Monday, August 30, 2010
Fairy Tale Blogfest
Awesome. (I felt like I needed one more...)
Write in no more than 1000 words a story based on a fairy tale in a genre OTHER than fantasy. You can do horror, suspense, sci-fi, thriller, etc. (romance is okay, but you need to add another genre with it, otherwise you'll just end up with a fantasy romance), and the plot has to be closely related to the original tale.
All entries must be posted on August 30th. Emily will then pick her favorite five, post the links and everyone will have a week to vote.
So here we go with my entry, currently untitled. As usual, this is a rough draft.
I hunt her like a wolf: catch her scent, trail after her. It’s not hard if you know what signs to look for: murders, deaths, disappearances.
Years I’ve tracked and now I’ve found her family. Her nest. Each one like her. Each one as much of a monster, though none appear as innocent.
“Greetings sir,” she says to the shopkeeper. She removes her hood before she closes the door behind her, nothing more than a child on an errand.
I watch from the shadows of the alley. She won’t hurt the shopkeeper. Not now, anyway. She has to keep up her disguise and play the human.
I sink further into the shadows. If I hurry, I’ll have enough time to make it to her nest before she returns.
The forest is peaceful, soothing. In the distance is the thunk thunk thunk of someone cutting wood.
This is another trick of her and her kind. No one would suspect that such peace could lead to such horror.
They make their home in a cottage in the woods. More a shack really, nothing like the ruined castles of the old days.
I must be stealthy. If one were to find me, I could not escape. You cannot outrun them, even with their iron shod shoes. This I know firsthand. Like grief, and sorrow. And guilt.
I peek through the windows but it’s quiet inside. Empty.
The door squeals as I enter and the sound raises the hair on my neck. The house is decorated as a normal habitat: a kitchen table holds a bowl of red apples, the dining room shares space with a bookshelf. There’s a single bedroom with the bed neatly made. I run my hand across the bedspread and the cloying scent of blood settles across me like lace drapes in a breeze.
My only warning is the creak of a floorboard behind me. I leap over the bed and tumble to the ground as an iron spike stabs through the space I had just inhabited.
It’s an old woman. She could be serving cookies to grandchildren if it weren’t for the iron spike in her hand and the cap on her head that drips with blood. The blood trails down her cheeks, following her wrinkles down to her lips where she licks it before she grins at me, her teeth sharp and rotten.
She shrieks and leaps at me over the bed, her iron spike held high. But I have a spike of my own and I lunge at her, my knife catching her throat. Her blood pours down over me in a hot rain and I yank my knife free. She stumbles, her hand to her throat, before she falls onto the bed. Her blood soaks into the cover and sheets.
My breath comes fast and echoes in the still room. I stand over her. I should feel something, excitement or relief that my vengeance has finally come to pass, but all I feel is empty. No matter how many monsters I kill, Clara will never return. Death doesn’t beget life, it only begets more death.
A sharp pain bursts in my side and I look down to find an iron spike erupting from my skin. There’s a jerk and the spike slides out. I stumble to sit on the bed and turn to find her, the young one, the child, with the red hood pulled over her blonde hair.
She has triumph in her eyes until her gaze is drawn to the body of the old woman, dead on the bed beside me.
“Grandmother!” she shrieks. Rage and shock spread across her features. Her teeth grow and sharpen like the old woman’s.
I spit out blood.
“My,” I cough. “What big teeth you have.”
“The better to eat you with!” she screams and jumps at me, the iron spike held before her. She’s faster than the old one, and though I raise my knife I’m not fast enough to reach her throat. Instead it sinks into her stomach and she howls. I release the knife and grab onto her throat, my fingers catching the back of the red hood. Where my fingers squeeze, the hood seeps blood until it runs down my hands in red rivers.
She struggles like a wildcat and drops the spike to pull at my hands, but the blood makes her fingers slip and she can’t get a firm grip. With my knees I push against her stomach and manage to twist us around until I am atop, squeezing her throat, wringing the life from her.
Behind us the door slams open. I look over my shoulder and see a man with an axe and a rifle pointed at us. He takes in the scene and disgust crosses his features.
“Wait,” I say and release my grip from the monster to hold my hands before me. They are covered in blood and the child-monster takes a deep breath. “This isn’t what it looks like.”
“He’s killed my grandma!” the monster shouts below me.
I turn and pull the knife from her gut and lunge for her throat but there’s a loud crack and something slides into my back. A burning slips through me and the knife falls from my grip, though I try to make my fingers tighten.
There is a hole in my chest. My blood flows down my body onto the child monster and she smiles, her teeth sharp, as her red cape and hood drink up my blood.
She pushes me and I fall to the floor. I can’t seem to catch my breath.
The man rushes to the girl and she hugs him, the perfect image of a terrified child. He comforts her but does not see her reach for her iron spike, does not see her tears are false and her teeth are long.
“Monster!” I manage to utter but the word emerges as a whisper. I try to pull in more air but there is none. Instead my vision goes black and there is a gasp from the man who had saved her.
I hear a wet squelching noise. Everything around me fades and she begins to sing a song.
“So much blood, my cap shall never be dry.”
So there you have it! I will be making my rounds to as many of the other entries as I can hit today. I'm excited to see what everyone wrote.
Friday, August 27, 2010
Friday Fun Words
But because we were away for a week and Mom's been at the office working, we don't have any word verification words to share this week.
So instead you'll have to content yourself with some of these pics of me (and a few others) on vacation. Of course, looking at pics of beautiful moi is just as good, amiright?
Here we go!
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
In Which I Seek Your Opinion
And yet, I somehow managed to drop about $300. Crazy right?
I plan on doing full renfest posts, with pictures, once the season is done, so I'll show you what I bought then.
Of course, part of what I bought were prizes for my 200 followers contest. There will be 3 winners.
However, I would like your opinion:
What kind of contests do you like to enter?
Plain ol' drawings?
Drawings with a little creativity thrown in?
I'm pretty open (and the prizes pretty sweet), though I'm leaning away from a full fledged writing contest just because I'm so bloody busy right now.
So let me know in the comments. I'm planning the contest for sometime next week, hopefully, so there will be pics of the renfest, writing related prizes then.
Monday, August 23, 2010
In Which I Return
I'm back from vacation, all limbs intact. This is just a short post. I'll be in training for this week for work and since the commute is at least 1 hour one way, I will have less interwebs time than I normally would, so I can't promise I'll have posts for the rest of this week.
HOWEVER, before I went on vacay, my followers rolled over the 200 mark, which means CONTEST!
I'll have more details later, but I plan on picking up a fun prize at the MN Renaissance Festival, which is where I'll be spending every Saturday until October.
Anything exciting happen in the last week?
Friday, August 20, 2010
Friday Fun Words
I only have one word for you this week and it's this:
Vacay - when you're hanging with your family at a cabin on a lake.
See you next week!
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
In Which I Repost
This is a repost from January 6th, 2010
H/T to Teebore over at Gentlemen of Leisure Blog for passing on this great idea.
What idea, you ask? Why the idea of the ABCs OF AWESOME that's what! (and yes, it needs to be all caps...)
I tried to keep mine writing or book related, but you'll see I was only semi-successful (though I can make an argument about a lot of them that they're what I like to write about... )
A is for Assassins
B is for Books
C is for Cartoons
D is for Daydreaming
E is for Editing
F is for Falen! Nah I'm just kidding - can you imagine?! F is for Foodstuff
G is for Games
H is for Horror
I is for illustrations
K is for Karin Lowachee
L is for Lolcats
M is for Mists of Avalon
N is for Ninjas!
O is for Onomatopoeia
P is for Pens
Q is for Queries
R is for Reading
S is for Sirius Black
T is for Trees
U is for Undead
V is for Vampires
W is for Writing (dur!)
X is for XBox 360
Y is for Yarn (as in telling one)
Z is for Zeppelins
There were some hard letters and letters that had just too many great ones (it nearly broke my heart to leave out apocalypse) but overall I'm mostly pleased with my list.
Monday, August 16, 2010
In Which I Am On Vacay
There is no interwebs.
I have lined up a few "reposts" and will return all comments upon my return (insert forboding music here? ummm...yes.)
This is a repost from January 11th, 2010
I love you even with your dickery
Along with Gabriel Burns, Susan Sarandon AND Claire Danes, I'd also forgotten how awesome it is. I taped it after my lunch break so I could finish watching it in the evening (which is why I only got 300 words written that night on my WIP. Yes, it was definitely Little Women and not Zombie shooting. Not. At. All)
On a side note Brother apparently says he's never seen Little Women before, evidenced by the fact when he came in he said "What is this crap? It looks stupid." Even though BETH HAD JUST DIED and IT WAS NOT STUPID!
On a side note off the first side note, whenever I think of Little Women I'm reminded of the Friends episode where Monica finds Stephen King's IT in her refrigerator. She discovers that Joey put it in the fridge because it had frightened him, which is apparently his usual solution for books that upset him. So Monica suggests that he reads Little Women instead. He goes through almost the whole book thinking Jo is a man and Laurie is a girl. At the end of the episode Joey is all upset that Beth died and Monica's solution is for him to put Little Women in the fridge.
Back to the first side note - I do think Brother has seen Little Women, he just probably doesn't remember.
Back to the main point of the post. I was thinking about how Jo was writing, more or less, genre fiction and Friedrich is all "oh it's good but I know you can do better" and blah blah blah and I'm all like "Maybe Jo wants to write about zombies and steampunk and maybe you should just shut your mouth Friedrich" but not really because it's Gabriel Byrne and I lurve him.
So then Beth dies and it's sad (AND NOT STUPID) and Jo takes one night (HAH!) to write a new wonderful novel called *Gasp* Little Women (and I freak out because of the paradox of her writing the book that the movie is based on that I'm watching where she's writing a book and...well you get it. Mind Freak!)
And even with all of that other crap going through my head, the one thing I really come away thinking is that Jo is a piece of crap because apparently she can write both fiction AND non fiction.
I took a creative non fiction class in college. I was a senior and the next semester I would take my senior project class which involved Fiction writing and then a semester after that (because I needed 4.5 years to get enough credits to graduate so my last semester was filled with pure fun stuff including beginning fiction writing which I had skipped over originally when I went straight to intermediate fiction writing. Talk about an easy class. Beginning Fiction I mean) I would take an MFA fiction writing class even though I wasn't working on an MFA.
I'm totally losing myself in my own train of thoughts here. Anyway I took a single creative non fiction class. And I was HORRIBLE at it. Not only was I horrible at it, I didn't find it very fun. I didn't have anything worth writing about. And I didn't even want to write about me and my past - booooring - I wanted to write about made up crap.
The weird part is, I knew HOW to write good non fiction - I could recognize it when my classmates did it, and I could appreciate a good memoir. But for the life of me I just couldn't apply that to my own writing. I think a lot of the people in the class thought I was dumbish and couldn't believe my major emphasis was in creative writing (I know this is at least partially true because one of the girls in that class would also be in my senior project class which was fiction based and she flat out told me that my fiction was world's better than my non fiction.) My non-fiction work is the only writing that I've willfully destroyed.
I wonder if other writers have this trouble, or if it's just me? I'm not great at poetry, either, but I can pull some of it off. But not Jo March, ho no. Jo can write anything and everything and get it all published while simultaneously finding herself a man. Apparently she's like the Avatar of writers.
I would give much to be an airbender
So anyway, here's what all this rambling comes to: Little Women, I love you, but Jo March can suck it.
Friday, August 13, 2010
Friday Fun Words
A lot has been going on this week. An electrician came to fix the lights in the rooms, I got sick, George's one lip is acting funny and everyone is preparing to go camping.
BUT last weekend, on of the most bestest things happened. All the people went outside in the yard and left all us dogs inside. Which is a jerk move of course, they bought the yard just for us anyway. Well after a bit of time around the corner of the house, they came back, following the MOST AMAZING THING EVER as it walked across the patio in front of them:
LOOK AT THIS THING!!!! Right? Right. Needless to say I wanted it immediately. It was definitely bigger than any of the guinea pigs. If I ate that thing, I could be the most supreme dog ever, for sure.
But then Mommy scared him out the fence into the park. Stupid Mommy, throwing away my glory. Anyway, then they let us outside. We sniffed around a bit, but the best thing by far was the bucket. Oh did it smell.
The creature smelled like musk and also like a rat. So I decided to call it a Stinkpig. And one day, I'm going to eat one...
ONTO THE WORDS
(Mommy would like me to say that she's been so super busy this week that she really didn't have time to collect too many, but she found a few for me)
ENTAL - when you're not quite entish, but you're definitely rocking some sort of ent-like behavior
JOALS - jewel goals. This word is typically only used by jewel thieves. Hmmm, do jewel thieves even still exist?
LAIRRAYE - when you make your lair in a ray of sunlight. I know, it does seem to be a touch oxymoronic, but what can you do?
And that's all, Ape-friends! I hope you have a fun week while I'm out
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
In Which The Board Game Takes Shape
The first game was more or less a disaster. Brother died almost immediately. So we took notes, made some changes in the game play and tried it again.
It was much better the second time around but still needs a lot of work. Still I'm pretty confident we can fix a lot of the issues by adjusting a few aspects here and there.
One of the things our game has is character cards. Everyone picks a character and depending on who you choose your skills and starting items differ.
We have ten characters, each one with a backstory.
Twin and I worked on the backstory for each character on Friday evening. It was almost like writing a mini query for each character and some of them turned out great!
Here's an example of a few of the fun character backstories (more or less, why they're stuck in the game)
Nancy Wu has been an End of Life nurse practitioner for five years. So when the evac comes, she volunteers to stay with her patients, especially since the DRRT (disaster relief response team) officials promise her help will arrive shortly.
But when the days pass and all her patients (and patience) expire, Nancy is left to find a way through the city herself. Before she meets her own end of life.
The Military Officer:
Lt. Matt Olson is on his way back to the base after a week of leave when his car breaks down outside of town. He radios the base for assistance, but no one answers.
Set on a long trek back to base, Matt is worried that perhaps an “incident” has occurred. It would explain the radio silence.
Matt needs to get back to base ASAP, before everything winds up FUBAR
Adrienne Ramsey has been training for the Olympics since she was fifteen years old. She runs six miles a day, lifts weights Monday, Wednesday, Friday and takes a night swim at Lake Ruth every Saturday.
Normally after her swim she rewards herself with a hot cup of coffee at Sal’s diner but this time Sal’s is closed, along with the rest of the city.
Adrienne needs to get out of town as fast as possible or the race out of the city could become a race for her life.
Also this is a reminder that next week I will be on vacay at a cabin on the lake. There were be some posts, but I won't be able to respond to comments until I return.
Monday, August 9, 2010
In Which We Find More Critters
Typically it's just voles that get stuck down there. (actually we always assumed they were voles, but after some research I've come to the conclusion that they're probably Northern Grasshopper mice)
(UPDATE: turns out, after more research, they're actually short-tailed shrews. but all the details are the same)
They're awesome because they looks so cute and soft with their velvet grey fur, but they're take no prisoner carnivores and will EFF YOU UP if you give them a chance.
Once we had three mice (shrews) in there at once, 2 alive, 1 dead. We got one out and released it but the other one was NOT LEAVING. At one point he turned and looked at twin and opened his tiny mouth to issue the highest pitched little shriek you've ever heard. Freaked us out.
Turns out northern grasshopper mice howl and eat other mice (as do shrews).
Also turns out the way to get them out of windows is by putting the other dead mouse (shrew) in the bucket, and live, crazy mouse (shrew) will panic that you're stealing his food and will run into said bucket to try and get the dead mouse body back. Then you can just scoop him up and let him go in the park with his precious dead mouse meal.
Anyway, aside from shrews we also once had a baby bunny. Which was clearly the cutest thing we've gotten down there.
The egress window leads to Brother's bedroom in the basement and he's the one who lets us know when something is trapped in there because they scratch at his window and make a racket.
Saturday morning, Brother came upstairs and told us we had one guess as to what was in the window, and it wasn't something that had been down there before.
Our guesses of squirrel and bird were not correct.
No. It was a Muskrat!
right here he was deciding if he should rush us or not...
He was kinda cute looking. We grabbed our usual bucket and twin climbed down thinking we could just scoop him up (she always does the animal wrangling since she helped with the wild animal SOPs at her shelter. And in case you're wondering, muskrats can't carry rabies)
Turns out muskrats hate buckets. A lot. He kept attacking the bucket, which was kinda scary since he filled it.
Finally he attacked the bucket, landing inside, and didn't jump back out. Twin lifted the bucket up and he hopped into the yard.
Then there was a tense few moments where the muskrat glared at Brother and I and we glared back. It was totes a "it's up to you what happens now, muskrat" but instead of attacking us he decided to go on his way.
Of course his way meant he'd calmly walk across the patio and contemplate the weather.
We finally managed to shoo him out into the park. There's a pond about 6 houses down and I'm sure that's where he came from (though why he came all the way down to our house and all its doggy smells is a mystery)