Category Archives: Writing Prompts

Hello gorgeous…

Weather, that is. I absolutely love October, and not just because my birthday is this month either. No, I just love fall. 

And winter, yes. 

To update, writing progresses at the pace of the proverbial snail. I hope to have a plot outlined by the end of the month. Or, you know, a workable idea. 

Ugh. 

In the meantime, my word prompts have doubled as the lovely ladies who brought us the September challenge also brought us one for October. 

I’m handling it so far. 


I just hope I’m not wasting my time! 

I have moved the book from Christmas to Halloween. Then, there will be a thanksgiving murder, and a Christmas one, too. 

I like themes, what can I say? 

What a Week!

Happy Valentine’s Day. I hope you enjoyed yourself – spoiled your significant other if you’re in a relationship; spoiled yourself if you’re single because you still deserve it.

My great beastly Bearded Rogue was supposed to work today (he’s a bartender, holidays are, typically, out for us) but due to a snow storm, he got off early and we braved the lines at the store. Not because of the storm, but because Sunday’s are for shopping in our house.

It’s a day for kisses, however, and I just happen to write stories in which kisses make frequent appearances. Except, I have yet to write one… I have a scene that is ripe for a kiss, however, so you give me a few minutes and let me see what I can come up with…

“You are leaving.” The question – no, it was decidedly not a question – came from the door, and she paused her packing, hands frozen in midair.

Their eyes met across the length of the bedroom. Briefly, she wondered if he could see the evidence of her tears, but quickly dismissed it as of no matter. Newly engaged women often shed tears of joy, after all.

She owed him an explanation, and opened her mouth to provide one, but found she could only say, “I am.”

Her shoulders dropped, and she leaned against the window, letting the cold seep into her hot skin. She owed him everything, but could give him nothing. “We cannot be, Rupert. It does not work, and you know this.”

He closed the distance between them, sweeping her into an embrace. Before she could protest, his lips crashed down upon hers. Despite an outward appearance of calm, she was eager for the kiss, for it would be the last they shared, and she wanted to savor every moment of it.

He took his time, slowly parting her lips with his tongue, and she knew she would relive this kiss for the rest of her days. When his lips left hers to trace the vein that led to the pulsing hollow at the base of her throat, she thought she would catch fire. Surely the frost upon the window panes would be melted from the contact.

All too quickly, the embrace ended, and she was cold again.

He laughed at her obvious discomfort, a bitter sound so unlike the laughter she had coaxed so many times over the months of their acquaintance. His eyes grew hard, and the temperature in the room felt as if it had dropped several degrees. “You would kiss me like that, then tell me nothing lies between us, Fig? You could lie to me? To yourself?”

She pushed away, unable to face the censure in his eyes. She desperately wanted to cave in, to confess all, but she could not find the words.

Sunday Writing Prompts

What? Is she serious? Another writing prompt after all this time?

Oh yes. I am serious. Very much so. You see, I haven’t needed the writing prompts all that much since switching my perspectives. This does not mean that the words are just flowing with no cap; I absolutely still encounter bumps and bruises, but still – I’m not really needing those prompts.

And then last night, while working on my Epiphany inspired scene, I came across a stumbling block. And not the kind I am used to either. You know the one – the words just shrivel up and die; they no longer flow. No, this one came in the form of a fork in the road. My scene can be written two different ways, and I’m not sure which is better.

What would you do in a case such as this?

Do you freak out and stop? Do you maybe bang your head against the wall in frustration? Those are both viable options, and certainly choices I would have exercised previously. Today, however, I choose the more logical path: write both scenes and use the one which feels more natural.

So that is my Sunday Writing Prompt – write this scene from both points. It is not something that will be finished today, but I’ll share the discarded one when I’m figure it out. Or, perhaps a snippet of both.

 

Sunday Funday

So, yesterday I posted:

Conversations. Dialogue. I kind of feel like I suck at it. Especially when I compare my writing style to that of published authors. And it isn’t so much that the conversations I’m writing suck, but rather that I pepper my prose with bits of dialogue rather than peppering my dialogue with bits of prose. So how do I fix this? Well, what I’m going to try to do for now is create the ‘rough draft’ version of just the dialogue in my notebook. Then, when I go to put it into Microsoft Word, I’ll pepper in the prose. The action, the movements…

Surely you remember this. No? Well, follow the link, or see the above. Whatever.

Anyway. I actually sat down and created 4.5 handwritten pages of dialogue yesterday. Prior to this, I had struggled with the scene and could barely make my way to the 500 word count mark. Today, I am not done with the scene (perhaps 2/3 done) and I have already reached 1028 words. So, just with this one technique, I have more than doubled my word count. I don’t know about you, but I find that awesome.

Now, I will admit that it is hard to recreate what was going on in my head as yesterday I wrote down only the dialogue. That can be overcome, however; especially since when I move words from pen and paper to Word or yWriter, I always find myself changing things a bit. It’s almost like a mini edit of the super-rough draft to the rough draft. Next time though, I know to make notes of thoughts, feelings, etc.

So yes. It is Sunday. Tomorrow, I start my new job (squee). I am both terribly excited and terribly nervous. My first job in over 3 years where a uniform is not required. But, it’s also out in the boons and I won’t have time for lunch, so I’m taking my notes and working during lunch.

Of course, no writing prompt again this week. I have a problem. I set these writing goals and then break them. It’s because I see writing as something fun, something creative. Not something that gets a deadline or a minimum word count. Even if my book gets picked up, I hope this never changes.

So, off to watch one more episode of CSI before calling it a night. Perhaps I’ll find some relevant writing prompts and throw them in the bucket, lol.

Have a good night!

Sunday Writing Prompt, Week Three/Four

So, I finally brought that tub home, and I’m slowly filling it with prompts. I have about 15 in there right now. Since I am only looking for prompts that will move my work-in-progress forward, I’m being choosy. But they are coming. And if you have any suggestions, please leave a comment. I love comments as they really drive home the point that I’m not just talking to myself…

This week’s writing prompt was: He whispered in her ear and walked away. As with the other prompts, I make it my own rather than keeping it “as is”. I do hope you enjoy. I’m not certain this will make it into the WIP, but it helps me look at the plot line…

“Don’t follow me about like a sad little puppy. I’ll have no embarrassing talk about someone to whom I am attaching myself,” he whispered harshly in Elixabeth’s ear  before turning and walking away, cutting off any attempts at denial or claims of innocence.

Anger burned her cheeks, spots of red forming, as the light quickly died from her amethyst eyes. Light that had only quickened as he came toward her. Light born of the hope that he would finally notice her; ask her to dance; converse with her for a few minutes. Anything other than the way he typically stood across the room from her, barely acknowledging her, not even as the beloved daughter of his host and High King. She turned toward Nikita, her constant companion. The daughter of Harald the Druid, trusted adviser to King Jamus, her father, Nikita was one of the few Mortals within the Immortal Realms, and the one she considered her truest friend. She had hoped for some sympathy, but was unsure of the emotions dancing through Kita’s eyes. Was that guilt? Embarrassment? What had the blonde to feel guilty or embarrassed of? Or was it embarrassment of Elixabeth’s apparent lapse in manners.

Surely that was not it? Rough around the edges though he was, Brennus and she had been promised to each other for most of her life, though it had yet to be officially announced. That would come after her initiation as the heir to the Summer Court, which was the following eve; her eighteenth birthday. What was wrong with her looking at the man who would be her consort, the King of the Summer Court upon the retirement of her father?

Nerves threatened to overwhelm her, nausea rolled through her insides and blanched the stain of embarrassment from her cheeks. Faint, she instinctively reached out to steady herself, not even noticing that Kita had moved away from her outstretched arm until she tumbled slightly,  one pale hand meeting the rough stone wall of the Summer Court ballroom. The walls came to life beneath her touch, humming and warming, which brought her immediate comfort. Her fiance might find her an encumbrance to be endured under duress and her friend might be ashamed of the stolen glances sent his way, but the very being of the Sacred Island recognized and welcomed her.

Across the room, Brennus stood in deep conference with Harald the Druid, a man so much a part of her life she viewed him as a beloved uncle rather than political adviser; her father certainly considered him friend and confidante first, adviser second. From so far away, the discussion looked to be almost heated with both sending furtive glances between her side of the large room and the dais where her parents watched the festivities with joy. Though Brennus was often at court, he and Harald had interacted so little previously that it immediately sent shivers down her spine, though she dismissed the misgivings as quickly as they came. The nerves of an upcoming initiation ceremony, at which she would be on public display for all of the Immortal Realm, were getting the better of her.

Beside her, Nikita let slip a wistful sigh, bringing Elixabeth’s attention away from her own troubles and back to her closest friend. The beautiful blonde looked spectacular in a gown of silvery blue, perfectly matched to the color of her large, soulful eyes. The thought that Nikita more closely resembled a good majority of the Summer Court than she did wormed its way to the forefront of her mind, as it frequently did when she dared compare herself to the prettier girl. Nikita looked like an angel, the celestial beings of the Mortal Realm with her blond hair and blue eyes whereas the Crown Princess felt like one of the Daemons, feared monsters of a Mortal religion with her inky hair and amethyst eyes. Her mother had the same coloring as she came from the distant Bheur Clan, a small court that was once as powerful as the Summer Court, yet still she felt an outsider.

Kita had been asked to dance plenty of times, though she had declined each one. Perhaps it was out of loyalty to a friend who would only dance with her intended, who clearly was not going to ask.

“What’s wrong, Kita? Do you wish to dance?”

“No, I do not wish to dance. I wish that I could – well, never mind that. Tonight is, after all, in celebration of you and I certainly do not wish to spoil it by talking of unwelcome wishes and desires.” This was said without any heat or anger, and a furtive glance at someone across the room, though Elixabeth could not determine exactly who.

Sunday Writing Prompts, Week Two

Prompt of the day: She climbed the tree to get a better view, but what she saw frightened her even more…

Elixabeth trembled as she searched for the strange child. Heart racing, feeling as though it would burst forth at any moment, she tried to calm herself, but ended up gasping for air, unable to breathe. Questions tumbled, one over the other, screaming in her head. Fingers shaking, she moved tendrils of hair away from her face, suddenly sorry she had not taken the time to braid it that morning even as she recognized the uselessness of worrying over choices that could not be undone.

Where had the child disappeared to? Better, where had that child come from? And what kind of clothing had she been wearing? It had been a female child, right? That child was the spitting image of Isobel, Prince Freid’s youngest sister, most likely now Isobel, Queen of the Raven Court, rather than plain Princess Isobel as she had been ages upon ages ago when last they met. Had the Queen sent her child as a messenger? Was Isobel finally ready to forgive her the exile of Prince Freid? The thought dissipated more quickly than it had formed; Isobel would have come in person rather than send a messenger, even if that messenger were her own child. Even if only to gloat, she would have been there in person to release the traitor that would have been sister-in-law.

A foul wind whipped through the trees – trees that suddenly seemed more threatening than they had moments before. Not even the trees at the deepest heart of the Sacred Forest were this dark or threatening. Elixabeth knew Summer Island better than any other being, Mortal or Immortal; it happened after centuries of exile upon one tiny island. And yet, she did not know these woods. What had just been the curve of a familiar tree, covered with moss the color of mint, smelling of lavender, was now the rough jut of a tree she had never seen before, unfettered by the growth of moss.

Was the Druid once more attempting to cross the veil between Mortal and Immortal Realms? Each time he attempted, she had known – it had been a rip in her soul, a tearing at the fabric of her being. She had been the sole connection between the Sacred Forest and her family for too long, the life of the Island was her life. She felt everything. Now, she worried that the Island would never again recognize more than her, not even her parents. What would happen to the Summer Court if she were to fade?

The trees sounded different than her trees as well. Her trees were always singing, night or day. Whether it was the chatter of the animals, or the rustle of leaves on the breeze, her trees were always joyfully living. These trees, they were silent, living yet dead. Standing perfectly still, she forced her heart to calm, her breath to still. Listening with her whole body, Elixabeth was still not able to hear even the song of a bird, nor the rustle of a leaf. Tears fell unbidden as the Winter Queen bowed her head and silently wept for a forest stifled and dying.

There. At the corner of her mind, she detected the child once again. Definitely a girl child. Not fully Mortal, yet not quite Immortal. A half-blood? She knew of no living half-bloods. While a rare clan or two saw the Half-Bloods as a gift, most clans did not; they viewed these children as trouble – not powerful enough to even spell a flower and capable of living only a score or two, they were left with mortals whose natural child had passed in the quiet of night. To whom did this child belong?

Gathering her wits, and her skirts, about her, Elixabeth pushed through the bracken until she had reached the edge of the trees. Greeted not by the calm of the ocean or the familiarity of a close island, she could not even fathom what she was really seeing. Great glass palaces, ground hard as rocks…dead fields, and air as grey as a storm… Head spinning, heart racing through her veins, tears sprang anew. Elixabeth fell to her knees, straining to recognize anything beyond the fallow field in which the child stood, looking back at her with eyes of corn silk. The eyes of the Imposter.

 

I’m Going Home

New tradition for this reinvented blog. Each Sunday, I will share one writing prompt that moved me during the week, plus the result of that prompt.

For Week One, the prompt was essentially: “In this writing prompt imagine a story figuring around a main character or a group of main characters who live in or are building an unusual house for themselves. If you don’t feel like writing a whole narrative about why these characters have come to live in this house you can discard the characters and instead focus on providing details about the house.”

Now, I took things a little off track. I haven’t yet described the house where Princess Elixabeth lives, but rather I am working on the entire island where she lives. As I mentioned previously, I am not done. I got distracted by the what-ifs but it is called a work-in-progress, right? Remember, this was done as an interview question in the guise of getting to know Elixabeth.

DESCRIBE YOUR HOME:

green, old trees, light, birth, death, ancient, lush, dark, sacred, water, life, color, pine, safety, prison

I live in the Sacred Forest – the heart of the Summer Isles, although not literally. Visitors will see quite a bit of the above, yet nothing of the above. To the Mortals, the Summer Isles are known as the Outer Hebrides, with my home specifically being Eilean Shìophoirt, or Seaforth Island. My home is my prison now, but it is a lush and beautiful prison. Mortal eyes see only a forest, ancient and cruel.

The forest takes up most of the isle, with little room for the sandy shores of a beach upon which the Mortals leave their boats. In parts, the forest doesn’t stop until the waters edge, occasionally you will find trees growing out of the water. Those trees might be the most memorable sight – thousands and thousands of years old, thicker than the Mortal houses of my youth, tall as mountains. We are a small tribe here within the Summer Isles, perhaps a few thousand are left. My island seems all the more a prison because no one else is here with me, though once it supported more than ten thousand Immortals. The others have either relocated to a different island – the better to distance themselves from the fallen and exiled Princess, while others have joined the Mortals. Perhaps over the course of a few more generations, I will be the only Immortal left here, but I doubt it. I fervently hope not, at the very least. Regardless, those trees will be here long after the Immortals are gone. Sacred, majestic. The heart of the Summer Isles. Their limbs shelter us in storms, envelope us in our heartaches, and provide a place of rest when we grow weary.

I’ve heard the stories of the Mortals – we are primitive, we are ignorant, we live in trees. We live with the trees. We live amongst the trees. Our home is so much more than the Mortal eyes and brain can comprehend. Just trying to describe it for you is difficult. My apologies, though. I tend to get carried away when talking about home. We Fey are like that – home means so much to us. It’s our beacon in the storm, our heart. For some Fey, the very soul resides in home.

The ground is covered in the softest moss imaginable – it’s like a soft woolen blanket on a frigid, snowy night. Comfort surrounds you here, especially the further into the Forest you travel. The breeze carries with it the sweet scent of lavender and mint. The heart of the Sacred Forest has never been breached by outsiders, neither Mortals nor even other inhabitants of the Immortal Realms not of this tribe. This is our very heart, our very soul. The Sacred Circle where King Jamus and Queen Annen once held court lies in the heart of the Forest. As does the well hidden entrance to our home, the Summer Court.

Here, in the heart of my people, you will find death, and with it; rebirth. We do not shy away from the reality of death, we celebrate it as a part of the sacred cycle of life. The air might be what puts off the outsiders – centuries upon centuries of death can leave a certain muskiness to the air, after all. But is more than the air – light does not penetrate the trees easily so the Sacred Circle is darker, cast in shadows with the wind whispering through branches.

Yes, we have water. No, not just the salt water of the Ocean. There are over one hundred islands in the Summer Isles, though the Sacred Forest Isle is not the largest. Some are smaller, of course. Some have no fresh water above ground. Upon my island you will find babbling brooks to quickly quench your thirst, shallow pools good for a quick swim, or even larger pools good for catching your next meal. There are even  hot springs underground – each island has them, even the smallest. Fey lore has it our progenitor created them for his people. Only we know of their location because they are an integral part of our Court. The Court itself is also under the earth; down a long winding stair built of stone. The stone work is ancient – Mama once told me it has been here since the dawn of Summer. They are well-worn stairs, smooth after years of use and care. And such gorgeous colors – blues and reds; yellows and grays. Lilac, orange, cornflower, berry, gold.

Those stairs end at the marble Sun – symbol of the Summer Court. Polished and smooth, this is the one place where sun reaches through those ancient trees. That marble Sun was created with Faerie magicks, allowing it to reflect all the colors of the sun above ground – purples and blues and grays at dusk, golden warmth that caresses the halls during the day, and robust oranges and blood reds to welcome the sun again come the dawn. When the first Faerie King created the Immortal Realms, he knew we would need the sun so he created these marble Suns to reflect throughout our hallowed halls across each island. Though we moved underground by choice, we are creatures of light and air; we need the Sun to thrive.

*** This is what I have for now. It isn’t much, and I’ll come back to it, clean it up, flesh it out. That prompt plays an integral role in my WIP so we will definitely get back to the heart of the prompt!