Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Flash Fiction (5)

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.

Blood Tears
By:  Melissa Hayden

Ira left her helmet somewhere on the battlefield. Her hastily chopped hair plastered to her head with sweat and blood. She felt the sickly sweet smelling wetness ooze down her face and neck as she stormed through the mud and blood trodden field. She had to get away, leave this all behind before... She pulled and gripped at the buckles and ties of her armor, removing the armor on her arms then her chest plate.

She looked down at her men and the monsters. Her heart ached, as did her body, at the thought of them all sharing the same graveyard. They fought for their lands, their people, but never did they think their spirits would reside in the same home of those they hated so deeply. No one would listen to her when she told them. The goddess had spoken but they didn't want to believe a young girl.

The goddess drew them here. Saturating their very fiber, their blood, with seething. Ira tried to warn them, tell them of the lady they would feed. None listened. All the men felt was the boiling desire to attack. No fair beauty would stop them. They responded with joy and pride to fight for her and to save all the fair ladies of their land.

The once beautiful and fruitful field is now graced, with now delicacy, with blood and gore. The men were cut and mangled by teeth and claws, some even by bastard swords and stones. The dead beasts lay surrounded by bodies of men, but all the blood mingled all the same. As will the spirits until the end of time.

Ira pulled at the strings of her leg armor, kicking it from her. She weeped as she stumbled over an arm, or leg, at this point she couldn't tell anymore. She slipped on the soggy ground, landing face first in an open abdomen. She rolled and wretched, but all that came up was yellow then red. There wasn't anything left to extract. Goddess love her, there wasn't anything in there to start with. She couldn't eat knowing what was coming.

She wiped her mouth with the back of her hand seeing the bright red of fresh blood when she pulled it away. She touched her eyes with her fingers, drawing them back to see the same liquid there.

"Noooo." She wailed to the silent sky.

The Goddess emerged from a white cloud. She approached Ira, and Ira watched the striking woman. Ira dropped her eyes, not wanting to offend the goddess, but she felt the goddess's eyes never looked from Ira. Never look to the brutal deaths around them.

The goddess put a gentle hand to Ira's head, her hair sticky with blood - of her own or others she did not know - grew to the long locks she had before she joined the army. The goddess gently brushed the long hair from Ira's eyes.

"My dear child. You were chosen by me. This could have ended in two ways. They chose this ending. You were in this battle and survived this tragedy for a reason." She paused and Ira waited. "To be my vessel and carry my word."

"But," Ira felt her voice hoarse from yelling through the battle, "but they won't listen to me. You saw..."

Ira looked up to see the goddess smile. A smile that stopped Ira in mid thought, and scared her.

"That, my child, is why you will be the blood child. You saw and fought here. You are the sole survivor and now carry in you my power of blood magic."

The goddess drew her hand to Ira and as it neared, Ira saw the crown of red weeping roses she held.

"You carry the power of my will. You will be worshiped by all in my honor. You will work my deeds among the people." The voice echoed through the dead air of the land.

Ira tilted her head and gasped from the sharp pain of thorns embedding themselves, and the rose crown, into her skull. She was now one with the death goddess. This was her reward and punishment, all in one. She failed yet succeeded. Terrible the tricks of the gods.

Ira opened her eyes, feeling the thick tears that were coming heavy at first now slow. She turned to see the dead soldiers and beasts alike on their knee around her as she stood. She was in command now, for her patron goddess.

She felt the hot tears roll down her cheeks again, as well as the dripping from her head. She and her rose crown weep the blood of her soldiers.

She always would.


Preview of The Runaway, an original short by Jackie Lester

They might as well have left the thorns on the roses they'd used to form the circlet that held Abhi's veil. Though slight, its meaning seemed to weigh the headdress down painfully on her head, like it was creating a million tiny cuts, blood seeping from each wound. Looking in the mirror, she struggled to reconcile the reflection that revealed the simple, delicate ring of white roses. Instead of blood, it was only the glistening of tears that stained her cheeks.

To keep reading, click here.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Flash Fiction (4)

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.

Bright Light and Dark Swirls
By:  Melissa

The light reflected off her colorless eyes. He watched from the brush, returning his attention to her cupped hands as she created a butterfly out of the glowing light. She didn't know he was here or she wouldn't be using her magic. He knew when he first saw her that he couldn't do what he was sent to do, and hadn't returned to the Lord in a week. He'd be beheaded for not finishing the job.

His first view of her was of her cloaks hood hanging low, nothing but shadows visible underneath it. There were the dark veins curling over her hand and arm as she held it out. He notched his arrow and readied for the shot, then he paused as she reached for a blacked flower. He knew she had done that, was positive from what he'd heard of this hag of a witch that lived in the forest.

Stories raced through the town of the children she'd stolen, cooked, and eaten. The spells she put on their crops and animals, spoiling all so the town starved. Yet he paused when she bent. Strands of bright blonde hair slipped from the shadows of the cloak. He watched the section of hair. It was the color and movement of hair belonging to a young woman.

In that stalled moment of time he watched with intensity, as if he was caught in a spell, as she cupped her hands and light bloomed. The magic didn't surprise him, but what did was the flower grew into a vibrant lavender blossom, tall and strong. A squirrel came to sit beside her, along with rabbits and other small animals of the forest. He knew in that moment she was not the culprit of what was ailing his home town. The forest would not react to a being as so, not if it wished death upon it.

When she sat, she pushed her dark hood back. He dropped the bow and covered his mouth to keep from gasping. She was stunning. Her petite nose and thin lips accented her fragile structure. Her eyes are what he couldn't look away from, as pale as the blue sky on a clear summers day, almost of a pearl white. She smiled as the animals rubbed against her, and she petted them as they were her own companions.

Over the last week he's watched her nurture the soil and animals around her. Today, he watched the newly formed butterfly flutter from her hands and around her head, drawing a smile to her delicate face. He couldn't do what he was hired to do and he couldn't return home either. That would be certain death and disgrace to his family. Better they thought he died in the forest. Would she accept him here in the forest? He'd seen her each day for a week and couldn't bring himself to approach her. Surely she wouldn't turn him away, not from what he'd seen of her interactions with the forest.

"Come. I'm tired of waiting for you." She spoke softly.

He narrowed his eyes on her. Was she talking to him? She didn't look up from the rabbit she was petting.

"Yes. I'm talking to you. You've wasted a week in that brush. You think I wouldn't know? The forest tells me much." Her voice was felt like the breeze in his face, forward yet warming.

Now her pale eyes were on him. He was buried in the brush, she couldn't have known exactly where he was. Yet her eyes met his without searching. He birthed from the brush and walked to her, seen anew with her eyes.

The girl grinned. He had forgotten about the marks on her arm, until he saw the dark swirls curving up her wrist over her hand.

Jackie's sneak peek:

(untitled), an original short story by Jackie Lester

Sleep lifted from me at an infuriatingly slow place. I was aware of an intense heat around me though I still couldn’t quite manage to open my eyes yet. I struggled to pull at whatever was tied around my neck, making breathing seem impossible but my fingers failed me. There was nothing to grasp. I pushed hard against my eyelids, praying they would open and I could see where I was and what was going on around me.

Continue reading here.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Writing Update - May


Well, it was a tough go this month. My time has become divided among a few projects I was working on, and not all are WIPs. I started a content editing page where I advertise my content reading services to authors. Then I was preparing for Balticon, where I was a panelist on five different panels (and can't wait for next year to do it all over again!). To end the month I found a local literary festival I wanted to attend, many local authors and it was free to get in. Had to go! lol.

As for my journey with words this month... er, *looks to the side and floor* I'm guilty as charged. I wasn't as productive this month.

In all of this I found that Jayda's story and world were to in depth for me to try to grow and workout with everything else I had going. I want to get through her story and make it happen, but I think I need a time where I can sit down and do nothing other than her story. Maybe when I'm on vacation in July?

So I ventured to another little piece I have, a Steampunk Romance of a fairy tale remix of sorts. The story has taken on a feel of it's own, away from the fairy tale I was using as a base for it and I'm excited for that.

Another thing I'm excited to be working at again, Flash Fiction shorts with Jackie and Blodeuedd. *sigh* These are fun and make me curious for what I could expand on. We did two this month, one had a science fiction flare to it as the second was more of an urban fantasy.

As for words... According to RoTaJanNoWriMo (which includes 10% of words read in re-writes) I got out 3,047 words. That's not much. But it is re-writes and they take me FOREVER.

The actual numbers my projects increased by, 2,761 words:
Steampunk Romance:  1664 words
Flash Fiction 2:  468 words
Flash Fiction 3:  629 words


Unlike Melissa, I didn't have a whole lot going on during the month of May. Naturally, that should've meant so much extra time to work on my writing. Turns out, not so much. Most of me free time was used planting my garden and finally enjoying any nice weather that came my way. I caught up on reading as well, using these as research (that's how I justified it anyway) in what to do or not and maybe ideas of how to improve my work. The good thing is that the more I read great writing, the more I'm convinced to keep trying...not to say what I have or will have is great, but that's the goal eventually (one can hope ;).

I totally agree with Melissa about her struggles with Jayda. I have the same issue and really, it's just that I have no idea where to go from here. More needs to be added but I feel I need to absorb my first draft, wear it like a second skin, so I know it all inside and out as I try to expand and alter what I already have to make it even slightly palatable. It's intimidating as hell, hence the constant procrastination.

In the mean time, I did write the two Flash Fictions, as Melissa mentioned. Also, I woke up one morning after an incredibly vivid dream and started making notes for a new project, potentially a YA one. If I can get a bit of world-building done, this might be a fun one to work on. Lastly, I actually did some research for the WIP that I most want completed as well as a few notes. Here's my tally:

Flash #2       467
Flash #3     1190
YA outline   757
WIP            450
Grand total 2864

I would be happier with that number if it was a weekly total but at least it's something anyway.


Okay Jackie. After seeing the month we had, I'm going to set a goal. June is going to be a month of setting new habits (or attempting to). I'm going to exercise and re-write alternating days during the week, Sunday through Thursday. I'm hoping to get at least half way through this story. Now remember, this story is just shy of 40,000 words so shouldn't be to bad. I would like to say I'll get through the whole thing, but there is loads to grow so at least half way is my starting goal. But I'm going to push for more.


I'm going to try to work on the same kind of every-other-day schedule as Melissa, providing I can keep it consistent around real life events too. Of huge note for me is an event featuring Diana Gabaldon on the 20th, which should be amazing :)  For the writing, I would like to see at least 10k added to my work in progress and then maybe a 2 or 3k extra words from Flashes and other notes I make along the way. I've been lax in actually getting the work done so if I can meet this goal I'll be happy; if I can beat it, crazy happy dancing will ensue ;)

Have a great June all!