Saturday Stories for 1/16/16

Welcome back to 

Saturday Stories

This is a weekly post in which I update you on how I did with my goals and such over the past several days and link up to things you might have missed from me this week. I also give you a peek at something I’ve been working on! (If you just want to read my story excerpt, skip to the end!)

You can see last week’s post here. This week’s post should be short and sweet…I didn’t meet them.

Ok, let’s start from the beginning. On Sunday I posted my usual Sunday Goals and TBR video over on my YouTube (BookTube) channel. In that video I stated that my goals were basically to Read Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, to finish edits my current contest WIP, organize The Way We Were and to write three more chapters on Paulonious Punk.

So did I get that done? Of course not!

Here’s what I did:

I DID finish Six of Crows – Review(s) to be up soon.

I DID NOT write on Paulonious Punk but I will soon.

I DID get Beta Readers for A Siren’s Tale – and am now adding more to the last part. I’ve written about 500 words or so.

I DID take some time and organize 3 sections of The Way We Were and I think I added about 200-300 words in there.

I also did the normal blog posts so we had Spotlight on Art, Author Interview Friday, Writer’s Quote Wednesday, and a Bonus post containing videos about Alan Rickman and Harry Potter in general. .  I also did a video for David Bowie, which can be found here.

So basically, I’ve written somewhere between 1-2 thousand words this week…approximately. I don’t know because I hand write most things before typing them up so I don’t everything put into the computer as of yet. What I DO have, is this excerpt for you!

This is the beginning of a currently UNNAMED slightly dystopian story I started a few months ago. Though I have left it sitting in favor of the above mentioned ‘other’ works, I plan on getting back to this soon. I hope you enjoy it but, please, let me know what you think!

The end of the world has come and gone, but we are all still here somehow.

No one will believe me when I tell them about the apocalypse; not even my family or my best friend. They all think I’m nuts. A weirdo who wasn’t born properly. The disease that destroyed my world has touched every person around me and no one even realizes it. I rarely leave my room now and I never speak of this anymore. There are only two places I feel safe from this dread existence: my newly reinforced bedroom fort and the place I was when the whole world went daft; the library.

When I think back to that night…I try not to think back to that night. The last one to leave the library after book club, I did as I usually do, I mean usually did, and stayed behind for an hour or more to research and write. I’m a writer. Apparently I’m the only writer left in the world. With all of the movies, television series, and music cancellations since the event everything has become reruns and news channels. The few stations that remain anyway, most of them have gone to blank screens. So much for the HD television flat screen revolution! Goodbye new music radio stations, so long actors and screen writers. This viral attack took it all from us. It wasn’t exactly the end of the world, but it might as well have been.

By: Elizabeth S. Tyree

Weekly Goals

Just like last Sunday, I have 3 writing goals and a TBR.

Writing Goals:

  1. At least 3 chapters of Paulonious Punk
  2. Organize one or two character sections of The Way We Were
  3. Edit and Perfect (as much as possible) The Siren’s Tale

TBR:

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

 

Bonus Goal…send a query or two out to agents!

If you would like to know more about these goals, check out my BookTube video below. As always, I would LOVE to hear from you so leave me a comment and let me know what you’re up to this week.

 

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The Grownup by Gillian Flynn

Copyright 2014

Published by Crown Publishers

An imprint of Crown Publishing Group,

A Division of Penguin Publishing House LLC, New York.

This book is a short work of fiction billed as a thriller and suspense story. With 62 pages and no chapter or section breaks, the plot moves forward at a snappy pace. Gillian Flynn’s writing is smooth and witty, the first person narrative carrying us through as though we are sitting across from the main character, sipping tea and listening to her story.

What a story it is! We follow a ‘psychic’ as she goes to cleanse a poor mousy woman’s house, thinking that she will smudge a few herbs and wait out whatever hormone was messing with the teenage step-son. This doesn’t seem to be the case, however, and we quickly discover that there is more going on than meets the eye.

The Grown Up by Gillian Flynn is a well written book with a gorgeous cover jacket, a minimalist but beautiful design for the hardcover and interior papers, and well developed characters. With the short amount of time you spend in the world of this story, having characters you identify with and can see on many levels is a great feat for the author.

Unfortunately, this book was billed as a thriller and suspense novel but I did not find myself feeling much of either emotion. In fact, the most I felt was concern for the characters. Because of this, I am giving the book cover and design 4 out of 5 stars and the story itself 3 out of 5 stars.

**I received this book from Blogging for Books free of charge in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed here are my own.**

An Un-titled Short

I started writing this yet-to-be-named short story about a week and a half ago. The first few hundred words came quickly, then I stalled out. I’ve added a few things since then, but right now I just don’t know where it is headed.

The good news is that I’m posting it for you to enjoy! Have fun…

“Who died and left you queen of the world,” he growled as menacingly as he could while still staying doubled over beside the truck.

“Yeah, yeah I heard you the first time,” she sighed and gingerly stepped around the soggy grass to neatly nip the keys to his ’78 El Camino from his back pocket. “You know, real men may only bow down to their queens, but sometimes a sick boy must bow to his nursemaid.”

“Oh you think sooo…rah,” straightening up had been a bad idea apparently and whatever the rest of his retort would have been was lost behind the lurid, almost comical upheaval wreaking havoc of Carson’s typically well-groomed lumberjack appearance.

“I know so,” Paula sighed again, louder and longer this time, awkwardly patting his back and holding the adorably Neanderthal curls while Carson finished giving it all back (not that he had much left to give this time around). “And I could be a queen! I am a queen! How would know the difference, caveman?”

“uhhhn,” With no strength left to argue, Carson meekly nodded at his friend and allowed himself to be helped into the passenger side of his own souped-up ride.

“If you need to spew, warn me,” Paula trilled, slamming the door just to watch him cringe and shrink against the soft seat. “Homeward bound!”

The ride was blissful silence and heavy metal, though Carson enjoyed one much more than he enjoyed the other. Paula parked him, and his car, safely at his little house and jogged her way two blocks over to plop down on her own slightly smashy couch.  Turning on the television to what was, happily, a romcom marathon, the woman drifted in and out of a sleep riddled with ridiculously real dreams.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Stumbling up the steps and into his bachelor pad, slamming a little harder that the door than typically necessary, Carson flattened himself against the wall and peered out of the curtained window that would allow him to watch Paula’s perky backside sass its way down the block without risk of being spotted if she turned to check on him. How in the world a woman could walk with that much attitude showing without heels and dance music was a mystery, but the dark pony tail and faded jeans were doing a good job all on their own. Shaking his head in frustration as Paula disappeared around the corner that would take her home, Carson dragged himself to the kitchen, snagged some water, and went back to flop on the couch. Shoes off and a blanket thrown across his legs Carson flipped channels until he found his guilty pleasure…a romcom marathon. Smiling sarcastically at himself, the muscular bearded and tattooed tough settled in to watch a lineup of his favorite little secrets, and daydream.

“Who? What?” the annoying chirp of the cell phone in his pocket woke Carson a few hours later. Long shadows across the floor and a new movie halfway finished on the screen told the sick man that he had been out for at least 2 hours. Batobato binbinbing his phone was at it again. Thankfully though, it was a text message. “Dead?” he snorted, “Nope, if I were you I’d hold of planning the party until you know for sure I kicked the bucket.”

“Well do me a favor and either die now or wait,” she quickly responded, “I have appointments all day Thursday and Friday and just cannot possibly fit in a funeral then.”

“Bitch,” he mumbled, “Sometimes I hate that she makes me smile so much. Damn snarky wench.”

Thumbs careening over the screen, his scathing remark took a turn he didn’t expect so that Paula’s phone buzzed with, “I guess I’ll just have to live a little while longer for you then. Too bad no one is here to take care of me.”

“What a whiny little turd nugget,” Paula griped to the cat staring down at her from atop a nearby bookshelf, “Like he can’t take care of his own grown ass self.”

“You’ll be fine. Need anything?” “Need anything?” She wailed into a couch pillow, “Need anything? Jeez woman, keep it up! If he doesn’t know yet, he will soon. AAAAAAKKKK!”

“Need anything, hmmm,” Carson mused, “I wonder if…naw! She’s just being nice. I couldn’t get that lucky after all I’ve done…”

“I’m just tired and lonely. Like you said, I’ll be fine. Thanks though.”

“Awww, Maybe I should…NO PAULA!” She smacked her hand and threw herself back down on the groaning couch, “He said he’d be fine. Leave him alone!”

“But maybe…”

“Maybe??? Did you think of something you need?”

“Maybe…You…nevermind”

“Me?”

“Well, maybe you could bring some soup or something? I don’t think I can handle steak right now.”

YOU COWARD!” He growled at himself. “Her company would have been the answer…not Soup! I don’t even like soup!”

“I got you Gatorade and chicken noodle,” A hesitant voice called through his front door not even five minutes later, causing Carson to fall on the floor in a pile of tousled blankets and startled chagrin. He had been staring at his phone, wondering whether or not to text again when Paula showed up at the door.

“What kind?”

“Yellow.”

The Gatorade in questions was tossed unceremoniously into the pile on top of him as she headed to his kitchen, just as comfortable there as in her own. “How do you like the broth…searing pain, pretty hot, warm, or cool?”

Pretty Hot indeed,” he muttered, struggling to get up and follow her, “Umm…Pretty hot.”

“What are you doing up?” Paula suddenly appeared in front of him, hands on hips and a concerned frown marring her face. “Get back on the couch and wallow.”

“Yes ma’am.”

Free Summer Stories

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First Day Jitters

The professor stood in front of his class, nervously adjusting his lucky bow tie as he surveyed the new crop of creative wanna-be’s that were taking up space in the drafty room. The mixed races and species were all making themselves as comfortable as possible, pulling out their quills, paper, chisels, and whatever other supplies they had brought with them in anticipation of the first day.

Each and everyone one of them had one thing in common, they were expecting him to teach them something. Taking a deep breath and gripping a large piece of chalky limestone in his claw, opened his mouth to call role.

“Welcome to day one of Myths, Legends, and Beliefs of the ‘so-calle’ human world! I am Dr. Delonious D. Dragonsfire, you may refer to me as Professor Dragon. I recognize some of you from my Creative Barding course. This is where you’ll discover the basis of our barding. Now, can someone tell me what they know about the mortal world?”

Calling on a random centaur student from the back of the class, Professor Dragon turned to make notes on the large, smooth stone board, letting out the last of the breath he’d been holding on a sigh of relief. He had done it, there was no turning back now. Class was going, students were making notes, there was discussion, and he hadn’t burped any acid balls onto the furniture. All in all, the choice to stop teaching younger school children and move up into the continuing education arena was looking like a smart one. After all, the creatures were paying to learn from him!

Projects

I don’t know why we do this to ourselves. Pile up projects, due dates, and D.I.Y.s until we just turn in confused circles, trying to decide which way to go first or, possibly worse, which paint color matches the worksheet our boss assigned today that’s due yesterday. Maybe some of us, myself included, thrive on such craziness. Perhaps the organized and zen approach to life would make us insane, crazy with boredom and aching for stress within a week (probably sooner). I wouldn’t know, I’ve never gotten to point where I could find out! As soon as one thing is finished, three more jump up to take its place, waving like an elementary student who thinks they know the answer.

In fact, I am currently smack dab in the middle of at least 5 different projects:

Dragons in the Deep: Book 4 in the Stone Dragon Saga. A centuries old pirate ship is discovered and could hold the key to finding Aliphonsore’s parents. In fact, it could hold the key to ending the Fairy Queen’s insidious plans. With new friends, both human and otherwise, the return of Passiona and her pet sorcerer on the loose, and ancient obscure texts you never know what could be waiting around the corner!

Fifth Grade Dragons: A spin off of the main Stone Dragon Saga. This book finds Aliphonsore and King Ferdinand as professors at an academy in Realta, having made their way back home after the final battle with Passiona. Anna, who is now a writing teacher for a local fifth grade, is asked to help Aliphonsore and Ferdinand teach some students the basics of ‘human’ story telling/writing…to (hopefully) hilarious results.

Highland Park Presents: A short story compilation written by my fifth graders. They each worked hard on providing a short story that shows their abilities, their interests, and their weird senses of humor. Tyree Tomes is transcribing and editing the stories, turning them into one impressive book with a forward written by none other than the proud teacher…ME!

Plants and Ecology: A unit in science that teach students about things the food chain, energy consumption/output, and the ways communities are coming together and using Science to help save their local environments.

Organizing My Rooms: I have 4 rooms that ‘belong’ to me in this house. My bedroom, my sitting room, my closet, and the writer’s loft. We (meaning Dad) are building shelves for the back of my bedroom and will be getting those put in (hopefully!) soon. After that it is my sincere belief that I might be able to get my rooms organized and things up off of my floors! I KNOW that it HAS to be possible! I JUST KNOW IT!

Crocheting/DIY: I almost forgot…I promised a crocheted ear flappy hat to a friend a few months ago…he reminded me about that the other day so maybe I should hop on that! And don’t get me started on the DIY play house and cutesy painting I was hoping to get done this week cus…that ain’t gonna happen!

YOWZA! Putting them all in a row like that is a bit shocking to the system. Quick…somebody line out their to-do list for me! What are you getting done right now? Are you one of ‘us’, with the mile long constant list or are you one of those people who have it all lined out and finish one project before starting another one? If you’re the second type…HOW DOES THAT WORK???

I can’t wait to hear from you! Good luck with all your projects!

Live Like the 80s…the 1880s

*disclaimer* I wrote this to show as an example to the students on Friday. They are writing a practice narrative essay about having a ‘no screen’ (or modern tech free) day.

“Why is it,” Jedidiah mused, “that these people get such a kick out of visiting our little place?”

Thunder, his grey streaked stallion, just snorted and shook his head impatiently as the two stood at the roadside, waiting on yet another giant sport utility vehicle to pass through the gate. The humming of their motors were some of the only mechanical sounds emanating from the surrounding acreage and soon, even those were silenced. People came from miles around to spend a day in the country and learn what they termed ‘the old ways.’

Signal interrupters placed strategically throughout the farm allowed for no reception on cell phones, even ‘myfi’ wouldn’t work for their computers and smartphones! No television sets adorned the living room tables or the guest room wardrobes. There weren’t even modern radios! Instead of mp3 players or a boom box, the radios provided were from the early part of the 20th century, and not many AM stations play Lady GaGa or Taylor Swift.

Chuckling at the city kids who were hanging out of SUV windows, Jed waved his hat and smiled cordially. “City Folk,” he mumbled to himself, “Don’t even know a horse when they see one!”

“Time to get to work Jed,” Karl laughed, swinging through the gate on a buggy, “Let’s show these folks what a day looks like when you aren’t staring down at a screen all day long!”

Bedtime Story

“Once upon a time there was a little girl, whose mother made her a cape. Because of the cape’s color, everyone began to call the girl Red Riding Hood. One day Little Red Riding Hood was walking through the forest, carrying a basket of food for her Grandma…”

“Wait, she’s in the forest? ALONE?” Jessa squealed, hands over her gaping mouth.

“Yes, dear,” Mother sighed, “She’s walking alone in the forest, making her way down the path to Grandmother’s house.”

“But Grandma lives in the Glades.” Billy, Jessa’s twin, pointed out. “There’s no forest there. Just sand and old people doing water aerobics.”

“That’s where your Grandma lives Billy,” Mother spoke slowly and patiently, “But Red Riding Hood’s Grandma lived in a small cabin in a clearing. Red Riding Hood had to walk across the worn path and deep into the forest to visit her Grandmother. On this particular day, the little girl was skipping along with a basketful of breads and cakes, excited to visit her favorite person. Along the way she met a wolf, who very politely moved off of the path to allow her to pass by without stepping in brambles. ‘Where are you going, Little Red Riding Hood?’ he asked.”

“Wait, wait, wait,” Jessa sighed, “You must be skipping a part Mom. Wolves don’t speak English.”

“Sure they do,” Mother countered, “Maybe you just can’t understand them.”

“No Mom,” Billy reached over to take the book, as if he could read it to her, “They don’t speak at all. They just howl at stuff. Remember? We watched that Animal Planet special.”

“Oh that’s right,” Mother gave in and passed the book over, “My little 4 year olds are so smart! I can’t get anything by you two!”

“That’s right.” Jessa humphed and grinned, “Night Mommy.”

“Good night darlings.” Mother exchanged kisses and hugs, tucking in baby dolls and stuffed animals along with the valiantly struggling twins. “Enjoy the book.”

“How did it go?” Dad asked from his cozy spot on the couch.

“They didn’t accept Red as one of their own.” Mother flopped down, curling up against her husband. “But I didn’t have to read the llama book tonight.”

“Thats a plus,” Dad grinned down at Mother, their smiles turning to grimaces as a concerned shout came wafting down the hallway. “MOMMY MOMMY, WHAT IS GRANDMA DOING TO RED?”

“Oh my,” Mother slowly stood up and made her way back down the hall, “Full colored artwork and a classic storyline may not make for the perfect bedtime story after all.”

“Lesson Learned,” Dad muttered, returning to his channel surfing.