Weekend Writing Warriors: 12/16

This 8-10 sentence blog hop is hosted by The Weekend Writing Warriors. (Click the link for the list of participants, or rules if you want to join!)

Here’s a WIP from NaNoWriMo 2017, currently titled King Under the Mountain. Set in Casper, Wyoming, in a world where goblins trade in magical goods with humans, traveling from their world to ours through stone circle gates. But if humans aren’t wary in their dealings with goblins, they can find themselves stolen away! Stephanie and Alix, cousins, are biking home from a party, a bit drunk, when Alix falls off her bike and throws up.

weekend_writing_warriorsveteransbadge

Luckily, her cousin left an obvious trail even in the rapidly darkening shadows, so it only took a few moments for Alix to catch sight of the sequin-decorated cream cardigan Stephanie wore.

Stephanie heard her, and ran faster, dodging past tree branches and shrubs, and then she broke out into a clearing.

Hot on her heels, Alix didn’t spot the danger until it was too late. The first thing she noticed was Stephanie skidding to a stop, and whipping around to face her. Then the moonlight spilling over Stephanie’s face, highlighting how her eyes widened in terror.

A cold wind knifed through the clearing, carrying whispering voices speaking in an unknown language, and raising new tears in Alix’s eyes. She blinked them away furiously, the pale figure of her cousin wavering in front of her.

Then Stephanie was gone.

Heart racing, Alix moved closer, cautiously, until she could see the truth too clearly to dismiss it. The clearing stood empty of anyone but her, and the only sign of what had happened was a ring of toadstools dotting the grass.

*    *    *

I took inspiration from “The Ballad of Tam Lin,” and Christina Rosetti’s “Goblin Market.” The idea of people being stolen away, and a loved one journeying to get them back (though Tam Lin was stolen by the Queen of the fairies), and the bustling goblin markets with their dangerous fruit from Rosetti’s poem sparked this adventure. Alix and Stephanie are college freshman, 18 and 19 respectively, and cousins sharing a dorm room. They have just left an off-campus party where they did some drinking, and are biking back to the dorms in the evening.

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Snow in Central Texas: Poetry about Winter

People up north would probably think my city was crazy, running around in two inches of snow. But when it hardly ever happens, it’s kind of wonderful. At least until it put out power for half the city!

Snow in Central Texas

The news says it’s the first real snow in thirty years

(people instantly leap to debate it)

The night sky sifting powdered sugar

magical

coating green grass and leaves sweetly

in a dusting of white

but

evaporating on pavement and cement

Drifting down until everything is frosted

pale

glittering

cold

And then next morning, the sun rose

and slowly it melted away

the winter wonderland dissolving in sunlight

like fairy gold

with one last surprise–the trees dripping rain

(plink plink plink)

under bright, sunny skies

Weekend Writing Warriors: 12/9

This 8-10 sentence blog hop is hosted by The Weekend Writing Warriors. (Click the link for the list of participants, or rules if you want to join!)

Here’s a WIP from NaNoWriMo 2017, currently titled King Under the Mountain. Set in Casper, Wyoming, in a world where goblins trade in magical goods with humans, traveling from their world to ours through stone circle gates. But if humans aren’t wary in their dealings with goblins, they can find themselves stolen away! Stephanie and Alix, cousins, are biking home from a party, a bit drunk, when Alix falls off her bike and throws up.

weekend_writing_warriorsveteransbadge

 

 

 

“You feeling better?” Stephanie asked, when the retching had stopped for a while, and released her cousin’s hair with a final pat on her back.

Grumbling a noise that vaguely resembled agreement, Alix stood slowly, and when the world—and her stomach—didn’t revolt, rummaged in her backpack for a stick of gum.  Rubbing tears out of her blue eyes, she kicked leaves and dirt over the mess she’d left, then hunted for her cousin.

“We should—” she began, but Stephanie cut her off with a laugh.

“Enough should for right now! I’m going to stretch my legs a bit, come on!” She started walking, scuffing her feet though the fallen leaves, her stride wavering from side to side.

“Steph, get back here!” Alix demanded, then regretted it when Stephanie tossed her head, curled sandy blonde hair flying around her face, and took off running through the trees.

“Don’t be a spoilsport!” Stephanie’s voice floated behind her, followed by a few more giggles, and crunching leaves.

*    *    *

I took inspiration from “The Ballad of Tam Lin,” and Christina Rosetti’s “Goblin Market.” The idea of people being stolen away, and a loved one journeying to get them back (though Tam Lin was stolen by the Queen of the fairies), and the bustling goblin markets with their dangerous fruit from Rosetti’s poem sparked this adventure. Alix and Stephanie are college freshman, 18 and 19 respectively, and cousins sharing a dorm room. They have just left an off-campus party where they did some drinking, and are biking back to the dorms in the evening.

Top Ten Tues: Settings

Top Ten Tuesdays are hosted by The Broke and The Bookish, and feature lists related to all things bookish–characters, authors, titles, and favorites. They’re an excellent way to find new interesting books on a variety of topics, and to find bloggers that love the books you do.

Check out their blog for their top ten and lists by other bloggers!

December 5: Ten Bookish Settings I’d Love to Visit.

As long as I didn’t have to live there, a visit could be fun! List is alphabetical as always.

1. Alternate London; Ben Aaronovitch. Even if I didn’t meet a river, I’d know they were out there.

2. Abarat; Clive Barker. Islands that are always set at a certain time. You could have the longest lazy afternoon ever.

 

3. Beta Colony; Lois McMaster Bujold. So much technology!

4. Nightvale; Jeffrey Cranor & Joseph Fink. Probably something would kill me, but it would be an adventure!

5. Neverwhere; Neil Gaiman. Alternate Londons just sound fun.

6. Pern; Anne McCaffrey. If I could ride a dragon, my life would be complete.

7. Alternate Earth; C.E. Murphy. Only if I could meet a gargoyle.

8. Ankh-Morpork, Discworld; Terry Pratchett. Somehow, I’d sneak into the Unseen University Library.

9. Bicho Raro, Colorado; Maggie Stiefvater. Lovely and severe. And with saints!

10. Mars; Andy Weir. Once they’ve made it safer, of course.

 

Weekend Writing Warriors: 12/2

~~~~~~~~~~NaNoWriMo is over, glad to be back! Hope everyone who participated feels like a winner, whether you wrote 500 words or 50k! ~~~~~~~~~

This 8-10 sentence blog hop is hosted by The Weekend Writing Warriors. (Click the link for the list of participants, or rules if you want to join!)

Here’s a WIP from NaNoWriMo 2017, currently titled King Under the Mountain. Set in Casper, Wyoming, in a world where goblins trade in magical goods with humans, traveling from their world to ours through stone circle gates. But if humans aren’t wary in their dealings with goblins, they can find themselves stolen away!

weekend_writing_warriorsveteransbadge

 

 

“We should have left the party earlier,” Alix said, glancing around the darkening woods, her stomach knotting with fear over what would soon be lurking in them. Everyone knew that the goblins that came to the markets during the day were pretty safe, so long as you followed the rules. But the goblins who came out at night… the rules about them were so restrictive, it was easy to go wrong.

“You worry too much,” her cousin Stephanie, hunched on her bike seat, slurred, then hiccuped.

They should have skipped that second drink, too. Then they’d have been back at the dorm right now, safe and sound, but at the rate they were pedaling, they would be caught out by the night.

Alix’s stomach lurched, and so did her bike handles, veering to the side and dumping her to the ground as if her trusty ten-speed had transformed into a bucking bronco. Groaning, she rubbed her bruised rear, and tried to stand, the world swimming around her. Before she could get upright, she lurched to her hands and knees to be sick.

Behind her, Stephanie leaned her bike against a tree, and wobbled over to gather up Alix’s hair in one hand, and pat her on the back with the other, murmuring soothing and mostly incoherent phrases until the attack was over.

*    *    *

I took inspiration from “The Ballad of Tam Lin,” and Christina Rosetti’s “Goblin Market.” The idea of people being stolen away, and a loved one journeying to get them back (though Tam Lin was stolen by the Queen of the fairies), and the bustling goblin markets with their dangerous fruit from Rosetti’s poem sparked this adventure. Alix and Stephanie are college freshman, 18 and 19 respectively, and cousins sharing a dorm room. They have just left an off-campus party where they did some drinking, and are biking back to the dorms in the evening.

Read Harder Challenge 2017: November

And the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge is here again! There’s 24 prompts to encourage you to read harder, and I urge you to check it out if you want to get outside your comfort zone. 🙂

(Click the link to see the challenge, and to download a PDF of the challenge list.)

book riot

To quote the article: “We encourage you to push yourself, to take advantage of this challenge as a way to explore topics or formats or genres that you otherwise wouldn’t try. But this isn’t a test. […] We like books because they allow us to see the world from a new perspective, and sometimes we all need help to even know which perspectives to try.

  • Read a book you’ve read before.

Winter’s Tale; Mark Helprin.

Goodreads says I finished this September 11,  2011.

This is a complicated book, that centers around a magical white horse, and the Penn family. The first section introduces, among other people, Peter Lake and Beverley Penn. The second, Virginia Gamely, whose family was close to the Penns, and Hardesty Marratta. The third and fourth sections bring together people from the first and second, and tie their stories together.

Also looming large is Lake Coheeries, where several characters are from, and New York, where the majority of the city is set. The Penn family has roots in both those places. The setting is an important part of the story, with a mysterious cloud wall that has the power to affect drastic changes to time, and plenty of characters writing love letters to their home towns.

As for the characters, there are so many of them it’s sometimes difficult to keep track, as their lives bounce off each other, impacting and setting away on new trajectories. People fall in love, create grand dreams, or make dangerous enemies. People steal, build businesses, raise fortunes or slid into poverty. The criminals might decide to reform–or hold onto their desires despite who they hurt. There are secrets and plots and revenge and love all mixed up together, making it a intriguing if sometimes puzzling read. And the end leaves a little up to the reader, to decide what, in the end, it all means.

This definitely isn’t the book for everyone. It’s long, and some sections drag on, but it’s also magical. There is a lot unexplained in the book, and it’s wonderfully strange in the way that magical realism is.

 

Top Ten Tues: Winter TBR

Top Ten Tuesdays are hosted by The Broke and The Bookish, and feature lists related to all things bookish–characters, authors, titles, and favorites. They’re an excellent way to find new interesting books on a variety of topics, and to find bloggers that love the books you do.

Check out their blog for their top ten and lists by other bloggers!

November 28: Top Ten Books On My Winter TBR

Here’s the top ten of books releasing this winter, between December 21st and March 20th, which I’m most excited to read.

1.This Fallen Prey; Kelley Armstrong.  A town full of people hiding from their pasts–and lots of secrets.

2. Burn Bright; Patricia Briggs. The further adventures of one of my favorite werewolves.

3. Honor Among Thieves; Rachel Caine & Ann Aguirre. A new series by two authors I like. Sign me up!

4. The Lost Plot; Genevieve Cogman. Magic and books. What more can you ask for?

5. Flame in the Dark; Faith Hunter. Some cool, weird magic in this series.

6. Shadowsong; S. Jae-Jones. Goblins, magic, and another pretty cover.

7. Obsidio; Amie Kaufman. This sci fi series keeps upping the ante.

8. Beneath the Sugar Sky; Seanan McGuire. Dark fairy tales, and the children caught up in them.

9. A Treacherous Curse; Deanna Raybourne. Victorian mystery.

10. The Prince and the Dressmaker; Jen Wang. Saw a review, and this looks cute.

Turkey Day

Hope everyone who celebrates had a great Thanksgiving. Otherwise, that you enjoyed your Wednesday.

Image from Wikimedia by en:User:Lupin.
Gobble, gobble!

Turkey Day

I call it Turkey Day.

Not because I have nothing to be thankful

for, or even because I like turkey best

–pumpkin pie and crescent rolls compete for the victor–

but because we ought to be thankful most days,

shouldn’t we?

Not every day, that’s excessive.

Some days are terrible

and best let to fade

but there are all kinds of wonder and kindness and laughter

to treasure and remember. And if we only do that one day

when we’re reminded to, so many thanks will go unthought

unsaid

unrepaid.

*****

Thanks to all of you, for reading, commenting, and just being you. It’s great knowing there are so many bibliophiles and writers out there!

 

Top Ten Tues: Thankful

Top Ten Tuesdays are hosted by The Broke and The Bookish, and feature lists related to all things bookish–characters, authors, titles, and favorites. They’re an excellent way to find new interesting books on a variety of topics, and to find bloggers that love the books you do.

Check out their blog for their top ten and lists by other bloggers!

November 21: Top Ten Books I’m Thankful For (Happy Thanksgiving week in the USA!)

  1. Clean Sweep; Ilona Andrews. Really, I’m thankful for all their books, but especially this one that they release for free on their blog before publishing the whole thing.

2. Pride & Prejudice; Jane Austen. I couldn’t even say how many times I’ve read this book. But it’s still funny and sweet.

3. Giant Days; John Allison. A slice of life with just enough weirdness to be perfect. It makes me smile.

4. The Fire Rose; Mercedes Lackey. The start of a series of Elemental magic, which entertained me through my of my childhood and teens.

5. Let’s Pretend This Never Happened; Jenny Lawson. A book that introduced me to a big, weird tribe of people.

6. The Ship Who Searched; Anne McCaffrey. This book still makes me tear up a bit.

7. Rosemary and Rue; Seanan McGuire. Really, any of these books. I’ve re-read them a bunch of times.

8. Soul Music; Terry Pratchett. It’s impossible to say which Discworld book has given me the most laughs, or made me think the most. But this one has Music with Rocks In.

9. Steel City Magic; Wen Spencer. I read these two books over and over through some rough teen years.

10. The Scorpio Races; Maggie Stiefvater. “It is the first day of November and so today someone will die.” This first line still gives me shivers.

Top Ten Tues: Future Kids

Top Ten Tuesdays are hosted by The Broke and The Bookish, and feature lists related to all things bookish–characters, authors, titles, and favorites. They’re an excellent way to find new interesting books on a variety of topics, and to find bloggers that love the books you do.

Check out their blog for their top ten and lists by other bloggers!

November 14: Top Ten Books I Want My Future Children to Read (Or nieces and nephews, Godchildren, etc.)

I’m going big here. Top Ten Books Children Should Read.

1.Matilda; Roald Dahl. Everyone needs a little rebellion, a little love, and a little understanding that families aren’t perfect.

2. Harold and the Purple Crayon; Crockett Johnson. Have to encourage imagination.

3. The Story of Ferdinand; Munro Leaf. Be yourself.

4. A Wrinkle in Time; Madeline L’Engle. A big part of a lot of childhoods.

5. Ella Enchanted; Gail Levine. Sometimes you have the strength in you all along.

6. Harry Potter; J.K. Rowling. You know I had to.

7. Holes; Louis Sachar. You get what you give.

8. Where the Sidewalk Ends; Shel Silverstein. Where silly meet serious is a great place to be.

9. Mus of Kerbridge; Paul Kidd. This was my favorite book for a lot of my childhood. I read my copy to pieces.

10. Charlotte’s Web; E.B. White. Learning about loss is tough, but this book has some good things to say.