General

Friday Flash: Alive

This is an old story I’ve resurrected for #fridayflash!

Cries rent the morning air, like a knife slicing through butter.

Startled – and afraid – I grabbed the dog and rushed indoors.

Cas barked in my arms and shook his blond head. Stone crunched under my claws.

The cry came again, piercing my ears like a needle.

I shut the door just in time. The shriek cut off in the middle. I sagged against the heavy stone gratefully.

Cas licked my nose, rubbing soap suds over my face, and barked. I let the dog jump to the floor.

Cas shook himself, lay down, rubbed himself dry over the carpet.

I didn’t care. As long as I was alive.

I never wanted to see a hunting dragon ever again.

Short Story · Writing

Friday Flash: Victory

This is another drabble! It is exactly 100 words. It was inspired by a photo from this   Mete Özbek. I found it on 500 px. Enjoy.

 

A swipe of gloved fingers and my queen fell off the edge of the board.

Smoke rose, obscuring the board. But I knew what was what.

I picked up my bishop and knocked out the enemy’s knight. A harsh scream sounded in the distance, just below the cliff precipice.  

Checkmate.

I blew out a breath and the smoke faded just enough to let me see the enemy’s face. Dark, wet eyes, like drops of oil given life.

The enemy moved, a useless sacrifice of a knight.

I struck. The king fell into my palm, dead, cracked ebony.

Victory was mine.

reading · Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesday: Imager’s Challenge

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

“The scar?”

“The second one will be across his throat . . . not that anyone would find his body.” Seliora’s words were absolutely matter-of-fact.

– Imager’s Challenge by L.E. Modesitt

reading

Confused About How A Character Died

I was reading a book last week and I ran across this line:

The woman never took her gaze off Narin as she wrenched the blade across her throat.

My first thought was, if you’re going to commit suicide, would you really do it by cutting your own throat?

I am thinking it would be a little difficult. It might be easier to stab your heart or slice through a major artery (one of which is in the neck).

I suppose that’s what the writer could have meant – that she carotid artery and bled out in minutes. Especially since blood cascaded out from the wound and than she was dead.

But it doesn’t sound like it. So now I am not sure what happened and I am confused. I don’t like being confused.

 

flash friday · Writing

Friday Flash: Hope for the Dead

My first drabble in a long, long time! Enjoy. It’s exactly a hundred words. It’s inspired by a photo on 500px that seems, sadly, impossible to link to. It was really cool, though, by one Vic Mejias.

The piers rose like headstones from the water. The dark water underneath rippled in gentle waves.So gentle, she could almost believe them harmless. But tiny silver flecks dotted the water, glimmering in the moonlight. As if playful water spirits left dozens of precious jewels for their beloved mortals.

She gripped a round rubber ball in one hand and threw. A small explosion lit the night sky. It briefly illuminated the buildings across the river, dark, tall, gaunt skeletons, steel frames exposed to the world.

She would get there. God willing, her family was still alive. She would find them.

General

Scene Goals

I am trying the Snowflake Method to write a novella. So I am planning it out, writing the character summaries, thinking about the scenes, and I realize: I don’t know what are the scene goals.

Each scene has to have a goal, right? A place in the story structure? Otherwise, why are are you writing it?

Well, sometimes I write them just for the sheer fun of writing them. But ultimately, they have justify their existence in the finished story.

So I am writing and writing and writing – and I realize, I don’t know the scene goal. Like, I am going on and on and on, but I have no idea why. The scene I really, really wanted to write was this big, tense, sexually fraught scene.

This was the lead up to the big scene, but there was no tension, no conflict, just a boring rendition of the day. But somehow I can’t keep myself from writing it.

I am thinking I either need to trash it or insert conflict.

 

 

reading · Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesday: Moon’s Artifice

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Aren’t you a good puppy, Narin? he thought darkly. You get a treat for impressing master.

– Moon’s Artifice by Tom Lloyd

General

Red Titles

You ever have days when you feel like every title you’ve seen recently has the same  word in it, repeated over and over, in endless variations?

I felt like that a few months ago. Not that I did anything about it. Well, I started a post, but never finished writing it. But I am writing it now.

It’s seems to me that many, many titles this past year had the word red in it. (I have only read one of these.)

  • Written In Red
  • Red Sparrow
  • Red Sky in Morning
  • Red Hill
  • The Red Queen
  • The Red Knight
  • Red Country
  • Redshirts

Does that strike anyone else as odd? It strikes me as strange. Are there normally so many books with the word red in the title published in a single year?

I went to the Fantastic Fiction website and did a search for red. It returned 2245 titles.

Granted, some of them seem to be in series with the red in it, such as: Red Stone Security. But they mostly look like they have titles with the word red in it somewhere.

The first book with the word red in its title appeared in 1846 (called The Red Rover). The second one shows up in 1846 (called The Red-Skins). The third appears in 1860 (called Elfrida, the Red Rover’s daughter).

I never realized there were so many titles that involve red in some way. I am quite amazed. And this doesn’t even include other words for red colors: crimson, scarlet, vermilion, etc.

General

Friday Flash: Snake Woman

This is my first Friday flash of the year – and my first in many, many months. I meant to post this last week, but I forgot. 😦 This is an experiment, using a different POV from a story I posted earlier.

She peeked in the window. Her old yellow scarf moved in the breeze and she yanked it back. The room was dusty, and littered with pencil stubs and torn paper. The man was inside. He bent over a pad of paper, fingers smudged with graphite. This looked promising.

She moved around the house, past the scraggy grass in the front lawn. There was a kitchen garden in the back. A basil plant grew by the side of the house, its leaves a bright, verdant green, in direct contrast to the faded whitewash of the house.

She squatted in front of it, and cringing, reached inside. But her fingers passed through the soil painlessly, like air through a flute. The bones were buried among the basil roots. Perfect. She cradled them in her hand and lifted them out. The skeleton was no larger than her hand, dead so recently that bits of flesh still clung to its skull. The burial must have been rushed, she thought, the ceremonies not properly observed. Otherwise the basil would have protected the small baby from such as her far better.

A dead baby and a grieving widower – this was perfect. She picked several delicate finger bones and chewed. It would tell the babies in her belly how they should appear to the man.

She left the bones on the ground and rose, turning to the window. The bells on her anklets tinkled in the air, as loud as they had been silent before.  

The man walked came outside from a second door. She smiled at him and pulled on the magic of her people. It covered her like a new silk dress, soft, pliable yet strong. The man gazed her, entranced. She embraced him; his arms wrapped tightly around her. He breathed on her neck, long, slow breaths, and she led him inside.

She made him man food, but left the dust in the room alone. Night fell and she took him in the bed. Finally, finally, she let the magic go. He saw her as she was. His eyes widened above her; he gasped and moaned as though overcome with fear – or desire. His sounds were a wonderful music. She grinned – and drank down his energy. Afterward, he lay on the bad, watching her with wide, staring eyes.

She gave birth on top of him. Blood soaked the bedding. Her babies slipped from her, tiny, writhing, hungry creatures. They bit his lips, sipped his blood. The man would care well for them for a few years. She would be back then.

She knew the villagers would leave him be. They knew her people’s reputation.