Photo Friday

I meant to post this yesterday as a Throwback Thursday post…but I forgot.

Oops.

Oh, well! My forgetfulness worked out this time, because now I’m not scrambling for ideas on what to post today! And Photo Friday can make a brief return!

See? It’s all good! 😀

Wow, that’s phrase I haven’t used since the ’90s…

Speaking of that glorious decade of my misspent youth, today’s photo gallery features a collaborative story a friend and I wrote for Spanish class once upon a time. She did the drawing, I did the writing, and we both had a ton of fun in the process. I was actually thinking about this story (and a couple of others) a couple weeks ago as I sat at school conferences. Miss Tadpole now has my high school Spanish teacher, who told her that I used to write stories in Spanish.

Ah, the good ol’ days, when I was slightly more confident in my language skills… 😀

I ran across this the other night as I was digging through a scrapbook and praying I could find my original ACT scores. They never turned up, but this gem did, along with some other hilarious reminders of my high school days (YM covers and Tiger Beat centerfolds and “Got milk?” ads, oh my!).

My photo skills were somewhat lacking with these, so I captioned each lovely character sketch with the story.

Happy Friday, folks!

(c) 2016. All rights reserved.

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Silver Waves

foggyroadThe mist rolled in from the fields in great silvery waves, swallowing everything in its path. Sea, sky, land – nothing was spared. I sat upstairs, watching from my window as the fog consumed the world, and wondered why, if the curse was broken, everything continued to fade away.

(c) 2016. All rights reserved.

The Oaks

IMG_20141028_132905And now, a story in four little sentences:

A ring of gnarled oaks encircled an ancient house on a lonely hillside. Their tangled arms clawed the sky in supplication to the night, begging her to stay, to keep them hidden from the blinding brightness of the day. But when at last Dawn broke over the horizon, their leafy robes burst into flames, and they rained droplets of fire as the morning star watched from on high.

Afterward, when the sun had adjourned its heavenly travels and night fell once more, the trees wept in their lover’s cold embrace and wondered why, when the air turned crisp, she always let them burn.

(c) 2016. All rights reserved.

Forgotten

And now, a snippet of something that’s been eating away at my brain for the last month:

Fog hangs low in the valley, hugging the hills and kissing the trees, while the corn whispers in the fields beyond. Birds perch warily on the power lines, watching, waiting, and even the crickets have ceased their singing. The air is thick with anticipation, as if every living thing is holding its breath.

Such mornings are not uncommon as summer gives way to fall, but something is different this morning. This is an uncommon morning.

The words of an old song drift through my head as I slice through the fog with my high beams. La nuit m’a oubliée…Pourtant…je suis toujours là…Je suis toujours là…

The night may have forgotten, but I certainly haven’t, I think as I pass his house. I keep my eyes on the road, trying to forget the way he used to hug me, the kisses that used to linger on my skin long into the night after he’d gone. But it’s no use.

I can’t forget, though I would dearly like to.

Thanks to Jane Dougherty for the words of inspiration!

(c) 2016. All rights reserved.

Throwback Thursday

I’m doing something new today and participating in a Throwback Thursday event. I’ve been working on an old short story the last couple days, and while I’ve wanted to blog about it, I…haven’t. Not yet.

This seemed like the perfect opportunity to share the story again. 🙂

Ideally, I could finish this story in the next month (or maybe two). But since I ended in the middle of a scene and have no idea where I was going with it, I suspect it may take longer than that to finish. Thank goodness I made lots of notes when I started out, or I’d be totally up a creek right now.

I have my work cut out for me as it is.

If you’d like to check out some of the other things people are sharing, head on over to Part-Time Monster, Adventures of a Jayhawk Mommy, and The Qwiet Muse. I can’t wait to check out everything else later on tonight! 🙂

(c) 2016. All rights reserved.

Secretary Daydreams

Today’s challenge was to recreate a day – or, more challenging yet, an hour – in the life of, well, anyone, I suppose. I took the opportunity to write another short story. Below you’ll find an hour in the life of Abby Dunleavy, bored secretary. I hope it’s entertaining. 🙂wind

Skiing is great fun, if you know what you’re doing. I, of course, had no idea what I was doing, and was positive that the bunny hill I was careening wildly down was really a black diamond.

“Snowplow! Snowplow!” my best friend Janey yelled.

My head snapped left, then right, then dead ahead. “Where?!”

The bottom of the hill was rapidly approaching, as was the parking lot.

But the phone rang before I could crash into a parked car. I snatched the receiver out of the cradle before the first ring had finished and sighed. “Arnold Rowan and Scates, this is Abby. May I help you?”

I half listened as…

The Runaway Princess

Adrina begged every deity she could think of to keep her safe as the storm raged outside. She prayed that the waves would not find her, but her pleas fell on deaf ears.  The gods stood watch as the waves crashed against her door, one after another, seeking her in every nook and cranny till they found her at last.  When she could fight them no longer, the waves dragged her away, sobbing, and back to the sea she went, back to her father the king, back to her home and the punishment she knew awaited.

(c) 2015.  All rights reserved.

Time to write like there’s no tomorrow!

Happy November!

Yes, it’s November, otherwise known as Time-To-Write-Like-There’s-No-Tomorrow-Month!  And that’s exactly what I’ll be doing, too.  I may not be participating in NaNoWriMo this year (though I thought about doing my own unofficial version), but I did sign up for NanoPoblano and a couple of Blogging U. courses, plus I’m revising a short story and rewriting the last little bit of The Lokana Chronicles.

TPMTLCAccording to Facebook, I’ve been working on The Lokana Chronicles for a decade now.  That’s simultaneously scary, impressive, and depressing.  When I started writing it, I had a different husband, a different name, and three less kids.  So much about my life has changed since I started writing this book, including the book itself.  What started off as one book has now become two books, and what started life as a sequel has now become the third book in a trilogy.  I never dreamed that, after ten years of work, I’d still be polishing the first book (hence the depressing aspect), but I’m not giving up.  I’m gonna finish this book and then the next and then the next, and then when I’m done, I’m gonna move on to something new (that will hopefully take a lot less time to finish).

In the meantime, I’ve been exiled to deep space.  I’m hoping to survive any alien encounters and have some time to write, and if you’d like to read more about my deep space adventures, then head on over to my friend Sophie’s blog and check it out.  She’s launched quite a few people into deep space over the last several months, and everyone’s had a pretty fantastic time drifting through the final frontier.

And now I think I’ll scamper off to bed.  I really enjoyed that extra hour of sleep I got last night, but boy am I ever tired now!

(c) 2015.  All rights reserved.

Release day!

Promo_Banner_AWB_Anthology

That’s right, my lovelies, it’s release day at long last!  Starting today, you can get A World of Their Own to have and to hold, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, till death do you part.

AWB-AWOTOOddly enough, those last two bits have had a profound impact on the making of this book.  A World of Their Own is dedicated to great friend, fabulous author, and beating dragon heart of the Alliance of Worldbuilders, Lindsey J. Parsons, who died unexpectedly in January 2014.  All proceeds from this book will be donated to the World Literacy Fund.

So go on, buy a copy for yourself, your friends, your family, even that baby down the street.  Literacy is not just a privilege – it’s a right.

“A home without books is a body without a soul.”  –Marcus Tullius Cicero

Pick up your copy today, available in paperback (Amazon and Amazon UK) and e-book (here and here), and have a great weekend! 🙂

(c) 2015.  All rights reserved.

Come on along!

I finished my short story this noon.  Woo!  It feels good to be finished with a project!

Well, okay, maybe not finished in the classical sense of the word, to quote one of my favorite movies. 🙂  The first draft, though, that’s done, and it feels awesome, except for one little thing…

I’ve got a song stuck in my head.

So this ghost story calls for sensory cues, like the smell of roses and snippets of an old song (“Alexander’s Ragtime Band”, for those inquiring minds out there).  I discovered over the weekend that the song I had in mind actually had lyrics, and I was able to find an old recording of it online.  If you’ve seen Titanic, then you’ve heard the song – it’s one of the numbers that the string quartet plays as the ship is sinking.  I have that version on CD, and now I have the Billy Murray recording from 1911 (which you can listen to and download here) as well.  Woo!

But to get the proper mood, I had to weave the song throughout the story.  And to get myself in the proper mood, I listened to the song on repeat all.weekend.long.  Now it’s stuck in my head, Billy Murray singing over the Titanic soundtrack version, which let me tell you, is a little strange.  It’s also kind of fun, though – I haven’t fallen this hard for a song in quite a while.

In my search for info on the song, I learned quite a bit about ragtime, and now I’m on a major ragtime kick.  It’s a shame the genre died out so quickly because the music is really interesting, and I notice something new every time I listen to the songs (“Maple Leaf Rag” and “The Entertainer” in particular).

What about you?  What kind of music gets you in a writing mood?  Have you ever fallen in love with a song on your writing playlist and listened to it non-stop?

(c) 2015.  All rights reserved.