These aren’t stories. They are fragments of ideas, half thoughts that were never given the time they deserved. I am clearing up my hard drive and found these. Rather than wholesale deletion, I thought I would put them here. Maybe one day I can come back to them with fresh verve.
Weariness was like a weight, dragging me down into the abyss of fuzzy thoughts and half-heard conversations. I could feel my brain pushing against my eyes.
Each and every day the hiss and grind of machinery haunted the air, an elusive ghost of the modern age. The walls were smooth; metal, teak and whiteness blinding the populace into submission and cowing them into uniformity.
Posted in Rambles
It is really frustrating. I’ve been working on a story for Nano, because I decided that I need to be more methodical in my planning. I tend to ramble, and I was hoping to rein this in. So, the planning process was going well. I still had some more research I wanted to do, but I had the bones of the story mapped and was starting to flesh it out. But gradually, this other story has been creeping in. A dystopian is forming, and it is taking up all my thoughts. I am not thinking about a YA urban fantasy, but a dystopian with a raw character, and an out of control landscape. I see civilisation being reclaimed by nature, a nature which has been evolving, vaguely tainted by something which occurred in the past. The problem is, this story idea is half formed. I can see the landscape and the rag-tag people who populate it, but I don’t know what the plot is. I have no main character, I have no grand scheme. I just have the world in which it occurs building itself away in my mind, and blotting out the story that went before it. I suddenly have no passion for the previous story. I am sure it was a good idea, but I don’t want to write it now. It is in black and white, and the new story is in colour.Glorious, dreary colour. I am thinking washed out skies, faded browns, rich but tarnished greens, and glorious electrical storms. Even now, I can feel the fury and the awesome magnitude of storms ripping across the landscape, bowing before it everything which dare stands in its way.
How can I write a nearly formed boring urban fantasy when an epic landscape of potential is taking up all my attention? I don’t even know what will happen with this story, who is in it, where it takes place. I know nothing of the people who inhabit it, nor if they are peaceful or martial, desperate or content. All I can envision is this amazingly raw landscape in which it takes place, and the potential it holds for me.
This is a writing prompt from Spiders Group from about a month ago. I just stumbled over the file I saved it in and thought I would share. I guess the “she” in this story is me, because this is how I feel whenever I leave Sydney and travel back to visit my parent’s property in Queensland.
The smell of hot dirt and eucalypts scented the wind, the din of cicadas drumming their drums filled the air. A shadow of a storm haunted the horizon, heralding a welcome end to a hot summer day.
She thought back to a summer long ago, when she had last walked down this meandering, dusty track. She’d had such expectations of the path ahead of her.
She had forgotten how vivid and alive the Australian bush could be, how many shades of grey and brown could herald life. She inhaled deeply, drawing astringent, savoury oxygen into her starved lungs. How clean the air was out here. No smog, no odours, no scents associated with man. Just the scent of eucalypts, dry dust and sweet grass. It was Life, in all its glory. Of course, most people wouldn’t have seen it that way. They didn’t really understand the land. They didn’t understand that verdant green grass was rare, and it was all the more beautiful for it. They didn’t understand how many browns, greens, yellows and greys could make up one dry husk of grass. They didn’t see the beauty in a waving sea of dried grass blades, or understand how the feel of hot dust under one’s bare feet could be so invigorating. She thought back to the dirty streets and faded buildings she had left behind her in the city, took a deep breath of air, and sighed in relief. She was home.
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged amwriting, Australia, bush, death, flash fiction, landscapes, light, memory, shock, short story, spiders group, writing prompt
Elle at my writing group gives us 100 word flashfic prompts. This week’s was light. I wrote others, but here is one. I was playing with dialogue, because it is my most hated part of storytelling. I try to get the cadences sounding realistic, but sometimes they sound contrived.
The light faded from his eyes, his smiled died.
“What do you mean, dead?”
“Dead means dead, man! Look it up in a dictionary!”
His shoulders slumped as he remembered Maxxie’s zest for life.
“But, but, she can’t be! When did this happen?”
“About five years. She died of a heart attack or something”
His brows rose in surprise.
“But I just saw her last week!”
“Blonde, in her fifties?”
“That is her.”
“Couldn’t have been her. I was at her bloody funeral. Maxxie Granger? Do you have the right woman?”
He squeezes his eyes shut.
“Yes… Yes, I do.”
I’ve been reading Chuck Wendig’s blog again, entitled How To Tell If You’re A Writer, and you know what? As well as being a funny fuck with a way with words, he just gets things. Things I never even noticed until I read his posts. I really recommend following Terrible Minds – only, of course, if you do not mind profanity and adult themes (hehe dragon sex) and, well, don’t take yourself too seriously. I don’t take myself seriously at all. And profanity and adult themes? Let’s just say my mumma tells me to mind my language when I talk to her. And yes, she has threatened to wash my mouth out with soap. A lot.
Anyhoo. Basically, Chuck Wendig is a legend.
I realised something. I may not have written much for ten years, but even when I wasn’t pen to paper, I was composing in my head. Sometimes I turned things into poetry, sometimes into art, but others? Well I wrote words upon my mind, dwelled on them, then let them float off into the aether. Words have always been incredibly important to me. I love playing with them. I love savouring them. I love saying them. I love writing them. I love weaving them. I just love words. I collect them too. I am sure some of you have noticed but I collect interesting words and phrases that mean something to me. It may be because of the way they sound (I love onomatopoeia and assonance), it may be word meaning, or it may just be that something about that word resounds in my being. Sometimes they are not actually modern english (“cwellan” is a good example – Old English for “to kill” and where the modern word “quell” originated from). Sometimes they are slang. Sometimes they are antiquated english. Sometimes they are culled from poetry or literature. They seem to worm their way into my writing, into my conversations. I can’t stop them. It is like the words have a life and a mind of their own. A soul. And those words (are they possessed?) sometimes fall upon a page and write themselves. Sometimes they talk to me. Sometimes I talk to them. Sometimes we have conversations (hopefully when no one can hear us). Sometimes everything meshes and I have something I am willing to share. All the other times, I have scratches on pages that I hide in books scattered around my room.
I still don’t call myself a writer. I get flustered when others do. But, I am one who writes. So that is who I am. I am an ink-stained notebook whore. I scribble stories on paper, I scratch them into my skin. I write.
NB: “an ink-stained notebook whore” is in reference to Chuck Wendig’s article, linked above. Also, in my circle? We call it a stationery slut.
The latest Spiders Group prompt from Elle is “modern fairy tales” – once again, of just 100 words. I wrote a modern Little Red Ridding Hood and decided to reinterpret others. I am having fun with the 100 word constraints, as I usually blather on like a fool.
A retelling of Snow White
The music pulsed around me like a living creature, the beat sent loving shockwaves through my body. Bliss. Pure bliss. My body undulated, moving with the crowd flowing around me.
Margaret came back with our drinks. “I picked up some goodies from some guy”, she proffered a green and a red capsule in her wrinkled palm. “I know you like red sweetie, you can have that one”
She smiled sinisterly as we swallowed our fun with a swig of vodka.
The music took me over again, and swallowed by a sea of bodies, I sagged into the arms of a handsome stranger.
Posted in Rambles, Spiders Group
Tagged amwriting, apples, dance club, dancing, drugs, evil step whatever, flash fiction, folklore, music, pills, poison, reinterpretation, short story, snow white, spiders group, writing prompt
The latest Spiders Group prompt from Elle is “modern fairy tales” – once again, of just 100 words. I wrote this and then wanted to take on some other fairy tales. I am having fun with the 100 word constraints, as I usually blather on like a fool.
A retelling of Little Red Ridding Hood
My scarlet high heels click-clack on the road, legs pumping in time to the beat of my heart. Buildings rise up around me, closing in, impenetrable in their shadows. My crimson hair streams in the wind rushing past me. I run for my life, for my sanity. I can hear him as he jogs behind me, his workman’s boots slamming the bitumen, the scent of sawdust and sweat seeking me out. I turn a corner, fumble with my keys and fling open my door. Just in time; he curses. Rushing from the kitchen, Wulf tugs me into his safe embrace.
Posted in Rambles, Spiders Group
Tagged amwriting, flash fiction, folklore, little red ridding hood, red, reinterpretation, running, spiders group, timber cutter, wolf, writing prompt