Sep 13, 2015
“What is it, Father?”
Norbert walked back from the abbey slowly, his once-proud and swaggering gait now that of a careful, elder statesman. “Her Ladyship wants a unicorn,” he said.
“A unicorn? Is she mad?” Bianca took her father’s arm and guided his steps over the broken stones at the threshold of their small cottage.
“Quite. But she is very definite about...
Sep 12, 2015
Selma watched from a distance as they lowered the caskets into the ground. She scanned the faces, looking for someone she recognized. People had gathered at the graveside – neighbors, friends, the media. Such a lurid fascination they had with the words “murder-suicide.”
“–a terrible, terrible thing.” Selma caught snippets of their conversations. The mourners leaned on...
Sep 8, 2015
Arius picked up the bones, gave them a little shake, and tossed them on the ground with a grin. “What do you see there, Cassandra?” He and Balen turned their eager and expectant faces to their sister.
Cassandra peered at the bones from every angle. With narrow-lidded eyes, she cocked her head to one side, then the other, contemplating. She stepped, barefoot, around the circle, laying her...
Sep 7, 2015
Some did it for money, others for kicks. Charlene did it for both. She reached into the tarnished brass mailbox next to the Carson Mansion’s front door – one of the few homes that still had a letter box on the front porch, rather than a community box at the street corner for mail-carrier efficiency. Laziness, thought Charlene, but then she never sent snail mail, anyway. She felt around at the...
Sep 6, 2015
One week down, 24 more days to go! I don’t think I’ve set a record, yet, for month-long blogging challenge participation. It has been both easier and harder than you might expect, playing Scheherazade, coming up with a new tale each day. It’s gratifying that no one’s said, “What’s the big deal? You’re a writer, right? Isn’t that what you do, like, all the...
Sep 6, 2015
“What are you willing to die for?” Our senior History teacher, Mr. Rassmussen, threw that question out to a sea of blank looks. “Your iPhone, Mr. Wilkes?”
Wilkes’s head shot up at the mention of his name, and he tried to hide the phone, which was considerably smarter than its owner, in his lap. Mr. Rassmussen held out his hand, palm up, and waggled it impatiently. Wilkes hung...
Sep 5, 2015
I lay back on the smooth river rock and closed my eyes, basking in the cool light that slipped through the bamboo leaves. I had lain here, in this exact spot, many times. But something was off. The surface was slick and smelled of rot. I sat up and looked around. The roots of the bamboo plants curled above the water – not their usual healthy beige, but a rusty yellow-orange hue. Bits of bilious algae...
Sep 5, 2015
Eliana stretched as best her “sleep cocoon” allowed her to. A microplush womb designed to block light and retain optimal body warmth, it was a little too cozy by morning to suit her. She’d never liked camping with a “mummy bag,” either. For some, it was comforting, like an embrace. For Eliana, it was a trap. The panic would start as a tingle or an itch at the base of her skull...
Sep 4, 2015
My eyes were still trying to adjust to the darkness. I was propped up against a hard, slick concrete wall, my legs stretched straight out in front of me. My back felt bruised and sore, but cautious stretching reassured me that everything was still in working order, more or less. I felt around on the floor near me. There – just within reach was a canvas strap – that felt promising. I pulled;...
Sep 2, 2015
Kellen lay back against a mountain of down pillows, luxuriating in lavender-scented, 1500-thread count sheets. “Open,” she murmured. The blinds lifted, silently. From her penthouse apartment, Kellen had a breathtaking view as the rising sun lit up the façade of each skyscraper with a golden flash of light on glass and brushed steel. The older granite and brick buildings reflected warmer hues...
Sep 1, 2015
Julie peered into the dryer, wondering where it put the random socks it snacked on. It never gobbled whole laundry loads. Perhaps it sensed – it was one of those new-fangled “sensing” dryers, after all – perhaps it sensed that that would be unforgivable. A sock, now and again – probably worn and in need of replacing, anyway – would not be an offense likely to get it...
Aug 19, 2015
NOTHING TO DO?
by Shelley Silverstein
Nothing to do?
Nothing to do?
Put some mustard in your shoe,
Fill your pockets full of soot,
Drive a nail into your foot,
Put some sugar in your hair,
Place your toys upon the stair,
Smear some jelly on the latch,
Eat some mud and strike a match,
Draw a picture on the wall,
Roll some marble down the hall,
Pour some ink in daddy’s cap–
Now go upstairs and...
Aug 19, 2015
When I first heard of Twitter.com, I could not imagine why I would want to use it. Several writers I know dragged me into it, and after a few weeks, I began to see its value. Here are just a few reasons why writers should use Twitter:
1. Train yourself to write a complete thought in a concise 140 characters or less. (Bonus points for correct spelling, grammar, and punctuation!) Ruthlessly pare messages to...
Aug 17, 2015
“Sure, I’ll make a fool of myself in the name of beauty!” Well, it’s better than my old ballet teacher’s maxim, “Beauty must suffer!” Suffering is for ninnies. We only get one life – enjoy it.
That said – and this goes for you gents, too, because I know you’re reading this – if someone said you could lose 1-2cm of “chin fat”...
Aug 15, 2015
About a month ago, I was violently roused from a deep sleep by a pain that, once imagined as “eyeball-eating, microscopic slug beetles rolling across the eyeball, defecating bits of ground glass,” was hard to think of as anything else. Certainly nothing as mundane as “dry eyes.”
I told my doctor I was pretty sure I had pink-eye. In truth, I was pretty sure the glass-pooping dung...
Aug 5, 2015
“Laying track.” That’s Julia Cameron’s analogy, in The Right to Write, for showing up, putting in the work, and letting whatever it is that wants to be written flow through you to the page. Is it really laying track or meandering? I figure if that’s how railroads were built, it’s a wonder they don’t look more like rollercoasters squashed flat by gravity.
Aug 5, 2015
The next chapter in The Right to Write is “The Time Lie.” Basically, the time lie goes something like this: “Oh, if only I had more time, I would do that!” Or, “I keep meaning to do that, but I’m just too busy.” It’s not a question of time, really; we always manage to find or make the time for things that are really that important to us.
Aug 3, 2015
You look into the mirror every day, right? Is it really vanity to want to be sure your hair’s combed, there’s no toothpaste on your shirt, and you don’t have some weird hair sprouting from your face?
Have you looked at yourself on social media the same way – that is, viewing yourself on each of the platforms you use, such as Facebook or Twitter, to see them as the rest of the world...
Jul 27, 2015
As children, we are constantly admonished to listen. To pay attention. Speaking as an adult, I think we are the ones in need of scolding; perhaps we ought to pay closer attention and listen to the children for a change. Today’s chapter in The Right to Write is called “Let Yourself Listen.” What it deals with is whether writing is an act of taking or giving dictation – whether we...
Jul 26, 2015
I am evaluating Judgify.me as a possible platform for a future writing contest run by someone else. There are too many variables and roles, and so I am recruiting your help! This is not an actual contest, but a chance to learn the platform, kick the tires, sweep the nails out of the road, and ensure that – if it’s chosen, things run smoothly. So although it’s really not an actual...
Jul 26, 2015
What do you think of when you think of “a writer”? What adjectives do you tack on in front of the term to somehow separate yourself from, say, Stephen King or J.K. Rowling? I think we’re all setting our sights way too low. The real goal should be to write a book, throw parts of the manuscript into a cave, and watch it become a worldwide bestseller two thousand years from now.
Jul 25, 2015
Eradicating Edna is an unfinished novel dedicated to all whose “inner critic” is a bitch.
Just so no one mistakes the Book Description for the book itself! The chapters are waaaaaay down there. I seriously thought about quitting. Then I recaptured the true spirit of NaNoWriMo. I remembered what it was all about: to write a truly hideous novel of 50,000 words in 30 days.