My ‘hone your skills’ Blogfest entry.

March 16, 2011

I’m not quite clear anymore on why I signed up for this blogfest.

The thing is, I don’t really write short-short stories that often, and out of the complete stories that I have that are about the right length, I’ve already shared most of them on this blog since I started doing ‘Sharing Exercise Friday.’ And I didn’t really want to do a repeat for a blogfest.

But I found this little piece in my files, it was from some kind of a prompt at the Chester’s Beers of the world Hamilton Writers group. It’ll be interesting to hear what you think.

On the Halos of a Dilemma.

She hesitated at the post box, not knowing if she should really send the letter.

This was one of those moments where you normally pictured an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other, Caroline thought. The problem was, at the moment, she had two little critters who both appeared to have white robes and halos arguing with each other, and she couldn’t really tell if one was a devil in disguise, or maybe they were both well-meaning angels who happened to be having a difference of opinion over her tough choice.

“You have to tell her,” the voice from her right shoulder told her. “There are certain things that you have to do if you want to do the right thing, and this is one of them. You’ve stumbled across a secret that’s about your friend’s life, and you can’t keep it from her. You have to let her know somehow, and this is the best way – anonymously, so that she isn’t hurt by finding out how you know, on top of everything else.”

“Oh, yeah, let’s start there, shall we?” came the reply from left shoulder. “So that she isn’t hurt. Isn’t it better to start with sparing Lizzie as much pain as you can, rather than inflexible rules? If you tell her this, then you’re causing her pain, and not sparing her any further down the road. There’s no upside except keeping your own conscience clear of keeping the secret, so just suck it up and do what’s best for Liz.”

“That’s just a load of rationalizing…” Right shoulder started.

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Short Fiction – The Onus of Grace… plus Crusader Challenge lie!

February 25, 2011

Well, since the Valentine’s SDMB short fiction contest has started, I figured I might as well share the one contest entry story that I’ve written and not yet posted to the blog. This was from September 2010, and it was this idea that I eventually expanded into my Nanowrimo 2010 story.

Oh – and the answer to my Crusader Challenge is at the end of the story. 😉

The onus of Grace

Richard sighed as the Hornet cruised down the road. The sun was setting, and the energy patterns of every person in every car on the freeway seemed to blur and meld until it was a multicolored aurora, like the Northern lights come down from the sky.

For a moment, the vision made it hard for him to concentrate on where he was steering, and then the defense system kicked in and he was just looking at taillights ahead of him and headlights in the oncoming traffic, like any ordinary person would see.

“Is it bad?” Jessie asked him. “I could drive for a few hours.”

“No, it’s fine now,” he assured her. “Just a bit of an overload of aura vision. I’ve turned it off for now.”

“Is it like that for you?” she asked, curiously. “A light switch? Or more like tuning out some distracting piece of music – you still hear it, but it isn’t as bad if you’re not paying attention?”

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Blogosphere special: the “Show me yours” Blogfest!

January 3, 2011

Blogosphere index

Okay, today is the day of the Show me yours Blogfest, in which bloggers share a 500-word passage from their Nanowrimo 2010 writing and go comment like mad on each other’s excerpts!

So, here’s mine. It’s from the very beginning of “The Angel’s Charlie,” and does a really good job of setting the scene, I think:

Nothing made sense when Richard opened his eyes.

It wasn’t like things had been that clear in the moment before he opened them either, really. The last thing he could clearly remember was driving home after a late night in the office, and then… well, he’d still been sitting down, but somehow it had been obvious that he wasn’t in a car anymore. As far as he could tell now, he was in the chapel of a church, which hadn’t been the case for far too many months, really, and it definitely wasn’t Ottawa Street Baptist, either.

He started to explore the material available in the back of the pew in front of him. Old-fashioned looking hymnal, so probably not an evangelical denomination. Catholic? No, the decor didn’t really look Catholic… maybe Anglican. Aha, little visitor’s cards to drop into the collection plate, with spots for name and address. But they’d have the name on the card – yeah. ‘Episcopal church of the Good Shephard’, and an address on Delaware Street. It didn’t really ring a bell, except that he thought something was slightly off with ‘Episcopal.’

“I’m afraid that there won’t be a worship service for a while, young man. Are you in need of prayers?”

Richard looked up quickly to see an older man in a sedate uniform standing near the chapel doors. Quickly he rose to his own feet. “Not really, reverend… though a good word with the Lord Father is always appropriate, I suppose. Maybe we could pray together, before we leave, actually. But – but I have to say I’m a little confused, not sure how I got here.”

“I’m afraid I can’t help you with that, my son, though I assumed you walked in,” the reverend said, chuckling slightly. “When I saw you sleeping in the pew on a Tuesday night, I suppose I assumed – that you just didn’t have any better shelter from the cold. Perhaps I was wrong.”

“Yes, the last thing I remember, I was on my way home… do you have any idea how I’d get to Queenston Road from here?” The reverend looked blank. “The Research in Motion headquarters?” Still no real recognition. “It’s not too far from the big university campus.”

“Ah, well, then, you’re just down the street from campus,” the reverend told him more brightly. “I can point you that way, at least. And you can check in our parking lot to see if your car is there, of course.”

“Thank you.” Richard took a breath. “What about that prayer, then?”

“I think that would be a good idea.” The two men sat down on one of the nearby pews. “I’m reverend Hynes, by the way.”

“Richard Horwood, and nice to meet you.” Richard closed his eyes. “Father in heaven, I’m feeling very lost and confused right now, but I know that to you, the way that I should follow is clear and straight. Please guide me in your infinite wisdom, and lead me along the path that leads to your service. You have blessed me with many gifts in my life, I am thankful for them all and give praise to you. Amen.”

“Dear Father, your servant Richard is in need of aid,” the Father added. “You know what his needs are better than I do, or he does, so help him along his way, and give him the strength to carry his burdens for your sake. All glory to your name, Amen.”

UPDATE: Okay, as of this writing, I’ve given feedback to 15, out of the other 34 bloggers who’ve participated in this challenge, and it’s been a really fun experience. If I haven’t posted a comment to your excerpt yet – I’ll do my best to get to you sometime this week – and for the 7 people who signed up and haven’t posted excerpts yet, I’ll keep checking your blog too.

This event has been really very much in line with what I wanted to be doing with Blogosphere Mondays – finding other bloggers who are sharing their own writing, letting them know what I thought, encouraging them – and attracting new readers to my own blog as well. Kinda fortuitous that the whole thing happened to be scheduled on a Monday already!

Out of curiosity, I started tracking the length of the different posted excerpts – partly because mine was stretching the 500 word limit. Well, I wasn’t alone. 22 of the excerpts were more than 500 words, ranging from 505 up to 972 words. (My 567 was more or less in the middle of that pack.) And there was one person who was exactly on 500, and twelve who were less, going from 257 up to 498. Sorry, my numbers geek is coming out to play now.

Oh, and all 3 of the founding blogfest members were over the 500 word limit that they imposed – 533 to 647 words. 😉

Happy Blogfest, everybody.


Nanowrimo preparation season has begun!

October 2, 2010

It’s official!!

The National Novel Writing Month website has rebooted itself and done the usual upgrade/facelift for the 2010 writing-novels-in-30-days season. I’m very excited.

I want to post more in the forums this year, if I can manage to find the time to.

I’m looking forward to watching new videos from the Office of Letters and Light crew.

I can’t wait to meet up again with more Nano-ers from the Hamilton area – and the ones that go to San Francisco for the Night of Writing Dangerously.

I think that my Nano-novel this year is going to be a modern fantasy, (urban fantasy, dare I say it,) with a hero who died young and was sent back to Earth by angels, using somebody else’s body to help fight back the forces of darkness. But this guy falls in love with a girl while he’s on his mission, and they decide to run away from his destiny, and things get a bit complicated from there. 😉

31 days now until the start of Nanowrimo…


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