Monday, February 28, 2011

Title Suggestions Needed

Yep. I'm asking people to suggest titles. Chances are I may combine or randomly come up with a different title but it's always interesting to see what other people would suggest. So far I've called this book "dystopian ya" (yeah, just the genre, not an actual title) and then started calling it either "border patrol" or "the border" but I don't really like either of them. I also considered "monster speaker" or something of that nature except it feels like it gives too much away and I try to have titles not give away important parts in the end of the novel.

The border is important in the novel. It's kind of like a fence only a magical/science technology one that keeps the monsters from invading most of the time. And they are starting to weaken though most of the village doesn't know the extent of the problem. But it's sort of boring when it comes to titles. There are two main characters, both boys. One is from the village in the mountains and the other shows up in the village, one of the first (along with his "family") in a long time to ever make it into the village since the outside area from the border is too dangerous for travel.

For now, the village boy is named Wyck, after the wick of a candle. A name his mom chose and she died when he was young. The new boy, one I have more idea for at the moment, is called Sage. I'm not completely set on names yet but they are growing on me. Wyck keeps to himself usually, not even talking much with his father after losing his mom. Sage is new and different, so not many are willing to approach him.

The village is ran by a woman whose title I haven't figured out yet. She controls pretty much everything and whether she's really bad or just doing what she thinks is best for the village is hard to figure out. Aside from the regular village stuff, she often instructs the border patrol and picks which of the village boys will be put on it once they have reached a certain age. But she angers the leader of the patrol, Wyck's father, when she orders the underaged Sage to the patrol. There are three borders, technically. One in the middle of the village, one encircles the rest of the village (or what they think is the rest of the village) and the one after that. The Patrol works between the last two, searching for monsters and fixing the border whenever they can though the materials needed are running low.

It's about a time of struggle where a village is kept ignorant of the danger that is going to one day break through the border and a boy who possesses abilities none other have anymore that know one can understand.

I posted images linked to the novel on a Monday's Muse post.

And I wrote the first line of the novel for a blogfest.

Have I rambled enough yet?
Have a title idea?

I am open to suggestions.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Hot Kiss Blogfest (m/m)

Kiddies go to bed. ;-) Just kidding. I won't post the dirty part, I promise. But this is supposed to be hot, and I hope I accomplish that much. Because it's a Hot Kiss blogfest. The host, Tara, originally planned to have it on valentine's day but after another kiss blogfest was announced for the same day she decided to move the date. Check out her blog for the other entires:

About the blogfest:
"1. this blogfest tests your skills on writing a hot kiss scene without the sex. Of course, if it leads up to that, that's fine.
2. scenes can be up to an R rating
3. scenes are to be posted on February 27th, 2011 at 8pm PST.
4. It can be as long or as short as you want.
6. HAVE FUN. go nuts. Go wild. :-) and remember...keep it H-O-T!!"

This is a tough pick because I already posted a really great kiss scene from my romance/erotica novel, Hellenic Distractions, for the Kiss Already blogfest. I considered picking another scene from that novel since there are plenty of kisses and naughty stuff. Or there is the novella/novel that I'm working on right now that my fan really loves, which doesn't have a title (unlike me, I know). But I decided, just now, why not post the new scene I wrote. Okay, not all of the scene because it was for the Weekly Quickie contest on, which means it's an erotic scene. But the kiss went pretty well. Oh, and if you read this, I know I need to change one character's name but I'm too lazy right now. lol

I don't know where this could go but for now, here is the kiss.

(Image from: Josh @ weheartit)

My Entry:

Talking on the phone in a public art museum probably wasn't the most respectful option but not many were there so Lee answered when it rang.

"Yello?" Lee tried to at least not talk too loud but the one other guy in the little blue room with white and gray paintings gave him a glance of surprise. After several minutes of listening, Lee shook his head. "It's not that easy. I can't go up to a random stranger and ask if they want to sleep with me. I'm in Philly and unless I know for sure the guy is gay, I'm not risking getting beat up for a random fling. Besides, I'm not that lucky."

"You're lame too. Bye." He closed the phone and put it back in his pocket. He couldn't help but glance at the one person who had probably overheard his conversation. The man looked to be a couple years younger, more like 24, with thin wire glasses that worked well with his short blond hair. He wore a sleek black jacket over pinstriped shirt and green pants.

"Sorry about that." Lee said, in reference to talking on the phone. He turned his attention back to the different paintings in the room until he heard the man mumble something. It almost sounded like the man said, "I'd do you."

When he glanced back over, the man immediately blushed as he immediately looked down at the floor. It was cute so Lee figured 'why not' and walked over to him. He offered a hand along with an introduction. "I'm Lee."

"Riley." He shifted his weight from left to the right before shaking the offered hand. His hand was a little clammy and he bit his lower lip after letting go.

"So, your place or my hotel room?"

The reaction that came next was amusing as Riley blushed, his mouth fell open and words struggled to come out. "I.. I didn't.. you..."

Lee smirked. This was more fun than he had expected it would be from the start of the conversation. After a moment of the most awkward silence he'd experienced before, he gave a different question. "How about this: do you know where I can get a good cheesesteak sandwich? I was told to try them since I'm in Philly."

"I do." Riley nodded, flashing his teeth as he smiled.

"Let's go." Lee led the way out of the museum with Riley close behind.

A couple hours later, Lee stood outside his hotel room, card key in hand and a nervous looking Riley standing next to him. After opening the door, Lee addressed him. "Thanks for dinner. Do you want to come in?"

All Riley had to do was nod before Lee gently tugged on the front of his jacket, pulling him into the room before shutting the door. He pressed his body against Riley until they were against the door as one hand slid from his chest up to the door while the other found its way into his soft blond hair. The scent of sweet peppers lingered, which was more pleasant than he would have expected. It reminded him of the moment in the restaurant when he'd watched Riley take a bite of a Philly cheesesteak, the cheese dripping down below his lower lip. He wanted to kiss him then but had managed to control himself.

Their foreheads pressed together as Lee looked deep into light hazel eyes, a delightful moment before he tilted his face to the left a nudge. He breathed in deep, then pressed his lips against Riley's.

Lee was gentle at first, reserved. Mouth closed, he focused on how their lips touched, experiencing the top lip, the bottom one and then both together. He trailed from one corner of Riley's mouth to the other and back again. Aching to push his tongue in, to experience the electric sensation of the moment a kiss deepened in erotic bliss, it wasn't easy holding back. He managed to wait until the sensation of tingled wetness from a tongue sliding against his lips begged to pull him in more, to deepen the kiss. His lips opened and achieved the wanted moment as Riley's tongue first slipped in and their tongues brushed together. Encouraged, Lee pulled harder, his tongue dominating as he hungered for more.  Fingers dug into his back, dragging downward as a shiver shot up his spine...

My Apology:  I have to stop here because if I go much further this blog is going to need a new, more adult rating and I really don't want that. So, I am going to do something I haven't before. I am apologizing. Sorry for building up such a scene and stopping before it's done.  I might be able to show people who are interested the flash fiction version on that has what happens next, though the kiss isn't as good there because I was limited to 869 words for the whole story. If I expand it, this kiss definitely goes in. But for now, sorry for the harsh emptiness after the build-up of a hot kiss. The whole thing needs expanded, and despite not needing another potential umm novella, this may become one.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Pay It Forward blogfest

(image link: lovestitches)

About the blogfest:
Go to this link in order to see the blog host and anyone else participating: Haley Jo's Blog

"You have until February 23rd to post a scene (either from scratch or something you already wrote) to your blog that deals with paying it forward. How your characters do so (good or bad) is up to you. I'm looking forward to some really interesting entries here. When the day of the blogfest arrives, everyone on the list will go around and read all the scenes and tell everyone how awesome they did! Sounds like fun, right? I think so."

I am always for taking part in writing friend's blogfests and this is one that may not have 50 entries but I'm more than happy to post something. And I get to show a different side to Jack, along with posting another small section. This line doesn't relate to the story but hopefully it shows there is more to him than his job.

My Entry:

Jack put the last piece of tape on the shiny green wrapping and set the box aside. One down only 150 more to go. He stared at the bins of toys before checking his watch. If no one came to help it was going to be a really long night. Thankfully, as he picked up a boxed doll, a door opened.

Ella stepped into the room carrying another load of colorful wrapping paper. She set it down before pulling on her long red sweater moving the hem a little further down her black jeans. "I can't believe you do this every year."

"Well, this is the first year at this scale." Jack shrugged. He had always donated time, money and toys for the charity Toys for Tots but this year he'd mentioned the charity to his boss' wife and she'd taken that as an invitation to overtake the event to show how charitable she can be to her friends. And the women all loved children, so naturally everyone she knew donated. "Do you think the others are going to show, or is it just me and you?"

Putting her hair into a ponytail, Ella sighed. "Just me and you. They are getting a mani-peti. Charity work isn't really something they do anyways."

"One is better than none." Jack smiled at her. "Let's get to work."

Thursday, February 17, 2011

My Idiom blogfest entry

This is a fun blogfest but it requires a little explanation first. Idiom is a fun word to mean a type of phrase of saying. The exact definition is "a group of words established by usage as having a meaning not deducible from those of the individual." Common ones are: raining cats and dogs, spill the beans, and the early bird catches the worm.

Sometimes we use these in stories without even knowing it but today, the goal of the blogfest is to write a scene based on an idiom or to use them in some other way that a reader might be able to find.

Web sites:

About the Blogfest:
"The idea is to take an idiom and make a short story (or scene from your next novel, whichever you prefer, but please indicate which you did in your entry) out of it. It doesn't matter how you do it. Make the idiom the first line. Make the overall theme of the story fit the idiom. Whatever, just get the idiom in there. Oh, genre doesn't matter, either. I like to read everything."

Go here and check out the host and other entries:

For this one, I am bringing back Jack. Yay! Cinder Story has returned with an entry full of idioms. I hope that I'm doing this right. It was hard picking a spot in the story since I'm sort of doing these scenes at random. This is before the Prince ones but after the almost kiss scene with Alexa. It's not quite finished (the overall scene) but I didn't want people to wait too long or to have to read a really long entry. So, there is more to come after this. I promise.

My Entry:

It was becoming a rare occasion, Mr. Mann being home during the weekend. Most of his time was spent either out of town or away working at the office that Jack had only seen once. When he was home, Daniel Mann was in his home office, working. Made it obvious why he needed an assistant to take care of his family, since he was too busy to do any of the house care on his own but that was something Jack had accepted when he had taken the job. Growing up, Jack's mom had always said not to judge a book by its cover but that was hard to do when seeing the results of ignoring three barely adult aged women in exchange for working to gain money.

This meeting was an unusual one. Ever since the surprise morning visit in his room at the house after a more than awkward night working for Mann's wife they hadn't had a meeting, let alone one in the actual office. The bedroom meeting had ended surprisingly well since the night before, Corinne, his boss' wife, kissed him. Thankfully it was a closed mouth peck on the lips but still, it had him worried. But the meeting had been about something else entirely. Heading up to the house office room this time, Jack wasn't worried.

"Come in," Daniel Mann looked up as Jack knocked on the open door.

"You needed to see me, sir." Jack stepped into the office, speaking the formality even though both knew why he was there.

"Close the door."

The instruction was enough to spark some nerves. Usually Mann was an open book and any comments or job requirements had been given with doors left open. Shutting the office door, Jack couldn't help but wonder if this was an evaluation or something else. Not knowing always made him worry.

"Sit." Mann pointed a pen to one of the chairs across from him as he remained seated at the desk. "Do you know why I asked you to come here today?"

It caught Jack off guard. The question felt like when a cop pulls someone over for speeding or something but like the one time he'd been pulled over, he wasn't sure what he could have done. His worry increased because it was almost obvious with one question that he was in trouble and he had no idea why. As he began to feel a prick of nerves, he responded. "No, sir."

"Well," he put the pen down, leaning both his elbows on the mahogany surface. It wasn't a good stance and the look on his face read tension. "This is a part of my job that isn't easy. It took longer than I expected but I knew this would happen."

A dark cloud seemed to overshadow the room. Was he going to get fired already? That couldn't be it but Jack couldn't think of anything else that could be the tough part of the job that had any reference to him. No matter what, he had to wait and let Mann speak while keeping his composure. There would be time to break down later if it really was as bad as he sensed. For now, he waited for the boss to speak.

Mann finally continued. "After many different outings with my wife and daughters, I've heard a number of rumors. Normally, I can tell what has been taken out of context, what isn't true and what really happened. Like the one with my wife."

"Rumor with your wife?" Jack was confused. No one saw the kiss so what could people be saying. Aside from running errands he'd only gone to a couple of events when his boss couldn't get out of work in time to go.

"Don't worry, I know that you aren't an escort like she has people believing." As Jack blushed, Mann kept speaking. "She likes to have attention and rumors put a spotlight on here. I think she even prefers it to me going to these charity events because then people are talking about her. As long as you don't steal her thunder then she loves it."

Before Jack could say anything else, a surprise came when Mann said, "And I know about the kiss. But don't worry. Corinne told me and I know how affectionate she can be after one too many drinks. Normally I would say it takes two to tango in something like that but she said it was her and not you, so I'm prone to believe her. She loves to have her cake and eat it too, or at least have others think that."

As his face burned from embarrassment, Jack found himself asking a question to avoid discussing the most awkward moment so far on the job; having Corrine kiss him. "Is that the only rumor?"

"No. That is one I know for sure is a rumor but it's not why I asked you in here today." Mann's voice returned to a serious tone. "This has to do with Alexa."

(To Be Continued...)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Just Kiss Already! blogfest

Time for the Just Kiss Already blogfest and I'm excited for this one because it can be any type of kiss but involves that moment with characters where the reader is frustrated. They want them to kiss but it hasn't happened yet. But in this blogfest, I promise it is going to happen.

Blog Host: Christina Lee @ and Stina Lindenblatt @Stina's Blog

About the Blogfest:
"On February 14th (Valentine's Day), post an excerpt from either your own work, or another's authors work you admire (give them credit, though), beginning at 7 am EST. *But* make sure the excerpt is no longer than 250 words (it's tiring to read long excerpts). And if there's an intro to the scene, please, keep that short too!"

I wanted to do Cinder for more blogfests but these kiss ones just don't work. I'm not ready to write when Jack and the prince character kiss. Maybe next year. So again, Tessa has to wait (and whoever else likes Jack and the cinderella novel I've been writing through blogfests). So, I decided to go with an excerpt that I cleaned up from my first draft of a romance/erotica novel called Hellenic Distractions. Some info you need to know. Alex is the main character. Tyson is his best friend. He loves Tyson but pretends he doesn't through most of the book because they dated when they were young and he got his heart broken. After 2/3rd of the novel, this scene comes and I hope once I've revised, it will be a "kiss already" type of moment. I tried to keep it close to the recommended word count but I didn't actually count. Oh well.

My Entry:

Alex shut the door, giving a devilish grin. “Okay. What seems to keep you from getting someone into bed?”

“I don’t know.” Tyson moved over, sitting on the edge of the bed. “Every time I get even close, I keep thinking and...”

“You are thinking too much.” Alex jumped to the conclusion. He pulled Tyson up, placing himself between Tyson and his bed. He brought his hand to run it through Tyson’s soft hair. “You need to think less with this.” Alex said as he rubbed his temple.

“Let me guess,” Tyson laughed. "I should think with what is in my pants?"

Alex smirked as he brought his hand down to rest on the edge of Tyson's pants. It was a little surprising that no attempt was made to move his hand. “No. You shouldn’t think too much with that either. There are two places that you should think from when it comes to passion.”

“Oh really?” Tyson seemed to be trying to figure out what Alex could possibly be suggesting but didn't seem to come up with the solution on his own. “And what might those two things be?”

Alex moved his hand up into Tyson’s shirt slightly above his stomach. “Right here is one; your soul.”

“My soul?” He laughed as he put his hand over Alex’s, over his shirt. “So, my soul is in my diaphragm.”

 “Yep. The next one is a little north.” He moved his hand up farther, placing it over his heart. “This is the other one.”

Tyson’s hand followed up, pressing Alex’s hand against his chest. He didn’t respond, but instead closed his eyes for a minute.

Alex moved closer, pressing his body up to Tyson’s. Having his eyes shut was an advantage and so he brought his mouth next to his ear and started to whisper. “You have the possibility for so much passion if you let yourself.”

There was a pause as Tyson listened. Then he turned his head and caught Alex by surprise. Their lips brushed together lightly at first before both pressed further into each other.

Only a secondary thought passed through Alex’s mind, that they shouldn’t be doing this but he couldn’t stop. He wanted Tyson and now that was coming true.

Friday, February 11, 2011

YAmore blogfest

(#Randomfest entry is located below this one.)

That's right. Two in one day. This is the YAmore, also known as Young Adult romance, blogfest. The host is the blog, Oasis for YA. While I tend to write adult, I'm all for having young adult stories that include minor romance plots (not as into full on romance novels but that's cause I don't even read full romance novels as an adult). Plus, it's always fun to show gay boys in love and I definitely won't let that opportunity pass me.

About the blogfest:

"Starting the Friday before Valentine's Day (that's February 11th), we invite you to post 250 romantic, swoon-worthy words from your YA WIP.  Then check out the entries from some of the other participants.  (Just be sure you have a fan and/or a cold glass of water on hand.)  We know your Valentine will appreciate you getting yourself in a romantic state of mind..."

But keep it YA.

My entry was hard to pick because I only have a couple YA novels that I've worked on at all, but I have a number waiting to be written. I didn't know which to use, and any newer ones would mean picking character names, which is a struggle for me. Going with the dystopian novel that I'm going to write in March. Still working on character names and such. Sorry if it's too long. I'm not a flash fiction writer. I struggle with a 869 word contest let alone getting romance feelings through in 250 words. Will try to keep it as short as I can.

My Entry:

It's an awkward moment for Sage. Standing in the room with his only friend, Wyck, who looks ready to either cry or curse and unable to do anything about it. But he can't comfort him, not in front of Wyck's father. It would be too weird.

"You should stay and eat something," Wyck's father says. "I have to record the monster, where the breech happened and figure out what supplies we have to patch the hole in the bottom of the border."

Then he leaves and Sage takes a step forward but he doesn't make it over far enough. His mind races with comments made recently; how there were people who thought their friendship was something more. How Wyck's father even mentioned the idea but he doesn't care if they are because all he wants is his son to be happy and maybe talk to him. He hopes Wyck knows how lucky he is to have a father who cares that much about him.

Soon words startle to fumble in almost sentences from Wyck as he clenches the back of a wooden chair. "That woman. She, what did I ever do, why? I don't get, it's like she wants me to lose everyone I care about."

Sage wants to comfort him. He doesn't like the woman either but he can't say for sure she is even able to plan such an attack to happen. "She didn't. Your father is fine and I barely have a few scratches from tripping."

He doesn't respond but it's obvious he is holding back from crying now.

After many thoughts of how to make things better, Sage finds himself doing something he hadn't considered. Moving in front of Wyck, he places his arms around him with the intentions of just a hug. Then he presses his forehead against Wyck's and theirs lips touch for a moment. At once, he let's go and backs away saying as fast as he can, "I'm sorry."

Wyck doesn't look angry at least, but he does say, "don't," before getting interrupted.

"I know. I shouldn't have. It's people, they have said things and it made me wonder. I should probably go." Sage starts to leave until Wyck grabs his bicep, pulling him back.

"No," Wyck says, "I meant don't be sorry."

#Randomfest Entry

Howdy all. I really like this blogfest as it comes from the super mind of Loralie and her blog, She is awesome so check out her blog along with the others who are taking part of the blogfest. Too see the blogfest entries go to this post:

(If looking for YAmore entry, that will be posted this afternoon. 2 blogfests on one day.)

I have two entries. Why two? Well, the first is one I found in a notebook from high school and in all honesty, I'm not sure if I wrote it or my friend Micah did. We were in Academic Decathlon together and we could have written it together, or I could have written it or maybe she did. It does read as nonfiction but I obviously had some fiction element attempt planned or she did. Something like that.

And the second entry is all mine but I know nothing about it. Even though I've started writing paragraphs for each idea I get so that I won't forget what the idea was, this is an exception. Somehow, on my idea stickies note, there were only three words written for that idea.

Entry 1: Random story started in notebook during senior year Academic Decathlon
Author: Me or maybe Micah Brandt
Title: The Gift of the Moon God

For thousands of years the Indians, Pueblo of South America, live in part of Central and Eastern South America. Now they live principally in Paraguay. The word "guarani" means warlike and before the 16th century the tribes were fierce and bellicose. But after the arrival of the Spanish missionaries in the jungles of Paraguay, the Guaranies converted into a peaceful town and industrious. Although Spanish is the official language of the Republic of Paraguay, the language Guarani speak with much frequency...

I had great vocabulary skills as a teen. Wish I still had them. Need to read more.

Entry 2: Random idea I know nothing about from 2010

Gods in training

Who is the character? What is the plot? Which Gods? I have no idea. Where did the idea even come from? No idea either because I don't even remember writing it.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

WIP Wednesday

I haven't done one of these posts in awhile. I haven't been working as much on my novels as I should either. There are 4 blogfests coming up this month, so there will be plenty of posts with writing, so no worries there. Just need to figure out how to stay unstuck in my WIP.

After the 15 for 15 contest ended, won 3 days out of 15, which is better than any other attempt I've made. Then I've been entering friends erotica contest on Writing.Com, which is fun. I actually won first place one time so far. That is always nice. Novel wise, progress is slow.

I have been trying to get Tattle Tell done so I can edit and send to beta readers. I said I would send it out in March, but I haven't finished the second draft yet and will need to take a tiny break before editing. This ending is going to be tough for me and it took me a long time to get done the first time around. And the biggest problem hasn't come up yet. I don't know what type of punishment the government agency would do.

Slight problem since it's at the height of the conflict in the novel. Kind of important and needs solving asap. I am not there yet but it's coming up soon. He has only had one bad thing happen so far but he's about to fall down the mountain in the plot metaphor I'm going for, lol. Poor character. I need ways to torture him and it's not my biggest strong suit. So, I struggle a bit.

Hope to still get it done by March because I'm going to start writing a dystopian YA and I am so excited to start yet another one.

Need a good title for the new one too. Right now it's either "The Border" or "Border Patrol" and both kind of ummm suck. Will ponder after I finish Tattle Tell 2nd draft.

How is your WIP doing?
Starting any new novels soon?

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Smitten Blogfest

Held from Feb. 1st - 14th. Thanks Sommerleigh! This is a great idea.

About the blogfest:
Sommerleigh at her blog,, is the wonderful host and had a very interesting idea. From the blog:
"I want you to tell a story about love lost, love found, love almost was, love never could have been, but I want it to be your story. I want you to share a tiny piece of your heart with the world. The length is up to you, the style of storytelling is up to you. Tell it in pictures if you like. Tell it in art. Tell it in prose or poetry or essay or a piece of 15 word micro-fiction. Whatever you like."

This is a new and special treat for everyone who reads this entry. It's not a fiction story. That's right: no Cinder, mutants, angels, demons or even gay male characters.  This is going to be a true story told in the style of creative nonfiction. Mine is a tale of unrequited love.

Fate at the Movies

Dawn stood on the street corner as the sun started to go down. Looking at her watch, she sighed, crossing her arms over her large red t-shirt. Kyle was late as usual. The movie didn't start till 7:30 but they always planned to meet at 7 to get popcorn and a good seat at the small town's one-screen movie theater. She looked up in time to see a thin blonde wearing a mini skirt walk up with her arm looped with a tall boy. The girl looked happy with her makeup covered face shining as she laughed at something the boy said. Watching, Dawn tugged at her red shirt to pull it down past the waist of the dark blue jean shorts she had on. She wished her stomach could be flat like the girl's.

"I'm here." Kyle announced. His hands up in the air as he struck a pose.

This made Dawn smile. Boys at school always made fun of him, called Kyle gay but she didn't care. He was a really good friend. All summer they went to the movie every friday, the first day each movie was shown. She joked with him but she never minded waiting. "It's about time."

They joked around for another minute and then headed inside. The line was a whole three people long, which was long for the small town's movie theater but it was Friday night. After a ticket was bought, which cost a whole 3 dollars, they moved over to the next line: the concessions one. They managed an idle chat while they waited for the person in front of them to finish because there was only one boy working with the drinks and food.

The minute Dawn stepped forward to the glass case of candy, she froze.

Behind the counter, a short male stood looking at her, waiting for her order. He was a few inches taller than Dawn, which was really short. His hair was blondish with an odd curl for such a short length and his eyes were a perfect blue. A small name tag pinned to his chest displayed a name: Frank. After a moment of silence, he smiled at her, his eyes shining as he said, "Do you want anything?"

"Oh, umm," Dawn snapped back to reality. She felt a blush start to form in her cheeks. "A medium popcorn and coke."

She couldn't help but watch as he scooped the popcorn and prepared the cup for her soda. A strange feeling of deja vu crawled through her mind and down her spine. She knew she was staring but she didn't know what else to do.

Even during the movie, when she was safe in the dark room with the screen flickering humorous shows, all she could think about was him, his eyes and the feeling.

What happened?

Well, nothing. I met him again in high school where we became friends as we were in band, choir, speech, and drama together. Eventually he went to college and a year later I graduated and went to college. There was always a strange connection between us that I couldn't label. One point I tried to get a tarot reading online and the person ending up reading things about him instead of me. I got over the "crush" while in college and even pulled up the courage to tell him once that I had a crush on him in high school. He had no idea.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

You've Come a Long Way Blogfest

Christine H at  The Writer's Hole is hosting a fun blogfest & contest in celebration of the progress she has made in the 4 years she has been working on her novel. While I'm not one to work on a single novel at a time let alone for years, I certainly support those that are capable of doing such.

About the blogfest:

Anyone can enter the contest, but for those entering the blogfest the idea is to post something written awhile ago, first drafts and such. Then either post the rewrite or do the rewrite and then post. See how far your writing has come since that first version. Ideally, years of writing practice would make one better at it. So, post a section of a story and then show how much you have grown.

My entry is one that I have posted in a few different blogfests, both drafts. It's the only part of the YA novel I'm willing to share because it's also the first novel I will have ready to submit to agents. The first version was written during nanowrimo 2007.  Have I improved since then? Maybe. You'll have to let me know.

Draft 1 (2007)

"Look what I can do."

Why do they always show off? If only they would keep their new found tricks a secret, at least from me. Watching Levi Jareks spin a coin across the top of his notebook without touching it brings a sinking feeling to my stomach.

I will have to tell. The men in suits will arrive at my parents house some afternoon expecting me to share any "unordinary activities" that I had seen since their last visit.

Telling never bothered me, until now. Before it had been someone that I either didn't know, or didn't like. But this time it is different. Levi is one of the few that I can call a friend. He was the first one to talk to me when we started school that very first year and is the only one of my classmates that has been to my house.

I spend the rest of the day unable to concentrate. I keep looking at Levi, noticing different things about him that I had never noticed before. It's amazing what I ignored in the past.

During Mathematics, the unfortunate first class of the day, he isn't fully awake. Participation is at a minimum and halfway through the class it seems he has found more interest in the back of his eyelids instead of the greenish sea floating with white math problems. Levi's blonde hair soon pools upon his wrist as his forehead finds the sandy-toned desktop.

At this point I feel a bit weird. I should try and ignore him. It will be easier to place distance, to make things easier for me when he is taken by them. But I can't seem to pull myself away. I guess I want to etch everything about Levi into my mind in case he doesn't return. Most do, but there is a small chance that he won't.

After lunch, Levi has more energy than three kids combined. He must have had a sugared item in his pre-packed blue-boxed meal. His hand shoots up before Mr. Mann can finish his questions on ancient cultures and history. This energy follows to Literature class and in that one he sits behind me. His foot keeps a steady hum of motion against the back of my seat as the teacher drones on about the creation of the new literary limitations.

The final episode of the day happens during Fine Art. The energy expelled for most of the afternoon has lulled to an even level. I try to work on my pointillism but can't concentrate. Every single dot I make with the marker comes dangerously close to the ones already on the page. If I keep working in this manner, my picture will end up a solid mass instead of the fluttery dot mess that the assignment requires. Levi sits across from me on the long table that serves as our desk in the studio.

Every couple of minutes he glances up at me and our eyes meet. My face feels on fire but I can't look away. He never says anything about my odd behavior but he smiles each time he looks up. A queasy feeling twirls in the pit of my stomach. All I can think about is how I know his secret and the fact that my knowing will hurt him.

Draft 2 (2010-11)

A shiny copper coin spun across the school lunch table, almost grazing Ephram's left knuckle. He glanced up from his book he was reading to see that the coin didn't stop spinning or even slow down. Some unnatural force had to cause the movements and that could only mean one thing. His stomach sank at the thought.

"Look what I can do."

Levi stands on the other side of the table, a group surrounding him while he holds his hand above the spinning coin. As he concentrates, the coin changes directions. The spin slows down to an almost impossible rotation speed before increasing again.

Only one thing could give Levi that ability and that one thing makes Ephram sink in dread. It meant mutation. Under any other circumstances, he would feel relief to find another one like him, but that's not the case. Only one thing happens when he sees someone else with a genetic mutation and that one thing was a report to the men in suits.

"What do you think, Eph-man?"

The use of Levi's nickname for him brings Ephram's attention back to the moment. He looks up at Levi as he tries to come up with a good response. "Uh, yeah. Neat." He did his best to hide the fear that had started to build within.

It was only a matter of time before the suits would be at Ephram's parents' house and he'd have no choice. He had to tell them whenever he saw any new mutant activity no matter the age, type of mutation or any possible association. His friendship with Levi wouldn't be enough to keep him from having to tell. All he could do is hope that he would come back; not all returned.

Sounds of bells echoing from the building save him. Grabbing his books, he is able to run inside and not have to say anything more to his friend.

Math is his unfortunate first class of the day and one of the many he shares with Levi. Even though it's a subject Ephram does well at, he is unable to focus today. His mind drifts in and out as he pays more attention to Levi than the teacher.

Half way through the class, Levi glances back. He smiles and makes a beak shape with his hand, moving it open and closed.

Ephram smiles but it is fake. The joke is an old one of theirs because Levi always said that the math teacher talks too much and while he once thought it was funny, all he can think about is the soon to be betrayal. It had never bothered him to tell on others to the men in suits. This time, however, is different. He feels aching sensations but knows no cure. As he continues to focus on Levi, another feeling is added to the mix: awkwardness. He's never focused on someone so long before and feels weird. It's almost like he'd never looked a Levi before. He sees him in a whole new light with no idea how to understand the feelings that mixed within.

"Turn in your assignments." The teacher quit writing on the board long enough to get the attention of most the class by her demand.


I write like
Arthur Conan Doyle

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I write like
Mark Twain

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