Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Flash Fiction (7)

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.

By:  Melissa Hayden

Sarie looked over her shoulder. She was able to keep her wings still now, as she walked through the dark forest far from the village. Everyone thought she was always hyper on fairy dust with the constant movement of her wings, ever so slight even but it was movement. Movement so they didn't see what the shades of blue, purple, and black drew when still. Her mother knew, and she was the only one.

The fairies of the earth would have thought her evil and kicked her from their band if they saw her wings still. Everything here is about living, and Sarie was scrapping by on duties by helping with small things. She was good at making paths of dirt or bare stones to sit on. She could even create benches of old wood. However, she couldn't make the beautiful flowers that shone bright in the sun like the other girls. The few flowers Sarie did make were not of vibrant colors, they were dull and dark of a death essence to them. But she couldn't bring herself to share this with the others. The strange part of it all for her was her flowers only formed from the flowers that had died and moved on to make rich soil for the next flower.

Sarie looked over her shoulder as she crept to the other side of the lake. She made this journey many times in the last ten years. Ever since she passed on Sarie's tenth birthday she'd come on the anniversary of her passing and Sarie's own birthday. She'd always sworn to Sarie she'd be there for her. Sarie needed her as she was the only one that knew what Sarie was. Sarie also made this journey every time one of the fairies passed on to be one with the land they loved. The pull from the dead was to much and she had to dispense of it somehow.

The twigs faintly shifted under her steps. The branches of the bush wilted away from her, granting her access to her spot at the lake. Sarie knelt at the lake side. She felt the thorny vine tattoos shift on her arms, swirling down her arms as she reached for the water's surface.

"Hello, mother." Sarie whispered. She didn't need to whisper but it felt...normal that way.

"Sarie dear. It's happened again?" The voice was like the wind in Sarie's ear. "I wish I could hug you, my child." The skeleton floated to the surface as the thorn tattoos swirled faster.

"It's okay mother. Coming to you and doing this is what helps make the draw subside until the spirit has passed into the earth." Sarie smiled. It was true, yet she wished her mother could hug her again too.

"There are to many passing to soon." Her mother paused then went on, "Has anyone ever seen--" Her mother started to ask.

"No mother. I've kept the skull secret. They haven't seen or figured it out. But I don't know how much longer I can keep it from them. They are expecting much more from me. More of things I can't give, like the rest." Sarie knew if she couldn't pull her own weight she wouldn't be much help to her cousins and fellow fairies.

Her mother knew her thoughts. "They will never ask you to leave for not being strong enough."

"I know mother." Sarie rushed out, "But I want to give like they give to me."

"Sarie dear, it is time." There was silence as they both were afraid to talk about it. Finally her mother went on, "My sweet bearer, you are as important as those who bring life. We haven't had one of your affiliation in far to long and they have forgotten how important you are. Your powers call upon you when one passes to the earth as you are to help guide that soul to it's next life. They will look in the ancient records, and they will find the truth. The time has come child."

"Mother, I don't know if I can. I've lived in secret for so long."

"I know. But from the whispers I'm hearing, they are going to need your calling to help them all. There are evils unlike any they've seen in the past brewing in the distance. And they are coming this way."

"I'll try mother." Sarie wiggled her fingers on the waters surface, remembering the feel of her mothers long lost soft skin.

"You need to tell them dear. And if you are shunned, don't go far. They will be calling you back soon." Sarie felt the wind curl around her in a hug fashion and curled her shoulders with it.

"Thank you mother. I should head back before I'm missed."

"Safe travels my dear." Her mother said as the skeleton slipped into the murky water of night.

Sarie stood there for a moment longer before she left. The thorn tattoos had gone still on her shoulders once again. The village had always thought her mother left to travel the world, not that she had passed on from the vibrant living. She had always hoped to become strong enough to bring her mother back from the dead, but hadn't yet come to that level. Besides, what good was it to be a necromancer fairy in the world of living?


My story is a bit shorter this week. Here's the preview and link to continue reading:

<i><b>The Darkness</b></i>, an original short story by Jackie Lester

&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;As I lay in the dark room, I thought about all of the possibilities.
&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;What if magic was real? Maybe I could grow a pair of wings. Great, diaphanous ones that could take me far away from here. They would be in shades of purple, my favourite colour, and would sparkle in the light like they&rsquo;d been constructed from some material only found on the moon. They would be beautiful and powerful and see me safely through any situation.

The rest can be read by clicking here.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Flash Fiction (6)

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.

By:  Melissa Hayden

Miamee picked up her pace. The frantic fast walk grew into a jog as she rushed through the shadows of the streets. They were following her. Always following her. The people here thought her crazy, but it wasn't possible for her to be crazy.

She slipped her hand over her short wet hair. The moisture in the air was heavy, leaving an oily condensation on her. Her breath heaved and the puffs of moisture escaped around her as she ran through the alley.

The world quickly shifted around her as she left the city behind and entered the graveyard of her kind. The kind no one knew she was. She had to face the nightmares and visions she had or be driven to this scrap yard like others before her. There was something there in those memories, she knew it. Her creator needed her or someone needed her. And she needed to find out who and why.

The air felt thinner on her sensor enhanced skin outside the city walls. Out here it was harder for her to breathe . She reached down, flipping a compartment open at her waist, and turned the knob. The air breathers would adjust to take what they needed. Miamee found on her first visit outside the city that the air was not lacking in oxygen as the city was. The city has conditioners on street corners where people huddle to inhale pure air. Miamee didn't need oxygen as people did. She still needed it, but she needed it for the steam powered heart - using less of it than the living did. She was created for that purpose and to run the errands through town that her own could not.

Miamee stepped over the wreckage of wires and metal parts. It took Miamee time to figure it out, but there is a path to follow. The analytical mind saw the path, foot step holes in the scrap that appeared to be tossed away. There were even wires outlining a direction, if you looked close enough in the design of the scattered mass of wires. Miamee smiled, knowing there was something here. She simply had to find it.

Looking down at the path Miamee didn't see it. She raised her eyes and jumped back a step, slipping on the muddy metal falling to the ground with a clatter of metal pieces around her. A head blocked her path. Miamee paused. The world grew quiet again as the scraps fell to rest once again. The head hung in the night before her it's eyes glowed red, which was new. Miamee tilted her head left then right. Kali. Miamee crept to her knees, eyes on Kali. She stood, watching Kali. Kali never moved or spoke. His head hung in the air with the night as a canvas.

Miamee's hand was before her, inches from the mask of a face that could easily bite through her treasured skin. But she reached anyway. Her fingers slipped over the smooth metal of his forehead. Down the bridge of his nose to his cheek. His cheek was cracked. Had someone hit him with something harder than his metal frame? Miamee felt the moisture escape her eyes, something her creator saw fit to allow her body to do to fit in with the humans she would be around.

Miamee's other hand came up, seeing he was harmless, to his jaw. With a click under the jaw his mouth swung open with a scream of metal on metal, causing Miamee to flinch. Her hand slipped to the jaw joint on the other side and a click of a button, hidden from view, was pressed.

Miamee didn't know how she knew what to do, but she did. Her body moved without her command. With a click from Kali's head, the tongue popped open on the tip and a note slid out. What did Kali have to share with her?


Preview of (untitled), an original short by Jackie:

Maire walked through the woods, careful where she stepped in case anything was tucked under the loose leaves that covered the ground. The patrols had been through here earlier and had given her crew the all clear but there was just so much crap all over the place. This would be slow going.
She pulled the rolling cart along behind her, the wood creaking as it bounced over unseen roots. Her scanner detected nothing in the vicinity and she grumbled in frustration, wishing she could go faster but tied down by the bulky equipment she needed for the clean up

To continue reading, click here.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Writing Update - June

We all have goals each month. Mostly realistic goals. But! We have that one dream goal. You know, the one that you know you most likely are not going to accomplish, but damn wouldn't it be nice if you did. Yeah, that one. I had one for this month. And I feel a little bummed I didn't reach it. Realistically, I knew I wouldn't but I so wanted to surprise myself.

What was it? To get through a full first reading of my novella story and have changes done and to a ground-zero draft. Haha. I laugh now as I might be about half way through the story now, maybe slightly over that. I knew I could reach that goal, but I really would have felt great if I had.

But I will wear the tall, proud feeling for what I did accomplish in June.

Through the month I've been working real hard to keep my nose to the page and the lead scribbling. Now, does that mean the marks are any more than scribbles? Heaven's I hope so. lol.

I've been trying a different tactic with the re-writes with this novella story (still nameless - I'm terrible at these things). I print a section or two, which range from 700 words to slightly over 2,000, then read through it with a pencil in hand. It might take one night or two to get through the section then the next night I sit down at the computer and add in the changes. Sometimes while doing this I make a few more changes as the whole section is fresh in my mind too.

What I'm finding is that many of the shorter sections I can add a few hundred words to. No not much, but a hundred or two hundred words, hey it helps. I knew when writing this, as a Camp NaNo project, that I was missing lots of great moments between characters. I *hopefully* am smoothing out those moments that were choppy and dropped. Oh, don't get me wrong, there are still TONS of missed opportunities. This is only to get me to a rough, rough first draft. But I'm doing it. I feel I'm getting there. That's what's important.

By the count at my Facebook page RoTaNoWriMo (which includes words from a formula for reading in re-writes and Flash Fiction counts) I came out with a total word count for the month of:  5,350

Going by the Novella size, what I've actually added in words:  2,977
Also we had Flash Fictions totaling:
   2 Flash Fictions: 1st at 633 words
                             2nd at 780 words.

Onward I go into July with high hopes and lots of writing to add. I know there is a whole scene I wanted to add that I didn't think of until after I finished this novella. And, with thinking about more stories here I think the ending has to change drastically. Yes, there is lots to do here in the last half of the book, it might even be more time consuming than the first half. ;)

Well, I had big hopes last month for a massive word count addition by the end of June, 10k to be exact. Aaaand, I came nowhere close. Much of the problem is that re-writes are definitely slow going. It didn't help that I didn't work on it a little bit each night as I should have. Things were looking promising for a bit when I sat down one night and, from the beginning, added over 500 words into the first page and a half alone. It just didn't happen frequently enough and stalled as a result.

I do have my Flash works for the month to count in, so not a total failure, but still, I know I can do better and will strive to make that happen. (As I write this, I realize I've just spent a whole weekend NOT writing. I'm hanging my head in shame...)

Final tally:
WIP:      570
Flash 4:  922
Flash 5:  797
Total    2289

Meh, not what I'd hoped. I do understand though that unless I'm working on the re-writes constantly (which is hard to do when working full-time and other life stuff), it will be slow going. I've reconciled my thoughts to that but also given myself the stern talk about working more often, even if it works out to only a 1/2 hour each day. Every little bit will help.

And on the note of talking to myself (that happens a lot, don't tell anyone), I want to mention that I've taken to reading my work out loud to make sure I'm maintaining the tone I want. From writing essays at school etc., it's easy to slip into more formal vernacular. This results in a very boring read, I tell ya. I knew someone that could only read while saying the words out loud. I thought this was sheer crazy talk but now totally understand the value in it. Give it a try and you'll see what I mean :)

For July, I hope to get through a chapter or two of re-writes. I don't think I'll commit to a particular word count but target more a percentage of the overall document. I think at the moment there are 40 chapters in my story, so that would mean 5% re-written. If I get more great, if not, at least I'm still working on it.

Hope your month goes well and you get to write like crazy too!