“Too Fast”: #WeWriWa – #8sunday

Weekend Writing Warriors Unite!

Weekend Writing Warriors Unite!

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors’ Eight Sentence Sunday!

It’s simple and fun. Sign the linky list with your name, blog url and email address on Mondays, 8:00 AM EST. Each week, the list remains open until Saturday, 11:59 PM. Then on Sunday, post 8 sentences from a current writing project, published or unpublished. Visit other participants and offer opinions, critiques, support. Writers hanging out with writers, a good time with a great group of people.

It’s a chance to share a small snippet -exactly eight sentences – of my current writing. I’m sharing the second eight sentences from my April CampNaNoWriMo project, Generations: Kifo Island Chronicles #2. The Kifo Island  series takes place at a resort that’s a little like hospice meets Fantasy Island.

Generations Premise:

Can Kifo Island help three generations of a wounded makeshift family coexist despite the forces and secrets that tear them apart, or will time run out for the dying grandmother, the abusive stepfather, and the brilliant, traumatized little girl caught in the middle?

This snippet immediately follows last week’s WIPpet Wednesday post,You WILL Answer Me. Gladys is watching from her kitchen window as Howard and Iris approach her home. Howard has demanded that the silent and huddled little girl respond when he talks to her – but Gladys has only heard Iris talk in her sleep.

This passage is NaNo-rough; I’m not wholly in love with it, so input is appreciated!

Disclaimer for language and possible triggers… I want this story to offer a positive message; but not to shy away from the topic of child abuse and its impacts. If you’re especially sensitive to fictional mistreatment of children, please don’t read this, because someone is not going to be very nice to a child.

The child closed the door softly, and Gladys thought that maybe she saw her mouth move; but it wouldn’t be more than a whisper, if that – and that wouldn’t be enough for Howard.

Howard, who carried a gnawing and unanswered need to be important within him.

Answer me!” The slap came fast – too fast for the girl to duck away from, or even get her hands up to protect her small face. The crack of it made Gladys whimper in sympathy, but Iris only stared, once her head had snapped back and then forward with the momentum of the blow.

HOWARD GEORGE. You will not strike that child again.” She called out the window, thankful that she could get her voice to cooperate so well, and that she kept that kitchen window cracked open year round.

What will happen next? Will Howard follow his grandmother’s prohibition? Will Gladys be able to find other ways to help Iris, and will Iris find her own voice?

Time will tell – I’m only a little over 1600 words into this story, at the moment, so a great deal remains to be seen. But, even though there are no easy answers forthcoming here, you might find some at other #8Sunday posts.

“Some Freakish Little Bird”: A Kifo Island Chronicles Story for SoCS

Rowing along the Stream of Consciousness…Badge by Doobster @Mindful Digressions

This post is part of Linda G.Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday meme – an unedited stream of consciousness piece that ties into the weekly prompt: vary/very” – as they are or with variations. I made use of both, in various ways (see what I did there?).

Today, I give you the first (and likely only, at least for a while) SoCS story from my April #CampNaNoWriMo project: Generations, Volume #2 of my Kifo Island Chronicles series-in-progress. It’s unedited except for typos, with more repetition and less clarity than it will eventually have. This stream-of-consciousness drafting is from Scene 1, where we meet Gladys, a very elderly woman; Howard, her adopted and recently widowed grandson; and Iris, Howard’s misunderstood and unwanted stepdaughter.

I’ve found it difficult to write this novel. The characters are demanding that I tell their stories, but they aren’t sweet, uplifting stories. As I was plotting, things made a hard left turn into dark places. Some I know intimately well from my own life; others sprang from the characters themselves, and very little of what will happen is sweet or comforting. As a result, this might be the most uncomfortable SoCS post I’ve ever written…

Disclaimer: This scene has triggers for predjudice and mistreatment of a child, and a PG-13 rating for language and suggestiveness. Please be advised.

Two Little Birds…Photo by Shan Jeniah Burton, February 2015.

 

Iris yanked her hand back under the quilt; and huddled into the customary crouch, her large dark eyes not quite watching Howard, but not shifting their focus from him.

Laws aren’t perfect, Howard. Not for any of us. I did what I could for you; now it’s your turn to do what you can for this young soul given into your keeping. She deserves better than to be struck, or for you to be always kicking her with your voice, as though she’s nothing more than a stone. She deserves the chance to smile, and laugh, and play, and to know that she’s safe – ”

I wasn’t.” His chin jutted as though he were the child, and not the little dark girl who sat statue-still, and only watched, her expression never varying.

You were, here.” Gladys knew it was wisest not to add that there were far too many smaller creatures that were not, when Howard was with her.

Then why the hell did you keep sending me back to that bitch of a daughter of yours, and every man she invited into her- ”

Enough.” Gladys raised a hand; it shook with a warning tremor. “There is a very lonely child here, right now, Howard, and she is your responsibility You are the adult, now, and you can choose how you’ll meet her needs – for clothing and shelter, for nurturing, for laughter and play and delight – ”

Ha! If you only knew what this little half-black -”

Howard. Iris may not speak, but I am quite certain that she can hear, and understand.” The shaking was moving up her hand, into her arm, and Gladys used the other to move it, in an attempt to settle it. Usually, the medications worked well, but her doctor had told her that their effectiveness might vary, if she were under stress.

Howard bolted up, glaring at her, then the child, who drew back into herself, but never eased her vigilant watching. “If she can hear, and understand, then she should damned well be able to answer me when I speak to her!” He yanked the quilt away, tossed it across the floor. “You coddle her, let her pretend she’s too dumb to speak, let her perch in that chair as though she’s some freakish little bird, and not a kid.”

I coddled you, too, Howard -and you had a mother. This child doesn’t anymore – don’t you think she deserves a bit of comfort?”

Deserves? Deserves?! I was tricked, Grandma Gladys – I never wanted that little brat; not any little brat. All kids do is eat and cause trouble.”

What trouble has she caused?” Gladys wanted a calm tone, but an edge crept in, sharp and too shrill. Howard had always hated shrill.

We’re fighting, aren’t we? Would we be, if she weren’t here?” He took a step toward the child, but Iris didn’t vary her posture even a fraction – she was like nothing so much as a deer pinned by headlights, unable to move. “You buy her ridiculous things like that tea set – why the hell did you get that, when you never bought me a tea set?”

Did you want a tea set, Howard?”

That’s not the point. You never bought me one.”

I’m your grandmother, not your mother. You are her father – ”

You can take one look at her and see I’m not!”

Biologically, no. But when you married her mother, Howard, you became a de facto parent to her child. Now Aijo is dead, and Iris has no one else.” Gladys looked at the middle-aged man claiming her living room with his wide-legged stance, and saw the little boy with tousled blonde curls and one balled fist clutching a slingshot, trying so very hard not to cry.

She has you! I hope the two of you enjoy the hell out of each other – an old woman and a mute little brat!”

Howard turned and stomped out the door, slamming it so hard that every window in the house rattled.

What will happen now? Will Iris find her voice? Can Gladys help her feel safe? Is Howard gone for good? Would it be better if he was?

We’ll have to see.

Have you tried stream-of consciousness writing? Come join in there’s just a few simple rules.

Get more SoCS!

“You WILL Answer Me”: WIPpet Wednesday

Welcome to WIPpet Wednesday, a weekly blog hop which encourages writers to move WIPs (works-in-progress) to publication by posting excerpts related to the date. It’s hosted by the lovely K.L. Schwengel, maven of bad boys, stock dogs, and flying monkeys! She may be less physically present for a bit, but she’s still our fearless shepherd…or something like that, anyway.

Before I get on with the WIPpetty (it’s a word; I just made it up!) business of the day, I have an announcement:

**

This is the 1000th post on this blog! And here we are, all here together! How cool is that? Because now, I can invite you over to my 999 party for fun and refreshments and the chance to meet some new friends, and say hi to older ones. C’mon over and party with me!

**

Today’s WIPpet is brought to you by CampNaNoWriMo

I’m sharing, from Generations (name may change); the second novel in my Kifo Island Chronicles series-in-the-making. The Kifo Island stories takes place at a resort that’s a little like hospice meets Fantasy Island

Generations Premise:

Can Kifo Island help three generations of a wounded makeshift family coexist despite the forces and secrets that tear them apart, or will time run out for the dying grandmother, the abusive stepfather, and the brilliant, traumatized little girl caught in the middle?

WIPpet Math:

  • Today is April 22, 2015 – Earth Day, in America.
  • I‘m giving you the first 22 sentences, plus one to remind us that we all share one world (and because the last sentence rounds things out).

Today we meet Gladys, an elderly woman with Parkinson’s Disease; Howard, her grandson; and Iris, Howard’s young stepdaughter. Gladys is in her kitchen, with a window cracked open, when she hears Howard and Iris arriving by car.

Iris. Photo by Shan Jeniah Burton.

Disclaimer for language and possible triggers…I want this story to offer a positive message; but not to shy away from the topic of child abuse and its impacts. If you’re especially sensitive to fictional mistreatment of children, please don’t read this, because someone is not going to be very nice to a child, right from the start.

And listen here, you little bastard brat. You will answer me when I speak to you – and you will call me Father Howie, and nothing else. Got that?”

There were times when Gladys Marieta wished that her hearing had gone the way of her agility. But, then again, her not hearing wouldn’t stop the verbal blows that her grandson lobbed at the huddled little lump of a girl who stared at him with wide and stunned eyes.

There was no sound from the child. There never was. Gladys wished that she could reach into Iris’s mind, and tell her that if she could just bring herself to answer, things would be all right.

I expect you to do as you’re told – and that means that you will answer me. Say it, brat. ‘Yes, Father Howie, I hear you.’” A car door slammed, and Gladys took as deep a breath as she could manage, in a futile attempt to prepare herself for the onslaught to come. She was thankful, at least, that she had had enough warning to take her medication – she shouldn’t be especially shaky. For some reason, Howard was always edgier, and far less pleasant, when her Parkinson’s was very evident.

There wasn’t a peep from the girl; she slipped out of the car, dark head bowed and shoulders hunched; and Gladys, watching them come, wished that she could still run outside, scoop the girl into her arms, and whirl her around in a dance, the way she had Howard, when Estella would dump him with her.

Then, she could whisper that as long as he was here with her, everything would be all right. There would be enough to eat, enough to do, enough hugs and kisses and laughter –

But she’d been wrong back then. It had been enough when he was here, but not enough to hold him through the long months and years of boarding and prep schools. And there was even less to give to this motherless little waif who had the manner of a puppy who’s been kicked its entire life.

She couldn’t make it all right that Iris had lost her mama- her ‘hahaoya’, whom she still called out for in the night. Those pitiful whimpered cries were the only time Gladys had ever heard the child speak; the only reason she knew Iris could speak.

If only she would speak to her stepfather, say the words he demanded…

Looking for cheerier WIPpet Snippets? Well, hop onto the little blue froggy; assorted genres, styles, lengths and moods of WIPpet lily-pads to choose from! =D

 

“Coat Me In Clay”: #WeWriWa – #8Sunday

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors’ Eight Sentence Sunday!

It’s simple and fun. Sign the linky list with your name, blog url and email address on Mondays, 8:00 AM EST. Each week, the list remains open until Saturday, 11:59 PM. Then on Sunday, post 8 sentences from a current writing project, published or unpublished. Visit other participants and offer opinions, critiques, support. Writers hanging out with writers, a good time with a great group of people.

It’s a chance to share a small snippet -exactly eight sentences – of my current writing. I’m sharing one last excerpt from my April CampNaNoWriMo project, Transitions: Kifo Island Chronicles, Volume One.  The Kifo Island series takes place at a resort that’s a little like hospice  meets Fantasy Island  Transitions chronicles the intersecting and changing lives of Barry, Terrance, and Corinne.

This snippet immediately follows last week’s WIPpet Wednesday  post, “That Simple”. Corinne is debating what to do about Barry, when he walks into her pottery studio…

But then he strode across the room, and pulled her up and into his arms, kissing her and crying at the same time – or was it her who was clutching at him, kissing and crying? Hadn’t her hands been in the slip bucket -?

Oh, hell, Barry, I’m getting drippy clay all over you -”

I don’t give a damn. I love you, Corinne. Coat me in clay, I don’t care. I can’t wait one more second to hold you, to be with you – “

You don’t mean -?”

Well, what does Barry mean? Is it what Corinne wants to hear? What does she want to hear?

No, I’m not telling you, because that would ruin the fun, but I’ll have 8 sentences from something else next week – and yes, it’s likely to raise a whole new set of questions! =D

While you wait, you can go visit other #8Sunday posts,which might just offer more answers (but probably will only leave you with more delicious unanswered questions!

What does Enterprise have to do with this post? Well, maybe not much, but, well, it’s Trip and T’Pol…and I’m gearing up to write some Warp 5 fan fiction next month…besides, it’s cute, and it fits this poised-on-the-edge-of-who-knows-what snippet…

“ A Piece of Peace”: A Kifo Island Chronicles Story for SoCS

Merrily down the Stream of Consciousness I go!

 This post is part of Linda G.Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday meme an unedited stream of consciousness piece that ties into the weekly prompt: piece/peace. I made use of both, several times, and they provided me a symbol and a theme for a very intense scene.

This is the final SoCS story from my April #CampNaNoWriMo project: Transitions, Volume #1 of my Kifo Island Chronicles series-in-progress. It’s unedited except for typos, with more repetition and less clarity than it will eventually have. This bit is from Scene 19, from the viewpoint of Terrance Acosta, a jealous husband whose destructive impulses didn’t turn out the way he’d hoped…

Disclaimer:

This scene has triggers for infidelity and self-harm, and a PG-13 rating for language, suggestiveness, and innuendo. Proceed with due caution.

You’re me, Barry – and she’s you. You’re no better than me. You’re garbage, too.”

Exuberance nearly carried him out the door of the woman-child’s shop. He manged to get off the parting shot, using all of his remaining breath, and the energy born of his ire, and Barry’s rejection. To see him sharing breakfast with the very lovely and so very young Corinne – the way he’d pulled out her chair, bowed over her hand, played the courtly gentleman lover with her –

Except he wasn’t playing. He was a courtly gentleman. Once, only weeks ago, he’d been Terrance’s gentleman, always there, making him better.

You OK, sugah?”

No. Take me home, get me wasted, and fuck me to death, lover. Do it for real, and I’ll leave you everything I’ve got left that isn’t his.”

Oh, Sugah….you don’t mean that.”

The hell I don’t.” He leaned on her; let her greater size and strength support him as she took him to the golf cart and got him settled.

If that’s what you want. First, though – I’ve got something for you -” there was a shrill but somehow chiming sound in the distance, coming nearer .“Oh, hell. Sugah, you want the medicos?”

Terrance shook his head. No. Exuberance sprang around the back of the cart and into the driver’s seat, and Terrance leaned back and let her take him wherever she wanted. He only wanted to be left to die in peace – okay, that wasn’t true, either. What he really wanted was to just go to pieces – to break into smaller and smaller shards and fragments – like the pieces of the bell he’d smashed, when he first knew what was building between Barry and Sweet Young Corinne. Like the pieces shattered on the floor, once they’d been forcefully evicted from the cart he’d grabbed, the same way he’d grabbed Barry, that morning the sparks had ignited. Only, today, he’d used his hooker’s strength to create chaos and destruction – but it hadn’t done any good.

Barry was still gone. Barry, who was better than him, who made him more than garbage – or let him believe that he was.

Terrance opened his eyes when the cart stopped. “Home sweet home, sugah. But before I take you inside -” she leaned over him, her cartoonish, swollen breasts nearly in his face. “Reach in, sugah- I got you a souvenir.”

A part of him didn’t want to – but he was garbage, after all – nothing but garbage. He let her guide his hand – his arms were heavy and tired, and he was even tireder of games – with her, or anyone else.

His fingers connected with something hard and smooth; he followed its curving shape, which seemed to fit the swell of flesh beneath, to a sharp edge that pressed into his skin, almost puncturing him. He pulled it out and stared –

It was a pottery shard. A piece of what he’d ruined, wanted to ruin – good now only for throwing away.

Exuberance got out, and crunched along the path, the sound echoing, sounding like colorful bits of dried and glazed clay underfoot – like something broken past any hope of repairing…

Terrance wanted peace, suddenly and desperately. Peace – from a piece of art. There was a certain serendipity in the thought. He stared at the shard of baked earth, then at the frail, thinning skin on his wrists…

http://creswellcoffeeco.com/index.php

Shards. This image was the inspiration for this scene, and others, in this novel. Photo by Shan Jeniah Burton, Creswell Coffee Company, Creswell, OR February 2015.

What will Terrance do with the pottery shard? How did he get it? Does he have any chance at all of winning Barry back?

Well…

I’ve almost finished the draft, so I’ll soon know the answers…as for you – you may have to wait a while!

Enjoy stream-of consciousness writing? Come play – there’s just a few simple rules. See you next week, for another live-streaming look into the lovely chaos in my mind! =)

Get more SoCS right here!

Really, Really Spring: April 15, 2015

ROWing along through April!

So, can you believe it?!

What, you ask?

Well, here in upstate New York, it’s spring at last! Yup. And I’ve got the proof, right here in this post.

Witness Exhibit A:

Crocuses! Real, live crocuses! In my yard! =D

Yes, indeedy. The most intrepid of flowers, the crocus, is blooming, at the edge of my yard, slightly shaded by the huge pines – which leads to another proof of spring. During the early part of the winter, we lost a branch large enough to be a tree itself. Now that the snow is melted, my son and I tried to drag it (uh, NOT going to happen; it’ll need to be cut where it lays). In the process, I got a healthy coating of pine pitch – yup, the sap’s running!

In the wetlands of ponds, I’ve seen several red-winged blackbirds. Some people watch for robins, but I’ve seen them weeks before the winter weather ended. The blackbirds, though, don’t show up until spring shoves in.

So, now that we’re ten days into the round, with seventy to go, how am I doing on my goals?

I‘m still mostly concentrated on my two April challenges: the #atozchallenge, and CampNaNoWriMo. I’m definitely writing a shorter novel rather than a novella; I’ve made my peace with that. The story is flowing, and surprising me – the part I love the most!

Within the next week or two, I’ll be much closer to finishing both of these challenges; and then the majority of my time, for the rest of the month, will be split between editing existing works, and preparing for May and June challenges.

For clarification, here are my Round Two  and overarching 2015 goals.

Color-coding key:

  • Goal attained (for the session, or the round) = blue with overstrike.
  • Goal in progress (for the session or the round) = green.
  • Goal-in-waiting (for the round) = red.

Writing:

Complete April CampNaNo 60K goal with Transitions: Kifo Island Chronicles #1  completed; and Generations: KIC #2 plotted and in progress.

  • Transitions: Drafting: Scene 17/24 in progress; 35,811/~ 50K words. Act Three has commenced =D Next up, Scenes 17-24.
  • Generations: Plotting: Scene Summaries (and the plotting phase) complete. Set up Scrivener file . Cheat Sheet 4/24 Complete and added to Scrivener outline. Next up, finish hometending for scenes 5/24.
  • Rough plot the 31 Story a Day May Trip and T’Pol stories. Use prompts if available. I’ve had a thought or two about this; may change this goal a bit on Sunday.

Editing:

  • Complete revisions for “Slow Jazz Awakening” and submit.

Blogging:

Complete ROW80 Sponsor Post and all sponsor visits on time.

  • Done and done.

Complete the A-Z Challenge with all posts on time.

  • Posted/scheduled through 4/14 (L); Drafted through 4/17 (O). Next up, Draft P-Z; schedule M-Z.
  • Clean up/update blog sidebar.

Hometending:

Continue with hometending. At least 5 days weekly; include decluttering projects.

  • 2/5 days. Moderate day Sunday; very mellow Monday; no hometending on Tuesday.

Lifetending:

Continue one-on-one time with all beloveds; online and in-person writerly socialization; time with friends.

Expand and extend in ways that feel natural and challenging without forcing.

  • I’m opening up like the crocuses in the yard. More details on the way…eventually…

Selftending:

This entire category fell by the wayside last week to allow for “Otherstending”. Now that we’re feeling better, as a family, I intend to give these, and myself, some much-needed attention.

Continue increasing physical activity and exercise.

  • Attempt #1 at yardtending; more furniture moving; a mellow workout; and a one mile walk.
  • Resume either t’ai chi or yoga with at least one class attended.

Attend Y or do strenuous activity twice weekly.

  • 2 /2: Attempted to move a very large branch that wasn’t structurally stable enough to last the winter. The only thing that moved was the pine pitch I got all over my hand! A one mile walk, because I parked at the grocery store and walked to and from the Y.

Meditate/Intentions journal twice weekly.

  • 1 /2: Reviewed journal’s current entry, and updated. Five minutes of breathing meditation; getting more natural, with less thought-clutter.

What are your favorite sure signs of spring? Are they different where you live now than when you were growing up? What are your favorite spring activities? Leave a note, an image, a link, or a comment in the little box, and share your springtime with us!

My next update on will be posted Sunday. Till then, let’s ROW along the ROW80 Blog Hop River, or, if you’re suitably inspired, come join in! You’ve got nothing to lose, and only your goals to attain! The icon is your portal!

Click to enter the Portal -or to join in!

 

And, before I go, and especially for Tammy Rizzo, who spoke longingly of missing them – I offer 45 seconds of another sure sign of spring, here – peeper frogs, accompanied by bullfrogs, and what I think are ducks…no real visual, but the sound….that’s a whole symphony of spring!

WIPpet Wednesday: “ That Simple”

 

Welcome to WIPpet Wednesday, a weekly blog hop which encourages writers to move WIPs (works-in-progress) to publication by posting excerpts related to the date. It’s hosted by the lovely K.L. Schwengel, maven of bad boys, stock dogs, and flying monkeys! She may be less physically present for a bit, but she’s still our fearless shepherd…or something like that, anyway.

Today’s WIPpet is brought to you by CampNaNoWriMo

I’m sharing, from Transitions; the first novel in my Kifo Island Chronicles series-in-the-making. The Kifo Island stories takes place at a resort that’s a little like hospice meets Fantasy Island

Transitions chronicles the intersecting and changing lives of Barry, Terrance, and Corinne…with unexpected tangles and angles.

This will be the last WIPpet for this project, at least for this draft. But, if you’re loving it, don’t panic – I’ve got another #8sunday post planned, and, if I haven’t wrapped up the novel by Saturday, and the SoCS prompt fits, there could be a longer excerpt then, as well.

And as a recap, here are  the bits I’ve shared, in chronological (ish) order:

WIPpet Math:

  • Today is April 15, 2015.
  • Adding the digits of the year gives you eight sentences for the day.

Today we’re going back to Corinne’s POV.

She was posing for Terry when he had a heart attack. Barry had been with him, ever since, and she’s been plagued by the idea that she was somehow responsible…she’s trying to figure out where she goes from here, and wait for Barry and Terry to do the same.

It was that simple.

And it wasn’t. As the days stretched, she went to the shop. It was quiet; this wasn’t a busy season, here, and she had only a few sessions, a class for a group, and some customers come to buy pottery. The rest of the time, she sat, with a ball of clay in her hands, or a lump on her wheel, shaping it into something, only to let it collapse into nonbeing.

She was sitting with her hands in the slip bucket, idly feeling the textures on her skin, thinking nothing, when Barry suddenly stood outside the door, staring at her.

Corinne was still trying to decide what to do – about him, and Terry; and right now, this minute – when he almost yanked the door open to stand inside it, dragging his hand through hair that looked bedraggled. It matched the exhausted man.

So, what’s next for these two?  Do they surrender to the desire and connection that are brewing between them, or not? Do they figure things out, or stay lost?

 Well, if I told you all that, wouldn’t it sort of spoil the fun of finding out for yourself?

But I’m not totally secretive….If you want a clue about what happens some time after this, try “All Business”.

Need more delightful WIPpet Snippets? Well, hop onto the little blue froggy; assorted genres, styles, and lengths of WIPpet lily-pads to choose from! =D