a fat pot of tea. Yum!


* If you chose to add dry ingredients, such as fruit, poppy seeds, nuts or mini-chocolate chips, do so at this point. Just eyeball it, maybe a couple tablespoons or so. Classic combinations include strawberry-poppyseed, apple cinnamon, chocolate chip, cranberry-chocolate, lavender or cherry-almond.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Thursday? Is it Thursday?

"Did you say Thursday? Thursday, oh no it can't be Thursday, it's too gruesome!"

--"What's so gruesome about Thursdays?"

"Nothing generally, except I can never remember when they're coming up! And they're so particular about the schedules... Do me a favor, will you, and look for the other aligator shoe."

~~ Breakfast at Tiffany's

Okay, well I missed a couple of lines in there, but yeah. What a crazy week! I'm so behind in all the fun stuff, lol. Lot's of partially started and partially finished stuff pending...

Friday, September 30, 2011

TCE 39--Brat with a Soul

I still haven't finished the previous week's story, and this one (as per usual) isn't quite where I want it yet, but there you go. lol. The prompt was:  "This is the short version of my story, the simplest way I can possibly tell it."



And here's the story!

A Brat with a Soul


Donald’s littlest cousin was born into brathood. He supposed it was better than being born into hatred or something else serious, because a person could simply outgrow being a brat, eventually. Maybe by the time thirty hit. To go on, it made large family get-togethers tedious and daunting, having this young, thoroughly bratty child hanging about him. For some unfathomable reason, she liked him. Her name was Lizzie. Lizzie B, the family called her, because she talked so much she sounded like a bee, and a lot of times the words stung.

Once, just because she could, Lizzie B went without eating a thing but non-chocolate candy. It started at the Christmas dinner, this “once,” and it lasted for three straight years. Luckily, she’d passed that stage and was eating real food again (cookies, cake, cupcakes, cheesecakes, pastries, and so on and so forth). Another time she stole Loretta’s credit cards, because “Loretta wadn’t gonna buy good presents for Christmas anyway, because she didn’t know how, so of course she needed the credit cards,” and only returned them after buying the entire Dora sleep set off an internet site. She’d apologized after her mother and father convinced her to do so.

But she was still a brat.

Lizzie B sat at the dining room table of their great, great Aunt Loretta’s, right next to Donald. They were the only ones inside the house; it was a fine bright day outside, late summer. She swung her feet back and forth. Back and forth. Back and forth. Donald pretended to continue checking his email.

“Whacha doing?”

“Checking my email.” Donald tried to keep his tone mild.

“No you’re not. You’re a liar. Probably a cheat, too. Liars always cheat.”

“You cheat, Lizzie B. You cheat all the time. That’s why nobody plays cards or Candyland with you anymore.”

“I don’t cheat, Donnie,” she said sweetly, blinking at his immobile inbox screen. “I only make sure I win. I always win. That’s what I do.”

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Punch them with your words...and always mismatch your socks

Today I was thinking about fabulous quotes, and who's words do you imagine came to mind? Einstein? Churchill? Carrol? Whitman? Ginsberg?

err....

no, my old wacky friend ____, whom I shall call "Kelso." He once said, in complete seriousness, "Dude, I totally punched him with my words."

If my friends and I were That 70s Show, he would have been Kelso, hence the name. Just to give you an idea. In fact, we were kind of That 70s Show. Only, you know, not. 

Anyway, whether or not "Kelso" captured a praying mantis, a raccoon and a squirrel to keep as pets in a closet (luring them with unwashed dishes sitting open on the back porch for nights on end, no doubt--no, I'm not joking), and whether or not he once pulled me into his room, which was set up to be viewed "Only under blacklight, man," while asking me if I thought it would scare cute girls away, I know in my heart of hearts, that this quote contains wisdom by which all writers should live:

Punch them with your words.

Because you can't get any better than that. Period.


***

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Facelift!

Gave the old blog yet another dose of Botox, you know, to freshen her up for autumn (YAY!). Whadya think, too puffy?

Just kidding.

Please let me know if any legibility issues crop up...

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tuesday Teaser

Today's tease comes from another young adult book. Though I don't care for the movie, I'm quite pleased with the read. What can I say? I'm backwards. When I was the technical young-reader age I was reading all the big bad heavy books. Guess I thought I was too cool, lol. You know, like when you're a kid and you go through the "I'm too cool for cartoons" phase, even though ten years later you'll plunk your ass down every week/night/whatever and geek out on the latest Adult Swim nonsensical toontherapy. Anyway...

So yeah, I like kid books. Fantasies, adventures, princess stories, all that.

Today's tease:

"I don't know how she managed to pour the words out while smiling so hard, revealing the largest teeth I've ever seen. She must be excellent at cracking nuts." --Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

To clarify, I still read big bad heavy books. Just never seems to happen on Tuesdays, lol.

Monday, September 26, 2011

World Without Imagoes: Platform Challenge 2

It's that time again ... the Platform Building Campaign's second challenge! Here were the guidelines for this one:

"Write a blog post in 200 words or less, excluding the title. It can be in any format, whether flash fiction, non-fiction, humorous blog musings, poem, etc. The blog post should:
  • include the word "imago" in the title
  • include the following 4 random words: "miasma," "lacuna," "oscitate," "synchronicity,"
  • If you want to give yourself an added challenge (optional and included in the word count), make reference to a mirror in your post.
For those who want an even greater challenge (optional), make your post 200 words EXACTLY!"

And we're off!



World Without Imagoes


Waves of reality ebbed and flowed over the young woman, subtly, until finally she left her world and entered another.

***

Hello?

She stood. Tried to call. She had no voice.

There. The grasses of the sunlit savanna parted.

Greetings. But this wasn’t spoken either. She merely saw it — a svelte mass of muscles and height, like a horse. It…thought…at her. Its mouth didn’t oscitate in any way.

What is this place? Mirages waved over the sunlit savannah.

A place of newness. Make home here.

But what of my own world? But there was no sign of the way through which she’d entered.

Crimson rivers. Miasma. Death hatred split atoms. Good to leave. Live here die there. Its thoughts were disjointed, chaotic. Tongue flicked over lips.

What do I do here? In her memory, bubbling lacunae of knowledge burst…her mind blanked. She too licked her lips, mirroring the creature.

Learn.

Of what?

Of the newness. Its synchronicity. Of all of us, and more. Behind the creature now stood hundreds, thousands of others. Her kind. It’s kind. Others. Just…others.

Oh. She felt very small. I’m Grace.

Come. We have much to do. Make home here, it said again.

And they all smiled.


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tuesday Teaser

So today I'm rereading an oldie but a goodie (for me, at least) .. I admit I should probably be reading up for NANO instead, but...err.. *sigh* I just love Arthuriana. And a retelling from a powerful female perspective? Gotta love that! Several liberties may have been taken with the tale, but I tire of all the damsels-in-distress of the Vulgate cycle, what can I say?

Ready?

"Things were not always as they seemed, it might be that the reel went around the thread, as the thread went round itself, over and over, spinning like a serpent...like a dragon in the sky...if she were a man and could ride out with the Caerleon legion, at least she need not sit and spin, spin, spin, round and round...but even the Caerleon legion went round the Saxons, and the Saxons went round them, round and round, as the blood went round in their veins, red blood flooding, flooding...spilling over the hearth--

Morgaine heard her own shriek only aftyer it shattered the silence in the room. She dropped the spindle, which rolled away into the blood which flooded crimson, spilling, spurting over the hearth... ."  Mists of Avalon, by Marion Zimmer Bradley

Saturday, September 17, 2011

TCE prompt 37--Fair Fraulein, Pt 4

...and the last bit is done! Errr, yeah. *smile*

Click the following to read part 1, part 2 or part 3

Fair Fraulein
part 4


The apples tumbled through the snow melt, rolling elegantly pale along the white slush. I opened the door, a woman stooped, not seeing me come out the door to help, or Donar’s watchful visage in the doorway, and began frantically pattering after them. Suddenly, we were face to face.

“Apple for your trouble, my lady,” she said demurely, dropping to a shallow curtsy.

“No thank you,” I said firmly. I’d had quite enough of strange women and their strange gifts. “I wished to but see you caught them all before they bruised.”

She rose.

“Are you sure?”

“Wherever did you get apples, this time of year?” I asked her.

“Oh, if you please, my lady, these are special apples. Apples of winter, which grow white and blush red…just like your pretty cheeks.” Smiling, an apple appeared at my right cheek. I could only just make out the crimson blush that graced one side.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Friday Fave

I'd first thought of posting something uber-helpful and geared towards writing, but I'm afraid I simply can't. Why? Because it's lovely and cool (50s--woow-hooray-zip-zam-zowee!) and damp and the maples are turning their leaf tips yellow and I've baked every day this week and... I'm just feelin' the autumnal love!

Anyway, today's fave is the scent of cold damp concrete, like that of the sidewalk outside the window. It's a complete harmony between a natural phenomena and man made. I don't mean this in the sense of freshly poured cement, but the way concrete gets on days when it's not quite raining and not quite cold, but close on both accounts. Clean, and rich, and deep. *big breath* It's a bit distracting.


 I can smell it through the walls on days like this, I swear. Mmm...

What about you? What are your favorite cool weather thingymabobs?

Fair Fraulein, Pt 3

Numero tres! Read part 1 here and part 2 here. The final section will be up tomorrow for the Chrysalis Experiment prompt...By that time, hopefuly I'll have a proper title. Err, yeah. Promise. Scouts honor.

Fair Fraulein
part 3


Wrap wrap, wrap. The tea cups, thick cream sticky in their bottoms, slipped into the wash sink. I walked to the door, rubbing my palms on my apron. Through the crack between the door and door-frame I saw a hunched old woman…she looked vaguely familiar, but I couldn’t place her. Perhaps she had news from the northern nobles.

“Yes?” I asked through the door crack. It was a lovely gold and brown autumn day; dust clung to the folds of her cloak, leaves and bramble to her hems. Her hood was up.

“Ehhh, pretty child, good day, good day.”

“Good day to you,” I said cautiously.

“Eeehh, we shall see, shan’t we? Ehhh, I have good things to sell you, if you’d but have them. Handsome, sturdy things, trinkets and cloths of all shapes and sizes.”

“Oh?” I said.

“Eeeh, yes, pretty child. Would you like to look at them?”

I hesitated. We’d been avoiding strangers, but I was sure I’d seen this old one somewhere before … somewhere … I just couldn’t remember.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Fair Fraulein, Pt 2

The second installment of my latest longish short story. To read Pt 1, click here.

Fair Fraulein
part 2


“Can we keep her? Please? P--lease?”

“Shhh, be quiet. You want her to wake and see us?”

“But I—”

“Quiet, I said!”

I opened my eyes slowly. Faces hovered above me, and a roof above them. A roof. I was indoors. When had that happened? I tried to speak, but the pain in my head---I put my hand to my face.

“She’s awake,” said the second voice. I couldn’t match it to a face. Struggling, I pulled myself to my elbows.

“Careful; careful now,” warned the eldest of the faces. His was a queer, heavy-jowled head, squarish and with short white beard yellowed with dirt. “You’ve hit your head, and been too cold for too long. Be easy, Princess.”

Princess. They know who I am. She’ll find me. She’ll find me and kill me!


“Easy; easy,” continued White Beard. “No need to worry. You’re among friends.” The second voice from earlier snorted. It belonged to a little man at the food of the bed they’d laid me upon. Dwarves, I thought. The last time I’d seen a dwarf, he’d played acted from a wooden cart when one of the French lords came visiting. It thought he’d been the only one.

“I know,” said the first voice excitedly. “She can run the house for us while we sneak into the mines!” The first-voice dwarf walked around the others, and came to stand at my left, near my head. His smiled was lopsided but kindly, his chin bare.

“Pretty little princess, scrubbing our floors?” said the dwarf at the end of the bed. “I think not. Most likely she doesn’t know how. Most likely she doesn’t know how to do anything at all.”

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Fair Fraulein, Pt. 1

This is a slightly longer fiction peice I've been writing; I'll post some each day until Friday, when I'll tie in the Chrysalis Experiment prompt.

And so...

Fair Fraulein
part 1

Every night before my seventh birthday, I climbed atop the settee in my stepmother’s room, curled like a cat, and watched her prepare for bed until I drifted into sleep. Sitting in front of her mirror, whispering bits of song to herself, she uncoiled her braids and brushed them, pulling her long hair out from her body with a sleek horn comb. Every handful that dropped from the comb fell about her like a golden drape; she was this pale, high, shining thing, colored like the sparkling mead my father was so fond of drinking as we supped.

In short, she was nothing like me.

My days were tedious; Father — the servants whispered my mother’s untimely death had left him shaken at the fate of his kingdom — insisted I not only learn the womanly tasks of song, dance, embroidery, lace and language, but also the tasks to which he had long since grown accustomed. I sat beside him as the nobles paraded their so-called problems before him, having practically crawled to get into position, a pile of pillows balanced on a heavy chair next to Father. It was what he wanted. So every day, beginning before the dawn even, I poured over maps, listened to gray-faced men dictate accounts of the treasury, went for rides in the country with visiting dignitaries who thought the woods better for gossip than stuffy palace chambers, and sang, and danced, and sewed till my fingers bled, and mixed my Latin preterits with my Spanish, and

Then I watched my beautiful young almost-mother comb her hair at her mirror, until sleep carried me — or perhaps it was one of my ladies — to my bed.

As I watched her the night after my birthday, I realized her mouth, always curved in a petulant little smile, had suddenly focused on my reflection in the glass, and turned into a snarl. Half asleep, I ran from the room.

The next day, the lessons with my father ceased. I thought I was to double up on my womanly duties; I swear my fingers cried angry tears at the thought of more embroidery, long before my eyes did. But no. My stepmother, standing at the window of our aviary, had said to me, “A princess — even an ugly one such as you--must be seen in grace and repose, not in work.” She spoke with her face to the window, on the kingdom. My father, busy with the doings of running a land, grew to be a stranger to me. By the time I was ten, I was kept from my embroidery and my dancing. Suddenly my days were empty. My father died that winter.

Then my stepmother ascended the throne as regent, while thick snow fell from the sky.

Tuesday Teaser

And now, for your friendly weekly tease! I'm still reading the Atwood book, but I did pull out another for this morning's coffee, as a refresher course. I'm betting many of you will recognize it.

Here's the tease:

"Thank heaven that we have found our dear child!" and he told his wife to keep the scythe out of the way, lest Tom Thumb should be hurt with it. Then he drew near and struck the wolf such a blow on the head that he
fell down dead; and then he fetched a knife and a pair of scissors, slit up the wolf's body, and let out the little fellow."  --"Tom Thumb," from the Household Stirues by the Brothers Grimm.

For anyone wondering what a Tuesday Teaser is, check here.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

I was usually the last kid picked in gym...

...except for dodgeball, 'cuz I was lightning fast for a little girl comprised entirely of elbows, knees and forehead.  In fact, I was a dodgeball bada$s.  *laugh*

Now that I've piqued your interest with my random blurb (have I? Are you there, eating sherbet or writing some brilliant monologue with a fancy ink pen or font? Hello?), I'll let you in on the real reason for the post:

I've been tagged!


Daina Rustin, over at Mystic Treehouse passed this along to me. She's one of the fab writers I've met during the Platform Building Campaign. I'm thrilled to be "it;" I never lasted very long in gym class. With the exception of dodgeball. Oh yeah, and that little scuttle-on-your-butt-on-the-roley-platform game--I don't know if other schools had that game, because from what I remember it wasn't much of a game at all. Just really fun and accident-causing mayhem.

Back to the tag. I'm to list ten things about myself, and then pass to five of my new blogging buddies. Ready?

The List
1.) I like to drink Jello. Yup. I admit it; I'm a weirdo. But don't knock it till you try it; it's delicious. Nom nom nom. The trick is to put just enough extra water in to keep it from setting, but not so much you lose the flavor. Nom nom nom.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Vampires Anonymous--TCE 36, I think

It's as comfortable today as it was in late April *happy sigh*. It went from 105-plus to 70 with light rain in one week. Cancel that light rain bit-- I think we're getting some of that tropical storm rain. It's kind of yellow outside, and the cars are going really fast (I imagine the yellow sky is the cause) but the rain is falling straight down and the curtains--they're white and sheer and very girly, lol, are billowing all pretty in the wind. What a beautiful Friday.

Okay, onto my story. I must warn you, this is really crass, maybe the crassest (is that even truly a word?) I've ever written. I.f you don't like cursing or, err, somewhat-funnies about peeing and whatnot, don't read it. Defer, instead, to one of my more grown-up-friendly short stories.

That being said, here was the TCE prompt: "I know all the best places to hide. But there are certain precautions you need to take if you don't want them to smell you."



Vampires Anonymous


High above the two of them, the slowly baring trees stretched the black sky. The trees, thick with Spanish moss, crept close to the cliff’s edge, but not close enough for the light of the bonfire to brighten their branches. Still though, it was a vivid night, the kind with plenty of stars and a halo around the moon, so that even though the stars were small and the moon, thin, the usual gray tones of night took on tints of green and brown.

“Will they see us?”

“Of course not. They’re only human, and these ones are tourists from the city anyway. Can’t see much of anything in the dark.”

Malice pulled the younger vampire deeper into the trees, just the same. Right on schedule, the group of drinkers laughed as a frizzing blonde climbed atop the cooler and began yodeling “Black Velvet,” using a whiskey bottle as a microphone. She was clumsy and inarticulate atop the orange plastic, but no amount of slurring could hide her voice as she sang. Try as he could , Malice couldn’t remember ever hearing anyone yodel in real life, let alone a song that wasn’t meant to be yodeled. Humans. You loved them or you ate them.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Tuesday Teaser

Well, I've only just started the book; I'm still on the first page even, but I liked it from the very first line. Am I going to tell you the first line? Nope. 'Cuz I'm mean like that.

Instead, you get a random teaser, somewhere mid-bookish:

"Snowman has a clear image of his mother – of Jimmy’s mother – sitting at the kitchen table, still in her bathrobe when he came home from school for his lunch. She would have a cup of coffee in front of her, untouched; she would be looking out the window and smoking."--Margaret Atwood, Oryx and Crake.

Happy reading, everyone!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Pearly Whites--Campaign Challenge 1

Hooray, the first Campaign challenge! Today's task was to create a quick post of 200 words which began with the words "The door swung open." Additional challenges were to use exactly 200 words, which I did, and to end with the words "The door swung shut." Which...I almost did.

So... here's my post, and now it's back to the grindstone for me...






Pearly Whites

The door swung open to the park’s Children Center. Along the right wall there stretched a encased habitat of forearm-sized baby alligators. They chirped at Erika as she wandered in, fluorescent lights shining eerily down upon work tables strewn with broken crayons and tipped-over juice boxes. But no children.

“Hello?” Silly really, since the room was obviously empty, save for her. And the chirping alligators. Who knew alligators chirped?

Erika pulled out her phone. Leanne being on time for their nature walk was unlikely, considering her little Janice was still a toddler, but she always called if she was going to be late. Nope; no missed messages. Erika began to pace the the room, running her fingers over the displays, all happily labelled for the children, neon yellow smiley faces dotting their surfaces.

It seemed odd for it to be so quiet here; childless. She scanned the room carefully. Chairs were tipped over. Papers, ripped. Then she heard it—a sound that was certainly not a chirp. Eika turned. A mama alligator brandished its teeth at her. In its mouth there shined a single pearl, from the necklace Leanne always wore. As the chomping began, the door finally swung shut.

TCE-35 After

Well, shiznit. Every have one of those weekends you expect to be long and relaxing, with plenty of time for everything, and then WAH-BAM! all hell breaks loose and you're swamped but still in lazy-dazy mode?

Yeeeah.

So my TCE story remains at the same exact point it was on, like, Tuesday or Wednesday, I think, when I was sure I'd have plenty of time to finish. Phooey. I apologize for any typos and whatnot. *hangs head* And for the lateness... And for the whole being unfinished thing...

EDIT: I've finished, basically! Don't care for the title, but ahh well, I usually don't. This was my first foray into this genre, by the way. Happy to take crits!

Here was the prompt: "This could all be over in a matter of seconds... Should I or shouldn't I?"



After

I never had thought of myself as old, even through the last wars, when I lost my husband to the bombs. I didn’t even think myself old when, during the meteorite shower that killed half the western hemisphere and covered the rest with a winter of dustclouds, I noticed my skin was a wrinkled dead color that matched what little sky could be seen through the dirty window panes of "home."  So far, I’d sheltered myself inside some strangers' house, now little more than a hovel, just off the the 101 on the way up to Santa Barbara where my daughter and her children lived, now dead, probably. Been there since the meteors began to fall. 

As the first thundering sizzles of the meteors dropped into the ocean to my west, I wondered if maybe the kids were right and I shouldn’t be driving any more, since I couldn’t possibly be seeing clearly. But I was, and I got myself right out the car and wandered into the nearest house's unlocked front door. Who lives on the beach and doesn’t lock their doors, especially in this day and age, after the wars? There was no one home, and when the debris crushed the back half of the house and buried part of the front door, I stayed where I was.

The day I ate the last of the Cisneros’ canned goods—after it became clear I couldn’t leave, I tried to discover at least the name of the people who had lived in that house—was the day I decided to venture out of doors. When I finally managed to open the front door, the crack of light that fell through the opening wasn’t really light at all, it was merely air that wasn’t necessarily dark.

It was gray. Chilled, but acrid with the smell of salty burning, and thick. Who knew the sea could catch fire? I never; it had all been over in a matter of minutes, of seconds; the sea a roar of flames. There wasn’t much seeing to be done in it. I walked out into it, going slow, crawling over the burned bits of lawn furniture and metal car doors that had slammed into the thin yard. I moved even slower than I remembered as habit—I suppose all the months of moving so little had a greater impact on my body than I was willing to admit.

“Hello,” I called when I finally reached the other side of the 101 and stood on what should have been beach. No one answered. There wasn’t even the cry of seagulls.The air was thick, and gray, and utterly silent. The tides were wrong, and lapped near my feet. Should have been way out, unless I had my time all mixed up. Much of it is wrong; the muted tones, the acrid smell, the quietness of space between breaths. I paced up the shoreline, in search of someone alive, someone like me.

###

I am become a creature of the in-between. 

Friday, September 2, 2011

Friday Fave

image courtesy of http://www.austinkleon.com/2009/06/24/how/


So we all already know I'm a dork, but I am about to bring that realization to a new level. I luuuurve index cards for writing.

*happy sigh*

Actually, I pretty much love them for everything; they're just the absolute perfect size!

Whenever I'm working on a longer project, I like to use index cards to help organize. I do use yWriter for the actual computer writing-and-organizing part, but at the earlier stages in the writing process, it really helps for me to have a visual aide.

I break the book into acts--this time around I'm going with a five-act structure. At the top of five index cards, in big, pretty scribble, I mark the number and the name of the act. Each card gets a different color of marker. I use Sharpies--another office supply love.You do not want to let me loose in a Staples or Office Depot unattended. Believe it or not, I'm totally serious about this.

On those ACT cards, I mark the following, in their respective Sharpie colors: "Status," "Chapters," "Scenes," "Descript" and "Outcome."  I fill in the blanks as I organize, but using pencil. "Status" doesn't get filled in until I begin actual typing, the "Chapters" and "Scenes" headings are to keep track [by tally marks] of how many of each I have in any given act, and the "Descript" and "Outcome" are self-explanatory.

Then I begin organizing each act, by chapter. At this point, I'm in the pencil-only stage. Each new index card will get its own chapter, but those chapters will remain unordered and relatively blank, save for a one-or-two line description. I move from act to act, creating chapters and rearranging index cards until everything flows well from one thing to the next. Once I have everything squared away, those chapter cards will become official, with big pretty color-coded Sharpie markings to match the act in which they belong. While I'm making these official, I usually refer back to the ACT cards to make adjustments.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

For Fun: A TED Talk with Amy Tan

Without further adieu:






Thoughts? I'll edit my post later this evening with my own after my hands stop shaking; I weedeated (weedate?) today and I'm having a little more trouble typing than I thought I would.

--> -->

Alright, thoughts.

I haven't written much fiction. Or rather, I have--but not the kind that "counts." Yes, I wrote awful "novels" in middle and high school, and the occasional short story during college, and then a scrapped novel. It is only recently that I've really gotten my hands dirty with fiction writing, and I think that is only because the amount of fiction I've read has finally reached critical mass in my brain, and is beginning to overspill the boundaries of my skull.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tuesday Teaser

Err...I'm afraid the only book my nose has been in today is the AP Stylebook *grin*, so I cheated and whipped out an oldie-but-a-goodie.

Any Whitman fans in the blogosphere? Show of hands, please? *looking intently around* Ahh, there you are. All the cool, baddass, readerly-and-writerly-type-people squished into the front row with your reading glasses and your awkward little ticks and your notepads. Okay, not all of you have reading glasses. I'm just projecting a little.

Anyway, since this is a poetry exerpt, I'm not going by sentences, just a few strophes:

"Recorders ages hence,
Come, I will take you down underneath this impassive exterior,
        I will tell you what to say of me,
Publish my name and hang up my picture as that of the tenderest
        lover,
The friend the lover's portraitl of whom his friend his lover was
        fondest,
Who was not proud of his songs, but of the measureless ocean
        of love within him, and freely pour'd it forth"  --Recorders Ages Hence, in Leaves and Grass, by Walt Whitman

Upcoming Contests

I should have done this a while back, as a few of the deadlines are fast approaching! Ahh well, what good do shouldacouldawouldas do anybody?

I'll be creating a calendar page in a while, and will hopefully do a new contest update prior to the beginning of every month. If you read the list and remember one I've missed a/o faulty information a/ faulty links, let me know via comment and I'll edit the post to include it--and when I get the calendar page up and running, I'll mark it there as well. All monetary figures will be listed in USD unless I mention otherwise.

Onward and upward writers! Here's the list so far:

*SPECIAL NOTE:  FIRST LISTING IS NOT A CONTEST*

Yahoo! Contributor Network September 11 "Share Your Story" ~~ For each entry, Yahoo! donates $10 to the 9/11 Memorial Fund. I'm mad at Yahoo! right now, but as long as this isn't bogus, it's a great cause. View info here: http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/newsroom/share-story-changed-since-9-11-223629538.html


The Galaxy Project Contest ~~ DEADLINE: Sept. 2. ENTRY FEE: Free?  LENGTH: 15-20,000. PRIZE: $1,000 and publication. View contest info here: http://www.thegalaxyproject.com/

Monday, August 29, 2011

A Note to Campaigners

...and other folks with great blogs:

I am semi-illiterate when it comes to this kind of "stuff." But I am learning! For those of you who use Wordpress, how in the world do I follow you? I don't do the Facebook thing (I know, I know, but you see, that hermitess, do-my-best-writing-while-living-under-a-rock streak is strong in me!), and want the blog updates and info to come to my Blogger dashboard, not my email. I shall be looking this up shortly, but if you have any tips, please pass them along!

Following aside, I'll be listing the sites in the right hand margin under a new blog roll. I'm going to try and do this as I visit individually, rather than all at once. If I haven't gotten to you yet, never fear; I shall!

If for some reason you don't see your site in the margin, or my little blank icon in the Followers listing on your page, drop me a comment and I'll troubleshoot, just in case.


What I would look like if I
 were a poorly drawn computer
 cartoon that lived in Paint.
And didn't wear my hair
 in a mean librarian bun most days.
Which I do. So there.
 On to other business; a brief intro. "Getting to know you; getting to know all about you..."

And finally, a poem!

Something I threw together this weekend.  First in a loooorrrng time. I wanted it to be all nice and neat and metered and whatnot, but that flew right out the window. *sigh* As you can probably tell. Tweaks are still in the shop.


Crystal Quartz Penchant


In an overpriced apparel store I once saw
a beautiful display of necklaces. One would
think all jewelry is beautiful; all jewels divine.
It is not so. But when my fingertips flit-lit
upon the strands of fine gold heavy with crystals,
silicate soil bits still stylishly attached
to their tips, I could not hesitate. Bought one; slipped
it into my pocket, that refined Earthen bling.
No need for a whole plastic bag; it’s now cool
to “Go Green.” But that is not why I buy such things.
My mother’s main window back home is a wide yawn
of a bore, monstrously sized for a view comprised
entirely of highway for tourists. Across
its top there long have ranged the chunky, shiny hunks
of crystal that she loves so dearly, some fashioned
into teardrops, some stars, some awkward hearts, and some
plain and unadorned, content with hexagonal
superiority. There the afternoon light
bends though their depths and becomes a million different
colors. People say the spectrum of the rainbow
is redorangeyellowgreenblueandviolet.
This is inaccurate. A rainbow is dancing
continuity. This is what light becomes through
crystals; this live and dancing space, which, from the far
side, we cannot see. Our shadow will blot out light,
eclipse the sun, so that all we see is a rock,
dead, mom would say, as the proverbial doornail.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Blog Campaign!

Aww, yeeeah. Just joined. *laugh*

The Platform Building Campaign is this fantabulous idea aimed at helping like-minded writers mix and mingle and migrate. But don't take my word for it, read about it here:  http://rachaelharrie.blogspot.com/p/writers-platform-building-crusade.html.


It's arranged into genre listings, and you can even pick more than one, I think. I chose the Short Story Writers Listing, and can't wait to get started. All the Campaigners I meet, I shall link to in the right hand margin of the page--it will be a work in progress (haven't even set it up yet, but will shortly), and I can't wait to get to everybody's pages!

I'm sure it's going to be a lot of work, and a lot of fun! The campaign runs all the way to Halloween, and you can sign onto a list until the end of this month. Then there will be three upcoming challenges... I've no idea what I've gotten myself into! Thanks to TCEer's Trisha and Madeline (see side bar for links), I've felt the need to become more involved. Darn you!--And thanks for the idea, which I promptly stole...




Saturday, August 27, 2011

TCE 34--Enough

Alright. So right now I am multi-tasking like a sunnofagun, and only have a chance to post the opening of my Chrysalis story. I'll be taking a rather liberal view of the prompt, but I tried three different (indeed, completely different) stories, and they all fell flat on their, uh, faces. Not that they have any. Faces, I mean. Whatever. And here we are...

Anyway, I shall be posting several things today, including the next portions of this story, so if you happen across this, and it's all nice and titled and happy and shiny with completion, count yourself lucky. Everybody else, sorry! ~ 

LATER EDIT: Very unhappy with the end. MrAAaaaghHH!

TCE prompt: "The first time I walked into that classroom was also the last."



Enough

 Sometimes, there are situations that cannot be avoided. Conditions that ought to have been foreseeable, but weren’t. Waste that could have been restrained. Creatures to whom we never should have owed allegiance.


Existence is a tricky sort of situation.

I knew what the priest had done; heard the hushed suggestions to his master. Enough, he said. End them, he whispered. Forsake them all! With them, you shall never be at rest. Priest did not recall the echoes that abound in the vast halls and chambers of our Mother. His master heard him, yes. But so did others. So did I.

I did not necessarily think Priest was twisted or evil, but I did note the effect his sewn discord reaped. It was moments—or would that be years, or ages?—before we were assembled on the great battlefield, to make war against She-Who-Created-Us. But we had grown in power just as she. Our sons and daughters had wrought more havoc upon the inner plains of our Mother’s body than even she could have imagined; cyclones that were so destructive they formed a raucous music within their circling. And then we were born a king, strong, and goodly—when he could be—and true.

We are just the bastard children of her first consummation. Her first born, her first castaways, for we had killed her Consort, lest he destroy us all. She wielded vengeance as a tool for upheaval. Her minions, foul of face and limb, putrid to every sense and more, fed off her rage. They were called the Eleven Princes, by their side in truth, and by our side, in horror. For they were sent to destroy us.

This is the tale of the Battle, and of the time and that which was not time, which followed.


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