Tuesday, January 31, 2012

DWP - Prompt : Questions and Answers

Today was a really tough one for me. Lots of things going on, things that impact my life, things that I can't control. I never do well with that. I am one of those "scheduled" people. Who writes in a calendar where they are suppose to be, when they are suppose to get there and who they are suppose to be with. So when three unexpected things come up and FUBAR my whole day, it makes me physically ill. Call it undiagnosed OCD or severe anxiety, hell call it whatever you want but I've got it and today I've got it real bad.

Why the hell is it that they call it OCD anyway? Wouldn't it have been just as easy to name it Compulsive Disorder Obsessive at least the letters would be in the right order.

I wasn't in a very creative mood this evening, couldn't be with what I did. So all I have for you is a bit of dialog. I used the piece to work on ways to transition from one person speaking to another without saying "he said" "she said" obviously you have to use those words together in a bit of dialog but there are creative ways to go about not saying it or to add more description or action to the sentence so it's not just "she said" cause lets face it, that's bloody well boring to read.....


“Hey kids, whatcha doing?” Katherine said as she put the peach buckets on the counter.

Heidi rolled the dice. “Six.” She said aloud to no one in particular. Then began moving her token and replied “We’re playing Trivia Pursuit Junior and I just got Purple! Whoohoo! I’m gonna win.”

“ Heidi! Stop gloating. Have you and your brother finished your homework already?”

Jack groaned.

“I take it that means you haven’t even started. One more question then get to the table.”

“Okay mom.” Jack said with a huge sigh.

Marc came in from the garden through the utility room door, removed his rubber boots and began washing his hands in the slop sink.

Jack read the question aloud “Which company coined the following slogan; you’ve got questions, we’ve got answers?”

Marc yelled over the rushing faucet “Radio Shack.”

“Dad!” The kids screamed in unison.

Monday, January 30, 2012

DWP - Prompt : Roof Tops ? Yeah Not So Much......

“The Cu Sith are coming!” Lysandra exclaimed.

Seth, the Lord of Darslan went pale and the once silent hall erupted with angry protests from the courtiers within. “The Cu Sith, hhhhere?” he stammered, but quickly recovered. “Guards! Ready your ...”

Lysandra cut him off in an instant. “My Lord, there is more. The Cu Sith are traveling with Oliana the Mage.”

Numerous gasps escaped the mouths of the unsuspecting crowd. A woman at one of the tables to the right of Seth screamed and then promptly fainted.

Annunciating each word as though it gave him great pains Seth bellowed “Oliana coming here!” He pounded his fist upon the table. “With the Cu Sith no less.”

Though somewhat amused by his tantrum, Lysandra continued on without hesitation. “The alliance between them would certainly be unstable given their history. Yet, there must be a justifiable reason why they would enter into such an agreement. The cause must be one they both deem important enough to put aside their differences. If that is the case and you threaten Oliana’s existence Kaelan and Darien will cut your men down.”

“Kaelan and Darien! Kaelan and Darien!” Seth laughed, as though the whole conversation had been a joke at his expense. “The Alpha would never leave his pack behind without his brothers guidance, you must be mistaken Lysandra.”

Lysandra’s voice became intense. “The High Priest, Orion La Geor, sought me out in Dumbarton and insisted I meet with him. He commanded me to arrive in Darslan before the next full moon, to inform you of their arrival.”

Seth stared at her unblinking, his mind racing with a wide range of defensive strategies. At last he shouted “Lower the gates, Scouts to the rooftops, Archers at the ready.”

But it was already too late, Kaelan, the largest of the two hounds swiftly shot through the hall’s arched entrance. With astounding agility he leapt deftly between the guards and jumped from table to table spilling platters of food and steins of ale onto the hall’s unfortunate attendants. With Darien not more than a few strides behind, Kaelan sprang up onto the Dias. He immediately launched himself at Seth knocking him backward and causing him to sprawl across the floor. Kaelan then stood, paw pressed firmly into Seth’s chest, mouth menacing and dripping saliva “Hold still foolish human.” he whispered so only Seth could hear.

The shocked crowd was stunned into silence. Then maniacal laughter suddenly filled the air, the crowd turned in the direction of the din, to see Oliana floating low to the floor on a cloud of mist. She tilted her head quizzically and looked toward the disgraced Seth. “Naughty, Naughty pet, didn’t your mum ever teach you not to play with your food?”

Sunday, January 29, 2012

DWP - Prompt : The Way I Write

 



It starts with just a thought, a mere fantasy.
Then soon a world takes shape.
With just a vague idea of what's to be,
I start to write. My own escape.

(Image Author - Unknown)

DWP - Prompt : The Grey Area

I could not think of anything interesting to write about for this prompt so I wrote a bit of dialog. Without fail stories involving typical teenagers will contain a bit of detail about school, teachers, classroom or assignments. Since I want to write books for children, it seemed a perfect time to work on writing a classroom scene that appeared to be authentic.

 



“Good Morning class.” Mrs. Game said as she entered room 305. “Welcome to Ethics 101. Please take out your books and turn to page fifteen, Animal Experimentation.”

A moan came from somewhere in the back of the room. Mrs. Game flashed a knowing smile before asking “Who can tell me what Ethics is?”

The hand of a pinch-faced brunette shot up immediately and without waiting to be called upon she started to speak. “Ethics is the study of morals that regulate a person’s behavior.”

Mrs. Game nodded. “Yes. Very good. In this class you will learn that each of us is guided by a different set of morals. These morals are specific to our culture and upbringing. Participation in classroom discussions will be rewarded. However differences of opinion may spark some debate among your classmates so please be respectful of other beliefs and conduct yourselves appropriately.” Mrs. Game quickly scanned the room, then turned on her heel and flipped her book to page fifteen.

“Alright then, Section one. Is it morally acceptable to experiment on non-human animals to develop products and medicines that benefit human beings? This topic has been a grey area for lawmakers. Differences of opinion have enraged animal activists and hindered drug testing by pharmaceutical companies. We are going to split into two groups. Everyone for experimentation go to the left side of the room. Everyone against it go to the right. You have thirty minutes to prepare your case. Your arguments will be heard before the end of class today.”

Friday, January 27, 2012

DWP - Prompt : The List

The List prompt is interesting and also very challenging. Here is how it works. Pick any two off of the LIST and include them in your writing. These are the objects we were offered today.

- a fishing rod
- a basket filled with balls of multicolored yarn
- paint
- a red Chevy pickup truck, covered in fresh snow

This is my response.
It's a little unconventional, I know.




Dear Auntie Persephone,

How are ya? I am doing alright.

We got to the cottage on Wednesday bout lunchtime. The place looks just like it did in those pictures ya showed me but the ole picket fence needs to be mended and could use a fresh coat of paint.

There is a kid up here bout my age, maybe a little older, staying at the Moose Head Lodge just down the hill. Her name is Ophelia. She's here on vacation with her grandmother but she ain't been havin' much fun. All her ole gran will do is sit in one of them huge rockers on the lodges front deck. She just sits there all day with her little basket of yarn crocheting the most god awful toboggans.

It's really cold out on the lake, not at all like back home. Everyone here dresses in layers of clothes so thick that they look like stay-puffed marshmallow men.

It snowed last night so we had to dig out dad's old Chevy pickup this morning. Then after breakfast he went off to Ed's Bait and Tackle to get himself a new fishing pole. He fell asleep in the boat again and a big fish came along and made off with his old one.

Well Auntie, Ophelia will be along soon. Were gonna go explorin' before poppa gets back then were all headed down to the lake.

Wish you were here,

Love,
Cassandra

DWP - Prompt : Crows

 



A beauty, the phantom queen
flies the cloudless skies above.
She is the bringer of fertility
but very often not of love.

This godess bestows war and death
to all the people of her land.
While her warriors cut them down
one by one, bloody swords in hand.

The Irish fear this diety
for the Morrigan they all know.
She has come to impart upon them strife
in the form of the crow.

(Image Artist - Unknown)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

DWP - Prompt : Outcasts (Two Haiku's)



Hung from high above
He gave his life out of love
Now he reins supreme




Goth girl tries to hide
her pain and disgrace, under
black hair and pale face.


(Image Artist - Unknown)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

DWP - Prompt : The Grifter (Screen Play - 1 Scene)



EXT. WALBERG'S DEPARTMENT STORE - NIGHT.


The alley behind Walberg's is dimly lit and cluttered with shipping crates, empty pallets, and over-flowing dumpsters. Loose crumbled bits of paper, empty soda pop bottles, a solitary shoe, and partially empty fast food containers lay scattered about intermittently.


GAMBIT runs into view from the right. He stops near the source of the light, so his face is visible. He quizzically scans the alley. All is quiet.


GAMBIT
(Soft but Determined)
I’m comin’ Mon Ami


STORM hair cackling, her eyes rolled back into her head, floats down from above. Her arms are spread out to the side but her body maintains an upright position.


GAMBIT
(confused)
Where’d it go?

STORM
(Authoritative)
We’ll have to find a way to get inside.


GAMBIT
(Smirking)
Pick a card, any card.


STORM
What is it with you and those cards, Cajun?


GABMIT throws two Cards fueled by kinetic engery. An explosion occurs which blows a large hole in the back of the building. The shadows of a crowd of people can be seen through the smoke and rubble running toward the front exit.


GAMBIT
(Laughing)
Stormy, It looks like we've got ourselves a full house.



(Image Artist - Unknown)

DWP - Prompt : The City In The Sky (The Blackout Part 3)

Lysandra sat low in her saddle, leaning forward she urged Zamira to gain speed and continue to follow the road way beneath them.  The countryside was picturesque; covered in lush green grass and pink and white wild flowers. She closed her eyes and felt the suns warmth upon her face. The wind rushing past set her long white hair dancing in rhythm to the twist and turns of its currents.  She had always loved flying; it made her feel limitless and free.  “There is no time for reverie today.”  She chastised herself, knowing that her current flight was one of great importance.


Clouds quickly rolled by and she scanned the terrain below, looking for any signs of life.


The Highland Plains held few obstacles. From a proper altitude the pair could see all the way from Madhuk Lake to the mountain city of Darslan; which they were quickly approaching.


“Zamira, the courtyard ought to be big enough for a proper landing.”  Lysandra yelled to her mighty friend.


Zamira nodded and slowed as she entered the mist that canopied Darslan. The city was nestled among the clouds and visibility was nil. The air was heavy, thick and wet making it hard to breathe.  They flew on and dived left as the first of the towns spires abruptly came into view.  Zamira circled twice before locating the courtyard and starting her decent.  Her pale blue wings fluttered just enough to keep them upright as she lowered the bulk of her massive purple body and prepared for landing. Steam loosed from her nostrils and she touched down without incident.


Lysandra slid out of the saddle careful to avoid the barbs of Zamira’s scales and spoke quickly, “Zamira, remain here. I shall bring news from His Majesty and will require your counsel.”  


“I shall await your return.” Came Zamira’s telepathic reply.


Her flowing skirts, trailing in her wake Lysandra ran down the garden walk, up the castle stairs and pushed past the guards who bowed as she entered into the Great Hall.  


Upon seeing her each member of the crowd turned quiet and watched with awe as she walked purposefully down the aisle to the head table.  When she reached the dais she bowed respectfully and much to the amazement of the courtiers present, Seth, the Lord of Darslan, rose, spoke her name, and bowed in return.  


Upon straightening, his booming voice resonated off the walls of the now silent hall, “Why have you come, Dragon Rider?”

Sunday, January 22, 2012

DWP - Prompt : My Type

Today's Prompt,  a four line poem about your type.

A rare and valiant soldier,
Though the fight is somewhat grave,
As the universal donor,
My Type O, your life will save.





(Image Artist - Unknown)


Saturday, January 21, 2012

DWP - Prompt : The Band




Today the family went to Silver Springs for my daughters 11th Birthday. The twins had a really good time looking at all the exhibits, watching the animals and riding the carousel. But if you asked them what they liked the best they would say the petting zoo, jeep safari and glass bottom boats, as those were the big hits of the day.

The park is about two hours away from our house, so it's 11:30 pm and I'm just sitting down to write. I'm exhausted from walking and the drive but i'm determined to write something everyday, so here I am banging away at the keys.

I'm also very thankful, today's prompt is a four line prose about The Band. I read the responses from everyone else, which was easy because for one they are really short and two for the second day in a row I'm getting a really late start.  Many of the other authors wrote about musical bands so I decided to switch it up and try and think of a different kind of band.

This is what I came up with:

"The wedding ring symbolizes unity because it is an unbroken circle without beginning or end. Today Abigail and Edward will exchange rings as they vow to join their lives together and love one another unconditionally. May I have the rings?"

Edward turns to Hugh his best man, and holds out his hand.

"Oh, yeah, sorry mate." Hugh says as he quickly rifles through the pockets of his suit and comes up empty.

Edward pales almost instantly and angrily blirts out "Bloody Hell! Hugh you daft git! Don't tell me you forgot the band!"


(Image Artist - Unknown)

Are you curious....... About Continuations?

I thought some of  you might be interested to know what the outcome was of that strange little story I was telling you about yesterday.  So I'm going to post it here. Please take note of where one author left off and another started.  It was a really difficult task and each one of these writers deserves a lot of credit for their contributions.  Feel free to comment, especially on the section I wrote.


***

As dawn arrived the city woke as it usually did. With blaring and beeping alarms. With muttered, mumbled, miscellaneous curses. With hot showers, cold showers, no showers. With cereal, with toast, with eggs and bacon. With coffee, with tea, with juice.

Conversations were photocopies of the ones that had gone on the day before, and the day before that, and the day before that. Silences were no less tense, no more comfortable than usual.
The kids got along as they always had, or had not. Their parents parted ways with no change in affection, no subtle differences in meaning.


All was as it usually was.


But as each citizen of the city emerged from their homes, apartments, lofts, they quickly realized that this was no usual day.


Miss Jones, Miss Smith, Miss Alessi, all young women sassily dressed; make-up freshly applied; eyes bright, sparkling, mischievous, left their respective apartment blocks at the same time, give or take a footstep, each walked about five steps, heading for a bus stop, and each stopped, one slender, toned, bestockinged leg held just off the ground. All around them visual echoes hung in the air, shimmering and only slowly fading away.

"Oh...," they said, looking around them more carefully. Birds flew through air that seemed as thick as molasses, seemingly caught in slow motion as a trail of slowly-fading birds hung motionless behind them; cats leaped up from the ground, their afterimages showing how they bunched their muscles and then stretched lithely out, and leaves fluttered in wonderful helices forming transient, colourful curtains.

"Oh," said Miss Alessi, alone this time. "They've solved Xeno's Paradox."


Miss Alessi, having resolved her plurality, felt very “together”, as it were. The sessions with her therapist, Dr Wiki, were paying off. It was as though the plurality of her multiple personalities within had finally integrated into one, balanced whole. This empowered her with an energy she’d never before possessed, like the whole was greater than the sum of its parts.

She decided it was time to enrol in the NY marathon. She knew she was tempting fate by doing so, testing whether Zeno’s Paradox was really solved or whether it was yet one more illusion. But that’s whatvevery scientist worth their salt would do...Repeat the experiment.

She took her place at the starting line. The tortoise, the hare and several Greek philospher-celebrities were noticeable amongst the crowd.

After the gun sounded, they began their race.

Progress was tedious. Every step forward was almost followed by two back, so it appeared. In incremental amounts, they moved forward with maddeningly smaller steps each time. When it looked like the hare would gain, the tortoise moved forward. This paradox test looked like it was failing.
’This Universe is frustrating’, thought Miss Alessi.

But by the power of her thought something changed, almost imperceptibly.


What is imperceptible at first, becomes obvious in hindsight. And the flash of light that, well, flashed, was blinding.

“The Universe is not frustrating.”

Ms. Alessi looked around.

“Who said that? And why would you say that?”

A man in flowing robes, a beard, and a halo appeared before her. She knew him, as any human would.

“Deus Ex Machina, is that you?”

“But of course, my lamb. I am here to free you from your philosophical gymnastics. To set you right. To burn this bitch down.”

And with a flourish and a magic word, all seemed right to her. For a moment. Then everything felt off again, too easy. Because it was.

Deus Ex Machina, Dee to his friends, sensed her worry.

“Alright kid, I sense your worry, so I’ll give you a chance. Ask me one question, the one you feel is central to life, that you NEED to be answered. But first before that, can we order a pizza?”


"Pizza?" she asked, now utterly perplexed.

"I hope that's not your one question, he answered as he directed them downthe street to your Average Joe's Pizza parlor.

The neon lights proclaimed it as such. Still in shock Alessi sat down while Dee ordered a Everything Special. Once the Pizza had arrive and Dee had eaten a slice, he looked to her.

"Have you thought of your question?"

Alessi shook her head. "No, I'm still..."

"Have a piece of pizza," Dee handed one to her, it'sll help you think.


While the pizza may indeed have helped her think, the wine that Alessi drank did little to support her cognitive function. At what would normally have been considered an early hour for her, she found herself staggering out of Average Joe's Pizza with her new bestest friend ever, that she really really loved and- then she tripped on a cobblestone, snapping the heel from her Jimmy Choo shoe. Her favourite Jimmy Choo shoooe in the whole wide world everrr and now it was broken and she was wailing like a baby.

Dee, being a civilised sort, did everything possible to keep Alessi upright. More or less. And steered her in the direction of home.

As they neared her apartment block, Alessi looked around. Funny old deja vu feeling. She suddenly noticed her reflection in a shop window, and there she saw herself standing with her broken Jimmy Choo heel in her hand, clinging to Dee. Only, except - and it must be the drink, she thought - she and Dee looked a lot like Miss Jones and Miss Smith, both of whom she'd met at a book signing for that fabulous Dr Marc bestseller "Continuations". She hadn't paid them much attention at the time, but she would recognise them anywhere. And now, here they were.

"What the?!"

Dee put out a hand to steady Alessi. "Is that your one central-to-life question?"


Miss Alessi shook Dee's supporting hand off her arm and straightened her shoulders. As a life time reflex kicked in she pulled a lipstick from her purse and applied it carefully using the window as a mirror. "Don't touch me. Don't ever touch me without my permission," she said. 

The Deus Ex Machina looked startled then began to chuckle. "I'll say one thing for this century, it kicks the Greeks ass all over the place. No woman would have dared speak to me like you just did. I find it somewhat refreshing." He flicked a speck off his robe which immediately turned into a bird and flew off. 

Having finished applying her lipstick, Toledo Rose Red, Miss Alessi tilted her head and observed them standing there side by side. "You know your just a figment of my imagination," she said. 

Dee laughed again, he raised his arms high over his head and sent bolts of lightning shooting into the air. "I know," he said.

(Krystin Scott  - ME )

The door opened, then closed, and it wasn’t long before Don appeared in the living room. 

“Your late, everything okay?” I said. 

He smiled apologetically, “Yeah, everything’s fine, it was just a rough day at work. The doors were put in upside-down and the material to finish the upstairs never arrived.”

I shook my head and sighed “Well grab your dinner out of the microwave and come sit down.”

He walked to the kitchen, then returned only a minute or two later. “What are you watching?” he asked as he shoveled a spoonful of mashed potatoes into his mouth.

“A SyFY on Zeno’s Paradox. It’s really strange one. Zeno is this Greek philosopher who believed that motion is nothing but an illusion and the whole movie is based on his theories. So in the beginning there are these three ladies, they starting their normal day when all of a sudden animals start moving in slow motion leaving visible trails, like some kind of acid trip. This makes the one girl Miss Alessi thinks the problem of the paradox has been solved and she decides to test it by running the NY marathon. But her test fails and then a god-like man with robes and a halo shows up but he’s not god and he does magic. Miss Alessi knows him by name; she calls him Deus Ex Machina.”

Don interrupts, “Well that’s a pretty good name for him, given what it means and all.”

“I know, right?” I say and then go on to explain further. “So the magic guy, Dee, he’s gonna let Miss Alessi ask him any question she wants and he promises to answer it but before he’ll do that she has to bring him to get pizza!”

“Pizza?” he says perplexed.

“Yeah pizza, can you believe it?” I ask. “Then Miss Alessi drinks too much wine and gets totally wasted and Dee has to help her to get home from the pizza joint. While their walking they pass by a window and it shows their reflection, but it’s not their reflection at all. It’s Miss Jones and Miss Smith, the two chicks from the beginning of the movie. And as if that’s not weird enough right after Dee turns dust into a bird, Miss Alessi tells him that he’s just a figment of her imagination. Then he goes and shoots lightening from his hands up into the air.”

Amused Don asked “Why did he do that?”

“I don’t know” I replied. “I was talking to you and I didn’t get to see the end of the show. “


Miss Alessi stared at the big screen TV in the next window over and gaped at the image as the sound played over the crummy speakers outside the shop. On the screen a couple sat on the couch in front of their television, in standard sitcom fourth wall layout, and chatted, apparently about her.

“I don’t know” the woman replied to a question the man had asked. “I was talking to you and I didn’t get to see the end of the show.”

Alessi let out a small yelp when the program suddenly broke to commercial. She turned, remembering her companion.

“Hey Mac, did y--?” She stared at the empty street and after gawping for a moment or two just sighed and rubbed at her temples.

“OK,” she thought, “that has got to be the wine talking. But then again, didn't I have the wine after I met Mac?”

She turned back toward the pawn shop television and almost tumbled to the ground as she stepped down on her heelless shoe. The TV was now playing an infommercial . With a snarl she kicked off both shoes, grabbed them by the straps and started walking gingerly toward home, her brain spinning.

As she fumbled with her keys in the lock a small tortoise sped past behind her on the street, trailing a series of kinescopic afterimages. She bumped the door closed with her tush and dropped the keys on the entry table.

Outside, an astonishingly athletic man came to a halt in the street, gasping for breath. He looked up the street to where the trail of tortoise images faded into the distance, drew a ragged breath and pushed on.

Friday, January 20, 2012

DWP - Prompt : Continuations (The Blackout - Part 2)

Holy Bejesus! The writing prompt for today is continuations... This is where one person starts with a snippet of story and every writer there after adds a few paragraphs onto it.  So far the story is about the solution to Zeno's Paradox. Not familiar with the Paradox I googled it to find out what exactly Zeno's issue was and came up with "the belief in plurality and change is mistaken, and in particular that motion is nothing but an illusion."  Okay seriously? Motion an illusion?  This is way to science fiction / science fact for me to deal with and I don't want to touch it. I'm hoping that the authors before me write a good bit and once I see what their intentions are I can jump in later possibly write a transitional paragraph or two, discuss how someone is feeling or quite possibly kill someone off. Yes I would be better suited for any of those tasks. Science is not my thing, if I write about this topic I'm going to totally screw it up.

In the spirit of continuations I did write another snippet of story from "The Blackout" prompt.  I hope you like it.



Tossing and turning Oliana fitfully slept.  The foliage of the Caledonian Forest she had tucked around her held her warmth and would provide some protection from the morning dew but offered little else.  Visions of the past haunted her dreams.  They flicked in her mind, jumping from one event to another. She saw her mother and father, both mages, had been well received by the people of Giffnock when they entered the settlement.  And her subconscious knew that in return they had elected to stay and provide their services as healers to the town’s people and their livestock.


She was so little when they had come, barely eight, but still she remembered.  These were happy times.  In the year and a half she had spent within the small village she had learned how to tend to their afflictions and became a skillful healer.  She had a unique affinity for animals and although she knew little of the magical arts, she had gained enough knowledge to be self-reliant.


The scene shifted.  She was picking herbs in the garden when she heard the first sounds of the stampede.  Looking out into the distance she saw a black mass moving toward her, encompassed in a cloud of dust, with colored flags flying high above. Its presence did not bode well.  The rogue warriors came ever closer knocking down fences and trampling those who got in the way.  The villagers were screaming and running for the safety of their homes. Laundry was pulled to the ground, while crates and baskets lay overturned their contents scattered through the streets.


She still held the half empty pannier of meadowsweet and her arms ached to put it down. But Oliana stood frozen, unable to do anything but watch as her parents bolted from their small cottage. She saw them work together to combat the raiders, drawing upon nature to thwart their advances. Few of the towns folk had weapons to aid in their own defense and so it was not long before her parents were singled out as the opposers.


A gesture from the leader of the barbaric horde was all that was needed; arrows sailed through the air and found their targets.  Her parents slumped forward and fell to the earth one after the other.  The trance was broken. Oliana screamed and dropped the pannier in mid run, desperately trying to reach her parents through the chaos.


It was too late, although they had time to console each other; both were dead before she made it to their side.  Carefully she took her fathers ring from his finger and stashed it away in her shoe.  Then after looking around again, she removed her mother’s necklace and tucked it deep within the confines of her bodice. Moments passed, denial came first, acceptance later, and then anger.  The emotions flooded her mind and clouded her judgment.  


She rose and concentrated all her efforts on the leader, intent on killing him.  However all she managed was to pelt him with small hailstones.  Amused by her antics he motioned again.  The soldier to his right rounded his horse and rode toward Oliana.  He wound his fingers through her thick black hair, jerked her up and laid her small frame across the front of his saddle.  


She screamed again and again but this time her sleeping self screamed with her.  None of the other villagers tried to help. They wouldn’t risk themselves for a burdensome orphan girl.  They pacified themselves with the knowledge that she was an outsider, a mage, not of their kind, and just watched as she was stolen away.  


Crying Oliana woke. These humans, they were her friends. They knew what fate awaited her and yet they did nothing.  They had betrayed her, and she hated them for it.   Years of torment had twisted her now broken mind. She soothingly twirled a dark curl between her fingers, smiled sinisterly and thought aloud.  “Almost dawn, the Cu Sith should be along shortly.” 


(Image Artist - Unknown)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

DWP - Prompt : The Blackout (Part One)







On a small outcropping of rock the three stood looking down at the fires below.

Darien, the smallest among them spoke first.  “By count there appears to be twelve, brother.  Give or take a few. That’s thirty humans if they have a full camp.”  

Kaelan sighed, “Do you see no way around them?” 

Darien scanned the encampment's surroundings once more before replying, “Nay brother, the rivers waters run too swift to carry us along unharmed.  Changing course would put us behind; we must be in Darslan by the next full moon.”

Seeing no other option the two turned to look at the third.  Kaelan raised an eyebrow. “Any help you can offer mage?” he spat in disgust. 

Oliana pulled back the hood of her cloak. Her pale face and dark hair were instantly illuminated by her piercing green eyes. The side of her mouth twitched a mocking smile before she answered.  “Poison?” she mused, “How about a fire? Anyone for roasted human?” she said cocking her head to the side questioningly before giggling to herself.

“Oliana!” Kaelan barked, “Enough! Should we fail in our quest death be upon your head as well. Black out the moon and provide us cover so we may pass the humans without incident, then join us ahead.”

Her confidence shaken by the boldness of Kaelan’s words, Oliana began the task at hand. Chanting in soft whispers she caused a dark mist to come forth and cover the moon in inky blackness.  

The Cu Sith padded quietly down the shale embankment into the lush grass of the plain below. Their green coats hidden in the gloom of the now moonless night.  Moving swiftly they traced the outskirts of the circle of tents casting huge shadows away from the firelight.

Oliana roared with maniacal laughter as she caused the mist to fade leaving the enormous hounds exposed. Men leapt from their tents at the sound, weapons in hand, they stood at the ready. As three terrifying barks reverberated through the air, Oliana disappeared.

The fight was on, the men hadn’t a chance, the harbingers of death were upon them.

(Image Artist - Unknown.)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

DWP - Prompt : Chess (Haiku)

Not overly thrilled with my Haiku for today. I don't really know much about chess except for the name of some of the pieces so I had to look up some chess jargon. Unfortunately that was a real problem since Google and Wikipedia are both on strike today due to SOPA and PIPA


Once upon a blitz
The master made a blunder
Mate turns to end game

I think I like the last line

Mate then its end game

better but that's not how I turned it in to DWP this morning.

(Image Artist - Derek Donnelly.)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

DWP - Prompt : For Hire


DRAGON FOR HIRE
General Law Enforcement, Air Patrol, Judge, Jury, and Executioner.

Expert Flyer

Gifted Fire Starter

Proficient in Crowd Control

Highly Skilled in Demolition and Recovery

Excellent Security Tactics

Decimator of Armies

Healthy Appetite


Seeking a minimum of 20 sheep or equivalent livestock, per week.

*Additional Fees apply for the devouring of Orcs and Trolls, due to their lack of personal hygiene.

For further details and contract stipulations contact
I.B. Thorough at ruleyourtown@once.com


I just felt like writing something silly today. It seems that my fellow writers over at Daily Writing Practice have an affinity toward sheep, so I worked them into todays prompt. If you haven't checked out the blog Daily Writing Practice, you should. Marc, the author, hasn't missed posting a prompt for 1317 days in a row. That's three years and still going; so you can depend on him to be there for you everyday with a prompt and a comment on your last posting.  The other writers are also very talented so make sure you hit the comments and view what they have posted as well.  In my experience there is always at least 8 other posters for each prompt and they all have a different way of approaching the days assignment.

(Image Artist - Krystin)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Concept Art - Nikolai Lovett


Drawn Out In Paint
By Krystin


Colored In Paint
By Krystin


Water Color
By Krystin

Impromptu - Free Verse - Stye



I woke with a stye
in my tear filled eye,
So now I can't see
what is in front of me.



(Image Artist - Unknown.)

DWP - Prompt : Introductions

Celine slung her backpack over her shoulder, made her way down the isle and jumped from the bus.
She landed firmly, planting her two feet in the sugary sand of the easement and took off running for the house.  In the field grandpa was removing a roll of hay from the back of his old pickup for Natasha, their Frisian mare and her newborn colt.  He waved as she ran past, but focused as she was, she never saw him.  Celine’s grandmother was picking beans in the small garden near the house and turned at the sound of her approach.   “They ere yet?” Celine shouted excitedly.  Grandma smiled and in quiet reply said, “Yes dear. Arrived bout an hour ago.”  That was all Celine needed to hear; she bolted from the garden, rounded the house, and then quietly entered the barn. 


Slowly, she made her way to Holly’s stall. She opened the gate and knelt down on the straw covered ground.  “Hey there, Holly girl.” she said to the sow, “Want me ta scratch behind ya ear?”  The pig snorted, rose and came over. When she did she left behind eight little pink squealing piglets. Celine was delighted and after giving Holly a good scratch and a pat. She walked over to the newborn pigs.  “Come ere little one.” She said to the smallest of the bunch.  When she picked him up, he stared at her with his deep blue eyes and gave a little sound of contentment.  “Were gonna be good friends u and I, nana and papaw promised I could keep ya.” The pig gave a soft grunt as if to acknowledge her words then tucked his head against her chest, closed his eyes and went to sleep.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Acrostic Poem - Dragon



Dazzling scales with purple sheen,
Ruthless teeth that look real mean.
An awesome power to behold,
Guarding kingdoms, treasures, and gold.
Outraged by trespassing feet,
Now he's found something to eat.



(Image Artist - Unknown.)

DWP - Prompt : The UFO (4 Line Poem)


Unknown beings from far away
Fly their crafts of steely gray.
Occupied with intentions of their quest
Stargazing humans never find rest.


(Image Artist - Unknown.)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

DWP - Prompt : Playground Rules

Utoh! Today's writing assignment is a prose about playground rules. A prose? What the heck is that? Remember I'm new to this. New to writing? No Way! But definatly new to following the rules. Actually if you think about it, that is common in just about every aspect of my life. I am one of those unique people who follow their own principles and for the most part when not impacted by law, do and say what I want, when I want. (It's easier than you think, I live in the woods, on a tiny farm.)

It's not that I purposefully write with the intention to break the rules, only that before now I never cared to learn them. I always wrote for myself, not to please anyone else. I just picked up a writing instrument or sat down at my computer and spilled out whatever emotions I had across the paper. I enjoyed it and I always got a good response from those who read it. So it worked out well for me.

Now that I'm trying to write for others it's a lot more difficult. My punctuation and grammer are terrible, I jump between tenses at the speed of a frightened rabbit and dialog is not my friend. However there are two things that I would say i'm good at when it comes to writing. I can create a vivid scene and that I can write a piece with such emotion that you'll feel it; it will stir within you.

Let's talk about prose.

It is defined by the dictionary as:

The ordinary language people use in speaking or writing. A literary medium distinguished from poetry especially by its greater irrgeularity and variety of rhythm and it's closer correspondence to the patterns of everyday speech.

It sounds easy, basicly write like you'd talk, produce a scene with a bit of dialog is what I get from that definition so that is what i'm going to do.

So here it is, to be honest i'm not sure if it is "prose" or not but i'm sure someone will tell me... eventually.


Sarah stepped from the schoolhouse doors, pushed her glasses high up on her nose and looked around the playground. “Abigail, come and sit with us.” She heard Alexis and her four plastic clones shout in unison.  Eager for friends Abbey nearly ran over. Sarah wanted to stop her but she could only stare in disbelief as the contents of a pudding cup took flight and hit Abbey in the chest.  Abbey would never tell and certainly no one else ever would. The event would be remembered of as an unfortunate accident. The plastics were A-list and in their school, they made the rules.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Acrostic Poem - CASTLE





Cold and damp both high and low
Ancient walls made to keep it so
Shadowy corners in the rooms
Tremendous dungeons filled with tombs
Lament for those long since dead
Eccentric owners fear bloodshed



Trying to seek out other writers just getting started.
Couldn't find anyone else who is brand new so I spent the time putting this together before bed.


G'nite ~K


(Image Artist - Unknown.)

DWP - Prompt: The Twins ( Quatrain)

The two share the same face
Albeit identity is theirs alone.
Though to tell which one is which
Is a feat few can accomplish on their own.



What is a Quatrain you ask?

It is a rhyming poem of four lines.
Poets use letters to express the rhyme pattern or scheme.
The four types of quatrain rhyme are : AABB, ABAB, ABBA, AND ABCB.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

DWP - Prompt: The Loner

He slid his old mercury sable into a space, put the car in park and turned off the engine.  A quick scan of the nearly empty lot told him that he would encounter few people today.  He took the keys from the ignition, dropped them on floorboard and opened the door.


A salty breeze brushed against his face.  He paused for a moment, closed his eyes, breathed in and smiled in satisfaction.  Then he shuffled his way past the other cars and down the partially covered concrete path that guided visitors toward the beach.


As he broke though the cover of the trees and reached the coast he could feel the warmth of the setting sun. He reveled in it’s radiance as he walked the shore line. Shoes in hand he felt the cool spray of the ocean in the wind as the foamy shell riddled waves lapped at his feet and ankles. 


Occasionally he stopped to pick-up an eye catching scallop shell and placed it into his pocket.  Time passed and it wasn’t long before he reached the saw grass that marked the entrance to the undisturbed northern peninsula.  He stopped to watch the hermit crabs dance around on the wet sand but when his shadow crossed over them, they scurried down into the safety of their holes, so he turned away and walked on.


He continued walking until the water would let him go no further.  Then he stood silently watching the waves roll up on the shore as the sun sank beneath the horizon until there was nothing left but the beautiful backdrop of the pink and blue sky.  One by one he flung the treasures he had collected back into the water. As he did he allowed himself the luxury of a single tear and broke his silence.


                                                “Wait for me. We will be together soon”

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Excuse me, I seem to have lost my umbrella.


Zen Shorts, Written and illustrated by Jon J. Muth.


2006 - Caldecott Honor Book.


Picture Book: 40 pages. Roughly 1200 Words. 


Concept Book: related to behavior, challenges the reader to evaluate their own behavior.


Main Characters: 3 human siblings: Addy, Michael and Karl, and a giant panda bear named Stillwater.


What was the story about: The story tells of a panda bear who meets three children while trying to retrieve his umbrella. In the days that follow he spends time with each of the children individually and shares a different special story with each of them.


Character Growth: The choice of story the panda tells each child pertains specifically to the emotions and attitudes expressed during the days events. Without telling the child how he or she should have responded it allows them to relate the story events to their own behaviors and reflect on whether or not they should continue in the same fashion or make a change.


Story Appeal : The story is child friendly, however it is long and contains a lot of text. Therefore it is not suitable for children who are not confident readers to attempt to read by themselves. Each of the stories told by Stillwater  are rooted in Buddhist Literature. They were originally told through oral tradition and have been passed along for centuries.


Illustrations: The pictures are watercolors and ink drawings. While a picture does appear on every page it does not always reflect the action occurring within the text and therefore the pictures will provide very few cues to new readers to help them through the story.


Personal Note: A perfect book for the child who does not like to be hit on the head with the moral of a story but prefers to determine what they should do for themselves. The book provides children with new ways to interpret events. It also allows them to view the actions and emotions of the characters when put in certain situations and learn from the experience vicariously.  They can then relate the experience to one they face in their everyday lives.


(Image Artist - Jon J. Muth.)

DWP - Two Haiku's: A Butler

A Haiku is an ancient Japanese form of poetry with no rhyme.
Haiku often deal with nature.
This type of poetry has three lines with a fixed number of syllables.

Line 1 = 5 syllables
Line 2 = 7 syllables
Line 3 = 5 syllables


Ding dong goes the bell

Answered with a pleasant smile

Come this way he says



Knowing he’ll be called

To wait on them hand and foot

He remains close by



DWP - Prompt: Small Town Blues

The wind whistled and blew small tornados of dust off the lime rock road blanketing my clothes in white grit but I walked on. Crickets chirped and as I passed the deserted playground the rusty chains of the swings creaked as they hauntingly swung back and forth and acorns fell on the faded steel slide adding a metallic ping to the eerie melody.

As the sun fell deeper and deeper beneath the trees the darkness grew and the shadows came.  A cat yowled and I unconsciously quickened my pace.  It wasn’t long before the light faded into nothingness.

The houses on either side of the street were dark but I knew their inhabitants stood watching anonymously, tucked safely behind the shields of various colors of curtains and blinds.  

Minutes later I picked my way through the brambles down an overgrown path that served as a long drive toward the rustic farmhouse that I now called home.  I stopped for a moment to pull the evil weeds from my socks and stared up at the house and it stared back, its curious face spilling soft yellow light from its eye like windows.

An owl screeched and something I couldn’t quite make out scurried through the grass toward me. Startled I broke for the house, leaped onto the porch and jerked open the door.  Stepping inside I removed my jacket, gave it a good shake and then hurriedly closed the door.   

As I leaned against the wall, I sighed and thought to myself,
“Why did I ever leave New York?”

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

It's All About Cats and Dogs.


Hondo and Fabian, Written and illustrated by Peter McCarty.


2003 - Caldecott Honor Book.

Picture Book: 32 pages. Roughly 150 Words.

Concept Book: related to behavior, shows how two animals species can be different, and like to do different things, but still get along well together.

Main Characters: Hondo - a dog & Fabian - a cat.
Secondary Characters: Fred - a dog & Baby - a toddler.


What was the story about: The story describes Hondo and Fabian's day. The pet's were separated; one stayed home while the other went to the beach. They spent the day doing similar things in different ways.


Character Growth: The behaviors of the characters in the book are to parallel that of typical sibling relationships among humans. The characters live in the same household but have their own preferences. The book brings it to the attention of the reader that it is okay to do your own thing and gives children the confidence to develop as sense of individuality. It's important that children understand that you don't have to like an activity just because other family members or friends do.


Story Appeal : The story is about animals and is very child friendly. I think it is a good picture book for beginning readers. There is a lot of white space on the pages with little text per page which should not over whelm a new reader. As an adult I may not have picked this book as a gift for my child, the animal names are the only repeated text and those names are uncommon so they may be a bit of stumbling block.


Illustrations: The pictures are lovely. There is one picture to every two pages. Each picture visually represents what the text is discussing and provides all the cues a young reader would need to be able to attempt to understand the words of text on the opposite page.


Personal Note: I thought the book was a bit slow. Nothing exciting happened to capture my attention. The pictures were not vibrant, they looked a little out of focus and had dream like quality.   The way the story ends leads me to believe that this book was written with the intention that it would be read at night as children are settling into bed.


Tonight is a horrendous day for writing. The kids refuse to stop fighting. I have sat down at this computer at least three dozen times trying to write and  review this blog post and I have only made it all the way through from start to finish once. How much candy did they feed these kids at school today?


I am determined to write for 15 minutes even if it keeps me up until four am. I have to prove I'm more determined then they are and I have to prove to myself that I can make the time, form a writing habit and get to work on an actual book. I am finding other ways to work at the craft even when I can't be at my computer. When I'm not busy with the children or writing blog posts, I am reading the work of other authors, reading and completing course work and attempting to balance out everything I want to do within a days time.


It's been no easy task to try to get everyone interested in something else long enough that I have uninterrupted time to write. The schedule over the next few days will be a bit messed up. Tomorrow the kids have church after school and Thursday we have to make a trip back down to All Children's Hospital in St Petersburg but Friday I am going to initiate the beginnings of a change and see if that helps my schedule. All housework is going to be moved to the evening, and writing will occur while the kids are in school and the house is quiet.


I'll let you know how it goes,

~K

(Image Artist - Peter Mc Carty.)

Monday, January 9, 2012

Analyze This - My First Caldecott Book Review

Hurray for libraries! Wouldn't you know that the west hernando branch had a reference book which listed the history of all Caldecott winners, Newberry winners and honor books. The book was printed in 2007 so it was missing the last four years but I was still very excited to find it in our small out-in-the-country library. The book provided me with a good listing of books for review and I printed off from 1997-2007 for each award and headed to the computerized library catalog.

West Branch doesn't have holdings for all of the titles but they had enough that I needed to divide my check-out list into manageable sections. I returned home with 15 Caldecott winners. Which should be more than enough for two weeks worth of reviews and also allows me the time to give each of them the attention they deserve. I've never completed a review before so I'm using an example outline from my writing course.

Please note: The  Caldecott medal was first established in 1938 and is named after  19th century English illustrator  Randolph J. Caldecott. The award is given by the American Library Association each year to the illustrator of the most distinguished picture book published in the united States. While the story is taken into consideration, the award is primarily given for illustrations.

Today's book under scrutiny :


No David! Written and illustrated by David Shannon.

1999 - Caldecott Honor Book.

Picture Book - 32 pages. Roughly 60 Words. 


Repetitive theme - "NO DAVID!"
 
 
Concept Book - related to behavior.


Main Character - David - A male child, around the age of five.

What was the story about - The story follows a little boy named David through his day and shows images of him doing all types of  things he was not supposed to do.


Character Growth - David learns what is acceptable in his home (ex - You don't play ball in the house), the consequences that may occur if something is done that is not acceptable (ex - A vase was broken), that a punishment will be enforced if the rules are not respected (ex - A time out was given), and that even though he was punished, his mother always loved him, she just didn't like his behavior.

Attractive to children and adults alike - Children hear some of these exact phrases on a daily basis in their own homes. While for adults phrases like No, Settle down, Be quiet, That's enough, Don't play with your food, Go to your room, Stop that this instant, Put your toys away and most importantly I love you can act as triggers to recall memories of childhood events.

Illustrations - The illustrations are child like and view the world on the level of a child. Each picture accurately represents what has happened or will happen in the lives of most children. Even the facial expressions David has during each incident, are very similar to that of children I have observed doing much the same activity. From the reaching up to write on the wall and the over flowing bathtub all the way to the jumping on the bed and booger picking this book is one that children can really relate to.


Personal Note - I would recommend this book for people are all ages to enjoy together. This book was really fun to read and I smiles frequently at little David's antics. I especially like the fact that the book was about more than minding your manners, but clearly showed that the parent didn't like the behavior but loved the child no matter what they had done. This book is perfect for helping a child to understand the difference. I can speak from experience when I say nothing stops a parent in their tracks like the first time they hear "Why do you hate me?"  after administering a punishment.
I've got to tell you since this book was an honor book for 1999, I can not wait to see what the winner for that year has in store for us. Because No David is a truly excellent book!

(Image Artist - David Shannon.)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Little Christmas

Today my family celebrated the holiday known as Little Christmas (Nollaig Bheag). The holiday actually falls on January 6th which is the same day as the Epiphany and Three Kings Day. You may also hear some people refer to this day as Old Christmas, this is because using the older Julian calendar Christmas day was celebrated on January 6th. However when the transition was made to move to the Gregorian calendar the day of celebration was moved to the 25th of December.  Little Christmas is not typically celebrated on January 8th however the 6th was a Friday this year, a workday, so my family could not spend it together and to honor our heritage we held the celebration at the first opportunity.

Although many different countries use the term Little Christmas to refer to different days of the year for various reasons we celebrate it on the 6th of January because of our Irish, Scottish and Ukrainian heritage.  For the Irish, Little Christmas is a tradition that marks the end of the Christmas season, therefore all decorations, lights and Christmas trees are not be taken down and put away until after it's celebration.

Little Christmas is also sometimes called Women's Christmas or Women's Little Christmas because traditionally the men would take on all the household duties for the day while the women would spend time with their mothers, grandmothers and other female family members and friends. Our family has become somewhat "Americanized" does not follow the tradition of Woman's Christmas. It would be nice if we did though, what a great way to express your appreciation to those who cook your meals each day, don't you think?

The usual menu for our families Little Christmas meal is:
pan fried perogies with sour cream
porcupines
kielbasa and sauerkraut
mashed potatoes
pickles
olives


In our family one gift is given on Little Christmas to each of the family members we did not celebrate with on the 25th of December (the Italian side of the family). Unfortunately I do not know of other traditional activities the family participated in on this day in the distant past.  There is very little information available on the Internet about the traditional food, beverage, games and activities pertaining to this holiday. There is also no one available to tell the oral traditions within the family as my grandparents passed on at an early age.

I hope that my children keep the tradition as I know it alive. It is important to know where your ancestors come from, learn the history of the land and respect the culture of it's people.  So when I head out to the library tomorrow I will be checking to see if they have any information on Little Christmas that I can checkout and share with my children. Who knows maybe I'll even have a book to review for you tomorrow.
Sleep Well
~K

(Image Artists - Unknown.)

Color Me Disappointed! =(

I got up this morning with the intention of going to the library but I guess I didn't make my intentions clear because about 20 minutes later I went outside to get into my truck it was gone! The first Saturday of each month my husband takes our twin 10 year old girls to Home Depot to participate in a daddy-daughter craft activity. They usually they take his little four door Saturn but for some reason they didn't this time. Since my husband uses the car for work, I don't even have keys for the darned thing and was stranded at home.

Usually they are only gone about two to three hours, but they went to Walmart and stopped at a yard sale afterward so they were gone quite a bit longer than expected. After dropping the girls off, my husband folded down the seats in the truck and went back out to pick up the curio cabinet he purchased at the neighbors sale. Around three o'clock I was finally ready to leave but I thought I should check the libraries closing time because of the late hour.

The library was closed! Apparently the days and times of operation at the branch nearest my home have changed recently. My local branch is no longer open on Saturday or Sunday! Now pardon me but what the heck kind of crap is that? You want children to be excited about reading and you want them to visit the library but your only going to be open on days they have school? Does this make any sense? My kids leave for school at 7:50 am and they get home at roughly 4:00 pm add homework, dinner and baths and that doesn't exactly give us a lot of room for extra curricular activities.

Complaining aside, I am disappointed I didn't get the opportunity to visit the library today. I am unable to offer a review of any of the books I had on my must check-out list but I was able to get quite a bit done in the office today. So although the discussion for this evening won't be on the topic I thought it would be about, that doesn't mean that I'm not moving forward in this venture.

Today's lesson create a workspace.

My husband and I converted a bedroom into an office for our Finish Carpentry business. The room had all the usual equipment needed for a home office, his desk, my desk, chairs, computers, printers, filing cabinets, book shelves, phones, etc.. However it also had a whole bunch of items that should never be put in a room that is used for work, like a TV, VCR, DVD Player, PlayStation, remote control helicopters, exercise equipment, tons of computer parts for my husbands computer repair hobby and of course fishing books and magazines.

As you can imagine the room was very cluttered. So cluttered that I could not work at my desk, not because I couldn't get to it but because the overwhelming disarray grates on every nerve of my border line OCD and makes it impossible for me to concentrate. If I was forced to spend any length of time in the office I usually would try to rearrange it and eventually became so anxious I had to leave and never got anything done.

My husband bought me a small student desk and put it in our bedroom so I could work on a laptop away from the mess. That had worked fairly well up until today. When I found my truck was gone this morning I decided to move ahead in the coursework and attack the office. After shoving all the piles out of the way the first thing out of the room was the entertainment center. The kids are very thankful for this as they now have a multitude of electronics in their room that they have never had before and I owe a debt of gratitude to the creator of Moving Men because that entertainment center was HEAVY!

With the additional removal of the exercise equipment I created a nice space in which I could begin to get organized. I worked on it all day and I can proudly say the "Office" is finally starting to resemble what a place of business is expected to look like. There are still a lot of things that don't belong in this room but items like remote control helicopters are expensive and fragile so I can't do anything with them until my husband can find them a proper home.

When the room is all finished, I'll post a picture to display the new layout. I'm really excited about this accomplishment, the office has never looked so good.

~K