Welcome to my world and beyond...

A collection of snippets of the books I write and, occasionally, my life and the things that inspire my writing...

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Weekend Writing Warriors: September 28, 2014

Welcome Warriors, and Snipsuns.  So glad you could stop by for a visit. :-)  

The last weekend of September. WOW! WOW! WOW!

Before you move on this week, I've posted (below my snippet) the link to a First Page Review (first 1,000 words) bloghop. If you have time, please give it a read and maybe think about it? :-)
     Weekend Writing Warriors is a weekly bloghop. Each week, participants sign up HERE at wewriwa.com, then post 8 sentences of their work, published or unpublished, to go live between noon, Saturday and 9:00 AM Sunday EST. Then we visit each other and read, comment, critique, encourage--all those things that do a solitary writer's heart good.

     Snippet Sunday group from facebook--not us, but many of our participants do both, can be found HERE

      The travelers are now on the boat that is taking them upriver into the Firce Mountains.  Tayden has just asked Wiley(river driver) if his Maker ever answers when he talks to him.  Wiley's answering him, telling him a story from "back before this hair was gray."   :-)  We are still in Kad's POV. Final sentence from last week:

"And then the water swallowed me, and I was holdin' my breath and fighting for the surface.
Possible creative punctuation at work.

"When I finally broke onto the top of the water, the boat was upright and bucking wild. It must have righted itself while I was under. I tried swimming for it, but every time I came to the surface, a big wave shoved me back down. It sure seemed like I was sucking in way more water than air." Wiley scrunched his face and shook his head from side to side before he continued. "Then, and I still can’t explain how, the water settled real still between me and the boat. I swam over to it in a hurry, like the devil was nippin' at my heels. I looked up and seen that the man of different skin was already on board, leaning over the side with his hand reaching toward me."  That's it. What works, what doesn't?

Blog-hop announcement: There is a linky-list posted here, for the First Page Review bloghop . This is separate from Weekend Writing Warriors.
     The idea is this:
Do you want to know what  readers think when they read the first page of your book?  
     I don't know about anyone else, but I'm probably more insecure about the first page than I am about anything else. The idea of trying to grab a readers' attention, and to try to entice them with the beginning of a story is an enormous challenge. And like most writers, I'm blind to my own work. And I can't be completely different from other writers--you guys are a little insecure, too, right?  :-) 
     That's the motivation for the First Page Review. You can post up to 1,000 words--the beginning of a book, published or unpublished, a manuscript, or an unfinished WIP. The blog-hop will run the month of October. I've already posted mine. And, my book's title looks awfully lonely on the sign up list. ~smiling~
Thank you so much for visiting and sharing your opinion. I'm grateful for each and every opinion, and each and every one of you!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

First Page Review Blog-hop

This post is part of the First Page Review bloghop. The idea is simple. On your own blog, post your first 1,000 words of something you're writing or have written then sign up on this page,linking your 1,000 word post. Visit other people on the list and read theirs, then leave a comment to let them know if you liked it, what worked, what didn't, and if you'd keep reading.

Chapter 1 Journal entry  May 18


     Two years is a long time to not exist. At least to not exist on Earth.  Technically, I was missing, but I may as well have not existed since I have no memories to explain where I went, or where I was.  I’ll get right to the nuts and bolts of it. I was one of those “vanished without a trace” stories. The rub is, I returned without a trace, too. One minute, I was in a park playing hide and seek with my two year old, and the next I was in the desert alone. I’d just given birth. 
     I’m not a liar. And that’s exactly what I told the police when they found me.  For all the good that did. They focused on me. On me! Instead of trying to find the person who took my newborn.

     I could cry, but there aren’t any tears left. Just confusion, and anger.  Oh, and the dreams that pretend to be memories.

     Are you sure about this—I mean, are you really sure you know what you’re getting yourself into Rayanne? I’ll never be right until I find that baby. I’ll never be right until Ted lets me see Gavin. I need to get my life back.

Marissa closed the journal Rayanne had given her, then slid it into her backpack. The late-afternoon sun reflected on the water as she picked her way along the riverbank toward the crumbling, red-brick factory she called home. She didn’t know how long she’d have it—her pauper’s refuge. They were vanishing faster than age and neglect could replace them. City revitalization—a blessing and a curse.
Turning away from the river, she followed the sidewalk toward busy streets full of women in high heels and men in business suits. Where did they go? To dinner, on dates, to gyms? “Home.” The word caught in her throat, cutting through her the whole way to her heart. She wondered how many people treasured it the way she knew she would if she ever had a real home.
A bus pulled up next to her, its brakes puffing and hissing as it came to a stop. The doors folded open like floodgates, spilling passengers onto the sidewalk; they zigged and zagged, avoiding the herd of people rushing into the bus. It was a crazy sort of dance these commuters did every day. She was on track to be one of them, a lifetime ago. The bus lumbered away, swallowing her in  a cloud of smoke and stink.
As she meandered  from Allegheny Center toward the stadiums, an endless stream of people avoided her. Just as well. Clearing the crowd made it easier to slip behind the hot dog shop and rifle through their garbage.
It was a good day; she had a lucky find. Must have been slow sales, and they’d tossed out a dozen over-cooked hot dogs. No buns, but food was food. She wished she had the nerve to go inside and grab a couple packets of mustard. Just the thought made her mouth water. But it also made her cringe—thinking about the looks she’d get, no doubt meant to discourage her from being inside.
She tucked her bounty—all twelve of the hot dogs, into a scavenged shopping bag and put them in her backpack. Her stomach growled, but there’d be a better place than this to eat them. In this world—the world of the homeless and the desperately hungry, a food squabble might not get anyone killed. But too often, someone ended up bleeding and bruised.
An hour later, in her home—the third floor office of the dilapidated factory, she sat on the sill of the open window watching the river laze by. Somewhere upstream a train whistled, shattering her darkening world with a sound so lonesome she thought of the dead bell in the  church at Somerset. Moments later, the powerful diesels roared past, shaking her where she perched.
The first hot dog evaporated in her mouth. She didn’t slow down until she was on her third. As she chewed the fourth, she felt sort of queasy, unsure if it would stay down if she swallowed it. But it made no sense to not eat them as quickly as possible. It wasn’t as if she had a fridge to put them in. After twisting the shopping bag around the rest, she placed them in an old rusted file drawer. It wasn’t mouse-proof, but it’d at least keep the rats out of her breakfast.
Her bed, no more than a pile of dirty rags, old coats, and a tattered blanket felt welcoming as her tired bones relaxed into it. Survival was hard work. She rolled onto her side and gazed out the window, her eyes adjusting to the deepening night. The few brightest stars appeared. Looking at them, she was overcome with hope.
Maybe this time. Maybe Rayanne was right. Gavin, her missing baby, a job, looking in a mirror without shame staring back. Her life. “Please…if there is a god--and you’re  listening, help me find my way back to the world of the sane.”
Her eyes grew heavy. Her fists were curled tightly beneath her chin when her breaths came even and deep. Sleep took her.

Chapter 2: To Dream or Not to Dream?
Marissa didn’t dare chance the movement that taking a breath would cause. Huddling in a cloak of motionless and soundless fear, she squeezed her eyes shut, willing herself to vanish. If only willing it were enough. She needed to wake up, right away. But she couldn’t. Maybe it was really happening?  Please let it be a dream.She opened her eyes when she felt something nudge her. Tucked in next to her, an old woman in tattered clothing turned green eyes her way. The wrinkled face softened as she whispered, “It is a dream, Rissa. But you must know these things; you must remember."
             Marissa turned her head toward the sound of steps. Before her, rage burned in a woman’s eyes where she paced mere inches from Marissa’s hiding place. The woman’s boots made a trail where she shuffled dust and grit on the worn, wood floor. Her voice, a screeching complaint, made the hair on Marissa’s neck stand on end. “ Her fists clenched at her sides when she said, "A king must be of untainted blood.”