Sceneshot Sunday: Issue #1

27 03 2011

While many writers are taking place in the Sunday Six Challenge, I am once again going against the grain and blazing my own trail. I tried doing the Sunday Six, but it just wasn’t working out for me. I liked the challenge, but it felt too limiting, especially for someone like me who is just coming out of a *mumble* long writing hiatus.

Instead of the Sunday Six, I present to you a little thing I call “Sceneshot Sunday.” Every Sunday that I’m not distracted by something else, I will present to you a small scene from one of my works, usually no more than a few short paragraphs. I think some people do this for “Teaser Tuesday,” but like I said, I’m a writing rebel! Phooey on the already established norms!

Last week, I had mentioned sharing the full version of Dee and Jimmy’s kiss from my “Untitled Epic Book Series,” alias “The Jade Stories.” However, I haven’t gotten around to polishing that scene just yet. Instead, here’s a scene from a work I have been polishing a little. It’s from a work-in-progress I’ve entitled “All She Has Left.”

In this scene, Grant Banner attends the wake of the husband of his old friend, Julie Wright, with whom he’s lost contact with after grad school. After five years had passed, Grant finally sees Julie for the first time as she is hiding in her bedroom, trying to escape the family and friends who filled her house with good intentions, but little privacy.

“So, um… How are you?”

Well, that was original, Banner, he winced.

Julie sniffled faintly. “I’ve been better. Things have been pretty crazy around here and… and…”

When she hesitated, Grant began to worry he’d said something to trigger even more tears. Instead crying, however, Julie finally lifted her head as she turned to face her old friend. The corners of her mouth twitched upwards in the attempt of a smile. Her eyes were red–no doubt from the last two sleepless nights–while dark circles hung like crescents beneath her eyes. Her hair was pulled back into a single braid that missed her waist by mere centimeters. The black dress she wore made her face pale as milk. Make-up smeared from crying stained her cheeks, but her forest green eyes were strong and she was as beautiful as ever, but why did any of this surprise him?

“Do you want me to fix you something to eat?”

Grant couldn’t help but smile. She really hadn’t changed a bit.

Like what you’re reading? Want to stalk me? Visit me on Twitter and feel free to steal my idea for #sceneshotsunday if you’d like! Stroke my ego and let me know if you’re giving it a try. Until next time, folks!





Another Belated Sunday Six

21 03 2011

Let’s be honest here for a moment, folks… I suck at deadlines. If my life/grade doesn’t depend on it, I will probably be late when it comes to producing something. Whether it’s mailing something out on time or posting six sentences, chances are it will be late.

But enough about me. Let’s talk about this little paragraph from my story. This is a scene I’ve had bouncing around in my head for a long time. Dee and Jimmy are my favorite couple in all of the stories I’ve ever written. The love/hate tension between them builds and festers for a long time before Jimmy finally makes the first move. I know it might come off as Jimmy being a major jerk in this scene, but… well, he kind of is, but for “good” reasons I haven’t told anyone yet.

Also, this segment happens to be seven sentences, not six. No matter how I rephrased everything, the seventh sentence had to stay. I also refused to remove any of the others. I really like this little “sceneshot,” and I hope you do, too. It starts in the middle of a rant Dee is unloading on Jimmy for being “reckless, arrogant, self-absorbed” and the like when he suddenly cuts her off mid-sentence…

(It also helps to listen to “Hanging By a Moment” by Lifehouse when you read this. I wrote this while listening to it, just fyi.)

Without warning, Jimmy grabbed her arms and slammed her against the wall. Dee’s eyes grew wide as Jimmy’s lips crushed into her own, bringing her rage to an equally violent halt. He kissed her angrily, almost viciously, with a passion she had never known as his hands squeezed her until she would surely bruise. And yet somehow, her anger had vanished, and  she didn’t care what he did as long as he didn’t stop. Her breath was taken away while her heart pounded against her chest, engulfed in a firy rampage within her thoughts. She hadn’t felt such a surge of emotion since Tobiah—

Finding what was left of herself, Deidra shoved against his chest, cursing under her breath as she turned and hurried away from him. It was too late to hide her tears.

 

You like? I like. Well, sorta. I wish I could include more. As I’ve learned the last three Sundays, “the Sunday six” just isn’t really working for me, at least not on a regular basis. I like the challenge of making every word in every sentence count, but I don’t like cutting my scenes short. I cut this scene short and I’m not too happy about how it turned out.

After Tweeting back and forth with Lexcade a bit, I’ve decided that any writing I share here will be along the lines of “Teaser Tuesday,” or maybe make it my own by calling it “Sceneshot Sunday.” I don’t really know yet what I’ll call it or when I’ll post it, but I do know Mondays are better writing/blogging days for me than any other. I think for my first post, I’ll share the full sceneshot from above. This really doesn’t do it justice.

Tune in next time, folks.





Ten Years Later: A Writer's Tale

17 06 2010

Ten years ago, I sat down before my 486 computer. It was an older computer that looked remarkably similar to this one, but with fewer bells and whistles. I don’t remember it having a CD ROM, but when your previous computer was an 8088, you were in no position to complain. Both were gifts from my dad and my uncle(s) who knew I needed to stop killing the rain forests with my compulsive writing. It was an outlet for my creativity where I could save my work and spell check all in one convenient location.

Ten years ago, I was working on a story. It didn’t have a name… or much of a plot for that matter. The story itself was foolish and going nowhere. I was frustrated with its progress, irritated with my so-called plot, and flat-out unhappy with my work as a writer. I was only 17 at the time, but I had been writing for a few years at this point. I’d already written several novel-length stories as well as countless poems, essays, and short stories.

Ten years ago, I gave up for the very first time on a story. I still have my hand-written notes for this story. I’m pretty sure I still have a small segment laying around from the story itself. Maybe–just maybe–I still have the entire story itself on an old disk somewhere. The problem is that my old works are either on 5 1/4″ or 3 1/2″ floppy disks. One could say I never truly gave up on this story if I’ve kept it this long, but that’s neither here nor there.

Ten years ago, I sat down in front of my old 486 and opened a new document. It was a clean slate to begin a new story. I didn’t know what my new story would be. I didn’t know who it would be about. I had no idea what these people would do. I didn’t even have names for these people. So I paused for a moment and three names came to me:

Raven, Jade, and Alexander.

From that moment on, my life changed forever. I began writing a story about these three people. It would be a story of epic proportions. There was an unjust government, a tyrannical leader, secret double-lives, and most importantly to my 17-year-old mind… love.

I wrote obsessively every single day. When I wasn’t typing away on my computer, I was jotting down notes in the back of my math notebook or passing notes with a friend regarding my latest details of the story of Raven, Jade, and Alexander. I researched the library and my own schoolbooks for various sources of information so that I could create my own species within the story. I obsessed over pictures I found in my Humanities class that resembled my characters. I ate, slept, and breathed the story I began calling “my Jade story.”

Visits with my mom brought bittersweet sorrow. For an entire weekend during the school year and an entire week in the summer, I had to leave my story behind at my dad’s house. It was too much of a hassle to pack my computer to and fro, so I had to do without.

My mom, like my dad and uncle(s), also loves to fuel the hobbies of her children. She and another uncle found a word processor at a yard sale in the winter of 2000. They brought it to me, and I was speechless. I could finally write my story no matter where I was. With the help of my disks, I could take my story between visitations.

(clicky!)

Thus, my complete and total obsession with my “Jade story” was complete. By the time I left for college in 2002, I had over 200 printed pages for my story, countless pages of notes, and several poorly drawn illustrations. I kept my treasured story inside my ancient purple folder that has been with me since middle school. My purple folder is like the arc of the covenant for my story… it contains everything that is related to my story, my story that’s pretty much my life’s work.

College, however, was not a good time for me to write, especially in my early years. My life changed greatly, and I had some very “uninspiring” people in my life who brought me down. I stopped writing. Sometimes I doodled or thought about my story, but for the most part, I lost that part of my life. My “Jade story” went into hibernation.

One day, I became inspired. I wrote a prologue, but not to my previous story. This would be a new story with new characters. With this prologue, Sadie was born along with a whole new world of ideas. Putting those ideas into words, however, were far more difficult. It had been so long since I’d written anything, plus with my new studies as an English major, I began to realize just how much I lacked as a writer. I became my own worst enemy. I became my own critic.

My story continued to hibernate until 2005 when another brainchild was born. His name was Jace. He and his companion, Jimi, brought about new life and new reason to this new story. For the first time since 2003, I began writing again. Most of my drafts were immediately deleted or rewritten in time. It didn’t matter. I was exercising my long forgotten creative muscles. After the train wreck my life had become, I needed this exercise… my “creative physical therapy.”

However, 2005 brought even more changes into my life, and once again, my writing went onto the back burner. I continued writing in my head, painting mental portraits of my characters and getting to know them. How could I tell their story if I didn’t know these new characters? I found images online to help me visualize their faces and continued thinking, thinking, forever thinking. I destroyed my 200 printed pages and a large portion of notes. My story was no longer satisfactory. I couldn’t work with it anymore and sculpt it into something better. I needed a new beginning.

And now, the present.

An online friend caught wind of my story. She has talked with me about it. She’s brought fresh light into my head and inspired a domino effect of ideas. Things have changed so much in the last ten years. I’ve changed both as a person and as a writer. She helped me see that.

I’ve started carrying a composition book with me wherever I go. No matter where I go, I have the opportunity to write. I’m “getting back to basics,” as they say. There’s something wonderful about seeing my ideas go from my mind, through my hand, and onto paper once more. It’s almost magical.

Several weeks ago, I began writing what I’ve dubbed “Dee’s Tale,” which is basically a short story about one of my characters. Once upon a time ago, when my story was first created, Dee was a minor character. Over the years, she’s evolved into so much more than just comic relief. She’s become a main character. She has a history, a personality, and depth. She has a purpose. This story gets inside her head and shows you who Dee really is and why she will later become the woman she will be in my story. I plan on writing a Tale for each main character.

Over the last ten years, my story has gone from a barely coherent story lacking direction to an entire world built inside my mind. I know all of my characters personally. I know where they came from. I know their fears and their hopes. I even know their favorite foods. I know all about their lives before the story begins.

I know this all sounds more than a little crazy. In fact, some of you are probably starting to question my sanity. Yet I can’t help but wonder if this is how Stephen King felt when he set out to write The Gunslinger and the rest of The Dark Tower series. It took him about twelve years to write the first book. I wonder if this is how he felt about Roland, Jake, Eddie, and Susannah.

After ten years of creating these people and this world, I feel as though it’s time I finally put this world, these characters, this story onto paper. Even if my story is never published or even viewed by anyone other than myself, I think the time has finally come. It is time to write my story at long last. If it takes me the rest of my life, I will finish it.

Today, I am sitting before my Gateway DX series with another clean slate. Today, new names join my original cast of characters. Today, I have four other names:

Sadie, Jace, Deidra, and Jimi.

No story has been abandoned. A story will be remodeled. It is getting a fresh start at last. My characters will finally get a story worthy of being told. Today is the first day of my life’s work in progress.

(clicky!)

Art that reminds me of Sadie. This art was by a deviantART artist named Dark-Spider.





Digitally Inspired

29 08 2008

I have to admit, this switching to WP thing has been awesome for me creatively-speaking. I love my layout and can’t wait to make new headers for it. I also spent a long time yesterday talking to a friend of mine about my story and what to do with one of my characters. It was some serious fun times.

I think my friend wants a WP now… and an awesome her-story-related header. ^_^ lol I blame Haley for starting this madness.

New goat pictures on Facebook!





Work in Progress

28 08 2008

I finally have my header completed. Yesterday, I wanted a Halloween layout, but I got to thinking… since I’m supposed to start working on my story soon and have it done in 1001 days, I need all the inspiration I can get. I used one of the DeviantArt pictures I found to inspire me as my header with some random quote I made up off the top of my head.

“…and thus Jadiera Alatarial Steele was betrayed.”

The death of Jade is a huge deal in the story I’m planning on writing over the course of my 1001 days. She’s the key character in the story before it (I know, I’m weird writing the second book of a trilogy first), and because of her death, many lives change and not so much for the better.

So yeah, I figure I get something spooky for Halloween along with something motivational. After all, my story begins with Jade’s death. Later on as I progress in the story, I’ll change my header to more relavent parts. For now, we’ll start at the beginning.