Friday, December 28, 2012

Gimme Your Writing Prompts

So. I've had a hard time trying to figure out what to write for today's Friday Fantasy Scene. I'm now in the thick of editing my WIP, The Complete Guide to Being Evil, so any time I think of something to write, my inner editor jumps up and starts picking on the problems before I even begin. I don't have this problem with longer things, like when I wrote my book, because I have time to subdue the editor during the two week planning phase.

I've found that while surely there are good writing prompts on the internet, they can be difficult to find. Most of what I find are journal prompts, prompts based on celebrities, a list of words you're supposed to connect, writing prompts meant for a full short story, or things that don't really spark anything for me (like the word 'silk'). What's a good writing prompt you know? I'll use them in coming posts.

In the mean time: Why would a teacher contemplate a change in career?

For more money.

Sorry, who writes that kind of 'prompt'? It's just a question. Off in search of better ones...

Friday, December 21, 2012

Merry Christmas!

I forgot to post last week. This holiday season I'm working more than I ever have before, and I'm later getting presents out than ever before (hopefully I can get around to shipping those today...), so I'm sorry for being a little scatterbrained.

I'd like to wish you all a Merry Christmas! And ask you: what is your favorite Christmas tradition?

And for those of you out there who won't have a white Christmas, here's a scene I wrote inspired by the winter wonderland I live in:

The river's green-black water rushed steadily under the ice, the blood of the world, ever pumping even in the middle of winter. Where the tree branches broke through the snow, they stood out more sharply in the chill, hyper-real. Snow eddied around her on the winds, and she pulled her coat tighter, shivering.

She spotted the blackened notch she'd made on a tree near her cabin and straitened her course, picking up her heavy feet, laden with boots and cold,  a little faster. She came into a small clearing and got blasted by heavier winds. They shoved her back a foot before she lowered her shoulder and pushed on. She almost tripped over the bucket, but managed instead to pick it up and scoop some snow into it, being sure not to dig deep enough to scrape the ground. The cold of the handle began to drain heat from her fingers even through her fur-lined gloves. Then she pushed open the door to her cabin.

Warmth enveloped her, and she shut the door as quickly as possible, so that none of it would escape. Then she breathed, and heat seeped in through her lungs, helping to ease the ache from her time outside. She'd been gone too long that time. She shouldn't be so reckless.

Then she looked at Sifearon, a dog-sized dragon she'd found gorging on the remainder of an elk she'd managed to find and kill. She had taken two legs to her cabin, and decided there was enough daylight left to return and get as much else as she could before it froze solid. She'd raised her weapon to kill him, too, knowing that even at his small size a dragon was extremely dangerous. Then he's sensed her and raised his head, but only by a foot. She saw how loose his skin was, then let her eyes roam to the trail he'd left getting to the elk. It was obvious he'd dragged himself forward on his belly. And then as she looked at his eyes she'd seen the angry resignation that filled them, and lowered her weapon.

She'd motioned at the carcass, and he'd managed to pack another several pounds down his gullet. Then she'd brought him home to her cabin and laid him in front of the fire, and after a day he started producing enough heat himself that she didn't have to use as many logs.

His scales were pine green, his eyes the color of bark. He was as gorgeous as the deadly world around them, and she loved him. But finding enough meat to feed them both was hard, since most of the animals had hidden to hibernate or wandered to the south, and Sifearon could eat three times what she could in a sitting and still be starving. She hunted longer, now, trying desperately to find enough to keep him alive until spring. She'd begun looking for bears even, to see if she could get a clean stroke while they lay sleeping. She hadn't found any.

Sifearon breathed on her hands, sending a prickly flush and a burning sensation up her arms. She knew they weren't really burning, it only felt that way because she'd gotten too cold. "You couldn't find anything." The look of defeat was back in his eyes. He was still too weak to hunt himself. Her arm muscles were the same width as his.

She stroked his cheek, his scales scalding her like furnaces. She didn't pull away. "I know."

Friday, December 7, 2012

Where's My Samurai?

Oops! My family's sick this week, and I forgot to get this up!

I've been rereading the (young adult or children's? not sure) Japanese historical fiction mystery books by Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler, starting with The Ghost in the Tokaido Inn. They are really cool, by the way. Lots of research went into them. So if you have any interest in learning more about 1700's Japan, check them out.

And I've been re-listening to the song Butterfly popularized through DDR. Yes, I love this song. Partly because I think this chick who has journeyed all around Japan definitely does not need a samurai, because she's strong enough herself. Partly because it's catchy, and partly because I have a mild fascination with Japanese culture.

So I drew this:


And I was going to do a Japanese-themed Friday Fantasy scene, but I never got around to writing it. Sorry.

What song do you really like that you don't often admit to others?