fantasy · Short Story · Writing

You know you’ve been reading too much romance when . . .

You know you’ve been reading too much romance when that that fairy fantasy short story you are trying to write keeps trying to turn into a romance. A paranormal romance, complete with sidhe princes, sidhe court politics and star-crossed lovers. Very Romeo-and-Juliet, except for the tragic death thing.

Not that I dislike paranormal romances. I love them. Too much, as it is clearly taking over my own writing.
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Clearly, I need to read more fantasy. Not just urban fantasy, but the more traditional fantasy. Even if they are a little thin on the ground these days.

I meant to write a fantasy short story. Not a romance one. Anyone, I’ve only ever read romance short stories in anthologies.

I can’t remember the last time a character insisted on chasing another character instead of the magic, slave-ending object. Really!

I feel like shelving these two fairy princes and starting over. I want a fairy prince who won’t insist on finding the love of his life immediately.

Willful characters. Who needs them? that that fairy fantasy short story you are trying to write keeps trying to turn into a romance. A paranormal romance, complete with sidhe princes, sidhe court politics and star-crossed lovers. Very Romeo-and-Juliet, except for the tragic death thing.

Not that I dislike paranormal romances. I love them. Too much, as it is clearly taking over my own writing.

Clearly, I need to read more fantasy. Not just urban fantasy, but the more traditional fantasy. Even if they are a little thin on the ground these days.

I meant to write a fantasy short story. Not a romance one. Anyone, I’ve only ever read romance short stories in anthologies.

I can’t remember the last time a character insisted on chasing another character instead of the magic, slave-ending object. Really!

I feel like shelving these two fairy princes and starting over. I want a fairy prince who won’t insist on finding the love of his life immediately.

Willful characters. Who needs them?

 

flash friday · General · Writing

Friday Flash: Escape

It had been long, wearying flight. The rising sun illuminated the mountains I called home. The sight sickened me.

The sharp points of the mountains up ahead jabbed into the sky like bloody spears. They ran with the blood of my peoples’ conquerors, the high mountain lords. And my own people had shed blood like water, trying to stay free.

The snow was colored red instead of white. The mountain lords twisted magic turned the morning dew crimson and made it linger past noon. The earth bled. The lords took that as evidence of their superiority.

This overnight trip to the valley had been a pleasant escape. At least here, snow was still white, the forest still green, and the farms still untouched.

My master cracked his new whip into the soft hide of my underbelly. Gentle pain shivered up my wings and I obeyed, descending.

It wasn’t light enough yet for my master to see anything. I didn’t know what he thought he thought was doing.

“No sign of the valley lord,” my master called to one of the others.

He flicked my left hind foot with his whip and I swerved, wishing I could throw him off.

Movement stirred in the snow-covered fields below. I gaped. A herd’s worth of horses and many humans stood still and silent in the ground below. Most of them faced a man standing a wing-span from them, watching the mountains.

He turned, walked back and mounted a horse. He led his people south.

The valley lord, I realized, suddenly angry. He was leaving. Giving up. He wasn’t going to fight. He was leaving this place to the mercy of the mountain lords.

My master stung my tail with the whip and I forced myself to settle. The valley lord would survive; perhaps he would offer a place a hope for the rest of the world.

“They must be hiding,” called my master and laughed. “We’ll flush them out later. Let’s go home”

Thank the winds for the master’s poor sight.

reading · Writing

Explosions of Color

This Friday flash was inspired by a photo I saw on 500 px. Here: http://500px.com/photo/28050051 The picture is called Color Explosion by Margaret Morgan. The link looks like it is not working and I think that’s because 500 px doesn’t have a link to the actual picture.

This flash is 700 words and a lot longer than my usual Friday Flashes.This is also my E post for the A to Z challenge. E is for Explosions of Color.

A child raised his gun and took aim at me from the balcony across the street. I turned, hurrying to the door. Too late! A wet splat hit my back and I looked back.

The child grinned at me, toothless and full of glee at having caught the foreigner so.

I scowled and marched inside. I would have to change. Again. This was the third time today.

Liquid blue blate dripped down the back of my shirt. The precious mineral the natives of this crazy planet considered good luck. Everyone splattered everyone with it today, the first official day of spring. It was supposed to bring a good harvest. I didn’t understand the how or why, but I didn’t need to.

All I knew was that I need a ton of pure, unadulterated blate if I was going to pay off the banks. The natives mixed it with water, with clay, with smoke and sold it on the streets for games. And for some reason they refused to sell it off-world. Why they should refuse those profits, I didn’t understand.

My brother eyed from the couch, laughing. “Leave it on,” he advised me.

I stared at him.

“They’ll take it as a challenge if you don’t,” he said.

Maybe. I still didn’t like the feel of my shirt, plastered to my skin and wet.

“Also, we don’t have time for you to change again. We leave in five minutes.”

My brother was a tech specialist on this benighted world. He had come here a decade ago and somehow survived. Most foreigners didn’t. Today, I was grateful.

“The dealer is an hour outside the city.”

He meant smuggler, but whatever word he liked. I wasn’t picky.

 

The trip out of the city was long and boring. Nothing but the same stone-and-wood buildings everywhere. Nothing but the same cobblestone roads, now liberally splashed with blate. They were colorful. Pretty, if you could overlook the weeds sprouting from between the stones.

The smuggler lived on a farm. White flowers grew in the fields. My brother led me to a barn. It was white and red. The roof sloped in that odd design most roofs here shared.

It was dark inside. The only light came from windows up high, near the roofline. The smuggler lounged on top of a wooden crate. I eyed it. Maybe it had the blate I needed. More crates lined the left wall, some open, some empty, some spilling over with the same white flowers growing in the fields.

He hopped down as I approached. “Greg. Good to see you. This your sister?”

“Yes. I told you what she needed.”

“Yes. Pure blate.” He studied me speculatively.

“I can pay,” I told him.

“Sure you can. But. Before I give what you need, you need to do something.”

He spoke my tongue very well. Better than I expected from a blate smuggler.  “What?”

He retrieved a dull metal plate from behind him. It held five pewter bowls, each filled with a different color substance. Red powder, blue liquid, yellow paste, green balls, beige grains.

“It’s a ritual,” my brother murmured behind me. “Harmless. Spread them on your face. Eyelids, nose, mouth, cheek, forehead. Right to left. Go on.”

I dipped my fingers in the cold, slimy mixture and did as my brother said.

But then the smuggler began to change. His skin looked like lizard scales. Pointy white teeth. Floppy ears.

I whirled to face my brother and gasped when he looked the same. “What did you give me?”

The smuggler moved to stand next to my brother. I saw now that a thick gnarled white rope wound around my brother’s throat and disappeared into the smuggler’s chest. “Blate, darling, exactly what you wanted.”

The room turned bright, light shining down from above where there was no light source. “You betrayed me,” I whispered.

“I had no choice, sister. I can’t . . . won’t let you take any blate off-world.”

There was so much light now I could hardly see anything, couldn’t even make out his face. “Bastard.”

“The most loyal man I’ve ever had,” the smuggler corrected. “Perhaps one day you’ll be like him. Close your eyes now, darling. Rest.”

flash friday · Short Story · Writing

Friday Flash: Land Grave

So . . . yeah I had speeches on the brain today. Don’t ask me why.

Greetings, my people

I come to you today fresh from the land grave of my beloved daughter.

She has surpassed all expectations. She has left this world, but she took with her many hundreds of the enemy. Hundreds more of them may yet follow, as their frail mortal flesh deteriorate in hardship.

Her forward waters and winds caused such damage to the enemy as to make recovery a long, costly affair. Their homes are destroyed and most mortals in the vicinity are left without life’s essentials.

We do not intend to allow the enemy such time as they need to recover.

To this end we have sent our youngest son to their shores, to coat their world in ice and darkness.

For the first time in her life, our second daughter knows joy. The poison the enemy slips into our waters has crippled her limbs, but in the wake of our enemy’s destruction, she knows joy. As do your children.

Our people who are poisoned, we shall starve the enemy in turn. Our people who are dying, you shall be avenged! We will poison their earth, as they have poisoned our waters.

And we shall live! We will move forward as the true heirs of this world.

Our waters will rule.

We will rule.

flash friday · Short Story

Friday Flash: Storm

This flash was inspired by memories of a recent storm. Wind, hail, rain. Watching it was pretty damn glorious.

A storm raged through the mountains, slashing at the lone peaks like a claws slashed at flesh.

The god was upset. She stood under the open skies, soaked to the bone, hair clinging to her skull and crowed.

She’d told him, hadn’t she? She’d told him.

Disobeying the god did no good. Even if the rules were wrong, unjust and hateful. Opposing him was like carrying water in cupped hands. Impossible.

Her brother was stupid stubborn. He wanted to protect his daughter. It wasn’t her fault the boy died, he said. She had to defend herself.

They’d both die now.

fantasy · flash friday · Short Story · Writing

Friday Flash: Dust Devil

Not entirely sure about this one, but here we go. 😉

The dust devil rose on the horizon, where the lake met the river. It wound lazily among the clouds.

She gaped at it for a heartbeat, than snatched the basket of clothes and ran back to the house. Bare feet slid in the mud, but she didn’t dare slow down.

She looked back only once. All the fishing boats were coming in.

Her mother and aunts were in the front yard, shelling peas and laughing.

“It’s coming!” she gasped. “The dust devil. Over the lake.”

Her mother frowned. “Are you sure – you must be. Give me that. Get the children.”

fantasy · flash friday · Short Story · Writing

Friday Flash: Deferred Promises

This idea just came to me.

The white stag raced across the muddy, churned-up meadow, shimmered and disappeared.

Fucking fae.

Fury swept through Hammer. He fisted his hands, wanting to hit something. Preferably the fae. The stupid lying fae – how could he be so stupid?

He knew they lied. Knew he shouldn’t believe the stag’s sweet words.

Hammer turned, slammed his fist into the tree behind him. Pain sang up his arm. He welcomed it, welcomed the splinters. Anything to take his mind off the stag’s betrayal.

He smashed his fist into the tree again. Heard something crack. He looked up and something silver fell to the ground in front of him. A ring.

He bent and picked it up. The words I am sorry were etched around the band.

fantasy · flash friday · Short Story · Writing

Friday Flash: To Survival

This piece is inspired by this picture from the wiki commons.

He looked over his shoulder for the last time. The white-washed building had been home for ten years. It lacked earthly pleasures, but there was more peace inside it than any palace.

He might be back, but never as a monk. The king, perhaps. If he was lucky enough to survive his coronation.

He took a deep breath, looked ahead, straightened the gold tassels on his sleeves and squeezed his calves gently to move the horse forward.

His guard fell in around him, a glittering force in sable uniforms and crimson trim.

He sent up a silent prayer for survival.

Short Story · Writing

Succinctly Yours: Button!

Succinctly Yours is a weekly meme by grandma. Of this meme she says:

How low can you go?

Use the photo as inspiration for a story of 140 characters OR 140 words. It doesn’t have to be exactly 140, just not more. This one is 140 characters.

Hundreds of pretty yellow duckies swarmed the sea. He crouched, pounced and gloried in the squeaks.

“Oh no Button! The tub isn’t for you.”

General · Writing

G is for Get Moving

Thanks for the Helen for the post title! LOL

So I chose Get Moving as the title post because that’s what I need to do. Not all for the writing, but for this blog as well. I really ought to have written this post this morning or even yesterday and just scheduled it.

So . . . I have submitted just 1 story this year so far and it’s already April. Really, I should have submitted at least 2 or 3 others already. I haven’t. I am trying to submit 1 new story per month and I’ve only managed January so far. I can submit it elsewhere, but that hardly counts. It is only 1 story.

I couldn’t submit in February and March, well, I had other stuff going on and then I was focused on the novel work in progress. Which is finished. That last push was useful.

The next few weeks I am going to focus on writing a handful of short stories. I can do that, since the WiP is done and I need a break from novel-writing anyway. I have had one in the works for weeks (weeks! weeks!) now and I really need to Get Moving on that.

Plus, figuring out ideas for a couple more stories and finding magazines to submit to. I mean, the stories won’t write or submit themselves. I want to meet my New Year’s Goal of publishing a few stories this year and at this rate I am not going to.

What do you need to Get Moving on?