Tuesday, June 28, 2011

JUNOWRIMO 4: Back to Life

I forget why I wasn't going to post every chapter on here, but as this blog is my main outlet for "for fun" writing, I figured I might as well. So every week from now on I'll post up a chapter from my JUNO experiment; it's not finished yet or anything, but there are still quite a few chapters to go before the blog will be all caught up. Feel free to critique (such as my ending sentences in prepositional phrases, or splitting infinitives unecessarily) as I want this to be all finished and nice and neat, so I can read to my little cousins during the holidays.

For anyone interested, read Chapter 1 here, Chapter 2 here, and Chapter 3 here.


A Tale of Unlikely Magic and Wonderful Adventures

Chapter 4: Back to Life

Adele’s eyes felt crusty. She blinked hard a couple dozen times, waiting for them to adjust. Nothing made any sense. Just moments — or was it years? — before, she’d been floating, peacefully drifting in or away or on to some place she did not comprehend, nor need to. Then, just as she’d been floating away or beyond, she felt herself returning, in a manner of sorts, for an unknown reason, for a reason that did not matter, for it was not for her to know or to question, because she was dead. And now?



She looked to her left and right, where the wolves and the Red Ninja were just beginning to come-round. Dead, living — fire is fire, you know.

“Fire, quick,” she cried, though it sounded more like a rasp. She sprang up. At once Pete tried to get within the bounds of the circle, but went shooting backward in a burst of white light when he tried to cross, knocked flat and out cold. The wolves and the ninja struggled to their feet. They looked quite comical, staggering around like that, covered in blood, giant holes in their paws and hand, a thin sharp blood line across their necks knitting into hurried scars … Adele’s hand went to her own neck. There, between the gape of skin not yet closed she felt the cool, slow pulse of blood through her arteries. That was … wrong, wasn’t it? Isn’t blood supposed to be warm?, she wondered. Then she looked at the others in horror as the skin began to knit itself closed around her fingertips, which she hastily pulled back. She stumbled backward, tripped, and fell over another body. When she stood, she saw it was an old woman, crumpled into rags. The lump of rags appeared to be crawling, heaving, trying to stand, and then, with one last heave, she simply splatted on the ground.

That’s when Adele felt it, the incredible rush of immortality.

That’s right. Because the old witch had tried to reanimate not one, but six, the strain had simply crushed her. The bond between animator and zombie is tricky: The living must give life to the dead. That’s just the way it goes. The trade off, of course, is that the animator gets a hefty portion of control over the reanimated body. Enough to make the zombie do the dishes, darn socks, assassinate political leaders (in fact, this had been Mrs. Olwitch’s specialty)—whatever the animator wants. Problem was, that no matter how handy six zombie slaves would be to have around, age is a huge factor in the career of a measly reanimator, otherwise known as a wicked witch. And Mrs. Olwitch, why, she was practically ancient, and it just plumb did her in. It was a metaphysical kerblooey kind of mess.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tuesday Teaser

I have just enough time to sneak in this one...I admit I became rather sidetracked on my actual book list and started the Game of Thrones series. I'm LOVING it! Here's a quick exerpt from a scene between a creepy brother and his not-as-weak-as-he-thinks pregnant baby sister:

"He laid the point of his sword between Daenerys's breasts and slid it downward, over the curve of her belly. 'I want what I came for,' he told her." Song of Ice and Fire George R. R. Martin

Gaah! That really doesn't do the scene justice, but I'm trying to avoid spoilers. Let's just say the scene does not end well for creepy brother--and wow, am I not even kidding, or what?

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Chpt 3--In Which Nearly Everybody Gets Killed

Allow me to begin catching ya'll up on my JUNOWRIMO project. If you haven't read the first and second chapters, I highly recommend them. Wildly entertaining, extremely educational. Better than the Rosetta Stone and more interesting than lime sherbert. Lime sherbert's one of my favorites.

Damn I'm not even making sense anymore. LOL.

Here you go:

 A Tale of Unlikely Magic and Wonderful Adventures

Chapter 3: In Which Nearly Everybody Gets Killed
Now that they’re all out of the way, I have time to tell you about the troll. As you can no doubt guess by his blubbering, he was really a very well-natured, sensitive creature who just so happened to look like a tree and have the spirit of a rock.  Actually, those things usually work in his favor. He was very sturdy, a stable, responsible sort of fellow, slow to anger and change, despite his windblown hair (it was apparently some kind of moss),  his thick tree legs or his chipped teeth that let his voice sound full of gravel and mud.
But there was one thing above all others at which he was most certainly not slow: luck. He had the quickest luck of anyone anybody had ever met.  When it struck, it struck like lightning, and it was the sort of thing most around him figured they’d never witness twice. 
But with Pete the Troll, his luck was a proverbial endless lightning streak. A lightning storm. A lightning ... errr … enough with the lightning.  He’s got really good luck. And yes, his name really is Pete.
Pete the Troll—and mind you, I’m not blaming him one bit—was a bit of a gambler.  Well, more than a bit.  He was a enough of a gambler that it caused some problems, problems even bigger than him, and he’d been the size of a small car (not an American car of course, a European one, but a car one and the same) since he was born, and now he was full grown. So his gambling problems were pretty darn big.
That’s how he came to live in the Land of Pain and Suffering.  One night, there he was in the capitol city of Promethia, playing game after game after game of high stakes black jack at the best casino in town. The table he played at was edged in gold and studded with rubies. The carpet under his feet was hand crafted from the wool of tiny little sheep-like animals only native to one corner of Early Realm, whose ultra-specific diet made their fur feel like the stuff of which clouds are made, and it in fact looked exactly like clouds; so white that it at once held all the colors of the rainbows in its ply, and so puffy and luxurious that it gave one the very disorienting impression of floating. The lights were shining bright, the coins flashed across the table, the cards flipped expertly from hand to hand. And so on, and so on.
 He, Pete the Troll, was hobnobbing with Promethian nobility, the movers and the shakers of all the Early Realm, and he was winning.  Winning game after game after game, pile after pile of coins from every country he’d ever heard of and even a few he didn’t.
Soon he had so much money that, were he a greedy sort, he could have bought the bank and filled it with his coins just so he could swim through them every morning. But he wasn’t a greedy troll. Spirit like a rock, remember (rocks don’t go to banks, you see). Slow to change. He looked at his piles of money spilling over every gold-and-ruby encrusted table in the casino, cascading down the cloud-carpeted stairs, pouring out the golden revolving doors, and he saw that his luck had quite run away with him.
 Much to the consternation of his relatives (among whom were several of the greedy sorts), he donated all his winnings to the Promethian Academy of Music, which now runs a scholarship program for up-and-coming trolls far and wide in his honor. Then he packed all his belongings and moved out of his penthouse, searching for a place far from any kind of temptation, and even further from his relatives. Somehow he found himself a nice, extremely large hole in the ground of the Land of Pain and Suffering, and without another moment’s thought, in he moved.
But if there’s one thing casinos don’t like, it’s losing their shirts to a troll—or rather, their coins. So the CEO (a very, very greedy sort) of the casino searched far and wide for someone, anyone, who might be able to dispense of a troll with endless luck. He searched first among the assassins, of course. Too fond of guns and gas bombs and such which would not be of any use in the Land of Pain and Suffering. Someone more hardy, he thought; more hands-on.
So he looked among the pirates. Of course they were very put off once they found out they were his second choice, and would have nothing to do with him.  Good thing too, because the Captain of captains was secretly planning to double cross him with a casino heist the whole time they were negotiating.  Then, since he was already at sea, the CEO checked among the vicious creatures of the deep underworld, but none had the limbs or the lungs required for navigating the Land of Pain and Suffering.
 After those failures and the mounting fear of filing for Chapter 13, he travelled north. Far, far north. Farther north than any other Promethian had ever travelled before. He travelled first by boat, then by wheel, then by horse, and then by foot, until he finally came upon a peaceful glade of yet unnamed fruit trees in blossom at the foot of a towering mountain. The mountain was white in its entirety, and its snow reached even to where the CEO stood, at its base. The snow carpeted the ground so white that the orchard  blossoms, once fallen, looked to be such a bright pinky red  they almost looked like blood.  In fact, many years later, these trees would come to be known as Blood Blossom trees, for that very reason.
The blossoms indeed did fall, right before him, and they formed a path, which the greedy CEO followed. It led him to the top of the mountain. Around the back of the highest peak, where the dying sun bid the earth a long and sad goodnight, there was quiet temple, and in the temple sat a man—a ninja—dressed in head-to-toe in red.  And the CEO knew he’d found the right guy, because he could tell that the ninja’s suit was dyed with the blood of all those he’d killed.
 The Red Ninja was commissioned on the spot, and he’s been after Pete ever since.
The chase had been on for three days and three nights when Pete saw the four wolves and the ugly girl climbing down to the Land of Pain and Suffering; for this long he’d evaded the Red Ninja’s attacks by a mixture of cunning, desperation and natural troll camouflage. In a word; luck. But even the luckiest person— err, troll —knows that nothing can last forever. He was just about to try and signal the group for help when the Red Ninja sprang from a hidey hole in the sand and attacked.  The whole time he was on the run, Pete had not eaten nor drank nor slept, and well, had Adele not saved him, he would have been done for.
 And now you’re pretty much caught up.
Pete scratched the moss on his head and looked at the four knocked-out wolves, the bled-dry girl and the unconscious, ripped-up ninja.  Then he sighed, and stomped on a very well-hidden thatched door in the ground, the door of his neighbor, a retired wicked old witch. She’d retired because she became … tired … of her wicked ways, and so fled to the Land of Pain and Suffering in order to repent.  Pete was hoping she could help; she was very good with this sort of thing.  But there was no answer. He stomped again, and tried to strain his mossy ears to listen for sounds under the earth.
Creak. Ahh, so she was home. He’d been afraid she’d gone to town for groceries or some other errand.
“Eeeeehh? Eeeehhh?” she cackled as thatch swung open and she bobbed her frizzy head through the hidey hole in the earth, “Ehhh? Pete? Is that you?”  Her glasses were thick as her knotty fingers and had a good layer of dirt on both sides, and the eyes behind them had long since went towards the milky blue of blindness, no matter how much she claimed the opposite. Frankly, it was no wonder she couldn’t see Pete hulking there in her ceiling doorway as she swayed her head around and around.
“Yes… Mrs… Olwitch… May… I… come… down?” Pete paused; trolls always took a very long time to say anything, as it takes such a lot out of a person (troll) to speak when they’re that big and rock-like. “It’s….an…emergency.”
Mrs. Olwitch really rather liked Pete, but she wouldn’t admit that even if you had a poison apple held at her mouth. Anyway, she motioned him down, and somehow Pete managed to get himself and his quarry down the narrow, old-lady sized ladder that hung from the hidey hole opening.  In no time at all, he’d explained the situation to Mrs. Olwitch.
“So, ehhh,” she cackled at him, raising her bony, veiney hand into the air as she thought it out “you darned near killed each one of these here … ehhhh,” she used her other hand to poke her cane doubtfully at the still conked-out Red Ninja, “creatures, and now you want me to un-darn-near-kill them?”
“Well…” Pete said, “yes….ma’am….please.”
Mrs. Olwitch sighed and leaned back in her rocking chair, beginning to whack her cane on the floor of her home in a repetitious manner as she rocked.
“Ehhhh. Can’t do it.”
“Eehhhh, can’t be done, sonny Pete, can’t be done.” She thumped her cane some more.
“Not’t’all.” A single thump.
“Hmmm….ehhhh….If they were  dead, I could reanimate them, ehhh, make them into zombies, eeehh.” This brought out a rain of excited-sounding cane thumps. “The Necromancer might try and have my skin for it, but what’s that little whipper snapper really going to do about it, now that I’m an old retired witch now…close to my death watch anyhow…” Mrs. Olwitch had taken to muttering, now hobbling around the chair where Pete now sat, uncomfortable. She looked up to the moss covered troll, and by some kind twist of fate, her sight came back to her just long enough to discern the tear stains dried onto Pete’s rock-like skin. She grunted.  “Ehh. Worth it, for a bit of fun, I’d say, taking up reanimating again. Not to mention the killing the innocent part; I haven’t had a good and appetizing slaughter in ages. But I gather you don’t want that, do you sonny Pete?”
“Hmmm…” Pete said. Slow to change, he’d just gotten himself reconciled to the group living, and now here she was talking about them being dead, and then alive again … he cleared his throat. “See,” he said, with a pause, “that’s…why…I…came…to…you…You…do… …. …. what…you…think…best,” he added.
In a flash, Mrs. Olwitch was propelling herself here and there with the help of her cane, careening around corners, propping herself up on one leg to reach certain dust-encrusted shelves and generally performing physical feats people in their twenties struggle to do. In three shakes she was over her cauldron, and in three more shakes she was brewing.
 Then, as Pete blinked at her, she drew a long, curving dagger from her cruddy skirts, and one by one she sliced the blade into the throats of the wolf pups, Rahhh, the Red Ninja, and even our beloved, noble, ugly Adele.  As the last drops of their blood mingled with one another in dark, muddy puddles on the floor, Mrs. Olwitch let out a long cackle, and Pete began to cry again.
While Pete sobbed, Mrs. Olwitch swooped around her hovel, snatching this, snatching that. Once all was gathered and the six were good and dead, she used six roughly-hewn pewter bowls to scoop each individual’s blood from her floor. She was sure to mark on the side of each bowl to whom the blood within belonged. Then, drawing yet more howling sobs from Pete, she plucked a bone from each, aiming for the hands (where there are so many bones there are some to spare) and paws. These went into their respective bowls. Pete howled and sobbed, then sobbed and howled some more. 
Many hours later, under shining slivered light of the three Early Realm moons, the retired witch laid the bodies of the deceased on the plain in the valley of the Land of Pain and Suffering. The moons were just on the point of retiring, but a bit of good reanimation magic is not a thing to be missed, so they decided to stay up, and light the way for Mrs. Olwitch.
Casting the circle wide about the dead and herself, Mrs. Olwitch did the unthinkable: she ground the bowls of bone and blood into one another until they made a paste. But this wasn’t really that unthinkable. What’s unthinkable is what she did with that paste. She tipped her massively-wrinkled head back to the sky, opened her saggy mouth, and ate the contents of each and every bowl, down to the last grainy bite.
The moons nearly shuddered in anticipation. Lightning cracked outward from the circle.  Fires sprang from the circle edge. The swamps of the valley boiled, and the quicksand pits began to roll. The earth itself shuddered.
And then, in a great explosion of magic, the five bodies sat up, and Mrs. Olwitch collapsed.

Nightingale--TCE 23&24 combo

In keeping with the twofer tradition, this combines two TCE prompts.  Prompt 23 was "You love him. You love him more than this. You love him, and you cannot, you can't resist," and 24,  "Look, that's really cute, but it doesn't exactly go with bite marks."

Warning: Contains foul language and mature subject matter.

Also, this was a weird one, lol. I couldn't decide for sure what I wanted to happen to Bobby at the end, so I left it ambiguous. You decide.


The attic room was dark. Black ceiling, black walls, black thick carpet, black smooth sheets.  One window black on the sill, air blowing through it heavy with the blackness of long summer night. The room, a coffin.  So he could screw a corpse. So…I could live my life. Such as it is. When the time is gone, there really isn’t much difference between screwing and living.  Everybody wants to do it, some are terrible at it, most of it is sweaty, a bit nasty even, depending on how you like it, and though it can all be fun, you’re really just there for the great big finale, and after that you probably want to go to sleep or something.
I rolled in the bed sheets until my arm slapped the top of the black nightstand.
The man — I understand why some like women, and why others like wolves, but a man is such a beautiful creature—came back into my room. Boudoir, I would have called it once.
“Here.” He tossed me the pack, wearing nothing but a pair of slacks. Black. His arms sliced through the darkness. My pale limbs are long, fatigued from overuse, and thought sill shapely, very thin. Tired. They get tangled in everything. But his? Lithe, fit, agile at catching moonlight I didn’t even know was in the room. I have a habit of not seeing light unless he's near.
“Shut the door,” I told him. So he did. I untangled myself, hung off the bed, smoked my smoke. He sat down beside me. What was his name? Closed my eyes for a moment. Bobby. That was it. The man, his name was Bobby. The smoke swirled in my mouth, I could feel it in my lungs, almost in space between the marrow of my bones, if there was still marrow after all this time. Bobby smiled at me, his teeth a line of white in the blackness around me. He leaned.
“No. Get off me.” I pushed at him, but did it gently.
“Alright, alright,” he told me, swinging his hands in front of me as he leaned back. “I can take a hint.”
I laughed at that.
“Like hell.”
We both laughed.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Friday Faves

This shall be a twofer, since I am so woefully behind...everyone loves two for the price of one, right?

Err, that is, not that you pay for anything here...errr...

On to the faves:

1.) June 18. Wonder why that's on my list? I'll give you a hint. It involves a cake with candles. Very subtle hint, wasn't it? Lol.

2.) Magical realism.

This I mean in earnest. As a reader it's like popcorn or Pringles or lime sherbert for the brain; page after page of just really incredibly entertaining, interesting prose (or poems). As a writer, it's often so perfectly wrought that it almost inspires fear, somehow. LOL.

Magical realism fascinates me; it's the one comprehensive, purely New World literary tradition. Are there magical realism writers from continents other that South and North America? Of course. That's like asking if existential writers are only from Europe. But there's no denying that the very nature of magical realism is something peculiar to this side of the globe, and especially to those countries which were settled by multitudes of ethnicities where indigenous peoples already lived.

The myths, traditions, hopes, habits, languages, sayings, religions--all of these are very hodgepodge in the Americas, so hodgepodge that they've morphed into one new giant, wonderful bastardization of culture--magical realism actually turns this on its head and uses it as a literary technique, a way of telling stories that are unique to this cultural identity.

The believable becomes trite in the face of the fantastic, though to the characters of magical realism stories, the opposite is true. I don't think I'm explaining it properly, but ... all I can say is that if you haven't read any, go, right now, and read some. Go. Now. *laugh*

Here are some great exerpts:

"At that time Macondo was a village of twenty adobe houses, built on the bank of a river of clear water that ran along a bed of polished stones, which were white and enormous, like prehistoric eggs. The world was so recent that many things lacked names, and in order to indicate them it was necessary to point."-- One Hundred Years of Solitude. Marquez. Utter masterpiece. Look at that writing.


"Years of solitude had taught him that, in one's memory, all days tend to be the same, but that there is not a day, not even in jail or in the hospital, which does not bring surprises, which is not a translucent network of minimal surprises." --The Waiting. Borges. So true, and mundane, and fantastic all at once.
These are just two of the big wigs. There are dozens, hundreds of other worthy writers in this genre!

Anyone interested in more reading, check out Margin's Magical Realism pages at http://www.angelfire.com/wa2/margin/contents.html . Spellbinding stuff there, including fiction, poetry, and criticism.

That's all for now!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Shame on me

The camping trip went well, despite the iffy wifi and my sunburn, only now I'm soo behind! Of course, I must admit that my being behind has nothing to do with wifi, because I could have typed just fine, and posted as soon as I arrived home...but I didn't. Lol. *shamefaced*

So I shall double up on my JUNOWRIMO novel. I never did write for last week's TCE prompt and I feel terrible! I'll see if I can squeeze that in tonight or in the morning, when I write the other. I finished my project ahead of schedule (I don't get behind if I'm being paid, ha), so I should have time, right? Right? Right? LOL.

So...back to schedule. Coming tomorrow: Friday Faves and a TCE story or two (Friday or Saturday), and sometime over the weekend I'll probably throw in a JUNOWRIMO chapter.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Wi-Fi is So-So

Well, the title says it all. I'm on a camping trip out in the hills, and they do have wireless out here, but it's extremely cantankerous. So....I'll try to catch up my posts when I can, but I'm not sure how long the bouts of internet I get are to last. Either way, the trip is over by Sunday, so there shouldn't be any issues after that.


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Chpt 2: A Short Interlude of Butt-Kicking

Okay. So what I posted the other day for Chapter 1 was not the chapter in its entirety, and yes it is finished, but I thought I'd go ahead and post Chapter 2. Just because. *laugh* For anyone who may want it, here's a quick recap:

Adele- Main character; an ugly, noble, 8 yr old.Rahhh--a she wolf with three pups and a terrible cold
Grawwq--eldest, largest boy pup
Sharaaaa--girl pup 
Curghaa--youngest boy pup
Baroooi--Rahhh's nosy fox aunt

Adele finds a magic map one day which transports her to another land.  She doesn't yet know why, but it must be returned to the Necromancer, all the way in Promethia, and to do so she must first cross the Land of Pain and Suffering. The wolves agree to help her.


A Tale of Unlikely Magic and Wonderful Adventures
Chapter 2: A Short Interlude of Butt-Kicking
Now having a cold is a pain no matter who you are, what you are, or in what realm of existence you live, and if doesn’t matter how hard you try to pretend that’s not the truth.  I could go into the details—but I won’t. Too much snot and too many coughs. Suffice it to say that by the time Rahhh got over her cold, she’d successfully passed it onto all her companions.  So we’ll just pick back up with our story when everybody was healthy (except for Aunt Baroooi, and who really wanted her along?) and ready for the aforementioned adventure and danger….
Adele, the three pups and Rahhhh stood at the edge of the rock stairwell that led down to the Land of Pain and Suffering. I know what you are thinking—but yes, there was a rock stairwell. Granted it was crumbling and “fraught with peril” in and of itself, but a stairwell nonetheless. In ages past, for even the Early Realm has ancient times, this had been called, in hushed, solemn tones, The Most Fantastic and Long and Steep and Stupendous Stairwell.
 The ancients weren’t so hot at picking names, you see, but you can at least get the general idea. At the top of the stairwell there read an ancient, roughly hewn stone sign that read “Warning: Those With Arterial Issues Should Turn Back Now.”  In smaller, later scrawl, a line followed: “Everybody else, grab your water bottle,” which of course proves this was not the first time a human had ended up in the Early Realm and had to take The Most Fantastic and Long and Steep and Stupendous Stairwell, in order to reach the Land of Pain and Suffering, no doubt with the end goal of Promethia. For nobody in the Early Realm bothers with water bottles. 
While I would like to tell you of all sorts of incredible, adventure-like things our group of travelers faced as they made their descent, I am afraid I cannot. It was fantastically uneventful, long beyond all preconceived notions of long, steeper than the highest mountain upside down, and stupendously boring. Sorry. That’s the way it is. Sometimes you want cake, and you get a cookie. Sometimes you want just something a little bit sweet, and you get a flopping salmon on your plate (which you then demand the waiter remove).
Which brings us to...the Land of Pain and Suffering.
“Ugghh, was that you,” Grawwq asked, turning himself into a ball so he could hide his face in his butt.
Adele glared at him.
“Why does everyone assume the smell is me,” she said, exasperated. “It’s this!” She swept a hand and stood real tall so they’d remember she was noble. Noble people don’t fart or stink at all, let alone fart or stink like sulfuric fire and swamp mold and rot. We know this because in the history of all histories, no one noble has ever admitted to such a thing, and as they are noble people, they would be nobly-bound to do so.
Rahhh pointed her nose straight into the mists that hung close to the belching land of fire and bog sand.
“Everybody in a line. Stay close. Follow me.” And she took the first few fated steps.  The rest followed.
It was slow going. There were a couple of tail-fires, and Adele lost her right high-top in a pit of quicksand (no huge loss there, because she was obliged to chuck the other as well for comfort’s sake, and they really were awful looking shoes), but all in all things were going fairly well, considering. The first part of the day lapsed into relative monotony.
This monotony lulled them into a false sense of comfort. This was unwise, as they’d already attracted the attention of a very looming troll, and he doggedly followed their progress, sneaking through the shadows and mist. And nothing, nothing at all, could have prepared them for what happened next.
For from out of the depths of the mists and the stench there sprang a very small frog, a very looming troll, and a ninja dressed all in red. The frog is of no consequence, and soon hopped away, but the troll and the red ninja, were—as you can imagine—quite a different story.
Kapow! Whoosh! Whip, wham, bam, thump, whoosh, whoosh, kapow! went the Red Ninja on the poor troll. The Red Ninja was both nowhere and everywhere all at the same time, and was beating down on the troll so badly, so harshly, so knock-down-drag-out-fantastically, that within a few moments of the duo’s appearance the troll collapsed onto its mossy, tree-like legs, and started to cry. The crying was very loud, and very much along the lines oh “Booo whoo, booo,” sniffle,  sniffle, "booo, whooo.” But the Red Ninja, lest he be deemed a sissy, was relentless in his attack. 
And Adele had had enough. The nobleness of her being coursed through her veins. Before she knew what she was doing, she’d gotten out of the line, marched ahead, and yanked the Red Ninja (at that very second he’d been atop the troll’s shoulders, delivering mind-shattering pressure-point blows to the creature’s ear and neck) down by the scruff of his red pant leg, and she did it hard, too. The Red Ninja, surprised by this onslaught, sprang to his feet.
“Get back, ugly girl! I am the Red Ninja! If you engage me in combat, you must die!”
 The Red Ninja backed away from Adele, straightened himself perpendicular to her, and shadowboxed the air. Whoosh, whoosh, whoosh, swept his fists through the fog.
Adele remained unimpressed.  The troll remained seated and crying. The hopped-away frog of no consequence remained…well…froggy.
So Adele stood there, hands clasped behind her back, waiting for the Red Ninja to stop his tomfoolery. It was a trick she’d learned from her second grade teacher and worked like a charm. Sure enough, soon the Red Ninja dropped out of his butt-kicking stance, and lowered his arms. Adele tilted her head one way at him. The Red Ninja did the same. She tilted her head the other way. So did the Red Ninja. She smiled.
“What?!” burst the Red Ninja.
“I was just waiting for you to be finished…are you?”
“I….well…” he glanced over his shoulder at the boo-whooing troll, and then back at Adele, his eyes two mere glints of darkness in the shadow of his red mask. “I…yeah, I guess...”
“Good.” She strode over to the troll. The wolves all held their bodies motionless, as if wanting to escape notice. Only their eyes followed  Adele. “There, there,” she said, stroking the troll’s mossy arm—the arm alone was twice the size of Adele, who was of an average size for her age—“It’s alright now. Everything is alright,” she continued. “Does it hurt?”
The troll gave a very pointed sniffle and nodded its boulder of a head, trying a wavering smile on for size. But apparently this hurt too much, because as it did so the troll’s tears grew into buck-sized drops.  The Red Ninja threw up his hands in disgust and began pacing between the swampy pits.
The troll sniffled again, and shot a look at the Red Ninja.
“Everywhere,” he huffed. “Just everywhere.”
The Red Ninja glowered.
“Hey wait a minute now,” he said in a protesting tone, “he started it.”
“Did not.”
“Did too.”
“Did no—”
“Shut up, will you?” Adele’s noble streak could only run for so long—she was only eight, after all. “Good grief! Now tell me straight: which one of you is the bad guy?”
They both pointed to each other. Then, after a moment’s hesitation, the Red Ninja  changed his mind and raised his hand, hanging his head a fraction as he did so.
“Oh,” the Red Ninja said slyly as he lowered his hand and produced from his ninja suit the most dangerous throwing stars ever to be thrown, even if thrown by someone like you or me, let alone a ninja with training for that sort of thing, “I wouldn’t exactly say ‘all right.’”
He threw the stars.
“In fact,” he said, voice filled with spite, “I would say ‘all wrong.’”
For with his throwing stars he’d managed to pin Adele to the ground. Seventeen stars passed through her skin and into the rotten, putrid  soil. And there, in a valley of the Land of Pain and Suffering, Adele experienced exactly what it was to be pinned to the ground with her own skin and someone else’s throwing stars. Blood leaked from the scores in her flesh and spread across the ground in pools of red liquid.
“Didn’t need to make a cheesy joke,” she wheezed. And in a blink, she was out.


Having grown quite fond of their ugly duckling, the wolves sped into action. The pups were still pups, true—but they were wolf pups. Not Golden Retriever pups, or  Basenji pups, or Saint Bernard pups, or even pups like Tramp (from Lady and the Tramp); they were wolves. And well, you know how wolves can be. There’s a reason they have a fearsome reputation.
The bulk of the problem when faced head-on with a wolf is that of the teeth. No; wait; the speed. No—the huge, clawed paws. No.
Well, either way, the Red Ninja was in for a galaxy of pain. Very fitting, considering the location.
Before he could even get into his butt-kicking stance, the wolf pups sank their teeth into his thigh, Grawwq on one side and his smaller brother and sister on the other. Their fangs were incredibly sharp and they sank deep. Still, the Red Ninja fought on. He and Rahhh traced the circle in which they would fight over Adele’s body by slow and steady steps, although the Red Ninja was bobbling a bit as he struggled with the wolves. But once they’d stalked each other a bit, they were at each other’s throats.
Quite literally, I mean.
Snap, flash, snap, snap, went Rahhh’s teeth at the Red Ninja’s neck, who deftly twisted out just in time. Kapow! Whoosh! Whip, wham, bam  went the Red Ninja as he made for a fatal pressure-point attack behind her right ear. But he was not used to fighting wolves, and his pressure-point attack was to no avail, and so he tried to strangle her. Have you ever seen how big a wolf’s neck is? It’s big. Real big. Very foolish move on the Red Ninja’s part. Then again, he was no doubt distracted by the three sets of puppy fangs ripping through his thighs. And so it seemed that Rahhh would be the victor, and rip the Red Ninja’s esophagus clean through his red ninja suit, when all of a sudden they each glimpsed a rock above their head, felt a sharp and heavy thwak!­­, and saw no more. Thwack, thwak, thwack,  went the rock again and out went the pups too.
The troll, towering above them, sighed a gurgling sigh, picked all the bodies up, and carried them away into the stinking fog.

Tuesday Teaser 12

In a rush today, so without furthur adieu....

"'O bhikkhus, if any recluses or brahmanas do not understand objectively in this way that the enjoyment of sense-pleasures is enjoyment, that  their unsatisfactoriness is unsatisfactoriness, that liberation from them is liberation, then it is not possible that they themselves will certainly understand the desire for sense-pleasures completely, or that they will be able to instruct another person to that end, or that the person following their instruction will completely understand the desire for sense-pleasures. But, O bhikkhus, if any recluses or brahmanas understand objectively in this way that the enjoyment of sense-pleasures is enjoyment, that their unsatisfactoriness is unsatisfactoriness, that liberation from them is liberation, then it is possible that they themselves will certainly understand the desire for sense-pleasures completely, and that they will be able to instruct another person to that end, and that that person following their instruction will completely understand the desire for sense-pleasures.'"

from What the Buddha Said, by Wapola Rahula. Whew.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

JUNOWRIMO--Chapter 1

Well, here's the first 2000 words, give or take, of my current NIP. It completely nonsensical and escapist to boot, but as I think I might do something (hopefully better thought-out!) along these lines for NANOWRIMO, I want to give it a shot. I'll finish the chapter with the next thousand words or so, and begin the second. Toot, toot!

Disclaimer: To any of you who might actually wade through my JUNOWRIMO posts, I'm sorry! There's a very good chance that, given my 2000 words-a-day goal, I will alter what you read one night quite a bit the next day, while trying to meet my 2000 word quota and still make sense. Also, I'm probably only going to post bits and peices to keep myself from cheating. *laugh* Oh well. Here goes! (Title is tentative)

A Tale of Unlikely Magic and Wonderful Adventures

Chapter One: The Almost Beginning

The Land of Pain and Suffering spanned for miles in front of the most ugliest and most noblest girl in any world or any realm. Her name was Adele, which in fact according to her grandmother means “noble,” and she liked the sound of that, as she (like I just told you) was a very ugly girl indeed.
This very ugly, very noble girl stood at the edge of Hawk Sight Ridge, looking down and over an expanse of land so big and so wide and so far and so terrible, the kind of land you only read about it books. This land was a gray land; grayer than all the gray things you can think about; grayer than pavement and rainy skies and worn off black marker on your skin; this was true gray, the kind which leaves the mind blank and the soul, bleak.  Across the Land of Pain and Suffering’s hills and valleys were fire pits and swamp and quicksand, and was rumored to be prone to cyclones and earthquakes.
Adele checked to make sure her high tops (believe me, these didn’t exactly help her cause) were tied tight and gripped the map in her hand. She knew she had to cross the Land of Pain and Suffering, and cross it on foot no cheating, in order to reach Promethia. What she didn’t know was how she was going to do that, ugly or not, or noble or not.
Just then, from the dank gray landcape slinked a large—very large, as a matter of fact—wolf. A hulking mass of bared teeth and shoulders so wide and dark they remind a person of long cold night, longer even than the expanse of the Land of Pain and Suffering, and colder than the coldest ice cubes, and a night so deep you worried for the dawn.  It padded towards her.  One. Foot. After. Another…and another, and another, in a line on the precipice of the ridge, until it stood before Adele. It growled. Adele shivered.
But neither made a move.
The wind blew a stench, foul with the smell of burning and mold, across the air between the wolf and Adele. The wolf twitched his long gray nose.
“Uggh, was dat you?” The wolf pulled itself to its hindfeet and stood before her, fanning its snout as his mouth formed the awkward words. The wolf figured a girl as ugly as Adele could very likely make a stink that bad, but it wouldn’t say so. Wolves, after all, do have some manners. Just not as many as people.
Adele stared at the wolf and tried to back away slowly. Unfortunately, high tops are not the sort of shoes which make for easy backward-walking, so she only made it two clunky steps before deciding to give it up as a lost cause.  Ugly, yes—intentionally clumsy, no. Because you never want to trip yourself in front of a wolf, even one who speaks your language.  It might laugh…among other things.
“No!”  She hated how childish it sounded. But then, she was a child, so it wasn’t that big of a deal. “He who smelt it, dealt it.”
“What are you, five?” The wolf said, dropping back to its forefeet, an expression of disgust evident in his whisker twitches. “Ad it’s she, thank you very bmuch.  Dnot that you bothered to ask. Dno proper bmanners at all; here you go, traipsing through bmy ridge, where bmy pups are, and you don’d even bother to introduce yourself. Let alode ask perbission,” the she wolf said, dropping her voice to a mutter and shaking her head back and forth. “Pups these days, I dell you…”
“I’m very sorry,” Adele said. She’d decided to allow the mistake about her age; just because she wore high tops didn’t mean she was five. She was a whole three years older than that, but didn’t dare correct the wolf at this point. “But the smell isn’t me. It’s coming from down there.” She gestured to the Land of Pain and Suffering.
“Oh that,” the shewolf said.  “Cand you believe it, I forgot? We just mboved here, and I’ve had dis horrible head code all season long, can’d hardly sbmell a thindg. Bmy aunt’s been bringing bme her hunt leftovers for the pups…ndosy beast, she is, too. Cambe in de other day all ind a roar about some uppity little sndot with a red cape over in the deep forest….ndosy….can’t wait to get rid of dis cold….and mby aunt…ohhhh,” she huffed, “bmy sinuses.”
“I…I’m very sorry,” Adele said again. “Colds can be awful. Would you like a cough drop? I’ve got one in my pocket.”
“Will it help?” The she-wolf was told to be wary of strangers bearing candy. Especially the ugly ones. Because they carry ugly candy, the kind nobody in their right mind wants to eat, like those puffy orange peanut-shaped things.
“Probably not. Plus it tastes gross.”
The wolf sighed a snotty, fleghm-filled sigh, and stood back up on its haunches. Until that day, Adele hadn’t known what haunches were; now she did.
“Just as well.  What did you say your ndame was?”
“I didn’t,” Adele admitted. “But my name is Adele.” She attempted a curtsy like her southern friend, Christine McPearson, had taught her last year. Again, the high tops. But the wolf seemed to approve.
“That’s mbuch better, young lady,” the shewolf said. “My name is Raaahhhflooooommeeeiiiiioooggrrrhhhhh. Bud you can call bme ‘Rahhh,” for short if you like.”
 “Very pleased to meet you, Rahhh.”
“Very pleased to bmeet you as well, mby dear.” The wolf sat back onto her haunches and rubbed at her nose with her front right paw. “Now what is a tasty-looking little pup like you doing alode and wandering in the Early Realmb?”
Adele looked at the ground. So that was the name of this place, the “Early Realm.” Just like the map said. Well, it was now or never. Guessing that if the wolf was going to eat her—let’s face it, if any of us were in Adele’s situation, we would have guessed this—it would have done so already, she pulled out the map and began unfolding it. Nobody gets human-sized-portion hungry with a cold.
“See, I found this old map,” she began.
“Oh ndo,” Rahh interupted. “Ndot again!”


The cave where Rahh lived was really very picturesque; ferns crept shyly up the embankments to each side of the entrance, and the inside was smooth-floored and very tidy—Rahhh was a very good housekeeper, you see. There was a low wooden table with six low stools, a basin for washing, a guest bedroom and a master, and the pups slept in the very furthest reaches in their own nursery with pretty wooden cribs.  Adele played “beast and huntsman” with the little pups.  It seemed a lot like cops and robbers to her but with wrestling and teeth; they rolled around with each other in a jumble of sneakers and fur and squeals while Rahhh and her “ndosy” aunt Barrrooooi held a hushed conference at the mouth of the cave.
“So,” Barrroooi stated in a quiet whisper, curling her red tail so hard it touched her back (this was a sign she was about to nose up into somebody else’s business), “the map has been found.”
“It would apbear that way, yes.”
Barrroooi jabbed her long red fox snout towards the play session.
“She is very young; she will need help. Does she know the way?”
Rahhh remained silent, watching the four play happily. You've never really played happily until you get to do it with wolf pups; its a whole other matter of happiness and playing entirely.
“Does she know what the map is, what it does?”
“Does she know anything about Promethia at all?” At the resounding lack of response, Barrrooi snapped her snout a couple of times, and her tail coiled even tighter. “Forget it. I’ll take care of this.” And she sashayed over to Adele, flicking her curly tail this way and that.
“Mraa, mraa, mraaa, I’ll take care of dis, mraa mraa mraaa,” Rahhh mumbled. She really hated being sick and having to put up with her nosy aunt all at time.
“You there. Ugly girl,” Barrrooi said to the rolling pile of fur and sneakers. The playing stopped for a moment; paws were untangled.
“Adele, thank you.”  Her lumpy face was sweaty and a shiny red from playing with the wolf pups. One of them chomped her shoestring while nobody was paying attention.
“Oh. Very pleased to meet you, Adele” Barrroooi’s tail went coil flick, coil flick, coil flick.
“And you.” Playing commenced once more. Two of the pups and Adele pounced on the pup nibbling the shoestring.
“How old are you?” Her tone was very suspicious.  Adele disengaged from the pups, stood, and straightened herself nice and tall, as tall as an unformed and uniformly ugly girl can stand. And when you stand like that, it doesn’t matter how ugly you are, because everybody can tell you are noble. Remember that.
“Eight.” Adele’s tone was equally suspicious.
“Where’d you get this map?” The dark eyes peered into Adele’s face  in the way that only the very nosy can do—it borders on creepy, even.
“I found it.” This time, Adele’s voice far surpassed Barrroooi’s in regards to suspicion.  
“Yes—but where?”
“On my pillow.”
“Do you know what it is?” This came out quick,  Baroooi’s snout snapping the words out almost before the word “pillow” was finished floating through the air.
“It’s a map.”   
The eldest, biggest pup tittered. He had a very highly developed sense of humor for his age.
“Don’t get smart with me, young lady!”  Barrroooi put on a stern face, looking down her long snout at Adele, as if a fox could in fact look down to something a good two foot taller than itself.  The eldest pup quickly busied itself with its paws, lest he get stern-talked too. Mother didn’t like it when he was rude.
“Don’t ask stupid questions, then.” Boy oh boy, Rahhh had been right, Barrroooi was nosy.
Rahhh tried not to laugh.
“Fair enough.” Looking at Rahhh, Barrroooi moved back towards the opening of the cave, indicating with her tail that Adele should follow.  “Do you know what this map does?”
“Well, I know it zaps people just for minding their own business,” Adele stated with a huff as she followed Barrroooi.   “Just because they try to move something off their pillow to go to sleep! And when it zaps them they end up in the middle of some crazy weird place with talking animals. And I know that I’m supposed to go to Promethia; the map told me so.”
“It told you?
“Yup. That’s what I said.”
Rahhh and Barrroooi exchanged low looks as Adele sat onto a stool.
“How?”  Barrroooi asked this without looking away from Rahhh.
“I don’t know…The words kind of just…sparkled… across the page.”
The two animals sighed—but they were not sighs of relief.
“And Adele, how long have you been in this realm?”
“How long are you going to be asking me questions? Just curious.”
“Listen here, ugly-girl—”
“Listen here, Adele: I’m trying to help you! You have no idea what danger you have exposed us all to!”
“Maybe I don’t want your help. I didn’t ask you for your help, I know that!” Adele jumped up and stamped her foot.
“Well, I never!”
“I bet that’s true,” Adele agreed, now with a left foot stamp. “Rahhh’s right; you are nosy! A big, fat, nosy beast!”
“Fat?” The fox glanced down at her coat in horror. “You think this fur makes me look fat?”
“Did you really just ask me that?” Honestly, grownups! Here the fox had been going on about danger and helping, and then becomes completely preoccupied with how many custards she’d eaten at the equinox get-together she’d had last spring!  You could see it plain as day across her face as she inspected her coat.
Again, Rahhh’s whiskers twitched as she tried not to laugh; it was as though she’d known exactly what both of the other two were thinking.
“Forget it. If you don’t want my help, that’s fine. But Rahhh can’t help you; she’s got to look after the pups. And we can’t leave this journey entirely up to you; you’ve no idea what you will face! It is a long way, fraught with peril—”
“Fraught with peril?
“Dooooom! Dooooom!” Her fox voice howled out the cave opening. Adele blinked. “ Now stop interrupting!”
“Yes maam.”
“Doom,” she repeated once more, for effect. It worked. Even the pups shivered.  “ For if you do not return the map to the Necromancer who made it and bestowed  it with powers of magic beyond all reckoning, both your realm and this will be twisted and deformed into all that is unwholesome and unnatural and evil. Life there will make the Land of Pain and Despair seem like a cake walk.  But to go near the Necromancer almost ensures your death; it’s the only way. No,” she said firmly, “you cannot go alone.” Her mouth snapped shut.

Saturday, June 4, 2011


In order to prepare myself a bit for NANOWRIMO, I've decided to participate in JUNOWRIMO, hosted by Shallee McArthur; see the right margin.What can I say, I'm a woman of limited interests.

My goal for the remainder of June is quite simple: Write 2000 words per day on one project (I tacked on this last bit to make sure I won't cheat). It will be fiction, and at the end I will have 52,00 words; a novel!

Whether or not it will be coherent remains to be seen. I have no idea what I'm going to write about, as I want to save my NANOWRIMO ideas for November. No outline, character sketches, nothing. Hmmm. Talk about by-the-seat-of-my-pants.

The reason?

It's you, Madeline! It's all your fault! *laugh* Little Miss I'm-writing-four-novels-in-one-month made me feel just a teensy bit guilty for not pushing myself harder.

So I begin tonight. Wish me luck!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Friday Fave 2

It's summer, and that means some of the coolest reptiles are out and about. My favorite? The blue tailed skink. Here's a photo, courtesy of  http://caroleandreas.redbubble.com/sets/114191/works/4821531-blue-tailed-skink :

Isn't he adorable? They're fast as lightning when they're young like this; eventually they get a bit of orangey-red under the chin, and don't look so very sleek. Seem pretty shy, but I catch them running down the sidewalk all the time. They certainly don't attack humans like some of their more bulky relatives do. When I was little I was sure these would make a great pet, lol.

I'm Hooked...

...on this new breakfast concoction. And wonder of all wonders, it's healthy! Go figure.

Fruit-and-Grain Breakfast

Difficulty: Easy peasy

Prep time: 30 seconds


1 banana
3/4-ish tbsp brown sugar
1-2 tbsp ground brown flax meal

Slice banana approximately 1/2 inch. Place in bowl, cover with brown sugar and flax. Stir gently until the fruit pieces are coated.

That was hard, wasn't it??! I don't like making complicated breakfasts (eating them is another story!), so this is ideal for people like me, and the flax makes it very filling (like oatmeal-type-filling; you can almost feel it expanding in your tummy). Plus it's heart-healthy and hair-healthy. Yes, I have a vain streak. Lol.

This should work for any fairly-soft fruit that isn't citrus (say kiwi, plum, peach, etc.); the flax tastes  like a combination of fruit-pie pie crust and granola when you mix it with brown sugar. Delicious!

Summer Yummy

So it was 89 degrees at about 9:30 this morning, with 70-some-odd percent humidity. For those of you lucky enough to live in a dry-heat climate, that feels effing hot. And it's now a lovely, blazing Friday afternoon, full sun, very little wind. I'm afraid to look at the thermometer on the back porch (it calculates heat index and wind chill, which makes it very intimidating!). LOL.  Call me Jane Austen (oh, that would be wonderful, wouldn't it??!?!), but weather can really effect a person's day.

On the other hand, it is perfect--and I do mean PERFECT--weather for Summer Beer.

The next time you're grilling, burning brush, hanging by the pool or just feeling ridiculously hot, try my following recipe. Be careful though; it's very smooth and if you have too many can really sneak up on you. 

Summer Beer Cocktail Recipe

Difficulty level: Easy peasy

Prep time: 30 seconds


2 unfrozen (or semi-frozen)  ice pops. I like the Jolly Rancher pop ice brand, and I use one pink and one blue. Pick your favie.
1 jigger  (1 1/2 oz) of vodka
1 beer (don't use "good" beer for this)
very cold beer mug

Fill the very cold beer mug with ice. Pour in jigger of vodka. Snip the top off the ice pops; pour in on top of  vodka until mug is half-full of liquid. Pour beer on top. Mix with straw. DO NOT SHAKE. ("Bubbles! Bubbles! Awwww....") 


Oh m'God, this is a really good cocktail. Very refreshing (the vague fruit, the bubbles--yum!). For those of you who don't know/can't remember what an ice pop is, they're fruit-flavored, freezable popsicles encased in plastic; you cut the end off and suck them out the top, instead of unwrapping like other frozen treats.

This recipe actually cuts the alcohol content a teeeeensy bit, because usually you'd just pour in a flavored vodka and then beer. If you decide to make this for a shindig, it may be a lot of fun to let people pick their own ice pop flavors, but technically it would be more practical to go and buy a bottle of a flavored vodka and do it that way; if you chose to do the latter, keep it to one jigger of vodka to a mug--if you do more the texture gets weird, and if you do less you can't taste the flavoring.

In my opinion, since these are a drink for when it's ridiculously hot out, it's easy to accidentally drink a LOT of them, so it's a really good idea to lower that alcohol content. 

By the way, you won't finish the beer in the first mug. Which means you'll need to drink two or three. Or invite friends.


Thursday, June 2, 2011

Answering For--TCE 21 (or so)

Still adjusting, but here's the prompt and the story: 

"I remember.
I wish I didn't remember.
Maybe if I wish hard enough, the memories will just fall away. Like the smell of old perfume dissipating. Like the innocence of white chalk darkening under the rain. Like the dying color of that crimson blood as he washed it from my hands."

Answering For
I wish I didn’t remember.
The cup tree was a dead one, some ancient and half-rotten lightning stump of a live oak about one roof high. It was long since stripped bare of any bark, and the chipped ceramic coffee mugs and tea cups of the years shined against the pale wood. Time was, it had been a bottle tree; the glass had long dangled in the winds to capture roaming spirits; to keep people from harm.  One by one the bottles with their translucent blues and greens and browns were replaced by more practical cups and mugs and mason jars, so that if anybody ever needed a cup to break their sup, it wasn’t hard to find one.  I remember the details like these, the waking up in the heavy fogs and going out to water the taters beside the house, the smell of almost mildewed water gathered in the coffee mugs and antique tea cups from the heavy rain the night before, or the way the honeysuckle made the air so sweet at night while it crept into the clapboards of the house. It’d be nice to remember these things and only these things, but I don’t.  Life ain’t nice.
Neither is death.  
Cup Tree stood smack in the intersection of two gravel roads which met where the top of one little hill joined a great big one. At the time, I lived alone in the peach-colored clapboard house just a bit down the hills’ intersection, and figured I would every day of my life, for a time expanding as far as the eye could see, disappearing somewhere beyond, somewhere into a distance hazed with clouds and humidity and the green glow of leaves and bugs in the sun. Yes, that was what I figured.  But this is the story of how I figured wrong.

“You get any reception out here?” Allie squinted into the sun beside the house where we both stood, arm raised, waving a cell through the air with her chicken-leg arm. It was summer, an early one, and I’d been working all morning long on keeping the weeds out of the tater row.
“S’it look like I get any reception out here?”  I’d wiped the sweat from my forehead, leaned against the house. How she kept on all those layers and layers of makeup I’d never know; if she’d ever smile it’d crack like the clay dirt. “Who you tryin’ t’call anyways?”
“Jim. He’s got a new batch cooked.”
“You need to keep out’a that business.”
“Mind your own,” Allie said with a snap, dropping her arm. “I’m only fixin’ to call him ‘cuz I heard tell down at the station that the cops is fixing to bust Perkin’s Bar for sellin’, and I don’t wanna see him go to jail if he don’t need to.”
I’m pretty sure I’d glared at her.  We both knew it wasn’t  true. And we both knew it wasn’t none of my business.

What to do, what to do

I find myself despicably excited for NANOWRIMO. It's just five months away! Ahh.

And I'm horribly unprepared. But I'm going to use this blog as a sounding board. Backstory info: I myself like really character-driven stories, and don't think I'm ready to do anything too experimental on this level. Ok.  Ready? Here's some of what I'm considering:

  • A Princess Bride-esque tale, complete with ogres, rat kings, castles and the like. And lots of bad guys. Maybe some pirates and ninjas; I don't know. I don't know if we'll have enough time. It would follow the hero's journey, only the main character would be a girl. Probably a princess, but maybe an assassin. Hmm...
  • A Midwestern gothic, modern day, or at least fairly modern day. 20th century. Terribly flawed characters. Guess that would make it a romance, which I'm a little squeamish about writing...
  • Something based on an allegory or spiritual person of some sort. Think Greek epics, Bible, and Buddha here.
  • A "serious" look at how modern Americans identify themselves, in class, region, ethnicity and personal identity. Again, based in Midwest.
  • The if-marriage-could-be-distopic-and-humorous idea. A female main character kidnaps a man, rapes him and keeps him hidden away (at the beginning), declaring herself married. After numerous funny and predictable escape attempts and numerous not-so-funny enslavement scenes, the two really do fall in love. Set in modern western culture. Female main character first appears to be crazy as a coon, but later reader identifies with her (as does kidnapee) and her tactic, and even admires her and her relationship with kidnapped man.

Those are the ones which look most promising; I've got some other REALLY random ideas even more half-baked than these.

Opinions? Votes? I almost wish I could make this like American Idol, lol. Then, if I don't like the final product, I could say "Well, I didn't vote for it."


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

WPC Prompt 3


Okay--so, you know that great poem, "The Reaper," by William Wordsworth? I'm always blown away by the sounds of that poem. There's a sure but subtle sibilance in the syllabes and symbols....err...well, my fly-by-night attempt right there wasn't very subtle, but still--all the "ssss" sounds help lend to the overall subject of the poem, the Reaper with his sickle, slicing away at life. Fantastic writing.

So this week's poetry prompt is to do something along those lines; employ sounds within the poem which hints at the overall theme. Or, you know, something, errr, vaguely like that.


That's it for now. If you want to read the poem, click here: http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/the-reaper/

Uh Oh, Spaghetti-O's

It's hot.

Whew. It's very hot.

And apparently the heat has addled my brain. I just signed up for NANOWRIMO. [EDIT: For those of you who don't know, NANOWRIMO is an international write-a-novel-in-a-month event. See this link for details: http://www.nanowrimo.org/ ]

When it gets this hot this early in the year, and I am bound and determined that I don't need air conditioning, I spend all day with the curtains drawn tight against the sun, drinking my coffee over ice. I am sure to wear a skirt so that I can catch the breeze of the fan.

Errr--perhaps that was TMI. On my legs, people--not anywhere else!

Anyway, I'm blaming my momentary lapse of sanity on the aforementioned stimuli. Do I have a plot? No. Do I have a main character? No. A bad guy? No. A theme? A genre? An idea of any shape or form?

No, no, and no.

What do I have? Zest. Say it with me: ZEST.

Great word, isn't it? Maybe that will be the title. Who knows. And to that tiny little voice in the back of my skull hissing you don't have the time, and you don't have the cahones, I shall repeat that great word, over and over and over and over until I finally finish said yet-unimagined novel.

To those of you who cross these pages who've participated in NANOWRIMO, thoughts? Suggestions? Links? Am I insanely ahead-of-schedule, or hit-the-ground-running-behind on research and development? I'm already feeling jumped-up and nervy about it, ha!

To bring it full circle, it really is hot in here. Lol. If I'm lying I'm dying.