Monthly Archives: November 2012

Such is the Life

Writers are either the most focused or the most distractable human beings on the face of the earth, and I’m not sure which. At least, I know I am. Conversations with me can be somewhat…challenging…as I tend to get distracted (PLOT BUNNY!!!). My eyes glaze over, I switch over to “Mmmhmms” and nods, and zone out completely while I’m off in my in my own little world with my mental gears clicking away. As one writer put it, I’m just “talking to people you can’t see.” In my head.

Unfortunately, this phenomenon doesn’t just occur in conversation. Over today alone, I managed to miss half of the lectures in choir, switch Mom and Dad’s drinks at dinner, and narrowly miss asking “What’s the salad dressing for?” while staring directly at the salad, all because I was zoned out plotting.

Please tell me I’m not the only one who does this…*headdesk*

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Writing Prompt Monday – Entry # 11

Dude…it hasn’t even been a week since Thanksgiving and it already feels like it should be Christmas Eve. Christmas music, stores full of Christmas stuff, shopping horror stories, and it’s supposed to snow tonight–’tis now my favorite season.

And therefore, I’m doing Christmas early as well adding a new element to the Monday prompts.

Q. Using three or more random words from the generator, write a summary of a Christmas short story using the characters of your choosing.

Well, my words aren’t exactly Christmasy. But that’s part of the fun. 1.Blister. 2. Mill. 3. Second.

As per usual when a Churchill is involved, chaos ensues at the annual Christmas celebration. Five year-old Chance Griffin decides that fireworks are absolutely necessary for the perfect Christmas (and breaks into his mother’s lab to procure them) and very nearly blows himself to kingdom come while setting them. The adults(who aren’t much more responsible than young Chance) rush outside just in time to see said fireworks ignite the abandoned mill in the next field, which of course sparks a race to make sure the fire doesn’t spread to the surrounding fields and cottages. Luckily, a few blisters were the only injuries sustained. Unluckily, the mill owner and a humorless police chap were the second group on the scene. With a bit of quick talking from the silver tongue of Mr. Alec Griffin and a substantial settlement from a certain well-off Lord Flynn Churchill, all tempers quickly cooled off and everyone retired to the cottage to finish the interrupted Christmas dinner.

Your answers?

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Writing Prompt Monday – Entry #10

Firstly, I have not in fact been abducted, horribly murdered,  thrown into a terribly engrossing adventure, or snatched by extraterrestrials.

It was a disappointing couple of weeks.

Anyways,  there’s been a lot of crazy stuff going on hereabouts, the least of which being that I’ve been sick for three weeks straight. Hence my prolonged absence. But I’m back now, and hopefully now that I have my school schedule worked out, we can get this blog back on track.

Q. It’s Thanksgiving! Write a short scene detailing your character’s idea of the perfect Thanksgiving.

Setting: Churchill Manor, London, England, 1895

A muffled kaboom shook the manor. Alec Griffin shot an inquiring glance at his wife, but Zissa shook her head vigorously.

“Nope. That one wasn’t mine.”

Corinn, now a perfect know-it-all at twenty, glanced up from folding napkins. “That would be Ami and the boys poking into what’s left of your lab, I’d wager. I heard Socrates say he’d run across a few of your discard explosives in the bookcase panel.”

Zissa grinned, setting down the turkey she held. Luckily for those planning to eat it, she hadn’t been the chef. Alec and Chance had meandered down to the village that morning and returned with a four-course Thanksgiving dinner cooked by one of the local kitchen masters who was acquainted with the American tradition. “I wondered what had happened to those…”

Flynn shook his head, plopping into his seat at the head of the table. “Would you mind taking them with you when you go? That’s the last thing Socrates and Ami need at their disposal.”

“Si…they get into enough trouble already.” Prilla nodded her agreement, then poked her husband in the ribs(with a sweet smile,naturally). “Caro, would you go fetch the troublemakers? I think we’re ready.”

“Right, then.” He gave an exaggerated sigh about the hardships of being forced to get up after just sitting down, but did it anyway. Zissa slid into the seat next to Alec and smirked.

“Come now…they can’t do any more harm than I ever did. They’d have fun, I think.”

“Zissa, dear, if they do half the damage you did, we’ll need a new house.” Prilla said, with an arched brow.

“Ooooh–can I design the secret passages?” A slightly singed Ami appeared behind her mother, grinning from ear to ear. Chance and Socrates, both completely covered in thick, black soot followed. Alec snorted, covering his mouth with one hand to smother the explosive laughter threatening to detonate. Flynn limped back to his spot, then glared at his sister.

“You know, I no longer have a conservatory, thanks to your leftovers.”

“No, no, Daddy, you still have one. Or…part of one. It’s just open-air now.” Ami grinned and Zissa grinned right along with her.

“See? Explosives. Marvelous things.”

Flynn sighed. ” Of all the things I have to be thankful for, a sane family isn’t one of them.”

“And lucky for you, neither is a dull one.” Zissa smiled at him and reached out to pat his hand(a distinctly ornery twinkle in her eyes). “Also, you’ve got the only open-air conservatory in the county.”

“Oy.” Flynn rolled his eyes, a chuckle breaking through. “Considering thatwe have you to thank for the day’s excitement, I elect you to bless the food.”

“Why, certainly.” Zissa chuckled as the joined hands (some of them rather sooty). It was shaping up to be an offbeat day. It always did when the entire family was together. And Zissa was immensely grateful for a chance to all be offbeat together. It was perfect.

Well, certainly not my best effort, but oh, well. It’s been a busy day and my brain is probably over-easy by now. Your answers?

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Writing Prompt Monday – Entry #9

I seem to have an uncanny ability to collect scars. If I fall or scrape a knee or even get scratched by a cat, I’ve got an automatic new scar. But then again, everyone has scars of some sort. And typically an awesome story to go with all of them. Therefore, it makes sense that your characters would have a couple of their own.

Q. Does your MC have a scar/multiple scars? List them and how they got them.


Zissa Churchill: “Do I have scars? Oh, good grief, yes. You can’t be an adventurer–or even just an inventor–for long without collecting a few. Erm…as far as listing them, I don’t even remember how I came by some of them. *dark look* Though some are rather memorable. There’s a small burn mark on the inside of my left wrist; it happened two days before I ran away from England and in the process of trying to get my late mother’s jewels back.  A cut across my ribcage from an explosion I was in last year. Another along my ankle from the incident in Prague. Honestly, there are too many to mention.”

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The Ten Commandments of My Story World

In trying to put together an entire universe for a series of novels and trying to sort out all the characters that fit into said universe, certain patterns start to emerge. The rules of the universe start showing up and eventually wind up almost set in stones. And they kinda come in handy once they’re established. If you’re stuck on determining the future of a character or the plot to throw him/her into, looking back on previous patterns can spark whole new ideas. These are the Ten Commandments for my stories. What are yours?

1. If something can go wrong, it will do so in the most dramatic way possible. Probably involving explosives, evil relatives, escaped circus beasts, or all three.

2. If a person of the opposite sex irks you beyond measure, you should try to get used to it. You’re probably going to marry them.

3. Vacations, business trips, and any other type of travel will always go haywire and end in either a grand adventure or a terrible tragedy. In some cases, both.

4. Never trust someone who appears normal; only the crazy ones are safe.   I mean, c’mon…if they hide their crazy side, what else are they hiding?

5. Family can either be a very good or a very bad thing. There is no middle ground. They’ll be either the staunchest allies you could hope for or the worst enemies you could ever imagine.

6.Normal does not exist. Anywhere. Ever.  Come to think of it, that sounds about right for the real world, too.

7. Everyone has a stories, both good and bad, and all worth telling.  You may have to dig deep to find it, but even the most heartless, bland, or inherently evil character has something intriguing in their background.

8.Adventure is unavoidable. And why would you want to anyway? Almost all of the inhabitants of my world are slightly insane and have no qualms about jumping headfirst into trouble.

9. A friend is the very best thing you can have when in a jam. They’re even better than explosives!

10. A hero will always be a hero in the end, and the end will always be happy eventually.  Some characters just take a while to remember that they are in fact supposed to be heroes.

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