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First blog post

Well! I took a deep breath and jumped.

This is my very first blog. I’m kind of nervous and excited to get this started.

I’ve been writing stories on the Writer’s Digest Creative Writing Prompts forum every week for the past two years. It’s been a wonderful learning experience to take their prompts, no matter how weird or specific, and turn them into two or three completely different stories. I’ve written stories on there that I normally wouldn’t have considered writing – science fiction stories, vampire stories, and so on. My fellow forumites, who are awesome writers, have helped me with their suggestions and comments to grow as a writer.

So, after much mental fidgeting and nail biting, I finally decided to create this blog to give my prompt stories a proper home.

Hope you enjoy them!

AK

Writing About……Graceling—So Much Anticipation!

Margaret at weirdzeal.com recently did a post about her 59 thoughts I had while rereading the Graceling books. Her thoughts about the books hooked me. It sounded a lot like something I would enjoy. 

So, I went to the nearby Barnes and Noble. They had Fire and Winterkeep, but not Graceling. I was like *shrugs* “Okay. I’ll get these two and order Graceling.” That was all the way back on February 3rd. 

I’ve been watching my e-mail, stalking the progress of the book’s arrival. The estimated date was February 10, but! It actually came today! 

And ooo! Graceling is one shiny paperback. So shiny! I tried to take a picture of it, but I couldn’t do the shininess proper justice.

I have it sitting next to me as I’m typing this up. I’m so looking forward to reading it. I’ll start reading it while I’m eating supper tonight.

I will do a follow up post about my thoughts about this book as I’m reading it.

See you all then!

 

59 thoughts I had while rereading the Graceling books – Weird Zeal

If I Were The Wind….

If I were the wind,
I would be a calm, balmy 
breeze.
I would feel like a caress.
I would feel like a friendly hand.

If I were the wind,
My breath would never be full
Of rain.
My touch would hold no thunder
Or lightning bolts.

If I were the wind,
I would be a friendly 
Breeze.
I would play with kites and keep them
From tangling in trees.
I would keep them
Airborne in straight lines.

If I were the wind,
I would never carry
Tornadoes.
I would carry 
Birdsong and laughter and joy
In my air
In my breeze
If I were the wind.

February 2021 Writing Prompts – Putting My Feet in the Dirt

Rory Cubes #4 – A Purloined Scarab Beetle Pin

Ambrose padded across the footbridge. His bare feet slapped against the bridge’s well-worn stone walkway. If he had really wanted to, he could have walked with a little more care and refinement. But he didn’t really care about that. He wasn’t coming out here to impress anyone, hence the bare feet.

He stopped at the midpoint of the bridge and elbow-propped on the broad stone rail. He looked out into the darkened forest.

It’s all demented craziness. he thought. And I’m the demented crazy one. I don’t know why I let Anna talk me into these schemes of hers.

He reached into his bedrobe’s pocket and pulled out a small silver-painted box. He opened it.

A scarab beetle pin lay on a blue velvet cushion. The enameled carapace was an oil-slick combination of dark blue and yellow-green. Its jointed legs were silver and gold.

I’m not even sure why she wants this thing. It’s ugly.

“Oh! There you are!” Anna called out.

Ambrose startled and almost dropped the box. He turned to face her as she walked onto the bridge. “Just so you know, this is the last time I’m doing your bidding.”

She stopped in front of him. “You always say that.”

“This time I mean it.”

“Whatever.” She held out her hand.

He sighed and put the box in her hand.

Anna smiled brightly. “Thanks!” She opened the box and admired the pin. “Oh, it’s so pretty!”

“It’s a pin shaped like a bug.”

She shook her head. “You boys just don’t understand fine things.”

“It’s shaped like a bug.”

“Noooo, it’s shaped like an Egyptian scarab.”

“So?”

“It’s exotic!”

“It’s also something I’m going to get in trouble for when it comes up missing.”

She clicked her tongue at him. “I’m not going to keep it. I just want to borrow it.”

“Yeah, you’re borrowing it. Then, you’re going to lose it and will get blamed for its disappearance. You know, if you wanted to borrow it all that much, you could have asked my mother for her permission instead of forcing me to do all of this annoying subterfuge.”

“That’s true, but it makes it soo much more exciting this way.”

He shook his head. “If you don’t wind up imprisoned for wanton robbery by the time you’re twenty years old—”

“That will never happen and you know it.”

Ambrose frowned at her. “This is the last time I’m running shenanigans for you. I mean it.”

“Actually, you’re right. Tomorrow, my parents are going to ship me off to ‘self-improvement school’ or whatever it is they call it. ‘Finishing’ school? Whatever. I’m going to learn how to be a well-behaved and respected member of society.”

Ambrose burst out laughing, which earned him one annoyed Anna look.

“Gee, thanks for your vote of confidence.”

“No, it’s just…” He calmed down. “They are going to have their work well cut out for them. You will try to stay out of trouble, won’t you?”

“Of course!” She admired the pin one more time before handing the box to him. “Keep this safe for me. I want to wear it when they throw my ‘Welcome Home’ party.”

“I’m going to put this back where it belongs. If you want to wear it, you’ll have to ask my mother if you can.”

That earned him one more annoyed look. “Fine.”

Rory Cubes #4 – The Mind of Nox

The Daily Spur Presents……La Stessa, La Stessissima Variations

Alice loved watching him play the piano. There was no denying it. She loved how watching his fingers move in fast rat-a-tat staccatos and in graceful lilting phrases.

She had watched him practice so many pieces. Mozart. Beatles. Chopin. Disney. Beethoven. 

Beethoven.

In particular, Beethoven’s 10 variations on Salieri’s La Stessa, La Stessissima. 

His fingers pranced and danced through the difficult phrases and measures. He quietly mouthed “Bah bah buh bah bah.” through some of the trickier parts, which made her smile. She remembered doing that herself when she had learned that piece.

She had learned it, but never managed to reach his level of mastery. Her fingers always bumped and tripped into each other. She never could get them to move quite fast enough. 

He played it with all of the important expression and all of the joy the piece required. It was not meant to be played like a perfect wind up toy. It was meant to be played like a little girl twirling in a brand new dress. It was meant to be like a goldfinch’s uplifting song. It was meant to be all of the best parts of springtime. Flowers and new grass. Lilac leaf buds growing bigger by the day.

That was what that piece meant to her.

And she could tell that it meant the same thing to him as well.

As he played, she remembered the girl she once was. She twirled in her soft cotton housedress. She almost caught a whiff of lilac blossoms and fresh strawberries and new grass.

The front screen door opened and banged shut.

Alice stopped just as his fingers went still.

His mother entered the room and kissed his head. “Sounds like you’re getting better.”

He smiled up at her. “Do you really think so? The ending keeps tripping me up.”

Alice smiled at him. Even though she knew he could not see or hear her voice, she said, “You sound wonderful, my dear grandson. I’m so proud of you both.” 

Alice’s daughter sat on the piano bench to help him through the ending.

Alice watched them for a few minutes more before quietly fading away.

10 Variations on :”La stessa, la stessissima”, WoO 73 from Salieri’s “Falstaff”: Variation X | The Daily Spur (wordpress.com)

 

The Daily Spur Presents…..A Little White Car

I was in the middle of a photo shoot for the Landscapes and HomeBoys magazine. We were off the Corsica coast and I had just finished a round of beach and lagoon shots. Now, I was all set to do some city pics, to give the article a nice, rounded feel.

I wandered the city looking for interesting people and intricate architecture. The air was balmy and filled with the scent of ocean. I met many locals. Some wanted to be photographed. Others politely declined. Some were naturals before the camera. Others had no idea what “Pose naturally” even meant.

I took pictures of open air markets and quaint buildings that had seen many lives come and go.

With each photograph I took, I fell a little bit in love with the city and the air and the ocean. I had several fanciful daydreams of quitting my job, dumping my previous life in New Hampshire, and eke out a living here.

Then, I happened upon an abandoned building. The whole upper portion of its east wall was decorated with large flowers and leaves. Rusted metal bars served as backing for the flowers. The wall’s lower half was a bright white stucco.

The play of light and shadow!

The sharp contrast of colors!

I needed to take a picture. Whether it was used or not, I was determined to take a picture of it. If the magazine didn’t want it, I would simply include it in my own private collection.

I raised my camera and took several steps back to get the best angle and the most details in frame. 

My index finger posed over the shutter button, ready to hit it as soon as I was content with the shot composition. 

A white car rushed into view. It was all out of focus – a white blur with a black roof and black tires. 

I raised my head to tell the driver to get out of my shot….but the car was empty. No one was inside of it. No one was standing anywhere near it.

It annoyed me. I had such a great shot all lined up and someone pulled the car over here and left it. I tried to change my position so the car was out of frame, but that spot was the best for lighting and impact. Nothing else would do.

I scowled at the car and mentally cussed the driver out…whoever the driver was. But then.

Then.

Standing there and looking at the car, I couldn’t help but notice that this little white car was a lot like the people I had photographed earlier. The way it straddled just the right amount of parking lines.

The colors.

The contrast.

I laughed. “You wish to be photographed too, do you? Okay, little white car. I wouldn’t say you’re posing naturally, but this will be a great shot all the same.”

The car, if it could speak at all, kept its thoughts to itself.

“Okay.” I raised my camera again and recentered my shot. “Hold still. Don’t breathe. Don’t move. Staaaaaay…..” I pressed the button. “Perfect!”

I took several more shots of this little white car outside an abandoned building in Corsica. And I knew without a doubt, if the magazine didn’t want any of these shots, I would keep them for my own personal records.

I lowered my camera and smiled at my metal model. “I’m gonna move on my way. I have much more to photograph before I can relax.” I felt silly asking the question, but I asked it anyway, “Do you want to come with me?”

The car didn’t respond, which didn’t surprise or disappoint me. It was pretty much what I was expecting.

I continued walking.

The gravel on the road popped and crunched as the little white car followed me.

Photo Prompt | The Daily Spur (wordpress.com)

Rory Cubes #2 – Preparing For Karaoke With A Fey And A Vampire

Isellta hugged the poofy sheep pillow Robin had given him for Christmas. It was lavender and chamomile scented as if someone had poured a whole cup of tea into it. He burrowed his face into it and inhaled. It wasn’t Robin’s bright tangerine scent, but it was good.

It was calming, not invigorating.

It was as tranquil as a hug before bedtime. 

It didn’t smell like Robin at all, but it made Isellta think of him anyway. He smiled and hugged it harder.

“Yes!” Robin entered the room, twirling a microphone like it was a baton.

Isellta perked up and flapped his large black feathery wings. “You found it!”

“Heck yeah!” He plugged it into the karaoke machine. “Ain’t got a clue why the heck it were under the bed.”

Isellta hugged the sheep one more time before setting it on the L-shaped couch. He walked over to Robin and lightly ran his fingers down the middle of the vampire’s messy brown hair.

Robin looked up at him and all of the love he felt for Isellta was there. It was easy to see. So plain on his face. Practically scrawled in the walls of the scar running through his eye and down his face.

Isellta knelt and traced the scar’s soft skin. “It still amazes me.”

“What?” Robin asked softly.

“That you are here and I am here. And we are together.”

He laid his hand on the side of Isellta’s face. “And we’re so happy. So in love.”

Isellta’s gaze dipped down to Robin’s mouth, to his lips.

And Robin’s lips curved up into a smile. Such an amazing smile.

Isellta couldn’t resist it. He leaned forward and gently kissed him.

Robin’s hands slid up into his hair.

Isellta’s wings flapped faster. Robin’s hands felt so good in his hair. They somehow made his blond hair feel like something fine and beautiful, like the best kind of alpaca fur.

The doorbell rang, interrupting them.

Robin swept Isellta’s bangs out of the way and kissed his forehead. “Prob’lly Ambrose and Raven.” He sighed. “Do we e’en gotta let them in?”

Isellta looked into Robin’s eyes – one a warm brown, the scarred one clouded over. But they were both beautiful in Isellta’s mind. “I guess we should.”

“Yeah. Guess so. Don’t want Am’rose to go yellin’ in my head like a freakin’ yak in labor.”

Isellta smiled and kissed him one more time. “I’ll get the door.” His wings relaxed.

“And I’ll double check all the selections.”

“Oh! Oh, are you going to include that pretty Beatles’ song?”

“What? Wait. Which one? They got sev’ral.”

Robin smiled lovingly as Isellta sang:
“There are places I remember
All my life
Though some have changed…”

He stopped. “That song.”

“Yeah. Was the first one I put on.” He smiled. “I knew you’d want it.”

Isellta’s wings fluttered happily as he went to open the door.

Rory Cubes #2 – The Mind of Nox

Blogging Insights For 2021

Dr. Tanya over at Salted Caramel posed a question to all of the bloggers out here:

How do you see your blog in 2021? What are your hopes and aspirations for your blog this year?

So, I just had to answer it.

HERE IS MY ANSWER:

What are my hopes and aspirations for my blog this year? Well! With my cosistories blog, I hope to pay a bit more attention to her. Poor thing tends to get ignored in favor of my other two blogs. So, I will try to post more frequently over here.

With my ambroseandelsie.wordpress.com blog, I hope to keep pushing the story further and further ahead. With some amount of luck and the power of sheer determination, I will reach the 2-3 big scenes I have mentally planned out some time before next January. I’ve been holding those scenes in my head and sorting through all of the hows and whys leading up to them for the past year. One scene in particular has been in my head ever since I started this blog. That one is going to be an absolute killer to write….in all the best ways.

With my ravenlovesmayrose.home.blog , I hope to likewise keep pushing the story ahead and finally get to James and May Rose being young adults. I have a bunch of scenes involving James and May Rose that I’ve copied and pasted from my ambroseandelsie blog. I am hoping to finally put those scenes into the story some time this year. I plan to rework them a little, maybe change the point of view, so it isn’t a direct copy paste. I am looking forward to that so much!

Then, there’s my poor, very neglected jackjilhouseorlorddeama.wordpress.com blog. There are a lot of small things that bother me about that story. A lot of character and worldbuilding stuff that just aren’t working for me. So, I want to salvage the scenes, ideas, and characters I like from that story and start over from scratch. It will be such a relief to start over again, because I know I can do it better. I just need to figure out better character motivations and actions.

Soooo, yep! Those are my 2021 goals for my blogs! We’ll see how things turn out for them all this time next year. 😀

If you want to reveal your blogging insights/plans for 2021, just type them up in a post and paste the link over at:

Blogging Insights # 62 — Your blog in 2021 – Salted Caramel (wordpress.com)

Have a great New Year!!

Rory Cubes #1 – Comedia And Tragedy

AUTHOR NOTE: AJ at The Mind of Nox has started a new writing prompt:

We are going to start off every week with a Weekly Writing Prompt, that ya’ll can participate in. And AJ will write up something for me on the fly for a Saturday posting. If we get anyone sharing their own stories, I will try to get a post in where I have read and oohed and ahhed over them here. Really Lax – The Mind of Nox

Here is the link to the starting prompt: Rory Cubes #1 – The Mind of Nox and here is my take on it! Enjoy!

Comedia had finished the drawing challenge and was waiting for Tragedy to finish his last picture. While she waited, she watched his expression. It intrigued her. For someone named Tragedy, he had a lot of nuanced microexpressions. A lot of eyebrow movement that wasn’t a frown or anything nameable. 

She found reason for joy in every slight forehead crease, every movement of his lips, every muscle twitch.

He raised his head. “I wish you wouldn’t stare at me like that when I’m drawing. It distracts me.”

“Sorry!” she said cheerfully. “Are you done with your drawings yet?”

He lowered his head. “No. Need to finish some shading.”

Comedia watched Tragedy for a few minutes. A playful smile crossed her face. She looked at the list of items they were supposed to draw for the challenge: A comedy/tragedy mask set. A daisy. A shooting star. An arrow.

Her smile grew.

She flipped several pages ahead in her sketch book and settled in to draw the items again. Only this time she included Tragedy in the sketches.

His face was the Comedy/Tragedy mask set.

He held a daisy in his hands with a bewildered expression on his face. He had no idea what to do with the daisy.

She caught him in mid-jump trying to catch the shooting star with a baseball mitt.

The arrow, however, threw her off. She had several ideas as to what to do with it, but they weren’t very compelling ideas. Definitely not worth the drawing. She tapped her art pencil against the paper.

“Done.” Tragedy said.

She flipped back to her real drawings, but turned the sketchbook upside down. “Let me see yours first.”

“Um. Okay. I don’t know if they’re really all that good, but…” He shrugs and moves his sketchbook to her.

Comedia was floored.

Tragedy had drawn her as both Comedy and Tragedy.

As Comedy, she wore a jester’s highly detailed costume. She hid her laughter behind her black gloved hands. Her eyes were delighted arches of mirth.

As Tragedy, she wore a widow’s full length costume. Her white gloved hands hung limp at her sides. Her shoulders arched inward. She looked straight at the viewer with heartbroken eyes.

Comedia stared long and hard at that expression. How could he have captured that look so well? When had he seen me look that lost and devastated?

She flipped to the next page.

The daisy was a whole field of daisies. She sat among them with a daisy crown in her long hair. Her dress was an extravagant Medieval dress with a lot of fine line detailing. Her expression was a calm happiness. She looked like a queen at her leisure, waiting for her servants to bring her afternoon tea.

She flipped to the next page.

The shooting star….She ran across a field of rolled hay bales. Her gown was a loose-fitted black dress with white stars all over it. Her arms and feet were bare. Her hair streamed behind in long lines. A delighted smile lit her face. She wasn’t running in fear. She was running with joy and for the joy of it.

The last drawing…

The arrow.

This time, he had included himself in the drawing. He was tied to a tree. His hands somewhere behind the tree. He looked straight ahead at her with an expression that was both brave and afraid. She stood a couple of feet before him dressed in a fine white Grecian gown. She held a discharged bow in her hands. The arrow was just a couple of inches away from hitting his heart.

Comedia raised her head, unsure and not quite understanding. She wasn’t even sure what to ask. She closed the book and moved it back to him.

“Can I see yours?” he asked.

She shook her head. “You win this round. Mines are just silly. Yours are gorgeous. I’ll do better in the next round.”

His serious expression turned even more serious. “There’s a reason why mines were so good.” He looked at her and there was something in his eyes.

Something she had never noticed before.

A light. A decidedly warm light.

And she didn’t know how to feel about it.

But she thought about her own drawings. They had been of just him. 

Comedia looked at Tragedy. She wondered if he saw that warm light in her eyes too.

Rory Cubes #1 – The Mind of Nox

Belugas And Dreamlifters

Give me dreams of belugas and dreamlifters.
Let the belugas soar in the sky so blue.
Let the sun shine sleek gold on the belugas.
Let their skin shine like a pearl.

Give me dreams of belugas and dreamlifters.
Let the lifters elevate my dreams.
Let them take my dreams so high into the night sky.
Let the moon glow white cotton on the dreamlifters.
Let the lifters’ frames glow like iced over snow.

Give me dreams of belugas and dreamlifters.
Let nightmares stay far away.
Let my dreams be of sunlight and moonglow.
Let me sleep well tonight.

January 2021 Writing Prompts – Putting My Feet in the Dirt