Plot Bunnies! Plot Bunnies Everywhere!

Every author out there knows showers and baths can be our greatest source of inspiration for new ideas or plot fixes. However, they don’t always comply with the stories we want the idea or fix for. Why you ask? Simple. Because that would be too easy.

The other day as I was trying to figure out why I was staring through a keyhole at the White Rabbit for my Shard I was completely out of inspiration other than associating it with Alice in Wonderland. Naturally – while I was trying to determine the opposite of wonder – I told my friends I was going to go chase the rabbit down the drainpipe and see where it lead me.

A half hour later of shower pondering and EUREKA!

I had inspiration!

For the Wrong. Damn. Story.

I eventually figured out where the rabbit was leading me by the end of the shower, but the White Rabbit was not the plotline my brain original solved. No. Not even close. Instead, my mind decided to wander down a different path and throw me a possible solution to my epilogue issue for Fated to Darkness. I mean, I’m not totally sold that it will work yet, and it definitely needs some playing around with to make it work, but…it might work, and still allow me to use the epilogue how I wished to without hinting a major spoiler. Either way, I’m going to be playing carefully with words and description when I write this epilogue.

More than likely it’s still going to give me a headache no matter what.

But this eureka moment is a good start!

You know what else every author out there knows? That you can never have too many plot bunnies. Never ever. And that we need to invent immortality to write them all, but even then we’d never write them all because they would. Just. Keep. Coming.

Unfortunately, a cure to mortality has not yet been found.

But when I say they just keep coming, I mean that they literally never stop. In the midst of chasing the White Rabbit down my drainpipe and then writing the Shard, the whole thing suddenly took off with a full storyline and complete conflict and even a half spurted scene in my head and then, and then…!

Then guess who had another full on novel idea?

Yep. Me.

Just another novel screaming for attention now. A darkened, twisted, slightly altered version of Alice in Wonderland. All from a single picture. All from a Wednesday Word prompt. All from a simple, seemingly harmless Shard.

It’s not harmless anymore.

Alice in Wonderland has now become Alice in Court, and Alice is demanding her twisted version of the story be written before she decides to checkmate me instead of the Black Queen. (It makes sense in my head, I swear.) What makes this storyline even better is that a friend told me the copyrights to Disney for that story and characters are long past, which means I could still use the same names and all. Granted, I might change the name of Wonderland for the realm. I’m thinking something like Dreadland, but I need to play with it because the whole storyline evolves around a game of human chess, in a twisted way.

It’s amazing in my head right now. I was grinning from ear to ear for a good long while after writing the Shard.

If I’m keeping score too, this is probably about the sixth or seventh Shard screaming at me to become way more than flash fiction piece. (I’m blaming you, P.T.) Let’s count them all, shall we?

Starting from the beginning of my Shards, first there was Accident Twin that’s been vying for a plotline for awhile now. Originally it was sparked from a conversation with a friend. Then there’s One Little Secret that was originally sparked years ago by a simple phrase. After that came Embermyst, which most of my followers should know I did finish as a short story and got it published with Victory Tales Press last October. Mercy Me started to really nag at me too for it’s own storyline in at least a short story of some sort, so did Dead Souls Walking. After that Clockwork Heart reared its head, and that one is becoming either a short story or a novella, probably a novella. It’s also partly what I’ll be working on next month for Camp. Traitor is trying for its own novel, and one day probably will be its own because it involves a huge secondary – partly another main – character of Fated to Darkness. It would be a prequel kind of novel. Then there’s Betrayal in Duty, which is still trying rather hard to spark something more then the general idea I have already, but hasn’t gotten any further than the Shard yet. Dragonstone was rearing its head pretty damn hard, and really making me want to write a dragon/elf/leprechaun cross fantasy story. Last of all is Alice in Court now with a full on novel idea.

Ten. That’s ten Shards trying very hard to become something more than a Shard.

I’m going to need a lot more NaNo’s to write all of these, along with all the other novel ideas and half finished or partly started novels I already have, plus all the other ones planned in my head involving series or standalones or… UGH. I need to become immortal.

When is too many plot bunnies too many again?

Oh, right, never they say.

Well, at least two of them will be worked on in April. One of which will finally be finished!

Maybe I need to stop writing flash fiction so I stop sparking so many ideas.

……

Nah! Why would I do that when they’re fun and a good exercise for writing? Besides, I’m on my fourth week in a row with a place in the #ThursThreads challenge hosted by a fellow Snippeteer author! I got an honorable mention again this week! The best part about this week’s mention is it’s the 5th anniversary of the challenge which means there were prizes! Woooohooooo!

(I will share my honorable mention tale at the end of this post.)

Now, moving on a bit since it IS the eve of first Camp NaNoWriMo of 2017…

There’s a half hour left until the plunge into madness of Camp NaNo begins for me and my normal excitement for the challenge is revving its engine full strength! (I mean, that could also be attributed to the fact I’ve had a Monster coffee, but…) I can’t wait for it to start, because my first order of business is finishing Fated to Darkness! And I’ve got the first four days of April off to write like crazy! (Thank the Gods too because everything has gone to hell the past two days. I need a vacation, badly. I need a campfire and alcohol is more like it.)

Who else is participating in Camp this month? What do you plan to work on? What’s your crazy goal?

I’ll be starting my writing at midnight, per normal tradition for me now. Expect all the stories of Camp NaNo for next month of blog posts, it’s sure to be a fun ride!

And now I’ll leave you with my honorable mention tale to sign off for the week again:

The blast knocked me off my feet. Debris pelted me with an alarming force, tearing at my skin and clothes. Plumes of smoke and dust swallowed my vision and sucked away the air from the world around me.

My ears were ringing loudly, normal sound was muffled and far off. Cries. Screaming. Weeping. Shouting. Car alarms blaring in the background.

Anguish. I could hear anguish, and pain. Panic.

“Ma’am?”

I coughed and shakily pushed myself up to sit. My gaze traveled upwards. Smoke and flames licked the sky from the center of the 911 call center I had been walking past. Ash and dirt rained from the explosions like a spring shower. My eyes drifted around the block, ears still buzzing with a thousand bees.

Someone was scream-crying to my right, mere feet away, yelling someone’s name. A little boy was sprawled unnaturally at the woman’s side. Crushed under a too large chunk of cement blocks. Blood was pooling rapidly around his head.

Dead. He was already dead.

People were running frantically, passing by in a blur. A man tripped over my legs, then kept limping along. I pushed up more.

“Ma’am? Are you alright, ma’am? Can you hear me? Don’t move now.”

The bees in my ears quieted slightly and I registered the pedestrian kneeling at my side, checking me over. First responder training? Maybe. Another explosion rumbled the ground and I looked to the burning building. Someone else screamed shrilly.

Terror.

I heard someone yell terror attack.

thursthreads honorable mention badge year 5

And here is what thy judge said about my tale: No, the narrator is not alright. Are any of us, knowing that scenes like that take place all over the world day after day? Sometimes we need to crawl into the darkness to understand the problem.

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Alice in Court (Wednesday Words 3.29.17)

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 Shard based off a photo prompt. 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.)

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Alice in Court

“You’re late, you’re late, for a very important date!”

Alice tilted her head at the voice filtering through the walls toward her. It was frantic, like someone who had wolfed down way too much sugar and energy drinks. She glanced to the door.

“You’re late, you’re late, for a very important date!”

It was closer this time. Who was late? And who was yelling the phrase? She stepped to the door and crouched, peering out through the keyhole into the woods with one eye. Along the pathway stood a white rabbit with its nose twitching. Red eyes were locked on the door of her cottage. For a brief moment she could have sworn it caught her one-eyed gaze through the keyhole. A cold breeze raced down her spine so fleetingly that she nearly missed it.

The rabbit hopped a step closer to the cottage. “You’re late, you’re late!”

Alice gasped and reeled back in surprise, covering her mouth with her hand. The White Rabbit… It talked. It spoke to her. Just like the one from her dream several nights before. She was late? Late for what important date? After a second she crouched and gazed through the keyhole again. A frown creased her lips when she didn’t see the rabbit anymore. Where had it gone? She straightened.

“You’re late, you’re late!” It was coming from right outside her door now, right on the front stoop by the sound of it.

Her head snapped back to the door and she cautiously peeked once more as best she could to see her front step. Sure enough, the rabbit was standing right on the step, staring up at her with gleaming red eyes.

“You’re late, you’re late,” it cackled. The squeaky, high-pitched tone of the White Rabbit began to deepen into something more sinister.

A strangeness overtook Alice’s limbs like her body was being compacted. The world began to grow bigger and bigger as if she was getting smaller and smaller. The keyhole rose up away from her toward the sky and the door became an impassable mountain. Then the floor suddenly rushed up to meet her shrinking form. It caught her roughly in the knees and tossed her out through the keyhole into the woods. Alice screamed in confused panic, arms flailing as she tumbled through the air. The world enlarged back to normal as she flew and hit the dirt.

“You’re late, you’re late. For a very important date.” The voice of the White Rabbit was now distorted and deep with nails screeching down a chalkboard.

Her surroundings began to darken, bleeding away the light and color like ink on a newspaper left out in the rain. The trees shed their leaves and grew tall and thin, twisting and bending into disfigured shapes. She could hear whispers among the brush. Cackling and screeching sounded in the far off distance. Expect for the eerie cackle of the White Rabbit. That one was right behind her.

Alice whipped her head around and almost screamed, scrambling backwards in a crab walk to get away from the creature that no longer resembled a cute little bunny. The White Rabbit had grown to roughly nine foot tall, standing on hind legs. Dangerous claws flexed on its front paws, half reaching for her then pulling back repeatedly like it was teasing her. Pristine fur had changed to a pitch black coarse pelt, and vicious red eyes glowed at her with a disturbing craze. It smiled, showing off pointed buck teeth.

It wasn’t the White Rabbit anymore. It was a thing of nightmares. It was the Black Rabbit.

“You’re late, you’re late, for a very important date, White Queen.”

“What?” she breathed, still scooting back slowly. “I’m not…”

Alice trailed off as she caught sight of her clothes. Her normal peasant’s dress was now a flowing gown of white silk with gold trim. Something heavy rested on top her head and she reached up to find a tiara nestled among auburn curls.

The Black Rabbit took a half step toward her and she backed up, forgetting about her clothes. “The Black Queen, Queen of Bleeding Hearts, wants her checkmate. Run. Run. As fast as you can, White Queen. The Black Rook is coming for you. It’s your move.”

She scurried to her feet and stumbled back into a tree. Casting her gaze past the Black Rabbit dismay sank into her gut to see her cottage was no longer there. She was on her own.

“Run. Run.” The rabbit cackled again and grinned at her.

Alice stared at the Black Rabbit for a second before gathering her skirts and fleeing into the darkened forest as fast as she could without tripping.


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

Ready Or Not, Here Comes Camp NaNo

Does anyone remember me mentioning several times throughout the last three months that my plan was to finish Fated to Darkness before the start of Camp NaNo so I could use Camp to write Clockwork Heart?

Well, regarding those plans, Camp NaNo is only three days away from starting now and…

Holy shit there’s only three days left till Camp NaNo starts.

*Panics slightly for a moment*

Okay. Okay. I’m calm. I’m very calm. I also have nothing ready for Camp NaNo and only three — and a half technically — days left to plan, all of which are swallowed up with horrendous work shifts and…

Crap. Crap crap crap crap. Or, as a friend would say, slertha!

(Yes, I just swore in a made up language from another book. I’m allowed to, I’m good friends with the author. An author who also created another made up curse word on behalf of a monster plot of mine, which Facebook so kindly reminded me of from two years ago today. LOL.)

Right. Plans. Camp NaNo. Getting back on track here.

Anyways, my original plan was to finish Fated to Darkness before Camp rolled around, because, dammit, I’ve been working on this novel for far too long now. Like, four Camp NaNo’s and one NaNoWriMo. That’s two and a half years! ARG!

When I set that as my plan I knew it was doable because I only had roughly five chapters left to write. And I’ve made progress! I’m down to three and a half chapters, pending a possible epilogue too. I don’t know. I want to do the epilogue, but I’m worried how spoilerish it might be unless I can leave a huge question to it so readers don’t guess something major that comes down the line. I want an epilogue either way, somehow, because I’m using them to show what is going on in other important character’s lives, or what’s going on in the realm period. I need them for added information and buildup.

I just… Ugh. Right now this epilogue is giving me a headache thinking about. And don’t even get me started on the prologue I wrote for this book. It’s suddenly been bothering me that I wrote it in first person instead of third and I’m now wondering if that was a good idea or not.

I’m having difficulties here!

And I’m getting off track, again. I do that a lot…

ANYWHO!

Unless I can write three and a half chapters, and figure out the epilogue, within three and a half days on top of horrendous work shifts and a large lack of sleep coming up thanks to work shifts, I am not going to finish Fated to Darkness before Camp starts like I had hoped.

I am writing though. I went dark last night in hopes of finishing the chapter I’m on, but it’s not moving as quickly as I had expected it to end. I did add 2.2k words to it though. So it’s not like I’m sitting around doing nothing but walks and yard work. I’m banking part of my boosted motivation and productivity on the fact it’s finally Spring and warm out with sunshine and birdsong and color and… Oh Spring; how I missed you. It’s amazing how much Spring uplifts me and kicks me into gear again. No wonder I hate Winter so much, other than the snow and cold.

Since the odds of me finishing this novel in three and a half days is about the same odds of perfecting time travel right now, I’m going to have to start Camp with the project of finishing this novel. I’m hoping it’s maybe about 20k from the end. I’m horrible at estimating length though soooo… Fingers crossed it’s about 20k, because this novel is going to make me cry in editing. (Do not ask me how long it is, I will lie.)

My tentative goal for Camp NaNo right now is 30k because there’s thirty days in April. I will see how the first couple weeks go of Camp and if I’ll make that goal and blow it away as I did last year in April, or if I’ll struggle and need to lower it. Once I see how close I am after the first two weeks, I adjust to something else.

One month I did 61k, the next Camp I only managed 35k. (This was last year April and July.) So it all depends on what’s going on that month for me, and how much I feel like killing myself. Considering Easter falls in April this year, and work is now shorthanded for this season because we lost a manager, I’m betting I will not have a lot of time to write for the first couple weeks. Even after that things might be fucktastic because one less manager means more hours that I really did not want right now.

I want the time off this year to be able to really focus on writing and reach further for my dreams, not extra hours. Sure, the paycheck is nice, but when I look back at the end of this year to see if I accomplished what I wanted and I might not have thanks to work, I’m going to resent the paycheck instead. I’ll also probably end up tossing around the idea in my head that I need to quit my day job to focus solely on writing and trying to make a name for myself. Believe me, that idea has been kicking around in my head this year already.

Although, for the sake of my writing, I have started putting in requests for days off in which I can focus on just writing. I don’t feel guilty about doing that anymore. I took the first three days of April off to get started on writing, and now since the manager thing and horrible shifts today through Friday, I’m really wishing I had asked for four days off instead of three. I’m gonna need the first of April just to find some energy again at this rate.

I’m doing it again, aren’t I? Getting off track that is.

Okay, so the start of NaNo is going to be finishing Fated to Darkness, which hopefully will be about 20k and no more. In comparison to my goal, that still leaves me with 10k to write. I hate to do more than one project during NaNo, but once I finish Book 1 here I’m going to use the rest of NaNo to work on Clockwork Heart. Maybe between the end of this NaNo and July’s NaNo I can finish that novella/novel — whichever it turns out to be — and then spend most of the rest of 2017 editing it and submitting it to be published. By the end of the year.

That is my goal. To hopefully get Clockwork Heart published by the end of 2017.

If I do finish that novel before November rolls around I honestly have no idea what I’m working on for the big NaNoWriMo. Maybe Breaking Point, or Shapeshifter Wings, or… Okay, now I’m really getting ahead of myself.

I think Breaking Point needs a new title too but I have no idea what to call it and…

OKAY! Enough random tangent thoughts!

Sheesh! There’s way too many tabs open in my head right about now.

What was I talking about? Right. Camp NaNo plans.

Thankfully I have the rest of Fated to Darkness planned out already so I won’t get stuck on “what’s next?” with that novel. Hopefully I can get as much as possible finished on it in the next three and a half days before I use Camp to wrap it up. (Seriously can’t believe I’m saying that yet.) Then with whatever word count I have left to accomplish, and whatever goal I end up settling on after Easter craziness, I will spend the rest of April’s Camp NaNo writing Clockwork Heart. I do have parts of Clockwork Heart planned out with a general direction so hopefully I don’t get stuck there either.

30k words next month is the goal, along with finishing this blasted novel finally. I would love to do more than 30k again but we’ll see what happens.

Just three and a half more days before the next plunge into madness is upon me…

I’ll Do Anything But… (Snippet Sunday 3.26.17)

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

For those that were following and looking forward to another snippet from Clockwork Heart… Sorry to disappoint you, but I’m holding off on sharing from that WiP this month, even though I missed the final shares for it in February. The (tentative) plan right now is to come back to it in April during Camp NaNo, because I believe that is the story I will be working on for Camp. Providing I do in fact manage to finish Fated to Darkness this month, and providing another WiP doesn’t scream at me to work on it instead. There’s quite a few trying to grab my next immediate attention…

So while I madly write away at the FINAL four chapters of Fated to Darkness, I’m once more going to share snippets from that novel for motivation. Hopefully ya’ll aren’t getting tired of seeing this novel.

This week’s excerpt picks up right where we left off in last week’s snippet.

And now for the fourth – and possibly final – peek at Chapter 9: The Gift…
(I may be jumping around a lot in this chapter, or skipping further ahead, to avoid spoilers.)

~*~*~*~

Almost like she was on numb autopilot, she saw herself reach forward and pick up the weapon rather than consciously knowing she did so. Her hand shook when she touched the cool hilt, afraid of the sharp object that could inflict such severe damage. Although, at the current moment, she was more afraid of Ciara’s punishment than of the deadly weapon.

“Torture her.”

The sternness to Ciara’s tone rushed chills down her spine. There was no room for argument in that voice and she whimpered. She didn’t want to hurt the girl. “P-Please, I’ll do anything but…” she whispered timidly.

“You will torture her or you will suffer the consequences.”

She shook her head weakly.

“Do it,” Ciara demanded coldly. There was her final warning.

~*~*~*~

And there is the edge of the point of no return. Will she do it? Or will she surprise us all? I guess you may never know, because this might be my last snippet of Fated to Darkness for awhile. I’m not too sure yet. We’ll see what the last week of March brings in my writing and how NaNo starts in April.

Fated to Darkness Cover Final

Blurb:
Three year old Heather Fraeis is like every other normal toddler. With a loving family, a family dog, and a little bit spoiled.

But fate can be a twisted and cruel friend.

Kidnapped on the night of her fourth birthday by a woman clad in black, Heather is whisked away to a realm that has never been known to exist. Forced into a life she doesn’t want as her kidnapper’s Heir, she comes to find that monsters do in fact exist, nightmares are more than bad dreams, and magic is more than just the thing of fairy tales.

Lies, fear, secrets, and pain await her around every corner. Swallowed whole by the dark path laid out before her, she is forced to fall with no light at the end of the tunnel to give her hope. Until she meets a young boy that may change everything once more for her…

Can Heather defy all the odds and overcome who is she forced to become? Or will it be too late for her to rise above the fate laid before her?


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 have out for free, you can hop on over to  my profile on Wattpad and check out what I have to offer. Or if you wish to read my debut release, Embermyst, you can find out more about that in the tabs above. (I’m working on the tabs, bare with me.) I love to hear any and all feedback on my work as well. Comments are greatly appreciated, as are the reads. You can also find me on my Facebook author page to keep up to date with all that’s going on in my writing.

And if you’re looking for some other great snippets of fellow authors,
hop on over to Facebook and check out Snippet Sunday!

You Know You’re An Author When…

We authors do some strange things.

We can hold full blown conversations with the characters in our heads. We have both disturbing and hilarious Google histories when it comes to research for our books. We’ll sit down to write, end up on a roll, and then four hours later remember we’ve forgotten to eat or missed that appointment. We can write an entire book or scene in our heads to perfection but when we stare at the Word doc to actually write it, we end up saying “wut r werds?” and it never actually comes out as pretty as we imagine it.

Sometimes we’ll try things out before we write them just to see if it’s actually possible, like ripping a thong off someone. (No I haven’t done that, but I’ve heard other romance authors have tried it before writing it since they weren’t totally convinced it’s so easy.) Other times we’ll make the same faces our characters are making while we listen to them chat away in our heads when putting words to a page. We have the ability to become experts on a certain subject in a matter of days since our character is an expert on it, because hell, how can we write their genius if we don’t know it ourselves?

We’ll wake up in the middle of the night with sudden plot fixes or brilliant ideas and then suddenly we’re up till dawn writing because it’s too good to go back to sleep. Showers and baths are our greatest moments of inspiration! Because, of course, you can’t write it down while you’re in the shower. There’d be no other logical time for those lightbulb moments to happen. We have the infuriating ability to say “oh, I’ll remember that idea or plot fix, I don’t have to write it down”, and then prove to ourselves a few hours later that we should have written it down. Yet still, we never learn our lesson on that no matter how many times it happens.

Yep. We writers do some strange things. We’re a quirky bunch, with a touch of insanity. I mean, sanity is overrated anyways, isn’t it? It’s much more fun to live in the realms in our heads!

I seem to have a trend of making Facebook posts when I write, things that I stumble across and go, “Yep, I’m definitely an author” for. I had another one yesterday while I was working on Fated to Darkness. I was in the middle of writing a scene in which my character was running from something, trying to get to a friend, so it was outdoors scene. I got about halfway through it before realizing I had completely and utterly forgotten what timeframe the setting was in.

My Facebook post looked like this afterwards…

You know you’re an author when you repeatedly associate your book’s month/season setting with your own present weather conditions and time frame, forgetting that they are not, in fact, in the same month, time, season, or even year as you. Which then leads to leaving yourself notes in your Word doc like this…

[SHIT. IT’S SUPPOSED TO BE WINTER. YOU NEED TO CHANGE THESE SETTINGS SLIGHTLY AND MAKE SURE TO ADD DETAILS OF THE SEASON — SEEING BREATH IN THE AIR, COLD WIND, ETC.]

#writerproblems

I make a lot of these posts, actually, because I’m always finding something I do that is so a writer. Most of my posts start with the, “You know you’re an author when…” phrase. But occasionally I have some other goodies like these two from a week and a half ago:

When you’re trying to fall asleep and your brain suddenly magically remembers the word you were looking for hours ago while writing, but couldn’t get it off the tip of your tongue no matter how hard you tried so you used something you weren’t totally satisfied with instead. Go. Figure. *Mentally throttles my brain* #writerproblems #onlywritersunderstandthefrustrationandpain

And…

Trying to fend off a new plot bunny as an author is like trying to stop a flood with a piece of cardboard. I’m failing. Epicly.

I had another “You know you’re an author when…” post just this week after I wrote Mission To Write. Because only an author can turn a writer’s life into the story of a secret agent in comparison.

Sometimes I seriously question how my brain works. Other times I just roll with it like, eh, yeah, I’m not even going to ask where that one came from.

I’m quite curious though now. What things do you do, if you’re an author, that you can sit back at and go, “Yep, I’m definitely a writer”? How would you finish the phrase “You know you’re an author when…”? I would love to hear your responses to that question down in the comments.

In other news, I’ve been debating on branching my social media platform a bit more. Mainly, I’m debating on setting up a Twitter. I’m still a bit undecided though. Although there is another online writing site I’m half hashing around in my head to joining, since Wattpad is actually a complete and utter liar. But I’ll save those stories and decisions for another day.

In other, other news, I’ve been forgetting to shout out my accomplishments in #ThursThreads flash fiction for the past three weeks. The past two weeks I snagged an honorable mention, and today, on the last day of Year 4 for #ThursThreads, I achieved my FIRST WIN!

WOOOOHOOOOO! *Does a little happy dance*

(Seriously, I saw the notification of my win at work and smiled for the rest of my shift. I may or may not have squealed too. It’s really hard to get a win when there are a couple really good authors who almost always come out with either a mention or a win. So this definitely made my day. I feel kind of invincible, and proud.)

I’d love to share my honorable mention tales of 250 words, but I feel kinda weird sharing them so overdo. I swear I meant to share them each week, but kept forgetting. (Just like I’ve forgotten to share my Shard story to Wattpad yet. Whoops…) Perhaps I’ll throw them up to my Facebook author page just for fun sometime. Since my win did come today though, I thought I’d share my little tale to sign off for the week on a good note.

So here’s my tale…

Robin helped his mother through the doorway, holding one of her hands to steady her slow, frail steps. Once safely inside he guided her to sit at the rickety table, settling their satchel down on its surface.

“Are you alright, mother?” he asked with concern, brow furrowed.

She waved a wrinkled hand then placed it over her chest, smiling lightly to him. “Of course, dear.” His mother began to reach for the satchel of market goods they brought home, leaning her walking stick against her chair. “I best be getting supper started now. Don’t want the children to be coming home without supper on the table.”

He frowned, stopping her reach gently. “Mother… There’s no children coming home. We’re all grown up.”

“Nonsense, they’re all wee babes yet,” she dismissed, shaking him off and reaching in the satchel to pull out wrapped parcels one by one. “Where’s my eggs? I can’t cook without them.”

“We didn’t buy them, remember?” he said softly, crouching to her level.

Puzzlement crossed her features, turning to peer at him. Once bright blue eyes where dulled and filmed over from old age and fragile mind. He noticed the way her lips pursed tight and sadness touched her features in a telltale sign. Then the sadness was replaced with confused wariness and all previous thoughts were forgotten.

“Who are you?” she asked quietly.

His heart ached, holding her hands. “I’m your son. Robin. You rest now, mother, I’ll make supper. I love you.”

thrusthread winner badge

Lookie! I even get a really cool badge! *Grins*

Last of all as I head out, here’s what the judge said to my tale: I really loved the compassion of this tale. You can see the remnants of the elderly woman’s independence and in a moment it just disappears. And the sweetness of the son’s willingness to just take what was offered. Great tale.

Birdsong (Wednesday Words 3.22.17)

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 Shard based off a three word combination prompt. 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! (Personally, I think this one sucks.)

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

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Birdsong

River sat down along the stream’s edge with her back to the water, bunching her skirts around her legs. Her gaze fell to rest upon the makeshift gravestone only several feet in front of her, a mighty oak shielding it. She remained silent respectively and laid a single rose down over the grave.

Dawn was just barely creeping over the horizon, painting the sky in beautiful shades of pink and orange. The light filtered down through the tree limbs, skipping along the ground and twinkling with each light rustle of leaves in the wind. Birds of all sorts were stretching their wings and voices to the heavens around her, warming the morning with their delicate songs.

Everything was quiet. Peaceful.

At least, on the outside everything was peaceful in the woods. Within her heart though she was mourning the anniversary of a loss. A dull ache that beat within her chest, constricting her walls.

After some moments of silence she began to hum a tune, softly at first, then a bit louder. It wasn’t a happy tune, but it also couldn’t be considered a completely sad melody. It was the words of her heart she couldn’t bring to justice by speaking, the words and feelings that could only be completely conveyed by tune. Her melody rose and fell along the chorus of the birds, singing as one.

Out of the corner of her eye she caught sight of a small chocolate brown rabbit hopping close to stop near a boulder. It watched her, waiting patiently until she had stopped humming and sat there quietly. When she had been silent for a few minutes it hopped closer, nose twitching.

“River?” the rabbit asked lightly.

She turned her head and gave a small smile before standing to brush off her skirts. “I’m alright, Cinnabun.”

“Are you sure?” Cinnabun hopped a step closer, putting her front paws on River’s shoe and stretching up.

River nodded, reaching down to rub at her ears. “I’m sure. I’m okay. Or, I will be okay in time. Let’s get back to the rest of the clan before Buck sends the wolves to find us.”

Cinnabun gave a quick head shake from being tickled then hopped away so she could walk without tripping over her. River followed her soundlessly back into the forest, casting one last glance over her shoulder at the gravestone.


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

Mission To Write

Happy Spring!

blessed ostara

The coming of Spring seems to have given me the kick in the ass I’ve been needing. Or maybe it was a combination of things that lit the fire under me until fingers started flying over keys again.

I think it was more of a domino effect of a few things, starting with my realization from my last post of who I wanted to dedicate Clockwork Heart too. When I finish the story, that is. (I still want to send those emails I talked of too, if anyone remembers/knows what I’m talking about.) That realization ignited the first spark of desire to write once more. Because I’m not going to get to Clockwork Heart again until I finish Fated to Darkness, and if my plan is to use Camp NaNo for writing that novella, then I need to get moving on finishing Book 1 of this series.

After all, there’s only eleven days left in March. Camp NaNo is fast approaching here. Eep.

The second domino falling was watching a fellow Snippeteer’s weekly live Facebook video to connect and talk to her followers. It wasn’t the video itself that tipped the domino, it was the topic she was providing insight on: how to get the words onto the page without getting distracted. More accurately, how to make time to write.

It made me realize something. Something I had known before and had started to work into my life but had eventually fallen through because, you know me and the words “follow through”.

Of course, with her life style as a full time writer, it’s easier to set a schedule for writing that could work around having no interruptions and wouldn’t also change day to day. She has the support in her life that helps make that schedule easier to stick to as well.

I don’t have those things. I can’t make a set time and schedule to make a habit of writing daily when I work a part time job in retail where a thing such as consistent hours and shifts are as mythical as the Loch Ness monster. I can’t quit said day job either to try to make writing my living (yet) when I still have bills to pay and not enough of a name for myself yet to venture that far. I don’t have the same support and understanding from friends or family where they would back off to give me the solitude needed to be able to write, or to keep others from bugging me.

I don’t have any of that. I’m pretty much on my own in this adventure, at least in trying to make it work with my life.

Despite the fact I don’t have the ability to set a specific schedule and time to write daily (unless I want to make it at midnight or later every single night, but then I’d never see or talk to any of my friends much) there is still something she reminded me I can do.

Every author out there knows social media of all forms are both an author’s best friend to build their fan base and the perfect platform to get yourself out there, and also an author’s worst enemy in lay they are a major time suck that we can get sucked into an endless abyss of memes, videos, and DIY recipes and never get anything done. Ever. Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, Twitter, Wattpad, YouTube… They are all demons and angels at the same time.

Sometimes the only way we’ll ever put words to a page is if we force ourselves away from those black holes of procrastination and sit down in a place, or a way, we can’t be tempted to wander on back to them. At least, not wander back easily enough by just a mouse click or tap of a finger on our phones.

I like calling this way of enforced self imprisonment with a countdown bomb your life depends on diffusing or satisfying in time “going dark”.

You’ve probably heard that term before. Going dark.

If you haven’t, going dark means to unplug from everything. It can mean going somewhere where there is no internet to distract you, and no LTE to turn to. It can mean shutting your phone off and leaving the house to go write somewhere without wi-fi. It can also mean you simply shut both your internet and phone off and you don’t touch them until you reach the goal you set.

To me that goal is your Bomb. The one your life depends on diffusing or satisfying so that it doesn’t explode on you and tear you up. The self imprisonment, what I’m going to refer to as your Insnare – yes, I spelled it wrong on purpose, is willing shutting every distraction and interruption out, of not letting your butt back out of that chair until your task is complete.

Of course, you could still break every single rule in the book of Missions and trigger your Bomb to explode by turning that phone and/or internet back on before you complete your assignment. But it’s a lot easier to tell yourself no and stay focused when you can’t access those black holes with one click.

Just like that there was my second domino falling, because I realized I had forgotten just how well that trick works. As J. K. Rowling once said, “Be ruthless about protecting writing days, i.e., do not cave in to endless requests to have ‘essential’ and ‘long overdue’ meetings on those days.”

Maybe our endless requests aren’t about meetings. Maybe they’re about social events, or the call to pick up another shift, or even as simple as a text message saying hello. In a sense, every distraction and interruption is a meeting you have a choice to say “give me two hours of complete solitude, and then we’ll talk” to. Or any version of the word “no”. You could blow your cover in the Mission by giving in.

Some people may understand your stubbornness, others may get frustrated and angry you’re blowing them off in a sense. But as J. K. said, be ruthless. The only way you’re going to get those words to the page is if you make it happen and don’t let everything else in this fast-paced, chaotic world get in your way. If the people butting in are true friends and supporters of the dreams you’re trying to achieve, they’ll understand and give you those few extra hours or whatever you need. Hell, if they’re true supporters they’ll encourage it and protect that time for you just as fiercely as you do.

On Sunday I took that initiative and dove into the dark to write, starting the first quest of what I’m calling Mission To Write. While I didn’t turn my wi-fi off, I didn’t open my internet browser at all to tempt me to hop over and check websites; and while my phone was playing music in the background, it was nowhere near me where I would see notifications pop up and whisper at me to check them. The goal was to stay in the dark until I had finished the chapter of Fated to Darkness I was on. Or rather, write until Once Upon A Time and Time After Time came on and then return to the Mission after my shows were over till my task was finished.

And I did it. In only about an hour and a half I had managed almost 2k words and was mere sentences away from finishing the chapter before my shows came on. If fact, I finished the final sentences during commercials because I found I didn’t want to stop again. Then after that I continued a bit further for the first 700 words of the next chapter.

I’m now down to the final FOUR chapters of Fated to Darkness.

That same night my third domino began to tip in the form of some fellow authors and friends I made through Wattpad coming to me with a proposal for forming a writer’s circle. Wattpad was good and all for sharing and garnering feedback and a fan base, but we’ve learned – thanks to my experience – how untrustworthy the site is for those really aspiring to be published; and also that sharing your work elsewhere can hurt your chances of getting it published because it counts as “previously published”.

With those two things heavy on our minds and hearts, we decided to ban together on our own and create a small group of those we’ve interacted with and grown close to, those we trust, to help each other on this crazy adventure of achieving our dreams. A group where we can share our work for feedback and opinions on all types of things within our writing. A group where we can bounce ideas off each other to help spark our imaginations and fix plot issues. A group where we are serious in our endeavors and will show each other the support and help we need to coax our dreams within our reach.

I may already have a group like that, but it can never hurt to have another. While the group I have now with two other friends is more geared toward simply holding ourselves accountable to writing, this group will provide a following-the-entire-journey beta reader’s insight. One can never have too many beta readers.

So my dominos have begun to fall and fuel my fire once more, and while they may have been shaken by all that goes on with Wattpad yet and other realizations in the realm of publishing, they are still blazing strong.

Maybe that was all I needed all along: Reminders on how to make it work with my life. There are many things wobbling on the edge of an uncertain abyss right now, many things I must think over and determine where my heart and goals lie – mainly with my story Rivers of Black right now. I am in no way over how these realizations have shaken me, for I feel betrayed and cheated by Wattpad yet, but perhaps I’ll have learned from this now. Perhaps even, it will be the insight I needed to take a step further toward my goals of becoming a published author as my career.

As a fellow author and friend once said, it takes balls to be an author, and my Mission To Write is only still beginning. One day, the target, S. P. Author (Successfully Published Author), of my Mission will be in my grasp.

Pick It Up (Snippet Sunday 3.19.17)

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

For those that were following and looking forward to another snippet from Clockwork Heart… Sorry to disappoint you, but I’m holding off on sharing from that WiP this month, even though I missed the final shares for it in February. The (tentative) plan right now is to come back to it in April during Camp NaNo, because I believe that is the story I will be working on for Camp. Providing I do in fact manage to finish Fated to Darkness this month, and providing another WiP doesn’t scream at me to work on it instead. There’s quite a few trying to grab my next immediate attention…

So while I madly write away at the FINAL five chapters of Fated to Darkness, I’m once more going to share snippets from that novel for motivation. Hopefully ya’ll aren’t getting tired of seeing this novel.

This week’s excerpt picks up right where we left off in last week’s snippet.

And now for the third peek at Chapter 9: The Gift…
(I may be jumping around a lot in this chapter, or skipping further ahead, to avoid spoilers.)

~*~*~*~

Fright immediately overtook Heather’s body when Ciara set the torch in the bracket beside the entrance and unlocked the door once more, still holding her tightly with her other hand.

“N-No. I be good. Please!”

“Shut up,” she spat, dragging her inside the room once more.

In the dim lighting of one low burning torch, Heather could just make out the girl laying motionless at the back of the cell. The flickering light made her look even worse for wear than when Heather had been dragged out hours ago in defiance. Or maybe it was the even more tattered, bloody clothes and fragile state that made her appear worse off. Blood stained the ground around her, still glistening rather fresh. Her hair was matted and she ever so weakly picked her head up to look to see who had come in with dull eyes. A slight spark of life shown in them when she saw Heather being dragged in but it was barely there.

Ciara must have come back in after taking her away to expel some frustration and anger on the poor girl. It was the only explanation Heather could fathom for her defeated state now.

The Dark One threw Heather forward to the girl again, making her stumble to the ground in front of her. Already raw knees scrapped on rough stone. The dagger she had been told to use before clattered to the floor behind her before Ciara kicked it toward her. It came to rest just in front of Heather, with the point ironically positioned at the girl.

“Pick it up.”

~*~*~*~

Do you think Heather is going to pick it up or not?

Fated to Darkness Cover Final

Blurb:
Three year old Heather Fraeis is like every other normal toddler. With a loving family, a family dog, and a little bit spoiled.

But fate can be a twisted and cruel friend.

Kidnapped on the night of her fourth birthday by a woman clad in black, Heather is whisked away to a realm that has never been known to exist. Forced into a life she doesn’t want as her kidnapper’s Heir, she comes to find that monsters do in fact exist, nightmares are more than bad dreams, and magic is more than just the thing of fairy tales.

Lies, fear, secrets, and pain await her around every corner. Swallowed whole by the dark path laid out before her, she is forced to fall with no light at the end of the tunnel to give her hope. Until she meets a young boy that may change everything once more for her…

Can Heather defy all the odds and overcome who is she forced to become? Or will it be too late for her to rise above the fate laid before her?


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 have out for free, you can hop on over to  my profile on Wattpad and check out what I have to offer. Or if you wish to read my debut release, Embermyst, you can find out more about that in the tabs above. (I’m working on the tabs, bare with me.) I love to hear any and all feedback on my work as well. Comments are greatly appreciated, as are the reads. You can also find me on my Facebook author page to keep up to date with all that’s going on in my writing.

And if you’re looking for some other great snippets of fellow authors,
hop on over to Facebook and check out Snippet Sunday!

Decisions, Realizations, and Dedications

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

saint patrick's day

On Tuesday I posted a warning to Wattpad users about the site not being as safe and secure as they claim to be. Since then it’s been on my mind a lot, and not just because Wattpad refuses to do anything about my situation.

Wattpad was my greatest place for trying to get feedback and notice on my work, more so even then this blog or Facebook. It’s also the place I’ve meet three awesome writing friends I never would have known if I had never joined, one of which began a best friend. The place that helped me develop so much more of Heather’s story that I may never have come up with on my own. And despite this problem, I don’t want to lose what advantages Wattpad does have.

Because of that, I’m reluctant to leave Wattpad.

Granted, I’m a bit more hesitant about some things, but I don’t want to delete and leave. I’ve watched writers grow from nothing on this site, and build such a large fan base that it helped carry them through to publication. You can’t always say that about other writing sites, or about a blog alone.

So while I’m a bit wary of Wattpad now, I can’t bring myself to take down my works and shut down my account. I am going to add copyright claims EVERYWHERE in my stuff now. I’m also going to keep a very close eye on things, but there’s no way in hell I’m backing down from spreading the warning or continuing to prod at Wattpad for it.

In fact, since they’re so set on shutting me down if I send another report, I’m going to take a different route and start sending letters or emails straight to Wattpad HQ demanding something be done and that they start rethinking their policy and conduct guidelines. I don’t think they realize just how big an issue this could be, or I’m betting they don’t give a shit simply because the account I had this happen to was a strictly roleplay account. And Wattpad once before tried to shut down roleplaying from their threads, leaving many to turn to making accounts to continue their passion.

In all honesty, I think that’s the exact reason why Wattpad won’t do anything about this. Because they don’t give a damn it’s a roleplay account and to them not important if someone tries to steal it or duplicate it. It’s not real writing, right?

Wrong. Fucking wrong in so many ways.

It still sets the example someone could do it to an author’s account that holds their stories. I don’t think that’s the message they want to be sending out, or maybe it is apparently. Either way I’m not letting this go yet.

But I’ll stop ranting about that now before I ramble on forever and return to writing news.

Two nights ago I hardly slept because my brain was abuzz with thoughts of writing and, oddly enough, past teachers. I’m not quite sure how my brain went from writing, to video games, to past teachers, and then back to writing, but it did. During the trip down a rabbit hole, I was suddenly struck with a thought that now has me itching to finish Clockwork Heart.

Somehow, in thinking of past teachers and writing, I suddenly realized who I want to dedicate Clockwork Heart too.

Four past teachers I had in grade school from 7th grade and up that impacted not just my writing, but my whole life. The ones that went above and beyond the classroom. The ones I haven’t forgotten. I want to thank them.

When I graduated high school, I had actually sent an email to one of those teachers to thank them for their faith and belief in me, for what they did for me. The email I got back made me smile and know it was worth taking the time to send it. Teachers are so under appreciated for all they do, and even the smallest act of gratitude letting them know they are making a real difference could mean the world to them. Especially in this day and age. Almost just like how one single comment from a stranger can mean so much to a writer.

Actually, I think it’s exactly the same concept.

Since that realization of mine, I’ve been itching to jump back into Clockwork Heart so I can finish it and send it off to a publisher for a chance. And if it gets accepted to be published, I know one of the first things I’m going to do is send out a signed thank you copy of it to each teacher I dedicated it to. I’ve even been meaning to send an email to them again, because I never did thank the other three that impacted me.

So while I may not be getting very far on finishing Fated to Darkness at the moment, I’m thinking about writing and wanting to write. Now I just have to write those emails and finish that book before the end of March, that way I can use Camp NaNo to work on Clockwork Heart.

I guess I better use my four days off next week, and this weekend off to get working through Fated to Darkness again. There’s only two weeks left till Camp starts.

Dragonstone (Wednesday Words 3.15.17)

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 Shard based off a three word combination prompt. 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.)

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Dragonstone

O’Malley’s ear twitched at the crack of a branch breaking under soft footfalls. Bending backwards out of his handstand he sprang up to his feet with a small hop, settling gold eyes on the elf through woven bars of vines.

“Well, well,” he purred, adjusting his top hat and raking his gaze over the man. “Lookie who came to see their trap sprung.” He grinned, revealing a set of sharp pointed teeth.

The elf paused in a slight defensive crouch several feet away from his cage of thick, sturdy vines and roots. He was a burly built man with massive muscles rippling under his tunic sleeves, carrying a half drawn bow in his hands. O’Malley had to give him credit for not having heard him sneaking up sooner. For his size and build he was a rather quiet one; perhaps he was both a hunter and trapper then. Strictly trappers never knew the importance of stealth like a hunter does.

“Hold your tongue, lepper.”

He gave a little hop and cackled. “Lepper? Oh dear me. Here come the offensive attempts at my gold-loving, mysterious and mischievous species. I’m so dreadfully terrified.”

“Quiet. Or I’ll put an arrow through you.” His voice came out like a low, cold growl.

O’Malley simply grinned in return though, wiggling green fingers at his sides as he rolled back and forth on the balls of his feet. Silly elf. They never did fully understand a leprechaun’s abilities, did they?

The elf stepped a hair closer to his cage and lowered the arrow toward the ground. He didn’t release the tension on the bowstring though. “Now. You know how this works. I managed to snare you, so that means you have to return the dragonstone to my kingdom. So where is it?”

He snickered. “And what makes you believe I have the dragonstone? There are many talented leprechauns out there capable of…pick-pocketing that precious blue gem.” O’Malley watched his jaw clench with satisfaction.

“Stop playing games, vermin. Where is it?”

Dark gold eyes appraised him up and down, then he casually turned away and sauntered around the perimeter of his cage. Clasping his hands in front of his chest he tapped his fingers together in a grand show of plotting, humming to himself and biding time. His ear twitched.

An arrow zinged through the air and lodged quivering into one of the thick vines of the corner of his prison, only inches in front of him. One more step would have impaled his shoulder, but he knew the elf hadn’t been aiming to harm him. Not yet at least. That had been meant to scare him, but it wasn’t going to work.

“Answer the question. Where is the dragonstone?”

O’Malley flicked burning eyes toward his captor and tilted his head. “Even if I had it I wouldn’t be foolish enough to keep it in my possession now, would I?”

“Where did you stash it, you lying thief?”

“Oooh…”

He swirled a hand in the air, then suddenly vanished in a blur of movement and dark green light. The elf jumped back in surprise as O’Malley appeared visible again right in front of him, body pressed up against the earthly tendrils of his prison. He wrapped his gnarly hands around two stocky vines, eyes locking on the black cord around the elf’s neck. An orange heartstone hung from it, bright and pulsing with the life of his dragon.

Baring his teeth in a feral grin he asked, “What’s that, trapper? Your lucky charm?”

The elf’s eyes snapped downward, then he hurriedly shoved the cord and heartstone back under his tunic. Pointed ears slicked back and the creases in his face hardened. No wonder he was so stealthy, and so well built. He wasn’t just a trapper and hunter, he was a Flamer. An elf with a dragon bond and the ability to bend their dragon’s fire in battle. They relied on the dragonstone as part of the power that held the bond intact between dragon and Flamer.

“So that’s why you’re so intent on retrieving the dragonstone,” O’Malley taunted. “Because you and your dragon need it. You know your kingdom doesn’t much care for Flamers and their steeds anymore. High court probably don’t even care the dragonstone is missing.” A crazy, high-pitched cackle escaped his lips. “In fact, I bet they’re happy it’s gone!”

Emerald eyes narrowed at him and the elf bared his own teeth. He lunged forward and reached through the vines, grabbing O’Malley by the front of his jacket and lifting him off his feet a foot or so to be eye level. “You know where the dragonstone is, and you’re going to tell me. This prison is made from and resides in the enchanted forest, which means you can’t blitz your way out of it. Unless you tell me where the dragonstone is I’m going to leave you in here to rot. What’s one less lepper stealing from our kingdom to deal with?”

A low rumple of thunder drowned out O’Malley’s chortle. The sky was darkening rapidly overhead with storm clouds rolling in seemingly out of thin air. Trickles of lightning from cloud to cloud illuminated the dimming forest with ominous flashes. Cold rain tapped through the leaves, sporadically for a second then fast and steady. It dripped and slithered down through the greenery, drenching the two figures at an alarming rate.

He caught a flash of movement in the brush behind the elf and slowly grinned sinisterly.

“Best be running off now,” O’Malley taunted. “Haven’t you heard leprechauns have friends in low places?”

Satisfaction struck him when alarm flashed across the elf’s eyes. He dropped O’Malley back to his feet and spun agilely. Just as he reached for another arrow in the quiver across his back, O’Malley’s hand shot through the vines and grabbed his wrist to stop him. The elf grunted as he jerked him off balance to fall against the vines.

“Let go!” he snapped.

O’Malley only laughed and snaked his other hand through the vines, snatching his free forearm and holding tight. Despite their smaller size and build, leprechauns had some unnatural strength to them and he used it to his advantage.

“You really shouldn’t have trapped the Leprechaun King, Flamer,” he whispered, leaning in. “It angers my kingdom, you know. It also effectively makes you guilty of an attempted kidnapping. That arrow from earlier too…” He tsked. “Attempted assassination. I don’t think your dragon is going to see you again. Poor thing will probably die of a broken heart and bond.”

His friends in low places burst from the surrounding brush and leapt forward with fury and murder in their eyes toward the elf. O’Malley let go and stepped back to watch a set of his guards expertly try to take down his captor in the pouring rain. Being a Flamer he put up a small scuffle, but the odds weren’t in his favor.

“Your Highness!” someone else squeaked out of breath as they scurried forth on short legs to his cage. “Are you alright?”

O’Malley glanced over and smiled. “Quaver, my good aid, I am perfectly fine. However, it would be quite helpful if you could find a way to lift or open this prison.”

He was met with an enthusiastic nod as Quaver hurried around the outside perimeter looking for a way to unwind the roots from the vines and lift the prison back into the air. Gold eyes strayed back to the scuffle between elf and guards, smiling to see a blow double him over. His guards were quick to respond with ropes and binds until the Flamer was on his knees, disarmed, with hands tied behind his back and a cluster of lassoes around his chest and arms. At that moment he heard a twang of twine tightening and the cage began to lift, uncurling its fingers from the roots that shuddered back into the earth.

“Ah,” he sighed. “That is much better. Thank you, Quaver. Guards.” He gave a nod of approval. “Impeccable timing.”

The elf tried to stand and lunge forward as he stepped to join his men but was quickly yanked back stumbling. O’Malley chuckled, watching him with amusement.

“You’re going to regret this,” he growled. “Innin will find me and we will burn your city to the ground until we get the dragonstone back. You’re making a grave mistake by taking me.”

“Your dragon isn’t going to find you, Flamer. Dragons can’t fit underground.” He grinned savagely and began to walk off, motioning with one hand for his men to follow. “Come along now. There is much to be done, and we must find a nice, sturdy prison for you first, elf.”


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!

Since I missed the last month of posting my Shards to my blog, you can find the last four Shards — The Trouble With Warmongers, The Clone Exhibit, Balance, and Betrayal in Duty — on Wattpad.

Shards of Imagination Cover Final