Saturday, February 27, 2010

Updates...The Rambling Kind

I started off the year with such grand projects and propositions and of course, the best of intentions. I feel it is only fair to mention that I am keeping up with them even if my blogging consistency has been otherwise. I will confess the memes have helped in my regular postings, for having a Manic Monday over here and a Booking Through Thursday at Fiction Fusion, keeps my mind tuned into bloggy things.  ^_^

Of course, I've also been dabbling back in forth in the usual month-long projects. This month was FAWM=February Album Writing Month, the challenge to write 14 songs in 28 days. It's great fun and challenges any music lover/poet. Songwriting is definitely a different sort of 'beast' so to speak, and this year has been the most challenging--yet rewarding for me. Currently, the song count is at 10, leaving me to dream up 4 more between now and tomorrow night.

Should be fun...operative word being 'should'. ^_^

The Nancy Drew challenge has slowed to a crawl for two reasons--which are really just excellently crafted excuses. School papers demand I read the literary works I am writing about and even though I would like to either read, write or daydream my every waking moment, for some reason I have to deal with this thing called "sleep". Ever heard of it? Me neither. Moving on...

On the other hand, my bible-in-a-year challenge is coming along quite nicely. I am now wondering if I can double up and move through it quicker than the entire year. The format in which it is presented keeps me engaged and wanting to "hurry up" to get to the next page. This is definitely a breakthrough for me, in terms of consistently reading through the daily chapters. Currently, I am in Leviticus and Mark, with passages through Psalms and Proverbs. So far--so good.

I have also been participating in the Jiffy Challenge, which you may have seen on two wonderful blogs by two wonderful writer friends of mine, JJ's An Open Book and Peej's Patterings. The challenge was to write 35,000 words during the month of February. You could work on multiple projects at a time, as long as the writing goal was met, an intended alternative for those unable to participate in NaNoWriMo during the hectic November month. Jiffy has been quite fun! I enjoyed the fact that I could hop from project to project and that it was at an entirely different time of year when my favorite stormy day atmosphere was fairly regular.

An update on Faceless--the story has been moving along, albeit slower than I would like, but nearing the end. I have a few characters screaming to be first, so naturally, I am refusing to choose sides and shall wait for another character to assume the role of referee so I can get back on track. Currently my efforts are directed at school projects and whatever writing I am doing, has been where it is needed most, in my Friday Fiction pieces (btw, Hunt For the Dark Phoenix has crossed over the 50k mark. WOOT!) FWC and some short pieces to help empty some of the circus in my head. You may have noticed a few of these new pieces appearing on Fiction Fusion in the version of flash fiction (under 500 words) and inspirational fiction (700+). The latest piece, Cardboard box, will be posted at Fiction Fusion sometime in this coming week--keep an eye out for it!

And, as it is nearing midnight, I suppose I ought to end this. Cheerio!

Hunt For The Dark Phoenix [part 26] (Fiction Friday )

This week's Friday Fiction is hosted by Shelley Ledfors over at her blog, The Veil thins. Click here to share and read more great fiction!

Author's Ramblings: My apologies for such a late post, school as been an absolute bear this week and I've spent most of today working on this week's chapter. I don't quite agree with the way it has turned out, but I cannot bear to leave you all in suspense, so I will post a shortened excerpt this week. Please enjoy and let me know what you think! Have a great weekend and happy reading! 


SUMMARY: A ragged teenager has shown up in their encampment as the Dark Phoenix and Eira are about to leave. The DP appears to know him, because they instantly are engaged in a verbal shouting match, until the ground begins to shift beneath their feet. Eira feels she knows this person, but is unsure why. 

The boy opened his mouth to speak, but the effort of doing so was not completed.

“I don’t want to hear a word you have to say!” The Dark Phoenix raged. “Not a single sound out of your mouth—and no apology could save you at this point. What devil possessed you to-”

The ground rumble repeated itself, the tremors causing the earth to shift beneath their feet, ending with a long, deep groan from within.

“Stop that!” The Dark Phoenix punctuated the command with the black fire sparking into balls in his hands. He curled them into fists, subtly shifting his weight backwards.

“I didn’t do it!” The boy immediately backed down several steps, hands held out in protection. “Honest! I didn’t!”

The ground rumbled once more and sent the boy toppling to the ground as the Dark Phoenix chose that moment to anchor himself by the way of root. The brown boots shifted and morphed into the sturdy trunk of a tree, with roots digging into the ground to hold him upright. The fire flickered briefly as his brow furrowed. “You didn’t.” He allowed, after a pause. “Stay there!”

With a quick bob of his head, the boy did not move. He lay on the ground, without so much as a muscle twitch. The ground rumbled again, but no expression crossed his face, nor any visible means of energy danced across his body.

“Eira?” The Dark Phoenix turned slightly, the fire fading from his fingertips. “Come here.”

Eira gingerly inched forward, casting a cautious look on the ground. “Is there an earthquake?” She closed the gap between them in a matter of steps. “What’s going on? Who’s that guy?”

“I need you to leave us alone for a minute.”

“Wh-”

The word started from her mouth, but was silenced by a finger to her lips. “You will walk out from this clearing, turn left along the pathway and take exactly nine steps forward. Once you have counted to nine, you will sit down and plug your ears, understood?”

Eira began to shake her head. “No-”

“Good.” The hand poised as if to shut her mouth again and she offered a squeak of frustration instead. “Take my pack and keep it with yours. Do not look back. Close your eyes after you cover your ears. I will be along, shortly.” He twirled his fingers in the air and the slender, black stick materialized between it.

Her eyes begged the question he would not allow her to phrase and answered it with a definite frown and the usual raised eyebrow. A look she was beginning to know quite well. It was a matter he would not be changing his mind to accommodate her curiosity.

She bent to pick up his pack and her eyes grew wide at the sight of his feet. Her head jerked upwards to him, but he merely held the pack for her to slide it over one shoulder, then turned her towards the clearing entrance and gave a little push. “Now, apprentice.”

Because there wasn’t much else she could do and dying from an earthquake in a cluttered jungle clearing was not particularly appealing, Eira scrambled to obey. Her own feet seemed too large and too clumsy as she stumbled twice before stepping through the gaggle of bushes and onto the clear, dirt path. It took a moment of dancing and hopping alternatively on each foot before she gathered herself together to count nine steps forward. Thankfully, the dirt was dry and worn-smooth, a detail Eira was glad for as she eased the packs to the ground and settled cross-legged onto the corner of the path.

“Cover ears and close eyes.” She muttered to herself. “he didn’t say anything about keeping quiet.” Her mind was still wandering over the boy in the clearing and trying to reason why he’d seemed so familiar when she could have sworn she’d never laid eyes on him.

Careful to loop the straps of each pack through her arms, Eira leaned forward to rest her elbows on her knees and then bent her head so the hand could reach her ears. With her ears safely covered, she took one last glance around before shutting her eyes.

Nothing rumbled.

Nothing shifted.

Silence was bliss for the space of a few seconds until a puff of dust tickled her nose. Eira shook her head slightly, hoping to stall the reaction, but when she turned to sneeze into her elbow, she wobbled and touched something hard and cold instead.

Her eyes flew open and the hands dropped from her ears as she stared down at a stone head with its features twisted into a horrible grimace. The grotesque expression was a mere few feet away as the rest of her body caught up to the realization.

The yelp that left her lips was only a few pitches away from being a full, flat-out scream. “Aieeeeekkk!” Eira stumbled backwards, tripping over the packs and tangling them up in her arms as landed in the dust, still too close to the head.

“A head!” The shriek was repeated as she skittered back another handful of steps. By the time she’d managed to pick herself up again, she scrambled backwards into something mostly solid and entirely warm. She blinked. "I didn't mean to talk...to uh, scream...but you only said to cover my ears and close my eyes." She winced. "sorry."


"And so I did. No harm in speaking...I suppose." The Dark Phoenix stared down at her for a moment, then reached forward and untangled his pack from her own. “I trust you are in good health?”

The phrase was odd in the way he spoke it, but perfectly understandable when Eira managed to make sense of it. In the basic training at the academy, it was the formal way of inquiring whether her life had realistically been endangered.

“Mostly.” She was on her feet and halfway behind him, chancing a look from around his shoulder. It struck her for a moment, as being odd that she could easily see over his shoulder, whereas, she couldn’t have before.

The thought was recorded and tucked away for later perusal, but already half-dismissed on the grounds that the Dark Phoenix couldn’t possibly be shrinking.

“Eira?” He sounded bored and somewhat annoyed as he moved to the side. Eira automatically moved with him. “Stop that.”

“That’s a head.” Eira swallowed, she danced sideways again, preferring to have something between her and object. “A stone head.”

“And…?”

“I saw that head before.”

“Really?” The brows furrowed together. “Where?”

“You ripped it off.” She licked her lips, the memories meshing with the very real horror in front of her. “You were fighting that…monster…that tried to kill me and you ripped his head off!”

The expression of annoyance gradually shifted over to one of sorrow. “I am sorry…” He turned his face away. “I didn’t realize you were conscious enough to…witness that.”

“Ripping someone’s head off?” Eira choked. “I-it was a-”

“It was a monster by your definition and yet you feel some sort of responsibility?”

“No.”

“Liar.”

“No!”

“Then why are you-”

A loud rustling in the bushes garnered another muffled shriek from Eira a short, stocky rock figure crashed through the bushes, falling to its knees to flail around on the ground. It was crumbling like a neglected statue
and stained with green as if once covered by moss or crushed by piles of greenery.

The Dark Phoenix looked from the searching figure, to the head and then to the terrified apprentice still hovering behind him. He winced. “Eira?”

“I know that.” She was trying to keep her voice even and doing a fairly lousy job of it. “I-I know that.”

“Yes…?”

“That’ s the jerk that tried to kill me.” She licked her lips, one hand traveling to her cheek. “That’s the monster that tried to kill me…i-it wasn’t going to stop!”

By now, the headless rock figure had managed to find the head by crawling on its knees, waving its hands in front of the ground before it. The hands slowly moved over the head, before it lifting it up and setting it on top of the neck. The cracks and nicks smoothed away, rendering the figure nearly perfect in appearance. The rock slowly melted away to pale flesh as the figure of the boy in the clearing was now standing before them, his expression still sullen.

“You’re a boy!” The words sputtered out of her mouth as Eira gaped at him from behind her self-appointed Dark Phoenix barrier. “You’re…real!”

“Ha. And you’re a girl.” He shot back. “Of course I’m real! Brilliant deduction, genius, what did you think I was?”

“Genius?” Eira blinked. “Who are you? What are you doing here?” She shook her head abruptly. “No, no, no! This is wrong. You tried to kill me! You’re supposed to be dead!”

“Dead? Hardly. Annoyed,  yes. You’re a lousy opponent by the way.”

“I’m not anyone’s opponent! I wasn’t fighting!”

“Ah…well, then that explains a great deal. I wondered what all that wild kicking and punching was. You’re a terrible fighter.”

“You’re a horrible monster!”

“Ah, a monster? I’ve been called worse…though doubtless you have been too. Tell me, is that the best you can come up with?”

“I call them as I see them.” Eira felt the ground offer the faintest tremor beneath her feet and she settled square into a defensive stance, still standing slightly behind her master. There was no way she wanted a repeat of their earlier encounter.

“And apparently you have poor eyesight if you cannot recognize a beautiful titan species when it is standing before you in all its glory.”

“Really?” Eira scoffed. “Beauty and glory? And here I thought you were speaking of someone else. I take it back, you're not just a monster, you’re a self-conceited talking monster.”

“Conceited? Me? Ohh, now I see. Then again, I really can’t…you’re not even standing out in the open. Are you afraid of me? What are you doing there? Hiding?” He scoffed. “That’s pointless.”

“Pointless! You tried to kill me!” She rolled her neck to the side. “And I’m not hiding…and I’m not afraid. I could take you on any day!”

“Any day? What a joke! You already tried that, remember?”

“Three’s a charm.”

“Ah, so you would have to lose again in order to win? Curious.”

“Shut up!”

“Why?” The boy scowled. “You’re the one that was stupid enough to take me on in the first place-”

“Stupid? I don’t even know you! You don’t even know me-!”

“Every time you open your mouth, gibberish comes out. You don’t even know what was really going on, do you?”

“Excuse me?” Eira sputtered. “You little-”

“Ha! No name-calling.”

“You’re the one that called me a-”

“You’re his apprentice and he doesn’t put up with your kind of-”

“You’re a-”

“Eira?” The Dark Phoenix moved forward. “Deene?”

“I hate you!” The words burst out from her lips along with dragging a rather depressing bucketful of memories to the surface. The kind of memories that were too familiar to this sort of conversation.

“That’s fine with me. I hate you too. I think you’re as empty-headed in that department as they come!” The boy flashed a triumphant smirk.

Eira stared at him for all of a mere second. “You stuck-up, egotistical twerp of a-”

“Excuse me?” The Dark Phoenix tried again, a faint flicker of darkened energy sparked from his left elbow.

“Stuck up? Me? You’re the one parading around like you’re the best thing that ever happened to-”

“How would you know!” Eira shot back. “You haven’t even seen what I am capable of-”

“I’ve been watching you since the minute you set foot on this mountain! There’s nothing special about you.”

“You’ve been spying on me?” Her hands clenched into fists. “You are the most iccorigable-”

“Oh, there are fancy words in your brain after all. I’m impressed.”

“Didn’t mean to shock you.” Eira forced the words through her teeth. “What a surprise! Hope it won’t leave a mark.”

“A mark? As if anything you did could ever-”

“ENOUGH!” The word was spoken with the accent of rumbling skies over head. “That is quite enough out of both of you. I do not want a headache and I do not need one.” His hand went to his forehead, rubbing it gently. “Titan, need I remind you to watch your manners and your language in the presence of a lady?”

“A lady, where?”

 “You-!” Eira gasped.

The Dark Phoenix shifted to plant himself in front of her, deliberately stepping on her foot. “She may not hear everything you are implying, but I can and I will take offense by it!”

Eira relaxed, allowing a smirk as folding her arms across her chest. “Take that.”

“Which also does not excuse your own behavior, Apprentice.” The eyes focused on her as he shifted his position, turning to face her. “This is not the way any apprentice of mine behaves in the face of-”

“He started it!”

“She started it!”

“And I do not care who started it.” He said, evenly, moving to stand directly between their line of sight. “Deene, you should know better.” He frowned. “And Eira, I will thank you not to bait him.”

“I’m not doing anything to him!”

“She is too!”

“Titan!” The Dark Phoenix whirled around. “That is enough out of you. As long as we are traveling together, which so appears that we are, I do not want you under any circumstances whatsoever, excepting pain of death for your last wishes, to speak to my apprentice, understood?”

“Clear as mud.”

“Titan!”

“Yes, sir.” The scowl deepened as the boy stared off to the side. “What about her? Is she just going to-”

“Not another word…or would you rather I occupy you with another task instead. You seem to be taking your time in learning this particular lesson, but I do not mind taking your head off again if it will aid in the remembrance of our conversation just a few minutes ago?”

Deene clamped his mouth shut, the mumbles still coming from his throat, but not quite making it out into the open.

“Apprentice, I do not want you under any circumstances whatsoever, with any exceptions to address this Rock Titan, am I understood?”

Eira drummed her fingers along her arm for a moment. “I guess.”

“That is not the correct answer.”

“Fine. Yes.”

“Eira?’

“What?”

“Formal.”

A frustrated growl came from her throat. “Yes, I understand, Master Phoenix.”

“Good. Now we have quite a ways to travel today. I was hoping to make good time, because of this, we are now behind. I expect you to both to be quick on your feet. Deene, on my left, Eira, on my right. Not a word out of either of you.”

“I thought you said I just couldn’t speak to him!” Eira protested, the arms falling limply to her sides. “That’s totally unfair! He can't come with us! He tried to kill me!”

“Unfair for you, maybe.” Deene sniped. “I do not see anything wrong with a few precious moments of silence in such a long, long journey.”

“You will both discover the consequences stemming from a lack of silence if you continue. Consider yourselves warned.”

“Yes sir.” Deene flashed a smile, falling into step as the Dark Phoenix started forward.

Eira watched them go for a moment and made no move to join them. She waited until they crested the hill to release the breath she hadn’t realized she’d been holding. The first inklings of righteous anger were settling in and her hands clenched into fists as they disappeared from view. The memories were replying in her head, in all their vivid glory. She could still hear the sound of her bones crunching, remembering the feel of her head being split in two. And now the very one who had caused all of that was traveling with them. With them.

“Totally unfair.” She told the now empty pathway. “Totally, entirely unfair.” A shudder passed through her and a single tear threatened to emerge from the corner of one eye. The ache in the back of her head began to throb faintly. Shoving it to the side, she adjusted the straps of her pack.

A single tear fell to the dust.
©

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Why I Read (BBT)

 And it's Thursday!




This quotation has appeared in several places lately. It’s from Sven Birkerts’ ‘The Gutenberg Elegies: The Fate of Reading in an Electronic Age’:

“To read, when one does so of one’s own free will, is to make a volitional statement, to cast a vote; it is to posit an elsewhere and set off toward it. And like any traveling, reading is at once a movement and a comment of sorts about the place one has left. To open a book voluntarily is at some level to remark the insufficiency either of one’s life or one’s orientation toward it.”

To what extent does this describe you?

 Sort of fifty-fifty on this. I read to learn or to escape. In most cases, both...you can learn quite a bit from escaping the dreariness of a monotonous routine. I read of my own free will and it is a statement worth making. Reading does wonders for both sides of the book, the author (excited to have their work being read) and the reader (excited to be reading at all). You can be transported to mysterious places and often we do compare x y or z in the book to our own standards or points of reference--a purely human trait. Sometimes things are difficult to view in the mind's eye, so we compare it something we can identify with. I love finding the 'real' equivalent of something I've read about in a book, it carries a distinct sense of satisfaction from bridging the gap between reality and reading.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Tear-Streaked Thoughts

This week's featured short piece is found at Bible-Glory.com. It's a few years old, but the story is still a personal favorite of mine.

Enjoy!


Tear Streaked Thoughts

Monday, February 22, 2010

Manic Monday 2.22.2010

 

If you could invite any five people to your birthday party, who would they be?

Personally, I'd rather spend it by myself. In fact, if no one quite remembered it but I had a cake (chocolate) and Hank Locklin's Happy Birthday To Me, I'd be fine. I don't exactly do birthday parties. At least not for me, though I am the resident birthday planner for everyone else in my family. My birthday is picky for me. I don't like people making a big deal out of it in terms of (oooohhh, when's your birthday? REALLY? [this is usually said in the loudest stage voice they can muster at that particular moment] and a variety of other annoying phrases) If you want to buy me a gift. That's great. I write thank-you poems instead of signing form cards. I dress up because I can and I like to shop and hate going out to eat. I'd rather go home and eat cake, then write something. Ideally, my immediate family (Mom, Dad and bros) are the ones I tolerate in terms of bday and my jewelly sisters. I'd have to invite them all, (all eight...no wait, it's ten now) and then I'd need a triple layer cake and my grandmother would have to be there. In a rambly nutshell--that would be my birthday.

What birthday has been your favorite so far? What about it made it special?

Probably my 14th birthday. Why? It passed so nicely, quietly and calmly. I had an actual German Chocolate Cake with a cherry (not the continental kind that has WAY too much coconut frosting on it and pecan instead of the cherry). My only prezzy was a snazzy pair of jeans. (I obsess over my jeans, so this was the perfect gift). I didn't have to do anything, really. Nothing spectacular happened and that's about it.  That's my favorite bday. Special birthday was the 13th...the only year I did NOT get a German Chocolate cake, I had a chocolate cake with teal icing and bought my first pair of Mudd jeans. I've bought all my own clothes ever since that year. It was a nice birthday, but I had to spend it everywhere but where I wanted to be and there were too many people. lol. Still, in spite of that...birthdays are fun, cake is good and it doesn't bug me as bad as it used to. 

What one thing are you craving today?

Strawberry Ice Cream! I really, really, really want a scoop of double strawberry delight. I would SO love to have a whole bowlful right now. 

Friday, February 19, 2010

Hunt For The Dark Phoenix (part 25) [Friday Fictoin]

This week's Friday Fiction is hosted by Sherri Ward over at her blog A Candid Thought. Click here to read and share more great fiction!

Author's Ramblings: A short installment this week and hopefully with a good cliffhanger for my wonderful readers who have been wondering when the action would return. I am getting there, slowly. ^_^ It's been a crazy week in between of all my writing projects and life in general, so apologies if this is shorter than the usual fare. Have a great weekend and happy reading! I love hearing your thoughts.

Summary: Last week, the DP coaxed one secret out of Eira's past--her fear of knives and her urges to run from problems she doesn't want to face. She learned one lesson the hard way--that running from the DP isn't a good option, because the barriers he uses for safety hurt worse than being crushed by a rock titan. Currently, she is recovering from the physical shock and dealing with the fact that he is playing her twisted game. 


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Winter Olympics and Reading? (BBT)



You may have noticed–the Winter Olympics are going on. Is that affecting your reading time?

Not really. It's been a crazy school week, with the lousy weather causing issues for everyone. I've been trying to catch up on textbook chapters and assigned reading. I have, though, been sneaking in a bit of reading in between the lines--and commercials. I watch the evening feed of the Olympics with my folks. It's been wonderful! Currently reading "Writing Down The Bones" by Natalie Goldberg, a truly wonderful book for the writerly soul. I'm halfway through and don't want to put it down...but I also want to keep up with my 'consistency' so here I be.

Have you read any Olympics-themed books?

No. I'm sure there's some good ones out there though. Should I find some, I will probably read a couple.

What do you think about the Olympics in general?

I think it's fun and incredibly inspiring. I love the different stories from athletes all over the world from so many different countries, all with a unique touch to add to their skill/talent. It is amazing to watch and heartbreaking at times. Very easy to get involved when I know the backstory. Kudos to all of them though for following a passion and making it to the Olympics!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Random Questions For Writers 2010

Ha! I'm putting a date on this, because the more I think about it, the more I'm sure that I've done this before, but it is still begging me to do it again...so, why not? I'm sure something's changed since the last time. What? No? Are you sure? Never mind. Talking to myself. No, not you. Me. You. Myself. Aha! Gotcha. Feel free to swipe and fill in the blanks yourself--it's loads of fun! (found recently over at Vonnie's blog)


-Do you have a pen/pencil collection? How many of those are chewed?
Sort of. I have a bunch of assorted ballpoint pens and pencils and a crayon collection! Do the crayons count? Please? I actually just have a jar of pens and pencils, three spacemakers of pen and pencils, ending with a small gift bag (decorated to be a pencil holder) filled to bursting with more pens, pencils, a marker...and probably a tweezer. I used to chew pencils, but only the Eagle #2's and when I ran out of those, I quit. Tic-Tac tastes better.

-Do you prefer handwriting or typing furiously? Depends on which one is available, I type ridiculously well, in spite of myself and write at virtually the same rate in my own shorthand. I like to type, because when I'm done, I can have a printed copy, but nothing beats frantic scribbling on a blank piece of paper. Seriously.

-How often do you get inspiration? When I blink. No, I'm serious. Inspiration is not something I sit around waiting for it to happen to me, if I have to hammer something out, painfully coaxing it out with an itty-bitty pliers of deliberate thought from the center of my brain...then yes, I do that. Once in a while I see a blank piece of paper and empty my head. When it's empty...the inspiration comes, if you call it that...and then it depends on when I can clear my head out again. *shrug*

-Are you blogging this on a computer or laptop? Laptop! Most definitely.

-Do you get inspiration more in the early morning or late at night? Late night. Ugh. It could kill me, lol, but somehow I survive. Interesting things are always coming to light at that mysterious eleven in the night, drifting over to the three in the morning gap. As long as I can get away with it, I write--until my eyes are closing or I'm making more typos than words(or my wrist starts screaming at me--it has this really squeaky voice and, what, you don't want to hear about it? Okay...)

-Do certain movies/books/music inspire you? Ah, yes. Star Wars--always. I just love the line "Anakin, why do I have the feeling you're going to be the death of me?" "Please don't say that, Master, you're the closest thing I have to a father!" "Then why don't you listen?" Great question Obi-Wan...I'll work on an answer to that. Meet the Robinsons--the whole character and creative touch, umm...cartoons! I love a ton of them, too many to list and that is always a great source of inspiration. Currently, I watch Wordgirl and The Electric Company (the new one) most afternoons. Hilarious fun that doesn't twist my head in a knot. Books--classics, usually all by Frances Hodgeson Burnett. Music...that's what the shuffle function is for, but Enya/Enigma and Conjure One are excellent.

-How do you incorporate God into your stories? A praying character. Either the MC, a secondary MC or someone of influence. Then I work in the personal relationship and pick an issue with something, either physical or emotional.

-Do you kill off your villains or make them repent? Well...uh...die. Most of them are the kind you really 'want' to die, so they kinda have to, but I usually always have an alternate ending for them. Sometimes they'll turn good, sometimes they'll just kind of fall into a cycle of endless...something or the other. Bad. Good. Mixed up. Villains were my first start into writing, so I really work them out.

-Are the majority of your characters magical beings, humans, or halflings? How about...not quite human? lol. I don't really 'do' magic, I prefer powers derived or having some root from science and when not possible or being gifts from God, things that are inherited or they are born with, or something they can accept. Magic works too though, I just don't use it as a fallback. If that even makes sense.


-What genre of writing are you most comfortable in? Fantasy. Then some non-technical sci-fi, followed by inspirational shorts and mystery. Adventure is working its way in there as well, it's less work plot-wise. But I've written across most genres.

-Do you work better alone or with someone else? Solo is best, but I've done well with combined projects. Plenty of silliness and interesting writing. Just me is best though, because my ideas are pretty out there.

-Do your stories make sense, or do they ramble wildly? Most of the time they make sense to me and rambling to others. I love it when it all makes sense to everyone.

-Are your characters mostly Renegades, Peacekeepers or a mish-mash? Mish-mash. They are half angle, half rebel and pretty proud of it. It makes them unique. Once in awhile, I'll stereotype them though.

-Are you a sucker for good grammar? What I know, yes...beyond the basics, um, no. LOL. Wish I could, but only commas and capitalization (and quotations marks and, and...) bug me. :P

-How is your handwriting? Lovely. It changes every year. Pretty stick-shaped, with curls on a few spots here and there.

-How evil are your villains? Can't purify bad blood kind of bad. But I know them and some of them could possibly in another realm, life and time...be good. Maybe. I thin. Not. Probably.

-Are you long-winded or succinct? Long winded. I can make a story out of anything and then explain that something out of nothing and...well, you get the picture.

-Do you have typical writer traits such as ink stains on your fingers or a pencil behind your ear? Those aren't typical anymore...I don't think. lol. But, I do have calluses on my writing hand, short fingernails to type quick and I like chocolate. All the modern writer traits. ^_^

-Would someone walking past you on the street consider you normal? Depends. Most of the time I look slightly normal. :P

-Do you write mostly poetry, stories, novels or a mixture? A mixture. Everything--I've probably written it/tried it at one time or another. Mostly stories though, short fiction and novel-length.

-Do your characters vary in accents, appearance and attitude or are they mostly the same? Vary! Most of the time extremely different--a nice, subtle example at present is the Eira and Dark Phoenix serial currently running and then characters such as the Trial by Fire short piece.

-Do real people and/or places inspire your writing? In villains yes--well, no, I'm not telling. lol. Actually, I only pull traits from actual people, but mostly, it's a soup from the giant simmering brew in my head. The salt would be visiting places close to nature, I love natural beauty and memorials. Bittersweet.

-What is your favorite character? Or do you choose to remain unbiased in case of a revolt? Unbiased! Sort of, but I love Scarletfury(still!) and am now partial to her apprentice, Dev. Second to that, is Mekki Hunter and Dervy(adorable, still, lol) and Layla.

-Do you talk to your characters? Do they talk back? Yes. Oh yes, sometimes they talk too loudly and get me all mixed up. The conversations can go on for awhile. I love getting deeper into their heads and seeing where they come from.

-Are you more comfortable with girl or boy main characters? Mostly female, but I'm told I do fairly well in both.

-Do you follow basic overused plot lines with new twists thrown in or do you depart from the norm all the time? Unless I'm stuck, I use new twists on the old plots. I like the play on emotions or a specific time thing.

-Do you feel God has called you to be a writer/poet? Will you grasp the power of the pen? Yes and with His help I will continue to use this gift for Him.

And done!!!! yay...only took me...wait...for real? ^_^

~Sara

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Manic Monday 2.16.2010

Yes, I know it's not Monday anymore, but yesterday was simply one of "Those" days, 'nuff said. So here's the questions for this week!



What's your least favorite word?

um, wow. I don't really know. There's a lot of words I don't like and plenty that I do, but I couldn't possibly narrow it all down to a single word, but words I don't like, I'll go for three of them.

different
little
gossipy

hmmm...interesting.

Where do you go when you need really good advice?

It's a cycle. Pray. Listen. Brainstorm. Talk it out. Repeat. Do not rinse.

If you could participate in any winter Olympic sport, what would it be?

The figure skating! Not because of pretty costumes or looking graceful, but because skating is fun. To be able to preform doing something I love, to compete in the spirit of it all--would be wonderful. And of course, there are the cute teddy bears and flowers from fans...

Sunday, February 14, 2010

With All My Love, (Valentine 2010)

(((2010 Valentine: Change of Heart)))


Father,
You’re boring deep
Too deep
For me
Digging beneath
The surface of my heart
Hollowing it out within
Scraping out things
That
Burn
Hurt
Hate
And squirm
Pulling out my
Dark and dirty
Secrets
Habits
Wants
You are not afraid
Of the darkness within me
It cowers in the face of your light
The fears of the night
Are conquered
By that same, pure light
Casting your flame
To every nook and corner
You sweep
Dust
Polish
Repaint
This heart of mine
That I have given to you
But only years ago
Your patience
Is Virtue
Your hands
Forever…gentle
As you being to work
With what is yours
And yours alone
Sometimes I feel it
Sometimes I don’
Sometimes I pretend
That I can feel both
My games are
Games
Twisted as they are
Yet you play them
With me
Changing the pieces
From junk to gems
And rewriting the rules
Of my heart
Tearing up the scorecard
And autographing
My rulebook
You place my games
On a shelf
Another time
You tell me
Another day
You say
For you’ve swept my heart clean
Polished ‘til it gleamed
Shiny and bright
To see yourself
In me
I’m scared, Daddy
So worried, Father
What if I mess it up
Again?
Your smile is an ocean
Your arms are the universe
Your heart
Can handle mine
With a touch of a whisper
A hint of fruit flavor
You remind me
Of a future
A hope
A sigh
A prayer
My hand is in yours
My heart is all yours
And today
I hear, a whisper
From me to you,
Always,
Happy Valentine’s Day, my Heavenly Father

© Sara Harricharan

Friday, February 12, 2010

Searching For Serena (Friday Fiction)

This week's Friday Fiction is hosted by Yvonne "Vonnie" Blake @ her blog, My Back Door Ministry. Click here to read and share more great fiction.

Author's Ramblings: Eira and the Dark Phoenix are taking a break this week. I stressed over writing a new valentine's day piece and decided to just revamp this piece instead. It is the expanded version of "Searching for Serena--writer's block" a short piece from a few years back, featuring a wife with writer's block and her very creative husband. Have a good weekend and happy reading! (Oh and credit for this lovely image is by Jim Warren)



Jonas scowled into the fog, wishing it would lift and ease his worries rather than clinging stubbornly to the dewy ground. If he could see where he was going, it’d be easier to track his wife. She had pulled away into herself nearly every morning for the past week. Something was wrong. Something was very-

Pushing away from the keyboard, I scowled at the computer screen, the Microsoft word file glaring back at me. I could almost hear the snickers from the keyboard at the fact that I couldn’t hammer out the words stubbornly stuck in my head. Making faces at the monitor was not helping, so I rested my head near the mouse, squinting out of the corner of my eye at the white page.

“You okay?” Andy, my husband, of 9-years mumbled the question around a mouthful of sandwich.

“I can’t get these characters to come alive.” I looked to him miserably, lifting my too-heavy head from the desk. A nap was probably a good idea.

He chewed thoughtfully, looking from me to the computer screen. “Which story?”

“Novel.” I corrected automatically. “This is my sequel, remember?”

Andy’s eyebrows knitted themselves together. “The best-seller or the other one?”

“Make me a sandwich and I’ll tell.” I bargained, my stomach rumbling as I eyed his mouth-watering handful.

He grinned, turning back to the kitchen. I clicked “save” before trotting after him. A sandwich definitely trumped naptime. I sat on the stool by the kitchen counter, playing with the breadcrumbs as Andy cheerfully went about his sandwich making.

It was a matter of minutes before he set the masterpiece in front of me on a blue china plate, with a paper napkin tucked underneath. “Drinks?”
“Share a soda?” I offered my best smile.

His laugh was drowned by the mouthful he turned to the kitchen cabinets to retrieve two glasses. A can of soda was found in the pantry and he measured the ice cubes, adding a pink squiggly straw to my glass, before setting it on the napkin. The can was carefully poured, divided between the two. “Anything else?”

I shook my head, taking a slurp from the cute straw. “If gouf. Tastes gouf.”

Seating himself across the counter, he waited to hear my dilemma. “The sequel is for the best-seller.” I began. “Not the other one. The first one, remember Jonas and Serena?” I took another bite, as he thought about it. The shaggy head gave a slow shake. “No? Okay, they’re the two MC’s. Book one, they meet and marry. Book two, married a few years, Jonas discovers Serena disappears early in the morning for about a week.”

Andy’s brow furrowed once more. “Why?” He asked.

“Uh…she was kidnapped?”

“I thought you said every morning for a week.”

“Oh. Yeah. I could change it!”

“Why?”

My head hung, his logic was trumping my creativity. “I’m not sure.” Slurping the last of my soda, I plopped the straw in his glass. “Is that a problem?”

“Probably. Is it?”

“I guess.”

“Guess?”

I tugged his glass over, washing down another bite. “Yeah. I guess. I don’t know right now.”

Andy nodded slowly, thinking as he slid off the stool. “Finish your snack, and get your riding boots and jacket.”

I blinked, surprised. “Where are we going?” I turned to follow his path as he deposited my empty glass and his plate in the sink. “Now?”

He winked.

I didn’t argue, instead I stuffed the remaining bites of sandwich in my mouth, heading for the coat closet with the soda glass in hand.

By the time I managed to catch up to my darling husband, he’d brought my favorite mount to the back porch, all ready to ride. I looked for his horse, but only saw Duskin. “Uh, Andy?” I took the steps two at a time, offering a hand to Duskin for inspection. He whuffled gently as I stroke his face, rubbing one ear.

Andy chuckled, mounting and extending his hand to help me up. Duskin started to move as I held on tight from behind. Apparently, there would be no explanation and my curiosity was running up and down my arms in delicious little whispers. I couldn’t help adding a whisper or two of my own.

“Shhh!” Andy whispered back, turning Duskin towards the east fields. “We’ll be there just now. Take a nap.”

My mystery ride continued, I took his advice, though not entirely on purpose. I fell asleep, only to be tickled awake a moment later to stare at a large gray rock, sitting out in the middle of nowhere. A rock I could not quite place. It looked familiar, yet there was nothing in my head to match it to.

We dismounted and I followed Andy to the rock. He boosted me up, climbing up behind and promptly lying down. I looked at him in puzzlement. He motioned for me to do the same.

Grimacing, I dropped to my knees, gingerly easing myself down on the rock.

It was cold. Freezing, even, but Andy didn’t seem to care. “It’s cold.”

“Give it a minute.”

I did not want to give it more than a few seconds, but Andy was staring straight up at something in the sky. I twisted around to see, but he caught my wrist, tugging gently. “Down and then up.” He murmured, pulling me close.

Inching closer to him, I stared up into a vast expanse of gray-blueness, unable to concentrate on much, apart from the fact that his arm was warmer than the rock. After careful scan, I dared to whisper. “What am I looking for?”

Andy propped himself up on one elbow and reached over to cover my eyes with his free hand. “Listen. Just listen.”

I didn’t hear anything at first.

I say at first, because it was the second time around that I heard something. I couldn’t make it out at all. Strange-sounding, I guessed it to be the wind. A faint cry trickled through the air, soft rustles accompanied a quiet whinny. Duskin, maybe? I didn’t have the faintest clue what I was listening for, but it was a nice feeling to only concentrate on a space of nothing.

“…and please Father, give her the words to write, to fill the empty pages you’ve gifted her. Fill in the blanks that aren’t making sense right now with things to stir the heart and…”

Andy’s murmured prayer was barely audible, his hand moved from my face as I turned, his eyes closed, his face peaceful, upturned to the sky. The hand resettled itself in one of mine as he eased back to lie down on the rock.

The image etched itself in my mind as his lips continued to move, but I no longer heard his voice. I had only heard what I had needed to. Everything else was between him and the Lord.

Pictures and words flew through my head, fading away as quickly as they’d come. My head felt as if it were swelling up in an attempt to capture all the ideas flooding through my head. Then I heard and I don’t know if I’ll ever hear it again.

The wind sounded like many voices in song. It started slowly at first and seemed to build into a crescendo. The rustles of grass, like running water, the bird call and Duskin’s whinny, all blended together in something I will not ever be able to begin to describe.

In my frantic effort to pen another best-seller, I’d forgotten the One who’d given me the idea, forgotten how I’d written it. I’d been trying to please pushy editors and advisors, conforming to their ideas of my story. I’d given up my dream for their acceptance.

Thank you, Father. I prayed. There was nothing else to say. It was one of those moments where I could only be still and feel His love pooling around me by the bucketfuls. Thank you. I sat up suddenly when the last piece of my mental puzzle clicked into place.

I knew why this was so familiar. The rock, Duskin and riding double.

Page 237 of my best-seller, Jonas met Serena while riding to a rock at the end of the resort’s fields to check fences. He stumbled across her sitting out alone in the fields, journaling.

I shifted to look at Andy. A smile tugged at the corners of his mouth, he knew I’d figured it out. My smile matched his own as I reached over and smoothed his forehead, before tweaking his nose. Just like Serena had done after Jonas had proposed. Andy captured my hand in his and I snuggled closer.

Thank you, Father, for Andy.

© Sara Harricharan

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Non-Readers? (BBT)


How can you encourage a non-reading child to read? What about a teen-ager? Would you require books to be read in the hopes that they would enjoy them once they got into them, or offer incentives, or just suggest interesting books? If you do offer incentives and suggestions and that doesn’t work, would you then require a certain amount of reading? At what point do you just accept that your child is a non-reader?

Find what they like to read. Everyone eventually has something they like to read, newspaper or magazine articles, really short stories(flash fiction) or a style of reading, from back to front instead of the mostly accepted front to back. Find a genre they like. Maybe it's Manga, a good comic strip, or fanfiction for their favorite TV show or a blog written by kids their own age. Most kids I used to babysit, thought it was wonderful when I offered to read the books they couldn't. Explaining the story made it more interesting and fun for them and of course, the transportation factor is always the best incentive. Videos and movies are great rewards for reading through a book, it gives a chance to compare what you read to what you see and draws you further into the character's world. Requiring your non-reader to find one thing they would like to read and giving you a report, whether written or verbal, will encourage them to explore options and to find something they enjoy. Because reading is supposed to be fun!

I hated doing book reports and reading for school because the books were boring or all biographies (Sorry to all of you that love those, lol) I wanted so badly to read something else or quit reading altogether. Thankfully, around that particular time, my mom began making trips to our local library for longer than a mere five minutes and I could wander wherever I pleased. I was no longer confined to the American Girls series (an excellent variety of easy reading that I now enjoy--especially the girl of the year books, because of the ethic diversity of their tween characters) or hardcover biographies of people I didn't know enough to care about yet.

The 'breaking point' in a sense, came when Mom borrowed a few Nancy Drew hardbacks and read a few chapters during a break in the afternoon. I wanted to see pictures but couldn't, wanted to follow the story and couldn't get it. But the story wouldn't leave me alone, so I decided that reading it on my own was the next best thing. Never mind that the words were kind of small and the lack of pictures every other page was daunting, but by reading on my own and reading slowly, Nancy came to life and I started imagining secret passageways, thanks to The Hidden Staircase. Once I finished it, that was like the green flag of a neverending race. I have not stopped reading and don't plan to--it's way too much fun!

With all this said, I've used the word "fun" twice for my personal definition of this pastime, however, for some folks, reading is a torturous chore. It takes too long from start-to-finish, the words are difficult or following the story is too much of a headache. In this case, I recommend comic books (^_^) or one of my mom's tricks--we could write our own stories and read those. Because of that particular brand of creative thinking, a secondary incentive to read--was to find new ideas for the stories we were written, apart from that, don't push the issue. At some time or another, everyone reads--even if it's the instructions for that spiffy new coffeemaker/microwave/vacuum cleaner.

~Cheers!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Hunt For The Dark Phoenix (part 24) [Friday Fiction]

This week's Friday Fiction is hosted by, Joanne "JJ" Sher, The Awesome. Click here to read and share more great fiction!


Author's Ramblings: Well, I'm glad to get this piece up early today. (Early for me anyway) as there are more weather reports of snow/sleet and other icky weather which will give me a headache later. I'd prefer to skip the headache, so I'm early this week. I had a ton of fun tweaking this piece, because the next installment will be bringing a bit of a time crunch. Eira has a new fear and we learn exactly how 'tempered' the DP is. Enjoy-and happy weekend!


RECAP: Eira is finally up and on her feet after the Rock Titan's Attack that nearly killed her. Her therapy is moving things along a lot faster than she expected, thanks to the Dark Phoenix. She has walked a few short distances and is able to speak on her own, efforts that have taken a great deal of energy. Her healing energies have also been reworked. While resting and waiting for lunch, Eira watches the Dark Phoneix complete a physical version of the game they'd played in her head.



Time continued to pass by in the leisurely motions of reality, while Eira eventually shifted around, folded the blanket and sat cross-legged, watching the carving process with one hand propping her head up. Her eyes followed the silvery blade with the smooth, precise cuts and a faint shudder passed through her.

The Dark Phoenix gave no notice of her reaction as he continued in his project, the game piece beginning to resemble the others in the pile beside him. A cloth bag was near her feet and she picked it up, toying with the strings before slowly dropping the pits one at a time inside the pouch. A yawn slipped through her careful lips, eyelids halfway closed when he moved.

“Up.” He announced, finishing off the final fruit pit and handing over the knife. “If you are falling asleep on me, I do believe it is time for breakfast. Hmmm-”

“Really? Finally? I thought we’d almost made it to lunchtime.” Eira stifled the yawn as another one welled up within. “What?”

“Here.”

Eira looked from the shiny blade in his hand to her own sticky fingers and dared to question. “It’s mine?” She asked again, even though he’d answered her before.

“Yes.”

“Are you sure?”

“I gave it to you, I would expect that I could visually identify it.”

“What?”

“It is yours…I am sure of it…and did you not ask me a moment ago if it was yours?”

“I did?”

“You did.”

“Huh.”

“Eira?”

“Do I need it?”

“That is not a question up for debate.”

“Then I do?”

The eyebrows went up. “Do you not know how to use it?”

“I-I wouldn’t say I don’t know how to not use it-”

“Do you know how to use it?”

“That’s actually a complicated-”

“Yes or no.”

“Maybe?”

“No.” He frowned. “That is not a correct answer, but I will take your maybe as a no.”

“Maybe is more yes than no.”

“Not in my reference.”

“What?”

“Whenever you take it upon yourself to use such a confusing answer in the future, I would advise you to remember in my personal opinion, maybe means more no than yes, wherefore I shall take your answer in the negative rather than the affirmative.”

“What?”

“We are going to do this the hard way, are we not?”

“I don’t know.”

“You do not know what?”

“What?”

“We shall start from the beginning.” He shook his head, a touch of annoyance showing in the deliberate movements as he turned to face her. “Have you ever owned a knife, apprentice?”

There was a cautious shrug offered.

“Speak, Eira.” The eyebrows calmly knitted themselves together. “When you now have the opportunity and ability to speak, you chose nonverbal communication.” There was a snort. “You do not fail to amaze me. I repeat the question this one time, have you ever owned a knife, there is no complicated answer for this.”

“Sort of.” She quickly held up two hands as the eyebrows knitted together in disapproval, as he began to rise. “Please…I can explain.”

“And I would hear your explanation because…?”

“Because it’s…logical!”

“Logical?” He resumed his seat beside the tree. “Amuse me, then. I am most interested in this…logic of yours.”

“I sorta kinda had a knife…a while ago, but it like, kind of wasn’t really…like, mine? So um, we got our own. And I had to share it, but it was part mine and I couldn’t really touch it because they said I wasn’t old enough, but I sorta kinda was and because I couldn’t touch it, I didn’t really have much of a-”

“Eira.” The warning in his tone was plain.

“Please! I’m almost done!” Her hands twisted together.

He sighed.

“-and I finally got my own when there was this huge argument because I missed one of them and when I did, they gave me one for me and I had it and I kept it in my room, but it was too sharp, so I never touched it, except when I had to.” She let out a breath. “That’s it.”

“That makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.” He said, dryly.

“But-!”

“No buts…yes or no answers. You had a knife, yes?”

“Yes.”

“You lost a knife?”

“Sort of…I mean, maybe…er, yes.”

“You were given a replacement knife?”

“Yes. No…it wasn’t a replacement.”

“You were given…another knife?”

“Yes.”

“and there was an accident?”

The twisting hands slowed. “I wouldn’t exactly call it an accident, but-”

“Yes or no?”

“I don’t know?”

“Maybe?”

“Yes….no.”

“Maybe is no.” He reminded her. “You no longer have your own knife, yes?”

“Yes.”

“Excepting the one I gave you?”

“If you’re holding it, then that’s a no, because then you would have it and I wouldn’t and-”

“And I think I have received your headache. You would only take now to bring this up. I suppose you were out of sorts when I gifted it to you the first time.” He rubbed his forehead for a moment and when he spoke again, he did not look at her. “Eira…are you afraid of knives?”

A nervous laugh leapt out. “I wouldn’t exactly-”

The head snapped around to look at her, piercing gray eyes fixing deliberately on hers. “Are you?”

“Maybe.”

“Liar.”

She blinked at the accusation and the weight behind it, swallowing as her shoulders hunched forward and her head tilted backwards. “I-”

“solemnly swear to tell the entire truth with no falsehoods within this realm and without, under the pain of d-”

“I didn’t lie!”

“Catch, then.” His wrist curved and snapped.

Eira shrank from the flicker of silver as the blade lashed towards her and she twisted away from it with a yelp. “What did you do that for!”

“Breathe.” He advised, freezing the blade a mere inch away from her arm and reaching over to pluck it out of the air. “I will rephrase…why are you afraid of knives?”

“Knives kill people.” Eira squeezed her eyes shut as if willing everything to go away. “I don’t want one.”

“And killing would involve dying, which would return to your fear of death.” He puzzled through the short phrase. “Is that it?” The frown deepened. “You are not going to die, Eira. Especially while you are in my company, I feel obligated to mention that the moment your association became permanent rather than temporary, the chances of you dying decreased exponentially.”

“I’m sure you just said something really important, but I got stuck on the dying part. I hardly know you!”

“And whose fault is that? I claim my half of responsibility, because I do not see any reason to focus myself, which, may lead to moments like this. However, I do give your leave to ask me whatever you like, within reason.”

“Ha. Within reason? That’s cute.”

“Within reason means to puzzle the question first before you ask.”

“What?”

“It means every time you are going to say ‘what’ consider whether you truly wish my answer.”

“Oh.”

“You are also changing the subject…I regress. Eira, you do not have a choice in this knife. I expect you to have it on your person at all times. Should I offer you another in the future, or is the option available based on your skill, then the choice of a second would be entirely up to you.”

“I don’t want it!”

“That choice is not yours.” He said, quietly. “I do not expect you to like or dislike it, merely to accept it. Here.”

“Acceptation is a form of liking!” Eira shot back. “And I don’t want it-!” She scooted backwards, away from the proffered weapon.

He held up a hand, silencing her, as a new expression registered on his face. A flicker of pain reflected in his eyes for the briefest of moments and finally, he spoke. “Who or what scared you with a knife?” The question was blunt and point-blank, the eyes accusing, refusing to allow her any leeway on the answer.

She shrugged.

Disappointment showed clearly on the face just opposite of her. “I can only help you if you want me to.”

“I don’t want your help!”

“But you want me to train you.”

“Yeah, train…like help….not…this!”

“And what is this?”

“This is torture!”

His words were careful, the eyes softening, searching. “And yet this is necessary. I am sorry you feel this way, but you cannot continue on like this. You have a fear of death, not of sharp objects, but of knives. You are partial to your hair and your boots. You have nothing to say of your family, no respect in terms of formality, your own healings almost kill you, and your energies are a wretched mess. You were almost killed by a rock titan and your concerns are more for breakfast, lunch and dinner rather than whether your body can handle a meal after such a traumatic experience-”

“Stop!”

“I am not finished, there is a great deal I need to say to you, whether you would like to hear it or not. We have quite a journey ahead of us and I think it would be best to clear this up first. What I have mentioned are only the things that have barely begun to come to the surface, not to mention-”

“Just stop!”

“Of unexplained circumstances that need to be-”

“Stop! Go away!” The first of the angry tears spilled over. “Stop talking!”

The eyes patiently held her gaze, even as the expression shifted and hardened, betraying the seriousness beneath. “I will not…and I cannot.” The head tilted to the left. “To either of those requests. We need to talk and I cannot keep this-”

“Then leave me alone!” In the time it took her to say those words, Eira was on her feet and running blindly. There was no thought to how or where she would run, or how long her body would cooperate with her desperation. She could not cope with this reality. There was too much at stake, too much of her past, tied with her future and too much emotion to handle.

The clearing was slightly larger than the others she remembered. The greenery seemed to waver beside her as she aimed for the two thick, rounded bushes that usually kept the entrance. She could not stand to be in the same place with him a moment longer.

Which was why she heard his warning too late.

“Stop!”

The fear in his voice was real and the urgency in his words spurred a sudden rush of adrenaline, as her mind processed only the immediate need to get away.

The pain exploded once more as she threw herself into an invisible wall, fingers grasping feebly at the thin green leaves of the two bushes. Full body contact translated into excruciating reality as the energy the protective wall was fashioned from, sucked her in and spit her back out, effectively wreaking havoc with the strands of life-energy interwoven with her powers.

Within seconds, she lay on the ground, writhing in agony as his steps on the ground, added to her misery. They carried the sound of impending doom and the realization that she could not run from them. Black energy was still spiraling over her in waves of crackling, snapping bands. She could not move, could not think and did not want to survive this one. It was an all too familiar occurrence happening yet again.

Death was no longer becoming a fear, but a welcome reality.

The approach of his footsteps were calm, unhurried and very much deliberate, changing in tone and pace from the first moment of her collision to where she lay on the ground. There was no time to determine whether the change was good or not, because he soon stood above her head, his shadow gracing one half of her face, before he knelt beside her and touched the middle finger of his right hand to the center of her forehead.

Pain was blissfully suspended and the blur of motion and time, slowed to a crawl, allowing her thought processes to register with painful accuracy.

“That was very childish.” He began, the finger keeping a firm, steady pressure on the point between her eyes. “And very foolish of you. I sincerely hope you have learned your lesson of staying put when I am talking to you. Do not ever attempt to force your way through one of my protective barriers again. I did not thread this one for your energies, because you have been asleep in a healing trance for over half of a month—almost three weeks. If you had listened to me this would not have happened. In the future, when I say ‘stop’ I do expect you to freeze in place. I will never use my energy to physically restrain you, because I believe in free will and freedom of choice. However, generally when I say something, I usually have a fairly decent reason for making such a suggestion.” The finger was removed and the pain began to return. “I cannot add to the healings you have previously endured without undoing some of them to make amends for this, you will simply have to deal with it.”

Eira closed her eyes. She’d heard most of what he’d said and did not want to remember any of it. But the prickles of pain rippling through her arms and legs were nothing compared to the throbbing ache in her head and stomach. “Am I in trouble?”

There was a pause. “In light of this…occurrence, I consider your present condition punishment enough and therefore will not add to your misfortune.”

“You’re mad at me?”

“I beg your pardon?”

“You’re using big words…not simple ones. I-I didn’t mean to run…I wasn’t going t-to run…far.” A wave of dizziness washed over her. Misery was descending in its full capacity and nothing was making much sense any more. “You are mad at me. I didn’t…I can’t…it hurts.” One hand painfully reached up towards her head, only to be stopped by one of his own.

“Don’t. The moving makes it worse. You should know this by now.”

“It hurts!”

“Yes, I would expect it to.”

“Can’t you make it stop? Please?”

“No.”

The tears continued their course, accenting her plea. “Why? Please?”

“It would interfere with your energies, particularly since our compatibility is not where it should be. My energies are still far too dark to be mixed with yours and as I have just reworked your healing process, you will not be able to use it for at least a few more hours.”

“What?”

“This pain is tolerable, Eira, you will be fine. In fact, You can stay right here. There is no need to move.” He motioned to something she couldn’t see, but felt a moment later when a blanket settled over her sprawled form. He settled beside her again, choosing a nearby tree for the required backrest only a few feet away. “Comfortable?”

“No.”

“You will be fine.”

“Owww.”

He ignored the exclamation. “I am going to have to finalize a routine.”

“What?” She croaked.

“A routine.” He sighed. “I will grant your insecurity to a lack of structure, namely a fixed routine. I shall work on that first thing tomorrow.”

“I am in trouble.” She said, mournfully.

“No.” He drew the troublesome knife from one sleeve, suspending it between two fingers. “If you were, I assure you there would be no doubt as to whether you are. However, the next time I ask you a question, I do expect a truthful answer. If you do not wish to discuss it, simply say so.” He shook his head, slightly. “You worry me, apprentice. I understand there are countless implications and emotional distress tied to the answers of some of these, but I do expect you to understand my own position and reasons for asking them.”

“I don’t need a knife.”

“You do.”

“No, I don’t….please?”

“If you’d had it with you just now, this would not be hurting one hundredth as much.”

“What?”

“The knife is tempered, Eira. It allows you to cut free from my energy, which is why it was so distressing to learn you had misplaced it. If it had been upon your person, the composition would have either allowed you to break through the barrier, or forcefully repelled you from it. Either way, it would not have cause such a headache.”

“I didn’t misplace it that…jerk that tried to kill me, stole it!” She scowled, the effort of talking was only adding to the mountain of pain steadily multiplying within. “And I did not give you a headache!”

“But he could not have taken it from you, if you had not given him the opportunity. It is as much your fault as it is his…and you did give me your headache, where exactly do you think it goes when I take it from you?”

She blinked. That had not been an answer she had expected. “Um…how about lunch?”

“No.”

“I’m hungry!”

“You are not.”

“Am too!”

“At this precise moment, it is your energies playing with your head, causing you to think you are hungry, because your natural instinct is a self-healing. To do so, it would require excess energy, of which you have none, so your body—or rather—your mind, is telling you to eat. You cannot eat anything right now and you do not need to.”

The petulant expression completely distorted her earlier grimace. “Why? I was hungry before this! You were gonna make lunch!”

“Why is because it will convert directly to energy and it will do more damage than good at this moment. No lunch. You are not actually hungry, anyway. Think about it, think really hard about it…you only thought you were hungry when you woke. I was humoring you.”

Eira did. “What about dinner?”

There was a strangled sound from the corner by the tree. She twisted to see what it was, but only saw the Dark Phoenix with his head buried in his hands. “Uh, hello?”

“Something is wrong.” He muttered, the head raised faintly, tired eyes finally conveying the last threads of his patience. “Every time I think I have finally reached a new level of patience, you speak. And then I am reminded of exactly how little self-control I have.” He sighed. “Somewhere…someone is laughing.”

“For what?”

“Everything.”

“Every what thing?”

“Eira?”

“Yes?”

“Go to sleep.”

© Sara Harricharan

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Winter Reading (BBT)



The northern hemisphere, at least, is socked in by winter right now… So, on a cold, wintry day, when you want nothing more than to curl up with a good book on the couch … what kind of reading do you want to do?

Easy reading. I want something vaguely old-fashioned that I have read before, such as the Nancy Drew Original mysteries, or one of my few favorite classics, namely either The Secret Garden (To remind me of Spring returning before I freeze to death) and The Little Princess (Just because her name is Sara and she likes to tell stories too!) or just A Lady of Quality (Now, there was a heroine with spunk. Saying 'beauty and brains' does not do her justice). All three of these are by Frances Hodgeson Burnett and each book contains a world that I love revisit over and over again.

If I don't feel like reading a book, I will hunt up a stash of comic books and stare at pictures with speech bubbles for a few hours. For this purpose, the Teen Titans, GO! comic was my favorite, especially episodes with Raven--the moody, dark and gloomy super-heroine, because her mood always fits the day. Very rarely will I read something new, though I may be prompted to write a new piece or to reread a very old story I haven't touched in a few years, as gloomy weather is my favorite writing weather.

Cheerio!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Wednesday Wanderings 2.3.2010

KEY:
Wednesday Wanderings = Short pieces or "flash fiction" in varied genres to add an inspirational lift to your day.
SS = Short story
FF = Flash Fiction

Today's piece is a short story titled: Dinner in Australia @ TCT.

Click here to read. Enjoy!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Manic Monday 2.1.10



What was your best day of the week last week and why?

Last Thursday. Had a chance to talk with a great teacher and classes ended one time--which usually never seems to happen when you really want the week to be over. I was home before the snow warning went out and there was pizza + Dr. Pepper. A pretty nice day, considering I was too exhausted to do anything apart from homework.

What's the longest you've ever gone without sleep?

Oh boy. I'm not sure I should answer that one...too much work. Too much school. Too much...something or the other. I'll just say..."Too long". ^_^

Is how old you look and/or how old you feel right now different from your actual age?

Yepps. I feel...ancient, though I can already name several who will quite energetically disagree with my self-diagnosis. Not old, but ancient as in I feel I've lived long enough to be tired of little things, namely, I've finally developed a fairly well-rounded list of pet peeves. The fact that they consistently tick me off = ancient. (and yes the difference between the two is one of my pet peeves...)

Cheerios and Quackers....have a great week!