Sunday, September 23, 2012

GHOSTS Flash Fiction Challenge - "A Ghostly Protector"

Ghosts Flash Fiction Badge

I have joined the GHOSTS (and the girls who love them!) Flash Fiction Blog-Hop.  the challenge runs through October 15th, and the rules are: 
  • Entry MUST be a GHOST story
  • Must be between 300-1000 words
*Story Request by the challenge hostess: Love between a human and a ghost would be an awesome inclusion in your flash fiction entry, but is not a requirement. (Make it a love triangle like EVER's, and I'll love you forever.)

A Ghostly Protector

Janie woke with a start. Had she just heard a noise?  Something had woken her. She rubbed her eyes and glanced at her alarm clock. It was only 2:00am. What had woken her? A loud bumping noise thudded from the room next to her. Her little sister was asleep in there. Suddenly very alert, she scrambled out of bed and threw open her bedroom door. The thudding noise came again, and fear for her sister sped her heart up.

She knew her fear was irrational; that noise could be anything, even something as simple as her sister falling out of bed, but fear for her little sister still had her heart pounding frantically against her rib cage. What if someone had broken into the house and was right now in the room with her baby sister?

Janie ran to her sister’s doorway and threw open the door. In the dim light that filtered in from the streetlight outside the bedroom window, she could see her sister lying fast asleep in her bed. Lizzie’s blankets were laying half off the bed, and she was snoring gently due to a recent cold. Her arm was thrown to the side and her pudgy little 4 year old fingers were hanging off the edge of the bed as if reaching for something in her sleep.

No one else was in the room: no one at all, unless you counted the dead guy standing by the window looking straight at Janie.

There was no question that he was dead. He had that slightly transparent look that all the dead had. Janie knew this because she had been seeing the dead ever since last Summer when she had slipped while hiking, hitting her head on a large rock and winding up in the hospital emergency room unconscious. Her mom told her that her heart had stopped beating for thirty seconds. Thirty seconds that changed her life.

But this dead guy shouldn’t have been in her sister’s room. The dead were drawn to Janie, not her family members or friends. Some of them could tell that she could see them. It was like she had a beacon that called to them or something. But they never showed any interest in anyone else around her. Until this guy.

He didn’t look like the usual spirit either. His clothes were ragged and his flesh showed the beginning of rot. The other spirits Janie had seen never looked decomposed, even a little. They were ghosts after all; they didn’t really have flesh. What she saw was a just a projection of their spirit, so how could it decompose?

Yet, here this dead guy stood, in her sister’s room, rotting away. Janie even detected a faint odor of compost, but how was that even possible? She’d never smelled anything around the dead before. She took a closer look at the dead guy.

He was tall and broad shouldered. His eyes seemed a bit sunken in, almost like they were beginning to hollow out, and his skin was a very pale, almost a greenish tinted pallor. His hair was partly fallen out and what was left was scraggly and unkempt.

His eyes were angry and he was staring straight at her. Janie caught her breath at the hatred coming from him. She could almost feel it like some malevolent force smothering her in its miasma. His aura was dark, not quite black but almost as dark. She’d never seen an aura so dark.

He looked down at Lizzie lying asleep, and Janie knew that she did not want him taking any interest in her baby sister. There was just something so off about him that she really, really didn’t like him being here in her sister’s room.

A little soft curl lay against Lizzie’s forehead, and he reached for it as if to touch that curl.

“Don’t!” Janie whispered fiercely, not wanting to wake her sister but suddenly desperate to keep those rotten, puss-oozing fingers from going anywhere near Lizzie’s sleeping form.

He looked up sharply at her and his hand stopped reaching, just freezing in motion so close to that soft curl. Then, still looking at Janie, he stroked the curl, lifting it softly and dropping it gently back down. Lizzie started to stir in her sleep, but after a moment, just curled up and continued to dream.

He smiled a slow, knowing and smug smile at Janie .How had he done it? How had he moved that ever-so-tiny curl? He had touched something real, something that wasn’t spirit! And he had made it move. The ghosts had never affected the physical world around her before. So how had he done that?

Janie wanted to get him as far away from her sister as possible, but her hands would just go right through him. She seethed with impotent rage, glaring at him with her fists clenched by her sides.

A shimmering swirl of color formed next to him and within seconds another form stood by his side. This spirit was more solid. Unlike the first ghost, this one appeared strong and his color was bright. He looked to be about Janie’s age, and there was something pure about him. His clear blue eyes caught Janie’s and her anger melted away.

He turned to the malevolent spirit and raised his hand. He voiced one word, his voice clear and strong, “Desero.”

The oozing, decaying ghost seemed to dissolve right where it stood. This new ghost turned back to Janie and smiled reassuringly. He started to emit light from his very skin until the light was so bright, Janie had to look away. When she looked back just seconds later, he was gone.

Janie walked quietly over to her sister’s bedside and stroked her cheek. Lizzie was still sleeping peacefully. She gave Lizzie a small kiss on her cheek and went back to her own room, hoping that someday she’d get to see the second ghost again.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop

My friend Jo Michaels has invited me to  The Next Big Thing blog hop. she was tagged by Bridgette O'Hare and the blog hop was started by Robert Chute.

Ten Interview Questions for The Next Big Thing:

The Faeries' Dance cover sm

(This is just a temporary book cover, made for fun using an image of one of my daughter's that my husband created. He creates beautiful fairy photo manipulations on for his business Fairy Magic Photos.)
What is the working title of your book?

"Come Dance With Us" or "The Faeries' Dance" - I haven't decided yet. Feel free to let me know which you prefer or to give alternate suggestions.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

I entered a challenge to write a flash fiction piece with a fairy theme to it called the Fairy Ring Writing Contest. I liked my story enough to expand upon it. It's still a work-in-progress and I have not written any sort of guiding outline for this one, so the story is leading me rather than the other way around.

What genre does your book fall under?


Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

I do not have a clue who I would have play the parts. I don't have any favorites when it comes to actors or actresses. I would just like whomever played the part the best to be chosen for it. I think it would be fun to find someone completely new and unknown to play the main role.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

I have no clue yet where this story is heading, and it is still in the early stages. This makes writing a one sentence synopsis difficult. I'll give it a try though.

Kara loses time when the fairies steal her away for a night of dancing and revelry, but when she finds her way back, the fairies don't want to let her go.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I haven't decided yet.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

As it isn't done, I can't answer that. I can say that I write the first 500 words in less than an hour and went on to write the next scene in another hour. I am just finding time to write a scene here and there, in between my other writing projects. I hope I will find enough time to finish the first draft by December.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Honestly, any book that deals with other worlds within our own, with magical creatures and with fairies in particular. I read so many novels in this genre that I often forget the titles of the stories I have read. I'll have to come back to this question at a later time. I'd love some suggestions of books with this kind of theme to them. I write the stories I enjoy reading, so any books with a similar theme will appeal to me.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

As I mentioned in the above question of where the idea for this book came from, I entered a writing contest. The theme was fairies, and I sat down to write a story having no idea what to write. After staring at the blank page for a few minutes I started to write. This story is what came from my mind at the time.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

I plan on weaving actual myths and legends within the main storyline but with my own twists on them. There will be some completely new magical creatures too, complete with their own mythos.

I am told that I am the end of the blog hop as it ends tomorrow and I only got invited to it today. I will assume this means I am not supposed to invite 5 more people to the blog hop. However, if anyone else wants to join in and can get their post up by tomorrow, let me know and I'll add your name below. you just need to link to the above linked people and, of course, to me.

Monday, September 3, 2012

GUTGAA Blogfest September 2012 Meet & Greet #GUTGAA


I joined the Gearing Up To Get An Agent Blogfest September 2012 and today is the day designated as our blog meet and greet.

My mini bio:

I am a Californian living in the UK with my English husband and I am a mother of seven beautiful children: five girls and two boys. I used to be morbidly obese, but I got my health under control and lost over 145 pounds. After achieving that weight loss, something that many people told me would be impossible, I finally started to believe in myself and decided to pursue my lifelong dream of becoming a published author. I have had articles published in magazines and I have had some short stories published in anthologies. I am currently working on getting three children's picture books published and one children's chapter book published while simultaneously trying to finish several novels and one non-fiction book. I own several blogs, my main one aside from this one is my health and fitness one Skinny Dreaming. I also run the Chapter Book Challenge that runs in March of every year.

Questions for the Meet and Greet

Where do you write?

I write while on the bus taking my kids to and from school and I write while sitting on my couch at home using my laptop.
Quick. Go to your writing space, sit down and look to your left. What is the first thing you see?

The first thing I see is a magazine titled, "Writing for Kids and YA" by Writer's Digest.

Favorite time to write?

I prefer to write in the evenings after my children have gone to bed, especially when it is early enough that I am not yet sleepy.

Drink of choice while writing?

Coffee or diet soda. I really like to have Good Earth's Sweet & Spicy Tea or Diet Mug Root Beer as my two favorite drinks, but they are not easy to get here in the UK and when I can find them, they are expensive.

When writing , do you listen to music or do you need complete silence?

Because I write in my living room, my husband or one of my teenagers usually have the television on while I write, but I would prefer it to be off. I don't mind music playing if the mood of the music fits with what i am writing at the time, but generally I prefer the quiet.

What was your inspiration for your latest manuscript and where did you find it?

I am actually working on more than one manuscript right now, but two of them were inspired by dreams. Some of the other manuscripts were inspired by my children (and not just the children's stories).
What's your most valuable writing tip?

Can I give more than one? I think that, to be a writer, you have to believe in yourself. If you don't believe you have the ability to achieve your writing goals, then it becomes all too easy to give up. You also have to be willing to take on criticism without letting it stop you from writing. You have to be willing to learn and grow and take every step back as a learning experience to help your work improve.