Saturday, May 25, 2013

The Mermaid Statue

Here is my entry for Flash! Friday #25. It asked for a 300 word story (give or take 10) based on the photo prompt. Mine came in at 308 words. :) Enjoy!

Photo courtesy of Johnny Berg

“Popi, are Mermaids real?” Adella asked, frowning at the statue.

“Of course, Little One, do you think the sculptor just made it up?”

“Well, why don’t we ever see them?”

“I’m not sure you’re ready for that story, Dearest. Five is still quite young…”

“I’ll be six next month, Popi. I’m not too little.”

“Your Momma wouldn’t approve.”

“Momma won’t mind. She says I’m a big girl all the time. Truly.”

“I don’t doubt it, Darling, but there’s a lot of history you don’t know yet, and it would take a long time to tell.”

“Like what? I know lots of things, Popi!”

“I know, Sweetheart, but you haven’t learned about the war yet…  War’s a hard topic for a five year old-”

“Almost six.”

“Almost six year old. And the treaty is a little hard to explain…”

“What’s a treaty?”

“Exactly. You don’t even know what one is, let alone the complicated reasoning behind-”

“Well, I’d know if you would tell me.”

“Alright. It’s an agreement between two people, or two groups of people.”

“That seems simple enough.”

“Yes, but when you add all the clauses and stipulations… Nevermind. You don’t need to know all that. Look at her.” He knelt and gestured toward the statue, “Which way does she face?”

“East, right?”

“Yes. And what happens in the east?”

“The sun rises?”

“Yes, and with the sun comes a new day, a new opportunity to make things right.”

“Did we make things wrong before?”

“There was wrong all over the place, but that’s not the point. Someday – someday soon – the Time of Separation will be over. She looks at the dawning of each new day, waiting for the fulfillment of the treaty. You could be a part of that new generation, living together.”

“I could meet a mermaid.” She stared in open-mouthed wonder at the possibility.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

The Pardner

Here's my entry for Flash! Friday yesterday. I had a lot of fun with it! The cowboy and the horse were so intent on what they were looking at, I figured it must be something really interesting... :) Anyway, the contest was a photo prompt and 250 words exactly. Enjoy!

Photo by John C. H. Grabill

“What d’ya’ reckon it is, Maisy?” Clive squinted into the sun. “Nutin’ good, dat’s what.”

“Well, I s’pose we’d better go’n check it out.” Clive pulled at the reins. Maisy yanked back, shaking her head vehemently.

“Now, no need t’be like dat, Maisy, we’s jus’ takin’ a look-see.” He patted her on the neck, “C’mon.” He pulled again on the reins.

Maisy tore the reins out of Clive’s hand, huffed loudly, and danced backward two or three steps.

“Now, I’m sure it ain’t nutin’ we can’t take care of,” He patted his holster, “Dere’s no need t’git all lathered up.” He grabbed the reins again and stroked her neck. “I ain’t never steered ya’ wrong. Yer the fastest thing on four legs born un’er d’sun, dere ain’t nutin’ t’be worried about.”

He leaned into her with his knee and managed to coax several steps out of her before she balked and reared. “C’mon, Maisy! We’s jus’ gonna check-”

Clive glanced back toward the sun. A shadow was growing.

Maisy bucked and reared, throwing Clive from the saddle. She tore off in the opposite direction.

“Now, dat was uncalled for.” He said, standing to his feet and rubbing his backside. “Dere ain’t no reason-”

A great shape flew overhead, buffeting him with its passage. The beast soon dove upon Maisy and lifted her in its claws. The great creature shrieked victory.

“Ya’ stirred up a hornets nest now, Creature. Dat dere’s my horse.” He pulled out his Colt and opened fire.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Dreams and Disasters

It's been a little while since my last update (3 months), so I thought I'd share a little about what's been going on with me. The title of this post (why yes, it's an Owl City song) pretty much sums it up...although, perhaps disasters is too strong of a word.

You last heard that I won the Writing Excuses Scholarship to their writing retreat coming up in June and I was editing my novel in earnest. I had goals. Apparently absurdly unrealistic ones... HA! I wanted to be finished editing my novel by May. It's May. Am I finished? No. No, I'm not. Have I made progress? YES! Surprisingly, I have! :) I can now say that I have finished over 1/3 of it. (33.6%, but I like the OVER a third idea...) I still have dreams of finishing the whole thing before the retreat in June, but... We'll see. I'm trying! Also, I've written a couple of scenes in my middle grade fantasy novel, and I'm really enjoying it.

What you don't know (or, at least, I haven't posted it on this blog) is that the very same week I won the scholarship, my hubby got a job offer in another state. This is a good thing, but it has turned our world upside down for the past three months. I have gotten a part-time job. We are cleaning and packing and trying to sell our house. My writing time has all but disappeared. Life seems like chaos at the best of times. I have gained 20 pounds. :(  Our house is still not sold and we are leaving in less than 3 weeks.

Let's not focus on those 'disasters' though. I've decided to get back in gear. I'm running again. I've lost 4 pounds so far. I'm trying to get in editing whenever I's slow going, but I'm making the time. I think I've cleaned my house more in the last 2 1/2 months than I have in the 4 years we've lived here. We continue to have a lot of showings, hopefully that will get us an offer soon. And I'm headed to the writing retreat in a month!

You see, God is good. He knows my dreams and he knows my disasters. He has a plan for my good and his glory. The waiting is a hard place to be, but I'm trying to be faithful. I need more sleep than I've been getting (I've borrowed, probably too much, from my sleep time to write/edit), but things are getting done. Prayers are appreciated. Perhaps I'll have time in the next month to post again, but if not I'll certainly post after the retreat! :)


I wrote a story for Flash! Friday yesterday and didn't get a chance to post it. Picture prompt with 190-210 words. I came in at 209...actually 210...I added a word here that wasn't in the one I submitted. Ah, well. :) Enjoy!

Jose & Nena Andreu, ca 1906

“Please, Louisa? You have the best posture of anyone! How am I going to have the trick ready if no one helps?”

Louisa closed her book with a snap and set it on the bench. “It is unladylike, Balin. My Mother would-”

“She’s gonna love it! I promise!” Seizing her hand, he pulled her out of the garden toward the practice grounds.

Louisa stumbled behind him, glaring. “You know this will not go well.”

“There won’t be any chickens, pies, or fertilizer this time. What could happen?”

Almost a candlemark later – including several kicks in the head, an elbow in the eye, and a tear in her dress –she was long past finished.

 “Once more. Please, Louisa? I almost had it!” Balin sounded desperate.

Louisa sighed loudly but held her hands out. The would-be acrobat flipped himself gracefully upside-down over her head – perfection at last? – No; he’d flipped too far. They tumbled to the ground.

“Louisa!” A female voice thundered.

Balin’s head snapped up. He was lying on top of Louisa! He scrambled to his feet, red-faced.

Louisa stood calmly and brushed down her dress. “Yes, Mother?”

“What is the meaning of this?” The woman’s face blazed.

Balin stepped forward. “It’s not her fault! It was my idea… Your Majesty…”

Monday, May 6, 2013

Debt of Honor

:) This is my entry for Monday Mixer over at Jeffrey Hollar's blog. 150 words exactly (as per the rules) and I've used ALL NINE words! WHAT???? I know! Crazy! I may not win the over-achiever award, but I feel like an over-achiever! (I totally should have been editing my novel, but once I started I couldn't stop!) I hope you enjoy it! (The bold words are the prompt words)

My eyes swept his chosen arena. The trees were sparse this high in the taiga. Moss gave the ground some bounce, but the lakes dotting the landscape made it squishy.

I opened my portmanteau, fingering the ammo I’d hoarded from the repository. The voluble idiot! His calumnious accusations had cost me everything! I demanded the Debt of Honor – giving me choice of weapon, but him time and place.

He would arrive soon. I pulled a rusk from a vest pocket and nibbled; I needed my strength.

Sunrise struck the horizon, and in its effulgent glow appeared my nemesis.

He smirked at the ammo, “Your concertina would’ve been a better choice – debilitate me instantly, like it did Julia.”

“Julia had the flu! She loved my songs you wretch – you’ve been spreading lies!” I reached for several water balloons. “Arm yourself! And remember the price of defeat. You agreed.”

“So did you.”

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Ignorance is Bliss

I wrote this a couple weeks ago and never posted it. Oops. It's been that kind of couple weeks...Actually, it's been that kind of couple months! It was for the Flash! Friday #20 on April 19th. I enjoyed writing it, but I think the last line was a bit too forced. If I had a few more words to work with I think it wouldn't have felt so... morally. Yeah, I know that's not a word, but that's the one I want... :) It was a 300 word limit, but I needed a bit more to make it feel natural. Ah, well. Hope you like it anyway! :)

 Nobody (1921)

“Miranda! Have you seen this?” Gerald thrust the newspaper before her jabbing at the article for emphasis.

“What makes you think I’ve seen it? I don’t read the paper, Gerald.” Miranda turned her nose up and glanced away.

“Fine. Stupid question. But have you heard…”

Miranda stared at the patterned wallpaper across the room, counting the tiny flowers that grew in precise patterns. One, two, three… She didn’t like to listen to bad news. Her mother always told her that ignorance was bliss and she intended to prove it.

Fourteen, fifteen… It wasn’t a very scientific study. She hadn’t quite worked out how to judge whether she was happier not knowing something without finding out what she didn’t know, which would ruin the entire experiment.

Thirty-one, thirty-two, thirty-three… She had successfully avoided all manner of news for over a month, but it took focus and careful planning. Sewing circle, book club, even the opera needed to be avoided!

Forty-five, forty-six, forty-seven…


“What was that for?” Miranda massaged her head while she glared at Gerald.

“Did you hear a word I said?” He brandished the newspaper threateningly.

“I’m sure I heard it, Gerald. I just wasn’t listening.” She crossed her arms over her chest.

“So. You think this is bliss?” He gestured at her with the paper. “I can prove you wrong right now.”

Miranda quirked an eyebrow, “Oh?”

“Yeah. THIS news?” He tore the paper to bits. “This news makes me SO happy… SO thrilled…” He laughed, “I wanted to share it with you. But you know what?” He tossed it like confetti. “If you want to know what it is, you’ll have to read it yourself.” He turned and stalked out of the room.

“Now that’s just cheating.” Miranda bit her lip, then knelt to find joy instead.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Sunrise of a New World

It's Friday again, and that means another entry into Flash! Friday over at Rebekah Postupak's blog! The picture is SUPER beautiful this week! I'm so excited about it! And I really like what I came up with. Yay! I get to share it with you! I only had 150 words this week (C'mon, just a few more and I could've fleshed it out even more...) with 5 words grace...I used all of them and came in at 155 words. Enjoy!

Photo courtesy of Wondermar at Pixabay

“Daddy! You’ve gotta see-”

“Not now, Champ, the readings on this are phenomenal!” Gordon plugged his handcomp into the stationary core probe. The final stage of the terraforming process was beginning.

“But Daddy, there’s-”

“Just look at these numbers, Champ! At this rate, the world will be ready for colonization in under ten years! That’s a 54% increase over Gamma 2 – 268% increase over Titan!” He began entering the updated codes on the handcomp, his gloves making it tedious. “In as little as a year we won’t need thermal insulation.”

“But Dad, I really think-”

“Not now, Son. The amount of water vapor being poured into the atmosphere right now is astounding! I can practically see it happening!”

“Dad! Look!” Junior grabbed his father’s face and jerked it toward the horizon, “You can! Just open your eyes!”

Gordon held his son’s hand and watched the sunrise of a new world, tears freezing on his face.