I’ve been neglecting my blog for far too long. So it’s Trifecta time once again! This week’s prompt was “ass”. How could I skip that?

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Ford was an ass and Bree would have told him so if it wasn’t for the gun pointed at her head. But she thought it. A lot.

Dumb-ass.

She glared at Ford standing beside her with his hands up. He was still grinning like the world amused him.

Asshole.

‘No one’ll be there,’ he’d said. ‘Quick in and out,’ he’d said.

She could kill him.

“Nice night, ain’t it?” Ford asked, unconcerned. As if he were looking into the barrel of a toy gun instead of the real thing.

Jackass.

His eyes flicked to the side. He nodded at the posted sign, the one he’d been chuckling over while he lit the damn cigarette a few minutes ago. “Geez, I didn’t realize this was a nonsmoking area,” he said. One raised hand pointed at the cigarette dangling from his lip. “Mind if I put this out? I swear I won’t try nothing, officer sir. I’m a law abiding citizen an’ all.” Ford smiled that big eyed picture day smile of his, the one that made him look like a golden haired angel.

“Don’t move.” The cop pivoted, eyeing him with automatic suspicion. Smart guy.

“Only be a sec.” Ford slipped the cigarette from his mouth, pinching it like he meant to flick it away from him. Instead he sent it flying into the cop’s face and followed it up with a punch so fast Bree almost missed it entirely. The cop dropped to a knee.

“Ya see that?” Ford asked with a high laugh. “Damn I’m good.”

“Good and careless,” Bree said. She kicked the struggling cop in the head and grabbed Ford’s hand. “Now let’s go.”

They ran through the maze of shipping containers hand in hand, Ford still laughing like a hyena. After a minute, Bree finally smiled too. Her hand cupped the bulging pocket of her coat. They got it. Now they just had to keep it safe.

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So. I’ve been thinking about my prose a lot. (And about how I haven’t blogged nearly enough lately but that’s a blog post for another day.) Like most writers I know, my prose concerns me. Too flowery? Not flowery enough? Does it read like an encyclopedia? Am I boring people with my straightforward “he did this and this and then he did this?” It’s a tricky thing to get your point across without overloading readers. Or underwhelming them. So far I’ve only found a couple remedies for my lackluster prose.

One is obvious. Read more. It’s like the cardinal rule of writers. “Read, read, read.” And it’s true and good and other favorable things but what do you do when you’ve been reading like crazy and your prose still sucks? Trying to emulate a writer I love is one thing but it won’t make my metaphors more musical automatically. I can throw words around all day and never come up with that perfect simile to describe the way a character’s smile passes the border of charming and hops a train for creepy. Writing is not one size fits all.

So I sat and thought about my mediocre prose. And then I decided to do something drastic. Something I had pretty much sworn off.

That’s right. I… am going to try writing poetry. Again.

Most of you probably don’t know why this fills me with dread so let me explain. Way back in the land of college, I tried writing poetry. At the time I thought it was okay. And then I went back and reread it a year later. It was horrible. Beyond horrible actually. It was pompous and trite and poorly worded. It was bad. So bad that I’ve never shown my poems to anyone since and I’m generally pretty shameless about my bad writing.

So why am I going to write poetry again when I hated it so much the first time? Because I think that maybe just maybe it’ll result in something a little less sucky. Most importantly: maybe it’ll help my problem with lackluster prose. I’ve always been amazed with poets and their ability to say a lot in few words. I’m crossing my fingers the talent will rub off on me. If you have any spare fingers, maybe cross them for me too. I’d appreciate it.

In the interest of being a better writer I’m pledging now (you guys are witnesses) to write at least one poem every day. It can be crap. In fact it probably will be crap, until it’s not. Hopefully not all of them will be haiku (aka the other only poetry I’ve written in years, usually as jokes.) I won’t lie. I’m a little terrified but also hopeful. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a haiku to write.

So, maybe it’s just me but sometimes when I’m writing I find myself wondering “exactly what DOES that look like?” Today was no different. In the process of writing some fanfiction (yes I write fanfiction when the urge strikes) I came upon a problem: What do burning/burnt feathers look like? And so like any good writer I asked twitter. 😀 Thank you for answering, twitter. And for warning me about the smell. It really was horrible.

But why stop there?

In the interest of fictional accuracy, I grabbed some brightly colored craft feathers and one feather that I found in the yard (I suspect it was from a mourning dove) and set out to burn things. Here are my findings:

#1. Feathers burn surprisingly well. And they also stink. A lot. Someone said they smell like burning hair and that’s probably pretty accurate.

#2. When feathers burn they actually melt and shrivel. There was a bit of bubbling on the last burning attempt and they ended up a big ugly black blob because multiple feathers melted together.

#3. The whole feather burns, including the shaft though that seemed to take a little bit longer.

Now, don’t you all feel so much more knowledgeable?

PS: If you guys would like more in depth info I have before and after pictures. Let me know and I’ll post them.

Video  —  Posted: August 4, 2013 in Uncategorized
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It’s Trifecta time again! This week’s challenge was a 33 word entry that included a color. Here’s mine:

The setting sun painted cobalt shadows beneath the oak trees. The first stars appeared on the horizon as the village took to their beds. Somewhere a wolf howled. And then there was nothing.

That’s right. It’s finally happened. I can’t think of a single clever title for this Trifecta post. I’m amazed I lasted this long. Anyway this week’s Trifecta prompt was the word crack. More specifically this definition of it:

And here is where I went with it:

Smoke sat on the night sky like an oily film. It obscured the full moon. An ugly curtain over the only decent light. There had been screaming earlier but now everything was silent. It wouldn’t last.

Someone had opened the door, just a crack, and Death had slipped through. Now the door was open, there was nothing to do but breathe. In and out. In and out.

Tomorrow the city would pick itself up and wipe the dried and dusty blood from its hands. They would collect the bodies that had once been friends and family. They would clean away the evidence of what they’d done.

But Sara wouldn’t forget. And she wouldn’t forgive either.

Image

Those of you who stalk me on twitter may have heard that I have an idea.

*cue shocked gasping*

For those of you that don’t know, here it is:

I’m planning to host a story collection on my blog later this year (hopefully in October). It has no name as yet because naming is really not my forte but it has a (loose) theme and I’m getting strangely excited about it already.

I used to paint. A lot. I had two solo shows and did a handful of other gallery showings of my paintings. But in recent years I haven’t done much and that makes me sad. Of course most of my creative energy is going to writing which is also good. Even so, I miss painting. This story collection is kind of like the kick in the ass that I’ve been missing.

The idea is relatively straightforward. I’m going to do twelve illustrations (maybe thirteen if I get really crazy). The participants get to pick one of the illustrations and write a short story to go with it. I don’t care how the picture figures in. It can hang on the wall of the main character’s house, it can be the cover of a book they saw once when they were five, or it can be something internal. It’s up to the story writers. When it’s time, the picture and matching story will get posted together. I’ll probably contribute a story of my own along the way. Guess I need to remember to draw myself a picture too.

So I hope this sounds entertaining to you all. I will no doubt be around to harass some of you into volunteering. Be prepared.

This week’s Trifecta prompt was to explain our writing process in three words. And here are mine:

Swearing. Flailing. Repeat.

 

I think this is my shortest post ever. XD