Friday, August 27, 2010

In Lila's Head (Friday Fiction)

This week's Friday Fiction is hosted by Cat over at her blog : A Work In Progress. Click here to read and share more great fiction!

Author's Ramblings: gah. It's been a krazy week and too much going on for me. So this is a bit of a rerun. No fantasy this week. Sorry! This was written for the FWC on the topic of "Empty and Full". I've spruced it up a bit, so enjoy! 



I didn’t want to hear what they said. I didn't want to know. I didn’t care to think about it either. It was easier to ignore them, blocking out everything, to try drown myself the only way I knew. If I drowned, it would be easier. Things would be simpler.

Or so I told myself.

First, it was music.

I lived and breathed through my Ipod. It was a life support I didn't let anyone near. I hadn't put new music on it for nearly a year and a half. All the songs within were haunting. They reminded me too much of him and of life and of everything else wrong with this world. But I couldn't ignore them. I had to listen.

I made more playlists in one week, than I had in the entire four years I’d owned it. Each list had a name, each name fit a mood, each mood brought a tear and each tear brought another.

Crying did pitiful little, I aged twenty years in the thirteen I had to my name. For physical abuse, it was wonderful. I bore a pounding headache and perpetually burning, achy eyes, in addition to a horribly blotched complexion.

A self-inflicted torture I was loathe to end.

The music was the a tidal wave. And now I was the one helpless, stranded and subjected to the mercies of whatever controlled it. Drowning was almost a welcome thought.

One song brought tears one day and blinding rage the next. In each moment, I was constantly surrounded by music, a shield to protect me from what I had to avoid. I listened until my ears ached, until I could no longer stand to have the headphones tangled around my neck and twined into my hair.

When the music ran out, I was forced to find something else. I didn't want to. But necessity demanded it. I could not be idle. If I was, then I would think and that could not happen. So I gave in to the need to fill the emptiness. The hollowness. The blackness. The thing that wouldn't go away.

So next, came books.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Giving up (BBT) Book Meme



If you’re not enjoying a book, will you stop mid-way? Or do you push through to the end? What makes you decide to stop?

I cheat and read the end. ^_^ If the end is as bad as the middle/stuck point, then I won't bother to read it all the way through. Generally, if there is too much backstabbing-betrayals-religion points, I quit. I don't bother to read it all the way through, because it's a) annoying, b) painful to keep reading, c) a waste of time when I no longer care about the story. It's for this reason that I generally don't read war books or conspiracy stuff. It's just a headache for me.  (I will read a mystery/fantasy story, where the world may be at war, but when it's a side story like that, it doesn't bother me).


And...since I missed last week and the meme looked like such fun... ^_^

1. Favorite childhood book?
The Boxcar Children, Book one!

2. What are you reading right now?
 Nothing. I've finished up my reads for school, so I can start without a lingering plot bunny in the back of my head

3. What books do you have on request at the library?
None at the moment.

4. Bad book habit?
Will take them anywhere with me.

5. What do you currently have checked out at the library?
Nothing. It's a school week.

6. Do you have an e-reader?
I use one on my pc.

7. Do you prefer to read one book at a time, or several at once?
Depends on how many are currently unread at the moment I feel like reading. I generally read one at a time, but if it's really good, I'll read several.

8. Have your reading habits changed since starting a blog?
No, not really.

9. Least favorite book you read this year (so far?)
W(?) by James Patterson. Too generic.

10. Favorite book you’ve read this year?
Daniel X.

11. How often do you read out of your comfort zone?
I have no idea.

12. What is your reading comfort zone?
As in?

13. Can you read on the bus?
No. I've never been on a bus.

14. Favorite place to read?
By a window, in a corner.

15. What is your policy on book lending?
Don't do it. It isn't worth it. *poke* seriously, I guard my books. I'll gladly lend a copy, but never my originals. If you want to hang around and read it though, I'll let you. :P

16. Do you ever dog-ear books?
No. See below.

17. Do you ever write in the margins of your books?
NEVER! Books are like chocolate. You treat them nicely.

18.  Not even with text books?
NEVER! (see above!)

19. What is your favorite language to read in?
English.

20. What makes you love a book?
A good "saying" or line by one of the characters that makes sense for me during the moment in my life when I'm reading it.

21. What will inspire you to recommend a book?
The humor factor and who lived/died in the end.

22. Favorite genre?
Mystery!

23. Genre you rarely read (but wish you did?)
Fantasy.

Favorite biography?
I don't like biographies. Can't get through a first chapter.

25. Have you ever read a self-help book?
Yes. It's fun!

26. Favorite cookbook?
Don't use 'em.

27. Most inspirational book you’ve read this year (fiction or non-fiction)?
My Utmost for His Highest.

28. Favorite reading snack?
I don't snack. I could get messy fingerprints on said book.

29. Name a case in which hype ruined your reading experience.
Twilight. Harry Potter. Night World. Maximum Ride.

30. How often do you agree with critics about a book?
  Rarely. :P

31. How do you feel about giving bad/negative reviews?
It's my honest opinion. I won't lie.


32. If you could read in a foreign language, which language would you chose?
Japanese!

33. Most intimidating book you’ve ever read?
don't remember.

34. Most intimidating book you’re too nervous to begin?
Outliers by M. Gladwell.

35. Favorite Poet?
Robert Frost.

36. How many books do you usually have checked out of the library at any given time?
About twelve. My record was twenty-one.

37. How often have you returned books to the library unread?
Rarely. Maybe a handful of times.

38. Favorite fictional character?
Ezra from Fairy Tail-no, wait, that's manga. Um, book-character, I'd say Kate O'Malley.

39. Favorite fictional villain?
Veronica from the Saddle Club.

40. Books I’m most likely to bring on vacation?
A Nancy Drew favorite and old grade school lit book.

41. The longest I’ve gone without reading.
A week.

42. Name a book that you could/would not finish.
Virtual War. The plot sucked. 'nuff said.

43. What distracts you easily when you’re reading?
Nothing. I can read a blue streak through anything and even keep up a conversation. Just don't expect me to remember what I was telling you.

44. Favorite film adaptation of a novel?
The Count of Monte Cristo!

45. Most disappointing film adaptation?
Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief. Just plain horrible!

46. The most money I’ve ever spent in the bookstore at one time?
Not sure, but at least over $50? I remember buying some hardcover special editions. Do textbooks count? ^_^

47. How often do you skim a book before reading it?
Whenever I'm buying one. I'll skim it before I buy it.

48. What would cause you to stop reading a book half-way through?
See Answer above for original BBT.

49. Do you like to keep your books organized?
According to size yes, otherwise my bookshelves would look horrible.

50. Do you prefer to keep books or give them away once you’ve read them?
Keep 'em! I keep all my books. If I give you one, then you'd better understand how special you are. :-p

51. Are there any books you’ve been avoiding?
Anything Star Trek related. I can read Star Wars, just not Star Trek.

52. Name a book that made you angry.
The American Girls series with Addy Walker. I didn't like any of them and I especially hated the very first book. I liked the other girls though...

53. A book you didn’t expect to like but did?
The Little Princess and The Three Investigators series.

54. A book that you expected to like but didn’t?
Francine River's "Redeeming Love"

55. Favorite guilt-free, pleasure reading?
Nancy Drew Yellowbacks--the original twenty-five.



Monday, August 23, 2010

Organization!

If you've kept up with my "sister" blogs, then you may have noticed I dabble in many other places across the internet. The purpose of this latest venture is the gather all the corners together and tie them up in an easily understandable knot or easier perusal. There will be updates, posts and other random things appearing within the next few days. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment.


Saturday, August 21, 2010

A Writers' Meme

This meme started at the FaithWriters' blog - and then I saw it over at JJ's (Joanne Sher's blog) and couldn't resist swiping it to tag in my own answers, so here goes! ^_^ (Btw, on a personal note, I haven't posted an FW conference 2010 post yet, because um, my brain is reviving. Is that a good excuse? It'll be up soon, promise!) Now, onto the meme!

What’s your favorite genre of writing? Christian Fantasy. Something out of this world that includes Jesus is my goal.
How often do you get writer’s block? Um, only when my brain is fried. Which happens about twice a year at the end of each school semester, because I refuse to give up on my creative projects and thus end up with a fried brain as a result from completely exhausting it.
How do you fix it? Sleep. Preferably for about a week, until 2PM every day.
Do you type or write by hand? Both - I write by hand in the morning and once I'm parked in front of my PC, I'll be typing. Sometimes if a scene bugs me, I'll write it out by hand and then type it up. The process helps to sort things through.
Do you save everything you write? Yep. I even have a file labeled "Bloopers" for each month/year. It's actually funny when I reread some of what's there.
Do you ever go back to an old idea long after you abandoned it? Yes. Often times, it has had time to develop into an entirely new monster and I can trap it with a--oops, sorry.
Do you have a constructive critic? Yes. But I've been sworn to secrecy because of-OW! *rubs head* sowwy.
Did you ever write a novel? Technically five are written. One is a WIP, waiting for me to finish it. Others are in various stages of editing/rewriting and waiting to hear back from my beta-readers.
What genre would you love to write but haven’t? Well, I've tried, but I haven't actually really done anything, genre-wise. I'd love to try comic-book writing, does that count?
What’s one genre you have never written, and probably never will? Horror! Terror! And other equally scary things. This is because I am too good at scaring myself when I'm completely involved in a project and that's a bit, um, yeah. Leaving that there. ^_^
How many writing projects are you working on right now? Um, WIP novel wanting to be finished, First revised chapter needing to be sent, planning for NaNoWriMo2010, Weekly friday Fiction posts-leading up to a new serial that does NOT have anything to do with fantasy/superpowers. *shock*
Do you write for a living? Do you want to? I don't at the moment. But I would love to. Currently, I've been focusing a lot more on my school/family than writing.
Have you ever written something for a magazine or newspaper? Yes - for an online newspaper.
Have you ever won an award for your writing? Yep.
Do you ever write based on your dreams? Yep. My dreamland and my daydreaming sides of my brain are pretty closely connected. Besides, in my dreams that's where I see my stories in full color, HD. ^_^
Do you favor happy endings, sad endings, or cliff-hangers? Cliff-hangers! Because then there'll be a sequel and then there will be possibilities for all kinds of endings!

And now it's YOUR turn! Respond below, put your answers on your blog, or both. Enjoy.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Blue Jello And Ice Cream (Friday Fiction)

This week's Friday Fiction is hosted by the talented Yvonne "Vonnie" Blake over @ her adorable kids blog, Polliwog Pages. Click here to read and share more great fiction!

Author's Ramblings: Well, this is one side to a particular pair of characters I've had in my head for awhile. The prompt for "Blue Jello and Vanilla Ice cream" has been haunting me from last weekend, so this is what came out of that particular brain smush. I did not edit this piece, as a VERY late dinner is sitting beside my keyboard and I'm too hungry to sit through a read-through, so please enjoy and excuse my typos. Shora and Eli are the kind of friends that nag each other to stay alive and sane. I added the "Avian" twist at the end, just because. (No, my brain isn't completely fried, just stressed at the moment) I didn't quite do all I wanted, but for fear of this tale expanding into an uncontrollable monster of sorts, I tried to end on a happy note and cut it off before spontaneous multiplication could start. I simply couldn't let the day pass without writing something new for it. Have a good weekend and happy reading! 



“Eli?” Shora tugged on the jacket sleeve of the young man trying to wrestle his bike into the metal rack on the sidewalk. “Eli Richert?”

He turned at the tug on his arm and after squinting for a moment, his face brightened. “Hey!” One hand went up to his ears, tugging out the white ipod earbuds. “Shora! Didn’t realize that was you. Wow! You look, um, wow. So, uh what’s up?”

“What are you doing here?”

“Errands for my mom.” He offered a sheepish grin. “I just pop on home from Uni and become the local errand boy again. You look well. Have you been-”

“Sounds like fun. Are you all done?” She gestured towards the bike.

He shrugged, spinning the combination lock. “Sort of. I was about to head home but-”

“Want some ice cream?”

“Er, now? Isn’t it a bit cold for-”

“I’m buying.”

He dropped the chain and lock, a happy smile plastered on his face. “Then I feel like eating ice cream.”

“I figured.” She headed for the ice cream parlor further down the street. “How’ve you been?”

“Good. Pretty good. Things are busy—the usual. How about you?”

“Fine, I guess.”

“Family okay?”

“The same. You?”

“Same here.”

“That’s good.”

He held the door open for her and they stood in line, hands tucked into their pockets to warm them from the chilly autumn weather. “Ice cream in-”

“Two dishes please.” Shora moved up to the counter. “Custom sundaes. Scoop of vanilla ice cream over blue raspberry jello.”

“Two?” The cashier clarified. “Any toppings on that? Sauce, nuts or sprinkles?”

“No toppings. Just make sure you have the jello right.”

“Blue raspberry, yes?”

“Yeah.”

“Blue?” Eli sputtered. “Hey, wait a sec-!”

The cash was handed over in exact change before the young cashier had even finished announcing the total. A slight blush tinged her cheeks. “T-thank you. It’ll be right out.” She pointed to the far end of the counter and Shora shifted automatically to stand to the other side.

“Find a seat you like.” Shora murmured. “I’ll bring them.”

Eli heaved a sigh. “Free ice cream.” He muttered, turning away. “I am an idiot.”

When she arrived, the faded plastic tray was set between them. Two tall, old-fashioned sundae glasses held a startlingly vivid creation. Bright blue jello cubes filled the entire glass, topped off with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream and no sprinkles.

“Sprinkles are good you know.”

“You don’t eat this with sprinkles.”

“Isn’t it kind of plain?”

“If you don’t want to eat it-”

“I didn’t say I didn’t want to eat it. I’ve just never eaten blue jello before, all I meant was that-”

“When do you graduate?”

“What?”

“It’s a simple question.” She handed him a tall metal spoon. “Eat up. When do you graduate?”

“I’m halfway through, at least another two years…” He took the spoon. “What about you, kid?”

“I’m a dual-enrollment student.” She wrinkled her nose. “Not a kid. I haven’t decided yet.”

Her lips pursed as her brow furrowed in thought, lost in her own little world. He watched as she divided the handful of napkins between them and bowed her head over the sweet snack. He spoke the prayer before she could. “Lord, we thank you for these sweets which are to make us sweeter.” His mouth twitched. “And for the kindness in which gifts are given, we ask your blessing on what we are about to eat. Amen.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” She stabbed her spoon in the sundae, but made no attempt to bring the treat to her mouth. “If you were any sweeter I’d be sick.”

“Really? I think that’s a compliment and yet I-”

“Would you just eat already?”

“I’m eating, I’m eating.” Eli frowned. “Not that I hate running into you, but what exactly is-?”

“Take the spoon and put it in your mouth!” She waved her ice-cream dipped spoon in the air. “If you’re done with all your errands, can you do me a favor?”

“What?”

“Spoon. Mouth.” Her own spoon hovered inches away from shiny strawberry lips. “Now.”

Eli made a face, but obediently spooned a generous mouthful of vanilla ice cream into his mouth. The creamy vanilla goodness slid down his throat. A happy shiver made him smile and after a moment, he took another spoonful. “There, I’m eating, happy?” His gaze flickered across the table to where Shora was studying him intently. “Creep factor is now-”

“Eat the jello.” He stared at her for a moment, until she dug through her own scoop of vanilla and retrieved a quivering blue cube. “Jello.” She repeated. “Eat it.”

The seriousness in which she spoke tugged enough on his conscience that he began to fish in the sundae glass for a jello cube. He snuck another glance at the achingly vulnerable face fixed on his every movement. After a long pause, he rolled his eyes skyward and shoved the spoon in his mouth.

It wasn’t as bad as he’d expected. The ice cream melted around the slippery cube and the flavors were somewhat raspberry n’ cream-like. He chewed thoughtfully and then took another cube.

“Well?” She demanded. “How is it?”

“Not bad.” He allowed. “Not bad at all. Eat yours.”

She stuck her tongue out in reply, but after another moment of careful observation, began to eat her own creation. The spoon slowed as she neared the halfway mark on the glass and a comfortable silence settled between them when she tapped the glass. “Isn’t it fascinating? The ice cream sits on top and melts over everything, filling every nook and cranny.”

“It’s the movable while the jello isn’t.” Eli flashed a grin. “Nice.”

“And that’s your psych major talking.” Shora snorted. “Say it simpler. It’s change. Some things change and you can’t help it, but the changes always fit into the space where they belong. Some things are permanent and they don’t change at all.” The look on her face softened to an almost wistful expression.

“Permanent?” Eli twisted his napkin into a bow. “Hey kid, is something wrong?”
The shadow of weariness returned to her face. “I’m not a kid. Quit calling me that.” She slid out from the booth, taking her half-full glass in one hand. “I’m eighteen you know.”

“Really? When’s the birthday? Did I miss it?”

“You’re free for the rest of the afternoon, right?” She reached for his empty sundae glass. “C’mon. You gotta take me somewhere.”

“Pushy as ever, aren’t you?” But he slid out from the booth and trotted after her. “Thanks for the ice cream—and the jello.”

“Get your bike.” She reached back for his arm and pulled him along the street with her until they reached the bike rack.

He fumbled with it for a few minutes until she leaned over his shoulder and spun the correct combination for him. “Hey!”

“You haven’t changed at all.” She sighed. “You’re jello.”

“I’d almost think that was a compliment, but coming from you-” He lifted the bike clear of the rack and set it neatly on the sidewalk. “Okay, now where are we going?”

“Fifty-ninth street and Covington, edge of town.”

“Are you riding on the handlebars or something-”

“Just start pedaling!”

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

They arrived at the florist’s shop where Shora immediately demanded five dollars from her self-appointed chauffer.

“For what?”

“Never mind for what, just cough it up!” She held out her hand, soft brown eyes narrowing into her trademark ‘look’. “Eli!”

“I’m doing this because…?” He handed over the requested bill and was instructed to wait outside while the ponytailed girl darted into the flower shop. He stuffed the earbuds back in his ears, content to listen to music while watching the traffic flow.

They’d made it to the quiet side of town and now his mind was settling down just enough to enjoy the colorful swirling leaves and the fading warmth of the sun.

Strange to see her again. And she's already got me following orders. Jordan always humored her. He gripped the mp3 player a little tighter. She’s caged again. Something's clipped her wings. A pang struck his chest and he buried his face in the turned up collar of his jacket. She was almost a mirror image of the smiling face he remembered too well.

A face belonging to a person that no longer existed.

His mind went to work, sifting through the dates and trying to piece together what could be an excuse for Shora’s behavior. Granted, she had always been bossy, fretful and annoying, but he’d seen a few kinder sides and it had always been enough.

Shora...what is bothering you so much this time that you can't tell anyone? It's cracking you down the seams. Don't you trust me anymore? Jordan trusted me.

The door to the florist’s burst open and she came to his side, quivering from head to toe with suppressed emotion. Her face was hidden beneath her shaggy mop of hair, now freed from the confines of the earlier ponytail.

“Shora? What happened?”

“Can you take me to Torchwood Hill?” Her voice cracked. “Please?”

“Is everything all right?”

“Fine. Just fine.” She scrubbed at her face with one coat sleeve. “Can we go now, please?”

He caught her by the shoulders, straining to see her face. She twisted her head away, a single tear dribbling down her cheek and onto her coat collar.

“Aw, man! Shora, c’mon!” He gave her a little shake. “Don’t start this on me! Whatever it is, whatever’s the problem, it’s all gonna be okay, all right?”

“I-I know.” She leaned away from the hands holding her. “Can we just go? If it’s too much trouble to-”

“It isn’t. Are you sure you can-”

“I’m fine.” She held up one hand.

He stared into two perfect white roses. “Uh.” He stared from the flowers to her. “Let’s go.”

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Torchwood Hill was further than he remembered.

It was an old scenic overlook, overgrown with kudzu shadowing the metal railing that lined the cliff side. A sparkling carpet of city lights were visible below and the last light of day faded away to a dusky blue-black.
It was with some actual effort that Eli had managed to pedal the bike all the way to the final destination. The feat was overshadowed by the silent passenger who stepped off the back forks of the bicycle when he came to a halt.

“Thank you.” She whispered. “You can go now. I’m fine. Thank you.”

“Go?” Eli resisted the urge to shake her again, settling instead for choosing a suitable parking spot for his bike. “As if. You’re anything but fine! What’s going on with you? I haven’t seen you for-”

“Nothing’s going on. I’m fine. Please, you can leave. I am okay.”

“You know, Jordan always said the same thing when he was anything but fine!” The words were flung out in anger, as Eli closed the gap between them with a few steps.

Her head jerked up to stare at him, tears streaming down her face and dripping onto the solemn roses. “Jordan.” She whispered her twin’s name. “Oh Jordan!”

“And now you’re falling apart on me.” Eli muttered. “Shora, please! Shora! Come on, look, if Jordan was here, he’d be all over me for making you cry and-”

“It’s all his fault!” She sobbed. “It’s his own fault!”

So she cried.

He let her.

Eventually the tears gave way to a short round of hiccups and finally, Shora straightened, casting a glance around, to take in her surroundings in the near darkness. “I’m sorry.” She breathed. “I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to—I don’t know what came over me—it was just, too much.”

“It’s been three years.”

“Happy birthday, Jordan.” Shora turned away from Eli to walk to the edge, she leaned over the railing and stared up into the night sky. “Happy birthday. I hope it was good. Mine was okay. I tried to do exactly like you told me. I couldn’t help crying though. I had to. I really missed you.”

“Wait, today is the birthday?” Eli stared at her in amazement. “Seriously?”

“You didn’t know?” She turned to him, unwrapping the two roses from their plastic floral wrap.

“Jordan never said. You always celebrated on a different day and-”

“Our family doesn’t do birthdays.” Shora sighed. “We just pick the weekend closest to the actual date and celebrate. If that weekend doesn’t work, then we pick the next one.”

“Wow.”

“Here.” She handed over one rose. “It’s for remembrance.”

“A white rose?” Eli snorted. “Isn’t that like, for purity or innocence or something?”

“It also has to do with remembrance.” Shora forced a smile. “Now be nice and throw it.” She breathed in the rose’s scent and whispered a few words into the soft petals. “Happy birthday, Jordan, happy birthday self.”

“Self?” Eli tossed his rose over the railing watching it flash with hers before the white was undistinguishable in the darkened depths. “Happy birthday, Shora.”

“You’re the only one who’s wished me that.” Her head turned to him and a few quiet sniffles were heard.

Eli sighed. “Again? Really?” He fumbled in his pockets for napkins and finally settled for his scarf. “You’re going to freeze your face that way. Here.”

“Your scarf?” Shora held it at arm’s length. “Seriously?”

“What?” He growled.

She burst into laughter.

The sound echoed in the night and the laughter turned into a fit of giggles, before she gasped for breath. “I understand now.” She managed. “Now I know why you were his best friend.”

“I don’t have any paper napkins.”

Another giggle escaped. “You’re too nice, Eli. I’ve dragged you across town, made you eat blue jello, made you pay for flowers and then to bring me all the way up here, yet you still have the-”

“If you don’t want to use it then-”

There was the sound of a loud ‘snap’ before a warm presence filled the air. “I didn’t say I didn’t want to use it. It’ll be a good windbreaker. Thanks.”

“Hey, wait a sec!” Eli fumbled with his jacket, wincing the cold air rushed through the moment he tugged the zipper down.

“We always came here.” Shora chuckled. “He would do all kinds of things just to make me laugh. Then he’d carry me all the way back home because my wings were too weak to handle it.” She laughed, bittersweet. “Now they’re strong enough to carry him and he isn’t there.”

“Sometimes you need to let go.”

“Sometimes letting go means giving in.” She rolled her shoulders forward, her black wings shifting behind her. “Can you see them?”

“They’re black. No.” Eli scowled as his own wings unfurled with a flair. It felt good to have them out in the air, instead of pinned behind his jacket. “So you’d do this every birthday?”

“Yeah. Just the two of us.” Her voice wobbled. “Hey Jordan? I did it. I did what you wanted. I went out for my birthday, just like I promised. I didn’t spend it alone. I made Eli come with me. He even ate blue jello and ice cream, just like you used to. It doesn’t taste too bad. I wish I’d tried it when you were here. The look on your face would’ve been priceless. I brought roses too.”

“Uh, Shora?”

“This is the last year I’m coming here.” She drew a shaky breath. “Three’s a charm. I won’t be back.”

“Three’s a charm?” Eli repeated.

“I threw them over the railing, just like we used to do. I didn’t make a stupid wish this time though. I’ll miss you. I still miss you.” There was a quiet sigh. “But I know if you were here, you’d smack me over the head and tell me to get on with life. So I’m going. I’ll do my best. I’ll try at least.” Her wings shuddered as she stretched them out, testing the air. “Catch me one last time, okay?”

“One last time?” Eli headed for the rail and the sound of her voice. “Shora, I can’t even see you and-”

“Do you want your scarf back?”

“What?”

“The scarf, Eli, the scarf.” Her laugh was above him. “I’m already in the air, I know your eyes will adjust as soon as you spread your wings, so stop taking your time already!”

“We are not playing tag.”

“Why not? Tag is fun.”

“Shora!”

She waved the scarf. “Over here, big guy.”

“My bike!”

“Fly back for it tomorrow.”

“In broad daylight?”

“No. In morning light. Before the sun comes up. You know, that kind of light.”

“Shora!”

Her laughter echoed through the night.

© Sara Harricharan

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Music Matcher (Friday Fiction)

Hi, everyone! Welcome to Friday Fiction, I'm hosting this week, so feel free to jump in and join the fun! All you have to do is add your link to the linky gadget below. Don't forget to read and comment on other stories--we all love the feedback! 



Author's Ramblings: Well, I'm scrambling again this week--lol--big surprise here, but for those of you keeping track, this weekend is the 3rd Faithwriter's Conference in MI and I've spent most of the day packing/cleaning/double-checking and other random things in preparation for it. So, using that as my um, "excuse" I added/revised a bit of an old FW entry and slotted it in for today's friday fiction as I am literally almost brain-dead (in the creativity department, LOL!) and I know there are some folks who would like to have their work posted before they leave. Incidentally, I didn't add as much to this as I wanted (I can literally see a whole novel-sized bit in this snippet), but it was begging to be expanded, so I listened to it today. So, in keeping with that, even though it's a bit early, happy reading and have a wonderful weekend--I can't wait to tell you all about it when I'm back. ^_^ 

If she was as loud as her clothes, I think we would’ve thrown her out.

A metallic mini-skirt over dark leggings, topped off with knee-high, multicolored socks and pink rubber boots made up her bottom half. I thought I would get a headache if I dared to look up any higher, but my curiosity got the better half of me and I ended up looking anyway.

She proudly displayed a wispy floral blouse, accented with patterned scarves in bold prints to match her safari headband. There was gold jewelry piled on in the most outrageous fashion and her ears sported several unevenly numbered piercings. Her hair was thick and unruly, with pins sticking out every which way and neon colored elastics tangled through the ends.

Evolution? (BBT)


Have your reading choices changed over the years? Or pretty much stayed the same? (And yes, from childhood to adulthood we usually read different things, but some people stick to basically the same kind of book their entire lives, so…)

Yes! I used to read only mystery books when I was younger and during my teens, hit a stint where all I read was non-fiction, now I'm back to mystery books, but I've added in a slot for fantasy and Christian Romance, though not necessarily all at the same time. I tend to read in blocks, several mysteries, several romances, a bunch of fantasy, mostly depends on my mood.



NOTE: I'm hosting Friday Fiction this week, Mr.Linky will be up by this afternoon. ^_^

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Sunflower Upright

Er, yes, I was just kind of musing about the giant sunflower in our backyard and on a prompt from my Dad, ended up scribbling a short bit of "maybe-poetry".





Enjoy--it's titled "Sunflower Upright"

Sunflower, upright
Standing tall
In the night
In the day
In the evening
Everyday

Sunflower, held high
Head held up
To the sky
In the night
In the day
In the evening
Everyday

Sunflower, so pretty
Golden-petaled beauty
Always, surely
In the night
In the day
In the evening
Everyday

Sunflower,
I see you
From my corner here
Nowhere
I watch your smile
From a distance
Watching, watching
All the while
You don’t waver
In the darkness
You don’t waver
In the rain
You don’t waver
When it’s over
Your head
Is held high
In the sky
Always
Sunflower, upright
Stay strong
With all your might

 © Sara Harricharan

Friday, August 6, 2010

The Ten Lives of I (Friday Fiction)

This week's Friday Fiction is hosted by Sharlyn Guthrie @ her blog, Dancing on Rainbows. Click here to read and share more great fiction!

Author's Ramblings: Well, I'm as scatter-brained as usual. I completely forgot to prepare anything at all for this week's FF, so I was scrambling up until about an hour ago. I decided to post a bit of freewriting and to make it truly authentic, I grabbed a prompt from my favorite creative well and drew the line "The ten lives I have lived" for that reason, this piece is rather abstract and um...kinda riddled with plot bunnies, except for the version in my head. ^_^ But, I will work on something sensible for next week, okay, not really sensible, but I won't throw a freewrite prompt at you again. (Unless I sleep in and am scrambling as I am doing now, lol!) Enjoy the read and happy weekend!

Ten lives I have lived.

Interesting ones, they might have been to anyone but me.

The first one I can remember quite distinctly. I lived in a blue metal van, parked out in a corner of a rundown shopping complex. It was always hot and always cold, mostly at the same time.

Some days, I could barely stand to keep it together. It was much too complicated. I could do very little between musical seats, always ending up on the bench seat in the far back. This was so I could nap there, while the rest of the world continued to spin around me.

I didn’t see her everyday, but when I did, she took my breath away. With a face I could never see clearly and a smile always carved with sorrow, she would pass before me, head held high, the superiority of a queen. It was, perhaps for this reason that I stayed in such poor lodgings for so long.

It would be quiet and peaceful and I had all the time to watch the people bustling around. I was witness to more things than I cared to be, but the experience was not wasted. When I returned to the slice of civilization deemed as my own, I started a fund for the homeless who lived in metal vans.

Strangely, I could not write anything about this, until now.

The second life was not quite as depressing. I lived in a flowerpot on the hanging rail off of a bridge somewhere. I don’t know where the bridge was, because I’ve never been very good with directions at all.

I only know that when the van was taken away, I had nowhere else to go as civilization wouldn’t take me back just yet and so I was forced to move elsewhere. The bridge was a good option, because it was just the color of honeyed-rust. The basket I chose was black wire, lined with brown roughness and a pile of greenery was the nest for where my perfect, peony blossoms peeked out.

Swaying in the laughter of the wind, smiling up at the sun, I would wake at dawn and sleep at night. Life was good, for awhile. I was happy. Mostly.

I didn’t see her everyday, but when I did, she took my breath away. With a face I could never see clearly and a smile always carved with sorrow, she would pass before me, head held high, the superiority of a queen.

Walking along the edge of the bridge, gripping the rail tight with her long, skinny fingers. I would force myself to stay silent. Not to ask. Not to bother. Not to pry. I couldn’t ask her why she walked there. I didn’t dare warn her of the dangerous river below, for surely, she knew.

I didn’t stay on the bridge for very long at all, for the seasons changed and my pink peony perfection was no longer suitable decoration.

The third place I lived was an antique shop across from the bridge. It was the shortest move I’d made yet and it was nice and cozy for the winter months. I was thrilled to be accepted as a shiny, golden, old-fashioned egg-beater.

As a trinket of curiosity, I was handled by a great many hands of the general populace. They would step inside the distinguished establishment and wander around with wild exclamations and laughter of the unusual items discovered within.

I would lie still and perfect, when they picked me up, turning me over in each hand, one after the other. Yet none of the hands were the ones I wanted, none of them were hers.

I didn’t see her everyday, but when I did, she took my breath away. With a face I could never see clearly and a smile always carved with sorrow, she would pass before me, head held high, the superiority of a queen.

Through the window with the sidewalk view, sometimes I would catch a glimpse of her hurrying on by. I would try to shine my brightest for her and stand as tall as I dared. But she never once looked my way.

The shop soon closed, when the elderly proprietor passed away, leaving youngsters of today to tend to his affairs. They didn’t have time to deal with old-fashioned things, so they locked things up in boxes and I was soon chased away.

For my fourth life, I somehow became a newspaper.

It was the shortest life I spent and by far, the most embarrassing.

I am still amazed at the places that a human being will take a newspaper. If only they knew what the newspaper saw. But, alas, I should not dwell on such depressing things. I was thankful that the human who purchased me, was kind enough to recycle.

In doing so, I found myself kicked out to the curb with my fellow newspapers, some days old and some weeks old. I thought I would be in good company, but not one of them had seen her.

I did not speak with them afterward, for my mind was solely caught on her.

I didn’t see her everyday, but when I did, she took my breath away. With a face I could never see clearly and a smile always carved with sorrow, she would pass before me, head held high, the superiority of a queen.

From the pile by the garage door, I could catch a glimpse of her strolling along the sidewalk when the door was open.

I waited until the recycling truck came along and when it did. I secretly crept away.

My fifth life was spent as a light pole in the city park.

I thought it was a brilliant disguise, because I could see so far out from being so high up and there were so many interesting people below, that sometimes I could forget, that I was waiting only for her.

I didn’t see her everyday, but when I did, she took my breath away. With a face I could never see clearly and a smile always carved with sorrow, she would pass before me, head held high, the superiority of a queen.

She tacked a colored flyer onto my chest one day, a dreary raining moment, where the paper was drenched within seconds and so was she. I could barely read the words, but I knew it had something to do with her. Standing on tip-toe, to reach as high as she could, she pressed the plastic stapler with all her might, to secure the sheet to the pole. I saw her face, for a moment.

The smile carved in sorrow had been tinted by pain. A pain, I could not fathom or otherwise understand.

It hurt to stand so high above her when she was crumpled to her knees before me, so I did not stay as a light pole. I moved that very moment.

I chose to be the umbrella that the kind gentleman offered her in passing by. It was my sixth life and perhaps one of the more comfortable ones.

For I was close to her and useful at the same time.

I had a shiny wooden handle and waterproof coverings of a brilliant red meshed together, my wooden spines were nice and flexible. I was a moving work of art. Perhaps the gentleman had seen what I knew, because I was gingerly taken into her capable hands and held ever so gently within them. I felt so proud to be held in her hands to prevent the rain from further ruining her.

I didn’t see her everyday, but when I did, she took my breath away. With a face I could never see clearly and a smile always carved with sorrow, she would pass before me, head held high, the superiority of a queen.

After the rain stopped, she took me home and dried me off. I was placed in a coat closet and only retrieved when the dark clouds would gather. I missed the feel of her hand and I missed the echo of her sigh.

I wondered what I had missed, on the flyer she’d stapled so high.

But the coat closet grew dusty and it was not good for my health at all, so when a new stranger dared to hang his coat in my closet, I stole into his pockets and thus began my seventh life as his fountain pen.

I missed my lady greatly, for I no longer saw her, even on the rainy days. I missed her proud smile. I missed her hidden face. I missed the mutual feeling of heartache.

As his lordship’s fountain pen, I discovered exactly how useful I was. He would take me out nearly everywhere and I spent a great deal of time maintaining both of our appearances. He never realized that I never ran out of ink, nor scratched nor otherwise disappeared.

For in staying with such perfection, I hoped that he would eventually return to her house and I would have a second chance to try again.

He never noticed.

But one day, he wrote a letter.

A letter with an address that I knew so well. I moved from the pen into the letter and thus began my eighth life. I do not think he noticed my absence, for he seemed to wash his hands of the affair when the letter was all written.

I could not read the words he scrawled so elegantly across the linen square. It was far too confusing, because they contained human feelings, a thing I had yet to fully understand.

I arrived as a letter within her mailbox. It was to her precious hands that I was received.

What joy, what amazement, what peace!

I was so happy to be hers again.

She treasured me, more than she had when I was a useful umbrella. I became the scrap of paper tucked in her pocket every single day. I didn’t know where she went, because her pockets were rather dark, but I always heard her voice and sometimes I heard her laugh.

This, I thought, was surely worth it.

But as time would have it, I was not indestructible and eventually I began to fade and crumble.

As I did, she began to worry and all my preventative efforts were in vain, because even I could not fight the curse of time.

It was that very afternoon when she declared I could no longer travel with her, that I chose a new destination.

For my ninth life, I became her laptop computer.

Life was perfect and blissful.

I saw her everyday and when I did, she took my breath away. With a face so vulnerable and honest before me, her smile would be appearances only, a secret smile saved for just the two of us.

She no longer passed before me with the superiority of a queen, but rather the grace and talent of a fairy, who took the dredges of her pure heart and painted it onto the page.

I was glad to be useful to her. She used me every single day. I learned to read the words she used, because they didn’t change. She would speak to herself as she typed and I learned to let my keys move freely beneath her fingers, so she could finish her work on time and smile just a bit more.

My tenth life was the final, I decided to help her that night, when she stumbled to my screen and angrily jabbed the power button on. There were hot tears streaming down her cheeks and she could breathe or speak at the same time.

Her fingers poured out the very essence of her soul and in that moment, I knew I would chose a final resting place. She was perfect enough and I had waited long enough. I knew now, that she was ready.

When she clicked the print button, to hold the reality of her best work. I slipped out of the laptop computer and into the paper.

As her fingers brushed across the page, I reached deep into myself and found the very last life I had to live.

I leapt into her heart with all that I had.

It was with that tenth life, that I died.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

“Meria?” Delanie stuck her head through the bedroom door. “Sweetie, are you alright? I thought I heard someone crying in h…Meria?”

“I found it, Mom.” She clutched a handful of printed paper to her chest, happy tears now adorning her face. “I found my muse…finally.”

© Sara Harricharan


Thursday, August 5, 2010

First Time (BBT)



What is the first book you remember reading? What about the first that made you really love reading?

Well, I actually feel a little "old-fashioned" when I think as far back as I have to, in order to recall my first book. It has nothing to do with the popular authors during that time, but I guess that's another hint at my randomness in reading. ^_^

The first book I can distinctly remember reading on my own, was The Silver Slippers by Elizabeth Koda-Callan. A story of a ballerina and a "magical" necklace. I thought it was the most wonderful story in the world, if there really was such a necklace in existence. I was quite delighted to know there were other books in the magic charm series and promptly devoured the "The Magic Locket" afterward. I remember loving the fact that the MC in each story was a girl about the same age as I was then and her special thing was a pretty, shiny piece of jewelry.

I have a certain penchant for things that sparkle, glow and reflect, so stories about shiny sparkling things within and without, were just perfect for me. I read through them several times and eventually settled on the "type" of books that sparkled inside--which made my next series, The Boxcar Children, a real treat. I started reading mysteries after the Boxcar Children, but it all started with the Silver Slippers.

Cheers!