Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I want to read you guys, so de-lurk!

So here's the opportunity and the challenge. I want to read your work. A first paragraph of your novel, a poem, a description of your favorite character, whatever you write, I want to read it! It doesn't have to be long. Just something to show us what you like to write about. This is a challenge for all the blog contributors AND readers AND lurkers. (I know you're out there, so de-lurk and let us get to know you.)

I'll start. I typically write novels, but I also enjoy writing poetry from time to time when I'm inspired, so here's one of my favorite poems. I wrote it for my sister.

Thrust upon a raging sea of transience
My decree of permanence is threatened
I sink deeper into the black, blue nadir
Drowning in my sea of strength
I wait for an arm to lift me up to weakness
Where for a moment, a breath
My lungs are free from heroic resolution
Forcing out the oxygen
I gulp in the free air and keep it
Reluctant to let go of life
Only for the hope of comfort
Distant from the harbor so long
An island of deceptive might
Gaze fixed on the tranquil shore

Your turn!


  1. I like to write lots of stuff. To be honest I never thought I would write middle grade, but I am. I love to write poems as well. They are usually pretty long and they always come from the heart. That's what I love about poetry. Here's a short one I wrote when my brother got back from Iraq in 2003.

    My Brother, My Soldier
    As the big sister, I've tried to watch over you.
    Although you always said, "Quit telling me what to do!"
    But try as I might I could never stop,
    Cuz I saw you as the little brother who liked to play cops.
    But as I listened to you today, recount your stories of war,
    I couldn't help but think, "He's no boy anymore."
    As I gazed into your face, there was a wise look in your eyes,
    That said they saw way too much and watched too many die.
    When I saw the innocence you so surely lost,
    I couldn't help but ask myself, "Was it worth the cost?"
    Then I looked at my son as I heard him say,
    "I'm glad Uncle Jeremy won the war, Cuz now we're safe today."
    So now I know the sweet, little boy you used to be,
    Is all grown up and he's taking care of me.
    Nikki R Wilson

  2. All right, I'll play... I write both poetry and novels. I always wanted to write, and I defintely believe a person should write what they know, so.. that being said, here's the first paragraph of my second work in progress.

    Straightening her shoulders, Marian breathed in deeply. The air smelled of horses, hay and trampled dirt. All part of the May festival her village held every year, as was the white gown she wore as the May Queen. Sneezing, she straightened the garland of flowers sliding down over one ear. Understanding why she was chosen as this year's Queen didn't make the job less tiresome. Plastering a smile on her face, she forced herself to focus on the games taking place before her. The village boys held impromptu races; trying in vain to capture her attention.

  3. Sophie entered the ladies' room just a breath behind me, tighter than a shadow at midday. My penny loafers whispered over the worn vinyl as I crossed the room to the stalls, and I heard the clop of Sophie's sandals stop behind me.

    "Emma!" she demanded, her voice thick with anger. "What is going on?"

    I pretended not to hear and started checking under the steel blue doors for feet.

    "Emma?" Sophie asked. I turned to see my best friend-arms crossed over her chest, feet rooted to the floor like she had just sprouted out of the linoleum and was stuck that way forever-Goddess of the Ladies' Room. I turned around quickly and resumed checking beneath the stalls. She had a way of getting the truth out of me, and I didn't want to give that just now.

    "I only pee when no one is peeing next to me," I explained, stooping to check the last stall.

    "No, Emma," said Sophie, letting her arms fall to her side. "I mean, what is going on?"

    "Maybe a little luck?" I offered hesitantly. No feet. I slipped into the nearest stall.

    "Emmma, you are sweating luck."

  4. Nikki, What a touching poem. That's a subject that's close to my heart right now since my husband just received his commission for the Air Force. Thank you for sharing!

    Guenevere, I saw your addition to yesterday's story and loved it! You paint a great picture in your first paragraph full of sights, smells, sounds and emotion. Thanks for participating. By the way, do you have a blog?

  5. Jessi, I just laughed out loud when your character said, "I only pee when no one is peeing next to me." I love the interaction between your two characters. Very BFF like. :)

  6. Nikki, Jenni and Jenn will kill me for saying this.. but no, I don't own a blog. I don't even know how to get started. LOL. I'm so inept. LOL!

  7. ok... here's mine. But I warn you, you've already read it! Jenni

    Chapter One

    There was an awkward tug, a twist and a slight jerk, before the glass beads spilled all over the floor.
    I’m such an idiot. This wasn’t even my necklace.
    He was supposed to have left by now. He’d already said good-bye to his friends. I watched as Gregory hovered in the doorway, debating over what he should do. I decided I’d make it easier for him. As I knelt on the floor I turned my back, completely ignoring him, as I picked up the mess.
    There, now you can go. See? I don’t need you. It’s only a few beads after all. I sighed at the thought of being such a klutz in front of him, again. It wasn’t a loud sigh, so I was surprised to see his long lean fingers surrounded by mine and the beads. I glanced up and saw the top of his blonde head as he avoided me, yet, at the same time acknowledged the fact that I needed help. It had been years since I’d seen that head and those hands so close to my own. Years. Bewildered, I paused a moment and didn’t know what to do with myself.
    What I expected least was the joy of him being so near. I’d anticipated misery and pain and awkwardness, but never joy. With Gregory returned, I fully expected him to break my heart--as the punishment I deserved--not bring it joy. Never joy. I don’t deserve to be happy.
    Stunned into silence by my wayward thoughts I began to collect the beads again. This time I looked over and noticed that not only had Gregory centered the beads he’d collected into a pile, he’d also begun to organize them into groups of color and size.
    Is he stalling? My heart began to race. Is he waiting for me to say something? He can’t be hoping to be next to me longer, I know he hates me. Hasn’t he looked straight through me—as if I didn’t exist--during the entire party? We haven’t spoken one word to each other the whole night. Even when we were introduced he just nodded and walked back to that girl. --The beautiful blonde who was, even now, waiting for him in the hall. One blue glass bead. One green glass bead. One silver spacer bead. One…
    “Thank you, Greg-Gregory.”
    He looked up then, still not meeting my eyes.
    I tried again, “You didn’t have to, but thank you anyway. It was very nice of you.” And more than I deserve.
    Shocked, his eyes finally met mine. My heart stopped. Deep chocolate brown eyes, set against such blonde features were as striking as I had always remembered them to be. And more. He was older, much older. Three years older. And extremely good looking. Holy Moley--He’s hot, my foolish heart whispered.

  8. Ok here's some of my current project. It's a little long but I hope you enjoy it!

    The Kingdom of Cheana has existed since before the creation of man. We live in all corners of the Earth, outside the eyes of the Inar Ndiaidh.

    8 AD
    “Princess Avonlea, the rebels are closing in fast. We can’t afford to wait, our numbers a dwindling by the hour trying to hold them off. We need to get you to safety.” Orgon, the Princess’ protector and closest confidant, urgently pressed as they paced the war room of the ancient castle.
    “No, I will not leave my people. If they fall, I will fall with them. I am not a coward - I will not hide.” The Princess stated, firm in her position. No Princess of Cheana had run from this fight, Avonlea wasn’t going to be the first. Her people were her everything; if they fell she would have nothing. Her life was no more important to her than the lives of ever Cheanian fighting and sacrificing everything for this Kingdom.
    “Princess, I beg you. It is my duty and purpose to protect to you - to keep you safe.” Orgon was at a crossroads. He needed to protect the princess; that was his reason for being, without her nothing else mattered but without the Kingdom the Princess would not go on. He knew his begging was useless but he had to try.
    “I do not expect you to stay, you may run, here is your chance. You do not have to fight, but I will.” The Princess said firmly. She did not want him to leave but could not force him to stay. If he did not want to fight, she would not make him.
    “No Princess, where you are, I will be and I will fight to protect you till the end.”
    “As I knew you would. Aubrina, come, bring me my Cassia.” The shy help scurried around the corner carrying the last of a kind, the only hope for the future. “Take her to this location.” Avonlea quickly scribbled down her directions. “Leave the book and these letters for her. Once there you must leave her and never look back.” The Princess handed the nursemaid an ancient book, bound by the finest leather and protected by the strongest magic. With the book were two letters, one addressed to the family that will care for this child and one to the child herself.
    Before the nursemaid could leave the Princess murmured a quick binding; setting dormant the magic than ran through Cassia’s blood till the day that the Cheanian Princess’ could once more rule in peace.
    The nursemaid took the girl and ran from the castle in secret. She found the fastest horse in the stable and as the two sides battled till none were left - she ran. She ran fast, she ran hard, and she never looked back.

  9. Oh Jenni, that must be Persuaded. Anne and Frederick reborn?!

  10. Wow, Jessie! You're really good! And yes, that's definitely Persuaded. Amanda Ellis and Gregory Wentworth... *sigh* my absolute favorite of all the Jane Austen rewrites i've written! If you go to my website you can read the rest of the rough draft of this chapter and see the pictures I have of the guys I want to use. Yes, i'm a nerd. Eeeh! Love your story, BTW super cute.

    Nikki--love your poem. That's one of my favorites. I still use your other one for my church talks! The one with the kids.

    Shanti--You know how much I LOVE that story!!! I'm so glad you posted it!

    Sugoi--WOW! That was awesome! great job!

  11. I write poetry and fantasy. At one point I would have said only traditional (otherworld or historical) fantasy, but my two current WIPs are contemporary. Figures. Here's the opening from my main WIP:

    Text from Erwin: 3RD WITCH FOUND

    Anton closed his phone and slid it into his pocket as he stepped off the tram. Now he was glad he'd decided not to stop at the pub. The light was still on at Engraved Wonders, and the door unlocked, despite the closed sign. Anton gave Freya a kiss as he entered the art shop, and helped her balance the armful of frames she was putting up for display.

    "What's with you? Meet a girl?"

    He laughed. "Not exactly. Tell you later. Both upstairs?"

    "Yup. Been sequestered up there all day."

    Anton went up the narrow stairs in the back to join his brothers in the dim loft.

    Guntram, the youngest at eighteen, lounged in the window seat, long legs somehow managing to fit in front of him. He flicked the remains of a cig out the cracked window that let in the muggy night air.

    Erwin leaned over a laptop on the desk. Without looking up, he beckoned the eldest brother closer. Anton pulled up a folding chair and straddled it backward, resting his arms on the back as he scanned the images on the screen.

    "This is her? An albino? How can you be sure?"

  12. Jenni, I could read that again and again. Ah.. Gregory... *sigh*

    Sugoi, I love your strong main character. She's feisty! Thanks for participating.

    Mary, I could really picture that scene. And you have great names for you characters. Jessie just did a blog on naming characters the other day, and we were all saying how hard it is (except Jenni :) she's good at naming them too), but you obviously have come up with some great ones. They're unique, but pronounceable. Love it!

  13. candice, thanks! She's actually not my main character, but thanks to genetics my main character is quite a bit like her.

  14. Thanks, Candice. There's a lot of talent here. :-)

  15. Hey, sure - this sounds like fun. Here's the opening of my latest - Tell me if you'd read the rest of the book!

    I only saw the man in the back seat of a 1960-something Plymouth once, well over twenty years ago, but I would know his face if I saw him on the street today. I never knew his name; I only knew he was there to kill my father.
    I was at the chicken coop when I saw the car drive up the long dirt road to our house. I headed down to meet it, but halfway there a bad feeling stopped me. Something wasn’t right.
    The Plymouth stopped and sat in front of our house. My sisters came out to greet whoever was inside. When I got to a place I could hear what was being said, Sarah chattered on like nothing was amiss, telling the occupants that our father was up on the mountain, hunting with a bunch of his Navy buddies and that they’d be back any time now. She lied.
    Dad came around the corner of the house we were building. He ignored the car. Without a word, he went straight to his tent. When he stepped back out, loading his 30.06 rifle as he came, the car took off in a rush. They had to follow the road, but my dad didn’t. He set off on foot through the trees, and I followed hot on his heels.
    My dad was a hunter. Even disabled, and later as an old man who walked with a cane, he moved through the forest like a shadow – quickly and silently. I was 11, he in his mid 50’s – and I had a hard time keeping up with him. Hot summer sun shimmered through evergreen branches, dappling the forest floor as I followed him through underbrush of sage and currant, surrounded by the smell of warm pine needles and pumice dust.
    The dirt road that led to our property was nothing more than a forestry access trail cut through the middle of a million miles of wilderness. The closest pavement was seven miles to the west, even farther to the nearest telephone. One sheriff and a couple of deputies covered the entire county, a hundred miles square. Even our nearest neighbors were a mile away, with no way to contact them. There was no one to help us.
    When Dad and I stepped out of the trees and into the roadway, the blue Plymouth had stopped a quarter mile away. Three people, each armed with a rifle, headed away from the car – into the wood and back toward our house.
    I watched my father, the same man who taught me you should never aim a gun at anything you didn’t intend to kill, level his rifle and pump a bullet into the chamber. I knew then that I was going to watch him take a life.
    He didn’t have to. They saw him standing in the middle of the road. Almost as if they forgot they carried weapons of their own, they panicked, ran to get back into their car and fishtailed down the road in a literal cloud of dust.
    Dad held that rifle to his shoulder, ready to fire, until the dust settled and we could tell they were really gone. Without a word, he lowered it, gently released the hammer, leaving the bullet ready in the chamber, and headed back toward the house.
    “You teach your girls to shoot,” the Circuit Court judge told my father, “And if that man comes up there, you tell them to shoot him dead. I’ll help you bury him so deep, no one will ever find him.”
    By the time I turned thirteen, I was a dead shot with any rifle.
    It was not a hundred years ago, it happened in the early 1980’s. I did not grow up in the Old West – everything in this story took place in and around a small town on the Klamath Reservation in Southern Oregon. We lived fourteen miles out of town, seven miles up a dirt road, with no electricity and no running water. We called it, simply, “The Hill”

  16. Wendy!!! I love it! I am dying to know what happens. Why were those men after him?? I'm so glad you shared that!

  17. Weston, I like your story. It reminded me of a William Faulkner story I just read in my literature class called, "Barn Burning". I'm not sure exactly why, I think it's the tone and the tempo. Besides, being compared to Faulkner is never a bad thing!



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