Friday, December 21, 2012

A Solstice Kiss

The Hanorja celebrate the longest night of the year by staying up until sunrise, drinking, dancing and visiting with friends as the whole village gathers at Glenhym Castle. Faldur and Marenya spend the evening together, neither wanting to give in and quit dancing first. At last they stop by mutual consent and she falls asleep with her head on his shoulder, but he promises to wake her in time to see the sun rise.

The other guests stretched and stirred, moving outside. He waited as long as he dared, then shook Marenya’s shoulder.

“Is it morning?” She sat up and blinked.

“Yes. Everyone’s gone outside.”

They walked out into the cold stillness of the garden, and up the steps to the wall. She shivered, and he wrapped his arms around her, for he had forgotten to fetch their cloaks. Below them everything was sparkling with snow and a pinkish golden light, clean and new and perfect like the first morning ever dawned.

The first edge of the sun’s bright disk appeared above the trees. Something stirred in Faldur that he hadn’t felt in ages. It had been so long since he had known anything but the company of other rangers, the cramped, smoky barracks, bad weather, worse food, watchfulness and danger, that he had nearly forgotten what it was like to be an ordinary hanor. This night had lifted the lid of a box long-closed and he was helpless to shut it again.

Marenya was in his arms – soft, warm and still a little drowsy. They were standing behind everyone else. No one was looking at them. He bent his head down to hers and she looked up in surprise. He kissed her, their breath mingling in the frosty air. At first she froze,  but then responded with a sweetness that made the earth tilt strangely beneath him.

When they drew apart at last, she gazed into his eyes with the same devotion he had seen in Pelwyn’s face when she looked at Mel.

All at once, Faldur realized what he had done and cursed himself.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Sunday Snapshot

Hi everyone! It's time for another Sunday Snapshot, where you post a short snippet (100 words or less) of what you've been writing. It doesn't have to be perfect. It doesn't even have to be good. It just has to be yours.

I'm working on a short story right now and it has me "in fits" as a friend of mine would say. Not only are they supposed to be spicy, fresh, and colorful, but there has to be some kind of a twist. Kind of like really good pasta. 

He turned the wagon down the rutted road that led to the spring. The brown branches of the trees bowed ominously in the stiff wind, leaves swirling in the gusts and drifting against their trunks. Batya bowed her head to keep the dirt from her eyes. The wagon lurched over the ruts so violently that she gripped the edge of the seat with both hands to keep from being thrown off. The kettle and chain thumped and rattled under the blanket. 

P.S. Come in Character, our improv character website, is live again. Come and post in character in response to the prompts and interact with other characters at the same time.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Sunday Snapshot

We haven't done a Sunday Snapshot for a while. That's where I ask you to post a short snippet of what you've been writing. I love seeing the variety of everyone's work. Kind of like an anthology.

Speaking of which, I haven't mentioned here yet that I am now published as part of the South Jersey Writer's Group anthology called "Tall Tales and Short Stories from South Jersey."  It's available from Amazon here.

There's an author interview with me on the anthology website.

But now for the snapshots. Please post yours  in the comments. I love reading them!  Here's mine. Remember, it doesn't have to be perfect. It doesn't even have to be good. It just has to be yours.

Her arms, thick as a man’s, ached with fatigue. Sweat poured down her face. She wiped it away with her sooty sleeve. Moving away from the forge, she thrust her hand deep into a bucket of clean water, found the rag there, wrung it and wiped the blessed coolness over her face and neck. She flipped her thick braid out of the way, feeling the wisps of hair that had worked loose during her long day.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

A Stone House

One day I want a stone house with strong timbers for its bones
A house that the wolf can’t blow down
Or enter without my say-so

I want a house with two stories, maybe three
Where I can lie in my bed and look at the trees
And feel safe above it all

The fire in the fireplace will be my own
Flowers on the table that I grew myself
The only food will be the food I like to eat

No discord will be allowed in my house
Only peaceful souls will be allowed to stay
Only gentleness, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control

Christine L. Hardy

Monday, December 3, 2012

Descartes Was Right

I have come to the shocking realization that I don't need anyone.

I am a social being and need people around me, but I am not dependent on any one person in particular for my happiness. I have buried my loved ones over and over in my mind against the day when death takes them. I don't know if this is callous or just practical, but it is simply how I am.

No one can be depended on indefinitely. Circumstances and personalities change. Humans can hurt each other, grow jealous, or just lose interest. To idealize any one relationship is to set onself up for disappointment.

The only constants are myself and God. But even He, in his mysterious and sometimes cruel sovreignty, and I, in my flawed humanity, can be crappy company at times.

Absolute truths shift on hidden axes like Copernicus's universe. People fall away, rogue moons separated from their source of gravity. The only thing - the ONLY thing - that I know for sure is that I think, therefore I am*, and that there is One whose thoughts are above mine.

Everything else is up for grabs.

*"Je pense, donc je suis." - Rene' Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy, 1641

Saturday, December 1, 2012

I am a Winner!!!

I can't believe I did it. I decided to participate in Nanowrimo at about 9 pm on October 31st, totally against my better judgement.

I haven't got time for this, I said.

I'm setting myself up for failure, I said.

There's no way I can write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days, I said.

But I did it anyway. I was fortunate enough to have a writing retreat in mid-November during which I wrote about 8,000 words. I wrote almost the same amount over Thanksgiving weekend, thanks to my SIL keeping my son overnight for an impromptu sleepover. God bless her!

Last night I wrote the last 3500 words after dinner and finished at 11:45 p.m. EST. I was so in the zone I almost forgot to check the clock and missed it!

While my novel ended prematurely and needs lots of work, it's not junk. It's not something that makes me want to vomit. There is good potential there for something I can revise, expand and maybe publish, so I'm very proud of it. I had tons of support from writing friends, both locally and around the world via Facebook and Twitter.

That is why I bristle when "real" writers look down their noses at Nano participants. "Why don't you just write when you need to write instead of waiting for a big party and then cranking out garbage?"

Well, because it's difficult for many of us to summon the confidence to write all alone. My internal editor is pretty harsh. I'm proud of myself for not revising too much this month. I still did a little. I kept all the extra words and deleted scenes in my document, however, because I wrote them during Nano so they count.

It's also difficult to get our loved ones to buy into the whole writing gig. It takes so much time and attention away from them. But if we can say, "This is just for one month" and then prove what we can do, it's a way of earning their support. I've fought a constant uphill battle at home which honestly has kept me from succeeding before. It's a hard thing for non-writers to accept.

But if we break them in with the intensity of Nano, then they're more likely not to complain when we slip back to something more manageable. At least, I hope that will be the case.

So, you who are confident and published or at least well into your routine and writing skin, I'm happy for you. But don't knock my achievement. We all have our own path. I'm sure somewhere along the way someone pushed you and helped you.

This was just a lot more fun.