Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Excitement in various forms

So, continuing last week's Disney character theme, I decided to use some of the words I was given last week for today.

Words compliments of my friend, Julie.

Disney character: Cinderella

emotion: excited

5 words:


Cinderella threw open the door.

And immediately thought she would vomit. 

The stench in the room hit her like a ton of bricks. It smelled like old pizza. Mold. A dead cat. And a pre-k boys’ bathroom.

She turned to Prince. “Are you kidding?”

He peered over the jumbled mess of room . “I haven’t had a chance to clean.”

“What, since freshman year?”

He grinned sheepishly. “This semester is kicking my tail.”

His eyes darted from the room to her. Poor guy. He was taking 18 hours this semester, and trying to prep for his MCAT’s. He really didn’t have time to clean.

She took a step in the room, something crunching under her. She lifted her foot and brushed off crumbs of a chocolate chip cookie so old, she wondered if it was from the batch she made him over Fall Break.

Which was 5 weeks ago.

Laundry lay in piles so high she couldn’t see the chairs it sat on. Good heavens, how did he know what was clean and what wasn’t? She glanced at the navy Auburn shirt he had on, and wondered how long it’d been since he washed it. Papers littered the floor. No wonder he had a hard time finding his notes. And from the remnants of plates and cups scattered across various furniture, there was probably an entire eight-place-setting of dishes in this room alone.

Her heart hammered inside her, and she bounced on her toes. “When can I start?” She looked up to Prince.

Thankfulness oozed from his expression. “Really? It’s so bad.”

“Are you kidding? This will be so much fun!”

He laughed and threw an arm around her. “You are so weird. But you are the best girlfriend and sweet as a flower, and I love you for putting up with me.” He pressed a kiss to her forehead. “I gotta go. Library’s open until 10 tonight, so I probably won’t leave until then.”

She nodded, half hearing him and half making a list. She’d need supplies. Cleaner. Rags. Dustcloth. Great stars, this was going to be fun.

Prince left and she darted to the kitchen and grabbed a trash bag. Once back to his room, she got back to work, humming a song, her heart near giddy. This room was a disaster, and it was a wrong she was going to right. She definitely needed some Lysol wipes. And some essential oils and her diffuser for sure. Gah, it smelled like dead boys in here. And a vacuum, for when she finally found the floor…

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

One mad mermaid...

So, because the Disney stories were so fun to write, I thought we'd continue that trend. Today I asked for a Disney character, an emotion, and 5 words. I got a ton of great suggestions from people, but since my friend Sarah is recovering from hip surgery and pretty much dying of boredom, I thought I'd start with hers.

This guy's stuff is great! Check him out!

Character: Ariel
Emotion: Angry

Ariel drummed her fingers on the table and waited for Erik to say something. Anything. Her legs bounced under the dining room table. Always an odd sensation for someone who spent the first sixteen years of her life without lower appendages.

Erik looked up and her heart constricted. "I don't think it's a good idea," he said.

Ariel blinked. "Why not?"

Erik took a bite of his tofu burger and grimaced. Jerk. She hadn't allowed meat in the house since they got married, and she swore part of him hated her for it.

"Honey," he said,"an electric car isn't practical. They're aren't enough places to charge it downtown. And it's a lot of money."

A lot of money? He was the one that wanted to move into this huge house, instead of the small bungalow she had wanted to buy. Erik was the one that kept wanting to take vacations, though they hadn't been to the coast to see her family since last Christmas. Erik's suits costs hundreds each. Ariel looked down at her long skirt. Something she had picked up at Goodwill, because it was better to buy used and not exploit resources.

But Erik wanted to complain about money. Right.

"We can afford it," she told him. "And if you charge it at night, you don't have to worry about charging it while you're at work."

Erik took another bite of his burger and washed it down with three long gulps of water. "Here." He reached over to the stack of mail perched beside him and picked up a brochure. "I've been looking at these diesel engine sedans. I think they make more sense."

Ariel's stomach tightened, and despite the fact that she'd been half starved when she came home from work, she now had no appetite at all. None. Not even the organic kelp salad enticed her. Diesel?

"This car gets good gas mileage, babe." Erik tossed the brochure across the table to her. "Forty-two miles per gallon, and it's American made. Good for the economy and the environment."

She wanted to take the brochure and beat him with it. "Diesel?" she asked him.  Images of oil spills and seagulls coated in black goo filled her mind.

"It's not as bad as you think, hon."

She clenched her jaw and stormed into the kitchen. Footsteps sounded behind her, but she didn't turn around. Instead she slammed her plate on top of the tower of dishes in the sink. No dishwasher, because it wasted too much water. The counter was filthy, too. Didn't Erik said he would clean up last night?

Her eyes landed on the coffeemaker cord, still plugged into the outlet. She yanked it out and turned to Erik. "You're supposed to unplug it when you're done!"

"I'm sorry. Geez." Erik loosened the knot in his tie and ran a finger through his hair, sending the black strands askew. He put his hands on his hips and scowled at her.

Something dark and heavy pressed on her heart. Who was this man? Where was the man with shining eyes and enough courage and valor to fill an ocean? Where was the man who used to do anything for her?

Panic slammed into her and she turned toward the sink. They were so different. She ate quinoa and spinach, and Erik still salivated every time they drove by a Red Lobster. He spent his day dressed in business suits, having conference calls and sales updates. She was a hippy who ran her own health store.

She was a woman who yelled at the man she loved over a toaster cord. How did he even put up with her? A wave of horrible fear slammed through her and she covered her face with her hands so Erik wouldn't see.

Strong arms came up behind her, wrapping around her stomach and drawing her back to him. "Hey," he said. "I didn't mean to make you upset."

She shook her head, hating the tears that rolled down her face.

Erik nuzzled her ear. "I need to tell you something." He paused, and when she didn't comment, continued. "We can't spend a lot of money on a new car, because I spent a lot of what we had in savings on something."

Ariel spun and faced him. "What?" The nasty tone was back in her voice, but she didn't care.

Erik tucked a stray piece of red hair behind her ear. "You know that little house near the beach? The one close to your dad's that you've always loved?"

She narrowed her eyes at him. "Yes."

Erik smiled. "How would you feel about owning it?"

The thought wouldn't process.

Erik bent his forehead to touch hers. "I put down a down payment yesterday."

Ariel sagged in his arms. Let him have his diesel car. Let him open up his own shrimp boat business for all she cared. She'd give up anything for this man.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

dragons and disney and dates

Just around the riverbend!
So, we cut off our internet at home, so I haven't been doing my 5 Word Wednesdays in a while. I am deep into edits and rewrites for one story and don't have the brain power this week to immerse myself in my new one, so, I am dying. DYING! I needed something to write. So today I asked for five words, a random prompt, a song, a color - whatever - to stimulate a story.

And my fantabulous coworker Cheyenne obliged by giving me one of everything and challenging me to put them all in one story.

Challenge. Accepted.

And what are lunch breaks for if not for writing stories from the crazy randomness that is Cheyenne's brain? ;) So, here's her brilliant combo:

5 words:

prompt: a dragon in my closet

song: just around the river bend

color: yellow


There’s a dragon in my closet.

This is what I think as my sister Lani tears through my clothes. She picks a discarded dress off the floor, her blond curls snagging on a hanger. “Grr,” she growls and yanks the hanger from its place as if it’s out to get her. She may start breathing fire any moment.

I turn down the Miranda Lambert man hater music blaring from my speaker. “What about your green halter top?”

Lani makes a face. “Too slutty for a first date,” she says. “I can’t show skin like that.”

“Wear a sweater,” I tell her.

She turns and glares, her curls surrounding her face like a lion’s mane. “It’s as hot as blue blazes outside.”

“Yes, and blue blazes are known to be fiery.”

She lobs my denim skirt at my face. “Watch it you ogre,” she says. “Next time it’ll be your turn for a first date and I won’t help a bit.” She claps her hands together like a Disney villain and cackles with evil laughter.

I giggle and throw the skirt back. “Ye,s you will,” I tell her. “Because you love me. And you’ll take pity because I’m younger than you.”

“By four minutes, you goon.” She flips through my dresses hanging in the closet. “You know, when I was your age I was growling like a tyrant trying to figure out what to wear on my date with Landon.”

Before she can think, I grab her neck and have her in a headlock. Lani’s favorite thing is to talk about ‘when she was my age’ and then tell me what she was doing all of five minutes ago. My favorite thing is to pretend I hate it, when really, it makes me giddy with happiness. Being a twin is twice the fun normal people have. Those poor single embryos!

Lani holds my green J Crew skirt up and looks in the mirror. Before I can tell her she looks good she throws it to the floor. “I’m running out of time!” Panic slams into her facial features.

“Okay.” I put my hands on her shoulders. “What we need is a plan. You need to narrow down. What color do you want to wear?”

Lani takes a deep breath and I can see the possibilities blurring through her brain. Brat. She looks good in just about every color with her sunshine colored hair. Whereas the red tints in my blond, compliments of Daddy, means I have to be more selective.

“What do you think?” she asks.

And this is why we’re going off to college together next year. We can function independently. We just prefer not to. Lani’s wide green eyes stare back at me and a curl has gotten flipped and sits awkwardly on her head. I put the curl in place. “Yellow,” I tell her. “It’s your signature color.”

“Because of my hair?”

“Because you are light that brightens any day. Now come on.” I grab her hand and place her between our beds, then start pulling every yellow thing we own out.

“I’m nervous,” she says as she frowns at a yellow polka dot shirt.

I hold up a pale yellow dress she wore for Easter. “Because of Blake?”

Lani nods, and every emotion she has shows in her expression; the way her brows furrow and her mouth tilts into a frown, and her eyes look like Bambi’s, vulnerable and scared. My gosh, I could murder Blake Benson. Freaking charmer broke Lani's heart. “Do you regret agreeing to go out with Landon tonight?” I ask her.

Lani holds the dress up and peers in the mirror. Her mouth twitches, the way it always does when she’s figuring out how to verbalize something big. “No. I just don’t want to get hurt again. I guess it’s safer to not date anyone.”

“True.” I take the dress from her and pull out a white skirt with yellow roses on it. “But you never know what’s waiting around the corner. You can play it safe, or you can take a chance and trust that you’ll be ok no matter what happens.”

Lani shimmies the skirt on over her shorts and smiles in the mirror. “So I should trust in serendipity? That bumping into Landon was meant to be?”

I hand her a white t shirt and a denim vest. “No. You trust that you want to go out with Landon because you said yes to his invitation to dinner. And you trust that no matter what happens, you’ll be better for it.”

Lani slips the vest on and flashes her green eyes at me. “And if he turns out to be a jerk?”

I smile. “We can borrow Dad’s shovel. Our yard is pretty big. Lots of nice places for burying things.”

She pecks a kiss on my cheek. “You know, when I was your age, I was trying on yellow outfits like a lunatic, trying to figure out whether or not I’d made the best decision in going out with this guy.”

"Well when I get to be your age, I will have you in a headlock!”

She darts across her bed before I can grab her. 


But I love her.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

And now for something completely different

Home sweet home
So, I've started working on Book #6. And ya'll, I don't know what is going on chemically in my brain, but this story isn't like anything I've done before. It's still fantasy. Well, more magical realism I guess.

It's set in the 1800's.
In the area I grew up in.
And has no love interest.

*scratches head*

I have no idea how this story got into my head. It's so different from what I normally do, and it is driving me crazy. It's not progressing the way my stories usually do. I keep thinking of plot points, which is weird, because normally I focus on characters and then have to think "oh yeah, I need a plot for these lovely character arcs to rest on."

Not with this one. I keep thinking of what will happen and not about my character, and I gotta be honest, I kinda hate it. I can't figure my main girl out. At all. Normally it takes a while, but my characters always unfold as I begin to listen to them. Not this girl. She is all over the place. Granted, I have been too this week and it's only been a week or so since I started playing around with this one. But I need to get inside my main character's head, and I'm having the hardest time figuring her out. She lets other people influence her, which is coming to life in how I write, because I find myself writing more about secondary characters and her reactions to them, instead of the other way around. Which fits where she is personality wise, but sweet mess, that's a horrible way to write a book. My darling main character needs to drive the plot, and so far I'm trying to use the plot to drive her, and it equals one big mess and one very frustrated writer. I think I need to stop writing scenes and just start somewhere and let the poor girl go. (it's what she'd dying to do anyways. geez, maybe I need to start half way through the book and write from there, then go back and do the beginning).

Anyways, all of that to say I don't even know why I'm writing this one. Other than God has wedged the story in my brain, and well, it won't leave until it's written. So write it, I shall.

My main character, L, is a blond haired, brown eyed feisty thing. She lives with her Mama in a wood cabin that doesn't seem to age, much like her Mama doesn't.


L has magic. Parlor tricks, really, or so she thinks. She has no idea what her power can do. But someone else does. Someone who feels threatened by it. For now, L's magic is contained, like light in a jar. 


She's going to have to figure out a way to unleash it.

L's best friends are a boy and an old Cherokee. She hides them, much like she hides a lot of her true self from people. She has big shoes to fill. Obligations. Responsibilities. Always expected to do the right thing.

But what is the right thing?

Something she'll have to figure out.

This is what she wants

L is so different from my other lead characters. She's not as broken, at least in ways that are visible. Not single tragedy she's had to get over like my other MC's. The word that keeps coming to mind when I think of L is "child-like." Not sassy like G or fierce like E. She's dying for the freedom to be who she is. Granted, she has no idea who she is. 

But she does. She just doesn't realize it. She keeps searching for her story in other people (gah, just like I keep doing when trying to write her!), instead of writing her own.

L always goes barefoot

So right now, this girl is frustrating the life out of me. Probably because she's so good at hiding who she is and not being real. She's trying to be who she thinks I want her to be, and not who she is. *why yes, I do talk to and about my characters like they are real people*.  Maybe the more I plow through and write her, the more she'll drop the charade and show herself to me. Elsi was just like this at first (she keeps her cards close to the vest), so it wasn't until the second half of her book that I figured out who the heck Elsi was. I should have known L would be just like her. I said to myself the other day, "I think L and Elsi would be best friends." Go figure.