Monday, December 31, 2012

Random Questions for Writers (2012 Edition)

Well, seeing as it is the end of the year and I feel as if I ought to be doing something end-of-year-ish, this is my 2012 view on this little writerly questionaire. Wishing you and yours a happy writing year in 2013. 
Makes you think, hmm? 

-Do you have a pen/pencil collection? How many of those are chewed?
I have a new set of pens by Papermate, because there was a purple pen involved. Five new pencils with giant sparkly comfort grips. I have now officially stopped chewing on them...mostly because I've developed something of a habit for eating for tic-tac every five seconds. In Wintergreen. 

-Do you prefer handwriting or typing furiously?
I am still typing furiously. Honestly, I don't think this will ever change. I am far too ingrained with my fingers on a keyboard, be it virtual or real. Handwriting is still a part of my scribbling life, but it only factors in when I want some extra headspace. 

-How often do you get inspiration?
Every time I close my eyes...and considering I'm an insomniac, that says a lot. I always find inspiration, I just have to stop thinking about the 1,001th thing in my life and then I have enough to work with. Sometimes I want to hammer the ideas out and then it takes a little longer, but still. There's no such thing as writer's block. 

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

-Do you get inspiration more in the early morning or late at night? 
Early morning...like 4am kind of early morning. It's amazingly weird and I don't have any regrets at all. I do wish I could get some sleep, but I guess I can't complain about the writing part. Inspiration is lovely and it makes my dreams interesting. 

-Do certain movies/books/music inspire you? 
Music is it, this year. I find that it's very easy to be inspired by some of the recent songs, my new favorite by Of Monsters and Men, is a song called "Little Talks".  There is an amazing music video that goes with it and the lyrics are lovely. It's actually based about an old couple and the band talks about the inspiration behind it in an interview. It's worth a listen.

-How do you incorporate God into your stories? 
With a prayer. This year, it's usually one of those italicized prayers from the MC's head and I find that those are some of the hardest pieces to write.

-Do you kill off your villains or make them repent? 
I'm killing most of them off, lately, because they are far to reprehensible to be redeemed. *shudder* and in all honesty, you wouldn't want me to. You'd think I'd gone spare.

-Are the majority of your characters magical beings, humans, or halflings? 
Er, how about still not-quite-human? I'm partial to Elves and Dark Fae at the moment. (Dark Fae because they are storm fairies, duh!) ~_^ and dragons. I have a thing going on about dragons right now...

-What genre of writing are you most comfortable in? 
Fantasy. But lately I've been thinking about little slice of life bits and pieces and due to University, I've been forced to write poetry. It's been interesting, but I wouldn't say that I like it anywhere near as much as I do my fiction. My poetry tends to be dark and broody--which is actually not that surprising when I think of it. Oh well. 

-Do you work better alone or with someone else? 
I still prefer to work alone. It's just easier. Just tell me what you want done and let me have at it. I've been backlogged a little bit with keeping up with projects and betaing and all of that work. My apologies to anyone who's still waiting on me. 

-Do your stories make sense, or do they ramble wildly? 
I haven't done as many stream of consciousness pieces as I normally would and the recent pieces, I'm told. Make sense, which is good. 

-Are your characters mostly Renegades, Peacekeepers or a mish-mash?
Still mish-mash. I think it's best that way. I do want to write a few peacekeeper types though, but I think that would be more of a challenge than my sleep-deprived brain could handle at the moment.

-Are you a sucker for good grammar? 
For spelling more so than the grammar, what I know, I know, what I don't. Well. *shrug* 

-How is your handwriting?
Still the same. Probably with more connectedness inside of it than usual and more shorthand. I'm working on cutting out the vowels. Hmm. When I do write "nicely" though, it looks as it always has, very neat and pretty.

-How evil are your villains? 
Oh they're bad alright. I like last year's note of "can't purify bad blood" kind of bad, so I'm going to use it again, because that's kind of the premise I use for it. Nice. 

-Are you long-winded or succinct? 
Still long-winded. I can make a story out of anything, just give me the chance and the time.

-Do you have typical writer traits such as ink stains on your fingers or a pencil behind your ear? 
I have my  modern writer traits, the callouses on one specific finger and the short fingernails.

-Would someone walking past you on the street consider you normal?
Yes. I look quite normal in the sense that I don't have my writer oddities showing... ~_^

-Do you write mostly poetry, stories, novels or a mixture? 
A mixture. I write everything. Literally everything. Get used to it. :P

-Do your characters vary in accents, appearance and attitude or are they mostly the same? 
They vary! I do try to follow some of the little things in my FMC's that are well-received, because a strong female heroine is strong, no matter what changes around them. The appearance, accents and such do change though.

-Do real people and/or places inspire your writing? 
This year, they have. I've been drawn to many photographs of lovely, wonderful places that I may never visit in my lifetime, if only because I don't know that I'd have enough time in my life to visit all of them! It's inspiring and amazing. 

-What is your favorite character? Or do you choose to remain unbiased in case of a revolt? 
My dark fae warrior known as Eviankia, short for Inkia. She's a lovely, smart-mouthed little thing and has a knack for working with shadows and electricity. 

-Do you talk to your characters? Do they talk back? 
Yes and Yes. They never shut up. 

-Are you more comfortable with girl or boy main characters? 
Lately, I've been writing male characters. I'm told I do a very nice, "tall, dark and brooding" character. Hmm. 

-Do you follow basic overused plot lines with new twists thrown in or do you depart from the norm all the time? 
I use the same plots with my own twists, and lately, I've been delving far away from the norm. 

-Do you feel God has called you to be a writer/poet? Will you grasp the power of the pen? 
Yes, I have and by His grace, I continue to write. 

Happy New Year!

~Sara

Thursday, December 13, 2012

12 Days of Christmas Fiction Challenge : Year 2012



It's the 2012 Edition of the Christmas Fiction blog meme. If you're up to it, go ahead and join the fun! You can write anything holiday related and share below with your fellow readers and writers. Please keep posts/stories PG-13 for our younger readers.

What is it? For the 12 days leading up to Christmas, write one original short story or scene based off of a popular Christmas song. You can use the lyrics if you want, but it is not necessary as long as you mention which song your story is based off of.

When is it? Now! Dec 13th-25th.

Who: You! Or any writer you know of, who would love to join in the fun.

Why: Why not? Besides, it's a fun way to spice up your blog posts.

How? Join up at the Linky Widget below this post. Simply post the link to your entry and don't forget to read and comment on others. Have fun!

Merry Christmas! 

Christmas Fiction Index


I thought I had an index of all my holiday/Christmas fiction lined up. Right. As I'm sure you know by now, sometimes what's in my head doesn't quite make it out onto the page or in this case, the computer screen and by default, this lovely blog. Apparently my main index post is missing, so in the interest of keeping my sanity and yours, here's the new list, by year. The song titles are in parentheses and the story titles are linked. There are pieces of original fiction included as well. I will be aiming to do another set of 12 Christmas Stories again this year. Wish me luck and feel free to send in your song requests to be storified.

Click the links below to start reading. Merry Christmas!


2010 : Christmas Song Short Stories

1. When Grams Got Run-Over  (Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer)
2. Hard, Sweet Memories (Hard Candy Christmas)
3. Let There Be Peace In The Choir (Let There Be Peace On Earth)
4. Warp Open, Christmas Vein  (I'll Be Home for Christmas)
5. Thom's Toy Soldiers  (One Toy Soldier)
6. Mysterious Meeka  (The Ghosts of Christmas Eve)
7. Beside The Manger (Away In A Manger)
8. Lana's Christmas Adventure (Mary, Did You Know?)

2009: Original Short Fiction

1. A Christmas Memory for Alice

2008 : Original Fiction,

1. The Night Before Christmas That I Should Have Slept In

Saturday, December 1, 2012

NaNoWriMO 2012 : Day 30 (Excerpt)

Hey everyone!

I made it through the month. Whew. Wow. What a month it was! It seemed like everything and anything that could happen, did. Amazingly, I managed to crank out 75,017 words in the midst of pure chaos, while playing ML. WOW. That's quite a shock even to me.

While it isn't my usual 100k, I can say that I'm pretty happy with the outcome. I'm also happy to share an excerpt from Nytefrute with any interested readers. (as with a good chunk of my blog-posted fiction, this excerpt has not been edited, so be warned in advance). Thanks for following me through the month--I hope you had a great Nano experience.

See you next year in NaNoland!
~Sara

NANOWRIMO 2012 : Novel #1


SYNOPSIS


10-year-old Nena Capreka was only searching for food when she entered the Nyte Compound. She was not looking for trouble. She was not looking for Frute. And above all else, she was not looking to die...

Miagra Ugden is a rare Nyte Officer, with the power to kill on contact. It's a touchy subject all around. When she's inadvertently thrust into the role of Nena's caretaker, she finds that this little urchin of an orphan might be just what their world is looking for.

With a name like Gardenia, the title of General is absolutely necessary. Her Nyte Officer Unit is known for their quick coordination and effortless extraction. They've always been a seamless circle, one Nyte's talents flowing straight into the next--until Miagra is dumped into their midst, with a 10-year-old girl along for the ride.

Gardenia is not ready to handle the new headache that is threatening to tear her Unit apart at the seams. When Miagra makes her an offer she can't resist, it will take more than willpower to refuse.

Temptation was never quite so forbidden nor ever so sweetly offered....


NYTEFRUTE EXCERPT


NOTES:  Trainers are the High-ranking officers/Warriors, Trained are the officers/individuals beneath them. Gardenia is a Trainer and her Trained is Haruken. 

“Gardenia.” Florian inspected his favorite daughter with a sharp eye. He could read more in her stiff posture than he could from the words she wasn’t saying. It had been two long years since he’d last laid eyes on her and yet it seemed as if she hadn’t changed all that much. Instead, it seemed as if the two years had worn on her longer and harder than any of her previous missions and assignments ever had. That worried him as he took in the darkness around her eyes, the faint twitch of her fingers and the tight press of her thin lips. He waited until his aide stepped out, closing the door with the privacy lock, before he circled around the desk to take her by the shoulders.

She allowed the contact, even though she bristled faintly at his touch. He almost smiled, but thought better of it and then dropped his hands, using one to cup her cheek, briefly. “You traveled well?” He inquired, politely.

She turned away from the caress. “I am here for a favor.” She smoothed the front of her uniform. “And I can’t take any other answer than the outcome I need.”

“…ask away.” He prompted.

“I need to request a merciful death.”

Florian blinked. The words hung heavily in the air and he stared at her, searching for some sort of explanation in those pale-white eyes, noting that as she spoke, a rich, white gardenia literally sprung to life right over her left ear. He frowned. This was serious then. He turned back to his desk and began to busy himself with the crystal decanter and the matching square goblets on the silver tray there. “When?”

“As soon as possible.”

“Is this to do with the reason of your return?”

“Yes.”

“Gardenia-”

“I need this to happen.” She interrupted. “Haruken stumbled into something that he wouldn’t have if I hadn’t ordered him there in the first place.”

“Perhaps that is true, but Gardenia-”

“I can’t let him do this. He doesn’t deserve it.”

“Rules are law, and even if I want to bend them for you, I simply cannot-”

“He has a little sister almost exactly like that.”

Florian paused. He frowned at her a little longer, for good measure and then handed over a glass of fruity wine. “For the nerves,” he murmured, when she perked a brow. It was a gesture so reminiscent of her late mother that he couldn’t help but smile. “My nerves, if not yours.” He amended.

“Please, father.”

It was a low blow and they both knew it, but he downed the wine anyway. The familiar taste and burn slid down his throat and helped to wash away what little resistance he’d tried to build up. He’d known since he’d spoken to her on the comm. that she would return with some request to challenge them both and a promise that he wouldn’t be able to refuse. “Gardenia,”

“You can do anything with my unit afterwards. I swear it.” She cut in once more. “please, father. He can’t take this and I can’t let him.”

Florian started. He did know that. If the regulation went through, his pig-headed daughter would be sure to take on the duty that her Trained ought to have taken care of and in return for that, it would fall on her record, which would in turn, reflect on his. A pristine, perfect record that had never even heard of a problem.

He sighed. “This is a very difficult thing you ask, daughter.” The use of her title rather than her name, brought her up short, but she did not interrupt this time as he surveyed her over the rim of the square goblet. “I may be able to see to this,” He began.
Relief colored her features at once, before her expression schooled itself into something more neutral. “Thank you, Father. You will not-”

“You haven’t heard all that I’ve had to say.” He cautioned. “I can make this happen, that is not the issue here. The problem is that promise you just swore.”

She straightened at once, head held high. “I said nothing that I was unwilling to follow through with.”

He sighed, heavily. “I should hope not.” He raised the empty glass in salutation. “Welcome back. Do not let me see your face until this has blown over.”

She offered a stiff salute, clicked her booted heels together and was gone with the formal bow of respect from a child to parent.

He watched her retreating figure with a twinge of regret, perched on the edge of his antique desk. She was too much like her mother in ways that he’d never been able to quite understand, and yet, in ways he wasn’t sure that he wanted to argue about. He’d make her little wish come through, but on top of that, he’d also make sure he didn’t burn himself in the process.

She might be his daughter, but he’d put a lifetime into his career. A lifetime that he refused to watch fade away simply because she could not keep herself and a single unit together. The last nasty business had been with the death of that Protector of theirs and the rumors hadn’t stopped flying at all in the past two years since it had been. He did wonder himself, as to whether it was true, that the Porea had actually betrayed them, but he knew better than to ask.

His curiosity would only be satisfied by an official inquiry, which in turn would tell the entire Central City that he did not have it all under control and that he couldn’t manage someone as simple as his own daughter. He turned around to pour himself another glass of wine and swirled it in contemplation as he slid off the desk and circled around to sit back in his chair.

A faint thought niggled at the back of his head and prompted a rather wide smile as his aide reentered the office room.

“…sir?”

“Adelinea.” He smiled, coldly. “Do put Fraiser on the line for me, hm?”

The aide inched forward and reached for his desk comm. She tapped in several keys and codes, swiping her clearance card near the end before she could actually place the call and then handed it over, setting it before him and tapping the final keys to bring the video conference to life on the far wall of the office.

“That will be all.” He intoned.

She bobbed her head quickly, offered a salute and strode out of the office, just as the live feed flickered into view.

Florian smirked. “Fraiser…what an unpleasant surprise…”

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

NaNoWriMo Day 4 + Dee Henderson Freebie!


Hey Wrimos!

It's day four (if we're going by my whacked out count for this year's NaNo), and my tip of the day is somewhere along the lines of yesterday. It's to read a book.

Er, now please sit down. Do not stir up any plot bunnies and start ranting and raving about word count. Chill. It's the fourth day. Yes. I know that. But there's nothing that says you can't sit down and read a bit of inspiration to keep your first week of writing shooting along the railroad tracks. I hope the words are coming along splendidly for you, and if not, then I hope that they will come sooner than you are expecting. This reading trick of mine tends to work quite splendidly if you're kind of unsure about how you're doing.

Today, if you' don't feel like writing (again!), then read something. It will stimulate your creative brain cells to start working on the new "problem" and it will present fresh, original solutions that in turn, can likely be adapted or applied to your present Nano. Keep an open mind and look for connections. Maybe it's something about the first plot point or the characters, just keep it in mind and think about it. Read some "stuff" and let your Nano stew in it for a day. You'll be surprised how many words can come out from a well-prepared mind.

As for me, when I want to read, well. I do. Especially if it's during NaNo and I'm worried about slowing down, getting bored or not having the right "mood" to write.

My favorite author of all time, for Christian/Inspirational Mystery is the wonderfully talented Dee Henderson. Whenever I hit a stuck point in my writing, I always pull out one of her books and read it from cover to cover. It never fails to remind me why I'm writing and why I want to write. She does such a wonderful job crafting her worlds and characters, that I can help but feel awed and thrilled seeing it from both a writer's POV and a reader's POV and think "Wow, I want to write like that."

Today, Amazon is giving away free Kindle downloads of one of her books in the O'Malley series. Dee is my inspiration for writing. She crafts worlds that are so complex, without losing detail, suspense and page-turning action in every single chapter. There's plenty of emotion and family--if you've never read her before, I highly recommend her. This book is actually the first book of hers that I ever read--and I was hooked from page one, after all, how many mysteries start out with a hostage negotiator as the main character? Right. I thought so. Give it a try and let me know what you think. (Also remember that you don't need to have a kindle to download this. Amazon has free reading kindle apps for Windows, Mac, your mobile devices, etc.)

Click here to visit Amazon and download your copy of Dee's Book.

As for Nano--well, I had one of those lovely new ideas smack me over the head while I was in class today. Hmm. I churned out a few thousand words on that, so that I can focus on my NaNo tonight...yeah. I did. I really, actually did. We'll see how well that works out.

Current word count: 24k.

Happy Nanoing!

~Sara

Monday, November 5, 2012

NaNoWriMo 2012 : Day 3


Ah, welcome to my day three post on day four...or five, actually, if you're counting. It's past midnight, so I'm not. So don't. ^_^'

It's been a slow day today. You know the kind.

Lots of things happening, drama everywhere, school and work tangling up with each other. You know, that kind of a day.

Guess what? I didn't really write much.

No, really. I didn't. I made up most of my word count for the week, yesterday, so I don't have to worry about it when I hit a day like this. I know that I'll reach a day within the first week where I really don't feel like writing much---and I won't have the time to write either, so I write extra whenever I can.

This is one of those days.

If you're starting late or didn't write today and you're freaking out---take my advice. Don't. Just take it in stride. It's not the end of the world if you didn't make your word count goal today. It's not the end of NaNo if you miss one day or two or a week, even, as long as you are dedicated to getting your story out, the words will follow.

Happy Nanoing!

~Sara

Current Word Count : 23,535

Saturday, November 3, 2012

NaNoWriMo 2012 : Day 2

Are you doing NaNoWriMo this year? 

Hey Wrimos!

So, it's day 2. Well, day 2 was last night, but never mind that. How'd it go? Did you have fun? That's the most important thing.

NaNoWriMo is usually the best thing to spark your creative gears and make writing "fun" again. Sometimes it is far too easy to get caught up in things like, whether you spelled that right or if X,Y, Z actually exists in your fantasy world and if there's actual documentation and tada, you're successfully off track and off chasing down a plot thread you don't really need to be worrying about.

One of the most common "stuck points" this early in NaNoWriMo usually has to do with either your internal editor or your restlessness on simply sitting down and hammering the words out.

Hmm.

So what do you do?

Well, what I do is buckle down and find a few wordsprints I can get involved in. If there aren't any takers at the moment, then I fill a cup of with steaming hot tea and I write until the temperature is "drinkable". Surprisingly, I type more in those little short bursts than I might sitting all day in front of the computer screen.

If your editor is giving you a headache, then turn off your spellcheck and grammarcheck in your writing program. If you have to stare at the screen, change your text and screen colors to the same so you can't see what you're writing, but you can see that you're making progress.

Some folks like to use Dr. Wicked's writing lab, Write or Die.  If it helps, us it. Make the most of the tools available to you during NaNoWriMo. Talk to your ML. Get in touch with your fellow wrimos. Check out the NaNoWriMo videos and peptalks.

Then when you've spent a nice chunk of time on it, sit down, put your hands on the keyboard and start writing. For all you know, if you don't write out a few hundred words or so of pure rambly junk, you can't get to that really emotional scene with the action-packed fight about to happen.

Give yourself a break. It's the first weekend. There's plenty of time and plenty of options.

Happy nanoing!

~Sara

Word count from last night: 11,290.

Friday, November 2, 2012

NaNoWriMo 2012 : Day 1


Yay!

First day of Nano post...on the second day.

Yeah, I do know the days are off.

But the chances of me posting last night with ten minutes to midnight were pretty slim, so I figured I'd make up for it today and the chances are, I'll likely post with a day's lag in between of everything. Meh. We'll see.

So, how's it going?

If you were waiting for my usual nano hype this year, I'm afraid most of my hyper-ness has been in Real Life and not quite on the Web. I am now getting back into my "cyberlife" a little bit, so you'll see hints of it on my FB fan page and my twitter, as well as, of course, My Nano profile.

For those of you catching up, 2012 marks my 7th year participating in NaNoWriMo and my 3rd year as a NaNoWriMo Municipal Liasion for my area, the TN : Elsewhere group.

It's already shaping up to be a good month, filled with the kind of creative energy that's just begging to be released. I hope your first day was wonderful and wordy.

Here's to a good month!

Word count : 4334

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Shadow (Poem)

Found on Google Images. I own nothing.

POEM -- ONE WORD PROMPT

There are shadows farther than the eye can see.

Hallows deeper than the soul can breathe.

Places of solace, set aside from pain

In these shadows, things lurk

Big things, little things, harsh things

Cruel things, sweet things, tiny things

Things to make you laugh,

Things to make you cry

Things to make you wish,

You could grow up and cry

In these things, shadows live

They thrive, they sigh and they grieve

Beneath layers of feelings and thoughts stretched thin

Shadows upon shadows worn like film

(c) Sara Harricharan

Monday, October 22, 2012

Forth (Flash Fiction)




Found on google Images. I own nothing.

FLASH FICTION PROMPT

Go forth and light up the world.

Set it on fire with the passion of ages.

Let it blaze and glow as it burns down walls and barriers that ought to have vanished centuries ago.

Tear off the irons and shackles of oppression and distress.

Give in.

Give in.

Show me what you are made of.

Prove that you deserve to live.

Share your soul with the same fervor in which you defy death.

Go ahead.

Go forth.

I dare you to live.


Sara Harricharan ^_^

A/N: And a context for this one, I'd think it would be something for a master to student or a feisty main character with a little bit of attitude towards an injured party in their traveling troupe, convincing them to continue on with the quest. Thanks for reading!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Walls (Poem)

Found on Google Images. I own nothing.

FLASH FICTION PROMPT (POEM VERSION)

Title: Four Walls

Four walls closing in on me.
Why is it never more? Why is it always four?
Is there something I am missing?
Maybe I need a new room.
One with rounded corners and no sharp edges.
One that will cradle and coddle me, so the wounds in my back will fade.
Time will heal them. Regret will scar them. Experience might help me ignore them.
But these walls? These walls bear witness.
And I cringe at the story I have told them.

(c) Sara Harricharan

A/N: This somehow didn't turn into fiction. Yeah. Way to go poetry....ho-hum. ^_^

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Combine (Flash Fiction)

Found on Google Images. I own nothing.

FLASH FICTION PROMPT

“Combine our efforts?” Della stared at the homeroom teacher for a full minute. She perched one perfectly manicured hand on her petite waist and wrinkled her nose. “You want me to actually…participate?”

Mrs. Donovan sighed. The air of an adult having grown used to repeating themselves as if only to hear the sound of their own voice. “Yes Miss Della,” She circled around the little desk. “We would prefer if you two were to actually use your-”

“We’ve got it Mrs. D.” Anabelle interrupted, hurriedly. She scurried across the homeroom, wiping her hands on the front of her hoodie. “Sorry. Sorry. I didn’t mean to be late, there was a line–bathroom–you know,” she gestured off-handedly to the hallway. Her snapping green eyes flickered over the glass beakers, plastic mixing spoon and metal basin. “Oooh, are we doing page fifty-four?” She rocked forward on pink converse sneakers. “Tell me we’re doing page fifty-four.” The brunet snatched up the mixing spoon and began to tap it in her other hand. “I wanna mix.”

Mrs. Donovan stared between them. She heaved a sigh and turned away. “So as long as you complete the assignment!”

Anabelle waited until the teacher was well out of hearing rang. She reached into her hoodie’s kangaroo pocket and handed over a handful of dry paper. “Here. Give it to Shayna and hurry back.”

The blonde hesitated, then leaned forward on the pretense of inspecting her best friend’s earrings. She slipped the paper under the edge of her miniskirt and crossed the room a moment later, to where a redhead sat in the chair in the corner.

Della dropped the paper in Shayna’s lap and continued on as if she were heading to the washing station for another glass beaker. “Quit being a crybaby.” She hissed, softly. “They hired us to ruin their worlds, not to ruin ours.”

The sniffling cadet shuffled to her feet and blew her nose quietly. A moment later, she trailed after Della. “…Thanks.”

“Thank Anabelle.” Della filled an empty beaker and pretended to measure the water. “She’s the one who risked a demerit for that.”

Shayna huffed. “I don’t expect you to understand, it’s paper.”

“So?”

“So, when you combine them, I can do this.” Shayna snapped her fingers. A flicker of pink-orange flame exploded in the palm of her hand, dancing over it. “Got a problem?”

“Watch it!” Della flicked a wet hand at the dancing flames. “Do you want to give us away?”

(c) Sara Harricharan

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Begin (Flash Fiction)

Found on Google Images. I own nothing.

FLASH FICTION PROMPT

“Begin”

The word fell ominously in the icy air, as if it held our judgements and decrees in a single hand.

I dared not look up at the grandmaster, but rather, turned my quill to the faintly damp sheet of parchment. I should have taken more pains to keep it stiff and dry, but at least, my dull quill will most likely not rip it to beices.

I think.

I hope.

I am not really ready for this prize. I am not sure what I would do with the crown of Iversole. I don’t know anything about ruling–well, no, that’s not quite true. I do know something of it, I just prefer not to make that public knowledge.

It seems that will be inevitable in the near future.

The bell in the courtyard tolls, the chime falling three times.

I must begin.

I really do not wish to.

It seems so unfair. But I have no choice, I have paid all that I have to my name, to enter this contest. I should hope that these royals can honor their word.

“Begin!” The cry is repeated.

This time, all who were frozen, begin to move, feverish fingers, trembling from the cold, gripping every manner of writing instrument to put together their priceless essay.

I can feel the grandmaster’s eyes on me. I can almost hear the words in his big head, he would want to know why I have yet to move.

It is because I only feel it is fair to give the others a chance.

Someone is counting aloud, somewhere.

I can hear the voice, old, wizened and loud. It is used to shouting.

These dear people…

The time is nearly passed when the final call rattles through the air.

It takes a scant second to press my quill to parchment and scrawl out the line that will secure my future.

Whatever freedom I have known will soon be locked inside a gilded cage. But I have no heart to lament it.

My scrawl, is perhaps, more legible than the elegant scripts of my fellow participants. There is one line. It is the answer to this riddle, but few are thinking of this as a challenge within a contest. They are blind. Good-hearted, gentle and hard-working, but blind.

Perhaps I shall do this for their own good.

I would fit the crown of Iversole, because I do not wish to be King.

(c) Sara Harricharan

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Despite (Flash Fiction)




Found on Google Images. I own nothing. This cake inspired this ficlet snippet.

FLASH FICTION PROMPT

“…and so, despite all odds, ladies and gentlemen, I give to you, the first, seven-layers of heaven, dark-chocolate and buttercreme cake.”

Shona elbowed him fiercely in the side.

The young chef half-stumbled and straightened, not so stubly elbowing her back. “Pardon me, a slip of the whipped cream, I meant that it was a dark-chocolate and cream-cheese." He squinted down at the index cards in his hand. "Er, there are milk chocolate curls, shaved around the-”

Shona rolled her eyes again and this time, her physical accompaniment was masked by the thick, heavy table cloth over the presentation stand. From the immediate shift in the young chef's stance, he now favored one leg.

"On the pedestal to the left, we have a three layer fudge cake with white sugar flowers and-"

There was a discreet cough at his elbow. Shona's lips twitched faintly. The audience of assorted family members hid an assortment of snickers, chuckles and well-knowing grins.

Her student paused in mid-monologue again, this time, to give her a look of complete long-suffering. “…and despite my best efforts, it seems as if I have not done these lovely creations justice.” He intoned, dryly. “As my dear mentor and teacher, our Shona, the kitchen fairy of pastry, has deemed my description to be horribly inaccurate and-”

“-and” the renowned patisser nudged her protege out of the way, “And that is why, despite my best efforts, you have all suffered in hearing such a mismatched address.” There was a flicker of warmth in her voice and this time, when she rested a hand on his white-jacket, he didn’t shrug it off. “I suppose, I can’t help it. He’s perfect, isn’t he?”

The hall errupted in cheers.

The speech was pointless, but the result was exactly what they had desired.

Seven glorious layers of rich, thick, dark chocolate cake, with decadent frosting in voluminous swirls, topped off by metallic shimmers of chocolate curls.

And proof that the lovely affianced couple would handle the pastry shop with the charm, skill and chemistry that had put Harrowind Sweets on the map.


Sara Harricharan ^_^

Monday, September 17, 2012

Together (Flash Fiction)

Found on Google Images. I own nothing. (I believe there is a splendid writer's app though, titled "writer's muse" with this same image on it...)


FLASH FICTION PROMPT

Together, we can do anything. I swear it.
Do you so solemnly vow?
I do.
I do not.
Together.
We both shall, we both should.
Now then, again. Do you solemnly vow to uphold this? To stand by each other in thickness of head and logic, in thiness of creativity, cashflow and living space?
Do you?
You do.
How very wonderful. Tell the nice people now and thank them, for they have been witness.
Thank you. I do.
Thank you.
As of this very special day, my muse and I shall continue to create, craft and support each other–together. As you have witnessed, let it be noted.

(c) Sara Harricharan

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Quotable Thoughts




Doesn't this look like the perfect writing hideaway for brilliance? I do not own this photo, found on Google Images.

"Those who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those doing it.” ~ Chinese proverb


I should warn you, this is most likely going to end up as one of those rambly posts that may or may not have something deeper beneath the surface of said rambles.

~_^ You should know me well enough to handle this by now. If not, take a breath and then try again. There's something here worth reading, something to make you think, at least.

As some of you know, the fall semester has begun for me and ironically, while it may seem like summer is the best time in the world to be writing my fingers off, it seems that only when I have absolutely no time to write--that I end up writing the most.

This particular quote is honored to be the little spark that started off today's wonderfully rambling post. Read it and think about it for a moment. No, really think about it.

How many times have you actually started something, all excited and hyper about it (yes, I actually do "get" hyper about really lovely, creative things and I'm told my randomness etches up a few notches), and then you just can't wait to share it.

After all, there's nothing that says it must be kept a secret and you're absolutely dying to share your brilliance with the world, so you're excited to share it with whoever can spare an ear at the moment.

So off you go, rushing about, so very thrilled with this new idea of awesomeness and just to be sure about it, you seek out one person--whose opinion you value--and then you launch into your spiel.

But it doesn't turn out the way you expected. In fact, as you're about halfway, no, not even that far, say, a third of the way, you realize that what you're speaking must be an entirely different language, because they're not matching your enthusiasm and they don't look anywhere near as happy as you felt.

Definitely felt.

Because by the time you've finished, your lovely, pretty idea has been neatly ripped to shreds by the fingers of self-doubt and haste. Suddenly, your happy, sparkly little bubble feels like it's nothing more than a dirt smear on a concrete wall. Dirty, unworthy and pointless.

Ah, been there?

It's a rather lousy place to be.

The most obvious solution in the world would be not to share your idea at all, but that's no fun. The next would be to have a friend as off-the-wall as you are, to bounce such randomness off of, but they are rare, far and few in between.

You could write it out--but sometimes, as a writer, the last thing you really want to do when you pounce upon a half-formed idea, is to write it down before it's done, you just want to voice it aloud, seeking whatever kind of validation for it that you can get your grubby little fingers on.

Okay, fine, no one's fingers are grubby, but you get the picture.

So what to do?

How about nothing?

No, I don't mean period. I mean, how about you don't do anything right away. Live in the moment, savor the thrill, the raw excitement and the pure creative energy and tackle that new idea head-on with nothing but you, your wits and your nerves of steel.

Know that idea inside and out, poke holes in it. Fill the holes up. Think about writing it out or putting it on paper. Do or don't. Laugh when it dares you to speak it aloud. Then iron out the little kinks, wrinkles and seams until you like the way it dances in your head.

Inside your head is the most perfect place, because your mental workshop will have absolutely everything you need to straighten out pesky plot holes, nagging characters and lame endings. In your mental workshop, you can make it into something you're proud to show off.

When you've got it down to that, then take a shot.

Write it down. Voice it aloud. Scream it from the rooftops, if you must.

And realize that the outcome is decidedly different.

Whereas before, you weren't quite sure about your idea, of making it work and all of that fuzzy, newborn, word-vomit stage---now you have something better. You have something that is already the product of your best thoughts (seriously, do we ever bother with our mediocre thoughts? Hmm? No. I didn't think so. It's always the bright flashy ones.), something that has already endured your worst--think of all of the tinkering you did in your mental workshop, that was you ripping apart all the unworkable bits and shaping it into something better.

Now you have something that can defend itself when you share. Now you have something that you aren't puzzled over---*cough* Validation *cough*--now, you can stand tall and proud when you share your idea. Even if it is about giant squids, purple inkpot plants, fuzzy notebook covers and five wheeled bicycles.

Now you have something different--you have confidence. Sometimes, it's the really crazy ideas and people that change the world. We've seen evidence of it, especially in history that seems to repeat itself quite regularly. So, go ahead, try this the next time you're getting smacked about the head, just because you spouted a mouthful of randomness.

Just think of it this way, just because everyone else doesn't understand it, doesn't mean that it's stupid or useless. It just means that you'd better hurry up with creating the language that explains it and to start training a few other translators to help share the workload.

It means that when you're doing something impossible--don't stand with your mouth open, your eyes all wild and crazy, little pitter-patter heart shattered because some nameless idiot just told you that it was impossible.

The best answer to that, would be to smile and keep on doing your creating. Maybe they're right, maybe that particular draft won't work, but hey--you'd only know that for sure after you finish it, wouldn't you? And only you would know how to take apart said horrible draft and either trash it, salvage it or cannibalize it into something better.

Only you.

Happy writing.

Sara Harricharan ^_^

Saturday, September 15, 2012

New Nano Merch!

Have you seen the new stuff in the NaNoWriMo store?

No?

Would you like to?

Okay, go ahead. I'll wait right here for you.

And you're back. Wonderful!

Guess what I have my eye on?

NaNoWriMo Travel Mug 2012 edition. (I do not own this pic)
Isn't it lovely?

Shiny stainless steel, spiffy black lettering and guess what? The ingredients list is pure ROFL.

Pop on over and check it out--and if you get one, let me know. I'd like to know how it affects your word count. :P

No, seriously. It says 1667 words per serving...

~Sara

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Asthma (Flash Fiction)




Image found on Google. I own nothing.

FLASH FICTION PROMPT

“I can’t breathe.”

“Dude, you don’t have asthma.” James cast a sideways look in my direction. “You look like-”

“Don’t say it.” I interrupted, still staring out across the university parking lot. “Really. She can probably hear it.”

“She’s like, a hundred feet away. I don’t think so.” He huffed. “Really! You’re such a-”

“Gentleman?” I flashed a toothy grin. “Yeah. I know. She likes that.”

“I–wha…dude.” James sighed and turned away.

I trotted across the parking lot to offer my assistance to my future girlfriend.

(c) Sara Harricharan ^_^

A/N: and the obligatory author's note that I feel ought to accompany this piece---no, I am not making light of folks who have to deal with asthma on a daily basis. I just thought that it was a different twist than going with the expected "I can't breathe" prompt. Ciao.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Stillness (Flash Fiction)

Found on Google Images. I own nothing.

FLASH FICTION PROMPT

The stillness is like silence.

Thunderously deafening.

I’m not sure what I should say or do about it. Maybe I don’t have to do anything. But then, that would mean that I’m giving into it, doesn’t it?

I don’t know. I’m never very good at any of this.

A rock whizzed through the air and sliced the spot where I’d stood a half-second later.

“Not funny, Mark.” I didn’t even bother to turn. he was supposed to be standing still–too.

“I’m not laughing.” He shot back. “Can we move yet?”

“Wait for the signal.” I tried not to hiss. I wanted to. I actually think I rather would have liked to bite him–with all six of my venom-tipped fangs.

Just to hear him yell.

“We’ve been waiting for over two hours, Di.”

“And we’ll wait two more.” I growled back.

Something rustled nearby. I flexed my jaw, working it to bring the venom to the surface, both in the fangs and the claws sliding painlessly to the surface of my fingertips.

“Di?”

“Down!” I threw myself forward with a bit of a spin, twisting through the air to land on the enemy soldier. He’d crept up, close enough to almost reach us. Close enough and no further. I sank claws and fangs into the supple body.

A howl rent through the air.

The stillness, broken.

Mark whined, softly.

I snarled in answer and this time, we both launched forward from the greenery and down the mountainside. 

(c) Sara Harricharan

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Sustain (Flash Fiction)

Found on Google Images. I own nothing.

FLASH FICTION PROMPT

Sustain me.
Quench me.
Remind me that I am nothing.
Remind me of how I need you.
Of how I yearn for you. Of what I long for. Of what I must be patient.
Sustain me.
Uplift me.
Remind me of how I want you.
Of how I wish for you. Of what I desire between us. Of what you have to offer.
Sustain me.
Cleanse me.
Grapple inside my twisted mind and unravel the secrets I ought not to hide. Know me. Search me. Remake me.
Take me.
Sustain me.
I am your creation and I desire to be yours.
Your child. Your handiwork. Yours.
Sustain me.

(c) Sara Harricharan

Monday, September 3, 2012

Miracle (Flash Fiction)

Found on Google Images. I own nothing.

FLASH FICTION PROMPT

Life is a miracle.

If you feel like everything is crumbling and falling apart.

Stop. Think.

Dream. Hope.

Pretend that you are worth it. Then believe it.

If life is a song, then you should be singing at the top of your lungs, screaming your voice out to whoever cares to hear.

If life is a dance, then dance your heart out as if it’s your last day on earth, even if the auditorium is empty.

If life is a movie, then smile like the star you are and stop acting. Just be yourself. It’ll be a smashing box office it.

And if life is a miracle? Well, then. Write about it. Document it. Record every word. The ones you say and the ones you mean to and the ones that you don’t realize you never said.

And when you’re done, laugh, cry and be alive.

Because life is a miracle.

And you’re part of it.

(c) Sara Harricharan

Friday, July 20, 2012

A Mother's Gift (Friday Fiction)

Ack. I'm hosting Friday Fiction again today. To join in the fun, add your name to the linky widget below. Don't forget to read and comment--we all love the feedback. Happy weekend!


Author's Ramblings: I'm still running behind folks--sorry about that. Lots of "real life" things happening at the moment and I can barely keep my marbles together. Anyhow, this is a flash fiction snippet for me this week. Happy reading and enjoy the weekend!

“Evening patrol?” Yulena stared at her superior officer. She blinked twice, for good measure and then repeated herself–again. “Patrol. This evening. Me?”

Officer Evans stifled the urge to roll his eyes. “Yes, if you would be so kind?” He drawled. "I do not make the orders, I simply hand them out." He slid the electronic tablet across the counter and waited for her to sign in and count it as a job well done for the day.

The brunette eyed the device for a good five minutes before reluctant fingers poked at the touchscreen to enter her numerical ID for clearing. A moment later, she took the proffered ticket from Evans."Luck of the draw, it seems."

“Indeed. Good luck. Happy hunting.” He fired off a lazy salute and then turned to switch off his systems to log out before the next shift.

Yulena sighed to herself. She waited until he circled around the section, the screens turned off, the lights dimmed and then he latched the little chain sectioning off his checkpoint.

For a moment, they stared at each other–again.

Then he walked forward, arms extended.

She gathered him into his arms, a kiss to the side of his cheek. “Happy birthday, son.” She hugged him tight. “I’m sorry I’ll miss the cake and dinner.”

His sad smile held forgiveness in its curve. “That’s okay. You were there for breakfast this morning.” He kissed her cheek. “Thanks for transferring here today.”

“Anytime.”

(c) Sara Harricharan

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Monstrous Five : Chalika (Friday Fiction)


Sorry for the late linky, everyone! I've the pleasure of hosting Friday Fiction this weekend, as I haven't had the chance to send out the dates for sign up yet. Anyhow, to join in the fun, just add the link to your story in the widget below! Don't forget to read and comment--we all love the feedback. Happy reading!




 Author's Ramblings: This is one of the summer projects I've been working on. A little island world, where one girl is searching for her siblings, living with her disgraced mother and the most unusual of superpowers. It's a character sketch/prologue sort of, for Chalika Dolsane. Anyhow, apologies for the late post and all. I hope you enjoy the read. It is slightly different from my usual fantasy posts. Enjoy!

THE MONSTROUS FIVE : CHALIKA DOLSANE 
Genre: Contemporary Fantasy
Category: Adventure, Family, Mystery  

Sometimes I really don’t know when to keep my mouth shut. 

Yeah, I know, the warning signs are always there, but since when do I, of all people, actually pay attention to them?

Yes, yes, yes, I know.

If I hadn’t said such outrageous things within earshot mother, I would not be in this particular—erm—position right now. It’s a stupid one. A really stupid one. I hate it.

It does not matter if it is my own fault.

Alright, well, perhaps it does, but I do not wish for it to be.

It is not like I can control this.

I try.

As I always have.

But she knows me too well and so do the Lords and Ladies at court.

Far too well.

And I suppose this is why she chose such a humiliating punishment. She knows what it does to me. She always knows and it’s only because of that look. One look and a sigh and my world crumbles.

Mother.  

It was honestly just a prank.

Alright, fine, it was just my temper running away as usual, but I could not help it! After they said such horrible things about Papa. He is not a monster. He is not some wicked night goblin. He is loyal and faithful.

I do not care what they say of him.

He left only because he could not stay.

They made him go away! He would’ve stayed, he would’ve done everything that he could to stay with us, to protect us, to protect Delveryn. He would never destroy this island, no matter what they say of him, I know this. The same as I know I would never lift a hand to destroy this home, even if it should destroy me.

Ha. I digress.

Perhaps I ought not to have voiced my opinions in the ears of gaping pitchers. I didn’t think that anyone would really be listening, but of course, they’d only take that moment to stop talking.

I can’t believe this.

It’s so annoying.

I hope mother hurries up with the oil. None of the knots will loosen and this worries me. I've never been this tangled before.

Everything hurts. 

I hate the pain. 

I don't know how long it will last and that bothers me, because I don't know if I can stay still or silent. But somehow, I think it would hurt worse to speak. 

Everything aches.

Oh do hurry up, mother, this is torture!

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
“You’re working your head up in knots, child.” The elegant woman sat at the desk beneath the window. She shifted her chair a few inches to the left. It allowed her line of sight to fall in perfectly with that of the young warrior kneeling on the floor by the hearth, bound in a complicated twist of rope.

Violet eyes glowered at her.

Lady Dolsane Hykerin sighed at her daughter. “You’re supposed to be working your way out of those. You know I cannot help you until this is finished and the longer you stay in them the more it will hurt. Can you still breathe?”

Her daughter chose to hold her silence.

The lady sighed again.

Several hours had passed since the incident at the coronation of Lord Nalesh’s daughter, Aurora. It was a lavish and flashy affair, ruined only by Chalika’s outburst near the end. An outburst that led to the immediate removal of the small Hykerin family.

As for Chalika, the method in which they were evicted was more than disturbing, at least for a young woman able to sprout the thickest and strongest ropes from every joint in her body. She’d learned to control her strange gift, but the ropes sometimes leapt from within at the slightest provocation. It had become a sport of the young men on the island to tie her with her own bindings.

Lady Dolsane pressed her lips tightly together. She had been too late to stay this latest humiliation, but thankfully, no one had interfered when she’d made excuses on her daughter’s behalf and allowed them to be escorted from the premises. She can tell from the labored breaths, that the ropes are responding to Chalika’s tumultuous emotions.

The bonds have grown tighter and more restricted, even though the heat of the flickering flames should be coaxing them to relax.

“Chalika?”

“I’m sorry!” The words burst from her lips, at last. “I’m sorry, mother. Really. I didn’t mean it. It just sort of slipped out and then, well, I couldn’t help it!”

“You should be.” The three words were ground out, but Lady Dolsane continued with her mixing, saying nothing more. Several glass containers stood on the wooden desk, their contents mixed together in intricate recipe.

“Mother?”

The lady turned to glare at her daughter. “What were you thinking, Chalika?”

“Well, obviously I wasn’t thinking at all!” She huffed. “If I had then this wouldn’t have-”

“Do not take that tone with me, young lady. Or you will be more than welcome to talk your way out of this mess yourself. Perhaps your ropes will listen to your rants and whines.”

“I’m not whining!”

“Exactly what part of that isn’t whining?”

“But-!”

“You were in the wrong and you know it.” Soft brown eyes shone with weariness. “Do you never tire of placing yourself in such situations? It is entirely unbecoming for a young lady of your birth and bearing!”

“Of course.” Chalika gave a rather undignified snort to punctuate what exactly she thought of that.

Her mother huffed. “Never mind. I will loosen the knots I can see—the rest you shall have to do on your own and you know it. Now hold your breath and blink when you need to breathe. You’ve waited far too long for this!”

“It’s not like I had any-”

“Chalika.” The name sounds anything but a name with the tone and inflection given by the lady warrior.

Chalika bowed her head. She closed her eyes and waited.

At first, it didn’t seem like anything was happening.Then the tightly wound ropes, shuddered and slackened a mere fraction.

“Did you finish it?” Chalika squirmed.

“Almost.” Lady Dolsane circled her daughter and with nimble fingers undid the surface knots of thick, bound rope restraints. She then retrieved the bowl from the desk and began to pour the herbal oil mixture over her daughter’s head. “I do not know how you manage to work yourself into these things!” 

“Believe me, Mother, I do not do it on purpose.” Chalika grimaced. Of all the gifts in the known realms, the only one she would have, would be the useless trick of conjuring rope. The oil helped somewhat though. The thick fat ropes of braid tangling over her upper torso began to shift back into the thick, blonde ringlets of her original form. A hiss escaped her lips.

“Chally?” Lady Dolsane paused. “Is that enough? I did not mix a full bowl, I did not think-”

“My arms.” The young woman grimaced. “I think the ropes of my hair mixed with the ones in my arms—agh!” The scream was soft and muffled when her mother pulled her into an embrace. She shuddered. Feeling returned to her in painful, agonizing bursts. “I hate them.”

“Shh. No, you don’t.”

“I intensely dislike them.” Chalika muttered into the silken shoulder.

Her mother laughed, softly. “As do I.” She stroked the tangled locks of half-blonde hair, coaxing the rough strands back to their smoothed nature. “Promise you won’t hunt them tomorrow?”

Chalika snorted. “What makes you think that-ow!” She flinched at the gentle tug in reprimand. “Fine.”

“Hunt them on the weekend.” Lady Dolsane murmured. “After you have rested and then you can have Eli help you.”  

This time, Chalika smiled. She could remember the faces on the nightguards that had landed her in this mess. She would also look forward to the face they’d make when she caught them on her nightly prowls upon the island streets. 

(c) Sara Harricharan