Misty’s Magical Shed 11

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Posted by Jodi | Posted in Short Story Snippets | Posted on 18-04-2015

“I think now is a good time,” said Mama Jack. “Follow me.”

In the farmyard, the animals gathered around and excitement permeated the air. Raskee strutted ahead, his tail waved with pride. Even the bright red rooster bowed as they passed.

At the shed, once more the strange black fire license plate drew Finny’s attention. This time he stopped and stared at it. “Mama Jack?”

“Yes Sweetie?”

“Why is this one so different from all the others?” As if in answer to the question, molten liquid rolled along the surface and mounded. Finny stepped back when a soft plop warned and a bubble burst. A fiery fountain flowed out and down to the ground where grass flamed. Finny’s eyes watered. His throat burned and he coughed from the smoke that wafted over him from acrid fumes that filled the air. Molten liquid spread along the ground before them leaving a scorched trail that blocked their way.

“You mustn’t ask that question. The others are listening.”

“O…others?” Finny licked his suddenly dry lips.

“I’ll tell you more, once we get into the shed,” said Mama Jack.

A soft whinny called them to hurry.

A deep throaty nicker vibrated through the air. “Follow me.” Mama Jack moved off the path. “The fire won’t go here.” The ground rose into a small hill with scorched edges that gave evidence of an earlier flow of molten liquid, and left dirt void of flammable material. The smell of burning grass warned it had not stopped there, but continued into fresh vegetation. Finny rubbed his nose in a vain effort to block the harsh fumes. Only when he followed his grandmother onto the mound and down the other side did he find the freshness he wanted.

Double doors, that had banged so last night, remained quiet until Mama Jack opened them, then they squeaked greeting. Straw and fresh hay cleansed the air. Finny inhaled the wonderful fragrance.

“At last.” Misty raised her head and winked.

Beside her, a translucent form moved to put the unicorn between her and the newcomers.

“These are the friends I told you about.” Misty turned her head to the form. “There is nothing to fear. You remember Mama Jack.”

In acknowledgement, Mama Jack held out open hands, empty palms up. “Surely you remember me. Your mother and I were great friends. This is my grandson Finny. We mean you no harm.”

When the translucent form stepped from behind Misty, Finny realized it was a  girl, not much older than he. “You were in the book,” he whispered.

The girl nodded and her form faded more.

Before Finny could say any more to comfort her, stomping, snorting and flapping wings from the next stall drew everyone’s attention. A horse’s head blended with the dark surface of the wall. If not for bright sunlight that streamed through the doorway, it would have been invisible.

“Ah, Zeufin is finally here,” said Mama Jack.

A deep throaty nicker vibrated through the air. “Finally is a fair description of it.” said a voice deeper than Dad’s. “A storm is brewing. It’s not one that will be easily weathered.” He turned his muscled neck to stare at Finny with the richest red-brown eyes seen. “It will take all of us to overcome it. But…” He brought his nose against Finny’s outstretched hand. “If you haven’t found the magic within yourself we will surely fail.”

“I can see unicorns.” Finny reminded him. That’s what they’d told him was important.

“That is not enough.”

April 14, 2015

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Posted by Jodi | Posted in Working on my Craft | Posted on 14-04-2015

We all struggle with something. Today, I go off to a day job like many others. Whether that is good or bad is my choice to determine. It will never by my passion, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy it. What I look forward to most is the times in between that I can dedicate to my writing.

I am working on the edit of the next post of “Misty’s Magical Shed”. It’s a fun story that continues to grow each week with additional information from my characters.

I hope you are doing what I am. That is following your passion, as best as you are able. For me there is always time to write.

 

Misty’s Magical Shed 10

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Posted by Jodi | Posted in Short Story Snippets | Posted on 04-04-2015

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

Good, The cat’s purr added comfort to all that now surrounded him. With this soft response from his small friend, Finny fell asleep.

***

Long before sunlight brightened the window glass, Finny opened his eyes and couldn’t go back to sleep.

The soft chirp of crickets outside drifted through the open window. The clock on the bedside table said it was only 3:33, but Finny wasn’t tired like he always was back home, when he woke up so early.

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 her bright finger tips. They twinkled with inlayed sparkles that caught the dim light in the room. The cream color of the page calmed their mesmerizing attraction. “Come on, sweetie.” She reached out. When he clasped her soft hand, calm passed to him. “Don’t be afraid. I have something I need to show you.”

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

There was no answer. Mama Jack’s arm stretched out and knew they were flying through the air. Thank goodness she kept a firm grip, because her touch gave him the sense of security, like the belt on the plane that had kept him safely in his seat on the flight out that he needed. Planets gathered and swirled past. Raskee’s soft rumble shared joy and pleasure that was easy to understand.

Soon a brilliant blue green planet took on shape and grew before them. 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, the ribbons of light slowed and Finny was suspended in a sea of stars. The international space station glistened in front of him. Bright golden wings jutted from each side of the living module. They sparkled like Mama Jack’s fingernails 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 awe crept into his voice.

“Do you want to help me in the farmyard? Misty and her friends will be waiting. Or would you rather stay inside and read?”

Finny couldn’t help but notice the twinkle that lit her eyes. “When do we start?” he asked.

Wordcrafters Writers Conference 2015

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Posted by Jodi | Posted in Short Story Snippets, Some spare thoughts from a writer | Posted on 22-03-2015

It’s almost time for the conference to wrap up. Again it has been an incredible experience. I intend to add to this, but for now, I’ll talk about an experience from yesterday. I had my craftlab with Alan Clark. It was fabulous.  I have started working on the suggestion. I have no doubt about the dimension that will be added to the story and mostly to the character. I have started up the conversation again with Xandra (the main character of my book), but will need to continue this after I get back home. For now I am going to prepare for the final workshop and wrap up. As I said more later.

It’s now later, the day after the conference has come to it’s conclusion. Last night I worked on the suggestions Alan Clark gave me at my craftlab. I think it’s given me a closer relationship with Xandra. That was the greatest thrill of the conference for me. After attending writers’ conferences since 2006, you would have thought that I wouldn’t continue to have experiences like this. To me it proves the value of each conference I have attended and will attend.

And so I continue the days following Wordcrafters Conference. I look forward to next year, but first I need to gather some of my thoughts and experiences from this one.

One of my strongest beliefs in writing fiction is the need to know your character, the second is to understand them. Something I hadn’t given much thought to before, is that writers create characters the reader can judge. Notice I said characters. In another workshop the importance of supporting/secondary characters was brought to the fore. Nobody wants to go through their lives alone, characters are no exceptions. Some want to be involved, some to control, some to serve. All this and more adds dimension to the story.

In a few of the workshops, the presenters had attendees write. I look back on some of what I wrote during these, and am surprised at what I put on the page. In one workshop I realized the ending for book 2 in my Naldo series.  In another I realized a talisman Finny would need in Misty’s Magical Shed. I haven’t worked out how he will get it or how he’ll use it yet, but my brain is playing with it. I’ll find out in time.

Goals, characters need goals for their lives. This was pointed out to me more than once during the conference. Once when I was asked what my character’s goal was, I couldn’t answer. This only proved a weakness in my thought process at that time. Since then I have come to understand the answer better. Now I can put it into words for the character I was talking about. More important I have a stronger connection with that character.

There was so much more. and I will work with it over the coming weeks and months. For now I have work to do to incorporate some of this into my writing.

 

 

1st Day Wordcrafters Writers Conference

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Posted by Jodi | Posted in Some spare thoughts from a writer | Posted on 20-03-2015

Keynote speaker Gail Tsukiyama kicks off the Conference at 9:00 a.m. I still haven’t decided which workshop I’ll start with. One, with Alan Clark, is enticing. The title “What Were They Thinking? The Drama Available in History.”  makes me thing of the book I’m working on about Virginia Josephine Rollins Ort. I’ll report more back here later.