Weekend Writing Warriors #6

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This 8-sentence snippet is unrelated to my others. It comes from my short story entitled Rapunzel which was published in DM du Jour, a blog associated with the online magazine Danse Macabre.

If you’re interested in posting a snippet of your own story yourself or want to read things that other people have written, mosey on over to Weekend Writing Warriors. Every week they have a new sign-up sheet for people interested in showing their work to the world.

– 8-sentence snippet from Rapunzel

When he reached the top and saw her, he was mesmerized. She was the most beautiful woman in all the lands and he wanted her for his wife. They vowed their undying love to each other and consummated their union of the heart. He left through the window, swearing to return after he informed his father of the wondrous beauty he had found.

That is how the story of her tower spread – by word of mouth amonst the courtiers and servants, then peasants and tradesmen till it was known to all the lands. And the prince? He remained true to his word like a valiant prince should and rode to the tower the next day.

He did not return.

– End snippet –

I’ve always loved fairytales and have been toying with my Rapunzel idea since I was in college and had to write an essay in Japanese for my Japanese language class. Yep! My idea started out 100% in Japanese. I was in either the 300 or 400 level class so I was almost done with my minor.

It started off with a horror story (written in Japanese for Japanese class) about a grad student who’s working late at night in their building. At the time I was really into Japanese horror so I tried to emulate the style etc in my story. Despite getting low marks on my essay (I’ve always sucked at Japanese), I loved the story’s idea. So the next time we had a similar assignment, I wrote Rapunzel.

That early draft was like a condensed version of what currently stands published and it focused more on the ending than on the beginning. I mean, come on. It was written in Japanese. Do you think I wanted to burn my brain up writing 3 whole typed pages of Japanese when I sucked at it? Good grief! Of course not! Besides, the assignment didn’t call for something that long. I think it turned out to be a little less than 2 pages. Although the teacher again gave me low marks, I liked this idea as well. So well, in fact, that I never forgot it and eventually wrote it again from scratch.

It was actually changed very little. I kept it as horror and just expanded on the bones from the original story.

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“Gloomy Days” Does Not Equal “Bad Days”

I’m not a morning person but I try to make the best of any situation and if I have to be up with the sun, so be it.

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Looking out at the world at 7am though, I did NOT like what I saw.image

Despite this gloomy day (and the past days this week have been similarly rainy though not so gloomy), I have had an AWESOME morning! In fact, every day this week has been stupendous…with my writing.

I came to a point in NT2 where I had no idea what to write. It’s been this way for about the 1st 8k words actually. Then lightning hit my imagination and everything took off! For the first time in this poop story, I have direction. I knew Sophy’s story wouldn’t be done with the first book but I wasn’t sure what trials to put her through with the 2nd. I had some details but no way to get to them and no real action or conclusion after them.

Now I do and that feels AWESOME!

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Writing every day is getting easier too. In the beginning I’d sit staring at the screen with nothing coming. Maybe I’d get 300 words written in my allotted 30 minutes. Now I easily sit for 1-2 hours and crank out over 1k words each time.

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It’s a wonderful feeling. Not all of it is good of course but it’s tons better than I was writing before. Woo!

Does gloomy weather make you feel gloomy?

Dreams and Imagination

I read a book and my imagination goes crazy. Half the time the pictures in my head while I’m reading aren’t all that vivid but I still feel as if I’ve seen it all. When I’m done I can usually “see” everything that I just read. Even if actual pictures haven’t formed in my head, the impression I have is still enough for me to “see.”

Then I watch a movie like with Harry Potter or a TV like with Game of Thrones. All imagined pictures fly from my head and are replaced by what I’ve actually seen. Sometimes this is a good thing (if what I’ve seen is believable) but sometimes it can ruin the book. Of course, sometimes I downright refuse to watch the screen adaptation (Vampire Diaries) because I’m so attached to the original books and I don’t trust the adaptation.

Then it happens that I’ll watch the screen adaptation first and read the book(s) after. Game of Thrones is one of these. In fact, I got so into the show that I stopped reading the first book because I couldn’t keep up and it was driving me nuts.

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My husband is just as hooked as I am. Last night he asked when we were going to have some special time. Him being a lusty man, I figured he meant sex and I was burned out from having being in the sun all day so I started to say so. Then I looked up and saw him holding the 2 new discs from Netflix. I burst out laughing.

We had to wait till our son was in bed and then we sat down to 4 hours of Game of Thrones. I finally got to bed at 11:15.

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Lucky me proceeded to dream of Tyrion Lannister for the rest of the night. I was Sansa and Tywinn Lannister came and threatened me with bad things if I didn’t sleep with Tyrion. They’d check to see the blood on the bed afterward to make sure we’d done it.

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Lots of stuff happened after that with a guest appearance from Joffrey, who didn’t stay long, and another from Shae, who also didn’t stay long. Stuff happened and I went to take a walk around New York City. I ended up in Greenwich Village and was chased along with a couple female friends of mine by a couple guys. Then I got on a bus with 2 funny professors and went back to Tyrion.

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Not a bad dream despite the undertones of evil and danger. It wasn’t scary (I was laughing through a couple parts) and I actually quite enjoyed it.

But it’s pretty obvious I’m a little hung up on Game of Thrones. Maybe Tyrion Lannister in particular? It’s not that I find him attractive, but his character is awesome. He has the best personality!

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I think when I finally start reading the books again that I’ll be picturing the show in my head. I don’t know if that’s good or bad but since I love the show I’ll go with good.

What book-turned-show/movie do you like?

Good News Means New Goals

I wasn’t going to say anything but when I explained that to my mom, I couldn’t put my reason into words so I figured I was being silly.

I have good news…

An agent sent me an e-mail asking for the full manuscript of Night’s Treasure! That was Friday, I read the e-mail Sunday, and sent the full manuscript on Monday.

So exciting! I just about hyperventilated and had to call my parents so I didn’t implode in the middle of Starbucks. That would have been messy.

Afterwards I got my favorite Abby’s Silician pizza to celebrate. Yeah, I shouldn’t have considering I’m trying to lose weight and that so did not match up with my 8-week plan on Tone It Up, but whatever. It was the first time an agent asked for the full manuscript instead of sending a rejection or ignoring me entirely! I HAD to celebrate!

Considering Night’s Treasure is the 1st of 2 books, I figure I should now concentrate on writing the 2nd book. I’m not very far along on it. So I decided to get down to business and make a goal checklist based off of one I mentioned in a post awhile ago – Writing Goals and Scenes to Include in Stories.

Here’s my version:

Writing Goals

At the same time I’ll be working on Psyche as well though I’ll be focusing on NT2.

Do you have a goal list?

Writer’s Event at Wenatchee Library

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Event Name: Getting Published

Description: Need to know how to get published? Local author Donna Lee Anderson can help you. Bring a notebook and one to two pages of an example of your work.

Where: Wenatchee Public Library

When: Saturday, September 20 1-4pm

Free event for teens and adults. Pre-registration required. Call 509-662-5021.

Donna’s very nice. I went to another writing event at the library with her as the speaker. Although it was nerve-wracking reading my work in front of other people (you don’t have to if you don’t want to but it’s worth it), I got good feedback. Constructive criticism, not negative or hurtful.

Naturally the Salmon Festival in Leavenworth is going to be the same day. ARGH! But that starts at 10am so we can do that for awhile before getting back to town for the library event. I’ll probably be a little late but that’s okay. I mean, come on! It’s the Salmon Festival! I can’t miss that! It comes around once a year and is super fun for the kids. My son loves it.

I would give up the library event entirely if I thought we’d stay at the festival the whole time, however, I think several hours will be enough time to see everything.

I hope.

If not, then I won’t be at the library event. It won’t kill me.

Which would you choose? A writing event or a once-a-year family event?

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

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I just finished Clockwork Angel (Book 1 of The Infernal Devices) by Cassandra Clare, author of young adult series The Mortal Instruments.

Two words:

Ooooooooo! Gooooood!

There were cliches here and there but I’m not one to nit-pick when they don’t hurt the story. I’m not sure if I would’ve noticed them had I not been looking for them, but I was looking for them sooooo…

I hoped to read this book for enjoyment but I’ve come across too many books set in the Victorian Era and before that have royally failed to please me. Instead of reading purely for enjoyment, I read with criticism ready.

And I found little to criticize.

Yay!

It focused less on the Victorian Era and more on the fantastical elements of the story which was probably a very good move. For me it was more like Clare had added realistic elements to a fantasy world rather than fantasy elements to a realistic world.

While I won’t be searching for warlocks or Nephilim in the streets, I was happy to emerse myself in their world. And it was a quick, easy read. Yay! My eyes and imagination were very happy.

Have you read anything by Cassandra Clare? Care to share what you thought of it?

Weekend Writing Warriors #5

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Here’s an 8-sentence excerpt from my flash fiction story, The Mountain Prison. It’s currently waiting for me to get off my butt and start submitting it.

If you’re interested in posting a snippet of your own story yourself or want to read things that other people have written, mosey on over to Weekend Writing Warriors. Every week they have a new sign-up sheet for people interested in showing their work to the world.

– 8-sentenc snippet from The Mountain Prison

He’ll come back for me. I know he will. He wouldn’t leave me here.

Would he?

I can’t move. I can’t breathe. There are too many people. Some have shown a preference for a quick death to escape the slow wasting away from starvation.

– End of Snippet –

It’s hard picking 8 sentences from flash fiction. It’s all so condensed already. And any 8 sentences from this particular one don’t hold up well on their own. They all sounded weird for me. That last sentence in particular is too long when I take those sentences out of context. It doesn’t fit. But oh well.