Friday, February 19, 2010

Living Behind Glass Shadows Update

Okay, so the other night I finally sat down and got something accomplished. Chapter ten is all written and for now it seems to be doing the trick; you know that one trick where your writer mind can finally take a five minute break without feeling unproductive? Anyways, Josh is about to propose to December. Will she say yes? I have a feeling she will.

Right now my problem is deciding if the proposal should be chapter eleven or if December should have some quality time with Wes, who would kinda convince her to say yes to Josh. And I'm wondering if December should be worried that Spence is starting to date Harper. She knows how Harper is and she knows that Spence is a great guy. She doesn't want to see him get his heart broken, especially by her sister. But that seems like she's awfully concerned about everyone's relationship but her own. It could also be part of who she is. After all, she did help raise her sister most of her life, and she and her mother are more like friends than mother/daughter.

So, I need to figure these things out and then I will get back into the rhythm of writing. I'm actually anxious to see what happens next!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Officially Decided

Okay, I know that I have been MIA here on this Blog and in my writing as well. It's easy to sit down and complete a ten minute prompt and a lot harder to complete a writing of 100,000 words. I have become discouraged with my editing attempts on No One's Puck Bunny. I don't know why. I love the story. I just think I need to go back and do too much reworking and I have no idea where or even why. It just isn't working for me.

So my newest idea is to go through the entire process with you all. From brainstorming to writing, to editing to submission. So from now on you will see me talking about Living Behind Glass Shadows, which is about December Sloane. I'll share my entire process with you and hopefully that will get my creative juices flowing again because I desperately need to get busy with it. It feels like this is the longest it's ever taken me to see an idea through. I'm just not motivated. So kick me into shape!

Poetry Challenge

This week's word/phrase: New Beginnings

It lasted longer than we thought it could

loved you harder than I thought I would

Remember when you kissed me that day

Didn't think anything would get in our way

We say goodbye and walk apart

Ignore the beating of a broken heart

It will love again I'm sure

After all temptation is a lure

You are the ending

To my heart's new beginning

Word Interpretations

This week's word: NEWS

"For me it was just exciting to see fake news catching on like that. We don't ... you know, it's interesting. I think we don't make things up. We just distill it to, hopefully, its most humorous nugget. And in that sense it seems faked and skewed just because we don't have to be subjective or pretend to be objective. We can just put it out there." Jon Stewart

"The American people deserve to know that they're not just watching the administration's spin on their local newscasts --- they're paying for it too." John Kerry

"Problems are the price of progress. Don't bring me anything but trouble. Good news weakens me." Charles F. Kettering

"Nothing travels faster than light with the possible exception of bad news, which follows its own rules." Douglas Adams

Words of Art

Why were guys like him so attracted to Kara? Sure she was gorgeous enough to be a model but did he really think someone like her would ever settle down? And why did I have to be the one he showed the ring to first? Couldn't he see how much I hated pretending like I wasn't attracted to him?

I did what I was supposed to. I smiled and fawned over the sparkly diamond and platinum band when what I really wanted to do was chuck that little red box into the nearest flambe presentation. There were two of them. After all, it was valentines day and most guys were busy impressing their wives or girlfriends or potential girlfriends. Where was Kara when she had a guy like Doug waiting for her? Oh, that's right. She was having date night with the surgeon. That plastic surgeon guy who made well over seven figures and was just about as much in love with her as Doug was.

So I was stuck playing go-between, filling in for her because she couldn't ever have a faithful relationship. I sighed as I gazed across at Doug, trying not to let myself get lost in the way his green eyes shimmered with such love and admiration when he spoke her name. He went through the details, telling me how he planned to propose, reciting the lines it was obvious he'd been working on for quite some time. I didn't want Doug to get hurt but I couldn't tell him that Kara was just playing games with him. After all, she was my best friend.

The table adjacent to ours must have thought he was proposing to me and began to clap. It must have been that stupid grin on my face that made them think a guy like Doug was asking a girl like me to marry him. Or maybe it was all those red and pink balloons; some kind of latex and helium poisoning for sure. Our waiter came to the table, a phony smile on his face that seemed more annoyed than anything else.

"How about a celebratory glass of champagne for the happy couple?" he asked, his eyes barely open as he hovered over us.

I was about to tell him no, they had it all wrong, when Doug chuckled, "is it on the house?" The waiter gave a bigger smile, obviously biting back a sincere disdain for his job. He nodded.

"Then bring my future wife and I a glass of your finest!" he smiled across at me, that same smile that always melted my heart. When he winked, I could hardly contain the excitement that bubbled under the surface. If I could only have this fake romance pretending he was thinking of me when that look of complete and utter hopeless love came over him, then I would soak up every second.

After all, Kara was probably in some five star restaurant with her surgeon. Who knew how much longer she'd string Doug along, and as her best friend, it wasn't like I could keep seeing him after she ended it. God, I hated her sometimes. Just once I wanted to have a man totally fall in love with me.

Doug slid the ring on my finger and whispered something about making sure it was the right size for Kara and how much fun it was that people thought he and I were getting married. As the waiter set golden champagne before us, I thought about what it would be like if Doug loved me the way he loved Kara.

Word Interpretation

This week's word: UNITY

Unity: A sacred bond. A friendship. A nation coming together over a common cause, emotion, tragedy, celebration. A candle lit from two as the promise of forever. A bloodline that runs deep in your veins. A sermon to a waiting congregation. A promise from the heart. A dream down in the soul. A family holding hands. Siblings playing hide and seek. Best friend bracelets. Mother's day flowers. Father's day ties. Valentine kisses. Christmas wishes. Thanksgiving grace. Graduation applause. A baby shower. A birth day. Get well soon balloons. Condolence blooms. From here to hereafter.

Vocabulary Building

Words of the week: Kame, Blase, Neb, Tram, Quaver, Unco, Wonk, Cheeky

We rested near the bottom of a kame. I breathed deep, letting the frigid air burn in my lungs. My body quavered only a moment as my limbs rested for the first time all day. Aidan stood behind me, his shadow revealing just how annoyed he was by my less than enthusastic inability to keep up.

"Are we about bloody ready?" he asked in that English accent that would have been cute if he weren't such a ... what did he call me earlier? a wonk! What the hell was a wonk? He said I was better suited to sit behind a desk and answer obscure engineer questions. Apparently women could be book smart but had little ability to survive the elements in his opinion. Well excuse me for not being so blase about the whole stuck in the middle of nowhere with way below freezing temperatures.

"Yeah, ready to get this over with," I answered, rolling my eyes.

"You're a bit cheeky for a girl who depends on me to get her back to the helicopter without losing any limbs to frost bite or chilblains," he laughed.

"I just want to get this over with. Let's hurry. You and I both know a tram here is impossible. There's no way to keep that kind of transportation running in this environment. Now lets convince my bosses of that," I stood, my body feeling numb since the blood had slowed. I flexed my fingers and toes, bending at the knee to get the circulation flowing again.

He turned away from me and began leading the way once again. I fell in line behind him, watching the red colored rope slide across the surface of the snow as we walked, always in sync. He'd slowed his pace so that I could keep up with him, and he'd taken on more gear than he normally would have. At least that was sweet of him.

"We don't get many visitors out here. Kinda nice to see a unco once in a while. Can you imagine living here six months at a time?" he called over his shoulder as the wind whipped across the desolate snow covered earth.

No, I couldn't, but since he wasn't being a jerk for once I decided not to tell him that. He knew the answer anyways. The whole outdoor thing wasn't exactly my style. I prefered books and strategically working out dilemmas on paper. Why the higher-ups decided to send me to a frozen hell was beyond my scope of understanding. But at least he and I got to share one of those little yellow tents. No matter how cold it was outside, it was warm inside there with him.

"Look out there at that snowy owl. Do you see it?" he asked, stopping just inches ahead of me. I gazed out on the glistening snow and could barely make out the slight movement of the bird. "He is hunting. Those are the vultures of the tundra. Anything that fits in their neb is fair game."

I shuttered at the tone of his voice. Two more days in this godforsaken ice country.

Pick a Prompt

3) While cleaning out your attic, you discover an old wedding dress and a VERY old photo of a happy man and woman, the woman in that same dress. As you touch the photo, you get a flash of what happened the day it was taken. Write that scene...

We'd lived here for more than ten years yet this was the first time I'd ever had the courage to go beyond that fourth step into the attic. The pull-down stairs were creaky and shifted when you looked at them, but I braved the contraption and found my way into a dusty old attic filled with remnants of the past. An old dress maker's mannequin almost sent me running back down the stairs but I reined in my wits and set about the task that had haunted me since we bought the home; cleaning the attic.

Musty old boxes were stacked in a circle around the room in piles about chest high. In the center of the haphazard circle was an old trunk with brass buckles and hinges. That caught my attention. It seemed almost untouched by time unlike the other elements of the attic. The mid morning sun gleamed a warm patch of light perfectly through two stacks of boxes and onto the top of the warm leather covered wood.

I went to it, suddenly feeling like it was the most important piece of the house's history. There were faded spots on the backside but the rest was almost untouched. I ran my palm over the top and held my breath as my fingertips found warm spots mingling with cold spots. What did I expect to find? A mummified body? Old bones that would turn to dust if disturbed? A spirit who didn't want to be found?

I was scaring myself and Carter had warned me about getting spooked. That's what kept the attic untouched for the last ten years. Brushing aside my fears, I flipped the latches and turned the clasp lock in the middle. The trunk opened just a smidge, a hodge podge of floral scents wafting up around me as I calmed my thudding heart. At least it wasn't the smell of death. No bones or dead bodies or boogeymen.

Steadying my nerves, I barely touched the lid and watched it squeek open like what I imagined the strained lifting of a draw bridge would have sounded like. I blinked at the contents, forcing myself to study the delicate items yellowed with time. There was a bouquet of flowers wrapped in delicate lace around the stems. Stalks of cherry blossom with iris and buttercup. But the silken petals of flowers had long disappeared and were instead replaced by the rough texture of stone.

Surely it wasn't stone. The flowers had color, although dried and wilted and no longer alive. It was a trick of the mind. I wanted to reach in and touch but I was afraid; afraid of feeling stone where ancient petals should have turned to dust, but I couldn't stop myself. The flowers were cold and heavy as if they'd been petrified. A cold breath whispered in the dusty motes of air. That was my breath. In the middle of a Texas August. A chill climbed my back but I swore I wouldn't scare myself into putting this off any longer.

I dropped the bouquet into the trunk but the flowers did not disintegrate into dust as it should have. It was rock hard, tangible, untouched. The white lace next to it seemed to beckon me. I plucked it from the trunk, using a delicate touch. The dress had yellowed with time, the long sleeves barely held to the shoulders with its old threads. The dress swept the floor as I held it up. At the waistband were colorful feathers and beads carefully sewn onto the dress so that they would sway with any movement. It seemed an odd combination, like a fusion of two styles that didn't belong together.

I pressed the dress against me, trying to imagine the story behind it. Lost in music that wasn't playing, I swirled around the circle of boxes and past. That's when I saw the colorless sketch float from the cuff of the dress and fall noiselessly to the ground just within the circle. Curious, I laid the dress back in the trunk and reached for the picture.

The image was blurry, with blacks and grays and whites all blending into silhouettes. I focused on the picture, holding it up against the light hoping to see something. Her face was beautiful. She had high, pronounced cheek bones and light hair that looked as fine as silk, piled high on her head with feather and beading accessories. She looked kind, regal, wealthy. He was handsome too, skin dark even in the old black and white pencil drawing. His hair was black as ebony and pulled back from his prominent cheekbones and dark eyes. He wore a feather headband with a single feather dangling near his ear. The suit he wore looked expensive for the time but so out of place on a man like him.

A cold breeze ruffled through the airless attic stirring the dust motes around me, and suddenly my world began to dissolve. The dusty sun of the past was overhead, trees and brush growing up around me. In the distance I saw this house, only it wasn't as I knew it, yet somehow I felt this was my home. The clapboard house looked sturdy but smoldering in the summer heat. I saw the man and woman from the photo.

His skin was bronzed, his pride so palpable in the air that I almost couldn't look at him even from thirty yards away. He wore the suit with no shoes and his head band. She wore the dress; her mother's wedding dress bedecked with jewels and feathers; jewels from his mother. They were beautiful together, their love so intense that it almost rippled in the heat of summer. She reached for his hand and laughed as he tugged at the tie.

"If we are to make this union work, we have to accept these parts of each other," she'd said to him, a happy smile on her lips. I almost expected him to sigh or roll his eyes, but he stood tall, shoulders squared and kissed her back with such pure adoration and love that it made me ache to remember when had I ever been loved like that.

"You know your father will send his ranch hands here when he knows you've married a savage," he said the last word with such venom.

"My father knows that I love you. He might disown me, but he'd never send someone to harm you," she chuckled, but I sensed the trepidation in her words. She wanted to believe he wouldn't but she wasn't as sure as she pretended.

"The blue blood daughter of a man like him marries a half breed savage and you think there won't be trouble to contend with? We will take our precautions, but if I must die tonight, there is no greater honor than for your love," he said, voice steely and sultry at the same time.

Then in a flash it was night, the sun traveling across the sky in mere seconds, stars blinking to life, clouds skipping across the open universe until it stood still in the dark. A single light glowed within, no doubt that in the fireplace. In the distance I heard the galloping hoofbeats of horses. I had no idea what hoofbeats really sounded like in person, but I just knew. And I knew it was more than a handful.

My heart palpated in my chest. I saw the groom come to porch, wearing slacks without boots or a shirt. Still integrating their worlds. My heart ached for him; for them. Because as the rest of the illusion began to swirl away, I knew what happened. Flashes of the night ripped through my mind as the sky swirled away and the night turned to the dusty old attic and the chill of the knowledge of that night crept through my mind.

He'd killed them. He'd had his own daughter killed. He'd let those men kill them, strip them down to nothing but their underthings, and set the house on fire. When the last of the smoldering ashes cooled in the afternoon sun that day, he'd set the bouquet and dress and sketch in the trunk and left the trunk in the ashes.

Key Word

Today's key word was: DANCE

It moved there on the floor

Creeping closer to the door

The blankets piled in a sultry mess

A little negligee the only dress

You touch me here with just a fingertip

The sweet taste of your tongue upon my lip

Moonlight gleams once again

Nothing greater than this sin

I see your ring glisten in the shadows

What would it be like if I were the one you chose

A love affair so grand and different

A heart I know to be heaven sent

One more time we take the chance

Your wife won't catch us in this dance

The Honeymoon

It was our honeymoon. A small town in France, just like he'd promised me. I thought this was the moment that he'd make the decision to start over. We were married so this was our chance for a clean slate. He made love to me in our suite overlooking the country side. This was supposed to be that point in our relationship when he finally commited.

Yet there she was. In that little cafe with a rose bloom pinned to the side of her hair. She was beautiful. If I didn't know better I would have thought she belonged there, speaking French and wearing designer clothes with stilettos that reached to the clouds and legs bikini models would kill for.

Suddenly I felt like a pauper who hadn't showered in a year. Why would he marry me when he had her waiting in his bed? I wanted to hate her and the audacity she had to follow us on our honeymoon. That quick jog through the country side he'd taken at the break of dawn must have had a few miles in her bed.

I glanced up at him, hoping he didn't realize that I knew who she was. He never missed a step. With his arm around me, he kept sputtering on about local history and all the fun things we would do while we were in town. I thought he would lead me away from the cafe but he was far too bold to pass the opportunity to inflate his ego.

"Have a seat Darling," he cooed, pulling a chair out for me. He conveniently seated me with my back to her. I could practically feel her rolling her eyes at me, as if the force were so strong it would decapitate her head from the rest of her body.

"Thank you," I muttered. Perhaps this was all I could hope for. After all, she would get some of his nights; I had his name. I could be seen in public with him and not have to pull my hand away from his. I knew it was terrible to allow him to get away with it but I suddenly felt smug at the thought of her wishing to be me.

Her. Perfect her. Wanting to be me. Her, a size two wanting to be me, a size ten. Her with perfect blonde coif wanting to be me, a mousy brunette. One day, I'd grow a backbone and walk away, but not today. Today, he was my husband and I wouldn't let any other thought enter my mind.

I reached across the table and enlaced my fingers through his. If he could pretend, so could I.