25 July 2015

Flash Fiction Challenge: Why I Write

Chuck Wendig (author and author guru) posted another challenge at his website, Terrible Minds, and it soundedwell, not exactly like fun in the way of the previous onebut fun in an important, know thyself sort of way. 

And so here it is: 1,000 words (exactly!)

* * *
Why do I write? 
I can’t remember a time when I didn’t have some sort of writing implement either in or at hand. I squiggled my fingers through paint and pencilled loops and wavy lines on scraps of paper. “What did I write?” I’m sure I asked my parents. Frequently. Insistently.
I bashed on typewriter keys with the same intent. “Quertyuiop” (pronounced “Kwer-tee-YOOP”) was a longstanding joke between my dad and me. A joke with no run-up, no punchline other than the thing itself. My introduction to the wonders of mechanical word-setting. The key, wrought by my own little hands, to a magical land.
I love the very act of writing, of laying down graphite or ink where none had been before, of putting letter next to letter to make words and then sentences. My dad’s family ran a printing company. It was gone before I came along, but it has been another joke that I have it “in the blood.” Maybe so. My mother, the other contributor to that blood, is a compulsive reader of menus and roadsigns. Text cannot be ignored. Between the two of us, the cereal box left out at breakfast has been read a hundred times over.
I remember a boxed set of very thin booklets. The first one had simple pictures; the last, full sentences. At some point, I binged, going through booklet after booklet until there were no more new pages to consume and so I read them all again because, my God, reading was glorious. 
It still is.
A list of ingredients:
An odd child, too bright for her own good, growing up feeling out of place in the blistering (literally) heat of Tempe, Arizona. A wonderful (and wonderfully air conditioned) public library. Long days with, for varying spates of time, few friends. A vivid imagination. A compulsive reader. A love of writing things down.
This list is by no means complete, but it’s enough that you can see what the recipe will get you, right? Not a nuclear physicist, surely. 

22 July 2015

Flash Fiction Challenge: Random Phrase

Chuck Wendig, author and author guru, posted a challenge over at his website, Terrible Minds, and it sounded like fun. 

1,000 words that must incorporate a randomly generated phrase.

I've revealed mine on the challenge's page (in an attempt to lure people over), but for those of you who found this post by other means, I'll let you find it on your own…in bold, below.

* * *

To say that she noticed it straight off would be to lie. Truth was, she didn’t know for certain when it had begun: all the hovering, the following, the darting out of reach.

She didn’t care, either, not really. Not at this point. If she had to choose between pieces of information, she’d prefer to know “why her,” or—(and always, with this one, a certain amount of dread)—what it wanted.

A week or so after she had cause to notice it, she had of course asked. The sidewalk had been relatively clear, so she’d taken her chances with looking like a fool. More of one, rather, than she did already. 

It hadn’t answered. Of course. And as frustrating as that had been, she had to admit that there was a certain relief in that, too. How worse it would be, really, if it could speak.

Bad enough that it showed enough sentience to be able to follow her to and from work each day—and pick up where it left off after the weekends. It knew when to expect her and where. It knew how to keep out of reach; she’d noticed (now that she knew to look, and how) that it would stay well away from children and their eager-to-be-entertained hands. 

It wasn’t stupid.

And that made it rather ominous, to her mind.

09 June 2015

Book Cover: In Progress

In the midst of working on the book itself (which I can't share yet), I am also at work on the cover (which I can share, and so here it is):

This isn't final, and could change drastically, but I'm happy so far. I may hate it tomorrow…or I may not.

If you see any glaring errors with light and/or shadow, please let me know. The text is particularly not-final, since the only program that can alter the kerning as needed lives on an old, packed away computer.