Saturday, 21 May 2016

Starting Sparks - April/May

So I'm basically the worst at finding the motivation to write these days. Even as something as simple and fun as Starting Sparks! Emily and Ashely went to the trouble of making it, the least I can do is participate a little.

And so, I try again:


I love the open-ended possibilities in this prompt. I mean, all the prompts are open-ended, obviously, but this one just seems like it could go so many ways. Exciting! :D

For this one, I decided to go back to the characters from my very first prompt story, because they're fun, and I like them. X) I also decided to combine this month's prompt with the one from last month, since I never got to that one, and really, why not? This was April's prompt, btw:


So, let's get to it!! 

~*~*~*~*~*~

"Humans are so curious. So complex. So cruel." Nex peered through the Dimensional Telescope at 21st century Earth. "All the murder. Mayhem. Malice. It's mindboggling."

Seated at the station on the other side of the room, Thalion didn't raise his eyes from the readouts of the Celestial Projection machine. He jotted down a few notes. "If you're trying to make a serious point, you need to stop the alliteration."

"Alright, absolutely agreed." was the cheeky reply.

"Hmph." Thalion scrawled out some more numbers into the air beside himself and waved them all into a notes folder before turning to look at his protege. "You seem to have a particular interest in the humans lately. And the telescope seems very closely focused. What exactly are you watching?"

"I'm just studying them! And trying to make sure they don't escape the third dimension. AGAIN."

Thalion rubbed a hand through his thick white beard, suspicious. "Alright." He faced his machine again and turned a dial on the side. "Just don't forget to keep an eye on the other races, as well."

"I know, I know." Nex's voice was faint and distracted. Then a gasp ripped out of him, and made Thalion jump. "No. Not you. Anyone but you."

"Nex?" Thalion swiveled in his chair to ask what was the matter, but Nex wasn't at the Telescope anymore. Footsteps sounded to the right, and Thalion looked just in time to see the younger god disappear in a flash of light. Nex's blue robe fell to the ground, the silver charms woven into the fabric preventing it's transport. 

Thalion could only stare in stunned disbelief. Nex had . . . . He'd taken the Teleporter. To Earth? But why?


~*~


Nex was falling. Beams of white and blue light shot upwards past him, like he was dropping down a tunnel made of stars. The air was getting heavier. Dirtier. It smelled like soot and sweat. Nex coughed, choking on it. 

Then he saw it. The dark alley. His destination; frozen in time. Chest heaving as his lungs fought to accept the polluted air, Nex prepared himself. Three . . . two . . . one.

He hit the ground running the second the light tunnel disappeared. Two long, pumping strides, and then he dove. The bullet whizzed by his head, nicking his ear, but he completed his roll, his arms cradled protectively around Sage. Her shocked, shuddering gasp was all he heard before he was on his feet and in the face of her attacker. 

It barely took ten seconds. The man, surprised by the sudden intrusion, hesitated a heartbeat before turning the gun on Nex. That was all the time Nex needed. He grabbed the wrist and elbow of the man's gun arm, and forcibly knocked the gun back into the man's nose. The man grunted and dropped the weapon, staggering back a step. Nex used a leg to knock the man's feet out from under him, and propelled the man into the alley wall. The man's head hit the brick, and he fell to the ground, unconscious. 

Nex stumbled back a few steps and sank to the ground himself, struggling for breath. Blood dripped from his ear, down his neck and onto his plain white shirt. 

"Are you ok?" 

Nex looked. Sage was sitting just a few feet away, half hidden in the darkness. He nodded, but it felt like he might pass out if he didn't get some decent air in his lungs soon. He slowed his breathing, trying to deepen it. "Are you?" 

"I think so. Thanks to you." There was a pause, then a timorous, "I-is he dead?"

The lump on the ground was immobile, but breathing. "No." 

"Okay. That's good, probably. Can't stoop to their level, you know? Don't want a dead body on our hands." Her voice wavered, close to breaking. 

She was either nearing hysteria or shock. Or both. Nex wasn't quite sure how human emotions worked in times like these. Sufficiently re-oxygenated, Nex dragged himself to his feet and went over to her. "I'm Nex." He crouched down beside her. "What's your name?"

"S-Sage." They shook hands, both of them trembling with varied amounts of adrenaline and fear.  

"May I bring you home, Sage? Or to a police station? Or perhaps a hospital?"

"H-home. Home, I want to go home. I just want to go home."

"Okay, let's go." He helped her to her feet, putting a supportive arm around her on his non-bloodied side. They were a filthy mess, the pair of them. Disgusting alleyways. Earth was not a clean place. 

No taxi made itself available, but Sage said her apartment wasn't far. They made their way down the street on foot as quickly as they could. As they went, Nex looked up at the few stars that were visible through the city's electric haze. He'd never taken the Teleporter before. Thalion had forbidden it. And with good reason. Because now that he was here . . . .

He didn't know how to get back.

~*~*~*~*~*~

Okay, so I actually didn't incorporate the April one that much. BUT! The intention was there! And if I were to write more on this subject, it would become clear that Sage was the one most people didn't notice. But Nex noticed! And together they will do great things. Or something. So even though I didn't exactly follow the April prompt, it DID give me the inspiration for half of this story. So it totally counts.

Right? Right.

Can't wait to see what the next Starting Sparks brings! :D

Friday, 20 May 2016

I Made a Button! Here's the HTML!

<a href="http://rachelssecretscribblings.blogspot.ca/"><img src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-U-aXffLEE-0/Vz_bgrv5UbI/AAAAAAAAA7Y/kx8m4q3mpwUoOefzkpYGvNAF1Ms5WWc2wCK4B/s1600/sstestybutton.jpg"></a>



In other news, have you noticed the design change? What do you think? Is it any easier to read, or is it just an eyesore in a different way now? 

Monday, 25 April 2016

My 100th Post and an Unexpected Find

If I had a dollar for every post I've made on this blog so far . . .


100 posts. I wanted to do something to celebrate, but what?

I've no idea.

So, in lieu of a celebration, here's something I found when I was looking for The Mysterious Man in Black story. I actually found, WE ACTUALLY STILL HAD, the first story I think I ever wrote.

 Behold:


On The Small Red Home? . . . Well, alrighty then. Let's get into it, shall we?

First off, I must have been older than I originally thought when I made this. The spelling and writing is almost decent. Maybe I was 6 or 7 instead of 4 or 5? I have absolutely no idea. Eh, it doesn't matter, let's continue.

~*~*~*~*~*~

Once upon a time, there lived a family of four. They lived in a small red house. This family lived on a farm. they had cows, pigs, chickens, horses & a lot of work. Well, they woke up one day felling very mad! They stomnt (STOMNT. STOMPED YOU GUYS. STOMNT.) to breakfist, the stomnt to lunch, & they stomnt to supper. once, they got so mad they throo there lunch in to the air, and pored there milk on the floor!! Oh my! (OH MY. YES, THAT WAS IN THE STORY. THAT'S FINE.) 
*new page*
Things did not go well on the farm, everyone was very very very mad! (How mad?)
*new page*
But, the family woke up one day, and . . . they weren't mad! (Mmf. Dat conflict resolution, tho.) and they lived happlly ever after!
(by Rach)
*new page*
The end

~*~*~*~*~*~

LOOK AT IT:


So, here we have a bunch of growling and food-throwing, as well as random mixes of pencil, pen, and crayon writing.


Here we have a family that changed skin colors between scenes, and a house that went from a cottage-type place, to a townhouse-looking thing. Also, look at that tree to the left. What a trunk. What happened to all the leaves, there's barely any covering that massive stump.

And then we have THIS on the back:


A . . . horse . . . creature? Roaring? Chasing two people who look like they're having a grand old time while saying "run" quite calmly, dashing into a . . . purple house. Not the red house. This one is purple. Are these prankster neighbor kids, who's idea of fun is to run onto our farm and get chased off by our roaring monster horse? The world will never know.

~*~*~*~*~*~

Well, that was entertaining. But not quite enough for my 100th post. Let's see, how about some of your favorite posts by pageview?

Finding Names
Favorite Screen Characters Tag
Bookshelf Tag
Best Blogging Buddies Award
Summer Camp Writing Prompt #1

And some of MY favorite posts:

Summer Camp Writing Prompt #5
Book List - Philip and the Missing Artifact
A Look at the Book- Eon/Eona
The Tag of Happiness
Favorite Book Characters Tag

Also, I might get Sunny to help me redecorate my blog, and make it all pretty, and perhaps easier to read. What do you think? What changes would you like to see? Er, by the way Sunny, you're ok with that, right?

Anyway, thanks for putting up with me for 100 different ramblings so far! Here's to 100 more, I guess?


Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Book List - Two for the Price of One

No, that's not the name of a story I wrote. The next item from my Book List was just too short and lacking of substance to make a full post by itself, so I tacked it onto another story's post. Lucky you?

#6 - The Mysterious Man in Black

This is a book I wish I still had. I've looked for it, but I can't find it. I remember it had a pink construction paper cover with a crayon drawing on it, and on every other page was an illustration of something happening on the preceding page.

WAIT OMG I FOUND THE COVER! Just the cover, tho:



I think this was actually a second, separate cover that I made bc I lost the first book, which had the cover stapled to it. Well, whatever. It gives you a sense of the original. Although I don't know why this one has a safety pin stuck through it.

I don't remember much of the story. All I know is that it focused on two girls, who were either sisters or best friends, and that there was some dude following them? The Mysterious Man in Black, you see. Not following them in a creepy way (well, I guess it was still creepy), but in like a, "I'm a spy and I'm going to recruit them" type way?
I actually, really cannot remember anything except that the first sentence had like 9 adjectives in it. Or some crazy amount like that. "It was an (adj) (adj) (adj) (adj) (adj) (adj) (adj) (adj) (adj) day outside." My dad got a kick out of that, as I recall. XD

And....yep! That's all for The Mysterious Man in Black. Or, The Mystery of the Mysterious Man, if you will. We're still looking for the book itself, actually. I'll come back and make some edits if we find it. :) Fingers crossed!

#7 - The Invisible Island of Dragons

That wasn't the name of the book; it was an unnamed story, like most of the rest.Here's my little plotty notes (although I swear I had a different blue page with MORE written on it than this one? Oh well):



And. . . here's the story. *sigh*

~*~*~*~*~*~

CHAPTER 1 
The beginning (Hey look, chapter names that aren't totally ridiculous!)

Most stories begin with 'once upon a time,' right? (n...not really?) Not this one. (how special.) No, this story begins in today's world, right in the center of the stretch of ocean between Hawaii and Mexico. (Soo in the middle of the Pacific Ocean? Obviously I couldn't be bothered to look up which ocean was which. And why in that very strange and specific stretch?)

Our story starts in the village of Weshi. (Weshi? I thought it was Avin, according to the plotty notes?) Weshi was one of the few villages that rested on Zabor, the ghost island. Called the Ghost Island because of its transparant consistency, no one but those born on it or blessed with the Gift could see or touch it. (I feel like I have questions, I just can't comprehend them right now.) Ships would simply pass through it. However, this always resulted in an earthquake. After an earthquake, everybody helped everybody else tidy up their homes. There was one boy in Weshi that loved to help people more than anything else. This boy's name was Jerok, though all his friends called him, simply, Jer.

One day, after an espesially big earthquake, Jer was helping Garel (THE NAMES IN THIS THING, I SWEAR), the village elder, clean up his hut. He was just putting the old man's water jug on its stand when he heard the beating of large wings. He stepped out of the hut and looked up. (Huts, tiny villages, water jugs. Remember back when I told you I was obsessed with old fashioned ways of living?A large blue dragon (AND obsessed with dragons?) with an orange ridge along his back was lowering itself into the clearing in the center of the village. Jer looked on cautiously, as did the other villagers.

"Which of you is called Jerok?" the great beast rumbled. Timidly, Jer stepped forward, his slight form trembling.

"I am Jerok."

The dragon eyed him suspicioiusly."You are very small. (Rude?) No matter. Come with me, boy." With this the dragon crouched down. "Get on my back."

Jerok climbed onto the spiny ridge on the dragon's back and held on tight as they took off.

"What is your name?" Jer asked. 

"I am called Talon." 

Talon. Appropriate name for a dragon. (I don't need your sass, younger me. I have enough for the both of us.) "Where are we going?"

"To my home, the Pass of the Black Mountains." Talon replied. "My brothers, Kebour and Leku, are waiting for us there." (Again, names. I think I spent more time on the names than on the actual story)

They flew in silence the rest of the way. Jerok took this opportunity to survey the landscape. Hundreds feet off the ground, he could see most of the island. Dark green forests, pale yellow wheat fields, and deep blue lakes spotted the light green and brown of the land below. Sparkling blue rivers crisscrossed the ground, splitting it up rather like a large checkerboard. He noticed the village of Sadori, which was north of Weshi, and Anahi, which was east. Soon something came into veiw, big and dark and menacing. The Black Mountains. (I led myself to believe this island was tiny. Now I'm telling me it's huge enough that these enormous mountains can't be seen from the village??)

Talon landed on a large black platform. Waiting there were two huge dragons, one red with shimmering golden wings, and the other, black, with deep purple outlines on his wings and tail. Jer slipped off Talon's back. Quaking with fear and wondering what to expect, he waited.

"Welcome Jerok." rumbled the red dragon. "My name is Kebour. We have been expecting you."

A thousand questions pummelled his mind all at once. How do they know my name? Why were they expecting me? How did they know where I live? What will they do with me? And why did it have to be me? Dragons, he knew, were very unpredictable. They could be friendly, or ferocious. Gentle, or nasty. "What do you want?" he squeaked. (If you're afraid of these guys, that's probably the LEAST respectful and LEAST intelligent way you could ask that question.)

The great dragon chuckled, making the ground vibrated beneath them. "I suppose you ought to know. (No, no. Just drop me off on this mountain and leave me in the dark.) Have you ever heard of the Jewels of Darconia?"

"Darconia? You mean, the Jewels of Darconia?" (Yes, like he JUST said, TWO SECONDS ago. Oh, I was supposed to emphasize the "the"? Well, maybe younger me should have specified that.) Jerok knew the Jewels he was talking about. They were two beautiful blue crystals, set in silver circlets. One held the power to create anything but a living being, and the other held the power to destroy anything but a soul. (What the HECK? That is HARDCORE! I take it all back, this story had potential.) They were said to have been made thousands of years ago, in an ancient city called Darconia, hence the name. (I want more information on these things. Like exactly how and why they were created, and by whom.)

Kebour nodded his massive head and chuckled again. "Yes, my small friend. How many Jewels do you think there are?"

Jerok resisted the urge to roll his eyes. (And I'm rolling my eyes at YOU, Jer Jer Binks.) "What about them?" he questioned.

The mighty dragon's gleaming eyes grew angry, though Jerok thought he saw fear there as well.
"One of them has been stolen." (WHICH ONE THO? THAT'S LIKE REALLY REALLY IMPORTANT, DON'TCHA THINK?)


CHAPTER 2 
The call 

"Stolen?! B-but that's impossible!" Jerok momentarily forgot his fear of dragons as he burst into an angry tantrum. (Get ahold of yourself, Jerry) "They're hidden deep within the Temple of Secrets, guarded by the Knights of the Dragon! Men who have trained their whole lives for the soul purpose of protecting those Jewels! (Um, why don't the dragons just guard the jewels themselves? What else are they doing with their lives, exactly?) Men of strength, courage, and valor!" here Jerok paused to catch his breath, then launched into another tirade. "Hundreds of them! Armed with swords, spears, bows and arrows! Some even have axes! (Wow. Axes, you say? They spared no expense, then.) They're always there, constantly on guard! No one can get in without being seen! And one has been stolen?!" (CHILL, JER! THE DRAGONS KNOW ALL OF THIS ALREADY, THEY DON'T NEED YOUR EXPOSITION)

Kebour waited patiently until Jer was finished ranting. "I am as upset as you are, Jerok. We don't know who stole them or when they stole them. But we know that they are very strong and very, very deadly. Many of the Knights were found dead in and around the Temple. There was a strange metal object in each of them, sometimes more than one." (OH MY GOSH I JUST REMEMBERED WHAT THAT IS! 
BULLETS. 
BULLETS YOU GUYS. 
THE FANTASY KNIGHTS ON THIS INVISIBLE FANTASY ISLAND WERE SHOT DEAD BY GREEDY MODERN DAY PEOPLE WITH GUNS. I TOTALLY FORGOT ABOUT THAT AND I LOVE IT.)

Jerok staggered backward and sat down. A Jewel, gone. Many Knights, dead. He sat there, trying to wrap his mind around what he had just heard. Then a thought struck him. "If they got one, why didn't they take the other one?" 

"As soon as the Jewel was removed from its pedastal, the Temple started to collapse." (How Indiana Jones of me) said the black dragon in a low, mellow voice. Jerok blinked. The second dragon, Leku, (third dragon, actually, thankyousomuch) had been so quiet Jer had forgotten he was there. (Haha, that's because I, as the writer, forgot he was there) 

Leku continued. "Unfortunately, the invaders were too quick and too clever. They escaped with their lives, and the Jewel." (HOW, THO? AND HOW DID THEY GET HERE? HOW DID THEY KNOW ABOUT IT IN THE FIRST PLACE? And--wait a second, what do they mean they don't know WHEN the Jewels were stolen? Gunfire and a temple collapsing? Wouldn't you have maybe NOTICED THAT???)

Jerok felt numb from what he had heard. It was just too much! "Why did you tell me all this?" he asked.

"Because we need your help." Kebour replied.

"My help?" Jerok repeated incredulously. "I'm the smallest person in all of Zabor! (Of COURSE you are.) Shouldn't you choose someone bigger?" 

"We chose you, because you have a gift." Leku stood and stretched. The wind he made as he ufolded his wing almost knocked Jerok over.

"The Gift?" (I assume everyone born on the island has The Gift, or else they'd live their lives in fear of falling off the edge. Actually, they would just fall through it immediately.)

Kebour sighed his impatience. (Now it's YOUR turn to chill, Kebour. You were so patient a minute ago. Give the kid a chance; it's only the third page and you've already given him his life's mission, geez.) "Not The Gift. A gift. You have the ability to read another's mind simply by looking him in the eye." (I think I stole that from The Shamer's Daughter. I stole that so hard.)

~*~*~*~*~*~

Aaand that's where I stopped. Ok, so, this story still lives up to my legacy of stupid, but it's actually a little better than I remember. I totally forgot about the Jewels, and the "modern man stole it with bullets" plot twist that was supposed to come later. Now that I think about it, I seem to recall some plan to make Jer visible and have him hunt down the thieves on the mainland? Or maybe he stayed invisible? That would be cooler. Hijinks would ensue.

This post has run pretty long, thanks to my "twofer" deal, so I'm gonna leave it here. Hopefully I can find The Mysterious Man in Black later, and who knows; maybe someday I'll tackle the Invisible Island again, and make it live up to it's potential. 

Probably not, though.

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

#WritersLife Tag

So, I may or may not be wracked with guilt every time I let my poor blog slide for three months, but that doesn't seem to be enough to overcome my debilitating laziness. Hashtag thestruggle, yeah?

. . . Now I'm thinking about the word "struggle," and how after a while it stops sounding like a word describing hardship, and just sounds goofy. Muggle. Puggle. Snuggle. Struggle?

ANYWAY, I promise there was a reason I showed up. Once upon a time, Ashley from [insert title here] tagged me in a thing. Thanks, gurl! :D Although, I don't even want to THINK about how long ago that was. We should just get started, quickly, before I fall off the edge of the world again. o.0

~*~*~*~*~*~

Write Fuel: What do you eat/drink while writing?
-Tea is my general fuel for daily life. Tea makes everything better! ^.^

Write Sounds: What do you listen to while writing?
-99 times out of 100, I don't listen to anything. Too distracting. And even though I have lyric-less soundtracks I could listen to, sorting through them all and deciding which music would be good for which scene just takes up too much time.

Write Vices: What is your most debilitating distraction?
-Myself?

Writer Horror: What is the worst thing that's ever happened to you while writing?
-I feel like, once, I lost a good chunk of writing due to forgetting to save, or a computer malfunction, or something. But I'm not sure? It would have been quite a while ago.

Write Joy: What's the best thing that's ever happened to you while writing, or how do you celebrate small victories?
-Best writing thing I ever did was probably. . . finish the 100 for 100 challenge from Go Teen Writers once, a couple years ago. Felt good to finish that. It's no Nano, but y'know. X) And I usually celebrate with a huge sigh of relief whenever I accomplish something.

Write Crew: Who do you communicate with or not communicate with while writing?
-Sunny is really the only one I let see my work while I'm writing. I don't know why, but I don't really like to open up about the book or it's characters that much. But if I talk to anyone about my book, it'll probably be Sunny.

Write Secret: What is your writing secret to success or hidden flaw?
-My *cough* HIDDEN flaw is that I'm too easily distracted, too easily bored, and too much of a perfectionist to allow myself to reach the end of a story. I seem to have a habit of holding myself to too high a standard, and so when my first drafts are ugly (as first drafts are prone to be), I get frustrated and give up on them. Also I'm just straight-up lazy. Writing is hard work!

Write-spiration: What always makes you productive?
-Haha well, if I knew a sure-fire way to make myself feel inspired and productive, maybe I'd be able to push past the flaws listed above. X) Bu-u-ut . . . getting new stuff always makes me feel productive. In general, I mean. I'll clean my room to make space for the new stuff, I'll do things I need to catch up on, etc. Maybe I could push that inspiration in a writerly direction? And sometimes reading really good writing advice can inspire me to write. Bright and sunny days can also inspire me to be productive!

Write Peeve: What is one thing that writers do (or you do) that's annoying?
-I seem to complain a lot, without actually doing anything to fix my own problems. I bet that's annoying. XD

Write Words: Share one sentence from a project past or present.
-So I was going through some old stories, looking for a good sentence to post, and I just, I JUST, I JUST--!! I want to cry. And laugh. And throw up in my mouth a little bit. They are so much worse than I remember.

All except one, that is. Because we always knew it was ridiculous. In fact, we wrote it that way.
Are you ready for snippets from the book with 14 main characters, 4 bad guys, names that aren't actually names, and a death in every chapter? The unfinished, co-authored masterpiece about a cursed treasure hunt, chock full of inside jokes, with totally out-of-place romance, mood swings, and ACTUAL insanity?
Are you ready for The Book?
No? Too bad, here it is:


~I know why. Jiggly thought. But he said nothing. They'd find out soon enough. The morons. He laughed evilly to himself. Then Miggy walked over.
"Hey Jiggly." he said, "Why are you laughing evilly?"
"SILENCE, YOU IMBICILE!!" Jiggly bellowed, then slunk creepily away, his legs bent in a position that was alarmingly difficult to stand in, much less slink in.
Miggy stood there, dumbfounded, for a moment, then applauded Jiggly's amazing leg strength. "GIVE IT UP FOR THE SLINKY!" he shouted.
  Everyone else hollered and cheered and applauded, though they had no idea what he was talking about. ~


~"NO-O-O-O-O-O!" Piggy cried, and it pretty much shook the whole earth. Everyone fell over, and by the time they got back up, Figgy was gone, and so was the jolly old man.~


~"Hey!" Jiggly called after him, but the waiter didn't turn back. "I'm not tipping!" Jiggly yelled toward the retreating form.
"Be quiet and eat your squirrel gum!" Ziggy ordered, pushing Jiggly's platter towards him.~


~Piggly stood up and, with an exuberant smile, burped up a bucket load of confetti. "Beat that!" He dared the group.~


~"I look away for ONE SECOND and then I BURN THE SALMON!" he tossed some utensils in the air and wailed. "AAAAAHHHHH!! My precious salmon!!" He then proceeded to have an undignified fit upon the ground.~


~Just then, the sweet, sweet smell of bacon ceased. Confused, they all raised their voices in outrage, creating the sound of uproar.
  Just as a riot was about to break out, The Invisible Accented Man's loud voice rang out over the crowd.
  "Have no fear! It was all an illusion! That smell was our new scented candle, Bacon Up Your Nose, available in all Co-ops now!"~


~Right then Piggy let out a loud belch and promptly imploded.
 Ziggy sighed as he walked over to Piggy's collapsed body. "Not another one."
   A sneer curled Jiggly's lip as he walked over to Piggy and nudged the body with the toe of his shiny Italian shoe. "He's dead,” he announced, because obviously you can feel for a pulse in someone's back with your foot.~

~*~*~*~*~*~

Ok, yes, that was way, wayyyy more than one sentence. But I was having so much fun looking through that story, I just couldn't stop. XD

Well, there you have it. Another post by me. And it wasn't even hard! I guess I waited so long because apfff? *various perplexed shrugs and dismissive noises*

Here's hoping the next post will come sooner than three months! :D


Saturday, 23 January 2016

Starting Sparks - January

Ashley at [insert title here] and Emily at Ink, Inc. have had the marvelous, MARVELOUS idea of hosting a monthly writing prompt!

I. Love. Prompts. 
*heart eyes* 
AND this month's prompt IS:


I kinda almost did this with the last Summer Writing Camp prompt, buuuut not quite. And even if I did, we're going to DO IT AGAIN, because it's fun! :D Okay? Okay.

I picked Monster by Imagine Dragons. I wouldn't call it my favorite song (I don't even know what my favorite song is...!), but I do like it, and out of the options I'd gathered, this one made for the most interesting story. So enjoy!



~*~*~*~*~*~

“You’re so quiet, Elise.” Shepard warmed his hands on his paper cup of hot chocolate. We were walking along the edge of the carnival, by the docks, everything cast in the glow of the colored lights. The cheerful music and chatter sounded very far away.

Quiet? Yes. Hazard of the profession. I shrug and try to smile, but the smile that comes out is the practiced, fake one. My I’m-a-normal-person smile. Whatever "normal” means. 

“Is that bad?”

“No. It just means I never know what you’re thinking.” He took a sip of hot chocolate, and I mimicked him, watching him. All soft features and brown eyes and gentleness. There were no hard lines in his body, no slim hips or lean muscle. So unlike the men I knew. 

So unlike me.

He took our empty cups and tossed them in a wastebasket as we passed it by. We continued walking in silence. Then:

“So, what are you thinking?” 

And I wanted to tell him. What I was, what I’d done. What I do. 
But if he believed me? 
He’d run straight to the police, or at least, as far away from me as he could get.

We’d come to the edge of the pier. We were exposed here, and there was only one way back. Two if you counted jumping in the frigid water, which I wanted to avoid if possible. But we were alone.

I stared at the moonlight, bright on the water. A stark contrast to my dark thoughts. 
So dangerous. 
It was so dangerous to tell him. For both of us. 
But I’d been living in secrets my whole life, and I was tired. 

Besides, I probably wouldn’t live out the week. Why not tell him?

“Elise?”

I turned to him, and I wondered what I looked like. Did the moonlight soften my sharp cheekbones? Lighten my dark eyes, make my dyed-black hair silver? 
Or did the shadows simply deepen the lines of weariness and premature aging around my eyes and mouth? Did my lean body make up for the harshness of my features? 

Did I look attractive to him?

. . . .What stupid thoughts.

I forced words out of my strained throat. “If I seemed dangerous, would you be scared?”

“What?” he tilted his head, a confused smile on his lips.

“You wanted to know what I’m thinking. I’m thinking that I want to tell someone what I am before I die. Someone who cares.”

“Die?” the smile fell away completely, and was replaced by a look of frightened concern. “What’re you talking about?”

My eyes remained fixed on the rippling moonlight as my mind filled itself with wretchedness. “I remember their faces. Every one. And I give some of my payment to their families. Does that make me different from the others?” I was barely speaking, my murmurs obscured by the waves.

I looked at Shepard. He still didn’t understand. How could he? I hadn’t told him anything yet, not really. My normally steel resolve, my cold detachment, was waning. 

One more. One final act of strength. One final act of violence. And . . . my gaze drifted down to Shepard’s lips, My one and only act of love.

Without giving either of us time to think, I stepped forward and kissed him. He was startled, and I was a little rough, I think, but I’d never had practice being gentle. I softened the kiss, and he accepted it for a long moment that still seemed too short when we finally pulled away. We stood there, staring at each other, breathing a little heavier than we had been, our breath hanging between us in the cool fall air.

“Elise, please talk to me.” Shepard pleaded, his voice a near-whisper, “I want to help you.”

“You can’t.” Tears tightened my voice, and I was shocked. I hadn’t cried since I was eight years old. The day this all started. “No one can. But it’s ok. I’m going to finish this. I’ll try and survive it, although I don’t think I can. But I have to do this.” I pulled away and started back down the pier, emotion quickening my silent steps. 

“Wait!” though he remained rooted to the spot, desperation tinged Shepard's voice, “Finish what? Survive what? Just give me a straight answer! Whatever it is, you don't have to do it alone.”

Dear Shepard. That thought surprised me as well, but as soon as I'd had it, I knew that’s what he was. He was my dear Shepard. Guiding me to the light. And I knew I had to tell him. Especially since I would probably never see him again.

I turned back, half swallowed by the darkness, and smiled. A real smile, but a sad one. My next words were soft, like I didn't want them to hurt him, even though I knew they would:

“I’m an assassin. But I don't want to be that person anymore. So I’m going to kill the man who made me like this.”

Then I was gone.

~*~*~*~*~*~

It's short, and I'm still not totally satisfied with it, but there you have it! For some reason, I found this prompt really difficult. Evidenced by the four half-written false starts from other songs that are tucked away in my Stories folder, and the MILLION times I edited this post.XD

Oh well. I did it, in any case. Yay me! :D

If you wanted to know how I got this story from the lyrics (but it wasn't a huge leap, letzbehonest), here's my little plotty notes!

Assassin story (Monster, Imagine Dragons):
-Ever since I could remember, everything inside of me just wanted to fit in (with whatever. Couldn’t, which ultimately lead to this life)
-If I told you what I was, would you turn your back on me, and if I seemed dangerous, would you be scared (talking to the only person she’s loved)
-I get the feeling just because everything I touch isn’t dark enough that this problem lies in me (the darkness of his world/life is bc of her OR that’s what she’d led to believe)
-I’m only a man with a candle to guide me (there’s a weak ray of hope)
-I’m taking a stand to escape what’s inside me (tries to/will refuse “bosses”)
-I’ve turned into a monster … and it keeps getting stronger (cares less and less about killing OR “bosses” threaten/blackmail/incentive/etc into temporary submission)
-Can I clear my conscience if I’m different from the rest (tries to care, tries to make up for it [gifts to victim’s family, charity donations, something])
-Do I have to run and hide (sometimes wants to turn herself in OR kill herself [won’t do this one, but might make for interesting conflict])
-I never said that I want this, this burden came to me, and its made its home inside (recruited and trained from young age, became the norm for her)

~*~*~*~*~*~

And there you have it. A glimpse into my brain functions. Just a little one, though! It's scary if you go too deep in there. o.0 You can see that there's a bit more backstory/detail in the notes than what I included in the story, but that's good, right? Or at least normal. 

Aaaanyhow, I can't wait to see what the next prompt is! Y'all should sign up, because reading people's prompt stories is the BEST. <3

Saturday, 16 January 2016

Revisiting Children's Books

My good friend Sunny over at A Splash of Ink tagged me (months ago, whoops) in a tag that she made up! This tag is wonderful in it's simplicity and open-endedness, for it has only one question:

What books did you read as a child?


Well, to start off, we have:
~The Chronicles of Narnia. Which I didn't read so much as I had them read to me. Dad read them all to me and my brother at least once.
~Anne of Green Gables. Only the first one, though. It was the only one I had.
~Little House in the Big Woods. Again, this is the only book in the series that I owned, and thus, the only one I read.
~Door in the Dragon's Throat. The only Cooper Kids Adventures series book that I owned, BUT I also devoured many of the other books in the series, courtesy of my church library.
~No Coins, Please. I loved this book; I thought it was HILARIOUS.
~Eye of Fortune, and many many other books in the Knights of the Silver Dragon series.
~Shadow of His Hand, a story based on the life of Holocaust survivor Anita Dittman (but told in a child-appropriate way. Though idk how intense it would have been otherwise).
~Mystery of the Invisible Knight. Another hilarious one. I laugh to this day. XD
~The Wilderness Mystery. The only Too Smart Jones book I had, soooo . . . (anyone care to take a guess)? Yep! The only one I read.
~Heidi. Had to read it for school, and loved it ever since.
~The Swiss Family Robinson. Same story as above. X)
~Andrea Carter and the Dangerous Decision. Gotta love the wild wild west.
~The Last Dance. I may have read this when I was a little older, like 14, but that's still kid-like, right? Anyway, it was creepy.
~Choice Stories for Children. A variety of short stories. Another read-for-school-then-read-a-lot book.



We had many Nancy Drew books, as you can see, but I'm pretty sure I only read the ones that are standing up in front, there. I found the books really creepy for some reason, so I only read a few of them. I was easily scared back then, apparently. Wait, who am I kidding? I'm easily scared NOW.


We have several more Wayne Thomas Batson and Bryan Davis books now, but these are the ones I read as a kid. We actually have 8 of Davis's INSANE 12-book Dragons in Our Midst series. Well, technically, it's three separate quadrilogies, but they all connect! And they're all so deep and complex and just--!! I can't even deal. XD Also, if our Door Within trilogy is looking a little beaten, it's because we've all read them several times.


Dragons. Need I say more? These fantasy books were AWESOME; to me at least. I also have the trilogy that came out after, technically separate, but still in the same universe.


ONCE UPON A TIME there was a chain of Christian books stores called Mitchell Family Books, which has since folded. We don't remember how or why, but somehow we got the first book of the Abby series (Well technically I think it's called the South Seas Adventure series, or something) for free from this store, which we frequented. WAIT! It was a kids' reading contest. How many books can you read during the summer, top contenders get to pick from a selection of book prizes. Or something.
Well anyway, I got this book, and I adored it, and wanted all of them. It took a little while, but eventually, I got all 8, including one which was mysteriously out of print (Either number 6 or 7. Thanks to my dad for getting me all of them!). And . . . yeah! Loved these books.

Then of course, there was the library, where I would often get:

-The Amazing days of Abby Hayes
-Geronimo Stilton. Half the time you felt bad for him, the rest of the time you wanted him to just let loose and have fun.
-Junie B Jones
-The Magic Treehouse
-A-Z Mysteries
-The Bailey School Kids
-Robert Munsch books
-Doctor Seuss books
-Fairy books of any kind
-Horse books of any kind
-Princess books of any kind
-Books telling kids how to take care of different pets, because I wanted a pet SO BADLY.
-These weird, funny graphic novels called Asterix that started in the 60's and have pretty much been running ever since.
-The Midnight Library, horror stories for kids. To this DAY I am scarred by the story Man's Best Friend from the collection Blood and Sand.
-The Baker Street Irregulars. Sherlock Holmes stories from the viewpoint of the street urchins he hires? Yes please. I was never able to find all of the books at the library, though (#librarystruggles). I reallly want to read them over again, and also read the ones I never found. And, y'know . . . I am an adult with my own money . . . . .  *sneaks off to Amazon.com*

Speaking of Sherlock, this doesn't really fit in with the "read it as a kid" theme, but it IS a book, and I'm very excited that I got it for Christmas. And I ordered that necklace myself and it just came recently and I LOVE IT! It's a key that says 221B on it, in case you can't see from the picture. X)


Thanks again to Sunny for tagging me! This was a lot of fun! *Throws the tag at all y'all* Do it do it do it! :D

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Book List - That One About Fairies

Previous Book List Post


~*~*~*~*~*~

Ok, technically, this is not a book. Actually, it is LITERALLY not a book, much like everything else on my list. But this one is even LESS of a book than the others. Here's what it is:


That's it. It's one page. Half a page, actually, of loose plot. Plot that is perhaps the most boring plot to have ever been partly plotted. It's about a "house fairy," aka, a tiny fairy who LIVES IN PEOPLES HOUSES CAN WE SAY THE BORROWERS WITH WINGS, who wants to go to the fridge.

O-okay . . . .

. . . . .
. . . . .
. . . . .

BUT WAIT THERE'S MORE:


A page of rough ideas. And that's fine, in and of itself. But what it says, WHAT IT SAYS, OH MAH GAWSH, is possibly the most cringe-inducing, non-creative bit of creativity I've ever put to page. Or at least one specific part is; I'll let you judge the rest for yourself. I mean, I didn't even remember this ideas page, so . . . I claim plausible deniability. Or something.

So, in case you can't read the childish scribbles in those grainy pictures, I'll break it down for ya.

~Top  left, we have a section called "Live." This would be, presumably, places where these house fairies would reside. Let's see, we have: In the fridge. Ah. Not making sense, right off the bat. I can only imagine that I wanted them to be sort of Inuit fairies. I guess their tiny lungs could last on the oxygen in the fridge in between openings? Anyway. We also have: in the bedrooms (which could present a whole list of problems in it's own right), in the living room, in the cupboards, and in the bookcase. Thank goodness no one's living in the bathroom.

~To the right of "Live" we have "names." Straightforward. Let's see what we've got: Sunny (lol Sunny), Sugar, Honey, Jade, Chloe, Violet, Rose, Lily, Pearl, June, April, May, Blossom, Amy, Sweet Pea, Lollipop, Jay-Lee, Clover.

. . . .Uh-huh . . . .

Putting aside the fact that half of these sound like stripper names, I can only stare at "Jay-Lee" and wonder where in the actual WORLD I got that from. I mean, I don't doubt it's the name of someone, somewhere, but I have no idea where 12-year-old me would have gotten it from. I just . . . I just don't know. And freaking LOLLIPOP??

Moving on.

~"Wings." It appears I only had enough creativity for six wing styles. I think I wanted each fairy to have different wings, because HEAVEN FORBID fairies from the same family/clan/county/ROOM I DON'T EVEN KNOW--heaven forbid they have the same wing style. But alas, there was only six. Alas.

~In the top right, we have "eat." It says: Crumbs, little bits of food they find OR take off the food we eat (but not both!!), leftovers (little bits). *Sigh* okay, y'know, fine, I see where I was comin' from. Let's not dwell here, I'm feeling compelled to give food to creatures who don't exist.

~Immediately under "eat," like, so close as to be confusing, we have "drink." Here's where it gets weird, as if it wasn't already: Drops of water from sweating water bottles, and forgotten or "covered-up" spills. Forgotten or "covered-up" spills?!?!?! What does that even mean??? Why are there quotation marks around "covered up"??? I don't even have a snarky comeback for these questions; I am legitimately confused and horrified. And let's not pass by SWEATING WATER BOTTLES. What, these people can't push the tap handle enough to get it dripping, so they can gather water? They can't scoop some out of the pitcher in the fridge? Can't . . . freaking . . . hop out a window and gather some rainwater??? CAN'T CONJURE SOME WITH THEIR MAGIC? WHAT GOOD EVEN ARE THESE FAIRIES THEY'RE LIVING OFF CONDENSATION.

Ahem.

~Under, um, "drink," we have "Setting." There are the words "a house," scratched out for no particular reason. Then it reads, "Every house has fairies, but this story take place at 25 Willow Street, Midnight, bedroom hall, stairs, living room, kitchen." Oh, ok. Thanks for that enlightening information, I'll keep that in mind. And then there's a little drawing of a house.

~Bottom left, the last and most uncomfortable category, is "Traits." I say uncomfortable, because DEAR GOSH, look at these characteristics. ALL fairies are:
girls (new fairies must be hatched from magic eggs, or the LAUGH OF A BABY, or something), magic, young, delicate, small, beautiful, fast, smart, fun, happy, friendly, 
nice.

Ok, I guess it's not toooo bad, considering it IS teeny fairies that we're talking about. But still, you know, you KNOW, that "tall," "blonde," and "white" are all lurking somewhere under the generalization of "beautiful." Not because I was a racist child, but because somewhere along the way, the world had hammered into me that that's what beauty was. That's what heroines looked like. And so yes, I cringe when I look at this list, because it just feels so wrong and naive.

Anyway, since ALL fairies are like that, but not ALL fairies can be exactly the same, SOME fairies are "stronger and tougher than others" (but still friendly and nice, we presume), SOME are loud, "rambuncious," messy, and unorganized. SOME are calm, quiet, neat, organized, and orderly. So, everyone's a stereotype, but some are teeny body builders, some are annoying slobs, and some are obnoxiously obsequious. Hm, fun. These are definitely characters I want to get to know . . . . yeah . . . .

Also, in the corner, there's a circle that says "fairy tale or fantasy" inside. Yes, a story with fairies would probably fall in one of those categories, thank you. I really needed to write that down so I wouldn't forget.

I realize I just talked for a ridiculously long time about ideas, and not about the story itself, but that's mostly because the story can be summed up like this:

Jade is bored and wants to travel to the fridge (or maybe she's scarred by the things she's seen, living in the bedroom). Amy is against it and wants her to stay (the little pervert). Jade will go tonight. She puts a hairbrush in a clamshell, then falls asleep behind a MAGICALLY APPEARING PICTURE FRAME. She wakes up at midnight and flies down to the ground. She proceeds to walk (YES WALK) down the hall and into the living room. She meets Blossom, a functionless character who's only purpose in the story or in life is to point Jade to the fridge. We see nothing further, but can only imagine that Jade reaches the fridge with no resistance and lives a happy life behind the forgotten leftovers from last Thanksgiving. THE END.

Isn't that just the most exciting thing you ever did read. Also, LOOK AT THIS PLOTTING GRAPH:


Wow. WAAOOOW. Such depth. Much ideas. It's based off of this other graph, from which spawned my Philip Story . . . I guess?


It's based around the common theme of . . . exiting?? Cloud city, haunted house, finding a magical land, kidnapped, lost, cave? EXITING?? And then there's THIS:


Freaking PLOTTING OF PAGES and a MAP which only contains a bathroom even though NO ONE LIVES THERE!!

*heavy breathing*

Ahem.

I'm okay.

. . . .

. . . .

. . . .

Mmm, nope, I'm not, goodbye.


Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Jar of Good Things, and a Belated Happy New Year!

*Looks around*
*Pretends not to see you*
*"Notices" you*
*Pretends to be surprised*
Oh, heyyyy! Long time no see! Well, maybe not THAT long, but it's definitely been longer than normal. Or maybe you didn't notice my absence, in which case . . . uh, forget I said anything. I totally never stopped being scheduled and consistent . . . . Ha ha . . . ha . . . ha.



Ahem.

So, Happy New Year, everyone! I hope your 2015 was awesome, and your 2016 is awesomer. Have you made your resolutions?

. . . . Have you broken them already?

Me, I don't make resolutions, and for that very reason. They're too easy to break, and it's too easy to get discouraged and frustrated. So instead, I started doing the Jar of Good Things, an idea that I picked up from . . . someone else on the internet, I forget who. So, sorry to the originator of this idea. It's a good idea, very good. I wish I could give you credit. Alas.

But, to continue my story:

The Jar of Good things is something you can do in lieu of, or in addition to, a resolution. Basically, you get a jar, and anytime anything good or nice or fun happens, you write it on a slip of paper and throw it in the jar. Then, at the end of the year, you get to look back at all the awesome stuff that happened, instead of looking back at, "Oh yeah, I meant to do that thing and I didn't." Unless you forget to write stuff down and put it in the jar, in which case . . . you'll still be looking back saying "whoops."

Hmm.

Well anyway, I did the Jar this year, and I thought I'd share some highlights. Okay? Okay.



First off, I put a grand total of an even 100 slips of paper in my jar. That's like, one good thing every not-quite-four days, or something. Idk, math is not my strong suit. But regardless, that's lots of good stuff happening! Here's the breakdown, because I like lists.

January - 13
February - 7
March - 4
April - 9
May - 7
June - 7
July - 10
August - 15
September - 13
October - 4
November - 2
December - 9

each slip of paper from my jar

Things really picked up in August, wow. November was uneventful, as per usual. A good year, all around. I thought I'd share one moment from each month, just so you can get a sense of the whole thing:

Jan 8-9 thurs-fri 2015
~Had a sleepover with Lizzy! We ate chinese fried rice and pizza, I reminded her how to knit, and we downloaded Sims 3 on her laptop. We also read our favorite old Mad Libs. Hilarious!

Feb 26, thurs, 2015 
~Today was mom's 51st birthday! I made the card (as per usual) and dad made the cake. She got puzzles, two dvds she wanted, a hat, and some colorful socks. ^.^ <3

Mar 3-4 weds-thurs, 2015 
~Slept over at Lizzy's college! Awesome to see it during the week. Met Megan and some of Lizzy's other friends, saw some familiar faces, listened to Paul Henderson speak and got a picture with him, ate in the caf, hung out in the H and Tim Hortons. Had a grand old time. 5/5 stars, will go again. X)

Apr 29, wed, 2015 
~Went to a late showing of Age of Adeline with Jenna and Shaena. It was really good! Sad and sweet. I had a soft pretzel with caramel dip (so good) and m&ms!

May 2, sat, 2015 
~Went shopping with mom for baby shower gifts, and there was a carnival in the parking lot, so we rode the ferris wheel!! We also bought some flower seeds and planted them in pots, and dug 2 bushes out of the garden! And we got 3 hostas to plant later. :)

Jun 21, sun, 2015 
~Father's Day! We gave dad a card (mine), a Star Trek hat (Ian's), a photo mug, a frame with the word DAD containing Chris', Ian's, and my pictures, and Pathfinders: Rise of the Runelords adventure card game (mom's). He was quite happy. :)

Jul 5, sun, 2015 
~After a sombre (but good) service, the college&career met in the Well, to talk, pray, and eat. Then most of us met at Seth's parents cottege, so we wouldn't have to be alone. Went boating on the lake. Lizzy came back to my house and we watched Warehouse 13 season 1 episode 1.

Aug 28, fri, 2015 
~Jenna came over and we played CoD: Black Ops 2, and Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawns, and went for a walk!

Sep 18, Fri, 2015 
~Mom, Ian and I went to see Jacob & Adam's band. It was very loud in the event hall, but they were SUPER good! Got hugs, bought a t-shirt each (well, not mom), got stickers and a music download card.

Oct 2-4, fri-sun, 2015 
~C&C retreat! Drove up with Eric, Lizzy, Caleb, and Mak. Me, Lizzy, and Mak actually got a room! We also consumed a giant bag of candy corn. Me and Lizzy teamed up against Mel, Katie, and Nathan in Dutch Blitz. We won. ^.^ Fun times were had by all.

Nov 15-16 Sun-mon, 2015 
~Slept over at Lizzy's college for her birthday! Hung out, had a skype party with James and his friend Brian, then went out to dinner at a chinese restaurant with Eric, Matt, Holly, and Lindsey. So much fun, and the waitress/hostess was awesome. Gave Lizzy a cat onesie, which she loves.

Dec 17, thurs, 2015 
~We had supper at Mohsen & Mina's tonight! Pans of chicken, vegetables, & potatoes, salad with almost-sweet salad dressing, Iranian-style rice, Turkish-style soup, and crispy rice with potatoes. So. Good. Then we talked, and looked at their wedding album, and pictures from their trip to Turkey. Also had homegrown pistachios and Romanian-style cookies made with honey. :)

Also, this is what our wild New Year's looked like:

Dec 31-Jan 1, Thurs-Fri, 2015-2016
~Had a sleepover with Lizzy to ring in the New Year. Watched the Mentalist, hung around in onesies, ate pizza and a large amount of snacks. Also went to see Mockingjay part 2 in theaters. It was packed in there. Packed. Good thing we got there early! It was a really good movie. Very traumatizing. :P Happy New Year!


My 2013, 2015, and 2016 Jars
Haha, so there you go! My year in brief. Perhaps you too shall attempt the Jar of Good Things! Either way, Happy belated New Year to you. <3