Camp NaNoWriMo April 2014

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Posted by Jodi | Posted in Working on my Craft | Posted on 01-04-2014

Sunday, March 30, 2014 I signed up for CampNaNoWriMo. My challenge is to write three short stories. The genres are Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Dystopian. All of these will have romance added in. The purpose is to give me material to work with as I polish my book. Well, time to start working on the story and the plot. I’ve already stated to get to know the characters.

Sunday, April 6, 2014. Change of plans for the three stories. The Genres are now: Fantasy/Dystopian/Historical Fiction. I’ll explain more about this later, but for now I have a project. It’s exciting.

Just a Thought

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Posted by Jodi | Posted in From Bean Counter to Author | Posted on 30-03-2014

Thanks to Victoria Osborne, I have been looking at making an entry to “Writers Of The Future”. Because I haven’t seen much response to postings for “Ode to a Dying Breed”, I’ve decided to use it for my submission. The past couple of weeks I have been going through the story, letting my characters lead me to a better story. I hope it is good enough to get notice in the contest. In the meantime, I need to get to know new characters and story. What shall it be this time? Recently I’ve had fun with horror and mid-grade fantasy. My books are SciFi Romance. I thinke that’s enough genres, but which one shall I choose?

Do you have a preferance?

Ode to a Dying Breed 2

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Posted by Jodi | Posted in Short Story Snippets | Posted on 15-03-2014

The meeting didn’t last long. For Marie it only brought more questions and doubt about any success for survival.

Even though there was no use arguing, Sam tried. “Why don’t you come out into the woods with us?”

“What makes you think it’s safe out there?” Marie brushed at the moisture that still clung to her jacket sleeve. “Ouch.” A dot of bright red blood grew on her finger.

“We’ve got all kinds of ammunition.” Sam didn’t pay any attention. “Anything or anyone that tries to get us will have to face an army. Here we don’t stand a chance.”   

“I’m so tired of hearing about surviving. Nothing’s going to be the same. I just want to curl up and… and…” Marie let her voice trail off with a sob. She put her finger in her mouth and sucked the blood off of it. There must have been a sticker in the sleeve, from the last time she and Bill had gone camping.

Another clap of thunder brought a shudder to the building. A window shattered. Plaster fell around them. Wind and rain battered the roof, tearing the protection to shreds. In the growing gale, angry clouds gobbled the sky’s remaining light.

“We need to get out of here.” Mark stood. “You have a car don’t you?” He asked them.

The others who had been at the meeting flooded out leaving them to fend for themselves.

“Yeah, come on.” Sam led them back to her car. At first it wouldn’t start. Finally, after letting it grind and grind, the motor coughed to life.

“Whatever else you do, take me home first. Or I’ll get out and walk,” said Marie.

Ode to a Dying Breed 1

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Posted by Jodi | Posted in Short Story Snippets | Posted on 27-02-2014

Marie woke to the fragrance of coffee brewing. She couldn’t remember it ever smelling so good. Maybe Bill had made it his special way this time.

“Bill?” She reached for the comfort he would give her, but his side of the bed was cold. “Bill?” Still no answer. She forced her eyes open. Grayness greeted her. She sat up and stretched her feet down to the slippers that waited to protect her from floor tiles that bent up, eager to nip at her toes. When she braved going into the main room, wooden furniture stood to attention, offering little solace. Thin fingers of frosty white fog crept through cracks and under doors. 

In the kitchen, the coffee pot was cold. There was no electricity. Disappointment bit into her, as she lit the camp stove. The old percolator took its time, but finally started to spit and sputter. Hot water pressed through the last of the coffee grounds. She didn’t wait for it to finish, instead she poured the strong liquid into Bill’s favorite cup. Even though she preferred it black, she used what was left of the milk to fill the mug to the brim, adding three spoons of sugar to the concoction. This had become her waking tradition. Now that would come to an end too, just like so many other things. Marie would gladly trade all of the remaining traditions to have Bill back.

In the living room she sat on the faded leather couch, and faced the cold lifeless hearth. It reminded her of better times, when a warm fire heated the apartment. She pulled her knees to her chin and rested the mug so the steam could waft into her face. Don’t look up. The words screamed through her mind. Against her will, her eyes moved upward. On the mantel above, a cold gray urn held Bill’s ashes. Reality twisted through her.

The doorbell rang, startling Marie from her reverie. “Marie? Marie Wickstran. It’s me, Sam Nhatim.” When Marie unlocked it, Sam pushed the door all the way open so she could enter. Long blond hair hung in wet strings around her face. “Aren’t you ready yet?” Greenish water dripped to the floor.

“I’m not sure I want to go.” Marie returned to the couch and sat down.

“Mmmm. That smells good.” Sam pointed at the mug. “Do you have more?”

“Sure.” Marie nodded, then motioned with her head to the kitchen. “I used all the milk, but there’s more coffee. It’s the last.” Marie ducked her head.

When they finished, she could put it off no longer. Marie grabbed her coat. What could it hurt? It wasn’t as if they would change her mind about staying behind. If somehow they could bring Bill back, maybe. That wasn’t going to happen.

****

The meeting was in the middle of the park on the outskirts of town. In the half empty parking lot, Sam turned off the engine of the small red car. It rattled its reticence to quit, then coughed with a final shudder.

A bright flash of lightning lit the way into the one standing structure, a small elongated building with large windows on one side. These overlooked the rushing torrent of a greenish brown river. In happier times, weddings and family birthdays were celebrated here. Another flash and a deep rumble shook the air.

“It’s starting.” Sam shivered. “Mark, make room, please.” Sam’s smile could melt any man’s heart. She was one of those people everyone wanted to get to know.

Slender and nondescript, Mark sat on one of the benches that lined the walls, except the ones with the windows. He smiled and stood. “Sure thing sweetie.” Another flash brightened the room.

Before dark settled back, Marie sat down on the bench. Other than Sam next to her, Marie didn’t know anyone else in the room. The droning voice of Sam’s friend pushed Marie further into her corner. I shouldn’t have come. Marie wished she were home, wrapped in the soft blue blanket Bill had bought her on their second wedding anniversary. Instead, here in the thickening mist, cold penetrated even the heavy coat she wore. Something tickled her ear. The only thing visible was a soft tendril of fog that touched the heavy gray material. Marie pulled the collar closed.

Misty’s Magical Shed 8

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Posted by Jodi | Posted in Short Story Snippets | Posted on 17-02-2014

“You will.” He finally understood she meant more than the house and yard he left behind, when he traveled to visit her. Before she could add more, Raskee brushed against Finny’s leg.

A strong rumble let Finny know he wasn’t alone. Good, the cat purred. With this soft response from his small friend, Finny fell asleep. 

Long before sunlight brightened the window’s glass, Finny woke. 

The soft chirp of crickets outside drifted through the open window. Raskee lay near the open pages of the book, staring at Finny. It’s about time, he growled. 

Finny reached out and pulled the book to him.

Mama Jack played with the red polish on her nails. The white surface of the page accentuated their brightness. “Come on sweetie.” She reached long slender fingers to him. When he clasped her hand, calm passed to him.      

Everything went dark. With a sharpness that captured his breath, ribbons of light streaked across his vision. Time and space lost meaning. Finny knew he was traveling at great speed. “How?” 

Mama Jack didn’t answer; instead she stretched out her arm. He felt like he was flying through the air. Thank goodness she kept a firm grip on his hand. Her touch gave him a sense of security, like the belt on the plane that had kept him safely in his seat on the flight out. Planets gathered and swirled past him. Raskee’s soft rumble shared joy and pleasure that was easy to understand. 

Soon they came to a brilliant blue green planet. That’s just too weird. It looks like Earth. 

It is sweetie.

But we traveled a long way? Didn’t we?

Yes and no. We’ve traveled into space to show you where we are really going, but we are also in your room. 

Before he could ask more questions, ribbons of light slowed around him. Finny stared at the international space station. Bright golden wings jutted from each side of the living module. They glistened as they gathered the sun’s energy. He wanted to stay and watch as it moved across the sky, but something tugged at him. Sooner than he wanted, Finny found himself back in his room. He sat up and stretched, the bed-covers pooling around him. 

“How did you like the trip?” Mama Jack stood in the doorway.

“It was alright,” Finny couldn’t keep the awe from his voice. 

“Do you want to help me in the farmyard? Or would you rather stay inside and read?” 

Finny couldn’t help but notice the twinkle that lit her eyes. Maybe it’s not going to be such an awful summer after all. “When do we start?” 

Let the adventure begin. Raskee’s purr joined with the unicorn’s neigh, accepting the challenge.