Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Telling The Tale

Dear readers, dear writers, dear dreamers,

For weeks I've been agitated with the lack of progress with my writing.
It's hard and I was never naive enough to expect this whole journey to be an easy  sugar-spun path. No, I knew it would be arduous.

But do you know what the hardest part is for me?
For a while it was the actual writing that was killing me. I couldn't get myself to sit down and scrawl down the words, fearing that they wouldn't do my characters justice, but the idea of a blank page became far worse than one inked with uncertain, almost-there prose.
The internet access never helped and none of those 'How To Write' books which always include a phrase like 'You just need to write.'
As if that's really a surprise!
Still, I keep them around, just in case I need to read that, because it can be tempting just to keep everything in my head where in theory it's all perfect and the way I want it. However tempting it is, I can't leave it like that; I want other people to feel what I do, and for that to happen then they need to be able to read my thoughts in a palpable medium.
So, trying again without the internet and switching to a pad and paper accompanied by a dictionary, there was nothing to distract me.
Although, I really enjoy looking for random and amazing words . . .
Those were a long few months.

Currently, I'm on my second redraft of the manuscript. I never thought I'd ever get this far! Now, the struggle isn't the writing anymore because I'm sure of my own distinct style. I have a voice that no one else does and that's a good thing on most days (far easier than trying to emulate an inspiration which I have tried so many times)

Now the chief problem I have is quite simply believing.
Sounds a little Disney-esque, I know.
Are you also picturing a princess/prince/fairy godmother/furry little animal saying 'Believe in yourself' with heartfelt conviction?
I know it can't just be me. I'm thinking this;

Winnie The Pooh - You never fail to liven my spirits
Yet another reason to love those animated stories.
It's never been easy to believe that maybe my words are actually valuable and worth being read. I'm far more likely to think 'does anyone really want to read my book when there are undoubtedly much better ones of the same genre by more experienced writers?'
For so long I was sure that the answer was 'no,' but now it's slowly edging towards 'yes.'
I would share a little excerpt with you all but I suspect the soon to be third problem of perfectionism is why I can't. Perhaps, i will soon.
I truly look forward to being secure enough to do that.

So, readers, writers, dreamers . . . don't you dare stop being any of those. You may end up losing your sanity and hair in the process but remember, most of us lack the first.
As for the second, I'm pretty sure I have enough to lend you.

Thank you for enduring this. I hope you feel free enough to share a little of yourself with me.
Go on - no judgement here.



Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Tuesday Tales 49

Contest details can be found here.
Normally I would pounce on the Tuesday Tales prompt with something sappy and romantic but that part of my brain was a little bit dead today - over stimulation, perhaps?
Well, I settled for something that borders on it . . . a little.
I hope you enjoy my entry!
Secret Word


He swallowed the dry ache in his throat as she tossed petals in the air. Her neck lengthened and her bosom heaved against red silk. He cursed how unnecessarily large her dress was, hiding her voluptuous frame like a bed-sheet.
Now if it’d been his bed-sheet, it could’ve been forgivable.
She faced him with a sultry smile and crawled closer. “That’s enough waiting. Can we canoodle now?”
He blinked back his confusion and his gaze dropped to his lap.
She saw his answer and pushed him to the ground, hovering over him before her lips finally descended in exquisite passion.

100 words


Monday, July 16, 2012

Motivation Monday - 16/07/2012

I always struggle between Menage Monday and Motivation Monday this week; both always have such good prompts and that never makes the decision easier.
In the end, Motivation won for me because I cannot write about werewolves to save my life!
There, you know my weakness - anything remotely paranormal!

Well, to check out the prompt and other brilliant Motivation Monday entries, go here.

 My Entry

Worth A Wager?

“I never thought I'd see you again.”
“Just because you assaulted me last week?” he asked sardonically.
“It was in defence; you tried to ruin me!” she reminded him, backing up against a tree.
With an arm on either side of her, she was encircled. His gaze held her with unnerving steadiness. “What is the meaning of this, Mr Hunt?”
He leaned only a little closer but the effect it had on her was embarrassingly clear. He seemed pleased with the way she struggled to breathe. “Please just leave me.”
“You have to listen to me, Miss Turner.”
“Why on Earth should I do that?” She had no way to distance herself from him. Should only one member of the ton decide to visit Hyde Park now, her reputation would be as valuable as her maid’s paste-jewellery.
“Scream and you’ll be discovered far more easily by any passerby,” he warned, understanding her cautiousness.
“Why are you doing this to me?” she whispered.
“I need to speak to you.”
“Then hurry.”
“Your Mr Rivers isn’t the gentleman you think.”
“This coming from his rival,” she said dryly.
His face tightened and his eyes dropped into a tarnished silver that made him look entirely menacing. “Listen to me, Miss Turner.”
“What?” she croaked.
“It’s a wager. It’s all a wager.”
“I beg your pardon, what is?”
“You’re part of a wager between Rivers and I.”
“That is not funny, Mr Hunt!”
The man sounded genuinely anguished when he immediately said, “I know. God, I know it, but forgive me, it’s true.”
She said nothing for a while, wondering why he’d had such a change of heart when only recently he’d tried his best to isolate her at the Faversham Ball. “Why would you tell me this after so long?”
“He’s going to propose. The dolt said it was practically a done-deal,” he said bitterly. “I don’t want you to say yes to him.”
“He’s going to propose?”
He nodded confidently. “But I’m sure he doesn’t intend to stand by it.”
She let out a mirthless laugh, a short one that barely lasted a few seconds. It was only to stop the stab of incoming tears. “I should’ve known something was afoot.”
Silly girl that she was, she’d thought an Earl could have sought her as a wife. And when she was already twenty seven.
His eyebrows furrowed closer and confusion washed over his swarthy face. In a senseless moment of instinct only, he pulled her into his arms. She settled into him, the length of him much warmer than the tree she’d been resting on.
“What was put forward in this wager?”
He said nothing, then his voice grew quiet. Shameful. “A stallion.”
“Well, that’s nicer than a Shetland,” she replied, trying to inject a little optimism into her voice.
“I’m truly sorry. But if I could, Francesca, I’d like to visit tomorrow.”
She pulled back. “Why?”
“I want to court you in the way you deserve; with a heart completely yours.”

500 words (excluding the title)


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

TuesdayTales 48 – Bandersnatch

The contest details are here

Update - Thank you to the lovely judge, Cara Michaels, who picked me as the winner! And here I thought my entry was far too different to have a chance. To see the results and the honourable mentions, just go here.

Secret Word


 My Entry

If You Could See
She found the wall and scanned along brick, steadying her step.
A floral scent loomed over air. Soon, a hand was guiding her elbow.
“Had you any problems?”
“None,” she smiled.
“You should’ve-”
“It would’ve been bad luck to see me.”
Silence followed until they halted.
“Are you sure?”
Her fingers traced the creases of his forehead, slowed over the sharp digs and craters of his cheeks, and rested on straight lips. No bandersnatch, just a scarred soul. “Make me your wife.”
He pulled her close with an anguished sound. “I wish you could see how happy you make me.”

100 words


Saturday, July 7, 2012

Sunshine Award

I've been nominated for the Sunshine Award by the inspirational Rebecca, who you can find here (@moonduster). Thank you for thinking of me, my dear!

Here are the rules:
1. Include the award logo in a post or on your blog.
2. Tell 10 things about yourself.
3. Nominate 10 other fabulous bloggers.
4. Link your nominees to the post and comment on their blog letting them know they are nominated.
5. Share the love and link the person who nominated you.

Ten (Maybe Not-So) Surprising Facts About Me

1. My name(meaning 'fairytale') is what I like most about myself.
2. I have a huge grey file where I store useful words and phrases.
3. I don't understand Japanese, apart from a few phrases and insults, but I really love some of the Japanese music I've heard.
4. My favourite juice is Blueberry.
5. There might be a few too many post-its on my wall to help me remember/organise things.
6. People can never tell when I've got make up on or not. I haven't yet decided if that's a good or bad thing.
7. I'll eat eggs but not omelets.
8. Whatever the weather, I've pretty much always got cold hands or feet.
9. 'The Illusionist' is one of those movies that touches me every time I watch it. I don't care if it doesn't centre on magic as much as 'The Prestige.' To me, sappy as it sounds, love is just as magical as those stage performances.
10. I used to do oil paintings for a while but then writing took quite a possessive hold on me, jealous thing that it is.

 Who do I share the love with? Obviously, some of the strangest, kindest, and most beautifully brilliant people I know!

*tasteful drum roll*

And the nominees for my very own Sunshiners are - 

1. Emily (@writing_bird)
2. Angie Richmond (@write_me_happy)
3. Daniel Swensen (@surlymuse)
4. Lisa Shambrook (@LastKrystallos)
5. Jeffrey Hollar (@klingorengi)
6. Elisabeth Koch (@lizzie_loodles)
7. Matt Sloan (@falcon_feathers)
8. Miranda Kate (@PurpleQueenNL)
9. Jessica Maybury (@JessicaMaybury)
10. Michael Sands (@wokingwriter)

So, pass the baton, bloggers!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

TuesdayTales 47

Contest details are here.

Update - This post won an Honourable Mention. Thank you to the judge, Charles W Jones (@ChuchWesJ)
The full results are here.

Image Prompt

Secret Word


My Entry

“How long has it been, Maggie?”
“How did you find me, Samuel?” she stammered, backing away.
“It wasn’t easy but the ferryman spoke,” he said cryptically, and he caught her with a steel grip. His jaw clenched and swarthy skin tautened over his chiselled face.
Memories burned her consciousness, of distant trysts. Of mistakes.
“Maggie!” Harry’s voice called from inside.
Samuel yanked and spun her against his chest, cinching her close.
“Don’t move,” he warned, stroking a silver blade along her throat. “I told you. You can’t outrun my love.”
“Love? it was an affair; dishabille and meaningless,” she spat.

100 words


MenageMonday Challenge – Week 37

Contest details are here.

Update - This post WON. That would be the first time I've managed a win, so thank you to the judge, Casey Moss (@CRMoss
The talented others who won can be found here.

Image Prompt


"so good to see"

Judge's Prompt

The Judge’s Prompt: The first line from John Keats’ poem ‘On Death’: “Can death be sleep, when life is but a dream, And scenes of bliss pass as a phantom by?” Think about the quote (use it as inspiration) then use the following words in your piece: death, sleep, life, dream, bliss, phantom.

My Entry

The statue towered high, its malleable palms in fervent prayer.
It had been a drawing; grey and cross-hatched. Then, a memory.
And finally, dovetailed into reality, solidified with sleek curves and lines.
She stilled as she always did, thinking it was so good to see this illustrious tribute and not a sleeping, etched slab.
This was his life’s work and his dreams’ gift; he’d said that with triumph in his eyes.
She said it was his death.
She climbed over the stone-paved border and the sunlight slanted a ray downwards. It broke as she took a further step, stroking a palm along the silver stance as fluidly as a tear. Not tearing the contact, she lowered to her knees and crawled into the shaded hollow of the bottom.
Wind swam at the mouth of the cavern, lacing an arid weft.
Whistles and sighs faltered.
Whispers subsided.
Would she ever hear them again? Not in a dream, but spoken from flesh, and blood, and life?
The elements were a poor substitute, but illusion was all that brought bliss.
She gathered a breath and leaned back.
Sinking in a cold, metal embrace, she had all that her existence needed; a phantom’s gesture.

200 words