Thursday, May 29, 2014

Flash Fiction (3)

Jackie, Blodeuedd, and I are back to working up some Flash Fiction fun. We will do flash fiction posts every two weeks, give or take due to holiday's and such. I will post my complete story here. Jackie will add the beginning and a link to her flash fiction on her Live Journal and Blodeuedd will be posting on her blog.

Enjoy our quick glimpses into worlds of the unknown.

Rooftop Angel
By:  Melissa Hayden

Adon leaned forward as he placed his hand on the smooth weather rounded edge of the roof top. Running his fingers through the warm flakes and over the sleek perfect surface of the stone, even as the world fell apart around him. It was one of the oldest structures on the city. He remembered when it was built and how time had changed around it. The solid building held together through hundreds of years as the weather beat on it, rounding the edges to give way for nature.

Leaning forward Adon was to the point of gliding from the top of the building to help the few remaining on the streets. He was stopped by a strong hand on his shoulder, pulling him back to the flat walkway of their temple.

“It’s for the best.” The deep baritone voice said.

Adon couldn’t take his eyes from the crumbling world below him. “Is it? How do you know?”

“The world has done this before. It cleanses itself and starts anew.” The calm in the deep voice started to rattle Adon’s thoughts.

It couldn’t be okay, to watch as this happened. It felt wrong. After all the years with these creatures his heart knew a love for them, even if they weren’t perfect. But that was the draw. They weren’t perfect. Not like his kind. Not created in perfection and when they didn’t live up to that impossible expectation, to simply be tossed away. The only reason his kind still lived was in their creation they were born to immortality. A flaw their creature made sure not to repeat. The powers that discarded them to this land know of ways to kill the Fallen. Hunters had been sent over the years to eliminate his kind from existence forcing them to live in hiding while trying to help the world as best they could.

Adon shook the warm ashes from his hair and wings as he turned on the balls of his feet to face the tall brilliant man behind him. “And this is it? This way?” Adon could feel the anger rising in his voice with his heart beats.

“You are young, Adon. You did all you could to help them.” It was acceptance in the deep voice. Acceptance for what they were doing to flesh and bone of mankind.

“It wasn’t enough!” Adon’s temper broke from the cage he was containing it in.

The last hundred years had been his time. He was to help the mere mortals through the changes, to not let them get away from themselves. And he couldn’t do it. Not alone anyway. And Apyon, his father, wouldn’t help. He’d given up on the race after Adon was born, his sweet love dying of the drugs humans gave to their own kind behind barred windows in the place where those that speak of ‘what’s not real’ end up calling home.

Adon turned to look over the edge again, working to his long memory the world when it was at its prime. The gray fluffy flakes thinned as the wind blew up to the sky allowing Adon the view of a woman staggering against the wall stories below him. She coughed as the fires raged through buildings and the streets. Adon felt the earth quake and saw it rip open. He watched as the hungry earth awakened into a predatory monster as its gapping maw grew, reaching to swallow her.

If he had a soul, he was sure what it would tell him to do. The mortals he loves are now dying before his eyes.

This was the last leap of faith for him.

He heard his father call after him as he descended to her. He had to try, even if the hunters saw him fly.


The Stone Guard, an original short story by Jackie Lester

    He looked down from his vantage point. It was dark now, allowing the light from the penthouse apartment to shine brilliantly. It was made that much more spectacular by the falling snow. The floor to ceiling windows were still uncovered and he watched as the woman moved from her kitchen, cradling a steaming cup in her hands, to drop herself into the plush red sofa in the sitting area.
    Raven tried to pull himself away, knowing it was time for him to rest. He also knew the woman would be safe now that she’d been returned to her home. Returned by him.

Click here to continue reading.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Flash Fiction (2)

Jackie, Blodeuedd and I are back to working up Flash Fiction fun. We will do flash fiction posts every two weeks, give or take due to holiday's and such. We are starting today with the first Flash Fiction. I will post my complete story here. Jackie will add the beginning and a link to her flash fiction on her Live JournalBlodeuedd will be posting on her blog.

By:  Melissa Hayden

Meesha dropped her chin a touch, raising the inside of her eyebrows knowing it gave her brown eyes a wide-eyed look. Her eyes roamed the dark street as she hobbled down the metal sidewalk. Meesha redirected her hand from rubbing at her sore thigh to weaving through the air with the growing volume of music. Good thing she found the decorative gold band in the dressing room with this outfit. The stocking and band will hold it together, hopefully long enough for her to get back.

She looked over her shoulder. Meesha cursed herself. That was a rookie response, but with her leg losing feeling with each step, she couldn’t chance he find or follow her.

Almost there. Just to the end of the block. The street was filling with others, men and women of all creations for the nightly bazaar. She leaned forward, picking up her pace. Step, slid, step, slid. She could do it. The attire she found in the dressing room will let her blend in. Everything was revealing in this heated world, and she looked at her amounting exposed skin. She thought she was lucky that one of the dancers had a lover on the side that liked to grace her with the gold and metals plentiful in this station. She should blend right in, even if she wasn’t used to this dress.

The buzz of a scooter hit her ears causing her to stumble. Don’t look. Keep moving. Act normal. Another coming to the bazaar. She kept telling herself as the scooter hovered at her back.

She turned at the tall door, reaching for the scanner as she was yanked back onto the scooter by hard hands. One clasped over her mouth, the other around her waist. In this costume she had nothing to fight with. No secreted knives, no blasters. With this much skin showing, she was lucky to have the sheer material draped at her back to put the minimal protection between her skin and the sticky seat she landed on.

“Now I have you.” The stench of death from his meal breezed through the man’s mask turned Meesha’s stomach as his hoarse voice went on. “You thought you could get away with it. It’s mine and you are too.”

He was an off-worlder, maybe a Theadian from the size of his hands. But what would he want with the wand? It didn’t matter; the magic in it was desired by many on this side of the galaxy, probably from the other side too.

“Go.” He roughly called to the driver. “I have what I came for. Get to the ship and off this station.”

When he looked down at her, Meesha saw his eyes blink. Twice - once down, once across. Definitely a Theadian and she’s in his fierce grasp.


Friday, May 2, 2014

Writing Update - April


**Beginning of April:
So, I'm working on re-writes. Skyla Dawn Cameron has pushed me out of my comfort zone and wants me to share some writing with her. *deep breath* This is something I struggle with. I don't share. I have no faith in what I write, and reading what I have...I believe it's justified (at this stage). I'm struggling. I have no idea what method works best as this is the first time for me to do hard core re-writes. But, I'll get there. I will get some of this done and share it with Skyla. That's my first step in improving and facing my fears. My goal, by April 15th to have something to send her - no matter how small.

In the beginning I decided I didn't like Jayda's story anymore. It's a disaster and I don't know what the definite rules were again. Then I decided to dig in and tear it apart. I'm keeping the concept of everything but rearranging when things are shared - moving to what I think at this time is the appropriate scenes. Haha, funny. I realized I was doing a major info dump at the beginning, and that wouldn't work. I need to gradually come to it all, not smack the reader in the head. And that's what I'm trying to do.

I've used colored stickies with coordinated colored pencils. I've marked the different sections with different colors; what is to move to where and world info that I need to work in with what everyone does to explain why. Will it all work out in the end? We will see. I'm sure my method will change a number of times as I go through the story.

**End of April: got complicated. I know, it's not an excuse but it did take from my me time. I spent loads of hours going over the first 3,000 words of the story. Probably too much time. I ended up taking what I had and re-wrote it all. Added, deleted, adjusted, and flat out re-did it. So that's started and I need to get on to the next section. I still have notes on the side that I want to add in, whether in this section or later I'm not sure.

I did, however, give up on the colored pencil thing. I do have stickie notes with things to add along with scrap papers everywhere with ideas to add in. *sigh*

I've been tracking my word count two different ways. The count I'm going to list below is actual adjust to original count. On my tracking for RaToJanNoWriMo group I've been tracking the reading and changes. They calculation is:
     (words edited before changes) x 10% = Y
     Y + (changes, whether - or +, make +) = count

I still didn't have a great count at the end. I think only 3,500 words total. This re-writing is the part I don't know how to do it. I try to not spend too much time as the draft I have is horrid! But to get a story to a point that it's useful. I know I'm going to have to do many edits to get it to anything reasonable, but... Oh well. Onward I go.

I will mention...I have been getting an urge to write shorts again. I miss doing the Flash Fiction Fridays and when I see some of those images at Pinterest, well I want to write a short few thousand words. I think I'm going to have to do so for a month, create a bunch of different stories as the mood strikes me. Maybe after I get through Jayda's story once.

Also, you may have seen the first post, but my Flash Fiction buddies are back at it! Blodeuedd, Jackie, and I have been wanting to get back to these and finally have. I'll post my shorts here with a teaser and link to Jackie's post. We'll also link Blodeuedd's site if you'd like to visit her as well.

My Final Counts for April:  2,131
Total actual additional words:   1,729
Short story:  402

It's nothing to call home about, but it's a start. Being it's my first time going back through a story and trying to make something of the mess I have, it's a good start. For me anyway.

May is a big month of events for me, school picnic and BALTICON!!! lol. I'll work my best at getting through more sections, and getting the first...6k? to Skyla to laugh at.


I was going to start my part here with a lament about not getting anything done because of illness, end of school stuff, and whatever other excuses I had. That is, until I realized that I'd actually done the Flash while it was still April! So I have a word count!:

Flash short: 723 words

The sad part was that I was trying very hard to keep it within the 250-500 word range. Oh well, maybe on the next one, right? The important thing was that I wrote and published (as much as LiveJournal can be considered publishing) something. I will take it!

In other news, I finished up my courses at school for the 2013-14 Fall/Winter term. I managed to squeeze out an A in my Creative Writing course and was told by the professor that my short story was the strongest of all my work. It gives me a little extra confidence building which will hopefully stick with me in an encouraging fashion, outside of the school format, to keep up with my writing. The shorts mentioned above will hopefully aid in stirring up the creative juices. Meanwhile, the novels I'm reading now (I'm trying to make up for lost time) are intended for a little de-stressing as well as further research in what to do (and not to do) throughout a large project. I'm excited to get back to edits and have another complete draft done in the foreseeable future.

With respect to my "reading for research" notion (it isn't really mine and it's definitely not original, it's just that I'm more aware now,) I want to mention the use of metaphor and imagery in the books I read in the latter half of April: The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith (aka JK Rowling) and Proven Guilty & White Night by Jim Butcher. I enjoyed the Galbraith book for its simple mystery (though she took over 400 pages to break it down.) When it came to metaphor, I found my eyes going a bit crossed at times, particularly when a muddy puddle was used to describe the state of the case at one point. The beginning idea seemed to fall apart the more it was being explained. In contrast, Butcher can write the heck out of metaphors, making them surprising, culturally relevant, and just plain fun at times. I haven't been big on the use of these writers' tools but I will be paying close attention to other books to see if I can learn from them and improve this facet of my own work.

Going into May, my plan is to write the Flash shorts, work on edits, and read as much as possible to expand my horizons. I'll add pom-pom shaking to the list, to keep Melissa working as best she can to meet her goals :) Let's see what happens from here...