HERE is the LINK. Best of luck to you and HAPPY HOLIDAYS!
As is typical, the summer months here in the north-country are quickly flying by. With August upon us, we’ve already lost, since the summer solstice, almost a full hour of sunlight per day. (So sad . . .) Still, this is a good time to reflect on the issue we Quills are pondering this month, which is: when we are away from the writing desk, what do we do? What gardening or improvement projects keep us busy? Are they inspirational? Do they help us to focus? Or ... ?
I'll go first, then present posts from my fellow Quills, Robin Lythgoe and P.S. Broaddus.
I used to be quite a gardener. I had a huge plot. I can’t even estimate its size. I grew berries, beans, corn, squash, melons, peas, and on and on. Admittedly, even at the best of times, I tended to lose a fair amount of my crop because I couldn’t eat it in time and wasn’t big on storing methods (although drying herbs or beans was always a hit with me). (That said, I usually had an abundance. Don't believe me? Check the pic here of just one wheelbarrow full of tomatoes from one year.)
Also, in truth, I lost some crop to overzealous weeds that would come along about the same time that I threw my hands up and nearly quit, as I was no longer having fun.
But I don’t garden like that anymore ...
Now that I've unloaded, I'm anxious to hear what Robin Lythgoe, author of As the Crow Flies, has to share with us. Well, Robin? What's your current non-writing artistic (or other) outlet?
My writing desk follows me everywhere. Virtually, anyway. Overheard conversations make good fodder for dialogue. A turn of phrase from a television show or movie often suggests an entire scene or plot point. I realized during a discussion about some people in my life that one of them in particular would make a fantastic model for a character. (No, I will not say whether protagonist or antagonist!)
I try to jot these ideas down on my phone, but sometimes I really have to tell my desk to go to its room and give me a break. Have you ever noticed that not thinking about a thing is like a magic solution for finding an answer to it?
“Whim” has often been the instigator ...
And finally, we hear from P.S. Broaddus, author of A Hero's Curse. What say you, Parker?
I don't often get the question, "What keeps you busy?" That's usually because I have three little boys running around and through my legs. I also work as a full time real estate agent, running my own business and managing property for myself and others. I have a master's degree in film, but I've taken a step back from film production and editing to give more time to my love of writing.
And while I enjoy real estate and homes and remodeling and flipping, that isn't necessarily where I get inspiration or rest. I don't garden - the wonderful wood nymph I married is in charge of that department. Likewise, film and film editing is work - enjoyable work, but work nonetheless.
There are a couple of things I do that fill me up, that aren't work, and sometimes even provide inspiration and encouragement ...
How about you? What’s your project de jure (or de l’annee, or even de la decennie, as the case may be)?
Somehow, I manage quite frequently to miss sharing on Booklikes when my fellow Quills and I publish a new joint-blog post. I'll try to do better going forward . . . In any case, this time our topic is whether we finish books we hate. Do you want to guess in advance what each of us said? Be sure to click on the links for each of us, below, so as to get the rest of each of our stories.
Now, in truth, I can't imagine my fellow Quill, Robin Lythgoe, author of As the Crow Flies, reading anything to the bitter end that she doesn't very much like. But perhaps I'm wrong . . .
We’ve all come across them—those books that are so badly written you wonder if the author was even an earthling. Or, assuming that they weren’t hatched on another planet, if they bothered to attend grade school. Or if they live in a sensory deprivation chamber and have no freaking idea what the real world is like. The first pages of such a book are usually painful. Do you risk the agony of finishing the entire book? You want to know my philosophy?
P.S. Broaddus, author of A Hero's Curse, do you read things to the bitter end? Even when you hate them? I suspect you might be a bit more likely to do so than Robin, although I can't put my finger on why I think that might be . . . Am I right or am I wrong?
What to do with a book you hate? Or, even worse, a book that was just, 'meh.' It doesn't even warrant the energy of hurling it against the opposite wall. It barely deserves a sigh and a shrug, and certainly won't get a review on Amazon or Goodreads. Too much effort for a story that simply didn't captivate. So what do you do with that story? Are you a finisher? A staller? Or a tosser?
Does anyone want to guess what I'll say, in advance? Do I read things to the bitter end, or do I not? What do you think? Well, here goes . . .
Do I finish books that I start, but hate? I can answer this question with a single title: Moby Dick. I found it utterly incomprehensibly, annoyingly, mind-bogglingly boring, and odd—and downright awful. I hated it. Nothing anyone could say about a color or its significance, or what the author may have intended that color may have symbolized, could resurrect this title for me. I found a solid 70% of the work to be complete nonsense. Lest I be mistaken, let me put it simply: I truly and completely abhor this work. Perhaps more than any other I’ve ever read. So . . .
Please do join us again next time when we'll share some more (new) flash fiction. Later, then!
Happy New Year to one and all! It is hard to believe that 2017 is already a part of the history books. Now I look eagerly toward all great things for 2018.
This month we Quills are writing about what has or does inspire us to write and/or or what may have inspired us to write a particular work.
First up is Robin Lythgoe, author of As the Crow Flies and Blood and Shadow.
As I near the day I push the “publish” button for the second book in The Mage’s Gift, this seems a good time to reflect on the motivation behind the story. I think it was years in the making, and I think I will say the same about all my books and stories. What does inspire me? What prompts me to set pen to paper (I really did start out that way), and then fingers to keyboard? I’m inclined to call it "magic" . . .
The best part of our monthly posts for me, is reading what my fellow Quills have to say. Thank you, Robin!
Now I turn my attention to P.S. Broaddus's comments. Parker is the author of A Hero's Curse. What say you, Parker?
I like the question "what inspired you?" To inspire is to motivate, to encourage, to incite. It is an action that is uniquely intimate through its connection with personal desire. It touches on motivations and vocations, capturing both the mind and the heart. To be inspired is a special thing, and to inspire others an almost otherworldly, yet, perhaps, a worthy goal. Depending on the end. Depending on what you inspire your neighbor toward.
Is it my turn now? Is it really my turn now?
Yes, it is! So, here are my thoughts . . .
Taking a short hiatus from writing my fantasy series (The Oathtaker Series) over the past few months, I’ve been working instead on a non-fantasy story entitled, So I Opened My Mouth and Screamed. It will be published in 2018.
This story is near and dear to my heart, as being aware of a real-life story with which this one shares features, I felt I had to write it. It opens when a young man breaks and enters into the home of a family and, armed with a knife, sexually assaults the youngest family member (a young woman just turned 16) and threatens her not to call for help. I don’t want to give away the details, but the young woman in question is/was not your typical 16-year old. Rather than being a victim to the demands of her unknown assailant, she did precisely what he demanded she not do . . .
That's it for this time around. Thank you for joining us. Please leave your comments and stop by our sites again soon!
It's official: autumn has arrived! With it, we Quills will try a new venture: FLASH FICTION. If you're new to the concept, it's quite simple, really. Flash fiction covers a variety of works that are extremely short. Consider the following descriptions (lifted straight from Wikipedia):
Six-word stories (self-explanatory)
Twitterature - 140 characters
Dribble - 50 words
Drabble or "microfiction" - 100 words
Sudden fiction - 750 words
Flash fiction - 1000 words
For our post today, we've chosen to write works from 300-1500 words (or so). My story, title and all, runs roughly 400 words.To add to the fun, we Quills chose a single picture for inspiration. The pic, entitled Long Walk, it is the creation of Jonathan Bach. (Find it at http://jbachdesign.blogspot.com/2014/....)
I admit that I rebelled a bit over our selected motivational picture . . . It just . . . didn't speak to me. But then, finally, one thought came to mind. Just one, mind you. So I decided I'd go with it. You'll soon see what I came up with . . .
While I'm anxious to hear what you think of my take, for now, Robin Lythgoe, author of As the Crow Flies, is up first!
The mages—along with the history books and a dozen or so scouts—had professed their absolute certainty that the Shader Needles no longer held any power.
Either they lied, or the maggots had figured a way to put them back in operation. Cleaved nearly in half, my flitter wrapped around the base of one pitch black, sword-like spire. Shock chased after shock. First, came the shattering of the sky like a thousand shards of lightning. Struck, I hustled earthward, out of control. Glass jangled and metal shrieked. Unimaginable pressure and the sensation of tearing preceded the remainder of my flight—without the benefit of the flitter. I met the sand with ferocious force. Finally, and most astounding of all, came the realization that I still drew breath. Each inhalation burned like a hot poker, but by all rights, I should be dead.
Sprawled in the needle's dubious shade, I processed the fact that I'd been thrown clear before my little flying machine slid down the length of the spire to smash to splinters against the ground. If I died, who would stop the poison spreading from the decaying city?
Read more at http://robinlythgoe.com/drift-quills-....
Next is P.S. Broaddus, author of A Hero's Curse. Accustomed to Parker's ready wit, I'm expecting a laugh or two. Or maybe things will go another way entirely. Hmmm. Well, let's find out . . .
The Prophet and the Assassin
Landships are usually a safe way to travel the dunes. Unless it's a "clanker," built from parts of the old combustible engines. They can't go high enough to escape the desert sands that come out of the south like a solid wall of death. But it wasn't the time of year for storms.
I've dreamed of starting over. I've dreamed of a fresh slate. It's a myth. You can't start over. The memories remain.The command remains.
There is no fresh slate for the living.
Read more at http://www.psbroaddus.com/2017/10/06/....
Finally, here's my flash fiction story.
Her Golden Hair
I had no choice. I had to leave her behind. Still, the ugly hands of guilt and grief, like the twin jaws of a vise, squeezed my heart.
I couldn’t count the times she’d saved me. I could only hope I’d prove as faithful. She deserved that . . . and so much more.
How could I have been so reckless? I’d heard the rumors of pirates having invaded the area—and all from highly reputable sources, no less. Still I’d insisted on doing things my way. I alone was responsible for my foolhardy pride, my selfish desire to be the first to arrive, my rash behavior.
The vise crimped tighter.
Read more at http://www.patriciareding.com/blogrev....
Please, share your comments with us!
Also, for more fun with these short-shorts, check out Flash Fiction Online at http://flashfictiononline.com/main/ and/or Flash Fiction Magazine at https://flashfictionmagazine.com.
No One Needed to Know, by D. G. Driver, opens when Heidi (who so wishes she’d been named something more fitting, like “Storm”), and her brother, Donald, engage in a make-believe battle on a “boat” set that sits in the midst of their local park. Right off, the reader learns something interesting about Heidi . . .
Every now and then I hear someone say that she is not a fan of "fantasy." That always makes me chuckle, because I'm fairly certain that if asked, most of the people who say that would admit that the stories they most enjoyed (whether reading them or watching them in movie form) over the past years, will include a healthy number of stores with some element of fantasy/magic . . .
Read more here.
The cover of Beauty and the Beast offers the single word that best describes the adventure to be found within its award-winning pages. You see, this telling is one that is "reimagined" by Rebecca Hammong Yager. So it is that through Yager's . . .
C.M. Huddleston has hit upon the secret of good reading for middle-graders in her award-winning Greg's First Adventure in Time. The formula includes taking a respectful but sarcastic 12-year old boy, an adult ready to share an interesting life calling . . .
In Criminal, Book 2 of her award-winning The Breeder Cycle stories, K.B. Hoyle leads readers through the continuing adventures with Pria and her new found friends, members of The Freedom Fighters, a group of those who refuse the ways of the Unified World Order.
Having determined. . .