Thursday, January 28, 2010


Today's muse: I'm taking a Short Story Writing Class, taught by Richard Scarsbrook. Our first assignment is to write a 'Postcard' Story (250 words).

Just a little too keen, I've already written what I think I'll submit. Then again, it's not due until February 16, so I may write another one--or two. Not to mention, I took something posted previously on this blog and editted it. That's also a contender.

(I'm such a geek.)

* * *

U.F.O. (Unidentified Foreign Object)

“Where d’you s’pose it came from?”

Two tussled heads—one dark, one light—gazed down at the item in question. It lay just beneath the surface of the French River, wedged in a fault in the Canadian Shield that served as a shoreline, in lieu of sand.

The other shrugged. “Dunno.”

Justin and Conner stood shoulder-to-shoulder. Grimy, skinned knees were the only indication that the bronze sticks protruding from baggy swim trunks were, in fact, legs. In unison, they bent over for a closer look.

“It’s from an alien ship,” Conner decided. He said this with such conviction, that it didn’t occur to Justin to argue. Of course it was.

“It must have come off when they tried to enter the Earth’s atmosphere,” Conner explained, with the confidence of an aerospace engineer. Justin nodded in agreement.

As a shadow cast across the water, the boys turned to see who had interrupted their analysis of the spaceship. Conner’s older brother stared down at them with a condescending smirk. Trevor was fifteen—practically a grownup.

He rolled his eyes. “It’s a beer top, you morons.” And Trevor walked away, muttering something about stupid kid brothers.

Conner stared after his brother. Why did he do that? They were only messin' around. Of course they knew it was just a beer top. Duh! What made adults forget to use their imagination? How to play? It was a shame, was all Conner could think.

“I am never gonna grow up,” he vowed.


Monday, January 25, 2010


Today's muse: One Word. Today's word: Yoga

* * *


Legs crossed, back straight, eyes closed, she rested her hands on her knees, palms open to the universe. A silent call to the elements. A plea for calm.

Breath in. Breath out. Gently. Slowly.

The instructor’s voice swirled around her, carried her off to the white space, as she called it. White walls, white floor, white ceiling. Not unlike the padded room she longed to lie in. At least she’d be alone, with no one insisting she pay attention to them. And no one would mind if she screamed. There’s something quite cathartic about screaming, she decided.

Right. Focus.

Breath in. Breath out. Clear your mind.

She filled her lungs, a deep cleansing breath. Then a slow exhale to eliminate the toxins. She made a mental note to stop by the Municipal Office to pick up another green bin. After that, slip by the drycleaners to pick up John’s suit. Then swing by the daycare and pick up Cody.

Focus, girl.

Breath in. Breath out. Seek serenity.

The hypnotic voice carried her as she floated through her white landscape, weightless. Shit. Did I take the chicken out of the freezer? Maybe some mashed potatoes. And carrots. Yes. Carrots. With brown sugar.

Dammit! Focus.

Breath in. Breath out. Embrace tranquility.

The tension began to release in her shoulders, washed away as though she stood beneath a waterfall. She reminded herself to call the maintenance crew to come open the pool for the season. And sign up Cody for swimming lessons.

Breath in. Breath out. Absorb the peace.

Nothing like a yoga class to relieve the stress. Clear your mind, ease the tension.

Breath. Breath.

I’m breathing. I’m breathing. Alright, she conceded, I’m suffocating.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Dialogue Seminar (Part 2)

Today's muse:
I attended a workshop on Saturday given by Ruth E. Walker

The seminar was called Your Character's Voice: Effective Dialogue in Fiction and Memoir. One of our assignments was to create a dialogue between two people stuck in an elevator together.

* * *

Between Floors

"Great!" June squinted to see in the shadows not quite lit by the the emergency lighting.

"Hmph." A deep grunt came from across the elevator.

"Can you reach the call box?" she asked.


"Press some buttons, then," she suggested.


"What do you mean you can't? Are you hurt?"


June sighed. "Well, I'm sure someone will come get us soon." She strained to see through the darkness. Who was that?

"Do you live in the building?" she asked. She was sure she knew everyone.


"Visiting, then."


She slumped against the wall. Well, if he was going to be a jerk...

"Sooooo..." her voice took on a sing-song note. "What do you do?"

No response.

"I'm a secretary," she offered, desperate to slice the tension, unable to wait in silence.

Again, no response.

"Do you live around here?"


"Look," she said, annoyed now with his one-syllable answers. "We're probably going to be here a while. We might as well get to know each other."

"Fine." He snapped out the word.

"I'm June," she said.

He thrust out his hand and as she stepped forward to shake it, the knife he held plunged into her stomach.

"Nice to meet you," she heard him say as her vision greyed. "They call me..."

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Dialogue Seminar (Part 1)

Today's muse:
I attended a workshop on Saturday given by Ruth E. Walker

The seminar was called Your Character's Voice: Effective Dialogue in Fiction and Memoir. One of our assignments was to take a (boring) dialogue and create a story.

This was the boring dialogue:

"Hi there."
"So, what are you doing?"
"I am planning to make a difference in the world."
"Yes really."
"Do you need any help?"
"Maybe in a while. I'll be sure to ask."
"Okay. See you later."
"Yes. See you later."

Boring, right?

To add to the mix, we had to select two pictures
for our characters.
I chose a young girl and an older woman
plus a blind selection of two emotions.
I got disgust and horror

This was my piece.
(bear in mind that we had 15 minutes to write this and it is unedited.)

* * *


"Hi there." Gail approached the young girl, cautious of alarming her.

"Hello." Her dark pig tails hung down, obscuring her face. She made no move to look up, but continued to play with the decorated stones.

"So...what are you doing?" The question was asked, but Gail was unsure if she wanted to know the answer. The child looked up and met her gaze, her saucer-like eyes stared right through her. The brown orbs faded to yellow and flashed with a demonic glow.

"I am planning to make a difference in the world," the young girl snapped, slicing her hand through the air.

Gail swallowed the ball of fear that filled her throat. "Really," she stuttered.

"Yes. Really." The young head looked down, continued to re-arrange the runes.

"Do you need any help?" What the hell was she doing? Of course she doesn't need help! She's a Slewdan. They carry powers no human can understand.

"Maybe in a while. I'll be sure to ask."

Gail immediately regretted her offer. The child looked up and waved her hand, dismissing Gail.

"Okay. See you later." And Gail walked as fast as she could without running. She had to tell someone what this child was planning, had to get everyone to safety.

Alone, the child gazed after the human. "Yes," she whispered, "see you later."