Writing Prompts #14: Valentine’s Day Edition

This was from the meeting almost two weeks ago, but I figured since the theme was “Anti-Valentine’s Day”, I’d save it until today.  I’ve never really been a huge fan of the day, honestly.  It was fun in high school due to our National Honor Society carnation sale, which thankfully had a friend option, so my friends and I would have fun writing each other silly notes and sending yellow carnations to each other.  Then, Junior and Senior year, I got to help out with the sale, which made it more fun.  Getting out of first period to deliver flower?   Yes please!

Prompt #1
The day of the groundhog on Groundhog’s Day (okay, not a V-day themed prompt, but still fun)

“It’s the best gig,” Phil said, looking around at his support group–Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, the Sandman, and Elvis.  They met once a month to discuss their issues.  People not believing in them, or that they were too real, in the case of Elvis.  “one day, for five minutes, tops, and then the rest of the year, I’m pampered and fed and no one expects a damn thing out of me.”
“My job only takes one day a year, too,” pointed out the Easter Bunny.  This meeting he had come tie-dyed in pinks, purples, and blues, with a floppy pastel green bow between his fluffy ears.
“Yeah, Flopsy, but my day requires ZERO prep time.  Hell, if I’m cold when I come out, I just go straight back to bed, and the fools think they have six more weeks of winter!  Jokes on them, I just partied too much the night before with on of my groundhog groupies.  One too many shots of Jager will do that.”
“Children worship me,” Santa pointed out.  Phil scoffed.
“Children.  I have children and adults all gathered around outside my burrow.  I have a FESTIVAL, for crying out loud!”

Prompt #2
A friend has set you up with “the perfect guy for you”.  Only, he’s not.

I like tall, think, brown-haired guys with glasses.  My friends all know this–they’ve watched me date guys that fit my type to a T for years now.  So when Gail said she had the perfect guy for me, I figured he’d be tall, thin, with brown hair and glasses.  I scoured the coffee-house where we’d agreed to meet, looking for a guy that fit that description.
The shop was busy, and everywhere I looked there was a thin guy–over by the cash register, contemplating lattes, seated by the window with an iPad, loughing at a table people watching why sipping on a miniscule espresso.
I paused in the doorway, at a loss for what guy to approach–Gail had only told me his name and that he’d be perfect for me.  I had to admit I was more than surprised when the only guy in the shop built like a California surfer approached me, hand out and a smile on his tanned face.
“Shelley?” He said and took my hand, leading me to the shop’s only booth.  He asked what I wanted, and I sat, a bit stunned, as he walked away.  “Well, at least he has a cute butt,” I told myself.  I studied him as he ordered my drink:  blond hair cut almost military short, blue eyes, and about double the musculature I was used to.  Not to mention that he barely topped my own height.  In fact, this guy was more GAIL’S type than mine!
He came back to the table, still smiling, which put me off even more–my tall brown-haired boys tended to the broody end of the scale.

Prompt #3
Sexy Hub Cap Superbowl ad

Shot 1:  4 chrome hub caps on black velvet pillars spotlighted so they shine
CUT TO BLACK
Shot 2:  Hot, tanned, long curly haired woman dressed in hot pants and a cropped top advertising Harlan’s Hubcap Emporium.  She’s sitting, arms back, knees bent, head tossed back, wind blowing her hair back.  Her bright red, shiny lips are slightly parted, and her eyes are closed.  She’s wearing hub cap earrings, necklace, and ring.
CUT TO BLACK
Shot 3:  Blazing hot day, the same girl, same outfit, is outside, bent over, changing old grimy hub caps on a 2013 Porsche to the caps from the first shot.  She looks over her shoulder and winks at the camera.
CUT TO BLACK
Shot 4:  A still of the model lounging on the hood of the Porsche, licking one of the hub caps, with Harlan’s Hubcap Emporium superimposed over the grill of the car.
Voiceover:  Harlan’s Hubcaps, the sexiest hub caps in town!”

Prompt #4
The least sexy setting

Close up, it looked like a romantic spot for a picnic:  verdant grass, blue sky, a large oak tree spreading leafy branches to provide just enough shade from teh sunny day.
Zoom out x10
The patch of grass is directly next to a large asphalt parking lot full of dented, rusted cars.  Some of the cars are sporting racist bumper stickers and more than one car has a “window” made of plastic sheeting and duct tape.
Zoom out x100
The parking lot is attached to a seedy strip club called “Bottoms Up”, and several of the girls are outside puffing on cigarettes.  The other side of the patch of grass borders a ramshackle three-story apartment building that has several blowsy women leaning off a balcony, shouting obscenities at the strippers.
Zoom out x1000
The blue sky turns out to be the side of an enormous superstore known for paying women less than men and running local businesses out of business with unfair competition.  Off to the side is a dumpster overflowing with trash, and a homeless man fights over a loaf of moldy bread with a mangy three-legged dog.  The dog’s growling almost drowns out the women shouting at the strippers.
Zoom out x10000
Grey smog covers the city, obscuring the picnic spot from view.

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Top Ten Tuesday Romantic Edition

Top Ten TuesdayIt’s the Tuesday before Valentine’s Day, so the ladies over at The Broke and the Bookish gave us a romantic topic to tackle–Our top ten romances!  I suppose you could do this several ways:  top ten romance books, top ten romances in books, etc.  I may end up with a mix, we’ll see!

February 12: Top Ten Favorite Romances

1.  Claire and Jamie Frasier from the Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon–though my lists are usually in no particular order (and this one will mostly be, as well), Claire and Jamie have to be my top romantic pair *ever*.  Torn from her beloved husband in 1945 after only a few days together on a well deserved post-war vacation, Claire tumbles through a set of standing stones only to fine…an even greater love.  Tall, hairy, Scottish and years younger than her, Jamie swoops in and rescues her from her husband’s distant and twin in looks relative, thus starting one of the greatest literary romances.

2.  Mary Elizabeth Porter and Wolf Mackenzie from Mackenzie’s Mountain by Linda Howard–the first actual romance book I ever read, and my all time favorite.  Mary Elizabeth moves to a small mountain town somewhere (Wyoming?  Colorado?  Colorado I think, it’s been a while) to teach, and ends up falling head over heels for one of her student’s fathers, the wild and dangerous half-breed Wolf Mackenzie.  The first time they do it (hey, I was in 8th grade, okay?) is in the middle of a tremendous thunder storm with the windows open.

3.  Vanyel and Tylendel from the Last Herald Mage trilogy by Mercedes Lackey–Tylendel loves Vanyel so much that he actually gets reincarnated as bard so that they can be together after ‘Lendel’s life is cut tragically short.  *dreamy sigh*

4.  Sparkhawk and Elenia from the Elenium by David Eddings–he was her tutor, but she knew almost from the minute she saw him at 6 years old that she would marry him.  Sparhawk would do anything in the world to save the delicate princess he raised from being harmed, not realizing the effect he had on a shy, impressionable little girl.

5.  Eve Dallas and Rourke from the In Death series by JD Robb–we liberated a lot of this series over the weekend, touting it as futuristic mystery novels, which they *are*, but there is also a deep and abiding love story buried within those pages, as well.  Rourke has a shady and troubled past, and Eve hides from her own, but together they help get each other through the bad times with support and never-ending love.  Doesn’t hurt that Rourke is the richest man in the galaxy, either, when it comes to helping Eve solve some of her crimes.

6.  Stephanie Plum and Ranger from the By the Numbers series by Janet Evanovitch–sure, Stephanie should *probably* pick Joe Morelli instead, but there’s just something about Ranger–I mean, he’s described as a Cuban Batman, supplies Stephanie with a never-ending supply of black cars, and calls her Babe.  *swoon*

7.  Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler from Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell–Rhett is one of my very first literary boyfriends–and the fact that he’s played by Clark Gable in the movie?  Just…yes.  He’s dashing and mysterious, and sweeps in to save Scarlett when she most needs it.  It’s just too bad she’s too obsessed with Ashley Wilkes (though I totally get that, too, Ashley’s *such* a gentleman) to realize how much Rhett actually loves her until it’s far too late.

8.  Cassie and Adam from the Secret Circle by LJ Smith–bound together by a silver cord from the first time they meet, Cassie must deal with the fact that her soulmate is in love with another girl, her best friend, and deal with it as best she can.

And for a few “nontraditional” romances to round out the list:

9.  Alec and the Black Stallion from the Black Stallion series by Walter Farley–A horse and his boy, stranded on a desert island after a shipwreck.  I read as many of these books as I could get my hands on in elementary/middle school.

10.  Jack Reacher and The Road from the Jack Reacher series by Lee Child–Reacher doesn’t like to be tied down to anything, so he carries all he owns in his pockets–a toothbrush, an ATM card, and a comb.  He buys new clothes when the old ones get too smelly/dirty and only stays in one place long enough to earn money to keep travelling around the country.  He’s only happy if he’s moving, it’s just too bad for him that trouble moves around just as much as he does.

Top Ten Tuesday!

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday!  I did last week’s, but then totally forgot to actually list it on the Broke and Bookish site, oops!  I may have had a Jello shot or two too many…

This week we’re talking about bookish goals for 2013–this might be difficult.  I’m not sure I really set many goals for books in a year.  Last year, in March, I did set a goal on Goodreads to read 100 books, and I exceeded that (by how many I do not know, as I didn’t start consistently using Goodreads until March), but that was really the only bookish goal I set for myself.  Perhaps this will be a good exercise for me, then!

Top Ten Bookish Goals For 2013

1.  Read at least 125 books.  I upped last year’s goal but about what I figured I read in the first three months of the year, so we’ll see how well I do!

2.  Read more books by people I know.  I have several books on my Kindle and in paperback that were written by people I know personally–My Very Dearest Anna was put together by my husband’s college friend’s youngest sister, and contains letters written from her grandfather to her grandmother written during World War II.  Another friend of my husband wrote a collection of creative non-fiction (and I had to tell him what genre it belonged in, heh) stories of which my husband is in more than a few, so it will be neat to read them from someone else’s perspective.  The sequel to Awakenings should also be coming out this year, as well.

3.  Find and read more Ohio authors–gotta support those local authors!!  I know I need to get my hands on some Cinda Williams Chima books, and I think I put Casey Daniels on my “must read” list for 2013–I’ve read a couple of her books, and I want to read more!

4.  Finish writing and editing Book 2 of the the Queen of Wolves trilogy, and most importantly, give that sucker a title!  I have some friends and family who are poking me for it, so I gotta get it done!  I’ve put almost 1000 words on it in the last few days, so hopefully I can get it finished soon so I can go back in and tear it to shreds, so I can then sew it back together.

5.  Read down my “to read” list–the problem is I keep adding more and more books to my Kindle, at a rate faster than I can actually read.  I need to stop “buying” free things just because they sound interesting, as of right now I have enough on there to keep me busy for several years!  Currently I’ve stopped really looking at the free books so I won’t be so tempted to “buy” them.  Now I just look at them with an eye for what my husband would like.

6.  If I see a movie based on a book, read the book BEFORE seeing the movie.  I’ve already read The Great Gatsby, so I’m set for that when it comes out, and after I finish The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, I’ll be tackling The Hobbit.  I hope to see that one in the theater (along with Les Mis, which I’d like to read before I see that, but I *have* read the abridged version so I’m going to let that count…).

7.  Read more classics.  I’ve, honestly, since I got my Kindle, been reading a *lot* of crap–The Top 100 Free Books and I were *real* tight this year, and while I’ve discovered some really good books, I’ve also read a LOT of crap, and I think I should really cleanse my reading palate a bit more.

8.  STOP HAVING FIVE BOOKS ON MY CURRENTLY READING LIST.  >.<  This is a big one–I’m really bad about starting books as they seem interesting to me, and then I look and I’ve got five or more books I’m in the middle of and I can’t remember what half of them are about.  Currently on that shelf?  The Scorpio Races, The Many Lives of Lilith Lane, A Scott Nicholson box set, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, James Potter and the Vault of Mysteries, and The Monster Exchange Program.  Most of those are on my Kindle–the Scott Nicholson I’ve been bouncing back and forth between, as it’s actually FOUR books all in one, and I actually have Lilith on both my Kindle AND a hard copy (SO SO GOOD WHY HAVE YOU NOT READ IT YET?).  *flail*  I need to go back and read the stuff I started first, but I know I’m totally going to finish The Scorpio Races first.

9.  Stop getting books that end up being partway through the series so then I have to go back and get the first couple of books just so I can go read *that* book.  Mostly this entails keeping my husband from buying those books for me, but I do it sometimes, as well, not realizing the book that looks sooooo darn good is actually book #4 in the series.

10.  Organize my books better.  Right now, they’re spread out over like five rooms–before I moved out to VA for a while, I actually had a pretty good system.  Most of the books were in one room, and I had a shelf in my living room where I kept a couple of shelves of unread books on, so I always knew what books I hadn’t read yet.  Now, my unread books are scattered in almost every room of the house (excluding the kitchen and bathroom, of course).  What I really need to do is pack up the VHS tapes that are residing in that shelf now and put them in the basement.  I never watch them, and it’ll help me keep track of the books I haven’t read yet, so I don’t keep forgetting to read things…like The Hobbit, which I’ve been meaning to read for the last 4 books now.  Oops.

Published in: on January 8, 2013 at 9:30 am  Comments (15)  
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Top Ten Tuesday (ish)

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Merry Christmas everyone!  I guess this week’s Top Ten is a freebie, so I’m going to list a few of my favorite Christmas things!

Favorite Christmas Books:

1.  The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson

2.  How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss

3.  The Gift of the Magi and Other Stories by O. Henry

4.  The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Anderson

5.  ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas by Clement C Moore

Favorite Christmas Movies:

1.  The Best Christmas Pageant Ever (they used to show this to us in elementary school and is based on the above book)

2.  Anything Rankin/Bass–Rudolf, Frosty, etc etc etc

3.  A Muppet Christmas Carol

4.  Charlie Brown Christmas Specials

5.  Prep and Landing, Naughty vs Nice

6.  A Christmas Story

Favorite Christmas sweets:

1.  Snickerdoodles

2.  Russian Tea Cookies

3.  Frosted Sugar cookies

4.  Chocolate covered cherries

Favorite Christmas songs:

1.  Oh Come, Oh Come Emmanuel

2.  Joy to the World

3.  The First Noel

4.  Silent Night

5.  I Wonder as I Wander

6.  The Angel Gabriel

Favorite Christmas traditions:

1.  Mom’s jello (I make it now)

2.  Cinnamon rolls for breakfast Christmas morning

3.  Opening one present Christmas eve (usually PJs)

4.  All day A Christmas Story on TNT (or is it TBS?)–my husband has not seen this all the way through, how is this even POSSIBLE??

5.  The Nutcracker

Hope you all have a very Merry Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanza, Yule, and a fantastic New Year!

Published in: on December 25, 2012 at 9:00 am  Comments (4)  
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Wolf Girl Wednesday

Time to get back into the swing of things, here.  I’ve let Wolf Girl 2 sit and marinate for a while (and yes, it does still need those last 3,000 words to finish up…), and I think I’ve finally come up with a plan for how to rip it apart and put it back together.

Step 1:
Finish the ending, just so I can say it is finished

Step 2:
Reverse outline the story (I used to do this in high school, seriously–for papers where we just turned everything in at once, I’d write the paper, then go back and outline it after)

Step 3:
Revise the outline (there are things I know I need to go back and include, like a little more interaction between Ash and Ansley), and parts that probably should be scrapped and re-written (like the last 1/3 of the book…)

Step 4:
Make the revisions from the new outline

Step 5:
Edit for word choice/grammar stuff/etc

Step 6:
Start working on the file for uploading to Create Space/SmashWords

Honestly, part of what has kept me from reopening that Word file is just what seems to be the sheer daunting amount of work that needs to go into this–WG2 is just an utter mess, unlike Wolf Girl.  Outlining my steps and breaking it down into manageable chunks should help, though.

I also need to outline that Mayan Zombie Apocalypse book, and see if I can get my ghost story whipped into enough shape for ABNA.  So much to DO!

Published in: on December 19, 2012 at 11:51 am  Leave a Comment  
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Top Ten Tuesday

Okay, this is not my favorite topic–I’m really not one to anticipate book releases (well, other than certain series like The Wheel of Time).  I honestly can not tell you a single book that has a release date in 2013.  I used to go into bookstores just to see if my favorite authors had released a new book or not.  Book release date, what’s that?  The next book I’d probably mark on my calendar would be the sequel to A Dance with Dragons, honestly.  I’m going to try, though, I pulled up a list of releases on Barnes and Noble’s website, and meandered around on Goodreads.

1.  A Memory of Light by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson–HOLY CRAP THE LAST BOOK OMG OMG OMG!  Okay, I am totally excited about this–it’s the last book in one of the most epic series of all time.  Too bad it doesn’t come out in December so that my husband can get it for me for Christmas, like he’s done with the last few books.  My birthday, perhaps?
Release Date:  Week of Jan. 7th

2.  Scarlet by Marissa Meyer(Lunar Chronicles #2)–Okay, I haven’t read Cinder yet, but I’m sure I will by the time the second book comes out.  Cinderella retelling with cyborgs? Yes please!
Release date:  Feb. 5th

3.  Ever After by Kim Harrison (The Hollows #11)–I’m woefully behind in this series by about 3 books, but I *love* these books, so I can be excited about another one coming out to add to my teetering To Read pile.
Release Date:  Jan. 22nd

4.  Revealed by PC and Kristen Cast (House of Night #11)–Zoey Redbird is probably #1 on a lot of people’s most annoying main character EVER (she’s up there on mine), but for some reason I just can’t get enough of these books!  I’m fascinated by the Casts’ version of vampires, and the tattoos are a really neat concept, plus, this has to be close to the end of the series.  Zoey can only thwart Neferet for so long before she defeats her once and for all, right?
Release date:  sometime in 2013

5.  Written in My Own Heart’s Blood by Diana Gabaldon (Outlander #8)–More Jamie Frasier!  YAY!  I love these books so much.  Judging from the synopsis on Goodreads, though, I’m going to have to reread An Echo in the Bone before I read this one…Jamie’s best friend marries his wife?  What?

Hmm, maybe I’ll finish out my list with books I’d like to see published?  I just…can’t dig out any more books I’d anticipate, and honestly, the list above is…not really all that anticipated, other than A Memory of Light (and I’m not going to lie, this list is the only reason I know it’s coming out).

6.  Dollhouse #2 by Anya Allyn–the ending of book was extremely abrupt, and there is no book 2 in sight yet.  Dollhouse was creepy and twisted and perfect Halloween reading–a giant dollhouse underground beneath a National Park in Australia?  EEEEEESSSSH!!!  I’m also interested to see where book #2 goes, plotwise.

7.  Matt Archer:  Monster Hunter book 2 by Kendra C Highley–Matt Archer is like..12 and works for the US Army as a monster hunter after he accidentally picks up a strange knife his uncle owns.  I’m sure there’s going to be more of this story, and the first one was very well done!

8.  The Many Lives of Lilith Lane sequel (or another book) by EV Anderson–my first foray into Kindle serials, and I love loved looooooved this story.  Lilith is splitting her time between two realities–one where her younger sister was kidnapped and murdered and one where she is still alive, but in danger of being kidnapped an murdered.  If you haven’t checked this out (or other serials from Plympton Publishing), you are missing out!

9.  Spookygirl:  Paranormal Investigator sequel by Jill Baguchinksky–LOVED this book, loved Violet, and Buster was absolutely adorable.  Would love to see more from this series and the author!  ❤ Jill!

10.  The Toadhouse Trilogy book #2 by Jess Lourey–book 1 had the heroes book hopping to save their lives.  It’s fun to see books (this one included The Time Machine, A Tale of Two Cities and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde) from a different perspective, and honestly, who hasn’t wanted to step inside their favorite book and experience it as a character?

Wolf Girl Wednesday: NaNoWriMo edition

NaNoWriMo is now a week old, and I’m just over 13,000 words into my novel.  This is going…fairly well.  A lot better than I expected, honestly, though I don’t know if I like the format I’ve gone with:  my very first nano novel, I attempted this exact format, and…ended up 1/2 way through the month having to go back and make some pretty major changes.
Oh, the format?  I’m doing a switching perspectives model:  I’m switching between Ash and Ansley, though Ash is in the third person, and Ansley is in the first person.  Last time I did this, I ended up going third person for both characters, which meant that I had some really confusing stuff going on for a while til I finally rooted out all of the first person stuff.

My plan is to go completely first person Ansley once the two of them get together, which I’m hoping is before 25k words, but we’ll see.  I’ve managed to get Ash almost to where Ansley is, but I’m trying to figure out if they’ll meet in the US or Canada (don’t forget, Ash is from Winnipeg).

I’m not using an outline like I did last year–so we’ll see how that works out.  Granted, last year’s outline wasn’t all that detailed, but at least it was an outline.

If you would like to keep track of my wordcount, you can see I’ve added a widget to my sidebar, or you can buddy friend me on the NaNoWriMo site, I’m marzipan9!

Good luck to you if you are participating!  How’s your word count this week?

Top Ten Tuesday!

Hello again my Tuesday pals!  It’s time again for my favorite weekly feature, Top Ten Tuesday!  Click on the picture above to be transported to the land of the Broke and the Bookish, sponsors of TTT.  This week’s topic is kick-ass heroines.  I love kick-ass heroines!  My mom was the kind of mom who used to bring home books for me all the time, and she always made sure I had plenty of those types of books around to read.

Top Ten Favorite Kick-Ass Heroines

1.  Katniss Everdeen from the Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins–okay, this one will probably make 90% of the lists..but she really does kick quite a bit of ass.  She can survive in a wilderness that is pitted against her with 25 other kids running around trying to kill her, TWICE, and then becomes the face of a revolution.

2.  Alexia Tarabotti from the Parasol Protectorate series by Gail Carriger–Alexia holds her own in a Victorian age London populated by werewolves and vampires.  She carries around a weighted parasol, eats like a normal human being, and her touch has the ability to turn the supernatural human while she maintains contact.
I just wish I liked Soulless better, but it’s writing style is similar to books that were written in that age…and I just can’t get into that.  But definitely a MUST READ for people who like that style, the paranormal, and steam punk.

3.  Dulcie O’Neil from To Kill a Warlock by H.P. Mallory–Dulcie is a fairy, but not your typical garden variety–she’s human sized and works to keep badies and nasties and creepies from the Netherworld from wreaking havoc in ours.  This was one of my Kindle freebies, but I’ll probably invest in more of the series, as this was a fun read.

4.  Arya from A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin–she’s little, and she’s a girl during medieval style times in a world where most girls are married off to men three times their age by the time they turn 15.  She names the sword her older half-brother gives her Needle, and  manages to stay alive even though she’s separated from all of her family by most of a continent and they have no idea where she is.  I see great things coming for little Arya Stark in the rest of the series!

5.  Fiona Glenanne from the Burn Notice novelization–it counts, I’ve read one!  The book itself was….really bad, but Fiona’s sooo kickass that she transcends the bad writing (the one I read was written by the creator’s best friend…yeah, it really is that bad).

6.  Claire Randall Frasier from Outlander by Diana Gabaldon–Claire falls through a stone circle into a time 200 years before hers and is forced to marry a stranger, is branded a witch multiple times (and almost hanged and burned for it) for her “modern” ways of treating the sick and injured, and tries to chance the course of history…and even though she manages to escape back to her own time…she goes BACK THROUGH the stones again.  That is just…so kick ass.

7.  Eve Dallas from the In Death series by J.D. Robb–Eve was abused by her father and beaten left for dead when she was 8.  She’s named for the city and the time of day when she was found, bleeding with a broken arm.  Now, she’s a high-powered New York City police detective married to the universe’s richest and most handsome man.  Eve stomps muggers and murderers all day and night long, and then somehow comes home and has time to be seduced by her husband.  Eve will work battered and bruised on 2 hours of sleep so the dead get their justice.

8.  Hester Prynne from The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne–Hester is quietly kick ass.  She manages to keep the secret of Pearl’s parentage despite threats and shunning and all the hell a Puritan community can rain down on someone who doesn’t fit neatly into their views.

9.  Nancy Drew, any incarnation by Caroline Keene–I read both the older books (the yellow hardbacks that libraries tend to have) and the “newer” Case Files.  Nancy Drew, with her titian hair (hee), solves crimes that not even the older male police detectives can’t.

10.  Polgara from the Belgariad and Mallorean series by David Eddings–daughter of the great Belgarath the Sorcerer, she might even surpass his power.  She raises and guides young Belgarion through his early years (as his Aunt Pol), and later on she helps to guide him through his quests to save the world.

Writing Prompts #12, NaNoWriMo Style

Yesterday was terrible!  My next door neighbors moved out at the beginning of the month, and yesterday their phone/internet provider was over shutting off their stuff, and they SHUT MINE OFF, TOO!  *FLAIL*  I had a post to make!  And I couldn’t because my internets was OUT!  Then my dad stopped over and when he heard my husband was going to be working late decided he would take me out to dinner, so between calling and trying to get said internet provider to reconnect my service and him coming over, I didn’t get a chance to go to a wireless friendly place and post.  Oh, and my other neighbors, usually so very cooperative with their unlocked middling strength signal wireless…didn’t have their wireless ON.  Double Ewe Tee Eff!

Wednesday, we had our NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month to those of you not in the know) ’12 Kickoff party at Eat N Park.  The turnout was HUGE!  There had to have been close to 30 people there–it was fantastic!  What I really enjoy about the kickoff for our area is the ML usually has a bunch of prompts with her and makes us write.    

Prompt #1  Afterwards, I thought about…
…revising my plant to take over the world.  Of course, it would have made more sense to revise the plan before setting it into motion, but I’ve never been that kind of person—you can ask my mom, she’ll tell you.  There was 2nd grade me’s plan to raise two kittens in our backyard without my parents finding out…It took them 10 minutes to find Ozzy and Harriet in all their grey tiger-striped glory.  And then she’ll tell you about 8th grade’s plan to skip a year’s worth of gym.

Prompt #2 Secretly I know my name is…
…Penelope.  It’s a strange name for a guy, but when your parents are told they’re having a girl for 9 months (I’m really good at hiding things) and then out comes a baby with outdoor plumbing…sometimes you end up with a name they’d planned on, regardless of appropriateness.  Now you know why I tell everyone my name is Bob.

Prompt #3 If it appears as if I’m thinking with a fraction of my brain…
…then I’ve been successful.  I’ve been hiding here in Akron for 10 years, trying to avoid the people who want to capture me.  See, the thing is, I’m the smartest person in the world, and they want to use me for evil, to take over the world and use it for their nefarious purposes.

Prompt #4 It’s what I do at 2:30 in the morning when I can’t sleep…
…I read…a lot.  It’s a good thing I have an eReader with a backlight so I can still stay in bed and not disturb the great snoring beast I share my bed with most nights.  If that doesn’t work, I’ll get up and put on something like Mad Men or Apollo 13, things that are guaranteed to put me to sleep.
And if those things fail me, as well, then the world’s in trouble, because that’s when I think up my best plots to take over the planet.

Countdown to NaNo:  6 days!  Are you participating this year?  If you are participating and want to be writing buddies, I’m under marzipan9!

Wolf Girl…Friday: Vacation, Part 2

“It is way too hot out here,” Niamh complained, fanning her beet-red face with her hand.  Her normally tidy hair was plastered to her neck in messy, sweaty tendrils.  Cassie shot me an annoyed look, which I answered with a “you’re the one who invited here out here” look, complete with innocent head tilt.

Niamh was right, though, it was way too hot out here; Cassie and I just didn’t react to the heat quite like a “normal” human would.  What would make someone like Niamh sweat buckets invigorated us.  Though we’d started our fifteen-mile hike early in the morning, when the sun was barely up and the air around us was cool and quiet, it had not stayed that way.  With no internet connection or cell phone service, we couldn’t check the daily forecast and had only planned for a normal hike, not for one in almost 100-degree weather.

We were barely halfway through the hike, and while Niamh had kept up easily during the first hour (honestly, shoving your way through thick rush-hour traffic on Fifth Avenue really wasn’t all that different from hiking on a remote trail in the woods), she wasn’t dealing well with the heat and had exhausted our meager water supply early on.   Since then she’d been complaining about her feet, the heat, and how dumb we’d been to only bring one bottle of water for each of us, and why wouldn’t I share Lacey’s water with her?  Cassie looked ready to snap, and I placed a restraining hand on her arm.

I cocked my head, hoping to hear the trickle of a stream nearby, but only heard the usual forest noises–a breeze ruffling the leaves in the tops of trees, birdcalls, and the occasional squirrel dropping nuts to the ground.  While it wouldn’t be smart to drink the water, we could at least stop and splash the cool water on our faces.

“Can’t we at least stop and rest for a bit?” Niamh begged, bending over and leaning her hands on her knees.  Cassie was for pushing on and getting back to camp quickly, but one look at Niamh told me there was no way this city girl was going to make it another mile, let alone seven, if we didn’t give her a reprieve.  We found a mossy log, and Niamh collapsed on it, relieved to be off of her feet.  I, not too long ago, had been just as city as Niamh.  Moving to the middle of nowhere, Wyoming, and then going furry once a month changed that quickly.  I wasn’t really sure how Niamh was going to survive the next four days of sleeping in a tent and showering in a communal shower.

Somehow, we managed to baby Niamh through the last miles of the hike.  When we stumbled back into camp, she grabbed a bottle of water from the cooler and stalked off to the showers.  Cassie swiped my car keys and volunteered to go get us more ice, since what was in the cooler was now mostly tepid water.

Looking around, I realized for the first time in days, I was alone, except for Lacey.  Lacey, however, was always good company.  She never complained, was always happy to see me, and the only bad quality she had was the fact that she loved to lick my face.  And honestly?  That wasn’t much of a bad quality.  I grabbed my own bottle of water and sat on the picnic table between our campsite and the one next door, enjoying the silence.  Lacey, also tired from our hike, flopped over on her side underneath the table.

The silence was delicious.  I zoned out, staring out into the dense woods that surrounded the campsite.  This is what I had been looking for when I decided to go camping.  Peace, quiet, and solitude.  I’d wanted an opportunity to be alone and think about the changes my life had gone through in the past year.  Babysitting Niamh and keeping Cassie from killing her wasn’t leaving me much time for reflection, however.

Cassie pulled up to the campsite and found me still staring off into the woods.  “Is Niamh still in the showers?” Cassie asked, a frown on her face.  A glance at my watch told me that Cassie had been gone for almost an hour, and the look on her face told me that she wondered if Niamh always took that long in the bathroom.
“I guess,” I said vaguely, still lost in my thoughts.  “Maybe we should go make sure she didn’t like…slip and hit her head or something.  Those tiles can be slick when they’re wet.”  The two of us (Lacey decided to keep sleeping under the picnic table) headed over to the showers.  Our campsite was located close to the back of the campground, while the showers were close to the entrance, where the owners lived year round.  It took us almost ten minutes to walk there, but it was an easy walk on an asphalt road.

“Niamh?” I called into the row of showers.  I could hear one of them running, and I was loath to intrude upon her nakedness in the shower.  There was no answer, though, so Cassie and I began carefully checking each of the showers and the cubbies near them.  I pulled back the curtain on the running shower, half expecting Niamh to shriek at me, but the stall was empty.  Niamh’s shampoo and soap sat on the shelf, though, and the water bottle she’d grabbed at the campsite lay uncapped on its side underneath it.

“Did you find her?” I called out to Cassie, who replied negatively.  All she’d found was Niamh’s sweat dirty hiking clothes and a hairbrush.  I shut off the water and joined Cassie in the middle of the room.

“Where did she go?” Cassie wondered, and I shrugged my shoulders.  “I don’t know, but I’m starting to get worried.  It’s not like Niamh to wander off, especially in the middle of the woods.  Cassie and I stared at each other, mystified.  It appeared that Niamh had gone missing on us.

Here’s Wednesday’s missing post.  Oh my!  Niamh, were did you go?  Find out in Part 3 on Wednesday!!

Published in: on August 31, 2012 at 6:16 pm  Leave a Comment  
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