Tavern Not-So-Fancy (Wednesday Words 2.10.16)

Welcome to a piece of Wednesday Word’s flash fiction on Darkling Dreams!

A good friend of mine, P.T. Wyant, is doing a blog post every Wednesday called Wednesday Words with a new prompt for a bit of flash fiction writing, just to get in the habit of writing something, anything. (Even if said flash fiction is complete garbage at the time. Garbage is better than nothing though, right?) If you’re looking for some inspiration yourself or just something to aimlessly write, then go check out her blog for this week’s prompt!

With that being said, I am going to share what I came up with for this week’s flash fiction prompt based off a three word combination. So here is my very rough around the edges minute of inspiration based off her prompt. I’d love to hear what you guys think of it!

(Please excuse any errors you may see, I said it was rough around the edges.)

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 Tavern Not-So-Fancy

Cheers, laughter, and shouts filled the air of the streets, muffled by the walls of the tavern. Clapping and music could be heard playing within, what sounded like a flute. At least, the noises were muffled until the door was pushed open and light spilled out onto the dirt road, bringing the enthusiastic air with it.

“You call this a fancy restaurant?”

Dominer chuckled as he waved his hand forward with a bow for the lady to enter before him. “On the contrary, my dear, it is.”

“It’s a tavern, a rather rowdy one at that. They look as if they have had one too many pints of mead.”

He chuckled again as she walked into the tavern and he followed, letting the door close behind them and amplify the sound of the cheering crowd. Women and men alike had their pints raised as they cheered and sang to the music of the flute.

“How is this fancy?”

“I’ll have you know that the King and Queen themselves have visited and dined within this tavern, so I must say it has earned its credits as fancy, Anise.”

She rolled her evergreen eyes and he motioned towards an empty table towards the back of the tavern. It at least had some privacy and calmness compared to the bar and tables around it where they were likely getting drunk off their Elven behinds. Pretty soon it looked as if they were going to forget they were elves at all and start exclaiming about their sudden pointed ears.

Dominer graciously pulled out a chair for her and again waved his hand in a bow for her to be seated, ever the gentlemen. If not a little over the top.

“Thank you,” she said as she took her seat and allowed her chair to be pushed in.

He took his seat across for her and waved towards one of the lingering bar maids, who then came bustling over to take their orders and leave them each a pint of mead as well, much to their protests. The maid winked at the two of them before exclaiming it was on the house and giggling as she left.

“Oh, why must they all be like that?”

He chuckled. “Because they know who I am, my dear. Any chance of a glimpse of the Elven Captain and his lady and it’s all flowers and mead.”

“It’s rather irritating,” she huffed, setting her elbows on the table with an annoyed sigh and letting her chin rest in them.

“And that is rather unladylike.”

Anise gave her courtier a deadpan look. “Oh? You know what you signed up for falling for the thief caught trying to steal a loaf of bread and a horse.”

“Ay, that I did. And I wouldn’t trade it.”

“Then you know I am no lady. I will rightly put any threat or bully on their backs in two seconds flat. I didn’t survive and avoid capture this long without having some talent.”

Dominer smiled. “And that, my dear, is why I like you. Pity the Guard doesn’t let woman into their ranks.”

“You sure you want that?” she teased with a grin. “I’d be running you out of a Captain position.”

He feigned being hurt, his hand going over his heart, making Anise’s musical laughter fill this ears and his heart. As far as he was concerned, she had one of the best singing voices among all the elves in Weylaen. Whether she grew up poor and turned to thievery to survive or not, her voice was magical.

“Now–”

Anise broke off what she was going to say as her eyes caught on an elf lumbering towards them, swaying and hiccupping along to the song as he stumbled up to their table. He nearly sloshed mead over their countertop as he came to a stop and Anise wrinkled her nose at the stench of it on him. This one was more than drunk off his Elven behind.

“Might I…” Hiccup. “Have a…dance with the…fine little…lady?” He smiled to her and held his free hand out. His words had slurred so much together that she hardly understood what he said, but she scowled up at him.

“No, you may not.” Her voice was clipped.

He frowned at that. “Now come on, lassy. It just…one dance. You’ve got the hips to…sway” His grin turned a bit lustful and Dominer was up before Anise could make a single hotheaded move.

“Alright that’s enough,” he interrupted sternly. He placed on hand on the drunken elf’s chest and began to push him back from their table, his other hand resting on the jeweled pommel of his sword around his hip. “The lady said she did not wish to dance. Run along and go find yourself a guest room to crash within.”

“Now, don’t be–”

“Go on,” he interrupted. “Ye don’t want to cross with the Elven Guard Captain, do ya?”

The elf’s eyes traveled down to the sword, then up to the crest sewn into his shirt and finally understood. He gave a bobble head nod and turned to stumble away after bowing an apology to the lady, nearly falling onto his face as he did so and splashing mead onto the floor.

Dominer watched him wander back to the bar where he flopped down into a seat before returning to his own seat. He looked at Anise. “You can take your hand off that knife I know you carry hidden on your person.”

She cut her gaze back to him. “Force of habit.”

“I know,” he said softly, “but as long as you are my Elven lady, not one shall lay a finger on you. You need not fend for just yourself anymore.”

Anise gave a soft smile and looked back towards the bar as an uproar of clapping and more cheers started up. Standing atop the long counter was now an Elven woman tossing her skirts and dancing around. Her cheeks were flushed from alcohol no doubt, beaming stupidly down at the crowd of men and woman. She even went as far as bending down to show her voluptuous bosom as she trailed the piece of lace she pulled from her hair across a man’s face before slipping and toppling off into the men’s arms.

“If this is your real definition of a fancy restaurant, then the Academy has failed you in its upbringing and teachings of how to woe a lady,” she muttered with a shake of her head.

Dominer just laughed, his golden eyes twinkling as the bar maid finally came with their meals.


Now you can find this flash fiction work and others on my profile on Wattpad! Click here for my profile and go dive into a sea of Shards of Imagination!

Shards of Imagination Cover Final

Cover made by @_teenagers on Wattpad

Renewing Excitement

Last night at 2am I spent an hour writing before I headed off to bed. I had only meant to spend maybe a half hour, but as I got into the scene, my fingers were just itching to finally finish it so I didn’t stop until I had finished the scene, and coincidentally the chapter as well. I’ve been on this scene for what seems like forever now.

And I think that taking so long on this scene is partly what was deterring me last week, and just in general for a while. (Minus the computer crash that killed me end of last year.)

It’s not that this scene was hard. It wasn’t. It was more I was getting bored of being on it for so long. The large lapse of time I had from no computer really didn’t help the flow I had going, either. I partly forgot what I had written already, where things were going, and so forth. I do have notes written out in the document and on paper, but I still felt like I forgot some things as I’m quite sure the consistency of this chapter in relation to earlier chapters is going to need checked later in revisions.

This scene ultimately taking me so long is what dragged me down, and now that I’m past it, I’m ready to keep rolling with what comes next in the novel.

Of course, there is still the slight nagging voice and doubt in the back of my mind, the one that tells me “who is going to want to read this?”. With the help of two good friends’ advice and reassurance though, I have mainly managed to shove that voice down some dark hole with a grate over top it and plunge forward.

Because, ultimately, they were both right. I just lost sight of my dream for a short time. Maybe no one will read this someday, maybe I won’t get it published like I so desperately wish for. But either way, I’m writing this novel, this series, because I am the only one that can. Because there is a story inside me and it has to come out. I am writing it for me. For myself and the characters in my head screaming to be heard.

If I never get it published, then I at least still have the accomplishment inside me saying; “You did it. You actually finished a novel, a series.” And even if no agency wishes to publish me at first, I will keep trying until I either find someone who loves it or I decide to self publish on Amazon and all those other sites.

But I won’t give up on this. I will finish this novel. I will finish this first draft this year. I am excited again and that bubbly happiness and joy is kindling once more to move one chapter, one scene farther into the novel towards that last glorious line of the Epilogue.

I can do this.

So what’s next?

Keep writing of course!

Snippet Sunday: February 7, 2016

Welcome to Snippet Sunday on Darkling Dreams!

Where writers come together to share a few sentences (8-10) of their current project — whether it’s a recently released novel, a WIP (work in progress), or an older manuscript that’s being revived. Intended to hook readers, gather feedback and build an author’s fan base, Snippet Sunday is the FB group that does all three.

Snippet Sunday

Welcome to February, everyone! I know it’s a new month but I am going to continue on with the first book in the Dark Heir Chronicles yet, Fated to Darkness. Next month I believe I might switch to something different for March, and then flip back to this in April as motivation for Camp NaNo. I think. Unless I end up rolling with this through April — which is a long time — then switch in between the two Camp months to something else.

Previously on Sunday Snippets: Four year old Heather had been kidnapped from her home by a woman clad in black and whisked off to another realm where she found her kidnapper wanted her to be her Heir. But not just any Heir. After being locked up and put through a ritual that has changed her and her life forever — though she does not yet know it — she has found herself in a small bare essential room with a tiny bathroom, and her new mentor has instructed her to clean herself up and be ready in ten minutes. Having talked of what Ciara finally wants of her, she is now left in her first lesson under her mentor.

Picking up right where I left off from last week’s snippet as Heather still tries to grasp the concept of magic.

(Some sentences may have been creatively edited and punctuated to try to fit the ten sentence limit. I’m over, again. Can we just agree that my snippets will always be a little longer but not too long?)

–*–

She didn’t understand what she was doing wrong. She was feeling the rush like what Ciara was describing to her, but she wasn’t figuring out how to make it appear in her hand. This shouldn’t even be possible, should it?

Ciara got fed up quickly with her Heir’s inability to perform the simple task. Heather stumbled and cried out as Ciara struck her across the face. She fell to the side, hitting the ground hard and whimpered, tears starting to fall faster down her cheeks again.

“It is not that hard a task, Heir,” she hissed, furious it sounded like. “Force the magic out. Now, conjure the same ball.”

Heather stayed upon the ground, crying to herself. She didn’t want to get up. She didn’t want to get up and try again. She curled up a little, the sobs racking her small frame and making her shoulders shake. A sharp kick to her side jolted her and made her cry out once more in pain. She clutched at her side, crying intensely now.

“Get up!” Ciara snapped, and reached down, grabbing Heather’s arm and hauling her back to her feet. She then grabbed her by the neck and made her look at her — her dark forest green eyes flashed dangerously, a threatening promise in their depths. “One more chance, Heir. Stop cowering and pull yourself to together. No Heir of mine will be a sniveling mess or fail at their tasks.”

She released her neck roughly, though her nails dug into Heather’s arm as she yanked it back out palm up. “Call it up and force it out. Now.”

Heather whimpered in fear, still not knowing what to do really. Fear was running rampart through her, so was desperation to go home to a safe, warm bed and her family — but that wasn’t going to happen it seemed like.

Her hesitance only caused Ciara to react more forcefully.

With another snarl, the Dark One’s magic wound straight into Heather with her still holding her arm. The curse felt like Heather had been set on fire again, her insides crawling under the pain. She screamed pitifully and staggered, wanting to go to her knees from the pain. Pain she had never felt before and never wished to feel again.

–*–

Things are really starting to take a turn for the worse…

This story is not yet on Wattpad because it is my baby that I hope to publish one day, and if no one will publish me, I am self publishing. But it’s also not on Wattpad because it’s in first draft phases yet. So there will be no “if you wish to read more…”

However! If you wish to read anything else that I do have finished, you can hop on over to my profile on Wattpad and check out what I have to offer. I love to hear any and all feedback on my work as well. Comments are greatly appreciated, as are the reads.

And if you’re looking for some other great snippets of fellow authors,

hop on over to Facebook and check out Snippet Sunday!

On the Downhill

Remember me saying numerous times throughout this blog that I don’t know the meaning to short and sweet?

Well, that problem is starting to look like a real problem, and making me start to doubt myself…

As I was working on my novel yesterday, I began to realize just how long this book is going to end up being. And as the first book in the series, I know they say that a long book is a bit of a turn off because people aren’t sure they’ll like it enough to stick with it all or don’t want to venture into a long read. People want the shorter books that they can read in a few days if they are avid readers.

But as I’m working through this scene I’m on, my mind flashing through the scenes that have yet to happen to get this book to its end point, I’m beginning to realize I am probably not half way through yet. I may be close, but I’m not even half way and already this novel is standing at 87k words and 183 pages.

The way I’m thinking now, this book is going to push 200k possibly and 300 pages, if not more. That’s on Word though, not on a standard book print size page, which I’m assuming would make it even a longer page wise then.

I know length doesn’t matter to a reader when the book is a good one, like the Harry Potter books, pushing 800 pages on one and how many chapters. Or even the Inheritance series, the Mortal Instruments, Twilight… All series that have large books.

But do any of those books have a long first book?

Not really.

And that right there is where my doubt is beginning to creep in. The insecurity and fear of “who is going to want to read this when it’s so long?” and the added, “it’s not exactly a very happy tale through the first book, it’s rather tragic and dark, will people really want to read 300+ pages of this?” is suddenly starting to hit me hard.

Of course, I try to balance out the darkness to the book with the good moments, but this story isn’t meant to be an all happy one. It’s supposed to be dark, it’s supposed to show what can happen when you squeeze someone until they pop, it’s…

It’s supposed to show you a whole other side of the wars we wage internally with ourselves and who we think we are.

Now I’m running into the problem though of how long this book will be… How long all the books in the series might end up being. I know there’s a certain almost “standard” interval of word counts expected for different genres, and already I know mine is going to far surpass that of a fantasy novel “standard” — then there’s the fact I know publishers look at that, too. They look at how long your book really is. Do they really want to check out your story and spend all that time reading it to see if they’d like to publish it? It’s like an automatic caution flag to them.

But if I wanted to break this book into two books, it…it just wouldn’t be right. They would look too short to me, and I would hate to leave off at a certain part because it doesn’t then have the effect I want that first attention grabbing hook the end of the book would have to bring them coming begging back for Book 2.

I can’t break the book in two, no matter how long it becomes. And yes, I know, editing and revising could cut it down some in the end. Or, for all I know, it might add a bit to it. It’s impossible to tell until I reach that stage.

Only now… I’m wondering if I will reach that stage. I have hit that rut of self doubt where every author goes “who’s really going to read this?” and this time it isn’t just based on the content and plot.

So what do I do now? When all of this is leaving me discouraged and rather uninspired to keep going. I’ve hit the top of the hill in the roller coaster, and now I’m on the downhill.

My goal, and dream, of this series, this series that is my baby of everything I’ve ever written, is starting to look rather unrealistic. And I know I shouldn’t let it bother me but…

An author’s worst enemy seems to be their own mind…

writer roller coaster

Mission Assassinate (Wednesday Words 2.3.16)

Welcome to a piece of Wednesday Word’s flash fiction on Darkling Dreams!

A good friend of mine, P.T. Wyant, is doing a blog post every Wednesday called Wednesday Words with a new prompt for a bit of flash fiction writing, just to get in the habit of writing something, anything. (Even if said flash fiction is complete garbage at the time. Garbage is better than nothing though, right?) If you’re looking for some inspiration yourself or just something to aimlessly write, then go check out her blog for this week’s prompt!

With that being said, I am going to share what I came up with for this week’s flash fiction prompt based off a one line sentence required to be used somewhere in the piece. So here is my very rough around the edges minute of inspiration based off her prompt. I’d love to hear what you guys think of it!

(Please excuse any errors you may see, I said it was rough around the edges.)

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Mission Assassinate

The horse’s hooves pounded across the forest’s bramble-layered floor in the dead silence of the night. Twigs snapped under the steed’s hoof prints and dirt was kicked up in clods behind his trail. His tail waved out behind him like a farewell goodbye as he galloped along, his long mane nearly whipping his rider in the face as she stayed hunched over his neck.

The sound of the hooves piercing the still silence made her cringe each time, terrified it was going to draw unwanted attention to her. She almost wanted to slow her horse down, to try to be as quiet as possible, but she knew time was of the essence: the farther away she got, the better odds she had of survival and escape.

It had been too close a call. Way too close a call.

It should have been a simple scale the castle walls, sneak into the King’s quarters, slit his throat, and silently disappear into the night without a single notice or trace. She had had it all planned out down to the smallest detail, had know the guard’s stations and patrol times and routes. She had known everything to be able to pull that assassination off without a single hitch.

Yet everything still went wrong.

“Fucking Queen,” she muttered darkly under her breath, making the horse’s ears flick back to her.

She shouldn’t have even been there. She was supposed to be on a trip with her son to meet a royal suitor to be betrothed to. Yet their departure had been delayed by only the Gods knew what, and she had walked in from the bathing chambers just at the exact moment she was slitting the King’s delicate throat.

Of course, she supposed it hadn’t been a total bust of a job. The King was dead. There was no way he would have survived her strike even if the blasted woman had screamed bloody murder in the middle of the slice and thrown her off guard.

It was a sloppy job, and she detested herself for not realizing the extra horses left in the stables meant they had never left, but what was done was done. She couldn’t change it now. She had to kill a few guards along route of her hasty escape after, but they were so unskillfully trained it had been a joke to dispatch of them — and they called themselves the King’s Guardsmen. She snorted.

In the end she had achieved her goal…

She grunted as the chestnut stallion stumbled on a rock, jarring her a bit and making her grit her teeth as pain shot through her arm.

Even if in the end it earned her fleeing with an arrow through her shoulder from the damned guard’s crossbow. She hadn’t seen him run out along the walls of the castle at the last moment as she stole the horse and pounded into the woods. Then again, every single guard had gone running when the Queen started shrieking and screaming of her beloved King’s sudden murder.

Beloved.

She snorted in spite. That woman no less loved that man for his so-called charms than for his riches. He was just a ticket to jewels and prestige. A leech. That’s what the Queen was, a blood-sucking leech. She should have thrown her dagger into the woman’s shrunken heart when she shrieked. That would have satisfied her more than just killing the King.

She cast a glance over her shoulder finally, her dark cloak flapping out behind her along the horse’s haunches like wings. She could no longer see the tower. That was good. No burning oil lamps could be seen through the trees either, and she didn’t hear any herd of horses pounding after her in the silence so that was also good.

It meant she had escaped with her life.

Her pride and reputation were a bit tarnished, but she still had her life. She could rebuild the reputation, maybe not her pride from her careless mistake, but she was one of the best assassins out there in the lands. There would be no trouble rebuilding that minor setback of reputation, it wasn’t like she had failed her task. The King was dead, she was as sure of that as the rivers of red that had cascaded down his night clothes and onto the pristine white sheets.

She gave a short bark of laughter, stretching up a little and tilting her head back to the endless night sky. Her steed started to slow slightly now that she knew she was in the clear more and she gave him a slap on the neck before gripping with her thighs and throwing her arms out — well, one arm, the other with the arrow in her shoulder she couldn’t raise so far.

“By Morrigan, the King is dead!” she laughed up to the stars and moon with a devilish grin. “Take that Elington!”

Her getaway steed snorted, tossing his head a little and she crouched back over his neck, taking a fist full of mane as she kept urging him towards the dense woods leading back to the Convent of Morrigan.

“And I even got a free steed out of it,” she chuckled to herself. It hadn’t been a total loss of a mission after all.


Now you can find this flash fiction work and others on my profile on Wattpad! Click here for my profile and go dive into a sea of Shards of Imagination!

Shards of Imagination Cover Final

Cover made by @_teenagers on Wattpad

New Month, New Start

Yeah, I know, it sounds so cliché, but that’s essentially what it boils down to anymore.

January actually went pretty decent for me, for once. I got through some journaling, got all my goals and such set up, made a tentative time frame that I believe I can work with for the rest of the year, got myself caught up and crossed off some never-ending to do things that have been sitting on my list for ages, etc. etc.

So yeah, I’d say January went fairly well. Though there are a few things I need to work on yet. Like writing more consistently.

I have kept myself to writing a short flash fiction piece every week on Wednesday. (Granted it’s only been three weeks so far… But hey, that’s three weeks I haven’t slacked off, I will pat myself on the back for that considering my reputation with follow through.) The fact that I have begun to post them to Wattpad along with here is helping me to stick to that goal. Now I just need to keep myself going on working on Fated to Darkness. I don’t care if it’s a hundred words a day, I just need to plop myself down in the morning before friends trickle on to talk to me and I get sidetracked, or late at night when friends finally fall off to bed but my night owl ass is still awake…

You get the picture.

Depending on the day of the week and other things I do at times manage to get some stuff accomplished in between chatting and other distractions, but I get more done without those “oh! shiny object!” moments popping up as notifications. Not that I really mind. In fact, I don’t mind at all the notifications, as they normally always pertain to good friends to talk to.

Anywho!

So how is February going to go for me then?

Well, there are a few things I have on the monthly to do list. (I have really started making lists and tentative plans for everything this year. So far, it seems to be helping.)

This month’s focus is finishing the long overdo camping entries in my journal so that I can be ready for the new season come May. I got the first of five entries done yesterday — a day late on my schedule, but it’s done — and now I have four left. My plan was one a week.

Manageable, right? It’s not that hard. One entry every week that ranges anywhere from five to seven-eight pages handwritten. Not hard.

Since I have today off yet, I plan to get the second entry knocked out today so I have the rest of the week to focus on writing, reading for a friend, and blog hopping. Oh, and did I mention I got all Sunday Snippet posts set up and scheduled for this month? That takes one more thing off my list to do for each week. All I have to remember to do now is edit to put the link in for last week’s snippet — because I can’t figure out how to get the link for something scheduled but not actually posted yet — and then remember to share it to the Facebook group.

The other major thing I have noted as a goal for this month is to go for a yearly physical again so that I can go take that blasted permit test next month sometime and be on my way to completing one of my yearly goals. I kind of have to call the doctor’s office to make an appointment though… Might be helpful to do that first.

Those two things are the goals of February though: Finish the camping journal entries and go for that stupid physical where I’ll listen to the doctor nag once more at me just for a signed piece of paper. (Can you tell I hate any kind of appointment?) Oh, and of course there’s keep writing. Keep writing consistently. Always keep writing.

(Well, the major goals that go towards my yearly goals at least. Of course there’s other menial things, like cleaning my room…)

But there it is, laid out on the table once more for all to see and hold me accountable to. It’s a new month, time to hit the ground running again.


 

(Oh, and just one last thing… a Blessed Imbolc to all who celebrate! Winter has finally reached its midpoint! Let Mother Earth begin to reawaken! I cannot wait for Springtime.)

blessed imbolc