Six Sentence Sunday – The Storm Mirror 5

March 18, 2012

One. Two. Three. Four.

I’m skipping ahead a little bit – Melvin goes up the cliff and knocks the door of the old witch’s house, to confront her about sending the storms.

When the door finally pulled open a little and he could see inside, Melvin didn’t find an old, ugly witch. She was young, and about his height, but probably a few years older – just as Alec had been. Her dark hair was cut a little bit ragged, and from the paleness of her skin, she didn’t get much sun – still, the girl was pretty. 

“Are you the witch Sunshine?” Melvin blurted out, and then wondered too late if it was a smart thing to say.

The corners of the girl’s face quirked down slightly. “No, I’m sorry; the witch will not be available any more.”

Thanks for reading, and I look forward to any comments and critiques!

Six Sentence Sunday – The Storm Mirror 4

March 11, 2012

First six. Second six. Third six.

So, Melvin is at the village market, and finding out more about a possible reason for the storm that killed his brother…

“Well, I don’t believe that I’ve ever heard any of the witch’s name,” Auntie said, smiling up at him.

“I asked a few times, but she said that for her kind, names had great power, and asked me every time to call her Sunshine. She lives in a big grey house up on the cliff-top, and used to pay me in the most creative and splendid ways for my most unusual weeds. Until – just after the New Year, she told me that my services were no longer required. It was a few months after that the first storms came, but you know what? Whenever there’s a bad one, the storm clouds don’t seem to come from over the water, or from the lowlands, but they just sort of appear at the cliff-top.”

Six Sentence Sunday – The Storm Mirror 3

March 4, 2012

First six. Second six.

I’m skipping ahead just a little in the story. Melvin has found out that his big brother Alec was lost overboard in a storm. After the memorial service, his mother sends him to the market to buy supplies for the salting yard.

“It’s all on account of the witch, you see,” Auntie Janis was saying to her middle-aged assistant, as she looked for the bottle of tarragon. “She used to be so nice and kind, but I suppose that you can never trust a witch. First she got ugly, and then she got old, and then she said that she didn’t want anybody visiting her anymore. Maybe she’s sending the storms out of spite, for all that I know.”
“Excuse me, Auntie,” Melvin said, taking out two large pieces of silver – a bit more than he’d need to pay for tarragon and paprika. “Which witch are you speaking of?”

Six Sentence Sunday – The Storm Mirror 2

February 26, 2012

First six.

Previously in ‘The Storm Mirror’ – Melvin meets his father’s ship at the docks, coming in after a storm, and worries that something might have happened to his big brother Alec.

Father was staring off into the distance. “Alec was swept overboard, and we tried to haul him back on board, we did. But he slipped beneath the surface, and… and I couldn’t put anybody else’s son at risk to save him. I made the call to turn back for the harbour.”

“You left him out there in the water!” Melvin exclaimed. “He could still be alive, waiting, praying for you to come back and help him.”

Six Sentence Sunday – The Storm Mirror

February 19, 2012

First off, apologies that I messed up last week’s Six Sentence Sunday installment so badly – first I scheduled the snip for too far in the future, didn’t notice until Sunday afternoon, and then shifted it so that it appeared below Saturday’s post. D’OH! 😦

This time I’ll take more care with the scheduling feature. I’m also going to move on from ‘Project Fast Track’ and start sharing a snip from my newest story, “The Storm Mirror.”

Father was talking with his second mate near the stern when Melvin found him. “Wouldn’t you know it, for the weather to settle down just as we make it to shore.”

“You’re okay, Father?” Melvin asked, and Father nodded curtly. “What about Alec?” He looked around the deck and the pier for his tall older brother, but it was hard to sort out anything in the dim light. “Is he down below decks?”

Short story stuff

January 30, 2012

So, I think that overall, I’ve done pretty well on my January goals and projects list, but one area where I’ve been procrastinating is the short stories department. Week after week I’ve resolved to outline a new short, (or even complete a first draft!) or rewrite one of my existing stories, like ‘Project Fast Track’ or ‘Father Ismay’, and for four full weeks, I made pretty much no progress.

Working on shorts is hard, especially since I’ve raised my expectations for them, and I guess part of the problem was that it was easy to procrastinate while I hadn’t reached my JanNoWriMo goals for sample chapters of ‘The Scroll’ novel manuscript. Maybe I shouldn’t be pushing myself to work on a novel project and shorts at the same time.

But I really do want to do more with shorts this year, and before the end of June in particular, since even though I’m not planning to go back to the short story workshop, I’m sure if I go back to Lawrence, some people will ask me how my short stories are doing this year. When it comes to breaking short story ideas, I think that it’s the sort of thing that I can build momentum on if I keep working on it every day – keep a file of notions that haven’t quite jelled into story outlines, for instance, to see if maybe I can find the right angle on them tomorrow, or next week.

So I think that’s going to be one of my big targets for February. (As well as revising the ‘Scroll’ stuff, gulp – I want to have my workshop application ready for Feb 29th.) And I think I managed to make some headway on a new story outline this evening, based on a random prompt I found on a website of random generators.

“The seaside is the location, happiness is the theme. A mirror is an object that plays a part in the story.”

At first I thought that was a pretty useless prompt, and I was even tempted to try a different website. But I kept at it, looking to see if I could figure out a fantasy take on those three elements, and something’s coming together. I’ve got two characters – the first is a teenaged boy, Melvin, who lives in the seaside fishing village; his father’s a fishing boat captain, and his big brother that he loved was lost overboard in a storm.

Everybody in the village says that the storms are bad because of the old, ugly witch who lives in the grey house up on top of the cliff. But when Melvin climbs up the cliff to confront the witch, he finds a beautiful girl about his brother’s age, Sorina, who isn’t a witch, but she has a temper and a dark secret involving mirrors…

I tried using the random character generator at to flesh out the teenage boy character, but I got a name that just didn’t fit – I think it was ‘Walter Jenkins’, and the full description was so ludicrous, I wish that I’d saved it. 😦 I remember that he was 80 years old and had muddy blue hair.

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