Monthly Archives: July 2010

“Dove”

This one is largely dialog.  And crap.  I wrote it in half an hour, and haven’t bothered to revise it. I  don’t know if I will.  I just needed to get something out of my system, and here it is.  Enjoy.  Or flame it mercilessly.  Your call.  =]

~~~

She broke me.  I lost myself inside of her; her eyes, the curl of her hair, the curves of her delicate hands.  In that night, I had known her, held her, kissed her, fucked her.  It would be wrong to say that I loved her as a man loves a woman.  I loved her body, but not her soul; her lips, but not her heart.

I loved the idea of her.

But in those quiet morning moments, I felt almost attached to greater things, brought from the wastelands, in to an oasis.  Though, outside in the arid desert, reality haunted us.  I was with her though, and slowly, in a roll, I draped an arm across her middle, letting my fingertips drag so lightly across that flawless flesh… and her breath hitched.  She was awake.  I felt a perfect, delicate hand curl around my— throat.

I grinned.  “Good morning, beautiful.”

A pistol was cocked near my right temple, and I couldn’t stop myself from snickering.

“You always had a terrible sense of humor, Declan,” she murmured, and I heard her free hand rummaging around in my things, thought, amused as I was, I didn’t dare look.  There would be no hesitation in that pretty little trigger finger.

“Always about the money, isn’t it?”  My hands felt no need to stop caressing her, drifting down her belly, and over the gentle mound of her sex.

“You and I have nothing to do with money.  Stop touching me,” she snapped.

“Don’t sound so cold.”  I was still grinning, and it earned me a swift crack from the butt of her gun.  Gold and green stars exploded in my right eye, the taste of copper flooded my mouth.  “Fuck,” I spat, smearing my hand over my lips.

“You’re worse than a toddler,” she murmured, unfazed as she tugged her skirt over the swell of her hips.

“Does this mean we don’t have time for another go?”  The look she gave me stung, but her hesitation told me she was considering it.

“Next time.”

“Dove.”

“Next time, Declan!”

I smiled a bloody-toothed smile, and she rolled her eyes, pulling on her shirt and tucking the bills she had just folded into her waistband.  “You’re getting to be an expensive whore, Dove.”  I winced and waited, but the pistol never fell.  Testing the waters, I glanced up, and she was gone.  Leaping from the mass of blankets on the tent floor, I burst through the flaps to find Dove settling into my horse’s saddle.  My horse.

“Sorry, Dec.”  No she wasn’t.

“We’re in the middle of the goddamn desert, Dove.  Be reasonable.”

“She can’t carry both of us.  I’ll send a coach this way.”

“Lying bi–” She took off like a bat out of hell.

Heaving a sigh, and with the sand scorching my bare feet, I headed back into my tent to escape the sun.  I’d rather sweat my balls off in layers than stand in the desert naked for any length of time.

Tugging open a small wooden box by our makeshift bed, I brought a tightly rolled cigarette to my lips, letting the bloodied tip rest there while my hands sought out my pants.  The pants that contained my lighter.  The pants that were not there.  A pang of panic punched me square in the sternum and I started fumbling about with the swathes of fabric tangled about the floor.

No pants.

“Bitch!  Made off with my lighter….” I huffed and snapped the tobacco stick in half, pitching it roughly to the ground, as I once again exited the tent.

And by ‘tent,’ I mean my new canvas dress.

She broke me.

18 Comments

Filed under Flash Fiction, Writing

A Time for Change

So, apparently I have this social life that sucks me in when I’m not hunting frantically for a job, tweaking my resume to make me look like a worthwhile human being, and futilely slapping at keys to continue my still-amazingly-untitled WiP.

Goggles and Lace has recently taken a serious back-burner for me, and I’ll work on stomping that fire out pretty quickly, because I love this blog.  AND I LOVE YOU GUYS!

As a small update, my WiP is bombing hard, and I need to take some time away from it to reevaluate where I’m going with the storyline.  My villain sounded like a toddler in a tantrum, and the “Shit, I need a break” thought slapped me in the mouth.  So, I’m going to start doing more short pieces and posting them here.  Also, the series I was talking about before may be back on, if I can find the motivation to make it happen.

I met a guy.  His name is Steve.  He’s fantastic.  =]

No news on the job front.

That’s really all.  I have a post about perspective I’m working on for the end of this week sometime, as well as a bit of flash fiction with a shiny old character I’m dragging kicking and screaming out of my character vault.  So… this should be fun.

My next task?  Catching up on all your blogs!  =P

17 Comments

Filed under Life, Writing

Weird Dreams and a Confirmation that Kit is Not Dead

I live!  Mostly.  I’ve had some horrendous allergies lately, and it’s kind of becoming the center of my life.  I just don’t feel like doing ANYTHING anymore.  So, naturally, I don’t do anything.  I try to keep my breathing at a calm level (since I’ve had a series of asthma attacks I can’t seem to control), try not to rub my eyes, or itch the random hives that keep springing up on my forearms.

Maddening, I tell you!  Maddening!

And now here’s some fun.  I had a weird dream last night, and it leads me to believe I have to stop eating before bed.

So, I show up for our Inkwell Imaginings group, but it’s not at the library.  I’m suddenly facing this enormous old boarding house, vaguely Victorian in style.  The dark gray paint is peeling, the windows are black beyond the glass, shingles left bald spots on the roof; the whole thing looked to be falling apart.

For some ridiculous reason, I don’t question any of this, and just wander up the steps and into the boarding house.  Apparently, the boarding house is a school, and it’s brightly lit, and there are children everywhere from five to about eleven-years-old.  The rooms were converted to classrooms.  I didn’t know which room we had reserved, so I went about checking all of them on the first floor, and finally found our room with one person in it.

“Sorry I’m so late,” I said.  “Where is everyone?”

“Jess switched our rooms,” he said, and started for the door.  “We’re on the second floor.”

I stepped aside so he could lead me up to the second floor, but when I turned he was gone.  Naturally, I attempted to chase him up this big staircase, but honestly there was no one there to chase, and I couldn’t yell for him, because children were napping in some of the rooms.  So, I just kept going.

Finally, I found our room.  A bunch of people I haven’t seen since high school were there, and Jess was standing by the teacher’s desk at the head of the classroom.  “We’re being moved,” she said. “Third floor.  We have all this stuff, though.  I’m going to go find the room.  Have everyone gather their things.”

Aaaand she was gone.  I turned to look, and everyone had backpacks and suitcases, and even a big teddy bear.  Two of the bags were mine, a suitcase and a rolling duffel.  I didn’t have any idea how they got there, or what was inside of them, but I took them anyway.  They were mine, after all.  So, hauling all these bags, we started up to the third floor, dragging our luggage with us.  We were panting and complaining and struggling.  No one wanted to go any further as we were shoving the larger bags ahead of us, sliding them up the stairs as best we could.  The third floor seemed much higher up than the second.

Finally, we reached the third floor, and it seemed mostly empty.  Everyone sat on the stairs while I went to find our room.  Each room seemed to be full of napping children or singing children.  I walked into one and I was under a stairwell.  I started freaking out.  It was well let, and there was nothing in there, but it did seem like the stairwell to a boarding house hallway, and not the school that the inside of the place projected.  The walls had those bare wooden slats inside  holes in them, chipped paint, and an odd smell.  After having a minor panicky moment, I slammed the door, brushed the cobwebs off of myself, and walked back toward the group.

The longer I walked, the more I spotted some dirty men leering at me from where they were perched on the banisters.  They shouldn’t have been there.  It was a school.  I kept walking, and found that the luggage was still there, but most of the group was not.

“They went to find the room,” one of the others I didn’t recognize informed me.

I sighed.  I was getting tired of the wild goose chase.  It wasn’t long before I ran into Jess and the rest of the group.  Everyone was getting sketched out by the random men appearing out of the woodwork, all grubby and grotty, and homeless looking.

“We have to get going,” Jess said.

“Why?  Don’t we have the room?” I asked.  Stupid, right?  All these nasty men closing in, and I’m concerned about our writing group reservation.  Typical.

“I really think we should just go.  I can’t find the room.”

I conceded.  We went to the rest of the group waiting on the stairs, and the next thing I know, we’re in the parking lot.  Almost everyone had gone.

“Come on, get in the car.”  Jess motioned me over, but I couldn’t seem to make myself leave.  It was real effort to tear my eyes away from this house.  Finally, though, I did get into the car, and then I woke up.

It strikes me odd that everyone in my dream was oddly deadpan or just entirely unenthusiastic in everything they said.  It was weird.

Anyway, so that’s my dream, and I’m not dead.  Thanks for reading. <3

16 Comments

Filed under Life, Writer's Group, Writing

I have come to realize….

I stole this from Mckenzie at Unabridged Girl who stole it from Suzicate and it’s fun.  =]  Reposted with my own answers!

1. I’ve come to realize that my chest-size…is growing freakishly large for a girl my size….

2. I’ve come to realize that my job… is non-existent.  Sadface.

3. I’ve come to realize that when I’m driving… I’m on the verge of getting arrested, since I don’t have my license.

4. I’ve come to realize that I need… more life experience, less internet addiction.

5. I’ve come to realize that I have lost… remarkably few friends since high school.

6. I’ve come to realize that I hate… centipedes.

7. I’ve come to realize that if I’m drunk… my personality is made of stupid.

8. I’ve come to realize that money… is in short supply.

9. I’ve come to realize that certain people… make me wish I owned a gun, and also makes me realize that that’s exactly why I’ll never have one.

11. I’ve come to realize that my siblings(s)… produced a hilarious little brat.

12. I’ve come to realize that my mom… drinks a LOT of Arizona Sweet Tea.

13. I’ve come to realize that my cell phone… annoys the crap out of me.

14. I’ve come to realize that when I woke up this morning… it was 95 degrees and my skin was melting to the bed.

15. I’ve come to realize that my first love is… Chicken Wing, my nephew.

16. I’ve come to realize that right now I am thinking about… the moth coming dangerously close to landing in my hair.

17. I’ve come to realize that my dad… is such a hilarious spaz.

18. I’ve come to realize that when I get on Facebook… I remember that it’s not as interesting as it tries to be.

19. I’ve come to realize that today… could have been thirty degrees cooler and it still would have been too hot.

20. I’ve come to realize that my best friend(s)… are fucking ridiculous.

21. I’ve come to realize that my spouse… is as-yet unknown.  I’m approaching spinster status!

22. I’ve come to realize that I really want to…write. WRITE.  <–I can’t change that and have it be accurate.

23. I’ve come to realize that life… is both too short and too long to waste by being disagreeable.

24. I’ve come to realize that this weekend… blends into the weekdays when one is unemployed.

25. I’ve come to realize that next weekend… will once again blend with the weekdays.

26. I’ve come to realize that my children… will be used as cheap labor and bargaining chips.  I might be kidding.  You’ll never know.

27. I’ve come to realize that when life gives you lemons… you’d better ask for sugar and water too, or that lemonade is going to suck.

22 Comments

Filed under Life

Kill the “conflict argument” – Holly Lisle

So, you guys have probably learned my ridiculous love and respect for Holly Lisle by now, I’m sure.  Well, this is her latest e-mail tip.  I thought that my awesome writer friends wouldn’t mind a peek.

Holly’s Tip — Kill the “conflict argument.”

I get some questions in my mailbox that just HAVE to go out to a
wider audience that the person asking them, and this question from
Shanice is a perfect example.  She writes:

—————
Dear Holly,

I am a beginning writer, who on the recommendation of a friend of
mine, subscribed up to your “Holly’s Tip” email… thingy… (Sorry
at the moment I cannot think of a better word than thingy) and I
would like to say that it has helped me so much I cannot begin to
describe it (well I could but it would bore you to death).

However, one problem I continually run into, when writing, is
conflict. I cannot write anything above a minor argument, I just
don’t know how to. I’ve tried looking over conflicts that have
happened in my life, and I’m lucky to say that they have only been
minor, which doesn’t help my writing unfortunately. Whether it be a
fight between two friends, or a fight which leads to a war, I just
cant seem to write what would happen, and if by some chance I do
manage to write a conflict, its so easily resolved it essentially
becomes useless for me to put it in there in the first place. So, I
was wondering, would you be able to gave me a few tips on writing
conflicts?

Yours Sincerely,

Shanice
—————

The first thing you HAVE to know to write good conflict is that
while arguments and fights are conflict, CONFLICT IS NOT ARGUMENTS.

On a sheet of plain paper, draw a HUGE circle—the biggest you can
put on the page.  It’s okay if it’s lopsided.

Now, somewhere inside the circle, draw a tiny, tiny circle.  TINY.
You can see a little bit of white on the inside of the circle, but
an ant could not turn around in it without crossing outside of it.

Label the big circle CONFLICT.  Label the little circle ARGUMENTS
AND FIGHTS.

Arguments are about the worst and least interesting form of
conflict to put into fiction.  They’re rarely relevant, they’re
frequently bitchy, and they almost never move your story forward.

If you’re looking for conflict, you address the following three
points.

=========
POINT ONE: WHAT does my character NEED to do more than
anything else in the world?
=========

This question is the heart of whatever story you’re writing—if it
isn’t the actual summary of your story, you’re either writing about
the wrong character, or you’re telling the wrong story.

(In scenes featuring secondary characters, you ask the same
question, but the need will be different, and generally less
directly connected to your main story).

=========
POINT TWO: WHO OR WHAT stands in the way of your character
RIGHT NOW to prevent him from doing what he NEEDS to do?
=========

You ask THIS question on a scene-by-scene basis, and it will cover
everything from direct attacks by your primary antagonist to the
woman on the subway having a baby to your hero’s bad head cold,
depending on your scene and its circumstances.

=========
POINT THREE: WHY does your reader care?
=========

You can also ask this question as “WHAT are the stakes?” but you
can convince yourself to hang on to a pointless, boring scene with
that question.  From personal experience, I’ve discovered if you
ask why your reader should care, it’s a lot harder to lie to
yourself about needing the scene.

=========
A QUICK EXAMPLE
=========

Bob NEEDS to rescue his girlfriend Kate, who has been kidnapped by
a wacko admirer and would-be rival.

Three potential conflicts for the scene:

1) He’s spotted her in a crowd, and is racing to her.  A woman
stops him to ask him the time, delaying his pursuit and causing him
to lose sight of her.

OR

2) He gets the phone call from the kidnapper, and afterwards argues
with his buddy—who was with him during the call—over whether he
should go to the police or not.

OR

3) He’s taking ransom money to a designated drop point when he
realizes that the drop point is a trap and the kidnapper wants to
kill him to get him out of the way.

Take a minute, and write down why you would or wouldn’t use each of
these conflicts.  I’ll wait.   :-)

.

.

. . . . These dots are me waiting, and giving you some white space
so you won’t read ahead and see my answers. . .

.

.

.

.

.

Okay?

Conflict #1 just sucks.

It follows the story progression of Bad thing happens/ Character
does something stupid/ Bad thing gets worse BECAUSE character does
something stupid.

You don’t sell a story using stupidity as your plot device.

Your hero sees the love of his life in a crowd, being dragged away
by a lunatic, and he actually allows himself to be stopped for a
pointless question from some equally pointless stranger?

HOW can your reader care about an idiot whose priorities are so
obviously nonexistent?

He can’t, he won’t, and you’ll lose a reader.

Conflict #2 is irrelevant.

It follows the story progression of Bad thing happens/ Character
does nothing/ nothing changes.

Heroes take action.  They do not sit on their butts arguing with
their friends about whether or not they SHOULD take action.

TALKING IS NOT ACTION, no matter how many bull-session yakkers
think that arguing the future of the world over pizza is going to
actually affect the future of the world.

Any argument that does not happen WHILE characters are DOING
something that actually moves the story forward has no place in
your story.

Your reader will watch these two fools sitting on their couch
arguing, and he’ll think, “What’s the kidnapper doing to his victim
while they’re doing nothing?”  And he’ll close your book and go
shoot evil aliens on his X-Box.

Conflict #3 is solid.

It follows the story progression of Bad thing happens/ Character
takes action/ Action takes character deeper into trouble.

Bob does SOMEthing—and it’s something that should fix the
situation, if the kidnapper were an honorable man.

But kidnappers aren’t honorable, and as Bob and his bag of
hard-earned bucks are walking into the dark alley, Bob’s sudden
realization that the kidnapper can have his money AND his life, and
get his girl at the same time, will give your reader something to
care about.

WHAT your character needs.
WHO stands between him and it.
WHY we care.

Write with joy,

Holly

P.S. These are conflict’s baby steps, and I cover this material in
much more depth in How To Think Sideways
http://howtothinksideways.com/members/?awt_l=9xnzd&awt_m=1l.rD.VVI._XgP
as well as from a completely different angle in in How To Revise
Your Novel.
http://clicks.aweber.com/y/ct/?l=9xnzd&m=1l.rD.VVI._XgP&b=.NhwBJp93KPLcTGUfz6SQA

But this will get you started, and will keep you from making the
awful “argument as conflict” mistake while you’re writing.

This email is Copyright Holly Lisle. All rights reserved.
Reproduction of any portion of this email is strictly
prohibited without the express written consent of
Holly Lisle.

Get your own copy of this newsletter here:
http://hollylisle.com/newsletter.php

HOLLY LISLE’S WRITING UPDATES is Copyright (C) by Holly Lisle.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

While doubting that Ms. Lisle will ever read this, I’d like to extend my well-wishes.  She’s been ill, and the doctors don’t know what’s wrong (except that it’s not a brain tumor or an aneurysm), so “Get well soon, Holly!”

I hope you all enjoy the tip.

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Filed under Life, Writer's Group, Writing