Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Summer turns to winter

Jenny was one of the first to answer my 11 questions, among them the request for a writing-prompt.
A man wakes up to find summer has somehow turned to winter.

I fulfilled it (more or less) by writing a scene for my project "Neverlost & Everfound":

There had been pain and he remembered falling. Or perhaps it had been the other way around? Night or day - it was all the same to him. Most of the time, he was just trying to fight the pain and form a coherent thought.
'A hospital bed.' He could smell the the clinical cleanness of the place, hear beeping sounds of machines and blink up at the plain, white ceiling. Sometimes there were muffled voices and blurred faces. After a while, he could distinguish several different people and his vision became clearer, although he didn't care much who they were.
It seemed like an endless nightmare. Was this place real at all? He had been looking for Evelyn. Did he find her?
The beacon had called him, and he was eager to follow. He felt guilty, because he had been about to give up on her. But he had been more than ready to follow this lead, no matter how crazy that seemed. Not once did he regret that he didn't take anyone with him or ask for help, because they all didn't believe he would find her after all these years. Such supportive company just distracted him, and he needed all his concentration to listen to the call of the beacon - to see it with his inner eye, glimmering in the distance, promising hope.
Then there he was falling and lost the connection. Or perhaps he lost his way and he fell, due to stumbling around like a blind mad-man. Running in circles or lying at the bottom of a cliff - it was all the same to him. However, if he had a choice, he would much rather die outside in the summer-sun by the sea, than in a cold hospital that smelled of disinfectant.
In time, he needed less and less medication. His mind cleared and he did not only know what the driving force in his life had been for the last few years, but he also remembered his name and those of his most frequent visitors.
"The doctors say, you could go home in a few weeks, Nestor. You just have to finally start rehab and eat properly. Are you listening?"
"What would I want at home, Frank? I failed her. I can't find her."
The bigger man winced at the weak sound of his friends voice. In years, he was still young, but the loss of his fiancée and his futile, yearlong search for her had marked him, especially this recent episode. And it had almost cost his life.
"Pull yourself together! You were always the one to tell everyone that Evelyn is still alive. That she just is lost and needs to find her way home again. What if she returns and you are not here? Do you expect me to tell her that you have given up on her?"
A nurse opened the door without knocking. When she found Nestor lying in his bed, calm and dejected as usual, and his visitor smiling warmly at her, she left again.
"See - even the people on the corridor listen more to me than you do!" Frank kept his voice at a more moderate volume, which wasn't easy since it was loud and strong by nature, due to his big stature.
"I am listening to you." Nestor blinked at the window, as if he saw it for the first time. "Do you really think she will come home one day?"
"Of course! Although I really can't understand what she sees in you, I know she loves you more than anything and certainly more than you deserve." Frank gave his friend a clap on the shoulder, although he tried to keep his strength in check. The younger man's leg had been damaged so badly that he would never have its full use again, but he had suffered other injuries, like a concussion, too.
"How long have I been here?" There were some flowers and cards on his nightstand, but no paper or a calender. Until recently, Nestor hardly had reacted to anyone, and this was the first time he showed interest in life again.
"I'm afraid you'll need help with moving around when you leave this place. By then we'll be in the middle of winter and even nowadays there is some frost outside in the early hours. But don't worry, me and my boy will be there."
Nestor just nodded, his mind already wandering again. But this time, he did not give in to nightmares and wishful thinking. Instead, he wondered how he could waste months in such a daze. How was Evelyn to find him, if he had almost lost himself?

Monday, February 20, 2012

First Campaigner Challenge (of Fourth Compaign)

The Power of a Word

Shadows crept across the wall, stretching their dark, cold fingers towards the trembling girl. The orange glow of the fireplace was now mocking the security it once had provided.
Her eyes darted towards the bucket of dirty water. Could she reach it in time? It was almost two arm's lengths away. Would it be enough to quench the flames? She herself had provided new logs not long ago, so it would burn bright and last long.
Or might she save her life by throwing in more of the white powder? The mage could coax a spark out of a bundle of wet grass with a pinch of it. He also could call lightning inside the room, by throwing a handful into the air. But there always was a word. And it was a different incantation for every different purpose.
'No!' The shadows had almost reached her. There was nowhere else to go, for the darkness was closing in on all sides, despite the fire. The bucket of water had already vanished. 
Eyes fixed on the last visible bits of powder, which had spilled on the floor when the mage had fallen, the girl screamed a single word until everything faded.

word count: 200

Those were the rules, as given by Rachael: 
Write a flash fiction story in 200 words or less, excluding the title. 
Begin the story with the words, “Shadows crept across the wall”. These five words will be included in the word count.
If you want to give yourself an added challenge (optional), do one or more of these:
- end the story with the words: "everything faded." (also included in the word count)
- include the word "orange" in the story< - write in the same genre you normally write (in my case: fantasy)

- make your story 200 words exactly!

If you like this, please vote for my story, it's #59 (although it was #60 in the beginning).

P.S.: I declare that this little piece of story is part of my Messenger-project, which can be found here under the respective label.

Friday, February 17, 2012

11 Questions

All right, I've been tagged by my fellow writer Misha and now ought to answer her 11 questions ... and then tag 11 other people and ask them my own 11 questions.

Since this comes from a writer and I plan to tag writers and some of the questions are writing-related and it's about time I introduce myself a bit here on this writing-only blog ... lets start :)

1. Do you believe in fate? 
Yes, I do. For every good thing that happens, be prepared to face some bad news. And if bad things happen to you, there will be good times ahead, too. 
Besides, isn't any writer creating the fate of their characters? They might be fictional, but in a way they do have a life of their own and can't help accepting the fate we dictate them.

2. How the heck do you write and have a life? 
I sometimes sleep very little :)
When I'm in one of these phases where I try to write every day a substantial amount of words (like during NaNoWriMo), I often spend the night half-awake or have to catch up on my writing before going to work.

3. If you were in a written story, which character trope would you most likely have followed? 
I am not entirely sure what is meant with that question.
If it's about which kind of character I would be in a novel ... well, probably the naive, cowardly, poor soul that ends up either in the middle of the action and has to pull herself together, or I would be a casualty :)
If it's about to which kind of character I would be drawn to ... most likely the hero. I would try to offer my help and become his sidekick, or perhaps even his romantic interest, if he's good looking *g*

4. Sweet or Savory?
sweet ... in 90%

5. What's your big dream? 
I want to finish at least 1 novel, have it printed somehow (if necessary at my own expenses) and see it in a book-store (if necessary as a free gift to anyone who cares to take it).

6. Fondest memory? 
Oh, that's a hard one. My memory is awful, which concerns both important and unimportant stuff, as well as happy and bad things. And I know there have been plenty of each.
So, let's choose something writing-related.
Last year, I won the Creature-Creation-Competition of Samantha. There was only one other entry, but I didn't care. I was so proud!

7. What's your biggest wish? (world peace does not count)
I wish for lots of things that can't come true.
And for some that are unlikely or require a lot of effort on my side (like writing a book).
If I were allowed a big selfish wish, it would be that I don't have to die in pain once my time has come. Just fall asleep after everything is settled.
And if I ought to be less selfish, then I would wish that for everyone else.

8. Would you rather have an exciting life and be alone or find the great love of your life and live a relatively normal one? 
Hm, right now I'm quite happy being alone, but my life is not exactly exciting.
However, I would choose the love of my life any time. So, where is he?

9. Have you ever done something, only to realize a half a second later that you made a mistake? 

I do that on a regular basis, unfortunately.
None of those mistakes that comes to mind was interesting enough to mention it here though.

10. Did you try to go back and fix it, or did you follow through? 
It might be that I try to fix it in far too few cases. Sometimes it takes me awfully long to accept my mistake and take actions against it. Most of the time I just think "now you have to live with it".

11. Do you edit while writing or after the draft is done? 
I do edit a little, but not too much. I believe the various writing-courses that it would be stupid to start rewriting lots of your story before the first draft is finished. 

So, and now I am going to ask my 11 questions to the 11 people listed below.

1. Do you believe creating stories, songs, art etc. is some sort of magic?

2. What kind of imaginary friend did you have / have you, if you ever had one?
3. Was there ever a story that influenced you enough so that you used part of it in your own work?
4. Is there some kind of trademark you use in every or most of your stories/songs/etc.?
5. What kind of characters or worlds wake your interest in a story?
6. How do you organize your ideas and projects?
7. What do you do when you start to doubt yourself?
8. Where do you feel at home? If there are different places, tell why they feel different.
9. What's your opinion on fanfiction/fanart/filk/etc.?
10. Can you recommend a writing-tip or -tool?
11. Would you care to give me a writing-prompt, please?

I hope, some of these people will answer my questions, here or somewhere else, they are quite a mixed group:

1. farawayeyes
2. Fiacha
3. Jana
4. Jenny 
5. Jessica
6. Kerimaya
7. Lindsay
8. Nutshell
9. Samantha 
10. the first chibi
11. Verity

This gets cross-posted in my general blog.

Monday, February 13, 2012

ORIGINS blogfest

Before I started to write, I started to create worlds.
I was the boss of a realm beyond the clouds. You could travel there on sunrays that were connecting it to earth, I call them sky-stairs. Or you could use one of my space-ships. And in case there were no clouds in the sky, it was hidden and only those familiar with it could go there (like me).

The first writing-success I remember was in primary school. It must have been on of the first stories we were supposed to write, because I had not planned to put much effort into it yet. However, I was praised for it, especially for a certain phrase I used: "He waited in the shadow of the door."
Although I still think I stole that line from somewhere, I started to like the idea of writing stories.

My memory is bad, but I know I tried to tell several stories via pictures during the next few years, the written words did come later (with some exceptions that turn up now and then in old notebooks).
I liked to put together little magazines, which only readers would be my mother and the friend with whom I worked on them.

Then were were some years of fanfiction for ElfQuest fan-clubs, called holts. This might have been my first English stories, too.

The brainstorming and single scenes for my very first big fantasy-epos were in german. Books like those of David Eddings inspired me. Till this day it is still untiteled and of course unfinished.
It shares that second characteristic with all of my other stories, which I usually started during the last few NaNoWriMos or as fanfiction.
Most of my stories are in English now, because I discovered my love for that language some years ago.

This is my contribution to DL Hammons' ORIGINS blogfest, which he started so that writers could share a bit of their past and motivation with others. Take a look at his link-list, if you are interested in more origin-stories.

This entry is cross-posted with my general-blog.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Join the Fourth Writer's Platform Campaign

Last autumn I learned of Rachael's great idea to create a community where like-minded writers can meet, that was the 3rd Writer's Platform Campaign.
I had a lot of fun with the flash-fiction challenges that were organized (you can find my entries for those in this blog, too). Furthermore I learned a lot and found some were helpful advice on writing on all those other blogs. And last but not least, I made new friends who share my hobby.

So, I was looking forward eagerly to her next campaign, and here it is.
Please, visit Rachael Harrie's Fourth Writer's Platform Campaign!
If you want to sign up, you have to do so until February 15th.

This was crossposted with my general blog.