Preparing for the A to Z adventure

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Since we’re coming up on April and the A to Z Blogging Challenge, I wanted to give everyone an idea of what to expect over the next month.

My regular visitors know by now that I usually post once a week on Fridays at 10am EST.  This works for me, my blog, and my process.  In April, things are a bit different.  For one thing, I’m posting a heck of a lot more often.  However, I will continue my two standard monthly posts on the second and third Friday.  So there will still be an Image Prompt on April 14 and I’ll still post my response to that prompt on April 21.  This pushes the challenge post to later in the day, usually 1pm EST.

The other things that’s going to be different this year, is that all the posts are going to be primarily fiction.  As I revealed on Monday, my theme for this year’s challenge is One Word Writing Prompts.  I’ve already started working on them, and so far I’ve been weaving them together as a single cohesive story, which I plan to continue.  So over the course of the month (and probably into May because I know me) I’ll be posting a new segment in a continuing story.

The other thing that will be a bit new is the definitions I’m including at the beginning of each post to go along with the One Word Writing Prompt.  I love words and word histories and etymology and language development and all the things that make studying language interesting.  And because of that, my very favorite dictionary is the Oxford English Dictionary.  It includes all the etymology and examples and so much more.  While I’m not including the entire entry (that would be way too long), I am including all the various shades of meaning.

I’m a few posts into my drafting for this, and so far it looks like this is going to be an urban fantasy of some kind.  The supernatural elements came in pretty fast, and it’s a genre I enjoy reading and writing, so I’m going to run with it and see where it takes me.  I hope you’ll come along for the ride with me in April and have as much fun reading the story as I’m going to have writing it.

Image Prompt 026 Response: Escape by the Cliffs

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I selected the image of the Moher Cliffs for my twenty-minute sprint this week.

Escape by the Cliffs:

The fog was thick as Lea made her way slowly down the narrow path.  It was just a tiny strip of black dirt cutting through the grass at the edge of the cliff.  It was probably safe enough in daylight, but in the weak like just before dawn it was all she could do to put one foot in front of the other without slipping.  It had rained the night before, leaving the path and the grass equally slick and treacherous.

When the wind picked up, Lea stilled, holding her cloak tight around her slim frame.  If the wind caught it with enough force, it could pull her off her feet.  From the right angle, that could send her tumbling over the cliff into the water she could hear below.  The fog was so thick she couldn’t make out much more than the shapes of the cliffs.

As soon as the wind died down again, Lea started to pick her way down the path once more.  She needed to put as much distance between her and the castle before dawn.  If the noticed she was gone before she was out of sight, they’d send someone after her.  She was fairly sure they’d send someone anyway, but she hoped this way they would think she’d ran toward the next town by way of the road, and take longer to pick up her trail.

Lea almost didn’t notice when it started to rain again.  It was such a gentle rain that it blended with the mist.  Lea pulled the hood of her cloak further down to shield her face, bending her head forward so she could focus on her path while avoiding some of the wet.  She made each step carefully, avoiding the rivulets of water that began to trickle down the path.

The path turned, following the edge of the cliffs, and Lea glanced back toward the castle.  She couldn’t see it through the fog.  There was a chance she would remain undiscovered even when the sun came out and the mist began to fade.  The rain would mean the mists would last far longer than usual.

Lea turned away from the castle.  She hoped to never see it again.

Memories came unbidden as she continued her slow progress along the narrow path along the cliff’s edge.  She’d been excited the first day she arrived at the castle.  Its lord had head of her mother’s skill and brought her whole family to live at the castle.  It had been so large and new and interesting then.  He fascination had long since worn away to leave resentment in its place.  When she was young, before she’d shown signs of inheriting her mother’s gifts, she’d been allowed to roam freely and visit the nearby village whenever she wanted.

Last night, after everyone had gone to their beds, she’d had to climb out an arrow slit to leave.  Lea refused to be a prisoner any longer, even if it meant being an outlaw the rest of her life.

Image Prompt 025 Response – The Temple’s Magic Tree

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I selected the moss-covered tree at Brookgreen Gardens image for my twenty-minute sprint this week.

The Temple’s Magic Tree:

Kyli crept along the wall slowly, her eyes sweeping the ground in front of her.  She didn’t want to step on a stick and make noise, or worse stumble and fall.  The moon was only a bare sliver in the sky, providing almost no illumination.  Thankfully Kyli could see well enough just by starlight to make her way down the wall toward the ancient trees.

If she made it that far, she’d be fine.  If the trees didn’t reject someone, the priests wouldn’t either.  She was technically doing the same ritual initiation that the temple apprentices did, she’ just didn’t exactly have permission. Continue reading

The Hands that Mold: Mathew

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For those new to my blog, the Hands that Mold series of posts is about the people in my life that have helped shape me into the writer I am today.

This post is about Mathew.

If you’ve been reading for a while, you might remember me mentioning Matt before.  He was part of my very first Role Playing Game (RPG) group, which I talked about in a previous The Hand that Mold post.  You might also remember him if you’ve read my book.  This is the Mathew that I mention in the dedications and by the end of this post you’ll have a better idea of why I plan to dedicate each and every book to him. Continue reading

Image Prompt 024 Response: Roommates

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I selected the image of the college dorm apartment for my twenty-minute sprint this time.

Roommates:

Delia sighed as she set her bags down beside the door and closed it behind her.  Getting to Black Ashe this semester had been a nightmare.  She’d gotten booted off her flight twice and spent almost 36 hours in airports before she could even get on a plane.  She was just glad it was over and she wouldn’t have to deal with any of it again until summer.

“Is that our last roomie?” a voice asked from down the hall.

“Yeah.  Hi,” Delia called back.

A head popped out of the first room with black hair streaked with bright pink.  She was smiling, which Delia hoped was a good sign.

“I’ll be out in a sec to help you find your way around,” the girl called before her head disappeared again.

Delia inspected the common area while she waited.  They were all here already, and she knew at least one of her roommates was another shifter, so she should really greet her properly before moving too far into the apartment. Continue reading

Image Prompt 023 Response – Magic

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I chose the city across the water image for my 20 minute sprint this week.  I hope you enjoy

Magic:

The light still played across the water as the sun set behind the city across the cove.

Kyran sat in the sand watching the waves slowly roll up and then back out again, taking a little of the beach away with them each time.

It had been six years since he’d been home.  Now that he was so close, he couldn’t seem to make himself finish the drive.  He’d pulled off at the little car park for the beach and wondered down to the shore, taking his shoes off to enjoy the feel of the damp sand against his feet.

When he left, his parents were still furious with him.  He’d rejected everything they were and everything they stood for.  He’d left everyone and everything behind without so much as a word.  How could he go back and face anyone again?

“I had feeling I might find you here,” a deep voice said from behind him. Continue reading

NaNoWriMo: A Look Back at the Month

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So it’s December.  That means National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is over for another year.  My posts have been pretty short during November because I’ve been focused on getting my word count in for NaNoWriMo.  Today I wanted to give you a glimpse into what the month was like outside my own writing statistics.

I’m not just a participant in NaNoWriMo, I’m also an ML, or Municipal Liaison, who is in charge of organizing the local area.  I have the great fortune to have two amazing co-MLs to help me since we have around 900 active novelists each year and cover two major cities, all their suburbs, and surrounding counties worth of writers.  It’s a lot of organizing and planning, but I find it exceptionally rewarding. Continue reading